Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose

Friday, 27 February 2015

Spring has Sprung ...

Just in time for the arrival of March I am there ...
Spring has sprung and my garland is finished.

It all started back at the beginning of February, 
when the thought of crocheting a few Spring flowers seemed like a lovely 
way to spend a grey and gloomy winters day.

I wanted something that included all 
of these beautiful Spring pastels.

 So wool was chosen and bought,

and a little Spring garden began to grow on my kitchen table.

Before too long I had everything I needed for my garland,

and the really fun bit of putting it all together began.

I used two strings of raffia wrapped in thin wire 
and a string of ivy for the base

and then it was just a matter of lots of placing 

and pinning

and moving things around
until it looked about right.

And I have to admit
I am completely in  ♥ with it.

It's a little burst of indoor sunshine,

a reminder that Spring is on its way.

 Happy March everyone.


Monday, 23 February 2015

Not quite there yet ...

 I had really wanted to get my Spring garland finished this weekend but normal
 everyday stuff got in the way and it just didn't happen, 
so whilst very nearly there, 
I'm not quite there yet !
But things have certainly progressed and I am now chomping at the bit 
to get to the exciting bit of finishing it all off.

During the week I decided that as lovely as the yellows and greens were 
a little Spring warmth was needed, 

so I added in some soft apricot and pink tones
and I think it has given it just the little lift it needed.

It was then time to have a practice layout to see if I had the right amount 
of flowers and leaves and as I only had enough for just over half a garland
 a little further hooking was required.

It's surprising how many different parts are needed for something like this
but it didn't take long to fill up the plateful of Spring


 and get on to the blocking.
Other than the snowdrop stems the rest of the flowers didn't really need to be blocked, 
and in fact will add to the effect by being all different shapes,

but all of the leaves definitely needed a little help to prevent them curling up.
There's something very calming about blocking,
just quietly pinning and shaping, 
pinning and shaping 
till everything's all laid out in neat rows.
I sprayed all the leaves with a little water to start with 
and then finished off by giving them all a spray with some Fablon.

 With that job done it was time to get onto working out how to make the base of the garland.
I have thought long and hard about this,
particularly because it is this bit I really need to get right for Megs wedding garland,
and in the end it was my very clever Mum who came up with the idea of using raffia.

I found the best way to keep the raffia together and to get it to hold its shape 
was to twist it into a rope and bind it with thin wire.

 I then wound a wired length of ivy around it and I have to admit that
 I can hardly contain  myself
  I already love it so much ,
and I haven't even added the flowers yet !

Monday, 16 February 2015

Just around the corner ...

Sitting on my kitchen table is the tiniest little hint that Spring may be just around the corner,
not that there's much sign of it today on this very wet and miserable Monday !

I think subconsciously I must be really willing it to get a wiggle on
because last weekend I found myself  ordering some new wool in 
an array of  beautiful, fresh Springtime colours.

I ordered some colours in Drops Cotton Merino and some in Rowan
Wool Cotton, both are gorgeously soft and more than pass the sniffability test.
( I'm sure I've mentioned before that I just cannot stop myself from smelling
 any new ball of wool, it is without a doubt one of the things that adds to 
the high of a new lot of wool.  Just me ? Or do you do the same ? )

The colours are all very similar in tone

but when put together have just enough of a subtle difference, 
which is exactly what I was looking for - 
nothing too strong or strident,
 just a soft palette of Spring. 
And this is what the wool was for ...

... some tiny Spring flowers.

I have had an idea at the back of my mind for sometime now that involves
 garlands and swags and roses and weddings. 
There's still a fair bit of the thinking process to work through but I 
thought a good first step would be to practice making a garland on a smaller
 scale and Spring seemed to be the perfect time to do this.

Lots of pattern hunting has taken place using books, 
Ravelry and the Internet,

and bit by bit I have 
managed to grow a little Spring garden.

I've a way to go yet but its been a very lovely way to spend
 a couple of dark February evenings.

Spring on a plate !

Just before I go I absolutely have to show you a couple of photo's that were sent to me by email a couple of days ago with such a lovely message that it just had to be shared !
It was from a lady called Jan and she writes:

I came across your blog by chance and really love all the blankets you make. I saw the daisy blanket and fell in love with it so much that I wanted to learn how to crochet. I started in September and learnt how to make a granny square first and then followed your tutorial on how to make the daisy square. I struggled on joining all the blocks together ( it's a bit hit and miss in places ! ) but I am thrilled with how my first blanket has turned out.

I checked that Jan was happy for me to share her pictures because , 
quite frankly, for a first blanket I think its absolutely beautiful and such a wonderful example of where there's a will there's a way.
 Thank you too Jan for taking the time to get in touch - it means a lot.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Meg's star blanket ...

Today I have a blanket Ta-dah that I have been bursting to 'Ta-dah !'
for a couple of weeks now but I couldn't because it was
 a Birthday present for Meg and I didn't want to spoil the surprise.

 But as said Birthday happened yesterday
here it is ....

Nothing fancy or particularly detailed
just a very snuggly sofa blanket.

I used Stylecraft Chunky Special in Burgundy and I had the wool all ready
 to go for when Christmas was over.
I used this wool in my Autumn blanket and it fits the bill perfectly being the
perfect yarn for warmth, cost and wear.

The starting chain was 165 and as I wanted a softish drape I used a larger hook
 than suggested working the starting chain in a size 8mm hook
and then working the rest of the blanket with a 7mm hook. 
The entire blanket is just DC all the way.

And of course the best thing of all about it is that it works up so quickly
 that before you know it you're all done and dusted and you're on to the edging.

Now Meg is a girl who knows what she likes and likes what she knows so 
absolutely no fancy, frilly edges here please !
So to give the blanket a neat finish and to add a bit of weight I decided to go for a Rope edging.
Again, I used this on my Autumn blanket and it seems to work particularly well 
with this chunky weight yarn. 

To start with I went all the way around the edge working DC's with two strands of wool.
This gives a good thick base for the rope edging, which is basically backwards DC.

 All looking pretty good - 
but you know me, 
my blankets just aren't complete unless
 they have a little signature ribbon or heart in the corner.

 This time however I wanted to try a different motif.
I had chosen this colour wool because the blanket was to go with Meg's gorgeous 
starry sofa cushions so it only seemed right that the little addition tied in with this.

So, stars it was !

 Just three,
 made in a soft white 4 ply.

I decided where they needed to be,
pinned them

 and stitched them in to place.

( REALLY struggled to get this picture in focus, I'm sure if I had half an ounce 
of photography knowledge there would probably be a reason but 
I just couldn't get it , and added to that every photo seems to show the burgundy
 wool in a different shade - grr ! ) 

But, rubbish photo's aside,
 the blanket was duly wrapped 
and given 
and loved.
 And here it is in its new home ...