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Monday, 29 April 2013

Book Review: Vintage Crochet

This weekend I have treated myself to a new crochet book, Vintage Crochet, by Susan Cropper during a shopping trip to Glasgow. After being requested and then suggesting to do a book review on it, it seemed like a fun task to do!
It is filled with lots of beautiful vintage patterns, and the cover of the book really grabs your attention with that lovely big throw! The patterns inside are divided into several sections which are Boho Babes, Nostalgic Home, Lazy Summers and Gorgeous Gifts. Also included at the end of the book are instructions with pictures for special stitches that are used in the patterns throughout the book, as well as adding edgings and embellishments.

Here is a sneaky peek at some of the patterns that are found inside!

"Ava" Wrap

Picot Star Tablecloth

Garden Tablecloth

"Syd" Rabbit

This shows just a little bit of how interesting this book, I would love to show you ALL of the patterns but that would spoil the book. I think it is a lovely book, and everything is written quite clearly. The patterns are written in US terminology, as the author of the book is native to New York even though she has founded a shop in London. 
The book is available from Amazon for £12.80, it seems to be a bit of a rare book but it is one you must have if you are intrigued by vintage design. I think this is an ideal price for this book, as you are getting 30 inspiring patterns from it!

This week I am going to make a project using a pattern from this book, so keep posted to see what I choose to make. 

Hope you enjoyed reading this little review!

Hazel x



Sunday, 28 April 2013

KCBW Day 7 - Looking Forward

4KCBWDAY7

One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?
This could be anything from mastering a technique (broomstick lace, entrelac, etc), trying a new yarn or skill, or a long term wish to crochet only from your stash, or knit every stitch in one of the Harmony Guides. Maybe you have no desire or plans for your craft at all, no new element of knitting or crochet that you dream of mastering, in which case write about why that might be. In a year's time participants will be asked to look back to see if they achieved any goals, no matter how general, and see which house conquered the art of looking forward.

What do I want to achieve by KCBW 2014....
  • Make projects with only my stash.
  • To make a garment that I can wear (hats and scarves don't count).
  • To learn more techniques/patterns when they take my fancy.
  • Write some crochet patterns.
  • Get better at crochet!!
  • Try making v-logs and podcasts, to be more different too.
Recently I have been playing with temptations to get a sewing machine, and learn how to sew with one again. Patchwork items keep luring me in, and it would be great to learn a craft different from crochet. I have already bought a Sewing Book to read up on all the different techniques!! I have spotted this little Brother machine in Hobbycraft for £75 and it is calling my name!

This Blog Week has been amazing and thank you Eskimimi Makes for organising it, and I can't wait for the next one!

It you haven’t already I highly recommend looking up any of the tags for the blog week 4KCBWDAY7

Saturday, 27 April 2013

KCBW Day 6 - My Favourite Tool

4KCBWDAY6

Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers.
My favourite tool would have to be my 4mm clover crochet hook, as it is amazing to use compare to standard crochet hooks. I think the handle is a lot easier to grip, and it rests in your palm a lot better than a standard crochet hook. Although I would like to try other crochet hooks as well, if anyone has suggestions.
The day to day tools that are necessity for me are my scissors and darning needle....I am quite a simple crafter
This morning I had played about with recording myself telling you what I had to say about this post, but I sounded so silly! I will get over my fear eventually!

If you would like to find out more about the KCBW, do check out Eskimimi's page to find out more details.

Also to search other people that are joining in, do a google search with 4KCBWDAY6


Thursday, 25 April 2013

KCWB Day Four - A Colour Review

4KCWBDAY4

What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects. Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting.


Only after writing this part of your post should you then actually look to see what colours you have used in your projects. Make a quick tally of what colours you have used in your projects over the past year and compare it to the colours you have written about. Compare this, in turn, to the colours that are most dominant in your yarn stash – do they correlate?


Now think back to your house animal - do the colours you have chosen relate to your animal in anyway - if you are in the house of peacock, for example, are your projects often multicoloured and bright?


 
I have decided to show you a collection of current work in progresses, some finished objects and some of my yarn to get an idea of what colours I personally choose. Most of my projects don't tend to have a singular colour but more usually a range of rainbow colours, and most people know that I enjoy working with rainbow colours in my projects. All of these photographs are quite recent ones that I have posted through Instagram, and looking at them now...they make me happy. I think they definitely portray that I belong to the house of the bee, as there are so many different bright things that keep me fascinated.
However, I don't mind working with neutral colours such as white, creams and greys, but these never tend to be for myself but for other people. My opinion is that I get my fill of working with neutral colours when making things like this, and I balance it with using colourful yarn myself he he.

