Showing posts with label craft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label craft. Show all posts

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Cold nights, warm blankets.

It's Winter now.

It's the time for blanket making!

I've been stash busting by crocheting a classic granny stripe blanket.
I rolled a bunch of my remnants into cakes. Yarn cakes look amazing until you use half of them. Then they look like hollowed out yarn shells and start to fall in on themselves.
Chuck Norris likes to try and sleep on the blanket while I'm crocheting. Just like a cat except heavier and his big clumpy claws pull out little threads in the blanket.

I'd like to show you a photo of the size of this blanket, but Chuck is always lying under or on it...
 This is a photo I like to call 'Dog in crochet on crochet'.
This is another photo I like to call 'Kid under crochet under cat'. 
When Sonofagun No.2 is sitting on this couch playing PS4 or watching tv, for reasons unknown, he does this with the blanket on the back of the couch.
His ever watchful guardian Bijoux, then sits on the back of the couch like this....
Whenever I have almost used up a yarn cake for the new granny stripe blanket, I roll it into a little ball and put it in another basket.
I started making up some random granny squares with these.
I sewed 5 of them together in a ring. They look very pretty!  
And made them into a lamp shade. 
This isn't really the right sort of lamp shade as the base was designed for a desk lamp so it has an awkward knob thing that sticks out the side.
It doesn't get hot enough to worry about being a fire hazard, so I don't have to spray with any kind of fire retardant.
Once the blanket has finished and I have some more little yarn balls leftover, I have the perfect lampshade waiting to be covered next to my bed!
I also stretched my baking skills. Not in doing any challenging baking. Just baking.
I bake about once every 4-5 years. I don't really like baking. But Sonofagun No.2 had just returned from school camp and was excited by something he had never had before called 'a scone'! 

I thought if my 10 year old could be excited about this mystical thing he had never had before, then I would blow his mind by baking some!
These were lemonade scones which are gluggy and sticky to make but come out of the oven super fluffy.
Sonofagun No.2 told me as he stuffed his face full of scones, jam and cream that my scones did not look like the real scones he had at camp, but they were 'adequate'.
On the weekend I made a super fast solo trip up to Mollymook. Look beautiful and sunny, doesn't it?
It's a lie. It was freezing and windy with occasional rain squalls.⛈

Aunty Horse Whisperer was getting married. So I flew up to Canberra on Friday morning.
As the plane landed, I looked out of the little windows at a brilliant blue sunny sky.
And the pilot said this:
"Welcome to Canberra where it's a sunny one degree outside."

That's the thing about Canberra winters. It lies to you. You look outside at 10am and think, "Wow it's beautiful and sunny!"
But you step out into arctic temperatures!
The Fatherdom was waiting to pick me up and drive me back to Mollymook.
That night the Parentals and I shared a delicious Italian sausage, fennel and fetta pizza.

On the day of the wedding, we all chipped in. It was a lovely backyard wedding at Aunty HWs little farm.

The Mothership had spent the whole week before the wedding preparing and freezing delicious mini quiches, meatballs and chicken wings for the big day. She then worked from 9am that morning with my Nana in the kitchen at Aunty HWs house preparing sandwiches, snacks etc for the guests. 
I helped Aunty Martha Stewart to prepare a grazing table full of deli meats, crackers, pate, cheeses, fruit and chocolates.
The next day it was straight onto one of these cool double decker Sydney trains from Kiama to Sydney airport. Our Melbourne trains are boring single level things. It only cost a couple of dollars for a 2 1/2 hr trip up the coast.
Thanks for stopping by!

Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Granny Square Stubby Holder (Can Cooler)

Down here in Kangarooland, the only thing that breeds faster in kitchen drawers and Men Shed shelves than piles of bread bag tags or rubber band balls are neoprene Stubby Holders.

I've heard they're called 'can coolers' in certain parts of the world.

Here's the Bears collection. It has been culled many times. 

This collection speaks of multiple trips to car racing and Bali...
My work colleague Gilbert (name changed to protect the innocent) told me a couple of weeks ago about a friend whose wife crocheted a hot pink stubby holder for him. The friend was extremely proud of this Hot Pink Stubby holder. In fact he pulls it out at every drinking opportunity, adorns his bottle or can of craft beer with it and has somehow attained chief Hipsterdom with his craft beer swathed in a Hot Pink Crocheted Stubby Holder.
Geoffrey, I mean Gilbert was a tad jelly and wanted to take a stab at out-hipstering his friend.

So Geoff, I mean Gilbert asked if I would be interested in making an outlandish Hipster Stubby Holder for him.
Challenge accepted!

I asked him if he wanted a bottle style holder that goes all the way up to the neck or a shorter one for a can. He said can.
I asked him if he had a style or colour preference. He said I had complete artistic freedom. The more retro and colourful the better.

Would you like to make one? I knew you would!

You can follow this easy- peasy tutorial to make your own. It is constructed of 10 small granny squares and rounds on the outside, and a simple sleeve inside to insulate the can . It can also be used for bottles which are normally a little narrower.

