Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot

We are not used to a long spell of hot weather here in the UK, but this week has seen our temperatures soar way above 30 degrees. 

Top 5 things to crochet when temperatures soar and it's hot and sunny
Heavenly blue skies

And oh how lovely it has been, it has meant an exodus into the outdoors, picnics and walks and a lot of sunscreen!

But, I found myself unprepared in the crochet stakes…it was just too hot to be sitting under a half made blanket or to be half draped in a shawl;  sweltering under a wool blend.  

So, I have compiled my yarny list of the top 5 things to crochet when the temperature starts rising.

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#1

Ironically, top of the list is …..gloves!

Top 5 things to hook when it's hot andnumber 1 is ironic!
zingtastic mitts by Sandra at Cherryheart

  It is not as mad as it sounds.

Small, picnic portable, quick to hook… and you will have a lovely pair of mitts ready for when the sun disappears and the colder weather brings a chill.

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#2

A cute little square like this one

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic!
Robins nest square free pattern

Hook one, or two, or three or more..you can always join them in the autumn when the warm weather is a distant memory…and between you and me…what’s another PHD!

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#3

A splendid little tea cosy…the perfect finishing touch to a sunny afternoon tea…. al fresco of course.

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic
Granny Mabel Tea Cosy free pattern

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#4

How about a little inspiration from the outdoors… a yarny little leaf.

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic!
A yarny little leaf…free pattern

Embellish until your heart is content.  I think these would look great in bright hot colours…don’t you?

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#5

And finally #5…how about spreading the love

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic!
May rose keyrings…. pattern by Attic 24

Hook these lovely little flowers and add a key chain then give them away or leave them around your community and spread a little yarny H.U.G 

So, whether you are currently in the middle of a scorcher or if it has been a while since the sun shone down on you, I hope I have inspired you to grab your hook and get outside. 

What are your hot hooking tips?

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic!
Hooking al fresco…

 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. 

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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.

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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. 

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Told you it hooked up quick!

xxxxx

 

Blocking…

Day 27 of

#yarnlovechallenge 

and we are almost at the end now. 

The theme for today is ‘blocking’.  

pinning to block...
pinning to block…

Not my favourite part of the process, but certainly worthwhile.  These are my robin nest squares in the blocking phase.

xxxxx

Handmade home…

Day 20 of

#yarnlovechallenge 

and it’s still not too late join in. 

The theme for today is ‘handmade home’.

Hot love waterbottle cover
Hot love water bottle cover

I love this hot water bottle cover and it’s an easy hook too…

a warm yarny cuddle guaranteed!

xxxxx

Stripes

Day 7 of

#yarnlovechallenge 

it’s not too late join in. 

Theme for today is….

Stripes.

Granny Mabel Tea Cosy...
Granny Mabel Tea Cosy…

This is my Granny Mabel Tea Cosy, click the link for the free pattern. 

I’ve chosen this tea cosy for stripes day, as these slim, pretty stripes sit amongst delicate lace, topped by an array of buttons. 

This tea cosy makes me happy everyday.

xxxxx

 

 

I’ve Caught the Virus

The Virus Shawl bug, that is. 

top secret hooking!
top secret hooking! that can now be revealed…

The yarn is Scheepjes Invicta Colour – 972, a 4 ply fingering weight yarn that is 75% wool and 25% polyamide.  The colour way is just gorgeous and the yarn was easy to hook with.  Occasionally the length of yarn withered  thin, but remained usable nonetheless.

a perfect size shawl to snuggle with...
a perfect size shawl to snuggle with…

I adored the long colour repeats from turquoise blue into chocolate brown and sage green and couldn’t help get excited each time the colour change slipped over my hook…I don’t think I will ever get bored with the delight a colour changing yarn gives.

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A perfect Christmas present for my Mom…

The eyelets that form in sequenced linear fashion amazed me.  I couldn’t quite believe that a few trebles could create such a beautiful drape and fabric.  They reminded me so much of a peacocks tail feather that I had to name this virus shawl The Chocolate Peacock!

wp_20161224_14_47_44_prowp_20161224_14_48_53_proAll in all a beautiful hook up made all the more simple by following a youtube tutorial of which there are several, I really liked this one though

This pattern is all over the internet, I used this one on Ravelry as a free download. 

As for the yarn would I use it again…

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 yes, to make another virus shawl of course, but this time in beautiful sunset shades (colourway 959). 

I may possibly have developed a shawl addiction.

xxxxx

2016 Montage

I love this time of year; for me it’s a real time of reflection, a time to look back in wonder at the year gone by. 

And what a year it has proven to be, both personally and here at the Nest too.  This year I have created a montage of my favourite memories, both hooky and the not so hooky!

