Thursday, 29 December 2016

Happy New Year!

I'm still here knitting, crocheting and taking far too many photos! Wow almost at the end of 2016 where has this year gone?! Some good news, my dad is doing really well and looks like he is on the mend, I wouldn't say cancer free, that would be too optimistic, but his consultant is pleased with his progress this year. He has another big operation for 2017 then he should be ok.

Really I should be saying its been a tough year, what with Ian being made redundant and my dads cancer treatment but it hasn't been, we have got through this and come out the other end. We enjoyed our holiday in September, then Moss fell ill again (but he's now ok, phew) and things just need to get a little bit back on track and Ian needs to find a job again and I need to keep up my swimming to keep  me going.

This year I made 6 blankets, endless hats, a couple of snoods, bought far too much yarn but it keeps me sane and happy. Working with colour and yarn is so good for your health (but not your bank balance!) The next few days will be busy with clearing away the Christmas stuff and cooking for family on New Years Day then a days rest (probably walking in the woods with Moss) and back to work again, ten days holiday does go so quickly. But its been great being at home and staying over in London for a concert on the 23 December. Its been colder here in Kent, which has seen lots of activity on my blanket and one almost complete for my Etsy shop (I plan to list more blankets in 2017)

Here are some recent photos of my work, I hope to find time to write more on my Blog in 2017 and do more to the veg patch when the weather warms up to dig over and make some plans, sort out my seed tins.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Amanda

my latest granny square blanket

23 December charity concert

some of my Christmas gifts

Christmas day lunch

crochet pom pom on my latest Etsy shop blanket

a customers completed custom blackberry stitch hat



Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Crochet book mark


crochet book mark
This is so easy and makes such a lovely gift when giving someone a book for a present.
First Make one Lusciouslyloopyflower then chain 50, add your tag, button and ta dah you have one beautiful crochet book mark. This one was made for my niece Kira to go with her book, she's just started hairdressing and she loved it.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Rainbow granny square blanket

Another granny blanket for #sixtymilliontrebles. Just couldn't get into the other one. This is going to be a rainbow granny stripe but its gone a little wobbly, I hate that. Tempted to start again, I probably will!

I have over 30 colours plus parchment and I'm guessing it will be about 46 rows. So most of the colours will get used.

It was a quiet weekend. Sunday I woke at 6am with a headache which lasted most of the day. Hay fever is bad at the moment and the windy conditions didnt help. But by 5pm I felt a little better and took Moss for a walk in the sunshine. Yes the sun came out after such a miserable day, typical. But I did get all my ironing done and a lot of crochet


the start
the yarn stash
and more colours!
Sunday evening crochet in bed

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Craft room (clean up)

What do you do on a warm summers evening? Clean out your craft room of course. Being part of the original garage to our house (at the back of our kitchen) its one of the coolest rooms in the house, and doesn't it look tidy?! We, I say we, mainly my husband and son - made the back of the garage into a craft room about four years ago. I've not used it much recently and it was such a muddle, but now I've actually sat in there this week so crochet and put some things together watching catch up tv on my Kindle. I just need to make a granny square cushion and I'll be comfy in my den.

craft room clean up
After a lot of selling off on one of local selling sites of stuff I'm not likely to use and yarn de-stashing my loft ready for the sixtymilliontrebles project, I had a very productive weekend. I now have spare yarn to give out to anyone who wants to join in.

Tuesday night I felt a little ill after being bitten three times on Monday night by some sort of mosquito. So I got to product test my new granny blanket a little earlier than expected. So cosy and the perfect size to snuggle under on the sofa.

product testing on Tuesday night

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Yarn bombing (for sixty million trebles)

production line
Last week I met up with Claire to chat about sixty million trebles  project and to get aquatinted. So much better than just a virtual friend.

Anyway I had an idea whilst were were talking and Claire said to post it on the Facebook groups page there and then. I was amazed at how it was accepted in literally minutes (there are over 950 members now and growing plus a silent army of grannies, my mum included!

The idea was to crochet small flowers and tag each one with the hashtag #sixtymilliontrebles (we decided on flowers as we didn't want people getting confused with pink MacMillan hearts) Since then Ellen has made over 80 tiny flowers and I'm way behind with my first ten. I've only started mine late last night and have to say the pattern is addictive! If you'd like join in please visit lusciously loopy for the pattern, it's easy and I bet you can't stop at ten.

tiny flowers





Friday, 12 August 2016

a little bit vintage

I'm not sure if its my age or a fascination with bygone days but I do love a bit of vintage. I think it stems from my grandmother and counting buttons from her button jar and pairing up her knitting needles at a young age. But I do love vintage knitting needles and associated accessories such as my collection of bakelite beehive wool holders. I love the fact that someone else has knitted garments for their loved ones using these needles and now I'm doing the same.



