Winter Woolies & Scarf Pattern

As the cold began to creep into my house and the fire was brought back into evening use, my mind and hook turned to more wintery projects. I currently have several scarves on the go as well as a number of wooly hats in various sizes. I have even embarked on a child sized jumper (which may be finished by Christmas next year!).

Due partially to the release of the Fantastic Beasts film, I’ve been making a couple of basic Harry Potter inspired scarves. 

The top one is a Gryffindor-inspired one and the bottom one, which is still in progress, is based on the scarf Newt Scamander wears in the new movie.

Both are really simple and totally suitable for a beginner as only four different stitches are needed: (US terms) chaining Ch, half double crochet Hdc, single crochet Sc and slip stitch Ss. If you know these, you can make these scarves and in any colours you like.

Pattern

You will need: 

Several balls of yarn in the desired colours

Crochet hook sized to match your yarn

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Scissors

( I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn for both scarves and a 4.5mm hook for the Gryffindor-inspired one and a 5mm hook for the Newt Scamander one)

Begin by chaining until you reach the desired width of your scarf (I recommend between 35 and 45 based on the yarn I used) plus two.

Row 1 – (In the back bumps of the chains) Starting in the third chain from the hook, hdc across. You should have one less stitch than your initial chain (the two chains you skipped at the beginning count as a stitch). Turn work. 

R2 – Ch 2 (counts as a hdc here and throughout), hdc across with the last hdc into the top chain of the ch2 from the previous round. Turn work.

Repeat row 2 until scarf is the desired length. Make sure you count your stitches and make sure you have the same number in each row.

To change colour – Fasten off at the end of the last row of colour A. With a ss, join colour B to the first stitch of the row and ch2, hdc across as in row 2 and turn your work when complete.

Last Row – Sc across and fasten off. Then go back to the beginning of your scarf and have it orientated so you can crochet another row across. Join your yarn in the first stitch with a ss (which should look like the top of a normal stitch if you crocheted into the back bumps of your initial chain) and sc across. Fasten off.

The body of your scarf is complete! You can use it as is if you like or you can add tassles with the following instructions:

– Cut lengths of yarn in your desired colours about 12 inches long and gather them into bunched of 8 strands all lined up.

– Fold the bundle in half.

– Using your crochet hook (a larger one may make this easier) put your hook thought the stitch you wish to attach the hassle to and pull the bundle through at the folded point.

– Then using your fingers, draw the loose ends of the bundle through the loop created and pull tight. 

– Repeat as desired, equally spacing the tassles along the edges.

For those interested here are the colours and rows I used for my scarves:

Gryffindor-inspired: Burgundy for rows 1-20, Saffron S for rows 21-22, r23, r24-25. Then repeat 30 rows of B, 2 rows of S, one of B, 2 of S. When scarf almost at desired length, finish with 20 rows of and the last rows in B. The tassles comprised of 6 and 2 strands.

Newt Scamander: Grey for 16 rows, mustard for 16 rows, repeat as desired finishing in grey. Tassles with 4 strands of each colour.

Enjoy making your scarves and please send me pictures either in Instagram (@knottybiscuits) or via my Ravelry profile. I would love to see all the lovely scarves you make!

Courtyard Petals Granny Square

For Granny Square Day 2016, I’ve designed his regal beauty. This came about from me messing about with some yarn whilst teaching a friend to crochet. I hope you like the result!

You will need:

DK yarn in three colours, 4mm hook, scissors and a tapestry needle

US terms

Stitches:

Double crochet (dc), slip stitch (ss), single crochet (sc), treble crochet (trc) and half double crochet (hdc)

Pattern

R1: With colour A (into a magic ring) ch3, 2dc, ch2. *3dc, ch2. Repeat from * two more times. Join to 3rd beginning chain with ss. Cast off colour A.

R2: Join colour B into a ch2 space. Ch3, (2dc, ch2, 3dc) in the same space. *In next ch2 space do (3dc, ch2, 3dc). Repeat from * twice more. Join to 3rd beginning chain with ss.

