Monday, 30 April 2012

Knitting With Eyelashes

Well I was not exactly knitting with eyelashes just with pink eyelash yarn that I bid for on eBay. I had to knit as I don't find eyelash yarn easy to crochet with. I had difficulty knitting with it as everytime I dropped a stitch I had to start the piece of knitting again as I couldn't be sure that I had picked it up properly or just picked up a bit of eyelash.

The bolero isn't quite as bright as this. For some reason the camera has given it a shocking pink hue. I trimmed the edge with some Patons Pearl DK that I had in my stash just to give it a nice edging.

This is a closer photo so that you can see not only the edging but also the little flower motif that I made to trim the bolero.

What shall I start next? I have a feeling that it will be this little top for a friend. I have made this top for my niece is a pink shade but this one will be done in a silvery grey yarn from Ice Yarns. I think this yarn is finer than the one recommended on the pattern so once again I will be improvising or doing it my way. The neckline will have to be adjusted, as I did with the pink one, as it is too low and shows too much bra as it is. Even the crochet flower doesn't cover the bra, I made the last one about an inch higher and it fitted much better,

I got the handbag and the hat booklets from Amazon and the middle booklet I bid for on eBay. Needless to say they were all on reduction. I spend far too much on patterns but I am a collector of all things crochet and if I see a book that I don't have ,and I like it, then I just have to buy it. No wonder the bank manager wants to see me on Thursday. Ha ha. I think that it's just for my annual review but maybe he has his cane ready to spank this naughty girl for spending far more money than I have.

These are 3 vintage knitting patterns that I bought from Etsy. I made the middle sweater a couple of times for little girls back in the 60's. Poodles were THE dog back then and we had a black poodle called Sherry. We didn't name her just in case you think that we were a family of drinkers. Her Mother was called Brandy and her sister Whiskey. We did try to change her name but she would only answer to Sherry.

I read a lovely blog today whose name I can't remember at the moment. I will add it on later in edit when I find it again. She had some lovely photos on her blog of an old caravan and gave the link to the blog that it was on. This is the link to an interesting blog Happy Loves Rosie . I would love to have this caravan at the bottom of my garden as a little crafting haven.

Today has actually been sunny although the weather report says to stand by for more rain. I am not going out tonight so I will just settle down with the TV and my crochet.

Happy Crafting

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Why Don't I Write Patterns Down?

I really annoy myself when I don't write anything down. Those of you who know me well know that I rarely follow patterns to the letter. Sometimes I just wing it from the start without a pattern. I get ideas from different projects and incorporate them into a design.

I have just finished this little bolero for a friend's daughter and if it fits her then she would like some more similar boleros in different colours. Well I can honestly say that each one I make her will be an original as I never seem to make anything that looks the same twice over. I can't make an exact copy of this one as the pattern is all in my head.

I crocheted this using some Ice viscose yarn. The only snag with buying yarn from Turkey is that it is priced per pack. In this case the pack was 8 balls and I only used 5 balls for this. I now have 3 balls left over which I will have to try to incorporate with another colour to make anything else. The yarn pack cost me £4.99p per pack but when I add on the postage it adds another 88p to each ball! Still cheap for the quality of the yarn but a bit of a nuisance if I don't use up all of the pack as I only pass on the cost of the balls that I have used to my friend.

I added a little quirk of my own into the side seams. I just wish that I had put them somewhere more obvious as unfortunately these squares don't get seen under the arms. Still it makes for a unique garment.

This is a close up of the stitch used and a close up of the edging. I think that my friend is going to thread some very narrow ribbon through the edging and put a little heart shaped button as a fastener.

Most of the things that I make for babies and children are either acrylic or a cotton mix.I am always sad when yarn purists get so uppity about acrylic and call it yucky. Some cheap ones may be but there are so many good brands of acrylic out there that look and feel as soft as different yarns but yet have the machine washability that most young Mums desire. The pale pink that I have just used is man made but if someone who didn't knit or crochet felt it then they would have cotton as their first thought.

