Easy Peasy Pussy Pixie Hat

This little beauty started out as a scarf thing but due to a sore thumb has happily ended up as a hat thing.

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It’s a crazy busy time of the year for me and mine so I’m keeping the words to a minimum and just diving straight in to this VERY simple pattern.

Happy November from sunny (not) Headingley!

You will need

1 skein (100g) Stylecraft Swift Knit Super Chunky in Viola

10mm needles

Scissors

Tapestry Needle

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Instructions

Cast on 18 stitches (I used a knitted cast on)

All rows are the same

Knit to last stitch and with yarn in front slip the last stitch purl wise onto the right hand needle

When you have about 1.5 metres of yarn left, cast off loosely

Sew the 2 ends together using the yarn tail still attached and then stitch across the top of the cylinder you have now made.

Weave in ends on the inside of the hat – this photo shows how the top looks on my hat but you could choose to have this as the inside if you like.

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Wear pussy style like this…

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Or pixie style like this!

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Dare I suggest that this might be a good last-minute gifty thing?

Happy Days

Tina x

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Resistance

No doubt many people have already spoken far more eloquently about recent world events than ever I could, but the wearing of pink hats is one way to show your resistance to the wave of intolerance and hatred that seems to be seeping into the very fabric of western culture.

There are many versions of the Pussy Project Hat out there and this is just my take on it, I certainly don’t lay claim to the idea but as a self-professed #nastywoman I hope that it may be of use to someone out there in blogville who may not have happened upon the original patterns yet.2 HATS

I bought 10 skeins of  vegan-friendly yarn which means that absolutely anyone can wear the hat. The 50/50 cotton/acrylic blend also has the benefit of being itch-free – win win!

I had the idea that the first 10 people who spontaneously expressed a wish for me to knit them one of the Pussy Project Hats would get one – or maybe the first 9 people cos I’d quite like one myself.

Well, the first 5 are in the bag, so to speak.  One lives in Devon, with my sister,  one in Oxfordshire with my nephew’s girlfriend (and phew it’s big enough to accommodate dreads… ) one is with my son’s gorgeous girlfriend, who has ridiculously perfect waves in her hair (jealous… moi?) and two are hot-footing it to the other son who will give the hats to both brides at an upcoming wedding.

Just a note to a sparkling friend in Hebden Bridge – your admiration has been noted – saying nothing… but watch this space 😉

The first two hats had a cast on of 92 sts and the subsequent ones began with 96 sts for a slightly looser fit.

Anyhoo…. here’s how to make one (or 10).

MATERIALS

1 x 50g skein James C Brett Cotton on DK (145 m/ 158 yds) – SHADE CO8

pink yarn

1 set 3.75mm Double Pointed Needles (DPNs)

2 x 3.75mm Circular Needles – I prefer these once the stockinette happens because no matter how hard I ‘tug’ I always get ‘ladders’ with DPNs.

Tapestry needle for weaving in the ends.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cast on 96 sts – I use long-tail method over 2 DPNs.
  • With 32 sts on each of 3 DPNs, join to form a circle – you will now knit in the round until binding off.
  • Knit 20 rounds of K2, P2 rib. (For a deeper rib just add another 10 rounds)
  • Switching to the 2 sets of circular needles (48 sts on each), knit 46 rounds (or 36 rounds if you’ve done the deeper rib).
  • Turn the hat inside out and using a DPN as the third needle, do a 3-needle-bind-off.
  • Weave in the ends like a pro and turn the hat the right way around.

Job done!

Wear with pride whilst retaining a sense of optimism – like these fellow #nastywomen

Kirstin  Lucy

FullSizeRender  vicky hat

Happy Days?

Tina x

Time to catch my breath… and a small thank you

It’s been a while coming has this blog entry – the wind kind of went out of my sails a bit – the way it sometimes does – but all is not lost because…

A trip to Cornwall with friends, also a while coming, was joyful and rejuvenating and so here I sit, at my kitchen table with peppermint and licorice tea just a few weeks later to invite you to share a few wonderings and ponderings as well as a pattern for a beanie/hat.

Tea

Cornwall… it’s where we spent every childhood summer (when we weren’t visiting family in Denmark) from the age of about 7 or 8.  I remember the sense of freedom I had in being allowed to explore rock-pools without adult interference, play hide and seek with new-found friends in the higgledy-piggledy streets of Port Isaac – many decades before Doc Martin invaded and visitor numbers rocketed – and swimming with my father and my little sister in the giant pools of icy-cold sea water in Pine Haven as the tide came in.

