Tabby Cattercushion (a free tutorial)

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So I made a HUGE cattercushion.

Do you see what I did there? πŸ˜‰

You can, of course make a gazillion of these (s)cattercushions so they can live up to their name, in a narrower gauge yarn, or chunkier, in all sizes and colours…

For this one, I used Schachenmayr Boston and Rico Creative Melange Chunky, 7mm circular needles and some enormous mother-of-pearl buttons. You’ll also need a cushion pad and some toy stuffing.

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If you fancy having a go at it, there is a free blow by blow tutorial over on the loveknitting blog. Just click here to be taken to it.

Here’s a picture of him with my Wilfy, for scale:

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Enjoy the snuggles ❀

Hobbit Hat (free pattern)

I find myself here, on the beautiful North Norfolk Coast. Wide, sandy beaches, and sunshine that has taken us by surprise.

But… you know… it’s February.

How in the world did someone who knits hats not bring enough?!

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My new moniker is, apparently, “The Wool Psycho”, so it goes without saying that needles and yarn had found their way into my essential packing list.

Quick – cast on!

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This hat fits us all, from Teddy (aged 6, above) to me. Though it might be a bit of a stretch (no pun intended) for beloved husband, since his bonce is quite spectacularly large. Probably the brains πŸ˜‰

For this hat, you will need a ball of Rico Creative Melange Chunky (in this case in CurryGreen), a 7mm circular needle and depending on your speed, a couple of movies.

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So without further ado:

Cast on 64 stitches and join in the round without twisting.
Knit 1 round, purl 1 round and knit the 3rd round.
Then begin the Knit2 Purl2 rib for 10 rounds. This gives a hat that is super slouchy without folding up the rim, or nice and snug if you do.

Knit for 34 rounds.

Then K2tog all the way around.

Then knit around.

Then K2tog all the way around again.

Cut the yarn leaving a long tail, then sew the tail through the live stitches and pull tight. Tie off securely and weave in the tail. Sew in the ends, and wear to your heart’s content.

Happy knitting! πŸ™‚

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A dog is for ChristmasΒ 

….

No. Wait. Life.

A dog is for life.

But since Christmas is nearly upon us, how about she gets to join in with the festivities?

Juno, ourΒ  little Jack Russell princess, remember? The one who pokes her nose out of the door as a barometer? Then swivels on her heel (so to speak) and hides behind the sofa if conditions are less than perfect?

Well, in an effort to drag her from her grump and into the great outdoors…

… she has a new Christmas jumper.

If you have a petite pooch of your own, who feels the cold and needs some festive cheer, you can find the pattern on the Loveknitting.com blog overΒ hereΒ (and it’s free till 18th December)

Now… back to the Christmas knitting !

(And yes, I gave her the biscuit πŸ˜‚)

Getting all your cats in a row

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I’ve used Millamia naturally soft merino quite a bit of late, so it seemed the natural choice when I wanted to design a jumper for my youngest, little Teddy. He’s quite a sweaty little beast so I didn’t want anything too chunky, after all.

I have begun to love developing charts for intarsia and fairisle. I consider myself a relative novice, but a very enthusiastic one, and I was especially pleased with the rows of stripy cats.

With raglan sleeves and a rolling edge neck, the ‘Kitty Cat’ pattern is now available over on loveknitting.com AND if you’re quick, the Kitten Mitten pattern is free for the rest of this month.

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How to… floral phone protector

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Y’know? When you’ve sacrificed the security of a fully-protective phone case in favour of one that’s, frankly, a bit of a Cath Kidston knock-off (but she doesn’t do those spots in a Samsung Edge… 😦 ) and you’ve stuffed it in your bag and there are other things in there that might give it a bit of a hard time…

So you decide to make something pretty to keep it in.

Frankly, it’s not going to rescue your phone from your keys in there. But it does look pretty πŸ˜‰

Look no further!

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And if you want to make it, here’s how:
(UK terms:
dc [double crochet] = sc [single crochet] US
tc [treble crochet] = dc [double crochet] US

But it’s all very simple:

I used Drops Safran which is a DK cotton in all sorts of delightful spring colours, and a 3mm crochet hook.

  • ch 21, dc back through chain to beginning.
  • 3dc in first chΒ  and continue to work around in dc to end
  • 3dc in first dc and continue to work around in dc to end.
  • ch 2 and tc around the entire piece, sl st in original ch2.

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  • repeat twice more
  • switch to green, ch2 and 2tc in same tc. [Skip 2, 3tc in next] to end. Sl st in original ch2. {ref point 1}

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  • switch to flower colour. Ch2, make 1tc through middle of the 3 green tc, but leave last loop on hook, make another tc in same green tc, but leave last loop on hook, pull yarn through all loops on hook, ch1. [Skip 2 (always making these flowers in the middle of the three green tc), make 3tc, leaving the last loops on hook, in middle green tc, pull yarn through all loops on hook, ch1] repeat to end.

