Archive for November, 2010

I’ve been desperate to get the Flag Blanket up and running – my aim was to make enough squares so that I could make a blanket of functional size so that dad could start using it, and then I could make more squares and add to it.

Well… here we are:

Ta da!  I laid out all my squares yesterday afternoon and found that I had enough to make a blanket measuring 4ft x 3ft.  That’s just big enough for dad to drape over his lap while he’s watching television, or put over the end of his bed to keep his feet warm at night.

So yesterday afternoon and evening was spent sewing the squares together.  I won’t lie, it was very tedious, but at 10.30pm I finally finished the sewing and oh my – doesn’t it look good?!

Dad’s really pleased with it, and he had it on the bottom of his bed last night.  I’m so glad that he can start using it now, and I’m now aiming to make enough squares so that the finished blanket will eventually be 5ft x 6ft (big enough to cover his bed entirely).  I’ve still got oodles of yarn left, so this shouldn’t be a problem!

I’m very proud of how well it’s turned out; despite the complete mish mash of yarn types the squares have, pretty much, all been the same size – and edging them all in the cream yarn evened out the very slight discrepancies.  It also made the sewing together much easier!

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I’ve left it rather late to promote this, but I will be having a stall at The Crafty Fox Pop Up Market on 11th December.

Details of venue and times can be found at www.craftyfoxmarket.blogspot.com.  You can also see which other sellers will be there toting their wares.

If you’re in London and able to pop along that day it would be lovely to see you!

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Dad had his first radiotherapy session today, and we were at the hospital for aaaaages.  We got there at 11.15am, and didn’t leave until 1.45pm (one ecg, a short burst of radiation, and an awful lot of waiting around in between)… so I had plenty of time to kill and managed to edge all the squares I had ready.

All together, including the ones I edged on Friday, I’ve made 18 squares from the donated yarn so far.  Not bad!  I’ve also got the 23 squares that I managed to make from my own leftovers, so this project seems to be ticking along quite nicely at the moment.  I now need to make more squares so that I’ve got some to edge when I go with dad to the hospital on Thursday and Friday.

Of the squares I’ve made so far, these two are my dad’s favourites:

He really, really likes the grey mix one, and I think there’s enough left to make a stripe in the middle of another squares.  He also took a particular liking to a blue multi way (is that what it’s called?) yarn, but there wasn’t enoughf of that to make a whole square so I doubled it up with a pale blue and managed to eke it out into two wide stripes as seen in the photo above.

This is challenging, but very educational.  I’m getting a chance to try out different types of yarn which I might not otherwise use (I’ll focus on those in my next update), and I’m also getting much better at gauging how many rows a given quantity of yarn will make.

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…a slight twist to my usual crafty antics, but a fun challenge!

A friend of mine is currently living overseas, and won’t be home until after Christmas.  She contacted me with a view to getting something for both her sister and her mother.

Her sister’s gift was pretty straightforward.  She wanted a photo album, something “a little bit chintsy, but antique chintsy rather than Cath Kidston.”  This was a bit of a challenge actually, as it’s such a subjective thing!  So we looked at different papers for the cover (all done online, you have to love the internet) and eventually one was chosen and the album was made.  Here it is, antique chintsy covers, red coptic binding, with a gorgeous red lining to complement it.

I’m really pleased with this, as the flowers are red – the images of the paper on the website it was purchased from made it look very pink, so the red was a big relief!

The second commission was something a little bit different.  Her mother had recently started taking art classes, so she wanted me to put together a package of sketching materials (“just basics, but nice basics”) together with a sketchbook.

I happened to have an artist’s box that I wasn’t going to use (brand new, but sadly unloved by me as I keep my bits and pieces all over the place in a very disorganised manner!).  So I checked, and a re-bound Moleskin sketchbook fitted very nicely in the bottom compartment.  So the finished kit comprises a one-of-a-kind sketchbook (made with a recycled Moleskin cover, revamped with a strip of gorgeous fuchsia leather along the spine), three Caran Dache pencils, two drawing pens, eight sheets of pastel paper (two each of four different colours), and two watercolour postcards.  A nice yet simple mixture of materials and tools to play with, and a lovely box to keep them in:

I have to say that I really enjoyed putting this package together, and had a lovely time in the art shop today trying to decide which five pens/pencils I would put in the box (there’s so much choice, and I’m like a child in a sweetshop when I go into an art supply shop).

Of course, as these items will be sent directly to their recipients I’m also in charge of the gift wrapping and cards.  The giftwrap I’ve chosen is a silver, white and black one with snowflakes on it.  Pretty, festive, and elegant.  The cards are handmade, although not by me, and I chose some snowflake cards from gooseberrymoon.

These will be wrapped up and then posted out next week so that they arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.

