Saturday, 3 February 2018

Another Shutterfly Book

I finally got around to making Another Shutterfly Book featuring crochet creations. This one is for our granddaughter's birthday. I thought "Four Lambs Together" would be perfect for a girl turning FOUR this month. 

It has been almost two years since my last Shutterfly Book. I love making them. Once an idea sets hold in my mind, I can't rest until it's done. 

The idea for this book started back in November with a blog post titled Four Lambs Together when I wrote a rhyming verse to accompany photos of four crocheted lambs. I took a few more photos of the lambs on a white duvet then put the whole thing aside as I was much too busy preparing for Christmas to think about making a book. 

Also I was hoping our daughter might take more 'book-worthy' photos when she visited. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Our house was too full and busy to fit in a photo shoot. Then I got sick with the flu when they left which further delayed any thought of a book. 

Finally as I was starting to feel better and as my most recent half-price Shutterfly coupon was about to expire, I thought a book would make a great birthday present if I could get it done in time. That got me thinking in earnest. I woke up through the night working out details in my mind. Honestly, this creativity stuff is so exciting it interrupts my sleep. 

The next night after work, I sat at my laptop and finished the book all in one go. I love how it flows so easily once I have it all sorted in my mind. 

The cover looks like this except with a sepia filter on the photo.
I ordered two copies of the book to be sent to Boulder - one for my granddaughter and one for me. I am pleased with how it looks despite my unedited amateurish photos. I do hope our granddaughter likes it too. 

This is the sixth book I've done for our grandchildren. I thoroughly enjoy making them. If you would like a peek inside, click on this link: Four Lambs Together. I am worried I might have made a mistake on the cover of the version sent for printing. There is no way to know for sure until it arrives. Only a few more days to wait ... fingers crossed hoping it's fine.

Happy Birthday to our sweet granddaughter. We love you lots.

Update: The book arrived early. I was relieved to see the cover was correct. My daughter sent me photos of our granddaughter counting the lambs and a video of her reciting part of the story ... so sweet.

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Friday, 2 February 2018

Easy Crochet Infinity Scarf

While searching through my stash recently, I found two balls of Patons Venus yarn in white. I remembered buying three balls on sale for $1.99 over a year ago. At the time, I was making a baby bobble blanket and wasn't sure how much I would need for the border. You can read about that here if you missed it. I used one ball adding two to my stash.

Patons Venus yarn is a luxuriously soft worsted weight yarn with a unique thick and thin texture. I love how working simple rows of single crochet back and forth with this yarn creates a pretty pattern. I was able to make this Easy Crochet Infinity Scarf for only $4. How cool is that? 
This Infinity Scarf is smaller than the Calm Cowl I made recently. I took photos side-by-side to show the difference.
I can wrap both scarves to wear as a cowl, but this white scarf fits a little tighter around my neck than I like.

This shorter infinity scarf is much more comfortable worn hanging down like a scarf rather than wrapped like a cowl. I would add one more ball of yarn to make this scarf a little longer before calling it a cowl.
Technical details for this Easy Crochet Infinity Scarf are listed below in case you would like to make one too. 

Patons Venus Yarn - 1.75 oz/50 g (2 balls) $1.99/ball
Worsted Weight (4)
5.0 mm hook
Cold water wash, lay flat to dry

Stitches Used:
ch - chain
sc - single crochet

Note: chain at beginning of row does NOT count as a stitch

Starting ch = 31
R1 - sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across (30 sc)
R2 - ch 1 and turn, sc in each stitch across (30 sc)
Repeat row 2 until you run out of yarn 
Leave a long tail to sew ends together (yarn texture hides flat join)

Finished Size: 18.5" folded in half - 37" circumference - 6.25" wide

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Thursday, 1 February 2018

Crochet Calm Cowl in Cottonwood

Making a Linen Stitch Blanket for our grandson was so much fun, I decided to carry on crocheting the linen stitch making a cowl following this free pattern on Ravelry called "Calm Cowl". It is a circular scarf crocheted in the round that can be worn wrapped like a cowl or hanging like a scarf. 

For the blanket, I bought two balls of each colour plus one extra of cottonwood, leaf and white totaling 15 balls of yarn. In the end, these extra balls were added to my alredy extensive stash. 

