Saturday, 22 February 2014

make a HAIRPIN crochet lace LOOM - DIY

Hello again, still procrastinating so  today I rushed off to Great Missenden to ensure I had spares for my yellow CLOVER hairpin loom, I didn't want to pay postage and get it online and as it was sunny I fancied a trip out and took Lucy the dog.

It's such a pretty little village: see the lovely crocuses and snowdrops and how they combine with the heather?
 I lurve this shop: Alpahbet Soup: it has some blue and white mugs I'm hankering after... hint hint and it'll be Mother's Day soon? And gorgeous blue and white cake tins too , not to mention glorious patchwork style cushions with dogs and foxes on them?

 This shop had a print of silhouetted wire-haired dachshunds with the motto: I fancy a bit of Rough?!
They had the wide snout and the beard effect to show they were really wires and NOT smoothie sausages.
 AND how about this for an amazing and supercalifragilisticocious word?
GLORIUMPTIOUS loving it!!!!

 This is Rainbow Silks and it has more yarn than ever before! I bought my Clover loom BUT also a pack of glue sticks and a pair of 2mm knitting needles, the longest I could find....
TAH DAH! I made my own hairpin loom! 8 cm wide.
 I had read about a lady on some blog who had done this using a husband's fine drill.....
Well I don't have access to that so I thought I'd try my AWL?
It takes a few tries and a lot of wriggling and turning and pushing but eventually I had my first two holes:
 I had of course marked my spot: 8 cm apart with a Sharpie pen first?
 Here you see what I used: Knitting needles, Pony £1.95 size 2mm  and a pack of glue sticks , but you only need two? The upper pic has the glue remnants still on the awl and the one below is wiped clean.
 An old school ruler and a Sharpie pen that I put names into school uniform with.
So you repeat the hole making exercise 4 times and then you pick out the bits of glue that have been extruded. Then you carefully twizzle- technical term this- the knitting needle into the holes.
Be careful though as the needles can bend very easily!
Here it is again: TA DAH!
You can tie the guideline onto the knobs of the needles and remove the bottom glue stick when your strip is getting too long for the needles.
I haven't tried using it yet though.
But for a try- out it's a lot cheaper than the £13.99 for a Clover tool!

Yarn buying abstinence period?

Abstaining from any yarn purchases......??????

Well, ehrrr, I was going to say I'll try no not TRY, but actually DO this for say 6 months, but I do doubt that I could stick to that.... So let's start small with say a week or two?!Or maybe the Month of March?
So to help me to this let's survey the planned projects , the ongoing projects and the to - be finished- very shortly projects...

This is the red bamboo I bought before Christmas, the royal and navy viscose I bought as a ''try out'' and the lime and turquoise bamboo I purchased 1 ball of each yesterday but I already had a part used ball of each too.
It's to make TUNISIAN Sampler shrug to wear at supper breaks at dances with my - mainly navy or navy/white- dance dresses and ensembles.
The pattern is at this link:
I'll need :
A: 440 M and I have 110 of the navy viscose so I'll use some navy bamboo and buy a little more viscose too.
B: 330 M this is the red and I should have plenty with these 3 balls of 100g.
C: 220M: this will be partly the turquoise and with some royal viscose thrown in , again I should have enough.
D: This is the accent and used sparingly: it's the lime colour.
I have the pattern, the instructions AND the necessary Tunisian hook and cable and having swatched it already I know I have perfect tension: 24 sts at 16 cm works out equivalent to 15 sts per 10 cm !

So as soon as I have decided on my ''size'' I can get started!

I have the course- but not yet started it, I have bought the yarn and the knitting needles: 25 mm and 15mm yesterday AND I know I can wear this fabulous modern lace piece at work and at play, at dancing and at weekends, so it's something I'll really use! 
I may want a slightly longer sleeve: short, or to elbow or full length though, so I have an extra ball of bamboo.
Now I need the TIME to sit and go through the course and MAKE this.

