Thursday, 8 November 2018

Behind the Scenes......



Hellooooooooo.....How are you?



I'm just popping in, because I wanted to tell you the story of a blanket. I was going to do my usual yearly round up post in January, but I felt that this deserved a post of its own. I felt like it needed to be written down and remembered.


This year my hands have not stopped with a hook and yarn. It's been euphoric and draining all at once. I'll explain more about my crafty year in my round up post in January, but this blanket, well, I have thoroughly enjoyed its journey.

Here is the story of how it came about........




I had an idea to make a granny squares blanket using pastels. I had been spending time on a project that was draining my life force, and I was dreaming of a simple little granny squares blanket that would restore my 'happy' box. 

The kind of pastels I wanted were sludgy and faded pastels. 

That was all I knew.

Then I watched a film. The Light Between Oceans. Whilst I enjoyed the film, what struck me most was the scenery in which it was filmed......and the costumes. The film revolves around the life of two main characters who live on a lighthouse on a remote island. The time is just after the First World War.

The scenery was beautiful; windswept and rugged.

The costumes; natural fabrics, wool, lace and utilitarian.
 
The colours, oh the colours, they really spoke to me. Just lots of neutrals, greys of the sky, blue of the ocean and grey blues in their costumes.

After I had seen the film, I suddenly thought how nice the idea of my pastel blanket would be if it reflected the ruggedness of the land with the hues of the windswept skies and seas in the film.

So....a new blanket was born.

I had a specific idea on what I wanted. Similar tones, and a blanket with an outdoors utilitarian feel. I chose most of my yarns to be pure wool or Alpaca mixes. I think I had only two colours which had any percentage of acrylic, albeit a small percentage. Many were tweed yarns as I wanted to replicate this connection with nature. I did not want soft or fluffy or cosy. It's funny, because usually the soft warm feel is very important to me in a blanket. This was the total opposite!

Now.....in my usual haphazard, non thinky way, I just made the squares and made enough to try and work out what length and width I would like it to be. I needed 360 squares.

They were an utter joy to make.

After working on a project that was huge and all connected, it felt like total freedom to just make the odd square as and when I could.

Turns out I became absolutely besotted with the blanket. I couldn't crochet the squares quick enough. My brain would start itching about five in the morning, so I was up with a cup of tea and a hook. Yarn and a hook seemed to go everywhere with me to get the odd one in. I made the granny square quite a compact one, as I wanted it to feel thick and tightly bound.......more hard wearing for the outdoors. I wanted them to be quite openly seamed together to create a more vintage feel. For the border I wanted something simple, plain, and utilitarian.

So......do you want to see it in all its glory? Get ready for an epic amount of pics. It was a nice day, what can I say?

meet........



Isle Of Skye












































































































It's everything I wanted....and more. I'm totally in love with it. It's HUGE. As usual it's way bigger than I had in my head! Of course it would be, it wouldn't be me if it wasn't big. 

360 squares. I made a basic granny square, but I wanted it quite compact so the blanket would be tight and robust. I just omitted the chain one from in-between each cluster, and did 6 trebles (uk) on the corners without any chains. I used a 3.5mm hook using dk yarn. It turned out just how I wanted it to turn out. It sort of links it to the era of the film in my mind (which is somewhat fitting too with Rembrance Sunday this weekend).

It's SOOOOOOOOO heavy. Oh my word it is heavy. Ridiculously so. The squares are compact and tightly crocheted, and using mainly pure wool yarn, crikey.......it's hard on the back to carry!

Also, I'm not gonna lie.......it has a faint whiff of sheep and wet dog. Sounds a tad gross I know, but actually, I like it. It sort of adds to the whole entity of what I wanted to achieve. It's a different one for me. I rarely just use one hue of colours. I loved working on it though. I loved how it was plain. I think my brain, at the time, needed plain. Of course, it looks totally out of place nestled in amongst my other blankets. However, this one will be amazing in the coming Winter. It's soooooooo warm. The Bear's are fighting over whose bed it will be going on. I'd like to think mine, but I am turning into the Princess and the Pea with the number of blankets thrown on my bed.

We shall see.

All I know is that I love it.

I truly LOVE it.



So there you are. One of my 2018 creations. I shall be back in the New Year with a round up post. I might even have my act together and have some photos of all the projects I have been working on. Seriously, I have been so creatively stupid this year, you wouldn't believe!!!!!

