Trinity Infinity Scarf

Trinity Knitted Scarf

Talk about lace knitting and many knitters will squeak quietly, retreat into a corner and hope nobody asks them about it.

It can be a very daunting challenge for the novice knitter. All those complicated stitches, in complicated patterns, with yarn that is so thin you can barely see it.

Lace doesn’t have to be like that though.  You don’t need many lace stitches to give a beautiful lace effect and is doesn’t have to be done with lace weight yarn.  After all, lace knitting is simply a matter of creating strategically placed holes in your work and holes are holes regardless of the thickness of the yarn.

Personally I love lace, but then I love complicated stuff in any form, I can’t help it. More satisfying than creating my own complicated stuff though, is helping others to gain a bit more confidence with the complicated stuff too.

So, back to the project in question.  The Trinity Scarf.  It’s a lace infinity scarf, made a bit thicker than normal and with an easy pattern repeat.  Don’t panic about the infinity bit, all that means is that the ends are joined together to give you one complete loop, which doesn’t need to be complicated at all.

I believe I actually made this scarf well over a year ago with the intention of using it in a beginner workshop and it has been sat on my desk ever since, waiting for me to write the pattern up.  I don’t know why it has taken me so long, I guess I have quite a large pile of work on my desk and this one kept escaping back to the bottom.  That’ssuch a lame excuse, but no longer, it’s finished now.

The pattern is only four rows and the main stitch repeat is only eleven stitches. That’s right, just four rows and a handful of stitches, so no getting lost in massive lace charts or having to write down every single row.  The rows don’t even take that long to do.  There are lace patterns I have done in the past with 500+ stitches on a row which have taken me up to half an hour to do one row.  It’s a bit demoralising when you go to bed after an hour of knitting and you’ve only done two rows.  Not with this pattern.

Trinity Knitted Lace Scarf by Wool Monkey

Here’s a brief look at what the stitches look like.

The other thing I love about this pattern is that it is very versatile.  You can easily make it as long or as wide as you like.  The instructions are all there and easy to do.  Plus, it’s worked in DK yarn, giving you a whole World of choice about what yarn to use.  I used Rowan Alpaca Colour for mine, mainly because I had it to hand, but also because of the lovely and very gradual changes in colour that is gives.   Of course, it’s also lovely and soft because it’s alpaca!

It’s totally your choice what you use and it doesn’t use a lot of yarn, so you can afford to be extravagant if you wish.  I think  something with a little bit of weight to it is nice, as it gives  a good drape, but then again, you could go for the light and airy feel…

If you do want to complicate things then there is of course one way to make the pattern tricky.  When you knit your scarf you have the option to either sew your ends together to make the infinity, or GRAFT your ends together.  I can picture some of you shuddering at the thought, or looking at me slightly bewildered.Trinity Knitted Lace Scarf by Wool Monkey

Grafting is a form of sewing up, but in such a way that you try to create a row of extra stitches between the two pieces which completely hide the join.  If you’ve never had a go before try it, with two pieces of stocking stitch first, so that you have an idea of what it is all about.  There are plenty of instructions out there on the web that should help you get started.  Eventually I will post some notes in the tutorials section, but I haven’t written them yet, sorry about that. Be warned though, that when it comes to grafting lace stitches things can get a bit gritty.  Be prepared for a lot of concentration and most likely a little bit of creative language to go with it.

So, if you would like to have a go, the pattern is available from my Etsy shop

Trinity Lace Scarf Knitting Pattern

Or, if you have any questions, do get in touch, it’s always good to hear from you.

Happy knitting!

Trinity Knitted Lace Scarf by Wool Monkey
Trinity Knitted Lace Scarf by Wool Monkey

 

If you would like to try a little more lace knitting then I know several people who found this book really useful…   (click on the link below for more info)

Old Favourite – Children’s Poncho

Sometimes the old fashioned stuff just works the best.

Just a simple granny crochet poncho, with a little bit of detail.

Kid's Granny Style Crochet Poncho

 

I created this little poncho number whilst I was running my Wool Monkey shop as I had a high demand for poncho patterns one winter.  I thought there was a need out there for a really simple, kids, crochet poncho.  I never expected it to be such a hit, but it has turned out to be one of my most popular patterns ever since.

