Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Pig crochet pattern

This little piggy is very quick & easy to make. I made the pattern up as I went as part of a crochet farm for my son & really enjoy making them so expect he'll end up with a whole litter.. I've had so many lovely comments I decided I'd share how I do it.
I've had this pattern mostly written up for about 3 weeks now and have only just had the opportunity to finish it off. I haven't fully tested it but did write while I crocheted & have made it several times. This is the first pattern I've written so I hope it's clear enough & there are no mistakes! Please comment & let me know if I need to make anything clear or if you use it to make your own little piggy :o) I'll add more pictures & test the pattern as soon as I can.

The pattern is worked in the round starting at the nose. The row/round number is at the start & number of stitches in each round is in (brackets) at the end
Abbreviations used;
sc = single crochet (I use US terms so where I say sc I mean a UK
double crochet)
sc2tog = crochet 2 single crochet stitches together decreasing by one stitch.
2sc = make 2 single crochet stitches in one stitch
St = stitch
Sl st = slip stitch
Ch = chain
rep = repeat

Main body; snout to tail

1. Magic ring 6 st (this is dead simple once you can do it but if not ch3, attach in a circle with a sl st & 2sc in each st to get a 6st circle)

2. Sc in each st only inserting the hook throught the loop on the wrong side of your work. (leaving the loop free on the side that will show gives a clearer line around the snout)

3. Sc in each st. & join with a sl st (6)

4. Sc in first 2 st then 2sc in each st. To end (10)

Sc in first 2 st then *sc 2sc sc* rep between ** to end (14)

Sc in first 2 st then *sc, sc, 2sc, sc* rep between ** to end (18)

Sc in first 2 st then *sc,sc,2sc,sc,sc* rep between ** to end (22)

Sc in all (22)

Sc 8, *ch4, in 4ch; sc in 2nd ch From hook, hdc, hdc, join to same st with a sl st* sc6, rep **, sc8 (22)

Rounds 10 to 17. Sc all (22)

2sc *Sc, sc2tog, sc* rep ** to end (18)

. *Sc, sc2tog* rep to end (12)

. sc2tog to end (6) join with sl st & tie, leaving a long tail to close end

Stuff the body & use a yarn needle to close the hole making sure each
stitch is picked up. Tie at the top of the now closed hole, tie a knot
in the end of the yarn; this is the tail.

Legs (make 4)

Magic ring 6 st

2. Sc in each st only inserting the hook throught the loop on the wrong side. (gives A clearer line around the edge)

Sc in each st. (6) Sl st, bind off leaving a tail long enough to attach to body

Attach legs to body using a yarn darning needle. The front legs should be attached under the body with the front about in line with the ears. The back of the back legs should be in line with the last row before you began to reduce stitches.

NB. When attaching the legs (or other appropriate body parts for different projects!) I find I get a neater result by pushing the needle up through the stitch on the body (in the gap, never through the yarn) threading it through both loops of the stitch on the edge of the leg and then back into the same gap on the body. Does that make sense?! If you use two "holes" it just doesn't seem so neat in my experience.

Enjoy :o)

Monday, 2 November 2009

Been busy hooking...

Goodness it's been a while! I have not been shirking in my making of
things though and have crammed in lots of little projects despite one
child starting preschool and the other having croup & colds...

Patchwork skirt for Lyra

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

crochet bunny

I made this little chap for my cousin's new baby boy (hence the blue ribbon) and was pretty pleased with how he turned out. The head, body & limbs were all croceted individually in the round & the ears with side-to-side crochet - they were the fiddly bit & surprised me with how long they took. The head is an egg shape with the nose embroidered ont he apex of the "egg".
I started each part with a 6-st magic ring , increasing the 2nd row by 6 st (2sc in each st) the 2nd row also by 6 st (sc, 2sc, sc, 2sc etc etc ) & I think subsequent rows by 3sc each round until I had the desired size, then sc all round & decrease appropriately for the correct shape.... to be honest I didn't follow a pattern at all & just did what I felt it needed at each pint.
The ears were 2 layers the same shape, 1 pink 1 cream, then used sc them together all around the edge..(see here for some nice clear crochet tutorials if you don't have a clue what I'm talking about!!)
The head & ears are securely stitched on with needle & cream yarn but the limbs are jointed - by threading yarn through the body so the same piece of yarn attaches each pair of limbs in one small spot on the body, going backwards and forwards several times so that they are firmly attached but still move... does that make sense?!
I embroidered the face on with yarn. Mr bunny is about 7 inches tall, maybe a little more including his ears, & I was very happy with him. Just hope baby Alex likes him too!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

mmmmm caramel shortbread *drool*

title says it all really, I tried out Lucy's recipe for millionaire's shortbread yesterday (with some help from Lyra!) & so we have a plate of yummy sticky sweet shortbready, caramel-fudgey, chocolatey goodness in the fridge (temporarily I feel!)
very good, though shortbread a wee bit too crumbly so think I will need to knead it a bit more next time so it isn't so short (i.e. crumbly). sure I'll try it again though!!!!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

moisturising milk bath bags...

