Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Autumn Scarf

I made this scarf from Robin Picasso Autumn. It's a chunky yarn which works up quickly and is ultra-soft. I bought it from the wool stall at Bridlington Market last year as I really loved the autumny colours. I hadn't particularly planned on making myself a new scarf but I couldn't resist it especially as it wasn't exactly breaking the bank.

It's made in the same way as the Hull FC scarf and is about the same width. It worked out slightly longer though, which is brilliant as I love really long scarves.
The finished scarf measures 7" wide x 8' long (excluding the fringe).
I've worn this scarf an awful lot and it's become one of my favourite scarves When it's really cold I wrap it round my neck twice and it keeps out all of the draughts.
I made mittens to match this scarf but I seem to have  lost them somewhere. I wish I had enough yarn left to make some more but I've run out. I might have to have a browse on line to see if I can find some more.
I vaguely remember making a bobble hat out of this yarn as well, but I have no idea where that is either! Even though I'd prefer a matching set, I still love this scarf and will probably wear it until it falls apart. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Finished Projects: Part Two

Windy Days and Scarves

I have to go food shopping this afternoon and I'm dreading it because it's very cold and very, very windy. I think I'm going to have to walk there too because I don't think that I'll get very far on my trusty steed today. I truly dislike food shopping but when I use the panniers on the steed to lug it all back it seems a bit easier. So I'm really not looking forward to having to carry heavy bags.I wouldn't mind if I knew what I needed but all I know is that the cupboards are pretty much bare. If I'd have been a bit more organised I could have pre-soaked some beans and made a lovely something or other out of them (which would have avoided the need to go out) but I think it's becoming apparent that organised is something that I'm not. (NB:Remind me not to send any potential employers a link to my blog!) I'm just glad that I've got a lovely woolly scarf to keep me warm on my journey. I'm actually laughing out loud here because I think that I might just be making this sound like I'm venturing off into the wilderness in a Scott of the Antarctic kind of way and not at all like I'm just going to the local shops! Anyway, as it is so cold and windy, I thought it'd be a perfect time to share some of my finished scarves with you. I do hope that you'll like them as much as me.

Hull FC Scarf

This scarf was made last year for a work colleague who wanted a crochet Hull FC scarf for his mum as a Christmas gift. I picked this yarn because I thought it would be a slightly more feminine take on the bulky scarves which rugby and football supporters tend to wear. He really didn't like it though, so I had to go and buy some chunky yarn and make a new one.
I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that he didn't like it, but I suppose not everyone likes the same things. It was also a good example of how important it is to listen to what your customer wants!
I used King Cole Galaxy yarn which comes in 50g balls. It has sequins attached to the yarn so it's very spangly and Christmassy. I think I used about two balls to make the scarf
It's a very simple pattern. I chained about 200 stitches using a 4mm hook and then worked a treble into each chain. I turned the work and chained three to replace the first treble in the row and worked one treble (using the back loop only) into the next and every following stitch across the row.
I continued in this way until the scarf was about 7" wide.
Finally, I worked a row of double crochet's all around the scarf and fastened off.
This is quite a long scarf (it measures about 7'6") but it's lightweight and warm. I'm hoping to make some gloves to match this scarf as I think it'll be a perfectly glamorous evening set for an avid Hull Fc fan!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Finished Projects: Part One

BV's Crochet Blanket
This was one of my earliest crochet blankets and was made as a commission. Initially, I wasn't sure about making something to order as I hadn't been crocheting for very long and was worried that the finished product might not be good enough. But the lady who requested it had seen a shawl that I'd made and was determined to have a similar one for her daughter, who was expecting her first baby.
I decided that it would be best to keep the pattern very simple so I made a chain of about 250 stitches and worked rows of trebles into the back loop only. This gives a good textural effect which can be quite pretty when worked in a plain coloured yarn, such as this lemon double knitting yarn.
I know that I bought this from My Favourite Wool Shop because I don't generally shop anywhere else for yarn, but I have no idea of the brand. In my early days of crocheting and before The Big Purple Jumper I didn't think to keep a record of which yarns I'd used or even to take photographs. This was the first project that I'd actually remembered to get the camera out for!
I do wish that I'd had the foresight to iron the sheet that I'd thrown over the table as a backdrop, though! Oh well, the blanket itself looks rather sweet, if a little uneven. It most certainly would have benefited from blocking. But as I said, this was in the early days of my love affair with crochet when I could barely hook and had no idea about technical things such as 'blocking'. If you're also fairly new to crochet and would like to learn how to block your work, there's some really good on line tutorials which can help: Doris Chan gives a pretty good overview of blocking here. She also creates some fantastic crochet patterns and her website has been known to make me actually laugh out loud.
Anyway, I wanted my blanket to be a square so that it could be folded diagonally to swaddle a newborn baby, so I continued doing rows of trebles until it seemed about the right size.I have no idea how many rows I did, but it seemed like an awful lot and it took me ages to do.
It was a lot thicker than I expected it to be, but as the baby was due in the depths of winter I was quite pleased that it would be a little warmer.
I added four rows of double crochet around the whole of the blanket to even it up a bit. My edges were quite wonky because I kept inadvertently decreasing stitches by forgetting to work into the chain 3 at the end of every row but it didn't particularly spoil the finished blanket.
I added a row of trebles after the double crochet rows, skipping a stitch in between each one to give a little gap. I then did another row of double crochet before finishing with a double crochet, chain three stitch into the stitches which corresponded to the stitches on the last treble row. This gave me little loops to hang the tassells from.
I really enjoyed making this little blanket and think it turned out quite nicely, despite my inexperience.
The finished blanket measures approximately three feet square, so it is a fairly sizable blanket.
I was so overwhelmed when I received a 'Thank You' note and a box of Thornton's Chocolates from BV. It's lovely when people appreciate the things which you do for them, isn't it? :)

