About Me

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Welcome to my little corner of the internet! I'm a single mum with a beautiful daughter and I started crocheting 4 years ago when I quit smoking, I'm a huge fan of the granny square and mostly spend my free time making blankets as well as occasionally trying to expand my crafty skills :-)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Reasons to be cheerful

Yesterday was rather stressful and emotional-Monday evening I found a lump where I really didn't want to find one and so yesterday afternoon I'd managed to go see the doctor.  The lump was very painful and swollen, causing radiated pains, and I was in floods of tears by the time the examination was over!  Thankfully, it was nothing more serious than a very large abscess in a highly sensitive area so I have antibiotics and a hot water bottle to help ease the problem.  I can't work tomorrow because of it though which is a concern as I can't manage the lifting involved with the weekly delivery (lots of large drinks trays!) but I was at work today so I'm alright really.

So on to my reasons to be cheerful this week.

I'm definitely most grateful that the lump was only an abscess and am determined to count myself very lucky and not to yell at people for accidentally bumping into me!

I started work at 8am today so Myf and I were up very early-there was no time for my 'made by Myf' cuppa but she has given me many hugs and cwtches on my good side :-)  That always helps me feel better!

All of your lovely comments on my squares progress to date-I have loved sharing the process with you and hope you have enjoyed seeing the squares as well!  You're all so kind :-)

The cats have been making me smile a lot too-Myf has a castle that I set up for her after her school trip to Hampton Court on Monday.  The box I store it in is naturally a firm favourite with them both (especially with a marble for them to chase around in circles!) and Rascal likes lurking inside the castle :-)

Isn't he getting so handsome?  (Some day I'll be able to get a nice photo of Artemis as well, she hides whenever the camera comes out!)



Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Such pretty squares :-)

I'm snuggling up with Rascal (Myf's kitten) as I'm having a bit of a bad pain day.  I have very mild hypermobile joints which are usually just aching and tired all the time but occasionally I have days where it just hurts and nothing helps :-(

So I'm cheering myself up with purring cuddles and pretty, pretty squares...

I think some of these squares are actually my favourites so far!














Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)
Brown edged granny squares-47 made.  16 to go!
Special Square Motifs-44 made.  19 to go!

Total number of square made so far-91 made.  35 to go!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Happy Saturday everyone!

Finally managed to get some time to take a few more photos (although the weather is pretty bad)-I'm pretty tired from work this week but Myf and I are going to see 'Frozen' later today so I'm drinking plenty of coffee and trying to be proactive!

No blanket of mine would be complete without the amazing squares from this blog here.  DebiY has loads of squares that she's designed that she very kindly shares for free and her instructions are really easy to follow.  I absolutely love her blog and her patterns-I first came across her blog when I was trying out new motifs for the Blanket of Fours blanket for my sister Jess and I've followed her ever since :-)




(I've had to amend the squares slightly to get the sizes I wanted)

I've done a couple of other special squares



And a few more Granny squares :-)



Nearly there :-D

How is your weekend going?  I hope you're all staying nice and warm!

Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)
Brown edged granny squares-47 made.  16 to go!
Special Square Motifs-32 made.  31 to go!

Total number of square made so far-79 made.  47 to go!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Reasons to be Cheerful

Wednesdays morning seems to have become my 'Myf makes me tea' morning! :-D  I start work at 10am on Wednesday so we're up at 6am so I can jump in the shower and when I come down, there's a lovely cuppa waiting for me.  And yes, I know I have used this as a reason to be cheerful last week but I'll keep using it as it makes me smile-isn't that the point?

My friend J called me yesterday morning wanting me to come meet her in town-she'd had some great news and a stroke of luck and she took me out for breakfast.  We spent a few hours together, went up to Aldi's and I stocked up the cupboards.  Little things, like knowing there's plenty of food for the week and being able to spend some time with a friend rather than just talking on the phone, really help to lift my mood.

The two baby blankets I made recently  have sparked a couple of ideas that I'm looking forward to trying out-any pointers for setting up an ebay/etsy shop to sell little blankets and other cute things?

Myf has been playing with the lovely stash of wool I received last week-I'm strongly leaning towards making a ripple blanket in the style of the amazing Attic24.  I have no idea how much wool I would need but I love the thought of having the colours flow into each other plus it would be a new method for me to try :-)

Yet more squares waiting to be photographed and spoken about-reaching halfway is like running downhill!  The number of squares left to make is dwindling quickly now and soon I'll be running around the living room, laying all the squares out, changing them around and putting them together.

Last, but not least, another very cute photo of my girl ;-)


What are your reasons to be cheerful today?

Monday, 20 January 2014

Over halfway there!

