September challenge – Ikea plant pot covers!

One of my daughter’s friends has just bought her first flat. It is an exciting time and I am told that prickly plants make great housewarming presents! So here is my second take on crocheting a plant pot cover (see take one here):

Made in James C Brett Noodles, colours N5 (turquoise) and N7 (grey) on a 4mm hook. The yarn is 100% polyester so pretty much waterproof, and it would go through a washing machine if needed. It has now been discontinued (story of my life!) but there is still the odd ball available on line.

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August challenge – rainbow bobble blanket

I got the idea to make this when I made the reflections shawl – a baby blanket in bright rainbow colours with a unifying blue background, and I have been waiting for the right yarn and pattern to come together to make it possible:

The yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran prints in Rum Paradise (822) and Cascade 220 in Blue Velvet (7818). The pattern is ‘Chasing Rainbows’ by Marley Bird, available on the Red Heart website here. The pattern requires a colour change every row, but as it is made in Aran weight wool, I didn’t feel this was too much. I started with a chain of 115 (I think) which gave me a blanket that was 18 bobbles wide.

The finished item is 80 x 60 cm and weighs 460g (which is quite a lot for a baby blanket!) I used 3 balls of Rum paradise and 2 of Blue Velvet (just!) on a 5mm hook.

One word of caution is that at the precise tension and bobble number that I used I gave an exact colour repeat every 3 coloured rows – so there are two turquoise / yellow / pink vertical ‘stripes’ and two purple / green / orange stripes in the blanket. I don’t think I mind… but it’s not what I expected when I started!

July challenge – Linen drape shawl

This month’s challenge was ready a wee while ago, but the sunshine to photograph it in has only just arrived!

I used Tamara Kelly’s Chevron lace fingerless mitts pattern as my starting point and added a row of double crochet in Natural between each pair of coloured rows:

To keep the Natural rows the same width visually they all had to start on the same side of the scarf, so there were times when I didn’t turn at the end of a row, but worked over the previous row in the same direction in order to achieve this.

Made in Stylecraft Linen drape Coral (3906), Peacock (3905), Lime (3902) and Natural (3901) on a 4.5mm hook. I started with a chain of 64 to give me three pattern repeats and the finished shawl is 28 x 156cm. It used 1 ball of each of the 4 colours – with a bit to spare.

June challenge – Moebius strip cowl

Have you heard of ‘pennies per hour of pleasure’? It’s an initiative set up to raise funds for Medecins sans Frontieres for their charitable work. Designers donate a knitting or crochet pattern, and people who use the pattern donate a sum in proportion to the pleasure they got from making it. The pattern I chose is the Moebius cowl by Laura Cracknel, and this is how it turned out:

The cowl on the on the left in Drops Big Delight colour 16 ‘Blackberry’ and the one on the right is made in West Yorkshire Spinners Fusions Aran colour 862 ‘Autumn mix’, both on a 6mm hook. I started with a chain of 90 stitches and each cowl weighs 75g.

May challenge – Ric rac blanket

I came across this lovely stitch pattern on the Happy in Red blog, and then found the pattern for sale by Yummy Yarn and co.

It is a very simple but effective two row repeat, and I think it would lend itself to a lot of different colourways. Mine is 13 motifs wide (I think I started with a chain of 107) and 16 coloured stripes long. The finished blanket is 64 x 53cm and weighs 270g.

Made in Drops cotton merino off white (01), Wendy merino DK corn (2406) and fennel (2382), and Debbie Bliss Rialto DK Apricot (088). It took one ball of each of the three colours and three balls of the off white.

I did have major problems keeping my tension the same – which I can only put down to learning a new stitch. But a little light blocking saved the day!

April challenge – Reflections shawl

I came across this crochet pattern by Ana D on Ravelry, and it seemed to suit some yarn that I had in my stash admirably..

The variegated yarn is Kunstgarn which is a Danish sock yarn – 75% superwash wool 25% nylon. Mine is colour 28 which is apparently called ‘ceramic’. I bought some Scheepjes Our tribe which is 70% superwash merino 30% polyamide in colour 884 ‘Iris Garden’ as the base colour, and made the shawl on a 4mm hook. It took about 150g of the base colour and 100g of sock wool, and measures 130 x 66cm.

Now I have a difficult decision to make – do I wear it or sell it??