Finished at last.

It’s been a journey but it is finished at last and I love it!

I started my Owl and flower granny blanket nearly two years ago.  In fact it started as a flower blanket but then Abi’s love of owls got in the way and I began to crochet owl squares too.

I then set it aside and didn’t work on it for several months before Sandra’s Blanket Along gave me the incentive to get going again.

I had a bit of a set back (here) but I feel the changes that it necessitated are a great improvement.  (wow, that sounded a bit posh for me!!!)

I carefully planned the layout.  I wasn’t sure whether to do it random or in diagonal stripes.  Inspired by Ericka I got out the felt tips and had a play.  I was too impatient to do the beautiful mock squares Ericka did mine were just blobs and rough colouring but it gave me the idea.

Within seconds I knew that I did not want diagonals so I was then left to find a random pattern.  I had a third with yellow borders, a third green and a third rust.  Then I also had one third owls and two thirds flowers.  It was actually easier than I had anticipated but even then my ‘pattern’ got a bit messy!

I started to join and after a while realised that I wouldn’t need all the squares and I also decided to square it off.  This has left me with 18 squares, just enough to make two 3×3 cushions with plain backs!

I wanted to keep the border simple, so I crocheted one round in double crochet (US single crochet), followed by pairs of trebles (US doubles) but worked as for cable by missing a stitch and working one treble and then going back and working the second treble into the stitch I had missed. This was followed by a shell edging in rust.

I love the simple shadows the border creates.

I  blocked it yesterday while the weather was still warm.  Only just in time as it has turned dull, cold and windy here this afternoon and we are forecast a wet weekend.

So, here it is at last – have I really been mad enough to plan another four?!

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(I used this pattern for the flower squares and this one for the owl squares, adding an extra round to each as I joined as you go.)

I hope you all a great weekend and lots of Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

A Time of Change!

Abi had her final photography exam this week.  After two years of photo shoots, editing, evaluating and artist studies, I have a job to believe her course is finished!  But as this is something she wishes to continue, I am sure this won’t be the end of it!

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She has had great fun, exploring derelict buildings, walking the downs, climbing trees with her camera to get the best angle, hanging lanterns from branches in the dark and causing a few raised eyebrows and puzzled or amused glances from dog walkers!  The Fantasy theme encouraged a lot of interesting shoots.

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There was one project in which she studied hands.  The shoot where she used her Grandad is now very precious to her since he passed away.

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Dad’s hands – he was a watch maker by trade.

Abi has a lot more photographs over on her Flickr site here but I wanted to share a few more of favourites here. (Just click on any picture to enlarge it).

Firstly my absolute favourite is Josh crawling through the waves!

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Abi, spice fusion

Abi IOW

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Jess, trees mirror image

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Jess bank

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Josh swinging mirror

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Josh tree double

Josh tree mirror

Jess lanterns mirror

I hope you enjoyed them,

Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx

Please feel free to comment, I enjoy hearing from you, I will always try to reply as soon as possible.

Blanket Madness and WIP’s

I really do seem to have gone a bit blanket crazy, even after spending nearly two years completing my Owl and Flower Granny blanket.

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(Yes, it’s finished and is blocking at the moment.) I did crochet this sampler blanket for Abi’s bed during those two years as well, so I did have a little bit of an excuse!

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So, why blanket crazy?  Well, I have a few other blanket waiting their turn!

No 1 – I have this yarn for a blanket for Josh’s bed, deadline? … hopefully his birthday which is in November (not sure which year yet 😉 )

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I have an idea in my head for the pattern.  I want it to be something rippled or wavy, something to remind you of the sea.  I have pinned several ideas and thought that maybe I would do some trial ripples in dishcloth cotton so that I can use them afterwards.

No 2 – I have also just started a baby blanket using this pattern.

It was one of those spur of the moment things.  Two of my sisters-in-law are expecting babies so if I do one in girly and one in boyish colours at least one of them will get a blanket!

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I really like the way it is looking so far and the circular ripple is surprisingly easy to do even when tired!

No 3 – I have talked about my Dahlia blanket before and I have some lovely squishy soft yarn but I am thinking this may have to a project for next spring all being well.  I love the colours so much and it is probably my favourite but the others need to take priority.

