Friday, 30 November 2012

Crochet : too many projects?

 There are too many crochet projects clamouring around in my mind for their bit of my time...
First: I have been unable to find our snowflake decorations in the attic so do I have to make dozens all over again? Also am teaching a Christmas themed crochet class at work next week and this is one of the projects for that. From or see the side bar for the link. She provides a superb photographed step by step tutorial for these.
 This is before blocking and I have added a hanging loop for the ribbon. In DK cotton with a 4mm hook.
 Then there are the little Christmas stockings from Ravelry- a free pattern- and this was my first attempt. But beware, because they are addictive!

 Somehow, because I am an intuitive rather than a counting type crocheter they all turn out different sizes from the SAME pattern, oopsie. If I am to make a new advent calendar I will have to count carefully for each of the 25 socks! Impossible?
 And the third Christmas dec project is the holly leaves, also from Attic 24 and intended for a wreath with red holly berries.
 Then there is the current garment project: the circle jacket from Vogue Crochet. Using DK pure wool from my stash ( was from Yeoman yarns ) and Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace with 3.5 mm hook.
This is the second sleeve- half back. I have completed the first sleeve and half back. I have adapted the pattern slightly to 4 and 2 row repeats alternating so I can carry the yarn up the side rather than sew in all those ends!!! But this created a directionality in the fabric so I had to do the sleeves and back in 2 halves to be joined at centre back to keep the sleeves looking the same.
 And then I rashly bought some 10 balls of SMC RIANA in navy in the sale ( only £20 for 10) BUT now I cannot waste it and JJ is very cold now working in his UNIT rather than from home so I have promised a wool jumper. This is the wool I will use and the above is a play to see if he likes the stitch.
Now I'm having doubts as it could be a bit boring to do. Men's jumpers are so Huge?!
And I won't have enough so have to find a complimentary navy yarn....There was SMC in beige but when I brought it home, same yarn but in beige, he said no to stripes. Crochet Today ( USA magazine see it at in their latest issue have a great cabled man's jumper pattern so maybe I'll try to adapt that to this yarn?!!! But it isn't in the UK shops yet.
 AAAAAH cut corchet?! YES! It worked a treat! This is what I did last weekend: my mohair cardigan which was made in 2005 had ''dropped''  after washing and sleeves which were too long anyway, I had to roll them up a bit, became far tooooo long. Dangling way over and below the hand. I was rolling the sleeve 3-4 times to a very bulky cuff that kept unrolling.
 So I did cut'n sew with a stretchy zig zag to stop unravelling and crocheted a new cuff-band.
 Luckily - being a hoarder- I still had the yarn I made the button band and previous cuffs with.
Voila and now I'm happily wearing it again in this COLD BRRRRRR weather.

Procrastination update on the day to day

It's a dog's life: Pippa in a deep sleep moment.

Hello , writing this is so much easier than writing for my PH portfolio so here I am procrastinating yet again. I could have a Phd in procrastination: Dr Procrastinator extra- ordinaire.
JJ helped me- well actually because they were very high- He picked most of these SLOES.

 I'm hoping they'll be good as we have had some frosts and they have that nice bloom, see?  I made the holly leaves for a wreath project. The sloes are currentl;y enjoying their second ''frost'' in our freezer while I go out and buy the sugar and the gin and sterilise the next Kilner Jars.
 The last of last years' sloe gin, the first batch was darker and very delicious but this is looking a bit pale and is very strongly tasting of the gin.
 JJ started us off with the first new Christmad decs of 2012.
 More sleeping dogs...
 The first decorated tree of 2012, in our virtual Christmas room in an Alpine Village.
 Our REAL room with it's fabulous new fireplace: have I showed this off yet?
 And gone are our Turquoise and yellow brocaded striped cotton sateen curtains...: very Warm and English now. Almost chintzy?
 With the two new leather chesterfields also, which the dogs sit/lie on the most.
 And a fun and funky colourful new blind: super stripeyness.
 And the final source of true happiness at the moment: THE HOBBIT! I am re- reading it as I first read it in 1977! And I have found the copy of THAT book that I read then. I'd forgotten how well written it is and how fabulous the words and narrative, it skips along and takes you straight into Middle England.
More time needed please, this book is pure pleasure.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Family meetings and leatherwork

Catch up time and this time it's in reverse, which reflects my mind as I've has so little sleep lately my brain seems to think this is ok.
Above a three bean lasagne that is a current fave with the girls.
Then a lovely visit with the in-laws: sister and mother and my little niece and Miss E and Y played so lovely with her, aaaaah.
There's 9 years between my niece and Miss E and it made me think as there is also 9 years between me and my eldest sister.

 And JJ with his big sis, not literally but in age of course.

 And lunch out in Westfield...

 Everybody POINT like this!
 Then a reflective moment - in many senses- as they flew back to India and we'll miss them again.
On Sunday while trying to tidy my workroom/studio/study I finished stitching a leather bag project from Simple Way.
 I adapted it slightly as I wanted to have contrasting red stitching.
 I was much chuffed when Miss - style conscious, picky and highly critical- E said: ''cool bag, mum.''(!!!)

Lasr week and weekend there was MUCH baking both for my mum: a red velvet chocolate cake with vanilla icing and decorated with stem ginger and a carrot and ginger cake decorated with similar icing  and studded with ginger - again.
 Mum is looking very frail and elderly these days, reflecting her 85 years.
 Miss Y was brilliant and amusing mum in hospital.
 It was a gloriously sunny day and we missed all of it driving to and fro and not even walking the dogs!

 Though I did get some crochet done: THE CURRENT CIRCULAR JACKET PROJECT, all thick and thin in stripes. This is a sleeve and half the back panel top half.
 Also on he Sunday , after having been to an Abingdon Welcome dance on the Saturday, I went along to a ''formal'' at Merton College , Oxford with fellow OUSDS students.

 View towards the top table.
Yes it was a lovely evening.