Category Archives: Other crochet

Felted insoles

I have been meaning to do this for so long, and I am so pleased I have finally made some felted insoles!

I started off with two rectangles, made in double crochet, put them through the washing machine at 40 degrees C along with the household wash, and then cut the felted pieces with scissors using a pair of existing insoles as a pattern.

My rectangles were between 21 and 25cm x 20cm before felting, but I would say 25cm x 15cm would be ideal. I am a size 5 shoe so you might want to increase this for a significantly larger shoe size. Because I used aran thickness wool I would say these insoles are too thick for a normal shoe, but they are in my Wellington boots just now and are so cosy!

Made in Drops Alaska Dark blue (37), Navy blue (12), Denim blue (57) and Mustard (58) on a 6mm hook. You might remember that this was originally a colour scheme for a hot water bottle cover – so please note: these hot water bottle covers are not machine washable!

Catching the Christmas post

These were a commission from a friend who wanted some small Christmas gifts that were easy to post – I think they fit the bill!

Made in Rico creative cotton fir green (23) and cherry (65) on a 4.5mm hook. The pattern is by Lilleliis and is available here.

Mine are 10cm high by 6cm wide and would make a good hanging ornament or present topper.

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!

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!

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.

Today I learned…

This is one of my son’s favourite sayings, but it is very appropriate to today’s post, as I was lucky enough to learn how to make this at a crochet workshop recently:

I was taught by a lovely lady named Claire from Cookston crafts who ran the workshop at the recent Dornoch Fibre fest. I am not sure of it is going to be a flower pot holder, or hook holder, or cache pot, but regardless of its ultimate use in the process of making it I learned how to do tapestry crochet, weave ends in invisibly, and neaten up my colour changes! Thank you Claire.

Made in James C Brett Noodles, colours N5 (turquoise) and N7 (grey) on a 4mm hook.

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July challenge – Hooks and Hills square

Pam of Hooks and Hills has occasionally asked me to pattern test for her, and this month saw a friendly email drop into my inbox with just such a request.

It is a lovely square based on 13 rows of very varied crochet, explained carefully row by row.
Pam writes in US crochet terms so my job was to work through the UK pattern and check that it had all translated properly…

If I have read her blog correctly then I think this square will be called ‘Winter in the glen’ so it is particularly appropriate that it came to Scotland to be pattern tested! Can I say too what a difference it makes to have patterns tested by other people before they are published? Even little glitches can be so off-putting for us crocheters, and how many projects have been abandoned because of not being able to decipher a written pattern?

Anyway I had great fun making it. My favourite bit was probably the front post stitches which give that lovely cartwheel pattern to the centre and edge. And I also have an idea of what to make it into….watch this space!

Moss stitch hook case

There has been rather a lot of trial and error going on with this project:

It started off as a wash-bag but the sides were too floppy for my liking, so I made the sides shorter with the idea of turning it into a hook case. Then I felt the base shape wasn’t defined enough so I added a row of double crochet round that, and finally I had enormous problems inserting the zip because the top edge looked too long for the base. A kind friend suggested a smaller zip and shortening the top row of crochet by threading some matching yarn through as a gathering thread. So finally I have a hook case that is fit for purpose and pleasing to my eye. I do love this textured stitch so perhaps it was worth persevering with.

It is made in Scheepjes merino soft ‘Michelangelo’ using moss stitch on a 4.5mm hook.

300th post give-away

This has been creeping up on me for a while and I wanted to mark it in some way. The local knitters shop is only open during the summer so round about this time of year I get a break-down of what has sold during the season. I have put this season’s sales into a bar chart (!) but I haven’t labelled the bars. The best selling items (in alphabetical order) are: crabs, dishcloths, jellyfish and spiders.

But which did I sell most of?

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment telling me which item you think is the best-selling. If you guess correctly I will put your name in a hat and my trustworthy husband will pick out one winner, who will receive that item as their prize. If you win I would like you to acknowledge your prize on some form of social media (e.g. a blog, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook post) with a link back to my blog. I am willing to post anywhere in the world so don’t be put off if you don’t live in the UK – let’s spread some crochet happiness!

Oh – and we had better set a closing date. What about the end of November 2017 which, by co-incidence, marks the 5th anniversary of me taking up crochet!

