Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Latest projects

We visited our new granddaughter at the weekend, and I got quite a lot of crochet done. I started making these mittens because it was so cold and I only had wrist warmers with me. I made the pattern up as I went, but sadly ran out of the yarn on Sunday. So today I went to Wilkinsons to buy some more!

Before we went I had an idea. Mother in Law is always complaining of the opressive heat (it is oppressive) and yet she is cold. I worked out it was her legs that get cold, she only ever wears skirts and can no longer put her thin tights on or socks. The carers would put them on but she doesn't want them. Her legs swell up and socks cut in. So I thought of leg warmers. I studied a few patterns then based these loosely on one for a child, made a ribbed top, and crocheted downwards but I tapered them towards the ankle. I was fully expecting them to be too big, and took them over with my tape measure - but they fitted perfectly! MIL is now happy and warm, and I guess I will have to make another pair so she can wash one! I need some too, mine are bought, knitted and much thinner yarn!

Does anyone want a step by step on how to make these?

 I bought a used copy of this from Amazon, it is in US terms but has some good patterns. Lots of people have found it good to learn to crochet because it is very clear with good photos and diagrams. I only wanted it for the patterns.

 I finished this jumper in Drops Verdi while we were away, it is lovely and soft and I think warm - the yarn has mohair in it. Where does that come from - I can't remember! I am allergic to Angora, I hope mohair is going to be ok.

Remember this? One piggy is smaller than the other, I must have picked up the wrong hook. So while we were there I made another piggy which matched the bigger piggy - so now I need to work out which hook I made the smaller piggy with and make another one!

I also started making a toy, it is going quite well so far!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Tiny body warmers - and lots of news.

My BIG news is that our new Granddaughter Lily arrived on Monday, a few days late. So we have two lovely grandchildren now. Not yet got there to have a cuddle! 

I was really pleased that I was able to not only correct this tiny body warmer pattern (originally posted in the Lincolnshire group on facebook, but clearly written very roughly and not tested) so it actually fits a 1 to 1.5 lb baby, but I also totally reformatted the pattern so that it looks like a professional one, and someone else in the group who made a body warmer from the original pattern which only fitted a Barbie doll, then tried my revised version and succeeded in making one that fits a baby.

I sent these three off to Grimsby for an order that was going to a a hospital along with much needed buttons, ribbons and thread for the group to use. Some people send their makes in with no buttons and they have to be added before they are sent out. I think that treble (US dc) is too large a stitch for tiny babies, they can get their little fingers caught up in the holes (although this is not as great a problem as it would be if they had sleeves), so I am working on a dc (US sc) version,  and the way I did this was to make one of the above body warmers without edging it, and use it as a template. I took photos of the step by step process for the group so they can follow the pattern and see what they are trying to achieve too.
I could have tried a htr (US hdc)  version and I might still try that to see which is best. The dc version is a little on the firm side, and is coming out smaller, so I need to adjust either the hook or add more stitches.
Then I need to work on larger versions for slightly bigger babies. These body warmers button at the shoulders so that babies who are attached to wires and tubes can be dressed easily, and really with tiny fragile limbs it is better to have this sort of design.
I might end up converting all of the patterns to small stitches, I also thought of trying Tunisian crochet versions, I haven't done Tunisian crochet for many years and I only made a couple of things before, but it can be a lot like knitting in finish so might work well for these garments.

The great news is that I took in the other baby items to the Royal United Hospital in Bath where I had a meeting with Lydia who is a Community Fundraiser on the Forever Friends Hospital appeal team. She told me that I can donate the items directly to the hospital and they will be washed by the hospital before use.
I took the ventilator bonnet, which still had no ribbons or cords, and just as well because anything with ribbon is not accepted for live babies, and after thinking about it I decided that a crocheted chin strap with button would probably work.
She liked the smaller stitches on the new version of the body warmer that I took to show her too.

It actually helped to break up a very tiring and boring day waiting around in the hospital for Shaun's cancer drug to be made and delivered, and then for it to be hooked up and dripped in. We had an early start too so are both really shattered now.

