Quick Catch Up

demelza in duck egg blue

Here are a few of the crochet gifts I have recently made. Above is the Demelza blanket which I have made for a friend using Stylecraft Special DK in mostly duck egg blue, with some teal, petrol, storm, sage and parchment to compliment. This will be a surprise – I hope she likes it!

I’ve been busy making Christmas socks. Below are pictured just a couple of pairs and some fingerless mitts.  Most of the socks I have made are already wrapped. The light isn’t great for photos at this time of year. The reddish socks are made with Drops Fabel and the yellowy ones are West Yorkshire Spinners. The fingerless gloves are made with left overs from the new Fairy Lights sock yarn.

christmas socks and gloves

alpaca hats

These mum and daughter hats are made from some Alpaca yarn I had. I intended it to be for a scarf knitted in the round for one daughter but it was too itchy around her neck – luckily she tried it before it was finished! So I frogged the yarn and then crocheted these hats instead, they should be super warm.

Lastly I have made a baby blanket using the Patchwork Heart’s gingham JAYG method – thanks Heather! I love the simple gingham effect using graphite, silver and white, again from Stylecraft Special DK.

gingham baby blanket


Bit of a catch up

I’ve been doing a lot more crocheting and knitting than blogging! Here a few photos of finished makes to catch up.

Here’s a lacy cardigan I knitted for my grandaughter Rose in antique white cotton. It was a hit so I’m currently making one the next size up and also a tiny baby one for the new grandaughter arriving in December.roses-lacy-cardi.jpg

A new pencil case which was a quick weekend make as I needed it for my new job at the college. This was from Nicki Trench’s book Crocheted Cosies

pencil case

There have been a few blankets off my hook too:

Frida’s Flowers by Jane Crowfoot

Frida's flowers

I love the 3D effect of the flowers. Not my usual colour palette but the design is from Mexican inspiration.

I needed an uplifting easy C2C make whilst I was in hospital so this little baby blanket flew off my hook. The repeating pattern is beautifully meditative.

Red baby blanket (2)

There’s the Meadow Blanket which was a Drops CAL. A delight to make in cotton.


Lastly, my current make is another Last Dance on the Beach in the Dancing in the Rain colour palette. I had already made one which Alex adopted and then Jude wanted a bigger version for her new house. Jude’s is slightly different colour scheme with parchment for the border. I’ll add a photo when it is finished.



December 1st – Mary


“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the virgin, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14


Mary is the first figure to be taken out of the pocket for Day 1 of our Advent Calendar. All the figures stand about 4-5 inches high and are perfect for little fingers to play with.

For Mary, and actually the majority of the figures, I used this pattern by Carolyn Christmas from Ravelry:


Her photography skills are certainly better than mine! It is a paid for pattern but definitely worth it. The instructions are easy to follow; she suggests using a bottle lid in the base to help the figures to stand and I found this worked well. For my Mary I used traditional blue and white. I used Stylecraft Special DK for all the figures, with some other odds and ends from my stash when the colours needed it. She suggested 4mm eyes which I found on Ebay by celloexpress.ni.

Here’s a couple of photos of my grandson with the Advent Calendar, (it’s huge) so excited!

I hope you enjoy this new series through Advent. I will try to post daily, but just in case life takes over, pop over to my DressedInCrochet Facebook page where I hope to have at least a picture of the figure for each day, if not a blog post.

Thanks for stopping by.

Crocheted Nativity Advent Calendar


I decided to make a crocheted nativity set for my grandchildren: Benedict (3) and Rose (1). I had been collecting possible patterns for a while and knew that this year they will enjoy telling the Christmas Story through their own play. Then, looking at Advent Calendars and not seeing eating chocolate every day as a meaningful preparation for Christ’s birth, I realised I could combine the two. So I set about planning my 25 figures – yes 25 because you have to put Baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Day and not before! 25 figures…. 3 wise men, 3 camels, 3 gifts, that’s 9 already. We could have a few shepherds and a whole flock of sheep, it could be possible! I could just picture Benedict and Rose getting a new figure every day and telling the next part of the story. So we would need to start with Mary, Joseph and a donkey, then an innkeeper and so the nativity would develop.

But how on earth to store these figures? They are amigurumi, about 4 inches tall, but quite chubby. A pocket storage organiser to hang on the back of a door should do it. But by this time I was rather busy trying to get all 25 figures crocheted before December 1st so I asked my mum “Ganna” to join in and make this a project for 4 generations. With a little trip to Hobbycraft, a lot of scissors and glue, and getting the trusty sewing machine out again, she came up with this:


Thanks Mum! The pockets are the perfect size, even for the camels. The pockets are felt squares, the backing is hessian and there is a doweling running through the top for it to hang from.

So we are nearly ready for Advent; waiting for the Lord. I just have 5 more figures to make this weekend and it will be ready.

I hope to post on the blog each day with a photo of the figure, the link to the pattern and I’m hoping Tess will add some photos of the children playing with them onto my DressedInCrochet Facebook page.

