Shawl Reveal and Wips

Hi again.  Life seems so busy these days and I feel as though I’ve neglected this little space recently.  I’ve spent the last few weeks with at least one coffee date a week trying to catch up with all my friends.  Also Abi has had a lot of 12 hour shifts lately which means that she only works three days in the week.  It’s meant a lot more time together and I’ve been making the most of it!

A couple of weeks ago on the way to an appointment we called in at Ashburham Place for a photoshoot of my Shawl.  Yes they’re both finished and I’ve worn one or other of them nearly every day since.  Although we live fairly near to Ashburnham Place I had never there before and we’re definitely hoping to go back for a longer visit.  This time we just admired the house from the front and used the beautiful gardens for the photos.

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It’s crocheted in 4ply yarn in 2 or 3 colours.  The purple one is made  using yarn that I’ve dyed myself and the Blue version is using the yarn I received in the Knitting Expat yarn swap.

The pattern is being tested at the moment and I’m to release it soon.

I have finally finished the socks I started for Abi in January!  She likes them scrunched down!  The previous two pairs were a mock fairisle pattern, these were just plain stripes in a self striping yarn and I’m not so keen on how much the jogs show in them.

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These were my appointment waiting time knitting but all appointments were on time so it was slow going at first,  but then…WARNING, don’t wish for more time to knit when waiting for appointments. I waited 3 hours at the hospital to see my Lupus consultant in London on Friday then another 2 hours waiting for blood tests and an xray!  I signed in fine and had the initial tests done by the nurse and then I waited and waited and waited.  They were warning that they were running very behind but after 3 hours I decided that I had been patient enough and went to ask how much longer I would be waiting.  I had got lost on the computer, somewhere between seeing the nurse and my appointment!!  Still, it gave me plenty of knitting/crochet/reading time and Abi had a lovely wander around London where she was asked for money, saw various sights, came across of a massive queue and realised that she was outside the immigration centre and took some beautiful photos!

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Other bits I’ve been working on are Josh’s blanket,

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slow progress there, I haven’t stuck to the 1 row a day rule I set myself.

I’ve also now started a bag with the yarn that Abi’s boyfriend gave me for Christmas having ripped out the shawl I had started (and finished)!

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And  I have some new socks started but this time they are crochet.

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I have just started on the rib and I love how the rib is working out.  I’m using Drops Delight.  I bought several balls of it recently but being a singles it’s not very forgiving of mistakes.  Frogging is not easy at all, in fact, I started the rib and made a mistake and ended up having to throw away what I had done as it was determined NOT to be undone!!

I’ve also made several new bits for my shop

including stitch markers and basket bags.

basket bag animals, letters

I’ve also been working on a new design for something for my shop, I’ll hopefully be able to show you that soon  🙂

So here I am with several wips once again but that’s the way I like it, lots of variety :-).

I hope that you’re all having a lovely and creative week!!

Sharon xx

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A Busy Year, News and an Offer!

Hi everyone.  I mentioned at the beginning of the year a couple of goals I had for this year. One of these was to create a pattern each month!

In January I designed a crochet shawl pattern which I am really pleased with.  Actually, I’m not the only one in love with it, so is Abi, she promptly claimed the first one, then loved the colours of the second too and claimed that too so I nabbed back the first although she would have happily kept both!!  Anyway, by the time I had tested the pattern, made alterations etc it was the middle of Feb and then I was so busy with other bits (I’ll tell you about that in a mo) that I have only made a start on my February pattern – another shawl but completely different.

So, what has been keeping me so busy?  I have decided after a lot of thought and prayer to open an Etsy shop, click here.  I don’t have a huge amount of self confidence so it has felt a really massive thing to do.

A name was really tough to come up with but in the end I decided to go with ‘Inspirational Yarns’ as most of the hand dyed yarns are inspired by our family, home etc.  I wonder if you can recognise any?

