Thursday, 16 August 2018

my crochet blanket stack

August, summer, mmm not so sure. After the heatwave we had that last for a month here in the UK, today's weather resembles Autumn! Definetely a blanket cosy on the sofa day if I wasn't working. Oh well just have to snuggle underneath one when I get home, I think it will be my Orla Kiely one, its my top favourite at the moment.

Granny blanket stack

Saying that I do have one blanket on the go, like it when the weather turns chilly and I can watch TV and snuggle under it keeping me warm whilst i add more rows.

my new Orla Kiely inspired granny square blanket

I think I will make another one of my rainbow blankets next, tempted to start one tonight.

Optical illusion
my favourite rainbow granny square blanket

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Granny Square Day 2018

Granny Square Day is an international online celebration on Instagram, which began back in 2014 by Susan Regalia (@suregal27 on Instagram). Susan had just learned to crochet and was enamoured with the cheerful little granny square, and the idea of having a Grannysquare Day was born. Making it should be a public holiday too, now wouldn't that be fabulous. I plan to crochet a few more traditional granny squares in my lunch break and tonight too.

Preparation for Granny Square Day 2018

Anyone can get inbolved. The rules for Grannysquare Day are simple: on Wednesday 15th August, take a photo of a granny square (a 4-round traditional granny works best but feel free to be as creative as you want) and crop it so that the single square fills the entire screen of your post. Be sure to include the hashtag #grannysquareday2018 in your post, so that everyone can see all the different types of squares!

my little stack of granny squares

One of the best things about Granny Square Day is that when you search by the hashtag, all of the squares will fit together like a virtual granny square blanket! What are you waiting for, go get your hook and join in.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Cactus Tea Cosy

Yeah my new cactus tea cosy pattern is now live you can buy it here at Love Knitting. I've knitted mine in Debbie Bliss yarn but you can use any DK weight held double. This weekend I'll be adding my Cactus giveaway over on my Instagram account.

Happy Knitting. Amanda x

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Carnival Granny Stripe Blanket free crochet pattern

Carnival Granny Stripe Blanket
Amanda Hurrell Eight-by-Six©

Sizes and Materials List

Hook Size UK 4mm
Yarn: I’ve used 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)

duck egg

Tips & Notes

Sewing in the ends. Everyone dreads this part but from previous experience its much easier and quicker to sew them in as you go along. Maybe choose to sew in ten or so rows at one time. I do this now with a tea break and it makes finishing the blanket a nicer experience and much quicker and neater too.

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 cup of tea 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 the one I use for inspiration).

Pattern Instructions
This pattern is written in U.K. terms and we will be using the basic granny stripe pattern for this blanket. It’s an easy pattern for beginners and loved by experienced crafters too. Changing colour on each row makes you enjoy the overall crochet experience and using all these colours brightens up the day.

Let’s start

Make the foundation round – chain 200 fairly loosely so that the first round is easy to work on. I hate it when you start the foundation chain really tight. You could use a hook size larger this helps, experiment to see what suits you.
Starting row - begin in the 2nd chain from the hook. work 1 dc in each stitch to the end. You should have 199 stitches
Round 1 Chain 3 (counts as 1 tr) then work 1 tr into the stitch at the base of the chain-3 you just made followed by two more (first treble cluster completed). Skip two sts your next treble cluster goes in the third stitch. Continue to add your treble clusters in this way missing 2 sts and tr cluster in the third stitch until you reach the last 3 sts.  Miss 2 sts then add 2 tr into the last stitch and turn.
Round 2 Add new colour, ch3 (counts as 1tr) work 1 tr cluster into the first space, work another tr cluster into the next space, continue until you reach the end of this row, you need to make 1 tr stitch to finish. Do this at the top of the chain-3 that you made at the start of the row below. Work 1 tr into the top chain of this chain-3.
Continue each row as above until you have reached your size, mine is 120 rows plus the border.
I’ve let the colours do all the work and finished with a very simple border, picking up the turquoise its brought out the colours in the blanket. I like simple borders that highlight the colours used in the main blanket.

If you’d like to add the same border here are the instructions: 

Row 1 attach Denim add 1 row granny clusters into each space from the previous row (3tr into the right-hand corner on the reverse of the last row, ch2, 3tr *repeat one round

Row 2 attach Raspberry yarn, htr into each stitch, htr 4 times into each corner  

Row 3 attached Mustard yarn, htr into each stitch, htr 4 times into each corner in between the st from the following row (you can see this clearly on my last photo)

Row 4 attach Purple yarn, htr into each stitch, when you reach the corner htr twice into the first , second and third st from the previous row, this should result in an even corner

Row 5 the scallop edge, attach yarn Turquoise 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 all the way around. When you come to the corner spaces just do the same. It should result in an even scallop edge like mine.

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 Stylecraft Special DK range. Please see my colour chart.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Buttermilk Herb Pots

handy herb pots
Look at these fabulous new herb pots by Sophie Conran. Made from galvanised steel and finished in a beautiful buttermilk powder coating, they fit perfectly on my kitchen window sill.

The herbs are so handy now on my kitchen window sill and perfect for summer cooking. I have herbs in containers in the garden and veg patch but having them in the kitchen is so convenient and they look great too. 

If you'd like to grab a set you can buy them here Buttermilk Herb Pots

Set of three.
Dimensions : W 38cm, D 13.5cm, H 12.5cm

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Summer Solstice longest day

How will you be spending your extra time?

Me, well I'll be crocheting a new blanket in the garden tonight

my Orla Kiely blanket pattern

and sipping some of my special artisan gin I made at the end of 2017

my artisan gin


Monday, 18 June 2018

My yarn cupboard

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!)