Monday, 28 February 2011

Quick updates

This is just going to be a quick, update post today.  Here are four of the little stuffed hearts I've made, I love the fact that they're all slightly different sizes with the different yarns - shows they're handmade!  I found the pattern at this beautiful blog here and I've made them with odds and ends of yarn from my stash, mostly cottons.
Progress on my springtime throw is going well:
Mr Nut keeps coming upstairs and rolling his eyes as he finds me sitting on the bed saying 'just one more square, just one more square...'  I'm obsessed by making these little squares - they're very therapeutic indeed!  I'm using Sirdar Country Style DK, which is a pure wool and although it feels a little hairy when I'm crocheting with it, oddly the squares feel soft when they're made up.  Explain that... x
Edit: 17 May 2011 - oops, it's not pure wool, not sure what was going on there!  It's a mixture of fibres - wool, acrylic and nylon

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Crochet - my life so far

It all started with this:
A beautiful blanket that my clever mum made for baby Nut when she was born. I love this blanket a lot and wanted to unravel the mystery surrounding how it had been made (it was mysterious to me, at least)  This idea went on the back burner for a while as I tried to get to grips with life with three children, but by the new year things had settled down a bit and I decided to make learning to crochet one of my missions for 2011 - always good to have missions, I think - I like to feel like I'm achieving something other than just keeping my head above water and my children in clean clothes.
My first real project was this:
And I can't wait for baby Nut's birthday to try out the new birthday bunting!  (Something strange is happening to my camera, so apologies for the odd colours in the photos)
I've also been slightly obsessed with the little hearts I mentioned in my 'apathy' post - I turned some of them into these little gift tags (photo taken on my phone):
I just made a loop of chain from the middle of the heart, so that they can be hung from a door handle, then slid the loop down a slit at the top of a piece of card (then stamped the name on, using my lovely 'AB Seas' stamp set, which I bought on Amazon)  I do like a bit of accessorising. 
I have also made several of the little stuffed hearts in the picture at the top of this post - in fact, I've made one for each of the family, but haven't had a chance to take photos yet - I'll do a proper post on them once I've got my camera sorted.
So, on to my latest project - it's my first real, big project and I am a bit nervous about never finishing it, or making it completely badly, or baby Nut pulling it apart as fast as I can make it.  It's taken from this book (my crochet book du jour):
And although it does have the word 'cute' in the title, which is usually enough to make me run a mile, I do love this book - it's got some lovely things in it.  I am hoping to make this, 'springtime throw':
Updates to follow! x

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Springy things

Hooray and hurrah - I think spring has sprung!
The children and I visited my mum in Dorset for a few days this week - giving Mr Nut some time to catch up on some much-needed sleep/work (and to crack on with the 'lovely half-term list' I sneakily left for him...) - and giving my mum some time to bond with her three oldest grandchildren.  Driving down south I really noticed a difference in how far advanced spring is - snowdrops covering banks like snowdrifts, daffodils showing their bright yellow faces and buds about to burst from their covers.

I really love coming to Dorset, whenever I'm here I really feel like I'm coming home.  Even when the weather's like this:
it's still beautiful.  Mr Nut and I got married at the top of this hill and it seems funny coming with the children, who weren't even at our wedding, but who are such a huge part of our lives now.  I almost wish we could get married again just so they could be there! 
I think it's good for me to have time away like this - when I get back home I always find I look at it with new eyes and really appreciate that I am so lucky and live in a lovely, homely home; whereas when I'm here all the time, all I can see are the little niggly things that I'd like to change.
I did, however, find it quite mad having the three children on my own - apart from anything else, it's hard feeding baby Nut when I'm not at home with all her non-allergenic food to hand - but we did have a lovely time; especially when the two big Nuts and I got to spend the day in lovely Lyme Regis on our own.  You really can't beat fish and chips on the beach (even if you are being mobbed by scary seagulls) followed by a proper ice-cream in a cone. 
The big Nuts also got to do a bit of this:
While I poked around in the hedges for things like this:
For me, no trip to Dorset is complete without a visit to the brilliant Hanson's in Sturminster Newton - it's a crafter's dream - it's a warehouse-type building, stuffed to the rafters with yarn, fabric, trimmings, books and sewing machines.  I couldn't have a really proper look around as the children were sitting patiently in the car, reading comics, but I did manage to get myself some new yarn for my latest crochet project:
Just look at all that lovely wool (there's actually more than that, but the rest of it wouldn't fit in the basket!)  I am very excited and also a little bit scared about this project because it's the first big thing I've made and I wonder if I will ever be able to finish it (am I alone in getting all enthusiastic about things and then quickly moving on to the next thing?)  I have plans for a proper crochet post - a quick round up of my life in crochet so far and what I'm up to at the moment, but I'll do that tomorrow - my glass of wine is calling me now - I really need it after four hours in a car with three small children! x

