Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Weaving in ends

Oops! I don't seem to have posted here for a whole year! Must try harder in 2017. Recently, smallest granddaughter requested a blanket for her favourite doll. I thought I'd make a smaller version of the one I made for her when she was a baby and I've just finished crocheting all the squares. I've joined them using the join-as-you-go method, but whichever method I used, there would still have been an awful lot of loose ends! This is the snag of doing multi-coloured crochet or making items from squares or other motifs. See what I mean? All those ends! You often see people saying that you should weave them in as you go along, but here's why I don't. For Christmas 2015, I decided to crochet some Christmas stockings for the grandchildren. The idea was that they would have money for their main present but I would give them some sweets and small toys in a stocking so they would have something to open and enjoy on Christmas day. I embarked on the three stockings, but after getting this far, I realised that they were coming out far too big. All those ends! See all those ends?! Now, if I'd woven them in as I went, I would have just have had to throw those part finished stockings away because when I weave in an end, it stays weaved! I know that from bitter experience. A few years ago I was trying to make something out of African flower motifs and I'd followed the advice to weave in ends as soon as I finished and joined each motif. Unfortunately, I eventually realised that I didn't like the way the project was working out and I decided to frog it and rescue the yarn to use for something else. It was a complete pain trying to find and unpick the ends and I wasted quite a lot of yarn. This time, however, the unravelling was easy and the yarn, along with other random bits from my stash, ended up as small tea cosies which I use every day. Small tea cosies   To be honest, I don't find it too bad tidying up the ends all in one go. I usually find an interesting drama on the BBC iPlayer and once you get into it, end-weaving can be quite relaxing. Here are the three small Christmas stockings I made. It was quite easy to modify the original pattern to make them smaller. Small Christmas stockings
I did finish one large one. Here it is for comparison. It would have taken an awful lot of chocolate and treats to fill it and my son and daughter would not have been pleased if I'd given their children so much sweet stuff! Large & small Christmas stockings

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Colourful Christmas stockings

I started making three of these colourful Christmas stockings to hold small additional gifts for the grandchildren. When the first white one was nearly finished and the other two were about half done, I realised that they were coming out a lot larger than I expected. Large & small Christmas stockings Fortunately it wasn’t difficult to modify the pattern to make smaller versions which came out just the right size for some chocolate “gold” coins, a Kinder Santa and a small toy or other small packet of sweets. Small Christmas stockings The red and blue stockings have been posted off to the grandchildren and I will keep the big one to put some chocolates in as a present to myself and G. :) In the New Year I will frog (ie unravel) the other two part done white stockings and reuse the yarn, probably as tea cosies, of which I could do with a couple more.

Friday, 18 September 2015

A whimsical witch hat for Halloween

I'd spotted this Whimsical Witch-Hat pattern on Ravelry

Here's my version...

Whimiscal Witch Hat

To be honest, I ended up using the pattern more as a guideline than something to follow exactly. This was because the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, which I don’t use and which isn’t that common in the UK. Also, I wanted to use up my stash of double knitting left over from various blankets and other projects. As I didn’t want to buy new yarn for what is, after all, just a silly dressing up hat, I used the pattern as a starting point and then just winged it.

I am, however, delighted with the result as it’s very similar to the hat my avatar wears in Habitica.

Habitica icon mage

It even sort of suits me. :)

Selfie with witch hat

I’m now planning to make another one in black.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

I have been sadly negelecting this blog

It's been a long time since I updated this blog, but it has not been forgotten or abandoned. Unfortunately, I haven't been doing much crochet over the past 6 months due to getting more teaching hours at the local college and I haven't had a moment to blog what I have been working on. However, I did crochet a poncho out of some nice soft acrylic aran yarn that had been sitting around for absolutely ages waiting for the right project. It keeps me warm whilst sitting working at the computer. Poncho for the winter My latest project though is -- shock! horror! -- knitting! The yarn is Sirdar Montana and I love the way the colours change. Sweater in Sirdar Montana I have knitted a few scarves and hats in recent years but only ever once in my life finished a sweater and that was an awful long time ago. I actually bought this yarn to crochet a hooded sleeveless cardigan in Tunisian crochet, but then decided that that would be too ambitious and I needed more practice at making smaller things in Tunisian crochet first. As I do need more sweaters, I decided to see if I could actually knit one. The back is now almost complete and, so far, it's looking good!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Three steps forwards and two back

I have been very busy in the Day Job recently, so I've not had much time for crochet and none at all for updating this blog. However, the end of term is in sight, the huge pile of assignments to mark has been dealt with and so I can get on with my own projects at last.

