Hello again. Given that there are 52 weeks in a year, it makes sense that I should aim for roughly 1 item per week on my 50 list. This week's New Thing was to learn to crochet, although I have to confess that I actually started this over the Christmas holidays. I was taught to knit at an Irish wake when I was about 7 years old and have knitted the odd item (very odd on occasion) over the years, but this was to be my first attempt at crochet. A very nice American lady called Yolanda thoughtfully provided a You Tube video to help crochet virgins and it did take me rather a while to get the hang of it. I also found that, having watched the video multiple times, I was counting stitches in my head in an American accent. I bought 4 rather muted colours of wool and crocheted 32 granny squares in various combinations until I had a cushion's worth. The result is shown below. I have rather mixed feelings about it: I'm quite pleased with it because it was my first attempt and I actually persevered and finished it but, if I'm honest, I'm not too keen on the colours.
I then discovered a brilliant website called Attic24 whose author, Lucy, makes beautiful, colourful crocheted blankets. Inspired, I promptly beetled off to my local yarn shop and had a lovely time choosing a slightly more adventurous combination of yarns. Following Lucy's pattern for Granny squares (she produces a tighter square by leaving out the chain stitches at the sides) I started on my first blanket. I also followed her tutorial for 'joining as you go' which stops the tedious business of stitching large quantities of squares together at the end and, I have to confess, I'm completely hooked (if you'll pardon the pun). It's so relaxing and, now that I don't have to concentrate so hard, I can sit and watch a film in the evening whilst happily hooking away. The photo below shows the work in progress. As you can see, it's slightly more colourful than the above cushion cover. I'll show you the finished blanket when it's ready, although it may take me a while!
I also thought I'd quickly show you a few photos from my trip to the V&A on Monday. I met up with an old school friend and we had a lovely catch up in between school runs. If you're ever in London, I can definitely recommend it. Free entrance, fantastic exhibitions and a cafe with coffee and cakes to die for. They also go in for quirky lighting and I loved the juxtaposition of the beautiful, old building and funky, modern lights. The ones in the cafe are like huge Christmas baubles.