::P, P, Pick up a poncho – again ::

10500531_830857983600104_1603038425053066168_nOk, it’s a work in progress, a WIP as they say. It remains in progress, but my poncho is getting more and more beautiful and colourful as it grows. And it’s nearly there. I keep on p, p, picking up that poncho!10325347_829597540392815_7396260218902141198_nBut then I put it down as something else takes over. My Ripple stitch blanket was the most recent distraction. 20140713_18473510389357_822150724470830_4787128616661467355_nThen there will be my Kaleidoscope CAL blanket again. They seem to do triangular rotation, depending on my mood, time and inclination.20140510_09444220140531_163331k blanketNow back to the poncho again. You may remember how it started back at the beginning of the year.CAM00183The beautiful yarn I purchased from Deramores, gorgeous Cascade Peruvian wool, very apt indeed considering the inspiration.

5a872-6a0192aab0192b970d01a73d7c9d4b970d-pi20140420_190606Then there was the starting off, and the pulling out, the frogging, the restart and then the progress.20140513_20015420140525_082255It will give me great pleasure to wear my poncho on our French holiday when we arrive at the Farmhouse we are borrowing from a colleague. We have been before, three times, and it ‘s almost like having a family holiday home. I’ll tell you about it soon, but for now it’s time to concentrate on the Poncho, to get it finished for my cool French evenings with my local wine, cheese and some amazing bread. I’ll enjoy wearing it for evening sunset walks – when I get it finished! Need to keep on p, p, picking up my poncho!poncho 1

:: Blue skies and wild flowers::

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We’re nearly at the end of our half term holiday and what a mixed bag it’s been: whistle stop trip to Edinburgh for a GCSE art project (don’t ask!), crochet, shopping, some school work and catching up with the returned-from-University-for-the-year child! Yes all done for the year! Sitting relaxing in the garden with my Kaleidoscope CAL blanket, listening to the birds twittering in the crab-apple tree above me, the cat purring near my feet and the sun warming my face, made me smile and just pause for a minute to savour life around me.

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As it was soooo pretty, today I went for a pootle around the locality (the village) with my Hubby in the lovely, gorgeous sunshine. What a fantastic day it has been; blue skies, really clear and sometimes just a whisp of white fluffiness to change the view, an abundance of wild flowers scattering their colourfulness in the hedgerows and fields. The hummmmmmm of tractors making their first cut of the season in the grassy fields taking advantage of the sunshine.

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We could see all the way over to Dumfries; it was a little hazy and shimmery in the heat over the Solway but the outline of the hills and Criefell could be seen. Beautiful; it made me smile and wish for the summer months to speed towards us with the promise of long walks along the beach, picnics in the fields near the lake, the rainy days in with the games and the long trip to France in the car, laden with holiday hopes and dreams. Oooooh I can smell and hear the markets now, with their stalls swollen with local produce – the cheese, the hams, the tomatoes!!!

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Now back to our walk. I’ll let you look at the pictures, they tell their own sunny, hedgerow story really. But doesn’t it make your heart swell and jump with delight when you get an unexpected day like today?  I love wild flowers and they last for such a short time, it is lovely to cherish and take notice of them while you can. Long, luscious sweeps of buttercups, wild orchids, clover, wild geraniums and tonnes of tiny forget-me-nots that were just a blur when the picture was taken. I wish you could have seen them. I hope you enjoyed your day. :O)xxx

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::Kaleidoscope blanket- progress::

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Lots of pictures for my colourful Kaleidoscope Blanket Mystery CAL from The Natural Dye Studio, I’m just completing the attaching of the motifs for February and have started to hook the ones for March. I’m a little behind, having been rippling along on my ripply blanket for a little hooky break, but I’m love, love loving the progress and therapy of this blanket. I introduced this blanket back in March after making some progress with it and finishing other WIP’s.Image

It’s beautiful hand-dyed merino wool and I’m working it on a 3.5m hook, so that my tension matches the size the triangles need to be. The beauty of this blanket is the mysterious nature of receiving a package in the post, filled with the scrummiest and loveliest yarn, winding it all up, then exploring and figuring out the colour combinations for the motifs. The Photo album on my Facebook page has the very beginnings of the blanket and shows the progress made, even with the travelling motif making in the car!ImageImage

Anyone not familiar with the Natural dye Studio, should have a peep over at their Facebook page (there are links to their website too) and revel in the colour, designs and magnificence of Amanda Perkins’ designs. I first saw her at yarn dale and I will be meeting up with Amanda at Woolfest this June. She has some fabulous ideas, including the completed and cryptically photographed finished Kaleidoscope Blanket!

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This is her recent Supernova Blanket.

