Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Monday Blues (and Pinks and Oranges and Greens….)

How lovely to have a little bit of extra time this Bank Holiday weekend, with family around, intermittent sunshine (a bit more wouldn’t go amiss though!) and some itsy ditsy little crochet projects that I’ve dipped in and out of over the last few days. All just purely for fun. The last Granny Stripe rounds of the Mexican blanket are all done. I really want to finish this once and for all and as I only have an edging border to do now it looks like my many months long WIP will be a WIP no more, maybe even by the end of today! I love this blankets rainbow of colours a bit more each time I pick it up.

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Designed with cheering up the winter months in mind, it’s looking even more gorgeous in the bright late spring / early summer days.

The only problem remains to choose a design to finish it off with. There are so many lovely borders in this book that I’m spoiled for choice, which will probably hold me up a bit as I agonize over which one I like the look of the best!

I also need to decide what to do with all my leftover bits. Looks like I got a bit carried away with those granny square centres.

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I’ve spent some time joining a few together and now I’m thinking of a cushion to match the blanket… This is looking sweet so far.

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It reminds me of Elmer the Elephant. Even the colours are pretty much spot on. It must be an omen! An Elmer inspired cushion it is then….

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We set up a day bed at the top of the garden on Friday evening, initially expecting lots of lazy, loungy and luxurious lolling around in the sun – ever the optimists. Ok, so it hasn’t quite turned out to be the Ibiza type climate I’d hoped for but it’s been quite warm, if a little cloudy, with only one rain shower so far. The new bed area makes for a pleasant spot to sit and think and I hope I’m going to get much more use out of it over the coming months.

Minnie loves it, though I’m a bit concerned for the air mattress with her sharp claws, especially when she’s doing her kneading thing! Lots of layers of blankets are the answer, I think. Good job the new one is nearly finished so I can add it to the pile.

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Minnie appears to be quite interested in the beginning of an improvised crochet project designed to be both useful and pretty.

As you can probably guess, it’s a toadstool inspired piece and it’s turning out just how I wanted, though I’m not following a pattern. I’m not even writing it down as I go along, which is pretty rebellious for me! Sometimes it’s good to freestyle for a while, forgetting about stitch counts and row numbers and just seeing how things turn out. I’ll come back and post more pictures when it’s finished, but for now, it’s Bank Holiday Monday afternoon and the sun is breaking through the clouds and shining through my window…

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I’m off outside again to tidy up the loose ends of the toadstool project and make a start on the final lap of the blanket,

Now to decide whether to settle in at the table…

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Or on the bed… I think the bed wins this time – It does look rather comfy.

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Bank Holiday or otherwise, I hope you’re having fun in your part of the world! See you soon x


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Ready, Freddie, Go!

“Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball (of yarn, naturally)
Don’t stop me now, if you wanna have a good time, just give me a call…
…. Don’t stop me now (yes I’m having a good time)… I don’t want to stop at all… yeah!”

As well as being a famous Queen quote it also sums up how I feel about crocheting generally so you can imagine I certainly had a blast when I was making my miniature version of  Freddie Mercury. A good friend of mine made a special request some time ago and after several months of loitering on the to do list this little project was eventually finished. I loved putting on all the details that really made him special and identifiable. The moustache and hairy chest were the deal clinchers there I think, though of course the signature yellow jacket/white trouser combo helps a lot too!

Freddie - Free Pattern - Moji-Moji Design

I thought it would be nice to put this up as a free pattern with a cheeky request for a voluntary (but by no means obligatory) donation to The Mercury Phoenix Trust to show your appreciation of The Man, The Trust, The Good Cause and The Pattern!

The pattern can also be accessed from my free patterns page but I’ve made it super simple by adding the download button to this blog post too. Just scroll down to get your hands on a copy. It’s got lots of step by step photos so don’t be afraid to give it a go.

But first let me show you some more of Freddie’s classic moves!

What a legend!

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You can easily make a donation to the MPT by clicking the banner below.

xxx Many thanks if you managed to spare a bit of dosh xxx

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Let’s spread the Freddie love all over the planet with the power of crochet!

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Download Freddie Pattern by clicking the button below.

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Don’t forget to come on over to my Facebook Page and share your crocheted Freddie pictures. I would love to see how they turn out!

Here’s a super cool version by Laura Sutcliffe. Isn’t he just FAB?!!

