The Crochet Elephant Ripple Blanket

Hello! Happy May! Love May, May makes me happy. Proper spring you see, it’s magic! Plus it’s my birthday in a couple of days and that always gets me giddy (I can’t believe I still get excited about my birthday). It’s been a while since I wrote a post about crochet. They’ve all been videos haven’t they?! I’m starting to see a divide between blogging and vlogging, that I had no idea about. It’s not a problem but I’d like to not neglect anyone.

Anyway… blanket. At the beginning of April a friend got in touch with me and asked very nicely if I would make a baby blanket for her friend. I liked the ideas she had and fancied having a go at something different. It was nice that I could do a brainless ripple but there was also going to be something interesting in the mix as well.

I know that the baby in question is having a safari themed nursery and because grey was to feature in the blanket’s colour palette, it was elephants that sprang to mind. I did a quick search online and came up with these cuties. The pattern is from Repeat Crafter Me and it’s exactly the sort of thing I wanted.

I like how the secret elephants are hidden inside when it’s folded up. You might think it’s a boring blanket. But tumble it open and the cuteness is revealed!

They had to go trunk to tail, that’s something I definitely wanted. I hadn’t thought much about how they’d be attached. I’m glad it dawned on me not to merrily stitch through to the other side. I paid lots of attention to making the stitches only on one side. I had to forgo safety eyes for the same reason (they’d poke right through to the other side). I forgot to take pics of the other side to prove that there’s nothing on show. Watch my latest vlog, the evidence is there!

I used Stylecraft Special dk as it’s perfect for baby blankets. I ordered the yarn at the same time as the release of the new shades so I knew Buttermilk had to be part of it. It’s like someone has added mayonnaise to the Mustard. They go very nicely together. Also in the mix are Teal, Sage and Grey. It looks quite nice on my fabulous(ly cheap) sofa too!

And let’s not forget the ubiquitous Neat Ripple! I have no idea how many times I’ve made Attic 24’s Neat Ripple! So many! I did 8 pattern repeats and 64 rows before adding the grey. At each end I added a ripply row of grey and then a straightening row. You can straighten it off by following this useful guide from Little Tin Bird. Then it was just a case of making a couple of rounds of UK trebles before going back to Attic24 for the edging, which was pilfered from Lucy’s original Granny Stripe. Phew! What do you think? I like it! Anything with grey and mustard floats my boat though. Grellow they call it.

Anyway, I’m late for an evening walk that I must do. I’ve been very lazy recently and done no proper exercise. And I need to go to the shop for bread and milk…

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A Crochet Blanket for the Autumn.

a-granny-square-crochet-blanket-for-the-autumn

I completely forgot to write about this cosy crochet blanket. I finished it before the summer holidays. It got a wash and was then stored away before I realised I should probably show it off a bit and then put it up for sale on Etsy (which it now is!). Actually, now is a pretty good time to do it because the colours remind me of autumn and that’s just where we’re heading.

bright-autumn-colours-crochet-join-as-you-go-granny-squares

Amazingly for me, this is the first time I’ve done a join-as-you-go granny square blanket.  Whilst I’ve done plenty of continuous joins, this is slightly different due to all the colour changes. It looks so much better than if I’d whip stitched the squares together (which is what I always used to do).

autumn-colours-crochet-blanket

The border is quite plain but I didn’t think it wanted flouncy. Just some scallops between every other cluster. In the alternating clusters, it’s just a UK dc (US sc). To stop it curling too much, there are chains between them.

kind-of-autumnal-granny-square-crochet-blanket

There’s something about this blanket I really like and I’ll be jiggered if I know what it is. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it, or it could be the autumn colour palette. I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet but it doesn’t really matter, does it? I like it because I do!

