Crochet, senior moments and mud!

What do crochet, senior moments and mud have in common? 

Well the answer is me! 

It has been a looooong week…let’s just say that.  Yesterday I was the Duty Health Visitor in the office, we take it in turns to triage calls and sort out various problems…I won’t bore you with the detail.  I took a call from a worried parent and said I’d get the Duty Health Visitor (which was me…I just forgot!!)  After  several enquiries amongst my colleagues I was gently reminded (actually,ribbed to the max) it was me.  I returned to the phone and in a posher voice said Duty Health Visitor, how can I help you? 

This was followed later in the day when I received an email from my GP asking me to attend a well woman check (for women over a certain age)…sigh! 

Then…yes there is more! I had to ask to borrow my Mom’s glasses for the very first time ever to read a food packet. 

Oh my!…little signs.

Another feature looming large in my week has been mud…lots of mud.  I have become a rugby mamma and I need help!  How on earth do I get this….erm…earth out of his kit.

Proud of my boy…he sure can tackle!

Please let me have any top tips for getting rid of all this mud! 

I also need your crochet help…pattern recommendations.  I want to make a few beanie style hats for Christmas, male and female.  I have a few, but they always seem to come off my hook too large or I am always a little disappointed with them.  Can you wholeheartedly recommend a superb pattern?  I would be  so very grateful. 

Have a great weekend.

xxxxx

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Grandma Dot Tea Cosy…Free Pattern.

captureThis is the third tea cosy in the Grandma collection, designed with simplicity and sweetness.  The top down design means this pattern makes for a quick hook up.  Ideal for beginners and sure to guarantee  a perfectly sweet cosy for your teapot. The Grandma Dot Tea Cosy, crochet tea cosy, The Grandma Collection by ayarnyrobinDedicated to the inspiration that was ‘Nanna Dot’

dotty little crochet flowers

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

I used less than 50g of Stylecraft special dk yarn in colourways cream  and raspberry which I used  as my base colours.  Please note that I have used a different colour yarn in the photo tutorial below. 

I also used scraps of stylecraft special dk yarn in: lipstick, saffron, meadow, fondant, gold, shrimp, lime, khaki and grape.

You will also need a darning needle, a selection of beads with a centre hole wide enough for the dk yarn to be threaded through, a pair of scissors and x4 stitch markers (or small safety pins or scraps of different colour yarn).  The use of a hot glue gun is optional, flowers can either be glued into position or stitched.

  ayarnyrobin,beads and crochet

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

hdc– half double crochet  (half single crochet)

You will also need:

a 4mm crochet hook

 

Ok, here we go…

Using the raspberry yarn  Ch 4

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Join with a slst to form a ring.

Row 1: Ch1 (does not count as a st), 6hdc into ring,

finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (6hdc).

 

Row 2: Ch1, (does not count as a st) 2hdc in same space, 2hdc in each st around, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (12hdc).

 

Row 3: Ch1 (does not count as a st), 2hdc in same space, 1hdc in next st, *2hdc in next st, 1hdc in next st* . Repeat * – * to end,  finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (18hdc).

 

Rows 4: Ch 1 (does not count as a st), 2hdc in same space, 1hdc in next 2 sts, *2hdc in next st, 1hdc in next 2 sts*. Repeat *-* to end, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (24hdc).

 

Row 5: Ch1 (does not count as st), 2hdc in same space, 1hdc in next 3 sts, *2hdc in next st, 1hdc in next 3 sts*. Repeat *-* to end, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (30hdc).

Row 6: Ch 1 (does not count as a st),   2hdc in same space, 1hdc in next 4 sts, *2hdcin next st, 1hdc in next 4 sts*.  Repeat *-* to end, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (36hdc).

 

Row 7: ch1 ( does not count as a st), 1hdc in same space and in each st around, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (36hdc).  

 

Row 8: ch1 (does not count as a st), 2hdc in same space andin each st around, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (72hdc).

 

Row 9 and 10: Repeat row 7, finish with a slst in 1st hdc. (72hdc).  

You should have something that is starting to look a bit like a flying saucer!  This is a good point to check your measurements with your intended teapot.  Place your hooked disc on top of your teapot. You want the edges of the circle to be approx. 1cm from the handle of the teapot.

To mark out handle and spout holes, simply take x4 st markers (or cut short pieces of yarn in a different  colour as I did) and place/ tie first marker in the st behind where you joined last row.

Counting backwards (or to the right)miss x3 sts and place/tie second marker in next st.  This marks out your handle. 

 

From this second marker count backwards (or to the right) 30sts and place 3rd marker in the next st (31st st).  Return to the first marker and count forwards 30 sts (or to the left) and place 4th marker in the next st.

 

 You have now marked out the handle and spout positions for your cosy.  Marker 1 and 2 indicate the handle space and markers 3 and 4 indicate the spout space.

The next stage of the cosy is to construct the sides.  So, for the purposes of the pattern these will be referred to as side A  (between marker 1 and 4) and side B between marker 2 and 3). 

crochet tea cosy by a ayarnyrobin

Side A row 1: In Cream yarn Ch 1(does not count as a st)* 1hdc in same st and in each st along to marker/tie 4, ch1, turn*

 

Side A row 2: repeat Side A row 1 returning to marker/tie1.

 

Repeat  (side A row 1 and side A row 2), to fit the height of your teapot.  I completed 15 rows in total.  Fasten off.

To complete side B, join  cream yarn in stitch to the left of stitch marker number 2

repeat Side A instructions between markers 2 and 3.  Fasten off and sew in all loose ends.

