Tag Archives: shawl

300 Miles Later…

Well hello there dear reader! Oh my, what an absolute age it has been since I last shared my latest crafty bits and bobs with you. What has kept me from you? Well, a couple of fairly major obstacles have stood between us dear reader, beginning with the fact that I have moved 300 miles north! Yes, I finally did it, I moved to Yorkshire (hence the photo of the sheep and the Dales above) and once I had settled in ‘up north’ I was just beginning to get around to starting up my little blog again when, you’ve guessed it, obstacle number two hit: a global pandemic, who’d have thought it? As I work full-time in a primary school, the last few months have been extremely busy/stressful/exhausting, for my school never closed; we were always open to key worker children so I never stopped working. With the world in chaos, as well as having to cope with a surreal new school working environment, it never seemed the right time to blog, although I count myself very lucky to have still had a job to go to and to have had the opportunity to seek comfort in all my crafting, which I know many may not have had. However, school’s out now, dear reader and the time feels a bit more ‘right,’ so here I am and I do hope you and your loved ones have managed to stay safe and well during these strange times. I never stopped crafting throughout lockdown, although I have to admit I did find it hard to focus on anything more complicated than a simple granny square (oh faithful one) with so much weird/unimaginable/sad stuff cramming my thoughts, so let this be a bit of a heads up for you dear reader, what follows will contain many, many granny blankets, for they were my solace in times of need. Much craftingness has been accomplished since we last met dear reader, so settle down with a cuppa and hold onto your sofa, for this will be a fast-paced, lengthy succession of makings; a no yarn spared bounty of blankets, with a smattering of socks and shawls, to bring you bang up to date. Let’s go…

Aren’t they perfectly-pretty, pink petal squares? They were certainly super little squares to hook up, using Stylecraft dk yarn shades of White, Raspberry and Candyfloss. It was such fun as they were so jolly and I used a dc continuous join to bring all those little lovelies together, as one whimsical baby blankie, with a candy stripe border to boot. Come see…

My second baby blankie was a beachy beauty in blue, using King Cole Baby Comfort dk yarn in shades of Pebble, Glacier, Silver and Jeans. Like the waves on the beach, it rippled…

From itty-bitty baby blankets to bigger, bountiful blankets, this time a rather glamorous striped one in unassuming treble stitch, but with a super-sparkly glitter yarn (ooh) and a soft scalloped border. I used Robin dk in Cream, with Stylecraft dk Pale Rose, Silver and Parchment and of course the heavenly Hayfield gloriously glittery Midnight yarn…

And now for a gorgeous granny blanket, crocheted using Stylecraft dk in Mushroom (pink), Silver and a rather lovely variegated, tweedy-greys yarn from Fistas, which I happened upon at a craft fair a while ago, finished with a shell edging…

I hope you managed to spot it, hidden amongst my jungle of houseplants! And now for my second granny blanket (I did warn you, there’s no going back now) which I crocheted using Robin dk yarn in Cream (now discontinued, too sad for words), Stylecraft dk in Parchment and a lovely variegated dk yarn by James C. Brett called Stonewash in gorgeous greens, completed of course with a cream scalloped border…

Bit of a favourite that one, with its vintage vibes and I can highly recommend the James C. Brett Stonewash, as the colour mixes are glorious. Now for another granny blanket (now, now, there’s always the need for a good granny) and this one has a ‘cosying-up-by-a-fire-with-a-hot-chocolate-in-a-log-cabin’ aura about it, being as it has been crocheted using Stylecraft dk yarn in shades of Parchment, Walnut, Sandstone and another sample yarn I foraged for at a craft fair by Fistas, in beautiful, balmy browns, finished with a (no, not scalloped) striped border…

Here’s a break now from granny blankets (I hope that wasn’t a sigh of relief from you then, dear reader) as I reveal another of my lockdown lovelies and latest obsession: a crocheted shawl pattern called Paintbox Palette by Laura Strutt from her beautiful book Modern Crocheted Wraps & Shawls. First I crocheted a super summery version in a dk cotton blend yarn from James C. Brett called Harmony (and it was) in glorious greens and petal pinks…

Ooh, you even had a work-in-progress pic there as well dear reader, how I do spoil you but you’re worth it. My other version was crocheted using a sumptuously chocolaty, chunky yarn from King Cole called Tonal in a Zinc shade, which was exactly the same pattern but turned out obviously much, much bigger and ended up being a real beauty…

Look at you being thoroughly over indulged with another work-in-progress pic! Amazing what a simple change of yarn can have on a pattern, isn’t it? I think you’ll agree though, she’s a bounteous beauty!

