Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday Catch Up


Happy Friday everyone yay! another working week over and another weekend to look forward to. Thank you for all the lovely comments you left me for my 200 blocks blanket I loved reading them all and it's great to hear that it has inspired some of you to make one too.

Last weekends trip to Ikea was a bit stressful to say the least, my daughter drove because we would never get there if I did the driving the nearest Ikea is situated in a huge shopping mall and there are several entrances if you go into the wrong one it's a nightmare to get out again and back onto the right road, by the time we did get there we were both mentally exhausted.  



It's ages since I was there and I'd forgotten how huge it was it's like a blinkin maze inside we were walking around in circles at one point.  Anyway I saw what I was looking for and tried them out for comfort, I need a new sofa for the living room and I like the look of these and these, not in that colour though white would not stay white in my home for long that's for sure. I was also on the lookout for storage and I think these are great and would do the job admirably lots of lovely coloured baskets to fit inside too, so now I'm pondering :)




This is what I woke up to recently

My fence has blown down! I knew it was going to happen it was swaying back and forth in the wind, it's much worse now it's covered in snow and flat on the ground but never mind I have it all in order, new posts have been bought and painted by a lovely man called Eddie he used to be the handyman at my place of work and has now retired and does odd jobs now and then. He is going to put it back up for me with the help of his grandson once the weather cheers up a bit.

On the crochet front I have completed the first blocks for the crochet block CAL and will show you them very soon along with the project I have made with them.

I am going to do the second square for the moogly CAL on Sunday I have decided that every other Sunday will be the moogly square slot, colours are chosen and at the ready..




Mini Rings progress....



This week we worked rounds 15 to 19
Round 15 - I used  Stylecraft special chunky shade 1065 Meadow
Round 16 - Stylecraft Special Chunky shade 1061 Plum
Rounds 17-19 Sirdar Hayfield Bonus Chunky in shade 742 Leaf Green.

I love that final bumpy round, this is getting quite big now and I'm wondering what the finished size is going to be.

The mini rings of change Cal is hosted by Kate and you can find out all about it here

Now I just had to show you this..



This is the rings of change the full version of the mini rings, a lady called Cigi Cini made this beautiful blanket and posted it on facebook here and has kindly gave me permission to show it to you.  I think it's amazing Cigi has said she used a 4mm hook and 8 ply cotton and it has taken her just 6 weeks to make it! You can find the pattern here


As for this weekend apparently we are going to have snow and gale force winds so the plan is....a little shopping, turn up the heating! get out the hooks and maybe the knitting needles and I'm in the mood for making hats lets see how many I can make this weekend! I also fancy making these, they do look very healthy don't you think and I would only eat a very tiny piece at a time :)


What are your plans? have a great one whatever you do. xx 


Stashbusters

Don't forget to link up your January projects to the January link party do take a look at all the many beautiful makes that have been linked already.

For those who are counting please leave me your totals here

the February Stash link party will be up and running on Monday 2nd.





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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Finished at Last!

It has been just over a year in the making but my my Knit a Block a Week Blanket is finished at last.... 




You must forgive me for the picture overload but I'm trying to get a photo of each angle







I can't tell you just how pleased I am with this blanket.  I had no idea if it would work or not.  My original plan was to place a plain cream block between each patterned one, but I got bored making the plain blocks and decided to make a sampler blanket instead.



Some of the blocks didn't turn out six inches square some were bigger and some smaller, knitted blocks don't sew up as well as crochet ones either so I thought there was no way the blanket would look good when it was sewn up but it does!



It's so interesting to look at too, of course I had to take it to the Day Unit to show the ladies because they have seen me knitting the various blocks throughout last year and have been asking me to bring it in to show them, they loved it so much I had to leave it with them for a while just so they could admire it.


and stroke it because I lined it with fleece which is great idea for hiding all those ends it means as long as they are tied off securely you don't have to be quite as meticulous and neat with the weaving in or really you don't have to bother because the fleece hides them all and...



It feels so cosy and warm


I cut the fleece to size and then zig zagged around the edge with my sewing machine, folded it over one cm all around and then crocheted sc around the edge of the fleece through the two layers using a thin metal hook, tricky but entirely doable.  

I added a sc border around the blanket then I crocheted them both together with three rounds of sc.  For the final round I used crab stitch or reversed sc.



So there you have it...


