Saturday, 20 October 2012

A British Wool Week Trip to Cafe Knit, Lavenham. Oh, and a Chunky Snood #FO!

Lovely jaunt through the Suffolk countryside today, along beautiful autumnal country roads to Cafe Knit. Somehow, courtesy of HeartFM, this journey was set to an 80s/90s sound track of the Pet Shop Boys, Simply Red and Tina Turner: not my usual choice, but I was singing at the top of my voice as I hurtled along.

Cafe Knit never disappoints: a lovely cappuccino with good conversation from a friend and the other customers. We had a good rummage around the Debbie Bliss yarns and looked at Louisa Harding's hat patterns - I really want to make one these, and what a good cause:

Indecision prevented me from buying wool today, but I will be making the pompom hat soon . . . or the green heart cable one . ... or the beret-style green one . . .

I did buy a great shawl pin for my Sarah Hatton jacket: picture of this to follow. This means the jacket is finally wearable - a genuine FO!

Oh, and Louvera The Sheep is outside the cafe to celebrate British Wool Week!

In other FO news, I made this snood for my sister's birthday last week:
It is a version of the hugely-popular Gap-Tastic Cowl by Jen Geighley over at Ravelry. It's a lovely dark teal colour - not as navy as it looks here. She was very pleased with it (or very polite!) so I hope she enjoys wearing it!  Still, what with that and the crochet snowflakes for the Workwise shop, I'm rather behind on my Lady Friend's jumper... better get to it!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Handmade Monday: Crochet Christmas Snowflake Pattern - Surely It's Not Too Early?

So, as promised on my earlier post: here is how to make a crochet snowflake, like the one shown above.
Crochet snowflake pattern
Easy-peasy .... really!
I used DMC Natura Just Cotton, in Colour Ibiza and a 2.5 mm crochet hook.

Base chain: 6 chain, join with a slip stitch.
Round  1: 1 chain  [1 double crochet into ring, 3 chain]12 times. Slip stitch to join end to first double crochet (dc) stitch. You are making a row of DC plus 3 chain. This will be quite a tight fit. See picture below.

Round 2: Slip stitch into top of the two chain from previous round, then 1 ch, 1 dc into 3 chain arch from previous row [3 ch, 1 dc into next 3 chain arch] 11 times, then 1 ch then 1 half treble into top of first double crochet. In this row, you are making arches all the way round the star. See the picture below.
Row 3: [6 chain, 1 dc into next 3 chain arch, 3 chain, 1 dc into next 3 chain arch] 4 times, then 6 chain and 1 dc into next 3 chain arch. 1 chain, I treble into half treble from previous round to close. Essentially, you alternate making arches of 6 chain and 3 chain round the star, into the 3 chain arches you made in row 2. Picture below of star with rows 1-3 complete.
Row 4: 1 half treble, 4 trebles, 2 chain, 4 trebles, 1 half treble into 6 chain arch, 1 dc into 3 chain arch. Repeat around the star and close row with a slip stitch. The groups of trebles and half trebles fill out the points of the star, while the double crochets anchor the points. See the picture of this last row in progress below.
Ta-dah! Now hand it proudly on your tree - or make lots, and tie them into bunting. Please don't make commerically - please don't sell the pattern or the snowflakes.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

More Vintage Pattern Goodness!

Another quick installment as I have another charity shop success story! Now, I'm probably *not* going to make the 'sweaters' on the cover - but some of the ones inside are good, and could be tweaked a little to resemble some in shops at the moment. I want to develop a crochet jumper pattern so I'm hoping this book will help me out. I should be delivering snowflakes... but am just too tired! Somehow this week has been exhausting. Still, am making a stiff cup of coffee and preparing to continue knitting my sister's birthday present!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Hooray For Vintage Knitting Patterns - Yes, I *Am* Seriously Considering Knitting These...

Cue the Loose Knits captions....
I'm always so envious of other people's casually picked up charity shop finds - so I am rather pleased with these two patterns that, with a bit of 21st century tweaking, I could actually use. This cardigan pattern is from 1983 and is knitted in Patons Brushed Chunky. Apparently, even the pattern is printed in the UK. Not sure that they do that now!  OK, so the green cardigan looks a touch severe, but I think the yellow one could be a nice beach-walking jacket - if it was in a heathery, tweedy chunky yarn ..... Clearly, I need more wool! I'm sure Princess Diana had one of each...
Ah - whatever happened to Patons Kismet? In fact, whatever was it?! It sounds a bizarre name for a wool which, somehow, has not stood the test of time - ironically, as Google tells me kismet is Turkish for Destiny or Fate....However, this tank top might be just the thing. I need to find out, though, what weight the Kismet was. According to the pattern (from 1975! I had only just been born!) it "gives a soft feminine look" (I could really do with that :)) and the range "includes random shades" - how did that happen?!
All this vintage knitting-based excitement for 30p!