Or not...

Things I have been UN-making

  • The snowdrop scarf I started using some gorgeous Jawoll Magic sock yarn
  • The filet net curtain

The snowdrop scarf had been hibernating while I finished all the blankets that were Christmas presents and the bunnies and baskets that were Easter presents. When I finally came to pick it up again, I realised that however beautifully the yarn was working up, the finished article wasn't going be something I would actually wear. So I have unravelled it and will find a different scarf pattern instead.

Similarly, having got almost half way with the curtain, I held it against the window and realised that it was going to block too much of the view. I initially intended it for the bathroom (frosted glass) but my husband said he liked the existing blind and didn't want it changed, so I had thought of putting the curtain on the landing window instead. But the current net allows you to see through to the grass and trees in the front garden; the filet net didn't. So I've frogged the filet part and I'll have to think about what to do with the Japanese flower motifs.

But it has not all been negative progress. Things I have been making:

  • a new phone case for my new phone
  • more of the simple filet crochet starburst squares for the picnic blanket.

I started the picnic blanket almost exactly a year ago, but it only gets worked on between other projects, so progress is slow. It is being made with all the random bits of acrylic double knitting yarn left over from all the blankets I made last year. It will be a cheerful blanket that can live in the car and be used for sitting on for picnics or for snuggling in if I have to wait in the car on a cold day.

The new phone case is for my new phone, my first proper smartphone! :) It's a Samsung Galaxy 4S in stylish red. The phone case I crocheted is in brightly coloured random stripes. I wanted to use up some of the ends of yarn left from making the rainbow ripple blanket I made as a Christmas present for one of my grandchildren.

The case has turned out cheap and cheerful, but I'm quite pleased with it. I even lined it with some red fabric that I've had lying around for years. A bright red button just finished it off. So from this...

Left over yarn

We get this! :)

My cheap and cheerful phone case

So now, having successfully transferred over my contacts and calendar, my phone is fully functional and has snug case to protect it.

Friday, 18 April 2014

African flower pot-holders

I'm not entirely sure how to spell "pot-holder". I've seen it as "pot holder", "pot-holder" and "potholder". Anyway, I've made some of those circular things you handle hot pots and pans with. :)

This project was partly to help with stash busting and partly because I genuinely need new potholders and crochet ones will be pretty and quick to make.

African flower potholders

I started to follow a pattern for an African flower granny mandala potholder but I thought it might come out too holey. I didn’t want to risk burns, so instead I did solid treble crochet (UK) circles to surround the African flower rather than treble clusters. I had to do a bit of frogging before I got it to lie flat, but I got there after a couple of tries.

I finished off the second pot-holder yesterday. I only did African flowers on the front, so the backs are just concentric circles of pink, white and blue. For some reason, one potholder fitted together perfectly, the other needed a bit of fudging because though I was sure I’d done the increasing the same, it seemed to have far more stitches. Anyway, they’re fine for my own use and worked great when removing the pizzas from the oven yesterday. :) I joined the two circles with double crochet (UK) and then did a final round of Crab Stitch to give a nice firm edge.

I may make this pattern again, but there are some other pretty ones I want to try first.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Ta da! Easter bunnies and pretty baskets

I can't resist showing off the Easter Bunnies and crochet baskets I've made for my grandchildren. The baskets I just improvised so there's no pattern. However, I talked about them here. If you want to make your own bunnies, the pattern is free and available from this website.

Easter bunnies in baskets

I could just have bought Easter eggs, but I wanted to do something a bit different. I also wanted to give the grandchildren something to play with once the chocolate had gone. The project has also been a very useful stash buster and I've managed to use up some colourful odds and ends of yarn left over from all the blankets I made last year.

Easter bunnyEaster bunny with basketEaster bunny with basket

I've bought chocolate and sweeties to add to the baskets and now they're all ready to be wrapped up and posted to the grandchildren.

Bunny tails Now I just have to find boxes and bubble wrap and they'll be on their way in good time for Easter.