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

#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