Here are the hand dyed yarns I have in the shop so far.  – more to list

I have four main bases, Superwash Blue Faced Leicester (British wool) and Nylon in a 4 ply.  Superwash Merino, cashmere and nylon in a 4 ply. Superwash Blue Faced Leicester, silk and cashmere, 4 ply and a Dk Superwash Blue Faced Leicester.

Also in the shop I have some project bags in two styles – both my own design

Japanese knot bags with a circular base

and ‘basket bags’.  I have designed these with an extra wide base and a top that folds down over the outside to create a basket.  Just one size at the moment but more to come when I get time to make them!

Oh yes, look out for the little embroidered mouse somewhere on your bag!

I have my new shawl pattern in there too (and on Ravelry), my ‘Pebbles Asymmetrical Crochet Shawl’ pattern.  here are a few pics

It is a long asymmetrical shawl with a diagonal stripe, which can be worn over the shoulders with the longer side wrapped around and tucked through or more like a conventional scarf.

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and here is the other colourway

I have also made some scripture wall hangings (I’m happy to do custom orders for these).

And that’s it for now.  I have just created a new site for the shop as I don’t really want my blog space to change too much, so although I will sometimes show you what I am making for the shop and let you know when I update most shop news will be on the new blog/site which you can find here.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot, I am now on Instagram too @inspirationalyarns. I am using that both for the shop and general day to day snapshots of life. Please let me know in the comments if you have IG so that I can follow you (that is, if you would like me to follow you of course!!)

Before I go I have a special offer for you all.  A discount code for 15% off of everything in the  shop until 15th March. ‘opening15’ There will be a little surprise gift included in the package for the first three people to order from my shop!

Two Gifts Finished!

With so many things on the go it seems to take ages to come to the end of anything!  Today I finished my first creation from the Edward’s Menagerie book.  I love the creatures in this book and the patterns are really easy to follow. Emma the Bunny is for another baby addition to my extended family.

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(She looks a little as though she is smirking in this photo, I’m not quite sure why the photo made her look like that, I think it may be the way the light caught her!)

One of my cousins has just had her fifth child, a little girl.  With another three expecting there will hopefully be some more baby gifts crochet this year!

I have also finally got around to taking some photos of the scarf I have made for my sister.

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For those of you who are interested,  I used Hayfield Bonus chunky yarn in a light and dark grey. I started with light grey and made a foundation double crochet row of 150 stitches.  (U.S. fsc).  I love using a foundation row instead of working the first row into the chain.  I really do not enjoy working into those starting chains!

For anyone who hasn’t tried it there is a tutorial here on Sandra’s Cherry Heart blog.  There are also video tutorials on YouTube, once you get the hang of it you won’t want to go back to working into those starting chain!

I then worked a row of trebles (U.S. doubles) into the back loops only, turn.  Followed by a row of trebles worked in the front loops only. (Each row is started with 2 chain, the first treble is then worked into the bottom of the same stitch (the 2 chain are not counted as a stitch).  I continued with this pattern until it was the width I wanted – 7 rows of trebles.  I finished with a row of double crochet to match the foundation double crochet at the beginning and fastened off. So to summarise, on one side, all the rows are worked into the front loops and on the other side all of the rows are worked into the back loops.  Alternating as you switch sides.

For the Border I used the dark grey and worked double crochet evenly around all four edges.  Then on the two short sides I worked open shells along the edge.  *3ch into first dc, miss a dc, 1tr into next dc, 3ch, miss a dc, dc into next dc,*  repeat to the other end of that short edge. Repeat on the other short edge.

I hope that all makes sense!

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I like the way that each side of the scarf has a slightly different pattern.

The budgies are nearly all sewn up now so hopefully a budgies post by the end of the week!

Happy Crafting!!

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

So Much Craftiness… and my Stray Sock Solution!!

I feel buzzing with creativity.  I have a couple of finished, lots of WIP’s and even more ideas to share with you.

