Good things and happy times

Thing the first.

CRAOL Achievement Awards 2014 - SOTR (2)

The documentary I was involved in producing, which was pitched by Martina O’Brien (former Wired 99.9FM Station Manager) and edited by Aidan Long (current Station Manager), won a CRAOL award :)

The documentary aired in 4 episodes and focused on the lives of LGBT people living in Limerick.

Each 30 minute show has its own theme.

The judge said it was an “outstanding programme. Excellent social awareness and analysis”.

Colour me delighted!

You can see a list of all the winners here.

So who are CRAOL?

In a nutshell (as per their website) -

Craol is the representative, co-ordinating, lobbying, training, and support group for the Irish Community Radio Movement.

The CRAOL achievement awards were started in 2007 as a way for its member community radio stations to showcase their work.

Moral of the story?

When you access third level education be sure to get involved with your student radio station (and any other club or society that you fancy). At the very least, you’ll learn some basic media skills, and you never know, you might even help your station to win an award. I didn’t study media and some of my best college times have revolved around Wired 99.9FM. Not going to college? Then get involved with your local community radio. It makes listening to commercial radio a more interesting experience when you have hands on “behind the scenes” experience.

Thing the second.

I’ve been accepted onto a course that I really want to do. It starts tomorrow at 9a.m. – which means that I really need to get this blog post wrapped up!

Thing the third.

I won an Instagram competition! :)

Thanks to Taiga Hilliard I got to choose a skein of her wonderful One of a Kind Knits (OOAKK) yarn and a pattern of my choice from her online store Cashmere Junkie.

I shall blog more on my prizes when I receive my lovely yarn in the post and can share photos with you.

I’m a very happy knitter. :D

Right, I’ve got to stop typing and head off to get some sleep before my hectic week.

Happy crafting.

 

 

 

Giveaway results

Apologies that I’m a little late with this.

Nana duties trumped my blog.

Anyhow, I have had four lovely people comment on my In Celebration post and enter my first ever giveaway.

Thank you Molly, Paula, Purr and Lui. :)

Seeing as you all made the effort to comment I’ve decided that you shall all get something.

As Lui had a stated preference for the beanie only she shall get the beanie. Let me know where to post it Lui :)

As Molly, Paula and Purr all opted for babywear (or beanie), you shall each get an item of babywear.

There’s the verterbrae cardigan for Molly

Vertebrae cardigan and log cabin squares 001

There’s Soft and Sweet for Purr

Loudcrafts & Wyatt 051

And Mellow Yellow (Ducky optional) for Paula.

Wyatt Week 2 008

How about that? The giveaway where everyone wins :)

Can Molly, Paula, Purr and Lui please send me an email to loudcrafts AT gmail DOT com with details about where to send your goodies?

Thanks!

 

Blue Triangular Shawl: The Sequel

The tale of this shawl goes back to 2012!

You can go see for yourself here.

My lovely friend Sarah gifted me a ball of Creative Yarns (UK) Reflections Classic Collection – Shade 105 Dye Lot 39666.

I still remember how absolutely delighted I was to receive it as I had been eyeing up a similar colourway in a different yarn line at the time. It’s like she was reading my mind! :) Awesome friends are awesome. Little did she know that her gift of yarn would keep me occupied in 2012 and in 2014.

Quick & Easy Scarf 003

My first play with this yarn was in following a pattern found in one of my many knitting magazines. In this case, an issue of Simply Knitting (pictured above).

Quick & Easy Scarf 004

I had so much fun seeing the colour graduations appear as I knit. Unusually for me, I followed the pattern as it was shown. However, this led me into difficulties as you can read here. There was an error in the pattern. The Making Spot (now sadly defunct) was able to help me out by providing me with an amended version of the pattern.

 

As you can see, following the pattern, amendments and all, left me with a rather petite shawlette. I was so delighted to be finished the project that I left it as was and decided that if I knit the shawl again that I would add in more repeats in order to make it bigger.

Jasper Hoodie and Blue Shawl 005

Time went on by, as it is wont to do, and I found that my lovely looking blue triangle wasn’t getting any wear. It just wasn’t long enough to be feasible for me to wear in the way that I generally use shawls. So, with exams looming I decided that it was the perfect time to undo the cast off, place the stitches back onto a circular and add those repeats in order to make it longer.

 

Quilting Techniques and Blue Shawl 027

 

Adding those repeats made me feel a whole lot better about my abilities as I faced into my exams. There’s nothing like craftwork to remind a person that exams aren’t everything and that grades aren’t everything. I’m still a capable crafter (even if my mind doesn’t retain all the the information available to me in my notes about Transactional SQL).

