Tuesday, 17 January 2017

First Post of the Year :)

Well, we're into the third week of the New Year and January has just flow in - not sure where it's gone but . . . . :)

I'm a little late to be saying Happy New Year, but well I've said it anyway!

We had a lovely relaxing holiday - some time spent batting down the hatches due to bad weather, which was a really good excuse not to go anywhere, hehe :)  It was just really good to have time to do a bit of cooking, baking, generally chilling out.  No schedules to follow - bliss!

With a little Christmas cash I invested in some balls of acrylic yarn to practice the granny squares in one of my crochet books.  The blocks are all 6 inch square and use aran/worsted weight yarn.  I've made some of the squares before in a mix of wool and acrylic with good results, perfect squares and no need to block (which I've never had to do before with my crochet squares).  

However, with my new acrylic yarn the squares seem to end a little 'curly' so some blocking is obviously required . . . 

I've made a make-shift blocking board with a piece of board (I think it's an old blackboard my kids had!), covered with a couple of layers of foam packaging, then wrapped in an old towel.  I used some string to wrap the towel around the board - yes, very rustic!

This is my second attempt to block the acrylic squares - my first ones did block OK but the yarn went very flat and lost its softness and fluffiness - flat acrylic squares - not good :(

Here's two I think I've blocked . . . 

I'm pleased with the squares but disappointed at how the blocking affected the yarn.  Maybe I was too impatient, I did finish off the blocking with a hairdryer - ooooops!

It's really nice having the correct weight of yarn to practice all the squares in the book though (100 Bright and Colourful Granny Squares by Leonie Morgan) and some lovely colours too.  Just the job for passing the time in January - maybe that's where the time went!

I think one of my New Year resolutions will be to try and purchase more of my craft supplies locally - we have a lovely hobby and craft shop in Stornoway that also sells yarn.  It's near my place of work and the owner who I happen to know anyway is really lovely - great to see everything in front of you and be able to buy direct from a local shop :)  Also quite dangerous, haha :) :)

Another resolution which I think I'm following already is just be as creative as possible with my Etsy shop and follow my gut instinct to make things I enjoy and am inspired to make - it's been fun so far anyway!  I'm enjoying making more collage and mixed media pieces - here's a detail of one . . . 

. . . embroidery, buttons, fabric, tweed - very enjoyable!

Over the holidays and throughout the Winter, the hens have carried on laying bountiful eggs - really great, especially over the Christmas break.  Here's one enjoying her porridge on a wintry morning . . .

We had lovely snow last week . . . 

All gone now though - but can't complain it's so mild today it could be Spring!

Well, best dash - probably lots more to say but enough already :)

Speak soon
Alison x