Sunday, November 02, 2014

Oh dear - has it really been that long?

I admit that, when I finally got around to looking at my Blog today, I couldn't believe just how long it had been since I posted anything!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, including serious illness, and hospital stays, for both myself, my mum, and my dad, I'd got into a real fug where creativity was concerned, and my output dropped accordingly. But I'm slowly, but surely, getting back into the swing of things, and so have a few items to show for all the time I've been silent :)

First of all, I've finally got some more pictures of the fancy dress outfits I'd made for a friend's gorgeous little boy (I'd made them in June), so here they are:

Here's Harry in his Frog outfit - and thoroughly enjoying it, too :)

And here he is in his Fox outfit:

. . . with a back view, showing his bushy Fox tail! Lol

Here's another occasion Harry wore the Fox outfit - and looking extra cute doing so:

Here's Harry wearing his Bee outfit:

. . . and with a back view of his folded wings (as with all the other main outfits, I didn't have a pattern for this, and so used Google to find some close-up pics of bees, then made up the shape, using the pictures).

And here's a lovely picture of one of Harry's best friends, wearing the Bee outfit - can you see the sting I made? Lol

There are still a couple of outfits that Harry hasn't worn yet so, when he does, I'll show them here, too :)

As for the things I've been making since my last post in July, as I mentioned in that post, I had been working on a gift for Mr Night Owl. I had bought a wonderful book, published by, called Amigurumi Animals at Work

You can find it in the list of books for sale, here:

 Amigurumi Animals at Work

The book has 14 of the cutest, and very different, patterns of various animals, all dressed up in their work clothes - and the pattern that brought my attention to this wonderfully creative book, was the design I fell in love with, which was by one of my favourite designers, Moji-Moji Design.

Her Cyril the Squirrel, all dressed up as a gardener, with his own wheelbarrow, was just so cute, and also very relevant for Mr Night Owl, that I had to make a start on it straight away!

As it happened, I had a huge plastic box, full of partial skeins of various yarns, that I'd used for different projects, so I thought this a wonderful opportunity to use some of it up. I wanted this to be a complete surprise for Hubby, and so found myself working on it at the oddest times of the day and night. I guess that, in actual hours, it didn't take too very long to make but, due to the secrecy, it was actually a couple of weeks before I'd managed to finish it :)

So, here he is - one Sam the Gardening Squirrel! Lol

I had a lot of fun making this, as I needed to source some tiny items to go with it, such as the seed packets in Sam's waistcoat pocket, and some gardening tools, for the wheelbarrow. I was fortunate enough to find a seller on eBay who deals with Doll House items, and so managed to get what I wanted from him - Mr Night Owl was so chuffed to receive Sam, and he now stands in pride of place on a shelf in our living room :)

I've made a couple of items, for my brother's new dog, Sheba. The first was a bone I crocheted with pure cotton, and a 2.5mm hook,so that it would crochet really tight, as she is renowned for chewing up her toys! So far, she still hasn't made a dent in it, which I'm happy about but, unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of it before she got a hold of it - but I used a pattern that I had bought from Crochet Spot, created by Rachel Choi, which gives 3 different sizes of bone to crochet.

You can find it here, if you're interested:

I've also got another, nearly finished, toy that I'm making for Sheba. It is a Star Ball, and the pattern was created by another of my favourite designers Dedri Uys, whose Blog, Look at What I Made, has a plethora of amazing patterns to try out :)

The ball was actually designed for a child, but I figured that, if I did as I had with the bone pattern, and used a tough cotton yarn, with a smaller hook size than normal, then I'd get another Sheba-proof toy! Lol

Unfortunately, a spell in hospital set me back, and I've still got a little bit more to finish up before it's done but, as soon as it is, I'll try to remember to take a picture to show you - and, in the meantime, here's the link to the pattern, if you'd like to give it a try:

Crocheted Star Ball – A Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball Pattern

The one item that has really taken up most of my time though - when I was well enough to wield a crochet hook - was a coat that I made for my daughter, something that would be thick enough to keep her really warm in the winter.

