Monday, August 31, 2015

New (two year old) quilt completed!

Hi all! I'm so happy to say that today is the LAST DAY OF WINTER! Yes, I am shouting and, yes, I know that's not good blog etiquette, but I'm super excited to kick winter in the butt today and welcome in a little more sunshine and warmth. Here's a pretty camellia bloom to celebrate. 

Speaking of warmth, there's nothing like a cosy quilt to keep you warm on those chilly winter nights. Since my last post I've finished a crafty project that's been waiting for two years (yep, I said two years) to be completed. I made a quilt in the last quarter of 2013. I even had it professionally quilted by a dear friend. And then I put it in a paper bag and put it on the shelf in my craft room and there it has stayed for two whole years!! All it needed was the binding, people! It's not that hard. Why do I do stuff like that - put a huge amount of work in to a project and fail to take it that last step to completion? And it's not only time that goes into these projects, it's money too. With the fabric (French General) and quilting on this project, I'd probable spent close to $300, only to let it linger unfinished, unused and unloved for two years. Sounds so silly to me now that it's done. The binding probably took at total of 3 -4 hours to complete - that's cutting the strips, joining them, ironing them,  machine stitching them to the quilt front and hand stitching them to the back. So now I have a gorgeous new (two year old) quilt to snuggle under, just as winter is coming to a close. Don't worry, I'm sure there'll be plenty of chilly nights left to use it yet. 

Have you got any UFOs (unfinished objects) calling to you? What's the longest you've ever left a project before completing it? It sure does feel awesome to get them done!! 

Thanks for visiting, 

Anita. xo

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mug cosies and tshirt yarn


Well, here I am sitting at my kitchen table and I thought I'd let you know just a little bit of what I've been doing and making around here. It seems to be the season for crochet at the moment. The more I do, the more I'm inspired to do. It all started with my decluttering efforts actually. As you may have read in my last post, I can't bear to throw away craft supplies, so I recently crocheted up a cotton blend lap blanket with various colours of leftover yarn. While I was fossicking in my yarn tub, I came across some other scraps. This pretty pink based multicolour acrylic was left over from a stuffed rabbit project a couple of years ago. There was only about half a ball of plain pink and the same of the multicoloured yarn. So I put them together (double stranded crochet) and crocheted these two mug cosies. I just did a chain to fit around my cups ( I think it was 34 chains) and joined it into a circle. Then I did a row of (UK) double crochet as a foundation. Then chained 3, turned my work and crocheted in treble up to the last two stitches (you don't stitch all the way to the end, as you need to leave room for your cup handle to poke through). Chain 3 and turn, then treble crochet back to the last treble of the previous row. I continued on in this way until my cosy was tall enough for my cup (I think it was 5 rows of treble crochet). I went around the edge with a border of double crochet and when I arrived back at my starting point, I chained 15 and attached it back to the base of the chain, to make a loop for a button hole. I attached my button, wove in my yarn ends and voila!! A cute little mug cosy to keep your coffee hot in this chilly winter weather we're having here in south eastern Australia. I hope those instructions make some kind of sense.  I've never written any kind of crochet pattern down before, so it may make no sense at all. Please let me know if you need me to clarify it for you.

Another crochetproject I've recently completed is a birthday present for a family member. I'm not sure if she ever visits my blog any more.....I think most people stopped visiting due to the infrequency of my posting! But I'll hold off on posting pics of her present just in case. I will be able to share it next week.

In the ongoing spirit of decluttering, I've gone through my wardrobe and had a big throw out of things that were out of style, didn't fit or were just plain worn out. I came across a couple of well loved, but past their prime long sleeved tshirts. I like the colours and the texture of the fabric, so I cut them up into strips and made some tshirt yarn (there are plenty of YouTube tutorials and Pinterest pins on how to make tshirt yarn, so I won't go into it). Anyhoo, I've been playing with this chunky yarn and my size 8 crochet hook. My first attempts at a circle shape were awkward and untidy, so I pulled them out an decided to make a simple granny square. So far it measures about 30cm (12 inches) square.  This is where I'm up to: 

I'm not sure if it will become a little floor mat or just a cushion cover......I'll let you know. It feels good to know that I've taken something that was destined for the bin, and given it another use. We have a new outdoor entertaining area at our place and I think a big crocheted tshirt year rug would look amazing out there. Of course it would be a huge project, so I'll have to make sure it's what I want before I commit to it. Have you ever crochet with tshirt yarn or fabric strips of any kind? I'd love to hear your experiences and tips. 

Thanks for visiting,

Anita. xo

Friday, August 7, 2015

Using up my yarn scraps.

I thought I'd change theme today and show you a crochet project that I finished last week. If you're a crafter, I'm sure you're familiar with the dilemma of having lots of leftover scraps that you I can't bear to part with. In this case, I had loads of scraps of cotton blend yarn. By scraps I mean a couple of full balls, several half balls and lots of little bits and pieces. Not really enough to make anything in just one colour. I've been decluttering, and I looked at all those leftover bits of yarn and I just couldn't bear to get rid of I decided to use them up. I started crocheting them into simple treble crochet stripes - no pattern. I just randomly picked colours from my stash in a combination of rows that I thought was pretty. After a couple weeks of crochet at my kids' sport training, I'd used up all my scraps and my blanket was big enough. I did, however have to call in to the local yarn shop to buy just one more ball of the blue yarn I used for the border.......and of course, now I've got about a third of that ball left over!! But I'm really pleased with his little lap blanket. I've used up some of my stash and I've gained a lovely little piece for my family to use. It's actually the perfect size for me to cart around to the boy's basketball matches/training sessions. My craft room is still looking chaotic, but there's one less bag of yarn stuffed into the cupboard. Now I just need to get around to using up all my other leftover supplies!! I do have sooooo much trouble parting with craft supplies. I'm sure I'm not the only creative one out there with this dilemma. 

Thanks for visiting,

Anita. xo