Chelsea “capelet” for Clare

When the book Crocheting Clothes Kids Love was published I snapped up a copy quite quickly.  There is much in the book that appeals to me, and luckily there is much that appeals to both of my kids!  They spent quite a lot of time looking through it selecting projects for me to work on.  I started off with the Chelsea Capelet, for Clare.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I’m not sure why the publishers called this a capelet – as far as I am concerned, it is a vest. Front joined to back, with armholes. Either way, I love it on Clare!

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

As written, this vest is cropped, and flared a little at the bottom. Clare wanted it longer, so after working the flared rows, I added quite a few inches until it was the length that she wanted. It is worked from the bottom up in two pieces, front and back, then they are seamed together before working the collar and edgings. I measured the length from the underarm, and it has worked well.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I checked Clare’s measurements and ended up crocheting the size 8 for her. The yarn was from stash, and you may have noticed that the body of the vest is a slightly paler cream than the trims. That’s what happens when you stash bust! I had just enough of the Cleckheaton Country 8 ply for the body of the vest, then switched to the Country Yarn Collection Pure Wool 8 ply crepe for the cowl and edgings. And for the decorative flowers on the front!

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

The combination of yarns has worked out fine, and it has removed them both from stash. Around 200 grams of yarn can be an awkward number – enough for a scarf, but not usually for a garment. Combining the two lots of cream yarn gave me enough for the vest.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I really like the cowl neckline. It was worked after the front and back were joined, and is essentially lots of chains with single crochet stitches to give structure. It gradually grows in size, which is why it rolls over itself so nicely.

Chelsea Capelet - from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

I’ll definitely be crocheting more from this book. Actually, I might even check out what else is in my stash right now! More details and photos on Ravelry  here.  And a Flickr set of all the photos I took of the vest here.

Stradbroke top

See, you all really like knit dresses too, don’t you?  Thanks for the lovely comments on my Jessica dress.  I think that next time I make it I will cut it shorter, and shorten it a bit through the torso.  My usual short person alterations!  But in the meantime, I really like my wearable muslin.

And guess what – my Lekala-along jacket is finished!  But you’ll have to wait for modelled photos, I’m afraid.  Once I had it all cut out and started sewing it came together quite easily.  Having a dedicated craft room really helps in that regard, because I did a lot of the sewing in fits and starts between doing other things (like working and caring for my family) and I could just put things down and pick them up again.

In the meantime, I have a bit of a backlog of finished projects just waiting for their opportunity to be blogged.  Thank goodness for Ravelry as a repository of information!  It says that I finished crocheting Clare’s Stradbroke top on the 18th of January, after starting it on the 1st of November.

Stradbroke top

This is a cute style by Deanne Ramsey, also known as Addydae Designs.  I have crocheted quite a few of her designs now, and have enjoyed all of them.  She is an Australian designer, so many of her patterns work well with yarns that are readily available here, such as the Bendigo Woollen Mills Spring Cotton that I used here.

Stradbroke top

The top buttons at the front. After making it and Clare trying it on, we decided to stitch the straps on permanently rather than having them adjustable, as they were pulling a bit and looked awkward. We left the buttons in place for a decorative touch. Clare later decided that she also wanted a ribbon threaded through the bodice for extra security. She is possibly likely to wear this layered over another top more than on its own in any case.

Stradbroke top

The straps come from the centre of the back, so don’t have any tendency to slip off shoulders. I crocheted this in the size 6-7 for Clare. The top of the bodice is elasticised, with four rows of shirring elastic threaded through the post stitches on the wrong side, which brings it in to fit around the chest but then allows it to flare through the skirt. This could easily be lengthened into a dress if you fancied.

Stradbroke top

There are a couple more crochet projects in the works at the moment, one for me and one for Clare. Neither are progressing quickly. I have a “school mums” weekend away coming up soon, so will take my crochet along with me then and hopefully get through a bit more hooking. More details on Clare’s top are on Ravelry here.

Stradbroke top

crisscross vest

Sadly, this project didn’t turn out the way that I hoped it would.  It’s not a total fail, but not a complete success.  All due to the perils of yarn substitution.  I didn’t get the substitution right.

Criss-Cross Vest

Oh, this is such beautiful yarn! It is Wollmeise, in the colourway Rhabarber. Rhubarb, obviously! I really, really love it. The intensity of colour is superb. It is 100% merino, in a 4 ply, and this is where I went wrong. This vest really needed something much, much drapier. The pattern is the Crisscross Vest by Jenny King, and it is designed to be crocheted in Noro Silk Garden Sock. This is a heavier weight of yarn, with a composition that includes silk and nylon (as well as wool and mohair). Since the vest is designed as one size fits all, I thought that I’d be okay with the Wollmeise as long as I added some extra repeats. In the end, I added an extra four-repeat to both sides of the vest. It is okay, but nowhere near as long or draped as I anticipated.

