Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A Crocheted Halloween...

Looking for some spooky Halloween ideas?  I found this fab skull pattern on Ravelry (Day of the dead - Ravelry download) and hooked one up using white cotton.  I think I might make a few and string them up as a garland.
Alternatively, if you are looking for something a bit more sculptural...

I crocheted this skull a while back using cheap parcel string, which I found to be perfect as it was rigid enough to hold the shape of the skull.  This pattern was taken from the book 'Craftivity' by Tsia Carson and the skull pattern was written by Diane Bromberg.  I love her introduction to the pattern:
"Knitting is like building with bricks, and crochet is like building with a fluid erector set - there are no bounds."

Monday, 25 October 2010

Pattern for a Cheery jam-Jar Cover

I made another jam-jar cover last night, and am already thinking about starting a third! I mean, you can never have enough cheery pots to keep your bits and bobs in...

I have written a quick pattern for any beginners who fancy a go, they use us hardly any yarn and are a great quick-fix when you fancy an easy project

Jam Jar Covers (written in US crochet terms)

Note, the gauge is unimportant - i used double knitting yarn with a size 4mm hook

Step 1. Begin by crocheting a circle the diameter of the base of your jam -jar

**Note** How to crochet a flat circle

R1: Ch2, 6sc in 2nd ch from hook (6)
R2: Sc 2 in each Sc around (12)
R3: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc* x6 (18)
R4: *Sc 2, 2sc in next sc* x6 (24)
R5: *Sc 3, 2sc in next sc* x6 (30)
R6: *Sc 4, 2sc in next sc* x6 (36)
.....and so on, you will see a pattern forming, each round is increased by 6 stitches. I find I do have to count the stitches as I am crocheting at this point (or you might need less rounds depending on size of jar)

Step 2.  Once you have crocheted your circle (if in doubt about size, err on the smaller side for your diameter, as the cover will stretch around your jam-jar, this is preferable to a 'baggy' cover!)  continue round in a spiral (don't bother joining rounds) until you have crocheted the height of your jar -

Step 3. I crocheted a frilly edging around the top
*sc, hdc,dc,hdc,sc into first stitch, s.s into next*, and repeat * to *all the way round

Step 4.  If you like you can embellish with a ribbon or a button or two.

Step 5. Slip your jam-jar into it's nice new cover, and stand back and admire!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

A few things...

A chubby little panda bear made from a pattern in this book, great fun to make, and I love his little panda face, a bit spooky maybe....?

I've also been cracking out a few baby hats for the Christmas sale in a few weeks, I think this little tomato one is my favourite:

I've been busy teaching a Christmas Amigurumi class at our local craft shop this week and was given some yarn in payment, it felt like Christmas had come early, I had so much fun filling my bag with lots of lovely yarn. I indulged myself in some lovely skeins and some cute colours (more later..) I especially like this lovely turquoise:-

Everything is feeling pretty calm and under control right now in the Northern Hi-lights household, I have finally made my way to the bottom of the washing basket (I know, but small things like this make me happy!) and have even managed to clean some of the house!  Back to work next week though and also husband  away on a training course down in London for the whole week, so I have a feeling it won't last.....

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Snow? in October?

Hard to believe that this time last week we were basking under the Tuscan sun, especially this morning when we awoke to the first snowfall of the Winter (surely it's still Autumn?) and I spent 20 minutes trying to scrape frozen snow from my windscreen in sub-zero temperatures!  How depressing!

Italy was great - a very interesting country full of mad drivers, horrendous twisty, windy roads, (much car sickness!), fabulous coffee, wine and food in general.  We visited Florence for the day, a beautiful city, but mobbed with tourists with lots of rip-off touristy shops etc..(24 euros for 3 ice-cream cones left me feeling ill!) so if we went again, I think I would avoid these large touristy cities...
Also, I am turning even more into my mother, with my love of foreign supermarkets!! Look at these little enamel beauties I picked up for 2 Euros each in some random isle of an Italian Coop:-

I have been crocheting up a storm recently, so hope to get some photos taken to show you soon. This week (2nd week of the school holidays) has been manically busy keeping the 2 boys exercised, fed and occupied.  More freezing temperatures are forecast for the week, so hoping to get lots of cosy time crocheting in front of the fire - you can't beat it really, but ask me again in another month!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Tattie Fortnight!

Just popped home in my lunch break for a decent cup of coffee (I have developed an instant coffee habit within less than 2 weeks at my new job!!) and thought I'd write a quick blog post - I've been pretty busy of late getting used to the rhythm of my new week, but today heralds the start of a two week school holiday (locally known as the 'Tattie Fortnight', going back to when children were expected to help with the potato harvest!!) and luckily for me, because I now work in a school, I get the holidays too - yippee!!!

Last week we booked some cheap Ryanair flights to Pisa, so we are headed to Italy for a week and having never visited this country before I can't wait!

So, I'll be back in a week or so, hopefully with some Italian inspiration, and I will leave you with some Etsy crochet goodness!
Little Brown Bear Scarf
From Lilyarns at Etsy

Owl Hat
from azek2000 at Etsy

Cranberry Fingerless Gloves
By Hollycow914 at Etsy