Welcome back…

Welcome back…It has been a while!

Welcome to you, if you used to stop by here and spend some time with me, it’s good to have you here. And if this is your first time here, you are very welcome. Please stay, grab a cuppa and I will tell you what has happened here at the nest whilst the world has gone crazy!

It is sooooo good to be back here, in this lovely spot of the cyberspace. I have not dropped in for so long, but the time is right to start writing again. I think we can all agree that the world has changed so much over the last couple of years with Covid.

How are you?

Really, how are you? let me know in the comments below, I would really love to catch up with you.

I’ll start with a little nest update and then share my hooky plans for this year…I’ve got lots planned. So, if you want to skip the nest update and jump straight to the crochet, skip the next couple of paragraphs…I don’t mind.

The big news is the little Robins are not so little anymore and are now 18,17 and 14 years old… yep! how does that happen so quickly? The eldest is teetering on the nest edge and has pretty much fledged…I am full of pride and fear all rolled into one.

labrador dog
Our Alfie…

Our saddest news occured in October when we had to say a very hard goodbye to our beloved labrador, Alfie. He was the grand old age of 15 years, 9 months and 6 days old, when rainbow bridge finally called him. We buried him in our garden and I miss him so much. He will be in our hearts forever.

Little Jess was so good and seemed to understand where her pal had gone, but it wasn’t long before Mr R suggested we should find her another buddy as she has never been on her own before.

I felt like it would be a betrayal and couldn’t settle the idea in my heart. A couple of months later, Mr R had found a lovely little chap and had called to see if he was still available, but had to leave a message. That night as we waited for a call back, Alfie came to me in a dream and licked my hand. The following morning the lady called and said the handsome little fella was still available and we went to fetch him home… it felt with Alfie’s blessing.

lurcher puppy
Introducing Duke…

Let me introduce you to Duke, he is now 16 weeks old. He’s a cheeky chappy, who loves a cuddle and to zoom about the house. His Mother is an Italian greyhound and his Dad is a Beddlington terrier / Whippet mix, so he shouldn’t grow too much bigger. He has settled well and Jess seems to approve. Life has a way of being heartbreakingly, beautiful and hope is everywhere, if you just look for it.

So, you are up to date largely. Lockdown was full of Mr R renovating the garden whilst I worked through. I have impressively pinned an enormous amount to my pintrest boards, oh! and have wrestled a large dose of unwanted anxiety. I didn’t do a great deal of crochet, other than orders, which I was grateful for.

My big plan this year though is to get back to blogging and pattern writing and sharing it with you. That is what I enjoy and have come to realise, I have missed. My baby Etsy shop has been great fun over the last couple of years; and to my suprise has been quite successful. However, I have made the decision to make it a pattern shop as of now. There are several reasons for this, the first and main one being time!

Whilst crocheting to order is great and has been very satisfying it leaves me zero time to write patterns and to crochet other things…like the crochet angel at the top of this post (I will post about this separatley). I also don’t want to have to deal with orders getting lost in the mail (this seemed to happen several times last year).

So a pattern shop it is…and that, well that makes me happy, very happy indeed. I have lots of ideas and I have missed being here…it may be a bit old school but I aint’ getting tiktok and reels!

crochet hat, crochet hat pattern, ear flap hat, newborn to adult crochet hat pattern
my toasty ear flap hat

This is what I am currently writing up…’my toasty earflap hat’. It will be available in sizes newborn to large adult. I made this one for me, for the bitingly cold dog walks I am taking every day. It is so warm and toasty, hence the name. It is perfect for those cold winter days and I’m looking forward to making it available.

I still need a couple of pattern testers, so if you have some aran yarn in a couple of colours (less than 100g) and you are able to turn this around within the next week or so, drop me a message. You would need to provide me with some good quality photo’s and in return I will send you the fully edited pattern.

Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. Now it’s your turn…let me know how you are doing by leaving a message below.

XXXXX

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A New Blanket for Jess…

As it is the Easter Bank Holiday, I have a new project on my hook. Little Jess is in great need of some pretty blankets to sleep on and so I didn’t have to look far for some inspiration. I have a lot of crochet pins on my pintrest boards and I have a wish list that could go around the world at least once!