autumn-crochet-granny-square-blanket-with-orange-border

The colour scheme wasn’t a choice I made, it was more determined by what I had left hidden in the cupboard under the stairs. Over the last few months I’ve been making an attempt to get that down to a more manageable collection. I’m trying to train myself not to impulse buy yarn too. It’s not working that well, I’ve just transferred my lustings to fabric instead. Anyway, if you are at all curious about the colours, they are Stylecraft Special DK in: Saffron, Gold, Pomegrante, Petrol, Spice, Parma Violet, Khaki, Spring Green, Magenta and Lavender. It’s deffo less than a ball of each but I couldn’t tell you how much exactly as none were full balls to begin with.

join-as-you-go-autumn-granny-square-crochet-blanket

It’s a blanket that I wish I’d made bigger. Well, I couldn’t; didn’t have enough stash! I hope that it finds a home…

crochet-granny-blanket

tour-of-britain-in-ottery

In a complete random change of subject, I popped out to have a very speedy look at the Tour of Britain this morning. This was at the end of my road just before midday today. I timed it very well, I was out and back home within fifteen minutes.

tour-of-britain-2016-ottery-st-mary

I had to leap out of the way because they were extremely close. I don’t know how they managed to do it so fast, this is the top of the hill. They had an even bigger hill to climb a few minutes later, one which my car struggles with. Wish I’d seen that!

spare-parts-tour-of-britain-in-ottery

I thought it was great and I’m not even a cycling enthusiast! Bit of excitement on a rainy day anyway. I bet all those cars have a crochet blankets in the boot…

Etsy Shop is Open!!

felt owl brooch

Just a quick one to let you know that my Etsy shop now has stuff in it! Woohoo. It’s been a while.

All my blankets are up and I’ve added some other bits and bobs too. I’ve run out of time for today though so I will have to try and get some more up tomorrow. Now that I’ve done this, I’m starting to think maybe Folksy would have been a better option!? Oh, I don’t know. Let’s just see how this goes. I’m in absolutely no rush.

Zeens and Roger on Etsy.

If you ever need to find the link to my Etsy shop, it is also in my Contact page and my About page. Cheers.

Go and have a look!! Thanks. X

blue fish brooch. sequins

Red felt apple keyring. purple and blue butterfly keyring. A felt strawberry keyring. colour block blanket. Easy crochet. pastel ripple Gotta love a granny square. clashy granny square Bright crochet granny square blanket

Summer fete fun!

Even more felt things.

For four weeks I’ve been making things. OK, I know I always make things but this time I’ve been making things with a specific purpose. A month ago I was asked if I fancied having a stall at the school’s summer fete. I thought “why not?” Hopefully I’ll get to sell a few things and help towards raising money for the school. Sounds alright. I enjoyed doing a similar thing last Christmas. That was my first time doing such a thing and I found out that I really enjoyed myself!

My main concern this time is that I have no idea about the kind of things people might like at this time of year. Christmas is easy as everyone is always up for buying a new decoration (or two) for the tree. Summer? Not got a clue. I might have misjudged this but I’ve gone for a little bit of everything. It’s a learning experience and I’ll find out a lot, I’m sure.

Collection of crochet blankets.I’ve said previously that I don’t think this is the sort of event for selling baby blankets but I’m taking some anyway. You never know. By the way, these blankets have been made over a period of a few months not just churned out in the last four weeks!

Lots of felt brooches and keyrings.

There will be loads of felt designs. They’re all my own designs. I’ve got either brooches or keyrings. I think the owls are my favourite.. or the fish. And the cats!  The cherries look fabulously kitsch! I think I love them all.

Handmade crafts

I’ve got some random makes too. Leftovers from playing/experimenting. I really like the rose brooches. They’re aran alpaca with wool felt leaves. The rose is Attic 24’s May Rose.

Crochet hearts with roses.

Speaking of Attic 24, these are the May roses used on a sweet crochet heart. Have a look here for the original inspiration.

crochet hearts and flowers

Someone has already asked that I put one of these aside for them so I do hope that that’s a good omen for the rest of them.

crochet roses and bows

It would appear that I’ve got a thing about these May roses, I’ve used them for hair slides too (not many though as I know that there is another stall that’ll be there, selling hairclips and I don’t want to tread on any toes ;p ). For the crochet bows I started with a pattern from Nicki Trench’s Geek Chic Crochet but it was too big and taking far too long to make a single bow. I cheated by using less stitches and using quicker stitches too. For some reason I find trebles much easier and less fiddly than half trebles. Most of these are made using scraps that were left over from blanket making. There’s a lot of merino stuff and the pastel coloured ones are a merino yarn mixed with cashmere. It’s lovely stuff to work with.

crochet hearts. Keyrings.

