Crochethook's Blog

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One square at a time October 14, 2012

Filed under: Crochet,Work in Progress,Yarn Stash — crochethook @ 12:16 pm
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I seem to have lost my knitting mojo over the past few weeks.  I always find a new job is incredibly tiring for no apparent reason – maybe it’s the nervous energy I burn off when trying to look normal.  As a result, the green waistcoat I have been knitting has hardly progressed at all as I couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm for knitting more than a few rows a night.  As I have settled in and worried less at looking strange, my interest is slowly coming back and I hope UFO guilt won’t be haunting me for too much longer.

I have,however, come up with a brilliant stash-busting wheeze which seems to be working out for me.  I have set myself the goal of making at least one granny square a day while travelling *and*, this is the important bit, sewing it into place in the evenings.  I have already disposed of a considerable quantity of wool that has been hanging around for ages. Some days I have done three or four squares but most days only one. Each 4 round square is made with DK and a 4.5mm hook and it’s surprising how quickly the blanket is growing and my stash is shrinking with only 20 minutes work a day.  This is what I have achieved since the 1st September:


It’s not quite as bright as the photo makes is appear

Currently it measures 33 inches across at the widest point and I am planning to make it large enough to cover a double bed.  I am also pleased with the colour scheme.  Last time I made a granny square blanket I didn’t really plan ahead in the respect.

Here’s to hoping my next post will be the little waistcoat I thought it would be so quick to make.


Together in Electric Dreams April 22, 2012

Filed under: Completed projects,Free pattern,Yarn Stash — crochethook @ 10:16 am
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This week I had a commission from Monkey.  (I say commission, what I mean is a barefaced, non-negotiable demand but I like to be diplomatic.)  We have been watching more daytime TV than is good for our sanity recently and one of the adverts that keeps appearing again and again is for EDF Energy.  They have a new mascot which looks like it was the misbegotten chimera of a poo and a breast.  Yet, despite this, it is also rather sweet and appealing, especially when it’s dancing in a birdbath to the Hawaii Five-0 theme tune. Monkey was a little smitten and could see no reason why I shouldn’t crochet him up his own version at once.

I googled him to have a good look and a ponder only to find that Princess Delirium had beaten me to it with a completed pattern.  Huzzah for the internet!  Turns out his name is Zingy and he is supposed to be a flame.  I had trouble finding wool that was anywhere near the right shade but my LYS had a discontinued, slightly bobbly baby yarn which was close enough.

So behold:

Mr Zingy as Monkey is rather formally calling him.

His eyes are a bit wonky as I didn’t have any safety eyes to hand but Monkey doesn’t seem to mind.

Love is blind

All in all a successful project.  Even better from my point of view was the additional yarn which I accidentally paid for while I was shopping.  6 balls of Sirdar’s Raffaella


will hopefully become this jumper very shortly.


4 months of work in one small post March 29, 2012

I cannot believe I’ve let this blog sit silent for over 4 months.  I somehow got out of the habit of blogging and the weeks just ticked on by alarmingly quickly.  I thought the best thing to kick-start me posting again is to do one big round up of work and start again from there.

While my blog has been idle, I have completed a number of projects over the last 16 weeks.  As I mentioned last time, I got a little obsessed with knitting for a while and, generally, the results have been quite good.  To pick up where I left off, with true beginner’s bravado my third project was a cardigan.  The King Cole pattern was great and, at the time, I thought the King Cole Riot wool was brilliant. By the time I finished, I had sort of changed my mind about the yarn and I haven’t actually worn this outside the house nor do I think I will.


I just don't think this is ever going to be a good look

Colour aside, the knitting practise itself was good and I managed to complete the whole project without any glaring errors. After that I went a bit scarf and cowl crazy. (It was winter after all).

Blue Cowl

Black and White Cowl

Short scarf from 101 One Skein Wonders

For Christmas I was given Vintage Knitwear For Modern Knitters by Lise-Lotte Lystrup.  I made another cardigan from this collection but I am still trying to track down the proper fasteners so will hold off posting a photo of that one now. I also made some simple stocking stitch socks on dpns but I forgot to take a photo before giving them as a gift.

After all that, I beginning to miss my crochet hooks so I went back to amigurumi for a quick satisfaction.  First came Mr Slug.

Sluggish but sweet

And then 5 hippos.  (I was only supposed to be making 2 for my niece and nephew but it turned into 5 after I tweeted a photo and started getting requests.)

I love how happy these hippos look. Pattern from Super Super Cute Crochet by Brigitte Read

In and amongst all this, I have started on a Wooleater blanket to try and reduce my stash to more reasonable levels.  I worked on it for a couple of weeks but, with the unseasonably warm weather, sitting with a blanket on my knee isn’t too appealing.

Quite garish again. I think I might be part magpie...

And finally, I am half way through a waistcoat which is in danger of bring frogged.  I like the pattern but am just not sure about the yarn.

Less tweedy and more stripy than I imagined.

So that is it.  4 months of work in one photo-heavy post.  I am still trying to get used to the idea of being a knitter as well a crocheter.  I can see that for clothes two sticks is really the best choice as the yarn drapes so much better.  For all other things I think I still prefer the hook.


Aqueduct Scarf Pattern September 25, 2011

Filed under: Completed projects,Free pattern,Yarn Stash — crochethook @ 9:49 am
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As promised, I have written up the Aqueduct Scarf pattern for anyone who would like a copy. And then corrected the pattern on 30/10/11 when I noticed I had missed out a couple of instructions. 

I used 3 balls of Artesano Merino DK which I’ve had knocking about for a while and a 4.5mm hook. This gave me a scarf that was 12cm wide by 164 cm long.  Gauge isn’t important so I think this would work in whatever wool you have to hand and with whatever hook you feel works for you.  The pattern is straight forward enough that, once you have done a few repeats, you can do it on auto-pilot.  I have added a fringe to mine in a contrasting colour as I have a hat in mind to go with it and not enough of the yellow wool to do both.


