Circling

Craft | Sunday October 17 2010 | 6:17 pm | Comments (6) | Tags: , , |

The current issue of Inside Crochet magazine has a scarf pattern that I really like the look of.  They call it the ‘Circles Scarf’ and it looks like its made up of lots and lots of individual circles joined together.  In fact its made in strips along the length that are joined in whole rows as you go along, not one by one, thankfully!

The recommended yarn is Noro Silk Garden sock yarn but I think it’s not ideal as it’s not cheap (unless making a really luxury gift or treat) and its also quite scratchy, as the pattern acknowledges.

On my first visit to Purl City Yarns this week I saw King Cole Riot for the first time which I really liked the look of.  It’s great value (at £3.95 a ball) compared to the Noro  and has a similar look but much softer.  It wasn’t available in quite the same shades, but the one I chose will suit this project quite well as it has many shades throughout it, dusky versions of primary colours.

The Riot is a double knit yarn, so I am using a 3.5mm crochet hook, just to make it a little more delicate than the 4.00mm would.

I am very naughty and never make tension squares!  I know many of you will be rolling your eyes now!  I have a very even and standard tension and rarely have a problem with tension.  Also I don’t always make things where the tension is critical.  I can normally read pattern and get an idea of what is involved and how to approach it in my head.  However, the start of this pattern just did not register with me – I could not make any sense of it so all I could do was start the tension square instructions and follow each step quite literally to see it it became clearer!  Thankfully it did!!

 

It was actually really straightforward, once I got going.  I did mess up the middle of one of the circles (look at center of one closest to hook in first picture above) but it will be fine when I do it for real.

I think this will be an easy pattern to follow now and I’m looking forward to churning out rows and rows of those circles in the days ahead!

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A bed for Pillows

Craft | Friday October 8 2010 | 10:35 pm | Comments (3) | Tags: , |

Oh what a busy day!  Visiting family, lunch with my sister in law and her mum and dad, baby sitting, travelling to my sisters, taking the kids out for tea and then crocheting a bed for Pillows!

Yes, you may well ask!! Pillows?  My nephew has a new favourite bedtime toy.  His older sister had it as a baby and she has now given him it as she is too old for it, seeing as she’s a schoolgirl now!!!  When asked what it was called he declared ‘Pillows’!  Who are we to question such decidedness!

But poor Pillows looked cold and it is likely that he’ll spend many a night cast out of a cosy bed to sleep on the floor:

One hour later and Pillows has a crocheted snuggly sleeping bag bed with a hood to keep his ears warm and a happy nephew knowing Pillows won’t get hypothermia in the night!  (Oh yes, and one mad aunty who may never learn that toys don’t feel the cold!)

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Designed your own amigurumi?

Craft | Tuesday October 5 2010 | 7:33 pm | Comments (2) | Tags: |

I have had a go at a few amigurumi since I’ve been crocheting but never been very successful with them.  But they are mega cute and I must master the techniques they use.  I also have a couple of the Super Cute crochet books which are well, super cute!!

But what if you want to design your own or make one in the style of your own pet?  Here’s a great tool I came across via Craftzine and Lion Brand Yarn Studio.   It’s a really straightforward little app where you can change the size and shape of all the parts of your amigurumi design and it will generate the pattern!  I’m yet to have a proper try of it, but isn’t it a great idea!! 

Let me know if you use it!

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Flat top!

Craft | Saturday October 2 2010 | 7:17 pm | No Comments | Tags: , , , , |

I’m having a bit of trouble with a circle!   I’ve crocheted many circles before and they have come out round and flat, but not this one.  It’s not critical that it’s completely flat, as its for the top of a hat, but if you’d seen some of the versions before this one you’d agree they definitely wouldn’t have worked.

So this circle has been ripped back more times than I care to remember.  I ended up more or less making up each round as I went along.  Standard circle increases on each round weren’t working and in the end I have repeated each increase pattern for two rows instead of putting more stitches between each increase with each new round.  It seems to be working!  It isn’t completely flat, but that’s OK for this project.

This circle is the top of a beret for my sister-in-law as it was her birthday yesterday.  Don’t worry, it’s not going to be late really as I’m off to Scotland this week and will see her on Thursday.  Good job as with this cold autumnal weather she’ll need it to keep her ears warm!  Brrrrrrr!

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Happy Stats (yes, it’s back!)

Blogging | Monday September 20 2010 | 5:40 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , |

So it’s been a tough few weeks.  I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve had a happy skippy smiley time and been away having fun.  But a few corners have been turned and myself and others are starting to get back to ‘normal’.

Family wise there are things going on which won’t be over soon.  But it’s these times that remind me why family comes first.  First, last and everything in between actually!  And they always will.

As for work and pending redundancy, well… time will tell.

I wanted to record a few happy things as from the past few days so welcome back to Happy Stats:

  • Having my say!  As part of my redundancy (or any redundancy) there is a consultation period before any final notice is given.  It’s a chance to give feedback on the situation, its impact etc.  Well, I had a lot to say.  Sometime there are advantages of being very pedantic.  I’m a stickler for policy and procedure, but also for fairness.  After several days of crying, I spent the last few weeks researching, thinking and getting my head round things and this past week its all come together into really quite a harsh report that I submitted at work last Friday.  Now that it’s out of my hands I feel a combination of relief and apprehension.  But as I said, time will tell!

 

 

 

  • My new Cath Kidston pillow cases.  They make me smile to myself when I lie my weary head upon them. (Look, you can see them in the pic above!)

 

  • Preparing a guest post for someone else’s blog!  Ooooooooh, fancy that!

 

  • Starting to plan my Christmas makes, and receiving orders to make other people’s presents too!

 

  • Oh Comely magazine!  Fantastic, witty, stylish and quirky. GO BUY IT!  I can’t put it any plainer than that!  (If you read Issue 2 come back and tell me how much you laughed at the article about posting things in the mail!  I cried laughing!)
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An apple a day

Craft | Wednesday September 1 2010 | 5:40 pm | Comments (8) | Tags: , , , |

Two of my buddies from work are getting themselves a Civil Partnership this week and I wanted to make them a little gift to celebrate.  I have settled on a set of my super cute little apple coasters which are a real favourite of mine and have been really popular with everyone who has seen them.

I got the pattern from a booklet in a magazine earlier this year (sorry, can’t remember which one) and they are really simple to make.  The basic shape is really simple as it starts off as just a few circular rounds then the last one makes the curvy apple shape with a combination of slip stitches, doubles, half trebles and trebles.  Simple but very effective in my opinion!  I have tried to adapt the basic pattern to make a pear shape too but haven’t quite mastered that yet, but it isn’t far off.  I’ll share pics of that if I ever master it.

And in case you’re wondering, all the rubbishy stuff is still going on, but I have decided that as crafting and blogging are what keeps me sane and clinging onto the planet, I am not going to let them be affected!

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