Monday, 30 January 2012

More Extreme Crochet!

Hi guys
Am posting from my sick bed (well sick sofa actually!).  I've got a cold - aaaaah! So have done very little today but fiddle on the computer.  I've been reading a fantastic post 'How to get on page one of google' but am now totally swamped with information!!  And it will definitely be a slow climb to the top of the Google list!! But I have at least now got something to work on.

Extreme Hooks - can be made to order

I wanted to share these humongous, hunky hooks with you :)  Aren't they wonderful?  I just love them!  What do you think?  Would you like to have a play with something as hunky as this? ;)
Starting on the left is a 12mm hook, then a 5.5mm and a 2mm.  These hunky hooks are about 25mm!!
I have a very special husband who made these for me out of a broom pole.  Not the best wood ever but it's certainly done the trick. I think you'll agree he's done a brilliant job.  I can't thank him enough, he's saved me pounds (and him!!)

You can see from the two pictures above they are about 25mm and 10" long.
Look at the size of the stitches!!  I'm going to have to do some serious 'playing'.  I'm sooo excited!!
To be honest I should also thank Donna at Little Tiny Stitches as I came across her blog and instructions on how to make these hunky guys!  So thank you for the inspiration Donna!
You may be wondering why there are 4 hooks, all the same size.  Well let me put you out of your misery!  We have friends coming to stay this weekend and Ally and I are having a 'play'.  The theme being Extreme Crochet - what a surprise!  So we needed at least 2 hooks to play with and I know as soon as my daughter sees what we are up to she'll want a go, so there's 3 and I can think of someone else who may be interested too!!! (You know who you are Liz!)  So that's why there are 4  .... ta da!
I have a bit of mini crochet to show you too, but will do that another day.  Happy crocheting!! See you soon.

If anyone is interested in purchasing an extreme crochet hook, please email me with your requirements.  My husband can make them to order at a very reasonable price!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Chester the Extreme Crochet Cat

Hi there folks
To the very nice lady I met in the yarn shop in Exeter today, if you do stop by to have a look at my blog this one's for you!  Hope you like Chester!  It was lovely talking to you.
Just thought I would update you on Chester's progress.  Yes he has a name now.  I couldn't keep calling him 'the crochet cat' so after much deliberation the name Chester was chosen.
For those of you who do not know Chester, I am in the process of crocheting him on a rather large scale.  I am using a size 12mm hook and 5 strands of yarn at a time.  He will probably be person size when he is finished!  He is based on the book Hello My Name is Amineko: The Story of a Crafty Crochet Cat which gives you several patterns to crochet your own cat.

Here is the finished body.  Not stuffed yet, but you can get an idea of the size.
I have been working on the head recently and have just finished it today.
Although not as tall as the body (obviously) the widest part has 96 stitches in each round!  When it came to decreasing to get it down to about 36 stitches, that was the hard part - well not difficult, hard, but hard on my elbow with all the pushing and pulling of the hook.  I'm glad to have finished that bit I can tell you!
You may notice Chester's head being modelled here by my very helpful husband who has just blown up a black bin bag inside the head to show you roughly what it will look like when stuffed!  He is covering up his pink face after using all that puff!

Need to roll some more balls of yarn now.  Not my favourite job :(  and we are off out to friends for tea tonight so no more crocheting today for me I'm afraid :(  which is a shame as I can't wait to start the arms and legs and see how long they are!!!  But we shall have a fun evening and I can start again tomorrow!

Have a good weekend folks
Catch up with you all soon xx

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Orange Candles!

Hi everyone
A very quick post tonight.  Just thought I would share this with you.
It's a candle made using an orange, clementine or satsuma to be precise, and a drop of olive oil.  I was completely taken with it when I made it.
If you would like to have a go yourself here's the link  It would be great if you could leave me a comment and let me know how you get on.
Just a word of warning!  As you can see from the pictures I placed mine on a glass dish just in case it leaked. And I also suggest you put it well away from other objects, just in case it bursts into flames, like one of mine did!!!! The others have been fine though.

Mine burnt for nearly 4 hours.  I think it depends on the size of the wick and the amount of oil.  Have fun!  Hope you like them. xx

Monday, 23 January 2012

Taffy's day out at the Eden Project

Happy Monday afternoon folks!

I started off having a good day today, bit of gardening and painting the shed - it was gorgeous first thing this morning, I was outside in a T-shirt.
Just been on a trip to Tesco (should've gone last Friday but we either went out or ate leftovers at the weekend as I just couldn't muster up the enthusiasm - know what I mean?) and now I'm feeling very Mondayish!  Just bought a few chocolate treats to cheer myself up!  The piece of Rocky Road I just ate, hopefully, will take effect soon!  Not doing too well on the 'healthy eating plan'!!!!

