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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Good Bye 2011 - Hello 2012 "Granny Square a Day"

Yes it's the last day of 2011 and I have lots of lovely Crochet plans for 2012!!

My Personal,  main Crochet plan, is to crochet a Granny square a day.  Yes, Plain old Granny Squares!!  I really do love them and the only variety that they will get is the colours.  Some will be one colour/ plain and other with be up to 4 colours per square.

I will be continuing with other crochet projects at the same time so don't think that a little Granny Square a day is all I will be blogging about!!

I have ordered lots of lovely wool / yarn in a double knit weight from Ebay in colours like Wisteria, Plum, Soft Peach, Sky Blue, Citrus, Saffron, Spring Green & Candy - they were only £1.25 per 100g ball (the P&P came to about £5, so cheaper than getting in my car, parking fee's & my time shopping) & I can't wait for them to arrive.  Hopefully they will arrive today, in time for tomorrow, but if they don't I will start off using similar colours from my Yarn Stash and use the new colours once they arrive, however I will probably add odds and ends from my current YS as it's a great way to use them up!

I am going to make small Granny Squares - no bigger than 4 rows in each square and I am going to join each Granny Square as I go along.  You could either use this method, which I will try to make a tutorial about OR you could make a stack of squares and join them up as and when - that's up to you!

I have joined squares on previous blankets by double crocheting them together, but I like this idea of crocheting them together as I go, as this saves the "chore", which it can turn out to be and it also saves having a Granny Squares Stack!! (My Squares Stacks in previous projects, have mounted up to 30's and 40's).  I also like the finished product as I like the texture that the raised join on the right side of the work, gives you.

Here's a sampler that I made before I went on holiday........

Each square measures 3 inches across, so bearing in mind that there are 366 days next year (leap year) then this blanket, this time next  year to be exact, is going to be rather large!

Now the next question to you, reading this blog, is: 

Could we all get together and get a GLOBAL Granny Square a Day Crochet Theme going?  Can we do it? Do you want to join in?

Here's what you need to do:

1. You can make any Granny Square of your choice - do it your way, in your colours, add flowers or anything you want to.  I am choosing to do mine plain because that's what I want to achieve from this 366 day project, but you do your Granny - A - Day YOUR Way!

2. If you do want to join me in a Granny Square a Day, then just leave a comment and I will (a)follow your blog or follow you on Twitter PLUS (b) I will add  your blog to the new Blog Roll that has started (see Granny - A - Day'ers at the top right of the blog) or (c) if you don't have a blog then it would be great to get an email from you on a weekly or a monthly basis with some photo's of your Granny Square a Day project as it progresses. (d) I will post photo's (daily if my time allows me to) on this blog under the *Granny-A-Day* tab (see above)

(If you are emailing/sending me links or posting me pictures via twitter then you are allowing me to publish your photos on this blog & therefore giving me permission to use them - however I will not use your full name directly - only initials or your blog name and if supplied the area/country that you come from.)

3. Remember you can do it YOUR WAY - you can add flowers or motifs, make different size squares, use any colour YOU like, any yarn that you like & join the squares in the method you prefer - the choice is yours!

4. There's a button that I have created, so that you can copy this to your blog and encourage others to join in!  Just take a look in the border at the very top right of the blog (you might have to scroll back up ------------>

Remember to let me know that you are joining in the fun as I have posted a group on Ravelry - so if you are joining in from there just leave a comment below. 

The More the Merrier!! 

My current Crochet Project is a cover for a draught excluder that I have at my Guest Bedroom door.  It's simply a rolled up fleece blanket from IKEA that I am am going to makeover with a Crochet Cover in "Rainbow" colours!!   It's a great way to use up odds and ends from my Yarn Stash. - Picture will follow later as I will probably finish it today, but here's what's happened so far.

The current draught excluder is just a rolled up fleece blanket - effective but boring

The "Rainbow" cover so far - not boring at all!

Friday, 30 December 2011

The best Email I had over Christmas.....

