kiwi cups & the kiwi coast

Kiwi Cups… just little container thingys really, but I like the sound of Kiwi Cups.

Named so as I made them up on our recent roadtrip around the North Island of New Zealand… and I thought they looked a bit like kiwi fruit colours… before I added the grey one.

I’m using them for business card holders, pens, froggy buttons, crochet hooks and I’ve just started using one to pop all those endy bits of yarn you snip off whilst crocheting. I often just have a big ol stack of them on the coffee table, but now they will look neat and organised tucked away in my Kiwi Cups… for a little while at least!

The kiwi cups were born from my hoarding ways… You see I bought a stack of this yarn, and the balls of this particular cotton/bamboo blend came wrapped around these cardboard cylinders. They were too good to throw out, I knew ‘one day’ I would make something of them.

The idea came to me as I was tidying up my craft room and I started popping pens in the cardboard containers that were sitting around. I suddenly realised I could make them look a whole lot prettier if I crocheted around them, and If I added a base they would actually be practical. I packed a couple in my luggage along with some random lime green yarn hanging nearby, and somewhere between Lake Taupo and Wellington ‘one day‘ finally came.

Remember my kiwi yarn purchase? It started in Napier and was added to in Rotorua. Inspired by the gorgeous colours of the North Island East Coast, I wanted to crochet a big blanket with all the lovely greens, aqua, turquoise and blues I kept seeing in the oceans, bays and beaches. It would be my Kiwi Coast Blanket. And even better, I had the perfect excuse to find yarn shops and buy more yarn. Serendipity!

When I got home I realised I also had some colours in my stash from Bendigo Woollen Mills that would really set it off.

I looked for an inky blue yarn in NZ but luckily I didn’t find any, as I had some already. I just love these colours together and have totally got my crochet mojo on making this blanket. You know, that feeling when you can wait to finish the row just to see how it’s coming along?

And it’s a big long row… I want a big blanket… this baby is 242 stitches wide! I’m using this pattern as a guide. Huge thanks to Hannah from Not your average Crochet, for the fantastic pattern and great tutorial with loads of photos! From what I read Hannah’s pattern is inspired by Little Woolie’s pattern. Jules from Little Woolies has a great link on her blog with lots of pictures and patterns that can be used in a blanket like this. A big thanks to you too Jules!

I will be changing colours and stitches in my Kiwi Coast Blanket, but I’m also plan on doing larger blocks of colour with the different stitches to add some subtle texture to the blanket. Like the ripples, white caps and waves of the ocean… at least that how it appears in my crochet imagination anyway!

As I’m finishing one row I’m thinking about the next stitch and colour combination… this blanket is going to evolve. I don’t like to plan things too hard or, as you know, stick to a pattern. I’m too fickle, indecisive and disorganised to do that! I’ll either run out of yarn or change my mind before I get the to end of a complete pattern. I LOVE to use a pattern as a guide, but I like to let the blanket and yarn and my mood take me where I feel like I’m meant to go… that’s just the way I crochet.

How do you crochet, knit, craft? Do you kinda make it up on the way or do you plan it?

Whatever works and gives you your craft mojo is the right way in my books.

Wishing you happy mojo moments…


crazy christmas crochet lady

I went a little crochet crazy this chrissy… just for something different! I made all those cushions in the pic… and the inserts…

and all of these coaster sets… and a couple of knitted beanies… with 4ply!

Of course I only really decided make a few things late November/early December… then the list grew… then I decided to hand stamp all my wrapping paper too… I’m a bit crazy like that… but boy oh boy was it worth it… to see everyone’s sweet happy faces unwrapping their pretty pressies… smiling and surprised with their homemade-especially-for-them-coloured-coorinated-with-their-home-decor-pressies… ahhh – they are precious moments indeedy…

The pop of brights blooming flower cushion and coastal coasters went down a treat.

I forgot to photograph the heart cushion by itself, but these coasters used the same green as the cushion and went together. The baby blue and white cushion was gifted without matching coasters as they weren’t required for my mother in law who resides in an aged care facility. Cushions however are very much required. And a soft alpaca cloud pattern cushion seemed most appropriate.

Cool grey with a clean pop of cream for the mod home.

Soft deep smokey blue, duck egg blue, mint, cream, cotton, silk and bamboo. I do so love these colours and textures.

I love the earthy olive green cotton coasters with the soft lime / chartreuse silk combo. The almost dirty but still fresh and bright without being too bright lime of the cushion with the cream. Oh what fun it was to pick the main colours, contrast colours, and accent colours for each recipient – I swear half the fun is putting colours together!

