Springtime update

Has been so busy for me and no time to post, partially because I have been busy crafting to sell, but also because I am busy making items for my daughters wedding this summer as well, the wedding invitations have taken a lot of time and now I’m onto the soap making for the individual wedding favours. However I have managed to finish my melting snowflakes shawl kit from Scheepjes which was one of my Christmas presents, I am really pleased with it, especially as this item is for me to keep for myself 🙂 , it’s gorgeous to wear- beautifully soft with the Scheepjes merino soft yarn and it feels very luxurious, I just love the beading decoration, I would recommend this kit as a present for any crochet lover!

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Scheepjes melting snowflakes shawl kit in “Crystal”

I did fit in time for a weeks holiday in Scotland, Loch Long in Argyll, Bute, next door to Loch Lomond over the Easter holidays, which was beautiful (and lots of time for crochet) and the scenery was really inspiring, we were lucky to have warm and mainly dry weather for the week- which must be quite an achievement for a Scottish holiday at this time of the year. Our cabin was right on the shores of Loch Long and this was the view:

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We travelled to a few places including the stunning Glencoe which was not far away and to this lovely place called Eilean Donan Castle which was a few hours drive away:

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Nearby to us at Loch Long was the very pretty village of Luss, which definitely boasted some great places to go and eat as well, including the local pub/ hotel and  The Village Rest bistro.

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Back refreshed and full of ideas now ….. always though i would have enough time to do all these things once retired but there still aren’t quite enough hours in the day !

LoveCrochet

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Finishing last year and onto 2017

I haven’t been on my blog for a while- December was very busy craft wise as this year I made all my own cards and Christmas presents as I had a lot more time than previous years now I’m retired from midwifery, and then its been the usual post Christmas rush catching up with all sorts of projects, however hopefully now things are back to a more steady pace and I can share my projects during the year which will include a few for my eldest daughters wedding . She got engaged at the end of the summer and will be getting married on August 18th this year in Christchurch Dorset. Currently i am making some hopefully very nice “rustic” themed wedding invitation cards which hopefully I can share with you soon including the details of how I made them. A couple of photos below of some of the crochet Christmas  presents made for my daughter and son in law to be and my youngest son.

I made a a lovely chunky mermaid tail for my daughter at her request – using 12 balls of Sirdar “Chunky” yarn

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mermaid tail in Sirdar chunky

I made some warm bobble hats for my sons and son in law to be, scarves and mittens, the basket weave stitch hat and scarf were made with Scheepjes stonewashed yarn in the lovely shades of blue apatite and smokey quartz which go very well together, another hat in some left over schweppes merino soft from my last dance under the stars blanket, and some bright blue creations for my youngest son in the Pokemon team mystic colours using the new love crochet Paintbox aran yarn, which I must say is a nice budget acrylic yarn to work with with- practically no splittings  and a nice soft finish

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Blue, white and grey team mystic set with Paintbox yarn aran and Scheepjes stonewashed basketweave hat and scarf.

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New projects for this year include one of my favourite things to crochets – shawls, the first I have started is the Scheepjes melting snowflakes shawl which I have chosen to make in the “crystal” colour way, this uses Scheepjes gorgeous merino soft yarn again with crystal bead decoration in the flowers and for the tassels at each end- this is my work so far and when I finish it I will share some photos and review the kit provided by scheepjes.

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Scheepjes melting snowflake shawl in merino soft

Just finished on the shawl front is Joanne Scrace’s Northmoor lock shawl, I would class this as a shawl type scarf, from the The Crochet Project– The Shawl project Book 1, I previously made her Acer  shawl (Love Crochet CAL Acer Shawl) which you can see below also, Joanne is definitely the Queen of shawls as far as I can see and I will be treating my self to the Shawl project book 2 in the future. For the Northmoor lock I used the new Scheepjes secret garden cotton and silk mix yarn, I chose the shade lily pond as the shawl/ scarf was for myself and the pattern used 3 50gram balls, the pattern is suitable for any silk mix yarn, the scheepjes secret garden works up beautifully and makes a lovely draped fabric. I used a 3.5mm clover hook with the yarn, I blocked the the shawl afterwards as Joanne suggests and washed it in my favourite jasmine Eucalan for blocking 🙂 This an ideal project for a crochet beginner I would say.

