Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Wedding Day!

Last weekend was an exciting one. Little P was a bridesmaid at my Auntie's wedding, and despite all the build up nerves (will she sit still? Will she be quiet? Will she sleep etc... etc...) it all went swimmingly well.
Getting ready in the morning somewhat took it out of me however. How hard it is to get ready for a wedding with a two-year old determined to undo everything I had just done. We battled through and amazingly got out of the house in one piece and on time-ish. Little P is so headstrong, and those tantrums are certainly living up to the whole terrible-twos thing. I'm worried she is turning into a right princess however, as she has everyone at her beckoning call, bowing down to her every need. She does say please and thank you though!
The Little Lady looked absolutely adorable in her ivory dress and shoes. A proper little princess. She even got to have a little wand to wave around, which she thought was great. All of a sudden, there we were, sitting in the room waiting for the Bride and Groom to enter. I can't believe how quickly time had flown to get to that point. I'd managed to contain Little P to sitting on my lap (she's really not very good at keeping still) but she was chatty. Very chatty. It was all a bit exciting for her, and she kept shouting out. Please be quiet for the service I prayed!
No such luck, but it was funny at least! She made some funny remarks about the Bride emerging from some curtains, and I could see smiles around the room. And then she liked to loudly point out that my Auntie was 'over there' etc etc. It was funny, although I was on edge as I just didn't know what she would come out with next! She was a good girl though, no tears throughout the day, not until just after 9pm when she finally reached her limit of dancing and twirling about.
I couldn't have asked for her to have been better for me, and it was a lovely day for us all. Little P really likes dancing and couldn't wait for the party to start. We had to stand by the doors and watch the band set up, just incase we missed the start of the dancing! Little Lady danced solidly for about an hour before we left, and considering she'd been up since 7.30am without a nap on such a busy day, I think she did rather well. Needless to say she crashed pretty instantly when we got home, and so did I!
It was a coolish day, so it also meant the little crochet cardigan I made her to wear got some use too, especially when we went out for a few photos. It looked really nice with the outfit and it was nice to say 'yes' when people asked if I had made it. I also sported a crochet cardigan - but I cheated and bought it! I was very happy with my first venture into crocheted garments - making something that needed to actually fit was a different ball game entirely!

I had made my Auntie and Uncle a little something for their wedding too. My Auntie had previously expressed her love of my crochet toys and asked if I would make her some. I decided to make a bride and groom of sorts for a wedding present. I had a look about for 'crocheted bride and groom' animals, but nothing took my fancy, so I thought I'd have a go at my own, and who better to base it on than Monty Moo?
My own design cow, so I knew how he worked out. I already had ideas about how the bride would work out so I sketched a little, planned the colours and away I went. This was quite some time ago now... I finished the bride and was very happy with her. I made a frilly dress and a bunch of flowers to go with her, sweet isn't she?!

Now for the groom. The project stalled for a while as 1) I knew I had plenty of time, and 2) I wasn't so sure on how to tackle the groom. Really, he should be easier, as he's wearing a suit and top hat. But I wanted his white shirt to be visible beneath the jacket, and for the jacket to 'overhang' the trousers with a little tail, not just be like one big black bodysuit for him. Working with black was something I had not done a lot of before, and seeing the stitches was a bit of a nightmare at times. Also, the black yarn seemed to work up smaller, so my first attempt was tiny - I couldn't have a huge bride and a teeny groom, not good! So I upped the hook size and began again. He still worked out a tad smaller, but not too noticeable by the time he had his top hat on. Add a flower and a bow tie and now we have Mr. Moo!

They look quite sweet together I think...

In amongst all the frivolities, I have managed a spot of crochet. I've finished the granny bunting for Yarndale, and shall post that off soon to Lucy of Attic24. I stopped at 10, I think that's plenty enough when you look at the numbers of parcels arriving for the cause. I have a couple I think I will be able to pick out! Meet my Goaty bunting. I think I will spot him if he does get strung up (not sure he's too in keeping with all the other colourful ones, but he is funny!) Notice the parched grass... maybe today's rain will green it up again?!

Wahoo, just a couple of months until Yarndale is upon us... cannot wait! After talking about crochet, all I now want to do is crochet, and with a few hours to myself, that is exactly what I intend to do, so until net time...

