Sunday, 22 September 2013

Crochet stars and squares...

It's been a busy week this week.
I had a trip up to Derby for my annual work conference.
This coincided with my 3rd wedding anniversary, so we just had time to dash to a local restaurant for a celebratory meal, once i arrived back.

I was also lucky to receive this lovely bracelet from Hubby. I had spotted it months ago, when we were holidaying in Cornwall, and he bought it without me knowing and snuck it away!

And at the end of the week unfortunately I had a family funeral to attend.

So I haven't really been in work much at all, which felt quite strange...
Any spare time my fingers have been working away...
Now my patterns are sorted, i've just needed to crack on with the making.

I've been making my my Star squares, in the cream, grey and red.

But alongside these I have also started the daisy squares. These are quite a simple and quick make, rather than the stars which take a lot more concentration.

These are a in a mix of pastel shades. Its been unusual working in both the neutrals and the pastels as I wouldn't personally choose either, I'm more of a rainbow brights kinda person!

The yarn I'm using is New Fashion acrylic from Woolcraft. Its a lovely soft yarn to work with, and doesn't split unlike some other acrylics, but is still affordable. I came across these from the lovely Angela on Instagram and her @Mycraftlife store.

The star squares I will be making into a lovely winter scarf

And the pastel squares I will be putting the daisies into the centre and making into a cushion

I have a week to get as much of these done as I can, as this time next week we will be on holiday, in Cyprus.
I'm counting down the days, I cannot wait. Our time to be together, to escape everything, and to relax in the sun... Heaven!...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Star Gazing....

So the star in a square came to a positive conclusion. With my husbands help ( as i'm rubbish when it comes to numbers!), we tried to work out stitch numbers to make each side equal.

With this done, I confidently worked on the next test piece, following the pattern.
And all was looking good, until I came to the last edge, and found I had a baggy corner!!

How can that be, when it was all worked out stitch by stitch. See this is why me and numbers don't get on, there is no logic!!

So I played a bit more, worked and re-worked, until I finally got there!!

I don't understand why the last side is worked completely differently, but if it works, I guess I don't need to understand! These squares will definitely need blocking to secure their shape.
I then decided to crochet on top of the edge of the star outline, this makes it more prominent, well it is all about the star!

Thank you to readers who have given me encouragement a long the way, it sure helps to keep you going when you're ready to chuck in the towel!
I am happy with the outcome, but boy did it take a lot of effort to get there!
Now I can go ahead with actual colourway.

I've made a start on the cream stars and will put them in their squares next week. Wish me luck, for it to continue smoothly till the end....

Also on the side, I did knock up another test square. This was to go with the daisy chain I made previously,

so I wanted a daisy on a square. To my relief this worked up nice and quickly.

Obviously I won't be going ahead with these horrible colours, I just grabbed the nearest scraps, but think I will use a pastal combination, even though this goes against my natural instincts, as I do love a bright array of rainbow colours.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Weston & star frustrations...

So this time last week, we were in Weston-Super-Mare. We have an annual trip here as this is where my Grandad lives. We would be happy to come more often, but with the cost of train travel it is not possible.
The journey itself is quite pleasant, and of course it is lovely to catch up with family.

We chatted, put the world to rights, had a wander around his garden, had tea and cake and watched the football.
In the evening we walked down the long, endless road, with a lovely sunset to view.

We arrived at our B+B, which we hadn't stayed at before, but was perfectly adequate for our needs.
We had a great choice for breakfast in the morning, in the lovely breakfast room, which set us up perfectly for the day ahead.

We started by going around the shopping area of Weston, which we haven't been around previously, before heading towards the beach.
We wanted to go to see the Sand Sculptures, as we normally do, as it is the most fantastic exhibition.
Every year they have a different theme, and this years was Hollywood....

These are huge, magnificent, sculptures which has a basic wooden frame, and the rest is just built up with sand.

As the weather has been good this summer, they were able to continue making and building, where as they usual have to make repairs from the elements they have endured.
We watched as a lady was making a small 'Mike Wazowski' from Monsters Inc, and it showed how slow and delicate the process was. Spraying the sand with water to make it more managable, and lightly scraping the sand away, tiny amounts at a time, to make the shape. Scrape too much away and you cant put it back on again!

My favourites had to be the 'Up' sculpture and of course Sid the Sloth...

For lunch, we went down the traditional route of 'Fish and Chips' by the beach

and then we finished off the day with fun on the pier

Although it was only a couple of days, it was lovely to escape and to have a change of scenery to refresh the batteries.

Craftwise, it has been a very frustrating week. I'm still persisting with my star in a square, but not making much headway. 

I worked two stars together, and worked around them.

I went back to the original star/square, and used the colours from my new stash that I intend to use. Firstly, I felt the star look too snowflake-like in the cream, and secondly I could still not get past the fact that I think it's too open.

I tried again and forgot I was doing a square, and went into a pentagon.

But today finally I think I'm getting there, as this time I worked into every stitch around the star edge.

I did wing it, and go by eye, so it isn't perfect, the square is a little wobbly and uneven, but at least I have something to work from now, and just need to count and plan ( something i'm not used to ) to get the sides equal

Hopefully this will be the last version as its been a long and frustrating two weeks of doing and redoing, i'm looking forward to be able to just crack on with making...
Any feedback regarding the cream, dark red and grey for the autumnal colours would be grateful.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

star in square dilemmas

A short but sweet post this week as we are currently travelling to weston-super-mare for a couple of days away, and to visit my grandad. Ive not got a lot to show for my craft efforts this week as its all been a bit of trial and error! ! I wanted to try to get my crochet star within a square so I could use the star motif within a scarf and cushion cover. 
To be honest I really didn't know where to start,  as I'm still relatively new to crochet. I did flick through my blocks book and scrolled through youtube, and just decided to make it simple and chain between the points of the star, and build up the square sides from there. 

I was reasonably happy with the result, but felt it was a little too gappy for the end products, so I went back to the drawing board. 

I wanted to find a way of not just joining the points to the edge but the whole outline. This turned out to be a slow process with plenty of frogging, and a major headache. 5 points really don't go into 4 sides too easily!

After all my efforts I did finally get there but I didn't like it at all! I felt this was still gappy and even flimsier the original square. On the plus side it made me happier with my first attempt!  Now I need to decide whether I go ahead with this square or attempt another option? ?!
I have become a bit of an instagram addict, having drifted away from Twitter, as I have such limited time away from work and flicking through people's images is much more stimulating for me rather than trawling through words.  This week I saw a post of a lady selling bundles of acrylic yarn with so many beautiful colours,  could I resist, well No obviously not! !

I needed to choose 12 colours,  and the lovely Anita took a photo of my choice so I could change my mind if I felt I wanted to alter any. Then 2days later my lovely bundle of colourful softness arrived. As I've been planning my new projects I needed new yarn to be able to complete these,  obviously,  not that I really need an excuse to buy new yarn!! Now I can't wait to dive in and get started with it!