Sunday, 28 December 2008

Yarn Fun At Christmas

A belated Merry Christmas to everyone. I've been busy doing the usual festive things, visiting family and eating too much. 

I did make some gifts this year. One of may favourites was this knitted DS lite case for my little sister.

Inside it has 4 pockets for games and fastens with two little buttons. You can find the pattern here for free at crayondistaster.

I also got my own creative juices flowing with a gift for my friend Ben. He's a big kid and loves the CBBC puppet Oucho. I've never seen it but I've heard it's entertaining. Anyway, what better present than an Oucho. Using this picture of the cactus puppet I made my own version.

Here is my crocheted creation hiding among some presents. Not bad for my first shot at Amigurumi...

Hope Santa brought you everything you wanted and in case I don't post for a bit; HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, 8 December 2008

A Break From The Yarn

I have been tagged, not by the RSPB, but by Riohnna I have to write 7 random things about me, which I’m pretty sure might be the title of a film.

Seven Random Things About Me (now in widescreen)

1. I can juggle. I was taught by a colleague who also taught me to play Texas Hold’em. Not simultaneously mind, it is impossible to juggle whilst bluffing (prove me wrong I dare ya!)

2. When I worked for a debt management company I got so sick of the job I started signing false names. Someone out there has an IVA signed by “Mickey Mouse” and also “Bob Carolgees”

3. I am not a good flyer. Well, mainly it’s the taking off and landing I hate but also the crashing. Especially the crashing.

4. I was involved in a Podcasting craptacular called Ben Baker’s Sexual Corridor. I also write with Ben Baker very occasionally here. The series tried to be funny and edgy. But I was a uni student at the time so it was more likely cheesy and pompous with just a hint of self-importance.

5. I used to write a blog called Louise Is Not A Porn Star. It was fairly popular, but mainly due to very misguided google searches. As a result it was probably very disappointing for internet perverts what with it being a comedy site named after a mishearing of a conversation about how I used to work in a Pawn Shop.

6. I am obsessed with fungus. I love walking in the woods and finding mushrooms and toadstools. It broke my heart this year when the Fly Agaric did not come back in the garden. And no, I did not eat it.

7. I recently was developing a stomach ulcer. I am now indebted to a crazy Australian scientist who found out it could be cured by antibiotics after he drank a load of the bacteria H.Pylori. My stomach has never ever felt so good. And you thought Neighbours was the only good thing to come out of Australia.

Now there are rules...
1. Be nice and link to the person(s) who tagged you.
2. Share 7 random, weird, unknown things about yourself on your blog.
3. Tag 7 other people to join the meme.
4. Comment on their blogs so they know

...but I’m going to have to break them. I don’t know 7 fellow bloggers well enough to tag, but if anyone wants to do it feel free. Also if you’re reading this on my Facebook feed then go on indulge me in the comments section.

In other news I've completed the blue dog coat but Dudley won't stand still long enough to let me get a snap of him. I've also made some more fluffy bunny slippers which look a little like these (Caroline - I'll be posting them out to you just as soon as I can get to the Post Office!)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Winter Woollens!

It's been an eventful day here in the Elusive Loo household. Weather reports had suggested we should be expecting cool weather and mother nature didn't disappoint. We woke up to a substantial covering of 6 inches of beautiful white snow. The Other Half and I have been battling against ice and snow all week and fortunately our 4x4 had managed to get us to work but this morning was a little different.We ventured out across the moor on foot to assess the state of the roads. We found the track we live up completely covered and the snow very deep in places. It was a cold but pleasant morning walk, but when we got down to the tarmacked road to find it totally covered with no grit lorry in sight. Somewhere in the picture below is a road. I'm not sure where. I'm hoping it will be more visible tomorrow!As you can see the snow was well above our wellies so we admitted defeat and returned to the comfort and warmth of our house. At about 11 o'clock we tried to get to work in the car. We managed an inch forward then an inch backwards, then an inch forward and an inch back again. We rocked backwards and forwards for a while and after managing to move the car a foot in the wrong direction we decided to give it up as a bad job.

