Teething Bibs…

This is my newest make and I just love it…

teething bibsWhat do you think?…I just love making these beautiful baby bibs.  I will pop the pattern details below in case you want to make your own…but they are available to buy just here.

These super absorbent 100% cotton bibs are not only stylish, they are brilliant at catching those dribbles! The textured bobbles are soothing and safe for sore gums to chew on, to provide some natural relief from teething pain.

baby bibs
teething bibs, dribble bibs, baby bibs

I had so much fun hooking these bibs and the best bit was choosing a colour palette for them…but I am thrilled with the colours I have chosen…

I think these bibs are so pretty they would also make beautiful occasion bibs to compliment that special outfit for that special occasion.  I also think they would make great baby shower gifts too!

teething bibs

I have decided to make these bibs available in packs of 2, so you can have fun mixing and matching  your colour choices. They are also machine washable for ease of care.
Pretty, stylish, practical what’s not to love and available now!

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pattern: Bitty Boho Bib by Ashley @ A Crafty Concept

#Sidekicksistas…

I wanted to stop by and show a beautiful shawl I made as a Secret Santa swap for one of my #sidekicksistas.

If you don’t know I am wonderfully blessed to be a part of a fabulous group of crafties that meets once a month. I met them online way back when I had my foot operation and I started the #seasidestashbustingblanket in 2018, and they kindly invited me along. They really are just the most supportive and creative women and we all share the same crafty kindred spirit.  Even though I don’t make the monthly meets and only get to about three a year, I just love these women so much.  The highlight is always our Christmas dinner in December where we all chip in and cook something for the table…here we are look…

This year for the secret Santa swap, I decided I was going to make a shawl and after a long trawl through ravelry, I set my heart on the Dragon Belly Shawl by Johanna Lindahl of Mijo Crochet.  It is a free pattern and has a simple 2 row repeat, which means it is the perfect pattern to hook up whilst indulging in a box set.  Perfect relaxing crochet.  The pattern is well written and I will definitely be making this again.

I decided to treat my recipient to a Scheepjes whirl to hook this shawl in…well to treat myself really as I had never hooked with this yarn before and I had wanted to for ages.  I chose the Blueberry Bambam which was my second choice.  I had originally chosen the Jaffa Pop colourway…but it was out of stock everywhere, and I mean everywhere and was not due to be re-stocked until after Christmas.  So Blueberry Bambam it was.

crochet shawl

The yarn was a beauty to hook with.  It is a beautifully soft cotton blend 4ply yarn which has a long gentle gradient. I used the whole 200g (1000m) and it made a great sized shawl.  The whirl was worth every penny, as it produced a really lovely quality fabric which drapes amazingly.  I love the raised rows of this shawl and it is aptly named the Dragon Belly for this reason.  So, if your looking for a fabulous make which won’t tax your brain; but will certainly scratch that creative itch and give you a real sense of hooky satisfaction…this is the pattern to go for.

 

xxxxx

 

2020…What to do?…

Happy New Year…Happy New Decade!

I have been wanting to sit and write for quite a while, but I didn’t want to sit and write just for the sake of it, so I have been waiting to see how my heart settles…and it is beginning to, I think!

Wow…2020 is here!

Oh I have missed you all…how are you?…do let me know!  I have got so much to share with you.  Firstly, I have been hooking and sewing and I will of course share the patterns and my makes with you, but I am taking a different direction; it has just taken me a little while to figure how that change fits with this blog.  To be honest I am still not sure how it will all pan out but it’s time to see.

For those of you who stop by regularly, you will know that I have been quiet both here and on my social media sites, you will also know that I ventured to set up a little Etsy shop with baby makes and this is what has taken my attention recently.  I was so busy with orders leading up to Christmas it was pretty much all I could focus on.  I was busy hooking lots of these Santa Hats

santa hat for baby

I had orders for lots of these elf hats too…

Elf hat

If you pop over to my other Instagram site @baby_yarnyrobin you will see some  very cute babies looking festive in their hats which I find just utterly thrilling.

