Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Adjusting...and sharing the yarn love

The flowers in my garden are confused...

A second flush of lavender, chives, borage, even wild strawberries!
It is September, but the sun has been shining bright, the air has been warm, and the garden doesn’t know whether it is coming or going!

The sky is Mediterranean blue behind a small cluster of jasmine blossoms.

The nasturtiums continue to burst open in hot colours.

Tree leaves are beginning to turn behind a late-blooming rose.

I am similarly muddled. But today I finally feel a nip in the air that hints of autumn. I reach for my shawl and my crochet hook.

‘Tis the season for super-chunky yarn

A blanket in the works.

‘Tis also the season to get a head-start on Christmas

Oh, this book! The possibilities! While I wait for my Anchor Aida Crochet Cotton No. 10 in a range of icy pastel shades, I made three of the snowflake designs from this new book with DK yarn. All using a 4mm hook, all with different, pleasing results. I have yet to weave in the ends and block these snowflakes, so they're a bit untidy, but you get the idea...

The Louisa Harding Etoile has beautiful tiny sequins to give that authentic snowflake sparkle. The grey Smooth DK has the slightest sheen, and the lilac Patons is a mercerised cotton, so it hooks like smooth string.

I’m going to experiment with blocking and stiffening - a comparison of fabric stiffening spray and a mix of PVA glue and water. Watch this space for results!

I am adjusting to a new phase of life, and while I am thoroughly enjoying all the busy-ness that has made up these past few weeks, I am still trying to find my feet. Trying to find time to be *still* and get a grip on what’s happening all around me. I know that time will come, but not yet. 

For the moment I wake up and look at the calendar on the wall and do exactly what it tells me: “Crochet Course 10-12”; “Embroidery Workshop 9.30-12.30”; “Lunch Date 1 p.m.” “Choir Practice 7.30-9.30”. If I didn’t have that thing on the wall I’d probably stand stupid in the middle of the kitchen each morning not knowing which way to turn!

But it’s all good. All good! I just don’t have as much time to blog as I used to, but I will find my groove. You can also find me on Instagram (check the link up there on the right) where I share simple photos of what I’m doing until I’m able to sit down and write about it all.

Here’s some yarn I shared recently on IG, nestled comfortably here in my favourite pink basket:

I was teaching my Beginner’s Crochet Course at Pins & Needles in Grayshott. It is dangerous business, teaching in lovely haberdasheries. I’m constantly spending my earnings on bits of fabric and yarn...well, it just so happened that stock was being cleared to make room for the new season, and those pretty pastel balls of Debbie Bliss Eco Baby were £1 each!

I left with 15. It would have been a crime to leave them!

The yarn is soooo soft and pretty, I was thinking they would make lovely washcloths to wrap up with a beautiful bar of handmade soap for Christmas gifts. However, upon hooking up three shades into a flower just for fun...

I have discovered that the colours coordinate perfectly with my living room! 

Now there’s a dilemma...I just happen to have purchased Annettes newest pattern, the Popcorn & Lace pillow...pretty granny square pillow or Christmas gifts? What would you do?

Chrissie x


  1. With 15 balls I'd say you have enough for a few cushions and a load of christmas gifts, so I say both! Love the snowflakes, I made some a couple of years ago and mod podged them to stiffen them. I've never been able to find crochet cotton in anything other than white or black though.

  2. I've got that snowflake book. I took it on holiday and made quite a few. I'm going to make Christmas cards with them - at least thats the plan!
    I think the popcorn and lace cushion would be fantastic in the Debbie Bliss yarn - but I did make myself a washcloth in it - and that was lovely too!! :) x

  3. With 15 balls you should have enough to make both. Love the snowflakes and the beautiful book.

  4. Over here in Belgium, today there was more than just a hint of autumn in the air... Cold, rain... Ideal crochet weather ! I also started a new project with super thick yarn, I love how fast it "grows" :-).
    Those snowflakes are so pretty !! I can already imagine a christmas tree, filled with only those snowflakes...
    And as for the 15 skeins - christmas gifts :-).... A lot of them. Will make a lot of people happy in december ;-) !

  5. My heart says pillow! but my head says gifts ! I have lots of gifts to make but can't bring myself to think about THAT time of year just yet .....

  6. Many gifts with these 15 skeins ! Your crochet works are lovely and really beautiful ! So have fun with your projects and for now have a nice day !

