Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Alpaca Victoria Shawl

One of the blogs I follow is Cherry Heart written by the lovely Sandra Paul. Sandra makes the prettiest things, whether it's knitting, crochet or sewing. I love her style. Her projects and her blog have an easy going, effortlessly pretty feel to them which makes reading her blog like a breath of fresh air. In fact cherry heart is one of the blogs that inspired me to start my own blog.

That being said, it's no surprise that when Sandra released a pattern for a crochet shawl earlier this year I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. The Victoria shawl is a good sized shawl pattern that is plenty big enough to cover your shoulders and arms.

The pattern made by the cluster stitches in the main body of the shawl is beautifully delicate and after you've completed a few repeats is easy to remember. The finishing touch is the border design which is just soo pretty. It really adds a feminine flare and frames the shawl beautifully.

Sandra recommends using a luxury yarn for this shawl and I have to completely agree. I used 100% alpaca which is buttery soft and has a wonderful drape. I think it was the perfect yarn for this pattern, not just for its softness but also because alpaca is such a warm fibre which is pretty ideal for a shawl.

Here are some modelled photos. Embarrassing, but I always appreciate bloggers modelling their makes. Mustn't be a hypocrite.

I was deliciously cosy during this photo shoot.

A bit of a cliche shawl pose, but the best way to show the full size of the shawl

Victoria pattern pros:
                                   Easy to follow instructions, well written. A crochet chart is included, which I actually didn't use this time as the written instructions were so clear but are very useful for understanding a pattern at a glance.

          Not really a con but this pattern is marked as an intermediate level pattern which I agree with, so not for a beginner. Like I said, not really a con as those who are more experienced at crochet would enjoy making this shawl because of the intermediate level of difficulty.

Crochet is such a relaxing craft. Especially when crocheting a repetitive pattern as in a shawl. It can be quite therapeutic. If it's a craft that you've thought you might like to learn then I encourage you to get some wool and a hook and give it a go. There are plenty of places online where you can learn to crochet. In fact Sandra has some good tutorials on cherryheart for stitches and patterns here that I've found enormously useful when learning to crochet.


Linking up with Link Your Stuff

Friday, 7 October 2016

Seaside Finds On Folksy Friday

I've just spent a lovely week by the sea in Whitby. Is there anything nicer than drinking in the sea air and squidging your toes into the wet sand while watching ships pass and seals play? We spent the week mostly eating chips, cake and ice cream. Not very healthy, I grant you, but completely brilliant. It was a very welcome break, even if the sea breeze did turn my hair into a puff ball for the week.

I am in total envy of those of you who live near the sea and get to enjoy these things as often as you like.

Now that we're back home I'm feeling decidedly land-locked. I even suggested to my husband that we re-decorate the living room with a sea side theme. He laughed. Maybe he thought I was joking; and maybe he'll have a lovely surprise one day when he comes back from work...

I've already been looking at sea side themed items on Folksy. If you haven't heard of Folksy before, it is an online market for British artists, designers and makers. I can thoroughly recommend a peruse of the wonderful items on offer over there, though be prepared to get lost in the awesomeness.

Here are some sea side-y items I've found

First up is jewellery from Angela at Seashore Treasures. Can you believe the glass ring in this necklace is actually a bottle neck that was found on the beach? Angela has a shop full of beautiful things made from glass and china that she finds on the beach.

I love this headband by Rachel of  Ratzhatz. I love the sea turquoise colour and those beads set it off beautifully. Also, it looks so snug which is great now that the days are growing cooler.

These fun jugs by Heather Richards would look fantastic sitting on the dining table next to a warm apple pie and filled with custard. Comforting winter food alongside dreams of building sand castles in the summer would be bound to cheer any cold day.

I would love an entire dinner service like Kara Leigh Ford Ceramics rock pool plates. If you look closely, the glaze has a texture of water on sand.

This bunting has been illustrated by Lisa of The Illustrated World of Lisa Berkshire. It would look so good hanging in the kitchen, giving everyone a feeling of fun and adventure on the sea. Seeing this every day would definitely cause seaside envy. :)

Now that the nights are drawing in many of us are thinking of lovely projects to work on while staying indoors and keeping warm of an evening. Check out this pretty sea coloured yarn by Tracy of Little Things. It is a merino/nylon blend with a bit of gold stellina running through it and is called 'ocean'. *Love*

This bundle of threads by Sue of SusieandEmm has my mind swimming with ideas. The bundle contains a mix of fibres and thread types and would be great for sea themed embroidery or embellishing some crazy patchwork. Just look at all of the textures in this bundle!

This last item is marked as sold now, but I had to show you anyway. It is amazing! For all of you aspiring mermaids out there just look at this crown. Isn't it magnificent? It is the creation of Laura of LawR's Buttons and is the most perfect mermaid crown ever!

So many nice things! Did you see anything that floats your boat?