WIP Wednesday (31/01/18)

Good afternoon all. Here is my round up of this weeks WIP’s.
My main WIP has been, you guessed it, more octos. I have 2 on the go right now. The heads are done so next is to stuff them and add tentacles.

I am also working on some little pouches to go in my locker at work. There are so many little things lying about (nail files, pain killers, pens, plasters, etc.) So I wanted to somehow organise them a bit better!

Finally, I am sad to report that I have gone backwards on my sunny yellow jumper – I made a few silly decisions about the placement of decreases and it judt wasnt going to work, so I had to frog back and entire balls worth of work! It was like super noodles!

I have noticed all of this weeks work is in cotton – I think I may have become a bit of a cotton yarn addict.
What have you been up to?

Januarys Makes

I have seen this idea on many blogs and after spending a few hours trying to track down all of my finished projects for my end of 2017 posts I decided to start doing an monthly Finished Object post. So here is the first.
In January I completed 8 projects.

First was this wreath.

Then these 3 wash cloths

This scarf

This group of octopusses for Octopus for A Preemie.

And this Hat and Scarf combo to keep me warm on my night shifts.
How was your january?

#Octopledge2018 Januarys Donation

Hello all! Its the end of the month and that means my first parcel has been sent off to Octopus For a Preemie.
I sent 6 little octopals in total – three flatties and 3 octos.

The bluey greeny one is Sirdar Cotton Prints. A beautiful variegated mercerised cotton. This colourway is called summer meadow. The pinky yellowy ones are made using King Cole Cottonsoft Crush in Rainbow Colour way. Its so marsmallowy and soft to work with! So here is how they did:

My very first attempt – the small Flattie in Sirdar Cotton Print (bottom center) PASSED and will be going to a Preemie.


The other two Flatties will be going to angel babies. They werent quite suitable for preemies as the tentacles were too long but other than that my co-ordinator Nicki tells me that the stitching was great.


As for the Octos, My first attempt (Top right) and my third attempt (top left) will be going to preemies. Again, the tentacles were a bit too long and on the yellowy pinky one there were a few holes where the stuffing can be seen through, so I just need to work a bit more on my tension. Finally the head of the yellowy pinky one was too big – which I think occured when I stuffed it as it was exactly 8cm tall before stuffing but grew past that mark after.

But the little octo (right in the middle) PASSED! Yahoo 🙂 I cant beleive that I managed not One but Two passes in my first go, and I am even more excited that my first ever attempt passed – gives me a real shot of confidence in my skills!
So what have I learnt?
First I have learnt that I need to give a bit of leeway in my measurements – all 4 that didnt pass had issues with tentacle length and one with its head size – I think all of these issues would have been resolves given a little leeway – Instead of chaining to the maximum tentacle length or crocheting to the maximum head height I should give it a centimeter or two’s growth room.
I have also learnt that my tension is pretty darn good – a surprise really given that I have never ever paid attention to my tension – not once in my life have I done a tension square before commencing a project. So to find my tension was only really a slight issue on 1 octo was really happy news.
The ladies were right – my co-ord told me that some of them were a little understuffed – this surprised me as I had stuffed them to the hardness of a tennis ball – I could not see how I could have fitted an more stuffing in. Now on the facebook a lot of the ladies stuff their octos and jellys and then leave them over night – then add a little more stuffing the next morning. They claim that octos eat stuffing over night. I didnt really believe them so just stuffed my octo as full as I could and sewed up the bum. But I guess they were right! A slap on the wrist for me!
If you want to get involved I really urge you to just do it. I have been sat on the sidelines for months looking but being too scared of how hard it would be. It can be quite overwhelming at the start to see all of these beautiful octos that people are making – the seasoned experts who make 20 or 30 a month and get passes every time! And it can feel like it must be really difficult – what with all the talk of passing and failing, all of the people getting stressed out about tension and holes and how tiny the stitches can be and how much they are struggling. What you should bear in mind is that everyone is a different skill levels and like everything in life somethings are easy and some are hard and you wont know until you try.
Let me know if you want to give it a go. I would love to see your attempts.
Until next time, Happy Hooking xx

FO Friday (26/01/18)

Oh my gosh I actually have something to show you for once.

