Quiet but not idle

It seems to have been a while since I have blogged, but I have not been idle! I have reverted to my old friend the granny rectangle, and have been busy making (lots of) baby blankets:

These ones have been safely received by pramdepot and will soon be part of their magnificent baby boxes which are put together from new, recycled and gifted items to support vulnerable mothers.

For these blankets I start with a chain of 21, which gives me a 5 granny cluster mini-rectangle, then build up 28-30 rounds of granny clusters to make a blanket of roughly 60 x 50cm.

The octopus is a little extra – pattern from crochetforbabies here.

Freedom Works

We have a lovely new shop in our next-door village, and I am excited to say that they are stocking some of my crochet. The shop is Freedom Works in Kishorn, right on the North Coast 500 route in the Scottish Highlands, and a regular haunt for locals too.

They are stocking some well known local artists including Cindie Reiter and Aileen Grant, along with some folk who are new to me. I have already sold a few things (and bought a few too!)

It is lovely to see a local shop selling locally made goods – and I wish Ali and the shop every success.

Top-knot baby hat – pattern launch

Thanks to those of you who volunteered to pattern-test this, I now have an easy and free pattern to make a top-knot baby hat in three sizes (premature, new-born and 0-3 months).

Top knot hat crochet pattern JH

You are welcome to make and sell as many top-knot hats as you wish. You may also pass on the pattern to other people, but please leave the link to my blog on the pattern.

Mine are made in Scheepjes merino soft Copely (634) Waterhouse (649) and Titian (647), Rowan baby merino silk Teal (677), Iceberg (699) and Rose (678 – discontinued), and an odd ball of King Cole baby alpaca plum (509), and weigh approximately 40g for the 0-3 month size.

A nice pot of tea

I am definitely of the, rather old fashioned, view that the nicest cup of tea is made in a pot. So it was a pleasure to have the chance to make a teapot cosy for a friend recently:

The colours are based on my Orla cushion which sits in pride of place in the same friend’s kitchen. Some of the original colours have been discontinued, so one or two modifications had to be made, along with a change in stitch to provide more insulation. The final colours chosen were Drops Muskat vanilla yellow (30), sky blue (76), light yellow (07), red (12), and taupe (24). I made it in (UK) double crochet on a 4.5mm hook, using a paper pattern from the teapot measurements. If all goes well it should be warming a nice pot of tea shortly!

The animals went in two by two

I have been meaning to have a go at these little crochet elephants for some time, and am so glad that I have now made some:

The pattern I used came from Irene Haakt here, and there is also one available on Ravelry by Studio Madelaine here. Mine are made in Erika Knight gossypium cotton in Gift (503) on a 4.5mm hook, and some 4-ply grey cotton from my stash on a 3.0 mm hook. The large elephant weighs 30g, and the small one 15g.

I now have an order for some blue ones to be getting on with – watch this space!

Back to basics

I am developing a bit of a yarn crush for James C Brett Stonewash. The yarn itself is not lovely (100% acrylic) but the colours are very pleasantly subtle, and when mixed with other yarns it makes a nice blanket overall. You might remember these Granny rectangle blankets from a while ago, well I have now made them in two new colourways:

Made in James C Brett Stonewash SW14 with Sublime extra fine merino wool 448 (organza) and Drops merino extra fine 01 (off white); and James C Brett Stonewash SW11 with King Cole Majestic DK 2649 (grey) and Drops merino extra fine 01 (off white).

Top-knot baby hat

Having seen a few ‘top-knot’ hats on line, like this one by Annelies Baes, I thought I would have a go at making one myself:

Mine is made in Drops cotton merino dk in Lavender (23) on a 4.5mm hook. I actually started off with a free pattern by Justbehappylife, but ended up modifying it rather a lot, to make it in UK double crochet. I did scribble down what I was doing, so when I have had a chance to make another one I will share the pattern with you.

This one is for Molly Drew.

Sea greens and sea pinks baby blankets

Since I discovered the Scheepjes merino soft, Ella Rae baby cashmerino and Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino could be substituted for one another, pretty much metre for metre, I have been playing around with their combined colour range to see if I can make some rather more subtle combinations than is possible with a single brand. These are my most recent efforts:

Made in Scheepjes merino soft Ernst (653) Pissaro (651) and Raphael (602) with Ella Rae baby cashmerino Icicle (29). The pink version is in Scheepjes merino soft Copely(634) Waterhouse (649) and Titian (647) and Raphael (602), but to be honest I am not so pleased with that as a colour combination. Why do I find pinks so difficult?

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?