First knitted jumper

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A medium term goal of mine is to knit a jumper from wool I spun myself. Having never knit a jumper before it seemed like a good idea to do a trial run with less precious acrylic yarn I had lying around (also good for using that up so I can concentrate on the woolly self spun goodness).

This is the result of that trial! I’m super happy with it even though there are more than a few dodgy things going on here :)

The ‘pattern’ I used was a top down raglan calculator from Knittingfool. I don’t know if I was just fundamentally misunderstanding something but all the numbers of stitches were odd and didn’t work at all for the ribbing. probably my fault and I’ve misunderstood something somewhere. But for this there was a lot of fudging to get all the numbers right.

The second issue is that for my gauge swatch I knitted stockinette back and forth left and right handed. It didn’t really occur to me that my gauge would be vastly different from when knitting fully left or right handed in the round. But it sure was!

The main body I knitted left handed and it is quite big. when I got to the arms I switched to right handed just to give my hands a change and rest and after a few rows the difference was very noticeable! see below the obvious switch to a much tighter gauge at the place I’m pointing:

There were many other weird things going on, most likely all my doing, but I ploughed n regardless and it’s all fine – a bit wobbly here and there but it fits and is nice and warm and cosy and I’m loving my last minute decision to have bright red cuff stripes :)

Here I am wearing it while making a start on the next (hand spun) jumper!

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Fantasia

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This is my new spinning wheel – the Kromski Fantasia! I bought an unfinished version and spent the last weekend painting it all before putting it together. The main reason for getting the unfinished version was that it was quite a lot cheaper – like 20-25% cheaper than the varnished versions and I wasn’t very keen on the look of the varnish finishes. But now it’s finished I love it so much and am very happy I was forced into painting it all.

I’ve been thinking about getting a wheel for about six months and I went back and forth on whether I would really get a lot of use out of one and looking at all the options and repeatedly putting the fantasia into a shop basket but then sleeping on it and deciding to put it off for a little while longer. My main reason for waiting was that I’ve never spun on a wheel and I worried about buying before trying and ending up with something I found uncomfortable. But the only reasonable option for trying out some wheels – the local spinners and weavers guild – wasn’t an option because they only meet on Wednesdays and I’m busy at work. After months of looking though the fantasia had all the features I wanted and was really the only model I could afford. The price jumps up extremely quickly if you want any more exciting options. So I went for it…

…things didn’t start well though. The wheel arrived last week and was left on the doorstep even though we were in at the time. When I found it I saw that the box had clearly been dropped and was badly damaged. There were quite a few more holes than you see below.

On opening the box I was relieved to find that most everything was in ok condition. The instructions were all scrunched up, which does’t matter, but also the wheel itself was damaged which was much more upsetting.

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The damaged part was small though and shouldn’t affect the spinning so I didn’t complain as the only outcome would likely be to have it replaced at much time, stress and expense. I would be painting the wheel anyway so maybe I could try to hide it a bit.

All parts were unfinished and the wooden parts would need different treatment from the MDF wheel. After researching all the options I decided to oil the wood with some sort of curing oil. I chose “worktop” oil in the end which is some blend meant for solid wood kitchen surfaces. It was easy to apply and gives the wood a very subtle pink tinge. I applied 3 coats to all the wooden parts over the course of the weekend.

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lessons learned – use gloves! for the first coat I didn’t bother and I didn’t realise it happening but I ended up with a solidified layer of oil all over my fingers which was very difficult to remove and felt very unpleasant. I used gloves for the remaining coats. Secondly, since I hadn’t put it together yet I didn’t really realise how the pieces fit together and unwittingly oiled shut the slits of the rods connecting the pedals to the wheel. These slits are opened up to put the whole thing together. A pizza wheel worked really well to split them apart again :)

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The wheel is mainly made of MDF and this needs special treatment – you can’t just paint it with whatever you want because of how super absorbent all the fibres are. So first I gave it a coat of MDF sealer which promised I would only need a single, quick-drying coat and then be able to do whatever I wanted. What I wanted was something light and painterly and I dug out a collection of emulsion paint sample pots I bought on sale and have had stashed away for ages. My first attempt looked like this:

when it was dry I flipped it and painted the back and then when that was dry I looked at the front again and decided I wasn’t keen any more on the obvious paint strokes or the hints of yellow. I started to paint a second coat with a fluffier, blended look. I wanted to apply (imitation) gold leaf and rather than wait for a second coat of paint to dry and then glue the gold I thought I would just use the wet paint to stick it. This worked well and I applied a big chunk in one place then tailed it off around the wheel.

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once the paint was dry I brushed off all the loose bits and worked the gold into the grain of the paint for a crackly, distressed look.

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I then applied a coat of spray varnish to seal the gold. This is likely not really needed and I only applied it because we had a half can spare from a different project and I wanted to prevent the fake gold from reacting with moisture in the air. probably I’m being overly cautious and there would never have been any issues but now my mind is at ease.

Then it was just a matter of putting it together!

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This was pretty easy and didn’t take very long. only a couple of bits were tight and difficult to push into place but the instructions were clear and I knew what needed doing at each step.

Ta da!

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and then of course it was time to try it out. It was very squeaky until I gave it all a bit of oil and now it’s running smooth and silently.

My first attempt was a disaster! :)

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I was pedalling like I was on a mountain bike and this wound the wool so much and so tight it was springing all over the place.

In my next attempt I tried to counter this by drafting at high speed to match my manic feet and this worked to a certain extent but the yarn I ended up with is crazily chunky. I went through 100g of wool in an hour and got 53 meters of super chunky stuff that I have no idea what to use for :) it was fun though and I was mostly just getting used to how the whole thing worked. Happily, although the finished yarn is all thick and thin, I seem to have achieved overall consistency – when plying the two 50g chunky, thick and thin singles I ended up with only a very short length of one single left over – the two singles were almost exactly the same length.

I’ve relaxed into it now and am trying some thinner stuff with gentle slow pedalling and it’s going well so far. This fibre is some crazy mix I ordered along with the wheel. it’s got super slippy bits. shiny bits, fluffy crimpy black bits and they all want to go different ways but it’s keeping me on my toes :)

I think spinning thin is the way to go to for me for now just to make the fluff last longer and not run out super quick and have to buy more!

rug

I’ve been using up all the weird bits of wool I’ve had lying around forever and am not realistically going to use for anything else. some of them are just small bits that are not big enough for much, others are a bit itchy or colours that don’t really go with anything else.

I used hdc stitch throughout and just increased ~8 stitches per round. normally, when trying to create a flat circle you’d increase 6 stitches per round in dc or 12 stitches per round in tr so hdc should probably be 9 stitches per round but it depends on how tightly you crochet. with this I had to be a bit flexible and do more or fewer increases as required because of the differing thicknesses of yarn. I crocheted with 3 different yarns held together and a 10mm hook. I used the smallest bits of yarn to start with and the largest at the end so that the stripes were not too wide or chaotic.

I worked in a spiral and used stitch markers to keep track of the increases but I changed the position of the increases every few rounds to keep the shape circular rather than faceted.

It’s big, and I haven’t weighed it but i think it’s very heavy!

It’s nice to sit on :)

grey fluff

A while ago I wrote about making my own drop spindle and having a go at some spinning. I did eventually spin enough to make it worthwhile to split in half and ply and then I knitted the result into a set of 6 (slightly wobbly) coasters. They’re great and it’s awesome they started as just fluff!

