May Yarnalong

Yarnalong 02 05 18 3

It's a rainy miserable May day Yarnalong here in Hertfordshire, England today. But we are hopeful that the weekend, a holiday weekend, will be warm and sunny. Perfect for a spot of gardening and hopefully a braai (BBQ to non South Africans) or two. And maybe a few pages of my latest read, Philip Pullman's, The Book of Dust.

I am working on tiny crochet hexagons in a lovely baby bamboo double knit that I had lurking in a drawer. I'm not sure what it will be but I am hoping it will stretch to a little pram blanket, and will likely go into the village fete raffle draw. It's growing pretty fast and single colour hexi's mean less ends to sew in when I'm done!

Speaking of ends...................VOILA!!

Yarnalong 02 05 18 2

Yarnalong 02 05 18

My little circles became a blanket! I used the join as you go method taking a row at a time off the bed, until they were all joined up. I loved watching the finished pattern effect emerging with each added circle. The edging isn't overly complicated but I couldn't resist a little picot 'edge of the edge'.

As usual I had the best intentions of sewing in my ends at the end of each joined row, but excitement took over and then I was faced with just over 300 of them to tackle. Ho hum. I was doing a few each evening until my husband reminded me that there is a little girl waiting for her blanket!

I absolutely adore how it's turned out :)

What are you currently working on? Thanks for stopping by

C xx

A spring day yarnalong

Yarnalong 05 04 18 1
Yarnalong 05 04 18 1

At last the sun has got his hat on! And these happy circles are reflecting the bright mood that comes with that sunshine. Over the past 3 weeks I have been working on creating little crochet circles out of my extensive stash of Rowan handknit cotton and Debbie Bliss cotton DK. And last weekend my husband and I started to split them up into blanket size bundles.

The top photo shows an ombre'ish rainbow colour wash blanket layout which was the idea that started this flurry of circle making in the first place. And to test the 'circle to a square join as you go' round, I made a rainbow pram blanket. Ahem, what you can't see in that photo are the million ends still needing to be sewn in! Oh happy (NOT) days.

Last night I managed to get two rows of the top blanket joined so I'm hoping to be able to start the edging by this time next week. I wanted to try that continuous granny join but just looking at the instructions frazzled my brain.

And with what's left I will get one single bed or two pram/cot blankets made. These along with the rainbow pram blanket will go into our village fete raffle. We are raising funds for some much needed refurb work to our lovely old village church.

I can't wait to photograph these blankets in the sunshine!

C xx


March Yarnalong

March yarnalong

I'm so glad that yarnalong is back, but so far this year I've not participated much. In January I joined the link up but didn't have time to look at any of the other blogs due to work commitments. I missed February yarnalong as I was on a lovely holiday to New Zealand. And I'm late for March. Ho hum! Must do better.

Anyway I am here and even though I have been busy and trotting all over the globe, I have been busy with yarn craft.

This wonderful basket of lush handknit cotton will be a blanket for our great niece who we met last month in Auckland. I wanted to take a blanket to her but wasn't sure if her mom and dad would like that sort of thing. It hard when you don't know people and as it was my first time meeting them and at least 21 years since my husband had seen his nephew, I just needed to be sure they were into handmade.

I'm getting 12 circles from each ball of yarn using a 4.5mm hook. I'll make all the insides then do a join as you go when I turn them into squares with a linen colour. The idea is a rainbow ombre like this one.

I do have a couple of newly finished projects to share so i'll get to that soon!

Thanks for stopping by.
C xx

Frog it

Frogging post

When I removed the Winter Whispers cardigan from the blocking board I knew straight away that I was going to frog it. In fact I should have done it when I joined the arms to the body. Before the 40 odd yolk pattern rows. I knew then already.

Knitting and crochet is not a cheap hobby, not if you use small batch 100% hand dyed wool. Wool for a cardigan like this one can set you back in the region of £160.00. So getting it right is absolutely key!

