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.

x

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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!

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

x

Project update

Most of my time at the moment is spent frantically making things on my Christmas list but I have three recent projects I can share as they have already been gifted.

The first is a crochet shawl that I made for a friend’s birthday. She wears blues and purples so I wanted a yarn to complement those colours. Instead of buying on the net, I wanted to feel the yarn and make sure the colour was right so I went to my local wool shop and picked up a skein of Manos del Uraguay Alegria (Tannat A6729). It is 75% wool and 25% polyamide, so essentially a sock yarn but as it isn’t cheap I don’t think I would want to make socks with it.

crochet scarf sock yarn lace

I followed the free pattern Summer Sprigs Lace scarf  by Esther Chandler. I don’t recall the hook size I used, probably a 3.5 or 4mm. The pattern appealed as it wasn’t a triangular shawl and it worked up quite quickly. It isn’t easy to tell what a variegated yarn will look like crocheted but this one had just the right balance of colours I was looking for.

crochet scarf sock yarn lace

I am pleased to report that my friend loved the scarf as it goes really well with the colours she wears (phew!) and that she has had lots of compliments about it, which is lovely to hear.

The second project I made as a gift was for my mum. My parents are visiting over Christmas and my mum does not like the cold. Not surprising as she and my dad lived in the tropics for nearly 50 years. So something cosy and warm was quickly made before they arrived (finished just in the nick of time).

I used Stylecraft Life Aran (Fuschia) for both the hat and scarf. The hat was knitted using the free Twist and Slouch pattern by Kali Berg. I wanted to practice my knitting on a circular needle and to learn a new stitch. The twisted rib gives a pretty cable effect. I used a 6.5 and 5.5mm needle.

knitted hat crochet flower

My mum loves flowers so a quick crochet one was added using this pattern.

To match the hat I crocheted a scarf, this time using a paid pattern called Newidyn Shawlette by Abigail Phelps. I used a 10mm hook as recommended for Aran weight yarn. This whipped up in an evening so would make an ideal last minute gift.

crochet scarf aran

The two together make a good set and according to my mum, both are toasty warm.

knitted hat crochet scarf

I can recommend all 3 of these patterns and all of them could be made in time for Christmas. So if you are like me and have left things to the last minute or have an unplanned gift you need to make, maybe one of these will inspire you.

x

 

Christmas Crochet

I have to say that I am not enjoying November and its dreary, damp days very much at all. No time for my moaning though, the time is flying by and I still haven’t done a Christmas post. The reason being that I haven’t made a single thing for the festive season yet. Despite my best intentions it hasn’t happened and now my priority is to make the gifts I want to. Still all is not lost and I have lots to things to share with you that I have made previously. That’s not cheating, is it?

In 2013 I did a couple of craft fairs selling crochet items so I thought I would share some of the bits and bobs I made and who knows? there might be something here you fancy making.

Who doesn’t love a bit of festive bunting?

Here are The Royal Sisters crochet stars in Christmas colours chained together.

This pattern is so easy and makes lovely baby bunting.

crochet garland star bunting baby blue boy

I also made trees using a pattern from the same website.

crochet granny christmas tree

These green trees  were the same pattern but only two rounds. I sold these as bunting with rainbow coloured buttons (no pics, sorry) and individual decorations. They looked good on the from of a card too for the recipient to remove and use.

crochet granny christmas tree decoration

The angels are so easy to make and people bought them to tuck inside their Christmas cards that they were sending.

crochet christmas decoration angel easy

I made bauble decorations from circles and a detail I found here.

crochet bauble decoration mandala

I have only ever made two of these robins following Attic24’s birdie pattern, one for a friend in 2013 and the one I sent to Meredithe of Pomegranate and Chintz this year.

crochet robin christmas decoration

It has been great fun looking back at these photos and the blogs that the patterns came from. Lucky I kept a photographic record of what I made, guess even then I was blogging in my head!

Everything you see here is made from Drops Muskat cotton and probably a 3.5mm hook if my memory serves me correctly. I did block and starch all of the decorations to make them a bit more robust. I hope the links work. Let me know if there are any problems.

