Fossil time

I had a little go at making some ammonites for fun:

Based on a pattern by PauPaul called ‘Ammonites of Cap Blanc-Nez‘ on Ravelry. I made mine in Drops Karisma dk light grey mix on a 4.5mm hook, and West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran Prints ‘Rum paradise’ on a 5mm hook. The grey one ends in a circle of 32 stitches, and the multicoloured one ends in a 24 stitch circle.

It’s a simple pattern using UK double crochet but working into the back loop only to create a ridged effect. I think if the knitters shop was open (which it isn’t!) these would sell well..

When life gives you lemons

Make a lemon and lime baby blanket!

Made in Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino Apple (002) and Citrus (018), Ella Rae cashmerino sport Goldenrod (06) and Steel (04), and Scheepjes merino soft Michelangelo (603) and Raphael (602) on a 4.5mm hook.
It is (of course) a Bertie baby blanket. This one weighs 300g and measures 69 x 53cm

Debbie Bliss ombre spin your granny blanket

It was always my intention to try another spin your granny blanket in rather nicer yarn, and this is it:

Made in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Apple (002) and Citrus (018), and Ella Rae Cashmerino Sport Goldenrod (06) and Ivory (13) on a 4.5mm hook.

Mine took 2 balls of dark green, 1 ball each of mid green and yellow, and 3 balls of ivory. It measure 67 x 48cm and weighs 275g. I used the same layout as my first spin-your-granny blanket, so this was a rather quicker project with less frogging!

Mini sea creature mobile

I have been asked by a friend to produce some sea creatures, of a size suitable to make a mobile with, so I have come up with some mini-versions of my crab, starfish, jellyfish and octopus patterns.

The turtle is a commercial pattern available here, and the other creatures were made to a similar scale. They are made in Scheepjes stonewashed (Carnelian, Coral, Amazonite, and Turquoise) except the jellyfish which is in Malabrigio arroyo (Lotus) and some old Rowan wool-cotton 4 ply (Violet), using a 4mm hook.

I am looking forward to seeing it assembled, and maybe even a photo with the new baby….

When in doubt make a charity blanket

My default project has been baby blankets for as long as I can remember, and it seems fitting in these difficult times to make some for charity.

The pink blanket is made in James C Brett Stonewash shade SW5, and Drops merino extra fine colours 40 (powder pink) and 01 (off white). The blue blanket is made in James C Brett Stonewash shade SW10, King Cole Majestic dk shade 2650 (duck egg) and Drops merino extra fine colour 01 (off white). Each blanket used 1 ball each of the Stonewash wool and 2 balls of the other colours.

Just in case anyone hasn’t come across it yet, the Granny Rectangle pattern is by Crochet again, and there is a very good tutorial for it here. Mine start with 5 granny clusters and are 30 rows round. I start with the plain pink or blue, then the Stonewash, then the white, and 30 rows allows you to end in the white.

And finally – my chosen Charity for these blankets is pram depot, a charity that gives recycled baby clothes and equipment to vulnerable new mums and their babies.

May challenge – Ombre spin your granny blanket

It seemed like a good idea to try something really new while we are spending more time at home, and this ombre blanket fitted the bill:

Made in Patons Diploma Gold Denim (6136) and Rico baby classic DK Smokey Blue (042) on a 4.5mm hook. The pattern is by Kylie Moleta at Stitched Up Craft and can be found here here. It’s a really well written pattern, with clear instructions for making whole, half and quarter squares, along with a join as you go border.

Mine is based on a 5-round granny squares (plus 1 round of border) and is 3 diamonds wide by 4 diamonds long. I didn’t follow the layout used in the pattern exactly, as I wanted a rectangular blanket. It took 3 balls of Denim, and 4 balls of Smokey Blue, weighs 230g and measures 70cm x 53cm.

For this blanket I needed:
5 x 5-round dark blue squares, plus 5 x half squares
2 x 4-round dark blue squares, plus 2 x half squares
3 x 3-round dark blue squares, no half squares
2 x 2-round dark blue squares, plus 2 x half squares
3 x 1-round dark blue squares, no half squares
2 x 0-round dark blue squares, plus 5 x half squares
All pieces were made up to 5-rounds with light blue before joining.

If you make one yourself I would highly recommend laying out the pieces as you go along, to make sure you are making a blanket of the size that you want – mine would have been big enough for triplets if I had stuck to the original plan!

