Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Hundreds of Hexies

Woohoo! It took a little while but I have at last finished the first batch of hexies! At this stage I thought they were the only batch of hexies I’d need – however there was a change of plan somewhere along the line but I’ll tell you more about that later…

Next came the happy task of joining them all together.

I love the colours and had a great deal of fun playing around with their placement. There is so much satisfaction in seeing all those individual elements coming together to create one flat smooth, neatly grafted whole.

Work has been ticking along with this blanket on and off. I’ve been hooking up a hexie or two or joining long and short rows whenever possible.

Rubick is growing fast, almost as fast as the blanket, and is as lively and curious as ever. He still loves sitting on my WIPs any chance he gets, but then I never knew a cat that didn’t!

All those loose ends and oodles of soft blanketty goodness are too much for a fun loving, comfort seeking kitty to resist.

When I do get a cat free moment I’ve steadily crocheted, darned and snipped my way along, squeezing in what I can between my amigurumi designing, taking a row or two to join up wherever I go. There’s been little stacks of hexies in the bedroom, in the studio, on the sofa and even in the car.

Mojo is slowly getting used to having Rubick around. Not so much hissing at each other anymore…

…though there’s a bit of a disgruntled look going on here in the background! Maybe Mojo isn’t quite prepared to make a best buddy of the interloper yet.

I had planned on making a pretty border to round the blanket off nicely but in the end I decided to repurpose it into a covering for the back of my chair. This has to be the easiest bit of upholstery I’ve ever done as all that was required was some firm tucking in of the blanket edges into the creases of the chair and Hey Presto! Just like magic, my chair has had a whole new makeover and looks like a million dollars. Well, maybe half a million, as it is actually only half finished right now.

It’s worked a treat and is a very snug fit. So there was me thinking my hexie project was nearly over when in fact I’m now going to need to make a second piece to cover the seat pad. Good job the daisies are such a pleasure to make. I didn’t waste much time on getting started on the second leg of hexie heaven.

A very long car journey from Worcester to Luton, accompanying my oldest son to his new digs and new job as a graphic designer (woohoo – very proud of him of course!) gave me a great opportunity to get making another batch of beauties.

Sunshine and showers were the order of the day. And what a long day it was.

Sunbeams all morning and a lap full of colour would put a smile on anyones face.

But even a turn in the weather on the way back home may have dampened the scenery but not the spirit.

I was chuffed to bits to get all of my second set of hexies completed and the ends darned in as well. With just enough time left to spend finishing my Caron Cake scarf.

All it needs now are some tassels attached to either end and I have another finished project under my belt (or rather, round my neck).

That was certainly a most mammoth, butt numbing, car journey and I felt really glad to get back home and stretch my legs again. The rain had set in well and truly by now but grey skies are not such a calamity when I have this gorgeously cosy thing going on in the studio.

The cats know it’s the best spot in the house and I have to agree. This really is my happy place and the word blessed doesn’t even begin to sum up how lucky I feel.

I shall continue to combat the rainy day blues by crocheting rainbows. I’m slowly working on yarn bombing every spare square foot of my favorite corner of the earth. Watch out Rubick… you might be next! Wouldn’t he look cute in a little patchwork jumper and a hat?!


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Daisy Chain Holiday Hexies

Thanks to the welcome glut of bank holidays over recent weekends I’ve been able to make lots of progress with my latest blanket.

The carefully stacked hexi kebabs were getting longer and longer…

…until at last I had a basketful, all ready and waiting to be joined together in holy crochet matrimony.

Mojo got involved in helping me decide which order to join the hexies in. I think this blanket is going to prove as popular with the cats as all my other crochet blankets have been!

We eventually settled for this random distribution of colours, taking care that no two hexies of the same colour would end up next to each.

After spending so long on the decision making, I deemed it wise to invest a little more time skewering each strip of hexies onto separate, numbered knitting needles. I had a pretty strong hunch that if I didn’t my beautiful layout would soon be ruined by a playful cat. All those mouselike yarn tails would surely be too much to resist!

