Thursday, 29 September 2011

Bunting and learning

No one could ever accuse me of being unenthusiastic..........well .............unless mentioned in the same sentence as housework.

So when I saw squigglyrainbow's excellent bunting swap, I jumped in........both feet.

I have learnt a few lessons since then.

1. I really can't sew.
2. Always check out where the blog writer lives, before signing up.
3. Postage to Australia is not cheap.
4. I really can't sew.

The idea is you sign up to make a chosen number of pieces of bunting, sending them off to the individual addresses and then wait to receive the same number back, each individual one being able to either be strung together to make a bespoke bunting for your own house or used to decorate something else........................this is a great idea..................

My bunting contains a little piece of Wales.

The cut out hearts allow the light to shine through.

I love sewing, but shabby-chic was probably invented for me and my dubious sewing skills.  The recipients of my pieces of bunting should realise that although it may appear that I threw the things together and then told my kids to sew them up, I actually spent hours cutting, ironing and sewing.

I love bunting, but most of all I did enjoy making my pieces and like to think of a little bit of Wales winging its way to other lands.  I wanted to add something extra in my envelopes but ended up being very limited with weight to try and keep the postage costs down, so please know that my envelopes also carry love and blessings from my little corner of the world.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

One-a-day Tuesdays tallies (wk3)

I am so enjoying my one-a-day.

As my project I am doing a Sunnyspread throw and trying to complete one square a day.  Each square takes around 1/2 hour, so is very do-able and can be slotted in around my other day to day things.

I find myself grabbing my cotton and hook as I head out of the door in the morning to take the boys to school.  I manage the first half while we wait, we are inevitably early (although this may be a conscious decision, as I know as soon as I arrive I can crochet!) and the second half and maybe a start of the next one, at the end of the school day.  I had a smirky look from someone I knew yesterday, but I felt quite smug in the knowledge that I have at least one of my Christmas presents  on the way to being done. 

What else would I be doing with that time otherwise?

Anyway, enough wittering!

18 done!
 (There is one lurking in there which only has 11 'rays' not 12, but then nobody seemed to notice last week so I guess it is passable)

I haven't attempted any blocking, but probably will as time goes on and I start to panic about everything coming together on time.

I think the pattern suggests 84 squares, which was where I was heading, however, rather typically of me, I have just figured out that despite being organised and weighing one square to make sure I bought the right amount of cotton, I failed to appreciate that I will actually need more as the blanket has a border........oh. dear, so I may well end up making less squares yet.......I'll see where I get to!

This is a shot of the underneath, which I also really like, although I know most wouldn't have sewn it like I have with the ridge, but I like the geometric feel to it in one colour.

Anyway, the afternoon is fast disappearing and I will be back on the school run shortly, so better look lively.

You can follow other one-a-dayers work by taking a look here.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Year of projects (wk6)

Well, this is a bit of a flying visit as we have a busy day and I can hear the dulcet tones of my husband returning from checking the stock and now I will be discovered!!

First there was this one...........which made up pretty quickly.........and I was feeling quietly smug!  I wanted to make a pair of socks, partly because I hadn't done one (a pair!) before and partly because I wanted to order one of those swirly balls of wool.........I know, I am easily pleased!!

I didn't rush to put the second one on my hook as I was getting too carried away with striping ('in the time it took me to do that I could have done one whole stripe' ...........'washing? ......oh, no I didn't do any, I was too busy with my blanket'......... you get the picture?).

Anyway, it suddenly occurred to me that I couldn't really remember how I did the heel of the first sock and went into a bit of a panic!  I have experienced making one sock before, and it is not a good feeling.

So, you will be relieved to know that...............

No camera trickery, I now have two socks..........a whole pair!!

 I know that it appears that I have been sitting with my feet up this morning, but contrary to appearances, I have been a busy girl.  In fact as I was lounging trying to catch the perfect picture this morning I suddenly realised in my relaxed state that I had forgotten the scones in the oven, thankfully no harm done and I will be providing cream teas this afternoon.

Yesterday we were out at a local zoo and despite miserable weather much fun was had.

  My favourite part?

Good thing I am not rustling up some socks for these!

I must tell you all before I shoot off, that my husband actually showed mild concern last night, as to how I would update my blog today when we are out all day..........I am slowly convincing him! 

