Caterpillar Cocoon

I was asked to make a Caterpillar Cocoon months ago and searched high and low for a (free) pattern that would work with the chunky yarn (stylecraft special) I had bought and had the ridges of a cocoon rather than just straight edges. I bit the bullet and set about designing my own pattern. Eek! It took a few goes to get the increase and decrease rows right so they could be seen but weren’t going to be tight or uncomfortable for a baby. I so wish I had made these for my own babies as I think they would have been so useful for cuddling them in and then transferring them to a moses basket, like a ready made swaddle. I used chunky yarn but two strands of contrasting DK would look good too. This cocoon fits newborn to three months.

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The pattern is in US terms.

Ch2 at the start of a row does not count as a stitch. Start round in the same stitch as the ch2, not the next one.

You need:

6mm hook, chunky yarn.

Magic ring, ch 2, 8 dc in ring, sl st into first DC to join. (8)

Row 2: Ch2, 2 dc in each stitch around (16)

Row 3: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next*. Repeat ** around. (24)

Row 4: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 2*. Repeat ** around. (32)

Row 5: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 3*. Repeat ** around. (40)

Row 6: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 4*. Repeat ** around. (48)

Row 7: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 5*. Repeat ** around. (56)

Row 8: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 6*. Repeat ** around. (64)

Row 9: Ch2, DC in each stitch around (64)

Row 10: Ch2, *DC2tog, DC in next 6*. Repeat ** around. (56) Fasten off this colour and join new colour with a slip stitch.

Row 11: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 6*. Repeat ** around. (64)

Row 12: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 7*. Repeat ** around. (72)

Row 13: Ch2, DC in each stitch around (72)

Row 14: Ch2, *DC2tog, DC in next 7*. Repeat ** around. (64)

Row 15: Ch2, *DC2tog, DC in next 6*. Repeat ** around. (56).

Fasten off this colour. Join new colour with sl st. Repeat rows 11-15 twice more, alternating the colours used.

Finish off after a dec to 56 row and sc two rows, either in constrasting chunky yarn or in 2 x strands of dk. Hope you like it. Please let me know if there are any issues with the pattern!

Happy hooking x

PS the hat is a very cute pattern from Hand Me Down Hobby.

ETA Regarding the hat…

The second time I made this hat in newborn size I used stylecraft chunky and a 6mm hook. I started with 10 and increased 10 stitches each time until 30 stitches then increased in every 5th stitch to get 36 stitches in total. I did 8 rows altogether and then two rows of the rib edging.

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WIP Wednesday…It’s been a while!

The little ones are playing happily so I have ten minutes (maybe!) to collect my thought about my current projects.

The Granny Stripe Blanket: The awesome, simple, stunning granny stripe blanket! I am totally in love with this blanket and with rainbow coloured yarn. I had never appreciated that something so simple could look so impressive. Even the husband is impressed by this WIP!

I bought a Lucy pack of yarn from wool warehouse and used the attic24 pattern to get started on this blanket. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the colours so picked out the rainbow ones and a white skein and made a start. I took a while to get going but now I can do two rows in 15 minutes. I can manage two hours of crochet before my hands ache so I get 8 stripes done, just over half a rainbow. I have so far done two rainbow repeats…can’t decide if I need three or four repeats to make it a decent size for a cot/toddler bed

Hooked using a 4mm hook and stylecraft DK yarn

Corner to corner blanket: Another colourful project! This is for a Betty’s Bells order and is #1 of 2. The second one will be the same colours but a different order. The customer has said I can choose the colour for the border….decisions, decisions! 
Hooked using a 6mm hook and Hayfield bonus chunky

I’m also working on a baby sun hat for a friend in blue, yellow and white cotton. Pics of that one to follow!

My latest projects

I’ve been a bit busy lately so struggled to fit in writing blog posts. With going back to work next week (well, officially three days ago but it’s half term so a week off for me!), posts will probably be less regular. Over the last couple of weeks we have had a hospital stay for Miss S due to her fairly severe asthma and the husband has been in a play for the last week. This hasn’t left me with much free time for crafting or blogging! Hopefully I’ll catch up with myself this week.

I finished the poncho, which I loved making. It worked up fairly quickly, think it was about 7 hours in total and I enjoyed making the granny stripes. It’s a good pattern for watching TV to as doesn’t require much concentration. Here is the finished article:

The colour was chosen by the lady who ordered it for her toddler. I think it is a fab choice and the colours look so lovely together. I really love colourful crochet!