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Northmoor Lock pattern by Joanne Scrace The Shawl project book 1

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Acer Shawl pattern by Joanne Scrace – Love Crochet CAL

I plan on completing some more of Joannes shawl patterns this year which i will share and also i am going to to do the new Scheepjes  CAL the “Hygge” wrap, I will review the kit provided by Scheepjes when I receive it and share my Cal journey – this CAL is slightly unique in that it includes decorating the crochet with cross stitch and lining the wrap, the project has been designed by Kirsten Ballering. So hopefully see you during the year for ongoing projects- what do you have planned for 2017?

Happy hooking and crafting 🙂
LoveCrochet

Bunny Blankie crochet pattern

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I love making blankies, a combination of my 2 favourites making blankets and amigurami   (making toys and figures by crocheting in the round), babies and children love both soft blankets and squishy toys to bring comfort and this is a combination of both. Ive concocted a few of these over the the last few years- but I think this is my favourite design, the combination of star stitch which has a super squishy texture  and a  cuddly bunny and made in one of the best baby type yarns from Sirdar in my opinion. This is my pattern below so that you can make your own :

You will need 2 balls Sirdar baby crofter snuggly fair isle dk for the main part of the blanket and the bunny ears (there are lots of gorgeous shades to choose from, the one I have used is 0166) and one ball of Sirdar snuggly baby in a plain contrast colour for the bunny and trim- I recommend the cream shade, you can either use dk or as I did use 2 strands of 4 ply crocheted together. You will also need a 4mm crochet hook ( I use clover hooks) a tapestry needle and some brown embroidery thread or wool if you prefer for the eyes and mouth. I recommend the use of a stitch marker for the bunny, for me a stitch marker is a must for amigurami.

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(all instructions are using UK crochet terms  ch : chain, dc : double crochet, htr : half treble crochet, ss : slip stitch, sst : star stitch, RS : right side, WS : wrong side, Dc2inc = 2 dc in same stitch creating increase in stitches, dc2dec= dc 2 stitches together to decrease stitch count)fullsizeoutput_d4f

Blanket:

Star stitch , Chain 66 using your fair isle shade using a 4 mm hook,

 Row 1 (RS) Starting 2nd chain from hook, draw up a loop in each of the next 5 chain, yah, draw through all loops on the hook, ch 1, ( first star stitch) *draw up loop through eyelet at centre of previous star, draw up loop around last spoke of previous star, draw up loop in same chain as base of last spoke of previous star, draw up loop in each of the next 2 chain, yrh, draw through all the loops on the hook, chain 1 ( next star stitch made); repeat from * another 26 times, htr in last chain, turn. (28 sst, 1 htr)
Row 2 (WS) Ch 2 ( Counts as htr here and throughout pattern) *2 htr in eyelet of star, repeat in each sst , 27 times, htr in last st and turn, (60 htr.)
Row 3 (RS) Ch 3, starting in second chain from hook, draw up a loop in each of next 2 chain, draw up a loop in each of next 3 htr, yrh, draw through all loops on the hook, ch 1, (first sst made). * draw up loop through eyelet of previous star, draw up loop around last spoke  of previous star, draw up loop in same st as base of last spoke of previous star, draw up loop in  in each of the next 2 sts, yrh, draw through all the loops on the hook, ch 1 (next sst made), repeat from * another 26 times,  htr in last ch, turn (28 sst, 1 htr)
Row 4 (WS) As row 2
Repeat rows 3 and 4 18 more times or depending on your tension your work measures approx 31 cm x 31 cm.
At the end of the last htr row ch 1 , turn and work 60 dc evenly along each side of the square, and 3 dc into each corner, ss to first dc, fasten off.
Border  The border is worked in simple linen stitch, cast on with a slip stitch in the contrast plain colour yarn, ( if your are using the snuggly 4 ply use 2 strands throughout) at one corner, work 1 ch, 1 dc in first dc, miss one dc , 1ch, 1 dc in next dc, for this round only the st should be worked in the back loop only, subsequent 3 rounds should be worked in both loops. At each corner work 1 ch, 2dc, 1 ch, then miss a dc and continue with row. Complete 4 rows and ss to fasten off at last corner. Weave in ends.
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This is the right side of the star stitch fabric created

