African flowers

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My first one was made in odd acrylic and I really love these colours together!

I have been having some fun with these, once I worked out the pattern I found they were actually fairly simple to make. They hold their shape well too, they are a hexagonal granny square.

 

Then I decided to make a cotton table mat but I needed red cotton, as my dining room has a red theme to it. So I bought a ball of Wendy cotton supreme from my local store,  C & H and tried out a few with the various cotton oddments of yarn I could find. I wanted the entire mat out of cotton so it could be washed easily and would be absorbent. It would also hold it’s shape more.

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Playing around with the colour scheme!

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Here are a few that I tried, I was a bit limited by what colours of cotton I had. I did red and pink and orange and just wasn’t very keen on the outcome, then I thought I’d do a simple flower using only red and white.

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My favourite, simple and stunning.

I liked the effect, less colourful but amazing contrast so I decided to use red and white only for my mat. It was very beautiful.

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And then I made more

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and more

Three flowers made, I wanted seven. A central one, with six on the outside.

This was it once joined together, I decided it needed a little border and then it was done.

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Ta-Daaaa!

Here it is finished with a candle holder in the centre! Now I’ve got another four to make, one for the center of the table and one each for our glasses. I’m debating doing a bigger one with an extra round of stars for the plates.

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Okay, I actually changed my mind and added another border…

So this is the final finished thing, now to make a couple more. If you want to play around with these the pattern can be found here in English, Spanish and Dutch. There’s also other projects you can make with this, a hippo, a bear. The only downside is that it uses American terms, but it’s okay to translate and even has a photo tutorial.

Finished! A Pink Jumper.

Pink Feather and Fan

All hung up waiting to be worn.

I’ve been doing a lot of clearing of old things that just get put somewhere stupid.

partially a box of yarn I found upstairs, among this I found a carrier bag, one of those old 1990’s M&S bags from before my town even had a Tesco! Inside that bag were a pair of knitting needles, a sleeve, a jumper front, a jumper back and another sleeve which had only been knitted up to the rib.

There were also two and a half balls of the wool, Sirdar Silky Look.

Sadly there was no pattern. I thought I was going to have to give up, because without a pattern how could I finish the last piece?  It was one sleeve that was all, I had even done most of the rib so I had the right number of stitches.

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Old wool

I looked in my pattern books and found a “feather and fan” stitch cardigan, which was the same stitch as my jumper so surely I could work out how to finish a sleeve from this. The pattern is feather and fan   basic

Row 1 knit

Row 2 Purl

Row 3 Knit 2 together (3 times) then yarn over needle and knit 1 ( 6 times)

Row 4 knit

These 4 rows form the pattern so by counting the stitches and the patterns I was able to work it out and knit the second sleeve. The top shaping was a bit fiddley to work out but in the end I now had 4 pieces of jumper. Now all I needed to do was the neck.

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Feather and Fan stitch, simple and pretty

The front and back were on stitch holders, the old-fashioned safety-pin type, so were securely held I picked up the stitches along each said and knitted about 6 cm rib so it would fold over to form a neck . I did the back and front separately but the neck would be too tight to get over my head if I joined it all together. I needed buttons or something. Then I had another look at the shape of the sleeves. I could now join these to the front and back but the top lined up with the base of the neck.

There was an 8cm section which needed rib joined on then it could be added to the neck to give a jumper with a neck easily big enough to slip on and no buttons needed. So I attached the sleeves added the rib and finished it.  I even inserted elastic so it would fit snuggly and I can wear a necklace with it too.

It looks great, but I never seem to do action shots. Maybe soon.

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In progress, knitting up the last sleeve.

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Playing around with the neck

Purl City Yarn Haul

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My order from Purl City Yarns

I like a lot of pages on Facebook, to begin with it was something I didn’t see the point of, but now I’m starting to catch offers from it. I found a really good one from Purl City Yarns where they were giving away a free set of crochet hooks with every order over £15! I couldn’t miss that one as I’m short on the sizes before 3mm and above 5mm. Now I’m good. This offer is still running until the end of May, their shop is here if you want to order. And they have free postage for orders above £25.

