Lockdown baby…

If you have read my previous posts you will know we are awaiting the birth of a precious niece any day soon.  Little did we plan the birth of someone so longed for and precious in the middle of a global pandemic and a national lockdown!

However, the rainbows that adorn the windows of homes all across the country and that have become the symbol of communities united and a sign of thanks and of hope over the last 8 weeks or so, have inspired me to hook something for babies born in lockdown.

rainbow baby bonnet

You probably could have guessed it would be a bonnet…they have become my favourite things to make!

What do you think?

rainbow baby bonnet

These are available to buy in my shop…just click the picture and you will be magically transported there.  Or if you fancy hooking your own, you can purchase the pattern from my shop too…the pattern is for the basic bonnet so you would just have to change your yarn to the rainbow colours in the last 6 rows (the last row been the main colour of the bonnet). The ears are optional!  Of course if your not sure just pop me a message.

baby bonnet crochet pattern

I have had a lot of love for these and have just sold one to a lovely Mama who is expecting a rainbow baby (a baby born after pregnancy or child loss) and one to a Mama to be who wants to use it as part of her pregnancy announcement.

rainbow baby bonnet

I really do feel so privileged to make bonnets and hats and to help create special memories for parents and carers.

 

xxxxx

Oops April…

Apparently April 2020 has been and gone, it has seemingly slipped by silently…drowned out by the roar of Covid-19, and all without as much as a blog post from me.  My sincerest apologies, the NHS has been a crazy place to be employed of late and I have found it difficult to transition from there and slip into the rather relaxed mode at home…it feels like I am straddling two time zones!

baby romper

I have been productive however, and I have a few things to show you and some good patterns I have found to share with you.   The first of which is from one of my all time favourite designers…Mon petit violon.  I have a brand-new niece scheduled to arrive in this world at any moment and I fell in love with the ruffle romper by Mon Petit Violon.  So just before we were locked down I ordered 2 balls of Rico cotton soft in saffron.  As soon as they arrived through the letter box I got my hook out and, well pretty much got lost in the beautiful stitches and shape of this romper.  I oohed and aahhed as I hooked (no, I really did…out loud!).  The pattern is a wonderful hook, it is clearly written and comes in two size options  0 – 6 months and 6 -12 months.  I am hooking the 0 – 6 months as baby is due any day now.

There are plenty of helpful pictures included in the pattern too and although the stitches used are simple, I would suggest you would need some previous knowledge and experience of crochet and  reading patterns so as not to be overwhelmed.  Oh and of course it is very important to test swatch your gauge to begin with!

So there I was oohing and aahhing and hooking away merrily and what I should have done was read the partof the pattern which suggested amounts of yarn, because just as I got to the ruffle part…I ran out of yarn!

I should have ordered 3 balls!  No problem! I thought and hit the button to order more…but an ‘out of stock’ message appeared!  No problem! I thought as I checked the box that said ‘send email when back in stock’.

Three weeks passed and no email…a frantic search online found my heart sinking as shop after shop did not have any balls of saffron left.  In desperation last week I put an appeal out on Instagram to see if any lovely hooker, anywhere in the world had some in their stash to sell to me… and my wonderful #sidekicksistas came to the rescue.  The beautiful Karen alerted me to 3 balls that were available at Laughing Hens!  Now I had never come across this beautiful gem of  shop before…but I hit the order button and am now just waiting for my yarn to arrive, so I can get that ruffle hooked hopefully before my niece arrives!

Talking of patterns I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for the support you have given to me with my recent pattern release.

You have really blessed me!

I promise I won’t leave it as long before I next drop by.

Stay safe.

xxxxx

 

Baby Bear Bonnet – New pattern release…

Oh my days…I hope everyone is well and staying safe…what strange and frightening times we are living in!  I am still having to work, but the rest of the Robins are tucked up tight at home with Mr R for safe keeping.

Photo credit: with thanks to @homeandangelmum on instagram

In between my shifts for the last 4 weeks I have been trying to distract myself by pattern writing…and today I have been able to release my offering of this adorable baby bonnet.  It has taken me 4 weeks to write, get pattern tested, product tested and edited, so it has kept me well distracted from the worry in this world.

(If you want to skip the rest of this post, you will find a 20% off coupon code at the bottom of this post!)

Photo credit: with thanks to @kyliesianmed on instagram

This beautiful baby bear bonnet is sure to make a perfect baby shower gift for a precious little one. Or indeed this cute little bonnet would make a sweet photo prop to take along to a newborn photoshoot. Of course, it would also be great for dress up and everyday wear too!

What do you think?

Photo credit: with thanks to @mrslozmiller on instagram

Fancy hooking your own beautiful baby bear bonnet? This beautiful pattern is easy and quick to hook up and comes in sizes

Newborn
0 – 3 months
3-6 months
6 – 9 months
9 – 12 months
1 – 2 years
2 – 5 years

Materials you will need:
Aran / worsted weight yarn – pattern recommends Stylecraft special, but any aran/ worsted yarn may be used (5.0mm) crochet hook
Tapestry needle
Tape measure
stitch marker (optional)

The pattern is written using UK crochet terminology and has a handy conversion of stitches into US terminology provided in the pattern notes.

You are welcome to sell what you make using my patterns – I hope this bonnet sells well for you! Please do include a link or reference to my shop  for the pattern. This pattern including photographs are copyright protected and you are not permitted to reproduce, redistribute, copy, share or re-sell.