Puff hearts are from Planet June. Very cute.

pile of blankets

There’s something about a pile of blankets that I love. It’s a good job too, I have a mountain of crochet blankets in my house. And that’s the ones that are here to stay. I’m not going to mention the ones I was supposed to put on Etsy six months ago.

Crochet ripple blanket

This one will be finished by the weekend. Just in time.  There are so many more things I wish I had time to make. It seems that I have just about run out of time. However, I would like to point out that this really isn’t everything that I’ve made over the last month. I might share some other things on Instagram too. There will be loads more…

Little crochet coasters

You’ll just have to come and see me to find out what else there is. I might look like a misery guts but I’m honestly not (I do suffer from Bitchy Resting Face though), so if you’re at the school fete in Ottery st Mary this Saturday, come over and say hello! I think it’s 12-3pm. Thanks very much. X

 

 

 

A New Crochet Blanket. Circles in Squares.

colourful crochet circles with scheepjes merino soft

I finished this little crochet blanket about a month ago. It now belongs to a baby. It is not my baby but a new cousin for my boys. I’m pleased that she has already had snuggles in her lovely new blanket.

Another baby blanket done. Love this one. Simple crochet circles in squares.

A Circles in Squares blanket!

scheepjes merino soft

I chose to make the blanket with Scheepjes.  I really wanted to get my mitts on this brand. A couple of months ago it seemed like loads of people were using it and I wanted to join the fun. I liked all the colours and I wanted something super soft so I went with the merino (which also has microfibre in it). It is the softest, squishiest yarn. It is also quite splitty, which surprised me. I find that once I get into a crochet rhythm I can avoid most of the splittiness, whichever kind of yarn it is. However, it’s still disappointing when it happens.

A bunch of finished squares

When I heard that there was to be a new human on the horizon, I asked my sister-in-law what sort of thing she fancied. I knew I wanted to make a blanket but I didn’t want to make one that wouldn’t fit in with her tastes. All that effort and they don’t like it? No thanks. She gave me a photo of a cushion that fitted with the nursery colour scheme. The cushion had a bunch of bright circles on it . That was enough inspiration for me; off I went.

Pointless blocking

I blocked it (badly). It didn’t work. They all pinged back after 5 minutes. I thought they’d be good because of the merino but I’m guessing microfibre does funny things.

After blocking

These squares were about as flat as they got and they quickly started to curl at the edges again. Oh well.

Working out the lay

Each time I make a blanket I have great fun laying them all out. Once I have more than a few squares I do it over and over, each time adding a handful more of newly stitched squares. I think I had another row to go at this point but couldn’t wait to see what was going on.

Crochet baby blanket. Circles in squares.

I had to be boring with the construction. I had next to no grey wool left. I sewed the squares together with a whip stitch as I reckoned this wouldn’t use as much of the remaining yarn. I also stuck to a very plain border. I jumped online to try and order another ball or two but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Sold out! So the border had to remain plain. In an attempt to add some interest a couple of rows were back loop only. Thinking about it now, I could’ve done some FP and BP stitches or something. Not that that would have been much better. I wanted to have a proper, fancypants border. 😦

I got one ball of each colour for the circles and thought six would be enough for the main colour. Eight balls. Eight balls next time.

circles in squares

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to take new and interesting pictures of blankets. They all end up draped on the same two chairs in the same locations!

Circle in square crochet blanket. Free pattern.

I can tell you that I never spot wires, plug sockets and other such things in Pinterest pictures. They jump out a mile in all my photo’s no matter how hard I try to avoid them. Photoshop! We used to have a very early version of photoshop (not that I knew how to use it) on the old mac but the mac choked to death on carpet fluff. Be mindful of computers when getting new carpet!