Socks and Hexipuffs


I’ve been bitten by the sock-a-long bug. Crochet is my thing; I used to knit years ago but now with M.E. it’s crochet for me. I think it must be the weight of the work hanging off the needles with knitting is too much for the weakly muscles in my arms.

So there I was browsing blogland and Lucy from Attic24 had just finished her first pair of knitted socks. The pattern was from Winwick Mum and it’s a great photo tutorial. So I bought the tiny circulars and I had some sock yarn in my stash I had been given years ago, and I was off. The beauty of sock knitting is that these tiny circular needles fit into your bag so whenever you have itchy fingers you can do a few rows. I love that pattern too: you get rows and rows of knitting without thinking in the round, then just when you were about to get bored of that you have a heel flap and a turn to keep it interesting, then more easy rows and meditative stitching, followed by the decreasing for toes. A perfect pattern to meet all moods.

WP_20160117_001 2

I must talk to you about Kitchener Stitch; grafting the end of your toes so it just looks like a row of knitting – so cool. I had never done this before, the instructions were good, but you had to concentrate: front or back, purl or knit, leave it on, slip it off. My brain just couldn’t hold all that, and if you were interrupted…disaster! But then on the winwick mum sock-a-long page of Facebook someone recommended  brilliant tutorial which explained the sequence in such an easy way. Now I love the Kitchener stitch; it’s so straightforward when you know!


So now I’m on my 6th pair of socks, having made a lovely pair in Alpaca yarn for myself. I find wool too itchy to wear so again, someone on the forum came to the rescue with the suggestion of Alpaca, and I’m so thrilled with them.


But each pair of socks mean you have a small ball of sock yarn leftover afterwards. I tried knitting wristwarmers on 4 dpns but a girl needs more socks then wristwarmers. Then I discovered Hexipuffs from Tiny Owl Knits. Here was a brilliant way to use up the leftover sock yarn: cute little hexagons made on 2 dpns, stuffed and finished off with my new friend the Kitchener stitch. They are very pleasing. Joined together they make the Beekeepers Quilt.

beekeepers quilt

Isn’t it beautiful. You can find the Hexipuffs and the Beekeepers Quilt as a paid pattern on Ravelry

I always feel a little sad when giving away things I have made; it’s like saying goodbye to a friend. Usually photos and my blog remind me of past makes but now, with the beekeepers quilt, I will have little hexipuffs to remind me of the lovely people I gave the socks to, and the pleasure I had in making them.

Finishing WIPs

I’m been finishing off a lot of WIPs (Work In Progress) and its such a lovely feeling 🙂 Most of them are baby related, some for my new granddaughter Rose and some for a new baby soon to be born to Jess at work.

Here we go with the photos:

WP_20151007_001 1This is a knitted babygrow; I do prefer the look of knitting to crochet for clothes, but am more prolific at crocheting, hence why I make so many blankets. The babygrow is from a Deramores pattern, I love the colours here: Stylecraft Shrimp and Saffron, and the contrasting colour changes hopefully make it a little more unique.

I also made an aran all-in-one for wearing outside with little wooden toggles, again this is knitted:

WP_20151124_001 and here’s a close-up of the cable:


I’m going to have to get some photos of Rose wearing it, hopefully those photos will look better! Rose grew out of the shrimp and saffron one before I had finished it, so I have made his one extra long to fit. She’s going to be a tall girl!

Another knitted one: a tiny pink cardi with rosebuds and a little pearl button from the Sublime pattern book:


A crocheted blanket for Jess’ baby using the Cedar River pattern from Deramores. It’s my first C2C blanket and a joy to make:



I have also been making some Christmas baubles inspired by Heather at the Patchwork Heart:


This is one of Heather’s photos, doesn’t she do beautiful staging. I’ve traded some crocheted baubles for some good photos of my own so I’m hoping they’ll make an appearance on my Etsy shop soon.

Continuing the Christmas theme, I have crocheted a gorgeous little stocking ready for Rose’ first Christmas, see the little red rose on the cuff so Santa knows whose presents to put in?


Well blogging is an exhausting business, as is taking photos! So I shall get back to my restful hooking and continue with the Christmas bauble production line. And good news on the M.E. front: I have been given the go-ahead for a new wheelchair with a tilt-in-space mechanism. For those not au fait with wheelchairs and their tricks, it will hopefully mean that I can rest from my wheelchair, spend less time lying flat in bed and hopefully be sociable for longer before crashing. Happy days 🙂


Painted Roses Blanket

Painted Roses Blanket

Painted Roses balnket

I’ve just finished the Painted Roses Blanket. It’s for my friend Em’s baby Lucy’s cot as a homewarming present. I hope they both like it! The pattern is from Cherry Heart This is her second pattern I have used and it’s beautifully clear and easy to follow. I copied her colours as I’ve discovered they can make or break a project and often what I picture in my head doesn’t work out in reality! I like Stylecraft Special DK for it’s price and softness so most of the colours are from there. However their duck egg blue isn’t released until October and I just couldn’t wait so I went ahead with Hayfield’s instead. Not as soft, but a good colour.