Quilting Techniques and Blue Shawl 028

 

It’s a grand size now and I got to wear it, feeling ridiculously warm, on my way to my 2nd last exam.

(Please ignore the state of the car. I try my best to do precisely that).

Quilting Techniques and Blue Shawl 029

My exams are all done and dusted now and so is my Blue Triangular Shawl (for the second and final time).

Happy crafting from Squidge and me :)

Happy crafting from Squidge and me :)

Oh, by the way, I have another lovely friend (I’m lucky with my friends :) ) called Hazel who will be on the Great Irish Bake Off tonight. You can see more here. I’m totally #teamhazel

 

A better view

As I couldn’t find the previous photos that I had taken of Wyatt in the cardigan I figured a photo shoot was in order.

It's a jaunty little number for casually sitting on a canon

It’s a jaunty little number for casually sitting on a canon

 

You can see from this picture that the extra length nicely protects the back from “catching a chill” as my grandmother would say.

It also means that the cardigan is less liable to bunching up under little arms (or maybe I’m just a klutz when it comes to picking up babies).

A view from the back

A view from the back

 

In Celebration Photoshoot 010

It’s perfect layer to have on while baby enjoys tummy time unhindered by buttons.

When I’ve brought Wyatt on walks in the carrier this has been a nice layer to keep his shoulders and back toasty.

He still sits facing me so his chest is always snug. He snuggles forward when he sleeps and that’s when this design comes in very handy for keeping his back warm.

 

In Celebration

….of the fact that this is my 200th blog post I am going to give away two of my knitted items.

First up – A Vertebrae Cardigan from a design by Kelly Brooker.

Vertebrae cardigan and log cabin squares 001

It’s made from Sirdar Snuggly Crofter Baby Fair Isle effect DK yarn and edged with a cotton yarn (the details of which elude me).

Dublin Pride & July Start 045

It’s been tried and tested by my favourite little knitwear model. It’s meant to fit a baby up to 10lbs. Wyatt’s bigger than that now but it still fits him. I think it’s a gender neutral colourway. My daugher disagrees. Oh well. We both agree that the colourway does nothing for his colouring though.

It’s a grand design for throwing on over a long sleeved vest or a babygro. There are no buttons to fiddle with. I made it long so it reaches down past the lower back to keep baby nice and snuggly.

Wyatt Week 7 049

I’m sure I have a better picture of him wearing it……somewhere.

 

The second item is a black beanie with a varigated band of colour.

Cornice Number Three 047 Cornice Number Three 049

It was made for the Teen but she hasn’t worn it since this photo was taken. According to my instragram account it was taken 55 weeks ago. She’s had over a year to wear it. I think it’s about time that it found a new home with someone else.

The black yarn is a mystery to me but it is lovely and squishy and I’m fairly sure that it’s a 100% acrylic. It’s knit in a 2×2 rib so it’s got a lot of give.

The varigated yarn band is Colinette Jitterbug and the colourway is Jewel 54. It’s a 100% merino.

If you would like to take part in my little giveaway here’s what you need to do:

1 – Leave a comment on this post with either “Vertebrae”,  “Beanie” or “Vertebrae and Beanie” to let me know what item(s) you’re entering for.

2 – One entry per person per item

3 – You have until Friday 23rd May to enter. I’ll pick two names out of the hat on Saturday morning and announce the winners on the blog.

4 – You can enter from anywhere in the world. The items are light so the postage is on me.

For those with animal dander allergies – Please note that while these items will be freshly laundered before being sent to the winners –  I live in a house with a cat and a dog who are both very generous with their fur.

This time last year…..

….is when my grandson started to become a twinkle in my daughters eye.

She’s just after stating that Riverfest just won’t be the same anymore.

That’s true.

It’s at this time of year that Wyatt was conceived and now it will be remembered as the time of year that his father passed away.

A teething 12 week old and a grieving young mother do not make for an easy combination.

Not to mention the fact that it’s a week before the start of my final year exams!

I usually go to Limerick Stitch’n’Bitch on a Sunday but have stayed home to help with Wyatt and to just “be there” and listen.

 

Feeling fairly helpless to make things better (it’s not a situation that I can control so I had to find something that I could positively control)  I set about tidying and doing laundry (when Wyatt wasn’t munching on my thumb).

While sorting through what could go in the next wash, I came across one of the two pairs of jeans that I’m comfortable wearing.

They’re so comfortable that I’ve worn them through.

While ripped jeans are all the rage, these rips are placed where I feel less than confident about flashing flesh.

(Let’s just ignore the fact that these are the very same ripped jeans that I wore to Steve’s memorial service. I felt less than comfy in the line we formed to light candles in his memory).