Eden Project
Taffy enjoyed his day out at the Eden Project.  It was the first time he had been in the car so we made sure he was strapped in safely for the long journey!
We, of course, had to stop for coffee and cake on the way down.  Taffy's cake was huuuuge!
We also stopped at Bodmin.  Put two hours in the car park and stayed 25 minutes.  Need I say more! We had lots of steps to climb on the way back to the car!
We finally arrived at the Eden Project.  Here is Taffy with the bio-domes in the background.
A walk around the outside first.  Found a few more primroses than I had in my garden!  "Oooh they smell lovely" said Taffy!
We came across some very odd looking plants though!
And a wall of hemp!
Taffy felt very at home in the next picture!
It was very warm and humid in the Tropical Dome and as I do not have a very healthy reputation with cameras I decided to keep it firmly inside my pocket.  So no photos in here I'm afraid.
By the time we got out it had got dark, we went to have a look at the ice skating rink.  Taffy didn't fancy a go, he was quite happy to watch. 
Next, a  look around 'The Core' (a sort of educational building) which was very interesting.  They had an alternative entrance for children so Taffy just had to have a go!  Weeee!
Taffy was getting tired now so we made our way back to the car.  Luckily since the last time we went they had built a new lift and a bridge so no need to walk back up the hill.  Here is Taffy in the lift and one last view of the Eden Project in the dark.

We had a really good time at the Eden Project and for anyone living in Devon or Cornwall it is only £5 at the moment.  This includes being able to return as many times as you wish, free of charge, during the next year.  Here is the link to the for those of you who are interested.

I'll update you on the crochet cat, who incidentally has now been named, in the next few days.  I've called him Chester.  The body is all finished and I've just started on his head!  Pickies will follow soon.

Have a good week folks
see you soon, byee! x

Friday, 20 January 2012

Taffy and the Crochet Cat

Yay it's Friday!  Day off today.  Housework squeezed in yesterday, Tesco later but whenever!

I'll start with a couple of odd things.  Look at these two pictures!  I just popped out in the garden because I was convinced I could see a spot of yellow from the kitchen window and there it was - our first primrose and in January!  The rose has amazed me too, not a fantastic specimen I'll grant you, but a rose in January all the same!!!  This rose used to belong to my husband's, father who I never knew as he passed away just after I met my husband.  It must be somewhere between 35 and 40 years old, my husband can remember it in his garden when he was young.  Not doing bad considering it gets cut back annually and neglected all year!

Introducing Taffy
As promised, I'd like to introduce you to Taffy.  He is the first bear I've ever crocheted so is rather special.  His name was chosen by myself and a few friends on New Year's day.   I was looking for a welsh name as he is made from proper welsh wool (written in welsh on the label even!) so I thought it would be rather fitting!  He has been exploring our garden for the first time.
"I like being outside" said Taffy :)
I'm making new friends too.  I wonder who he is?  Doesn't move much!
Look at me I've been climbing.  Hold on tight Taffy!
Need a rest after all that climbing!  Look at this, a fuchsia in November!  Who'd have thought it?

Oooh errr! Looks cold in there, hope I don't fall in!
Hang on a minute, who's that looking at me?
Oooh!! It's my reflection!  Hope the birds don't come down for a drink!

Taffy is looking forward to Saturday as he is going to the Eden Project I wonder what he will get up to there? Note to self! Remember to come back and have a look next week!

Crochet Cat
Well my crochet cat is growing well. My elbow is beginning to ache and our lounge looks like a woollen mill but apart from that everything is just fine.
I've tried to give you an idea of size in this picture.  I have completed 46 rounds so far. 
I've just stuffed him with some skeins of yarn for the purpose of this photo, so he looks a bit lumpy!  But by taking a photo of him on the sofa I thought it would give you some idea of scale.  I am just about to start decreasing for the shoulders now, so his body will be even taller when I've finished.
Look at this! Without his stuffing he has a 42" waist!!!
And look how much he weighs!  1391g - over a kilo already!

Shall need to start thinking of a name for him, can't keep calling him Crochet Cat! Got any ideas?  Drop me a line!

Right that's it!  Washing machine has stopped and cup of tea needs replacing.
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, here's to lots of crafting and lots of fun!  Would love to hear about any of your creations.  See you soon, byeee! x

Monday, 16 January 2012

Busy, busy, busy!

