Thursday, 24 December 2009

My Dog in his Christmas Jumper

This is the jumper I made for our dog for Christmas! Merry Christmas to you all. Hope you don't get or give any knitwear disasters this year!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

I'm still here!

If you've been wondering where I've been I've become fascinated with finding interested patterns on the interwebs and in case you were wondering, there are hundreds out there! My recent favourite is this site which has a large array of vintage patterns I found it looking for 2 needle mitten patterns as I've recently discovered that I loathe and detest knitting in the round! There's lots of 2 needle patterns for them olden days of yore when folk kitted with two sharpened twigs rather than fancy plastic circular knitting needles.

In other news the dog now has a fluffy sweater (he's a greyhound so I'm sure you can imagine how ridiculous he looks in a jumper made from fun fur!). Plus I've made a Christmas present (big hat for a big head) and am halfway through making a pair of mittens for my mum-in-law (I settled for crocheted though as it works up faster).

Finally I had the following conversation with my Other Half last Saturday

Him: I wish I had a Santa hat
Me: I could make you one
Him: Please

By Sunday afternoon he was wearing a crocheted Santa hat which he wore to walk the dog in, the dog who was still wearing his fluffy jumper!

Here's a very rough pattern (although really they're more 'loose instructions' so don't blame me if it all goes horribly wrong! Also, this is crocheted in the round which I love so use a stitch marker if you need one - I never do, I think I like making life difficult for myself!

Using red yarn I started with a chain joined with a ss that was the head circumference, crocheted sc until near the top of the head then reducing as follows:

first reducing row: 2sctog 7sc to end
next row: sc
next row: 2 sc tog 6sc to end
next row: sc
next row: sc
next row: 2 sc tog 5sc to end
next row: sc
next row: 2 sc tog 4sc to end
next row: sc
next row: sc
next row: 2 sc tog 3sc to end
next row: sc
next row: 2 sc tog 2sc to end
next row: sc
next row: sc
next row: 2 sc tog 1sc to end
next row: 2sctog (repeat this row until few enough stitches remain to join together) leave long tail.

Join white yarn at the wide end of the hat. Sc enough rows to make rim of hat (I did about 8 I think) weave in end

Make white pompom secure with long tail at pointy end of hat.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Tasteless Amigurumi

Meet Mr Period.

I made him to honour everything that's horrible about periods and also to cheer myself up while I was on my period. He's crocheted and is in a suitably bad mood.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Wool Craft Update

I've been busy and probably left this blog longer than I should have. I have been crafting though but as usual I've forgotten to take pictures. I'm not really cut out for this craft-blogging lark! I just thought I'd keep you updated with my crafting.

I've made one pair of mittens using a pattern that's so old the price was in shillings and pence (well, just one shilling to be completely accurate). They're a combination of knit and crochet for minimum boredom and they're a purple colour (because that was the colour that was nearestwhen I decided to try the pattern!) They're a good fit and are very warm, it's nice to know that hand sizes haven't changed much since decimalisation!! The main hand bit is double crochet so they're lovely and thick. The thumb is stockinette stitch and the cuff is k1, p1 rib.

I'm making a knitted square blanket, making7" knitted squares. So far I've got 12 squares, I'm doing this blanket when I'm too tired to concentrate but not so tired I don't want to knit. the colours are beiges and browns with a bitof white thrown in for extra measure!

I'm in the middle of a zigzag baby blanket using a pattern found at Attic24. I'd find you a link to the exact pattern but to be honest I thoroughly recommend reading her blog and finding it yourself as she has lots of other lovely thigns you'll probably want to try! Speaking of which I've now made 3 little crochet birds just for my general amusement, find the pattern on her site it's fun and quick to do!

I'm still on with the Entrelac scarf which I'm enjoying but can't always be bothered doing after a busy day. Plus there's always so many other patterns to try... why is there never enough hours in a day?

Finally I'm making a woolly hat for the Other Half who has a bit of a hat fetish. I've cast on 92 stitches and am knitting until it measures about 9" I'll then do a few rows of k2 together until there's few enough stitches to thread the end through, gather and sew down the side. It's an olive green colour and is so far about 3" from cast on.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Knitted? I Think You'll Find That's Crochet

I love Harry Hill’s TV burp, it’s the only thing on TV that I get mad about missing but something has been bothering me for quite a while.

It’s this:
From the very first clip when the Knitted Character first appeared in Eastenders I said “that’s not knitted, it’s crocheted” but I let it slide because I didn’t think much of it. But now the character has taken off, you can even win one with the weekly competition.

It’s driving me insane, partly because whenever I’m crocheting anyone who sees me goes “what are you knitting?”

I then have 3 choices

1. Go into a lengthy diatribe about how knitting is completely different and uses two needles, whereas crochet just uses one hook and the look of the stitches and the feel of the finished garment is completely different

2. Answer “Scarf”

3. Beat them with my crochet hook until they’re no longer bothering me.

There are two reasons it drives me mad, the first is that you’d never go to someone with coloured pencils and ask them what they were painting. Oh, and trust me don’t EVER ask someone who’s a Ham Radio operator if they’re doing CB radio.