As a side note, this was the first time I had ever used a bamboo hook.  When I first started to crochet I had some small plastic hooks which I really didn’t like and I put this down to the weight.  I was far happier with the heavier metal hooks I had also bought. For some reason, I was convinced that I would have the same problem with bamboo.  I only finally got Pony bamboo hook when I had the vague idea of crocheting on a flight.  As it turns out, I LOVE the hook and so I didn’t risk trying to take it in my hand luggage in case I had to dump it at security.  I am seriously tempted to add to my hook collection with a few more of these lovely, lovely things.

Anyhow, here’s the pattern.  I *think* it’s right but please do let me know if you spot any typos.

1) Chain 28, treble in 4th chain from the hook (3 chain counts as first treble in every row) and in each stitch across. (25 treble) Turn.

2) Chain 3, treble in next stitch and in each stich across.

3) Chain 5 (counts as first treble plus 2 chain), skip next 2 stitches, treble into next stitch,* chain 2, skip next 2 stitches, treble into next stitch** Repeat *-** to the end of the row.

4) Chain 3, *2 treble into next chain space, treble into next treble.** Repeat *-** to the end of the row.

5) Chain 4 (counts as first treble and 1 chain), skip one stitch, treble in next stitch, *chain 1, skip one stitch, treble in next stitch**  Repeat *-** to the end of the row.

6) Chain 3, *treble into chain space, treble into next treble.**  Repeat *-** to the end of the row.

7) Repeat rows 3-6 until scarf is as long as you desire.  Add fringe if required.


Threads March 13, 2011

Filed under: Work in Progress,Yarn Stash — crochethook @ 8:10 pm
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I have come to a conclusion about myself: I am a masochist.  I had an urge recently to investigate the mysteries of Irish Crochet. I don’t know if this was some desire to get in touch with the manifold woes of my ancestors or just because I am easily distracted. Anyway, one look at the vintage patterns on the web made me realise that I had no hope of being to just dip into the art.  At the very least, I was going to have to have a crack at crocheting in thread with a tiny hook first rather than in wool with a whacking great one.

I had some number 10 crochet cotton knocking about from an ill-advised foray into tatting. (I have always fancied being either a Roman or a Victorian.  Reading masses of Victorian novels while I was studying had convinced me that tatting was a craft I should try and cultivate to get into the 19th Century mind-set.  I was, however, completely rubbish at it.  If you want to see how it should be done, check out Occasional Crafter’s blog which never fails to engender jealousy and admiration in me.  I suppose I should just be grateful that the Roman fantasies didn’t get the upper-hand or I could have been blogging about being sacked for wearing a toga to work.)

I also had the tiny hooks as I had bought every size I could find when I was a rookie crocheter but never used them. I got started by trying out an uncomplicated motif from The Harmony Guides: Crochet Stitch Motifs using the thread and a 2mm hook. I plumped for the Waterwheel motif which consisted solely of trebles and chains and it came out surprisingly well.

The Waterwheel, now used by Mr Grasshead as a little mat to sit on.

Emboldened by my success, I raided Ravelry for patterns.  There were a lot of doilies and, although very pretty , they didn’t strike me as particularly useful objects to start churning out.  Then I found this wonderful tablecloth pattern. (NB: if you fancy a go at this yourself, there should be an errata for row 5.  It says * ch 3, sc over end of next loop, 1 sc in each of the next 3 sc, sc over beginning of next loop, ch 3, 3 dc in center dc of next 3 dc group, ch 4, dc in center st of next loop, ch 1, 3 dc in center dc of next 3 dc group, repeat from * whereas it should be “ch 4, dc in centre st of the next loop, ch 4“.)

My first motif took me a week which was a bit disheartening.  This was partly due to the misprint but mostly because the thread and hook still felt so fiddly to work with.  I am picking up speed now I have made 5 squares, however, and can average one motif in about 3 hours.  It feels like starting to learn to crochet all over again as I have to look at what I am doing rather than glancing down every now and again but the results seem to be worth it.  I can’t believe my ham-fists have produced something so delicate.


I was very impressed with myself when it came out right.

4 motifs joined together produces a square 5″ by 5″ so I am unlikely to reach tablecloth size any time soon. Maybe a nice tray-cloth instead.  That feels very Victorian. And the Irish Crochet?  At this rate I’ll be ready to make a start sometime around 2013. Check back then for an update.

1 and a half week's work.


It happened again February 6, 2011

Filed under: Yarn Stash — crochethook @ 1:07 pm
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I have acquired some more yarn – like I actually needed any – but it has put me in a bit of a quandry.  The shop where I attend a weekly “Knit and Knatter” evening was selling off some Artesano yarn as they were discontinuing the colours.  I got four balls of a mustard yellow in DK and three of a pale terracotta shade also in DK for a snip.  Then, in the same week, I renewed a magazine subscription and was sent two balls of red 4 ply.  I had also got around to frogging a misshapen shrug which leaves me 7 balls of the blue in DK Artesano Alpaca.

The shades are pretty much as you see them here

The thing is, I have no idea what to do with them as there isn’t a vast amount of any colour.  I keep getting them out and gloating over them as I do love a bargain and the colours are fab but, in terms of inspiration, I have got zip.  I have discarded the idea of blankets (yawn), scarves (bigger yawn) and hats (always cause me problems.)  Equally, I don’t want to buy any more than I already have on the grounds that my yarn stash seems to be taking over the flat.  I think it may related to Audrey 2 and needs pruning badly. So this an appeal: Anyone want to suggest their favourite small project to get me started? All ideas gratefully received.