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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The past few months, I have felt like an over emotional deep fat fryer on the verge of being over filled. My older sister passed away in January and this has made every other part of my life quite a chore. It has definitely been difficult, and with it being exam time at work, the pressure is really on. Among this, I have made myself find time to crochet. My younger sister is due to have her second baby in the next two weeks, and what is more beautiful or happier than that? So I decided that I needed to make a baby blanket. I used some of the yarn from my older sister, and started crocheting. I chose the pink, cream, brown combination and a simple stripe in a ‘granny square’ stitch (I’m not sure if that’s the right name for the stitch)
When I started the blanket, I was at my mum’s house, and when I showed her the first few rows, her face was not impressed and she told me that it was rather plain and boring. However, once finished, and she saw how soft and snuggly it was as well as being rather girly but not over the top, she loved it. As too did my sister when I gave it to her a few days ago. Now all we need is the baby to give us all something wonderful to enjoy.
My sister, who is exceptionally talented, is very poorly and so no longer needs her yarns. I have therefore inherited this stash. I am looking forward to having a rummage and finding out what I’ve got and what I can do.
I followed the pattern I previously posted although I had a couple of confused moments. Overall I’m pretty happy with it. Not sure my other half was so pleased at having to model it for me as it developed.
The ‘using up leftovers’ hat.
This hat was made in an evening using Sidar Big Softie (about 50% wool if I remember correctly). It’s using up the left overs from the Christmas crocheting I was doing. Very warm and snuggly and perfect for our prospective trip to Scotland in February.
As a teacher I can get pretty stressed. I find that sitting down and doing some crochet really helps me to relax. I’ve no great skills, I tend to stick to the simple things; however, I love doing it. From picking out a yarn or a pattern or both, to using or giving whatever it is that I’ve made; it’s very fulfilling.
This is going to be my place to share what I have done and what I intend to do. I will also use it to post links to patterns and ideas and other bits of inspiration.
Of course, I may also mention food. cats and anything else which appears in my head.