Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Blanket progress

Have you ever been to Yarndale?? It's a "woolly craft fair" over 2 days in September - it takes place in Skipton in Yorkshire, which is a loooooooooong way from where I live so I've not been yet. Every year they have a creative project and put up a big display and this year it's Hearts. All the details have been posted by Lucy and can be found over on Attic24. Here's one I made, using some of the leftovers from my gorgeous leaf edged scarf (you know, the one made with the hand-dyed yarn). This one isn't actually going to Yarndale, as I made it for someone, so they're getting one in Lucy's Harmony colours.

Tina's Allsorts

It's a nice pattern and works up very quickly and easily. I posted this pic on Instagram and was chuffed when I saw the following - 

How lovely is that?? I did a happy little dance when I saw it and quickly took a screen shot before it disappeared! Not long after, the following happened -

Tina's Allsorts

You know I really can't tell you just how much I enjoy my little space on Instagram and if you do happen to keep popping in here in blogland and I haven't posted anything new, then please do pop across there and have a look. (There's a link in the sidebar.) I'm not sure if you need to be a member just to view or not but maybe you could set up your own account and then say hi?? Yes, Instagram even has a little messenging service plus you can leave and reply to comments.
I love Instagram in much the same way I hate facebook....
But anyway, I'd been watching the number of followers creeping up - sometimes fast, sometimes slow and finally it got to 500!!!! So I did the happy dance thing again, then posted a screenshot. Woo hoo!

Recently, the pics I post have centred around my large sized tooty stripey blanket, aka the tooty harmony blanket - it's coming along very nicely and on last week's cold summer days, I was able to snuggle under it while I hooked. Want to see??

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Harmony Blanket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey Blanket

But I've posted pics of something new recently. 
Yes, not content with having a big blanket on the go, I've started not one but two baby blankets!! There are 2 people I know who are "expecting" their first grandchild in November, so I thought it would be nice to make blankets for them. I'm using my Harmony Blanket colours as there will be ample yarn left over and I'm following the colour placement of Lucy's Summer Harmony Blanket (although not following her harmony square pattern).

At the moment I'm making the "flowers in the snow" circles that I used in my Tooty Fruity Blanket and I thought I would join one blanket with white and maybe the other with colours. Maybe!! 
Here are 6 little blue circles in a very Instagramesque photo -

Tina's Allsorts

They were followed by 6 circles in each of another 16 colours - 102 in total!!
Then they matched with their round 2 colour, as per Lucy's colour chart. Don't they look cute?? Almost like they're wearing little hats!

Tina's Allsorts

I haven't finished all the round 2 colours yet, although they don't take long at all - and I've even been really good and stitched in every single end as I go too! I can't wait to see what they look like when I start adding round 3 and then the tricky bit will happen. I will have a pile of 102 circles which were designed to make one blanket but I'm then going to split them into two piles so I can make 2. Only I need to split them carefully so I still get a good colour balance... Not sure how well that bit might turn out though. Watch this space, as they say! Or better yet, watch Instagram!!

Now if you are already on Instagram and depending who you follow, you might be aware that there is such a thing as International Granny Square Day on August 15th. It's a day when you post a pic of your favourite granny square with the hashtag #grannysquareday2017, so that when you search for the hashtag, you get a whole screen full of granny squares that form a virtual blanket. This seemed like an excellent idea, so here are my contributions - 

Tina's Allsorts, Grannysquareday2017

The one on the right is a bit of a cheat really!! I made it at work in the shop on Monday and wanted to do a large circle in a square but I just couldn't square it off properly. So I gave up and made a large plain white granny square edged with moss stitch and then laid my circle on top. I never even got as far as stitching the circle in place! When I have time, I might go back and revisit it, as I keep thinking a daisy blanket would be a nice thing to make...
I've made a few of the pink daisy squares while I've been in the shop recently but I never remember to take the instructions with me and they're all different sizes!! Ah well. They were just a little time filler.

ust before I go,  let me show you this -


This is Sally of Colourmecrochet on Instagram and she's the first person to tell me that she's making my tooty stripey blanket!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜€πŸ˜„πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜†πŸ˜‰πŸ’• Yay! That's so exciting!  I'm really looking forward to seeing her progress. 

Right, I'm off to hook a few more rows myself! Bye for now,  T xx

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Lots to show you

You know, it's been quite a rubbish week at work - plenty to do but plenty to annoy and bug me too! I was very glad to get away on Friday! Fingers crossed for improvement next week...
But the crafty things at home have kept me sane!

