Knitflix and cowl

 

 

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Trump. Shit. Some people go running to deal with this kind of thing, some people drink copious amounts of alcohol and some people, like me, binge watch Netflix or, as I like to call it, ‘Knitflix’ and get their craft on.  I’ve been doing a lot of crochet lately.  This is mostly because it’s a really portable and pretty sociable craft.  I can crochet sitting on the sofa, outside, for 10 minutes between feeding or changing babies and before my toddler notices what I’m doing.  Also, designing stuff is my favourite thing to do and crochet is pretty flexible in terms of what you can produce.

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I find crochet to be super therapeutic and I always do it when I feel stressed or sometimes to just wind down from the day.  I’ve been tweaking this particular design for a couple of years and I’m happy with this year’s run in neutral colours.

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They are reversible and warmer than traditional scarves and cowls because of the two layer system.

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The outer layer is crocheted in an alpaca/wool mix and the inner layer is luxury faux fur.

I have just opened my Etsy shop for the winter and these are the first items to be listed.

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They remind me a lot of the natural landscape and walking on the beach in winter, hence why I have named them after some of my favourite beaches.  This also echoes my unstoppable desire to be near the sea, I can’t explain it, maybe it’s just a case of you can take the girl out of Cornwall . . . Matt would definitely blame it on my Cornish ways (I like to think he means my endearing ways, not sure if he does though!) personally I think it’s probably down to all the sea water I ingested as a small child.  When I was a girl, I could step out of my front door and see the sea, I spent hours on boats and surrounded by maritime paraphenalia. The first thing I wanted to do for myself after giving birth was to go and walk near the sea, albeit slightly uncomfortably. I don’t think I could live somewhere for very long if I had to travel far to get to it.  As it is now, occasionally, if the conditions are right, I can hear the waves from beyond the burrows when I go to sleep.  It’s a ridiculously romantic notion, but by hook or by crook, the sea salt has gotten into my system and I think it’s there to stay.

 

Twin Set Cardigan Tutorial

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What do you do when you are really very pregnant and can’t move? (That’s from about half way through when pregnant with twins!) Well, apparently what I do is A LOT of crochet.  So much so, in fact, that this happened when the twins were born:

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I made these cardies in two in different colours:  mustard and grey.

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I also made little hats:

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and here is the link to that free pattern.

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I have to say that crocheting helped keep me sane towards the end of my pregnancy (even if that picture of little E above suggests otherwise) when I could barely climb the stairs without getting short of breath or get out of bed unaided. Needless to say twin pregnancy is nothing if not challenging, but crochet was the shit when I needed some preggo-craft therapy!

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If you want to make this cardigan for a new baby you know (or are about to know!) I suggest using a nice soft wool maybe with merino or cashmere as it’s so lovely for a newbies skin.  It doesn’t come cheap, but you can find good deals and you only need a small amount for baby clothes.  Ultimately, my advice is to just get the nicest and softest wool you can afford.  It’s also amazing for new mums and dads if you can find a super-wash merino or equivalent because you can then wash it at 40 degrees.  However, unless it gets dirty, you don’t need to wash it as often as other clothes.

I have written this pattern in UK crochet terms and in terms of difficulty, you just need to know how the basic stitches of chain, double crochet and treble crochet.

For a 0-3 months cardigan, you will need:

2 x 50g balls of wool for the main body of the cardigan (I used SMC Select Super-wash Merino)

1 contrasting ball of wool for the border (I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino) and you will have plenty left over.

4mm crochet hook

6 buttons

V-stitch:  1 treble crochet, chain 1, another treble crochet in the same stitch.

Step 1:  main body of cardigan

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Round 1: Ch 3, counts as 1st stitch here and in every row, 6 tr c, V st, 9 trc, V st, 14 trc, V st, 9 trc, V st, 7 trc.  Turn.
Round 2-6: Ch 3, trc in each trc and V stitch in each V stitch and turn at the end of each row. (This will slowly increase the size of your work)
Round 7: Ch 3, trc to first V stitch, folding so 1st and 2nd V stitches are together trc in both to join them, trc to next V stitch and join 3rd and 4th V stitch in same manner, trc to end and join
Note: This creates the armholes, you will add the sleeves in the next step.
Round 8-18: Trc in each trc, skipping the armholes
Round 19: Ch 2, turn.  dc all the way up the front of the cardigan, round the neck and back down the front on the other side, end.  I think this gives the front a nicer finish.
Step 2:  add the sleeves
Going through both V stitches where the sleeves were joined in the underarm, join yarn, if you don’t do this there will be a hole in the underarm
Rd 1-11: ch 3, trc in each stitch, Check to make sure you have 22 stitches and end.
Step 3:  add the contrasting border and buttons.
Make sure your cardigan is right side out.  Begin with your contrasting colour on the front right side of your cardigan at the bottom left
Round 1:  Ch 2, then dc all the way up the front around the neck, down the front of the other side and around the bottom, when you get to the end, slip stitch to join.  On the corners make 2-3 dc in 1 stitch to round them nicely.
Round 2:  Repeat round 1 until you begin to descend the front left of your cardigan as you need to make the buttonholes.  Dc around the corner and make 1 dc followed by ch 2, then dc 5 and ch 2 until you have 6 buttonholes.  Continue to dc as in round 1 and join.
Round 3:  Repeat round 1
Round 4: Dc the front right side ONLY.  End.
Finishing: You just need to sew in the ends and sew on your buttons very securely.  I also added two rows of dc to the sleeves in the contrasting yarn 🙂
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I would love to see your finished creations, so please let me know if you make this! You can Instagram #zoedidit
If you have any trouble with the pattern, or would like me to make one for you, comment below or get in touch at zoediditemail@gmail.com.  Happy hooking! x
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Slow burners!

