happy un-birthdays in April

Three more padded envelopes were posted this month, each containing a little card and surprise un-birthday gifts for three blogging/crafting friends.  Three home-made gifts, all on the same theme . . . but each one totally different.

To Angela, aka Wisher, in Singapore

oops; I forgot to take a photo!  This is one Angela took, when the package arrived.


To nanacathy in the UK

marker book 01

And to Lynn, aka Tialys, in France


The little “books” contains pin, crochet stitch markers and beaded knitting markers.  Assorted to the colours of the “book” each time. For example:


So something pretty, and useful, I hope, for crochet and knitting projects.  Blackwork designs on the front were all freebie designs. The first two found on Blackwork Journey but I can’t remember who the designer of the Easter egg is.


striped myboshi beanie

After the success of crocheting a red slouchy beanie . . . I set to work on the second myboshi kit I had bought.


A grey & pink striped beanie.  Kit reference CR067K.

Whereas I had worked the red slouchy in spirals, I felt I really needed to follow instructions and hook this in the round because of the colour changes and stripes.  Instructions weren’t a great help and my first attempt looked very messy at the back


I had a vague idea what I’d done wrong, so got confirmation from Avis, and tackled it again.


Still doesn’t look very good to me, but I’m not frogging again.  It looks fine from the front and sides.  


This is GI-Jane modelling the new beanie.  You may have noticed, I’ve only got 3 pink stripes, not 4.  This is because  I decided the beanie was getting too big.  This is the second myboshi pattern I’ve followed, and the second time I’ve had to alter the number of rounds.  They really work up too big length-ways not width-ways.

2 first beanies

Here they are side-by side.  One normal beanie on left and one slouchy on the right.


And modelled on plastic heads.  As mentioned in previous article on myboshi . . . the yarn is lovely to work with, but I’m not happy with their instructions and feel the kits are over-priced for what you get.   Now I know what I’m doing, I’ll rely on patterns and ideas I find on the internet.  I’ve understood how to calculate hat size using some simple maths and head circumference.  The world of beanie hooking opens up before me!

“Victorian Charm” progress

I have been plugging away, making the most of sunshine and warm weather to sit outside to stitch.  Good lighting is essential when stitching on 18 count dark navy!


This is what I showed you in March . . . and this is what things look like in April.

Victorian charm 02

Sorry for the bad lighting in the second photo – it was late at night.  Anway, as you can see, I’ve done another window.  A few stitches still missing, but I don’t like threading my needle with a length of thread unless I’m going to use it all.  So I’ll go back and fill those gaps in when I have more of the same symbol to stitch.

In the meantime, I’ve begun stitching a thid window . . . lots of brick work still to go, but I’m enjoying this project so far.

F2F2 blocks for myself

I got a little behind schedule with the F2F2 swap, when we hit February, and it was time to make blocks for myself.  That has now been remedied though.


You may remember, that this photo is my colour inspiration.  Without further ado, here are the blocks I made for myself.

Claire F2F2 01

Claire F2F2 03

Claire F2F2 02

Now I need to put my thinking cap on for the next stage: assembling a total of 30 blocks.  I’ll probably need to do some fabric shopping too (oh what hardship!).

SAL – Cirque des Triangles #4

Hello everyone, it’s time to post the regular 3-weekly update on my SAL project.  At the moment, I’m stitching “Cirque des Triangles”, an Ink Circles design by Tracey Horner and having lots of fun.  It’s a very relaxing project, being a monochrome, and it’s the variagated thread that does all the colour changes for me.

cdesT stage 4 02

CdesT stage 4 03

CdesT stage 4 01

I am stitching with Threadworx “Wild Poppies” on a 27 count “Forest Green” Lugana evenweave.

Don’t forget to stop by and admire progress of other SAL members.  Avis, is working on the same CdesT design, but in totally different colours.  Other members are all working on a wonderful variety of projects:  Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, WendyLinda, Catherine, Mary Margaret and Timothy.

