Just a quickie!

Been busy so just a quick look at my latest finished project.

Some of you may have remembered these. first pair of socksAnd how I said that as they were so short (as requested) that I had almost enough to make another pair.

And so I bought this. sock woolWell here are the second pair! new pair of socksDelivered and appreciated!


Knitting and Crochet journal

This post was inspired by a reply to a comment I made to this post on https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/scrap-happy-adventures-with-junk/which was about creating a ‘junk journal’.

I have a journal but mine is quite different.

The photographs you see are of pages in the order they occur in the book (obviously they are a very small selection). I took the photographs quickly on the floor of my study on a sunny day. (Taking more than one and making them perfect seemed too much of an effort!)

Now my son has a tendency to buy me quirky presents sometimes and they are often tech related. One birthday or Christmas he bought me this. Polaroid printerIt is a small printer that prints tiny prints straight from a camera. The prints are sticky under a backing. At the time I really wondered what I might use it for but I kept it. However it has proved invaluable for creating pictures for my journal.

Now my younger daughter one birthday or Christmas bought me a book with blank pages journal coverfrom Paperchase: a shop that sells mainly decorative paper products. I really love the way three of the butterflies have movable wings.

I shared my attempt to make a copy of this book for my daughter HERE.

Again I wasn’t sure what to use it for but then I had a brainwave and my Knitting and Crochet Projects journal was born.

Here is the first page. I start with a few basics for reference.first page

And then I move on to a few charts and instructions for making basic things. Like my own way of making Granny Squares. diagramsI have never made a Granny Rectangle but, if I do, I have a reference to the way I liked best here!

I also added diagrams of how to do the ‘Magic Loop’ a name shared by both knitting and crochet for quite different things.more diagrams

Now I planned to use black ink for crochet and blue for knitting but you can see I am already forgetting!

This is my first project: a hexagon blanket based on a pattern on the Attic24 blog

first projectYou can see I include charts where it seems to help or save space. They are not always in colour and sometimes I try and photograph them off the screen and include as photos but that is less successful.

Here is a knitting chart that I worked out to create a pattern of adjoining hexagons with three different textures. knitting chartI included a photograph of the hat and scarf where I used it.

Sometimes it is impossible to include details of all the patterns but it is still useful to have a record. Here are details of a doll I made for one of my grandsons.

photographs of doll

When I make socks I like to wait till I have a few pairs and record the basic details. Up to now I have always used a toe-up method with short-row toes and heels.
lots of socksSometimes I want the book to contain details of a complicated pattern I have created, so much, that I add in a printout.adding a printout

I include the details of things I have made from other people’s patterns as well as my own.other people's patternsI have a red A4 folder which is full of printouts of other peoples patterns and also some of my own ones as a supplement to this, so if I want to make more seahorses, the pattern is there, but here I have added details of how I made the finished hanging.

This is where I am about to add details of another make.starting a new entryI cannot write straight easily so I start by drawing pencil lines that I rub out later. Also the book is always behind where I am, so every so often I spend a morning catching up!

At the back of the book, working forwards, I make a list of projects I have in mind for the future. This is the first two pages of this: one for knitting and one for crochet. future projectsYou can see I have completed all the crochet ones but still have not done all the knitting ones. Of course not all projects get listed here only ones I may make in the future and don’t wish to forget.

I am now three quarters of the way through the book but recently my daughter bought me another book from Paperchase. new journal cover

So I have somewhere to continue when I finish this one!


Projects for life!

I seem to have been spending rather a lot on yarn lately but all with good ideas for using it!

I bought what I thought was enough for the slippers. More on this.

And I also needed a 7mm or (knowing me) an 8mm hook. So since they were relatively cheap and as I wanted different colours if possible I decided to buy an 9mm and 10mm hook at the same time. crochet hooks

Because they are thick I find them as comfortable as my Clover Amour hooks to use.

Now I had plans to make some more socks for my daughter and granddaughter like they had beforedaughter's socksgranddaughter's socks

but with different colour toes and heels so it seemed a good time to buy this. sock wool

And while I was about it, since it would mean I didn’t have to pay postage (so it makes them virtually half price!), I decided to buy some of the new Stylecraft colours. Stylecraft yarnI like having different blues and greens to choose from and the buttermilk will do for my dinosaur.

Maybe that would have been enough for now but then I discovered (don’t tell James!) that I didn’t have enough for the slippers because I hadn’t realised that the slippers would need to be scaled up more than I had estimated, especially with regard to width. Luckily the yarn was now reduced and I could get the same dye lot. Drops AlaskaTwo more should be more than enough but I bought three again as the cheapest way to get just above the ‘free postage’ figure and it is great yarn and I am sure I can use it for something, maybe with the same sort of yarn left over from this. cardiganThis jumper looks more grey than this! In fact as I had over estimated I used it for my cushioncushion

where you get a better idea of the colour. I still have almost a whole ball left over.

And then as I browsed. I fell in love with this sock yarn. fancy sock woolNow I had promised myself that I would only make socks from yarn I had already but this looked so amazing in the pictures of made up sock; I just had to buy some.