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Hello you!

Sorry I’ve neglected you, this year has been a bit of a slow burner so far, a bit like my crafting; slow work but working up to a big flame! I found the start to the year quite hard trying to balance work, motherhood and my passions for music and craft, it has been a bit of a juggling act.  I think I’m just about turning the chaos into some kind of order.  It was really good to get some perspective on things when we went away over Easter, it’s so great to get away for a little bit, isn’t it?  We were super lucky to go to New york for 10 days and visit family in Brooklyn.  It was both very exciting and a bit scary to take Roo away for the first time on a big trip, but we had an amazing family time.

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I only went and knitted a gawd, darn sweater!  I have done some (simple) knitting before, mostly things that involve square shapes, but I’ve never knitted a jumper before, so this was a first.

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As a slightly more experienced mum now after a year or so, I knitted this in my favourite merino wool (Tip:  I bought some in bulk online, check wool shop ‘Sale’ sections!) but made sure it was ‘super wash’ so it is a practical jumper as well as a pretty one.  I really feel happier when things are both aesthetically pleasing and practical and I’m not the world’s best at remembering to hand wash, so this was definitely the way to go.

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There was quite a lot of undoing and swearing and starting again, so it went even slower than I expected, but I got there in the end.  I’m really pleased with how it came out and I am feeling satisfied with my efforts although I’m no expert knitter yet!

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I used this free pattern in the largest size and I made up the patterned bit which was fun, just because I wanted a bit of colour and honestly got bored knitting in the same colour. The bits I was worried about actually were easier than anticipated, like the neck and buttonholes. I love, love, love these yellow buttons!

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I had enough wool to make a little jumper for Roo’s new cousin who has just arrived.  Yay!  It’s my favourite jumper to make for babies which I adapted from this pattern to make the Little Cornish Jumper.  Hopefully it will be breathable enough to keep her cosy through the constantly changing Spring temperatures and of a cooler evening but without overheating when it warms up. I kept the front nice and simple.

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But, I added a button at the back (that yellow again!) . . .

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. . .not only because I love the colour combination, but also because it should make it easier to get the jumper over baby’s head.

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Here are a couple of great photos taken by Roo’s uncle on our trip, firstly, Roo is modelling amazing booties by Laurel of Arrietty Exeter:

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. . . and here is little chubby cheeks in his new jumper (that’s Rupert, not his dad, shoving, one of many, amazing NY pastries into his mouth!)

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Schnuggle-uppagus schnood!

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I remember one of my best friends, Faye, telling me about how her sister has been known to talk in her sleep, which can be embarrassing if you ever share a bed with friends or siblings, especially as you get older.  Thanks to Claire for coining the expression schnuggle-uppagus in dreamland, it’s the best way I can think of to describe this scarf.  I just want to crawl in as soon as the weather turns cold!

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I made this for myself really as it’s the kind of thing I want to wear in the cold, but a few friends and family now have them too.  They have been quite popular, it’s always extra special when you know gifts are very happily received.  I didn’t really want to model this myself, but it was too big for my baby boy and there was no one else around!  I managed to get one ‘normal’ (isn) face’ shot before I could no longer take myself seriously.

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I used a super chunky yarn and a pretty stitch which gives it a nice close weave, sometimes I find crochet can be a little too holey!

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It is a combination of a crocheted shell with a faux fur inner lining which really gives it a luxurious, wintry feel.

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It is completely reversible as well and I kind of like it both ways, you can choose which way to wear it depending on your mood or the air temperature.

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These will be available in two colours, scarlet and navy in my Etsy shop throughout the Autumn and Winter season.

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Little Cornish Jumper

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This is actually the second one of these that I have made.  The first one is testament to the fact that you really should make necklines very generous on baby jumpers to avoid:

1) not getting said jumper over baby’s head

2) annoying baby A LOT!  Oops!

In a nutshell, for younger babies buttons are good, likewise for not pulling stuff over the head.

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It reminds me of jumpers I used to wear when I was growing up in Cornwall which is why I’ve called it a ‘Cornish’ jumper, although technically it was made in Devon.  Hopefully this won’t cause as much controversy as the great jam and cream debate.  Of course, it is jam first.  

I love the nautical feel, it would be nice with some little anchor buttons at the neck, or even with a stripe.

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I used this basic pattern without the bumpy bits and adapted it slightly with contrasting ribbing at the neck, hem and cuffs.

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I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran wool, which is lovely for babies and quite chunky too.  It took three balls to make this jumper.

 

 

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I also began at one of the V stitches in order to leave the neck open, joining under the arms instead.  You could of course leave it open all the way down and adapt into a wrap cardigan.

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Monster Larksfoot Blanket

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I am aware that summer (well here in the UK anyway) is perhaps not the best time to get stuck into the crochet or warm knits, except that of course, it is perfect if you want to have them finished for the winter!  I made most of this blanket at the beach on summer’s evenings whilst Matt was in the surf and when the sea wind was just taking the edge off the warmth.

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I’ve called it a ‘Monster’  blanket as it took a long time to make!  I started it in the summer and had it finished by the winter, just in time for our house move.

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I used the great tutorial over at Meet Me at Mike’s for how to make a Larksfoot blanket and one day I intend to make her amazing ‘Arcade blanket’ – too cool, maybe when Roo gets a bit bigger!

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