Tag Archives: crochet

A blanket for Kerry Anne

You might remember that we have two dolls, saved from when our children were small, called Jack and Kerry Anne. Since I took up crochet they have provided me with some wonderful opportunities to try things on a small scale and find out if I like them.
So here, in the spirit of trying new things, is a blanket for Kerry Anne.

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Made using a V-stitch, in Drops cotton merino on a 4mm hook. The colours are: pistachio, light grey, white, powder pink, lilac, and coral (left over from my https://iamsimplyhooked.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/candy-crush-blanket/).

More cuddles

It is still pretty wintry here, and it seemed like a good time to try a different colour-way for my tweed effect hot water bottle cover.
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Made in Scheepjeswol stonewashed XL in black onyx, smokey quartz and moonstone on a 6mm hook. One cover needs 1 ball of each colour. The stitch is my ‘three colour moss stitch’ but I have seen it called ‘linen stitch’ elsewhere. Pattern available on request.

My favourite and my best

What a pleasure it is to visit a yarn shop and come away, not just with a bag full of yarn, but also a head full of ideas of how to use it. We live in a fairly remote part of the world (there are 8 houses in our ‘village’, the nearest shop is 7 miles away and I rarely visit our nearest town, which is over an hour’s drive from us) and my opportunities to see, touch and smell (!) yarn are few and far between. So it was with some excitement last week that we ventured into a lovely yarn shop in Edinburgh, and came away with some new yarn. Here are the results:

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The large jellyfish is made with Rowan pure wool superwash worsted in teal wash, and Rowan wool cotton dk in ship-shape, cypress, larkspur and celadon, on a 4.5mm hook. The smaller jellyfish is in SMC select extra soft merino colour in petrol marine, and Rowan wool cotton dk smalt also on a 4.5mm hook. The yarns were chosen for my son, who requested a jellyfish in deep colours. I think they are my best yet, and you will be pleased to know that he approves.

Doing what I do best

I have had a nice time lately, making more of what I do best. Another Bertie baby blanket has been produced, and I will be dropping it off at the shop later this week.

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I know there is a time for experimentation, a time for learning something new or for pushing the boundaries yarn- and colour-wise, but this felt good.

Made in Rico baby classic dk using lilac, light green, light blue, light grey, blue, ice blue and cream, on a 5mm hook. The original pattern is by Little Doolally on Ravelry.

Jack’s hat

I had some yarn left over from the cable cardigan, and wanted to make a little hat along the same lines. A quick search of Ravelry came up with this:

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The pattern is a ‘Girly Preemie newborn hat’ by Julee Fort and it is free on Ravelry here. It is made of raised treble stitches with V-stitches in between, and has a clever increase system where for one row you crochet into the post, and into the top of each stitch, which doubles the stitch number while staying in pattern.
Mine would fit a newborn or premature baby, but to make a bigger one you could increase the number of stitches in the ring at the start of the pattern. Made in Drops cotton merino dk ‘Jeans blue’ on a 5mm hook.

Cable cardigan tah dah!

This project has been some time in the making, but I think it has been worth the wait. Do you remember way back in March I had these?

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Well now I have this:

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I went to crochet class at Kiki’s craft corner to learn how to make it, and the project has certainly taught me a lot. There was at least one point when I wondered if I would ever reach the end, but I am very glad that I persevered because I think the finished item is something to be proud of.

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I made mine in Drops cotton merino DK ‘Jeans blue’ on a 4.5mm hook, and used 7 balls of yarn for a cardigan 35cm wide and 37cm long. I do have a toddler in mind for this cardigan so fingers crossed that it fits!

Joined up thinking

Thanks to Lucy at Attic24, who posted this tutorial on joining squares, I have had my first go at sewing (rather than crocheting) squares together.

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I have always been put off ‘join as you go’ methods as half the fun (in my opinion!) is trying out different sequences and combinations of colour. This method allows you to do just that, then use an extra long end-tail to join the squares in the way you want. The joining method gives a pretty firm fabric, and I would say that the piece I have made would be more suited to a cushion cover than a blanket.

