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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Scarf In Progress

Thank you to everyone who helped me decide what to do with my January sale yarn. I've decided to make a scarf. Once I knew that was what I wanted to make I got a picture in my head straight away of how it should look. Now I'm working it up, I keep making little amendments, frogging a few rows, changing something, getting another idea and frogging again. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself though.

One of the things I love most of all about crochet is being able to turn ideas in my head into actual real life objects. And they actually turn out like how I imagined them! This never happened when I tried to draw as a child. I had such high hopes whenever I started drawing, but the beautiful horse I envisaged always ended up looking like a mangled running potato. I just hadn't found my medium. 

Crochet clicked and I'll be forever grateful to the lady that started me off, as well as to all the lovely blogs and youtube channels spreading crafty love.

I got the idea of using a water jug as a yarn bowl after seeing a photo of somebody who had used a tea pot. I'd been on the hunt for the perfect yarn bowl or spinner for ages to no avail. I was scrolling through my google plus feed a few days ago and I realised I had plenty of things that would work perfectly already.

Anyway, I'm itching to get back to my latest woolly creation. The yarn does look lovely worked up and I know when I finally get the pattern perfect all the frogging will seem worth it. 

I'm actually writing the pattern down as I go for once. So I have a book full of scribbles. I get the feeling my sister might want one when I finish so I want to be able to duplicate it. I have the perfect yarn in mind already. I'll write it up when it's finished, which will hopefully be in a few days and share it on here as well in case anyone fancies making one too.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Ideas Please

I've bought some yarn in the January Sale from my local wool emporium and I'm not sure what to do with it. As it's January, and I'm making my annual attempt at being more sensible with money, I had only gone in 'for a look'.

I could honestly spend hours pawing and poking at all the lovely yarn in there. Drooling over everything and getting filled with ideas for projects that require more time than I have to spare. 

I ended up buying five 50g balls of Sirdar Husky, Super Chunky in a soft grey colour with black flecks. I know I've only just finished my Jumbo Infinity Scarf but I thought perhaps a smaller cowl? Or a jumper that is more holes than solid fabric? I've wanted to make a post apocalyptic/dysatopian looking jumper for ages. I don't think I'd have enough for something like that though.

Maybe some kind of non-frilly sort of shawl/small poncho type thing. I just don't know. But I love the grey shade and it's nice and soft so I need to make it into something! Please please please lend me your creative minds and throw a few suggestions at me.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

How I made my Hermione Inspired Hand Warmers

I was asked if I had a pattern for the Hermione Inspired Crochet Hand Warmers and as I made them up as I went along I've jotted down some instructions in case anyone else fancies making a pair. They're pretty simple and work up really quickly. I just hope these dodgy pictures and explanation makes sense!

I used Sirdar Escape DK yarn in 179-Endeavour and a 5mm hook. This is written in US terminology.

1. I made the ribbed cuff first. I chained five plus one for the turning chain. I worked single crochets in the back loop only.When the strip was long enough to fit over the largest part of my hand I finished off and joined it together with the long tail I left for sewing.

With it being ribbed it's a bit stretchy so don't make it too loose or once it gets over your hand it will be too baggy.

2. Then I made the main body of the warmers.  As the ribbed cuff is now on it's side, I added the single crochets in the stitches at the ends of the rows and the gaps in between. When you get to the end of the round slip stitch into the first single crochet to join, chain one, thenturn. Make sure you're crocheting through both loops. I think I made a slight increase on the second round so that I ended up with roughly 23 stitches in each, but you'll be making them to fit you so may have more or less. Keep going until you get to your wrist then make a few increases each round (I eyeballed this) so that it becomes wide enough for your hand.

Then just keep on single crocheting until you get to the bit where you would want the opening for the thumb to start. I hope this next bit makes sense....

3. Single crochet along the row as normal and then where the thumb bit would start make a chain of however many you need to comfortably stretch across to the same point on the other side, slip stitch to join and then continue single crocheting the rest of the round. 

You've basically just skipped the stitches that would go round your thumb. 

On the next round single crochet along as normal, put one single crochet in each chain across and just continue when you get to the other side. You're basically just carrying on as you were, but there are now just less stitches in the round. 

4. When you get high enough up on your fingers, for the last round instead of single crocheting in each stitch: slip stitch, then single crochet, then half double, half double again, single crochet and slip stitch again. All the way round, so that you get a slight wave at the top. Cut your yarn and finish off.

5. For the thumb. Join your yarn at the opening and put one single crochet in each stitch all the way around including into the chain across. (You will have already worked into this for the main body.) This will make a little thumb tube. Keep working rows, you may want to decrease here and there so it narrows a little towards the skinnier bit of your thumb. On your last row make a wavy edge as above and you're done. 

This post turned out way longer than I thought it would, I tried not to waffle, I really did! I hope it made sense, but feel free to ask any questions if not.


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Hermione Crochet Fingerless Gloves | Harry Potter DIY

After finishing my Jumbo Infinity Scarf I decided I needed something for my digits. I already have a lovely pair of mittens, but I hate that you have to take them off to check your phone or rummage in your bag. Hand/wrist warmers seemed perfect. I've also been ill this week and nothing makes me feel better when I'm snivelly and sorry for myself than watching Harry Potter. Specifically, Deathly Hallows Part One, as it's my favourite.

Hermione wears a really lovely pair of hand warmers in it. I won't add a picture as I don't think that's allowed copyright-wise, but you probably know the ones I mean! If you don't a quick Google search will pop up plenty of pictures.