We miss you Debbie Bliss

It seems often to be the case that when I hit upon a yarn I really like it is discontinued. And as that is exactly what has happened with Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino, this blanket is probably the last of a line:

Made in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Teal (340203), Duck egg (340026) and Spearmint (340303) with Scheepjes Merino soft Raphael (602) on a 4.5mm hook.

This is another Bertie baby blanket. Mine started with a chain of 91, so is 9 pattern repeats wide and 28 pattern repeats long. It measures 71 x 52cm and weighs 300g. It took 2 balls of each of the three blues, and three balls of cream.

April challenge – beating the blues

You might remember my pink waste-not-want-not blanket here. Well I have now branched out into blues.

Now I look at it the colours are remarkable similar to my 4-ply bluebell blanket of some time ago, but this is a rather more practical make in dk.
Made in Sirdar snuggly 100% cotton DK in Rhino (759), Spearmint (767), Light grey (757), Ice blue (765) and Cream (761) on a 4mm hook.
My blanket is 51 ‘crosses’ wide and 49 pattern-repeat rows long. It measures 74 x 58 cm and weighs 375g. I used 2 balls of each colour plus 3 balls of the cream.

Grey is definitely a baby colour

This is the second time I have been asked to make a baby blanket in grey so I think it’s definite now – grey is a baby colour.

Mine is made in Drops cotton merino light grey (20), medium grey (18) grey (19) and off white (01) on a 5mm hook. The pattern is my favourite Bertie Baby Blanket by Little Doolally and just in case you are wondering if it is worth spending £4.80 on the pattern the answer is yes! I can’t count how many of these I have made now and every new colour combination gives me a little zing!

March challenge – a tumble of turtles!

Apparently the collective noun for turtles is actually ‘bale’ but I like the idea of them tumbling towards the sea after they have hatched, so I have renamed mine…

Made in Scheepjes stonewashed XL in Turquoise (864) and Amazonite (853) on a 6mm hook. I made the pattern up but if you want a nice straightforward turtle pattern in 4 ply yarn I can recommend Tracy Braybrook’s no fuss turtle pattern on Ravelry here. I made hers first so I could get an idea of the proportions then winged it with the XL yarn afterwards – just for fun!

Going to cable class

I recently had the chance to attend an advanced crochet class hosted by Black Sheep Wools near Warrington in Cheshire. The class was led by Gina Couch who is a Rowan tutor and we made a Celtic style headband in Rowan Cocoon.

It was necessary for me to practise a bit when I got home, so it has been joined by a few friends! Mine are made in Rowan Cocoon Alpine (802) and West Yorkshire Spinners Retreat Pure (10) both on an 8mm hook, and finally Sirdar Harrap Tweed Chunky Purdey (104) on a 7mm hook.

The pattern we used was Gina’s own, but it is essentially a 4 strand cable pattern and surprisingly not difficult to master with some expert tuition and a few hours of practice!

I had a lovely day at the class, and definitely improved my cabling confidence. If you would like to see a picture of the lovely ladies I was with, here we are towards the end of the day looking very pleased with ourselves!

February challenge – crochet starfish

I set myself the challenge of creating some new sea creatures this year – and this is my first one…

The design is modified from a pattern by Barbara Summers who blogs at Microcknit creations
Mine are made in Scheepjes stonewashed Rhodochrosite (875), Morganite (874) and Coral (856) on a 6mm hook. Each one weighs about 15g.
My next project is something with a shell… Any guesses?

January challenge – the big ripply one

This was of course a December make but I couldn’t do the big reveal until after Christmas, so it has now been re-named:

Made in Drops Nepal off white (0100), light grey mix (0500) grey mix (0501) and medium grey mix (0517) on a 7mm hook, using Attic 24’s neat ripple pattern. I used 9 balls of white and 6 each of the greys and had a little of each left over.

I started with a chain of 129 stitches to make the blanket 9 ripples wide (97cm). This worked out quite well yarn-wise as each ball was enough for 4 rows, without any mid-row joining. The blanket is 37 wide ripples long (170cm) which will hopefully be a good size for snuggling under.

December challenge – Arctic ice shawl

Shawls are definitely not in my home territory, and lacey ones are a foreign country to me, so when I bought the yarn to make this shawl it felt like embarking on a journey.