At the top you can see my free 12 pack crochet hooks 2mm -8mm! They’re aluminum, but I like those.

I’m going to show you all the goodies I got!

Shawl pin

 

This is a shawl pin by Symfonie costing only £3.30. Since my daughter started wearing a shawl and saying how comfortable it was I thought I’d wear one of my mum’s old shawls. She was right, they’re great for around the house, my only complaint is that it will slip off sometimes, happily this shawl pin stops it and looks pretty!

I’ve also got a pack of candy love hearts and some wool washing liquid for free. The sweets were yummy and my son enjoyed them, but I’ve not yet used the washing liquid. I’m probably going to try it then if I like it buy one for me and one for Andi.

The washing liquid is called  Euclan, it’s a washing liquid for delicates no rinse lavender fragrance. I’ve only got a 5ml sachet, and I need to find something woolen to try it on.

Rainbow wool

 

Andi has been going through a sock phase, which is great! I’ve decided to profit from this by asking for my own pair of socks. She told me to buy her the yarn to do it, well, here’s one of the ones I chose. It’s Lang Jawroll, Magic Degrade, shade 0050 Macaw, 75% wool 25% nylon   £7.95 100g ball. 25% nylon is fairly standard for sock wool from what I can tell, as is the price of £6-10. What I liked about this one was the colours! It reminded me a lot of the Katia yarn I got a while back. I will have colourful and warm feet soon.

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The other yarn I chose was Lang Millie Colori sock and lace, in shade 90, again it’s 75% wool, 25% nylon. £9.95 for a 100g ball. Still in the standard price for sock yarn, and again the colours are amazing. The photo doesn’t do it justice, and I don’t think I’ll be able to show the full beauty until this is knitted, but it is lovely.

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Next are the stitch holders, what’s so special about these? It’s a Clover jumbo double ended stitch holder, They’re £4.20 for a pack of two which I feel is good value and about the same price as the standard safety-pin style stitch holders. I got the 7mm size, but there is a smaller one available.

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This is the photo of the double ended stitch holder with a normal safety-pin style stitch holder. It is modern, but flimsy and easily bends so the stitches can fall off. Once it came open in my knitting bag. So I went back to using an antique of my mum’s.

 

 

 

P1060056These safety-pin style stitch holders are old and I’m sure they were my mum’s. They do work but you can still only access the stitches from one end. Meaning you need to slip them onto a double-pointed needle and sometimes turn and it’s a lot of faff.
That’s why I got the double-pointed stitch holder! It looked so practical, and it was fairly cheap.

 

Otherwise, I’m very please with this yarn shop. It’s got a very interesting range of yarns I’ve never heard of, and the fiber contents are all good quality, wool based as far as I could tell. I had a poke through the books to and there is a lot of interesting stuff there. I would recommend this shop to anyone.

The shipping time was great too! I ordered Saturday afternoon and it got to me Tuesday morning!

The current offer is “Free PCY Project Bag when you spend over £50 / Free Crochet Hook Set with orders over £15″

So I will update soon when I’ve tried these goodies out. I will also share a jumper I made recently. For more updates you can check out my Facebook page.

All I need now are five Buttons

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A new cardigan!

I have a new finished object! I’ve been finishing things fairly quickly recently, since we got all the junk out of my crafting room. This one is actually a girls’ pattern by Sirdar, it’s 1273, but without the fair isle pattern. Knitted in Patons FAB which is 100% acrylic. The shade was Rio, a lovely bright slightly boys  shade that I’d put a girl in any way.

When I say finished I mean I need to get buttons, but I’m going to venture into a physical yarn store to do that, for once…

This was how it started…

Again I was shopping on Deramores and I was just looking at Patons, I like the brand and I’ve been using it for years, always good quality. I’m not overly keen on acrylic, I prefer cotton, but this one was actually quite nice. It didn’t strand and there wasn’t any of that horrible squeaking noise they sometimes make. The stitches are clearer than on some acrylics, but nowhere near as good as the likes of cotton.

