Verb: pootle
poo-t(u)l To move in a leisurely unhurried way,
with no real purpose


Friday, 15 July 2016

Jenny's Blanket of Hugs



♥ Jenny's Blanket of Hugs 


For those of you who follow my Instagram Feed or Facebook Page you'll know that 
it's been a busy old week and you've probably checked in here for the Square patterns .....
so, here they are everyone. Have fun !

Others of you are probably wondering what on earth I'm banging on about !
Let me explain ....... Some of you may remember that back at the beginning of the 
year I designed a pattern for one of Amanda Bloom's Little Boxes of Crochet.

If you haven't already seen it you absolutely have to check out Amanda's website at
www.littleboxofcrochet. For the past year Amanda has developed her business in to the roaring success that it is today, and it was an absolute pleasure and joy to work with her when I was designing the February box.

What makes Amanda's journey all the more remarkable is the fact that she has done all of this whilst at the same time dealing with some very big body blows. Amanda's beautiful daughter Jenny has been very unwell not only during this past year, but since 2013 when she was first diagnosed with Cancer.
Together they have fought the hardest of fights and I can honestly say that they are two of the strongest people I know. If I am ever faced with anything like this in my lifetime I hope that I can face it with even just 1% of their determination, strength, love and positivity.

Last week Amanda and Jenny received more devastating news when it was found that Jenny's Cancer had returned.
 Both Amanda and Jenny are so loved by so many in our wonderful little Crochet and IG community and it got me thinking wouldn't it be amazing if somehow we could all come together
to show our support.
 That little idea sat at the back of my mind for a couple of days and then all of a sudden it pinged right to the front and shouted out 'BLANKET ! BLANKET ! JENNY NEEDS A BLANKET !'

Since starting to crochet I have always thought that Crochet Blankets made for loved ones are the ultimate way to surround them with hugs, and so, of course, this was the perfect way to send hundreds of hugs to Amanda and Jenny.

I tentatively voiced my idea on IG and Facebook on Tuesday and within 48 hours I had approximately 500 people offering to make blanket squares for Jenny's Blanket of Hugs.

Since then decisions have been made about all the smaller details, colours and yarn have been decided upon ..... and ta-dah, here are the first three squares, hot off the hook !

 

So, here's the plan. The patterns for three different squares are all below. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join in and send a square. As the response has been so overwhelming I think initially we will need to limit donations to a maximum of 3 squares per person.

We have chosen Jenny's favourite colours and so will be working with Hot Pinks, Oranges, and Reds.
Full details of the yarn I used and equivalents are detailed below.

Ideally we would like to have received all the squares by the middle of August, which gives everyone about 4 weeks to get those hooks hooking.

Once your squares are completed they can be sent to the address below and then my job will be to join them all together. Depending on how many squares are received there may need to be a 'Pop-Up' Joining together day ! We'll see how we go.

For my squares I used RICO BABY COTTON SOFT in Candy Pink 30, Fuschia 21, Melon 20 and Red 35. This a DK weight yarn and is 50% cotton, 50% acrylic.

( UK Equivalent yarns: STYLECRAFT CLASSIQUE COTTON in Hot Pink 3668, Poppy 3672, Seville 3670 and Fondant 3094
STYLECRAFT SPECIAL DK in Fondant 1241, Lipstick 1246, Bright Pink 1435 and Spice 1711)

( US, Aus, NZ Equivalent Yarns: RICO COTTON DK in Pumpkin 87, Magenta 13, Fuschia 14, Candy Pink 12 and Red 02
VERA MODA GELATO in Orange 07, Lolly Pink 14 and Coral 05 )


I worked with a 3.5mm hook.

Each finished square measures approx. W 12cm x  H 11cm 

How to make the Plain Squares:

   

Row 1: Begin by making a chain of 24, and then starting in the second chain from the hook work a row of DC ( UK Terms. SC in US terms). 23 sts. At the end of the row chain 1 and turn.


 

Rows 2 to 24: Continue working rows of DC, remembering to Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row. 
Your 24th row will be a wrong side row.