If you would like to find out more about the KCBW, do check out Eskimimi's page to find out more details.

Also to search other people that are joining in, do a google search with 4KCWBDAY4




Wednesday, 24 April 2013

KCWB Day Three - Making an Infographic

I really struggled with getting an idea for today's task, which is to make an infographic..I have been trying to come up with ideas since yesterday on what I could do for this. Then I decided to keep it pretty simple while making my infographic and made it in Excel, although it made me realise that I haven't made a chart for a long while since I used to do them regularly at university. This chart represents a typical work day of mine, and as you can see work, sleep and crochet dominate most of my time. At the weekend crochet and some other social activities replace my work time. Can you relate to this, I hope it isn't just me that spends so much time with their craft. 


This picture is just a little extra that I made this morning while I was brainstorming ideas for my infographic, its typical thoughts of mine which I am sure you can also relate to this. I thought it was a good representation of me.

If you would like to find out more about the KCBW, do check out Eskimimi's page to find out more details.

Also to search other people that are joining in, do a google search with 4KCWBDAY3 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

KCBW Day Two - A Bee Mascot Project

4KCBWDAY2

Your task today is to either think of or research a project that embodies that house/animal. It could be a knitting or crochet pattern – either of the animal itself or something that makes you think of the qualities of that house. Alternatively it could be a type or colour of yarn, or a single button. Whatever you choose, decide upon a project and blog about how and why it relates to your house/creature. You do not have to make this project! It is simply an exercise in blogging about how you come to decide upon what projects to make. Try and blog about the journey which inspiration and investigating patterns, yarns, stitches, (etc) can often guide you through. You may wish to make a collage or 'mood board' to present several ideas, or even sketch out your own design.

When I think of project ideas involving bees, several things pop into my head...black and yellow, stripes, arigurumi bee, honey, beehive, honeycomb...I think it would be relevant to incorporate at least one of these aspects into a potential project. Usually if I am searching for pattern/project ideas I will go to Ravelry and Pinterest, and see what I can find from there, so that is what I will do for my bee mascot!
Before I search I will rule out that I don't want to crochet arigurumi as it isn't my thing, and I don't really want to do anything with black and yellow or stripes. This leaves me with honey and honeycomb, so these words are what I will use in finding a pattern for my mascot project.

Pinterest Finds



Ravelry Finds


After doing a little search, I don't find anything interesting for 'honey' however honeycomb has more interesting patterns for it. I love the honeycomb beanie that I found on Ravelry, I think that would be an excellent hat for my sister's Christmas as she loves the colour yellow. The honeycomb hexagons fascinate me as well, as I am quite fond of crochet hexagons. I linked the beehive pincushion as I think it is simply adorable!
For my mascot project I would like to make something using the honeycomb lattice stitch, as I think it is a lovely texture! I think it would be a suitable pattern for making a scarf (maybe to go with the beanie above?), or a cushion front. Although it will be in a bright shiny colour, or maybe yellow if it is for my sister he he.

If you would like to find out more about the KCBW, do check out Eskimimi's page to find out more details.

Monday, 22 April 2013

KCBW Day One - The House Cup

Hello! I am taking part of the Knitted & Crochet Blog week that is hosted by Eskimimi. Knitters and crocheters get to participate in a community blog week. Each day Eskimimi sets a topic for you to post about and you also get to find new bloggers that are also taking part! This years KCBW is based on the idea of 4 houses, and which house you think represents you.

Day One

There are a choice of four houses, each house has their own characteristic and I need to pick one that I think describes me, and what kind of crafter I am.

The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest.
The House of Manatee: Manatees are gentle, calm and cuddly. Relaxed and unflashy they represent the comfort and soft side of knitting and crochet.
The House of Monkey: Intelligent and with a fun loving side, Monkeys like to be challenged with every project presenting them with something new and interesting.
The House of Peacock: Peacocks take something good and make it brilliant. Buttons, embellishments and a bit of sparkle prove that perfection lies in the details – like a Peacock's Tail.

