Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Winter Warmer Tutorial

There's nothing like snuggling with a hot water bottle on a cold night.  I like to have one handy to snuggle with in my arm chair while I watch tv and this mini sized hot water bottle works a treat.

I wanted it to look pretty while it wasn't in use though.

So I created this pretty jacket with Moda Vera Marvel Soft 8 ply in white.

I used a 4.25mm hook.

The pattern is simple.  Just UK sc, tr and increase/decrease.

Ch 26
Row 1, tr in third chain from hook, tr to end 23 stitches.
Row 2 chain 3 turn, 2 tr in second stitch, tr to second to last stitch 2 tr in second to last stitch, tr in last.

Rows 3-15 chain 3 turn, tr in each stitch 25 stitches.

Row 16 ch 3 turn, dec in second/third stitch tr to 3 stitches before the end.  dec in 23/24th stitches, tr in 25th.

The increases and decreases give a nice curve to the top and bottom of your cover.

Make another exactly the same.
Sew or crochet the sides together.
Pop it on your hot water bottle to check where the neck sits.  (Mine was about 5 in from the edge on each side.)
Crochet the top together leaving a gap for the neck.
Crochet a row of sc around the neck hole. Join with a ss and chain 3
Crochet a row of tr around, join with ss and chain 3.
Increase by crocheting 2 trs into every other stitch. Join with ss and chain 3
1 more row of trs and join with ss chain 1
1 row of sc and tie off.

Weave in your ends.

I've sewed a small zip on the end of mine to facilitate removal and for washing but you could use buttons.

This pattern is loose in that it can be adjusted by increasing the size of your foundation chain to make a cover for a full sized bottle.  The same principles apply to the neck of the bottle.

I decorated with a rose and some leaves from Attic 24. Lucy has a lot of different flowers amongst her tutorials or you could just as easily cross stitch or put something else on it, like maybe an owl.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Tea Cosy Love

Irony, I don't actually drink tea!

This started as a favour for my Stepma.  She had an operation last month and I travelled north with the Wee Girl to help out around the house for a few days.  Stepma was somewhat nervous regarding Dad's house keeping skills while she was incapacitated so the Wee Girl and I cooked and cleaned.  I have to say though that Dad had it all in hand from what I could see.

During some down time we were discussing crochet and I mentioned I would like to try a tea cosy.  Stepma enthusiastically mentioned that her teapot was cosy less and she would just love a nice tea cosy.  And so it came to be that the teapot came south to spend some time at my place.

Making the cosy wasn't easy.  All of the patterns on line are for somewhat taller china teapots.  The shape was different on this chrome pot, the spout is higher and above the widest point.

I settled on this pattern from "Why didn't anyone tell me" but it needed some adjusting.  My cosy had to increase and decrease quite rapidly.  I winged it and have started to create a tutorial.  I think I got it right on my third effort (pictured above).  The first two work just fine, but the third one just came together and I got regular increases.

Above are all three.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Jacob's Blanket

I've just finished a blanket for my Great Nephew Jacob.  It's a granny ripple like the one I made for my Grandmother before she died.

I think it looks pretty good.  I love the Granny Ripple, it's very simple yet very effective as a pattern and most importantly it grows at a very satisfying rate!

The pattern is very easy, if you can do a Granny Stripe and you know how to do a treble crochet (uk) decrease, you can do this.

Unlike the one I did for my Grandmother, this one has straight sides, I didn't do the modification that creates points on all sides.  Much easier to tuck him in with when the nights get cooler.

If they ever do!  It was announced today that Northland is suffering from a drought, I think we've known it for some time now.  There hasn't been any rain this month bar a light drizzle a couple of weeks ago for a few hours and there's no rain forecast till mid March at the earliest.

It's very hot, 27-30 degrees Celsius most days and dipping to the mid to low 20s in the evenings.  I've spent the better part of this week without my husband due to bush fires too.

This photo is a fire on Dept of Conservation land at Tapora.  I was with my husband when the call came in and ended up along for the ride, luckily we had been out taking night shots, so I had my camera with me.  It gave me something to do as well as keeping out of the way.

It's still burning as I write and my husband is at another large fire on the opposite coast between Warkworth and Matakana.

Spare a thought for the Fire Fighters during this dry season.  It's hot and dry everywhere, living in Auckland we are more used to rain and fire is not generally a big hazard, at the moment though? Well we have a fire ban for a reason.  Don't light fires, use solid fuel (wood/charcoal) bbq's, light fireworks or drop a match or cigarette butt.  Fire is scary destructive and we don't want someone getting hurt due to someone elses stupidity!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


I haven't blogged much because I'm making a blanket and there isn't much to show.  It's also been summer holidays here and the children have just gone back to school.  I've been driving children from Auckland to Northland, Northland to Auckland and Auckland to Tauranga and back!

I did make this though.  It started life as a tin of Evil Child drinking chocolate, I use it when I make mocha's in my Nespresso.

I like the tin and I even like the Evil Child label  it's pink and retro looking.  With that in mind and a build up of empty tins I decided to make some small canisters out of the empty tins.

I simply painted over the label with turquoise blue acrylic paint and then varnished it with a matt finish varnish from the art section of Warehouse Stationery.

I did another in a paler blue and I am thinking of getting some scrap images like the rose left, to make a kind of decoupaged tin.

I think it would look really nice and the shape of the lid just makes it so retro.  I could also glue a small silver knob to the lid to change the look.

Or labels, I could paint it white and decoupage vintage labels on it.

So many possibilities, so little time!