The pattern is by Carmen Heffernan and is available on her blog here

My thoughts on the pattern? It is a simple repeat decreasing slightly on one side, increasing more on the other to create a crescent shaped shawl. I had originally planned on saving some of the yarn for the edging but felt the shawl wasn’t really big enough, so carried on until I had used all 100g, and chose a different yarn for the picot border. It definitely needs the border, and the increase edge of the shawl was very keen on curling inwards, so I did block it too.

The yarn is Knitting fever painted desert pure super wash Australian wool in colour 07 Artic ice (their spelling!), The border is Coop Knits Socks Yeah! in colour 120 Azurite. I used a 4mm hook for the body of the shawl and 3.5mm for the border. This one is a Christmas present – so I had to keep it under wraps until now!

An Irish blessing

I recently had a commission for a baby blanket and the chance to play with some new colours for the Bertie baby blanket pattern. The request was for a green blanket and yes, the baby has an Irish mum so perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. Anyway this is what I came up with:

Made in Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino mint (03), Ella Rae cashmerino sport fern (14)and Ivory (13) and Scheepjes merino soft Michelangelo (603). Although I have mixed three different yarn types they are remarkably compatible, with very similar yardage and just the hint of a sheen on the soft-fun.

The yarn is lovely, and it is a shame that the baby cashmerino is discontinued, but the Ella Rae colours actually match some of the old Debbie Bliss ones, and this is certainly a combination I would use again.

Now for the technical bit. I made it on a 4.5mm hook and it is 9 motifs wide by 28 motifs long. The finished blanket measures 73 x 52 cm and weighs 305g. It took 2 balls each of the green and grey colours and 3 balls of ivory. And it is the squishiest blanket I have made yet!

Jaxon baby hat

Remember ages ago I made a little toddler cardigan in aran cables? The back of the cardigan was a lovely textured stitch with alternating double and treble crochet and I recently found a hat pattern in the same stitch. The stitch is called ‘up and down’ and there is a chart of it here by Dedri at ‘Look at What I made’ who used it to make a dishcloth! In the hat the stitch is worked in the round.

The pattern is by Expression Fibre Arts and is called Jaxon I used Rowan baby merino silk in Teal (677) and Rose (678) and it took 35g of yarn per hat. I used a 4.5mm hook for the main body of the hat and 4mm for the edging. They are really rather sweet, and the baby merino silk is just as soft as a baby hat should be…

November challenge – Scheepjes skies light XY scarf

This was a crochet-along gift from a lovely friend, who chose both the yarn and pattern. It was quite challenging for me as it is made in double crochet throughout but into the back loop only – a stitch which seemed remarkably unforgiving of any variation in tension.

The pattern is Mijo crochet’s XY scarf and the yarn is Scheepjes Skies light in 17 Circumcumulus and 116 Cumulonimbus. I used a 4mm hook and started with cumulonimbus.

I love the texture of this stitch, the subtle colour variation in the yarn, and how well it photographed in today’s winter light.

October challenge – waste-not-want-not blanket

I bought some Sirdar snuggly 100% cotton a while ago, made some swatches to try a ripple blanket with it, then decided it just wouldn’t do and left it in my stash unused. I really hate waste, so I made myself go back and re-work it into a new swatch – with this result:

Made in Sirdar snuggly 100% cotton in cream, rhino, light grey, mauve and powder on a 4mm hook. The stitch is ‘crossed trebles’ and you can see a chart for it here.

Mine weighs 360g and took 3 balls of cream, 1 of rhino and 2 each of mauve, light grey and powder. It measures 73 x 58cm and is 51 ‘crosses’ wide, which I think means I started with a chain of 105. I’m quite keen to have a go at one in ‘boy’ colours now…

When pink or blue won’t do

I had a commission recently to make a baby blanket that was ‘not in baby colours’ and what fun I had completing it;

Made in Drops cotton merino off white (01) and medium grey (18) and some precious discontinued Rowan wool cotton clear (941). I think they work really well together, and hopefully the new mum will agree too.

I started with a chain of 101 which gave me 7 repeats of 14 stitches plus 3 and used Attic 24’s neat ripple pattern. My blanket measures 69 x 59cm and weighs 300g. It took 2 balls each of off white and clear, and 3 balls of medium grey, as I used that for the border too.