January 2016

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Started with a lovely little trip to the worlds smallest library…in a phone box and finished with felt flowers.

February 2016

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Was filled with my Flower Fiesta installation and saw the release of a yarny little leaf pattern…on the house of course!

March 2016

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Maybe one of my favourite months this year as it was full of hookiness, creativity and some much needed soul restoration . Some much needed time away from studying for a PGdip, juggling placements, family, home and a whole heap of essays!  There was the Robins Nest Square pattern release, followed by a tutorial for joining with a double crochet and a BIG thank you.

 April 2016

april-2016Well, April really did whizz by under a heavy cloud of essay pressure, but I did find time to look for some lovliness and learn a new yarny skill despite a Woolly dilemma.

May 2016

may-2016

Was permeated with bluebells, al fresco dining and a woolly win.

June 2016

june-2016

Left me feeling chuft!

July 2016

july-2016

 was celebrated with a yarny give -a-way and a growing pile of PHD’s

August 2016

august-2016

Brimmed with crochet goodness; hooking al fresco, completing the very V blanket and tutorial and not forgetting the graffiti robin.

September 2016

sept-2016Saw the calm before the storm, a quilting Ouch! and the launch of The Grandma Collection.

October 2016

oct-2016Oh my days!

October held the secret of happiness…alpaca walking!  Enough excitement for one month you might think, but there was also the release of The Grandma Mary Tea Cosy pattern.  Too much!

November 2016

nov-2016Was bleak to be honest, but there was a WOW and a fond farewell

December 2016

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Ahh December and homemade damson gin, hooking virus style (post coming soon) and planning for project 2017 (launching in the New Year!!).  And there you have it…a whistle stop tour of my 2016.

I do have one more special thing to add before I sign off for 2016 and that is to you…Thank you so much for journeying with me, I love having you along.  I am always amazed by folk dropping in and reading what I write, it humbles me to my core.  I hope in return you have enjoyed and been inspired, encouraged and been blessed. 

Here’s to a very yarny 2017!

xxxxx

Grandma Mabel Tea Cosy…Free Pattern.

captureThis is the second tea cosy in the Grandma collection, designed with a slight twist on an original theme to keep your teapot well dressed and looking fine.  It is fun and frilly and a little OTT… but that’s what I love…

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Dedicated to the inspiration that was ‘Mabel

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

I used just under  50g of Stylecraft special dk yarn in colourway duck egg, lipstick, saffron, meadow, candyfloss and cloud.

You will also need approximately 40 buttons in similar colours and of  all different sizes which  were languishing in my button jar.

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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

dc – double crochet ( single crochet)

dc tog – double crochet together (single crochet together)

You will also need:

a 4mm hook

a darning needle

scraps of yarn to use as temporary tie markers 

a stitch marker 

approximately 120cms of lace about 3cms wide

Top Tip: safety pins make excellent stitch markers! 

Ok, here we go…

Using meadow Ch 80 and join with a slst to form a circle (before completing the slst make sure chain is not twisted).

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It is a good idea to check at this point that the circle of chains fits around your teapot. (see end of pattern for instructions about adjusting pattern).

Row 1: Ch1 (mark with a stitch marker, does not count as a dc), dc in each ch around,

finish with a slst in ch marked with a stitch marker taking care that work is not twisted when completing the slst. (80dc).

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Row 2: Ch1 (remove stitch marker from previous row and place in this ch, does not count as a dc)

Dc in each st around, finishing with a slst in ch marked with a stitch marker. (80 dc).

 

Rows 3: repeat row 2, before joining with a slst in ch marked with st marker  (ie/ when you have the last 2 loops on your hook of the last st of the round – see photo)

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 join the lipstick (red) yarn and finish with a slst as shown below

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Rows 4 – 6: repeat row 2

wp_20161009_21_18_28_proWe are now going to place a tie marker (a temporary mark) to indicate the space for the handle hole.  Before you start the next row, take a small scrap of yarn in a contrasting colour and thread through st marked with the stitch marker. Tie a bow. 

Row 7: Ch1 (remove st marker from previous row and place in this ch, does not count as dc), slst in the same st as the tie marker and in next 4 sts, mark this last slst with a second tie marker. This indicates the space for hole for the handle.

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1dc in next 75sts around to stitch marker.  On 75th dc (last st)change to candyfloss (pink yarn) ie/ when last 2 loops on hook of the last dc as before.  Finish st with pink yarn, slstinto ch marked with st marker (75dc, 5 slst).

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Row 8: Ch 1 (counts as a dc), turn work,  1dc in next 74sts (this row should finish in the st above the st marked with the tie marker in the previous round. 