To crochet this cowl, I used the leftover ball of cottonwood yarn. 
I prefer to wear this scarf wrapped like a cowl to hide the crooked seam. You can see what I mean in the photo above. I worked and frogged the first 7 rows of this scarf a few times before finally giving up. I wasn't too worried as I knew wrapping would hide any imperfections. 

Technical details for this Crochet Crochet Calm Cowl in Cottonwood are listed below in case you would like to make one too. 

Hook size - 5 mm
Yarn Used (Worsted #4 weight):
Mary Maxim Best Value 100% acrylic (170 g/6 oz) - Cottonwood
Starting Chain - 211
37 rows
Finished size: 22" Folded in half - 44" circumference - 7" wide
Free pattern: Calm Cowl by Suzana Davidovic on Ravelry found here

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Sunday, 28 January 2018

Crochet Colour Block Linen Stitch Blanket

I recently finished a Crochet Colour Block Linen Stitch Blanket for our oldest grandson. It was made using six colours of yarn worked in blocks of colour separated by two rows of white between each block. 

The linen stitch or moss stitch is a super easy 'mindless' stitch that creates a beautiful woven texture. It has a nice drape without being too stiff or too lacy. I've used the linen stitch for smaller projects, but never a blanket. I love how it turned out. 
After working 10 rows of each colour block repeated twice, I decided to change things up a bit. Instead of 10-row blocks, I worked the remainder of the blanket in 20-row blocks. Since I also wanted to mix up the order of colour changes, I created a colour chart (see below). It was much easier to keep track with this handy dandy visual reference.
When I created the chart above, I planned to add a border worked completely in single crochet alternating each colour with one row of white. That was my plan. I even worked nine rows of the border before I decided I didn't like it. Single crochet was too stiff worked alongside linen stitch plus it created a clear 'wrong' and 'right' side. In the end, I ripped out all nine rows and settled on a simpler border consisting of one row of linen stitch in white. It was perfect and exactly right for this blanket. 
In the photo above I zoomed in a bit to show the lovely texture created by the linen stitch. I also took a sideways photo of the blanket below.
I stretched the blanket out on the double mattress our grandson uses when he visits ... not quite big enough for full coverage.
The blanket looks great folded at the end of the mattress and will fit nicely on a twin size mattress.
For now, the blanket is folded and packed in a bag ready and waiting until we see our grandson again. A Crochet Colour Block Linen Stitch Blanket made with love by Grammeo. What could be better?
Technical details for this Crochet Colour Block Linen Stitch Blanket are listed below in case you would like to make one too. 

Starting Chain - 250
Finished Size - 45"x66" (large throw blanket)
316 rows
Border - 1 round
Time to Complete - Approximately 48 hours (9 mins per row + border)
Hook size - 5 mm

Yarn Used (Worsted #4 weight):
Mary Maxim Best Value 100% acrylic (170 g/6 oz)
  • Leaf - 2 balls
  • Deep Teal - 2 balls
  • Mocha - 2 balls
  • White - 2 balls
  • Silver - 2 balls
  • Cottonwood - 2 balls
Blanket colour blocks crocheted in order as listed separated by 2 rows of white between each block:

Cottonwood (10 rows)
Teal (10 rows)
Mocha (10 rows)
Silver (10 rows)
Leaf (10 rows)
Repeat above 5 blocks in same order
Cottonwood (20 rows)
Teal (20 rows)
Mocha (20 rows)
Silver (20 rows)
Leaf (20 rows)
Silver (20 rows)
Mocha (20 rows)
Teal (20 rows)
Cottonwood (20 rows)

Border - 1 row of white in linen stitch (corners work 2 single crochet, chain 2, 2 single crochet

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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Full House for the Holidays

This year we had a Full House for the Holidays. Our daughter and her family flew in from Boulder arriving late in the day December 23rd for a two-week visit. Our son and his dog drove from Guelph the same day staying through to January 1st. Our son had school the first week of January, but managed to get back to London for another couple days before our daughter and her family had to leave January 7th.

It has been five years since our daughter last joined us for Christmas. We planned to include all our favourite Christmas traditions for this new generation of grandchildren to enjoy.

