Sunny Log Cabin Blanket

In November 2015 I was riding high on the success of having made my first crochet blanket, the Attic24 Cottage Ripple Blanket.  I was new to crochet but I had finally mastered it and I had a wonderful blanket to show for it.  Then the lovely Lucy announced her next blanket, a crochet-a-long, with steps of the pattern released throughout November and December, I saw the photos and it was love!  It was her Sunny Log Cabin Blanket and the bright rainbow of colours was right upon my street.

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As with all of Lucy’s blankets Wool Warehouse sell packs with all of the yarn you will need, I put on on my Christmas list and my lovely motherinlaw bought one for me.

I was so excited.  I sat, surrounded by toys and tinsel and on Boxing Day 2015 I started making my first blanket square while watching The Snowman on TV.  I made a few of the sunny motif centre pieces over the next few days and then I started building the log cabin of colours around it…

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… and very quickly became fed up.  Oh so much counting.  And colour changing every two minutes.  And all of the ends that produces. Bleugh.

In April 2016, with a mere two of the sixteen squares made, it went into the naughty corner while I worked on things I found more fun!

2016 came and went.  As often happens, with the New Year came new intentions and out it came once more.  I managed another two blocks in January 2017 and remembered why I found it frustrating in the first place.  Back to the sin bin it went.  In one year I had completed one quarter of the blanket.

But it nagged at the back of my mind, this unfinished blanket.  Looking at the photos of other people’s finished blankets I was still head over heels in love with the finished object and in September of this year I vowed that I would not let another year finish without this blanket gracing the back of my sofa.  I decided that I would not pick up any other crochet projects until it was done.

Obviously I had left myself too much wriggle room there and while I did plod with the blanket I also knit a pair of socks for my husband and my Reyna Shawl and so once the shawl was off the needles I also banned knitting 😉

It is astounding the speed of progress from that point onwards!  I worked on it every time I sat down at home, sewing the squares together as soon as they were off the hook to save me a big job at the end.  I love this photo I took last week which features my ripple blanket and first pair of hand knit socks as well as the progress on my log cabin.

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Also in this photo is an amazing cushion made by the talented Heather at The Patchwork Heart.  I am very proud of myself for buying this cushion!  Every time I saw Heather post one of these wraparound granny cushions on her Facebook or Instagram I thought to myself “I really should make one of those, they are lovely”.  But I have a long list of to-makes already, including of course this blanket, and so I bought one she made instead!

By the end of October I had completed twelve squares, the blanket was almost there.  The end was in sight and I started daydreaming about new projects.  With a big final push the last four squares were made in just six days!  Quite some contrast to the 20 months the first twelve took!

As mentioned below the first photo at the top of this post I still had a lot of yarn left over and so I decided to go with a thick, rainbow border of trebles rather than the more low key border in the pattern. 7 rounds of lovely rainbow trebles.

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I am so so so pleased to say that now it is all done I still have that same rush of love for these wonderful sunny colours and Lucy’s clever pattern every time I look at it.  Would you like to see the whole thing?

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Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  It’s just gorgeous!  I can totally forgive it for the journey and I actually really enjoyed the final sprint!

I am pleased to move on to new projects though, hopefully none of them will take almost two years to complete! So pleased, that I cast on a hat just minutes after sewing in the final end on the border last night 🙂

Reyna Shawl

When I look at my handmade shawls draped across the back of my chair it is clear to see that my favourite colours are rainbow and shades of blue.  All four of the shawls and scarves I have made are in the blue zone of the spectrum.

When I was making my plans for Yarndale this year I set myself a couple of shopping guidelines. No rainbows and something that wasn’t blue!  I also wanted to buy more semi solid yarn than variegated skeins as my Ravelry favourites have lots of shawls with contrast details and I keep buying just single skeins that appeal. Do you want to see how I did?

 

Oooh look at all the lovely squishness! And pattern books. Such lovely things in waiting!  Just avert your gaze from the rainbow in the bottom right corner, apart from that I think I did quite well on my rules! 

