Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My creative space.... another pincushion..

Soooo..... I finished my little mini granny squares make.  The pattern for the squares is from the lovely The Royal Sisters blog, (I'm sure you all know it already), and I just made up a simple 9 mini square square, if you know what I mean!

Once again, a pretty frivolous thing that the world can do without, but I quite like my little puffy granny pincushion.

Made just like a cushion........

.....but fits in the palm of your hand!

I seem to have a bit of a thing for pincushions.....little and taking just the right amount of time to make to maintain my interest, what's not to love?  
And I can almost convince myself it is a practical thing to make, useful even. Hahaha....
I do love these bright colours........
I think this would be nice in lots of different colour palettes, maybe all different shades of red/pink, or aquas and reds with a white border?  hmmmm so many choices....

Anyway, have a great day! 

Might join in  with the others at our creative space today if I remember to link up!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday crochet colour...

It's a very hot Sunday morning here. Windy and very hot.  We are all having a slow start after a pretty sleepless night.  This weekend has been our local Westernport Festival, a highlight on the calendar of all the kids and teenagers around here.  There is a carnival with rides and lots of stalls and activities down at the foreshore and a parade down the main street.  It is usually a great community event, but it has been such a hot weekend (over 40 degrees yesterday), I don't think as many people have gone to it.
The evening and night seemed to be the time to go and have a look, the fireworks last night was full of people.  I love a fireworks display, and these were really beautiful, pretty impressive for a little community!  
After the fireworks, a lot of the families take their young children home to bed and the teenagers take over the place, nothing too extreme, just having a bit of fun and pretty well behaved. I hope they were well behaved anyway, as my eldest was one of these kids this year, hanging out with his mates.  They are all nice kids, so I am sure there were no problems. I will hear all about it later when he comes home from his mates place.

Anyway......... I have been trying to distract myself from worrying about teenage antics with a bit of crochet love.
This granny squares pattern is from the wonderful Royal Sisters blog.  I am having fun with some tiny hooks (1.5mm) and embroidery thread.  I had a little revelation the other day. I was looking for some more interesting colours in cotton thread, and realised I could use embroidery thread for crochet as well as needlework.  So many colours!!  Yay! The sky's the limit now!

Look at these lovely colourful cottons!

And here is the actual size of my squares all sewn together, quite small isn't it!

This is just the start of this little idea, I will show you what I am going to do with these when I see if it is going to work how I imagine.

So, have a good weekend, and stay cool if you are in Melbourne, we are in for a scorcher!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Summer bounty......

tomatoes, tomatoes, everywhere!
(sorry you crafty ladies, this is a bit of a garden joy post today)

 Sooooo..... we have heaps of these in the garden at the minute, I just love a good summer glut of tomatoes, beans, raspberries, or whatever really, it makes me feel like a good gardener and a little pleased with myself, if I am honest with you!! haha...

It's the reward at the end of the whole long process of sowing a seed, nurturing a seedling, feeding, caring and protecting a little plant till it grows more robust, then anxiously hoping the little fragile flowers were visited by the bees you encourage to frequent the vegie patch, then remembering to keep the watering even and abundant so the fruits/ vegetables swell and flourish and the plants stay healthy and can fend off the insects that want their share.........

A million things can upset this journey from seed to harvest. It is hard to maintain the vigilant attention your little plants require for the whole growing season.  
This summer a bed of freshly sprouted carrots and spring onions that were just pushing their first leaves out, were fatally set back when we went away for the weekend and it was hot for a couple of days. Boo Hoo

 My garden suffers from my sporadic attention, although I have tried very hard this summer to be more consistent in my vegie gardens.  I have been pleased with my results - lots of tomatoes and other things, enough to mean we can get our vegies from home, for the most part, through out summer. Yay!

don't they look pretty!!!

After all that is the reason I garden in the first place, the joy of picking your own stuff!

