Late summer colour: ripple blanket inspiration

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Around the middle of August, it always feels like the garden begins to move into a different ‘phase’, as the warm colours of late summer and early autumn really come into their own.Sunflowers1Just look at these fabulous sunflowers, towering cheerfully over everything, full of sunny yellows and rich browns!Sunflowers2

I love mixing flowers into the veg garden, too, and seeing the squashes and courgettes ripening amongst a jungle of nasturtiums is like finding secret treasure at the bottom of the gardenSquash&Nasturtiums1Squash&Nasturtiums3

Calendulas (pot marigold) are one of my favourite annuals, and this year they’ve been amazing, brightening the borders and veg garden with masses of yellow and orange bloomsCalendulas&Nasturtiums

So, if you remember, last December when I was working on my Purple Waves ripple blanket, my mum asked me for one in shades of blue – and so the Blue Waves blanket was conjured.  And my dad said he’d love to have one in shades of orange (his favourite colour), with maybe some reds and yellows mixed in.  I didn’t want to do Yet Another Mexican Sunset colour scheme, so I began by playing with graded stripes, from cream and pale yellow through orange to deep red.  But it looked a bit too subtle and ‘flat’, somehow; it just wasn’t getting my colour-mojo going!  It got me thinking though, about the grand riot of late-summer-garden colours that I love so much.Nasturtiums1Crocosmia

Oranges, reds, yellows, russets and browns – just looking at the calendulas and ripening tomatoes against the mellow brick of the old shed made me want a blanket full of these colours, all jumbled up together! Toms&Calendula

As with the other two blankets, I chose my yarn from the Stylecraft Special DK range and found all the colours I wanted.  I dropped the cream and deep red and added russet brown and gold instead.  I wanted it to be cheerful and colourful, but a bit more ‘masculine’ and, dare I say it, subdued than my usual psychedelic style!  Here’s a close-up of my final colour scheme ripples:CloseUpbest

I just finished stripe No 54 today, and lay it out on the bed for the first time.  Seeing all those colours working together is a real thrill!Stripe54

I only started this project just over a month ago, so I’m definitely getting quicker at this pattern!  It would be lovely to finish it in time for my next trip down to visit my folks in October.  By then, the summer colours will have faded and blankets will definitely be required!  But for now, I can still sit out in the garden some days and crochet away amongst the flowers, veg, and happy bees!Bee&Marigold

Wishing you all a warm and colourful weekend 🙂

Crochet Bunting

crochetbunting1Well it looks like summer is on it’s way, wouldn’t you say? – And just like last summer, I’ve had the urge to snazz up my space with a string of colourful bunting!

These little crochet triangles are based on the Attic24 Summer Bunting, which I saw on Lucy’s blog last year (one day soon, I WILL crochet something that isn’t Attic24 inspired, I promise!).  I prefer this design to the larger, ‘granny triangles’ that were used for the Yarndale bunting, and did my best to work out the pattern from the pictures.crochetbunting3

Not quite as neat as Lucy’s, but not bad!

I wanted this bunting to liven up my kitchen window, which is quite overshadowed.  My original idea was to use fresh greens and yellows with splashes of bright orange for some ‘zing’, to go with my kitchen colours.  However my first attempts had a somewhat ‘Cheesey-Irish-Tourist- Board-Ad’ look, so I introduced a few more colours to the mix… before I knew it, out came the purple, the turquoise, the day-glo pink… I just can’t help myself, can I??crochetbunting2

I steam-blocked the whole ‘string’ when it was finished to stop the triangle points and the top band from curling under, then raided my button stash for a bit of ‘bling’.  Because, y’know, I didn’t want it to look dull…
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So, this didn’t quite turn out the way I saw it in my head, but I think you’ll agree, it does cheer up the window and make it look rather summery.  And you can definitely tell whose house this is now!crochetbunting4

Have a bright and colourful week, everyone! 🙂

Spring Progress: Blue Waves Blanket

springdaffsHello all!  What a fabulous time we had last week here in the Marches – glorious sunshine, lighter evenings, and WARM enough to turn off the heating and throw off your jumper!

All this has meant I’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors, but nonetheless, I HAVE been making steady progress on the Blue Waves blanket.  Yesterday I reached wave #45, so I’m more than halfway, and very pleased with the way it’s looking so far:BlueWaves45This is a lovely, rhythmic pattern to be working on right now, perfect for relaxing in front of the TV or radio in the evenings after a day in the garden.  If you’ve been toying with the idea of making a blanket, I encourage you to have a go!  Pattern & tutorial HERE at Attic24.

Wishing you all a bright and beautiful week! 🙂

 

Colourful plans & projects

NewHQWell HELLO and greetings from my new HQ!  Pretty smart huh?!  Despite it still being box-maze chaos, I’m happy to report that I LOVE my new place.  Especially the big bay window, letting lots of lovely light into my front room and makeshift sewing space!