I am very fond of this crochet hat. crochet hatI wear it more than any other; just pull it on. But it does need a wash sometimes so I planned to make another in rainbow colours and I found this.

rainbow yarn

I bought two balls because I am not sure if one will be enough and if it is, someone else might like a similar hat! or I could make mittens!
Now I wouldn’t have got up to the free postage amount just with that but I needed some more Stylecraft colours for a blanket I have in mind to make (mostly from leftover yarn I have already but some colour amounts are too small.) So I bought this. Stylecraft yarn

The red will also be useful for some poppies I am going to make.

And lastly

On Saturday I went to Haskins garden centre and came back with these. plantsHobbycraft is next door so I had to go and have a look around. I fell in love with this jumper! pattern(A lot of falling in love lately!) I was about to leave the pattern there for another time but then I saw they were selling the yarn as 3 for 2. So I bought three balls, just like the picture. Marble chunky yarnI used this type of yarn yarn for a shrug earlier shrugand although it is acrylic it is comfortable to wear and work with.



April Montage

In April I once more shared a lot of cooking and flowers. There were the Hot Cross buns and Simnel muffins I made for Easter time and a couple of loaves of bread. The same ideal recipe but first as a Farmhouse loaf and then as more of a Bap shape. Now able to get out into the garden, from the middle of the month, I created a few flower portraits.April montageI also managed to fit in some knitting and crochet. I made one of my Celtic Coasters as an Easter present for someone who doesn’t like chocolate. (I know how can you not like chocolate!) And for knitting I made a pair of socks from the wool left over from two other pairs of socks made with similar yarn. I was pleased with how they turned out and aim to make similar socks with other leftover sock wool. Finally I manged to get round to completing my latest cushion.

And although I don’t normally add other things to my monthly montage posts. Since this replaces my normal Monday post, I will add some photographs of things that have made me happy this last weekend.

Here is yet another loaf of bread. Made from my favourite recipe: half white and half wholemeal this time. half and half breadAnd here is my breakfast! breakfast(Interestingly, I realised that although I don’t buy much organic produce, the flour for the bread, the peanut butter and the honey are all organic, either bought because I like it or because it was a good price.

And lastly a photograph of my apple tree full of blossom. apple treeThis is maybe my favourite time of year: seeing the apple blossom and the forget-me-nots and, in my previous garden, the bluebells, all at the same time.

At Last! I finished my cushion

I have really been procrastinating with regard to sewing up the two sides of my latest cushion.Celtic crochet knot work for cushion and Celtic knitted cables for cushionMainly because I am never confident when it comes to sewing and I thought that I ought to wait till I was feeling really strong and alert, however last Friday I had nothing to take to “Crafty Coffee” and so was reduced to taking the two sides of the cushion to sew together.

I am glad I did as it is now off my conscience and brightening up my chair!

Here you can see the Celtic crochet knot work side cushion on chairI notice that the cushion is so puffy that the strips are tending to pull apart and show the inner but I don’t think it matters.

And here is the Celtic knitted cables side. cushion on chairI think it looks very smart!

In order to close it in a way that made it easy to remove the cover if it ever became necessary, I crocheted an extra strip to the cable side and sewed on three odd buttons that I had in my button jar. cushion closureAnd lastly: on Saturday, as if by magic, the apple blossom appeared on the apple tree. 

Past and future!

Had a bit of a funny week. On Monday I saw the consultant prior to my fourth and final chemo cycle. He decided that I should not have the infusion this time, only the tablets which left me both relieved and anxious. Relieved that I wouldn’t have to face the increasingly unpleasant side effects and anxious in case it lowered my chances of survival. I was just coming to terms with the fact that this meant I could eat cold food and go out walking when I began to go down with a virus. One of those funny viruses where there aren’t many outward symptoms but you just feel rotten.

Anyway in spite of all this I have put a post together for you.

You may have noticed that most of my posts lately have included crafting and bread and flowers. This is because these are the three things that keep make me happy and keep me smiling!

I will start with the bread this time, but scroll to the bottom if you are not interested in this part.

I decided to make a loaf like last time but to make it like the bap loaves I remembered from childhood. However I was so anxious that it didn’t get as flat as a pancake, because the dough was so soft that it was actually not quite flat enough. bap loafHowever the bread was good. here are three slices for my breakfast! 3 slices of breadTwo other things that have been lifting my spirits are the fact that when I do go out I come home to these forget-me-nots in some pots in the front garden (or front step as my younger daughter would have it!). forget-me-nots in potsThey are not really meant to be there but I haven’t had the heart to uproot them.

forget-me-notsso pretty – and an arty version. arty pictureAnd when I look out of the sitting room window when sitting on the settee, I can see the buds coming on my apple tree. apple tree in budHere’s a close up. buds openingI haven’t been feeling up to doing much crochet and haven’t any knitting but I have been thinking about future projects.

There are these slippers to make for James. slippersAnother thing I am planning to do is to buy some plain sock wool when I buy the yarn for the slippers.

