Small is beautiful

The yarn that I have been using to make my crocheted jellyfish has been discontinued, so in an effort to conserve stocks I have had a go at making some mini jellyfish….

They are based on a 48 stitch circle. The tentacles start with a chain of 35 stitches with two half trebles made into each chain. And the base is finished off with a little ring of half trebles where the gonads would be.

Overall I’m pleased, so the next step is to see if people buy them!

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Ombre octopus and dishcloth

I feel I have gone through a bit of a crochet drought recently, then (like buses) two new projects come along at once..

They are both made with a single ball of Ricorumi Spin Spin dk in blue (010). The dishcloth has a starting chain of 33 and is made using a half treble cluster stitch that I found on The Crochet Swirl blog. Mine is made on a 4.5 mm hook, weighs 32g and measures 20cm square.

The remaining 18g of yarn was just enough to make an octopus using a 4mm hook. (The original pattern is here if you are interested, though I have modified mine a bit!)

I do have a recipient in mind for these, but Shhhhh… It’s a secret!

Good in patches

Time for a bit of stash-busting:

The colours I used are: Scheepjes softfun Snow (2412), Orchid (2657), Lavender (2658), Glacial mist (2646), Arctic (2630) and Green Tea (2639), Drops cotton merino Powder Pink (05) and King Cole Drifter for baby Fairy Dust (3355). Some of these were 20g balls from the Scheepjes Softfun pastel pack of mini-balls.

The solid Granny squares are an Attic 24 pattern, and mine are four rounds each. I was able to make four squares from each 20g mini-ball using a 4.5mm hook. The blanket is 30 squares overall and I made up some extra squares from the variegated yarn.

I used this tutorial by ‘Hooked by Robin’ for a continuous tight join as you go. It involves removing your hook after each stitch in order to pull the loop through the adjacent square, and is actually quite quick once you get the hang of it. I used this diagram from ‘Wool thread paint’ to remind me of the joining sequence.

On the plus side this was a good way of using up mini-balls of yarn, and I do think that the colours are pleasing together. On the minus side I am not sure that the cotton-acrylic mix of Softfun is ideally suited to this project. Some of my squares ended up as slightly different sizes, and my tension definitely varied during the join-as-you go stage, and the yarn is not very forgiving of this. The Drops cotton merino has a bit more give in it, and I think would make a better blanket overall.

Any way I have learned something new, and it was all done with yarn from my stash so that’s a win!

A river runs through it

This is my version of a pattern called the ‘Rivers shawl‘ by Rich Textures Crochet:

It’s a relatively straightforward pattern to make, but doesn’t appear so from the instructions! I bought the pattern from Etsy in the hope that it would contain a chart, which it didn’t, so for those of you who would find one helpful here is mine:

The pattern repeat is 16 stitches, plus one extra stitch at each end of the scarf. I started with a chain of 226, to make 225 stitches. This is 14 pattern repeats plus 1 (trust me – this works!) At the beginning and end of each row I just added one extra stitch with no chain before it, and turned. This is not quite what the instructions tell you to do, but it does keep it simple!

The blue scarf is in Drops Big Merino, and the autumn colourway is a West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley aran. Both are now discontinued. I used a 6mm hook and the scarves took just over 2 100g balls of yarn each. They are 9 ‘waves’ wide, 14 ‘waves’ long and measure 156 x 24 cm.

More rippling

Isn’t it often the case when you complete a project, that it leads to you making more of something similar?

These are variations on a theme:

The blankets are my version of a ‘West Yorkshire ripple’, which is based on a West Yorkshire Spinners knitting pattern but is actually crocheted, and made in King Cole Majestic yarn. My colours were Duck egg (2650), Grey (2649) and White (2641). I used three balls of duck egg and two each of white and grey.

The pink version is made in Sirdar Country Classic Rose Pink (855) and King Cole Majestic Grey (2649) and White (2641).

Both are made on a 4.5mm hook; start with a chain of 101 stitches and are 25 wide ripples long. In the West Yorkshire ripple blanket the blue (or pink) stripes are three rows wide, while the grey and white stripes are two rows wide. It’s a small change but very effective in ‘lifting’ the pattern, which can otherwise look a bit repetitive.

One of these is already spoken for!

Rippling along

A friend who has just become a granny for the second time requested a blanket, so I made a few for her to choose from!

The top one is made in Scheepjes Softfun Lace (2426), Orchid (2657), Lavender (2658) and Periwinkle (2619) on a 4.5mm hook. It took 50g each of the pale colours and 100g of Periwinkle, including the border.

I call the bottom one my ‘Modern Ripple’ blanket. It is also made in Scheepjes Softfun, but this time in Snow (2412), Cloud (2530), Blossom (2618) and Flamingo (2653).

