All posts tagged yarn

Faffing about

Published July 22, 2015 by sunmoonstars134

I am remarkably good at this! This past week or so my faffing about has taken the form of “deluding myself that I’m making progress when actually I’m just faffing”. We’ll call it dmtimpwaijf for short. Catchy, right?
I got some fab advice last week on my unfinished blankets, and resolved to take it all on board, power on and finish up 3 projects I’m really excited about 🙂

I haven’t picked up a hook since I posted that :/

I have, however, spent a lot of time “researching” things like blocking techniques, joining techniques and new projects (seriously – I never learn!)

Only to have a stern talk with myself today where I noted that I already know what I want to do, so perhaps the best thing would be to just do it. 

I amaze myself with my brilliant ideas sometimes. 

So, to hold myself accountable, here’s the list to be done by the end of Sunday:

  • Order styrofoam board and skewers (for blocking many triangles in one go)
  • Sew in ends on all remaining triangles 
  • Make remaining squares for BAMCAL (no need to stitch 6″ squares into big squares, but ends must be done)

… Anyone else want to make a pledge with me, we can cheer each other on!


Crochet advice please?

Published July 15, 2015 by sunmoonstars134

I am currently working on 3 blankets…

I’m finding it quite frustrating, as in my 18ish months of crocheting, I’ve not finished anything bigger than a baby blanket, because inspiration strikes everywhere, and as my skills have developed I’ve wanted to move on to new things. 

Blanket #1: The Granny Triangles

I think I’m 2/3 of the way to my original target, but there’s probably enough to make a decent size now (64). But the ends… Oh, the ends 😦 (also, I am sad at the orangey tinge to this photo – the mish mash of colours make me very happy, but you can’t really see them properly here)

Advice: will I add much time by switching to the jayg method now by adding another round to everything, rather than hand stitching? Jayg would mean I wouldn’t need to make any more, and I’d get to learn how to jayg, which I’ve not done before (because I’ve never got to the finishing stage before!) Or will stitching be noticibly quicker? (I think finishing something is more important than new learning at this stage.)
Blanket #2: The As-We-Go Stripey Blanket 

Loooved this, up until the moment I took a photo and realised that the edges are VERY uneven. Then I got grumpy and stopped doing anything with it. I still adore it though, and have learned my lesson well: count the stitches!! I had been intending to do a kind of “tube” edging to encase my ends, but the wonkiness has put paid to that, I think. I’ll need to do some drastic evening up instead, so that’s more ends to sew in…

Advice: how best to even this up? Should I do a few rounds where I double crochet around and treble on the skinny bits? Or is there another way?
Blanket #3: The BAMCAL

I’m joining in with the very lovely group over at Ravelry, and am making this super duper afghan for my nan. I want to make all squares up to November, then spend December finishing it to give to her at Christmas. I’m trying to be disciplined and block and do ends as I go. I’m a little behind on this, 3 squares to make to get caught up, a few need an extra round to bring them to size and you can probably spy some of my beloved ends there…

No advice required about this one specifically, just an idea of how people tend to prioritise –
Overall advice: what do you tend to do with multiple projects on the go? Do you prefer to put your energies into finishing one, or do a bit on lots of different projects to bring them all to completion a bit faster? Does having plenty of WIPs inspire you or stress you out (as it does me!)

I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week: Day 2

Published May 12, 2015 by sunmoonstars134

Today’s post is about me!

Day Two (Tuesday 12th May): It’s All About You.
Cast your hooks and needles aside!

This year you are challenged with one of those tasks that some bloggers can find quite daunting: but there’s never a better time then when we’re all in it together, so let’s shift the focus and turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us.

The important thing here is to remember that you don’t have to go into great personal detail and certainly do not have to reveal anything too personal. You can be as candid or as private as you like, but you can also give your readers a feel for those things that you like to do outside of your crafting.

  • Do you like to walk or keep fit
  • Do you read or enjoy movies – are there any personal favourite books or films that you would recommend?
  • What is your dream holiday destination, job, dinner party guest list?

This post can be about your reality, your aspirations, past, present or future. Enjoy talking about you. If you really don’t want to write about yourself, though, use your creative license and invent yourself an alternative persona, whether you are a spy, deep-sea diver or astronaut (who just happens to love yarn).

