Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve Blanket

At last, my Christmas present to myself is finished. I really enjoyed making this vintage floral blanket - it also happens to be the thickest, warmest of my blankets so has kept me very warm this afternoon while I finished off the border with a glass of Baileys on ice to hand and ET on the tv.

Happy Christmas to everyone, and a very prosperous, successful 2012!
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Friday, 2 December 2011

A Square Tower

When I'm crocheting, there's nothing more satisfying than an ever growing stack of granny squares.  For one thing you have instant gratification as each square is completed, and the higher the stack grows, the closer you are to finishing the project.

Judging by this tower, my new vintage floral blanket is coming on really well.

I love the way the black yarn really makes the flowers stand out.  The discs themselves are really colourful, but once the black border goes on, they become something else!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

It's blanket time..!

It appears to be that time of year again, because I have been positively itching to make a new blanket.  I've had lots of fun making hats and scarves, but I really feel it's time to get my teeth into a bigger project.

This week, for one reason or another has been quite troublesome.  I've had a lot on my mind (the usual worries, nothing serious), which has resulted in lots of restless nights and a general feeling of malaise.  So what better therapy than a trip to my favourite wool shop, a brand new stash, and a Sunday afternoon making granny squares..? 

This will eventually become the most gorgeous vintage blanket, which I've been promising myself ever since I made the first one as a gift to my best friend.

I can envision the finished article already and can't wait to wrap myself (and maybe a child or 2) in it when the nights become really frosty!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

More hats!

I seem to be unable to stop making hats at the moment.  From basic beanies to berets and slouchy hats.  My favourite one is this simple slouch hat, which I made quite small

I also had some chunky beige wool left over so whipped up a simple slouch hat in that too.

Both hats are made from the same free pattern, which I found on Ravelry  It's amazing the different results you get by changing yarn.

Sirdar Fizz Scarf

I've just finished this beautiful fluffy scarf, made with one strand of dk yarn and one strand of Sirdar Fizz.  It's so lovely and thick and soft.

Working with the Fizz yarn is a tad fiddly, but well worth it when you see the end result.

To make this scarf all I did was use one strand of DK yarn and one strand of Sirdar Fizz.  Make a chain to the required length of the scarf, then do rows of double crochet (UK treble crochet) until it was as thick as I wanted.

Sunday, 6 November 2011


I've just come across this brilliant blog - My Recycled, which shows you how to take old materials such as tee shirts,sheets, cassette tape, plastic bags and turn them into useful crocheted items.

This tutorial on how to make T Shirt Yarn has inspired me to dig out my old clothes and have a go myself.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Current Projects

I've been a bit quiet lately, but that doesn't mean I've not been a-hooking.

My current works in progress are a granny square cushion cover, yet another stash basket and this gorgeous fluffy scarf, using Sirdar Fizz yarn.

I recently finished another headband , which I haven't blogged about, but which I wear every time I go jogging - it keeps my ears warm (and my earphones in!!).  I get over-heated and ratty if I run in a woolly hat, so this is perfect for me.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Whilst I was lurking in my local yarn shop last week, in search of inspiration, I came across some Sirdar Crofter Fair Isle effect yarn, According to the shop owner, it knits (as if by magic) into a Fair Isle pattern, although he had no idea how it crocheted.  Never one to pass up a challenge, or more to sate my curiosity I bought a couple of balls to see what I could do with them.

First of all I decided to make some fingerless gloves - and found this perfect wristers pattern on Ravelry.  I made one glove according to the pattern, using the crofters yarn, and this is how it came out...

I really like the way it works up into an uneven striped pattern.  I decided to adapt the 2nd wrister to my own pattern - I made it slightly looser and longer, with double crochet instead of single crochet, so it would work up quicker and feel less tight.  This is it:

The question now is, do I wear a mismatched pair or do the job correctly and make a matching pair?  I suspect the answer is to leave them as they are as I've moved onto something else now and really can't bear repeating previous work - a slight problem I suppose when you're making a pair of anything...ho hum.

As I had plenty of yarn left over I had a go at a granny square, to see how that looked, and ended up with a very pleasing one-half of a cushion cover.  I love the way this has self-patterned with no need to keep changing yarn.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

My current project...

.... is a snood or is it a cowl? One of those snuggly warm things that can be used as a scarf, or pulled over your head when your ears start to go blue.  They always remind me of Meryl Streep standing on the Cobb at Lyme Regis in The French Lieutenant's Woman. Read the book if you can - it's much better (in my opinion) than the film.

Anyway, all that waffle is to try and distract my friend from seeing the picture - it's a gift for her. She probably will see it, but I suspect she won't mind a sneaky peak! is....

It's made with 2 threads of yarn on a 10mm hook - so as you can imagine it's very thick.  The wool itself is extremely soft Wendy Skye Chunky.  Lovely!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

....and another slouchy hat

Following my previous post about a slouchy  hat I made from a free pattern, here is a slightly larger version of the hat.