I don't often hear of anyone calling wool, merino or alpaca names. To me everyone has their own tastes and every yarn has it's purpose. I would never dream of criticising anyone for their choice of yarn and making such rude comments about it. If you like pure wools, and have the money to buy them, then that is fine by me. I would never tell you that it's wrong to use that yarn and yet yarn snobs, as I call them, think that it is perfectly acceptable to make nasty comments about people using yucky acrylic. Shame on you. I was actually told by one person that my crochet was lovely but was spoiled by my choice of acrylic yarn. She said wouldn't it be better for me to crochet just one or two high class items than a load of cheap things. I was speechless. I am too much of a lady to have an argument so I just ignored her. Crochet is my passion, my hobby and a big part of my life. In some respects no doubt a lot of people would agree with her but it is a free country and I have the freedom to choose the yarns that I use. My pocket has a big influence on my choice of yarns but having said that if I had all the money in the world I would still choose acrylic for certain items.

Sorry about the rant but it does make my blood boil when people cannot admire the quality of workmanship without being being so snotty about the yarns used.

On a different note the UK is supposed to be experiencing a drought and in some areas we have a hosepipe ban. This is the kind of drought wear for Manchester. Today it is pouring down with rain as it has been all week. How can we be short of water? Some countries get a tenth of the rain we do and yet I never hear of them having a water shortage. What happens to all of our rain? I am sure that the UK could come up with a better water storage system than there is already.

I am going to stay home today and knit, yes I did say knit, a bolero in pink eyelash yarn for a little girl. I find that I cannot crochet with eyelash yarn. I have already had to pull the back out as I dropped a stitch and could not find it, nor pick up the stitches ,when I tried to unpick it row by row. It was easier just to start all over again and be more careful with each stitch.

I was supposed to be taking part in a Jubilee craft fair in June but due to some red tape issues with the council the permit to hold it on the street and in the courtyard would have turned out far too expensive to get the right licenses etc.The fair has now had to be cancelled. It's a pity when the councils can't wave their rules for the Queen's Jubilee day. People have to get permission and licences to hold a street party which have to be paid for. I can understand it if the street was a main thoroughfare but not some little side street that is only used by residents. There is nothing happening on our street that day but then as I live on a hill the sandwiches and drinks would slide off the tables and half way down the street!

I am going to play ball with Buster before he goes home later today No walk (scoot) for us today.It's far too wet and windy. We did mange to get out yesterday but the village was filled with extremely drunk Newcastle football fans who had stopped off at the local pub on their way to Wigan. I wonder who has paid for all the extra police that had to be called in to control them. They weren't fighting or anything but just so drunk that they couldn't stand up. The less drunk were singing and shouting football chants and generally being very unruly. Running into the road and falling over on the pavements. As a friend of mine pointed out maybe the team were also on these 3 coaches as they lost the game 4-1.  I had to go well out of my way to cross the road and do a bit of shopping. Buster got a bit distressed with all of this. I wouldn't have taken him with me if I had known that they would be there.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Crocheted Baby Clothes book

As promised in my last post here is a pictorial review of one of my latest purchases from Amazon. Cute and Easy Crocheted baby Clothes by Nicki Trench. As with the other book that I reviewed, the photography is excellent and I love the choice of colours. Makes me want to grab my wool and hook immediately and make something from this book.

Who says granny squares are old fashioned? I think that this is an adorable sweater for a little one.

 A useful design for any little girl's wardrobe. The wrap over cardigan. A necessity especially if the young lady goes to ballet classes.

Illustrates the more modern interpretation of the traditional matinee jacket. The use of the deeper colour and the addition of flowers brings it bang up to date.

A basic little baby cardigan with a granny square pocket to give it that little different design detail.

I would omit the neckline flowers as I think that they may irritate a very young baby.

Very pretty but I think that I would only put the loops at the bottom edge as babies put everything that is near their face, or on their sleeves, into their mouth. It would look equally as nice with a contrast shell edging instead of the loops.

