Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Free Crochet Pattern - Santa Hat

I found a Santa outfit in a charity shop, but it didn't come with a hat, so of course I had to make one. Here's the pattern.... Really its just an excuse to post pictures of H in his hilarious outfit. 

How to make a really simple Santa hat for a baby or child.

You will need:
100g Double Knitting Yarn in Red
20g Double Knitting Yarn in White
A white pom pom or a jingley bell
5mm Crochet Hook

This pattern uses British Crochet Terminology, so tr = dc in US terminology.

Starting at the point of the hat, and with red yarn Ch3, and work 5tr in 3rd st from hook. 
Do not join. You are working around in a circle and not joining, so when you get the the end of the first row, you just work the next stitch into the top of the first stitch you made.

Work this sequence of stitches: *work 1tr in each of the next 6 sts, inc in next st*. Continue until there are 12 rows in total.

Work this sequence of stitches: *work 1tr in each of the next 12 sts, inc in next st*. Continue until your hat has a slightly larger circumference than your littley's head.

Work 1 tr in each st around for 3 rows. Dc in next st. Change to white yarn. 
Dc in each st around for 8 rows. Fasten off.

Sew on pom pom or jingley bell. You also could make this hat in green for an elf's hat.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Waffle Stitch Bag

A bag for a custom order. It's based on the waffle stitch bag, just much bigger. I used double knitting yarn in charcoal grey and a 4.5mm hook. Details and more photos at Ravelry.

I want to enjoy autumn for a bit before I start to get all festive. We've been going on lovely walks around here, and gradually finding pushchair-friendly routes. The best places are along the canal or in the woods. I know if this pregnancy is the same as the last one, then I'm going to be housebound for the next few months. Its very painful to walk while pushing a pushchair loaded with shopping, but gentle strolls with my husband are just about bearable and I'm not going to give in just yet!

clanger wood

On Wednesday I bumped into a friend in town and  I nearly burst into tears because I was in so much pain and didnt know how I was going to make it home. So I've given up walking into town, and I'm doing all my shopping online unless I go with my husband in the car (I don't drive).

The weather has been lovely for autumnal strolls, and we're really lucky to live in such a nice part of the country, even if the town where we live isn't that great. I love woodlands, especially oak woods. I think the colours and darkness and textures are my natural habitat, the way that some people 'seaside' people or 'mountain' people. All good walks should invovle a country pub and real ale, although I have to stick to a Dandelion & Burdock these days.

clanger wood
In the woods we stumbled across this baby owl! H loves looking up at the trees.

in the woods we found a baby owl

This is Caen Hill Locks, on the Kennet & Avon canal near Devizes. There are 29 locks in a row, once I went through them in my brother's narrowboat, it took us all afternoon.

caen hill locks

I'm hoping this weekend will mainly involve vegan cupcake-eating, jerusalem artichoke-digging, compost-spreading, some more walking and christmas decoration-making.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Hurrah! Finished Socks.

I seem to have about a hundred crochet projects waiting to be started, mostly for other people, so I'm glad I finished my cosy autumn socks last night. Now I can start on something else...
They are made from 1 ball of King Cole Zig Zag yarn, (bought from ebay for less than a fiver) and I went up a hook size because my feet are bigger from being pregnant. I also added a few more rows to the main foot part. A really nice project to carry around because they're so small, I worked on them a lot during our 3 and a half hour car journey to see my grandmother, it was the first time she had seen her new great-grandson. The pattern is on Ravelry and Etsy.

It's time to start thinking about making things for Christmas; the raspberry gin is getting nicely pink in the back of the cupboard, I've made my little H his first stocking, and today I baked the Christmas cake. I've used this Delia recipe for the past 5 years and it always comes out great, the only change I made was, after soaking the dried fruit in sloe gin (instead of brandy) overnight, the mixture still seemed quite dry so I so added half a cup of strong black tea and let it soak for a few more hours. This will be my first christmas at home with my husband and baby, (we got married in July), I usually go to my parents in Worcester, so I'm getting really into the idea of making it really special. After 4 and a half hours in the oven this is what came out:

christmas cake

Really moist and yummy looking. I will wrap it in foil, feed it every now and again, then decorate it with fruit and nuts.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Crochet Tank Top... or vest if you are American.

Check out my handsome model! This tank top was made using a pattern I wrote a couple of years ago, available at Ravelry and Etsy. The pattern uses 4ply sock wool, and comes in 4 sizes up to 24 months. Perfect for autumn with a cute t-shirt underneath.

Reasons to be cheerful...

It's not much fun having SPD/PGP, so I thought I'd distract myself by writing about some much nicer things...

1. Finding a Christmas present for H in a charity shop, a Djeco vintage-style wooden puzzle. American bloggers sound so much more hip when they say 'thifted'!

2. Making a funny monkey, another present for H. I've been reading a book called 'Radical Homemakers', about reclaiming the home, not being a consumer. I'm not sure that its particularly radical, but I do like lots of the ideas. I can definitely relate to it since giving up work to be a mummy. When you work full time you do spend more money; for example, after work you might be too tired to cook so you buy a takeaway or a ready meal. At the end of a hard week, you might feel you deserve a nice new dress. I dont want to buy H plasticy toys made in sweatshops halfway round the world. The book talks about making toys for children, but you cant really avoid consumerism altogether, I mean I still had to buy the wool and the stuffing... The pattern was from Ravelry.

3. Making some lovely crocheted socks, just for me! I'm always making things for other people or for etsy, its sometimes nice to have a project that's just mine. Cosy socks for cosy evenings at home. They're made following this pattern.

4. What a horrible word 'weaning' is! H is 7 months old, and eating us out of house and home, and its nice that now we can all have bowls of porridge, just like the three bears. Mine has brown sugar, cinnamon, seeds and a sprinkling of bran.

5. Carving a Halloween pumpkin, then hiding upstairs with the lights off because we're scared of trick or treaters! We made spicy pumpkin soup the next day.

6. Best of all, my brother and his girlfriend had a baby girl, no name yet, but she was 2 weeks late and weighed 9lb 10!