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Come on folks, let’s get a whole bunch of miniature Freddies rocking those hooks!

xxx

(For all you Poldark fans I’m planning on making a Ross doll next. It will be crochet therapy designed to assuage these withdrawal symptoms I’m feeling in the eye candy wasteland between series!)


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Mexican Stripe Basic Stitches

I’ve had a few questions about how I made my Mexican Blanket and which stitches it uses so I thought it would be good to share the basics with you in a little photo tutorial. Here’s a reminder of where I’m up to so far with it. Thought that’s not quite an accurate summary, as I have actually darned in all those ends now and added a few Granny rows down the long sides, but you get the general idea!

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Granny-Stripe-blanket

So here goes! (and please remember all my patterns use US terminology, for the UK equivalents scroll down to the bottom of the free patterns page).

Firstly make your required number of squares by following the first 2 rounds of this Granny Square Pattern – (pictures 1-12). Make sure you leave a 12″ (30cm) tail on the last round of all but one of the squares. These will be used to join the pieces, and because it’s already attached it means a few less ends to darn in afterwards (hooray!).

I’m making a little cushion here, so I’m using five squares in alternating colors.

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Join the squares together using the yarn tail attached to each one. With wrong sides facing, insert your hook through the front loop only of the front square and the back loop only of the back square. Yarn over and pull through all three loops on hook to form a Slip stitch, continue in the same way in each of the remaining 8 front and back loop pairs. (9 Slst made)

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Fasten off and weave in the yarn ends so it’s all nice and neat, ready for the next stage. Set the Granny Square Strip aside for now and begin on the Shell Stripes. Here’s the basic maths straight out of my sketchbook:

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You can make your patchwork piece any width you like. I’m making a small cushion cover here so five squares is plenty. To make yours bigger (or smaller) just make 9 ch for each square you have and add on an extra 2 ch. The last 3 ch acts as a turning chain and are also counted as a dc. You’ll notice there are 4 dc in the first and last shells only and three in the ones in between.

I began by chaining 47 in this example, but however many you make follow this pattern and the maths will still work:

(Make all your stitches in Row 1  in the ‘bump’ at the back of the chain)

Row 1: 3 dc in fourth ch from hook, [skip next 2 ch, 3 dc in next ch] to last 4 sts, skip 2 ch, 4 dc in next ch. Fasten off and cut yarn.

You do end up with  an extra stitch at the end of each row when you come to join it to the Granny Square strip but that  wont notice once you come to put the border on and the extra stitches at either end  mean you can space the sc in the next row evenly. It also gives you a nice extra stitch to crochet around when you begin to make the border later on.

Row 2: Starting at far right of row, join colour 2 by inserting your hook through the space between the first 2 dc, make a slip knot and put on hook, ch 3, [skip 3 dc, sc in next shell space] to last 4 sts, skip 3 dc, sc in space between last 2 dc. Fasten off, cut yarn.

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Row-2b Row-2c

Row 3: Starting at far right of row, join colour 2 by inserting your hook into the first chain space, make a slip knot and put on hook, 3 ch (counts as first dc) 2 dc in same 2 ch space, [3 dc in next 2 ch space to end]. Fasten off, cut colour 3.

Repeat Rows 2 – 3 as many times as you wish, mixing the colours up as much as you like and ending with a Row 3.

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When you have as many rows as you want, line up the joined squares and the stripes with wrong sides facing and crochet the edges of the stripes and squares together with slip stitch in the same way that you joined the squares to each other. Darn in the ends at the back of the work.

Cushion

Finishing Row 1: Join your chosen colour to the space between the topmost 2 dc on the far right and make 3 sc in this space then 3 sc in the same space on each row.

Cushion edge

When you get to the Granny Squares section, sc in the back loop only of all 9 stitches on the edge. Cut the yarn when you get to the end of this row.

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Try not to get mauled if you happen to have to share your crochet obsession with a cat!

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Time to take a break while Minnie has a nap on my handiwork, again!  I took my eye off the ball for a few seconds and I’m way too indulgent to move her. Well it’s the perfect size for a cat nap and I could do with a cup of tea anyway! It will also give me a moment to finish writing this up without too many typos as she’s nearly as fond of lolling about on the computer keyboard as she is of lying on crochet.

