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Frogging Sophie! 

My Sophie is getting really big now and I’m firmly back in love with her again. Here is a couple of pics I snapped this week.



I had 75g approximately of the dark purple I used for the last row so far. I absolutely LOVE it against the cream and near the vibrant pink of the tulips.



But…… 

I think its impact will be lost when the next row (the Persian stitch) happens and…..

I actually don’t want my ‘diamond/lattice’ detail to be green because I want my Sophie’s Universe to continue to be unique and not too colour choices similar to Dedri’s original one (as lovely as it is!) and I don’t like any of my other colours enough for them to be chosen for it. Guess what colour I really want them to be?

Yes! I want the deep purple I just used. 

I have no idea how much yarn the two rows of zig zag are going to use so I’ve frogged the row I just finished and am going to use a different colour next to the cream so I can be sure I’ve kept enought deep purple back for later. If I don’t like how it all turns out I may well frog again. I’m even thinking of experimenting with a little selection of light purple and blue for behind the diamond detail instead of just a block of one colour as the background. 

Probably madness. Here’s goes…..

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A little holiday, some gardening and Part 12 of Sophie’s Universe completed. 

We spent the half term week in the Isle of Wight again, we love it there. We have always stayed in the west Wight area where its a bit ‘wild and wooly’ as my Dad says i.e. The weather can be quite windy due to the exposed location and we stay at a farm with a cliff top campsite. The views are lovely, here is a sunset looking across the campsite and edge of the cliff to the right. Not the best picture quality from the ipad but it was very lovely in reality. 



We had wonderful weather this time except for a couple of windy days. I was a little bit nervous as Sallyvans awning shuddered and shook and Sallyvan herself rocked about in the wind but it all held fast. It’s a new (but second hand) awning and aluminium rather than steel. We had to replace our old one urgently after the zip busted completely and we had high winds coming in on our last trip (we seem to pick these blowy places as our favorite sites!). The magic of the internet saved us and I sourced the awning we now have via Gumtree. Two hours post broken awning and a ‘new’ awning had been collected and was being fitted. 

It’s quite a nice one I think, even if it isn’t as heavy duty as the old one. And it came with an optional ‘annex’ which our lovely Goldenhair teenager now has as her little room. 



Between our two Sallyvan jaunts I’ve been trying hard to get on with some gardening. Things had fallen by the wayside out there the last two years due to the arrival of the Little Dark Star and her being not very low maintenance 😉 

The man of the yurt made me a “squash arch” on a big bare patch of flower bed I still haven’t planted up. I have no idea if they are actually butternut squash in the grow bag because I got all my seedlings mixed up so they might be yellow or green courgettes or even cucumbers! 





He also converted this pallet into a little herb planter for me.



 So far I’ve only got some garlic growing in there as my seedlings have failed to germinate. A lot of seedlings I’ve planted in the veg patch have not come up this year and I’m actually wondering if slugs are munching them at the first peep. Our garden is like slug paradise it seems and I wage continual ongoing war with them. I try and keep to enviromentally kind methods like sand and ‘slug stoppa’ gravel but this year I’d really had enough and I have used a couple of pellets and I feel really crappy about it. I’m so sick of spending months growing stuff in the greenhouse to have it reduced to completely nothing overnight the moment I plant it out. I’m hoping this little bit of protection means they can get big and sturdy enough to withstand a bit of munching when the pellets wear off and then I can just stop using them. 

Anyway enough of the garden! 

Here is Sophie at the end of part 12 hooked over our windbreak at the campsite 



I wanted to take a few really pretty pictures but it was so windy Sophie was threatening to just take off and end up in the field with the sheep. I was also get some askance looks from fellow campers standing there trying to take a picture of a blanket! 

I am actually really enjoying the repeat of the earlier part of the pattern with the big daisy corners and zig zag hills and I decided to keep the colours as close to the originals I’d chosen but as I’ve moved into the next parts I’ve had to substitute the pale pink with the bright pink because it didn’t look like I had enough of the light one to get all the way round. There’s no way I’m frogging anyhting at this point if it can be avoided with some foresight. 

Here’s a picture of the lambs in the field next to our tent, just because well they are too cute aren’t they! 



