Sunday 3 September 2017

Out of the basket and onto the couch!

Progress report on the previous post (In my basket this week....! ) - I finally finished the Apache Tears cushion: 

I just did corresponding stripes on the reverse:

It was an interesting pattern, but next time I use it, I'll leave the loose ends to make a fringe - you work the rows right to left without reversing the work so you have to keep cutting the yarn and restarting, which makes weaving in the ends a bit tiresome!

So now I'm back to an ongoing project - hats and scarves for some of our local homeless projects.
I've had a basket of yarn by my chair all year and in between other items (like the cushion, above)
I'm knitting hats and scarves using up oddments (and donations!) of yarn.

The current total stands at 13 scarves and 22 hats - that's some of them, pictured above. 
(I need to filch a few out for a friend to sell at a table-top sale next week to raise funds to help a local group: an elderly acquaintance of hers has set up his garden allotment to encourage young people with learning difficulties learn about horticulture - he provides tools, seeds and expertise and then gives them a section to work on. He even prints out a little 'certificate' to hand each of them at the end of the season! However, their transport funding has been withdrawn, so we want to raise money to offset this.)
Hopefully, I can 'replace' the items before the December deadline for our homeless shelter project!

Thursday 17 August 2017

In my basket this week.....!

It's been a while - 'life' got in the way of blogging, but I have been doing a LOT of knitting and crochet!

In a bid to get some structure into the haphazard jumble of events that my life currently consists of, I've decided to try doing a blog post once a week, primarily to 'log' progress on various projects, as much as to get me back into the swing of regular blogging!

So, this week,  I finished:

A shawl - an excuse to use up scraps of similar colours

A hat and scarf (to add to the pile I'm accumulating for the Winter Shelter with a local Homeless project)

WIPs include:

Another scarf for the Homeless project - excellent TV-knitting as it's all Garter stitch and knit lengthwise (220 sts per row!) so you get nice stripes!

Trying out the 'Apache Tears' crochet stitch - quite pleased with it so far. Probably make it into a cushion cover.

 Now my challenge is to post again next week with a progress report! :-)

Saturday 23 January 2016

I've I'll finish!

In an effort to cull some of my yarn-buying fetish I decided that I ought to finish a few projects before I buy any more!

Here's the finished 'Granny square' blanket from my previous post:


The 1940's 'Wallis' (inspired by Mrs Simpson) cardigan my daughter had fought with, was ripped out and given to me to try my hand - it is still a work in progress, on 2mm needles!

To use up some of my scrap stash (and when I want a break from knitting) I started this crocheted 'Ribbon Afghan' - picking the colours at random (not quite sure what I think of it, as yet!)

The 'Spiral-staircase' scarf was completed, but though I loved the colours (reminded me of the Northern Lights) I ripped it out - yarn too scratchy for a neck scarf, I'll use it for socks.


However, I did another S-s scarf. this time in baby-soft 2ply cream yarn - this feels like wrapping yourself in goose-down!

It's turning colder here, time for hunkering down, drinking tea,
watching a good film and playing with yarn - so, see you later!

Sunday 3 January 2016

New Year - new start!

Another year begins - let's hope it's better than the last one (after the upheaval of moving two elderly family members and accommodating ALL THEIR FURNITURE temporarily, before being flooded out of our home......!)

Anyway - I know I have been neglecting this blog and despite my best efforts I never seem to carve out enough time to do everything I want to, but the nearest thing I can come to as a New Year resolution is to attempt to try and post something reasonably regularly so I'll start with a montage of a few projects that have been on the 'go' up to and over the Christmas period!

Cover for a long footstool - an impression of a 'dry stone wall'; a lacy wrap for my cousin in NH;

'Playing' with colour-variation yarn;

(Some of these have been finished.....others are 'pending'!)

The current WIP was started over Christmas - a fairly mindless stash-busting project of crocheted  'granny' squares to keep my hands busy whilst watching Christmas-present DVDs and catch-up TV!

Joining the squares 'as you go' was interesting, engineering the joins across the different sized squares. Now I'm just doing rows all around the edge to use up the colours!

In between all these things I've been making incubator blankets for our Knitting group's challenge - we've donated 6,000+ items to SCBUs up and down the country over the last two years. The latest 'drive' is to see how many we can produce between now and Easter. I will hopefully be digging deep into my stash - however, my son (bless him!) gave me a voucher to spend at Wool Warehouse as part of my Christmas present, so the stash will continue to grow!

Another project I'm about to start on is another CAL (remember my adventures with "Sophie's Universe" last year?) - this time it's hosted by another designer and it's called:

I'm hoping it'll encourage me to post regular progress updates here and get my
blogging back to normal!  One can only hope!

Happy New Year, everyone!  
May your hands never ache and may the deepest recesses
of your stash finally see the light of day! :-)

Saturday 29 August 2015

Now, that's a first!!

Excuse me for getting a little excited - but this is the
first time I've ever done any crochet designing....

Dead chuffed at having learned new techniques from doing the
  "Sophie's Universe" CAL  " earlier in the year - and managed to create
 a design all of my own!

...and  yes - I did remember to write it all down, so I can replicate the pattern!
(it may even appear here, at some point!)

Thank you for letting have a little 'show and tell' session!

Sunday 23 August 2015

Catching up with updates!

Well - a bit of a long hiatus but now hopefully back on track. Life in our household has been like a washing machine - going round and round at speed and wet!