I also made bear hats

baby bear hat

and Daddy and me sets

Papa and baby matching hat set

So, you see I was very busy.  The orders blessed my crochet socks off and also took me completely by surprise and it has all been a very steep learning curve which I have absolutely relished and found altogether overwhelming all at the same time.  Of course my order books are much quieter now; as to be expected, and I am mindful I have a full time job and this little venture is just a hobby and that is all I need and want it to be right now.

So,  I am still going to share my crochet makes right here, continue with pattern reviews and share some little stories of life here at the nest…just like before.  I also want to get back to some pattern writing at some point.  I have decided not to go down the route of CE Testing, I just can not bring myself to set fire to my makes!  I will have to settle for making any amigurumi toys as gifts only.

  A lot of the makes I share will be baby and toddler related (not least as I am going to be an Auntie this Summer, thanks to my little SiL!) and we will just see how that goes for a while.  It won’t all be shop related, it will just be smattered here and there…because I love this little space of mine and I love you stopping by to spend some time here.

Well, I am really glad I got back on the blogging horse…it was every bit a pleasure as I remember it.  Looking forward to 2020 with you.

August…October!

It feels like it jumped from August right in to October without September ever being!  Sorry I have been absent…my excuses are below; however if you don’t fancy reading about them you can skip to the crochet I have to show you, below!

It feels like we have entered a whole new life season here at the nest…all of my boys are now in high school and we are all trying to figure out a new normal.  My evenings consist of co-ordinating logistics with Mr R, ferrying each to various sporting activities, or taking girlfriends home or picking up from girlfriends houses or trying to figure out whether it is ok for them to get the train to and from football on a Friday evening…I feel like I am constantly asking myself the question, is it safe?   Turns out very little seems safe these days, but I guess that is how they grow up…I’ve just got to let them…some how!

Whilst we’ve been adjusting autumn has tiptoed in quietly but surely, but I am yet to appreciate its glory and splendour.  Mr R has done some serious damage to his knee and it has put pay to our usual long walks.  So all in all life has been up in the air a bit, but we are beginning to settle now, I think.

I do have some crochet to show you though.  The arrival of Autumn compelled me to start a new blanket.

mosaic crochet

The blanket pattern is called ‘The dark wave Throw’ by Redsparrowcrochet

mosic crochet

you should really pop over and take a look, Esme, has some stunning patterns available…I am in awe!

It is a brand new skill set for me as it is mosaic crochet, which I have never done before.  The pattern is very well written, but it is definitely not a project for in front of the tv as I do have to concentrate very hard  and focus on what I am doing.  As a consequence I am making slow progress, but the thrill of watching the pattern emerge is hugely satisfying.

I have also been making some more bear hats

baby bear hat

pattern by Rachel Glassco 

(some alterations to pattern made by myself)

 and I have been making orders for this very cute Santa hat.

santa hat for baby

The pattern for this hat is the  ‘Mint elf hat’

santa baby hat

 

by East Coast Stitches

The faux fur trim is a polyester yarn by James C Brett called ‘Chinchilla’.  I have never used a faux fur yarn before as I thought they would be tricky to work with.  However, I found this easier than I thought I would.  I felt for the stitches rather than seeing them and I just love the look of this hat.  The faux fur is just so super soft and the oversized pompom finishes this hat off just perfectly; needless to say I have a few orders for these so will be hooking some more in the coming days.