I made this hat and scarf set for myself – to keep me warm at work. As I already said, I am on niggt shifts this week so need something to keep me warm that matches my uniform.
So I made this hat.

And this scarf.

I finished the scarf on wednesday and the scarf just 20 minutes ago.
The hat was made using the Basic Chunky Beanie Hat pattern from Marias Blue Crayon. You can find it here. I followed the pttern almost exactly. The only difference being that I added an extra 3 rows between row 11 and 12 and I used a 6mm hook instead of 6.5mm, simply because I didnt have a 6.5mm.
The scarf didnt have a pattern but I used the same basic idea from the hat pattern – a row of 20 hdc followed by a row of 20 trebles.
So now I am a little warmer in this cold old station – now I just have to hope this shift goes easily (I am not holding out much hope though – the last weekend of the month, payday weekend, always brings out the drunken egits, and with them comes the fighting, vomiting, passing out, and being so bladdered they cant control their bodily functions or work out how to get themselves home safely. Oh well – at least I wont be bored!

WIP Wednesday (24/01/18)

Hello all!
This week I finally managed to finish my star stitch scarf – which I will share with you as soon as I can get around to photographing it. So I am now down to my final WIP started in 2017. My jumper. No progress on that but I am on the night shift this week so I hope to get a good way further by next wednesday.

I made this very simple hat today. Its boring and bot in the sort of color I would usually pick but I made it to go with my uniform at work to keep me warm (the hat they provide for us is horribly itchy and too long – it either covers your eyes if you pull it all the way on or if you wear the band where it should be then you look like the pope!).

Here I am modeling it. The yarn arrived this morning and I finished this hat this afternoon. It is made using Stylecraft Special Chunky. I am now working on a scarf to match.

What are you all working on. I cant wait to see!

WIP Wednesday (17/01/17)

Hello all! Just popping in for the weekly WIP update.
Not much has changed to be honest – the jumper and scarf still remain in the same state of completion as last week. I have been really rather obsessed with octos…

There are two on the go here – I have finished all of the actual crocheting in the first, I am just waiting for the stuffing to arrive and then I will be able to complete it, and I have just started the second. Have any of you ever worked with King Cole Cottonsoft Crush. Its so scrumptious and marshmallowy! So soft and squishy. I think I have a new yarn crush!

My #Octopledge 2018

Hello all! 
So today I want to introduce you to a brilliant way of using your crochet and knitting skills for good. 

Many of you will have heard of Octopus for a Preemie UK, or will at least be aware of the idea of making octopusses for premature babies. But for those of you who are not here is a quick breakdown. 
NICU units often struggle with premature babies pulling out their tubes and canulas and such. Sometimes this can have really dangerous consequences. 
The octopus for a preemie idea was originally created in Denmark where researchers found that as well as reducing the risk of the babies pulling out their tubes and wires, it also calmed them, regulated their heartbeat a breathing etc. 
Octopus for a Preemie UK (you can find their website here) is a wonderful group of people who work hard crocheting away little octopals for preemies all across the uk, and I have just joined them. 
Over the course of this year I will be making an #Octopledge to make at least 2 a month. And I plan to make Bi Monthly updates on my progress as I learn and progress. 
So here are my first attempts… 

My first flattie – Made using Sirdar Cotton Prints in the Summer Meadow colour way. I made this one in my normal tension to see first home my standard way of doing things fayres. Its incredibly important that they are free of holes. 

And my second one. This time, I tried Yarn Under, a new technique to me. It takes some getting used to but is raved about by the other makers as it has less holes if you do it correctly. 

