…And here’s the button answer…

I found this blog page giving me a very clear answer to the button-on-a-cushion problem.

 

http://bunnymummy-jacquie.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/button-closure-for-crochet-cusions.html#comment-form

 

 

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How to improve

 

So I’ve finished the second cushion and I can truly say that I am rather impressed with how it has turned out.  The colours look great and the sunburst design is clear and strong.  I was tempted to keep it however it in no way fits into the style of our house.  There was compromise on both sides, and so it is not full of crocheted loveliness however we do have cushions on the sofas (that was one compromise).  I did however get to have an old welsh dresser, painted it up and use it as part of my ‘work corner’ along with my Nana’s old oak table.  This is the same Nana whose crochet hooks I now have, so when using them it’s like I am getting to share something with her even now.

So anyway I completed the cushion and the only thing I now want to improve on is the fastening.  I have again used wooden toggle buttons and this works fine, but trying to decide the best position on the cushion cover, and the best stitches to use is going to take a little trial and error.  I’m trying to get a polished look rather than a ‘that’ll do’ look.  So there is going to be a bit of research and experimentation happening now. 20160407_191639

Making a sale

People can get a little tired of being given crocheted ‘bits’.  Just because I like making things, it does not mean that they are to the taste of everyone.  Not every baby born is in need of more blankets (especially any baby that is inheriting its older siblings belongings).  Not every sofa requires a crocheted cushion and not every hat & scarf needs to be made by me.   So what am I to do with things that I make?  I decided to try putting a few pieces on Ebay.   I know that its not going to give the best price but I thought ‘d see what happens.  I made a cushion cover from some acrylic using a simple granny square pattern I worked from a photograph.  Treble crochet on the back and fastened with wooden toggle buttons.   Well it only sold.  I set the start price at £4.00 and after a frantic bidding war it sold for £9.00.  The buyer even asked if I had any more as she loved it.  Well that’s a bit of an ego boost. 20160327_200102

I did ask my partner if he had asked someone to bid on it in order to make me happy.  He responded in the negative, saying that he would never give me false hope as he would end up living in a house full of crocheted cushions that we unsellable.  Clearly these were genuine bids.  My crocheted stuff is genuinely wanted!

‘This time next year Rodney…’

 

 

 

 

This is the sun burs20160402_220744t cushion I’m working on now.   You never know, it could be a winner.

 

 

Baby Blues

I have been invited to a baby shower.  I really dislike baby showers.  I find that I generally don’t know that many people and often can’t be bothered to get to know them.  There are ridiculous games based on toilet paper and bits of string and old photos.  There’s the obligatory present opening making you feel you ought to to get the baby grow from JoJo Maman Bebe rather than George at Asda as everyone will be watching.  There’s all the gushing and cooing over the mum when I’m thinking about the washing I left in the machine.  And, there’s the buffet which everyone must contribute to but which has no booze to numb the whole affair.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and will always go to their baby shower but I don’t enjoy this modern phenomenon.  I’d much prefer a cocktail party  or champagne lunch out.

So I’ve been invited to the baby shower for my partner’s step-sister’s second baby.  I don’t know her terribly well but she’s generally very nice.  But what to give?  We don’t know the sex of the baby.  She lives in a small house. I like to crochet.  So I’ve made a simple granny blanket in cream with pink/peach/purple flecks in it.  It is identical to one I made for my son, just a different yarn.  And that’s the problem. I bought the yarn from Wilkinsons.  I love that place.  But it was cheap.  I am happy with the finish and it drapes beautifully.  It’ll wash well but I’m feeling a little cheap.

Then for my niece who is expecting her 2nd (yes I’m already a great aunt)  I’ve made a set of crocheted balls.  Again, my own son plays with some I made him but I wonder if other people will feel the same way.  Do people prefer shop bought with the correct name brand of are they happy with homemade.  I guess I’m just going to find out.

Alpacas round the corner.

Since moving out to the village I’ve  enjoyed getting out and going for walks.  The fields and trees are lovely and can leave me feeling quite inspired.  One my walks around, looking at pretty houses with cottage gardens, being cheaper at by robins and watching birds flying around, I go past a farm.   On this farm there are two alpacas and 2 emus. I’m now wondering if I should ask what happens to the alpaca wool once sheared.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to get locally grown wool, spin it and crochet it.  I just don’t know how to spin it.  The only problem is that the farm has some HUGE dogs running about.  Hmm.