Adorable winter sweater for a little girl. My only criticism of this book is that most of the designs are for baby girls.

How pretty is this? Simple and yet so effective with it's dainty flower and ribbon trim.

At last something for a boy. I would give this a deeper bottom edge as it looks a wee bit short to fit a baby's head.

Lovely blanket that could be made for a boy with a change of colours. I would omit the pom poms for safelty reasons.

Little girl blanket with pretty Spring shades in it's heart design.

Not sure how this fits. Bonnet with ribbons or floral beanie?

A unisex jacket. Love the colour and the toggle fastening.

Little shoes that match the jacket.

Bright pink poncho to brighten up your day.

Lemon poncho fringed with the bright pink.

Pretty lacy party dress if your little girl isn't a tomboy. My nieces would have dragged holes in this crochet dress in 5 minutes when they were this age.

Pretty little coat hanger covers to keep baby dresses from sliding off the normal wooden baby coat hangers.

How pretty are these. I would use them as wall decorations once the baby got bigger and started to grab at things.

Last of the pattern photos is this little rainbow bear. There are a few more patterns in the book that I haven't put on here. I just chose the ones that I thought were the best.

This is what has been finished from my hook this week. It is an off the shoulder evening top for my friend Julie. It is difficult to see the detail on this photo but I made it with Ice Yarn that has grey flower sequins worked into the thread. It is a lot more sparkly than it looks on the photos. It is quite a fine yarn and I worked with aa 3.50mm hook. I used one of the Double Stitch twins patterns for ideas but changed the pattern stitch and didn't make it in the round. This is a lot finer fabric and has side seams. In other words - I Did It My Way - as per usual.

The flower is on a brooch pin so that it can be taken off and used on another garment or pinned into a different position on the top. I didn't make a neck choker it is a headband but as the mannequin hasn't got a head I displayed it around the neck. Silver domed buttons in the centre of the flowers finish off the look. Julie was really pleased with the way that this has turned out and to be honest so am I.

I was going to the local Women's Institute meeting tonight to see if I would like to join but the rain has not stopped all day and I don't fancy getting wet through on my mobility scooter so I think that I will wait until next month for my first visit. Nothing worse than sitting for a couple of hours in wet clothing.

My next project is a crochet bolero for a friend's little girl. Photos will follow once it is finished.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Household Crochet book and 60's Style Crochet.

I opened up Blogger to write a new page. It has taken me quite a few minutes to find my way around and I have no idea what this is going to look like until I press the preview button. I haven't got used to the new Facebook time line layout and now they are messing about with Blogger.

Today I went up to the Farmers Market and chose the wrong moment to go. I got absolutely drenched right through to my underwear. The French bread and new seasons lamb will be worth it though. Needless to say the rain stopped once I got home.

I have been busy finishing off a 60's style crochet dress for a friend who lucky for me  loves the vintage crochet styles. She is very petite and a lot younger than me so she is a good model for my crochet.

I made this dress for Julie from a vintage pattern that I found on Etsy. I had this pattern years ago but had 'lost' my copy. I used some vintage Jaeger Lalique yarn that I bid for on eBay. This photo doesn't show that it has gold lurex patches of eyelash effect yarn on a white background. On the photo it just looks beige. In real life it is very glittery.

This pattern comes from the Double Stitch twins Fashionista book. It looks better when it is on worn over clothes as the increases look like mistakes on the fabric when it is viewed on a white background. I will make a few adjustments to the  pattern when I make it again to make the increases less obvious. I used Ice yarn for this. It has a lovely silky sheen to it and is quite lightweight when crocheted.

I made this bolero out of 100 grams of Patons Fab DK wool as a trial for size for my friend Claire's little girl. She is making some Ra Ra skirts for summer and wants some boleros to go with them as it is never that warm in the summer. I will use different yarns for the rest of her boleros just as soon as I am sure of her size. She will try this on and then Claire can let me know how it fits. I didn't want to use expensive yarn for the trial size. If it doesn't fit then I haven't wasted much yarn and I am sure that it will fit some other little girl.

