I think it was pre-Stashlet and I was planning to have a girl (ha! as if you can plan such a thing!) and had great-but-vague ideas of cardigans and cot blankets. Anyway, I crocheted a whole heap of squares in pink and then got rather overwhelmed with the thought of blocking them all and put them aside for a more enthusiastic time.
Well, I've come to my senses. They are totally lovely (if you ask me, of course!) but I am never going to do anything with them so I thought it might be a nice idea for someone out there in blogland to have them and do something beautiful with them instead.
And it's Giveaway week Day all this week - what a coincidence!
There are 57 of the ones with the dark pink centres, 18 of the ones with the pale pink centres and 10 of the all-pale-pink. They're crocheted in Patons' 100% Cotton - I had a brain freeze when I bought the yarn so the cerise is DK and the other two are 4 ply but it doesn't seem to have had too bad an effect on the finished square - and I think they'll make about a 5.5cm square when they're blocked. So enough for a child's cardigan, scarf or small blanket.
This giveaway is open to everyone everywhere so if you would like to have a chance of winning the squares, just let me know what the weather's like in your part of the world and/or what you might do with them, and I'll pick a winner (using a random number generator) on Friday evening.
Edit 09-05-13 Thanks for all your comments so far. It looks like some people have been having problems commenting because I've had a few duplicate comments. When this happens I will keep your first comment and delete the rest, but I will check to see if there is a valid email address first!
Also: I will close comments around 21.00 UK/Irish time so you have around 24 hours left!
Edit 10-05-13 Thanks everyone - comments are now closed. I will email the winner over the weekend.
I am struggling. To write my own posts and to read everyone elses'. One of the blogs I subscribe to has 183 posts waiting for me in my reader. I'm a bit terrified to start to be honest.
Anyway, I had intended to do an 'on the needles' post about 67 weeks ago but that fell by the wayside and now we're into made-and-worn territory.
I went to the wonderful Winnie's Craft Cafe in south Dublin for some yarn to knit up a couple of Drops pattterns (this one and this one) for Stashlet, and got seduced by some unspeakably gorgeous wrist warmers made in Lang Milli Colore. They looked very cleverly knitted but turned out to be really simple crochet cleverly applied (if you see what I mean). The pattern came free with the yarn so I cast on one of the Drops patterns and then spent the rest of the weekend crocheting. The result was...
I will not tell you about the ridiculous poses I had to get in to get photos of these without the shadow of my head in them.
The pattern is by the Irish designer AiobheNi who also teaches crochet classes at Winnies and is lovely and helpful, especially to a newby crochet pattern reader like me. The pattern is not on her website but you can get it at Winnies if you buy the yarn. You can also see a photo of another version of the wristwarmers here on Ravelry.
If I crocheted another pair, I think I would make them longer but apart from that I can't fault them, and they crochet up in an evening (unless, like me, your counting keeps going arwy and you have to keep pulling out rows) so would make a perfect last minute present.
Oh, and just to comnplete all the info, the Milli Colore is 50% pure new wool and 50% acrylic, and I used colour 697.0065. I am totally besotted with this colour and I think I'm going to knit myself a jumper with it so watch this space (although the Toddler Caveat applies, ie. don't watch too hard as it might take me a while).
Has anyone out there in Stashavalanche-reading blog land used Japanese crochet or knitting patterns? The diagrams seem to be pretty thorough; are they enough to be able to work the pattern out?
I'd love to hear about any clothes you have made from these types of books.
You may now turn over your paper.
Here's the thing: call me fussy, posessive or whatever, but I generally only make things for people who I know are going to appreciate what I made. If I know that my gift is going to get stomped on and left out in the mud, I don't give it. I put love into the things I make and I suppose I expect people to respect that.
This includes food by the way, but we're talking crafting here today.
Conversely, giving hand made things to people I hardly know can be an eye opener in terms of whether they are my kind of person or not. Give them something I made with love and see what they do - a distracted "that's nice" and forget about it, or actually appreciate my time and effort, and be grateful for my thoughtfulness.
Outside the cozy bubble that is handmade blog and crafting land, making things by hand still seems, to some people at least, to be the cheap way out, with a nice box with Gap or whatever on the front being the preferred option. Strange that spending time and making an effort takes a lower place than buying something made by a machine or a poorly paid worker half way round the world.
I'm not sure if I'm taking things too personally (after all, once I give it it's theirs to do as they wish with it) or whether I have the right to expect respect. I think mostly think the latter.
Meanwhile, back at the giveaways....
It's sunny, it's bluddy cold, Stashlet's nose is running like Niagra and I have a book for you.
Next on the pile is Simple Crochet by Erika Knight (she of previous giveaway fame), and bought at Liberty somewhen long ago (dear me, it still has the price sticker on it... I'll see if I can get it off).
Like its knitting counterpart, this has a range of straightforward-to-crochet-but-quirky homeware projects - blankets, cushions, baskets, that kinda thing - knitted in cottons, fabrics, leather, string and raffia. There are also sections covering different types of yarn, colour matching, crochet basics (with very clear b&w photographs showing stitch formation) and some helpful details about the yarn specified in case you want/need to use an alternative.
