Friday, 29 November 2013

ROBIN pattern details and excitement over my Christmas crochet class!

 OH! I'm getting rather excited about my Christmas crochet class at Bicester Wools tomorrow morning!
 These baubles are amongst the many Christmassy decorations we are going to learn...
 But in the meantime I thought I'd be kind and share with you the pattern for this cute wee robin of mine?
 First with two strands of DK wool and  4.5 mm hook, make a stuffed egg pattern as recorded on Ravelry here- you need about 9 grammes of each colour acrylic yarn. I used Hayfield Bonus DK in brown and Sirdar Snuggly DK in the flesh beige colour :

or try the website direct: AND THANKING CRAFT FROG for her lovely pattern!!!
giving plentiful thanks in gratefulness right here.

Then in King Cole scarlet bamboocotton and a 3mm hook make a flat circle with 5 rounds ending with 30 dc.
A flat circle is made in dc with an increase of 6 sts for each round thus:
With magic circle or ch 2 and work into circle or 2nd ch from hook: R1=6dc.
then with each successive round work and extra dc single before working 2dc in one stitch?
( 6dc)
R2: work 2dc in each dc. ( 12 dc)
R3: WORK 1 dc in 1 dc then 2dc in next dc, repeat all the way around and close with ss.(18dc)
R4: work 1 dc in 1 dc twice then 2dc in next dc and repeat around, close with ss( 24dc)
R5: work 1 dc in each dc three times then 2dc in next dc and repeat all around, close with ss.(30 dc)
( if you wanted a bigger flat circle you would etc etc, do you see the pattern developing? )
Fasten off with a long thread so you can sew the red breast to the body. Line up one part of the circle with the base of the egg.
With Yellow DK and a 3 mm hook: ch4 and work 4 dc into those chains.
Then work 2dc together over the two groups of 2 ( 2dc)
now ch1 and fasten off with a long enough thread to fold over, sew beak and sew beak to body just above the red breast.
WINGS: make 2 of these:
With the brown DK and a 3mm hook: ch 6 and work a dc into 2nd ch from hook, then work 1 HTr, 5 Tr, 1 HTr,1 dc into the remaining 4 chains.
turn, ch1, work a dc into each st in row below: 9 dc, then ss to finish.
Leave long tail to sew wings to sides of body in an upside down U shape.
Optional FEET: make 2.
In brown or yellow DK yarn:
ch 9, ss into 2nd ch from hook and into next 2 sts. ch 2 , ss into 2nd ch from hook, ch 4, ss into 2nd ch from hook and in next 6 st to the very beginning of the chain 9. One leg/claw made.
Thread fine wire in and out of the chains turning a small loop under at each far end and doubling back for each toe of the 3 toe claw. Sew in ends and sew legs to body.

Sew in all ends not used for sewing and add a pair of beady black eyes: use safety eyes with a dab of PVA glue on the ends when you insert them- NOT SAFE FOR TODDLERS/ CHILDREN OR BABIES- or embroider eyes with black yarn and French knots, or use buttons or beads or sequins or tiny circles of black felt sewn on tightly.
Do sew eyes very securely if robin is to come into contact with any babies/toddlers/children!


Abbreviations used:
dc= UK double crochet USA single crochet
HTr= UK HALF TREBLE , USA= half double crochet.
Tr= UK Treble, USA= double crochet.
SS= slip stitch
ch= chain.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


 Today a little robin was born at our home.... Here he is, tah dah! Partly the ''egg'' pattern from Ravelry and to this I have added my own wing, chest and beak patterns... I made him tweedy because I think it looks more ''feathery'' but Miss E says oh he's sooo cute, but he needs to be all brown?
 It's all because Christmas is so much in the air and all around town now  that all those fabulous decorations and smells, scents and visions in the shops have put me in Christmassy mood. Not to mention the fab EDWARDIAN advent calenday from the amazing Jacquie Lawson! Look see this shop?
 Little knitted reindeer these, among the snow.
 Such pretty heartfelt berries and a wee birdie too, tweet tweet?
 Aaaaah a nativity scene and such a pretty sign? Oh I really MUST crochet out own nativity, finally this year?
I keep meaning to do it, but haven't done so as yet....
 So from that pretty shop I came away with this sweet little fawn, but JJ was not amused.
Luckily both girls adored it too, must be a girl thing.
So I daren't confess also to another item of the ingenuity of laser cutting, THIS wee housie!
Laser cut locally I'm told, she has done some larger houses, cottages and so on but this tiny hut was just so sweet? A little flickering battery operated ''candle'' inside.

