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


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

♥ December already ? 

Oh my goodness ! How did that happen ?
Just like that we are already in to the first week of December !


At home the decorations are up and there is Christmas Crochet everywhere,
  and at work glitter is twinkling wherever you look and 
we are full steam ahead for our Nursery Nativity next week !


This year I have loved all the neutral coloured decorations that are around 
and they were definitely my inspiration for my Trio of Sparkly Star Christmas accessories
 that I recently designed for lovecrochet.com



You can find the free patterns for these here at blog.lovecrochet.com


I have also been having a lot of fun putting together a design 
for some Christmassy Polar Bears.
Over the past few months I have really enjoyed making lots of small
 amigurumi animals from patterns that I have bought online
 and last month I finally plucked up the courage to have a go myself !
And here they are .......


Each bear stands approx. 13 cm tall and the pattern includes all the
 instructions you need to make the bears, the scarf, the balloon, 
the holly sprig and the gold star.

  

You can find the pattern here lovecrochet.com


I enjoyed making the bears so much that last night I spent a lovely couple of hours 
working on a completely unnecessary project that just had to be done .....

...... and here it is .... One bear in a Christmas Pudding Suit !


If you fancy having a go at the Bears and decide, like me, that you absolutely have to have one dressed as a Pudd here is the bonus pattern for you !


For the pudding: Using brown DK yarn and a 3mm hook chain 20. work 24 rows of DC, 
chaining 1 and turning at the end of each row.
To make the first armhole: In the next row DC 3, Chain 6, 
skip 6 stitches and rejoin back to the row. DC 10.
Work 18 more rows of DC. Finish off.
To join the seam and make the second armhole: Place the 2 short edges together 
and Sl St 10 DC together. Finish off. 
Leave a gap of 6 stitches. Rejoin your yarn and Sl St the last 3 stitches together. Finish off.
Turn inside out and place on the bear. 
Run a gathering thread around the top and bottom and pull up. 
Before finishing off add the stuffing to make the shape of the pudding.

For the topping: Using white DK yarn and a 3mm hook chain 26.
Row 1: *DC 3, increase in the next stitch.* Repeat from * to * to the end of the row, finishing with 1 DC.
Rows 2 and 3: DC 31.
Row 4: *Increase in the first stitch, DC 4* Repeat from * to * to the end of the row.
Row 5: To make the drip effect around the bottom of the topping I worked a random combination of the following cluster stitches to the end of the row. 
Begin by DC 4, then skip a stitch and work all of the following in to the next stitch: Drip 1: HTR + TR + TR + HTR, skip a stitch and Sl St back in to the next stitch. The two differnet sized drips are worked in exactly the same way by skipping a stitch then working all of the stitches in the next stitch, skipping a stitch and then a Sl St back in the next stitch.
Drip 2: TR + TR + DTR + TR + TR
Drip 3: DTR + DTR + TTR + DTR + DTR
Finish off.
Run a gathering thread around the top and place the topping around the bears neck and stitch at the back.
I worked two extra holly leaves from the pattern and stitched these in to place.


Sadly, there just aren't enough hours in the day for me to get to my little blog space
 as much as I would like these days but I am now going to spend
 the rest of the morning updating all my designs in the right hand side bar of this page,
 and if you fancy having a go at any of them, 
just click on the photo and it will take you straight to the free pattern !



 Wishing you all lots of fun in the run up to Christmas 
and may you have lots of time to crochet !




Friday, 15 September 2017

Adoring Autumn

♥ Adoring Autumn 

Without a doubt, Autumn is my most favourite season of the year 
- I love them all, but I love Autumn just that little bit more !

From the colours outside, to the cosiness inside, to the kitchen treats that lie ahead,
 there's not one bit of it that I don't like.

I even like the rain.


One of the things I look forward to the most is the prospect of snuggling down
 and getting the house looking as Autumnal as possible.


From huge cuddly blankets on the sofa's, to Autumn wreaths and Garlands on doors 
and mantle pieces, there's not one bit of my house that doesn't get the Autumn treatment !


Over the years I have built up a bit of a collection of Autumn garlands - 
the one above was the first one I made and you can find all the details here .
This one still comes out each year, and this year it's hanging in my kitchen.


Autumn garland on the LoveCrochet blog

The second one I made was a pattern for lovecrochet.com and you can find
 the full pattern for it here. This one is quite a simple, rustic looking design.


Then last year I designed a Garland for Simply Crochet Magazine, Issue 49, that ended
 up being nothing short of full on Autumn abundance, 
and this is the one taking pride of place on our fireplace this year.


The lovely thing about putting together a garland is that you can
 just add as little or as much as you want.

   

                              

With an Autumn Garland the choice is huge ,,, from oak leaves and acorns, 
to pumpkins and berries, to mice and hedgehogs ... 
you can totally let your imagination run wild.

If you fancy giving it a go here are a couple of quick and easy patterns
 for my pumpkins and mice.


To make a pumpkin:

Make a chain to the length that you want your pumpkin height to be.
Work rows of DC ( UK terms) in to the back loop only.
Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Make a rectangle, the finished length will be the diameter of your pumpkin.
Fold in half, short edges together, join in DC.
Sew a gathering thread around the bottom, pull up, sew in place.
Turn the pumpkin the right way out, stuff, gather up and sew the top , leaving a small hole for the stalk.
Make a small green rectangle for the stalk. 
Roll up and sew in place, attach to the top of the pumpkin.


To make a mouse:


R 1: Make a Magic Ring and work 4 DC in to the ring.
R 2: *2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in next stitch*.  Repeat from * to * 1 more time. 6 sts.
R 3: *2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in each of the next 2 stitches *. Repeat from * to * 1 more time. 8 sts.
R 4: *2 DC in the next stitch, 1 DC in each of the next 3 sts*. Repeat from * to * 1 more time. 10 sts.
R 5: DC 10.
R 6: *2 DC in the next stitch, 1 DC in each of the next 4 sts* Repeat from * to * 1 more time. 12 sts.
R 7: You will be working the two ears in to this round. DC 6, working in to the front loop only of the next stitch, ss, Ch 2, 4 TR, Ch 2, ss. Work 2 DC. Work a second ear. DC 2 . 12 sts.
R 8: DC 12 , making sure that you pick up the back loop behind each ear. 12 sts.
R 9: *2 DC in the next stitch, DC in the next stitch*. Repeat from * to * 2 more times, DC 6. 15 sts.
R 10: * 2 DC in the next stitch, 1 DC in each of the next 4 stitches*. Repeat from * to * 2 more times. 18 sts.
R 11 to 15: DC 18.
R 16: * DC 2 together, 1 DC in each of the next 4 stitches*. Repeat from * to * 2 more times. 15 sts.
R 17: You will be working the tail in to the centre back of this round. * DC 2 together, 1 DC in each of the next 3 sts*. Repeat from * to * 2 more times, and when at the central back point of the mouse work the tail as follows: Chain 18 and starting in the second chain from the hook Sl St back to the start of the chain and Sl St in to the original stitch.
R 18: DC 2 together 6 times. Finish off , leaving a long tail of yarn.
Stuff the mouse and using the tail of yarn run a gathering thread around the bottom of the mouse and pull to close.

Using a small amount of black wool or embroidery thread sew on two eyes.Using white cotton , sew a few loops of cotton through the mouse’s nose, and then snip to make the whiskers.



Happy Autumn !





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 !