Later we took another walk across the moor to see if the roads had improved (they hadn't). Here is the view: Apart from getting to work, the other problem we have is how to keep our skinny greyhound from shivering like crazy. I finished a polo-necked jumper for him a couple of days ago and am pleased to say Mr Dudley Doo has been happily wearing it as he skips over the moor.
Instead of working I've been spending the day knitting a blue version of the Dudley coat. It's almost finished and has been a very productive way to spend a cold day!
(As I have typed this a grit wagon has been trying to get up the road below our house. It eventually gave up and reversed very slowly back where it came from!)

Friday, 28 November 2008

Christmas Gift #1: Slippers

These are the slippers I have made for my Grandma. They were easy to crochet in a pretty blue wool and I finished them off with some novelty yarn to make them look a bit more colourful. My Grandma's feet are smaller than mine which is why the stitches seem a bit more open in the picture. If my guestimation is right they should fit her ok (fingers crossed!).

They didn't take long, probably just a couple of hours per foot and that's while watching TV and drinking copious amounts of tea. Which reminds me, isn't series 3 of Heroes the most disappointing thing in the world? "Oooh" said the writers "Here's an idea let's take all the characters they've grown to know and love and change them completely. That'll keep the viewers on their toes." IDIOTS. I can only hope it gets better.

Anyway, rant over and back in slipper world; they used very little yarn at all and could easily be made with leftovers. The pattern is here if you want to make some yourself!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Sneezy Lack of Wool Week

I have had a very bad cold since Friday, when I've not been coughing I've been asleep or blowing my nose. As a result all my yarn projects have gone on the back-burner. Can't go spreading germs with my woollen craft can I?

I felt a bit better yesterday so began looking for ideas for Christmas presents. Thanks to Ravelry I stumbled across this Nintendo DS holder which I think I might have a go at for my little sister.

I also found these cute Amigurumi toys, I'm not sure if any of my family would want them but they are fantastically cute. I've never tried Amigurumi before but may well start, my main problem is I have nowhere to keep stuffing!

The checkerboard scarf is coming on ok but I've been too grouchy to knit much of it. I've managed a few rows but then the yarn gets tangled up and I end up putting it down in a snuffly strop!

That's why last night I started crocheting rather than knitting - I find it less taxing on the brain and I've started making these slippers as a present for my grandma, only in blue and with less alarming legs.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Checkerboard Scarf

I'm in the process of knitting a chessboard scarf. I've always wanted to knit chessboard patterns but everytime I've tried it the squares were not joined together. I stumbled upon this video tutorial last week and I'm now please to announce I'm 14 inches into a successful cheesboard scarf! I'm still not sure what I was doing wrong in the past but at least now I seem to have mastered it.

I'll post pictures later.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Fingerless Gloves Experiment

I've always got cold hands and when crafting I get what I like to term "Knitters Fingers" meaning my hands are absolutely freezing. To stop my fella shouting at me when I try to warm my cold hands on his back I've been experimenting with fingerless gloves.

Here are my results so far: I started with these - fancy multi-coloured wool. I made the pattern up myself which I will post once I find a way of clarifying the thumb instructions. I basically crocheted a square, and sewed up the sides leaving a gap about 2/3 of the way up for the thumb. Then I crocheted the thumb basically using trial and error, putting them back on my hand every row to make sure the curve of the thumb was right!
I then got an order from my mum for some for her friend at work who gets "typists fingers!" I managed to get 2 pairs out of one ball of yarn.
Then I started to get a bit experimental using 2 colours for effect. My sister then demanded a pair of blue ones for her upcoming trip to Switzerland, which then meant Ithen needed to make a hat and scarf to go with them!
So, sorry for not blogging, I've actually been far too busy making!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Stashbusting Crochet Cushion

Here is my latest stash-busting project. I've far too many teeny-tiny balls of wool and this is how I've been trying to get rid of them:It's a one piece rainbow crochet cushion! The directions are really quite simple.