I got the idea after I'd purchased a wonderful pattern from Ravelry - it was a set of 3 patterns, designed by Sylvie Damey, that I'd bought recently, due to the wonderful detailing of her patterns - she'd created Elf Hoods, and that was just the look I wanted. So, selecting the Jehanne Hooded Cardigan, which can be found here:

Jehanne Hooded Cardigan

I then looked at my stash for a suitable yarn, but couldn't find anything there jazzy enough to suit my daughter's wonderfully outgoing personality - which then drove me to look at all my favourite online sites, to see if I could find something I liked. Fortunately, I came across a wonderfully sparkling yarn at the Deramores site. It was called Stylecraft Trendsetter Chunky, and came in a variety of colours, but the ones I fell in love with, and knew would suit my daughter to perfection, were the Ebony (1685), and the Lilac Cloud (1688). The yarn was, and still is at the moment, on sale, and so I couldn't resist getting it :)

Here's a link for you to see the gorgeousness of the yarns:

Stylecraft Trendsetter Chunky

Now, as I said, the pattern was for a hooded cardigan but, as I crocheted away, and got to the point where a change in pattern came, I realised that it would look great, and be more suitable for my daughter, as a coat, rather than a cardigan so, going back online, I bought some more of the yarn, then made my first real attempt to adapt a pattern to something else. I made some adjustment to the hood as I went along, making it a lot longer than the pattern specified, due to my daughter having very long dreads, and the skirt part of the coat was made in A-line panels, that I crocheted together after completing them all. I then went back to following the pattern to make the edging specified.

This coat was to be a complete surprise for my girl, as she was due to come for a visit with us, to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary in October so, as soon as I completed it, using a set of buttons that I'd had in my button stash for ages, and adding some shell stars to the tip of the hood, and around the bottom edge of the coat, I made a granny square belt, using the square used within the pattern.

I then hung the coat in my wardrobe, waiting eagerly for my daughter to appear.

Unfortunately, a couple of days after I finished the coat, I was rushed into hospital with a badly inflamed gallbladder, and was kept in for almost a fortnight, which meant we had to cancel our anniversary plans :(

My daughter came rushing from Bristol to Wales while I was still in the hospital, and so it was her Dad who gave her the coat - thankfully, it fitted her to perfection, and she wore it to the hospital to show me but, because of that, I hadn't taken any photos of it, and so had to wait for my daughter to get some taken - which she sent to me a few days ago! :)

So here it is:

I've now almost finished a couple of pairs of fingerless gloves to match the coat, one pair in the Ebony, and the other in the Lilac Cloud, and then I want to use up the last of the yarn to make some legwarmers and, if there's enough after that, maybe a scarf to match!

At least I know my girl will be warm this winter! Lol

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bubbling with Creativity . . .

Once again, I've managed to keep my creativity bubbling this last few weeks although, due to a downturn in my health once more, not as much as I would have liked to do! Lol

I managed to crochet a cushion cover for a dear friend of mine. The pattern was a Chevron, and I used Caron One Pound yarn, in a lovely burgundy and cream colour scheme, as I knew my friend loved burgundy - I got the pattern from:


I also made a Lacy Market Bag, as my June challenge with The Crochet Crowd. I really enjoyed learning a new stitch for this - the cross-stitch - and the bag I created went to a friend, who much prefers a 'real' bag to use for shopping, rather than the plastic variety :)

I used a Bernat 4-ply for this one - unfortunately, I can't remember the exact name of the yarn! Fibro-fog wins again! Lol

The pattern for the bag is here:

As I had plenty of the yarn left over (minus the label, unfortunately), I decided to make a small shopping bag for my friend's young granddaughter, who delights in 'shopping' with her grandma :)

I used the same basic stitch pattern, but changed the shaping, to get the more 'shopping basket' shape I had wanted for her - I also lined the bag, using single crochet, to prevent little items from falling through :)

I also managed to crochet a hat, jacket, mitten and booties set, for a newborn baby boy, which I was very pleased with :)