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Firstly my sock solution.  As I mentioned a while ago we have a problem with odd socks in our house.  Josh uses them for target practice and Abi’s and Hubby’s are wherever they decided to take them off!

So, when I saw this pattern on pinterest I knew it was just what I needed to hang inside the airing cupboard door.

The Infamous Hanging Basket Crochet Pattern – In ENGLISH! | michellala

The pattern does not give any yarn or hook sizes so I went for some nice colourful super chunky yarn to get a good size bag.  I also added a few rows to make it a bit bigger.  I love it!  It is already full of odd socks and is used every time I do a load of washing.

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There is just one niggle and that is that on the green row where I was increasing it had pointy bits!

I have also made Josh’s stocking present for March and will try to get a photo up soon.

Josh decided at the first signs of spring that is was time for shorts again!!  I always keep his trousers from the previous school year and then make them into shorts for the following summer.  So I have converted two pairs of school trousers into shorts and also a pair of jeans and chinos because he had gone through the knees!

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Now for the WIP’s!!

I am still plodding on with my owl and flower granny blanket,  I have joined Sandra’s Cherry Heart blanket along and it is keeping me motivated. I have also made a rule that that is the only crafting I am allowed to do in the evenings until it is done!  I am getting back into the swing of it and enjoying it again now.

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I have been enjoying Memory Lane again and have been using the Knitting Nancy!!

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It has been fun to do this again after so many years.  Has anyone any idea what this yarn is??  I was given a dozen balls of it and want to do something with it but it is really unusual.  It is flat, about 3mm wide. It is slightly slippery too. It is fairly light weight.

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Then there are the pyjama cases I am making.  I am really excited about these!  I have made the mice/rabbit heads with a little bit of the top of the body.

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I have used coloured buttons to attach the arms

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and I have all of the fabric cut out for the dresses and aprons.

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I bought as good as new sheets from the chairty shop to use for the clothes.  I hope to embrioder the name on the apron waistbands and maybe something else on the apron itself.

Now my  to do list!

I have so many things I would like to make or try so here are just the ones I am hoping to start in the near future!!

A beaded spiral necklace for a gift  … This needs to be done by the Friday morning!!

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Hopefully similar to this.

Some spinning!!  I bought a drop spindle with my birthday money. I watched some tutorials yesterday and I am itching to give it a go!

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Some patchwork!  i haven’t done much before but I wanted some hand sewing to be able to just pick up.  So I have cut out some little hexagons.  actually that is not quite true, I have a bigshot so again with my birthday money (I liked big birthdays!) I treated myself to a die for 1/4″ and 1/2″ hexagons.

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I had cut out over 300 hexagons in less than half an hour!

I have Abi’s stocking pressie to do – I have plans for that.

I really need to start the blanket for Josh’s bed so he has one similar to Abi’s.

I would also like to start my dahlia banket, I think I just need to add a darker yarn to the mix, hopefully I can get that later today.

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Some more 3d needle felting is definitely on the agenda!!

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and then with my birthday yarn I would like to try some freeform crochet and make a scarf!!

WOW!!  That looks a lot!  But they are all things I really would like to do/try, we won’t even get started on the rest of the things I would like to achieve!!

Are you a lots of things on the go person like me? or do you like to finish one thing before starting the next?

I’m off to do some crafting…

Happy Crafting Folks!!

Sharon xx

Decisions ….. and Ideas

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Nearly a week into February and I still haven’t decided what my one a month projects will be for the children’s Christmas stockings.  Yes, I know, it sounds ridiculous but I am determined not to prioritize gifts for everyone else this year and leave them until the last minute, so, as some of you will know, I have joined Jennifer’s one a month ‘Martha and Me’ challenge.

