Sky Blanket – Three Rows Joined!


Crikey, we’re already into February, and I now have three rows of my Sky Blanket joined.

I’m crocheting two yo-yos for each day – one for the morning, and one for the afternoon – and each row consists of 26 yo-yos (13 days, obviously), so tonight I was able to attach the third row.

I’ve managed to keep up to date daily, which isn’t hard, as each yo-yo only takes a couple of minutes to make, and each row is joined within about 20 minutes or so. I love how it’s looking so far! We’ve had several rainbows, a misty day, some spectacular sunrises and sunsets, rain, dark clouds, and blue skies, and we even had one day of snow, and a celestial event, so the array of colours looks rather striking.

The first yo-yo (fireworks for New Year) is noted with a stitch marker, to make sure I join subsequent rows at the right end. I’m looking forward to seeing this project develop, and as a new row is completed every thirteen days, I get to see quite a significant change fortnightly, which is rather lovely!

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Pocket Letters…


I’ve always loved sending and receiving letters from pen pals. I’ve also always loved crafting with various media. When I recently heard about a way of combining the two, I was suddenly very excited!

This wonderful new thing I’ve discovered is called Pocket Letters.

The basic idea is that you use one of those clear plastic sheets you use to store trading cards, and in each of the pockets, you pop a little something to send to your recipient.

I’m not great at paper crafts, but I’d like to get better Some of the pocket letters I’ve seen are spectacular, and I’m aware that my debut attempt falls far short of that, but I hope the person who receives it will enjoy it anyway – I know she’s new to Pocket Letters too.

In mine, I’m sending:

  1. Some of my favourite tea.
  2. Some of my favourite chocolate
  3. A little bookmark I stitched on perforated paper.
  4. One of my favourite recipes.
  5. A little letter.
  6. A little bit about myself
  7. A couple of vouchers for a free treat box from Graze, held together by a decorative paperclip I made.
  8. Some bookplates and stickers.
  9. A game of “Mail Tag”, where I set a question (in this case, what are your top three favourite movies of all time?) and give my answer on the reverse.

I had a lovely time putting it all together, then I folded it over and secured it by folding a paper doily over it and tying a ribbon in a bow. I later stuck a little paper origami heart I’d folded under the ribbon too, but I forgot to take a picture with that included before I popped the whole thing into the envelope and sealed it.

I look forward to sending and receiving many of these Pocket Letters in the future, and also to improving my own abilities to make them look pretty. In the meantime, I’ll leave you all with these pictures of the one I’m sending out next week when I can get to the post office.

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If you’d like to find out more
about Pocket Letters,
visit the official website HERE.

52 Things – Update


52 things in 52 weeksI’ll probably not do a monthly update on my 52 Things In 52 Weeks Challenge, but from time to time, I’ll post my progress on my list of challenges for the year.

Here we are at the end of January, and I have completed eight out of my 52 challenges:

2. Watch 5 films nominated for awards in the 88th Academy Awards
8. Apply to be a giver for World Book Night – waiting to hear if I’ve been selected this year – I hope I have!
9. Drink no alcohol for 4 weeks – easy, as I’m not a big drinker anyway
10. Eat no chocolate for 4 weeks  – difficult, as I’m a chocoholic!
18. Go to bed before midnight every night for a week – I’ve done this most nights in January!
22. Start a bullet journal – I don’t know how I managed before I started bullet journalling – it makes it so much easier to keep track of things!
34. Make a family photo book/album of last year’s (2015) pictures – and it’s gorgeous!
46. Donate a pint of blood – and I’m super proud about it – I’m even booked in to donate again in June!

I have quite a few ongoing ones doing well too:

1. Watch 52 films in 52 weeks (11 / 52)
5. Read 52 books in 52 weeks (4 / 52)
6. Do not buy any books for myself for a year, and read only books I already have, or have been given, or have borrowed from the library or others (4 / 52) – very proud of this, as it’s always tempting when I see books being sold cheaply!
7. Complete the Carole Matthews Challenge (1/30) – and in the middle of reading two more concurrently
17. Lose 14lbs (4 / 14) – on track for a steady rate of a pound per week
24. Save £1 for each day of the year (£39 / £366) – slightly ahead of the game here
25. Save £2 for each week of the year (£18 / £104) – and ahead of the game here to!
26. Save £5 for each month of the year (£5 / £60) – bang on track with this one
27. Split all my coppers between Tadpole’s and Choochie’s piggy banks each month (1/12)
28. Save all £2 coins into the Xmas fund each month (1/12)
29. Save all silver up to the value of 20p into the Xmas fund each month (1/12)
30. Put aside £1 for each challenge completed into Xmas fund (£8/£52)
35. Take the kids to the library once a month (1 / 12) – We’ve actually been twice in January!
38. Not shout at my kids for the whole year (31 / 366) – I’m REALLY proud of this one!
43. Share a photo of my kids and me each month (1 / 12)
47. Make a “Sky Blanket” – click to be taken to the page for this, which has links for all the updates
49. Make five gifts /Xmas decorations (3 / 5) – my best friend is having a baby soon, and I’ve been making things for her soon to be born son, as well as for craft exchanges
50. Release twelve new cross stitch charts (posted on Kincavel Krosses (2 / 12)

