Sunday, 24 April 2016

Literal mandala madness...

No time with hubby this week, so we've had no trips out, so my days off have been crochet focussed.

I had intended to continue up into even more darker shades of purples and blues on this basket, but
       decided to stop, for no other reason than I liked the shape it had become at that moment.

I went back to get some more washing line but they didn't have any, but I found some thicker rope    instead, so it will be interesting to see what form this one will turn into.

                                  I've made a start, using up the smaller rope to start the base.

I have a load of ideas of different stitches i'd like to try on these baskets.

The mandala has continued to grow this week, although I confess it has been 1 step forward, 2 steps back, no my concentration has not improved!

I was so proud to have completed week 4, and made a start on week 5, until I was supposed to work into the stitches on the back, but found I didn't have any!

Revisiting and trawling the pattern I found that I had missed a complete row out! I hate frogging with a passion, but I had no choice, I couldn't continue without those vital stitches. Typically it was the round of bobble stitches that had to be undone (the most laborious, time consuming round, can you feel my pain!).

So it took a whole afternoon of feet up, Prince videos on the tv and grit and determination to put it right and get back to the beginning of round 5 again!

I'm loving both these projects at the moment and itching to get any moment to get working on them.

I did manage one little trip to the beach, where I basked in the sunlight, sat on the pebbles, and sat and wrote a letter, on good old traditional paper!

The cycle of the sea at the moment, means I don't get to actually see much of it as the tide seems to be out whenever I venture there!

Until next week...

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Natural treasures...

Just a quick check in this week, as work has been hectic, so ive been pretty tired and plus had a fall on Fri which meant a stop off at A & E and a sore swollen knee to contend with..

We did manage to have a pleasant day on Thursday when the weather turned out like a beautiful summers day.

                        We made the most of it, staying local and taking stroll along the beach.

We decided to go beachcombing, to look for natural treasures

and we found our biggest haul of sea glass to date, all be it quite tiny pieces

No surprise that very little crafting has occurred this week

but I am adding to both projects whenever I get the chance, and energy

Each round is taking a lot longer to do on the Mandala now that it's expanding in size!
Hopefully I can have a slightly less challenging week and make a bit more progress!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Wibbly and not so wobbly!

So this week, we've had a week off work, which we haven't had since Oct, so having worked every single season and moved house this was much needed. So lovely to not really have any agenda, and go at our own pace! Unfortunately the weather wasn't the greatest, but we made the best of it.
We had one trip planned to Chichester, to meet up with my Mum. We had a nice wander around the shops, and stopped for coffee. We were able to sit outside, and we had the pleasure of listening to a fantastic busking group Steel Strum.

We ate a pasty in the park, before the heavens opened, so we popped into a local photography exhibition, and looked around clothes shops.

Apart from tackling some more of the unpacking (the boxes have been stored out of sight in the spare room), we took the opportunity of dull days, to work through more boxes.

We did spend a day out on our bikes, this time to the South Downs. It meant a 2 mile cycle initially just to get there, before then having a steep climb up a dirt track. We'd popped some food in our backpack, and we found a bench by a golf course to stop for a breather.

We continued upwards looking for Geos which was our reason for venturing this way, as there's supposed to be a large quantity. We did find 5, amongst different bushes and trees.

The views would be lovely up there, but it started to drizzle on us and this meant a rather precarious ride back down the muddy track, which I can assure you I didn't enjoy one moment of!

We ached so much at the end of the day! I think we need to get our fitness levels up!!

We did get a little beach time, but only because we are lucky enough that the beach is just across the road, so its easy to just pop over for half hour.

Both times we ventured out it was later in the day, and the tide was way out so we were able to pebble dance over the rock pools and get a faraway view of the shoreline

I never tire of sea views, whether they are dark and dramatic or bright and sunny!

Crafting wise, I have carried on with my two projects. I made the decision to continue the Mandala Madness Cal. At moments I have regretted it, as it literally has driven me mad!

Its not the crochet itself that's been tricky, but has shown up my shortcomings of lack of concentration. Especially as the rounds are getting longer, my mind wanders off, and I think I'm in a nice rhythm but in reality I miscount and lose my way! 

So these last two rounds aren't perfect like the centre, and my circles not too circular, I guess 'wibbly' seems to be the common theme in my work at the moment!
But I will persevere as its all a learning curve for me!

I also finished my Wibbly basket!

As I had some washing line leftover of course I had to start another one!
I can see that I may end up with a constant production line of these!!

This one is turning out a lot less wobbly!! although still quite rustic.

Sadly it's back to work tomorrow. I'd just got into a nice crafting routine, working on the Mandala first thing in the morning and the baskets in front of the tv in the evening, but i'll find some way of squeezing them in!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Cycling and Mandala Madness...

So I made it through the busy Easter time at work, and the actual day at home was a nice lazy one!!

I haven't made too much progress with my basket, it has grown in stature a little, wibbly wobbly though it is, I'm still loving it!

The reason for not completing this project, is I got distracted by something else!!
Now I very rarely follow a pattern, but now and again something jumps out at me, and I think it's good to test yourself, and it helps to learn and grow.
What I had seen was a picture of the Mandala Madness Cal (crochet along)
It looked to have plenty of interest to keep my attention, and plenty of different techniques to try. So I chose a colour palette of purple and green and gave it a try.
I found a video tutorial by It's all in a nutshell on her blog. I'm not sure I would have managed without the visual help, but I have thoroughly enjoyed each round and I've learnt so much

The BIG lesson to learn, is pay attention to what you're getting into, and read the small print, because this I thought was the finished piece, worked over two weeks.

I now find that actually this is an 18 week project!!!
This is already 12" wide, so the end result must be enormous!
So my dilemma is do I stop now or continue??
On one hand, ive found this fun, ive enjoyed seeing how all the rounds link together, I'm curious as to how this will end up looking (its a mystery cal, hence no pictures of the end result) and I'm sure I will continue to learn. But, I don't have much crochet time so this will be all I get to work on, I cant paln what other colours to use without knowing what it looks like, what will I do with it when its complete, I like the way it looks right now, and I wont get the chance to play around with the ideas I have with what ive learnt so far!!
Any opinions welcome...

Last week we were able to get out on our bikes for the first time since moving to the coast.
No nasty hills to contend with just lovely flat ground with fantastic views. We had to do the obligatory café stop

We went as far as Ferring, before doing an about turn. On the return instead of a straight ride, we searched for Geo's on the coastal route. It was our best haul yet, finding 15!

It was quite a busy route to be searching, and they were tucked away in various places from benches and signposts to trees and walls, and under beach huts...

(can you spot the floating teddy bear!?)

We have a week off this week so hopefully more chance to explore and make

until next week...