Monday, 31 August 2015

Ta dah moment

Not one but two granny blankets finished in August and I'm almost up to date with wips, just two scarfs and one granny scrap blanket and one summer jumper to finish. I think I'll leave the summer jumper for now as its pouring with rain and I'm far too focused on my new granny square blanket. And I bought myself four new crochet books to get more inspiration.

a new granny blanket

My nieces (Megan) uni blanket is finished and boxed ready to gift later in September (photos later) and I finished my large granny square blanket on Saturday night which I am really happy with. I have a large tub full of left over yarn and I've now started another blanket. I've worked out its better to sew in the ends as you go along which saves heaps of time at the end. This one shouldn't take very long to make. I've already made 30 squares, well with two rounds out of 4 but I'm working in batches this time. Not only is it quicker but I can work out which colours to use in advance to make the most of the yarn I have left. It was so time consuming with the first one changing colours all the time but the result was good and random which is what I was looking for. And it looked vintage which I wanted. It has so many colours from the Debbie Bliss Rialto range, some bought a few years ago and are now discontinued. Sorry to post so many photos, I'm kind of obsessed!

I've wanted to make one for years, ever since I saw one for sale in a craft shop in Rochester high street. I had to learn first and I've been learning new things ever since I taught myself to crochet. It's a lovely portable project, therapeutic and you get a lovely warm snugly blanket at the end. What's not to like? Anyway I have a weeks holiday next week just pottering about at home, lots of crochet time and gardening to do.

sewing in the ends
join as you go method leaves lovely hinges in your blanket when folded
ta dah my finished blanket

my first and most recent finished blankets

a new blanket in progress

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

a new yarn shop in town, Faversham

A new yarn shop is opening in Faversham next week, just a short drive from my house. As luck would have it I had booked all of next week off work and it opens on Tuesday, so exited! Here are some lovely pictures taken from The Old Pharmacy web site including their wording. I'll be adding a blog report with my own pictures after my visit next week. Its going to be the perfect yarn shop and almost on my door step, I can see me spending a lot of time in Faversham.

I've managed to finish the back of my cotton jumper and cast on the front. I've even knitted a few rows in my lunch break today, determined to get it finished to I can start another project for me. I'm getting more confident now with knitting a simple jumper, I've had enough experience, years of it but I'm always disappointed with the result but this time I will finish it and wear it! I might even book up for a knitting course. So next week I can start looking for my next knitting project, maybe another cotton jumper to layer up over a long sleeve t-shirt. Colour, probably green this time or maybe red? I'll know when I see the yarn ;-)

Restored, gleaming and with sensors to activate the light when the day draws to a close, we are happy to have the pestle and mortar where it belongs

The shop counter made in the 1920s/30s by E. Pollard & Co Shop Fitters, St. John Street, London. They pioneered non-reflective glass shop fronts, put them in what was Simpsons of Piccadilly, now Waterstones, where they remain in situ today.

Beautiful yarn in an historic building in the heart of a medieval market town.
Built 1240 opening 10am Tuesday 1st September 2015

Faversham - a medieval town right on my doorstep

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Amanda's probably knitting

The weather is cooler today after Saturday's high of 31 degrees! It was a warm night too and I'm not sure if I slept more than 4 hours. I did however manage my 8am swim this morning  followed by breakfast in Sainsburys, naughty me. It's raining now and it's cooled down so I can sit and finish the back of my boat neck jumper. I'm not a lover of knitting in Cotton and this Sirdar cotton DK takes a bit of getting used to. I changed the pattern to double moss/seed stitch and the stitch definition is much better. Just a few more rows in pattern before I can cast off the shoulder seams then the back will be finished. I'm enjoying knitting this Sirdar Pattern (7083) as it's pretty straight forward but I wasn't happy with the tension on the first few rows, the wooden needles didn't like the cotton like the metal needles do. I'm knitting this inbetween blanket projects, when its finished it will be an autumn jumper! Watch this space for updates and you can also find me on Instagram most days, just search for amandacrochetinspirations.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, rain or shine.