I'm happy to post internationally so leave me a comment telling me what the weather's like where you are, with your email address, and I'll ask Random.org to pick a winner.
My plan is to leave this giveaway open until 9pm (that's UK/Irish time) next Friday night (no, ot tomorrow!) but it may be a bit before or a bit after depending on when Stashlet gets to bed, so don't leave it til the last minute to comment! The only rule is no email address, no book, so if I can't contact you, you won't go into the virtual Random.org hat.
Happy (freezing) Thursday!
Comments are (belatedly) closed
author: Linda Pearman
OK, this is a rapido First Impressions because I'm typing one handed with a Clingy Wriggle Monster on my lap...
I saw this book in the library and grabbed it on impulse to have a look. I have to admit to being a bit cynical when it comes to craft books these days as I often find that they look great on the outside but disappoint on the inside, but this seems to be a great book. I know, that's not like me, is it?
So. The book starts off with an introductory chapter which covers crochet hooks, yarns, sizing, and how to decipher a crochet pattern. This is followed by three chapters of patterns: nursery items, clothing, and gifts. These are followed by chapters on techniques and resources.
The pattern chapters have a nice range of designs including this mobile...
this chunky textured blanket...
this (more unisex) cardigan...
...and of course, the cute shoes on the cover...
Amazon has a very good preview of this book (with lots more images) here.
Alright, let's get the cons over with. Yarns and stitches are described USA-style (eg. worsted weight). The resources are all USA based. 'Mum' is spelt 'mom'.
Now the pros. The patterns are provided in chart and written form so you don't have to panic about getting lost in a chart. Linda provides alternative colour suggestions for many of the designs (which I think is a jolly good idea). There is a good range of designs, big and small, simple and more involved (but not necessarily more complicated), and the Contents Page shows an image of every design so you can easily see what you want to make. The whole book is littered with clever tips (like make a toddler-sized cardigan using a fine yarn and hook, and presto, you get a new-born size). There are nearly as many items of clothing for boys as for girls (yay!) and they go from nearly-newborn to 4 years.
The book covers all the kinds of things you might want to knit but in crochet form, with a few quirky additions thrown in too. It would be a great book to have if you want to crochet for you own children but also would be a really good resource to pull out again and again for gifts. Really, even though there is a specific gift chapter, you could crochet any of these to make lovely presents. And as a not-very-experienced-crocheter, I think I would feel pretty confident tackling any of the patterns - if you can crochet a granny square, you can make the designs in the book. And if you can't, there's a granny square blanket to set you to rights.
It doesn't matter that stitch names are Americanised because you'll either go with the flow or know that a half double crochet is really a half treble.It doesn't matter that yarn weights are Americanised either because Linda provides a handy chart based on the number of (knitted) stitches per 10cm so you can translate straight off the ball band. I think a bit more effort could have been made with the information in the Resources chapter but it's easy enough to search for more local sources, and lots of shops in the US will post internationally. It does matter that 'mum' is spelt 'mom' but that's probably just me.
Verdict: go buy it!
The deal is that I/you commit to spending one hour every day for 7 days making kids clothing. It's set for the second week in October (the 10th to the 17th), so plenty of time to mull over what to make. Then you post your creations on the Flickr site and feel the warm glow of achievement, which, believe me, is a bit rare round here these days.
I'm definitely going to make a Charlie tunic (ohmygod! I can't tell you enough how much I love this top!), and if there's time for more, some trousers for next summer (inspired by Ashley's trousers for Max). Knitting and crocheting is also allowed, so there might be some of that going on too, seeing as I've got a bit of a thing going on with my knitting needles at the moment.
Yay! it's another Giveaway!
This giveaway is vintage mohair yarn. There's lots of it andit's bright pink. And when I say bright pink, I mean bright pink!
It's 78%mohair, 13%wool and 9% nylon, and it's made by St John's Wools (who probably don't exist any more, but there you go). There are eight 25 gramme balls and probaby the same again wound onto card. I think I got this yarn from my aunt but I've never been able to think of anything to do with it, so it's better if you have it instead. Gone are the days of mohair jumpers being on trend (er, I think... don't ask me I'm a new mum) but it would be great for crocheting something light and cobwebby.
Here's what you have to do to be in with a chance of winning. Leave me a comment by midnight on the 25th of May - that's next Wednesday, and I will pick a winner using random.org. Say something nice, tell me a bad joke, give me baby advice... whatever you like so long as it's not offensive.
Oops! I forgot to say: yes, I will post internationally and when I say midnight, I mean midnight UK/Irish time.
COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED.
Foof! I finally made it to the Giveaway posts. Time for a celebratory cup of tea while I tell you all about it...
It's Sew Mama Sew's May Giveaway time and call me crazy but I have four for you.
Here's what you have to do. Go look at the giveaway posts, decide if you want anything, leave me a comment (you can comment on all of them if you like) and do it by midnight on the 25th of May - that's next Wednesday. I'll pick winners using random.org and put everything in the post by the following Wednesday. Oh and I will ship internationally so wherever you are, do join in.
If you're not interested in what I am giving away, there will be plenty more to choose from. Last year it took me 4 days to get through all the links, and I'm betting that there will be even more this year.