I've been thinking about what I could say today and realised there are several things actually, so thought it wise to make a list, or I know I'd log off then remember something else!!  -

1. My shawl is finished, blocked and beautiful
2. My Tooty Harmony Blanket is coming along nicely
3. My p*a*t*t*e*r*n has been downloaded over 800 times!
4. My cosie is in the current issue
5. My blog has reached another magic number!!

Firstly then, my beautiful Leaf Edged Shawl is finished, blocked and oh so beautiful!!!!

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edged Shawl

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edged Shawl

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edged Shawl

The yarn is incredibly soft but then it would be as it's 70% merino & 30% nylon. I bought it from RingaRosieYarns in Blyth, Northumberland - a fabulous wool shop with a lovely owner and I can't wait to visit again!!
And the p*a*t*t*e*r*n is quite lovely too - I'll be making this again, possibly quite soon! Next time though, I'll work the short rows in the opposite direction, ie start with the longest row and get shorter, rather than start with the shortest and get longer. I might also work moss stitch instead of stocking stitch. Might.

My Tooty Harmony Blanket is growing nicely too. I tried to get Dad to take a photo of me holding it up but he couldn't manage to take a photo with my tablet. I think maybe his skin was too dry for the touch screen, or he thought he had to press and hold rather than tap the shutter button. So here's a pic I took of him holding it!!

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Harmony Blanket

I've made one or 2 changes to the colour recipe from Lucy of Attic24 that I'm following but they're very minor. I've worked just over 50 rows which measures nearly 20 inches long and it's about 50 inches wide. It's going to be BIG! Want another pic?

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Harmony Blanket

Speaking of my blanket, the  p*a*t*t*e*r*n for my original Tooty Stripey Blanket has now been downloaded from Ravelry over 800 times!! Woo Hoo!! A lady on Instagram says as soon as she's finished her current project, she will be giving it a try - I can't wait to see someone elses pictures!
(And please excuse the use of the **'s in  p*a*t*t*e*r*n - it does seem to have stopped the robots picking up the links to it, although I'm sure it won't be long before I see it on another website somewhere...)

Now for some exciting news!! Remember last week I said my prize for my Tea Cosie had arrived?? (A prize consisting of a very generous quantity of yarn that arrived on Monday.) Well, yesterday my subscription issue of Crochet Now  (issue 18) dropped through the letterbox and I settled down with a cup of coffee for a read in the afternoon and look what I saw -

Tina's Allsorts, Blooming Great Tea Party

OMG!!!!  There's my cosie lined up next to the other winners and it looks like I didn't just get a runner-up prize along with a lot of others like I thought after all but that I was very close to actually winning!! Wow!! Can you imagine the size of the grin on my face when I realised??!!
I'm really glad I made the effort to take part and not just because I won but because it supports such a worth while cause. I'm still trying to find another tea pot it will fit before I offer it to the local branch of Marie Curie. There's no point offering a tea cosie without a pot - and as I've discovered over the last 2 weeks, tea pots really are going out of fashion. The charity shops have had almost none. I'm so glad I stopped making them when I did... (Take a look at the Tea Cosie tab at the top of the page to see what I mean.)
And look at the winning cosie - isn't it just the most incredible cosie you've ever seen?? It's on a theme of a Mad Hatters Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland. Just STUNNING! I don't mind coming second to a cosie like that at all. The winner's prize (a lady called Lyndsay McFarlane) included having her design in the magazine but it's so complicated they're going to run it as a series on their blog instead. I'm quite tempted to make it myself!

Tina's Allsorts,  33,333

And to finish today - and this is a really lovely way to round off a week of  crochet and knitting highlights after the crap at work  - I've just logged in to see this - 33,333 views of my little blog!! Yes, THIRTY THREE THOUSAND, THREE HUNDRED & THIRTY THREE!!! 

I do love a magic number don't you?? Til next time, T xXx

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Look what I won!

Remember I said I'd won runner-up for my tea cosie?? Well my prize arrived this week - a very large bag of wool!!

I was expecting probably 3 or 4 balls and was hoping they would at least be in a colour I liked. But no - my "yarnie goodies", turned out to be enough yarn, complete with patterns, to make 3 projects!! And it's all Sirdar Cotton which is beautiful to work with as well - woo hoo!!
Want to see??...

