26 March 2015

Colour Collaborative: March

Photo credit: Oliver Berghold


I like that photo at the top, it reminds me of that wish I had as a child, to be able to fly, that I mentioned in a previous Colour Collaborative post last July.  It also looks like it was taken late on a nice warm summer's day, I love that slightly yellow tinge to the sky.

And I just had to include the fellow below when I found him, isn't he striking?

Photo credit: Jamie King

I'm not a great authority on birds, although I do remember that we did have a phase of birdwatching when I was younger.  The chief attraction of which was being able to have a go with the 'big binoculars' as I remember.  The garden of my childhood home backed onto some woodland so you could get a glimpse of a satisfying variety from the comfort of the dining room window and there was a time when I could identify a fair few of them.

It's something that's become a little bit more of interest again of late actually.  It seems the natural thing to do, as a parent, to point out things of interest and attempt to educate your offspring whenever the opportunity arises.  It was certainly so when I was a child, birds, trees, farm equipment, historic houses and geological features to name a few would all be pointed out and discussed.

So, to do the same for my daughter, I've felt the need to make sure I remember my goldfinch from my greenfinch.  As a result I've been finding the RSPB's website handy for identification.

 Photo credit: Dave croker

Photo Credit: Gidzy

It's amazing the amount of colours that can be found in the world of birds.  Interestingly they've even inspired a range of yarns.  I came across West Country Spinners range of yarn inspired by British birds when Dani of Little Bobbins knits was talking about it on her podcast.  I'm loving socks at the moment so I'm kind of tempted a bird inspired pair, but how to decide which one to go for?

: :

Don't forget to check out the other great 'Colour Collaborative' blogs
for more of today's great posts...

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above the River

What is The Colour Collaborative? 
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff.
Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together?
Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too.
We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination 
our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

S x



24 March 2015

Calling all Blanketeers! / Weekender Blanket Border Pattern

Hello my friends in blanket making!  And to the rest of you as well of course, but this post today is very geared towards the blanket makers.  Particularly those participating in the 'along', but more on that in a moment.

First of all, I thought I'd share a couple of patten updates with you.



There is already a whole hexie and half hexie pattern available, but I thought it might be useful to have a little 'Filler' hexie to level the ends of the hexagons too.  For those of you who would prefer your blankets to be nice and squared off.  I've included a little picture below so you can see what I mean.

Then there's the border pattern too.  I settled on a one colour border, with straight edges and little bobbles along the ends.  Just in case anyone is interested in doing the same for their blanket, I've made a little chart for that too...



Now that the blanket is complete, I've updated the patterns with all the new information.  So you'll find the written instructions for all the hexie variations and for the border.  I've included the chart pictures too so you'll have them for reference.

I've made two versions of the pattern available, one with UK terms and one with US terms.  You can download either one from the Ravelry page using the link below:

I hope you'll find it useful for your blanket making endeavours and if you'd like to read more information about my blanket, the yarn, colours and size etc.  You can see this post -  Weekender Blanket is done


And now, let's get back to the Cherry Heart Blanket Along (#CHBAL)...

It's still not too late to join in, if you haven't already.  We're working on all blankets, old WIP's and new projects, so it's fairly open and you don't need to finish, just show us the progress you've made.  So feel free to just dive in and join us.

Especially because we are now getting to towards the end of the month and it's time to talk about...


: : PRIZES : :

No 'along' would be complete without an incentive to spur us on.  As I've already seen in the along threads and using the #CHBAL tag, just the companionship and the cheers of our fellow crafters is all we really need to get our blankets moving, but it can't hurt to have a little extra push can it?

So I've been getting together a little prize for our winner to enjoy.  So far I've got:

Two balls of the gorgeously soft and squishy King Cole Cotton Soft
A cute fragranced padded heart hanger
A little strawberry needle keeper to hang on your scissors and keep those safe too - handmade by moi!
A set of six sweet retro buttons
I'll be throwing a couple of other small things in too along with a free Cherry Heart pattern of the winners choice.


The four runners up will also be able to choose a Cherry Heart Pattern to receive.

