Holey cowl

….Just in time for our current lovely Springtime temperatures! Oh well blink and the weather changes here in England.  I’ll take it away with me to wear during chilly evenings, or for wearing by the sea if the wind blows. 

The yarn looks a different colour in every photo, it’s more red not raspberry. 

The apple blossom should flower soon. It’s so pretty. 

Details – as you might want to knit a holey cowl too? 

I used Louisa Harding Orielle – Ruby (colour no. 12) 

This is a gorgeous wool blend; with 97% baby alpaca and 3% metallic polyamide (can you see the little sparkles?) It’s as soft as a cloud and drapes beautifully. 

I used 4mm needles and sewed the seam at the end. Can you spot it in the second pic? I’m not sure how I managed such a neat job of it, but I did enjoy the sewing. It would knit well on circular needles too if you prefer seamless makes. 

I used 3 x 50g skeins but if you want a longer cowl or a narrower one, the amount would obviously differ. 

Height: 41cm/16″ (I wear mine doubled over, I don’t have the neck of a giraffe!)

Circumference: 61cm/24″ 

Cast on 72 stitches 

1-5 rows: Knit  

6th row: K1, *yo, k2tog and repeat to the penultimate stitch, k1

And repeat until it’s the right height for you. 

Easy! Good pub or cafe knitting if you have a crafty meet up ahead. 

I need your help, please

For ages there’s been one item I want to crochet from this book:

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But I’m stumped, really stumped right at the beginning of the pattern for the Cabled Yoke Cardigan…

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I’m wondering if the hitch is because I’m crocheting as a leftie, though there shouldn’t be a problem other than the cable slanting t’other way. Maybe there’s a pattern problem (extremely unlikely) or maybe I’m just being daft and getting something wrong. The little strip looks good enough until row 4, which is actually row 2 repeated. After then the cable morphs into a tangle.
Can you have a little go at this for me? It’s just 5 rows of 8 stitches, so it’s not a huge ask. If you’re a leftie even better but it doesn’t matter as long as someone has a go. This is an SOS of frustration!
Here’s the cable pattern. Please don’t ask me to send you the rest of the pattern as I will not – you’ll have to buy it or borrow the book from a library.

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Thank you! Pennies from heaven if you can help.

Ribbed scarf

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I’ve enjoyed picking this crochet up at odd times and doing a (long) row accompanied by my audio book, or listening to Aggers and Vaughan gently mocking Henry’s threads of the day, the beery state – or not – of the watching fans and waiting to see if Mrs Aggers has been up on the roof again lately. Anything they say, apart from the actual cricket, is fascinating and strangely soothing. I admit to doing an air punch when we won last weekend. I even might have had a teary eye in fact, but I’ll cry at anything.

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I’m so pleased with the yarn. I picked it on a spur of the moment – dashing away from the till while the shop assistant totted the total on the back of an old envelope, like they do there. It was reduced to half price-ish and seemed refreshingly different to my yarn choices so far.

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Crochet rib is cunning isn’t it? Just like its knitted sister it’s springy and creates a thick cosy type of fabric, just perfect for a scarf. I really liked the ribbed square that we crocheted for the 200 crochet blocks CAL earlier in the year. I’m going to keep experimenting with different variations.

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Do you want to make one too?

Ribbed Scarf

2 x 100g balls of King Cole ‘Wicked’ (shade – 728 – Dye lot – 67886) or any DK yarn

4mm hook

Scarf width 5 1/2″ – length 77″

The scarf is worked horizontally so I loosely chained approx 371 stitches to make the length I wanted. Periodically I stopped and draped the chain around my neck. I prefer long scarves that I can wrap around my neck once or twice but obviously you can make yours shorter by making fewer chains.

Foundation row: Half-treble (UK) into the 2nd chn from the hook. HTR into each chn to the end. Turn. (Sip a G&T – it’s been a fiddly job.)

Row 1: Ch 2, HTR into the back loop of each HTR from the previous round to the end of the row.

Row 2+: Repeat row 1 until the scarf is the desired width. (Or in my case until you run out of yarn!)

+++ If you HTR into the back loop the rib looks the same on both sides. You can also alternate rows: making a HTR into the front loop on row 1, then making a HTR into the BL on row 2. Repeat these two rows if you want ribbing on just one side.

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Take it easy and crochet this in shortish bursts as it takes a while to do a whole row. I found it left my elbow a bit wincey if I did too many HTR at one sitting. If your hands are getting tired then stop and give them a good wiggle. Be prepared to be mocked though – I was standing over the sink (for some reason) “Why? Why are you practicing starfish shapes with your hands? Is it for casting spells at the witch Olympics?”
They just don’t get it, do they? So silly, just so silly.

Playing with new stitches

S: “It’s a fine example of skill, I’m just not sure it’s a fine example of scarf”

M: “That’s really different, I like it! The green is lovely”

R: “But is it a bit court jester?”

M: “No!”

S: “A bit”

Court jester and lack of style aside, this is actually not the softest scarf you would want against your face, especially when it’s mostly double crochet as it makes a dense fabric. It feels slightly scratchy. Stylecraft works well for blankets, hats and probably gloves too but perhaps not scarves? (Shame as I have another Stylecraft scarf on the go, but it’s not a dc heavy pattern so might be ok.) I need a gorgeously soft merino type wool to make another version of this bobble scarf. I’ve written down what I did so that’s not a problem, but the purse jangling with coppers might hold the making back a while.

In the meantime I made a cover for my iphone yesterday, using my new found knowledge of spike stitch. It’s my own pattern, which means that it might be a bit dodgy, but for me it’s very early days of designing my own things and you have to start somewhere. Let me know if you try it and if you find a glitch.

