Sunday, January 27, 2013

A new design learnt - the Jacob's Ladder pattern . .

Looking around the internet for something quick to do, while still finishing off my daughter's blanket, I came across a crochet pattern called Jacob's Ladder. Fortunately, there was a great tutorial, showing anybody who wanted to learn it, how to do so, and so I sat and watched, then got out my crochet hook and yarn to have a go.

The tutorial was by my favourite crocheter, Claire, or BobWilson123, and it can be found at:

My first idea, was to create a hat for a lovely lady that I know, who always enjoys wearing hats but, because I was inexperienced at sizing, the hat I made was far too small - only the size for a 12-18 month infant, in fact! Lol

Because it was so small, I adapted it, and made it into a lovely Tam O'Shanter Hat, complete with a pom-pom on top and, as I was enjoying making the pattern, I then made a scarf to match.

The yarn I used, was some that I had been sent by my mum, as well as an old favourite.

Both yarns are 100% Acrylic, with the darker purple being a Premier Value DK, Shade 016, and Dye 89872. The lighter dusky lilac I used, is my favourite wool, the Double Knit, Shade 763, and Dye 880.

I had actually bought a large spool of silver lurex thread, and so I crocheted this along with the dusky lilac, to give a little glitter to the pieces. I think it's quite effective, without being too much, don't you think? :)

As they are meant for an infant, I used my wooden owl buttons for my motif, as they'd be safer than the metal ones I've started to use, and I also sewed on my brand new labels, so the set is ready for sale, once I've made some more stuff to do so :)

I feel much better about making things to sell, now the first item is completed and, once I've finally finished Brex's blanket, I've got a pair of leg-warmers, and fingerless mitts to make for her friend :)

I think I'm going to be a very busy woman with this crocheting lark, and I'm really, really happy about that! :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Using Plarn . . .

I can't remember whether I've mentioned that I've been introduced to the use of Plarn?

For those who don't know what this is, it's plastic yarn and, in particular, the use of plastic shopping bags, that are cut into strips, then joined together in one long string, which can then be used to either knit or, in my case, crochet items of use again - a great way to use those unwanted bags that seem to pile up at an alarming rate :)

I haven't done much with the ball of Plarn that I've already made, as I've been so busy making accessories for my daughter, then crocheting a blanket for my bed. I'm in the processes of finishing a blanket for my daughter right now but, while she was staying with me, I put that down for a while, to make a hat for her friend - and also a rather unusual set of items, made out of my Plarn :)

Brex had brought her practice Fire Fans with her, so that she could show Bob and myself what she does but, as Bob was quick to notice, the Kevlar she uses on the fans -which are used for the fire-making itself - were covered in soot and so, every time Brex touched them, her hand came away soot-covered. She was telling me that this was a problem, but she couldn't think of a covering that wouldn't weigh down the fans while she practised, and then I remembered the Plarn, and asked if that would be suitable. Neither of us were sure, so I dug out the ball of Plarn from under my bed (Kushka, my cat, had batted it there after finding it in the box I stored it in), and started to experiment in crocheting covers for the Kevlar. 

After a couple of false starts, I managed to crochet enough covers for the fans, and Brex said that, provided she remembered to put on the covers once the Kevlar was cold, she didn't see any reason why they wouldn't work, especially as they added very little weight to the fans!

They also had an advantage, in that they were quite flexible, but would also stay in shape if scrunched up to close the ends, so Brex didn't need to worry that they would fly off while she practised her moves :)

She was so pleased with them, that she took some photos for me - so here they are:

And here's a close-up:

I really enjoyed making them for Brex to use, although I could only do a couple a day, with a few hours space in-between each one, as crocheting with Plarn takes a lot more hand strength than wool, and so my poor hands really felt the difference. But I was delighted that we had come up with a solution to the soot problem, so it was well worth it - and we had also found a practical use for something most people just throw away!  :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

'My Little Monster' Hat :)

Well, I'm still crocheting away at the blanket I'm crafting for my daughter, and I'm now on the 5th of 6 sections, so I'm really hoping that I'll be able to finish it soon.

It's a shame I couldn't get it done by later on today, as Brex has been visiting with us, and I would have loved to give her the blanket to take home but, as she's leaving for Bristol this afternoon, I know there's no way I'd be able to finish it in time.

But at least she's taking the one gift I was able to make for her yesterday :)

Brex has a friend who is having a baby very soon, and she had been telling me how she wished she was better at crocheting, as she wanted to make a gift for the baby. As she's still only at the practise stage, I offered to make something for her.

We decided on a hat and, as her friend has a really great sense of humour, Brex asked me if I could manage something different to all the usual baby bonnets, preferably with bright colours, and with a daft theme - maybe a monster hat?

Well, as I'm totally new to crocheting baby items, I went online to my favourite crochet tutor, Claire, from BobWilson123, who has an amazing amount of tutorials on YouTube

I looked through all the baby beanie tutorials I could find, and that might cover the sort of thing we were looking for and, in the end, we had 3 different patterns to choose from. As a joke, I said to Brex, 'What if I take some aspects from all three hats, and put them together? Do you think your friend would like that?'

Well, the big grin that spread over her face said it all so, with a lot of trepidation, I started following the videos, to see how I could work this out . . .

Some hours later, I finished my project, and Brex was delighted with it, and so she took some photos of it, so I could put them here on my Blog :)

This is the front view of what I labelled the, 'My Little Monster' Hat.

The basic baby beanie was made from Robin Paintbox DK wool, which is 100% Acrylic, and the beanie came from Claire's Beanie with Bear Ears

The tutorial to make this can be found at:

I used my favourite Foxy DK Jade Green wool for the contrasting edging, and the cute bear ears, as well as the spine at the back.

The eyes were based on Claire's Owl Beanie tutorial, and we decided to make 3 of them, with one slightly larger than the others. I used various bits of wool that I had in my 'bits & bobs' drawer - you know, all those leftover bits of wool that are too long to throw, but might be handy one day? Well, they sure were handy for me :)

The Owl Beanie tutorial can be found at:

The spine I added came from her Dinosaur Beanie tutorial, and can be found at:

Here's a side view of the hat (I had placed it over a small bowl, to give it some shape for the photos)

And here's a back view, showing the spine, and the back of those cute ears :)

I must admit, I'm so very glad that it turned out so well, and doing this has given me the courage to experiment a bit more - but only once Brex's blanket is finished, of course!

I do hope you like what I've done, Claire? :)