Crocheting on a sunny afternoon

Ever since I found out our new flat had a balcony, I've been very excited about the prospect of being able to dry laundry outside.  Our previous flat had a communal garden, but no one was allowed to use it for drying clothes, so all our laundry had to dry inside.  As anyone who has ever lived in a flat with no outside space or tumble dryer will know, this is hardly ideal.  We moved into that flat in the summer, and clothes dried reasonably quickly, but as the weather got colder, washing stayed damp for longer, and as the flat had a damp problem anyway (until we finally persuaded the landlord to install double glazing, hurrah for double glazing!) this was not pleasant.

Lakeland to the rescue!  I've always loved Lakeland (so many storage solutions to problems I didn't realise I had! egg poachers! pineapple corers! boxes and boxes and cupcake cases and jam jars!) and when I found this heated airer I knew it was the solution we needed.  It's a lot of money, but so worth it.  It holds a whole load of laundry, and dries overnight when turned on.  The flat had economy-7 electricity, so we turned it on at midnight when the electricity became cheaper, and turned it off in the morning around 7am when we got up for work.  Clothes would be dry, sometimes not thicker things like waistbands of jeans, but everything else would be pretty much done.  Excellent!

The general downside to airers is the amount of space they take up when in use, and whilst I like the smell of laundry (it's my favourite aisle in supermarkets) I don't want the whole flat to smell of laundry all the time.  So all in all, I was looking forward to be able to dry clothes outside in our new flat.

Our new flat has a balcony which is more than big enough for an airer, and the communal garden also has two rotary clothes lines.  Even more outside drying space for me to use!  With the gorgeous weather we've been having lately, laundry has really stopped being a chore.

Now that I have outside drying space, I needed clothes pegs and naturally a storage solution for the pegs.  Ben suggested a box (from moving house, we have a lot of boxes in all shapes and sizes!) but I was thinking more of a mini-crochet project.

A crochet project that looks just like this:

I love it!  I did a quick search for patterns, and in the end followed this tutorial.  It's worked in the round so there is no sewing up to be done - hurrah!  I changed colour as and when I felt like it. It's not quite so neat on the back, but I won't show photos of that!  It took about three evenings to make, and the rounds and rounds of htr sts were quite relaxing.  The children's coat hangers were 12 for £1 (think I might be making a few of these bags as house-warming presents for people, not sure what else I can do with 11 small coat hangers!) and the yarn was bits and bobs I had, so it was hardly expensive to make.  It makes me smile when I look at it, and I'm waiting for the laundry basket to fill up so I can do some more washing and use it!

Last month one of my friends from university had her first baby, and sent me a gorgeous photo of her new daughter sleeping in this blanket I'd made for her - I love seeing things I've made being put to good use! Congratulations to the new parents on the safe arrival of the new addition to your family!

This blanket, made for another friend from university, has also arrived at its new home - the baby it's intended for hasn't arrived yet (I just had to post the blanket so it wouldn't get lost/damaged in our flat move!) but I received a lovely thank you card from my friend.  Inside it said 'thank you for the most wonderful crocheted blanket for our baby.  It is her first blanket and we shall really treasure it.  Thank you so much for such a special gift.'  I love the thought that I've made a first for someone, and that the family like it.  I'm now looking forward to seeing a photo of this baby in her blanket!

On a side note, why are all the 'congratulations on your new baby girl' cards pink, and baby boy cards blue?  I was in Paperchase yesterday wanting to buy a baby girl card, but every single one was pink as well as every baby boy card being blue.  The only non-pink/blue ones just said 'new baby'.  Why can't I buy a card which says 'congratulations on your new baby girl' with bright colours, rainbow colours, any colours other than pink?  In the end I bought a 'new baby' card, which is brightly coloured, but the amount of pink and blue did irk me slightly.

Also in the post this week (it's been a good week for post) I got a small parcel from Snowy Owl, one of my closest friends (who is also expecting a baby girl soon, baby girls are everywhere!).  I got in from work, Ben was here, and I asked if there was any post for me.  He said yes, and as it had Snowy Owl's surname on the back with her return address, it probably contained something with an owl on.  How right he was!  This owl tea towel is a flat-warming present, and I love it - it even has a hook, which I think is very useful for a tea towel, but so many don't come with hooks, a fact which gripes me (gripe, isn't that a strange word?).  

Right, back to the unpacking!  And maybe if I search around the flat I'll find some things that need washing and then I can hang out some laundry in the sun using my new pegs and peg bag.  Simple pleasures on a sunny Sunday.


  1. ...I guess one really can never have too many teatowels ;) I have four - three I bought, one was free from a supermarket delivery, none of them are especially pretty. I do love that star blanket. Any suggestions for original baby presents that don't involve crocheting? I have some babies soon to arrive and I'm not sure I have time to learn the craft and perfect before they are here! Do you take commissions...?

    1. Tea towels are always useful! For one friend having her first baby I bought her some Sock Ons (google them) they look a bit like ankle supports and go over baby's foot to keep the socks on (clue is in the name!), my friend said they were very useful and even bought more in a bigger size!

      I'd happily take commissions - send me an email (address on right hand side of blog) if you fancy it!

  2. That is such a cute tea towel. Even more for your collection!

    You make such pretty crocheted things - I think sending a colourful baby blanket is a really lovely present. The stupid pink/blue thing really p's me off, gender stereotyping much?! We're not having kids just yet but already we've decided we will not be having pink/blue or gender stereotypical things in the house even though it will make things a lot harder. What century are we living in?! x

    1. Can't beat a tea towel! It can be challenging to find presents small enough to send in the post, an owl tea towel is perfect!

      I had a tweet from Paperchase today saying they'll get 'our buyer to look into it'. What does that even mean? How hard is it for a stationery shop to sell cards which aren't blue OR pink? I refuse to make a pink/blue blanket for a baby unless the parents have specifically asked me to do so - bright colours all the way! Have you heard of the campaign Let Toys Be Toys? Do check them out on Twitter, as well as Pink Stinks.

  3. The rainbow star-shaped blanket is amazing, whenever I see your incredible creations I wish I had the time or the patience to learn to crochet.

    1. Ah, thank you very much indeed! I don't know how much time or patience you have, but crochet is genuinely an easy craft to pick up. It's easier if you have someone to teach you, but I learned from online tutorials and youtube. There are a few basic stitches, then once you've mastered those away you go! Patterns like the rainbow star look complicated, but it's just a 5-row pattern repeated multiple times. Do have a go if you get the chance!


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