Time for a round-up

I haven’t managed to track down any of the Stylecraft Special Aran that I need for my so-very-nearly-finished cardigan without resorting to online purchasing, which may well be a dangerous game, so I’ve moved onto other things.

Pumpkin requested a scarf, so I’ve mostly been busy working on that.

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It certainly won’t win any awards, but the boy seems to like it, so it’s good enough. It’s his favourite colours, and designed with a loop at one end that he can tuck the other end through, which should help to keep it on better than just having it wound around his neck. I did a sort of horizontal ribbing effect which I thought would make it a bit cushier and cosier around his neck. It actually made it quite stretchy, so it’s ended up much longer than I intended, and the narrower section of 1×1 ribbing that was supposed to help keep it in place in the loop actually overshoots it by quite a long way. Never mind. It’s all a learning process.

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Rather an untidy edge.

Speaking of learning, does anyone know why the edge of my knitting does this strange thing with one large loop and one loop pulled tight and what I can do to make the edge neater?

After the scarf, I ventured back to my crochet hooks and worked on keeping a promise I’d made before Christmas to make an Elsa/Frozen inspired hat for the seven year old daughter of a very good friend of mine.

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I used pictures on google and pinterest for inspiration, but didn’t follow any particular pattern. I’ve not made a hat for a while, and it took several attempts to get the right combination of stitch type and number of increases to get the shape right, but I got there eventually and little Miss Elsa was really happy with her surprise gift.

This cute little ducky fell off my hook next.

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I’m a member of a crochet group on Facebook which sets challenges every month or so, and the challenge for January was linked to The Little Yellow Duck Project (see website here for details).

“The Little Yellow Duck Project involves people around the world handcrafting little yellow duck gifts as random acts of kindness that are left in public places for others to find. A special tag on each one invites the finder to take their gift home to brighten their day and to visit this website to register where they found their gift. We hope that the stories and information found here will encourage them to pledge their own random act of kindness by registering to donate blood, bone marrow, organs tissues.”

So this little guy just needs a tag (when my printer feels like behaving) and then he’ll be sent off on an adventure somewhere.

Now I’m happily settled into the stockinette rhythms of my first knitted hat, and trying to learn the art of knitting without having to watch what I’m doing all the time, so I can watch TV at the same time. Speaking of which, I’m off to watch Castle. Have a lovely evening!

Crochet Christmas Decorations

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As more and more of my friends have become parents over the last few years, I’ve found myself having to buy Christmas presents for increasing numbers of children. As a parent myself, I struggle with the influx of toys my children receive each Christmas and birthday. So, for the last few years, I’ve decided to cut down on the festive toy buying for friends’ children, and have instead given each a small Christmas decoration.

The first year, I supported a friend’s small crafting business and bought some handmade felt decorations. Last year Pumpkin and I did a little crafting together and made homemade salt-dough style decorations, and this year I decided to indulge in a little hooky time to compensate for all this knitting I’ve been doing.

Last Christmas I was given a crochet magazine with patterns for some ‘Scandi Decorations’, so I used some of those and also made up a couple of my own patterns along the way.

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Unfortunately I’d already wrapped some, including my intarsia reindeer design that turned out rather well, before I thought about taking pictures.

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The round ones turned out to be my favourite, so here’s a very quick write up of the pattern for you.

Yarn: Rico creative cotton Aran

Hook: 4mm

Embellishments: A variety of buttons and felt garlands from Hobbycraft

Toy stuffing

US terms

Round 1: 10sc into magic loop, pull circle tight and slip st into first sc to join

Round2: ch1,  2sc into each sc around and join (20 sc)

Round 3: ch1, [*1sc, 2sc in next sc], repeat from * to end of round and join (30sc)

Round 4: ch1, [* 1sc, 1sc, 2sc into next sc], repeat from * to end of round, join and finish. (40sc)

This is your front piece – sew on any embellishments you choose at this point.

Choose a contrasting colour and make a second circle as before, up to end of round 4. Join, but do not finish.

Round 5: Turn, ch1, holding the two circles with wrong sides together, and beginning at the top of the ‘front’ piece, sc around to join the two together, making sure to go through 1 sc from each circle for each stitch. Stuff lightly with toy stuffing when you are about 3/4 of the way round. Join yarn at the end. (40sc)

To make a hanging loop, chain 18-20 st, then join at beginning. Cut yarn with a tail and weave in.

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All that is left now, is to wish you all a very happy Christmas!