Oops April…

Apparently April 2020 has been and gone, it has seemingly slipped by silently…drowned out by the roar of Covid-19, and all without as much as a blog post from me.  My sincerest apologies, the NHS has been a crazy place to be employed of late and I have found it difficult to transition from there and slip into the rather relaxed mode at home…it feels like I am straddling two time zones!

baby romper

I have been productive however, and I have a few things to show you and some good patterns I have found to share with you.   The first of which is from one of my all time favourite designers…Mon petit violon.  I have a brand-new niece scheduled to arrive in this world at any moment and I fell in love with the ruffle romper by Mon Petit Violon.  So just before we were locked down I ordered 2 balls of Rico cotton soft in saffron.  As soon as they arrived through the letter box I got my hook out and, well pretty much got lost in the beautiful stitches and shape of this romper.  I oohed and aahhed as I hooked (no, I really did…out loud!).  The pattern is a wonderful hook, it is clearly written and comes in two size options  0 – 6 months and 6 -12 months.  I am hooking the 0 – 6 months as baby is due any day now.

There are plenty of helpful pictures included in the pattern too and although the stitches used are simple, I would suggest you would need some previous knowledge and experience of crochet and  reading patterns so as not to be overwhelmed.  Oh and of course it is very important to test swatch your gauge to begin with!

So there I was oohing and aahhing and hooking away merrily and what I should have done was read the partof the pattern which suggested amounts of yarn, because just as I got to the ruffle part…I ran out of yarn!

I should have ordered 3 balls!  No problem! I thought and hit the button to order more…but an ‘out of stock’ message appeared!  No problem! I thought as I checked the box that said ‘send email when back in stock’.

Three weeks passed and no email…a frantic search online found my heart sinking as shop after shop did not have any balls of saffron left.  In desperation last week I put an appeal out on Instagram to see if any lovely hooker, anywhere in the world had some in their stash to sell to me… and my wonderful #sidekicksistas came to the rescue.  The beautiful Karen alerted me to 3 balls that were available at Laughing Hens!  Now I had never come across this beautiful gem of  shop before…but I hit the order button and am now just waiting for my yarn to arrive, so I can get that ruffle hooked hopefully before my niece arrives!

Talking of patterns I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for the support you have given to me with my recent pattern release.

You have really blessed me!

I promise I won’t leave it as long before I next drop by.

Stay safe.

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

#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

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