Sunday, 6 January 2019

Stash Busting - The Ron Weasley Blanket

Over the Christmas holidays we always binge watch the Harry Potter Movies.  Whilst watching Prisoner of Azkaban I happened to notice a gorgeous, scrappy, hand knitted blanket on Ron Weasley's bed (Molly Weasley I do so love all your makes).  I instantly knew this would make an awesome stash busting project and I had to start straight away.



A quick search found a brilliant guide by Jackie Wierzbick on her blog Penguineer's Purls and you can find the pattern page here...  She has painstakingly collected lots of photos of the blanket and produced them into a layout grid and a guide for each knitted block.  The squares are all knitted in garter stitch (which I love especially for "TV" knitting).  There is also a crochet version which you can find here...



So off I went to rummage through my stash.  I have a great deal of those huge 400g balls of aran yarn I bought "cos it's cheap" that never got used (because it wasn't soft enough for baby blankets).  I thought these would be ideal and I have so many other odds and ends that I am sure I can find something to match most of the colours.  I'm not too worried though as the blanket is meant to look scrappy, so if the colours aren't an exact match I will just use the closest yarn I can find.



Now anyone who knows me will know that I am not very keen on sewing. The thought of all those squares to sew together at the end appalled me.  I have made knitted shawls previously that had knitted on edges so thought there must be a way to knit the squares together as I went along.  With a bit of experimentation I have managed it (almost), the diagonal squares proved to be more of a conundrum than my non mathematical brain could handle, so I am knitting those squares separately and then stitching them on.  At lease there is not many of those to do, so this means that I will be able to join most of the squares as I go along.  I think I will write up a guide of how to do this if anyone is interested?

You can see the knitted together join here (nice and tidy)...




I can't tell you how enjoyable it is sitting watching Harry Potter movies with Little T and knitting along happily with my scrappy squares.  I can't wait to see the blanket progress and I am really pleased so far with how the join as you go approach is working.  I don't think my sewing would look anywhere near as neat.

As you can see the stitched join here (not so tidy).



I have almost 2 full rows of squares finished and am running out of Harry Potter movies to watch.



I will post again soon as the blanket progresses.  Do you have piles of stash languishing in boxes begging to be knitted or crocheted with?  Why not make a stash busting blanket yourself, I would love to see your photos...

See you soon
Catherine
x

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Friday, 4 January 2019

Valentines Crochet Round Up - 10 Free Patterns

No sooner than we have taken down all our Christmas decorations, Valentine's Day is knocking at the door.  I have selected my 10 favourite free patterns.  There is plenty to choose from, gifts for family and friends and maybe something to treat yourself...

What Valentines Day would be complete without a delicious box of chocolates and with the added bonus of zero calories.  Pattern by Michele Wilcox.



Learn a new stitch pattern to create a gorgeous heart blanket or just use the pattern to add a cute trim to other makes.  Designed by Mypicot.



Keep cosy in this lush cowl with adorable heart detail.  
Pattern by Crafts by Amanda.



Decorate your home for the season with this cute wall hanging by Creative Jewish Mom.



Add a crochet edging to these paper hearts and turn them into a gorgeous garland.  Decorate your home or give them as a gift.  Designed by Big A Little a.



Gorgeous daisy grannies joined to make this super cute heart decoration.  Designed by Bauta Witch.


You cannot have valentines day without a pink amigurumi owl!  This cutie is designed by Holly's Hobbies.



Another make to keep you cosy this winter.  A stunning scarlet cowl.  Created by Fiber Flux.



Why not crochet this cosy throw designed by Red Heart.


...and finally this gorgeous hot water bottle will ward off even the chilliest of days.  Designed by Sandra Paul.


I hope you have found something here to make someone you love happy this Valentines...

