Sunday, 27 February 2011

We all love crochet but really......

Hello lovely crafty ladies

As Spring is in the air I thought I would show you something totally mad that I found online. Apologies if you know the actual owner of this bonkers wedding dress!

I hope this made you smile....enjoy your Sunday xx

PS Many thanks for all your lovely comments and welcome to new followers....You make me very happy!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Half term...and a birthday

Hello ladies!

Little S and I are back from my few days at my sister's home by the sea. Unfortunately, the weather was so awful that we barely ventured out!  Sleet, rain, biting cold....horrid. However, we were very brave and managed to struggle to our favourite local yarn shop....Ring A Rosie in Whitley Bay, where Sis bought me some lovely fabric to add to my stash. It was a lovely few days, playing with the puppy and chatting with Sis about quilting, crochet, knitting etc.

There has been another new arrival in the family........and she kept everyone busy....

She is 6 weeks old and her name is Dolly. I am told she is a Bichon Frise/ Shih Tzu cross and that means she is a tiny little thing! She has woolly hair like a lamb and a very cheeky personality. Dolly and Little S managed to entertain one another! I am not really a dog sort of person but this puppy is just soooo cute! She is like a little teddy bear and I just wanted to bring her home.

As she is so black, it is very tricky to get a photo of her...they nearly all end up showing a black ball of wool! So here are some images I uploaded from the web, including a non-black one so you can see what Dolly looks like under all the wool!

All together now....AWWWWWWWWWWWW

It was my birthday on Wednesday - a BIG one; a SCARY one; a birthday I really would rather have forgotten. Fifty. However, loved ones made it a lovely day.

Litle S is mad about trains and Harry Potter so we went to the Railway Museum in York to see the Hogwarts Express. Not just see it, but ride on it (well on a carriage pulled by it!).

It was so busy - hoards of would-be wizards clamouring to see the engine.

If you haven't been before, and you are in the area, I would really recommend a visit to the Railway Museum. It is full of amazing engines from all ages and parts of the world, as well as lovely old carriages. You don't have to be a train spotter! The museum itself  is free, which makes it a good inexpensive day out, but there is a charge for special events - such as the Hogwarts Express. Thomas the Tank Engine is also a regular!

Sadly, the weather was awful in York too and didn't make for good photos, which is a shame because it is such an amazing place. Everywhere you look there is some incredible old (often seriously old) building with a really interesting history. Perhaps the next time I go I can bring you some good photos. This is a lovely old building that can be seen from one of the bridges. I've got a thing about rooftops!

And then it was home to a little party tea for the three of us and, of course, my cake! Yum!

Enjoy your weekend...and thank you so much for the encouraging comments on my crochet hook roll.....I really appreciate them so much xxx

Friday, 18 February 2011

Crochet hook roll

Well lovely ladies, I have finally got around to doing some sewing! It took me a while to learn how to thread the spool and the machine but I was very patient and it eventually all came together. And you know what? I really, really enjoyed it. I had my ironing board and hot iron set up to do the pressing and I took my time. It took me four hours from start to finish, which considering I am not a sewer and I had to reread all the instructions at least twice (and had some serious brain ache in the process, trying to work out whether the fabric should be right or wrong way up!), I don't think is too bad!

Are you ready for a before and after????

This is how my crochet hooks were stored this morning. Hooks just thrown into a case that was too small; no room for scissors; needles precariously stuck in any old how. Not good.

This is how they look now.....

Better? I think so! Is it perfect? Mmmm no! I think I attached the interfacing (don't you just love interfacing???) to the wrong piece of fabric! There are also some interesting angles!! Do I love it? YES! The first thing I have ever made and I am really quite chuffed, despite the mistakes.

I used this excellent tutorial from Today We Made. I'm sure experienced sewers could make this in no time and get a more professional look. 

The fabric is some Sanderson curtain material I already had in my stash. I lined it with a pretty yellow gingham. I even adapted the pattern and added a extra cool is that!

And I used this really nifty tool I had read about on lots of lovely sewing blogs....

It is called a Hera Marker and it scores the fabric rather than having to use a pen or chalk. As I had to make lots of lines, this was really brilliant.

So that is my initiation to the world of sewing and I love it!

Tomorrow I am taking Little S to visit my sister for a few days by the sea. Enjoy your weekend and half-term! xxx

PS The circle in square blanket is growing!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Tea and buttons

Hello! Thanks for stopping by and thank you to all of you who left such wonderful comments on my recent posts. I LOVE reading them :)

Last week I ventured out on a wet and miserable day to visit the beautiful old spa town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. I met my sister and brother-in-law with the intention of sis and I doing some serious fabric shopping while BiL would go off and do mmm anything BUT fabric shopping!

