Sunday, 27 September 2015

This is Me

Sunday mornings are as you will already know if you know me at all my all time favourite part of the week.  I love the peace and quiet and the promise of a lovely homely day doing exactly what I want to do and not having to be any place but home.
Here I sit in my comfy bed, hubby having gone to work (poor thing) thinking about nothing in particular other than what I want to do next.  I am already on my second cup of freshly ground coffee.  This is a true luxury and one we allow ourselves everyday.  We have a little coffee grinder, a caffitiere and thats it.  No instant coffee allowed.
As I was contemplating I happened to glance over to the untidy pile of stuff on the bed and like a lightening bolt I realised that what lay there was a snap shot of me.

There was the brand new bedding I intend to put on as soon as I prize myself out of the existing covers.

I bought this set from Morrisons one day when I was shopping.  It was totally on a whim and as soon as I got it home I realised that although it was me to a tee; patchwork, flowers and spots - it was never going to look right in our bedroom which is cream and beige with french look furniture.  However I couldn't bring myself to take it back and so today is the day that it will go on our bed regardless of the clash of trends and colours.

A crochet book I have just found on the bookshelf that I had forgotten I had.  I do this alot.  I buy a book that I just can't live without.  Bring it home and then instantly forget that I ever bought it.  I have on occasion re-bought the book which is utter madness.
This is such a cool book.  I love crochet although knitting will always be my first love.  Mum bought me a piece of Angeline last week.  Apparently it draws the angels to you and keeps you safe.  I like that idea and in this book there is a pretty pendant to make where you crochet round a stone which I think will be a perfect way of using my present.  I will let you see the finished creation soon.

A Matalan magizine posted through the door.
I am not a follower of fashion but I love looking through magizines and leaflets and often find something that I just can't live without.  I don't often go in Matalan although there is a massive store in Worksop (where my shop is) and occasionally I pop in.  I currently have four pairs of ballet shoes from there which were as cheap as chips and look lovely with pretty dresses and skirts.  I have a painful middle toe and can no longer where my killer heels so they are perfect for me.
My favourite healthy eating book.
Gosh I love this book.  My friend actually bought it and brought it in the shop.  I liked it so much I bought it off her and she had to go and get another one.  It is written in such a way that you can't help but want to eat better.  I have gained so much from the information and the recipes are excellent.  I have made several and they are all delicious.  There are not many health books that I have read cover to cover and although I am still only half way through this will be read in its entirety I can guarantee.
Paula's note book just waiting to be opened and written in.
This is where I put all my insights, dreams and feelings with a hope that one day I will hit on the next big thing or eventually find the holy grail. I made this some time ago and have since done something similar for a friend of mine who loved elephants and was starting a new job where she has to write down lots of information etc.
The elephants were in the form of the fabric I used and she loved it.
My glasses which are so much part of me I forget sometimes that I am wearing them and try to put my others over the top of them.  Very silly I know.
My laptop.  I am nothing without my laptop.  I love the internet especially Pinterest where I can lose myself for hours. This was a present from hubby for my 50th birthday and as I am a few years older now I suspect I will soon need a new one.
And finally the book I am just about to start reading.
This was another find this morning.  I absolutely adore self improvement books.  My brother once commented that they obviously don't work.  He was looking at me at the time which I thought was very rude and something I have secretly never forgiven him for saying!
I read my first self help book over twenty years ago.  It was How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie and it changed my life.  I wouldn't say I follow everything in these types of book but there is always something to take away and think about and if just one thing helps to improve your life I think that is just fine.  Hubby says that I always seem to be searching for something but it's not quite like that.  I am not an unhappy person but I have a feeling that there is something more to this life and as yet I haven't found it.  Maybe one day I will but today I certainly found a little bit of what makes me tick right there in a pile of stuff.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Harmony Crocheted Blanket - Work in Progress

Hello and welcome.  It is so long since I checked in I am hoping that I can remember how to do this.
It's been such a busy summer even though as you can imagine the shop has been a little quieter than usual.

 Unfortunately crafters are often gardeners and caravaners which means that my customers seem to disappear off the face of the earth for the six week summer holidays.  However they have thankfully returned with added enthusiasm and are now stocking up on my lovely yarns and fabrics.
I never thought I could be so happy and totally get why you are told to find something you love to do and then find a way to get paid for doing it.  That's what I have done and will never regret leaving the drudgedy of a mind numbing insurance job to pursue my dream of owning a wool shop.  Eighteen months after the shop opened here I am sat at my own table surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of balls of wool.  I love it.
Anyway now I can show you my latest project.
I have long been a fan of Attic 24 the blog where Lucy tells us all about her crochet and love of colour.  I  started her new Harmony Blanket design about three weeks ago just before I went off on my holidays to Winston near Durham in North Yorkshire.  The holiday was wonderful by the way and I will let you have a peak of my photos at a later date. 
I am very envious of Lucy's ability to choose amazing colour schemes that you would never think of and which really work.  I wouldn't normally dream of putting a vile shade of lime with a beautiful subtle shade of sage but she does and they just zing. 
Obviously that is why her blankets are coveted by just about everyone I suppose.  Note to self - I must try harder to think outside the box!
I stock Stylecraft Special Double Knit in the shop and on the website so that made things a lot easier to get started. I then just copied down the basics of the pattern and off I went.  I did mistakenly start with the wrong hook size but after measuring one of the finished squares it made so little difference that I carried on with a 3.5mm instead of a 4.00mm.

I still have a long way to go as I only have eighteen fully completed squares, the rest are at different stages depending on which one I feel like adding a round to at the time.  I can't stand making one complete square at a time and opt to take one set of nine and add on round and then move to a different set and do a different row on that lot.  It means I am forever referring to the colour chart but it just feels less monotonous.  When the 126 squares are all complete I will then start joining them using crochet.  The final stage is a lovely simple border.  The blanket looks amazing when it is done and on the Attic 24 website there are lots of instructions and tutorials so there is no excuse to get it wrong.  A bit of advice at this stage - I strongly recommend sewing in the loose ends as you complete each round.  There are 12 ends on every square x by 126 squares = 1512 + the border ones!
My friend Sonya is doing the blanket too but she prefers to complete her squares and has changed a few of the colours in an attempt to bust her stash.  I haven't seen her lately but will be interested to see how she is getting on.
Hopefully I will get this beauty finished soon and will be able to show you the end result.  I can't wait.