I also have a blue version of the Modern Ripple – made using Scheepjes Softfun, in Snow (2412), Cloud (2530), Light blue (2432) and Sky (2613)

The ripple pattern is Attic 24’s neat ripple. The blankets are 7 ripples wide (so have a starting chain of 102) and 19 wide ripples long.

Now, I wonder which one she will choose?

Boho Spirit tiny squares scarf

Inspired by this post from Marion at Wool Thread Paint I have made a version of her granny scarf:

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Mine is made in Cygnet Boho Spirit ‘Folk’ (6464) and Scheepjes Merino soft Velazquez (650) on a 4.5mm hook. It is 21 squares long x 3 squares wide, and took 100g of the variegated yarn and 130g of the plain joining yarn. The finished scarf measures 125 x 19cm and weighs 230g.

In Marion’s version she has continued with the variegated yarn around the border of her squares, but I wanted a border colour that would give contrast throughout the length of the scarf, and for me this works.

I would certainly be up for trying another colourway, perhaps in King Cole Riot, which has slightly longer yardage than Boho spirit ( 294m compared to 240m) and also some warming wool content! Anyone want to commission one?

Legwarmers are in

I have been informed by my favourite 15-year-old that legwarmers are desirable items, and I have given myself the challenge of making her some…

The lighter grey pair are based on the pattern by All about Ami which I modified so I had a simple four stitch cable and a chart, which I found easier to follow. The leg section needs to have a multiple of 7 stitches, so some increasing took place on the first round to allow for this. They are made in Patons wool blend aran, shade 88 ‘grey’, using a 5mm hook for the rib, and a 6mm hook for the leg section.

The darker grey pair were my second attempt, using Drops Big merino in shade 03 ‘Anthracite’. I used the same hook sizes but tried Joanne’s elastic rib from The Crochet Project website, which is a bit stretchier than the usual construction. I didn’t trust either rib to hold them up so they are finished at the top end with a double layer of (UK) double crochet encasing some elastic.

They are both 44cm long and about 13cm wide. A pair took 237g of the Patons yarn, and 335g of the Drops (which is 100% wool). To be honest both sets are rather thicker than I imagined, and I will wait to see how they go down with said teenager, but they will certainly be warm in the colder days to come…

Penguin fun

I have been having some fun with amigurumi recently, and have had a go at making a penguin:

The pattern is from Kerry Lord’s crochet animals book ‘Ocean’ and mine is made with Scheepjes merino soft in Raphael, Michelangelo and Pollock on a 4mm hook.

The pattern is described as ‘Intermediate’ in difficulty, and I would agree. Particularly the carrying one yarn behind the other technique for the head!

Zandra Rhodes Forest Stripes scarf

I have been meaning to have a go at some deliberate ‘colour pooling’ of variegated yarn for a while, and this is my first attempt at a striped scarf made from Zandra Rhodes Colour lab DK:

I chose Forest Stripes (1032) and Cerise Pink (0539) and added some Drops cotton merino Navy (08) plus some scraps from stash into the mix. My scarf is 26 stitches wide, made in (UK) double crochet on a 4.5mm hook. It measures 130 x 15 cm and used 85g of the variegated wool plus about 25g each of the solid colours.

The most successful parts of the scarf are 6 row blocks of solid colour followed by a random number of stripes until I needed to break the yarn. The colour lab DK is 100% wool and does not have the stitch definition of the cotton-merino yarn, and lots of single stripes together can look a bit ‘muddy’.

One trick that I used was to decrease hook size for the last few stitches of a row if it looked like I was going to be short of a particular colour. I also designated part of the scarf as the middle, and worked outwards from both ends, which gave me a bit more confidence when I was ‘randomly’ choosing colours as I knew the scarf would be broadly symmetrical when it was finished.

Thanks to West Yorkshire Spinners for such a reliably spaced colour-changing yarn, and to Zandra Rhodes for the brave colourway!

Mellow mauve Bertie

I have been on the look-out for a new colour combination for the Bertie Baby Blanket for a while, and this is what I have come up with:

It’s made in Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino Lilac (10), Pale lilac (608) and Silver (12) plus Scheepjes merino soft Raphael (602) and Michelangelo (603).

Mine was made on a 4.5mm hook, weighs 290g, measures 69 x 50 cm and took one ball each of the colours, plus 3 balls of cream.

Overall I think the colours are pleasantly mellow, and hopefully a new mum somewhere will think so too.

Bertie goes to sea

I do seem to have been on a roll with baby blankets lately – and I am particularly pleased with the colour combinations in this one:

Made in Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino Duck egg (026) and Silver (012), Elle Rae cashmerino sport Icicle (29) and Scheepjes merino soft Michelangelo (603) and Raphael (602). Made on a 4.5mm hook it took 3 balls of cream, two of the duck egg, and one each of the other colours. It is of course a Bertie baby blanket.

