A beautiful bag

I have just completed the project I started after I had finished the cloth for the dining table. I wanted something that would be easy on my hands and this bag has been on my to-do list for quite some time.Finished bagI have made two bags before.

This one was a present and a trial before making my hexagon blanketShopping bagand this is one that I use for my knitting or crochet projects.Lucy bagFor the first I used a cotton shopping bag from John Lewis as a lining and the second bag had no lining. So this is the first time that I have actually made a bag where I had to make a lining.

This bag was one I first saw made by Jill – https://jillgoldberg19.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/my-big-fat-granny-bag/

The pattern is on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/29-210-44-striped-bag

Of course with it basically being a granny square with thirty rows. I couldn’t resist the temptation to use my fifteen ‘spectrum colours’, two rows each.

Having recently seen a post by someone saying how they reversed direction every row because it made a granny square square and knowing that if you went round and round it was hard to keep the square square, as when I made the doll blanket.Doll blanketI reversed direction for this even though the chart showed it being made just round and round.

And I was pleased with the result. Here is the granny square.Granny squareThe corners are curling at the top because I finished the square in the early evening and went on to do one of the gathering edges.

And here is the inside. I got the fabric for free one Friday when someone had fabric they wanted to get rid of at the Craft group.Inside bagand another view.Inside of bag other wayI’ve already started on another project but as it will be a present I won’t be able to show you it for quite a while.

 

 

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The reveal!

Here is my nice new – Tea cosy.

New tea cosySandy Crump-Dawson did suggest a tea cosy as one of two guesses, other people suggested things that were plausible like a purse or hot water bottle cover.

I came across the pattern when I saw someone at my Friday craft group making one. She gave me a link to the pattern – http://crochetroo.blogspot.co.uk/2006/05/scallop-tea-cosy-instructions.html . The instructions contain a picture of a rainbow inspired cosy but with the colours going the other way. That of course decided me. I had to make one, and soon!

I don’t normally use a teapot when making tea just for me but in the summer I like to sit in the sun and be really elegant with a teapot and one of my Portmeirion tea cups.

Tea tray

I liked this Bodum teapot as it has a plunger to isolate the tea leaves when the tea has brewed so the tea doesn’t stew.

Bodum teapot

I already had a cover for my teapot that I had made some time ago as a sampler of a slip stitch knitting pattern but it is very thin and now and a bit stained. This one will be so much better at keeping the tea hot on my lazy summer afternoons.

Old tea cosyAs you can see the tea pot doesn’t really have a spout. So after a bit of thought I decided to make the tea cosy without a hole for the spout and so I will lift it up to pour the tea.

SpoutI also decided that the smaller piece could be worked up into a cosy for my other teapot when I have time. This one is part of a steel tea set and I use it for guests.

Steel teapot

 

 

What do you think………….

…………..this is going to be?

0326-puzzlepiecesI would have liked to show you the finished item but I still have a little way to go.

I am using my ‘spectrum’ colours that are so much more versatile for things like this than the standard ‘rainbow’ ones.

As an extra clue – I started with the piece below when I was away from home but when I got home I realised that it was not big enough and had to start again.

0326-firstattempt

Sea and Sand blanket completed

I’ve just had a very exhausting but fun  week with my granddaughter but I have so many photographs to show you that I need a bit more time so I decided that I will show you something that I completed just before my granddaughter arrived.

My sea and sand blanket

Here it is folded up on the camphor wood chest.

Finished blanket folded

It is a miserable day today but luckily when I had finished the body of the blanket it was bright and dry so I took a photograph of the whole thing on some outside paving below a window.

Body of blanket completed
This will enlarge for a closer look!

I wanted to give it a border and my first thought was to use white but then I thought that white may get grubby easily and spoil the look so I settled for turquoise.

A row of crab stitches
Edge of hexagon blanket
Spectrum ripple blanket
Spectrum ripple blanket

My first thought had been to use crab stitch as in my hexagon blanket but I tried a small sample and it didn’t work.
I also wanted this border to enhance rather than detract from the ripply nature of the blanket so far from filling in the ripples to give a straight border as I had done with my spectrum ripple blanket, I did a couple of rows of double crochet (US – sc) along the ripples and created a ripply edge up the sides.

Blanket with ripple edge

The pattern does have a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side.

Right –

Right side of blanketand Wrong –

Wrong side of blanket

But they are both attractive.

I think that this pattern makes a really lovely blanket and I hope my daughter likes it.

Another cushion cover!

[The colours in these photographs are not completely true to life I am afraid. Some are better than others.]

