Time for Teapots and my Annie Bonnet Template

September 26th, 2014

Yay! Feel good Friday and the weekend starts here! A quick post to show the latest teapot cosy  made from my Annie Bonnet template. The trimming (the daisy chain around the ruffle) is just so happy. I love it. Hope you do, too.

The template is here.

Have a good weekend.

Crochet a simple but beautiful heart

September 22nd, 2014

Subtitled: A heart rending yarn (lol)

The sun has been shining down drying my washing just lovely today. Colour me happy. It’s been so nice lately I’ve even been looking around for things to wash so if you call round, don’t stand still for too long, will you?!

I notice that my blueberry bush has produced its annual harvest. Blueberries are currently designated as ‘superfoods’ however that is defined. I just know they’re gorgeous. Dunnes and Tesco have started selling bags of frozen ones for around €2.00 which is very reasonable and cheap enough to have a serving every day. Anyway, I took my bowl out to the garden and picked off the one blueberry that hung there ripe and juicy.  At this rate I’ll have enough for a blueberry pie in twenty or so years.Watch out, Mr Dunne. I’m coming after you.

I’m making lots of little crochet hearts for Christmas. The ones in the pic above make up very quickly with a small number of basic stitches.  I’ve added some felted balls decorated with beads for a festive look and haven’t they just zhuzhed (sp?) up?! I’ve a mind to leave long tails on the cast off lengths so I can plait them together and maybe make a drawstring or a dangly addition to knitted socks or burlap doodahs…

The pattern is here:

Crochet Heart Tutorial

Have a go. I’ve used a pure cotton with a size 3.00 hook. My hearts measure approx. 1″ ‘square’ – lol.

 

Oh, balls!

I have big balls, Roy. (I.T. Crowd). Felty ones. Lots of colours. I picked a juicy fat red one to top my heart today.

 

And some beads. Not enough of the small pearl types though. But enough little pretties so I don’t have to run down to the shops to buy some.

 

I use a special Beading Needle. See the difference? The Beading Needle is much finer and its eye is not so pronounced as ordinary sewing needles. This means they pass through those tiny ‘hippy beads’ easily. It also means they bend more and end up like rickety legs. You can get these from most haberdashers. They’re not expensive – €3 or €4 for a pack of 5.

Use cotton to match your balls (or invisible thread) and create a few anchoring stitches to the heart base. After that, bring the needle out willy nilly and pop a bead on the end to stitch your beads on.

Don’t they liven it up?! You can imagine how small clusters of these, say threes or fives, would jazz up a hand made craft for Christmas. Or any occasion, really. I have a box of them – different colours and sizes.  Am really excited to get started on some crochet patterns and decorate with a few of these.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a picture of Jess. She’s becoming well-chilled these days. Much more relaxed than when we first got her.

Enjoy your day and hope you’ve got lots of sunshine in your life. Byeee.

Sticking a toe in the scary sock world

September 12th, 2014

Heylo to the lot of yers! Ireland is having a gorgeous Indian Summer. As the emperor Caligula said to his sister-wife Drusilla ‘They’ll be no rain’… Oops – sorry, he said ‘There’ll be no PAIN’…. but that’s a different story altogether. Like when he cured his cousin Germellus’ cough by having his head cut off… Not a warm fuzzy feeling kind of guy – unlike my socks. They make me feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy! Now, there’s a segue for you! The murderous and quite barking mad Caligula to knitted socks in a mere moment! Joined neatly together like a perfect seam. Lol.

I got my needles out and clicked and clacked away daring myself to heel-toe and fashion a proper pair of socks. I did it. Hand knitted socks all lovely, rustic and ready for autumn. The wool is rough and scratchy but with a pair of cotton softies underneath will make for toasty toes when the cold starts to nip in the evening. Perfect for scrunching through the autumn leaves on an evening’s ramble.

I followed a basic pattern with lots of pictures and step-by-step instructions; follow the link if you want to make a pair yourself. I don’t know whether to keep them (I want them) or put them to one side as a Christmas present.. (I want them)…

SOCK PATTERN

But, back to the socks; can I part with them? As Hannibal Lecter once said: ‘We begin by coveting what we see every day.  And don’t your eyes seek out the things you want? ‘.  Very true. And that said by a man who couldn’t even bite his fingernails let alone drink a mug of milky Ovaltine. Unless through a straw. But still couldn’t dunk his Hob-Nobs though, eh?! The acid test is, would I eat your liver if you tried to take them from me? Probably. I want them.

Now on to a felted woolen phone case.

This is made from a fabulous woolen cardi that I hot washed and felted. It had a broad fold-over ribbed collar which lent itself beautifully to the job. Two pieces cut big enough to hold the phone. A stitch around three sides (I hand stitched with darning wool and darning needle) and the basic case was made.  I decorated mine with crocheted noodles stitched onto the cuff and bottom.

Noodles are fabulous – mine are stretched taut but they look just fab like pasta spirals ready for hot saucy. The drawstring is a simple length of chained crochet passed through the cuff with a long running stitch. The button was on the original cardi – ceramic so this cosy will have to be as protected as the phone. And hand-washed only, of course.

 

Crocheted Noodles

These are simple to do. Chain a length of crochet – as a gauge, the spiral you get at the end  will be roughly half the length of the chain you make. Starting with the second chain from the hook, make 4 dc into each stitch then cast off. You will have a lovely curly noodle.

You can experiment by using taller stitches like trebles then doubles then singles to taper them or give them  fat bellies by making taller stitches in the middle. Make them as long or short as you like and use them to decorate hats, scarves or anything that would look good with pasta noodles or wooly dreadlocks!

 

Back to the phone case

Now, the curly patterned heart. Another crochet cutie. I have developed a crush on these little sweeties. They bring the socks to life and transform them from army drill boot things,  to curl-up-on-the-sofa-with-Ovaltine-and-Jammy-Dodger-dunkers type of things. Mmmm, while watching an episode of Boston Legal. Please let it be the one with the little man and the skillet…

 

I used it on the socks and I used a few more on the back of my new phone case… am just loving them.

The curly heart pattern is to be written up and have stage photos taken… or maybe, just maybe, I’ll make a video and post it on You Tube… never done that before and would be a lot simpler. Yes. This weekend, I’ll give it a go.

I’ve also been making some other crochet hearts and beaded felted balls. I haven’t decided what to do with them yet but they’re small, delicate (used crochet cotton and a 2.5 hook) and will look pretty on something. The felted balls aren’t machine-wash friendly but the hearts alone would look really nice on the front of a shirt or jumper with some beads. So pretty. Needles to say (pun deliberate) am loving these, too.

Well, those harem pants won’t finish themselves so must get on. Bought a single quilt cover from Ikea last weekend and have used the cotton fabric to make a couple of pairs.  People will recognise their bedding as I waft past eating Turkish Delight and belly dancing through the Dublin throngs – and I will think ‘Made you look – Ha!’.  This bit isn’t true. I rarely eat Turkish Delight (when I do it’s Fry’s and not Cadbury’s). I never belly dance in public (I did go to classes years ago though – tones up those pelvic muscles, ladies, good as Kegels for preventing stress incontinence and other things). And I won’t think anything cos I won’t give a wet slap with a cold fish or a flying fairy cake if anybody notices. They’re comfy, cotton and super-caliph-expidalidocious.

Byyeee – have a good day.

Harem Pants

September 3rd, 2014

This weekend I made a couple of pairs of harem pants. There are dozens of templates and tutorials on You Tube. I finally settled for making a pattern from a pair I already owned.

 

 

Easy to make and very comfy. Perfect for an Indian summer (wishy wishy).

 

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