A Creative’s Nightmare

I think it’s happened to most of us at some point or another and it always crops up at the least convenient of times.

Writers call it writers block, artists; creative block but us crocheters, well we call it ‘loosing our crojo’ our crochet mojo of you will. Much to my dismay this is exactly what hit me recently. Everything I tried failed, I couldn’t think of anything new and exciting and even the usual works in progress were boring me. I just wasn’t getting any enjoyment for all the projects I attempted.

Therefore I set about finding a good pallet cleansing project that would hopefully kick start my inspiration and passion again. Now I wouldn’t call this a pallet cleanser as it ended up being neither quick or easy which are generally key points however it did make me determined to finish and helped me push through the block.

Enter stage left the latest cardigan for the tiny human.

All I can see are things I would like to change and tweak, which is common when I’ve created my own pattern. Thankfully the little lady was a big fan and put it on straight away.

I’ve used a beautiful yarn by Wendy called Fleur in the colourway Allium. It’s a DK weight yarn that is a mix of cotton, acrylic and Tencel giving it a super soft slightly fluffy brushed texture.

It took a little over 1 ball for the whole cardigan and I’ve used a mixture of stitches including the star stitch to create lots of texture.

I got carried away with lots of little details on this one and it just never quite seemed to be finished, but this does mean we have a lovely ribbed edging, and a crab stitches collar.

I’ve written the pattern up for this sizing along with measurements for adjusting as you need and it will be available for free on the blog next week!

A Miss B’s First!

I’ve been crocheting for 5 years and in that time I’ve made blankets to amigurumi to baby clothes and so much more but the one thing I’ve just never got around to making is an item of clothing for myself, or any adult for that matter.

It wasn’t a conscious decision or at least not really. I’ve never had the confidence to have a go at making my own without an idea of how to construct it and unless I could find a pattern that really grabbed me it just wasn’t going to happen.

The other week however I decided it was now or never and I wanted to add some handmade crochet pieces to my wardrobe, so off I went to find a pattern I could work from.

I eventually stumbled across this fab jumper by MegMade with Love.
It just looked so comfy and casual which was perfect for my idea of lounging around it it.

I was really after the cosy wrapped in a cloud effect so pattern decided upon I went on a yarn hunt and settled on this absolutely gorgeous yarn by Wendy called Fleur in the colourway Allium. It’s a DK weight yarn that is a mix of cotton, acrylic and Tencel giving it a super soft slightly fluffy brushed texture. I used less than 3 balls for my entire jumper so it really goes far!

I followed the pattern Meg had kindly put together for us but I did make some modifications.

You can click the link above for Meg’s pattern and my mods are below.

Firstly being a forever in between sizes kinda girl I did the ribbed edging to 50 rows, this alters the stitch count slightly but it’s still easy enough to follow through.

The next alteration I made was to the sleeves.
Meg states to do 30 rows for each sleeve but I was after a slightly closer fit that went down to my hands for extra coziness, so I did as follows:

Row 1-10: hdc 50 around
Row 11-35: ch2, hdc in the same st, Dec in the next, hdc in remaking stitches around
By the end of row 35 you will have 25 stitches
Row 36-40: hdc around
Row 41-42: I did 2 rows of alternating front post, back post hdc’s to give a ribbed edging to the cuffs

The very last change I made was to stitch the top opening closed 4 extra stitches on each side, this was to compensate for the yarn which was very loose and stretches out slightly so it was hanging off my shoulders too much as it was.

I absolutely love this jumper and my first venture into clothing has been a success and one I’m so pleased with. Meg’s pattern is brilliant so whether you make it as is or with my alternations you are sure to have a great wardrobe staple.

The Blue Hue Cushion Cover

What feels like absolutely forever ago I brought some yarn in various shades of navy and blue in both cotton and acrylic with plans to finally add a little crochet to our house and in particular our bedroom which has recently had an overhaul and been decorated in a beautiful new navy and copper theme.

Life and more importantly work got in the way and it’s been ever so patiently waiting for me to pick it up and get creating.

Create I did last week when I finally had a chance to sit down and whip up the first item I desperately wanted to add to the room….a cushion.

