Friday, 31 January 2014

Back to Back bags!

Who would have thought that there would be three bags full of posts in January?!
I really am a bag lady this month!

There are several January birthdays on our calendar, this year they shared space with three dates of riveting evening television viewing. The whole family was mesmerised by the awesome plot twists and character expansions of Sherlock, John, their friends, colleagues and mysterious adversaries.
With the twosome of 221b in mind two of the projects hooked this month had to involve Sherlock stitch:
A second cowl with a mobius twist (46g) in Artesano aran was made to snuggle one friend.
The yarn is so soft, and there's a tiny ball left for appearances in smaller projects.

For another, inspired by Linda's string totes I hooked in a circle and then started a 2 chain, 2yoh, 1dtr, b-tween stitches pattern..I know its tenuous but there's still a 221b thread running through!

The top was htr-ed, as were the handles!

For Christmas the super thoughtful Mr RW, who obviously hears my moans about lack of winter light, gave me a gadget to supplement light for photos:

The following were taken late at night with light from the device and the usual lamp.

I am still experimenting, but as a first shot the illumination is better, and the frustration is diffused!

The yarn used for the bag was mentioned here

As we have reached the end of a very damp (and for some in other countries super cold) January stash totals are:

Granny bag:  99g
Granny pocket hearts: 199g
Artesano cowl:   46g
Sherlock string sack:   70g
A whoppingly satisfying  414g

(I have however bought three 50g balls of wooliness in the sale  - one, possibly two are cowl friendly and the other will be fab for lots of textured projects!)

On the subject of television, I just have to mention how hooked we are on the thrilling  'The Bridge'. Two hours a week where everything must stop and full concentration be given to the fabulous character dynamics, twisty plot, and melodic Scandinavian languages. Looking forward to the conclusion this weekend, however it will be a wrench to have to vacate our relaxing and emotional scandi slot on the sofa.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Granny Pocket Hearts

Last week 20 granny pocket hearts began their journey to heartsease HQ..
..these are my favourites....using one colourful and one textured strand of yarn!

 Some of the smallest, hooked on a 4mm hook..

 perfect pocket size!

 199g of colourful wooliness busted!

The largest heart has a handle as I thought it may be difficult to stuff into a pocket, although it is really soft it is a little bulky!

 20 hearts accompanied by many more warm, positive thoughts for the children supported by 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Bag again...!

....with a finished project that has been a while in the making!
The amazing vibrantly colourful wool was mentioned as far back as here and here

 It all started with a granny square....

transformed into a bag

with a red half trebled inner, some back loop ridges, and one row of Sherlock stitch at the top

...a handle of simple chains sewn onto the inside..

and a totally stash busting back using lots of fairly short ends in combinations of ones and twos
...with a continuity thread of red

 It was during the composition of the colourful back that Mr RW suggested I might like to keep the bag for myself!...with no hesitation I jumped at the chance...and put it to one side to finish the Christmas makes...
so with Spring in the air the ends have been sewn in and handle attached.
99g of yarn well and truly busted,
 and I love it!!

We are off to the supermarket together today....hopefully the first of many outings!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Bags of Fun!

 ...and beautiful buttons!

Way back in the blazing heat of the long hot summer Linda created a stash of super string tote bags and generously posted the pattern and a photo tutorial on her blog . Lots of fellow stash busters hooked bags and inspired by everyone I purchased some Wendy Supreme 4ply on holiday.

I gave my first string tote to my mum for Christmas..

As I had bought three colours and plenty of cotton I started work designing a bag for my sister in law for Christmas. I liked the shape of Giddy Stuff's purse, and wanted something roomy.
Television listings magazines are great for templates as they have columns of text for ready made boundaries!

The base of the bag is a rectangle measuring 24cm by 10cm,

all stitches are half trebles with two strands of cotton, and from the base it is crocheted in the round to around a height of 17cm.
Having finished the base I estimated I would need some more cotton to be sure of completing the intended size. A third contrasting colour was chosen and hooking continued. 

With some decreasing by eye on the short edges a dimple (that can be concave or convex!) added extra dimension.
A narrower hook was used for the top rim and flap to keep the stitches tighter.

The buttons were the perfect size, and colour, they feel wonderfully smooth and luxurious
 and were in the sale!
With one buttonhole in the centre of the flap, the two other buttons are sewn onto the top for weight and balance.

The handle was sewn sturdily to the back.

The whole bag weighs in at 209g 
and was well received over the festive season.

Whilst on the subject of bags of fun....I am really enjoying exchanging interesting 'wordy' tweets with Jacqui from Living with Ethel
Its amazing what fun you can have on the internet!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Colourful Numbers!

Having recently updated my calendar I realise I will be sending quite a few of these cards this year and next!

The numbers are from Tamara's blog and so easy to follow and hook.

An 80 escaped being photographed in December!

The FAB wool was a Christmas present, I love the variegated colours and it is so versatile .

Whilst on the subject
This is my

Upside down 5!

th post!

To celebrate I am hoping to create granny pocket hearts totalling one tenth of the total number of posts, figuring 20 is more manageable than 200!
They will be sent to heartsease HQ where Ruth and Belinda will send them onto Kids Company.
The closing date is February 14th so there's still time if you would like to have a go - there are patterns here and here.

Happy Birthday to all our friends who celebrate a new decade soon!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

A New Year!

Happy New Year! 
After a busy and fun Christmas, things are beginning to settle down a little here.
I'm looking forward to picking up my hooks, yarns, fibres and spindle again after the short break.

One of the highlights of 2013 was the Stashbuster challenge, 
an opportunity to creatively use the existing wool and yarn in my stock,
 meet lots of like-minded people around the world
 and share inspiration.

My total busted for the year was
Over 2 Kgs!

A huge thank you to Linda and Ana for hosting, encouraging and supporting everyone in our endeavours!
It taught me lots! 
I experimented with new designs, textures and sizes. 
I hooked 'on the edge' sometimes not knowing if I'd have enough to finish a project...I learned how to adapt!
It confirmed that I like to hang onto some of my favourite colours and textures, particularly if they are one offs or hard to come by not all of a ball gets used!

Fully intending to continue using my existing woolly gems, I was really pleased to hear that Linda is this year hosting Stashbusting for Stashaholics -
so I will be able to keep on sharing in the link parties,
counting my gs,
finish the already started stashbusting projects,
 begin to unravel the ideas in my head
and have fun working out what to do with yummy colourful yarns packed in boxes and bags!
Even more exciting, Jacqui one of my bloggy friends is joining in too!

There's another exciting project idea germinating - and for Christmas I received a piece of kit that may develop my photo taking skills!

Hope you all have a happy, inspired and creative 2014 - looking forward to sharing the journey with you!