I inflicted the place on my own children when they were small too, funny how much more the rain between scarce days of glorious sunshine irritated in adulthood in a way that they never did with my child’s gaze on the world.

Trebarwith Strand

This time we journeyed down outside of school holidays and were rewarded with an hour less driving time (6 hours instead of 7),  quiet beaches – with only dog-walkers and their companions ambling along the water’s edge,  and parking always possible – even at Rock!  Can you believe that the sun shone EVERY DAY?

We ate pasties, drank wine, had cream teas and I gave myself permission to crochet or knit… a lot – it really was a perfect week away from the busy busy of city life and in the company of much loved friends.

In the tiny harbour at Port Quinn my other-half found treasures.  Objects of beauty that he gradually came to understand were gifts for the fortunate finder. Nothing fills the heart with thanks as much as a beautiful gift so thank you so much for a full heart @whitstapebble… (we took just one pebble, to have taken two would have felt excessive)

And @kentbeachart…

@kentbeachart

Your works have found happy places to rest.

The small thank you of my blog title is more accurately a case of paying back and I hope that the gifts I have made in return will land happily in their new home in Whitstable.

This Picots and Petals Mandala for @whitstapebble  (designed by Wink – who is so missed…)

Mandala

And this beanie for @kentbeachart.  Designed by me and inspired by the fabulous hats in Wes Anderson’s film ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ – I have called the beanie ‘Zissou Hat’ and it’s available for download free HERE.  I do hope that @kentbeachart does not despise burnt orange…

zissou

Thanks to you for stopping by

Happy Days

Tina x

 

A Bevvy of Beautiful Clangers

The planning started way back at the end of October last year and the three of us met in secret, feeling slightly guilty at not including our gorgeous friend, but as the results were to be a birthday surprise for her, we had no choice…

All this clandestine activity and here is the result!Clanger group

Let me introduce you to the Clanger 4 – each of which has been personalised to represent the humans they represent…

Say hello to Diamond Clanger with her trademark grey…. sorry… BROWN plaits…Diamond Clanger

 

And here’s Fi Clanger with her trademark scrappy hound Ben who is Spike’s bestest bud.Fi Clanger

 

Next is the birthday girl – Jacqui Clanger and look – she’s wearing a cowl like the one I made for the human Jacqui (except in real life it’s a mobius – same yarn though – 2 skeins of King Cole Galaxy in Turquoise).Jacqui Clanger

 

And finally Tina Clanger – me – complete with a pair of knitting needles and a tiny ball of the Galaxy yarn.Tina Clanger

The free pattern for Tiny Clanger is available here. I understand that there’s also an updated version with larger ears here.  My two friends followed the pattern religiously but because I’m not a fan of sewing seams, I adapted the pattern to knit in the round.  I also grew the ears and arms directly onto the head and body – again, no sewing – yay!

Back last year I made a few of the little beasties for another friend and her fella for their wedding day but haven’t posted them on here til now because I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for the birthday girl… Aren’t I sneaky?

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I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn, safety eyes, polyester felt and I found bits of cardboard to reinforce the feet and some toy stuffing to give them their lovely rounded tummies.  There must be someone in your life who would utter squeals of delight if you made them one of these.  Or maybe, like our friend, they would burst into tears in the middle of Pizza Express and be unable to utter a word for 5 minutes – which, if you knew my friend, you would understand is remarkable!

On another matter entirely…

Do you ever start a project, get bored, adapt the pattern to ease the boredom and end up with a big ugly mess? Well I certainly do – so I took to some liberal frogging and ended up with a crochet cowl/capelet thingy by repurposing the Lion Brand Amazing yarn that I would otherwise have put in the bin – it looks ok in the end but because I’m larger than my mannequin (which I got for nothing on Freegle Leeds) it sits differently on me than is ideal – if I make this again, I’ll make it wider.

Amazing Tina side

Here it is with the opening at the side…

 

Amazing Tina Front

And …the opening is at the back on this photo.

 

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My mannequin looks great in it – she has no double-chins and a less matronly bust!

I followed the basic instructions for the Windowpane Scarf – by Adrienne Lash which is downloadable free here.

Using the formula of chaining multiples of 6+4 – I started with a chain of 130 (4 of which make the first dtr). The pattern uses USA terminology so do be vigilant if you’re from elsewhere in the world…

Close-up WindowPane

I then worked 9 repeats, joined to work in the round and made the cowl part of the garment doing a further 5 repeats. I’m pretty happy with the result and might just make another few variations with other bits and bobs of yarn that are lying about feeling unloved.

