Friday, December 3, 2010

Hang up

Perhaps it's from seeing Mommie Dearest too many times growing up, but I can NOT bring myself to use wire hangers.


The next natural choice, of course, is plastic. I've been using plastic hangers for as long as I can remember and have never had any problems. Now either they just don't make them like they used to, or the plastic hangers available here in Australia are just bad quality. But between my husband and I, we seem to break an average of 2 or 3 plastic hangers a week. It's expensive, it's wasteful, and it's frustrating.


I NEVER thought I'd be the kind of person who would want, or use, a crocheted hanger. I've always thought they were a bit daggy. Not to mention op shops / thrift stores seem to be choking with old unwanted ones. I suppose part of me never wanted to make one because it made me sad to think it would end up some day as an unwanted item in an op shop. But as they say, never say never.

Due to my frustration of the broken plastic hangers, I used some of my leftover Sugar & Cream and Peaches & Cream cotton to cover two hangers. Hhhhmmm, not too bad. They aren't too ugly. And they help cushion the clothes a bit versus just plain wood (and don't seem to leave those little pointed shoulder marks).



Recently the Crochet Lover's Victoria group on Ravelry had a trio of hangers swap. After looking up some of my partner's likes & dislikes in regard to colour, I got to work. First out of the gate was a plain SC hanger cover made from Moda Vera Isabella. It's acrylic but very soft and squishy. It's a fun bright blue with little flecks in it as well. I was worried my partner would think the hanger was a bit plain as is, so I picked up the yellow and orange of some of the flecks, and added a crocheted flower to it.




One down. Two to go. Second on the list was a lovely Tiffany-esque blue in Kate Espiga cotton. It's super soft and really shows off stitches well. I winged my own pattern of bobble stitches for the second hanger. I'm super happy with the results. I had a little bit of trouble sending this one off, I have to say!



Two down. One to go! For the third and final hanger, I decided to make a striped hanger. My partner's birthday is the 5th of December so I alternated the stripes based on those numbers... 5, 1, 2, repeat. This idea is good in theory, and I think it came out well, but the ends.... oh the ends!!!!! I didn't realise until I was about halfway done how many ends I would have to weave in! Trust me when I say I won't be doing this again. It took me about two hours to weave all those ends in. Way too much work for a hanger! Live and learn. For the finishing touch, I used the two colours together to add a little curlique.





I also received three lovely hangers in return from the person who had me for the swap.


While I was feeling the hanger vibe, I decided to make a couple more for myself. I'd eventually like to get rid of all those plastic hangers. I'm sure it won't take long. I'm not buying any more, and with how many break each week...









These may well end up unwanted in an op shop someday, but I'm okay with that now. In the mean time they will be used and appreciated. And they will save me from all the frustration of nearly daily snapped plastic hangers. I think Mommie Dearest would be proud, too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Babette is Done!

Yippee, it's done, it's done!!!! Even after having to put it on hold for two weeks due to running out of the main colour, I still finished this sucker in less than a month. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm so proud of myself. I usually get "start-itis" - love starting things, but the finishing? Not so much.

Here are some (okay, a lot) of pics of the finished product.






Okay, I'm off to go do my happy dance now :)

Edited to add: I posted the following information for a fellow Babette-maker on Ravelry and was told it was very useful. So, I've decided to post it here in case anyone else is interested.


Well, I used 14 colours - and they were all 200 gram balls. But with the exception of the almond/cream which I ended up using a total of 280 grams of, I had heaps left over of the other 13 colours.

Being a bit of a nerd, and so I’d know for future Babette making, I actually went and weighed all my balls at the end to see how much I’d actually used. So in addition to the 280 grams of almond, here’s what else I used.