Bright crochet baby blanket. Crochet circles in squares.

I made up the pattern although I know many similar ones exist. I’m afraid to say I have not written it down yet. I took photographs of all the making stages but I actually don’t like them! I can do better. Sooo at some point in the near future, I will come back with a post about how I made the squares. I did some experimenting with starting the rows as I wasn’t happy with a messy 3 chain start. I think it’d be interesting to do some comparisons etc but it’ll have to wait until another day.

Anyway, I must go and wake up the little one, he fell asleep in the car on the way home from food shopping. He didn’t even wake up when I moved him to the sofa. Silly boy has been up since 5.40am.

 

I’ve linked up with Crafting is my Therapy. A place for sharing crafting blog posts!

Me You and Magoo

Birthday

birthday flowers

I’ve had a week filled with lovely birthday things. I’ve been out for dinner/lunch, twice, no! three times. I’ve had lots of awesome presents and there has been gorgeous weather. Smashin’.

I got my hair cut off too, so when I went out to dinner on Saturday night (The Five Bells in Clyst Hydon- very nice) I felt all new and swooshy. I didn’t feel so new and swooshy when we went out for lunch on Sunday (The Rock Inn on Dartmoor). A roast dinner sorted me out but, crikey, I felt rough yesterday. I took loads of pictures of Haytor whilst there, which I’ll post in a day or two.

granny blanket

I also finished a blanket, one that I’m really pleased with. I especially love the border, which is the same pattern I used for my granny shawl. It’s Stylecraft Special dk.

big granny square blanket

At some point this blanket will end up in my Etsy shop. I will sort out a link when I’ve got some blankets and other things in there.

Handmade bags

Other things I managed to finish last week were two little bag/purse type things. One is for my unimpressive collection of barely used knitting needles and the other is for keeping small projects in so I can take it out and about. I used the fabric I bought in Totnes shops during the Easter hols. They both need pressing again because I made a very lacklustre job of it.

sewing time

I had all my sewing laid out on the table. I’ve made a half hearted pledge to take part in Me Made May. Since last week, I’ve worn hand made things already and I made a dress! I’ll take pictures of the dress before the end of May, I’m sure.

Green crochet wip

Another work in progress is a new shawl. I’m doing a variation of my granny shawl just to play around. I’m using Drops Baby Merino. I went on a Drops spending frenzy last weekend. They had a sale at Woolwarehouse so I went a bit bonkers.

Drops Lace.

See! Drops. I have an idea.

next project!

More Drops. I cannot wait to start this, Cherry Heart’s Victoria shawl. Pattern bought and printed, ready to start any second.

Some new fat quarters.

Some lovely presents were received, I got a bunch of fat quarters from my mother-in-law. She went to a quilting shop in Bovey Tracey. I know about this shop but I’ve not been. It’s supposed to be good.

birthday books

I got lots of fab books. Looking forward to getting stuck into those…

My new bowls

I got these bowls too. I got loads of stuff, I won’t show it all, but needless to say it’s all good gear. One of my favourites is the drawing from the photo at the top. It’s by my friend who is an artist and graphic designer. It’s a picture of me doing me crochet! I guess I should frame it, I think it’s beautiful but then so is the subject matter, obvs.

power ranger

And then the week before last, I got this wonderful bundle of stuff from Samantha at createitsamantha.co.uk We took part in the  #craftblogclub spring clean challenge on twitter. Essentially it was a craft stash swap. It was such a lovely surprise to open up the parcel and have lots of delightful things tumble out. The Power Ranger didn’t come with my new stuff; Three year old thought I should take a picture of it. I have some ideas of what I might do, I’m looking forward to playing around in the next week or two.

pretty birthday flowers

I love getting birthday flowers!

Anyway, I’m off. Got a house to tidy and a child to entertain. Can’t watch A Bug’s Life all day. Actually, we did sit down and watch the local secondary school do a live Q&A with Tim Peak on the International Space Station a couple of hours ago (via the internet). I thought it was interesting but Three year old only managed five minutes before going off to look at a Lego book.

