Sunday, 30 December 2012

Crafty Year Ahead for 2013

Being organised..................

There are a couple of Ravelry groups which I am in, which will help me keep organised with my projects. 

Knit the Queue

A new Ravelry group which aims to help you organise your project making. I plan to have no more than 5 in my queue and no more than 5 WIPS - although basic jewellery making (threading and crocheted chain necklaces) don't count because I do them spontaneously and they will be mostly for presents in 2013. 
So what's in my Ravelry Queue at the moment:

1 crocheted necklace (see below)
1 sleeveless pullover (Falling Leaves - which I plan to adapt to a V-neck sleeveless top)
3 pairs of socks, for which I already have the yarn (JeckGushBasic Ribbed Socks - I've used these a lot!)

Crocheted Jewelry of the Month

This is the group where I have become a moderator - so I get to choose a piece of crocheted jewellery each month as a CAL. The January CAL is Cameo Necklace by Wendy Harbaugh.

I chose this because it has an element of challenge in it - the first challenge being to find a cameo, which I have yet to do! Until I find a cameo I won't know the colour scheme.

Presents Planned

January - 1 x friend

April - 2 x friends' daughters

May - 1 x friend

June - 2 x friends' daughters

July - Cousin

September - Friend

December - Friend's Birthday & Christmas Pressies?????

Current WIPs

Well I have three current WIPs - Sparkly Silver Cables, Stained Glass Scarf and Soliloquy Socks - I aim to complete the first two prior to beginning to knit my queue. 

Have a happy crafting new year everyone:) x

Friday, 28 December 2012

My Crafty Inspiration

Nature or Nurture?

It's an age old dispute isn't it, but I do wonder, would I be crafty if it weren't for my mum? Did I inherit crafty genes from her? Or was it the way she brought me up and the fact she was always knitting, crocheting and to a lesser extent sewing and embroidering?

My mum (who is sadly no longer with us) taught me to knit at about the age of 6, may be even 5! A year or so later she taught me to crochet. When I was a child one of my most favourite things to do was to go through her knitting patterns, mostly from the 1960s - unfortunately they have long since disappeared, but I would have loved them in my vintage collection now.

Anyway, I had a look through some old photos to see what evidence of crafting I could find.

Here's me and brother I was aged 5 here and you can see my brother's granny square pram blanket - which I later added to when I learnt to crochet a few years later. I do remember my mum teaching me how to make a pompom for my brother's pram when he was born, I was 4 then and it was my first crafty experience.

Our cat relaxing on a granny square cushion cover. 

My lovely red and white granny stripe bobble hat. I usually wore it with a red and white coat from C & A - as you can see from the photo below taken in the mid 1970s at Tintagel in Cornwall.  

My brother relaxing on the obligatory 1970s swivel chair - complete with a hand knit cardie which - if memory serves me correct - was made from yarn unravelled from jumpers bought at a jumble sale - times were 'ard! And we were environmentally friendly with our recycling!

You can just about see my loopy jacket in the bottom left. That's me at a Flintlock concert back in the late 70s. 

Slightly more stylish here - me in a Starsky style cardie - posing by my Ipswich Town wall (I support West Ham now - just for the record).

I still have this fab batwing jumper my mum made me in about 1980 - I've never really worn it but I can't throw it out, even though it's far too small for me now.

One of my early makes - an Ipswich Town scarf that I wore everywhere until I started supporting West Ham - long story! That's me and my cousin in Scotland.

My mum used to make both of us crocheted dresses - you can just make out a lemon one worn by my cousin in the next photo.

Nature or Nurture? Whatever - I would like to thank my mum for inspiring me from a young age:) Cheers mum x

Sunday, 23 December 2012

What I did during the final of Strictly!

***Warning - Spoiler Alert - winner of Strictly revealed below***

I decided to delve once more into my treasure chest of beads and see what I could come up with whilst watching Strictly.

My first task was to re-thread a necklace that broke last week at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, when Mr Daffy and I went to see Shrek. There I was walking up the stairs and suddenly my beads started to bounce back down. Mr Daffy rushed to helped me pick them up saying, "Don't worry I expect the Queen has the same problem when she's here!" We picked up as many as we could but some did go astray. 