Next update on 14th May.

slouchy myboshi beanie

Having mastered the art of following a basic crochet pattern, hooking in the round, and managing not to drop or add stitches willy nilly . . . I splashed out and bought a couple of crochet kits.  Splashed out isn’t quite the word, because I snapped up two kits, that were in the Sales half price.  My motto – never pay full price when you can get a bargain.

One of the kits bought was this.  I suspect it was reduced because of the colour, rather than the style.  It’s very red!


Ref: CR063K.  Kit comes with pattern (in English, French & Italian), 3 x 50g of myboshi yarn, a myboshi label and a 6mm hook.  First impressions . . . hook & yarn are excellent quality.  The pattern . . . claims on the packaging that this is suitable for beginners (of which I am one)  but I felt it could have been written more clearly.

Pattern called for (UK terms) double crochet and half treble.  Also recommended stitching in round, using slip stitch and chain at the end of each round, but I chose to crochet in a spiral (as I’ve learned to do with amigurumi). 

After many false starts (during which I tried to get to grips with the instructions, and then just decided to do it my way) . . . I ended up with


A slouchy beanie . . .


which, in my opinion, looked absolutely HUGE.  I’d followed instructions and crocheted the correct number of rounds.  Beanie was quite a good fit around the head (so I don’t think it was a problem of tension), but there was just too much “slouching” going on.

After modelling on eldest son, who came up for Easter . . . I therefore unravelled 5 rounds and the slouch now looks like this


Probably a little less of a slouch than in the kit photo . . . but eldest son said this was more like it. You will notice, this isn’t eldest son modelling the beanie.  A shame, because it looked rather good on him.  No, I’ve acquired a head . . . actually a couple of heads lol.

I mentioned to my brother-in-law that I was going to be hooking beanies, and asked if he happened to have a spare dummy head in his garage.  If you knew my brother-in-law, you’d know this request is not strange at all.  He has the wierdest of things in his garage . . . and he just happened to have a head. 

Head which was originally a practice head for apprentice hairdressers . . . but had obviously seen better days because hair was hacked off unevenly.  I got out the electric clippers and shaved everything off.

GI Jane

And GI-Jane is therefore the one to be modelling the slouchy.

However . . . I had also seen some cheap plastic heads on sale on the internet.  Bought one . . . and got a huge surprise when my parcel arrived because seller sent me two for the price of one!


Two heads are better than one, as they say . . . and three are even better – yay.


I’m rather pleased with this trio.  They don’t all have the same head circumference.  I’ve placed them in order of size (left to right) so all will come in useful at some point as models.  Yep, you’ve guessed . . . I’m suddenly enthusiastic about beanies!  Adult kids and partners have already been warned (after the Adopt-a-chick scheme) . . . they’ll all be getting beanies for Christmas lol.

adopt-a-chick # amigurumi

I had so much fun, earlier this month, hooking up a whole batch of chicks.  I know . . . little things . . .  Anyway, after my first little amigurumi chick, in March, I decided that my adult off-spring (and partners) would get a laugh if I sent them one for Easter . . . so I did.

The “Adopt-a-chick” scheme began to take shape in my head and here’s what I got up to.

adopt a chick boxed 01

This photo, just for fun . . . but the following photo is an example of what was sent

adopt a chick boxed 02

Each chick was boxed up with enough chocolate money to stop them from starving to death during transportation . . . and, as you can see, they all hatched before Easter Sunday.  Each chick was also posted with an adoption certificate – duly filled out with the name of adoptive parent and name of chick.

And I tried to personalise each chick, for the person I was sending to.

adopt a chick

Here is the batch I hooked . . . short hair for the men, long hair for the gals, except for that one with a mane of red hair . . . that’s a boy chick, called Rufus, and he was made for second son.  If I show you the following photo, you’ll understand why.