OK enough gushing....I just love the garden!!
 (kind of like I love crochet, I am an all or nothing type of girl) 

And then you have to do something with it all.  There is only so much you can eat and give away to other people (who have gluts of their own), before it starts to rot on your benches and leak all over the floor.

Apparently I am not to worry that they have risen in the jars - it means that they have made a good seal!
So that's what I did yesterday. Got out Mrs Fowler and preserved up a storm!  Just chopped up tomatoes, but very satisfying all the same.  There are a few jars of dark ones, which are my Black Russians, and the rest are Romas and Grosse Liss I think.  15 jars in total.  
I have another lot ripening at the moment so I think I will be adding to this later in the week.

Anyhoo......there is a lot of this going on around these summer parts at the moment, just thought I'd give you a little peek into my kitchen and garden, show you what I've been up to, hope it wasn't too boring!

I am starting a new little bit of crochet too, so will show you all soon.

See ya!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Some thoughts on colour.......

Soooooo........I've been thinking about colour and colour choices a bit lately. I kind of use the same old colours for lots of things I make, just because I like the way they look together. But maybe it's time to lash out and try something a bit different, maybe, maybe not.  

 I am trying to use up my stash yarns for things at the moment, and I don't always have the colour I am looking for, or I run out of the colour I need and have to make substitutions. 

I usually just go out and buy more of what I want, but I am trying to conserve some money, and let's face it, all our money is going on bills and other living expenses right now, so I feel a bit self indulgent buying wool to feed my crafty habits!

Anyhoo, take these granny squares for example, they are for the big blogger blanket that Stocki is putting together (must get them in the mail !!), and needed to be made of cotton.

The cotton I use is not the brightest colour range (we don't seem to have the range of choice in cotton yarn that I see OS), so I like to add the red to my squares to give them a bit of spark.  But I am down to my scrap balls of red!  Only really enough for smallish rounds.

See this pale blue one?  I really wanted to edge it in red, but didn't have enough, so the blue is the compromise.  And I normally wouldn't use so much white, but you know what?  I kinda like them!
I actually like the light feel of the pale green, pale blue, red and white combo so much I think I might make a cot blanket in a variation of this palette.  Light and breezy and summery!

When I save some money for yarn shopping that is, of course! hahaha....

Anyway, just some random crochet/ colour thoughts tonight....what do you do when you run out of colours ? do you compromise ? make do?  or do you wait until you have the right stuff to finish your piece just how you want it?

Hope you're having a great makey weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sunny morning....


Just a quick post today, taking a moment to enjoy a lovely summer morning the other day.
I have moved my little red table to catch the morning light and it is so nice sitting there for breakfast at the moment.

Hope you have a sunny day too!

PS Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the lovely ladies who have passed awards onto me recently, I am thrilled that you thought of my little old blog, and you are all so kind!  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

one a day...more squares

One  a Day update - I actually made 9 squares this week but I can't remember which ones are the new ones to show you individually, oh well, they are all looking pretty similar now any way.  
I think they look good all stacked up, there are 29 all together now, so my blanket is starting to grow!

.......and have a look at a behind the scenes shot, I haven't done any weaving-in-of-ends yet!! Must start that soon. 
(Pattern Weekend in Stockholm  by Debbie Stoller)

Have a great day! 
Linking up with the other girls doing the one a day thing at Gingerbread Girl.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My place and yours...on the wall

 Hello.  How's your weekend going?

As usual, the days seem to just whizz by, tomorrow we have a family birthday to go to, and then it will be the start of another week, I haven't really got into a good rhythm for school routine and 'school term stuff', I am still in summer holiday mode.  Better snap out of that soon!

 I am joining in over at Vic's Place for My Place And Yours today, trying to get back into a bit more regular blogging.  The theme this week is  'On the Wall', so here is a bit of a look at what's on our walls.

I realise our house is quite colourful when I see these photos!! 

