Lovely new yarn!

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Over a year ago I saw some yarn like this in a shop in Blackfield and thought it might make an attractive scarf.

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The following winter I discovered that a friend had a scarf that was not rib but looked like the knit side of stocking stitch on both sides and I decided I would like to make such a scarf.

She couldn’t remember how she made it as she made it years ago and she is not really a knitter.

So I put on my thinking cap and came up with this.

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The marble yarn at the top is chunky and the recommended needle size is 6mm but I am not sure if to use 6mm needles or something larger to make it looser.

What do you think?

You get a lovely thick fabric knitting like this and it doesn’t curl, 🙂 so would actually also be a good choice for a DK weight scarf .

When I made my rainbow scarf

Rainbow scarf and beret

I chose to alternate the sides for the stocking stitch so it made it bunch a bit and so a bit thicker as DK yarn seems a bit thin for a warm scarf.

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Now Blackfield is a long way away and the shop is apparently under new management so I bought the marble yarn in a local shop last week.

When I went to the shop to buy it I got two balls because although one ball is probably enough for a scarf – I thought “scarf – hat- mittens?”

Now I seem to have made a few hat and scarf combinations in recent years – but you can’t have too many can you?

And some are better for Spring/ Autumn and some for Winter.

In this case I am thinking of winter and I want it to be a warm hat because my super chunky hat

Hat

actually is not as warm as my shop bought hat that it was based on

My hat

I think this is because the shop hat has a lining.

So I was thinking that a nice stylish hat (not a simple ‘bobble hat’) was what I wanted. And one which I could line with a piece of satin to keep the draughts out as the black hat is getting a little old now.

So can anyone suggest a good pattern that I might use?

I would be very grateful.

Just a bit of fun!

Well here is my finished Buff®.

It is maybe just a little short of the standard 18″ but not by much and the knitting is fairly stretchy of course anyway.
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The whole point of the thing is that you can wear it in a whole variety of ways.

Now the ones you can buy are made of a lightweight fabric that makes it more versatile but not as cosy if you are using it as a hat or scarf.

Because this is knitted I think I would have difficulty using it as a hairband, wristlet or scrunchy but you can just about wear it as a decorative neckerchief.

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Sorry! this means lots not especially good pictures of me. I took them with my phone as that seemed the easiest way as the phone lets you take self-portraits.

However more usefully it is good as a cosy scarf

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and you could even wear it as a mask for the odd robbery! or to shield you from traffic fumes.

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You can also use it as a balaclava
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This is similar to my original scarf/hat tube thingy which gave me the idea of making the buff in the first place as it is the same basic knitting pattern.

And with a twist in the middle it is a cosy woollen cap.

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If you prefer you could choose the pirate style cap.

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or with a flap down the back

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As you can see these last two were the hardest to photograph.

And though I can’t quite see the point of wearing it like this, you could wear it ‘sweatband’ style.

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My jumper, by the way, is purple not blue.

I do actually think that it will be handy as a scarf when you want something round your neck but without the ends and to wear as a balaclava or cap.

What do you think?

Slipper-socks and a forgotten project.

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I’ve finished the slippers I was making. Yay!

Adding the beads was easy-peasy and I am looking for more projects which use beads.

Adding the Sock-Stop to the soles however was much more tricky.

Being a cautious sort of person I decided to do a trial run.

Do you remember this?

Sock

My trial run at sock making.

Well I kept it as a sample and decided it would be just what I needed to see how easy (or difficult – knowing me) the Sock-Stop would be to apply.

I found an old shop-bought slipper sock for a comparison and had a go. Two or three coats was what they said. So I did two.

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The finish wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked but I thought it wasn’t bad for clumsy, messy me.

Although this trial run seemed very sensible it was a mistake.

Because when I came to apply the stuff to my new slippers I found that the liquid had become a bit granular and was much harder to get out of the tube.

I struggled on and produced this.

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It wasn’t as neat as I would have liked but I moved on to the second one.

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You may notice they are not identical patterns. By now I was just glad to get the dots on at all.

The following day I returned to the fray and added a second coat.

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I thought of flattening them with a knife but decided that didn’t work too well as the dots were of such mixed consistency.

However the next day They were ready to wear and here they are on my feet.

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I am hoping that the dots don’t come off because they are rather bobbly.

If they do I was wondering about using silicone sealer. I am a bit fingers and thumbs using that as well but at least it doesn’t seem to dry in the tube once it’s been opened.

And just to finish off.

Do you remember this?

Buff

I told you that it was my aim to knit this tube long enough to make a Buff®.

Well I have to confess that I have done very little since then but having finished the slippers and wanting to give my sore joint a little longer before I went back to crochet, I decided to pick it up again and now I have got this far.

