Lisa’s Blanket a year on…

While working on a project, I’m not sure if its just in my case, but I find it funny how one thinks back to previous projects made, trying to compare the times it took to make the previous and compare it with your current WIP. I’m constantly trying to compare and often hear myself asking “How long did that take again?”… It’s never easy being in that position (especially if you receive a reply from other voices in your head 🤣)  but joking aside – the “so excited to see the finished product” feeling that spurs you on combined with the thoughts of “what a monstrous task! What was I thinking? It’ll never finish” conflicts in your mind and is a strange phenomenon…

Then you eventually get to the end – the last stitch and suddenly you think – “was that it? It cant be finished?”. Never a truer time than with Lisa’s blanket. I LOVED making this blanket and was sad when I’d finished. Mind you, making this blanket was very emotional for me and a lot of love was poured into this work so the emotions were running pretty high by the time the last stitch was made.💕

As people close to me will know, my sister was not well. She lives a long way away from me and I miss her dearly. It’s even harder being away from those you love when they are facing very challenging situations and are hurting. I wished so to wrap her up in my arms and just give her a big ‘ol hug. Sadly, again this year, she is facing more tough times and I’m instantly drawn back to the blanket and thoughts (again) of “what can I do to help?”…

I designed the blanket myself using pens & pencils in a paper notebook that I keep all my “Made by Nina” patterns in. (My scribbles and my working out’s). I went in search of and found a pattern for a heart shape Granny square on Ravelry which would be the basis of my design and it just so happened that I loved the colors used on the heart square pattern and so decided I would make Lisa’s blanket using similar colors, mix it up with other shapes and mixture of the same basic colors.  I knew how to do a basic Granny Square and now had the heart pattern, but the other shapes I had to make up myself. I quite enjoyed designing new square shapes for myself and made a floral and diamond shape too. I also found a “swirly shape” Granny, but once I made one, I decided would not suit the style I was trying to achieve.

In the notebook, I played around a bit with the Granny Square shapes and how they would fit together. My notebook soon became pages worth of blanket designs. In the end I worked out a way to scatter the shapes equally across the blanket. To explain how it was “structured” if you can’t see it in the photo’s:-  looking at the blanket as a whole split it through the center into quarters. The top left quarter, is the exact opposite of the bottom right quarter and the same for the top right quarter -> lower left.

I loved how this design turned out – on paper it looks like the squares are randomly placed, but in fact they are strategically placed – because I’m a control freak like that ha-ha 😂 – to spread the love equally across the whole blanket.

I divided the amount of squares I needed by the amount of shapes I had and then also had to work out the color variations to try make each round of each of the squares in a different color. Obviously some had to overlap on color variations, so I landed up with 3 or 4 of the same color squares here and there. I calculated how many of each square I needed and I even managed to calculate (pretty accurately in hindsight) how much yarn to purchase.

I didn’t tell my sister about the blanket. Kept it a secret and every time I spoke with her I would give the square I was working on a hug whilst also trying to pass a hug to her over the phone. Each square eventually became such a part of me and received so many, many positive thoughts and love for her all of which was poured into each stitch.

After making all the squares, I put them on the dining room floor (as you do when you’re stuck for large areas to work on a blanket design). I put them in the order I had on my plan, adjusting the squares by the colors so that for example, all 4 of the same color/shape Granny Square would not be in the same quarter / too close to each other and also that the overall “flow” of color was more pleasing.

I researched borders in my crochet pattern books and looked on websites with free border patterns. As with everything else on this blanket design, I took the ideas that I found and just let it run into something of my own and made up a completely unique ‘Nina’ border.

Once the final stitch was stitched and the last remaining yarn ends darned, I was quite emotional to say the least.

She visited me in June 2016 and I gave her the finished blanket and explained that it was filled with lots of love and the biggest hugs from me to her and that whenever she felt down or hurt that all she need do is to wrap herself in the blanket and know that she is loved, especially by me. ❤️

Here’s quite a few photo’s for you to peruse.. start to fin:

 

 

Lisa's *Blanket - the border

 

Lisa's *Blanket -finished

Blue *Giraffe

Wishing all my blog readers a Merry Christmas! I hope you’ve all had a magical day filled with love and laughter! 

I’ve been so excited to share with you the handmade creations that has kept me busy over the last month, so please  forgive me if it seems the upcoming posts appear ‘behind the times’,  I have been saving these for ‘post Christmas reveals’ to avoid ruining Christmas gift surprises. Who better to start off with than Blue *Giraffe – (aka Hugo) whom you saw WIP posts for but not the finished article.

