52 weeks of happy: 1/52

Well, I’ve just been reading ‘Little Tin Bird’ and thought that this idea of a post a week of happy things sounded like a good idea. I think that trying to remember happy things is probably my primary reason for blogging. So, the first week of 2013 is over: here are my happy moments.

Eating pate on toast. I haven’t had this for years. It’s not exactly healthy but I certainly enjoyed it.IMG_5880Starting a new twirly, whirly scarf. This is either going to be a birthday present or stashed as a gift for next Christmas. I kid you not – this year I am going to be ORGANISED! (More on this at a later date).IMG_5884Enjoying the view of industrial Teesside. In the right light, it can be just as special as somewhere rural. The Transporter bridge is pretty iconic if you happen to be a Teessider. This was taken at RSPB Saltholme. The birds certainly don’t mind sharing with the cooling towers and chemical plants.IMG_5892I’m not sure if this counts as happy or not but I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate this week. IMG_5893Finishing the scarf in the early hours of this morning. The reason I was up at 2 am was not so happy – another sickness bug. At least I got to watch some interesting TV and complete my little project.IMG_5911Here’s to lots of happy times in 2013!

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Give us a twirl then

If you’ve read the posts at the start of this blog you will know that one of the first projects I aired here was a twirly-wirly scarf. It was started quite some time ago and forgotten until I stumbled across Attic 24 and was inspired to take up my crochet hook again. I had seen some yarn in Boyes that I really liked the colour of but wasn’t sure if I should go ahead and buy it. Was I being too indulgent? If I bought it would I turn it into a scarf in time to give it as a Christmas present? Crikey, you would think I was spending a million pounds, not five.

Thanks to some encouragement from Pam at hippy hat – take it from here (her blog) I decided to take the plunge.

Here is the start. I just HATE doing the first row after making the chains. It’s really tricky and although I love this yarn, the mixture of colours in it made it a bit tricky to find the right spot to put the hook into.

It’s worth persevering though because it soon starts to do it’s twirly, wirly thing.

Mmmmmm, love those colours.

Well, after sneaking in a bit of hooking here and there I did manage to finish it in time for Christmas. Not only that but I also whipped up a matching hat and had about 10 inches of yarn left at the end. How about that for good luck. Alas, I didn’t remember to take a picture of the finished articles so you’ll just have to trust me. At that point I was so behind with the Christmas wrapping that I didn’t have a moment to indulge in fancy photography.

I’ve just been to visit my Godmother, the recipient of the scarf and hat combo. What do you know, she’s only knitting Aunty Betty a sweater in the exact same yarn that she chose independently, before Christmas. Great minds think alike.

Twirly-Wirly Scarf – Done

Just a little update. The twirly-wirly scarf is done. Here is a picture. Sorry the quality isn’t great. I only have the camera from my phone most of the time.

I love how the mixture of colours coordinate with my favourite pink cardigan and cosy grey polo neck. Perfect for winter.

Now, shall I keep it or shall I give it away for Christmas? Could I rustle up another one before December 25th? What do you think?

Inspiration

The last couple of weeks have been all about crochet. A couple of weeks ago we went to visit the in-laws and I remembered that I still had a crochet scarf under construction. Visiting the family generally seems to be a good opportunity to get a bit of crafting done. Grandma is happy to keep the children entertained and my lovely Father-in-law has very different taste in TV watching to me. So I got out the trusty yarn and hook and settled in to add some more to my twirly-wirly scarf. Unfortunately the yarn ran out.

I was a little bit frustrated but not terribly surprised. I should really have known better than to make it so long in the first place. I started the first twirly-wirly scarf last Christmas day. My mum bought me the wool and pattern from Bobbins in Whitby and gave it to me for Christmas. As I was very pregnant at the time it was a lovely present. It was something to keep me entertained and sitting down. I quickly got addicted to creating my first bit of crochet for a long time. I was gratified to discover that crochet is like riding a bike. You never really forget how to do it. The scarf was complete before my baby put in a slightly early appearance on December 29th . However, when the scarf was finished I was a little disappointed with how short it was and went back to read the pattern. I soon realised that the length could be easily adjusted.

Next time Mum had a little trip to Whitby in her caravan she generously brought back two more balls of wool in a different shade. This time I made twice the number of chains on the foundation row. This was not going to be some twee little neck adornment. No, this time I meant business. I was creating a proper scarf. Like I said, I really should have known better. I should have realised that I would need more yarn. But, my crochet brain was not in good shape. It’s been a long time with lots of sleepless nights in between. More wool was required.

With no prospect of a trip to Whitby in sight I had to take to the internet to source another ball of wool. I was a little bit peeved with the first site I found. It had what I wanted but was going to charge me more for postage than for the yarn itself! £5 for posting a 50g ball of wool!!!!! Fortunately I found an online shop that could supply me with what I needed (Rico Fashion Tasai Aran in red).

In the meantime, I had found the fabulous ‘Attic 24’ blog, via Housewife Confidential’.  As soon as I had clapped eyes on the colours and patterns I just had to get going with something more creative than a scarf. Something that would allow me to choose the colours, not some fancy dyer in Italy. Initially I thought about starting a blanket for our bedroom. My husband often complains that his toes get cold, peeking out under the duvet. Lucy at Attic 24 has so many lovely blankety inspirations on her site that it seemed a good idea. I rushed out to my local Boyes store (brilliant shop – sells everything) and picked some colours that I thought would look good with my stripy Laura Ashley curtains. Then I paused. What kind of blanket should I go for? A ripple seemed like too much of a commitment for a first project and anyway, would that just be too many stripes in one room. I didn’t really want something too ‘holy’ as I could imagine my children poking and picking at it and probably tripping over it too. Decisions, decisions.

Luckily as I was wandering around at Attic 24, enjoying the view, I found a tutorial for Christmas bauble decorations. Perfect. Quick to make and with endless combinations of colours, buttons and beads. Bliss. I was ‘hooked’. And can you believe it, this has been the week that my babykins has decided that a nice long sleep in the morning is just what he needs. Joy oh joy. An hour to just do a bit of crochet. It must have restored some of my housewifely balance because I have even done a pretty good job of keeping the place tidy. The floor has been regularly cleaned and I even managed to dust the children’s bedroom! I still have mountains of paperwork to sort though. Maybe next week.