Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Half-finished projects . . .

It's been an up and down time for me this last few days.

I'm battling bad health, while trying to keep on with a couple of projects I've started, but I'm going nowhere fast at the moment :(

On a good note, I finished my daughter's neck pillow, and she's delighted with the picture I sent her of it - she won't be picking it up until mid-March, when she comes here for a visit - but she can't wait to take it, and the blanket I crocheted for her, back to Bristol, where she tells me it's freezing cold at the moment :)

Here's the pic I took of the pillow, although it isn't showing the detail of it too well:

Because I used the same 3 colours from her blanket, the pillow is a lot thicker than those I've made previously, and I have to admit it was a lot harder to crochet, especially as my hands aren't too strong any more. This meant that it took me twice as long to make - but also means it is sturdy enough to put up with all the use it's going to have at the various festivals Brex is going to be working at :)

Of course, when it does eventually wear, I'm  going to make sure I keep the same colours to make a replacement :)

The two projects I've started are half-finished at the moment, and I can't see me finishing them in the next few days, unless the arthritis in my hands eases up soon. One is a neck pillow for a child, made in the shape of a cat so, as you may imagine, it's been quite tricky to do for someone relatively new at crochet. I'm not sure, until it's finished, whether it will be good enough to put a picture on here, but I'll see at the time - but it's already been appropriated by hubby, who has named it already ('though he won't tell me the name until it's finished) Lol

My other project, is a small child's purse/bag, and it's in the shape of an Owl - one of my favourite real animals - as opposed to fantasy ones, of course - and I think it's going to turn out good enough to either give as a gift or, maybe, even try to sell - but we'll see when it's done :)

In the meantime, I'm catching up on some well-earned reading, as I had a lovely big box of books arrived the other day, so I've got lots to read for a change :)

Hubby tells me I looked like a child given the freedom of a sweet shop when I opened the box of books - but I guess I've always felt that way about books - and reading - so nothing new there then! Lol

See you soon . . . . 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I've been a busy bee recently . . .

 . . . and I'm really happy what all I've succeeded in doing, which is very satisfying to someone who can do so little normally :)

I've finished the gloves and legwarmers I promised to my daughter's friend, and they'll be in the post to her at the weekend, hopefully.


These are the fingerless gloves I've crocheted for Emma. I used my favourite blue wool - the Cygnet Royal Blue 100% acrylic DK yarn, that I've been using on Brex's blanket, and I crocheted some silver Lycra thread into it as I went along, to give it a little zing.

I found some lovely turquoise buttons in my stash, that I've sewn on, not only as a decoration, but also as fasteners for the cuffs, as I've made them able to be opened, if needed.

I've also sewn on my favourite little owl charm, as it's become a bit of a logo for me :)

Emma asked me to make black leggings for her, in the same pattern as one of the pairs I'd made for Brex. I used a revelry pattern, called Alicia Legwarmers, which are easy and quick to do. I got the pattern at:


I used a Coney DK 100% acrylic yarn for these, although I ended up finishing them off with New Fashion Double Knitting by Woolcroft, as I ran out of the first before I had finished them. I was fortunate that both wools were a good match, as I was unable to trace any more of the Coney yarn :/

I put a selection of blue heart buttons, and small green buttons down the edge, as Emma had chosen these colours and, as I'd managed to make more shells on one leg than the other, I added my Owl charm for the fun of it :)

Once I'd finished, I started on the neck pillow I'd promised to a friend who suffers terribly with arthritis in his neck and, because they don't take too very long to make, I decided I'd make another one for his wife to use, as she's just retired, and I thought she'd find it handy while travelling.

The first one I made in an X-Large size, as it was for a man, and I used the New Fashion DK black wool I'd got to finish off the leggings, and matched that with the lovely Jade Green wool I had left over from making Brex's blanket. I think that the two colours look very nice together and, as I used a 6 mm crochet hook, due to having a double thickness of the DK yarn, it crocheted up lovely and thick, so it will be hard-wearing.
I filled it firmly with fibre-fill, so it will be completely washable, then I sewed on my little Owl charm, my care label, and also my friend's name in acrylic letter beads.

The following day, I started on the next one:

This one I made in the Large, adult size, as my friend is much smaller than her husband, and I used a combination of a pale lavender, & a Maroon, Robin DK 100% acrylic yarn. Once again I used the 6 mm crochet hook, as I loved the thickness, warmth, and durability it gives to the yarn, then I also filled this, and decorated it with letter beads, and my little Owl charm.

I'm rather pleased with the way these turned out and, although my sewing leaves a lot to be desired, it did the job.

I gave the pillows to their recipients this evening, and they were over the moon with what I'd done, so I'm a very happy Night Owl :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Having had a brief hiatus between finishing my daughter's blanket, and getting on with the gloves and legwarmers for her friend (due to having to wait for the delivery of a particular wool), I decided to have a look at my wool stash, to see what I could craft while I waited.

To my delight, I came across a plastic bag, hidden under the pile of wool my mum had sent me, and inside were 4 x 100g balls of 100% acrylic wool, from the Ice range. There were two purple, and two pink balls, all of which were self-striping.

