27 October 2011

C's Two and Three

Yesterday I talking about the first c, Crochet.  Now I need to fill you in on the next C's in the tale...

C the second, Calamity!

Yes, last Thursday evening we all 'enjoyed' a trip to Accident and Emergency.

While at a friend's house, my poor little poppet had a fall on a trampoline and got a rather nasty cut on her leg.  I won't go into details in case any of you, like me, are the squeamish type but it certainly wasn't pretty.

Of course these things always happen when you are out and I got the phone call when I'd just arrived at my destination.  Around I turned and promptly drove to the hospital.  Luckily, it was quiet and by the time I got there, they had already seem the triage nurse and we didn't have to wait much longer.

Quite a few stitches were called for, so at midnight, my scared Little Miss had to go under anaesthetic and to the theatre to be all patched up.  I tried to explain that it would be okay, she wouldn't feel anything because she'd be asleep, but obviously it's hard to understand these things when you are quite small.  Bless her heart, she was pretty brave though.  I'm glad to say we didn't have to wait too long before we were called to the recovery room to be there when she woke up.

I shall never forget the look on her face when she asked me afterwards... 'When will they call me to have the stitches?'
   'It's all done, sweetheart.  The stitches are already done.'  Her little face lit up like a Christmas tree, she was so relieved!

Things are nicely on the mend now and we'll be going along to have the stitches out early next week.  She's absolutely fine, but my word, these children scare you to death don't they?

As if that wasn't enough to contend with, the day after we came out of the hospital, My Little Miss and Me had a rather important job to do, which is where the third c comes in....

C the third, Congratulations

We were to be bridesmaids at my sister's wedding.  Little Miss was adamant that she was still going to be able to perform on the day and showed us all that she had no trouble at all walking on the 'poorly' leg, so we were all set.

Unfortunately, what with remembering to take all the pretty dresses, hair clips, shoes, tights, needles, thread, medicines and a hundred other things we needed to get ready, I completely forgot to take a decent camera with me, so I only have a paltry selection of photos for you I'm afraid.

I'll have to wait for the official photos and take my pick from those to get a memento to treasure but everything did look wonderful.  From the beautiful bride to the individually coloured and co-ordinated bridesmaids.  From the hand made place cards to the old fashioned sweets on the tables, it was all delightful, we had a lovely time and my wounded solider did manage her part very well.

I wish my lovely sister every best wish for a wonderful, long and happy marriage.  I know she's made an excellent choice in her partner and I couldn't be happier for both of them.

For me it was certainly a day to remember for so many reasons!

S x

26 October 2011

The Three C's

Oh my dears!  So much has happened in the last few days, I hardly know where to begin.  I'm going to break it down into three c's.

C the first, Crochet:

I asked for your thoughts on my blanketing dilemma, and how wonderful it was to read the responses, one and all of them.

Not all of you adored the larger squares, and I do understand what you mean, there is a certain something about them which is stopping me falling head over heels for them myself.  But plenty of you did like them and I must confess, I really am very fond of them too.

Very many of you suggested combining the smaller squares with the bigger squares and I must say that although this is an excellent suggestion, I just can't quite bring myself to do it.  I can't quite find an arrangement that I'm happy with.  Their styles are just a little too different to sit happily together, in my humble O.  I think I'd probably need to add a matching row of single crochet (or dc for English Peeps) around each small square edge for me to be comfortable with the idea and the thought of undoing any of those little squares with all their woven in ends, makes my imgination weep!

As to the little squares, they did seem to be universally loved!  In fact you were all so enthusiastic about them that I got quite carried away and feel maybe that all the effort will be worth it in the end after all.  I didn't want to discard the little blighters before and really, now I couldn't bear to!

So, what am I going to do?  Well, as I've been continuing on with my big squares, I'm going to add in some plain squares and make those up into a lovely blanket for my bedroom.  The coldness is coming and as time is of the essence, a yummy flowery, quicker and easier blanket definitely seems to be a good way to go!