Row 25: ( RS) Work a final row of DC and at the end of the row work 2 DC in to the corner stitch and then continue on around, working a round of DC down the left hand side, along the bottom of the square and up the right hand side, Remember to DC 2 sts in to each corner stitch, to stop the square becoming out of shape.

  

Once you are back at the top right hand corner, join with a Sl St,
finish off and sew in your ends


How to make the striped squares:


Row 1: Begin by making a chain of 24, and then starting in the second chain from the hook, work a row of DC ( UK Terms. SC in US terms). 23 sts. At the end of the row chain 1 and turn.

Row 2: Work a second row of DC in the same colour. You are now going to join in your second colour by joining it in when working the Ch 1 at the end of the row. Turn.

  

Rows 3 and 4: Work two rows of DC in your second colour. At the end of Row 4 rejoin your first colour when working the chain. To save lots of ends just loop your first colour up the side of your work.

  

Continue working in rows of 2 colours, joining in your colours when working the Ch 1 at the end of the row. 
Work a total of 24 rows. ( WS )

Row 25: ( RS) Work a final row of DC and at the end of the row work 2 DC in to the corner stitch and then continue on around, working a round of DC down the left hand side, along the bottom of the square and up the right hand side, Remember to DC 2 sts in to each corner stitch, to stop the square becoming out of shape.


Once you are back at the top right hand corner, join with a Sl St,
finish off and sew in your ends.

To make the Bobbly Squares:


Row 1: Begin by making a chain of 24, and then starting in the second chain from the hook, work a row of DC ( UK Terms. SC in US terms). 23 sts. At the end of the row chain 1 and turn.

Row 2: Work a second row of DC in the same colour. At the end of the row Ch 1 and turn.

Row 3: ( This is Bobble Row 1 ) Work 2 DC. You are now going to make a bobble in to the third stitch ...... don't panic ! It's very easy ! Start by joining in your second colour, by putting your new yarn over the hook. Now work a TR ( UK Term. DC US Term ) but do not pull your yarn through the last loop, leave that loop on the hook. Work 3 more TR all in to the same stitch, leaving the last loop of each TR left on the hook. Nearly there ! 

   

You should now have one loop in your main colour and 4 loops in your second colour, all still on your hook. Bring your first colour back up behind the bobble and yarn over. Pull through all 5 loops. Gently pull the yarn that you have just made your bobble in to make sure it is well shaped.

      

Work the next 5 stitches in DC, in your main colour, keeping your bobble colour lying along the top so that it gets caught in to your DC as you work. You are now going to make a second bobble exactly the same as the first one. Your bobble colour should be right there ready to start again.Continue along the row, working 5 DC between each bobble. After your fourth bobble work 2 DC, Ch 1 and turn. At this point, leaving a tail long enough to sew in, cut your bobble colour.

    

So, to sum up, the pattern for Bobble Row 1 is DC 2 , make a bobble, DC 5, make a bobble, DC 5, make a bobble, DC 5, make a bobble, DC 2. CH 1 and turn.

Rows 4, 5 and 6: DC in your main colour, remembering to Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row.

Row 7: ( This is Bobble Row 2) Because the bobbles are staggered across the square Bobble Row 2 is slightly different to Bobble Row 1. 
Work 5 DC and make your first bobble in the 6th stitch. Work 5 DC, make your second bobble, work 5 DC work your third bobble, work 5 DC, Ch1 and turn.

Rows 8, 9 and 10: DC in your main colour, remembering to Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Row 11: Repeat Bobble Row 1.
Rows 12, 13 and 14: DC in your main colour, remembering to Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Row 15: Repeat Bobble Row 2.

    

Rows 16, 17 and 18:DC in your main colour, remembering to Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Row 19: Repeat Bobble Row 1
Rows 20, 21 and 22: DC in your main colour, remembering to Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Row 23: Repeat Bobble Row 2.
Row 24: ( WS ) Work a row of DC in your main colour.
Row 25: ( RS ) Work your final row of DC, continuing on at the end to do your border of DC all around the square, remembering to work 2 DC in to each corner stitch so that the square keeps its shape. Once you are back at the top right hand corner, join with a Sl St, finish off and sew in your ends.

  

You should find that the back of your square is beautifully neat as you worked your bobble colour continuously along the row in between each of your bobbles.



