Friday, 29 March 2019

Before we begin...Blanket for Jax

I have been crocheting very hard over the past couple of weeks and so far, I have 5 blankets ready to donate, about half of the squares done for another and am looking at a rainbow ripple I tucked away a few years back.  So I'll be blogging a bit next week about my progress and showing some photos!

But first, let me take you back about three years...

One of the friends I made through the Cwtch of Comfort project is a lovely lady named Gaelle.  She is an avid crocheter and teaches a range of classes from beginner to expert and so, as you can imagine, she has built up quite the collection of little sample pieces!  Testing out stitches and trying out yarns, she had a decent supply of odds and ends tat weren't ever going to be used.

On a slight tangent, Gaelle had a friend named Jax who used to be a member of the local quilting group-she could knit as well and had recently learnt a bit of crochet from Gaelle.  Jax passed away quite suddenly about 3 years ago and a few people from the quilting group that she was very close to, Gaelle being one of them, were asked to go through her craft supplies and redistribute them.  Gaelle came across a large quantity of knitted and crocheted pieces-some square, most not and thought it would be lovely to combine them into a blanket along with her pieces to have as a keepsake.

So as you can guess by all my rambling, this is where I come in!
I should have taken photos of all the pieces I had-Gaelle also had made two large motifs in blue, grey and white and passed those along as well so I tried to use them as the base for the blanket.  Given how mismatched the peieces were, I admit it took me a LONG time to find a way of putting it together.  I made a good start with it initially but I couldn't figure out how to make it go and I got very frustrated with it.  It didn't help that none of the colours seemed to work well and my attempts to make larger squares out of the pieces I had kinda looked amateurish.
So it got left in a box for a couple of years.
With the big stash busting blanket making project idea, I started hunting through bags and cupboards for my vast stash that somehow gets pushed into every cupboard and room of my house.  I looked through the box again and while I'd never choose these colours myself, they started to have a fresh appeal.  I worked like a demon on it for a few days, trying again to build up bigger squares from the pieces-crocheting edges around the knitted bits, adding a round or two here and there and then making a few little squares to accentuate the colours used (you can see those top and bottom)
It surprised me how quickly it came together!  Barring the first couple of years...

I think it just needed a time out.

So here you go!  The Blanket for Jax


I gave it to Gaelle last week and she's delighted with it!  I think Jax would have liked it too <3

Monday, 11 March 2019

HELLO!

And it's been an age!  I have completely disappeared up my own backside these past few years blog-wise.  Life is good, mostly, same old same old and there's a proper update in the near future I promise.  I did transfer within Greggs to a shop closer to me and it has its ups and downs-I'm often so tired that I have very little energy left for crochet and while my crochet group does still meet up, I can't make it down very often and we haven't really had a joint project for a while.  The last few projects we've done have been for Woolly Hugs, who are a fantastic group and well worth supporting as they do a lot of different blanket charity ventures to get involved with.  My issue is that they only accept blankets made with Stylecraft Special DK and they have a very specific palette for each project.  Whilst I understand the reasons for this, it does mean that when I'm trying to de-stash, I want to be able to use up what I've got and in whatever colours I have-Woolly Hugs is something I tend to have to buy yarn for...

So here's the point of this post!  I am attempting to have a declutter and actually get rid of a lot of the yarn I have before I allow myself to buy any more.  I have a lot of bags in the spare room of yarn that was meant to be for certain projects that never worked out (case in point to follow), I have two large bags of pastel/pinks that a friend passed along to me as she was moving house and needed rid of it and I've had a lot of squares kicking about that were meant for blanket projects that again never really worked out.

So over this past week, I have gone through the bags and pulled out all the squares (and there were quite a few!) and so far I have made THREE decent sized lapghans with them!  I also dug out a project a friend asked me to undertake a year or two ago and turn a whole bunch of sample/scrap/practise crochet and knitted pieces of all different sizes (these were made by a dear friend of hers that passed away from cancer) into a blanket-this has been my nemesis for a while but these past 7 days has seen me tackling that too and today it was finished!  Just need to weave some ends in and then it's ready for her....

Sorry!  I digress...back to the point!

