Monthly Archives: March 2014

Stunning Cotton Granny Square

Cotton SquareSeveral weeks ago I asked for volunteers to trial a new pattern that I had put together.  Such is the blogging community, I quickly had some skilled crochet’ers come to my aid.  The results were a number of beautiful granny squares, and some great feedback.  Based on this feedback, I have tweaked the original pattern and finally actually written the pattern up rather than it being in picture only.

You can download the pattern here: Cotton Square Pattern

 Cotton Granny Square

MEASUREMENTS
Width: approx 5”
Length: approx 5”

MATERIALS
Panda Regal 4 Ply Cotton

ABBREVIATIONS
Ch = Chain
Dc = Double crochet
Dc2tog = Double crochet two together
Dc4tog = Double crochet four together
Dc5tog = Double crochet five together
Hdc = Half double crochet
Rep = Repeat
Sc = Single crochet
Sl st = Slip stitch
Sp = Space
St(s) = Stitch(es)
Tr – Treble crochet

INSTRUCTIONS
Note: Ch 3 at beg of round counts as dc.
Use 3 mm (C or D) Hook (note: US hook sizes do not come in a 3mm hook. Choose C or D depending on your tension)
US Stitches

Round 1: Magic Ring, Ch 1, 15 sc, sl st to first sc
Round 2: Ch 3, dc in same sp, ch 3, *dc2tog, ch3 dc*. Rep * to * 6 times, sl st to join.
Round 3: Slst in next 3 ch sp, ch 3, dc 4, cd 2, *dc 5, ch 2*. Rep * to * 6 times, sl st to join.
Round 4: Ch 3, dc 4, ch 5, *dc 5, ch 5*. Rep * to * 6 times, sl st to join.
Round 5: Ch 3, dc4tog, ch 5, sc 1 in next 5 ch sp, ch 5, *dc5tog, ch 5, sc1 in next 5 ch sp, ch 5*. Rep * to * 6 times, sl st to join
Round 6: Sc 3 along next 5 ch sp, *ch7, sc 1 in next 5 ch sp*. Rep * to * 15 times, ch 7, sl st to join.
Round 7: Slst in next 7 ch sp, ch 2, dc 12, sc 1 in next 7 ch sp, *dc 11, sc 1 in next 7 ch sp*. Rep * to * 6 times, sl st to join.
Round 8: Sc in same sp, ch2, hdc, sc 5, hdc, dc, tr. Tr 3, ch 3, tr 3 in 7 ch sp of round 6. *Tr in next dc from found 7, dc, hdc, sc 5, hdc, dc, tr, dc, hdc, sc 5, hdc, dc, tr. Tr 3, ch 3, tr 3 in 7 ch sp of round 6*. Rep * to * 2 times, Tr in next dc from found 7, dc, hdc, sc 5, hdc, dc, tr, sl st to join.
Round 9: Ch1, sc along all stitches, sc 5 in each of the 4 corners, sl st to finish.

To Finish: Block granny square to flatten and shape.

Below is the diagram of the square.

Cotton Square Pattern

Baby blankets are such a joy to make

Karen's Blanket 3I love making baby blankets.  Partly this is because of the simple reason of why you are making one….a cute little baby is about to enter the world, and there’s all that joy that comes with it.  The other reason is because they are usually lovely to crochet.  The ones I make send to not be granny squares, and there’s something nice about simply crocheting, and not having to stitch bits together.

So, it will come as no surprise that when a long standing girlfriend of mine announced that she was pregnant I rushed to my local yarn store and stocked up on cream, blue and pink balls of wool.  The yarn that I chose is made here in New Zealand by Countrywide Yarns Ltd and is 100% pure new wool 8 ply (double knit).   I choose this particular yarn for baby blankets because it’s also machine washable!  No new mother needs to be worrying about hand washing.

I really love the pattern that I chose for this blanket.  It was pretty straight forward, produced an interesting pattern and allowed me to do stripes with the blue and pink.  Part way through making this particular blanket, my friend announced that she was having a boy!  So, I make the final edging in blue, and incorporated blue ribbon so make it a bit more ‘blue’ than ‘pink’.

Karen's Blanket 1You can get the Bernat pattern from here: http://www.yarnspirations.com/pattern/crochet/lace-border-blanket-1

I used a 5mm hook because my tension tends to be a little tight and used 9 balls of yarn.  The pattern uses 350g of wool (equivalent to 7 balls) but I did another couple of sections.

Orange, rhubarb and cardamom cake

Orange, rhubarb and cardamon cake BWhen I went back to work after the Christmas holidays, my favorite coffee shop by the office was still closed.  All was not lost because there is another coffee shop close by (technically it’s actually closer to the office, but their coffee just isn’t as good!)

Anyway, I was waiting for my coffee to be made and was browsing through the 2-3 year old magazines they had on offer (2nd reason to stick with my usual place) when I came across a cake recipe that had rhubarb in it.  If you’re read my earlier posts you’ll know that I have a wonderful rhubarb patch in the garden and love anything that has rhubarb in it.  Such as it is with modern technology these days I whipped out my mobile phone and took a photo of the page.

The recipe has candied oranges on it, but I’m not a big fan of them (and oranges are out of season so expensive) so I skipped that step.  I also didn’t prebake my rhubarb, and that worked just fine.  Oh, and I also made a note to try less butter next time.  The recipe says to use 200g, but I found it to be a little greasy.  Next time I’ll only use 175g and see how that goes.

Orange Rhubarb and Cardamon Cake RecipeThe cake itself looked really pretty, and would be wonderful to serve to a group of guests for morning tea with a nice dollop of whipped cream 🙂