Sunday 25 September 2016

Jack's Baby Blanket

One of my favourite things about a new baby (aside from the fact that it was someone else who had to go through the whole pregnancy and birth thing, and the new born cuddles and the basic miracle of life) is the opportunity to crochet a blanket! Yay! This time the blanket is for my friend's new baby, Jack. My friend is a very close friend, she was one of my bridesmaids, and her husband (then fiancΓ©) was one of our Best Men (we had two!).

I've seen a lot of star blankets around, and I reckoned one of my million magazines must have a pattern for one, so I spent some time leafing through them (SUCH a chore lol) and found one in this magazine .....

It's really more of a book - perhaps a bookazine ? - but made by the same people who make Inside Crochet. They had this pattern for a 12 pointed star blanket, called the Celeste Nursery Blanket.

It was a fun make and easy make, the pattern is basically a ripple pattern but done in the round and increasing every row.

The original pattern had a large pompom on every point but I don't really agree with pompoms on baby things, so I decided to add a crochet trim that looks like mini pompoms. The pattern for the trim this one from Once Upon a Pink MoonOnce Upon A Pink Moon.

As you can see each mini-pompom is really just a popcorn/bobble style stitch, much safer for a baby.

The yarn was from my stash and was a mixture of random DK from different manufacturers, and I've chucked the labels away already so I can't tell you what they are, sorry.

I took some pictures outside today as the light inside is so poor.

But we had to come back in for a shot of the full thing, and that was an exercise in speed and efficiency as Pixie the puppy was desperately trying to keep the blanket for herself!

I'm looking forward to delivering the blanket to Jack and his Mummy this week, hope he likes it πŸ˜€

Til next time,

Friday 23 September 2016

Five on Friday

Hello dear friends and readers πŸ˜€
Another Friday has rolled around and boy am I glad. A busy and very stressful week for me as you'll see when you read on. Today I am joining in with Five on Friday, hosted by Amy over at Love Made My Home . Here are 5 snippets of my week....

1. Major drama on Monday morning - I was out walking Pixie .... here she is on our walk ....

... and about 5 minutes later she bolted off, terrified by a (very nice, normal) lady, and managed to yank the lead out of my hand. She was then missing for the next 24 hours. It was horrendous. I couldn't find her at all, and after about an hour of searching I was in a real panic. I reported her missing to the vet, the dog warden, the pet shop, and posted on every facebook group you can imagine. My lovely friend made some posters and fliers with this picture of her, also taken that same morning .....

The help and support from the local community was amazing. I myself was looking in hedges and bushes until 10pm, in the day random people were letting me in their gardens and helping me look, loads of local dog walkers (most of whom I didn't know) came down to help, lots of friends, with their kids and husbands helped, and a dear friend brought me cups of tea. I searched and searched all around the local area for about 10 hours - my pedometer told me I'd walked 19km. Reluctantly I gave up at 10pm, it had been pouring for about 5 hours, I was drenched and couldn't see anything anyway. We left out a crate with blankets and water in case she tried to find her way back. As I was leaving another stranger approached me and said he was looking for her as he'd just seen one of the hundred or so leaflets I'd delivered. But I was so exhausted I had to go home. Of course our own children were dreadfully upset and none of us got much sleep.
Hubby got up about 5.30am and went to check the crate, but no sign of her. By 9am we'd got the children to school, hubby has gone off to work, and I'd just printed out a load more leaflets, and was getting ready to go up to where we lost her, with a disposable BBQ to cook some burgers (donated by another friend as I am veggie!) to see if the smell would lure her out, we were convinced she was hiding somewhere, terrified. I knew I'd look like a complete nutcase having a barbeque in the rain at 9am on a random pathway, but was going to give it a go anyway. Before I left the house my phone rang. It was a local dog walker - saying "I've got your dog" !!!!!  OH MY DAYS!! I have never been more relieved in my whole life. I raced out of the door to go and find them - and a few minutes later there she was !! We had a lovely, cuddly, licky reunion. Me and Pixie that is, not me and the man. Though I did give him a hug). And I'm trying to find out where he lives so I can buy him a bottle of whiskey or something.
She had been caught, tangled with her lead, deep in some bushes in a nearby field. The man's dog had found her and barked so madly that the man had gone to see what was wrong, and saw Pixie all caught up in the bushes. We think she had been out all night and had got herself so tangled she couldn't move. The man freed her and she soon perked up. She is absolutely fine now after her ordeal, although it might take me a bit longer. So stressful! Here she is having a snooze later that day....

So all's well that ends well!!

2. We've managed a few more walks this week and I've had the lead superglued to my hand. Everything is looking very autumnal - after all it was the equinox yesterday.

Lots of lovely berries around....

I love the colours in autumn, especially early autumn when the light is good.

3. More nature shots. This was the sky on our walk this morning, such a glorious blue sky, the sunshine is so good for the soul .....

 4. I've decided I really need to make more things from magazine patterns. As you all know I'm a magazine addict, and I do always have a tinge of guilt when I buy one. (Not enough of a twinge to not buy them though). So I spotted this little butterfly kit lying around, and found the magazine it came with - Simply Crochet issue 46.

About an hour later and I had 2 little butterflies, one fridge magnet, and one brooch ...

Aren't they cute ?

I'm thinking that making these would be a great way to use up yarn odds and ends. Little Miss has already requested some to decorate her bags. Oh and here is one of me wearing the brooch though the light and focus is terrible, sorry!