So, I grabbed my hook, some aran weight yarn and my favourite Campfire Coffee…(you really should try it!) and started to hook up these beautiful Sunburst granny squares by crochet325knittoo

It wasn’t too long before I knew this was the perfect choice…you just know when your project is going to work! I mean just take a look at those squares.

It has been so long since I have done any hooking like this and my heart felt full. So full, it wasn’t too long before I found I had dozed off!

But, so had Old Alf, so I found I was in good company!

Anyway, the snooze has done me good and I plan on hooking the evening away now with a little gin and tonic or three…you can bet I will be nodding off on the sofa again before long!!

xxxxx

End of year review…Bring on 2018

2017 has certainly had it’s ups and it’s downs.  I am pleased  to report that it is ending on an up.  I have really enjoyed perusing back through my posts and have picked out my favourite from each month in way of  reviewing 2017 here at the nest.  Before we begin I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of my seasoned readers, to those of you that have recently discovered this little corner of yarniness and to you if you have  just stumbled across this post by accident.

Without all of you, I would just be here, hooking and writing and hooking some more; annoying my family by taking photo’s every 2 minutes and whilst that would be ok, it is so much more fun with you dropping by and saying hi every once in a while.  You encourage me and inspire me to keep blogging about all things yarny and for that I am very grateful. 

So grab a glass of prosecco or the bottle!  or maybe a cuppa if you prefer and lets look back at 2017 here at the nest.

January 2017 

shawl crochet ayarnyrobin
crochet in bed.

2017 began with shawls, having completed x2 virus shawls I had the bug for more.  This‘ is the ‘pink shawl’ by Cecile Balladino,  and it is still one of my favourites although I still can’t call it the ‘pink shawl!’

February 2017

#yarnlove challenge 2017

I had so much fun doing the yarn love challenge during February.  A post a day was a challenge, but I relished the daily prods to share. 

I’d love to do this again in 2018. 

Here is a little link to my favourite #yarnlovechallenge post and another favourite… well I couldn’t just pick one!

March 2017

Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland
Sunday Shawl hooking

Another month another shawl…This time the beautiful Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland.  This project proved to be the perfect way to jump into spring, maybe it was those delicious pastels against the warmth of the grey.

April2017

Alpaca cake…

A milestone birthday, an alpaca birthday cake, and a graduation. I couldn’t have imagined a happier set of celebrations. I was so  blissfully unaware of the catastrophe about to beset us.

May 2017

Interlocking stitch

At least I got some crochet in whilst juggling hospital trips and the absence of a critically ill Mr R…crochet is not only my joy it’s my default when things get tough…my sanity. 

This Baby Wilmer blanket, filled me with hope, a new life just entering this world, whilst life at the nest  felt as if it had paused in some horrific nightmare.

June 2017 

yarnbomb, ayarnyrobin gate installation
yarnbomb

Mr R had prayerfully turned a corner  and our healing had begun, it was time for some fun and this yarny gate installation celebrated that!

July 2017

free dog collar crochet pattern...simple free pattern which you can crochet in under an hour
Jess… with her new crochet collar.

Still healing, but healing well! 

Small projects worked best and this ‘Oh so cute’ free dog collar pattern went down a treat with little Jess.

August 2017

C2C crochet baby blanket, crochet heart squares in paintbox cotton yarn
crochet and coffee

I fell so in love with these adorable C2C (corner to corner)hearts that I just couldn’t stop hooking them!  I couldn’t!! 

They fell off my hook so quickly that before I knew where I was I had enough for a blanket of hearts. 

I have to confess that I still need to border this lovely…yes it is still a PHD (project half done).  In my defense I just can’t decide what colour to border it in!

September 2017

crochet barefoot sandals - Corfu designed by ayarnyrobin.wordpress.com, summer feet
Corfu – Barefoot sandals

September felt much more ‘normal’ although I don’t know why…I spent a large majority of it bobbing around on a lazy river being drenched in golden sunshine on the amazing island of Corfu.  I didn’t forget about you though…look I made these barefoot sandals  by the pool… here’s the link to the free pattern just in case you fancy a pretty 20 minute hook up!

