Tuesday, 9 July 2013

On boy sandals.*e*

A few weeks ago, the following pattern was brought to my attention bow sandals opens in new window.
I made a sandal fairly easily, but haven't quite found the inspiration to make it's "twin" yet.

Most of my friends and relatives that have a baby have boys though, so bows, whilst very pretty, aren't very suitable.

Nothing in my usual pattern haunts (that is, FREE patterns) screamed "I'm for a boy, hook me McHooker!" though.

I really liked the pattern above, so out came my thinking cap.
A few (simple) modifications later and i came up with this:

My modification is as follows:
Instead of the bow:

Row 1: ch 13, sc in 2nd chain from hook and in the remaining 11 loops (12 sc)
Row 2: turn, ch 1, sc in each stitch across (12 sc)
Row 3: turn, ch 1, sc in each stitch across (12 sc)
The ch 1 does not count as a sc, it is a turning chain only.

I'm working on a bigger version of this pattern (3 - 6 months and 6 - 12 months) but to use it you will need to have a copy of  The Lovely Crow's goshalosh booties because that is the sole I am using and I can't reproduce a paid pattern, even in part, because (I personally) find it morally incorrect (and I;m not quite clever enough to make my own sole ;o) lol)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Yarn, yarn, yarn.

I have an addiction.

To yarn.

In the grand scheme of things it's not a bad addiction to have.
It doesn't give me the jitters like my caffiene addiction.

It's not drugs, alcohol or tobacco, so it's not damaging to my health.

It does, however, damage my bank account.

Quite seriously sometimes.

I recently joined a group on facebook called "The Crochet Crowd".
It's a much larger group than the one created by my crochet mentor (Teresa) who I adore endlessly. She makes me "get it" every time. There's no rewinding her video or tossing my hook down because "I can't do it!". she speaks the same crochet language as me.
I digress (as usual!)

The bigger group is both good and bad.
It's bad because it's harder for my socially inept self to "get to know people".
But it's good because there is so much more information in there.

.... not to mention links.

Like to yarnparadise.com.

I love the colours of Ice yarns.
But I don't like paying £5 a ball for some DK or aran when it's "only" an acrylic or cheap wool.
So I bought it sparingly and used it with plain colours from good old Sirdar/Hayfield to make it last.

Then somebody posted the link to yarn paradise.


The colours!The choice!
The low price!

Even with direct shipping from TURKEY it works out at 1/4 of the price from ebay.
Including p+p I was paying £2 more than 1 ball on ebay but getting 4 full balls.

It's my birthday this week, tomorrow to be exact, so I let my mouse click.
£30 some pounds and 24 hours later I had 20 balls of yarn.

The bright rainbow "baby yarn" is currently on my hook making a 10 point ripple star blanket.

I didn't like the patters I found for this project.
The first attempt made a ruched up star (not what I was after at all!) so I followed instructions for "steam blocking acrylic", but another 4 rounds after the steam blocking occurred and I really wasn't happy. Maybe I over steamed it, I don't know.
So I frogged it back to the steamed part and tried something "new".

I made a circle starting with 10 dc and increasing like I would for a hat until I had 60 DC.
Then I made the ripples like I would my starghans (sc, sk2, *3dc ch2 3dc in one sp, sk 2, sc* repeat from * to *) and it seems to be working a whole lot better.

Of course, I've been using this yarn for 2 days solid now, so I'm getting a little bored.

I might break it up and try to make a white ami bunny I can pass off as Max (from Max and Ruby) for Princess Eeek.
Or maybe I should finish some unfubs.
Or tidy my house.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Making hearts into solid squares.

I'm making squares for a blanket I hope to auction and raise money for Epilepsy Research UK.
When the following link ( http://www.molliemakes.com/projects/how-to-make-a-crochet-heart-granny-square/ opens in a new window) appeared in my facebook news feed this morning I got a little excited, imagining it in purples.
I'm not a big fan of the traditional granny square, preferring solid granny squares, so I adapted it a little and came up with the following square

Not a BAD effort, but I didn't like the way the original heart was a little distorted.
So I went to work creating my own version.

