Bright Pink Crochet and the Optimism verses Realism Battle

I am a raging optimistic and dreamer in a good way… I have so many ideas whirling in my head but I accept I do have to be a realist too and that is true of being able to keep my blog updated. As much as I want to, I can’t blog as much as my optimistic / dreamer self would like to. I work, I am a parent to teenagers and animals, have a highly demanding yarn habit and I keep reminding myself I haven’t trained much for my bike ride in May.

A picture of Wodge the Dog, waiting to be crocheted within an inch of his life.

In my makes I have been continuing to knit my Stephen West Garter Breeze shawl. I did not realise it was such a mammoth project. My optimistic self said I’d make one in some existing gorgeous Countess Ablaze yarn I had in my stash before moving onto making another in my Edinburgh yarn… the realistic me is still on shawl one but loving making it. Happy optimist is realistically going to finish some time in August.

As I said, I’m busy so this was interrupted by a few days working in China.

A crazy whirlwind and home again… I did take some socks to knit; that was optimistic and not at all realistic, they will be finished for Christmas, optimistically.

I may have said before, I like to juggle projects, in an evening I rarely work on only one, I’ll spend some time knitting before swapping over to crochet and vise versa. While making Garter Breeze I have been working on a large pink crochet sofa throw early mornings and late nights and now it is finished ready to go into my shop. I would love to keep this but I can’t. My house is like a soft, padded yarn cell and I’m getting complaints that the sound quality just isn’t the same anymore… that may be realistic.

The throw is made from super gorgeously soft Wensleydale UK wool, measures approx. 150cms x 150cms. It really is beautiful on a sofa, bed, chair, taken glamping and wrapped up warm, it’s a smasher.

My next project is some crochet cushions from some stunning yarn commissioned for a special sofa. I’ll catch up with further progress, now time for that bike ride.

CCK AKA Crochet,Cycling and Knitting

I am always drawn to the colour of yarn first, then I have to touch and smell it. When I saw the colour of this yarn in Edinburgh I literally bagged it instantly, I love the colours together. The yarn is Undercover Otter’s Jump Scare Aran in Screaming Satsuma and Citidel, it really beams. I started to make a shawl but this yarn has a structure and handle ideal for home furnishings so I reverted to a cushion where it holds it’s shape perfectly. I do like to make homewares with travel yarn, I can look at it constantly rather than an infrequently worn item often hiding in a drawer. It now sits on my grey sofa dotted with cushions like a rainbow. Perfect.

Inspired by my Edinburgh visit I have started to knit a Garter Breeze shawl by Stephen West. It’s a great rhythmic knit and I’m learning new skills while making this. I’m using Countess Ablaze Bluefaced Leicester and Masham fingering yarn which is soft and gorgeously smelling of wool, you know that smell…bliss.

April and May are really busy months for me as when weather improves I need to get some training in for a charity bike ride I take part in at the end of May. This is the third time I will be taking part in this ride raising money for women’s cancers; ovarian, cervical and breast cancers. It’s 100km at night from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace and back to Windsor. It’s tough but so worth the effort to raise money for these charities.

You can read a little more about the event here or of you would like to sponsor me you can here.

Due to the limited time I have to train, I decided on Saturday to cycle to knit group in Manchester, from home this is about 20 miles each way and my bike ride is a distance of 64 miles so it’s a good training ride. In the end I decided to actually ride from Ashton along the canal to Countess Ablaze in the Northern Quarter and then rode back out to Wythenshaw in the South of Manchester. I changed my route as I was a little nervous of the traffic for the whole route, however, I found cycling is well provided for in Manchester with cycle lanes protected by kerbs from the traffic. I loved cycling with my knitting on my back through the city centre streets, I’ll maybe apply to deliver with Deliveroo 🙂 I wore the knitted socks I made for my ride last year, super warm and cooling, wool is an ideal fibre for sport, comfortable, warm and can absorb sweaty bits.

This week I’ll continue with my shawl, I travel with work on Saturday so I’ll be checking my airline for needle and yarn allowance, not sure I’ll have much time for yarn though!

Week 10 – Face Plant Progress and Plant Pots

My weeks just seem to go in the blink of an eye but I’m never too busy to create something, anything I can. My nightly ritual of relaxing with some yarn really help me to unwind after a day at work in front of a screen and numbers. I’m sure you understand that feeling. Yarn offers so much in terms of relaxation and inspiration, that’s why most of us love knitting and crochet isn’t it?

I continued with my Face Plant scarf, affectionately named so because I just want to buy my face in the soft, soft, comforting warmth of the knitted fabric.

I’m making good progress, it’s now about 120cm long and I have possibly enough yarn for it to be about 200cm when finished. Enough to be wrapped around my neck twice, not with murderous intent, I can’t wait to finish it, the scarf that is.