The Blooming Flower cushion is the most wonderful cushion. I’ve made a few of them now and I love to play with the colours in the pattern. Pretty sure I haven’t made two the same yet. Some I alternate evenly, others graduate in their alternation, some all one colour, some with variegated yarn. I love the endless options. I’ve just had trouble trying to find round inserts for the cushions so I made all the inserts. This worked out rather well to be honest because I like a well stuffed cushion, and I find most of inserts you can buy are a little lame in the stuffing department. The Free Blooming Flower Pattern is from the lovely Lucy at Attic24.

And one of my favourite coaster sets, the citrus splice set. Yet to be handed over… if I can part with it… but what can I do with 3 sets of crochet coasters? Yes, I already have two sets. I posted the link to the sweet coaster pattern back here if you’d like to whip up a set… or two… or three… they are a bit addictive!

So it may have been a little quiet around here lately but I’ve still been crafting like crazy.

Now I’m in the recovery period which means the PJ’s are getting a workout, there’s nananaps being had, left over turkey being scoffed, chocolates vanishing, odd jobs being thought about (can’t rush things), new to do lists being written, more knitting and crochet being done (crazy crafter!), garden pottering taking place, new music being enjoyed, and memories of a wonderful Christmas day, full of special and precious family moments, being cherished. Family love in motion is a beautiful thing to watch, be a part of, and enjoy.

I have truly felt so very blessed this Christmas, yet also shed a quiet tear. For some, Christmas is a painful reminder of special people missing in their lives. I hope you feel blessed with your lot in life or had a moment to enjoy a sweet memory if you have a loved one missing from the Chrissy table. I hope you had a lovely christmas day and got to share it with those near and dear to your heart.

And if you don’t do the Christmas thang, then I hope you had a lovely day filled with sweet moments all the same.

ps. this was my Christmas inspired flower bunch for the table, from my garden. Who knew being lazy and letting all your parsley go to seed would reward you with a sweet little pop of green in the flower bunch?

spring inspiration

Spring starts tomorrow… Yay! Although I do feel like it has been making its presence known all week. The daffodils are everywhere, tulips are popping up their pretty heads, and the sweet smell of blossom is in the air.

My nectarine tree blossom is stunningly pretty, don’t you think? I popped a couple of branches in a flower posy with some gorgeous old fashioned May Bush and a few branches of my Japanese Maple, whose teeny baby leaves are the cutest. This nectarine tree is a bit special to me, my grandma planted this tree from seed many years ago. She’s no longer with us, but I do think of her whenever I see my nectarine tree… I love how plants can have such a special meaning.

My current crochet project is heavily inspired by spring. Spring Meadow is coming along nicely, although it did have a big unpick session at the start as it wasn’t quite working. I first saw the flowers in a row pattern on pinterest, which led me to the original pattern here. Of course I wanted to tweak the pattern slightly (I know – what a surprise hey?) as I had ideas of a flower meadow with different flowers. This tweak of course led to the unpick.

The first row is daffodils, the second roses and the third tulips… in my imagination anyway! These flowers scream spring to me. The idea is a blanket with the flowers at the bottom, then all cream in colour until the top, where I’m going to have a go at making a blue cloud-ish shape made of hearts. I’ll let you know if it works. There could be another unpick session on the horizon! That’s ok, it’s spring tomorrow! Did I mention that? Bring on the sunshiney days and flowers everywhere.

Wishing you sunshiney days sprinkled with sweet smelling flower blossoms… and not too many unpicks!

crochet wrist warmers in teal

teal bobble wrist warmers2
Teal Bobble Wrist Warmers, Crochet. 100% wool.

You see I had to make another pair. Not long after I finished these lovely crochet wrist warmers, I got myself a new mustard hoody for my winter walks. And not long after I got my mustard hoody I realised that my soft pastel wrist warmers just would not do… pastels and brights together? For some maybe, but not for me… Obviously, I’d just have to make some more… right?

teal bobble wrist warmers

You see I’m up to weaving the ends in, and washing and blocking the last two blankets I’ve made. And I just love a diversion… not to mention starting another project before I finish the last! It’s a bit of a specialty of mine actually.

teal bobble wrist warmers4

I love the teal and mustard colour combo… I understand I may well be a year or two behind trend… but I love it… now.

I made these wrist warmers up. Using one of my favourite crochet stitches, the blanket stitch. They were quick and easy, and became quite the chunky little warmers. So I finished them off with a chunky little bobble edge to match the chunky bobble-ish stitch. Perfect chunky goodness for a blustery cold day.

teal bobble wrist warmers3
I felt bright and cheery on my winter walk this morning. Everything was quite bleak and grey and overcast… except me, I was a burst of sunshiney colour and I loved it… even my homemade fimo bead necklace matches… Pretty fancypants for a winter walk!