During my blogging, my littlest has picked up my socks and said 'mazing docks' and 'poss' (posh).......out of the mouths of babes. 

I like that my kids see me making things and almost take it for granted that I would certainly attempt to make something before buying it (although the tin and string telephones are not so good long distance!)

Now, I have lambs to separate, children to bath, dressing up to be done, family lunch to attend, scones to be served...............

I will return this evening, to catch up with your projects, hope you have had a successful week!

Check out fellow YoP blogs here.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Baking, bananas, bikes and birthdays..........

Yesterday was the day when my littlest turned three.

Normally I bake enough to feed a small army and then a small army turn up and eat everything.  This year, we have not had the troops around, so I have been a little more restrained.

This is a first..............cake pops.

I discovered them on Suzanne's lovely blog Crea in the City, and thought I'd give them a whirl. 

I love to bake, and what I lack in talent I make up for in enthusiasm!  I followed some great instructions online and was doing well until it got to the part where I had my freshly coated cake pop, white chocolate dripping everywhere, thinking, 'so where am I going to put this to set'.  Hubby was making all sorts of useless useful suggestions ('What you need is some polystyrene') and in the end they ended up sitting in a couple of bananas and a bagel until I could find something more elegant and fitting for the occasion.
Can you guess what it is yet?
Much excitement to discover a mystery present in the morning...........what could it be?

One sleepy-faced, pyjama-ed three year old

A little more wide-awake..........cake and tractors the way to man's heart!

Our celebrations don't end here, we have a family day out at the zoo tomorrow and then a big family lunch to toast my Dad's 80th on Sunday.

Thankyou for all you get well wishes, I think we got off very lightly and I reckon I will be able to deliver an action packed weekend yet..........not sure how tired I'll be  on Monday though!

I was reading Emily's post from Unravelled a couple of days ago, and she was referring to the lovely sunset she had been looking at, it was quite poignant I thought, as I noticed the strange light  and went outside to see a beautiful coloured sky with a huge rainbow.

  Its a big old world, but we are all under the same sky. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

One-a-day - Tuesdays tallies (wk2)

Well, quite honestly I'm in a bit of a and tescos, but which order depends on how quickly I get out of the house.  I would certainly prefer to do shopping without three boys' assistance.  Hubby is poorly, littlest is definitely not right and has whined most of the morning (unlike his normal smiley-self) and I have a pre-cold achey neck and sore head...............hhhmmmm, I am going to stock up on all things mediciney (it is a word you know) now and be prepared.  Shame of it is, that littlest is three this thursday and my lovely Dad is 80 on sunday, so we need to kick whatever cold/bug this is, in to touch in 24hours.

Back on course, what you all tuned in for..........

I have hit double figures.........just!  This is going to be a beauty of a blanket even if I do say so myself!

Now for all you observant people, can you see the square with the obvious mistake?

Answers on a postcard...............

Looking forward to looking at all your progress when all three are tucked up in bed.........maybe it will be four with poorly hubby too.
Catch up with my fellow one-a-dayers here.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Year of projects (wk5)

This week I have been mostly................chasing my tail!

As previously mentioned, crocheting-on-the-go has become my new best friend.

I am still to work out the finer details, discovering on my first venture into this new world that I was completely unprepared.

I need a bag.
I need some mini-scissors.
I need to make sure it is a light place....otherwise, I could try a head torch?

Do you reckon I could carry it off?

Oh Granny stripe, how I love thee...........

I have finished the second run of 17 colours and I am still loving every minute.  I am going to stop showing pictures now, for fear of boring you all, but do know that I am striping away and enjoying every moment.

My one-a-day pile is gradually growing

This project is perfect for mobile crocheting (mo-cro?) so will easily be finished for Christmas, as intended.

Ah, the socks........I've started to really stress that I am not going to be able to re-create a second one to match the first, so I have picked them back up and am determined to get them done and dusted.  Admittedly I didn't quite understand the pattern when I did the heel, so I made it up myself you with lots of experience will be saying 'well, that's ok, as obviously you wrote down what you did.'...........hhhhmmmmm, herein lies the problem..............

So there we have it.  I have been thinking on extending my list, and will soon, but as it stands my feet hardly touch the ground during the day due to new school runs so it will have to wait a little longer.

I am really looking forward to sitting now with a cup of tea and reading what all you clever people have been up to.  For more 'Year of project' blogs, look here.

