Sunday, 18 March 2018

Merino Stripey Blanket progress

If you follow me on Instagram, or read my last blog post, you'll know I'm working on a Merino Stripey Blanket using the beautiful pure merino yarns I bought in the January sales.
I did say to someone that I should call it my Serendipity Blanket, as considering I had to make do with the colours available across 3 different brands, they work really, really well together. Serendipitous indeed.

I'm writing up a separate page for the blanket with all the yarn details, along with how I worked out a colour repeat that should make the best use of the yarn I have, without running out of anything (hopefully!!). And lots of photos of course.
The blanket is growing rapidly, which is hardly surprising as I'm really enjoying working on it.

Tina's Allsorts, Tail of Two Dragons Scarf in Crochet

I've actually only been working on it for 2 weeks not 3, as I had a week off from it while I was trying to work out a crochet version of my Tail of Two Dragons Scarf.
That's going quite well, other than I opted to make it using just one skein of hand dyed 4 ply. Yes, just one skein... Well, it was given to me for Christmas and being hand dyed, there's just the one. And it only has 400m, not the usual 450m for 4 ply. It isn't going to be enough though as I'm incorporating quite a few bobbles into the pattern and they, of course, take extra yarn. So that's been put to one side while I have a little rethink. I know it would look better in a solid colour, or with just speckles rather than variegated as well. So I might frog this lovely yarn and use it for something else.

We had some rather unexpected snow again this weekend. There was some light snow for most of the day yesterday - weird little dry pellets of snow that blew around rather than stuck together. I was hoping we would therefore escape anything more but no, I got up today to at least a 4 inch deep layer. But the temperature is rising already, so it will melt very soon I'm sure.
I took the opportunity to try and get a snowy photo of my blanket but my phone struggled with the brightness of the snow, so I had to settle for a pic of it draped over a bench with a bit of snow on it!

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

As I write this, the blanket is spread across my lap keeping me very warm indeed! I can see I'm going to have to do some research on budget merino yarn - if anyone knows of any, please do let me know as I don't really want to go back to acrylic!!

Fortunately, I had planned a day of hibernating indoors today with lots of crochet planned, so no going out on icy roads thank goodness!

And remember my Tail of Two Dragons Scarf? Here I am modelling it in the snow this morning!

Tina's Allsorts, Tail of Two Dragons Scarf

I'm very pleased to be able to say I have now sold 6 copies!Woo Hoo!! I was very pleased to have sold just one. That one copy made it worth all the effort to design it and write up the pattern, so another five is a bonus!
And guess what?? I sold the project bag I made a while back too!! I'm so glad it sold as the blue version that I made and kept is in constant use and I love it. Who would have guessed a medium sized zip up bag could be so useful when it came to woolly stuff?!
I do enjoy a spot of sewing now and then, so will have to make a couple more when I have time. 

Well, that's all for today - time to get on with some crochet! Til next time,  T  xXx

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Snow, Crochet - and my first sale !!

If you're in the UK, it's pretty safe to say that you had snow this week, thanks to The Beast from the East! It was Very cold here - I can't actually remember the last time it was so cold - and we did indeed get the snow that was forecast, with between 4 and 6 inches in the garden. I don't think there was as much as predicted here - we must have been just the right side of the amber warning zone. I opted to take a couple of days holiday when I saw what was predicted, rather than take the risk of heading up the M3 - the main roads may have been ok but not the side roads. And we're on a hill and it froze and nothing could get up or down... Apart from the neighbourhood kids on their sledges and snow boards - they had a whale of a time, they really did!

So what's a girl to do when she's stuck at home and bored?? Crochet of course!! I got a lot done on my blanket - I can't believe I only started it last Saturday, as it already measures 55" x 26"!!! And I even had a days sickness in the middle when I couldn't do much of anything!!

My merino wool is all just beautiful to work with although I must admit, the Debbie Bliss Rialto DK is my favourite. Wish I could afford to buy it all the time...
As I mentioned last week, I'm making my Tooty Stripey Blanket again although I am rearranging some of the stitch patterns - can't stop myself from tweaking! And my colour palette is working really well - not bad considering I was making do with just the colours in the sale. And I'm really glad I added the blue - I nearly didn't but it lifts the whole design.

Here are yet more photos of it - and as it is completely reversible, if you look carefully you'll be able to work out where there are bobbles one side and a straight line the other, and so on.

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

It's coming on so well that I really hope I don't run out of steam before it's finished.

Tina's Allsorts, Tail of Two Dragons Scarf

On an exciting note, ten days ago I put my Tail of Two Dragons Scarf p*a*t*t*e*r*n up for sale and I've sold 3 copies already!!!! I know 3 sounds very little but I think it's fabulous as I wasn't sure I would sell any.
The first one sold the day it went live to a lady in the UK called Liz and I'm really looking forward to maybe seeing some pics and hearing how she got on with it.

CLICK HERE to pop across to Ravelry and buy your copy. You don't have to be a member but if you are, don't forget to sign in first, otherwise you will only receive and emailed version of the pdf, instead of it being in your library.

