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

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Heart baby blanket…

Here it is, my beautiful grey and white heart baby blanket…

grey and white baby blanket
pattern by @emmacartercrochet

I love this pattern, thanks to the very talented @emmacartercrochet for sharing this fabulous pattern which is called ‘The Ombre Heart C2C Blanket’ and which is also free!!!  How generous to share such a brilliant pattern.

It is a corner to corner construction and therefore works up quite quickly.  The version in Emma’s pattern has 5 colours which fade into each other, but I opted for a solid grey heart this time.  I say this time, because this pattern is addictive and I already want to make more.

grey and white baby blanket

I opted to add a simple double crochet (single crochet) border in grey, and added one of my natural sustainably sourced cork labels as the finishing touch.

grey and white baby blanket

I just love the soft texture of this baby blanket…

grey and white baby blanket

I think the heart would look amazing in a  swirl or gradient yarn, but I have chosen to make a rainbow blanket next, so the swirl may have to wait!  After working on these calming grey and whites this is what I’m going to be using next…

rainbow baby blanket

My favourite colour…..Rainbow!

 

xxxxx

All done…Vintage Vibe baby blanket.

Thank you so much for all the messages of support for my new Etsy Shop, whether it was over on Insta or in the comments thread here, I have been so encouraged by your wishes. 

I have stopped by today though to show you a finished project…yes I know it’s been a while!  Do you remember this…

crochet blanketThe post is just here, if you want to read in more detail…but in a nut shell, I named this project my ‘Make do’ blanket, because I used the yarn from my stash and just made do with what I had.  I honestly thought it would look rubbish…but, I actually really LOVE it.

grannystripe baby blanket on etsyThe random colours coupled with the granny stitch give it a real vintage vibe.

granny stripe baby blanket on etsy

I finished it off with this beautiful sustainably sourced cork label which I have recently had custom made.  Check this shop out if you’d like labels like this (no affiliate link…I just love this shop!).

baby blanket on etsy

I bordered it in red, as this yarn was what I had the most of, I only just had enough to add one round of granny stitches…I really would have liked to have added several more rows to make a wider band around the blanket, but this is my ‘make do’ blanket, so one round it was.

baby blanket on Etsy

All in all, I am thrilled with this make, it’s busted some stash, become something beautiful and was quite quick to make.  I now have a corner to corner on my hook, if you follow me on insta then you may have seen some sneak peeks, but if not, I will put a post up all about that really soon…It’s an awesome pattern. 

What have you got on the go at the moment?  I would love to know.

Thank you 2018…

As 2018 draws to a close and 2019 peeps over the horizon, it is that time of year when bloggers from all around the world post their obligatory review of the year. 

Yes, this is that type of post…however, I have kept it simple and I have decided to choose just one photo from each month…yarn related of course. 

Suffice just to say, 2018 has had it’s ups and downs, as I am sure it has for you; but crochet has, as always been my constant therapy!  2018 was all about busting my stash, finishing Projects Half Done (PHD’s) and learning to knit…I have also released the following FREE patterns this year which I hope you have enjoyed.

Sunshine Jelly Baby Blanket

Grandma Florence Tea Cosy

Grandma Kathy Tea Cosy

Being part of an amazing crafty community means so much to me and I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to you, whether you are a first time reader or if you are a regular  here at the nest.  Your support and encouragement is treasured. 

Here  are my favourite 12 yarny photo’s of 2018…

January 2018

crochet tea cosy free pattern and tutorialThe Grandma Florence Tea Cosy…bright, quirky and a whole lot of fun to make.

February 2018

broken foot and crochet
guilt free resting!

February, revolved around guilt free crochet as I ended up on crutches and had to take a month out of work. Luckily, for me I found the beautiful Seaside Stashbusting Blanket CAL hosted by the very talented Coastal Crochet It was the perfect project to bust some of my stash…every cloud eh!

March 2018

crochet blanket
crochet and coffee

This is my favourite photo from March.  My Seaside Stash Busting Blanket was starting to look more blanket like and by now I was enjoying the random colour selection from my stash.