....was from one of my Students, to say that she had finished her Cafetiere Cosy that she was crocheting for a friend and here it is.......

I think it's simply FAB and the colours go great together! So well done to you LW - you are a real pleasure to teach as your enthusiasm knows no bounds!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

My last Blog Post before Christmas 2011 *pulls a sad face*

Yes, this is the last blog post as I am going to Egypt (the birth place of my Grandfather) on holiday for the Festive Season.

So, today I had my last Crochet Lesson of 2011.  JC was my pupil and she's the lady that got me hooked on Rainbows!  Today, I taught her how to follow a couple of patterns that she would otherwise have abandoned due to frustration and here are two examples of her work

Firstly we created these lovely little flowers + worked on joining a new colour behind the flower so that one can continue to work in a square

And then we went on to a flower that requires chains to be worked behind the petals so that more & large petals can be worked behind the smaller ones in the front!

JC is a great pupil to teach.  She sits there talking to herself "one double crochet, two chains, three trebles..." "oh, I did three trebles but meant to do three chains....."
"Wool over..."

and on she chats, which really makes me chuckle as she's obviously concentrating hard.

What a great lesson  to end 2011 on!

Wishing you all a 

Merry Christmas

and I will be back in time for 2012

Friday, 16 December 2011

A little bit of this & a little bit of that....

Firstly I would like to say "Hello", "Ciao", "Hiya", "Bonjour", "Hola", "Bok", "God dag",  "Salaam Alekum," "Guten Tag" & Merhba or Bongu to my home country of Malta! I love to watch the flags popping up on the various gadgets that I have added to my blog and it's fascinating to see where all  you fellow crocheters (hookers) come from!

Next is a picture that I got from one of my pupils today via Email.

If you remember from THIS POST VM and I started this scarf off in one of our lessons, and together we invented the frilly edging.  I made mine in a soft lime colour and they are made from Cotton Tape so ideal with people who don't like the feel of wool are are indeed allergic to it, as her daughter is.  I am sure her daughter will be thrilled with this unique scarf that's turned out so well!

Last but not least is my bed spread.  There have been many posts about the squares that went into the making, however here it is in all it's "winter" glory.  I say "winter" because it's so heavy and warming that in the summer it lives on the banister in the hallway.

My Favourite Crochet Magazine - Inside Crochet

I have finally got the chance to blog about this great Magazine - Inside Crochet

This is my No.1 Crochet Magazine - Inside Crochet 
Actually it's the ONLY crochet magazine I get.

I decided to go for the yearly subscription and at only £48 a year it's a BARGAIN.

It features Crochet Patterns, Articles, Reviews, Tips and much much more!

Not only do you get this fantastic magazine arriving at your door every month - and believe me you will be waiting for the postman on the "due date," but when you subscribe you get these two most fantastic crochet hooks as a gift!

The magazine is packed with patterns that you'll WANT to make like 
Toby the Turtle on Pg 40 of Issue 25
Pepper the Puppy in Issue 21

Do you recognise these two - Gary & Baldie?

This magazine is always full of really useful information e.g. in Issue 25 there is an "Up-Cycle your Home" tutorial that explains how to turn old tee shirts and sheets into fabric yarn that you can crochet with - this is something that I am definitely going to do in 2012 as I fancy putting a nice chunky rug on my wood floor in the hallway!

All the original patterns featured are graded as either Difficulty 1 = Beginner 
Difficulty 2 = Intermediate

& these are all written in UK Crochet Terms

In each and every issue they do a "How to Crochet:  The Basics" so you can get started with great step by step colour pictures and this feature is continued with an "extra" e.g. a special stitch that you may not know how to work.

I have recommended Inside Crochet to all of my Pupils and I would recommend it to anyone that's already "Addicted" to crochet or "Hooked.

Well done Inside Crochet

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Rainbow Mania! Crochet Personal Organiser / Filofax Cover

Yes I seem to have gone RAINBOW mad recently - it's very addictive.  The Scarf has now gone in the post to it's new owner - the Cafetiere Cosy is brightening up my kitchen and now, my filofax has had a make over!

