Just a Couple of Little Projects

While my Mum was visiting I abandoned sewing and my workroom for the much more sociable and garden friendly crochet.

I was prepared.  Having made a fairly simple blanket as a beginner project I thought I’d tackle something a little more complicated and was tempted by the Sunshine and Showers blanket by Janie Crow which is running as a CAL (crochet along) on her blog  here.

You make two identical sections per month for twelve months and then join some sections together and you should end up with the above which looks hideously complicated to me.   Look! there are flowers and little hearts and bobbles and things – but I’m hoping to learn as I go along.  There are two versions – one in a merino mix yarn and the one I’m doing which is in Stylecraft Special DK which comes in some splendiferous colours.  I decided to go with the same colours used in the CAL because there will be less room for confusion and I like them anyway.

I have completed one of the sections for the month of May – the wave pattern is intentional and not due to wine consumption –

Now I have to make a second,  identical one and wait for June’s section to be released when, apparently,  I will learn ‘puff’ stitches – I can hardly wait and, although I know that sounds sarcastic, there is a an element of truth in it.  Simple pleasures……..

I had forgotten how much I hate doing long foundation chains  😦

A glutton for punishment, however, and wanting something easier to do in between waiting for the sections to be released, I bought the yarn to make Lucy at Attic 24’s Hydrangea Blanket for which the pattern is on her blog here

At first glance I wondered why these colours were anything to do with hydrangeas but Lucy explains that she watched how the blooms changed colour over time and has some great photos on her blog (one of which below) showing how right she is.

Wool Warehouse stocks the kits for Attic 24 patterns so I went ahead and sent for them here and began the repetitive, yet addictive, stitch which forms a really nice dense texture.

I like to look at the balls of yarn in their basket.  Such a range of colours is hard to resist and, although I avoid 100% acrylic in knitting projects that I am going to wear, in my house a blanket needs to be put in a washing machine.  Also, after struggling with a cotton yarn that splits as soon as you look at it in my fusion quilt (squares of fabric with a crochet border) this is an absolute pleasure to crochet with.  I’m hooked!  Sorry, not sorry.

This is where I am with it so far but progress might slow down a little now Mum has gone back to the U.K. and I am drawn back to the sewing room.

Just in case I wasn’t already knee deep in crochet, I made a hat.  For an egg.  Well, why wouldn’t you?

Actually, it’s not really for an egg, although it could be,  it’s for a bottle.  I can’t remember where I saw it mentioned first but Innocent Drinks are, once again, asking for little knitted (or crochet) hats to put on the top of their smoothie bottles in the supermarket and, for each hat-wearing bottle sold, they donate 25pence to Age UK.  Since 2003 ,  6 million hats have been knitted which has helped raise over £1.9m and increase awareness of the great work done by charities like Age UK.

On a selfish note, it helps me improve my crochet ‘in the round’.

You can read about it here if you fancy putting your needles (or hook) to good use  – the deadline this year is 31st July.

The fabric haul from my Walthamstow Market visit has arrived with Mr. T. from the U.K.  He has got a ‘pulled’ shoulder muscle from the weight.  I blame it on the black flecked jersey on the bottom there which is heavy and there is 3m of it.

I’ve given him some Ibuprofen, treated the affected shoulder with a cursory massage and told him to buy a cabin bag with wheels.

Close ups and potential uses for the precious cargo to follow .




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  1. #1 by craftycreeky on May 21, 2017 - 10:02

    I love your blankets, the colours are gorgeous! I’ve still not finished my ripple blanket I started about 18 months ago, although it has now moved downstairs so I will hopefully get it finished soon. I think a CAL is what I need, just not at the moment!

    • #2 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 10:55

      No, not in the middle of a BOM!

  2. #3 by nanacathy2 on May 21, 2017 - 10:06

    Oh my what a lot of lovliness in one post. Sylecraft yarn washes well too I should add. I have been very tempted myself by the Attic 24 blanket. I should watch out for the the gremlin who keeps getting in my computer. Tell Mr T to man up, it was only a little bit of fabric. Thanks for the heads up on tthe Age UK campaign, I wonder why they keep changing the deadlines, first it was November, then February and now July. Have a great Sunday.

    • #4 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 11:02

      Hmm, poor man, I can’t tell you the sorts of things he has been loaded up with both to take over to the U.K. and to bring back. I think he has become a source of amusement at Security. With the fabric there were also a couple of books I’d picked up in a charity shop which didn’t help with the weight issue but at least I managed to bring back all my new underwear myself this time 😉 Looking back at the Innocent campaigns I see that they do indeed keep changing the deadlines – I’ve no idea why. I would think it would be better if they were consistent.

  3. #5 by M. L. Kappa on May 21, 2017 - 10:19


  4. #7 by katechiconi on May 21, 2017 - 10:37

    Love the colours in both your blankies, but I particularly adore the first one. I can look at that gorgeous thing and covet it quite seriously without in any way wishing to make it myself, which is quite a pleasant and novel sensation! Also, I love the print above that huge wodge of jersey (what I can see of it, anyway). Poor Mr T, he obviously hoped for a spot of sympathy… tell him to take a teaspoon of cement and harden up!