Coral cowl

This is a knitted cowl from a pattern by Nim Teasdale for a Christmas tree cowl. It’s got a great 3d spiky shape and lots of people commented how unusual it was the first time I wore it. I followed the pattern for the small size but I used worsted weight yarn and 5.5mm round needles so the finished thing is bigger. I didn’t make any changes other than that and skipping the beads. I didn’t think I’d finish it in time for Christmas so instead of green I used this peach colour that makes it look a little like a sea anemone or coral. The pattern was easy to follow in the end so it was finished pretty quickly. Something went a bit weird on round 14 but people’s notes on Ravelry suggest that round might have a slight error. I’d thought the spikes were going to be made by some sort of short rows but no – it’s just alternating sets of increases and decreases. Knitting structure is fascinating! The spikes hold their shape really well – they get bigger, and the cowl widens, as you work down the piece.

roadkill

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A fun and gruesome amigurumi crochet pattern for Halloween. Written using American crochet terms but only single crochet stitches are used so just substitute for dc if you’re used to reading English patterns. You will need:

  • brown and red yarn, around dk or worsted weight
  • a suitable sized hook
  • a yarn needle
  • buttons or beads or safety eyes or felt or whatever you’ve got
  • black and pink embroidery floss and a suitable needle

Head. In brown, crocheting into the back loop only of all stitches:

  1.  create a magic ring with 6sc
  2.  2sc in each stitch (12 stitches)
  3. *2sc, sc* repeat 6 times (18 stitches)
  4. *2sc, sc, sc* repeat 6 times (24 stitches)
  5. *2sc, sc, sc, sc* repeat 6 times (30 stitches)
  6. *2sc, sc, sc, sc, sc* repeat 6 times (36 stitches)
  7.  1sc in each stitch around (36 stitches)
  8.  1sc in each stitch around (36 stitches)
  9.  1sc in each stitch for half the round (18 stitches) then add red yarn and finish the round crocheting the two strands (red and brown) together, 1sc in each stitch (36 stitches total)
  10. *2sc, sc next 5 stitches* repeat 6 times (42 stitches)
  11. *2sc, sc next 6 stitches* repeat 6 times (48 stitches)
  12. drop the brown yarn and continue with just one strand of red *2sc, sc next 7 stitches* repeat 6 times (54 stitches)
  13. *2sc, sc next 8 stitches* repeat 6 times (60 stitches)
  14. *2sc, sc next 9 stitches* repeat 6 times (66 stitches)

underside of blood pool. In red, crocheting into the back loop only of all stitches:

  1.  create a magic ring with 6sc
  2.  2sc in each stitch (12 stitches)
  3. *2sc, sc* repeat 6 times (18 stitches)
  4. *2sc, sc, sc* repeat 6 times (24 stitches)
  5. *2sc, sc, sc, sc* repeat 6 times (30 stitches)
  6. *2sc, sc, sc, sc, sc* repeat 6 times (36 stitches)
  7. *2sc, sc next 5 stitches* repeat 6 times (42 stitches)
  8. *2sc, sc next 6 stitches* repeat 6 times (48 stitches)
  9. *2sc, sc next 7 stitches* repeat 6 times (54 stitches)
  10. *2sc, sc next 8 stitches* repeat 6 times (60 stitches)
  11. *2sc, sc next 9 stitches* repeat 6 times (66 stitches)

Ears. Make 2. In brown, crocheting into the back loop only of all stitches:

  1.  create a magic ring with 6sc
  2. *2sc, sc* repeat 3 times (9 stitches)
  3. *2sc, sc, sc* repeat 3 times (12 stitches)
  4.  1sc in each stitch around (12 stitches)

repeat round 4 until the ear measures ~7cm or any length you like the look of. Fasten off leaving a tail for sewing the ear onto the head. fold each ear in half at the base and pinch while sewing on to create the 3d ear shape.

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Eyes. Use a safety eye or button or white felt for one “normal” eye and create the other as in my zombie phone case pattern – sew a patch of black embroidery floss to create a socket then knot up some pink floss with a white bead on the end. Sew through the socket and knot at the back.

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stuff the head with scraps of yarn or fabric or toy stuffing and sew/crochet the head onto the blood pool base. You might want to also sew around closer to the brown head part to secure the blood flat. This can also be a good opportunity to introduce some messy blood patches – sew loosely with multiple threads to build up a messier finish.

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Pay what you feel

If you liked this pattern and want to contribute to my wool stash so I can make bigger and better things then you can donate whatever amount you think this pattern is worth here. To donate more than £1 just increase the number of items 😉 Thank you!

£1.00

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The version below was my first attempt at this idea, many years ago now. It was very free-form as I wanted a bumpy asymmetric transition from brown to red and an uneven shape of blood pool. I used red satin fabric for the underneath. I like this version the best but it’s difficult to write a coherent pattern for something that’s supposed to be messy and unplanned :)

˜Road-kill Rabbit


Copyright & Legal Stuff: I’m happy for you to sell items you make from this pattern but the images and words of the pattern itself are mine – I worked hard writing & testing & photographing so don’t copy or distribute any part of this pattern. If you’d like to share it then please link to this page. Thanks & happy crocheting


 

toadstool

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This pattern is for a seamless amigurumi mushroom or toadstool with a ribbed underneath to represent the gills. They are made in one piece, starting at the base of the stem and working upwards with instructions for two different shapes of top (one shown as a mushroom with a brown top and the other as a red toadstool here. The purple toadstool with the frilled stem is a slightly freestyle variation, explained at the end of the pattern). They’re all made in a single piece with sewing only needed for the white spots on the toadstool.

What you will need:

*Red, brown and cream or white yarn and a suitable sized hook (the red and brown photos show DK yarn with a 4mm hook making the finished toadstool ~10cm tall). Gauge is not important as the finished mushroom/toadstool will vary in size with type of yarn/size of hook and tightness of crocheting.

*Stuffing

*A stitch marker

*A yarn needle for sewing on the white toadstool spots

Techniques/stitches used:

Magic ring, slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, changing colour. Pattern is written using american crochet terms.

Stem and ribbing – these steps are the same for the toadstool and mushroom. Use cream or white yarn and a suitable size hook for the type of yarn used. We will be working in a continuous spiral – use a stitch marker to keep track of rounds. Crochet into the back loop only of all stitches (this creates the dense amigurumi style surface with smaller holes than between normal stitches).

Round 1. Create a magic ring with 6sc and slip stitch closed.
Round 2. 2sc in each stitch (12 stitches total)
Round 3. *2sc, sc*  *repeat 6 times (18 stitches)
Round 4. *2sc, sc, sc*  *repeat 6 times (24 stitches)

Round 5-9. 1sc in each stitch
Round 10. *miss 1 stitch, sc the next 7 stitches*
*repeat 3 times (21 stitches)
Round 11. 1sc in each stitch
Round 12. *miss 1 stitch, sc the next 6 stitches*
*repeat 3 times (18 stitches)
Round 13. 1sc in each stitch
Round 14. *miss 1 stitch, sc the next 5 stitches*
*repeat 3 times (15 stitches)
Round 15. 1sc in each stitch
Round 16. *miss 1 stitch, sc the next 4 stitches*
*repeat 3 times (12 stitches)
Round 17. 1sc in each stitch

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Stuff firmly adding weight to the base if desired (you could use plastic pellets, lentils or rice wrapped in a scrap of fabric to stop them falling through the stitches.) However none of the toadstools shown in this pattern have weight added and they do stand up on their own with a little moulding of the base.
Do not fasten off but turn so the hole is towards you and continue on with the gills….

Gills – An impression of the gills seen on the underside of mushrooms is made by creating a ribbed circle. Work into the back loop only of all stitches (this is essential to create the ribbed effect as we work back and forth).
Step 1. Chain 8
Step 2. Chain 2, TURN, skip the 2 turning chains and crochet back down the rib: dc, dc, hdc, hdc, sc, sc, sl, sl.
Step 3. Slip stitch into the next sc of the stem top. TURN

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Step 4. Crochet back up the ribbing: sl, sl, sc, sc, hdc, hdc, dc, dc.
Repeat steps 2-4 all around the stem top until you slip stitch into the last sc of the stem top as shown in the photo below.


