Keeping cosy

For years now I have been meaning to crochet a tea cosy but have never got around to it…until now!

I’m not sure why I never made one before but needs must and on Saturday evening I sat down and found this excellent pattern  from Crochet with Raymond. It’s perfect for stash busting and so quick that one movie later I had a finished cosy.

Crochet tea cosy

If you are looking for a simple, adaptable pattern I can’t recommend this enough. I used worsted weight yarn with a 4.5mm hook and started with a chain of 60ish. I just made the chain, checked that it fitted around the tea pot under the handle and spout and followed the pattern from there, omitting the part around the top. 

I love making crochet items for the house. I’d love to hear about any practical crochet items you’ve made.

That just leaves me to wish you a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2018 and beyond.

Thanksgiving crochet

Crochet leaves Thanksgiving maple

Last weekend it was Thanksgiving here in Canada, a new event on the calendar for us having moved from England last year.

I like the holiday and taking the time to be thankful but I’m really aware that we need to take time to be thankful on a daily basis. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of focusing on the negative and it can affect you more than you sometimes realise.

We were very lucky to be invited to not one but two Thanksgiving dinners this weekend and we are grateful to have met such lovely people since we moved here. 

I took crochet gifts to both dinners. I like to take something homemade if I can and these were really easy to make.

Crochet leaves Thanksgiving maple

I followed this pattern which also includes a helpful tutorial. I used different weight yarns but the same hook size to make the three different sized leaves. You can block the leaves but I like the curly edges. Both gift recipients added the leaves to their table decorations.

These leaves could also make a seasonal bunting or gift tags. I used acrylic yarn but you can use any fibre you want.

Autumn is my favourite season but I fear it will be a short one this year. There is already lots of snow falling here in BC! What’s your favourite season?

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Warm feet

Thankfully the weather here isn’t too cold yet (uhoh, that’s going to jinx it now) but it is cooler and a little while back I found that my feet were getting chilly in the house. I am wearing my hand knitted woollen socks all of the time but the floors get cold and I don’t want to wear my socks out, so I need slippers too.

The great thing about living in a small town is that you get very resourceful. No slipper shop? Not a problem. I have wool, lots of it, picked up here and there, garage sales, thrift shops. And I have Ravelry!

This is the yarn I had to hand

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It is a super bulky 100% wool so good for felting and warmth.

The pattern I used for these slippers is called Felted Granny Slippers (free on Ravelry). Basically the slippers are made up of granny squares that are cleverly joined to make a slipper.

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The slippers don’t need to be felted if the squares are made to a size that results in a slipper that fits. I wanted a denser texture for more warmth so made the squares bigger and felted mine. It is worth noting though that granny squares don’t felt particularly well as they are made up of trebles (UK) and therefore have a lot of twist to them.

Before

crochet felted slippers granny square super bulky

After

crochet felted slippers granny square super bulky

I actually ended up lining the inners of these with felt as I wanted them to be a bit more substantial. I also stitched the sides up a bit for a better fit. They aren’t the most attractive slippers but they are very warm and very comfy and doing their job well. I think I would make another pair in worsted/aran next time and make them to fit without the felting (maybe for spring/summer wearing).

Keep warm.

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The issue of light

When we were in England I had worked out the perfect places to take pictures for my blog posts so that I was happy with the light and back drop. I’m yet to find these places here and it’s frustrating as I really do want my pictures to reflect my projects and me in a positive light.

Maybe this has become more important to me since I joined Instagram (I’m buttercupandbee). The standard on there is so high.

In the meantime, here are some of my current projects.

Hoping this is finished soon so that I can wear it.

Trying to add pattern to my socks.

And you don’t want to know about these yet!

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Cute little project and a test

I thought I’d share this little crochet project that I made last night and at the same time test writing a post on my phone. Often I don’t end up sharing projects as I have to get the laptop out, get the photos from my camera and write the post. I use my phone for a lot of things, so why not posting? I’d be interested to hear what the rest of you do.

So here is what I made. It’s a little scissor keeper.

I used the green cotton I had left over from my doily and some scrap fabric. the pattern came from a book I bought when we arrived here called ‘Romantic Crochet’. It’s an English book, something I failed to realise until about half way through the flower thinking it was in US terms, doh.

This could be an easy project without this exact pattern, just using a granny square pattern, cotton and a small hook. The inside is just a fabric pouch filled with a bit of wadding.

I was just thinking that little projects like this probably end up on an Instagram feed and don’t have whole posts dedicated to them. Uhoh! I could see me losing a whole lot of craft time if I started an IG account. Ravelry is bad enough!

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Vintage crochet

When we moved into our new home, just over a month ago, the very first thing I wanted to do was to crochet something for the house. I have been collecting vintage crochet and knitting patterns from garage sales and thrift shops, along with crochet cotton so a doily seemed a good start.