Row by row I threaded them onto to knitting needles labelled from one to twenty.

All the fun of joining the short sides of each hexi began with new kitten, Rubick, looking on curiously.

What a lot of hard work he makes of any attempt to crochet! Pouncing on yarn tails while inadvertently digging ten tiny claws into legs, arms and stomach is one of his very favorite pastimes. Ouch!

I sought refuge from such capers by crocheting in my cat-free car whenever possible over both of the bank holiday weekends.

A trip to Malvern amid classic April showers over Easter weekend was the first such break from kitten caring since he had arrived with us days before. I left my middle son and his girlfriend in charge of keeping an eye on him and enjoyed a crochet filled car journey followed by a peaceful stroll around the town centre.

Back at home and time to settle down on the sofa with an Easter egg and a cup of tea. With all the hexagons finally joined into strips, I now had a zillion ends to darn in so was going to need the sugar rush to keep me going!

Middle son and girlfriend had done a splendid job of wearing out the kitten with various fun and games, so the peace continued all afternoon as zonked out Rubick snoozed contentedly under the sofa.

Mojo was glad of the quiet afforded to us by Rubick’s epic nap too. Having a baby fur-brother suddenly invade his house has been somewhat of a test for him but he seems to be taking it a little better as each day goes by, while Pogo and Minnie are still keeping their distance whenever possible!

Slowly but surely I darned in the ends and the strips begin to look very neat and dapper.

The following weekend we took a trip up to Lancashire to visit hubby’s mum. The long car journey gave me plenty of time to pick up where I left off after the Easter break. Even traffic jams are sources of joy (though sadly not for hubby who’s driving) as the longer I’m in the car the more crochet I’m getting done.

See the smug smile on the cactus’ face? She knows exactly how I feel!

The traffic eventually cleared  and our speed picked up to hubby’s satisfaction. After more than two hours in the car most of the yarn ends were sewn in and neatly trimmed, leaving just those at the ends which are going to be used to join the half hexagons that I’ve yet to make, to fill in those half hexagon shaped dents that you get at the end of each row.

To make sure all the rows stay in the correct order I used a big stitch holder, so they can’t get muddled up.

The sun shone wonderfully on us as we reached our destination. A bit of spring sunshine crochet al fresco was just the tonic after being cramped up in a muggy car surrounded by unappealing grey tarmac and petrol fumes.

Due to an over-abundance of paving (hopefully being replaced with something greener this year) my garden at home looks more like a car park than a recreational park so I avail myself of a spot on the luscious lawn of mum-in-law’s garden and sit back to admire the flowers, both crocheted and real life.

Creaky knees being what they are there is only so much time they can handle being crossed legged on the lawn though but, hey – that’s what garden chairs are for, after all.

I happily followed the sun around all day, from one chair to another, chatting, sewing, crocheting, eating, and drinking tea until it was time for the journey back home.

It had been a lovely day spent doing all my favorite things and with plenty of light still left in the late spring evening I couldn’t wait to begin joining the strips together on the journey home.

I’m really happy with the way it’s turning out.

All the time I had to spend away from Rubick was certainly put to best use getting ahead with the blanket as much as possible, but I missed his crazy antics and was more than happy to have my progress slowed again when I got home. I think he’s was pleased to see me, and half of the new blanket, too!


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Summer Fun

Recently I’ve been finding myself craving after hot bright summery colours. Probably due to the almost continual rain and grey skies emanating from above. In a fit of summery over-confidence I recently bought a duvet cover for my outdoor day bed in a multitude of jazzy colours – citrus hues, turquoises and hot pinks , and what a fabulous thing it was to brighten up the yard! I bought a double sized cover to fit a double sized mattress topper but failed to take into account how much larger a duvet is than the mattress it sits upon so I ended up having to cut it down quite a lot and sew up one of the edges. It’s been a while since I dusted off my faithful old Huskystar sewing machine but I soon got the hang of it again.

sewing

Aren’t those colours just so scrummy?

