Sunday, 23 April 2017

Nearly done!

My stripey blanket is nearly finished - and I've decided to call it the Tooty Stripey blanket, seeing as it contains all the colours of the Tooty Fruity Blanket, with a few extras. It hasn't taken long to make at all - I'm rather enjoying making baby size blankets!! It would have been quicker but I kept stopping to take a MILLION  photos!  Well it seemed like a million. But they're all on my phone and after a recent update I'm having trouble transferring them to the pc. I'll have to sit and download the software again. ..

I have one or two I can show you now - and if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen some already. (I've become somewhat addicted to Instagram...)

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey Blanket

I've changed my mind about the border, having already made the bottom edge of it... I was going to do five rows of granny trebles, with 2 colours per row but carrying the non-working yarn across the row without it showing made the tension a bit on the tight side. So I decided to chop it off and start again. A few rows of trebles with each row in one colour. Much more sensible! 

It doesn't take too long to whiz round the edge with grannies so I should get it done tonight. A quick wash and block and it will be done. I must admit, I did do a bit of steam blocking this morning (very carefully as the yarn I'm using says do not iron...), as the edges were a bit wibbly wobbly. This wasn't due to the stitch count going up and down - I was very careful to count regularly. No, it was because some of the stitches I used were things like "2tr cluster in next st, ch1, skip next st". My chain stitches were a bit tight, so when you did 2 or 3 rows like that they did pull the blanket in a bit. Then I'd do a looser stitch combination on the next row. So a little blocking was called for,  a little blocking was done and  a little blocking worked. And the border already is lying beautifully flat! Woo Hoo!!

I will be writing up just what I did from start to finish as soon as I get time, and sharing it with you. As soon as I get time... Where have I heard that before?? Watch this space as they say.

In the meantime, would you like another quick look at the Tooty Fruity Blanket? Here it is on display in the shop window, with a few balls of wool and some patterns.

Can you see that green kitted square pinned to the back wall?? That was made by Miriam and was the first time she had ever knitted anything. It doesn't look much like this but if you could see it you'd be able to see just how beautiful and even her tension is. Amazing.

I had a look at the crochet magazines yesterday and bought this one - Crochet Now. I've never seen this one before, and this issue had a free Stylecraft pattern magazine with it - I rather like the blanket on the cover!! It's quite a good magazine and I might be buying it again.

As I flicked through, I saw this -

A little design competition to make a tea cosie for Marie Curie. Well my heart just sang!!! I made the blue and yellow confection below a few years ago (way back in the summer of 2013) and gave it to the Winchester branch of Marie Curie for the annual launch of that year's Blooming Great Tea Party. 
I'd quite like to make them another, especially one I've designed myself. I've never made a crocheted tea cosie before but I think I know what I'd like to do. The winner will have their pattern printed in the magazine and a goody bag from Sirdar. Gotta be worth a try hasn't it??
I'll need to magic up some time to make it though!!

Tina's Tea Cosies

I also saw this pretty little shoulder bag pattern. It's so sweet and simple and I can just imagine it in Tooty Fruity colours... Hmmm...maybe. One day!!

Right  - I'm off to work the last 2 or 3 rows of grannies. Have a good week!  T  xXx

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Emma's Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Emma's Stripey Blanket
Tina's Allsorts, Emma's Stripey Blanket

I asked Emma's Mum if I could borrow the Stripey Blanket I made for her just over 4 years ago now. It seems like such a long time ago now, it was her 4th birthday and now she's eight...

It's had an incredible number of views not only on Ravelry (over 17,ooo so far) but also on Pinterest (50,000+ re-pins of one single image). And that's just the ones I know of!!

I've had a few lovely complimentary comments on Ravelry and some people have emailed requesting a pattern. I politely point out that I never followed / wrote a pattern, I really did make it up as I went along. I had been inspired by Julie of Little Woolly and I send them a link to take a look as Julie did write an excellent pattern. I needed to make Emma's blanket in a hurry as it was planned as a birthday present, so I couldn't wait for Julie's pattern updates.

