Monday, 28 January 2013

Stash Busting Month 1!

The end of this month has appeared rather rapidly.
Having organised my stash, rediscovered some wonderful yarns and wandered around many new and fascinating blogs I have only two finished projects but lots of ideas!

Realising that I have a reluctance to start new projects that are important to me I have decided to have something on the go as a background project, that can be picked up and put down easily, can be done with only a little concentration and does not have a deadline.
So here is the first of those projects

 a granny style scarf made with two colours of donated acrylic from my stash.
The pattern is another of Ana's
it grew really fast, flowed easily from the hook and it has used 124g of yarn.

So my total for January is 90g Tequila scarf, 4g accompanying flower brooch, and 124g Granny scarf

I have started a new scarf..but I know that the other projects I have in mind are a little less large so February will be a smaller but more varied total!!

Thanks to everyone joining in the challenge for your comments and exciting blogs - and big thanks to Linda and Ana for all the organising, inspiration and support.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Tequila scarf! SB1

You may have noticed I am a lover of colour and always on the look out for bright rainbows.
I started using Sirdar Summer Stripes for my Easter egg pattern and loving such bright colours acquired some more for Tracey's Boho scarf
I'm sure some of you can identify with the notion of needing to have more than enough wool to finish a project, and the principal of  'as its on offer I can buy some more  - there are lots of projects I can use this for..'

I did try using Summer Stripes for washcloths - but found other cotton yarn that did  a slightly better job and invested in lots of that too!
At the beginning of the Stash Buster challenge I spotted a beautiful scarf on Ana's blog that I thought would be the perfect match for some Summer stripes.

As I'd been hooking a lot of granny squares I substituted 3 trebles and 3 chains in the middle. This made for a beautiful pattern whilst creating, which I had hoped would have been evident on the ends..more of that later. Being a novice I didn't anticipate the extra volume it would add so there is a slight bulginess to the centre - I'm hoping that might give an extra dimension when worn!!
 Not knowing how much yarn would be needed for the scarf  I just kept going until the end of the first ball. This revealed the pattern of the colours and it became evident that the second ball was similarly striped so a little planning was needed to achieve the maximum colour impact. 
There's a lot of pink...

 ...which I thought should probably form the middle of the scarf thus giving the ends brighter colours. So a second scarf was started with the second ball, and a way of joining the two was devised by straightening the beautiful wiggly edges just before the join. Although the patterned edge was lost I'd had the pleasure of seeing it on every row  - and remembered to capture it on camera so you could see it too!

There had also been a eureka moment for the ends - the colour of the yarn is Tequila - I'd thought of an accompanying worm...but then the light bulb ping!
Lime -  so each end has some slices of lime!

It weighs 90g and the accompanying flower 4g! So nearly 100g busted!

The whole scarf was made with someone in mind, and I really enjoyed making it - as its cotton blend I'm not sure how warm it will be in our current sub-zero midlands temperatures - but as a spring scarf it will come into its own!
I know she has been reading the blog recently so....
Cheers! Hope you have a colourful Happy Birthday S xxx

Monday, 21 January 2013

Low-tech Laptops

...for longhand logging!

 Its nearly a year since the wonderful stabstitch workshop and here is my dream finally in production!

 Some of these pieces of felt have become felty front covered notebooks

A few of the goodies from Beckys giveaway being put to good use!

Back covers of wrapping paper - one of Lu Summers beautiful designs...

stuffed with secret cereal box strengtheners securing sturdiness!

There are little individual surprises in each one applying to the recipient!

Hopefully there will be more in production soon - I have located some better equipment to create the holes...and I have ideas for the remnants and offcuts!
Helen has a comprehensive photo tutorial and lots of other ideas if you'd like to have a stab at a notebook!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Crochet Christmas gifts...

As stash busting of a woollen kind has begun I thought I would organise my stash of photos. There were quite a few that were lurking waiting for a blog slot  - so this is the first of a couple of updates.

 These colourful teddies , just a crochet circle with a few extra stitches for ears, all had a little woolly hanger..

Their features are needlefelted.... some look happier to be photographed than others!!

Lulu Loves made some pretty granny pincushions...just as I was in my granny rhythm.

 I had collected lavender from our garden (and mum had donated a considerable amount from hers) with the intention of making some scented bags and this seemed an ideal style. 
The heart is my own pattern, the flower Tracey's and all the yarn is Rowan handknit cotton - so soft and colourful.
Each motif is attached in the centre which makes the edges curl up and add an extra dimension.
 The lavender is encased in little packages hand sewn from an old shirt!

A couple of red and green granny scented sachets with a triangular crocheted Christmas tree motif, and a red sparkly heart shaped one were wrapped and given before I realised they'd escaped the camera!

Can you guess what this is?

The mini hexagon motif is from Bunny Mummy's blog and was quick and easy to hook.

