Friday, 23 September 2016

Frida on Friday: Part 1

Back in early Spring I planned to make a Frida's Flowers blanket. By the time the first pattern was released, I'd become worried that my tension would vary between all the designs, so I gave up on the idea.

Recently I had another look and thought about the blanket further. It didn't take long for me to be tempted to pick up a hook and start to make some of the hexies at last. I've changed direction a bit since my original plan and I'm using hexie patterns 2 and 5, Dahlias and Roses, only.

After I made one of each hexie, I was relieved to find that they both measure about 17 cm wide. Although I'm using both 4 mm and 3.5 mm hooks, as stipulated in the pattern, they are turning out quite a bit smaller than they are meant to be, but I'm quite happy about that.

As you can see I'm not going with green leaves, nor am I going with the designer's colour choices. I'm using Stylecraft Special double knitting yarn and think that all those Tropical Delight flowers that I've been making recently are influencing the colours which I'm picking for this. I've listed these choices underneath the photos, starting from the middle and working outwards. All hexies are finished with cream yarn from Boyes.

Fondant, candyfloss, saffron, lemon, saffron,
citron, shrimp, magenta, wisteria and clematis

Citron, candyfloss, shrimp, fondant and apricot

Lemon, saffron, apricot, shrimp, apricot,
clematis, magenta, soft peach, candyfloss and fondant

I hope to be back next week with another three hexies made in another colour combination.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Little Star

After I finished my Waffles 'n' Cream blanket I had small amounts of yarn left over, insufficient to make anything really worthwhile, so I played around with it and quickly came up with a design for a small star.

With limited choice over what colours I could use, I made a small batch of little stars and double crochet joined them together to make a bag.

Then I added:
  • a round of double crochet,
  • two rounds of treble crochet,
  • a round of double crochet,
  • a round of treble, treble, chain 2, repeat (to create holes for the cord),
  • a round of double crochet (ie double crochet in each treble and chain of the previous round),
  • a round of treble crochet and finally
  • a round of double crochet.

For the cord I created a chain and then double crocheted my way back along it to the beginning.

I'm not great at writing instructions, they're too wordy for me, so I've drawn quite a scruffy chart to show how to make these little stars. I've not shown where rounds start and finish because some people use chainless starts and others prefer chains. Likewise some people use slip stitch at the end of rounds whereas others prefer an invisible join. Finally, in case it's not clear, in the pink round, all trebles are made in the chains of the previous round.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Still Doodling

Here's a peek at my doodling in crochet progress on the blossom which I created, inspired by Spring. 

I've worked the flowers up in to squares by adding some fresh green leaves and some welcome clear, blue sky.

The Stylecraft Special DK colours which I've used so far are Lemon, Fondant, Fuchsia Purple, Spring Green and Sherbert.

I think I've decided to edge each square with another round in white to add a touch of fluffy, white clouds to the mix too...

...but can't decide whether to go for the pink or white (Stylecraft Candyfloss and White) for the lacy join which I plan on using to crochet the squares together.

I keep making my mind up and then changing it again. Maybe I should just toss a coin and let fate decide.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Tropical Delight

I've been busy creating my own little colourful flowers, 44 of them, and I've decided to turn them in to a simple scarf. 

I also considered making a poncho but when I realised that I'd need another 100 flowers I quickly changed my mind and decided that a scarf would do.

Made with Stylecraft Special DK, I used the following colours - Fondant, Candyfloss, Magenta, Clematis, Lemon, Citron, Spice, Shrimp, Apricot and Saffron.

I deliberately chose bright, tropical, fruity colours that grab your attention and I'm pleased with how vibrant they look.

I've decided to use a braided join to assemble the flowers together.

Then I plan to chart the pattern so that others can have a go too, if they wish.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Braided Gems

I really have caught the sock bug, making them that is. This pair was originally started using another pattern called Rib Fantastic from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn.

Unfortunately after a few weeks of persisting I went wrong and couldn't work out how to go backwards through the yarn overs so I abandoned it.

Then I picked another pattern, braided gem, from the same book and even though there were a few hiccups along the way I was able to recover and continue to move forwards.

The yarn is Rico Superba Circus in Fuchsia Mix. I had thought that the colours would be a bit more random but they came out in stripes. As you can see I didn't bother trying to match them.

The pattern creates socks which are quite stretchy and therefore really comfortable so I'll probably make them again.

Perhaps I should use a plain yarn next time so that the pattern isn't trying to compete with the colour changes in the yarn. I read that somewhere and think that it's good advice.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Spot the Difference

I've continued cross stitching since I posted a couple of weeks ago and although it's slow going I'm really enjoying it. I've made a few mistakes along the way, like putting the odd stitch in the wrong place here and there and using the wrong colour for the band around the honey pot. Also, I've only just cottoned on to half squares so it might look a little neater from here on in.

I've taken a few pictures to show progress along the way - spot the difference.

I ought to acknowledge that the pattern for Pooh's Group Hug was designed by Debbie Minton for Designer Stitches.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Summer Show

One of the region's largest annual shows has come around again and I went along to see what was going on. Parked in a field away from the show, I followed the steady stream of people to the entrance. Once inside I headed towards the competition marquees to look at the exhibits created by the young, old and those of all ages in between.

The children's creations always make me smile and this year they didn't disappoint me. There were farm vehicles made from vegetables and paintings on the theme of a walk through a farmyard.

There were also some lovely trees made by school children and brownies. I particularly liked the fir cones which had been turned in to owls and all the other creatures dotted along the branches.

My favourite children's category has to be aliens or monsters created out of vegetables.

Adult categories included cross stitch, sewing, crochet, knitting and patchwork as well as lots of beautifully iced cakes.

I've seen the Kings and Queens of England cross stitch online and had no idea that it is so big.

What a great idea with the olympics in Rio virtually upon us. Let's wish for record gold, silver and bronze medals for Team Great Britain.

I went a bit over the top last year taking pictures at this show so I've only taken photos of a fraction of what was on display this year because I wanted to get outside to see other things.

The food stalls were busy and all you could smell was a combination of hog roasts, burgers, chips and sausages. Plenty of people were enjoying the shade of a huge horse chestnut tree whilst they ate their lunch. 

Tractors were being paraded about, with more on display further down the field.

People were quite happy to sit and just watch what was going on in the show area as I continued towards the livestock.

On my way there I came across this man who looked quite at home sitting on the side of an old sawing contraption.

All the livestock looked immaculate so many hours must have been put in to preparing them for the show. I was besotted with some of the sheep and wanted to take this little cutie home with me.

By now the white fluffy clouds and sunshine of earlier on in the day had been replaced by threatening skies so I headed towards the arts and crafts marquees.

Inside the first one I found a stall selling embroidered and crochet edged items such as table cloths and pillow cases. I had a good look around but didn't buy anything before I moved on to the next marquee in which there were even more pretty things to look at.

This stall called VIDA caught my eye because I thought I recognised some of the knitted animals. They look like the gorgeous little cotton rabbits and friends which are designed by Julie Williams. I had a lovely conversation with the stallholder who has indeed used Julie's patterns to make and sell rabbits, bears, cats, mice, elephants, foxes and monkeys. They take nine hours each to make in a soft cotton and the stallholder was selling them for only £12 so I snapped one up.

Well, in the absence of that cute little lamb, I had to have something to take home with me, didn't I?