I can hear my  WIPs calling from my craft room now, so I must be going.

Happy days

Tina x

 

 

Not quite a fresh start…

IMG_4405Xmas was as per usual, now that there are no excitable small chaps about listening for Santa’s sleigh-bells. My formerly excitable chaps are all grown up and don’t seem to get excited about very much at all these days. Even the Danish Christmas Rice Pudding doesn’t elicit squeals of delight these days (except from me of course).

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Memories of my mother abound at this time of the year and what once connected me only with a sense of loss now brings that sense of ‘hygge‘ that I always felt when in her company. I remember her crying tears of joy one year when my sister and I sat around the kitchen table singing Christmas carols – this was years before even the possibility of the breast cancer that was to take her from us.

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Anyway, on to the not quite a fresh start feeling with which I have invited in the New Year – I have a lurgy (as does my man) so we cancelled our New Year celebrations to sit and watch (with varying degrees of enthusiasm – me excited, my man not so much) a documentary about Frank Sinatra – very festive?…

I’m going vegan for January – not a huge leap because I am vegetarian already and my man is vegan (a very gorgeous and hilarious friend calls him the Alfalfa Male) so embarked on #veganuary on New Year’s Day by making Nigella’s Olive Oil Granola – and whilst it was cooling I went out for a walk with ‘The Dog’. I dragged my foggy-headed self around the park, wishing a Happy New Year to all and sundry and one hour later I was home enjoying the cooled granola over a large helping of Alpro Soya Yogurt with Coconut – OMG – I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and be a happy (cruelty-free) bunny. I should say that I omitted the ground ginger and cinammon in Nigella’s recipe – not a fan of either – but it certainly didn’t taste as though there was anything lacking.

“Enough of your food-obsession, what’s on your needles and hooks Tina?” I hear you cry…

Easy Garter Stitch Neck-WarmerWell, I’ll tell you! In fact I have held back from telling you about what’s been going on because I didn’t want a particular recipient to have a spoiled Christmas surprise by seeing pics on here before the big day.

This warm and cosy neck-warmer, cowl, snood thingy was knitted on circular needles and was just the simplest most Netflix-friendly project ever. I made one in reds/purples brought to you courtesy of Drops Brushed Alpaca Silk and Drops Alpaca

IMG_4415 …and here’s one in neutral tones.

Here’s the pattern for anyone who would like to have a go –

You will need:

3 skeins (about 50g each) complimentary colours of a 4 ply or light DK weight yarn –  I used Drops Alpaca (4 ply) in the following colours:

Neutral        A off white (0100), B camel beige (0302), C beige (0618)

Reds              A pink (2921), B red (3620), C dark purple (4400)

1 skein (25g) of Drops Brushed Alpaca Silk – I used the following colours:

Neutral       off white (01)

Reds             red (07)

5mm Circular Needles – I used Knit Pro Karbonz Interchangeables with a 12″ cord.

With A and Brushed Alpaca Silk held together, cast on 90 stitches and join to form a round. Place a marker at the start of the round.

Round 1 (and all odd rows) Knit all stitches to marker.  Move marker to right needle and start round 2.

Round 2 (and all even rows) Purl all stitches to marker.  Move marker to right needle and continue to round 3.

After 28 rows continue with the Brushed Alpaca Silk but drop A and cut yarn (leaving around 6″ to weave in later) and join B, continuing with the 2 row repeat as established.

After a further 28 rows continue with the Brushed Alpaca Silk but drop B and cut yarn (leaving around 6″ to weave in later) and join C, continuing with the 2 row repeat as established.

After 28 rows Cast-off fairly loosely to maintain the shape you have created – if you cast-off tightly the neck may be a little small.

Weave in all ends.

No need to block – that’s the beauty of garter stitch!

You can download the pattern here: Easy Garter Stitch Neck-Warmer

What else?

Well, I’m continuing on a Drops Alpaca C2C Blanket – this yarn was originally intended for a version of Attic 24’s Cosy Blanket but I kind of lost heart after the first 14 rows had been worked. The little strip sat sadly in a WIP basket for ages before I decided to go ahead and frog it to make the C2C.   “Not another blanket” says the Alfalfa male – and I made reassuring noises about taking it down to my father’s place in Cornwall – but in fact, I am so in love with it that there’s no way I’m giving it away. Dream on Alfalfa Male…

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I am promising myself to finish the C2C before embarking on anything new but I have that familiar sense of restlessness that comes upon me when I’m two-thirds of the way through anything and that restlessness could just bring on a flurry of sock-making – I’ve got loads of sock yarn in my stash so I won’t be spending any cash (yeah right…)

