Tuesday, 27 August 2013

'Tis the Season

No, not that season, although I will openly admit that I'm already planning for a certain holiday in December. Instead, I am referring to a season of birthdays. Therefore, I have been a bit of gift wrapping recently and wanted to share the joy.

Those who know me well, will be aware of how obsessive I can be about getting gift wrapping just right - it literally is an obsession and I will go out of my way to achieve the look I want for a gift. I don't like using gift bags, unless I fill them with shredded tissue and add extra things to them. For me, it's all about the wrapping paper. I could (and frequently do) spend hours looking at gift wrap. It's an addiction! I do always struggle to find wrapping paper that I feel is suitable for men though. My task was to wrap a present for Dave's Dad; a very outdoorsy, gardening person, who was to receive a gardening gift. As much as I love shops like Clinton Cards, I also really like trying to visit independent stores, and although you do tend to spend a little more in them, the quality is far superior. You also come away with something a lot more unique and special.

So I went to one of my favourite local gift shops, Magpie, on a hunt for suitable paper. I was not disappointed, when I stumbled upon sheets of "Birdsong", by the very talented Madeleine Floyd!

"Birdsong"

The paper is actually double sided; side two being the eggs of the featured British birds. It's absolutely adorable! I coupled this beautiful paper with some sandy raffia, to keep with the garden theme, and added a handmade "With Love" label that I purchased in a set from eBay last year.

Rustic wrapping

I was really pleased with the finished wrap. The paper was so thick and such amazing quality, and I'm definitely now craving more!

Today I have wrapped gifts for Dave's Mum, as her birthday is in a couple of weeks time. Again, I revisited Magpie for my gift wrapping needs, and came out with two sheets of Cath Kidston floral paper and some lovely red wired ribbon! The result, was as follows...

Happy cheery red ribbon!

In my opinion, the ribbon really makes these special. The paper is pretty (I'm not the biggest Cath Kidston fan, I must admit) and like the Birdsong paper, is also double sided, with the back showing the same design on a white background (bottom gift). I really liked the blue though. The ribbon came on quite a large reel and I have a bit left, so can use that up at some point in the future too! I'm thrilled with the finished look for these gifts though.

I now, unfortunately, don't have any birthdays to cater for until December! I suppose it gives me plenty of time to focus on how I'll wrap my Christmas gifts (I randomly came up with that idea in bed a few nights ago!). I'm pleased my Summer birthday wrapping looks so pretty though.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are one of my favourite flowers - I don't think you can find anything that's much more cheery than a sunflower!


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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Pretty Pastels

I love pastel colours! They're so bright and cheery!


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Monday, 19 August 2013

A Hard Day's Work!

I've been frantically stitching all day, to expand the blanket to 4x4 in size, and have just put down my hook!

16 owls, and loads of circles!

This hasn't been pressed yet, and this won't be the final layout for the blocks, but it gives you an idea of how it'll look when finished. I'm really pleased and absolutely love the colours! Tomorrow I am going to go and buy the buttons for the eyes, so that I can make and attach the eyes and beaks to each block, before sewing everything together. I also need to make the "half octagons" that will fill up the gaps on the edges, and then finally edge it. And this all need to be done by Saturday - wish me luck!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Lots of Octagons

After a bit of a tease yesterday, I thought I would share a WIP photo of my current project. I'm following the Owl Obsession baby blanket pattern, and using KnitPicks Chroma yarn, in Lollipop, coupled with Sirdar Snuggly DK in Cream 303. Both are so soft and and cuddly, so perfect for the little person I'm making this for!


I'm planning to expand this to either 4x4 or 5x5. Thankfully I bought extra Chroma yarn so I have plenty to add extra owls and circles! Obviously, they will look a lot more like owls once they have their eyes and beaks attached, but you get the idea! Going to get to work on the extra blocks tonight and tomorrow, which will add a little more variety to the colouring too - I'd really like some more of that rich plum (bottom right large circle) thrown in there. Anyway, a little bit of work in progress for you all!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Sherbert Blanket

I am probably one of the least organised people around, when it comes to my everyday life - ask any of my friends, and they'll tell you that I'm often late, muddled and kinda chaotic. I like to call it organised chaos but to be honest, it is just disorganisation! This applies to everything except my crochet, where I'm really on the ball for some reason. Not through with my current project, I am already getting ready for the next one and already have the yarn on it's way!

Sherbert blanket, and my colour palette

I'm going to be making the "Sherbert Blanket" from the most recent issue of Simply Crochet (UK) magazine! I originally saw some patterns on Ravelry that had been taken from this magazine and instantly fell in love - this was one of them. So I purchased myself a copy (which came with a lovely free pattern book as well) and drooled over some of the beautiful things included in the pages. This particular blanket really caught my eye though, and I have decided that I'm going to make it for Dave.

I've been promising him a blanket for ages, and finally found one that he really liked. Despite it being designed as a baby blanket, I am going to increase the size and change the colours (his chosen palette alongside the image, for reference). I'm still going to use the recommended yarn, which is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino; an acrylic/wool/cashmere blend, which I'm hoping will be nice and soft, considering it's designed for babies! It looks like it'll be a nice quick project, which is good too!

Alas, before I start something new, I need to finish my current project, which is coming on really nicely. I'm trying not to share too many images (although there have been a couple on Facebook) because it's a gift, but it's going really well, and the Chroma gradient yarn is to die for. I'm aiming to try and get the basis of it finished by the end of the weekend, and then just have to embellish it, which won't take long. Fingers crossed, and wish me luck!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Happy, Happy Rainbows

My new project uses that gorgeous rainbow gradient yarn that I bought last month. It's so stunning and I can't wait to share the finished piece with you all! However, for now this selection of rainbows will have to do!


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Monday, 12 August 2013

Flowers

My first post in August! I've been really busy these last few weeks and have been on annual leave - infact, I've hardly been home! I've had loads of daytrips with friends and also gotten a chance to see family and spend time with them as well. In all of the excitement, I haven't had a chance to update you all on my Roses & Daisies Blanket, so here I am! It's freshly pressed and all ready for Christmas!


As I've mentioned in previous posts about this project, it comes from a pattern by Melody Griffiths, in her book Crocheted Throws & Wraps.


The blanket consists of 99 squares - 49 roses and 50 daisies - and lots of colours! I used 100% cotton yarn, from Paton's and Rico Essentials, which I was really impressed with. On my first venture into the world of cotton yarns, I think I did quite well and really like the outcome of the blanket!


It even looks super pretty all folded up! I'm really happy with how quickly I finished it, as well, having started on the 3rd June and finished on the 1st August. The most time consuming part was definitely the stitching together of all of the squares at the end; such a tedious process! But the outcome has been well worth it!

I've already started my next project as well - an owl baby blanket for a friend who is about to become a Grandmother! How exciting! I will update soon!