Crochet Hexagons for a Good Cause

I wrote about Natasja’s blog, Crochetime earlier. Natasja is the one who is behind Crochet for Kidneys, an initiative that results in warm crochet blankets delivered to patients with dialysis in the UK. The first event took place in November, I also sent a few granny squares by post, that were later joined together with other squares to form blankets. You can read a lot about this process in Natasja’s blog. And you should definitely look at the pictures of the patients receiving the blankets.ย Can you imagine: they are just sitting there, receiving their long, probably not too pleasent treatments, and then a complete stranger walks up to them, to hand over a beautiful, hand-made blanket… You can see the surprise and happiness on their faces, it is fantastic ๐Ÿ™‚ I felt so proud about my 4 little, crooked squares I sent, when I saw that gentleman hugging the blanket ๐Ÿ™‚

If you would like to be a part of the same thing, and you can crochet, here is your time! Natasja is organising the second part of Crochet for Kidneys, this time she would like to receive hexagons from crocheters around the World. You can read about the details in her post, she also provides some sources for different hexagon patterns. I already started to make some of them. Simple hexagons and african flowers – I especially enjoyed the latter ones ๐Ÿ™‚

Hexagons

So if you can imagine yourself sitting back in a nice armchair, surrounded by some yarn in between two Christmas meals, I suggest you make some hexagons ๐Ÿ™‚ Deadline is in February.

African Flowers

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The First of Advent

Don’t you think it’s absolutely amazing that the first Sunday of Advent was on the 1st December this year? Or is it just me who is an absolute fan of these kind of coincidences?

Also a coincidence, or just good timing from my part, that I was done with my next portion of handmade Christmas-decorations by yesterday:

Star Frames

These lovely crochet stars are the idea of Sandra from Little Golden Nook, which is a beautiful blog. I saw the stars on Pinterest, and followed Sandra’s lovely tutorial to make them. I picked a bag of curtain rings, some yarn of my choice, and some Christmas postcards, and the 10 starts were done surprisingly fast.

let's make frames

 

I really enjoyed making them. Here they are, bathing in sunshine ๐Ÿ™‚

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Also, as you can all imagine, we have been very busy with advent preparations all weekend. Actually I have been planning it for quite a long, because the advent calender is something very important in our family. And getting 2 times 24 small, cheap, yet exciting and funny gifts for small kids is a challenge in itself… And then wrapping all of them… Even when I only had to wrap advent gifts for Cherry, I decided that the maximum amount of children in our household is going to be 2. Because there is noone on earth who can handle packing 72 (or more!) tiny little gifts every year, or is there? ๐Ÿ™‚

For advent calender we decided to go with the tradition of my husband’s childhood. Every year his parents hung the gifts on a piece of string somewhere in the house, but without numbers on, and he and his sister got to choose one present every morning. And they loved it. So that’s how we do it too. No numbers, but random picking every morning. It has been two mornings so far, and my kids are in absolute trance ๐Ÿ˜€

Our Advent Calender

Sorry for the poor picture quality, I made the photo late in the evening on Saturday, when I was done with hanging the packages, and obviously there was no natural light at my disposal in our living room ๐Ÿ™‚

We also got out our Christams boxes, placed a few elfes, Santas, candles here and there in the house, and made an advent wreath – well, it is just 4 candles in a box with some dried fruits and branches from our garden really, but it is nice.

nisse collage

 

So, we are ready for the Holiday Season. Is it too much to ask for a little bit of snow as well? ๐Ÿ™‚

The season to be… crafty?

I would like to share some family joy with you all: On the 16th of November my beautiful sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy ๐Ÿ™‚ We obviously all got very happy and excited, and book the ferry tickets for the next Saturday to visit them. The plan was to pick up my mother-in-law on the way there, and spend the day in Copenhagen.

Then, of course, Cherry got the flu ๐Ÿ˜ฆ First of all my heart was breaking for her, because I don’t remember her being so sick ever in her little life. My heart was breaking, because it also meant, that there is going to be no baby-visiting for Cherry, and no baby-visiting for her Mum either (that would be me). And I don’t know which one of us was more disappointed about that, the almost 5 years old, who was sooo looking forward to see her new little cousin, or me, who knows that every baby born to family members or friends might be the last chance for me to hold a newborn again in my arms (as we are NOT having more ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Anyway, my husband packed up Paddington last Saturday, picked up his Mum and they sailed over to Sjรฆlland for the visit, while Cherry and I stayed at home.

At this point Cherry was feeling well enough to be bored out of her mind, locked up in the house, but still too sick and contagious to go among other people, so we had to find some activities we can do inside. And then it occured to me: But it is almost advent! So we were going to make some advent/Christmas decorations, hurray ๐Ÿ™‚

One thing you have to know about Cherry, that she is obsessed with pearls. She has tons of beads and pearls that she prepares lovely necklaces of, many a day, then she picks her little scissors, cuts the wires, recycles the beads, and starts it all over again ๐Ÿ™‚ She also has a huge box of Hama Beads, and sometimes she spends hours sitting on her little chairs, making lovely shapes and figures out of the Hama Beads, then brings them over to me, so I can iron them. So making decorations of Hama Beads was an obvious choice for us ๐Ÿ™‚ Cherry made some circles, hearts and other full shapes, and I tried to create some snowflakes.

