I love Noro yarns and would probably use nothing else if they weren't so expensive. The colors and textures are just amazing and guaranteed to make the simplest of projects look spectacular. I had a single ball of Kureyon Sock yarn in a wonderful rainbow colourway in my stash - bought it in a sale ages ago. A quick search on Ravelry brought up some lovely examples of the Eva Shawl crocheted in this yarn and my mind was made up. The pattern is very simple, just two rows of double crochet and then an eyelet row, repeated until you run out of yarn. It was quick and easy and looks great. The Noro yarn can be a little rough and I am hoping that it will soften up a bit when I wash it. It will be severely blocked to stretch it out a little larger. I hope to have some pictures of the completely blocked shawl soon. Also ready to be blocked is the Crescent Moon Shawl. I didn't actually have the pattern for this shawl - it is from a Japanese crochet book and quite hard to come by. I love the shape and texture of this shawl and the fancy fringing is the perfect finishing touch. After examining lots of pictures of completed shawls I thought I should just have a go at it. This first attempt is made from some fingering weight pure wool yarn that I had in my stash. The yarn is very old - possibly from the 1960's or earlier. It was another of my amazing charity shop finds. The yarn is in good condition but feels very dry. Hopefully some fabric conditioner in the first wash will restore some softness to the wool. Some action shots will follow soon! meanwhile, Alfie has taken a bit of a liking to my latest creation... I think what I have created is fairly close to the fabulous original and I am now ready to try it in a gorgeous space dyed yarn to bring out the full glory of the design. Two balls of Rico Poems Sock yarn should be arriving any day now in a lovely Tropical colourway. The yarn looks a bit like Noro but is considerably cheaper. Can't wait to get started!
I finished off two little coats for Alfie today! They are both so cute on the little fellow. Last Winter, Alf got very cold and shivery when he went for his walkies and I had to get him a little jacket to wear. He is a bit of a wuss really and often refuses to step outside on rainy days. So, this year he will be kept warm and cosy by a selection of handknits. The blue coat is from the book Vintage Crochet. I was not impressed with the pattern as most of it didn't make sense.
I checked on Ravelry and found someone else who had experienced problems with it. She kindly let me know how she had got around the lack of coherent instructions. I am fairly happy with the finished coat, although it has turned out a bit snug. I had to follow Alfie around for a while before I could get a good shot of him in it.
Alfie was also rather reluctant to model the Gidget Hoodie from "Doggie Knits" by Corinne Niessner.
It was easy to get him into it but he wouldn't sit still while I tried to do up the buttons. He then seemed most interested in attempting to eat the buttons. I will be making him a sweater next, as it seems that a simple pullover design might just be the easiest style to get him into.
In the kitchen this week...
Millie and I made cinnamon sugar pretzels. They turned out really great and were fun to make. You need to roll out the dough into long thin pieces and then shape them into pretzels. We found the copycat recipe for Auntie Anne's Pretzels on the internet - they are every bit as good as the real thing ( and so much cheaper!)
Wool left over from the dog coat worked up into a cute crochet beanie - I made this one up as I went along. The yarn was purchased in a charity shop some time ago. Not sure about the fibre content but it feels as if it is mostly wool. I still have 5 balls left!
When I saw the pattern for the "Valley Cowl" by Doris Chan on Ravelry I thought it would be the perfect project for the yarn that I recently found in a local charity shop. Five balls of Patons Pure Wool Crepe proved to be more than enough. It took about three balls, so there is plenty left for a hat or some gloves to go with it. This is the first time that I have made a moebius scarf and I love the way it turned out. The twisted loop is interesting to make and to wear. I will probably make this again in a different yarn weight to show off the lace pattern a bit more.
I also managed to finish off some more bunting this week. I had made these triangles at the same time as I made the last lot but hadn't bothered to join them together
It didn't take long to crochet the joining chains and a couple of rows of dcs to make it a bit sturdier. I came across a load of snowflakes that I made last year recently and I want to turn them into Christmas bunting - should look really effective. I gave the pink triangle bunting to a friend at Knitting Club who just adores all things handmade. Lately, I have been enjoying cooking and particularly trying out nifty kitchen gadgets. Millie and I spent a pleasant hour making these cute little vanilla cookies with our new cookie press. It really is great fun and turns out some great looking treats. It's important to get the dough just the right consistency or they don't come out so good. We will probably make ginger spice cookies at Christmas. As we were having such a good time cooking we decided to try making potato latkes. This was also a fun process involving grating a ton of potatoes. Millie decided to wear her swimming goggles to prevent tears as she grated the onions - what a great idea!
We ended up with a very tasty lunch and will definitely be making these again.
The hexagons are coming along at a good pace. I try to make them in batches of about 10, working a round on each until they are all complete. Originally I thought it would take about 200 to make a decent throw. I am not sure why I thought that! After laying them all out on the floor today I have revised that estimate to about 600. There is obviously a lot more work to be done on this project.Here is what I have so far...