Archives

CAL update

Hello 🙂

I hope you are all keeping well.  We have had the most wonderful sunshine here for the last few days and have been outside tidying up the garden and enjoying all last years hard work on the veranda.  Hubby was not convinced we needed a veranda outside out back door but I stuck to my guns and we now have a fab decking area covered partly with a tin roof and partly with a smoked perspex.

P1010495 P1010496 P1010498

 

And yes, that is a sofa 🙂 I cannot tell you how comfy it is out there.  I can’t sit in direct sunlight and certainly can’t work or craft outside on a sunny day so this is the perfect solution. Yesterday I was able to sit outside all afternoon, reading, crocheting and messing about on my ipad while the boys played in the paddling pool. Bliss 🙂

Also in the last week or so I have finally felt ready to start sewing seeds.  So far we have sweetcorn, cucumber, sweet peas, cosmos, sunflowers and tomatoes on the go. Our tulips have finally flowered and I have trays of geranium, petunia, saxifrage and fuscia waiting to be planted up into baskets and containers.  I love this time of year, everything is new, the weather is warming  up we have the summer to look forward to.

P1010497

I’ve updated my Crochet-A-Long page with progress on my sisters hexagon blanket a-la Polka Dot Cottage.  I have finally settled on a  colour scheme and purchased the wool.  I suspect it will take me all year to make enough hexagons for this but she is worth it 🙂 Details and photos can be found on my CAL page.

Until next time, take care

love
Tracey

 

Advertisements

A new project for Jack

Good morning friends 🙂

It’s the 1st of June already and May has slipped quietly by.  After 2 weeks of glorious weather we seem to be back to grey skies just in time for half term 😦 Ahh well, we have the Jubilee to celebrate this weekend and plans for days out together that don’t depend on the weather so I am looking forward to spending the week with my beautiful boys.

Now that Benny’s blanket is complete I have made a start on one for Jack.  Once again I am using a ball of hand-spun, hand-dyed wool my lovely Mum brought back from Scotland and Jack has chosen blues, purples and a green yarn to go with it.

 

Originally I planned to knit Jack’s blanket, making lots of squares using different stitches and then sewing them together.  But when I started to knit the first square in a plain stocking stitch the idea of knitted strips surrounded by crochet seemed just right so that is the plan now.  The first strip is finished and I think I will need about 10 of these before I start edging them with crochet.  I’m thinking then I will join them together and work round the whole piece in crochet until we feel its big enough 🙂

Here is the first strip completed.  I was trying to block it out here.  Not something I’m used to doing but I thought I would try it.  The idea is the pin the piece out and spray it with water until it’s damp. Then you dab off any droplets and leave it to dry.  It worked OK but I don’t think I got the edges damp enough as they still curled in.  Still, I have a few more strips to perfect this technique and I’m hoping someone with more experience at this will give me some tips.  One thing I have learnt is not to do the blocking on an ironing board as it ruins the cover! Oops.

 

Jack is very excited.  I so love making things for my boys 🙂

I mentioned before that I was starting to make a picture tutorial for a coin purse craft kit I have in stock.  Here are the first few photos.  I am sewing it by hand although it could be sewn by machine.  Here is the kit I am using and the contents, everything I need to make one purse except a needle and thread.

 

Here are the fabrics.  I decided to use the first one as the outside and the yellow one for the lining.

 

First I ironed both pieces of fabric then ironed the interfacing onto the fabric I chose for the outside of the purse.

 

Next I cut the paper pattern out and used a pencil fabric marker to mark out the shape onto the fabric.

 

I marked the position of the two tabs onto the fabric with the pattern in place, then removed the pattern and marked the tabs onto the inside of the pattern pieces before cutting them out. This is really inportant as it marks the positions where you sew from and to.

 

So now I’m ready to start sewing. I haven’t done much sewing in recent years but I am really enjoying it and have some plans for patchwork cushions and may even combine fabric and crochet as I have found some lovely tutorials on how to do this 🙂

Finally, I thought I would share the link the one of my Pinterest boards.  This one is for ‘Things I want to make’.  I am always thinking one or two projects ahead but I am struggling at the moment as there are so very many things I want to try.  It would be lovely to know what you think I should add to my list.

http://pinterest.com/bekaboodesigns/things-i-want-to-make/

For now I hope all my British friends have a wonderful Jubilee and for everyone else I hope you have a lovely weekend with people you love doing the thngs that make you happy 🙂

Until next time with love

Tracey x

Its finished!