Last weekend I unearthed the Simplicity dress project (abandoned the week before the move!) and eased myself back in gently by making some bias binding for the sleeves.  One day, there will be a Whoo-Hoo moment, but not before I cross the Great Plateau of The Invisible Zip.  See you on the other side…Grey&Pink Sleeve BindingMeanwhile, I’ve made a start on a second ripple blanket.  This one is for my mum, who wanted a single bed size in shades of blue.  I’ve gone for the Stylecraft Special DK as before, and although the blues are totally gorgeous, I couldn’t resist slipping in a little bit of purple (it’s called ‘Bluebell’ though, so it’s within the remit, right?).  After making my huge, double-bed sized Purple Waves blanket, these rows feel quite quick to work!BlueWavesBlanketSo there’s some colourful crafty projects going on, but I’m also planning to create something much bigger, and much more colourful, starting this year… can you guess what it is?!gardenflowersYep, I finally have MY OWN GARDEN!  For the first time in many, many years I have my own outdoor space to fill with flowers, veg, herbs and all kinds of strange and beautiful things.  I can’t WAIT to get started!  Which is all to the good, because this is what it looks like right now:GardenTodayNever let it be said that I don’t relish a challenge!  I’ll keep you posted on my progress, but if my sewing speed is anything to go by, you know this one’s going to keep me busy for a VERY long time…

How are you getting on with your spring plans & projects I wonder?  – Here’s wishing you all a very colourful, creative week! 🙂

February Farewells

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Well Hello and happy St David’s Day!  Now I know it’s a short month, but how quickly did February flash by?!  Even so, it was a full-on February for me (sorry I can’t seem to stop with the crazy alliterations), mainly taken up by my house move…

…I spent a bit of time at the beginning of the month saying ‘farewell’ to some of my most treasured Dyfi Valley places, like my favourite walk at Glaspwll…GlaspwllTrees

…and beautiful Tir Heddwch, where I got to have a go at helping weave a new willow screen…Willow Weaving…but then it was time to pack everything into the van, with much help from friends and family…VanMan&Woman…and say farewell to my Coach House flat, that has been my home for the last 3 years…Farewell CoachHouse…and head on down to The Marches, to my new house.  Which is in total chaos still, so I’ve got no pics to show you til next month!   But in amongst all the unpacking and sorting out and general exhaustion that comes with moving, I taught my brother to crochet!!  How cool is his first ‘happy-enough-not-to-unravel-it’ granny square??  Come on, how many of us did this well in our first week? – Not me, for sure! Robs1stGrannySquare… I don’t know about you, but for me, doing something creative is like going to a calm place when everything else gets too much.  Since all my sewing stuff was packed, I had a go at crocheting this snoodie-neck-warmer pattern with a lovely, unusual yarn that my friends Helen & Alison brought me back from Yarndale last year.  It’s made from corn fibre – yay, no allergies! – so I thought it would be nice to make this as I could wear it close to my face, unlike a lot of fibres.  It feels a bit like a cotton-acrylic mix and works up really nicely.  But it took me ages to get the hang of the pattern and although I like the effect, I’m not too happy with the size and shape it turned out.  I may well unravel it and just make a nice headwrap in this stitch instead…Popcorn Yarn Headwrap…so that was February, and here I am with a houseful of boxes, completely frazzled, and with so much still to be sorted out!  But it feels great to have done it, at last, and I love this area so much and am very pleased to be here…Hergest AfternoonI hope you all had a fabulous February: now here’s to clocks changing, daffodils opening, and all kinds of Springy Goodness in March!

🙂

WhooHoo! Purple Waves blanket!

Finished2I said I’d do it before I moved, and here it is!  Warm and cosy on my bed in all it’s purple wavy glory: the Purple Waves ripple blanket!

Not much more to add to my previous post, except that I followed Lucy’s Ripple Blanket Know How tutorial for the edging and the corners and it was spot on, as always.  I did a row of trebles along each long edge, ‘filled in’ the ripples top and bottom, and then did two rounds of double crochet all the way around.  I didn’t bother to steam-block my corners, mainly because IT’S COLD and I couldn’t wait to get this baby on my bed!  But I think they look fine anyway.FinishedEdging

The size worked out perfectly, it finished up at 72″ x 64″, which as you can see completely covers my double-sized bed with just a little surplus around the edges.  Exactly what I was after!Finished1

I think this is probably my most accomplished crochet project to date, and the first time I’ve made something where I didn’t make any mistakes (that I’m aware of!).  I’m SO CHUFFED with this blanket!!!  It’s purple and it’s wavy and it’s soft and warm and it kept me happily occupied through all the darkest part of winter, who could ask for more??Finished3 Right, who’s for an early night with a hot water bottle…Finished4Have a cosy week one and all! 🙂

Purple Waves Pt 2: the blanket (almost)

BlanketRipplesDone2Remember back in November, I embarked on my winter crochet project of making a double-bed sized Attic24 ripple blanket? – My ripples are DONE!!!  Yes, that’s 142 rows of 227 stitches, 71 ripples in total.  Can I say, wow??

I have absolutely LOVED working these lush pink and purple rows.  I’ve mostly been working on it in the evenings by the fire, though I did take it with me to the folks’ over Xmas (and now have an order for two more!) and indulged in quite a bit of hooky time in front of the TV.  So I’ve just started on the edging, and am really hoping it will be finished before I move house in a couple of weeks!  It would be so nice to have it all done and on my bed here before I leave….BlanketRipplesDone1

Wishing you all a very warm and snuggly weekend! 🙂

 

2014: Makes and Moments

Ah, it’s that time here in the Blogosphere, when the hols are over, the New Year has arrived, and we look back fondly (or not so!) over our favourite stuff from the past twelve months.  I’m not much of one for making resolutions (apart from resolving to hibernate during January!), but I do enjoy reading the ‘annual reviews’ on people’s blogs so I thought I’d do one of my own, with just my favourite Makes and Moments from each month…

All in all I’d say it was a pretty colourful year!  And despite the ups and downs of my health, I still managed to do a lot of making and get out and about a fair bit, and share a lot of laughs with good friends and family.  And I’ve loved posting here, sharing all the highs and lows of my year’s creative adventures with all of you!

Thank you so much for reading – here’s to a Big Fat Funky 2015! 🙂