Blue *giraffe was especially made for and requested by a loving Grandmother for her new grandson, Hugo. On the 26th November 2016 (a month ago today) this little fellow, finally finished, began his epic journey travelling to half way across the world from Guernsey to Australia. With the wonders of technology these days I was able to track his journey from my local post office, via the U.K. Postal Airport with the sporty ‘passed customs’; ‘loading on gate 4’; ‘enroute to Australia’ notifications… I imagined him sat in first class sipping on some blueberry champagne, on the lookout through the windows for his new home…

He landed up with the cutest expression (don’t you think?) a sporty buzz cut and a cheeky medley of fabric star patches. I think he will melt anyone’s heart. He has a heart with ‘Hugo’ embroidered (by me) and little tiny star buttons sewn on. This blue *Giraffe  is going to be a fantastic companion to Hugo and with a little luck, the best imaginary friend he will have. I wish him all the best and much love in his adventures with Hugo and hope he brings many a cuddle, laughter and plenty a shoulder to cry on for the new baby boy. ❤️

Christmas past 🎄

This evening as I’m finishing off my Christmas gift crafts I’m remembering all the crafty projects over the years that I’ve made. Many without a photo but the memories are there nonetheless, the decorations made hanging and the gifts given all remembered fondly.

Hand made items are so personal and when a lot of love and thought goes into making them it is very hard not to forget them – even if given away and no longer in your sight. Equally, recipients of hand made gifts are often stuck with the items for life – whether they like it or not – just because it serves as a constant reminder of a very thoughtful individual. When you spend hours, days weeks or months working on an object, every thought and feeling remains in your heart and you too as a creator will always remember your creation.

Making handmade items is my passion, has become my obsession and has been my salvation/ sanity on many a time. A little bit of me is in every piece made, but every piece made has also burrowed itself deep into my heart. Being creative has helped me through many many difficult times and kept me focussed on creating something beautiful out of dark periods. 

Here’s to all the crafters out there (which includes EVERYONE ’cause anyone can be creative!) a job well done and keep up the good work – and if you’ve not been tempted already.. go on.. have a go… make being creative a goal for everyday in 2017!

 Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas filled with lots of crafty cheer and a Happy New Year filled with ideas and crafts for a lifetime…

Little Harvey *Bunny

I’m very pleased to introduce you to Little Harvey *Bunny. The little fellow was a custom order and is going to a special baby boy.

 I must admit (showing my age), I did not know who the famous ‘Harvey the Bunny’ was! At first I Google-searched images to understand what I was being commissioned to do and I was faced with some pretty scary looking bunnies indeed… I knew that couldn’t be right! Speaking with J, he went on to tell me there is no such thing as a ‘Harvey bunny’ and after some confusion on my part, he eventually told me the background story:-  “Harvey” a 1950 comedy -drama is now on my “must see” list and is about a man and an imagenary rabbit. 

This real Harvey has been made with the softest white yarn, with blue accents of a blue bow tie and a hand sewn “baby boy” fabric ear lining. He has a heart embroidered with his name  on and little blue stars.

I’ll be posting updates on my Christmas orders as soon as I am able to – watch this space 🙂

Blueberry Ellie

Introducing the sweet little Blueberry Ellie. She has a very sweet nature about her. Initially she had a few butterflies on her nose, but they were distracting her too much and so they were shooed away. One little butterfly however floated about and is dancing with her tail! Handmade with love and I’m assured is going to a loving home 🙂 Find her and an overview of all the other soft toys I’ve made on my Soft Toys page.

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Blueberry Ellie

*Gumdrop

When I said that I can do customisation for you – I really do mean it. I will do my best to make your dream come true and *Gumdrop is probably the no.1 example of this.

My sister wanted a purple bunny with ears that stood up (not down)… I took some time thinking about how to go about this process and well, I must admit making *Gumdrop has taken some time and a lot of thought…

I am so pleased with the end result but must admit I am reluctant to go through that process again and if I am asked, I will have to make some further adjustments.

Some may think *Gumdrops’ ears are too big (don’t listen to them *Gumdrop), but they are in fact the same size as the other bunnies ears I’ve made (just standing up) and well, I think this adds a very special kind of uniqueness to this bunny. I am positive my sister will love *Gumdrop as he is after all one of a kind – just like her.

Gumdrop

(a.k.a. Lisa’s bunny)

 

Mom’s Sunshine 💛

So a little different from the Sunshine made before, this little one has been custom made for my mom with Roses and hearts.

Sunshine will be one of a few soft toys travelling with me to South Africa in January. (Bringing Sunshine to SA? That doesn’t sound right! 😀)

If you would like a custom toy – please do get in touch!