Disneyland Paris

Friday, 13 July 2012

This poor neglected little blog

Paid work is glorious for its bill-paying rewards and as a freelancer I am eternally grateful for all the work that comes my way.

But it really gets in the way of blogging, tweeting and most importantly my adventures in crochet!

It had been so long since I'd picked up a hook, I actually experienced a certain level of performance anxiety as I started my latest project this week; which was particularly worrying as this project, along with another which is equally challenging, need to be finished by the end of this month, or my good witch step-mum position could well be toast!

The good news is, I'm cracking on with project 1, although I'm unravelling all of yesterday's experimental stitch work as it's not doing it for me. But that's a job for the weekend as today is a paid work day and I'm just squeezing this blog post in because my lack of attention here has been bothering me.

I've got some great new additions for my Patterns & Stitches page which I will sort through over the weekend and a couple of articles which I will start working on too. Hopefully, I will get the first birthday project complete, so I can share that too.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

And last place goes to ....

Team 118

Oops, sorry Nix!!

Nicola and friends/colleagues did a grand job yesterday competing for charity in Birmingham's Dragon Boat race. The team dressed up as the lads from 118 for the occasion.

Just in case you can't spot Nicola in the line-up photo, here's an action shot of her in close-up!
woman dressed as 118 118 character with wig and moustache
Barclays team dressed as 118 118 characters for Birmingham dragon boat race

Friday, 15 June 2012

What an unusual request ...

... finally completed, it's the kitchen apron in the style of the old East German flag or, more correctly, the flag of the former Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) / German Democratic Republic (GDR), which was in existence from 1959 to 1990.

The National Emblem of the flag features a hammer and compass surrounded by a ring of rye. I've made it into a pocket for cooking stuff .. not entirely sure what .. utensils or herbs maybe ... anyway, it's a pocket!

crochet flag of the former Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)or German Democratic Republic (GDR)

I've not written a pattern for it yet, but I will do if anyone's interested. Leave me a comment and I'll get on it.

Check out Mr Whippy's Flake Plate

Mr Whippy Ice-Cream van with F7AKE (FLAKE) number plate


Spotted on Stamford Meadows - never noticed Gino's clever number plate before - bet that's worth a few £££

It certainly beats my disastrous Queen pictures

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Disastrous Queen Pics

Oh dear ...

we went all that way ...

got an excellent position by the barrier ...

only narrowly escaped being pick-pocketed ...

and then completely messed up the photo opportunity ...

I was being super careful ... checking I had pressed record on my iPhone, etc etc ... turns out I have 3 seconds footage of the point just before she arrived and 3 seconds footage of the back of the last car in her motorcade!!! what happened to the bit in the middle??? If you can be bothered, you can watch them here

video



video


... for no other reason than to share in my pain ...

To be fair, I did manage not to drop the baby, so there's plenty to be happy about really and it turns out the Stamford Mercury were filming just feet away from me. If you'd like to see what I should have shot, it's here http://bit.ly/NeXOkD

... and I finally noticed Gino's Flake plates ... I must walk around with my eyes closed!

Queen felt very safe with the sheriff in town

baby in sheriff badge t-shirt


the only decent picture of the day - click here for my Queen pics disaster 

Off to see the queen with baby and crochet

Today we are combining a spot of royal watching with knitting (or rather crocheting) in public!

Gutted to say that in my haste to get into town, I totally forgot to dress W in his Union Jack romper suit :(, so we will have to save that for the Olympics.

Stamford roads are cordoned off with barriers for folks to stand behind and wave as the Queen passes through town on her way to Burghley House for a picnic.

The weather has been kind so far and there are already hoards of school kids and pensioners securing their viewing positions! The Welland us being patrolled by river police, there are helicopters overhead, police everywhere and W is sleeping.

To be honest, I'm pleased I forgot ws Union Jack suit. Last night I dreamed there was a picture of me in the Daily Mail showing my knickers, so I'm keen to keep a low profile today.

So maybe I ought to forget about worldwide knitting in public weekand leave my crochet in my bag!

What a photographical disaster ...

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Went shopping for pyjamas, came back with England Football strip

The outcome of a first shopping trip for father and son. They forgot about the pyjamas and went for the full England strip instead!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

I'm off to embarrass my other half

Apparently, it's World Wide Knit in Public (WWKIP) day today. How on earth did that pass me by? As I haven't got time to organise a local event, I think I will instead pick up my crochet and head to the pub at 4pm, where my other half will be watching European Cup football with a load of blokey blokes - hope he doesn't choke on his pint!!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Wavy Baby Blanket - Free Pattern


Wavy Baby Car Seat Blanket Pattern

A free pattern by Fiona Sloss, Crafting a Lifetime

free baby blanket pattern

Background Story

While I was pregnant, I picked up a crochet hook for the first time since I was 6 years old and made my own baby a brightly coloured double crochet stripy blanket to keep him warm through the winter months ahead. Not only has it kept him warm, but the bright colours have entertained him on long car journeys and whenever he needed a little distraction.

When a friend recently had a baby, I decided to make her little boy a brightly coloured blanket too, but once it was finished, I wasn’t overly happy with it. I hadn’t so much as designed it, as stumbled through it, while I taught myself new crochet stitches and played with different yarns and colours.

Thanks to some great feedback from fellow crocheters and knitters, I made some changes to the draft version and have finally finished it. I promised to have a go at writing the pattern and here it is. I’ve never written a pattern before and so can only hope that what you get when you follow the instructions below works out as you would like.