Normally I'd use back loops only (blo) on the heart, but I was using a REALLY soft yarn, so the loops were pulling quite badly if I added the 3+ stitches in only the BL (see picture of my initial effort).

Just for fun I thought I'd share my own version of a granny heart square.

All instructions are in US terms and the beginning chains count as a DC.

The pattern assumes you already have the heart made from this pattern here: http://howtocrochetaheart.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/how-to-crochet-heart-in-one-round.html

1. Attach to top left hand side of heart.

This should be in the stitch just after the ch3 from the original heart.

2. ch3 2DC in same sp, ch2
3. sk 3 st, dc x 2 ch2 dc x3 in same st
4. ch 1, sc in tr at heart point, ch 1

Your heart should look like the above photo at this point.

5. sk 2 st, 3 dc ch2 3 dc in next st
6. sk 3 st, 3 dc ch 2 3 dc in top right hand side of the heart (stitch next to ch3 from original heart)
7. ch 1 then tr into centre of heart, ch 1
8. 3dc into beg st, ch2 sl st to top of ch3 secure yarn and end colour

My heart square looked like this at the end of stage 1.

1. Attach new colour to any corner, ch 3, dc in same sp, dc in next 3 st, dc in ch1 sp, dc in tr, dc in ch1 sp, dc in next 3 st,
2. 2dc, ch 2, 2dc in ch2 sp (corner made)
3. dc in next 3 st, 3dc in ch2 sp, dc in next 3st
4. 2 dc, ch 2, 2dc in ch2 sp (corner made)
5. dc in next 3 st, dc in ch1 sp, dc in sc, dc in ch1 sp, dc in next 3 st
6. 2 dc, ch2, 2 dc in ch2 sp (corner made)
7. dc in next 3 st, 3 dc in ch2 sp, 3 dc in next 3 st,
8. 2 dc in ch2 sp, ch 2, attach to top of ch3, tie off (corner made)

At the end of stage 2 my heart square looked like above.

From this point, to make the square larger, just continue as you would for a normal solid Granny Square -DC in each stitch across with 2dc, ch2, 2dc in each corner.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Boundary pushing to please customers :o)

The handmade items market is so competitive.
Since I started designing my own hats etc, I've taken to googling "crocheted *insert item* here before I start work.
Not so I can make something that looks like the other things, it's so I can make something just a little bit different - this can have disasterous consequences, and in those cases it's back to the drawing the board.

But sometimes it works, and when it works and people say "Wow! That's different in a good way!" I know my job is done.

One of my fabulous repeat customers indicated she would like to order a Peppa pig hat soon.
My recent blanket marathon gave me a pretty sore arm yesterday, so I decided to give the blanket Marathon a break and see what kind of Peppa hat I could come up with.
Google provided several images of crocheted Peppa hats, which were simply awesome.
But I didn't want to copy someone elses awesomeness, I wanted something that could bare the name QUIRKY CROCHET.

 At this point I was questioning my abilities on making the hat 3D...

 I chose to make a first size hat, purely because if it flunked I didn't want to have to rip back a toddler hat sized amount of yarn.

Some cheeks and a mouth being added made me feel a little better about my mad skills with a hook.

.... and ears convinced me I may well have cracked my mission on the first attempt.


My toddler, Miss Buzz, is quite insistant the hat is George, not Peppa.
She also likes squeezing the snout whilst snorting Peppa Pig style.

So far it seems to be a hit on HMBAQC

The next time I make this hat it will be in aran (worsted weight) yarn in a pink a little closer to the colour of the original oinking one :o)

Thursday, 7 February 2013

A million years ago (okay 2 years ago) when I first picked up a crochet hook, never did I envisage being good enough to sell my "wares".
But repeat customers are usually a pretty good indication you're doing something right (or have very loyal friends haha!)

I would never have guessed that my biggest seller would be star shaped blankets. I've made around 30 starghans since i made my first one last year.

I'm currently working on a predominantly pink one for my cousin. In the end it will have a rather awesome Doc McStuffins applique in the centre.

Here's a sneaky peek until I finish it :o)

Sirdar Supersoft aran is really versatile, I find I use it in many of my HMBAQC projects <3