Tuesday 30 June 2009

Compass Rose Earrings

PDF version
Here are some novelty earrings I made the other day. I thought the motif looked a bit like a compass. They are very easy to crochet as there are only three rounds of crochet. I used Coats mercer crochet cotton #20 and a 1.5mm hook. Here’s how I made them:

Yarn – 2 colours of crochet cotton – only small amounts needed.
Hook – 1.5 mm.
Notions – earring hooks.

Pattern (English terms used)

Finished size – 3cm in diameter
Special instruction – spiked dc = insert hook into space on 1st row below st indicated and work dc as normal.

Base ring: using 1st colour make 4ch, sl st to join into a ring.

1st round: 5ch (counts as 1 tr and 2 ch), [1 tr into ring, 2 ch] 7 times, sl st into 3rd of 5 ch. (8 spaces)

2nd round: 3 ch (count as 1 tr), 3 tr into next space, [1 tr into next tr, 3 tr into next space] 7 times, sl st into top of 3 ch. (32 stitches). Fasten off 1st colour.

3rd round: Join in 2nd colour, 1 ch, 2 dc into same place, 1 dc into next tr, 1 spiked dc over next stitch, work a picot (3 ch, insert hook into top of spiked dc and work sl st to close), 1 dc into next tr, [2 dc into next tr, 1 dc into next tr, 1 spiked dc over next stitch, work a picot (3 ch, insert hook into top of spiked dc and work sl st to close), 1 dc into next tr] 7 times, sl st into 1st dc to close. Fasten off.

Attach earring hooks to one of the picots.

Simple but effective.

I'm a designer!

I’m so excited – I am now officially a designer on ravelry. My Jolly Little Goody Bags pattern is connected up and I feel very professional. I feel all inspired to create.
My goal, by the end of the year, is to design a knitting pattern for a vest or tee shirt – I’ve got plenty of ideas but the thought of actually writing the pattern out properly is quite daunting. Never mind – it’s all part of the challenge.

I found a lovely website recently for an artist,Lucy Grossmith. Here are some of her summery pics.

Saturday 27 June 2009


As it was our 24th wedding anniversary this week (I can't believe half of my life has been spent married to Chris!) we arranged to have a night away in Hereford. Being away for only one night meant it wasn't difficult to pack as far as clothes were concerned, but what knitting to take was another issue. I didn't want to take Thomasina as the cabling is far too fiddly for a car journey and I get travel sick if I look down to often. In the end I decided to start a new project (any excuse). So I took Rosalind by Gloriana from A Mingled Yarn with me. Rosalind Pattern « A Mingled Yarn. The pattern is a short sleeved cardigan with lace panels and is very popular on ravelry.

Hereford is a beautiful city with lots of atmosphere. We visited the cathedral and the Old House and sat around in the lovely parks and gardens. Made good progress with Rosalind.

Now that I'm back home, it's back to Thomasina (and all the other projects ahead of Rosalind in the queue!)

Thursday 25 June 2009

Jolly Little Goody Bags

PDF version
Some time ago I used up some surplus granny squares I had leftover from a crocheted blanket to make a little bag which I now use to keep my scant supply of cosmetics in. I was looking at this bag the other day and I thought it would be nice to make it up as a gift bag as part of a birthday present. So I made a new bag using yellow and pink dk wool and I was quite pleased with the results.
So much so that I made another one using pink and blue 4ply wool …

and yet another one using fine crochet cotton.

They really are quite versatile and very simple to make. Here’s how I made my Jolly Little Goody Bags (writing out the pattern was much harder than making the bag itself!)

The bag can be made using whatever weight of wool you want and only requires small amounts.
For the dk version I used a 3.5mm hook (American size E).
For the 4ply (fingering) version I used a 2.5mm hook (American size B/C)
For the crochet cotton version I used a 1.5mm hook (Don’t know the American equivalent of this)

The finished bag sizes are
Dk version – 13cm (5 inches ) tall
4 ply version – 10cm (4 inches) tall
Fine crochet cotton version – 6cm (2½ inches) tall

The bag is based on 5 granny squares joined together with an added section to the top of the bag and a drawstring to close.

Any colour combinations can be used and the possibilities are endless.

Instructions are the English version.
To translate to American, tr > dc, and dc > sc.
Motif (make 5)
Change colour as and when you want.