I will pass on the paperwork from the Lincolnshire group to the hospital, because they can maybe fulfil a larger need that I can't possibly do alone.

The other bit of news is that my Aunt loves her twiddle muff still and never stops twiddling! They have to take it away from her to go to bed, she talks to it and plays with it constantly and won't give it up easily!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Teeny tiny makes.

I haven't show you any crochet for a while, we went away to Torquay for a few days and I took my WIPs with me and managed to complete three of these little jackets.

 These are sleeveless cardigans for premature babies, I think up to 3 pounds in weight. I will probably be sending them to the group I found on Facebook, which sends out to any hospitals that need Preemie or angel babies supplies. I have only got started on these recently. The pattern was from Marianna's Lazy Daisy Days blog, she is also to be found on Ravelry.
The exciting news is that I have been in touch with the Royal United Hospital in Bath and I have a meeting in a few days with a lady from the "Friends" to discuss helping their premature babies, whether that is for the group to supply them or some other way of donating these little garments I am not sure yet.
Here they are with the little hats (from Job 1:21 blog) I showed you before and all of these fit in the space taken by my next jacket!

 This is a plain but pretty cardigan for a full size baby up to 6 months, it is a pattern from Lion Brand and is free, I made it in King Cole DK Cotton Soft. It is for my soon to be here Granddaughter, who is keeping us waiting just like her big brother did! She should be here by now.
 It matches the piggy slippers too.
 This is the second pair of piggy slippers, without the error, but why does one look much bigger than the other? I followed the pattern the same for both! This time I improved on my modified tail. I should mention that I don't break off the yarn when the sole is complete - I just carried on but I'm not sure if it makes a difference. I didn't like the tail given in the pattern, and for the first pair I made a little curly tail afterwards and stitched it on. This time on the last row when you join the last stitch to the first and fasten off, instead of fastening off I joined the stitches, slip stitched until I was in the centre of the back, just one or two at most, then chained 5, and then worked 3 sc (dc in UK) into second chain from the hook, and each of the remaining chains, then fastened off leaving a long enough piece of yarn to firmly attach the second side of the tail to the slipper. I embroidered the eyes on mine too, I can't imagine that safety eyes would be comfortable or truly safe on these.The pattern can be found at Croby's blog.

 Back to Preemies - this is a ventilator bonnet, I just need to add ribbon or cords. It has a buttoned flap for those wires to go through. The tiny vest is not finished, I have to add buttons to the shoulders and front, but I think it has come out too small so I will have to try again. It opens at the shoulders and front so it can be easily put onto a tiny baby in an incubator who is attached to wires and tubes. Pretty tricky to put on if it didn't open at the shoulders.

This isn't so teeny tiny, it is my WIP for me, it is a jumper from an Inside Crochet pattern that uses just one huge ball of Drops Verdi yarn. This is a bit tricky to work with, but it is very lightweight, I hope the mohair in it and I get on. I just love the colour and shading of this yarn.

Last of all, some books I recently bought. I just couldn't resist the Let's go Camping book by Kate Bruning, which contains tiny patterns for everything your toys need to go on outdoor holidays, the tents and sleeping bags, frying pan, the campsite and trees, a caravan, ice-cream van and even an canal boat and lots more! I also recently bought Boho Crochet where the bright colours attracted me and I was drawn in by the sad story of Wink who edited and contributed to this lovely book. Hook Stitch and Give has lots of patterns for the home, men, woman and children which you can make to keep or give for presents. Camping came from Amazon marketplace where it worked out around £7 and the other two came from The Works online and were only a few pounds each.
I have a lot of what are probably vintage crochet books, some of which I haven't used - maybe I need to clear some of them out now i am buying new ones. The old ones are mostly full of jumpers (sweaters), and the like.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Batty, piggy slippers and the train sweater.

 This little piggy went to market, this little piggy went home, this little piggy went wheeeeeeee..... all the way home! How cute are these piggy baby slippers? So cute I had to make them from a free pattern on the Croby blog. I have made an error on these so I will have to make another pair now. I got them out and gave them to Kenny and he asked "are they for my baby?". Awwww.
I see Croby also has a very cute bat amigurumi pattern too, I must try that one next!

