Autumn Comes Round Again – time for crochet?

Autumn is definitely my season, not only because I love the colours of orange, yellow, green and brown but I love the early, dew-filled mornings, the smell of this season is particularly earthy and grounding and I love to walk outside when the sun is shining – all year, of course, but particularly in Autumn.

The last week or so here in Norfolk has been superb weather – as has much of the UK, but there is something really special about a big Norfolk sky – people complain that Norfolk is flat but they need to look up to appreciate it properly in my opinion – (sorry, feeling a bit opinionated today!)

Anyway, I digress.  All this talk of Autumn and some good news from a family member means that I now have the opportunity to make a baby blanket!  Having just finished another blanket for my biggest baby (now 18 and recently off to university) – see some yummy pics below, I have been at a bit of a loose end.  Now that the nights are drawing in and it will soon be time to light the fire, what better time that to begin a scrumptious crochet project for the Autumn!
So one off the hook ……….

And another one to start ……

And what is NOT to like about this yarn!  It’s a King Cole, DK Flash, colour Summer Fruit and you can follow my progress on my Ravelry page – here.  Ok, so colder days, fog, darker nights and probably rain are about to descend upon us as we charge through Autumn towards Winter but I will have this ray of sunshine to look at for the next few weeks/months which will remind me of all those beautiful sunny colours and bright Autumn days.
Happy hooking,

Alpine Shawl Beginnings

The anticipation, waiting for the yarn (which comes mighty quick, this time from Deramores) and then we can begin.

Except we can’t!  The yarn comes as a skein, so first we have to wind it into a ball – tedious but otherwise there will be a proper mess!  I used the backs of two chairs, hooking the skein over them both and then winding into a ball.

So now we can begin!  The free pattern, here, is quite easy to follow although you do have to pay attention to begin with but I am hoping that once I get into it, it will become a bit second nature!
Here we are so far – it will DefINItelY need to be blocked as it’s a bit scrunched up but this yarn, Araucania Botany, is divine – 100% fine Merino, lace weight and I am using a 4mm hook.
Not sure about the top left pic though – looks like something out of a biology text book (or is that just me!)  What do you think of it so far?
Happy Hooking
Jane xx

Sneak Preview Nordic Shawl but not quite a Tah-Dah (yet!)

I’ve been busy all weekend finishing my shawl which I absolutely aDoRE!  On Friday I started the border, which started to take shape nicely

and on Saturday morning I took my shawl to footie practice (mini-Hippy, not me) and it was gorgeous sitting inside the car in the sunshine finishing the border

(let’s hope I wasn’t supposed to be watching football practice!)
And on Sunday morning I got up early to finish the border – and took it to the workroom to do the blocking – boring but necessary!

So here it is (albeit in its unblocked version) but oh my, is she pretty!

I’ve decided she’s a ‘she’, albeit a bit crinkly in this picture but when she has dried into shape she will be GORgeOUs!!!
A quick word about the yarn – I’ve used quite a bit more than the pattern said and didn’t do as many rows after the border, but will explain this in my Tah-Dah! post when you’ll see her in all her glory!  (Suffice to say the border wasn’t supposed to be blue but due to lack of main colour I had to improvise – and I’m glad I did!
What do you think?
Jane xx
What are you hooking? (inlinkz – thank you Chrissie at Chrissie Crafts for letting me know about this brilliant Linky thingy!  Please link to my post – Nordic Shawl or otherwise!

Reasons to be Cheerful

No. 1 – The sun has come out (finally)
No. 2 – I have made my selection for my Nordic Shawl – very excited
No. 3 – All that squishy Merino goodness makes me very happy
No. 4 – I really enjoy putting the colours together to see what looks good (I’m sure there is a ‘qualified’ way to do this but as I am not qualified I just did what I liked!)
No. 5 – I had such a choice (overdid it on the yarn again!) that three colours didn’t make it to the final selection although I’m sure I will use them for something as they are also gorgeous.  My choices also changed a bit from my previous post.  Now they are: Main Colour Faye (348) Alabaster (003), Sea Salt (380), Sunday (349), Firecracker (340), Julep (307) and Eskimo (342).
No. 6 – I have completed the first 40 rows (which hooked up quickly and was comfortingly repetitive) but now we get to the fun colours part!
No. 7 – I actually managed to get outside to take some of the photos – chilly, but sunny!
Sorry, had to use this photo twice as it’s yummy!
No. 8 – I am ToTAlLy in LUrrVvE with Sublime extra fine merino DK and would like ALL the colours please
No. 9 – My shawl will be ready for my RoMAntiC weekend away with Mr Hippy in Amsterdam!