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So I’ll be hooking away at my colourful Kaleidoscope Blanket for the next few weeks, winding the newly arrived package of yarn and watching the pattern unfold. We even have a Ravelry group to see each others progress- but no peeping at the next stage. Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!

::Poncho Love::

I have been so inspired by the many crocheted, colourful ponchos springing up everywhere, so snuggly warm and incredibly practical. Poncho's are the perfect cover up in chilly weather when you don't need a coat, and when made with wool, can be luxurious and beautiful.I have had a poncho for years, a beautiful soft angora/alpaca plain rib fern green one I bought in Monsoon years ago, but I really fancied making a new one- knitted or crocheted, I don't mind.

It started last winter when I spotted this one from Craftyred – check out the blog  here.

Poncho 1Of course Lucy @ Attic 24 has her finger on the pulse of must have items too, so she has designed and made herself a crochet beauty, see her blog post here.

Attic24A plethora of others that were also inspiring…

knitted from here on Zuhal'in's FB page.Poncho love

Vintage at Etsy.

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This one from Cherrybombvintage77 here, has an amazing diagonal pattern going on, but I'm not loving the fringing.

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Of course ponchos are not a new thing, you only have to google crochet poncho to find a HUGE amount from the 70's and more recently in the last few years. And, Peru really has the poncho look covered!! Don't you think these Peruvian Mamas look amazing?

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There are lots around for children with a peruvian influence – here at Littlebigones on Etsy

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I love the diagonal, yet again, and the colour combinations- still not liking the fringing!!

Now the patterns and shapes on this one I LOVE LOVE LOVE

Poncho-high-res1You can look at the other amazing images on here, mainly from a hippy market in Ibiza, but they are peruvian alpaca, so that's all fine.

Wth so many inspirational ponchos around, what does a girl do?

Like any textile designer knows, research is the key thing…First I looked at peruvian fabrics… for traditional colour combinations

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Fabric2Then searched for the shape that I wanted- without fringing!!

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Essentially just a square with a hole in it to pop your head through- no fancy ties or fringing for me, maybe a bit of bobble edging…Hmmm. This one from Wildeones did the trick… check it out here, you can buy it for £399.99 if you like!!

Maybe not.

I searched for yarns with the colours that I wanted, nothing to bright just in case I decided I might wear it outside, and decided on a truly British yarn to add a twist to this traditionally alpaca garment – British Blue Faced Leicester yarn!! Genius!! You can find it here at Deramores or here at Purlcityyarns.

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I knew this would be the yarn, so soft and lovely and not at all hairy like I imagined. There is a beautiful red, not in the picture, which I think will form the basis of my design. Now all that's left is to write up the pattern and do the brain aching maths to start me off. Another project on the go very, very soon. Watch this space!!

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Colourful MixTures

::Ta-dah!! Sunny festival granny stripe crochet blanket::
:: Tulips::

::Ta-dah!! Sunny festival granny stripe crochet blanket::

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Ta-dah!!!! It's finished.

What a journey I've been on with this blanket and it has taken 6 months to complete- on and off. Here is the first post when I introduced the idea behind the project. It was a time of transition for my family; my first festival, first holiday without E, my adventure into long distance mummy-hood, and  a period of new beginnings for E, and me with my blog and creation of Mix•Ture43. i have loved the changes and embraced them wholeheartedly.

So…. the blanket.

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I love the colourful and simple border, with my favourite sclloped edging. The colours reflect the main body of the blanket, which is really heavy! It has been an on and off project, always there to pick up and cheer me up when I've needed it. Despite continuing, and starting, new projects, it has always been in my work bag peering out and reminding me it's there.

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I used King Cole price wise from my local yarn shop in these shades; baby lemon, baby sky, larkspur, jade 22, navy 25, gold, cornflour, flame87, orange 144, purple 236, 

grape 265, salmon 174, grass 272, raspberry 305, cerise 268,  a pale green lime from my stash and a couple of other bits and bobs to create the rainbow spectrum of colours. 

They are 100g bals and I used 1 and a half of each one.

I love the vibrancy of the colours, and the yarn works up really beautifully.

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So where will it live I hear you ask? Well it will start it's life on my now crochet-ful sofa in my cosy lounge, along with sunshine granny square blanket and flower burst cushion. At the moment, with this nasty winter wet weather, it is lovely to snuggle up with the blankets and continue my crochet adventures.

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•Cosy,

•Lovely,

•Warm!!

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Multi-mixtures to revisit

::Ta-Dah!!!!! Flower Burst cushion ::
- Whilst the weather…-
-Lovely – Sunny Festival Granny stripe blanket!-
:: Ta-Dah!! Sunshine Granny Square Blanket::

::Autumn walk inspiration::

WoW what a windy ol' week it's been! Up here in the Northern Lake District it has been howling and whirling and all of those lovely brown, red and orange leaves have been flying about, not really having chance to show themselves off in their beautiful autumny gloriousness.