So I decided to make this version of Safari stronger using crochet.

Crochet Notes

1.25mm hook and some no.5 crochet cotton. 
Thread beads in the order you want to place them.
10 chain add bead
5 chain add bead - repeat until all beads are used up.
10 chain
Crochet on the clasp or chain, then do 1 double crochet into each chain and crochet on the clasp at the other end. Fasten off securely. 

And so Safari, from WIP Report 17, lives on. 

Digging though the Treasure Chest I came across the oblong pearls in this haul. Mixing up the the two silvery blue shades - here is Misty Sea, a very classy little necklace don't you think. 

By this time Strictly part one had finished and Merlin was appearing on my screen, but I didn't rest, I was on a roll.

Next up was another simple threaded affair using the glass pink beads from this Treasure Chest together with the silver pearls from this Treasure Chest.

Hey presto - here is Icey Rose.

Back to part 2 of Strictly and I had one more idea in mind - to use a Celtic knot from an old pair of earrings and mix it up with the silver bullet beads in this haul. I added some little grenade shaped beads for extra detail and 20 minutes later I was the proud owner of Celtic Warrior. 

Strictly - the results:)

By this time it had been revealed that Dani was in forth place, I felt this was justified because any of the other three deserved to win. I don't remember such a close competition on Strictly ever before. I loved Denise and James' Charleston and Kimberly and Pasha's Tango but I think Louis and Flavia's show dance stole the show, it was mesmerising. I should imagine it was that dance that gave them the edge and won it for them. 

What a fab series of Strictly - bring on the ice dancing. 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

What I did during the semi-final of Strictly.

Like many fellow crafters, whilst watching TV I don't like to sit idly doing nothing. So I decided to use the time spent watching the Strictly semi-final to make some jewellery.

Project 1 - Ethereal Pendant

Using some beads from my Treasure Chest haul on Friday 13th October, together with some delightful luminous green balls I have had for a while, I threaded them onto some beading wire and fixed them with a barrel clasp. The balls are not quite as luminous as the photo suggests but they do have an interesting ethereal glow to them.

Project 2 - Wild Earrings

Using some beads from another Treasure Chest haul, together with some earring wires and some crochet cotton. I came up with some very dangly earrings for my friend who loves long earrings. 

I took out two sections from the necklace and hooked them on to the earring wire. Then I made two crocheted flowers. I attached a wooden ball and a wooden seed bead to the bottom of the flower to give it weight.

Crochet Notes for the flowers:

Anchor Freccia 12
1.25mm hook

8 chain - join with slip stitch to form a ring.
3 chain then 14 trebles into the ring - slip stitch into top of 3 chain to join ring.
3chain then 2 trebles into first space
*1chain, slip stitch into next space 1 chain
3 trebles into next space*

Repeat from * to * slip stitch into base of first 3 chain to join round and fasten off.

Strictly - who should go!

The dancers are all fab but I think Lisa has had her time now and she should be the one who doesn't get to the final. As for who should win - all of the rest deserve it - so it's anyone's guess really. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

WIP Report 21

How many WIPS? 3

Soliloquy Socks 
Stained Glass Scarf
Sparkly Silver Cables

How many WIPS started since last report? 10

Beach Glass x 2
Crystal Tips
Hatty Mash Up
Irish Wurm
Stained Glass Scarf
Sparkly Silver Cables
Twilight Baubles
Christmas Party Necklace
Icey Berry Necklace

How many WIPS completed since last report? 10

Beach Glass x 2

Winter Wurm
Hatty Mash Up
Christmas Tree Art
Irish Wurm
Crystal Tips
Twilight Baubles

Christmas Party Necklace
Icey Berry Necklace


Winter Wurm and Irish Wurm

I am loving this hat and haven't really taken it off since the last thread was woven in. I used the Wurm by Katharina Nopp. For the Winter Wurm I only did 8 purl sections before casting off. I used Wendy Mode on 4mm needles. The only other alteration I made was to sew up the band afterwards rather than knit it together - I did try knitting it together but it went all slanty.

