Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Lazy,hazy days of sunshine!

After that massive sigh of relief that my ENORMOUS blanket is finished. I just wanted to work on something tiny,something portable, something for somebody else. I do have some more Twiddle mats to finish but we have visitors for a few days so I can't have the sewing machine out.

So,this lovely website fitted the bill perfectly. Small,cute and perfect for a charity supporting Premature babies.

http://mariannaslazydaisydays.blogspot.co.uk

The patterns are so generously shared by Marianna. Even better they are easy to follow and give a wonderful end result. Pretty and totally perfect in my book.

Here are the two little tops I have made whilst sitting and chatting.

 

You knit them from the top down and they don't even need any sewing up or button bands.

I hope you give them a try.

Thank you for such wonderful congratulatory comments about my journey with my Elmer blanket. You enrich my days xxxx

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

My loudest ever " TAH DAH!" My Elmer blanket is finished!

When I held my babies in my arms I could not believe thet were mine,complete and perfect. Now,of course finishing a blanket, no matter how big can't be compared. But, I am smiling from ear to ear. I can't quite believe my BIG blanket journey is over.

I have just had a little backwards look through my blog. I think I started my journey with my Elmer blanket about five years ago. It has spent a long time rammed in a drawer. I have sighed over it, regretted its commencement and despaired that I would ever finish it. I have disliked it, thought to give it away, and generally been in total awe of people who make BIG blankets.

But,I have had a big blanket supporter or two. Andy has always loved it and has wanted it on our bed right from the beginning. And he is totally right. You can not walk into the bedroom and not be cheered up by the riot of colour that greets you. My eldest daughter has helped me so much with colours and words of encouragement.

And last week as I made my final stitch I could not believe I had finished it! I thought I would want to blog about it instantly but actually I wanted to see it,smooth it, get to know it, understand it.

It looks even to my eyes, amazing. It feels wonderful. My angst about " Madonna" type bumpy squares was unfounded. It lies like a colourful journey of experiences. When I had my babies I wanted just to look at them before I shared them and that's how it's been with this blanket. I am grinning as I type. It really was a big deal for me to get to this stage. To overcome my misgivings and fall in love.

 

So here we have it. My Elmer " Tah Dah!"

On our bed.

 

On the Lawn so that I could get an aerial view.

 

 

And rolled like the best,cuddliest sausage ever!

 

I have never bothered with stats before but as I draw the Elmer story to a close I did wonder about a few things!

  1. There are 810 squares. That's 1620 ends to sew in.
  2. Each square has 120 stitches. So not including the border that is over 97,000 stitches.
  3. Each square took me about five minutes to make so not counting the joining,border or sewing in those ends that took me over 67 hours,
  4. It measures 8'6" x 7'6". Or 260 x 230 cms.

It weighs three and a half kilograms. So that is 35 x 100 gram balls of Stylecraft yarn.

 

Sadly since I started it Stylecraft has gone from £1.00 to £1.85 in my local wool shop but it certainly fits the bill perfectly.

The strangest thing is after adamantly declaring this journey is never to be repeated, I found myself thinking about another Elmer blanket the other day......... But, I don't think so. Anyway before anything else I must look back and find the lovely follower who predicted when I would finish it and get a special Giveaway underway to her.

And talking of followers I see I am nearly at the 250 mark. What a thrill. Thank you to followers " old " and new. I love your comments,friendship and encouragement so much.

Friday, 15 May 2015

A pretty flower tutorial.

I am sure this flower pattern exists in lots of places or certainly a take on a theme . But last night it came from my mind, perhaps my memory. It fits the bill perfectly for my " Twiddle Books. "

And the zingy orange makes it stand out like nasturtiums in the garden. I am waiting to plant out my nasturtium seedlings and use the pretty flowers in salads and in tiny jars in the house.

So. These little flowers are so easy and jump off your hook. In no time at all you will have a pretty bunch. They could be joined to make a garland, added to a wreath. Popped on a card. In fact the only thing stopping you using them is running out of yarn. That isn't going to happen I know!

 


So here we go. Just remember crochet is so easy and relaxed.
1. Chain 3 and slip stich to make a loop or make a magic ring.Chain 2 (this represents your first treble) and then work 11 further trebles into your ring. Slip stitch in the second stitch of your initial chain to complete your first round. It looks just like the spokes of a wheel.

 

2. Immediately chain 4 and slip stitch back into the same space from your previous round. You are now going to make 5 more little loops .It goes like this.... You have made the first loop,slip stich into the next space,slip stitch again into the next space,chain 4 and slip stitch into the same space. Slip stitch into the next space, slip stitch into the next space ,chain 4 and slip stitch into the same space. So the pattern goes make a loop,slip stitch,make a loop slip stitch. You end up with 6 loops.

3. This is your final round.working in half trebles make this pattern in each loop. 3 Half trebles,,4 chain (this makes a little picot end to your petal) 3 half trebles. When you have worked each petal slip stitch in the top of the slip stitch from your previous round before working in the next loop.

That's it " Tah Dah'"

These are so easy,quick and addictive. Before you know it you have a pretty pile of flowers waiting to prettify all sorts of projects.

Just now mine are adorning the front page of my Twiddle Books. Just attached with a pretty button. Pretty perfect in my book!!

And talking of Twiddle Books I would like to thank my lovely followers for leaving such kind and encouraging comments about them.

And talking of flowers I did have time today to get out into the garden and plant some Sweet Peas that I have grown from seed and admire these pretty Violas. Such sweet,pretty faces. They always make me smile.