This little amigurumi bat is also from a free pattern by Lucy Ravenscar called Itty Bitty Bat pattern and this is a tiny bat. It has loop feet so can be hung upside down from a stick or cord, you can make bat bunting! Kenny wanted a bat so here he is, and Kenny named him Zen after his best friend!

Here is the jumper I blogged about below being worn by Kenny who is playing with a train set in a train museum, appropriate with his train buttons!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Preemie makes, and WIP piggy slippers

Recently I joined a group on facebook called Knitting & Crochet & Sewing for Lincolnshire Preemie and Angel babies. The members of this group knit, crochet and sew or donate yarn, material and ribbons to make clothes for tiny babies and they supply these in sterile packs to local hospitals, and hospitals further afield.
So I started making tiny hats, so tiny it is hard to imagine, and yet these are for 3lb babies, and the smallest patterns are for 1lb babies. I made 4 from the same pattern in DK and one turned out bigger, must have done an extra stitch somewhere.
I also made a burial gown in 4ply using a cone of acrylic, which is a very sad thing to make but the list of items needed included these. The pink shoe is for my granddaughter, it is WIP and will be a little piggy slipper when finished from a free pattern on the Croby blog - link in the sidebar.

At the moment I wonder if I am talking to myself here, I realised that although a lot of people seem to have been to look at my crochet blog I don't have any followers, but I also realised I had not added the means to follow. It is of course still possible to follow without buttons and gadgets, but I have added them all now - I wait hopefully for a follower......

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Little boy blue - and pink, purple, tan, ivory, turquoise......

This is a 4 year old size jumper from an Inside Crochet pattern. The collar was also supposed to be the darker blue but I didn't quite have enough of it. I was thankful when I managed to complete both sleeves without running out of it. The yarn is King Cole Cotton Soft DK. I added stripes of various colours, and only added two stripes of the dark blue to try and save enough to finish. I hope the striped collar looks OK, can't do anything about it except make it all one colour maybe light blue.
I bought train buttons to finish it, I hope they will last and not scratch.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Crocheted hottie cover.

I remember I was injured when we last went on holiday to Devon, but I can't remember how I was injured now (I get so many injuries and aches and pains - I forget specifics). Anyway the advice I was given was to use hot and cold treament on it, and in a hotel it was a little tricky. We took the sports therapy ice packs and kept them in the hotel kitchen freezer, asking for them nightly - they were never very frozen and it turned out that the staff thought they had to go in the fridge not freezer for a couple of nights! For the heat my GP suggested a hot water bottle, which I no longer owned so had to go out and buy one, and while we were there I crocheted a cover for it.

I think if I did this again I would make it bottom opening, and make a hole for the neck to go through around which I could have crocheted a collar. However the case will pull up to cover the neck of the bottle, but it doesn't stay put! I added a flower and button, well you have to really don't you! Made in Aran Marriner's 400g which is 25% wool I think, and acrylic.

Crocheted 12 pointed star blanket for a girl.

I made this 12 pointed star blanket, again from Inside Crochet issue 47, for my Granddaughter who is due early November. I don't like it as much as the first one, maybe the striped yarn was a mistake as it vanishes into the other colours, or maybe I needed to totally different contrasting colours so the striped yarn was in distinct rows. It is made with DK baby yarn, and some normal DK from Wilkinsons in dark teal, I think that is too dark a shade of teal really. Ah well, you hook and learn!

If you go down to the woods today, you'll never believe your eyes.....

Look at these little cuties! I didn't make them, I bought them in the RUH (Royal United Hospital in Bath) where they sit in a box full of their friends in the Oncology outpatients department - which is A12 if you want to pop in and buy one or two.

 Minimum donation to buy one is £1, and the funds go to the Forever Friends hospital fund raising appeal.

I know someone who loves green, and maybe his new little sister will like orange!