Yarn that I bid for on eBay. The navy and plum colours are to go with other shades of plums, purples and pinks that I have already bought in Red Heart. I want to make myself an afghan for the winter in these kind of shades so am collecting them ready for when I start. The pink eyelash yarn is for a bolero for the same little girl and the Red Heart in beige shades will be for my Great Nephew for the winter.

I got this booklet from Amazon as I am thinking that this will be the style of the afghan that I would like to make. It will probably be one of those, 'ongoing for a few months'  kind of project as no doubt I will get bored if I try to crochet it all at one time.

My friend Sue introduced me to Ice Yarns from Turkey. The yarns are beautiful and ridiculously cheap but the postage is astronomical. I wasn't convinced for ages when Sue said it still worked out quite cheap but it really does despite having to pay over £30 in postage the balls of wool averages out at around £1.67p a ball and there is no-where in the UK (apart from the sale at Kemps) where I can buy good quality for this price. I have got more packs of these yarns but these are my latest buys. No wonder my credit card bill is so high ! A lot of this yarn is for Julie's holiday crochet clothes..The pink shades, and possibly the blue, are for boleros for Claire's daughter.

Two new books from Amazon. I just love the covers, The colours look so inviting they make me want to grab a crochet hook and start right now. I will review the one on the left later.

Not a very good photo but I just love the granny square blanket in the pastel shades.

Isn't this little bag simply gorgeous. I will have to brush up my sewing skills for the lining for this one. I love the Spring shades thay have used.

I am so in love with this granny square bag. I love the colours. Definitely on my 'to do' list. It will make a great project bag for my WIP's or a shopping bag on a Spring day.

I think this cosy would get stained with the drips from the cafetiere but nevertheless it looks pretty.

Wouldn't those rose curtain tie backs look lovely in a little princess's bedroom?

I have bought the cushion pads and an itching to start one of these. The shades of this cushions are so pretty. A change from the vivid colours that I usually like.

These are not shades that I would immediately think of for a baby blanket and yet for a little girl they work so well plus I do love shades of lilac.

Not a good photo but I do like the lacy scarf plus the photography in this book, using old furniture, adds so much to the display of the crochet.

Not keen on the shape of these baby shoes but I do love the pastel shades.

I don't possess a tea pot, nor do I like tea, but I do think this is such a fun tea cosy. I will make it one day and hope that someone will like it.

I don't as a rule crochet toys but these Russian dolls are so cute. I am rubbish at the embroidered details. My toys always have cross eyes and strange expressions.

Not sure why they have popped a little dress in with a book of household items but it is rather sweet and dainty. I don't think that I would have chosen such a bright pink ribbon though.

My friend Sue (the one who introduced me to Ice Yarns) is as bad as me for collecting yarn. She went to Abakhan and phoned me up to ask if I wanted her to get me the colours that I needed for the cushions. She called this range of colours Cath Kidson colours. She knows that I am always there for a bargain. I must remember to pay her the rest of the money that I owe her for this yarn. I am like the Queen. I rarely carry any money unless I draw some out of the bank for a special purpose.

At the moment I am crocheting an off the shoulder top for my friend Julie in another of the Ice yarns. This one is pale grey with grey flower sequins in the yarn. I have finished one piece of it so far.

Later today I am off to see my new Great Nephew JP who is up from London for the weekend to be shown off to the relatives from Manchester. It will be nice to see him even though I have now got a collection of photos of him.

I need to get dressed again as I had to put all of my clothes in the dryer as they were so wet when I got back from the market. Luckily there were some clothes already in the dryer that I could temporarily change into.

I will show photos from the other book on my next post. My two fur neighbours Buddy and Poppy are here to see me. They come through the patio doors to say hello. They don't usually leave until they get a doggy treat and even know which drawer I keep them in. Yesterday my visitor was Lily, the cat from 2 doors away.