SAL – Cirque des Triangles #4

Hello everyone, it’s time to post the regular 3-weekly update on my SAL project.  At the moment, I’m stitching “Cirque des Triangles”, an Ink Circles design by Tracey Horner and having lots of fun.  It’s a very relaxing project, being a monochrome, and it’s the variagated thread that does all the colour changes for me.

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I am stitching with Threadworx “Wild Poppies” on a 27 count “Forest Green” Lugana evenweave.

Don’t forget to stop by and admire progress of other SAL members.  Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other members are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, WendyLinda, Catherine, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

Next update on 14th May.

slouchy myboshi beanie

Having mastered the art of following a basic crochet pattern, hooking in the round, and managing not to drop or add stitches willy nilly . . . I splashed out and bought a couple of crochet kits.  Splashed out isn’t quite the word, because I snapped up two kits, that were in the Sales half price.  My motto – never pay full price when you can get a bargain.

One of the kits bought was this.  I suspect it was reduced because of the colour, rather than the style.  It’s very red!

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Ref: CR063K.  Kit comes with pattern (in English, French & Italian), 3 x 50g of myboshi yarn, a myboshi label and a 6mm hook.  First impressions . . . hook & yarn are excellent quality.  The pattern . . . claims on the packaging that this is suitable for beginners (of which I am one)  but I felt it could have been written more clearly.

Pattern called for (UK terms) double crochet and half treble.  Also recommended stitching in round, using slip stitch and chain at the end of each round, but I chose to crochet in a spiral (as I’ve learned to do with amigurumi). 

After many false starts (during which I tried to get to grips with the instructions, and then just decided to do it my way) . . . I ended up with

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A slouchy beanie . . .

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which, in my opinion, looked absolutely HUGE.  I’d followed instructions and crocheted the correct number of rounds.  Beanie was quite a good fit around the head (so I don’t think it was a problem of tension), but there was just too much “slouching” going on.

After modelling on eldest son, who came up for Easter . . . I therefore unravelled 5 rounds and the slouch now looks like this

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Probably a little less of a slouch than in the kit photo . . . but eldest son said this was more like it. You will notice, this isn’t eldest son modelling the beanie.  A shame, because it looked rather good on him.  No, I’ve acquired a head . . . actually a couple of heads lol.

I mentioned to my brother-in-law that I was going to be hooking beanies, and asked if he happened to have a spare dummy head in his garage.  If you knew my brother-in-law, you’d know this request is not strange at all.  He has the wierdest of things in his garage . . . and he just happened to have a head. 

Head which was originally a practice head for apprentice hairdressers . . . but had obviously seen better days because hair was hacked off unevenly.  I got out the electric clippers and shaved everything off.

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And GI-Jane is therefore the one to be modelling the slouchy.

However . . . I had also seen some cheap plastic heads on sale on the internet.  Bought one . . . and got a huge surprise when my parcel arrived because seller sent me two for the price of one!

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Two heads are better than one, as they say . . . and three are even better – yay.

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I’m rather pleased with this trio.  They don’t all have the same head circumference.  I’ve placed them in order of size (left to right) so all will come in useful at some point as models.  Yep, you’ve guessed . . . I’m suddenly enthusiastic about beanies!  Adult kids and partners have already been warned (after the Adopt-a-chick scheme) . . . they’ll all be getting beanies for Christmas lol.

adopt-a-chick # amigurumi

I had so much fun, earlier this month, hooking up a whole batch of chicks.  I know . . . little things . . .  Anyway, after my first little amigurumi chick, in March, I decided that my adult off-spring (and partners) would get a laugh if I sent them one for Easter . . . so I did.

The “Adopt-a-chick” scheme began to take shape in my head and here’s what I got up to.

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This photo, just for fun . . . but the following photo is an example of what was sent

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Each chick was boxed up with enough chocolate money to stop them from starving to death during transportation . . . and, as you can see, they all hatched before Easter Sunday.  Each chick was also posted with an adoption certificate – duly filled out with the name of adoptive parent and name of chick.

And I tried to personalise each chick, for the person I was sending to.

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Here is the batch I hooked . . . short hair for the men, long hair for the gals, except for that one with a mane of red hair . . . that’s a boy chick, called Rufus, and he was made for second son.  If I show you the following photo, you’ll understand why.

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“Live Simply” happy dance

In March, I had a happy dance, having finished off a cross stitch design: “Live Simply”, a kit by Dimensions.  However, that was just the happy dance for a finished stitching . . . the real full-flung happy dance happened this month.