I even had enough off cuts of fabric left to make a few matching cushion covers. As sewing is not my strongest craft, in terms of anything technical, I aimed to make the design as simple as possible and sewed a straightforward envelope back to slip the cushions in and out of come laundry time.

day-bed

The cushions are now a perfect match for the two pillowcases that came with the duvet set, I now have a very comfy lounging area for indulging in my garden crochet time.

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Now it was just a matter of settling in a couple of baskets of yarn along with various crochet projects (and at least one cat).

sunny-day-bed

The addition of a little sunshine is always welcome…

jumping-up

…as is a blanket to finish (so nearly, nearly there at last!)

mojo-and-the-blanket

I’ll finish it when Mojo moves.

mojo-in-the-blanket

No matter, he can have his woolly nest,  I should be working on the chameleon anyway.

shy-chameleon

This is my first attempt, but his face and jaw were a bit heavy. In fact, some insensitive person asked him ‘why the long face?’ which just made him feel very self conscious and sent him scuttling for refuge amongst the yarn.

shy-guy

It’s wasn’t long until the duvet colours had inspired a change of striping on my original chameleon design. I started out with blues and greens but really liked the additional yellows, oranges and magentas of my sewing project and thought they would be a perfect addition to add a bit of spark.

bright-start

The hot bright colours were a joy to work with and as the sun squeaked out of a cloudy gap, I felt like we were experiencing a taste of a tropical Rio summer – just right for the start of the 2016 Olympics.

two-cam

True to the camouflaging nature of chameleons, subsequent incarnations were morphing into something much more in harmony with their surroundings. Chameleon number two also had a cuter, shorter face and things felt like they were coming together just perfectly.

long-tail

I ended up making a few more with different coloured spines. I just love the colour tweaking elements of pattern designing. Re-making each one with a slightly different twist sure helps to brighten up the whole process.

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I have a few more photos to take this afternoon (…please don’t rain!), then I’ll be uploading the pattern into my online shops, and then I’ll be finished with another WIP. I should have lots more fancy chameleon photos to show you in the next post or two. I hope you’ll be more impressed than Mojo appears to be. He loves my blankets but distrusts all my amigurumi. I guess he’s just a jealous guy when it comes to other critters.

mojo-and-the-Chameleon

My Spring Circles blankets and cushions are inching towards completion. I have just a few more feet of the bobble border to finish on the cushions. Then they will match the blanket a treat and my bed will be a crochet haven. I’m planning on taking them down to the river for a photoshoot as my garden is a bit too small with lots of crabby, grubby edges, to do such a large project justice. Sounds like a good excuse for a picnic this weekend anyhow (…please don’t rain!)

old-and-new-crochet

It was quite satisfying to see how my latest crochet cushions complement my very first granny square blanket – started this time four years ago during the 2012 London Olympics – oh my, how time flies.

bobble-edge-cushions

So far the bobble trim is crocheted all around the Spring Circles blanket and onto two of the three cushions. I added some extra stuffing to the cushions as well. There’s nothing worse that a saggy pillow that doesn’t stand firm and show off all that lovely stitching and finishing!

So, lots to do, including the hare’s head trophy, an owl pattern for a new Zoomigurumi book and the princess pattern that keeps on getting sidelined, some proofreading and my brand new polka dots blanket, which started out like this…

polka-dots

…and  is now looking more like this…

blanket-strips

I think this last one could be the perfect project for keeping hands busy while I watch this year’s Olympic Games during my tired out evening slumps. Right, now let’s get some medals, or rather, let’s watch some other people get some medals. Personally I’m too obsessed with my crochet to have a go myself.

