Snowflakes everywhere!

My house seems to be full of snowflake decorations this year.

There is my snowflake tree. I think it would take more snowflakes and I may have more by next year. 🙂

0213-snowflaketree

There are gel snowflakes on the glass of the patio door,

0213-gelsnowflakes

a chain of snowflakes across the fireplace,

0213-mantlepiece

my snowflake wreath that I made last year,

Snowflake wreath on door

a couple of snowflake decorations for the Christmas tree

0213-treesnowflakes

and (this that was a bit of an impulse buy)

LED colour changing snowflakes.

0213-sittingroom

The great thing about these is that by hanging them against this internal window I can also see some of them when I am in the kitchen.

0213-inkitchen(Yes ! that is me in my apron taking the photo.)

And I have even found some snowflake tinsel that I have threaded between the banisters.

0213-snowflaketinsel

I must admit that although a little sprinkling of the real thing would be lovely; these days I am less happy when I have days of slip-sliding on ice afterwards.

100 snowflakes

No I haven’t made 100 snowflakes but a few weeks ago I saw this book in a bookshop
0192-book

Now I’ve worked up a few snowflake patterns myself but there is no way I would have time to create 100 different ones.

The snowflakes in this book are all proper snowflakes with six sides and they are not excessively lacey like some I’ve seen which would make them too far from real snowflakes.

So of course I just had to buy the book.

Last Christmas I showed some of my snowflakes on my display tree.

0125-whitetree

But this year I wanted to make many, many snowflakes in crochet cotton. I had some variegated blue and white #10 crochet cotton so I decided to start with that.

So far I have made three from my patterns for ‘easy real snowflakes’

0192-mine

And four from the book

0192-frombook

I had intended originally to start at the beginning but I decided to take the cotton with me to make some while I was in Spain and photocopied a few pages.

0192-photocopies

But as I hadn’t wanted to press the book down too hard some patterns were easier to read than others, so I will have to start back at the beginning now I am home.

As they are made from cotton and some of the ones from the book are harder to shape than mine, I made a template to help me pin them out ready to spray with starch and iron.

0192-template

Annoyingly I couldn’t find my geometry set but I think this is good enough.

I think maybe I could have done better with the shaping but as I have noted before, real snowflakes are not perfectly symmetrical.

Unfortunately this is going to have to be a fill-in project to be done on the bus and in odd moments as I am trying to finish the border on my spectrum granny ripple blanket so I can use it.

0192-border

and have just started to join the CAL squares.

Sneak preview –

0192-preview

No! I am not blocking them. I will give it a careful iron when I have finished,

A Dozen Eggs!

Since Maryanne suggested that it would be a good idea to have some Easter related entries for the ‘Made It’ monthly challenge, I decided to try my hand at crochet eggs.

I have realised that it is being impatient and lazy that leads me to write my own patterns.

I start out due to this laziness and impatience looking for other people’s patterns because I think that is the quicker and easier option but then if I discover that the patterns are not all the same, so I don’t know which will be best or else I find them hard to understand, I decide that actually the quickest and easiest thing to do will be to get some yarn and a hook and work up my own.

And so it was with crochet eggs.

I know lots of people would have created a beautiful co-ordinating set but my collection, I am afraid, is more eclectic.

I gathered together

1.

The scraps of yarn left from my hexagon blanket. Blanket on bed

2.

Finished clothThe cotton yarn left from my ‘flower cloth’. I especially liked using these as they gave a smooth finish with a slight sheen.

3.

AnAll my coloursd the ends of balls I am using for the CAL. I found these colours seemed more suitable than the ones for the blanket.

First of all I made this one.

Not too big so I could finish it quickly.

0127-start

Then another couple with more of an effort to consider what the pattern was.

0127-multicolour

They were even smaller but I thought rather sweet.

Next I decided to try to incorporate the ‘Linen’ stitch that I used for my phone cover.

0127-linenstitch

The purple one came out a bit miss-shapen, so I added a little flower to detract from the shape.

I tried stripey ones in different sizes. By now I had a definite pattern that could be worked in three sizes (or more).

