I’m up to date with my CAL squares, ready for the last two to be released tomorrow.
Except, as you may be able to see, I did not keep up with sewing the ends in as I went.
I never learn.
Now, opinions please – I feel like the top left square doesn’t quite fit with the rest. Even though I used the same palette as the other squares, the way the colours sit together looks soooo different to me. Any thoughts? Did you notice it? Or am I just over thinking this? Please let me know!
As I added in more colours to my Changing Tides blanket, I started to worry that maybe it wasn’t working. I generally live by the idea “why have one colour when you can have seventeen?” but for some reason this time it was making me twitchy.
Then I laid it out and stepped back for a proper look, and somehow it works. I mean it’s not a vision of beauty like some people have managed to make with their perfectly curated colourways, but I’m happy with it. And it’s for me so that’s all that matters!
I’ve seen a few posts saying that people are sewing the ends in to fill time until the next part is released. I am not one of those people. I know full well I’m going to regret it come the end of the CAL when I have a million ends to sew at once, but I just can’t make myself do it! Brain is weird.
It’s not exactly square at the moment so I might give it a wee block one evening, before it gets too big to fit on my blocking mats. We shall see.
I have to thank Claire from Once Upon A Yarnfor introducing me to this stitch. She said it was beautiful with certain yarn, and she was right!
There was the usual learning curve, of course. On my first try I struggled to get each extended chain stitch the same length, and ended up with this very lumpy foundation row:
I frogged and tried again. This time I managed to get most of the foundation row the same size, but my next rows got progressively bigger and ended up stretching the foundation row.
More frogging. My third attempt did work and I got a few rows in…
before realising that this beautiful spangly Soukie is actually not the ‘right’ yarn for love knots. It looked stringy and a bit scrappy, which I was really not expecting from such lovely yarn, and the sequins kept catching so it was difficult to get the stitches the same length. So I frogged the lot and chose another skein from my birthday stash.
Enter Lily Sugar ‘n’ Cream in Batik Ombre. Now this is the right yarn for the job. Suddenly the love knot made sense and I whizzed through, whacking out 10 rows in around half an hour. I mean, it helps that it’s 60% gaps. You’ve got to love a stitch that lets you make something up so quickly.
Plus, just look at it:
Unrelated to the love knot; I adore this yarn. The solid colours are gorgeous all by themselves, but the transitions from one shade to the next are equally beautiful. I find myself wishing the colours would take just a bit longer to change so I can enjoy the intermediate shades some more.
So this is my first attempt to make something more spring/summery for the shop, as stocking nothing but winter hats and scarves will probably not get me very far for the rest of the year. It’s going to be a light, lacy scarf, which I think will look FABULOUS. But then, I am a little biased.
What do you think of the Love knot? Do you like my scarf too? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve received my first ever commission (from my sister, for a friend of the family, but shush – it still counts!) for a crocheted baby blanket.
After wanting to make a star blanket for months, now I get to make two at once as I’m still finishing off my Caron Cake star blanket and my sister liked it so much she asked me to use that pattern for the baby blanket.
I’m not sure whether we don’t know yet if it will be a boy or a girl, or my sister knows that I hate the whole ‘pink for girls, blue for boys’ thing, but the end result is that I’m using green and pale yellow baby merino DK. The green is a wee bit brighter than it looked online, but the yellow is nice and subtle so I don’t think it’s too garish a combination. I do love working with Spring colours as Glasgow is dragged kicking and screaming into warmer weather.
So far I’m only on round 7 because it’s been such a busy week I’ve had to squeeze in a few stitches whenever I got a minute to myself. It keeps peeking out of my bag and giving me the eye, so this weekend I’ll make sure to spend a good chunk of time working on it.
I’m so excited to make something I know will definitely be wanted and go to a good home!
A bit of back-story: Although I live in Glasgow now, I’m originally from Cheshire, where the rest of my family still live. Because my Mum is lovely she sends me care packages now and then with bits and bobs like sweet treats, pretty earrings, cool recipes I might like to try out, and little useful things.
The magic part is that nine times out of ten, the parcels will contain something I need. For example, I notice my deodorant getting a bit low and make a mental note to buy some more next time I go shopping, then a Mum parcel arrives all stocked with deodorant.