I had another pattern request last month and I had thought perhaps I would find time over Easter to write out a pattern of sorts, should anyone want to try and make their own blanket. But I spent my time on making my new stripey blanket instead... Sorry...

The pattern I had planned on writing was actually going to be more a simple list of which stitch and colour I used on each row. I couldn't crochet very well when I made the blanket and it was a learning curve for me - indeed, my current blanket is another learning curve! I knew I wouldn't be able to write a pattern that a complete beginner could follow - you would have to already be able to crochet and have an idea about how to keep your edges straight. But like I say, I didn't find the time. Maybe this weekend coming?... No, don't be silly Tina, you'll be busy trying to finish the latest blanket!!

But I will try and write it up "one day". For the time being I thought perhaps a photo merge thingy with a tape measure laid along it for scale so you can have a good look at it for yourself. I wonder which Russian website it will appear on first? I wouldn't mind but they never link back to me...

Maybe I should have done the photo merge as two pics not one but it was rather fun making it! And I've put my name on it this time!!

The new blanket is growing fast and despite my best intentions of writing the pattern as I went along, I managed about 10 rows before I could no longer resist cracking on and going with the flow! It looks good though. At least I think so.

All the photos are currently on my phone and I'm having a spot of bother downloading them other than by bluetooth. And there are a lot of photos! I've tried to take a photo of every row as it's added, plus a few extra for good measure. When I get them downloaded I'll hit you with some real blanket spam!! And I will write a pattern of sorts to go with it, even if it is only a list of stitches and colours. You can follow that can't you? Of course you can.

That's it for today - things to do and stitches to hook!!

See you again soon - T  xXx

Monday, 17 April 2017

As one blanket ends, another begins ...

Just a quick hello today to show you the finished Tooty Fruity blanket. It's been washed and blocked and feels lovely and soft, with a nice drape to it. The sun was very bright when I took the photo below, so I had to try and stay in the shade but I still had to adjust the photo so the colours didn't look washed out.

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Fruity Blanket

And here's one pegged on the line - for photographic purposes only - I dried it flat on the floor.

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Fruity Blanket

 It measures 25" x 30" which is a nice size for a pram blanket I think. I must take some close ups later and come back and add them. I do like a good close up!!

And now it's onto the next blanket - the "mixed stripey" blanket. As I mentioned before, I bought a few more colours to add to the mix and had meant to do a bit of planning before I started but apart from planning the border first I basically jumped straight in!! Just one photo today - all the others are on my phone and it won't play ball and connect to the laptop today except by bluetooth.

Tina's Allsorts, Mixed Stripey  Blanket

This was a little try out of the border pattern. As I mentioned before, I want the blanket to be completely reversible in that there will be no obvious front and back - it will look as good from one side as the other. Now for the border, I decided to work granny rows using all ten colours with 2 colours per row. This meant I had to carry the none working colour across the back without it showing. With a bit of trial and error I did work it out and the tangle above did get unravelled.
I've already done about 30 rows and have taken a photo as most have been added, although I did forget at the beginning. Although I'm not up to being able to write a proper tutorial that even a beginner could follow, there will be enough that you could follow along if you can already crochet.

I must admit, I am in awe of the amazing people who are able to write very clear instructions on what to do and how, with lots of pics of exactly where to put your hook at every step. Tutorials take a huge amount of time and planning, as well as skill, so I will simply be telling you which stitch I used and supplying plenty of links to the lovely people who can teach you how.
(Whilst the blanket is entirely my own design, there will be snippets here and there which have been inspired by my favourite bloggers but I'll tell you when that happens.)