I’m quite happy to loll about on the day bed and watch the action from my ipad while hooking up a round or two more of whatever it is that comes to hand.

chameleon-and-flowers

(Oh, and please don’t rain…did I mention that before…)


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Autumnal inspiration

There’s been plenty to stir the senses again this autumn, so as we head into winter I thought I’d share a few of the things that have been fun to do over the past couple of weeks. There was the usual collecting of goodies and making them into something tasty. The blackberries are still filling up a large part of my freezer and the apples are still being picked from our tiny, but very fruitful tree. Lob both ingredients into a pan with a tablespoon of sugar and you get this pinky-purple scrumptiousness…

pie-filling

…just waiting to be turned into a blackberry and apple pie. A yummy breakfast made yummier with fresh apple slices and a bunch of grapes from the vine. Most of the grapes are fermenting gassily in a big tub ready to be turned into Chateau Holmes 2015 wine but there are a few more bunches left yet, for the blackbirds and me.

Breakfast

One of my favorite snacks for this time of year is roasted pumpkin seeds and with lots of pumpkins to get through there’s been no shortage of these crunchy nibbles for salad and soup sprinkles or just for plain old snacking. Here they are before and after they got a good roasting.

pumpkin-seeds

I think these were my tastiest yet. The secret is to leave some of the pumpkin flesh on – don’t rinse them clean first. I swooshed them around in a little olive oil, and a pinch each of celery salt, smoked paprika, cumin and turmeric. I think that’s probably not a totally bona fide authentic spice mix – more along the lines of some weird and totally made up ‘fusion’ cooking, but it worked for me!

The glory of roasting pumpkin seeds is you can have fun experimenting with whatever is in your spice rack and see what you prefer. Better than a packet of crisps to munch on, any day!

pumpkin-seeds2

To satisfy my sweet tooth I made a couple of pumpkin pies too. My favorite being a recipe by Abel and Cole which was more of an egg custard type thing but with a very definite pumpkin hit to the tastebuds.

Now I will be the first to admit it’s not going to win any awards for its physical beauty, but just like people, true beauty is more than skin deep and in the light of that observation this pie is a cracker. What it lacked in looks it more than made up for in taste!

pie-time

Treats at the ready I got a little bit of knitting time in at the kitchen table. As it was a Friday night I ditched the cup of tea and indulged in a glass of Chateau Holmes 2014 wine instead – for inspirational purposes of course.

mitts-and-pie

A very good homemade wine for washing down homemade pumpkin pie while knitting homemade mittens!

pumpkin-pie

I’ve been really enjoying knitting these mitts and have even attempted to write up the pattern, but oh my! It’s a whole different ball game to writing crochet patterns.

Gloves

I think I’ve got a lot to learn yet. I’ve been so obsessed with crochet for these past three years that my knitting skills have become a little rusty to say the least, but practice makes perfect. These mittens were intended as an accompaniment to my Autumn Berries Poncho. The green is a new addition to contrast with the pinks and purples and adds an extra bit of oomph.

Poncho2

A colour combo that was inspired by the yearly show of gorgeously coloured leaves on my grape vine along with the original blackberry and raspberry theme.

Harvest3

Autumn-inspiration

I even managed to squeeze a bit of knitting in during a very chilled out day at a local spa to celebrate a friends birthday. Of course it’s impossible to relax entirely unless there is some yarn involved somewhere! It was quite lovely to sit and knit a few rounds in between swimming, reading, having a slap up lunch, (undoing all the good work from powering up and down the pool!), lolling in the jacuzzi and sweating out the toxins in the sauna. I could get used to this!

spa

The mittens turned out pretty well considering my hands are more usually bent into a shape that accommodates a crochet hook rather than four double pointed knitting needles!

mitts

Love, love, love the colours and I especially like the way the yarn gently fades from one tone to another – just like autumn leaves do – giving each mitten it’s own distinctive look.

vine-leaves

leaves

I did make a few mistakes with this method of knitting in the round. I found it quite difficult to keep the stitches even at the point when you swap needles. I did OK on the knit rounds, but the purl rounds were a bit trickier. I was also pretty good at dropping stitches here and there but I picked them up and fudged them back into the knitting with a semi haphazard kind of technique so maybe no-one will notice except me!

ponco-and-mittens

poncho-mitts

It’s just a case of finishing off the border on my poncho next. That shouldn’t take too long, a few evenings this week ought to do the trick. Hmm, I think I need a matching hat next. But that poses a big dilemma – to knit or to crochet? I’d better go and have a mooch around on pinterest and see where the inspiration takes me next!