Have a great and productive week!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Woolly things

Saturday morning, spent with lots of wool..........

It's all change here, down on the farm and some of our ladies are going to be boarding a lorry next week to the hillier Anglesey countryside..........I'm not sure all of ours speak welsh, so I wonder how they will cope?

We were a busy crew this morning, hubby, three boys, fuzzy haired lady (me) and Ned (dog). Ned to all intent and purpose is reportedly a sheepdog, but we know better.  I have a feeling he is actually a little scared of the ladies, especially when they stamp their feet at him.  Sometimes he works like a dream and the sheep all come into the pen easily, most of the time he is far too excited by the quad to actually be listening to any instructions.

You will never see Ned on the sheepdog trials currently on tv in the UK.

Our sheep are actually magic, as they don't need shearing and shed any wool that they get over the winter when the weather gets warmer in the spring.  The birds in our area have the luxury of pure sheepwool lined nests, taken from the fences and hedges, so everyone is happy!

The week has been a busy one, still not quite in routine of the school runs, but I have taken up crocheting on the go, which so far is quite good.  I need to find a little bag to put a small project in to keep safe.  I made a square yesterday for my sunnyspread, only to realise I didn't have a scissors with me, so ended up having to pull the other end of the ball to start another.  I struck up conversation with a few at the pool yesterday while trying to get a few rows done on my second all is well in my crocheting world.

On the subject of both wool and crochet, I wanted to point you all in the direction of Little Woollie who has the most gorgeous giveaway at the moment for this cushion.  I must admit to agreeing with others who say they are telling people through gritted teeth, as the more of you who visit, the less likely I will win it!  Check out the amazing blanket that Jules has been making is absolutely stunning.

Anyway, gotta run.......have an impatient husband 'tutting' in the kitchen and tescos awaits........lucky me!!  I will be back tomorrow with my Year of Projects update.

Until then, happy Saturday all!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

One-a-day - Tuesday tallies

Well, as I haven't been going for a week yet, this post is rather disappointingly lacking big double figures!

That is it, I'm afraid...........but I am on the way and a couple of months down the road, I will have my finished throw........go me!

To see others' more notable progress.........please see here

On other things, I have decided on my design for the bunting swap

Which rather nicely lets the sun shine through on the cut out heart.
On a totally off-topic ending, yesterday was a very exciting and emotional (rolled into one) afternoon.  Our family car was put on the top of a lorry and taken away........the excitement from three vehicle-mad boys was tangible.  My littlest let out a little whimper as the car was hauled on top and despite having a lovely new replacement, I was sorry to see it go too.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Year of projects (wk4)

Wow, week four already..........although it has gone quickly, I have definitely achieved more than I would have done without the year of projects, so it is all good!

My time has been a little limited this week, due to 'back to school' and a few busy evenings.  The evenings may prove to get busier with various clubs and things that the boys would like to attend.  I have never really crocheted much in public, but I think it will be on my horizon, otherwise I will never get anything done.

The elusive ball of red arrived on Friday which was so exciting I can tell you (there it is snuggled in my bag)  I have striped it in and it hasn't disappointed.........

My granny stripe has been calling me, but in my head nagging away is also the fact I saw a mahousive spider two days ago, heading for my stripe project bag and I can't quite shake the fact, that it may jump out on me and shout 'BOOO!'.  Most unimpressed with my husband who failed to catch it, this thing must have been on performance-enhancing steroids, as it clearly won the race!

I can't tell you how much I love the colours, the stripes and the yarn, I am so glad I didn't wait longer to start it.

The sock monkey is finished and pretty much as I expected, he is fairly ugly.  I was a bit over enthusiastic with the stuffing, so it looks like he could do with signing up for slimming world and the acrylic used really was quite nasty.  I half read the instructions and started decreasing a little to early on the head, but despite all this, he is extremely popular with all three boys, who all want one now.  I feel it has been a worthwhile project and I will definitely add at least two more to my list for presents this Christmas.  I will modify things a little maybe so he appears a little less obese!

Elephant ears and sausage arms and legs........not a good look!

I have bought a big bag of cotton this week from the LYS which is going to make a sunnyspread throw for the one-a-day project and also a Japanese flower shawl as another present. 

I am motivated and keen, when I finally figure out how I am going to make more hours in the day, there will be no stopping me!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Rollercoaster ride

What a week it has been!