Sunday, 14 October 2012


I’ve been in the mood to do a bit of cleaning up this week, mainly because the debris in my life has spiralled way out of control again. Unfortunately, I suffered from a wave of procrastination and thought I'd best try to clear up my laptop instead as it’s running a bit slow (probably because I’ve filled it to the brim with patterns and photos). I decided to put all of my crochet patterns onto disc to free up a bit of space and was surprised by how many I’ve collected. It’s a mixed bunch too, from chunky hats, scarves and gloves to slightly more delicate doilies and tablecloths. There's also some lovely kitchen and bathroom scrubbies. I’ll probably never get around to making even half of these but they’re really fun to have and to look at periodically.
As I was putting the discs away, I found a whole pile of other discs with some of my finished projects on and so I spent ages looking through them all. I got a wee bit more distracted after that (I always find it inspirational to look back at finished projects) and sat on the floor for a good few hours looking through my paper patterns and my rather large collection of Prima patterns. 
I even had a browse through my old sketchbooks but only because they were on the shelves above my files.
The upshot of all of this is that although I was brimming over with ideas of things to make I was also left with a huge pile of new things to put away (which I’m ashamed to admit are still pretty much where I left them). This is so typical of me. I wake up with the full intention of getting on with a particular job and get sidetracked by much more interesting things.Lots of people find this habit so-oo annoying and accuse me of never achieving anything. But if anything, this week has shown me that I do achieve things, albeit in my own small way. So, I'm going to do a series of posts about my finished projects. I know some of you have already seen many of these things but I hope you'll all enjoy reading about them.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Hull Fair 2012

I went for my annual 'wander' around Hull Fair yesterday evening with EC. I always enjoy the short walk there and think that it's a huge part of the experience for me. For some reason I can't explain, I find it quite exciting keeping pace with the other fair goers making their way down Spring Bank West and trying to avoid the scores of people simply milling around. As I mentioned in my last post, I love shuffling through the fallen leaves which litter the streets around the fair, but I'm afraid that I was slightly disappointed about the lack of leaves to shuffle through yesterday. Either the trees are hanging onto their leaves for grim death this year, or the road sweepers have done a sterling job of removing them. Given the general state of the city streets I'd hazard a guess that it's due to the former rather than the latter, but whatever the cause, I was a smidgen disappointed.
I was also slightly overwhelmed by how very, very, busy it was. We wouldn't normally go to the fair on a Saturday evening but EC isn't able to go during the week because of the funny hours that she works. So, busy Saturday evening it was. We did our usual holding- hands -snake as we made our way through the crowds (which I thought would never part) but there was a lot more pushing and shoving than usual and an awful lot less 'wandering' around. I'll admit that I got a bit panicky at one stage because I really don't like crowds and I was getting jostled so much.
Although I love the atmosphere of the fair (all that bustling and noise and smells and flashing lights) I don't like being barged into by every Tom, Dick or Harry. I like a great deal of personal space, so it does jangle my nerves to be in such close proximity to other people. But when I decide to go to the fair I know that this is going to happen. I know that people with prams will inadvertently catch the back of my heels as they push through the crowds, that people will walk into me, that I will probably walk into someone else. I know that people will be milling around, everyone walking in different directions and not always looking where they are going.
So I was a bit taken aback to find that someone (in their infinite wisdom) had decided that this year it would be an excellent idea to have zones around the fair from which PCSO's could direct the crowds. 'Keep to the left' was a recurrent cry. Some of them were even on little podiums. I raised my eyebrows in disbelief and EC raised hers back in a gesture of agreement. Passers by commented, to us, to each other. It was strangely amusing.
As I said, I really don't like crowds and I'm pathetically fearful when I'm in the middle of one, but I didn't actually feel in any imminent danger of being crushed or stampeded to death. I just didn't. It really wasn't that bad. It was just a very busy Saturday evening at Hull Fair.
We didn't go on any rides (the queues were so-ooo long) but we had good fun watching other people get drenched on the log flume and scaring themselves witless on so many of the other rides.
We were going to go on Hook-a-Duck but forgot to come back this way. We did buy fudge and rum truffles though and had a Slushie which turned our tongues blue!
I had a lovely time and might have to go for another wander down there before it leaves. If you're at a loose end this week and want something family centred to do, I'd definitely recommend a visit.

Friday, 5 October 2012

I love Autumn

Hello there! It's a while since I've been here and it's really lovely to be back again. I honestly and truly dislike being such an erratic blogger but hopefully I'll get myself organised and be much more consistent with the posts...I wouldn't hold your breath though, 'cos you may well go purple in the face waiting for that to happen!

The weather has changed dramatically since my last post and Autumn is really settling in.

I love Autumn, it's such a pretty season. I love how the leaves on the trees change colour from green to yellow to red and all the subtleties in between. I love how the colours of autumn envelop me and make me feel warm and safe.

I love how it's still warm enough to go out without an overcoat but not really warm enough for just a sweater. I love the hazy mornings and the feel of the sun on my face. The Autumn sun feels very different from the Summer sun. It's gentler somehow and calmer.

I love being able to wander quietly in the park, always hoping that the wind will pick up so that I can go and fly my kite.

I love that Hull Fair has arrived today, noisy and bustling and filling the air with the smell of diesel and burned sugar. I am filled with excitement at the prospect of walking to the Fair, I love shuffling through the fallen leaves by the cemetery and taking long, frightened strides across the railway lines. It feels like Autumn really is here now. And I love Autumn.