I’ve finished the cushion I wanted to make with the leftover yarn from my spectrum granny ripple blanket.

I started using one colour for each row and was very pleased with the effect.

0220-firsthalf

But then when I got half-way, I thought it might be interesting to make the other side with mixed up colours and using the normal double rows of each colour, since of course that is the only way to make each coloured stripe the same. So that is what I did.

0220-secondhalf

Now the five ripples were just a little bit narrower than was ideal for the cushion pad I had (though six ripples would have been too much) so I worked down the two sides with a row of dcs (US scs) two to each row of stitches to give a firm edge and then finished off with a row of trebles (US dcs) to give a bit more width.

Here is the whole piece.

0220-wholecover

The last royal blue double stripe was designed to cover the ’emperor’ and ‘royal’ rows at the start to give a seamless look.

Never a fan of sewing (since I am not very good at it) I chose to join the two sides together with dcs (US scs) worked through the stitches of both edges.

Now I had decided to try an idea I had had for a long time when thinking of making cushions. This was that when joining the two sides it might look good to finish off with crab stitch like I did for my hexagon blanket to give a corded look to the edge.

A row of crab stitches
A row of crab stitches

Now normally when I do crab stitch I work my row of dcs (US scs) and then just reverse direction and work the crab stitch back along the row.

I started doing this only to realise that crab stitch and dcs do have a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side just like trebles and that I had done the row of dcs with the wide stripes as ‘right’ side not the spectrum side.

Rather than undo the whole join, I decided to see what would happen if I worked the crab stitch from the other end so that the ‘wrong’ side of the dcs was married to the ‘right’ side of the crab stitch and vice versa. I decided that this actually evened out the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ look and worked well.

So here is the spectrum ‘right’ side

0220-edgefront

and the reverse

0220-edgeback

Another thing worth noting is that on my hexagon blanket the edge seems to have a little bit of a ripple and I always thought it was because when working the crab stitch I hadn’t bothered to make allowance for the irregular edge but with the cushion I was noticing the same so I changed down to a smaller hook – 3.5mm, from the 4mm that I had used for the rest of the cushion, and that solved the problem.

And here is the finished cushion –

Right side

0220-cushionfront

And the back /alternative side.

0220-cushionback)

I rather liked the way the rows go when you use a different colour for each row, with the alternation of level and thickness.

0220-closeup

I joined the cover with four little buttons. I have yet to use buttons as a feature in the things I make and the join was meant to be as unobtrusive as possible.

0220-buttonrow

Here’s a close up

0220-twobuttons

I just have a few tiny balls of yarn left.

0220-scraps

I think I rather like this cushion making. As much fun as blankets in choosing pattern and colours but so much quicker. 🙂

My Spectrum Granny Ripple blanket is finished!

0197-bedangled
I have finally finished my Spectrum Granny Ripple blanket after almost a year, just in time for winter!

I had expected that it would take me a few more days because I had planned a few more rows for the border but when I had completed the last of the spectrum rows I knew that that was it and I am so pleased with it.

It was hard to find somewhere to spread it out but here is a photograph of the whole blanket that (unlike my usual photographs) will enlarge if you want a closer look.

0197-finishedlarge
And a view from the foot of the bed

0197-onbed

In many ways the colours are best in this picture. The light was soooo bad when I wanted to take these photos.

And another closer look.

0197-onbedcloser

I do have plans for another blanket, for my younger daughter this time: something she can snuggle up on the sofa with but I am not going to start it yet, maybe in the Spring.

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And not totally unrelated……..

You may remember some time ago I shared with you the phone cover I had made for my son.

0146-phonecover

He had had a free choice of both stitches and colours but a few weeks ago he told me that he had decided that the phone cover was rather boring and he wished he had asked for one like the rainbow one I had made.

0122-rainbowcover

So once I had finsihed my spectrum blanket, I used some of the scraps that were left over to make a new cover for him using the same number of rows and stitches as previously.

For speed and ease, I used the same cotton inner lining which I unstitched from the original cover and re stitched to the new.0197-phonecover2

I’m feeling so happy! :-)

I have finally finished the spectrum body of my granny ripple blanket.

0183-bodyfinishedsmaller

And a closer look –

0183-bodyfinished

I have also found a parallel way of filling in the ripples at the top

0183-topfilled

and the bottom

0183-bottomfilled

And though it is not really worth a photo, I have completed one round of a granny style edging that is to be the basis of rows of straight trebles and finished all the ends to date.

Now I can relax. Turn my attention to some other things that need doing, knowing that the blanket edging is there to return to as and when I have time.