I also used 8 ply cotton yarns so it can be thrown in the machine for a wash if necessary. I have a bunch of cotton placemats which I crocheted several years ago. They've been though countless machine washes and still look great!

What do you need?

Yarns & Notions

Your choice of colours of 8 ply cotton yarns.
3mm crochet hook
Darning needle

Abbreviations (US terms used)

ch:  chain
dc:  double crochet
mr:  magic ring 
sc:  single crochet
sl st: slip stitch
st:   stitch

Let's go!

Outer sleeve

The first step is to make 10 granny squares of just 2 rounds. Each granny is made of 2 different colours.

Round 1: Starting with a magic ring, ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), then continuing to work into the MR: 2 x dc, *(ch 3, 3dc) x 3. Ch 3. Join with a slip stitch to the top of beginning Ch3 then slip stitch over to the next 3ch space. You should now have 4 little 3dc clusters each separated by a 3ch space. Join your 2nd colour.
Round 1 finished.

Round 2: Ch3 (counts as 1st dc), in same 3ch space (2dc, ch3, 3dc), *(skip next 3 dc stitches and in next 3ch space: 3dc, 3ch, 3dc). Repeat from * three times. Skip next 3 dc stitches and join with a slip stitch to the top of the beginning ch3. 
The first chain 3 of round 2
Nearly finished round 2!

Slip stitch over to the next 3ch space and finish off. I usually finish off here because it looks a little tidier, but if you prefer to finish off at the join, it's up to you!
Tah-dah! Now make 9 more!

Make 10 little grannies in total of differing colours. They can be funky brights, retro browns, your favourite teams' sports colours. Whatever you like!

Sew in your ends if you haven't already.

10 bright little grannies!

Sew them together in a 2 x 5 grid. Then sew the 2 short ends together to form a tube.

Now we are going to work in SC for a few rounds at the top and bottom of the tube. You can choose whatever colours you like. You can use different colours for each round, or 1 colour.
 I have chosen to use 1 colour for the rounds, with my last joining round in a contrasting colour.

Round 1:  Starting at the bottom of your tube, join your colour and single crochet in each stitch, including 1 sc in the corner of each granny square and 1 stitch in the bit where the 2 grannies are sewn together.

Look at the photo below for detail. Essentially this will be 8 single crochet stitches along the edge of each granny and 1 between each granny. 

At the end of Round 1, join with a slip stitch to the beginning sc, Ch 1.
Round 2: 2sc in 1st st, sc x 22, 2sc in same stitch, sc in each st to the end. Join with a sl st to beginning Ch1. Ch 1.

Round 3: 2sc in 1st st. sc in each stitch to the end. Join with a sl st to beginning ch. Finish off.

Now turn your tube around and we'll crochet around top the of the tube!

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 only. Finish off.

Inner Sleeve.

The inner sleeve is simply worked first as a flat circle in the amigurumi style. This means at the end of each round, you do not stop, join and chain up to the next round. You simply start the first stitch of the next round directly in the top of the first stitch of the last round. So you're crocheting in a spiral.

Round 1: Crochet 6sc in MR. [6]
Round 2:  2sc in each st. [12]
Round 3: (2sc, 1sc) 6 times. [18]
Round 4: (2sc, 1 Sc in each of the next 2 stitches) 6 times.[24]
Round 5: (2sc, 1 Sc in each of the next 3 stitches) 6 times.[30]
Round 6: (2sc, 1 Sc in each of the next 4 stitches) 6 times. [36] 
Round 7: (2sc, 1 Sc in each of the next 5 stitches) 6 times. [42]
Round 8: (2sc, 1 Sc in each of the next 6 stitches) 6 times. [48]

Now we are at the end of the flat circle part we will stop, join with a slip stitch to the 1st sc in round 8 and chain up for the 1 round, but afterwards continue to crochet in a spiral.
Work in front loops only for Round 9:
Round 9: Sc in each stitch around. Join with a sl st to beginning sc. Ch 1. Do not turn. [48]

It helps to keep track of the beginning of each round if you use a stitch marker! 

Round 10- 33: Sc in each stitch around in the amigurumi style as a continuous spiral. At the end of Round 33, slip stitch into the next stitch (1st sc of R33) and finish off. 
Sew in ends.
Here we're up to round 14.

Remember Round 9 where we worked in front loops only? That was to create this nice bottom ridge.
Now we're halfway! See how snuggly it fits!
Nearly there! (Psst! You can see my hands reflected in the aluminium...)
The inner sleeve is finished!

Assembling the Stubby Holder.
Now insert your inner sleeve into the outer sleeve and ensure the ends match up at the same level on each end. If not add or frog a row of single crochet.If it differs, this may because because your tension differed on each sleeve.
  Starting at the top opening of the stubby holder, add a contracting colour and working through both loops of both sleeves, chain1, then single crochet around the rim. Join with a slip stitch to beginning Ch1. Finish off.