This is a free pattern. I would welcome, but not expect, a token charitable donation via my dad’s Just Giving page. In 2010, while competing in the London Triathlon and raising money for charity, he got into trouble during the swim, despite being an exceptional swimmer, and died 2 days later. My brother suggested that I do a run if I wanted to raise some money for charity, but I think my running days are over (if they were ever here!) and that one should stick to one’s knitting, so to speak. So, if you are using this pattern, and feel so inclined, then do please make a small, anonymous (if you prefer) donation at http://www.justgiving.com/ian-sloss

I would welcome any feedback on this pattern, especially corrections, and will gladly provide any assistance I can while you are making it. You can reach me via my blog or the forum. If you would like a word copy of this document, please ask and I will gladly email you a copy.



The Pattern

Use a 3.5mm or 4mm hook, depending on how loosely you crochet and a selection of soft, but hard-wearing DK yarns to make this blanket to keep baby warm in his or her car seat. The approximate size is 53 cm by 65 cm. The pattern is written in UK terminology; US makers should read dc as sc and tr as dc.

Chain 111 in your main colour – I used white King Cole Cottonsoft DK

Top detail stitch sampler

Row 1 (Right side):  Dc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across: 110 stitches, turn
Row 2 (Wrong side): Ch 3 (counts as 1 tr); work 1 tr in each st to end: 110 stitches, turn
Row 3: Ch 1; work 1 dc into each st to end: 110 stitches, turn
Row 4: Ch 4 (equals 3 ch for turning chain and 1 as part of the first treble cluster pattern); *make one 3-trcl across the next 3 stitches, ch 2, repeat from * until last 5 stitches, make one 3-trcl, chain 1, 1 tr (that should give you 36 cluster stitches across): 110 stitches, turn
Row 5: Ch 3; work 1 tr into 1-ch sp, *work 1 tr into top of cluster stitch from previous row, work 2 tr into 2-ch sp, repeat from * until last cluster stitch from previous row, work 1 tr into top of last cluster stitch from previous row, work 1 tr into last chain space: 110 stitches, turn
Row 6 & 7: Ch 3;  *skip next st, 1 tr in next 3 st, yo, with hook in front of work, go back and insert hook from front to back into skipped st before the 3-tr group; loosely draw through a lp and bring it up to the height of the 3-tr group; yo and complete tr (Cable stitch ); rep from * to last stitch, 1 tr in last st.: 110 stitches (27 Cable stitches worked over 4 stitches), turn
Row 8: Ch 3 (counts as 1 tr); work 1 tr in each st to end: 110 stitches, turn
Row 9: Ch 4 (equals 3 ch for turning chain and 1 as part of the first treble cluster pattern), skip 1 st, then *make one 3-trcl into next st, ch 2, skip 2 st, repeat from * to last 3 st, make one 3-trcl into next stitch, ch 1, 1 tr: 110 stitches (36 cluster stitches), turn
Row 10:  Ch 3 (counts as 1 treble), work 1 tr in each of next 14 st, work 2 tr in next st (to increase 1 st), * work 1 tr in next 27 st, work 2 tr in next st (to increase 1 st), repeat from * twice, work 1 tr in next 14 st: 114 stitches, turn

Wave pattern

Row 11 (using your main colour – white in my case): Ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), *work 3 tr in next st, work 1 tr into each of next 3 st, work 3 tr tog twice, work 1 tr into each of next 3 st, work 3 tr into next st, repeat from * to last st, 1 tr: 114 stitches (8 complete waves), turn
Row 12 (using one of your secondary colours): work as Row 11, turn
Rows 13 -53: work as Rows 11 and 12, alternating between your main colour and your secondary colours

Bottom detail

Row 54: Ch 1, 1 dc, *1 dc in next 2 st, 1 htr in next 3 st, 1 tr in next 4 st, 1 htr in next 3st, 1 dc in next 2 st, repeat from * until last st, 1 dc: 114 stitches, turn
Row 55: Ch 3 (equals 3 ch for turning chain), skip 1 st, then *make one 3-trcl into next st, ch 2, skip 2 st, repeat from * to last 3 st, make one 3-trcl into next stitch,  1 ch, 1 tr in last st: 113 stitches (37 cluster stitches), turn

Border

Turn your work as per Row 55 instruction and begin working the border as if it was Row 56 as follows:
  • Ch 1; work 1 dc into 1-ch sp, *work 1 dc into top of cluster stitch from previous row, work 2 dc into 2-ch sp, repeat from * until last cluster stitch from previous row, work 1 dc into top of last cluster stitch from previous row, work 3 dc into last chain space to form the first corner
  • Continue down the length of the blanket by placing 1 dc st at regular intervals (roughly 2 stitches where there is a tr and 1 st where there is a dc – I ended up with 108 st) until you reach the bottom, work 3 dc in the last stitch to form the second corner. (It is slightly fiddly to do, but I worked over the loose thread ends on this round to save me sewing them all in individually. I don’t know if that is the correct way to do it, but it seems to have worked!)
  • Work 1 dc into each of your original chains all the way across until the last st, work 3 dc in the last st to form the third corner
  • Continue up the length of the blanket by placing 1 dc st at regular intervals (roughly 2 stitches where there is a tr and 1 st where there is a dc) until you reach the top, work 3 dc in the last stitch to form the final corner, sl st in the first dc you made for the border, turn
  • Ch 1; work 1 dc into each st all the way round, remembering to place 3 dc into each of the 4 corner stitches to create the corners, sl st in the first dc of that row, turn
  • Ch 2; work 1 extended dc into each st all the way round, remembering to place 3 extended dc into each of the 4 corners, sl st in the first extended dc of that row, turn 
  • Ch 1; work 1 dc into each st all the way round, remembering the corners as before, sl st in the first dc of that row, fasten off


To Finish

Sew in any remaining loose ends
I washed mine and shaped it on a towel as it was drying to get a good final shape


There is also a beginner's blanket pattern here.