I'm pretty much making it up as I go - my preferred method of working! - although I have asked to borrow the Stripey Blanket I made for my friend's little girl to remind me of some stitch combinations I used before. Looking back at the photos there were a lot of rows that were just trebles but in different colours. That was way back in the early days of my crochet "adventure" when I didn't know many stitches. This one will be quite different! I just hope the colour combos won't be too gaudy.... There's no white to calm them down!

That's it for today. Things to do and crochet to be done - and photographed!! I'll leave you with a photo from Micheldever Woods taken on Saturday (which the weathermen said would be the best day of the weekend - they lied...). I think we were too early for the main crop of bluebells though - there were still a million buds waiting to open, so I'll have to go again in a couple of weeks.

Till next time,  T  xXx

Tina's Allsorts

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Tooty Fruity Ta - Dah !!

It's finished already!!! Actually I did the final row of picots around the border at work in the shop on Monday. It still needs to be washed and blocked but that will have to wait until I have time over the weekend. It already feels really soft and squishy, so I can only imagine how much softer it might feel when washed as that should fluff up the fibres even more.
I'm very pleased with how quick it was to make too - much quicker than the springtime blanket I made last year.

I decided to go for a flat lace border - nice and open and floaty to compliment the "openness" of the main blanket but not too frilly. I started with a row of half trebles all the way round the outside, then 3 rows of treble fillet crochet before working border number 30 from Around the Corner Crochet Border by Edie Eckman. Perfect!

I don't have a final photo yet - you'll have to wait for that but here are some more WIP photos to be going on with!

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Fruity Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Fruity Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Fruity Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Fruity Blanket

If I get time over the weekend, I'll try and write up what I did at each stage, with all the links to the patterns/tutorials I used. That's assuming I won't be too busy with my next project of course!! I couldn't resist buying some extra colours to go with the Tooty Fruity collection, ready to make the stripey sampler blanket that I want to do next. More about that next time.

But I also want to make myself another waistcoat... I saw some FABULOUS real wool yarn on Instagram a couple of weeks ago and kept going back to admire it. It was quite expensive, being real British wool and hand dyed too but then it dawned on me that as I had sold the Virus Shawl, I could use the proceeds to pay for new wool! Result!! I ordered it from Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats, who was also offering a mothers day discount of 10% (I do find it hard to resist a discount...) and it arrived very quickly and it's as good as it looks in her online photos. I expected to be a bit disappointed with the colour when it arrived but actually, it was even better in real life!!

I've made a tiny sample just to see how the colours would appear - as short "rows" or "blocks". They're definitely blocks which makes it easier with the waistcoat I want to do. Last time I made one I used a variegated yarn and it was a right fiddle making the fronts and getting the stripes to match - read about it here. I'm planning on using the same pattern again.

Isn't this GORGEOUS?!!!! The colourway is called Cyclamen Shade and is inspired by deep pink cyclamens growing on a woodland floor in the shade. And I love it before I've even made something with it!!! I'm so glad I bought it!! Just love those little shots of bright green. Can't wait!

Actually, I've just thought - I have another little ta-dah. I nearly forgot! Sunday before last I finished all the circles for the Tooty Fruity Blanket and arranged them and had everything ready to go to start joining them - except the white wool to do it with... I was wondering what to do instead and then spied my pink/purple bag which was still waiting to be lined. I got it out and hunted out some fabric and a zip and set to and it was done in no time. It was made to measure to hold my wallet, phone, camera, car keys and lipstick -  I even managed to fit in my new over-glasses which are quite big (but amazing, wish I'd found some years ago...). My lovely new bag has already had 4 outings - this isn't the best shot but it will have to do for now -

Well that's it for today. I've finished work for a few days now and I'm looking forward to a family wedding and a nice rest. And a lot of crochet hopefully!!

Enjoy the Easter Holidays yourself! Til next time, T xXx

PS I love watching the view counter tick over on this blanket - nearly 17,000 now. I'm going to borrow it soon so I can write up the pattern of how I made it as I often get requests.