    • #8 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 11:03

      I feel the same way about cross stitch projects.

      • #9 by katechiconi on May 21, 2017 - 11:18

        Just as well, or the whole world would be making the same stuff!

      • #10 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 19:07

        Exactly! and then we’d have nothing to buy at craft fairs 😉

      • #11 by katechiconi on May 22, 2017 - 00:19

        You see? There is a Greater Purpose behind the fact that I can’t/don’t knit or crochet and you don’t do cross stitch.

  5. #12 by KerryCan on May 21, 2017 - 12:24

    The yarn looks so pretty in the basket that I’d be tempted to just leave it there and smile at it!

    • #13 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 19:08

      I do that on evenings when I’m feeling lazy.

  6. #14 by Frivolous Monsters on May 21, 2017 - 12:35

    I will be looking out now for drinks with hats on. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it but have the vague memory of knowing something about it. Any particular supermarket?

    • #15 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 19:10

      I’m not 100% certain – the site’s a little confusing – but I’m pretty sure Sainsbury’s is involved, or has been in the past, and maybe Waitrose. There are some brilliant patterns like this one which I know will appeal to you but, if I made one like that, I wouldn’t be able to part with it.

      • #16 by Frivolous Monsters on May 21, 2017 - 19:21

        No, a Clanger hat is impressive. Perhaps more the higher end of supermarkets then, but I’ll still have a look in Asda/Morrisons. It seems odd though because these drinks are so disposable and yet the effort that goes into these hats just seems at adds with this. Seems such a shame…unless the drinker can send it off for 25 pence more.

      • #17 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 19:47

        Well, don’t start looking yet – the deadline for knitted entries is 31st July so I’m guessing the bottles will be in the shop in the autumn sometime in preparation for promoting the problem of some of the elderly keeping warm over winter. I’m not sure if they run an advertising campaign or not. In my fantasy world, people would use the hats for an egg cosy or as finger puppets to entertain their children but, unless I have definite proof that this will happen, I will not entrust Tiny Clanger to a cold, lonely supermarket shelf in case she doesn’t go to a good home.

  7. #18 by Lynda on May 21, 2017 - 14:43

    It’s beautiful and you’ve made a good start, but for me… no. It makes my brain hurt just looking at it and thinking about how to decode the instructions. Can’t wait to see your progress and know what you do with that fabric!

    • #19 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 19:11

      I like to set myself a challenge every once in a while – not often, but once in a while – just to prove my brain cells are still fully functioning 😉

      • #20 by Lynda on May 24, 2017 - 18:11

        LOL, that’s what got me into quilting!

  8. #21 by claire93 on May 21, 2017 - 14:45

    lots of lovely projects on the go there Lynn. I do admire you, having a basket for your balls of yarn. My yarn is in plastic boxes, with lids, to keep the cats out lol. And well done on the mini hat! It looks really cute.

    • #22 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 19:14

      Thanks Claire – I want to make at least 5 before I send them off but I think they’ll all be fairly simple – I couldn’t bear to think of making a complicated one like a baby fox or minion or clanger and then somebody just throw it in the bin once they’ve drunk the smoothie 😦

  9. #23 by CurlsnSkirls on May 21, 2017 - 17:04

    Lovely crochet and good to know it washes well. Yes! I feel the same way about cross stitch. I second the cabin bag on wheels idea.
    PS/How do you keep your cats out of the yarn basket?!

    • #24 by tialys on May 21, 2017 - 19:15

      They are not allowed, unsupervised, in the room where I knit/crochet. This doesn’t always work!

  10. #26 by Trisha on May 21, 2017 - 22:25

    The Sunshine and Showers blanket looks beautiful!!

    • #27 by tialys on May 22, 2017 - 09:57

      Let’s hope I can match it :/

  11. #28 by Beads and Barnacles on May 21, 2017 - 23:02

    Ooh that fabric is awesome. Glad your haul made it over safely. 🙂

    Yeah I am not a bit fan of foundation chains so I tend to try to do foundationless crochet for the first row.
    Those blankets are going to be lovely.

    • #29 by tialys on May 22, 2017 - 09:57

      I did see a tutorial for a combined chain/first row and thought I’d give it a try but promptly forgot. I suppose I won’t be able to use it on these sections now as doesn’t it give a different look to the edge?

      • #30 by Beads and Barnacles on May 22, 2017 - 10:05

        It depends on what stitch you are doing in that first row. But I think the edge can sometimes look nicer as the tension is generally more even.
        I find it so useful if the edge needs to be stretchy or if you find the first row tends to be smaller than the rest of the work.