Not only is February the shortest month but it is also very busy this year!  Already we have had…

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Hubby’s 40th birthday,

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We have a wedding on the 19th and I am busy making another shawl to hopefully wear. The other one I made is gorgeous but not as big as I would have liked it to be 😦    so when I found some lovely soft cotton yarn on sale I decided to make another, I am about halfway through!

My sister-in-law has just asked me to make a wheat sack for her to give as a gift, she said it doesn’t matter if it is late (next Friday) but I would rather like to have it done in time.

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Our Sunday School Prizegiving,  the books arrived this morning so they all need checking off and names put inside and of course there will be cakes to make for the tea (hopefully the children will help there),

And of course at the end of the month I too will be 40!!

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So, I really do need to choose something quick and easy to make – but – I have been shopping and spent my Christmas money!!!

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The folksong yarn was in the sale basket and just couldn’t be left there.  It is so gorgeously soft and squishy and is just right for some thick woolly socks but socks really scare me, they have heels!!!!

crochet adjustable quick socks

I have found an ‘easy’ crochet pattern for socks and I really would like to give it a go … sometime!  But then woolpickle posted this!  Now I really just want to give it a go, now, but is the shortest month and a busy one at that really the best time??

Then there are the other scrummy bits and bobs I got…

SAM_0057161Malibu Hat: free pattern

The bonus yarn is earmarked for this hat for Abi, hopefully with a matching beach bag from this pattern.

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The grey yarn was ordered and is the rest of the yarn I need to make a scarf my Sister has requested for her birthday (In July!!  I think she is getting prepared for next winter already!)

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The lace was a basket of oddments.  Some of it will be ideal for lengthening skirts, see here.  The rest await inspiration, especially this bit…

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I haven’t a clue what to do with it yet but it was such a gorgeous colour and with my Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket it just had to go in!!

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And then there is the Faroe yarn,also on sale and so squishy and soft that it too found its way into my basket!!  There was only the one ball so not enough to do much but it is sooo soft it needs to be worn somehow??!!  Anyone have any ideas?

So I really do need to make a decision.  Do I make what I really want to make (or try to make!) a pair of socks for them both or do I go for something quick and easy this month??….

If you have made it through this rather woffly post, I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Happy Crafting! x

Another Gift made and My First Attempt at a Pattern!!

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It was my nieces birthday today.   For Christmas I gave 6 of my little nieces a doll I had crocheted from this fantastic book called My Crochet Doll by Isabelle Kessdjian.  The dolls are just so adorable and practically everything is made using double crochet (single crochet US).  The terms are in English but as it is mainly all dc (sc) this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for those using US terms.

I did adapt a couple of the patterns to make a skirt and a short sleeved version of the sweater.  If anyone would like the pattern alterations let me know and I will be happy to try to write them out.  Here are some of the Christmas dolls.

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My niece takes her to bed with her so I adapted a pattern for a nightdress to match her.  I then crocheted a little sleeping bag (it ended up being a bit of a tight squeeze as I didn’t have a doll to measure).  I lined the bag with some velvety fabric and put a little zip in.  I had limited time so I used a large hook and three different colours of dk at the same time.  It is certainly colourful!

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I thought perhaps the doll might want a teddy to cuddle in bed. There is a pattern in the book but I decided to attempt to make my own pattern for a Bunny.  I have called him Benjy and I am quite pleased with the end result. (the photo is a bit dark as I took it in the evening.)

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She was really please with it and dressed her dolly up straight away and put her in the crib her parents had given her.

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I don’t think I need to make any more gifts this month so hopefully I can focus on my one a month challenge for February.

The pattern for Benjy Bunny is below if anyone would like to use it.  This is my first so sorry if there are any mistakes or I haven’t explained very well!!

Happy Crafting! x

Benjy Bunny Crochet Pattern

 

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This pattern uses English crochet terms.                                              Crochet terms

dc = double crochet

Materials needed                                                                                      fdc = foundation double crochet

A small amount of yarn in two colours or shades                                ch = chain

3mm Crochet hook                                                                                    sl st = slip stitch

Stitch marker                                                                                              dc 2tog = double crochet two together

Scissors

Yarn needle

The head, body, tummy pad and tail are worked in a spiral so you will need a stitch marker or a piece of contrasting yarn to mark the starting stitch at the beginning of each row.

