Besides the blocks

I’m busy crocheting a stripe or two at a sitting in the evenings on Rainbow Granny Stripe blanket #2 at the moment for Sunflower-head’s 6th birthday in December.

The first Rainbow Granny Stripe has been on red spotty sunflower-head’s bed, along with the Blooming Flower cushion, since they were given to her for her 4th birthday at the end of August.


I had a really sweet surprise parcel in the post yesterday, from New Hampshire in the USA. It was my first crochet murder mystery (!) and lots of bookmarks, labels, crochet and knitting patterns. Nice post is always, always, wecome!
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::No sunflowers were exactly harmed in the making of this blog post, although sawn off, the heads are being carefully dried and the seeds kept for next summer.

WAtchThiS spACE foR aNOthER FINisheD BLANkeT soON!

Rainbow Granny Stripe – FINISHED!

After the first row of edging…

And this morning…

Folded in half…

The blanket is laid across a king-sized bed here, just to give you a sense of its size.

Just before Easter I asked a certain 3 year old what her favourite colours are, and without hesitation she told me ‘Yellow….pink…..and purple.’ That’s why I’ve used these particular colours for the edging.

Now I’ll put the surprise blanket away until August when she turns 4. I imagine I will be starting another Rainbow Granny Stripe in the Autumn for her sister’s 6th birthday!

Ok…now I get it

I’m on the last leg of my Rainbow Granny Stripe blanket and my fingers are itching to complete the border. BUT I have to darn those pesky ends in! I still like darning in, it feels soothing and productive, but actually I just want them gone at this point so I can carry on crocheting! I understand why people advise to darn as you go…
As you see the hook is chasing the darning needle around the last edge!

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Dublin #2

At Kilmainham Goal I noticed some crochet. Impressive given the conditions I saw in which the  prisoners would have lived. Also, it just shows how versatile those little old granny squares can be.

Sorry for the poor quality, I was rushing to join the guided tour of the original cells where the political prisioners were held, but I thought as this is technically a crochet blog you might enjoy seeing this ‘blouse’.

Walking back to the hotel later I spotted all this. Is there no bin at this person’s house?! I can picture an arm extending from a window to throw an empty out with a vague promise to self to tidy up later. I have to admit that something about this scene made me laugh as well as recoil a little. I can’t justify myself.

You’ve seen Molly Malone and her assets, Oscar reclining in the park and now here’s Phil Lynott, outside a rather nice traditional Irish pub. The Dubliners do seem to like their statues, as well as their drinking holes. I viewed a few traditional pubs, inside and out. It has to be done as part of the full holiday experience.

This was outside another bar, I love it! It reminds me of Father Ted.

Yes; I did just follow the ‘Fine Food for Feck All’ poster with cherry blossom from Trinity College. It’s my blog and I’ll be random if I want to (singing the ‘It’s my party’ song in my mind as I type that)! :-)

The Book of Kells was great and the information about how the scribes made the colours was fascinating, but the best part by far is The Long Room. If you go then take a big breath in as you enter the room. The smell is incredible. If you have no idea what the Long Room is then Google is your friend. ;-)

The Liffey and some of its many, many bridges. I wandered across the Millennium bridge, that you see in the foreground, after snapping this picture and into The Temple Bar area….

….to hear some superb live Irish music at The Quays. Sunday is a good day for relaxing with a drink in hand and a tapping foot to the music.

A few strange looks were garnered as I photographed the floor, but I liked it.

And finally here is some street poetry I passed on my way back from the live music and foot tapping.

I hope you can read it.

Dublin is great city, with so much still left unseen and undone – I’ll have to go back for a third visit one day.

And in crochet news: I’m on the last 8 or so colours of the Rainbow Granny Stripe, so expect a reveal ta-dah thingy post any time within the next few weeks. It’s slow progress compared to other stripey blanket bloggers since I am also dipping into my Rhubarb Ripple Blanket, making more Spring Flower Squares and edging some Alternative Granny Squares. Then there’s the random little other crochet makes I am side-tracked by also.

But it’s all good fun and very relaxing.

Staithes, North Yorkshire

Hope you had a good Easter weekend. Here’s a little (ish!) record of some of mine…

A little crochet time in the Leeds Marriott in the morning on Good Friday, before heading further oop north to Staithes

We’ve reached our 18th century fisherman’s cottage, it’s great. Look at the alley you walk down to get to it; better not eat toooo many Easter Eggs or I’ll be there an extra week!

