The Charming Harbour Blanket…

After a slow start I am finally making steady progress on my Charming Harbour blanket. 

crochet blanket, charming harbour blanket
In the beginning…

I have found myself flitting from one project to the next lately, but I am getting at least a couple of rows hooked each evening now; which is reassuringly comforting as the pattern is so familiar.

Charming Harbour Blanket, crochet blanket, mens blanket
Charming Harbour Blanket in the making

I am enjoying the simplicity of the colourway also. A trio of sober colours, which formally stand to attention and which make this blanket so wonderfully handsome and so beautifully striking. 

womens institute yarn

The yarn has also proven to be a joy to hook with.  The yarn is  from the Women’s Institute…you can read my review of it just here.  

I am totally thrilled with this blanket’s reversibility which was entirely serendipitous.  The right side is darker

Charming Harbour crochet blanket for him by ayarnyrobin
Charming Harbour blanket in progress…

and the back (I can’t call it the wrong side…because it is not wrong at all!) is lighter altogether.

I have not been disciplined in weaving in the ends as I go, so I must make more effort else I will have a mammoth task at the end!

lots of ends to sew…

Yes, this Charming Harbour blanket is just that…

charming!

xxxxx

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Crochet, senior moments and mud!

What do crochet, senior moments and mud have in common? 

Well the answer is me! 

It has been a looooong week…let’s just say that.  Yesterday I was the Duty Health Visitor in the office, we take it in turns to triage calls and sort out various problems…I won’t bore you with the detail.  I took a call from a worried parent and said I’d get the Duty Health Visitor (which was me…I just forgot!!)  After  several enquiries amongst my colleagues I was gently reminded (actually,ribbed to the max) it was me.  I returned to the phone and in a posher voice said Duty Health Visitor, how can I help you? 

This was followed later in the day when I received an email from my GP asking me to attend a well woman check (for women over a certain age)…sigh! 

Then…yes there is more! I had to ask to borrow my Mom’s glasses for the very first time ever to read a food packet. 

Oh my!…little signs.

Another feature looming large in my week has been mud…lots of mud.  I have become a rugby mamma and I need help!  How on earth do I get this….erm…earth out of his kit.

Proud of my boy…he sure can tackle!

Please let me have any top tips for getting rid of all this mud! 

I also need your crochet help…pattern recommendations.  I want to make a few beanie style hats for Christmas, male and female.  I have a few, but they always seem to come off my hook too large or I am always a little disappointed with them.  Can you wholeheartedly recommend a superb pattern?  I would be  so very grateful. 

Have a great weekend.

xxxxx

A Dotty Little Flower…

Below is the very quick and simple pattern for my

‘Dotty Little Flower’

which featured in my latest tea cosy design. 

dotty little crochet flowersThe ‘Grandma Dot Tea cosy’ which is part of my Grandma Collection.

I have had some lovely comments and thought putting the pattern for the flower on a separate post might be useful….even though it is so simple, you could hardly call it a pattern!

Maybe inspiration may be a better phrase.

dotty little crochet flowers

 

 Any how this is what I did.

To make a dotty little flower, ch4, slst to 1st chain to make a ring. 

Ch 2 (counts as a hdc) x9 hdc into ring, slst into top of starting ch and fasten off to finish.
To create a real field of flowers cross stitch some centres,  add beads to others and save some for a french knot centre.  When using beads, just make sure they have large enough centres for the yarn to pass through!


I used a cheat method to create the french knot centre by pulling a piece of yarn from the back of the flower to the front and then tying a knot x10 in the yarn in exactly the same place to make a large knot. 

a dotty little flower

 

To finish thread the other tail of the yarn from the front to the back, so both tails are now at the back of the flower, tie to secure and trim tails short.

A dotty little crochet floweret voila! 

A dotty little flower ready to be sewn or glued or attached to whatever your heart desires.

The Grandma Dot Tea Cosy, crochet tea cosy, The Grandma Collection by ayarnyrobin
Grandma Dot Tea Cosy

xxxxx

Grandma Dot Tea Cosy…Free Pattern.

captureThis is the third tea cosy in the Grandma collection, designed with simplicity and sweetness.  The top down design means this pattern makes for a quick hook up.  Ideal for beginners and sure to guarantee  a perfectly sweet cosy for your teapot. The Grandma Dot Tea Cosy, crochet tea cosy, The Grandma Collection by ayarnyrobinDedicated to the inspiration that was ‘Nanna Dot’

dotty little crochet flowers

The pattern makes a tea cosy that fits a standard 4 cup teapot.

I used less than 50g of Stylecraft special dk yarn in colourways cream  and raspberry which I used  as my base colours.  Please note that I have used a different colour yarn in the photo tutorial below. 