I have also been working on a pattern for a sensory teething ring, but I am still in the very early stages of this, so I will update as I make progress.  So, I think that is about it, if you have got this far…thanks for stopping by.  I’m off to do a little more mosaic crochet, with a cup of coffee…now there’s a nice safe thing to do!

xxxxx

 

yarn dyeing…

I don’t know where it came from, my urge to dye yarn.  It is not something I have ever thought of doing until about eight weeks ago; when the thought entered my head and I literally became obsessed with wanting to dye yarn.  Before I knew where I was, I had become the clueless owner of 2 beautiful hanks of bare merino/nylon sock yarn.

yarn dyeingOf course I couldn’t wait for dyes or my preferred mordant of citric acid to be delivered, so I watched a few youtube tutorials which dyed yarn with food colourings and used white vinegar as a mordant and off I went to raid my kitchen cupboards.   I was very disappointed with the resulting consequence, the colours did set, but they were insipid and uninspiring and the white vinegar made everything smell just horrid…for ages!

So, I had to wait for my order of acid dye and citric acid to be delivered.  Oh the excitement when the delivery guy knocked that door!  I tore open the parcel and oohed and aahed at my little bottle of brilliant blue Jacquard acid dye and then went to watch a lot more tutorials, which got me quite confused.  Each tutorial recommended different amounts of mordant and they contradict each other greatly.  I summarised there was no one way to dye yarn and so I decided to just go for it!   I wore a safety mask as you must when dealing with acid dyes…that youtube did agree on! and I carefully noted down everything that I did, to include times and measurements and then I began to dip dye my yarn.  I chose  to dip dye as I wanted to play with the colour a little and because this seemed the simplest technique aside from just dumping the hank into the pot to get a solid colour.

dip dyeing yarn

I enjoyed the whole process immensely, (apologies for the lack of photo’s but it is quite hard to take photo’s when you are dealing with dyes and heat sources, whilst wearing gloves, trying to write the process down and not quite knowing what you are actually doing!) I just love that you  don’t quite know how the dye is going to take to the yarn and how the yarn will look when it’s finished.  There is a definite amount of science to it, but there is a whole lot of artistry and magic involved too!

I was thrilled with the end result too, a beautiful gradient skein of lovliness, in pastel blues.  Some of the bare yarn just peeped through on the paler end, which I really liked…that was the magic bit!  What I was not prepared for was the sheer joy of twisting it into a skein…oh my word, that twist is a beautiful thing!

hand dyed yarn

I added a label and printed some sock patterns out and gifted it to my Mama for  her birthday.

hand dyed yarn

Now I can’t wait to dye some more yarn and try some different techniques.  I have certainly found a new yarn addiction!  It’s really great to try something new isn’t it?

If you have any yarn dyeing tricks and tips please let me know in the comments thread below…I would love to hear them and jot them down in my yarn dyeing journal.

xxxxx

How to sew on crochet ears…the easy way!

Crochet has had to take a back seat for a little while.  July was and always is a crazy, busy month with end of school stuff!  This year though was particularly busy as my littlest robin left primary school and began getting ready for new adventures in high school.  I won’t regale you with the number of tears I cried…they will always be my babies I know…but I no longer have any babies in the nest.  I now have three secondary schoolers; that are at times  like teenage toddlers and at other times, shaping up to be lovely young men.  What has this got to do with sewing on ears I hear you ask…it hasn’t a thing to do with it, so I will stop waffling and get to the point of this post.  panda baby hats

Sewing on Ears has proved for me to be incredibly time consuming in the past.  Whether I am sewing ears onto a lovely squashy amigurumi or sewing bear ears onto baby hats, my ears…well not my actual ears, but the crochet ears, have ended up being wonky, not in the right position or have ended up looking unequal.  I have found this to be incredibly frustrating; as what I thought would take me 5 minutes has taken me much longer and has caused a number of expletives to fall from my mouth!  That was until I developed a method which has proved to be both accurate and speedy every time and since I don’t have much crochet to show you,  I thought now would be a good time to write this post.

crochet ears

My method is very simple…you just need a balloon, a glass and pins.  With these three items sewing ears onto hats and garments and amigurumi becomes much easier…every time!  Yes, I sew ears onto amigurumi before stuffing and sewing up, using this method and it seems to work really well.  The beauty of using a balloon is that you can blow it up to the exact size required.  You do need to be careful that you don’t prick the balloon with the pin though!