Let me 'unpack' that a bit:

Since Spring, we have moved two elderly relatives (hubby's mother and his maiden aunt) from their Retirement complex on the south coast of England up to a new Residential Home just the other side of town from us. This makes a vast difference - previously it was a 4+hour drive each way, now it is about 10 mins!  Which means, if there's a problem you can be there and back without letting your coffee go cold!

The first 'upheval' was having to clear both their flats of furniture! It was ultimately going to hubby's sister's smallholding to be stored in a barn, pending other family members choosing anything they'd like. However, she was on on the 'high seas' sailing up to the Hebrides at the time of the move so it ended up in our conservatory, our garage, our lounge, our spare(?) bedrooms and our own bedroom (just a small trench around the bed for access!) - in fact there was stuff every where:

....... you get the drift...?

We couldn't turn for falling over 'stuff' - but eventually, after some weeks the bulk of things had been shipped out to its final destination. We still had boxes and crates of ornaments and crockery and what I referred to as 'old lady detritus' - the accumulations of 80+ years. By about the middle of June we could start to return things to normal - oh the luxury of 'space to move'!!

It was short-lived, of course.  About 4 weeks, to be precise.

The analogy of the 'washing machine' now comes into play - not only was our life turned upside down but we learned the devastation that follows a flood!

(rugs floating on top of the water-sodden carpet - you can see the ceiling light reflected in the water)

Basically, the water main just up from our property had 'exploded' and it had come down the hill, across the gardens, UNDER the neighbour's house and straight into ours! Right through the lounge-diner and out through the conservatory. The term 'A river runs through it' seems apt.

That was nearly five weeks ago - we have no carpets, lost some furniture, rescued some the so-called 'recovery team' tried to wreck and spent close on a month in a local hotel as we had industrial blow-heaters running 24/7 at 33degC - making the place uninhabitable.

We 'moved' back in a few days ago - we're back to having 'stuff' everywhere (small access trench around the bed - again :-/) upstairs. Downstairs is Spartan, to say the least - we've had a decorator stripping off the wallpaper so last night our Saturday evening in the 'homestead' looks really luxurious, doesn't it:
(like our 'temporary' media trolley?)

We have a hell of a long way to go - thank goodness the water company are picking up the tab, but I doubt we'll get compensation for the distress and trauma that's been caused.


Anyway, at least there was only one 'yarn-related' casualty - a bag of knitted squares someone had asked me to sew together for a charity blanket. I fished the bag out of the conservatory and laundered them - at some point I'll get round to sewing them!

So, here's a few pics of completed projects that got done in the midst of the melee:

This was the 'log cabin' knitted patchwork blanket I started ages ago - finally finished the border and sewed in all the ends. (draped over a sofa at my daughter's home - our secondary bolt-hole after the deluge!)

I made it through to the bitter end, getting my "Sophie's Universe" afghan finished. Learned SO many new techniques and stitches, I have no excuse not to try even more complicated things!
(it came out huge, too - over 6ft square! Try blocking that.....!)

Having learned about 'surface' stitches via the 'Universe' - I tried out this 'Spiro Star' design, by Helen Shrimpton  - I have the wool to make more blocks, but it's currently buried behind everything else in what was my workroom:
- since the flood, now known as one of the 'dumping grounds'! 

In between I've been doing lots of incubator blankets for prem. babies - our knitting group is on a mission to get parcels of blankets and baby-related items to as many SCBUs as we can - it's an ongoing project.

At the other end of the scale we're also producing lots of 'Twiddle muffs' for Alzheimers and Dementia patients. (learn more here )

We're passing them on to local hospitals and care homes -  it's a great way to use up all sorts of bits and pieces and it also means we're supporting a worthwhile cause.


Right, that's about got things up to date - it will be a month ot two until our home is back to 'normal', but at least hubby doesn't bat an eyelid when I have frequent 'yarn-shopping expeditions' to deal with the stress! 

Now I'm off to start onto another project I've been wanting to do for ages!

Saturday 7 March 2015

"Universal" appeal!

I kept seeing lovely kaleidoscopic pictures of crochet, while noodling around the internet and discovered they were representations of a 'mystery' CAL (Crochet-a-long) designed by Dedri Uys and called "Sophie's Universe". The 'mystery' aspect refers to the fact that no-one knows what the final item will look like, as each new part is released weekly!

Well, that piqued my interest, so I grabbed my stash and set-to hooking; I must say it has been quite an experience learning new stitches and techniques! I'd always been a fairly conservative crocheter, just using the basic chains, double/treble crochet and slip stitches but before long I was doing FPDCs and BLOs. to say nothing of the odd FPDTR! (Front Post Double Crochet, Back Loop Only, Front Post Double Treble - and if that sounds like double-dutch I also had to remember these were US terms and slightly different from the UK ones I'm more used to!)

......anyway - I started a couple of weeks ago, late to the 'party' (which began on 18th Jan and will finish 31st May) and I'm still playing catch-up. I've just finished Part 5 (rounds 1-45, there are another 67 to go...)   Although there are suggested yarn weights/types/colours I'm just using DK stash yarn - and if I survive the experience I may do another one with more specific colour choices!

So, here's a little montage of 'progress' pictures:


Sophie's Universe is expanding.... so far she measures 29" (73.5cm) but the finished size will be somewhere near 6ft (180cm0 square!

If you want to join in, use the link at the beginning of this post - this thing has gone global, always room for more!

(check out the F@ceb00k community pageF@ceb00k community page, too!)