No. 10 It’s Friday!

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Jane xx

Scrappy Crochet Rope Basket (for bits and bobs)

I’ve been a bit obsessed with these on Pinterest lately and thought I would try my hand at making one to put on my dresser with all my bits and pieces in (and there are lots of bits and pieces!)  I couldn’t really find a pattern to suit, so I made one up myself using the scraps I had left over from some of my Christmas present projects!  The reason I used rope/cord was so that the end result was much more solid and so that it wouldn’t flop about!

So here is my ta-dah……  A scrappy rope covered basket for bits and bobs!

I started with a Magic Ring and then did 8hdc into it.  Then I introduced the rope (I used 4mm piping cord) and increased to 16hdc next round (I used a stitch marker as it is more of a spiral than a round) – just wrap the yarn (doubled up here) and make the stitch round the cord.  Once you’ve gone round once it is plain sailing as you just keep going.

I increased each round of the base, but not by double the amount of stitches each time – generally I was doing 1hdc followed by 2hdc in the next stitch etc, then on the next round 1hdc, 1hdc, 2hdc in the next stitch and so on – it was all a bit trial and error!

When I started to go up the sides I switched to sc and did the first round just into the front loops of the stitches as this makes a bit of a line between the base and the sides, then I just continued up the sides to the desired height but with no increases at all.

This is the underside of the bottom! It will never be totally level as it is a spiral rather than a round – I guess you could do it in rounds but I thought a spiral would be easier.  I used a 5.00mm hook and double thickness Sports Weight yarn but you could choose a larger hook and thicker yarn if you wanted.
I hope you like it – I’m rather pleased with it!  If you decide to make one then have fun!
PS:  News on the second Moogly Crochet-Along square coming this weekend – for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about – check here.

Excited – My First Free Pattern (in the making)

Hello everyone.  I’m very excited today as I have nearly finished my very first pattern – it seems to have taken ages, so huge respect to those of you who write them on a regular basis!  Mine is going to be for a couple of variations of a Christmas Bauble but it’s not quite finished yet – I think the stitch description is right but I still need to take some photographs to illustrate it – hopefully that will be this weekend.

However, here is a taster.  I’ve used a gorgeous yarn that I discovered in my local yarn store.  It’s called Woolly and it’s a 100% Merino from DMC.  The most gorgeous thing is the colour range which is sublime – brights and pastels.

I have chosen a Christmas Red, Teal and Beige for my decorations but there was so much to choose from I was in the shop for ages (no change there, then!)
So here is a sort of Ta-Dah – although it’s not finished yet.  I will keep you posted but the light this weekend is rubbish so I’m not sure how good my photos will be.  This will be a free pattern as I have had so many free patterns off of other wonderful bloggers it seems wrong to ask for money!  And I’m only doing it for fun.  I would appreciate any comments you have so far.  See you soon…………..

Jane x


Not wanting to wish the summer away but I thought I would change my blog header to a slightly more Autumnal feel – a thing I have decided to do with the seasons.  Not least because I have discovered PicMonkey, the most amazing (and free) photo editor which enables you to use photos, text and pictures to illustrate a theme or blog content – clearly I am late to the party with this one as I now see lots of ’embellished’ photos all over Blogland and this is probably how they are achieved.

Anyway, would love to have any comments or feedback on whether you like it or not?

I’ve started another blanket (what is wrong with me!)  For ages, I’ve wanted to do a sampler blanket and found a really lovely (free) pattern for one on the Lion Brand website.

I’m using James C Brett Chunky with Merino in shade No. 8, which is a denim blue colour that I got from Deramores – it’s going to be all one colour but I might put a contrast border on it – haven’t decided yet!

I do have some Stylecraft Special Chunky in Raspberry which might look good, but I will wait until it’s put together before I decide!

Happy Hooking,

Delicious Anticipation

You know that feeling when you have finished a project – happy that it has turned out well and sad in some ways because you’ve finished it  – but then there’s this moment when lots of ideas start to crowd into your head – what will the next project be, what colours, what type of yarn – ooohhh the possibilities are endless!