October 2017

Autumn woodland walks a plenty, a suprising wildlife sighting and family…I am so blessed.

November 2017

The Grandma Dot Tea Cosy, crochet tea cosy, The Grandma Collection by ayarnyrobin
Grandma Dot Tea Cosy

Finally, the release of my newest tea cosy in the Grandma Collection…the Grandma Dot tea cosy.  I don’t know why this took me so long to publish but it did.  Anyway, thank you for your frankly very kind feedback about this free pattern…there will be another one coming very shortly in the new year.

December 2017

loom knitted hat, ayarnyrobin
loom knitted beanie…

I told you 2017 ended on an up…the hat fit!

Enough said. 

Thank you 2017 for the joy, for the triumphs, for the challenge and even for the heartbreak…for all the folk that have stood alongside me whether that has been for a few minutes, a few days or for those lifers that are always cheering me on… you know who you are.  

Finally, thank you once again to you, for riding this journey with me… I think you are amazing and want to wish you all a very blessed and  extremely yarny 2018…

wherever it may take you.

xxxxx

 

Sunday…

 

But, it is Tuesday I hear you say!

A beautiful Tuesday too, a happy day off for me catching up with family, drinking lots of coffee and I must confess a little nap before the school run instead of crochet. 

British countryside in the Autumn
a blustery Sunday walk in the countryside

So, I thought I would post the pictures of our lovely blustery Sunday countryside walk this weekend.

a British adder snake
a British adder snake

We were all thrilled to find this adder snake slithering across the path.  I have never seen an adder before, they are a rare sight.  They are also our only poisonous snake in Britain, so we got the dogs back on their leads quickly and let Mr adder go on his way.

british countryside in autumn

We continued our walk,  chatting and planning and breathing in the crisp air and generally being amazed by the beautiful British countryside.

Once home I curled up with my hook and began a new pattern which has been long overdue. 

A new tea cosy for the Grandma Collection.  I am almost done with it, so I will release it here  very soon I promise.

xxxxx

 

 

all photographs in this post are provided by Mr Little Brother…

Free dog collar crochet pattern…

free dog collar crochet pattern...simple free pattern which you can crochet in under an hour
Jess… with her new crochet collar.

Isn’t she a sweetie? 

I can’t believe she will be 3 years old in August….do you remember her as a tiny pup? 

How time flies, and oh how dirty her collar had become, despite washing it!

So of course it seemed sensible to make her a little yarny cover for her collar and this is how I did it!

 

‘Such a cutie – dog collar’…free pattern:

Pattern uses English terminology (American equivalent in brackets).   You will also need a dog collar.

St/ s – stitch / es

ch – chain

htr – half treble (hdc – half double crochet)

I used Paintbox dk cotton yarn   

yarn a – washed teal

yarn b – lipstick pink 

yarn c – bubblegum pink  

Do not cut yarn at the end of each row.  Instead, work with 3 balls bringing the selected yarn up the side of the work.  This will prevent lots of ends needing to be sewn in!

Row 1: With yarn a, ch 9, 1htr in 2nd chain from hook,

1htr in each st across (8htr). 

free dog collar crochet pattern...simple free pattern which you can crochet in under an hour
Row 1

Row 2: Join yarn b, ch2 (does not count as a st), turn.  1htr in each st across (8htr). 

Row 3: Repeat row 2 with yarn c.

free dog collar crochet pattern...simple free pattern which you can crochet in under an hour
Juggling 3 balls will reduce the number of ends to be sewn in at the end!

Rest of rows: Repeat row 2, colour repeat – Yarn a,b,c to end. Measure against your dogs collar for length.

free dogcollar crochet pattern...simple free pattern which youcan crochet in under an hour
sew in ends…

Sew in the ends and whip stitch around dog collar as shown.

free dog collar crochet pattern...simple free pattern which you can crochet in under an hour
Sew a seam with a simple whip stitch.

tOP TIP:

To increase or decrease width of collar you could use a larger or smaller hook or increase or decrease the number of starting chains accordingly.

freedog collar crochet pattern...simple free pattern which you can crochet in under an hour
Voila…all done.