I made the crochet front piece first and used the moss stitch (also called the linen stitch) working 14 rows in each of the 4 colours and then 2 rows in between of a mix between the colours either side to create a more subtle ombré effect.

I’d measured my cushion first and then the height of the crochet after 14 rows of white to make sure it would be the correct size and fit.

We had brought some navy curtains when decorating the room but they were too long so I had cut the excess off and hemmed them, keeping hold of the excess so I could use it to back my cushion.

I cut a square of the fabric slight bigger than the crochet square so it wasn’t stretched too much once the insert was in there and then I also added about 3-4 inches to the top.

I used this extra material to fold over onto what would be the inside of the cushion and create a pillowcase fold. You know the little flap inside a pillow case that holds the pillow in. A quick sew along the sides and the fold was secure.

I then blanket stitched around 3 sides of the fabric piece in the darkest navy coloured yarn and single crocheted into those blanket stitches.

The front crochet piece is attached to the back fabric with a simple whip stitch around the 2 sides and bottom. The top is left open with the pillow fold.

I’m so pleased with how this cushion has turned out. It looks as good as one you could buy from a shop and yet it’s truly unique.

I’ve still got plenty of fabric and yarn left some I’m thinking a new design is in order!

Pink Ombré Granny Blanket

I’ve finally had some inspiration strike for what to do with the second Caron Cake I brought ages ago.

I was determined to get the ball off my shelf and made into something but 1 ball limited my options so I decided to throw another colour into the mix.

As the yarn itself is various shades of pink I opted to keep it simple with white.

Sometimes keeping it simple really is the best option and as I wanted the Caron cake yarn to do the talking I avoided any complicated stitches and chose the humble granny stripe with a colour change every 2 rows.

The finished blanket ended up measuring approx 30″x50″ making it the ideal size for prams and cots, or even tucking in 4 dolls at once if you’re in our household! 😉

For the edging I worked a couple of rows in white and finished it off with a final row of picots.

I’ve seen a few people not too impressed with the abrupt colour changes on these cakes but I really don’t mind them at all if they are used in the right project. I adore the ombré effect throughout the blanket and the sharp distinct colours. It’s really helped this look like a modern take on a classic stitch and blanket.

I’ve listed this absolute beaut of a blanket in the shop if you’d like to give it a home. It would make a fabulous baby shower gift if you know someone expecting.

This was a lovely project to do as it worked up so quickly and is definitely the sort of blanket you can cosy up on the sofa with and watch TV. There’s no complicated counting of stitches or mathematics involved it’s just repetitive stitches creating a subtle zig zag effect.

The Didi & B Challenge

Let me set the scene…. you have a baby and as they get a little older they start watching a little kids TV and naturally they develop a favourite show.

As kids do they become quite fond of the characters and either they ask for or you decide to get them some merchandise.

Imagine your horror when you discover that unlike every kids show known to man this particular show does not sell anything. Nothing not a single noisy headache inducing toy or stuffed creature. What’s a Mum to do?

Well this is the exact situation for a kids show called Didi and B. Surprisingly this is one of the only shows we haven’t seen in our household but a friends little girl does watch it and loves it, so her mum asked if I could help out and make something for her.

Here is a picture of what the characters look like if you’re not familiar with them.

This one was a real challenge as I decided to really make it hard and not just design it from scratch but also work with fluffy yarn 😱.

I also faced my biggest hate and planned quite a bit of sewing!

I started with B and worked in rounds of yellow and black until the body was the desired length and I used 2 stands, one of the fluffy yarn and one 4ply cotton. This made it a little easier to keep track of the stitches but also meant it worked up a little quicker. I would have been there for blooming ages working with just the fluffy yarn as it’s so thin.

I used black and white felt behind some safety eyes to add a bit more detailing.

Arms and legs were added next and it took a few goes to get the feet exactly how I wanted.

The wings are felt and attached at the back with fabric glue and sewn to make sure they are secure.
And lastly little antennae on the top are just a few chain stitches.

Next up is Didi. Again I started on the body and worked it in rounds of dark and light pink but made it a little narrower and longer than B.
The eyes, arms and legs are all the same as B.

The wings for Didi however required a lot more details. They are also felt and all the details were cut out and then glued and sewn onto the main wing template.