I also used scraps of stylecraft special dk yarn in: lipstick, saffron, meadow, fondant, gold, shrimp, lime, khaki and grape.

You will also need a darning needle, a selection of beads with a centre hole wide enough for the dk yarn to be threaded through, a pair of scissors and x4 stitch markers (or small safety pins or scraps of different colour yarn).  The use of a hot glue gun is optional, flowers can either be glued into position or stitched.

  ayarnyrobin,beads and crochet

Stitches used in this pattern refer to English terminology, however a conversion to US terminology is provided in brackets.

Ch – chain stitch 

slst – slip stitch

hdc– half double crochet  (half single crochet)

You will also need:

a 4mm crochet hook

 

Ok, here we go…

Using the raspberry yarn  Ch 4

text636248704563960209

Join with a slst to form a ring.

Row 1: Ch1 (does not count as a st), 6hdc into ring,

finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (6hdc).

 

Row 2: Ch1, (does not count as a st) 2hdc in same space, 2hdc in each st around, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (12hdc).

 

Row 3: Ch1 (does not count as a st), 2hdc in same space, 1hdc in next st, *2hdc in next st, 1hdc in next st* . Repeat * – * to end,  finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (18hdc).

 

Rows 4: Ch 1 (does not count as a st), 2hdc in same space, 1hdc in next 2 sts, *2hdc in next st, 1hdc in next 2 sts*. Repeat *-* to end, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (24hdc).

 

Row 5: Ch1 (does not count as st), 2hdc in same space, 1hdc in next 3 sts, *2hdc in next st, 1hdc in next 3 sts*. Repeat *-* to end, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (30hdc).

Row 6: Ch 1 (does not count as a st),   2hdc in same space, 1hdc in next 4 sts, *2hdcin next st, 1hdc in next 4 sts*.  Repeat *-* to end, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (36hdc).

 

Row 7: ch1 ( does not count as a st), 1hdc in same space and in each st around, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (36hdc).  

 

Row 8: ch1 (does not count as a st), 2hdc in same space andin each st around, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (72hdc).

 

Row 9 and 10: Repeat row 7, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (72hdc).  

You should have something that is starting to look a bit like a flying saucer!  This is a good point to check your measurements with your intended teapot.  Place your hooked disc on top of your teapot. You want the edges of the circle to be approx. 1cm from the handle of the teapot.

To mark out handle and spout holes, simply take x4 st markers (or cut short pieces of yarn in a different  colour as I did) and place/ tie first marker in the st behind where you joined last row.

Counting backwards (or to the right)miss x3 sts and place/tie second marker in next st.  This marks out your handle. 

 

From this second marker count backwards (or to the right) 30sts and place 3rd marker in the next st (31st st).  Return to the first marker and count forwards 30 sts (or to the left) and place 4th marker in the next st.

 

 You have now marked out the handle and spout positions for your cosy.  Marker 1 and 2 indicate the handle space and markers 3 and 4 indicate the spout space.

The next stage of the cosy is to construct the sides.  So, for the purposes of the pattern these will be referred to as side A  (between marker 1 and 4) and side B between marker 2 and 3). 

crochet tea cosy by a ayarnyrobin

Side A row 1: In Cream yarn Ch 1(does not count as a st)* 1hdc in same st and in each st along to marker/tie 4, ch1, turn*

 

Side A row 2: repeat Side A row 1 returning to marker/tie1.

 

Repeat  (side A row 1 and side A row 2), to fit the height of your teapot.  I completed 15 rows in total.  Fasten off.

To complete side B, join  cream yarn in stitch to the left of stitch marker number 2

repeat Side A instructions between markers 2 and 3.  Fasten off and sew in all loose ends.

Remove stitch markers. 

Place on your teapot to check the fit.

Next, using a darning needle sew sides A and B together  from the bottom of the cosy  to below the spout (approx. 2 rows) and on the handle side from the bottom of the cosy to below the handle. 

Now for the creative part… making ‘dotty little crochet flowers’.  I made x4 flowers in each of the following colours:

lipstick, fondant, grape, gold, raspberry, saffron and shrimp

A dotty little crochet flower
A dotty little flower

To make a ‘dotty little flower’ ch4, slst to 1st chain to make a ring.  Ch 2 (counts as a hdc) x9 hdc into ring, slst into top of starting ch and fasten off to finish. 

To create flower centres you can cross stitch the centre,  add beads and create a french knot centre.

I used a cheat method to create the french knot centre by pulling a piece of yarn from the back of the flower to the front and then tying a knot x10 in the yarn in exactly the same place to make a large knot.

a dotty little flower

To finish thread the other tail of the yarn from the front to the back, so both tails are now at the back of the flower, tie to secure and trim tails short.

