Saturday 27 September 2014

Ordinary Day

♥ The view from my kitchen window 

♥ My pyracantha which was planted years ago FINALLY has some berries ♥

♥ Little daisies pushing up despite the autumn chill ♥

♥ A geranium in the garden defying the seasons ♥

♥ Fresh flowers from the supermarket ♥

♥ Gloriously shiny conkers ♥

♥ New crochet magazines <swoon> ♥

♥ Perfect little posy from the garden ♥

♥ Calming crochet to end the day ♥

♥ And a cappuccino in my new mug ♥

I love days like yesterday. Nothing special planned, just the school-run, some errands, bit of housework, the usual. No expectations, no goals, no over-ambitious to-do list. 
Just safe, soothing and comforting :) ♥♥♥

Have lovely weekends y'all :) 

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Ted's Bag

When we go on holiday, Ted comes too. He is Little Tomboy's faithful friend, and where we go, he goes. Before our last trip he set out what he wanted to bring - clothes, hat and pyjamas neatly folded and ready to pack. What's that Ted ? You have no bag for your stuff ? That will never do! We will have to make you one :)

A quick rummage in my stash yielded this perfect dinosaur fabric for the outer of Ted's bag, and a plain green for the lining.

I made some bias tape and top-stitched it together, to make little loops to thread the straps through.

Next I constructed the outer of the bag. The loops for the lower ends of the straps are pinned in, and you can see the two pairs of pins at the top which mark the channel where the straps will go through. When sewing the sides closed, I need to leave a gap for the straps to be threaded in.

The lining was very simple, turn a hem then sew up the sides.

The outer was turned right-side out, and the lining was left right-side in. Then I popped the lining inside the outer, top-stitched around the top edge, and also stitched 2 parallel lines to create the channel for the straps.

I had some lime-green bias tape that was a charity shop find for about 20p. Bargain! I cut two lengths for the straps, stitched it closed, then used a safety pin to thread the straps through.

And that was it, Ted now has a really cool dinosaur backpack.

Well done on packing your bag Ted! You're all ready to go now!

I wonder what adventures you will have :)

Saturday 20 September 2014

Not So Simple Saturday

So there I was, feet up after a long day, writing a blog post named "Simple Saturday", when suddenly there was lots of crying and fretting from upstairs. Hubby was supervising bath-time and with a heavy SIGH I traipsed upstairs - to find that Little Miss had shampoo in her eyes. She has a touch of the Boy Who Cried Wolf about her anyway, so I just got with drying her hair. She turned to face me - and Oh Dear Lord, her eyes had massively swollen up, raised red lumps all over her face, eyes, eyelids, she looked terrible and it was getting worse quite fast. She had obviously had an allergic reaction to something. We gave her an antihistamine, and phoned the out of hours GP. Next thing an ambulance turns up! Anyway, long story short, she is fine, the swelling has gone down, no further action required. Phew!!

So back to my blog-post-proper.
My week has been quite quiet really, but I think I'm still feeling the effects of the new school stress. It is calming down slightly, Little Man has been a trooper. He's going in despite his nerves, trying to be positive, tackling the homework, and putting up with the discomfort of stiff shirts and a tie, and the misery of a shouty PE teacher. It's hard work keeping the calm: I am a frazzled sort myself, so toning it down doesn't come easy. What with that and Little Tomboy's Birthday, Little Miss has been feeling left out. And what do children do when they feel left out ? Yes! They misbehave, whinge, moan and generally be demanding (and then you think they are crying over nothing and in fact their eyes are swollen up :-/ ). Add to the mix a poorly husband and it's been a right old barrel of laughs this week. Not.

By Friday I was ready for a large glass of wine and a big bar of chocolate, but I had to make do with diet coke and some cake at Little Tomboy's birthday party. Obviously no princess or pony parties for her, no, she wanted LaserQuest and only invited boys. Love her to bits :)

Her presents were suitably non-girly too. All her friends' Mums know her only too well :)

Easy and relaxing was the order of the day then today. Homework, baking and crochet. Little Lady goes to homework club - so her homework gets done there - result! Little Man needs 1:1 supervision when doing his, but one thing that I can do whilst helping him is crochet! Yay!

This afternoon was 4 hours (I know, ages, yes), of his homework but the last bit was Art, which doesn't really count as work does it?

Decorating selfies, brilliant fun!

