#HOBCAL

Following on from my epic fail I sought solace in my ironing pile and some of my favourite crochet podcasts. 

It was whilst watching one of these podcasts that I stumbled upon the perfect remedy for my misery…a CAL (crochet-a-long)!

So, with much excitement I ordered my yarn and made a start. 

The pattern is written so well but is challenging my skills also.  The design is amazing; I love how the different elements of this shawl work with one another. 

progress so far…

I think this CAL runs until the end of May, so if you are looking for a challenge and want to join in it is not too late. 

Here are all the details you need: 

Hotel of Bees pattern

CAL hosted by Cherry Heart and Betsymakes 

Ravelry group

search  #HOBCAL

xxxxx

 

Milestones and Alpaca Cake…

I have had such a fabulous week.   

Not only have we celebrated Easter and had  a whole week away from work; I have had a birthday and a graduation! 

What’s more I had a beautiful alpaca birthday cake!!! 

I’m feeling so blessed.

xxxxx

Epic Fail…

  I was hoping so much that I would have posted the next pattern in the Grandma Collection by now.  Clearly I haven’t!!

I’m just at that point where I can smile about it. 

I have been spending the very little spare time I have working on and designing  my newest tea cosy and I absolutely hate the finished result…

in fact, I would go as far to say that it is hideous. 

What was I thinking!!!!

I can’t even bring myself to show you a finished  picture. 

It is such an epic fail!

So for now I have banished the said cosy to the bottom of a bag…a cheap plastic carrier bag at that…and when I can begin to face the redesign I will begin again. 

Until then I am going to try and do the following…

and console myself with hooking patterns from other designers which I know will float my boat; because life is just too short to be worrying about a tea cosy!

xxxxx

Baby Shower Diaper Cake…

Take a look at this little creation I just made…

I would have adored one of these when I was expecting!  So, I got to work constructing my diaper cake as soon as I received my friends baby shower invitation. 

There are lots of tutorials on the web about how to make your own diaper cake, but I did take photo’s of each step and have included them below. 

I found the hardest part of creating a diaper cake was deciding on the colours and of course a theme! 

I used an old cake board, a kitchen roll tube, card,  scissors, sticky tape, hot glue gun, elastic bands, string, ribbons, a teddy, ‘sweet dreams’ bunting and some artificial daisies and about 64 size 2 diapers (nappies).

So this is how I made mine…

Step 1:

roll up your diapers…

I used the kids loom bands to secure, but elastic bands would work too. 

Step 2:

Using the scissors snip approx. 1cm around one end of the kitchen roll. 

Step 3:

Secure the tube to the centre of the cake board with sticky tape.

Step 4:

place rolled up diapers around the tube.

Begin placing rolled up diapers around the base of the tube, in x3 rounds.  Secure each round with an elastic band or tie with string.  If tying with string keep loose ends short and tuck any remaining ends in between the diapers as you go to keep your cake looking neat. 

Step 5:

Hot Glue a ruffled ribbon around the base onto the cake board.

Step 6:

Repeat the process for the second tier, this time for 2 rounds only.

Now, at this point, the kitchen tube, disappeared as you can see in the photo above, as the height of the tube was equal to the height of the second tier. 

You don’t really need to worry if your cake topper is rigid or small.  But, as my topper was a cute little bear, that was quite floppy and soft, I added an extension to my tube in the form of a bit of plastic pipe, Mr R had spare. 

If you need to extend your tube, card would suffice at this point, but as I did not have any I went with the plastic pipe.

To secure Mr Bear, I tied his leg with a bit of string and threaded the string through the pipe, securing the string at the bottom of the pipe with sticky tape.  I then placed the pipe inside  the kitchen tube, before proceeding with step 7. 

You may find you can go straight to tier 3 and decorate with your topper once tier three is insitu, it will just depend upon what you have chosen for your decoration. 

Step 7:

The final Tier, just one round of diapers needed here.

Step 8:

Using the hot glue gun secure your ribbon in place.

Just like so.

Step 9:

add your decorations.
Sweet Dreams Diaper Cake

And there you have it. 

I just love this sweet dreams theme in aqua and grey. The little yellow centres in the daisies  and Mr. Bears matching bow tie add a little extra zing! 

It looks so elegant and I have had so many gushing comments about it and requests to make more I may just have to!

If this inspires you to make a diaper cake I would love to see your pictures, your colours and your themes and just how your imagination runs away with this quick and simple project.

xxxxx

 

Sunday Shawl Love…

 

This is my Mellow Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland.

I want to start by telling you how amazing this is to hook, how simple, yet stunningly beautiful. 

I want to tell you how deliciously soft scheepjes merino is and how it creates such a gorgeous stitch definition. 

I want to shout with joy at just how happy I am with these amazing mellow colours; but that will all become obvious when you see the pictures! 

I started with this serene grey

lowry 604 Scheepjes merino soft…

This was a therapeutic hook, the subtle tone of the yarn, and the ease of the pattern made for a quick hook up of the main body.  I really enjoyed that each stitch was made in between the stitches of the previous row and not in the top of the stitches as is usual. 

My heart was skipping towards the next colour though.  A teal; and one of my favourite colours of all time.

Ansingh 643

Next a perfect pink…

Degas 632

This yarn is a dream, it is a dk weight, but it has a satisfying plumpness to it, making it pleasantly squashy!  This pale pink was followed  by an equally gorgeous spring green.

