Monday, 31 May 2010

Yay! And Hmph...

My parents have now been and gone. The house was cleaned in my usual style - I may have omitted to dust the skirting boards, but I did do this instead:

Loo Roll origami - how totally daft and pointless. But oh, what fun!

My parents bought wonderful presents with them for me - loooook!

Cuttings from my grandmother's hardy fuchsia - taken from a third generation plant and so very special to me. I love knowing that this little plant has survived for so long, and will continue to give oodles of pleasure for years to come. I'm not sure what variety of fuchsia it is, but it's oh so pretty and makes me think of her.
Lots of pots for me to plant up for my garden! I have mixed feelings about these pots - at the moment my little courtyard garden has a bizarre mix of containers for my plants. And these are...well, *real* plant pots. For grown ups. And as I'm determined not to spend money on containers this year, these freebies are a welcome addition - I'll be able to grow a lot more, but even so...They were going to be thrown out can you believe - what a waste! I'm sure I can find spaces for them all and learn to love their conformity.
The last picture is half a dozen very large eggs - I'm not sure why they brought them, but yum! An empty jar that will be perfect for buttons empty spool from my father's fly fishing line "you can make something with that". Um. Can I? Like what?! Anyone got any ideas?

I wore my February lady cardi while they were here. I love it, so soft and light. The first adult garment I've knitted for a good few years because I struggle to keep my mind on one project for very long. It pulls me onto the next idea, and the next...yank! So I'm proud of this cardi, really I am. My mother admired it, begged to try it on, admired the stretch yolk that meant it fits her too. And my dad admired my mother in it. And then.......she stole it. Slipped it off, and slipped it into her bag with a muttered "you can make another one for you!" The cheek! It did look pretty on her though...look! And with practise, I'm sure she'll be able to button all of the buttons properly like a big girl ;)

After the went home, I carefully propagated my new baby fuchsias

It's so easy to do - pick shoots that don't have flower buds, cut them just under a pair of leaf bracts and remove the bottom leaves. Dip them in hormone rooting powder if you want - I don't as I've never found they need it and pop them into compost. I've also put the leaf bract cuttings into a pot of water - they may root too. Then put them all on a light windowsill out of direct sunlight, pop a knitty monster chunk next to them to look after them, and in 2-3 weeks you'll have brand new rooted plants to love.

Round 2!

Round Two of my hexagon blanket :) I've divided the 15 colours up into 5 groups of 3:

  1. Yellow, Warm Yellow & Orange
  2. Light Pink, Coral & Red
  3. Apple Green, Green & Dark Olive
  4. Light Blue, Turquoise & Blue
  5. Light purple, Pink & Purple.
There are 6 inner circles of each colour and then 6 second rounds of each colour within their group, if that makes sense. Round 3 will have the last colour of the group added and then round 4 will use the centre colour again.

I'm loving working on this - the colours are so cheery, and the yarn is soft to work with. It is a little splitty, some colours more than others, but keeping an eye on the yarn getting close to the hook and giving it a twist if needs be seems to work.

Right, I have my parents coming over for a braii in less than 3 hours, so time to make the house look like I've not neglected the cleaning in favour of hooking recently!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

I'll put a hex on you!

Yummmm - look at all this wonderful yarn I ordered from Scandinavian Knitting Design. It's Drops Muskat - 50g balls of 100% Egyptian Cotton. It's mercerised so has a rich sheen to it, double knitting weight and gorgeous. Picking colours off the internet is never easy, and I'm not sure if that dark olive really goes with the rest, but we'll see.

I'm planning on turning it into a little hexagon blanket, using the Hexagon How-To pattern on Lucy's blog :) I think I have enough yarn to make a 90 hexagon blanket, which sounds like lots but will only make a little blanket - but that's okay.

Here are the first round little circles:

Don't they look all tiny and cute? I modified the pattern to do 6 cluster stitches - the same ones that are used in round 2 so that my centres will look like little flowery stars. I'm almost finished with round 2, and will update once they're finished :)

My thoughts are already turning to how to finish the blanket - what edging to use. I think I'd like to make half hexes and little triangle-y bits so it has straight edges. I can work out the half hexes but if anyone knows how to do the triangle-y ones, help!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Just a quickie...

Quick post to share the tutorial I followed this afternoon. Took less than an hour, super easy, practical and looks fab.

It's for an eco bowl cover to replace foil or cling film. Mine will be used to keep the bugs off the salad leaves when we eat outside. To add to my green credentials for the day and for extra brownie points, I recycled the strawberry fabric (it was a baby doll nightdress that I made back in the 80's :p) Tada!

Is Attic24 a drug?

My newly developing crochet skills are out of control. And it's *her* fault. That Lucy over at Attic24. I spent hours looking at all of the free crochet patterns on Ravelry, and from there visited Lucy's blog. And I am hooked (geddit?!) on her patterns and posts. I love them. Colourful, nostalgic, and as she would put it...they make you feel heart-skippy happy :) So below is a mosaic of my recent Attic24 creativeness! Ripples, squares, hexagons, stars and hexagons and the most wonderful coloured yarn. Yum. The basket of Egyptian cotton yarn (mmmmm) is destined to become a larger hexagon blanket that I'm working on now.

Go peek at her blog if you dare!

It's wonderful to find inspiration which help in my quest to turn my home into a riot of colour. My reserved decorating years are well and truly over!

Just to show I've not just been a hooker recently, I finished transforming my dining chairs this morning. Here's what they looked like before I started....

I've had them for over 10 years, and as you can see the seat covers look...awful. I've never been precious over them and they show it. Most of their tattiness is down to raising a son on them - dinner spills are numerous, and despite being scrubbed off at the time, they've each left a ring behind. There are a couple of small holes in them for good measure where the fabric is so worn.

So I went out shopping for some more fabric for them and fell in love with an embroidered batik pattern, but couldn't decide on a bought 60cm of my two favourites. Because chairs don't have to match. Honest. Then it was simply a case of flipping them upside down, unscrewing the seat pads, using a staple gun to stretch the new yummy fabric over the top and then screwing them back to the seats again. Simple. And look how wonderful they look in the sunshine. Do they make me smile? Oh yeah... :) They can stay!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Gah - I'm such a bad blogger. Once you've let a (good) few weeks lapse, it's hard to jump back in again. But I'll give it a go anyway.

I've been busy since my last post and the main culprit is taking a crochet lesson at the end of March. I don't know how many times I've tried to crochet, and it never quite worked out. I just couldn't "read" it like I can with knitting. However, a two hour lesson with a bunch of other women desperate to get the hang of it works miracles. Makes such a huuuge difference to have someone show you how to do it, look over each little stitch you create and reassure you that you're getting the hang of it. I've immersed myself into churning out flowers, baskets and oh-so-yummy granny squares!

This is the first proper pattern I tried. It's from Lollychops' blog and was super easy. Makes wonderful big blousy roses. I've made mine into brooches.

I have to share one of my recent knitting projects too. It was a test knit for Julie on Ravelry, and is the most adorable giraffe!

Look how gorgeous he is! He makes me smile every time I glance his way :) I also added him to the One Million Giraffe project - click on the link to see what the fuss is about.

I have lots more crochet to share, but it's raining hard here and not the best photography weather, so it'll have to keep for another day. In the meantime, I'm going to get back to my latest recycling/repurposing plans which involve....

Yup. One filthy plasticine box that was slung out by a teaching friend...and a catering sized bean tin (that has a few friends) The mission to make throw-away things into Stuff I Love continues...fingers crossed it's successful!