Monday, May 12, 2014

The Bloomsbury Top and other projects

I have been having another crochet phase lately and am particularly proud of this creation.  The Bloomsbury Top from Interweave Crochet has been on my list of things to make ever since I saw it last year. I finally decided to give it a go after reading on Ravelry that it looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. I would entirely agree with that assessment of the pattern now that I have made it.  It only took about 5 days to crochet the top and I really enjoyed it. The trickiest part was joining the motifs together at the correct points. I have used Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn from my stash which I purchased in a sale a while ago. It would have been far too expensive at full price but has actually turned out to be quite a bargain.  The problem with sales is usually the choice of colours is limited to the ones that no-one else wants.  On this occasion I really like the colours that were available.

Another recent crochet success...

 This one is from Yumiko Alexander's lovely book "Rustic Crochet". I used the 100% linen that I got from Ice Yarns.  It was a quick and easy project and overall I am quite pleased with the result.  I do love linen but am wondering whether this stuff is perhaps a bit more suited to accessories rather than garments.  It has a bit of a string effect and is not very soft. This thought inspired the next project.  A cute bag embellished with flowers.

I like this a lot - it took very little time to make and looks pretty good. I plan to make another of these in a cotton yarn with more colourful flowers.
Still on the crochet theme, I made this blanket from cheap acrylic yarn inspired by a pattern I saw in a magazine. This was a project that I could make with my eyes closed and so ideal for knitting club and telly watching. I really love the fringed edging which makes it look quite special. I loved making this and am sure that I will be making more throws in the future.

I have finally returned to my knitting needles for a while and have been working for most of this week on a second version of the Central Park Hoodie.  My first attempt at this jumper was a big success and is probably my most worn piece of knitwear ever.  I still love it and have often thought to make another one in a different colour.  The recent Drops Yarn wool sale provided just the incentive to start on a lovely green hoodie. The yarn is a lot springier than the Donegal Tweed I used first time around.  I think this means the hoodie will turn out a bit more fitted than the first version.
Hope to finish this very soon - maybe by the weekend so I can show it off at Knit Club!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Little Mermaid - a crochet tail

I finished the Mermaid Tail baby snuggle really quickly - it was a joy to crochet. The shell stitch pattern gives it an interesting scaley look which seems particularly fitting.

 The pattern is by Kat Goldin and is available free on the Guardian website.  It is the best mermaid tail pattern that I have come across and I can't wait to see it modelled by the baby.  She is going to look so cute.  The yarn is James C Brett Marble Chunky and I used just under one ball in the green colourway. It was very reasonably priced and feels lovely and soft. I am tempted to make another one. 


Meanwhile, I have dug out the pure linen that I bought from Yarn Paradise and have started another project from Yumiko Alexander's Rustic Crochet.  This time it is the Pearls shrug.  The yarn looks a bit like string and I am wondering if I should have got it in a different colour. Hopefully it will soften up a bit when I wash it.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Quite Contrary Wrap

 I totally fell in love with this pattern the moment I saw it.  It is Sandra Paul's Quite Contrary Wrap - found on Ravelry of course. The pattern is very well written and an absolute joy to crochet.  The stitch pattern changes enough to keep it interesting and the end result is stunning.  I particularly like the flower picot edging. It is quite an easy project which looks far more complicated than it is. I may well make this again.
 I used Ice Yarns Premium Angora which was a mega bargain - what's not to love about this whole project!

I love that you can wear it as a stole...

...or scrunch it up like a scarf.

 At the moment I am working on a small Mermaid Tail.  It is actually a snuggly cocoon wrap for a newborn baby.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Sand and Shells

Just finished Yumiko Alexander's "Sand and Shells" and really love it.
I used a cone of Yeoman Yarns' Cotton Club No. 8 Linen which was a total bargain at just £10 including postage. The cotton /linen mix is lovely but not the softest. The slubby yarn gives it a natural rustic look, which is what I wanted.  The garment shape is very unusual being a cross between a jumper and a poncho.
I have started an easy shawl which is ideal to crochet whilst watching subtitled foreign dramas on the telly. I have 2 balls of Autumn wind from lotus Yarns to use up.  It is a cotton and cashmere blend and is beautifully soft.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Victory Wrap

I just finished this little shawl yesterday and am quite pleased with it. It is maybe a little more crescent shaped than I had expected but is otherwise rather sweet.  The pattern is from Ravelry of course and is The Victory Wrap by Erika Flory. The pattern suggests worsted weight yarn but I used a dk. 2 balls of Wendy Merino dk for the body of the shawl and a single ball of the same in cream for the lace edging. I could perhaps have blocked the points a little more sharply but was very keen to wear it and cut a few corners.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Back to blog

