Monday 24 February 2014

The Monday Smile

I hope you have all had a great weekend, unfortunately I have been ill with the flu and haven't managed to get around and visit you all.

I'm going to take a little time out to try and get over this and hopefully I will be back at the end of the week.

A few Russian snow sculptures to make you smile until then.

Have a great week !

Friday 21 February 2014

Block a Week Friday

Block 52
Block Checks

An easy slip stitch pattern, and as with all of these you need to be careful how you carry the wool across the back or the tension becomes uneven.  The yarn is carried up the side of the work so there are only four ends to weave in. 
All of these slip stitch patterns make a lovely thick fabric and are ideal for blankets or hats.

I have just realised thanks to one of you that the book has it's own difficulty rating, there is a small needle icon on the top left of each block, one needle being beginner blocks, two some experience and three challenging.  It actually tells you on page 11.  I bet I'm the only one who hasn't realised this. 

The ratings I give are my own personal ratings and not the books.

Rating - Easy
Curl - 1-2
size - 6, 1/4
ends - 4 Another example of block 52

Jaycee Loving Hands

Progress -  number of different blocks made = 11

Numbers -17, 24, 304041, 42, 45, 52, 56,  98113,
(Click on the number to see the block.)

Number of blocks altogether = 14

Linking with

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday 19 February 2014

The Luana Shawl

Remember the Gentle Ripple. well I can honestly say I loved making that, it was fun to make and it grew very quickly.  I couldn't wait to make another shawl...

Not a ripple this time but with a stitch I have loved and admired for a while now, the Harlequin stitch or Catherine's wheel, or large wheel, whatever you would like to call it.

Luckily I had just the right blend of colours in my stash, cream, terracotta and biscuit.

I had never tried this stitch before so it was something completely new to me and luckily I found it very easy, perhaps the only place where I needed to think was the end of rows, I had to keep a check on them and I did make a few mistakes before I got the hang of it.

I loved the way it was working up and the colour combination.  However after a couple of days I sat back and took stock and realised that although I seemed to have done a lot of work on this shawl it wasn't growing very much.

It was only then that I realised that you need two rows to form the circle meaning it's only growing every two rows so of course it takes double the time!

As you can see I did get there in the end but it took me far longer than I would have liked.


I think it was worth it but I won't be making another one like this any time soon because I'm very impatient and like to see results very quickly. I do love the stitch and I will use it again but for smaller projects.

If you would like to make one......

You can find the stitch how to here
My shawl measures 120cms x 49cms
Yarn used, Dk 311 grams

Are you wondering about the name the Luana Shawl, well at first it was going to be boring Harlequin stitch shawl and I felt it deserved something better than that, so ok how about the Catherine's Wheel Shawl....I goggled it and as I thought there are quite a few of those, so I felt a little psychology was in order, I gazed at my shawl to see what kind of feelings it evoked,  I then went in search of a name that encompassed those feelings and so The Luana Shawl was born.  

The Meaning of the name Luana.....content, happy, I'm hoping those feeling will be conveyed to the person who gradually gets to wear it.

This shawl will eventually be accompanying the gentle ripple and will be sent to SIBOL 
I am enjoying the shawl making process because it's something I haven't done much of before, I'm thinking a triangular one next and I do have a pattern in mind but first there is a little cape that needs my attention :)

See you all on Friday

Linking with

Monday 17 February 2014

The Monday Smile

I hope you have all had a great Valentines Weekend!

Last week the weather was grey and rainy in my part of the world, and this was reflected in the colour I chose for my motifs for the never ending mood blanket so....
it's a grey smile but still a smile nevertheless

 I have gone a step further this week and made some grey cog wheels for the middle of the circles

 and some second rounds of grey too.I will be doing this every week with all my colours in an effort to speed up the process of completing this blanket.

I have been making this blanket for exactly two years! I am joining my motifs as I go and it is now large enough to cover the top of my double sized bed.  If I wanted to I could add a border and be done with it but I have decided I want a drape too, I want this blanket to actually reach the floor which means I need another 314 motifs to make it big enough, so there is still a long way to go...but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am in the final phase :)

The meaning of grey
The colour grey is neutral, impartial, subdued quiet and reserved, it creates a sense of calm and composure. It gives relief from a chaotic world. 
It can also be termed as being drab and too much of it can be depressing, but grey can enhance the beauty of other colours and bring them to life......which is what I'm trying to achieve by using it in my blanket so that makes me smile :)

I hope the grey smile hasn't made you sad if it did then I hope that this will cheer you up.

On a bitterly cold winter morning a husband and wife were listening to the radio during breakfast. They heard the announcer say, "We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the Snow ploughs can get through. "So the good wife went out and moved her car.
A week later while they are eating breakfast again, the radio announcer said, "We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snow ploughs can get through. "The good wife went out and moved her car again.
The next week they are again having breakfast, when the radio announcer says, "We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park...." Then the electric power went out. The good wife was very upset, and with a worried look on her face she said, "I don't know what to do. Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snow ploughs can get through?"
Then with the love and understanding in his voice that all men who are married to blondes exhibit, the husband replied,
"Why don't you just leave the car in the garage this time !!!"

(My apologies to all blondes)

Have a great week! 

Friday 14 February 2014

Block a Week Friday

Happy Valentine Day to all you lovely people!

you guessed it of course there just had to be more hearts

There are two heart blocks in the 200 knitted blocks book. This is the first....