 This is the front, we always buy a few new things to add to our enormous Christmas decorative collection and this was the start of the 2013 newbies!
 Back at home I had to sketch my idea for a home -made crocheted wreath, this too I have been talking about for years and years and every X-mas our old pine wreath travels from the attic to our front door with it's fabric poinsettias and not a crochet stitch in sight, soooooooo....
 THIS year I'm gonna DO IT! OUR OWN crochet inspired, CHRISTMAS WREATH!
 The base was purchased a few days ago, Hobbycraft twigs, the largest I could find.
And to this I am sewing many holly leaves, all crocheted in varying shades of ''forest/ pine'' green and in various sizes. I am going to add 2 poinsettias and I still have many leaves and berries to make and attach.
 Here are some of the berries. But today I felt like making the focal point:
 A little robin! So after 5 hours of academic searches on 3 medic/nursing databases and endless reading of abstracts, ( 23 at least) and a few chapters of a research book, some food shopping as well,  I finally got to make this cutie.
 What do you think?
 I'm not so sure about the feet, maybe they should be brown or wired or omitted?
 Looks OK from up top, but...
Still thinking about it.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Crazy experiment : autumn floral display idea

This is a lovely photo, but a few days ago it was just an imaginary ''vision'' in my mind?
But before we get onto my latest crazy scheme let's catch up on the hum drum bits of lovely living:
 Breakfast bars were going slow this week so I could actually enjoy a few while I was home.

 Lunch Friday was the uber delicioso Nigella mac 'n cheese with ham and tomato.
After lunch I had to rescue a wee hedgehog, Lucy hadn discovered it in our garden and Pips attacked or at least tries to but there was much yelping, it took me ages to prize her away though and then I took the little mite, scared but unharmed, to St Tiggywinkles.

They called it a ''junior hedgehog'' so it must not have been adult just yet, maybe that's why it didn't know to avoid gardens with living dogs in it?
When I came back I celebrated by crocheting a wee vine comme ca from the exquisite trims book as this was the start of my new ''mad'' project?!
Also to stay grounded I started something more practical as I'd had a muddy Lucy jumping all over my passenger seats again in the car recently and I remembered the yarn I'd bought to make dog- baskets for the car!
 I think it's called BOODLES and is thin strips of jersey fabric knotted together and wound onto bobbins.
Off cuts from the t-shirt trade I should think but some smart alec has decided to charge us textile crafters for the ''privilege '' of using up their waste product! Genius!
Off I went , winging it without a pattern and a 12 mm hook....
 I wanted and oval and ended up with a rectangle with curved corners?
 Once I started I couldn't stop! I wanted to see how far a ball would go....
 I even ended up crocheting by this LOVELY OPEN FIRE FRIDAY!

 And I went on and on and on until the wee early hours... Changed to a cone of bright blue after the turquoise finished and then turned the edge up like a ''proper'' dog-bed.
 There was some yummy tuna in one of the breaks too...
 And late on Saturday some research reading again as I 'd had Friday and most of Saturday off...
Took Miss A shopping for her schooltrip abroad Saturday and also shopped and cooked and tidied and cleaned, not that it's made much difference. JJ was away working the whole time.
 PANSIES! They were part of my ''big'' idea, I want to crochet a hanging basket of flowers for our front door as it's all looking so grey and dismal at the moment. And pansies do grow in some mild autumns...
Not here and now as we've already had some sharp FROSTS!
 So above is a pansy from the 100 knitted and crocheted flowers book by L Stansfield?
 And here was my first sample, DK yarn and a 3.5 mm hook...But it's so large?
Fits in the palm of my hand. Then today we had a family outing to the St Giles Fair for Christmas, but it was all a bit dissappointing and I did wish I'd stayed home to study or crochet...
 So grey! And mostly ''tat'' on the stalls, nothing very exciting though our venison sausage in a bun was nice.
And the misses enjoyed their churros with belgian chocolate dipping sauce but I was not allowed any photos.

After the fair, they went shopping while JJ and I waited in the lovely cafe in Waterstones. 

 This was the window at Waterstones, I like their cardboard 3d reindeer? Slotted together.
 Then after reading and doing chores once we got home after 4 pm, I made a viola during '' the Paradise''.
I WAS GOING FOR THE ''TRICOLOR'' effect? Didn't quite have the right colours, but still..
 And I consulted some gardening books to look at violas and pansies up close....
 So for Jackanapes, such an excellent name, I'd use the golden yellow more- not this pale yellow- and the merlot not the blackberry. Jackanapes= a pert fellow or coxcomb as per the Oxford dictionary...
 Lucky I have some golden yellow too, I can try these later?
 Loving that deep purple but I don't have that colour yet.
 All yellow would be good too?
 Now these are really pretty! And such a fun name: JOKER!

 Ah now that's the next bit, a few sunflowers for the trellis that's against the brickwork by the window, perhaps? JJ thinks my handiwork will get wet or damp and go mouldy and he has a point of course...
So my experiment is to soak all my creations in PVA and water and see if that provides the necessary protection? The vines are to dangle from the hanging basket. I have bamboo skewers and a reel of wire to put it all together...  Is it just plain MAD or could it work?