Have a super few months. I'll see you in the New Year with a round up post of all my 2018 makes and goings on.

cheerio


XXX


P.S   I forgot how long it takes to write text and upload the gazillion photos I took of this blanket. I have loved it though. I have missed it a lot this year. I have thoughts I will share in January.

P.P.S  After I published this, I went and lay under said blanket with a huge cup of tea and a book. It was HEAVEN. This thing is going to be utterly toasty in the Winter months. BRING IT ON!

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

To Sum It Up........







Goodness me 2017......

....Didn't you just fly by?

So, how did it go?





When I think back on the year past, it seems like a tale of two halves.



The New Year started with new beginnings, exciting beginnings. The days were full but flew by so fast. Before I knew it, we were half way into the year. It was enjoyable, this fullness of life, but I also felt that I hadn't achieved half of what I wanted to, creatively speaking. It wasn't a total creative bust. Looking back at my pics, I did get a few bits done.......nearly all achieved in the first part of the year.




Probably my favourite blanket. Made in the first few months of the year. TOTALLY used and abused and looking VERY worn in. I need another one for sure.





♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎




I'm still all about the crochet hot water bottles.....except this was the cheats version as I bought it and just added the cross stitch. I'm all into saving time.


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The *Nemesis* blanket. Started at the end of 2016. It's taking FOREVER. I love it so, but it's a pain in the backside.


♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎
 




One of My favourite makes of 2017. So quick and simple. A big granny square made into a shrug in my most favourite shades of pink.


♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎

 



 The Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland. I made two above. You'd almost think they were the same. My makes are like buses.


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A work in progress above. That yarn has been frogged so many times. I love it so and cannot make the perfect piece with it.

♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎


 





A 'whim' make. A simple triangular seed stitch shawl. It was the softest and cosiest yarn. Stylecraft 4 ply and a dream to make. I added a pom pom fringe after I took that pic.



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  Pine Tree Wrist Warmers by My Rose Valley


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An embroidery by Cinder and Honey


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I saw a wire version of this on Pinterest and thought it was the perfect project for the onset of Autumn. Bight and cheery.


♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎

 




This scarf seemed to take quite a while for saying it was just a plain long scarf. Jasmine stitch in a yarn with a colourway called....wait for it.....Jasmine. So, it's the aptly named Jasmine scarf. Very cosy for the cold snap.


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You can NEVER have too many wrist warmers. A grey pair rolled off the hook too.


♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎

By September, the usual sense of chaos took over me with what lie ahead in the last few months. Anyone who has read this blog for a long time, will know how rubbish I am towards the end of the year.




I felt like I expected the chaos, even more so this year, just because of the flying great start. The Yin and Yang as it were. My creative brain had just stopped, I felt like every day was Groundhog day. I felt like I was wading through treacle. It's a weird feeling, but I've learnt to accept how I feel at certain times of the year. Maybe it's an age thing. I don't fight it. I just let it wash through me and know it'll pass.


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That aside, the year was a good one on the whole. I feel with each passing year, I am more sure of myself and what I want out of life.


 ♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎

A big excitement for me in 2017 was discovering Internet Radio. I had a DAB radio and listened to all the usual stations that you could get, but a family member had an Internet Radio and told of the whole new outlet of stations you can listen to. OH MY WORD, this was literally life changing for me! I'm a huge music fan. I especially love soundtrack music, and discovering that you can listen to stations solely dedicated to cinematic pieces......well......what can I say? Let's just say, that throughtout the days when I am home, it's like I'm living in a film. Weird....but totally lovely. So, definitely one of the highlights of 2017 for me.


♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎

 
The Bear's are growing fast. I felt my age this year when Big Bear officially became an Adult! Yikes, where did the time go? When I started this blog he was a wee thing. I am loving having my boys more as my equals now. I am so proud of them and the young men they are turning into.

Baby Bear starts Secondary school in Sept. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! That can't be! 

MY BABY!!!!!!

 Maybe my next years round up post will be interesting. Not sure how I'm going to handle that one!




♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎





Life is good. It's not perfect. There will always be room for improvement, but I am incredibly grateful for so many things in my life.


♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎♥︎


January saw the creative brain suddenly kick into action. As if with the flick of a switch, suddenly my head was full of nervous energy for making this and that. Hopefully it will be a productive year on that front. Time will tell I suppose.



 So....as the sun sets on this post, I shall say goodbye for a while, and try and make 2018 a good adventure!

xxx

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

I'll Remind You........

