Sunday, 26 January 2014

Remembrance and learnings...

Thank you for all your kind words last week.
It has been quite a heavily emotional week. We have had a positive step forward with the finances, and the house clearing did finally come to an end, although that was a heavy emotional pull for hubby to say goodbye to the family home. Final plans came together and Friday was the day of the funeral, and thankfully the rain held off. The day went smoothly and it was a good turn-out. We certainly felt very drained after such a long day, with the journey, the poignant service, and socialising with family at the wake.

We had booked the weekend off, and this was set aside purely to shut ourselves away from the world, to rest and spend some much needed time together.

There was no decision to be made for the colour of my mood square this week, it had to be purple. This was Tisha's favourite colour and the main shade at the funeral.

A bit of sparkle mixed with the plain. This shows the mix of mood and personality.

This is how the first four weeks of my mood blanket are looking. Just hoping now that the colours can start to get a little lighter and brighter as the weeks progress.

My mini crochet squares are still travelling round with me, and the pile is growing...

Back at home the joining process has started. I was unsure what I was doing, and it's been a bit trial and error. I tried to combine the edging and joining together but i didn't like the ridge showing on the front and i felt the crossover joins were a bit hit and miss and were turning out too lumpy.

So I unravelled, and this time i'm doing all the horizontal edging first, before joining.

I''m still learning as I go, but hopefully I can manage okay when I come to do the verticals. Only time will tell.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

January blues & a crochet mood blanket

I haven't managed to be around blogland for quite a while as its been quite a traumatic month. Working in retail in December is usually pretty hectic anyway, but on top of that my mother-in-law was taken to hospital, and this time she didn't make it, and we lost her in the early hours of Christmas eve. Christmas passed in a blur and then husband travelled to her home to start the mammoth task of sorting her belongings and it took over 2 weeks of being away from the comfort of home. It has been a massive task, and through anger, frustration, tears, exhaustion and seemingly being up against the odds we are getting there.  We did stop for a brief glass of wine at new year but January so far has been a bit bleak, but hopefully we will break through it soon.

I have managed a little crochet this month, to help me relax.
Firstly, on instagram the lovely @frofunky arranged at the start of the year a crochet-a-long mood blanket project. I think it has taken off to be much bigger than she ever expected. Now I have never made a blanket before, purely because as its such a large project I couldn't see how I would fit it in to my busy schedule, and I have a tendancy to get bored very quickly, so I couldn't see me making endless repeats. I have seen other projects before which have tempted me, but I knew that i'd never manage it. This project was different as it offered two options, either to crochet a square a day for the year or a square a week. Now a square a week, that made me take notice, surely even I could manage that, and get to have a completed blanket at the end of it. Also what makes this one different is there's no planning, no deciding on a colour pallet, just choose a colour or pattern to define your mood.
For my first square I chose blue, and a basic granny square pattern.

It had been a hard week and was not really in a happy state. I had in the back of my mind, yes I guess I did actually try to plan this, I would stick to the same pattern, choose a different colour each week and join with white. But after looking at all the lovely pictures of peoples mood squares daily, it hit me that as someone who loves colour and texture, did I really want to have such a basic blanket.
My second square was an experiment.

I had wanted to try popcorn stitch for awhile, so after watching some youtube videos I gave it a try, and I carried on working a square around it.

I'm very pleased with how this turned out. So the next technique that I need to learn is joining the squares as I go. I gave it a go, but I had the ridge showing on the front, which i'm not too sure that i like.

As its my first blanket I want to have an end product that i'm happy with. So its back to the drawing board and some more research, and I think I will unpick it and try another way.
I'm very excited to do this project in many aspects. Firstly its going to be a learning curve, trying different techniques, plus its a test of endurance to keep a project going for so long. Also as i'm inheriting my mother-in-laws yarn stash,

this enables me to start using some of the quantities up, but what is so lovely is not only will this be a mood blanket but this will also be a memory blanket....

Another project i'm also doing is made up of mini granny squares.

A nice small, quick and compact project that i've been able to do on the train or at lunchtimes at work.

I found some balls of multi-coloured yarn that I couldn't wait to use to see how they worked up.

These little squares have been flying off my hook, and i'm trying to be good and get the ends sewn in as I go,
plus once I find a technique i'm happy with I will get on with joining them together. This I will be turning into a cushion.
Next week I will update on my my mini cushion squares and show my next mood colour square...