Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Roll on the Summer Holidays

Life is sweet right now...the sun is still shining, my sweet peas are in bloom and the boys finish school for the summer this Friday.
We 're busy planning our virgin voyage in the caravan, and are thinking of heading to the North West of Scotland. Ullapool direction I think, where the beaches are beautiful, wild and remote. Any campsite recommendations?

Monday, 28 June 2010

The Livvy Blanket (with Pattern)

Hot off the hook this lunch time - a little lacy baby blanket for a friends brand new baby girl. I have made this a number of times, its lovely and light and airy for summer time and using a v-stitch, it makes up quickly. This time I used bamboo tape, which has given the finished blanket a lovely silky, drapy feel about it. For a bit of extra girly-ness I edged the blanket with a shell stitch which gave a nice frill effect.

I also made up a matching little sun hat using this Ravelry pattern, you forget how tiny a newborns head is, so I hope it fits..

Livvy Blanket Pattern

I used a 4.5mm hook with the bamboo tape (weight the equivalent of aran yarn) but think with hindsight I could have possibly used a slightly bigger hook - use a hook appropriate to your yarn thickness. All in US crochet terminology

Ch 88.

Row 1: (Dc, ch 1, dc) in 5th ch from hook, (This is your basic V-stitch pattern)
[skip 2 ch, work V-st in next ch] across to last 2 ch, skip 1 ch, dc in last ch – 28 V-sts and dc at each end of row.

Row 2: Ch 3, work V-st in each ch1-space across, end dc in top of turning chain.

Repeat Row 2 for V-st pattern until there are a total of 34 rows;

After you have crocheted 34 rows, ch 1 (instead of ch 3), turn. DO NOT FASTEN OFF.

Sc in each dc and ch1-space across, end 3 sc in last dc; rotate to side, sc evenly along side edge, 3 sc in first ch of foundation ch; sc in each ch across, 3 sc in last ch; sc evenly along rem side edge, end 2 sc in top of last row turning chain, join with slip st to top of first sc.

Shell Edging
(1sc, 1hdc, 1dc, 1hdc, 1sc) into second Sc, (this is your basic shell stitch ) skip one Sc and repeat shell stitch into next Sc, continue this around entire blanket.

Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Friday, 25 June 2010

My Friday

T-shirt making for my 6 years old's 'Sport' party.

Experiment in yogurt making

Cupcake making for said party

Consumption of many large cups of coffee

The start of my Elderflower Champagne experiment

Add to that, 1 hour of weeding at my allotment, a whizz around the supermarket, laundry, preparing of food for party, holding a sports party for a bunch of 6 year olds, trying to fit in a quick 30minute run to try and keep fit..................I won't go on...
Running a home is a full time job - as a 'stay at home' parent I often feel I have to justify my time at home, but the reality is I am busy every single day. My two boys (age 6 and 8) are now both at primary school daily between 9am -2.35pm. This past year, since my youngest started school I have been trying to find a rhythm to my week - I tutor OAP's in the use of computers (I used to be an IT Trainer prior to having children), volunteer at the school, helping with the weekly computer lessons, I cook and bake, I clean, I grocery shop, I do the laundry, I work in my allotment and grow veggies for our table and just like that 2:30pm comes round all too quick.
I have been looking for a paid job recently, even attended an interview, but school hours and school holidays dictate when I can work, and sadly I think to many employers I am just not that employable. I have however found this past year a very rewarding and satisfying time of my life. My crafting keeps my sane and motivated, but I struggle daily with the inner turmoil of what to do with my future whilst still managing to keep a happy balanced family life, a life I have made sacrifice's and worked so hard to have. I know I am not alone, many women feel the same as me, but I wanted to champion us 'stay at home' parents who are contributing to society by nurturing and raising good little people with hopefully wholesome values for their future lives..

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Bunny Girl

I haven't made any Amigurumi figures for a while, but a little friend of ours turned 6 this week and was having a bunny themed party, so a pink bunny present seemed appropriate.

If you've never tried Amigurumi before I would recommend one of the Amigurumi books by Ana Paula Rimoli. This bunny pattern was taken from her second book..

I bought this book about a year ago and have seriously made LOADS of things from it - I like her style of pattern writing, very simply and easy to follow. I used some silky cotton yarn to crochet the bunny, but had a few problems weaving in the ends as the yarn kept splitting and looked untidy - what kind of yarn do you tend to use for Amigurumi?

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Some Blue and White

Popped into our local Red Cross charity shop this morning whilst out and about doing a few jobs. I seem to have blue and white on my mind right now, probably due to my obsession with 'kitting out' the caravan, but look what I found -

Ulster Linen tea-towel from the National Dairy Council (50p) - love the retro graphics, I might even frame this for the kitchen.