Finally!  We've reached the halfway point!  Only 20 more squares of the Granny Squares to make and I've made a whole pile more of the square motifs to share with you today :-)
















Aren't they pretty?
I love the halfway point as even though there's still lots to make, the time is quickly approaching when I can lay them out on the floor and play with the positions!

Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)
Brown edged granny squares-43 made.  20 to go!
Special Square Motifs-22 made.  41 to go!

Total number of square made so far-65 made.  61 to go!

Baby Boy Criss Cross Blanket

At Christmas, I got to see some of my cousins who I haven't seen in many years.  The eldest has actually had three children since I saw him last which is disgraceful on my part (I would like to point out that the youngest was only a few weeks old)!  We spent the day before I came back to Wales with my Aunt and Uncle, my three cousins (who have grown into wonderful young men), two girlfriends of theirs and the three little boys who are so gorgeous!

My Aunt actually sequestered me in the kitchen to teach her how to crochet-she had a hook and some yarn so I managed to show her how to do a chain stitch and do rows of single crochet while we chatted.  It was great fun as everyone pottered back and forth to see how she was doing and to get in on the chatter!

The eldest cousin (Dad of 3 oh my goodness) has been learning to play backgammon as well so Dad and I had fun there ;-)

Anyway, I told my Aunt I would lend her the book that helped me get started (The Happy Hooker) and when I came home, I thought I'd make a little blanket for the baby as well.

I used the same basic square as the Baby Boy Blue Blanket (I actually made these at the same time) but went a different way with the improvising and I really like how it turned out.  I started doing one of the borders from the new book but either I wasn't following the pattern properly (which is highly likely btw) or it wasn't working for the blanket so while it is very similar to the pattern, I've simplified it a great deal.

I parcelled them up on Saturday and posted them to my Aunt-hopefully they'll have it soon!



Sunday, 19 January 2014

Squares...

I'm feeling so tired!  I was watching 'Sherlock' yesterday and I kept dozing off which is unheard of considering how much I love that program.  It has been a long week though so maybe I'm just in need of some nap time :-)

I have been continuing with my squares though-it's been a few days so I have a little pile waiting to be shared...



I'm finishing off a couple more special square motifs before I share those so be patient!  I'll update them soon, I promise :-)


Thank you for the lovely comments regarding my new yarn stash-I'm considering a few ideas (blankets included of course!) but I'm going to wait until something really grabs me :-)


Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)
Brown edged granny squares-43 made.  20 to go!
Special Square Motifs-10 made.  53 to go!

Total number of square made so far-53 made.  73 to go!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Oh My Goodness...

In my last post, I mentioned a lady had come into work saying she was going to bring in some wool for me?  I was expecting some half used balls of acrylic and I was excited to see what I could make with them...

I was not expecting this


As I was at work when she came in, I only had time for a quick peek and a stammered thankyou because I could see this wasn't any ordinary wool but some of the really lovely, much more expensive varieties.

It wasn't until I got home and went through the bag that I saw there were 27 balls of Rowan brand wool!  27!  Some are pure cotton, some are blends of wool and cotton and there's even a few balls of cashmerino blends!  All untouched, all gorgeously soft in delicious shades :-D

I can't tell you how blown away I am by this.  It would take me YEARS to build up a stash like this (and given that I'm constantly struggling to make ends meet, it would be likely I could only get 1 ball a year of this stuff)

I keep running over to it to stroke its softness and drink in the colours.


I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to make with this.  It has to be something special so I'm going to keep this stash very safe until I can find a pattern/idea worthy of this.


Seriously, my face hurts from the amount of grinning I'm doing!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Reasons to be cheerful...

Today has had its ups and downs and I admit I do tend to dwell on the negative so Wednesdays are now my 'Reasons to be Cheerful' posting days!

This morning, while I was in the shower, Myf got herself dressed and some breakfast and when I came downstairs, she had a cup of tea waiting for me :-)

I gave my friend at work the baby blanket and she really loves it-later on, another lady, who I don't really recognise much aside from her being an occasional customer, stopped in to ask whether I'd be in tomorrow as she has some wool for me!

Working on the border for the other baby blanket-it looks so lovely.

Work went fairly smoothly today, got plenty done and it went quickly-despite feeling a bit dizzy and headachey in the morning (made worse by walking straight into the corner of the door-I have a little cut and bump on my forehead lol)!

I've got some more squares done but I'll wait until I have some daylight before I take any photos :-)  I love seeing all the squares piling up, just waiting to be put together!

And finally, this photo of Myf that she took.  Isn't she a monkey?


