Saturday, 13 October 2018

A precious new arrival

This has been a joyous and somewhat emotional year so far!

My precious and long-awaited granddaughter decided to join us early. She was born at 25 1/2 weeks at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham Portsmouth in late August.  Early on a Monday morning, my son phoned me and whispered in a wibbly wobbly voice "she's here Mom, she's here". On a happy note, our little miracle is making wonderful progress.  She is now at a hospital closer to home in Guildford, a month has passed and I am a Granny-in-Love! I see photos of her almost every day, dear Samantha her mom has been so kind in that respect. Living in South Africa means I am so very far away.  

I had started two baby blankets, and was in the planning stages of what cardi's and jerseys to make ... suddenly, Skylar Alessia decided to come out and play, and I was propelled into a jersey making, sock knitting, hat crocheting frenzy! 

Jerseys, jackets, socks and hats galore are soon to be on their way, in readiness for her homecoming in December. Here is what I have made so far:

This is a super-quick blanket pattern called 6-Day Kid Blanket, from 
Betty McKnit

 A firm favourite now, the C2C Gingham Blanket, all the info on how to make this super pattern can be found on The Patchwork Heart Blog

 I made this simple Granny Square blanket some time ago,
Turquoise is Skylar's mom Sam's favourite colour!

 So very sweet, so very quick .. Bitty Baby Booties from

 A Jester hat new-born size, pattern info at
and two pairs of teeny socks, following the First Size Sock pattern
 on Winwick Mom Sockalong Face Book Page, it's in the Files 

 And another pair!

I loved making this cardi.. its called Hundreds, designer is Kelly van Niekerk,
PekaPeka Design Studio.  She has some lovely patterns, both free and paid,
look for her on Ravelry

 Such a fun little garment, pattern is free, called All-in-One Baby Top from Marianna's
Lazy Daisy Days.

 I have made this beautiful cardi so many times, the pattern
book has lost its cover I think its at lease twenty years old.
Every baby that has been born into my family has had one of these.
The yoke is delicately detailed, as it gathers in towards the neckline ... 
I am thinking perhaps I will post the pattern, taking no credit, I would love
to share it!

 Another favourite, Zooty Owl's Quick and Easy Baby Cardigan, so easy to make,
I added pretty turquoise buttons with little white flowers in the centre.
I am quite particular when selecting buttons for my projects,
it's important to choose just the right buttons!

 Isn't this too sweet? I had yarn over from the Granny Square blanket
pictured above, just enough to make up my dear friend Zelna Olivier's
Newborn Baby Body Warmer.  Pattern can be found on her Ravelry page.

 Another Quick and Easy Baby Cardigan from Zooty Owl, paired with
my Layla-lu Baby Beanie, pattern on the blog. This time I added a 
cheeky pompom!
    And finally, two little premmie/newborn jackets.  The pattern is called
Nessa's Sweater and can be found on  I especially like
the picot detail on all the edging.
The hat is my Layla-lu beanie pattern
This version is made with plain sleeves, and 'ombre' buttons ...
hahaha .. in other words a very pale pink one at the top, pale pink one 
in the middle and a pink one at the bottom!!

I work on a rather old laptop, which I might add still does what I need just fine, BUT oh my word the photo editing apps on our new smart phones/notebooks etc are just too amazing, hence the higgledy piggledy array of different photo styles .. please excuse the mish mash!

An aside if I may ... just googled Higgledy Piggledy, do you know this poem by Ogden Nash?

"Higgledly piggledy, my black hen,
She lays eggs for gentlemen.
Gentlemen come every day
To count what my black hen doth lay.
If perchance she lays too many,
They fine my hen a pretty penny;
If perchance she fails to lay,
The gentlemen a bonus pay"

It's quite long and does not have anything to do with a pig!  When Skylar Alessia is introduced to social media, as I am sure her mommy will want to show to the world her beautiful miracle baby, I will post a picture or two.

Have a most wonderful day,
love to you all Pat xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Ross Poldark Blanket

Last year, a beloved friend sent me a message, it went something like this: " Patti, if you would be so kind, I would love it if you could make a blanket for Robert, he keeps on taking mine!" They live in Woking UK, and it can get veery chilly not so!!! Some years back I made her this blanket, a very beautiful blanket designed by Heather of The Patchwork Heart.  The Demelza and Poldark CAL's had taken my fancy when they were posted, and at the time I was quite keen to get involved ..   (the series is amazing too). So I leapt at the the opportunity, and since I needed a blanket for a gentleman, the Poldark pattern was ideal. 