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After the slippers which were such fun to make, I have found it a little boring going on and on with just the two alternating stitches but I am determined to finish it and it is relaxing. I don’t know if there is enough yarn left to make it a full eighteen inches but when the yarn runs out I will see how it goes.

Extra eggy ideas

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Originally I had thought that I wouldn’t be making any more eggs this year but then I got all sorts of ideas for new types of eggs and had to try them out. A bit of an obsession perhaps, like the snowflakes. 🙂

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I have added the final version of my ‘Basic Crochet egg pattern’ in the ‘My Patterns’ section of the Top Menu.

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For a more interesting texture you could use htrs (US hdcs) for the egg after the initial six dcs (US scs). This does however mean that you can see the stuffing if you look closely. I rather like the way the surface is made up of lots of little inverted triangles.

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Stopping at 18 stitches for a round will give a medium size egg.

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If you have variegated yarn left over from making some bed socks perhaps 🙂 0125-bedsocks you could make a naturally patterned egg. I found that my variegated yarn seemed a little thicker than some and the egg, although a 24 stitch -medium egg, was actually closer in size to the large ones.

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Crochet Christmas cards
Then again if you have some gold thread left over from making stars for Christmas cards you might have enough to make a golden egg. It was a very close run thing though. I was afraid I would run out before the end.

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Here a 30 stitch egg is still only small.

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And you could use the silver thread left from making the silver stars for the same cards, together with some deep blue cotton DK yarn and make a sparkly midnight sky egg. 18 stitches and a 4.5mm hook gave me a medium egg.

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You can even use #10 crochet cotton for a little dainty looking egg. I used 36 stitches here increasing the number of middle rows accordingly.

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Or #20 for a rainbow coloured egg. I decided to increase to 42 stitches this time and the egg came out a similar size to the creamy one.

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This last egg also made me decide that although the original pattern works well enough with acrylic yarn, that is very forgiving, that it would probaly give a better egg shape if at the end one went straight from 12 sts to the last 6 by doing 2dctog for the last row.

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And using DK yarn of any sort, the right size hook, the right number of stitches and rows, if you stop just over half-way through making the egg and then make the bottom half of the egg by increasing three times a row instead of decreasing and then the right number of straight rows you can make a little case to hold a creme egg or other goodies.

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There’s still time to make a few before Easter! 🙂

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I also made one of Janette’s rabbits in #20 cotton, as that is the only one I have in multiple colours, to add to my Easter Tree.

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And here is a picture of the Easter tree with the extra eggs, the crosses I didn’t use for Easter cards and the rabbit.

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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.

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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:-

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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.

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Mobile pattern challenge

This post is not about a moving pattern or a pattern related to a mobile phone but a pattern for one of those decorative objects that people hang over baby’s cots and in other places.

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This will enlarge so you can have a closer look

It all started when a crafting group friend showed me the piece of paper you can see to your left and said something along the lines of  “You’re good at crochet! I’d like you to make me a pattern.”

(She had inherited the page shown from her mother and it had obviously been saved for the instructions on the reverse showing how to make various crochet stitches.)

Well, I must admit that my first reaction was to be a bit taken aback, but I always like a challenge so I said that I would see what I could do.

I went home, got out my magnifying glass and some scrap variegated yarn that was maybe four-ply and tried out a few ideas.

As you can see if you look closely there are instructions for the yarn to use, the hook size, the tension and the first two rows for the balloon. (All in US terms.)

I ignored the bit about the tension and just got going on the balloon.

I realised after a bit that the main body of the balloon was hdc (UK – htr) and after that it was fairly plain sailing. 😉

This was my first attempt at the balloon and basket.

First attempt at balloon

I decided that the bottom of the balloon was too narrow and re-wrote the pattern.

I couldn’t decide what size the balloons were in the picture and of course with a thing like this, size is a relative matter.  Interestingly, though, when I came to consider the tension given in the original sheet I realised that it was actually about the same as that I obtain when making the squares for the CAL with DK yarn and a 4mm hook (US – Worsted weight, 6 hook (or betwen F & G according to my conversion chart)).

So I made another balloon and basket with DK yarn and a 4mm hook and got this:-

New balloon and basket

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Up to now I had kept strictly to what I could see in the picture without any personal considerations.

However when it came to the clouds, not only could I not see clearly enough to copy them but I didn’t actually like them and thought I could do better.

I showed my friend my first attempt without any stuffing and she thought that it was a little on the large side so I made a smaller version by replacing the htr (US hdc) with dcs (US scs) and stuffed it.

Here is the smaller version with the balloon. I think it is smaller than the clouds in the picture but that it looks quite cute.

Cloud and balloon

I rather enjoyed making the cloud and was pleased with how it turned out. I think that I am developing an intuitive feel for how to shape an item, which will be useful if I ever get round to making some amigurumi type figures.

