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The past two years have been all about adjusting to motherhood and finding my way through it via craft. The out pouring of this came in the form of my blog Aunty Mum. Now I'm finally finding my feet, the children are growing, I'm getting some independence and my interests are morphing . . . into cooking. Join me in exploring creativity in many forms, food, fabric, frowns and laughter.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What's on your bedside table?

I know I've already posted today, but this is probably the last chance I have to share a couple of things before we head off on holiday early Saturday morning. The house is quietly full of sleeping children, I've escaped the dark and the biting bugs outdoors where I've been crocheting away the last of the day and I just wanted to do this before I settled down for the night.

I was given some book vouchers for Christmas and these usually freak me out because there are just so many books out there that I want and can't choose between them. This time, however, there was no competition. I put my vouchers towards Julie Goodwin's latest book. I've spent the afternoon taking quick flicks through when I've had a moment but tonight it's beside my bed waiting for a proper peruse.

Beside my bed I also have a Ken Follett novel that was given to me (another pass-it-along book). I've never read one of his before but am quite enjoying it. I quite love books of intrigue and mystery (I have been known to secret a Miss Marple in my handbang from time to time). And beneath that is my trusty old student Bible. It's way easier to read than the fancy pants New King James that I have, leather bound, red and glorious. There's a story to why I even have one but that's for another time. So that's my current bedside collection. What treasures do you have beside your bed?

I also wanted to share an update on the baby blanket I've been commissioned to make. Now you must accept the fact that it's currently higidly-pigidly as it's very much in the process of conception and will look far better on completion (I'm hoping), but I wanted to share a couple of little things I do when making a granny square that apparently aren't necessarily common and they make life way easier.

1. Unless I'm putting a whole lot of stitches into a starting ring, I don't even bother making a ring. To make this flower I chained 7 which is equal to a double crochet and 2 chain. Then make a double crochet into the first chain stitch make (ie 7 chains away from the hook), chain 2 and do this six times. Chain 2 and slip stitch into the 3rd chain of starting chain 7. Slip stitch into the first 2 chain space, chain 1 and make 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc and repeat these stitches in all eight 2 chain spaces ending with a slip stitch into the first single crochet and fastening off. The centre of the flower is tiny and so much neater than a big hole in the middle of a flower.

2. I always start and finish my squares at a corner and there's a truly simple way to do this.

Let's assume you're making a granny square without a flower:

Ch 4, 2 dc into the 4th chain from the hook. [Chain 2, 3 dc into the same chain as previous shell] 3 times, you will have three corners and one loan shell.
Now the next part depends on how many chains you put into your previous corners. Because I've specified 2 chain the last corner (joining where you originally started) is a hdc (half double crochet) into the 3 chain of starting chain 4. If you had 3 chain in the corners then you would make a double crochet and 1 chain would be a single crochet and so on.

To start the next round, chain 3 and 2 double crochet around the hdc you've just made to finish the previous round.

I prefer to make my granny squares this way because it means than I don't end up with a kink one side of the square when I fasten off. It's neater and less fuss.

If you haven't used either of these methods, try them out. You may find you'll never go back.

Well, that's all from me for now. Hopefully I'll be able to share a beautiful and complete baby blanket when I return from our holiday (one of the key reasons I'm dragging my mum and dad along is so that they can amuse the children while I work . . . no not really, but it'll sure help). There will be the usual plethora of holiday snaps to go through and share one or two of. I wish you all the best until we meet again.


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