Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Bobbling along...

I have been a little bit busy (and absent from blogging) the last couple of weeks. After planning to move house for so long we suddenly did, with a week's notice. Rental houses are so hard to find, especially when there is a dog in the family. This one came up when S was in the US so I just paid the deposit and here we are. We still have our house to sell so this one is temporary. No more commuting to work for S, other than an 8km bike ride through Somerset countryside, and little S started 6th form here in September so now she is walking to school too.

We are now in Somerset, just south of Bristol and very nice it is. This is a sensible move. It is only an hour from our old house but still a new start in a new area after 15 very happy years in Gloucestershire. I can walk out the door with Rolo and walk him in the park, or into town, through the woods or go and see the swans and walk round the lake. The cycling is fabulous too, lots of off road Sustrans cycle paths. A much healthier, more economical and greener way to live!
I have been crocheting in between the moving ourselves, cleaning and unpacking, thank goodness for a portable hobby! I am trying to finish the large floor cushion for the student oop north, a companion to Aran Cushion 1. The blackberry stitch is very effective but uses a lot of yarn, 8 balls of Stylecraft Special Chunky 100g balls, I only bought 4 to start with and I have had to send off for more twice now, so I hope that is enough. It would be a lot more but the back is in plain trebles. I have to get it finished this week as it is her birthday soon! I'll be back soon with a "DONE!" post, hopefully.
Crochet Blackberry Stitch
I also finally got round to sorting my phone out (long out of contract and still paying £££s) and managed to get a superb deal on a Galaxy 3S that is far better than Martin's Money Saving Expert email could recommend  and cheaper than my old phone. So blogging on the go is now a possibility. I started this on my phone but after uploading the photos and saving I have resorted to PC blogging...hard to waffle on as much on a phone! My advice is  to order a phone with someone else, ring up and ask for the code so you can keep your number and, surprise surprise, they will then move heaven and earth to keep you even if you already asked for a price match. Take the offer there and then (I didn't, it took 10 days to get them to honour their verbal offer as I was cooking) and cancel the order for the first phone quick. The UK company in question starts with a "Vo"...I am saying no more!!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Not Just Another Granny Square Blanket - DONE!

Another Granny Square Blanket, but with a simple twist of a giant granny middle. However, it is my first granny square blanket, not just another one to me. Not very radical, but I disobeyed youngest daughter, whose blanket it is, and decided I wanted to work in a bit more interest. Starting with the intention of a 12x12 sqaure throw ie 144 six round solid granny squares. I thought I would try join-as-you--go or JAYG for the first time. Except I didn't mug up on the method before going away on holiday at the end of August. Six rounds because I am lazy, and it is quicker to make as you have fewer ends to sew in.
Cath Kidston crochet blanket
But I digress, the brief from my 16yo was a "Cath Kidston snuggly blanket for TV slobbing" so it didn't need to be big but it is big, plenty big enough for her double bed under the eaves in the attic! It covers two on the sofa too, we tried it out tonight as I am holding off on putting the heating on still.
crochet giant granny
The blanket has taken about 5 weeks, I got a move on the first week as we were on holiday so no PC and no guilt crocheting in the evening or a few squares over a morning cup of tea in bed...holidays are like Sunday every day.
I was using 8 colours of Stylecraft Special DK as commissioned by the customer: Candy Floss: Cloud Blue, Fondant, Lavender, Lemon, Lipstick, Spring Green and White. I tried to be random, but keeping the lights and darks spaced and fairly even in each row. The giant granny was not that giant, and replaced the centre 16 squares, so 24 rounds it was.

 The edging is 6 rounds of granny clusters, how easy is that?!
I officially love JAYG, it is a bit quicker than sewing up, as you are sewing in an end that still has to be fastened off if you JAYG. I just love the country blanket stitch effect. I found it easier to do on a table to get the tension even on the join.
join as you go

 The patchwork teddy was made by my mum aka Granny when our smallest one was born 16 years ago, she also made our other two girls one in different colours at the same time.

Not Just Another Granny Square Blanket finished 3rd October 2012, it took me 5 weeks!

FINISHED SIZE: 190cm square
YARN: 2 balls each Stylecraft Special 100% acrylic Double Knit 100g in 8 colours, up to half a ball of each left
Candy Floss 1130
Cloud Blue 1019
Fondant 1241
Lavender 1188
Lemon 1020
Lipstick 1246
Spring Green 1316
White 1001

Hook: 4mm

Solid Granny Square Pattern (UK terminology)

Ch=Chain Tr=Treble SlSt = Slip Stitch, Sp=space
Start with 4Ch join to a loop
Round 1
6Ch then 3Tr into loop
(1Ch 3Tr 3Ch 3Tr) into loop, repeat 3 times in total.
2Tr and join to 3rd chain
Round 2
Sl st into corner chains 6ch
6Ch then 3Tr into same corner chains
(1Ch, 3Tr into 1 ch sp, 1Ch, 3Tr 3Ch 3Tr into corner chains) repeat 3 times as before and finish with 1 ch 2tr and join to 3rd ch.
Round 3-5
Continue as set
Round 6
Complete first side to corner chain, Ch1 (not 3) then follow JAYG instructions on Lucy's Attic 24 photo tutorial. I chain 1 when turning a JAYG corner.

I have no idea if this is the correct method, just how I did them. Often there are no1 ch spaces on granny squares and just 2 chains to turn the corner, do what you prefer! I am also sure this pattern will have been written down somewhere before, I am not claiming to be original.

Happy Hooky Index: 9/10
I enjoyed taking part in the One A Day and Tuesdays Tallies on Carole's blog
Here is how it came together
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

One a Day Project - Tuesday's Tallies - Week 5 - Not Just Another Granny Square Blanket

It has been a bit of a topsy turvy week of potential change, but also there has been some knotting time. I almost don't want to "show and tell" yet as my Cath Kidston-y granny is so very very very very nearly finished.

So here is a teaser...I am on the last round of the border and will finish tonight whilst watching The Great British Bake Off or GBBO, the best programme on TV by a mile.
Cath Kidston style granny square blanket
I got home with the smallest one after quite a long day of driving and hanging around, to two parcels on my doorstep. Happy dance.

Please forgive me because I have done something very very naughty and ordered Garnstudio Drops Merino Extra Fine,100% squishy double knitting merino yarn which is extra soft and super-washable and hopefully hypo-allergenic! I have been very happy working with acrylic but I really really wanted to try a posh yarn, and it may be a very long time before a sale comes round again. Now I have what I desire, I will share the fabulous prices and even more fabulous service from The Wool Shed all the way up in Aberdeenshire.

I phoned on Sunday afternoon and Irene was very very helpful and found more colours than were showing online. I emailed my order through on Sunday night, they phoned Monday morning for card details and confirmed that it was fine to split my order into 2 parcels so the total post was £5. I paid just £2.35 per 50g ball, the yarn is on a 25% Drops sale at present, even at full price it is a very reasonable £3.10. The very next day my order arrives from the other end of the country, all present and correct and packed with love by Barbara and/or Anne. Enough yarn for a throw still adds up to a lot, but this is my present for that occasion  at the end of December...too early to mention the "C" word!! it will be for our bed and all I have decided upon are the colours. Now I have to plot and plan the design and muse whilst finishing the "Not Just Another Granny Square Granny Blanket" and the Blackberry stitch cushion (I have said nothing about that yet), and the planned One A Day throw in more Stylecraft for my mum and dad for that event in December we do not talk about until November ;) I seem to have broken my rule of not more than one project at a time.
Any guesses as to the colour scheme?

Inspiration from other wonderful One a Day projects are on Carole's blog.

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