Socks and Hexipuffs

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

bunting

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.

keyring

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

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

Christmas Tree Tea Cosy

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

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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:

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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.”

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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.

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

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

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

Christmas Stockings

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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.

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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