17/02/2013 § 32 Comments
Is this the most colourful crochet blanket ever?
I think it might be!
Carnival is huge and began its journey here and here. Well over 2m square, there is some method in my madness of colours. There are large blocks, each made up of 4 smaller squares. The big blocks have a double border of either Scarlet & Mustard or Fuschia & Blue Thyme. These are arranged alternately …
There are 42 big squares in a 6 x 7 pattern. I worked an outer border of 7 rows, following the granny square pattern and then added my favourite Tweed Stitch border with scarlet and teal. To make the border lay flat and prevent it curling up, I always work a final row or two with the wrong side facing me. Similarly, the scarlet row in the outer border was worked with wrong side facing – that’s what makes the stitches look like ‘V’s!
The yarn deserves a very special mention. It’s the remaining yarn from my Gypsy Rose blanket – Julia by Kristin Nicholas. Julia Yarn is now discontinued but like Phoenix has risen again and goes by the name of Color by Kristin. It really is the best yarn I have EVER used. Apart from the stunning colours – and they are truly stunning – it’s the perfect weight and texture. My remaining 30 balls of Julia yarn were eeked out with some other pure wools, but I made sure that every square had at least a couple of Julia rows. I treated myself to some vintage Jaeger Matchmaker in Teal, and that’s the outer border – luscious.
I can’t tell you how much I love the colours in this blanket. Kristin, lives her whole life in colour – see her home here in Houzz. I love visiting her blog to hear the vivid accounts of life on a sheep farm in Franklin County, Massachusetts, her collie dogs, workshops and latest designs.
Do pop over to Handmade Monday (No 104) later on, to catch up with all the other ‘creatives’. I’m going to walk the dogs on the beach and decide what to make next. My sewing machine, a neat stack of fabrics and just one bag of wools came with me on holiday! I’ll be showing you some pictures of my just-completed Songbird Quilt in a day or two, so do pop back.
Missing you already –
Yours, in a cottage by the beach in sunny Cornwall!
27/08/2012 § 13 Comments
I’m always amazed by how my creative urges are influenced by the seasons, the weather and my mood. How I can enter the sweetie-shop excitement of a wool shop and on separate occasions, feel the draw of completely different yarns and colours. Earlier this summer, I posted here about how I expected to embark on a vibrant and colourful summer crochet project, but felt drawn to the image in my head of misty layers across a valley.
Growing at a steady pace, throughout June & July, Misty Morning was all finished ready for our jaunts away in Dolly in the summer holidays. Here she is …
On a perfect day in August, we stayed right beside the sea in mid-Wales – the Lleyn Peninsula just visible over the water. At night, we slept snuggled beneath the warmth of what I think is my favourite blanket-make to date. The special border that I’d planned did indeed take shape, when I spied the most delicious alpaca yarn at Carmarthen market. The border wool cost almost as much as the rest of the blanket – but SOooooo worth every penny …
The yarn – rather drably named ‘Plum’ – is so soft and I crocheted the pineapples from memory, just chaining inbetween the pineapples to ensure the lace drapes softly. What do you think?
Of course, no holiday in Dolly is complete without Ripple 1 coming along for the ride.
We stayed on a farm camp-site, near Aberdovey on a perfect day. The site was very low-tech – just a field really, but with magnificent views out over the sea towards the mountains of Snowdonia and the mysteries of North Wales. Firepits had been built from the local granite rocks beside the pitches and at night, the sea lapped onto the rocks below as the moon rose, the stars twinkled and families sat beside their camp-fires – magical. Dolly enjoyed the view and I enjoyed some sewing by the seaside which is, indeed, one of my all time favourite things to do!
See the little train – just 2 carriages long – it travelled by rather sedately at the top of the camp-site. We were neatly sandwiched between the cliff and the railway track and everyone stopped to wave at the tourists who rumbled by every hour or so throughout the afternoon!
Sewing by the sea …
This is my most perfect place ever to sit and sew with sunhat, very large cushion, couple of quilts underfoot and freshly bound little quilts hot-off-my-needle hanging up in the sunshine as they’re completed! More on the summer quilts in my next post. Happy memories.
See you later on in the week.
Edited to add – more photos of Misty Morning …
13/06/2012 § 3 Comments
A Welsh valley on a misty, early Spring morning. So many recent days – weeks even, have echoed these subtle hues, despite the summer cloak of leaves telling us that the sky should be blue and the season’s colours bright.
Grey light lasts long into the evening here – it’s the longest day next week and there’s warmth in the sun when it makes an appearance but I have a feeling that my abiding memory of June is going to be rain, rain and more rain!
Having completed Ripple One in bright expectant colours at the end of Spring I expected to turn my creative crochet urges towards the tub of yet unused Julia Wool by Kristin Nichols. This is the yarn I used for Gypsy Rose – back in February, when I was even more excited about the summer days ahead! I did make a start on a blanket – Hearts & Flowers, but there are a couple of reasons why I haven’t taken up with this one – I don’t want to finish working with the wool, ‘cos its divine; I want to make something really special with it – WOW factor in bucketfuls!
the first showing of my current WIP – Misty Morning blanket …
What do you think? Does it remind you of misty mornings? I’m using Drops wools – Karisma and Lima – they’re beautiful, soft and gentle wools. I’m joining the individual grannies and the blocks as I go – I’m right ‘off’ sewing up seams (enough of that on my cushions and quilts)! I’ve completed 2 rows of 4 blocks in just over a week. Last night I completed the first block of the 3rd row. I don’t have a grand plan for the size – whatever feels right will be fine, I’m sure! I’m alternating the border of the blocks between grey & brown yarns and I want it to have a special border – maybe a deep lace? Who knows??
Since spending a whole day doing housework last week, we’ve been making an effort to keep on top of all the boring stuff – don’t you just hate ‘putting away’? What do other people do with all their ‘stuff’? Do they have a huge cupboard hidden away somewhere where it all sits – and then falls out in a heap when they open the door? The flowers I bought, following my house-love day are still blooming beautifully and I brought in some roses from the garden too …
A silhouette of sunflowers on the big worktop in the kitchen – the fly curtain is redundant just now ‘cos the door’s always closed – it’s bright and cheery though and hides the grey skies!
Who says there isn’t any sunshine?
Reflections and candlelight – a sofa full of cushions, Mary Rose Young on the shelf, roses from the garden, pink tulips and a new foxglove in the garden …
Must be summertime!
PS – see the finished Misty Morning blanket post here.
02/02/2012 § Leave a comment
So it’s a good thing that some of us can spend the best part of the day with our feet up on the sofa,
warm and snuggly on a patchwork quilt …
or on a warm rug, just waiting for that blanket to drape over Missus’ lap
and keep our ears warm!
Belle & Misty love a warm house when it’s freezing outside. And boy, is it freezing outside?
I reckon the troika scenes on my Russian lacquer boxes are not so far removed from reality!
Minus 26 degrees in Moscow – seriously brrrrrrrr!
The boxes appear when it first feels like winter and share our low side table with candles, Russian pottery bunnies and Stargazer, by Dawn Benson – here, catching the first rays of the winter sun through the window. They’ll stay out until Spring has officially arrived!
Meanwhile, on the patio …
Flora continues to eye up the watering can as a potential mate!
I can sort of see that the shape of it is similar to a handsome drake!
She just loves this thing and flirts outrageously with it, especially first thing in the morning.
Stay warm – it’s really cold outside!