Saturday, 31 January 2015

january crafting - update

At the beginning of the month you may remember that I set myself some crafting targets for January - something to structure my crafting and to really see if this was something I would like to do month by month in the hopes of improving my blog and perhaps some sales on Etsy as well. I set myself 3 goals for this month, and I've had a mixed bag of results. 

Completed - write a pattern for my owl hat
Of all the tasks I set myself, this was probably the most straightforward. I have made this hat at least half a dozen times over the last 2 and a half years so it was just a case of perfecting the hat and writing/sharing a pattern for it. After making countless chunky knit hats now I understand better the sorts of decreases you need for the crown of the hat and also just how very important gauge is when writing a pattern! I really enjoyed finalising this pattern and writing it and I am so happy at just how popular it has proved to be!

You can find the free knitting pattern for this hat on my blog, and I've also uploaded it to Ravelry so you can store it in your library for the future! And if you were hoping to buy the spare hat that I made when writing this pattern it actually just sold today on Etsy - sorry!

WIP - knit a jumper (that fits)
As you can see I am SO close to having this jumper finished! I am three quarters of the way up both sleeves having completed the back and front panels but I've just run out of time before the end of the month to have this project finished. What frustrated me when I started knitting this jumper was the measurements of the sizes available (available in woman's size 8-10, and 12-14 - and so on - but I am a 10-12!) so I have tentatively, upon direction from B's grandma, modified the pattern (which I have never done before). It is only a slight modification, adding 2 extra stitches to that recommended by the pattern in the hopes that it will result in a comfortable fit, but I'm hopeful that this will work! At the stage it is now I am worried the jumper is a little short in the length for my body. But this is all a learning curve and I don't want to rush this so I will have this finished probably half way into February. 

Not started - write a full Moogle pattern
I'm really disappointed in myself that I haven't even been able to make a start on this challenge as I am very excited at how I am sure it will result - an excellent Moogle crochet pattern! 
So all in all I'd say a 50% completion rate.
But I shouldn't beat myself up about not being able to complete all my projects because really I simply didn't have enough time to start another pattern or finish the jumper - I'm trying to get back into reading frequently, I've really been enjoying playing more video games in bed, I'm looking to step-up work wise, and I've made more Etsy sales this month than in the last 9 months that my shop has been open! Which has meant I've needed to make those commissions - alongside a scarf commission from a mate of my dads, turns out even after Christmas people want to order things! - and these were unplanned craft projects that I hadn't accounted for when I first set myself these tasks (it's been wonderful though to know that people are still looking to order from me). 

So now I have an idea of what I am capable of during a month when I'm not knitting and crocheting 24/7 like I was in the run up to Christmas! And I have a better idea of what I should be able to accomplish in February which I will be sure to share with you in a couple of days!

Have you been able to achieve what you wanted this month?

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

a poem, in the loosest terms

So here I have a poem created from my tweets (as much as one can write poetry when emojis and re-tweets are used more often as not).
This website, which I found by via the i100 twitter account, takes your tweets and creates some rather cute/silly little love poems. You can chose which style of poem you would like and it whips it up for you reasonably quickly (though it took me three attempts to get it to load fast). 
I wanted to share one of the poems that (apparently) my tweeting habits generates basically because its just some silly fun, and I was hoping to result in some epic poem that perfectly summed up my life of knitting and gaming - it wasn't too far off in fairness I think.
I am particularly pleased that my desire to knit a Weasley jumper (seriously this is my number one knitting dream) made it to the first stanza, but the fact that the first line is MERR GERRD - KERRNGDERRM HEEERS in particular fills me with joy as I have been logging many an hour into Kingdom Hearts 2.5 since Christmas. 
And the line 'Babe I'm already pinning yo pins!' is surely worthy of a Shakespearean sonnet?
Please if you are a tweeter have your own poem made! Follow this link and share some poetry below, on Twitter or Facebook! It's just so silly and fun

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

pom pom garland

Last week I finally finished stringing together a very simple pom pom garland which I had (ashamedly) begun on Christmas day, employing my sister to help me make a dozen white pom poms using my rather fancy Clover pom pom makers, while watching various Christmas films. And then of course the pom poms sat in a gift bag for a little under a month until I finally decided to finish what I started!
clover pom pom makers - I actually bought mine from Hobbycraft
I had in mind to make a white pom pom garland (no doubt at the time inspired by all the snow on Christmas TV shows and films) but sitting in my room I knew just white pom poms wouldn't look as good as I would hope as an all year round decoration. So for good measure I made some different coloured ones of varied sizes, bringing my pom pom total to 25.

25 pom poms fill about 2 metres of yarn very comfortably to make a simple strung garland. I initially tried to string the pom poms onto a length of standard shop bought string from Wilkinson's, however I found it was too thick and pulled out the middle of 4 of my pom poms before I declared that exercise a disaster and switched to plain white yarn. Luckily even without their centres the pom poms still hold their shape.

I'm very pleased with how the garland has turned out, and although it is a very simple one it looks very nice strung up above my bed! Inspired by this success I hope to explore more pom pom crafts and actually make some more (rather than just pin on pinterest all the pretty ones I can find) and I anticipate that when me and B move out in the future there will be many a pom pom round our house!

