Cute Little Booties

I was in-between crochet projects when the neighbours daughter gave birth to their first grand-daughter.  I had seen on Pintrest a set of booties that were consider quick and extremely easy to make, so I thought I’d whip up a couple of pairs.

Crossover Booties 1I have to say that I didn’t find the pattern very easy to follow, which seems surprising when you know that it’s a basic “T” shape, but I couldn’t understand the “ch 2” at the beginning of each row and then skipping the first SC from the previous row.  If you google “Crossover Booties for Crochet” you’ll easily find the pattern which is by Louise Mac.  I ended up ditching my efforts and searched for an alternative pattern.

I found another pattern on You Tube that used Half Double Crochet stitches, and logically the pattern made more sense to me.  This pattern is by Jayda Institches and are called Wrap-Style booties.  You can find the video here.

The second pair that I made were with 4 ply Merino yarn.  I followed the basics of the pattern, but converted it to:

Ch 41, DC 39 x 4 rows.
ST into the 4th row to start the middle section.  I can’t remember exactly which stitch I used, but I’m sure you can work it out.  Then DC 9 stitches x 7 rows.  I made some cute little flowers and stitched them on.

Crossover Booties 2

They certainly are extremely cute, and I think that you could easily adjust the pattern to make different sized booties.  And there would of course be lots of fun options for little motifs to attach to them.

Cable Stitch using Crochet

Cable Blanket 2I wanted to challenge myself with some new patterns, and so found a pattern for a blanket that produced a cable effect that I’ve only previously associated with knitting.

I had a good look around the internet and on Ravelry and decided on the “Cable your Love” Blanket by Nirmal Khalsa which you can find on Ravelry.

My original plan was to make an entire blanket in one colour, which I’ve never done before.  But half way through making it, I had to put the project on hold and whip up a baby blanket for someone who’s baby had arrived early (i.e. I hadn’t yet made their blanket).  I used some of the yellow yarn, and knew that I wasn’t going to have enough to finish the Cable stitch blanket.  I couldn’t risk buying some more and having a different batch that didn’t quite match…something that is really obvious when it’s all one colour.  So, I added two white panels, and as far as the stitches went, the end result was that only the middle panel was according to the pattern.  I just mixed and matched the cable stitches from the pattern for the thinner panels.

I hemmed it with a simple *dc 2, ch 2, dc 2* in every 4th stitch, then a second row of single crochets.

Cable Blanket 1

The final product was quite a heavy blanket, which is really only one sided.  It was great to give something new a go, and initially I did find it quite challenging so mission accomplished! 🙂

Superbly Simple Blanket

Michael Powar Baby Blanket 2Over the years I have managed to set an precedent that if I know you, and you’re having a baby, you can expect to get a pram sized baby blanket from me.  This goes for all the men that I work with too.

One of my staff’s wife was pregnant with their first child, so I had mentally put that into my crochet calendar that I have in my head.  I was part way through making a cable stitch blanket, when low and behold….baby arrives early, and was actually born in an ambulance on the side of the highway!  Crisis on the blanket front since I hadn’t even started it!

Ravely to the rescue; I found the “Superbly Simply Blanket” by Heather C Gibbs.  And superbly simple, it was!  And fast……perfect!

Michael Powar Baby Blanket 1I give the borders of my blankets quite a bit of consideration; not all edges suit all patterns and the wrong border can ruin the look of a great blanket.  I thought that this blanket needed something simple, and I needed something that was going to be quick so went with the Reverse Single Crochet Stitch, which I’ve never used before.  You can google it, or you can find it here on Dummies.com.

 

Enchanted Garden Blanket

Enchanted Garden Blanket 2The New Zealand Summer of 2016/2017 will probably go down in records as being one of the lousiest Summers we’ve ever had.  It was cold, wet and windy right through December, January and February.  In March Summer decided to finally make a brief appearance before Autumn arrived.

The only up side to having a Summer that feels like Winter, is that the crocheting may continue (sometimes having a wool blanket on my knee while I stitch it can be just too hot in Summer).

The ‘theme’ for this blanket, when I went searching for a pattern, was to make something with granny squares around the edge, as opposed to being 100% made up from squares.  I found this really sweet looking “Enchanted Garden” granny square by Claire Norden, that became the basis for the design.  As usual, I used 8 ply machine washable wool, given that I was making it for use by a baby or toddler.

Enchanted Garden BlanketI was very happy with the overall look of the blanket….so much so that it has been put away for now.  I love the colour combination and some day I hope that it will brighten up someone’s nursery.