The second is it proves just how little knowledge and interest people actually have, crochet and knitting are different. They could ask “Are you knitting?” and I’d be fine, I’d probably even answer “Sort of, I’m crocheting, similar idea, different tools.” But they don’t, they assume I’m knitting and that really riles me.

To top it all the company that makes them have even said it’s not knitted, it’s crochet, you can buy them here unless of course you’re under 16.

Anyway, it’s fair to say I really need to calm down, no-one should get this worked up over wool crafts.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

New Template

I accidentally cocked up my old template in a freak blog accident. As a result I've got this one, it's a work in progress but on the plus side it's a lovely blue colour.

It'll probably change a lot in the coming days. Please let me know if it's not displaying correctly or if there's any bits you think I should change!

Thanks :-)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Can't Talk. Busy

Oh my goodness, now I've gone and done it. I've only bloomin' well found the joy of Entrelac thanks to Alison of Freckles & Purls quite addictive Entrelac Scarf pattern (PDF).

All I think about is Entrelac. Is there a support group? Entrelac anonymous?

The funny thing is I'd always discounted it as something that looked too complicated. I was wrong. if you can knit, purl, increase and decrease you can Entrelac.

Curse you Entrelac, knitting will never be the same again...

Friday, 25 September 2009

Hats and Soup

I've had a bit of a crochet/knit drought at the moment. The only thing I have made is two of these convertible hats. I made one for me - the prototype, a black and red one. I then was told it was my sister's boyfriend's birthday, last year I made him an earflap hat and it literally never leaves his head. He has trouble buying hats as by his own admission his head is "well big" so I thought I'd make him one too.

This meant my Other Half started moaning at me as he also wants one, so i am now halfway through my third, it should be very useful for him as he can wear it round his neck when he rides his motorbike and tie it in a hat when he gets off it.

I recommend the pattern, it's easy to follow and works up quickly unless you have distractions, which I do as this week we decided to buy...

...A SCALEXTRIC SET!!!! I've never had one and always wanted one, so we set it up in the living room and have been racing each other like big kids all week. We've also bought two track extension kits and 2 more cars. We decided to get some cheaper cars until the dog gets more used to it; there truly is nothing funnier than a greyhound trying to catch a F1 racing car. It is not funny when he manages and the spoiler drops off!

In between races last night I had to make some food. We've been a bit slack this week and couldn't be bothered to go to the supermarket. I looked through the cupboards and managed to find the following:

  • potatoes (about 4)
  • onions (2)
  • courgettes (2)
  • a vegetable stock cube (made about 400ml of stock)
  • butter
  • milk (225ml)
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper

From it I made my first ever 'cream of' soup. I loosely followed this recipe and it was delicious! Better still, there's enough for tonight with a crusty loaf I've bought today!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Granny Squares on the Red Carpet

I saw this picture on the BBC's Entertainment Site's photo of the day section and thought I should share it with you (and by share I mean copy the picture and post it here - sorry BBC!) It's very cool, although I'm not too keen on the colours myself. No doubt it's been followed by a barrage of "Cate Blanket" headlines and might feature on those dreadful 'what were you wearing????!?!?!?!?' sections in fashion magazines but personally I think it's quirky and I love it!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A Tribute To Pointless Wool Crafts

I love browsing online for quirky little projects I have no reason to make, here I'm giving you my run down of the Top 5 Pointless Yarn Projects

In fifth place it may be quirky but it's also slightly pointless unless you are bald, in either way I'm not sure you'd want this knitted wig from Knitty

In fourth place there's this lot of crazy fools who think they're being the Knitting world's answer to Banksy with their random knitted graffiti nonsense. "Oh but it's cute they argue" "How can you be offended by knitting?" Well, quite easily when you've knitted up my bloomin' post box thanks a bunch now I have to walk half a mile to post my letter or frog this huge piece of craziness. Now take your yarn and your needles and go make something practical like a jumper.

In third place it's this little annoyance. There's no pattern but it's probably for the best.All I can say is Christ no! Take the hat off the dog. I'll repeat, just in case you misunderstood: take the hat off the dog.

In second place I choose crocheted food. Any kind of crocheted food is pointless, you can't eat it, you're too big to play let's pretend. A project that really is pointless are these crochet cupcakes from Bitter Sweet. I can't enjoy their sugary goodness because they are made of blinking WOOL.

At number one it's this knitted toilet roll from Mochimochi Blog the only possible purpose for this would be to put it on your loo roll holder in order to torture a friend or relative. You can't use it but you'll need to use something, I can see this practical joke ending one of two ways: stinky knitting project or stinky friend, either way you're not going to be pleased you made it.

The Special Award for making me want to kill myself for ever even owning knitting needles goes to this:

Apparently by an artist called Guido Daniele he is now on my hit list. This is wrong for the following reasons:

  1. Bikes should not be pink
  2. Bikes should not be knitted
  3. Pink bikes are not art

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Yarn Drought

Well, not really a yarn drought, but a project drought. I'm at a bit of a loose end knowing what to make, recently I've been making teddy bears, knitted ones adn I would post pictures but as usual the PC for posting pictures is occupied by the Other Half and prising him from the chair is far too much effort.

