19 May 2015

Emergency Cushion

What, you might well ask, is an emergency cushion?

Good question.  It's the kind of cushion that you just have to make right now, after purchasing a brand new Ikea craft room chair.  That's what.

I've wanted to change the chair for a while, the one I had was an old dining room one and although it worked well in the dining environment, as a working seat, positioned at a desk, it didn't cope so well.  I tend to be a bit up and down as I sew and the chair would always be trying to tip backwards whenever I hopped up to grab a bit of ribbon or the ruler that was just out of reach.  A little awkward.

So a swivelling chair on casters seemed to be the way to solve my chair tipping troubles.  It is too.  Lots better for moving around and so on.  The only problem is, being a rather stark wooden affair, it doesn't offer a lot in the way of posterior comfort.  'Stark Wooden' as a look, I like.  I'm thinking it might fall victim to my vintage wallpaper and glue brush before very long.  But, the butt bruising hardness I can live without.  So, as you see, quite the emergency!

I knew straight away that I wanted to make a mini granny square cushion.  I've been seeing and coveting them lately and so I grabbed some stash in random colours and got cracking.  I was quite surprised how bright and colourful the selection I picked came out in this pattern.  It looked a little more subtle in the basket, but I just went with it.

It's mostly good ol' Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, one of my long time favourites with some Rico Baby Classic DK thrown in.  Some of the colours are discontinued ones I'm afraid, so it seemed like a good time to use what I had left.  Such a shame about that orange though.  That's a Rico Baby Classic one and it's one of the nicest, richest, vibrant rusty oranges I've ever come across.  I only just found it recently and it turns out it's being discontinued.  Typical!

Still, at least I am using it in something I will see most days, so I can enjoy it that way.  Of course, it will often be making itself useful and will therefore out of sight but I love having it in the mix all the same.

: :   E M E R G E N C Y   C U S H I O N   : :

No particular pattern but you might find these tutorials helpful:
My Classic Grannie Square Tutorial
Join as you Go Tutorial
Picot Stitch

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino
Rico Baby Classic DK

Ravelry Page
For yarn colours

S x



15 May 2015

Going Dutch

I've heard the expression as cute as a button, but how about as cute as a pin?

Pretty apt in this case, because not only is this pin cushion just about the cutest thing I've seen, it's even called Cutie Pin.  Appropriate don't you think?

The pattern is by a very clever friend in blogging, Maaike of Crejjtion.  I've admired her beautiful style and aesthetic for a long time and although I've been massively inspired by her I hadn't got around to actually trying out one of her patterns until just recently.

But how could I resist this?  I been excited about the pattern coming out ever since I saw a little teaser picture on Maaike's Instagram feed and so was pleased to get to make a little cutie pin of my own.

Actually I ended up making two.  The first one I made came out rather larger than I expected but that is entirely because I made it in the wrong size of yarn.  For some reason I had in my head, from before I ever saw the pattern, that I was going to make this in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.  As usual, my primary thought was of the colours I would use above all else and so I didn't even think to check what yarn I should be using before I leapt straight in and got started.

Of course, there is good reason that they say 'look before you leap'.  I didn't look, I just leapt.  Oh well, it's still adorable but for extra cuteness I wanted something smaller that would fit on the palm of my hand, rather than be more suitable as a dolly pillow, so I made a second.

This time I used my stash of DMC Petra Cotton 5 and it turned out just as sweet as can be.
I'm so very pleased with it.  It's one of those that make you smile every time you see it.

I also have to say how very impressed I am with Maaike's pattern written skills.  Not only does she explain everything beautifully, she guides you through every step of the way, includes photos, charts and  has even released UK, USA and Dutch version.

Wow, this lady is a little bit of a super star if you ask me!

: :   C U T I E   P I N   : :

Pattern: Cutie Pin by Maaike van Koert

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Cotton: DMC Petra Crochet Cotton 5

: :

That's not the only one of Maaike's patterns I've been enjoying though.

I spoke the other day on my latest podcast about the potholder I'd made and I also wanted to show you the shawl that I made from the same book, Puur Haken.

It's called Zomersjaal, which I believe translates to Summer Shawl.

This is another lovely pattern to work up.  Easy to remember, and grows quickly too.  I made mine from some lovely King Cole Cotton Soft that I got from the lovely Black Sheep Wools.  It was a lovely choice for this because, as the name suggests, it's just so soft which makes it perfect for something to be worn around the neck. And, even though this is a cotton yarn, it does have quite a fluffiness about it so it's really pretty warm too.  I don't know what summers are like in the Netherlands, but you can certainly make use of a nice warm 'summer' shawl in your wardrobe around these parts.

