:: My Crochet Blanket love ::

Crocheted blankets

It always  fills me with enormous pride and love when I finish a crochet blanket and can see it in all of it’s glory. I’m really quite good at visualising what my blankets will look like when they are completed, but it’s not the same as when they are there in front of you with all of the intricacies, colour combinations, pulling and tugging of ends, fiddly finger work and endless counting and stitchery combinations finally worked together for the reveal and Ta-Dah. I do so love the blankets I have completed so far on my rekindled crochet journey. I love that I have been able to give pleasure to others by passing them on. I love that I have been able to fire up the crochet passion in my young niece and her desire for making crochet granny square blankets for her dolls, and the maturity of her request for a grown up girl blanket for her newly decorated bedroom.

What could be better than passing on and gifting a beautifully made, personalised handmade crochet blanket to the next generation – a keep sake she will forever know as Aunty Karen’s crochet blanket? It fills me with HuGe amounts of blanket love.

So I decided to embark on a little trip down the last 8 months of Crochet Blanket Memory Lane. Would you like to come too?

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My first blanket ever ever…not from the last 8 months but made by me when I was 11. My next door neighbour’s 17 year old daughter Susan started me off with remnants of baby wool and any other bits I could find in my Mum’s and her Mum’s stash. I remember sitting there all fingers and thumbs but then suddenly getting all the way round and adding new colours, keeping going and then the joy as it grew and grew. I have kept this blanket safe and sound; it has cuddled both of my baby boys and then stayed draped lovingly on my bedroom chair to remind me of the stages of my life.

Then last year inspired by many crochet magazines on the shelf in the supermarket, something just struck a cord with me. I went to the wool shop and I bought some yarn. 18 delicious and amazing colours of King Cole pricewise – a budget DK acrylic- but great all the same. I had a vase of my favourite flowers, tulips on the kitchen table, so decided to use them as inspiration for the colours!

sunshine granny square blanket

I found Lucy at Attic24, who inspired me to try other patterns and combinations.There was the festival granny stripe blanket. I started this blanket at the Cambridge Folk festival last summer, our last family holiday before E went off to University.

festival granny stripe blanket

I made a blanket to give to E’s girlfriend for her 18th birthday, a keepsake gift. I love to give presents and one that is homemade with love is always something special I think. She loves Cath Kidston- this was Cath Kidston-esque.

Cath Kidston-esque lap blanket

Then there was the blanket I made for Little Em who requested a big girls blanket for her birthday. I’m really pleased with the retro feel of this blanket, the oatmeal colour sets of the bright and mute colours beautifully.

Little Em crochet granny square blanket

Currently I am working on an amazing project blanket; my lovely hubby got me a club blanket member ship for my Christmas present. I saw Amanda and The Natural Dye Studio projects at Yarndale. I totally and completely fell in love with her blankets and yarns. I did prompt J into the right direction and oh boy, it is beautifully wonderful. Here is where I am up to. I will keep you up to date with my Kaleidoscope Blanket on my Ravelry, Facebook and Flickr.

kaleidoscope club blanket

So how did you enjoy my little journey? I loved looking back at the blankets so far this year – I can’t wait to show you the rest of the projects I have planned, with my double Lucy packs of yarn from Deramores waiting patiently for  blanket or two! Happy hooking people!

:: Keep calm and breathe. It’s half term!::

Half term – longed for and needed desperatly as the cold weather and long darkness takes its toll on my asthmatic health. Soooo very tired…need sleep and crafty creative time to recharge my batteries.

So my lovely hubby and big boys decided to take me out to my favourite eatery ‘Green’s of Grassmere” on Sunday, before E returns to Leeds after being home for ‘reading’ week. (Not sure any reading was actually accomplished!!) 

We had a lovely bistro-type meal, mine of course gluten, dairy free- but so tasty and lovely. They make you feel so welcome and Grassmere is so beautiful. 

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We only need to travel 35 minutes to get there but through the most glorious scenery.

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Yes, we have a sprinkling of snow and it is CoLd!!