I used Red Heart Super Saver to make this and, as the yarn can feel a little bit scratchy, I gently soaked the outfit in some slightly warm water, with a small amount of fabric conditioner in, and the outfit dried out feeling really soft :)

I also used a mixture of patterns for this:

The booties pattern comes from Mikey, of The Crochet Crowd. The pattern is called the Sweet High Top Baby Booties, and was designed by Mikey, or Michael Sellick. Here's the link to them:

The bobble hat and jacket come from a Hoodie and Hat pattern that I found, and I just changed the hoodie pattern to become a jacket. I got this pattern from the Caron website. The link is here:

The mittens were a basic pattern that I purchased a while back. I bought it from the Crochet Spot website:

I was also really pleased to have been able to start on an amigurumi pattern, taken from a new book of amigurumi animal patterns, called Animals at Work! I bought this from Moji Moji Designs, as I'd fallen in love with her Squirrel pattern:

It was Cyril who had initially caught my attention, as he was a gardening Squirrel! I just fell in love with that amazing character!

I'm so very glad I that I bought the book, as the other patterns are also amazing, and I've already ear-marked some of them to make for various family and friends. But it was the squirrel I was determined to try first, as it is an ideal pressie for Mr Night Owl, what with him being a very keen gardener and all :)

At the moment, I've almost finished it, but there are still a few things that need to be done before I take any pictures of it. I didn't follow the exact colour choices of the original, as I was determined to use up some of the huge amounts of scrap yarn I've got, and so I chose the colours from what was available. My Squirrel, which I named Sam, isn't as professionally made as the original - but then, I wouldn't expect it to be, considering my amateur status where amigurumi is concerned! But I've had so much fun in it's creation, that I'll probably make a few more - well, Sam will need some company while working in the garden, don't you think?

All in all, I think this book of patterns is going to be my absolute favourite source of amigurumi animals! Lol

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: Open letter to the BBC

Having just read this open letter, by Sue Marsh, to the BBC, I felt I had to post a link to it, as the sentiments involved are very close to my own. Sue has written exactly the way that I, too, feel about what used to be considered a national treasure, one that showed us all the truth of the things happening to the people of our nation - and of the World - whatever else happened.
Like Sue, I despair that a body that takes our money in license fees, can ignore, or even suppress, the truth of the misery caused by our welfare state as it is today.

Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: Open letter to the BBC: Dear BBC, In a list of my favorite public bodies, I value you second only to the NHS. For me, you have always been a shining beacon of tru...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Art of Being Creative . . .

Due to being tired, I posted the following post in my other Blog a few days ago, and only realised what I'd done earlier on. If you're interested, here's a link to my other Blog, where you can see the original post:

As I wanted to keep all the records of my crafting together though, I decided to re-post the original post here, too - I hope you find it interesting - and the links a handy step to creating something yourselves? :)

Despite having a really bad time, health-wise, this last month or so, I've also had plenty of odd moments, where I've been too bad to do much, but not bad enough to do nothing, and so I decided to use whatever time I had free to take care of various crochet projects I've been working on.

It actually amazed me how much I could get through, doing it in dribs and drabs, but I'm quite pleased with the results of my labour :)

The first things I had to finish off were a set of 6 fancy dress costumes, made for a little baby boy I know and love. He is going to be having his first experience of Glastonbury this summer, and his mum, who is one of my daughter’s oldest, and dearest, friends, had been telling me that there would be fancy dress competitions for the little ones. This decided me and, after talking about what she’d like, I started to make the costumes!

Now, very much unlike me, once I’d finished making the outfits, I’d forgotten to take any pics of each of them, so baby boy’s mum has promised me that she’ll take pics of him as he wears them – and, as it happens, she posted the first picture she took, of him wearing his Cat-in-the-hat outfit, for me. Unfortunately, he wasn't wearing it properly, but I still think he looks as cute as anything in it – and the hat fits beautifully! Lol

Just as I’d finished the outfits, a friend called in, and noticed a pile of items I was preparing to send to my daughter, and one of the items caught his eye – a cowl I’d made for her, using Red Heart Super Saver yarn, in the Tealeaf colour, and with highlights of the Peacock Shimmer yarn.