My two favourite living room throws, both lined with fleece and super warm to throw over your lap on a chilly winter evening.  I need to make one more because my daughter and daughter in law grab one each when they come to visit and I need one for me :) 

You can find the tunisian crochet throw how to here

Materials
I used Marriner DK yarn which I had in my stash in shades of cream - emerald - mint - saxe - sky - turquoise

Pattern 
Made with blocks from the book 200 knitted blocks by Jan Eaton you can see details of all the blocks I used here. If anyone would like to know the exact blocks I used and the layout please let me know.

I hope you like it as much as I do, has it inspired you to make one too? If you can't knit it's a great way to learn or perhaps you would like to join in with the 200 crochet blocks challenge which I'm hosting this year.

Hope your week is a good one :)

Linking with
















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Friday, 23 January 2015

How has your week been?

It's been a busy old week here at the crafty corner, my youngest son went back to Uni on Monday so I have been trying to clear up the holiday aftermath in between working days that is.

You know I've heard that some people actually like housework in fact one of my friends has a set regime and sticks to it rigidly, she has a set day for each task and won't allow herself to play until set task is completed, what discipline! but I could never be like that I'm afraid, she even irons her knickers I mean to say life is really just too short.

I have made a kind of resolution to be more tidy and slowly get rid of rubbish even if it's just bit by bit at least I made a start with the little bedroom, I will try but I'm not holding my breath I'd much rather crochet wouldn't you? 

Is your home immaculate like my friends? actually I have two friends like that their homes are like showrooms but do you know what I prefer mine even if it is untidy and there is a wool trail all over the house.

Craft wise I'm feeling quite pleased because I have finished sewing up my Block a week blanket from last year and I will be showing you that as soon as I can get some decent photo's.

Meanwhile here is my Mini Rings progress for this week.

This week we did rounds 11-14


Round 11 I used Stylecraft special chunky in shade 1425 Emperor

Round 12 I used bonus chunky in shade 884 neon

Round 13 in stylecraft special chunky shade 1064 meadow

Round 14 shade as above
The pictures aren't great because they were taken with my ipad under a daylight lamp but they have turned out better than I thought they would and the colors are true.

I made a mistake in round 11 and couldn't get round 12 right..obviously, it took me ages to realise what I had done wrong and once I had frogged round 11 and did it again it was easy.  I'm not that good at reading long instructions in a pattern I tend to miss bits out, thats why I prefer to have a chart as well then you can see at a glance how it should be.

I'm still loving it! 

The mini rings of change Cal is hosted by Kate and you can find out all about it here

 What are you all up to this weekend? I'm thinking a trip to Ikea may be on the cards for me and I want to try this recipe and this 

Oh and Kate has nominated me for the Best Friends Blogger Award thank you Kate! 

Whatever you are doing have a great one and stay warm! xx

Linking with 

Planet Penny Happy Friday






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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

I need a pat on the back!


It may be no big deal to some of you but believe me for me it was.  


I'm talking about the first block for the Moogly Afghan CAL 2015 This was no walk in the park I can tell you! not so much because the pattern was difficult it is very well written and there are lots of photo's and videos, no it's those darn quad treble crochets! these are needed to make the jacobs ladder stitch.  

Now I have used the jacobs ladder stitch before when I made this crib cover here but this block takes the jacobs ladder stitch to a whole new level as you have then running diagonally and horizontally and I just couldn't get my qtr's neat or the same size for that matter. I think that my tension must have been too tight as the block turned out 10 inches square instead of 12 so I may have to add another round of stitches, I will see how big the others turn out.

For those of you who are following this CAL how did you find it ? I know many have sailed through it judging by all the lovely blocks on the ravelry page.  I'm looking forward to the next block which will be revealed on Thursday but I'm hoping that it won't be quite as much a challenge :)

Hope you are all having a lovely week, it's freeeeezing here! keep warm.









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Friday, 16 January 2015

A challenge a CAL and pizza!

Thank you for all your lovely comments about the cowls I made in my last post, I try to answer most of your comments by email but for those of you who are noreply bloggers I'm giving you my thanks here I really appreciate each and every one.

Now as I mentioned here earlier in January, because I enjoyed the block a week challenge using the book 200 knitted blocks by Jan Eaton I intend doing the same this year but this time using the book 200 Crochet Blocks
This time I want to make as many projects with the blocks as I can rather than a set number....