  7. I think you're a bit like me Chrissie, you get so busy its hard to know what to do next but then when you have nothing to do you wish you were busy !!
    Enjoy it all and carry on crafting !
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Kate xx

  8. Gosh £1 per ball & you only bought 15! The book looks good, I think I shall have to investigate further.

  9. What a fab bargain, your yarn basket looks gorgeous! I have the snowflake book, and yes endless possibilities!! It sounds like you're very busy, so have fun and take care of yourself too, Sam xxx

  10. £1 a ball? Bargain!!! Complete bargain.Everything screams pillow to me, maybe reserve one ball for a couple of washcloths as teacher gifts?

  11. Enjoy your garden !
    Lovely creations !
    Have a nice day !

  12. For me every seasons is for super-chunky yarn! Granny square pillow would be perfect in your living room!

  13. I have also started the snowflakes. I have used PVA and water and dissolved sugar in boiling water for mine. Works equally well I think. Glue is great if you want to add a bit of fairy dust sparkle. I have been looking at the snowflake book as well, but sofar I am using an old thing I bought years ago, but I feel one can never have too many snowflakes ideas. Have you by the way seen the blog called Snowcatcher? Amazing snowflake patterns all for free! Happy crocheting! Anna x

  14. Wow, you are organised making snowflakes already!! I love the yarn that you are using for your blanket and the yarn that you purchased really was a great buy wasn't it. Glad to hear that you are enjoying all your new work, even if you are rather busy! xx

  15. Yes you will find your grove, it takes a wile when school starts up, classes are taught and life takes over. I would have bought the whole bit of that Debbie Bliss yarn, it is gorgeous.

  16. Hi Chrissie, great to catch up with your crafting. I am always busy with craft but sometimes I bimble around between projects making mindless, useless things before I happen upon the next big thing.

  17. What a great yarny bargain, no wonder you couldn't resist, decisions decisions. The snow flakes are so pretty, have a great weekend
    Clare x

  18. Wow the yarn was such a bargain! Love the colours and it looks lovely in your basket. I hope you soon settle into your new groove. Have fun!
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

  19. That yarn was a steal. I know what you mean by feeling up in the air at the moment. The seasons are playing games a little. But the warmer drier weather is lovely. Bee xx

  20. The snowflakes will be so pretty hanging from the tree. I've used liquid starch to stiffen great! The yarn was such a great bargain! The washcloth & bar of soap gift idea sounds lovely.....I would definitely make some of those and I love the popcorn & lace pattern........ You'd better get busy ;) all of your work is so pretty, I really need to learn how to crochet.

  21. Superb post lots to read and how I love a good catch up you have enough yarn to make both wash cloths and one cushion or maybe two or ,or oh ok make those pretty cushions!!
    bestest d x

  22. Definitely the pillow. Handmade Christmas gifts are lovely but you can always buy them at a pinch however a soft matching pillow is a thing of beauty for all year round.

  23. Hi Chrissie, great to hear that your teaching has taken off in such a creative way. Well done. I've been neglecting my blogging as at a busy stage too. I too will find my 'feet' soon, I hope. Loving the colours of the Debbie bliss. You will be finding loads of bargains, just watch the size of your stash grow......
    A xx

  24. Hi Chrissie it's great to be catching up with all your posts. Good luck with all your workshops and classes! I'd make the snuggly granny pillow, just so you'd have that lovely yarn close by ;-)
    (p.s love the lampshades too) X

  25. I do sympathise, I often find it hard to fit in blogging - both writing mine and reading others. Life does get busy, and yours sounds very busy indeed! Those little snowflakes are adorable, they will look fantastic when they're blocked and stiffened. I made some washcloths from that Eco Baby yarn last year and I have to say it's seriously gorgeous stuff, enjoy using it. xx

  26. I neeeeeed that book! Looks great. The yarn looks wonderful oh the possibilities! X

  27. What gorgeous snowflakes Chrissie! Thank you for sharing the yarn you used and those icy pastel colours are just amazing! I think this book will definitely be on my Christmas list...Hope you are settling into the new routines and enjoying the Autumn surroundings,
    Alison xx

  28. That Debbie Bliss absolutely has to stay in your living room! If you've got more left over you could make a little lap blanket too :-)