I have just started making a little octopus, using King Cole Cotton Crush.
I must say I love being able to yse varigated yarns in colours I mught normally steer away from.
Anyways, I hope to finish this octo and try out a jelly too. Then it will be off to the co-ordinator they go for inspection. 
I hope they do, but if they dont meet the safety standard to be sent to a premature baby (which is likely – most people dont succeed on their very first try) then dont worry. They dont go to waste – they go to angel babies as a sort of comfort for the parents. I have heard a very beautiful phrase whilst talking to other makers – no octo/jelly/flattie is a failure, they just have different journeys to make and different jobs to do. 
Anyways, Hopefully I will have more to show you by the end of the month. 
Happy Hooking xx

A Post Christmas Haul

Hello! How is your January going so far? Well I hope. 
I recently purchased some more yarn. My other half doesnt mind as long as I have a project in mind so I didnt get told off this time! Yay!
Anyways, the first parcel I received was this gorgeous lot. 

I have 3 cakes of Batik Swirl. Isnt this the most beautiful colourway. It made my other half quite excited too (he loves anything purple). I also got a single ball of batik in a matching grey. I think I will make a coccoon cardi of some description with this lot of yarn, so the single coloured ball will make the bit around the edge. (Is it called the yolk if it goes all around the edge? I have no idea what you call it but I hope you have some idea what I am talking about!)

I also have this lot of lovely cotton yarns. I am sure many of you have heard of Octopus For A Preemie but for those of you who havent, Its a charity made of lots of lovely volunteers who make little octopusses for premature babies. The tentacles give the babys comfort and stop them from pulling at their important medical tubes. I will go into more detail about how it works when I post about it on the 15th, but for now I will just say I have decided to start making for this charity and so this cotton yarn is destined to be turned into little octos! 

WIP Wednesday (10/01/18)

Another Wednesday another set of WIP’s. 
Having finished the wreath I now have only 2 projects lingering from last year. (I hope I can finish them soon). I have made no more progress on the star stitch scarf. I have however now completed the body of the jumper. I need to add the bit up to the collar and the sleeves then it is complete. 

Now I know I promised I would finish all my 2017 WIP’s before starting anything new, but I really had the urge to make something out of my paprika coloured Hug It Out yarn from Hobbycraft. So I pulled out the knitting needles. I have done … rows so far. I think it will be a scarf thing. I may make a matching hat with any leftover yarn, but that will be crocheted as It will be some time before I can knit in the round. 

I also started and sort of finished another new project. Here is a sneak preview, I just have to finish one more part then I will be ready to publish patterns and such. 

How about you? What have you been making this week. 

(Belated) Christmas Crafting…

Ok. So I know christmas is over. But in true ‘ME’ style, I am once again behind. I had really hoped to get this finished in time to display for christmas (as well as some of the items from this range published in simply crochet issue 50) but the Last Dance on the Beach blanket really took over my life in November and December. So I only just got around to finishing it. 
I know. Its late. In fact so late that I finished it the same day we took all the decorations down… (on sunday). Now I could have left it lingering but I really need to try to keep on top of my projects. So I cracked on anyways. And here it is!

And here are a few detail shots. 


Over all I am quite pleased with it. It turned out really cute. 
It is slightly different to the original. 
For one, I didnt stick to the yarn guide – the pattern suggested using Scheepjes Catona for the brown white and red colours but then Scheepjes Sunkissed for the rest. This seemed quite illogical to me, so I chose to pick simmilar colours in Catona instead. 
The other difference is due to my own sillyness. I didnt bother to double check the pattern before buying the polystyrene base, so had to modify the initial panel to go around a base that was 5cm larger in diameter. It took a lot of manipulating but I managed it eventually. 
I must say though, I absolutely adore the little candy canes – arent they just lovely! This particular shade of Catona (Poppy Red) is just so festive! 
I cant wait to crack on with more in this range. Hopefully this year I can keep on top of my christmas crafting…