Bunny 
Head 
Starting at the nose create a magic ring / circle using the contrast yarn, (if you are using the snuggly 4 ply use 2 strands throughout) using a 4mm hook ( if your fabric is too gappy reduce the size of your hook to make the tension tighter, if you tend to have loose tension, amigurami requires tighter tension than normal if you have not attempted this before) if you have not attempted a magic ring/ circle  before I would recommend watching this tutorial video on U tube by Bella Coco magic ring/ circle tutorial by Bella Coco
dc2inc = 2 dc in same stitch creating increase in stitches
dc3inc = 3 dc in same stitch creating increase in stitches
dc2dec= dc 2 stitches together to decrease stitch count
Round 1 Ch 1 ( does not count as a stitch )  work 6 dc into the ring ( 6 st)
Round 2 (dc2inc) 6 times, pull on the short end of the yarn from the magic circle to close the ring tightly, (12 sts)
Round 3 (dc2inc, 3 dc)  3 times (15 st)
Round 4 (dc2inc, 2dc) 5 times (20st)
Round 5 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 6 (dc2inc, 3dc) 5 times (25st)
Round 7 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 8 (dc2inc,4 dc) 5 times (30st)
Round 9 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 10 (dc2inc, 5 dc) 5 times (35sts)
Rounds 11- 17 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 18 (dc2dec, 2 dc) 7 times (28sts)
Round 19 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 20 (dc2dec, 2dc) 7 times  (21 st)
Round 21 (dc2dec, 1dc) 7 times (14 st)
ss to next dc and fasten off, leaving a long length of yarn.
Stuff the head and close off the opening with the yarn tail and tapestry needle and a gathering stitch .
Outer ears (make 2) with contrast yarn and 4mm hook
Chain 24
Row 1 (WS) 1 dc into second chain from hook, 1dc into next 21 ch, 3 dc into next ch, 1dc down reverse side of the chain to the end, turn (47sts)
Row 2 (RS) 1 ch, ( does not count as a st throughout ear) 23 dc, dc3 inc, 23dc, turn (49 st)
Row 3 1ch, 24dc, dc3inc, 24dc, turn, (51st)
Row 4 1ch, 24dc, dc3inc, 24dc dc2inc, turn, (55st)
Row 5 1ch, 27dc, dc3inc, 27dc, turn ( 57 st)
Row 6 1ch, 28dc,dc3inc, 28dc, turn (59st)
Row 7 1ch, 29 dc, dc3inc, 29dc, turn (61st)
Row 8 1ch, 30 dc, dc3inc, 30dc (63st)
fasten off with ss
Inner ears make 2 as above in the fair isle yarn
Sew the lower edges of the outer and inner ears together with the contrast yarn. gather the bottom edge of the ear with the same thread to shape the curve of the ear at the base, sew onto head.
Embroider the eye lines with chain stitch and 3 eyelashes in straight stitch on each eye. Embroider the nose with a large cross stitch.
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To construct the blankie, take 1 corner of the blankie and place it as shown in the photo below between the ears on the back of the head, sew and secure onto the head, at least 5 cms down each side of the blanket edges and at the corner point.
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happy snuggles!

Copyright

All patterns are for unlimited personal use. Do not reproduce or sell (parts of) the patterns. Patterns may not be copied in any way (print or digitally), in part or in full, except for personal reference. Items may be sold that are made from this pattern as long as the designer is credited.

Santa baby cocoon!