Hello friends

Benny’s blanket is finished 🙂 I’m so pleased with it and, more importantly, so is he 🙂 I completed the 24 smaller squares of 10 rounds each and then came my least favourite part…sewing in the ends!  Here’s the pile of them (saved for stuffing of course).

Next came the best bit, crocheting it all together. I crocheted each square together using a double crochet stitch to create a raised seam on the right side.  To do this you just place the pieces wrong sides together, line up the stitches and crochet through 2 stitches at once…simples 🙂

 

Finally I added a single round of white to finish it off and one small and very happy boy 🙂

 

Other news 🙂 Jack wants a blanket too (of course) so I have made a start on that already.  He decided his colour scheme should be purple and blue with a hint of green.  We have gathered all the wools and this will be the subject of my next blog post.

Finally, I’ve also made a start on a tutorial for a purse kit I am selling in my online store http://www.bekaboocrafts.com/ourshop/prod_2002045-Japan-Crafts-clasp-purse-kit.html. The instructions are great and its been easy to follow them but I always find it easier to follow photos.

Until next time, with love

Tracey

Blanket progress and more seeds

Hello friends

It’s been a busy week for me.  Lots of ‘real’ work as well as lots of time spent on my new website, listing items and making plans 🙂 Very exciting for me 🙂 Today I thought I would update you on the progress with Benny’s blanket as plans for this have changed!  You will see that this happens alot as I love to let projects like this just evolve in their own way.  So far I have completed the 6 large blocks of 20 rounds each.

 

Originally I had planned to mix these with a whole series of smaller blocks but when I laid them out together they looked just right and so I have decided to add a border of smaller blocks.  Each of these will be 10 rounds and I have stuck to the same design for each but different colour combinations.

  

What do you think?  I am so very happy with it and Benny can’t wait for it to be finished.  It is supposed to be for his bed but he wants it for his ‘tv blanket’ as well so I can see it is going to be well used and, I hope, well loved.  I already have plans for Jack’s blanket and have decided to let him choose his colours and perhaps help to make it as well 🙂

I shall finish by updating you on the seeds we have been planting.  The sunflowers have been repotted and are hardening off outside now.  After last year when the slugs got ALL of them, we are going to wait until they are nice and big before planting them in their final position.

 

We now have 4 strawberry plants and our little cuckoo is doing well.  Still no idea what he may be 🙂

Finally, we have planted peas, beans and sweetpeas indoors this week, all of which have started to germinate.  Its just beautiful to see the joy and amazement on the boy’s faces, I love them so very much.

  

Until next time, with love

Tracey x

Benny’s blanket and a cuckoo in the nest

Happy Wednesday Everyone

I am unashamedly skiving for half an hour this morning as I just couldn’t wait to share my latest news with you all. One of the perks of working for yourself 🙂

Firstly, I wanted to update you on the strawberry seeds the boys planted a couple of weeks ago.  We got all excited last week as something had germinated but a bit sad as it was just one from a whole pack of seeds.  Well I am now beginning to suspect that this cheeky fellow isn’t a strawberry plant at all!  He’s just too big.  We now have three more tiny germinators and they look much more like strawberry seedlings to me.  Still, I can’t help but be excited to see what exactly our little cuckoo will turn out to be.  We will keep you posted 🙂

            

The other news I wanted to share was my newest crochet project.  This one is a granny square blanket for Benny’s room.  We recently redecorated his room for him to celebrate his move from a toddler bed to his  ‘big boy’ bunk beds.  Blue was the order of the day so we picked out some gorgeous ‘mini’ wallpaper and an ‘Italian job’ print for him.  These are the inspiration for his blanket.

            

Here are the colours I’ve chosen.  The bright, turquoise wool came to us from Scotland after my Mum and Dad’s latest trip.  Hand dyed and pure wool, I’ve been waiting to use it in a special project and I think this is it 🙂

The design is based on the traditional granny square but I’m experimenting with combining squares of different sizes.  I’m first making 6 large squares  of 20 rounds each and will then make 18 squares of 10 rounds and 24 squares of 5 rounds.  I have a rough plan which I’ll share with you when I’ve transferred it from the back of the envelope it is currently on to a proper piece of paper 😉

           

With love until next time

Tracey x

A finished WIP and a wooleater

Hello Friends

It’s a week since I was last able to blog but here I am today thanks to a horrible cold and a lovely hubby who has taken Benny to his gym class today 🙂 I’ve somehow managed to get lots of crochet done this week.  First I think I’ll show you the finished bed scarf I shared with you previously.  Here’s the finished blanket.