Let’s have a bit of stitching of the sewing variety now, just to mix it up a bit, keep it fresh and keep you entertained dear reader. First up, a cute kitty key chain, embroidered from a Mollie Makes magazine free kit…

Perfectly pretty, isn’t she? A treat to stitch too and she rekindled my love of embroidery, so expect to see more like her soon. Next up on the catwalk (sorry, pardon the pun) a delightful doggie, all wrapped up for winter in a wee coat and a perfectly peach scarf. He was fashioned from another Mollie Makes magazine free kit, this time in fabulous felt…

How jolly is he? I love working with felt to create cute creatures, so expect more of those soon too. Still keeping with the Mollie Makes magazine free kits (I like a consistent theme) I crocheted a marvellous mandala wall hanging, which was sparkly-sweet…

Have to confess, I found the sparkly silver yarn a thrilling treat to work with, so I’ll definitely be using that again! More Mollie Makes magazine free gifts again, this time in the shape of a diddy dino as a playful pincushion, fashioned from felt. Of course he was a most indignant Dino, with a strong opinion regarding his purpose in life, as he declared quite distinctly: “Stick pins in me? Are you quite mad? No wonder us dinosaurs became extinct!” So there you go, no pins for this disgruntled dino…

Continuing with the cute theme, if you remember during lockdown, everyone was displaying a rainbow in their window to show their support for the NHS and to provide a spot of much needed jollity to passers by, out for their local, hourly exercise? Well, here’s my little crafting contribution to the national effort to lift the spirits…

…a lovely little smiling rainbow, crocheted from my own pattern, with cute accompanying clouds. Isn’t it adorable? It’s no longer dangling jauntily in my front window now, but is instead brightening the blinds in my new craft room (more about that later).

Now for my last finished project, a new neutral blanket, crafted from knitted squares using a pattern from Jane Ellison of Purl & Jane, who is based in Skipton, North Yorkshire, called the Carlton Gill Blanket. I used Stylecraft dk yarns in nicely natural shades of Cream, Parchment and Mocha; a very simple to knit pattern, which once the squares were combined, produced a stunning effect, as you will see…

Gorgeous, isn’t it? But don’t stare too long or it will make your eyes go a bit wibbly-wobbly and I’ve more goodies for you to feast your eyes on yet, dear reader. Let’s start on my works-in-progress now, beginning with a couple of granny blankies (you were warned right at the beginning dear reader, so there’s no backing out now) both of which are using a super soft, variegated range of yarns from James C. Brett called Stonewash, with the unassuming shade names of SW4 and SW12, but oh my, do not be fooled by those unimaginative titles, for sheer magic and majesty is contained within those yarns, as you shall see…

So so pretty, is it not? That was little old SW4 for you: who knew a couple of letters and a number could produce such glory? It has an aura of Monet’s watercolours about it, don’t you think? Well if you like that one, you’re going to love SW12, hold onto your hat…

Told you, keep breathing dear reader, for I expect you too are blissfully basking in a balm of peachy-pink heaven right now. Plus, did you spot cute kitty key fob and my new beautiful bunny progress keeper from Cosy Barn Yarns? Go check out her little shop on Etsy, for it is full of fabulous crafting goodies, more of which will no doubt pop up in my future bloggings. And yes, that is a pink pineapple crochet hook you spy, enough said.

Other works-in-progress include a couple of new crochet blankets (no, not grannies) in their very early stages. Firstly, I have started one consisting of circles of three colours, based on the Blanket of Hope pattern by My Rose Valley (and don’t we all need a bit of hope at the moment) where the circles are later squared off, then joined to form a beautiful blanket. I have to confess dear reader, crocheting these little beauties has been such a tonic: playing with colours has provided a touch of colour therapy, while the simple, meditative roundness of them has been a mindfulness joy…

And there are many, many more of those jolly jewels around here, believe me, for they are truly addictive! Talking of addictive crafts, I have also been crocheting up lots of the little hexies from Katherine of Crafternoon Treats fame on You Tube, both as single colour varieties…

…and three colour ones…

Oh boy, I just love playing with the infinite colour combinations: each heavenly hexie is a little pop of perfection. At some point I will have to cease my colour-play sessions to begin the task of joining the frivolous fellows into a blanket, probably by crocheting a final round of cream, so those colour combos really fizz and pop like fireworks. Such fun!

