Women’s Institute Yarn….A review so far

So, what can I tell you about this yarn? 

womens institute yarn

It’s perfectly plump!  

For a dk weight the yarn strand is divinely round, but all in a good way.  I’m hooking my Charming Harbour blanket in this yarn and let me tell you that it is hooking up into a seriously squishy comforter indeed. 

The yarn slides well over my  hook, it feels cozy and comfortable on my skin and has not split or frayed one little bit.

It’s 100%  premium acrylic so is affordable, washable and dryable  and very easy to care for.  The ball band tells me there  is 250m in yarn length for a 100g ball and is exclusive to Hobbycraft.

women's institute yarn

A minimum of 3p from each ball sold is donated to the National Federation of Women’s Institutes

The Women’s Institute is the largest women’s organisation in the UK  and champions all sorts of campaigns such as gender pay gap to midwifery shortages, climate change and food waste.  

On the down side the colour range is basic to say the least, which didn’t matter in the slightest for my Charming Harbour Blanket, which is looking very dapper in a trio tone.

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

 This  could be a limitation for my more usual hook ups which consistently involve numerous colours…however, all in all I’m smiling with this yarn.

xxxxx

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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

 

 

 

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

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 

#Bonus Summer Hook 

Corfu barefoot sandals

crochet barefoot sandals - Corfu designed by ayarnyrobin.wordpress.com, summer feet
Corfu – Barefoot sandals

Hook these cute barefoot sandals for the perfect summer look!

 

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

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

#yarnlovechallenge

For the month of February, I will be joining the

#yarnlovechallenge

set up by Mary Heather  of maryheatherbrowne and Christina over at Oharethey.  A daily photo post of my love for yarn.  Each day is themed, as set out below

untitledThere is a ravelry group too and Instagram of course.

So this is my introduction photo to kick off…

A rare picture of me...
A rare picture of me…

from here on in it will be a more yarny themed photo

(I promise) with a  little caption.  Feel free to join in

#yarnlovechallenge

Day 2: Close Up                                          Day 15: Family

Day 3: Currently Making                       Day 16: Happy Colour

Day 4: Speed                                                Day 17: Fibre Friends

Day 5: Community                                   Day 18: Gratitude

Day 6: Mistakes                                         Day 19: On the Go

Day 7:Stripes                                               Day 20: Handmade home

Day 8: Where I Craft                                Day 21: Library

Day  9: Tools                                                Day 22: Currently wearing 

Day 10: Oldest stash                                Day 23: Throwback 

Day 11: Travel projects                            Day 24: Favourite tip 

Day 12: Progress                                         Day 25: Routine 

Day 13: Selfie                                                Day 26: Newest Stash 

Day 14: Yarn love❤                                 Day  27: Blocking 

                                   Day 28: Favourite thing I’ve made

xxxxx

Serendipity…

I am addicted to shawls…It’s official! 

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As soon as the chocolate peacock virus shawl was off my hook, I was chaining this little beauty…

wp_20170115_10_22_18_proThe pattern is called ‘pink shawl’ by Cecile Balladino, available in Simply Crochet issue 31.

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The pattern is a sumptuous mix of shells and popcorns and I  absolutely loved hooking this shawl .  It was not mindless hooking however, even though it is only a six row repeat, I had  to keep count and keep note of where exactly I was in the pattern.  Having said that, if you keep track the pattern is easy enough to follow and makes up quickly.  Each time it came to hooking those scrumptious popcorn stitches my heart swelled with delirious satisfaction.

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The yarn I have chosen is clearly not pink, and it is for this reason that I am slightly disappointed  with the shawls name… ‘pink shawl’.  I am often drawn to patterns by their names alone and this shawls name does not do it justice.  At the very least it deserves a name that is pretty or elaborate.

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That tiny twinge of disappointment  however, is consumed with pure delight in this yarn.  The yarn is the most beautifully soft cotton mix I have ever had the pleasure of running through my fingers and I happened upon it by happy accident. 

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I found it at the bottom of a bargain bin in my local yarn store, buried underneath some very unattractive yarn.  It was marked at just 50 pence a ball.   So I scrambled through the bin and found seven 50g balls.  I paid £3.50 at the till in haste and left before the very lovely lady realised what she had just sold for so little.  

Further serendipity ensured it was just enough yarn for this shawl too.   I have used 325g of yarn for this shawl, although the pattern states 150g.  This yarn was a dream to hook with, it slid with ease over my hook and did not split at all.  It also has a very pretty lustre.

I think my shawl is a lot larger than the pattern, despite using the same weight yarn and hook size.  The yarn suggested in the pattern is silk based whereas I have hooked with a Patons 45% cotton mix yarn. 

But, I am extremely pleased with my shawls size, it is a real beauty to snuggle in and the cotton mix ensures the textured popcorns drape wonderfully.

I will most certainly be hooking with  this yarn again, even if I have to pay full price and I will most certainly be checking out the bottom of more bargain bins! 

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My Serendipity shawl…well I couldn’t call it ‘The Pink Shawl’

could I!

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

WriteOnImage635941700701818089

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