Exciting eh?

To Win...

1.  Post a picture of your blanket progress in the Ravelry thread:

2.  Tell us how much progress you made.

(Maybe you finished the whole blanket, maybe you made 5 more squares or got half-way through your rows.) 

3.  Vote for your favourite.

The blanket with the most 'love' on Ravelry will win.  So have a look through the thread, choose your favourites and squish the 'love' button on the ones you like best.

The Rules...

Only entry per blanket.
So if you are working on two blankets, you can do two posts.  But please don't post the same blanket more than once.  Thank you!

Remember to post before the thread is locked down.
(I'll close the thread on 31st March at 10pm UK time)

I'll remind you again closer to the closing date, so that you can work right up to the wire if you want to!

Good luck and I'll be so looking forward to seeing all your wonderful work.

S x



19 March 2015

Weekender Blanket is done

The good news is, I finished the blanket - yippee!
The sad news is, I no longer have a weekend blanket project - boo hoo...

Of course, I'm not really remotely sad to have hooked the last stitch and woven in the last end of my lovely hexie blanket project.  Just the opposite, I'm happy as happy about it because I love it.  I am going to miss working on it at the weekends though.  I had become a thing to look forward to, a little treat that I would remember on the Friday, 'ooh it's blanket making time.'  I liked that.

Last time we spoke, I was in the throes of border decisions and I'm pleased to say, with the help of a few experiments and the wise and wonderful of IG, I managed to get something I was happy with.  I initially wanted colourful bobbles along the ends, on the hexie points, but it just looked dibby and wrong when I tried it and in the end I decided that really the glorious and colourful hexies just had to be the star of the show and a one color border was the way to go.

For some reason, I'm not quite sure why, the edges at the side had to be straight though.  I guess because I'd filled those gaps with my half-hexagons but at the end I'd left the whole hexagon points, so I wanted to emphasize those and that difference?  I say that now, after the fact but at the time I admit it wasn't such a clear thought, more of a feeling of what would be right which I went along with.

This blanket was supposed to be a smaller project.  A little throw to cover the lap and keep off the chill while telly watching of an evening.  It turned out a little big bigger than I intended though, maybe because I just couldn't get enough of these hexies.  There's a picture of it below on my double bed so you can get an idea of the scale.  We have a king size bed and for those of you in the UK, that will mean something.  How it compares to beds elsewhere I'm not sure but I'll give you all the measurements below in any case.

I'm most mesorised by the colours.  The palette feels so familiar to me, as if I've used it before.  I thought it was like my Giant Granny Patches blanket, until I held them together and really they are very different.  It is kind of similar to my Niffy Fifties Ripple and that was one of my favourite sets of colours for a long, long time.  It's also fairly close to my Elmer the Cushion palette.

Maybe it's just because it's got so many of my favourite shades in it.  Maybe it's because it's one of those that just keeps giving me ideas for other combinations of colours that I could take from it and use.  I love it when that happens.  Whatever it is, there is something about it that feels utterly right and comforting and 'me' about it.

As usual though, no blanket finale post would be complete without a complete low-down on all the relevant facts.  We love the details don't we?  Okay, let's get to it then...

:  :   W E E K E N D E R   B L A N K E T   :  :

Yarn, Colours & Patterns

For the all the yarn types I used and colour details, see this post:
Weekender Blanket Hexie Pattern
You will also find the Stylecraft colour information in that post

For the whole and half hexie charts see the above link.
For the written pattern of the whole and half hexies, see the Ravelry pattern page to download:
Weekender Blanket

Border pattern will be coming soon.

Other Information

Hook: 4mm (G USA)
Size: 158 x 130cm (62 x 51")

Total rows of hexies: 23
Number of hexies in a row: 16 (or 15 and 2 halves)
Total number of whole hexies: 357
Total number of half hexies: 22

Weight: 1071g
Total Yardage: 3,295 yards
Approx yardage for hexies only: 3,034
Approx yardage for border only: 261 yards
Number of balls used: 15 (14 colours and 1 extra for the border)

I think that's it, but if there is anything else you'd like to know, just ask!

