Scrap Happy: Textile Book Cover

Joining Kate and her band of Happy Scrappers

This is going to be a bookcover.

The black and white ticking is from some old kitchen curtains circa 1989.

I am using some bits of rust dyed fabric that weren’t beautifully rust-marked, and other bits and pieces. I have yet to weave in a lot more scrappiness.

The book cover method is one being taught in a online course I am following called ‘The Magpie’s Nest’, on Jean Oliver’s ‘Creativity is Calling’ website.

I discovered this site via Instagram, during lockdown, and have followed a couple of courses. Every so often there are special offers and that is how I came to sign up for The Magpies Nest, which is my favourite so far.

You can see lots of examples from this course on Instagram #themagpiesnestworkshop

Attic24: Harbour Blanket

Each year in January, Lucy of Attic24, has a Crochet Along and I love to join in.

This year Lucy took the colours of a harbour as her inspiration. Although I liked Lucy’s colour choices, I was making this for Miss P, who absolutely LOVES bright colours, so I had to go BRIGHT.

Kingston Lacy Christmas lights

Well – maybe not quite that bright.

Starting row of Chain 150, I have made a Lap Blanket

In Stylecraft Special Double Knit (SSDK) and a 4.5mm hook

In Lucy’s Easy Eyelet Ripple

My colour order is:

Lapis, Bright Pink, Clementine, Empire, Fondant, Sunshine, Cornish Blue,

Spice, Turquoise, Matador, Bright Pink, Aqua, Lapis, Clementine,

Sunshine, Aster, Fondant, Spice, Empire, Matador, Aqua,

Turquoise, Lapis, Fondant, Aster, Bright Pink, Sunshine, Aqua,

Clementine, Empire, (a random blue yarn from my stash, but this could be Cornish Blue is sticking to SSDK), Spice, Matador, Fondant, Lapis,

Bright Pink, Turquoise, Clementine, Aqua, Empire, Matador, Fondant,

Aqua, Sunshine, Aster, Spice, Bright Pink, Turquoise, Lapis

49 colour stripes, each of two rows.

Border:

First row to fill in the ripples – Cornish Blue.

1 row of double crochet (US) – Empire – I love that colour!

One row of Single Crochet (US) – Bright Pink

Final row of Half-double crochet – Turquoise

The final measurements are 50″ x 40″ or 127cm x 103cm

In March I spent a glorious day with friends at Sculpture by the Lakes, we hired a private space there, The Pavilion, it was glorious.

and I took the blanket out and about for its own little photo shoot

I hope Miss P will like the blanket. I think her sister might want one as well, I wonder what colours she will choose.

Mothers Day Exhibition

It is Mothers Day here in the UK.

Helen Birmingham of Untangled Threads is having an online Mothers Day exhibition.

There are some very moving pieces in the exhibition and well worth a look.

These are the two pieces of work I entered

‘Why Cross?’

I had a difficult relationship with my Mother, which improved when I had children. She was a lovely Granny (Mamgu) to them.

My second piece:

‘Secrets and Lies’

If you would like to read the story behind the pieces, please go to the online exhibition:

MOTHERING SUNDAY ONLINE EXHIBITION

 

❤ May your day be happy 

Silly Saturday: Viva La Frida

Shoes from Irregular Choice.

Actually it was Fantastically Fun Frida Friday yesterday.

My lovely daughter took me to a Frida Kahlo inspired High Tea and Store6 in Dorchester, Dorset.

It was an early Mother’s Day present.

Floral headbands made by me with artificial flowers from Hobbycraft.

Photo tutorial to follow. I have put a quick tutorial on my Instagram page.

I even went for the Monobrow this time

We were very silly and had the best fun

Our last Frida inpsired outing was 5 years ago for my 65th birthday.

Have you been silly this week?

Silent Sunday at Sculpture by the Lakes

Sculpture by the Lakes

All Shall Be Well


Yesterday I went to watch Little Miss M (9) run in a Cross Country event.

Whilst waiting for the Prizegiving I found this beautifully positioned bench to perch on.

