Sunday, 29 May 2011

Fruit salad

More crochet to show you already, and I seem to be making crochet fruit salad at present!

Apple tawashi scrublets. I made these as a new home present for some friends of ours. They were very easy. I used a free pattern from Lion Brand (note: it's a free pattern, but you may have to register and log in to Lion Brand to view and download it) and Peaches & Creme dishcloth cotton, plus a 4mm hook.

And the second in my trio of little crocheted purses - a strawberry this time. I'm very happy with this one, but I think there are pattern errors in the third, which I now have to correct for. And I'm only a beginner!! Gulp.

ETA: I realised some time after posting this, the strawberry leaf is on the bottom of the strawberry, so I had to take it off and re-sew it at the right end. Oops.

Friday, 27 May 2011

She does still knit

I've blogged quite a lot about crochet lately, but just to reassure you, I am still knitting (although sadly not sewing. Not sure when I'll have time to remedy this.)

My latest knitting project is a "proper" garment, and hence will take me some time to complete. Here's my progress to date pic, which is basically the back, plus a little bit of one front piece.

My plan is to finish it by the end of July.

I have also made this - an illusion dishcloth featuring Hedwig the Owl.

The HP theme which recurs rather a lot in my knitting reflects my, dd's and ds's interest in this subject, not to mention assorted nieces and nephews, and rather a lot of dd's friends. Thus a continual supply of bookscarves, dishcloths etc, has a regular outlet!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Crochet magic

I feel I'm starting to get the hang of crochet now.

#1. Crocheted Gryffindor bookscarf / teddy bear scarf:

#2: Crocheted watermelon purse. Worked in the round! This pattern is a set of three fruit purses, so more to follow:

Working on a third project now, which features shells. I am working up to the granny square, at least, that's part of my plan!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Rites of Passage

My dd had her last ever day of compulsory education on Friday. She is now officially on study leave, but exams started yesterday so there is not so much of the leave involved.  Eight examinations this week, but dd seems remarkably serene.

We also had a trip to the orthodontist's last week, at which the orthodontist announced he would take off her braces right there and then! We weren't expecting this till the end of June at the earliest, so my dd was overjoyed. It has been two years with the braces, but the results look impressive, and it was very nice to see her happy smiles in all the leaving photos taken at school last week. But sorry, authorisation has not been given to post any on teh Internets. You'll just have to take my word for it :-)

Braces off, exams on. Now she just has to decide on her next move - she's been offered places at two Sixth forms. How nice to have choices.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Lessons in crochet stitches

I'm on a mission to learn to crochet! I've planned four projects as a progressive introduction.

The first is a Work Your Way Up Bag, for which I used Rowan hand-knit cotton, and a 4.5mm hook. This is designed as a beginner's challenge, introducing various crochet stitches. 

Here's a pic of my Work In Progress, just to show you what a true beginner's crochet work looks like (hey, I'm not trying to pretend perfection on my blog!). I achieved smooth colour changes, but found it hard to maintain a consistent stitch count. However, I also improved as I worked, because the edges towards the top are not so bad.

Luckily I was able to hide all the unsavoury edges in the making-up! Thank goodness for seams! Here's the FO, which I think will be nice to take to the beach, if I get a chance this summer:

As well as learning lots of new stitches, I have learned two other things about crochet in the process of making this bag:
  • For the future, I will remember that it is necessary to work into the top stitch of the previous row's turning chain, in double-crochet rows. I'm hoping this may be easier when I'm more familiar with crochet and can identify more easily which is a stitch and which is a turning chain.
  • When making colour changes in crochet worked flat, you should work the colour change as part of the last stitch of the preceding row, to avoid the colour change showing in the work. Luckily I spotted this at the first colour change and so didn't have to go back too far to correct it.  
For my next project, I will be working in the round, working increases to produce a flat circle, using slip stitch (sl st) to join rounds, and undertaking some simple shaping. If all goes well, I should have more crochet to report in a couple of weeks.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Strawberries & Cream cake

This weekend, we enjoyed a summertime treat in the garden:

I used English strawberries, although not out of our garden - I bought them off the market - to make this cake:

The recipe was the Swedish summer cake from Nigella's Kitchen.

I cut the recipe by a third, as I was sure it wouldn't keep beyond the weekend. I can't check to see, as it was all gone by Sunday afternoon!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

May blooms

Here's some photos of plants currently in bloom in our garden, for your enjoyment:



Solomon's Seal

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Crochet swatches Part 2

#1: The Granny Square. Working out which were the "chain spaces" was really hard! 4mm hook and ggh Tavira aran yarn.

#2: Double crochet. In which I appear to have worked fewer stitches in every row. More work definitely needed. I want you all to know, I am a beginner!! 2.5mm hook and Rowan siena cotton 4-ply yarn.

I am however ready to submit my next OWL proposal, so all good.