Quick(ish) crochet

I really am working on sewing projects at the moment, but on the slowest possible setting short of ‘stop’.  I started a miniskirt before Christmas made from one single piece of fabric (plus pockets and a waistband), which is progressing at roughly the rate of one seam/dart a fortnight.  I’m not sure what’s happened overall, but recently a rather migraneous week has put paid to a pounding sewing machine or the intense concentration of pattern drafting and cutting.

Somehow crochet still works, with the dual advantages that: this granny square sunburst pattern is now autopilot for my fingers; and I can do it while watching E4 re-runs of The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother from the sofa.

I started the above blanket about 15 months ago, and haven’t touched it in the last 9.  To be honest, the only reason I’m working on it at all is that I saw this beauty on Pinterest:

Source: craftster.org via Amy on Pinterest


No way am I allowing myself to have two unfinished crochet blankets on the go, so the old must be finished before I may even contemplate yarn for the new.  Is it a bit odd that I can only complete old projects by dangling the reward of… yet another project?

Still, it’s going together quite nicely, I think.  My rigid assembly rules have turned it into a sort of sudoku puzzle (no horizontally or vertically touching squares can have the same colour in the same position, i.e. two green centres or two yellow outer circles.)  Though actually – I think I can admit it here – that makes it really rather fun.

…and something sparkly as well

Happy third day of Christmas! Hope you’ve had, and are having, a wonderful time.  We’re back home for a night after staying with my parents and then with Mr B’s, then off again to see my brother and sister-in-law tomorrow.  So this is just  a little snippet of a post, with some more Christmas/sewing-related ones coming soon.

As I explained in a Crafty Christmas Club post, there’s been a lot of crochet action on my present list this year – snoods for everyone!  Enough of my female friends and relations have complimented my one over the past few months to get me going on no less than five (…and it turns out that a lot of those compliments were indeed hints!)

I just felt they needed a little bit of sparkle:

I got most of these for less than a fiver on eBay, some for just 99p.  Aren’t they sweet?  A few  claimed to be vintage 1950s – though I have no idea how to verify that.  Anyhow, snoods done, I picked out co-ordinating brooches:

Getting all my handmade plans finished in time was a very close thing – that red one at the bottom?  Started it Christmas eve, finished Christmas day, wrapped and handed it over on Boxing day…  Next year I either need to start earlier, or do less!

Did you manage to get everything stitched up in time?

Quiet crafting?

So I’ve been working on a Pendrell (with a twist) for over a week now, but nothing to show yet.  Partly because I spent hours and hours tidying the house for our first viewer since August – though on the plus side our spare room now looks like this:

And thus has plenty of space for the ironing board.  Sewing machine and iron in one room.  Why has it taken me so long to realise that this is a much better idea than  running up and down the stairs for every other seam. Sigh.

We’ve also had a noise issue with our next-door-neighbour, who has two puppies who stay home while she’s at work.  Waking up to continuous barking that can easily last 3 hours has been seriously not good for Mr B’s and my outlook on life.  (Thankfully, after the last conversation we had to have, they now stay in a run at the end of the garden – still barking at times, but far enough away that we can ignore it easily.)  However: she has commented on the thinness of the walls (true) and a ‘grinding noise’ that she sometimes hears upstairs… could it be… not my sewing machine?  I’ve always tried to avoid sewing early in the morning or late at night anyway, but now every time I’m using my machine, I feel incredibly conscious about it.  Am I just creating more fuel for the fire?

So, instead of going all out to complete the Pendrell tonight, I put the finishing touches on this little chap:

Shamelessly ripped off inspired by this awesome knitted snowmen wreath, using this amigurumi-style crochet pattern.

I’m counting this as last week’s project story, just a day late, so I can spend the rest of this week gritting my teeth for my Pendrell project, and sewing in short and precise bursts.

Has your sewing machine ever caused an issue with your neighbours?

Crochet, beautiful crochet

I’ve just finished my first exceedingly satisfying crochet project. As mentioned in my last post, I did learn a bit of crochet when I was little, but it was from a extremely retro Ladybird book which banged on about gauge and measuring your stitches far too much (in my 7 year old opinion). 

So this tutorial from Carly was a lovely introduction to chain stitch, double and triple crochet (to the point that I was running around squeaking ‘I can crochet!  Look, I can crochet!” – husband in the shower not significantly impressed).  And now I have a beautifully cosy snood:

I want another crochet project!  Preferably another one with Rowan Big Wool (the name just makes me happy, I’m easily pleased).

Oooh, shiny things


I bought these off Amazon about 6 months ago for two loosely justifiable reasons – (a) I did do some crochet when I was about 7, and (b) they’re just so pretty.  The photo doesn’t even do them justice. 

Having a vague memory of one or two crochet stitches, I tried learning the ‘magic ring’ from a YouTube video… whoa, way too ambitious. (I just liked the terminology.  Not just any old crochet, let’s do magic crochet).  Anyway, the hooks have been quietly biding their time in the cupboard, and I think I’ve found the perfect beginner project…