April 2018

crochet baby blanketOn a personal level April was profoundly traumatic and sad here  at the nest, but on a yarny level I released the pattern for this beauty.  I just love this blanket so, so much and it proved to be a welcome shower of cheer which burst forth amongst the grief.  This also fulfilled the remit of completing a PHD!

The free pattern is available just here. 

May 2018

learning to knit
learning to knit

2018 saw the beginning of my learning to knit adventure…this is as far as I got.  I started really well and perhaps got a little ambitious…which became my downfall.  Here are my posts to prove it here,  just here and here

I haven’t returned to this project yet as I can’t work out where I am in the pattern!  I do really want to finish this off…a New Year Challenge perhaps? 

June 2018

crochet blanket cal

  We had an unusually hot summer here in the UK, so hooking al fresco was great now that my Seaside Stash Busting Blanket had grown in size.  We had a beautiful sunny weekend glamping and those soft pink and grey shells will forever remind me of that recharging break away with Mr R and the Robins.  You can read about those glamping adventures just here.

July 2018

crochet zebra

The stash busting continued throughout July and inspired me to hook this cheeky dude.  I had some black, white and grey Paintbox cottons just sitting in my stash and the most apparent thing to make was a zebra of course. 

Having never made amigurumi before I am now completely smitten with all things amigurumi, which came as a total surprise to me!  I made so many mistakes with this pattern, but learnt lots about the process of amigurumi along the way…if you want the full details of the mistakes I made take a look here.

August 2018

Vintage Market Tote

This was a joy to hook and also busted some more stash.  I made this Vintage Market Tote for my Mama…and she loved it

September 2018

mixed stitch blanket

The end was in sight for the now glorious Seaside Stash Busting Blanket…and just in time for the change of seasons as Autumn crept in.

October 2018

amigurumi unicorn

A real …tadaaa… moment.  This beautiful unicorn was made with a lot of love in my heart and no mistakes…well none that I know of!  A real gem of a pattern that was easy to follow and so well written.  It was an absolute joy to send her to her forever home and I am looking forward to hearing what she has been named.  The pattern details are just here.

November 2018

crochet baby blanket

My two favourite things to do when I’m on my own are to crochet and drink coffee and if I can do both whilst watching the world go by then that is near perfect for me. 

This  is another stash busting win for me also…a super soft and pretty baby blanket using up left over yarn from my Sunday Shawl.

December 2018

crochet bag

This is the sad state of my Charming Harbour Blanket…still in its bag  (hangs head in shame!). 

This photo is from January…a PHD fail.  I have added some more rows over the course of the year…honest I have.  I don’t know why I haven’t finished it.  The pattern is simple and it is very handsome… and it is not really that far from being finished; but the pretty things call me more loudly.  

All in all 2018 has been quite yarny, maybe not as yarny as some, but yarny nonetheless.  I have met some amazing crafty friends along the way, busted through a lot of my stash and finished a PHD or two. 

Now bring on 2019!

xxxxx

 

 

 

 

Sheraby Baby Blanket…

Oh my days! 

Life seems to be on fast forward at the moment…It is nearly December already…how can that be? 

I  have been hooking, but a lot of what I am doing is

Secret Santa type of top secret and the like.  I can show you this, however

crochet baby blanketA pretty linen stitch baby blanket, using up my leftovers from my Sunday Shawl…this yarn has to be my absolute favourite at the moment.  It is Scheepjes Merino dk and it is so, so soft…I mean really soft and plump and squishy.  I started this blanket on a whim and then couldn’t put it down, so it actually hooked up quite quickly.  I hooked it in the car,

crochet baby blanketIn the café whilst the boys were mountain biking,

crochet baby blanketbut, mostly I hooked it in Sherwood Forest, whilst away for a few precious days…hence the name ‘Sheraby’. 

in my happy place

You might be thinking what about all those pesky ends?  Well, I just crocheted over them as I went, so there were no pesky ends at all.

crochet baby blanketIt is only a small little blanket…car seat size, but I am so pleased with it.  This years hooking seems to be about busting my stash and I am really enjoying the challenge of that.  I really do like the ‘knitted’ look  that linen stitch produces to.  It’s a lovely closed fabric effect and is very simple to do.

crochet baby blanket

crochet baby blanketWhat do you think?

xxxxx

seasidestashbusting blanket…The End!

