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18 May 2016

Some Things


I seem to have been a little absent lately.  I've not been posting so much or as active on social media as usual.  I don't seem to have a lot to say all of a sudden.  I'm not sure why really, I just don't seem to have much to share at the moment.

I'd like to say it's because I've been busy doing other productive or exciting things, like making good headway with the enormous task of decluttering and house packing or gallivanting around with friends having fun.  Alas, neither of those things are true and although I know I've been beavering away filling my days, there seems very little to show for it.  If my to-do list was a little shorter that would be some consolation, but even that is still ponderously long.  Prehaps I have simply fallen through a wormhole in space-time and jumped forward to here from two weeks ago.  I expect that's it. 

So today I thought I'd scratch around and see if I could rustle up something from the bottom of the bloggy cupboard to see what I could find to serve up for you and here's what I've come up with....



Garden Office

I'm determined to make the very best out of those days when the sun decides to shine this year.  It's something that's been lacking from my regular routine in the last year to two and I miss it.  When I was less busy, grabbing a few hours to wallow in the sunlounger with some pleasurable crafty task or other was easy to do.  Now, I spend so much more 'quality' time with my laptop, that little joy has become harder to achieve so I'm going to try and make it happen, in some form or other.  It is often going to mean taking the technology outside with me, but so be it.  The screen is a little hard to see but the feel of the warmth of the sun and the sounds of the garden are more than worth it.




Sun Worshippers

I'm not the only one who wants to be outside in the sun either, Bertie absolutely loves it.  Any bright day and he wants to be out in the garden constantly and if the garden isn't available, he'll seek the sunniest patch of the carpet and lay there.  It's infectious apparently, he's got the child joining in!





 Spring Garden

May is possibly my favourite month.  It's usually reasonably sunny, often without being too hot.  The blossoms come out and look beautiful and it's the time when my garden is at it's best.  Everything is coming to life beautifully and nothing has yet been ravaged by rampaging slugs or the heavy rains and wind that seem to feature strongly in English summers these days.  It's another reason why it makes me so happy to be outside at the moment, so I can make the most of it while it lasts.

I shall miss my garden when I move.  At our new place the garden is quite a bit smaller.  That's good because as the only person with any real enthusiasm for gardening in our house, our current one is a lot for me to look mostly single handled.  I'll be getting a blank canvas when we move though.  I think there's a small shrub in one corner and a tiny tree in the middle of the lawn which I believe might not be staying.  It's exciting and I'm looking forward to turning it into a lovely little green and flowery haven, but in the meantime I will miss the relaxing calm of our more established garden.

I'm hoping you like garden pictures?  I'm thinking I'll need to put the crochet hook down sometimes and put some work in on the new one when we get there, so I'll probably have more to share.


Stitching Revolution

Very much spurred on by Sue of the Legacy Knits Podcast, I've find that I've joined the #stitchingrevolution!  I haven't done any cross stitch in the longest time but watching the podcast made me think that it might be nice to drag out the embroidery floss again.

I pinned this house on my Cross Stitch board an eon ago and I love it.  I also happened to have this rather perfect linen style needlework fabric in stash too so it seemed fate was on my side.  I've been working on this a lot lately.  It's much more intricate than anything else I've done, the fabric is 28 count and that fairly teeny to me but I'm enjoying it so, so much!



 Peachy Perfect

The other main thing I have on the go at the moment is this bundle of peachy perfection.  This is going to be a shawl, yes another one!  We've had a difficult start and I've been battling with this one for weeks now.  The idea I had has been a tricky little customer to pin down in way that I'm happy with, but now I'm making progress and I am so in love!

I'm using Alpaca Sock yarn from The Wool Barn again and that peachy colour, Lotus, is just utterly gorgeous.  I included a close up at the top so you can see a little clearer.  Isn't it just amazing?  Oh it makes me so very happy.

: :

Well that's it for now.
I'm happy I managed to find a few things to share after all.  I hope you enjoyed them.

I shall try to be back soon although I think things might be a little sporadic for a while...  I really must stop hiding my head in the sand and make a serious start on packing this house up and as we seem to have a crazy amount of stuff I think it's going to be a rather mammoth task.
Arrgh... wish me luck, I'm going to need it!




S x




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10 May 2016

Diamonds and Tassles


Do you ever name your projects or patterns?  
And if you are someone that does, do you ever have trouble coming up with something suitable?