But… this week I've been out for a lovely Autumn walk with J looking for  inspiration for my Autumn wreath.


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As we climbed higher and higher up the hill round the back of the house we could see Crifell over in Dumfrieshire – can you see it over there in the distance?

Then the taking of woodland autumny goodness pictures and finding of inspirational objects!


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Found some fabulous little funghi arranged like a miniature city perched on the side of a cliff!

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The light was fantastic and the colours just beautiful. It makes me feel so warm and happy.


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It was a little wet, but there were plenty of leaves to play in.


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Rusty, red, rose hips, ripe and ready to fed those happy, little, hungry birds through the winter. When I was a girl, my brother and I would happily pick rosehips for my Mum's wine making exploits! We would get scratched and dirty but had loads of fun picking from the hedgerows and if we were lucky we would have handfuls of blackberries too, if the birds hadn't eaten them. The horrid bit was the itchy powder inside, which of course always appealed to my mischevious younger brother! he would split open the hips and do nasty awful things to get the powder on you. Little brothers!

They do look beautifully tempting don't they?


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Gloriously statuesque and architectural!


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It has been so incredibly wet!


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Elderberries, gorgeously purply, black waving around in the autumn sunlight!


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And here is my lovely collection of beautiful autumn treasures…


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Super cute little acorns all smart and attentive with their little hats on.


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An abundance of leaves, different shapes, sizes and colours so varied – a painter's pallette.

So after a long lovely autumn walk, J and I settled down to a lovely hot chocolate (I also had my porridge) and I got on with some wool winding so that I could start my leaves, flowers and acorns for my Autumn wreath project! So I'm all ready… with my new wool bowl and my favourite Emma Bridgewater mug and a few bits and pieces from my stash.


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I've been using one of my favourite little books, 100 Flowers to knit and crochet, you can get it here. There are so many lovely little flowers, leaves and even acorns!!! Autumn Wreath blog post will be coming soon, but here's a sneaky preview at some of the little bits and pieces I've got finished so far… Look aren't they adorable?


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I'm so incredibly pleased with the way these little leaves and acorns have turned out. Enjoy your autumn adventures and happy hooking!!

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::TA-DAH!!! Crochet Lampshade::

I can hardly control the delight and uncontainable glee at the loading up of this blog post – I am so incredibly proud of this project. :o)xxxx


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The light shows off it's amazing shape and looks almost like a stained glass window. It wasn't an easy project, there were many times when I pulled bits out, changed colours, or was stuck with the shaping. But, being organic was exciting, as I ddn't know what the finished result would be, just a vague picture in my head!!

When I got the lampshade and it looked like this…


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I knew I wanted it to be based on circles and not stripes, but there would be some stripes in it for the edging. You can find the tutorial (as much as it is) for this lampshade here, and I hope it inspires upcycling projects like this as Delquilter inspired me with her lampshade… remember

So here are a few of the  pictures of my new and gorgeous lampshade which will take pride of place in my soon to be revealed studio.


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It looks particularly beautiful when the light is on, but equally colourful when it isn't. I'm really pleased with the edging so that the shape of the shade can be seen.


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As you can see I added some teeny weeny crocheted balls onto the bottom edge, really easy to make but a tiny bit fiddly instructions are here. I'm really pleased with the results though and have already sourced a couple of new shades from the charity shop to make some more and try out other designs. Watch this space!!!

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::Ta-Dah!! Jam jar jacket::

So having got my studio nearly sorted and ready for the big reveal, I needed somewhere to put my knitting needes and pencils. So here you go…

Ta-Dah!!!

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A jam jar jacket to house my needles.

I'll be making some more and trying out new ideas, for the next few, and maybe even some beading and button work around the top. it's a great way to try new stitches and edgings too.

Upcycling, practical, colourful, cheery and lovely all at the same time, makes me happy, happy, happy!!!

 

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::Ta-Dah!! Meet little Owl::

So I thought I'd share my litle owl, made very quickly and on the spur of the moment one afternoon waiting for the hairdresser.

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I have to admit that I used Jacquie's tutorial from Bunny-Mummy a favourite fellow crochet and craft blogger who has lots of yummy, scrummy projects and has very kindly written and photographed them to share with others!! ( So I won't write and photograph my efforts when Jacquie's are excellent!!)

He was incredibly easy to do, the only difference with mine is that I used buttons instead of beads, but they look great too I think! 

 I'll be making a whole coup more of these little guys, for Christmas presents and for my studio when I get to the delightful decorating part. Tee hee, exciting!!

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