Friday, 26 September 2014

Granny stripe cowl and exclusive yarn discount code

So here's what I was making with that lovely yarn from Black Sheep Wools - a cosy cowl.


Recently, much of what I have made has been posted off in brown boxes, ready for the book, or a magazine commission. 
But not this.
This one's for me.

It can be worn short, or long, too.
Ideal for these chilly mornings we've been having.



Fancy making one?


First of all, grab yourselves the exclusive 10% discount code AB10 (applies to Rico Baby Classic DK and valid until the 9th October 2014) and head on over to Black Sheep Wools to buy your supplies! 


[This pattern is written in UK terms. US equivalents are given below]

UK double crochet = US single crochet
UK treble crochet = US double crochet

Abbreviations:
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet
sts = stitches
sk sts = skip stitches

Granny Stripe Cowl

Finished size: 68cm (26 3/4 in) x 25cm (9 3/4 in) approx

You will need:
4 mm (US 6/G) hook
1 x 50g ball each of Rico Baby Classic dk in Smokey Rose (39) [A], Smoke Blue (42) [B], Dusky Pink (40) [C], Steel Grey (44) [D]
Tapestry needle

Pattern

Foundation chain: using colour A, ch 288. Sl st into first ch to join round.

Round 1: ch 1, dc 288 (beginning in same st as the ch). Sl st to first dc to join round.

Round 2: (ch 3 (counts as tr), 2tr) in same st, ch 1, *sk 3 sts, 3tr in next st, ch 1* repeat around. Sl st into top of ch-3 to join round, sl st to first ch-1 space. Fasten off yarn and attach new colour.

Round 3: using colour C, (ch 3 (counts as tr), 2tr) in first ch-1 space, *ch 1, 3tr in next ch-1 space* repeat around. Sl st into top of ch-3 to join round, sl st to first ch-1 space. Fasten off yarn and attach new colour.

Rounds 4-30: repeat round 3.

I used the colours in the following order: D, C, D, B, D, C, B, A, C, A, C, B, A, B, D, B, C, A, C, D, A, B, D, A, C, B, D

Round 31: ch 1, dc around. Sl st to join round.
Fasten off.
Weave in ends


And that, as they say, is that.
A nice easy project, too.

Enjoy making and don't forget to use that discount code!

Sarah x

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The one with a yarn review

When the lovely peeps at Black Sheep Wools asked me if I would like to review some yarn for them, I just couldn't say no, especially when this lovely lot was posted though my door:

From top left: Smokey Rose (39), Smoke Blue (42), Dusky Pink (40), Steel Grey (44)

Ooooooooooo 
(said like one of those aliens in Toy Story)
Isn't it lush?

Squishy and squeezy and soft. So soft. 
And those colours are dreamy. Pink grey and blue are timeless.


So....what is it? I hear you ask.


These are some of the new shades of Rico Baby Classic DK

But what to make with it?
It would be perfect for so many things- blankets, shrugs, gloves, hats, jumpers, cushions... but I decided on something just for me.



And it involves a bit of granny striping.
The perfect pick-up-and-put-down-kinda-project for when you're as busy as a bee.

I like crocheting with this yarn; I'm using a 4mm (US G/6) hook, which is working out perfectly. I reckon you could use a slightly smaller hook, too. The yarn is smooth and clean to work with and doesn't split (hooray!).
And being a mix of acrylic fibres, it will wear and wash well, too.

It's not finished yet, but as soon as it is, I'll show you.
And you'll get the pattern too.

If you'd like some of this gorgeous yarn for yourself, then pop along to Black Sheep Wools and say hi. They've got loads in stock, along with just about everything else you could ever need for your crochet and knitty projects.

Have a great weekend,
Sarah x



Friday, 29 August 2014

The one with the little purses

'

So, on a recent mooch around t'internet, I found some little sew-in purse frames and a few ideas were formulated.
(All of which involved crochet, you'll be pleased to know).


So I drew a few sketches and mucked around with some yarn and a hook, and I'm pleased to say, both designs worked first time (a rare, but welcome event, as any designer knows).



If you also fancy mucking around with some yarn and a hook, then the pattern to make both is available just over there in my Etsy shop. You'll need a 65mm frame (find these in craft shops or online) and some dk yarn.

These would make gorgeous presents for ...dare I say the C-word ??

Happy crocheting
Sarah xx

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The one with the knitting needles and the bracelets


It's a well known fact that the Mister thinks I'm bonkers.
So it's just as well he didn't see me boiling my knitting needles at lunchtime today.

Yep, you read it right. Boiling my needles.

See? Here's the proof.


No, I'm not THAT hungry. I just fancied trying something crafty.

I'd found the green and red plastic needles in a charity shop (10p per pair, I kid you not) and knew just what to do with them. 
And for once, it didn't involve yarn.

Here's what I made:


Bracelets! 

If you'd like to follow suit and confound your family and friends with your culinary madness, then here's what to do:

1. Find some plastic knitting needles (raid your stash for lonely ones, or keep your eyes peeled in the charity shops for cheapo ones).

2. Boil them for 20 mins or so -they need to be really soft for them to take shape. My first attempt didn't work as they weren't pliable enough.
Do be aware of nasty fumes which can be released- ventilate your kitchen and you'll be fine.

3. Remove them carefully from the water. Within a couple of seconds they'll be cool enough to handle.

4. Bend them quickly into shape and use something to hold them in position. (See my imaginative use of the elastic bands the postman insists on dropping along the street)


5. Allow to cool completely.

If you're not happy with your bracelet, then just pop the needle back in the boiling water to soften and start again.

Now adorn your wrists with your awesome creations and wait for the comments to come flooding in...


NB: not all plastic needles will bend. The grey one refused to comply and has been returned, sulking to my stash.

Enjoy your week!

Sarah x


Monday, 21 July 2014

The big stuff

I loves a bit of mahooooosive yarn.


It has to be a favourite of mine.
It's so exciting- seeing that huge skein, rolled up in a cone or ball. So many possibilities ...




I've made quite a few things now, with the big stuff:


And I've got a few projects in mind for the book, too.

If you fancy giving it a go, then there are plenty of commercially produced yarns available. And you can always make your own t-shirt yarn - there's lots of tutorials online to guide you - try this one for size.

My stash (and there's more)

It goes without saying that you'll need a big hook-anything from 10-20mm (US 15/N/P - S) depending on the pattern and then you're good to go. Hold it in exactly the same way as you would a smaller hook and yarn- it takes a little getting used to, but you'll soon adapt.

The great thing about this yarn is that it works up really quickly.
In no time at all you can have a bag or basket or slippers! 

Enjoy your mahosssive  yarn adventures,
Sarah xx