Let’s hope for a good year

Happy days (once the lurgy has left)

Tina x

 

 

 

And the winner is…

showbiz_main_library_emu_ds_icon_6The last time I won anything was a very long time ago indeed – it must have been 1975ish when I was about 12 years old and was one of the last people to visit the tombola stall at the school summer fayre. I think that maybe they took pity on me or maybe they were just desperate to get rid of it but whatever it was I ended up walking away with an Emu puppet. I was absolutely delighted – this was in the days when the most anarchic thing in the UK was Rod Hull and Emu – punk was just around the corner but until then we lived in a kind of blissful haze. Summers were long and hot and friendships lasted forever… until they didn’t.

Balls GroupMany moons later (too many to count) I am thrilled recipient of one of the Stylecraft Special DK Limited Edition packs of 10 x 50g of customer-chosen colours. THANK YOU STYLECRAFT!

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I got mine by visiting the gorgeous blog of       Le Monde De Sucrette and the squeals of delight that I emitted when I saw my name announced as the winner frightened the little doggie so much that she’s taken to daily doses of Xanax (doggie valium) to help her get over the trauma.

I absolutely love the combination of colours in the pack and am totally in love with Lobelia, Duck Egg and Pistachio not to mention Cypress, Mustard, Kelly Green, Boysenberry, Empire and Fuschia!

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In a bit of a panic (I heard that the limited edition packs were selling out all over the country) I also hot-footed it down to my local Stylecraft stockist Lil’s Craft Shop, where the lovely Lynda had saved another two packs for me as well as extra balls of Lobelia – yay!

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Since then, the news from Stylecraft is that all colours will now be available permanently – double yay!!

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Anyway I thought you might like to see the cushion cover that I made with my pack.

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I’ve always loved circles in squares and I know it’s been done before but this is my very own way of achieving them – I think I’ll get a different cushion inner – the basic white from IKEA is very white indeed – as you can see.

 

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Lobelia is one of those magic colours that just seems to go with EVERYTHING – which is why I chose it for the outside colour for my circles.

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I also made this flower and I’m thinking of making more and ending up with a wrap or shawl of some kind – I’ll keep you posted.

I’m not ready to mention Christmas…

Happy Days

Tina x

STASH-BUSTING JOY

No, I’m not talking about attacking the local drug-dealer, although I will admit that buying yarn, without a particular project in mind is becoming a serious addiction as you can see.

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To put this into perspective, my craft room is tiny, smaller than the ‘smallest room in the house’ and yet I have managed to squirrel away enough yarn to open a medium-sized shop – now there’s a thought…

photo 2-6And believe me when I say that these are just the (very) edited highlights…

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There’s more but I just can’t bring myself to show you, maybe when we know each other better?

Anyway, I was keen to try a C2C – “What’s a C2C?”, I heard myself asking in a Facebook crochet-and-knitting-lovers’ group a few weeks ago. “Corner to Corner” came the reply – so I studied a few YouTube videos and sat down with a 4mm hook and a bag of random DK yarn and two weeks later – Ta dah!

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I know the colours are a bit odd together and I had a vaguely artsy-fartsy (that’s a technical term for advanced hookery) notion of controlling the introduction of a new colour in a small way, continuing with the main colour and then re-introd……..OK so forget it! It’s too dull to give any more space here and anyway I abandoned the idea cos it looked pants – which is why the blanket looks better at the grey/yellow end.

photo 3Anyway I have busted a huge stash and ended up with this slightly ugly duckling, complete with a rather cute shell-like edge, which somehow seems to bring the whole thing together as though I made it on purpose!

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It grew quickly at the start and I Instagramed enthusiastically about it but I did lose heart a little in the middle and kept picking up a cream-coloured stash-busting Easy-Peasy Poncho to knit for a while, raising my spirits and easing my aching thumbs.

hyde-park-picture-houseI took it with me to ‘Macbeth’ at our wonderful local gas-lit cinema (yes, gas-lit!) – but sadly it was too dark to work on once the film started proper. This gave me a rather wonderful idea – special screenings of films for crafters – with the lights in the auditorium remaining on just enough to see stitches, hooks and needles – genius! I must suggest it to the lovely Wendy at said Hyde Park Picture House – she’s always open to suggestions and they do already have tea and coffee and some lovely vegan treats – perfect for all us sugar-hungry crafters.

photo 4-1I think I’ll give the blanket to ‘the dog’ – she looks thrilled doesn’t she?!dog

Happy days

Tina x