Recently I've been struggling to find an inspiring project, this in turn puts me in a bad mood as I'm not the kind of person that can just sit and watch TV. So I'm on the hunt for projects that are enjoyable to knit or crochet. Does anyone out there have any old favourites? Any suggestions? I need help to get my knitting mojo back!!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

When My 2 Hobbies Collide

I like writing. I like knitting. So I'm sure I should want to get involved with this but I can't help thinking that knitting a giant poem one letter at a time is a bit of a daft idea.

If you are up for the tiniest contribution in the biggest knitted poem ever check it out.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Making Knitting Charts

I've decided I'm going to make my own knitting charts so I've been looking online for printable sqwuared paper. I've found this great free resource with a wide range of printable graph papers (the isometric paper looks pretty gool too - I could spend hours drawing Escher-style pictures with this).

I've been using this chart for a teddy-bear baby blanket but thought it would be fun to try and make my own. I'm hoping to make some designs soon and if they work out I might share them!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Crochet Baby Cardigan

I'm now on with this. It's a crochet baby cardigan, so far it's very cute and I like how it works up top-down so you get a sense of how big (or in this case small) it is as you're making it. I'm trying it in a very soft purple acrylic yarn. I'll post pictures when it's done.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Scarf Request / Crochet Book Review

The great thing about Facebook, Twitter and the like is the banter with friends you seldom see. I updates my Facebook status yesterday to something alog the lines of "Louise is planning her next wool project." A little later I checked my status to see "can you make me a scarf please." Yes, I thought, yes I can, and remembered I had this book which has scarf patterns in that I have never used. I'm really not sure why I bought this book, I'd seen it on amazon and was just starting with crochet, I guess I liked the cover which is NEVER a good way to buy a book.

Don't get me wrong, it's got some interesting patterns and ideas in it and the how to do stitches and what yarn is what section is very good but I don't like the way all the pictures are in the middle of the book. You have to keep flicking around to see if the creation you've made looks anything like the one the designer had in mind.

I finished the Market Bag project a few days ago, unfortunately in my wisdom I used acrylic yarn instead of cotton, the result is a market bag which stretches to look like a badminton case whenever you put anything even slightly weighty in it. But, as I found the project easy enough to follow I thought I'd have a go at the preppy/hippy scarf.

The preppy/hippy scarf is a very easy pattern, so easy in fact it beggars belief anyone bothered to write it down. To summarise: make long chain leave long tail at each end hdc every row with different colour leaving long tail at each end for fringing. Then when it's wide enough add some more fringing for good measure.

I'm small (UK size 10/12 to be precise) but make everything medium just in case, the shrug was very narrow and pretty uncomfortable to wear. I frogged it. I think the author must be a size Zero as when making the scarf I immediately found it was nowehere near long enough in the pattern so made my foundation chain at least 20 chains longer, even now I wish it was longer. I've got two more leave a tail hdc along leave a tail rows to do tonight and then it's done and I can send it to my Facebook friend.

Maybe all my projects should be based on "please can you make me a" as I've actually had fun with this. All in all I prefer to get my patterns online, some of the free stuff out there is amazing. I'm not sure I'll bother getting any more crochet books. The only other crafts books I have are a 1980s Elle knitting pattern book, a 70s crafts book with knitting, crochet, macrame and a whole load of other crafts in and finally 'Two Balls or Less' a book which i admit i bought for the amusing name more than anything!

Monday, 6 July 2009

I Will Be Back

I am fine, just busy. I will devote more time to my lovely blog and your lovely readers after the summer. I desperately need a holiday (I think I'm close to burning out).

I will blog soon

Loo x

Friday, 26 June 2009

Shared Moments

I shared a moment with a stranger today; the man looked at me with a sad smile. I gave him a sad smile back. He then walked away whistling ‘Man In The Mirror’ the same song that was playing through my head.

I found this today it made me smile so I thought I’d share it.

Of course if you’re having your home repossessed I can only apologise; I’ve probably depressed you even more.

No time for wool so far today, although last night I was knitting a summer top. It’s circular knitting which actually bores me senseless, luckily I have a stripe pattern to follow to keep me awake!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Say No To Pollen!

Unfortunately hayfever is making it increasingly difficult for me to be bothered doing any yarn-related stuff lately. By the time I get back from work I'm sniffly, tired, cranky and more often than not have a headache from my stupid allergy-ridden sinuses.

In other news I got my first haircut in over a year the other day. Only a few inches off but at least I can happily run a brush through it now:

Haircut: 1 Phobia of Hairdressers: 0

It's true, I hate having my hair cut. I think it stems from my anxiety, up until recently when I had the wonderful triple-therapy for stomach ulcers I'd get the most nervous stomach whenever I was doing anything remotely different or exciting. This nervous stomach would make me feel sick, I very seldom was sick but it was still enough to put me off doing things. I still get a bit of a nervous tummy but it's much better. Now there are two things I still don't enjoy doing, the first is going out for a meal, because feeling sick with excitement/nerves is not conducive to enjoying a hearty meal and the second is getting my haircut.

It's crazy, I know but I think it's something to do with being stuck in the chair, with that silly shawl thing round my neck and someone looking at me (well, my hair). I know I can't really leave as I need my whole hair cutting, not just part of it, this thought then festers in my brain as I feel increasingly queasy and aware that I can't actually run away. I've never been sick, and I probably never will but me repeating that fact in my head doesn't detract from the fact that it's an altogether uncomfortable experience for me.