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If you look closely you can see that once I finished the row of single crochet down the side I put in a row of 3 dc shells down the long side of the crochet piece.

Finishing Row 2:  Begin at the far right again. Make 3 ch and 2 dc in the second sc in from the edge, [skip 2 st, 3 dc in next st] to end, skipping the very last st. Repeat the whole process on the opposite side and that should really have neatened things up a bit.

I hope that all made sense. It’s very straight forward really, as you can see, though Minnie has done her best to complicate matters!

I’m off to crochet the back now and when I get a chance to snatch the rest of my crochet away I’ll darn in those stray ends and make it into the cushion cover I originally intended it to be. I think Minnie’s going to love it even more once it has a squashy feather pillow inside it!

I’ll be back to share when I’m done. I hope you can join me. xxx

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Update: Minnie’s gone to do her evening prowl of the neighborhood so I get to show you the finished panel now.

Moji-Moji-Cushion


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Yarn Shop Day 2015

Just a quick post to let you guys know that on Saturday 2nd May it’s Yarn Shop Day here in the UK. There are so many fun events going on up and down the country. I’m going to be at Emm’s in Droitwich from 11am to answer any crochet related questions (as best I can!).

You’ll also be able to pick up a free pattern for this cute little mouse which I’ve designed exclusively for this special day. So if you’re in the area do pop in and say hi, and if you’ve got the time I’d love to show you how to make one of your own – (all materials supplied, and all completely free – How good is that?!)

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And for those of you not living in Worcestershire check out the Let’s Knit website for a list of participating shops in your area.

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There’s sure to be something for everybody. You can find more recent Yarn Shop Day news on the LGC Knit & Crochet Facebook page too.

It’s going to be fun, fun fun. I hope you can make it! x


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Gardening Versus Crochet

We’ve had a good dose of sunshine this weekend here in Worcester. It’s been lovely to be able to take some time out and just enjoy the garden for a few days. I began by tidying up a few of the pots and tubs in the back yard. Some of my pansies have survived the winter despite an obvious all out attack from the slugs and snails, leaving the odd patch of bare soil here and there.

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Now you never know with the English climate if this might actually be the only real sunshine we get all year. Then again, we’re just as likely to have a heatwave too but, just in case, I’m taking no chances and getting my quota of sunbeams while I can.

So this weekend I’ve practically lived in the garden. Not to say I haven’t been ‘working’ of course. I’ve alternated short bursts of gardening with much longer bursts of blanket making. Now that’s the kind of ratio of chores to crochet that I like! You can see a visual representation of this in the photo below. A very small bag of gardening tools is dwarfed by a very big basket of crochet. That’s called getting your priorities right!

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On Saturday I tidied up the sunny spot near the back door. Sweeping it clear of last years leaves and squashed up, shriveled grapes (technically raisins I suppose, though I didn’t fancy eating any!) and hunkered down here for a while, much to the disgruntlement of Tigger who prefers to think he owns this bit of bench whenever the sun comes out.

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Though as the day warms up I actually don’t mind a shady spot so I move on over…

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…and Tigger moves on in. I think he’s daring me to reclaim the space but you can see he’s getting quite old these days and I think he deserves a spot of sunbathing on a comfy blanket. He can stretch out in style now!

Tigger

In between the sweeping and the dead-heading good progress was made with my crochet, so I felt very inspired to do the same on Sunday – weather permitting. And permit it did. In fact it was even warmer than Saturday.

The colours in my blanket really look pretty in bright sunshine. I’m suddenly feeling really impatient to get it finished.

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On Sunday I moved up the garden, sweeping a path through yet more leaves and winter’s strewn debris. There were lots of twigs and flower pots everywhere as a result of a spate of strong winds a few weeks ago, but it was worth doing just to sit and admire my handiwork from a new vantage point. This bit of the garden gets a patch of sun into the evening so I’ll be spending some well earned down time at the end of most sunshiny days here, I hope, hooking away at a project or two as the year progresses.

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It’s not long until Tigger discovers the newest desirable residence in the garden! Let’s see if I can squeeze in there as well. I know he likes to sprawl a lot but I think there’s room for two of us.

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Looks like he’s preparing himself to tolerate my company…maybe. Or is that a look of love? It’s so hard to tell with Tigger sometimes.