Make a chain the desired length - mine was 46 inches. Single crochet for about 12 inches. You will end up with a huge rectangle, then fold following the diagrams below (and yes, for ease of photographing the diagrams I have used a piece of paper instead of crochet!).

Start with your crocheting as below:
Fold in half:
Fold one half down diagonally:
Do the same with the other side then flip over (as below):
Fold the bottom corner into the centre:
Do the same with the other corner.
Then sew across the front and up the back. Leave the vertical gap at the front open for stuffing. Stuff, then sew up, you should now have a comfy crochet cushion!
Close up view of the reverse of the cushion.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


I've joined Ravelry.

I'm here. I don't really understand it. If you're on and want to point me in the right direction feel free to add me as a friend!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Granny Square blanket

I am more than pleased to have finished my Granny Square blanket. It's really very heavy. Admittedly it doesn't really match the duvet cover but the important thing is that it's warm. It does mess with your head the more you look at it, I think I've inadvertently made one of those magic eye patterns! I used quite a lot of my spare yarn for it but the bigger it got the less of a scrap-busting mission it became. I am pleased with it and as you can see from the picture below Bubba the Bear quite likes it too...

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Be Right Back

It's been a week so I thought I'd best post something, unfortunately I've got no pretty pictures as I've been too busy with a crochet project to blog. I'm in the process of trying to beat the world record for the world's biggest granny square, well, to be honest I'll stop once it's double bed sized.

It started as a stashbusting project but is fast becoming an obsession. I've been buying newer bigger balls of yarn in order to complete my rounds. It now contains so much yarn it's actually as heavy as a sheep. I estimate I'll need about 4 more round and the blanket/bedspread will be complete and I will never need to look at a granny square again.

I will post pictures once it's done, so long as I still have strength enough in my fingers to operate the camera. Seriously, if I don't get arthritis when I'm older it will be a miracle.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Whisper Grey Crochet Scarf

Digging around through my yarn projects I found this scarf I made a while back. I wanted a nice easy project I could complete on my travels around the UK.

The beauty of crochet is that you can easily do a more open pattern, it build up quickly and you don't really have to keep count like you do with knitting. Plus you don't get on anyone's nerves clicking away with your needles!

I'd love to be able to find you the pattern but as usual I've found it, made it and lost it. It goes something along the lines of:

Make a long chain (as long as you'd like the scarf to be) , then double crochet into the 4th chain along. Keep Ch4 and double crochet in the corresponding loop in the chain below. You should end up with something that looks like the picture below.For alternate rows you do the same only replace the double crochets with single crochets. Keep going until the scarf is as thick as you want. I chose to stop with a skinny scarf so I could use it as a belt with my jeans.

Friday, 3 October 2008


I've finally followed a pattern (almost) I used the right sized needles but just grabbed the nearest wool. Again I didn't knit a gauge square, what can I say? I like to take risks with my yarn!

I'm please to announce that I followed a free pattern without changing it a bit and have knit these, they were easy and keep my feet toasty warm. They are very comfy and knit up relatively quickly. As you can see, they're lovely and red. I used quite thick red yarn. They really are simple to knit, all I can say is trust the pattern, they will fit at the end, even though while you're knitting them they look tiny.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Wool Addict

I have a problem, I can admit it so I'm half way to solving it. The only problem is I'm not completely sure I want to solve my addiction.

I am addicted to buying wool, I love getting new colours and textures. The addiction is compounded by the fact that every lunch time I have to pass a wool shop, outside the owner puts baskets of yarn to tempt me, in a variety of colours all 50p a ball.

Fifty pence! For a ball of yarn, mostly acrylic but always pretty pretty colours. As a result I have many many single balls of wool and very little to do with them. I did but a book on Amazon amusingly titled 'Two Balls or Less' which I always want to draw a question mark at the end of when I see it. The problem with the book is it's very specific on the type of yarn required and my addiction is more of a magpie style impulse rather than having any long term plan as to what the wool could be used for.