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Life is Fruitful

granny-stripe

It’s harvest time again over in my part of the world. Not that I live on a farm or anything but I try to get my hands on a bit of freshly picked produce when I can.

I’ve always loved this time of year with it’s crisp sharp air and bursts of slanted sunshine so I’ve been feeling very satisfied to have found some quality time to enjoy the last snippets of pleasingly mild weather before the big lock down of November, December and January. There have been several jaunts across the fields to collect my favourite blackberries, so abundant, so juicy and so free!

blackberries

I love making the effort to gather these wild berries every year and of course they taste much better than shop bought ones. Well worth the scratches and stained hands that are the inevitable result of hedgerow foraging.

Autumn-Berries

And there is always the bonus of  picking the odd bunch of pretty weeds to grace a rustic corner of a windowsill somewhere. Clover and buttercups mainly, with a few stems of wild grasses thrown in for good measure. Just as pretty as any shop bought flowers if you can cultivate an appreciation for their less cultivated nature.

Wild-flowers

My recently acquired bargain-bin Emma Bridgewater wellies are a bit late for this years festival season but perfect for negotiating muddy potholes and smelly cow pats – the inevitable bedfellows of any serious walk in the country!

Autumn1s

Home from the fields and back into the urban jungle the harvest continues in my modest little garden. there’s no room for an allotment area or anything even close to it but I have had some very gratifying success with my second-year crop of apples. The five that grew last season have been succeeded by closer to 50 this time.

apples-line

They’re quite small and not up to the usual supermarket beauty parade standards but that only makes me love them more! I probably need to do some pruning to maximise next year’s crop, but I’m not sure how so I will be off scouring the internet to look that one up. I don’t have the greenest fingers in the land, but hopefully this little sapling will get the TLC it deserves and not end up consigned to a silent disappearance among the more dominant foliage in the borders – the sort of foliage that has proved it’s survival credentials by actually thriving under my not so vigilant or expert care -or the garden Rambo’s as we like to call them.

apples

Over the years a fig tree, clematis, blueberry bush and some Livingstone Daisies have all mysteriously disappeared from this very spot while I wasn’t looking. Seems like the apple tree might be bucking the trend!

Now the grapes are a different matter entirely. There’s absolutely no stopping them, they’re evidently much more Rambo than Shrinking Violet, and we have fruit hanging from all three walls of my courtyard this year. The vine continues to pour down its bounty on us just outside the back door and is now beginning to display the annual spectacle of autumnal patterns and colours.

agrapes

It’s been nice enough on some days to sit at the garden table and get a bit of hooky in, and with plenty of goodies to keep nature’s own sugar rush topped up I’m a happy bunny!

autumn

It is getting markedly chillier though. But that’s good because the lowering temperatures are inspiring me to push on faster with my new autumn berries inspired poncho.

Autumn3s

Lots of squares have been leaping off the hook during the evenings this past week. I have a full compliment now just awaiting the yarn end darning marathon. Not surprisingly, I didn’t manage to hold fast to my resolution to darn each square as I go. Once I get that hook in my hand I’m an unstoppable crochet machine and just find myself dashing on to the next square as soon as the previous one is finished and tossed into the basket.

Here are a few of the wiggly wormy culprits, waiting patiently in a quiet corner of the lounge, ready for my next spare batch of ten or twenty minutes. Slowly does it, I’ll get there in the end!