My plan is to work through this yarn and make 30 blankets for 6 different charities.  So far, I haven't decided which charities specifically but I want to donate 5 to a nursing home; 5 to a neonatal ward; 5 to hospice care; 5 to foster kids/ kids in shelter; 5 to cancer patients and 5 to bereaved parents (for this, I'm thinking of Cwtch of Comfort of course)  So here's the thing.  I'm positive I've got enough yarn here to do this so please, please, I'm NOT asking for squares or yarn or even for donations from other people as this is a personal goal.  But I would like your recommendations/suggestions of places in the UK (preferably South Wales) to donate to.  And if you like this idea, please feel free to bust that stash and set a goal!  I'll cheer you on all the way :-D

I have three blankets so far to start off with-I'll take photos to share with you as soon as I can!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a beautiful New Year!  I've been so quiet here, I hope you can forgive me!  Between work, Ponty Happy Hookers, home, Myf, Yule, Christmas, it's all just been so crazy...I won't inundate you with all my updates, I'll save that for late.  For now, hope you are having a fantastic festive season and are starting 2016 with a bang :-D


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Cwtch of Comfort Big Blanket Handover!

One of my cats needed an operation a little while back so I've been a bit distracted with her.  She's absolutely fine-she had a sebaceous cyst on the back of her neck and she needed two teeth extracting so they did it all at once.  Only trouble is trying to stop her scratching the stitches-a cone collar would rub on them and I haven't been able to get a soft one-so currently, when I'm out or at nighttime when she's downstairs, she has a light dressing and a cat jumper which seems to be protecting them.  She hates it though so I'm covered in a pretty array of scratches....

So, nearly three weeks ago, we had our big event!  I was at work in the morning until 2pm so when I got back, I was running around getting materials to make a big card with all the names in-I hardly had time to get changed before my friend Bonnie (and fellow happy hooker) arrived to load up with all the blankets in the van and drive us down to The Blueberry Inn (who have been most hospitable with all our needs!)

(For those who are just joining this blog, here's what it was all about...Please help Cwtch of Comfort)

Myf was in charge of photos so she spent quite a bit of time arranging the blankets on the table and taking photos :-)

We met Rhian who is the wonderful lady behind the 2Wish Upon A Star Foundation and spent quite a bit of time showing her all the blankets that had been made and introducing her to the lovely ladies in our group.  She was stunned at the outpouring of support from so many crafting people and had so many lovely things to say about our blankets :-)






























A couple of our ladies brought a few blankets on the night-another baby blanket and a toddler blanket that I quickly took photos of-these brought our tally up to 39!

39 BLANKETS!!!

24 Baby Blankets
10 Toddler Blankets
4 Child Blankets
1 Teen/Young Adult Blanket

13 blankets were made with donated squares and yarn :-D

This amazing result could not have been achieved without the help and support of so many lovely people.  I'll try and name you all here :-)

A massive thank you to everyone who donated squares, blankets, yarn and their precious time towards this cause!

The ladies of the SIBOL Ravelry Group who have made blankets and squares galore with especial thanks to Sue (MrsTwins) for sharing our need with the group and being such a support :-)  We had such lovely donations from you!  Thankyou!

Squares have been made and donated by:-

Una from Great Balls Of Wool 
 Martine (SIBOL)
Claire P (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Bonnie H (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Jessiebonbon (SIBOL)
MarilynJG (SIBOL)
Joyce (SIBOL)
Liztelf (SIBOL)
Jayne (SIBOL)
Gaelle H (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Harrie P (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Lisa G (Pony Womens Collective)
Elise S (Ponty Womens Collective)
Kathleen C
Fiona
Ilona O'D
Chris (SIBOL)
Joanna
Kathy D (Sweet Memories)
Ana
Linda
Debi-Y
Clare H
 Liz J (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Fiona L-F (Sale Happy Hookers)
Shona B (Sale Happy Hookers)
Jane M (Sale Happy Hookers)
Kate H
Jessica F (Sister :-) and Sale Happy Hookers)
Suzanne
Lisa M (and Mum!)
Amanda W (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Julie C (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Susan L (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Nicola C
Thea W (Sister! :-) )
Dawn T


Blankets have been made and donated by:-

Joyce (SIBOL)
Bonnie H (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Claire P (Ponty Happy Hookers)
 Liz J (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Jen H
Ana
Jessica F (Sale Happy Hookers)
 Lisa M
Ruth B-J
Thea W
 Debbie B
Harrie P
Susan L (Ponty Happy Hookers)
Julie C (Ponty Happy Hookers)
 The Knitting Nanas (Pontypridd)
Gaelle H

Blankets put together from donated squares by

Ponty Happy Hookers!
(Bonnie H, Claire P, Harrie P, Amanda W, Liz J, Vicki B, Julie C, Susan L and Jackie P)
 
A big thankyou as well to Eleanor H and Edwina S for their kind donations of yarn for the project!  A special mention as well to Instore Upper Boat and Talbot Green for giving us a discount on yarn when they heard what it was for :-)

I know I've put their names in but I really want to give a big shout out to the ladies of my crochet group.  I'm so proud of you all for the hard work and support-our group has formed around this project and I'm so glad we're staying together!  We have such a great time and there's so many talented people here-thank you all xxxx


It's been a bittersweet journey with these blankets-I've become so aware of how lucky I am and my heart truly goes out to all the families in need of the comfort these blankets bring.  There's always a need for more-please, please, if you can, make a square or a blanket for them-your kindness means a great deal.  You can find more details here


To you all-

THANKYOU!!!!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Cwtch of Comfort Catch Up Part Deux!

