Join me in my adventures with knitting, crochet, sewing and thrifting with a bit of day to day life thrown in too!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

One A Day Update

Hope you are all well.  Bella Bee is on Half Term this week and it's lovely to have her at home, but it's sometimes a bit tricky to keep her entertained.  Luckily her gymnastics and swimming classes are still on this week.  So I'm fitting in this post while she's at gymnastics.  Plus her Dad is off work this week and took her to the cinema this morning to watch the new Tintin film and scoff lots of sweets.  Hopefully the gymnastics will work off all the sugar!

So, this week is the turn of the Summer Garden Granny Blanket.  I've got a fair few projects on the go at the moment that need finishing for birthday gifts.  One is already grossly over due and another extremely imminent.  So, as a consequence, the blanket didn't see much attention until the last couple of days.  I cracked on and managed to get back up to date with it, minus some sewing of ends in - bleugh.  I've now also joined them into blocks of 6.  From now on I will be producing one of these completed blocks a week.

They have the same colour combinations in each, as this is the maximum number with the three colours I'm now using for the flowers, and each block is set out in same pattern ensuring even distribution when they are all eventually joined together.

It's good to see them in the completed blocks.  It makes it feel more on the way to becoming a blanket and will give a better idea of how far along I am when laid out.  I even braved a laying out upon the bed it will eventually be used for, but very quickly took them back off again before my brain could do too much calculation.  Yes, this is definitely a long term project!

Project details:
Summer Garden Granny Blanket
Pattern : Summer Garden Granny Square
Size : King size
Yarn : Stylecraft Special DK
Colours : Grape, Pale Rose, Lemon, Meadow, Cream

Feel free to drop by Gingerbread Girl and check out the projects.

Hope you all have a productive week.

Peace Out X

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Today I've got a little stack of genuinely retro loveliness to show you.  I must say I spent a delightful hour or so flicking though the following yellowing pages.

This little bundle of magazine pull outs came to me courtesy of my sister-in-law.  She had retrieved a larger bundle from freecycle, sorted through them, took the patterns she wanted, then passed them on to me.  Said bundle is a collection of toy patterns from various women's magazines.  A quick flick through doesn't reveal specifics dates but I would say they look like they are from the 70's. 

The majority of the patterns are for dolls.  Jean Greenhowe features quite heavily as a designer.  There are other various stuffed animals, knitted toys, costume dolls, hot water bottle, puppets and a few other things. 

Some patterns are simply drawn on a small grid with a measurement for the enlargement grid.  And some, like below, are to actual size, which is my favourite kind!  My favourite pattern is probably the Desert Island Dolls, which features Deborah and Daniel, the Tourists and Delilah, the South Sea Maiden.  Delilah has definitely been added to 'the list' especially after reading her little write up... 'Delilah, the delectable maiden from the South Seas, is a very small temptress indeed.  She's girded by a mini-sarong, with gaily coloured felt flowers in her hair and a vivid necklace of wooden beads'

The language used is a little dated and completely politically incorrect, but delightful all the same.  And the adverts!  A true glimpse into the past is not the same without the adverts.

And all this for free!  You can't beat that!

Peace Out x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

One A Day Update

Some might have noticed I didn't post last week.  I had gotten behind.  I had a nephew's birthday looming and had to abandon current projects for birthday projects.  I'll share the fruits of my labour (up till 3am one night!) soon.  Plus I find that as I'm doing two large projects, the progress doesn't feel as quick as smaller ones and as a result it seems that my photos seem to be very similar from week to week.  So, as I've managed to catch up with the Ripple Blanket, but not yet with the Summer Garden Blanket, from now on I will alternate the blankets each week. 

The Ripple Blanket is now much more substantial, and it's lovely to work on it in the cooler evenings with it across my lap, helping to keep me warm while I try to prolong turning the heating on.

I have now come to the end of my first balls of yarn.  I have completed 17 rows (2 rows per colour stripe) per ball.  I'm thinking I will need another ball and a half to get the required length.  I also need to start thinking about the type of border I want. 

Project details
Name: Bella Bee Ripple Blanket
Pattern: Neat Ripple Pattern (ish)
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK
Colours: Grape, Pale Rose, Meadow and Cream

I hope next week to have much more progress to show you on the Summer Garden Blanket.

Pop along to Gingerbread Girl and check out the other projects.

Peace Out X

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I've been thinking a lot about space and storage lately.  About how I'm currently using space and if it could be improved.  I re-evaluated a large computer desk that is no longer put to use since opting for a laptop over a desk top computer many moons ago.  It was housing a printer and a few other computer relating paraphernalia but for the size and volume of space it was consuming it was most definitely not the best use of the space it was occupying.  It's in the middle room where I try to contain Bella Bee's toys etc.  We chose a coffee table the week before for the same room with the idea of providing her with somewhere she can draw, colour, stick, and anything else her creative mind desires (well, within reason).  I wanted to accompany this with a storage solution to house all such crafting paraphernalia, so it was all in the same place and easily accessible, in the hopes of encouraging much craftiness (she is ever so creative, if I do say so myself).  A dresser seemed ideal.  Storage underneath, shelving on top to house and display her (genius like) creations.  I've kept an eye out and made regular trips to the local second hand furniture shops.  Last week I finally found it, a beauty and ideal for my needs.  As soon as I clapped eyes on it I knew it was The One.  Found in the Furniture Recycling Centre, for the absolute steal of £50 (plus £6 for delivery) was this gorgeous pine dresser.