Oh and one last thing - I did work up a little 'filler' hexie just in case anyone was thinking they would like to straighten off all the edges of their blankets.  What do you think?  Would anyone be interested in the pattern for that?

In the meantime, keep working away on your blankets for the 'along' and keep posting those gorgeous pictures!

It's not too late to join in the fun with your own blanket project.  We're working on our new and old projects throughout March and we'd love to see yours too.

You can see this post for more details of the Blanket Along.

Just remember to use the #CHBAL tag on Instagram or pop over to the Cherry Heart Blanket Along thread on ravelry so we can enjoy your pretties!

S x



17 March 2015

Some Things for Me, Some Things for You!

Life continues to whirl along at a speedy pace here in my little world.  This whole blogging and pattern writing game seems to be something of a full time job these days and my computer is being used more than ever.  How things have changed in the last year or so.  My head is absolutely bursting with ideas that I want to get onto the crochet hook and I want to do everything immediately.  Something of a problem when you only have 1 set of hands, 24 hours in a day and other such restrictions to hamper progress.

It doesn't seem to stop me buying all the yarn I might ever need for all of them though, regardless of how close they are to actually seeing the light of day.  I'm going through something of a sock yarn obsession at the moment too, maybe the 'sock' bug has finally got me in it's grasp.  Which brings me to the first of the things to talk about today...


I went on a trip the other day.  A rather dangerous trip as it turned out, to Loop in London.  I've been before, with the Hubs, so I knew the risks but I've never been in with a fellow crafter before.  That, my friends, is a fatal move!  On this occasion I was accompanied by my friend in yarn, Sam of Betsy Makes and what a jolly time we had.  We visited Ray Stitch, which I'd never been to before, enjoyed coffee and then moved onto the famous shop itself.  Oh dear, oh deary dear, my poor purse was creaking under the strain that day!

You can see my rather considerable haul in the picture above on the top left, along with my smaller, but still not insignificant, haul from Ray Stitch below it.  To cap it all, on the left I have treated you to a charming photo of my stunned and reeling features after I'd just staggered away from the till at Loop which I think says it all.  (Photo used with kind permission from a rather amused Sam.)

Oh and if you are interested in knowing exactly what is what with the yarns, you can find everything here in my stash pages on Ravelry.  The yarns from Loop as well as the ones in the photo at the top which also has some goodies from Eaden Yarns and Yan Tan Tethera Yarns.

Harry Potter Galore

It's been the season for trips actually because I've also recently been to see The Making of Harry Potter at Warner Bros Studios.  I was a late comer to the whole Harry Potter phenomenon, after resisting it for years just out of sheer cussedness because there was so much hype surrounding it.  It was my sister's fault (as is so often the case) that I got into it in the end though, as she dragged me along to see The Half-Blood Prince at the cinema.  After that, I read the books and turned into one more of the many fans.

I loved it though and it was so interesting to see everything up close, wander along Diagon Alley and see the huge model of Hogwarts, that was amazing.  Oh and I got to try some Butterbeer and I liked it.  No-one else was very taken with it though.

Ready To Roll

I saved possibly the best until last though as it's a brand new and totally free sewing pattern for you!

I was asked by the very lovely people at Black Sheep Wools if I would like to use some of their fabulous fabrics to make up one of my accessories cases and it didn't take me more than a few seconds of browsing their lovely range before I knew this was a project I most definitely wanted to be part of.

I went with some Tanya Whelan fabrics to make my case and they are all available through Black Sheep Wools, so if you'd like to replicate mine exactly you can but there is also plenty of choice if you'd like to personalise the case and make it your own.

I'd probably use my case as a place to keep my crochet hooks and I left a pocket at the end for larger things like scissors and a tape measure and such but you could use it to store all sorts.  We were thinking it could be used for sewing notions, a paint brush roll, cute pencil case or even make it a little longer and keep your knitting needles in order.

You can download your free copy using the link below:

Ready to Roll Accessory Case by Sandra Paul for Black Sheep Wools

I hope you like it and I can't wait to see what you do with it.

S x



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