There are equal numbers of pink, turquoise and  variegated hexagons (that have both colours and a few extras)...

By using the variegated yarn to join and finish the scarf a feature was made of the stitching and the double crochet border makes it a bit more sturdy.

A flower scarf for a special friend!

RW Junior is a big fan of Jaffa Cakes so I hooked this woolly one! 
The recipe: One chocolatey cotton crochet circle, a smaller square of double crochet sewn on top with orange wool sandwiched between the circle and square. A second spongy biscuit coloured circle stitched to the chocolate one and lightly stuffed!

Such Fun!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Stash Busting

 I had some wonderful wool for Christmas, a 100g hank of Rainbow DK from Sara's Texture crafts..

The mini skein was loved so much I suggested I might like a full size family member under the Christmas tree. It is beautifully soft and so colourful. I will have to wait for a visit from my mum to wind it into a ball...I have learned my lesson and hope two winders will be better than one!

I also had some wash and felt wool in fabulous colours and some mohair blend in earthy tones.

 In the run up to Christmas my fairly organised collection of wooliness had become a bit of a random heap. 
I work from bags - organising each project into a hessian or hand made bag,

however some balls had hopped from their home package to another, some bags were stuffed to overflowing, cotton and wool yarns combined in containers and in the end I ran out of stashing bags...eek!
Everything was left in its pre-Christmas shambles and when the decorations were safely stowed in their new home the conglomeration of colour could be tackled.
Amazingly as I procrastinated Linda and Ana created the Stash Buster Challenge, so my organising had a new purpose! 
I was going to begin  my stash busting confession with an apology...being relatively new to crochet and a reluctant simple knitter I didn't think I would have an impressive stash.
However I was equally impressed and appalled by the amount I had amassed over a short period if time!

It has now been divided into pure wool...some of which I use for wet or needlefelted projects

Felting wool for future felted crochet


Pure wool in neutral colours - mostly hand spun by a friend,

A ball of very chunky acrylic destined for a still is 
but I changed my mind on the style for the recipient so it will be hooked for next year...

These are earmarked for something I mentioned ages ago..

Short ends - I began collecting these from friends when I started felting..they are so useful!

cottons...two missed the photo call as they were lurking in the depths of a bag!

and last but not least Summer Stripes - I bought quite a bit in the sales last year for Easter eggs and for Tracey's Boho scarf...

The stash busting has begun with the zingy Summer Stripes  hooking a  pretty pattern appropriately from Ana's blog. I have added a slight tweak in my homage to granny style and it is coming along..
A by-product of photographing the beautiful bounty is a record of  yarns without having to root around and an accessible reminder of colours so I don't have to race out and buy more only to find I have repeated myself!

There are plenty of ideas in store for some of my other balls - however I am really looking forward to seeing how other like minded stash busters tackle their treasure troves.

Emma has written a timely and wonderfully illustrated piece on organising which has inspired me to show you the bag I use for my hooks and stuff!

In the late 70s early 80s I had an amazing smock type dress which had a decorative panel at  the top. From the same shop, which I recall was a fair way from home, I was given a bag with the matching material and almost identical panel. The dress is long gone - alas I grew out of it - it may have come back into fashion a couple of time since! However the empty bag has travelled with me in various boxes patiently waiting for a purpose.

 Its the ideal size and shape for all my hooks and paraphernalia and holds many happy memories too!

Looking forward to stash busting and sharing lots of fun creations with fellow yarn and woolly lovers!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

2013..full of possibilities

 Happy New Year!

We always have an enjoyable but busy Christmas and New Year with family,
so it takes me a while to get back into the swing of things!
However I have been cooking up some ideas along with the steaming sprouts...
and in no particular order
this year I would like to:

take more photos - I realised how few I had taken of Christmas and New Year celebrations,

New Years Day stroll
 several Christmas presents were given without recording their creation...
and last spring I was stumped (pardon the pun)

when the beautiful cherry tree I had been meaning  to photograph in full bloom for years was felled before flowering;

write more snail mail, keeping in touch by traditional methods!
and hopefully reply to comments on my blog..I really appreciate the time everyone takes to comment on my posts and I often compose immediate my head - perhaps I should try letting you know how much I enjoy your thoughts!

update the photo montage...its eleven months since I learned to crochet and there isn't a single hooked stitch above!

start making Christmas presents earlier - I always underestimate the amount of  time it takes, not to make the pieces but to finish them!

stash bust - with Linda, Ana, and other like minded yarn lovers!


Yarn bomb...I'd love to have the confidence to do so - a tentative start was made when a couple of us left some pink flowers in the park in memory of a friend;

create more free form crochet, patterns and fusion of felt and crochet combos...

Looking forward to seeing everything you have planned for 2013 and viewing those exciting unplanned events too!