I told you it was simple.

how to sew crochet ears on...the easy way

So there you have it, I hope you find this post useful…do let me know.

xxxxx

My Charming Harbour Blanket is finally finished!

Wow…I have a finished blanket to show you!  You may want to take a seat at this point as it has probably come as quite a shock to you.  It may be even more shocking when I reveal that it has taken me over  18 months to get this stunner finished.

crochet blanket

You can read the original post I wrote way back, when I initially put it on my hook just here.  It has been neglected and unloved for much of that time, which is crazy because I have thoroughly enjoyed hooking every last stitch.   The new owner of this handsome blanket now has it in his possession and I am so thrilled as he always was the intended heritor of this creation.  I am also thrilled that I finished hooking the main body and border of this blanket in and around Brixham Harbour which seemed so fitting as I had named it the Charming Harbour Blanket.

crochet blanket

crochet blanketcrochet blanket

I couldn’t resist adding four enormous pom poms to each corner.  Mr R did not approve…but inside I squealed with delight at those fat poms!

crochet blanket

I love this blanket and I love that it is certain to have more seaside adventures in a happy little camper van…because every camper van needs a little (lot) of crochet!

crochet blanket

Now I’m pretty certain that a finished item equals buying more yarn…right?

xxxxx

Bright and Bold Summer Flowers…pattern news

Do you remember not so long ago I said I had some exciting news to share with you?  Well, I can share that news now…crochet flowers free pattern

 

These are my bright and bold summer flowers and they were featured in Crochetzine, a fabulous online crochet magazine, last month!

  I felt so proud and excited to see my work shared.  Of course I want to share it with you also.  These are great flowers to make from left over snippets, but I think they work best in a cotton yarn, as they hold their shape better.

crochet flowers

 

The pattern is based on hyperbolic crochet, but don’t let that put you off…it is really simple!  I have had so many lovely comments about the bunch I have on my table.  Here’s the  link to Crochetzine, where you will find my pattern.

Do let me know what you think if you make any won’t you?

 

xxxxx

Panda beanies…

One of my lovely crafty friends is having twins…very, very  soon.

I knew I wanted to make her something handmade for the little ones and I knew I wanted to make something panda…ery!

panda hats

I searched lots of sites for panda hats but, I just couldn’t find what I was looking for…surprise, surprise!  There was nothing else I could do but come up with my own version of a panda hat…

and now I am so pleased I did because this is what I came up with

panda baby hats

Just look at those panda eyes…

panda baby hats

I’m not sure if I should write the pattern up or not.  I would need to make a small charge as it would take me some time to work out all the sizes…What do you think?

Should I write up the pattern or not?

Let me know by casting your vote below.

xxxxx

pompom saga…

After counting the votes over on Instagram and reaching a tie breaker…can you believe it!  I decided to pom my hat in neither black nor white.  Instead I found this gorgeous faux fur yarn by James C Brett called Chinchilla.  It is beautifully soft and has the necessary fluffiness you would want and expect.

crochet hat

What do you think? I am really thrilled.

crochet baby hat

It sits on top of this little cotton baby hat with grandeur and the whole hat feels divine.

I have been making a whole host of hats and have swapped cotton (just for a little while) for a beautiful alpaca blend yarn called ‘Leader of the Pac’ it is an aran weight yarn and a dream to hook with.

crochet baby hat

I have hooked quite a pile…

pile of baby hats

I have also discovered another amazing yarn…’Wendy Botanics chunky’.  It is an acrylic yarn and the colourway is simply beautiful.  I have made some more baby hats in this and I couldn’t resist making a ‘Papa and baby’ matching set…just look…

Papa and baby matching hat set

So, you can see I have been busy making and adding to the shelves of my little Etsy shop in preparation for the winter time…although it is Summer here in the UK, I haven’t felt out of place hooking these hats as it has been really very cold and wet here!

What have you been up to?

xxxxx