It’s done!  I have made the last stitch and woven in the last end of my beautiful #seassidestashbusting blanket. 

It’s huge and I simply love it!

mixedstitch crochet blanketOh! what a journey this blanket has been…a beautiful, stitchy, vibrant and meandering journey of colour, crochet and community…not to mention stash busting too! 

mixed stitch crochet blanket

Thank you so much to Eleanora over at Coastal Crochet for hosting such a marvellous and well organised CAL (crochet-a-long) and to all the lovely people I have met  a long the way; who have encouraged and inspired me with kind words or blankets of their own.  I have really enjoyed scrolling through the IG feed #seasidestashbustingblanket and seeing so many wonderfully unique contributions.

mixed stitch crochet blanket

I am keeping this blanket for myself because honestly, I just can’t bear to be parted from it.  I have hooked in so many memories of my year…like the sunny glamping rows, the foot surgery rows, the world cup rows, the too hot to crochet rows and the snowy day bobbles and I can relate each memory to the specific rows.  I will leave you with my photographic journey…

#seasidestashbustingblanket CAL

#seasidestashbustingblanket weeks 5 - 8mixed stitch crochet blanketcrochet mixed stitch blanketcrochet blanket calmixed stitch crochet blanketseasidestashbustingblanketmixed stitch crochet blanketLove, love, love this blanket. 

I’m not sure what I’m going to do without the weekly rows…

xxxxx

seaside stash busting blanket weeks 17- 20

crochet blanket cal

I thought you might like another little update on the slow CAL (crochet a long) I’m participating in which is being hosted by the lovely Eleanora over at coastal crochet. You can also find lots of other amazing blankets and makers participating in this CAL  across social media by searching #seasidestashbustingblanket.

You can read about  my weeks 1 – 4 just here

and  weeks 5 – 8 just here

weeks 9 – 12 here

and weeks 13 – 16 here

 

Here is how it has been growing…

crochet blanket calcrochet blanket calcrochet blanket calcrochet blanket cal

Now, I’m off to catch up with the rows for week 21!

xxxxx

seaside stash busting blanket weeks 13- 16

I can’t believe that this blanket has been on my hook and in my life for four months.  It is getting large enough now for me to throw it over my lap in the evenings  and I thought you might like another photo update on my progress. 

You can read about  my weeks 1 – 4 just here

and my weeks 5 – 8 just here

and weeks  9 -12 just here

But let me show you weeks 13 – 16. 

crochet mixed stitch blanket

Now Weeks 13 -15 were just fine…

crochet mixed stitch blanket

crochet mixed stitch blanketcrochet mixed stitch blanket

but week 16…

crochet mixed stitch blanket

well it was basket weave and if you are a long time reader you may remember my last foray with basket weave…It looks great but I do not like hooking this stitch you can read why just here.

So it came as a very welcome relief to find out that the next stitches were the relaxing long wave stitches after the stressful basket weave!

If you want to find out more about this delightful slow CAL (crochet a long) which is being hosted by the lovely Eleanora hop over to her beautiful blog… Coastal Crochet. You can also find lots of other amazing blankets and makers participating in this CAL across social media by searching #seasidestashbustingblanket.

I‘m off to do another couple of rows now.  I will be back soon to show you what else has been on my hook of late and I will also write an update about my yarny knitting adventure.

xxxxx

Sunshine Jelly Baby Blanket Free Pattern…

crochet baby balnket I am so thrilled to be able to introduce the Sunshine Jelly Baby blanket to you.

