Crocheting casualties

I think one of the hardest things you face when crocheting is what will I make next?! This has definitely been the case for me over the last couple of weeks. I have managed to acquire quite a bit of wool since learning to crochet and not wanting to over populate our apartment with doilies and granny squares I have been stuck in a bubble of indecisiveness of a) what to make and b) what to do with it.

I have looked into organising a market stall to sell cute broaches, coasters etc. I made this watermelon brooch a while back when attempting to crochet a coaster though I mixed up the English/American terms and downsized the hook size. I thought I was cute but when I tried to recreate it I couldn’t work out what I had actually done – so a bit of wool was wasted and a lot of patience was lost.

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Last weekend on the train down to London I started work on a multicoloured hexagon which I turned into a ring holder, for all my cocktail ring (pattern from Simply Crochet).

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20130616-162129.jpg I think I like it better as a flat hexagon.

Whilst deciding what to do next I made a quick and easy basket (above) which uses a half treble all the way through. I am using this to hold segments of wool I have now twice crocheted into tea cosys and twice unpicked – either the pattern was too big or small for the tea pot I have in mind. I will not be defeated and need to find the right pattern to get do right to get my confidence back. Thankfully I have just discovered Pinterest I can use to find inspiration, so watch this space!

Baby Bunting

Over the past couple of weeks I have been busy crocheting triangles to make bunting as a gift for my pregnant friends nursery.

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I got the idea as I wanted to try the dc2tog stitch and saw the pattern in my Simply Crochet magazine. Again I used 100% DK cotton however to get the colour scheme right I tried new brands and even bamboo (yellow triangles) and am hopefully getting a grip on yarn types and different hooks required.

I made a few that came up short and are now sitting at the bottom of my sin bin. Whilst i am really happy with the finished project I definitely don’t want to see another triangle for a while!!

Oh and I think she’s having a girl!!

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Bank Holiday

To make the most of the recent Bank Holiday weekend Tom and I drove south to Stonehenge via Cardiff and Bath.

I am not a seasoned traveller or very organised. In the past I have forgotten to check my destinations weather forecast, I always over pack and even left maps at home I’d bought specially for the trip. This time with the help of my trusty phone apps I was sure everything was covered and we set off on the first leg of our journey, Cardiff – 4.5 hours away.

…7 hours later and we were still fighting traffic down the M1 motorway. I hadn’t taken into account peak hour traffic and not realised it would add an extra 3.5 hours to our trip. Ah well – thankfully we had a great hotel booked and it didn’t take long for us to relax once we got to Cardiff.

We spent Saturday morning walking around Bath and visited the Roman leisure centre and pools.

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That afternoon we joined the throngs of people walking around Stonehenge.
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At both attractions we used audio guides. I think these are a great way to do a guided tour as you don’t have to struggle to hear what is being said and you don’t miss anything. Even though images of the baths and stones are available online it was great to see the man made structures up close. We know the Roman’s devotion to the god Athena and the belief in her healing powers attracted the people to the baths however we still don’t know why and how the stones were erected. When you see the size of them it really blows your mind.

We spent that evening walking around the streets of Oxford. The majority of buildings in the town are part of the university campus – the oldest english speaking university in the world. It was a pretty cool little town and I was definitely envious of the students living it up.

Sunday was spent driving back home via Nottingham and the Sherwood Forest. Being a huge Robin Hood fan as a kid I was underwhelmed by the gaudy gift shop and information centre.

Helmsley Castle

On Friday afternoon Tom and I drove south into the North Yorkshire Moors to a lovely little town called Helmsley to visit the castle and walk to Rievaulx Abbey. This outing was recommended to me by some keen walkers in my knitting group.

We walked around and through the ruins of the medieval castle

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It was such a nice afternoon.

We then set off for the Abbey, a 3 mile or ’45 minute walk’ away. We had seen walking tracks cut through farmland before our trip, so being able to do it ourselves was quite exciting – when I got home that night I had taken way too many pictures of plants, fences, sheep and horses.

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After 2 miles and over an hour later I wasn’t in a good place. We were still a mile away and with thoughts of getting to the abbey at closing time we turned around and headed back. In the UK there are a lot of keen walkers (they are called ramblers) who take trips and walk around attractions like Hadrian’s Wall, Yorkshire Moors, Lake District etc in groups. This short walk reminded me I was built for comfort and not speed and unlike earlier thoughts I would not make a good rambler.

Roller coaster

During the week I completed these crocheted coasters for a friends birthday and sent them on their merry way to Australia.

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Being a newbie I don’t know much about wool/yarn so I’m sticking to good old cotton. It’s easy, realiable and sold at the local Boyes – a bit like Red Dot back home but on a much bigger scale. I got the idea from my monthly crochet magazine Simply Crochet and thought they would be fun – until I saw the size of the hook needed to make them. I have to admit I swore at the coasters a few times, threw them across the room and then sweet talked them back into getting along with me.

Another issue was getting the colours rights as Boyes has a limited range and I was yet to explore the wonderful world of internet yarn shopping. Don’t worry friends I am not a complete wool nerd or loon – I am not getting around in works such as this:

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(Maybe one day)

But I am happy with my first attempt at circles and I hope my friend Hollie likes her coasters.

Welcome!!

Trying to create this blog has proven to me I am not up to date with the 21st century and all the cool kids – blogs? categories? pages? What??

Thankfully Tom has helped me out so I can fill you all in on adventures thus far:

We have travelled abroad to Scotland and Venice as well as driving around the UK, notably to Whitby, York and the Lake District.BLOG COLAGE

We went to Edinburgh for the Easter weekend and absolutely loved it. Even though the city was undergoing pretty extensive earthworks we loved the size of the city and the history of it. We did a night tour walking around the old town where actors popped out of dark alleys trying to scare us. I was on edge a bit but it was fun especially using Tom as a human shield. The highlight was a day tour into the western highlands of Scotland. The driver was really funny – I think I smiled and laughed at everything he said. Was pretty awesome.

In late April we flew to Venice to meet up with some friends who were on their honeymoon. I didn’t know what to expect from Venice as I had never wanted to actually go there but it was good. Basically a small island with lots of bridges and tourists. I gorged myself on gelati and we found a great pizza cafĂ© were we had the most amazing small, square pizzas for brunch 3 out of the 4 mornings. The copious amounts of pesto wedged in my teeth was a small price to pay for the greasy deliciousness.

In between all this I have taught myself to crochet. I joined a local knitting group where one of the ladies can also crochet. I go once a week and the ladies are very impressed with what I do with my crochet hook. For any crochet peops out there I am using cotton yarn to learn the ropes and am mastering the granny square – oh yeah. I will get some pics up of my handy work soon.

Now Tom has helped me work this thing out I promise to be all over this blog

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