I really can't resist a crochet sheep. Inspired by the Shaun the Sheep film which cheered me up immensely when I was feeling under the weather with a horrible cold, I made up a tea cosy pattern. It took a little while to work out the pattern and the size, but once I cracked it I've now started 2 more. I'm not supposed to be making sheep as I've a couple of other unfinished items that are pending completion, but this has kept me amused for the last week so I'm going to keep going until I've fulfilled my current sheep obsession. The first two cosy's were made with chunky wool for which I used a 5.5mm crochet hook, but then I found some super chunky wool which needed an 8mm hook. This one was super fast to make with fewer bobbles and I actually like the lumpier look to it, should one actually analyse these things in any depth at all. As I said - Sheep Obsession. I have other sheep tea cosy ideas using loop stitch or a wensleydale style with ringlets. It really could run and run.........baaaaaaaarmy.
Octopus and monster
There has been a bit of a baby boom in my little circle of friends and colleagues so this has caused a crochet octobaby boom. Here is yet another octopus with a little monster friend for baby's big brother. This has actually been a repeat performance as I made a matching pair for mum's twin sister!
The Christmas elf was a two year project. It should have been finished for Christmas 2016 but I ran out of time so before Christmas so it was put away unfinished due to lack of interest. This year however, my Christmas mojo returned and he was finished. I hate to leave things unfinished. I'm really good at starting new things, but have to make a (sometimes) herculean effort to finish everything. The weather has been so dim and dismal the lighting on the photo doesn't really do justice to his fluffy sparkly beard. Maybe next year I'll take his photo again. Incidentally, the pattern was from a Simply Crochet magazine in 2016. I've kept the magazine because there were a few other coordinating items that might make an appearance next Christmas.
I've fallen tragically behind with all blogging so this is a quick post about the Christmas homemade presents. This year I happened upon some reduced yarn in the local Boyes shop. The yarn is a sort of 'net' like composition which is typically used to make frilly scarves but was absolutely fantastic as a super chunky yarn to make sturdy little baskets. The best bit about it was that it has a sparkle and so perfect for little christmassy baskets! All in all I made 21 of the blessed things, so was quite glad when it was all done and wrapped. I did make use of the frill potential on a few of the baskets - I was desperate for a bit of variation!
Another holiday and another crochet project. This actually was a bit of an impromptu crochet job as some yarn in a bin box called to me when I was guarding the bikes whilst waiting outside the fish and chip shop. You know how it goes, it's bank holiday weekend and you are just standing around not wanting to go too far (we hadn't taken bike locks), and the yarn shop is very close to the chippy, and the sale basket is just there and there is some interesting yarn at a great price. It was meant to be. I then had to come up with an idea for 3 balls of superbulky yarn which recommended 15mm needles for knitting. Whoppers then. However, since I happened to have all my crochet hooks with me :) I chose a 10mm hook and made a start straight away. I ended up undoing my first effort as whilst it was making a pretty sturdy fabric I wanted to make something that would stand up on it's own and could be used as a bin liner or similar so the following day I went shopping for a plastic bin or bag of some sort and saw the perfect item; a plastic flexi bag.
Now I had something to work around for size. All went swimmingly well until I ran out of pink super bulky yarn with not much hope of getting some more. You see how my projects escalate? So, back to the yarn shop (The Mill in Sutton on Sea) for something to improvise with to finish the basket. I ended up buying 3 balls of chunky yarn to ply together to make the right thickness. It was a bit too thick with 3 strands but this actually worked in my favour because the flexi bag was wider at the top than the bottom so I didn't need to do any shaping. Anyway, it was finished in quite short order with a bit of a flower embellishment to finish off the pink wool. Now I have a lovely crocheted basket that I'm not really sure what to do with. At the moment it is holding my current patterns, books and projects and being both useful and stylish! Just in case it looks like I spent all my holiday crocheting I can confirm that I did a lot of cycling and walking too (and some embroidery, but that is another story)!