As I'd just been going through a lot of the free patterns I'd accumulated  I decided to use one of the pink balls to make something for a baby, and I found a series of patterns for Newborns that I decided to give a try.

I must admit, considering that I'm a relative newby at this, I'm really pleased with the results, although two of the items I've crocheted are so small, they're probably meant for premature babies - or even dolls!

I've taken some pics, as I usually do, so here they all are:

The colour of them doesn't really show up on here as nicely as they actually are, but I think this first pic shows the variety of shades within the one ball of wool. There's actually one item missing, as I started on it after I'd taken this one, as there was still enough wool left over from these to create something else :)

The cerise wool I've used as an edging came in with the wool mum sent me so, as it wasn't labelled, all I know is that it, too, is 100% acrylic! Lol

This little hat, with it's little pom-pom, ear-flaps, and braided ties, was a real delight to make and, for a first attempt, I'm very happy with it :)

It's 17 cms from the pom-pom to the tip of the ear flap, and around 26 cms circumference - without stretching it. The ties are 16 cms long.

I didn't follow a pattern with the scarf, but just used a mixture of double, half-double, and single crochet. I like it, but it did come out rather larger than the other items. 

I think that, if I try this again, I'll make it at least a third narrower than it is at present, as it's 53 x 11 cms.

Now, I really enjoyed creating this cute little cardigan - once again, a first attempt at anything like this for me - and I was really pleased with how it turned out. The only problem, is that it turned out so small - only 16 cms long, and around 30 cms in circumference. 

I used a cute pink plastic teddy button to fasten it at the collar, and I added the shell pattern to edge it, as the actual pattern was very plain. The collar wasn't from the pattern, either.

I followed the pattern and gauge exactly from the pattern, and it should have been big enough for a newborn baby but, when a friend called in to see me, she reckons it would only fit a premature baby - or a doll :(

That's the trouble with not being around little ones any more - I've forgotten exactly what kind of sizes they may be :/

Now, these mitts and booties I thought turned out nicely, and I think I got the sizing about right with these.

The mitts are 9 x 5 cms in size, and the booties are 8 x 5.5 cms,  so I think they really would fit a newborn :)

Now, this little outfit, is the item I made to use up the last of the 100g ball of wool, and I really loved the idea of making a little bodysuit to match the rest but, despite following the pattern exactly, this, too, came out really small - 14 cms long, and 20 cms in circumference, un-stretched - so I guess this is another fail, like the little cardigan :(

Because of the size problems, I'm going to send these to my mum, who dresses dolls for a charity shop. The dolls come in all shapes and sizes, so mum reckons she'll be able to dress a few of them in what I've made, so I guess I'm just happy that none of it will go to waste :)

And it was all good practice, too, so my time wasn't wasted, either :)

As the wool came this morning, I can now finish the legwarmers I'm making for my daughter's friend, so I'm hoping to get hubby to post them for me on Friday when he goes into town.

But I'm not short of things to do, as I've just had an order for a neck cushion from an old family friend :)

I've made a few of these for various friends, and they're all raving about how comfy they are, so I guess that this is something I'll be making more of in the future . . . . . :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Well, I've finished the blanket - at last!

It seems to have taken me an age to craft the blanket for my daughter, and I guess that was mainly through ill-health interfering :(

The worst time for this, was this last few days, when I only had a little to do to finish it, but my hands just refused to co-operate, and I couldn't even hold my crochet hook for a few minutes. 

But the weather changed slightly, and my pain-killers, and anti-inflammatory medication, finally kicked in and I was able to finish it - including rather clumsily sewing on my own specially-made label, and one of my small metal owls, as this is the logo I've chosen for my craft work.

The blanket isn't finished as well as I would have liked, but my daughter is ever-forgiving of slight faults, and is always grateful for whatever I make her, bless her heart :)

I've made it big enough to fit across the length and width of my double bed, so I guess it's around 4'6" x 6'6" all told (approx: 137cms x 198cms).

I used around 2kgs of wool to complete it - I've just weighed it, and it comes to 2268g, or 2.68 kilos!

The wool I used, was my usual 100% acrylic, consisting of:

Cygnet DK in Royal Blue - Shade: 133, Dye/Lot: 45893, 

Foxy DK in Jade Green, 

New Fashion DK in Kingfisher - Shade: 511, Dye/Lot: 202, and

James C. Brett Top Value DK in Kingfisher - Shade: 845, Dye/Lot: 4586.

Here's a close-up of the blanket pattern, which is in the same Wavy Shell pattern I used for my own blanket, and which I found online at the AllFreeCrochet.com site, at:


You can just see my 'Hand-crafted by The Night Owl' label, along with the Owl I use as my identifying logo :)

I've now just started on the fingerless gloves and leggings that my daughter's friend asked me to make, so I guess that'll be the subject of my next Blog :)

P.S: I've just been naughty, and bought some gorgeous wool from Yarn Paradise, online, in the 'Ice' range, and all in summer-weight linen and cotton yarns. 

I'm ever hopeful that we'll actually get a summer this year! Lol