Step 5. Hold the two edges of ribbing together and slip stitch back up to the outer edge going through both sides as shown in the photo to complete the circle.

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Do not fasten off but turn the work so the open end is facing you and continue on to the mushroom or toadstool top instructions….

Mushroom style top – We are now returning to working in rounds – change colour to brown and reattach your stitch marker. We are still working into the back loop only of all stitches (to create an amigurumi style dense surface).
Round 1. In brown sc all around the ribbing. 2sc into each treble and 2sc into each turning chain. This should equal 48 stitches for one complete round. (places to stitch are shown as red dots on the photo below but as long as you end up with the correct number and they are fairly evenly spaced then you don’t need to be exact)

start of top highlighting stitch locations

Round 2. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 7 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (42 stitches)
Round 3. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 6 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (36 stitches)
Round 4. 1sc in each stitch (36 stitches)
Round 5. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 5 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (30 stitches)
Round 6. 1sc in each stitch (30 stitches)
Round 7. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 4 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (24 stitches)
Round 8. 1sc in each stitch (24 stitches)

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Round 9. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 3 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (18 stitches)
Add a small amount of stuffing to the centre only. (Try experimenting with different amounts of stuffing to give different shapes.)

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Round 10. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 2 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (12 stitches)
Round 11. *Miss 1 stitch, slip stitch next stitch.*    *repeat 6 times (6 stitches)
Slip stitch into the 3rd stitch from the hook to close the hole, fasten off and weave in any loose ends.

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Toadstool style top – We are now returning to working in rounds – change colour to red and reattach your stitch marker. We are still working into the back loop only of all stitches.
Round 1. In red sc all around the ribbing. 2sc into each treble and 2sc into each turning chain. This should equal 48 stitches for one complete round. (places to stitch are shown as red dots on the photo below but as long as you end up with the correct number and they are fairly evenly spaced then you don’t need to be exact)

start of top highlighting stitch locations
Round 2. 1sc in each stitch (48 stitches)

toadstool_top1
Round 3. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 7 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (42 stitches)
Round 4. 1sc in each stitch (42 stitches)
Round 5. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 6 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (36 stitches)
Round 6. 1sc in each stitch (36 stitches)

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Round 7. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 5 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (30 stitches)
Round 8. 1sc in each stitch (30 stitches)
Round 9. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 4 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (24 stitches)
Round 10. 1sc in each stitch (24 stitches)
Round 11. *Miss 1 stitch, sc next 3 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (18 stitches)
Stuff, but not overly – the top should be pushed down over the stem to create a bell shape. Different amounts of stuffing will create different effects. Experiment!

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Round 12. *Miss 1 stitch, dc next 2 stitches.*    *repeat 6 times (12 stitches)
Round 13. *Miss 1 stitch, slip stitch next stitch.*    *repeat 6 times (6 stitches)
Slip stitch into the 3rd stitch from the hook to close the hole, fasten off and weave in any loose ends.

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Spots – use the same colour yarn as the stem
Small spot:
Create a magic ring with 6sc, slip stitch closed, slip stitch the next stitch and fasten off leaving a tail long enough for sewing on.

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Large spot:
Round 1. Create a magic ring with 6sc, slip stitch closed.
Round 2. 2sc into each stitch (12 stitches)
Slip stitch the next 2 stitches and fasten off leaving a tail long enough for sewing on.
Make 1 large and 2 small spots (or as many of each as you like) and sew on to the top of the toadstool.

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Pay what you feel

If you liked this pattern and want to contribute to my wool stash so I can make bigger and better things then you can donate whatever amount you think this pattern is worth here. To donate more than £1 just increase the number of items 😉 Thank you!

£1.00



The large purple version of the toadstool was created following the pattern above  with modifications as follows:

The stem was created with two stands of yarn and a 5.5mm hook. One strand was cream with flecks of brown and the other white and slightly fluffy/textured. on rounds 6 and 8 of the stem 2 strands of the white textured yarn was used and sc stitches were alternated with puff stitches (yarn over, hook through next sc, pull loop through sc and onto hook x 3  (7 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all loops). On round 11 I switched to two strands of the cream yarn. The gills were created exactly as written here using a single strand of the cream yarn and a 3.5mm hook. The top is two strands of slightly different and colour shifting shades of purple and made using the mushroom style top. This produces a large chunky and frilled stem with a smaller diameter top by comparison to the standard pattern. The junction between stem and top is very firmly stuffed so that it can be posed at a stable jaunty angle.

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Copyright & Legal Stuff: I’m happy for you to sell items you make from this pattern but the images and words of the pattern itself are mine – I worked hard writing & testing & photographing so don’t copy or distribute any part of this pattern. If you’d like to share it then please link to this page. Thanks & happy crocheting


 

spin

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My trip to the British Wool Show last weekend inspired me to try spinning. I looked up the local branch of the guild of spinners, dyers and weavers and they were nearby (yay!), had a spinning group (brilliant!), actively encouraged complete beginners to come along (perfect!)….  but they meet only on Wednesday mornings….  so just a group for retired people and those without jobs then.

*sigh*

This is a brick wall I repeatedly run into. Any new art or craft activity I become interested in I look up local groups and most of the time there are a few but they only meet during working hours. There is a regular knitting & crochet session just a stone’s throw down the road every Tuesday morning that I’ve never been to and plenty of arty stuff going on around Berkshire but it’s all midday, midweek unless it’s part of a special one off festival and these are often centred around families and art for children.

It makes me very sad. I don’t want to have to wait until I retire to enjoy my creative interests with other people.

I’m really happy to have found the Reading Sketchers group, as the organisers seem to also have regular jobs so meetups are predominantly on weekends, but anything wool related and it seems I’m on my own for now. YouTube will need to be my guide and community. In particular, I’ve been finding the introduction to spinning videos from Abby Franquemont very helpful.

So, I set about making a drop spindle to give spinning a try. Essentially you can spin with anything that resembles a stick – I’ve seen people do great things with just a chunky knitting needle or a chopstick and toy wheel or door knob. I searched all over the house and couldn’t find any ready made round thing that I could use. I did have half a box of resin though so I mixed some up and poured it into makeshift moulds (the pink is a silicone soap mould, the top one is the bottom of a 2l fizzy water bottle and the bottom left is a little plastic container lid. I added various stuff into the resin, partly for interest and partly to bulk up the resin so I didn’t need as much.

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I bought a length of dowel from a little hardware shop and I already had a threaded screw hook. The length of dowel was £1.09 and long enough to make 3 or 4 spindles but I also found a tapered chopstick that I thought could be good.

Once the resin had set (24 hours +) I removed the pink one from the mould and cut the plastic on the other two close to the resin (the plastic would sort of come off a bit but not easily so I just decided to leave it – it doesn’t really make any difference)

I then drilled a hole in the centre of each, slightly smaller than the dowel diameter and pushed it on. Because of the tight fit I didn’t need any glue to fix them but I think the thinner one below on the dowel might work loose over time as the resin piece is quite thin so I’ll add some glue in the future.

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I ended up with one large top whorl and one smaller bottom whorl spindle as you can see here. These two are pretty much the same weight, around 32g each which is the recommended weight for a beginner spindle so that worked out great :)

The large, flower shaped spindle didn’t work out because the hole I drilled was too large for the dowel but also because it was very heavy – over 50g on it’s own – so I didn’t bother trying to make it into a working spindle.

of the three lots of fluff I got from last weekend’s show I decided to try out spinning using the grey Swaledale, shown below at the bottom packaged into a little bundle.