When my flatmate moved to London she left behind a massive bottle of fabric softener. The weekend after that finally ran out, guess what Mum said she’d bought me?
So basically my Mum is magic and/or psychic. But this week she really outdid herself.
I follow a lot of yarn crafters on Instagram, and since Monday/Tuesday-ish they started talking about Caron Cakes. They look gorgeous, and when I found out they were 200g of beautiful coloured yarn each, they went straight to the top of my I WANT IT list. However, I’m in the middle of a pact I made with myself not to buy any more yarn until I have a least 20 items in my etsy shop.
It’s fine. I can wait…
Then a parcel arrived from my Mum
How gorgeous are they?? I’m going to make a star blanket with the one at the back, but no plans for the other two yet.
Of course the parcel also included tapestry needles, which I was waiting to buy on pay day, and some cute crochet patterns.
I really don’t know how she does it. My Mum is just magic!
I’m almost certainly running before I can walk here, but I’ve decided to start making some crochet goodies without patterns.
The patterns I’ve bought so far are fabulous, but they take up almost 20% of the money I’ve spent on my shop. Plus they all (so far) use really simple stitches that I know how to use; in theory I could have written any of the patterns I have bought. So I’m going to give it a go!
Obviously you don’t just dive into something super-complicated for your first go without a pattern, so I decided to start with a hat.
I know from experience (having to restart one hat project at least 5 times) that beginning with the brim and working up doesn’t really work so well for me. Those chains were determined to twist, no matter what I did! There’s also the fact that I love magic rings, so the obvious choice for me was to start from the top and work my way downward.
Here’s what I did (Yes, I’m as British as they come but still use American crochet terms. Don’t go looking for logic here – there is none):
1) Make a magic ring, 6 double crochet into the ring (6)
2) 2dc in each stitch (12)
3) *dc, 2dc into next stitch* 4 times (18)
4) *dc, dc, 2dc into next stitch* 6 times (24)
5) dc in each stitch (24)
6) *dc, dc, dc, 2dc into next stitch* 6 times (30)
At this point I wanted to do something a bit more interesting, so I decided to experiment with some front post and back post double crochet (fpdc and bpdc)
7) Ch 2 (counted as dc), fpdc, *dc, fpdc* repeat ** around and join to starting chain (30)
8) Ch 2 (counted as bpdc), dc, *bpdc, dc* repeat ** around and join to starting chain (30)
9) Repeat 7) and 8) until desired length (including a stripe of colour because I can) (30)
10) Finish it all off with a row of single crochet and a slip stitch at the end (30)
That gave me this awesome waffle-patterned hat
Looking at it on my desk I was super proud of myself for actually making a real thing without a pattern, but…I didn’t like it. To me it looked like an old lady hat. Given the choice, I would never wear it. But my taste in hats is not everybody’s taste in hats so I tried it on, ready to take some photos for listing in the shop, and it’s actually not that bad!
Then one of my friends modelled it for me
She really likes it, which makes me feel super duper proud! Thank goodness for individual tastes in the world – if my friend likes the hat then there will definitely be someone out on the internet willing to buy it when my shop finally goes live.
So there you have it; my very first pattern-free crochet make.
What do you think? Would you wear the hat? Let me know in the comments!
A wee while ago I asked for help deciding how to make up these two hats
I posted on Facebook, instagram, my etsy group, and here on the blog to get as many responses as possible. I got 43 votes overall, which is actually more than I expected!
And the results are:
Opposite colours won 28 votes to 15!
I’m really happy with the result because the more responses came in, the more I realised I actually prefer them with contrasting bows. I still would have made them the same colour if the voting had gone that way, of course, but this way just pleases me more.
So there we have two more items ready to go into my shop! What do you think of the hats? Did you vote for the winning side? Let me know in the comments!
If you’ve got 30 seconds to spare, I could do with some help!
I’ve made two bow tie hats from a Melanie Ham pattern – one in lilac and one in wine red. I’ve made a bow in each colour as well, and now I can’t decide which bow to attach to which hat. Here they are:
My camera is rubbish so the colours aren’t very accurate in these photos, but you get the idea.
So what do you think? Same colours or different colours? Let me know in the comments!