2 x enamel pudding bowls (75p for both). I had been thinking about ordering a set of these for the caravan, pity there wasn't 4, but never mind, these 2 bowls will be perfect for the kids cereal.

Pure Irish Linen table cloth (£3.50) . This one still had it's original vintage label on it, it was slightly yellowing from age, but a wash and an afternoon drying in the sun has done it a world of good.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Remember This?

Found this yesterday when I was tidying out a bookcase -very topical! I remember loving these particular Topsy and Tim books from the 70's and 80's when I was a child

Very familiar layout to that caravan......and look at the enamelware they have!!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Summer Flower Garland

I sat down last night, blissfully alone - eldest son and husband were off at Cub Camp and my littlest sound asleep after a day of birthday merriment. With my G&T in hand and 'The Darjeeling Limited' on the telly, I wanted a quick crochet fix, perhaps something pretty for the caravan? Last Christmas I made a lot of these Heart garlands, the beauty of them being not only were they quick and easy to make, but were done in one piece, so no stitching or assembling afterwards.

So based on that idea I tried out a floral garland using some chunky felting wool I had left over in my wool stash. Any kind would do, just bear in mind the chunkier the wool the bigger the flower.

Here's the pattern I made up:-

Ch 25

SS into 5th chain from hook to make a loop

12 DC into loop
ss into top of first DC to join

Chain 7
ss into 2nd DC to form first petal
chain another 7, miss 1 dc and ss into next...
continue with this until you have 6 petals in total
ch 25 and make another flower on the chain as described above.
Finish off by chaining 25

Let me know if you have any problems with the pattern..

Thursday, 17 June 2010

New Adventures lie Ahead...

Meet our new addition to the family...Buffton (boys want to name it this - no idea why...) our £650 vintage (read 80's here) caravan. I've been busy recently giving it a bit of a make over. She hasn't left the drive yet, due to the fact we don't have a big enough car to tow her, but we're working on this minor detail... Having 'Buffton' parked in the driveway has meant its been really easy for me to pop in and out, measuring and sewing curtains etc...

Fancy a look inside?

Its only a four berth caravan, and quite a compact one at that. Here's the seating area that doubles as a double bed. We ripped up the old carpet as soon as we bought her, and last weekend put down some vinyl tiles -very satisfying and an instant way to brighten up the interior. This week I have been working on making curtains and cushion covers. I used a large blue check fabric with a white lining, perhaps with hindsight I should have used a black out fabric to line them with, but you live and learn...

Bunk beds for the boys.

Little galley kitchen area with a sweet little enamel hob and sink.

The fun part has been adding a few sweet knick-knacks to make the place feel homely and I also ran up a few cushion covers on my sewing machine. I am loving this red cockerel fabric, a fat quarter I bought last week from ebay, might have to expand on the chicken theme!
Never thought I'd say this, but I love, love, love our new caravan!!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


Do you know that feeling when you have so many 'projects' on the go, lying all over the house and making your living room look untidy, yet you can't focus on one to actually complete it? And in any case, all of them are longer-terms projects that can't be finished over night...

like the vintage pillowcase I am planning on crocheting a pretty edging around, as seen here....I really struggled trying to keep my blanket stitch looking neat and even - any tips?

...and then there's the granny square blanket I'm making for my eldest son.

Next up, the bamboo baby blanket (Pattern Here) for a friend who is currently 4 days overdue, buying me a bit more time. This project is proving to be particularly annoying as the bamboo tape keeps getting tangled and knotted, and I end up spending half an hour unravelling it before I can even do any stitches..

And then there's the bag of granny squares I've never actually got round to doing anything with, that I thought I would resurrect and try and make a cushion or something..

Throw into the mix a full set of curtains for our new (old) caravan...

I haven't used my sewing machine for ages, and I'm loving whipping up these smallish curtains, only problem is when now have all my sewing paraphernalia lying around the kitchen table -FOCUS!!!!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Weekly Box Room Finds

I'm trying to get away from using plastic containers for storing left-overs etc.and have gradually started throwing out my grotty looking Tupperware and replacing it with glass containers.
Look at these beauties I found yesterday at our local thrift shop - enamel strawberry design nesting containers - how much do I ♥ these??

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Circular Stripes For my Stool

A newly crocheted cover for a customised stool that sits on the landing at the top of my stairs.

An easy, no-brainer crochet project made using single crochet. Completed in a couple of evenings, I'm pleased with the colour combination, nice and bright and zingy - makes me happy when I run up the stairs, usually laden with laundry, and catch sight of it in the corner.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Wibble Wobble....

Look what I picked up today..

50p each at my local charity shop, how could I resist?

add one vegetarian jelly..
These powdered jellies are the best by the way, never fail to set and are free from any nasty additives.
A Tuesday tea-time treat indeed.