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when unravelled, the air floofs back into it and you end up with quite a large cloud to play with :) This is 100g

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I’ve discovered I prefer to spin anticlockwise, contrary to how everyone seems to say they do it, I’m thinking likely due to being left handed. I doubt it matters though – it’s just for me to play with and use anyway. It seems to be going well so far – I’ve mostly been trying park and draft as I’m quite slow at drafting so if I try to draft as it spins then I hardly get started before it’s spinning back the opposite direction. It’s making my back ache quite a lot – I’ll need to look at my posture :) I think I will not try to be too adventurous and will just leave this as a single ply – It’s fairly thick and not wonderfully even but in a charming way (I like to think!)

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I’m not sure if I’m putting the correct amount of twist into it – I guess I’ll find out when I try to use it and it either breaks or goes twiddly. I understand that after it’s been spun you then soak it in hot water and do other things to set the twist – I don’t know how much twist can be set this way though, or if that’s even a sensible question.

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kool

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Having decided to try and knit some socks I ordered a pair of tiny circular needles (they are brilliant! the left needle is very short so that you can still bend the cable but the right needle is long so you can hold it properly to knit with) and a double strand sock blank. A sock blank is a pre-knit rectangle of sock yarn ready for you to dye. Double stranded means that two lots of 50g are knitted together so that however you dye it you will get a matching pair of socks when you knit each one up. I also ordered various colours of Kool-Aid powder sachets. These are very easy to use for dyeing as their high acid content means you don’t need vinegar or any other wool preparation. just mix it up, soak the wool, heat it and you’re done. I didn’t want a solid colour – I was aiming for speckled and blotchy but vaguely fading from one main colour to another across the whole piece. I soaked the sock blank in water, squeezed most of it out and put it in a microwave safe dish. Then just sprinkled the various colours all around and swished it about til I was happy.

cover with cling film and microwave for ~2 minutes. leave for a minute, microwave for another minute or two then just leave it in there to cool. Once cold, rinse in cool water and leave to dry. No colour should come out – it all gets sucked up by the wool and the water is just a little bit white/cloudy while you rinse. This was my finished piece:

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you can knit directly from the piece, unravelling as you go but I wanted to see what it looked like in a ball – I also only had the one set of needles so I’d need to knit one strand while balling the other but then the second ball would be the wrong way round for knitting the second sock. So, two balls were made:

I then started knitting using various online videos and tutorials to figure out each section as I got to it. I’m sure there are things I can do better next time but they have turned out well – they fit, they look fun and they smell fruity :)

Each sock weighs ~22g and there is ~27g left of each ball so plenty to make another pair or maybe some matching gloves.

For my next sock dyeing adventure I’d love to try and create something that would knit up into watermelon socks. So, start with green, fade through a small amount of white and pink to red with some black patches. I think that should be possible and I have a few half packets of Kool-Aid left :)

British Wool Show

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Upon arriving at the York Auction Centre I was greeted by various styles of knitted bunting, leading the way into the main hall.

Inside there were lots of stalls, mostly selling British wool and related products, but there were also groups and organisations there to show off their projects and activities.

Look at this wonderful farmyard knitted chair scene! my favourite part of this was the little knitted slug on the underside :)

weaving on excitingly shaped looms:20180810_BritishWoolShow (4)

The Stamford Bridge Tapestry Project were there creating the actual tapestry on huge frames and offering little kits to replicate parts of the tapestry for yourself:

There were also some very well behaved sheep and very fluffy Angora rabbits:

Everyone seemed to have spinning wheel or two and I had a great chat with a lady from the York Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. She told me about her first experience with spinning and how to start with a drop spindle. She gave me advice on the best type of wool to start with and I went off in search of some…

This is what I came away with – various ready spun wool and three different lots of roving to try out spinning – the grey at the bottom is Swaledale, the white on the left is Masham and the white fluff ball on the right is Blue Faced Leicester. I didn’t buy a drop spindle because I’d run out of cash and I thought I’s like to have a go at making my own. watch this space.

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knit

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finished my first ever knitted thing! a simple hat but I really like it. I just made it up as I went along and looked up how to do things as i got to them. Mostly the decreasing and working with double pointed needles.

I made the band first and did it length-ways so I could tell when it was long enough to go around my head, then joined it and picked up the end of the rows with tiny circular needles.

swatch

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Over the last week or two I taught myself to knit. I’ve knit before, a little bit, a long time ago. I didn’t really like it. I managed to make half a scarf and then gave it up as too much hassle.

I’m left handed and last time I remember knitting left handed. I found this easier but it was very restrictive when trying to follow patterns – crochet instructions work pretty much the same left or right handed (except cables – still haven’t got the hang of crochet cables) but knitting was very confusing. So I stuck to just the basic knit stitch with a few flourishes, in a flat rectangular shape.

This time I wanted to explore the possibilities of knitting so I decided I really needed to learn to do it right handed to have half a chance at understanding the terminology.

To start with I mostly just made it up as I went along. Basic knit stitch at first (knit one row, purl the next) but I hated purling! so I figured you should be able to do purling by NOT swapping needles and just working the stitches back in the opposite direction (sneakily, this would then also be essentially left handed knitting again). I deconstructed the purl stitch to figure out how to do it ‘backwards’ and then I was away! easy peasy :)

after a few rows this get a bit dull still so I though what would happen if I changed direction in the middle of the row. how about multiple times. what would you get – something 3d I guessed, but would it be stable and would it look good?

turns out the answer to both those questions is yes:

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After this I tried to search for this technique online but it’s hard to find something when you don’t know the words for what you want to find. The easiest way was to follow the right kind of knitting images down the rabbit hole of Pinterest until they led to some articles that explained a little of the techniques. Turns out that the back and forth way of knitting I’d come up with was a thing (of course! nothing is new under the sun) and was often used by people who wanted to work lots of “short rows”, which, I think, is the correct terminology for changing direction in the middle of the row. usually, this is used for subtle shaping of garments rather than the surface texture / sculptural way I was playing around with. Armed with some better terminology my search then brought more interesting articles and images.

Mostly they were concerned with achieving 3d effects via machine knitting and all the discussions of technique were completely undecipherable to me but the images were fantastic and I had a go, with some success, at replicating them in my new way working:

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From here I ventured into the world of creating ‘bubbles’, again as a machine knitting technique:

I couldn’t really see how this might have been created, but then I managed to find an article on alessandrina.com that talked about how to hand knit these shapes and I had a few goes, with varying success:

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From here I stumbled into the world of dropped stitches and ladders:

I tried to follow this chart but it was a disaster – something to revisit when I know a bit more perhaps:

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and then onward to knitted lace, making your own stitch patterns and secret codes:

The String Geekery site is way waaay over my head but it’s so interesting and a fun way to learn how to increase / decrease etc. Just so you understand how little I know about knitting, it was at this point I realised I didn’t actually know how to cast on so had to go look that up on YouTube! until this point I’d just been sort of wrapping the wool around one needle and awkwardly knitting the first row into a loose strand.

This didn’t stop me from having a go at the lace though – just some very very simple, tiny swatches:

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The two above are the same little chart but in the bottom one I only followed the chart on knit rows and just purled (fake backward purled) every other row. The top image is trying to follow the chart on all the rows.

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My aim now is to pick a simple but interesting stitch and create an actual finished knitted thing.

carrot

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you will need a very small amount of orange yarn and a few scraps of green yarn. You should use a hook one or two sizes smaller than that recommended for your orange yarn, this will make the stitches dense and compact.

The pattern is written in American terms but only slip stitches and single crochet stitches are used throughout. If you prefer English terms then just swap all the sc for dc and you’re good to go.

insert the hook into the loops on the right side of the piece (outside of the loop) only throughout.