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Row 9: ch1 (counts as a dc) turn work, dc in next 74sts (75sts in total).  Change to sky blue yarn in last dc. 

Row 10: ch1 (counts as a dc) turn work, dc in next 74 sts (75sts in total). 

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Row 11: Repeat row 9, changing to saffron (yellow yarn) in last dc.  Row 12: (saffron) Repeat row 9. 

Row 13: Repeat row 9, changing to duck egg yarn in last dc. 

Row 14: ch1 (counts as dc), turn work, dc in next 19sts, slst in next 35sts, dcin next 20sts (40dc, 35slst, 75sts in total). 

Row 15: Repeat row 14.

wp_20161023_20_14_35_proRow 16: ch1 (counts as a dc), turn work, dc in next 19sts, dctogin next st (sts 21 and 22), slst in next 31sts, dctog in next st, dcin next 20sts (42dc, 31slst = 73sts in total).

Row 17: ch1 (counts as a dc) turn work, dc in next 20sts, slst in next 31sts, dc in next 21sts (73sts in total). 

Row 18: ch1 (counts as a dc), turn work, dc in next 19sts, dctog in next st (sts 21 and 22), slst in next 29sts, dctog in next st, dc in next 20sts (42dc, 29slst = 71sts in total). 

Row 19: ch1 (counts as a dc), turn work, dc in next 20sts, slst in next 29sts, dc in next 21sts (71sts in total).  It should be starting to look a little something like this…

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Row 20: Ch1 (counts as a dc) turn work, dc in next 19sts dctog in next st (sts 21 & 22), slst in next 27sts, dctog in next st, dc in next 20sts (42dc, 27slst = 69sts). 

Row 21: Ch1  (counts as a dc), turn work, dcin next 20sts, slst in next 27sts, dc in next 21sts (42dc, 27 slst = 69sts). 

Row 22: Ch1 (counts as a dc), turn work, dc in next 19sts, dctog in next st (sts 21 & 22), dctog in next st (sts 23 & 24), dc in next 21sts, dctog in next st, dctog in next st, dc in next 20sts (65sts). 

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Your cosy should be starting to take shape now!

Row 23: Ch1 (counts as a dc), turn, dc in next 19 sts,dctog in next st (sts 21 & 22), dc tog in next st (sts 23 & 24),dc in next 17sts, dctog in next st, dctog in next st, dc in next 20sts  (61sts). 

We return to working in the round in the next row. 

Row 24: Ch1 (counts as a dc) – mark with a st marker, turn, dc in next 2sts, dctog in next st, *dc in next 3sts,dctog in next st*, repeat * -* around, finishing with 1dc in last st, ch3 and slst into st marked with stitch marker.

new pattern coming soon

 Row 25: Ch1 (remove st marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in each st around, finishing with a slst in ch marked with stitch marker (52dc). 

Row 26: Ch1 (remove st marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in next st, dctog in next st, *dc in next 2 sts, dctog in next st* repeat *-* around, finishing with dctog, slst in ch marked with stitch marker (39dc). 

Row 27: Ch1 (remove st marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in each st around, finishing with a slst in ch marked with a stitch marker (39dc). 

Row 28: Ch1 (remove st marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dctoginnext st, *dc in next st, dctog in next st* repeat *-* around, finishing with a dctog, slst in ch marked with a stitch marker (26dc). 

Row 29: Ch1 (remove st marker from previous row and place in this ch, counts as a dc), dc in each st around, finishing with a slst in ch marked with a stitch marker (26dc). 

Row 30: Ch1 (remove st marker from previous row and place in this ch, DOES NOT COUNT AS A DC), *dctog in next st*, repeat *-* around, finishing with a dctog, slst in ch marked with a stitch marker (12dc). 

Row 31: Repeat row 30 (6dc)

wp_20161126_17_14_09_proLeaving a small hole, fasten off and weave in ends.  The little hole allows for the knob of the teapot lid to poke through and helps to keep the cosy positioned on teapot.

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Now hand sew on buttons of all different sizes.

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Next hand sew on the lace with a simple running stitch. 

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I used meadow yarn for the lace at the bottom of the cosy and duck egg yarn for the lace around the buttons.

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Just one last thing left to do now.  Boil the kettle and make a brew…enjoy and admire.

xxxxx

 

Introducing the Grandma Mabel Tea Cosy…

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I am thrilled to be finally introducing the ‘Grandma Mabel’ tea cosy to you.  The second cosy in the Grandma Collection

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Dedicated to my Granny Mabel, whom I knew as Granny Jason.  Granny Jason was named so by myself when I was still in terry towel nappies.  Named after her dog Jason, it was my way of distinguishing between my two Grannies. 