Chain 6 and join with sl st into a ring.
1st round: 5 ch (counts as 1 tr and 2 ch), [3 tr into ring, 2 ch] 3 times, 2 tr into ring, sl st into 3rd of 5 ch.
2nd round: sl st into next chain, 5 ch (counts as 1 tr and 2 ch), 3 tr into same sp, [1 ch, miss 3 tr, into next chain space work 3 tr 2ch 3 tr] 3 times, 1 ch miss 3 tr, 2 tr into same sp as 5 ch at beginning of round, sl st into 3rd of 5 ch.
3rd round: sl st into next chain, 5 ch (counts as 1 tr and 2 ch), 3 tr into same sp, [1 ch, miss 3 tr, into next chain space work 3 tr 1 ch, miss 3 tr, into next chain space work 3 tr 2ch 3 tr] 3 times, 1 ch miss 3 tr, 3 tr in next chain space, 1 ch, 2 tr into same sp as 5 ch at beginning of round, sl st into 3rd of 5 ch.
4th round: sl st into next chain, 5 ch (counts as 1 tr and 2 ch), 3 tr into same sp, [1 ch, {miss 3 tr, into next chain space work 3 tr 1 ch} 2 times, miss 3 tr, into next chain space work 3 tr 2ch 3 tr] 3 times, 1 ch {miss 3 tr, into next chain space work 3 tr 1 ch} 2 times, miss 3 tr, 2 tr into same sp as 5 ch at beginning of round, sl st into 3rd of 5 ch.
Fasten off

Now you have your 5 motifs select one as the base and join one side of each of the other 4 motifs to each side of the base.

Next join the side seams to make an open topped box.

Top of bag
Attach yarn to top right-hand corner chain space of one of the side pieces.
1st round: make 4 ch (counts as 1tr and 1 ch), [{miss 3tr, into next chain space work 3 tr 1 ch } 3 times, miss 3 tr, 2 tr into corner space, 1 tr 1 ch into corner space of next motif] 3 times, {miss 3 tr, 3 tr 1 ch into next chain space} 3 times, miss 3 tr, 2 tr into corner space, sl st into 3rd chain of 4 ch.
2nd round: sl st into next chain, 4 ch (counts as 1 tr and 1 ch), [miss 3 tr, into next chain space work 3 tr 1 ch] 15 times, miss 3 tr, 2 tr into next chain space, sl st into 3rd chain of 4 ch.
3rd, 4th and 5th rounds: repeat 2nd round.
Fasten off.

Ch 111, turn, miss 1 ch, dc into each chain to end.
Fasten off.

Thread the drawstring through the chain spaces on the second row from the top. Fill your bag with goodies and give it to someone you love.

Friday 19 June 2009

Damask tunic

I have now finished my Damask tunic - although perhaps 'tunic' doesn't really describe the finished article. It is tighter fitting than I had envisaged (I should really do more checking of the tension) but I'm pleased with it. The yarn was originally knitted up as Tulip from Rowan magazine number 41 but I hated the style on me so frogged it. The yarn has been hanging around for a while waiting for a suitable pattern. Because of the random nature of the colouring in the yarn I didn't want to knit something too textured so in the end I decided to use an old pattern, originally for Rowan's linen drape yarn (now discontinued). I followed the basic shape from Alma by Sharon Peake in Rowan magazine number 31 and omitted the lacey panels and bobbles. The end result is a rather plain sweater but it is very wearable. I do like the texture of the yarn and the subtle random colouring. It is knitted on 3.75mm needles and took 8 balls of yarn.
I still have 2 balls of yarn leftover so I'm making a head scarf for Eve. I'm using Dream Swatch Head Scarf pattern from ravelry by Wendy Bernard.

Thursday 18 June 2009

The full set

I have now made the full set of flower scarves - one yellow, one pink and now a sparkly one. As mentioned in an earlier blog, the pattern for these comes from Gnat on the windshield at Pretty Pretty Flower Scarf « gnat on the windshield

This weekend there is quite a lot of sport to watch; cricket twenty20 finals, US open golf and of course Formula 1 - Silverstone. This should mean that it will be another productive weekend. Hopefully the Damask tunic will be completed and I can make good progress on Grace's waistcoat.

Monday 15 June 2009

So much to make, so little time

Over the weekend I made this cute little Miffy. The pattern was really easy, although a bit fiddly. I found the pattern via ravelry at amigurumi...e outras coisas fofas: first free pattern! It certainly lends itself to adaptation, I like the idea of using the basic pattern to make some character dolls.

This little cutey was made using dk wool and a 3mm crochet hook. She stands (sits?) about 12 cm tall and took only a couple of hours to make.
I also started work on Thomasina from the Rowan Milk Cotton collection.
This is a cabled waistcoat and I'm making it for Grace. I'm using Sirdar dk wool which is really soft and lovely to knit with. The pattern looks really complicated but it is quite easy to follow (after you've colour coded the chart!) and it grows quite quickly.