Painted Roses Blanket closeup

I’ve finished quite a few blankets lately:

  • The Lilypond which is for sale in my Etsy shop


  • An Aran Hearts Throw for my friend Nicole’s wedding present
Nicole's wedding blanket
  • A Sophie’s Universe done in one colour, just cream

Cream Sophie

although that photo is not so good and I don’t have the energy to do another for now:( but maybe it gives you an idea of the intricacies of the stitches

  • and I’m currently working on a large Sophie using the colour pack suggested by Dedri

sophie's universe started

As you can see it’s my usual story of enough energy to crochet, but too little for great photos and wordy blogging! 🙂

Rainbow Granny, Lilypond and Sophie’s Universe

blanket on daybedI have been making this Rainbow Granny as a quick, easy make to cover a new day-bed we have. I made it following inspiration from the Patchwork Heart, I love her colour combinations – or “colour recipes” as she calls them. I have used Stylecraft Special DK with parchment on alternate rows. The rainbow rows are: copper, spice, gold, lime, meadow, khaki, petrol, teal, violet, grape, plum, burgundy, and claret. I prefer a denser granny square so I didn’t do any chains between the treble groups, and only one chain at the corners. I went round in a square until I had the correct width and then just continued in the colour sequence until I had the length I needed. It’s been a great blanket to make, so easy so I can watch a film at the same time or if I’m having a bad M.E. day and need something brainless.

folded blanket on seat

For those days when I need more of a challenge, I have started a Sophie’s Universe. There are gorgeous pictures of these creations all over blogland and Facebook.


I’m a bit late to the party and have decided to make my first Sophie in Cream, then when I’m familiar with the pattern I will choose my colour combination. You see, I’m accepting there will be more than one Sophie – they are so addictive! Actually I love the effect of Sophie in a neutral colour; she is so intricate that she doesn’t need colour and in many ways I think colour would detract from her detail. It’s the best pattern I’ve ever used, and I have been crocheting for yeeears! Dedri, from LookWhatIMade must have spent hours writing up the detailed instructions. I love it that she tells you exactly where you should find yourself after each little group of instructions. Perfect. And if it doesn’t seem to make sense, there’s a video at Its All In A Nutshell demonstrating the whole blanket. I’m totally submerged in Sophie’s Universe; I truly love it!

Lilypond CAL 2

The third blanket I have on the go at the moment is the Lilypond CAL (Crochet-A-Long) by Janie Crow and Stylecraft. I love the colours in this and I’m currently waiting for week 7 to come out next Tuesday. It’s a mix between flower squares and ripple and wave blocks, so great for keeping you interested. I haven’t decided what to do with mine when I have finished, I think I may hang it as a wall-hanging, but the question is where?!

Trio of Baby Rainbow Blankets

Trio of baby rainbow blankets

I’ve been making blankets, blankets and more blankets recently. The baby rainbow squares was my first, an idea which I found at the Patchwork Heart (she’s sooo good with colours). Then I wondered how it would look as spots, so just did the usual increases each round to get it to the desired size then turned my spots into squares with cream. The ripple, well I just love rippling, and rippling a rainbow was a a perfect excuse to do another.

Thankfully there are many babies due soon, so my crochet all has homes to go to.

The need to ripple continues – it is so addictive.

pink and blue ripples

The pink ripple I did a while ago (see earlier post), but people keep borrowing it so I’m making it’s brother in blue. It took a while to get the colour choices right, first I made it with Midnight, Teal and Aspen as above, but then I wasn’t sure so did a few rows using Sherbet instead of the Aspen. A nicer colour on its own I think, but the combination felt more cohesive with the Aspen, so I frogged all the Sherbet back and started again! I never mind frogging, many people seem horrified as I pull row after row of work out, but for me its more important to get it right, yarn is expensive and anyway, it’s the journey of crocheting I love, not just the destination.

Humpty Dumpty Blanket

humpty croppedI’m currently on a run of making blankets. So this post will be the first of a few on the blankets I’ve been making. I made this blanket for my little nephew Harry whose favourite toy is Humpty Dumpty. His mum sent me a photo of Humpty:

Harry's Humpty DumptyMy husband put it into Photoshop and put a 200 square grid over it as 200 stitches sounded about right. Then I had the chart to work from with one square per stitch. It didn’t work perfectly and needed a little artistic licence to make it work on the blanket, but I don’t mind unpicking because it’s the journey that counts – right?!

To make it more fun I appliqued the eyes, a sun and added a big bow tie on the top. Surface crochet for the eyebrows and mouth, (I can see I need a bit more practice at that – maybe one of those pens which disappear would have helped) and finally a big squidgy pom pom for his nose! Such fun to do and added pzazz!

humpty's faceI’m pleased to say the Humpty Blanket was a hit with Harry and is now snuggled on the sofa and draped to make dens 🙂

Hot and Sticky

cotton bedspread

I must say it’s lovely to have a sunshiney summer; over the last few years it has felt as if you blinked you missed any sunny days. The sun doesn’t suit me due to my M.E. however; I do enjoy the brightness of sunny days but I tend to shelter away in the shade so I don’t overheat and wilt. Crocheting woolly yarn in this weather is not good. The yarn sticks instead of sliding over the hook, and having a chunky blanket on your lap as you work on it is not appealing! But that doesn’t mean a break from crochet – oh no, I’m too hooked for that! I have found the perfect solution in making the cotton bedspread pictured above. It’s made on fine number 10 crochet thread and a 1.5 mm hook. Because it’s so fine it takes ages to make any progress, but that’s ok as I’m in no rush and the bank manager is relieved as I’m not buying so much yarn. It is made up of panels to join together to make the bedspread. What you can see above is 2 panels width wise which I make in one, and I will keep going until I’ve done the whole length required for the bed. One of the things I love about crochet is once you have mastered a few basic stitches you can make so many different designs – your imagination is the only limit.