Granny with a Twist
Block 40
This is the first block I have made from  the book it's supposed to be intermediate but I found it very easy.  I intend making a baby boy blanket using 4 different blocks from the book and I will need to make twelve of these.

Once again the ladies from Loving Hands are joining me with this challenge so I can show you their blocks and projects too.  Join us if you like it's fun and there's no pressure whatsoever because you can make as few or as many as you like and it's ongoing so no deadlines.

moving on....

Here is this weeks progress for the mini rings of change cal hosted by Kate

This week we worked rounds 8-10



 Round eight I used Stylecraft Special Chunky shade 1061 Plum

 Round nine I used shade 1023 Raspberry

Round ten I used shade 1241 Fondant


I'm still enjoying this challenge and I am loving the way it's developing, it's hard not to just keep going but really I shouldn't I have so many other things that need my attention.

I would still like to join in with the moogly cal but the first block is quite challenging and needs a bit of concentration I'm hoping I will be able to at least give it a try this weekend.

and finally...
Would you like to make some really yummy pizza


I know what you are thinking! hang on didn't she just say she wanted rid of her chocolates and she's going to the gym! and now she's eating pizza!

Okay I know, but hey we have to live a little and homemade pizza has got to be better than bought right?  so on a Saturday it's either pizza or pasta especially when my youngest son is home I have to indulge him he's going back to Cambridge next week :(

I want to share this recipe with you because I have had it for ages, my friend and I created it when I lived in Syria and we used it all the time.

The dough is so easy because it's not a yeast dough and the recipe makes quite a large quantity easily enough for two large pizzas. Just half all the quantities if it's too much.

Base
3 cups of plain flour
1tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
half cup of yogurt
half cup oil I use olive oil but any veg oil will do
quarter cup of melted butter
1 beaten egg.

Topping
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 large onions
Garlic 2 cloves or more if you like
salt to taste
Then any topping you wish I used
pastrami
olives
spinach
grated cheddar cheese
oregano 

Method
Sift flour, salt, baking powder together then add all other ingredients and work into a dough a little water may be needed.  Lightly Knead and then cover and put into the fridge to chill.

chop onions very fine I used a processor and then fry until translucent in a little olive oil, add the tomatoes and grated garlic, simmer until the sauce thickens to spreading consistency.

Remove dough from the fridge and roll out thinly to desired shape, I used an oblong grill pan but you can make them round if you like. 

Prick the pizza base all over with a fork (but not all the way through) and place into the oven at 200 C for 8 minutes, then remove from oven and spread tomato mixture evenly over the top and then add what ever topping you like, sprinkle oregano to taste.

place in the oven until cheese is golden brown approx 10 to 15 mns on 200 C




There you have it, it really does taste good. :)

What are you making and baking this weekend ? whatever it is have a good one!





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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

My Favourite Cowl Pattern

Many of you have made this cowl before and I have too, many times but I always keep coming back to it. 

Please be prepared for picture overload, not one of the pictures really shows the beauty of these cowls or round scarf as it's named in the tutorial....

Cowl One














Made with Dk yarn which was gifted to me by my daughter this Christmas, she knows these are my favourite colours.  This is the ten rounds version.

Cowl Two

 I think that this is the closest to the true colour


 I so desperately needed a model 

but Mr Bear was the only one that volunteered
This particular cowl was made with Poundstretcher Fireside Chunky and I love it, I love the colour and the softness of the yarn and it doesn't irritate my neck which is great, I wear it a lot.

Cowl Three
Twenty rounds version



 Again no model but when Dudley doggy saw me resorting to using the chair
he agreed to model it for me (and I think he was a little jealous of Mr Bear)

This is made with King Cole twist Aran in shade Raspberry.

I had this particular yarn in my stash for years just waiting for the right project and this fitted the bill perfectly.  The twenty round version is so cosy and it can be lifted up at the back onto your head for extra warmth. I do love it but this larger version is too bulky for my taste but many of the people I have made it for love it.

So why do I like this particular cowl?
It's easy to make, it works with any type of yarn, it works up really quickly honestly I have made some in a couple of hours, it's a great portable project, I love the texture of the stitch and it looks great.

You can find the tutorial here, I love this lady she is so bubbly and she explains how to make it really well.

If you want to see more of them Ana loves them too.









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