As for those little squares?  Well, I'm don't quite believe it but I going to do that too!  I can't say I'm still planning a huge blanket with them, I think a nice little baby one will present more than enough of a challenge to be going along with, but your wonderful comments have given me the injection of enthusiasm I needed to continue with them.  It'll probably take a while, especially as I think it'll be a project on the back-burner, an 'inbetweener' if you will, but watch this space long enough and hopefully, it and I will emerge victorious!

That's enough today, tomorrow I'll fill you in on the second 'c', Calamity!

S x

17 October 2011

More than I can chew?

I've been making these adorable little, itty, bitty squares for the past week or more and you know what?  I think I may have bitten off too much for me to chew this time, my Dear Bloggy Readers.  I think my crochet eyes have been a little too greedy for my crochet belly!

I want to make a blanket for my bedroom.  I selected colours without a real idea in mind and mulled them over with thoughts of granny squares in my head.  I thought of nice small squares, just three or four rows might be pretty.  I tried it out but and kept wanting to stop at the teeny tiniest amount of two rows.  I tried joining a few together - yes, I liked it!

The trouble is, I've been working for many long nights and am seeing very little results.  I know that doesn't sound very shocking given the smallness of these squares, but I confess that I am shocked to be honest.  Normally, once you sit for a few hours, you can see a goodish amount of progress and you feel happy with how things are going and feel happy to continue.

Not this time though.  This time, I'm feeling rather daunted by the whole project.  That little strip you see there is just about half the width I want it to be and that would be the shortest side!

At this rate, I reckon it would take me about a week to make one strip and I'd need 45, maybe 50 strips.  That's an entire year's worth of work!  Wow, when I write that out, it's even worse than I thought.

The tragic part is, I do love the look of it.  I suppose I could make a smaller blanket, but I don't want a smaller blanket.  I don't need a smaller blanket....

So, what to do?

As I found I really wasn't much enjoying making those little squares, with their depressingly slow rate of blankety growth, I scratched around for other ideas.

I recalled a square I'd seen on Ravelry a while ago, a square that I had a pattern for too!  This last weekend I have spend a rather more productive couple of days basing these beauties out...

What do you think?  I don't completely love them, yet.  I do very much like them though.  Yes I do like them a considerable amount.

Let me show you them together, so you can compare.

See what I mean?  One whole week, (at least 7 days) worth of work at the top.  Two days work at the bottom.  Compelling, no?

So, the bottom line is... what do I do?

Do I continue with my mini macro squares, because I do love the end result (even if I don't enjoy getting there).  Or, do I flower-power ahead with the larger, satisfying and very much liked squares?

Please advise me, Dear Reader, for I know not what to think any longer and your wise words will no doubt help me to shed some light, one way, or maybe the other.

S x

13 October 2011

Grannie Shrug

At last, the moment has arrived and I can finally release my new pattern!

I know there are a few of you darling people out there who have been waiting patiently for this day to come, so like you, I'm very glad that it is here at last.

For many more of you though, this will all be news to you, so I'm very pleased to let you know what I've been up to....

It seems quite some time ago now, but one day, out of almost nowhere and straight into my head, popped a jolly crochety notion.  The shape, the colours, the whole thing just pinged right in there.  Brilliant!

I knew that I wanted to make a shrug, I knew that I wanted to make it as seamless as possible and I also very much knew that I wanted the stripes to go around the arms in circles, rather than the more traditional make-a-square-fold-it-in-half type of thing.  (Not that there's anything wrong with that you understand?  Just when you get an idea....)

So, off I set, making a few trial attempts in plain colours before I committed to the 'real stripy deal' and long story short (too late!), I'm so chuffed because it actually went exactly as I planned and it's not that often I get to say that!

I love the kind of vintage feel to it and it's so adaptable.  You can follow my stripe pattern exactly, choose your own colours, choose your own stripe pattern or just go for plain if you prefer it.  Sorry if I'm getting all 'sales pitchy' here, I don't mean to but my excitments levels are running high and some of it's starting to gush all over the post.  Whoops!

I've had this pattern tested too by some wonderful Ravelry ladies at the Free Pattern Testers group.  It's the first time I've had a pattern officially tested and it was a great experience, so hopefully there will be no nasty surprises left in there.  A huge thank you again ladies for all your hard work, if you do happen to pop by!

