Finished it – now its time to start again!

Did you take part in the 2014 Finish It Challenge organised by Stitches and Scraps and Mollie & Claire? [If not, why not – don’t tell me you don’t have an unfinished project or three lurking somewhere in your house!]

Well I did and I’m doubly glad I took the trouble – not only do I now have a great top to wear when the sun shines ….but I also won a skein of SparkLynne 4 ply sock yarn from The Knitting Goddess, provided by Claire, in a beautiful pale blue with a hint of bling.

hand dyed, 4ply, 75% superwash merino Sparklynne by The Knitting Goddess

hand dyed, 4ply, 75% superwash merino Sparklynne by The Knitting Goddess

A huge thank you for providing us with the impetus for completing a project, donating super prizes….and to Claire especially for picking my name out of the hat 😉

Now I know exactly how I’m going to use this yarn…but not exactly what I’m going to do with it……so suggestions please.

My son and his fiancee are getting married next spring and they are basing their colour palette around ‘the sea’. The colour of the yarn would fit perfectly and it feels right that, having received the yarn as a stroke of luck, the luck should be passed on to two people starting their life together.

But what could I use it for (100g, c.400m) – ideally something that can be used both on the day and afterwards? It may be sock yarn but I can’t see either of them tripping down the aisle in pale blue, sparkly socks! I was thinking possibly about a large doily/small tablecloth as a centre piece to the top table, but my creative juices have yet to start flowing so ideas wanted please – knitting or crochet, I enjoy both.

Upcycling, stash busting, memory sharing project!

Naked granny square bag

Clearing out a cupboard the other day, I found a box of the boys’ old pin badge collection ranging from ‘1 today’ to Biker Mice, to ‘I visited Hadrian’s Wall’ to ‘reading is cool’. Lots of memories in one little box – for me at least! When I mentioned it to them their reaction was “we create enough junk of our own without you adding to it, mum”.

So what do you do with a load of pin badges, other than stick them back in a box in the cupboard? I could (and may do yet) frame them and stick them on a wall somewhere but that’s a little boring. I did think about (and may do yet) a crocheted wall hanging – if I get really ambitious (and probably a lot more badges) I could make a fly curtain for the back door. What I did do in the end was use some of them to adorn a granny square bag!

It may not be to everyone’s taste, but I love it so that’s all that matters really! As we all know, small granny square projects are great for reducing the stash, I used some recycled fabric for lining and the badges create a talking point….so it really is an upcycling, stash busting, memory sharing project!

granny square bag with badges 1 granny square bag with badges 2

Tea with the Targaryens – GoT cosy no.4


Despite her time with the Dothrakis, I still think Daenerys would be more of a cinnamon chai than PG Tips sort of girl…and definitely leaf tea rather than bags. So this cosy would be perfect for her to keep the pot hot whilst watching her dragons at play.

When I was thinking about how to represent House Targaryen I immediately thought of dragon scales and, though I wasn’t sure how best to achieve the effect but I felt sure there had to be some sort of stitch that resembles scales. Nothing to be found in my ancient Good Housekeeping stitch bible but a quick Google introduced me to crocodile stitch. I did wonder how come it took me quite so long to complete but when each row comprised best part of 200 stitches, I suppose a week wasn’t too bad – interspersed with several other projects of course!

I’ve only made a ‘Drogon’ (black scales with red tips) but, having enjoyed creating it, I may do Rhaegal (green with bronze markings) and Viserion (cream with gold markings) versions as well.

Easter stash buster

Have been visiting a sick relative over the last few days so not conducive to undertaking any large projects but the ideal time to attack the stash! One crochet hook, 4 DPNs and a small bag of odds and ends and hey presto, my Easter tree has started to blossom. Its a work in progress but will have to stop soon – or get more twigs 😉

Game of Tea Cosies – number 3

So here’s the third in my Game of Thrones homage tea cosies – House Greyjoy. They rejoice in the wonderful motto of “We do not sow” – well, mate, neither do I…I knit or crochet (although sometimes I’m forced to sew a few seams if common sense has got the better of me and I’ve started on a sweater).

I’m very fond of my little kraken so thanks to Genuine Mudpie, which is where I found the pattern inspiration. Now did you get the other subtleties – I used a wave pattern for the cosy to give the impression of water but combined strands of grey and green to simulate algae covered rocks. I somehow don’t think the Iron Islands are exactly a tropical paradise 😉

By George, she’s GoT it – 2

And another one bites the dust – this time House Tyrell gets the makeover in my Game of Thrones tea cosy homage.  I love making crochet roses so this one gave me a lot of pleasure, despite being a really simple design.

I’d like to think that matriarch Olanna Tyrell (she’s the one played by wonderful British actress Diana Rigg) would have certain standards – which of course would include taking tea with her granddaughter Margaery and Sansa Stark in bone china cups and saucers served, of course, from a well cosied teapot!

We will remember……

Poppies

Slightly out of the blue a friend asked me the other day if I would be knitting poppies for Remembrance Sunday this year. Now part of me questions that, if we all bought reusable poppies then how do the various veterans support agencies continue to make money….But as the owner of three delightful little stick pin poppy brooches bought over the last three years at the wonderful National Memorial Aboretum in Staffordshire, I think I’ve answered my own question!

Now, I hadn’t thought about it till she mentioned it but when I got home, I started looking at poppy patterns on the internet. There are quite a few out there of varying quality (one or two that look nothing like a poppy other than they are red with a black centre) but I did find a couple that I’m delighted with.

I particularly fell in love with the crochet pattern on the 5000 Poppies blog which makes a real statement poppy (the three across the top of the picture). Obviously you can vary the size by using a smaller or larger crochet hook and the use of an oddment of eyelash yarn adds an authentic touch for the stamens. For those who prefer to be less flamboyant, I made a few small knitted poppies but for the life of me, I can’t find the the link to the pattern. It was very simple though – twisting the needle through 360deg gives the petal shape with no need for any fancy increasing and decreasing. If anynoe out there is familiar with the pattern, please let me know so I can acknowledge them.

Haven’t had time to make many but I’ll be offering them to friends and at church for a generous donation in aid of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal….and hopefully they will wear their poppy with even more pride knowing that, not only is it showing support for a worthy cause but that it was handmade with love!