It is definitely not for the faint hearted this pattern is .... some skill is really necessary.  I learnt so much, and when it was finished, it was fabulous!  There are many overlay stitches ... new technique for me.  Also small and large squares, I enjoyed the overall experience immensely.  I used my own colour pallette, with some colours as in the pattern, and some my own choice. I also changed the square placements a little. And I decided on a plain border.  Here are a few details:

Pattern:  Ross Poldark blanket designed by Catherine Bligh
Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK
Hook: 4.50mm
Colours:  Black, white, sage, storm blue, silver, and copper

And a picture or three .......

The blanket was finished in November, in time for a visiting friend to South Africa to take it back to the UK with him.  And then it was wrapped in time for Christmas.  Robert is sent me his gratitude and thanks for his blankie, which he absolutely loves .. happy days!!!!  There is something so amazing about handmade gifts isn't there.

Thank you for the most wonderful support, lovely ladies, and until next time
much love Pat xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 1 December 2017

Christmas bauble

A beautiful Christmas Bauble, quick and easy, to add to your Christmas Handmade bauble collection.  Hope your decorations will look Tree-mendous! 

Cotton or yarn in 4ply/sports weight, small amounts in desired colours
Narrow ribbon, optional
4mm hook, or hook appropriate for yarn
Darning Needle
75mm polystyrene bauble, or size of choice

Pattern is in US terms
Crochet 2 sections
Ensure your loose threads are securely tied off.

Tension and Bauble Size
I have quite an even tension .. not too tight or too loose. I
t's a good idea to fit your crochet  as you go along, you want a nice snug fit with a little gap in between the halves on the bauble, which you will pull together as you stitch the two sections together at the end. 
Also ensure you have the same number of stitches on each half when you finish.  

Stitches and abbreviations used
Sp~ space
St ~ stitch
Sl st ~ slip stitch
Ch-3 ~ stands for 1st or beginning dc
Dc ~ double crochet (US) treble crochet (UK)

Special stitches
2dc cluster ~ Yarn over, insert hook in sp, yarn over, pull through st, yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook, yarn over, insert hook in same sp, yarn over, pull through stitch, yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook, yarn over, pull through all 3 loops on hook, ch 1.

Fp3dctog cluster US / Fp3trctog UK ~ 1dc/trc into space indicated pulling yarn through first 2 loops only (2 loops on hook), yarn over, insert your hook front-to-back through your work, so that the 2dc/trc cluster you want to crochet around is in front of your hook. Yarn over again and pull through yarn, yarn over and pull yarn through 2 loops ~ three loops on your hook. 1dc/trc in next space, pulling yarn through first 2 loops only ~ 4 loops on hook. Yarn over, pull yarn through all 4 sts on hook, ch-1 to close.

Fpsc / Fpdc ~ Front post single/double crochet. Insert your hook front-to-back through your work, so that the Fp3dctog/Fp3trctog cluster you want to crochet around is in front of your hook.  Yarn over, draw loop through both spaces.  Yarn over and draw loop through both remaining 2 loops on hook

Here we go!

Row 1
Magic circle or ch-4, 15 dc into 1st chain st, sl st into 4th chain, cut thread about 10cm long and secure well ~ 16 dc

Row 2
Join new colour yarn to any space between dcs. Starting cluster - Ch-3, 1dc into same space, Ch-1 to close. 2dc cluster (refer to special stitches above) into following 15 spaces between dcs from Row 1. Sl st into 3rd of ch-3 ~ 16 x 2dc clusters

Row 3
Join new colour yarn to any closing ch-1 space, ch-3, Fpdc (see Special Stitches above) around 2dc cluster from Row 2 and keeping last stitch on hook, 1dc into next space keeping stitch on hook. You should have three stitches on your hook. Yarn over and pull loop through all three stitches.  Ch-1 to close.  *Working over last and next spaces, crochet Fp3dctog cluster* Rpt * to * 14 times more.   Sl St into closing ch-1 of 1st Fpdc cluster ~ 16 x Fpdctog clusters.

First Fp3dctog cluster completed, and second cluster completed as far as 3 loops on hook plus closing chain from first cluster. 

Row 3 complete

Row 4
Repeat Row 3

Row 4 showing closing chain loop and three loops of Fp3dctog on hook
Continue repeating Row 3, until you have sufficient rows to cover half the bauble minus about 1cm.

