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

Crochet Rainbow Pattern…

 

crochet rainbow

Hi, I just wanted to drop by to share with you this fabulous and free crochet sampler rainbow pattern by the amazing Sharon from The Stitch Foundary

It’s a quick make and looks fabulous hung up in the window to show support to all of our key workers at this unbelievable time and to add some cheer and unite in community spirit.

From a crochet point of view, the pattern is free, easy to follow and has several different stitches which give the rainbow some lovely textures.  There is no gauge to worry about and you can make it from scraps…what’s not to love!

I did alter mine slightly…sorry Sharon!

I used 5 stitches to complete my popcorns in the orange row, instead of the recommended 3 stitches…just because it made my popcorns fatter and I like nice fat popcorns!  Then on the last row of red I chained 5 and missed a stitch, instead of chain 3 between each stitch…just because it made the row less ruffled and more arched and I preferred the more simple finish.

Anyway, it’s a fabulous pattern and will make you smile if you hook it!

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.

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

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

Off Piste…

I said I would pop in and write about some recent makes…so here I am, I hope you are well.  My makes of late have been a little off piste, in that they are not yarny at all!  

Over Easter I had a little time away from work which was just delightful.  The weather was sunny and spring was most definitely flourishing.  The boys were off school too, so our days were lazy and quite carefree.  Amongst the laid back ways, I still had chores and it was whilst ironing of all things that I was overwhelmed with an urge to embroider. 

The urge just fell so heavy upon me whilst ironing an old but beloved blouse of mine.   The material had become thinned in areas and I sadly decided the blouse could no longer be worn.  I loved that blouse and some of the material was still good and this is what sparked my embroidery urge. 

Having never done any embroidery before I happily abandoned the ironing pile and exchanged it for a pinterest exploration and I was gone for several hours.  I gathered supplies and with a fabric sewing pen I sketched out my design.  Between consulting youtube clips and pinterest I ventured on my maiden embroidery voyage.  I loved it, it scratched that creative itch so well, I felt so deeply satisfied. 

I can only show you a little of this make as it is a gift and is still to be gifted. 

I embroidered at every opportunity, I just couldn’t put it down.

I made a second hoop which I can show you, as this has already been gifted.

Oh, how I adore French knots and satin stitching. What do you think?

xxxxx

Birthday treats and fabulous hooks…

I’ve had a lovely few days celebrating another year…yes, it was my birthday!

I have been well and truly spoilt this year and I have had some great yarny presents too, which I thought I’d share with you.

I kicked things off by booking time off work and then was treated to the most loveliest of birthday eve meals with my parents and  brother as well as my guys too.  It was a really great way to start the celebrations.  My actual birthday day…you know what I mean! was relaxed and laid back, hanging out with the boys and Mr R.

We had a game of birthday badminton before cake and coffee…

birthday cake

no guilt involved, as calories definitely don’t count on your birthday!  It was a beautiful coffee and walnut cake…my absolute favourite!

We took time out to notice Spring has well and truly arrived…

spring flowers

and I enjoyed finding some more spring inspiration whilst browsing around too.

spring vibes

Fabulous zingy spring vibes right there!

I spent more time with family andfriends and of course did some hooking too…this is how far I have got with my C2C rainbow heart blanket.  Pattern details are just here. 

baby blanket
rainbow baby blanket

I also got some great yarny presents too.

personalized crochet hooks

Fabulous personalized crochet hooks of my bestie and…

Mr. R surprised me with tickets to this years Yarndale Festival which is in September….SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

So, I’m feeling very loved and very blessed and quite yarny today.

Have a fantastic weekend, whatever you’re up to.

xxxxx

Last minute Easter pattern…

I thought I’d drop by to let you know all about a really cute pattern I have found.  It’s a quick make and the pattern is free (always a bonus!) and it would make a super cute Easter gift or spring gift.

newborn hat

It’s a very sweet little lambs hat, what could be more spring like…apart from a little fluffy yellow chick perhaps!

The pattern is available in all sizes from 0 -3 months right through to big peoples sizes and it is brilliantly written.  If your thinking I’m not sure about making those bobbles there is a useful youtube link to help you with that.   All in all this pattern would take you a couple of hours to make…that’s plenty of time to hook yourself a little flock.

newborn hat

I just adore how those lamb ears are low set and droop down.

baby hat

Of course I made a pink one too…

baby hat

So here are the pattern details…

Pattern by: Sarah Zimmerman

Pattern Name: Lamb’s Hat

Have you found any good patterns worth a shout out recently?

xxxxx

 

My Make Do Blanket…

I have been reviewing my yarn stash…I have lots of little balls and some big balls of mainly acrylic yarn…mostly Stylecraft special dk and some balls of ‘I just don’t know what’. They are leftovers from projects long gone by like my Happy Ripple

crocet ripple blanket
from 2014

and my Very V Blanket

crochet v stitch blanket, rainbow blanket
Very V blanket from 2016

and the Cosy Cottage Blankets I hooked way back in 2014

the ‘his’ colour way
Cosycattage blanket, ayarnyrobin, crochet blankets
Cosy Cottage Blanket by Attic 24

Of course, I did well last year de-stashing a lot of what I had with the lovely coastal crochet CAL

I was going to gather the rest up and take it to the charity shop…as I have felt for quite a long while that the numerous odd balls of this colour and that colour have been blocking my creative mojo.  But, as I gathered what was quite a tangled mess a pang of guilt coursed through me…it seemed so wasteful. 

I peered into the bag of what I had managed to detangle, not even sure if I liked the colours anymore, but I couldn’t shake that wasteful feeling.  I also felt tired, but I needed to hook; and so before long a simple granny stripe (there are several versions of the pattern out there) began to fall from my hook.  Even more surprisingly, the random colours were so very satisfying to my soul…as was the feeling that this odd surplus of yarn was not only becoming useful, but it was becoming something rather splendid indeed!

crochet blanketI am calling it my ‘Make Do’ blanket.  I’m not sure what size it will be when it is finished…I’m not even sure how many chains I began with, I’m just making do! 

What’s on your hook?