Tag Archives: Stylecraft DK

New toy

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(Disclaimer: The photos in this post are horrendous. I really don’t like them. However, apart from weekends, I am never at home during daylight hours, so there are very few opportunities to take photos in good light at the moment. Let’s blame winter for the horrible photos and agree that they’ll get better once spring shows her sunny face again.)

I got a new toy last week. It was something I’ve thought about getting for a while, and seen several people in blogland using one.

I got a wool winder!

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I was so excited when it arrived! I spent a fair bit of time that evening winding yarn into beautiful little balls. It was a little tricky getting it set up – the biggest problem was that the clamp didn’t open wide enough to attach to the edge of my desk, so I ended up with it on my laptop! Probably not the best idea, but it worked 🙂

When I told Mum about my new toy she was a little baffled. Pretty much all of the yarn I buy is in lovely, easy to crochet from balls. So why bother to wind them again? This is why…

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My stripy bag is simply bursting! Admittedly, this is particularly full, even by my standards, but I wanted all the different colours I’m using for my stripy blanket in one place. And sadly they didn’t quite all fit.

However, after some very happy winding time on Saturday, my stripy yarn bag now looks like this…

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I honestly haven’t taken any out to make it look less! Yes, it still bulges horribly at the sides, but at least now it’s not spilling out of the top as well. A lot of the yarn I wound was from nearly full balls. I ended up making 2 balls instead of 1 for these – for one thing it got tricky to wind and the yarn kept slipping off the bottom. For another thing, it’s more portable to take half the amount with me on my crochet travels! And because I rarely use a lot of one colour all in one go the fact that I had to cut the yarn really doesn’t bother me.

One tip if you’re going to wind wool – keep half an eye on it. I caught up with Downton Abbey whilst winding, and got a little too distracted…

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Oops! It required scissors to fix the mess. It wasn’t pretty.

Anyway, enough time talking about it – I’m going to wind some more wool 🙂

Cosy Cowls

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Even though my life for the last 8 weeks has primarily been dominated by school, I’ve still been able to squeeze some much needed crochet time into my daily routine. I normally manage to do 10 – 15 mins during my lunch break which helps me to relax in the middle of the day. I’ve used this time to make up 2 more cowls. I made another Calm Cowl, this time using stylecraft special dk for the middle (I think the shade was plum) and edging it with Adriafil Knitcol (shade Dali).

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I loved how it turned out, and gave it to a friend for her birthday.

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I was also inspired by Tamara to make a Granny-style cowl. Tamara really is the nicest lady – when I admired the cowl and asked what pattern she used she searched it out and emailed it to me. Thank you again Tamara! The pattern can be found here. I ended up adapting it and made it much more like a granny pattern, but with 4 stitches in each gap and no chains between each cluster.

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I love the colours in this yarn – they remind me of sweeties! This is yet another James C. Brett yarn, this time Passion Chunky, shade 3.

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I really love it, but now deciding what to do with it – there are only so many cowls I can use at one time!

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Another cute cardigan

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I wrote this post up yesterday and set it to publish in a few days time – but as soon as I hit the schedule button it lost all the text! I couldn’t face re-writing it again straight away, but thought I’d do a slightly abbreviated version for you today.

Some of you may remember that I made a cardigan for as a birthday present for a lovely Little Girl back in April. Well, it was her sister’s first birthday last week and I thought I’d make another one!

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Thankfully it doesn’t take long to make as I only started it on Monday and her birthday was on Wednesday!

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Because I was less organised this time around I didn’t have time to order more of the cotton yarn I used before, so used some good old Stylecraft Special DK. I wanted to make it a little different (I didn’t think Little Girl would be too impressed at being made to wear the same thing as her Baby Sister!) so added a different type of flower.

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And I added scalloped edges to the sleeves too.

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I finished it off with a nice green button.

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You can buy the pattern here. It’s not very expensive and I feel I’m getting my money’s worth – I’ve made 2 cardigans and I can see me making more in the future too!

Stripy blanket CAL #3

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The rows this week were pretty straightforward – mostly trebles (US doubles) or half trebles. The most complicated part was the star stitch, and even that wasn’t too taxing!

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I felt that the stars really should be in yellow and I’m happy with my choice. I think they look quite sweet. (There’s a great star stitch blanket on Little Woolie’s blog – it’s amazing!)

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It turns out that my Catherine wheel stitches last week do have a right and wrong side! The first week there was no obvious right or wrong side, so I just stitched the ends in without really thinking about it. It was only when I saw the instructions about the stars this week (that also have a right and wrong side) that I realised I should have sewn the ends in on the opposite side! So while I was sorting out my car insurance (and on hold on the phone for quite a while!) I pulled all the ends loose. I now have 3 weeks worth to sew in – but I think they can wait for now!