There is 700g of airforce blue with a pattern for a cap sleeve cardigan, another 700g in a pinky/bluey/yucky (!) variegated colour with a sleeveless top pattern. And finally 200g in a bright pink/navy variegated colour with a bag pattern.

I really can't believe how generous a prize it is!! And there might be a photo of my cosie in the magazine as well.

Quite when I'll have time to start using it I don't know but I do like the air force blue colour and the pattern with it was quite nice too. Although I do have a cabled sleeveless top pattern tucked away somewhere that would work too. 
My sister liked the look of the other variegated colour, so that may be heading her way. 

I must get in touch with the local Marie Curie branch and ask if they'd like the cosie as a raffle prize perhaps - I ought to find a tea pot that it will fit to go with it first though! Although someone might like a tea pot complete with a cosie to keep as an ornament and use only occasionally, if there's no pot with it the cosie will just get chucked in a drawer and that would be a shame.

That's all for now - oh, except to say my shawl is finished (except stitching in the ends) and blocked, I just need to take some pics to show you.

See you again soon!  T xXx

Thursday, 20 July 2017

How many??!!! .....

Remember last week I said I'd released my P*t*t*e*r*n for my tooty stripey blanket on Ravelry??
Well, as you might expect, I kept popping back in to see how many people had had a look and how many then down loaded it. There were nearly 1000 views and 162 down loads on the first day alone!!
If you were one of the lovely people who took a look then thank you so much! It was absolutely amazing and I was completely bowled over by the response! Incredible! I'm so glad I made the effort and finished the chart as it seemed to take me forever!
I don't know if anyone has actually made a start on a blanket yet but I haven't had a single complaint to say my chart is wrong or it doesn't make sense. I have had some lovely thank yous though, which was really nice.

Anyway, exactly one week on and there's been over 650 unique down loads. I don't know how many views in total as I can't find any stats for that, other than "number of views in the last 24 hours". -this morning it said 500+ in the last 24 hours!

It went up suddenly again yesterday and so I had a bit of a search to see if it was on a list of new patterns or new designers etc, and I came across this -

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey Blanket

Can you see that pic in the bottom right hand corner?? That's MY blanket! Woo Hoo!! And if you search for Stripey Blanket as opposed to Striped, then select crochet, there are only 12 patterns and mines the first! Double Woo Hoo!!

My third version of my blanket - my Tooty Harmony - is coming along really well. I'll try and pop back soon with some more photos of it, although if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen some already, and I'll be adding them to Ravelry too. Here's one quick pic -

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Harmony Blanket

It's looking absolutely LUSCIOUS in Lucy's colours too!!

That's it for now! T xXx 

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Coming along nicely

My Leaf Edge Shawl is coming along very nicely - although I do now have quite a bit of pain at the base of my left thumb. I think it's arthritis and I've been getting twinges on and off this year. I  think perhaps it goes hand in hand with the hot flushes!
Anyway, using the circular needles has set it off again. Why don't manufacturers make them with a longer needle part when you buy a long set? I can understand when you're using the short ones but why would I want 6 inch long needles when the full length is 39 inches?!
So I might have to rest it a little today and crochet instead perhaps. Which is a pity as the shawl is going so well. Want a look?  I took some photos. Naturally!
It's been Very hard trying to capture the colour of the yarn in a photo, so some of these look different. I think the first is probably the closest.

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf a edge shawl

I'm slightly concerned that the leaves won't hold their shape when they're blocked as there's a springy twist in the yarn that might make it bounce back to its original shape. I'll have to check that with Barbara, the lady who dyed it.

And I forgot to show you my finished waistcoat. It was just waiting for a fastening of some sort - I settled on a small snap fastener at the top edge, with a button as well for decoration. I'm very pleased with how it turned out and can't wait to wear it. Hot flushes permitting...

Tina's Allsorts, crochet waistcoat

There was the tiniest bit of yarn left - I even unravelled the test square rather than waste it! - and I made this little zipped purse. And I'm wondering what I can do with the last 12 inches left in the needle rather than throw it away. A tiny flower to decorate the purse has been suggested,or maybe a tassel on the zip!

Seriously, 12 inches of yarn...

That's all for today - enjoy your Sunday, T xx

PS  Fancy that! I've just noticed that on the same day last year I wrote a post that was also titled "coming along nicely ", with a picture of a cotton cardigan that went into hibernation shortly afterwards. Maybe that's a sign I should get it out for another look? ?