It was sadly made in Turkey, realistically I can’t afford Yarns made in the UK such as WYSpinners or the lovely country bird range Andi found me. I’d rather have something made in the UK, or even Europe.

The yarn is meant to be machine washable, at 40° and low tumble dry. I won’t be risking that last one and 30° is good enough, better yet, COOL WASH. I’m always scared of damaging something I’ve knitted. This will be the real test of the yarn since it’s not yet been washed.

Lying in pieces, with the back still in progress.

This Sirdar pattern 1273 is very nice with a great fair isle pattern, but I omitted that to just make a normal cardigan. It says it’s for girls but I’ve made some for Sandy and Neil. The pattern is written for their beautiful Baby Bamboo yarn, and that’s a favourite but that’s more Andi’s thing and that’s for another blog post.

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I even knitted on bamboo needles!

Bamboo needs have long been Andi’s obsession, she either can’t or won’t knit on metal single pointed, although she hates bamboo double-pointed. I wanted to see what the fuss was about and there is definitely something lighter about them. Their easier on the wrists. So I’ll be doing that again fo sure!

Stitch definition

As I said about the stitch definition, it’s great! For an acrylic. I do like Patons, as did my mum, but back then it was a UK brand working only in the UK, now it’s all foreign labour I’m a bit put off.

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And what next?

A chunky black and purple cardigan for my daughter. It’s acrylic, but it’ll keep her warm until she earns a woolen one!

Another Wool Haul

200 Crochet flowers, embellishments & trims

I’m always needing something to finish a little cardigan, or something I’ve sewn. Crochet embellishments just work great for me, and I seem to always be making flowers for something, so I’ve treated myself to this book, I’ve not made anything yet though. I think it looks good, and the instructions seem easy to follow, maybe I’ll write a review soon.

20 to make Crochet Granny Squares

I always find granny squares versatile too. Sandy has blankets made from them, as did my children. I’ve used them in cardigans, bags, everything. I got this from Deramores, again I’m very pleased with it and it seems easy to follow. It’s also small, so I can take it out with me.

Red heart 100% acrylic black 4ply. The left over Wendy Festival from Andi’s winter set. And a set of buttons I liked.

All of the above is from Deramores. I’m making a little cardigan from the black acrylic, it’s cheap, and I don’t know how it will wear so if the jacket comes out very nice I’ll make another one in cotton. It’s for Sandy, in 2-3 years, but the pattern includes 3-4 as well.

The Wendy made Andi a very nice hat and scarf, but I’ve not yet got the decent pictures of it.

And the buttons? I don’t know yet, I just liked them.

Sirdar Montana

Eight balls of Sirdar Montana. I’m not sure what this is for yet, it was in the sale.

Thee balls of Patons 100% cotton. Two balls of red Bonus DK acrylic, and one ball of green.

This yarn is from Hobycraft, the black 100% cotton. I got red and green is acrylic too, there was a 3 for 2 offer on. I want to do a strawberry jumper. I had to drive ten miles to the nearest hobby craft though, which is slightly annoying, on the plus side, parking was free.

C&H wool haul.

This photo is a mess. I raided the sales in my local (expensive) wool shop. I did very well.

I got a pack of crochet hooks, just because they’re always good to have around and I’m missing a lot of smaller sizes.

4 balls of Wendy Supreme DK cotton, two orange and two green.

Sirdar snuggly 4ply in sage.

An odd patterned wool that’s lost the band.

And an odd chunky, same story.

Regia 4ply sock wool, two balls.

An eyelash yarn by Sirdar, not sure what for, but loving the colour. I only use those yarns for trims anyway.

4 balls of a nice cotton yarn that I can’t remember the name of at the moment.

 

Next I’ll be knitting this all up. Well, hopefully. I got four patterns too, but I’ll show those when knitted up.