This delightful crochet blanket is vibrant and fun to hook and the pattern is available, complete with a photo tutorial just below. Made from Drops Muskat cotton, it measures  74cms x 74cms or 29″ x 29″…the perfect pram blanket size, of course you can make the blanket bigger by adding more squares if you wish.
This delicious blanket is made using the Robins Nest square which I designed a few years ago and if you are a regular here you will know that I have recently updated this pattern. When I first designed this square I always intended to make a baby blanket…I guess somethings just take a while to come to pass.

 crochet baby blanketAs always I’m using English crochet terminology.
Ch – chain
Slst – slip stitch
dc – double crochet
tr – treble crochet

ch3 – counts as a treble unless otherwise stated.
I’m using drops muskat cotton.

and I’m using the colours  and quantities listed below
red – 100g
old pink – 80g
white – 50g
vanilla yellow – 65g
dark orange -20g

sky blue – 35g
apple green – 50g
and a 4mm crochet hook and a 3.5mm crochet hook 

Each lovely yarny square measures 7″ x 7″ or 18cm x 18cm once blocked.

You will need to make 16 squares to make this blanket arranged 

4 x 4…

of course you can make more squares if you wish to make a larger version.

crochet baby blanket


So here goes…
with a 4mmhook ch2, join with ss to form a tiny ring (you could make a magic circle instead if you prefer)

CROCHET TUTORIAL

Row 1: ch3,

CROCHET TUTORIAL11tr into ring,

CROCHET TUTORIALjoin blue yarn and slst into 3rd ch
(12tr in total).

CROCHET TUTORIALRow 2: ch3,

CROCHET TUTORIAL1tr in same space, ch1

CROCHET TUTORIAL2tr in next st, ch1

CROCHET TUTORIAL *2tr in next st, ch1*, repeat * * x10 times,
join white yarn and slst into 3rd ch
(12 clusters of 2tr and 12 ch spaces).

CROCHET TUTORIALRow 3: ch3,

CROCHET TUTORIAL *3tr in next ch space*,

CROCHET TUTORIALrepeat * * x10 times, 2 tr in next ch space,

CROCHET TUTORIALjoin with slst in top of ch3 and fasten off.
(12 clusters of 3tr).
Row 4: join green yarn in between any cluster of 3tr of previous round and ch3,
3tr in same sp, ch1

CROCHET TUTORIAL

*4tr in between next cluster of 3tr, ch1*,

CROCHET TUTORIAL

repeat * * x10 times, join with slst in ch3 and fasten off.
(12 clusters of 4tr and 12 ch spaces)

CROCHET TUTORIAL

Row 5: join yellow yarn in any ch space and ch3,
4tr in same sp, ch1

CROCHET TUTORIAL*5tr in next ch space, ch1*,
repeat * * x10 times, join with slst in ch3 and fasten off.
(12 clusters of 5tr and 12 ch spaces)

CROCHET TUTORIALRow 6: join pink yarn to any ch space and ch3,
5tr in same sp, ch1,
*6tr in next ch space, ch1*,
repeat * * x10 times, join with ss in ch3 and fasten off.
(12 clusters of 6tr and 12 ch spaces)

CROCHET TUTORIALRow 7: join red yarn in any ch space, ch3,
5tr in same space,

CROCHET TUTORIALch3,

CROCHET TUTORIAL6tr in same space (corner made),

CROCHET TUTORIAL*6tr in next ch space, 6tr in next ch space,

CROCHET TUTORIAL6tr in next space, ch3, 6tr in same space*
(2nd corner made)
repeat * * x2 times

CROCHET TUTORIAL6tr in next space, 6tr in next space, join with slst in beginning ch3. Do not fasten off.