The engraving on it says

“All shall be well and all shall be well and

all manner of things shall be well”

In A Vase on Monday: Rust, Moss and Hellebores

Yes – still obsessed with the possibilities of ‘Moss on a Plate’. 🙂

With hellebores, rust and muscari.

Joining Cathy for ‘in a Vase on Monday’.

Silent Sunday at Minterne Gardens

Minterne House Gardens

Random Sunday Silliness

Seen in a children’s picture book in Egypt. (2019)

Silly Saturday: it’s a Frida Kahlo kind of Day

When Miss E was about 9, I was going to Grandparents Day at her school and she asked my daughter, in a slightly worried voice, if I was likely to wear my very bright clothes. It has been a family joke ever since.

Now 14, I was picking her up from school on Thursday and sent my daughter this photo, with the caption, “just off to get E!”

The flowers are glued to a turban, which is sold as a bathing cap by Anita of Ocean Flora

there are better photos on her Instagram Page.

Are you doing anything silly today?

IVAOM: moss on a plate

A Valentines Day present for my daughter and her family.

The big heart shaped stones were found by Little Miss M, in the stream near my house a few years ago, the others have been sitting in my ‘heart-shaped stones’ collection on my bathroom windowsil. The moss and catkins are from my garden.

I am still experimenting with moss-on-a-plate arrangements and when I saw these little stained glass trees on the Not on Amazon (I do not buy from Amazon) page on Facebook ….. well of course I had to get them.

They are made by an independent UK artist, TaylaMadeGlass

This is not an Ad, I like to support small independent businesses, the link is in case you would like to find out more.

I am joining in with Cathy and her hugely enjoyable In a Vase on Monday meme.

Cathy has made a moss-on-a-plate for the garden and that is my next mission.

Mosaic Crochet: Tom’s Blanket

Finished at last!

This Mosaic Blanket for my nephew Tom has been a long time in the making, but I finished it just in time for it to be a house warming present for him as he moves into his new flat this week. The pattern is Santa Cruz by Daisy Knots

I have made it once before for another nephew.

You might remember  I started making this one when I went on a 2 week retreat in December 2020, and this is how it looked after 2 weeks of pretty solid crocheting

I am often asked how long crochet takes and this is very hard to answer. Each pattern has its own timescale and I often crochet whilst doing other things. I also have several projects on the go at all times.

In this case it was a satisfying pattern to make, but required concentration and I made so many mistakes that I spent a long time unpicking and re-doing.

One way to attempt to answer the question of how long does it take is that I timed one row and it took

Another question I am often asked, is ‘do I sell my blankets’.

NO!

I love making them as gifts, but just as it feels very uncomfortable to me to time what I make, as so much more than time goes into them – it would be impossible for me to put a price on the blankets and throws.

I had to leave this project for long periods of time during the making of it, to give myself a break.

When I asked Tom what colours he wanted he didn’t know so I offered a choice of Black, Grey, White, Red which would tie in with the colours of his favourite football team or these in  Stylecraft Special Aran: Mustard Gold, Silver, Black, Copper and Cream

He went for this colour combo

There is a lot of Back Loop/Front Loop crochet to make the pattern.

Each row uses a new piece of yarn so each row has two ends that have to be dealt with somehow. This pattern creates a pocket on the edging to house the ends.

I didn’t feel happy with just pulling the yarn through a stitch and leaving it like that, so I tied reef knots in twos along the edge after I had crocheted the edge.

I also made a wider border than the pattern and only crocheted the piece at the back to cover the ends, to go about half way up the border – maybe this was a mistake.

If anyone else has any ideas about how to deal with the masses of ends in mosaic crochet, I’d love to hear them.

The ends inside the pocket did create a bump. In the pattern they are cut to just about an inch long, but I didn’t feel happy about that, so I left mine much longer.

The photos of the finished article were taken at West Dean College

Oh My! what a beautiful place it is. I have recently been on a couple of residential painting courses there and knew that it would be just the right backdrop for the blanket.This was my bedroom! What glorious luxury for a few nights.

And Tom is thrilled with his blanketwell it is very soft and snuggly!