A Touch of Spice with a Pompom Edge.

SoL Inspired crochet blanket.

I think this is one of my favourites. A blanket just for me! I am really surprised that I Iove it because most of my finished blankets tend to make me feel a bit meh. It’s usually to do with not turning out how they looked in my head, so they get abandoned or I give them away. The stitch used is the Stacked Shells section of Cherry Heart’s Spice of Life blanket. Sandra herself did the same thing and I liked it even more than the SoL [my SoL]. I’ve totally copied! It’s called A Touch of Spice and I really love it.

Stacked shells. SoL inspired blanket.

Last year I bought a pile of Stylecraft Life DK thinking I was going to make a Rustic Lace Square blanket. I’m still undecided about the Rustic Lace Square with this yarn though. Some of the blankets I’ve seen are exquisitely beautiful but they look cottony and fine, not woolly and wintery. They’re lacey. I’m not sure this is the yarn for that project but I’ve still got loads of Stylecraft left so…

Stacked shells with a bobble edge.

The bobbly pompoms are my absolute favourite bit. I love the red and I just think they’re fabulous. I was super proud of them because I made up the pattern myself. Well, I thought I had until I started checking out other places on t’interwebs.

All the bobbles!

I’d found a couple of patterns and tutorials that had really faffy ways of crocheting pompoms,  that I just couldn’t be bothered to do. I did try. Every pompom took an age and it would have taken a lifetime to go round the whole blanket. My reaction to that was to come up with my own cheaty pompom. However, someone else has too, I discovered via Pinterest. Oh well. On the plus side, I have discovered a delightful blog!

Since I’ve already taken some photographs I’ll put up the method of how I made my pompoms. It must happen all the time. It does happen all the time. Have you had this kind of experience? If you’ve come up with a new idea/pattern, do you check out whether or not it has been done before?

Spice of Life inspired Stacked Shells crochet blanket.

Bobbly pompom edging.

These are UK terms.

4tgr = treble crochet 4 together

Yarn over (YO) hook, insert hook in stitch (st), pull up a loop, 3 loops on hook. YO hook, pull through 2 loops, 2 loops on hook. YO hook insert into st, pull up a loop, 4 loops on hook. YO, pull through 2 loops, 3 loops on hook. YO hook insert into st, pull up a loop, 5 loops on hook. YO, pull through 2 loops, 4 loops on hook.YO hook insert into st, pull up a loop, 6 loops on hook. YO, pull through 2 loops, 5 loops on hook. YO pull through last 5 loops.

(I think this is correct. Tricky to write down, that’s for sure).

making a crochet bobble edge

Essentially this is the pattern:

*Ch7, 4tgr in 4th ch from hook, ch1, ss into bottom of cluster, ch3, skip 3 st and ss into next st.* repeat around.

I’ve broken it down with a few pictures below:

How to make a crochet bobble edge. Tutorial.

Photo1: chain 7.

Photo 2: Beginning the 4trb cluster.

Photo 3: Before yarning over and pulling through last 5 loops.

A photo tutorial for a crochet bobble edge.

Photo 4: Finished cluster.

Photo 5: Slip stitch into bottom of the cluster (original 4th ch from hk.)

Photo 6: ch3.

How to crochet a bobble edge.

Miss 3 stitches. Slip stitch into 4th. Repeat all the way around. Fasten off, sew in ends and admire.

My Spice of Life inspired crochet blanket.

Amazingly for me, I blocked the blanket. I pinned it directly onto the carpet because I don’t have any spongey foam boards. It doesn’t seem to have ruined the carpet. I sprayed it lightly with water and left it over night. By morning it was dry (It was near the radiator). I have draped myself in it every evening since I finished it last week. It’s lovely.

Anyway, that is that. Sewing stuff next I think. Maybe some Jedi robes for the boys, slightly different. And I’ve dug out some paper piecing hexies, which is a very old, ongoing project.

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