And its not knit…..

Slouchy beanies are much more forgiving and somehow seem so much more fashionable than the beanies I grew up with. Don’t get me wrong I love a pompom as much as the next girl but not always on the top of my head. I much prefer the pompom to be on a tea cosy…. (which makes me want to make a tea cosy now)…..

But after falling in love with beanies and discovering gorgeous Australian wool that you can get at warehouse prices (with free delivery over $50) I just had to make some more.  Hint – its the Bendigo Woollen Mill company https://www.bendigowoollenmills.com.au – so check it out!

So I chose to do the Colorway Slouch available on Ravelry at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/colorway-slouch

I chose to do it in denim blue, leaf green and cream in the Luxury 10 ply wool but I really wanted to incorporate red.

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It almost made itself it was so quickly and easily that I had to make another to get the red out of my system.

This one was sold even before it got off the hook! So yes even ladies at Bingo on a Thursday night think beanies are cool!

colourway beanie 2 Its made using the Scandinavian stitch, or tapestry stitch where you carry the second colour within the colour you are using. That got a bit tricky because the wool would get a bit tangled when you changed colours but it wasn’t so frustrating that you wanted to throw it across the room…..

So I decided to have a go and put my own design on a slouchy using this method. This is a celtic wave and I am pretty happy with my first effort.  I had a give away on my Facebook page and it will be winging its way to the winner when I get the address.   wave beanie

I would love to do this with denim blue wave – but there are shawls and bags to finish before that can happen..

And I have discovered this great designer Strawberry Couture and she has some really outstanding beanies to explore. And since it is winter in Australia ….. (so much to crochet and so little time)

Have a great crochet week. Next time it will be a shawl…

Oh and none of this is paid – I just like letting people know what I am doing and where I get ideas and supplies from

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Having a Hoot with Pattern Testing

Sometimes you get an opportunity to test patterns for other crochet designers and I was allowed to test a pattern for Zooty Owl the other week. I love the opportunity to test patterns for others as it often gives you an insight into how others think about crochet. That helps build your techniques and at the same time challenge you in your own design work.

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This is her design for an owl cushion. Its called the Popcorn Owl Cushion and when you start it you will find out why it is called that. The pattern can be found at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/popcorn-owl-cushion

It was lovely and easy to put together and worked up very quickly.

I used up part of my stash of 8 ply acrylic to make this so its a nice little stash buster. The only thing I have not been able to do is put the buttons on the back – mainly because I haven’t found the ones I like yet!

zooty owl back

I think this would be fun for anyone to have and it makes up quickly so makes a great short notice gift. The colour combinations are endless for this!

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I am blogging about this off my own bat – Zooty Owl has not asked or paid me to do this. I also did not get paid to test the pattern – so you know this is completely my own opinion!

Beanie season and the obsessive crocheting continues

It started with being asked to make a beanie for a friend’s 40th birthday present. And Autumn has arrived in semi-tropical Australia. Time to be able to pull out the thicker yarns and the wool and not swelter and have it stick to your fingers. Especially now you have to think twice about putting the air conditioning on with the price of electricity here.

The client fell in love with the Finley Newsboy Hat by Justine Walley which can be found at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/finley-newsboy-hat

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I ended up making a few and here is one of them completed for my friends. I made one each of red, navy blue, bottle green and black (which was the asked for one). The red and green were made with 8 ply wool (cause I had them) and the navy and blue was made with Bendigo wool in their 10 ply luxury range. Talk about beautiful wool! This wool can be found here:

https://www.bendigowoollenmills.com.au/Product/tabid/55/2328/2328/186358/LUXURY/Default.aspx

They come in 200 gram balls and the price is incredibly reasonable because they sell at factory prices. And if in Australia you spend more than $50 (I think) you get free postage! Nirvana. If reading this and you are not in Australia – never fear – they do post international and it is well worth having a look at.

So I got into a bit of a craze for beanies. After receiving the latest Inside Crochet I just had to make the cable beanie in the issue. So I made a red and a cream one with acrylic 8 ply from my stash and when I ordered the Luxury wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills I also bought their 10 ply Luxury Tangerine Orange.

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I found I love the feel of the wool (rather than the usual acrylic) so am going to make some more beanies I bought on Ravelry.com but have also been asked to make some more cable beanies in the red. I don’t have enough in my stash so will have to buy some more Luxury wool. This is a real dilemma as it is so hard to stop at one and I like the idea of the free postage.