At the moment I am completely in love with ravelry. There is so much info on the site, so many patterns and finished projects to look at. Everyday I'm seeing new patterns I want to try, or seeing old patterns in a new light because of the way someone else has knitted it up. It's also a great feeling when someone admires your own work and puts it down as a favourite. It's all so wonderful. If only there were more hours in the day to spend knitting and crocheting - but alas, the kitchen floor needs cleaning.

Friday 12 June 2009

Life is just a bowl of cherries

Something sunny, summery and fun - a bowl of cherries. The other day I had an urge to make something small and silly. Last year I made strawberries and in years gone by I have made raspberries, so now I have some cherries to add to the collection. The bees certainly liked them. The cherries are knitted and the bowl is crocheted. They are quick and easy to make and only require oddments of wool. I made a total of 12 cherries to fit in the bowl.

Here's how I made them:

Using 3.75mm needles and oddments of red DK yarn, cast on 12 stitches.
row 1. Purl
row 2. Knit
row 3. Purl
row 4. Knit
row 5. Purl 2 tog 6 times (6 stitches)
Cut yarn and thread through all the stitches. Pull up tightly and fasten off.

Sew up sides seam and stuff.

Gather cast on edge, pull up tightly and fasten off.

To add a stalk, make a short twisted cord using green DK yarn and attach it to the top of the cherry.

Using white yarn embroider 2 straight stitched to put a 'shine' on each cherry.

Using 3mm crochet hook and yellow DK yarn, chain 2.
1st round. Work 6 double crochet into 1st chain.
It is helpful to put a marker on the 1st stitch of the round so that you know where the beginning of each round is.
2nd round. 2 dc in to each dc (12 sts)
3rd round. (2 dc into next dc, 1 dc) 6 times (18 sts)
4th round. (2 dc into next dc, 2 dc) 6 times (24 sts)
5th round. (2 dc into next dc, 3 dc) 6 times (30 sts)
6th round. 1 dc into each dc
7th round. (2dc into next dc, 4 dc) 6 times (36 sts)
8th round. As 6th round
9th round. As 6th round
10th round. (2dc into next dc, 5 dc) 6 times (42 sts)
11th round. As 6th round
12th round. (2 dc into next dc, 6 dc) 6 times (48 sts)
13th round. As 6th round
14th round. (1 dc, miss next dc, 5 tr into next dc, miss next dc) 12 times.
Slip st into 1st dc and fasten off.

There you go, nice and easy.

Thursday 11 June 2009

My wonderful girls

This week's Good Luck card is for Eve. Her Science GCSE exams start tomorrow. I have made it in the same style as Grace's. The apple is quite symbolic! - Eve, Newton, science!! Anyway, biology tomorrow, chemistry and physics next week. I'll be glad when they are out of the way. I feel exhausted with all the stress.

Grace is taking her mind off the stress of the exams by feverishly crocheting away at a scarf she started some time ago. She actually finished it just after this photo was taken and has worn it today for her maths and chemistry exams. Maybe it will prove to be a lucky scarf.

Once the exams are out of the way both Grace and Eve want to do more crocheting and they want to learn to knit (again). Aren't they wonderful.

Monday 8 June 2009

Caitlyn - finished

Well it's been another wonderful weekend for sport on the television, Formula 1, darts and cricket. No excuse needed to sit and knit all weekend. As a result Caitlyn has flown off the needles. Eve loves her new tee-shirt. It is from Rowan's Milk Cotton Collection. I knitted it using some bits and bobs leftover from other projects together with Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply in lime.

It was very easy to knit although the embroidery just above the hem took more time than I had anticipated. I particularly love the crochet edging on the hem and around the cuffs. I made the tee longer than in the pattern but other than that I followed the pattern exactly.

Now I've got to knit something for Grace!

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Good Luck Grace

Grace's final A level exams start today. Just 10 exams separate her from university. What a big adventure. I made her this good luck card yesterday. It is made using applique, embroidery and some bright buttons.

She has been working so hard for what seems like ages now so I'm sure everything will go well for her. She deserves to do well - and I'm not just saying that because I'm her mum.

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Marilyn's birthday

As yesterday (1st June) would have been Marilyn Monroe's birthday we had a little party to celebrate. Grace and Eve made some 'warm strawberry cupcakes baked in a teacup'.

They were delicious. We rounded off the evening watching 'Some like It Hot' - what a brilliant film.