So when a lovely resident contacted me via Facebook this week because she'd read my plea for knitters and crocheters for the sixty million trebles project I rushed over there to pick them up. Oh what a lovely collection of knitting needles that are now proudly all mine.


I couldn't wait to use them, my husband saw that cheeky glint in my eye. So when he climbed the stairs for bed last night I cast on a new snood. Not just any snood, but a Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky big hug of a snood for the lady that gave me the needles. So we shall name this snood Denise!

snood in progress

Thursday, 11 August 2016

ta dah! My granny blanket is finished

After months of not touching this blanket, and my holiday getting closer it was time to crack on with the border. And ta dah it is finished, and over 6 weeks to go to my holiday. Now to tackle my other WIPs!

I decided to take it to Chatham Dockyard or rather the marina that is next to it for some dramatic photos. As the blanket will be used on the Broads it seemed fitting. And to be honest I can't think of a better place to be on a nice summers evening. I did get some odd looks walking around with my blanket! But it did make a conversation piece and I managed to enlist another person to the growing army of ladies joining in the 60milliontrebles!

on location at Chatham Dockyard (marina at St. Mary's Island)

on location at Chatham Dockyard (marina at St. Mary's Island)

on location at Rochester, near my office

a simple 2dc, ch3, 2dc border in turquoise to finish

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

60 million trebles

For those of you that read my blog and follow me on Instagram will know that I am totally obsessed with granny squares! I post pictures of them quite often and I've got a box of them, I love to look at them! It also drives my husband Ian crazy with wool all over the house in the car and also stashed in a cardboard box under my desk at work! So when one of my lovely followers, Bridget over at Malbridgehouse contacted me to tell me about an exiting new project, I was itching to learn more. At first I wasn't sure that this was a project for me, but after watching the recent program on the BBC that followed the plight of the Syrian refugees I decided to give it my attention. I couldn't image having to leave my home, my country in search of a safe place, could you? 




my first 36" square in progress


So here are some of the facts and why the project was started by a group in the UK.

The UN at the end of 2015 estimated that there are 60 Million refugees Worldwide.

The objective is that in the summer of 2017 we create a world record for the largest crochet blanket. It must contain 60 million trebles.  This blanket will then be a yarn bomb in London. After the event the squares will be taken apart and half of the blankets will go to UK charities and the rest to Hand in Hand For Syria

The squares you make must be 36 inch square, any pattern any yarn weight but they must come to that size. With no fancy borders because they need to be joined together. Are you sitting comfortably? to beat the world record and to do 60 million trebles, that's an incredible 8,050 36 inch squares. Go raid your yarn stash!

So your job is to spread the word an talk to knit and natter groups, Womens Institutes, every crochet and knitting group that you know in and around your area. 

I freelance for the Kent Messenger, my local village magazine and I'm in touch with various groups - so I plan to use social media for a good cause and tweet a lot! For every one person that reads this and decides to join in, others will follow. So if you can spare just a few minutes to pass this on, we will be one step closer to the target of 8,050 36 inch squares. And if you decide to join in, even better.

The admin team are going to need people to stitch them together, an artist to make posters, someone to talk to the press when we are near the time, we are going to need beds in London and loads of people on the day itself. This is an enormous project. Lets show our Government that we do care, lets give hope to 60 Million.


Full contact details : sixtymilliontrebles@hotmail.com or FaceBook  and Blogger 

And the team will be featured in the September issue of Simply Crochet magazine, how exiting is that?

Monday, 8 August 2016

sunshine and trebles



The weather was beautiful (again) in the UK this weekend and I was lucky enough to make time to sit and crochet. My granny stripe blanket is coming to an end; I'm happy and sad at the same time. I have loved every stitch and sewing in ends on this colorful creation and the turquoise border is giving me a lot to smile about, I just love it. So bright and cheerful and it will be perfect for our holiday in September on the broads.

I've ordered some more Stylecraft Special DK in some new colours that I don't have in my stash so that I can start a new one, probably for my shop. I have to finish my granny square shrug first, I may even get three projects finished this month! I plan to use the same border for the shrug as I have for the blanket but in the same silver grey colour, the sleeves will be just a plain band. Its taking forever to make this shrug, but I don't think I have that many more rows to complete. The Lion Brand Heartland shrug will be much easier to work on.