With the leftover yarn, I finally got round to making the unicorn. Once I got going I enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to complete it. I find working with a small hook (3mm) and having to focus on tiny stitches quite tiring though, so it took me a good 7-8 hours. I’m not so keen on the putting together stage either. I’ve had a few requests to order the unicorn but I’m not sure I’ll make amigurumi to sell. I’m not sure I would enjoy it and there are issues regarding safety certificates when selling toys.

Some pics…the first few rows took me forever. Then I found this youtube video which made doing the inital magic ring a bit easier.

I followed the pattern in the order it was written, so legs first, then body.

I posted this picture on my facebook page and got some funny suggestions as to what I might be making…toes, clangers, and russian dolls!

I expect once the head was made it might have been more obvious…

Here she is, all finished. I think she is so incredibly cute! My daughter nabbed her and my 8 year old son wants a “storm” unicorn. I have no idea what one of those is! Very satisfying when amigurumi is complete but hard work and patience to get to that point!

Can’t remember if I shared a photo of the slouchy hat in my last post…

My daughter requested it and loves it. I made it from the lovely Caron simply soft yarn. The only place I have found that stocks it is Wool Warehouse, who I have now ordered from a number of times! Their delivery is pretty quick and their prices very competitive.

Once all those items were finished I was daydreaming about creating a beautiful rainbow blanket for baby S. I have been lusting over an Attic24 pack of yarn for ages so bit the bullet and invested in one. It’s good value with the yarn costing slightly less than buying individual skeins. Think it works out that one skein is free.

Isn’t it beautiful! I bought a couple of additional skeins, the bright orange and bright yellow which are next to each other aren’t part of the Lucy pack.

With my daughter’s input, I decided to make a granny stripe blanket with a ROYGBIV rainbow colour scheme and with alternate white stripes.

These were the colours we selected, they look even more gorgeous in real life! I made a foundation chain of 120 in red and set off making the blanket. It took me about two hours to get going and hook 10 rows of granny stripes plus the foundation chain and a starting single crochet row. Each row is taking on average 10 minutes.

Can’t wait to crack on with the other colours and see it grow but it will have to take a back seat to my Betty’s Bells orders and my proper job!

Busy Bank Holiday!

I’ve managed to complete a few items on my to do list over the Easter weekend. First the Moogly cardigan! I hooked this up using Robin baby aran yarn. It’s 100% acrylic so will wash well, essential with a small baby!

If I make this again I will probably use a double knitting weight yarn so the cardi is a bit softer and more pliable. This will look lovely with the pixie bonnet I finished a few days again. I’m a cruel mummy and made my baby boy model it. I think he looks very cute and I must look out a pixie bonnet pattern that’s not quite so girly.

Shell stitch pixie bonnet by Cre8tion Crochet

I have also finished a pair of Mary Jane style baby shoes. This is actually the first time I have used a youtube video to follow a pattern. Initially I was a bit annoyed that I couldn’t read the pattern anywhere as I like to skim read them so I know what to expect. Anyway, I just followed the video and I’m really pleased I did. I learnt that I have been joining my rows in the wrong place all this time, oops! If there’s a ch2 at the start, I had been joining in the first stitch rather than the actual chain of the ch2. They looked okay before I feel better for knowing I’m now doing it right! It was good to follow the video, it was reassuring. 

I love this photo of the shoes. I’ve been reading about how to improve my photography skills when taking promotional photos and this is the first time I’ve felt the photo does the item justice.
Lastly, I started a “blessing day bonnet” the other day and got it finished last night. I really love this mercerised cotton yarn. It’s the first time I’ve used it. It gives a lovely finish to an item and is nice and soft but non shedding. I’m struggling to get a good photo of this hat though. It needs to be on something head shaped to show off the shape and the design on the back. I think I’m going to have to try it on the baby! He is quite difficult to get a photo of these days though, he’s just started crawling! Here’s my effort at photographing it so far…
So, all in all, a productive weekend. What shall I make next?! 

My little crochet business

I launched my little business, Betty’s Bells and whistles in February 2014 and have certainly been kept busy since then! 

I make items to order and made all the parts of this hat last night in between multiple visits to settle my 6 month old. I had hoped to complete it last night but the baby had other ideas! He had a good nap this morning so I used that time to get it finished and here it is… 

I love it, it’s so cute.  Once I have completed items, I check them meticulously to make sure they’re perfect and then wrap them to protect them in transit. 

I recently ordered some labels (as well as business cards) from vistaprint and I’m very happy with the quality and design of them. They really finish off the packaging. Here it is, wrapped and ready to go… 

I even managed to fit in a cuppa and a biscuit before the baby woke!