While this masterpiece was under construction, Little Miss wanted to do some baking. She made some really lovely cupcakes all by herself, I only got involved for the oven bit.

Don't they look fab ? and they tasted pretty wonderful too :) Look, even Spider-Man likes a good cupcake :)

Crochet-wise I'm working on Connie's Baby Blanket, it's been in progress for ages, so is already very late (nothing new there then), but I'm loving the colours.

I'm employing my usual method of all the centers, then all the round 2's and so on.

This afternoon I finished all the green bits, just the white to go now. Nearly, so nearly there :)
Doesn't it look so pretty though, I'll say it again, I am LOVing the colours. Delicious :)

Thursday 18 September 2014

Rhapsody Infinity Scarf

Yesterday I promised to do a Show and Tell of my catchily named granny-stripe-come-simple-filet-crochet-scarf-cowl-thingy, or to give it it's new (and thankfully shorter) name, the Rhapsody Infinity Scarf.

Due to my tiff with Olive ( I had some King Cole Riot DK that needed using up on the flight home from holidays. I fancied making a scarf - my favourite thing to crochet - but nothing on pinterest, ravelry, drops or in any magazine (or book for that matter) seemed simple enough. 

King Cole Riot is self-striping, and I didn't want anything too tricky in case the self-striping didn't do it justice. So I thought - sod it, I'll just make a pattern up. Having never used filet crochet before, I was tempted to give it a go, however I wondered if that was a bit ambitious for the cramped flight home, and reluctantly I decided to leave fancy filet until we were back on solid ground. (Hubby and I have just debated whether or not "back on solid ground" is a saying. We've decided we don't know. And now it just sounds weird. So hopefully you'll know what I mean!)

I fiddled around a bit with spacing, and dithered about the rhythm of the repeat. 

Developing one's own pattern, no matter how simple, and providing you like it (unlike my Olive interpretation :-/ ) is very liberating. You can't really go wrong! You just tweak the pattern! Ok, so it's not quite that straightforward, but I did really enjoy the different part of the creative process.

The pattern really was as easy as I hoped, and I churned out the rows on the plane (between sorting out children's drinks and meals, discussing plot twists in the children's movies, taking children to the toilet, convincing children they didn't have appendicitis - yes, really...)

Finally I deemed the scarf long enough and I joined the ends together to form a moebius strip. Did it need an edging ? I didn't think so, after all it's meant to be simple, remember, and the self-stripy-ness wouldn't work that well, at least that's what I think :)

Anyway to get back to the actual pattern. I drew out a little grid thingy (of course I can't find it now to show you) and then realized it's very granny-stripe-ish, but hey, it's mine, and it's a wee bit different (ok not much) and it's my first pattern so I'm very proud of it :) Feel free to use it, post it, whatever but it would be really great if you mentioned me when you do so. 

And here it is being modeled by its maker :) (In the absence of convenient dress-form thingamy. Hmm  wonder if I should add that to my Christmas list...)

Rhapsody Infinity Scarf

2 x 100g balls King Cole a Riot DK (I used Rhapsody - hence the name :)
5.5mm crochet hook
Yarn needle

nb: pattern is all in UK crochet terms (a UK tr is a US dc)
1. Chain 40. Turn.
2. Ch3 (counts as 1tr), tr in 4th ch from hook, then 1tr in every ch to end. (40 tr). Turn.
3. 3ch, tr in next 3tr, *ch2, skip 2tr, tr in next 4tr*, repeat from * to * across. (4tr, then 6 2ch-4tr groups). Turn.
4. 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), *skip 2tr, tr in next tr, 2tr in 2-ch ch-space, tr in next tr, 2ch*, repeat from * to * another 5 times, sk2, 1tr in next tr. (1tr, then 6 2ch-4tr groups, 2ch, 1tr). Turn.
5. 3ch, 2tr in ch2 ch-space, tr in next tr, *ch2, skip 2tr, tr in next tr, 2tr in ch2ch-space, tr in next tr*, repeat from * to * across. (4tr, then 6 2ch-4tr groups). Turn.
Repeat rows 2-5 until scarf is desired length.
(My scarf was a total of 38 pattern repeats, or 144 rows).
Do not fasten off after final row.

To make up:
Twist starting row of scarf and line up to last row. The twist makes the scarf into a moebius strip, but it is totally optional.
sl-st across, attaching each ch of first row to each tr of final row.
Fasten off.
Sew in pesky ends.

ps: please let me know if I missed anything :)