End of year review…Bring on 2018

2017 has certainly had it’s ups and it’s downs.  I am pleased  to report that it is ending on an up.  I have really enjoyed perusing back through my posts and have picked out my favourite from each month in way of  reviewing 2017 here at the nest.  Before we begin I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of my seasoned readers, to those of you that have recently discovered this little corner of yarniness and to you if you have  just stumbled across this post by accident.

Without all of you, I would just be here, hooking and writing and hooking some more; annoying my family by taking photo’s every 2 minutes and whilst that would be ok, it is so much more fun with you dropping by and saying hi every once in a while.  You encourage me and inspire me to keep blogging about all things yarny and for that I am very grateful. 

So grab a glass of prosecco or the bottle!  or maybe a cuppa if you prefer and lets look back at 2017 here at the nest.

January 2017 

shawl crochet ayarnyrobin
crochet in bed.

2017 began with shawls, having completed x2 virus shawls I had the bug for more.  This‘ is the ‘pink shawl’ by Cecile Balladino,  and it is still one of my favourites although I still can’t call it the ‘pink shawl!’

February 2017

#yarnlove challenge 2017

I had so much fun doing the yarn love challenge during February.  A post a day was a challenge, but I relished the daily prods to share. 

I’d love to do this again in 2018. 

Here is a little link to my favourite #yarnlovechallenge post and another favourite… well I couldn’t just pick one!

March 2017

Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland
Sunday Shawl hooking

Another month another shawl…This time the beautiful Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland.  This project proved to be the perfect way to jump into spring, maybe it was those delicious pastels against the warmth of the grey.

April2017

Alpaca cake…

A milestone birthday, an alpaca birthday cake, and a graduation. I couldn’t have imagined a happier set of celebrations. I was so  blissfully unaware of the catastrophe about to beset us.

May 2017

Interlocking stitch

At least I got some crochet in whilst juggling hospital trips and the absence of a critically ill Mr R…crochet is not only my joy it’s my default when things get tough…my sanity. 

This Baby Wilmer blanket, filled me with hope, a new life just entering this world, whilst life at the nest  felt as if it had paused in some horrific nightmare.

June 2017 

yarnbomb, ayarnyrobin gate installation
yarnbomb

Mr R had prayerfully turned a corner  and our healing had begun, it was time for some fun and this yarny gate installation celebrated that!

July 2017

free dog collar crochet pattern...simple free pattern which you can crochet in under an hour
Jess… with her new crochet collar.

Still healing, but healing well! 

Small projects worked best and this ‘Oh so cute’ free dog collar pattern went down a treat with little Jess.

August 2017

C2C crochet baby blanket, crochet heart squares in paintbox cotton yarn
crochet and coffee

I fell so in love with these adorable C2C (corner to corner)hearts that I just couldn’t stop hooking them!  I couldn’t!! 

They fell off my hook so quickly that before I knew where I was I had enough for a blanket of hearts. 

I have to confess that I still need to border this lovely…yes it is still a PHD (project half done).  In my defense I just can’t decide what colour to border it in!

September 2017

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

September felt much more ‘normal’ although I don’t know why…I spent a large majority of it bobbing around on a lazy river being drenched in golden sunshine on the amazing island of Corfu.  I didn’t forget about you though…look I made these barefoot sandals  by the pool… here’s the link to the free pattern just in case you fancy a pretty 20 minute hook up!

October 2017

Autumn woodland walks a plenty, a suprising wildlife sighting and family…I am so blessed.

November 2017

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

Finally, the release of my newest tea cosy in the Grandma Collection…the Grandma Dot tea cosy.  I don’t know why this took me so long to publish but it did.  Anyway, thank you for your frankly very kind feedback about this free pattern…there will be another one coming very shortly in the new year.

December 2017

loom knitted hat, ayarnyrobin
loom knitted beanie…

I told you 2017 ended on an up…the hat fit!

Enough said. 

Thank you 2017 for the joy, for the triumphs, for the challenge and even for the heartbreak…for all the folk that have stood alongside me whether that has been for a few minutes, a few days or for those lifers that are always cheering me on… you know who you are.  