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I have made a lap top case for my niece, N.  Her parents gave her a Notebook PC for Christmas, and she had asked if I could make a protective cover for it . . . so I did lol.  Some simple piecing on the front, and some freestyle quilting.

It’s just a simple pouch, but I added handles so it can be carried like a bag, and a couple of large poppers to make sure it stays shut.

oh what a beautiful week!

I don’t know about you, but weather in our corner of France has been amazing this week!  For early April, you could easily be mistaken into thinking it was summer.  Skies have been blue, the sun has been out every day and I have been sitting out in the garden in my summer clothes!  Yes!  Sleeveless tunics, dashing bright orange knee-length leggings.  Sunglasses definitely called for.

Husband has been very industrious in the veggie patch, but I haven’t taken any photos of his plantations yet.  He’s planted 18 tomato plants, 6 brocoli, 3 fennel, and hopes to get more plants in this coming week.  Seeds planted (radish & roquette) are already sprouting, but my beetroot haven’t come up yet.  Strawberry plants are in flower, raspberries bushes are budding . . . and cherry, apricot, and pear trees have all blossomed and mini fruits are in preparation. 

Everything seems incredibly early this year!  Even the Lily of the Valley is showing signs of buds.

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And just look at these lovely  lilac blooms

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Anyway, as I said, I’ve been sitting out in the garden, but keeping hands busy.  My most recent crochet project is

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A little owl necklace purse – yay!  This is a design by the very talented Janine Holmes of Moji-Moji Designs.  You can find the pattern for this project in her free tutorials. 

This little fellow only took a few hours to make, and I’m a beginner crocheter.  As usual, I immediately set to work making more . . .

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Colours aren’t very good in the photo.  After the purple one, I’ve begun work on a dark teal and a lilac.  The main work is done.  Just need to make eyes, beaks and assemble. 

Another reason it’s been a beautiful week . . . I celebrated my un-birthday!

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Received this surprise haul from Jess.  One of her cards (she designs and sells cards and cross stitch designs on Etsy) and some lovely bookmarks.  Somes with views of Guernesey (where Jess now lives) and one, is a metallic Korean bookmark.

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Ever so pretty!  So a big thank you Jess !!

Gibbs – 7 months and a blankie

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Gibbs is now 7 months and still growing.  Last week, he weighed in at 28 kilos ^^ 

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He’s gorgeously glossy, and really is an incredibly good-natured & intelligent dog.  We’ve had only one naughty episode this month – where Gibbs managed to get his nose in a chocolate cake (husband’s fault – you don’t leave chocolate cake on the table when you have a puppy), but I stopped him before he’d had a chance to wolf too much down (chocolate being toxic for dogs).   However, after a quick call to vet’s . . . seeing dog weight and portion of cake size eaten, there was nothing to worry about.

Apart from that, he’s been no trouble at all.  He’s getting on well with the cats, who no longer run & hide each time they see him . . . and basically, slowly growing out of puppy antics to become a proper adult dog.

He’s not too keen on rides in the car . . . so I decided to try and make things more comfortable.  Thought, if he had a “blankie” then car rides might be easier.  He has a soft bear that he loves carrying around in his mouth, and takes to bed with him.  So I thought he might also grow attached to a blankie.

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Quilting is a bit rough & ready (meaning wonky in places) but I don’t think Gibbs is going to complain.

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Made using a pack of 4” square prints I received for Christmas, an old cot sheet and some cheap plain blue cotton.  It is no doubt destined to be covered in mud & dog hair, I therefore did everything by machine, including the last sewing on binding.  Measures approx 44” x 34”. 

easter bunnies amigurumi x2

It’s that time of year . . . when the birds are starting to nest, flowers up budding up everywhere, and shops start to have window displays of lucious chocolate many in the shape of bunnies.

I decided to work on some calory-free bunnies of my own . . . following a pattern by Yum Yarn Crochet Creations available for free on Ravelry.

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Hooking up, first one in baby pink, and then a boy bunny in blue.

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I used the same brand of yarn for both (something bought in a local bargain basement store – 100% acylic) and a 3mm hook for both . . . for some reasion, my tension was tighter (and actually better) on the first one I made: little pink bunny, and got a bit looser on little boy-blue. 

Ears were very fiddly to make but not impossible, and I actually love them.  They’re such a lovely, bunny-ear shape.  So these two little projects to get me into training to tackle something a bit bigger/more complicated.  I haven’t attempted any colour changes yet, so that will be the next thing to try.