Sunday, February 26, 2012

Time For A Square!

Hello!!!!

As you've probably guessed, since the Great Telephone Cable Theft I'm only managing to post once a week at the moment! We are still trying to get a wireless connection but everyone here works on Africa Time (a concept I'm not sure the rest of the World would ever understand) so consequently it hasn't happened yet......

Anyway, it's been a busy week. My school theme this week was My Pets so lots of painting of cats and dogs was done and the kids made a picture of a fish in a bowl for their art books which was much fun!! Little D had his first swimming gala yesterday and came third in one of his races which made me very proud - he was very nonchalant about it but that's 7 year olds for you!!!

On the hook front I've been very busy with my friend's baby blanket which I've named Stephan's Blanket (unoriginal I know but at least I will remember what it was and who it was for)!!! I spent much of yesterday (Saturday) sitting at my dining table with the french doors open. The sun was blazing outside (I think it hit 28 at one point so too hot to sit outside) but a cool breeze was blowing off the hills.... This was my table at around lunchtime -


Don't you love my little piles of squares?? I'm really enjoying making this blanket. Unlike Little D's Ripple Blanket that I made, this is like lots of little projects which I can pick up and put down as I want. The Ripple was fab but I had to lug the whole thing around with me whenever I wanted to work on it. This is much more portable. Do you like the colours?


When I started the squares my friend was still pregnant so I went for the 'colours for girls and boys' theory which I think turned out quite well. Absolutely love the jewel brights. Above are squares without borders and below are some with their white borders added.


I did a thin white border at first but the colours are so strong that it wasn't enough to break them up so I added another row of trebles and the above was the result. I know that white isn't the best colour for babies but this wool is 100% acrylic so is easily washed and it doesn't stretch too much either.

The pattern for the squares came from Heather at Little Tin Bird from her gorgeous baby blanket. I think I amended it slightly but I honestly can't remember. Anyway, here's my version:


Chain 4, join with a slip stitch to form a ring.

Round 1
Ch5, (4tr, 3ch) 3 times, 3tr, join with a slip stitch into 3rd chain of first ch5. Slip stitch into corner space.

Round 2
Ch5, 2tr into corner space, *4tr to next corner space, 2tr, ch3, 2tr into corner space*, repeat from *-* twice, 4tr to next corner space, 1tr in same space as initial ch5. Join with a slip stitch to 3rd chain of first ch5. Slip stitch into corner space.

Round 3
Ch5, 2tr into corner space, *8tr to next corner space, 2tr, ch3, 2tr into corner space*, repeat from *-* twice, 8tr to next corner space, 1tr in same space as initial ch5. Join with a slip stitch to 3rd chain of first ch5. Slip stitch into corner space.
Bind off.

For the border I kind of made it up as I went along. Here's what I did....


Join white yarn through a corner space.

Round 1
Ch5, 1dc into same corner space, *11dc to next corner space, (1dc, ch4, 1dc) into corner space*. Repeat from *-* around the square and join with a slip stitch to 3rd chain of initial ch5. Slip stitch into corner space.

Round 2
Ch5, 2tr into corner space, 13tr to next corner space, *2tr, ch2, 2tr into corner space, 13tr to next corner space*. Repeat from *-* around square. 1tr next to initial ch5. Slip stitch to 3rd chain of initial ch5. Slip stitch into corner space.
Bind off.

I hope all that makes sense!!! Have fun.
Til soon.
xxx



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ta-dah!!!! (Two times....)

Oh my. Two ta-dahs!!! After the creative catastrophes of last weekend I am pleased to say that it all came together this week! I now have these two little beauties in my home…..


I have to say that Lucy's Blooming Flower Cushion was a little more tricky that I thought it would be but I do have the attention span of a gnat so fiddly things irk me more than they do most people. I also have the patience of a 2 year old so everything must happen NOW (or even yesterday)!!!! Anyway, I got there in the end.