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Grannysquare shrug (cocoon jumper)



I love this Sirdar Cotton DK, it took me while to like it. After attempting to knit a summer top last year it got discarded in my wips pile, unloved as I didn't enjoy knitting with it. It just didn't have the stitch definition I wanted or was used to with Debbie Bliss yarns. But to crochet with, now that's another thing, its just lovely and a soft sheen making it look vintage in the grey colour I chose. And the ball bands are so retro and cute. I managed to grab some crochet time outside on a small patch of grass!

cocoon yourself in cotton
I was lucky to find another ten balls on Kemps website last week in a lovely shade of green. I did use one of the original grey balls then managed to match the dye lot at my local yarn shop and started this granny shrug or cocoon jumper a little while back. Its growing slowly because I decided to use hook size 3.75 to keep it less open as the chunky wool suggest. Also using cotton it will be cool and lovely to pack for my holiday in September on the Broads. It looks very luxurious too!
You can find free patterns all over Pinterest of Ravelry. I ended up buying one pattern from Ravelry but have since saved more to my Pinterest crochet board and Instragram has lots of tags too.



Tuesday, 2 August 2016

granny blanket update

We've had some beautiful weather here in the UK so it was bound to rain at some point. I'm not complaining, because my squash plants will love this and it saves me watering them (more time for crochet!) I took the opportunity to sit down last night in front of the tv, hubby went to bed early, to have some lovely crochet time

border time



I managed to sew in the last of the ends on my holiday blanket last night whilst simultaneously adding the first row of the border (like you do). I have to say I'm amazed at how straight the edges are and that I can see the finishing line now. So satisfying crocheting your own blankets in the summer to keep you warm during the winter.


love my new knitted basket


Here are a few photos of this colourful creation. I hope to finish this soon.


colourful granny stripe blanket

Monday, 1 August 2016

where did July go?

Wow its already August, where did July go? What a busy month with lots of good things, sunshine, gardening, crochet and knitting. I have managed to do a little gardening and I have 5 courgette plants bursting with new flowers and fruits with two green courgettes ready to pick tonight when I get home. I have to remember to pick them otherwise a marrow will be in its place tomorrow! Some cues are coming along nicely, with the amount of water I'm giving them the rest of the summer I won't have to buy from the supermarket (I have ten plants I think!) Ok maybe too many but as I'd killed off most of my veggies before I'd even planted them I was kind of lost for variety and ended up with just cues and courgettes! I have time to sow some dwarf beans (again) so I plan to do that one evening this week, directly sowing I think to save time and I need to buy a cloche to keep the dog off them. Oh and the rhubarb plant is pumping out again, so more jam or maybe a nice pudding this week with fresh cream or creme fraiche.

summer squash (round)

home grown calendula



cues

my garden where I sit to crochet
project holiday blanket


This weekend was really busy, well Saturday was anyway. There I was attending my neighbours salon opening in the sunshine, glass of proscetto in one hand answering the phone to my frantic mum in the other who'd called the paramedics out. I can just picture her now, red faced and pacing the house looking at her watch. And off I drove to Margate (again) with hubby as co-driver! After only being discharged on Wednesday it was some what of a shock to me and my siblings who all managed to get there despite all being in three different places dotted around Kent.

the fields surrounding my house


Funny how things happen isnt it? You don't visit a place for years then all of a sudden you are catapulted back there for 4 days! Not in my overall plans to spend Saturday nights date night with my hubby in A&E for over 7 hours but my nephews, Joshua and Jakob kept me busy. In the restaurant we downloaded the Pokemon Go app (yes I know I said I wouldn't join the Pokemon team!) and off we went in search of Pokemon in the hospital grounds. It certainly took my mind off the worries of monitors, drips and morphine! He's on the mend now and should be allowed home on Tuesday this week. Big lesson eat little and often, that's all I need to say on this subject (for now) I've seen my fair share of hospitals over the past few years and they are not a place for the healthy.

So lots of colorful projects still in progress to take my mind off hospital visits. I lost momentum and my mojo briefly but now back on track. Plan A : finish granny shrug, granny square blanket border and holiday blanket border BEFORE starting any news projects. Well that's the plan, lets see if I can stick to it! I hope you are enjoying some summer shineshine, the outdoors and of course crochet or knitting projects. Don't forget you can follow my progress daily over on Instagram

project granny shrug

project granny square blanket in duck egg










Tuesday, 19 July 2016

We are having a mini heatwave

For those of you outside the UK having warm weather in the UK is something of a rarity, rain on the other hand we do very well. So this week we are having a mini heatwave and its great if you don't have to work, commute or doing anything that makes you move and get too hot!

too hot for blankets, lets just look at them

I was trying to finish my granny square blanket (shown in the Rocky Road picture), the border is well under way but hey who want's to sit under a hot blanket in this heat? So I guess its going to have to wait another week or so. In the meantime I can still make blankets as squares are so much more portable and I don't need to join them right now. I spent a lot of my weekend in the garden as the weather was so lovely, and we have plans to make some more changes to the area in front of the pond. I like the idea of a chill out area, and those rattan sofas are calling me. I can see myself with a cold drink or cup of tea crocheting to the sound of moving water. But this involves moving a rather large kennel so its early planning stages for now.