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  • switch to original blue. Ch2 and make 3tc in each 1ch gap to end. Sl st to original ch2.

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  • Ch 2, tc in each tc around. Sl st to original ch2
  • repeat. {ref point 2}

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  • Repeat from {ref point 1} to {ref point 2} until you have 3 rows of flowers in total. Change flower colours if you like πŸ™‚ After the last flower row:
  • ch1 and 3dc in each 1ch gap. Sl st to original ch1
  • ch1 and dc around. Sl st to original ch1
  • THEN on JUST ONE SIDE (working back and forth and no longer in the round): ch2 and tc to end of side. TURN, repeat.
  • ch1, dc2tog, then dc to half way along row. Ch3 for button loop and sl st into last dc worked, dc to last 2, dc2tog. Cut yarn, fasten and sew in ends
  • sew a button to middle stitch of front.

TADA!

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As ever, if you decide to make it and anything I’ve written doesn’t make sense… just give me a holler ❀

 

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A catch-up in beautiful yarns…

I’ve been playing with some serious beauties recently.

The first two I’m going to show you I have just finished writing up the patterns for, and they’ll be available on the loveknitting.com website, and in my Etsy shop very shortly.

The first I call In the Shade since the fairisle pattern is a row of trees with their shadows beneath them. It is knitted in Drops Karisma, in light and dark grey, on 4.5mm circulars. And I’m wearing it as I type πŸ˜‰ Click here for the pattern

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The second is Drops Bomull-Lin, a lovely mix of cotton and linen, in brown and beige (the beige being more like pale gold with its lovely linen sheen). This is my Spring Tunic, knitted in the round on 6mm needles, with eyelet lace details. Click here for the pattern

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Also, I got a surprise parcel in the post: a parcel of beauty I would probably not have bought for myself. And I LOVED the challenge of coming up with something to make from it. It is a combination of Millamia 100% merino and Louisa Harding Amitola, which contains silk, shimmers stunningly, and changes colour gradually throughout the piece. Here it is in progress, but on 3mm needles, it’s a slow process – a cardigan in the making (now finished, click here for the pattern):

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And finally πŸ™‚

Fancy making this?

Here’s how (in UK terms)

1. Using Drops Bomull-Lin in beige (pale gold) and a 4.5mm hook, chain 30.

2. Make a double crochet (dc) into the 2nd chain from hook, and into the next 5 chains. Then chain 16, and make a dc into each of the last 6 chains.

3. Turn, chain 1, insert hook into first dc in row and make a dc into this and the next 5 chains. Then chain 16, and make a dc into each of the last 6 chains.

4. Turn, chain 1, insert hook into first dc in row and make a dc into this and the next. To make the button hole chain 2 and skip the next 2 dc. Make a dc into the next 2 dc. Chain 16, and make a dc into each of the last 6 chains.

5. Turn, chain 1, insert hook into first dc in row and make a dc into this and the next 5 chains. Then chain 16, and make a dc into the first 2 of the last 6, 2 dc into the 2-chain gap, and a dc into each of the last w dc.

Repeat step 3. three more times. You will have 8 rows in all. Sew a button onto the opposite cuff part from the button hole and voila!

Hasta la proxima, peeps. ❀

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Miniature Delights

A dear friend of mine was expecting her fourth child. She already has three of the most gorgeous girls you’ll ever see, and this was her first boy. Obviously, most of those little garments saved from previous siblings weren’t going to be any good.

She asked me to make a couple of things for him. She’d found a fairisle babygro pattern on garnstudio.com (click on the web address and you’ll see the one), and she wanted a baby cocoon, too. (Scroll down for details of how I made it).

The babygro took ages. On 3mm needles in Drops Baby Alpaca Silk, the seed stitch was the fiddliest part. And I’m not a speed knitter. But, as you’ll see from the following pictures, it was worth every second:

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And here is Arthur, less than a day old, demonstrating the very reassuring fact that there is plenty of room for growth ❀

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As for the cocoon, the pictures she sent me of those that she liked were of such a simple design that all I really needed was some approximate dimensions. It’s astonishing how much we overestimate the size of newborn babies, even though we’re know they’re (generally) seriously teeny.

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The circumference of a baby cocoon needs to be around 17-18 inches, so you need to knit a swatch of your chosen yarn to work out how many stitches you need to cast on for the circumference.

I used Drops Fabel in Sea Mist Print, which is a self-patterning sock yarn, and knitted it in the round on 2.5mm circular needles.

When you’ve reached a length of 18 inches, you need to decrease. I simply used a [knit 4, knit 2 together] knitting the last few stitches if there were fewer than 6.

When I reached 20-ish stitches left, I knitted 2 together all around, broke the yarn and sewed it through the remaining live stitches, pulled to close and sewed the ends in.

And look!

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Perfection ❀

(With massive thanks to Arthur’s mummy, Imo, for allowing me to share her new baby with you).