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No 4 – Lastly there is another new blanket idea and that is to make a blanket for this moon chair.  (Josh curled up in it on my birthday morning)

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Hubby gave it to me for my birthday.  He thought it was a great size and shape for me to use sitting on the beach with my crochet.  It is, in fact it so comfy and ideal for crochet that I have left it up in our lounge where it clashes horribly with the rest of the decor.  Solution?…another blanket.  I have purchased some more yarn in yellow, rust and green to tie in with the owl and flower blanket and I am thinking of making a round spiral blanket this time.

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Phew, not quite sure when it will all get done but hopefully not two years a blanket!

Onto my quickly expanding  wips list …

2 Owl and flower granny square cushions (there were squares left over)

Work in Progress

1  baby blanket

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1 crochet scarf for my Sister – just the border to go.

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1 Edwards menagerie bunny for my cousin’s baby

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1 knitted budgie as Joshs’ April stocking pressie (2 more after that if I don’t give up with the knitting!!!)

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8 mice/bunny PJ cases

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1 stocking pressie for Abi (Hopefully I’ll get it done by the end of the month) more soon

1 market bag

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and some spinning. (I am about 1/4 of the way through a new colour and then I hope to ply the two together.

Actually, looking at the list, it is not as bad as I thought. Lots more ideas buzzing in my head though!!

Hopefully back soon with the blanket Tada.

Happy crafting!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

Edward’s Menagerie and eBooks!

Recently I purchased an eBook first for me. Since Abi had a kindle about 3 years ago we have bought various eBooks.  Now I love books, the feel, the smell and especially old books but we have one problem and that is space!  We already have several boxes of books in the loft.  Books the children have grown out of, books for Josh to grow into and books that we rotate because we just don’t have enough room downstairs for them all.

The other benefit of eBooks is that we have can easily take plenty of books wherever we go on our phone/tablet.

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A few weeks I decided to buy a new crochet book called Edward’s Menagerie, inspired by the animals Kathryn is creating here.  (Kathryn has had rather a rough ride health-wise and like quite a few of us, Kathryn crochets to fill the time when she is not well enough to do other things.)

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This is a great book.  There are three levels from beginner to advanced and the toys really are gorgeous.  He also gives you all the yarn thickness options from fine to chunky, approx how much you will need and what size they will make up!

In an attempt to save money I decided to buy the e version! I love the book and I am just about to start making the rabbit for the little baby girl my cousin had recently but….

… I am not at all sure how I feel about working from an eBook. After a few minutes of not being touched the screen switches off and then I have to faff about turning it back on and it just isn’t the same.  With my crochet books I usually photocopy the pattern to make the project more portable.  So yesterday I had a play about, managed to download the book onto our laptop, and was able to copy and paste the pattern into a Word document.  Annoyingly though it would not let me copy the pictures.  I keep my printed off patterns in a folder and I like to be able to see what they are at a glance by the picture.

So overall,  yes it saves space but I don’t think I will be buying another eBook in a hurry!

Do you have eBooks and have any of you ever bought a craft eBook?  I would love to hear how you have got on with them.

Oh, and before I go, I have started my budgie knitting!!  Groan, I am having to ‘make a stitch’ several times and I seem to end up with a hole.  I have watched a couple of YouTube videos, It looks as though I am getting it right but I can’t be!  The dilemma now is, do I unravel the rows I have struggled with or just carry on and somehow sort the holes out.  This is one of the reasons I am not so keen on knitting, it is just not as forgiving with mistakes as crochet!!

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Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

Market Bargains and Old Books!!

I love a trip on a Friday to the local market.  At this particular market there are a lot of ‘junk’ stalls.  But as the saying goes ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’.  Abi and I found a few ‘treasures’ today.

There was this horse for only a pound, so he had to come home with me.

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Just a little glue needed and a new tail and he will look great in our conservatory.

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Then there were the vintage buttons!!

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Abi fell in love with this little suitcase, and then the camera that, with her love of photography, she just couldn’t resist either,

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A bit of stitching needed on the case

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and it has got wet at some point but a pretty fabric lining should make it into a nice little case.