The other cushion I have named Little Squares and I started it about a month ago. I was just messing around with wool, hook and stitches and came up with this little treasure….


Nothing fancy I have to admit. Just a few sweet rows of double crochet (or single crochet, depending on where you are in the world)! But the possibilities flew around my mind like butterflies in summer........ Eventually (and after much muttering by yours truly) they settled down and my imagination created a cushion with each square trimmed neatly in white like a little patchwork daydream …




The front of the cushion came together quite quickly but then hit a brick wall (not literally, you understand)! I couldn’t dream up a back for it but knew I didn’t want to go the recycled jumper route (see here)  or the plain double/triple crochet route.

I put the front away in a cupboard confident in the knowledge that given a break from it, my wondrous creative side would come up with something truly spectacular!!! And it did not disappoint......

Over the next few days I let my mind roam around Planet Crochet that is somewhere in my brain amidst the bits of fluff and other detritus!!!  Finally (and after having spent hours on Pinterest), I came up with this –


What do you think? I have to say, I LOVE IT!!!! As soon as I started I knew it was going to be perfect – don’t you love those Eureka moments!!! I spent the next three evenings thoroughly enjoying myself with hook and wool. I did another one of those ‘whatever colour comes out of the basket next’  things and I was very very pleased with how the colours came together.


I decided on an envelope style fastening at the back with three wooden buttons that I had in my workbox. Unfortunately my nearest habie shop is 40 mins drive away so popping out for new buttons wasn’t an option. I think they work tho –


So here are both cushions in situ in the spare bedroom of our house…

…and together with an existing wine red knitted cushion that I made a couple of years ago, I think they look rather fine. Best friends forever….

On a final note, I have a little idea for something using the same sampler stitch technique as the back of the Little Squares cushion but need to work on it a bit before I reveal all…… don’t you LOVE a mystery?

Til soon.....
xxx

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine.....

What a beautiful day it has been.
This morning this was delivered to the nursery school where I work.
It was from my husband.....


It is one of the most delicate flowers I have ever seen....




I feel very loved today.....

'If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together,
there is something you must always remember ;
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.
But the most important thing is, even if we're apart,
I'll always be with you .....'
Winnie-the-Pooh




Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another Talent Gone...

I just this minute heard of the death of Whitney Houston at just 48 years old! I can't believe it. We've only just said goodbye to Amy Winehouse and now here's another wonderful talent wasted and gone.....when will it end?

The Day That Was.....

Hello!!! Here I am again.... Not much to post at the moment as I'm busy putting together various crochet items that are nearly finished but not quite there yet. I had earmarked yesterday to finish them all (I have three in my basket) but unfortunately things did not go to plan....

Firstly I tried to put together my Blooming Flower Cushion but went hopelessly wrong and ended up having not only to unpick but CUT (yes, you heard correctly) the last two rounds of the front AND the back in order to get it back on track! Was I mortified??? In a word, yes but thankfully I've now got it back into some sense of order so WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!

Then I started a back section for another cushion and got three rows from the end only to realise that I'd done the whole thing 6cm too small!!!! Please don't ask me how I managed to do it because I couldn't tell you but needless to say the air was blue and there was a lot of frantic pulling out .... ! Not very grown up I know but you crafters will understand - you have a limited time to do a certain number of crafty things but everything you touch goes wrong - have you been there recently?'

I should have taken a deep breath, stopped everything, had a cup of tea and an iced bun and thought things through. That's what I SHOULD have done. Is that what I did? No. I picked up yet another project and attempted to finish it. It didn't work but I won't go into details. That particular project is now neatly rolled back up into little colourful balls in my workbasket eagerly awaiting another day and another project ....... into......

In words of one syllable, yesterday was NOT a good day. While I was huffing and puffing around the house generally throwing ALL my toys, Little D and I were also attempting to do a school project about weighing things. That, I'm relieved to say, went without a hitch so at least I got something right! He was very pleased with it and I know will be as proud as punch on Monday at school when he shows his class!