Hooking not blogging

Hi, I’ve not been around for a while as, is the way with C.F.S./M.E., I’ve had a bit of a relapse since Easter. This has meant many hours lying in a darkened silent room, just resting and recovering. Once I improved slightly I was able to crochet slowly and listen to audiobooks so these helped to distract me from the pain. So I have been hooking, just too poorly to blog about it. It’s interesting how different things take up different amounts of energy: hooking is very low down on the energy scale, whereas watching tv, chatting to a friend, or using a computer use up way more energy and require me to be quite well.

So the crochet items I have made while I’ve been offline are:

  • a jumper and a gilet for my little grandson, ready for cooler weather!
  • an african flower hexagon blanket
  • bunting
  • an long aran cardi, still a Work In Progress
  • a black cotton lacy cardi for my niece’s 18th birthday
  • a little house keyring

giletred jumper

I love making baby sized clothes, you can run them up in a weekend so there’s a quick feeling of achievement. However it’s currently sunny June so I’m hoping they’ll be the right size for him come autumn and winter. My teenage son like the gilet so much that he’s asked for an adult sized version with sleeves. That’ll take a lot more than a weekend but I’ll try and get it done ready for when he goes off to Uni in September – snuggly crochet to remind him of home :p

african flower hexagon blanket

I bought the yarn for this blanket just because I liked the colours together – it’s Stylecraft’s copper, gold, spice and safron. I saw them together on this post of Heather’s (she does have a gift with colour!) I love her Facebook page The Patchwork Heart and her blog and get so much inspiration from her work. Initially I had no idea what I was going to do with the yarn, then I found the african flower hexagon pattern and loved it. So this blanket has kept me quiet and focused for a while – it has been a joy to make. I joined the hexagons using slip stitch as I prefer to crochet joins than sew. I just need to block it to finish it off properly so all the edges lie nice and flat.


The bunting was just to use up some leftovers of Stylecraft yarn, when I needed to crochet but without much thought or effort. Brightens up the balcony.


The little house keyring was a fun-make one evening. My daughter needed a keyring so she chose her colours and buttons and I created it in just a few minutes. I love the way crochet is so versatile, you can make it up as you go along and can so quickly create finished items. My kind of instant gratification!

I don’t currently have a photo of the black lacy cardi I made for my niece – I’ll try and get one of her wearing it after her birthday – hope it fits!

I’m feeling much better now, back to pacing and the energy levels which have been my normal for the last few years. It’s good to be back xx





Baby Cashmerino


My friend Jeanne has asked me to crochet for some new babies in her family. I’ve had such a lovely time doing it because she chose Baby Cashmerino yarn which is soooo soft and a dream to crochet with. Above is a photo of the 4 items I have made: 2 ripple blankets, a boy’s hooded jacket and a girl’s cardi.

The girl’s cardigan is from Nicki Trench’s book Cute and Easy Crocheted Babies Clothes, unfortunately the pattern only goes up to 3-6 months so I tried doing it with a bigger hook and it has come out suitable for a 1 year old. I think it’s such a pretty pattern with the flowers on the front.


The boy’s hooded jacket is from a Hayfield pattern which I’ve made a few times now. It’s hard to photo flat as the baby’s hoods are always so big. I love faux cables on crochet work, a lovely touch brightening up a baby’s jacket:



And finally a photo of the 2 ripple blankets:


I love rippling, I especially love rippling in Baby Cashmerino; it is so soft and every stitch you hook you can imagine a tiny soft newborn wrapped in it. Just lovely!


Pass It On – Sewing In The Ends


I recently finished the ripple blanket which I’ve been making for a while. I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn in raspberry, pale rose and grape. I’ve been hooking a lot for others lately and I just fancied a blanket I could snuggle under for myself. I was pleased it was finished and enjoyed using it for a few weeks when I noticed the ends were starting to show. Disaster! Some had even unravelled so much a hole was starting to appear 😦


Obviously with this ripple blanket there are a lot of colour changes so there were lots of ends I had sewn it as I went along. I had been taught that knots were not professional so I had either crocheted the ends in as I made the next row, or used a tapestry needle to sew the ends under for about 4cm. This clearly was not a robust enough method to stand the test of time so I went on the internet to see what other people were doing. I found many advising to do exactly what I had been doing, so I continued to search. Then I found a few websites that suggested going under 4cm as I had done, but then turning back the other the other direction and going back under again. Hold on! Surely that will just pull out completely??? But no, you have to miss the last stitch you went under when you turn around for your way back. Right! I could see how that would hold securely, and by doing the colour change at the end of the row it will become hardly noticeable. Brilliant! I was sure this would make all the difference. So I thought I would have a go and see how it worked. I’m currently making a baby ripple blanket for my friend Jeanne (more about the gorgeous baby cashmerino yarn I’m using for this later!) I’m doing it in white this time, but I’ll add a blue stripe to try out this technique.