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  1. ch 9, slip stitch into the first chain to form a loop
  2. 1sc each stitch (9 stitches)
  3. 1sc each stitch (9 stitches)
  4. skip first stitch, 1sc each stitch (8 stitches)
  5. 1sc each stitch (8 stitches)
  6. skip first stitch, 1sc each stitch (7 stitches)
  7. 1sc each stitch (7 stitches)
  8. skip first stitch, 1sc each stitch (6 stitches)
  9. skip first stitch, 1sc each stitch (5 stitches)
  10. skip first stitch, 1sc each stitch (4 stitches)
  11. skip first stitch, slip stitch the next three stitches, fasten off and cut, leaving a small tail

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optionally stuff the cut off ends into the top of the carrot to fill it out a little.

cut 3 lengths of green yarn ~4x longer than the carrot

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fold the green yarn in half and then half again as shown in the photo above. Insert hook through both layers of orange at the top of the carrot, toward one side, and pull through a loop of one of the green folded strands. pull the loose ends through and tighten

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repeat twice more with the other green strands, spacing evenly across the top of the carrot and then trim to a length you like

I added a pin to the back of mine to turn it into a brooch


Copyright & Legal Stuff: I’m happy for you to sell items you make from this pattern but the images and words are mine – I worked hard writing & testing & photographing so don’t copy or distribute any part of this pattern. If you want to share it then link to this page. Thanks & happy crocheting


 

 

Market Bag

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You will need two colours of dk/worsted/aran weight yarn and a 5mm hook. The two yarns should be approximately the same thickness. Here I needed ~35g of pink and ~45g of oatmeal yarn.

As you’re making this bag it may seem small and you might be tempted to increase some of the rounds or make the handle longer – I did exactly this during my first two trials of this pattern and they looked great before I put anything into them. This bag stretches a lot! You can find some photos at the end of this post showing this.

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The pattern is written using American terms but the whole thing only uses double crochet stitches so switch this out for trebles if you prefer English terms.

Throughout the pattern the initial chain 3 counts as the first stitch of the round.

note that I’m left handed so the photos show the work from a left handed perspective – don’t worry if your work looks the mirror image of what you see here!

Start. using the first colour chain 4 and slip stitch into the first chain

Round 1. chain 3, 14 dc into the ring, slst into the top of the starting chain (15 stitches)

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Round 2. chain 3, dc into same stitch, 2dc in each stitch around, slst into the top of the starting chain (30 stitches)

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Round 3. chain 3, dc into same stitch, dc next stitch, *2dc, dc* repeat all around, slst into the top of the starting chain (45 stitches)

Round 4. chain 3, dc into same stitch, dc next 2 stitches, *2dc, dc, dc* repeat all around, slst into the top of the starting chain (60 stitches)

Round 5. chain 3, dc into same stitch, dc next 3 stitches, *2dc, dc, dc, dc* repeat all around, slst into the top of the starting chain (75 stitches)

Round 6. chain 3, dc into same stitch, dc next 4 stitches, *2dc, dc, dc, dc, dc* repeat all around, slst into the top of the starting chain (90 stitches)

note that in the next round we do not dc into the same stitch as the chain 3 at the beginning of the round. This is because we want to have an even number of stitches to begin the mesh pattern.

Round 7. chain 3, dc next 5 stitches, *2dc, dc, dc, dc, dc, dc* repeat all around, slst into the top of the starting chain (104 stitches)

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Round 8. chain 4 (counts as dc + ch1), *skip 1 dc, dc, ch1* repeat all around, slst into top of the starting chain

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Round 9. chain 4 (counts as dc + ch1), *dc into next dc, ch1* repeat all around, slst into top of the starting chain

Repeat round 9 twice more

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change to second colour yarn. I like to use the Russian join technique as it gives a seamless transition and there are no ends to weave in. check out this craftsy tutorial if you’d like to give it a go

Repeat round 9 six times with the new colour yarn

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Round 10. chain 3, 1dc in each dc all around, slst into top of the starting chain

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Round 11. chain 3, 1dc in each dc all around, slst into top of the starting chain

Now we start to make the handle

Step 1. chain 3, 1dc in next 13 stitches (14 stitches)

Step 2. turn, chain 3, 1dc in next 12 stitches (13 stitches)

Step 3. turn, chain 3, 1dc in next 11 stitches (12 stitches)

Step 4. turn, chain 3, 1dc in next 10 stitches (11 stitches)

Step 5. turn, chain 3, 1dc in next 9 stitches (10 stitches)

Step 6. turn, chain 3, 1dc in next 8 stitches (9 stitches)

Step 7. turn, chain 3, 1dc in next 7 stitches (8 stitches)

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Step 8. turn, chain 3, 1dc in each dc of the previous row (including the turning chain of the previous row) (8 stitches)

Repeat step 8 fourteen times

Step 9. turn, chain 3, dc into same stitch and each stitch across (including the turning chain of the previous row) (9 stitches)

Repeat step 9 until you again have 14 stitches in the row

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lay out the bag and line up the unattached handle with the centre of the opposite edge. Either crochet slip stitch or fasten off and sew onto the rim

and finished!

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Copyright & Legal Stuff: I’m happy for you to sell items you make from this pattern but the images and words are mine – I worked hard writing & testing & photographing so don’t copy or distribute any part of this pattern. If you want to share it then link to this page. Thanks & happy crocheting


At the beginning of this post I mentioned that the bag may seem small but it stretches a huge amount. The first bag I made to this pattern had more rows and a longer handle. It looked perfect when it was empty but here’s what happened when I put a few heavy items inside:

it’s not terrible but it’s also not the most comfortable bag to carry back from the shops.

Here are equivalent photos of the smaller bag:

honeycomb cowl

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I’m almost always wearing a scarf. I like to be warm and having a warm neck somehow filters down through the rest of me. A cowl is just a tube you wear around your neck for the same reason you would wear a scarf. It can be short and close fitting (a neck warmer), looser and long enough to pull up over your head (a snood) or even wide enough to wear around your shoulders. I prefer the close-fitting neck warmer variety but might be tempted to make a snood one day.

This cowl is Tunisian crochet, honeycomb stitch in the round, using a dk weight colour changing yarn in the forward direction and a chunky solid purple yarn for the return direction. I used a 9mm double ended crochet hook and started with a chain of 59 but you might need to adjust for your own tension, yarn and requirements. You need an odd number of stitches for the honeycomb pattern but you can count up and adjust by one after the first round if needed. These instructions assume you’re already familiar with Tunisian crochet in the round – if not, then there are loads of great tutorials on you tube and other places to get you started – you probably don’t want to make this stitch your first experience with Tunisian crochet :)

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  1. using a 9mm double ended hook, chain 59 using the dk yarn
  2. straighten out the length of chains and slip stitch into the first chain
  3. for the first round take the bump thread on the back of the chain (makes a nice finished edge) onto the hook and complete the reverse stitches as normal with the chunky yarn
  4. once the first round is complete alternate on each forward stitch between Tunisian simple stitch (TSS) and Tunisian purl stitch (TPS). complete the return as normal
  5. just keep going around until the piece measures ~20cm. From the second round, each TSS should be going into a purl stitch in the round below (looks knotted and twisted) and each TPS should be going into a simple stitch in the round below (looks open and straight)
  6. fasten off the chunky return yarn and complete one round of regular sc in the thinner dk yarn to give a nice finished edge that mirrors the first round
  7. fasten off and weave in ends

I used this video by Tuula Maaria to learn the honeycomb stitch so check that out if you find watching easier than reading.

Here is the finished cowl:

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and inside out:

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odds and ends hat

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I have a big glass bowl full of small bundles of yarn. they’re the ends of balls or the result of an unravelled project. Not small enough to just discard and throw away but not really big enough to use for anything. This weekend I gathered them all up and turned them into this colourful hat. I reasoned that if you add in enough colours then go all the way past clashing and gaudy through to harmony and cohesion again. I wasn’t wrong. Love this hat.

To get the colour harmony going I held two contrasting colour strands together and used a big hook. Then when one colour ran out I just tied on another colour and pushed the knot to the back. The colours run out at different times so you get constant overlap and blending and it all just looks like it’s meant to be.