Sunday, 21 July 2013

All Singing, All Dancing

So, I am currently recovering from a late night. I don't have many of these nowadays and I'm quite thankful actually as it seems I can't handle them! I know I sound old, but it's just how it is! It was, however, a very good night, worthy of feeling a little bit tired this morning.
I was invited by my Auntie to her 'hen night' as she is getting married next weekend. We were off to see 'Evita' the musical and then out for a meal. I have never been to a musical before, and to be honest, didn't think I would ever go - I am just not into singing and dancing like that. I always find the singing in movies unnecessary, I really don't see the need for breaking into song and dance every five minutes. I know I sound miserable, but it's just not my thing at all. I love my music, but not musicals and all that frivolity! Anyway, I didn't hesitate in accepting the offer to go along to see Evita, as it was my Auntie's hen night, and I was really chuffed to be asked to go. Plus, I kind of saw it as a challenge to prove me wrong about theatre!
And I was proved wrong, to an extent. The opening 10 minutes, I did think, 'oh no, I'm not going to like this'. I saw my Mum look at me as if to say the same thing, but as it went on, I really did get into the story of Evita. I have never really known much about Eva Peron or any of the work she did, but I found it fascinating. It was the story that done it for me, rather than the singing and dancing (even if it was Marti Pellow!) I had to have a quick scout on Wikipedia at the interval to check I was understanding the story properly!
So, all in all, I have come to the realisation, I may not think so much of the singing and dancing, but a musical can still very much be enjoyed if there is a good storyline. There I said it, I enjoyed Evita, and I never thought I'd say that about a musical! I must be more open minded to these things!
So after a late night and a few glasses of wine, I'm a little weary this morning. In fact, it's not morning, it's actually afternoon... I had a very rare lay in!
My little blog also passed it's first birthday earlier this month. Looking back at it I realise I haven't posted nearly as many times as I would have hoped to, but I guess that's what happens with a baby/toddler around all the time! I'm not so ambitious now, more realistic with posts - maybe fortnightly, but really whenever I have the chance to sit down and get it all together. I love keeping a little diary of my crafting and such things, and it is lovely to look back over the months and see what I have made in a logical timeline. It is however, not my priority. When I get some 'spare time' my priority is to do what I love - crochet. And watch the cricket. They go quite well together actually. I'm currently sitting here watching The Ashes, and enjoying England rattling the Aussies. It's quite a relaxing sport, and seems to sit really nicely with crochet for me.
I hope to pick up my hook in a bit, I've got a couple of projects on the go at the moment, the Yarndale bunting being one. Lucy of Attic24 has sorted out a postal address now, and set a deadline for the end of August, so I'm getting my act together and churning out a few more triangles for the cause. I'm not going to make loads, but I think 10 will be my goal. I have a couple which I think I will definatley be able to spot as my own when I go in September - I can't wait!
I've had a couple of projects fly off the hook the last couple of weeks. First up is a cute little giraffe toy for a baby boy born a couple of weeks ago. I wanted it to be 'floppy' and cuddly for the new arrival, so searched for a pattern and found this wonderful free pattern by Emma Dent. It's written for quite a few colours, but I just used 2 plus cream. I used Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo, as it's really soft and nice to work with and perfect for baby toys. It also comes in lovely colours, and recently they launched a few new colours, so I couldn't wait to use them. I sneaked the new 'Deckster Blue' into the giraffe. I love it, such a lovely blue, I can see me using a lot of it in the future. The other new colour I love is Suzi Sizzle - a deep orangey-red colour which is just gorgeous. So without further ado, here is my little giraffe - I was very proud of him I must say!

The last couple of weeks has also seen the conclusion of the FreshStitches' Mystery CAL. I was once again duped by the clues, and had absolutely no idea what I was making. After Clue 1 I had this...


And after Clue 2 I had all this...
Clue 3 just left one piece to crochet, and the crucial assembly instructions. A lot of the guesses seemed to point to kangaroo with baby joey. I was not convinced by this, as I couldn't really see kangaroo in the pieces I had, but after I saw some people who had pinned their pieces together to back up their guess, I was a bit swayed. It could be a kangaroo I guess.
And it was. All was revealed in the final clue, and Amber was indeed a kangaroo, with her little joey to fit in her pouch! Very cute!

She is lovely - quite large (and I used DK weight yarn instead of worsted so it was smaller than the pattern suggested). Assembly was tricky in places, getting those legs to attach nice and straight so Amber could stand without support, but I am very pleased with the final result, and Little P loves her!

I still have the mandala bug too. And love using Lily Sugar n' Cream yarn. So I combined the two again to make the gorgeous mandala pattern by A Creative Being featured in Simply Crochet magazine issue 7. I love, love, love it...

and a couple of close-ups...

I wouldn't be British if I didn't mention the weather. It has been glorious here the last couple of weeks (except this weekend!) and the Little Lady and I have been revelling in the sunshine. Plenty of outdoors time and trips out to the zoo and beach, and of course the swings. There has also been paddling pool action, a lot later this year, but it has finally made an appearance! Little Lady loves splashing about and anything to do with water, so there has been plenty of fun with that in the garden. The weather also spurred me to make her a new sunhat. I made a couple last year using this pattern, but fancied making a new one. I ordered some more Lily Sugar n' Cream from the States (I ordered here, great prices and fairly quick delivery considering it is from the US) including some yummy variegated ones - (from L-R) Summer Splash, Playtime and Key Lime Pie.

I love it when the Postman brings this...

I really wanted to use Playtime for the hat, as Little P loves Pink and bright, fun colours. I couldn't find a pattern I really liked, and didn't really want to buy one, as they really are very simple to make. The main thing is not gauge, but getting the head measurements right. And if you make it too big, just take an increase round out, and if it's too small, just add one in. I played around a bit (Little P wouldn't let me measure her head!) but I roughly knew the size using the hats I made last year as a guide.
I wanted a fairly simple hat, nice and airy so it doesn't get too hot, with a slightly ruffled brim. After trying a few variations, I came up with this...

Modelled by Little P...

She must have loved it as she went to bed with it on, and wouldn't let me take it off her!
I have made a note of the stitches, and hope to type it up as a pattern sometime soon.
Well, this post has taken an age. I didn't realise I had so much to say! Maybe smaller, more frequent posts may be the answer?! Now it's time for lunch and a little bit more cricket-watching hooky before the Little One returns!