Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose


Monday, 27 February 2017





♥ Baby Star Blanket 

With February chills still nipping at our heels my design for this week’s Crochet Club over at blog.lovecrochet.com  is all about keeping our tiny tots warm and toasty. This Baby Star Blanket is the perfect size to throw over the top of a baby car seat or pushchair, but could be made slightly bigger for a cot or crib.


With the main blanket worked in DC and the stars being hooked up separately and stitched on to the finished blanket, this is a beautiful and totally unique handmade accessory.

 


I used 7 x balls of Debbie Bliss Mia in Silver (22) for the main part of the blanket and 1 x ball of Debbie Bliss Mia in Light Pink (11) for the stars.
For the blanket I worked with a 4.5 mm hook for the main part and a 3.5mm hook for the finishing edge and border.
The stars are worked with a 2.5mm hook.


The finished blanket measures approx. 62cm x 52cm.

To make the blanket:
Chain 91.
Starting in the second chain from the hook work a row of DC, 90 sts.
At the end of the row chain 1 and turn. Keep working rows of DC until your work measures approx. 60cm, finishing on a RS row. Remember to chain 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Do not finish off at the end of your final row.
Edging:
Round 1: Switch to using a 3.5mm hook and work a round of DC all the way around all four edges of the blanket, working 2 or 3 stitches into each corner stitch to stop the blanket from becoming out of shape.
( I found it helped to keep the edges flat by working  1 DC in each stitch on the top and bottom edge and two stitches in every alternate stitch down each side. )
Round 2: Work a second round of DC , working 1 DC into each stitch all the way around, and two or three stitches into each corner stitch if needed.
Round 3: You are now going to work the Picot border as follows :* Sl St, chain 2, Sl St back in to the first stitch of the chain you have just worked, Sl St in to the next stitch.* Now repeat from * to * all the way around the edge of your blanket. Sl ST to join at the end, finish off and sew in the ends.

To make the stars:
I made a total of 23 stars for my blanket. Using the Light Pink and 2.5mm hook makes the stars as follows:

Round 1: Begin by making a Magic Ring and then work 5 DC in to the ring. Sl St to join.
Round 2: Work 2 DC in to each stitch from the first round. Sl St to join . Work a Sl St in to the next stitch and then * work a chain of 4.   
    
 
 

You are now going to create your first point by working back down the chain as follows: beginning in the second chain from the hook work a Sl St, followed by a DC, followed by a HTR. Now skip a stitch and Sl St the point back to the central circle*. Repeat from * to * until you have 5 points. Sl St to join, finish off and sew in the ends.

  

 

Once you have made the required number of stars lay out your blanket and position the stars as you want them. I pinned mine with safety pins to hold them in place whilst sewing each star in to its final position with a needle and thread. When sewing each star work your way all the way around the edge with small stitches to ensure that each star is held firmly in place. 

 


 

Happy baby snuggling ! 




Monday, 3 October 2016

The Tale of the Blanket of Hugs and the Amazing Crochet Community



Without a doubt the Crochet World is one that stretches far and wide to all corners of the globe, and nothing has demonstrated this more than a project that I have recently had the honour and privilege to be a part of.
Being a total Crochet lover I take a huge amount of pleasure from the Crochet Community that exists in the world of Social Media, and my journey through this fabulous world over the past two or three years has been nothing short of wonderful. Not only is it a place of great inspiration and sharing , it has also allowed me to get to know many like-minded friends, one of whom, Amanda Bloom from the Little Box of Crochet,  many of you will be familiar with. I first worked with Amanda when I put together a design for her January Little Box of Crochet. Amanda began her business, not only from her love of crochet and creativity but also from personal need as her beautiful daughter Jenny had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. By running a business from home Amanda was able to continue to work whilst at the same time being there to care for Jenny.
When Jenny’s cancer returned for a third time, and with so many friends following their story I felt we, as a community , needed to get together and show our support in some small way.
The beginnings of an idea was growing in the back of my mind and in no time the seed was sewn … Jenny needed a blanket, a blanket of hugs, that she could wrap herself in to feel all the positivity and love that everyone was sending from all corners of the world.

  


I tentavily put my idea out on my Instgram page and was instantly inundated with people wanting to take part.
Within a couple of days, and following ‘secret’ chats with Amanda we decided on the colours and a suitable yarn was chosen. No sooner had I let everyone know what they were, the Australian and American Crochet Contingents had come up with  similar yarns that could be sourced in their part of the world and then it was full speed ahead for me to design the squares.



The squares were designed so that everyone, whatever level of crocheter they were, could take part if they wanted to.



I put the patterns and all the details up on my blog on a Friday evening and by the following Tuesday the first packages were arriving !