Criss-Cross Vest

I’ll probably give this pattern another try in a different yarn. I have some Caron Spa still in stash, and think that something with a bamboo component would definitely work well despite it being a heavier weight of yarn. Or I could even lash out and buy the recommended yarn! We’ll see. I definitely haven’t finished with this design, because it is a lovely one and is the sort of thing that I like to wear, but unfortunately in this rendition it is a bit meh.

Criss-Cross Vest

But oh, what beautiful yarn!  Ravelled here.

onarum wrap

Another recent crochet project was the Onarum wrap.  This popped up on Ravelry as the November CAL  on Sharon Maher’s Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs group.  It was especially designed to take advantage of the long colour changes in Bendigo Woollen Mills Murano yarn.  Wouldn’t you know it, I was about to place an order at Bendigo for cotton, so it was simple enough to add a ball (or two) of Murano to my order and get hooking!  And this is what I ended up with.

Onarum wrap in BWM Murano

This wrap takes less than one ball of Murano. It is designed to be worn across the shoulders and tied in front, as in the above photo, and the tassels help to keep it in place and to add a little pizazz.

Onarum wrap in BWM Murano

However, I am more likely to wear it as a scarf, so had some fun trying different ways to drape and tie it.

Onarum wrap in BWM Murano

I really love the colourway. Perfect for me since I became a red head!

Onarum wrap in BWM Murano

This was a fun project, and it was quite enjoyable watching the others taking part in the CAL finish their wraps and see the different yarns and colourways that they used. I’ll definitely be using this pattern again. More details are on my Ravelry project page.

chocolate and lime

Some months ago I got it into my head that I could crochet a two coloured scarf, with a simple centre and a more elaborate border.  This is what I came up with.

chocolate and lime scarf

Both yarns are Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 8 ply. I crocheted five rows of dc for the centre strip in the chocolate colour, then added a lime coloured border. The border is #119 from Around The Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman.

chocolate and lime scarf

I think that this is an interesting idea, but I’m not completely sold on the finished product. I feel that the centre panel is too thick and wide, and rather than providing a pleasing juxtaposition to the lighter lace, it just clashes a little. However, I will keep going with this as a general concept. I really enjoy working lace borders, and this is a nice way to get a useable product from them without embarking on a massive project.  Further details on Ravelry here.

almost finished: the wool-eater

Okay, I started this in 2009.  It has had many extended periods of hiatus, but this year I was determined to get it closer to finished.  Although my original plan was to crochet three round of each colour, I have amended that to two rounds.  I am almost there, but have run out of yarn with about twelve stitches to go in the mid-pink, which means that I won’t have quite enough yarn for the next few rounds either.  When I can source some more of the yarn I will finish off those last rounds.  In the meantime, the blanket has gone into use.

2013-11-16 19.59.57

There is more detail about this on my Ravelry page, and there are previous posts about the wool-eater blanket here.


Whenever I return from a weekend at Sewjourn I feel both exhilarated and a little shredded.  We really don’t get enough sleep!  It’s always “I’ll just finish this seam” or “I’ll just insert the zip” or “I’ll just cut this out” – and before we know it the time is well past Cinderella hour.  But boy, we are productive!  I really love seeing what everyone produces.  Megan created almost 100 metres of bunting, whipped up a crocheted hat (or two) and was generally impressive.  Rachel made her daughter beautiful skirts and shorts, a dress and a couple of skirts for herself.  Kathryn whipped up a skirt, a fully lined jacket, and two dresses!  Karen created four and a half divine dresses for her daughters in really beautiful fabrics.  Tanya was amazing and inspiring – she is in the process of learning to draft patterns and fit them to her own measurements and it was fantastic watching her draft, sew up toiles, try them on, alter the fit, and then use the calico dresses and shorts as patterns for two dresses and a pair of pyjama shorts!  I’m going to be very busy googling pattern making courses as soon as I finish this blog post.  Annie was her usual talented self, making a new bag, a variety of patchwork squares, and an entire quilt that was begun in the afternoon and pieced, backed, quilted and bound by the evening!  She is truly amazing – especially since she did all of it while still using crutches after her recent foot surgery.  Wendy was a wonder, moving from sewing Days for Girls bags to binding quilts to piecing quilt tops to finishing dresses to making knit tops.  And I made a dress and three tops for Clare, a dress and a top for Stella, a skirt and a dress for me, and another seven tops for me as well!  I had them all cut out before I arrived, and many were very simple patterns that I’d used before.  That said, I also tried out a few patterns that were new to me and I’d been wanting to sew up for a while, so I look forward to getting some photos of them and blogging them sooner rather than later.  But back to the title of this blog post – shredded!