Another version now made in Rowan baby merino silk: Teal (677), Iceberg (699), Cloud (693) and Frosty (702). Plus Drops merino extra fine in Off White (01).

Reflections shawl no. 2

Goodness, this one has been a long time in the making:

The pattern is the Reflections shawl pattern by Ana D. The variegated yarn is Kunstgarn which is a Danish sock yarn – 75% superwash wool 25% nylon. This one is colour 24 which is apparently called ‘Disney’. I bought it from Under the Rowan, a lovely yarn shop at Armadale on Skye. The background colour is Cascade Heritage sock yarn which is 75% superwash merino 25% nylon in colour 5633 ‘Italian plum’. I made the shawl on a 4mm hook. It took 170g of the base colour and 100g of sock wool, and it measures 135 x 70cm.

I have made one before, but I think this will be my last for a while. It felt like a bit of a marathon!

Baby booties

A couple of people have been into the Knitters shop recently looking for baby booties, so I thought I would have a go at making some:

They are based on the pattern by SarahMaker, and made in Sirdar Country Classic dk on a 4mm hook. The colour is duck egg blue (864). A pair of booties took 25g of yarn.

It’s a well-written pattern and includes this useful size chart with the sole size (in inches) for each age. Mine came out at 3.25 inches so are definitely in the new-born range.

Uist Wool cowls

We had a wee jaunt to Uist last week and I came back with some lovely yarn-cakes made of various shades of their undyed wool. This is what I have made with them:

They are Moebius cowls and I am very pleased with how they have turned out. They are based on the Laura Cracknell’s PPHOP pattern and each cowl took just over 40g of yarn.

I have made a couple of these in other thicknesses of yarn so for reference my starting chain plus foundation row is 58cm long. For Chunky yarn I use an 8mm hook and chain 71, for aran yarn a 6mm hook and chain 91, and for the Uist wool dk a 5mm hook and chain 99. The chunky yarn has only two rows of lattice in the first block, aran and dk yarns have three rows as per the pattern.

Bertie sings the blues

There is something really quite soothing about making a Bertie baby blanket – just the right amount of repetition, and a satisfying rhythm…

This one is made in: Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino Teal (203), and silver (012), Scheepjes merino soft Michelangelo (603) and Raphael (602)., and Ella Rae cashmerino sport Icicle (29) and Fern (14). It took 3 balls of cream, two of teal and one each of the other blues and greys.

It is 9 pattern repeats wide so I started with a chain of 92, to make a 91stitch wide blanket. Mine was made on a 4.5mm hook and is cm wide and cm long. It weighs…

Flying (back) to New Zealand

Some of you will remember the original ‘Flying to New Zealand‘ blanket, which I made for my first great-nephew. The blanket has stood the test of time, but sadly the yarn that it was made in (Sirdar simply recycled) was discontinued some time ago.

I have been looking for a replacement for those lovely chalky colours and natural cottony feel, and have come up with this:

Made in Scheepjes Softfun Denim (2489), Slate Blue (2602), Cloud (2530). Mist (2627) and Lace (2426) on a 4.5mm hook. The pattern is Attic 24’s Neat ripple pattern, and my blanket is 7 ripples wide. It took two balls of Denim and one ball each of the other colours.

A riot of a scarf

I had this idea that I might be in need of some mindless crochet to see me through a period of recuperation, and bought some yarn for a project that I thought would fit the bill:

The yarn is King Cole Riot in colour ‘Stormy’ (3079) and I made a corner to corner scarf with it. The scarf is 17 ‘squares’ across, which gave me a width of 22cm using a 4.5mm hook, and I kept going until it was 130cm long. It took 200g of yarn.

It’s not the first C2C scarf I have made (see here, here and here) and it won’t be the last as I am afraid I over-purchased on the yarn!

Rainbow ripple blanket no. 3

And now – a pale pastel version of my Rainbow Ripple blanket.

This one is made using colours from the Scheepjes Softfun Pastel colour pack, plus a couple of extras to complete the palette: Light rose (2513), Starfish (2620), Banana (2496), Mint (2640), Sky (2613, not in pack), Orchid (2657) and Flamingo (2653, not in pack) plus Snow (2412) as the background colour.

Rainbow ripple blanket no. 2

As promised – a pastel version of my Rainbow Ripple blanket.

This one is made using the softer tones from the Scheepjes Softfun Rainbow colour pack, plus a couple of extras to complete the palette: Rose (2514, not in pack), Soft Coral (2636), Canary (2518, not in pack), Apple (2516), Cool blue (2603), Violet (2519) and Pink (2480), plus Snow (2412) as the background colour.