Sometimes I find a name will attach itself quite naturally while I working away and seem quite suitable.  Other times, I struggle.  This was one of those times.  The working title for this particular pattern was 'pink chain mail' for if nothing better pops into my head, something very literal tends to and there is something very reminiscent of chain mail about the look of the fabric of this shawl.  Although I assure you that's where the resemblance ends.

In the end I settled on the literal and went with 'Diamonds and Tassels'.  Because it's kinda diamond shaped and, you know, it's got these tassels so...  

Ok, not one of my most inspired moments I grant you.  That mundanity aside though, I'm so, so chuffed with how the rest of it turned out.  I love how it looks, I love the feel and drape of the fabric, I love the colour and it's one of my absolute favourites to wear.



I made this last year and I've been wearing it so much since it was finished.  I'd say it was a three season shawl and you could wear it most of the year here in the UK apart from when we are lucky enough to have a summer.  It's quite nice and light and airy for spring and warmer autumn days but wrap it round and those layers mean it's nice and snuggly on all but the coldest winter days.

It's a nice one to make too as it works up quite quickly and the main part of the shawl is a nice simple design.  I made mine in a lace weight yarn with a little silk  and I love how it opened out so beautifully in the blocking.

I've decided to rate this pattern as an intermediate level project.  It's simple crochet stitches for the most part, although there are some intermediate stitches in the border.  It's mostly only a little tricky if you are not used to crocheting in laceweight yarn as that does take a little getting used to.  You could always make it in 4ply if that worried you, although I think this would make a great project to try out crocheting in laceweight for the first time.

As with all my patterns though, I do always try to make them as easy and accessible as possible and so I think that confident beginners would definitely be able to tackle this too as I include lots of helpful information and photos or tutorial links to help with anything that might trip you up.

Oh, and if you're worried about making the tassels, there is a full photo tutorial for those in the pattern.








◇◆◇

: :   D I A M O N D   &   T A S S E L S   S H A W L   : :

by 
Sandra Paul

Written pattern in UK crochet terms
(US Translations included)

Includes
Crochet Chart

For more details please see the Diamonds and Tassels pattern page

or 


◇◆◇

I hope you enjoy using this pattern!


I'd love to see your makes, so please feel free to share: 

Cherry Heart's Cozy Corner on Ravelry

or tag your photos with #DiamondsandTassels



S x




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26 April 2016

Podcast - Episode 13




They say 13 is unlucky for some and I'm starting to think they are right.  This very nearly didn't happen as I almost couldn't get the video from my phone to my computer and had to resort to using my hubby's machine.  Sigh... technical issues... so draining... Blergh.

But never fear, I triumphed in the end!  I hope you like it.


Episode 13 Ravelry Thread

...Show Notes...


: :   WIP's   : :


Happy Scrappy Sock Blanket

Pattern: Happy Scrappy Squares

Ravelry Page



: :   PIP's   : :


My First Socks

A 'getting you started knitting socks' type pattern by me...
Coming Soon...

Yarn: Luxury Sock in Light Blue Speckles by The Wool Barn

If you'd be interested in testing the pattern and are familiar with the Free Pattern Testers Group on Ravelry, I'll be posting there soon.



Diamonds and Tassels Shawl

Pattern: Coming Soon! (Currently in testing, so not long now)

Yarn:  Theseus Lace in Rambling Rose by Eden Cottage Yarns




Wonky Zebra / Zig Zag Shawl

Pattern:  In  progress at the moment

Yarn:  Titus 4ply in Coal (Dark) and Driftwood (Light) by Eden Cottage Yarns




: :   FO's   : :


Sweet Like Honey in April

Pattern: Wildflower and Honeycomb Socks by Olivia Villarreal

Yarn: Strong Sock in Cupcake Sprinkles by The Wool Barn

Joining in with the #BoxOSoxKAL with Kristin of Yarngasm

Ravelry Page



 Faded Painted Roses

Pattern: Painted Rose Blanket by Me

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK

Blog post and more information about this blanket

Ravelry Page



: :   GOODIES   : :



Lovely minis and lots of goodies from the kind and generous Erin of Holland Handmade
Erin's Etsy Shop: Holland Handmade



More planner goodies from:




: :   PODCAST LOVE   : :

Sam of Betsy Makes
Sue and Chelsea of Legacy Knits
Jilly of The Knitting Broomstick



S x




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20 April 2016

Faded Painted Roses


I mentioned that I'd been busy beavering away on this veritable garden of blankety flowers in my post about Easter and I'm happy to say that I've now managed to take a photo or two and gathered together some essential blanket facts together, ready to share them here with you.