And there you have all three patterns.
 Hopefully I have made them clear enough, but please do shout if I have made any horrible errors ! How you use the colours is entirely up to you, as is the choice of squares you decide to make.



Once you have completed your squares pop them in a little package and send them to:

Jenny's Blanket Of Hugs
Leigh Cottage Childcare
6 Sladesbrook
Bradford-on-Avon
WILTSHIRE.
BA15 1SH
UK.

And don't forget to add a little card with your name and where your squares have travelled from.
If you are an IG er how about a selfie with your square under the hashtag
#jennysblanketofhugs

I'll keep you updated with how its all coming along 
and, finally,
thank you SO SO much for all your utter amazingness and fabulosity!
 xxxxxxx

Monday, 27 June 2016

Summer Daisy Garland



With Summer in the UK seeming to have decided to hang fire for a bit,
 I took matters in to my own hands the other day and set about creating 
my own little piece of Summer for my kitchen shelf.

Seaside Cottages, Cornishware china and a garland of Summer Daisies 
were definitely what was called for.....
and here's what I did !


After a little dig around in my yarny odds and ends drawer I found 
some small amounts of cotton, DK I think, in white and cornflower blue 
and a length of some thin blue ribbon. I used a 3mm hook. 
You'll also need a small amount of stuffing for the crochet beads.


The pattern for both the daisies and the crochet beads will 
work in any weight yarn, just remember to use the correct hook size to match.

To make the Daisies:


Begin by making a Magic Ring, and work 8 DC into the ring. 
Pull the ring closed and SL ST to join.


Now work 2 DC in to each stitch. 16sts. 
SL ST to join and finish off. Sew in the ends.


Join in your second colour and chain 7.


Beginning in the 2nd chain from the hook work 6 DC, 
bringing you back to the beginning of the chain.
SL ST in to the next stitch.


Now chain 7 again and work the petal as before. 
Continue making petals around the circle.


I found 14 petals to be about the right amount,
 leaving you a stitch to SL ST back into to. Finish off. Sew in your ends.

I decided to block and stiffen my daisies, 
which I did by spraying them with Fablon Ironing Starch Spray 
and then pinning them out onto a board to dry for a couple of days.



To make the Crochet Beads:
( for a full picture tutorial clink here Crochet Beads )

Round 1:Make a Magic Ring and work 6 DC into the ring. 
Pull the ring closed and SL ST to join. 

Round 2:  Work 2 DC in to each stitch 12 sts. 

Round 3: Working in a continuous round, DC 36.

Round 4: Decrease 6 times, 6sts. Finish off leaving a long tail.

Stuff the bead and using a needle and the tail of yarn,
 run a gathering thread around the bottom of the bead and pull closed. 
Finish off and sew in the ends.


To join the garland together I alternated the flowers and the beads 
and I used a large needle to thread the ribbon along the back of each daisy
 and through the centre of each bead. 


Once finished it was just a matter of hanging it in place, 
and whilst it may not be quite up there with a holiday in the Caribbean, 
it's more than Summery enough for me !

My little Seaside Cottages are made by the lovely Loraine of 
She sells through Etsy or her facebook Page.


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Flowers

I heard on the Radio today that it is British Flowers Week this week 
- and it struck me how perfect it is that we actually
 have a week that celebrates all things floral !


I am not a great gardener, and certainly cannot claim to be in any way green fingered 
- but I can confess to having a full on love affair with fresh flowers.

Whether they are wild, meadow flowers, 
collected on a dog walk through the fields ....


.... or the most beautiful of bouquets,
 already arranged and delivered in brown paper wrapping .....


.... I simply cannot resist them.

They don't have to be complicated, highly developed specimen pieces,
just the simplest of garden flowers will do.

They don't even need to be madly colourful,
plain and simple white does me just fine.


From frothy, old fashioned roses,  


                                             to the flowers that grow on our Snowball Bush,


to the Wisteria that is slowly but surely covering our Pergola ..... 


... they just get me right there !


And whilst we may not be enjoying a bit of a wet June -
 our garden is loving every minute ....
and that, in turn, makes me a very happy bunny.