I think on this occasion I owe a fair amount of credit to my youngest daughter.  She chose the colours that I used to make the poncho and she did a very good job of modelling the poncho for me once it was finished.  She looked super sweet and posed like a super star. Sometimes she is good like that.  Sometimes she is far from it!

Kid's Granny Style Crochet Poncho

She has become quite accustomed to modelling things that her Mummy has made now, although often she thinks she will get to keep them afterwards.  (This is not usually the case).  Sadly she’s getting bigger though and even though she is still, in my eyes at least, very cute, she is far from being a photogenic toddler anymore!   I could do with a replacement.  That most definitely does NOT mean I will be having anymore children however!

I think I have made this poncho several times over now in many different yarns and colours, for many different children.  It turns out that even boys quite like ponchos too.

It’s also quite an easy one to adjust the size too, just keep crocheting until it fits. It really is very simple.  I guess it is still true that simple things often work the best. It’s been a while since I made one now, maybe that’s what I shall do this weekend.  If you would like the pattern to make your own, it is still available on Etsy and hopefully will be for a long time to come.

Kids Simple V Crochet Poncho Pattern

 

The only problem patterns like this create for me, is what to create next to keep up with it?  Maybe I should ask my daughter what she thinks I should make…

Kid's Basic V Granny Crochet Poncho

 

 

Here are a couple of books that I have found contain some really good children’s crochet patterns too:    (click on the images to go look inside the books)

 

Baby Sunshine Blanket

OK, so I admit, I really enjoyed making my Moroccan Desert Blanket sooooooo much that I have made a new version.  I couldn’t help myself. I wasn’t entirely sure what size it was going to be when I started, or how the colours were going to work, but just had to start it.

Crochet Baby Sunshine Blanket by Wool Monkey

This new one was a little bit quicker though and grew so fast that I didn’t have much chance to think about the colours.

For starters it was made using chunky yarn and it’s only baby/toddler sized.  Hence, it didn’t take me twelve months to make it, it took less than two weeks.

It was still very addictive to make though, I could happily have made it bigger!  Crochet Baby Sunshine Blanket by Wool Monkey

The stitch I used is the same as the stitch used in the Moroccan Desert Blanket, Houndstooth check, in three colours.  The only real difference is the yarn and the sizing.  I have written up the pattern for this one too though, for those of you who prefer quicker projects!

Baby Sunshine Blanket Pattern

As this blanket grew, I realised that the colours were getting very bright.  Probably too bright for most adults.  But for kids it’s perfect. Eventually the colour pattern started to look a bit like a rainbow and my kids love it so much that I am now pondering making one for them.  Which of course would turn into two blankets for them as they fight over everything.

I do love working with bright colours, it’s a bit frivolous, but is really good for cheering you up on gloomy winter evenings.

The yarn I used is Schachenmayr Boston Sun, a chunky blend of cotton and acrylic and it gives the blanket a wonderful, slightly heavy, floppy feel to it. It’s not a commonly used yarn, but I would recommend you give it a go if you haven’t tried it before.  Youcould of course make the blanket in whatever you fancy.  But, chunky works well, as it grows so fast!

Here it is in all it’s finished glory!

Crochet Baby Sunshine Blanket by Wool Monkey
Crochet Baby Sunshine Blanket by Wool Monkey

 

Here is the yarn, Boston Sun, which I used for the blanket and a couple of alternatives.  (click on the images to find a price)

 

84,900 stitch blanket

About this time last year, I had finished all my crochet projects and was looking for something new to do.  So, I thought, I know I’ll do a new blanket, (I like making blankets). A nice quick stitch, so it doesn’t take too long.  Maybe I’ll have a look at what random colours I have lying around and see what matches up…

I found that I had loads of colours that when put together reminded me of Morocco.

Crochet Moroccan Desert Blanket Pattern Inspiration

The colour palette looked like it had just come straight out of a desert bazaar. I decided upon an old fashioned hounds tooth stitch in three colours and thought I might do a kind of gradual colour progression. Shouldn’t take too long.

Famous last words.

As ever I didn’t bother with a pattern, I just make it up as I am going along.  I wanted a nice big blanket, so I did my foundation chain nice and long.  Ooops.  Perhaps a bit too long this time.  Nevermind I thought, I ‘ll carry on anyway and make this a really big blanket!  I was enjoying the simplicty of it and the three colour, changing pattern was working well.

