Vintage Market Tote…

Vintage Market ToteAutumn is creeping in and I can feel the joy rising in me.  I adore the Autumn and all of her treasures; it awakens my soul and wraps me with comfort. 

I know not everyone feels this way…Mr R mourns the Summer, but I am celebrating her arrival. 

A great deal has gone on here at the nest over the Summer months and there is still much more to achieve.  New windows and doors have been fitted, outdoor adventures have taken place, three weddings have been witnessed and celebrated (we still have two more to come), decorating has commenced, and children have been coming and going and then coming back again only to go off once more it seems! 

I have taken great delight in my crochet time, which has been a little bitty.  I wanted to share this Vintage Market Tote with you…pattern details and links can be found at the bottom of this post.  I made it for my Mama’s birthday and it hooked up quickly. 

Vintage Market Tote

The pattern is free and I found it to be well written with clear, concise instruction.  I altered the length of the handle by about 20 stitches, making the straps a little longer, but that was just preference. 

women's institute yarn

I used a lovely  aran weight cotton blend yarn by The Women’s Institute, which flowed from my 5.5mm hook with ease.  I crocheted using x2 strands to make my tote more sturdy,  which meant I used  just over 300g of yarn and finished with a chic black and white spot ribbon.

Vintage Market ToteI will definitely return to this pattern…and my Mama loved it! 

Pattern by Dorianna Rivelli – Vintage Market Tote

xxxxx

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#yarnlovechallenge February round up

February #yarnlovechallenge photos all in one place. 

This was so much fun and a challenge too.

#yarnlovechallenge

days 1 – 4

#yarnlovechallenge

days 5 – 8

#yarnlovechallenge

days 9 – 12

#yarnlovechallenge feb 2018

days 13 -16

#yarnlovechallenge

days 17 – 20

#yarnlovechallenge

days 21 – 24

#yarnlovechallenge

days 25 – 28

I’m going to miss my little daily challenge!

xxxxx

 

 

I’ve finally found labels for my crochet…

I’ve finally found labels for my crochet makes!

  The great folk over at Calico Labels 

sent me some to try out and I was super thrilled to say the least. And there is more…Their cracking  little Etsy shop is full of organic cotton no fray labels in some seriously cute designs and fonts.  Seriously cute, so be warned if  you go check them out!

CALICO LABELS ETSY SHOP

Just look at what they sent me…

personalised organic cotton labels

squeeee…sorry, but they make me very excited.

I have attached the first one to the 100 patch granny that always greets me on my blogging chair.  It took me a little while to decide on which birdie house to choose, but in the end I went with the pink one.personalised organic cotton calico labelsI am so thrilled…thank you Calico Labels

xxxxx

 

 

 

 

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

 

The Charming Harbour Blanket…

After a slow start I am finally making steady progress on my Charming Harbour blanket. 

crochet blanket, charming harbour blanket
In the beginning…

I have found myself flitting from one project to the next lately, but I am getting at least a couple of rows hooked each evening now; which is reassuringly comforting as the pattern is so familiar.

Charming Harbour Blanket, crochet blanket, mens blanket
Charming Harbour Blanket in the making

I am enjoying the simplicity of the colourway also. A trio of sober colours, which formally stand to attention and which make this blanket so wonderfully handsome and so beautifully striking. 

womens institute yarn

The yarn has also proven to be a joy to hook with.  The yarn is  from the Women’s Institute…you can read my review of it just here.  

I am totally thrilled with this blanket’s reversibility which was entirely serendipitous.  The right side is darker

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

and the back (I can’t call it the wrong side…because it is not wrong at all!) is lighter altogether.

I have not been disciplined in weaving in the ends as I go, so I must make more effort else I will have a mammoth task at the end!

lots of ends to sew…

Yes, this Charming Harbour blanket is just that…

charming!

xxxxx

Women’s Institute Yarn….A review so far

So, what can I tell you about this yarn? 

womens institute yarn

It’s perfectly plump!  

For a dk weight the yarn strand is divinely round, but all in a good way.  I’m hooking my Charming Harbour blanket in this yarn and let me tell you that it is hooking up into a seriously squishy comforter indeed. 

The yarn slides well over my  hook, it feels cozy and comfortable on my skin and has not split or frayed one little bit.

It’s 100%  premium acrylic so is affordable, washable and dryable  and very easy to care for.  The ball band tells me there  is 250m in yarn length for a 100g ball and is exclusive to Hobbycraft.

women's institute yarn

A minimum of 3p from each ball sold is donated to the National Federation of Women’s Institutes

The Women’s Institute is the largest women’s organisation in the UK  and champions all sorts of campaigns such as gender pay gap to midwifery shortages, climate change and food waste.  

On the down side the colour range is basic to say the least, which didn’t matter in the slightest for my Charming Harbour Blanket, which is looking very dapper in a trio tone.

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

 This  could be a limitation for my more usual hook ups which consistently involve numerous colours…however, all in all I’m smiling with this yarn.

xxxxx

THIS POST IS NOT AFILIATED.