It’s that moment of delicious anticipation that I could experience all day long!  In some ways for me it’s about the hunting out of the pattern, seeing if it is exactly what you want, or whether you can alter it in some way to suit your purpose, choosing the yarn, the stitches you are going to use and all those bits before you even get close to your foundation chain!

My next project, I’ve decided,  will be a type of shawl that I can use in the winter to wrap round me while I am watching the telly or hooking away in our draughty living room!  I’ve chosen some yummy colours and the yarn choice is Katia Merino.  I have purchased two 50g balls each in the following colours – 3, 4, 10, 12, 13, 22, 29, 31 and 57 (they obviously can’t be bothered to give them names – shame as you could have such fun naming them!) but the yarn is supersoft 100% Extra Fine Merino Wool from Spain – here’s a pic (with 7 of the colours) so you get the idea

All a bit extravagent but I hope it will keep me warm.  I’ve found a brilliant pattern from a blog I follow, Moogly, and the pattern is called Leaping Stripes and Blocks which I hope will merge all the colours in really well so they look like leaves on an Autumn tree!
So I’ve got the yarn, I ‘ve got the stitch pattern I am going to use, now I need to find a pattern to follow, or bits of patterns that I can cobble together to make a shawl.  Watch this space for progress!
Are you anticipating something of a hooky (or not) nature!
Love Craft Hippy xox

Busy Bee

Apologies for my tardiness when it comes to this latest post – life has been so hectic for the past couple of weeks – especially at work – that I’ve not found the time to sit down with my computer!  

So apology over – I have found a brilliant new crochet book (not that I don’t already own oodles of them!) but this one is absolutely brilliant if, like me, you have been crocheting a while (couple of years) but still seem to know nothing!

This is Crochet Step by Step by Sally Harding and I bought mine from Amazon. It contains various sections including information about yarn types

How to mix and match colours

How to understand stitch diagrams (as well as the written instructions)

As well as twenty rather lovely patterns to follow in the last section, including these gorgeous booties!

What’s not to like?  And all in easy to read English with clear and colourful photographs of basic stitches as well as more complicated edgings and lacework.

Something for everyone then – definitely – it has been a useful source for me – going over basic stuff but also showing a picture so that you cement it in your mind.  And all for £8.96.  What a bargain!

Love Craft Hippy xxx

The Yarn Fairy’s Been Again!

I am becoming slightly obsessed by yarn – in fact I think I’ve probably got enough to open a shop but I can’t help myself – too many bargains and too many projects to conquer!

I blame Lucy at Attic24.  She happened to mention that Wool Warehouse were having another of their fantabulous sales and I just can’t resist a bargain so off I trotted into internet land to get myself something gorgeous for another project I am planning.

Yes, I know, shouldn’t I finish off my other projects first!  Well, quite frankly, no I should not, otherwise I will become bored and have nothing to chop and change between.  Mind you, what with the Granny Stripe Blanket and my Random Stitch Blanket currently on the boil perhaps another project is a project too far!

Sadly my itchy internet finger didn’t agree and before I knew where I was, twenty balls of the most beaudelicious, soft and cuddly, scrumptious-coloured Baby Merino yarn found its way into my basket and, Pow!, several PayPal clicks later and it was mine!

And I think you’ll agree that it is soooooooo gorgeous and soft and squidgy and full of baby loveliness! Sorry, I need to calm down.

Normally £3.10 per 50g ball, this is currently £2.00 ladies and gentleman, so grab yourself a bargain while you can! – and thank you Lucy for your tip!

What’s the project then, I hear you scream.  Well – wait for it – I am planning to do a beautiful baby blanket for my cousin’s daughter (never sure if this is my second cousin or cousin once removed but anyhow). She is expecting her first baby in August so I have a few months to get organised and finish the blanket.

I’ve chosen a pattern from Cute and Easy Crochet called the Camellia Blanket which has plain granny squares interspersed with ones with the most gorgeous flowers on and the Baby Merino I have chosen is in four colours – Light Yellow, Ice Blue, Light Old Pink and Light Mint.

Here are a couple of pics of the blanket but if you want to know more, then go buy the book!

I think you’ll agree – too gorgeous for words! It seems quite a fine yarn so I am going to start with a 3.5mm hook and see if this works.  Watch this space, fellow happy hookers.

Love Craft Hippy