Crochet Moroccan Desert Blanket

 

And then of course, other projects interfered.  So the blanket got shelved temporarily. This seems to happen to me a lot when I am making blankets.  Quicker shorter projects, usually requests by other people always have a habit of taking priority over what I really want to do.

 

So, late spring came and went and then finally, during the summer I had a few weeks of working on my blanket again. It grew quite quickly too, considering how wide it was.  When I sat on the sofa working on it, it almost covered my feet now. This would have been great if it was winter and it wasn’t making me so warm!

Crochet Moroccan Desert Blanket Pattern

And then the inevitable happened and it got shelved again.  There was a small part of me that was starting to wonder just how big this blanket was going to end up. I really had done the rows far too long and at the moment it was a long thin rectangle. I was going to have to do soooo many more rows to make it balance out.  Hmmm.  More yarn was going to be needed.

Well, suddenly it was December and miraculously I didn’t have any other projects to work on.  None.   I was down to just my blanket.  This is a true rarity as I usually have at least four projects on the go.  So, one final push and I thought I could finish it by Christmas.  I’d forgotten how big it was. After a week or so of working on it I needed more yarn.  Which I promptly used up.  It wasn’t big enough.  So I found some more yarn.  Still not big enough.

Crochet Moroccan Desert Blanket Pattern

Eventually, the week after Christmas I made a decision that enough was enough and once I had finished the colours I was using that I would stop.

Sometimes it’s hard to stop when you’re enjoying making a blanket.  The temptation to make it just a little bit bigger creeps up on you…

I’m not sure what it is about this blanket that I love, other than that it has kept my legs warm throughout December, but I think it is going to become one of my favourites.  The texture is really lovely.  It doesn’t feel like a crocheted blanket, it feels like a woven blanket, with a dense and fabric-like structure to it.  The colour patterning is so simple, yet looks really effective.

So, now it’s January and I have finally finished the blanket.  Time to measure it.  It’s somewhat larger than I originally envisioned, being 175cm wide and 150cm long,  but that’s a bonus as it fits a double bed comfortably and you can get several people under it at once on the sofa. Then I had a thought about the number of stitches.  It’s not something I normally think about, but I got curious about how many stitches there were in my blanket.  So I worked it out.  I thought there might be quite a few but I wasn’t ready for 84,900. (give or take a couple).  Wow!  That’s a lot of stitches.  In fact that’s a seriously large number of stitches.  Makes it sound really impressive.  Made me wonder how many stitches, crochet or knitting, I do in a year. Think I’ll leave that calculation for another day.

Here it is, the finished item.  I have called it my Moroccan Desert Blanket.

Crochet Moroccan Desert Blanket Pattern

It’s definitely my favourite so far and very easy.  I might have to make another one.

If you fancy making one, I have put the pattern on Etsy and there is a brief video tutorial on the hounds tooth stitch in my tutorial section.

Moroccan Desert Blanket Crochet Pattern

You don’t have to make it a giant blanket, it is easy to adjust the size and make a smaller one.  Send us pics if you make any good ones.

Happy Crocheting!

Crochet Moroccan Desert Blanket Pattern

 

 

 

I used a mixture of yarns in the blanket above, but here are some of my favourites.  (click on the images to find links to the yarns)

 

Knitting for Charity

So, Christmas is over and like many of us you might have spent the last few months knitting Christmas presents for friends and relatives.  It’s something we all do from time to time when we feel the need to be creative and need an excuse to make things. Plus, it’s nice to give presents that you’ve made.  But then suddenly, after Christmas, you have fulfilled all your gift requirements and no longer have any projects to make.  Panic!

You need a new project, fast.  But what?

Well, nobody you know needs anything and you already have a full wardrobe of woolly goodies, so how about making something for somebody unknown?  Somebody who needs anything you can give because they have nothing. Or, somebody who needs a bit of a hand up in life.  After all the excesses of Christmas maybe a bit of charity would be good for the soul.

knit-for-charoy2

Knitting, or crocheting for charity is a lovely thing to do.  There is nothing more soothing when you’re in a bad place than something warm and cosy, handmade by somebody else and filled with love.  It offers comfort and sometimes a bit of hope that the future is not always going to be bleak. Plus of course, the good feelings and sense of well being that it generates for you.  Sometimes you can be in need of that warm cosy feeling just as much as the person receiving your knitting, you just don’t realise it. Like I said, it’s good for the soul.