I bet I can guess what these used to be before they were coal sheds!

The houses share walls and are crammed in higgledy-piggledy into a relatively small place. You can just feel the history and layers of the past as you wander in and out of the alley ways, along past the small shops, chapels and pubs (many closed now, though there’s still three in the village.)

Super cosy

What a hill to the car!

Stepping stones

One of my favourite views, I love all the colours.

After a LOT of walking and rock clambering and that vertical walk to the car!

Seeing this in the Cook Memorial Centre in Staithes felt a bit odd; I’d forgotten I came across this cottage a long time ago in a Melbourne park. I’d been living in Australia for a year by then, and found it really unsettling and a little bizarre to see Captain Cook’s Cottage!

Easter Sunday morning we lit the fire, opened the eggs, toasted some home-made walnut & cranberry bread and snuggled for a while before venturing out.

And that is enough for now. I’ve got some great pics from Saltburn and the yarn-bombing, but it will be next week before I post them. Trip #2 is about to happen. I’ve got today to turn my laundry around and re-pack and I’m off again early in the morning. It’s a very hard life.

:-D

Blogalicious!

I discovered this blog According to Matt and I LOVE it!

  •  the colours of the blog: the simple white background and the glorious photos
  • the straightforward writing style
  • also I admit it’s the fact that I’ve found male crocheters whose stuff I actually like (nice colours, designs, enthusiasm and inspiration plus plus plus, and aren’t they easy on the eye too? ;-p)

Have a look at this, this is the winner for me, a gorgeous blanket…though I also love this thick grey ripple blanket. There’s even a tutorial for learning how to crochet a jammy dodger! I grew up eating those yummy biscuits.

Do share some of the blogs you love with me below, I click on people’s side-bars but I think more current links are neglected to be added sometimes.

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This week I’ve had some tea breaks, using my pint mug which says ‘the bigger the better’ around it (!) and worked on:

PS: I cleaned the tannin stains off my mug yesterday, in case you keen eyed clean-freaks noticed them :-D

Rhubarbing & Rainbowing

So, this is how the newly christened Rhubarb Ripple blanket’s going. (Imagine you’ve gone to the end of the garden to cut some rhubarb for a Sunday crumble, and have taken your blue colander to place the sticks into. See? Everything needs a name.)

The Rainbow Granny Stripe is progressing in a very random fashion. It’s not at all challenging to make and so the ‘what next?’ element of choosing the colours keeps it interesting. Meanwhile I’ve planned the colours for the RR, but there’s no taping tufts of yarn to a card for me…that would be far too professional!

I’ve almost certainly broken the cardinal rule of crochet by changing from a 4mm hook to a 3.5mm as I go, but there was no way I was undoing it all. The tension was definitely going to be too loose with the larger hook. I can see where it changes, but if I hadn’t told you would you have guessed? Be honest if you spotted it - I’m interested, but not changing it now! :-)

The blankets are for small girls who like pretty, that’s why they’re so bright. The next one will probably be more sutble.

The little cotton strip on the top of the pile is for a jar cover.

Sadly I’ve got another streamer of a cold and so am not feeling very dynamic today. It’s particularly a shame when you’ve had a busy week and have plans to do fun stuff at the weekend.

I’ve instructed friends & family to hit me on the head with a large box of balm tissues if I crow about how many colds I used to have when I was younger and how much healthier I am these days….I’ve had two corkers of a cold since I said that last. What a wally.

I feel so blah that I’ve just text downstairs to ask for another cup of Lady Grey and a pint of water…well I’m ill….

A few drinks, and some chatty comments below would definitely cheer me up in fact. I seem to have a lot of visitors to The Little Room but few cheery hellos….go on…introduce yourself, I like meeting new people. :-)

Rippling & Striping on a rainy weekend

I’d forgotten that there were tulips in this pot last year, what a lovely surprise!

There are signs of Spring everywhere…

Friday night I started a ripple blanket. It’s not such a good idea when you find that you’ve increased trebles four times instead of two, the following morning! Crochet after wine is probably not recommended. (Unless you love undoing crochet!)