This doily pattern book is dated 1945 and is full of beautiful, finely detailed doilies.

vintage doily crochet pattern book

Here is the pattern I chose, the cotton (this is what I had left) and the hook (old size 10 or 1.25mm).

vintage doily crochet pattern book

And here is the completed doily.

vintage crochet cotton doily

I didn’t want to play ‘yarn chicken’ on the last round so stopped one row before the end. The whole thing only took a few hours to make and was a fun project. Blocking took a while, trying to avoid any pointy bits.

vintage crochet cotton doily

Oops, I can see a pointy bit, ignore that part 😉

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My Victoria Shawl .. of sorts

What with all the sock knitting I have been doing, I must say I have missed crocheting. So when I saw that Sandra Paul aka CherryHeart had released a new shawl pattern, I could not resist.

Here is my version of her Victoria shawl.

CherryHeart Victoria shawl crochet DK

The pattern can be found on her site or Ravelry and is designed using 200g 4ply sock wool. Although I have a lot of sock yarn stashed away (an embarrassing amount, actually), I don’t have two skeins of the same colourway, so I used DK instead. This meant I had to use a 5mm hook in order to get a decent drape.

The green is James C Brett pure merino and I used nearly 200g for 7 repeats of the main pattern. The blue is an unknown yarn that I bought in a charity shop. Let this be a lesson to me. I thought it was just the same wool as the green but in  fact it was much thinner so I had to drop down to a 4mm hook on the border. I had to stop short of the complete pattern on the border as I was running out of blue and the other ball I had that I thought was the same was in fact a completely different.

CherryHeart Victoria shawl crochet DK

The pattern itself was so easy to follow and had clear written instructions and charts. It has links to tutorials too, which beginners would find useful. My shawl took about 3 evenings to make.  I think that the design would make a beautiful blanket too.

CherryHeart Victoria shawl crochet DK

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter.

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Crochet Hearts

 

I don’t think hearts are just for Valentine’s Day. I love having them dotted around the house all year round. And if they are crocheted, even better (until I learn how to knit them!).

Here are some of the crocheted hearts I have made over the years…

Crochet coasters made with Drops Muskat and a 3.5mm hook

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Three heart decoration adapted from this pattern, made in Drops Muskat with a 3.5mm hook

crochet cotton hearts drops muskat

This garland was made using the same pattern and yarn/hook.

crochet heart garland bunting

This year I also mixed crochet and jewellery and made these…

A Teen-Tiny heart pendant

tiny crochet heart pendant necklace

and these (apologies I haven’t got the links for these)

and last, but not least, my sterling silver crochet heart earrings.

silver crochet heart earrings

Happy crocheting.

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A tahdah!, a project update and a little bit of news

For reasons that will become obvious by the end of this post, there is a sense of urgency about my crafty projects at the moment. I keep jumping from one thing to another and desperately want to make everything now!

Honestly, Jen, who runs my local wool shop (The Wool Stop), must think I am insane. I keep rushing into the shop shouting ‘No time, I need this needle and this wool for this project’, then I proceed to waffle on about this, that and everything, pay, and leave her, I’m sure, wondering what the heck just happened.

I have finished one project though. A while back, I was looking on Ravelry for a more complex looking crochet project. I found the Closing Fans Shawl (paid pattern) and I started it with a 4ply silky yarn but quickly discovered that my diamond shapes were a fraction of the intended size and the shawl would cost me a small fortune if I ever actually finished it. I put the project to the side over the holidays and picked it up again in January, this time with a Stylecraft Alpaca DK in lime, yes, LIME! I guess I was yearning colour and something zingy after all the grey weather we have been having.

The pattern was a bit tricky at the start but I soon got the hang of it and a couple of weeks later we have a shawl. Tahdah!

Stylecraft Alpaca DK shawl crochet closing fans

 

Like all of the shawls that I have made, I have worn this one like a scarf and it is very soft and snuggly. I would make this shawl again but with a silkier DK yarn possibly but at the moment, I’m just pleased to have finished something.

Ever since I started knitting socks, whenever I am just about to start the heel, I start to think how easy it would be to make a pair of wristwarmers using the same skills. So last week when I saw this lovely post over at The Little Room of Rachell, I remembered that I had admired the same yarn in a different colour at The Wool Stop, so I immediately rushed off and bought some.

To say I rushed into things would be an understatement and not surprisingly, the end result was a single, very sorry wristwarmer.

Adraifil Knitcol trends 58 knitted wristwarmer

Where do I start? I used a 3mm long circular needle because a 4mm seemed way too loose and I didn’t have a 3.5mm and to be fair the fit is good until you get to the thumb area. My afterthought thumb was a learning curve but overall it is crying out for a thumb gusset. So instead of ploughing on like I usually do I am going to take my time with these gloves, so long that they probably won’t be ready until next year but they will have a thumb gusset. YouTube, here I come. The yarn is Adriafil  Knitcol Trends 58.