I was lucky that my haircut was the result of a hairdressing student desperately needing a model, I had no time to think or panic, before I knew it I was sat in the chair being pruned. Albeit gulping like a madwoman, looking petrified! But the whole ordeal was soon over, the student did a good job and my hair looks all the better for it.

I'm going to have to let them practice on me more often. I'm the perfect candidate really, I'm not bothered about what I look like so I'm not scared of students making a hash of it. In fact, when asked by any hairdresser throughout my life how I want my hair cutting my standard response is "I don't know, whatever. Just no split ends."

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Finished Item of the Week

I've had half of this top in my 'to finish' pile for about a year now and I'm pleased to announce that this Saturday morning I completed it! It was pretty easy so I'm not sure what took me so long, I think it's just that I get bored when I have to do another piece exactly the same as the first.

Anyway, it fits and it's sunny so I'm wearing it!

It is longer when I'm stood up, I think it gathered and rode up a bit when I laid down. I used about 150g of yarn (if memory serves me correctly) and I just used some cheap acrylic, possibly mix that I got from the wool shop of addiction. Speaking of which I went in last week and got 5 balls, 4 black acrylic mix to make the Other Half a poncho once mine's done and one variegated yarn that took my fancy. I hope I've not renewed my insane addiction!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Ponchos are best

I’m working on this. It’s possibly the most fulfilling Poncho pattern I’ve ever found. It’s an easy enough pattern to memorise but it’s got some increases to remember so you still feel a bit clever while you’re making it.

I love vintage patterns and I was really pleased to find this one, it’s working up well and as usual I’m messing about with the colour scheme slightly giving it more random sized stripes (I just can’t resist the temptation to Loo-ify patterns!).

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Busy Blogger

I've been very busy lately. I've been doing a lot of home (caravan) improvements. We now have a new Ikea sofa, called something pretty much unpronounceable and a balcony!

The new furniture has sent me on a mad tidying spree. As a result I've had no time to do projects I've been wanting to and less time to blog. I have made muself a water bottle holder for when I'm out waling as there's nothing more annoying than losing the use of a hand to a bottle of water!

I'm afraid I haven't had time for pictures, but I thought I'd share the pattern. Hopefully it'll work for you. Let me know if you have any feedback!

Crochet Water Bottle Carrier

You will need:
Approx 75g of standard weight yarn
4mm hook

Round 1: ch3, hdc 7 in third chain from hook. Join with sl st into first stitch

Round 2: ch 2 hdc 2 in each hdc join with sl st into first stitch

Round 3: ch 2 hdc 2 in each hdc join with sl st into first stitch

Round 4: using front loop hdc in each hdc

Then ch 2 and hdc in each hdc in back loop for each following round until piece measures approx 6" join with sl st and weave in ends. Make strap by chaining desired length of chain. Sc in each ch, ch 1 to turn at end of each row. Stop when you think it's wide enough.

Sew on strap on inside of bottle holder. Stick in a bottle of water and go for a walk!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Yarn Addiction Update #1

It's been over a month since I first posted about my wool buying addiction. I am pleased to announce I have managed a whole May without buying any yarn!

I was especially proud of myself today, I walked past The Wool Shop (my supplier!) and I could hear it calling to me. I looked in the bargain tubs outside the shop, felt a few balls of the most interesting yarn, including some really lovely ribbon yarn for £1.50 a ball, glanced longingly through the door at the rows of lovely yarns inside and walked away! Now, I know I'll never be completely cured, and to be fair I am now feeling an empty sense of loss in my heart but I'm still very proud of myself.

My name is Loo and I am a wool addict.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Too Hot To Crochet

I've been on holiday for a week, mostly day tripping and a couple of nights camping in Anglesey. It's been great but the weather has turned from grey skies and rain to bright blue skies and loads of sunshine. It's about 25 degrees todaywhich is far too hot to crochet

I did make some little baby bootees for one of the zillion people I know who seem to have got themselves or their partner pregnant over the last couple of months (I think there's something in the water). I don't have pictures but the pattern is here and it's very easy. I made a pair within an hour. I was going to crochet some more but the heat had made me far to ratty to concentrate. Instead I went inside and fell asleep on the sofa!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Knitted Baby Blanket

I've had some impulse buy yarn hanging about for ages, it's very soft and I'd been wondering what the heck to make with it. In the end I decided to try my hand at diagonally knitting squares.

I made them using 6mm needles by casting on one stitch, knitting that one front and back and then increasing both of the outer stitches by one on every row. Once I'd got to 70 I decreased each end of each row by one until all the stitches were gone.