For my final work-in-progress, I have a super sock (just the one for now) which I’m knitting from a King Cole self-striping (so clever) dk yarn in Lilac Haze…

Lush lilac lovelies aren’t they? Did you spot my matching sheep progress keeper from Herdy? It was obviously meant to be; a perfect purple pair. My new luscious llama project bag from Jo Pickle Lily on Etsy is also a new favourite of mine and such fun. I’m rather pleased my bunny plant pot too and I have a growing collection of creature-themed pots, which bring me such joy in the kitchen whilst I’m ploughing through the washing up!

Well that’s it, dearest reader, for you are now bang up to date with all my latest makings. You made it to the end, well done and I hope you remembered to drink that cuppa. I hope you enjoyed the parade of pics but mostly I hope you are staying safe and well. I will leave you with a parting pic of my new craft room (oh-so-lucky-me) in my new Yorkshire abode and remember: keep safe, keep smiling and keep on crafting…

Farewell Winter

IMG_20181202_101115_060.jpgHello there dearest reader! I thought I had better update you on all my winter crafting pretty sharpish, considering that spring is advancing at a rapid pace (if not already arrived in some areas!) As you can see, I completed my autumn granny square blanket which provided much comfort from the winter chills on many occasions. It’s definitely a firm favourite. Remember the Christmas granny square blanket I was working on? Well, I just about managed to finish that festive little beauty in time for Christmas (phew!) so it was a much-used snuggler for all those festive films…

IMG_20181230_130757_186.jpgI think Santa even approved…

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Remember all those blocks I was knitting for my autumn colour block blanket? Well, I eventually managed to sew them all together into a pleasing ensemble (involving endless faffing around on the lounge floor, oh how fussy I am!) and added a final flourish with a striped border and a cute little picot edging…

IMG_20190216_112055_482.jpgIt was knitted using a pattern from Knitting Magazine but I changed all the colours for Stylecraft yarn in shades of copper, walnut, mocha, gold, graphite, bottle and burgundy with a couple of stitch pattern alterations as I dislike a blanket with lots of loops on the back which  I always seem to be catching things on!

Continuing with the knitting theme, I purchased a rather lushious cake yarn called Colourwheel by Sirdar in gorgeous autumnal shades and I used the free lace scarf pattern that accompanied said yarn to make a sumptuous scarf…

IMG_20181231_145621_018.jpgI simply adore working with cake yarns; I find it so thrilling to witness the colours changing, as if by magic, while I’m knitting. Bliss…

After purchasing a few balls of Stylecraft Life Marl in nutmeg from a charity shop, I decided to knit a shawl using a pattern by Brian Smith in Knitting Magazine. It has a fascinating curved stitch pattern as it alternates with a contrasting yarn, in my case a graphite grey shade, and is knitted on a circular needle…

IMG_20190216_114324_694.jpgI have also begun to knit myself a cardigan in a simply stunning dark charcoal double knit yarn by James C Brett which has a dash of Merino in it and believe me, it is so so soft and a joy to work with; a real comfort for the mind and soul…

IMG_20190216_113252_251.jpgFor this very, very dark grey number, I’m using a pattern by Purl & Jane, a knitting design emporium based in North Yorkshire, which is proving a joy to follow due to its ease and simplicity. As a result, I can knit and concentrate on a thrilling TV drama without losing the plot (of the drama and the knitting pattern!) so it’s a win-win situation.

IMG_20190216_115653_575.jpgAs you can see, I’ve also been dabbling in a little ink sketching. I love to draw directly with an ink pen as I find the instant creation of a permanent image on a surface so satisfying; the crisp visual contrast of black on white is so appealing. I must do more…

Well, that’s all my musings for now dear reader. I do hope you had a warm, restorative winter hibernation and that you are ready to burst into the season of spring with vigorous joy. I will leave you with a few pics of my recent wanderings around the stunning city of York, until next time dear reader, keep on crafting…

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Winter Warmers…

Yes it’s that time of year for warming wraps, snuggly scarves and socks, socks, socks, for winter chills are lurking just around the corner. As you can see, I finished my rather gorgeous shawl knitted from a Knitting Magazine lace pattern, using Papatya cake yarn in autumnal shades and I just adore it (muchly). Remember that lovely green shawl I was crocheting from Simply Crochet magazine? Well dear reader, you’ll be pleased to know it turned out to be just as soft and sumptuous as everything else I’ve made using James C. Bett’s ‘Misty’ yarn;see for yourself…