So, there are many different ways you can join in. Blankets, hats, clothing, twiddle mats, toys to name but a few. There are lots of organisations out there asking for donations and it’s up to you to decide how you think you could best contribute, but here are just a few things to consider before you go leaping in headfirst.

Check your Charity.  By this I mean do a bit of research and find out about the charity that you are going to donate to.  Make sure they are real, that their motives are genuine and that all your hard work is going to get to the people that need it the most and not be wasted or worse. Most organisations have websites and you can also check their status using the charities register and similar.

Make sure that the charity wants knitted or crocheted items.  (Some don’t).  Look for any specific requirements they have for particular items or  sizes and make sure that what they want is something that you want to make.  Don’t put yourself in a position where the making suddenly becomes a burden for you.  Also check if they have any specific yarn requirements, such as acrylic or machine washable or similar that you need to consider before starting.

Lastly, be aware that they are not going to pay you to donate your work to them.  You are going to have to cover the cost yourself.  Don’t set out to create a pure wool blanket for refugees in Syria for example, without taking into account not only how much the yarn is going to cost you, but also any postage costs you might have to incur to get your item to the charity!  If you’re lucky you may be able to get somebody else to donate you some yarn. Local businesses or a friend who has her great grandma’s stash in the loft but never learnt to knit maybe.  Don’t be afraid to ask around, give somebody else the chance to get in on the act and you may be surprised how many people will want to contribute.  You could also team up with others, spread the cost and the work and make it a group project!

So, if you fancy a go, here are a few ideas for you to think about and websites that you might find interesting.

knit-for-peace

This is a great organisation, which I have worked for on several occasions.  They always have lots of projects on the go, for a large variety of different causes, often with patterns available for you to use for free and loads of interesting stuff on their website.  I can highly recommend going and having a peek.  It might just spark your interest with projects you never knew existed.

Knit for Peace

knit-a-square-new_0

 

The knit a square group is a great one to get involved in if you would like your projects to be really quick and simple. Lots of my regular customers from the Wool Monkey shop used to bring me squares on a regular basis to send away to these guys. They have ladies who then sew all the squares into blankets to be sent away and handed out in places where they are needed. They also have requests for other items too, always with instructions and patterns to help you get started. This is a great project for beginners, knitting squares is a good way to practice.

http://www.knit-a-square.com/

 

loving-hands

 

Loving Hands is a bit more of a forum type group, who focus onbringing like-minded crafters together to create for charities.  They aim to make sure that all handmade work goes directly to the people/animals who need it.  They have lots of information on local groups, free patterns and projects to join in with.

http://www.lovinghands.org.uk

I could go on listing all the charities that need knitted items all day, but then this blog would become rather long.  But, you get the idea, that there is more out then than what you perhaps first thought.  A simple google search brings up hundreds of different ones. Or, you can visit the UK Hand Knitting Association website, where there is a list of charities for you to have a nosey at.

http://www.ukhandknitting.com/knitting-for-charity

 

I hope some of this sparks a new interest for you, so that your crafty hands don’t get bored. If you need anymore help or are unsure with any of it, get in touch and I’ll see if I can help you out.

Happy crafting!

 

twiddle-mats

 

 

 

 

Hexagons Galore

Sometimes I have to invent a new blanket, just to try something out that I haven’t done before. Sometimes I have to invent a new blanket just to try out a certain set of colours.

I have crocheted plenty of hexagons before, but can’t remember making them into a blanket before.  To be honest, I think I just got the urge to make a big hexagon blanket in repeating colours for a change.

So, I started making hexagons.  Then I continued making hexagons.  Then I made a few more hexagons. Then I had a pile of hexagons.

Crochet Hexagon Wool Blanket

I had reached that point where you start to think to yourself,  ” shall I sew some of these together now, so that I don’t have to do them all at once at the end?”.    This was closely followed by wondering if I should block the hexagons first.  It would make it easier to sew them together.  But then, wouldn’t it be better if I could block them all to be exactly the same size.  Imagine how much more straightforward that would be!