Thursday, 13 July 2017

A Double Ta - Dah!!

It dawned on me this morning that I never did a proper Ta-Dah moment for my Tooty Stripey Blanket in Stylecraft Special rainbow colours. So here it is!!
Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey B;anket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey B;anket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey B;anket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey B;anket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey B;anket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey B;anket

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Stripey B;anket

Bright isn't it?? You wouldn't think it was the same pattern as the first Tooty Stripey Blanket would you? Just goes to show how much difference changing the colours can make. I can't wait to see how the next Stripey Blanket turns out. I haven't started my adult size yet as I want to crack on with my knitted shawl first but I reckon I'll need nearly 220 stitches, not just 92!!

And my second Ta-dah?? You'll never guess - well you might actually! I've finally, yes
F I N A L L Y 
published my you-know-what!! If you look at the top of the screen you'll see there's a new Tooty Tab there, which has all the extra notes you need, along with the link to the actual "thing" itself. Sorry, I'm trying really hard not to actually use the P word that all the little robots come looking for!!

I've uploaded it to my Ravelry Store - yes, I have my own Ravelry Store now too!!!!! - as I wanted to see how many times it gets downloaded (over 300 views and 80 downloads in the first 9 hours, without me even telling anyone it's there!). It looks like I might be able to add a link here that will still record numbers in Ravelry for me but I've not had time to have a proper look at that yet.

So what are you still doing here?? Scroll up and go and have a look!!!!! And please feel free to offer whatever feedback you think it actually deserves either here or in Ravelry, whether it be good or bad.
If I don't know that everyone thinks it's rubbish, I can't do anything about it!

This is quite exciting! I've never had my own P before!!! So to speak!! 

Back again soon,   T  xXx    πŸ˜

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Leaf Edge Shawl

I spent a very pleasant hour winding my beautiful Wild Flower Merino wool from RingaRosie Yarns on Friday. First I spread out the skeins for a closer look to see if the colours were the same across both of them but I could see that one had more cream than the other - can you see what I mean in the bottom skein? That's not a problem at all, it just means I'll make sure I use both skeins at the same time and swap from one to the other every couple of rows.
I had great fun mixing it about like coloured spaghetti - it was almost a shame to have to wind it into balls!

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edge Shawl

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edge Shawl

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edge Shawl

I knitted a couple of tiny test pieces to see what it was like, first in moss stitch and it looked amazing! In fact, it looked so amazing I was very tempted to completely change what I had planned on making.

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edge Shawl

But luckily the stocking stitch piece also looked good!

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edge Shawl

I got started on my Leaf Edge Shawl almost straight away - after a little photo shoot!!

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edge Shawl

(I must admit, I'm really enjoying my little photo shoots!! Silly I know but very satisfying.)

Tina's Allsorts, Leaf Edge Shawl

This is part of the leaf edging. The pattern calls for 41 leaves, then you pick up 260 stitches along the top edge and work in short rows to form the crescent shaped shawl. I decided to actually make it on 4.5 mm needles, rather than 4 mm but I'm wondering know whether I should have stuck with the 4 mm??.... I've only made a dozen leaves so far, so I could unpick them and start again. They only take 10 minutes each so it wouldn't be a huge job.

If you want to keep up with its progress I'll be posting regular updates on Instagram and Ravelry. And if you'd like to make your own, then you'll need to download the free pattern from Ravelry.

I was also very naughty during the week and bought this -

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Harmony

I've been wanting to start a big blanket for a few weeks now and have decided to make my Tooty Stripey again but this time in an "adult" size and have opted top go with Lucy of Attic24's original colour pack of Stylecraft colours. There are 17 in total and she's currently using them to make a blanket with lots of multi coloured squares. The pattern is her "summer harmony blanket" .

I decided to trust her colour judgement and popped down to my local store to see if by chance they had all of them, before I ordered online. It took a bit of hunting on the part of the lovely assistant but she did indeed manage to find me all 17 colours!!

Some of them I have used before but a lot are new to me. Some I would never have chosen myself. But I trust Lucy's colour sense. Here they are, all laid out for a little photo shoot of their own - 

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Harmony

Naturally, I needed to try them out, so used the "random selection" method of grabbing colours and just using whatever came to hand first and produced these -

I don't think I'll be using that method of colour selection for my blanket!! I'll be following Lucy's carefully worked out colour recipe.

