striped myboshi beanie

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

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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

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

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

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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.

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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!

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!

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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

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A slouchy beanie . . .

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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

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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!

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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oh what a beautiful week!

I don’t know about you, but weather in our corner of France has been amazing this week!  For early April, you could easily be mistaken into thinking it was summer.  Skies have been blue, the sun has been out every day and I have been sitting out in the garden in my summer clothes!  Yes!  Sleeveless tunics, dashing bright orange knee-length leggings.  Sunglasses definitely called for.

Husband has been very industrious in the veggie patch, but I haven’t taken any photos of his plantations yet.  He’s planted 18 tomato plants, 6 brocoli, 3 fennel, and hopes to get more plants in this coming week.  Seeds planted (radish & roquette) are already sprouting, but my beetroot haven’t come up yet.  Strawberry plants are in flower, raspberries bushes are budding . . . and cherry, apricot, and pear trees have all blossomed and mini fruits are in preparation. 

Everything seems incredibly early this year!  Even the Lily of the Valley is showing signs of buds.

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And just look at these lovely  lilac blooms

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Anyway, as I said, I’ve been sitting out in the garden, but keeping hands busy.  My most recent crochet project is

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A little owl necklace purse – yay!  This is a design by the very talented Janine Holmes of Moji-Moji Designs.  You can find the pattern for this project in her free tutorials. 

This little fellow only took a few hours to make, and I’m a beginner crocheter.  As usual, I immediately set to work making more . . .

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Colours aren’t very good in the photo.  After the purple one, I’ve begun work on a dark teal and a lilac.  The main work is done.  Just need to make eyes, beaks and assemble. 

Another reason it’s been a beautiful week . . . I celebrated my un-birthday!

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Received this surprise haul from Jess.  One of her cards (she designs and sells cards and cross stitch designs on Etsy) and some lovely bookmarks.  Somes with views of Guernesey (where Jess now lives) and one, is a metallic Korean bookmark.

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Ever so pretty!  So a big thank you Jess !!

easter bunnies amigurumi x2

It’s that time of year . . . when the birds are starting to nest, flowers up budding up everywhere, and shops start to have window displays of lucious chocolate many in the shape of bunnies.

I decided to work on some calory-free bunnies of my own . . . following a pattern by Yum Yarn Crochet Creations available for free on Ravelry.

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Hooking up, first one in baby pink, and then a boy bunny in blue.

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I used the same brand of yarn for both (something bought in a local bargain basement store – 100% acylic) and a 3mm hook for both . . . for some reasion, my tension was tighter (and actually better) on the first one I made: little pink bunny, and got a bit looser on little boy-blue. 

Ears were very fiddly to make but not impossible, and I actually love them.  They’re such a lovely, bunny-ear shape.  So these two little projects to get me into training to tackle something a bit bigger/more complicated.  I haven’t attempted any colour changes yet, so that will be the next thing to try.

# 4 – amigurumi

amigurumi in progress

I’m feeling more comfortable with my crochet hook, and keeping busy.  I’m finding it a nice portable craft – so easy to pick up my bits and take myself out in the garden for some fresh air and vitamin D. 

As you can see, I was busy with yellow yarn . . . following a pattern in one of the books I treated myself to.

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Yep, I bought myself “My First Crochet Book” which is for kids, but just perfect for a novice hooker like myself.  And here’s amigurumi number 4.

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He doesn’t look quite as egg-shaped as the bird in the book, but I think that’s a question of stuffing.  I am confident I followed the pattern correctly this time and even managed the invisible decrease.    He stands 2” tall.    I followed an example found on Moji-Moji Designs in the links with her free pattern of micro-chicks,  and have sewn a 30mm orange button to act as a base, so he can stand up and I added a few tufts on the top of his head so he’s not completely bald. 

third time lucky #3 amigurumi . . . and . . . what a good-looking lad!

Okay everyone, this is the last time you’ll have to admire one of these owlets, I promise. 

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Pattern by A Morning Cup of Jo, and downloadable on Ravelry.  This is my third attempt and this time, I feel I really have nailed it.  My owlet’s eyes are smaller and I’m still not an expert beak embroiderer, but those are minor details  It’s the crochet I was concentrating on. I’ve got the shape right, and the correct number of stitches & rows.  Successfully followed the pattern without having to unravel all the time. 

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Here are my 3 owlets.  Attempts one, two and three.  I crocheted a little loop for them all using DMC Perle cotton, the idea being, to hang them in a tree in the orchard for photos. Unfortunately it was too breezey so I had to make do with laying them on a few logs.

My parliament of owls stands at three with this particular pattern therefore.  That’s not to say I won’t be crocheting more owls in the future.  In fact I will.  But they will be following different patterns.

Weather has been gorgeous these past few days. Gibbs has been enjoying lots of fresh air and play time.  And here is a photo I managed to snap, after one very energetic play session.

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Okay, I know I’m his “Mum”, so I’m biaised . . . but I do think he’s a good-looking lad lol.