A few months ago I managed to shut myself out of my blog and try as I might it seemed that I would never be able to post here again.  However , my clever husband has just managed to sort it all out for me.  I am really happy to be back in my blog!
Since I last posted there has been a whole lot of crochet and knitting going on.  It would take ages to update on everything I have made so I am just going to concentrate on some recent favourites for now.
At Christmas I made an army of gingerbread men for my workmates. They were a lot of fun to make and I was very pleased with them. I used mainly acrylic yarns as I wanted to make quite a few and wasn't sure whether or not people would want to keep them after the festive season. Everyone seemed to really like the little guys and wore them around the shop for several days. Customers kept asking where we got them - I was quite pleased.

I promised the husband a jumper ages ago and even got as far as purchasing the yarn - some gorgeous soft Alpaca Boucle from Drops Yarns. A friend suggested that I might feel more inclined to finish the jumper quickly if I doubled up the yarn and knit it on big needles. Good idea! I managed to knit up a superchunky v-necked pullover in less than a week. It is a plain design but is very warm and has been worn quite a few times.

Lately I have gone headband crazy.  A friend asked me to make one inspired by a design that her daughter had seen in a shop.  I ended up making about a dozen.  These little projects are ideal for trying out new yarns, stitch patterns and techniques and can easily be finished in an evening. I used up odd balls of yarn that I had in my stash from acrylic to silk. I followed patterns for some and improvised the design for others. This is a few of them...
Alpaca headband

King Cole Galaxy - sequinned yarn
Rowan Wool Cotton

Super cheap sequinned chunky yarn from Tiger

Knitted turban style headband in James Brett Marble Chunky

Poundland acrylic

More Poundland acrylic

Yet more Poundland acrylic!

Louisa Harding Grace - silk and wool

After the success of the gingerbread brooches at Christmas, I decided that it would be fun to make hearts for Valentines day.  I enjoyed making the little stuffed brooches and decorating them with cute flowers.  Over a week I managed to produce a large jar of hearts...

This is now becoming something of a tradition. What can I make for Easter?

Friday, October 04, 2013

Oh My Bear!

Haven't posted for a while, but I have certainly been knitting and crocheting. Today I finished sewing up the "Oh My Bear" hoodie  by Tiny Owl Knits. It is currently being blocked and I think it may take a while as it soaked up a lot of water.

I have been wanting to make this for ages.  When I found the exact yarn needed at half price on Black Sheep Wools website, it seemed like the ideal time to start the project. The pattern is really easy and took about a week to knit up.  I haven't done any intarsia for ages and really enjoyed the challenge.  The hoodie took seven skeins of Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Chunky and scraps from my stash for the bear design. I can't wait to wear it - modelled shots next post! This jumper is really on trend and was great fun to make. Don't be put off by the bear design, it was much easier to do than it looks.

The Maraschino Shawl is another lovely pattern found on Ravelry.  I used  3 balls of Drops Cotton Viscose for this and am very pleased with the end result.  The yarn drapes well and has a nice shiny appearance. The border is a picot and leaf design that I found in a Japanese craft book.  I think it finishes the shawl off perfectly. I will make this design again using a finer yarn at some point.

Next up is this beautiful crochet shawl made from a German pattern that was again spotted on Ravelry. There were many fabulous examples of the shawl using Crazy Zauberball yarn and it just had to be my choice. I love the colours and the way that they show off the stitch design so well. It was a quick and easy project but so very effective.  I've already worn this one quite a few times.
Also worn a lot...

A lovely, snuggly, soft cardi with a shawl collar.  I got the Sirdar Babouska supercheap from Kemps Wools and knitted this up in a few days. It is really comfortable and cosy.  I have some more of this  yarn in my stash and look forward to some more very wearable garments for the Winter.

Earlier in the Summer I made this cute hat for my gorgeous great niece, little Lolli, to keep the sun off her precious head. She wears hats well and looks like a little star. Love her to bits!
There are several works in progress at the moment.  Nearly finished are the fingerless mitts that I am knitting from a single ball of Crofter. They are basically 2 rectangles sewn together with thumb holes at the top. I like the way Crofter looks when it is knitted up -  quite fancy for such a simple knit.

The Cimarron Shawl is working up quickly as it is such a pleasure to see the design growing. I hope to finish it over the weekend.