Monday

What is it with Mondays?  Last week Carter was off sick, and today I get a call from school to ask me to come and collect Maia, who is unwell. Not that I really mind, this afternoon I got lots of lovely cuddles with my favorite girl.Drawing the winnerThank you to everyone who entered the peg people making kit giveaway last week, I really wish I could give something to you all! We held the draw this evening, and the winner is…Draw winner oliviaOlivia said: Hi! When I first saw your peg people I thought they were fantastic but here in Switzerland we can’t buy those lovely pegs and I think they’d look funny made out of the normal plastic ones!! So here’s fingers crossed to being lucky and getting the give away. Thank you for your blog and your tutorials! Have a lovely day, Olivia

Ill be in touch soon Olivia!

(Maia’s perked up a bit for the photo, hasn’t she?  Amazing are the restorative properties of an afternoon on the couch – now if only I could swing an afternoon off myself).

A few links to share…

Loving this yarn storage solution, but not sure how well that conversation would go with my husband!

I’ve been making hot water bottle covers to warm myself up as its especially dreary here, inspired by these lovely ones.

Anyone made crochet hook handles? Id love to try.

This scarf... scroll down towards the bottom of the post.

Admiring these socks

but especially loving this amazing very contemporary blanket and wanting to make one, immediately!

You can find more of what inspires me over on my pinterest crochet page.

I hope you are having a wonderful Monday! Janettexx

Coming off the hook…

Do you find that sometimes you just cant stop with the crochet? Well I do. Right now I’m crocheting every spare second… and I have at least 3 projects on the go and another in mind, which, lets face it, I’ll probably start today.Crochet slippersIf you were on Facebook on Monday you will have seen that Carter was unwell so we spent the day home together. It was actually a nice day, lots of cuddles and playing, plus some watercolor painting which we both enjoy. I also whipped him up some simple crochet slippers, just the thing for dreary days, and sick boys. And perfect for feet up watching tv kind of afternoons!Crochet slippersIf I get organized I’ll share the simple recipe for them later this week, I’ve made plenty of pairs of slippers in the last 5 years but  keep coming back to these ones for ease of use and staying on ability.

Tapestry woolOur lovely neighbor Stephanie recently gave me a big bag of tapestry wool skeins, only small pieces but in a gorgeous range of colors. I was unsure what to do with them, but in the meantime they have become our dinner table centerpiece which warms my heart!WoolFor some reason reading that they are moth resistant makes me laugh 🙂 I’ve started making mini two-round granny squares and joining them as I go. I think I know what I’m making… I’ll keep you posted as it progresses (just so long as I don’t change my mind mid-way, which is a very real possibility!!!).mini granny squareJust in case you missed it, you can find the granny pattern (just use the first two rounds) and join as you go method here.

So now I’m wondering, what are you working on?

And then comes winter…

Autumn leaves21I can hardly believe it’s the first of June already.

Carter autumn 2013Yesterday Carter and I spent the afternoon rambling around our local gardens, stopping to play at the park for a while but mostly just walking, pointing out the sights and chatting.[gickr.com]_92f28dc8-e154-3d24-b5d1-dab35d1e87ff

It’s funny how talkative my little man becomes on these afternoon excursions.  When he’s with his older sister he’s really not much of a talker, but when it’s just he and I, he talks almost constantly and is really very good company.

It was lovely to be outside, if a little chilly with the threat of rain never far away.

Carter autumn 2013 2We also gathered a large collection of leaves and such. So when we picked up Maia from school we decided to make nature pictures (you know, gluing the collected items to card)…Nature pictures…which evolved into autumn peg people, and autumn peg fairies:Autumn peg fairyMy latest project is taking shape quickly, I hope to have it mostly finished by the end of the weekend.

What’s the weather like where you are? What do you have planned this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope you have a great one! Jxx

What makes me happy?

I confess, I’m a spur of the moment kind of girl.  When inspiration strikes, I want to start.

Straight away.

Right now.

Sooner if at all possible.

That may be why, even though I have two projects on the go, and another one finished but needing to be written up and posted so I can share it with you, I wanted to start another new MUCH more interesting project.

Problem. I didn’t have any suitable yarn.

Solution. I ordered some.

But… I had to wait for it to arrive.

It arrived today. Yay!!

Wool winder 5

I excitedly tore the package open only to find that before I could begin it needed to be wound from the hanks into balls.

Wool winding 3Last year my aunt gave me a vintage wool winder, and this was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to use it (I’m not sure if it has been used much between 1975 and 2013).

Wool winder 3And to be honest, I’m not sure if it achieved the job quicker than me rolling it myself… but the resulting ball was very nicely wound.

When it worked well, the rhythmic action of turning the spool and watching it wrap around was lovely. Unfortunately all too often it was more frustrating than relaxing because the wool kept getting tangled in various places and jamming it up.

But now the first ball is done (the others can wait for another day) and I am all ready to begin my new project. Wool winder 2

That, dear friends, makes me very happy! xox

Crochet granny square baby blanket

Ive finished my granny baby blanket…

Grannky blanket 6Sorry it took a little longer than I thought it would to come back to you with it.  Granny blanket 8By the time I made the trip to spotlight to get the yarn to finish the edging…… and washed and blocked it (and waited… and waited) for it to dry… Granny blanket 5Fortunately there has just been a break in the weather so I rushed outside to find somewhere to photograph it, and try to get the colors as true as possible…

Granny blanket 9I love it, and I hope the new baby (my soon-to-be-born niece or nephew) loves it too. Carter has already wrapped himself up in it a couple of times and keeps asking if he can keep it!!

