Tag Archives: stitching

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…

Summery Stitcherings

Well hello there dearest reader! How are you coping with this rather sizzling heatwave we’ve been experiencing? I find any temperature over 22° a bit too sticky for me but I do love the happiness-inducing sunshine. As you can see from the pic above, I have completed the Granny Goes Large crocheted blanket from a pattern by Cherry Heart, using double knit yarn from Stylecraft and isn’t it truly glorious! I just love how it lifts my mood whenever I glimpse its joyous colours. True to form dear reader, I have indeed begun another blanket…

It’s my summery ripple blanket in a delightful mix of many colours of Stylecraft double knit yarn: pomegranate, petrol, teal, empire, stone, silver, cream, soft peach, candyfloss, sage, duck egg, sherbet, turquoise, raspberry and cloud blue. Phew! It’s a cacophony of colours composed by myself and the darling daughter who is the excited recipient of said blanket for, guess what, it is already complete…

…and darling daughter is smitten with it, particularly the border in a petrol shade which really grounds all those riotous colours. Fear not dear reader, another ripple blanket is already being hooked as we speak, a little something I’m calling my Yorkshire Dales Delight in Stylecraft double knit yarn shades of khaki, cypress, meadow, mocha and grape…

Can you imagine the delightful Yorkshire Dales as you gaze upon it? I had the added joy of actually working on it right in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales in our holiday cottage this month, bliss.. Pics to follow at the end of this post, promise.

As you can probably guess, despite the humid heat, I also have a pair of knitted socks on the go although they are a rather lacy summery sock from a pattern called Valentine Socks by Emma wright in Knitting Magazine, which I’m knitting in a delectable duck egg shade of blue-green…

Can you see the little sweetheart pattern emerging? So cute… I have also been doing a spot of embroidery, just experimenting with different stitches over fabric…

It’s such fun selecting different shades of embroidery silks and drawing patterns with thread; I can highly recommend it.

A little charity knitting has also been attempted again, this time for The Sailors’ Society in the form of knitted hats. The charity is an international maritime one that supports seafarers and their families…

I used various shades of double knit yarn doubled to create my own chunky yarn to knit the hats with, as combining two different shades of yarn together makes for interesting mottled effects, very pleasing.

Finally, with a nod to the onset of autumn next month (yes really) I have begun knitting an autumn block blanket based upon the pattern by Jo Allport in Knitting Magazine called Mystery Blanket but I’ve just changed all the colours for a more autumnal selection. I guess it will still be a mystery for you dear reader, as the colours and patterns of each block will only be gradually revealed to you as I work on them. I hope you can bear the suspence! To help you out I have two blocks for you today (I spoil you, you know!) the first one in mocha…

…with a geometric effect and the second block a lace pattern in graphite grey…

You’ll just have to wait to see the patterns of the other blocks and the shades I have selected! Enjoy the rest of your summer dear reader and remember: keep on crafting…

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…

Knitted Boat Casts Off…

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Ship ahoy! Yes indeed dear reader, I have completed and cast off (pardon the pun) the front of my sail boat cushion. All the stripey-colour-changing-intarsia-bobbin-thingies were a bit of a hassle, but I am quite pleased with the final product so it was worth all the ‘stress of the strands’ in the end. I now have to knit the back of the cushion of course and I’m thinking a vertical split with equal halves of pale blue and royal blue, what do you reckon?

At the same time I have been cracking on with the crochet, as I have made a good start on my monochrome blanket. It is an easy pattern of just half treble stitches, changing colour on every row. Yes, I know that means a lot of ends to sew in I hear you complain reader, but you have to suffer for your craft sometimes. I am trying to sew the ends in in batches as I go along to make life easier for myself though. I also found that if you crochet into the top ‘v’ of the white row when working with the black yarn, but crochet into the gaps between the black row when working with the white yarn, you end up with a rather pleasing dog toothish effect. What do you think?

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Looking rather lovely, isn’t it? I am also muchly excited about my chevron blanket and have to confess that I am well ‘hooked’ on chevrons now (pardon the pun) especially as it is satisfying my triangle ‘thing’ at the moment.

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Am loving grey with pastels right now. Which is probably why I have been doodling lots of pastel patterns with grey, like this one…

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I also doodled a pastel bear but he is not sleeping dear reader, oh no, he is thinking with his eyes closed, for he is a deep thinking bear…

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Whilst I am on the subject of doodling, you know I have a thing for blobs dear reader? Well, I decided to mix my ‘thing’ for blobs with my ‘thing’ for triangles and here’s what happened…

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I also doodled more mountainous triangles and this doodle is called: ‘In Your Dreams You Can Move Mountains’…

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Have you been watching ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ on television? Just love that show – so inspiring! I managed to get hold of a copy of the book that accompanies the new series and it is not only a fab read, it also comes with 5 full-size pattern sheets, so is well worth a purchase. All I need now is a sewing machine…

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Yes, my quest for a sewing machine continues, but hopefully that will be sorted on Saturday, so bear with dear reader!

Have you seen the latest issue of Simply Crochet magazine? I just love the ‘Edits’ supplement as it is full of fellow craft bloggers’ patterns and of course their blog details. I particularly like the cowl made of tiny granny squares by Jacquie Welbourn who has a lovely craft blog at http://www.bunnymummy-jacquie.blogspot.co.uk as well as the simple lace-edged scarf by Rachelle of http://www.talesoftedandagnes.blogspot.co.uk blogging fame.

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I also discovered a fab new sewing/embroidery magazine called ‘Hoop-La!’ which has some wonderful stitching projects in it, with lots of lovely free templates too. If you like to make things from fabric but also love to add a few extra embroidered touches to them, then this mag is right up your street…

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Well I’m going to have to leave you now dear reader, for I have lots of crafty loveliness to be getting on with. I will leave you with a pic of the rather lovely sentiment which adorns the back page of Simply Crochet’s ‘Edits’ supplement, as I thought it would serve as a fitting farewell to you, from me, for this week’s bloggings…

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