Sunday, 28 October 2018

Ends and no beginnings!

My Attic24 Harmony blanket is finished! I cannot begin to tell you just how much pleasure it gave me to make it. The rhythmical motion of hook against yarn and the beautiful colour palette have really helped me get through the last few pretty stressful weeks. I had always loved this blanket from the very first time I saw it on Lucy's blog. But I was put off making it because it was made of squares and each round of each square was a different colour. On previous crochet projects, I haven't been very good have been absolutely awful about dealing with the ends as I've gone along, and believe me, there is nothing more tedious than having a gazillion ends to sew in once all the crochet is done and all you want to do is snuggle under said blanket. So when I started work on this one, I followed Lucy's very wise words and sewed in the ends as I went along. It actually was no trouble at all to do this and I wondered why I've found it so difficult to do so in the past. After hooking the last round of the border and sewing in those two ends, my blanket was done and ready to show off! And it is a beauty, there's no denying it. If you'd like to find out more about the pattern, you can find details on Lucy's blog here and buy a yarn pack from here if you're inspired to make one of your own. I took a couple of photos the evening it was finished but the light wasn't too great.

The next day I took it outside and spread it on the bench at the bottom of the garden. It was a perfect, sunny, autumnal day. The kind that brings a smile to your face. I don't even mind it being cold if it's bright. I just stood there admiring the sheer gorgeousness of the blanket. It really does live up to its name, Harmony. 

Naturally a blanket photoshoot wouldn't be complete without Flo! Despite her attempts to ignore the blanket during its making, she couldn't resist posing alongside it.

I told her not to get too attached to the blanket as it wasn't going to live at our house. While I was making it, I decided to give it to my friend Julia - she has admired it in its various stages of making. Julia has been such a good friend and has come with me to every single hospital appointment - and there have been nearly 20 since the beginning of August. That's an enormous amount of her time given up for me without any hesitation, so I wanted to thank her by giving her back some of my time too. She was delighted with the blanket and sent me this photo of it on her bed. I'm so pleased that it's going to be used and loved.

So what am I up to now? I'm itching to start some new projects but I'm being very strict with myself and have a list of WIPs, some of which have been hanging around for way too long. And two of them are crochet projects that just need the ends sewing in. One is my Midnight Companion blanket that I started soon after Mr JK died and I was unable to sleep. I actually finished the blanket about a year ago, bar the ends. I'd even considered going with the fringed effect and leaving them! But I'm going to get them woven in and my aim is to show you the finished blanket next week. As long as Flo doesn't want to spend too much time on my lap, that is! 

I also have my Granny square cushion made from the (ahem!) 2016 Opal sock yarn Advent calendar which also needs the ends sewing in before the cushion can be put together. Again, I tried to convince myself that it wouldn't matter if I left the ends, but I know that I'd be able to spot them poking out to taunt me! So I'm going to work on that this week too and hopefully then be able to put these two long-standing WIP's to bed. What's the oldest WIP that you have lurking? Time to confess all to me! You're amongst friends! xxx

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Sock winners!

At long last I've managed to get the winners picked from my Stylecraft Head over Heels All Stars yarn and Tiptoe sock pattern giveaway. I'm so sorry that it's taken me far longer than it should have done to do so, but the last few weeks, my life has been taken over with hospital appointments and lots of stress. Thankfully things are looking a lot more positive now, so I got on with the job this morning. All the comments from my blog, Instagram and Facebook were allocated a number and then I used a random number generator to pick five winners. They are:

hannah wolstenholme
pamela cawley
helen hamilton

I've messaged all the winners. Thank you so much to everyone who entered and also for all your wonderful suggestions for sock yarn colourways. If you'd still like a ball of my colourway, Woldgate, you can buy it from Stylecraft stockists. I know that Wool Warehouse has plenty in stock too. My Tiptoe pattern is available as a leaflet from Stylecraft stockists and will eventually be available to download for free from the Stylecraft website. When that happens, I'll let you know. Happy sock knitting and may your toes forever be cosy! xxx

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Blanket games

Meow humans, it's Flo here today. Do you want to know a secret? Well Mum thinks that I have taken a dislike to her latest blanket! But I'm just having a little bit of fun, lulling her into a false sense of security and then, when the moment is right, I shall take rightful possession of the Harmony blanket! I've done everything possible to convince her that I don't like it, not one little bit! Usually, when there's anything woolly around, I'm first on it and in my book, possession means everything! But I've been playing it very cool around this blanket so far. 