I made it in DK and it's coming up at a nice size for me, about a 34"-36" chest but you could always adjust a little when blocking.  Some of my testers tried the pattern out in an aran/worsted yarn and were happy with using this method to get a larger gauge and therefore larger size, which is great news too.  Oh dear, I'm sounding all salesy again now aren't I?  Sorry, I'll stop at once and let you go about your day in peace...

Suffice to say, I'm loving it a lot, enjoying wearing it immensely and I'm very much hoping you'll love it a little bit too.

Grannie Shrug Pattern

Love to all and I'll see you next time.

S x

12 October 2011

Feel the Speed!

I'll let you feast you eyes on this colour, while I digress for a while...

After last week's post of slight woe, regarding interneting problems, I'm glad to be back this week with a message of joy and of speed! 

Not only did our wonderful BT Engineer Lady come through fabulously and fix our damaged line, the unnamed figures responsible for resetting our 'profile' also played their part.  Amazingly (to me at least) within the allotted waiting time of 72 hours, our connection problems were over and we are now enjoying the heady heights of up to 4.3MB, fairly zipping along!  I know some of you will be in the lucky position of being able to scoff at such measly speeds, but to someone who has been used to little over 1MB when things were working well, this new speed is like drag racing - the exhilaration, the thrill, it's like clicky, downloadable heaven.

Perhaps I'm overstating it a bit, but you get the point.  It's good to be back.

I'm afraid all these 'goings on' have meant that I've fallen rather behind on my bloggy reading and I haven't been able to get round to visit or reply all the lovely people who have been kind enough to comment on my blog.  Hopefully now, I'll be able to do a little more of it again though but in the meantime, this is a great moment to say how wonderful it is to have all of you here with me.  There's over 200 of you now, with more subscribing and I do so appreciate you all coming by.  Also, I just want to give another, extra big thank you all the people who take the time to comment, I love to read them all and you really do give me a perky little lift every time you do it.  Thank you all.  X

Well, I think you've waiting long enough, lets get down to some crafty talk at last, shall we?

I've gotten a little behind in that too, so I have a couple of projects stored up to show you and also, something rather exciting, a new pattern is heading this way too.  Today though, I just wanted to share my weekend purchases with you.

I've been meaning to stock up on some new felt sheets for a while, and I finally got around to visiting Hobbycraft and get this pretty colourful pile.  I'm not entirely sure what they are going to become yet, but with Christmas (yes I said it!) coming, I'm sure it'll come in handy!

I've also been thinking of giving embroidery another go.  I've seen some beautiful pieces around blogland that I'm dying to try out, so I took the plunge and me and Little One spent some happy moments carefully selecting colours.  Well, I 'carefully' selected, Little One randomly offered me various colours in the vague hope that her choice would be one I would go for.

I do have a few silks at home already, so after that pile was sorted out too, I have a pretty decent range I can work from.

Now I just have to find the right thing to embroider.... there's some lovely things on Flickr, so that's going to be my first stop.

I'll hope to be back soon with more crafty business and news of the new pattern.  In the meantime, I'm going to leave you with this sneaky peeky.....

S x

05 October 2011

Communication Problems

Credit: BBC

Just like Basil Fawlty trying to get through to Mrs Richards, I too am currently suffering from the effects of problems with communication.  In this case, it is the communication between phone lines, computers and broad-but not very broad-band that are causing the troubles.

We are currently enjoying something like 'Dial-up' speeds, which in these advanced and picture laden times really isn't practical for the busy web-surfer on the go.  Well we've all suffered these things, so I won't bore you with the details but the lovely young engineer that came yesterday assures me that things will all be well again by Friday.  Faults on the line have now been fixed but 'profiles' need resetting and this, apparently, takes time.  Up to 72 hours of time to be exact, so Friday is the day that my hopes and dreams are resting on!

So I hope you will forgive me, dearest of Bloggy Reading Dears, when I say I will reserve the latest details of my yarny and crafty type goings on for the next post.  When, with luck and BT's willing, the task will be a much easier one for me.

Fingers crossed for Friday!

S x
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