Well I couldn’t help it, I know its still October but inspiration hit me for a Santa inspired baby cocoon, I’m making a few baby cocoons at the moment  by popular demand, instead of helping babies come into the world as a midwife I’m now retired and crocheting them something warm and cosy these days! I had some gorgeous merino wool skeins to use up from my stash in off white and red so this idea popped into my head and before I knew it this flew off my hook in a day. It also gave me the chance to try out my new pom pom makers which came free with my latest yarn order from Love Crochet.com in 4 different sizes, a very useful free gift in time for Christmas makes, this will definitely get some use in making some Christmas decorations 🙂

I’m going to write up a pattern for this baby cocoon, when I’ve completed it I will post the link to Ravelry and my patterns on the love crochet indie designers section in case any of you are interested in making it, I used 2 50g skeins of off/ or creamy white and 1 50g red skein, this was using a 4.5mm hook and merino super wash DK yarn but you could use any DK wool or acrylic yarn.

Right now I am also inspired to produce some more Christmassy makes- what about you ?

LoveCrochet

Last dance on the beach 2016 CAL – Sea blanket now finished

This will be my last post regarding the the Scheepjes last dance on the beach CAL 2016 in memory of Wink as i have now finshed my last dance in the sea blanket which i used the Scheepjes Colour Crafter option for, I have to say I have been quite impressed with this fab acrylic yarn and to be able to make such a gorgeous blanket for a budget price is definitely a bonus! With of course the added convenience that this acrylic blanket can be popped in the washing machine very easily – which is why I chose the acrylic version for my sones blanket.

I didn’t use the invisible zipper method for joining this blanket from the CAL pattern  like I did with the stars blanket as with these colours I felt the border colour actually added  something to the look of the blanket and it suited a division between the squares this time.

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I loved making both these blankets and enjoyed the CAL group on Facebook from where I have also made some new instagram friends 🙂 With both these blankets to remind me of Wink’s beautiful colour rich designs its been a very special project to be involved in with crocheters from all over the world.

LoveCrochet
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Cute pixie baby hat

Found a very cute pattern for a pixie style baby hat called “Mixie Pixie” by Theresa Grant, the pattern can be purchased here www.unravelme.etsy.com , I would point out that this pattern is in American crochet terms but as it only uses 2 stitches – triple crochet and front and back post triple crochet it is very easy to read from the american terms – which call the stitch we know as a triple as a double crochet. The hat starts with a foundation triple crochet row which gives the hat a nice chunky border with plenty of stretch to allow for variation in head size. you can leave off the tail if you don’t want it but personally I think it makes the hat, there is also a pattern for a flower to attach if required. This is a lovely quick and easy pattern which I would recommend and  can be made with a variety of dk yarns to produce an individual style.

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This one above is made with the gorgeously soft and pretty fairisle Sirdar Baby Snuggly Crofter which is available in plenty of gorgeous colorways, this is my go to yarn for baby items as it is incredibly soft and always works up well both in the variegated and plain colour ways available in the “Snuggly” range, I used a 4.00mm clover hook.

The one below I made from some super wash Merino dk by Artesano I have in my stash, Artesano unfortunately went out of business after Brexit, but you could use any Merino dk, preferably one that is machine washable like this one for obvious reasons, for this slightly chunkier dk I used a 4.5 mm clover hook.

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Cute aren’t they?

If anyone wants to buy one of these ready made they are available in my Etsy shop here : Pogle’s Cottage Crafts, various colours / size can be made to order.

LoveCrochet

Last dance on the beach 2016 CAL finished stars blanket

So finally finished my last dance under the stars blanket for the Scheepjes 2016 CAL in memory of Wink, the the joining and border completed in the dark brown Rembrandt (609) merino soft. can’t describe just how soft and snuggly this yarn makes a blanket, with a lovely heavy quality feel and drape. This will be our new winter snuggly blanket for those chilly evenings without a doubt.

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Having seen this finished blanket my son is now chomping at the bit for me to finish his last dance in the sea  blanket in the acylic Colourcrafter yarn from Scheepjes, I had better get a move on as I have lots of Christmas makes to get on with, however this year i should be able to get more done as being retired makes such a difference for the time availble for crafting !

I will be back with some photos of the sea blanket soon I hope 🙂
LoveCrochet