The house that I think that represents me is The House of Bee. I always like thinking of different projects that I could do, and jump between them to keep myself interested in them. My projects usually tend to be very colourful and bright, as I am always fascinated by colourful items and I often have several rainbow-tastic projects on the go at one particular time. Another thing I like about my projects and inspiration is that they always keep me busy, therefore any free time that I am not doing housework or working....I am busying away on a crochet project. I can also relate to The House of Monkey, as I do love a challenge and making new things but as we are only to choose one house....A busy bee I will be!
Here are a few things that I am working on or have finished just very recently, which shows you how busy I have been!




If you would like to find out more about the KCBW, do check out Eskimimi's page to find out more details.






Sunday, 21 April 2013

My Own T-Shirt Yarn


This morning has been quite productive, as I decided to turn two of my old t-shirts into t-shirt yarn. I have had the notion to do this for a while, and today seems to be the day to fulfil that notion. The t-shirts I used are two small sized men t-shirts from Primark, and have been worn mainly for 'lazy day' purposes for the past few years. Hence I thought they would be most suitable for this crafty experiment, as I don't really have any other old t-shirts big enough. The yarn balls weigh 50g each which isn't really a lot, but I reckon if I do this again I will buy very cheap mens t-shirts in the biggest size that I can purchase. It would mean that I would have a lot more material to work with than I did today, it's a very exciting prospect! 

Now to see what I can make with them, I foresee a black and purple yarny project happening today!

Take care!

Hazel x

Friday, 19 April 2013

Tissue Box Cosy

Earlier on this week I decided to start another project, a tissue box cover! I seemed to have jumped on to the small project bandwagon because I realised I would get more satisfaction in finishing things. I didn't really use a pattern for this, as I just used pinterest photographs for reference and figured out the pattern myself. It is a little different from my usual rainbow choice in colours, but I wanted to be more subtle with colours.
Speaking of rainbow colours, I have been experimenting with rainbow colours and coasters this week. These are the colours I have used in my cushion and my footstool cover WIP, but I am not sure about the colour combination in some of these coasters. The green and blue is too dark when they are the central colours of the coasters, but they look okay if they are the bordering colours. I am really pleased with the pattern, so I am tempted to give these another go with a lighter green and blue colour. What do you think?

Still no finished granny footstool cover, as I have decided it will take me a while to finish. I also have two baby blankets on the hook and possibly a new cowl. I am a busy busy person, maybe that's why I don't have many FO's because I cant be monogamous with my crochet projects.

Going to put my feet up with a cuppa.

Hope you have a good weekend!

Hazel x


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Teapot Cosy Ta Dah!

Pattern: my own
Hook: 4mm
Yarn: Robin's DK - Red
All other colours are from B&M Bargains.

On Friday I was a little bit frustrated with not achieving any finished objects, so I decided to treat myself to some crochet magazines for some inspiration for a new 'small' project. In Love Crochet magazine there is a pattern for a vintage teapot cosy, which I thought was a great project to do....until I realised my favourite teapot doesn't have a traditional spout. I didn't let this deter me, and used my initiative to create my own teapot cosy which is completely different from the one in the magazine but I love it!

If I were to repeat this again, I would crochet a few extra treble clusters in each round as I felt the cosy was very snug on the teapot, this is why I opted to have a button at the top as I couldn't slip the cosy on. Although I do love the button, as it gives the cosy that extra added touch! 

Now I can happily go back to my granny footstool cover.

Hope you are all having a good weekend!

Hazel x





Friday, 12 April 2013

FO Frustration

Hello!

Today, I thought I would get my footstool cover finished....but it didn't occur to me that doing 42 rounds for the sides would take longer than I anticipated. Currently I am only on round 7, so it seems this will be a FO for next Friday. Very frustrating since I feel like I crochet ALL the time and I get very few FOs.

On my way home from work this morning I was thinking that all of my WIPs are usually larger projects, so I need to start making some small ones!! Does anyone recommend small projects that I could do?

Since I don't have any photos of crochet to show you today, I thought I would let Jess say hello! Thank you for all the people that persuaded me to keep her! Couldn't imagine my life without her now.

Take care and have a good weekend,

Hazel x

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

WIP Granny Love

Hello!

At the weekend I bought a little footstool for our living room, and I couldn't resist starting another project for it!
I am making a footstool cover to match the cushion cover I recently made, as I really love the colour combination. My plan is to have the rainbow colours at the top of the footstool and then crochet cream around the sides, I am quite excited about this project! 
My granny square blanket and baby shawl are on hold until I get this finished. Hopefully on friday I will have a lovely FO to show you!

Take care!

