Posts Tagged ‘crochet’

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Water carriers

August 13, 2011

My first ‘pay it forward’ gifts are done. These little water bottle holders are for my friend Liz, who was asking for a way to carry drinks on days out with her kids — to avoid spending so much money on drinks from shops/cafes on hot days.

I made quite a few from different patterns I found on Ravelry but these two were by far my favourites. (If you don’t already use Ravelry you really should — it’s quite a brilliant resource for patterns and inspiration.)

The one on the left of my picture is JoAnne Leonard’s Easy Crochet Water Bottle Carrier. I used Rowan Cotton Glace and a 6mm hook. I liked the shaping on this one — it fits a 50cl evian bottle nice and snugly.

The one on the right is Hydrate! by Patti Gonsalves — the link to her web site doesn’t work but the pattern is available for free on Ravelry again. I used Rowan 4 ply cotton and a 3.75mm hook and I love how this one looks — definitely the prettiest — but it’s quite a loose fit on my bottle.

I hope Liz will find them useful — I may have to make one or two for myself now!

The picture is taken in our garden, next to some flowers on our patio which brighten the place up and make me happy. I think I’m much better at growing plants in pots than I am at growing them directly in the garden — I suppose I just have more experience at doing it that way having been a balcony gardener for so long and being fairly new to having a proper garden.

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Not what we had in mind

August 8, 2011

This morning we were supposed to go out to the Mother & Baby group at the day nursery where Baby D will go when I go back to work. (Thankfully that isn’t for a while yet.)

But this mummy has a sore throat and was feeling decidedly under the weather — and this baby was having a grumpy day, and, when he wasn’t crying or feeding, wanted to do nothing other than sleep on his Mummy.

Since cuddling a sleepy baby and crocheting is just about possible to do at the same time, I decided to make the most of it and start on my “pay it forward” items. I foolishly decided to take part before fully realising just how little spare time there is when you have a new baby in the family.

It wasn’t what we had planned, but it turned into quite a lovely morning, really!

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Close our eyes to the octopus ride

July 8, 2011

Just dropping by to show off my latest creation — this super-cute mini octopus. It’s my first ever attempt at amigurumi after a long time thinking I’d like to have a go.

It turns out it’s not nearly as tricky as I’d imagined — well, this particular pattern wasn’t, at least. The tentacles were a little fiddly but the results are definitely worth the effort! The pattern suggests using 7mm safety eyes but I thought embroidered eyes would be more little-person friendly, even if the little person in question is still a bit too little to appreciate this cute critter just yet.

Pattern: Mini Amigurumi Octopus (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Yarnfair Double Knitting – Lime
Hook: 3.5mm
Cute++

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Crocheted pram bag revealed

July 7, 2011

It’s good to hear following my last post that I’m not the only who’s discovered the advantages of acrylic yarn. I won’t feel so bad about having a snuffle around the budget section next time I go yarn shopping — depending on what it is that I want to make, at least.

I said I’d been working on another quick project with the left-overs and here it is — a cheery little bag/basket to hang on Baby D’s pram to store a few of his bits and pieces when we go out. I made it pretty small, using DK instead of aran and a smaller hook size than the pattern specifies. I’d add a few extra pattern repeats if I were to make it again — which I probably will do, since it’s so quick to make, and I love the texture.

I’m not sure how, but I ended up with too many stitches when it came to add the handles, so the sc area at the top/sides is a little bit wider than it should be. It didn’t seem to matter so I have left it as it is rather than frogging to work out where I went wrong.

I added some little flowers for extra cheer. They’re the “apple blossom” from Lesley Stanfield’s book, 100 flowers to knit & crochet. The larger one was actually a mistake — I used American stitches. Having learnt to crochet largely from the Internet, I tend to think in American terminology despite being English myself and I’d forgotten the book uses English crochet terms. I actually think the American terms make more sense and are easier to remember, but maybe that’s because that’s how I’ve learnt it.