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Tigger is closely followed by Mojo whose nose looks slightly out of joint by Tigger’s presence on the bench next to me.

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But he patiently waits until the coast is clear and then takes up position, just as the sun comes out again. And here we sit for a good long while, companionably listening to the cathedral bells coupled with the wood pigeons cooing and the seagulls squawking. Very pleasant indeed.

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As a result I have very nearly finished my Mexican inspired striped blanket. I have to join it in the middle either side of the last Granny Square stripe as I chose to work the piece in two halves to make it more portable for car journeys and general out-and-aboutings, of which there have been a few this Easter.

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Monday evening’s work was to join the two and then to decide – to darn or not to darn. You see initially I was thinking of some sort of tasseled border so I could escape my nemesis of hours spent with a tapestry needle. I infinitely prefer the hours spent with a crochet hook instead! But looking at it I figured the yarn ends were a bit sparse to make a decent fringe without adding in a lot more of them to the edges of the blanket.

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It was going to be less time consuming to weave them all in than it would be to cut and trim the rest of the yarn needed for the tassels.

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Besides the edges do look quite raw and a bit wobbly, despite my careful attempts at keeping everything as even as possible so I think the addition of a border of simple Granny Stripes will work wonders. That’s decided then.

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So as the sun begins to sink I make a good start on those pesky yarn tails. Kept extra warm by the return of Mojo who settles down on my lap for another long while.

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Hopefully I’ll be finishing this project off in dribs and drabs over the coming week. I intend to make the most of any more sunshine. It’s been a real pleasure to work in good light for a change. This blanket was started as a winter cheerer, an antidote to grey days spent in woolly jumpers, and dark evenings tucked up indoors, curtains drawn, lights down low and heating up high.

Here are the yarn tails I’ve dealt with so far, now I’ve just got the same amount to do on the other side and then on with the final border.

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I’m glad that on closer inspection in the harsh light of day there are not too many mistakes or miscounted stitches. Those that are there don’t notice much anyway when you look at it in all its glory. It even looks pretty neat on the back as most of the darned ends are at the edges. I can’t wait to show you the finished thing!

It’s getting chilly again as I head in and call it a day. The view west from my garden is gorgeous with the wispy clouds and gentle glow that heralds the end of another lovely evening.

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I feel very lucky to have such a pleasant little spot to spend my time in and the sunset behind the cathedral is the icing on the cake, even if I have to stand on tip toes and peek over the fence to actually see it!


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Billy and Betty Bunny

Hello everyone!  It’s been another busy holiday week with lots of distractions but I’ve managed to finish up a new pattern that I’d love to share with you all :-) So let me tell you a little bit about these two rabbits…

Billy and Betty Bunny are the proud owners of Warren Farm where they take great delight in growing the best carrots and berries in the county. You can tell from their rosy cheeks and sparkly eyes that they get plenty of fresh air and exercise.

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Riding around in the tractor is one of their favorite things to do and every week they visit the local market where they open a stall to sell their cakes and eggs and swap spare carrots for lettuce and radish and bottles of freshly pressed celery juice. Working and playing outdoors all day, along with eating a barrow full of vegetables, means they’re very healthy bunnies – although they do look forward to a good old fashioned tea party every now and again, like this one they had at Easter where chocolate and cake were on the menu in abundance!Bunny-Easter-Party

Carrot cake is their very favorite of course, and no-one bakes a better one than Billy. He also makes a legendary strawberry cake and often makes a batch of both to sell at the market.

Billy is in charge of the carrot fields and fruit crop, and as you can see, he makes a very good job of it. He’s got carrots, strawberries and blueberries galore to pack up and take in to town this week.

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Betty’s speciality is looking after the chickens and talking to them sweetly so that they lay lots of eggs. Some of the eggs were hatched into baby chicks this spring and cheeped and chirped and flapped around poor Betty until she promised to take them to market for a day out.

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In all honesty, the journey was a little bit too much for them and Betty ended up shouting that if she had a penny for every time they asked ‘are we there yet?’ she wouldn’t need to work on the stall at all because they would be millionaires by now. Of course she immediately felt bad for losing her temper and promised that she would buy them a whole bucket of corn when they did eventually arrive, but only if they would please just keep a little bit quieter.

The little chicks were as good as gold after that and even helped Betty and Billy set up the stall ready for the customers.

