Mandala Madness parts one – six!

IMG_3113Ooooh, I am loving this pattern.

Yet again, I am some way behind everyone else. I stumbled across the pattern as it was coming to the end of it’s CAL!! However, there is a bit of an advantage to this, in that I can see all the wonderful finished versions already made. There are a couple of groups on face book worth checking out too.

The links to all the parts can be found on the Crystals and crochet site. Lots of really lovely things to make on this site too. The written pattern is really well done with clear pictures and lots of useful tips and tricks.

Have a look online for some colour inspiration. I decided that this would be a potential perfect stash buster and so far have managed to only use yarn left over from previous projects or random purchase!!! Think this pattern really lends itself to some seriously random colours, although that may just be me!!!

I have seen some truly delicious ones online where the maker has been more restrained and planned better than I.

Anyway, will continue to post parts as I am finishing them.

Before I forget, the wonderful Esther Dijkstra from It’s all in a Nutshell has also done some fabulous video tutorials. I would not have achieved half of this pattern without these.

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Enjoy,

Lx

 

Sophie’s Universe – single colour, baby edition.

IMG_3081Well I have finally got round to taking some pictures of the small single colour Sophie I made recently. This is intended for a baby due this month and I hope will be used as a pram blanket. I am really pleased with how it turned out. In one colour the texture of Sophie really speaks for itself.

The pattern can be found on Look at what I made .

I added an extra row of treble crochet(UK) or double crochet(US) just to square it off at the end.

Small single colour version for pram blanket.

Small single colour version for pram blanket.

Enjoy,

Lx

Cauliflower meuniere – with the best will in the world it sounds like manure!! Luckily doesn’t taste of

IMG_3065Lately we have been trying to improve our eating habits. Us and the rest of the country it seems. We have massively reduced our sugar intake in the week, although not quite balancing with our weekend “more relaxed approach” to food!!! The other thing I have been doing is finding more recipes that are vegetarian, low calorie, tasty and easy to cook. Enter my new fave cook book, Elly Pear’s Fast Days and Feast Days Seems to be widely available to pick up fairly cheaply.

There are a few recipes in here that we have done a few times, the red lentil chilli is excellent and hubby is surprised every time he finds out there is no meat in it 🙂

I decided to try to make the above cauliflower dish as it is so far removed from my usual fare. I have to say although delicious it is probably not something I would cook regularly as it was a bit of a palaver to prepare. My main reason for posting though is how much I managed to make mine look “almost” like the picture in the book. I was ridiculously happy with the presentation, so much so that I spent more time than I should have photographing this delight (yes, my dinner was a little cooler than I would have liked 😦 )

Anyway, if for no ones pleasure but my own, here is my dinner!

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Enjoy,

Lx

Half way through the year, new crochet buddies and crocheted lovely stuff made

Cute DragonWhat a year this has been already. I started this year finishing the xmas blankets (ha ha) and have just reached the longest day of the year having made a bunch of new crochet friends. Happy days.

Crochet seems to have been gathering a bit of popularity of late. A couple of friends wanted me to show them how to get started with crochet. We set a date and a new crochet club was born. Friends told friends, and hey presto, once a month I spend a Thursday afternoon and evening teaching the most delightful bunch of girls how to make stuff from yarn. Some, it has to be said with more success than others but that is probably in part due to my teaching skills or lack thereof !

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We have had three meetings so far and already there have been blankets, bunnies and chicks made not to mention a hat 🙂 I’ll have to seek permission from the artists as I hope to share their work.

Meanwhile I have been busy creating baby blanket, lovey and shoe set for a friend who’s baby is due next month and starting a new CAL. I so loved making Sophie’s Universe that I have been hunting for a similar project that I could get stuck into. Found Mandala Madness (by Crystals and Crochet) through the It’s all in a nutshell blog, the same lovely lady that did the video tutorials for Sophie has done some for Mandala Madness. Have a look at her youtube page for all the videos. I have already tackled part 1, and loving it already. Some new stitches that I haven’t come across before but the pattern is well written and easy to follow with lots of pics. The video tutorials are there as well should you need (I suspect I will further on in this pattern as the stitch count get’s higher).

Anyway, check them out and give it a go,

Mandala Madness

 

Enjoy,

 

Lx

P.S have made one or two other bits and pieces this year which turned out rather lovely including some new creatures for my sisters new class next year 🙂 Check out allaboutami for the dragon

Crochet Creatures

Sophie’s Universe, the last part :( oh no she’s finished.

IMG_3045So my Sophie is complete. She has been complete for some time now actually. I just have been terribly slow in updating my blog.