So, yeah, I’m happy with my progress, and hoping to complete all of them this year, although I haven’t yet managed to squeeze in an Analogue Day (#51), I may manage to have two in a subsequent month to make up for that.

The “other” yo-yo blankets – plural!


You already know I’m making a Sky Blanket with two yo-yos for every day, right? And you already know I’m using up all my little odds and ends of yarn to make a blanket to auction to raise funds for my eldest son’s school? Well, there’s been a little change of plan…

I was just going to make a random, riot-of-colour blanket, and I had already joined four rows, but I just didn’t like how it was looking this time round. So I’ve decided to separate out the colours into groups to make themed blankets.

The result is that I’m now going to be making not one, not two, but three blankets – not including the Sky Blanket!

The first will be “Autumn Forest” all in shades of green, gold, orange, and russet. The second will be “Pretty As A Princess” using all the prettiest shades of pink, purple, and peach. And the third will be “Under the Sea” using shades of blue, turquoise, aqua, and grey.

The Under the Sea blanket will be the last completed, as I’ll probably be using a lot of leftover yarn from the Sky Blanket. I may transfer the sparkly green yo-yos from the Autumn Forest collection to the Under the Sea collection – I have plenty of time to decide though, so I’ll play around with it a little bit more before making the final decision.

Looking at the collections of colours, I’m a lot happier, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the projects a lot more if I like the colour schemes.

Sky Blanket – joining subsequent rows


Last night I joined the second row of my Sky Blanket. I know a lot of people are waiting with bated breath for this post which will enable them to continue with their own yo-yo blankets, so here it is!

If you haven’t already started making a nice little pile of yo-yos, you’ll find how to make them HERE.

Once you have a bunch of yo-yos ready, you’ll want to join your first row, and you’ll find how to do that HERE.

You start off your second row the same way you did with your first:

1.) With your joining colour, join with a single crochet in any stitch on the first yo-yo. (chain 3, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch) three times. Chain 2, skip next stitch, half double crochet in next stitch.

12.) Pick up your second yo-yo. Half double crochet in any stitch. Chain 2, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch. (Chain 3, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch) twice, Chain 2, skip next stitch, half double crochet in next stitch. Attach the rest of the yo-yos in the row in the same way. When you get to the last yo-yo in the row, do the following:

3.) Attach the last yo-yo in the row with a half double crochet in any stitch. Chain 2, miss next stitch, single crochet in next stitch. (Chain 3, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch) four times to go round the edge of the last yo-yo. (Chain 1, hook through the adjacent chain 3 on the first yo-yo from the previous row, and join with a chain stitch, then chain 1, skip next stitch, and single crochet into next stitch) twice. Chain 2, half double crochet in the next stitch (the same stitch into which you did the half double crochet when joining the last yo-yo to the previous one in the row).

3AContinue along the row, connecting the yo-yos from the half double crochet join of the previous yo-yo.

All subsequent rows are connected in the same way.

As you can see, I now have two rows completed in my Sky Blanket:

2nd row joined

 

Blood and laughter


NHS-Blood-LogoEvery year, I put “Donate a pint of blood” on my list of 52 things in 52 weeks challenges, and every year, I don’t complete that challenge for one reason or another – either I’m pregnant, or breastfeeding, or I get a tattoo – but the main reason is this:

I’m terrified of needles.

It’s the truth – I’m incredibly squeamish about needles, and I can’t even watch an injection in a film, even though I know that it’s not even real on the screen – I have to turn away with my eyes screwed up tight-closed.

On Friday, I went to the library, and I saw a poster advertising a local blood drive today.

Last night, I went online and registered to donate blood, and then booked an appointment. I also told my Mam about it and begged her to come with me for moral support and hand-holding duties.

