PHD’s a plenty…

I have so many projects half done or PHD’s as I like to call them and I am enjoying hooking them all.  The problem has been deciding which one to pick up and which one to put down!

broomstick crochet blanketI have my Lazy Days broomstick lace blanket which is just divine to hook, but I have to keep count, so this is best hooked when I’m on my own.  It has grown considerably since it was snapped here and looks more like this now…

broomstick crochet blanketIt is so pretty. 

I have decorated my bedroom now, so I really must make this a priority to finish.  

The next PHD is this beauty…

crochet blanket
crochet and coffee

Technically, this is a PHD, but it is also up to date as it is being hooked as a CAL (crochet a long) blanket, so this super #seasidestashbusting blanket has x4rows added to it each week and is growing fast.  You can read about it just here. 

spiked stitch baby blanket
making stash pretty…

Then, there is this lovely spiked stitch baby blanket, which I don’t think I have introduced you to yet.  I will write a  post about it soon complete with pattern details I promise.  The important detail for now is I’m using up stash…yes, I’m on a mission!

I am still plodding on with my Charming Harbour blanket, although progress is slow as the lure of the brighter colour blankets call louder to me.  However, this quiet and unassuming blanket thrills me once it is on my lap, it’s simplicity and beauty seduces me and I feel I should apologise to it for leaving it alone for so long.

Charming Harbour crochet blanket for him by ayarnyrobin
Charming Harbour blanket in progress…

So, that’s four blankets on the go. I also have a flower fiesta commission that I should be getting along with.  I have made a start…but I also have lots more to get done.  Then there is a little baby romper that I need to start and several baby hats too! 

You may have noticed some funny business going on here over the last week too…apologies if you have been affected.  I have had a little reorganisation of this space and now have some of my patterns featuring at the top of the main page.  I have also finally got my own logo which I am super pleased with. 

ayarnyrobin

I am also about to launch a new series called

‘My Yarny Knitting Adventure’

 

I can’t resist any longer and I have set myself the challenge of learning to knit.  I am collecting my knitting needles from my Mom tomorrow and I’m going to see what happens, so look out for a lot of dropped stitches and some yarny tangles! 

I also have a pattern release due out mid April.  It is a free pattern for a beautiful crochet baby blanket, I just need to put the component pieces together…..

 

Wow, that seems like rather a lot now that I have written it down all in one place…I had better pull my hook out! 

Have a great weekend.

xxxxx

 

 

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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

 

Just in time for Christmas…

I just wanted to bob in and out quickly to let you know I did it…I got the hat done and this time it fits!

What do you think?

loom knitted hat, ayarnyrobin
loom knitted beanie…

I am really pleased with it! 

I used Stylecraft Special Chunky in Midnight and King Cole Tonal Chunky in Misty Teal this time and this seems to have made all the difference in terms of size and stretch.  It still needs to stretch a bit…it is an only just fit, but I am hoping it will stretch a little more as it gets worn.  The hats I have made previously have always stretched a bit when worn. 

If you are interested in the pattern details the links to such can be found in this post. I modified the brim slightly by adding a row of double crochet to the bottom of the brim once I had taken it off the loom.  I found the edge curled outwards otherwise and didn’t lie flat.  I think this may have something to do with my cast on technique and being a novice loom knitter!

So there it is… just in time for Christmas! 

I would recommend this pattern if you are still outstanding a hand made gift for Christmas…4 hours and I had this knocked out, so there is still time!

Talking of which if you do celebrate this festive season then I wish you a peaceful and very happy Christmas.    If you are not celebrating then I wish you a happy and crafty weekend.  I will try and pop by before the new year, I’m sure I will feel the need to escape the madness at some point.

xxxxx

Picture Perfect…

A picture perfect weekend…

With all this snow, I have started another hat…let’s see if I can make this one to fit Mr R’s head this time!!! 

Yes, the countdown to Christmas has begun at the nest. 

xxxxx

Homemade Christmas Damson Gin…

If you are new to these parts and are thinking…great! last minute homemade Christmas present then you may be disappointed, BUT you are very welcome here though and I may suggest how to cheat at the end, which might just get you out of that last minute hole. 

This process commenced way back in August

making damson gin...
making damson gin…

I have been really very disciplined and I have been gently shaking the gin each week and more importantly (and amazingly) I have not drunk any…if I did it would have been purely for quality control purposes!!! 

So today was the day to open and taste and Oh Joy…it is absolutely gorgeous, the type of sticky, sweet alcoholic gorgeous that one would expect when drinking a damson gin…the type that warms you from the inside. 

With a little bit of help from my brewing genius brother I sterilised my newly purchased gin bottles and began to fill them up. 