So this time I made sure I left a long tail – no skimping on tails for me any more!


Firstly I crocheted both ends in for approx 4 cm on my next row as usual


Then I threaded my ends onto a tapestry needle and turned back in the other direction, missing the first stitch.


Finally the finished result – it definitely feels more robust than was I was doing before:

sewing in the ends final best

and I feel confident it won’t unravel over time and use. Hurrah! 🙂

This blog entry is my submission to the Deramores Blog Awards 2014. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies.  www.deramores.com/blog-awards:

Joining The Granny Squares


I’m having a really lovely time right now joining the granny squares for the blanket I have been making. For me this is one of the best bits – not sewing, if it were sewing the granny squares would be in a bag behind the sofa and the blanket would never be finished! Joining the squares with double crochet, on the right side so you end up with a ridged effect. So I’ve joined them all in one direction, so its starting to look quite blanketty. Now I’m doing the rows of double crochet in the other direction, so no thinking about which colour to add next, no reaching for squares out of my basket, just rhythmically hooking, calm, relaxed, meditatively making a blanket as I go. The finished achievement is in sight, but I’m still enjoying the hooking. Perfect. Ahhhh.


I am currently in the middle of making 2 blankets:  a ripple one which is for me:


and a granny square one I am making for my daughter Jude. 


I love making blankets; they are my favourite thing. You just hook away, without any fiddly bits to think about. The ripple is the best, you can do it without thinking but its not too boring or without shape – just count to 4 every now and again. I also love that you can snuggle under the blankets while you’re making them, making hooky time comforting and productive at the same time. 

The ripple blanket I am making was originally going to be bright red, purple and fuchsia pink, but when I started with these colours it didn’t look anything like I had imagined in my head, just horribly garish; so I started again with these 3 colours. I’m using grape, pale rose and raspberry from Stylecraft DK. I love Stylecraft yarn; it is a cheap acrylic so easy on the purse strings but is as soft as the more expensive cashmerino. It may be acrylic but it’s not plastic or squeaky, perfect for blankets. I decided not to do regular ripple spacing but Interlocking ripple as described by Lucy from Attic24 here. I love the way different colours come to the fore as you look at it; sometimes it’s the raspberry which zings at you, but look away and back and it could be the pale rose you notice most. Much more interesting!


The second blanket I’m currently making for Jude is from Nicki Trench’s book Cute and Easy Crochet. She calls it the Camellia blanket and I made a cotton version a few years ago for my eldest daughter Hannah in the colours Nicki suggests. It’s very classy. This time around I’m doing it in Stylecraft DK (of course!) using parchment for the main colour.


What I love about this granny square blanket is that you don’t have to sew it up at the end. The squares are crocheted together using a double crochet stitch. This gives a very distinctive finish as well as being preferable to do. 


I’m supposed to be making the granny square blanket first as Jude is asking for it, but the ripple seems to be getting there more quickly – I do enjoy hooking a ripple – sorry Jude! I’ll put Ta-Dah! photos on when they are finished.

Christmas Gifts; mug hugs and gloves

I’ve been busy finishing Christmas gifts for family members, but obviously couldn’t post photos before they were given. Firstly I did bow tie mug hugs and tea cosy. The pattern is from Simply Crochet magazine Issue 11 and easy to make.


I had to adapt the pattern a little to fit the mugs I had as I needed a button to go through the handle. Choosing good buttons is part of the fun so spotty red was perfect.


My mum specially requested some fingerless gloves. I had a pattern in The Art Of Crochet which I collected a couple of years ago. I see many of these patterns have now been released in a set of books by Nicki Trench which you can find at Amazon here.


Its so satisfying making something like these; you can run them up in an evening – such a feeling of achievement.

Boys Jumpers


I’ve been making jumpers for little boys. the pattern is from DMC and you can get it from here.


For this one for my nephew Jacob, I used the yarn and colours suggested in the pattern. Then I did a beigey/browny version for his little brother Harry:


Lastly I did a navy and white striped one in acrylic rather than cotton for my grandson:


I love how they have all turned out, especially the collar. The collar shows more clearly on the pale blue version; it is just left as an unshaped rectangle when making the front and then picking the stitches up and doing double crochet. The second row you increase on every stitch so you get enough stitches to fold over comfortably, but then you just keep going until the edges meet at the front, and sew in position. Very easy to do, but very effective. I think a good collar can make the difference between something looking professional or cobbled together!

Here are the 3 jumpers together:


Christmas Tree Tea Cosy

I’ve finally finished it – a Christmas Tree Tea Cosy!