I put a lot of effort into decorating and gift wrapping to make Christmas special for the kids. Our new tree did not have a pointy top to hold our Christmas angel, so I improvised adding a teddy as a tree topper instead. 
Christmas Eve we all headed over to my parents for their Open House a much loved annual party for family and friends. Our grandson loves to dress 'fancy', so borrowed a tie for the occasion ... good choice.
Before the party, we drove by this house in Oakridge. Nothing better than a good dose of 'over-the-top' decorations at Christmas. 
My cousin from Ottawa managed to make it to the party Christmas Eve. She spent a bit of time acting as a reindeer carrying our grandson around the table picking up treats ... such fun.
After all the festivities, our grandson lost a tooth Christmas Eve. He was upset he bled on his new Christmas pj's, but happy to find money tucked under his pillow the next morning.
Christmas morning did not disappoint. The kids were excited to open their gifts then spend the rest of the day happily playing with their new things. 

After gifts, my husband and I got busy preparing dinner. My husband was in charge of the turkey and ham while I made most of the side dishes. My daughter volunteered to do mashed potatoes and my mum-in-law brought dessert. Feeding fifteen for dinner is easier when everybody helps.
Guests arrived with more gifts for the kids ... so lucky.
We needed two tables to fit all fifteen of us for our Christmas feast.
After dinner, we posed for a group shot. Our daughter took the photos using a tripod and timer. It's tough getting everybody to look normal for photos. I think she did a great job.
Our niece and her husband announced they are expecting a baby. My guess is they're having a boy. Either way, I'm looking forward to welcoming another little one into the family.

With Christmas over, we spent the rest of the week relaxing and hanging out at home with the kids. I used up the rest of my vacation for the year only working one day between Christmas and New Years and two days the following week. 
With extreme cold weather, it was difficult to get outside much. The kids entertained themselves with indoor activities. Our grandson was happy to dress up in his new suit (purchased after Christmas). We didn't really have a special occasion so the kids put on their finery to 'dance' and play indoors. I think it's amazing that our grandson likes to dress up, especially as I'm totally into all things comfortable and casual.
By the end of the week, we planned a shopping trip just my mom, my daughter and me. My daughter needed a hair cut plus we needed to get winter boots for our grandson. He doesn't wear boots in Boulder, but shoes were definitely not warm enough for winter here.

I always enjoy getting out with my Mom and daughter. We took the baby with us. He was no problem. I love that it's so easy to get him to smile.
On the first Saturday after Christmas, we took the kids skating at Storybook Gardens. We were excited to try out their new skates and helmets and introduce them to a popular Canadian winter activity ... outdoor skating. Skating was fun despite the cold weather which turned into a proper blizzard with whiteouts by the time we headed for home.
While it was snowy and blowy outside, there were plenty of fun things to do back at the house.
I walked the Sifton Bog a couple of times ... once in deep snow with my son and his dog then again with my husband and the dog all the way to the Sifton Bog pond which had totally frozen over. Somebody had taken a shovel and cleared the ice. If only we had taken our skates.
Another day, our grandchildren enjoyed exploring my Mom's extensive costume jewelry collection.
They always enjoy visits with GG and Other GG.
We braved the cold on New Year's Day to ski around the golf course once.

While I was busy at work, the kids visited their great grandparents.
Our daughter took the kids skating at Storybook Gardens one more time.
They also joined my parents for dinner one more time. Our granddaughter was excited to see my Uncle Bill again. She loved chatting and listening to his stories ... so cute.
I showed our grandson how to play Yahtzee. He seemed to have fun, but really his favourite game was Monopoly ... a game I refused to play. I really don't get the appeal. 
With such cold weather, we had a thick coating of frost on our windows.
Our son said his final goodbyes and headed for home the night before they packed to leave. He was wise to leave a little early thus avoiding the travel day stress complicated by influenza b making the rounds. 

Our house was a crazy chaotic holiday house full of noise, fun and stuff ... lots of stuff everywhere for two weeks while our kids were home. It was unfortunate our time together ended with almost everybody getting sick. Influenza b was not fun ... fevers, body aches and coughing for days. 

I rarely get sick, but was home for three days doing nothing but lay on the sofa. My husband was sick this past weekend ... he spent three days on the sofa as well. 

I am looking forward to feeling energetic again soon. In the meantime, I am happy to have finally sorted through our photos. I love writing these posts capturing highlights from our time together ... truly a treasure.

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