This is one of my holiday projects. I seem to be unable to go away on holiday without some sort of yarn or textile project........there are so many things to make and so little time! Of course it depends on how much space there is to pack and since our holidays this year are again UK based and budget holidays due to the barn conversion, I had plenty of room in the car to take some rainy weather activities. Our holidays this summer were split into two separate weeks and two locations. For our first holiday to the North Yorkshire Moors we were largely blessed with beautiful weather and very purple heathery moors. Perfect for walking and photographing. I did have a day out (!) on a train trip to London for work meeting but made the best use of my time on the train to start crocheting a hat. A request had been made to make a 'festival' hat for a friend of one of my son's in law, who had inadvertently binned his mates favourite festival hat. The only clue to what a festival hat looks like was a photo of a little girl wearing a crocheted girly hat so not really much use. I was pretty much making it up as I went along. I used cotton dk yarn with two strands together and found a pattern on the internet and just got on with it adapting it as I went. It didn't go quite to plan as I had intended to do many yarn changes to make it look random but I didn't have a lot of room on the train so made do with a couple of colour changes. I did feel a bit silly trying the partial hat out for size on the train but I had to check that it was going to fit an adult, or in fact anyone. I finished the hat the following day and was entirely unsure that it would be suitable for anyone, let alone a bloke, but at least it was finished. I'm cautiously optimistic that it might be ok as the 'mate' has seen a picture of it. Miracles do happen.
The Yorkshire moors in all their heathery glory. Apparantly the heather was in flower two weeks earlier than usual which timed it perfectly with our holiday.
The chunky cushion cover certainly grew pretty quickly, but I found that if I didn't pay attention it grew too much and some had to be undone to get back on track! I managed to recycle some wooden buttons from a previous cushion cover that had been too well used and become a bit bobbly and they finished it off a treat. The only problem with the pattern was that it showed the cushion pad through the holey bits of the pattern so I cured that with a cheap purchased cushion cover which somehow defeats the object of making one but it passed my stringent 'would I like to keep this' test. Reluctantly, I handed it over to it's new owners.......I think I may have to make one for myself. hmmmmm.
The asymmetrical poncho is finished at last - not without a bit of trauma as I noticed 3/4 of the way up that I had missed off the last motif in the row after a couple of pattern repeeats and then continued upwards with short rows. Damn and blast. Three evenings of undoing later and I started again at the short row and did it properly. When I finished I was panicking a bit because it looked sort of short and fat and I thought it would never fit, but after a bit of easing (for 'easing' think of me standing on one end and pulling the other to stretch it all out to the correct dimensions), and now I'm really pleased with it. I love the colours and it sits comfortably on my shoulders without slipping down or flapping about, although it wouldn't be so good at a football match, or anywhere you need to throw your arms in the air as it ends up around your neck like a scarf. Not that I would do anything so unladylike as flinging my arms around. ahem.
Having finished the poncho, I moved quickly onto a standby baby present of another crochet octopus. They are so satisfyingly quick to make and my two previous octopi (?) octopuses (?) are really well loved by their new family that I think they will be my goto quick baby gift, although I do have a nice baby bootee pattern that I will have to whip out every now and then.........
I am feeling quite prolific on the crochet front because I've started yet another item. This time it is a quick cushion cover for a house warming/retirement present. It's already late as the recipients have both moved and retired, but we are planning to visit on the way to our holibobs so have a tight deadline. Leastways, I'm really hoping it's going to be a quick present! I'm using super chunky wool and a 9mm crochet hook, but I am trying out a pattern I've not done before, so could be fraught with frustration. The pattern is called Chunky Crochet Pillow so is an american pattern, but is easy enough if you remember to do a treble whenever a double crochet is mentioned. It is actually a really well described and pictured pattern so I'm hopeful that I can finish it quickly. It's an interesting pattern because it's made diagonally with increases and the squared off with decreases and looks like herringbone. I've never made anything this way before so I'm quite intrigued.