You see, both my parents got their gold awards giving blood, and my sister donates whenever she can (in between getting inked – you have to wait 4 months after getting a new tattoo), and I’ve always strongly believed it’s an important thing to do. I’ve been on the organ donor register since I was a teenager, and I’ve almost donated blood twice before, but bottled it at the last moment. That’s why I went public about my intentions this time – it makes it that much harder to back out! Plus, Mam promised to sit on me if I tried to escape.

I was more than a little nervous when I got there, but everyone was so nice to me, and they even managed to make me laugh and put me at my ease. Yes, the needle stung a little going in, but it wasn’t so bad, and just 4 minutes and 17 seconds later, I had donated my pint!

I’ll definitely do it again – in fact, I tried to book myself in for the next session right away, but I couldn’t because I wasn’t yet on the system. No bother – I’ll book online when it comes up – I already have the date in my diary!

And after all that blood, here’s a laugh for you all.

At lunchtime, we were telling jokes as we ate, and the kids had us both in fits of laughter. Bear in mind that Tadpole is seven years old, and Choochie is only 2 years old (this was his first ever attempt at joke telling!).

Tadpole: Knock, knock.
Us: Who’s there?
Tadpole: Banana.
Us: Banana who?
Tadpole: Banana.
Us: Banana who?
Tadpole: Banana.
Us: Banana who?
Tadpole: Orange you glad… Oh no! I gave away the ending!!!

Choochie: Knock, knock.
Us: Who’s there?
Choochie: Banana.
Us: Banana who?
Josh: Orange! Hahahahahaha!

If you’re in the UK and you’d like to donate blood and save a life, you can register at the website, and find out where and when your nearest donation venue is taking appointments HERE.

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Sky Blanket – the first row is joined!


I have now put together the first 26 yo-yos, representing the first 13 days of the year. As promised, I will detail below how to put them together, in case anyone else is putting together a yo-yo blanket. Basically, you join one row together, then the next row is joined to it (I’ll detail that in the post where I join the second row).

By now, you should have a nice little pile of colourful yo-yos. If you haven’t, you need to go and make them now. You can see how to make them (very simply!) in my previous post, HERE.

Now, you’re going to lay out your yo-yos in whatever order you want them for your first row (or you can just pull them out of the bag randomly – whatever takes your fancy).

If you’ve done that, we’ll continue with joining together the first row. As always, I’m using US terms, simply because that’s how I learned to crochet:

11.) With your joining colour, join with a single crochet in any stitch on the first yo-yo. (chain 3, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch) three times. Chain 2, skip next stitch, half double crochet in next stitch.

2.) Pick up your second yo-yo. Half double crochet in any stitch. Chain 2, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch. (Chain 3, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch) twice, Chain 2, skip next stitch, half double crochet in next stitch.

2Attach the rest of the yo-yos in the row in the same way. When you get to the last yo-yo in the row, do the following:

3.) Attach the last yo-yo in the row with a half double crochet in any stitch. Chain 2, miss next stitch, single crochet in next stitch. (Chain 3, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch) six times to go round the edge of the last yo-yo. Chain 2, skip next stitch, half double crochet in the next stith (the same stitch into which you did the half double crochet when joining the last yo-yo to the previous one in the row).

34.) Half double crochet in the next yo-yo, into the same stitch as the half double crochet went into  when going along the top of the row. Chain 2, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch. (Chain 3, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch) twice. Chain 2, skip next stitch, half double crochet in the next stitch (same stitch into which you did the half double crochet when joining the last yo-yo to the previous one in the row).

4Continue working back along the row, joining the yo-yos along the bottom of the row in the same way as you did going along the top, making the half double crochet joins in the same stitch into which the half double crochet went going along the top. Continue along till you reach the starter yo-yo.

5.) Half double crochet in the next yo-yo, into the same stitch as the half double crochet went into  when going along the top of the row. Chain 2, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch. (Chain 3, skip next stitch, single crochet in next stitch) twice. Chain 3, and join with a slip stitch into the beginning single crochet. Finish off and weave in ends.

5And there you have it – you’ve successfully joined all the yo-yos in your first row. Ta-daaaa!

I’ll detail how to join the second (and all subsequent rows) in another post, so make sure you subscribe to this blog by clicking on the “Follow Kincavel Korner” button up there at the top on the right hand side – you wouldn’t want to miss it!

1st row joined
The first row is joined!