Celery (light green) = 115 grams
Guava (dark green) = 49 grams
Aster (lavender) = 115 grams
Blueberry (dark purple) = 90 grams
Butternut (peach) = 98 grams
Pumpkin (orange) = 92 grams
Rose pink (light pink) = 86 grams
Lipstick pink (dark pink) = 88 grams
Maize (light yellow) = 76 grams
Seaquest (light turquoise) = 72 grams
Poseidon (dark turquoise) = 85 grams
Iris (blue) = 97 grams
Periwinkle (light blue) = 88 grams

So that’s 1431 grams all up, which includes the SC join and two rounds of SC border. The actual blanket probably weights a little bit less as that includes all the yarn I used… so tails have been eliminated. I used a 4mm hook and BWM 8ply wool.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


At the beginning of the year, when I received my new 2010 shade card from Bendigo Woollen Mills, several of the colours really jumped out at me. I'd previously seen the Babette blanket pattern and was very keen to make one. I pulled the appropriate colours from the shade card & set them aside for future "Babette-making."

Fast forward to October (geez, where'd the time go) and I FINALLY ordered the wool to make a Babette. Isn't it pretty?

Of course, this very wool went on sale less than a week after I'd ordered it all, but hey, them's the breaks.


I got to work that very day on making the Babette. The blanket is assembled in 10 different sections. I decided I would make the sections in order and assemble them as I go to help keep all those many, many squares organised. I also decided that I would follow the pattern as written, substituting my Bendigo Woollen Mills colours for the ones outlined in the pattern. The only main alteration I made was using a single crochet join instead of whipstitch.

It wasn't long before I had sections 1 through 5 complete.

Plus section 6....
Plus section 7...
And sections 8 and 9 ...

Then just as I was starting in to section 10 (the final section), I ran out of the cream/almond main colour! Oops. I quickly ordered some more. I was on such a roll and I'm so bummed I've had to put this project on hold for a week and a half now. Every day I wait for the wool delivery to come, but I'm still waiting... sigh...

In the meantime, my adorable doggie has given the blanket-thus-far her seal of approval.


Now if the postie would just hurry up with that wool already!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's Snowing - My Snowflake Addiction

I've been going a little snowflake crazy lately. They are just so much fun to make!

Here are the first 19 I made. Since this photo was taken, I've got another 16 or so that I've completed. These suckers are addicting...


*Sorry the photo is a little blurry*

I am using bits and pieces of leftover yarn that I have from different projects, as well as sample yarns from Wangaratta Mills to make the first 5 rounds of the square. I am then doing the last two rows in Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply Luxury in black.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Woolly's Snowflake Square - Free Crochet Patterns

On a recent crochet retreat, one of the members (1woollywombat) shared a beautiful crochet blanket she found at an op shop for only $3 or $4! It's a beautiful blanket and I really love the squares it used.

Later that night I set about trying to replicate the square while I had the original in front of me - I reckon I got it spot on, or at the least, very darn close!

I used a 4mm hook and approximately 8ply yarn (DK weight) which gave me a perfect 6 inch square. I reckon if you were to make it with a worsted weight/10ply yarn and a 5mm hook, it would give you an 8 inch square.

Please be advised, I am NOT claiming credit for this square, and I am NOT claiming to have designed it. Unfortunately I just don't know the origins of the square and/or if a pattern for the original exists somewhere out there.

Woolly's Snowflake Square - FREE Crochet Pattern
6 inch / 8 inch version

snowflake 006
snowflake 001

To make the 6 inch version, use a 4mm hook and 8ply (DK weight) yarn
To make the 8 inch version, use a 5mm hook and 10 ply (worsted weight) yarn

Stitches Used
Ch = chain
Sl-st = Slip Stitch
SC = Single Crochet
DC = Double Crochet
V-Stitch = DC, ch-1, DC (into same stitch or space)
Double-V-Stitch = 2DC, ch-2, 2DC (into same stitch or space)
Triple-V-Stich = 3DC, ch-3, 3DC (into same stitch or space)

Ch-6. Sl-st to first ch to form a ring.

Round 1: Ch-3. 15 DC into ring. Sl-st to top of beg ch-3. (16 DC made).

Round 2: Sl-st between any two DC of round 1. Ch-4, then DC in the same space (counts as first V-stitch). *Skip next 2DC and V-Stitch between DCs.* Repeat from * to * 6 times. Sl-st to 3rd ch of beg ch-4. (8 V-Stitches made).

