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

School Cardies

These are the pictures taken from the beginning of the school year.  They were a bit of a rush job this year.  I knitted one at the beginning of the summer and then one in the last ten days leading up to the start of term.

Phew.  Made it, just in time.

Thank fully the girls, love them.  It’s really nice when your kids appreciate your knitting!

They both have the same one this year and I am hoping they will last a couple of years. Then I can make some different ones…

eleanor-school-sweater

If you are interested in the pattern, it’s not one of mine I’m afraid.  (Well, some of it is).  It is a pattern from Ravelry, called Gidday, by Georgie Nicolson.  I added a few of my own tweaks, but it’s essentially very similar.  Here is the link:

Ravelry pattern for Gidday

 

And, the yarn is one of my all time favourites, Debbie Bliss Railto DK

 

Simply Soft Yarn Experiment

Sweetie Pie baby blanket

Whilst visiting a friend recently, over the other side of the Pennines, I went for a visit to a local yarn store.  This was the first time I had been in another yarn store since I had closed my down and it turned out that the lady was closing hers down too.

The yarn store was Yarnbirds in Whaley Bridge.  It was such a lovely shop, with oodles of beautiful yarn and a shame to see it close, but the owner, a lovely lady called Claire, had her reasons. Anyway, we had a good old natter, as you can imagine yarn shops owners are good at chatting and before I left Claire very kindly gave me a ball of Caron Simply Soft yarn, for free, to try because I had mentioned that I had always wanted to try working with it.caron-blanket-beginnings

It was baby pink.  So, what to do with it?

I pondered the idea of a baby blanket.  I wondered if you could squeeze a whole blanket out of one ball. They are 170g afterall.  I thought it might be pushing my luck, as it is aran weight and probably won’t go that far. But started crocheting anyway.  As usual, I changed my mind several times about the size and the shape and the stitch. I didn’t get far that night.

 

I thought a really simple pattern would be nice, which focused on the texture.  A little bit old fashioned maybe, but with a bit of a modern edge to it.   Next morning was knit and chat morning in the cafe, so I took it with me and things progressed a little faster.caron-cafe-creme

I think I probably spend too much of my time in the cafe, eating cake, drinking coffee and knitting or crocheting.  It’s a bad habit.

Oh well.

It made my blanket grow faster.

Unfortunately it made me use up all the yarn really quickly too.  It turns out that you definitely can’t get a whole baby blanket out of one ball of Caron Simply Soft. (Unless you want a rather small blanket). So, then I had to go on an internet search for more.  Which also means that my experiment was no longer a free experiment!

So, a few days later, my yarn turned up and I could continue.  I was rather surprised to find that it was vacuum packed.  I have heard that lots of sellers are doing this to ship yarn these days, but I hadn’t actually seen it for real. Until now.caron-vacuum-packed-yarn

It was flat.  Totally flat.

It was almost fun opening it and watching it grow before my eyes, like one of those expanding fish toys for kids that you soak in water over night and they quadruple in size.

I was pleased to find that it returned to it’s normal shape with absolutely no sign whatsoever that it had been squashed flat.  (I must make a mental note to ship stuff like this in the future).

So, back to work and two more evenings and the blanket was finished.  Did I mention that it is quite a quick pattern?

The stitch I used is sometimes called a V stitch, as it looks a little like rows of Vs.  To be honest, I really, really like the effect it gives.  I think it’s a great texture for a baby blanket and would work with any colour.

sweetie-pie-blanket

The Caron Simply Soft worked really well too.  I don’t normally like acrylic yarns much, but this one is lovely and soft.  It has a gentle sheen to it too and is quite heavy, so the blanket has a lovely floppy drape to it.  You don’t often get that with acrylics, I think they can be a bit rigid when crocheted sometimes.  So, all in all, it cost me money in the end, but it was a fun experiment and I have now written the pattern up to share with the World.

If you would like the pattern, it’s called Sweetie Pie and it’s available from my Etsy shop. Of course you can crochet it in whatever yarn you like.  It would be interesting to see it done in something else.

Wool Monkey Sweetie Pie Crochet Baby Blanket pattern

I think I might try one in another colour now…

sweetie-pie-blanket-4