Saturday, 30 April 2011

Delia's Wedding Celebrations

Consider this my contribution to the Obligatory Royal Knees-Up Blog Posting bonanza ;)

I'd never really considered getting married before yesterday.  And then Kate looked stunning, and William suddenly became peculiarly attractive, and the little-est bridesmaid cranked up the "aaaww" factor with her hands over her ears on the balcony...  and for the first time EVER, I imagined what my wedding would be like should I ever have one.  This came as something of a shock to my mum (I've never had any desire to get married at all - my own mother once predicted that I would end up a cat lady!).  She's probably out buying hats now as I type!

Mostly we celebrated yesterday with Pimms and homemade battenburg cake (courtesy of my lovely friend Rachel).  Jolly spiffing, what!

Then when I got home, it was hooky time and while at the palace Kate was probably kicking off her heels and the Queen was probably shouting for someone to "get the kettle on", I added Delia's final square!

A monumentous occassion I'm sure you'll agree!  :P

I toyed with the idea of showing you where Delia's at now, but then I wanted to save her as a surprise until the border is finished, so you get to see her in all her Psycho glory :D

In the meantime, just imagine 13 large squares, 98 small squares, and 992 ends to tie in and you'll get the idea.  Needless to say that I'm VERY excited about it

Have a lovely bank holiday,
Kim x

Sunday, 24 April 2011

[Before and After] The Two-Day Dress

The Two-Day Dress
Q: What do you do when even the Topshop sale rack prices bring a slight tear to the eye?
A: Make, Do and Improvise!



Top bought at: British Heart Foundation
Made by: Next
Size: was 20, now 12
Total cost: £4.00
Suck on THAT, Topshop!  :P

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Springtime Hexagon [Free Pattern]

I don't know about you, but Spring is making me VERY happy this year.  Especially now that all of the delicate little flowers are blooming

These little flowers definitely inspired me to make this hexagon... I hope you like it :)


Before we begin, just a few little notes as a bit of a guide.  As you can see above, I made a few different sizes by stopping at different points and by varying the weight of yarn and the size of the hook.  The tutorial will guide you through all the steps needed to make the biggest hexagon (which measures approximately 4-4.5 inches before blocking), but hopefully the step-by-step pictures will help you to see how the hexagon looks after each round.


As usual, the pattern is written using US terms.  For this hexagon I used DK yarn and a 4mm hook.

sp = space
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet

Round 1
To begin, ch4 and join with sl st into the first chain to form a circle.

Round 2
Ch1, and work 1dc, 1hdc, ch1 into the circle.  Then work *1hdc, 1dc, 1hdc, ch1*  Repeat between * 5 times - you will have 6 clusters in total.  Join with a sl st into the top of the first ch1.

Round 3
Change colour.  Join your new colour into any ch1 sp.  [Ch1, 2dc, 1hdc, ch1] in the same sp.  [1hdc, 2dc, 1hdc, ch1] in each of the next 5 ch1 sps.  Join with a sl st to the top of the first ch1.

Round 4
Change colour.  Join your new colour into any sp between clusters.  In this round you will be creating the "corners" of your hexagon:  [Ch1, 1dc, ch2, 1dc, 1hdc, ch2] into the same sp.  [1hdc, 1dc, ch2, 1dc, 1hdc, ch2] into each of the next 5 sps around.  Join with a sl st to the top of the first ch1.

Note that this was the point at which I stopped for the smaller hexagons.

Round 5
Change colour.  Join your new colour into any ch2 corner sp (ie: the 'pointy bit' of the hexagons).  Work (Ch1, 2hdc, ch2, 3hdc, ch1) into this sp.  *In the next ch2 sp, work (3hdc, ch1), and into the next ch2 corner sp, work (3hdc, ch2, 3hdc, ch1)*  Repeat between * 5 times.  In the final ch2 sp, work (3hdc, ch1), and then join with a sl st into the top of the first ch1.

Round 6
Change colour.  Join new colour into any ch2 corner sp.  Into this corner sp, work (Ch2, 2dc, ch2, 3dc).  *Into the next 2 ch1 sps, work 3dc.  Into the next ch2 corner sp, work (3dc, ch2, 3dc).*  Repeat between * until the round is finished.

