Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Princess Leia Pixel Crochet Blanket

I love an excuse to get my craft on, and making presents for people (especially babies) is one of my favourite things to do. Not only is it awesome to give something handmade to someone, but it's also fun as you can make something you might not usually make for yourself/have the room for in your house. It's lovely to get the chance to make different things and give different techniques a bash.

One of my ex-skater mates, Charlotte, announced she was having a baby when I was still pregnant with Ivy, so naturally we have a lot of pregnant lady chat on Facebook. Her little one is due very soon, so I decided it would be fun to make her something.

She's very geeky, so I knew I wanted to do something geektastic, but I also knew that they were having a little girl and were very against pink. So I decided to make her a Princess Leia pixel crochet blanket, as it's very geeky and girl powery, without being pink.

I've wanted to do a pixel crochet blanket for ages, so this was a great excuse to give it a go! I found this quite small Princess Leia perler bead design, and decided it would be a good pattern to use and it hopefully wouldn't be too huge once I made it all in granny squares! In another bid to make it not too huge, I went with aran weight yarn and only did two round each granny square, so they were still quite chunky but were quite quick to knock up.

I used this pattern for a solid colour granny square, as sometimes I just need a bit of a reminder on how to do this correctly, but as I said above I just did two rounds.

So here it is!

Princess Leia crochet blanket

Princess Leia crochet blanket

Princess Leia crochet blanket

Princess Leia crochet blanket

Princess Leia crochet blanket

I joined the squares using Attic 24's joining into the back loops method, which I've used before and is really handy! It's quick and neat, and even if you're using a different colour of yarn it stays mostly hidden, which is sweet. And you can do whole rows in one go, which means loads less ends to sew in!

I then did a border of triple crochets in blue and then double crochets in blue, just to finish it off and add a bit of colour into it. I think I could have done the border a bit better where the design went round a corner, as there seems to be too much border when I went into every stitch. I perhaps should have done a decrease to make it a bit tighter in those places.

I would have liked the whole thing to have been more of a square shape, as the arms are a bit out there on their own at the edges, but overall I'm super happy with it. Even if it is a bit of a weird shape for a cot or pram blanket, it might be a nice blanket to lie on if the baby is playing on the floor or whatever, or even a rug!

I feel like I've been making this blanket forever! It was loads of granny squares, and loads in the same colours, teamed with only being able to work on it in the evenings, as looking after a baby and trying to concentrate on crochet is not a skill I've mastered yet! So I'm quite excited to get stuck into making something else now, even if I only get to work on it in short bursts!

Yarn Used:

  • Vanna's Choice Lion Brand.
    • Chocolate.
    • Soft Pink.
  • Robin Bonny Babe Aran.
    • White.
  • Caron Simply Soft.
    • Black.
    • Grape.
    • Blue mint. 
    • White.
  • Stylecraft Special Aran.
    • Graphite.
Raverly Project Page.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Lion Hat

A little while ago my mum asked me to knit her a hat. She had bought this book called Animal Hats by Vanessa Mooncie and quite fancied one of them, eventually settling on the lion hat.

The mane for the lion hat was made up of the loop stitch, which seemed quite easy when I read the instructions, so I went for it and ordered the wool.

However, after actually trying it out it was a bit harder than I had first thought. Sometimes things read quite easy but your knitting needles just won't do what you want them to do.

Luckily I found this much easier to follow tutorial on Pinterest, so I was actually able to give the hat a bash.

Lion hat

Lion hat

Lion hat

Lion hat

Lion hat

It's a bit hard to see the texture of the loops but it makes it super cozy!

Lion hat


Lion hat

My mum loved the hat so much she even offered to model it for me so you can see what it looks like on.

Lion hat

Lion hat

It really looks quite mental, in the best possible way though! It's huge and his face might be a bit squint (though it looks fine when you lay it flat, which is how I sewed it, so I've no idea!), but it is super cozy due to it knitted lining. The lining was basically knitting the hat again, but without the loop stitch, so it worked up super quickly. I'm also glad I took to the time to actually do the lining and not just skip it, as it looks so much nicer and feels much squishier.