Now turn the piece around and work on the bottom of the tube.

Starting at any stitch, join the contrasting colour, then chain 1 and single crochet in each stitch working through 2 loops on the outer tube, and back loops on the inner tube around to the end. Join with a slip stitch to the beginning st and finish off.
See photo below for close up.

Sew in ends and you're done!


What do you think? Now not everybody wants a bright, zany coloured stubby holder, believe it or not!
I also made one for my brother the Red Haired Raider in his team colours for the Canberra Raiders NRL team. 
For the colour purists, I apologise for the lack of yellow. The Raiders seem to change up their colours every season!

The Bear wants one in Blue and White for Ford as he is a V8 Supercar fan.

But for those moments I'm sipping on a can or bottle of pear cider, this is mine although Bear has been using it until I make his Ford one.

And the one I made for Geoffrey I mean Gilbert?


And the artistic hipster pic... (well not really. Just a photo of a bottle of Kirin in the stubby holder lying on Oregano.)

The Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Guiness World Record attempt

A year ago a little post popped up in my Facebook feed for an attempt at a Guiness World Record attempt at 'the most people crocheting simultaneously'.
It was to be held at a craft fair called Craft Alive in the town of Bendigo about an hour and 40 minutes north west of Melbourne. A free crochet hook for all participants and yarn supplied by Bendigo Wool Mills for the event.
Of course I was gonna go!
Fast forward to last weekend and the Divine Miss Emma and I piled into her little car on a miserable, rainy winter morning and hit the highway to Bendigo!
I didn't take any of my current projects as they are not very travel friendly. So I threw a couple of balls of hot pink yarn and a 4mm hook in my bag 'just in case'!
The temperature was freezing and the rain pelted the little black car along the way. I left my hand mitts at home so I started crocheting a new pair on the road!
The rain eased as we arrived in the postcard pretty town. 

I was wearing a pair of socks I knitted last year and some cheap sparkly gumboots. Perfect for stomping through icy puddles and mud!

The Craft Alive fair pops up every month or so around NSW and Victoria. I haven't really bothered with going before as there is usually loads of stalls for quilters, scrapbookers, bead thing makers, button lovers and chandlers. 
Luckily there was a few yarn sellers today with some deliciously squishy skeins. I was extremely good and only bought one ball. Yes, one!!!
I know it's another ball of sock yarn but my mind is brimming with different NON SOCK ideas for this ball!

Finally an announcement was made over the loudspeaker for all participants in the world record attempt.
We all filed into the part of the auditorium with long strips of tape on the floor and stood along strips with 50 people per line. Emma and I took folding chairs and thank Holy Oprah we did as the cold, concrete floor would have been a teensy bit hemorrhoid inducing.
A man declared lots of random Guinness record type announcements through a loud speaker, however it was kind of hard to hear him in the echoey auditorium.  Emma and I kept counting rows to figure out if we were going to have enough people to break the record. We were counted, wrist-banded and recounted. We signed our name on several different clipboards. And we were counted again.
The current world record of 604 is held by the NSW town of Singleton. We were in the 2nd row, so as more rows of people gathered, it became harder to work out how many there were. But the Loud Speaker Guy kept calling for more people from the fair to come in, including exhibitors and stall holders. It didn't look good folks!  
Husbands who had never crocheted were hauled in by their wives, there were kids of all ages with hook and yarn in hand and most were quite experienced!  Many including ourselves brought along their own projects, some gladly used the supplied hook and yarn.

A local news crew was there walking their video camera up and down the aisles. You can view the news item on their Facie page (the side of us appeared once. The kid at the beginning of the interview is adorable!)

A photographer from the local rag The Bendigo Advertiser took photos of everyone including Emma and I who were happily seated, crocheting and under my Granny Stripe blanket which I crocheted several years ago from Attic 24s pattern.
photo courtesy of Noni Hyett Bendigo Advertiser
Look at that! It's Emma and I in the feature photo!! Our 5 minutes of fame. You can read the article and view all the photos here.

Finally at the official start time of 2.30pm we were told to start crocheting! We all crocheted furiously for 15 minutes! Well, not really. It was like crocheting at home, but for a much shorter time and without Netflix.
And before we knew it we were chanting the count down for the last 10 seconds and at last everyone gave a mighty "YAYYYYYY!"

And then wandered out chatting and laughing in search of coffee or anything else warm.
But we weren't told the result! Nobody said, "Well done everybody! We had the numbers!"
We just heard murmurs of "Um, yes we have to wait and hear back from the Guiness people," which we took to mean they fell short of numbers.
Which they did. Apparently not by much but we gave it our best shot!

After a couple of hot chocolates at a local cafe, we bundled into the car for the journey home. And I kept working on my mitts. I finished one in the middle of the record attempt and finished the other mitt when we were 15 minutes from home.
Let's hope they give it another whirl next year!

The Red Haired Amazona