One strip wide - not even worth a sniff!

Two strips done - nope! Not interested!

Three strips joined - boring! Zzzzzzzzzzz!

Four strips - that's more like it but I'm playing it cool!

Five strips - looking more like a blankie but I must resist the temptation to try it out! Tee hee!

Six strips finished - I'm going to look out of the window to pretend I'm not interested!

I've even taken yarn out of the project bag and had a play with it, chewing the end to make it all fluffy! Mum was not best pleased when she saw that and had to cut the yarn!  Ooops!

I also looked at the pattern to see what colour yarn she needed next and hid that ball behind the sofa! A stroke of genius if I do say so myself! 

Of course, when Mum's not been looking, I've tested it out for squishiness and snuggability and it gets a definite paws up from me!

She's joining strip seven on now so I shall have to feign disinterest when it's laid out on the floor for a photo. It is getting so hard to resist setting paws on it. But as soon as it's finished, I shall be plonking myself squarely in the middle! Just you wait and see. Meow meow meow! xx

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Stylecraft Blogtour and Frosted Blooms

Hello there! Come right on in and make yourself at home. I'm super-excited to be taking part in Stylecraft Yarn's Blogtour again this year. Yesterday you will have visited Polly Plum at Every Trick on the Hook and tomorrow's host is Emma Varnam.  The yarn that is being showcased is the new Bellissima range alongside its baby sister, Bambino, which was released earlier this year. As soon as the Blogstars were introduced to Bambino, we all fell in love with it - soft and springy with great stitch definition and a rounded merino feel. We wanted more colours and lo and behold, next time we got together in July, we met the gorgeous rich shades of Bellissima. The yarn is absolutely delightful both to knit and crochet with, and I really hope that there will be even more colours introduced very soon. I chose the 'Summer Pudding' yarn pack to design with as I love purples and blues.

As the Blogtour coincides with the start of Autumn and cooler days, I decided to knit an infinity scarf and cowl using the yarn. There's nothing nicer than being all cosy and warm, snuggled into some knitted accessories, when there's a nip in the air. And dare I say it, the patterns are both pretty quick to knit and would make perfect Christmas gifts for family and friends. So let me introduce you to Frosted Blooms. You can choose to knit an infinity scarf or a smaller cowl, or both! I made them out of one yarn pack and still had almost three quarters of each of the colours left, but a lot less of the cream. So if you don't mind which colour is the main one in the infinity scarf, you can make several variations!

Frosted Blooms Infinity Scarf

Copyright - Stylecraft Yarns
Copyright - Stylecraft Yarns

Frosted Blooms Cowl
Copyright - Stylecraft Yarns

Both the infinity scarf and the cowl are knit flat and then joined once all the kniting is done. They feature snuggly garter stitch along with a pretty floral star motif - it looks complicated but it isn't! This was one of the stitches that I learnt when I took a shawl class with the amazing Melanie Berg and I have been wanting to include it in a design for some time. 

You can download the patterns free from Ravelry for the duration of the Blogtour so make sure you get your copy now! The link to the pattern is here.

Thank you too to my lovely friend Julia who I persuaded to model for me. She looks fabulous and her little dog Benny couldn't miss out on the action either!

If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning your own 'Summer Pudding' yarn pack, then Stylecraft are having a giveaway and you can enter here. The giveaway closes at 10am (BST) on October 5th. Good luck - may the yarn gods and goddesses be with you! xxx