Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sunshine!

Yes! March is here (that's officially a Spring month right?) and the sun is shining. Obviously it is still cold, but to see the world in a bright light again just makes everything feel absolutely awesome! And I even saw the first colour in the garden coming through, in the form of a purple crocus. I love this time of year - those of you who know me will know I love the sun and being outside, so I can't wait for Spring to get into full swing.
It was my Birthday last weekend, so I was busy eating cake and letting the little monster open my cards and presents (not that I had any choice!) I was spoilt by my family and had a lovely day with them all. My Little P was super lovely and could sense that something was going on which made that day a bit different from the run-of-the-mill day. She even went to the shops with her Nana and picked me a lovely balloon with butterflies on (which was really for her enjoyment!)
Aside from that, it's been a relatively normal week - playing with the little Lady, entertaining her, trying to have eyes in the back of my head to avoid catastrophe, oh, and a little bit of crochet when she goes to bed!
I have mainly been ploughing on with the Granny Square Play Picnic Blanket for the little Miss. I have found it a really nice, relaxing project, perfect for evening crochet when you don't have to concentrate too much. And, by joining the squares as I went along, no silly sewing together at the end! Each square is 6 rounds in size, and there are 36 of them. I used loads of colours - not many are repeated. I then spent an age trying to work out what to do with the edge. I liked Attic24's patchwork blanket (which inspired me) and the way Lucy used calm colours around the edge to reign in the haphazardness of the blanket itself. I went with a similar approach in the end - blues and purples for a few rows to edge it and calm it down a bit. Then, after my friend kindly let me borrow her book (Edie Eckman's Around the Corner Crochet) I sifted through edge after edge to find one I wanted to try and wouldn't take an absolute age (it is only a play blanket after all!) I settled on edge #37 but adapted in to use double crochet rather than treble, as I didn't need it quite so long. I can't recommend that book enough - I'll never struggle for edging ideas ever again now I've downloaded myself a copy!
I really like this little blanket - I think it had come together really well and the Little P has been putting it to good use already with her tea parties and tents. So, here it is, Little P's Play Blanket - bright and cheerful and perfectly sized for the Little Lady!


And a close up of those squares...


And a final glimpse at that edging... ruffled goodness!


In other exciting news, I mentioned previously that my trusty friend had treated me (us) to a needle felting course for my Birthday. Yesterday was the day in question, so I'm all clued up on the basics of needle felting. I went with the idea that I'd enjoy it, and that it would be useful - maybe even use it alongside my crochet, but it surpassed my expectations completely - it opens a whole new line of crafting up for me!
It was a nice small class, just the 6 of us plus the teacher, and as she started explaining what the bits were on the table in front of us, I couldn't help but notice a pack of antiseptic wipes and plasters! I knew the needles were lethal, but that sight made me fearful! We started easy, just felting some yarn onto a piece of material. Then we moved up to using the roving itself, and turning that into a neat square of felt. The whole thing was very addictive and therapeutic - the notion of repeatedly stabbing a piece of fluffy wool was very soothing somehow! Then we were able to make a flat shape and choose from a variety of biscuit cutters to use as a template. I chose a duck, as I had promised the Little Lady I would make her something. It was all going quite smoothly, no stabs, no broken needles. Then it was the big test - the ball. Now the roving had to be rolled around and fingers became perilously close to the needle. I did manage to jab my finger, but luckily no blood! Others then followed suit, but no major incidents! Here are my wares from my first ever needle felting experience!


I really loved it, way more than I thought I would. I can't wait to get started again, I have a flower garland in mind. I had a starter kit for my Birthday, but I also bought a bag of mixed colour roving after the course to give me more scope. Hopefully, I'll get started on a flower in a bit....


This morning I also tackled another craft - lino printing. I had been planning in my mind what I wanted to do for the last week, so I sat down and sketched the idea out. I then traced it and transferred it onto the lino block and began carving away at it until I could carve no more. Another craft I thoroughly enjoy - where am I going to get the time and storage to keep up with all these ideas in my mind?! The idea I had was to have a heart shape as the main focus, with the outline of a dandelion spreading it's seed in the wind. Then for the background, a curly sort of pattern. For my first attempt, I think it came out quite well. I can see areas it needs to be tweaked but it's ok. Maybe I should have tried something a bit less fiddly and intricate for my first piece (that's how I roll though!)



On that note, I'm going to go and start stabbing at some felt for a little while - here's hoping no fingers! Until next time...

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