Round 3: Sl-st to ch-1 space of any V-Stitch from round 2. (Ch-3, DC, ch-2, 2DC) into same Ch-1 space (first Double-V-Stitch made). *Double-V-Stitch in next ch-1 space.* Repeat from * to * 6 times. Sl-st to top of beg ch-3. (8 Double-V-Stitches made).

Round 4: Sl-st to ch-2 space of any Double-V-Stitch from round 3. (Ch-3, 2DC, ch-3, 3DC) into same ch-2 space (first Triple-V-Stitch made). *Triple-V-Stitch into next ch-2 space.* Repeat from * to * 6 times. Sl-st to top of beg ch-3. (8 Triple-V-Stitches made).

Round 5: Sl-st to ch-3 space of any Triple-V-Stitch from round 4. (Ch-3, 3DC, ch-2, 4DC) into the same ch-3 space (corner made). *8DC in next ch-3 space (side made). (4DC, ch-2, 4DC) in next ch-3 space.* Repeat from * to * 2 times. 8 DC in the last ch-3 space. Sl-st to top of beg ch-3. (4 corners & 4 sides made).

Round 6: Sl-st to any corner ch-2 space. (Note: with the exception of the corners, where you will be working into the chain spaces, all other stitches in this round are worked BETWEEN the stitches... this is what will give the previous round the spikey/snowflake-like appearance).

(Ch-3, DC, ch-2, 2DC) in the same corner space. *Now, do a SC between, the next 2 sts, HDC between the following two sts, and DC between the next two sts. DC between the group of 4 DC and 8 DC. Working between the stitches of the next 8 DC, you will do the following 7 stitches. DC, HDC, SC, SC, SC, HDC, DC. Now DC between the group of 8 and the next group of 4. Between the next 4 DC, you will DC, HDC, SC respectively. This takes you to the next corner ch-2 space. (2DC, ch-2, 2DC) in the corner space.* Repeat from * to * for each side. Sl-st to top of beg ch-3.

Round 7: Sl-st to any corner ch-2 space. (Ch-3, DC, ch-2, 2DC) in same space. DC in each st from previous row. In each corner ch-2 space (2DC, ch-2, 2DC). Continue around square. Sl-st to top of beg ch-3. Finish off.

10 OR 12 INCH VERSION - (Extended Remix Version)
As much as I love the square, I have a blanket of 12 inch squares, so I decided to keep going and create what I like to call the "extended remix."

To make a 10 or 12 inch version of this square, complete all of the instructions for the 6 or 8 inch version then continue on with rounds 8 - 11. Using a 4mm hook and 8ply (DK weight) yearn should give you a 10 inch square. Using a 5mm hook and 10 ply (DK weight) yarn should give you a 12 inch square.

Round 8: Sl-st to any ch-2 corner space. (Ch-3, DC, ch-2, 2DC) in same corner space. *Skip the next two DC of round 7 and V-stich into the third DC. Skip one st. V-stitch - repeat. Skip the last two DC of the side and (2DC, ch-2, 2DC) into the corner ch-2 space.* Repeat from * to * for the remaining three sides. (You should end up with 10 V-stitches on each side - not counting the corner stitches).

Round 9: Repeat row 8.

Round 10: SC in every stich of row 9 and (2SC, ch-2, 2SC) in each corner.

Round 11: Repeat row 10

I hope all of the instructions make sense - I'm a bit under the weather as I post this, so they make sense TO ME... hopefully they'll make sense to you, too! :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Facewasher Frenzy

When I was in the US in May, Joann's had a sale on Peaches N Cream and Sugar N Cream cotton. I LOVE that stuff, and it is hard and/or expensive to get here in Australia. Needless to say, I stocked up. And when I say stocked up, I mean STOCKED UP! Let's just say, it wouldn't all fit in one of the Joann's supersized shopping bags.

I'm a big fan of cotton - it's soft, it's breathable, no one is allergic to it. Lots of lovely reasons. But to be honest, I've never really understood the whole crochet or knitted dishcloth/washcloth/facewasher thing.

I once made a crocheted dishcloth out of corn fibre (I really got a kick out of the idea of washing my food off my dishes with... well, food!). Unfortunately I only had a little bit of the corn remainging from a scarf project so the dishcloth was pretty small. Too small. Second, my husband doesn't like the idea of a crochet dishcloth - he thought it was to Nanna-esque and he kept hiding it under the sink! Hmm, so much for that.