Kandinsky 625

The quick colour changes make this pattern good for the soul…you know how I love colour.

Van Gough 641

This mustard colour makes me very, very happy, but then so does this sky blue…

Magritte 614

And so this enjoyable colour changing border continued…

Beautiful Stitches Abounded…
squee…it is such a happy hook!

Until my heart near burst as the pattern instructed me to hook scallops and I politely  introduced this even paler pink.

Titian 647

Just as I was getting a little too giddy with these colours, the pattern rescued me with a tad more grey; sobering me and gently grounding me. 

I had a dilemma deciding on which colour to finish this charming shawl with…

in the end it had to be the mellow mustard (Van Gough 641).  

I have a lot of love for this shawl and this yarn, so excuse my indulgence in a few more photo’s. 

Details of the pattern and yarn, which I highly recommend   can be found by clicking on the links at the top of this post, but just in case you can’t be bothered they are just here to. 

xxxxx

Just as a footnote: this review contains my genuine opinions on this pattern and this yarn, for which I am not being paid.

Scheepjes merino soft yarn in

Kandinsky            625    50g

           Degas             632    50g

Van Gough            641   50g

          Titian              647   50g 

  MagrittE               614  50G

       Ansingh             643   50G

      Lowry                   604  250G

purchased from Woolwarehouse

Pattern:  The Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland.

A Little Bit of This….

And a little bit of that…

and a little bit all over the place really. 

I am feeling most unsettled and have a severe case of startitis as a result! 

The unfortunate side of this has meant (for the purposes of treatment) I have had to place a yarn order; which has not arrived yet, so I can not report if this treatment has been successful or not.  I will let you know how the treatment goes in due course!

What I can show you is what I have on my hooks as a consequence of this starting infliction.

Sunday Shawl main body

This is the start of my new shawl, the Sunday shawl by Alia Bland. I am totally in love with it. 

Tea cosy designing…

This is the start of my latest tea cosy I am designing for The Grandma Collection.  I am pleased to have got off the blocks with this one as I have been meaning to start this for a wee while now.

A baby blanket…

Finally, I am still hooking this baby blanket too, which is looking mighty fine and is super squidgy.

So, as you can see I am hooking like a goodun’ and will have a pattern release very soon…subject to successful treatment. 

Now, where is that postman?

 xxxxx

Operation Yarny H.U.G begins…

A little later than I had anticipated, but operation Yarny H.U.G has begun. 

H.U.G being a ‘Happy Unexpected Gift… a yarny one of course!

hooking happy...
hooking happy…

Whilst I was enjoying the short daily posts throughout February as part of #yarnlovechallenge I set to work with my hook and some scraps of yarn and made these beautiful may roses by Lucy @Attic24.

may roses in the making...
may roses in the making…

With the addition of a hanging loop and a clip, I soon had a little tree full…

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Jess approved of course…

I also have a small shoe box full of half completed ones too. 

wp_20170225_13_03_28_pro

With the cute little cards attached I am ready to leave them all over, just waiting, ready to be found…A Happy Unexpected Gift; a great big yarny HUG.

Why not join me in spreading a bit of yarny love.  To get involved just leave me a message. 

Take it, embrace it, be a part of it!

xxxxx

Chain Reaction Necklace Scarf…

Here is a quick pattern for a necklace scarf.

A simple but stunning item that you can make if you are new to crochet, or have an odd 50g ball of chunky yarn that your not sure what to do with, or if you need to hand make a present emergency style!

Yep, this beauty takes about an hour to make at most and the pattern (if you can call it that!) is just below. 

wp_20161023_11_23_44_pro

You will need  50g of chunky yarn and a large hook. I used

wp_20161023_11_48_37_prowp_20161023_11_48_50_proand a 6mm hook.

 

So you have probably guessed it….begin making chains and don’t stop until  you have about 50cms of yarn  left. 

Randomly tie the first part of a bow to form a loose knot in your chains at random sections down its length.

Chain reaction necklace scarf
Chain reaction necklace scarf

 

Now join with a slip stitch into the very first chain to make an enormous loop. 

It may be a good idea to secure the stitch with a stitch marker or safety pin so that your chains do not unravel during the next part.

Now find something to put your enormous loop of chains around… I used the stair post at the bottom of the stairs. 

Start to make the loop smaller by crossing over the chains and hooking back over the post…or whatever you are using.  Repeat the process until you have a handful of loops; that  when placed around your neck fall just at the top of your tummy. 

Next, you need to secure your loops together.  To do this

remove the stitch marker / safety pin and reinsert your hook.

wp_20161023_11_24_03_pro 

Pull the loop onto your hook to make the yarn looser.  Now complete a giant double crochet (single crochet – American terms)… to do this take your hook under the handful of looped chains, yarn round hook and pull through, yarn round hook and pull through 2 loops on hook.  Repeat x 9 more times.  Fasten off and weave in any loose ends. 

wp_20161023_11_23_38_pro

Told you it hooked up quick!

xxxxx

 

Favourite thing I’ve made…

Day 28 of

#yarnlovechallenge 

and this is the final day!! 

The theme for today is ‘favourite thing I’ve made’.  

Now really…do I have to choose? 

Ok…well just for today this is my favourite hook up,

wp_20170225_15_31_39_pro
100 patch granny

because I adore the colours and that bobble edge border is just sooo super cute, and possibly the most addictive thing ever to hook.  Seriously, it should come with a warning!

xxxxx