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My other bargain was these two books at only 50p each.

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I love the old illustrations.

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I just love old books, the smell, the feel of the pages, the covers, there is just something about them.  It started when I was a teenager and an old lady at our chapel used to buy old books in secondhand bookshops for us.  They were nearly always old Victorian novels.  I have read these books over and over and still enjoy reading them now.

Since then, whenever I see a book by one of my favourite authors that I don’t already have I will add it to my collection if it is not too expensive.

Some of them are well over 100 years old, (1876)

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I like the inscription in this one

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I have some of them up on shelves

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guarded by Josh’s stick family

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this old man is my favourite

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I have so many favourites among my books but here are a few of them,

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well worth a read if ever you get the opportunity.

Happy Crafting … and reading!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

Josh in the Kitchen again…Maybe for the Last Time!!!

After school today Josh wanted to bake.  Liking to encourage all forms of creativity I agreed.  He mixed his ingredients following his own recipe from last time with a spoon and then asked me if that was okay.  I suggested using the electric hand mixer as cake mix needs a lot of air in it – that is where it all started to go wrong.

I sat happily crocheting the border on my blanket whilst watching Sandra’s podcast, Josh was happily using the whisk…too happily as I was soon to discover.

I was called into the kitchen again and this was the sight that greeted me!

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cake mix on the walls,

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in the cupboard,

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on Josh,

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and on the floor, (which I didn’t discover until after I had trodden it onto the new lounge carpet!)

I took a deep breath and thought  ‘surely I must have told him before to turn the whisk off before lifting the beaters out of the bowl’, but I couldn’t remember so I patiently explained and we started cleaning the mess.

In walks Abi and asks what happened to which my little darling replies “I lifted the beaters out four times!!!”  “Four Times” I shriek “yes it was accidentally” innocently replies Josh.  Now come on Josh I really am not that stupid. “You cannot accidentally lift them out four times” said rather sternly “Oh it was accidentally on purpose”.  At this point I didn’t know whether to explode or laugh, I did neither and just said “Don’t you EVER do that again”.

You see I couldn’t get too cross because deep down inside me there is still a little bit of the child in me that would just love to load the whisk with gooey chocolate cake mix, lift the beaters high above my head and watch cake goo fly everywhere!!!

The cakes were delicious too…best yet Josh!

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Happy crafting!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I always try to reply as soon as possible. x

A Quick Make and Wips

I have been busy with various crafty bits here.  Today I decided to make a quick pop up thread catcher.  I have seen them a couple of times on Chris’s blog UK City Crafter and after crocheting all those squares together for my blanket I have got fed up with all the yarn ends lying around and ending up all over the place, usually attached to me somewhere!  I used this tutorial Chris recommended on YouTube.

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I like the way it folds down and still keeps the thread safe inside!  Thanks Chris, I love it 🙂

My PJ cases are coming on slowly, I have just started embroidering onto the aprons, it has been very relaxing to sit and embroider again.  The design I am using is one I embroidered on a pram quilt when I was expecting Abi.

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Just a little peep for today, I hope to do a proper post when they are all finished.

I have made a good start on Abi’s stocking pressie, in fact I finished it but the yarn I used was thinner and I wasn’t happy with it so I am about a third of the way through the second edition.  I am a lot happier with it this time.

I have some yarny plans for Josh’s stocking present this month.  I hope to KNIT him 3 budgies in colours similar to ours and sit them on a hoop similar to this.

budgies knitting pattern budgerigar  PDF email toy budgie bird parrot

I have downloaded the pattern for the above budgies from Etsy. I had pinned several crochet budgies but I just didn’t like them as much as these.  I then considered making my design but in the end I thought it was about time I stopped avoiding knitting and used the pattern I like.

I shall start with Tookey as he is completely yellow and then move on to the others.

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While on the subject of the budiges, there has been a lot of excitement in our house, Tookey (yellow) and Pippin (yellow and green) have been mating.  Tookey has been busy in the nesting box preparing to lay.  We are really hoping she will lay some eggs in the next few days! 🙂

That’s about all for now, off to puzzle a bit more over how to do my blanket border!

Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I always try to reply as soon as possible. x