I'm pretty sure that everyone coming across my blog is already a member of Ravelry (cause you probably came here from Ravelry!), and know the benefits of the magical resource that it is. And this resource can save you time and money if you just use it. This of course I should know having found wonderful advise while knitting Dear Husbands Ranger Cardigan (see previous post). But for some reason I didn't trust the notes people had written on their project pages for this Winter Whispers cardigan. For that I apologise. Whole heartedly. Because of course here I now sit, re knitting a cardigan that WAS ALREADY BLOCKED, and ready to wear.

So, why did I frog it? Well it was pretty unfortunate that the photo of the cardigan on the lovely model was in fact 2 sizes too big and I thought that this was the fit of the cardigan. ie you knit it in your size and the ease is built in. Now normally a pattern does talk about ease, this one didn't. Assumption = frogging a cardigan that WAS ALREADY BLOCKED, and ready to wear.

Having two skeins of yarn left when you've finished knitting is normally a sign that something in WRONG. Being on top of your yarn usage {as you knit} is kinda important.

Taking the time to measure and check the cardigan schematic before you settle on a size, saves time and money. Laziness = frogging a cardigan that WAS ALREADY BLOCKED, and ready to wear. 

Are you getting the picture?

Now I don't mind making mistakes, when it doesn't cost me too much time and no money. This one cost me a bit of time but really in the grand scheme of things it's really not a biggy. No money was lost as I have rewound the yarn and have started again. Did I learn a lesson? YES.

In fact I learnt a few and am pretty proud at how my knitting ability (the actual knitting) has come a long was in the past year and a half. And sometimes those wins over shadow the mess ups that we occasionally make.

I'm so looking forward to adding this lovely cardigan to my wardrobe. I'll be sure to share when it's done.

Thanks for stopping by.

C xx

Another happy hippopotamus

Happy hippo 2
 Happy hippo 2
Happy hippo 2

It's been ages since I last blogged! I've not stopped creating over the summer though so i'll share what I finished over the next few weeks.

Starting with this cutie pie! I made one last year and only managed to take one photo of it, so this time I was sure to get more.

A few details:
He's made with Scheepjes sunkissed cotton. I chose six colours for the flower part of the shape, using a dark grey for the last joining round.
I used a 2.5mm hook.
It's the hippy happypotamus pattern from ravelry. This is a very well written pattern with loads of step by step photos.
The toy stuffing is from hobbycraft.
I chose to just shape his eyes rather than use button or safety eyes.

This is such a fun make, really did enjoy it!

C xx

A field Bag

Fringe field bag 2
Fringe field bag 2
Fringe field bag 2

I bought my field bag from Fringe Supply Co last year and have been meaning to share it here on the blog for months. This is such a great on the move project bag. The perfect size for a shawl or pair of socks that you can work on while out and about. Mine is always set up to grab and go at a moments notice.

Inside there are pockets. On one side the pocket is a good size for holding a pattern, this pocket has eyelets too. The other side is separated into 4 pockets. Three slim, for a pen, scissors and needle holder and one larger. The bag comfortably holds two or three balls of yarn and your working project. The leather handle will soften with use as will the rope tie pulls.

I have a little collection of pins on mine. One from Brooklyn Tweed (from EYF2017), two little wooden MAKER pins from Beyond Measure (from EYF2017) and two pins that I bought years ago from I can't remember where.

Fringe are based in the US, so if you're ordering from the UK (or anywhere else in the world) there are a few things to consider. Shipping as we know can double your order value so have a good look around and perhaps save your pennies until you can afford to buy everything you want at once. There is a (UK) custom charge which will add £20ish to your order too. These are annoying facts about ordering overseas but at least you can factor them in before ordering so it's not a surprise.
Edited to add: Before this post went live I discovered that YAK in Brighton is a supplier of some of Fringe's bags!! YIPPEE

This really is my favourite project bag.

these opinions are my own and I have not received anything from Fringe for this post

Thank for visiting.