So it will come as no surprise that I have cast on a another pair of socks in the meantime.

Mondial Ciao 241

I am trying A Nice Ribbed Sock in Mondial Ciao 241, this was the first sock yarn I ever bought, before I even attended the sock workshop, so it is a little bit special to me. To avoid Second Sock Syndrome I am casting on two socks onto separate short circulars (I haven’t mastered two at a time yet), I’ll let you know if it makes a difference.

Another project that has seen the light this week is my Flowers in the Snow blanket. I say blanket but it is really a lot of circles still.

flowers in the snow crochet circles

I have to admit to going off this project last year but I am determined to finish it. I was going to use a denim blue colour instead of the usual white as a background but have decided white it will be and I have decided not to lay the circles out randomly after I arranged them like this

flowers in the snow crochet circles

What do you think? Much more appealing now and that is good as I am far more likely to complete the (much smaller than originally intended) blanket now.

And that brings me to my news.

(Trumpet fanfare)

We are moving.

To Canada.

In April.

This year!!!!!

If I can string the words together I will write a separate post all about how this move has come about and what it means for us. I hope you will wish us luck and stay with us on our travels. One thing I know for sure is that I am going to need to fine tune my knitting skills and get started on some winter woollies as I’m going to need them!

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Happy New Year

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. It has been a busy old time here over the holidays and I’m only just getting my head back on straight so please excuse the rambling. Actually this post is going to be mostly photographs as I am still not 100% better after an attack of the lurgy just before New Year.

Before Christmas I couldn’t share my most recently completed projects as they were gifts but I can now.

The first two gifts were crochet shawls based on a fantastic pattern by Vicky Brehm of Cera Boutique. Vicky is an amazing crocheter and I always look forward to her posts in my blog feed. As it happens, I was searching through Ravelry for crochet shawls and came across one of her patterns called Brambleberry shawl. It is an easy project and works up really quickly. I based my first gift on one of the completed projects and used 2 balls of King Cole Riot (Funky) on a 4mm hook.

crochet shawl king cole riot funky bramblenerry

crochet shawl king cole riot funky brambleberry

I was so pleased with how this turned out that I decided to make another one! This time smaller, using just one ball of King Cole Riot (Juniper). There were fewer colour changes in this yarn. This was made Christmas Eve so I didn’t even have time to photograph it after I had blocked it.

king cole riot crochet shawl juniper brambleberry

crochet flower

As it was a smaller shawl, more a scarf, I added a crochet flower with a button behind it so that it would stay in place when worn. As the pattern was all treble crochets (UK) and the pattern repeated every 3 rows these shawls worked up so quickly. Vicky asked me if I had put my shawls on Ravelry and one of my goals for this year is to work out how to!

Another crochet gift was this pair of hand warmers, made to match the scarf and hat that I showed you here. The Brooklyn Fingerless Mitts pattern was one I had used for a gift last year and it was just as easy to follow as I had remembered.

crochet mitt fingerless hand warmers wrist aran

I also crocheted a hat for my brother loosely following the Retro Stripes Hat pattern by Linda Permann. I used Drops Nepal and a 5.5mm hook.

crochet hat retro stripes drops nepal man

Lastly, I sewed together a few of these lavender pouches using vintage doilies and fabric I had stashed away. I had wanted to make some flaxseed/lavender heating pads in a similar vein but never did get around to it despite buying the flaxseeds, oops.

upcycled crochet doily lavender pouch

I love crafting to make gifts for friends and family. I also really appreciate it when I receive handmade gifts so you can imagine how delighted I was to hear just before Christmas that I was being gifted one of Ericka Eckles beautiful stockings. You can read about it here. Ericka’s blog is a warm mix of story telling and crafting and her ‘waffle’ as she calls it is heartfelt, humourous, moving and inspirational. Just look at how gorgeous my stocking is.

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Here it is alongside our other stockings on Christmas eve.

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This Christmas was quite special as it was the first Christmas that my brother and I have spent with our parents in 15 years! I love the traditions that I remember from my childhood being continued with my own children. One of my favourites is reading  ‘The Night Before Christmas’ on Christmas Eve. Each of my boys has received a copy on their first Christmas and I still have mine.

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We don’t celebrate New Years much here but who doesn’t enjoy a sparkler?

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It would be safe to say this holiday has been quite an emotional one. Just before the holiday we received some news which I will share over the next few weeks. It’s not bad news, it’s actually quite exciting but it will mean a lot of changes for us as a family (no, it’s not another baby!) and to be honest, I am all in a dither about it still.

I am keeping myself busy (avoiding doing everything I should be) with a new crochet project.

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It looks like 2016 will be eventful for us but all I hope for is that it is a healthy, happy year for everyone.

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