They are waiting to shear the adult females but two are still pregnant so they are having to delay. Apparently they only get paid £8 per sheep fleece. I’d always assumed its would be much more than that. Had to stop myself getting ‘ideas’ it’s actually a good job they didn’t shear them whilst we were there because I could see myself dragging one home to experiment with. They actually had the alpacas shaved whilst we were there. They went from being these big poofy captures to looking all gangly and slim. We went and visited the local alpaca farm too. I didn’t buy anything from the yarn barn as it felt too itchy for me unless I bought the really expensive stuff with silk and cotton blend. I’m stash busting and being very very restrained. I’ve vowed not to purchase anything no matter how fantastic a deal or beautiful it is until I’ve halved what I have here already. That’s going to take at least a year but I must control myself. 

Yarn addiction is a thing. I know because I definitely have it! 

Here’s a pic of the oldest two girls ‘putting their tent away’ on the last day of our holiday. It was quite breezy so they resorted to this. Makes me chuckle everytime I look at it. 



 The little dark star is napping so I’m off to sneak in a little bit of time with one of the other projects I’m working on right now, a knitted of a character from a TV programme she loves. Hopefully it will turn out well and I can post about it next time. 

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Slow coach Sophie 

Since we got back from our Easter break I’ve had what I have called Sophie Dystocia. I haven’t been able to move forward very much. I have been stuck on an obstacle; choosing colours.

I think I said before I can can get really obsessed with wanting colours to work a certain way or tell a story and with the Sophie’s Universe blanket I’ve been on that vibe a lot. 

I finished the roses round on holiday and was already unsure about them being yellow but the colour change yarn made me think they would come out like tea roses on the bush, the type when the roses are not uniform tone but have lighter petals and hints of pink. They came out exactly like that and remind me happily of my Nan’s rose garden. 

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The yellow had made onward colour choice difficult though. I’ve used purple in the end and thought about them as the tall bearded iris’ that also used to grow year after year in my Nan’s garden. 

In the next few rounds the pattern starts some jiggery between the colour placements on long and shorts sides. I really wanted the next to rounds above the roses to be blues and greens to represent sky and grass but that would have made the petals of the feature flower on the ‘short side’ not right. 

I got frustrated. I spent ages studying pictures of Sophie from the pattern website so I’d see how things will pan out further down the line, trying to decide if that short side flower mattered enough to make the long sides not exactly how I wanted them. I’ve driven myself fairly bonkers. 

So I took a short break and started wet blocking the toddlers aran cabled cardi I’ve been knitting for The Little Dark Star.



I’ve still got the sleeves to block before I can then start putting it all back in the knitting needles to knit the neck band. I feel fairly confident with that and am looking forward to it but after that I have to pick up stitches all along the cables of the front panels for the button band. I’m going to have to ship German Nan in for some help with that.

I recently got my eyes tested after not being able to thread a sewing needle (I used to be the person my nan asked to do that so it was a wake up call I completely couldn’t see it at all!). It turns out my eyesight was worse than I realised I’ve always needed a lens in the left side but now the right side seems to have required a stronger lens than the left! The optician said with incredulousness “how have you been managing?”  Wearing my glasses to crochet has been a revelation, I can see all the little fuzzy strands of the yarn and the definition of the stitches. I still don’t think the left lens is quite right but the change for my right eye is AMAZING and I feel so happy. I feel as if I’m seeing lots of the world through new eyes, I guess in a way I am? Anyway it’s lovely and worth the money spent on my eye test and new specs (even if glasses don’t suit me). 

So, back to Sophie. I realised I just had to dive in and choose colours and frog it if I hated it.

Here’s how the flower on the short side has ended up



I used this flower as ‘inspiration’ 



I don’t know if that pink is right and will look ok in the long run but I’m going to continue for several rounds to see how it settles in. I didn’t want the flower to be too plain but I didn’t want it to end up looking so fantastical it ruined the look of everything else.  

The long side ruffle flowers reminded me of the light blue hydrangeas in my garden, there is  something about the sort of squared off but fluffy look at the tops of the stitches feels similar,  so I’ve dived in and used my light blue, which also means when I start the zig zag on the short side it will be very similar to the ‘daisies’ I made earlier on. It’s made me feel so much happier again. 



Thankfully, pushing through the ‘dystocia’ has worked and I’m eager to see how things are going to pan out and already mentally planning colours for the next stages. 

I’m off now to ignore the washing waiting to be hung up, the sunflowers, butternut squash and cucumbers in the greenhouse waiting for larger pots and Sallyvan waiting to be deep cleaned whilst I just sneak in a little bit more of Sophie time before The Little Dark Star and her Daddy get back front their sunday morning swim 😉 







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Sophie continues: part 7

We had a lovely week away in Sallyvan for the Easter holidays. However crochet time was fairly limited. I managed to sew in a glut of ends on the car journey and finally complete part 7.