Row 8: ch3,

CROCHET TUTORIAL1tr in next 5sts,

CROCHET TUTORIAL

*6tr in ch3 sp, ch2,
6tr in same space (corner made),

crochet tutorial*1tr in next 5sts,

crochet tutorialdc UNDER next stitch (indicated by the hook)

crochet tutorial1tr in next 5sts, dc under next stitch,
1tr in next 5sts, dc under next stitch

CROCHET TUTORIAL1tr in next 6sts,
6tr in ch sp, ch 2, 6tr in same space*

CROCHET TUTORIAL

repeat * * x2times

CROCHET TUTORIAL

1tr in next 5sts, dc under next stitch,
1tr in next 5 sts, dc under next stitch,
1tr in next 5 sts, dc under next stitch,
slst to beginning 3rd ch to finish.
Weave in ends.

crochet tutorial

Blocking:

A word on blocking:
Before blocking…

crochet tutorial

Your square will be wibbly.
After blocking…

crochet tutorialYour square will lie flat and will look much better.
Blocking is really worth the extra effort and isn’t difficult or expensive to do. I just pinned this square to my ironing board so that it measured 7″ by 7″ and hovered my iron just above the square and blasted it with steam. Allow to cool before unpinning and store carefully. Alternatively, you could pin the square to the required measurements to a towel or a pin board, spritz with water and allow to dry.

Joining:

I have used a simple and easy slip stitch to join these squares.  I have chosen this join for two reasons.  The first reason is that it is secure and does not add anything to the squares, allowing them to showcase themselves.

The second reason is it uses the least amount of yarn and also creates less ends to weave in. 

So to join the squares start by placing 2 squares with the right side to the right side…ie/ the wrong side of each square will be facing outwards. 

Note that this join requires you to place slip stitches in the top of the stitches along the edge of the square and you should go under both loops of each stitch. 

crochet baby blanket free pattern

 Some stitches will require you to slip stitch in both stitches of each square, these stitches should be the corresponding stitches for each square. Some stitches will require you to slip stitch in the top square only.  This is because the squares are only joined to each other at each corner and in the middle of each scallop. 

Join yarn in 2nd ch of any corner space and with a 3.5mm hook slst,

in both squares slst in the next 6sts,

in top square only slst in next 6 sts (tr), slst in next st (dc), slst in next st (1st tr of scallop),

*in both squares slst in next 3 sts (2nd, 3rd &4th st of scallop),

in top square only slst in next 3sts (tr,dc,tr)*

repeat * – *

in top square only slst in next 5sts,

in both squares slst in next 6 sts, miss chst, slst into 2nd ch of corner space. 

Repeat this process for each side of the square which requires joining.  You will not need to cut your yarn at the end of each side joined as you can continue round by adding another square.  I started joining in the middle of the blanket.  You will have to join in a new corner space for some of the joins, but the process remains the same.

I do hope you enjoy this pattern.

The Sunshine Jelly Baby Blanket ©2018 and the robins nest square ©2016 are designed by Nicola Florence @ayarnyrobin
I would love to see your makes and you can share on social media by using the following hashtags
#ayarnyrobin  #yarnyrobin @yarnyrobin
This pattern to include the photos are the property of Nicola Florence @ayarnyrobin. You can’t modify, resell or share this pattern. You can sell finished items made from it, but please mention that the item is made using AYARNYROBIN pattern.

 

seaside stash busting blanket weeks 9 – 12

I thought you might like another little update on the slow CAL (crochet a long) I’m participating in which is being hosted by the lovely Eleanora over at coastal crochet. You can also find lots of other amazing blankets and makers participating in this CAL  across social media by searching #seasidestashbustingblanket.

You can read about  my weeks 1 – 4 just here

and my weeks 5 – 8 just here

But let me show you weeks 9 – 12.  I have enjoyed these weeks so much, hooking out and about in town

CROCHET MIXED STITCH BLANKET

The blanket is certainly growing larger and no longer resembles a scarf…in fact it is way past scarf stage now and is handy for keeping my lap warm whilst I hook away.

MIXED STITCH CROCHET BLANKET

I think this will be the last close up picture where the whole of the blanket will fit into frame.

mixed stitch crochet blanket

 

I’m still ploughing through my stash too, so this makes me doubly thrilled with this blanket.  I find I am really looking forward to every Monday and Friday when the next rows are released.  I love the surprise of not knowing what the next set of rows will be.

mixed stitch crochet blanket

 

xxxxx