Busy Busy

Wow, what a chaotic week its been!
It’s end of term here in Northumberland, so there’s been end of term events and assemblies to go to. There’s also been Prom. This is a new rite of passage since my school days. My youngest daughter, who’s 13, is finishing middle school and moving up to the High school in September. There’s been tours round, 3 different ‘meet the teachers’ events and countless letters of introduction sent home. All this to prepare my child for attending the new educational establishment. I don’t remember this much interest in me when I was starting High school, maybe they weren’t so keen on me!

To be fair, I attended school in Glasgow, which had a lot more pupils than our semi rural schools here.

Earlier in the year I agreed to made the Prom dress. I honestly thought she’d forgotten, but alas, no. It’s not that I can’t do dressmaking, it’s just that its one of those things I could REALLY get into, and I don’t have time, space or finances for yet another hobby.

However, when we sat down to talk about THE DRESS (as it became known) my clever child pointed out several facts;

  1. the dress she wanted came from the Great British Sewing Bee book, and didn’t seem too difficult.
  2. When we looked online, all the materials would cost about half of what her elder sisters dress cost, last year. (NO, she wouldn’t wear her sisters dress, I tried that one!)
  3. By making it I was saving a lot of money as any dress shopping trip would mean buying other things while we were there.

She’s a clever one, my youngest.

So, the sewing machine was brought out, the fabric was ordered, and the dress was made. It took pretty much three full days. Typical me, as soon as it was finished I could see a million ways I could make it better, but my girl thought it was perfect, and that’s all I wanted to hear.


This is the finished dress, our ‘interpretation’ of the Prom Dress, with lace tee. The original pattern called for neoprene, but when she realised that was used for wet suits, satin was requested.  Its a long, long time since I followed a pattern and although I was rusty, all my old Home Economics skills came back to me, eventually.

For the record, she does actually have a head, she’s just a bit shy!

I’ll definitely be doing more sewing.

Making do and blocking blues

As I previously mentioned, I making a pixel blanket which needs 1040 squares. This doesn’t count the 9 (at least) rows of dc round the entire thing when stitched together!

So I’ve had quite a few squares to block recently.

I’ve never really had to block stuff before. Toys rarely need it and when it comes to clothing I’ve mostly made boleros and shrugs for specific occasions. For those, its been a case of ‘off the hook and straight to wear’, I do end up leaving things to the last minute, lol.
I decided to make do with what I had lying around for this, after all I had play foam floor squares and garden kneelers already in the cupboard, what could go wrong?



Well, the squares aren’t as thick as I thought and I’m quite an enthusiastic pinner, so now my kitchen table has scratches on it. Only wee ones but I know they’re there. Also, the numbers in the middle keep falling out. I’ve been using a 4cm cardboard square to get the size right. A marked mat would be so much easier *sigh*
The kneelers work just fine doubled up with 3mm dpns stuck in to hold blocked squares. They hold about 15 – 18 before they go a bit wonky.


Squares are getting blocked a dozen at a time, which isn’t many but is essential, as it turns out I didn’t weave in the ends of the first couple of hundred :-\  This is one crocheter who is definitely going to be shopping for a blocking mat in the near future.

This blanket making is sure getting interesting.



Feel the Fear

Yesterday I published my first pattern, for free, on Ravelry. It was absolutely terrifying. In a house with no one else in it, I was bombarded with voices, all negative, all my own. Why do we do that to ourselves? Publishing patterns is one of the things on my TO DO BEFORE 40 list and I’m in final 12 month sprint. I see sharing my patterns as an extension of writing this blog, which isn’t coming naturally to me (yet) but is something I really want to do. I’m an introvert at heart and don’t like drawing attention to myself, good or bad. But stronger than any of the ‘OMG, what am I doing?’ voices is my conviction that all skills should be shared. what’s the point in knowing how to do something, if you don’t pass it on?

Can you imagine making something, knowing that you are the last person to do it?

So, I published my pattern, the Richard of York Ripple blanket. I published it because someone just might need it written out in front of them. They might need it as a PDF, they may not come across this blog, so I published (even though I suspect most crocheters could work it out for themselves). If it makes things easier for one person, it’s worth it.

Was still bl**dy scary though 😉

PS, the pattern’s here

Lalylala to the rescue!

Buying gifts for my mum has become a bit of a nightmare. In recent years she’s been going through a minimalist phase and while previously we added to her elephant collection (she’d been collecting since I was young), what do you buy for the mum that doesn’t need anything.

Cue Lalylala. While I’ve made several of these for friends I hadn’t made one for mum. She liked them all; the fox, the toadstool and especially the lamb. So I made her the wee lamb, with 4 ply rather than DK and a 2.5mm hook. It’s some of the smallest work I’ve ever done as I don’t really do small or delicate. To top it all off I disguised it, so mum wouldn’t realise what it was. It worked a treat and went down very well.

That’s what is so good about crocheting toys as gifts, they’re always a surprise!