Cosy Cottage blanket part 2

Back in January I wrote a post describing the beginnings of my Cosy Cottage blanket. Now I’m back to focusing on my blog and all things crafty I thought I’d better finish the story!

So I was using the Cottage colour pack from Lucy of Attic24’s collection from Wool Warehouse and the Cosy blanket pattern. When I last updated I’d done a bit over two sets of stripes. Instead of following one of Lucy’s plans for using the different colours I decided to make up my own.  Not quite random but each colour would be used in each set of 15 stripes. Often those colour choices had to be made in the evenings when the light was less than ideal as it was winter time.

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When I was about half way through I loved how it looked in the winter sunshine draped over a chair.

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Here it’s nearly done. I was debating whether it needed one more set of stripes but in the end I decided it would be too long.

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And finally onto the edging…

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I did the edging all in one day but it took aaaages!

And now for the ta-da moment…

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I love, love, love my Cosy Cottage blanket and was so happy to finish it although I did miss working on it when it was done. It only took about 5 weeks over all to do. It didn’t get much use over the summer but now we’re back into autumn I’m loving snuggling in it once again. I highly recommend Lucy’s patterns from the Attic24 blog as they always turn out lovely!

S x

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The beauty of crafts

Last summer I picked up an embroidered picture from a little bric-a-brac stall at a local craft fair. It hangs on the wall outside our bathroom and I look at it many times everyday. It’s a lovely garden scene with a path leading through beautiful floral borders and a bird table alongside, all set off in a lovely antique gold style frame.

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I often look at it and wonder who the lady was that created it? Where did she live? Did she have a family? She must have spent many hours working on it.

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I love the detail of the flowers and it really makes me smile to look at it. The dark blue flowers on the right are my favourite. I wonder what variety they are? I don’t really know a lot about gardening yet but I’m inspired to learn.

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And these delicate pink flowers, so detailed.

I wonder if she ever thought someone else would get so much enjoyment from it when she made it? Don’t you think it’s a wonderful testament to the fact that we all put so much time and love into our craft projects that they might get a second lease of life and be enjoyed in this way? The beauty and longevity of crafts. It really gives me a warm glow inside to think about this, don’t you agree?

Do you have any little gems in your collection that you’ve found or inherited? I’d love to hear about them. It would be lovely to know you’ve stopped by…

Sarah x

Cosy Cottage Blanket part 1

Hi again everyone,

I hope the new year is treating you well so far! Mine’s been fairly quiet but enjoyable. I’m making good progress on my cosy cottage blanket. Did you see the colours I got for Christmas here? It’s the “Cottage” version of the Attic 24 Stylecraft Special DK colour packs. I’m not normally a fan of acrylic yarn although I do think it’s good for toys and things, but so far I’m a big fan of this yarn. I love making blankets but they take such a lot of yarn they can end up being very expensive to make so it’s great to be able to create something so pleasing to the eyes and the touch at a very reasonable price! My blanket is going to be lovely and warm and cosy when it’s finished. Would you like to see some pictures of my progress so far? Here we go…

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The first picture is me in the car on our way back from spending the new year in Wales with my partner’s family,which was lovely. We drank some bubbles and let off fire works on the beach at midnight in memory of his step-mother who we sadly lost to cancer in the autumn. New year’s eve would have been her birthday. Over the years R’s dad and his wife had started a bit of a trend locally to do fireworks at midnight on the stretch of beach in front of their house. It really is a beautiful place. Anyway, it was lovely to see that there were already some other people on the beach who’d lit a fire. There was a lovely atmosphere down there and the weather was kind as it had been somewhat stormy earlier in the evening!

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This last picture was taken on the morning of new years day.

So, back to the blanket. As I (may have) mentioned before, I’m doing the Cosy Blanket from Attic 24 blog which you can see here. Lucy did it as a crochet-along but as I’d asked for the Cottage pack for Christmas from my parents I thought I’d hold off and do the cosy blanket with the cottage colours instead of the cosy pack. So far I’ve done 36 1/2 stripes and I’m totally loving it. I think it looks just as good as Lucy’s version in the cosy colours. I will have to start thinking of the order for the next 15 stripes soon. I have no specific plan for the colours I’m just using my little colour pegs to work them out in batches of 15 so there’s one of each colour in each section of 15 stripes.

I think I’ve written enough about it now, I’m dying to make a cuppa and cosy under it to do a couple more stripes!

What are you working on at the moment? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah x

2014 Catchup

Happy New Year lovely reader! I hope it’s been good to you so far.

I was creating a page to summarise all my completed projects that have associated blog posts with information about them, which you can see here and I realised I’d done so much last year that I hadn’t shown you.  Unfortunately I think it’s probably too late now to catch you up on everything but here’s a gallery of pictures that you might enjoy. If there is anything you would particularly like to hear more about, please leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to oblige! If you hover over the image it shows the caption which you can use to tell me what you think of them. I’m going to try to write more regularly this year as I do enjoy sharing my crafty projects with you.

I’d love to tell you more about many of these projects but I feel like I’d never catch up. Please do drop me a line though if you would like to know more – I’ll happily write to request and add more photos if I have them! There are still more projects not pictured here. Hopefully I’ll get around to showing you them all at some point! Seeing everything laid out like this makes me realise how much I actually got done last year!

I hope to have lots more crafty projects to tell you about soon. I’m already in the middle of a crochet blanket inspired by Lucy at Attic 24 blog and also have a new pair of socks on the go which are a pattern from an old issue of The Knitter. I have lots of plans for more projects for 2015 and I can’t wait to share my progress here with you!

Best wishes for your crafty 2015 too!