My Yarny Autumn Blanket Round up…

With Autumn sneaking in…well here in the UK anyway, I thought I would take a little look back at some of my favourite blankets that I have hooked over the years. 

I rather think there is nothing as good to hook as a blanket, the process is satisfying and restful and of course it always involves that lovely stage of playing with colour and almost always buying new yarn!

Here is my yarny autumn blanket round – up…pattern details can be found in the links below or on my Ravelry page just here.

Granny square camping blanket
already a firm favourite!

This is my favourite camping granny square blanket.  Strictly speaking I did not hook this one as the squares were made for me from all around the world.  In return I sent squares all across the world too.  You can read more about this blanket here .

crochet blanket
design by Katherine Eng

This beautiful apartment lapghan in  this stunning alpine colourway, was a fabulous hook.  It challenged me at the time with the starting chain in the middle of the blanket !  I finished hooking this in the sunshine and I was thrilled with the end result…a perfect gift.

granny square blanket
Using up scraps!

I loved the alpine colourway so much that I used the scraps from the lapghan to make this simple granny square blanket.  I love to hook a traditional granny square  and always return to this pattern every now and then! I couldn’t resist a fringed edge for this one and it didn’t disappoint.

ripple crochet blanket
ripple so far…Attic 24 pattern

This happy ripple was another perfect gift…and just had to have a happy bobble edging to crown it.   This was a very, very happy hook…and I wished I could have kept it for myself!!!

crochet blanket, basket weave
basket weave baby blanket

Gorgeously cushy and in chilli pepper red. This basket weave baby blanket nearly tipped me over the edge, to read why click here.   I’m glad I have done basket weave, but it is my least favourite stitch and I think you get very similar results and much more joy from a C2C (corner to corner) technique. I did not follow a pattern as such, I followed a you tube clip on basket weave stitch (I cant remember which one!) but  my ravelry page for this blanket is just here, it might give an idea of amount of yarn used etc

Cosycattage blanket, ayarnyrobin, crochet blankets
Cosy Cottage Blanket by Attic 24

Another Lucy blanket and a dash to the finish line.  A simple hook but a mammoth project.  I love this blanket and still get to snuggle under it even though it was a gift…as I gave it to my Mom!

Pattern details just here

crochet baby blanket, popcorn stitch
rows of popcorn stitches

Once I had the pattern repeat in my head, I was able to hook this beautifully understated baby blanket on auto pilot.  I adore the popcorn stitches, and the alternating texture of this blanket.  This blanket draped well, felt soft and squishy and I remember thinking any baby would feel cherished snuggled in this blanket.   For pattern details click here.

crochet blanket, traditional giant granny square

Another great stash buster and great for crocheting whilst watching a box set…A giant granny square blanket.  Going back to my roots with this blanket as it was one of the first patterns I taught myself to hook…so the pattern is in my head…but youtube traditional granny square and you will be certain to find a tutorial for sure.

crochet granny squareblanket with bobble edging
100 patch granny

I kept this 100 patch mini granny square blanket after learning sometimes smaller is better!  I couldn’t resist another bobble edge again, but this time in duck egg.  I joined the squares using a double crochet technique which frames each square beautifully. Pattern details are here.

crochet v stitch blanket, rainbow blanket
Very V blanket

A rainbow lovely. 

This  simple v stitch blanket proved to be nothing but joyous from the moment the yarn arrived in its lovely balls all bagged up together.  Hooking this merry delight was rhythmically therapeutic and soothed me whenever I picked it up…needless to say I couldn’t put it down! 

Pattern details just here.

crochet baby blanket

An interlocking stitch on this Baby Wilmer blanket, gave a dense squishy feel and a reversible fabric, ideal for putting in the pram.  Using just 3 colours also meant I could work the yarn threads up the sides of the blanket without getting in a tangle; meaning colour changes were a doddle and  the number of ends to be woven in at the end were reduced by a gazillion!

C2C crochet blanket, afghan, corner to corner technique,crochet love heart squares, totally smitten
C2C Totally Smitten blanket

And finally, the blanket on my hook at the moment, a real stunner and a keeper…this C2C heart blanket which I am smitten with.  Pattern details just here and yes… it is still awaiting a border. 

So, there you have it; my yarny autumn roundup of blankets I have made over the years.  I will never tire of hooking such beauties and I still have so many on my to do list. 

I hope if you have the blanket bug this may help in your happy, hooky deliberating. 

If you have got this far and read all of this and you don’t have the blanket bug, just know that you may well have caught it by now…look out for symptoms over the coming week!

xxxxx

 

 

 

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot

We are not used to a long spell of hot weather here in the UK, but this week has seen our temperatures soar way above 30 degrees. 

Top 5 things to crochet when temperatures soar and it's hot and sunny
Heavenly blue skies

And oh how lovely it has been, it has meant an exodus into the outdoors, picnics and walks and a lot of sunscreen!