I have so enjoyed this pattern. So much so that on starting new projects I actually found it really tricky to be inspired. I have now decided after a very unsatisfying hexie blanket that I really want to do another, smaller Sophie for a friend who is expecting a baby in July. For a while when making my original blanket I thought that a version in one colour, parchment (style craft special DK) would be lovely for a pram blanket if I stopped at part 4 when it is a square. Just started that one today so hopefully I will be posting a yummy baby picture and blanket soon for that 🙂

Anyway, here are the pictures of my completed Sophie, sorry they’re not great shots, it was a little sunny that day! And here are the links to the pattern pages on Dedri’s delightful website. Hope you like 🙂

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Enjoy,

 

Lx

Sophie’s Universe parts 13,14,15 and 16

Sophie foldedOh how speedily my Sophie is growing. These last few parts have been very quick. There are several rounds that you can  whizz through without worrying too much. Nice simple stitches in a nice straight line :). This makes for a very relaxing crochet session or two and therefore quite speedy.

A couple of tips from me though. If you are (as I am) a little loose in your crocheting style, be aware that you may need a little more yarn than anticipated.

I also ran out of a couple of colours ahead of schedule as I had stopped following the template guide too. However this pattern positively glows when you improvise a bit (I think!)

What this has meant to me, is that I have had to buy a few more balls of yarn which has increased my cost slightly. Not too much though as using very economic Stylecraft Special DK yarn.

Part 14, be particularly mindful of (if you choose to do this like the pattern and use one colour). That used an entire ball and a bit for me as it was all the same colour. However you could also use whatever combination makes your heart sing 🙂 Experiment, play with your colours, why not 🙂

What I have also done this time around is taken photos of the back of my Sophie. I love how the structure of this piece has developed.

Back of Sophie

reverse sophie

Here are the links that you will need to go to for this pattern.

Part 13 pattern and video

Part 14 pattern and video

Part 15 pattern and video

Part 16 pattern and video

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Enjoy,

Lx

 

 

Sophie’s Universe, parts 10, 11 and 12

IMG_2869I love, love, love this pattern. Dedri has created the most divine piece of work. I am particularly enjoying the way it changes in look and feel every time I add a new row. I even love the back of my Sophie and may very well have to take some pictures of that next 🙂

The only downside to this beauty is that there is not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I need to do and do my Sophie. I still have to go to work and clean things occasionally!!! 😦

Here is the link to the main page for all the parts to Sophie. I tend to use a combination of the written pattern as well as the youtube videos. The main YouTube page for It’s all in a Nutshell can be found here

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Enjoy,

 

Lx

Spring Bunny

IMG_2858I have wanted to do this pattern for ages and ages but never seemed to have the time, the eyes or the right yarn. Anyway finally I put one together and I love him so much.

All about Ami is the owner of the pattern and the most delightful blog. She has so many cute and adorable amigurumi things to make, many of them are also free patterns. Here is the link to the free patterns but do have look through her whole site as it is a beautiful thing.

Here is my Spring Bunny 🙂 no name as yet, he is intended for my sister’s class of seven year olds and they like to name the new creatures that I make for them.

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Enjoy,

Lx

Harry’s perfect Pasta penne :)

This blog post is pure indulgence on my part for one particular member of my family. Harry has always been very particular about how his pasta is cooked and it would appear that I am the only one that can nail it exactly. This was not my plan when I had my three kids!! I was pretty sure that we were all going to eat the same things at every meal and they would all grow up having a healthy and balanced approach to food. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, I make myself laugh 🙂

Roll on twenty plus years, an Autism diagnosis for one child and a leukaemia diagnosis (happy ending there 🙂 ) for another, and there’s me in the kitchen doing three kinds of pasta.

Best laid plans are a sure fire way to set yourself up for something else entirely 🙂

For Harry:

Pasta Penne – boil as per packet instructions, usually 10-12 minutes. Perfect texture is, apparently not too soggy 🙂

I find the amount I serve varies on how much I absent mindedly tip into the water!!

To serve, after draining the pasta, pop it back into the pan with a small amount of the water it was cooked in, chuck in a dollop of butter, a drizzle of olive oil (not extra virgin) Mix sprinkle a little garlic salt over and let Harry add a “little” more if he really, really wants it/needs it.

Hey presto, Harry’s perfect pasta penne 🙂

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Enjoy,

Lx

Daisy Baby Blanket in spring rainbow colours with matching booties :)

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A very dear friend has recently added a delightfully cute baby girl to the planet. As the little one was due in March I decided to make her a blanket that was inspired in part by spring and in part by a desire to eat ice cream. The colours do look so very ice creamy don’t they 🙂

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The pattern for this blanket was found in a book called Boho crochet, here is a link to one shop stocking this but I did find my copy at one of those discount book shops at an outlet centre.

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I didn’t follow it exactly ( I tweaked a little as I wanted to do a join as you go approach to adding my squares ) Attic24 has a lovely tutorial for this method that can be found here. Join as you go is a method, that makes granny square blankets in particular come together very very speedily. I cannot recommend it enough for those projects that require you to join many many teeny parts 🙂 I also added a border of double crochet (UK) or single crochet (US) with one row per colour, very pleasing to do and very very touchy feely too. Happy days.

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The pattern for these baby tap shoes came from a book called Precious Baby Booties and can be found on Ravelry . They are a paid for pattern book and you can find many free ones but generally I have found the best shoe/bootie patterns have always been paid for.

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Enjoy,

Lx