Saturday, 26 November 2011

Autumn leaves baby blanket

A boy-child is born. A craft project is made. Leaves turn gold and fall. Thus my friends, the world turns. My world, anyway.

He is the baby of a dear friend. He is also the unknowing demonstrator of the magic time-shifting properties of crochet. I have no time at the moment, but I also have my ever-present need to make stuff. 

Happily, crochet takes no time. You simply do it whenever you are sitting still. Find yourself watching '30 Rock' at the end of a long day? Half a granny square. Stuck in traffic on the M1? Enough time to make some more, join them together and do the border. Crochet will not only slot in to these otherwise passive activities, it will actually MAKE you time.

Before you know it you will have a blanket for a new baby when you thought you had far too much on to be even considering a craft project. 

They say the act of eating lettuce actually makes you lose weight as it has so few calories. Well, crochet is lettuce.


In all my adventures in crochet, I had never made the classic granny square. The internet is full of instructions for these and they are easy and incredibly satisfying, not to mention beautiful.

I had also never joined-as-you-go. This method appeals as - rather than wait until you have finished and have the task of joining the squares together - it happens as you make the squares, and is border-free.

I went to the oracle Attic24 for instructions, then kind of made it up myself. I enjoyed watching the blanket grow like a puzzle as each new square was added:

The other challenge was keeping everything muted. The boy's parents love grey with a passion. Yes, grey and passion in the same sentence. It's new to me. So I thought I would use two autumn colours and four greys on each square to keep the balance. And my interest. 

 A few autumn colours for the autumn baby. I love to crochet in autumn colours.

I was pleasantly surprised with the result and quite sad to hand it over.

Sleep well little baby. Please. 



Wednesday, 2 November 2011

kindle case

I am a compulsive reader and member of a book club. So I have participated in quite a few Kindle debates. I hear that they are great for reading whilst travelling/in a queue/on the beach/in a shed/breastfeeding/breastfeeding in a shed, but I am still not convinced. 

You see, I love books. I love paper, spines, smells, bookmarks,  cover artwork and all that good stuff.  

But I do understand the arguments of the people who love them. I am a fully paid up member of the digital world after all.

One of these people is my dear sister-in-law, who asked me to make a cover for her beloved Kindle. One that would also hold her charger and keep it all safe from the bottom of her handbag. I know how dangerous those places can be.

She liked the laptop case I made so we talked it through and this is what I came up with.

I made the cover using scraps leftover from this quilt and a piece of felt to strengthen it in the middle.

I made it up as I went along but the design was a cross between the laptop case and the book roll I made back in October.

In terms of process, I sewed the strips right side to the felt along one side, and then opened the flap so it was the right way round, like this:

And this:

A bit fiddly, but it worked well. I bound all the edges with shop-bought bias binding, and a lot of strategically placed velcro.

This case will be winging it's way to France where the Kindle lives so I sadly don't have a photo of it in action. But I hope they will all be very happy together. 

Me, I'm building more bookshelves.

Stop press! A communiqué from France containing photos of the Kindle case in use:

Merci Réjane!

a year above the shop

a year above the shop