Thursday, 19 July 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

It's been pretty busy in my life lately, what with one thing or another. Too busy for my liking, I enjoy a relaxed pace of life, with plenty of time for hookin' when my little P is asleep or otherwise engaged!
I wanted to be able to write weekly on this here blog, but it will just be as and when I get the time right now. Obviously, looking after my little P comes first and foremost, then after that, it's crafting time! Blogging is further down the list, after eating and drinking but above housework. So, any time I do get right now, I'm so excited about all the projects I have on the go that I don't even fire the old laptop up or even think about blogging, except now.... I must be content with the little bit of hooky time I've already had today when little P had her nap.
There hasn't been much of it the last few days, and I am starting to feel the withdrawl symptoms. What with moving house ( a whole other, boring, less riveting story) and little P being ill this week there has been minimal, insufficient hooky. But today was a bit more normal, so I sat down to one of my many projects.
Maybe I should just focus on one project at a time, finish it, and then move on. But I can't! My mind is exploding with colourful ideas I just can't wait to put into action! At the moment I have a few projects on the go:-

1) The BIG granny stripe blanket, with chunky yarn.

2) My own design amigurumi cow. He's well on the way too, I just got sidetracked!

3) My puffy flower cushion cover

4) The rocking chair makeover - crocheting cushion covers, seat one complete!

and a few other arty farty bits of decopatch and button-on-canvas action.

The granny stripe blanket is nearly 2/3 complete in terms of stripes, and is one of those 'I don't want to think, or count, just stitch away' type projects. Perfectly relaxing.
The cow is more creative, 'this is my imagination coming to life' type project, so requires me to feel creative and on the ball!
The rocking chair is a long term 'I'll fit this in around everything else' type project. Seat cover done, now for the backrest. Think I've decided to finish the blanket before starting this though...
The puffy flower cushion is a new one, been thinking it up for a while, and researching 'puffy' stitches and turning them into squares. I've modified a pattern from Crochet Today magazine, to get bigger flowers as the ones in that pattern seemed quite small. I shall assemble the squares together to make a cushion cover. Still undecided about the reverse side, whether to carry on with flowers or just have one giant granny square in all the colours. I've got time to think on that though.
I'm pleased with how my flowers have turned out, plan on putting the pattern I used up on here when I've finished (and the cow too!) so watch this space...
Here they are in their current form....yes, there's only 2 so far!

top view of the little squares
puffy view!
 Think I'll need 16 of these for a cushion side, and will probably put a border of single crochet of one of the colours around too for extra decoration. Will keep you posted!


Saturday, 7 July 2012

First Things First...

Hello to anybody who may read this. My name is Anna and I hold my hands up, I'm a total crochet addict, going on nerd.
I've been crocheting now for 6 months, and it has been an eventful 6 months to say the least, but my love for hookin' has just grown and grown. I've never thought about crochet or knitting before at all, until a post-Christmas get together with some friends, where one of them was showcasing her amigurumi creations! I was instantly taken, I never thought those lovely stuffed toys could be made by your very own hands. After a very brief conversation about how hard/easy it was to get started, I decided to give it a go.
Now I've given many things a go over the years, but when it proved too difficult I lost interest quickly...I'm remembering guitar various times. But there was something about crochet. I'd have proabably laughed at my friend at the thought of her 'knitting' if I hadn't seen those little stuffed animals! Maybe I have softened since I have become a mum (Yes, my little daughter, P, now 15 months old) and the cuteness of those woolly creations just got to me.
I took a trip to a chain craft store, which I love, and repeatedly state I could live in, and sourced some crochet hooks, yarn needles, stitch counters and most importantly, the wool, or as I now know, yarn. And I don't do things by half. So I chose by colour, and softness, and came out with a few balls of 'Sublime Baby Cashmerino Silk DK'.... at £5.99 a pop this was not economical.
So after a fortune spent on yarn, I sat down to read the book my friend had suggested to get me started, Debbie Stroller's Happy Hooker. I followed the simple instructions and diagrams and voila, a chain! Well this is easy I thought...
Doing anything with the chain then tested my stayability with the new hobby. I tried at many attempts to 'get in the chain' and when I finally did, I just didn't understand! I found it very difficult to see the stitches, and I now know that the yarn didn't help, for all it's lovely softness it was very splitty and fuzzy.
I'm not sure why I kept going and didn't give up at this point, but something had me hooked already. After many failing attempts and crocheting a single row, I thought I'd try a granny square. I used the pattern in the Happy Hooker book, and with that and some online tuition in the hands of Crochet for Dummies and YouTube, I made my first square. Once I got the first bit, it all seemed to fall into place.
After 4 squares I decided I was ready to try my first amigurumi. I had purchased Super Cute Crochet by Nikki Trench, and was taken by Squiddly Dudley. By now I had also sourced safety eyes and stuffing, totally ready for toy making!
The bug then really hit me, I was already stacking up the list of animals I wanted to make, buying and trying different yarn and trying to fit in a few stitches in any few spare moments I had, and with a very clingy 9 month old daughter, there wasn't many of them! It was prime crochet time when she had her afternoon nap, and still is, an hour and a half (very variable!) of happy hooking time.
So I already neglect duties, I mean, my daughter gets fed and well looked after, but when she is asleep or out, I can't put the hook down! I know I'm addicted, but I keep reassuring everyone that I could be addicted to worse things. I love the creative part of my brain being enlisted into action again, after such a while away.
As if I wasn't addicted enough, when searching for a tote bag pattern, I stumbled accross the infamous Attic24 blog, and then there was no turning back! What Lucy creates there sums up what I love and want to do. Bright, cheery, modern but very tasteful items to create, just what I was looking for. I wanted to do this! I was never keen on all the brown and grey dreary jumpers, and the boring coloured blankets, I wanted bright, and finding the Attic truly unleased a new dimension on my thoughts on crochet.
I was now obsessed. I pretty much wanted to make everything on that blog! I'm working my way through! I started with the stripy bag, then the birdie decoration and the happy flower, then the summer garden granny square blanket and my latest venture, the granny stripe blanket!
So I would love to thank Lucy of Attic24 for creating her blog and sharing her creative mind with the world... although some of my friends and family probably won't agree!
I thought I'd just add a couple of pictures of my creations so far:

The Stripy Bag from Attic24

The Summer Garden Granny Square Blanket, also from Attic24