Moppets, poppets, hearts and flowers – crochet makes such happy hours

Am now venturing into amigurumi territory. This heart didn’t turn out exactly like the one in the pattern I used. Somewhere along the way I lost stitches and had fewer rows to decrease than I should have so it’s turned out a bit wonky. Nonetheless, it’s still cute as a button and am delighted with the little dote. I did try my hand at a snail, as well,  but wonky is too cute a word to describe the deformity produced on that occasion.

See the little pillow box? I was in Blanchardstown  and a shop called Sostrene Grene caught my eye. To me, it’s  the love child  of Ikea and Tiger. Lots of quirky, nice bits with a Scandanavian feel to them. And not at all expensive, either. I spotted a pack of these water-coloured, inkylicious  pillow boxes and popped them in my basket. The colours are just lovely.

So, bearing in mind that the list of things I want to make – or, to be more accurate, need to complete, is growing like Jacob Marley’s earthly chains,  I now want to make a short length of amigurumi hearts bunting. There aren’t enough hours in the day any more. I don’t even know what still needs to be finished. I come across all sorts of things in bags and boxes half done that I’d forgotten all about. Isn’t that the way of many of us? I wonder if you’re the same – I bet you are … **hoping I’m not the only one**

I was able to make a little earwarmer headband, though. Quick and easy pattern. It’s a minty green  yarn with strands of silvery, shimmery interwoven fibres that give it a pearl-like lustre and lift the flatness of the colour.

I’ve been looking through crochet blogs and books for inspiration (finding some WONDERFUL tips along the way such as Chainless foundation rows  on Little Monkeys Crochet blog) for flowers to decorate crochet hats and found some lovely specimens  in this one:

And used a couple to embellish another little Annie Bonnet:

How can you not love crochet when you can make such happy things?

Simple Things

Today, the weather has changed. From a really gorgeous week-end to a bitterly windy, wet Monday. Jess wasn’t venturing far and plonked herself in her cat nest in front of the fire for a proper full-on nap. She didn’t even take the time to properly curl up in it for a while and the bed looks as if it’s closing over her like a clam.  She’s obviously distracted by outside things here, probably bird noises. If the birds get close enough or bother her too much she jumps to the window sill and chitters at them but hardly bothers them at all outside. Unlike Gracie…. she bothers them to bits, if she can get her paws round them, sadly.

If you like cats and like a giggle, have a look at Chris Cohen’s You Tube videos of Animal Translations – Google /You Tube. My favourite (so far) is cat vs printer. Some swearing so if you get offended by ‘bad’ language, don’t view it. It’s not excessive, truly, but is the bad F word. If you do watch it and find yourself overcome by the one or two swearwords  there is probably a convent or closed order of monks with a vow of silence that can offer you refuge. Beyond here there be dragons… and a belly laugh.

Cat vs Printer

The weekend was busy. I dead-headed the seven hydrangeas in the gardens. None are small, one is pretty big. I could see the new buds and leaves were starting to form so it was time for Miss Haversham’s faded wedding flowers to be chopped off. It’s a proper chore, especially as you need to give each ‘bloom’ a shake to free any ladybirds that might be having a little nap underneath. The garden looks much improved for the work, though. Much more green and spring-like.

The sun was smiling and the whole of the washing line was dancing with as much as I could get out there. Glorious day and the lawns were given a number one all over. To finish off, I strimmed around the edges to tame some of the wilderness that had grown there.

Buddha has been freed from Rosemary’s bush that was growing a bit rampant around him. Nothing disturbs his meditation and he was as serene as ever.

Some flowers are out. I must get more daffodils, snowdrops and pansies to brighten up the garden early in the year, though. It’s very bare, except for green. There is a tulip or two, though.

And these pretty little flowers – though they could be weeds… I don’t know but I like them so they’ll stay.

There was a clump of snowdrops but they were a lawnmower casualty – not my damage, I hasten to say (pursy lips!). Flowers are sparse.

Plenty of indoor work done and more ongoing (will this pleasure never end?). The walls are still to be finished and then the floor. Still no decision regarding laminate or carpet. In the meantime, the oompaloompa orange carpet looks even worse than ever with paint drips and streaks of paint here and there. It’s definitely going.

I had some flowers from Mother’s Day and transferred some blooms from the basket they came in and popped them into the lovely Polish pottery teapot I bought from a charity shop for a euro a few years ago. It would have probably cost more but its lid was missing. The stems were stuck into a large oasis and were starting to wilt. Watering it wasn’t easy because the water ran through and saturated the basket.

On taking the blooms out of the oasis, I realised just how short the stems were. A couple of centimetres, at best. I didn’t have a vase shallow enough for them until I remembered the little teapot. Happily popped in, they were given a new lease of life and brightened up the room. It’s really the simple things in life that make for happiness. Sunshine, flowers and fresh air.

