Monday, 18 June 2018

ceramic handles (up-cycling)

I've been searching forever for ceramic knobs for my vintage pine tall boy when I found these at Mango Tree

They are function, funky and colourful, don't you just love them (I know I do)

Go grab yourself some basic tools, screwdriver (for removing the old handles) and maybe plyers and/or an electric drill. We needed to drill the holes a tiny bit wider to accommodate the new gorgeous ceramic knobs but you might not need to.

All 12 ceramic knobs were on the cupboard doors in about the same time it takes to make a cup of tea!

a lovely place to store my hand made blankets

Now to save some time and a lot of elbow grease (after all you want to enjoy the transformation) I used this furniture polish that contains bees wax and looks like I've spent hours waxing the cupboard, when I didn't. I'm not endorsing the polish, just giving my honest opinion of a good value product. Its called Wood Silk and you can find it in Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys for £1.50, bargain!

and store my yarn for my next ones!

If you want to grab some yourself you can use and exclusive 15% discount by using code 8BY6 at the checkout. I think I'll just sit on the bed admiring my Saturday mornings work (hubby did help a little!)

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Cath Kidston vintage inspired granny square blanket free pattern

Vintage inspired Granny Square Blanket
Amanda Hurrell Eight-by-Six©


Sizes and Materials List

Hook Size UK 4mm
Yarn: I’ve used Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (merino) throughout Blend: 100% Extra Fine Merino, Meterage: 100m

You could substitute for Stylecraft Special DK (which is 322 yds/295 metres per 100gball and retails at £1.85 per ball for 100g)
Stylecraft Special DK wash care instructions: machine washable 30deg, can be dry cleaned (I line dry mine)


Vintage Pink

Tips & Notes

One great tip I learnt a while into my crochet journey is to flip your work on each row. This is a great way to keep your granny square, well square and not wonky. It works like magic and since using this method I’ve never looked back. To do this you flip over your square so that the previous row and join are now in the bottom left hand corner of the square (wrong side facing you) and you start the next row in the top right of the square.
On the first and subsequent rounds I chain 2 in the corners between the tr clusters. To keep the stitches closer together, I don’t chain in-between the treble clusters along each side, some people like to ch-1, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
tr = treble
htr = half treble

Gauge: crochet to your own comfortable gauge, it’s a fun, relaxing way to make a fabulous blanket so you need to enjoy it. Grab yourself a coffee and off you go.
Skill Level: beginner, easy (you can modify the border to give it your own touch) You can get inspiration from Instagram, Pinterest or a good book (Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman is worth looking at).

Pattern Instructions
This pattern is written in U.K. terms and we will be using the basic granny square pattern for this blanket. It’s an easy pattern for beginners and loved by experienced crafters too. Making granny squares is very satisfying and when making just one large granny square you can make this simple yet effective blanket. There are many variations of the granny square, this is my method.

Let’s start

Make the foundation round/circle Slip knot your yarn and insert onto your 4mm hook. Using Sea Ch 4 stitches, insert hook into first chain and slip stitch to first chain to make a circle.
Round one Ch 3 (this will count as your first tr) 2tr, ch-2, *3tr, ch-2* repeat 3 times. Slip stich (ss) to join round You’ve completed your first round.
Round two Flip square. Change colour to Apple, Ch 3 in one of the ch-2 spaces from the previous round (this will count as your first tr) 2tr, ch-2, 3tr (no chain) *(3tr, ch 2, 3tr) in next ch-2 space *repeat 3 times. You should now have 4 corners. You’ve completed your second round.
Round three Flip square. using Vintage Pink join in right-hand corner ch-2 space (reverse of Round 2) ch 3 (this will count as first tr) 2tr, ch-2, 3tr, 3tr (in next 2-ch space=side), 3tr ch-2 3tr in next chain space, 3tr, repeat 3 times then slip stitch to third chain where you started. You have completed round 3.
Continue to add each row using the above method in Round three. I have used one colour for each of the rows alternating as shown in my chart. Continue to follow my colour chart until you reach your desired size or why not try your own version. Two stripes in the same colour also works very well.
I’ve let the colours do all the work and finished with a very simple border. I like the way it looks very vintage. Using any modern crochet technique would have taken away the simplicity of this design and vintage feel. If you’d like to add the same border here are the instructions:  1 row granny clusters (3tr into the right hand corner on the reverse of the last row, ch2, 3tr *repeat one round
round 2 scallop edge, attach yarn to wrong side (remembering you’ve flipped your work from previous round) I attached mine about halfway round on the right side with 2 sl st then 2dc, ch1, 2dc into same space, *2 sl st 2dc, ch1, 2dc into same space *repeat ll the way around. When you come to the corner spaces just do the same.