I asked if I could make some of these teddy bears, but they are all made by one lady to raise funds but I was told I was welcome to make something new, and I do have a couple of ideas rattling around my head.

There are also hand made cards for sale for 30p each, which is a lot less than mine go for but then I put a lot of time into mine and materials.

Blast from the past - or the future?

 There are lots of magazine patterns giving new ways of making granny squares, or granny garments and one I saw recently was granny bunting. Well I made this granny triangle blanket without a pattern back in the early 1980s for one of my boys, and after repairing some of the joining seams it is as good as it was back then. I have it on top of the duvet on my side of the bed, along with another blanket - I feel the cold!
This is all made in 4 ply acrylic.

Nothing in fashion is actually new, it is all recycled from the past!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Fiber Flux: Red Heart Mixology Giveaway + Review!

It's CazzyTime!: Fiber Flux: Red Heart Mixology Giveaway + Review!: Fiber Flux: Red Heart Mixology Giveaway + Review! : Have you tried Mixology by Red Heart Yarns yet?  Mixology is a fabulous new yarn collect...

Twiddle Muff

 When I first heard of Twiddle Muffs we had been visiting Mother in Law who was in an interim care bed in a dementia home following a stay in hospital. It was a temporary arrangement to rehabilitate her back home, which is where she is now. Some of the residents of the home could probably do with a Twiddle Muff to keep them occupied, and I know there are hospitals putting out calls for them but none locally as far as I know.

Most Twiddle Muff (or Fiddle Muff as my Dad called them) patterns are knitted but I came across this free pattern available from Ravelry. I meant to get round to making one or two, and then I thought of my aunt who has dementia and is still living at home with carers and equipment. So I made her a Twiddle Muff based on the free pattern but I made it with 6 more rows to make it longer, and added fancy edges when I joined the two parts.
The picture above shows the undecorated muff. I added bobbles for interest as suggested in the pattern.
 This is the inside, again I added some bobbles but no decoration.

 Then you just add whatever will make it interesting, lace, ribbon, zips, buttons, beads - what you have!
I took it over and gave it to her, and later when my parents sat with her she wouldn't give it to my Dad to look at, so I think it is a hit! She is fascinated with the crochet flower, which someone else did and I thought it was a great idea. She is trying to detach it from what I have been told. No idea if she will use the zip, but if she does I put some ribbon with cats on underneath so it won't catch and she might look at them.
The yarn I used is Marriner Aran acrylic with wool that comes in 400g balls.

New blog and new jacket.

My Cazzytime blog was started when I got into paper crafting, and the paper crafting blog world (which took off like a storm when before it had only been happening on forums) and when I began crocheting again around 4 years ago after a long gap (I crocheted from aged 11 to my mid thirtys - then I started working full time and just didn't have the time). What started me crocheting again? Well I took early retirement from the Civil Service and I became a grandmother.

The Cazzytime blog had got a long crochet bloglist which I can't think is helpful, you have to go right down to the bottom of the blog to find it, and it is growing all the time, so I will put it on here and it will be visible.

I am starting off with one of my most recent projects, I will add the rest of them but I haven't decided how yet, maybe all in one long post, or maybe a separate page with links to the post in Cazzytime.

This jacket is made with James C Brett Lakeland chunky yarn, the pattern is from Inside Crochet Issue 47 which you may still be able to purchase electronically. The sheet you see with the photo is the errata sheet. I have learnt that it is best to check the Inside Crochet web site before starting any pattern, there are lots of errata on many patterns - but they haven't included everything as I found to my cost with a pattern in the same issue!