Made in Rico baby classic dk on a 5mm hook, using light green, light blue, light grey, blue, turquoise, and ice blue. I like the spring colours. and the joining method is something new to add to my toolkit!

Knowing when to stop

I have had this project in mind for a little while now.
It started with my ‘paintbox’ blanket, put together as a stashbuster back in Spring

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It gave me so much pleasure putting those colours together, and I wanted to make a more grown-up version of it. I had in mind a sort of ‘gentleman’s club’ colour scheme of burgundy, mustard and dark green. I had lots of Drops cotton merino in my stash, and wanted to experiment with a new palette.

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I made some squares, tried different borders, and felt I was getting somewhere. But every time I tried to arrange the squares together they just didn’t gel.

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I tried taking out the colours that weren’t working for me, and making more squares of the colours that were working:

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But I still felt I wasn’t getting anywhere. By now you will realise that I have spent hours and hours on this project, and used a not inconsiderable quantity of yarn. There must be a lesson to learn from this, but life is too short to spend time making things you don’t actually like, and I have decided to stop.

I have offered the squares to the Snail of Happiness for her Denmark farm project, and I hope that they will find a new and creative purpose there.

What do you do when something just doesn’t work for you?

For someone special

I made this panda cowl for a special small person who requested it as her birthday present.
Seen here chewing on a handy bamboo shoot!

Panda hood 2

It is based on a rather attractive Baylie bear cowl pattern by Heidi May on Ravelry

Baylie bear cowl
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baylie-bear-cowl

I made it using Hayfield super-chunky with wool in ‘Cornish’ and ‘Black’ using a 12mm hook, and used 3 balls of the cream colour and one of black. Overall I am pleased with it – but if I were to make it again I would make a smaller hood than the pattern suggests for the child’s size.
Are you making something for someone special?

A dishcloth to remember

I know that dishcloths aren’t the most memorable of objects, but this one is also a pattern swatch.

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The stitch is called ‘Fan and V’ and it is from Sarah Hazell’s lovely book ‘200 crochet stitches’ which has photo’s, written instructions and charts to guide you through each stitch.

200 crochet stitches

It is made in Sirdar ‘simply recycled’ dk ‘Greenhouse’ (discontinued) on a 5mm hook, and I think I cast on 42 stitches. The final cloth measures 24 x 24cm, and took about 35g of yarn.
So the good news is I have a new dishcloth, and one less ball of yarn in my stash. I am too embarrassed to tell you how many balls there are still to go….

Crochet for a long train journey

Our local craft shop has started stocking some lovely Debbie Bliss yarn. and I was taken with the warm colouring of this Riva shade called ‘thistle’
Riva thistle
As you know I am trying to be good about buying yarn just now, but I felt I could justify this purchase as I have a long train journey to do, and a modest scarf seemed like a perfect project. I chose moss stitch for some nice texture (see below for instructions) https://iamsimplyhooked.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/moss-stitch-fingerless-gloves/ and a 10mm hook for drape, and I must say it is working out rather well:
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All of which leaves me with a small problem …….The scarf is nearly finished and the train journey isn’t until Friday!
What am I going to crochet on the train??

If you would like to make one too a 20 stitch scarf worked out as 20 cm wide, and 3 balls of yarn made it 130 cm long.

His and hers

I have managed to finish another of my ‘must use some yarn from stash’ projects.
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It is a baby ripple blanket in Sirdar ‘simply recycled’ cotton, and if you have been following me for a while you might notice that it is very like the one I sent to baby Frank in New Zealand a few months ago.
https://iamsimplyhooked.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/flying-to-new-zealand/
I was pleased with the blanket at the time, and couldn’t resist buying more yarn when I saw it had been discontinued at Wool Warehouse. It is so frustrating to find the right combination of colours in a yarn that you like, only to have some of them discontinued a few months later. On the other hand I feel guilty keeping a stash of yarn that I don’t yet have a use for – it is a dilemma I am sure you have all had too.
Anyway I now have a pair of ‘his and hers’ blankets, ready to be sold. Hopefully to someone who likes muted colours and natural tones as much as I do!