Goodness, blanket making can be a mighty task sometimes can't it?  This one has seemed quite the mountain to climb at times but I that's mostly because I tried to have it hanging around as a 'background project'.  You know the sort of thing where you just work on it now and again, between other things?  Supposedly taking your time and not worrying if it takes months or years to complete?

Yeah, that's just not me.  I keep trying it and it just doesn't suit me, my nature, my personality... whatever.  The thing is, I need to see regular, tangible and preferrably significant progress on a thing or I tend to end up feeling like I'm stuck in the mud and going no-where.  I love the theory, but in reality it just doesn't seem to float my crafty boat.  And we all want to keep our crafty boats sailing along nicely don't we? 




I started this blanket late last year and I'd come up with the palette for it before that, in the summer.  I'd forgotten till I looked back that I'd already started making blocks for this before the new Stylecraft Special colours came out and that opened up new colour options.  I can see from the final palette that things did evolve a bit and a few of the new colours made their way in there.

As is usual, I started off in a very random fashion, just selecting the combinations that appealed to me most and making those up.  I love this stage, it's when the colours are fresh and experimenting with different mixtures is so fun.  Sooner or later though I generally feel the need for some sort of organization.  I don't like to repeat a selection more than once if I can help it and that takes some planning or I end up with duplicates.  

In fact, when I came back to this project with intent to 'get it done' earlier this year I got super organized and decided on the combinations for the rest of my blocks in advance, then just worked my way through the list.  That's a new tack for me and although I doubt that will become my preferred way of working, I can't deny it doesn't half speed things up.  I fairly whizzed along after that, first making all the centers, then the first set of petals and so on...  A sort of creative process/speedy progress trade off!



Pet helpers:  They're cute, but they play merry hell with your exposure settings!

I didn't spend too long on the layout this time around.  There are so many colours in here and so many parts where the colours ideally shouldn't be grouped together, which should take precedent?  The background, the leaves, the outer petals, the center?  It's absolutely impossible not the have some of the same colours touching so I had to throw my natural need to create rules for these things to the wind.

In the end I laid the blocks out according the background, and then just tried to mix up the rest of the colours as much as possible as I worked through the rows.  Just using the age old 'squinty, screwed up eye technique' to see if any obvious, jarring combinations jumped out at me.  Swapping a block here or there where necessary.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how that worked out.  Of course, in the intervening time I've had plenty of opportunity to find all those colour aberrations and rue the fact that I didn't take more time mulling it over.  Then again, I know that it could never have been perfect, so I'm not letting it get to me... too much.



So now let's get down to blanket business and give you some factoids about this yarny flower fest.

: :   FADED PAINTED ROSES   : :

Pattern:  Painted Roses Blanket

The original pattern is for a baby blanket, which you can see here.
This time I've made a much larger version with more squares, but the pattern works the same.

Size: 190 x 144 cm (75 x 57")

Squares: 108 arranged 9 wide by 12 long

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK

Colours: 21 different colours (29 balls)

Flowers:
1005 - Cream
1023 - Raspberry
1026 - Apricot
1061 - Plum
1080 - Pale Rose (2 balls)
1123 - Claret
1277 - Violet
1420 - Camel
1432 - Wisteria
1709 - Gold
1711 - Spice
1722 - Storm Blue
1820 - Duck Egg

Leaves:
1027 - Khaki
1065 - Meadow
1712 - Lime
1822 - Pistachio
1824 - Cypress

Background and Joining:
1203 - Silver (2 balls)
1218 - Parchment (5 balls)
1710 - Stone (3 balls)

1 ball of each unless specified above

Total Yardage: 1630g / 5411 yards

I find it quite interesting that I although used quite a lot of colours to make this blanket, if you look at the yardage alone, you could still make a blanket this size with just 18 balls.  For example you could make all the leaves with just one ball, and the flowers with only 8 different colours.

You can find more details of the yardage breakdown on my Ravelry Project Page.


I do hope that you like it too.  It's the perfect thing to have at the end of the bed at the moment, chiming just right with the sun coming out a little more and garden waking up again.

S x




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