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)

Colours
turquoise
lipstick
raspberry
duck egg
denim
mustard
pistachio
boysenberry
bluebell
lavender
violet

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.

Abbreviations
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.
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.


Finishing
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

Perfect!

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!)


Thursday, 7 June 2018

Cath Kidston vintage inspired granny square blanket free crochet 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)

Colours

Apple
Pink
Vintage Pink
Sky
Banana
Sea
Red
Oyster

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.

Abbreviations
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.
Border
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.





Finishing
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.




Credits
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.