Jess likes her new collar…I hope  you do too!

Enjoy the pattern and send me photo’s of your cutie sporting a yarny collar if you make one won’t you?

free dog collar crochet pattern...simple free pattern which you can croche in under an hour
Such a cutie…

xxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

A yarny gate installation…

I have spent a lot of my time recently walking my dogs across the field that is behind our house. 

I used to do this often when I worked less, so to be able to have space to do this again has been refreshing.  However, this has been bothering me…

This gate opens onto a very busy road.  You can just about see that some kind soul has taken a sharpie pen to ask that folk shut the gate…but, it was still bothering me. 

It bothered me for two reasons.  The first, the gate is still left open and the second reason, the sharpie pen instruction just didn’t look pretty! 

So, I got out my stash and my hook

and began  hooking a simple but very happy double crochet striped affair.

 I added  a sweet little sewn request

 

and a cute little ladybird

Then I headed off with a pocket full of yarn and a darning needle to complete this yarny gate installation.

I hope so much that this sign makes people smile and that it survives for a little while before someone takes it down.

xxxxx

January…

With life now returning to a more normal ebb and flow following the festive jollity, I feel like I am back on the treadmill!

So I am being very careful to make sure life at home is given the highest priority.  Which of course means in part getting out and walking with the boys and Mr R and of course the dogs.

Special Happy Birthday to Old Alf who was 11 at the beginning of the month xx
Special Happy Birthday to Old Alf who was 11 at the beginning of the month xx

Wellies are my favourite type of footwear!
Wellies are my favourite type of footwear!

Now the photo’s I am going to share with you may seem some what gloomy, particularly if you happen to live in a warmer part of the world.  But, I have taken great comfort from pulling on my wellies and feeling the sometimes quite squelchy ground, and at other times the cold and frozen ground under my soles.

Jack Frost has painted this leaf...
Jack Frost has painted this leaf…

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A little spiders home sweet home.

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There was much fuss made in the media about the UK being hit by a polar storm, we were quite excited at the prospect of maybe being snowed in for a while…

The polar storm
The polar storm was a little underwhelming…

You will be relieved to know that I survived the polar storm of 2017 and even managed to get into work!!!!!

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I think I have enjoyed the walks just before dusk the most, when the mist clings to everything and envelops all…

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because lurking just underneath the ground is the promise of spring.  I can feel it when I’m out in the countryside.  The biting cold is soon to be replaced with a milder air, a warmer breeze and a brighter light. 

But, until then I am happy to stomp around in my wellies, looking at the footprints of what has stomped before me,

wp_20170108_14_40_01_proand exploring trails I have not been down before.

wp_20170108_14_56_16_proGetting cold and breathing in that damp air, because it means coming home is all the more cosy…

crochet by the fireside.
crochet by the fireside.

crochet in bed.
crochet in bed.

Don’t you think?

xxxxx

A lovely week

Well put out the crochet bunting….I’ve qualified!…a long hard slog, but it is done. 

So of course celebrations have been ongoing (both alcoholic and non alcoholic), but my favourite (and the one I am going to share with you) was a blissful week at home, pretty much to myself.  Doing this sort of thing…

wet Jess
Bathing Jess…

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she looks so cute once she gets a blow dry…

drinking coffee from my special mug
drinking coffee …

working on a new tea cosy pattern
working on a new tea cosy pattern…

Enjoying suprise gifts left by a neighbour
Enjoying suprise gifts left by a neighbour…

planting out my winter window boxes
planting out my winter window boxes…

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and hiding daffodill bulbs under the ground
and hiding daffodill bulbs under the ground.

Enjoying a fish and chip picnic
Enjoying a fish and chip picnic

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and contemplating what to do with these bag handles??????

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Enjoying the cosiness of home with friends…

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Yes…a lovely week indeed…Now, the hard work really begins! xxx

 

Where did that week go!

Well where did that last week go to?  

With only about 8 waking hours left of the spring break, to cram in as much  fun as possible…I will leave you with some photo’s which capture my week.

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Hope you a  had a good week

xxxxx