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Better get that bucket of corn. A promise is a promise after all. Farmer Snow owns the corn fields around here so off they go to find him. Before he can even finish shoveling out Betty Bunny’s order the chicks have jumped straight in and made a terrible mess. You can’t take them anywhere!

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Billy and Betty are used to their high spirits though, and console themselves with the fact that the chicks should sleep well on the journey back home.

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They do indeed nod off almost as soon as the tractor engine starts up. There’s not a peep out of them for the entire journey. At home at last, and they cant wait to jump into bed and snuggle down in the hay with their bellies full of the finest corn Farmer Snow had to offer.

I expect you can guess from looking at the empty market stall behind Billy that today was a great success. Now this pair of hardworking rabbits can put their feet up for a pleasant hour or two, chatting about the day, nibbling radish and sipping a nice big glass of celery juice. They sure are living the good life!

Well, it’s Friday, so I hope you all have a glass of your favorite tipple and a tasty treat waiting for you after your busy week too.

(Billy and Betty Bunny pattern is available here and the patterns for the baby chicks and the cupcakes are both available for free here)

Enjoy your weekend folks!

See you next time x


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Pretty Pastels

It’s been an out of the ordinary kind of week this time. Two boys off from school and college for the Easter holidays and one back from Uni. How lovely to see a bit more of them for a change, chatting over tea breaks and meal times and enjoying the odd trip to town and the cinema. But equally nice to just know that they’re around and about in the house, doing their own thing and being independent teens. That means that I get my free time too for a spot of crochet or a bit of Easter decorating.

My bunny sketches are transforming into their yarn equivalents very pleasingly. I’ve worked out the basic pattern and now have all the fun of experimenting with colours. I prefer to finalize the details with hook and yarn as I go along, but these finished dolls are going to be a pretty close match to these doodles, more or less – except for the ears, and the collars and the carrot buttons!

The proportions are going to be roughly the same anyway…

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I have a lovely work basket full of soft spring pastels to play with for the bunny outfits. I was hoping to have this pattern finished by now, but spending the extra time with the boys was fun and I know that’s not a decision I’ll live to regret. Anyway, bunnies aren’t just for Easter, they’re for life and I’m sure these bunnies will love to be treasured all year round. Well let’s be honest, who wouldn’t?

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Lots of buttons and beads to play around with as well. Another part of the design process that I love, though I usually end up keeping it simple, I like to assess all the options and use it as an excuse to have a nosey through my many boxes of notions and nick-nacks.

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I really enjoy making double patterns as it gives me more scope to expand my ideas, and I have the added bonus of knowing my creations have a trusty friend to call their own! Boy bunny is looking snazzy all dressed up in blue and lemon but I’ve become a bit obsessed with pink and aqua at the moment so that’s what girl bunny will be wearing. I’ve been happily pinning gorgeous images, devoted exclusively to that colour combo over on Pinterest. Here are just a few of my favorites…

PinkAquaInspiration

You can find these lovely images (from left to right) on these equally lovely websites:

vintage-home.co.uk    houseofturquoise.com

cocorosetextiles.blogspot.co.uk     ana-rosa.tumblr.com

I’ve been experimenting with putting various hues of pink and aqua together, for fun and inspiration, trying out bits of yarn here and there, to get the shades a picture perfect match to the hues dancing around in my head. Those little Granny Squares in the middle are the very beginning of another big project. This one will be a soft, squishy coverlet for my bed. Just a few more rows to finish on the Mexican blanket and then I can give myself full permission to go tumbling head over heels on this new adventure.

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As busy as this week has been there was a little time left over to decorate my Easter tree, so I went about carefully unwrapping my collection of festive eggs and hanging them from these twiggy boughs. With the addition of my recently crocheted micro chicks and eggs (free pattern here) I think it looks just grand. It will have pride of place in the center of the kitchen table for the next few days at least. Although it may turn out to be longer, after all I still have some snowflakes hanging up from Christmas in the bay window!

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Just time to tidy up the mess I’ve made and then I’m going to sit down and admire my handiwork.

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There’s a chocolate bunny whose been earmarked, or maybe I should say earlopped, to enjoy with a cup of tea. I reckon I’ve earned a treat, and its only a few hours until Easter Day!

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Enjoy your weekend folks!

And for those who celebrate, have a Happy Easter.

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xxx

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