Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Crayon blanket - WIP Weds

Thanks to Tami for hosting!
I had thought my next project would be the Hooded Jacket, but it turned out I couldn't wait that long to start something new. So while we all get set up ready to start the crochet along I've started on the colour me blanket. It's made up of six giant crayons pointing in opposite directions. I'd already bought some red yarn before Christmas, intending to have a go at one crayon before I buy the other colours. The pattern is made up of alternating single and double crochet (US terms), which gives it a bumpy textured look. This is my progress so far:

It's going well. I'll try to be good and buy each colour as I finish the last one.

For people who want to join in with the crochet along, what start date would you like? Would halfway through January give you enough time to buy yarn? Say the 16th ish. Or would you prefer a whole month to shop and start on February 1st?

Monday, 27 December 2010

A cunning plan...

Hands up crocheters - wanna join in?

I'd like a head count for people that might be interested in making the following pattern:

It's from an old magazine pattern. I found it through Ravelry and fell in love, but there is a shortage of examples of the finished coat floating around the internet and it seems to be putting people off attempting it, myself included. I've only made 6 things out of crochet so far and I'm still learning as I go, but I think I really want to make a start on this as my next pattern.

I'm wondering if others want to join in and make it into a crochet along? I would host it here on my blog and those with blogs can join in here, those without could join in on Ravelry if you've got an account there or want to make one. Or you could just email me your progress shots and I'll post them here.

The pattern is free, and covers sizes 10, 12, and 14 form the misses' section of this chart:

I'm fairly confident that someone with beginner/intermediate skills can attempt it as it seems to be constructed from rectangle-ish pieces and then sewn up into the coat shape. The instructions are in American, you need the following stitches: chain, single crochet, and half double crochet. In UK terms that would be chain, double crochet, and half treble.

Who's interested? Drop a comment below if you want to join in.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Homemade Gifts

Merry Christmas everyone!

Now that everyone has received their gifts I can finally share some pictures with you. We haven't gone completely homemade this year but we have done a few handmade presents. 

Firstly a secret santa gift for someone on a forum I use. They said on their inspiration list they liked handmade things and celtic art, so I decided to try a crochet scarf with a celtic knot pattern on each end. I used the "Dan's minimalist scarf" pattern from Ravelry and combined it with the chart pattern for a celtic knot from the "Vantar mittens" from Inside Crochet magazine.

I think it came out quite well. It was my first crochet scarf, my first attempt at following a chart and my first go at carrying a second colour through the stitches. I lost a few stitches somewhere along the way and it's a bit wavy on the edges but not terribly noticeable when worn.

Next was a crochet blanket for a friend. I used a pattern for a granny rectangle as I didn't think a square would make a good blanket (I didn't have time to make a square big enough!). I love granny stitch as it's really quick to make but all the colour changes meant about 50 ends to sew in before I could call it finished. I completed this in the early hours of christmas eve because I'd been putting off the sewing till the last minute.

For my partner's mum I made a convertible hat from this pattern. It can be worn as a scarf or be tied up one end and worn as a hat. This one I finished in the early hours of this morning. Next year I really need to start making things earlier. Christmas sneaked up on me somehow this year.

Remember the sloe gin I started back in September? That has been bottled and labelled. Some were given as gifts, some are being drunk today by visitors, and I've hidden one in the back of a cupboard to warm me up next autumn when I get in from picking the sloes for the next batch! 

We also made some balsamic pickled onions, following a recipe from the Hairy Bikers. No one has tasted them yet so I hope they turned out ok. My partner did the labels for these and he named them Hairy Pickles, in honour of the bikers.

Whatever you're doing today I hope you're all enjoying yourselves!

P.s. I added this post to Tami's FO Friday party, even though it's technically FO Saturday.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

A year ago today...

Happy blog day to me, happy blog day to me.......

One year ago today I wrote my first post for this blog. I haven't had chance to organise a give away competition or anything but I didn't want to let the day pass unmarked. 

I've managed to stick to blogging for a whole 12 months, aiming for roughly 1 post a week. Sometimes I've managed more sometimes less. It seems I've mainly blogged about fruit/veg and crochet according to my tags. As usual I'm going to continue blogging in a random fashion according to what takes my interest at the time. At the moment I'm making a few gifts for Christmas but I won't be posting about them till afterwards. 

So thank you to my readers and commenters for sticking with me so far, and here's to another 12 months together. I'll come up with something good next time, I promise!

Is there anything you'd like to see more of or any post you've particularly enjoyed? Just let me know.

* images taken from a google search *

Friday, 3 December 2010

Fleecy dog coat

I haven't felt inspired to post as much as usual as my Nan has been ill and passed away on Nov 30th. The whole family has being doing shifts caring for her at home. I'll probably write a post about her tomorrow or Sunday after we've gone through all the photos and spoken to the vicar.

I have managed to make something for Finished Object Friday though (as usual hosted by Tami). 

Like most of the UK at the moment we've had some early snow and unusually cold temperatures. This is our second winter with Darcy and our first with Jess. Darcy has quite a thick coat and doesn't seem to feel the cold no matter how long we're out. Jess, on the other hand, has a short wiry coat and is shivering within five minutes in the snow. I decided to make her a coat so she can play in the snow without freezing. We could have just gone out and bought one but that wouldn't be half as much fun.

I had a google and found this pattern which was only a little bigger than Jess's measurements already. I drew a rough copy of the pattern pieces onto newspaper, trying to get them a little smaller but still the same shape. It looked too big for her so I cut the pieces out of an old sheet and held them against Jess, they seemed about right and the fabric pattern pieces turned out to be easier to work with than the paper. (Look how wonky they are, I need some better scissors!).

I used some thick fleece to make the coat. The fleece is from the blankets handed out at the end of the Douglas Macmillan charity walks so it was free, it's also bright pink which is not really my taste, but at least I can finally use it for something. After a false start where I tried to sew it up with normal cotton thread I realised I needed something thicker. I ended up using some spare purple wool and a yarn needle. I decided on blanket stitch to hold it together and for decoration. I also considered embroidering a pattern but decided to wait and make sure Darcy doesn't rip it when they play before I waste the effort. 

Now Jess is warm enough to play outside, but I think Darcy is a little jealous that she gets to wear something extra.