5. Finally here is a little sneak peek of Jack's baby blanket which I will be sharing in my next post.

That's it for now, hope you all have a fab weekend,
Til next time,

Friday 16 September 2016

Five on Friday

Hello lovely friends and readers !
Today I am linking up with the very lovely Amy of Love Made My Home for Five on Friday . I haven't done a Five on Friday for a reeeeeaaallllly long time, but I'm hoping to write more regularly on my blog - got my blogging mojo back - hurray! So I'll be joining in every Friday :) Thankyou as always Amy for hosting πŸ’š

This week has been a scorcher, really hot and humid which of course is great if you are chilling by the pool with a gin and tonic but not nearly as much fun if you have to do school runs, supervise homework, carry endless baskets of laundry up and down stairs, and do the weekly grocery shopping. Which in my life is more like 3 or 4 times a week. But the weather broke yesterday with the most amazing storm. I got caught in the monsoon-like downpour whilst running between the shops and my car, there was a the most deafening boom of thunder at exactly the same time as a big flash of lightning, I thought for a moment I would get struck. Seriously. My daughter, who was waiting in the car, said she reckoned it was just in the field next to us. It continued most of the night but as it was still very hot, I had a fan on in the bedroom which must have dulled the noise of the storm, as I slept right through it. Luckily the children did too, and it appears that the puppy is not afraid of thunder or lightning. She's afraid of everything else though. Including anyone taller than a 10 year old (except hubby and I thankfully), all forms of vehicle, actually going in the car, plant pots (yes I know) and cats. We met a cat for the first time this week. Poor Pixie didn't know why on earth it was. The cat was in full-on stalker mode, fur all puffed up, tail straight up in the air, fixing its steely eyed stare on us. We walked away, well I walked, Pixie pulled frantically on her lead, but the flipping cat kept stalking us, about 10 paces behind. We lost it eventually, but seeing as it actually was bigger than Pixie I suppose to us it would feel like being stalked by a bear or something.

Anyway on with Five on Friday. Some random photos of my week.

πŸ’œ I started a new bullet journal.
If you haven't heard of Bullet Journalling , go check it out on Pinterest or Instagram. Lots of lovely pics of clever designs, writing styles and fancy doodles. Mine is very plain by comparison, it's basically a glorified to-do list, but a great excuse to break out the stickers and colouring pens. And yes that is the base of a glass of wine you can see.

πŸ’™ Pixie hiding under her blanket.
She loves to sleep with her face tucked into something, quite often it's my armpit as she is a really cuddly dog and will lie in your arms endlessly. Very therapeutic but not so helpful for getting anything, including crochet, done.

πŸ’š I found this in Little Miss' bedroom.
I was tidying up the hazardous waste zone that she calls a bedroom the other day. How can a girl who is so girly, so fussy about her appearance, and about the clothes she's wearing, bear to have such a pigsty of a room? But I better not get started on that. It's a whole new blog post of despair. When I ventured in last week I found this message on her chalkboard. Love it, she is spot on. (The wool in the background is mine, it was a nicer backdrop than scrunched up paper, crisp packets, dirty clothes and filthy PE kit which would have been the backdrop in her room. Humph. Maybe she's making the most of life by not wasting time tidying her room ?)

πŸ’› I'm working on a new commission - a mermaid tail blanket for a friend's daughter. 
I'm really, really enjoying this pattern, it's a very simple shell stitch, perfect for working on in the car, at the orthodontist's, in the garden or in front of the telly. So far it's just a big rectangle, but I'll be tapering soon as I reach the bottom, before joining the back up a bit and adding the fin thingy. I'm using this pattern from YARNutopia.

Whilst the pattern itself is easy, the project has not been that straightforward. I decided doing it in chunky yarn would be best so it would work up quickly. I probably had 20 or so rows done and at about row 5 I had lost half a shell. Blocking may have sorted that out but the perfectionist in me couldn't sell it with that obvious a mistake, plus I really wasn't liking the drape. Or lack thereof. I was using a 6mm hook but it was still very stiff, maybe a 7mm hook would have been better as I'm a tight crocheter. Anyway I made the decision to start again in DK weight yarn. That was such a good decision, the drape is gorgeous now - it is working up quite slowly, but I'm much happier with it. For the DK I was able to use yarn from my stash, which is good as I had gone and bought the chunky specially. I now have 6 100g balls of purple/pink chunky, if you have any ideas for what to make with them, I'm all ears!

❤️ Little Tomboy was 9 on Monday. 9!! I can't believe that. Where does the time go ? She got a BMX bike and a skateboard for her birthday. We live on the edge of a massive field (fab for dog walking) and at the opposite corner is a bmx track (great for tomboys). She had a go on the track on her new bike, and did quite well. She did fall off at one point and hurt her knee but she's a tough cookie that one, gets up with a "nothing to see here" look about her, straight back on the bike. I love how all my children are so different. She is such a tomboy but so cuddly and loving. Won't give you a kiss but will shout LOVE YOU as she runs past the kitchen, and does permit me to kiss the top of her head before school. Never stops talking, and is always either joyously happy - "it's the BEST day EVER Mummy!" or excessively angry, "This is the WORST. DAY. EVER.", there are no undercurrents with this one, what you see is what you get. I especially love that she knows her own mind and chooses what she wants to do and wear and does not follow the crowd. So proud of her.

Til next time peeps,