If you want to make your hexagon bigger, just keep going!  Just remember that on each round you want to make a (3dc, ch2, 3dc) cluster into each corner sp, and a 3dc cluster into each sp between clusters along the 'straight' edges, just as you did in round 6:

And there you have it!  These would work great for a blanket, a cushion cover, a bag.... the possibilities are - as they say - endless!  Experiment with hook sizes and yarn weights to find what works best for you :)

ETA: there is now a Ravelry project page for this pattern here

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Granny Pillow

Two posts from me today - I'm feeling all enthusiastic :P

Yesterday I put the finishing touches to my granny squares, joined them together, and used them to make this fab cushion cover :)

I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I just need to find some buttons to sew onto the back and then it's finished.  The flower fabric you might recognise as the same recycled charity shop find I used for the lining of this bag.

I must say thank you to the wonderful Jacquie over at Bunny Mummy for her tutorial.  I made a few amendments (I used a plain white fabric for the section underneath the granny squares, so my cover was made from 3 pieces rather than one), but the tutorial made it all so easy.

Oooh!  And before I forget, I must also say a MASSIVE thank you to all of you lovely people out there.  Eggbirddesigns has now passed 15,000 pageviews!  That's completely unbelievable.  There's definitely going to be a competition or a giveaway to say thank you - I'll let you know about that as soon as I can get it sorted.  In the meantime, if you can put on your thinking caps: what kind of things do you like to see in a giveaway?  What would make you really happy to find in the post?  Leave your suggestions below!  I can't make any promises, but you never know  :)

Much love to you all out there fellow bloggers! x

Trefriw Woollen Mills - A Daytrip

Trefriw, I discovered today, is an absolute marvy place.  The bus journey between there and here is brilliantly scenic - lots of rolling hills and dappled forests and grazing sheep.  No pictures of that I'm afraid, so I'll make up for it by bombarding you with others I took today ;)

But of course, you're here for the wool not the flowers!  ;)

Trefriw Woollen Mills are amazing.  Honestly.  A fully working mill, they're completely open to the public to wander round and see the process of tapestry making from raw wool to carding and winding and weaving.

I was particularly fascinated by the spinning mules, since they were invented by Samuel Crompton in my hometown of Bolton.  More-or-less all of my primary school years were spent learning about how the Industrial Revolution wouldn't have been possible without ol' Sam C.  That's probably not entirely accurate, but it was amazing to think that a lot of my ancestors - right up until my grandmother's generation - would have been working in mills like this one on exactly the same machines.  It was spellbinding to see (and hear!!) them in action :)  Have you ever seen the programme "who do you think you are"?  It felt a bit like that, but if I was Welsh and not Northern...

Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures inside the mill, as I wasn't sure how permissible that was, but I couldn't resist taking this one:

Oh crikey!!  Just LOOK at all those cones of pure wool, spun right there in the same room.  I got quite giddy just at the sight of it all!

And if I thought that was exciting, boy was I happy when I got to the shop!  I really wanted a traditional bedspread (they are seriously gorgeous, but they are also seriously pricey so I'll have to save up).  I settled myself with some wool instead...

And I already have plans :D  I think it'll be perfect for a new pattern I've been contemplating.  More on that to come soon!

I hope that your day has been as happy :)  And if you do get chance to visit Trefriw, I really really recommend it!

Kim x

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Sunsets and Rainbows

Well I finally got round to sorting out a proper header for le blog, which led to me getting a tad carried away and redesigning the whole thing.  I like it though - I hope you do too :)

Alongside blog design, I've also been merrily hooking away with the Stylecraft...

This is the first time I've ever really made anything "production style", and I've quite enjoyed it.  I love that you can quickly build up a rhythm, that the stitches are just there without having to think at all.

You might ask where's the fun in hardly noticing that you're crocheting, because surely the joy is in the process?  For the most part, what I love most about crochet is watching the stitches unfold one by one, and marvelling that this is only one length of string, twisted and knotted into infinite patterns!!  Isn't that ASTONISHING?!

But then again, zero thinking means I have enough brain space to watch programmes like Wonders of the Universe   And it's even more astonishing to think that you can watch Prof. Brian Cox chat about event horizons and spaghettification, and at the same time make 65 colourful little circles and hardly notice that you've done it.  (If you have access to iPlayer, the BBC are currently repeating Wonders of the Solar System too, which I heartily recommend).

Hmm sorry, the geek got turned up to 11 there didn't it?!  Where was I?

Ah yes.  The Blanket.

It's getting BIG.  And even more psychedelic...

(...and more and more difficult to get decent pictures of).

