Well it was wonderful reading all your opinions about leaving comments on blogs and moreover hearing from many of you who took the opportunity to delurk. The last post and your comments really made me think about why I have a blog and what I get from it.
I know that having a blog has really pushed and encouraged my creativity. Through blogland I've discovered new ideas, skills, patterns and inspiration. I might have tried some of these if I didn't have a blog but actually because of the blog I've tried them all and that's partly down to the encouragement I've received from my readers. However, I've never wanted my blog to be just a showcase and I've noticed that personal opinions and things about my life have crept in more and more. For me blogging is a conversation and not a performance. I don't blog to get your applause - I blog to share and connect.
Well this all leads me rather nicely to today's post which is a pattern I want to share with you. Earlier this week I decided to clear out my favourites folder on the computer - and boy was that a task. If I see anything interesting I tend to save it - so it was time to sort out and get rid off and cut down. In the process I printed off a couple of patterns that I'd saved and one of them was for some Beaded Jute Baskets here. I took a fancy to these and on the way to school one afternoon I discovered a ball of jute twine in the local gardening shop - so without knowing what thickness I needed I bought it.
Now I've mentioned before that I cannot read patterns so I got Amber to show me the basics (after which the pattern made sense to me!) and here's what I produced - four lovely jute baskets to store my earrings, the yo-yo's I've had on the go for months, Amber's clips and hairbands and some shisha mirrors:
Here is a close up of them. Click on each pic to get a bigger view:
Now don't go looking at my stitches too closely will you? I added beads as with the pattern but I only seemed to have tiny beads so had to make do with those.
This was a really quick and easy project and I learned something new and got to understand some new crocheting terms. Amber thinks I might even be able to make an amigurumi animal if I can make these.
If you fancy having a go yourself - and I really do recommend it - I've taken a few pics to help you. The pattern itself only has pics of the finished baskets. Firstly, the stuff I used was this:
The pattern says to use 2 ply jute and this is 3 ply. Looking at the baskets (in the pattern) I'd say the stuff she used is thicker than mine but I'd bought it already and decided to make do. I used a 5mm crochet hook cos that's all I had but I could have gone a bit bigger. 7mm was too big - I tried - so maybe 6mm would be fine aswell.
The whole thing is made with single crochet and the increases are just going twice into one stitch. So firstly you crochet the base like so:
and then you build up the sides:
that's the first row of the side and before you know it - it's finished:
For some reason mine do not look anything like the pattern but I don't care - I like them - so there. It's probably because the jute I used is thinner which makes the baskets less sturdy. So if you want them sturdier you'll need thicker jute. All in all a quick activity - well it was quick once I'd mastered it and cheap - the jute cost £3.50 and I've made five baskets (fifth not pictured).
Incase you're wondering I felt so confident after basket number two that I improvised a bit on the next ones. I wanted them to be wider and shallower so I crocheted an extra round on the base and stopped working after row 10. Finishing off with round 14.
So there we have four very useful little baskets for one's clutter. Give it a go yourself - it's fun.
It promises to be very warm this weekend - hurray - so we're planning on having a camp fire in the garden tonight. Food cooked outside always tastes so much nicer doesn't it? I'm hoping to pack 'em all off to the outdoor pool tomorrow morning so I can do some dyeing - as you know I've only done yellow and brown so far.... I've been distracted by strawberries and jute baskets it seems.
Before I go I have to tell you about a beautiful sight I saw yesterday. I had just stepped out into the garden yesterday morning when something huge flew across to one of our trees and landed there. About a minute later it flew back and I realised that it was an owl. A beautiful tawny coloured owl. I only saw it for a matter of seconds really but I just stood rooted to the spot. It was so beautiful. Now I've seen owls before - tame ones but I felt blessed to have seen this one. It was almost as if it was revealing itself to me - it's the one that hoots each night from my neighbours wood. Soppy aren't I? I do the same if I ever spot a fox, deer or badger around here.
Hope you all have a great weekend my dear readers......................