 I think the poor postman couldn’t believe his eyes ! For three weeks the highlight of my day was seeing the postmans van arrive and out he would get with crates of parcels and packages.
Each and every one contained the most beautiful squares, all made with so much love and care, and every parcel contained cards for Amanda and Jenny and myself.
Parcels came from Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, France, Germany , America and so many more countries  – literally all the corners of the globe.

Everyday my desk was full of the brightest coloured squares you’ve ever seen. I could literally feel the positivity and hugs bursting out of each parcel.
There were parcels from individuals, friends sharing postage costs from the other side of the world, mothers and daughters and Crochet Clubs, and when some had trouble trying to source yarn, people from all over the world started sending their left over yarn to others so they too could take part. I was literally left speechless and very teary on a daily basis.





In no time at all there were bags, boxes and piles of squares everywhere I looked and just when I was beginning to have the teeniest of panics about joining all the squares by myself , the very next day I had four messgaes from people offering to drive from their part of the UK to come and help me join them. That number grew and plans were put in place for a Joining Day to take place at my local Village Hall.
By the closing date I had received just over 1050 squares !!!
 TOTALLY AMAZINGLY FABULOUS !
The 1 blanket had suddenly become 7 blankets and 2 cushions … and the yarn for joining ? All donaned by lovecrochet.com


After a weekend of sorting squares in to yarn types and sizes , with help from daughters, daughters boyfriends and anyone else who happened to pop by, all the squares were laid out and 7 blankets were pinned together with just under 3000 safety pins !


Once pinned and labelled the blankets were folded and packed in to bags all ready and waiting for the 20 fabulous joining ladies  who were travelling from all over the South East and South West of England with their crochet hooks at the ready.


On the morning of Joining Day tables and chairs were laid out in the Hall, kettles were filled, and sandwiches and cake were piled high on plates.
One of our lovely ladies, who sadly wasn’t able to join us for the day, had even made the most beautifully intricate name badges for everyone, as for many of us it was out first time of meeting.



At 10:00am everyone arrived and in no time at all the tables had been pushed together and the chat and crochet had begun !


It was the most fabulous day, packed full to bursting with happiness, laughter, endless chatter and tea and the most overwhelming feeling of togetherness. It  will stay with me for a very, very long time to come.


And what of the blankets ?
Well, it was only right that Jenny had hers to take away with her at the end of the day so I had joined that one in the week before and it was all ready and waiting for her, along with a cushion and two boxes full of cards and gifts enclosed in all the parcels.



The 6 others were all taken away at the end of Joining Day and are now being worked on in various different locations. Once finished , one will be for Amanda and  following Jenny and Amanda’s request, the others will be Auctioned for the following charities:
The Little Princess Trust
The Brain Tumour Society/Michael Barry Fund
The Teenage Cancer Trust
The Rainbow Trust
Once Upon a Smile
To end this wonderful tale all I can say is the hugest of thank you’s to everyone who took part and helped in this amazing experience – and one thing I know for SURE is that …
♥ … Crochet definitely, definitely makes the world go round. ♥ 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Big catch up


I know we all say it, and it trips off the tongue so easily, 
but truly, where does the time go ?

The Summer just seems to have flown by and here we are already 
beginning to feel the hint of Autumn in the air.

The apple trees in our garden are full to bursting and the fields around
 us have the best crop of blackberries I think I've ever seen.


At the weekend I hunted out last years Autumn Garland and it has now 
taken its rightful place on the fireplace, 
with the Summer Daisy Garland being tucked away till next year.


Talking of Autumny crochet makes, there was a huge amount of excitement the
 other day when this months issue of Simply Crochet Magazine landed on 
my doormat with my first ever magazine commission in it  - squuuueeeeaaaalll !


Very, very exciting but very, very nerve wracking all at the same time.
Because I finished making it a few months ago and posted it off to be
 photographed it had slipped away to the back of mind 
so it came as a real surprise to see it all there in print !



I am so delighted with how it all turned out 
and I just love the way the magazine styled it on a such a beautiful rustic background.

It was such a fun project to design and after working away on all the 
individual items it was so lovely to see it all come together at the end.


In other Yarny news I am off to Yarndale this weekend
 - and I'm so excited !
I didn't manage to get there last year so it will be a lot of fun 
catching up with it all again this year.



I'm going be to helping on Amanda from Little Box of Crochet's stall, 
so if you're at Yarndale too do pop by and say Hi !

And as it just wouldn't be right to be at such a fabulous Yarny 
get together without a little nod to my love of all things woolly ...



 ... a Pompom headband is currently under construction :) 
especially for the weekend.

I'm hoping that there won't be nearly such a long gap in between 
my posts next time as I have a big catch up post coming soon all about
 Jenny's Blanket of Hugs, 
and what will be happening to all 7 of the blankets that we ended up making.

And in the meantime I'm also going to get my right hand side bar up to date
 with the last few things I have made for lovecrochet.com 
If you click on any of the photo's it will take you to the tutorial and free pattern.