Most of the things on our walls are paintings, I used to have other bits and pieces hanging around, but when we had the walls painted, I never got around to putting all the hooks back.  It was 10 years ago, so I probably should get onto that!

I have dabbled in a bit of painting over the years, and this one above is supposed to be of snapdragons........ I seem to come back to a similar colour palette in everything I do, it's a bit too coordinated for my liking, but I seem to be drawn to a certain pool of colours no matter what I do!

.......I like these 2 abstract colour paintings that were rolled up in a corner of my aunts cupboard.
I think they are happy in their new life.

 I also have a fair bit of the boys early artworks on the walls, I love Andre's Toucan that he drew with oil pastels (one of my favourite mediums) when he was in prep (about 5 years old)........

 ......More art from the boys down the hall.........

 ..........this one is of a bushfire, by Andre, (age7 or 8) pretty good huh?......

Unfortunately soon after this prolific period of creativity, the art from the boys dried up and I have nothing much after they were in early primary school.  Must try to encourage them to get creative again.
Having said that, Jesse is doing Visual Communications and Design as a VCE subject for year 11 this year, and they do do art at school, but they don't do much at home anymore. Sigh.
Hopefully they will come back to creating things at some time in their lives, it is such a joyous outlet to have.

 ........This is a bit of my 'inspiration board' , unfortunately, it is looking a bit sparse, I've had to use a few cards for presents!

......and finally this is my port-holey mirror in our room, and you can see some of Gary's Doctor Who book collection in the reflection.  Yes, there is plenty of colour in this place!

Hope you all have a fun day! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One a day update....grannying on


It's Tuesday again, they come around quickly at the moment, so it's time for the One a Day update.
These are the 6 squares I got finished this week, one short, I know, but there are only so many hours in a day!

I am planning to do a few extra this week to catch up and give me some breathing space.
I did get to add some purple this week, it stands out a bit at the moment, but when I get a few more done I think it will look good.  I also added a darker, bluer, green and an apple green to the mix, as I though it was getting a bit wishy washy.  I'm happier now.

So here are all the squares so far, 20 in total.

...... and because I am such a fashionista, I thought I'd show you the stylish footwear I was wearing today - socks and sandals are always in fashion, right??  hahaha.... only around the house though, my family already know I am a lost cause, but I think I still have my friends bluffed! ( Or not, I really just wear whatever I want, or whatever is cleanest, my laundry system is out of control!  But that is a whole other story.)

Linking up with the other girls over at Gingerbread Girl, have a look how their One a Day projects are progressing if you have a few minutes.
Have a great day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Polkadot Square Pattern ( at last)


How are you going today?  It's the last day of school holidays here and I am putting off ironing the school shirts that have sat in the ironing basket since before Christmas.  I'll probably end up ironing them while the boys have their showers in the morning.  Nothing like the last minute to get things done in my house!

So I am writing this instead.  Much more important.

You might remember these polkadot squares that I crocheted a while ago?  Or you may not.

Anyway, I have finally finished writing the pattern down and doing  a little photo tutorial on how I made them.  It is very simple, and you probably don't need a tutorial, but I thought it might help if you are just starting out in crochet.

I will put the pattern at the bottom of this post if you just want to skip straight to the concise version.

Ok here we go,  happy hooking and good luck!


This is for a circle in a square type granny, using single crochet sts to create a nice solid piece.  I didn't want it to be 'gappy'.  It is easy too play around with colour combos and different stripey effects too.

I used a 3.5 mm hook and 8 ply Bendigo Knitting Mills Cotton in a variety of colours, but you could try this in any yarn I think.

This pattern is in US. stitches, sorry UK ladies, for you, sc =dc, hdc =htr, dc =tr 

round 1

First, Chain 4 and slip stitch to 1ch to make a ring/circle.