This post is about one skein in particular dyed by the fabulous Mothy and the Squid. This is a super wash, merino, sock weight yarn in gloriously earthly, leafy tones called Autumn is Coming. 


I felt that I must get this knitted up while it was still autumn and the colours were echoing my surroundings and so it jumped my queue and I cast on soon after Yarndale. 

I decide to make a Reyna shawl by Noora Laivola. It’s a single skein shawl pattern with alternating areas of garter stitch and a simple eyelet mesh and I found the pattern clear and easy to knit. 


I love these colours so much! The finished shawl has a lovely drape thanks to the open texture and has come out a perfect size for warming my next on these chillier days.


Want to see all of it instead of these sneaky bits?! 


Mini Autumn Wreath 2

I haven’t made many wreaths this year, I haven’t really been feeling the urge but I had some amazing autumnal toned aran weight yarn, dyed by a friend in my stash that wasn’t shouting out to me to be anything else.  So I made it into a wreath, two wreaths to be exact!

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If you have seen my Autumn Wreath and Mini Autumn Wreath then this will likely look familiar to you.

As with all my wreaths I made a long strip of single crochet stitches and then sewed this strip on a polystyrene wreath base.  The bases I use for my mini wreaths are just 12cm across. Whenever I make a cover using a variegated yarn I marvel at how much easier they are to sew on than one made from stripes!

The base was then decorated with little autumn leaves made using this pattern from the wonderful Lucy at Attic24 and a teeny tiny toadstool from the small toadstool pattern by Annaboo’s House.

The little wreath dweller fella was a pattern I made up as I went along! General consensus among my family and the recipients was that it is a gnome but I was just aiming for a magical woodland folk of indeterminate origin.

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So there we go, two little autumn wreaths!

One Ball of King Cole Riot DK

I have been admiring the crocodile stitch hats and gloves Samantha at Skye Cottage Crochet makes with this yarn for a couple of months now and decided to dive in and have a try for myself!  It is no secret that I am a huge fan of rainbows and so I chose this shade, called Fab, with its lovely dark and muted rainbow tones.

I started with a direct copy of the work I had so admired from Skye Cottage and the Crocodile Stitch Pixie Hat by Thread Softly.  This was my first venture into Crocodile Stitch but with a little help from this tutorial video from Bella Coco I found it pretty straightforward.

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I made the baby sized hat, there is never a shortage of babies to gift hats too, and am really pleased with the way it turned out… except there isn’t the full rainbow in this hat.

So I made another one.

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I find the arrangement of colours to be very pleasing in this hat, this is what I was hoping for.  But I noticed something very interesting about the sizing.  You can see it with these two photos but it is clearer still in this one.

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The first hat, my first foray into crocodile stitch and first attempt at this pattern is noticeably smaller than the second one which I made while feeling much more relaxed about working a familiar pattern.

The pattern gives no notes about gauge, tension or finished sizes and so it is hard to make a judgement about changing hook size when I inevitably make it again.  I have compared the size of the hats to other baby hats I have around and both are around the same size so I think we are in the right ballpark, I guess I’ll have to find a baby to try them out!

Two baby hats used 60g of my 100g ball so what to do with the remainder?

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Wrist warmers!  I used this pattern for Winter Fanfare Wrist Warmers by Drops Design.  I found the written pattern to be clear as mud but they do also offer a video in support of this free pattern which fully explained the bits I was struggling with.  I’m really pleased with the look of these but the design lacks stretch making them quite constrictive and not as comfy as they could be.  I am going to go ahead and gift them to my intended recipient who I think will like them but I don’t think I will revisit this pattern.

The initial problems I had with the wrist warmer pattern also served to highlight my big issue with the yarn.  The colours are beautiful.  Absolutely stunning and what caused this  yarn to land in my shopping basket. It is a blend of 30% wool and 70% acrylic and is quite thin for a DK.  It is really quite fluffy which isn’t a problem when things are going well, I like the halo of fuzz around it, but when things go wrong it does not behave well at all.  This yarn does not like to be undone from stitches.  It clings to itself and sticks making it a nightmare to frog or even to tink (or whatever the crochet equivalent is tehcorc doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way as knit backwards does!)

