Springtime update

Has been so busy for me and no time to post, partially because I have been busy crafting to sell, but also because I am busy making items for my daughters wedding this summer as well, the wedding invitations have taken a lot of time and now I’m onto the soap making for the individual wedding favours. However I have managed to finish my melting snowflakes shawl kit from Scheepjes which was one of my Christmas presents, I am really pleased with it, especially as this item is for me to keep for myself 🙂 , it’s gorgeous to wear- beautifully soft with the Scheepjes merino soft yarn and it feels very luxurious, I just love the beading decoration, I would recommend this kit as a present for any crochet lover!


Scheepjes melting snowflakes shawl kit in “Crystal”

I did fit in time for a weeks holiday in Scotland, Loch Long in Argyll, Bute, next door to Loch Lomond over the Easter holidays, which was beautiful (and lots of time for crochet) and the scenery was really inspiring, we were lucky to have warm and mainly dry weather for the week- which must be quite an achievement for a Scottish holiday at this time of the year. Our cabin was right on the shores of Loch Long and this was the view:



We travelled to a few places including the stunning Glencoe which was not far away and to this lovely place called Eilean Donan Castle which was a few hours drive away:


Nearby to us at Loch Long was the very pretty village of Luss, which definitely boasted some great places to go and eat as well, including the local pub/ hotel and  The Village Rest bistro.


Back refreshed and full of ideas now ….. always though i would have enough time to do all these things once retired but there still aren’t quite enough hours in the day !


Last dance on the beach 2016 CAL finished stars blanket

So finally finished my last dance under the stars blanket for the Scheepjes 2016 CAL in memory of Wink, the the joining and border completed in the dark brown Rembrandt (609) merino soft. can’t describe just how soft and snuggly this yarn makes a blanket, with a lovely heavy quality feel and drape. This will be our new winter snuggly blanket for those chilly evenings without a doubt.



Having seen this finished blanket my son is now chomping at the bit for me to finish his last dance in the sea  blanket in the acylic Colourcrafter yarn from Scheepjes, I had better get a move on as I have lots of Christmas makes to get on with, however this year i should be able to get more done as being retired makes such a difference for the time availble for crafting !

I will be back with some photos of the sea blanket soon I hope 🙂

Last Dance on the Beach- week 12 and joining up the squares

So I have finally  finished my last squares for my merino soft last dance under the stars blanket, I have just 2 more to finish for my last dance in the sea Colourcrafter blanket. The last square is a lovely wavy design  with depth using back loop stitches, simple once you get going but I did find the the first  couple of rows a little challenging at times 🙂 The Colourcrafter square is in the very deep green Emmen (1116), some people foud this colour not to their liking in the facebook CAL group but when you see it with the other squares and colours you can see how it perfectly compliments the other colours. The merino soft square is in the beautiful deep red Rothkow (623). I found I needed to go up a hook size with this square, even with my fairly average tension the design works up quite tightly size wise, I used a 5.00mm clover hook for the merino and a 4.5mm clover hook for the Colourcrafter.


Now its the task of joining the 48 squares for each blanket- I do enjoy this bit as its nice to see all your work coming together, the method of joining in this CAL pattern also is helpful as it doesn’t create so many ends, it uses the flat zipper (slipstitch) method which gives a perfectly flat seam. Your wool and slipstitches are on on the back of the blanket using the inner loops of the edging stitch on each square to join the blanket, you first join all the squares vertically and then finish the process horizontally.


Vertical join only at the back of the blanket, horizontal join not yet made

The dance under the stars blanket uses the deep brown Rembrandt (609) for the joing and border, and the Colourcrafter dance in the sea blanket uses the pale wheaten Ermelo (1710). Hopefully in my next blanket post I will be able to show you a finished blanket.