I made these socks – socks for daughterand thesesocks for granddaughter

for my daughter and granddaughter. Since they like short socks, I reckon I have enough wool left to make another similar sized pair if I use different wool for the toes and heels.

More long term projects

I also have an idea for using up my scraps of yarn by making a cover for my cloth shopping bag.

It’s the one you can see in this photograph, though more grubby now! It will more than double it’s weight but will make it look pretty. So do I do it?

cloth bag

I used a scrap of yarn to make this piece of corner to corner crochet.corner to corner crochetAnd have used it to work out how much yarn I will need for the project. However I may still decide to use the idea for something else as I am not sure if I have that much scrap yarn.

I have also been working on an idea for another blanket. There is something very soothing about making a blanket. I just love ripples, so this is another ripple blanket in Autumn colours. I have been playing with different colour arrangements: something planned this time, not random. The idea is to make one the same size as my sea and sand blanket; i.e about 2ft x 4ft.

I have come up with two ideas, though I have not decided exactly which yellow and greens I want to use, especially as Stylecraft seem to have added quite a lot of new colours.1st colourwayThis was the first one, though of course I can’t get the colours spot on, yellow seems particularly hard to reproduce but maybe I just don’t know the right setting.

Later I wondered if this would be better. 2nd colourwayBoth pictures started out as a photograph of actual wrapped pieces of Stylecraft yarn. I suppose it was the lighting when I took the photographs, but the second one has a different texture.

Which colour way do you prefer?

Finally my hybrid socks!

I have finally manged to finish the hybrid socks I started after finishing the rainbow ones. Hybrid because I used the left over yarn from my recent mini mochi socks and that left over from the pale rainbow ones I made years ago. mini mochi 2 sorts of yarnHere they are. hybrid socks

I was rather pleased that they came out so long as I wasn’t sure how long that would be. You can see from the odd orange part on one sock that because there was, for some reason, more yarn left over on one ball, I decided rather than waste it to use if for the other sock. This of course adds an extra half inch.

Here is one of the socks laid over the earlier ones. sock length comparison

Unlike the ‘Rainbow Socks’ I feel I can start wearing these right away!

And, for anyone who might be interested, I can’t resist sharing a photograph of my most recent and possible ideal, at least for me, loaf of bread. latest bread

I have always preferred soft rolls to crusty ones and in fact my favourite bread when I was a child was a bap. The artisan bread I have made tends to have a crust that is lovely straight out of the oven but later just seems rather hard, especially for my bread knife. Now the milk bread I made had a much softer crust but the texture was a little cake-like, so I thought I would try the same recipe but using half milk and half water. The result had a thin easy to cut crust and a proper bread like texture.

Interestingly I have a recipe in my bread book for a Scottish Bap and that is half milk and half water. I am making some pizza bases as I write this and next would like to try some foccacia!

And finally a few photos from my garden.

I was delighted to see that the one bed was full of scilla siberica scilla sibericaand the primroses were also coming on nicely. primroses

There are some more, not yet in flower, further along.

I was also pleased to see that the Lenten Roses are doing very well even after all that snow. Lenten roses

Montage – March

Another month gone! This month had a little knitting and a lot of photographs of bread and snow. Not in the same photograph!

The knitting was the finished cable side of my cushion (and no I haven’t sewn the cushion up yet!) and a pair of rainbow socks. I also showed you the beginning of what I called a ‘hybrid’ pair of socks made with two lots of leftover sock yarn. Monthly montageI managed to sneak in five (I now realise!) photograph of different loaves. Three of white bread, one brioche and one wholemeal.

There was an incredible amount of snow (for Southampton) this month and I shared enumerable photographs of snow in my garden; not wonderful photographs just a record of conditions. I also talked about the need to prune the fuchsias with pictures. When I was able to get out I did take a few slightly more interesting snowy photographs.

Rainbow socks! Yay!

I have finally finished my rainbow socks and I thought I would share them with you. Rainbow socksI like the way the colours of each sock compare. colour comparisonAnd here I am wearing them. socks from aboveor socks from the frontBut at the moment I am not sure when to actually wear them as I know they will not look as good once they are washed, even hand washed. So at present I am saving them for a special occasion!

I have started my hybrid socks and got this far with one of them. hybrid sockI am now starting the other one, as it makes sense to make them in parallel if I am going to make best use of a relatively small amount of yarn.

I cut the rainbow wool when I got to the heel but I realise (I think I knew already when I wasn’t feeling unwell!) that this isn’t necessary, though it did mean I didn’t have two balls of yarn attached to get tangled.

Montage – January

At last I have put together the montage for January. I added December to the menu item but when I looked I discovered that all I shared in December was the November montage and a picture of my Christmas roses. So no normal montage for December.

In January I put together three montages for the best of my work in 2017. There were so many things I had made that I separated them out into Celtic crochet, other crochet and knitting.

I also shared all the cooking I had done in preparation for Christmas plus a recent loaf of bread.

January montageOf course I never got to celebrate Christmas as I was in hospital but I shared a quick post about that.

The only crafting I did was knitting. I showed you a pair of socks I had just finished and another pair I was just starting. Lovely easy knitting socks!