Just before my boys broke up for the summer hols, my husband and I discussed moving them from the local rural village school, into the much larger scarier town school about 9 miles away.  After much to-ing and fro-ing, tears and stress I took the decision to move them.  So this week my two older boys started their new schools and I don't feel like my feet have touched the floor since. 

Previously, the boys were conveniently picked up by the school minibus from the top of our drive and returned in the easy I can tell you.  Now I travel in and out from town and once I get home it feels like I get about three things done and then I am back on the road again. 

To most, I guess is sounds like we have done the unimaginable, but for us and our family it has definitely been the right move (if I keep saying it, it might sink in!!)  Our middle boy is happy as larry, not a lot fazes him as he is class clown and very laid back.  Our oldest is taking more time, but has a few new friends and so many amazing opportunities for him in the new school.  The littlest will start in January and I feel sure he will be happy and confident in such a good school with excellent resources.  New beginnings are always a bit daunting, but sometimes hanging on to the familiar because it is comfy and convenient is not the way to go.

On a far less philosophical note..........crochet.........

With great enthusiasm I signed up for the one-a-day challenge set up by gingerbread girl and then with all the organisational skills of a.......very disorganised person........... I missed the start! 

I have decided to do the Sunnyspread throw from ravelry and have spent some time pondering colours for the person it is intended for.  I did show you a square I made up in a yellow ochre cotton.........

But felt a little wobbly about the colour, I loved it, but felt it might be a little strong for someone else.  So rather cautiously, I chose a very pale lilac, far safer and neutral.  ............maybe one day I will make an goldy coloured one for myself........truly sunny.

Anyway I did the second square on a 5 hook (the pattern calls for a 6) but felt it was a bit gappy, so I have settled on doing it on a 4 hook so it is a little tighter.  Each square takes a little over half an hour, so should be do-able and as long as I am disciplined, I will have a tick off my Christmas present list in a couple of months!

I have just about finished off my sock monkey, ready for my Year of Projects post tomorrow.........

..........and...........long awaited and much anticipated, the ball of red has arrived! 
 I will be striping again soon!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Year of projects (wk3)

This project has legs!

I'm not sure if the intention of this Year of Projects challenge is to make lots of WIPs, but in my case it definitely is.  In my defense, I made a flying start on my granny stripe, but was working with only 16 of the 17 colours, unfortunately, like watching paint dry, the last ball has still not arrived so I am being like a small impatient child.  I don't want to go onto the second phase of stripes without using the missing one first, especially as it is red and therefore will possibly cause an imbalance if missed.  I also started to work on the front of my cushion and have had a definite mind block over exactly how I made the small square last week........ridiculous I know, but I have made and frogged so many squares that I have also had a tantrum about that and stuck it back in the bag.

Onwards and upwards anyway...............this week I received my first ball of swirly wool (much excitement I can tell you!) and after a few swear words and a very patient hubbie, I managed to make it into a ball........I did toy with the idea of not making it into a ball and working from the hank...........hmmm, I know........boy, I'm glad I didn't do that!

Anyway..........I have one sock made!!

I also have the other in the making, so there is every chance they may become a pair!  This project has been a good one as I have learnt a few new skills (winding a ball of wool, being one of them) and  new stitches.  Despite being told that crochet socks are not always comfortable, these are really lovely (although I'm not sure the red-ish colours are a good look on my milky white legs!) and have a nice lace pattern to make the project a little less boring.

Alongside my socks I also started a sock monkey last night.  It has to be said that the cheap, scratchy acrylic I am using doesn't make for the best looking monkey, but then I have a feeling that it won't really matter to my littlest monkey.  I am going to use this as a bit of a trial actually, as I think I will make at least another two of these for Christmas presents.....although maybe not out of these carefully thrown together  picked out colours.

On the subject of Christmas, I have decided to put a few more things on my list with just that in mind.  I have started a one-a-day project as suggested by gingerbread girl and am going to make a sunnyspread throw.  This got me to thinking about what else I could make and I rather surprised myself by realising I could maybe get a few things done now and save the last minute spending/panicking that normally takes place in our house the week before Christmas.  So this week, I will start making my list and then tag it on the bottom of what I already have and hope that out of somewhere I will find some drive and sense of urgency to get the job done!

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else is getting on with, I am feeling all 'glowy' inside at the encouragement from fellow crocheters.......thankyou!