Bargain. Get in.

Now for the obligatory bunting.

Hope you all manage to find some most excellent thrifty finds.

Peace Out x

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Experimental Experiment

I made a big decision 3 months back which I'm only just beginning to feel the effects of.  I stopped paying my TV lisence and it has now run out.  I decided that I would like to try life without the constant stream of available programmes.  I've grown up with TV and it's been a constant in my life.  Anti TV people say it zombifies you and deadens the mind, and to be perfectly honest I agree, but this is exactly the effect I look for and why I enjoy watching it.  You see I have a very busy mind and watching TV helps me to 'zone out' and think of nothing.  Which for me is blissful.  I'm normally doing something else whilst watching, be it knitting, crochet, computering and even ironing.  However, I found I that I had got into the habit of sitting down in the morning, switching on the set, then looking up a couple of hours later and wondering where my day had gone.  Some of you may be thinking "why go to the extreme of cancelling, why doesn't she just not turn on the TV in the first place?", which I grant you is an excellent point.  However, I have zero will power.  Absolutely none.  And habit is a strong thing.  So the executive decision was made.  Fear not for my sanity though, or my child (who could do with watching less too anyway), all is not lost.  I have access to the BBC i player through my Wii.  Which has a suprising amount of programmes available, including just about everything on CBBC.  Plus I'll probably be renting a couple more films from the library to cover my evenings.  It's my time during the day that I am hoping to spend more proactively.  So far so good this week.  I've watched a few programmes that I'm catching up with past episodes, so this should wean me off and stop the shakes!  Do you all have a staple TV diet?

In yarn related news, I finally received a delightfully squishy package this week.  I've been waiting ever so patiently.  I had to pre-order a few colours and so was prepared for the 2-3 weeks wait as indicated on the website, but after passing into the forth week my patience abruptly stopped and I had to make a chase up call.  I was informed that they had all but two of the colours, but these could take another couple of weeks to arrive.  When enquiring why this was I was told they come from Germany and were on pre-order. Why they didn't come through with the other colours and why they don't say on the website it can actually take 6 weeks to arrive I don't know.  Instead I was pacified with the colours that were ready being posted that day and the others sent on when they arrive.  I would much rather people be honest and up front about things.  I may be being too hard but I guess next time I'll be using a different website when I want that yarn again. 

The yarn I bought is Rico Creative Cotton.  The colours are gorgeous and are just what I need to inject some brights into my prefered muted tones.  There are many projects I have in mind for these colourful little bundles of cotton that the acrylic I usually use just don't seem right to use.

Plus I couldn't resist a sneaky luxury buy too.  I got a ball of Noro Sekku.  It's a lace weight and I'm hoping I should be able to make a small shawl with just the one ball.  I justified it by wanting to start to experience knitting with different types of yarn.  A lace pattern for a shawl will also be a challenge.  And one, no doubt, I'm sure to learn from!  Anybody got any good patterns in mind?

Peace Out x

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

One A Day Update

Hi all One A Day-ers.  Welcome to my update.  I've had a busy week and busier weekend and I'm only just recovering.  Recovering is a word I would like to use in conjunction with a wild weekend, or something similarly fun, alas no, instead I am recovering from a huge dose of cleaning.  Carpet cleaning none less.  I have been meaning to get this particular beauty of a task done for quite awhile now, so with a child away and a sunny weekend on the cards, unfortunately it was an ideal time to get it done!  It was not fun, and it was jolly hard work, and I am sick of the smell of wet carpet, but the carpets are now clean, (the upholstery, however, is not, and a complaint to a certain carpet cleaning company is being made later), and woe betide anyone who dirties them, they will feel my wrath!

I also find myself in the middle of painting the kitchen.  Which is stressful.  For two reasons.  The kitchen is in complete chaos.  I am a complete perfectionist.  The two are profoundly linked.  I think this is something which makes me unique, or perhaps some would say 'special'.  I won't go into deeper psychological reasoning for fear of alienation.  My current painting dilemma, which is tearing my soul in two, is when cutting in, do I go out of the lines on the wood work of doorway/window to cover the magnolia from the previous paint job, or do I stick to the lines?  I'm painting the kitchen white, so it shows.  No answer is correct by the way.  Yes, I am a bit wrong.

But, I've managed to keep up with the One A Day progress.  Although I did the weeks worth of squares last night and this morning, and I've not sewn the ends in for the last two weeks, which I'm now regretting.  The ripple I do every evening, so todays stripe is not done. 

And so to the pictures.

Summer Garden Granny Blanket

Minus the squares I don't like

And the Bella Bee Ripple Blanket

Project details

Summer Garden Granny Blanket

Pattern: Summer Garden Granny Square (ish) from Attic24
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK
Colours: Cream, Meadow, Lemon, Pale Rose, Grape
I still hope to add a couple more colours, however this has been postponed for now until more funds become available.

Bella Bee Ripple Blanket

Pattern: Neat Ripple Pattern (ish) from Attic24
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK
Colours: Grape, Pale Rose, Meadow, Cream

Will do my best to pop by and have a nosey at the rest of you taking part in the One A Day Project over at Gingerbread Girl.

Peace Out x