My favourite part of all though, is the oh so pretty edging.  It's just so sweet and adorable, I love it.

You know, this isn't something I often say, but I do believe I could see myself making this pattern again in the future.  Rare praise indeed!

: : Z O M M E R S J A A L   : :

Pattern: by Maaike van Koert from Puur Haken
(Book written in Dutch, I worked from the charts only)

Yarn: King Cole Cotton Soft

S x



12 May 2015

Podcast Episode Four

You Tube Link

♥ TA-DAH's...

Retro Stripe Socks

My Ravelry Page

Pattern:  Slip stitch Basic Heel Socks by Wendy D Johnson
(From the Book: Socks From the Toe Up)
with Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist

Yarn: Eaden Yarns Self Striping Sock in Retro

Yellow Shawl

Yarn: Rowan Lenpur Linen and others from stash
Pattern:  A work in progress


Yarn: Rowan Fine Milk Cotton

Pattern: From the Dutch book...
Puur Haken by Maaike van Koert

Maaike's blog:  Crejjtion

: :

♥ WIP's...

Sock Blanket

See this post for details

Blue Shawl

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace in...
Royal Blue - the colour I'm wearing
Sea Green - the colour I'm working with

Pattern: Coming soon!

: :


Beautiful Ladybird Stitch Markers
by Lisa's Hand Makes on Etsy

Fabulous Swapped things
thanks to the wonderful Emilcarv1963

: :


Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace

Colour: Dark Teal (80507)

Lace / 2 ply
55% Merino, 45% Silk
1094 yards / 100 grams

From: Knit with Attitude

Misti Alpaca Handpainted Sock

Colour: HS07 Miriam

Fingering / 4 ply
50% Alpaca, 30% Merino, 10% Nylon, 10% Silk
437 yards / 100 grams

From: Loop

: :

S x



07 May 2015

Playing with Colour

Stylecraft Special

While I'm on the subject of putting off important things, as I mentioned when talking about Blog Shuffling yesterday, I thought I might tell you about some more playing around I've been up to.  As you might know if you follow me on Instagram, I've been messing about with colour this past weekend.

I've been making up little colour cards, or swatches if you prefer, for some of my yarn collections.

Not my idea, of course.  It was the brainchild of that maesto of crochet colour, Lucy of Attic 24.  Lucy made her cute little swatches using pegs last year and as usual for me, being rather slow on the uptake, I didn't get around to joining in with the idea at the time.  I think I was busy and probably felt it wasn't necessary.  'I can just get the balls out if I need to' I thought, in my lazy way.

But, the thought niggled, as thoughts do.  Genius that she is, I finally saw she was so right and there have been half a dozen occasions just lately when I've thought to myself how useful they would be.

So I caved and made some of my own.  In fact I got a little carried away with the idea and have been messing around with yarn and cardboard for a fair amount of the weekend, truth be told.  I didn't have any pegs you see, but I did have all of these little tags that I thought might just be up to the job.

Stylecraft Special

Rico Baby Classic DK

So after working my way through my Stylecraft Special DK collection.  (And a few more that I might have popped out and bought - just to round out the selection nicely.)  I moved on to my Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and then my Rico Baby Classic DK!  Not that I'm obsessed or anything...

But the thing is, once these little cards, or pegs, or whatever you fancy using, are made up they are so much fun to play with.  So easy to arrange and re-arrange into pleasing combinations.  So easy to compare with other colours, see which colours are most useful and really get to know the shades inside out.  And so very much easier that heaving the many yarny balls out and making a mess of them.

I found all this palette play most entertaining I must say.  I even tested myself to see if I could made some of my least favourite colours work, like Magenta and Matador.  And I did manage it, I found a way of using them with other colours that I could tolerate quite happily.   Whether I would actually decide to go ahead and use them I don't know, but it really does show me that what I suspected must be true, that all colours are good at some point.

Stylecraft Special

Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (foreground) / Rico Baby Classic (background)

 It gave me a new appreciation of the Stylecraft range, I have to say.  I also found, yet again, how much I love Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino colours.  You can't beat the tones and subtle shades that create a more delicate and refined palette than many other yarns can manage.  It has left me wanting more of her colours though, so see what other delicious combinations I could make.

I've also found a new favourite and possibly the best selection of shades to use for Cath Kidston inspired projects I've ever come across in Rico Baby Classic.  Just gorgeous.  There are only 33 solid colours in their range (unlike Special's 63) but they are pretty much all gems that work so nicely together that it just sets the mind buzzing looking at them...

Rico Baby Classic DK

Rico Baby Classic DK

That and you can just make happy rainbows with them of course!

S x



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