Weave in ends (although I do this as I go along, you can also crochet over the previous row leaving just one end to cut and one end to sew in). Wash if required using manufacturer’s instructions, line dry and enjoy your new blanket.
Colour sequence
I’ve used random colours in the Debbie Bliss Rialto DK range that you associate with the designer (Cath Kidston) the colours that surround the centre are colours found in most Cath Kidston designs.

This fabulous vintage inspired blanket was born from my love all things Cath Kidston. The brand is celebrating 25 years this year (2018) so a great way to celebrate and experiment with similar colours. You could try Stylecraft Special DK, Paint Box yarns, the possibilities are endless.
Pattern and photos by Amanda Hurrell, Eight-by-Six©
You are welcome to use my photos and make blankets to sell from my pattern, but please credit me back.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

If at first you don't succeed

Try try again.

Not one to usually listen to my own advice (seriously) last night I decided to revisit an old UFO/WIP that I started last April (I think). OK so I was supposed to be pattern testing and I've apologised to the lovely design many many times but I just couldn't get past a 31 row zig zag lace panel decrease. I know what I was doing wrong but late night knitting was proving a stumbling block so it went back into its bag ready to re surface when I was ready.

One night last week I was ready and it came out and guess what? Yes, I conquered my fear of the 31 row lace panel and managed to knit 20 rows, yeah!

Not only am I in love with this pattern again Follow Your Dream Shawl but I'm also head over heels in love with the Scheepjes Whirl Yarn again that I bought from Lynn at Lusciously Loopy

Here is my shawl in progress last week, just a few more evenings and it will be ready to block then wear.
About to start the lace panel again

lace panel completed and sunshine knitting

Thursday, 26 April 2018

upclying and granny blanket pile

Over the weekend our son decided he no longer wanted his pine furniture in his bedroom, we bought it in 2003 when we moved to our current house. I remember it being delivered along with the removal men turning up, after we thought we'd lost them and the entire contents of our previous home!

I needed another pine cabinet to put my t-shirts and jumpers in so was happy to have it moved into our bedroom. You don't get a lot of storage space with new builds these days (ours is 17 years old this year)

A bonus came in the shape of his tripod table lamp complete with grey lamp shade. I've had my eye on this since he bought it in TK Max a few years ago. You've got to love a bit of up-cycling. Maybe some new handles would look better, I feel a trip to TX Max!

new home for my granny blankets

So my granny blankets now have a new home, and I wake up to this view every morning. Not a bad view and maybe room for one more!

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

daisy granny square cushion

I'm joining in with a Spring theme and almost finished the front of my daisy granny square cushion. The weather was so warm last week and the weekend, too hot to sit under my current crochet blanket project.

The granny square pattern is from the lovely book by Susan Pinner called Granny Squares. I use it a lot, its lovely book to look at for inspiration and the projects are pretty and practical, I leave it on my sofa corner to pick up and read.

I'm using up yarn stash scraps of my Debbie Bliss Rialto DK left over from the Cath Kidston blanket I'm working on. Now the temperature has dropped I can carry on adding rows this evening!

daisy daisy

daisy granny square cushion front

Happy crochet and hope the sun is shining where you are today - Amanda x

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Tankerton Slopes beach huts

On Saturday we decided to make the most of the weather and headed off to Tankerton Slopes near Whitstable on the Kent coast. It's well worth a visit for the views a the top sof the slopes, the beautiful old (and new) beach huts, local shops and cafes. It has a shingle beach with timber groynes and sand and at low tide it is possible to walk out to sea on a natural causeway known as 'The Street'. At this state of tide there is a fair bit of sand and a few rock pools to explore.

It was quite misty when we arrived and the tide was on the turn but we managed to walk The Street  strip of sand and Moss had a dip in the sea with a new friend he met.

beach hut
Whitstable and Tankerton Slopes are only a short drive from our house, about 25 mins. The beach allows dog walking up until May 1st, after that they have to remain on the lead at all times. I'm not too keen going there in the height of the season unless its very early in the morning before the crowds arrive.

I took along my Orla Kiely inspired granny square blanket to photograph on a beach hut (the free pattern is availbale on my Blog or Ravelry). Doesn't it match the duck egg blue so well? The next time I pop back I'll have my Cath Kidston inspired vintage granny blanket to photograph, just waiting for another yarn delivery of colours I've run out of then its full speed ahead to finish it. With a mini heatwave on the way in the UK this week I doubt if I'll be needing it!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Rectangle Granny Square

I decided I need a change, an oblong or rectangle granny square blanket! It grows so quickly. And I'm using up my Stylecraft Special DK, I have lots of it to use up. I'm now thinking about cushions in cotton yarn for the garden for when summer finally arrives!

Here are some progress shots, more to follow as I add more colours and rows.

the start of something new

decided to add raspberry for a burst of colour

mustard ooh how I love this colour