The wings were then secured onto to Didi, pinned in place and left overnight to dry fully. I sewed them onto the body over the top of the glue as well.

I finished her off with her own longer set of antennae.

I’m quite pleased with how these guys turned out.

They measure approximately 25-30cm tall and should hold up to a lot of cuddles.

The C2C Craze

I’m always the last to the party when it comes to whats trending and popular. Maybe its the rebellious streak in me or maybe I just have my head in the clouds and it completely passes me by, either way it has meant that I am massively late in jumping on the corner to corner crochet bandwagon.
I gave it a go a while back (I think last Christmas) and I just didn’t really get the hype. Fast forward a year however and oh how I understand. I’m not sure whats caused this complete U-turn but whatever it is I am glad.

I decided I really wanted to make a baby blanket ready for Christmas and I knew I wanted it to feature a reindeer, that left me two options; tapestry crochet or C2C. Strangely enough I opted for C2C. I think the difference this time was I designed my own graph and actually took the time to work up a little swatch with the yarn and hook I planned to use to see how many ‘squares’ my blanket would need to be to reach the right size. I also very much stuck to the bobbin method, this is where little balls of the colours you are using are wound round bobbins (or in my lazy case stitch markers!) as you can see in the photo below. This meant I didn’t have to carry my yarn underneath other colours all the time which is absolutely hate as it always peaks through.

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Anyway back to the reindeer. Chart complete and bobbins in play I set about corner to cornering. Loved it! The blanket worked up so quickly and the effect was really impressive… a nice clear reindeer image.

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I deliberated for ages over the border but in the end I settled on keeping it simple and letting the main picture do all the talking.

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Well and truly bitten by the C2C bug it wasn’t long before I was off making a new design, and this one really is my all time favourite.
I went for a non obvious penguin as I wanted this one to be more wintery and not just a Christmas blanket.

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This time I did get all fancy with the border and I have done the candy cane border all the way around in white and blue.

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It finishes it off perfectly and I love the sleepy little penguins expression.

Both of these blankets have been added to the Christmas 2017 range and are available to buy in VERY limited quantities. I will only be offering 2 slots for each blanket! You can find the Reindeer here and the Penguin here.

I might already be beavering away on another new design but that one is being kept under wraps for now 😉

Miss B Signature

Sea Mist Cowl

You may have gathered from my last post that I am a big fan of the KnitCraft Funky Chunky yarn from Hobby Craft 🙂 so much so that I couldn’t just buy one colourway when I was in there getting the fab mixed balls for my Sunset Socks, oh no! I also picked up the gorgeous blue colourway.

After the success of the socks I was very keen to whip up another quick and easy project, something you can start and finish in an evening with a cup of tea. I’m a big fan of instant gratification so I like quick projects to pop in between my bigger W.I.P’s and keep me motivated.

I only had 2 balls so it ruled out a lot of projects and I eventually settled on a cowl, winter is coming (as we keep being told in GOT) and everyone needs handmade knitwear in the wardrobe over the colder months.

I opted to use the V stitch as it is one of my absolute favourites for being both quick and giving a really nice design to the rows.

I’ve popped the FREE pattern below for you so you can all give it a go yourself. Remember to tag me over on Instagram if you make this so I can see your wonderful versions.
Mine is still awaiting a nice big rustic button to finish it off but the possibilities are endless.

NOTES:
I use US terms (Sorweee, I was taught in US terms and they just stick!) so for all my fellow UK-ers its a Treble crochet (Tr) I’m using instead of a double crochet (dc)

MATERIALS:
10mm crochet hook
2x Funky Chunky in Turquoise
Tapestry Needle
Scissors
Buttons or other embellishments (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Ch63, dc in the 4th from the hook, ch1 and dc in the same st,
    *skip 2 stitches and complete another V stitch in the 3rd (dc, ch1, dc)* repeat to the end and then pop a dc in the last st
  2. Ch3, turn, work a V stitch in each ch1 gap from the pervious round until the end, finish with a dc in the top of your starting ch3
  3. Repeat Row 2 four more times. Fasten off but don’t cut your tail.
    This should leave you with just enough yarn to put the two short ends together and either whip stitch or slip stitch the two edges together to make a cowl

Add any embellishments you might fancy and you’re all done!