Pattern testing

I had some fun yesterday testing a pattern called ‘Winter sun’ by Pam at hooksandhills

It is her first go at publishing a pattern and I found it really clear and easy to follow, and so must her other testers have as she has released it today!
If you would like to see her version of the square, and indeed her other lovely crochet you can pay her a visit here: Free Pattern – Winter Sun Square

The owl has fledged

So I think the owl is nearly ready to fly:

Made in King Cole cottonsoft crush ‘rainbow’ (60g) Cottonsoft dk ‘buttercup’ (160g) and ‘Rose petal’ (30g). Other yarns from stash.

The original pattern was from Shifo on Ravelry (here) but I did adapt it somewhat. The pattern suggests that you crochet the bag and applique all the parts on later, but I made the chest plate first and incorporated it into the bag using the ‘join as you go’ method. Shi-fo’s bag starts with a long chain which you draw together to form the toe section, but I started with a circle and built up to the right number of stitches that way. My wings are ovals as I felt they fitted on to the body better than circles, and I ended with a rib at the top which I hope will make the bag stay on the baby a bit better!

If I made it again I would consider using a cotton/acrylic mix which would give a lighter bag, but I am pleased with the colours and the construction, and enjoyed doing something new.

A commission

A quick trip to the knitters shop last week led to a chance encounter with a lovely lady with a knitting problem!
Her daughter would like an owl cocoon for her new baby who is due in September. So far so good, but what is the problem?
All the patterns she could find were crochet ones, and as she doesn’t crochet she wondered if I might make one for her?
She sent some lovely photos, from which I have chosen this one:

Oh, and it has to be in cotton as the daughter lives in Ecuador.
I am already busy choosing yarns….

The little red hen

One in a series of crochet pieces not made by me:

Bought recently on ebay with a view to making something similar. I had in mind something rather subtle in cream and grey – perhaps a speckled Sussex? When this little hen arrived however I was so taken with the work that had gone into making it that I have done nothing but sit back and admire it. So thank you ‘Silverdustcats’ for a little bit of crochet inspiration.

O Christmas tree!

Inspired by these pictures by One Dog Woof here I set about making some crochet Christmas trees:

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Mine are in DMC Natura cotton, colour 14 (Green valley) and the best ones were made on a 3.5mm hook in double crochet. The trunks are wine corks, but I did cheat a bit and cut some in half so they would fit inside the tree better. The stars are just long pins with star heads, and I think they work really well.

Sent with my very best wishes, and wishing you all a Happy Christmas.

What’s selling?

The shop where I sell most of my crochet produce is seasonal, and is now closed for the winter. So I have just got a complete breakdown of what has sold over the last year, and now have a chance to plan and re-stock for next season.

My ‘to do’ list for the winter includes spiders, crabs, dishcloths, cushions, hot water bottle covers and rather a lot of jellyfish. None of this is a chore actually as I enjoy making all of them, and hopefully in-between time there will be a chance to try some new things too. I am looking forward to it already!

Would anyone like to guess how many jellyfish they sold?

As time goes by

Another vintage crochet piece from my friend’s granny, and what a find this one is:
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How to describe it? It is about 40cm in diameter and made with very fine cotton (a single chain is about 1mm wide). The whole piece is threaded through with an olive green silk ribbon, and the points are finished with eight green tassles. I say ‘piece’ because I am not at all sure what it’s purpose is – a doily? a bowl cover? a dressing table centre piece?
Whatever it was intended for it is a lovely piece of work, and a fine example of what must now be an almost forgotten craft.

A bag for the tooth fairy

I have had a request for a little bag, suitable for placing a tooth in for the tooth fairy. So after a bit of thought I decided on a tiny draw-string bag, and made this:

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Made in metallic embroidery thread on a 3mm hook. It is just large enough to fit a £1 coin in the base (Is that the going rate for a tooth these days?)

The nesting season

I am not long back from holiday and went through the usual process of debating what to pack crochet-wise. I decided on some Debbie Bliss fine Donegal in ‘Blackberry’. But what to make with it?
I set off with the intention of making some socks, but fell down at the making two identical toes stage. (I know, it is embarrassing.) Then I hit upon the idea of some nesting bowls.

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My intention is to felt them, so I’ll let you know how that goes…
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