Autumn2s

Still, there are worse jobs than sewing in a million ends while enjoying the autumn air and a cake or two with a big pot of tea – a more unhealthy form of sugar rush here, but what the heck. Initially I thought the ghost was looking a bit shocked about the amount of calories on my plate but in retrospect it’s probably because I stuck knitting needles in his eyes.

outside

I’ve also been weaving in at the kitchen table while hubby cooks something delicious on the other side of the room.

aponcho

…Pogo likes to join in when he can…

pogo

Or I’ve been sitting on a squishy sofa with warm feet in fluffy slippers…

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…as a sleepy Mojo gets on with his own type of cosy in the corner. If you can’t wear fluffy slippers then tucking your paws into a fluffy blanket will have to do!

slippers2

This really is the sort of job you can do anywhere, and in little bite size pieces too. I’ve packed a few squares, a tapestry needle and a pair of scissors in my handbag and have so far darned in some ends on the bus, in the car, waiting for a dental appointment and even in the queue at the post office! Though I try to be neat and tidy I think I may have left a trail of yarn ends most places I’ve been in recent days. If anyone wanted to track me down they could probably follow a forensic trail of wool, like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs, right back to my front door. Just as well I’m too busy crocheting to get up to no good. The litter squad might be on my case though!

All that intermittent darning is paying off and I’m around two thirds done with it all now.

berry-squares2

berry

I made some notes for my poncho earlier on so I would know how many squares to make but also to remind myself of the yarn type, weight and shade and the hook size I used. I find it’s all too easy to forget those details after the briefest of time lapses if I don’t scribble it down as I go along.

ponco-map

So far things are adhering nicely to my intended plan and one half of the poncho is ready to be joined. After the monotony of dealing with stray yarn ends, making the finished squares into a useful piece of fabric is always a thrill.

berry-squares3

I can’t wait to be wearing my new blackberry and raspberry poncho. It’s going to be a really warm and toasty addition to my winter wardrobe and will remind me of the autumn sun. I’m going to have many hours of happy hooky, cocooned in there over the next few months, especially as I frugally keep the heating off when it’s just me in the house during the day. I’d better be off then, those ends won’t weave themselves in, more’s the pity.

I’ll be back to share the fruits of my labour with you very soon!

granny-stripe


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Toadstools and Fringes

Hubby and the boys have been off from school/college/work last week. We’ve all enjoyed a home based holiday this time, with a few days out and a few days in. We were all hoping for a full week of bright blue skies but had our optimism rewarded with more clouds, more rain and far less sunny spells than was desirable. On our home days I’ve been dashing out to the garden at every opportunity and dashing in again at the first few spots of rain! It’s been so windy out there but that’s not stopped me getting as much crochet and garden time as I can, and lots of progress was made with the fancy edging to my blanket.

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It’s a cosy project to work on when the weather is less than clement, with me wrapping myself up in the whole thing as I hook my way around the edge. It’s been rather nice to spend this week with all the family about, surrounded by home comforts. I don’t think we’ll be going away properly until the summer heats up a bit. My bones ache just thinking about sleeping under damp canvas with the howling wind that we’ve had plenty of lately, rattling at the guy ropes. Oh I am longing for a bit of warmth and some balmy nights! But while I patiently wait for my dream weather we have the chimenea to keep us warm.

Chimenea

Just what I need as the day gets even cooler while I carry on with the fringed border I’ve finally decided on. As you can see, we have no shortage of old bits of furniture to burn to keep me warm throughout the evening. Those are the remnants of the kid’s wicker toy chests in the background, dumped at the back of the garden a few years ago. It’s certainly time to get rid of them for good now. Though nature and the elements seem to be doing a pretty reasonable job of disintegrating them, we have been enjoying hastening the process by feeding them to the flames. Although it’s sad in some ways that the time for toys is past, It’s heartening to see the boys begin to launch into their own journeys and adventures in life.

I love to sit for hours watching the embers glowing and the flames dancing in the dark. The smell of wood smoke is most delightful, reminding me of the countless campsite and beach fires we’ve lit over the years, in other more exotic, wild and windy corners of the country.

