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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 06:46am on 20/11/2016 under
Last week we booked a holiday cottage in Lincolnshire so that I could visit my sister and do some sight-seeing with the dogs. It was a very nice cottage a converted stables. The only problem was that it had tiled floors (and a few rugs) very practical for the dogs but I hadn't been able to find my travel slippers to pack. I did have my crochet hooks and some spare yarn from the skirt project so made up one of the 'Bow Belle' slippers in grey and pink and started on a second one - but ran out of pink yarn.

No problem. I knew Louth had loads of yarn shops (indeed, I had bought the yarn for the pair of slippers I'd made for my sister to this pattern at one of them). Unfortunately no one had a pink dk pure cotton yarn in stock. Since I didn't have the ball band I wasn't sure what brand I should be looking for.

The next day we went to Horncastle, which also has a yarn shop (I suppose its the Linconshire sheep tradition that means they have far more shops per town than Essex has in the county). They did have the right yarn in blue, so at least I knew I was looking for 'Cotton On'. They also had a dumper with 'end of range' yarn at £1 a ball so I bought two balls or chenille (last year I was looking everywhere for chenille yarn and could I find any? Not even on the internets!), one in blue (with ball-band identifying it as a Wendy yarn) and one in green (larger, no ball-band).

Back home I frantically hooked up a second slipper in blue and devised a contrast 'cuff' in green. This left me with not enough blue for a matching slipper so I am making a counter-match for the other foot. Chenille is the ideal material for slippers, lovely and soft.

Pattern Notes:
Start with magic ring (rather than 2ch of pattern) and 6dc. Pull ring tight, join, then:
Round 2: 2dc into each stitch. (12)
Round 3: (1dc, 2dc into next stitch). Repeat to start (18)
Round 4: (2dc, 2dc into next stitch). Repeat to start (24)
Round 5: (3dc, 2dc into next stitch). Repeat to start (30)
Round 6: dc round (30)
Round 7: (4dc, 2dc into next stitch). Repeat to start (36)
Round 8 to 17: dc round.
Round 18: Mark off 5 stitches. Turn, DC to marker, turn (31 stitches)
Round 19: 1ch. dc2 tog work to last 2 stitches dc2tog, turn (29 stitches)
Round 20: 1ch, dc round turn.

Repeat round 20 until slipper reaches to ball of foot (another 17 rows approx)
Mark centre of work (14 stitches for right foot, 15 for left)

Work heel:
Row 1: 1ch, 10dc 4x dc2tog 11dc, turn. (25)
Row 2: 1ch, 10dc 2x dc2tog 11dc, turn. (23)
Row 3: 1ch, 10dc, turn.
Row 4: 1ch, 10dc, Fasten off with long tail.

Use tail to sew up back of heel.

With contrast colour work 5 stitches in gap in front (hooking to join existing sides), then 1 row round opening of slipper. At centre front turn 1ch, dc to end turn. continue until cuff is 1" high (or as desired) Fasten off at back.
location: Horncastle
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 07:00am on 18/08/2016 under , ,
When I joined the Agility Knitters group on Facebook I decided to actually knit an agility fence. I used a picture of a 'brick wall rug' from a book on knitting rugs as a basis but didn't think it worth spending any more money than I had to on actually buying a book for one pattern for a silly project.

The local Pound Shop (on Manford Way) has a good selection of cheap acrylic yarns, so I bought a ball of King Cole Super Chunky each in dark red (wine) bright red, orange (Mango) and grey (for the mortar rows). I needed an extra ball of a 'brick' colour so ordered a light brown (Sahara) from Wool Warehouse - whole lot came to about £10.

I wanted a chance to try out the size 6mm 'Symphonie' straight needles Frankie gave me as a Christmas present so cast on 30 stitches of the wine and knitted in moss stitch until the work was 'brick-sized' which turned out to be 13 rows. I threaded those onto a circular needle (with a 1m cable) and knitted three more in mango and red, finishing with a half-brick (15 stitches 13 rows)in wine. That gave me five separate pieces of knitting on the circular needle.

At this point I abandoned the straight needles and used the circular for the rest of the work. *Cast on with the grey and knitted the first 30 stitches of the first brick, Then made a stitch and used a 5mm crochet hook to crochet down the side of the brick, left a 4" loop (7" of yarn) at the bottom and crocheted up the side of the next brick. Looped the yarn back over the needle, then took a darning needle and (using a spare bit of DK yarn as a holder) threaded the loose loop through both sides of the crochet stitches to pull the two together. put the final bit of the loop over the rh needle, then picked up the stitch from the lh needle and continued in knit along the top of the second brick. Repeat process until the end of the row.

(I could have cast on a short length of grey and knitted the bricks together using fair isle technique - but there were going to be enough ends to sew in already without adding more!)