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Baby Boy Blue Blanket

This morning started out so well with beautiful bright skies but turned wet, cold and dreary by lunch time :-(
I've been working on those little baby blankets and I decided to use the 'Criss Cross' Square from the 200 Blocks book-a simple but striking square with an easy to repeat pattern

(Top right square in reds and browns)


I had some Paton's Acrylic Smoothie Yarn which I really love to crochet with as it feels soft and has a nice weight to it :-)  I worked the square as in the pattern for five rounds and then I decided to play with it a little...
Once I was happy with the size (it's for a newborn so doesn't need to be massive) I decided to try out out of the borders in my lovely new book-using a simple pattern from there just to finish it off.

(The photo quality is pretty bad as I can't wait for day light to take a photo as I'm giving it to the recipient tomorrow morning)


I like the effect of playing around with the placement of the mesh stitches!  Is it called 'fillet crochet'?

The other blanket isn't quite finished yet and I've improvised a different effect that I think looks great too-hopefully have a photo of that soon :-)

I've done a couple of other squares for the 'Sleeping Forest' blanket as well...


Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)
Brown edged granny squares-35 made.  28 to go!
Special Square Motifs-10 made.  53 to go!

Total number of square made so far-45 made.  81 to go!

Monday, 13 January 2014

I'm having a lot of fun with this new book-I tried out a few of the more intricate squares yesterday that I think look gorgeous!

I also finished off a couple of Granny Squares as well





I'm taking the next couple of days to make a couple of baby blankets-both for boys so I'm going to use one of the simpler motifs in the book as a base.


It's a beautiful day outside today-we've had so much rain recently that it's great to have a properly cold, clear day.  I may even take the camera outside when I go to pick Myf up from school :-)

Hopefully going blood doning today-haven't been able to go for a while so we'll see if my iron levels are up for it!


Happy Monday everyone-hope you have a lovely day.

Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)
Brown edged granny squares-34 made.  31 to go!
Special Square Motifs-9 made.  54 to go!

Total number of square made so far-43 made.  83 to go!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Cover Your Ears!

It's here!!!

It arrived yesterday afternoon and I've already started making some lovely new squares :-D  There's a lot I like about this book-it doesn't have 200 blocks in any way though (I knew this before I bought it as I'd read the reviews), the author gives a square pattern and then shows a picture of the same square in different colour combinations and adds those to the totals so it's a little misleading.  There's also a lot of squares that are made with rows of single crochet which I'm not too keen on.  Yet in general, so far I like the layout of the books and the way the patterns are presented (it's written with British terms which I'm having to mentally translate as I go because I use American terms)

So here are my first efforts:


These are relatively simple to make but look so pretty.  I've made a couple more that I'll photograph tomorrow that are a bit more complex-I think I should really upgrade my crochet level to 'intermediate' now!

I managed to get a couple more shades of green so it's been fun adding those through some of the squares.

I have also made some more of the traditional granny squares-




Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)
Brown edged granny squares-32 made.  31 to go!
Special Square Motifs-4 made.  59 to go!

Total number of squares made so far-36 (90 to go!)

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Yay for the weekend!

Phew!  Thank Goddess this week is over.  I've already said about the long hours over the past few days-on Thursday I had a call from my estate agent with regard to a viewing.  At 10am this morning.  With no time for any cleaning!
As it was, my pre-Christmas clean up paid off as I only had to do a bit of tidying.  Still, I didn't get home from work until about 5.30pm last night.  Myf needed dinner and winding down before bedtime then I got on with the bedrooms and the dining room.  A quick shuffle around in the living room and bathroom and it was done-still didn't get to bed until about 1.30am.  Up again at 7.30am to get a couple of last minute bits done and had Myf up by about 9am (she needed a lie in, poor thing, she's had a very long week too!).  The viewing started on time and the client seemed really nice but as soon as he saw the house had a flat roof outside, he was done!  He didn't even look upstairs!  To be fair, I appreciate someone who knows what he wants and isn't wasting anyone's time but it was a lot of effort for only five minutes....

Anyhow, I'm eagerly awaiting my new crochet book at some point today (the post doesn't often get here before 1pm) and I've finished a few more squares :-)





I'm already starting to get an idea of how the blanket is going to look when it comes together.  I'm hoping the wool shop I've been trying to get to for the last week is going to be open today as I really must get a bit more green for the balance of it.  There are some squares I really love already!  I think this blanket is going to be so beautiful :-D


Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)

Brown edged granny squares-28 made.  35 to go!
Special Square Motifs-63 to go!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

So so tired....

I was at work all day yesterday(8am-6pm) and I've got the same again today.  So tired-I usually don't start until 10am on a Wednesday, which would have let me ease back into work after the two week break but Neil (the other staff member who can do the shop opening and close) called me as his daughter is unwell and his wife couldn't take another day off because she had staff meetings to attend.  So no easy start back for me!  Up at 5.30am...

