Crochet WIP

Today I finished the main body of a blanket I’ve been working on. Not necessarily a summer project, but an easy one. I used the granny stripe pattern from Attic24 with a selection of Stylecraft Special Dk colours (I’ll list them when I finish it) and have really enjoyed the simple repetition of the pattern.

The only problem now is that I need to weave in the ends before I can start the border…


Does anyone actually enjoy this bit? I know it’s the reason I don’t make many blankets! I’m off to get a cup of tea and make a start. Wish me luck!

A long overdue return…

I left the blogging world almost three years ago, when some massive changes in my work life meant I didn’t have the time to do enough of the things I liked to share in the blogosphere – baking and crafting. Three years on, I’m as busy as ever – teaching is not a career that leaves you much time to yourself, now more then ever – but I’ve increasingly realised the value of those activities in my life. No matter how little free time I have, no matter how much marking is waiting or data needs updating, I have learned that a few minutes working on a crochet project or mixing up a sourdough loaf are essential to my mental and physical health. A return to blogging here seems a good way to remind myself of that, and I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things! I am in the process of updating and refreshing the site, so please bear with me…

Here in the UK we are in the first glorious weeks of the summer holidays, and I’m relishing the chance to enjoy myself without feeling guilty – hurray for summer! I’ll leave you with some snapshots of the past few days…

A (brief) North Wales adventure

In order to visit the new baby, and deliver the rainbow blanket, we had to travel down to North Wales. Fortunately, my parents-in-law had rented a small holiday cottage in the area, so we were able to turn the visit into a short break and fit in some walking and exploring around hospital visiting hours. I took a lot of photos!

The weather was…British. That is to say, the first day and a half were freezing – I had to borrow a fleece from my mother-in-law and we slept under a thick duvet and blanket – but on the second afternoon, the sun suddenly turned up for long enough that we were able to strip down to t-shirts.

view from Bangor pier

The view from Bangor pier – I sat on the floor, out of the wind, hence the slightly wonky photo!

Bangor pier lamp

boats in Bangor harbour

Druids' cricle standing stones

Standing stones, locally known as the Druid’s Circle – but in fact about a thousand years older than the druids.

view over Anglesey

The view from the hills directly above where we stayed, looking out over the Anglesey straits. Much better on the way down than up!

tower roof

A really lovely tower – I can just picture myself sitting in that glass room with a cup of tea and a good book.

All of the rest of the photos were taken in Conwy, mainly in the castle. I love a good castle, and although I’ve visited a fair few Conwy has to be one of the best you can visit in the UK. It’s massive, fairly well preserved and the location is perfect.

Conwy castle view

The view over the bay…

jackdaw in town wall


The castle from the town walls (also worth a visit!)

Conwy town walls

jackdaw on castle ruins

A friendly crow, happy to pose.

Conwy castle interior

The interior of the castle as seen from one of the lower towers.

hills from Conwy castle

welsh flag

boats from castle

Conwy interior window

Conwy bay through arrow slit

The view through one of the arrow slits.

king's head conwy

The king!

castle seagull

Rainbow squares crochet baby blanket – finished!

This blanket seems to have been hanging around for a while.  In truth, I slightly lost interest in it once I got to the border and put it aside for weeks at a point when it only required another hour or so of work to finish it completely. Getting the news that the baby had been born, however, gave me the kick I needed to finish!

So here it is – the imaginatively titled Rainbow Squares baby blanket! Please excuse the poor picture quality; I had to take these on a dull, grey morning before I wrapped the blanket and took it down to Wales.

rainbow crochet squares blanket

I didn’t take measurements but you can get a sense of the scale from my feet! As with my first blanket, I made it larger than is typical for baby blankets so that it can be used for longer. The rest of the photos are much more true to colour…

rainbow squares blanket

As usual, the yarn is Stylecraft DK, in the following shades: Lipstick, Saffron, Meadow, Turquoise, Bluebell, Violet and Cream.

rainbow squares blanket

The border was simply rows of  treble crochet, with a final row of double crochet.

crochet squares blanket border

I think that blocking might have been a good idea…but you know, it’s rare that a baby blanket has to be laid flat and neat on the floor in a perfect square, so I think all will be well.  My sister-in-law loved it and the colours match the nursery perfectly (entirely coincidentally) so I’m counting this as a success!

crochet squares baby blanket

A change is gonna come…

*[…in the words of Otis Redding…]


Things are changing around here: from the beginning of September, I’ll be working flat out in a local school, training for my QTS (qualified teacher status) so that I can become a fully qualified history teacher. I’m incredibly excited (and a tad nervous) but it does mean that I won’t have much time left for some of my favourite hobbies, namely crochet and cooking. I’m certainly not intending to give crafting up altogether (it’s what keeps me sane, and I think it might provide a much-needed respite from work when things get tough!) but I’m not going to be able to commit to regular posting. I’ve decided to finish the 52 weeks challenge, which has become less interesting for me in recent weeks anyway; that way I can post on here when I get the opportunity without feeling guilty at not keeping up with the weekly posts!

Phew. That feels better! In craft-related news, I’ve pretty much finished the rainbow squares blanket (we won’t talk about how it took me approximately a month to finish half a side of the last border row…) so there’ll be a reveal of that as soon as I’ve woven in the last three or four ends and found my camera card. Back soon!

Shrewsbury outing

Back home…and the heavens have opened! I’m struggling to hold off thoughts that autumn is arriving here. We arrived back from a week away in Shropshire and Swansea on Friday, and I’ve now got two days of intensive revision for a test I have to sit on Tuesday. I’ll be back again after then, but for now I wanted to share some of the photos I took in Shrewsbury.  We were at a wedding and it was a beautiful day, but one of the highlights for me was the flower festival that meant the whole town was filled with beautiful flowers!

riverside flowers

pink petals

shrewsbury castle

shrewsbury school

Shrewsbury School – attended by famous alumni Michael Palin and Charles Darwin!

1953 coach

Our transport to and from the wedding: a 1953 coach, complete with sprung armchair seats and wood paneling. And it didn’t make me feel ill – a definite bonus!

wedding car

shrewsbury hotel

View from the hotel bedroom – I only had my phone so the quality isn’t great, but a Tudor building is always nice to look at!

Crochet doilies

I’m going to a wedding this weekend, and then down to Swansea to see my parents for a few days, so I should really be doing all those last-minute things you do when you’re going away… I wanted to share what I made yesterday first though.

simply crochet doily

The pattern is from Simply Crochet issue 8,  and it’s worked in DK cotton. I used the cheap unbleached craft cotton that you can use for dishcloths etc with a 4mm hook, and it looks good! It needs blocking but that will have to wait until I get back next week.

dk cotton doily

I chose to leave off the final round of loops because I preferred the cleaner edge, and added a row of dc in purple cotton to make the doily a bit more ‘me’. It also means that it ties in quite well with the plant pot covers I made the other day!

crochet plant pot coversRight, I’m off to do all those little last minute things…like fixing the greenhouse door, picking caterpillars off the cauliflowers and painting my nails!