31 October 2012

Crochet Boutique

Last time, I promised you a little review of this new book, Crochet Boutique by Rachael Oglesby.  Well, the time has come to take a glimpse under the cover.  The first thing you'll notice about this book is that there's a nice array of projects.


Lots of lovely hats and lots of lovely scarfs.  If you are a hat lover, then there is bound to be one in here for you.  As someone who likes hats but generally looks terrible in them, there's possibly a couple too many in this book for my requirements but others may have more use for them.

At first glance I feared that this book would be a little too simplistic for my liking.  Most of the patterns seem pretty simple and straight forward and I didn't think there would be much to tempt me.  Looking through it again later though, I find lots I like.  The hat above is a favourite, as is this lovely chunky scarf below.

I think, in fact, that this book would be a great buy for beginners.  There's plenty of projects that someone new to crochet could tackle and there's enough to keep the intermediates interested too I would say.  Sometimes everyone just wants something simple to work on anyway, don't they?

There's a nice range of projects to tackle.  From the smallest, quickest little ones...

To the largest, which will keep you busy considerably longer...

Even a couple you can use around the home...

Not sure I'll be whipping this one up but, I am about to go and check my stash to see what can be done for the patterns that did catch my eye.  There's a pair of leg warmers I'm quite keen on...

S x

For those that like to know:  I was sent a free copy of this book by the publisher.  However I was not under any obligation to provide a review, or to promote the book in any way.  

25 October 2012

Knitting in the dark

I was going to write yesterday, I had it all planned out.  Then what happens?  A huge power surge followed by hours of Victorian style living thats what.

I was sitting at my little crafty desk after lunch, happily sewing away when the lights (and machine) flickered, dimmed, revived, then died out completely.  Oh joy.

It's not an infrequent thing to happen around these parts, in fact, it's come to be rather the way of life.  We often get a brief power cut or two one day, another the next and then all fine for a month or so.  Normally it's only for a minute or two.  Everything so hum drum and regular, or so I thought to start with.

It turns out that this was not to be a brief one, or even a fairly short one.  This outage was to be a nine hour whopper of a cut.  Ok, so not the worst thing in the world but it sure does make you appreciate the simple beauty of a working light switch.

So, apart from cooking dinner by candle light and cleaning the child's teeth in the semi-dark, what's the biggest challenge?

Knitting in the dark of course.  Living in a power cut prone area, I am at least armed with an abundance of candles.  So I prepared the area.

Looks quite cozy doesn't it?  I thought so too, so I got changed into my most  comfortable and snuggly clothes and prepared for an extremely quiet night in.

Pleasingly, I got it quite nicely bright.  Plenty enough light to knit by and passed a few happy hours row by row, not missing the tv, the audiobooks or even the chatter of another as the husband was out for the evening.  The only thing wanting was a nice hot cup of tea.  That would have made it perfection.

The child was so taken with dinner by candlelight that she's requested that we do it again very soon.  Turns out power cuts aren't all bad.

~ ❀ ~

Next time, I'll post what I had been planning to write about last night.  This little book here...

...till then.

S x

18 October 2012

Spooky Bunting

It's been feeling very Autumnal around here lately and it seemed to me that my jolly Christmas stars which have been lurking around here ever since I couldn't bring myself to pack them away at the end of last year, needed to be pushed out in favour of something more fitting for the season.

So I started off on an idea that I had in summer, when I was sorting through my stash for the umpteenth time.  I had a mish mash of balls, of different sorts in different colours and as a black, grey and orange ball happened to land together, it sparked off a Halloween related thought.

So I packed the yarn, and thought, away for the time being, all ready to bring out again at the appropriate time of year and just at the beginning of October the time felt right for a bit of Halloween fun.

Those of you that have already followed me on Instagram (thank you!) will have gotten some sneeky little peaks of the work in progress....

Really, with a bright orange yarn, pumpkins just couldn't be far away now could they?  So here it is, Halloween themed bunting...

I do love how it looks up there on the mantle, the cobwebs I'm especially pleased with as they are keeping their shape very nicely.