Happy hooking
Catherine
x


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Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Year - 2019 Temperature Blanket Day 1

Happy new year everyone.  I hope you have all enjoyed the festivities over Christmas and the new year.  So what will 2019 bring?  Well for Lullaby Lodge it means the beginning of my temperature blanket.  I am so excited to get started.  I will also be doing another feature on stash busting, something a little different from last year and I will of course be sharing loads of new patterns, tutorials and ideas.  Doesn't the beginning of a new year just fill you with hope, joy and expectation of what it might bring...



So here we go, day 1 of my temperature blanket.  You can find my original post will all the pattern info here... According to the BBC the highest temperature for today in Windsor will be 11°C.


So my first colour is going to be Sherbet!


I started off with 180 chains this should be big enough for a single bed with a slight overhang.  Such a long wiggly starting chain, this is always the most awkward bit.  


I like to work into the bumps on the back of the chain for my foundation row.  This helps when adding a border at the end.


First row complete, now the hardest part will be waiting till tomorrow to make my next row.  Which colour will be next?


Don't worry if you miss the beginning of the year or don't have yarn to start right away.  You can start a temperature blanket at any time of year.  Just make 1 row a day until you get back to the date that you started.  Also if you can't manage to crochet for a few days just keep a note of the temperatures so you can catch up later...

Will you be crocheting along with me?  Don't forget to share your pictures on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #temperatureblanket2019 & #lullabylodge. 

 I will be posting an update at the end of the month, don't forget to pop back and see my progress...

Have a joyful and prosperous new year!
Catherine
x

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Sunday, 23 December 2018

Temperature Blankets - A guide to making them & free crochet pattern...

Inspired by all the amazing photos on Instagram and Pinterest, I had wanted to make a temperature blanket for some time.  So I thought I would share my blanket progress with you, including lots of tips and tricks.  If you would like to make one too, this is how you do it.  



The idea is simple.  Every day, use the local weather stations highest temperature of that day, to choose your crochet colours.  This will result in a gorgeous blanket by the end of the year.  You just allocate which colours you will use for a range of temperatures and crochet 1 row each day corresponding to that days temperature.  I used Stylecraft Special DK for my blanket, but you can use any yarn you like.  Depending on where you live you may need to adjust how many colours and what temperatures you will need...

For my blanket I chose 10 colours to represent the warmer days...


...and 10 colours to represent the cooler days.


It is so exciting to watch your blanket develope.  Many people choose to start on the 1st of January and continue until the end of the year.  You can of course start at any time, so if you miss January 1st, don't worry. Just start your blanket and continue for 365 days.  As of course there are so many days in a year, this could make for one humongous blanket, so I decided to go with a very simple linen stitch pattern. 


Click here to join the CAL group...




Temperature Blanket


 Abbreviations

US Terms
sc - single crochet
sc3tog - single crochet 3 together
sl st - slip stitch
ch - chain
sp - space
sk - skip


Materials

DK yarn in chosen colours
4mm (G) hook
Darning needle
Scissors


Make your foundation chain as wide as you would like your blanket, in multiples of 2.

Row 1 Sc in 2nd ch from hook, [ch1, sk1, sc in next st] repeat to end, turn.




Row 2 Ch2, [sc in next sp, ch1] repeat to last sp, sc in last sp, turn.

Row 3 Repeat row 2 until you have completed 365 days




Changing colours:

Take either the highest or lowest temperature of the day to choose your colour and work 1 row each day.  You may have 2 or more days with the same colour, so you will just turn and start your next row.  If you are changing colour pull the new colour through as you finish the final stitch of previous row.




How to finish off your blanket without weaving in all those ends...


Adding a Fringe

Adding a fringe along the sides of your blanket is a great way to avoid sewing in all those ends.  Simply cut strands of yarn twice the length you would like your fringe.  Fold a strand of yarn in half to make a loop and then using a crochet hook, pull the loop through the end of one of your rows.  Gather any extra ends pulling them through the loop of yarn to make your fringe.  Check out this link to see Olives and Pickles fringed temperature blanket...