Hama Snowflakes

 

At the end we hung them up on some branches, collected from the garden, together with some old Christmas cards we had. I am also thinking about making some more, and including them in the postcards we are going to send out this year, as they are so tiny and light.

Hamas and Cards

Later, while she was resting on the sofa, watching some cartoons, I cuddled up next her warm, little body, and crocheted some cute little starts of different sizes. I found this lovely tutorial (on Pinterest, where else) :).

Crochet Starts

Twinkle-twinkle ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Sunflower Granny Circle Pillow

During this Fall I have been trying to give a new look to our sofa. Poor little thing, serving a family of four with two dirty little children and a not any less dirty dog, this sofa could tell you horror stories of poured cereal, apple juice, sharpie marks, melted candy, chocolate biscuits, mud, wild wet dog running in from the rain, and whatsoever. It has a central part in our everyday life, and therefore it gets used and shabby. However, we are not going to replace it with a new one, not just yet.

Instead, we made a cover for it, that can easily be washed, many times a week if needed, and the sofa itself goes under heavy cleaning once in a while. So with the new cover the sofa got a new life, and a new, funky colour (ok, probably not so, funky, but a bit more fresh at least). And it needed new cushions too. (Yes, the old cushions were all chewed up by our dog when she was a puppy, and for a while I decided to go cushion-free for safety reasons, but it is a different story.)

Besides sewing cushion covers of my favourite fabrics, I decided to make two round cushions with crocheted covers. I did some research for patterns, and for the core I went with the lovely sunflower pattern I found as the center of a granny square pattern, you can read the tutorial here. After that I carried on crocheting granny style. As I didn’t find a pattern I could directly interpret to my pillows, I went the good old trials-and-failures path, but finally I found the right way, and ended up with the perfect pattern. As I said, I made to pillow-covers, the first took me literally 3 weeks, because of all the trying and failing, pulling downs and starting overs. Once I was done with that, and had my little pattern in writting, I completed the second cover in less than 2 days ๐Ÿ™‚

I took the completed mandalas, sewed them together with some fabric of my choice, and stuffed the pillows inside them. Aren’t they lovely? ๐Ÿ™‚

The Sunflower Granny Circle Pillow

I know you are interested in the pattern, so I am going to share it with you. But first things first, I would like to introduce you to my lovely photoassistant of the day ๐Ÿ™‚

My Little Photoassistant

Now the pattern: This pattern is going to fit a round pillow of 40 cms in diameter. I used a size 6 (or 4.25 mm) crochet hook, and used up all the sweet little acryl yarns I had in stash already. These are all kind of thin yarns, so I used them doubled up. I also went with as many colours as possible per cushion, but of course the colour choices are completely up to you ๐Ÿ™‚ I am using US crochet terms in my description.

The Sunflower Granny Circle Pillow:

  • Start with a magic loop
  • Rnd 1: Chain 1, 7 scs in the ring. (You will get 8 scs this way) Slip stitch into the first chain stitch.
  • Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in the same st, 2 dcs in each st all around. You will get 16 dcs in total. Sl st in third chain of the beginning.
  • Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in the same st, 2 scs in each st all around. You will get 32 scs. Sl st into first chain. – Now the core of your sunflower is made.

Rnd 1-3: The Core

  • Rnd 4: Ch 2, dc3tog, ch 4, * dc4tog, ch4* , repeat * * 6 more times. You will end up with 8 petals. Sl st in top of chain. – Now your sunflower is done.

Rnd 4: The Sunflower

  • Rnd 5: Ch 1 and 5 scs in the first 4chain-space. 6 scs in each 4chain-spaces around. You will get 48 scs in total. Sl st into first chain.
  • Rnd 6: Ch 4, * skip st, sc in next st, ch 3*, repeat * * all around. You will get 24 chains of 3 chain spaces. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 7: Ch 1 plus 2sc sin the first 3chain-space. 3scs in each 3chain-space around. You will get 72 scs. Sl st into beginning of round. – Now the lacey part is done.

Rnd 5-7: The Lace

  • Rnd 8: Let’s start the grannies!ย Ch 3 into the first space in between two scs of the previous row, 1 dc into the same space. *Skip 2 spaces, 2 dcs in the next space*. Repeat * * all around. Sl st into beginning. Here in this row you will have to cheat a little bit, because at the end you will only have to skip 1 space to reach the beginning.

Rnd 8-9: Granny Starts

  • Rnd 9-10: 1 sl st to next st, then sl into space. Ch 3, 2dcs in the same space, 3dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.

