A cosy blanket story

  
Back in the autumn of 2014 I embarked on my latest blanket, an Attic24 Cosy Stripe Blanket blanket to be precise. I ordered my wool pack in time to join in with the online crochet-along or CAL. The plan was to keep up with crocheters around the world as they hooked up the cosy lines of triples and be part of something ‘bigger’.

  
I did really well for that first week! Then the rot set in. The plan had been to complete the blanket by the end of 2014 that meant we’d having a snuggly warm blanket to cosy up with as we faced a nippy Gibraltarian winter. Yes, I know I sound soft but it does get cold here in winter and we don’t have central heating or double glazing. The cold Atlantic breezes get through the cracks in our old wooden sash windows you know… I’m not getting any sympathy here am I?!

 

Back to the crochet… so the thing is, quite early into the CAL I fell off the wagon and failed to keep up. I think my problem is that I like so many different crafts that I don’t like to keep on at the one thing all the time. In other words I’m easily distracted… Holiday times meant that I had more time to sit and hook up a few rows and it meant I was more focused on the job. So it came on holiday with us, a few times…

 …. to Marbella…

 

….out for a drink at the poolside bar….

  

…and to Puerto Banús.

  
It’s been a regular companion through two series of Downton Abbey! Both on Sunday nights and on catch-up sessions.

  

 It’s grown bigger.

  
And bigger.

 
It’s done a spot of sunbathing on our balcony back at home…

  
And entertained me at coffee break time as I worked (very slowly) through all those colourful rows.

  
And then the end was in sight, it was time to darn in all those fiddly endy bits. 

 
 
I shared that photo on Instagram and you’ll never guess who ‘liked’ it? Only Lucy at Attic24! STARSTRUCK!!!

  

Phew, that was exciting!

And so, the time had come to begin the border…

  
But I must have got my tension wrong… I didn’t have enough wool – noooo! So I unpicked it and chose an alternative colour and started again:

  
Not again… just 25 cm short this time! So I had to do half of the original colour and half of the second colour – sorry Lucy, I went a bit off piste! It’s a multicoloured border.

  
I’m on the home straight at last, it’s the Easter holidays 2016, 17 months after I started my Cosy Stripe CAL, time for a final push at the park.

  
 
And it’s finished…. Drum roll please!

  
Ta-dah!! Looking glorious on a sunny, blustery day with Gibraltar’s Trinity lighthouse as a backdrop. 

Thank you Lucy for sharing this brilliant pattern, I have really enjoyed working on it and love the end result. I shall miss snuggling up under it’s colourful rows as it grew slowly on my lap. 

What next? Another blanket perhaps, but don’t expect to see it finished for a very long time!

 

Sunday Sevens #16 31.1.16

Earthquake excitement  We awoke on Monday morning to hear that there had been an earthquake in the Straits of Gibraltar in the early hours of the morning. It turned out that there were several in actual fact (last I heard there had been 160 aftershocks!). Despite being up several times in the night to tend to a poorly 4 year old the whole drama passed me and the rest of the Postcard household by! Friends described their beds shaking and the rush to make sure their kids were moved away from windows, social media in Gib was humming with the excitement of it all, we didn’t notice a thing!!

Whoops spoke too soon 

 Last week I crocheted the last row of my Cosy stripe blanket and then began sewing my ends in. On Tuesday I had a few quiet moments out on the balcony and thought I’d begin my border… I looked on the Attic 24 blog for the instructions only to discover that when I’d transcribed the order of the coloured rows into my notebook (way back in 2014 – I’m not a fast worker ;-)!) I’d missed off the last 15 colours – that means another 30, yes 30, rows!!! It’ll be a while before I get to crack on with that border after all!!

#7000 challenge 

 One of my Instagram friends @bonnies_little_crafts has set herself the rather grand goal of making and collecting 7000 little crocheted hearts in time for the Yarndale yarn festival in September. Her intention is to give visitors to the festival a heart each as a welcome gift to her home town of Skipton. In previous years I have sent woolly offerings to Lucy at Attic 24 (one of the founders of the festival) for exhibition displays, so although I have failed to attend myself, a little bit of me has made it over to the Yorkshire based festival of woolliness in past years. One day I would love to go, as I have seen all the lovely pictures posted by crafty bloggers who have been already, and it looks amazing. As I have spent a large chunk of this week sitting on the sofa with poorly children I thought I’d hook up a few to send off to Skipton. If you want to have a go at making some little hearts to support the #7000 challenge, look up @bonnies_little_crafts on Instagram for more details.