By the time I'd knit two green ones I knew what they were destined to be. I knit two purple ones and joined them together to make a baby blanket.I then edged it in 2 rows of purple single crochet. I'm very happy with the result.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Easy Folded Bag

I found a pattern for a crochet bag the body of which was made from a singular rectangular piece of crochet here. I wanted to give it a go but had got bored of crochet so decided to try a knitted version. To work out the sizes I tried folding a piece of paper as per the instructions and then scaled it up to a size I was happy with. Feeling a bit brave I decided to try to make it stripey and see if the stripes would match up when it was folded. I think it was beginners luck! I knit a handle and attached it. I'm very pleased with the result. The only problem with it is the edges keep curling over, hopefully a quick pressing will rectify that!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A Short Digression

This makes me laugh, I've no idea why.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Finished and Photographed

Finally the PC has decided to play (without me having to spend anything on a new camera) so here it is, Dudley's new dog bed!
Made using French knitting it took me ages but got rid of ALL my scraps! I finished it off with a few rows of double crochet just for some different edging.As you can see Dudley's quite pleased with the finished product!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Ravelry Adventures

I logged into Ravelry for the first time in a while today. I tend to go on it occasionally when I need ideas of things to make, I'd firstly like to apologise that I haven't been on it for a while. I had messages from some of my readers here. I've now replied and will be checking it more frequently in future!

If anybody else wants to find me I am here feel free to add me. I'd add you but I'm honestly still struggling to get to grips with it. The buttons really aren't where I'd put them! I can navigate round the site but I can't help but feel like I'm taking the scenic route!

I'm hoping to get a new camera at the weekend, we're also going to get a new hard-drive and format the PC which should mean I can start putting pictures of things I've been making up again (unless the new camera hates me too!).

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Give Me Wool Over Technology Any Day

Don't you just hate it when you have a really nice weekend and make things you're really proud of out of yarn but the pictures you wanted to post on your blog are stuck on the camera? My stupid computer has decided photos should now only ever be saved as Read Only. Any attempt to resize or rotate them results in them mysteriously vanishing from the entire PC.

I'm really annoyed as I have some lovely pictures of the Leeds-Liverpool canal and a Mandarin duck all of which need rotating 90 degrees to prevent blog-reader neck-strain. I've also finished the dog bed (which was remarkably well timed as I finished it just after he decided to throw up on his old one, aren't dogs lovely?!) and I've made some bags. I'm now on with a baby blanket. None of which I can post so instead here is a picture of a donkey courtesy of Google images.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Still Hooking!

The Eye of Jupiter Blanket has been taking slightly longer than anticipated, also due to protests from the other hlf that we are now approaching the status of 'Too May Blankets' I've had to rethink the design. It's now an Eye of Jupiter dog bed and is driving me insane, there really is nothing worse than having to single crochet things together...

I want to start making some other things but I'm determined to finish the dog bed first. This is why I have a distinct lack of finished items to blog about.

I'm off now to take some deep cleansing breaths before I start single crocheting again. The dog better bloomin' like it!!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Must... Stop... Buying... Yarn...

I decided to do a spring clean of my yarn stash as my wool chest had started to look like a big bowl of multi-coloured, multi-textured spaghetti. I emptied my chest: Look all wooden!I turned round to see...

My sofa had disappeared!
I set to it, putting all the yarn back in in neat little balls, organised roughly by shade and thickness cursing my quite apparent addiction. When I saw my neat yarn stash all balled up and pretty I decided enough was enough. I am now on a temporary yarn purchasing ban.
Of course the 5 balls I bought before I tidied my stash don't count. I mean they were only 50p a ball so how could they?It's been 2 days since I tidied my yarn stash and I've only been to the wool shop once. And I only bought a bag of stuffing which I really did need as I had absolutely none left. So all in all I'm doing quite well.

My name is Loo and I am a yarnoholic. Realising it is the first step.

(please note pictures do not include massive box full of embroidery thread and bag full of various coloured plastic bag yarns I set about creating mid last year)

Friday, 24 April 2009

Mobile Hangers

A few posts back I said I was going to experiment with baby mobiles. These are the first objects I've crocheted, I'm pretty pleased with them. I think a space themed mobile would be really nice over a little boy's crib (not that I'm stereotyping!).

Now I just need to fathom a method of hanging them.  Any ideas?
I now need some more stuffing before I can start on my other ideas. 

Also, I'm not sure it you've heard of One Pretty Thing it has daily ideas of things to make using all sorts of crafts. It's the kind of site that makes me want to stay at home and craft forever!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Crocheted Rabbit

I actually made this rabbit over Easter but never got round to posting the picture, he's entirely single crochet, I made the ears first and then work him downwards shaping it as I went along. When I first embroidered his face I thought he looked a little sinister, hence I've nicknamed him 'Evil Bunny' but to be fair he's actually quite cute.

Speaking of fluffy animals my dog now has a blog (yes, of course he can type) you can follow his adventures here.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Normal Transmissions Will Now Be Resumed

I hope you all had a happy Easter! I've been away (hence the lack of wool related postings). I've been to Ayr in Scotland, as you can see the beaches were great! We got lots of walking done and managed to tire out the dog!
I've not done much with wool other than make another of the bags in my last post. I'm now on a mad crochet mission. I need to make my millions through yarn craft so I can spend my life walking on lovely beaches and visiting more remote castles in Scotland!

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Granny Square Bag

This in one of my recent completed projects. It's a granny square bag which I crocheted using some rainbowy yarn I had going spare. It looks like it will be a nice beach bag.

Here's a close up which shows the squares a little better.
You can find the pattern here. It's easy to follow and I made it up over a couple of evenings, in fact sewing the bloody thing together took as long as it did to make the 24 squares you need to make it! 