It’s in the bag

With thanks to the Snail of Happiness for this very good idea, I have made a pack-away crochet bag:

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The pattern is called ‘String bag pattern’ and the link for it is here:
http://lindacraftycorner.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-string-tote-patterntutorial.html

I used Sirdar simply recycled dk, which is an acrylic/cotton mix, and a 5mm hook. The colour is called ‘pollen’ and it bears a slightly unfortunate resemblance to a burger bun when folded up (perhaps I could develop this as a theme!)

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It does however open to form quite a spacious bag….

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Another Bertie baby blanket

I wanted to try a softer colour scheme for the Bertie baby blanket, and this is what I have come up with:

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It is made in Rico baby classic dk on a 5mm hook, using blue, ice blue, light grey, cream, light green, light blue and lilac (discontinued). Why is it that just when I am thinking of using more of a yarn it gets discontinued??

A sense of achievement

I have now finished the little shell cardigan, adapted from Nicki Trench’s ‘Cute and easy crocheted baby clothes’

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I had to alter the stitch numbers for the sleeves as I had some problems with the pattern from the book (see previous post). I also chose a different stitch for the body of the cardigan – it is called ‘Arcade’ and I found it in ‘200 crochet stitches’ by Sarah Hazell:

200 crochet stitches

It is a great book with charts, written instructions and photos given for every stitch.

The cardigan is made in Drops Baby merino 4 ply ‘old rose’ on a 4mm hook. It combines a lovely soft feel with really good stitch definition, and it was a pleasure to work with. Not to mention being considerably cheaper than other wools of the same quality.

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It took less than 100g to make the 0-3 month size cardigan (Compared to 200g suggested in the book for the original shell stitch).
Overall I am pleased – and Nicki Trench has offered to send my queries to her pattern checker over the summer….

Something new

Spurred on by my new-found enthusiasm for making baby clothes I am working on a project from this lovely book:

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I won’t tell you which pattern it is (yet!) but suffice to say that it is proving to be much more straightforward than the boy’s hoodie pattern, and I am hopeful that I will be able to finish this one without recourse to newspaper and sellotape!

Nicki Trench – Cute and easy crocheted baby clothes.

Jonah’s hoodie crochet pattern

I have recently made a foray into the process of garment making, and have discovered that I have a lot to learn!
Here is a step by step guide to what I did, including all my mistakes!

Step one – purchase a crochet pattern for a hoodie:

Crochet hoodie pattern ebay

Step two – realise that I have neither the patience nor the skill to work from the crochet pattern, give said pattern to a friend who has more of both.

Step three – search the internet for a hoodie pattern with dimensions – eureka moment! http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90344AD.html
This is a knitting pattern, it is available free on Ravelry as ‘Jonah’s hoodie’ and there are lots of pictures of one’s that people have already made. The dimensions are also here:
Jonah’s hoodie pics

Jonah's hoodie original pic

Step four -start crocheting. I did alternate rows of double and treble crochet, which gave a striped effect with a bit of texture, plus I wanted to keep things simple! Practice neat turning rows and colour changes (see previous post)

Step five – have crisis of confidence re: the hood. Make newspaper cut-out of pattern and fold to see how it fits onto garment (my friends will not be surprised by this step!)

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Step six – assemble pieces:

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Step seven – add button band, sew on buttons and sew ends in. Tah dah!

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So what have I learned from making this?
Firstly most crochet patterns are written for people who have the faith to follow written instructions without necessarily knowing where they are leading to, I like to have a picture in my mind of where I am going, and where each step fits in to the overall journey. This is clearly going to be a disadvantage as far as reading traditional patterns goes, but I am determined to get round it.

Secondly good finishing skills are the key to making a garment to be proud of, I guess most of us can make nice neat rows of crochet, but I think the really professional look comes from good turning, colour changing and edging techniques. I am not there yet, but this was my first try!

Made in Rico baby classic dk Blue and Ice blue on a 5mm hook.