Still on the warming wraps theme, I knitted up a simple scarf in garter stitch for my darling daughter, using blocks of her favourite autumn jewel colours of Stylecraft dk yarn: gold, copper, graphite petrol and burgundy…

And so to socks, for as you know dear reader, I always have a pair of socks on the go, this time I’m using a dk super-soft yarn by King Cole called ‘Sprite’ in a Capri shade, although I think the colours of dark navy, purple, pink and green remind me so much of the northern lights that I think it should have been called Aurora…

In my capacity as freelance Christmas toy elf for Santa, I have once again been crafting up a few cuddly creatures for Christmas gifts for tiny munchkins out there. You’ll be excited to know that I have a new crocheted creature to introduce to you: Felix the Fox…

Isn’t he just the cutest in his jolly green jumper? I also crocheted another mouse toy but altered the sizing so that it turned out a rather pretty-petite half the size of my usual mouse toy…

I know, she’s just too delightful for words isn’t she? Of course I just had to craft up another cheeky monkey…

And yes he’s already been up to his usual tricks…

Ooh monkey you are such a cheeky chimp! Well, that’s all my crafty creations for this time dear reader. I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite autumnal pics from my recent wanderings and remember: keep on crafting…

Stitching Summer

A happy-sunny-smiley hello to you, my dearest reader! Isn’t it truly lovely to feel the warm kiss of sunshine on our cheeks once again? Especially as it has been such a long time a-coming… Have you spied my shawl pic floating above? I bet you have; I know how quick you are to spot a freshly crocheted creation! It is indeed the shawl I made from a pattern in the book ‘Modern Crocheted Shawls & Wraps’ by Laura Strutt, which was intended to challenge me a little as I hadn’t experimented with any intricate crochet work before. Following my venture into the unknown pastures new of lace shells and puff stitches, I emerged with a rather fabulous shawl. Originally said shawl was supposed to have been completely dove grey but after using two balls of Sirdar Snuggly 4ply yarn and believing there were no more (a thorough search with associated ranting of: “I just know there’s another ball somewhere!Has the sofa eaten it again?!” was made) I fashioned the border edging using a Stylecraft 4ply in parchment. One day later, guess what turned up in my knitting basket? We shall speak of it no more…

You know I showed you some rather summery socks last time dear reader? Well there’s more! A terrific pair in gorgeous green…

This pretty pair was requested by eldest darling daughter, who stated quite adamantly (and rather dramatically I hasten to add) that she did not want, nor never would want, strped socks on her feet, so I had to rather reluctantly put aside my exciting self-striping sock yarn and opt for a plainer shade of yarn. Of course the yarn she selected just had to be the one I had set aside for a cardigan for myself, didn’t it! As soon as I had completed said socks, my beloved self-striping yarn was back on my needles once again…

Is it just me or does anyone else become thoroughly excited at the beginning of a new ball of self-striping yarn? Do you too yearn for that little thrill of anticipation as the yarn unwinds and a new coloured stripe appears as if by magic on your needles? Oooh, the very thought sends ripples of glee down my spine… Talking about stripes, my other darling daughter (the one who will allow herself to be adorned in knitted garments of a striped nature) has requested a striped jumper in three shades of pink: raspberry, pomegranate and pale rose Stylecraft dk yarn to be precise…

I’m using a pattern by Sian Brown from issue 164 of Knitting Magazine, although not the gentle ombre blue shades she used, more ‘shout-out-loud-it’s-summer!’ shades instead – definitely no subtle ombre shading with this one!

Well that’s all for now folks, I shall leave you with a selection of summery pics from my wandering walks but until next time dear reader: keep on crafting…

Oh so snuggly…

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As you can see dear reader, I have begun the new year with a new blanket, crocheted from many, many squares (108 to be precise) in autumnal shades of Stylecraft yarn and finished with a frivolous trim of oh-so-delightful crocheted ruffles. I’m all set for sofa snuggles, yet darling daughters have taken a liking to it too, so let the blanket battles begin!