Tina's Allsorts, Tooty Harmony

My working name for this blanket will be Tooty Harmony (what else??...) although I probably won't start it immediately as I think I'm going to get quite engrossed with my shawl!

That's all for today - it's going to be HOT again and I want ot get the shopping done while it's still bearable. I was up at 6.30am to colour my hair would you believe??! I had visions of streaks of sweaty dye running down my face if I did it later and I'd end up looking like a zebra!

Oh, and my P*a*t*t*3*r*n is just about ready, I just need to scan and upload it. I think I will put it on Ravelry rather than here, so I can see how often it's downloaded. I'll be adding a page of notes to the blog very soon with all the extra instructions you'll need, so keep an eye on the tabs at the top of the page.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! T  xXx

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

I won a prize!

You'll never guess what?  My tea cosie full of flowers and biscuits was picked as a runner-up! That's SOOOOOOOO exciting!!!!
I never actually expected to win anything, so I'm very happy with runner-up.
The prize will consist of "yarn goodies" I'm told and I'm a firm believer in never having too much yarn! Which is lucky because I bought this yesterday -

17 shades of Stylecraft Special DK, as chosen by Lucy of Attic24. It's her original colour pack which she's currently revisiting with her Colour Harmony Blanket. (Apologies for the lack of links today.)

I'm going to use it to make my Tooty Stripey Blanket again but in a large size. I've never used some of these colours before and others are shades I wouldn't have chosen at all but I will trust Lucy's colour sense - although I might go and look at her original project and see if she lists the order she used the colours - that could help prevent some frogging!

I've nearly finished the p*a*t*t*e*r*n for my blanket - just the border to write up.
(Please excuse all the ***. I've noticed every time I use the P word I suddenly get hundreds of views from Russia. Can't imagine why. ..)

Before I start this new blanket though, I need to finish my waistcoat.
It very nearly got frogged at the weekend. It had become clear that my 2 skeins of hand dyed yarn were not exactly the same.

 Can you see the colour change just over half way down? I agonised over whether to unpick the lot and start again, and alternate which skein I used every 2 rows but I knew there was a risk it would never be finished if I did. Luckily the first skein just finished the top part of the bodice and I started the second skein for the lace panel. Had the first skein run out sooner it would have been more obvious but as it is I think I'll get away with it.
That's the beauty - and the risk - of using hand dyed yarn I suppose. You can't expect multiple skeins to be identical.

So I've worked the edgings and neckline - even unpicking the tension square to use it for the armholes, as you can see above.

It's now washed and undergoing blocking. And how much dye came out during washing?  None. Absolutely none. That's better than commercial yarn!

I'm really looking forward to wearing it too - just as soon as the weather cools down! It was 30 degrees in the shade on the patio again this morning!

My next project will be knitting for a change as I'm going to make a shawl from the beautiful hand dyed yarn I bought from Barbara of Ring a Rosie in Whitley Bay. And I now know that it might be wise to use both skeins at once!

More of that next time though! Enjoy the unexpected return of the summer heat!  T xx

Thursday, 29 June 2017

So I read this tutorial ...

I read a tutorial recently on folksy about how to take better photographs of your products by using backdrops, props, camera angles and the manual settings on your camera. Better photos equals more sales. Hopefully!
I read it carefully, I thought about it, I wondered how can I do that at home? I had a little search online and thought some more. The next day I popped into the craft shop and bought some textured paper in ivory - although the colour was actually a bit pale it was a starting point.
I was in the process of making a baby cardigan as a sample for the shop, so I took some pictures and look what it came out like -

Tina's Allsorts, baby cardigan

Tina's Allsorts, baby cardigan

Tina's Allsorts, baby cardigan

Tina's Allsorts, baby cardigan

And this is what it looked like before the picture was cropped -

Tina's Allsorts, baby cardigan

Look okay?? Ideally it needs to be done by a north facing window to get the right lighting - we don't have that home as we face east  west but I tried to make the most of what we had. It still needs a bit of work and took a few minutes to set up but it was great fun to do and I love the results! I just need to take new photos of everything I have for sale on folksy...

That's all for today. I haven't done much crochet this week as I've been trying to write the chart for my Tooty Stripey Blanket again - it's coming along but it's still got a long way to go I'm afraid. I take my hat off to the people who write crochet instructions - both written instructions and charts - it really is not as easy as it looks!!

Til next time,  T xxx