Are you managing to get out for a walk when winter shows you her best? Or are you enjoying some summer sunshine on your walks? Or maybe you don’t walk much? Maybe you need some colourful warm crochet wrist warmers to get you out the door? Would you like a pattern for them? It would be a very short pattern I promise… the only kind I like really!

Hope you get some cheery pops of sunshine in your day.

a cloud of intuition

Cloud of Intuition Blanket.
Alpaca, cotton, wool, silk, linen, and probably a few other fibres too but I made most of this blanket such long time ago I hardly remember the yarn blends I used.

I do however remember that the cream colour in the squares is pure alpaca. A local alpaca whose name is Intuition. Cute name hey? I purchased this particular alpaca yarn from a local lady, who has a garage converted into a studio where she sells lovely yarns and knitted items. Intuition is her Alpaca who used the graze the grass in front of the studio I believe. He had moved on to greener pastures the day I bought the yarn but she assures me he was there and that she spun the yarn herself. But I digress… The blanket… Oh my… the blanket… It took AGES!

My dear sweet hubby models the blanket in the above two pictures because it’s sooooo enormous that I found it hard getting a good shot of it. Not that these are good mind you, but I’m just keen to finally have it finished and on the blog. I haven’t even washed and blocked yet so please ignore bumps and ripples.

I crocheted all of the squares a couple of years ago, then started joining them together. I found this cute way of crocheting them together… but it takes ages… and I got a bit disheartened… so I put it away for ‘a bit’…

About 2.5 years later, in the middle of a scorching hot summer, I dragged it out… As you do! I do crochet in summer mind you… but generally smaller lighter items, not king size alpaca & wool blankets! Nevertheless, when I get a bee in my bonnet, I tend to ignore common sense… Not only did it take ages to join the squares together, it took forever – ok slight exaggeration – a very long time, to weave in all the ends! Jeepers that is a crochet task that I do dislike… Feels like such a big chunk of time doing nothing… although I know it’s not nothing… it’s finishing something… something I’m just starting to get the hang of actually… finishing stuff.

The squares are a mixture of two patterns. One was called something with a ‘cloud’ in the pattern name and the other was called something with ‘mandala’ in the pattern name. Sorry to be vague but I just don’t remember. If you really want to know the pattern, leave a comment and I’ll do some serious hunting through my patterns for you.

This was one of the first major crocheting projects I ever did… I had edged a blanket before, and made a basic little blanket but this one was a biggie. I can see how far my crochet has come since this blanket and can pick little things that are not quite right in it… But I don’t mind… I love it… I love the colours… I love the yarn… I love the patterns… I love the randomness of the colours and patterns… I love that I used to be able to say – “I’m crocheting Intuition” when I was making it… mostly I love that I’ve finally finished it! This one’s a keeper for sure and will be keeping us warm at night when winter comes.

I’m off to tackle some other things on my ‘to do’ list now.
This blanket wasn’t on my ‘to do’ list for this week.
I was putting off the real ‘to do’ list.
I even extended putting off the real ‘to do’ list by writing this post.
Now I must get real and tick something off this weeks list.
But I do feel better having finished my Cloud of Intuition!

Do write yourself a ‘to do’ list and then ignore it too?

Hope you find some clouds of intuition in your day.

cool rainbow blanket

Cool Rainbow Blanket
100% Pure Lambswool, Crochet

This is a super chunky large granny stitch blanket that I whipped up in no time. The yarn is that kind that goes thicker and thinner and the colours blended ever so gently into the next shade, creating a natural stripe in the blankie. I think the colours are like a rainbow but without the warm rainbow colours such as red, yellow, orange – just the cool colours of greens, blues, purples, pinks… my favourite section of the rainbow really. There is a chunky little bobble edge to finish the blanket and you can see how chunky the blanket is by the regular size tea cup & saucer beside it – quite chunky indeed.

It’s a very large blanket taking up the whole of my large dining table.

How I do love the classic granny stitch, especially for a blanket as it creates an airy kind of warmth… If that makes sense? I like the natural gentle organic stripe pattern this variegated yarn created too.

I’m off to work my 2nd sock a little more now, and maybe do a little more on the chunky baby alpaca blanket I’m knitting at the moment too… tis hard to break away from that one as it’s soooooo soft and delicious to knit with. I’ve also still got my other knitted blanket I’m working on in between. Oh and all the other yarn in my craft room is just begging to be transformed… so much yarn, so many ideas, so little time!

I hope you get to enjoy a few rainbows in your day.