Friday, 18 February 2011

Apathy r us

Today's post was to be a post of 'ta-dahs'.  Ta-dahs and hurrahs for all the things I've got planned that I've finally managed to finish; things I've managed to achieve over the past couple of days.  Sadly, however, I have achieved almost nothing noticeable over the past two days - in fact, they've been nothing short of an achievement vacuum.  Humph. 
One of the main things I intended to do was to save these poor things from a doomed existence on my garden table:

The plan was simple - clean these:

then quickly and efficiently pot up those poor, sad flowers.  Baby Nut, however, had another plan - one that involved waking from her lunchtime sleep after only half an hour and really, REALLY crying for quite a long time.  Poor bub - I think it was her tummy bothering her again (baby Nut has an impressive array of food intolerances), so I had to put down my trowel and just cuddle my poor girl until she cheered up.
The other notable thing I have failed to complete recently is this:

As you can see, I managed to get as far as writing the title of the book I should have read for my book group yesterday, but really didn't get much further than that.  The down side to joining a book group is that I don't often get time to read books (and if I do have time in which I could read, I'd rather crochet and I'm not up to doing both at the same time yet!).  The up side is that I do have an excuse to use the rather lovely Paperchase notebook that a good friend gave me for my birthday recently.  Every cloud...
Well, after being a bit hard on myself there, I am going to end this post on an achievement high.  Here is a pretty little something I rustled up for baby Nut's bedroom when I was in between crochet projects:

I followed Julia Crossland's pattern for teeny tiny crochet hearts from her lovely blog.  Julia has made them into bunting, but I wanted to make something to hang in the window, so came up with these three little hearts hanging on a chain and I am pretty pleased with them, if I do say so myself!

 So there we have it, a teeny, tiny ta-dah x

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Quite a good day really

Is it me, or do school days start with quite a hefty dose of stress?  Today was no exception, with the usual crazy rush to get out the door ("get your shoes on.  Get your shoes on!!  GEEET YOUR SHOOOES OOON!!!  No, it's too late for toast, why didn't you eat your breakfast?  No, I don't know where your gloves are.  Stop that, you're standing on your sister's hand.  Where are my keys?  Aaaaaagh")  You know how it goes.  Frankly, I think that after that, it's up hill all the way. 
After school drop off, I met with a couple of friends and while baby Nut obligingly slept in the pushchair, I had a cup of Earl Grey and a slice of toasted panettone - well, who wouldn't be happy with that?  The sun was out too, which always makes things peachy.  I get very carried away with thoughts of spring when the sun ventures out and although spring hasn't quite made it yet, I do feel that it's only just around the corner now.  Surely?
I really felt the need for some new fresh flowers to replace the last lot which were looking a bit droopy and sorry for themselves, so went to one of the local greengrocer's, which sells some lovely flowers in buckets outside the front of the shop.  After perhaps a slightly unnecessarily long time deciding which colours to have (you can't rush these things, you know), I picked these:


It seems to have been another day of unexpected lovelies - the man in my favourite bread shop gave me this little bag of gingerbread men and I got home to find a £10 voucher from Boden sitting on my front door mat. what to spend that on....?

Hope your day's been a sunny one too x

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Presents a-go-go

Aren't they gorge?  These beauties were a 'pre-Valentine's' present from Mr Nut when I got back from work yesterday.  It seems to have become a bit of our tradition in our house to buy flowers while I'm at work on Saturday (and I didn't even invent that tradition myself!)  It's such a nice welcome home from work to have the bigger two Nuts running to the door with flowers, and baby Nut crawling under their feet to get to me.
Yesterday was a day of unexpected surprises.  I was lucky enough to get this little treasure while I was at work...

Looks tempting, doesn't it?

Oooh, even more tempting!

This little packet of postcards is pure pleasure in paper form.  They're part of something called Picture Book Parade, which is being run by Macmillan Books to showcase some of the talented new illustrators they have working on their children's books, and I'm already excited about having an excuse to send them to people!  If I knew how to put in a link to Macmillan, I would...  Note to self: work out how to insert hyperlinks.
So, what with presents and even a little bit of sun on Saturday, I've had a lovely weekend.  Hope yours has been good too x

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Excitement all round

Oh, there is a palpable air of excitement in the Monkeynut family today (or, at least, there is in my bit of it).  Yes, after months of humming and ha-ing, I have finally got around to getting myself a blog.  I even have a domain name, which is almost more excitement than I can cope with.  The idea that someone deciding to trawl the net for a blog called 'unravelled' might eventually stumble across me is amazing!  I have so many ideas for my little blog - I know exactly how I want it to look and how I want it to 'feel' - so much I'd like to do with it, so much I don't know how to do...  This is definitely going to be a blog of trial and error!
So, why the name 'unravelled'?  There are two reasons really: firstly, because I think it describes my life so well - I seem to live in a permanent state of chaos (children, school runs, friends, work, life - it all seems to happen at once); and secondly because I love crafting, especially all things hooky.  I made a resolution this year - to learn how to crochet - and this blog is intended to be a glimpse into my world and my efforts with a hook!
So there it is, in a nutshell - the start of the journey.  I really hope it's a good one x