Gadget cover

(DC Spike stitch: put the hook into the row below the next dc, yo and pull through, yo and pull through the two loops on the hook. Easy!)

>Chain 13
>Dc into the 2nd ch from the hook and to the end of the chain. (12 dc)
>Ch1 then dc into each dc – repeat this row three times
>Change colour (I didn’t cut off the yarn, I just carried it up the side and picked up the colour as I figured the strands carried up the side wouldn’t show when it was made, and they don’t, so there wouldn’t be huge lots of darning) and work alternating spike stitch then a dc along the row
>Dc into each st of the previous row – repeat this row three times
>Change colour and do another row of spikes, I alternated mine so they are staggered with the previous row’s spikes but you could do them above the others
Carry on the pattern until the strip is long enough to fold over your gadget, I did 14 stripes
>SS across one top edge to make it a bit thicker then dc the sides together with the ws together (I like the dcs on the outside, but you could sew yours up inside out or, or dc it rs together if you don’t want to see them)
>Turn the cover inside out, cut the wool to leave a long tail to use to dc the other sides together, thread a needle and weave the end through stitches at the bottom of the cover
>Turn it back the right side out and dc the other two edges together
>SS along the other top edge, fasten off and darn the ends in.

Finito!

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What are you making this weekend? Crochet, sewing, knitting, cooking etc etc? I love to know as I’m basically a very nosy person.

Little star

Having a little play with a pattern in Mollie Makes magazine, issue seventeen. It’s from Cute and Easy Crocheted Baby Clothes by Nicki Trench, though I sense possibilities for the huge festival beginning with C (or X for some!)

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Twit-too-woo

I’ve felt like crocheting something small again for a while as the bigger projects of blanket making have taken over recently. This owl purse pattern is one I’ve had in my folder for a while; so I decided to have a go at it this morning. I didn’t expect it to be so fast to make, so here is the finished item!

He measures 10 x 10.5cm, just to give you an idea of the dimensions. I used a 5mm hook – again for a change as I’m using a 4mm for both blankets and like a leetle variety in life. The yarn is pretty coloured acrylic from yesterday’s Let’s Get Crafting magazine pack.

For now Gilbert is in place on the board in The Little Room just so I can look at him when I’m in here. Sorry this is the best of several fuzzy photos, the light’s not good in here today.

Here’s the link to the pattern I used (you’ll spot the bits I left out!) by Mama G’s Big Crafty Blog

:-D

Alternative Granny

I saw this blog post and absolutely loved it…. I especially like seeing the edges. I love the little Vs on the edge of crochet! I really do!

When I tried using Jan Eaton’s target square pattern in her book I came a cropper with the 7 ch bit, the square was a wibbly mess. (Practise makes perfect and all that, but the * and ** and repeats instructions for this square are really confusing to a bear with little brain like me.)

I saw this pattern on CrochetQueen’s blog.

Then I tried to crochet my own AG square using the pattern, but got really confused; mostly about what to do with the 5 ch. There were holes where there weren’t meant to be holes!

I wailed to CrochetQueen that I needed help. She added some tutorial pics to her pattern in about a day. What a star!

How helpful is that?

The generosity of other bloggers in giving patterns, advice and free tutorials is very much appreciated. Maybe one day when I’m more proficient I can do the same? It would be nice to pass it on….

So anyway, using CrochetQueen’s pattern and photo tutorial here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

I know I’ve basically posted the same photograph again and again and again, but I do LOVE those edges!

I used a 3.5 mm hook because I’ve realised my tension on granny squares is always a bit loose and they looked too wibbly using a 4mm.

The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK from my pack bought from here.

While I waited for these photos to load I’ve had a think about trying a slight variation on the number of trebles in each round. I’m going to have a little play again later.

Yesterday afternoon I looked out of the window to this, they really make me smile….

Can you see it? :-)

Crocheting in bed

I really did go downhill yesterday, I thought that the streaming cold of Sunday would be better and probably nearly gone by yesterday but I woke up feeling really horrendous. I was even slightly tempted to take a photo to prove how hideous I looked and felt, but am truly glad I didn’t….it would be scarey viewing.

I’d read a tweet at the weekend which said something like ‘if all you want to do is sit up in bed and crochet – while watching a movie, then do’ (Or 140 characters worth of similar advice anyway!) I’ve never considered bed and crochet as being compatible; I have enough trouble with my hooks sliding down between the cushions, or onto the floor when I’m on the sofa. But as I was feeling so fragile, and bed was the cosiest place, I decided to try.

So far Mr Scrappy only had a body and one leg or arm which was all green when it was meant to be stripey.

(Here’s why it’s plain green, not colourful…)

I settled down against my pillows with my audio book of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and made another one.

Anything you notice about them?!

I sighed and decided to carry on making Mr Scrappy’s body….while laughing out loud and feeling a little teary as the book progressed…

Lynne’s advice about using a stitch marker when crocheting in the round is sooo helpful. It really works!

Ok, so after going back and making another arm or leg I could see that crocheting after 2 glasses of wine, while watching Red Dwarf, might not have been such a great idea the other night…

I’ll undo the freakishly big plain green one and save the wool for another section of Mr S.

Not bad crochet for a poorly Rachel – especially while choking and sobbing over Me Before You.

I can’t recommend the book enough, it’s amazing by the way. So amazing I might even be listening to it again from the beginning.

Crocheting more of Mr Scrappy took my mind off how terrible I was feeling and I might even crochet in bed again one lazy weekend. Hopefully without all the germs!