It's made with a size 6 mm hook as opposed to 5 mm, which really makes the difference.  It's considerably bigger, yet it still fits snug to the head, so no danger of it slipping off.

Rear View

And here is the same hat modelled by my (just turned) 7 year old...cute!

Friday, 7 October 2011

A new slouchy hat

A while ago I did a thorough online search for free slouchy hat patterns, and this one at Gleeful Things is by far my favourite.  Not only does it look fantastic, but it's so easy to do and grows quickly....and as you join at the end of each round there's no need for stitch markers, and it is easy to check your stitch count as you go.

Also......did I mention, it's FREE??!

I made this hat out of Wendy Skye Chunky yarn on a 5mm hook.  It's turned out a LOT smaller, than the images on the blog, so I'm experimenting further with different sized this space for the results!

No more nippy ears!

My interest in crochet first began 2 years ago upon the launch of a new magazine called The Art of Crochet.  It was one of those which you collect each month, along with the ring binders and eventually you end up with an empty purse and a veritable encyclopaedia!  That's the theory - but in reality I bought the first issue, which armed me with a small ball of yarn, my very first crochet hook, and a keen determination to master this new skill.

I soon gave up on the magazine in favour of the far more user friendly You Tube video.  Mikeyssmail videos, to be exact.  That's not to say I don't use the odd written pattern, and when a Facebook friend sent me a huge pile of The Art of Crochet magazines I was, to say the least, very thankful!

One of the first projects I've tried from the pile is this cable stitch headband.

Making slow progress
 Let me tell you, it took me a long while to get the hang of the cable stitching, but after a few days and plenty of unpicking, the odd foot stamp,  it finally clicked, and I ended up with a very satisfactory head band.

The Elastic

Extreme Close Up

Having very fine, wispy hair, I look ridiculous if I try to wear it like the woman in the picture, so I tired it with my hair tied back, and I "think" it looks the very least it will keep my ears very toasty when I go jogging in the winter!  Nothing worse than throbbing, frozen ears on a frosty run.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Not another blanket

No, this is not another blanket...well it is, but one with a difference.

In my previous post I showed you a snippet of the plain ruffle throw I was making.  Well, I finished it, and here it is:

Yep - that's it.  It's very thick, the stitchwork is pleasant, and the ruffles raise it above bland.....but it's still rather bland isn't it?

So I decided to experiment a little and add a few embellishments.  I looked around and spotted a flower garland that I made a while ago, and decided it would be better served cheering up my ruffle throw than dangling from the book case.  

Then I whipped up a few flowers and discs made from different yarns.  The result, is a somewhat experimental, less boring, slightly more colourful throw:

I'm reasonably happy with it, but I'm not sure if I love it.  What I do know is that it is truly one of a kind, and will be very snuggly this winter...and it is definitely no longer boring!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Look! A new crochet book!

One of the best things about having a crafting hobby is that your family and friends are never stuck for present ideas for you.  The absolute BEST thing about my hobby is that my friends often come across crochet related items, and because they are such lovely friends (see how grateful I am, K and T?), they buy these items for you, just because they know how much you'll love them.

One such item is this absolutely gorgeous book - Easy Crocheted Accessories by Carol Meldrum

I've read it from cover to cover, and flicked through it repeatedly, and like a hungry man leafing through an illustrated cook book, I never tire of looking at it...and salivating.

Of course, it hasn't taken me long to start working through my favourite patterns - the first one being this ruffle throw.

It's unusual for me because it is just one colour - and a pale, relatively bland one at that.  I don't know why, but it really appeals to me, and I can picture it now on the back of  my (yet to be purchased) chocolate brown leather sofa.  I'm about 1/3 of the way through so far, so give me another couple of weeks and hopefully I'll be able to show off the finished product.

The other item I'm attempting (not with much success, I have to say) is this unusual open-mesh shrug.

The friend who bought me this book let me know just how much she LOVES this shrug, so I'm trying to make it for her......she may have to wait a while though as I'm struggling badly.  The problem I have is that it's crocheted in two tubes - I've managed to do one, but am having difficulty replicating it.  It is the joining of the first chain without twisting that is causing me a headache, and I've had to shelve the project for a while, but I will finish it - even if it means adapting the pattern, she will see her shrug!

In the meantime, here is one of the "tubes" that I managed to finish, made with a gorgeous mohair/polyester/acrylic mix yarn.

Another project I have my eye on is the felted (oh yes, felted no less) scarf.  I'm sure I'll be able to squeeze this one in between now and Christmas.....

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Raspberry Beret

A while ago, I made a few hats, my favourite of which was the Raspberry Beret.  I thought my friend would like it too, so I sent it off to her.  It appears her gorgeous daughter ALSO loves the raspberry beret....doesn't she look sweet?