He asked if I could make one for him, as a present for his sister-in-law, and so I agreed. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of the Red Heart Tealeaf, but I did have some Robin’s Chunky yarn, in Pistachio that he really liked, and so I used that.

While I was making it, I realised I had enough of this yarn to make a hat and fingerless gloves to match, and so, using the same popcorn stitch pattern, which can be found right here:

I went ahead and made the cowl, and then used the same popcorn stitch to complete the set for her :)


During our conversation, he also asked me if I could crochet a teapot cosy, in the shape of a chicken – well, I'm always eager to give things a go, and so I accepted his commission, and we added some other stuff to make a kitchen set up, all with the theme of chickens – but they had to be black ones, as these were, apparently, her favourites! Lol

Here’s what I came up with:


 I bought a pattern for this, from Etsy, the link is: 

I then adapted a pattern for a set of 4 egg cosies to match, from a free pattern, called the ‘Eggstremely Cosy Set’ designed by ‘funkynitter’ on Ravelry (here’s her link: 

The free pattern was made by the clever blogger ‘The Very Savvy Snail’, at:

I decided that I might as well have some cup coasters, too, and came across a free pattern that looked ideal for my purpose – you can find it here:


And then I thought, ‘why stop there?’, and so added a Chicken hot pad to finish the set. I had a pdf pattern for one of these – it was one of the free Annie’s Crafts ones, though, on looking for it on the site, I couldn't find it, so I can only assume I got the pdf pattern from somebody else’s blog – but I can’t remember who, and I didn't save the link, unusually for me :(


This pattern was called the Chicken Hot Pad & Chicken Shelf Set, and so I decided to crochet the cute little amigurumi shelf chicken, too:


Our friend was really pleased with what I had made, and, as he just loves hats, and loved the pistachio yarn, I used the last of it to make him a hat to wear this coming winter, with a little of the Tealeaf yarn I had in my scrap yarn box as an accent colour:


Next to make on my list, was a Peppa Pig toy for that gorgeous little man I’d made the fancy dress outfits for. Now, I hadn't a clue who Peppa Pig was, until I searched online, but, as it was his favourite TV character, I decided to have a go. As I'm not clever enough, as yet, to make up my own pattern, I decided to have a look at what was available, and I came across this one, by Samarara, on Ravelry:


Little man really laughed when he saw her, and immediately stuffed her into his mouth (he’s teething, poor chap!), but his mum says he’s delighted with his new friend, so that’s made me very happy :)

My next project to complete was a Rainbow Project Bag. I’d seen the link to this on a friend’s Blog and, as I was familiar with Lucy, from ‘Attic24′, I thought I’d have a go. I really loved the look of the bag and so I decided to make it specifically out of some of my scrap yarn, to use for my WIP’s.

I finished it yesterday, and I'm delighted with its capacity, and the friendliness of its bright and breezy colours, and I've already filled it with the yarn I need for my next project – well the next, next one, anyway – I might even make another one, too!

Here’s the link to the blog page:


Right now, I've made a start on a Lacy Market Bag pattern that’s the June challenge for The Crochet Crowd. I must admit, it’s a new stitch for me, and I'm finding it challenging but, between that, and starting on my main Crochet By Numbers project, I'm pretty sure that the rest of this month is now spoken for – unless I have a few minutes free to make some small items, anyway! Lol

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

What Katy Did Next . . .

I know! I hold my hands up in shame!

It's been over a month, again, since I last blogged - and I do feel very ashamed of myself for ignoring all my bloggy friends out there!

Mind you, I guess 'ignore' is the wrong word for it, really, as I've been physically unable to sustain more than a brief look at my emails, and a lightening check on FB, to see if I've had any messages which, apart from my daughter, and one of her friends, I had a sad lack of :(

'Mrs No Friends', that's me :(

Right, now I've got all the whiny, self-pitying stuff out of the way, I guess I should start telling you what I've been up to in crochet world - and, looking back at the past month, it's been a surprising amount, considering the poor state of my health - so I'm happy that at least I've been fairly productive, despite everything :)

To start with, I had to remake the gloves of a hat, cowl and gloves set that I'd made as a wedding anniversary present for my Mum - as she lives over 360 miles away from me, I'd had to guess her hand size from memory (it was meant to be a surprise), and had forgotten that her hands had become quite swollen due to her own health problems so, as soon as she sent the offending pair back to me, I tried to take them apart, so I could reuse the yarn, as I didn't have any more of it left.