shredded scarf

I crocheted this scarf the weekend before conference in October. The yarn is Milla Mia Naturally Soft Merino, in navy, and the pattern is Linda Permann’s Shredded Scarf, from Inside Crochet Issue 13 (January 2011). It was a joy to hook.

shredded scarf

The scarf is worked lengthwise in either chain stitch or single crochet, depending on what row you are up to in the repeat. I think that it would work well in a variety of yarns, and be suitable for a man or a woman. I love it!

shredded scarf

And on that note, since I still feel a little shredded, I’d better get to bed. Hopefully I’ll get some photos of my Sewjourn makes soon. And to my fellow Sewjourners – you are such a special group of women. To write about the conversations, laughter, slippers, and general love and support that you all give would take me hours, so instead I will just say a very heartfelt thank you and goodnight! #soztoteshavingaconvowithmypeeps

striped cotton scarf

On the weekend I needed a super easy crochet project.  Something that didn’t require any thought; something that would allow my fingers to move repetitiously and let my mind wander.  I have had the Scrapadelic Scarf in my favourites on Ravelry for a little while, and decided that it would be a great basis for what I was after.

crocheted cotton scarf in hdc

I pulled five colours of Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply cotton out of my stash, with Stella’s assistance to choose which colours. Using a 5 mm hook, I started with a chain of 220 stitches, used the same colour for the first row of sc into the base chain, then switched colours with every row of hdc that took place after that. SO easy. I worked 16 rows in all, then finished it off by adding some more yarn at the end of each row and plaiting it into a fringe.

striped cotton scarf in hdc

On Monday at work I was lucky (?) to have four hours to sit through a software vendor’s presentation – which is where I finished crocheting the final five rows and added and plaited the fringe. It was a great way to stay awake and focused on a presentation in a dimly lit lecture theatre – I normally start nodding off within around five minutes of being in that room.  I am very happy with the finished scarf – cotton has a drape that I really enjoy wearing, and as we move into Spring here – 27 degrees yesterday, 16 today – it is a versatile accessory. I have another cotton scarf in a different design on the hook right now!

And Bendigo Woollen Mills are about to release their new cotton colours – and from the glimpse I got on facebook there are some particularly nice ones in there. Maybe a cotton ripple blanket is in my future for next year?

Scarf details are Ravelled here.

scooter vests

These are crochet projects that were actually finished back in March, but are only being blogged now because the pattern has just been released.  I was lucky enough to be chosen to test crochet these Scooter vests designed by Deanne Ramsay.  The pattern is especially good for highlighting self-striping or variegated yarns.

Scooter vests crocheted in BWM Murano

Both vests were crocheted in Bendigo Woollen Mills Murano, an 8 ply wool that is dyed so that it self-stripes. Each colourway striped a little differently.

Clare in her Scooter DK vest

I made Clare’s vest in size 5, as per her chest measurement. It really is important to measure before you hook! Stella’s vest is in size 2-3.

Stella in her Scooter DK vest

This vest is worked in the round until you get to splitting for the armholes. Then the upper front and upper back are worked separately. I wound off yarn to make sure that I would pretty much match the colourways on the front and the back at that point, and it worked out quite well. I really like the texture of the stitches too.

Stella's Scooter DK test in progress.  BWM Murano.

These are toasty warm vests, being pure wool. Murano does felt easily, so I have to keep that in mind for washing. Otherwise, I’m very pleased with how these turned out.

Scooter vests crocheted in BWM Murano

I’ve become quite a fan of Deanne’s patterns, and hope to crochet up a few of the top patterns before summer hits. I have
Ravelry project pages with more details for Clare’s vest here and for Stella’s here.

Scooter DK for Stella

OTT hats

A little crochet test that I took part in during July was the OTT hat by Addydae designs.  The pattern for the coordinating cowl (LOL) is already out, and the hat pattern won’t be far away!  Crocheted hats are a great project when you want something fast, want to use up a small amount of yarn, or want a nice hand-made gift.  I crocheted a beanie for Clare (with added pom pom):

OTT Beanie with pompom - child size

And crocheted a slouch hat for myself.

OTT Slouch in BWM Murano

Both hats were crocheted in Bendigo Woollen Mills Murano (left over from the girls’ scooter vests, which I now suspect that I failed to blog!) which self-stripes as you work. I really enjoyed the simple stitch pattern as it really highlighted the colours in the yarn in addition to giving a lovely texture. Another great pattern from Deanne!