This is how it used to look

But now it looks like this.....

Yes it's caught a Rainbow
not only that

This time.....

I remembered to write it all down and create a pattern to share.

If you would like a copy then simply click on the "Patterns For Sale" tab 
or click below!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Another Rainbow Creation.....

Did you like the Rainbow Scarf?

Click here just in case you missed it - HERE

To my surprise and astonishment, for no other reason than the fact that I was just posting about it, and not putting it on my For Sale page, it SOLD within seconds of me putting a link to the post on Twitter.

It was snapped up by a very lovely lady with an eye for good quality, colourful, home made with love, items!

Then one of my pupils arrived, full of smiles and "look what I've done" which I love to see.  She'd finished off a Beanie Hat and continues to work on a cowl, that was going to be a scarf, for her Mum for Christmas.  She's doing so well considering that 6 lessons ago she couldn't even hold a hook!

She had a pattern book with her and wanted to start on the Cafetiere Cosy pattern, so that's what we did.

Once again, I didn't want to undo my work once she'd gone, so I continued to work on it.

It's just as colourful as the scarf and such a fun thing to have!

I deviated from the pattern (as always)  

as I wanted to neaten up the edges, a bit that wasn't in the pattern, so I Double Crocheted around by the handle in the green colour as you can see here.

It really did give it a nice finishing touch.

Found a lovely button in my button box (and I have just noticed its a "Karen Millen" button )

Simply love the colours

and I am sure it will keep that lovely coffee nice and cosy for that little bit longer

No attention to detail was spared 
In the picture above you can see the edging that I added more clearly - it really does finish this cosy off nicely

A very colourful cosy!

It fits a medium 4 - 6 cup Cafetiere.

If you like it and want to buy it, then email me  campbellmac44@gmail.com 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Rainbow Scarf.....

What started of as a "sampler" or "tester" to help a student to follow a pattern she wanted to follow has grown and grown.....

Instead of undoing the work I do in class, as I normally do, I decided to carry on adding to this one....

with more and more rows of alternating colours....

I even took it along to the Craft Fair to work on

However last night

It all came to an end 

As I edged it with a row of trebles in burgundy, then

a row of double crochet in yellow, then one in blue and a final row of half trebles in a light green

And here it is! 

Monday, 12 December 2011

A Present for the Teacher (that's me)

Isn't this Wonderfully Lovely?  I love Cyclamen, however I have never had one indoors, so when one of my first students JB brought me this for a "Christmas Present for my Teacher" I was so thrilled!

I was also thrilled when she brought out a Beanie Hat and some squares that she'd been making since her last lesson and aren't they all FAB?

In today's lesson we started on 2 totally different squares from a book that I recommended to her.  She'd chosen out about 7 patterns that she would like to complete, so we got started on one, and then another.  She really did do very well and by making her read the pattern out to me, so that I was following her and not reading the pattern myself, it helped her to follow the pattern much better than she had done before!

I found this picture on my phone - I was crocheting at the Craft Fair yesterday

And this is the stage I had put my hook down at last night.  I have decided to do one more row with each colour and then decide on the colours for the edging.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Merton Abbey Mills Craft Fair Today

I was up early and after a bit of breakfast my husband drove me to Merton Abbey Mills for 9am so that I could get my pitch.  I was initially allocated a 6 ft covered stall, but the Market Manager said that I could move to a more "productive" spot if none of the "regulars" turned up to claim them, however when he did come round to say I could move I was already set up.  However the 6ft space next to me was empty so he said that I could spread out, so that's what I did.

As you can see all my Crochet Creations are neatly arranged and I even got my blankets and shawls under cover due to the extra space I was given.