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Lost in Time

 

Yesterday it had snowed overnight and was still snowing so I spent the day crocheting. First of all the best part of every project – picking the pattern and the wool!

Lost in time is the name of a free crochet shawl pattern by Mijo Crochet

It’s very beautiful – bobbly and ripply and tassely :)

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Then I was off – very quick rows to start with – always quick rows to start with – sucks you in – makes you think it will be a breeze – be finished in a day – I’ll be wearing it tomorrow!

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But no, of course, each row takes just that bit longer than the last so that eventually you don’t even have time between ordering a takeaway and it arriving to complete a single row! Oh woe is me – this will take forever – I’ll finish it just in time for summer when it will be too hot to wear! – maybe tiny crocheted triangles are fashionable just now? no? they just look silly, like woolly hankies? Oh, ok, i’ll keep on with the rows then…

So goes the cycle of every single triangle crochet project. and I never remember the next time. It’s ok though, it all works out in the end.

This is where I got up to yesterday. The real danger is to be tempted away to another shiny project before this is complete.

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falling snow crochet hat

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I’ve been meaning to make a puff stitch hat for a while now and this week finally got around to it. I bought this glittery silver/grey wool last Christmas and it was perfect for this two colour hat. It’s much shinier than it comes out in the photos. The closeup below shows it better.

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With the gradual colour change I think it is wonderfully reminiscent of falling snow. Plus the turquoise is a good icy colour.

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There is enough silver wool left for a second hat and I’m thinking of switching the sliver to the bottom (fallen snow) with a darker colour on top to play the part of a night winter sky.

 

It was trickier to make than I expected (I didn’t find any patterns I liked so just made it up as I went along) The band, colour change and gathering at the top were the main areas I had to rework as I’ve not used puff stitch much before. It was perfect for this colour change effect though once I realised how to adjust it.

Oh, and if you really want it but don’t want to make one then I’ve put this one up for sale in my Etsy shop (since I’m already planning the next one. I have so many hats…)

pink, pineapple & animal print

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I’ve been stuck at home ill the last few weeks so not up for doing much. I did though get round to fixing several issues with clothes that have been piling up for a while. here are the more exciting three:

pink darning – I’ve used this method once before and it seems to work really well to patch holes in thin materials

sequin pineapple patch – this was the perfect way to cover up some small stains on the front of a striped t-shirt

animal print patch – the final fix was a fur patch sewn on using blanket stitch in pink embroidery thread

visible mending

I’ve never darned anything in my life but when a hole appeared in my little grey cardigan I remembered some beautiful photos I’d seen of patches and mended clothes. A quick google hunt brought me some epic examples of visible mending and a basic intro to darning. I would have loved to use fluorescent yellow thread to patch up this hole but I didn’t have any and it seemed silly to go out and buy something new in order to not have to go out and buy a replacement cardigan.

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I didn’t have any special equipment – just a regular needle and some embroidery floss. You can get these wooden eggs or mushrooms to put the fabric over but I saw a suggestion to use a mug and that seemed to work fine. This took me the length of three episodes of American Gods so three hours or one evening. I love it. I don’t often love the results of clothing related projects but I love this. Not just that I now get to keep wearing my grey cardigan but I think this patch looks brilliant. I love it.

glittery shrug & fox dress

Another long term crochet project finally finished. The pattern is called the glittery shrug from Lion Brand crochet (free download via the link). I’m not sure why it’s called glittery because it’s not. It is nice though – quite cosy. It’s taken me over a year to complete but that’s my flittering attention span rather than the complexity of the pattern. I did have to unravel a few bits and do them again but it was generally ok.

 

Granny Square Cardigan

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I was slowly adding rounds to my little granny square and then I saw this child-size shrug made from a granny square by Lulu Loves and I knew I wanted to turn it into that. But big enough to fit me. Which turned out to be much bigger than the square I had. Round and round some more I went. *sigh* still far too small. Round and round and round.

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Eventually I decided it would do and I would improvise so I experimented with folding the square at different points (the one in the link is folded in half but mine would have to be maybe double the size to make that work) and settled for just over a third as below:

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I then sewed a little way up either side to make arm holes and a basic vest type thing:

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I then went round and round in red to make it a bit bigger and in this way it ended up quite fitted and more cardigan than shrug.

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Which could be good. It’s just a little different to how I imagined. What I imagined was a big, baggy, cosy shrug, almost to my knees at the back, but that would have taken me forever to crochet so better that I have something now than a still unfinished project in three years time. Plus, if I’d actually been aiming at a fitted top then I’d be very pleased as it’s quite comfy and fits well. I’m just not sure what the style of this is now. It doesn’t really go with the clothes I imagined wearing it with.

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Argyle colour pooling

Finally I have achieved colour pooling! In the end I had to order a specific yarn (Red Heart Super Saver – Sunrise) which I’m sure cost about 3x as much as it would if it were stocked in any shops in the UK. But I looked everywhere – all the shops that sell yarn near me (and near a few other people too) and there’s plenty of self striping yarn but nothing that would pool into argyle.

The colour change in the yarn itself is very simple – quite a long length of red (purple fading through red to orange) then a short section of yellow, green, blue and that’s it – rinse and repeat.

It still took quite a few attempts to get it to work – moss stitch was the key I think – and even now it’s not just mindless crochet – you have to constantly adjust tension to make sure things line up as they should with the rows below. I’m not sure what I’ll make of this in the end – maybe a shopping bag.

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Experiments with colour

I so want to have a go at colour pooling. I’d really like an argyle pattern but anything would be great. I routed around in my stash to find some variegated yarn to give it a go and the only one that looked suitable was this rainbow yarn. The rest was in too long sections and would only ever make horizontal stripes.

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So I followed the various instructions I found, pulled out a length of yarn and looked for repeats in the colour changes:

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So far, so good. I then chained for one colour repeat and then single crocheted back and forth a few times. Then I counted how many single crochets took up one colour repeat. 30. so I chained that many and held on to my excitement for the wonderful patterns that were about to appear….

…except they didn’t. It just looked blobby and horrible. So I tried one SC fewer on the next row. Still just a mess. many more stitch counts later and I had this:

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You can see here that 16 SC is exactly one half of a colour repeat because perfectly lined up you have 3 pinks, then the next row it’s 2 blues and a yellow, three pinks again, etc. all exactly aligned. This should mean that 32 stitches is exactly one colour repeat rather than the 30 I counted initially. You don’t want the exact colour repeat otherwise you just see vertical stripes as in the 16 SC patch above so I tried 31 SC:

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hmmm, some vague diagonals that are not really anything to write home about. I wondered if it was the yarn or just me doing something wrong and took to the internet where I found this great guide from The Crochet Crowd. Here they say that yarns with short colour changes won’t work. coloured lengths should ideally be between 6 and 12 inches. In this yarn the lengths are 1 to 3 inches. doh! At the bottom of this other great pooling tutorial from Glamour 4 U there is a list of yarns that they say will work so I think I’ll order one of those and give it another try.

So then I moved on to what I should do with this rainbow yarn – it looks patchy and awful in SC from these few blocks I’ve made so I needed something else. I remembered reading somewhere that a good trick to harmonise variegated yarn was to use two different types together. Counter intuitive but I thought I’d give it a go with some of the long colour change balls I had. First up was a blue and apricot sock yarn:

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Which did improve the rainbow stuff quite substantially. The slowly changing flecks of peach and blue did have a calming effect on the jarring jumpiness of the rainbow:

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Next I tried something similar to the rainbow but with much longer and gradual changes:

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I needed a 10mm hook to crochet these two together but it did have the advantage that it worked up quickly. And it turn out beautiful!

