Sunday, 29 January 2017

Popcorn Flower Baby Blankets

Over the last week I have been busy again making more baby blankets.  I love to sit in the evenings watching telly with a nice cup of tea and some crochet on my lap.  Making blankets this time of the year certainly keeps you cosy.

The design for this blanket is simply 4 popcorn flower squares joined together and you then continue with rounds of granny clusters, until you get to the size that you want.



I then worked an even more simple border of single crochets and chains...



I have used a mixture of Stylecraft and Woolcraft yarns.  Both are incredibly soft with good stitch definition and make lovely squishy blankets.

Baby pink, Fondant and White




Of course I can never stop at just one...

Peach, Coral and White



Walnut, Fawn and Cream


Available now in both my Ebay and Etsy stores.  10% of the sale price of all Lullaby Blankets will be going to the MS Society when purchased via Ebay.  My sister has suffered from this life destroying disease for many years, so this is a cause that is very close to my heart.

Have a lovely week

Catherine
x












Sunday, 22 January 2017

Granny Square Baby Blankets

Last week I spent many enjoyable hours hunting through my yarn stash and creating some very simple baby blankets.  I wanted some nice easy TV crochet projects to do with the added bonus of making things to sell in my shop.




Now anyone who knows me will tell you that blanket making is my most, absolute favourite thing to do and making baby blankets even more so, because they have the added attraction of instant gratification.  I can whip up a car seat sized blanket in just a couple of evenings.  


I don't know why I love making blankets so much perhaps it's the cosy, snugly feeling they give you.  I just love the whole process from start to finish.  From shopping for yarn or raiding my stash, to choosing the design, the colours and the border.  I love to experiment with different colours and textures.  

I used a very simple granny square design, just changing colours every couple of rows.  The first blanket is in shades of baby pink, fondant, silver and white.


Finished off with a very simple picot border...


The second blanket is essentially the same in shades of mint, glacia, silver and white.


I used a mix of Stylecraft and Woolcraft yarns they are both really soft and lovely to work with.


The pink blanket is now available in both my Etsy store and Ebay.  The mint and silver one has already been sold and is winging it's way to its new owner...


I am still feeling that urge to make more blankets, come back soon to see this weeks makes...

Blessings

Catherine
x


Friday, 13 January 2017

2017BAMCAL January Squares

Happy new year everyone!

Things are much calmer now that all the festivities are over.  Time for some serious crochet I think.  This year I am taking part in the 2017 Block a Month Crochet Along (otherwise known as bamcal).  You can find the group here on Ravelry.  The idea is that you make a different afghan block each month and then at the end of the year put them all together to make a beautiful blanket.  There are extra optional blocks each month too...

I have taken part in previous years and I love to see everyone's beautiful crochet squares.  It truly amazes me how different the same pattern can look in different yarns and colours.  The group is super friendly and open to anyone. The moderators are very helpful and encouraging too.  Even if you are new to crochet you can give it a go, there is always someone around to help you out if you get stuck.

This year instead of making a blanket (I still have more than a few that need finishing) I have decided to use 4ply yarn and make my squares into a shawl.  I have quite a lot of Drops Fabel in my stash that will be perfect for this.

This months main square is called Moody Blue and is designed by Helen Shrimpton.


The filler square is Floral Kaleidoscope by Julie King.



I will take some better photos once these squares have been blocked.  Can't wait to see what blocks we will be doing for next month.

Take care...

Catherine
x

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Advent - Part Two

Well as expected this week has gone by in a blur.  We have had Christmas lunch at my school, my son's nativity play, my work's do, visiting Santa in his grotto, decorating the tree and carols by candlelight...

This morning we had a lovely breakfast at our local garden centre.  Little T protested greatly at having to get dressed so early on a Sunday, but I gently pointed out that there might be a special someone there today...



After visiting the big man we meandered around the garden centre looking at the Christmas displays.  We spent a long time looking at all the lovely decorations.  Every year I always buy something new for our tree and this year we picked out a silver filigree star with crystal drops.  

Once home the tree was finally decorated.  It has actually been up for a couple of weeks with only the lights and some tinsel, waiting patiently for the rest it's adornments.  I like to take my time with the baubles, removing them from their boxes and carefully unwrapping the tissue paper.  We have little china angel bells, a frosty Santa, owls and hedgehogs, countless sparkly glittery balls and of course many hand made ornaments.  Finally a glittering of icicles.  The single ornaments that I buy each year are my favourites to unwrap.  It's like meeting up with an old friend you have not seen for a long time and each of them holds memories of things that happened in the year that I bought them...