  12. #31 by anne54 on May 22, 2017 - 01:09

    I am very envious of your rug. My fingers hovered over the link but I gave myself a stern talking to about NOT taking on another project! I chatted to a woman who was travelling around Australia in a caravan, and she was making a rug that was based on a similar idea.Every month she would get yarn and instructions for the next section.
    I do hope Mr T has recuperated, as he needs to be fit and well for the next haul! 😉

    • #32 by tialys on May 22, 2017 - 09:53

      Yes – I’ve run out of Halloumi cheese and I’ve got red peppers waiting to be filled with it 😉

  13. #33 by Emma on May 22, 2017 - 02:06

    All those colours are so pretty! Your CAL blanket is going to look amazing

    • #34 by tialys on May 22, 2017 - 09:52

      I hope so – some of the sections look a bit intimidating to me at the moment but I won’t worry about them until I get there.

  14. #35 by poshbirdy on May 22, 2017 - 10:21

    Wow, the colours are fantastic. I’d struggle to even break up that basket of wool though – it’s gorgeous

    • #36 by tialys on May 22, 2017 - 16:16

      I keep putting them back in the basket as I change colours on the work but soon they will be shrinking and won’t look as good. Maybe I should just buy another pack and put them in there permanently just for décor.

  15. #37 by lovelucie1 on May 22, 2017 - 14:18

    It’s hard not to be tempted by Lucy Attic 24’s colour palettes. They are all fabulous but I like how the hydrangea palette is a little more muted. I still quite can’t believe I’m seeing this amount of crochet on your blog but I know exactly what you mean when you say that even the repetitive stuff is addictive.

    • #38 by tialys on May 22, 2017 - 16:15

      I like those muted ones too. I know! Me and crochet! I held out for so long but it got me in the end.

  16. #39 by sewchet on May 22, 2017 - 16:02

    Ha ha, love the sympathy awarded to your fella! I was tempted with the Hydrangea blanket, too, and loved the way Lucy chose her colours. I’m more tempted by the first blanket though, and am going to head over to read more.

    • #40 by tialys on May 22, 2017 - 16:13

      Ooh, let me know if you decide to do it – I’d like the company when it starts to get more difficult 😉

      • #41 by sewchet on May 22, 2017 - 18:06

        Will do although, looking at the measurements, a 90cm wide blanket wouldn’t be much use to us as my lot like to wrap up in them.

  17. #42 by dezertsuz on May 22, 2017 - 18:57

    I laughed at your practical sympathy for your DH. I like what I can see of the fabrics and look forward to closer looks. The crochet projects are intriguing and I remember crochet being very enjoyable. That little egg hat – that isn’t – is cute as anything.

    • #43 by tialys on May 23, 2017 - 10:42

      I don’t deserve him really.

  18. #44 by Dartmoor Yarns on May 22, 2017 - 20:38

    Great to see you embracing crochet again. Although it does sound as if you’re getting a little bored with its repetitiveness?? I find it repetitive too, but don’t seem to notice how repetitive knitting is – odd? 🙂

    • #45 by tialys on May 23, 2017 - 10:44

      I like repetitive when I’m doing something else at the same time – like binge watching a Netflix series or something. I haven’t tired of admiring the look of all the lovely colours next to eachother as I add a new stripe although, by the time I’ve done another 70 or so that might well happen :/

      • #46 by Dartmoor Yarns on May 23, 2017 - 16:38

        Ah ha! think I have to pay more attention to Crochet than you do. That world explain it 🙂

  19. #47 by Born To Organize on May 24, 2017 - 02:58

    Your posts are always full of color and good cheer. I feel uplifted. I love the idea of bottle caps raising fundraising dollars/pounds for a good cause. What a charming idea. I’m still struggling with my crochet rectangle, but when I’m a bit further along I love the idea of a monthly challenge, especially if I can buy a basket of gorgeous yard of my own. Scrumptious. On a more sober note, I hope family back in the UK is doing okay. The news out of Manchester is devastating. I can never find adequate words to express my shock, sadness and dismay. xo

    • #48 by tialys on May 24, 2017 - 08:23

      Thank you Alys.
      Most of my family is from (and in) the South of England so all O.K. – this time. I worry about these big events though as they seem to be prime targets and my daughter is going to one in London at the weekend which scares me but they can’t be allowed to change the way we choose to live our lives.

  20. #49 by magpiesue on May 31, 2017 - 18:48

    How did I miss this post?! I love the basket of yarns for the hydrangea blanket. And she’s right about all the colors you can find in the bushes and blooms. Pretty amazing. I’m going to have to look up Age UK to see whether there are any pix of bottles wearing hats in the store. That conjures up such a humorous image in my brain!

  21. #50 by vridaochskrika on August 26, 2017 - 14:27

    Hello, may I ask how wide the stripes are on your hydrangea blanket? I don’t crochet, but I’m wanting to knit somethIng with the same colours

    • #51 by tialys on August 26, 2017 - 14:34

      Hello there. The stripes are a generous 2cm. I’m about three-quarters of the way through it now – I’ve had to stop because of the heat – but the colours really are gorgeous.

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