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So I kept going. I went for one whole repeat of the longer colour changing yarn and then a little more so that the pink was mirrored at each end:

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fun & colourful fingerless gloves

I can’t draw wearing gloves, not anything recognisable anyway. But I also can’t draw with freezing cold fingers. It’s a struggle just to keep hold of the pencil when your fingers go numb! So since I’m heading out for some urban sketching in London this weekend I needed to come up with a solution. These fingerless gloves are not going to solve all my woes – fingertips are still exposed – but they’ll definitely help.

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I made these using fair isle effect yarn from Sirdar. I don’t know how much like fair isle these actually look – pretty much just stripy – but the colours are nice and the yarn is soft and good to work with.

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I based these on my own pattern that I wrote many years ago but was feeling lazy so took a few shortcuts with the cuff. This does show and they would have been better fitting had I followed the pattern properly. For some extra colour and fun I added a few stripes of different yarn in surface crochet, which I’m liking more and more every time I try it. Quick and effective.

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Lemon sorbet coaster

This is a variation on the grit stitch placemat and coaster pattern using some Rowan creative linen and Sirdar Snuggly Bubbly that I found in a sale.

I chained 16 for the starting row and completed 12 rows for a square coaster. Then instead of SC all around the edge in the same yarn, I fastened off and used a yarn needle to sew an edging with the bubbly yarn – the gaps between the bubbles were too short to get the effect I wanted by crocheting.

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Clamshell crochet brooch

I had an idea for a crocheted shell as a brooch with surface details, beads and a real pearl. This is the result. I didn’t have any starting point or pattern – just went with the flow. It felt much more like sculpture than crochet – definitely satisfied my creative itch.

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It’s not very practical to wear though as it is a little bulky and the position of the pin means that it tilts down when attached to a lapel. I’m going to take all that on board and make another.

diamond stitch baby blanket

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baby-blanket

I used this diamond crochet stitch diagram to create the main body of the blanket. 3 balls of 50g baby soft green yarn (you can just make out the telling stripes that show I didn’t pay enough attention to dye lots!) then added stripes down one side in pink, blue, dark green, white, dark green and finally blue. The final row is a polka dot edging stitch I read somewhere, half forgot and then made up again until it looked right:

*sc next 4 stitches, chain 4, 10 sc into 3rd chain from hook* repeat to end of row

granny square

Recently I realised that in my ~6 years of crocheting I have never made a granny square. Or a granny anything. I decided to put that right. I even had to look up how to make a granny square because I had no idea. Very easy as it turns out and quite satisfying – I can see why they’re so popular. So, here is my very first granny square! I think I will continue to make it bigger until I get bored and then figure out something to do with it.

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penguin amigurumi

A quick and cute amigurumi penguin pattern for January. We’ll be working in a spiral using a stitch marker to keep track of the rounds. Crochet into the back loop only of all stitches and I’ll be using American crochet terms. I used a 4mm hook and worsted weight yarn but use whatever you like and he’ll just turn out a little bigger or smaller.

Round 1. With grey yarn create a magic ring containing 6sc.

Round 2. 2sc into each stitch (12 stitches total)

Round 3. *2sc into first stitch, 1sc in next stitch. *repeat 6 times (18 stitches total)

Round 4. *2sc into first stitch, 1sc in each of next 2 stitches. *repeat 6 times (24 stitches total)

˜Round 5-14. 1sc in each stitch.

Round 15. *miss 1 stitch, 1sc in each of next 3 stitches. *repeat 6 times (18 stitches total)

Round 16-18. 1sc in each stitch.

STUFF

Round 19. *miss 1 stitch, 1sc in each of next 2 stitches. *repeat 6 times (12 stitches total)

Round 20. slip stitch next 3 stitches, sc, sc, sc, dc, dc, dc, sc, sc, sc. (12 stitches total)

Round 21. 1sc in each stitch.

Round 22. slip stitch next 3 stitches, sc, sc, sc, dc, dc, dc, sc, sc, sc. (12 stitches total)

Round 23. 1sc in each stitch.

STUFF

Round 24. *miss 1 stitch, sc next stitch. *repeat 6 times (6 stitches total)

Round 25-26. Change colour to yellow and 1sc in each stitch.

Round 27. *miss 1 stitch, sc next stitch. *repeat until no stitches left.

Fasten off and sew all ends through the body, pull tight and cut off so the end disappears inside.

Cut out an elongated semi circle shape in white felt as shown in the photos and sew to the front using blanket stitch or whatever you like the look of. Sew through the body and the corner of the felt piece a few times in yellow, as shown, to create feet.

Use black thread and create French knots for eyes (I couldn’t get them to work so just embroidered little circles but I think the knots would look better if you can do them.)

˜


Copyright & Legal Stuff: I’m happy for you to sell items you make from this pattern but the images and words are mine – I worked hard writing & testing & photographing so don’t copy or distribute any part of this pattern. If you want to share it then link to this page. Thanks & happy crocheting

lace spiral coaster

I’ve seen many different instructions for this kind of spiral pattern and I tried a few but they didn’t seem to work out properly so I started from scratch and came up with my own method that produces a nice flat piece of work. I used crochet thread and a 2.5mm hook but there’s no reason you can’t scale it up.

This pattern is written using American crochet terms but there’s just the one stitch so if you prefer English terms then simply dc throughout.

spiral_coaster_crochet_neschof

 

Round 1: create a magic ring with 6sc and slip stitch closed.

Round 2: *chain 3 and sc into the next stitch* six times to take you all around the circle. you should have created 6 loops.

Round 3: *1sc into the next loop, chain 3 and then sc between the next two loops* six times to take you all around the circle.

Round 4: sc into the next stitch *2sc into the next loop, chain 3, skip the next stitch and sc into the next stitch* repeat between the *stars* six times to take you all around the circle.

Round 5: *sc each stitch to take you to the next loop (this will be 2 sc on round 5, 3 sc on round 6 etc), 2sc into the next loop, chain 3, skip the next stitch and sc into the next stitch* repeat between the stars six times to take you all around the circle.

Repeat round 5 until the piece is as big as you would like. you don’t need to keep track of rounds – once you get the hang of the pattern this is really easy and you can just keep going in a spiral without having to count stitches or keep track of where you are. just carry on until the work is the size you would like.

Last round: sc each stitch and 5 sc into each loop. slip stitch the last few stitches, fasten off and weave in ends.

block or press if needed.


Pay what you feel

If you liked this pattern and want to contribute to my wool stash so I can make bigger and better things then you can donate whatever amount you think this pattern is worth here. To donate more than £1 just increase the number of items 😉 Thank you!

£1.00


Copyright & Legal Stuff: I’m happy for you to sell items you make from this pattern but the images and words are mine – I worked hard writing & testing & photographing so don’t copy or distribute any part of this pattern. If you want to share it then link to this page. Thanks & happy crocheting


 

crochet leaves baby blanket

Another baby on the way. I guess I’m just at that age where all my friends are starting or growing their families. Lots of opportunities for crochet :) 

crochet-leaves-baby-blanket-2

crochet-leaves-baby-blanket-6

I based this blanket on a leaves crochet stitch from mypicot.com I found the instructions a little confusing at first but quickly got into a rhythm and didn’t need to keep checking the pattern after the first repeat. I did need to keep unravelling it when I got distracted and forgot to start new leaves on the correct row. That happened quite a few times…

It worked up fairly fast so I also had time to carve a leaf from lino and create a matching card and tag. I tried using acrylic paint with the roller rather than ink pads but it wasn’t a great success – the paint didn’t go on or come off the lino very easily or smoothly. I think I’ll stick to ink pads for now.

