My weekend has been a time of finishing projects, starting new ones and getting organised with my photos – how can I share my creations if I don’t have photos.
The green blanket above was made for my daughter, and that is her cat Tinks enjoying some quality time with it. She looks so sweet and almost human draped over the sofa, as if she has enjoyed a heavy night on the tiles and just needs some netflix&chill time. I made this blanket back in the late summer and it was my third ever Granny stripe using the colours that my daughter loves with a made up stripe sequence and a pattern taken from the hugely popular (and rightly so) blog of Attic24. I absolutely adore the simplicity and clarity of Lucy’s projects, she takes so much time to give you step by step instructions. So a huge thank you to her.
The new Granny square cushion cover had to happen as I have been staring at an unfinished blanket for months now which we are using to drape over the back of the sofa and it just looks so out of place with the covers I had on my cushions – they were made 11 years ago when I got a new sofa. I now have a gorgeous secondhand brown leather sofa which you sink into, so some lovely soft tactile covers are needed.
I began the square as an antithesis to the three striped blankets I had previously made, The first ever blanket, a gorgeous and truly huge rainbow striped one for my nieces 5th birthday and then the Green “Tinks” blanket for my daughters 17th birthday at the end of September. So another design had to come into play, and use up some of the colours left over from the three previous delights; waste not want not as they say. However as it got bigger I suddenly was not sure of the squareness of the blanket if you know what I mean, and began to look for other things I could do with it. Well, googling Granny Squares brought me to the most wonderful site and fantastic design for a Granny Square Shrug I have ever seen. What a brilliant idea by Maria Valles, and what a simple design. I thought my daughter might like it but I could tell when I suggested it so wasn’t cool enough; hence the back of the sofa, and there it sits still with its tails and no border….
What next for my happy hook? Well, it was by now October and despite the freakishly warm weather I knew I should get cracking on something for my other niece – Big Sis to her whom received the Rainbow blanket. I noticed on presentation of said Rainbow Blanket that Big Sis eyed it up; and whilst rainbow and unicorns are the ideals of five year olds and there can never be too much pink – for an almost nine-year old something different was required! After having visited the Autumn Knitting & Stitching show and coming away with a book hoard of designs I had fallen in love with one by Susan Pinner for a hexagonal delight in muted colours. It looked simple enough and I had plenty of time to be making triangles so searching for inspiration I asked my sister to send some photos of the new bedroom in the new house. Big Sis had chosen some rather snazzy and grown up curtains made with fabric from the Scion Mr Fox range, and this had to be the beginning for me.
I mean just look at those cute foxes and those lovely muted colours! So grown up and would definitely give her something she could cherish for a while. Hexagonal’s, Mr Fox, and a raid on my huge box of colours and I began. Whilst I used the Mr Fox as a starting point I also wanted to inject some colour. So a mixture was thought up of brights and lights with six ‘cold’ colours based on blues greens and six ‘warm’ colours based on Mr Fox. I also want all the centres and joining pieces to be a lovely soft grey to make the whole thing have a more grown up edge to it. The other thing I realised pretty quickly was that the size of the blanket in the pattern was not going to be big enough as Lil Sis had a ginormous one and sizing would be compared! I hastily did some maths and came to the conclusion that 144 triangles would be enough to make the size I wanted.
By half term I had amassed about 100 triangles and began to put them together, its was then that with sinking heart I realised exactly how many tails I would have to sew in and also that I had not read the pattern properly so would need to come up with an alternative way of joining the triangles. In some ways a relief as the thought of making about 70 small circles was almost pushing me over the edge….
I began to try and piece the triangles together noting that a circle was a good idea but maybe it could just be a chain…and then when I had joined a few it dawned on me that this made a delightful and ethereal star design in the middle of the hexagonal’s. Oh happy accident!
Tools were downed for half term apart from a few evenings of quiet when I managed to make a few more triangles, and then suddenly it was the beginning of November and my Little Man was back to boarding school; not so much happy days. He had only started in September and I am still adjusting to not having him with me. LM has high functioning Autism with sensory issues so he needs specialist teaching and a much quieter environment then I can give him in London; boarding school whilst not the choice for everyone has been a blessing for him. He also needs the rough and tumble of other boys and good role models as at home he is surrounded by women! Two cats, a sister and a mum all girls… no an eleven year old definitely needs more testosterone in his life. This does mean that holidays are for him, so I will only work, blog and craft when he is engaged in Wii or other activities. Time that he wants to spend with me is too precious to miss as with his Autism he sometimes just wants to be alone and that can be hard for a mum.
Anyway back to school and for me back to the hook. I raced through the remaining triangles and kept going with linking them all up, but before I knew it Christmas was upon us and LM was back. We were busy making decorations, going to see Star Wars and Panto and then it was off to France to see the GranParentals. I could not fit the blanket into the suitcase or we would not have any clothes so I left my hook and instead decided to knit. My mother is an amazing knitter and I love nothing more than sitting in her living room with the real fire going knitting with her and chatting about all things wooly. Of course being her daughter I never take her advice, but secretly I store all the tit bits she gives me and use them later.. shhh don’t tell her.
Once back from France I had exactly three days to finish the Grand Hexagonal as I would now like to call it. This meant three nights of 5-12pm crochet and sewing in tails. If I never have to sew in another tail I will be happy but the finished result is so lovely it was definitely worth it, and I know that Big Sis loved it. I will have to try and take an in situ picture when I visit this week. It is so hard to find space to photograph these huge blankets in my flat but I just about managed to get it all in!
So the hook went down for a while after that and I continued with my knitting phase, knocking out a jumper and two striped hats one of which I wore yesterday to a garden event – and boy was I glad of it with that wind..
I also taught at The Make Escape for their bi-monthly craft evening as a knitting tutor so I was definitely immersed in the needles for a while. However the lure of the hook cannot be ignored for long and I was soon back absentmindedly making a granny square whilst watching Dickensian; a hugely enjoyable bit of fluff with beautiful costumes from BBC. Not so much of the fanfare of War & Peace but some of the outfits are just as gorgeous.
You can take the girl away from the costume department but you can never remove the costume from the girl it seems!
There are so many lovely open fires in this show that it did somewhat influence my choice of colours and the way I put them into my design. Still I won’t go on about the Granny Square Cushion now as I really want to make up a pattern for you and post it next.