A complete Llama

Yahooooo! I completed the Loot Llama! And in the nick of time. 

I finished the bulk last night, so took some photos. 

At this point I was just missing the saddle bag and tail. So as I took the train down to visit my nan today I furiously crocheted away. I crocheted on the train, I crocheted in standing in the station car park, I crocheted in my nans car, and I crocheted at my nans house. Finally, I managed to crochet and assemble the saddle bad and tail and fix them to the main body. 

I love it but my word it was close to the wire. So many small parts to sew together! It seems not to matter if I start crocheting in July or december, I still seem to finish in the eleventh hour – my partner has a good explination though – he reckons its because starting early means you are more ambitious, and I think that is very true this year of me. Oh well – at least I had fun!
And because its christmas, I thought you may enjoy some pictures of my cat photobombing my photo shoot!

Kjersti's Hotel of Bees

My word what a day we had yesterday! We travelled down to Whitstable to see my Father in Law-to be and his wife and her daughter. Its two trains to get there and should take 1 hour and 30. Unfortunately en route due to many seperate incidents our first train got delayed and delayed some more, then finally got terminated mid journey at northfleet. So we had to wait for another train to get to gravesend. That train was also severely delayed. By the time we got to gravesend we had missed our connection and had to wait another hour for the next one. We aborted mission and asked father in law to pick us up. Its a good job we did as the train an hour later ended up being delayed by 2 hours along the way! It was crazy. 
We had intended to come back last night, but when we checked they were also completely buggered and getting stranded for hours so we decided to stay at their house and he drove us back thismorning. 
Anyways, I can now show you the Shawl I made for Kjersti – the Father in Laws wife, as I was able to gift it to her yesterday.

I love it so much and so did she!

She was so happy to receive it as it is so her.

She has an obsession with bees.

As I pointed out every little detail to her she loved it even more. 
Its so exciting to see people open their hand made gifts! 

Quick Christmas Gift Rundown!

My goodness! Christmas is now less than 2 weeks away! Have you still got gifts to make? If so, here is a handy dandy rundown of quick gifts you can make in 1 sitting. 
1. Jeanie Beanie
This Beanie by Twisted Arrow Designs is so super quick to make, and only requires a single ball of chunky wool. 

2. Divine Beanie
Worked in worsted weight yarn, this hat by Sarah Arnold grows quickly and works equally well in varigated or solid yarn. And it only requires a single 100g ball of yarn. 

1. Desert Winds
I have made this scarf by Jess Coppam at the Make and Do Crew twice now and have also taught a beginner crocheter with it. It is so simple and easy but the results are wonderful. It works up so quickly and is a good mindless project that you can be working on whilst watching a christmas movie. I used a single Caron Cake, but I reckon you could make it out of any pretty yarn you like. 

For The Kitchen
1. Clean Sweep Dish Cloths
These dishcloths by Erika Loftin work up really fast – theres only 6 rows! You could nock up a whole pile in a few hours!

2. Gems Hot Pad
The Gems Hot Pad by Phyllis Wortman would make a wonderful gift for any cook – and pairs really nicely with other cooking tools as a gift set. This took me around 3 hours to complete, but I misread the pattern and did way more puff stitches on the final round than are neccessary, so you would probably finish it quicker if you stuck to the pattern. 

For the Bathroom
And of course, I should probably pop a few of my own patterns in here too. A set of wash cloths/face pads can be quick to make and paired with a lovely bar of soap can make a cute little gift. You still have enough time to make a set for the whole family! 
1. Bobble Face Scrubbie

2. Cluster Face Scrubbie

3. Starry Wash Cloth

So I hope this has been helpful! Good luck in finishing by christmas!

A Crocheted Oven Glove

I was scratching my head for ages about what to make for my soon to be father-in-law. Then I saw a pattern for a crocheted oven glove and I thought – wehey! Thats perfect (he is in the process of starting a new career in cooking and generally loves to cook). I bought the pattern immediately. And this week whilst I have been on nights I finally got started.

This pattern requires two strands of worsted weight yarn held together. I used Scheepjes Cahlista. The pattern is Hot Mitt Gift Set by Kristen Stoltzfus. You can find it here

I have to be honest though. I struggled with many areas of the pattern. First of all I had an issue wth the length. The pattern photo makes it look quite large, but it was actually quite small – I had to add an extra row above the thumb hole and an extra row in the thumb hole section in order to make it long enough. And I was using a hook size up from the patterns suggestion! 
My second issue was with the thumb. The original thumb worked up really weird. It just wasnt the shape you would expect a thumb to be. It was too short and narrow. I tried adding a few extra increase rounds to it but it just didnt work. As you can see above. 

So I made a second thumb, completely of my own designing and I think it worked out better. It sits much better on the glove and fits the thumb much better. I made the top of the thumb a little wider, then continued with straight rounds until it was the correct length. Then I did a few short rows back and forth (getting 2 stitches shorter each time) to create the extra length required around the base of the thumb. 

Autumn Leaves

Wow this hat making has me yearning for autumn. I cant wait for the cooler nights, the warm spices, the oranges and brown of nature. Its my favourite time of year. 
Recently I shared with you my Sequoia Ridge slouch. This time I am sharing with you my finished Autumn Leaves Slouch. A pattern by Tamara Kelly, which you can find here.
First of all, I would point out that this hat is definately not for beginners nor for people who want a mindless project. It does require a lot of concentration and also for me it required the learning of a new technique. 
Have you heard of the Chainless Starting Double Crochet? I hadnt but from now on I can see myself using it a lot. It eliminates the gaping you get with the standard method (ch 3). You can find the tutorial video I used here. They have a left handed version which was extra useful – I can learn new things using right handed videos but it is a lot easier if there is a left handed option! 

It did take me longer and tire my eyes out from all the concentration and having to refer back to the pattern every few minutes but I think that is justified by the finished result! 

I really struggled to get a pic of the pattern but it is lovely and lacey. I can just imagine it keeping someone snuggly. 
I did mod the pattern a little. In the interest of conserving yarn I took out 2 rows from the repeat (row 18 and 19)
The brim was huge though. Perhaps my tension was a bit loose or something. To fix it, In row 20 where you should put 2 single stitches into every ch 2 space (of which there are 24), I only put 2 in half of them. The other 12 I only put 1 single stitch into.  
And as an added bonus – I had just enough yarn left over after finishing the Autumn Leaves Slouch that I was able to make the pefect pom pom for the Sequoia Ridge Slouch I shared yesterday. Here it is with its pom pom.

Whats next. Time to go back to the ravelry que.