Thursday, 28 February 2013

I've Made a Sidewalk Shawl!!

Hello!  Well, thank you so much for all the lovely comments on my Waterlily blanket.  It is my most commented-on post ever!!  (Apart from giveaway posts, which don't count!)  It has been much used - I snuggle under it at every opportunity!

I've been a bit quiet since... but I have not been resting on my crocheting laurels... I've made a shawl!

Because I've always been a girl to wear a shawl... oh, wait... hmmm!  Well, despite never wearing shawls, I saw this pattern and couldn't resist making it!!  I even ordered the exact yarn the pattern says to use, which is very unusual for me - usually I find a cheap version somewhere!

And here are a series of photos of me modelling it for you - how very exciting for us all!  (Excuse my eye-bags, by the way - my face wasn't really cooperating that day - most inconvenient!  But we're here to look at the shawl...)

What do you reckon - does it look reasonably trendy, or completely granny-like??  I mean, when am I going to wear it?!?!

I am really pleased with it, though - I love the pattern.  I'd better wear it, as I started the damn thing three times!!!  The pattern says to make it with a 5mm crochet hook, so I obediently did what it said.  After 15 or 16 rows (there are 50 rows in total) I realised that the pineapple shapes were WAY too small, and that it was going to end up as a very small tight rigid little shawl.  This was already hours of work at this point, but I thought that I had to get this right.  So... let's try a bigger hook - 6.5mm this time.  After about 36 rows (YES, 36!!!!!) - let's not even think how many hours of my life that was - I realised it was still going to be too small!  I'd had suspicions earlier, but I'd already started again once.  I kept thinking, "it'll be alright, it's got to be alright".  But suddenly, I knew... I was never going to be happy with it like this!

Out came the 8mm hook, and I started all over again!!!!!!  This time the size was right.  Here is a picture of the three different attempts:

In the middle we have the 15/16 rows with the 5mm hook.  Underneath it, is the same number of rows with the 8mm hook - what a difference!  At the top is what I made with the 6.5mm hook.

The pattern is fantastic and easy to do.  You do need to concentrate, though, and you do need to keep using the pattern - it's not one that you can memorise after a few rows.

It's a design that definitely benefits from some blocking (again, something I very rarely bother with, but it was worth it)

The Facts:
Pattern: Sidewalk Shawl by Redheart.
Yarn: Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller - Bamboo Ewe: 5410 Mercury
Number of Balls:  Pattern says 6 balls, I used 5 complete balls.
Hook Size:  8mm (pattern says 5mm - I am quite a tight crocheter, but that is a ridiculous variance!)

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Waterlily Blanket Ta-Dah!!!!!

Wooohooooo!!  It's finally finished and here it is for all to see!

I started it about a year ago - I take forever with these big projects!  (And you've been hearing me banging on about it for all this time, sorry!)  I'm so glad it's now finished and ready for snuggling under!

Here it is with the finished border...

I did five rows of cream, followed by two rows of the pomegranate as I thought it would finish the blanket off nicely.

Two of the corners

I made this using Stylecraft Special DK yarn.  Great value and nice and soft!  I used nine colours for the squares, with cream to edge and join them.

Colours are:

Top row, left to right:  Pomegranate, Fondant, Candyfloss, Lemon, Spring Green
Bottom row, left to right:  Wisteria, Bluebell, Sherbert, Aspen

This is an 'in progress' photo of the squares being crocheted together.  I used the cream yarn (also used to edge each square) to crochet them together.  I joined them with a slip-stitch and was really pleased with the effect.  It gives a nice little ridge between squares, but not as much as a ridge as you get with a single crochet join, which I've used before.  I think I'll go with the slip-stitch in future, as it is quicker and I prefer the look (win win!)

Here it is, all laid out...  (The border is a tad wavy - but you can only really tell when it's laid out flat like this)...

I am so pleased with it, and really amazed that I actually finished it!

Ta-Dah!!!  :o)

Sunday, 3 February 2013

2013 Goals

This year's funky diary - very 70s!

So, it's February... but I've only just got round to posting about my goals for this year.  I want to post them so that at the end of the year I can look back and see if I've achieved any of them!  Only three, so not too many... but one is pretty major!  Here they are...

Buy a House
Become Mega Organised

Buy a House
(This is the major one!)  I've been living in my one-bedroom flat for almost seven years now!  It is definitely time to move to somewhere bigger.  The Lumberjack and I are gonna set up home together!!!  It'll be great to have more space... and you know what more space means....... a craft room!!  (Fingers crossed!!)

I've now got my flat on the market, so that is the first step towards achieving this goal.  We'll see what happens!

Well, loads of that has already happened ready to get my flat ready for sale!  But there is a lot more to go.  This goal will go hand in hand with moving.  (Although, a new house may well cause me to start re-cluttering!!)

Become Mega Organised
I want to become irritatingly organised!  I think this one might have to happen after the house move (if it happens and all goes to plan), as things will be a bit up-in-the-air until then.  Or maybe I'm just trying to put it off!

In other news the waterlily blanket is finally finished!!  Last stitches done today - so my next post will hopefully be showing it off, if I can get some decent light for pictures!  There is a peak above!

Until next time.....

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