The jacket is originally worked in plain yarn, and it has fir trees round the yoke which I decided not to do. I had thought of working sheep instead of trees which is why I picked black and ivory for my contrast colours.
When I looked at the details of the trees it was obvious that the increases were part of the trees! The trees were quite complex, there were decreases and increases on the same row and different stitches that made them pop. I didn't like the look of them in the photo and didn't think they would go with my main yarn. So I had to work out the total increases per row then distribute them round the yoke so I increased it and ended up with the correct number of stitches. I did try out a sheep sample but I couldn't get it to be sheep shaped. I thought maybe I can add sheep later...
 This is the finished yoke, I started on a sleeve to make sure it was going to be big enough for my fat arms and I added six stitches, my arms are out of proportion to my body which makes clothes buying a nightmare and I hope when I lose the rest of my excess weight they will slim down and not end up with great flaps of loose skin - I am dreading that! Anyway I digress - I could see the effect of the yarn was different to the yoke, much more subtle blending of colours, the yarn is quite blocky and the stripes are really defined - can you see the difference?
 So I could see a travelling seam, I started it at the underarm and it ended up on the top side of the sleeve, which made the next few rows a bit of a challenge because they included decreases and I had to work out where to put them. After asking advice on the Crochet UK and the Chatty Knitters and Crocheters facebook groups where a couple of people said it looks fine (really, I can see it?) and one helpful person said if you turn the sleeve at every row start (it was worked continuously in rounds) the seam will stay put. In all my years of crochet I had never realised that one small tip, and when I was trying to explain the solution to another facebook pal and looking at the pattern to tell her what that said I spotted that one little word "turn" which I had missed in my enthusiasm to complete the sleeve, and even if I spotted it (or maybe I did spot it) I would have ignored it not realising the significance.
I began the second sleeve, turning at each new row and, guess what, the sleeve seam stayed put where it should be! So first sleeve was "frogged" (this is a fairly new term to me and means unpicked, or unravelled again - rip it, rip it - ribbit, ribbit - that is what a frog says). I started the sleeve again later.
 This photo shows that when I continued with the body, which was worked all in one piece, I was getting the same distinct strip effect as the yoke. I had expected that with the sleeve sections now taken out and the resulting shorter rows that made up the body that this wouldn't happen. So I had to decide if the sleeves would look silly against the body if I carried on and thought they would. So I frogged the body then split it into back and two fronts, of course that meant I would have side seams but the overall effect is much better and the stripes on the yoke don't look out of place.
I made the body a little longer than the pattern, and the sleeves had to be longer because I have long arms.
 This is me (badly needing a haircut) wearing the finished jacket, after a battle with the buttons I chose. I spent ages choosing buttons, it was between some art deco looking black and white ones with squares and lines on them, or these marbled green ones that pick out the green in the yarn. When I tried to sew them on the yarn would not go through the buttons, I found out that the red in some King Cole Riot DK that was the exact colour of the red on the button band, even then the needle I was using wouldn't go through and I had to change it down for a narrower needle with a big eye.
I haven't made any sheep to appliqué onto the yoke, and maybe it looks better without, what do you think? Another option was to make white Irish roses, but that might look silly.
I have worn the jacket twice and got a few compliments, I am very pleased with it, maybe I will make another one.

I have managed to add links to all of my old crochet posts below this post, had to fiddle the date on this post to make it appear after the rest. 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Dog Sweater

It's CazzyTime!: Dog Sweater:  Alfie dog is old and suffers from arthritis, and we tend to leave his hair to grow in cold weather, however he now hates being groomed du...

Chevron cotton cardigan

It's CazzyTime!: WOYWW #308 D for do something!: I've not joined in for a couple of weeks, not since just before Shaun had his surgery. The operation was sucessful, he is home re...

New yarn and child's jacket

It's CazzyTime!: WOYWW #305:  I haven't joined in for weeks now due to the numerous hospital appointments, tests, scans etc for hubby who had a successful operatio...

Star blanket and ruffle scarf

It's CazzyTime!: WOYWW #301:  I promised I would be here for #300 and I just couldn't do it, it seems like just when things are getting you down life comes along a...

Crochet Rosalind cardigan

Unless I lose a lot more weight soon I will be frogging this and making something else, also thinking adding buttons might help (only might!).

It's CazzyTime!: My Rosalind cardigan - at last! (and despite the p...: Some time ago I decided to make a jumper that featured in an Inside Crochet magazine, it was called the Torquay jumper and was a pretty lacy...