It's more fun than frightening, but I don't mind that at all and it makes a nice change of pace from my colourful stars too.  I'm enjoying the spooky look!

My brain seems to be overflowing with new pattern ideas at the moment, which I'm not going to complain about.  It's nice when the inspiration is firing on all cylinders without having to be forced into it.  So, this is the first of hopefully many to come in the near future.

Maybe you'd like to give it a try?  It's available on Ravelry too for a snipity snip!

If you do, you can show off your bunting in the Cherry Heart's Cozy Corner Ravelry group too.  I'd love to see.

S x

16 October 2012

Splashing out

That's exactly what I've been doing folks, splashing out.  Treating myself, having a little spend.  A little bit naughty this close to Christmas?  Possibly.  A little bit unwise?  Maybe so, but I can't be doing with being wise all the time.  It wears me out.

So, I have  indulged just a teeny, tiny bit.

Firstly, whilst out shopping for the season I mentioned earlier, I chanced across these little chappies...

Aren't they just too adorable?  They're from John Lewis and I had seen them some time ago, in a magazine or blog or someplace and drooled over them at the time, but funds just didn't permit.  In fact funds shouldn't really be permitting now either, but it's too late because I've got 'em!

I also got these pretty coloured spoons too.  They're those lovely Rice melanie ones that I keep seeing everywhere too and until now I couldn't think of a single reason to get any.

But seeing them in the sale was too much and after the sudden inspiration that my Little Miss could take them to school to use for yoghurts, jelly and other such spoon-fed delights, they were snapped up pronto.  Mr P barely murmured so I figure I have got away with it.

Lastly, and most excitingly, I have fabric!

Isn't it lovely?  Cute, bouncing deer, pretty flowers and I love the scotty dogs.  I even stuck a little festive note in too.  My absolute favourite though are the darling bunny rabbits.

I have to get them sitting, hopping and leaping on something very soon.  I don't have a clue what I'll make with them yet but I can't wait.

These fabrics are all from Messy Jesse's brand new shop Sew and Quilt.  I  was so excited when Jessie announced that she was going to be opening a shop because I have followed her blog for quite a while now and not only does she have a beautiful home and make beautiful things, she also has superb taste in fabrics.

So once the figurative doors of her new shop had opened, I bounced through them and spend some pleasurable time wandering the virtual shelves.  I wasn't wrong, there was some delightful stuff to behold, just the sort of thing I like best.  Nice 30's prints, a bit of Liberty, some vintage bundles too.  Heaven.

I even got a treat within a treat when the parcelled arrived, as I opened it up and found that Jessie had enclosed an extra bundle of fabric goodness.  A delightful surprise for being one of the first few customers of this fledgling shop.

I think you can tell that I'm quite excited about this.  It's not always an easy task, in this country, to track down those pretty prints that seem to be so easily available on the other side of that vast ocean we call the Atlantic.  So, having another potential source for such things over here does fill me with glee I have to admit.

So much so, that when Jessie muted the idea of sponsorship of my blog, I was only too pleased and willing to agree.  It's a new step for me, something I've never done on the blog before.  But, as I wish Jessie every success and as it's something I'm already genuinely enthusiastic about, it seemed like the right choice.

So you'll now find this cute little button living happily on my sidebar, waiting and willing to whisk you off to Jessie's shop at a moments notice.  I don't know if you have visited it yet, but if you haven't, I do urge you to take a moment to check it out.

Why not give it a little press now in fact?  It's looking very promising over there and I know I won't be able to keep away!

S x

11 October 2012

Oh my deer

I'm very excited at the moment because I got a brand new phone the other day.  Very thrilling.  I also thought I'd use that as a good excuse to make myself a new phone case.

I've be thinking of making one for a while anyway.  I do love my old one, but it is getting a bit worse for wear now after being carted around everywhere with me.   Add to that the fact that the new phone is slightly longer and the reasons for me to go stash diving and see what I could find where starting to stack up nicely.

A pleasant peruse later, and I had some pretties to work with.  Don't you just love these little projects, they are such a joy to work on.  No endless cutting in preparation, no worries about manoeuvring things through the sewing machine, no daunting calculations.  It's just easy and fun.