Project #3:
The throw for the new cream comfy armchair to coordinate with all the new curtains:

Again I have ordered the large cream and the green aran ( and a red one not in photo) for this project and am combining this with the free yarns I have been collecting from the art if crochet collections.
Am using mini bordered granny squares for this, to be crocheted together in cream as inspired by the Nikki Trench blanket pattern in one of her books, I forget which one.
This is going to be my own design and pattern: the idea is a vertically striped lozenge style stitch pattern that has a boxy back, and a longer length front with waterfall opening revers, no buttons waistcoat, or possibly a jacket of I have enough for sleeves too.
Inspired by the Butterfly cowl below and indeed it's due to having one 100g NORO sockyarn leftover that I went for it. Only needed 3 x 100g more I reckoned...
I haven't yet decided but I think I''ll be using a navy alpaca 4 ply for the edges of the lozenges.
But I have only 1 test ball of this for the swatching so I would have to buy that, eventually.
Project #5:

HARDLY ANY YARN YET, planned as a feather and fan hairpin cardi - shawl using creams , white and beige , using white viscose ribbon and the cream Jaeger silk yarn from my stash.
Jennifer Hansen pattern AGAIN.

NEW Project #6:
Striped in blues and greens with white joins, a ripple hairpin T shaped boxy top for summer.
This uses the PANAMA yarn I bought last summer so again I'd be starting by USING yarn from my stash.

Also known as W.I.P.

this is almost complete, I has to start a second alpaca ball but am still completing the first NORO ball.
I've done way more than this but not taken a recent photo.
Also quite recent and very exciting: the textured uneven stripe tabard:
I have completed the front and 2/3 of the back and it's sewing in 100's of ends and adding the border trims , as well as putting it together so I'd say it's at 80% complete?

Project #3:
Cashmere pink jacket: this needs a lot of crochet adding to the front panels to make a draped revers effect , 
then I have to decide whether to leave it all pink or add a navy trim and a closure option.
Fronts, back and sleeves all completed and constructed so it's mainly finishing touches.
87% complete? Very late, started in 2011?
Project #4:
RED angora jacket: all crocheted and constructed but needs a button closure and an optional navy trim.
It fits and looks great and is exceedingly cuddly. 95% complete!
Started in 2013? Or 2012?
Project #5:
White cotton SALICE : again all complete, constructed but felt on the big side when I lost the weight in 2012, but now I'm big again it could be perfect. 
Need to finish it with buttons and so on.
90% complete.
Project #6:
White circles top in cotton 4 ply, my own design and pattern.
As a sleeveless tank top it's 95% complete but do I want to add sleeves????
I was working on this at EASTER in Dorset in 2013.
Have since mislaid where it is....
Project #7:
Ice cream colours aran cabled cushion cover.
Started for the Aran course in Chipping Norton.
78% finished.
Project #8:
Glossy white cabled bag with leather handles.
Done the swatch and bought the extra yarn.
Was to be a pattern for publication....
Have I now mislaid the sample swatch???
Project #9:
The cream cowl with pearly buttons that used a technique that looks like broomstick but wasn;t .
From an interweave accessories magazine, named Ghost or similar.
20% complete. Not sure I need it .
Project #10:
The 3 colour scarf that Santa girls bought me the baby alpaca from ROWAN for: a mix of royal, magenta and azure blues....
Tumbling blocks or interlinking stripes or mitering and work on the diagonal?
Decisions decisions, not yet made.

Those 2 balls of delectable dark royal tweedy silk mix ROWAN yarn???
One ball was started as a cowl but it sat on my shoulders like a lacy yoke for a sweater and then it stalled.
the CHUNKY JERSEY BOODLES yarn, where I started a dog basket as per ERICA KNIGHT pattern but it didn;t work and the sides flopped and the dogs aren;t keen.
So now it will be a bag and maybe some protective mats for the chairs in the car ( muddy dogs) 
or maybe some baskets?

And I'm going to stop there BUT there were other ''investments'' and ideas galore last year: 
such as a bulk buying of linens to make shrugs and boleros for summer and dancing in.
( dance dresses usually don;t have sleeves and one does get very hot)
and the BEADS! and plans for beaded crochet and beaded tube jewellery that I had in 2013.
After ART IN ACTION remember?
Well that's something I hope to be getting on with in the summer?