Vegan, Gluten Free, No-Bake Apricot Slice

piha-2Last week I went on the second “Girl’s Road Trip” with my BFF. Last year we went to Napier which is on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island. So this year we decided to go to the west coast…..Raglan. Everyone I spoke to said that there was nothing to Raglan but a few shops and surfing, so we were on a mission to prove them wrong!

Well, we can confirm that there is definitely more to Raglan than just surfing…..in the 4 days we were there we went shopping in the various lovely boutique shops, visited a local glass lampworking artist, had our tarot cards read, visited Bridal Veil Falls, rode horses on the beach, went to local markets and my friend went for a surfing lesson……

So, the following Friday BFF phones me and says she’s got this great plan…..her hubby is away, so she’ll come pick me up, drive me and her four year old child for an hour to a beach that is forecasted to have great surf…and I can mind said child while she practises her newly acquired skills. I’m obviously a soft touch because I agreed to get up early on a Saturday morning and postpone all the things that I had planned for the day.

We arrive at notorious Piha beach on Auckland’s west coast – it is rated as New Zealand’s most dangerous beach because of its strong rips and therefore high number of rescues and sadly, deaths. Fortunately (as far as I was concerned), BFF was told that the surf was up so much that morning that even the experienced surfers weren’t out. So, change of plan……cup of coffee and cake in the local café and a walk along the beach to look at the massive crashing waves.

captureTo accompany her coffee, BFF ordered a vegan, gluten-free, raw apricot and coconut slice. I nicked a piece to try…YUM! So, when I finally got home that day, I immediately googled for recipes and found one that I had all the ingredient for. It only took about 15 minutes to make and is a yummy guilt free snack. I see that the website also had a Mango and Coconut version, which I might try next time.

You can find the recipes here.

Loveys?

mouse-loveysIn my last post I mentioned that I’ve finally started to use Pintrest. Part of me thinks “Why didn’t I get into this earlier? I’ve missed out on finding all that inspiration”, but the other part of me thinks “Phew! Imagine who much more I would have spent on yarn!” Anyway, I’m now totally hooked, so no point dwelling on the past…. Whilst I was surfing around looking to continue with the theme of toys to crochet, I came across something called a Lovey. Here in New Zealand, I think kids tend to have a favourite “Blankie”, so maybe they are the same thing, but different terminology.

bunny-lovey-2Anyway…..how cute!!! The first one I made was a super cute bunny, and was quick and easy to make with a basic granny square style blanket. The mistake I made with this one, was that I didn’t use machine washable wool….the drool factor should have been taken into account when selecting the yarn!

A friend was keen to buy one as a gift, so I made another one, this time using machine washable wool. I found a cute Mouse pattern, so only made the head and the arms. I then used a lovely star shaped pattern for the blanket….which no doubt I’ll use again for a larger blanket.  The two that I have made are both about 30 cm in diameter.

These are a really nice alternative to making a blanket for a new born, which is what I usually do, so I have no doubt that I’ll be expanding into other cute animals in the near future!

Crocheted Jellyfish

jellyfish-2A few weeks ago I branched out to making a “3d” Poinsettia flower….just to try something new and challenge my crocheting skills.  It was such fun, I thought I could continue somewhat on that theme and play round with making some crochet toys (‘scuse the pun); something I hadn’t done since my early days of crocheting.  I’ve recently started using Pintrest (yes…I was slow on the uptake of it) and found loads of inspiration. Somewhere along the way I spotted these really cute Jellyfish, which subsequently I found on Ravelry too, along with a wonderful free pattern!

jellyfish-1I had some 4 ply acrylic mix “cotton” (as opposed to “wool”) yarn in solid colours and matching multi-colored yarn which was perfect for this type of toy. The first one was so cute, the neighbour immediately offered to buy it for her a friend of hers. I then made a pink one, and she snatched that one up for her impending granddaughter. By then I was on a role, so I bought some more yarn in “ocean” type colours, and a beautiful pale yellow yarn that came with matching multi-colored yarn, both in 8 ply which made larger ones and seemed a bit more ‘substantial’.

jellyfish-3They were easy to make, and quick. I varied the fourth one and added a little ‘fringe’ to the body of the jellyfish. I like the look, so will probably do that to any I make in the future.

jellyfish-4You can find the wonderful easy to follow instructions here. I have noticed that the heads of my jellyfish are more rounded that the examples in the instructions. Looking at the Projects on Ravelry it seems that this varies a bit from maker to maker, so if you specifically wanted the more oval/flat look for the head, then maybe monitor the shape as you go…..having said that, maybe if you put a stich from the bottom up to the top, it would create that shape…..something to play around with to get the look you are after.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Pleeeease take the designers warning about choking hazards seriously. I have advised all recipients that the eyes are a potential choking hazard, so if given to a baby/toddler, this is ornamental, not a toy.