It was a request from my sister-in-law for her husband’s birthday which is in the middle of the Christmas season. I couldn’t find a pattern anywhere which was exactly right so I adapted patterns and invented my own bits. Firstly I used a pattern from millionbells at Ravelry:


But this pattern meant sewing on all the branches individually and I hate sewing. So I used her base/lining as the shape and then made the outside of my teacosy using crocodile stitch. I had just mastered this through Mikey at Crochet Crowd’s brilliant video from youtube. So lots of crochet and very little sewing, my kind of project. I threaded little silver bells and red beads alternately onto my yarn so I could include them at the end of each crocodile stitch “branch.”


When sewing it up I left a hole for the spout, and the handle on the other side. I joined the bottom with elastic. The pattern suggested a button but there are people in my house who would have the tea all over the table if they had to do up a button at the base of a tea cosy. The elastic worked just fine – it held the 2 sides together while giving enough stretch to get it over the teapot.


Here’s a close up of the crocodile stitch, although the little silver bells don’t show up so well on these photos:


and again, another photo of the finished tea cosy, with the star on the top from millionbells pattern:


It was a lot of work, trial and error to get it just right. But I think it’s rather fun!

Granny Square Blanket


I’ve recently finished making this Granny Square blanket. The inspiration came from Simply Crochet magazine issue 5, although mine is a little different as I used yarn already in my stash. I only ended up needing to buy 2 balls of wool so very inexpensive in monetary terms. It took a lot of time, but I have lots of that! The white wool used for the edge of each square and to join them was recycled from a blanket I never finished. Up-cycling – I love it! I’m hoping someone in the family will be thrilled to receive this for Christmas.


Cuthbert the Sheep

This is a Work In Progress which has been hanging around for about 6 months. I had crocheted all the pieces but like many WIPs, it just then sat there in a bag, waiting for a day when I could sew it together. I loooove crocheting, but hate sewing things together! In craft magazines I’ve even seen advertisements from people who are happy to finish off the once loved project for you – a great idea, but I just need to be more disciplined. So here’s introducing Cuthbert the Sheep:


Not a great photo, and he does have 4 legs, honest! He’s a bit lop-sided and wobbly, but maybe that makes him all the cuter. Here’s another view of him:


I loved making his curly wool – by wrapping the yarn around your finger a couple of times. It was really hard to understand the stitch from the instructions, but thanks to youtube I found a clear tutorial. Cuthbert? oh yes, named after the patron saint of shepherds of course.

Christmas Stockings

After making some as presents for my younger nieces last Christmas, I have had a request to crochet stockings for the rest of the family. Its a pattern that I made up myself, using a 5mm crochet hook and I used Robin DK acrylic in Claret and Emerald, lovely Christmassy colours. Making the leg of the stocking is just perfect for today when I need something easy and relaxing. I’ve been having a bit of trouble with the Christmas tree tea cosy in crocodile stitch; it’s the first time I’ve done crocodile stitch and crocheting with beads and I’m finding it a little fiddly so today I fancied a relaxing change a whizzed through a stocking! Here it is as I’ve just made the heel;


Last year when I made the stockings I chain stitched the name on the cuff. However I recently learnt how to do surface crochet which I far prefer; it gives the same result as chain stitch but you’re crocheting instead of sewing.

Here it is before I joined the cuff to the stocking:

Sarah on stocking

There we are, it is finished now. I hope it’s big enough for all her presents!


Planning for Christmas

I love this time of year. I’m just starting to think about what Christmas presents I can crochet for friends and family. So I’ve had a lovely time browsing through pattern books and magazines, choosing presents I can make. Then of course there is the complete lack of guilt when I’m buying the yarn for these creations as I would have had to spend the money anyway. This way I get to crochet and they get beautiful handmade presents – win win all round I say!

I found this lovely pattern on Ravelry for mug hugs:

My brother-in-law has a thing about tea, so I want to make him a fun tea cosy. I found this one on Ravelry from millionbells:

It is soooo cute with little jingly bells dangling from each of the branches! But the downside of this design for me is that there’s lots of sewing together at the end as all the branches are made individually. So my plan, my cunning plan, is to use this pattern as a base but create the branches in crocodile stitch so I have no sewing to do. I’ve not made anything in crocodile stitch before but I found a great tutorial from the Crochet Crowd on youtube and now I think I can tackle it. I’ll let you know how it goes!

And for all the teenage girls / young ladies I will be buying presents for this year, I thought a cream chunky crochet cowl would be good. There was one in Simply Crochet magazine Issue 1 which I thought I’d try, or maybe just make it up as I go along.

Lastly Fr T will get his long socks for his wellies. I started them last year and he was expecting them for Christmas but I had just heard the exciting news that I was to be a grandmother, so his socks were abandoned as I busied myself crocheting baby clothes. Being poorly the last few days I needed some very simple crochet to do and long socks fitted the bill perfectly so they are back on track.

