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

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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

 

 

 

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

 

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

January…

With life now returning to a more normal ebb and flow following the festive jollity, I feel like I am back on the treadmill!

So I am being very careful to make sure life at home is given the highest priority.  Which of course means in part getting out and walking with the boys and Mr R and of course the dogs.

Special Happy Birthday to Old Alf who was 11 at the beginning of the month xx
Special Happy Birthday to Old Alf who was 11 at the beginning of the month xx
Wellies are my favourite type of footwear!
Wellies are my favourite type of footwear!

Now the photo’s I am going to share with you may seem some what gloomy, particularly if you happen to live in a warmer part of the world.  But, I have taken great comfort from pulling on my wellies and feeling the sometimes quite squelchy ground, and at other times the cold and frozen ground under my soles.

Jack Frost has painted this leaf...
Jack Frost has painted this leaf…
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A little spiders home sweet home.

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There was much fuss made in the media about the UK being hit by a polar storm, we were quite excited at the prospect of maybe being snowed in for a while…

The polar storm
The polar storm was a little underwhelming…

You will be relieved to know that I survived the polar storm of 2017 and even managed to get into work!!!!!

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I think I have enjoyed the walks just before dusk the most, when the mist clings to everything and envelops all…

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because lurking just underneath the ground is the promise of spring.  I can feel it when I’m out in the countryside.  The biting cold is soon to be replaced with a milder air, a warmer breeze and a brighter light. 

But, until then I am happy to stomp around in my wellies, looking at the footprints of what has stomped before me,

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wp_20170108_14_56_16_proGetting cold and breathing in that damp air, because it means coming home is all the more cosy…

crochet by the fireside.
crochet by the fireside.
crochet in bed.
crochet in bed.

Don’t you think?

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

Homemade Christmas Damson Gin…

If you are new to these parts and are thinking…great! last minute homemade Christmas present then you may be disappointed, BUT you are very welcome here though and I may suggest how to cheat at the end, which might just get you out of that last minute hole. 

This process commenced way back in August

making damson gin...
making damson gin…

I have been really very disciplined and I have been gently shaking the gin each week and more importantly (and amazingly) I have not drunk any…if I did it would have been purely for quality control purposes!!! 

So today was the day to open and taste and Oh Joy…it is absolutely gorgeous, the type of sticky, sweet alcoholic gorgeous that one would expect when drinking a damson gin…the type that warms you from the inside. 

With a little bit of help from my brewing genius brother I sterilised my newly purchased gin bottles and began to fill them up. 

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Brewers sterilising fluid…

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Sterilised bottles ready to fill…
x5 lovely bottles of Damson Gin
x5 lovely bottles of Damson Gin

With the addition of a cute little cork heart they are going to make a lovely Christmas stocking filler don’t you think?

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detail added with a sharpie…
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a perfect stocking filler…or tipple for Santa!

Ok, so I said I would help you out of that last minute hole.  You could buy some bottles, sterilise them, add purchased alcoholic beverage and add a cute little label, but only if you promise to be more organised next year and make your own!!!

xxxxx

 

 

Making damson gin…

Well what is a girl to do, when she is given a surplus of damsons?…

Gin of course!

I have read that many recipes for damson gin, I became confused.  What follows is a conglomeration of several.

WP_20160823_18_17_48_ProThe ingredients are this simple…

550g of damsons (because that is how much we had!)

250g of granulated sugar

1 litre of gin

1 litre mason jars x2.

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First I sterilised the jars with boiling water. 

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Then skewered the damsons with a sterile darning needle to get their damson juices flowing.  I divided the damsons equally between the jars. 

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Next, I added 125g of sugar into the first jar and 125g of sugar into the second jar. 

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Finally, adding 500ml of gin into the first jar and 500ml into the second jar.

I gave the jars a little shake and then popped them on the larder shelf where it is dark…this is important storage information apparently! 

I’m not sure if it is a good thing that there is an air space in the jars or not.  Looking at the unopened gin bottle there was an air space.  So I think I am going to have to do a bit more research.  I may be topping up with a bit more gin, but I will let you know if I do.  The jars will need a little shake each day for the first week and then weekly after that. 

All the recipes differ on how long to leave the gin until you crack it open.  Some say 3 months others 6 months and then others a year!!!  I  should imagine it is when desperate!  Again I will let you know.  I am hoping it will be in time for Christmas, unless I get desperate before that!!

 xxxxx

 

 

Pretty Pumpkins

pretty pumpkins
pretty pumpkins

Oh, my delight in these pretty pumpkins.  Whilst we do not celebrate 31st October, halloween in the Robins nest, we do celebrate light in this beautiful, busy and sometimes dark world.  As you know I love autumn, and pumpkins certainly contain light and autumnal(ness) in abundance.

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I also love spending time with friends and that is exactly what is happening here tonight.  We are having some very dear friends over to mark the very significant occasion of our homes transition  from ‘no space to have anyone around’ to ‘being able to say come on over for supper’ a transition which has taken many years.  

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the chickens enjoyed a pumpkin feast

So with a three bean chilli and a hearty beef chilli planned for later, accompanied by a bottle or two of red, these pretty pumpkins will help to create the perfect atmosphere for chatter and laughter late into the night.

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pretty pumpkins
pretty pumpkins

xxxxx