I am making the blanket for my bed but when I have seen it bundled up on the settee I think that maybe it would have been nice as a snuggle up in the evenings blanket.

0183-bundled

Granny Ripple update

I have my granddaughter staying at present so I don’t have much time for writing a post but I thought that I would show you one of the things I have been working on lately.

Since I put the CAL blanket squares aside, I decided that I ought to get a bit further with my granny ripple blanket that I haven’t touched for weeks.

Last time I showed you how I was getting on it looked like this:-

00112-blanket

Soon after this it was overtaken by the need to do other things.

But now I have got this far:-

0176-grannyrippleblanketnow

Here it is spread on my bed over the hexagon blanket.

And a closer look —————

0176-blanketcloser

It is going to have quite a substantial border so I am not sure that I can be said to be even half way through.

Granny Ripple blanket latest and more

I am beginning to see that writing a blog in the winter is tricky if one doesn’t like using flash for photographs.

The light has been so bad today that even at it’s best I had to resort to flash to photograph the furthest I have got with the granny ripple blanket, my scarf and the yarn.

I have been working hard on the blanket since my last post inspite of life being busier than normal and after two days I had got this far and felt so pleased that it was coming out as I had hoped.

To date the picture below shows the furthest I have got and you can see how the colours will go. I have just begun on the spectrum colours with the ‘violet’ end of the spectrum.

I am regarding this as a pleasant, relaxing, background project as I am starting it much too late for this winter. I have various other short term project that I will be doing as well over the next few months and of course there is the CAL but I will post occasional updates on the blanket’s progress.

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Another thing to share with you concerns the scarf I made from the super chunky yarn my daughter gave me for my birthday.

When I first made the scarf this was how I wore it which made me wonder if I should have made it longer so that the weight would keep it in place.

However since I have been wearing it for real, I  realise that as the scarf is so thick, the traditional knot method of wearing a scarf actually works very well and this way it is just the right length.

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The last thing to share is that I have just taken delivery of some more yarn:

some colours I fear I may run out of for the CAL, white because I used most of it up making the snowflakes and two new colours that I want to use for an experiment in joining the CAL squares together. If and when I get around to that I will show you.

Genesis of a Granny ripple

In July I showed you the yarn I had bought for my next blanket.

Well it has taken me longer than I expected to get started but here is the story if how I decided on the pattern I would use.

While I was still making my hexagon blanket my mind was already looking forward to the next blanket I would make.

I decided that the choice was between a granny stripe and a ripple blanket but wasn’t sure which, so I made a couple of samplers as cafetiere cosies. I decided that I preferred the feel of the granny stripe but liked the look of the ripple though I might have preferred bigger ripples. So the idea of seeing if I could make a ‘granny ripple’ was born.

I like a challenge so I decided I wouldn’t look for patterns but try to work up my own.

My first attempt at a sampler turned out like this:-

I felt it was more of a granny zig-zag than granny ripple and that the zig-zags were too frenetic so I tried again:–

I thought this was better but it was still a zig-zag rather than a ripple.

I knew that it was the double increases and decreases that had created the pleasant ripples in the pattern I used for the cafetiere and so far I had been unable to see how to incorporate more than one in a granny blanket. But then I had a breakthrough and realised that the problem was that the granny rows alternated between an odd and even number of treble groups whereas for the ripple blanket all the rows were the same. So I decided to only work the increases and decreases every other row.

Success!


I had decided to interleave the colours as in some of the ripple blankets I had seen.

Later I wasn’t sure if the way I had worked the increases and decreases was less symmetrical than that on the ripple blanket and so I tried a few variations:-

The middle is the first one – the one I shall use

But decided it was a case of ‘first time lucky’ and that I liked the first one best.

Then I tried another version of the above ripple but interleaving the colours in a 1 2 4 2 1 pattern instead of a 2 4 2 pattern but I have decided that I find the single rows a bit bitty.

Finally I decided to reverse the rows as worked originally so as to start with the easy row with no increases or decreases as seen below.

I have decided the colours and showed you them in THIS POST

namely

As you can see it is going to incorporate a spectrum array of colours and will use Stylecraft  DK yarn and it will be a little larger than the last blanket so as to be more of a winter bedcover.

I will hopefully have finished enough of the blanket by next week to show you how it is getting along.

An edging would be appropriate for this pattern

I have not yet decided exactly what I am going to do for an edging but it seems to me that you could either use trebles singly or in groups or double crochets for a firmer edge.

I am planning quite a deep edging.