I'm really starting to fall in love with it now.  It's just so bonkers I can't help it!  Although I am secretly hoping that once it's finished and has a wide  W I D E  border to contain it, it might calm down a little bit.  We'll see :)

In other (entirely unrelated) news, I thought I'd share this picture I took the other night

The view from my window seen through a lens.  Isn't it beautiful?  I'm so blessed to live in a place with such brilliant skies.  I love that the flare from the setting sun darkened all the buildings and made the sky the only focus.  And I don't know why, but this photo has captured something I can't explain - something that has made me feel closer to God.  I've been feeling distanced from Him recently, doubting myself and questioning my beliefs, but somehow this sunset reminded me that He is always there waiting for us.  I spose a picture really can speak a thousand words!

Much love to you all
Kim x

Saturday, 9 April 2011

I'm thankful for...

A beautiful day...

...with happy blue views...

...and sploshes of colour...

...and oodles of bright sunshine...

...A toe-tapping tune on play...

...Yarn and hook in hand...

...and Psycho Delic progress...

...what else could I ask for?  Today has been a true blessing.

Much love,

Friday, 8 April 2011

Odds 'n' Ends

What is it about crocheter's collective hatred/fear/denial (delete as appropriate) of weaving in ends?  After my last post, quite a few people responded (quite rightly) that it's best to sew in as you go, otherwise you face the devastating prospect of having to do them ALL AT ONCE.  Lots of people - and I'm firmly situated in this category - consider end-sewing a sort of yarnpocalypse.

It seems odd in a way, because so many crocheters also list sewing in their interests.  I enjoy sewing.  My love of cross stitch at the age of 8 is probably what kick-started all this crafty stuff in the first place.  And yet I find sewing in yarn ends utterly tedious.  Maybe it's because there's nothing really creative involved...  with crocheting, knitting or sewing you watch something grow and take shape.  With sewing in, exactly the opposite happens - you're hiding the progress from yourself.  That's just DULL.

Plus, you're confronted by things like this:

...which is just nightmare material really.

You'll be relieved to hear that I have started the weaving in...

...the rest are just hiding underneath ;)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Psycho Delia

Oh dear.  Blog week didn't go all according to plan here at eggbird did it?  I'm quite sad I missed out, but these things happen.  I wasn't feeling too great last week, and lost interest in a lot of things that I usually enjoy - blogging seemed to be the worst hit.  Sod's law really, but happily I can report feeling much more enthused now and normal service should be resumed forthwith!

The squares you see at the top there are the starting blocks of my new BIG project, which I'm pretty excited about.  But first, I'd like to share a story.

You are of course all aware of the terrible tragedy which happened in Japan.  A couple of weeks ago, a group of Japanese students in Bangor started fundraising for the Red Cross.  They did a really amazing job, and raised an incredible amount.  As part of their efforts, they organised a cultural day: an event to promote Japanese culture which would also raise funds to send to the Red Cross.  My friend Yuka asked if I would like to be involved by crocheting things for people to buy.  Since I only had a couple of days, I needed something quick and simple, so I made some Pretty Little Petals (you can find the tutorial in the sidebar) in the colours of the Japanese flag

We asked only for a small donation for the flowers, but people were incredibly generous.  It was a fantastic day, with so much love and support for the people of Japan and for the Japanese students in Bangor.

And then on the way home from evening service on Sunday, we were approached by a friend of a friend of a friend, who from nowhere asked "are you the girl who makes the flowers?"  That was a strange feeling I can tell you!!  Such a strange coincidence, but it really lifted my spirits when I'd been in need of them lifting.  And now I have another Japan flower made which will be passed via friend via friend via friend to someone I don't know.  Awesome!  Just goes to show that kindness and love is always returned somehow or other when you most need it :)


Psycho Delia - or Granny P. Delia - is finally making progress.  I had so many false starts, I uhm-ed and ah-ed about colour combos (hence the psychedelic reference in the project title), I very nearly gave in and sold off the Stylecraft via Rav (madness I know!!).  But then I looked again at Lucy's Sweet Flower Blanket from which I'm drawing my inspiration, and decided to just GO FOR IT!  Hurray for Lucy, eh?!

Even though I'm joining-as-I-go, the amount of ends already trailing about is really rather frightning!  Good thing I can ignore those for a while then!!

Anyway, I'm very glad to be back in blog-world - now all that's left is to catch up on all of your marvy posts that have stacked up in my reader!

Much love,
Kim x