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Brewers sterilising fluid…

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Sterilised bottles ready to fill…
x5 lovely bottles of Damson Gin
x5 lovely bottles of Damson Gin

With the addition of a cute little cork heart they are going to make a lovely Christmas stocking filler don’t you think?

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detail added with a sharpie…
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a perfect stocking filler…or tipple for Santa!

Ok, so I said I would help you out of that last minute hole.  You could buy some bottles, sterilise them, add purchased alcoholic beverage and add a cute little label, but only if you promise to be more organised next year and make your own!!!

xxxxx

 

 

Wow…

Humph!!…did you hear that…or is it just my tinnitus again?  I think it was the sound of me falling onto the sofa from a parallel universe; where the last few weeks have spun by in a blur and may have possibly been the fastest few weeks in history. 

A fleeting glimpse of the super moon...
A fleeting glimpse of the super moon…

I was hoping to have posted this weekend about the second tea cosy in the Grandma Collection, but that may well be next week end now…so sorry.  It would have happened, but I think that in exiting the parallel universe I left my little pencil case of hooks as  I can’t  seem to find them…most distressing. 

There has been quite a bit of Christmas hooking going on, but that will have to remain under wraps for now, enough to say I am in love with the pattern and can’t wait to share it with you all. 

So, whilst I acclimatise back into the earthly realm, I will leave you with a little snap shot of the last few weeks…

An Autumnul walk
Autumn is slipping into winter
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but glorious colour can still be found
and if you know where to look you can still find cosmos
and if you know where to look you can still find cosmos…
The boys are still being boys...
The boys are still being boys…
getting balls stuck up trees...
getting balls stuck up trees…
I do love them so...
I do love them so…

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taboggoning at the snowdome was pretty awesome also...
taboggoning at the snowdome was pretty awesome also…
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A sneek peek of some of the lovlinesss in store for the second tea cosy in the Grandma Collection….

Oh ok then, just a  very quick look at some of the Christmas hooking…

just don't tell anyone...promise.
just don’t tell anyone…promise.

xxxxx

Making damson gin…

Well what is a girl to do, when she is given a surplus of damsons?…

Gin of course!

I have read that many recipes for damson gin, I became confused.  What follows is a conglomeration of several.

WP_20160823_18_17_48_ProThe ingredients are this simple…

550g of damsons (because that is how much we had!)

250g of granulated sugar

1 litre of gin

1 litre mason jars x2.

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First I sterilised the jars with boiling water. 

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Then skewered the damsons with a sterile darning needle to get their damson juices flowing.  I divided the damsons equally between the jars. 

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Next, I added 125g of sugar into the first jar and 125g of sugar into the second jar. 

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Finally, adding 500ml of gin into the first jar and 500ml into the second jar.

I gave the jars a little shake and then popped them on the larder shelf where it is dark…this is important storage information apparently! 

I’m not sure if it is a good thing that there is an air space in the jars or not.  Looking at the unopened gin bottle there was an air space.  So I think I am going to have to do a bit more research.  I may be topping up with a bit more gin, but I will let you know if I do.  The jars will need a little shake each day for the first week and then weekly after that. 

All the recipes differ on how long to leave the gin until you crack it open.  Some say 3 months others 6 months and then others a year!!!  I  should imagine it is when desperate!  Again I will let you know.  I am hoping it will be in time for Christmas, unless I get desperate before that!!

 xxxxx

 

 

A lost yarny Angel

Do you remember these…I think I must have given all mine away last Christmas, because I’ve searched everywhere for my host of angels and can’t find them…I think it will be off to the shops tomorrow for some pipe cleaners and some sparkly yarn.

This divine angel is made by hooking 2 small granny squares and assembling with a few bits and pieces.  I made mine in a white yarn with a silver sparkle…the pattern is by the very talented Priscilla Hewitt  (search Granny square angel on her site) and is super simple to follow and in no time at all you could have your own host…. 

 

bones and ribbons

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A crafty little tutorial today…Christmas dog wreaths, for the pooch in your life!

Easy peasy to make, here is what you will need…

wreaths...these are bought, cost £1 each, but you could make one from some coat hanger wire...
wreaths…these are bought, cost £1 each, but you could make one from some coat hanger wire…
your dogs favourite biscuits...
your dogs favourite biscuits…
raffia, or ribbon
raffia, or ribbon…
cut raffia into lengths...
cut raffia into lengths…
tie onto wreath...
tie onto wreath…
Attach a length of raffia to top of wreath to hang...
Attach a length of raffia to top of wreath to hang…

Easy Christmas dog wreath.

xxxxx