After a pausing and staring for a bit I think they're probably knitted. It's the stripy palette that I like the best though and the cosy look of a jumper with too big sleeves. As a red-head the pink section of the colour wheel is something I avoid as it's does nothing for me. But I do love blues, greens and greys and browns and I had something in my yarn treasure chest that needed using. When I bought the Sirdar Escape Chunky that I used for my infinity scarf I also bought some of the non chunky variety in Endeavour. I love January wool sales.

The colour changes are more obvious in the dk than the chunky and I thought it might give me a subtle stripe without the faff of actually changing yarns. I made them with a ribbed cuff and then plain single crochet (US) double crochet (UK) all the way to the top. I decided to add a little wavy shell edge which Hermione doesn't have on hers. It's an inspired by project though not a recreation and I thought it looked softer than a straight edge.

They were just one days work. I'll be wearing them with my Jumbo Infinity Scarf some of the time and although they don't match like twins they are perhaps sisters. I took them for a spin pushing the pram to the post office yesterday and they made me smile. Toasty hands but free fingers.

One last thing, please tell me I'm not the only person who sometimes pauses films so they can stare at knitwear? I feel a bit mad when I see a 'good' shot and shout 'Pause it! Pause it!', so I can stare at woollies.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Jumbo Infinity Scarf

I've always been the kind of person who only wears a coat when it's absolutely Baltic. I used to get a bit stroppy when I was a teenager and my parents would seem to ask pretty much every time I went out, 'don't you think you should be wearing a coat in this weather?' 

Lately, it's been my fella asking me. He's lovely, but gets super over protective when I'm pregnant.

Up until now we've had a fairly mild winter in Blighty. Between jeans that have an elastic band that reaches to my bra, a camisole, top and an extra person sharing my skin I've been toasty warm. However, we had snow on Boxing Day and since then the weather has been cold enough for me to hunt my coat out only to find it won't close over my growing belly.

Buying a pregnancy coat seems silly to me as I'll only wear it for a few weeks before discarding it again, so I decided to make a really long thick infinity scarf that can drape over the section that won't close. Afterwards, when I'm back to normal, I can wear it alone to keep toasty during that bit of the year where wearing your full winter gear is too hot, but an extra layer is handy.

I had some Sirdar Escape Wool Rich Chunky knocking about for ages and I loved it, but I wasn't sure what to do with it. Well now is it's time to shine and I've got to say the colour transition is sooooo pretty. I'm really happy with how it looks worked up. It looks much better in real life than in my terrible photos! 

The pattern is a free one I found on Lacy Crochet. With using such chunky wool I didn't want a solid fabric and this lacy pattern works perfectly. Warm and pretty. I decided for an infinity scarf versus a normal one because I hate faffing around with even/uneven ends.

It worked up really quickly and I finished it this evening. What do you think? I could only manage to get a photo of it on my own when it's doubled up. When there is no urgent football on, I'll get my other half to take one when its just a big chunky loop.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Bread and Butter Pudding

I don't know if it's the cold weather or pregnancy cravings but last night I got a random urge to make bread and butter pudding. 

There are loads of different ways to make it but naturally I think my way is the best, so I informed my long suffering fella that I needed to pop out to the shop for double cream and white bread. He had just started to get settled thinking that he was in for the evening, but thankfully the lure of cosy old person puddings won out. 

If you were wondering why I didn't just take myself to the shop it's because according to my fella there are monsters that only come out after 4pm when it starts to go dark, and they specifically hunt women who resemble Humpty Dumpty. So once it hits twilight he dons his shining armour and chaperons me everywhere. I pretend to find this irritating but actually I find it really sweet. 

Anyway, I have digressed. In case any of you feel like a warming food hug after reading this and fancy making my version of bread and butter pudding below is how I do it. I apologise in advance that I'm not a very precise cook and take more of a slosh-of-this-approach.


Medium sliced white bread (I use one half-loaf)
Brown Sugar (Roughly 3oz)
Butter (Enough to grease a pan and butter the bread)
Cinnamon (I reckon about a teaspoon and a bit!)
Nutmeg ( A good few gratings worth)
Ground Cloves (Just a pinch)
Milk (400 ml) 
Double Cream (Between 100-150ml)
Raisins or Sultanas (About three handfuls)
Two eggs


  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Grease your pudding receptacle with butter.
  • Take all of the crusts off the bread and butter it.
  • Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a bowl.
  • Mix the milk, double cream and eggs in a bowl and lightly whisk together.
  • Layer your bread butter side up at the bottom of your bowl/dish as well as all around the sides. A dusting of your sugar mix goes fairly thickly on top next. Then a sprinkling of raisins.
  • Add another layer of bread, more sugar, raisins. Rinse and repeat until you get to the top layer. Just add the sugar mix to this one.
  • Pour your milk, cream and egg mixture over the whole thing and give it ten minutes to soak in. (If you reckon you need more moisture feel free to add a glug of milk or cream before popping it into the oven)
  • Place in the oven for roughly twenty minutes until it's all puffed up and golden brown on top.

This would serve four people. Or two decent sized portions each for a pregnant lady and her companion eater. I did mean to take a picture of it all lovely and golden when it came out the oven, but I got excited and the only thought in my head was 'eat it, eat it!'

Hence the above picture of my half eaten first portion. Serving suggestion is under a sofa blanket while on a Walking Dead marathon, but that's just me. My other half has his sans blanket and with cream.