I have also completed one sock, one more to go. I am finding the socks to be an in between project, they are ideal for carrying around in bag day to day in the hope of a delay or ten minutes in my lunch break. The problem is by the time I finish these socks it will be summer and time for flip flops not boots!

After knit club Saturday I went to Fred Aldous in Manchester and bought some Bakers twine to crochet covers for some cacti and geranium pots. They are only small pots but I will make some larger ones soon.

The pot covers are really easy to do, here’s how I made mine;

  1. Half treble 12 stitches into a magic ring, pull tight to close the ring, slip stitch into the first stitch and chain two to create the first stitch of the next round.
  2. Crochet one half treble into the immediate stitch and two half trebles into each stitch (24 stitches), slip stitch into the first stitch to close the round and chain two to create the first stitch of the next round.
  3. Half treble into the back of each stitch (24) slip stitch into the first stitch to close the round and chain two stitches to create the first stitch of the next row.
  4. Half treble again in the back of each stitch (24) slip stitch into the first stitch to close the round and chain two stitches to create the first stitch of the next row.
    These stitches into the back of the previous stitch create a nice ridge, see picture below

5. Continue to half treble into the each stitch and slip stitch into the first stitch to close the round and chain two to create the first stitch of the next round.
6. I crocheted 10 more rounds as per point 5 to create the height I wanted to and a lip over the top of the plant pot to hid a plastic inner pot.
7. Continue in this manner, I was covering a small glass tealight holder measuring 5cm diameter base, 6cm height and 7.5cm diameter top as below;

To make a cover for a different size pot;

Follow the increase rule for a circle until you have the size of the base you need and then follow point 4 onwards until you have the height of pot cover need to cover your pot. If you pot has shape and requires increases and decreases do so to shape the pot cover you need for your pot.

I changed colours as I fancied to mix up my pots. I found the Bakers Twine to be a great yarm, it holds it’s shape and is malleable but watch, after a while it’s tough on the hands!

Have fun mixing things up.

And so after a beautifully sunny week the cold returned and with it the snow on Sunday. I got hailed on walking Wodge and boy did it hurt!

Enjoy your week, I hope it’s a creative one, any questions about the pot covers please email me on amy@mamieandflorrie.co.uk I’d love to see your makes!

Week 9 – Socks and a Face Plant Scarf

I promised to have some sock progress and at last, I do at least have one sock done. Hurrah for closure on one sock!

It’s slow progress I know but it’s getting there. Sock knitting is my go to bag project. Perfect for catching five minutes sneaky knitting on a lunch break, sat in a traffic jam or in a waiting room. Handy, compact and easy to catch a few rows when you can.

I found this photo of one of my favourite little scarfs which is so warm and I loved it. But I can’t find it so I need to make a new one.

I have decided to use my Swedish yarns to make a new scarf, I’m knitting it using both yarns; easy rhythmic garter stitch. It’s going to be big and billowing and blousey and wonderful. The type of wool you want to bury your face in. A face plant scarf. A snuggly delight, so here goes…

I will show you my progress next week.

Outside of my Yarnlandia we have had sun and warmth and so we are forecast snow tomorrow. That’s British weather for you! We love it really.

I’m still listening to Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney while walking, so far so good. Until next time my yarn friends 🙂

January Week 2 – Hats!

I’ve knitted chunky yarn hats this week.  An absolute essential as the temperature has really dropped. I will be wearing one until May now I suspect; the mornings have been cold, windy and frosty.  And dark.

These hats are from super chunky 100% wool, I have used Erica Knight yarn here, the quality is gorgeous and it really gives a great stitch definition and they are super warm. I like to mix up the pom poms as in the grey and yellow hat.  I’ll be adding some to the shop in the coming week if you’d like to buy.

As well as the chunky knits, I have totally fallen for Countess Ablaze’s The English Gentlemen yarn, Blue faced Leicester and Masham.   As always, the colours from Countess Ablaze are amazing; bright, rich, complex and basically stunning.  I made several Christmas presents from this yarn in colourways Urbex, Vamp and Industrial.

The hat below is in Industrial, perfectly matched the Manchester surroundings below.

And because it’s me, there has to be some orange.  With another Countess Ablaze yarn, Grande Merino, my colourway was a limited edition dye so I have linked the next closest colourway here for you – 1969 Dodge Daytona – Vanesssa

Not my best photo, I’d just finished my second Park Run.  Last week on my first run I didn’t wear a hat and I regretted it instantly.  This bright one keeps me warm and if I come a cropper I’m easily identifiable in orange. I love orange.

Enjoy your week, wear a hat. And if you haven’t got one message me, I’ll make you one or keep an eye on my shop for super unique, warm and bloomin lovely knits.