Ok!

We had a massive donation of big squares from a lovely lady who is the aunt of a friend.



 She'd made them with the view that they would be lovely baby blankets but unfortunately they were too small at 19inches squares each.  So I put most of them together to make a massive teen/young adult size...






I had one square left over so I made that one into another baby blanket





We also had two more baby blankets donated, this time from a local group called 'The Knitting Nanas'





Absolutely lovely, thank you so much!

Our good friend Bonnie also finished off the toddler sized blanket she was putting together from donated squares-isn't it beautiful?  She uses a different method putting squares together that I'm keen to try out...





The last blanket from donated squares is another toddler size-there were a number of odd or left over squares, different sizes and they ended up to one side-


Very pretty I think!


Just before our big handover night, my friend Gaelle brought over a stunning toddler blanket that she has made-it is so soft and lovely!




We've had our massive handover evening which I will post separately but there were a few blankets brought on the day that I'd like to show you as well...

These two were brought along by Susan and Julie who have come along to our meetups and helped put together the group blankets-they are really lovely!







Another blanket was brought along by Harrie-it was made by her friend in memory of her baby daughter-it's a beautiful knitted blanket xxx



Last, and most definitely not least, is a beautiful blanket made by my lovely friend Harrie!  It was from a conversation with her a few years ago when I was teaching her how to make a granny square that she told me about Cwtch of Comfort and when she reminded me earlier in the year, it resulted in a fantastic effort by so many people :-D  She has made a pink and white blanket in memory of her friend's son who died tragically-it is called 'May the Force be with You' as he was a big Star Wars fan xxx



So, stay close for the big finale!  Myf is going swimming so I shall thrill you with all the details when we get home.....

Long absence-so lets catch up!

How are we all?  I have been working a lot over these holidays and so between that, trying to get some quality time with Myf and finishing up the big blanket project, I don't feel I've had time to sleep!  Needless to say, I need to do some serious catching up so let's start off with a Cwtch of Comfort update.

So firstly-my wonderful sister Thea made this lovely baby blanket for us-isn't it beautiful?  It is te same design she used for a baby blanket for her youngest so it's very close to the heart xxx


She also sent in squares for the 'Sister's Blanket'



Speaking of the Sisters Blanket, I've finished that as well :-D  I made some squares in pale green and one in yellow to complete the set and put it together-I love how soft it is and how it has been created from the skills of three sisters, we're so different but here we're complementary :-D xxx  I've been so delighted to finally collaborate with them, particularly for something so important



I also finished putting together the blankets that the ladies from my crochet group worked on at our get togethers-there's the big beautiful yellow child size blanket...



And this toddler size blanket...






It's been lovely putting together blankets with my group-some of the ladies have never done it before so they really enjoyed learning a new skill!

Finally, we have the last two child sized blankets made with donated squares-
 I had to make a few extra squares for this one once I had the idea in mind!


 I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to put the lilac and white one together but I think the effort was worth while!



One of the ladies from my group, Bonnie, had donated loads of lilac squares for this blanket-there was one left over that seemed a little sad on its own so it became its own baby blanket :-D






I just went around it improvising which was a lot of fun...


There are quite a few more blankets to show you but I'll do that in a separate post :-)  Thanks for reading! xxxx


Monday, 15 June 2015

3rd Blanket down!

I've finished another one!

This one is 40 squares (toddler size) and I tried a few different things with the border.  First, after the standard granny round to tie it all in, I tried out a 'crossed double crochet stitch' that I've read about but never tried.  So simple!  You do a normal double crochet stitch (I use american terms) and then do one in the stitch behind it so it crosses over.  It's quite a subtle effect but I think in strong colours, it would really stand out.  I finished off with a spike stitch variant for the last round-I think it looks quite lovely!  It adds quite a bit to the dimensions as well-this blanket measures 34" by 52".






A friend of Bonnie's also donated these two lovely blankets for Cwtch of Comfort


This one is narrow but long, I think it'll be a good size for a premature baby.



This is a fabulous size!  I love the design.

Thank you Ruth, they are very much appreciated xxx