Chimenea2

Crocheting in the dark is a challenge too far however, and so the hook was exchanged for a glass of wine while my creaky knuckles enjoyed a well deserved but reluctant rest from the final round of the blanket. The setting of the sun will not be much of an excuse for long though, as I’ve treated myself to a set of crochet lite hooks, which, as the name implies, light up! How exciting is that!? They will be super-super useful on camping holidays, at festivals and on night time car journeys. I can even crochet in bed while hubby snores away. Oh my goodness, will I ever sleep again?

Crochet-lite

Determined to make the very best of any breaks in the clouds, I packed up a my biggest basket with enough yarn and hooks for a variety of different projects to make my garden-to-house-to-garden hopping easier and faster. Though I’ve inevitably been leaving bits of essential crochet kit in the exact opposite places to where I need them. The solution was obviously to yarn bomb the basket with a bespoke toadstool themed crochet station. From humble beginnings…

Toadstool

To full blown toadstool glory that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale!

Ftoadstool

Two toadstools and a dangling strawberry will keep all my bits and bobs close and handy and stop the pins and hooks and needles getting tangled up and buried among the yarn. Because it’s actually attached to my project basket it won’t get lost or left out in the rain either.

820Toadstools

Every basket should have one!

820Mushrooms2

Now I’ll be able to whiz along with my projects without constantly searching for bits of my kit.

I’m so close to finishing the Mexican blanket now. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s seems to be taking forever. It’s turned into a bit of a whopper and is much, much bigger than I originally intended. This unexpected woolly growth spurt came about because I made the blanket in two separate halves and when I joined them together the whole thing looked way too long and thin for my liking, necessitating the addition of several strips of granny stripe borders down the long side to fatten it up. Then there was the final border to take into account. Not content with a simple shell edge this time I delved deep into this wonderful book by Edie Eckman and, after much deliberation, ended up choosing a border made up of four different rows.

Crochet-Borders-Book

After adding the first three rounds of my chosen border pattern it was bigger still. No surprise there really, the more you add the bigger it gets, not rocket science, I know!

fblanket3

Now there are a humongous amount of stitches to crochet the tassels to. Eek! What was begun by the light of the chimenea is continued by the light of the sun. A tasty apple will surely provide me with enough of a sugar rush to get to the end once and for all…

fblanket2

… or maybe not. There are a LOT of chains and double crochets in the tasseled edge so it’s taking me ages. All the same, I love how it’s turning out and I can’t wait to take it camping with me. I’m going to be having sweet and snuggly under canvas dreams wrapped up in this colourful beauty, even if the summer temperatures stubbornly persist in being on the low side all year.

One short side and two thirds of the first long side finished. There is light at the end of the Mexican blanket tunnel!

Fringe2

Yes, the end is nigh and I’m soooo excited. Barring a major catastrophe, the next time I post I should definitely be showing you the completed article in all it’s stripy, dotty, crazy-fringed, technicolour magnificence!

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When that’s finished I’m going to line my basket with this toadstool print from my fabric stash, then I’m going to finish redecorating the kitchen, but I’m getting ahead of myself again. The blanket’s going to take precedence over everything for the next few spare hours I get. Bring it on!


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A Spring in my Step

Well, we’ve had a mixed bag as far as the weather goes this week so I made sure to make the most of the super warm sunshine that was squeezed in between the grey drizzle and grey skies. I bought my first bunch of spring daffodils during a trip into town on one of the finer days (first time this year without a winter coat on!) Here they are cheering up the bathroom window.

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As pretty as they looked there (admittedly, they’ll look a bit prettier once they’ve bloomed), I had second thoughts and ended up moving them into my studio so I could enjoy them as I work. After all, I spend a lot of my time in this room and I thought their cheery yellow would have a nice effect on my mood whatever the British spring decides to throw at us. Hey, they were only 99p, I might go mad and buy another bunch or two for the bathroom as well!

So on the studio windowsill they went. There was a slight problem with this plan though. The windowsill is usually the territory of my cats, who take turns, particularly when the sun is out, to do a little bit of basking there. It’s nice and close to where I sit –  they do love to have company – and with a great view of all the garden birds, it’s obviously a much sought after spot for a bit of feline rest and relaxation. Mojo soon stepped up to investigate the invasion of his sacred space. First a good rub.