Wall in progress
Front and back of complete work before adding backing fabric.

Knit four rows of 'mortar' ending with yarn at same end as the start.

Cast on a contrast colour to the brick below and knit a second brick (or half-brick). Put the three 'mortar' stitches onto a holding thread or needle, and knit next brick in different colour. Continue to end then repeat from * above.

Make sure the crochet stitches are done on the front of the work and the grey mortar rows always begin at the same side of the work (it doesn't matter which end you start knitting the bricks from - the delights of circular needles!).

Stop when the work measures 4" shorter than the required fence height. (Five courses of bricks equal the 'small' KC height.) Complete the last line of 'mortar' then continue in garter stitch to make a 'coping' which will form the channel to put the bar of the fence through.

You could simply sew the top stitching back on itself, but I am sewing the whole thing to a backing fabric for extra strength - and to prevent too much stretching in the wash.)

Final version held on a broomstick (actually a Vileda mop handle!) on my jump wings.
Knit Jump edit 1
Mood:: 'silly' silly
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 02:56pm on 05/05/2016 under , , ,
Ever since I saw the animal-themed 'Break Time Apple Cosies' in Crochet Gifts #3 I thought it would make a great way of keeping a tennis ball handy when out walking the dogs.

I got a set of yarn intended for making cute farmyard animals from the latest issue of Lets Knit (bought for the 100 patterns free book) which gave me the colours I needed. Any washable acrylic DK yarn would do.

Using a 3.5mm hook and brown yarn, make 2ch and join to make ring.

1. 6dc into ring (6)
2. 2dc into each dc round (12)
3. 1dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (18)
4. 2dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (24)
5. 3dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (30)
6. 4 dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (36)
7 to 11. 36 dc round (NB If tube is not wide enough to take ball, dc 2 into every 6th stitch on Row 8 (40))
12. Change to white yarn. 1ch, dc round. Turn.
13. 1ch, dc round (NB,, if you made an increase at Row 8 now do decrease (ch2tog) at same point) (36)
14. 1ch, *4dc, 1dc2tog, rept from * to end, turn (30)
15 to 17 1ch, 30 dc turn.
18. 1ch, 30dc, 20ch, ss into first ch of fastening then dc all round opening. Fasten off and break yarn. Sew in end.

Ears (make 2)

On UK size 11 needles (I think this is 3.5 again bus can't be arsed to check) cast on 10 stitches in brown yarn. Knit 6 rows ss ending on p row. Make pointed shape as follows:
7. s1, k1, psso, k6, k2tog
8. p8
9. s1, k1, psso, k4, k2tog
10. p6
11. s1, k1, psso, k2, k2tog
12. p4
13. k2tog x2
14 p2
15 K2tog, cast off and secure thread.

Nose.

With scrap black yarn (I knew there was some somewhere), work first three rows of main body to make a circle. Leave long tail to sew into place.

Making up,

Button (see note on black yarn - a white one would be good. Or a brown one): Sew onto opposite side of the loop, positioning so ball will be held safely inside.

Sew ears on either side at point where brown yarn meets white. Check that ear tips hang forward.

Sew nose between inside edges of ears and slightly below. Use longtail to make mouth. Try not to make it look like a teddy bear (the pointy ears help)

Sew eyes on the same row of crochet above nose and below eyes.

Push small carabiner or keyring fastening through base of the opening to hang.

Take photo and post to Ravelry.
Bren likes his ball
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 06:30am on 03/05/2016 under , ,
The first 'garment' I made after re-discovering crochet was a pair of slippers from the magazine 'Crochet Gifts #3' which gave helpfull step by step instructions in picture form. The result was the 'Bow Belle' yellow and brown slippers. The pattern was for a wool/cotton dk mix yarn but I used a thinner pure cotton, made them longer to fit my feet, and also added a strap to stop them falling off.

My sister saw me wearing them on a visit (they are my usual travelling slipped as small enough to fit into a case) and asked for a pair. She picked out a similar cotton yarn and I worked up the pattern with c=variations to ensure they fitted better without the strap (easier as her feet are shorter than mine).

Starting with white yarn and 2 joined dc to make a starting ring.
1. 6dc into ring (6)
2. 2dc into each dc round (12)
3. 1dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (18)
4. 2dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (24)
5. 3dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (30)
6. dc round (30)
7. 4 dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (36)
8 to 10. dc round
11. If tube begins to 'flare' dc two together on opposite sides of work (34)
12 - 14. Continue dc until toe measures 2.5"
15. Change to blue yarn. Continue to dc round for further 14 rows (34)

Work body.
1. Mark off five stitches in the centre of the work opposite the place where the two colours join (this will then be hidden on the sole). Work dc to first marker. Turn. 1ch, dc back to second marker. (this leaves three stitches unworked)(31)
2. 1ch, dc into next stitch (not the base of the ch), dc 30
3. as 2 above. (29)
4. as 2 above (28)
5 - 7. Continue working these 28 stitches in dc for 3 rows.
8. 1ch. 2dc in first dc, 28dc (29)
9. 1ch. 2dc in first dc, 29dc (30)
10 - 11. 1 ch, 30dc, turn (30)
12. 1ch. 2dc in first dc, 30dc (31)
13. 1ch. 2dc in first dc, 31dc (32)
14 - 21. Continue working dc on these 32 stitches until work is 2 rows short of foot length required.