 

Friends of Attic24: Dorset

It was a glorious sunny day here last Sunday, just the day for a visit to the seaside

I am a member of a group of crocheters, who live in Dorset and all like and follow Attic24.

Lucy, of Attic24, runs an annual Crochet Along (CAL) and this year the inspiration for her blanket design is harbours.

Lucy used to live near West Bay so our group often meets at West Bay. Just 3 of us on Sunday

We took our blankets down to the harbour for a photo, but it was so packed with people, it was hard to find a place to get a good shot. So we turned to the beach and found an upturned boat

The blanket on the left is following Lucy’s colours. I am going a bit brighter and making a stash-busting blanket for the granddaughter of a friend, Miss P, who loves bright colours.It is such a relaxing pattern to make, I can recommend it for a crochet beginner.

In a Vase on Monday: January 22

Garrya Elliptica and hesperantha in a Chive pot.

There are still a few hesperantha blooms appearing despite the cold snap we had.

My moss-on-a-plate collection is building. I wonder if the moss will grow on the pebbles.

I had hoped to include some snowdrops, but the ones in my garden are still only in bud, but we saw some in bloom at Stourhead on Saturday.

always an uplifting sight.

More worrisome was seeing a couple of rhododendrons in bloom

Beautiful, but way too soon!

Joining Cathy for In a Vase on Monday, which always includes masses of cheerfully uplifting links to other Vases in the comments.

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Silent Sunday

A Song for Saturday

 

Mend it Monday

Mrs Snail of The Snail of Happiness runs a regular feature called ‘Mend-it-Monday’. Mrs. Snail is the queen of mending and has all sorts of tips, ideas and gadgets to help her on her mission to use and re-use things as long she can.

She is a constant inspiration to me and is even in the early stages of opening a shop to store all sorts of pre-loved items and tools for mending and re-purposing.

I saw this exhibit at Harrogate and thought it would fit right in on this Mend-it-Monday.

It was laid out on the floor, each detail fascinating.

Mending as art – love it!

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Silent Sunday

Attic 24 Harbour Blanket Crochet Along

The annual Attic24 Crochet Along is always such a lovely event to be part of. Thousands of people, all around the world join in.

There is something quite magical about being part of a group of people all making the same crocheted blanket at the same time.

I am making a lap blanket for the granddaughter of one of my closest friends. My friend and I used to collect our grandchildren from the local Primary School every Friday for about 4 years. If the weather was fine we would take them to the Park. The children played on the swings and climbing frames while we chatted and I crocheted.

A few of the children would come to watch the crochet and Miss P was always particularly drawn to the bright colours.

She was very interested in Little Miss M’s blanket, and watched it grow.

Lucy has taken her inspiration from the colours seen at a harbour in Summer. She has 9 different blues in her design. I will swap out a few blues for pinks and reds, keeping the summery feel but going with brightness for MissP, and most importantly, using yarn I already have instead of buying new..

My colour order for the first 15 rows:

Lobelia, Turquoise, Bright Pink, Spice, Aster,

Sunshine, Spearmint, Fondant, Matador, Empire,

Aqua, Clementine, Turquoise, Bright Pink, Lobelia

 

So Summery!

 

 

Scrap Happy January

Sewing in ends of pieces of knitting and crochet is not my favourite occupation, but there is something pleasing about the colour mixes in the little piles of off-cuts. I don’t throw them away.

In The Stitchbook Collective, one of the members, Sally-Ann has shown us this ingenius way of forming scraps of yarn into beads. Separate the yarn into little piles and then roll them in your hand a bit – I dampened them a little to get these into spherical shapes but I’m not sure that is necessary

Then take a thread of any sort – it could be embroidery thread, but I used plain cotton.and wrap round the bead, sewing through the centre time and time again from different angles. That’s it!some of the members of the Stitchbook Collective make them very smooth and tight and then embroider on the surface.

At the moment I am very happy with my fluffy scrappy looking beads.

Sally-Ann has made a video of how she makes her beads.

Joining in with Kate and her band of happy scrappers for Scrap Happy January.