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.