In retrospect I would much rather Little D's thing went well and mine didn't. What are a few crochet items compared to a 7 year old's first school project? No comparison.

Oh yes. One thing did go well for me yesterday. I picked my last crops from my little veg garden. One cabbage and a whole bunch of spring onions! The cabbage is in the fridge waiting to be made into coleslaw this evening and the spring onions are all gone - I made a massive salad for lunch yesterday which was scrummy!!!!

So, how was your weekend? As many ups and downs as mine? I hope not.....
xxx

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another Award and Blog Love......


Oh my. Both Jill  and Shelley have nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award! I'm feeling very humble and very grateful because I never would've imagined that my little blog would get 2 awards in its first six months!!! I'm thrilled to think that so many wonderful, special, thoughtful, generous, caring and kind folk think enough of what I write to stop by on a regular basis... Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So now it's my turn to share some blog love......

Here are the rules:

1) Add the award to your blog.
Well, I've done that and like Jill I have to say that I LOVE the colour! I'm definitely a 'green' person and lime or bright green is my absolute bestest shade!

2) Thank the blogger who gave it to you!
 HUGE thank you's to Jill and Shelley !!!!

3) Mention 7 random things about yourself.
Mmmmm....let's see.......

(1) I have an autistic son aged 12 who lights up my world every single day with his smile.

(2) I have another boy (Little D) aged 7 going on 17 who fills my heart with joy with his wonderful hugs and cuddles.

(3) I have a wonderful husband who knows me better than I know myself!

(4) I have a passion for wine gums.

(5) I LOVE historical TV dramas.

(6) I would love to be able to play the piano.

(7) In my next life I WILL marry Johnny Depp.......

4) List the Rules.
I think I'm doing this now.....

5) Pass this award onto 15 other bloggers.
This is easier said than done. I subscribe to a zillion blogs all of which I would want to give an award to but if I have to strike it down to 15 then these are they! These are some of the blogs that quite literally make the sun shine for me and fill my day with inspiration, quiet crafty giggles and loads of blog love!!!!

I think that some of them have already had the award so I don't expect them to re-give again but the rest I look forward to seeing their nominations. Here you are then, you lovely bunch of bloggers!

p.s. I haven't put Jill or Shelley as they both awarded me but I think they're both truly FAB!!!!
p.p.s. My nominations are in no particular order....

Kristen of Cozy Made Things
Michelle of The Royal Sisters
Mari-Ann of Counting Coconuts
Cath of Clicky Needles
Victoria of Yarn Round Hook
Mark of Marks Veg Plot
Faith of Faith
Debbie of Serendipidity
Happy of Happy Loves Rosie
Angie of Lemondedesucrette
Kate of Greedy For Colour
Veggiegobbler of Veggie Gobbler
Karrie of Knit Purl Gurl
Glenna of Crazy Knitting Lady
Heidi of Heidi Bears

6) Inform these bloggers of their award by leaving a comment on their blog.
I'm off to do that now so once again I say a huge THANK YOU for this award! It means so much to me because I've found a whole new world in blogland full of like minded people who have made me realise that I'm not strange to love crochet and knitting and I'm not the only person in the world that talks to herself......

Til next time......
xxx

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Once I was a pineapple tin ....

OK, so not having the internet at home has meant that I've had time to do other stuff. Really important stuff. Really really important stuff I promise.... Like making crochet covers for my used pineapple tins!!! No really, you didn't read that incorrectly cos that's exactly what I've been doing. World changing...probably not but important to me? Very.


And it's all Lucy's fault. You know Lucy. That wildly imaginative person over at Attic24. Well, I saw her post on her tuna tins last week (see here) and I thought 'Well, why not?'  I mean we ALL have tins at home ready for recycling and I had just the little plant that needed a cover for it's rather ugly pot. So I dug around in my recycling bucket and found a pineapple tin that fitted the plant pot perfectly!!! Our pineapple tins have a pull ring so there were no little metal bits that could rip my fingers off! I got crocheting and 15 minutes (I kid you not!) I had this ....


