A bit Pott(er)y

OOOOhhhh weeeee this post is so very late but this is my blog so there you go.

Earlier this year Mr Plummy and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. As we spend a lot of time eating and watching TV, I was not at all interested in going out for dinner or to see a film. I wanted to do something. According to all those anniversary sites the 8th anniversary is traditionally bronze and pottery. As there isn’t a bronze works near here we went a for the pottery option at our local Potter Around and had a one-to-two session with the in-house potter. Let me tell you that this was less Ghost and more mudslinging, competitive throwing.

It was fabulous. Handling the clay was messy and really hard work trying to control as it seems to have a will of its own – one that just wanted to go whoooooosh all over us and the pottery walls.

The potter was a lovely lady who was very patient with us and showed us quickly how to throw the clay onto the wheels and to makes some simple shapes. As we had her to ourselves we were able to chat and found out that she is learning the craft. In the past she was a sheep farmer so was used to the rural setting of the barn (and ahem the handling of mindless bleating creatures luckily!).

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Mr P looking very commanding

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This flat plate was really hard to get off the wheel but eventually they both managed and later it would become our house number sign.

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Some advice on how to control the clay:

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In the end I think we made about 10 shapes between us. These were left to be fired and then a few weeks later we went back to paint all the pieces. This started off OK but as we had kiddo with us, she got restless and so we had to rush a few pieces (yes, my tone shows I wasn’t happy). Again, once painted we left the pieces to be fired into glossy loveliness. It’s always interesting how the colours look after they have been fired and my absolute favourite is the starry bowl holding my Dr Strange. 8 stars of course for 8 years. I cannot wait for next year which is Willow.

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Apple Logo baby blanket

Wow I’m so sickeningly lazy. I keep meaning to post stuff and then I don’t. I need to figure out how to blog on the move but the WordPress tablet app is not very easy to use.

Anyhoooo enough moaning, here are pictures of blanket I made for some friends who just had a baby. The dad is an Apple fan and the mum is one of the best cross-stitchers I’ve ever seen. The apple logo chart is from a chart provided free by a very kind Ravelry user AnnaList.

I used to make acrylic blankets but recently switched to wool as I would love for these items to become heirloom items for the recipients and wool is more appropriate. For this blanket I used Peter Pan Merino Baby which is currently £3.90 at Hobbycraft. Cheaper than most wools but after using nearly 11 balls it adds up pricewise. The quality is not great, it had a weird smell whilst I was working on it and had to wash it a few times to get that out but I love the end result (except the very small mistake where I did a sc instead of dc). The apple is elongated, but that’s not the chart which is perfect – it’s me not realising that I should have stuck to sc in order to maintain the chart proportions. live and learn huh?

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A tiny part of me worries that people don’t really like my hand made gifts. I got a lovely message from the Dad so hope he did but it seems I’m not the only one with that worry – see this article in the Washington post and tell me if you agree. Handmade always trumps mass produced. I have a baby blanket my husband’s aunt made for our kiddo, and two small jumper friends handmade for her which are treasured and will be given to her when she had kids herself (or cats…defo showing signs that she’s going to end up being a cat lady)

Crochet update

I’m a rubbish blogger. Posts get written in my head that rarely make it to the screen. So a lot of this is old but as this is actually a journal for me, and not about you, that’s fine!

There have been a bundle of babies born to friends and colleagues this year. As such, I’ve picked up my hook and made a blanket or two. And yes, I made blue for a boy and pink for a girl. In my defence, I don’t have a lot of dosh so pick what’s on sale in Jenners.

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Then in July I went along to the Knit Works  exhibition and workshops at the National Museum of Scotland. I missed the first day as I didn’t know it was on – we were just checking the site to take the kiddo into town for the street festival. Anyhoooo, It was a boiling hot day and I welcomed the cool interior of the museum. I had booked to join the Crochet workshop with Arne and Carlos so only had a little time to look around the display – I have a sneaky suspicion I missed a load. 

These are displays by the designer Steiunn, Brora and another designer who’s name I didn’t write down but did some great hip-hop clothes pieces. 

The workshop was not what I expected. I thought we would be taught step by step how to do a flower. Instead, they handed out yarn, hooks and a handout of the pattern and just told us to get on with it. Both Arne and Carlos were on hand to help but as there were quite a few beginners in the room, they couldn’t help everyone. I tried to help a few around them but sadly think I may have confused them as I wasn’t sure whether the pattern was in UK or US terms. Arne and Carlos will be back next year for Edinburgh Yarn Festival and I will try to book again for a workshop as I like them and their designs. Still odd to me that here are two men talking to a room full of women about yarn craft. 