Granny Square Blanket

I’ve finished it! I published photos of the blue wool when it arrived, and now I have finished the whole blanket. Not only that, but I’ve also made some cushions to go with it! This is a bedspread for my daughter J’s bed. We chose the pattern from the lovely photos from Matt’s blog:  http://accordingtomatt.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/granny-square-blanketthe-sequel.html J however decided she’d like it joined with ridges showing on the right side and I agree with her that it adds to the design. So here it is insitu:


This it is what it has looked like for the last month, with me carrying the current squares around with me:Image

It has been such a delight to make; lovely soft but cheap yarn from Stylecraft, and so easy to make on the go – just take one ball, one hook and a tiny pair of scissors and I’ve been able to crochet everywhere I went.

Then these are the cushions I made to go with it:


Baby cardigans

I’ve been crocheting fasten than I’ve been blogging! So now I have a whole pile of finished items to show :


This little boy’s cardigan in 0-3 months size is made using James Brett Cotton On yarn from here; it is so lovely and soft – perfect for a baby and reasonably priced too.

The pattern I used is from Sirdar; they seem to have recently updated their range with some suitable for little boys rather than traditional matinee jackets. I got mine from here. I think the toggles make a perfect addition to bring it bang up to date!

I loved it so much I also used this pattern and yarn to make a brown version:


Again I love the little wooden buttons; I’ve found that choosing the right buttons can make or break a garment and is well worth the little extra money to get something special.

Another Baby Sleeping Bag!

I enjoyed making the first one so much I made another! This time with a little flower on the chest for a little girl. As I don’t have a granddaughter this is for sale on my Etsy site here.




Knitted Baby Boy’s Jumper

The only article I managed to knit for my grandson was this little jumper which was shown in an earlier blog under a Work In Progress. Here is the finished article:

ImageSo cute! I love the shawl collar, adds an extra special finish to the design.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, there are many pregnant mums at my work and I have been crocheting some little baby clothes for them:

This is a little cardigan, same pattern as the blue and brown one earlier which I made for Shantelle’s little boy:


Becky wanted a little hooded jacket and blanket so I made these:



Such fun making things for others!

Baby sleeping bag


I love this baby sleeping bag I made using Aran wool. I remember when my own children were small we had one which was so useful. After a day out visiting, we would pop the children in their pyjamas knowing they would fall asleep in the car on the way home. The sleeping bag kept them warm and was easy to remove without waking them up once we were home. I hope this one will prove as useful .


I loved the stitch, it was: double crochet, half treble, treble – all done together in a cluster. Then worked backwards and forwards in lines – rather than in the round. That way you get the effective way the clusters stand up on the previous row.

I then went on to use the same stitch to create myself a Kindle cover:


Reading and crochet put together – you don’t get much better than that!

Flopsy bunny


This cute little Flopsy Bunny is crocheted using Paton’s 100% cotton double knitting yarn. I’ve made a few of these now from a pattern in Simply Crochet, Issue 2. You can see some of the others for sale on my Etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DressedInCrochet

oh.. and here’s a back view of its cute little cotton tail:


I love the way its ears and just right for tiny fingers to grab hold of. I can see it being a friend for many years …. and probably another one needed for when it goes in the wash!

Baby bootees and beanie hats


The pattern for the bootees was simple and straightforward and came from Simply Crochet magazine, issue 2. You can run them up in an evening using left over yarn from other projects, but I love the design. I found some cute little toggles to give them the finishing touch:


Using the leftover yarn from the Striped baby blanket (see earlier post) I made these little beanie hats:



The pattern is from Nicki Trench’s book Cute and Easy Crocheted Baby Clothes. The colours haven’t come out very well in the photo but one is in Wobble (green) and the other in Choo choo train (duck egg blue).

Striped baby blanket


Continuing the baby theme….! I’ve just completed a stripey blanket for my Grandson – who is due in 4 weeks time. I used Sirdar Snuggly baby double knitting yarn and the colours sound as gorgeous as they look: I used choo choo train and wobble, as well as the more ordinary teal, pale blue and white. I know it’ll wash and wear well for many years. I’n hoping it is the right size to fit the cot, but it’ll also be good for swaddling the baby, in cooler weather than we have today! I did a ribbon trim, trying to match the choo choo train colour, as all babies like some shiny ribbon to rub between their fingers.

Here are some closer pictures:

Imageand this:


Current Works In Progress

I’ve got quite a few WIPs going on at the same time at the moment. I’m doing a baby ripple blanket in a lovely pale blue for my grandson who is due in 6 weeks time – so exciting! I got the pattern from Lucy at Attic24 http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/neat-ripple-pattern/comments/page/5/#comments Its made the pattern much more simple than others I’ve seen. The foundation row is tricky, (I had to unpick mine 5 times!) but once you’ve got it right, the rest is easy as you can read it to check it as you go – if you know what I mean! The very pale blue yarn I’m using is John Lewis’s own as its paler and more subtle than a lot of others on the market: http://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-heritage-baby-4-ply-yarn/p359261?colour=Baby%20Blue

So here’s a photo of the baby ripple blanket so far:


and a close up of the stitches:


I have enjoyed rippling!