So I decided to make a list of things I like 🙂

My rabbit 🙂
Constructive criticism
My own company
My slow cooker
Real ale
The smell of hops
Silver jewellery
Hong Kong
Lindor chocolate
Boy bands
Sticky toffee pudding
White wine
Semi-precious stones
Theme parks
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week: Day 1

Published May 11, 2015 by sunmoonstars134

Hello! It has been a while, I started my new job last week so it was a busy one! However, I’m back and in style this week – taking part in the 6th annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. 

So the topic for post 1 is as follows: 

Day One (Monday 11th May): If You Were Yarn.
If you were a type or brand of yarn, which would you be? Are you a classic pure wool? Is there extra tension but a bit of bounce in you because of your high twist? Would you be more like a high-maintainance, strictly hand-wash fluffy angora or a ‘bring it on’ acrylic, bravely heading into the world of possible baby-sick laundering disasters knowing that you will always come out bright and unharmed?

Spend some time browsing yarns and getting to know their qualities, and decide which yarn you think best matches your personality.

When asked what kind of yarn I would be, the first quandary I had was colour. 
I adore colour, the more the better, or at least that’s how I used to feel. While I still love to see different shades and tones mix with each other to make a wonderful mish mash, lately I have come around to the idea of just one or two colours taking centre stage. 
So I guess a year ago, I’d immediately have chosen to be a variegated yarn, partly to avoid the trauma of choosing just one colour, and partly because then each stitch, row and project would allow different colour combinations, resulting in some wonderful surprises!
These days, I wonder if a single colour might be less distracting, and allow a clearer view of the detail within the stitches. 
With that dilemma, I then have to decide on what TYPE of colour. So: brights are my go-to, they make my heart sing! But autumnal colours are what I tend to wear, as they suit my colouring more, and having finally come to terms with this a few years ago I started to experiment with these shades, and now really love them in their own right. 
I think trying to choose a single colour would be too difficult in brights. So if I chose variegated then I would go brights, but choosing just one colour I’d go for something warm and dark and cosy. 
As for texture… Well. The wording in the outline for this post actually talked mainly about the physical properties of the yarn, rather than the colour, which I honed in on. So taking aside the frivolities of colour, choosing my “consistency” was relatively easy, but it’s taken a while for me to get there!
I have lived with depression for a few years now, possibly longer. And when I faced up to that fact and realised that some parts of my lifestyle and my thought processes needed to change, I struggled. Rather than reading into things, making assumptions and ruminating, as had been my nature for years, I had to start being firm with myself and letting some things go, challenging my instincts and tried and tested thought patterns. I learned that “resilience” is a good quality in terms of mental health. And I wrongly assumed that to be resilient meant to be tough, hard, unyielding. 
It took some time, and meditation/mindfulness practice, and trial and error – to learn that my inherent “soft” side is not mutually exclusive to being resilient. That being forgiving, compassionate and loving (to others and myself) are all qualities that enable me to overcome tough situations, difficult conversations and days when my brain chemistry quite simply isn’t right. 
So, once again, my answer a year ago would probably be very different to now. Right now, I would say I am a hard-wearing yarn, wash-and-go. But a yarn that, with a little care (some fabric softener, if you will!) can be a delight and a comfort. Always with the ability to hold firm during the tougher times. 
Well! That was very interesting for me, perhaps less so for you… I hope I didn’t get too deep. I am aware that I haven’t answered the question… But with all my to-ing and fro-ing, I’m hardly surprised!
I am so excited to check out other responses to this topic by viewing the tag (6KXBWDAY1). If you aren’t taking part in this blog week, but have had a flash of inspiration as to what yarn you would be, feel free to comment – I’d love to hear from you!

