I've gone into January hibernation mode. Knuckling down and exploring my stash. And finding that I have a few unfinished projects! but foronce I'm not going to worry about that. Why get restricted by what I should be finishing and just let inspiration and my mood take me? Saying that, after all the Christmas hat-knitting and gift-making was out the way, I have managed to finish some projects hip hip hoorah! But I have been enjoying just picking up a hook on a whim and making something selfish. And here's the result of some stash raiding.
A wee hot water bottle- the perfect womb warmer! I took some stash yarn round to my friend Erin's one rainy afternoon and really loved choosing colours at random to hook up these teeny granny squares. I've used it a LOT over the past few weeks, popping it on my lap to warm my hands up when I'm crocheting. One day I'll get around to writing out the pattern for you.
Next up... on my stash-busting escapades (I do like a good stash bust at the start of the year, it makes me feel productive. Do you?)...
My friend's daughter turned two a couple of weeks ago, so I spent a very enjoyable week or so hooking up some crochet play food for her to use in her IKEA play kitchen. Some of the vegetable patterns were from an early Mollie Makes, and some of the fried breakfast was fresh from my own creative brain, but most of the free crochet food patterns came from Swedish website Jarbo. Unfortunately the patterns are in Swedish so I had to learn how to read a Swedish crochet pattern! It was a fun challenge and little Alexa loves her play food.
Although I have been stash busting, I have picked up a couple of projects that were started last year.
Here's beautiful George modelling something I've been finishing off over the past couple of weeks. The pattern is from Cute and Easy Crochet Baby clothes, and I used King Cole Merino Blend Aran in Fern. I really wanted to buy George a little Boden knitted jacket with ears, but it was out of stock for weeks and weeks, so I decided to just make one myself. I added the little bear ears. It keeps George SO warm! And not so bulky as the huge winter coat I bought for his brother three years ago. Layers work better for babies I think. I've since added another row of wooden buttons like the pattern. I struggled with this pattern (again, I seem to have a problem with patterns from this book) but made it work eventually after much cursing and frogging. It actually came together rather nicely at the end, and the 6-12 month size fits him perfectly so will be great to take us through to the (hopefully) warmer seasons.
I also FINALLY finished my Granny Chic string bag! I started this waaaaaay back in the summer, when I spotted this gorgeous emerald green Annell Cotton 8 yarn. However, I struggled to get this type of yarn to work and ended up frogging several time before I worked a flat circle my own way for the base, then followed the pattern instructions in Granny Chic to finish it off. I also made the adorable flower from vintage fabrics and notions from my Granddad's sewing box. I have used it and can confirm that it IS like the tardis- so don't put heavy items in! It looks lovely hanging up on a door handle though!
After finishing George's jacket I whipped up this rather lovely jar jacket, inspired by my friend Erin. I used some mint green yarn, embroidered the word 'needles' onto some vintage fabric and added the odd buttons whilst watching Wallander (the Branagh version). From pasta jar to neat knitting needle storage in one day!
I also loved making up the Mollie Makes cover kits this month. I adore my Hettie and Dave brooch!...
...And even used my crochet lace collar kit to pimp a cardi.
Of course I have started some brand new projects too. I'm back to work now George is 9 months old, so easing with some new pattern design commissions. I can't wait to see what 2014 will bring, I am brimming with so many ideas. I just wish I had the time to crochet them all! I will soon share what I'm up to. I'm still teaching workshops at Make, do and Mend so do check the tab for dates for 2014, and visit the website if you want inspiration for learning new skills. You could learn how to make some stunning jewellery with Charlotte of Lotts and Lots, make a lampshade with surface pattern designer Georgia Coote, or even learn the art of paper cutting with the tremendous Queenie Dot. I plan to do some sewing workshops this year, and aim to improve my knitting skills too.
Here's a little sneak preview of something I am working on at the moment...
Happy new year and happy new hooking!