That just leaves me to thank Lynda, rather belatedly, at Sultanabun for nominating me for a Liebster award. So kind. Please hop over and take a look at her amazing blog if you haven’t already.

x

Crochet shawl

It’s nearly half term (counting the hours) and I am so glad that I have completed another crochet project before we go away. At the start of the school year I started a crochet shawl/scarf (first mentioned here) and if the weather today is anything to go by, I think I’m going to need it.

I first saw the shawl on The Green Dragonfly and fell in love with it instantly. It was the colour and the lacey (but not too lacey) look that both grabbed me. I had never crocheted anything so fine before and I really didn’t have a clue about what yarn to use. The Green Dragonfly had used 2ply and a 3mm hook so I did a search and found Susan Crawford Vintage and a yarn called Fenella which is 2ply 100% British wool in the most amazing vintage shades. Just the shade names are beautiful…Chalk, Myristica, Roman Plaster, Jonquil, Atomic Red, Phthalo, Limoncello, Porcellan, Columbine, Marriner, Constance Spry, Wheaten, Forget-Me-Not, Baked Cherry, Delicot, Myrtle. I chose Atomic Red for my scarf and was so pleased when the package arrived as the red is almost coral, one of my favourite colours.

The pattern for the shawl is called South Bay Shawlette and is very easy to follow. I used a 3.5mm hook. At first I wasn’t sure about the wool, it felt a bit scratchy but the more I worked with it the more I fell in love with it. It softened up and is so tactile and warm. For the border I used The Green Dragonfly border but omitted the last row. I wasn’t going to block my scarf when I finished it, I liked the dense texture and was worried it would become to lacey but I saw some amazing scarves which had lovely pointy edgings and knew I had to. So yesterday when the sun was shining I took the opportunity (I am glad I did, as it is raining today, yuk).

susan crawford fenella south bay shawlette crochet shawl

susan crawford fenella south bay shawlette crochet

I love the shadows that the blocking pins make.

susan crawford fenella south bay shawlette crochet shawl

The blocking made such a difference. I understand now why it is done. The shawl is so pretty and it is very wearable.

The only thing I hadn’t thought about was the fact that if you crochet a triangle and want enough width to be able to wrap it like a scarf, the triangle part gets longer too. Does that make sense? I wouldn’t want any more bulk around my neck and the ends are just long enough to wrap but I am going to try a longer and narrower shawl pattern next and see what difference it makes. Anyway after taking a million pictures to show you what it looks like being worn I have settled for the least worst (grammar?) of the lot. Hopefully you get the idea.

susan crawford fenella south bay shawlette crochet shawl

I am still practising my knitting and I would love one day to be able to knit something to wear with the Fenella yarn. One day.

x

Crochet Rug No.2

Life has been pretty busy since I posted about my Halloween bunting and blogging seems to have fallen off the bottom of my ‘to do’ list. The last few weeks have  been crammed full of stuff that afterwards I think ‘oh, I should have written a post about that’.

Anyway, one thing I have done is to crochet another rug and I actually have photographs to share with you. My last crochet rug was quite small (and bright) so this time I thought I would try a bigger (and more neutral) one. I used this pattern for a Gorgeous Mandala Rug. It is one of Wink’s patterns and throughout I couldn’t help but think and reflect more than usual. She was an inspiration and continues to be. A creative being has updates on projects to remember Wink by.

crochet rug tek-tek mandala

I used 3 rolls of beige Tek-Tek yarn and a 10mm hook. The finished rug measures just under 4 feet across.

crochet mandala rug tek-tek

These rugs are fun to make and very useable. So much so that I have got some yellow t-shirt yarn to make a rug for the boy’s playroom next.

With half term looming we have a busy few weeks ahead of us and some treats in store. First of all, my husband and I are going to the North Yorkshire Moors for a couple of days… on our own! I cannot wait. My second treat is an early Christmas present. A sock knitting course. I am so excited. Apparently you need to know the basics of knitting and it has been years since I attempted knitting at all so I have been studying my old books and having a go again. Progress is slow and everything keeps being unravelled at the moment but it is fun and the potential projects … let’s just say my Ravelry queue is getting longer.

I can dream but it’s back to reality with a bump as my youngest has just come in and announced he has ‘found my wrecking ball’ and presented me with my ball of wool, circular needles and a very big tangle!

x