A dotty little crochet flowerdotty little crochet flowers

Secure your dotty little flowers to both sides of the cosy.  You can sew them into place or secure them with hot glue!  Then using green yarns sew simple stems and leaves using a back stitch to finish.  I used  stylecraft special DK yarn in meadow, khaki and lime.

dotty little crochet flowers

And there you have it…a sweet dotty flower tea cosy to keep your brew warm.

xxxxx

I REALLY HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED MAKING THIS PATTERN AS MUCH AS I HAVE ENJOYED CREATING IT FOR YOU.  IF YOU ARE NOT SURE ABOUT SOMETHING OR NOTICE ANY ERRORS PLEASE SHOUT UP.  EQUALLY PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR DOTTY FLOWER CREATIONS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THEM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grandma Dot Tea Cosy

captureIntroducing the ‘Grandma Dot’ tea cosy…the third  in the Grandma Collection

The Grandma Dot Tea Cosy, crochet tea cosy, The Grandma Collection by ayarnyrobin

Dedicated to my husband’s Nanna Dot who was a truly formidable woman. 

Nanna Dot was a tiny woman in stature but a mighty woman non the less. 

Strong, brave and wise with the most beautiful smile.  No matter what was going on or how much hell was breaking loose round about; Nanna Dot would make a cuppa tea or something a wee bit stronger and in a way that I still do not really understand, she would put things into perspective with a gentle reassurance.

dotty little crochet flowers

 

I wish I had known Nanna Dot for longer.  I especially loved her love of family and Christmas.  Family were so important to her.  When my first son was born, we counted from Nanna Dot and Grandad Ernie that our son was number 50….a BIG family indeed!

dotty little crochet flowers

 

So this cosy is covered in ‘dotty little flowers’ 

 

  A meadow of ‘dotty little flowers’ to represent the growth and legacy of her family, which at last count is upwards of 60!

 

 

The Grandma Dot Tea Cosy, crochet tea cosy, The Grandma Collection by ayarnyrobin

So that is the Grandma Dot tea cosy in all of its glory, here is the pattern linky thing which is free and has a photo tutorial also.

xxxxx

Autumn Love…

Here are just two little reasons that I love Autumn…

AYARNYROBIN DOES AUTUMN
                                                               I think my flask needs a snug little blanket….
                                                                                        pyjamas on…crochet out

Simple pleasures.

xxxxx

Sunday…

 

But, it is Tuesday I hear you say!

A beautiful Tuesday too, a happy day off for me catching up with family, drinking lots of coffee and I must confess a little nap before the school run instead of crochet. 

British countryside in the Autumn
a blustery Sunday walk in the countryside

So, I thought I would post the pictures of our lovely blustery Sunday countryside walk this weekend.

a British adder snake
a British adder snake

We were all thrilled to find this adder snake slithering across the path.  I have never seen an adder before, they are a rare sight.  They are also our only poisonous snake in Britain, so we got the dogs back on their leads quickly and let Mr adder go on his way.

british countryside in autumn

We continued our walk,  chatting and planning and breathing in the crisp air and generally being amazed by the beautiful British countryside.

Once home I curled up with my hook and began a new pattern which has been long overdue. 

A new tea cosy for the Grandma Collection.  I am almost done with it, so I will release it here  very soon I promise.

xxxxx

 

 

all photographs in this post are provided by Mr Little Brother…

Happy Tuesday…

Today has been a coffee and crochet kind of a day…except I forgot to take any photo’s ! 

So here are some photo’s of previous coffee (and tea) and crochet combo’s…just to give you the flavour of my day! 

Happy Tuesday.

xxxxx

My Yarny Autumn Blanket Round up…

With Autumn sneaking in…well here in the UK anyway, I thought I would take a little look back at some of my favourite blankets that I have hooked over the years. 

I rather think there is nothing as good to hook as a blanket, the process is satisfying and restful and of course it always involves that lovely stage of playing with colour and almost always buying new yarn!

Here is my yarny autumn blanket round – up…pattern details can be found in the links below or on my Ravelry page just here.

Granny square camping blanket
already a firm favourite!

This is my favourite camping granny square blanket.  Strictly speaking I did not hook this one as the squares were made for me from all around the world.  In return I sent squares all across the world too.  You can read more about this blanket here .

crochet blanket
design by Katherine Eng

This beautiful apartment lapghan in  this stunning alpine colourway, was a fabulous hook.  It challenged me at the time with the starting chain in the middle of the blanket !  I finished hooking this in the sunshine and I was thrilled with the end result…a perfect gift.

granny square blanket
Using up scraps!