While I was overseas, I crocheted a few washcloths to give me something to do while relaxing. I decided I'd go ahead and use up a few of the "orphan" balls I'd rescued. (An orphan ball is a ball of yarn where there is only one of that particular colourway left in the shop. I always feel bad for that ball, figuring no one is going to want to buy it because, really, who buys only one ball of something?)
Anyhoo, after making said washcloths, I started using them in the shower. Hey, these are pretty nice. I think I get it now! They're soft yet scrubby. And it's kind of cool using a washcloth that you made.
It's currently winter here in Australia and quite cold. Most people would think it's the perfect time of year to work on nice heavy wool projects. Yes, in some respects it is. But my hands are soooo dry from this winter weather, that cotton is pretty much the only thing my hands feel like working with at the moment.

So first off was a birthday present for birthday swap. The recipient stated that she likes bright colours, so I worked up this little number for her.

I really liked the way it came out, and I still have half a ball left, so I made one for myself, too!

Then I went on to Ravelry and started looking up free dishcloth/washcloth patterns. I found a super cute Fish Washcloth Pattern and a cute little heart pattern, too. During the course of watching one TV show, I was able to whip out two little fishies in a blue, yellow and white colourway. I was then able to crank out a cute little pink and white heart.

When asking my husband what kind of washcloth he'd like me to make for him in the orphaned ball of camoflauge coloured cottoned I'd picked up for him, he chose the fish.

And I was so in love with the pink heart, I had to make another one.

One of the fish and one of the hearts are destined for gifts, but I'm looking forward to enjoying the other two myself.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Face Case

I was really tempted to call it Head Case but at least you get the rhyming with Face Case. :)

I made this little bag to keep my new mineral makeup travel compact safe and secure while floating around in my handbag. I love the fun bright pink colour - which also makes it easy to locate.

The case protects the compact from getting scratched up and I don't have to worry about it accidentally popping open when it shouldn't.


My apologies to Lion Brand, it’s not the pattern… it’s me. I really really stink at making amigurumi. In fact, I should be banned from doing so again in the future.

This “creature” started out as a giraffe, and then ended up looking like some weird monkey-like creature… I have therefore renamed him “Girkey” (pronounced Jerky).

I made this for a swap partner who likes amigurumi and giraffes, but dislikes the colour brown. I thought I’d be clever and make it for her in one of her favourite colours… purple. That was my first mistake.

After I’d completely finished the body, I realised that it wasn’t looking very giraffe-like. It seems I’d forgotten to do rows 14-25 (aka “the neck”). Second mistake.

I was running out of time to finish and get this posted off in time, so I decided to make my own decorations/embellishments and turn it into a slighly different creature. Yep. That was my third mistake.

And the fourth and worst mistake of all? The face. I really don’t have the knack for making cute faces. My husband wasn’t lucky enough to see this “creation” in person, but when I showed him the photos he remarked “That looks like something out of some poor kid’s nightmare.” Under other circumstances I may have been insulted, but unfortunately he was 100% right.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

White & Silver Ballroom Scarves

There is a really fun sparkly yarn available from Spotlight called Moda Vera Ballroom. The problem? It's usually $8.99 for a 50 gram ball. That's a little bit rich for me, especially for an unknown, potentially "disastrous-to-work-with" ball of yarn.

It's always looked quite intriguing and I've been eyeing it off every time I go to Spotlight, but it's never been on sale... until recently! Back in May, Ballroom was FINALLY on sale - time to play :)
I'm not really a bling/sparkly kind of person, but I thought my younger nieces might each enjoy a sparkly scarf. I bought two balls of the white with silver Ballroom. I was able to squeeze one scarf out of each 50 gram ball for a total of two scarves. They were a quite skinny (which I liked), but a bit shorter than I would have preferred. Luckily they were for kids :)

I just made the scarfs out of a loose double crochet to help show off the silver sparkles of the yarn and give the blingy bits room to shine through.

I forgot to take any pictures of the actual scarves, but fortunately I snapped this pic of Niece10 modelling one of them.