Block 17 
Reversed Heart

I tried to be clever with this one, my plan...the garter stitch frame and heart in one colour, and the background in a contrasting shade. I had all my little balls of wool at the ready five in all! and off I went, as you can imagine it started easily enough, but once I had to introduce those little balls of wool it rapidly went downhill! 

I set off determined to succeed carefully twisting the yarn as I changed colours, but when you twist you then need to untwist or you end up with a tangled mess, so you can imagine all the twisting and untwisting that went on with 5 balls of wool!! I got half way through before I gave up, needles and tangled mess thrown down in disgust, it took me quite a while before I could face picking it up, unravelling and starting again with one shade, which is what I should have done in the first place.

Using one shade you will find this block relatively easy, the chart is quite small so I made a note of the rows before I started and although you do need to concentrate it's nice to see the heart forming before your eyes.

Rating -  intermediate 
Curl - 0
Ends - 2
Finished size 6" x 6"

More examples of this block

If I wanted to make another reversed heart I would make this one again

I made this for a memory square (you can read about memory squares here) and I think it's much nicer than the one in the book, you can find the pattern here.

The second heart in the book is

Block 56
Big Heart

After reading Wendy's experience of making this block I approached it with caution.  You make it using the intarsia method which is what I tried above.  Luckily I found this one easier BUT I did find getting the correct tension difficult, when you twist the yarn when changing colours at the back, you have to be sure not to twist it too tight or it puckers, too loose and you end up with a hole. I'm not happy with the tension in my competed block but it's acceptable and will look fine with other blocks in a blanket.   I couldn't face pulling it back and starting again!
Once again the chart is small it's much easier to mark the rows down on a scrap of paper.
Rating -  intermediate 
Curl - 3 after blocking - 1
Ends - 6
Finished size 6" x 6"

 More examples of this block

Wendy at September Violets
Appledumpling at Loving Hands

Progress -  number of different blocks made = 10

Numbers -17, 24, 304041, 42, 4556,  98113,
(Click on the number to see the block.)

Number of blocks altogether = 13

Linking with

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Sweet Lacy Flower Heart

I know there are lots of hearts out there at the moment and all of them are beautiful but because I find my sweet lacy hearts familiar and because I know the pattern so well that's the one I tend to make when I need a heart for a special occasion.

This time though as I was playing with my hook I gave the sweet lacy heart a bit of a twist and came up with the sweet lacy flower heart.

 What do you think?

Here is the pattern if you would like to give it a try

English crochet terms
dc double crochet = sc US
htr half treble = hdc US
tr treble = dc US
dtr double treble = tr US
ss = slip stitch

Use any yarn and hook size of your choice.

Magic ring
Round one - 8dc into the ring ss to first dc and ch3, (counts as first tr for next round).
Round two - 1tr into same place as 3ch, 2tr into each dc around, ss into 3ch =16tr
Round Three -  you now have 16 tr  
(each bracket represents a treble)
into 1st tr ( dc)  (dc, htr, tr, dtr) (4dtr)  (3dt ) ( 3tr )  (htr, htr) (htr, dc) (2tr, 1ch) then 1dtr into space before next tr to form the point at the base of the heart, (1ch,2tr) (htr, htr) ( htr, dc) (3tr) (3 dtr) (4dtr) (1dtr, 1tr 1htr, 1dc) (dc) join with ss to 1st tr              
if you want to use the heart as appliqué go straight to **  or...

Make two the same.

make central flower

Tie all ends securely on the wrong side of work, no need to weave them in yay!
Add a small button or bead if you wish.

Place wrong sides together and dc round the heart through the front loops only, leave a space and fill heart with cotton wool, yarn scraps, poly fibre or a lavender sachet, whatever you wish really, then continue around the heart until the space is closed ss to first dc
**  ch4, miss next st then ss into next st, all around making a long chain loop at the top of the heart and fasten off.

So will yours be

Sweet lacy Flower Hearts

Sweet Lacy Hearts

or maybe some of each! 

I know it will soon be Valentines Day but the gift of a heart can be given at any time of the year.....

Make some for your friends to show them how much their friendship means to you.

Make one for someone special in your life.

Make one for a new born baby.

Give one to say you're sorry

Give one to a stranger and watch them smile

Give one as a token of thanks

Give one to someone who is feeling ill

Give one as a token of appreciation

Give one as a good luck gesture

Give one to the bereaved 

Make one for yourself you deserve one too!

Make one just because it's fun :)

Monday 10 February 2014

The Monday Smile

Happy valentines week!  I do hope you all have a week full.....

 of love 
and flowers

This week I have been making pink and cerise motifs two pink tones which seemed appropriate for the lead up to valentines day.

The meaning of pink
Very Happy, Warm, Affectionate, Loving, Infatuated, Curious

I'm very happy with my motifs and I love to play with them can you tell :)

sorry for these but it had to be done

Q: What did the stamp say to the envelope on Valentine's Day?
A: I'm stuck on you!

Q: Why is lettuce the most loving vegetable?
A: Because it's all heart.

Q: Why did the banana go out with the prune?
A: Because it couldn't get a date.

Q: What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus?
A: Can I hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand?

Q: What did one snake say to the other snake?
A: Give me a little hug and a hiss, honey.

If they didn't make you smile perhaps these will.

Have a great week!