R3: Ss in side gap between the two 3dc shells. (Ch3, 4dc) in same space then sc into the middle dc of the next 3dc shell. In the corner ch2 space do (3dc, 2trc, 3dc) then sc into the middle dc of the next 3dc shell. *In next gap between two 3dc shells do 5dc, then sc into the middle dc of the next 3dc shell. In the corner ch2 space do (3dc, 2trc, 3dc) then sc into the middle dc of the next 3dc shell. Repeat from * two more times. Join to 3rd beginning chain with ss.

R4: Ss into next two dcs. You should now be at the middle dc of a 5dc fan from the previous round. Sc into this middle dc. Ch3 then sc into the 2nd dc of the corner fan and into the next three stitches. Between the two trc from the previous round do (sc, ch2, sc). Sc into the next four stitches then ch3. *Sc into middle dc of 5dc fan then ch3. Sc into the 2nd dc of the corner fan and into the next three stitches. Between the two trc from the previous round do (sc, ch2, sc). Sc into the next four stitches then ch3. Repeat from * twice more. Join to 3rd beginning chain with ss. Cast off colour B.

R5: Join colour C into the first sc of a corner fan. Ch2, then hdc into the next three stitches. Into corner c2 space do (hdc, ch2, hdc). Hdc into next four stitches. Then 3hdc into ch3 space, hdc into sc, 3hdc into ch3 space. *Hdc into next four stitches. Into corner c2 space do (hdc, ch2, hdc). Hdc into next four stitches. Then 3hdc into ch3 space, hdc into sc, 3hdc into ch3 space. Join to 2nd beginning chain with ss. Cast off colour C. Weave in ends.

Make some more a join together to make a throw, a scarf, a cushion or anything else you fancy. I’d love to see your square so please comment here or find me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and drop me a message!

Some Well-earned R&R

So the past few months have been hectic, what with getting married and some intense shift patterns. I’ve now finished my CBT for my PTSD, which is great but it’s quite daunting going it alone for now! As such, I’m really trying to make sure I engage in my self care.

Crochet, obviously, is one of my big hobbies and self care activities. I’ve managed to complete a couple of orders which is always really satisfying as well as a few projects for friends, family and myself! Now I’m focusing on making the cupcake blanket by Attic24. The beautiful colours and simplicity of the pattern are great as I don’t have to think too much about what I’m doing. Fantastic for hooking infront of the telly or on my break at work!

Jim and I have managed to sort out most of the house so things are more ordered and tidy. We’ve also had more people round and been out more. 

I’ve also been participating in a book exchange through a friend. I sent off one of my favourite books to another participant (The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen if you’re interested) and am eagerly awaiting any books that might come my way. I’ve also ordered Perfume by Patrick Suskind and Animalium which is a nonfiction book about various animals. I’m looking forward to reading all of them and the books I might receive in the exchange. 

The next couple of months will be busy. September is looming meaning boom time as a midwife as well as several family birthdays (including my own). But it will also be interesting to see what I can accomplish and enjoy too! Hopefully I’ll get around to designing some more crochet patterns (I’m thinking maybe a scarf…) and posting about all the delicious new books I’m going to read. Watch this space!

Herb alchemy

Over the last few months, I have been cultivating a select group of herbs in little pots in my garden. They have sprouting from little plantlings I bought from the garden centre into gargantuan bushes that are now beginning to outgrow their terracotta homes.

Every day, I go out and see if any of my plants could be pruned a little. When I do take cuttings, I like them to be useful. Some, like my oregano, go into foods like pastas sauces and on top of pizzas. However, with my pineapple sage and various mint plants, I like to do something different.

Now, being married to a northerner, tea is something that features a lot in our lives. I have never been a massive tea drinker, preferring to reserve it for truly horrendous night shifts most of the time. Jim and I have recently been trying to get me into drinking tea more. We love the more fruity teas acquired from visits to the Bluewater T2 store but no tea tastes quite as sweet as that grown yourself.