I loved the alpine colourway so much that I used the scraps from the lapghan to make this simple granny square blanket.  I love to hook a traditional granny square  and always return to this pattern every now and then! I couldn’t resist a fringed edge for this one and it didn’t disappoint.

ripple crochet blanket
ripple so far…Attic 24 pattern

This happy ripple was another perfect gift…and just had to have a happy bobble edging to crown it.   This was a very, very happy hook…and I wished I could have kept it for myself!!!

crochet blanket, basket weave
basket weave baby blanket

Gorgeously cushy and in chilli pepper red. This basket weave baby blanket nearly tipped me over the edge, to read why click here.   I’m glad I have done basket weave, but it is my least favourite stitch and I think you get very similar results and much more joy from a C2C (corner to corner) technique. I did not follow a pattern as such, I followed a you tube clip on basket weave stitch (I cant remember which one!) but  my ravelry page for this blanket is just here, it might give an idea of amount of yarn used etc

Cosycattage blanket, ayarnyrobin, crochet blankets
Cosy Cottage Blanket by Attic 24

Another Lucy blanket and a dash to the finish line.  A simple hook but a mammoth project.  I love this blanket and still get to snuggle under it even though it was a gift…as I gave it to my Mom!

Pattern details just here

crochet baby blanket, popcorn stitch
rows of popcorn stitches

Once I had the pattern repeat in my head, I was able to hook this beautifully understated baby blanket on auto pilot.  I adore the popcorn stitches, and the alternating texture of this blanket.  This blanket draped well, felt soft and squishy and I remember thinking any baby would feel cherished snuggled in this blanket.   For pattern details click here.

crochet blanket, traditional giant granny square

Another great stash buster and great for crocheting whilst watching a box set…A giant granny square blanket.  Going back to my roots with this blanket as it was one of the first patterns I taught myself to hook…so the pattern is in my head…but youtube traditional granny square and you will be certain to find a tutorial for sure.

crochet granny squareblanket with bobble edging
100 patch granny

I kept this 100 patch mini granny square blanket after learning sometimes smaller is better!  I couldn’t resist another bobble edge again, but this time in duck egg.  I joined the squares using a double crochet technique which frames each square beautifully. Pattern details are here.

crochet v stitch blanket, rainbow blanket
Very V blanket

A rainbow lovely. 

This  simple v stitch blanket proved to be nothing but joyous from the moment the yarn arrived in its lovely balls all bagged up together.  Hooking this merry delight was rhythmically therapeutic and soothed me whenever I picked it up…needless to say I couldn’t put it down! 

Pattern details just here.

crochet baby blanket

An interlocking stitch on this Baby Wilmer blanket, gave a dense squishy feel and a reversible fabric, ideal for putting in the pram.  Using just 3 colours also meant I could work the yarn threads up the sides of the blanket without getting in a tangle; meaning colour changes were a doddle and  the number of ends to be woven in at the end were reduced by a gazillion!

C2C crochet blanket, afghan, corner to corner technique,crochet love heart squares, totally smitten
C2C Totally Smitten blanket

And finally, the blanket on my hook at the moment, a real stunner and a keeper…this C2C heart blanket which I am smitten with.  Pattern details just here and yes… it is still awaiting a border. 

So, there you have it; my yarny autumn roundup of blankets I have made over the years.  I will never tire of hooking such beauties and I still have so many on my to do list. 

I hope if you have the blanket bug this may help in your happy, hooky deliberating. 

If you have got this far and read all of this and you don’t have the blanket bug, just know that you may well have caught it by now…look out for symptoms over the coming week!

xxxxx

 

 

 

Velo BIRMINGHAM 2017

15000 riders came past the bottom of our street yesterday, on a 100 mile ride on closed roads.  I made a coffee and took the very short walk in the early morning sunshine with the boys.

velo Birmingham 2017

I sat with my neighbours as we watched all sorts of people from all walks of life zoom past.

They rode so fast it made me a little dizzy, but they were so inspiring.  I guess all of them having different motives to complete the challenge.  

A lot of folk had been moaning about the extensive road closures…but I was excited, a few hours of something completely different and a rare chance for our community to come together and drink coffee on the pavement together and chat. 

I can’t tell you what 15000 riders looked like, I just know that for hours they poured down our hill, determined and pumped and probably a little exhausted, but exhilarated and achieving. 

I returned home, empty mug in hand

Velo Birmingham

I made a fresh coffee and settled down with new yarn and began to hook my newest project

crochet blanket, a new blanket…

a masculine and handsome edition to the blankets I have hooked in the past.  I’m 13 rows in and  loving it!

xxxxx