0127-stripey

I liked these as there was no need to keep joining in new yarn. It could just be alternated.

And of course I had to make some rainbow ones.

0127-rainboweggs

Only six! colours but then a rainbow is probably only said to have seven colours because people were obsessed with sevens at the time and thought of it as the ‘perfect’ number; although when mathematicians talk of ‘perfect’ numbers they mean something different.

So now I had

Five small ones,

0127-5small

Four medium ones

0127-4medium

and

Three egg sized ones.

0127-3eggsize

The first eggs I made and those using the linen stitch came out slightly different sizes but

The pattern is basically:

6dc (US sc) into a magic loop. [6dcs ]

Next row: 2dcs into each dc. [12dcs]

Continue increasing six times each row until you get to 18dcs (small), 24dcs (medium) or 30 (large=UK medium/large egg size with DK yarn and 3.5mm hook).

Then work 5 rows small, 6 rows medium or 7 rows large before decreasing. I hope you can see the pattern here if you want to make even bigger ones!

Decrease three times every row (eg. {7dc, 2dctog, 1dc} x3, for first decrease for large.) until only 6dc are left.

Start stuffing about halfway through the decreases. I found I normally pushed a last bit of stuffing through the final hole with the end of my crochet hook.

Draw remaining thread through stitches and fasten off.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

Whether you work in rounds or a spiral I found to be a mootish point as I couldn’t make the joins for the rows invisible, so I moved onto doing them in a spiral as they both gave a sense of discontinuity when working in more than one colour but the spiral was neater.

I did work in rounds for the linen stitch ones as there I could hide the join more successfully.

And here is my Easter Tree.

01217-easter-tree

I have added a few flowers and as Easter is the major Christian festival, the crosses but more of those next week.

Maybe in time (like next year) I may make more things to add.

Blue bed socks

Before we get on to the bed socks – here is what greeted me out of the bedroom window when I got up this morning. And although you can’t see it, the snow was still falling but very finely.

0125-snowagain

Definitely bed sock weather! But now for my tale.

Maybe as much as ten years ago, or even more,  a friend gave me a pair of bed socks. I have always suffered with cold feet, so have always needed bed socks for at least some nights in the winter and these replaced some my mother had knitted me years before that were past their best. But this winter when I went to look for them, all I could find was one sock.0125-bedsock

So I have been wearing this sock plus an old slipper sock with a hole in!

But a few weeks ago I suddenly had a bright idea and I looked to see if I could get some of the really short circular needles in a size suitable for DK yarn and was pleased to find that I could. So I bought some.

New balloon and basketWhen I devised the pattern for the Balloon mobile for one of my ‘Crafty Coffee’ friends, I had bought a ball of variegated blue yarn to make a sample balloon but that still left me with almost 100gm of DK yarn.

I realised that this ought to be enough to make a pair of bed socks.

At first I looked for bed sock patterns but the only one I found that I almost liked was one by Jennifer A. Meyers but in the end I used her basic texture pattern and suggestion for how many stitches were needed but otherwise used the basic toe-up sock pattern I had used before.

I had thought to try a toe-up pattern that didn’t need wraps but got in a muddle with it. Maybe another time?

This texture was very easy to knit as it was K2P2 for the first two rows and just Knit for the next two. It had the added advantage over just using stocking stitch that it made it easy to count the rows and thus make both socks the same.

I decided to put in a twisted cord to tie round the ankle and a picot edge and thus I made these:-

0125-bedsocks

I may end up shortening the cords but I decided that it was better to start with them longer rather than shorter.

Now I had thought that these might have made a second entry for the ‘Monthly Challenge’ but Maryanne expressed a desire for some ‘Easter’ entries, so I am going to see if I can make some crochet Easter Eggs and with an eye to displaying them I decided to buy a ‘tree’ from John Lewis.

I would have preferred to use a real branch but since I had not had much luck in finding anything useful at Christmas time to use with my snowflakes, I decided that if I didn’t buy something I might wait for ever. So here it is with some snowflakes for now.

0125-whitetree