Anyway, here are the vital stats:

Pattern: Flea Market Bag by Linda Permann (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Yarnfair Double Knitting in Lime (and Sirdar Country Style DL for the flowers)
Hook: 4mm
Happy?: For sure!

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The price of wool, and what’s on my hook

July 5, 2011

The Independent reported recently that soaring wool prices are having a knock-on effect on the suit-making industry. Apparently it’s because of the amount of wool being produced has hit an 85 year low — in part a result of the terrible floods and drought in Australia, the world’s biggest wool producer, which disrupted farming. A few weeks before they were reporting that cotton prices are rising too.

Of course, these are insignificant effects compared to the life-changing devastation that many in Australia are having to deal with, but as a crafter it’s fair to say, it doesn’t sound like a good thing. Knitting and crochet are not the hobbies they once were — a necessary skill to produce clothing at a more affordable price than you could buy the ready-made thing. Nice yarn is expensive and there are so many lovely, cheap clothes in the shops that it’s usually cheaper to buy something than knit it yourself.

Since my expendable income has dropped just recently (going on maternity leave and of course, all sorts of things I want/need to buy for the little man) I thought this would be a good time to try out some cheap acrylic yarn. I already try to buy most of my yarns from the seasonal sales, but even with reductions the prices can’t compare to some of the acrylics you can get.

The picture above shows a blanket I’ve just finished. The pattern is the Summer Garden Granny Square by Lucy of Attic24, and I’ve made one before out of lovely Rowan pure wool DK. You can see it here.

This time I used Yarnfair Double Knitting which I found for sale in my local Wilko. The blanket has 63 squares (7×9) and a border, and took just over three balls of yarn. At £1.27 for a 100g ball (and one of the colours was buy-one-get-one-free), it cost less than £3.50 to make. Bargain! I haven’t blocked it yet and am not sure about blocking acrylic, but I’ve read that steam-blocking works. I’ll give it a go when I get a chance. For a little blanket/throw that isn’t going to be kept for best, the acrylic yarn seems to work really well. I don’t think I would want to make any clothes out of it, but it’s definitely got its place.

One peculiar thing I have found is that it’s really difficult to photograph it and get the colours represented properly. I’m not sure why that would be — maybe it’s just the colours I chose. It definitely looks cheerier in real life than in my photo.

Now that’s finished, I’ve started another quick project with some of the left-overs. Something with a bit of texture. This one’s shaping up really well — it’s nearly finished already and the cheap yarn is perfect. I’ll have something finished to show off soon — but I’ll keep that for another post.

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Hexagons crochet blanket

November 22, 2010

Well, hello little blog, hello dear readers. After a rush of posts in August I seem to have been away for months. Not because I haven’t been crafting, but, well, I’ve been working on a different kind of project, I guess you could say. It left me rather bereft of energy and time for knitting and crochet – more about that another time, however.

I’m very pleased to say that amongst everything else that’s been going on, I’ve finally finished the hexagon blanket that I’ve been working on, on and off, for the last 18 months or so. It was a great fun project to work on, but being such a big thing it kept getting pushed a side for smaller, quicker projects — like all those socks.

Eventually I told myself that I couldn’t start anything new until the hexagons were complete, so I finally put my mind to it, and I’m very pleased that I did!

Pattern: Hexagon How-to by Lucy at Attic24
Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool DK, (which I blogged about here)
Hook: 4mm
Border: three rounds of UK tr (US dc) with a ripple-ish 2x decrease at each corner where two hexagons join, and increases at the “outwards facing” corners.
Edge: Bobble-shell Edging, again by Lucy at Attice 24.
Hexagons: 170

By far my biggest knit/crochet project so far, and very satisfying!

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“Norfolk shawl” – finished!

August 22, 2010

Hello again — I know what you’re thinking — Two posts in one day? Whatever next!

Well, with the help of the lovely warm afternoon we’re having, the blocking process took no time at all (well, five or six hours), and so my “Norfolk” shawl is completed.

