Tag Archives: cotton

A pink puppy rattle

If you ask my son what colour he wants of anything, the answer is always “pink!”. Pink milk, pink paint, pink socks. Which is why he thinks this latest little rattle is for him and not someone else!

Pink dog rattle

With the stripes I’m attempting a seamless join, which sort of works – at least it looks less obvious than usual.

The downside to the stripes of course is taking 3 balls of cotton with me and having to untangle them every 5 minutes because I am uncoordinated like that.

I have one more rattle on the horizon, and then there will be a break from them for  a while. Though really I should continue making them in reserve, as even though the actual rattle only takes a few days, I seem to take months on end getting to complete them.

Pattern: Dog rattle by Suzie Fry
Needles: 3.0 mm
Yarn: Yatsal 4 ply cotton in pinks and grey

Pretty headbands

A friend of mine has been considering making button bouquets for her sister’s wedding but also to sell – which led me to offer to make some sample crochet flowers to add into the mix. These flowers are quite easy to make and look absolutely adorable in sets of 2 for headbands.

Sadly, I am destined to have little boys, not little girls, so I’ve decided to try my hand at selling pretty little headbands. Feel free to drop by my madeit shop and have a browse!

I’m back!

So after a bit of a break, wherein I got married, went on honeymoon for a month, fell pregnant, had even worse morning sickness than the first time mixed in with a decent bout of depression; I have finally made it back to the land of the living, and crafting and blogging.

I’ve gone from doing nothing at all to suddenly having many projects on the go. All are just variations on a theme really.

Number 1: FINISHED!

A table runner

A table runner for the top of my son’s chest of drawers. I’m not even sure why I’m doing this one, as noone seems to care about a layer between the chest and all the junk, but there you go. This one doesn’t have long to go – it will probably only be 8 stripes in total and is a good one to take in the car or to parks.

Number 2: FINISHED!

cradle rug for baby

A cradle blanket for Baby #2. The benefit of this is that it’s a smaller blanket and therefore more likely that I will finish it before the due date. My one problem is the incredibly steep price of cotton yarn at Lincraft these days, and the fact that noone else seems to be making grey cotton yarn.

Update: Lincraft have had a bit of a sale on, so I stocked up. I ended up buying 5 balls of grey, but am only about to finish the first ball after reaching the halfway mark, so I’ve obviously overestimated there.

Number 3: Haven’t even started

I’m not even sure why I’m making this one, except that I really like the colour combination of sage green, moss green, mid grey, and white. This one will be either a ripple blanket or a star blanket.

Number 4:

I really should finish the christmas tree skirt I started for last year. It only needs a few more rounds on it to fully cover the table that the tree sits on.

Will the dog rattles ever end?

Friends, stop having babies! Yet another baby was born, this time back in April, so I’m quite late on this rattle.

I don’t think my sanity will let me make too many more of these – if any at all. Currently there are another 2 babies on the way, with another possible 3 lurking in the curtains. By which I mean they’re friends who are likely to have a baby in the next year or two, whether they realise it yet or not!

I did give a pair of booties as a 2nd child present, as the family already had one of my rattles. These booties are awesome, and so ridiculously quick to make. So something to think about.

Pattern: Dog rattle by Suzie Fry
Hook: 3.00mm
Yarn: Yatsal 4 ply cotton in purpley plum

Storing wool in humid climates

As you may be aware, I’ve recently moved to Brisbane and as usual in the summer it’s hot and humid a lot of the time. I’ve noticed a few friends have cronic mould problems on walls and furniture, which seem to be aided by clove oil.

I was starting to get a bit worried though about the storage of all my wool, cotton and other yarns. I’m lucky enough to have a craft room, which is under the house and a little bit cooler as it’s all concrete walls, however it’s a bit more open than the proper house upstairs.  There’s also the issue of moths.