I'm even using the new phone to Instagram (sandracherryrt) while I make.  Get a load of me being all modern and actually using my phone for something other than the odd text.  If this goes on, I might even end up making a phone call with it one of these days.  

I think patchwork squares are amongst my favourite things.  I must do a whole quilt full one day, and then hand quilt it.... yep, one day, some day.  Back to the phone case though and I had the most fun getting this little deer chappie sorted out.  I love messing around with these little details and I think he came out quite cute in the end...

Cute patchwork squares and cute little chicks and deers, I might give myself a tooth ache with this one, it's just so dang sweet!

But now I'm doubly excited.  A new phone to play with and a cute new case to carry it around in.

S x

10 October 2012

Social Animal

Now, I don't want to bore you all solid, but I do just want to do a little bit of blog keeping, if you don't mind too much.  By all means skim this one (I'll add pictures to aid skimming and help you judge relevance to you), but you never know there might be something interesting....

First of all, I've been having a little tinker and re-jig of my side bar again.  I promise I'll leave it alone for a good long while after this, but it's been bugging me so I was itching to mess with it.

Social Streamlining

A short while ago, I added all the relevant socialising icons I could think to add so you could find me wherever you may wish to round and about this world wide web of ours.  However, after brief dabbles in some of these social waters, I've found not all of them are for me.

So, I've updated my icons to just the ones I'm using now.  Although I'm not sure how much use Google+ will  prove to be, I've decided it can stay for now.

Cleaner and neater, which is always a good thing.

Twitter vs Instagram

I've found that I'm not really using Twitter, so that icon has gone.  I am however liking the Instagraming.  If you'd like to follow me on there, please do.  It's going to be a good way of getting a sneaky peaky of projects before they appear on the blog!

Tempting, right?  I've added a little snippet of my pictures, together with a link, in the sidebar, so it's easy for you to find and follow me on Instagram and of course, the picture above will link you up too.

If you were following me on Twitter, fear not, you still can.  I haven't disappeared and I'll still continue to share my Instagram pics on Twitter, so if that's your app of choice you won't miss out.

What have you made?

One of the things that I really, really enjoy is when one of you lovelies out there show me something you've made using one of my patterns, or a tutorial or something.  It's so exciting.  Sometimes people are even kind enough to say 'I saw this on your blog so I made such and such' which is also totally awesome.

I decided it would be great to have a place to share these pictures, so I started a group on Flickr called Your Cherry Heart and I would adore it if you'd like to join the group and post a piccy or two.  Then, I and others can come and coo over it, it'll be fun!

You can link up now by clicking on the picture above, or it's over in the sidebar when you're ready...

Missing PCH Icon?

Last but not least, if you've been following along with the whole 'Pretty Crafty Home' thing that I've been harping on about this year, it's also possible that you added to your blog a little icon to help me spread the PCH word far and wide, because you're nice like that.

Well, it has been brought to my attention, by Renae that some of these icons may have gone missing or look a bit black and horrible.  I'm afraid it's all due to the horrible deleting disaster that I had back in September and I do apologise for the inconvenience caused.

The icons are now back but if you grabbed the button code from the PCH page you will need to grab it again to restore your button to it's former glory.

Sorry to be a such a pest and I also owe Renae a big thank you for letting me know.  There was no blog link or email adress, so I couldn't thank you personally, but I hope you'll read this so you know you are appreciated.

That's all folks!

Ok, that's all of it.  Thanks for bearing with me if you made it this far.

The next post will be better, don't worry!

S x

09 October 2012

Strawberry Baby

A little make for a little person to show you today.

Were you here when my darling niece was born?  If you were, you might remember I made her into a Blueberry Baby and a Pumpkin Baby?  That is to say, I made her a hat and booties set in each of those fruity styles.  Well, if you do remember, you'll know that I made those before she was born and before I knew she was going to be an adorable bouncy baby girl.

Now that I know that she is indeed an ABBG, me and her Mother decided to break out the Strawberry Baby!  Probably the cutest possible type of fruit that a baby could be.