I decided to stick with yellow for the roses and now I’m deciding on colours for the flower on the short side.

Here is Sophie’s universe by the sea whilst I took a break from hooking to just sit and soak up the sunshine and listen to the gentle waves.

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Fingers in all the pies as usual!

After a long stint with the knitted toddler cardigan I’m now back to my usual ‘a million and one things on the go at once’ self. Of course it’s an exaggeration but it sometimes feels like a million.

The toddler cardi is on hold till I finally organise myself and buy something to block it on all at the same time. I want to be able to lay all the pieces out together so I can be sure I’m making everything the correct size.

I’ve picked up a long neglected WIP and been working on a few squares here and there over the last few weeks.

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I’m setting out the choices for the next square here because I have this ‘thing’ that each round in the square must not be the same as any adjacent square. So if I use cream in round 1 and lilac in round two, they must not already be in the round in that order in the surrounding squares? Does that make any sense? Probably not!

I’ve also done a few more hexagons on this really really long neglected WIP its the join as you go granny hexagon blanket by Petal to Picots

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I bought a huge glut of little 25g balls for this project because I fell in love with the colours. I’ve spent way way too much on them really because it’s only fairly average acrylic. In hindsight it was probably an impulse purchase I should have got under control. Whoopsie.

This week I finally managed to snatch enough hours here and there to write up the pattern for a chunky crochet cowl and list it on Etsy

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I’m now in the middle of writing up the pattern for a little puff stitch cowl I made last year. Before I had a go at writing patterns I really had no idea how much time it takes to write even a simple pattern properly. I use my ‘pages’ app on my ipad because I can convert to PDF with it but its frustrating, it behaves completely unpredictably and I’ve often spent several hours getting everything just right only for it to randomly jumble things up and hide pictures because I wrote an three extra words on one line further up the page. Grrrrrr.

I’ve also started on a CAL by Dedri at Look At What I Made I’m several weeks behind and playing catch up at the moment. It looks like its going to be a really exciting project though and I’m feeling very enthusiastic. I had a rummage through some of my DK stash (that I could get at anyway as we are starting work on a new kitchen and lots of my crafty things are inaccessible at the moment).

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I’m unlikely to use all of these colours but I’m keeping them to hand so I can just pick the next colour as I go and then once I’ve got a good selection I will just continue repeating those and put the others away. Because I have no one in mind yet as the recipient for the finished article I’m looking forward to just experimenting and being brave with it.

I also managed to hook up some little bootees on a whim last month. Bootees are always a way of making me smile.

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I’m not very well today and tucked up in bed 😦 I think I’m paying the price of a hectic February. I went to see Cats twice with my lovely Golden Hair daughter. Once for her birthday treat and once for mine! We both are a bit fanatical about the show. I saw it with the original cast and Golden Hair has been watching you tube versions for quite some time now. We were both like excited children going up on the stage to get Old Deuteronomy to sign our Brochure and Programme. This pic was pre signing of course.

2015/03/img_3921.jpg. We also had a long awaited visit from cousin and her little girl which had me all over excited and just after that The Little Dark Star was ill and I’ve been existing on very minimal sleep. It was inevitable really I would succumb to the illness too. That said I’m feeling more productive than I have in quite a while and I literally have had my fingers in the pie because I made a lovely chicken and veg one last week and I haven’t done that in YEARS. I’ve whipped up a soup today so I know I will have some good easy to prepare comfort food tomorrow whilst dealing with the Dreaded Lurgy and trying to amuse a now very much better bouncy toddler!

Thanks for stopping by. I shall try not to leave it so long to post again because I really do like sharing my crochet and craft journey here.

I’m going to make myself some hot lemons and honey to drink now then tuck myself under my duvet and have a little rest.

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As We Go blanket crochet-a-long

I asked if anyone would like to crochet along with me using the As We Go pattern from this blog

Not Your Average Crochet

There is eight of us crocheting it together. I am really REALLY enjoying not only seeing everyones blankets grow but helping those a bit newer to crochet to work through the pattern and iron out glitches.

If you would like to join us we are here

https://www.facebook.com/groups/595826590494144/

I’d love to add you to the group 🙂

Here is a couple of pics where I am explaining some areas to other group members to help them with problem areas

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