Please email me if you need any more help with these flowers.

 

 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Twiddling and Fiddling and the Circle of Life!

A dear friend and I were talking a few years ago. Both our Mums were getting old . We decided there is not much fun in getting old and she said the " Circle of Life " should be reversed. In her opinion, life would be much better if you were born, say aged 80. Your parents would always love you and push you around in a pram, wipe your dribble and keep you clean. Then end your life as a helpless baby. Very few people can resist a baby and feel a compunction to look after such helpless little souls.

 

 

Well sadly both our Mums died and of course life goes on. Luckily neither suffered from the stressful,terrible illness of Dementia or Alzheimer's . For that I am so, so thankful.

After my last post about the twiddle mats I thought I had better contact some hospitals to see if they indeed were needed. And much to my delight I got a very quick email back saying " yes please, and as soon as possible.

They are found to be useful for distressed patients who, because of their condition, pick at their clothing, skin,canulas or anything near by.

I looked on good old Pinterest and there are some brilliant ideas there. So, this morning I set off on a twiddling journey. Not a mat this time but a book. I read that of course they often need to be sanitised so I thought about how to make sure they are washable. They also need to be safe .

So every seam is treble stitched. I just need to twiddle and fiddle and make some more!

A soft material for the front cover and ribbon " taggies" to stroke.

 

 

The inside pages have a few activities.

A pretty little pocket with ribboned flowers hiding inside.

A heart with crinkly paper stuffing.

 

A zip that can be zipped and unzipped endlessly.

And the ultimate crochet twiddlers.

 

If you are reading this and someone you love is suffering from such a distressing illnes and you think thus might help. Please send me an email and I will pop one in the post for you as quickly as I can.

 

 

My email can be found on the side bar of my blog.

 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Why is it?

I love having Buster to stay. I really don't want a dog full time but two weeks of wagginess seems lovely. Especially as I never have to do the last walk at night,or the first in the morning ! Pretty perfect in my book! He is so handsome.

 

And add to that a pretty special Westie friend who lives up the hill with Andy's sister and the combination seems special .

 

If ever you are near Bovey Tracey have a little break here.
Everyone thought it pretty special!

Especially Buster!

 
 

Plans can be made for walks,and walks can get dotted with food! And the cafe seemed perfect. Opened by the leading light of the Asburton Cookery School. And yet ....

 

The food was ..mediocre ... Never mind we had a lovely day. It's often the way. Why is it?

 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

A Little bit of comfort!

Andy and I have had to say our " goodbyes" to our much loved and treasured parents. The time will never be right and losing the people you care so much about is so hard. Your life is never the same again and the top step of the generational ladder seems a cold and draughty place at times.

Cherished memories help ease the pain and so does the fact that they never suffered from Dementia or Alzheimer's. We said our final farewell to the people we knew and thankfully they knew us too,to the end. Such a comfort.

We did however watch friends having to say their " goodbyes " long before their parents died. Such a cruel, heartbreaking situation when Dementia robs you of the parents you have loved for so long.

This week I saw this link on good old Facebook and it galvanised me into action.

 

http://www.ncuh.nhs.uk/our-services/twiddlemuffs.pdf

 

 

I love quick projects and I am having a well deserved break from crochet for a few days. So out came the sewing machine and a baby blanket soon became three " Twiddle squares" Actually the fleece was a nightmare to cut and the room was covered in fleecy snow. But it's softness and squishiness makes up for it.

 

 

 


I also have a pile of crochet squares. I was waiting for a Grand daughter to be born. I thought of making the props for the "Princess and the Pea " Fairy Story. But, on reflection it is a story all about a high maintenance, spoilt, self centred girl. So, I have been looking for a way of using them up and " Tah Dah!" what a better use. Anyway there does not seem to be a baby on my horizon at present so better to use them up for such a worthwhile cause.


I have firmly machine stitched over every piece of ribbon,back stitched over every little twiddly bit and tucked in some cellophane card pockets to add a gentle noise. I hope they help someone and I am sending two of these to a friend who visits a home in her area where the suffering of people with Dementia is so apparent and makes her sad every time she visits. I will await her feedback with interest and I am going to send the others to help with the NHS plea.

If anyone has any good ideas about what to add for interest on these please shout.

Finally my peonies are broken and bedraggled. And my long awaited shout,scream,cry,celebration about Elmer has to wait for a sunny day. But, hopefully not long now. A Giveaway for the closest guess concerning the happy day of its completion will be underway.

Your kind comments about Buster are lovely. He is not liking this wet and windy weather either!

 

Maybe he needs a "Twiddlemuff " to take his mind off his tea time !!!!

 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

What a shame!

My joy of witnessing my peonies flowering yesterday has turned to dismay today. April showers have crept into May and the wind is blowing in a crazy fashion. I wish I had picked them all and brought them indoors!

I am trying to get a bit more savvy about uploading videos! If anyone has any tips when blogging with Blogsy please do not be afraid to hold my hand and tell me how to do it! It all looks a bit cloak and dagger with padlocks on board!

Monday, 4 May 2015

I promised myself!

I promised myself my next post would be about me screaming a " Tah Dah" from my rooftop to announce the finish of the Elmer blanket. But I miss you all!

So, as I am working on my monster blanket I have taken time to look with awe and wonder at my Tree Peony. It is so dear to my heart as it's the last gift my Mum gave to me before she died. Sweet,poignant beauty.

 

And our time is being taken up by this gorgeous boy. Buster is with us for a couple of weeks. He is pretty gorgeous too!

 

Right, back to hooking and that elephant!