Sarah x

Christmas reflections

It’s Saturday morning and it’s time for the last of our Christmas guests to head home. We had some snow fall last night that we hadn’t really expected and it was even settling. I excitedly looked out of the window this morning hoping for a winter wonderland; a picture perfect crisp sunny day with blue skies and clean white snow under foot. However looking out at 7:30 it was still dark for one thing and it must’ve been raining or milder overnight as there was no snow on the trees at all and not much on the ground, although the school field opposite looks quite nice.

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It turned out to be pretty icy though and it took quite a bit of scraping before my unofficial father-in-law could set off on the drive home to Wales. It is a beautiful day though and if it wasn’t for the ice it would be a lovely day to go for a walk. Instead I’m sitting in the sunny dining room writing and planning! Here’s a pic of the sun rising earlier, just before it came over the houses at the back of ours…

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…and the sunny reflection on the wall a few minutes later…

So all this means that Christmas is over for another year and its time to take stock. Overall I’d say it’s been a resounding success. I finally managed to finish the advent stockings on Christmas Eve-Eve, having managed to stay at least one day ahead all through December.

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My boyfriend made a magnificent Christmas cake and used a picture from Pintrest as inspiration for the decoration. Here’s how it turned out…

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Beautiful, don’t you think? I was very impressed. I helped with cutting out some of the stars. It was very fiddly work!

And now it’s time to look forward to the New Year. As you could probably expect, I got a few craft related presents for Christmas. R got me this beautiful knitting book by Kate Davies.
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I’m very excited to start planning what I’m going to make first. Looking through, the author seems to have used some very well priced yarns, so I might actually be able to work the patterns in the recommended yarns for a change, instead of trying to convert them to a cheaper alternative! I the patterns in this book will help me to work on my approach to colour for the makes I wear. I’m often tempted to use brights as I worry that I’ll get bored and not finish things if I use a muted colour palette but I think working some of the designs from this book will help me to find the pleasure in working with more wearable colours.

Conversely I also received the “Cottage” pack of colours by Lucy from Attic 24’s blog. Not very muted! Rather than the Cottage ripple blanket she made, I’m going to make my own Cosy Cottage blanket like the Cosy Crochet-Along that she was doing before Christmas. I’ve been playing around with colour combinations with my colour pegs this morning as you can see here…

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Lucy from the Attic 24 blog hit on such a great idea with these coloured yarn pegs, they’re great for this process of planning the colour order.

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And here’s all that lovely squishy yarn, all ready to play with!

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I can’t wait to get going with it, I just need to decide on the colour order for the first 15 stripes! Here goes…

Crochet t-shirt rug

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year and that 2014 has got off to a good start for you. I’ve only worked two days so far and the weather’s been pretty rubbish so it’s been a good time to work on some of my works in progress! I’ve finally managed to finish my crocheted t-shirt rug that I’ve been working on sporadically for quite a few months now.

Ta Da - The finished rug
Ta Da – The finished rug

So I started with a post I found on Pintrest here and a pile of my boyfriend’s only t-shirts that he didn’t wear anymore. It’s a pretty easy thing to do once you get the hang of it although it is a bit time consuming. I used this free pattern as a starting point. Here’s my quick guide how it works…

My boyfriend's old t-shirts
My boyfriend’s old t-shirts
Cut the hems off, fold twice but leave 1 inch margin at far side
Cut the hems off, fold twice but leave 1 inch margin at far side
Cut the fabric into strips, stopping at the margin. Cut all the way across only when you reach the sleeves.
Cut the fabric into strips, stopping at the margin. Cut all the way across only when you reach the sleeves.
Open out the fabric and join into one long string by cutting across the margin from one strip to the next.
Open out the fabric and join into one long string by cutting across the margin from one strip to the next.
Pull the fabric into one long string
Pull the fabric into one long string
A big pile of t-shirt spaghetti!
A big pile of t-shirt spaghetti!
Make into a ball
Make into a ball
My different colours of t-shirt yarn ready to crochet
My different colours of t-shirt yarn ready to crochet

The rug is worked in double crochet (UK) throughout in a continuous spiral, increasing where necessary to keep the oval shape and to keep the work flat. I did have to find some extra t-shirts when I realised it was going to end up smaller than I’d wanted. I put the call out to my friends at work and I was offered 3 white t-shirts that had belonged to of one of their husbands and were in the bag to go to the charity shop! I started off using a plastic 12mm hook that I bought on ebay but then for Christmas I was given a set of bamboo hooks and I found it much easier for some reason with the bamboo hook of the same size – it didn’t make my hand hurt so much.

Starting chain
Starting chain
Colour change
Colour change
Finished article!
Finished article!
Up-close
Up-close

I used each ball of yarn until it was nearly finished then tied on the new ball with a figure of eight knot. As I continued on with the new colour I’d catch the knotted ends in the next stitch so they don’t show too much. For the last coloured section at the outside I ended up going back to the bits of left-over t-shirt – the neck and sleeves. To get the most out of these I cut them into short strips, pulled them into string and tied them together as before. This results in a yarn with lots of knots but they can be hidden in the work in the same way as before. When I’d finally almost run out of yarn I finished off and darned the end in the reverse side of the rug. I also made sure that any tails from the knots that were still sticking out were pulled through the stitches on the back to neaten it up. I’m pretty pleased with my finished product which is a great way of up cycling old t-shirts otherwise destined for the charity shop or the bin, into something new and useful for the home! I’m sure you could make other things with this t-shirt yarn, like maybe a pouffe for your sitting room. I’d love to hear your comments and if anyone else has had a go at this sort of method?