Granny Jason was born  in August 1914 in Southern Ireland and in her younger days enjoyed driving tractors.  Moving to England in 1960 when my Mom was a little girl, she worked in factories and finally as an Auxillary Nurse before she became too unwell to work.   I was privileged to have had her in my life for just 10 years before she left this world at the age of 73. 

I have precious memories of my Granny Jason, who although unwell always found a way of making me feel loved.  She was a humble and unassuming woman, who was always busy in the kitchen and always had her hair done and was house proud.  She would always give you the best of what she had and keep the worn out and old things for herself. 

She loved shoes and made daisy chains and made the dog (Jason) a cup of tea with a sugar in, poured into his bowl, each time she made my Grandad a cup of tea…which was often!

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Granny Jason was often unwell, seriously now I realise as I am older, but she tried hard not to let it show.  I remember as a small child counting her tablets into a big medicine jar. There were all sorts of pills; round ones, oblong ones and all sorts of colours…

I loved this job…

maybe it was the beginning of my fascination with public health and my nursing career.

But I think family was the most important thing to her,  because she cared so much about her family and cared so well. 

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This cosy has been inspired by my memories of her.  The buttons representing those many colourful pills that I used to count, not understanding the gravity of how poorly she really was.  The pretty colours of the cosy reflecting her beauty and the lace representing the finest dress a tea cosy could have.

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  I know Granny Jason would have been proud to put this cosy on her teapot, to put that teapot on her hostess trolley and wheel it from the kitchen to serve her guests. 

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So that is the Grandma Mabel tea cosy in all of its glory, I will post the pattern in the week.

xxxxx

 

A yarny little heart…free pattern.

My hands have been yearning to hook in the evenings lately; but the projects I have on the go at the moment (which have to remain secret at least until after Christmas) are rather more intricate than I dare attempt at such an hour where I am prone to the odd gin and tonic or two as well as a little snooze. 

So whilst creating numerous chains the other evening…see here .  I found myself hooking up a yarny little heart with not a care of the process noted down at all. 

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Fast forward a couple of evenings later when the nest was still and quiet, I found myself unable to sleep, thinking of creative yarny possibilities and my yarny little heart began to trouble me. 

So, I found myself unpicking my heart and writing down the pattern and my world was well again. 

So here is my pattern for a ‘yarny little heart’.

This little heart is a great stash busting hook up as it only requires scraps.

You will need:

scraps of double knit (dk) yarn,

4mmhook,

darning needle to weave in the ends. 

Abbreviations used UK terminology (American terminology in brackets)

Ch – chain,         

slst – slip stitch,           

dc – double crochet (single crochet)               

htr – half treble (half double crochet)

tr – treble (double crochet)              

dtr – double treble crochet ( treble )

wp_20161028_13_32_11_proBegin by chaining 2 (ch2),

slst into first ch to form a tiny ring.

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Ch 1 (counts as a dc), place hook inside of ring

wp_20161028_13_34_08_proand make x9 more dc in ring (10dc in total counting beginning ch). 

wp_20161028_13_37_12_proTurn circle over and give the tail end a firm tug…this should pull the centre of the circle into a more closed position.

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Turn back over.

Row 2:

Ch 2 (counts as a dc,ch1),

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*dc, ch1 in next st*

repeat from * – * in each stitch around.

Slst  in 1st ch

(10dc and 10 ch spaces)

wp_20161028_13_46_37_proRow 3:

Ch4 (counts as a dtr), 1dtr in the next 3 sts,

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1tr in next 4sts,

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1htr in next st, dc in next st,

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ch3,

wp_20161028_13_52_06_proSlst into same space (this creates a picot),

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dc in next st, 1htr in next st,

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1tr in next 4 sts,

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1dtr in next 4 sts, slst in to ch1 of beginning ch4.

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Row 4: ch4 (counts as a dtr),

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work x3dtr in side sts of ch4 of previous row

wp_20161028_14_01_21_pro1tr in next 3 sts, 1htr into the next st, 1dc in next 4sts,

wp_20161028_14_03_38_proSlst in picot space

wp_20161028_14_05_28_proch3, slst in to same space (picot made)

wp_20161028_14_06_53_pro1dc in next 4 sts,1htr in next st, 1tr in next 3 sts

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1dtr in next 4sts,

slst in to  the cleavage of the heart (i’m sure there is a proper name for that…just not sure what it is!!) But if you don’t understand I mean just here

wp_20161028_14_26_09_proTo create hanging loop ch 14

wp_20161028_14_34_51_proand slst in to same space.

Fasten off to finish and weave in ends. 

Repeat until your hearts content

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xxxxx