Dear You,

Yes......it has been a year.

Yes....it feels weird now. I'm not sure what I am doing. I'm not sure you reading this, when you finally get to read it.....re-read it, what you will make of it. You might laugh....and think 'Ness, you IDIOT', or you might be a little happy that you thought to jot a few things down. After all, you could be reading this when you are ninety......hey, you might even be grateful your younger self thought to do this.










..........







So.......it's been a year since you closed this little space. Twelve months of you being away. Twelve whole months when so much has happened, yet so little has happened.

I'll remind you that you decided you had nothing left in you to write about. I'll remind you that you thought it was a little repetitive. I'll remind you that you needed to stop.......and just be still.

I will remind you, that you thought this was a naff idea to write a post after you had 'closed' your blog. I will remind you that you wondered why you should not just buy a diary and write in it, then shove it to the back of a drawer. I'll remind you, that you thought you might cave and press 'delete' quite a few times. I'll remind you, that if your younger self actually published it, it was to do with the fact that she was scatty and thought it was best to have everything in one place where it could be located. Plus, in a brief wave of abandonment, you thought it was your blog and you could do what you liked with it.














..........






I will remind you that 2016 was a difficult year, in so many ways, and for so many people. It was a year in which so many people felt scared and uncertain. It was a year when so many people felt like they didn't know anything anymore. It was a year in which so many felt like they were standing on quick sand, and not firm rock.

It was a year when there was so much more bad news in the world than there was good. It was a year when people just wanted to hide away from it all. It was a year, quite frankly, a lot of people were happy to draw a line under and move on from. I'll remind you, that you found it weird, that you didn't meet anyone who thought it had been an okay year....if not in the bigger picture, not even in their own little bubble of achievements. You were sure there must have been though.

I shall remind you that, for you, this was a strange year. A year that you felt you needed to hibernate. A year long hibernation. A year where your creative juices really didn't flow. A year where you felt you were totally spent, and just needed to re-group.

I'll remind you that you sucked at housework and ironing. I'll remind you that you enjoyed reading books again, and I'll remind you that you always need to be in the right frame of mind to decorate.






I will remind you that you that although your creative juices just sort of stopped, it was the year of embroidery for you, and you spurted those out in the vain hope that it would jolt you back in the game. Whilst you liked the embroidered outcomes, and the speediness of them, they did not jolt you sadly. It was only in the final weeks of 2016 that you picked up your hook to see if the crochet love was still there.






I will remind you that 2016 was the year of reflection and procrastination. Not that it was any different to all the years before when you were like that, but because you seemed to have nothing to show for the year (creatively speaking), it appeared that the year was a wash out.






Having said that......

I shall remind you that your three bears have spent 2016 blossoming, and you write about them with huge pride and love. Big Bear started college and turned into the gentleman you always knew he would become.  You find it funny his most treasured friend is a can of hairspray, but you love how he doesn't want to shove you to one side when you are both walking down the street and he sees his mates.

I shall remind you that Middle Bear is way too funny. I shall remind you that he is the best person to have at the dinner table, and I shall remind you that 2016 was the year the hormones settled down and you realised just how amazing he was when he was not grunting. You also realised what great bear hugs he gave.

I shall remind you that Baby Bear is super. I shall remind you that everyday when he comes out of school he asks how you day was, way before he tells you about his day. I will remind you that he loves to do stuff to put a smile on your face, and I will remind you that this was the year that the Three Bears bickered the least!






I will remind you that 2016 told you, yet again, how fragile life could be. I will remind you that it felt tough being an adult when you still, at times, felt like a child in your head. I will also remind you that you realised that you just couldn't solve everything for everyone. Sometimes you just had to be there, and that was enough.






I'll remind you that early morning cups of tea with the fairy lights twinkling on the Christmas tree in a quiet house, is one of the best things EVER. I shall remind you that you are never too young for kids birthdays cakes AND I shall also remind you that you were so glad you discovered double cleansing (how's that working out for you? Is it paying off?!)






I shall also remind you dearest Ness, that you decided that whatever 2017 had in store for you, you felt ready to wake up from your hibernation, well rested and have a productive and creative year ahead.  








Vanessa, I hope you will look on this post, when you do, and remember all that which you have forgotten. A post about your year. Maybe, if you have it in you, you'll post again next year to remember 2017. I guess it's nice to remember....the good....and even the not so good. There is always something to be learned from everything one experiences. 

Until next time....maybe x