Playing with ombre

Published April 29, 2015 by sunmoonstars134

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but I’ve been plotting this post for a while…

For those yarn lovers who haven’t heard, Deramores is holding a craft blog competition where a beautiful mountain of yarn worth over £500 goes to the winner. Imagine that! How many suitcases I could fill….
OK. Back on track. To enter, bloggers simply have to write about one of the 6 trends identified by bloggers selected by Deramores, one of which is ombre. 
I have to say, I didn’t know there was a word for this, but I’ve always thought that selecting shades that graduate from light to dark (or vice versa!) can be incredibly effective so I immediately decided to bust my stash for some gorgeous pinks, with a vague idea of making a baby blanket with them. 
I laid all the odds and sods out from light to dark, and set about selecting a set that would show off one of my favourite colours across the spectrum. I was slightly limited by needing to select shades that there was enough of to make the blanket – after all, this was a stash-busting exercise!!
And off I went! This is the largest granny square I’ve made to date, and I loved it! The rhythm is very soothing, and I was excited to see the impact of my colours as each new row was added. 
Would you like to see? 
Cuuuute!! I have to say, I think the darkest pink is perhaps a bit of a mismatch, but like I said, I had to go with what I had. And I think it’s turned out very well, just perhaps not what I had in mind. 
Well, after lushing over this for far too long, I went back to my stash to see what other colours I had an abundance of, and this is what I came up with:


And the best part of all is that I have enough of these colours to make another baby blanket with starting with the darkest and working outwards to light… It will be so fun to see the impact of this (fun for me, anyway… My family and friends give me strange looks when I say things like this so I fully understand that you may be doing the same 🙂 )
Also, for anyone interested, I have popped these beauties on my Etsy shopas we are not quite at the point where friends are starting families, so it will be a while before I will have the pleasure of meeting a small person who might get use out of these.
What do you think? I hope I have inspired you to dig through your stash, and play with ombre yourself – if so, be sure to blog about it and get your entry to the competition in 🙂
Small print: This post is my submission to the Deramores Craft Blog Competition 2015. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. Visit http://www.deramores.com for more details. 

My latest project

Published April 24, 2015 by sunmoonstars134

Despite my previous post opening my eyes to the sheer number of WIPs I have (they keep cropping up, incidentally… I seem to have stashed them all over the flat for a healthy dose of shame wherever I go!) Anyway – despite this, you may have wondered what that lucious package at the end might be for…

Well this is for my first ever CAL, which I am starting a little late, but I decided this might hold my interest more… Being limited to a little at a time might appeal. In addition, I have some impetus to finish this as its for a particular person at a particular time. And I will deal with the other WIPs another time (by which I mean, I will metaphorically stick my fingers in my ears (and eyes!) and shout “LALALALALALA” and ignore them. Feel free to judge me.)

I have decided to make this blanket for my nan, who is perpetually cold (a trait I have inherited!) and is in ill health, and her quality of life is being affected by it. I really feel for her, she is of sound mind but cannot do much of what she would like. I see her a lot less than I used to now that I’ve moved up north, but I want her to know I still think of her. I am so looking forward to giving her this blanket for Christmas, with all of the squares up to November (giving me a month to finish… I hope that’s enough!)

The colours I have to admit I shamelessly stole from the lovely Betsy Makes as I adore her cushion in the same shades, and they will work nicely with my nan’s decor. 

I am using Stylecraft Special DK in Plum, Grape, Pale Rose, Cream, Silver and Grey. 

Stay tuned for the first batch of squares!

Support group, anyone?

Published April 13, 2015 by sunmoonstars134

I stumbled across this blog post recently, on the hilarious Laptop on the Ironing Board blog. Here, Kate very bravely shares her yarn problem.

I thought “ooh, doesn’t it look lovely all laid out like that. Maybe I should do the same… It’d be nice to see what I have, and I’ve been stash-busting for a while so it won’t be that bad”

So I did. Oh, readers, why did I do it?? I feel like a terrible human. I don’t know if I should share with you, but we are all friends, right? Ok.


Now, having emptied the suitcase onto the floor (suitcase… How could I have thought that was a sensible amount of yarn!) I was feeling very ashamed, but thought that while I was facing up to my issues, I should open the drawer. This is where projects go “to be finished later”. Now this drawer has been playing on my mind for a while – I’ve had a half-hearted sense that I should go and have a look and maybe finish off the one or two projects loitering in there.

I must say how proud I am of my capacity to delude myself. One or two. Hmmm.

This is bad. Very bad.

My sense of shame was increased by this little face. How judgemental is he looking?!

As I write, I wonder if there might be someone out there thinking, “that’s not so bad, don’t worry, you can work with that.” I like you. We could be friends. But you won’t be quite so tolerant of me when I show you what arrived this morning…

My name is Natalie, and I have a yarn problem.