Shape heel
22. 1ch, 11dc, dc2tog 5 times 11dc (27)
23. 1ch, 10dc, dc2tog 3 times, 10dc (23)

Fasten off, break yarn leaving long tail and use to sew up back seam.

1. Join white to top of back seam and work round edge in dc.
2. 1dc 1ch, miss one, 1dc in next stitch to end of 'body'. dc round front of foot then continue 1ch, miss one, 1dc in next stitch to back seam. fasten off, weave in ends.

Rose Decoration. (Simply Crochet Issue 27)

Using white yarn ch 30.
1. 1dc into second ch from hook. ch2. skip 1 ch *1dc into next ch, ch2, skip 1ch. Rpt from * to end. Turn

2. Ch 1 (dc, htr, 2tr, htr, dc) into each ch2 space. ss into first dc of prev row.

Fasten off leaving a long tail. Roll strip into a flower shape and sew together using long tail. Sew to front of d=slipper on contrast section.
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 07:26am on 26/11/2015 under , , , , , ,
After three attempts I gave up on the knitted hexagons for the front of the cardi and resorted to crochet. Made up the necessary number by starting with a 6-chain ring and working round 3tr, 2ch until I had six sides. Next round worked 1tr into each space (4tr), then 2ch and repeat. Last round 5tr into each space and 2ch. Stitched to fronts leaving a raised edge for decoration.

I had enough yarn left so made two more crochet hexagons, adding an extra 'side' to one to make a 'figure 8' shape which fitted down my dog's front (with space for the front legs where the 'waist' of the 8 occurred).

Then cast on 20 stitches to match width of Draco's bum and knitted 10 rows of single rib before changing to moss stitch and cable pattern as for cardi. Increasing one stitch each side every other row to make hex edges as for cardi. Worked sides to meet the crocheted hexagons under the breast, then cast off 8 stitches each side to allow for leg holes. Worked two rows before casting on 8 stitches and continuing pattern up to top of pre-made hexes. Transfer remaining stitches on needle to holder/dpn needle.

Sewed the two edges of the knitting to the crochet. Then used crochet hook to pick up stitches round the neck onto two dpns. Arranged neck stitches between three dpns and knitted collar in double rib for 8 rows (to allow for wearing of collar - could have made longer collar if necessary). Cast off and sewed in ends.

Picked up stitches round leg holed on dpns and knitted cuffs in single ribbing for 10 rows (2"). Cast off. Finnish.

I had enough left over for a matching hat (did a strip of the cable pattern to fit my head joined at back and picked up one side stitches to knit a double rib band, and the other side to crochet decreasing circles to make the crown.)

Some of the best fitting knitting I've done to date. And very snuggly warm for Autumn walks.

Matching jackets
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 10:20pm on 19/04/2015 under ,
I picked up the February edition (Issue 27) of 'Simply Crochet: Hooked on Handmade' because it had a pattern for a cable-hooked teacosy, and I was fascinated to find out how to do cables in crochet, having just mastered them in knitting.

They turn out to be horribly fiddly but nonetheless impressive.

I had two balls of black-and-white variegated yarn and picked the Patons tweeded yarn which is a wool/cotton mix of about the same weight as the recommended yarn (50g=120m). I'm rather pleased by the way it worked out. It's worked in two pieces and joined to allow space for the handle and spout. The cable is worked exactly the same way as in knitting, by skipping the first three stitches, doing a double front post treble round the post of the row below in 4,5 and 6, then going back behind the double trebles and in front of the previous row to work 1,2 and 3.

teacosy 2

The pattern has a pom-pom in a different yarn, but I felt that a pom-pom in a kitchen environment was asking for trouble so used the rose pattern (also in this issue) and red crochet cotton to make a contrasting rosebud for the top, top, worked on a circular base: ch3, join in ring with ss, ch 4, work 1tr,2ch into ring 5 times. Ch 2, 2tr, 1dc into first chain space, then 1dc,1tr,1dtr,1tr, 1dc into remaining ch spaces, join with ss and fasten off.