Crochet granny square blanket patternIn case you want to make a blanket like this, there are 42 squares (6 x7), this resulted in a blanket that is 84cm x 100cm (34″ x 40″), I used a variety of 8ply yarns and a 4mm hook.

There are loads of places that explain how to make granny squares, but they are all a little different, so here’s my version:

How to make a basic Granny Square:

Chain 5 and join with a slip stitch to make a circle, then chain 3 (this counts as the first dc):

Granny square how toDc into the circle two times:Granny square how to Chain 2, and DC three more times into the circle:Granny square how toRepeat twice more, until you have 4 clusters of 3 DC separated by chain 2 spaces. After the last chain 2, join with a ss into the top of the starting chain 3: Granny square how toSlip stitch in the next 3 DCs to get to the next chain 2 space:

Granny square how toChain 3, DC x 2, Chain 2, then DC x 3 into the first space:Granny square how toMake 2, 3DC clusters separated by chain 2 in each chain 2 space from the previous round. After the last chain 2, join with a ss into the top of the starting chain 3:

Granny square how toRepeat round twice more-  SS to corner, then make 2 x 3DC clusters separated with chain 2 space in corners and 3DC clusters in spaces between corners:Granny square how toIf you are going to join as you go- this is where you stop making rounds and join to another square. If you are going to join in another method or you want to make a bigger square you just keep making rounds:Granny square how to 7

Join- as- you- go method for joining granny squares:

This is a nice method for joining as it means you don’t end up having to sew all your squares together, and also reduces the number of ends to sew in – each granny only has two ends if you use the single color grannies throughout.

Here is the first square (4 rounds) and the second square I’m going to join to it (3 rounds). The last round will be the joining round:

Granny square how to 8Chain 3 and make the first cluster in the corner of your joining square (light blue), chain 1, then insert hook behind the chain 2 space of first square:

Granny square join as you goPull up a loop and…

Granny square join as you go…complete single crochet linking the two squares together:Granny square join as you goMake another 3DC cluster into your corner:

Granny square join as you goThen insert hook through back of next space of first square again:

Granny square join as you goPull up loop, then make an sc…

Granny square join as you goAnd make your next cluster, repeat again:Granny square join as you go

Make your first set of 3 clusters in corner space, then join again:Granny square join as you goBefore completing next 3DC cluster in the corner of your joining square:

Granny square join as you goComplete round as normal, and join with a ss into the top of the beginning chain 3:

Granny square join as you goRepeat for all squares, joining two sides when you have to:

Granny square join as you goEdging:

Once all edges were joined together, I edged the entire rectangle in 3DC clusters (just like a giant granny square), making 2 x 3DC clusters separated by chain 2 space in the corners:

Granny baby blanketAnd repeated for 6 rounds:

Granny baby blanketThe very outer edge was a simple bobble picot: Join in a space between clusters, sc in next stitch, sc in next stitch (that’s the center of the cluster below) and chain 3:

Granny baby blanketJoin with a ss into the top of the same sc:

Granny baby blanketBobble formed:

Granny baby blanketSC in the next 2 stitches, repeat bobble. Repeat all around the blanket:

Granny baby blanket 6I blocked the blanket to even out the shape.  Because the weather has cooled down, and we have had a lot of rain it took absolutely ages to dry.

So there you go, I hope that gives you a little bit of insight into my creative process. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below and Ill do my best to help out.

Granny blanket 10Have a lovely weekend 🙂

Cranberry and white chocolate cookies

The weather has really taken a turn for the worse. Today there was a lot of wind, rain and even hail; this is what it looked like on our deck this afternoon.Hail on the deckBrrrr, it was definitely a day for staying indoors, and for the first time this year we had the fire going… which warms the spirits almost as much as the house!FireplaceIt was also the perfect day for crochet. My new project is coming along nicely, especially with the enforced inside time, tucked up in front of the fire today.  I’m almost finished and should be sharing it with you in a day or two, in fact it would have been sooner had I not ran out of the yarn I was using for the border with only about 10cm to go. Gah!Granny blanket 2What? You want to see another photo? Oh, ok here it is on Friday (before the rain, and the border)…Granny blanket 1Fortunately I’ve also finished sewing in all those ends! Maybe if I’d saved some of those ends I would have been able to finish my border… never mind, we can talk more about that soon.

What I really wanted to share with you today was these totally yummy cranberry and white chocolate cookies. Yep, they taste as good as they sound. Chewy, oaty, chocolatey yumminess!

Cranberry white chocolate cookiesI cant take total credit for these delish cookies, though. Ive got a copy of Tana Ramsay’s book ‘I love to bake’ and couldn’t decide whether to make the oat and cranberry chewy cookies or the white chocolate, coconut and cranberry cookies – so I combined them!!! Here’s the recipe if you want to give them a try:

Cranberry and white chocolate cookie recipe.

  • 225g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 180g (6 1/4oz) light brown sugar
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 250g (9oz) rolled oats
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) cranberries
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) good quality white chocolate (chopped into chunks)
  1. Beat together butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time and beat well between each addition, then mix in the honey, vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder together and stir in oats. Fold into butter mixture, lastly add the cranberries and chocolate, mixing just enough to combine.
  4. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto lined baking sheets and cook at 200c/ 390f/ 180 fan forced for about 10 – 12 minutes… until the edges are lightly browned and crispy, but the center is still soft.  Remove from oven and leave on oven tray for a couple of minutes to harden a little, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, I like to bake about 2 dozen to eat and freeze the rest (in tablespoonfuls on a tray – then transfer to a bag or container when frozen) to bake later.

Cranberry white chocolate cookiesEnjoy! Love Janette xxx