I used this adorable pattern for the hat, the same as I used for the blueberry, but in a larger size because these children tend to grow at an incredible rate of knots.

And likewise, a larger size of booties, using this pattern, as written this time, that seems utterly ridiculously sized for a 3-6 month old baby, but astonishingly, turned out to fit just perfectly.

In fact, the child is not even at the three month stage yet, so perhaps she is just particularly well endowed in the foot region!

I'm glad to report that Mummy was as wowed with the fit and the cuteness factor as I was and little bubs didn't burst into tears when we suited her up, which I took to be a big thumbs up because you know how picky these babies can be when the mood takes them!

S x

05 October 2012

When is a shawl not a shawl?

When it's a wrap, no a little girl's poncho, maybe a poncho with armholes, no not that either. Maybe a cowl... oh, I don't know!

It had all started out promisingly enough.  I had an idea for a new pattern.  Yippee.  (I've been having lots of ideas lately, all very exciting.)  Even better, this idea that I'd had, I could make from stash yarn.  Double yippee!  The idea was for a lovely colourful shawl or wrap that I could snuggle under in the Autumn months and that would be bright, colourful and cheerful and remind me of the beautiful summer garden scenes that we are fast leaving behind.

So far, so good.  I started making flowers and deciding how they should all join nicely together, a sort of trellis come leafy background that would show the flowers off nicely.

I toodled along on this little project quite merrily, despite it not moving along any too quickly, when it started to become apparent that I wouldn't have enough of the nice green 'background' colour to make the shawl any where near a decent sort of size.  Oh dear.

A quick perusal of the internet showed that it was going to be no simple matter to track down more supplies of this yarn.  I'd got it on sale as a discontinued line originally anyway and that was no small time ago.  Humm, what to do?  

It was whilst I was laying the thing out and bemoaning it's lack of size and my lack of ideas of what to do next when an unlikely muse popped up in the form of Little Miss.  She started playing with it and wrapping it around herself and stated quite casually how nicely it covered her up and what a good size it was.  

Out of the mouths of babes eh?  That was the answer!  I would join the shawl up into a round and cinch in the top to make a poncho for the darling child.  I was off into action again with a new plan and freshly excited to see the outcome.

I beavered away, joining flower to flower, adding a nice border to the edges and top to pull it in to sit nicely on her shoulders and called her in for a fitting.  She waited patiently for my verdict, and although it did fit her quite nicely, it came down too far and was too restrictive, she couldn't really lift her arms very well.  It needed armholes.  

I turfed the child out and set off again, unravelling this time and removing and re-edging.  It didn't take too long and fitting number two was called for.  Oh dear me, no.  Not at all right.  Back to the drawing board with the wretched thing.

I brooded for a while on what was to be done and moodily started on another project, leaving the offending article abandoned until such time as inspiration decided to strike.  As a day or two passed by it seemed to me that the only thing to do, would be to make it into a cowl.  Suitably snuggly for Autumn and of course, still nicely colourful.

So I've undone all of the armhole undoing and replaced and made good.  I've added on  a simple edging and there it sits all done.

I have to admit, I'm not a huge cowl fan, so I don't know how I feel about it yet.  It is nicely bright and colourful and I do love all those flowers nestling in the leaves.  It looks better than I thought in cowl form too.

I kind of prefer wearing it as a little poncho/caplet type thing and maybe that's a good thing, that it can be used as both.  But, it's been a difficult little bit of business and it'd be a lie to say I'm still as happy and excited about this little idea as I was at the beginning. 

I'm really not sure what to do next.  Should it still become a pattern?  I do love the potential of these bright flowers, they do make me happy to see them in photos here.  That makes me feel a little better about the business I must admit.

Maybe I should just wait until I can start it all again from the beginning with enough yarn to make the shawl I originally thought of?  I can't face that at the moment, but it might be best.  Maybe I should publish the cowl pattern in the meantime?  Maybe I should just wait and see how the mood takes me in a month or so? Or should I just write this one off and forget it ever happened?

What would you do dear reader?  It'll be nice to have your opinions, goodness knows I don't know what to think about it anymore.

S x

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