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Crochet Project

I'm setting myself a crochet challenge, I've seen a lot of knitted mobiles a bit like this one. I want to try and crochet one but instead of birds I'm going to try and make a space-y one. I've bought some amazing primary coloured wool and am hoping to get some quality crafting done over the next few weeks as I'm on holiday!!

You've got to love Easter!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Summer Gypsy Wrap

As soon as I finished my knitted summer wrap the sun came out. It was so great to see blue sky for a change! Roll on summer!
I've always like the hippy-gypsy style and wanted to make a wrap which would be great for walking along the beach in the Mediterranean sunshine (not that I have a holiday booked yet this year). I'd also seen a lot of examples of knitting using different textures and thanks to my yarn addiction I have an awful lot of eyelash yarn to use.
I used big chunky needles (about 10mm) cast on about 80 stitches and simply started knitting in a colour. When I got bored of a colour and had reached the starting edge I used another complementing colour - I kept the lengths of yarn as a colourful fringing.
I stopped knitting and loosely bound off when I felt it was long enough. I'm really pleased with the result and am now trying to figure out how to best make a jumper in a similar way.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Big Needles Little Interest

You can take that shit down now, it’s 12.30” say I, pointing to the savings rate board in my local bank.
Pardon” asks the cashier
0.35% on my Individual Savings Account down from 4.5%? I assume it’s some kind of April Fools joke.”

I didn’t say that, obviously but I have been seething all day. The government’s response to banking industry’s piss poor lending strategy over the last few years is to make it so that these complete numpties (who have borrowed 10 times their annual salaries to buy houses they can’t afford) get to pay back their debts at 2 pence a month. While I get absolutely nothing for being prudent and saving up while living in a bloody caravan instead of buying a house I can’t afford. It’s enough to make you want to withdraw all your money and stuff it in your mattress. We should all do that, that’ll screw them.

Away from fiscal matters I’ve finished my wrap. I tried to get the OH to take a picture of me yesterday in the sunshine but he seemed to want to place more emphasis on his motorbike in the back of the photo rather than the lovely wrap I’d spent 4 days making. Honestly, if you want anything doing right, do it yourself.

I’m now on the hunt for very thick knitting needles. I have a 1cm crochet hook but I find crocheting on that scale very confusing. I want some at least 15mm in diameter. I’ve found these wooden ones but can’t help wanting something a bit more colourful, exciting and possibly even bigger. I found these but can’t help thinking they look a bit rubbishy. I’ve also heard of Speed Stix but can’t find a UK stockist and there’s no way I’m paying import duty on knitting needles. The other option is to buy some dowel and try and make my own…

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Knitting Frustration Defined

I've spent the last 3 days knitting on and off, I'm making a summer wrap with a variety of yarn and it's very nearly finished. Imagine my frustration last night when I have 1 row plus the bind off to go and I glance at the clock to realise it is midnight! I now have to spend the day distracted by the project I know I'll complete tonight. Why can't I be at home crafting? Why?

Friday, 27 March 2009

French Knitting: Not As Sexy As It Sounds

It really should be sexy but it isn't. It's actually the kind of craft where you can completely switch off. You've probaly done it as a child, you use the plastic thing below and wool. You don't have to think, it's a great way to wind down.

Here are my instructions on How To Do French Knitting:

Start with a slip-knot around one of the prongs with the tail end of your wool through the centre, wind the long end of the wool once round the other prongs, turning the reel as you work. Once you've gone round them all wrap your wool around the pins above the loops already on your prongs. Use a blunt needle (French knitting kits usually come with a plastic pin) to pick up the bottom loop on the first prong and pull it over the top loop. Repeat this and keep pulling very gently downwards on the tail end of your original loop to work your knitting through the plastic jobby (I'm sure it's got a name).
So far I've made this:I've decided to make a rug/blanket/artwork kind of thing. I'm going to join it in a circle as below.I've lots more to do to get it big enough to qualify as a blanket. It's about 80cm in diameter so far. I can't help thinking it looks a little like the Eye Of Jupiter from Battlestar Gallactica.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

ROFL of the Week

This post has absolutely nothing to do with yarn, knitting or crocheting but I though it was too funny not to share:

What's the best way to irritate your parents while you are backpacking round the world?

Read the actual story here at the BBC website no less (that's quality news, that is).

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

More Hats

I've finally got round to snapping some of my recent creations. Firstly I've got my little baby hat. This is crocheted and using aran wool (allegedly) and I used my free baby hat pattern. I decided I wanted to make it a bit more quirky so set about crocheting ears and then sewing on some facial features to make...


Next I've got my chunky knitted hat. I meant to take note this time and record the pattern accurately, instead I got mesmerised by the variegated yarn and lost track. From memory here's what I did:
  • Leaving a 12" tail C/O 90 stitches . Work 3" in k1 p1 rib.
  • Work 7 1/2" in k1 row p1 row (I can never remember what stitch that is).
  • Then for the next couple of rows work 2 stitches together until you have 6 stitches remaining.
  • Cut the yarn with a good couple of feet of yarn spare, thread this through the 6 stitches remaining on your needles.
  • Pull tight and use this to sew up w/s of hat. Use the 12" tail at the start of the knitting to sew up the r/s of the brim.
  • Weave in ends
  • Job done - put hat on
  • Go for a walk

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Move along, nothing to see here...