So after eating my fill, it’s back home to my crochet project- Little Em blanket. You might remember little Em is my best friend D’s daughter, we went to Cambridge last year, we visit them around 5 times a year and since it takes us a long, long 5 hours in the car just to get there it’s a feat of amazement that D and I have been friends for over 30 years, through secondary school, A-level college, University, marriages and babies!! Em has just turned 7 and of course wanted Aunty K to make her a crocheted big girls blanket.

Little em blanket 7It’s beautiful Stylecraft yarn in a bunch of lovely shades. Emperor, meadow, parchment, raspberry, violet, silver – Style Craft DK from the Wool Warehouse.Little em blanket 3These pics are a bit better than the other ones!

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_DSC0159So far I have hooked about 35 squares and so I have a long way to go before it is double bed sized, however each square will be bordered with two rounds of parchment, then joined with parchment and then the whole blanket witll be edged and bordered with something pretty- don’t know what yet.

THEN…

I have a number of projects on the go afterwards. My lovely kind hubby got me a blanket CAL for Amanda’s beatiful kaleidoscope blanket over at the Natural Dye Studio, you can check it out here.

My January pack, complete with pattern arrived and the February pattern update as been emailed. I’m so excited about getting started- just need to get the Little Em blanket finished and I’ll be off!

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Then…. sneaky man that he is, this arrived shortly after as a cheer me up January present! Awhhh. Cheer me up it definitely did!! A subscription to the website, magazine and two balls of delicious kidsilk. Discount on the yarns in stores and workshops! How to fit it all in! 

_DSC0154I’ve always loved Rowan yarns, so soft and gorgeous and I have a number of the books dating back about 20 years! Time to dig them out  me thinks!

So with the weather being nasty and horrid, I am loving that my tiny weeny baby narcissi are trying their best to shine and add delight to my kitchen table, although some of them have exhausted themselves!! Will be visiting the market tomorrow to purchase Tulips – I love tulips!!

_DSC0152My bundles of Lucy stylecraft arrived for my pending ripple blanket- yes I know eventuall I will get it done!! It was on 10% off so thought now was a good time to buy from Deramores – see here.

 

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As you can see my studio needs a little bit of attention with all these parcels and projects waiting patiently!_DSC0158A Well, it’s been lovely chatting but a scrummy cup of coffee and a gluten /diary free raspberry and lime muffin await (made them on Saturday – don’t know how there are any left!)- and a bit of hooky for little Em’s blanket, and a read of one my very favourite books, Ashlyn Gibson’s Creative Happy Home, you can find it here.

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Happy hooking and enjoy half term!!

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More MixTures!!

:: Tulips::
::Busy, busy, busy – lampshade and pizza ::
-A happy ending-

::2013: Year end review: part one::

So here it is… my year end review part one and what a rollercoaster of a year it was too, both personally and professionally. It is always sentimental and lovely to look back over the year – normally looking back is a tricky place to go, as inevitably there may be regrets and wonderings about the path that was not taken.

However I can honestly say I haven't anything to regret, only lovely, happy family memories and times spent with my lovely bunch o 'boys' before our family entered a new chapter. With E leaving home for University and Little J beginning his GCSE's in September, and my work place changes, we have weathered the changes remarkably well and are very much intact. 

Here it is in pictures; some happy reminders of times spent with family and some of blossoming projects, blossoming confidence and blossoming gardens! Enjoy :O)

•∆• January •∆•

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•∆• February •∆•

February 2013

Very wet, lots of snow and then the glorious fire of the garden in full flame!

•∆• March •∆•

March 2013

Mother's day, family walks, snow and then the gloriousness of beautiful daffodils!

•∆• April •∆•

April 2013

E's 18th Birthday, walks at Glaramara and Loweswater, picnic's in the car, music exams and the beautiful practising that went with it, and the ever so sleepy awakening garden.

•∆• May

May 2013

The beginnings of a Summer Sunshine granny square Blanket and the tiny idea for a personal blog, explorations, cake and new kittens arrived in the middle of the night, behind the bath of all places!! Oh so cute.

•∆• June

June 2013

Tickets for The Cambridge Folk Festival arrive, more cake (another family birthday) crocheting projects and growing mischievious kittens.

From Little J's birthday at the start of the year (2nd of January!!) all the way to Christmas and family times together, it has been an amazing year full of delights, trials and tribulations.

So far so good… more tomorrow.