Finally, thank you once again to you, for riding this journey with me… I think you are amazing and want to wish you all a very blessed and  extremely yarny 2018…

wherever it may take you.

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

 

 

 

A yarny update…

It seems quite a while back now that I dipped my toe into the world of C2C (corner to corner) crochet.  It is  safe to report that I am totally hooked, if you pardon the pun! 

C2C crochet baby blanket, crochet heart squares in paintbox cotton yarn

It was actually only  in July that this C2C journey of mine began, inspired by the very talented lemonadesucrette  who had posted a series of updates on Instagram of a beautiful heart baby blanket.  In my  soul I had decided I too must create my own, but also had a yearning to learn C2C… you can read more about my inspiration for this project  just here.  

C2C crochet baby blanket, crochet heart squares in paintbox cotton yarn
I am using paintbox cotton yarns

I feel like my progress has been slow and steady.  I don’t have a lot of crochet time lately, but I am hoping that will change as the Autumn approaches as I have taken the decision to reduce my hours at work to restore some balance. 

C2C crochet baby blanket, crochet heart squares in paintbox cotton yarn

I can’t tell you how ridiculously excited I am to be able to take a non working day in the week.  It means I get to take and fetch my smallest Robin from school once a week; something which my heart has ached to do for far too long now.

I am hoping it will give me some more time with my hook also!

C2C crochet baby blanket, crochet heart squares in paintbox cotton yarnI have finally got to the stage in my C2C  sojourn, where I am sewing the squares together.  I am so in love with this blanket that I am not going to part with it.  I am going to treasure it and use it here at the nest.

C2C crochet baby blanket, crochet heart squares in paintbox cotton yarnI just have the decision to make about the border.  I will decide on a colour and keep it simple I think, but it looks like this will have to  wait until September now….

and a non working, taking to school, type of happy hooky day!xxxxx

Summer Holidays…

3…2…1… Summer Holidays begin! 

The negatives… well it is lashing down with rain and I mean…LASHING! 

The positives…the boys are chilled, they’re at home and we are counting down the days towards our Summer holiday.  Mr R is properly on the mend and I’ve got an interview coming up.

I’m still hooking these lovely C2C love hearts

C2C crochet hearts
C2C crochet hearts

and have my first row joined. 

C2C crochet love hearts
C2C love

My progress is slow but happy

C2C crochet love hearts
happy crochet

and I love that the rain is lashing…guilt free crochet!

xxxxx

 

C2C Love…

Just  a very short post to share the newest thing on my hook.

paintbox dk cotton
Paintbox dk cotton

I have had this beautiful basket of yarn for a little while now…and although it has been screaming at me to get my hook out everyday since I have had it; I have been patiently waiting  for inspiration to fall.    You see this yarn is gorgeous and deserves to be hooked into something just as lovely. 

I have been wooed by #lemondesucrette’s beautiful heart baby blanket and have admired her progress from afar.  I have also had an overwhelming desire to attempt C2C (corner to corner) crochet.   

So, I have combined these two desires and am now addicted to hooking my own love heart blanket….

paintbox dk cotton
c2c beginnings
paintbox dk cotton
free pattern by MA Santos

I found the pattern on Ravelry by MA Santos and it’s free!  If you have not done C2C before there are some good links to video tutorials within the pattern that are worth a watch.

paintbox dk cotton
love heart blanket…I’m hooked!

It’s quite addictive and I am totally smitten!

xxxxx

 

Woodland Trails and Puff Stitch Bees…

A three day weekend…this should be made compulsory. 

Oh, if only I could have a bank holiday every weekend. 

We have taken walks along woodland trails,

Explored caves

and enjoyed some down time

  I have made slow progress on my hotel of bees shawl #hobcal

but, I am enjoying the pattern, even if I do have to concentrate really hard.  I really enjoyed hooking those sweet little bees. 

I have also been finishing up my Baby Wilmer blanket, I just have a few more rows to add now before I border.

 

I hope what ever you have been doing has been just as fun.

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

 

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

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