my garden

I'm also helping with the yarnbombmoth project and my squares are looking lovely (if I may say so myself) I haven't made granny squares from Stylecraft Special DK in a long time, so this is a great opportunity to get back to using it. I have so much in my stash I was more than happy to help out. I plan to send them off in the next couple of days and I'll post a picture or two before I do.


crochet in the garden

The good thing about my other hobby if that's the correct title, is my love of swimming. I plan to get to the pool every night this week. I started off well last night, managing 40 lengths and rewarding myself with a ten minute sauna followed by a cold shower. So today will be more bearable knowing I can get into the car, full air con and drive to a cool pool, literally. Oh ant the Rocky Road was perfect for the fridge, and its all gone!


Rocky Road

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Sunday: crochet, coffee and judging the garden show

Sunday morning started off sunny and baking hot. I met up with two local ladies in the new Mews Brews coffee shop, wow fab place and such great service. Too early for cake (I was just being polite) so had a regular latte, the best I've tasted in ages. The cakes kept calling but I resisted temptation as I've eaten my way through half a rocky road tray bake since Friday night. Trying out s new recipe of my Macmillan coffee morning in September - nothing like getting organised!

Anyway back to Mews Brews. It's in the village and in the old estate agent shop, beautifully designed with a mixture of old and new furniture. We sat in the sofa library area, wow must go back with my crochet and grab that cost spot and a big slice of cake.

Mews Brews Iwade
 LOVE Cake!
cute tea cosy


the library corner

I'm now sitting in the lounge, the coolest place in my house, crocheting granny squares for the yarnbombmoth project (being run by The Little Wicker Basket) you can find the details via my Instragram feed
Ooh and I found another Bakelite beehive wool holder in red, isn't it it cute. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Glorious granny squares

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

vintage inspired granny blanket and vintage finds

I know, its a bit warm to be sitting under a granny blanket, but as I'm now trying to complete the border I am trying to do this in the evening in the garden in the shade. I gave up last night in favor of my granny square inspired top, the back (or front) is almost finished, it will be tonight (yah!)

granny square jumper in progress
glorious granny squares

June was definitely a granny square kind of month, just looking back on all my Instagram feeds, wow so many granny squares. I am totally hooked or obsessed, which ever way you look at it. Last night I sat in the garden crocheting and the big pot of red geraniums are about to flower. Good old Morrison's supermarket, always great quality plants and reasonable. Well gardening shouldn't be about spending vast amounts of money, should it? I potted three plants into a plastic tub my mum gave me ages ago. I went back to get more geraniums for the matching pot but sadly none left. I will post a picture once the buds are in flower, there will be lots of them


vintage Bakelite beehive wool holder

Here is my latest vintage find, isn't it lovely? It also has the original plastic tie attached. One to cherish. I wonder who used to use this? Its in such fabulous condition, almost new. Not bad since it was made in the 1950s

Friday, 10 June 2016

sunbathing, tea and crochet

Wow where has the time gone, where have the months gone? June already - really going quick this year! Does time travel faster when you are getting older? I haven't reached my milestone birthday, the big 50 just yet (that's next year!) But as I'm in my last year of my 40s I intend to enjoy it to the fullest, meeting up with friends old and new, trying new things, including new crafts perhaps. The possibilities are endless if you put your mind to it. I fancy knitting socks, sign of getting old, nah everyone is knitting socks these days. I did make an attempt one evening this week but to be honest it was 10:30pm when  I started and it was way too late to be attempting casting on 60 stitches and placing them on DPs at that time of night. I did managed to knit in the round but I gave up and have since found a new pattern.


sunshine holiday blanket

With projects piling up around me I am trying to be good and finish my WIPs first. Talking of WIPs here is one I'm working on this week, have to say I love Stylecraft Special DK for its price, colour range and it crochets so well. After this blanket I need to finish my duck egg blue then my new Cath Kidston inspired colour pallette in my all time favourite Debbie Bliss Rialto DK. I did finish my first Hitchhiker and cast on my second and I've worn it a few times, so soft and colourful.


crochet in my lunch break

In between crochet I have been doing a little pottering in my garden. Not had much in the way of my veggie patch but I did manage to plant a couple of courgette and cucumber plants last Sunday. Really do need to plant the beans but as my anti-Moss cage failed there really didn't seem much point when my crafty spaniel will just trample them or pull them up for me thinking he's being my under-gardener. Maybe I should just use canes like last year as it did the trick but didn't look that great. I think this weekend I will rig-up another make-do-and-mend kind of veggie cage to keep him out and my beans in!

Enjoy your garden, crochet, knitting, weekend and I will be back soon.

Amanda


sunbathing and crochet

granny blanket drying in the sunshine

tea and crochet

hitchhiker shawl finished