Is she not the cutest thing ever? So wonderfully colourful and bright and cheerful. I know my little plant loves it - don't ask me how I know I just do!!!! And the cow clock that sits beside her on my kitchen window sill loves it too.....


You must excuse my preference for all things tacky .... it's a weakness of mine.....xxx

Friday, February 3, 2012

Keeping in touch......

Well, it's been nearly 2 weeks since my last post and I am sooooooooo missing all my blog friends!!! We are still internet-less (is there such a term???) at home due to the stolen phone cables but we've now been informed that 'cables will not be replaced in your area....'!!! I can only assume that this is because we live in a very rural area and it won't pay the comms company to put cables in for just a few homes! They have offered us a 'radio phone' instead but it's not the landline that I want .... IT'S THE INTERNET!!!!

Anyway, we are still progressing with our wireless application but this particular company (and there is only one in this area) has been inundated with requests due to the nightly theft of cables across the province!!! We are "on the list" so we just have to wait .... and wait .... and wait .... Africa time......

On a YAY note, I have (at last) gotten around to posting about Little D's Ripple Blanket that I finished a few weeks ago!!!! Are you ready......? Here it is.....


Please excuse the Thomas the Tank Engine duvet cover underneath.... I didn't have time to whip it off before I laid out the blanket for photo time! I think I was cooking dinner at the same time as well as helping Little D with homework... multi-tasking as ever..... Here's a few close ups...




I'm quite happy with how it turned out although I'd like to do the next one with more of a pattern. I didn't want to get too 'girly' with this one as it was for my son and he needs to keep some street cred when friends come for sleepovers!  His bedtime buddies seemed pretty pleased tho....


I am busy putting together the Blooming Cushion and Little Squares Cushion that I finished. It's been a hectic couple of weeks what with going back to school and then going up to Johannesburg last weekend for my brother's 50th birthday party!!! Days are flying past and jobs 'to do' are piling up but I will get them done eventually!!!!

A friend dropped off a ball of wool that she bought the other day that she thought I would like to play with - don't you LOVE friends like that???? It's called Twirl and it's like knitting with a string vest. I'm still getting to grips with it (literally) but here's a few pics of how it's looking.....





Elle Twirl is a South African wool but I'm sure other manufacturers around the world do a similar yarn? Has anyone used it? It's very weird and it took me ages to get it right but I think I'm there now. Basically it takes one ball to make a scarf which 'twirls' as you knit it. They look gorgeous when they're finished (see pic below) but I'm not sure I'll make another one! VERY fiddly......


So, apart from finishing and photographing the Ripple, working on finishing the two cushions and 'playing' with the gifted wool, life has been pretty much normal (well, as normal as it ever is). The preschool where I teach opened again after the December break so I have a new class of little treasures..... They are all 3 turning 4 this year so FULL of attitude and energy to say the least!!! Our theme this week was My 5 Senses and one little boy told me quite emphatically that he can smell with his ears and taste with his eyes!!!! They are all quite mad but I love them soooooooooo much!!!!

These last few weeks without the internet at home have been very frustrating for me but it has made me step back and take stock of what's important. I love my blog and all the other blogs that I read but how much time do we spend on the internet when we could be doing stuff with our kids, gardening, cooking, reading, and generally just getting on with life?? Being 'web-less' has given me the time to do so many other things and altho deep down I can't wait to get it back, a part of me does yearn for that time before the internet / mobile phones / satellite tv / dvds / console games came along when we all just lived in our homes and with our families without being 'connected' to the rest of the World except for the 6 o'├žlock news!!!

Is it just me or does anyone else yearn for that sometimes as well? I guess most people would say that we have the choice now whereas we didn't have a choice then but I do think that these things are often forced upon us by society simply because we have to keep up with everyone else.

I'm not having a moan cos it's just an observation but I think that when we do get the Web back in our house, I'm going to be very strict with myself as to when I use it and for how long.......

Until soon.......