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.

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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:

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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:

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

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

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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?

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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 🙂

 

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

 

 

 

 

Baby Cashmerino

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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.

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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:

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And finally a photo of the 2 ripple blankets:

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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!

 

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.

Boys Jumpers

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

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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:

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

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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:

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Baby cardigans

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

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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:

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

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Such fun making things for others!