Hello again
Washing's in the machine, washing up done, coffee made, just enough time to squeeze in a post.
I've had a lovely few days since my last post.  Over to friends on Friday night for a meal and drinks.  Had a really good night with ler....vly food and maybe a tad too much to drink?!
Recovery day on Saturday, comfort food to mop up the alcohol, walk in the fresh air with my hubby, visit to a textile exhibition at The Guild in Bovey Tracey not far from us where we met my brother in law and sister in law, and some crafting too.  A couple more brooches for the workshop and a little bit of french knitting (you'll be impressed with this photo!!!!!)
My first attempt at french kniiting.  Told you you'd be impressed.  Not sure what it will come in handy for but you never know!  Always good to add another skill to your list! Lol!

This is the outside edge of the latest brooch but unfortunately I cannot finish it as believe it or not out of the numerous beads I have in my stash, I haven't got any suitable for the centre!! Typical!  You can just see another brooch in the top left hand corner of this picture.
Another relaxing day on Sunday :)  Another walk where we bumped into some friends and all came back for tea and cakes by the fire! Followed by Sunday Roast and more crafting in the evening!! A perfect day.

Extreme Crochet
You may or may not remember that I am running 3 workshops, one of the others is Extreme Crochet Crochet on Extreme hooks and using multiple strands of yarn at the same time.  I thought it may be interesting to be able to show people a larger item of crochet to encourage them onto the course, so they had some idea of what extreme crochet could look like.  My sister in law, Lime Green Lizzie, link to her website here started crocheting Amineko cats (amigurumi) which really have a character of their own.  I thought it would be fun to make a large one of these, so this is what I started last night.  Have a look at the pictures you'll see just how high tech the process is!

This is how some of the yarn comes and I have learnt  from  previous experience NEVER to work straight from the skein unless you have a suitable holder - hence the very technical piece of equipment in the next picture!

Ta da!  I am using 5 strands of yarn in this project only 2 of them are on skeins, just as well I may not be able to fit 5 chairs in the lounge!

This is the base of the cat's torso - basically the cat's bottom!

A close up of the cat's bottom!

This is how the rest of the yarn comes.  I have to undo the  chain and choose  3 strands to add to the other two.  I change the colours all the time so he will be a multicoloured cat.
I'm using a 12mm hook with 5 strands of yarn for this project. Not too extreme really because I want the 'fabric' of the cat to be nice and firm without holes.
I'll keep you posted with my progress, if you search amineko in images on google you'll be able to see what the finished cat will look like.  I'm hoping his body will be about 3ft tall.  Not worked out what I shall stuff him with yet.  Answers on a postcard please!

Right, must get on with life.  Tesco this afternoon (yuk!)  Have a good few days any comments would be gratefully received. Look forward to hearing from you soon Bye!!!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Knitted Wire Brooch

Well everyone's gone off enjoying themselves tonight and left me home alone! Ahhhh!  I here you say!

I've been busy over the last few days putting together a brooch for a workshop I am running in March.  These brooches are knitted in fine coloured copper wire.  The 'frill' around the outside is made separately to the centre.  I made quite a few of them a while back, but do you think I could remember what I did!
This is one of the brooches I made a while back.

The first couple turned out too small.  I began to panic that I may not be able to work it out but it came together in the end.
Finished brooch - all that's needed now is the brooch pin on the back
To be honest I have never managed to make two the same yet!  I shall probably make a few more in different colours, now I've worked it out, and then I can sell them after the workshop at my next craft stall.

If you would like to know more about any of the workshops on offer, here is the link
I am running 3 workshops - Knitted Wire Brooch/Corsage (the one I've been working on), Introduction to Crochet and the last one Extreme Crochet.

That's all for now.  After all this knitting the crochet hook is calling.  I've not forgotten Taffy though!  See you soon xx

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

First ever post!

Hello and welcome to my blog! 

This is a new venture for me so may be a little slow to start. Please bear with me! :)  I would love to hear from anyone who loves crafting of any kind.
I have at last got my blog up and running and believe it or not, for once in my life, I have been rendered speechless!
I think I'll make it very brief for my first post (well I'll have to as I've been rendered speechless!) and have a quick go at adding a few pictures.  
I don't usually like working with granny squares but I was inspired by a picture I saw of a bowl so I thought I would give it a go.  Have a look at the pictures and let me know what you think.  I was rather pleased with the way it turned out :)

Collection of squares needed for bowl
Base of bowl before blocking
View of the inside
Finished bowl

In my next post I'll try and introduce you to Taffy Bear who will be having some interesting adventures over the next few months.  Watch this space!

Thank you for joining me on my new venture.  See you again soon, Alison x