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I also noticed today that one end is pulling in a bit where the Catherine wheels are. It wasn’t too noticeable last week and I’m hoping that with a border around it at the end it’ll stretch out!

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Stripy blanket CAL #2

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I was so excited to see the next CAL post! I got started straight away, and finished my rows just a few minutes ago. I immediately took it outside to get some photos…

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I think I’m happy with it, but I’m still a little bit undecided. I quite like the Catherine wheels, but it seems like they’re backwards – the ‘wrong’ side seems to be on the front. This might just me being picky, but it’s bugging me a bit. But if I want to change it I’ll have to unravel the last 6 rows, add another dc/hdc row then start the Catherine wheels again. And I just don’t know if I can be bothered.

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I’m also wondering about my colour choice. I like the colours I’ve used, but wondered if I should have perhaps added a couple of other colours before repeating the sherbet and parchment.

Hmmm…

Anyway, while I think about that, let me show you the finished flower I told you about, beads and all.

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Here’s a close up of the heart at the bottom…

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I love it! Happy flower decoration is definitely the right name for it!

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It’s currently on my notice board. I’m not sure where it’s permanent home will be, but I’m happy admiring it where it is for the time being.

Stripy Blanket CAL #1

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This morning felt a lot like Christmas. I had a wonderful parcel in the post – new yarn!

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Ooo, look at all the colours!

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It was just so exciting, and the best part is that I only ordered it yesterday! I love that it arrived so speedily. I guess it helps that I live fairly close to where the shop is based (Bristol) so it didn’t have too far to travel. And I love the fact that I didn’t even have to pay for the postage (because I spent over £15). The wonderful shop I got these goodies from is called Get Knitted. I may well pay them a visit in the summer holidays!

Anyway, (part of) the reason I ordered so much new yarn is because, starting from today, I’m taking part in the ‘As we go stripy blanket CAL’. This has been organised by Hannah of Not Your Average Crochet. It’s not too late to join in if you haven’t already!

Hannah’s first few rows look like this…

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…and mine look like this…

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Oops, it’s upside down! But you get the idea…

I’m using the same yarn as Hannah (good old Stylecraft Special DK) but she’s using a 5mm hook and I’m using 4mm, so mine will be slightly smaller. It measures about 46.5 in/118 cm across. I’ve also decided to use a wider range of colours, partly because I already have a lot of colours in the right yarn, partly because I want to use some new colours, and partly because it just feels like this needs to be a super colourful blanket!

The colours so far (from top to bottom) are meadow, apricot (I think! I’ve had this for a long time, and I’m pretty sure it’s apricot, although it’s a lighter shade than the ball that’s just arrived), fondant, sherbet, parchment.

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Cutting it fine…

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All month I’ve been planning to enter ‘May Made It’ over at Woolhogs. If you’ve not come across it, it’s a place where crafters from all over the world can show what they’ve been working on and at the end of the month vote for the items they like the most. A random person is randomly chosen to win a lovely prize.

Anyway, it’s been in the back of my mind for weeks that I really ought to just get on and do something. But time has a sneaky habit of trickling away when you’re not looking, and suddenly it’s the end of the month and I haven’t done anything! This was highlighted by the fact that Maryanne just added a post with the title ‘May Made It – The last few entries….or are they?‘ I realised that I now only have a day left to get my act together – eek!!

So I’m going to scrap what I was originally going to enter (not literally – I’ll still keep working on various things and they may well end up as part of June’s Made It instead) and go with something that’s completely finished and properly photographed…

The Riverbed Blanket!

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Scrolling through my photos this really stands out.

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I think it’s partly the fact that I managed to take the photos on a sunny day.

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But it’s also something that I’m really pleased with (wobbly edges and all).

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And my friend enjoys it too – bonus!

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Maybe next month I’ll be a little more organised.

Or perhaps there will be a very similar post in 30 days time…

The Blanket (at long last)

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Isn’t this just so beautiful?!

I don’t normally swim, but this beautifully clear water just looks so inviting and perfectly wonderful! So why am I randomly wittering on about a beautifully clear river when I should be showing you the blanket you’ve waited so long to see?

Well, I wanted you to have this image of different shades of blue interspersed with ripples of light. That’s what I think of when I see this blanket, and have christened it the Riverbed Blanket.

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Can you see what I mean? (Or is it just me being a little OTT?!)

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Whether you can see what I mean or not, I really like how this blanket turned out. It’s not huge (probably about 100 x 120cm, but as I forgot to measure it I don’t know for sure) but it’s just the right size for snuggling under on the sofa.