Remove stitch markers. 

Place on your teapot to check the fit.

Next, using a darning needle sew sides A and B together  from the bottom of the cosy  to below the spout (approx. 2 rows) and on the handle side from the bottom of the cosy to below the handle. 

Now for the creative part… making ‘dotty little crochet flowers’.  I made x4 flowers in each of the following colours:

lipstick, fondant, grape, gold, raspberry, saffron and shrimp

A dotty little crochet flower
A dotty little flower

To make a ‘dotty little flower’ ch4, slst to 1st chain to make a ring.  Ch 2 (counts as a hdc) x9 hdc into ring, slst into top of starting ch and fasten off to finish. 

To create flower centres you can cross stitch the centre,  add beads and create a french knot centre.

I used a cheat method to create the french knot centre by pulling a piece of yarn from the back of the flower to the front and then tying a knot x10 in the yarn in exactly the same place to make a large knot.

a dotty little flower

To finish thread the other tail of the yarn from the front to the back, so both tails are now at the back of the flower, tie to secure and trim tails short.

A dotty little crochet flowerdotty little crochet flowers

Secure your dotty little flowers to both sides of the cosy.  You can sew them into place or secure them with hot glue!  Then using green yarns sew simple stems and leaves using a back stitch to finish.  I used  stylecraft special DK yarn in meadow, khaki and lime.

dotty little crochet flowers

And there you have it…a sweet dotty flower tea cosy to keep your brew warm.

xxxxx

I REALLY HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED MAKING THIS PATTERN AS MUCH AS I HAVE ENJOYED CREATING IT FOR YOU.  IF YOU ARE NOT SURE ABOUT SOMETHING OR NOTICE ANY ERRORS PLEASE SHOUT UP.  EQUALLY PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR DOTTY FLOWER CREATIONS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THEM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grandma Dot Tea Cosy

captureIntroducing the ‘Grandma Dot’ tea cosy…the third  in the Grandma Collection

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

Dedicated to my husband’s Nanna Dot who was a truly formidable woman. 

Nanna Dot was a tiny woman in stature but a mighty woman non the less. 

Strong, brave and wise with the most beautiful smile.  No matter what was going on or how much hell was breaking loose round about; Nanna Dot would make a cuppa tea or something a wee bit stronger and in a way that I still do not really understand, she would put things into perspective with a gentle reassurance.

dotty little crochet flowers

 

I wish I had known Nanna Dot for longer.  I especially loved her love of family and Christmas.  Family were so important to her.  When my first son was born, we counted from Nanna Dot and Grandad Ernie that our son was number 50….a BIG family indeed!

dotty little crochet flowers

 

So this cosy is covered in ‘dotty little flowers’ 

 

  A meadow of ‘dotty little flowers’ to represent the growth and legacy of her family, which at last count is upwards of 60!

 

 

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

So that is the Grandma Dot tea cosy in all of its glory, here is the pattern linky thing which is free and has a photo tutorial also.

xxxxx

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

 

 

 

Velo BIRMINGHAM 2017

15000 riders came past the bottom of our street yesterday, on a 100 mile ride on closed roads.  I made a coffee and took the very short walk in the early morning sunshine with the boys.

velo Birmingham 2017

I sat with my neighbours as we watched all sorts of people from all walks of life zoom past.

They rode so fast it made me a little dizzy, but they were so inspiring.  I guess all of them having different motives to complete the challenge.  

A lot of folk had been moaning about the extensive road closures…but I was excited, a few hours of something completely different and a rare chance for our community to come together and drink coffee on the pavement together and chat. 

I can’t tell you what 15000 riders looked like, I just know that for hours they poured down our hill, determined and pumped and probably a little exhausted, but exhilarated and achieving. 

I returned home, empty mug in hand

Velo Birmingham

I made a fresh coffee and settled down with new yarn and began to hook my newest project

crochet blanket, a new blanket…

a masculine and handsome edition to the blankets I have hooked in the past.  I’m 13 rows in and  loving it!

xxxxx

 

Thank you Corfu…

Thank you Corfu…

Thank you for sundrenched days 

Thank you for time with my brood, for rest and relaxation and time just to breathe a new rhythm for a while

 Thank you for tequilla sunrise and Corfu beer

Thank you that I was able to create x1 barefoot sandal

 well, I was just too busy doing not a lot!  See…

Thank you for time spent in your Old Town, where the streets came alive after dusk with the chatter of the swifts overhead and where the street sellers appeared from nowhere with their wares.

  For your cobbled alley ways crammed with unique gems and treasures. 

Thank you for fun, lots of fun… 

Thank you Corfu for helping our healing and for new memories. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

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

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

 

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 yarny gate installation…

I have spent a lot of my time recently walking my dogs across the field that is behind our house. 

I used to do this often when I worked less, so to be able to have space to do this again has been refreshing.  However, this has been bothering me…

This gate opens onto a very busy road.  You can just about see that some kind soul has taken a sharpie pen to ask that folk shut the gate…but, it was still bothering me. 

It bothered me for two reasons.  The first, the gate is still left open and the second reason, the sharpie pen instruction just didn’t look pretty! 

So, I got out my stash and my hook

and began  hooking a simple but very happy double crochet striped affair.

 I added  a sweet little sewn request

 

and a cute little ladybird

Then I headed off with a pocket full of yarn and a darning needle to complete this yarny gate installation.

I hope so much that this sign makes people smile and that it survives for a little while before someone takes it down.

xxxxx