Apple Logo baby blanket

Wow I’m so sickeningly lazy. I keep meaning to post stuff and then I don’t. I need to figure out how to blog on the move but the WordPress tablet app is not very easy to use.

Anyhoooo enough moaning, here are pictures of blanket I made for some friends who just had a baby. The dad is an Apple fan and the mum is one of the best cross-stitchers I’ve ever seen. The apple logo chart is from a chart provided free by a very kind Ravelry user AnnaList.

I used to make acrylic blankets but recently switched to wool as I would love for these items to become heirloom items for the recipients and wool is more appropriate. For this blanket I used Peter Pan Merino Baby which is currently £3.90 at Hobbycraft. Cheaper than most wools but after using nearly 11 balls it adds up pricewise. The quality is not great, it had a weird smell whilst I was working on it and had to wash it a few times to get that out but I love the end result (except the very small mistake where I did a sc instead of dc). The apple is elongated, but that’s not the chart which is perfect – it’s me not realising that I should have stuck to sc in order to maintain the chart proportions. live and learn huh?

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A tiny part of me worries that people don’t really like my hand made gifts. I got a lovely message from the Dad so hope he did but it seems I’m not the only one with that worry – see this article in the Washington post and tell me if you agree. Handmade always trumps mass produced. I have a baby blanket my husband’s aunt made for our kiddo, and two small jumper friends handmade for her which are treasured and will be given to her when she had kids herself (or cats…defo showing signs that she’s going to end up being a cat lady)

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Sibol squares

When not cooking or ironing school uniforms, I’ve been making squares for SIBOL. This is a group of international crafters who are co-ordinated by Sue to produce squares for lap blankets given out to elderly in care homes.

Here’s some I’ve done. It’s been fun because it’s so challenging but I do feel guilty as I should be working on a waistcoat for my mother in law.

I’m not sure when I’ll start the MIL’s waistcoat as there is a new challenge that SIBOL has which is to make daffodil squares for the Marie Curie Cancer Trust. And I plan to make loads and in between, I’ll be doing a few butterflies too. If you have a bit of yarn around, why not pick up your hooks or needles and get making. It’s for a good cause.

     

Hooking for chareedy

Blimey it’s been ages since my last post. I have been busying with the crochet hook and have now used up quite a bit of my stash on making charity hats which I will pass onto my mother in law. Her church puts boxes together at Christmas time to send to various people in need worldwide. I do feel a little guilty that some of the yarn is very cheap acrylic but I think something is better than nothing. The number of colours and balls  I have left are dwindling but where possible, I’ve tried to add some nice details like stripes on beanies or crocheted flowers onto hats. Once I’ve given them a wash, I’ll post up a picture.

Another charity group I’ve become interested in is called SIBOL which stands for Sunshine International Blankets of Love. The charity makes lap blankets for elderly people. The group makes fun blankets too – Challenge blankets where crafters from around the world send in knitted or crochet squares based on a particular theme. The blankets for these either go to the elderly who like to talk about the different squares or special ones are auctioned off to raise money for Alzheimers.

Another part of the group also do swaps and I’ve decided to join in with this. My goodness,the first swap was so, so, SO hard. The lady I was to send squares to is very talented and experienced. I spent ages looking for something suitable and must have made at least 8 squares before deciding on two that were about right. The other part of the swap is a small gift. No rules on this one as far as I could see. I hate not having rules as the possibilities are endless! The group make a lot of butterflies so I eventually decided to make some only to see the swap lady had sent in loads to the group in the very pattern I was using. ARGH. Ah well, in the end I made a jute basket. Hubby is from Dundee which had a thriving jute industry so that’s my connection.

Here are some picture….what do you think?

   

Of course, not everything I make is for charity. Here is a project using some polypropylene I found at the local Tiger store. A simple project done in the round through the front loop for the most part. The strap was HDC and the flap was SC. It’s perfect for my kid who played with it for about 3 days. Sigh…like so many of the projects I make her. I am not keen on the pink but have loads of the purple left so will be making one for myself because as everyone knows, purple is just fabulous. If you decide to have a go have some glue or nail varnish nearby to seal any cut ends else they will fray. Do you like the button? It’s so old fashioned from a stash my mother in law gave me…kiddo picked it and would not be persuaded to change her mind.

  

Red red head scarf

Word up! Do you remember Larry Blockmon, the lead singer of group Cameo? No? How about the guy in the late 80s  who sported a rather in-your-face  shiny red codpiece. Ah yes. Here he is…

Ok. So here is the headscarf I made which in a certain light reminds me of that codpiece.