A new challenge

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I often buy crochet magazines and of course I save them all. This is much to my partner’s amusement as I regularly call him a Womble  for not being able to part with anything. In one of the early editions  there is a pattern for an open work wrap around top.  I’ve been wanting to make this for quite some time as it looks soft and easy to wear.  With my current post baby body I am always looking for non-clingy but pretty clothes.  I took a chance and ordered some yarn off eBay and I now have 500g of merino wool yarn for only £25.00. I though that was a good price. I’ve got my hook and my pattern and a few evenings in front of the TV these days. So here’s hoping I end up with something quite wearable.

Where has the time gone?

I am sitting here eating the last toffee pennies from the tub of Quality Streets wondering just how has it been a year and a half since my last post.  I posted back in June 2014, when I was still getting g over my sisters death (although I probably always will be) and I was preparing to go in the holiday of a lifetime.  I did indeed go on an outrageously wonderful holiday but when I got back  things got even better. I found out in October 2014 that I was pregnant.  So since then life’s been all about growing the baby (exhausting) and taking care of the baby (even more exhausting). 
Now that he’s 7 months old I am finding a bit of energy, and thanks to a hard won routine, a bit of time in some days to write a few posts.  So hopefully I’ll be able to backdate some of my posts to cover the past 18 months. 

Not my grandmother’s blanket

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This is a small cotton blanket I’ve just finished.  I made it from a ball of my grandmother’s cotton.  Although it isn’t huge and could only be used as a car seat blanket,  I’m quite pleased with it. 
I’ve never attempted anything like this before.  I had to redo certain parts of it several times,  much to the amusement of my partner.  I think he must like a woman who swears.   Even so,  I am looking for something a little more or are to try next time.

Roses from inside go outside

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I have been so busy at work, with exams coming up and students needing extra support.  We then had an inspection last week, and that is a bit of a life shortener every time.  But, fortunately there has been a bit of rain and a half-term holiday.  These are a great combination as I have no desire to go out in the rain. So instead I did a bit of crochet.  As well as a turtle outfit for my niece -at the request of my sister- which I forgot to get a picture of, I started having a go at flowers.  

I needed something that I could start and finish in a short time to make me feel like I’ve actually accomplished something.  I already have 2 blankets, a cardigan and a wrap in process.  So I thought I might try some wrapped flowers.  I started with 100 chain and then double crochet I then did scallops of 5 trebles.  All very straight forward.  But the end result was a little over crowded and squashed with the purple yarn, but worked quite well with the pink yarn.  I then tried a 50 chain and a row of doubles, I then added two trebles in each double.  Onto this 100, I added the scallops of 5 trebles.  When winding up the flower, the extra row stopped the squashed up look and allowed the flower to open out more.  I liked it, so made a couple more, as you can see in the picture.  I’m pretty happy, but feel that the large green cotton flower needs a little something in the middle, I feel a trip to my button box is in order.  

 

I mean, who doesn’t love a rummage through a button box. 

A neck warmer/button scarf

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I have seen some neck warmers/button scarves online.  What a brilliant idea I thought.  Warm and snuggly, but not huge and bulky.  I know that sometimes a big scarf isn’t the best option, even in cold weather.  In particular when wearing a smart jacket (I’m rather fond of my tweed jacket).  So, a fitted scarf to keep my neck warm and keep the draft out is perfect.

I was having a break in Scotland in February with my BF.  We were on the Isle of Mull.  It was cold, very cold.  It was drizzly and damp, but it was still shockingly beautiful.  I think the cold and clouds just added to the drama of the place.  We were out and about each day, looking for eagles and other wildlife.  The highlights had to be seeing wild dolphins playing out in a loch, and wild otters in another lock.  If you haven’t been, I entirely recommend it. As we would return to the hotel each afternoon and have an hour or two before dinner, We would chill out and look through our wildlife photos or in my case, work on a warm and cosy piece of crochet.

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I made up the neck warmer as I went along, and tried to shape it from the bottom up, narrowing as I go.  I used a soft and somewhat fluffy, variegated yarn inherited from my older sister.  I measured it against my own and my BF’s neck and when I figured it was ready, I added some button holes.  I then added a scalloped edge.  This made me think slightly old fashioned, Downton Abbey style, which of course is adds to the warm cosy feeling.  After the Scottish inspiration, I finished it off with a couple of big wooden buttons.  The finished product is a bit looser than I might have wanted, but It is something I’m going to develop and try again.