My other main Work in Progress at the moment is to be a blanket for my daughter Jude’s bed. She knew she wanted a blue blanket so then we spent many happy hours (for me!!) looking at pictures, and designs. She decided she liked the granny square one done Matt on his according to matt blog: http://accordingtomatt.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/granny-square-blanketthe-sequel.html I was thrilled with the idea of making millions of small granny squares because it makes crochet so easy to transport – I can always fit one ball of yarn and a hook in my handbag for those unexpected moments of hooky. This was on the condition that I was allowed to crochet it together, as I knew if she wanted a sewn seam it would just stay as millions of separate small granny squares! So we had an agreement. Stylcraft double knitting had to be the yarn. I’ve heard many people on other blogs raving about Stylecraft and I had yet to try it. What a find! Just as everyone else says it is cheap but soft and smooth when crocheted – far superior to other acrylic yarns. So we chose a selection of colours based on blue with some greens and purples thrown in:

ImageI was so thrilled when all this wool arrived in the post – such a treat! I have 2 balls of 9 colours. I haven’t yet decided whether to do a repeat of 3×3 squares across the blanket or to be random. We shall see. So I have nearly made half the blanket so far. Here’s a few of the squares I have made:


But then I have a 3rd Work In Progress to show you.

I felt the need to knit. And mixed in with all these blues for Jude’s blanket was 200g of a gorgeous pale blue called Cloud which would be just enough to make a beautiful baby boy’s jumper…..and I could always get some more Cloud for the blanket later… Poor Jude, she’ll feel so pushed out by her nephew!

This is the pattern from Sublime:

ImageYou can see why I had to make it! Absolutely gorgeous.

So far I have made the back, the front and one sleeve:

Imagenot such a great picture. but gives you the idea. However, this all reminded me why I usually crochet instead of knitting these days – I had pain all over my shoulders and collar bones and neck. So I’ve had to stop for the time being.

But at least I’ve got lots of crochet to be going on with 🙂

Baby Girl’s Clothes

There seem to be far more crochet patterns for baby girl’s clothes than for boys. At the beginning of Tess’ pregnancy we didn’t know the gender so I happily made both! Here are some pictures of what I made:

ImageThis is a lovely little matinee jacket from Jenny Watson’s crochet book, made in neutral beige.

Next is a lovely pinafore dress to be worn with white long sleeved t shirt and white tights. This was adapted from Nicki Trench’s book: Cute and Easy Crocheted Baby Clothes:


Then another one from Jenny Watson’s designs using her Rose baby wool – lovely and soft:Image

There’s also a cute lacy hat to go with this:

ImageI love that photo it really shows off the beautiful stitch detail.

The last girly creation is a little cardigan, again from the Jenny Watson collection but made using Galaxy wool with sequins. I wanted something different from the traditional baby look of pastels – I think this fits the bill nicely!



We heard my daughter Tess is expecting our first grandchild – great joy! For a crochet addict like me that means only one thing – the best excuse in the world to buy lots of yarn and make all sorts of baby clothes. Of course at the beginning of the pregnancy you don’t know the sex of the baby, but isn’t that just a lovely excuse to make both boy and girl clothes? Some suggested gender neutral colours like yellow and green, but I really didn’t mind the extra “work” involved in crocheting both boy and girl clothes :p !!

So first stop was a baby shawl. It’s a lovely pattern in 3 ply so lots of hours involved but a perfect mix of easy but interesting repeat pattern. Made in Sirdar Baby Snuggly yarn its soft but washable and tumble dryable – a must for sicky babies, but still beautiful enough to be used as a Christening shawl.


Here it is spread out over the sofa:


and a close up of the stitch:




Most adults last Christmas has hand crocheted socks for their presents. I used the toe up method so, depending on the size of their foot, I could just keep going up the leg until I ran out of wool. For most people that meant ankle socks with a nice turnover cuff.

Autumn colours for my sister:



The self patterning yarn made an interesting effect – sometimes for successful than others! It looks nothing like the socks in the advert, these must have been knitted rather than crocheted and the difference is marked, but still better than plain I think.


My mum’s:


and lastly my brother’s:


A family friend was watching me make them and chose the yarn colour he would like. But half way through his first sock we discovered T was expecting our first grandchild. Naturally the sock is still unfinished as I have far more interesting things to crochet now 🙂

Christmas Stockings


Last year everyone had crocheted gifts for their Christmas presents. For the younger members of the extended family I made them Christmas stockings with their names on. Then, so they weren’t too disappointed with a crocheted gift (I know not everyone shares my passion!) I put a few treats inside.

They were a big hit, so much so that the rest of the family have asked to have one each – even the adults! Although obviously these will have to be given before the big day so they can be used!

Cafetiere Cosy

This is a cafetiere cosy I made for my mum. It is made using stripey double crochet, the wool was leftover from The Art Of Crochet throw. I love the tone; the colours go together so well. It has a little button on the back to make it easy to put on when you’re ready to keep the coffee warm.

Mum's cafetiere back (2)

Messenger Bag

ImageA messenger bag from a pattern in The Art of Crochet. I used some Denim Ultra yarn, reused from a previously made, now unloved jumper. The inside lining is the same material my daughter used to pretty the sweet jar favours at her wedding last year. Gave it as a Christmas present for my neice. I hope the lining prevents the handle from stretching down to her knees!Image