I was considering a polystyrene block and some cocktail sticks.  I thought I could pin them out on the block, one after the other, leaving the sticks in place so that each one ended up the same size. The only problems being that I didn’t have an appropriate piece of polystyrene and it would probably take longer to block the hexagons one by one than it was going to take me to crochet the whole blanket.  In the end  I had to ask my ‘other half’ if he had any polystyrene, which then meant that I had to explain to him what I was up to. That’s not usually a good thing.   He gave me that look that seems to imply that he thinks I am embarking on yet another mad, destined for disaster scheme. Then he told me to wait a couple of hours and he would find something.

A couple of hours later, plus a bit and look what I had!

Crochet Hexagon Wool Blanket Blocking

My very own, custom made, hexagon blocking device.  With bamboo skewers instead of cocktail sticks and hard MDF board with ready drilled holes instead of polystyrene.  The best bit too, is the fact that I could block a dozen hexagons all at once. Woohoo!

Crochet Hexagon Wool Blanket

 

 

My blocked hexagons were perfect.

 

 

 

All I need to do now is drill a few more holes in my new toy and then I can block other shapes and sizes too.  I had never seen anything like this for sale anywhere before and thought that there could be a market for them out there somewhere…  Well, maybe one day, but for now you have the idea, so at least you can make your own if you want to try it out.

Well, time to get sewing hexagons.  31 hexagons to be precise. It was surprisingly quick and enjoyable once they were all so neatly blocked.  Happy blanket making!

Crochet Hexagon Wool Blanket

If you are interested in the pattern for the blanket, it will be available on Etsy fairly soon.  Alternatively, the blanket itself is now for sale.

Hexagon Blanket

 

 
            

Spice Blanket Free Pattern

A little while ago one of my close friends decided to use up all her oddments and leftovers to make a blanket.  She didn’t make the usual granny blanket though, she just made a really simple blanket in rows, it turned out to be a really lovely blanket. She decided not to keep it though and sent it to the refugees in Syria.  I thought it was a lovely gesture and very generous.

It got me thinking, (as most things seem to).

It was a really quick blanket, really easy and a great way to either use up loads of leftover yarn, or to create a blanket with a multitude of different textures.  So I created a pattern, similar to what I thought my friend had created.  The beauty of it being that it is a great pattern for a beginner, fast to finish (for a blanket) and also really, really relaxing to make. Plus, you don’t get bored as you change yarn and colour every row!

Wool Monkey Crochet Spice Blanket Free Pattern

So, if you fancy giving it a try, then go and find yourself a whole heap of random yarns.  You can colour co-ordinate them or just use a complete mixture of colours, it’s up to you.  You will need at least 1500g OF YARN.  The more wool and natural fibres you include, the more warm and heavy your blanket will be, but also the more yarn you will need.  Try and stick to a mixture of DK, aran and chunky weight if you can, but with a mixture of different textures, fluffy, shiny, cotton, smooth, wool etc. etc.  The DK is worked using 2 strands together to create the thickness required to work with the other yarns.  You can always use 2 different strands together to create different effects if you wish.

You’re also gonna NEED a 5.5mm crochet hook.

Your TENSION should be approximately 9 or 10 treble stitches per 10cm using a 5.5mm hook. The tension is not crucial for this blanket, it will still work fine if you are a bit loose or a bit tight, but it will end up a slightly different size to what is stated.

The FINISHED SIZE of the blanket should be approximately 120cm wide and 150cm long, but it’s not an exact science.  It will vary according to your tension and the type of yarns your use. The width can very easily be changed by increasing or decreasing the number of starting chains.  To create the length you want simply keep working the rows until you reach the size you want.

Let’s have a look at the pattern.

FOUNDATION ROW    Using a 5.5mm hook, make 142 chains. spice-chains1

It is absolutely essential that you do not make your chains too tight or the edge of the blanket will be tighter than the rest and look pulled.  Your chains should look nice and loose. Don’t worry if you don’t have the exact number it will not affect the pattern, just the size of the blanket.

 

SET UP ROW   spice-trebles2

Working back along your foundation row, miss the first 2 chains, then do a treble crochet into the third chain. Follow this with 1 treble stitch into each chain to the end of the row.

 

 

ROW 1   spice-row-end3

Change to a different yarn. I picked my yarns blindly from my bag to make sure my blanket had a certain amount of randomness to it, but you can choose your yarns however you like. Bear in mind that because your yarns are all different some will go further than others and you may run out of some well before others too.

Using your new yarn, work 2 chain stitches, then turn your work.  These will count as a treble stitch at the beginning of the row.

spice-line-up-5

Work 1 treble stitch between the posts of the first and second stitches on the row below.