It was actually a REALLY quiet day, and by 3pm I had only sold a £4 flower brooch and a £11 (should have been £12 but she was a pound short so I let her off) Beanie hat.  So £15 sold and £10 for the pitch so I was £5 up!  Then the "sale of the day" came and a lovely chap came, took a look, went away again for half an hour and then came back and bought a £45 hat and scarf set for his wife! YAY.  I gave his daughter a £3 covered jar as a Christmas present, which I let her choose and her smile was thank you enough.

So all in all a long cold day, but it was an experience, I gave out a few leaflets on lessons and the other stall holders were all very kind and friendly.  We also had entertainment by a local Church "Gospel Choir" so I danced and sang along to keep warm.

I am home now and fed (chicken casserole cooked by hubby - how kind is that?) and about to continue crocheting my multi coloured scarf.

Will I do that again - yes - probably.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A new pupil arrives!

I know that I sound a little surprised with the title of my post today, however with people cancelling, here, there and everywhere of late, I was not too sure whether or not she'd turn up, but she did.

I have made the decision to ask new clients to pay up front in the future and after a little research this does seem to be the norm with lots of different craft classes & as someone else quite rightly pointed out, if you were signing up for an Adult Local Education Class, you would not only have to pay up front for one lesson but for the whole course!

Ok back to today ......

JC has crocheted previously but sadly not for a few years.  She picked up the basic VERY quickly as we went through the foundation chain, slip stitch, double crochet and treble crochets together.  Working at her pace, she crocheted a really good practice block.

To my delight she brought out a blanket pattern that she would like to work on over the Festive Season and I was thrilled when she brought out a print out of an Attic 24 Classic Granny Blanket

So we went through the recommended practice swatch together and I must say I am thrilled with the way her work has turned out!

After a dog walk, an adjustment to my husbands beanie hat (he wore it today on the dog walk and realised that he needed more of a turn up to pull down over his ears in these days of chill) and making sure that all my bits and bobs were packed and ready to go off to Merton Abbey Mills tomorrow, I continued with my swatch as I think I could turn it into either a Kindle Cover or a scarf!

Wish me luck for tomorrow. I would LOVE a total sell out - obviously - so call back in tomorrow and I will update my blog with news

Friday, 9 December 2011

Another Wool Sale to attend

I have had several cancellations this week including both private/ individuals and Group Classes at local venues - all of them last minute & therefore not letting me have any time to re book / re schedule my own time or allowing me to book in other classes due to the short notice.  I know that this can't be helped, but it does mean that I don't get paid a bean and as I can't book in anyone else at such short notice, so I am really out of pocket, which is hard when you are trying to start up a business.  I wish this was a "hobby / work" type of arrangement but it's not.

Should I start to ask for a Deposit to be paid when I get phone or email enquiry, to secure a booking?  I am not sure that it will put people off, and even if they do agree, will they actually remember to go on PayPal to pay it, or are they even with PayPal???

However the "Silver Lining" to this cancellation and loss of earnings was that I didn't have to rush the Wool Sale - I think that I have mentioned these before, however here it is again.  A local couple used to own a wool shop, they sold it due to retirement, but they still had all their stock - hence the wool sale!

Each ball is £1 and I spent £30 there today, which is very good for me as I have spent over £50 there before.  The best thing is that I managed to get 4 balls of Sirdar Denim Chunky in Navy, which I have been after since the last sale.  I also got a Sirdar Denim Chunky in a mix and I have started on a Beanie Hat for my Husband.

Here are some pictures of the hat being started and the wool colours.

To change the wool each time, I simply worked along in DC (SC in the US) until the last stitch, so in this case (above picture) a blue

Then on the last stitch I work with the blue, so pull the blue through, I now have a loop of each colour on the hook

& once I pull the last loop through I only have the blue loop on the hook and I continue working in blue until I get to the last stitch, which will be a mix one, and change to the mix wool 

This is the back of the work to show you how neat it looks.

So I am not fastening off and joining at the start / end of each row, as this would be a pain!

And here is my LOVELY husband having the "final fitting"

He loves it and so do I

I am glad that I have finally crocheted a warming hat for him