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And just in case you are wondering – there are no affiliate links. I just liked the products.

Learning Tunisian crochet

Well its been a while since I have posted anything though that hasn’t meant I have not been crocheting! In between a few commission pieces I have been teaching myself Tunisian stitch.

I found a wonderful designer Aoibhe Ni. She makes Tunisian really easy as you can do it in short lengths and with a standard crochet hook. I used bamboo hooks as there was less of a thumb mark.

I started  with this one which had increases and decreases and was worked across. Its quite a loose crochet compared to amigurumi so that has been a challenge in itself. And its been kind of nice not having to make a design myself.

I started making it in a mustard colour but discovered I had missed two rows and because I knew I had I knew I would not wear it.

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This is for a lovely lady in Melbourne who is a very dear friend of mine (she saw the mustard). This has been made with Fyberspates lace – a beautiful thread of silk and wool. Its a beautiful dark blue teal colour. Just stunning. One ball made this with a little bit left over.

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This is it whilst it is being blocked.

To see the design better here is just when I finished it. The wool is actually a little darker than in the photo.

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So then I saw this shawlette by the same designer in Simply Crochet and just could not resist making it. This is Fyberspates again but this time in 4 ply Sport – silk and wool again.

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The pattern called for three skeins but after following the pattern I found I had not quite used two skeins. And yes I did a block to get the gauge right and the measurements were all good too so I am hoping it was a typo. In the photo in the magazine it looked like there was another two rows. So I added them but did it at the end. And of course ran out of wool on the second skein. But if I make it just to the instructions I still have enough to make another and try and sell it.

So here is mine being blocked and awaiting to dry. I put it on a towel this time as I felt the other shawl soaked up the smell of rubber. I am airing it and the smell is going but I didn’t want the hassle on this one with the heavier yarn. It needs a bit of tweaking on the blocking but at least it is down. The bottom is blocked more heavily than the top because of the way it will sit on the shoulders.

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Koalas are so kool!

There is something really sweet about koalas.

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I designed these little fellows a while ago but it took me a while to write it into a downloadable format.

And because they are Australian there had to be a Kylie and a Kevin. (I made these when we had a Prime Minister in Australia called Kevin).

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I think my Kevin is much cuter than the politician!

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And it seemed that any colour was fine for these two.

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Pattern is available on Ravelry at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kylie-and-kev-koala

Available in UK and US terms.

Kylie and Kev Koala UK terms Kylie and Kev Koala US terms

Publishing patterns……

Its funny – I sit all day at a computer for work so you would think the last thing I want to do is sit at a computer and do more of it.

But you have to if you want to share your creativity.

I finished publishing my Matilda Mermaid and here she is completed. I named her Matilda after the grandchild of a friend of mine who I will be meeting and presenting this to in March. I have another mermaid in my head to name after her other grandchild but its not out of the head yet!

Matilda finished

She is made with 4 ply cotton for the main parts and 8 ply cotton for her hair and skirt. I used 8 ply for the hair as it would have been incredibly heavy in 4 ply to get the look right.

She is about 40 cm long – the largest toy not associated with a tea cosy yet!

And I made her into both UK and US versions to make it easier.

Matilda Mermaid Download UK front cover Matilda Mermaid Download US front cover

If you are interested here is the link to the pattern:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/matilda-mermaid

And now I am in the process of converting Foxxie Loxxie into a downloadable pattern. With the testers now.

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Hope you have a great week in crocheting.

Cheers Linden

Back at work and the crochet slows

It always seems to be a bother going to work – but it pays the bills and makes it possible to buy more yarn.

I am still working on the mermaid. I only have the skirt and bust with bra to do but my time has been taken up typing it into a pattern and tidying up the photos.

tail finished

As you can see the fins are much more ‘finnier’ and I plan on doing a little trick in the pattern to make them even more distinct.

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I have finished the whole body but have yet to tidy the photos. The hair looks fantastic – much better than the hair in the previous blogs though it did take 100grams of 8 ply cotton.

Oh and I have started another rug and am still working on the wrap. Perhaps if I concentrated on one thing something would get done.

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This is the wrap at about half way. Its made from fyberspates lace weight wool in gold.

And then I have a Valentine’s tea cosy burbling away in the background of my mind. Perhaps next year it will have arrived!