Of course, you can't visit Harrogate without visiting the famous Betty's Tea Rooms!

If you look carefully at all of this scrumminess in the window, you can see my favourite Betty's creation - the Fat Rascal. This is a sort of cross between a scone and a rock cake (those of you from outside of the UK will probably be lost at this point!) with a smiley face made of cherries and almonds. Very, very yummy!

This is one close up! The photo is so poor because I was trembling with anticipation! That is my excuse anyway.

And the lovely ladies who work in Betty's allowed me to take their picture amongst the bakery goods that have made Betty's famous.

It is like stepping back in time and makes a lovely change to the ubiquitous coffee chains we have everywhere now (although I am very partial to a Costa soya latte!).

On the way to our fabric fest, we stopped by the most amazing little shop that was dedicated to.....

Those of you from Yorkshire will no doubt recognise Duttons for Buttons! A little button-y grotto, filled with colour.

We then reached a little fabric remnant shop that was  absolutely stacked to the ceiling with fabrics of every type and description. It required some careful manoeuvring to find the table of fat quarters, where we spent some time pulling bundles out and putting them back, only to try and find them again! You've been there and done that. I wanted some fabric for a project I am planning in the future... a quilt for my bed, which is a super king size. So not ambitious at all, no not at all. :)

I want it to look French and so chose a selection of inky blues, terracottas, beiges and browns. No toile, I'm afraid but I have managed to track some down. Not at all my usual colour preferences but I can see this thing in my head so clearly. How to get from never having made a quilt to this huge, huge guilty thing. Mmmmm

Meanwhile I crochet. More on that later!

Oh and look what I bought for Jemimah. I promise not to keep going on about her but I had to show you these. After shopping for a boy for so long it has been lovely perusing all the girlish things the internet has to offer!

How cute are they??? Both pics are from Babipur, by the way.

Enjoy the rest of your week! xxx

Monday, 14 February 2011

Bertie Bump is actually.........

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

Just a little post to show off my brand new great niece Jemimah. She was born on Saturday in South Africa (9lb 2oz) and this is her at a day old. Note all the crazy blonde hair!!! Mum and baby are doing well and the whole family is thrilled with our new little baby.

Bertie blanket will be winging its way to SA very soon!
Enjoy your day xxx

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Spare a thought...

Hello dears

Just thought I'd share this link to a BBC news item about artist Shauna Richardson, who is crocheting giant lions for the 2012 Olympics. She does a form of crochet called 'crochetdermy' - which is making animal sculptures from crochet, usually lifesize but not in this case!

Oh dear...and I thought I did a lot of crochet. I've never had to plunge my hands in ice though to soothe them. I must say, that lion looks very impressive! Well done Shauna!

So for those of us complaining about all those WiPs to finish or endless borders to put onto blankets, spare a thought for Shauna.

PS I wonder if she is planning to publish the pattern....

Here is a link to her website for more of her amazing crochet work..

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Finished baby ripple

Hello friends

Just a few snaps of the completed baby ripple blanket I posted about the last time. I added a thin white stripe at regular intervals to break up the colours a bit and I think it works. I'm not a huge fan of white but I felt it needed something. Overall, I am happy with it and hope the new parents like it!

A big thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post. They make me so happy! xxx

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Being busy


Thank you so much for all your comments about my fabric choice for my first ever quilt. Although I am itching to start it, I first of all need to finish off some crochet and then I have planned to make something small and simple to get to know my much neglected sewing machine.

This is what I am currently working on.....

A friend of my mum is expecting her first baby and so I was asked to make a baby blanket. I decided on this ripple and got the pattern from Lucy's excellent tutorial at Attic 24. The only brief I had was not to make it too girly so I cut out the baby and deeper pinks. I also added a thin white stripe every so often to break up the colours a bit. Pleased with it so far!

And this is something I just love....

I have been admiring the many gorgeous blankets I have come across online that use this particular granny. I decided to make one for myself and just had to make a little sample to see if I liked it. Rather than white, I have chosen a colour called parchment which is rather like a cool, light beige. This seems to make the brightness of the circles just zing out of the square! I love it and every so often I take the little sample out and admire it. Can't wait to finish it! Not looking forward to all the pesky ends though!

Oh and I managed to finish yet another fat granny.....

I have to say that I am getting a bit bored with the granny stripe now (having done four!). I had planned to make one for myself but am making the circle in a square instead.

Happy Thursday! xx