I’m enjoying choosing the next colour for my rainbow granny stripe. I haven’t got a plan and that’s the way I like it.

Oops! The ripple is shorter than the granny stripe…but edging should sort that little issue.

I prefer Lucy’s ripple pattern (see her Attic 24 blog for pattern, link to the right), rather than the wave stitch I tried for the cushion cover featured in Nicki Trench’s Cute and Easy Crochet book (see link). My tension’s loose usually and Lucy’s ripple seems to suit it better. I do wonder if the rainbow granny stripe blanket will be more popular as it’s thicker, and probably warmer, than the ripple.

Finally look who surprised me…..

Ha! As I added these last two pics I heard this playing on my ipod:

“Tell her I’ll be waiting in the usual place….”

Hahaha!!

(Bryan Ferry’s Slave to Love)

Brightness!

It’s growing very fast, I find that I can’t do fewer than 2 stripes at a sitting, even if time is pressing and I need to do just half a row….addictive or what?!

I think the next bit is going to go into bluey greens and I’ll try the yacky green out too; but if it fails the audition it’s OUT!

I’m enjoying the trebling but wanted to try something new. I find that I can’t just concentrate on one project, I have to try a few alongside each other. It’s like me and books. I usually have a poem anthology, a non-fiction, a fiction and maybe something else I’m dipping in and out of. Variety is the spice of life, and all that. :-)

I’m using Nicki Trench’s pattern for the wave cushion (see link at the side for the book.) I suspect this is what everyone else is calling ripple pattern. It’s great. I enjoyed it last night, but if you’re wondering why I stopped in the middle…there was a bombshell in the middle of Roger and Val have just got in that required me to stop! and talk! Then it was time for bed Zebedee…

If, unlike me, you’re a crochet expert and notice a flaw in my waves tell me please. Gently!

PS: Sorry that the pics are a bit fuzzy but I wanted to show you how I’m getting on. The flash had to do the job as the sun is in bed now, and it’s never as good as natural sunlight.

Sunday Crochet

It’s growing!

I finished this beanie yesterday, it just needed a couple more rounds.

It’s mostly wool in this chunky yarn and feels really warm on the ears. Goodo, ready for any more icy weather we’re going to get.

I learnt what frogging means, in the crochet sense, yesters. The hat below was made last autumn from frogging a scarf I knitted a few years ago, but had never worn…

But when I asked for an honest opinion….”There’s just too much of it” T said on its first outing. I got a second opinion from B: ‘There’s a lot at the top” and so the big gathered hat was frogged too to make my beanie. I’m happy with it.

This wool is staying as it is now!

Rainy Saturday

Today’s the perfect day for a bit of lounging on the sofa with my granny stripe blanket to keep me occupied.

Not that it resembles a blanket at all yet, I am a tiny bit tempted to make some edging and turn it into a scarf, it’s looking just like one I saw in M&S after Christmas. :-)

This is SO relaxing; it’s just simple repetitive trebles with a few chains thrown in, very very satisfying to make. Choosing the colours and watch it turn into a stripey colourful textile makes it really fun to make.

Recently I’ve made lots of small thingys which have meant following patterns and counting all the time. This Granny Stripe is refreshing crochet. No counting, no following a complex pattern (complex for me a novice, or intermediate, crocheter anyway.)

I’m a bit wary of when the time comes to add in the red (one of my favourite colours) with the PiNk! You can’t put pink and red together, it’s the LAW. I’ve grown up with this rule. I’m going to break the law. FOR THE FIRST TIME….

Then to make it worse there will also be BriGhT yellow and orange and that yacky green I showed you here…….it’s really going to challenge my sense of colour comfort.

BUT inspired by Lucy’s GS blanket (see Attic24) I’m going to use all the colours in the Stylecraft pack, in my own way. I’m not copying Lucy’s colour combinations, this is MY blanket though of course the colours are the same because they are unofficially called ‘The Lucy pack’ I’m told.

If you want the same pack click here or Google ‘Stylecraft special DK’. It’s lovely to work with and feels unepxectedly soft for 100% man-made yarn (or 100% people-made if we want to be 21st century about it.)

Back to the sofa where a cheeky bottle of English cider and a few snacks are waiting for my company. The GS might go a bit wiggly!

Happy weekend,

Rachel