Rainbow unicorn

Look at those eyes… he’s definitely a badass. Or maybe squinting at the sun.

ninja-unicorn-crochet-pattern

What you’ll need:

  • white yarn
  • a small amount of pink yarn
  • small scraps of various/rainbow coloured yarn
  • silver crochet cotton or embroidery floss
  • suitable sized hooks for the yarns and cotton used
  • yarn needle
  • regular needle
  • black thread

This pattern is written using American crochet terms. Gauge is not important – he’ll just be slightly bigger or smaller depending on the hook and yarn used. I used a 4.5mm hook and the finished unicorn is about 20cm tall. Crochet into the back loop only of all stitches unless the instructions say otherwise and continue working in a spiral, using a stitch marker to keep track of rounds. I’m left handed and so the diagram for the legs is also left handed. You’ll need to reverse the direction if you’re right handed (ie. anti-clockwise).

The basic form of this pattern is based on my one piece giraffe pattern so some of the initial photos show orange and brown yarn but the process is the same.

HEAD

Round 1. With white yarn create a magic ring containing 6sc.

Round 2. 2sc into each stitch (12 stitches total)

Round 3. *2sc into first stitch, 1sc in next stitch. *repeat 6 times (18 stitches total)

Round 4. *2sc into first stitch, 1sc in each of next 2 stitches. *repeat 6 times (24 stitches total)

Round 5. 1sc in each stitch.

Round 6. *miss 1 stitch, 1sc in each of next 3 stitches. *repeat 6 times (18 stitches total)

Round 7. *miss 1 stitch, 1sc in each of next 2 stitches. *repeat 6 times (12 stitches total)

STUFF. Do not fasten off but continue with neck

˜
˜it should look like this but in white yarn

NECK

Round 8-11. 1sc in each stitch.

STUFF

Round 12. *2sc into first stitch, 1sc in next stitch. *repeat 6 times (18 stitches total)

Round 13-14. 1sc in each stitch.

Round 15. *2sc into first stitch, 1sc in each of next 2 stitches. *repeat 6 times (24 stitches total)

Round 16. sc 9 stitches, hdc, 2dc, 2dc, 2dc, 2dc, hdc, sc 9 stitches (28 stitches total)

Round 17. sc 9 stitches, hdc, dc, 2dc, dc, 2dc, dc, 2dc, dc, 2dc, hdc, sc 9 stitches (32 stitches total)

˜
˜yours will be white and with a shorter neck

Round 18. sc 10 stitches, hdc, hdc, dc, dc, 2dc, 2dc, 2dc, 2dc, dc, dc, hdc, hdc, sc 10 stitches (36 stitches total)

Round 19-22. 1sc in each stitch.

Do not fasten off but continue with legs:

LEGS

Round 1. The next stitch you are about to complete is stitch number one and there are 36 stitches in the round (see the diagram below)

sc 9 stitches, chain 9, sc back into stitch number one to create a loop. Continue in the direction you are going:

Round 2-5. 1sc in each stitch.

Round 6. Change colour to pink. 1sc in each stitch.

Round 7. *miss 1 stitch, 1sc in each of next 3 stitches. *repeat until there are only a few stitches left, slip stitch the hole closed and fasten off.

˜
˜again, this will be white and pink with a short neck

With white yarn start at stitch 10 (on the diagram – the next stitch from the leg you just completed) and repeat steps 1 to 7 for the second leg.

˜
˜white and pink!

Repeat for the remaining two legs, starting at stitch 19 and 28 respectively.

Stuff the legs and the body

˜
˜final photo from the giraffe pattern

Using white yarn stitch the legs together.

body
Hurray finally a pic showing white and pink!

NOSE

Round 1. With pink yarn create a magic ring containing 6sc.

Round 2. 2sc into each stitch (12 stitches total)

Round 3-5. 1sc in each stitch.

STUFF and sew onto front of head

nose

MANE & TAIL

Attach short lengths of multi-coloured yarn as shown in the photos below and trim as desired. I tried many different methods for the tail – spiky, knotted, plaited – but they didn’t quite look right. Eventually I just went for fairly long with one strand wound around like a hairband to keep it neat.

HORN

Round 1. With silver crochet cotton and a suitable sized hook chain 8 and slip stitch into the first chain.

Round 2-3. 1sc in each chain around (8 stitches)

*Skip one stitch, sc in next 3 stitches* 4 times

*Skip one stitch, sc in next stitch* until no stitches left. Fasten off and trim

Sew onto centre of head

EARS

Attach white yarn to one side of the head and complete 3sc into 3 stiches in the head in a line at right angles to the mane.

Turn, skip 1sc, sc into next 2 stitches.

Turn, skip 1sc, sc into the remaining stich. Fasten off and trim.

Repeat on the other side of the head, mirroring the direction of the first ear

FINISHING

Using black thread sew eyes (slightly downward sloping lines for a ninja expression) and two patches on the nose for nostrils. Weave in any loose ends and give him a name fit for a rainbow unicorn. I went with Tim :)

ninja-unicorn-crochet-pattern


Copyright & Legal Stuff: I’m happy for you to sell items you make from this pattern but the images and words are mine – I worked hard writing & testing & photographing so don’t copy or distribute any part of this pattern. If you want to share it then link to this page. Thanks & happy crocheting

grit stitch placemat & coaster set

 

This crochet stitch is nice and thick with an interesting texture to look at. It’s very easy and only uses sc and dc stitches but looks much more complex than a simple sc or dc all throughout.

This pattern uses American crochet terms. For English terms replace sc with dc and dc with tr and you’re all set.

Any dk weight yarn and a 4mm hook should work for the stitch numbers given in the pattern. The yarn I used was a thin grey recycled cotton so I doubled it up to make it ~dk/worsted. If you’re using a different thickness, a different sized hook and / or you crochet particularly loose or tightly then you may need to adjust the number of stitches and rows to get the size you want.

Placemat

row 1. Chain 53

{for different sized projects you can chain any even number + 3. The even numbered chain will be a good approximation to the finished size}

row 2. dc in 3rd chain from hook, *skip one stitch, 1sc and 1dc into the next stitch*

* repeat across the row until there are only 2 stitches left and end with 1sc in the last stitch of the row.

row 3. chain 2, turn, dc into the sc at the end of the last row (the 3rd chain/stitch from the hook), *skip one stitch, 1sc and 1dc into the next stitch*

* repeat across the row until there are only 2 stitches left and end with 1sc in the last stitch of the row.

Repeat row 3 until the piece is as big as you would like the placemat – I completed 30 rows in total.

Do not fasten off but turn the work 90 degrees and continue in the direction you are going – sc all around the edge with 3sc in each corner. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Coaster

Follow the same instructions as for the placemat but to begin chain 17 and I completed 12 rows but you should add or subtract a few to make them square. Finish by sc-ing all around the edge with 3sc in each corner as for the placemat.

Blocking will make them more square if you want that but I never bothered and think they look fine as is.


Pay what you feel

If you liked this pattern and want to contribute to my wool stash so I can make bigger and better things then you can donate whatever amount you think this pattern is worth here. To donate more than £1 just increase the number of items 😉 Thank you!

£1.00


some people have been saying in the comments that they’re having trouble and seem to be losing stitches between rows. Here are some step by step photos of a small piece starting with a chain of 11 (i.e. 8 + 3):

dc in the 3rd chain from the hook

grit_stitch (5)grit_stitch (1)

now skip one chain and complete 1sc and 1dc in the next chain:

grit_stitch (2)grit_stitch (2) ALT

continue in this way to the end of the row until there are only two chains left. skip one chain and complete a single sc in the last chain of the row (in green below):

grit_stitch (3)

row complete:

grit_stitch (4)

to start the next row, chain 2, turn and then dc into the final sc of the previous row. Then continue as normal (skip one stitch, sc then dc in the next stitch) until there are only two stitches left. Again, just a single sc in the final stitch (green) completes the row:

grit_stitch (7)

grit_stitch (8)


crochet-placemat-6


Copyright & Legal Stuff: I’m happy for you to sell items you make from this pattern but the images and words are mine – I worked hard writing & testing & photographing so don’t copy or distribute any part of this pattern. If you want to share it then link to this page. Thanks & happy crocheting