Rnd 10-11

  • Rnd 11-13:ย 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 3dcs in the same space, 4dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 14-15:ย ย 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 4dcs in the same space, 5dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 16:ย 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 5dcs in the same space, 6dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 17:ย ย 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 2dcs in the same space, 3 dcs into spaces between every 3rd dcs of the previous row, all around. This way you can form cute little hearts ๐Ÿ™‚ Sl st into beginning.

Rnd 12-17: Hearts are formed

  • Rnd 18:ย 1 sl st to next st, then sl into space. Ch 3, 2dcs in the same space, 3dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 19:ย 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 3dcs in the same space, 4dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 20: Ch 2 into dc of previous row. ‘ hdc in every dcs, all around. Sl st into beginning. You are doneย with your mandala:)
  • Fasten off and weave in any loose ends.

The Mandala

Now you can pick some fabric for the back-side, or make another mandala for that purpose and join them together for your pillow cover ๐Ÿ™‚

Another big girl crochet cardi, this time with flower

This is the last result of my big-autumn-kids-cardigan-crocheting era.

When I found this tutorial on Vicarno’s Mama, I knew instantly that this is going to be a cardigan made for my daughter, and also one made for my niece. You can see the first result, my daughter’s striped, colourful cardigan here.

As for my niece, who just turned 3 years last month, I decided to modify the original pattern to start with 50 chains, and using dcs again, instead of hdcs. I decided to go with different colours, divided a bit differently, and also, for a more feminine look I made a shell-edging alongside the neck, bottom and front openings, plus, I added a crochet rose to the chest.

What do you think? ๐Ÿ™‚

Big girl crochet cardi with flower

 

I am actually very happy with the result. I am thinking about going back to my daughter’s cardi, and finish the edges with shells there too, because it gives a little bit more straight, finished look to the cardigan.

Look at the details ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how the two different kind of yarns, the merino wool and the alpaca-mohair blanding work together.

Details with flower

The big girl crochet cardigan

Autumn, winter and soft, warm, home-made cardigans go hand in hand. Don’t they?

I found this fantastic tutorialย at Vicarno’s Mama on a beautiful crocheted baby vest, and I instantly knew that I am going to make one for my daughter, and one for my niece.

The tutorial is very easy to follow and straightforward. The only thing I had to use my brain was that the pattern is for a 1-year-old baby, and my daughter is almost 5, my niece is 3. So I had to make adjustments. It was a process of trials and fails, I had to restart it a few times before I found the proper size-adjustments.

Here is what I came up with for my daughter:

Instead of 44 chains, I started with 66 chains, that means ch2+64 hdcs in the first row. From the second row on I used dcs instead of hdcs, and distributed my stitches proportionally among the different parts of the pattern. I changed colours every second row. Apart from these changes, I followed the pattern completely.

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Probably I could have started with a little less chains as well, as the cardigan didn’t turn out to be a slim-fit one, but I actually like that it is not that tight on my daughter and she has a lot of space to move around and to grow.

The yarn I used was partly the same easy care merino wool I used for a baby jacket, partly alpaca-mohair blanding. I am very happy about the colours, I think they give a nice impression together, and the vest has the advantage of matching most of Cherry’s other clothes this way. ย Plus, Cherry made sure to tell me every time she saw me working on her cardigan, that “it is going to be sooo pretty with all these colours, Mummy” ๐Ÿ™‚

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Fall Time Is Crochet Time

It is funny, how I set aside crocheting this summer, and favoured sewing instead. Probably the sunshine and warm weather calls for other activities than cuddling up on the couch, surrounded by yarn.

But autumn is back, and I have started different crochet-projects again.

The first one is the most important one, and also the most exciting of all: Have I told you that I’m going to be an auntie again??? Well, I am ๐Ÿ™‚ According to the plan, my husband’s sister is giving birth to her second, a baby boy, in exactly 4 weeks. Well, we know that the business of birth rarely goes according to any plans, so let’s just say, it can happen anytime. We are all very excited about the growing belly and looking forward to meet the new addition to our family. This baby, just like my now 3-year-old niece, is going to be a winter baby. Winter babies need lots of cardigans!ย 

I went to my favourite local yarn shop, resisted the urge to buy everything I saw, and after a lot of hesitation and yarn touching, I chose a few balls of super soft, easy care merino wool baby yarn in different colours. You see, I am about to crochet a lot of cardigans and vests, not only for my upcoming nephew and my niece, but also for my own children.ย 

For the newborn cardigan, after days and days of research on my pinterest board, I chose this pattern: the simple method of making two granny hexagons, and join them. You can find a lot of tutorials on this, I chose to follow this oneย of Trash to Treasure. I made two identical hexagons, each of 8 rows. However, I didn’t make a hood for the cardigan, as it is going to be mainly used inside, and not as an outside jacket. For the closing I opted for a pair strings instead of buttons.ย 

And here it is:

Hexagon Baby Cardigan

 

What you cannot see on the picture is that is just so lovely and soft! You just want to rub your face in it ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope the baby will appreciate it too ๐Ÿ™‚

Details in grey and baby blue