As a result I keep experimenting like crazy. One of my experiments which has turned out rather popular are these crocheted hats (with or without ear flaps).
I make them up as I go along but you could easily create your own by finding a double crochet hat pattern and just changing the yarn every couple of lines. That is literally all I do. For ear flaps put the hat on your head and shove crochet needles through where you think the ear flap should start and end. Attach your yarn and crochet backwards and forwards decreasing at each end of every row so you have a big triangle shaped ear flap. I usually end with 8 dc thickness of flap. I then use about 4 lengths of 4 colours I've used in the hats, thread them through the 8dc at the bottom of the ear flap.
Then all you do is plait these threads together in a big chunky plait until they're as long as you fancy.

These hats are great stash-busters and will also keep your head nice and warm in the cold winter months!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Plastic Bag Bag

Seeing as though we're all going to die horribly thanks to the impending rise of the sea levels courtesy of global warming I thought I'd do my bit. I'd heard about recycling plastic bags into yarn and thought it might be an interesting way to make something.

I found these handy instructions quite a while ago and merrily collected bags. Chopping and joining I eventually had enough bags to make this:

I personally love the irony of taking 40 perfectly functioning carrier bags and turning them into one perfectly functioning bag. Somehow I think it's the opposite of what a capitalist society says you are meant to achieve. This bag is made from Morrisons carrier bags, it's probably about 12 inches square when laid flat. I crocheted it using treble crochet and in the typical fashion I followed no pattern making it up as I went along. Sadly I didn't write the pattern down.

You may be thinking of doing something like this so let me give you some advice.

1. Choose the crappiest quality bags you can get your hands on, ones that will stretch if you pull on the plastic with small force. I tried to use thick carrier bags on another bag I made and paid the price, for three days I could barely move my fingers.

2.You need an awful lot of bags to make one bag (there's a sentence that doesn't make sense in isolation!) if you ask people for plastic bags they will give you them. Lots of them. And they will keep giving you them until you scream "PLEASE NO MORE!!" My car boot is currently full of plastic bags that I have no room for in my house, they need to be chopped up joined and rolled up before I can even begin to use them.

3. I would like to refer back to the last sentence of number 2 "they need to be chopped up joined and rolled up before I can even begin to use them" recycling bags is an arduous task. It takes an age before you can begin to start using your plastic bag yarn. If you really want to do it then have a go, but it will help to have a small army of people willing to chop up, join and roll.

Plastic bag yarn is fun, it makes an interest talking point and it's very 'in fashion' what with all the talk of recycling. Another design I used is fun as well as practical, you can use this to play a Guess The Shop game which can provide up to 12 minutes of clean wholesome family fun.

Thursday, 18 September 2008


All my friends seem to be having babies at the minute which has got me in the mood for knitting booties. These are a recent creation, I adapted a free pattern (Im not sure which one) but it was probably one of these but I can't remember which. I changed the size and used totally different sized needles to the ones recommended then added the ears and face to turn them from run of the mill booties to cute little bunny ones - aaaaaawww!

My knitting technique is largely experinmental. No tutting but I honestly have never knit a gauge square in my life! I go by guess work and I often grab the nearest needles I can find rather than searching through my hundreds of needles to find the right pair.

To make these I actually used double pointed needles which I hate! I'm not sure how people knit socks - I find double pointed needles unnecessarily fiddley! I'm also not a fan of circular needles!

These booties used no more than a ping-pong ball-size of wool. They are very cute. The only problem is they're so cute I don't actually want to give them to any of my friends, I just want to look at them and go "aaaaawww!"

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Adventures in Crochet

I've knitted for a long time but only recently got my head around the art of crochet. Here is one of my first designs, a phone cosy to keep my phone warn on those cold winter days!

I like the sunburst type stitch which is easier than it looks. I've attached a bead at the top and crocheted a loop to make a button style fastener.