I've had a very busy weekend, gardening in the spring sunshine (you remember sunshine right?) then going to the beach to watch the dog run round like a crazed lunatic. I meant to take some pictures of the baby hats I've made but by the time I remembered it was too late to be pratting about with the camera (at least that's the excuse I'm using).

The rest of the time I've been frogging. I now have just the vermilion vest creation disaster thing to frog and that will be it. Yarn recycling can commence.

I've also unpicked my French knitting experiment, I was making a vertical striped blanket but I've decided it will be better as a circular rug come blanket come circular yarn artwork piece.

Now it's time for my MAJOR FRUSTRATION OF THE WEEK ALERT: Remember this blanket? The culmination of a decade and a half's laziness? Well the Other Half only went and found a square I'd missed! One solitary bloody square. What the heck do I do with that? And don't you dare say another blanket!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The Latest Hat

This is the hat I made using the pattern from the last post. Again I've used variagated yarn, it's also a fluffy soft towelly type yarn. I'm in the process of making another hat, I'm using standard wool (none fancy) and have noticed the pattern works up a bit smaller. If you want a slightly bigger hat, or are using thinner yarn try using a 4mm hook instead of the 3.5mm hook used to make the one above (that's what I've done and so far it seems to be working!)

Monday, 16 March 2009

Crocheted Baby Hat Free Pattern

I’ve finally got round to writing down a pattern - I’m so lazy sometimes it’s a miracle I function at all! It’s a pattern based on my chunky weight hat, except I didn’t want to use chunky weight wool for the pattern as I’m pretty sure the wool I used for that was a handspun never to be found again bargain. So I’ve sat with my hook and some “normal” wool and here (I think) is the finished pattern!

3.5mm crochet hook. Standard weight yarn (I’ve made one with 35g of wool if the felt-tipped label on the yarn was done by someone who can actually use scales!).


Round 1: In 3rd chain from hook do 7 sc. Join to 1st sc with sl st

Round 2: Ch1, 2 sc in each sc

Round 3: Ch1, *2 sc in first stitch 1 sc in next stitch* (*repeat until end of round), join to 1st sc with sl st

Round 4: Ch1, *2 sc in first stitch then 1 sc in next 2 stitches* (*repeat until end of round), join to 1st sc with sl st

Round 5: Ch1, *2 sc in first stitch then 1 sc in next 3 stitches* (*repeat until end of round), join to 1st sc with sl st

Round 6: Ch1, *2 sc in first stitch then 1 sc in next 4 stitches* (*repeat until end of round), join to 1st sc with sl st

Round 7: Ch1, *2 sc in first stitch then 1 sc in next 5 stitches* (*repeat until end of round), join to 1st sc with sl st

Round 8: Ch1, *2 sc in first stitch then 1 sc in next 6 stitches* (*repeat until end of round), join to 1st sc with sl st

Round 9: Ch1, *2 sc in first stitch then 1 sc in next 7 stitches* (*repeat until end of round), join to 1st sc with sl st

Next rounds: ch 1 sc in each stitch, join to 1st sc with sl st - repeat until piece measures about 7” long.

Sew up side seams, fold over brimmy bit. Give to baby.

Please note I have only tested this once so if it doesn’t work out right please let me know (but don’t be too harsh I’m quite sensitive!!)

Friday, 13 March 2009

Crocheted baby hat

A lot of people I know are breeding at the moment, which means I've been looking at little clothing.

'I could make that' I thought to myself, so I had a go at a crocheted baby hat. This was one of my no-pattern specials. I love making things up as I go along, especially when they turn out all cute like this one. It measures about 7inches long (and a similar width at the widest part) when laid flat. I'm making another and trying to take more nitce of how I did it so I can share the pattern with you.

In case you're wondering my house is not lined with marble. I actually took this picture by putting the hat on top of the gas fire, it is a fake marble surround!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Pink Elephants

You might not remember but recently I bought this yarn and as usual had no idea what I was going to make with it when I picked it up in the wool shop in town (which I'm sure will be my downfall).

I'd like to introduce you to my new little friend.

I crocheted him using Riohnna's Pocketphant pattern - thanks for sharing it he's very cute! If you want to make one look on her site at the free patterns section in the right hand column and there's a link to the PDF file there.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Another Cookie Weekend!

I've been cooking biscuits again I looked for a recipe from my “Fabulous Cookies” book only I didn't have all the ingredients for any of the recipes. So, I used the basis of one recipe and used a different type of sugar and instead of chocolate chips and vanilla essence used sultanas and cinnamon. 

To say it was successful would be an understatement; my second batch is cooing as I type. Here is the recipe in case you're in a biscuitty mood! 

  • 115g butter
  • 115g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 120g sultanas

Makes up to 20 (or fewer really big ones!)

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and beat well.
  2. Sift flour into the bowl and fold it in with a metal spoon.
  3. Add oats and sultanas and mix well.
  4. Dollop the mixture onto greased baking trays leaving gaps for spreading.
  5. Cook on 15-20 mins gas mark 5 (bottom of my oven) until golden brown.
  6. Leave on baking tray for a few mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Or eat while still warm as the other half seems to enjoy doing!!
I've also been doing some hooking this weekend, but I'll post pictures of that later. Right now I'm off to eat more biscuits!