My trusty knitting needles now have a new project on the go: a cardigan in khaki double knit yarn, with deep ribbing to the hem and cuffs…

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I’m using a King Cole pattern and Stylecraft yarn but I’m still pondering my choice of buttons-shall I plump for wooden ones; a vintage style; ceramic beauties or just plain green? The possibilities are endless but intriguing. Whatever happens the end result will hopefully envelop me in snuggliness.

A super-soft shawl is also in the making; a further item to contribute to my quest for feeling oh-so-snuggly…

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I just love how the lace pattern develops with every row, as it looks so effective and textural. I’m using a gorgeous grey 4ply yarn by Sirdar, which is rather aptly named ‘Snuggly’ so it was obviously meant to be! I’m following a pattern from Laura Strutt’s book ‘Modern Crocheted Shawls & Wraps’ and can’t wait to get working on it again. Once finished, I’m sure it will keep me wonderfully warm on winter walks but for now I will leave you with a few frosty photographs from my most recent winter wanderings. Until next time dear reader: keep on crafting…

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Stitching, squares, shawls and such…

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And a happy-hello to you my dearest reader! I do hope that you are bouncing around in the sunshine, full of the joys of spring like a newborn lamb. However, fear not if you are feeling a little damp and dismal in dreary drizzle, for I have some oh-so-cute-as-a-button pics coming up later, that will have you ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ with delight. As you can see from the above photograph, I have been happily stitching stems for the ‘Azure Bells’ embroidery from Landscape magazine which I’m currently working on. So far I’ve dabbled in stem stitch for the stem (so fitting) along with satin stitch for the leaf and I can’t wait to break out the blue thread to start stitching those tantalising blue bell flowers.

On the crochet front, my first ever shawl has been completed (the one from a Mollie Makes pattern) and I have to confess dear reader that I am rather chuffed with it…

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Of course now that I’ve finished it, I’m itching to get started on another one…But, my darling daughter’s cream quilt is so very nearly finished that I’m cracking on with it at full steam now, as I’m just finishing off the very last knitted square…

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…after which I can start sewing all those many, many, many squares together. Of course that does involve totally monopolising the lounge floor for a few days, while I rearrange said many, many, many knitted squares into a pleasing pattern! Anyway, now the moment you’ve been waiting for: the cutie-pie pic parade! I was lucky enough to visit the rather marvellous Devon County Show on Saturday, so summon up all those ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ in preparation for some cute creatures of the rural variety. First, gorgeous goslings…

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I know, fabulously fluffy. Now for one of my favourites – baby Indian runner ducks!

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And then there were the cuddly and comical alpacas…

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I also watched a bit of horse jumping for the first time and was suitably impressed…

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…such stunning animals…

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Well I do hope you are all overloaded with cuteness and feeling all warm and toasty inside. If you are still sadly lacking on the sunshine front, I do have some fabulous flowers to banish any remnants of dull dreariness you may be suffering with…

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Well, by now you should be full-to-the-brim with heart-warming cuteness and summery sunshine meaning my work here is done, so I shall leave you basking in a rosy glow of gladness while I crack on with the crafting. Until next time dear reader, take care…

Shall Share Shawl…

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…with you dearest reader, my first attempt at such a garment – what do you think? It’s in its early stages as yet of course, but I’m loving my choice of shawl shades…

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The pattern is from issue 66 of the marvellous ‘Mollie Makes’ magazine, although I did wander away from the all-green colour as depicted in the pattern, opting instead for a striped combination of colours (once I had had a little play around with my beloved yarn pegs) that were pleasing on the eye. I have to confess dear reader, crocheting shawls may become rather addictive, so watch this space…

Remember that blissful blanket I was upcycling from the back of an old headboard cover- the one where the front section has already been transformed into a cosy cushion cover? Well, I managed to complete it over Easter…

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So what started out as a rather useless block of silver grey crochet, has now been transformed – via the magic of a crochet hook wand – into a thoroughly useful blankie. Hurrah!

Keeping with the crochet theme, a bounty of bouncing bunnies was created for my spring display, via a crochet pattern in the spring edition of the lovely ‘Landscape’ magazine…

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Amazingly, each bunny is made from a single knitted or crocheted square, sewn up in such a way as to form a bunny shape, as if by magic! Easy-peasy!

Landscape magazine has also inspired me to attempt a little floral embroidery on linen…

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…I can’t wait to start stitching. Ooh, I must crack on with those knitted squares for darling daughter’s dream cream quilt as well though; I’ve made over 40 now so the dream is nearing reality! Keep on crafting…