But, I found myself unprepared in the crochet stakes…it was just too hot to be sitting under a half made blanket or to be half draped in a shawl;  sweltering under a wool blend.  

So, I have compiled my yarny list of the top 5 things to crochet when the temperature starts rising.

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#1

Ironically, top of the list is …..gloves!

Top 5 things to hook when it's hot andnumber 1 is ironic!
zingtastic mitts by Sandra at Cherryheart

  It is not as mad as it sounds.

Small, picnic portable, quick to hook… and you will have a lovely pair of mitts ready for when the sun disappears and the colder weather brings a chill.

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#2

A cute little square like this one

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic!
Robins nest square free pattern

Hook one, or two, or three or more..you can always join them in the autumn when the warm weather is a distant memory…and between you and me…what’s another PHD!

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#3

A splendid little tea cosy…the perfect finishing touch to a sunny afternoon tea…. al fresco of course.

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic
Granny Mabel Tea Cosy free pattern

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#4

How about a little inspiration from the outdoors… a yarny little leaf.

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic!
A yarny little leaf…free pattern

Embellish until your heart is content.  I think these would look great in bright hot colours…don’t you?

Top 5 things to crochet when it’s hot…#5

How about spreading the love

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic!
May rose keyrings…. pattern by Attic 24

Hook these lovely little flowers and add a key chain then give them away or leave them around your community and spread a little yarny H.U.G 

#Bonus Summer Hook 

Corfu barefoot sandals

crochet barefoot sandals - Corfu designed by ayarnyrobin.wordpress.com, summer feet
Corfu – Barefoot sandals

Hook these cute barefoot sandals for the perfect summer look!

 

So, whether you are currently in the middle of a scorcher or if it has been a while since the sun shone down on you, I hope I have inspired you to grab your hook and get outside. 

What are your hot hooking tips?

Top 5 things to crochet when it's hot and number 1 is ironic!
Hooking al fresco…

 xxxxx

Epic Fail…

  I was hoping so much that I would have posted the next pattern in the Grandma Collection by now.  Clearly I haven’t!!

I’m just at that point where I can smile about it. 

I have been spending the very little spare time I have working on and designing  my newest tea cosy and I absolutely hate the finished result…

in fact, I would go as far to say that it is hideous. 

What was I thinking!!!!

I can’t even bring myself to show you a finished  picture. 

It is such an epic fail!

So for now I have banished the said cosy to the bottom of a bag…a cheap plastic carrier bag at that…and when I can begin to face the redesign I will begin again. 

Until then I am going to try and do the following…

and console myself with hooking patterns from other designers which I know will float my boat; because life is just too short to be worrying about a tea cosy!

xxxxx

Sunday Shawl Love…

 

This is my Mellow Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland.

I want to start by telling you how amazing this is to hook, how simple, yet stunningly beautiful. 

I want to tell you how deliciously soft scheepjes merino is and how it creates such a gorgeous stitch definition. 

I want to shout with joy at just how happy I am with these amazing mellow colours; but that will all become obvious when you see the pictures! 

I started with this serene grey

lowry 604 Scheepjes merino soft…

This was a therapeutic hook, the subtle tone of the yarn, and the ease of the pattern made for a quick hook up of the main body.  I really enjoyed that each stitch was made in between the stitches of the previous row and not in the top of the stitches as is usual. 

My heart was skipping towards the next colour though.  A teal; and one of my favourite colours of all time.

Ansingh 643

Next a perfect pink…

Degas 632

This yarn is a dream, it is a dk weight, but it has a satisfying plumpness to it, making it pleasantly squashy!  This pale pink was followed  by an equally gorgeous spring green.

Kandinsky 625

The quick colour changes make this pattern good for the soul…you know how I love colour.

Van Gough 641

This mustard colour makes me very, very happy, but then so does this sky blue…

Magritte 614

And so this enjoyable colour changing border continued…

Beautiful Stitches Abounded…
squee…it is such a happy hook!

Until my heart near burst as the pattern instructed me to hook scallops and I politely  introduced this even paler pink.

Titian 647

Just as I was getting a little too giddy with these colours, the pattern rescued me with a tad more grey; sobering me and gently grounding me. 

I had a dilemma deciding on which colour to finish this charming shawl with…

in the end it had to be the mellow mustard (Van Gough 641).  

I have a lot of love for this shawl and this yarn, so excuse my indulgence in a few more photo’s. 

Details of the pattern and yarn, which I highly recommend   can be found by clicking on the links at the top of this post, but just in case you can’t be bothered they are just here to. 

xxxxx

Just as a footnote: this review contains my genuine opinions on this pattern and this yarn, for which I am not being paid.

Scheepjes merino soft yarn in

Kandinsky            625    50g

           Degas             632    50g

Van Gough            641   50g

          Titian              647   50g 

  MagrittE               614  50G

       Ansingh             643   50G

      Lowry                   604  250G

purchased from Woolwarehouse

Pattern:  The Sunday Shawl by Alia Bland.