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My black peppermint and curled spearmint leaves in the process of drying

My mint plants inevitably end up soaking in boiled water to make my tea, sometimes with a dash of honey if I’ve managed to prune a particularly bitter stem. However I do also dry out the leave and then store them. I’ve yet to try my dried leaves so it will be good fun to see what they are like soon.

Does anyone out there also grow herbs for tea? What do you recommend as good herbs to try?

Seafoam Blanket Pattern

Apologies for my absence the past few months but have been very busy getting married! To make up for this here’s the pattern for my latest blanket: the Seafoam blanket!

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It is named the Seafoam blanket as it was inspired by my.memory of watching the waves crash onto the beach in Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight.

Pattern

Terms: US terms

Hook: 4mm

Yarn: Stylecraft special DK in:

– Cream

– Empire

– Silver 

– Aspen

– Lobelia 

– Stone 

– Duck egg

– Petrol 

– Parma violet 

– Aster

– Mocha

– Storm blue

Special stitches:

– 3dc shell- 3dc in same stitch

– V stitch- (dc, ch1, dc) in same stitch

– 2dctog- yrh, insert hook into stitch and pull through a loop, yarn over and pull through two loops. Yrh and insert hook into wherever the second part of the stitch should be and pull up a loop. Yrh and pull through two loops then yrh and pull through the remaining three loops.

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Make chain to size desired (multiples of 6+5)

R1: 3dc shell in 5th chain from hook (I crochet into the bumps on the underside of the chain for a neater finish), skip 2 chains then V stitch into the next stitch. *Skip 2 chains, 3dc shell in next stitch, skip 2 chains, V stitch in next stitch. Repeat from * until you have 2 chains left. Skip 1 chain and dc into last chain. Turn.

R2: Chain 3 (or standing dc if you prefer), skip one stitch and 3dc shell into middle dc of the 3dc shell from the last round. Then skip 2 stitch and V stitch into ch1 space of V stitch from the previous round. *Skip 2 stitches, 3dc shell into middle dc of the 3dc shell, skip 2 stitches, V stitch into ch1 space of V stitch from the previous round. Repeat from * across until you have 2 stitches left. Skip 1 then dc into the top of the ch3 from the previous round. Turn.

Repeat R2 until blanket is desired length. I alternated two rows of colour as follows with a row of cream between each colour as well as for the first and last row:

Empire, Silver, Aspen, Lobelia, Stone, Duck egg, Petrol, Parma violet, Aster, Mocha and Storm Blue. However, you can of course use any colours you like!

Border: 

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R1: (Cream) With the right side of the blanket facing you, Sc in 2nd stitch of the last row and across. In the last stitch do 3sc. Then Sc evenly down the side. 3sc in the first stitch of the bottom edge, Sc across, 3sc in the last stitch of the bottom edge. Sc evenly up the side. 3dc in first stitch of the last round. Join with ss. Don’t turn.

R2: Ch3, skip 2 stitches, dc into next stitch, ch2. *In the same stitch as the last dc, make the first part of the 2dctog, skip 2 stitch then finish the 2dctog in next stitch, ch2. Repeat from * acround. For corners, ch3 after last 2dctog, dc in same stitch, ch3, begin next 2dctog in same stitch. At the end of the round, join with ss and cast off. Turn

R3: (Silver) Join in any ch2 space and ch3 then dc in next ch2 space. *Ch2, make the first part of the 2dctog in the same ch2 space, skip to the next ch2 space then finish the 2dctog, ch2. Repeat from * around. For corners chain 3 between the 2dctogs either side of the corner dc from the previous round. At the end of the round, join with ss. Cast off. Turn.

R4: (Aspen) Join in any ch2 space and ch3 then dc in next ch2 space. *Ch2, make the first part of the 2dctog in the same ch2 space, skip to the next ch2 space then finish the 2dctog, ch2. Repeat from * around. For corners, end last 2dctog, (ch2, dc, ch2) and begin next 2dctog in ch3 space from previous round. At the end of the round, join with ss. Cast off.