My own recipe for lovely oaty bundles of goodness to pop in your bath, they make the water feel lovely and soft without containing any nasty petrochemicals....

a couple of large handfuls of porridge oats
2 generous tablespoons of dried skimmed milk
a dessert spoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon coconut oil/ sweet almond oil
1 tablespoon cocoa butter grated or chopped into tiny bits
several drops (I'd even say a teaspoon worth) of essential oils of your choice for fragrance - I chose lavender and bergamot for a relaxing bath for the children but you use whatever you fancy, I don't mind at all :o)

to make the bags -

6-8 inch squares of muslin
a pretty ribbon (optional!)

Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and use your fingers to rub them all together until they are well combined and it looks like you just have a bowl of oats.

Place a large spoonful into the middle of your muslin (I put the muslin in a little glass first to keep it as tidy as possible), pick the muslin up by the corners and tie the opening securely with the string/yarn - knot in a double knot.

finish with a pretty ribbon.

Put into a nice warm bath.

That's it, nothing else to it - wasn't that simple!

I made these with the help of my 2-year-old daughter and she loved getting her hands in & mixing it up - it id get a little messy though and we made a few too many because she kept on adding more of everything! I think they are rather pretty and a lovely little idea for a gift if you're making a hamper or goodie bag for somebody... It's all good stuff, really good for your skin too. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

getting hooked...

My current obsession is crochet and its versatility to make all sorts of things... I've spent the past week or so lusting after everything here - Lucy's use of bright colours that always seem to work and look beautiful is truly inspirational. I need to make a bag, ablanket and lots of little flowers, really I do. While lusting I have been making a number of little flowers myself based on this pattern as they are puffy, making a nice padded texture perfect for a camera bag, which is what I want tomake. I'm using orange, chocolate brown and cream for now but I'm doubtless that Lucy's gorgeous creations have inspired me enough to use more...
Incidentally the zombie I am making freestyle is almost complete & ready to share.. I'm rather proud of him....
Making things does fill me with a feeling of achievment and the prettiness of things I make makes me feel all lovely too. There really aren't enough hours in the day!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Easy strawberry jam

This is such an easy recipe and I personally think the jam is about the best I've tasted if I do say so myself! It's dead simple and it doesn't use ridiculous amounts of sugar because it really doesn't need to last for *years* does it - it's so yummy that months would be pushing it but I expect it would last a year or so in sealed sterile jars. The boiling of the jam and sterilisation of the jars negates the need for masses of sugar and you really don't need pectin as strawberries contain enough themselves for it to set. OK there are plenty of recipes for strawberry jam online but this is my version - I don't usually do following recipes.

Ingredients -
1kilo strawberries (washed and hulled)
50ml lemon juice
300g granulated sugar

Make sure the jars and lids you will be using are very clean and fully sterilised, I use my baby bottle electric stream steriliser but you can wash the jars and lids thoroughly in very hot water then pop them on a baking tray and into an oven that has been heated to at least 100 degrees centigrade. Turn the oven off & leave them for at least 10 minutes. Once you remove them don't touch the inside of the jars or lids as that will undo your sterilisation. simple!

put all the ingredients together in a large saucepan and get your (clean!) hands in there and squish it all together until the strawberries are mostly mashed up with some medium sized lumps still remaining and it's all mixed together & a gorgeously glistening red..
Put the pan on the hob and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down and simmer the jam, stirring and removing the foam that develops on top every 5 minutes or so.
After about 25 minutes do the cold plate test to see if the jam sets (put a blob of jam on a cold plate and allow it to cool. run a finger through it to check its consistency) - if the jam is too runny simmer for another 5-10 minutes and test again.
Once the jam is setting when tested pour the hot jam into the pre-sterilised jars leaving about 2cm at the top. put the lids on being careful not to touch the inside of jar or lid.
Allow to cool and eat :o)
On the jars have been opened do store in the fridge, otherwise it will last until you make the next batch!!!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Rainbow dress

What do you think of the lovely rainbow dress I made for Lyra? I cast on the first stitches for this when I was (unknowingly!) in early labour with Logan... 7 weeks later it was complete & ready to wear. Not exactly a dress to hide away in is it!!! I made up the pattern as I went along but this is basically what I did...
It wass knitted on circular needles & worked from the bottom up in stocking stitch... Each coloured stripe is 7 rows & think I cast on 174 stitches to start with on the circular needles... started knitting together part way throught he 2nd rainbow to add some shape to the skirt then when I got to the end of 2 full sets of the colours I started knitting on normal needles, separating the front & back & after 2 bands of colour started reducing the number of stitces by knitting 2 stitches together on each end of rows I was reducing, think it was aleternate rows to start with & then the middle row of each colour band to shape it into a pinafore....
I used 3.5mm circular needles & 3mm straight needles for the top because I thought the top could do with being a bit smaller knit & would be more likely to become stretched with wear. I used DK wool though so it would have been fine with 4mm needles for both & fewer stitches, I just wanted tight stitching to be 100% certain I didn't need to line it!! I bought verything I used on ebay lots cheaper than it would be in the shops... By the way to get stocking stith on circular needles you just knit all the way with no purl rows (just in case you didn't know)