I went with white buttons for the eyes instead of the brown from the book, as my mum had picked quite a dark brown for the main colour of the hat, and I was worried the eyes wouldn't stand out.

I also crocheted all the seams of the hat together using a slip stitch for a neater finish. I am RUBBISH at sewing knitted and crocheted things together, so using a slip stitch is much easier and looks much prettier in the end.

I also had to sort of guess to make the chords for the poms poms, as the instructions in the book weren't super clear. They were supposed to be 30cm in length, but you had to do loads of twisting (which obviously makes things shorter), so I guessed the lengths of wools would need to be about 120cm to twist down to the correct level, and then seemed to turn out pretty well.

This was a fun knit, and I got to use a couple of stitches I hadn't come across before (or don't use very often anyway). Aside from the loop stitch I also did knitting front to back, and slipping a stitch then passing it over, so it was quite fun to do something a bit different.

The pattern was really easy to follow (aside from the above mentioned chord length instructions) but I did end up with I almost extra ball of yarn as I only used 2 instead of 3 for the hat (but I did have to dip into the third ball for the last pom pom) as well as only needing scraps of black, so I've got basically a whole ball of that left too! This is why my stash ends up huge.

The only thing I had trouble with was losing my loops! I think I must have been pulling them back flat again, or accidentally knitting them into the row again, but sometimes I'd be a few loops short, but have the right number of stitches on my needle. So keep an eye on those loops!

To be honest I'm just happy I knitted a hat that fits an adult first time, after my Shining hat drama! And my mum totally loved it, which was the main thing!

Yarn Used:

  • King Cole Big Value Super Chunky.
    • Brown.
    • Black.
Raverly Project Page.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Patch Game

For a little while now I've had a little stash of patches waiting to be sewn on to something. I had planned to add them all to my army jacket, which already has some patches on it (you can see posts about that here and here), but I ended up with quite a lot after going on a shopping spree on night when I was having a bad day and was worried about overloading it!

I decided it add a couple more patches to my jacket just to finish it off, and then use the rest on my favourite tartan scarf. I wear it all the time, so the patches will definitely get shown off a lot. I also had one patch which was had sewn and I was worried about it getting wasted on my jacket, so felt the scarf was a safer choice!

Check out that selection!

Patch jacket

First up, my jacket.

Patch jacket

Patch jacket

Patch jacket

I add these two patches to the arms. The big K is from Hobbycraft, and the Friday the 13th patch is from Storied Threads on Etsy, which Donald got me for Christmas.

Patch jacket

Patch jacket

I also added these two tiny patches to the pockets, which are also from Hobbycraft. I'm a little wary of adding any more to the jacket as I don't want it to be overloaded, but I might consider adding a couple more to the arms in the future.

I decided to add the rest of the patches to my scarf. These all seem to be awesome lady themed patches, so at least the scarf has a theme!

Patch jacket

Patch jacket

The I Donut Care and the Seek Adventure patch are both from the Lucky Dip Club, the ghost patch is from The Sad Ghost Club, and the amazing hand stitched Ginger Snaps patch is from Rad Patch Co. This is the one I felt would be safer on my scarf as it won't be getting rubbed against things or probably getting as dirty as it would on my jacket. If you want major embroidery envy, I would follow her personal account on Instagram so you can see all her stitching. It really is amazing!

Patch jacket

The cactus patch is from BelsArt, which I actually just bought to make sure my scarf was even on both side, and the three awesome girl gang patches are from Jade Boylan.

I decided to sew all the patch on, even though some of them are iron on, as it's easier to fix if you do something wrong, and also easier to remove them if I ever need to in the future, so they're not wasted!

I'm super happy with how cool my jacket and scarf look now, and even happier I've FINALLY gotten around to actually sewing all my patch on something!