After, I tried to join the knitathon. I was told to pick whatever wool I wanted and to choose a pattern to do. So sat down happily and tried to chat. Ok, this may be because I was hot, or it may just be that knitters can be really unfriendly bitches sometimes. What a cold front trying to talk to some of them and a really shock after chatting to the friendly crocheters. Turns out that I was actually too late to make a square and so I sadly left. I may be a loud mouth but actually find it very very hard to walk up to a group of strangers to talk – so when they are not quite welcoming, I take it really badly. Grrrrr. 

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Sibol squares

When not cooking or ironing school uniforms, I’ve been making squares for SIBOL. This is a group of international crafters who are co-ordinated by Sue to produce squares for lap blankets given out to elderly in care homes.

Here’s some I’ve done. It’s been fun because it’s so challenging but I do feel guilty as I should be working on a waistcoat for my mother in law.

I’m not sure when I’ll start the MIL’s waistcoat as there is a new challenge that SIBOL has which is to make daffodil squares for the Marie Curie Cancer Trust. And I plan to make loads and in between, I’ll be doing a few butterflies too. If you have a bit of yarn around, why not pick up your hooks or needles and get making. It’s for a good cause.

     

Hooking for chareedy

Blimey it’s been ages since my last post. I have been busying with the crochet hook and have now used up quite a bit of my stash on making charity hats which I will pass onto my mother in law. Her church puts boxes together at Christmas time to send to various people in need worldwide. I do feel a little guilty that some of the yarn is very cheap acrylic but I think something is better than nothing. The number of colours and balls  I have left are dwindling but where possible, I’ve tried to add some nice details like stripes on beanies or crocheted flowers onto hats. Once I’ve given them a wash, I’ll post up a picture.

Another charity group I’ve become interested in is called SIBOL which stands for Sunshine International Blankets of Love. The charity makes lap blankets for elderly people. The group makes fun blankets too – Challenge blankets where crafters from around the world send in knitted or crochet squares based on a particular theme. The blankets for these either go to the elderly who like to talk about the different squares or special ones are auctioned off to raise money for Alzheimers.

Another part of the group also do swaps and I’ve decided to join in with this. My goodness,the first swap was so, so, SO hard. The lady I was to send squares to is very talented and experienced. I spent ages looking for something suitable and must have made at least 8 squares before deciding on two that were about right. The other part of the swap is a small gift. No rules on this one as far as I could see. I hate not having rules as the possibilities are endless! The group make a lot of butterflies so I eventually decided to make some only to see the swap lady had sent in loads to the group in the very pattern I was using. ARGH. Ah well, in the end I made a jute basket. Hubby is from Dundee which had a thriving jute industry so that’s my connection.

Here are some picture….what do you think?

   

Of course, not everything I make is for charity. Here is a project using some polypropylene I found at the local Tiger store. A simple project done in the round through the front loop for the most part. The strap was HDC and the flap was SC. It’s perfect for my kid who played with it for about 3 days. Sigh…like so many of the projects I make her. I am not keen on the pink but have loads of the purple left so will be making one for myself because as everyone knows, purple is just fabulous. If you decide to have a go have some glue or nail varnish nearby to seal any cut ends else they will fray. Do you like the button? It’s so old fashioned from a stash my mother in law gave me…kiddo picked it and would not be persuaded to change her mind.

  

Red red head scarf

Word up! Do you remember Larry Blockmon, the lead singer of group Cameo? No? How about the guy in the late 80s  who sported a rather in-your-face  shiny red codpiece. Ah yes. Here he is…

Ok. So here is the headscarf I made which in a certain light reminds me of that codpiece.

It’s curling as I haven’t blocked it yet. Recently I had my very long hair cut off into a flicky  hair cut with a fringe. I have no idea what possessed me as I’m not a fringe girl (unless we are talking great sci-fi show Fringe that is). I’ve been making a few hats of late but they didn’t look right so opted to make this.

Yarn: Anchor style creativa – red. Small amount of Flirt dk purple

Hooks: 6mm and 4mm

UK terminology

I began with the 6mm hook to make a simple triangle of double crochet stitches created by adding a two dcs into the last chain of each row. Once I was happy with the length (which took about 4 tries over a few days to figure out), I added a single border of dcs along the other edges of the triangle so that I could flip it around to have columns rather than rows going down my head.

Then I started on the band, switching to the 4mm hook. There is a chain of 40 added to each corner. For two rows, I dc’d into each of these then did crossed trebles along the triangle. I finished with a border in purple along all the edges.

I like it a lot though the bands are a bit thick. But it does the job of keeping the fringe off my head which is the key thing. And it’s bright red and purple…my two fave colours.