Andi keeps nagging me to get a ravelry, I don’t know what the big deal is.

Christmas from Grandma

It’s december, I’m a grandmother, my shopping should be all finished now, the gifts should be wrapped and labeled waiting to be given.

I don’t even have gifts for most people yet. Mainly because I’ve not got the disposable income to buy everyone a gift. I’m only giving to family and friends who I know give things in return. It’s a little selfish, there’s people who I know won’t give me anything but I’d love to give to but realistically I can’t.

So how am I going to survive a commercially based holiday with no money for gifts? I’m not. I’m going to get yelled at by Andi that I hate her and her son because I didn’t get them anything. My son is going to be hugely disappointed when he gets something handmade, and I’m going to pretend I don’t care when really I’m going to be offended that my labours aren’t more appreciated.

I lie about Andi, she’ll probably be doing the same thing, since she has nothing. But George? I’m not so sure he’ll accept a crochet owl hat, or mittens, or something like that. And Sandy is a baby, so he won’t really care all he’ll want is the wrapping paper.

Other people? Well, there’s some people who will not accept a handmade gift as an actual gift, even though it takes so much more effort. So for my mother-in-law I’ve bought a DVD boxset, and some books. For my husband’s uncle (my family is weird) I got some alcohol, not booze, this stuff is classy. Otherwise, I’m stuck. That already cost more than I have to spend. Andi wants a camera, but would also like a tablet, the Galaxy Tab 3 is almost affordable, and the basic cameras are arond £50. So that’s a difficult choice. George’s present is money, going towards a school trip to Italy.

Sandy is by far the easiest to buy for. He’s one, it’s actually his second Christmas, but his first he was only a fortnight old. I’m planning on crocheting a little hat, and possibly a scarf for him. His mum can’t crochet so it’s more appreciated. Otherwise I’ll probably just get him books, or toys.

Family wise we have four stockings, we’re buying small things for each other, because we’ve not got the money for big things. And we’re making things too. It was Andi’s idea, but it seemed the easiest and cheapest. We’ve been throwing ideas at each other about things to buy and make, and this is it so far.

Andi – A crochet owl hat. A bag for her tablet, I’m planning on making a change bag based around her tablet, if she gets one that is. A book of some description, H.G. Wells? A notebook might be nice, for her to jot down ideas. Possibly a slouchy crochet hat too, with some kind of chunky flower, maybe a scarf to match. A voucher for eBooks|

George – Deodorant. Shower gel. A video game. Some kind of book. Possibly a notebook. Headphones. Andi will no doubt get him condoms.

Sandy – A crochet owl hat. A scarf. Another kind of book, dinosaurs I guess. A colouring book, maybe some crayons, although he’s a little young. And he’ll get a tablet… A pair of sewn dungarees would be good.

Gin – Gin? Is it wrong that I don’t know what I want? I’d say cheap jewellery, but it’s a waste of money because I’ve already got so much. Crochet hooks? Wool, I want chunky wool. A wooly flower broach.

I’d love to hear other people’s ideas too.

Crochet Owl Hat

Owl Hat

This is my lastest finished thing. It’s an adult sized hat for one of my daughter’s friends. She’s not got money to get people christmas presents so she’s either making them or getting me to make them.

I made this using a pattern I found on Etsy. It’s called  Little Hooter Owl Beanie or earflap hat. This sizes are newborn to adult which is great.

I’d recommend this pattern if you’re looking for an owl hat, it was fairly easy to follow and crocheted up really quickly. It’s worked in rounds, and if you’re clever and use a stitch marker it’s actually seamless.

After that I made the eyes, ears, beak etc, and that was a bit of hassle, afterwards I had to sew them on. But the extra work is pretty. I love these hats and now I’m making one for myself. Next time round I’m doing black pupils though. Or adding buttons…

I used odd DK acrylic balls, in shades of purple, blue, white, yellow and black. I think the wool was (more than likely) Robin DK.