If you are worried that you are going to have lots and lots of yarn ends to sew in after you have finished your blanket then you can work the ends in as you go.  Hold the end of the yarns you need to work in above the row of stitches that you are about to work.  As you crochet a stitch make sure that you work around these strands and that they are incorporated inside the stitch.

spice6

Continue along the row, working 1 treble stitch between the posts of each stitch on the row below, to the end of the row.

The ends of the yarn you are working in will disappear into the centre of your stitches as you go.

 

Repeat Row 1 for every row of your blanket, changing to a different yarn for each row and preferably working the ends in as you go.

spice-7

When you have finished your blanket it is up to you whether you put an edge on your blanket or not.  If you do want to edge your blanket I think the easiest way is to do a round of double crochet stitches all the way around.

Choose a yarn, join your yarn to one corner of your blanket, do 2 double crochet stitches into the corner then double crochet stitches evenly all along the edge.  When you get to the next corner do 2 double crochet stitches again and then double crochets down the next side. Continue in this way until you have worked all the way around the blanket then slip stitch to join the end of the round and fasten off your yarn.  You’ll have to sew the end in this time though.

Wool Monkey Crochet Spice Blanket Free Pattern

 

So, then the only remaining question is what to do with your finished blanket?

Did you make it with a purpose, for a friend or relative? Or just to use up your oddments?

I wrote the pattern and have made it freely available in the hope that people might decide to use up their oddments for a good cause, but if you make it for yourself that is perfectly ok by me.

If you don’t really have a use for it and just made it for the sake of making it,  then why not donate it to a worthy cause?  Refugees, homeless, elderly, orphans – there are lots of people out there in need of warm blankets and it’s a little bit like giving a complete stranger  a massive hug.  It’ll make you feel all warm and cosy inside too knowing you’ve done something nice.  Either way, get in touch and show us your finished blankets, it’s always nice to see what folks have created.

Happy crocheting and thank you Sarah!

 

 

Mitts Galore

It turns out that the fingerless mitts from our recent workshop at Cafe Creme’s Crafty Cafe session were quite popular, so, I have left a basket of completed mitts in the Cafe for you all to purchase if you wish.

I figure that not everybody will want to make their own and that ready made is sometimes preferable. Christmas is coming after all and who doesn’t want some lovely warm, soft mitts as a pressie?  They are all made with blends of alpaca, silk and merino wool and they come in a range of lovely shades.

So, get yourself down to the cafe, on the High Street in Penistone and try a pair on.  Or, if North Sheffield is just a bit too far for you, get in touch and I will happily send you a pair.

If you would still prefer to make your own, the pattern is available on Etsy for the aran weight version and I will write up the pattern for the chunky version as soon as I get a minute.

Easy Peasy Crochet Mitts Pattern

 

When you’ve had a go and think you might like to make gloves and mittens for all your family for Christmas here are a couple of other books which have loads of patterns in them for you to try, so you don’t get bored.

(click on the images to go look inside the books)



Honley Lace Scarf

Knitted lace

I think it was Spring last year, whilst I was pondering the idea of things to do with my kids in the summer.  We often visit the local agricultural shows and similar and thought about trying a new one.  We hadn’t been to Honley Show before and it’s quite local to us, so I had a look at the website.  I wondered if they had a knitting section.  Or a crochet section.  I like to have a nosey.

It turned out they did.  (It’s always nice to have something to look at beyond sheep, cows and tractors).  Then I started to ponder the idea of entering some of my own knitting.  You never know, I thought, my knitting is as good as anybody else’s.

I had absolutely no idea what the competition would be like, perhaps a piece of lace knitting would be a good thing to enter.  People always seem to ooooo and aahhhh over a bit of lace knitting.  Only trouble was, I couldn’t decide on a pattern.  I often have this problem, so I did my usual and I made one up.  I already had the perfect ball of yarn for the job and a couple of months to knit it…

Findley Dappled Lace Knitting

 

 

Here it is, my yummy ball of Findley Dappled Lace.  I love this yarn, the colours are lovely and it is sooo soft.

 

 

 

 

So, two weeks before the show and quite a bit of effort later, (sometimes I wonder why I enjoy knitting lace, it usually involves a certain amount of cursing and I can only do it one the kids have gone to bed), I had a scrumpled ball of knitted lace.