Instagram photo challenge 

 I have really enjoyed taking part in the #30daysofcraftiness photo challenge this month. It has forced me to think a bit more about the photos I take and encouraged me to take photos I wouldn’t ordinarily capture. The photo above is for day 28 and the title is ‘quote’. I didn’t want to just use a Google image of an inspirational quote or cat picture (ref: The Lego Movie) so had a go at making my own. And it’s true – I get grumpy when I haven’t been near a crochet hook or needle or paintbrush for a while, to me crafts truly are my therapy!

Stormy night 

 On Friday night we had a belter of a thunderstorm. The rain and thunder had been forecast, so it wasn’t a surprise but the intensity and noise was really quite unsettling. Living in an old building with original wooden sash windows which are a little past their best, we almost felt like the roof was coming in on us. The windows and floors were rattling with the noise and the brightness of the lightening was off the scale. Thankfully it was late in the evening so our two youngest were tucked up in bed and oblivious to the storm. As the storm had taken out our TV signal, No 1 son sat up with me colouring. It was a nice way to spend quite a dramatic hour or so!

Calm after the storm 

 Looking at this, it seems hard to believe that less than 12 hours before the lightening was splitting the sky and the thunder was rattling the chimney pots! What a beautiful way to start the weekend – hello Saturday!

Med Steps in the sunshine! 

 After 6 days of poorly children, we are all healthy again (touch wood) and I managed to escape to do the Med Steps yesterday afternoon. It was hard work because it had been over a week since my last trip up AND it was warm. The sun made it absolutely glorious though, the butterflies were out, the gorse bushes were flowering and just look at the colour of that sea! I also had a first – I saw a Barbary Partridge for the first time. He was too quick for me to photograph though so you’ll just have to make do with this picture 🙂 .
Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series which was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday sevens #15 24.1.16

Processionary caterpillars  At this time of year we see this interesting phenomenon – the march of the progressionary caterpillars. They are pine caterpillars which live in pine trees (as the name suggests) and when they are on the hunt for food they head off for a walk to the next nearest pine tree in a long line. They are not as cute as they appear though as they give off a poison in the hairs on their backs which can cause irritation to humans and be very dangerous to animals. A good friend of mine almost lost her family dog after she tried and eat one of these. Anyway, these were taking a walk across one of the paths in the Alameda Botanical Gardens last Sunday and Mr Postcard took the photo for me.

Med Steps challenge update  I only managed one trip up the Med Steps this week but I am very pleased to say that I reached a huge personal milestone and did the double. I managed to climb them twice in one hour and forty minutes. I’m very pleased with that effort and delighted that I have overcome the hurdle of being able to do it more than once. I am still a long way off managing the five times required for the Med Steps challenge but I’m closer to achieving it than I was this time last week!

Curtain no 1 finished In my home furnishings class I completed my first sample curtain this week – a rod pocket curtain. Here it is in all it’s glory. Next stop a tab top version…
Meet the newest member of the Postcard family  Please allow me to introduce you to our newest family member. He’s cute, fluffy and doesn’t say much. We’ve only ever kept goldfish before now, so we’re on a steep learning curve with bunny.  He’s going to be a ‘house rabbit’ as both our balcony and patio get a lot of direct sunlight so we worry it would be too hot for him to stay outside permanently. He’s currently residing indoors in the biggest cage we could find in the pet shop but we are hoping to make him a bigger ‘run’ so that he can stretch his legs without us having to watch him constantly. So far his trips out of the cage have seen him making bee line for the edge of rugs and electric wires for a bit of a nibble! It feels so mean to keep him locked up but there are too many hazards for him at the moment to let him have free reign. Any tips on indoor rabbit keeping you can share would be gratefully appreciated. You may be seeing more of him…🐰

Skirt number 2 underway Two weeks into term and my second skirt is coming together quickly in my dressmaking class. This time it’s a corduroy gathered skirt. Its pockets, seams & zip are done. Bring on the waistband, gathers & hem :-). I shall do a big reveal once it’s completed (and if I’m happy with the finished article 🙂 ).

Star struck
I got a little bit star struck this week. I posted this photo on Instagram of me darning in my endy bits on my Attic 24 Cosy Stripe blanket and just look at who liked it… only Lucy from Attic 24. Oh my word – how exciting is that??? I told Mr Postcard and Number 1 son, their reaction to this momentous bit of news was total bewilderment…. Well I was chuffed anyway!

Watercolour door

 Well folks, the cling-film came off and it left me with nice textured stripes on my door. I’m not sure how happy I am with the whole picture but it was just a practice. I cannot take any credit for the techniques or the composition, as I mentioned last week, I was copying an exercise in a Jean Haines book called Atmospheric Watercolours (it’s based on a building in Venice). I would love to try painting a real Gibraltar doorway and I’m just gearing myself up for it!

 

That’s all from me this week for Sunday Sevens. I do hope you have had a good week and are enjoying a nice weekend. Sunday Sevens is a blog series and I’m linking with Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. Have a great day! 🙂