C xx

Hippy happypotamous


This was the second of only two crochet projects I made in 2016 and this is the ONLY photo I have of it! Oh boy this was such fun to make. It was so exciting to watch it take shape from his back legs to the tip of the nose. The join as you go is the only way to make this, in my opinion, I would have been totally fed up after making all the 'flowers' to then have to join it up.

So here are the details:
The pattern was bought off Ravelry. There is also a rhino, giraffe, some dinosaurs and many many more. Such wonderful creations.
The pattern is very comprehensive with wonderful diagrams and detailed instructions. A lot of work has gone into writing them.
I used oddments of Scheepjes sunkissed and cotton 8.
And a 2.5mm crochet hook. You want it to be tight so the stuffing doesn't come out.

My only tip for this project is to really squeeze and 'play' with the toy before sewing in the last piece. I found that the stuffing shrank slightly and I had to unpick to stuff more in. I also didn't stuff his back legs and shoulders enough so he wasn't a good shape. After the work it took to make him, it was worth making sure he looked like a hippo!

He was a gift for my cousins little boy and I had a real job to parcel him up as I just wanted him for me :)

C xx

A little Katia scarf voila

Katia shawl 1

Katia shawl 4

Katia shawl 3

Katia shawl 5

I only did two crochet projects in 2016 and this is one of them. The pattern was free with the yarn from the Hitchin Festiwool that I attended in November. It was a real fast make and would make a great gift.

Here are the details:
The yarn is Katia Polaris which is 100% acrylic. I don't usually work with acrylic but I really liked the look and feel of this yarn.
The pattern was free with the yarn and is available on their website as a free download.
I used a 5mm hook that the woman at the stall recommended. The pattern states 3.5mm which was way too small when I tried it.

I used the holeless (can that be a word?) method of turning for the first time and WOW what a difference it made to the edges of my work. Here is the tutorial I used.

This little scarf has slipped into my work wardrobe so well. It's perfect to keep the chill off my shoulders in the air conditioned office and gets a lovely compliment every time I wear it! Win win :)

C xx

Charity and crochet

And joining Ginny for yarnalong

Yarnalong 16 11 16

We are nearing the end of  our charity knitting/crochet and we have a huge haul of goods to pass over next week. It's been wonderful to see people picking up their knitting needles again and folks keen to learn a new skill. I have met and chatted so many people here in the office that I have passed in corridors for two years but never spoken to.

This past Saturday I attended  Hitchin Festiwool with some of my work colleague knitters and met up with three lovely friends that I've not seen since Festiwool last year. I had a lovely little shop and will share everything I bought as I use it, starting with the Katia Polaris in colourway 63. This is an acrylic yarn which is unusual for me as I love pure wool! It's working up quickly on a 5mm hook and the drape is beautiful. I'm making the shawl in the link (the one on the left) which came free with the yarn. It's (obviously) not something that was on my 'TO FINISH BY THE END OF 2016' list, but it's super quick and I needed something that I could start and finish in a few days. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Oh and also how AMAZING is my new field bag by Fringe Supply Company! I'll talk more about this later cause it's well worth having it's own post.

Still reading Knitlandia. It's a great insight into the world of yarn shows but as almost everything up till now has been in the US, I'm not sure i'll get to visit any of them any time soon.

Happy day, and happy yarn crafting!
C xx

And now for something completely different

And joining yarnalong with Ginny


I finished the Whispering Island Shawl but as it's a Christmas gift I won't share until the new year. So I'm onto gift two which is a happypotomous! It's been ages since I picked up a crochet hook and I'm loving it. 

You start with the back legs and bum and I didn't realise until I took this photo that my choice of colour wasn't ideal!! Anyway I did find it funny so hopefully the recipients mommy will too. 

I'm still reading Poisonwood Bible, and I really want to say I'm on the finish straight but as I only read 40 pages this week I might not be quite done next week. 

C xx

PS. I need an internet explorer upgrade as this version i'm using isn't supported by TypePad. So I can't add photos to blog posts on my laptop, hence trying to blog on my phone which isn't very easy. I'll just be posting on a Wednesday until this is sorted.