The other downside to working all day (asides from a lack of crochet time) is that I don't get any natural light to take a photo in!  I have some more squares finished but no decent light so I've taken a couple with the flash and they're not great but they'll do...



I like going to work by bus as I can get a square done on the journey plus I can get a couple done on my lunch break (helps keeps me from craving junk food).  I had a note through the post that my books have arrived but of course didn't fit through my letterbox so I'm going to rearrange and hopefully have them by the weekend :-)

Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)

Brown edged granny squares-16 made.  47 to go!
Special Square Motifs                            63 to go!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Day 2...and a new book!

One of my new books arrived!  It's the crochet borders one and I admit to being a little sad that it wasn't the squares book as I really want to make a start on some new square motifs (and because of work, I won't be home for the mail until the weekend so I'll miss the delivery and have to reschedule) but this book does look gorgeous!



It's laid out with 150 new edgings for me to try out and I'm so looking forward to trying it out :-D

So a few more squares to show today.  I tend to start a big project with 'colour studies', squares that are predominantly one colour done in lots of shades.  As I go on, I do more colour combinations.


Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)

Brown edged granny squares-8 made.  55 to go!
Special Square Motifs                            63 to go!

Monday, 6 January 2014

'Autumn Splendour'...no wait...'Sleeping Forest'

Last year, I made a little donation blanket for the wonderful SIBOL project which I'd called 'Autumn Glory'-I loved the colours of it and I was itching to keep it for myself!

I really liked the effect of alternating traditional granny squares edged in dark brown with more challenging motifs.  I think it looks gorgeous and I want a big one for myself!

I've been going through my yarn stash-I've accumulated a lot of shades that are perfect for this project, however, I do want to pick up just a couple more shades of green to complete the palette.



I only made one full size blanket last year which feels weird despite making a number of small ones so to properly kick off 2014, I'm making myself a full sized version.  I want to continue with trying out new motifs so I've treated myself to 2 books off Amazon that I've been lusting after for a while...'Jan Eaton's 200 blocks' and 'Around the Corner Crochet Borders' no idea whether they're going to be any good but it would be nice to have square patterns easy to hand rather than trawling for free patterns on the internet-the reviews looked pretty good so I'm hopeful.  And I'm ridiculously excited about learning new borders :-D  They should arrive in a couple of days!

I tend to get very lost in my blankets so this time I thought I'd try taking photos of the squares as I go and blogging about the progress.  My full sized blankets are 9 by 14, meaning a total of 126 squares.  I'm aiming to make at least four traditional squares a day (easy enough-I can make a lot more on a quiet no work day but with work I don't want to stress myself out over something I want to enjoy doing) and I'm looking forward to trying out new motifs to share as well.

So here we go!  The first four squares of 'Sleeping Forest' ( I wanted to call it 'Autumn Splendour' but Myf has come up with 'Sleeping Forest' which I really like so there you go)


The light is terrible for taking photos at the moment but what do you think?


Total number of squares to make-126 (63/63)

Brown edged granny squares-4 made.   59 to go!
Special Square Motifs                            63 to go!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Hello 2014!

Myf's been away with her Dad this week so I've taken some creative time.  I'm always saying to myself when I finish a project intended for someone else that 'I'll make one for me' but somehow I never quite get round to it.  Well, just before Christmas, I was making 'Nanny Bags' for my nieces and I really wanted to make one for myself (the original one is kept safely tucked away as I don't think it would survive much use) so this week I thought why not?  I'm planning another blanket, this time for me (I'm being so greedy!) but that'll take some time to figure out and I wanted something quick to do...

Now, be warned, I'm EXTREMELY excited about this.  I started making the pentagons on New Years Eve

I wanted a chunkier feel than the ones I previously made and as I don't have stockpiles of chunky yarn, I had two strands of DK yarn on the hook.  It's fun working with two balls at once ;-)

After those were made, I started thinking about lining for the bag.  Now I'll just stop here and explain that I've never tried to make a lining before.  I cut up an old dark blue pillowcase and spent a while stitching it-I had to unpick it a few times until I was happy with it (I don't have a sewing machine so this involved quite a few pricked fingers).  Then I stitched it onto one of the pentagon pieces.

I forgot to turn it right side out first so I had to unpick it and start over :-(

But eventually, I got it the right way round, stitched onto the main pieces and then I crocheted the main pieces together.

Then came the strap.  I may have slightly overdone the length but it hangs quite well and I wanted to be able to have it across my shoulder satchel style so it stays secure.


The last thing it needed was a zip (another first for me) so I popped into town quickly to pick one up




I do want to add buttons to one side for decoration but I need some more white ones for what I have in mind...but until then, it's finished!  I'm ridiculously proud of this bag-I've not tried anything at this level and while the stitching is messy, I'm delighted with it and can't wait to show it off!