Also, how many times is it really acceptable to type 'pom pom' in a blog post - anyone else feeling a little pom pom dizzy?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

owl hat - free knitting pattern

lovely sister sporting the owl hat, and the scarf I knitted for her Christmas present

As promised here is the pattern for this cute owl hat that will fit an average adult’s head. Because it is worked with chunky yarn and stranded knitting it makes this an extra cosy and warm hat for the cold months we have ahead! The colours suggested below will make the white hat - if you would like to make the brown hat simply reverse the colours.
If you want to knit the hat to fit a child rather than an adult just cast on 48 instead of 52, knock off 2 stitches at each end of every row on the pattern, and begin your decreases at row 15. 


10mm knitting needles
4mm knitting needles
6mm crochet hook
King Cole Big Value Super Chunky (or similar super chunky weight yarn) in
Colour A - champagne 0012
Colour B – oatmeal 0014
Colour C – black 0008 (you only need a very small amount of black so use up your stash!)
Yarn in DK weight for the owls beak (I used a very pale brown)
Tapestry needle
If you can’t crochet or don’t know how to knit circles you should use felt to create the eyes (both in black and to match yarn colour B) 


12 stitches x 14 rows = 10cm x 10cm
stocking stitch using 10mm needles

Suitable for average lady’s head or teenager

Note changes to colour B will be made explicit, if no colour is suggested use colour A, for example ‘p1, p1 with B, p5’ means ‘purl 1 with colour A, then purl 1 with colour B, then purl 5 with colour A again’. Colour B will be used over 2 rows then 2 rows will be without colour work. 


Using 10mm needles and yarn colour A cast on 52 stitches
Row 1 - *k1, p1* rib pattern, repeat to end
Row 2-6 repeat rib pattern
Row 7 - *k5, k1 with colour B* repeat 8 times, k4 to end
Row 8 – p1, *p1 with B, p5* repeat 8 times, p1 with B, p2 to end
Row 9 – knit
Row 10 – purl
Row 11 – k3, *k1 with B, k5*repeat 8 times, k1 to end
Row 12 –p3, *p1 with B, p5*repeat 8 times, p1 to end
Row 13 – knit
Row 14 – purl
Row 15 – repeat row 7
Row 16 – repeat row 8
                begin decreases to shape hat
Row 17 - *k5, k2tog* repeat 7 times, k3 to end (45)
Row 18 – purl
Row 19 - *k4, k1 with B* repeat 9 times
Row 20 - *p2, p1 with B, p2* repeat 9 times
                this is the end of colour work
Row 21 - *k4, k2tog* repeat 7 times, k3 to end (38)
Row 22 – purl
Row 23 - *k3, k2tog* repeat 7 times, k3 to end (31)
Row 24 – purl
Row 25 - *k2, k2tog* repeat 7 times, k3 to end (24)
Row 26 – p2tog to end (12)
Row 27 – k2tog to end (6)

                break off yarn, leaving tail for sewing. Using the tapestry needle thread yarn through 6 stitches left on needle and pull tight, sew seam of hat closed. Weave in all loose ends.

EARS (make 2)

With yarn colour A cast on 8 stitches
Rows 1-3 – knit
Row 4 – k2tog, k4, k2tog (6)
Row 5 – knit
Row 6 – k2tog k2, k2tog (4)
Row 7 – knit
Row 8 – k2tog, k2tog (2)
Row 9 – k2tog
                fasten off. Sew ears in position on hat as pictured. The seam of the hat should go down one side of the head as opposed to the back. Weave in all loose ends.

EYES (make 2)

With yarn colour B and a 6mm crochet hook sc6 in magic circle
Round 1 – *2sc in next* round (12)
                slip stitch to join round and fasten off
Now with colour C sc6 in magic circle
                slip stitch to join round and fasten off
Sew black circle to centre of larger circle, and then sew to hat in position as pictured.

Note if you can’t crochet, or can’t knit a circle (sorry I can’t do that!) you can simply cut circles from felt and sew to the hat as an alternative


With DK yarn and 4mm needles cast on 10 stitches
Rows 1-3 – knit
Row 4 – k2tog, k6, k2tog (8)
Row 5 – knit
Row 6 – k2tog, k4, k2tog (6)
Row 7 – knit
Row 8 – k2tog, k2, k2tog (4)
Row 9 – knit
Row 10 – k2tog, k2tog (2)
Row 11 – k2tog (1)
                fasten off and sew beak on hat in position as pictured

looking good in their owl hats!
You are now the proud owner of a lovely cuddly owl hat! 

This pattern can be found on Ravelry here

I hope you love this pattern – if you make one yourself why not share a picture below using the new Disqus commenting system! I have also put the white owl hat up for sale on my Etsy page as my sister already claimed the oatmeal one for herself, so if you don’t fancy making one for yourself snap it up quickly by clicking the link!

I would also like to thank my beautiful friends and gorgeous sister for modelling the hats for me while I'm trying very hard to improve my photography skills. I've been playing with PicMonkey for editing, but any useful tips you could share would be appreciated! :)

This pattern is for personal use only, please do not sell items made from this pattern. Please do not republish this pattern as your own/without permission.