It’s curling as I haven’t blocked it yet. Recently I had my very long hair cut off into a flicky  hair cut with a fringe. I have no idea what possessed me as I’m not a fringe girl (unless we are talking great sci-fi show Fringe that is). I’ve been making a few hats of late but they didn’t look right so opted to make this.

Yarn: Anchor style creativa – red. Small amount of Flirt dk purple

Hooks: 6mm and 4mm

UK terminology

I began with the 6mm hook to make a simple triangle of double crochet stitches created by adding a two dcs into the last chain of each row. Once I was happy with the length (which took about 4 tries over a few days to figure out), I added a single border of dcs along the other edges of the triangle so that I could flip it around to have columns rather than rows going down my head.

Then I started on the band, switching to the 4mm hook. There is a chain of 40 added to each corner. For two rows, I dc’d into each of these then did crossed trebles along the triangle. I finished with a border in purple along all the edges.

I like it a lot though the bands are a bit thick. But it does the job of keeping the fringe off my head which is the key thing. And it’s bright red and purple…my two fave colours.

  

The great yarn eater clutter container

 

Wow, this container used 5 balls of wool (or should I say 5 skeins of yarn as it’s cotton). It’s a bit of a freeform project in that I just made up the pattern as I went along. I like the outcome though I’m not keen on the colour. That doesn’t matter since it’s going to be put in a drawer to control some of my clutter.

Yarn: RYC cotton jeans mull, 5 skeins

Hooks: 6mm and 5.5mm

Stitches (UK terminology): magic loop, double crochet (dc), slip stitch (ss), treble crochet (tc), front past the post treble (fpt)

R1: Using larger hook. Make a magic loop with 6 dc, do not join (6)

R2: inc in next stitch, repeat in all stitches do not join (12)

R3, *inc, dc in next stitch** repeat from * to **, do not join (18)

R4: *inc, dc in next 2 stitches**, repeat from * to **, do not join (24)

R5: *inc, dc in next 3 stitches**, repeat from * to **, do not join (30)

R6: *inc, dc in next 4 stitches**, repeat from * to **, do not join (36)

R7: *inc, dc in next 5 stitches**, repeat from * to **, do not join (42)

R8: *inc, dc in next 6 stitches**, repeat from * to **, do not join (48)

R9: *inc, dc in next 7 stitches**, repeat from * to **, ss to first stitch (54)

R10: dc in front loop only all way around, ss to first stitch (54)

R11: Switch to smaller hook. ch2, tr in each stitch around, ss to first stitch (54)

R12: ch2, turn, fppt in treble below, repeat around (54) (I turned because I didn’t want to do back post trebles)

R13-20: ch2, fppt in treble below, repeat around (54)

R21-24: dc in each stitch around, ss to first stitch (54)

R25: dc in front loop of each stitch around (54)

R26-29: dc in each stitch around, ss to first stitch (54)

Finish off. Weave in ends. Stuff with clutter. Have a long lovely drink as this is a killer on the hands, especially the thumbs.

 

Probably not practical, there are rows inside the container which are like little seats in an amphitheatre. If I was going to put this container on display, I would try to get the edges stiffer by using some sort of starch. I’d also try to dye it a dark red as the current colour is not to my taste.

Mad hatter

After finishing my daughter’s pink and red blanket, I thought I’d have a go at making hats. It’s amazing how many patterns are out there and so many generous designers provide them for free as long as you give them credit, and don’t nick their patterns to pass off as your own and don’t sell the goods made from the patterns for profit. Hats off to all these lovely generous crafters.

All fine by me. I have a load of acrylic wool which I bought cheap. Some of the colours do not suit me. And I think for now we have enough blankets so hats for charity seemed a great idea. (p.s. ulterior motive is I want to buy new yarn in bright colours but should use my stash up first to make room under the bed).

Here’s what I’ve made so far:

Hello kitty hat – designed by Elizabeth Trantham

As I am not great at sewing on parts, I decided to embroider the face. Also ears are made using half circles rather than the pattern design.

 

Rib wrapped cap – designed by Heather Schott

This was my first go at post-stitch. The instructions are very clear and the designer has provided a few helpful photos.

 

Crochet Vision Hat – designed by Marty Miller 

Such a lovely thick hat.

Shell stitch beanie – designed by The Dainty Daisy

This is a gorgeous pattern for little girls. Will be making another one when I get hold of some cotton yarn.

Chunky Beanie Hat – designed by Elizabeth Trantham

My second pattern from this site. She’s a talented lady. This pattern was so quick and easy so I made two.

 

 

Kiss me bag – designed by Claire Ortega

It’s not all about hats though. I needed a handbag to take to a wedding reception so made one! I had to change the pattern a bit as the yarn I was using is very stretchy. I’m pleased with the outcome and once I’ve washed it, will line it in a bright colour.