Where growing, making & good living come together

Plummy solid square crochet blanket

Posted by on Monday 3 June 2013 in crochet & knitting, making | 12 comments

This is the second crochet blanket I’ve made in two months. Yes, I know it’s June and gloriously sunny outside but what can I say? I live in the north of England and I’m realistic.


While I was finishing up my Ann Perkins blanket* at the end of April, I had a huge urge to make a solid square blanket: one colour per square like Heather’s Elmer blanket.

I used Stylecraft Special DK – I don’t usually like acrylic but this is alright. In the flesh, the colours are quite nice, it’s not quite as shiny as most synthetics and it’s super cheap. I used six colours: plum, grape, mocha, raspberry, parchment (nicely off white), and claret – the latter being my least favourite colour of the set, but I think it adds a nice contrast to all the purples.


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Swirly ear warmer

Posted by on Thursday 29 November 2012 in crochet & knitting, making | 0 comments

No more cold ears while dog walking for me – I made myself an ear warmer band from an abandoned half-finished beanie this afternoon.

I’ve got an ear-flapped woolly hat for really cold days but this is small enough to fit in my pocket (for days when I’m not sure if I need it) and under my hood (for when it’s raining).

I wrote a little more waffle about it on my personal stuff-and-nonsense blog – it looks brown over there, yellowy over here, it really is an odd sludge colour but if my ears are warm, I don’t care ;)

Have you made yourself anything to keep the chill at bay this winter?

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On the hook – draught excluder & cowl/tank top

Posted by on Wednesday 26 October 2011 in crochet & knitting | 3 comments

Inspired by Steel Kitten‘s “What’s in the knitting bag?” post, I thought I’d talk about what’s on my crochet hook. (I’m supposed to be having a week away from the computer this week doing crafty things — I’ve not been very successful at the “being away from a computer” thing so at least I should write about my crafty pursuits, right? ;) )

As I mentioned on here and Twitter last week, I’ve not been hooking for ages but now I’ve started again, I’m in it with a passion. Last week I started a made-up-as-I-go snake draught excluder – the tail on my first version was too short but made a natty hat for cheeky Lily-dog —

— so I frogged that and started again but naughty, naughty, I got distracted by wanting personal insulation instead.

A trip to the yarn shop later (Texere Yarns in Bradford), I’m now working on a version of the Ginny Cowl (Ravelry pattern link). I love the shape of the finished top and the pattern is deliciously simple – but I’ve had to change things a bit because I don’t know whether it was my too-round-headed hook’s fault, the fluffy yarn’s fault or my too-tight tension’s fault but doing the slip stitches in back loops was arrrrrggghh! Hate. I’m not 100% convinced my version will look as good as the proper Ginny Cowl and I wish I could have stuck with the original pattern, but my version stands a lot more chance of actually being completed (since it’s fun not frustrating to make) rather than thrown on the ground in a huff. Details to follow if it does work!

Are you crocheting/knitting anything at the moment?

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Some thoughts on my newly rediscovered love of crochet

Posted by on Friday 28 January 2011 in crochet & knitting, making | 11 comments

After a break from crafts for a while, I’ve got back into crochet with a vengeance recently.

I found it hard to like crochet at first – the first tutorials I did were boring, just creating a stiff solid fabric – and it wasn’t until I made a “net” shopping bag and granny squares that I saw the value of it over knitting. If I was teaching someone how to crochet, I’d start with granny squares which I’d use for the base of a “net” shopping bag/fruit bag – I liked being able to make something actually useful very quickly.

I love the many “sense of completion” moments when making granny squares or similar patches. My first big project was a hexagon hearth rug. I got a small buzz after completing each round, then each hexagon, then each colour combination set, then all the hexagons… Great motivation to keep me going. By comparison, my current stripes project (above) is very slow going and not that rewarding – it takes about 25 mins to finish each stripe and then it’s only one more stripe in a blanket of a hundred (and it’s even more when I do the wrong colour combination and have to frog over an hour’s work). It’s a nice yarn to work with though and when it’s finished, it’ll be lovely.

My favourite stitch is a HTC (HDC in US terms) – the ease of a DC (SC) but with extra height. Is it wrong/nerdy to have a favourite crochet stitch?

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Quick crocheted flask/water bottle holder pattern

Posted by on Thursday 30 September 2010 in crochet & knitting, making | 0 comments

My building plans for last weekend (the mezzanine level thing and a mini ark for quarantine/broody hens) fell through because I felt ill so aside from a walk/forage at Bramley Falls park on Saturday and the sheep & goats in Calverley graveyard on Sunday, I spent most of the weekend sitting. I like sitting but it was frustrating to think of all the to-do tasks building up while I was lazing around.

In an effort to achieve at least one thing, I decided to make a flask holder/carrier – because I like taking a water flask out with me when we’re walking the dog but quickly get bored of carrying it.

It’s an adaptation of my never-fails crochet shopping bag pattern (which I should write up over here sometime) and is pretty quick and easy to make – an hour or so, maybe a little longer including the long strap.

Crocheted flask/water bottle holder pattern

Note: this pattern uses British crochet terminology. North America readers (etc) should revise accordingly: our DCs are your SCs, our TCs are your DCs etc.

To make this item, you need to know how to chain, DC, TC, join stitches to finish rounds and tie off. It’s not complicated at all but I fear parts of the pattern are a little confusing – let me know if you hit any problems.

Yarn & hook
This is a great project for using up the ends of yarn balls – it only uses about 20g. Choose a strong yarn, 4ply or DK, and a suitable sized hook – I think mine was a 5mm.

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