Mandala Madness parts 10 – 13

section 13I have slowed down considerably over the last week, temperatures here are in the mid to late twenties which would be fine if I was on holiday and had a pool nearby. Sadly I have to work and my relaxing crochet time has been hampered by the heat generated by this blanket. Wherever it ends up for it’s forever home, let’s hope it’s chilly 🙂

Anyway, I have over the last month done parts 10-13. I love how each new section changes the feel of the blanket. I am still following my self imposed rule (sort of, I did buy some hot pink yarn the other day but haven’t used it yet!) of only using yarn I already own. As the blanket has grown I have had to add to those already owned colours as I can get through half a ball in one round on some of the larger stitches.

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As the blanket has grown I have started to see that counting has become a problem for me! I think I have merrily counted correctly and it is not till the next section that it becomes clear that I have added one or lost one here and there. For the most part it hasn’t caused me too many problems. I can usually pull two together or add a stitch if needed. Luckily, as this pattern has sections, I have managed to maintain an even shape (ish!) Blocking it will I’m sure solve this too. Quite frankly once you’re under it, you’re going to be too cosy to care 🙂

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As always, a big thank you to Helen Shrimpton for creating this amazing pattern and sharing it for free.All the links can be found on her website Crystals and Crochet.

And of course thanks to It’s all in Nutshell for the fabulous video tutorials without which I would be lost around part 10!!

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Enjoy,

Lx

P.S yes part 10 is a tad tricky but read the pattern, follow the video and go slow. It’s so pleasing when you nail it 🙂

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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

 

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,

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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 parts 8 and 9

IMG_2799Well my Sophie keeps growing and growing. It’s now several feet across and a magnificent beast, even if I do say so myself 🙂 Long suffering husband keeps asking me if I’m done yet. Not sure I have the heart to tell him, I’m already planning my next project 🙂 Tee hee 🙂

I have gone a little astray on the original planned colour placement. I was initially following the spreadsheet template that is in the helpful templates section on the lookwhatimade site. I then got carried away with the gorgeous shade of pink that I have been using and well, I am now making it up as I go along 🙂 Thank goodness that this pattern really lends itself to a more lackadaisical approach to colours. If you have a look online for images of Sophie (and there are lots) you will find every possible colour combination including one I found that used just one colour. It looks divine 🙂 Have a look at them all here .

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I have found the last few parts have moved quite quickly which has been very pleasing. I think it has also moved quicker as I have got used to the style and approach of the pattern and so it is getting easier to follow too.

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One thing I have noticed is that despite me counting up to sometimes as far as 100, it becomes clear on the next round that I stuffed up somewhere along the line. I think I touched on this briefly on my last post but felt it worth repeating. Once I realise I have missed one or added one it is much much easier to add an increase or decrease on the end of a short side rather than attempt to find out where I miscounted. So far it seems to be paying off and hasn’t caused the pattern to look “off” at all.

Hope you like the pictures, one of my cats decided that this was too good an opportunity to miss 🙂

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As always go along to the lookwhatimade site for all the details of the written pattern and to it’s all in a nutshell Youtube channel for the video tutorials 🙂

Enjoy,

 

Lx

 

 

 

Sophie’s Universe part 6 and 7

12842404_10154069496058487_1021034734_oWell, I am moving swiftly through this pattern and loving every minute of it.

I have so enjoyed making these last few rows but especially the roses right at the very end of the pattern. They look far more complicated than they are and I cannot recommend them enough for sheer pleasure factor.

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You are also advised to block your Sophie at this point as it does start to curl up on the edges. I couldn’t find my blocking pins anywhere so improvised on the ironing board and then on the floor. Think it worked fairly well.

Sophie being blocked, sort of!

Links to the pattern video tutorials can be found here and the link to the original written pattern can be found here

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Not much more to add as the pattern pages are so full of useful tips and tricks, there is not much more for me to add other than, please, please, please do give this a go. Between the written pattern with really comprehensive pictures and the video tutorials you have all the tools you need to make a truly beautiful thing 🙂

 

Enjoy,

 

Lx

Sophie’s Universe, parts four and five

Sophie's Universe parts 4 and 5I am still loving this pattern but starting to find the written pattern is becoming increasingly complicated. I am now starting to use the video tutorials from It’s all in a nutshell more frequently just to make sure I have followed it right. Sometimes I have done a beautiful job, and sometimes I have done something a little random!!!!

It is really important to keep count as the blanket grows as I have managed to add the odd stitch here and there and occasionally lose them too. I can usually fix it on the next row. I’m sure I will eat my words later on but so far I’m getting away with it  (I think!)

I found it really useful as well to make notes as I went. Notes on colour choice and planned rounds to use it on. I also numbered my colours and popped them onto pegs. It helped a lot and is also a stupidly pleasing thing to do! 🙂 This tip came from the rather wonderful Attic24 blog – Blanket planning with Yarn pegs 🙂

This pattern really lends itself to a make it up as you go along approach with choosing of your colours. You can of course plan it out and make sure the leaves for example are always green. In my version of Sophie, one set of leaves are now parchment, and although I did twitch a bit with a hankering to frog that row. I am very glad I left it as it looks fine,  and as long as I try and hold back from telling people where I stuffed up no one will ever know (apart from you of course!!)

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As ever a special shout out to my sons talented girlfriend Jasmine Poole, who did the photographs for this section of Sophie. Click here to have a look at her blog 🙂

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Now to get busy with the next section of Sophie, can’t wait to post 🙂

Enjoy,

 

Lx

P.S the last picture does include part 6 of my Sophie but love the pic that Jasmine took so included it anyway 🙂