For a magic ring I make a very loose reversed slip knot (so it slides on the short thread) and work into that.

 

Head

Make a magic ring and then work 1 ch, 9 dc into ring, tighten ring.  (9 dc)

Round 1           * 1 dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc* repeat this pattern to the end of the round.  (12 dc)

Rounds 2 – 4   1 dc in each dc round.  (12dc)

Round 5            *1 dc in next dc, dc 2tog* repeat this pattern to the end of the round. (9dc)

Rounds 6 + 7     1 dc in each dc round  (9dc)

Now stuff the body.  (I used the end of a larger crochet hook to push the stuffing in)

Round 8             dc 2tog , repeat to the end of the round. Sl st into next dc and fasten off leaving a long enough tail to

attach head to the body.

 

Body

Make a magic ring, 1ch and 10dc into magic ring, tighten (10dc)

Round 1          * 1 dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc* repeat this pattern to the end of the round (15dc)

Round 2          * 1 dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in the next dc,*  repeat this pattern to the end of the round. (20 dc)

Rounds 3 – 6     1 dc in each dc round (20 dc)

Round 7           *1 dc in next 3 dc then dc 2 tog* repeat this pattern to the end of the round. (16 dc)

Rounds 8 + 9     1 dc in each dc (16 dc)  Stuff.

Round 10           * 1 dc in next 2 dc, dc 2 tog* repeat this pattern to the end of the round. (12 dc)

Round 11           1 dc in each dc (12 dc)  add more stuffing if necessary.

Round 12           dc 2 tog until the hole is small enough to sl st tog and fasten off.

Paws (make 4)

Row 1                4 fdc, turn. (4fdc)  (alternatively – 5 ch, 1 dc in second ch from hook, 1 dc in remaining 3 dc, turn)

Row 2                1 ch, dc in first dc, 1 dc in following 3 dc (4 dc)

Fold in half lengthwise and sl st tog, fasten off leaving a tail long enough to attach paw to the body.

 

Ears (make 2)

Outer Ear

Row 1                 6 fdc, 3 ch, turn.  (6dc,3ch)

(alternatively – 7 ch, dc in second ch from hook and remaining 5 dc. (6 dc) 3 ch, turn )

Row 2                 1 dc in 2nd and 3rd chains from hook, 1 dc in each of the dc of the foundation row.  (8 dc)

Fasten off leaving a long enough tail to attach to the head

Inner Ear.    Using the contrast colour work …

Row 1                 4 fdc, then 1 dc where you would have made the next fdc. (5dc) Sl st and fasten off leaving a long enough

tail to attach to the outer ear.

(alternatively – 5 ch, 1 dc in second ch from hook, 1 dc in next two dc, 2 dc in last dc, sl st and fasten

off leaving a long enough tail to attach to the outer ear)

Sew the inner ear onto the outer ear.

Tummy Pad   Using the contrast colour …

Make a magic ring and then work 1 ch, 9 dc into the ring.

Round 1               2 dc in each dc (18 dc)

Round 2               *1 dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc.*  repeat this pattern to the end of the round.

Round 3               *1 dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in the next dc.*  repeat this pattern to the end of the round, sl st into next dc

and fasten off leaving a long enough tail to attach pad to the body.

Tail  Using contrast colour…

Make a magic ring and then work 9 dc into ring.

Round 1               2 dc in each dc (18 dc)  sl st to next dc and fasten off leaving a long tail.  Fasten off the centre but

don’t trim, use this end to stuff the tail.  With the long outer end make a running stitch around the

edge of the circle and pull up tight, sl st tog.

All  that is left now is to assemble your Bunny.