Wednesday 31 October 2012

Cosy Granny or a Granny cosy

I was rather pleased with my first foray into granny-square-making.

(You may recall the white edged circle-squares from the tutorial here which I made into a cushion.)


So I decided to make some darker edged ones to make a wintry cushion.

("Why do you need a winter cushion?" was the Mister's response. Grrrrrrr! Honestly. Does he know nothing?!!


Anyhoo I was rather pleased with the grey border. Hmmmm a nice cushion this will indeed make.

Well that was the plan.


And then I started doing other things- you know how it is. And the little stack of grey-edged squares remained a disappointingly small affair.




And then I was struck by a new idea.

A better idea.

A quicker idea.

Much more my-kinda-idea:


A granny cup cosy.



I've made cup cosies before, but this was something different.

This was very simple.

I joined 3 squares together and then edged around the whole rectangle twice with some single crochet. To make it reach around to the handle I did a couple of extra rows of sc along the short edges. I then added buttons on one edge and made two chain stitch loops on the other edge.



And that, as they say, is that.

Perfect for Christmas pressies, methinks.



And now for something completely different:

A lovely bloggy gal's luncheon at the beach!




Starring the gorgeous Gem from Treasures from the Cherry Tree, the sensational Sarah from Shabby Chic Sarah, the adorable Ashley (accompanied by her little Rose) from Country Rose, and me (with my little Annaboo too).

What a fabulous time we had at the Sea Lane Cafe!!

Beautiful sunshine, scampi and chips to die for, great company, a good giggle and a catch-up. Oh, and Rose, entertaining us with her splashy wet antics!

We have already scheduled another meeting (can't wait!!) for a mammoth charity shop session and another luncheon.

Right, am off to whip up some more granny cosies for the shop...

Enjoy the rest of the week!



Wednesday 3 October 2012

The Ultimate Cowl/Snood Pattern

I think I made my first cowls/snoods about a year ago. See here. They are just brilliant. A scarf without the ends. You know- those ends that get caught in doors/ disappear up sleeves/ get pulled by toddlers.

They were an easy project using some chunky acrylic and an 8mm hook. If memory serves me correctly I even made one in the Noro I found in that amazing charity shop stash.

Well, they were ok.
But all of them had one problem: too clunky (that's a technical crochet term, right?)

You know what I mean - crochet produces quite a dense stitch and these snood/cowls could almost stand up on their own.

Warm? Yes. The most comfortable? Not really. The Noro one was duly frogged for this reason.

So I tried different stitches and patterns until I found one which produced a nicer open texture, based on a V stitch. But still, it was too clunky.

Then it struck me. A larger hook was needed. A big hook would work more air into the pattern.

How big? I hear you ask.

MAAAAAAASIVE. Is my answer.

And so, ladies and gents, may I present The Ultimate Snood Pattern.

I use US crochet terms, so my Double Crochet (dc) here is the same as a UK Treble stitch. We will work from the bottom of the snood upwards in rows*. You'll need a tapestry (blunt) needle to hide any ends and to sew the piece together.

* NB Pattern Update: scroll to the bottom for a version worked in the round, rather than rows- it saves on having to sew up them sides...

  1. You need some super-chunky yarn (about 100g) - anything that recommends you use a 8-10mm hook (try Sirdar Indie or Big Softie) and a 15mm hook (I bought mine online) don't worry, it's made of plastic, so is light to manoeuvre and you soon get used to it.
  2. Chain 42. Now I use the chainless foundation stitch as I think it gives a good structure to the bottom of the snood, but a simple chain will do. Your chain needs to measure just over 22 inches/ 57cms and its total number should be a multiple of 3.
  3. [We are going to work in rows, turning at the end of each.] Chain 3 (counts as a dc) Turn. Make a dc in the 6th stitch from the hook. Chain 1. Dc in the same stitch. Skip 2 stitches, (dc, chain-1, dc) in the next stitch. Repeat along the row. Make a dc in the top of the 3rd chain from the previous row.
  4. Chain 3. Turn. (dc, chain-1, dc) in the chain-1 space from the previous row (the V) Repeat along the row. Make a dc in the 3rd chain from the previous row.
Repeat 4 until your snood reaches the desired height- anything from 33 - 40 cms seems good to me, or until you run out of yarn
Fold the two edges together and stitch up!

(Technically, this pattern shouldn't work as you begin with more stitches in the first row, but somehow, it does)
That's it. It really is very easy and super-quick, too.

***Pattern Update: To make the cowl in the round (kindly provided by the lovely Victoria from Yarnroundhook )

Work chainless foundation as original pattern. Join with a slip stitch to form a circle, being careful not to twist the chains.

Round 1: ch 4 (counts as 1dc, 1ch), 1dc in same space as joining sl st, * miss 2 stitches, (1dc, 1ch, 1dc) in next ch, repeat from * , join with sl st to 3rd chain at beginning of round. **do not turn work**

Round 2: sl st into 1ch space in centre of first 'V', ch 4 (counts as 1dc, 1ch), 1dc in same space, *(1dc, 1ch, 1dc) in next 1ch space, repeat from * to end of round, join with sl st to 3rd chain of starting ch. ** do not turn work**

Repeat round 2 until cowl is desired height
Sew in ends.

And on a complete tangent, I met up with the lush Gem from Treasures From the Cherry Tree this week. We had a spot of coffee and a charity shop dash! And we both did rather well, I must say. Look at what I found for £1:
Is it ever too early for a cocktail, I ask you?

Have a great week.