Crocheting is going well and am delighted that I made the crocodile stitch bootees (see the last post). They were ‘out for delivery’ in the UK this morning so pretty sure they’re there now. I hope they like them. I have ordered the most gorgeous wool via Amazon – Elann Pippi Longcolors Lite ….  the colour, Hamani, reminds me of scrumpy apples in delicious shades of greens, pinks and crimsons. Can’t wait for it to come and get hooking a pixie hat and another pair of crocodile stitch bootees.

Have a Happy Monday and hope your weather is better than mine.

Playing Hooky

My head had been so full of chores and cleaning and decorating that I needed a creative break. Well, I mastered the crocodile stitch a while ago but didn’t actually use it to make anything with. Then, these little booties caught my eye. There are various patterns on the web and if you Google you’ll find plenty.

First I practised with just two rows of scales:

I liked the result so made another bootee with some sparkly wool. Very pretty but the sparkly wool doesn’t have a lot of stretch to it and – the bootees are being made for a real baby – excity pants but a secret for the time being – so it won’t do. At least I have tried the pattern, tweaked it slightly and know it works well. I’ll have a pair made by the end of the weekend.

Finally, I was asked if I would make a granny square blanket…

I tried out a couple of designs to see how big they would come up and how many I would need… turns out, around 200. And that’s before joing them together and doing all that weaving in…. but it’s a special present. Have ordered Cashmerino wool from Amazon and it should be delivered next week. This’ll keep me out of the pubs, won’t it? (Only joking, I rarely drink and see more unicorns than I do the inside of a pub these days).

On top of everything, there are some neat and nifty JS, CSS and HTML web techniques I need to master and develop a website or two with.

What gives? We’ll have to see.

Take care and have a great weekend.

Crocodile Stitch

crocstitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you crochet you’ll probably know what this stitch is at a glance. I’ve admired it for some time and have been trying to ‘get’ it for a long time. Well, I finally have. It’s clicked and I can now happily hook row upon row of beautiful scales. I watched a video on YouTube by BellaCoco and she just did it for me. We all have different learning styles but she was the one who spoke mine.

Crochet a simple but beautiful heart

Subtitled: A heart rending yarn (lol)

The sun has been shining down drying my washing just lovely today. Colour me happy. It’s been so nice lately I’ve even been looking around for things to wash so if you call round, don’t stand still for too long, will you?!

I notice that my blueberry bush has produced its annual harvest. Blueberries are currently designated as ‘superfoods’ however that is defined. I just know they’re gorgeous. Dunnes and Tesco have started selling bags of frozen ones for around €2.00 which is very reasonable and cheap enough to have a serving every day. Anyway, I took my bowl out to the garden and picked off the one blueberry that hung there ripe and juicy.  At this rate I’ll have enough for a blueberry pie in twenty or so years.Watch out, Mr Dunne. I’m coming after you.

I’m making lots of little crochet hearts for Christmas. The ones in the pic above make up very quickly with a small number of basic stitches.  I’ve added some felted balls decorated with beads for a festive look and haven’t they just zhuzhed (sp?) up?! I’ve a mind to leave long tails on the cast off lengths so I can plait them together and maybe make a drawstring or a dangly addition to knitted socks or burlap doodahs…

The pattern is here:

Crochet Heart Tutorial

Have a go. I’ve used a pure cotton with a size 3.00 hook. My hearts measure approx. 1″ ‘square’ – lol.

 

Oh, balls!

I have big balls, Roy. (I.T. Crowd). Felty ones. Lots of colours. I picked a juicy fat red one to top my heart today.

 

And some beads. Not enough of the small pearl types though. But enough little pretties so I don’t have to run down to the shops to buy some.

 

I use a special Beading Needle. See the difference? The Beading Needle is much finer and its eye is not so pronounced as ordinary sewing needles. This means they pass through those tiny ‘hippy beads’ easily. It also means they bend more and end up like rickety legs. You can get these from most haberdashers. They’re not expensive – €3 or €4 for a pack of 5.

Use cotton to match your balls (or invisible thread) and create a few anchoring stitches to the heart base. After that, bring the needle out willy nilly and pop a bead on the end to stitch your beads on.

Don’t they liven it up?! You can imagine how small clusters of these, say threes or fives, would jazz up a hand made craft for Christmas. Or any occasion, really. I have a box of them – different colours and sizes.  Am really excited to get started on some crochet patterns and decorate with a few of these.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a picture of Jess. She’s becoming well-chilled these days. Much more relaxed than when we first got her.

Enjoy your day and hope you’ve got lots of sunshine in your life. Byeee.

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