  Finishing Row ~ sc into each stitch around
 First half complete. Make the second half

Joining the two halves
Tread a long length of yarn into your
darning needle. Sew through a few 
stitches on the wrong side of first 
section, making sure your joining 
thread is secure.  
Whip stitch two sections together 
neatly, pulling your work over the 
bauble as your go. 
When you have stitched both sections 
together, secure the end of the join 
with a two or three back stitches. 
Insert your hook under the back 
stitches and pull a loop of yarn
Now chain a length of stitches, 
long enough to double back to form a
string of chains to hang the bauble.  
Secure the finished chain neatly to the
starting point.

Some more baubles!  I used 12 dc into the magic ring for a small white bauble of 50mm. and I made it up in one piece, although it was a bit tricky for the last two rows, decreasing the number of dc.

And the pattern as is, but with a 5mm hook for two baubles of 75mm, with white ribbon threaded through joining whip stitches instead of making a loop of chains.

Hope you have as much fun as I did, 
Handmade Christmas Baubles are

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Of this and that!

Good morning!
I am so glad to be with you today;  it's a most glorious morning here in sunny Randburg.  We had wonderful storms and heavy rain during the night, and our gardens are smiling.

I have been busy with a few  projects in the last few months. I have discovered the wondrous world of sock knitting!  I enjoy sitting down with a pair (or four) of needles now and again.  There's an easy rhythm to rows plain and purl, while sitting in the evening watching telly. Just by the way, isn't Line of Duty such a very good series? And Shetland, and of course Victoria. 

And in no particular or order, as they say, here are a few pics of the projects I have been busying myself with recently.

My sweet little owl, my contribution to Yarndale's Creative Hearts
 this year.
I used this pattern for the heart, 
and the owl was my own creation.  I could have sat and made
many more, such fun!

And I was so very relieved to see my little heart
amongst some other really cute hearts in 
a picture on Lucy's Attic 24 blog.  The postage is dodgy from 
South Africa, and I sent my parcel off with a prayer for it's
safe delivery! 

A very warm and cosy Magic Blanket
Pattern on Zooty Owl's amazing blog

I can see you!!!

A pretty Mandala, pattern by John Kelly and available, 
on Dedri's blog Look What I Made

My very first pair of knitted socks!
Pattern from the wonderful blog
and bible of sock making
This is her basic sock pattern

And my newest yarn, lovely hand dyed 
sock yarn, reminds me of whipped strawberries!
Can't wait to make a second pair.

 My biggest challenge to date,
the Ross Paldark blanket!  I have learnt so much
working with this pattern, new stitches and ways with colour.
Nearly completed, it is an order for a dear friend's hubby.
A blog post on this blanket when done and delivered.

I wish you all a wonderful Sunday, and week ahead.
Love Pat xxxxxxxxx

Monday, 31 July 2017

Cake Yarn Magic

Had a lot going on dear friends; thank goodness for the calmness and peace my crochet work brings me! In the turmoil and mayhem that has filled many of my days of late, and with my concentration levels at almost zero, I chose these two simple projects; easy patterns and beautiful yarn and my first tryout of the hugely on-trend cake yarns. The patterns I used are courtesy of two of my favourite creative ladies.  The Cosy Stripe Blanket is from Lucy @ Attic 24, and the Wrap Around Granny Square Cushion Cover is from Heather @ The Patchwork Heart.

The Cosy Stripe Blanket uses just Double Crochet Stitch (US) or Treble Crochet Stitch (UK), in a two row pattern sequence, simple to follow, not much concentration needed! The beauty of Cake Yarn is as the yarn is taken up in the crochet process, the colour runs blend one into the other, so no pesky colour change threads to take care of. I used Kismet Cupcake DK, and a 4,5mm hook. 

For the border I first did a row of Double Crochet US/Treble Crochet UK, as per Lucy's pattern. The second row is Single Crochet US/Double Crochet UK all round.  Then I did four rows of Linen stitch.

The Wrap Around Granny Square Cushion Cover is so quick and easy.  Just crochet a large Granny Square in Double Crochet US/Treble Crochet UK, place the cushion at a diagonal on your square, and close as per Heather's easy-to-follow instructions.

I love how the cushion cover in the changing colour runs, gives you completely different looks on each side.

My Cosy Stripe blanket is approximately 45 inches/115 cm wide and 50 inches/128 cm long; and weighs 600 gms ( 4 x 150 gm cakes)

It is still chilly in the evenings here in Jo'burg SA, and I am thinking we may yet have some really cold weather before winter is over, so my new Knee Rug fits the bill beautifully!