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I made (what felt like) thousands of blue circles in five different shades, and grouped them in threes. I joined as I went along, and turned the circles into hexagons – it kind of felt like a magic trick! I toyed with the idea of a random ‘pattern’ but found it far too stressful – I like order and predictability. But as the hexagons don’t line up exactly (as squares would) the pattern sort of slants to one side. I actually rather liked this aspect of it and added to the riverish feeling of the blanket, kind of like all the water is flowing towards the bottom corner.

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It almost feels like my feel will get wet at any moment!

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Anyway, moving on from my slightly strange and fanciful ideas…

The only part I wasn’t entirely happy with was the border. I did a round of trebles in cream, then two round of half trebles in two different blues. I tried several different things, but whatever I tried the border always ended up a little bit wavy. I guess that’s appropriate for a watery, rivery blanket, but a little frustrating nonetheless.

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Of course, when the blanket is in use the waviness of the border really is not an issue, so perhaps I just need to stop being picky. But if anyone has any advice on how to make a non-wavy border I’d be most grateful!

Before giving the blanket I added a care label…

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…and wrapped it in plain brown paper tied up with yarn. Again, perhaps a slightly odd idea, but the friend I gave it to also loves to crochet, so I thought she could re-use the yarn to make flowers!

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So, that’s the blanket! What did you think of it? Was it worth the agonising wait?! And now that it’s done, what big project should I get started on next?

Baby boy blanket

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Hello, how are you all? I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since my last post! It was my half term holiday two weeks ago, and I made the decision to just enjoy making things for a week without blogging about them. I fully intended to blog about them this week though, but life has a habbit of getting in the way. Do you find that too?

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about one of the things I did during my week off. A friend of mine had a baby that week. I was expecting a text to come through some point that week as the due date had already come and gone! I wanted to make something for the new baby, but didn’t know if it was going to be a pink baby or a blue baby. In my mind I had a couple of options to go with, but didn’t make the final decision until I had a message at 9.44 pm on the Tuesday evening to say that a healthy little boy had been born.

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By 9.45 pm I’d decided what to make and started making it! I already had a stack of blue circles made (these are for another project – I’ll tell you about it some other time) and decided to make some of them into a blanket. But I wanted to break up the blues and have a bit more variety, so started making up some circles in the lovely multicoloured yarn I bought a few weeks ago. I loved how these turned out – some were solid colours, but others had two or three colours worked into them. And I loved how they looked with the blues too. Some parts of the multicoloured yarn are exactly the same shades as the pale blues, so I felt they tied the colours together nicely.

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After making up 80 circles (40 in 5 shades of blue and 40 in the multicoloured yarn) I edged each in cream and made them square. I joined them as I went along using Lucy’s method here.

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When they were all joined I made a simple granny border (I used Jacqui’s pattern for the first round) from three of the blues, then finished it off with a row of doubles (US singles) in the multicoloured yarn. I finished it at 11.15pm on the Thursday evening – it only took 2 days, 1 hour and 30 mins to finish – hurrah!

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I stretched it out on the floor for a day. Even though it’s acrylic yarn and doesn’t block in the same way that cotton or wool do I think it helped to shape the blanket and just generally improved it a bit – although I’m not really sure if I can describe how!

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And this is how it looked when it was all unpinned…

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All that was left to do was add a label with care instructions and wrap it up ready for delivery.

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I was really pleased with how it turned out (even though it was a little wibbly wobbly around the edges!), and I hope it will get a lot of use over the next few weeks and months!

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Flowery phone case

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Last week my friend got a fancy new phone. It’s a touchscreen and she was worried about keeping it scratch-free in her handbag. She has four children and therefore carries about a million things in her bag! So I decided to make her a little case to keep it safe.

The photos aren’t great quality. I only finished it last night, and my friend was with me so I gave it to her straight away – no chance to wait for good natural light! But this is what it looks like…

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I had to guess at the size. It turns out that it’s a little bigger than the phone, but not bad for a guess! I started with a chain of 15, then worked in rounds of half trebles until it got to what I thought would be the right length. I then attached the pink and worked a row of trebles to make the strap, before edging around the top and strap in doubles. I added the flower (pattern from Attic 24) and then all it needed was a few buttons and it was finished!

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I used Stylecraft DK for the whole lot. The main colour is Sherbert, the strap is Fondant and it’s edged in Pomegranate. The flower is (from the inside out) Candyfloss, Fondant, Pomegranate, Lipstick. I was really pleased with how it turned out – although you can’t tell the full effect from the pictures, the colours work really well together.

The best part was that I was working on the case as my friend came to visit. She commented on how much she liked it, and the look on her face when I said it was for her was just brilliant! I love surprising people 🙂