Teacosy rose

Somewhat flushed with success I made a matching mug hug with the cable pattern, found a red button and worked a small red flower disc as above to make the fastening.

teacosy 1
Mood:: 'amused' amused
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 10:16pm on 06/04/2015 under ,
I have never understood why otherwise warm cardies and tops are made with a décolletage that exposes the chest to the elements. Not wishing to spend Spring and Autumn wrapped in scarves (which never stay on anyway) I've been looking at alternatives and this old crochet pattern for a triangular 'collar' looked ideal.

collar crop 1

Still being keen on tourquoise I checked the tension for a cotton yarn and started in. I assumed that the pattern was US so mentally translated dc as tr and worked the first two rows. It came out as a scallop pattern, which looked nothing like the illustration. I re-read it, charted it, and just got another row of scallops on top of the first, which gave a pretty ruffled effect but wasn't going to keep my chest warm. In the end I frogged it back to the third row of ruffles and will look for a top that needs a sewn-on collar.

collar crop 2

I still have no idea where I went wrong. Except that the original pattern is actually Australian, so maybe they used to use a completely different notation again? I suspect that the 'cluster' of 2dc, 1ch, 2dc is not supposed to be worked into the same space (though why call it a cluster if that's not the case?) May have another go with some disposable yarn.
Mood:: 'annoyed' annoyed
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 10:12pm on 29/03/2015 under , ,
Why is it that cheap yarn comes in such fantastic colours? I bought two balls of this acrylic chunky because I fell for the colour, which is described on the band as 'blue grey' but has all the rich green, blue and turquoise shades of the Mediterranean Sea. Having decided to wear mostly turquoise to this year's Eastercon, and no longer being able to fit into the corset that matches my favourite dress, I looked through Ravelry for a 'corset belt' pattern and found this.

corset belt acrop

It's my first attempt at knitting anything since the disaster of Draco's purple coat, but as it's essentially a strip of knitting what could possibly go wrong?

It's the first time I've tried making an i-cord and as my only set of double-pointed needles are 4mm which are not ideal for a chunky yarn I'm pleasantly surprised that the result was so good. For once the row-by-row increases worked and the pattern itself (worked on larger 6.5mm needles rather than the 10mm that the yarn calls for) was simple – though I had to keep very careful count of rows (which I usually do by putting a post-it note on the relevant bit of the pattern and checking off each row as I do it).

corset belt b

I made it a bit shorter than my official size, since the i-cords are long enough to take up any slack and you need to be careful that there isn't too much overlap. Being knitted means that it's stretchy, so I added boning, slipped through the stitches at about 4" intervals. (Thank you Teddy and the folks in the Chaos Costuming room at Eastercon for the plastic cable ties – they worked a treat until I can get some proper boning.) It still needs properly blocking and boning, and possibly a waist-tape, but even without proved very wearable.
Mood:: 'cheerful' cheerful
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 10:05pm on 13/03/2015 under , ,
Having had something of a disaster with the knitted coat using good yarn, I reverted to cheap acrylic for this experiment.

I got into the rhythm of doing scale stitch with the gloves and Lil's hat and thought that a dog coat using it would be both warm and appropriate for a dog called Draco.

Unfortunately if the scales were to lie the right way I'd have to work from the tail to the neck – not an ideal way if trying to get a good fit. So I thought that I'd try working the 'mesh' base for the stitch (V trebles) on the 'dog in a sweater' pattern and then work the scales over the top in another colour.

I also wanted the neck to be a bit more stretchy so measured the 12" of Draco's neck and knitted up a 2cm collar (yes, I know about mixing measurements but it's a 'bit more than an inch but less than an inch and a half' so what else is one to do?), joined it in a circle, slipped the stitches onto a crochet hook and carried on from there. I did the back in V stitch and the underside in half treble. Once the coat was finished I hooked in the black yarn at the tail end and did three scales through the final set of V stitches. Working back and forth making sure they overlapped wasn't easy but did produce a wearable result.

dragoncoat cu

If I did this again I'd work with both yarns at the same time and carry round the 'scale' yarn as a dc row underneath alternating with dc rows of 'body' yarn
Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 06:29am on 10/02/2015 under , , ,
No, that title is not a euphemism.

I spent the last weekend at the UK Filk convention, listening to good music and singing. Both can be done while crocheting so I took along the dragonscale gloves and finished them (photos later). The second went better than the first, as I got into the rhythm of the stitch - which means that I will probably frog the first one and re-make it to match the second.

I took along a ball of very nice varigated russet yarn intended as a hat for Susan. On the basis that the dragonscales are very warm (making a double layer of fabric) I'm having a go at making a hat with the stitch. This means that it has to either be worked from the brim to the crown (to get the scales to lie properly) or the hat could be made with the structural mesh in place and the scales added later.

I'm trying the rim to crown method, though figuring out the decreases that still allow the scales to overlap properly isn't something you can do on the fly. I'll finish this and have a go at the alternative method (also doing some preparational charting wouldn't hurt!)

There is probably a song in this...

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