Keep well, find something good in every day,
much love Pat xxxxxx

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

My Bottom-up Crochet Heart

I have been feeling ridiculously happy these last few days!  We have had autumn rains, and warm days as we head towards the cooler weather.  I am done with the summer heat. Working with yarn has become more than a pleasure, makes me such a happy bunny.  I feel my enthusiasm heightening by the day .. such a good feeling;  and it's time to get the crochet blankets out to air, in readiness for the cool of the evenings ..YAY!
I have a love affair (pardon the pun) with hearts, crochet hearts, felt hearts, any hearts, any shape!

Before crocheting became my bliss, crafting with felt and a bit of decorative embroidery was a great pastime of mine.  My favourite go-to pattern for a crochet heart is The Rose Heart Hanger;  the link can be found here.  My pattern has slightly different starting rows, where you start with a chain, work back along the chain, then flip the work over and commence on the 'bottom' line of the starting chains .... hence the name Bottom-up!!

The pattern is worked in US Terms:  Single crochet (sc), except for 1 Double crochet (dc) in Row 1. The ch1 at the beginning of each row is not counted as a stitch.
Any yarn can be used with the appropriate size hook. The size of hook and thickness of yarn will determine the size of the heart.
For my heart here I have used a size 4mm hook and Katia DK Cotton 'Degrade' 
Make two hearts.  The 'Bottom Up' method of starting the heart, gives a nice even shape. Sometimes I find my heart point a little 'off centre' in patterns I have tried .. it's me! not the pattern! This way I find gives me a nice centre point.

Stitches used
ch:  chain
st:   stitch
sc:  single crochet US  or  dc:  double crochet UK
dc:  double crochet US  or  tr: treble crochet UK
2sctog:  a decrease stitch; 2 single crochet stitches worked together US or 
2 double crochet stitches worked together UK

Chain 4
Row 1:  Sc into 2nd Ch from hook, 1dc in next st, 1sc in last stitch. Ch 1

Row 2:  The crochet continues on the bottom loops of your starting chain, so turn your work clockwise and start next row in first loop of first chain:    2sc in 1st st, (sc in next st) x2, sc in last st .. that's the last loop you see in the photo below - 5 sc;  1ch and turn;

like so

Row 3:  2sc in 1st st, sc in each st to end;  you are adding one stitch each row.
Rpt Row 3 until you have 20 sc across (17 rows)
Next row:  sc across all sts. (18 rows)

First round part of the heart
Next row:  sc across first 10 sts. Ch 1, turn making sure you have 10 stitches remaining for the second round part of the heart 

Decrease rows:

Row 20:  2sctog, 2sc, 2sctog, 2sc, 2sctog (7sts) ch1, turn.
Row 21:  2sctog, 3sc, 2sctog (5sts) ch1, turn.
Row 22:  2sctog, 1sc, 2sctog (3sts).  Cut yarn and tie off.
first dome shape done.

To finish off a row, this is what I do.  I Cut the yarn about 6-7 cm from the crochet piece,  and pull the thread through the last loop on my hook.  Then I pull gently but tightly to make a little knot, which when sewn away neatly into the back of the work, becomes quite invisible.  Like so!

Join yarn to remaining stitches, starting in st 11 from Row 18 and sc to end. Ch1 and turn.   Rpt decrease rows. Cut yarn and tie off.

Sew the threads neatly into the back of your heart piece

This yarn has a lovely fade in the colour

Crochet the two hearts together using sc, leaving a 5+ cm gap to enable the wadding to be pushed in.  Complete working the two hearts together.

An alternative is to sew the hearts together ...
Use a large sewing needle and thread with yarn;  line up the hearts carefully wrong sides together and I pin here and there so that they don't move or slide. Sew together, tie off securely and stitch away ends into body of heart.

 Beautiful shades of purple fading to lilac

To finish your hearts, a simple rose and leaf, or embellishment of your choice is fun to add, crochet a chain loop on the top and you have a pretty addition to a birthday gift, a door hanger, a decoration to hang on your dressing table, or your favourite mirror.  Attach a silver ring and use as a handbag charm or key ring  I always have a stock of hearts on hand, to pop into little gauzy bags to take to a tea to give my friends as a keepsake. 
And Mother's Day celebrated in May is just around the corner;  decorate your Mother's Days gift with a beautiful crochet heart. 

I was trying a square in some mercerised cotton and a fine hook some time back, and found it was just right to fancy up the paler heart; I added a chain loop using the cotton together with the lilac yarn.

Couldn't help it! This beautiful bloom with rain drops from this morning's showers was just waiting for me to take a pic!

Hope you enjoy making up my heart pattern - I would love to see your photos on my Sunshine and a Sewing Basket FB page
Thank you for reading
Pat xxxxxxxxx