Unfortunately, I quickly realised that this wasn't going to work, and so sent off to the USA for some more. I had bought the original yarn from Red Heart - their Worsted Weight Super Saver brand, in a gorgeous Honeydew colour:

It took around 18 days to get to me, and I was waiting impatiently for it to arrive, and so decided that I might as well make an additional present for her while I waited. I used the same brand of yarn, in Ocean:

to make her a lighter Cowl, ready for the slightly warmer late spring days we'd been promised:

I didn't use any particular pattern to make this - I decided to just go mad and make it up as I went along - but I think it turned out nicely and, once I'd sewn on a button, and one of my little owl tokens, I figured it was bright enough for a nice late spring wear - fortunately, Mum agreed, and tells me the colour reminds her of her favourite heather, so we were both pleased.

What made it better was the gloves, that I had decided to make up with the same stitching as the cowl - which fitted her perfectly - whew!

While I waited for that pesky yarn to arrive, I decided that I'd make my daughter some more house slippers, as she'd told me that the previous pairs I'd made had worn out so, using some of the Red Heart Shimmer yarn:

that I'd stashed away previously, with a mind to making something for my girl, who loves her glitter, and so I made her 3 pairs of slippers, using a wonderfully easy, and free, pattern that I'd found at Jay's Boutique Blog.

It really was easy to make and, as my feet are only a wee bit smaller than my daughter's, I was able to make them to fit just right for her. I used the black, and the peacock, colours for 2 pairs, and then remembered how quickly she gets through slippers, and so decided to make another pair with some worsted weight Red Heart Super saver yarn, in a lovely Tea Leaf colour that I already had from making my Mum's previous present.

I doubled up the yarn for the sole of the slipper, and so hope that they'll be a bit more hard- wearing for her to use, and I chose to make them using a mix of different styles that turned out into a creation of my own (I wish I'd written it down as I went along now, as they have turned into a sturdy, yet comfortable, pair of slippers):

As I still had some of the shimmer yarn left, along with a whole 100g skein of the pewter colour, I decided that I might as well make a cowl for my daughter, too and, as I had a lovely pattern for a Mobius Cluster Cowl, designed by Candace Barr, that I'd bought from, I decided to make it with this lovely yarn.

I don't think it turned out too badly, considering it's the first time I've ever made anything of a mobius nature :)

By this time, the much-awaited yarn had arrived, and so I went ahead and made a much simpler pair of fingerless gloves, with cover, than I'd made previously. I didn't use any particular pattern, but cobbled together the gloves using parts from a variety of patterns I'd made before and, thankfully, they, too, fitted Mum perfectly :)

Now, in the parcel that brought this yarn, was a couple more skeins of the Red Heart super-saver yarn - this time in a lovely mix of intriguing neon colours, called Blacklight! (9th row down, on the far right)

As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to buy it, to make something for my daughter and, when it arrived, I was so glad that I had done :)

I immediately decided to make her a set of earwarmers, a cowl, and some fingerless mitts, which I knew would be handy for her for those cold nights that can happen in Scotland, where she's currently working. I decided to use my firm favourite of a pattern for the earwarmers - one that Brex likes very much, and I know fits her well - it was designed by Clare of bobwilson123 fame - here are the links for both the written pattern, in PDF form, and the first part of the video showing how it's done (the 2nd part is right there with it):

I used the same stitches when making up the cowl, and the gloves, too, so they would match - and here's the result:

I really do love these bright and jazzy colours, as they remind me so much of my zany girl :)

Once all of this was out of the way, I told Brex to expect a package and, when she asked if the cowl was the type that could also be used like a hood, it got me back to the crochet hooks, and looking for a pattern to make one for her - fortunately, I came across a pattern which seemed perfect for her - and challenging for me - as it uses a popcorn stitch that I had previously attempted, but had failed to make.