Here it is, pinned out on an old towel on the bedroom floor this morning, just before I sprayed it with warm water.

In terms of days-to-complete, it’s possibly been the quickest project I’ve ever done — but I did admittedly put quite a few hours in over the last few evenings. Such is the luxury of time off work!

Here are the vital statistics:

Pattern: Eva’s Shawl by Miloboon Ravelry
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock yarn – shade 150 (1 skein)
Hook: 5mm

I’d forgotten how weird Noro sock yarn is to work with — inclined to stick to itself and feels as if the resulting garment will feel like cardboard — but blocked and finished it’s soft and lovely.

I would definitely make it again but would probably make it a little larger next time. But it works at this size — a one-skein wonder — and I’m very pleased with the results!

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“Norfolk” shawl, w.i.p.

August 22, 2010

Here’s my latest work in progress — so called because it was started in a traffic jam on the way to Norfolk. No, I wasn’t driving!

We went away for a couple of nights this week to stay in a lovely cottage in Whissonsett with J’s family. Any longer than that and we would have had to find somebody to feed the moggies and water the garden, but it was just long enough to be worth the journey and feel like we were having a nice break.

We were staying in the lower-roofed section at the right-hand end of the main building.

Considering we were only there for a few days, we crammed in a lot.

A walk along the lovely sandy beach at Wells-next-the-sea, admiring the multi-coloured beach huts (I think this man wondered why I was taking his photo but I was really trying to get a picture of the kite above him)…

A ride on a steam train — the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway — the longest 10.25” narrow gauge steam railway in the world…

We saw some Alpacas,

…and had a picnic on the beach — which Willem (J’s sister’s dog) particularly enjoyed.

And there was time for a bit of crochet too. What more could you ask for?

I had thought about taking my current main project along with me — the striped through-the-back-loop thing I posted about a couple of weeks ago — but decided that something new, using only one skein, would be easier to transport.

It’s now finished but for the blocking, which is under way on the bedroom floor upstairs, so I’ll have something to show off soon!

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Through the back loop

July 30, 2010

Here’s a sneak preview of my latest work in progress. I’m putting to good use that lovely squishy Rowan yarn I mentioned in my last post.

It’s stripes again, in (UK) treble crochet (US dc) — there’s something about stripes that I love — but this is a new one on me: working into the back loops only.

It makes a lovely, sort of “ridged” effect with wider stripes and narrower ones, which I like a lot.

It’s working up really quickly, which is also great, since time is in short supply at the moment. I’m very busy at work (hopefully some news there soon) and there’s always stuff to do in the garden — my veggies are starting to crop abundantly which makes it very rewarding. I’m trying to fit a bit of exercise in and am aiming to visit the pool regularly (I got myself some prescription swimming goggles which makes it a whole lot less difficult), and maybe most exciting of all, I hope to bring you some tales of a vehicular nature before too long, as I’ve been selected to become a MINI E Pioneer!

Lots more about all of these things soon.

So how are you?

xx

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Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf

July 25, 2010

Look – another quicky project completed! I made one of these for my Mum earlier in the year out of cotton sock yarn and loved the pattern so much that I wanted one for myself.

As with a lot of things I’ve been working on recently, this was made with stashed yarn that I bought in a sale quite some time ago, so it was partly a “using up” project and partly just because I wanted one. It’s a super-easy pattern and works up really quickly, so a very satisfying gap-filler between bigger projects.

Pattern: Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf (the pictures don’t seem to work on this page, but scroll down and the pattern is still there)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cathay
Colourway: 12007: Teal/Turquoise
Hook: 4mm

And now, as a change from using up stashed yarn, I’ve been shopping!

Some lovely squishy balls of Rowan pure wool aran-weight yarn for my next project. I’m busy swatching at the moment — something I don’t normally bother with, but I want everything to be just perfect for this project — so nothing much to show’n’tell just yet. I’ll keep you posted.

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