Saturday, 18 April 2009

Vintage Stripe Blanket

The little copied vintage stripe is finished except for crocheting in the ends and adding a shell border, I think. I decided to use up all the spare wool I had so it is a mixture of Rowan DK pure wool and cotton, mostly the wool. I find the cotton quite tiring to crochet. It is not stretchy in the same way that wool is, so it strains the fingers a bit to crochet it.

I'm pleased with how it turned out. It is a nice pattern to crochet. Not too many ends to crochet in - unlike the granny squares - and it goes quickly, zipping along from one side to the next.

The pattern is easy - I'll post it once I can work out how to write it down.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Big Granny Squares for a Baby

Whew! Finally finished the big granny squares. I blocked them on a spare single mattress dragged out of the cupboard - laid a beach towel on it, and dragged the whole lot on top of the chesterfield sofa in the living room. Having a bit flat arm all the way round, it was ideal for holding the mattress. Big groans from the family when they couldn't get a seat to watch telly. Oh well.

The big grannies are a little bit squint even after blocking. I think that the bigger they get the more little flaws are magnified. Anyway, I'm pleased with the result and I think it is going to look good on the baby bed.

Now for the boring bit - sewing in the ends and sewing them all together. Nothing that a good film on telly and a couple of gin and tonics can't cure!

How Not to Cut a Feather Duvet in Half

So having burst the budget buying hugely expensive feathery duvets for everyone a couple of years ago, what do I decide to do with one of them?

Yep, you've probably guessed it from the title. Cut it in half with a big pair of scissors. Looks easy. There are what look like pockets on the duvet to contain the feathers. Easy I thought. Sew another line close to one of them, and then cut along the middle. Ta da! Two small duvets, just the right size for a baby bed.

Nope. Not that easy. The pockets are not sewn right through both layers of duvet cover. That would have made the duvet too flat. So when I cut through: Ta da! Explosion in a feather factory!

Much muttering and stapling of edges (temporary) and binding with ribbon (permanent) later, and I am now the proud owner of one nice fluffy baby duvet and one slightly less fluffy baby duvet.

In the picture, you can see the little duvet with its nice spotty cover I made from an old piece of fabric I've been saving. In the foreground is the lovely vintage stripe rescued from the cat and now given a new home.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Raggy Basket

Not liking to waste anything, this basket was made from old stretch jersey material. I took a large bag of clothing to the clothes recycling this week but I saved these because of their juicy colours. The base is made of fabric from two child size t-shirts and the sides from three child size t-shirts and an orange pair of shorts.

The orange shorts were bought from a supermarket in France when we turned up at the beach and my daughter had only jeans with her. Aren't I a great packer for the holidays? It must run in the family: when I was young, we went away camping for the weekend. When we got there, my dad got out of the car in the snow, to discover that he had no coat or sweater, but only the t-shirt he was wearing...

Anyway, I do digress: back to the stripey basket. To make it cut strips about a couple of centimetres wide. The hook is a massive 15mm (US Q-19). Don't worry if you have to join: just knot. When you are crocheting it, you will notice that it is stretchy, very stretchy. This makes it quite forgiving. Just manoevre the knots to the inside, weave them through a bit, cut off the ends - whatever looks good. Ta da...there you have it - a useful basket made from rubbish you were throwing out.

Vintage Stripe

See this little vintage crochet blanket? It was knitted for my gran about 20 years ago.

It normally resides under a cat, on a tartan chair in front of a wood burning stove, up in the Highlands. Now, far be it for me to say it is too good for the cat, but "It is too good for the cat!".

It is down at my house so that I can work out the pattern and attempt to copy it.

Anyway, it would appear that my mother has laundered the blankie, and I doubt the cat will want it back smelling of fabric's hoping......sorry cat.....I'll make you a new blanket.

Friday, 6 March 2009

New Granny

We like a nest in our family. There is nothing better on a cold evening than nesting on the sofa, tucked in with too many cosy quilts and blankets. It is a popular refrain at the end of a busy working or school week: "Mum. Can I make a nest in the living room?" And down come the patchwork quilt, the feather duvet and eiderdown and the crochet blankets. Then out comes a sketch pad and felt pens, or a new book just waiting to be read, or a favourite DVD to watch. Then we nest for a while until we feel rejuvenated, or sleepy enough to go to bed.

Here is the start of my latest nest blanket: a big granny. I'll keep you updated on how it goes...

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Jolly Jam Jar Covers

These jam jar covers make an ideal first crochet project. I make them in stripes of my favourite bright colours, juicy orange, pillar box red, Greek sea blue.... but they could also be made in one colour. These are in a 100% wool but really, any wool will do.

The pattern is very simple - I'll post it once I've written it up.