Honley Lace Knitted Scarf

 

It doesn’t look that stunning does it?

I have always had lots of knitters ask me if blocking is a good idea or not. Usually the answer is yes.  Even though it might be a little bit tedious it’s often worth the effort I reckon. Sometimes it’s just not necessary, but with lace it’s an absolute must.

Compared to the amount of time it takes to knit lace the blocking is really quite quick and the results are always worth it.

Honley Lace Knitted Scarf

 

 

Scrumpled mess becomes beautiful, elegant lace!

 

 

 

I decided it was good enough to enter into the show, which was a good thing really as I didn’t have anything else to enter in it’s place.

 

So, off we went to Honley Show.

If you don’t know where Honley is, it’s a small town/large village near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. It’s quite a pretty area but this was a very wet day to be wandering around on a muddy field. We had wellies and waterproofs though and we had heaps of fun. There was actually plenty to see as well as the sheep. The kids harassed me into letting them have their faces painted, go on rides and eat ice creams, what more can I say.  I think the face painting lady deserved a prize to be honest, she was brilliant!

   

Eventually we worked our way back to the craft tent.  What a surprise was awaiting. I must admit, I was secretly hoping for a third or maybe second place, but that’s not what I got.

Honley Lace Knitted Scarf

 

Somehow my little piece of lace knitting had won the first prize, a best in show rosette AND a trophie for the best handicraft exhibit!  I was stunned.  I guess the judges like lace.  I’d never won a trophie before in my life and it felt quite nice.  I know I have to take it back next year for somebody else, but I can feel warm and fuzzy just knowing that my name will be engraved on it forever.

 

 

After such a successful day I thought that maybe I should write the pattern up , maybe other people would like to use it too.  Maybe somebody else will knit my pattern and win a show somewhere else with it.

I hope so.

If you would like the pattern, it’s available from my Etsy shop.  Happy knitting!

Honley Lace Scarf Knitting Pattern

 

 

Crafty Creme Crochet Mitts

Crocheted fingerless mittens

Coffee, cake and crochet.  It’s always been one of my favourites combos.  I seem to spend a lot of time in my favourite cafe in Penistone doing just that.  Right now I am sat in the cafe window, with my coffee and cake and working on my laptop.  Luckily the staff are used to me doing this and are quite happy for me to sit here all day if I want.craft-creme

 

The cafe is quite a crafty cafe with all sorts of crafty events and displays. Karen, the owner, is looking to do more crafts in the future, so we had a little chat a while ago and she came up with ‘Crafty Creme’.  Evening workshops for different crafts, where folks can get together and craft! (and eat cake)

It’s a perfect combo for me, as I am asked on  a regular basis about when I am going to do some more knitting and crochet workshops in the local area.  So, we’re going to start the ball rolling with a crochet workshop.

(Did I mention that Karen does the BEST CAKES EVER! )

I needed a basic workshop, for beginners and advanced crocheters alike.  A simple project, but great for Christmas presents, so I had a think and decided, (as the weather is turning cold), that a pair of fingerless mitts in a luxury yarn might just hit the spot.stripy-crochet-mitts

 

And here they are:

 

They are Karen’s fingernails by the way. She just happened to be wearing exactly the right colour nail polish the day I needed to take a photo.

Mine never look that good!

 

The yarn I used was a lovely self-striping aran weight yarn in alpaca and merino.  Lovely and warm, lovely and soft and great stripes.  I love self-striping yarn personally – no ends to sew in!  It comes in fabulous colours too.

striped-yarn

Once I had created one pair of mitts, as per usual I had an overwhelming urge to create another pair, but in a different colour. I thought maybe some peoplesolid-colour-mitts would prefer them in a solid colour.  Not everybody likes super stripes after all.

They’re actually really quick and easy to make.  Definitely a one evening project for an experienced crocheter.

I might make some more.  I can feel a round of homemade Christmas presents coming on this year…

 

I have written the pattern up, as usual and it’s available from my Etsy page.  Easy Peasy Crochet Mitts Pattern

We’re all set now, for the workshop this week, so let’s hope it’s a success then we can do more.

In case you’re interested in the workshop and any future workshops coming up, you can find more information about prices,booking etc., on facebook.

Wool Monkey facebook

Cafe Creme facebook