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More mix-tures!

-Garden developments, sunshine blanket and rainbow colours-
- Whilst the weather…-
Tickets for 50th Cambridge Folk Festival go on sale

::Summer holiday bits and bobs::

I cannot believe there is only two full weeks left and I'll be back to work, planning my topic and after moving classroom, organising, labelling and theming the book corners and displays! So much to do.

I've been plodding on with Festival granny stripe blanket and it's coming on nicely.


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•BuT• there is still time to enjoy the summer holidays that remain, visits to places that have been on my list for some time and finishing little jobs and BiTs and BoBs that I wanted to do. So here are some pictures of little things that have taken up some happy hours and have been lovely little things to pass the time, between bigger projects.

•DeLiVeRiEs•


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I was VERY happy to take delivery of my new cocoa mugs by Emma Bridgewater, having broken one of my other ones. I do love the polka dots and have a number of these already – but this time I went for a Toast option too.


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Then my lovely new Yarndale bag arrived, only 6 weeks to go and I'm excited at going along to this and meeting lots of other hooky, crochet, knitter people! Lucy @Attic24 has been a key ambassador for this festival of creativity and has worked hard at getting lots of it organised – shout out to Lucy!! Well done!


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My new-to-me printers drawer arrived – it's in need of a clean and a woodworm spray – but otherwise my threads, cottons and buttons are gong to look stunning in it. Ebay – is a wonderful thing! 99p and 2.99 postage! An AbSoLuTe bargain!


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•ALSO• my gorgeous new yarn arrived (of course I'd ordered all of these thigs so not really surpirise but still…) King Cole Merino blend DK 100% British made. It is beautiful, Sharon at Great British Yarns helped me out as some of the colours are low in stock, but fired off an email to her and she is a star, all sorted!

•PrOjEcTs•


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and it works up beautifully too, baby granny squares for a cushion…


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Going to granny stripe the back.

Visited The WoolClip and bought some grogeous yarn, Jan and Cecelia produce it from their sheep Blue Faced Leicester's I think, anyway lovely. I know just what I'm going to do with it! Will tell you later :o)


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Got the Decoptach bug.


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Made some flower bunting for my party…


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 Notice the completed decoptach 'K' on there too.


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Then the PaRtY… my lovely friends from my Stitching group and I have a party every few months or so, where the fmailies get together and we eat lovely food, drink alcoholic things and generally chat and enjoy each others company. Not a bad spread with only a few emails and gluten free, vegetarian dairy free food in abundance!!


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 Before and after….


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Empty plates. It was delish, great company, good food, some laughs some ooohs and some awwwwhs, with some lovely news too. Little girlies enjoyed Just dance and Big boys enjoyed driving on the XboX, (well so did one Extra little girly who struggled to meet the pedals so drove Capri-style!). Great night. :o)x

Decorating the kitchen with decorative stickers,…. boy did it take a while and was it tricky? YES it was tricky but I think it looks stunning. Got the kit from Achica they have some beautiful things, you have to be a registered user but it's free and they have discounts etc. 

What do you think?


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I'm loving it, and it just peels off when you decide you don't want it anymore!

•GaRdEnInG•


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So between the rain I decided to renew my outside planters, I went to the garden centre and bought lots of plants. Lovely colours and flowers and then installed them into the lovely newly painted pots.


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Trying to brighten up the garden, having been scorched in the intense sun, and now drenched in the total down pours!

Looking back over the last two weeks, I have been a busy little bee!!

All that and organising my 18 year old – A Level results day today was a sparkling success – huge sigh of relief and gush of happiness and tinge of sadness and massive amounts of PROUD!!

Trying to keep my 14 year old busy and off his laptop, Xbox and out in something called  fresh air!!

I've also been starting my studio project, reorganising the spare room- snug -hay loft into a workable space for me to use for all my crafty things and maybe even have my stitching group meetings there too sometimes. Sneaky preview on its way!


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Have chosen the paint, J is busy sanding and doing the smelly paint bit so should be up and running quiete soon. Have bought a new-to-me sofa bed from Impact Furniture and then to decorate with lovely crafty homemade textiles, blankets, blind and cushions. Ooooooooohhhhh, sooooo excited! See you soon.

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