Cosy Stripe Blanket

I think this blanket has made a couple of cameo appearances on my blog now.  Then again, I have been working on it for years.  Literally.  Years.  I think (it was so long ago that I can’t even remember!) I bought the blanket kit in 2014 sometime, so it’s been at least two years.

It’s been a bit of a love-hate relationship.  Well, mostly hate.  I like crocheting, but not as much as I like knitting.  Mind you, I bet if I’d knitted a blanket this big I’d have been ripping my hair out just as much with that.  Let’s take a look at some photos before I tell you the whole sorry tale.

I got off to a rocky start with this one.  I crocheted about a foot before deciding my tension was off, so that got unraveled, I sorted out my tension and started again.  Then, I had a bit of an episode at the start of summer (2015, I’m guessing) when I got far too hot while I was working on it and thought I was actually going to faint (dramatic!), so it got pushed to one side until winter had come back around.  Then, after I’d picked it back up again, I did about another foot before realising that I was doing it wrong and my blanket was starting to lean to one side.  This is what happens when you put something down for too long – you forget what you’re meant to be doing.  Anyway, I figured out what I was doing wrong and decided I’d have to cope with having a slightly wonky blanket (a design feature!) rather than unravel a load of it again.  And then it sat in a corner waiting for its border for months.  Phew – it’s been quite the journey for us!  Anyway, fiiiniiished!  I finished it just in time to take it glamping 🙂  My friend and I (hi, Becky!) went to a wigwam to celebrate my 30th (yep, I’m old now) and I had to take this with me, right?  Worth all the effort, don’t you think?

The pattern
The pattern came in a series of blog posts over on Attic 24.  You can find all the posts here – scroll towards the bottom of the post for them.  You could, of course use your own colours, or use as many or as few colours as you want.  If you’re new to crochet though, I would maybe start with a cushion – this might put you off for life.

The yarn
I got all the yarn I needed in a kit from Woolaballoo.  If you live in the North East I would strongly recommend a visit – so many beautiful yarns.  They’ve since stopped doing these kits and focus solely on British yarns made from natural fibres, but you’ll find the Stylecraft Special DK almost anywhere.  And you could, of course, use a different yarn, but bear in mind you may need more or less of it (probably more).

The cost
I can’t even remember now.  I think it was about £25 for the kit.  £25 and a lot of time!

P.S.  Glamping is my new favourite thing!  It has all the best bits of camping – cooking over fire, being out in the wilderness etc. – with the added comforts that proper camping just can’t guarantee you, such as warmth and a comfortable bed.  We went to a lovely place in North Yorkshire called Humble Bee Farm.  It’s not far from Scarborough and Filey, and there were some nice walks around the camp site.  They have some animals on site as well, which is nice.  We had a great time!  Turns out we’re not too bad at the cooking over fire thing – we kept ourselves well fed for the weekend anyway.  And once the fire was going it was warm enough to sit outside, even in January.  I dare say I could quite happily live in a wigwam 🙂

Rainbow cushion

I shared my knitted Milla Mia Elk Cushion with you a while back, and now I’m showing off my latest crochet project – another cushion.

It’s a granny square cushion.  I heart granny squares.  I learned to make these solid granny squares at a workshop at Woolaballoo in Hexham.  All the yarn and materials were included in the price of the workshop.  We followed the instructions for the solid granny square on the Attic24 blog, and instructions for constructing and finishing the cushion are here.

Once I’d go the hang of the pattern, each square was only taking me a few minutes to crochet.  I was really strict with myself and made sure that I sewed each square onto the cushion as soon as I’d finished.  I knew if I let them build up I’d end up with a bag full of granny squares in a corner for months (possibly even years).

I won’t lie, I did hit a wall part way through this cushion – was there no end to the squares?!  63 squares in total.  About half way through, boredom hit, but I knew that once I was onto the home straight my interest would pique again and I’d get excited to finish it.  It was worth it!  It matches the colours on my sofa cushions perfectly and it’s now sitting pretty in its new home 😀

I think I’ll take a break from cushions now – how many could I possibly need…?

Knit Happens

Every fortnight, a merry band of stitchers meet at the Traveller’s Rest (in Witton Gilbert, Durham) for Knit Happens.

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The group was formed by my friend Lucy, who owns a lovely wool shop called Woolaballoo in Hexham.  There are so many beautiful yarns to choose from, as well as all your needles and hooks and notions.  You can also attend workshops so you can learn new techniques – see the website for all the details.  For Knit Happens, we just get together knit and crochet an chat and laugh, and usually we eat copious amounts of delicious homemade pub grub as well.  Yummy!

We’re all working on different things at the moment.  Some of us are knitting (on a variety of needles) and some of us are crocheting.  Some are quite experienced and some are just starting out.  Here are some pictures of what we’re making – a couple of blankets, the beginnings of a cushion, socks, hats and snoods.

The blanket I’m working on is from the Attic 24 blog, the Cosy Stripe Blanket.  I just love the colours, and can’t wait to finish it.  However, as I discovered at last night’s Knit Happens, it’s getting a tad warm to be sat with an ever-growing blanket on your lap!  I may need to put it aside until the winter.  But, never fear – as every self-respecting crafter knows, it simply isn’t enough to have just one project on the go, and I have many works in progress I can pick up.  🙂

And, last night I came away with a new sewing project too!  Lucy has asked whether I can line this (soon to be bag) for her.  It will be interesting because I don’t have a pattern to work from, so I’ll just have to make it up as I go.  I think I have a pretty clear idea of how I’m going to tackle it.  Regardless, it’s so nerve-wracking knowing that if I fluff it up I’ll have ruined Lucy’s bag.  Keep everything crossed!  I’ll let you know how I get along with it.

If you live in the Durham area and want to pop in sometime, please do!  The next one will be on April 29th (and it’ll be every fortnight thereafter).

The Windmill

A few weeks ago we stayed in a windmill for my friend Helen’s hen weekend. A windmill. A windmill! 😀 😀 😀 Lots of fun was had.  The windmill is in Crosby, and it is amazing! I could quite fancy myself living in one. I would highly recommend a stay, especially if you’re in a large group. You can find all the details here, and we got some photos.

There was loads of relaxing downtime – pampering, champagne, food, the seaside… Aaah, that’s the life.

And there was lots of hilarious silliness. Surprise Doctor Who party, anyone? Including the most amazing surprise TARDIS costume for Helen, who looked a-maze-ing! And we have to give a shout out to Cat, who spent all night in that Dalek costume.  And of course, there was obligatory game-playing. SingStar, and Cards Against Humanity (not for the faint of heart!).

We even had some time to get a bit creative. We made bracelets, painted shot glasses, made a Pin the ‘Tache on the Darrin game (Darrin is the groom, and he has a spectacular moustache!), and I found time to do a bit of my Attic 24 Cosy Stripe blanket.  I didn’t do any sewing (obviously), but Rachel and I did coincidentally take identical PJs.  Well, not identical, but we used the same pattern to make them – the Margot PJs pattern from Tilly Walnes’ Love at First Stitch.

So much fun in a really lovely setting! Exactly my kind of hen weekend.  Thanks to all involved for such a fun time 😀

And next week, Helen and Darrin will be married!  Huge congratulations to you both, we’re over the moon for you!