 I then used the pattern as the basis of Irish Wurm  - for my friend.This time I did 2 purl sections, an intarsia pattern of 25 rows and then another 4 sections of purl before casting off and I used James C Brett Merino.
You can find the intarsia pattern here on Ravelry.

Other hats and scarves

Hatty Mash Up

I used Exhale from Let's Knit and Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted. I did a rib edge and added an extra pattern repeat. If I did it again I'd do two extra pattern repeats for a wider hat.

Stained Glass Scarf

Using Spectra by Stephen West I'm loving this so far. 

Necklaces for Christmas Pressies

Beach Glass x 2

Crystal Tips

Necklaces for Me

Twilight Baubles

Christmas Party Necklace

Icy Berry Necklace

Christmas Tree Art

Sparkly Silver Cables

I decided I needed a silver version of Minty Cables which I wear all the time. So after an extensive search I came up with Adrifil Giada - which was on special offer at The Only Way is Knitting formly known as We Three in Brentwood Essex. £4.25 a ball - bargin!

Out and About - Oxford

I recently went to Oxford with my friend for a spot of browsing. We had a lovely afternoon and here are some of the pics I took. Hopefully this post will signal the end of my photo problems - fingers cross it'll post. x

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Garden Diary - 18th November 2012

My poor neglected patch of English suburbia.......

Today I ventured out into my patch of England, which is long overdue. Making Christmas pressies has taken up my spare time and the garden has become very neglected. I haven't even lifted Begonias and Dahlias yet, I hope the frost remains at bay for another week. 

So how's it all going then.....

 A late Lupin bursting forth onto the scene. 

Loads of buds on the Aster. 

Charming Kaffir Lily

The damp Hotbed

Cornish succulents looking fine.

No fruits from the Chillis but I live in hope. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

WIP Report 20

How many WIPS? 3

Soliloquy Socks 
Christmas Tree Art
Winter Wurm

How many WIPS started since last report? 8

Vampire's Kiss - Mash Up
Oily Puddle - Mash Up
Greek Island - Mash Up
Lime Zest - Mash Up
Toffee Crisp - Mash Up
Celtic No Knot Hat
Winter Wurm
Snowflake Earrings

How many WIPS completed since last report? 8

Vampire's Kiss - Mash Up
Oily Puddle - Mash Up
Greek Island - Mash Up
Lime Zest - Mash up
Toffee Crisp - Mash Up
Celtic Knot Gloves
Celtic No Knot hat
Snowflake Earrings

How many FOs revamped since last report? 1

Rose Garden is now Roman Roses

Photo Gallery

My Christmas present list is now well under way and only a few left to make, in fact I have time to add a few more to my list. 

Roman Roses

Pre-stringing on my new bead sorting tray - a useful gadget and only £3.50.

Roman Roses - so called because it reminds me of Roman jewellery - for a friend's daughter.

Celtic Knot Gloves

These are so elegant - what a fab pattern - Knotty Gloves by Julia Mueller 

Celtic No Knot Hat

Using Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure a hat with no knots to wear with the gloves. 

Vampire's Kiss

For a friend who wears a lot of red. 

Oily Puddle

For a friend who wears a lot of purple.

Greek Island

For god daughter who wears a lot of baby blue. 

Toffee Crisp

The delightful Toffee Crisp for a foxy friend. 

Lime Zest

A limey mash up for a friend who wears a lot of green. 

Snowflake Earrings

The CAL from Crocheted Jewellery of the Month on Ravelry - a pair of Snowflake Earrings by Janet McMahon for my friend who loves dangly earrings. 

Soliloquy Sox

Some progress - I have turned the heel and am on the home straight to the toe on sock 1!

Winter Wurm

The Winter Wurm is underway - for me because I don't have a black hat. 

Crochet Notes - Tudor Rose, Cappuccino Lace and Daisy Loop Bed Topper

Using Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky and Rowan Aran Cotton with a strand of lace added. 6mm hook. (8 balls of blackcurrant and 1 teal.)...