Stash Busting Baby Blanket

Well, I think it's fair to say that I've now reached the end of my seventeen balls.  The final project has been this stash busting baby blanket.  

Using a traditional granny square, I simply used it ball of wool until it ran out, then carried on with the next ball.  It resulted in quite a random pattern, and the colours are very eclectic, but at least its bright and colourful!

It measures 24" x 24" so would make a lovely pushchair, pram or car seat comforter.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Toasty Wrists

When I'm not crocheting scrummy things or looking after my brood, I'm mostly chained to my desk running my online party bags business.  I absolutely love working from home and running my own business, but it seems that no matter where in the house I put my desk, it is always in a draught.

Inevitably I end up wrapping a scarf round me to keep off the chill, but my hands and wrists do become icy, especially in the what I really need is a pair of wrist warmers. I've already made a pair, but I'm not happy with the end result, so decided to have a go at my own pattern...and it goes something like this:

I'm using UK terms.  Using DK yarn and a size 4.5mm hook, make a chain of 30 (or the right length to go round your wrist - make sure the chain only just fits round your wrist, as the piece stretches as you go).  

Chain 1, and starting with the first stitch, double crochet to end in col A.  
*2 rows of half treble crochet in col B (starting with a ch 2 turning chain, at beginning of each row)
2 rows of half treble crochet in col A.*  (starting with a ch 2 turning chain, at beginning of each row)
Repeat  from * to * until you have reached almost the desired length.
Finish off with 3 rows treble crochet, and fasten off.

Starting at the treble crochet end, double crochet or whip stitch the 2 sides together to create a tube - leaving a gap for your thumb when you are 4 stripes from the end.  Double crochet around the thumb hole to finish it off.  And there you have it! 

The pattern is the same for the left and right hand.  

Friday, 9 September 2011

Cushion Crazy!

Anybody who knows me and my crochet habits knows that I LOVE making granny squares.  I love how you can use different stitches to make them look like flowers, colourbursts, or traditional granny squares....and I love using different combinations of colours and seeing how they develop and fit together.

Until now, I've only used granny squares to make blankets, but I fancied a project that wouldn't take too long, so decided to try my hand at cushion covers.  I completed two different cushion covers in one weekend, which I think is pretty good going.

The basic method is to make 2 big granny squares - I had to make 18 rounds to fit this particular cushion - crochet them together, leaving an opening big enough to remove the cushion (for washing when your 6 year old spills juice all over it).  I was going to use buttons to close the opening, but seeing as I didn't have any, I simply wove some fancy thick yarn through the holes and fastened the ends - perfect.

Side one is a traditional granny square - with 2 rounds per colour
Side 2 is a traditional granny square using oddments of yarn, so instead
of a uniform pattern, the colours change randomly.

Side one is a traditional granny square in 2 colours
Side two is a never-ending granny square in 3 colours

This is my first attempt at a never-ending granny square, and once I had it started, it was really simple to do, and grows really fast!  If you want to try your hand, take a look at Mikeyssmail's video tutorial: 

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Caterpillar Scarf

I recently treated myself to some lovely Sirdar Fizz yarn.  It's very fluffy, but extremely thin, and difficult to work with.  Basically it's a very thin yarn, with fragments of fabric attached to it at regular intervals.

A member of the Crochet Crowd on Facebook suggested doubling it up with normal DK yarn, which I did....and came up with this lovely long thin scarf.   It goes really well with a stone washed denim jacket and is sooooooooo soft!

I've called it a caterpillar scarf because it reminds me of a big (cute) furry caterpillar.  

Monday, 29 August 2011

Pastel Baby Blanket

I've nearly come to the end of my seventeen balls project.  My latest item is this pretty baby blanket.  The colours are mainly pastels and it would be a lovely comfort blanket for a Moses basket, pram, car seat etc.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Blue ruffle scarf

I love this Sirdar Salsa yarn!  It's a lovely graduated blue colour and works up into a beautiful ruffle scarf.

It's also extremely soft and lightweight so very comfortable to wear.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Fancy frilly scarf

Having treated myself to some lovely Tivoli Whirl yarn today, I didn't waste time in putting it to the test, and decided to make an infinity scarf.

This yarn is so soft and easy to work with, and as you can see from the picture, it spreads out into a net, yet still maintains a thick braid edge, making it easy to crochet with.

To start the scarf, I made a slip knot in the normal way, then to start the chain, I placed the hook in between the thick edge and the net/mesh and made a chain using ONLY the thick edge.  If you imagine the net wasn't there, and use the thick edge as you would a normal yarn, then this is how it grows...

So I continued making the chain until it was the desired length, finished off, and simply tied the two ends voila!!  A deceptively simple, frilly fancy infinity scarf.

It's a lovely scarf to wear with a plain black top.  You can wear it close to the neck...

or leave it longer.................