PHEW having listed this it looks like I have enough to be getting on for a year, not a few weeks or months.
And I haven't even included the pale blue cashmerino or the Regia hand dyed yarn both destined for specfic projects when purchased but not yet started?
And the Purply- blues tumbling blocks sampler made in Paris that Christmas which drove me to pursue and find a discontinued yarn so I could stockpile and planned to make a V neck long slim jacket for work? 
OK I'm stopping there! Time I did some SEWING!

New purpose to stop falling apart and Prudence

Hey yes, Prudence as a virtue as  a state I need to accomplisg a lot more as I am astounded at my recent shopaholic tendencies with respect to yarn buying and kits/ books/lessons.
It's been a mad few weeks with chestiness coughing type ilness which meant my operation was cancelled and I lost the 2 week window of planning and doing that I had all organised to prefection...
First I did a Tunisian course and just got totally absorbed and ''hooked'' on trying out lots of new stitches, oooh the excitement! I had done it before in 2005 but not done any since much so this was just excellent as I could do so much more now my crocheting skills have been moving forward in the past 8 years or so!
 So that's a sampler swatch, colours were just leftover stash ones, but actually although bright I rather like them!

 And on the brightness note SINCE WHEN did I become this shrinking violet that hides in navy or neutrals all the time these days???? Moving ON, I am on a 7 day MENTAL health diet of only thinking and saying POSITIVE things, this is proving difficult but BRILLIANT.
 Superb flowers we had the week before half term...

 And some bulbs which are now just about flowered out.

 And a collar I liked in a mag at the time, few weeks ago...
 Walking the dogs at the church still, due to so much flooding: I found SNOWDROPS!!!

 Waffles from a birthday girl's new waffle-maker machine and this was a b'day breakfast.

 Some sweet new bulbs courtesy of Waitrose...
 Hopefully these will be BLUE?
 Crocuses in a lovely baskets at St Hugh's College Oxford University: aren't they fabulous? And I'm oh so happy to be dancing there again!

 Last night's procrastination project: I was supposed to be either sewing a bodice for a Ball-dress or read my Health Promotion reading list material for Unit 2....
 So: I made a collar!!!!! Here it is as a WIP
 Goes with my navy jumper and my silk dupion blouse....

 It's by Nikki Trench and it's in both the Easy Crochet vintage and retro booklet OR Crochet Gifts magazine, out NOW by practical publishing. It's a LOVELY pattern, quick and easy and well written.
Just ONE mistake at the beginning if you buy the magazine: it says ch1 and then ss into...when there's nothing to ss into!!!
I think they meant chain 8 or so and then close into a circle with a ss into the first ch..
Today I'm not in London Covent Garden with the family- alas- as I feared BUYING something when I have soooooooo much the house is positively BURSTING at the seams and I have too much clutter and ran out of storage and even places to put storage....
So I'm sorting out the ''pit'' as my beloved has called my studio yesterday and then it's also back to the BIG PRIORITIES: Health Promotion study and a bit of sewing.
Life falling apart- where does that come in? Well it isn;t of course BUT I would rather be in London eating macaroons at La Duree Covent Garden OR walking as it's a lovely sunny dry day THAN clearing up / throwing out and cleaning / sorting once again.....
Thus I need to get a GRIP! Any ideas?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Wet Wet Wet

 This is a while ago now, early January I think, my new FITFLOP tall boots came for my foot issue and Pippa decided immediately that the boot box was better than any basket! She has it still!
 It was a weekend day and we went walking by the Prebendal, 3 of us Lucy, Pippa and me.
 The Prebendal fields were flooded, lakes with swans and gulls swimming on them!

 Pippa looking amazed through the fence at the bridge, first left then right: where is my walk area gone?

 The sign says dog-walkers are welcome- should that not be dog- swimmers?

 So we ended up walking round the cricket pitch instead.

 Loving these pollarded willows. Very VAN GOGH.

 At the end of the walk: PIPPA did NOT want to go home!