A bag of loveliness…

Yesterday I went to my LYS Marmalade Yarns and came away with this bag of loveliness!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/85a/47804005/files/2014/12/img_1245.jpg As you can see the yarn is Patons Extrafine Merino DK. I don’t think I’ve ever used it before, but it is gloriously soft!

My sister is 40 next August and I want to make her this blanket. It’s the one on the front of the book Granny Squares – 20 crochet projects with a vintage vibe.

And so the colour palette I have chosen is this:

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The pattern suggests 20 different colours, but I don’t want to add dark blues or go too heavy on one colour, so 14 it is. Wonder how long this will take me?! Well, I have until next August 23rd, so no more than 8 and a bit months…

Christmas cushions ta-dah

I wanted to do something a little different for Christmas so I bought four cushion covers, two teal and two silver.

Onto the first two I sewed some crochet snowflakes that I made back at the beginning of the year:

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The stars are all from Caitlin Sanio’s 100 Snowflakes to Crochet. The ones below are pattern ‘Plane Dendrite’, the white in crochet cotton on a 1.9mm hook; the lilac in King Cole Galaxy on a 4.5mm hook. Those little blue points are actually sequins!

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This pattern is ‘Ice Crystal II’, white crochet cotton on a 1.9mm hook.

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With the second two I wanted to do something a bit different. I played around with some other snowflakes but I didn’t like the way they looked. I then decided to do a little embroidery with my Coats silver crochet thread onto the covers. I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

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And with those my Christmas crafting is done! ;)

Christmas wreath ta-dah!

I start writing this from the smug position of having finished wrapping our Christmas gifts. That done I have been working on a pink and blue Christmas wreath to match our decorations. I’ve seen a number of posts about covering Styrofoam wreathes so I struck out blindly with a ball of pink Stylecraft Life chunky I’ve had in my stash since I started knitting – I made my sister a cardigan and there was a ball left.

I crocheted an oblong using 25 stitches across and using half double crochets (US terms) and half trebles (UK terms) – I am self taught and although British, use US terms. Yes, I even confuse myself.

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I then took the following ingredients:

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I covered the wreath:

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Sewed the lights on in a zigzag pattern, covered them with thin silver tinsel and wound blue sparkly ribbon around the wreath:

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I added three bows, in purple, pink and blue, pinned on some of the stars and started to work out the position of the baubles:

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I chose to put groups of baubles around the wreath and added some blue tinsel as a frame. My intention was to add more stars to the bottom right but not to cover the entire wreath, however, I think I might be finished.

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Crafting on a Sunday

First thing this morning I had a text from my friend with this adorable picture of my godson wearing the Fairisle jumper I knitted for him last year! I am so glad that it fits him this year as well.

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About lunchtime I ensconced myself in my new crafting space, realised I could use the ironing board like a table and set myself up!

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I blocked the stars…

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I sewed the ends in…

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I made little hanging decorations…

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And little garlands of stars…

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Mollie slept through the whole day!

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When it grew dark I pulled the curtains:

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And made a couple of flowers. The green one is a brooch and the pink one is for Mollie’s very pretty chocolate Lab pal to wear on her collar.

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By then it was teatime and I enjoyed a bit of a read while I cooked jacket potatoes. I’m off to London all day tomorrow for work so a quiet day was just what I needed!

Christmas decorating

My nephew A had asked if he could spend the day with me. I was delighted to have him here. He helped me with a couple of chores, fed the bunnies and then helped me put my Christmas tree up.

WARNING. This young man is 12 and he has a lot of taste. I feel I should say that the following pictures will not include similarities to the pictures of previous years. My sister and I generally operate on an ‘if you can see any green you’re not trying hard enough’ principle which I have always found works well. My niece is the same. A does not subscribe to the more is more school of thought. He very carefully placed the lights and decorations and when I suggested that a large amount of tinsel would nicely finish the tree off, he negated this quite firmly. So without any further ado:

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I own a lot of Christmas decorations. This year I decided we would have a blue and silver scheme with touches of cerise and lime green. I even crocheted some covers for three. I like the pale blue ones but rather went off the darker one when Damon pointed out it looked like a grenade…

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Ta–dah! The tasteful tree!

