Friday, 30 November 2012

Christmas star garland tutorial

A while ago I had an idea for making a Christmassy-garland of silver stars. I had some left over shimmery yarn which I bought a couple of Christmasses ago and never used. I knew I wanted to make small crochet stars using this, and then string them together to make a garland you could drape over a mantelpiece or put on the tree.
Here is the result, with a tutorial.


Rowan Shimmer yarn, silver 2x balls
3.5mm crochet hook.

Note: I'm not sure you can still buy Rowan Shimmer, but I have seen Anchor Artiste Metallic in the shops, which looks very similar.

This tutorial uses UK crochet terms.

Work each star using 2 strands of yarn held together.

Chain 4, join into a ring using a slip stitch.

Round 1: Chain 3, work 11 trebles into ring. Complete round by slip stitching into top of 3 chain from start of round - 12 stitches

Round 2: Chain 3, work 1 treble into top of first stitch, and 2 trebles into each stitch to end of round. Slip stitch into top pf 3 chain to finish - 24 stitches.

Round 3: Chain 8. Work a slip stitch into second chain from hook. Work back down the chain, working 1 stitch into each chain, using the following stitches: 1 dc, 1 half treble, 1 treble, 1 treble, 1 double treble, 1 double treble. This should take you back to the base of the 8 chain, flush with the circle you had created at end of round 2. skip 3 trebles in the circle, slip stitch into top of next treble. This has made one point in your star, with both sides of the point now joined to your circle.

Repeat round 3 4 more times, to make 5 points. Slip stitch into base of first point to finish round.

Round 4: Work an edging of double crochet right around your shape, going around the edges of the points of your star. On the right hand side of each point you will be working into the single loop from the bottom of the 8 chains you made in the last round. You may need to work 2 double crochet stitches into the tops of each point before you can turn and work down the left hand side of the point.

Slip stitch into first stitch to complete and fasten off.

You can make as many as you like and them start stringing them together!

Thursday, 29 November 2012


It's been a couple of weeks since I was last here - longer than I normally like to leave it, but things have been so busy.

I've finally finished my course (well provided I passed the last assignment, which I am not convinced that I did). It means no more studying for me though! I can just relax and look forward to Christmas.

As you can imaging there hasn't been a lot of action on the crafting front in the last couple of weeks - I have literally been working every spare hour to try and finish my final assignment. Managed to lose about half a stone in weight doing it! Stress always does take away my apetite.

Anyway, I have managed to do a couple of things. I finished the next Kim Hargreaves sweater I was making - called Longing, also from Enchanted. The fabric is a lovely open work design, and I've chosen a dark red colour to make it.

I've only tried it on once briefly - I do like it, it just feels a little chunky. There is no side seam shaping, which is fine, its that kind of design. But, with the lack of shaping and the open work fabric it feels like the fabric should be gracefully draping. However, at the moment (probably because it hasn't been washed yet) its not draping, just being fluffy. I just feel a teeny bit too chunky - as I've said before I'm petite in size and figure (even more so than usual after the stress of the last few weeks!) so I have to be careful about clothes overwhelming. I think I'll reserve judgement on this one until after its been washed!

So, what do I do now, now that I have finished studying (at least for now)? Well I have plenty of planned crafty projects to keep me busy. Some are Christmas related, some not so much. I'll try and share them with you over the next few weeks!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Autumn thoughts and fallen leaves

Autumn is probably my favourite time of the year. I feel a little sad this year, as I've had to let the season pass me by a little - things have just been so busy I feel like I haven't really been able to get outside and enjoy the fallen leaves, bright colours and crispness in the air.

To try and make myself feel a little better, and make sure I didn't miss out completely, I've been taking a few snaps here and there of some of the best bits of Autumn that I've seen around me. I've been saving them up to share with you here. Along with my little list of things I love about this time of year!

Things I love about Autumn:

  1. The colours (of course!) - red, ochre, orange, brown and golden green - I love them all!
  2. New conkers - with that lovely chesnut brown gloss
  3. Bonfire night - fireworks, fire and childhood memories
  4. Hot water bottles - when you're watching a film on the sofa, they're the best
  5. The excuse to make another 5 new scarves - as if I need another 1, let alone 5!
  6. Crunching through the lovely fallen leaves - that noise is so satisfying
  7. The light in the early morning and evening - the picture below is actually dawn breaking, although it looks like a sunset
  8. Having it get dark early enough to see the moon and stars before sleeping. I've been lucky with planets this year - I've managed to see Jupiter and Venus a couple of times.

 With December fast approaching Autumn is almost over, and winter is really about to begin. Still, there is plenty to look forward to - Christmas and all the fun that brings, and then the fresh start of a new year.

Stay happy wherever you are.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Fionn finished

Phew that was a quick knit! I've finished Fionn, and I'm quite pleased with it.

Kim Hargreagves Fionn from Enchanted

The trickiest part was stitching the collar onto the body, but I managed as well as I could. Hopefully it doesn't look too bad.

It was interesting knitting this - its the first time I have ever knitted a garment which uses Kidsilk Haze and another yarn. Initially I couldn't see the point of the Kidsilk Haze - its so fine I didn't think it would add much to weight of the yarn, but I was mistaken. That single strand of Kidsilk Haze does bulk out the Kid Classic in this design by a surprising amount.
Kim Hargreagves Fionn from Enchanted

This is a very snuggly cosy knit - I do feel very "fluffy" wearing it! It's the sort of thing that I would reserve for when it gets really cold though. It feels a little bulky and warm for every day wear at the moment - it still hasn't got that cold here yet.

Kim Hargreagves Fionn from Enchanted

I'm already working on my next knitted garment from 'Enchanted' - more soon!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Kim Hargreaves "Fionn"

I have been temporarily distracted from all my various crochet projects by the publication of Kim Hargreaves' latest pattern book, Enchanted.

To me, this is one of the best of Kim's pattern collections that I have seen in the last 18 months or so. I always like her designs - unlike many other designers, her garments usually have a good amount of shaping detail, meaning that you don't always end up knitting front and back pieces which are just rectangular shaped! Being petite in stature and figure, I don't find anything too baggy or rectangular to be particularly flattering, so Kim's pattern shapes suit me down to the ground.

As soon as saw this book in John Lewis on Oxford Street on Saturday, I had to purchase both the book and yarn to make 'Fionn' the wrap over cardigan.

Kim Hargreaves Fionn pattern

So far I have already knitted the back and left front, and made a good start on the right front (shown in picture above) - just since Saturday night! Acutally it is quite quick to knit up on 5mm needles.

The pattern is a lovely, simple, elegant design, which I think will be very wearable and go with lots of things in my wardrobe. True to type I have chosed a dusty purple shade to make my version - purple is one of my favourite colours. The design calls for one strand of Kid Classic yarn and one strand of Kidsilk haze yarn to be knitted held together throughout the pattern. My one complaint is that this makes this garment pretty expensive to knit, though very luxurious!

Rowan kidsilk haze and kid classic yarn

The colours I have chosen for each yarn blend with each other - you can hardly see the Kidsilk Haze in the knitted fabric, unless you look closely. I like it that way, but I think you could also have lots of fun using shades of Kidsilk Haze that contrast more sharply with your chosen shade of Kid Classic. The shades I have used are:

Kid Classic shade 835 Royal
Kidsilk Haze shade 659 Ultra

Kim Hargreaves Fionn pattern back
Here's the knitted up back piece! Its speedy knitting, so I hope to have this completed by the end of November or thereabouts!