And look at this -

Tina's Allsorts, Tail of Two Dragons Scarf

Lyn, the manager in the craft shop has been making my Tail of Two Dragons Scarf in self striping 4 ply sock yarn. Yes - 4 ply!! It took her a while and I really wouldn't have had the patience  to use 4 ply myself . This pic shows it being blocked and I'm looking forward to seeing it in the flesh tomorrow. She had to make some adjustments to the shaping but managed to finish with just one ball of yarn - yes, just one ball! I never cease to be amazed at how far 4 ply goes.

I've been thinking about how I can make this same design with crochet and have been trying some little test swatches to try different stitches. However, I know I will need to use 4 ply, not DK to get a good drape and have some very nice hand dyed yarn all ready and waiting (I have no objection to using 4 ply for crochet - it works up much faster than knitting). And having had the recent de-stash, I don't have any 4 ply scraps to practise with, so will have to use the good stuff... So I will be "caking it up" later, as the experts like to say. Or as you and I might say, wind the skein into a ball!
Not sure whether it's going to work out as my samples so far have been crap! But it's worth a try.

I'll finish today with a little video of Fluffy in the snow (there's no sound, other than the radio in the background). He really didn't like the snow at all - he hates getting wet, which is understandable when you have really long fur I suppose. Anyway, on our 2 snow days, apart from one single foray up the garden and over the fence for 10 short minutes,  every time he went out his cat flap onto the patio 
he immediately turned tail and came back in! Eventually, at about 10pm, he had to go out for a wee but wasn't out long at all! (He has a litter tray but much prefers to go outside - the tray is a last resort when he's not feeling his best during the night.) 
So after more than 2 days of not going out, come Saturday and the thaw, he went out and vanished!!! He normally keeps coming back for a snack or a snooze in the warm but when he didn't come back for lunch (yes, he eats lunch at the same time as us...) we started to get worried. Mid afternoon we even went out to search for him! We honestly thought he had either been run over, or shut in someones garage or shed, as everyone was out clearly the snow that morning. The house felt very empty without our fluffy friend... we even tried phoning the local vet to see if he had been taken in but being a Saturday they were closed by then.

But we were extremely  relieved when he finally came in his flap at about 4.30pm! He was very quiet and subdued and clearly not his normal self - every sound made him jump. I think he either did get shut in somewhere for a while, or wandered further than normal and got lost. He's actually a very timid boy and runs away from everyone except the people he is most familiar with.
He settled down after a while and then, just to make the most of being able to go in and out whenever he wanted again, he proceeded to do exactly that about 20 times over the next two hours! Bless him.

We do love our Fluffy and for a while were completely at a loss without him...

Take care in the snow if it's still with you and I'll see you again next week. T xXx

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Merino Stripey Blanket

After all the knitting I've been doing for the past 2 months with my Tail of Two Dragons Scarf, I needed to do some crochet for a change! Whilst I want to design a crochet version of my scarf, I decided to make a start on my merino blanket first.
I've been collecting pure merino wool from the january sale at my local yarn store and have been debating long and hard what design to go for. Would it be circles within squares, or hexagons, flower shapes, mandalas?? My problem is that by buying in the sale, I have a fixed amount of each colour available to use. If I run out, there's always the chance I won't even be able to find it online...
So I decided the safest option would be to make another stripey blanket using my tooty stripey pattern (see the tab at the top of the page for the link to the free p*a*t*t*e*r*n.

I couldn't resist a little photo shoot as I prepared some bobbins to help me arrange the colours into order. There's no random choosing of colours here - I've calculated exactly how much I have of each colour as a percentage of the total, and therefore, how many rows of each colour within a 20 row colour repeat. I may have to do a small amount of swapping as I work the texture pattern as some rows are very short and use little yarn and others are great big tall fat ones and use loads! I don't want to find I use all the colour I have least of very quickly. And I've kept back two balls for the border. Want to see?? 

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Merino Stripey Blanket

I'm very pleased with how the colours are working together - considering I had to make do with mixing three different brands and what they had left!! It's coming on at a cracking pace at the moment and I've done more than 20 rows already.
The yarn is just beautiful to work with too - I won't want to work with acrylic ever again. But I don't think I can afford not to either!!

On another note, would you like to see the pic of Mara receiving the project bag I made her?? Isn't she beautiful??

And on a completely random note, here's Fluffy doing his favourite thing - sleeping!!

That's all for today I'm afraid - hopefully see you again soon!   T  xXx

Friday, 23 February 2018

Tail of Two Dragons Scarf goes live!!!

Woo Hoo!!! It's live!! My test knitters seem to be happy so I decided to go ahead and publish my Tail of Two Dragons Scarf p-a-t-t-e-r-n!!

I set the price very low at a fraction over £2 but Ravelry then add on 20% VAT, bless them... so it's come out at £2.50 which is still a very good price when you compare it to a lot of other down-loadable p-a-t-t-e-r-n-s on Ravelry - some are over £6!!  (Forgive the dashes in that word - I'm trying to dodge the robots!!) And you shouldn't need a Ravelry account to buy it either.

Click here to take a look and

Tina's Allsorts, Tail of Two Dragons Scarf

I will probably add it to Etsy as well, as you can download directly from their site I think but you can't with Folksy, so I'll skip them.

And please, if you do decide to buy it, take the time to let me know what you think. This is my first paid publication and I'd really appreciate some feedback - and if you are a Ravelry member, link your own project page so we can all see what you made!

Thank you!!  ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜˜