Sunday, 19 February 2017

Ripple blanket

It's been a while since I had some completed crochet to show you but, at last, my ripple blanket is finished!

Ta-dah! The pattern, of course, is by the lovely Lucy at Attic24. I adapted it slightly by crocheting three rows of colour in each stripe rather than two to make the stripes bolder. The colours were my own choice and I used her method of organised randomness for the order of the stripes. Basically you use your set of colours once and then put them into a different order for the second set, and so on. It really works and is such a simple way to make the colours look spontaneous when your personality is anything but!

The border is made of 3 simple rows (one of trebles and two of double crochet).

The yarn is mostly Stylecraft Special DK which I bought from Black Sheep Wools - luckily they're only a half hour drive from me but they also do mail order. For those who are interested, the colours I used are:

1432 Wisteria, 1390 Clematis, 1084 Magenta, 1061 Plum, 1425 Emperor, 1062 Teal, 1708 Petrol, 1302 Denim, 1019 Cloud Blue, 1203 Silver, 1724 Parma Violet, 1725 Sage, 1068 Turquoise

plus a green, purple and blue from other ranges but I can't find the ball bands to give you those.

I've loved making it and feel a bit bereft now it's finished. I definitely prefer blankets made in rows as there are far fewer ends to sew in! A pity then that my next blanket will be made up of granny circles. Not my choice!

Chickpea saw the Kissing Kaffe design by Amanda Perkins in a magazine and fell in love with it. I think she was expecting to be able to snuggle up in it this winter. Ha, ha! Highly unlikely given it's taken me over a year to make the ripple!

So far I've made 3 circles just trying to get the tension right. Luckily the blanket has lots of circles of different sizes so the ones which were too small won't go to waste. The dark pink will be the prominent colour when it's finished. I'll keep you updated with progress.

More ripples on the local lake. It looked beautiful yesterday in the late afternoon light and this photo really doesn't do it justice.

We were meant to be visiting the Scarecrow Festival at Tatton Park today but the Highways Agency conspired against us. The motorway junction was closed and the diversion took us to another closed junction, whose diversion took us to yet another closed road. We gave up and went home, feeling very fed up. It's still on next weekend but it's a busy one for us so there may not be time. If not, I'll have to content myself with photos from previous years like these from 2016.

Hope you had a lovely and less frustrating weekend! x

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Heart week

It's love all around on my craft-a-day calendar this coming week with a Heart Week theme. Rather than post after the event, I thought it would be nice to share a few heart ideas.

This heart cake topper garland is from the calendar. Rather than trying to complete all the crafts each week, I'm selecting one or just using the theme to come up with my own ideas. This was my favourite of the options.

But these are the others if you want to try out a different one.

Or why not make a heart mug hug using the pattern I posted here?

And there's always origami. There have been several heart-themed patterns on my origami-a-day calendar. This one folds up so that you can write a secret message.

Not heart-shaped but this is the Valentine's gift Chickpea is giving her boyfriend: chocolate bark decorated with marshmallows, jazzies, chocolate beans, glace ginger and toasted almonds. We've also spent today making animal-shaped biscuits half-coated in chocolate for him. One of them is a bear because he's her Bear :)

This week many people will also be wearing green hearts to show their support for the Climate Coalition who are raising awareness of climate change. I wanted to share some links on their site but it doesn't seem to be working so here's one to a supporters pack and a few ideas from the Women's Institute instead.

Why not hug a tree? (Photo from 30 Days Wild in 2016)

Or show your love for the environment by spending some time in one of your favourite places. You can see some of the things other people are doing on the CC twitter feed #showthelove

Happy Heart Week! xx

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Last time I hinted that I'd bought something else in the garden centre as well as the craft-a-day calendar. I hope you won't be too disappointed to learn that, yes, it's another calendar! This time it'll be teaching me origami. I hadn't intended buying another but Chickpea was particularly taken with the stag on the front so it had to come home.

It follows pretty much the same format as the kirigami in that you use the paper from the previous day to create the shape. There are some index cards too which explain basic shapes and the symbols used in the instructions.

Ah, the instructions. We're already struggling with those and we haven't got to the more complicated designs yet! Of course that might just be us and something to do with spatial awareness. Me and Chickpea puzzled over the minnow design for ages and gave up. Her boyfriend worked it out in seconds (it's the tail that's wrong in ours).

I think we'll get used to how the folding works as we gain more experience. In the meantime though, here's a few that have been completed so far.



Kabuto. A type of helmet worn by Japanese warriors.




Lonely sheepdog

Heart - it opens up to reveal a secret message!

Any favourites? The penguin and the bird are two of mine. As always I'll keep you up-to-date with progress. Enjoy the rest of your week :) xx

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Craft-a-day: Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day in America when all eyes will be on the town of Punxsutawney to find out what weather the rest of the winter will bring. According to legend, if the groundhog emerges from his burrow to a cloudy day, winter will be short; if it's a sunny day, it's another 6 weeks of bad weather! Luckily, here, it's set for a miserable day so we're in for an early spring!

So why am I talking about groundhogs? Well, they're the theme this week of my new craft-a-day calendar. If you remember, during 2016, I worked my way through a kirigami-a-day calendar. A couple of weeks ago, we visited the same garden centre where I'd bought that and saw this one, half-price. Into my basket it went.

Each week has a theme such as snowflakes, gnomes, triangles, foxes, and each day has a craft on that theme. As the project is meant to be completed the same day, they're all pretty quick and simple.

To be honest, that aspect has been a little disappointing as most of the projects are on very similar lines - lots of cards, gift tags and cake toppers. I can't see me making everything but the templates will come in handy in future. I'm also thinking I might use the weekly theme as the jumping off point to inspire other activities like baking or days out. Watch this space to see if any of these ideas come to owt or nowt!

Did you think this was all I bought at the garden centre? Hmm, maybe not...more on that next time!

Happy Groundhog Day! xx