Hazel x



Monday, 8 April 2013

Inspiring Pins

Every once in a while I like to share pins from Pinterest that I find inspiring.




The last pin is what is giving me the inspiration in choosing the colours for my granny square blanket WIP, although my colours are slightly different but I wanted it to be as cheerful as this one. As for the other three pins, I would love to try them for myself at some point!

Have you made any projects with Pinterest inspirations?

Take care,

Hazels

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Shawls and Jewellery

Hello there! In my last post I had a lot of indecision about the white shawl I was making, as much as I love crocheting granny patterns my half granny shawl project wasn't settling with me. Therefore I frogged it and went looking for another pattern. After a conversation with my fiancĂ©'s mum about baby shawls, she recommended that the best shape to make a shawl is a circular one as they wrap around the baby much better than a square/triangular shawl. Although Ravelry didn't have any patterns that I like, so I did a Google search for a round baby shawl and found a lovely pattern. 
The pattern required super bulky yarn and a 9mm hook, but I substituted this with aran yarn and a 5.5mm. It means that mines is much smaller and I will have to add a lot more rounds than the pattern asks for to achieve the size that I would like. I could imagine making lots of doilies with this pattern in thinner yarn as it is very pretty. 
Recently I seen Wink from a creative being post a photograph of a lovely necklace on her facebook, and I just simply had to have one! A crochet hook necklace that is made by lovely Nicole, who sells them through her Etsy Shop along with other lovely items. She made me a 4.5mm crochet hook and my necklace chain is 16 inches, and I put it on as soon as I opened the package. Super super excited.
Other than that, I am having a pretty chilled out weekend which I don't tend to get very often. I am taking a small break on the shawl so I can work on my granny square blanket.

Hope you are all having a good weekend!

Hazel x


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Baby Shawl Dilemma

Most of you will know that I recently started a white shawl, using a half granny square pattern. I started making this after someone requested me to make a baby shawl. For some reason, I had it in my mind that all shawls are sort of triangular shaped and took it upon myself to start this project. As I don't have the experience of motherhood and parenting, I thought this would be okay.
Anyway, lets get to the point...I want to clear up my own confusion and ask your opinions on baby blankets and baby shawls before I go any further with this shawl as I want to do it correctly. I would really appreciate your thoughts as for once a google search isn't helping me this time.

Take care,

Hazel x

05.04.13 Edited note - I decided to frog this pattern in favour of a round shawl pattern after speaking to my fiancé's mum about baby shawls :)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

WIPW & The Storyteller

It is Wednesday, and this week I get to show two WIPs that I have been working on! I have a third WIP but its a secret though so I can't talk about it here unfortunately. However, I have managed to crochet a few more squares onto my granny square blanket which I have decided will go onto our bed when it is finished as I have no finished crochet in my bedroom at all.
The other evening I blogged about starting a white baby shawl project, when I found the Half Granny Square Shawl pattern by Anastacia Zittel on Ravelry. Although this is my fourth attempt at it, as I am having issues with the tension along the bottom edge which was making the shawl all bumpy looking. I think this time I have managed to put an extra stitch in the right place to ease up the tension. The owner of the pattern did say to crochet quite loosely but it seems I can't do that, as I like my stitches quite neat. I can't wait to have it finished!
Last night I went to a book event in Glasgow, to see Jodi Picoult talk about her latest book 'The Storyteller' and I also managed to get it signed by her!! It was a very entertaining evening, and it is always a pleasure to see an author talk so passionately about their novels.

If you are interested in seeing other WIPs, check out Tami's Amis blog.

I will see you soon with further progress of my projects!
Take care and enjoy the sunshine.

Hazel x

Monday, 1 April 2013

Half Square Granny Shawl

Last night I decided to have a browse through Ravelry for some inspiration for a new project, even though I have two on the go already. A girl at my work is expecting to have a little baby in July and she has asked me to make her a baby shawl, as she said it is not very common to get knitted/crochet items these days. Of course I said yes and not even knowing in the slightest how I would make the shawl, but I figured it would be nice to crochet something different.
The pattern I found on Raverly is a Half Granny Square Shawl by Anastacia Zittel. Unfortunately I am not doing in these rainbow colours, but you can see why I am attracted to this. As most people know that I love granny patterns, and I thought it would be suitable to make a white shawl with this pattern.
This is the progress I have so far already, and I am hoping to get it finished quite quickly as there are no colour changes and no joining parts together. Simple!

Take care and have a Happy Easter everyone!

Hazel x



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