In the evening we went to Carols by Candlelight at my local church.  The service was beautiful as always.  I particularly enjoyed the song performed by "The Choir With no Name"... and of course there were lots of old favourites.


The adorable knitted nativity that they bring out every year.



It was lovely to spend the evening contemplating the true meaning of Christmas...

"And the word became flesh, and dwelt among us"
John 1:14

Catherine
x





Saturday, 17 December 2016

Free Pattern - Pocket Tissue Cosy

Need a last minute gift for someone?  This quick and easy pocket tissue cosy is just the thing.  Makes a perfect stocking filler or just a little something extra for that special someone.  You can make this with any yarn weight and the pattern will also work to cosy up your mobile phone or tablet.  The cover is easily adaptable for any size...



This pattern is written in American terminology.

You will need

Yarn, small amounts of any weight
Crochet hook corresponding to your yarn weight (4 mm hook for DK, 5 mm for Aran etc.)
Wool needle
Stitch marker (I just use a scrap of yarn for this...)
A button
Optional, crochet flowers or other embellishments


Stitches used

sc single crochet
hdc half double crochet
ldc linked double crochet (if you have never used this stitch before you can find a great tutorial here)


Round 1 Make a chain that is the same width as your packet of tissues (or phone / tablet) chain 1 more and make 3 sc into the 2nd chain from the hook place your marker in the first of these sc, sc into every chain untill the last chain, sc 3 into last chain, now turn your work and continue working sc's into the under side of your chain.

Do not join we will be working in a spiral

Round 2 1 hdc into the first sc of previous round (remember to move your marker at the start of each round), dc into the next stitch, ldc into the next stitch and each stitch around.



Continue in rounds working ldc into every stitch until your crochet is the same length as your pocket tissues (it is a good idea to try your cosy on after the first couple of rounds to check the fit).  Try your cosy on again, it should fit fairly tightly add extra rounds if you need to...

Once your cosy is the right length finish 2 stitches before the marker, hdc in the next stitch, sc in the following stitch and in every stitch around, join with a slip stitch.  Optional -  work 1 round of crab stitch (reverse sc), bind off.


Make Button Loop 

Sew your button onto the front of your cosy near the top.  Chain enough stitches to make a loop that will go from the back of the cosy, around your button and back again.  I use a size smaller hook for this.  Thread your tails onto a wool needle and sew in place at the back of the cosy.   You can leave your cosy just as it is or add crochet flowers, ribbons, appliques etc...




Now give your cute gift to your loved one, or make loads and keep one for yourself...

Have a very merry Christmas

Catherine
x





Monday, 12 December 2016

Advent

Well haven't the last few weeks been super busy.  There has been lots of crochet, school Christmas Fairs, School discos, The annual Reindeer Parade and of course the Christmas craft Market.  I have also been doing a little pattern testing on Ravelry, hence the neglect of any bloggy pursuits.  I'm hoping the next couple of weeks will calm down a little but who am I kidding...

I have just enough time to share a few photos with you.

The Reindeer Parade.  
We love to go to this every year.  It begins outside Windsor Castle with a marching band, 


followed by Santa's Elves


and finally the big man himself with his reindeer...





We like to follow the parade as it winds its way around Windsor.  The band playing a jolly rendition of "Santa clause is Coming to Town" and little T madly waving his flag... Having children certainly brings back the magic of Christmas. I am fondly reminded of the traditions we kept when I was a child and now I have the pleasure of making new traditions with my own.

This weekend was the Christmas Market that I have been busily been preparing for.  I arrived early to set up and had plenty of time to relax for a bit before it all started.  The other stall holders were all amazingly friendly and very complementary of my table (I was more than a little nervous it being my first craft fair...).

There were hotties, stockings and baubles galore...











It was a little on the quiet side but the atmosphere more than made up for it.  Everyone was visiting each others stalls and buying those last minute gifts.  I had my lovely friend Karen along to help me who did very well on the raffle.  We even had a visit from the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. 


Here he is with the lovely Sarah from The Mint Makeover.

I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas festivities where ever you are.  Take care...

Catherine
x


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Free Pattern - Granny Stripe Christmas Stocking

Inspired by all the lovely Granny Stripe blankets out there I wanted to create something similar in a Christmas Stocking.  I searched the Internet and didn't quite find what I was looking for so decided to design a pattern myself.  