Here is a comparison between the cloud made with dcs (US scs) and htrs (US hdcs).

Two clouds and balloon

I think that the hardest part to work out was the blue circle at the top. I am not sure if what I have put in the pattern is the correct way to do it.

I am going to include the pattern in the ‘MY PATTERNS’ section of the menu at the top just in case anyone fancies giving it a try.

Yay! I’ve finished a sock for me!

Here is the first of the socks I am making for myself. I could maybe have cast off even more loosely but it fits and is so lovely and soft. And of course I also love the muted rainbow colours.

I can wear it straight or turned over

I have started on the second one and with luck it might be finished by the end of the month if I don’t get distracted.

And here is an update on my flower cloth.

I have done a bit more of it and now it looks like this.

Not halfway yet but it contains every sort of flower except the twelve petalled darker pink ones.

And as a future endeavour

I am joining Rachell’s CAL  and have ordered the book. The picture of the book is showing in the ‘Posts I Like’ on the right.

Catching up – Knitting a scarf/hat tube thingy

The new and the old

About twenty years ago I bought a very useful bit of headgear. It was a knitted tube with a rolled end that acted as both scarf and hat and was especially useful in the rain, I felt, as there was less to get wet than with an ordinary hat and scarf.

But twenty years is a long time and things wear out. So regretfully, a little while ago, I decided that it would have to be retired.

They no longer seemed to make them for sale – but it was knitted! So I could make a new one, couldn’t I?

The stitch was very interesting looking a bit like rib on the one side but a strange sort of mesh on the other.

Never one to refuse a challenge, I set out to solve the puzzle.

Luckily, I suppose, I had met a new type of stitch in a pattern for bootees that I had adapted to use in a jumper for my grandson and I realised that this might hold the clue to the puzzle.

The stitch involved knitting into the stitch on the row below.

Knitting into the stitch below

(The above picture comes from another similar project I have on the go.)

By a little trial and error, I discovered that I could indeed reproduce the same effect if I knitted into the stitch on the row below every other stitch on one row and then purled into the stitch below every other stitch on the next row.

Purling into the stitch below is not as easy as knitting into it but then I thought of using circular needles.  I had never used circular needles before but this seemed to have a  double benefit in this case. No seam (the original had been seamless) and all knit stitches to get the same effect.

I normally knit with one needle under my arm; so I wasn’t sure how I would get on. However I bought some 4.5mm (UK 7) 40 cm Pony circular needles and found that everything went very smoothly.

I bought some variegated Paton’s yarn similar to that I used for my spiral scarf and beret but this time in much brighter colours – predominately  red with orange, yellow, blue and purple.

What I have never understood to this day is why the original appears to be made with an even number of stitches but I had to use an odd number to get the pattern to work out right.

It’s a very easy pattern.

You will need more than 100g of acrylic DK yarn. I bought two and so had enough for some gloves as well.

Cast on 61 stitches (or slightly more or less depending on how big you want it) on 4.5mm (UK 7) circular needles.

Make sure there is no twist then start to knit into the first cast on stitch.  (I sometimes do what I have heard suggested which is to cast on an extra stitch and then knit that together with the first one to give a firm join.)

Knit round to the start for the first row.

From now on Repeat (knit1, knit into stitch on row below) until tube is about 30ins (75cm) long.

With the rib looking side on the inside, roll up the last 10in (25cm) outwards to make a soft roll to frame the face and catch into place where the roll joins the tube with shirring elastic. Stitch nice and loosely so it doesn’t interfere with the tube stretching.

Elastic joining roll to tube

And there you have it.

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I also knitted myself a pair of fingerless gloves come mittens to wear for shopping when the weather was wet and cold.

Catching up – Spiral scarf (and beret to match)

A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted a spiral scarf but I couldn’t see what I wanted in the shops, so I decided to knit one,

I found a pattern on the internet here but I decided that I wanted my scarf to be more ‘interesting’ and reversible.

I therefore adapted the pattern: used garter stitch rather than stocking stitch and introduced a pattern of holes.

I bought some Paton’s variegated yarn to add even more interest.

I was in the hardware store and when I saw the yarn I knew I had to buy some, as it was so much ‘my’ colours. (I don’t tend to wear green or yellow very much) and I thought a scarf made from it would go very well with my three new jumpers.  See below: (colour on a computer screen is a funny thing. The pale jumper is actually a rather nice turquoise.)

The pattern is really straightforward as it is only 18 rows knitted over and over again.

The rows get shorter as you go through the eighteen and there is only one row that might be a bit tricky.

About eight repeats make a full circle

The Beret

A friend had a pattern for a beret in an old book and I copied down the number of stitches and increases and decreases then set out to adapt it to match the scarf.

I have been very happy with my scarf and wear it indoors in the winter for extra warmth and outside with the beret in the Spring.