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No weekword participation from me this Friday, so here’s a blanket update instead.

The beautiful Ruth, who I want to kidnap and keep as a pocket pal, sent me a parcel of wool which arrived yesterday.  Beautiful mossy colours and, bizarrely, the exact same purple yarn that Jackie also sent (exactly thes same unusual texture and everything – small world!):

Thank you Ruth for the yarn and the other bits and bobs too 🙂

I’ve managed to get quite a few squares made this week, and here’s a progress shot from yesterday:

I’ve made another two squares since that photo so it’s ticking along nicely! I took dad to the hospital today for his radiology consultation, and got a chance to edge some of the squares while I was waiting for them to finish poking and prodding and scanning him:

The edging is easy, and doesn’t require me to keep track of rows (which I struggle with unless I’m at home and can mark each row off on my spreadsheet on screen as I go along – it helps me work out how many rows per colour too).  So I’m going to save the edging for doing while I’m waiting around at the hospital, which I’ll be doing a lot of next week.  I’m glad I’ve found a way to make this blanket project more portable as it means it should progress a bit quicker!

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This is not, strictly speaking, related in any way to crafting – but it’s incredibly cool and so I had to post about it.

The Tremblers is another name for 111 squadron – and I’m now an official honorary member! My friend Amy is married to Andy, who is a fairy (engineer) in 111 squadron.  I (and my partner Matt) went to stay with this lovely couple in the summer, and Andy gave us a brilliant tour of RAF Leuchars.  It was awesome, we got to see the jets up close, walk on the wings, and see one take off!  I came home to London with some very happy memories, and a wee model of a Tornado:

Where was I?  Oh, yes – the wonderful surprise!

So, today the postman came and, along with the usual bills and dross, he brought me a surprise.  Amy and Andy had conspired to send me my very own squadron patch:

I’m beyond touched, I actually cried when I opened the envelope.  It’s such a wonderful surprise, and I’m almost speechless.

Thank you so much.  I know things are still up in the air with your next posting, but very selfishly I do hope it’s down south so that I get to see more of you two.

Oh, and just to make sure that this post does have something crafty in it, here’s a custom notebook I made for Andy last year:

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Following on from my post on Saturday, two more parcels full of yarn have arrived.

The first one I opened was from Nettie (who I always picture in my head as leaning nonchalently against a VW camper van – even though I’ve never seen her in such a pose!).

Dad especially likes the stripy sort of blue (left side of photo) so I guess I’ll be using that with particular care!

The second parcel was from Liz (who makes me think of cupcakes, even though she has nothing to do with them, but her username online is RubyRed and I once saw a stall with the most delicious cupcakes at Greenwich Market – by a bakery called Ruby Red… food tends to stick in my memory *blush*), and her fabulous parcel contained this lot:

Lots of lovely colours there too, and I was really chuffed with the cream as that’s what I’m edging the squares with (and will be joining them with) so I shall put that to one side for later 🙂

I’ve made a start on the yarn that arrived from Jackie and Selina and I’ll post some photos of those squares tomorrow – and now I have these two packages to play with too I’m going to sit down tonight and try and work out more colour combinations for the squares.

Thank you again to the lovely ladies who have helped me out – you’re wonderful. x

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This Is England

A notebook commissioned as a gift for a chap who’s a big fan of this television series (I’ve never seen it, so was very much guided by the lady who commissioned the book – my job was merely to put it together!).

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As regular readers (do I have any?!) will know, I started making some blanket squares in an attempt to use up the odds and ends of yarn I had kicking around the house.

The original post can be viewed by clicking here.

My dad took quite a shine to the squares, and said they looked like signal flags, so I thought I would give it to him when it was finished.  Of course, I’ve used up all the spare yarn I had, which left me in a bit of a quandry.  I was tempted to buy more yarn to finish the blanket with, but that seemed to defeat the point of it (and my dad would be cross if he knew I’d bought more yarn just for him).  So I asked on the LLL forum if anyone had any yarn to spare.

Several very kind people said that they had some bits and bobs that they would send me, and the first two parcels have arrived.

The first parcel was received yesterday, it’s from the lovely Selina and look how colourful it is!

The second package arrived today, from the amazing Jackie – who has so much yarn in her wool room that she said “I am almost 60 and if I live to be 100 I shan’t get through this lot” – and here’s the contents of her parcel:

A massive thanks to both Jackie and Selina.  I’m incredibly grateful to you.  In light of the prognosis we were given on Thursday by dad’s oncologist it’s clear that I need to get cracking on this blanket as soon as possible, and I will be making a start on your yarn this weekend.

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A notebook commissioned as a gift.  This beautiful paper seemed perfect once the client had described the recipient to me:

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