Friday, 10 February 2017

Sock it to me

I've kind of "frogged" my messy bun hat at the moment; despite the fact I'm almost finished, the fluffy black yarn is driving me mad!
Another rabbit is done and dusted and before I start the next 2 I wanted to get a start on my socks!

I've wanted to make socks for ages and there seems to be a bit of a renaissance for hand made socks at the moment - lovely Lucy from Attic 24  is always showing off her gorgeous fluffies and it's making me want them even more!

I'm not ready for knitting them yet - the thought of 4 needles fills me with fear but I thought I'd have a go at crocheting them.  I bought this gorgeous Opal yarn from Ready Steady Knit my local shop (and where I go for crafty chit chat on my day off) and after much deliberation I decided on a pattern from Simply Crochet magazine issue 24

Not done anything unusual yet so not bad for a first attempt if I say so myself...

Let's see how I get on when I get to the heel!

Will keep you posted :)

PS:  "frogged" in crafty terms means to leap-frog the project and go on to the next one before finishing!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Goodbye January!

There we go, first month of 2017 gone in the blink of an eye!  Tomorrow when I'm back at work I get to turn over on to the next page of my own calendar.  We get loads of free calendars at work from suppliers but none of them were what I wanted - too big, too small etc so I made my own with my own pictures, I chose 12 of my favourites, loaded them up into the Asda photo website and tah da...

January's picture is of Souter Lighthouse which was built in 1871.  I've visited a couple of times now and the view along the coastline is absolutely beautiful from the top and it's not a bad climb either...

The stretch of coast between the Tyne and the Tees has 43.8 shipwrecks per mile, confirming it as the most dangerous area around the British Isles and the rocks at Whitburn Steel were particularly dangerous, making a lighthouse essential.  Souter was revolutionary, being the world's first lighthouse to be purpose-built with electricity; due to technology it was decommissioned in 1988.

When the visibility dropped to less than 2 miles during daylight or the pier lights were not visible at night, the huge foghorn would sound (and wow, it's loud!) 

Home to the best coal in the whole of the North East, the area has links with author Lewis Carroll and the nephew of our local heroine Grace Darling was the lighthouse keeper for 24 years. 

I was lucky enough to be there on an open day and was up beside the huge lamp when it was switched on. The whole system looks brand new, it's so well kept and lovingly looked after by the National Trust volunteers. The lamp itself is sat in mercury and can be moved with one finger - I know as I've moved it!

The main lighthouse keepers cottage is kept as a museum and is a little a step back in time with furnishings from days gone by.  The other cottages at the Leas can be rented out - something I'd love to do during the long summer days.
The little garden is full of pretty flowers and attracts loads of birds and butterflies...

The perfect place to watch the sun go down with a g&t once all of the visitors have left for the day :)  roll on summer eh?!

Friday, 27 January 2017

Winter Blues and Grey Days

I have a huge case of the winter blues...
As much I as I love frosty mornings and Christmas-card snowy views I'm really not a winter person - I much prefer bare feet and flip flops to fluffy socks and slippers!  

I think it's these dark mornings that are really making me feel bleugh.  I love waking up early to the sun streaming through the window and the promise of a long day ahead whereas these dark mornings just make me want to turn over and go back to my warm fuzzy sleep; especially last week when I finally succumbed to the dreaded bug that's been doing the rounds.

However, despite headaches, runny noses, coughs and sneezes we must get up and get on as jobs need doing, bills need paying and craft needs crafting!

I've had quite a productive start craft-wise this year already having made my first bunny and sent her on to her new family.  I really love the Toft Emma the Bunny pattern and can't believe I've made 35 of these now, they're such a perfect and personal gift - let's hope baby Evie will love her new friend.

I'm in the middle of making myself a messy bun hat - the latest craze to hit Pinterest by the looks of it!  Having long hair that's always up, I don't wear hats very often as it's uncomfortable and I end up with a rather unsightly lump in my hat, so I thought this would be the perfect compromise.
As always, I don't make things easy for myself and I chose a beautifully soft wool which is an absolute nightmare to crochet with.  Fingers crossed I'll get it finished and I can be warm and toasty without having to wear my hair down or plait it like I do now in order to wear my bobble hat (especially at the rugby on these cold evenings!)...

Due to running out of stash space I think it's about time I started making up the pile of "freebie kits" that grows every month.  I subscribe to 2 magazines and often buy others and they all come with little kits on the front and I pop them into my storage cube in the living room.  The poor cube is getting way too full so in between my "proper" projects I'm going to see if I can fit them in...

The first one I did was the flower brooch from Simply Crochet Issue 43 which I am really pleased with, an easy pattern to follow and I managed to whip it up in no time :)  I might make a few more to have as little standby gifts, always handy to have.
I have put mine on my black winter coat and it's a gorgeous splash of colour on these dull grey days..

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

2017 a week old already!

I can't believe we have had over a week of our New Year already, the days are just flying past!

Despite taking my last few holidays and not working Bank Holidays, the days all blended into one and before I knew it we were back to work as if Christmas had never happened - well, apart from glitter which just refuses to go up the vacuum cleaner.

As a crafter, Christmas is always my busiest time and no matter how early I start and how organised I am, it always turns into a mad rush!

I did manage to get 33 chocolate orange covers finished for the local tea shop which I was pleased about.  They had a Christmas pudding theme this year and my little woolly covers seemed to go down well and as far as I know they all sold.

I also had an order for a rainbow jellyfish...

I love these little chappies, they're quite quick to make up and always get a positive reaction.  I was teaching my Mam to crochet using the pattern for these as they're not difficult but she's given up - she thinks it's boring!  I think she needs to concentrate and that's why she doesn't like it but who am I to argue?
I've also finished my first bunny of the year as well but I'm not posting her picture until she's been gifted - which depends on when baby Scott decides to arrive 👶

I even managed a quick make for myself  (I know, things for me are rarer than hens teeth!) Simply Crochet magazine had a lovely cover gift on issue 43 way back in March (link here) of a flower brooch. I thought January could do with a splash of colour and am rather pleased with it ...

I've also got my super chunky cardigan on the go as well which is having the odd round added to it here and there.  My local wool shop (where I go for my crafty chatter on my day off) was having a sale and I picked up some gorgeous wool for a bargain price.  I did have a cardigan in mind but it wasn't working up how I wanted it to so I pulled it out and have started again.  This time I'm attempting this granny hexagon cardigan which I found on Pinterest...

the pattern is from the Baby Prop Shop blog here
I really like so fingers crossed I can get cracking on it :)

Next on my order list is a penguin (when I find a pattern that I like) for another new arrival and then I may be able to get on with my Sheepjes CAL in memory of Wink.
Having said that, I've not finished my hand-stitched moose yet, just got to assemble him and add the finishing touches and see what he looks like.  I might leave him up all year round and change the decoration to suit the season / holiday, we'll see let's get him finished first!

I don't tend to make resolutions but have decided I'd really like to learn how to make socks this year.
I'm going to try crochet first as I think they will be easier and then have a crack at knitted ones, although when I'll get around to it is another matter entirely!

All the best for a wonderul 2017 xxx