Use code

STAYATHOME20

for 20% off pattern price valid until 04.04.2020.

Stay safe lovelies.

xxxxx

Pattern testers needed!…

Hey Lovelies I’m in need of pattern testers again.  Yes, I’ve been able to get back to some of what I love and I’ve been writing a pattern for a beautiful baby bear bonnet.   It all came about when I just couldn’t find a pattern for a basic baby bonnet that worked…I tried several!!

So I thought I’d just write my own.  I still have a couple of sizes to figure out, but for the most part it is written.

baby bonnet

Here’s what I’m looking for.

Do I need to have test crochet before?

Nope… as long as you can crochet and read from a written pattern you are good to apply to be my tester. Infact, I am looking for people with varying abilities of crochet.

Is there a deadline?

Yes…if you are successful in applying for the role of tester I will require you to finish the test within a week of receiving the pattern.

Other than crochet the pattern on time what else do you need me to do?
Good question!  I will need you to give me lots of feedback, to include the good, the bad and the ugly!
Spot typo’s and grammatical errors and make pattern corrections.
I need you to keep in touch even if this means you can’t meet the deadline…life happens, I understand that.
I also require a good quality photo of the finished item that I will be able to use on all social media, my blog and in my Etsy shop…I will of course tag you.

I will require you to be active on social media, ideally you need to be active on Instagram and or facebook….What does this mean? I would like you to share the pattern once published  and it is available on general release, I would like you to post your picture with a link to the pattern. I will let you know when the pattern is live.

Do I get paid to test a pattern?

Nope…I wish I could say yes, but sadly the answer is no! You also need to be able to provide your own materials…in this case a small quantity of aran / worsted weight yarn.  However, you will get the pattern fully edited for free and if your photo’s are of good quality I will use them here on my blog and in my social media / Etsy shop and I will always tag you so people can head your way!

So if you are interested and can turn this around for me within 7 days,  and you are happy with the terms above, please leave me a comment below, with your facebook and Instagram handles and expressing your interest.  I have about 4 spaces available and if you are successful I will be in touch within the next week.

 

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

 

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

 

A little crafty…

Hello lovelies, I thought you may like to see what I have been up to lately.  I have been busy crafting and hooking and I have also been busy ignoring my PHD projects in the hope I can convince myself it is ok to start more projects!

I have had this beautiful mustard coloured yarn for a little while and I knew I wanted to make a sweet little beanie for a little head.  I still need to pop on a pom pom to finish it off, I just cant decide whether it should be black or white!

Any thoughts?

crochet beanie

I even had enough left over to make a sweet little headband too…

baby crochet headband

I also made a large beanie for Papa’s birthday,  Mr R made him some domino’s; so his birthday present was a real homemade affair this year.

crochet beanie

The pattern for both the mustard beanie and Papa’s is my own, I just haven’t written it up yet.  I have also done some more embroidery hoop art…this is my favourite one so far…

embroidery hoop art

I also have some very exciting crochet news…but I can’t share that with you just yet, I promise I will do as soon as I am allowed.  So you see I have been quite crafty.  This afternoon though I am just deciding whether I really need this gorgeous shawl in my life and if so what colour yarns I should choose!

sunday relaxing

It’s a long weekend here in the UK, so I can spend some time crafting later and tomorrow too…Have a great week whatever you have planned.

xxxxx

 

 

 

Amigurumi and CE testing…

Amigurumi and CE testing…that is what I am trying to figure out right now and it’s a sizeable pain in the butt!

  Since hooking up my zebra last summer, I have had people ask me to make their children one…but, I have been hesitant; as in the UK and within Europe toys must by law carry the CE mark.

crochet zebraSo, for a long while I was completely put off the idea of making anymore amigurumi…but, my little zebra is just so delightful that every time I look at him I want to hook another, in a different colour of course.  I also want to hook a giraffe and a bear and all manner of other cute stuffies. 

amigurumi unicorn

So, I have done some research and my brain hurts…it really does.  But, I have found that I can  do my own CE testing…yes, that’s a whole lot cheaper than sending toys of to the lab to be CE tested! 

CE testing also involves science experiments! 

So, I am enlisting the help of my Dad as he is a retired primary school teacher, and hence very thorough and I know he will help make sure my testing is rigorous, which is just what I need.  

crochet zebra

The testing requires two prototypes of each toy, one to test prewash, one to test post washing.  I am finding the thought of making two a bit galling to be honest, as it will use my precious stash…but, I am just going to have to get over that!

The testing is even more vexing to me as I have to set fire to it…let me rephrase that…I have to set fire to my zebra!  If that still doesn’t register with you

I HAVE TO SET FIRE TO MY YARN!!!! TWICE!!!

Yes, I thought that might get your attention…I feel anxious about just typing that, let alone striking the match.  If my prototype survives that, I then have to suspend various weights from it amongst some other things, like checking the materials used are all EN71 compliant.  Of course all this has to be documented properly too.

If anyone knows any better than this or has experience of CE testing or can point me in the right direction, especially on what is required by law to sell toys outside of Europe, I would  really love to chat with you; as I have decided to bite the bullet and will commence testing soon.

But, first I am going to have to make some more amigurumi for the slaughter, as I just can’t bring myself to burn my zebra!

xxxxx