Crochet

I’ve been working over the last few weeks, to improve my crochet skills. I have been doing basic treble crochet granny squares for over a year now and wanted to master some other stitches. Seeing pictures around the craft forums, blogs, magazines and facebook pages of such lovely crochet projects I felt it was time to overcome my fear of trying to read patterns and get my head around visualising in 3d!

So out came my hooks and yarns and the lovely craft magazine ‘Let’s Get Crafting: Knitting and Crochet’. They’ve been running a series on granny squares in the magazine and there is also a lovely set of stitch instructions at the end of each issue. I find reading stitch instructions quite difficult, even with pictures, but I kept trying until I had something that looked like the pictures.

Granny square practice

I don’t think I got all the stitches quite right when following the patterns as I have two squares that are much larger than the others!! Even so, I was confident to have a try at the squares with a smaller hook and thinner yarn.

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As I have been working on making a blanket using the basic treble crochet granny square principle, I needed something more interesting to finish it off. I wanted to add some smaller squares to the ends of the blanket, and worked three each of two designs to fit at the ends. Once I had the six additional squares completed I decided that the simplest way for me to connect them together was to sew them.

Crochet blanket

I’m quite pleased with my finished piece. My first significant crochet project.

Happy crafting
x

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone

Today will be a family day for us filled with laughter and chocolate egg hunting, hopefully in the garden if it stays sunny.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter day filled with whatever makes you happy.

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Happy Easter
x

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Easter biscuits

It’s the school Easter holidays and, like many other parents out there, I am looking for ways to keep my daughter occupied whilst not having to spend a small fortune! There’s only so many times we can go out and about, and we need to do things around the home too. Coming up with new and interesting constructive projects for her is a challenge. Fortunately we’ve had some lovely weather, so we’ve been out in the garden, tidying borders and feeding the birds.

But the kitchen has been calling and today we have been making Easter biscuits to share with our family and friends. They are a lovely simple recipe to make, made easier still using a mixer! The main enjoyment for my 5 year old is weighing out all the ingredients, adding them to the mixer and then rolling out the dough and cutting out the biscuit shapes. Watching them bake in the oven is fascinating and then trying the first one when it’s still warm! Lovely.

Easter biscuits

The recipe I use is one I found in an Aldi magazine a few years ago, I like it’s simplicity and they taste fabulous at any time of year.

Ingedients
140g salted butter
280g self-raising flour
140g caster sugar
55g raisins
1 medium egg
grated zest of 1 lemon

Method
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C, gas mark 5
2. Rub the cold butter into the flour well
3. Add the sugar, raisins and lemon zest and bring together gently
4. Beat the egg and add to the mixture
5. When a dough has formed, roll out to 0.5cm think and cut out with your chosen cutter
6. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until lightly browned and cooked
7. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and remove from the baking tray

I don’t always use the lemon zest and they work just as well as a plain raisin biscuit.

They were delicious after dinner tonight and the rest are being shared with some friends tomorrow.

Happy baking
x

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Dressing Up

This week I’ve been working on what on earth to do for my 5 year old daughter, as she will be having a dress up day at school.  This isn’t usually too bad as we have a small stock of dressing up outfits – princess, cowgirl, pirate, ladybird, fairy wings etc.  However, they are making the day themed to tie-in with what they’ve been studying this term.  So I’ve been landed with space, planets and aliens!!

I was trying to think about how I could make an alien costume without having to resort to buying an expensive costume.  Deely boppers were my initial thoughts with green leggings and top.  Alas we have none of these items.  So after a minor panic led breakdown, my lovely husband said why not make her a space rocket!  WHAT????  I did calm down and managed to start thinking straight after a while.  Actually that’s not too bad an idea.  She’s only 5, so she would fit in a pillowcase, I could draw and stick on some embellishments and make a cone shape from card for a hat.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a spare white pillowcase, so I had a buy a cheap one, and it cost £1. Definitely cheaper than a full new outfit. My daughter loved trying on the pillowcase, while I measured her for a neck hole and arms. Then it was a simple case of cutting along the seams for the required gaps, and I tacked small hems by hand.

Space Rocket front panel

Then came the fun bit, drawing on metal panels, rivets and embellishments. I drew two circles onto card and covered with tin foil to make the windows. Out came some pro-markers for planet, flag, panel edges and rivets. I adorned front and back and gave her a mission flight number of ‘ALICE 5’.

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I’ve added a pair of stripy shorts over some white and orange patterned leggings for the boosters and flames. She loves it!

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Now I just have to make a ‘nose cone’ for her hat and we will be decorating that together. Roll on Wednesday and out will come a little face paint. I think a little Saturn on her cheek will finish the look quite nicely. What do you reckon?

Happy crafting
x

 

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Create and Craft Winnings!

Over the last few years I’v become quite a regular watcher of the Create and Craft TV channel. Initially I was watching mainly the cardmaking shows, but as they have started to branch out I’ve found I watch quite a variety of crafts. I like to see all the hints, tips and inspiration from the guests and presenters.

For those of you that don’t watch the channel, on every show they do a giveaway for anyone that e-mails in. It’s a great way to get feedback from customers and a chance to give something back to the viewers. I’ve taken to e-mailing in when I get the chance and have been lucky enough to win a few items.

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All are signed by the maker too.

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This morning I received my latest winning prize – a pile of flowers and stars punched out of card.

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So now I have to think about what I can use them for………

Any ideas?

Happy crafting
x

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The Owl and the Pussycat

I have been working on my donation for the party night raffle to raise funds for my former work colleague. I posted the pictures of the Owl a few weeks ago and then decided it would be nice to have a friend for him. I then set about knitting a pussycat to accompany the Owl.

I can now reveal the Owl and the Pussycat.

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All elements are knitted or crocheted and then sewn together so there are no plastic bits that could fall off. They are quite a large couple, but I like the look of them and may do another set in different colours and yarn. I think they could look good as a smaller pair using smaller needles and thinner yarn.

I hope they are appreciated on the night and help raise some much needed funds.

I’d love to know what you think of them.

Happy crafting
x

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