Rd 1 : Ch1 (counts as first st) then do 5 sc into ring.Sl st to first ch to close round.  (6st in total)

Rd 2 : Ch1 (counts as first st) then 1 sc in same stitch, then 2 sc in each st to end. Sl st to first ch to close round. (12 st in total)

round 3

Rd 3 : Ch 1,* 2sc in next st, then 1sc in next, * , continue pattern around. Sl st in first ch to close round.  (18 st in total)

round 4
 Rd 4 : Ch 1,  sc in next st, then *  2sc next st  then sc in next 2st * continue pattern around. Sl st  in first ch to close ring. (24 st in total)

round 5
 Rd 5 : Ch 1, sc in next 2st, then *2sc in next st, then sc in next 3st * continue pattern around, sl st in first ch to close  (30 st in total)

round 6, and changing colour step 1
 Rd 6 : Ch 1, sc in next 3st, then *2sc in next st, then sc in next 4st * continue pattern around, sl st to close.  (36 st in total)
 I changed colour  at the end of this round to add a stripe of dark blue for rd 7.
This is how I change colours so it is a subtle, smoothish join.
In the last sc of Rd 6, before you do the yarn over and pull through, change to the new colour....

changing colours step 2
 ...and pull it through the old colour loops.  Pull the old colour yarn gently to tighten the stitch, and slip stitch in the first ch with the new colour to close the round. Continue with next round as normal.

changing colours step3
 I leave the old colour still connected and just change back when I want a different stripe.
(does that make sense??)

round 7
  Rd 7 : Ch 1, sc in next 4 st, then* 2sc in next st, then sc in next 5 st * continue pattern around, sl st to close, changing colour back to light blue at end of round. (42 st in total)

round 8
 Rd 8 : Ch 1, sc in next 5 st, then *2sc in next st, then sc in next 6 st* continue pattern around, sl st to close round . (48 st in total)  Bind off.   ( inner circle completed)

round 9 pattern repeat x4
  ( Squaring up) Rd 9 :  Join 3rd colour (green) in any stitch, to create the 4 corners of the square, repeat the following pattern 4 times - 3sc, then 3hdc, then 3dc in next st, then 3hdc, then 2sc.
Sl st to first ch that counted as first sc, to close round.

round 9 complete
This is how it is looking at this point. ^

round 10
Rd 10 :*2 sl st, then 4 sc, then 1hdc, then 4dc in next st, then 1 hdc, then 4sc, then 1 sl st,* do this 4 times , Sl st to first st to close.

round11 finished!!
Rd 11:  ch 1, then sc around in all sts, except in each corner st where you do 2hdc,ch1,2hdc.
Bind off.  And I think that is it!

Abbreviated pattern:
Ch4, join to 1st ch to make ring.
rd1: sc6 into ring
rd2: 2sc in each st all around (12 st)
rd3: 2 sc in next st, then 1sc in between, all around (18 st)
rd4: 2sc in next st, then 2sc in between, all around (24 st)
rd5: 2sc in next st, then 3sc in between, all around (30 st)
rd6: 2sc in next st, then 4sc in between, all around (36 st)
rd7: 2sc in next st, then 5sc in between, all around (42 st)
rd8: 2sc in next st, then 6sc in between, all around (48 st)

rd 9: (3sc, 3hdc, 3dc in next st, 3hdc, 2sc) x4
rd10: (2slst, 4sc,1hdc, 4dcin next st, 1hdc, 4sc, 1slst) x4
rd11: sc around ,with 2hdc,1ch,2hdc in each corner st. bind off.


I hope you understand what I mean, I found it hard trying to write instructions, so it might be hard to follow. I hope not. Another thing, I also varied where I put the increases in my circles when I found it was getting too hexie shaped, as long as you keep the right number of sc in between increase stitches, you can put them anywhere.

To make a cushion cover, I made 16 of these and single crocheted them together, like patchwork.
Haven't finished the back yet, but will show you it when I'm done.

Please, if you find any mistakes in this, forgive me! And let me know and I will try and fix it up.

Have a great day!