Hot off the hook!

I finally finished the rainbow granny blanket! The border rows took way longer than I expected and there were all the ends to tie in too. Here are a few pics…
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Isn’t it wonderful! I am so proud of it. I made it for my fourth child, my nine month old and I hope he will be comforting to him throughout his childhood and maybe even beyond.

I used stylecraft special dk yarn, a selection of colours from the Attic24 kit at wool warehouse. I love those websites so much. Lucy at the Attic is so inspiring and wool warehouse enable me to indulge in lots of pretty colours at really reasonable prices. I used a 4mm hook which keeps the stitches well defined and not too loose. The border is a row of white single crochet followed by a row of each rainbow colour. Each colour is single crochet in back loops only and you can see what that looks like here…

IMG_20140710_030728_wmThe border has a tendency to curl, it’s not a major problem for me but in the future I may add a row of sc followed by a pretty edging row.

I truly enjoyed making this blanket. I can actually watch tv while I granny stitch which is a bonus!

Until next time, happy hooking.

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!

WIP Wednesday

Apologies for the lateness of this weeks WIP Wednesday post, but the original post has gone missing somewhere in the ether between the blogger app on my phone and the internet. Very annoying. The blogger app is pretty useless and causing me to consider moving the blog to another provider. WordPress seems a popular choice. I like how blogger links to all things google though.

So, this week has been pretty busy! I got a new niece which spurred me on to finish the amigurumi bunny and to make the cutest little hat and shoes set.

I have also been busy completing a lovely hat for an order. It’s pretty much the baby cloche hat pattern that I’ve used before, just done in a adult size. It’s made from Lily Sugar n Cream cotton which I love working with. The stitches look so defined and neat. I hope its new owner likes it. 
I have a couple of WIPs this week…
Preschooler poncho: I’m really enjoying making this colourful poncho. It’s the first time I’ve worked with stylecraft yarns and I have to say, I’m impressed with the quality of the double knitting yarn. It’s lovely and soft and stays neat as I’m working with it. The threads don’t unwind like some yarns do and there’s an nice finish to the stitches. I’m 16 rows in now and I reckon I need at least another 20. Each row takes about 15 minutes now but that gets gradually longer as there are two clusters of stitches added to each row. I think I’ll finish it off with a couple of rows of single crochet and then a scalloped edging. 

Neon pink slouchy hat: Requested by my 10 year old daughter, apparently these are what every girl needs these days. In bright pink, obviously. Still, it’s a pretty easy request in a lovely yarn. I love the Caron Simply Soft (which is worsted/aran weight yarn) so much, I just wish I could buy it locally. I don’t mind buying from the internet but the free delivery for orders over £25 is just too good an offer to miss out on and I have ended up with a LOT of yarn! Have a look here for all the pretty colours that are available.

Not looking likely that I’ll have either of these finished by Friday, but I’ll give it a go! Oh, and the amish puzzle ball…it hasn’t left my WIP box since last week, oops. 

Crochet confusion part 2: worsted yarn

It feels odd referring to the stuff I have called “wool” all my life, as “yarn”. The Americans are right though, it is yarn. Wool is defined as a fibre obtained from the coats of animals. Yarn is the term to describe a continuous length of interlocked fibres. So the pedant in me insists that I now call it yarn. 
When I started crocheting, I had a plentiful supply of yarn left over from my knitting days, but it wasn’t the yarn they were recommending on patterns. Most patterns called for a “worsted weight yarn”. Say what? I had no idea. Turns out that worsted weight is approximately equivalent to our aran weight. That is, unless the pattern is asking for light worsted or heavy worsted…they are totally different! (double knitting and chunky to us in the UK).

Why can’t these things be the same the world over? Why can’t we all use the same terms to describe our yarns? Why can’t we all decide to just call the crochet hooks their actual size ie a 5mm hook (as is UK convention), rather than a “H” hook (US!)? Why is our single crochet a US double crochet?!

Sorry, back to yarn. 

So, I spent the first few months using aran weight yarn, not convinced it was the right stuff, but my items worked up ok so I was happy.

I was browsing the Wool Warehouse site, looking for some cotton yarns to make lighter hats, more suited to spring and ordered lots of balls of gorgeousness like this one…

Can you imagine my excitement when I spotted this on the label!

Finally I could feel confident that I was using the correct yarn. I hadn’t used cotton before so thought I’d do a couple of little projects to try out the pretty new additions to my stash. 
I used the solid colours (Drops Paris) to make a cover for my phone using a pattern from Moogly. I lost some stitches along the way so it is far from perfect but it was good for getting used to using an inelastic fibre. I might even make a matching one for my laptop. 

 I loved working with the Lily Sugar n Cream Ombres to make this little hat. Gorgeous colours, perfect for spring days.

The cotton works up beautifully, giving a really polished finish to items. It is more expensive than acrylic yarns and less forgiving when it comes to sizing, but I think I will be buying a lot more cotton, worsted yarn in the future.