Back to my one ball, 100g, 296m of yarn.  A teeny tiny portion ended up in the bin after my second wrist warmer ended up joined in a mobius strip rather than a circle in an incident involving me trying to watch telly and crochet and the rest of it is shown here.

2 baby hats, 2 wrist warmers and a weeny ball of leftovers.  I’m happy with that.

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After The Storm

A rainbow baby is one born to a family after they have experienced a baby loss and this is sadly the case for a family dear to my heart.  I knew I wanted to make their new baby something with a rainbow theme and as soon as I saw the After The Storm pattern by Playing wth Fibre I knew it perfectly fit the brief.

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It is a pattern for a hat and matching cardigan for a newborn with a textured band of rainbow stitches.  I used the yarn suggested by the pattern, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino which is gorgeously soft and squishy, perfect for baby clothes.

The colours I used were Mist for the main grey colour and the rainbow is made up from stripes of Red, Acid Yellow, Kingfisher, Mallard and Cyclamen.

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I love the little hat, so easy to make but such an effective design.  I have lots of the coloured yarn left and I think it is likely that some of it will end up in another hat. perhaps with a different contrast colour, I think it would look lovely in cream.

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The wrong side of the colour work looks great as well, I love the contrast between the smooth inside and the textured outside.

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I made a special trip to Duttons for Buttons in York for the finishing touches.  According to their website they have over 12,000 button designs to choose from and so shopping there is always a joy.  I took the cardigan with me and enjoyed pulling down trays of buttons to find some that were just right to finish the project.

I’ll finish with just one last photograph because I think this angle really shows the cardigan to it’s best effect.  I’m very pleased with this outfit and am really looking forward to seeing photos of it being modelled by its new owner.

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Fat Fabulous Lady

On a whim, almost exactly a year ago, I bought a book by Anja Toonen called Fat Fabulous Ladies full of patterns of wonderful amigurumi women.  And then, as is often the case, it sat on the shelf waiting for it’s moment.

I started work on my woman in mid July and if you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen some progress shots and so I will just share the wonder of the finished item here.

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This is not her best angle!  Look how lovely she is when I turned her around and gave her a cocktail!

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That cocktail was most definitely the most fiddly thing I have ever made, I swore. A lot.  Here it is next to a drink of mine!

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But she does not belong inside on my desk!  She should be outside, enjoying the sun by a pool 🙂

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I love how she turned out and am sorely tempted by some of the other patterns in the book but in a little while, after I’ve forgotten how frustrating I can find tiny bits of amigurumi!

Seafoam Scarf

When Karina from Rainbow Fusions asked in her Facebook Group if anyone would like to be paid in yarn to knit up some of her yarn so she had some finished objects to demonstrate how her colour ways looked worked up I jumped at the chance!

I made a hat using Karina’s yarn at the beginning of this year and only now as I have gone to link it do I realise I didn’t blog it.

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This was a superwash merino DK in a colour called Firework and the pattern is Sweet Trellis Beanie by Pukeko Knits and I love it.  Especially those bursts of colour in the pompom!

I made a Seafoam Scarf back in 2015 using my first ever indie dyed yarn from Cuddlebums and bought at Yarndale.  There is a photo of it here.  I quite fancied making another one as it is a deeply satisfying project that grows very quickly and really shows off a yarn and this felt like the perfect opportunity.

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This is the yarn she sent me.  This colour combo is called Fizz Wizz and if I’m completely honest it’s not my cup of tea.  Pink is one of my least favourite colours and there is a lot going on but once I got working on it it really started to grow on me and once the scarf was finished I was quite sorry to see it go back to Karina.

The Seafoam Scarf is a free pattern by Joan Janes and features a very easy to memorise repeat of multiple yarn overs and drop stitches to give this wonderful wavy open texture.

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I knit my scarf on 4.5mm needles and a 100g skein of yarn gave me a scarf 216cm, just over 7 feet long.  Which looks like this on a coat hanger!

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