23 Jun 2013

A Labour of Love.....

You know when you have a vision in your head of how something should look? Well that was how I felt about the border for my Jelly Tot blanket. I wanted something that extended the white border on the circles and finished with a lacy flourish! I searched and searched and searched for a suitable pattern. In the end I made up my own for the extended white border and then finished with pattern 113 from Edie Eckman's Crochet Borders book.

The first part hooked up nice and quickly and soon I was ready to begin the lacy edge...

And this is where I stumbled! Not because the pattern was tricky....well there was a tricky bit but I'll get to that later! Row 1 was easy peasy and just needed a little counting and a slight adjustment for the corners. Row 2 however.....well that was a different story!!! Trebles into chains....not chain spaces....but chains!!!! And LOTS of them! Now I'm a fairly tight hooker (hehehe) so you can imagine how fiddly this was. ELEVEN HOURS LATER!!!! Lordy lordy....11 long hours to do a single row! The photo shows the dreaded row 2. I swear I will never ever do a pattern that requires trebling into chains again!

So after the dreaded row 2....row 3 was easy peasy....erm...until I got stuck lol. I usually have a read through the pattern text and then refer to the chart (if there is one)...well I read and read the text and it was as clear as mud! Thankfully I have a lovely hooky friend (and a crochet designer to boot!!!) who made an emergency phone call and talked me through it :-) Panic over and thank you Anita!!! I ignored the instructions, followed the chart and all was well.


All finished!

This is easily my favourite crochet project so far!

That border was so worth all of the effort! 

It has been a fairly quick project. I started in early April and finished it on June 20th. I lost count of how many balls of yarn I used and I haven't got a clue about the size....maybe single bed size? All I know is that I'm totally smitten with it actually a teensy bit proud of myself ;-)

Oh Dear.....

So much for my promises not to neglect my blog....
I'm a bad bad girl! But in my defence life got a little crazy and there simply were not enough hours in the day to fit everything in. And that meant I had to prioritise....BUT.....I'm back!!!


The Jelly Tot/Tea Bag Blankie!

Named so because it reminded my hooky pals of either jelly tots (ooh remember those??!!!) or tea bags....don't ask! Anyways this blanket has been made from the most delicious 100% cotton sport weight yarn. The same as my previous granny square blankie. What can I say about this yarn...other than I adore it! The colour range is mind blowing and the yarn is a dream to work with. It doesn't split like some cottons, having just the right amount of twist. Once blocked, it drapes beautifully and is just the right weight. 

So the pattern? Its from a Jan Eaton book I have called 200 Crochet Blocks. Now I've had this book for a long time and have tried a few patterns from there with little success. I need instructions that are pretty much idiot proof and I do confess to finding the patterns in this book a little confusing. Maybe it's just me!!!! Anyway I stumbled upon block number 173 and knew it was the one! Perfect for the gorgeous yarn colours. After maybe 7 attempts and a few glasses of wine I cracked the pattern!!! 

Love, love, love it!!!!! Gorgeous bright dots surrounded by lacy white! I have finished all 96 squares....

Let the joining begin!!!! Now I'm not a great fan of the joining up process. It's a necessary evil as far as I'm concerned...on the same level as darning in all of those little ends *shudders*
I tried a number of different joining methods until I settled on a double crochet join, simple but very effective.

Oh I do love it when the joining is all finished!

All ready for the border to be added!

I have to say that I have LOVED making this blanket. I didn't even get that usual feeling half way through of wishing it was finished. I'm totally smitten by the bright cheerful squares!

Next post I shall unveil the finished blanket...complete with the border from hell!
Til then x

6 Jun 2013

It's all in the wrist action.....

Apparently! Well clearly I'm out of practise and mine ain't what it used to be... wrist action that is ;-)
So Annie Sloan, you and your delicious chalk paint has broken me.
Well it's broken my wrists anyway!
A full day painting and I'm nearly there. I LOVE the effect of this paint. I've been painting it on pretty thick and achieving a kind of lime wash effect. Truly delicious!

It's pretty hard to tell from this photo just how gorgeous the walls are looking but trust me...they look great!

On account of taking down a zillion shelves during operation clear out I had a stack of rawl plugs left in the wall. I tried to remove them but oh no....these suckers were special cavity ones and couldn't be budged without practically taking half the wall with them so I just had to cover them with filler and hope for the best! Except someone *whistles* seems to have thrown out her sandpaper....
But fear not....guess what I found in my much smaller stash collection?.....

Heidi Swapp scrapbookers sandpapers hahahaha! I just KNEW that would come in handy one day!
Sooo glad I didn't put it in one of the donate/sell/throw piles hehehe! There are reasons for hoarding stash!!! Anyway these little beauties did the trick and smoothed over that filler like a dream.

So now I have a room that is painted, almost tidy (!!!!)......roller blind fitted to the window and some lovely lace curtains. 

Look! The sun even came out! I want this room to have a vintage vibe, hence the lace curtains. I have seen THE most delicious wallpaper for a feature wall but am still trying to track down a UK supplier. The little owl guy is called Mr E Hoot...he was made by this lovely lady and I just adore him. Unfortunately so does Mika and she constantly bats him around the room lol. But there again...that's cats for you!!!

Right I think that's enough gossip for one day! That and my wrists are pretty much finished!!!!
Next time I'll share a little hooky project I'm working on :-)

Til then x