I found this pattern at:

I followed the pattern, and was really surprised at how easy Elisabeth Spivey, who designed it, had made the instructions for crocheting the popcorn stitch. The free pattern is downloadable as a PDF, so I did that, and was soon crocheting away, using the last of my Red Heart Tea Leaf yarn, and also the last of the Peacock Shimmer yarn, to do so - and I was very happy with the result :)

So, now that I've finally finished everything for my girl - for the moment, anyway - all it needs is for her parcel to be sent on it's way, to one very happy daughter :)

I'm now having a break from the crocheting for a few days because, as soon as my hands recover enough, I'll be starting up a Crochet By Numbers course that I put my name down for. I've already sent the photo that I'll be making up into a crocheted picture, and have had the pattern sent back to me, along with others that Todd Paschall, the owner of the site, and my tutor, has provided for me to practice with so, hopefully, the next time I write a post, it will be to tell you how I'm progressing with it all :)

Until then, have a happy, crocheting, time :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Katy Did . . .

I just had a look at the date of my last post, and it shocked me that it was almost 3 months ago!

I really don't know where that time went, although I have to confess that I slept through much of it, so it shouldn't be such a surprise that so long has gone by :(

But, despite the lack of posts, and the slow-down in my ability to crochet right now, I have kept myself busy doing what I can, and when I'm able to.

I spent a lot of the time I was able to crochet, in making items for my new step-granddaughter, as I'd promised her mum I'd make a cot blanket for her and, as I've never been able to just make one item at a time, I decided to make a cushion cover to go with it, and a birth date hanging, too.
Skyla's mum loves butterflies and hearts, and the colour pink, so I made sure there were plenty of all of them to brighten up Skyla's room :)

I crocheted well over 100 4" squares to make these items, and it took me a long time to sew them together (a definite labour of love for my poor arthritic hands), but I thought it was worth it to give Skyla a hand-made gift, with love in every stitch, rather than just buying something that lots of other people would have, too :)

I also made a few bits for Skyla to wear, as I had some gorgeous baby yarn in my stash, so I made her a jacket, headband, and booties set with them, making 2 sizes of booties, so she can still wear them all as a set as she grows. The Jacket doesn't quite fit Skyla as yet, as she's a tiny little thing, but her mum reckons they'll fit by the time she's 3 months old - if I get a pic with her wearing them, I'll put it on here :)

While I was about it, I also made some bits and pieces for baby Harry, my daughter's best friend's new son. They haven't been given yet, but I couldn't resist putting them on here, too:

I made a lovely hoodie and hat set for him, and I used a new pattern I'd just come across on the Caron website. 

Here's the link for them:

I also made a Bunny rattle, from a pattern I found on Crochet Spot. It's my very first attempt at making a rattle and, although there's definitely room for improvement, I think I did a fairly good job of it - I just hope Harry finds amusement with it, anyway :)

The link for the pattern is:

I also attempted to make a mini Amish Puzzle Ball, from a free pattern by that awesome designer Dedri Uys - unfortunately, I'm a terrible photographer, but you can sort-of see what it's meant to be like. 

Here's the link for the pattern, on Dedri's Look At What I Made Blog, and you can see clearly on there what it actually looks like, although I've used a different selection of colours for mine:

I had a lot of trouble crocheting after making all this, and it was another week or so before I could make anything else. I then started on a series of woodland animals that I've now finished making, for my friend Candi, who lives in the USA. Hubby posted the parcel to her today so, after she's received it, I'll be able to post the pics I took of them all - although, once again, my photography isn't as good as I'd have liked it to be - but, despite this, the pics will give you an idea of how they look - and I'll also post the links to the patterns I used :)

So, that's everything I've done - that I can show you now, anyway - since my last post, and I'll, hopefully, be posting again in a couple of weeks to show you the rest :)

Have a great time crafting until then! :)