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Then he tried, and almost succeeded, in tipping it over by clawing at it. I only just managed to stop him in time. I really don’t need a big dose of daffodil water all over the studio!

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Mojo’s determined to get to the bottom of this, quite literally!

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As I mentioned earlier, it’s not been all sunshine and daffodils recently. Along with plenty of rain we also had a little hail storm. Naturally I took the baby penguins out for a bit of exercise. They need to run off steam at that age. I’m sure everyone with a toddler knows all about that. These three fluff bundles loved the cold feet treatment.

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I’ll be working on a new pattern for them over the next few weeks. I want to crochet them an igloo to play in as well, so there will be some constructional challenges ahead there, but it should be fun.

It’s been raining again today, and all of last night too, but I enjoyed the taste of spring as and when it graced us with its presence, and hopefully there will be plenty more no coat, blue sky days ahead in the not too distant future.

I suspect you will have noticed that I’ve been dabbling around with my banner and blog backgrounds as it’s not exactly easy to miss! I’ve also cheered up my Etsy shop and Facebook page with the new look. I hope you all like the seasonal spring theme!  Now even if the weather is not to be relied on, it’s always going to be a bright and cheery forecast in Moji-Moji Land 🙂

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With spring  in mind I began work on a set of Easter baskets earlier this week. My main challenge has been trying to find yarn in the exact colours I’m imagining in my head. Here’s a sneak peak at my work in progress. So far, so good.

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But oh! The perils of buying yarn online. I was so excited this morning when the postman brought my eBay bargains. It clearly says ‘Lime’ on the label. And it looked pretty limey and fresh on my computer monitor.  I hoped it would make a really good  grassy effect to finish off the baskets. Well, I don’t know about you but (Health and Safety Note: Please put your sunglasses on before you proceed to the next photo) this is not my idea of what Lime green looks like!

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I’ve photographed my new yarn along with other things I consider to be lime coloured, including an actual lime, for comparison purposes! Even this picture doesn’t do justice to the particular shade of 1980’s, radioactively fluorescent, neon yellow, bile like psychedelia that it actually is in real life.

Ah well, it’s certainly bright, if not particularly beautiful. Having said that, it could make a funky crochet monster, then it might be said to be beautiful after all. I suppose it’s all about context. It’s just not the soft spring green I was after! Back to the drawing board for the rest of the Easter baskets then… Either way I plan to have them finished by next week, I’ll just have to improvise a bit on my initial ideas. It will take a little longer to get them all finished now but that’s just part and parcel of the process really.

At least I have my Mother’s Day gifts sorted. We like to keep things simple around here. Cheap and cheerful is another way of putting it! After all, it really is about the thought you put into things. So I thought long and hard and decided… I would crochet some sunflower coasters – my mum’s favorite flower. I found a pretty bone china mug to sit sweetly on top of them, and some cute buttons too – which I plan to make into a brooch of some sort. A jar of posh coffee and a bar of dark chocolate will finish it all off nicely.

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I made the coasters from a pattern I found in Issue 69 of LGC Knitting and Crochet magazine and I just changed the colours slightly. My next plan is to make a whole batch of them with a bigger hook and turn them into a blanket for my bedroom. I’ve started playing with other colours already, even though I haven’t finished my Mexican blanket yet. I just couldn’t resist a little dabble!

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The two at the bottom right and centre are a rough indicator of the kind of colours I’m thinking of. But before I get too carried away I have to deal with all these yarn ends on this old friend…

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I only need to add two more Granny Square stripes (already made), join the two large pieces together in the centre and, goodness, the end is really within sight now! I may be able to show you the finished blanket next time I’m here. Or I may not, depending on my attention span and my determination not to get distracted, but either way, whether I stick to the plan or not, I’m sure I’ll have something or other to show you!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mum’s out there. Have a great Sunday!