IMG_8807.JPG Annoying Damon said how much nicer it was than our usual tree. Gah.

This is our other ‘tree’ – its from Habitat at Homebase. I just love it. Those colours change regularly, from pastels to brights. It’s quite mesmerising.

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Then this afternoon our friends Sam and Josh and their dog Bentley came round and we made garlands from strands of tinsel, battery operated 20 light strings of fairy lights, baubles and whatever else is to hand. This was my first effort:

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Subsequently demoted to the largest picture:

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When I made this one:

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A made his Mum a rather glamorous garland for her mirror, ‘assisted’ by Bentley

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After that a little knitting and lego making occurred before everyone went home about 6.30pm.

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I had a fab day!

Ends

I’ve *just* finished sewing in all the ends on Dad’s waistcoat. A job I wouldn’t have had to do if I were disciplined and did them as I went….

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I’m a big fan of Hiya Hiya sewing up needles with a curved end for jobs like these…

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Tomorrow I will block the waistcoat and when dry, will sew the buttons on. I’m starting to see the end of a mammoth task!

In other news, the insurance assessor has been, filmed everything as well as taking photos and writing a report. She’s recommended a structural survey… Keep your fingers crossed they find nothing… While Damon is a bit pants not talented at DIY, his army training has left him quite logical so he then fully removed the stinky carpet, without moving all the furniture much (no I don’t know how, it involved cutting it into bits – the stinky carpet not the furniture obvs), as well as the underlay and took the whole lot to the dump. Yay! When I got home I just had to hoover and steam mop. Although my Mum’s steam mop is not the revelation my colleague claims hers is…

EDIT: D didn’t leave these jobs for me (we share the household chores absolutely 50 50. It’s a key thing of mine but luckily his Mum was an early ’60s feminist so he expects to), he had to go out on a council appointment and I was home first. Sorry to bore on but I didn’t want to give the impression he leaves housework for me to do.

I also blocked my sister’s shawl. As its huge and we have a large unused office at work I did it there!

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And without further ado, goodnight.

A tidying and sorting day

Thank you for all your kind messages about The Leak.

I have got over my desire to howl and am now approaching the whole situation in too ribald a fashion according to Damon. Apparently referring to it as a flood is exaggerating! Who knew. Anyway the insurance assessor is coming in the morning, so hopefully the stinky carpet can be dumped tomorrow.

As the diner part of the kitchen, with the table, has become my defacto crafting area (alongside the 5 seater sofa, which I do quite frequently use ALL of), I had to clear all of that out, and remove as much stuff as possible. In order to do that I had to tidy up the back bedroom. That has been in a mess for months and also had boxes of stuff that needed sorting and either throwing away or donating to charity,

I had taken a short notice day off work in order to get us all sorted out. I am pleased to say that I not only got the room sorted out, I put at least one bag of clothes and shoes in a charity bank and have six or seven more ready to go; I threw out LOADS of stuff that we didn’t need and recycled a lot as well.

I managed to tidy up the kitchen table and around the room, transferring it all upstairs. Then that done I turned the sofa bed into a cozy Christmas crafting zone. I am so pleased I might keep it like this! Though without the Christmas theme!

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In other news, although I really don’t do chick-lit or Aga sagas or indeed any form of novels written for the women’s market, I am quite looking forward to this!

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Also, I found a photo of myself with my nephew from March/ April 2003 taken just outside my old office and back when clearly dark lipstick was the thing. Isn’t he cute?! He’s 12 now and would find that statement highly embarrassing. Good thing he doesn’t read this blog.

IMG_1235.JPG Looking at me in that photo you can see how much I used to dye my hair, so much so that it looks like I have grey regrowth! As I still don’t have any grey apart from two or three strands I’ve found in the last decade, that’s a bit annoying!

I did do quite a lot of crafting this evening, but it is a surprise for someone who reads the blog, so I can’t tell you what it is. And I didn’t photograph it either! Whoops. And now its all packed up…