 

I’ve made this for my lovely Mum and Dad to keep their toes warm in bed and brighten up their bedroom a bit.  I know they are going to love it because they’re my mum and dad but I have to say I’m really pleased with how its turned out.  I just love big projects like this 🙂

I told you before that I planned to join in the the Wooleater CAL with Sarah London.  Well, I got so excited that I made this cushion for my friend but forgot to take photos of it as a WIP!  It was a lovely stitch to crochet and grew really quickly. I made the front in the wooleater stitch using three colours that will coordinate with the wallpaper in her bedroom.

 

I made the back as one large crochet square using a treble stitch just slightly smaller than the front as I wanted the fan stitch of the front to stand out a little.

 

I then stitched front and back together with wrong sides together.

   

Finally, I created a button band in the same way I do for all my crochet cushions by picking up 60 stitches evenly across the inside of the front piece and working 6 dc rows.  I picked out 4 coordinating buttons, stitched then evenly along the button band and then poked them through the back between the treble stitched (no need to make a button hole for this, in fact I find it holds the button better if you don’t).

 

Et voila!  A finished cushion 🙂

 

I have already made a start on my next project, a blanket for Benny.  The yarn is ready and waiting and I just have to decide on the exact design.  But more on that when the plans are in place. Finally, I couldn’t leave you today without showing you the seeds the boys planted last week.  The sunflowers are huge!  They need potting on and that will be a job for the boys in the morning.  Thankfully, a strawberry seed has come up for each of them.  Just one though which I’m a bit disappointed about.  Still, we have lots more things to plant tomorow.  Here’s hoping for a drier day.

 

With love until next time x

Tracey

The first stirings of Spring and a new WIP

Hello my friends 🙂

It’s been a lovely Easter here at BekaBoo HQ despite the weather. We’ve seen family and friends, eaten chocolate, watched films and planted seeds 🙂 The boys planted some strawberry and sunflower seeds yesterday and we have cress and pea shoots to start off today. All very exciting!

I’ve also started a new bed scarf for my mum 🙂 She couldn’t resist when I was showing her my new blog. So I thought I would take the opportunity to talk you all through this particular design. The scarf is built around a central panel of solid granny squares. To work out how long this panel needs to be you need to take two measurements. First measure the width of the bed then measure how wide you want the finished scarf to be. Take the width of the scarf away from the width of the bed and this will tell you roughly how long you need the central panel to be. Simples 😉 Remember this doesn’t need to be exact to the centimetre as it is a blanket and will stretch quite a bit. As a rule of thumb you will need a row of 6 of these squares for a super or king size bed, 4 for a double and 3 for a single bed.

Now you’re ready to start crocheting. Start by making up your squares (I used squares consisting of four rounds of treble stitch). To make each square make 6 chain then join with a slip stitch to make a circle. Chain 3 then work 2 trebles into the circle. Make 2 chain then work three more trebles into the circle. Do this twice more then join the round with 1 chain and a half treble stitch into the third chain. For round 2, work 3 chain then work one more chain into the corner space. Work one treble into each treble stitch from the previous round. Make each corner with 2 trebles into the corner space, 2 chain and 2 more trebles into the corner space. Work a further 2 rounds in the same way (4 rounds in total) and fasten off. Finish by whip stitching the squares together with right sides facing.

The next step is to start working in rounds. Starting in one of the corner spaces, join your yarn and make 3 chain, work two more trebles into the space then skip two trebles along the edge of the first square and work 3 trebles into the next treble of the foundation square. Continue in this way working the corners as three trebles into the corner space, 2 chain and three more trebles into the same corner space. A little tip when starting rows with a different colour yarn is to start in a different corner to the one you just finished in. Continue working in rounds until the scarf is wide enough to fit the top of the bed.

Finally you need to create the panels that will drape either side of the bed and I will post about how to do this when I reach that stage with mum’s blanket. For now I’m at my favourite stage where the balnket is big enough to keep my knees and toes warm while I’m working 🙂

I suspect that unless you’re quite an experienced crocheter that probably wasn’t so easy to follow but fear not! I am in the process of creating a pattern with proper stitch diagrams and will be posting a pdf version in the next few days.

Bye for now 🙂 x