Weave in ends and you’ll have a beautiful blanket!

If you make one of these blankets, please post a picture of your work! I’m on Instagram as @knottybiscuits so please tag me so I can see your beautiful creations!

Making crocheted ribbon

When I gift people their blankets or send out my orders, I like them to look their best. Recently, I’ve taken to using ribbon to tie them up securely so they are beautifully presented and easy to transport. So today, I finished a blanket for a friend but found, to my horror, that I was out of ribbon! After a small moment of panic, I composed myself and turned my mind to the solution: I am  crafter, why not make the ribbon myself?

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Using a Tunisian crochet, I whipped up this little beauty. I’m quite new to Tunisian crochet so I am very pleased with how this turned out.

To make this ribbon, you will need:
– 2mm crochet hook (an ordinary hook will be fine for this piece)
– DK yarn of your choosing
– a tapestry needle to weave in the ends

(You could use a different hook or yarn size if you, but the gauge will be different. My ribbon measured approximately an inch across)

Abbreviations

Yo- yarn over
Ch- chain
F- Forward row
R- Return row

Pattern

(US terms)

Chain seven.

R1: F- starting with the second chain from the hook, pull up a loop in each chain across. You should have 7 loops on your hook.
R- (Tunisian simple stitch). Yo, pull through one loop. Repeat *yo, pull through 2 loops* until you’re left with one loop on the hook.

R2: F- Pass hook through the vertical post of yarn and draw up a loop from each across. (7 loops on hook)
R- Yo, pull through one loop. Ch2. Yo and pull through six loops. Ch2. Yo and pull through the last two loops.

R3: F- Draw up a loop from each of the two chains from the previous row, draw one up from the centre of the “shell” (where you drew through the six loops), then draw up another loop from each of the next two chains and one from the vertical post at the end of the last row. (7 loops on hook)
R- (Tunisian simple stitch) Yo, pull through one loop. Repeat *yo, pull through 2 loops* until you’re left with one loop on the hook.

Repeat R2&3 until the ribbon is the desired length. Do one last row of R2 the cast of by draw up each loop and then pulling through the previous loop on the hook. Weave in ends.

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Woolly Boob Therapy!

Sometimes, when one finds oneself a tad stressed, crochet is not just a hobby but one of the few ways of completely grounding myself and emptying my mind. So when my mind was full of midwifery, what else could I crochet but a woolly boob!

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In practice, we use these boobs as a teaching aid when discussing breastfeeding. Most of the ones I’ve used tend to be varying degrees of Caucasian skin colour. Not only do I find these a bit boring but I like a bit of colour in my life and crochet. Who said boobs can’t be vibrant green!

In case any of you require similar mammary gland related crochet, here is the pattern:

US terms

Materials:

DK yarn
4mm hook
Contrasting yarn for marking out the areola
Tapestry needle
Scissors

R1: 6sc into a magic ring, ss to join

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From now on, work in a spiral. Use a stitch marker to mark first stitch of each round as you go.

R2: Sc in back loops around (6)
R3-4: Sc around (6)

Use hdc from this point.

R5: Inc around (12)

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R6: *Inc, hdc* around (18)
R7: *Inc, 2hdc* around (24)
R8: *Inc, 3hdc* around (30)
R9: *Inc, 4hdc* around (36)
R10: *Inc, 5hdc* around (42)

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R11-15: Hdc in each stitch around (42)
R16: (in back loops) *5hdc, dec* around (36)
R17: *4hdc, dec* around (30)
R18: *3hdc, dec* around (24)

Start stuffing here:

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R19: *2hdc, dec* around (18)
R20: *hdc, dec* around (12)

Finish stuffing

R21: Dec around (6)

Fasten off leaving a long tail. Use tail to close up the small hole left.

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Using contrasting yarn to embroider on a circle around the nipple to indicate the areola.

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Et voilà! One woolly boob!