Blanket Fringing by Olives & Pickles



Bias Binding border


Another way to avoid the colossal task of weaving in all those ends, is to add a bias binding border.  If you are handy with a sewing machine this is a great option.  Check out the guide below, this is for quilts but the theory is the same for blankets.

Jaybird Quilts Perfect Binding Tutorial



Encapsulated Crochet Border


Another way to avoid all those ends is to crochet an edging that folds over, hiding your tails under the crochet.  This is the method that I will be using.  I have created a Linen Stitch encapsulated edging for this project.


Using chosen border colour, join with sl st to any sp at top or bottom of blanket

Round 1 Continue around your blanket in Linen Stitch, [sc, ch1] in each sp, in corners [sc, ch2, sc, ch1], join with sl st to sc, turn.

Round 2 [sc, ch1] in each sp, in corners [3sc, ch1], join with sl st to sc, turn.

Repeat round 2 until border is desired width.

If you were vigilant in weaving in all your ends as you went along you can fasten off here and weave in those last few ends.  If not then continue as follows...

Round 1 [sc, ch1] in each sp, in corners [sc3tog, ch1], join with sl st, turn.

Repeat round 1 until you have crocheted as many decrease rounds as you did increase rounds, fasten off.  Fold your border in half and trapping all those ends inside, using a darning needle and yarn in your border colour, sew the edging down to the back of the blanket.




Pin it for later...




Why not join my Facebook Group to share your progress.  I would love to see all your lovely pictures, or use the hashtag #lullabylodge on Instagram.  Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss out on any posts...

Happy hooking...
Catherine
x






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Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Moss End Village Christmas Trail & Victorian Fair

Christmas is not Christmas without a trip to a village fair.  This year we went to Moss End Village to see what they had to offer.  The fair was situated on an old farm converted into shop suits, including a garden centre and lot's of craft shops.  


 The children were given a trail card and told to look out for 15 elves that were hiding around the site.  Our first stop was to write a letter to Santa and collect a stamp on the trail card.  The next stop on the trail was inside a glass blowing shop.  The children helped to decorate a glass Christmas tree and collected another stamp on their card.



The next mission on the trail was to feed Santa's reindeer.  The children were given a sprig of lichen, which the deer gobbled up.  I guess they only eat carrots on Christmas Eve...


As we walked around the trail there were lots of stalls, rides and games for the children to enjoy and the smell of roast chestnuts and freshly made donuts filled our nostrils, making us rather hungry...




Little T enjoyed the rides and playing all the games.



After collecting our final stamp it was time to see the big man himself...


We really did have a lovely day out and I hope you all have an amazing Christmas...

Catherine
x

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Christmas Crochet Round Up! Decorate your home with these 10 free patterns...

What could be more festive than bedecking your halls with gorgeous handmade decorations.  I have scoured the web and found this selection of my favourite 10 free patterns.





Everyone loves a granny bauble and this Christmas Bauble by Carmen Heffernan is gorgeously bright and cheerful, perfect for any tree...




... and what tree would be complete without some pretty stars?  Why not try these Crochet Stars by One Dog Woof...



Trim your tree with the super cute Santa and Mrs Claus designed by Yarnhild




You can never have enough baubles on your tree and this free pattern from Hello Yellow Yarn is super cute!




Crochet a Christmas Gnome for your home, with this pattern from Simply Crochet Magazine.  




No Christmas is complete without pudding and this Crochet Pudding Decoration by Crafty Cruella is just the thing...




Make these festive Crochet Christmas Tree Ornaments, pattern by Salvabrani.




Santa wouldn't know what to do without his trusty reindeer and this Crochet Rudolph ornament is just adorable.  Pattern by Knots and Thoughts.




We don't always get the white Christmas we are dreaming of so why not make a flurry of Crochet Snowflakes with this simple 2 row pattern.




Finally this gorgeous granny star by my good friend Marjan.  You can find Myriads of Stars on her blog...


I hope you enjoyed my Christmas crochet round up and don't forget to share all your makes over on my Facebook Group page...

Happy Christmas Hooking
Catherine
x





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