Anyhow.

 

Mending jeans 001

Quite the sizeable rip, right?

There was a sizeable rip on the upper, inner thigh of both pants legs.

Faric scrap stash drawer. Yes, I have one of those now.

Faric scrap stash drawer. Yes, I have one of those now.

 

This may look like a stash of useless bits and pieces – but it’s totally not.

It’s a drawer of potential.

Mending jeans 003

Cotton fabric left over from making the calico tote with the patchwork pocket

 

This leftover scrap of cotton fabric is the means by which my jeans were to become respectable attire once more.

 

Bondaweb

Bondaweb

 

The white paper type article in the picture above isn’t just a sheet of waxy paper. It’s Bondaweb.

Bondaweb is a double-sided adhesive. It’s backed on one side with waxy paper.

The glue side (which is dry and unsticky to the touch) is ironed onto the fabric you want to apply something to.

In this case, my jeans. The something that I wanted to apply was the scrap of fabric.

Strips of Bondaweb laid around the rip

Strips of Bondaweb laid around the rip

 

I cut strips of Bondaweb from the larger sheet and laid them around the rip in the jeans.

Glue side down and waxy paper side up.

A hot iron was used to activate the glue by pressing down on the paper.

It only takes a few seconds with a hot iron.

The Bondaweb strips after being ironed.

The Bondaweb strips after being ironed.

The next step is to peel the layer of paper away from the layer of now activated glue.

Can you see them? The faint lines of white around the rip.

Can you see them? The faint lines of white around the rip.

Part of the glue has melted and been affixed to the jeans material. The part that was just under the paper has yet to be activated.

I placed the scrap of fabric onto the rip making sure that the Bondaweb strips were covered by the scrap fabric. The fabric was placed right side down against the wrong side of the jeans – this is so that when worn, the right side of the fabric will be visible through the rip.

I used the hot iron again to activate the upper layer of glue. The fabric was now fairly firmly attached to the inside of my jeans.

I think you can just about make out the fabric in the pictures below.

Mending jeans 008 Mending jeans 009

As I used three smaller pieces of fabric on one pants leg, I chose to stitch these pieces together so that they would be more secure and so that they would lie flat and not annoy me while I wore the jeans. There are a few stitches of green embroidery floss visible on one pants leg as a result.

No one will spot them though…….unless they’re staring at my inner thighs (which will warrant an explanation as to their intentions towards me).

Thank goodness for the ability to control small things and create positive outcomes.

My baby and her baby are curled up together sleeping on our battered but comfy couch. The very picture of love.

Wyatt now no longer has a father he can get to know as he grows older (and he isn’t acknowledged by his fathers immediate family) but he does have a mother (and a wealth of other people) who shower him with love and will continue to do so.

I’m very glad that my daughter has her son and that he has her.

Wyatt is the reason that she’s eating and the reason that she smiled through her tears today.

Sleep is a wonderful thing

Sleep is a wonderful thing

Life is the ultimate rollercoaster.

Potential

One of the reasons that I (am obsessed with) like  crafting so much is that sticks, string and sundry other notions may be transformed into a myriad of items that may range from being useful, beautiful, kooky, comforting, thought provoking, soothing, community building or any mixture of those things.

There’s a world of potential in these pictures.

Some of the items in the pictures have fulfilled their potential by becoming finished objects or have helped in the creation of items which have brought smiles and warmth into my live and into the days of other people.

The potential of positive outcomes.

That’s what I love about craft.

My heart and mind are awash with curiosity and creative notions when presented with yarns, needles, fabric, colours and the time to play with them.

I love potential.

Even when it’s unfulfilled. The only things required for almost everything to express its potential are time, ingenuity and the right circumstances.

I think it’s the same with people.

Given the time and right circumstances people are capable of amazing things.

Those things don’t have to be prize worthy to be amazing.

The ability to actively listen over a cup of tea is developed over time and its impact can be amazing –  lifesaving even.

So given the fact that I adore potential, in both things and people, it won’t come as a surprise to know that the loss of potential is what breaks my heart.

It broke my heart about Steven.

It’s what’s breaking my daughters heart now.

You see, she received some very upsetting news this afternoon.

We had just spent lovely time with our friend Hazel.

We were still in high spirits after our visit with Hazel when Megs was informed that the father of our lovely little Wyatt had passed away earlier this morning.

He was only 19.

Life is far too grown up and serious at the moment.

So much potential never to be fulfilled.

Our little boy has lost the potential dad that his father could have grown into and someday it’ll be down to Megs and myself to explain it all.

Sometimes life is just too sad.