Last dance on the beach in memory of Wink- week 11

Well finally got to week 11 after falling behind during my holiday, then moving and retiring  all in one month 🙂

Week 11 is a fun bobble square designed by Annelies Baes from www.en.vicarno.com, this represents the little piles of pebbles that you find on the beach. It was a little tricky to start with as you can end up with a slightly too holey version or if you crochet too tight it doesn’t look right either, hook sizes for me on this one ended up being Clover 4.5mm for the Merino soft and Clover 4mm for the Colourcrafter. I got to dip into another one of the gorgeous red colours for the merino soft square on my stars blanket Picasso 621 and the bright jewel type blue  Delft 1117 on the Colourcrafter sea blanket. One more square and it will be time for me to join up the blankets- can’t wait ! This has been a fantastic CAL and having seen the blankets that some people in the group have already finished I can’t wait to see my own 🙂



Last dance on the beach CAL week 10 in memory of Wink

Two for the price of one this week! As well as the published pattern by week 10 Scheepjes blogger Sarah Knight from www.craftsfromthecwtch.co.uk for the CAL Wink’s sister Tinca Slump has also designed a square whilst making the blanket along with the CAL community and shared it with us on the CAL facebook page 🙂 I have replaced one of week 10 and week 11 squares with her design, so I have completed 2 of Tincas shells and starfish design  for each of my blankets stars and sea.

The colours for week 10 are Colourcrafter Urk (1304) a lovely icy blue for the sea blanket, and the beautiful dusky purple Seurat (637)  in merino soft for the stars version.

For Tincas design and for Sarah’s design I used my usual 4.5 mm clover hook for the merino soft and 4.00mm clover hook for the Colourcrafter.

I liked the effect of mixing a little colour for the starfish and as the other faux knit stitch by Sarah represented rippling water over stones I used some different shades to represent this as well, I had not tried this faux knitting stitch before so this was my first effort, this was one of Wink’s favourite stitches so I felt I should definitely try and master this for a blanket inspired by her !



Last dance on the beach CAL week 9 in memory of Wink


I love the look the pattern creates for week 9 of the last dance on the beach CAL designed by Dedri Uys of www.lookatwhatimade.net this week, especially in the beautiful golden Scheepjes merino soft colour  Van Gogh (614) for this weeks dance under the stars blanket, this might be one of my favourite squares overall ! 🙂  Once you get the hang of the cable pattern it flows easily and is a relaxing and quick growing pattern to crochet, the inspiration for this square  is crabs walking across the beach / incoming water. I think I will be using this pattern for something else in future.


merino soft  Van Gogh 614

The dance in the sea square which I am doing in the Scheepjes Colour Crafter acrylic  uses a lovely deep blue shade Middelburg (1003), these two squares definitely evoke summer sea, skies and sand to me in these gorgeous shades. I used my 4.0mm clover hook for the Colour Crafter this week and 4.5mm clover hook for the merino soft.


Colour Crafter Middleburg 1003


Last dance on the beach in memory of Wink week 8

Week 8 is a gorgeous waffle textured square – chunky and feel good  just right for a snuggly blanket. Again with this square once you had the pattern embedded in the memory a nice relaxing square to create and chill out with in front of the TV. This square was created  by Jellina Verhoeff of www.jellina-creations.nl. I found that I was back to my normal clover hook sizes with this square 5.0 mm for the merino soft and 4.0 mm for the Colourcrafter. The colour for my star blanket  in merino soft was back to the gorgeous deep purple Hockney (638) which was also used for the waves square of week 4, whereas the colour crafter sea blanket used the baby blue Texel (1019) also used in week 4 for the waves square.

The photos below are of the unblocked squares as I haven’t had a chance with all the unpacking for the move ( thats my excuse and I’m sticking to it :)) I’ll try and add the blocked photos later to show the difference – I really think blocking makes a difference to your work and produces a more professional finish.

I will be adding some photos of the new house shortly from the picturesque village of Osmington in Dorset near Weymouth just above the famous hillside chalk white horse and hopefully sharing some progress on my new venture after retiring as an NHS midwife at the beginning of July.