my yarn bowl

Friday, 21 August 2015

a quick catch up

I'm still here, been a busy July and August so far. Here are some snaps of what I've been up to lately. Blanket making, gardening, birthday celebrations and a much needed garden make-over, Koi pond is currently being updated with new wood and is looking great

Oh and welcome to my new readers :-)

Megan's uni blanket almost complete

courgettes growing on the veg patch
Birthday lunch at the Dirty Habit Hollingbourne
a much needed garden make over - koi pond work in progress
Climbing French beans

dwarf French beans have been Moss proofed!

the V stitch border going in

a scrappy blanket, blanket 3 on my WIP list

Saturday, 1 August 2015

in my garden

Here are some photos taken in my garden this morning. Ian has been painting all the fences and it makes a big difference. Next is urgent work on the koi pond to fix the faulty electrics that keep tripping out and replace the wooden tops because they have weathered badly, not helped by the ivy that ate into it! A small garden but still a lot of work to keep it tidy!

1st August in my garden

Sunday, 26 July 2015

British summertime

Well it looks like summer is over in July, not that I'm bothered because it gives me the opportunity to get in with my blanket production line. As you know I've been working on two blankets at the same time, not a good idea but it stops me getting bored. I like the granny stripe one because its so easy to do in front of the tv. The squares take a little more concentration and time to sew in all those ends but they are addictive.

blanket production line

Not that many rows to go for Megans university blanket and then it's the border and sewing in all those ends. I'm really pleased with the way this blanket has turned out and the colour palette. I would like to make one just with blue colours and also try the Attic24 cosy blanket. You may notice I've started to add the Pin it button to some of my posts to help with my Pinterest account. I do regularly pin, sometimes too much, I can lose an evening without even trying. 

I've recently joined Instagram and it's great fun, another way to share your work and photos and I love looking at other people's work, you can find me by searching #amandahurrell

Tonight it's paella night in our house and I sort of followed Jamie's recipe to prepare all the lovely ingredients. I've only made it a few times so I'm still a novice and added too much chicken stock but it was still yummy. I like it because it's a one pan meal you can share. Just add some bread, bowls, wine and hungry family!

Paella time

It was raining too hard today to do anything in the garden. I have more purple tipee dwarf beans to go in, you can never have enough beans. And Moss isn't so bored now that I have an exercise plan and he has started hydrotherapy, more of that in my next post.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Quietly crocheting

It's quiet here on a Sunday, well it is now that my noisy neighbour has moved out, but that's another story! The burbs, one of my favourite Tom Hanks films sums up suburbia! Anyway back to my quiet Sunday and Saturday afternoons. I've been dog sitting Moss after his surgery and yesterday sat in the garden from 4-6pm making granny squares, total bliss. Last night I started to crochet the last row of ten granny squares joining as I go along. It's such a neat way to do it, I found a tutorial on Pinterest a while back and once you get going it's easy.

joining granny squares

It's been a long journey after teaching myself to crochet a few years back and getting tips off other people via Facebook and Pinterest has helped me a lot. So now my granny blanket is almost finished, just the last six squares are being joined this afternoon. 

colourful granny squares

I love sitting in the sunshine making granny squares, to be able to enjoy my blanket on cooler days. It's a brilliant project to carry around too. I've made granny squares all over Kent. At work, blue water, my parents, the garden, the park, in a traffic jam!!

a jar of ends

It's a lot of work too, all those ends to sew in. After I'd completed about 50 squares I read an article talking about sewing in as you go, now that was a breakthrough for me. It's so tempting to skip this and start another one, but patience is what you need and it's so much quicker in the end when you've done this. I've kept a jam jar with the ends I've sewn in so far, it's full. Hopefully by tonight I will be working on the border.