Friday, 6 March 2009

No Wool Week

I've had a pretty horrible week, largely due to me spending Saturday with a stomach bug. I was better by Monday (of course) meaning I couldn't in good conscience take a day off sick. As a result I've spent the whole week completely shattered.

Being so tired I can't be bothered crafting or blogging makes me sad. To cheer me up I found this:
That's right, a cat in daft headgear! And not just any headgear but a statue of liberty hat (with torch). Ooooh kitty doesn't look impressed!

If you have a cat you want to dress up and laugh repeatedly at you can find the pattern here. Oh how I wish I had a cat, maybe I could alter it for the dog...

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Le Knitting Francais

As long as I remember I’ve owned a pink plastic French knitting spool. I’ve always been able to do it, I learned so long ago it’s almost as if I’ve known how to from birth!

How I wish I had one of these instead of my pink plastic one:

When I found my 14 year old square blanket I also found the French knitting spool along with a couple of metres of rope I’d obviously intended to edge it with. I chose a crocheted edging in the end but didn’t want to destroy the hard work I’d put in on the pink spool so decided I was going to carry on.

But, what do you do with French knitting? Other than make several meters of brightly coloured rope?! I’ve started joining it together into another blanket (you know where you are with blankets) with a crocheted slip-stitch but other than that I’m at a loss.

I’ve had a look on the internet and came across this site which has lots of lovely spools but not much to do with the. Does anyone out there do French knitting?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

I'll Have To Get Used To It

Today is a day of mourning. What I’m mourning has something to do with this:Don’t worry Johnny Depp fans, he’s not dead. Let me explain: I’ve always fancied men with long hair, I’ve always liked the rugged biker look and I found my other half I was completely contented. The other half’s been moaning about his hair for a while. Granted, it was knotty but still a trim would quite happily sort it.

We’ve had the following conversation in the past:

“My hair’s getting on my nerves, it’s all knotty!”
“Well get it trimmed then”
“What if I get it cut short?”
“I’d be upset - I like it long”
“Well what if I get it like Johnny Depp in that film where he loses his eyes?”
“Once upon a time in Mexico? Yes, that’s not too short”
“Ok, that’d be better…”

Short back and sides later we are now having this conversation:

“Why are you upset?”
“I don’t like it, I preferred it long.”
“But why are you upset?”
“Why are you surprised? I told you I would be… you had the Captain Jack Sparrow thing going on, it was sexy. Now you have the random bloke in the street haircut that everyone has”
“So-and-so likes it”
“So-and-so isn’t going out with you…”

I’m looking for hat patterns…

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Weekend Yarn Fun

I'm addicted to buying yarn and every lunchtime I have the choice of 2 routes, past the cshop with the banjo in the window or past the wool shop. Both are as dangerous for me, I'd really really like a banjo but I haven't actually mastered the guitar yet so lately I've been choosing the wool shop route.
Here is my most recent purchase - hooray for pink! I have no idea what I'm going to make with it I just liked the colour, I'm like a yarn magpie!

I've also sorted out a frog pile:
There's a green vest jumper which I made stripey, it was meant to be a whole sweater but I got bored as it was using the tiniest knitting needles ever invented. It was from a seriously 1980s knitting pattern book my grandma gave me.

There's a pink crochet halter top which I made out of wool as I didn't have any cotton. The ideas right but it doesn't fit at all. I would be willing to post it to any brave people/strippers out there... 

There's a purple vest top I knitted from a pattern I got off the internet. Sometimes you can see why these patterns are free...

Then there's the knitted vest top I made, the colour of which can only be described as vermillion.Frog time methinks.

As well as frogging I've also been making, these crochet baby slippers.
I used the Crochet Flower Slippers pattern from Leisure Arts but in tpical Louise style totally changed it! Being a recent convert to crochet from knitting I still have issues with the fact crochet items can have huge holes between stitches. This pattern called for using a 6mm crochet hook with quite thick yarn - I didn't think that was right as they'd be a bit drafty and no-one likes drafty feet.

I started with a larger foundation chain and much smaller needle (4mm) and adapted the pattern as I went along to make more snuggly crochet slippers. I think they turned out great.

I'm now going Frankenstein some of more of Leisure arts  free patterns which you can find here!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Chunky Knitted Hat

As soon as I saw someone with a massive pompom on their head I knew I had to join the club (if that club doesn't exist already I want to make it!) so I got my 4mm knitting needles and some yarn I'd bought on the spur of the moment and set to work.

I am thrilled with the result, it's by far the warmest hat I own. It's also really thick as I've used small needles compared to the chunky wool I used. Every time I wear it people complement me on it - plus, as you can see from the picture it also serves as a useful tool for finding out which way the wind is blowing! I've had a request for another one and this time I'm taking extra special note of how to do it - I've even made a note of the yarn I'm using. Once I've made it and written up the pattern I'll post it here. It's actually quite easy, the hardest part really is attaching the strings for the pompom. I have encountered a small problem though; my needles just aren't quite long enough. Once I get to the end of a row it's becoming a real a battle to keep the stitches on the needles (which is why I sometimes prefer crochet). As a result if I want to put it down I have to stop knitting in the middle of the row which just drives me insane (I think I'm ever so slightly OCD)!

Why are knitting needles all a standard length anyway?