This pattern is written in American terminology and is suitable for a beginner.  You may use as many colours as you like, making this project perfect for stash busting.

You will need...
Main part of the stocking approximately 100g of DK
Contrast colour (heal, toe and cuff) approximately 30g of DK
Size 4 mm crochet hook (G)
Wool needle
Optional - ribbon for hanging, pom poms, buttons, bells etc. to decorate your stocking

Stitches used...
dc - double crochet
Granny cluster - 3 dc in one stitch or space
slip stitch
dc2tog - double crochet 2 together

When starting a new colour I always use a standing dc for my first stitch and a no chain dc when starting a new round with the same colour.  There are some great videos showing you how to do this on YouTube here and here.  You can of course use the traditional method of joining with a slip stitch and chaining 3 if you wish.

Round 1 with contrast colour starting with chain 4 join to form a loop and work 15 dc into the loop, join with a slip stitch (15 dc)
Round 2 2 dc in each stitch around (30 dc)
Round 3 [2 dc in the first stitch, 1 dc into the next stitch] repeat around (45 dc)
Round 4 [2 dc in the first stitch, 1 dc into the next 2 stitches] repeat around (60 dc)




Rounds 5-7 dc in each stitch around.




Round 8 main colour(s) [work 3 dc into the next stitch (one granny cluster formed), skip 2 stitches] repeat around (20 granny clusters)



Round 9 if you are starting a new colour work a granny cluster into any space between the clusters on previous row.  If continuing in same colour slip stitch across to the next space and work your granny cluster here.  Continue round working a granny cluster into each space, join each round with a slip stitch.



Round 10-21 as round 9

Commence heel...
Row 1 in contrast colour starting in the first stitch of any granny cluster work 24 dc turn

Row 2 dc in the next 10 stitches, dc2tog, dc2tog, dc in the last 10 stitches turn (22 dc)
Row 3 dc in the next 9 stitches, dc2tog, dc2tog, dc in the last 9 stitches (20 dc)
Row 4 dc in the next 8 stitches, dc2tog, dc2tog, dc in the last 8 stitches (18 dc)
Row 5 dc in the next 7 stitches, dc2tog, dc2tog, dc in the last 7 stitches (16 dc)

Row 6 dc in the next 6 stitches, dc2tog, dc2tog, dc in the last 6 stitches (14 dc)
Fold the heal in half and make a slip stitch in the first stitch of previous row.


Continue in rounds...
Round 22 work a granny cluster into the space you just made with your slip stitch.  Working along the side of your heel rows [skip one dc, then work a dc cluster into the side of the next dc] x3.  You should now have one cluster in the space at the back of the heel and 3 clusters along the side of the heel.  Now continue across the main part of the stocking working a granny cluster into each space until you get to the other side of the heel.  Work a granny cluster into the side of the first dc on the heel, [skip 1 dc, granny cluster into the next dc] x2, slip stitch to join.

Round 23-45 as round 9

Begin cuff
Round 46-49 in contrast colour work 4 rounds of granny clusters
Round 50 dc in each stitch around

Round 51 working from the wrong side (this is easiest if you turn the stocking inside out) and working in back loops only dc in each stitch around

Plain cuff
Round 52-56 dc in each stitch around
Fasten off

Lace cuff
Round 52 [dc in the next stitch, skip 2 stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch, chain 2, 2 dc in the same stitch, skip 2 stitches] repeat around and join with a slip stitch
Round 53 [dc in dc from previous round, 3 dc in chain 2 space, chain 2, 3 dc in same space] repeat around and join with a slip stitch
Round 54 [sc in dc from previous round, 4 dc in chain 2 space, chain 2, 4 dc in same space] repeat around and join with a slip stitch
Round 55  [slip stitch in the next 4 dc, slip stitch in chain space, chain 3, slip stitch in first chain of chain 3, slip stitch in same chain space, slip stitch in the next 4 dc, slip stitch in next sc] repeat around and join with a slip stitch 
Fasten off

Sew heel closed and weave in ends

Hanging loop...

You can either sew a loop of ribbon to the top of your stocking or simply crochet a hanging loop as follows...

Row 1 chain 21 sc in 2nd chain from hook and in every chain, bind off.
Fold in half and sew onto the top of your stocking.


Use as many or as few colours as you like...



 and you can add all sorts of extras, bows, bells, pom poms.  Just use your imagination.  I made an applique star for this one and a lacy  cuff...



I hope you like the pattern and I would love to see some photos if you make one.

Happy Christmas crafting!

Catherine
x