I have now conducted some research into this and this is what I have discovered:

  • wool – a protein fibre, attracts mould, high susceptibility to insects, store in low light
  • cotton – a cellulose fibre, attracts mildew, low susceptibility to insects, store in the dark
  • nylon – no issues with mildew or mould, low susceptibility to insects, store in the dark

Storing yarn

  • Ensure yarn is clean
  • Ensure yarn is dry (leave to dry a few days before storing)
  • Ideal storage temperature is 18 to 20 C (65-68F), relative humidity 45-50 percent.
  • If adding mothballs, make sure they’re in a cloth bag, as balls can not directly touch the yarn
  • lavendar and other strong smelling herbs can mask the smell of mothballs
  • Don’t use PVC containers – Safe containers include those made of polyethylene, polyester, and polypropylene, or acid-free cardboard/paper. Can also wrap things in brown paper.
  • air out storage box every few months, and also expose the wool to sunshine
  • don’t cram yarn in – allow room to breathe
  • advice from Ravelry forums suggests
    1. baking wool in the oven or freezing in the freezer for 30mins to kill any possible nasties (one suggestion includes putting the entire stash in the car and leaving it to bake in the sun!)
    2. throw a few drops of cedar essential oil onto a cotton ball and throw it into the ziplock bag with any suspect yarn
    3. for humid climates you can add silica packets to each storage box

Killing critters in your yarn

Cleaning yarn

  • use approved wool wash
  • dry items flat
  • allow a few days to dry before storing as yarn may still contain moisture

Cleaning yarn that’s gone mouldy

  • take wool outside so as not to spread spores around your house
  • brush off any loose mould
  • expose to sunlight for a few hours (approx 3hrs)
  • sunlight kills mould and mildew
  • wash in approved wool wash being careful not to agitate or stress wool as this will make it felt (matt together)
  • dry flat in sun – unravel your balls
  • leave for a few days before storing to ensure all moisture is gone

Some of the resources I found useful:

Reindeer rattle

With only a few hours to go, I finally finished the reindeer rattle! The antlers were the greatest challenge, being so little and also as I couldn’t find a pattern I liked (and because I’m seriously sleep deprived at the moment!).

I’m sharing my antler pattern below, as it’s really not that difficult but sometimes it’s just easier when someone else has already worked out the pattern for you.

Antlers for a reindeer

This reindeer has been hooked in  4 ply cotton with a 3mm hook and I used the Dog Rattle as the base of the rattle.

In an antler appropriate colour, chain 7.
Turn, dc into second chain, dc across (6 dc in total).
Now join the two ends by dc into first chain on other side.
Dc 4 rounds

Now you need to increase to branch out the antlers:
2 dc into first stitch, 1 dc into next, 2 dc into next 2 stitches,1 dc into next, then another 2 dc into the last stitch (10 stitches).

You now divide these into two groups of five for each antler branch. I use my darning needle to show me where the division is, and also because I go a little cross-eyed with small stitches and dark yarn!

For the first antler branch, dc 6 rounds and then tie off. For the second antler branch, dc 4 rounds to get the uneven look, the tie off. I stuffed the bottom part of the antlers before sewing it onto the rattle to help them stand up.

For larger antlers, use a 4mm hook and 8ply yarn, or 5mm hook and 10 ply yarn.

Chain as many as you need for your antler circumference. Turn  and dc into 2nd chain. dc across then join the two ends by dc into first chain on other side.
Dc as many rounds as you need for the height you want for your antlers before they branch off.

  • Just make a note of how many you do, so you can do it the same on the other side.
  • Depending on your antler size, you may want to stuff the bottom now, if if they’re quite large, arrange some wire inside the antlers to keep them standing up

Now you need to increase before branching out for the antlers:

For the little ones I went from 6dc, upto 10dc before then splitting to 5dc for the antler branch. Try to do something similar – increase to almost twice as many stitches, then you’ll halve those stitches to just less than you originally had.

A combination of 2dc in every second or third stitch will get you there, though you will need to do a quick sketch.

You now divide these into two groups for each antler branch. I use my darning needle to show me where the division is, and also because I go a little cross-eyed with small stitches and dark yarn!

For the first antler branch, dc 6 rounds, stuff it, and then tie off. For the second antler branch, dc 4 rounds to get the uneven look, stuff it, then tie off. You can, of course, make them as high as you like.

Pattern: Reindeer Antlers by Erin Douglas
Hook: 3.00mm
Yarn: 4 ply cotton

Protecting the newly polished floorboards

I may have mentioned we’re having a baby, plus we’ve recently bought a house and had the floorboards sanded and polished. Having watched friends’ kids throw things around on their floorboards, I’ve decided to put together a nice collection of softish toys that can be thrown around without any horrible denting of the polish.

So as part of my confinement to the couch I’m attempting to make these blocks. The original pattern uses 13 stitches across, but as my yarn is smaller I chained 14 plus the extra one to turn the corner. I also intend to add a cat-toy bell to the inside. I’m straying from the boring stripes and solid colours of the bella blocks and trying to add ripples etc . The ripples one is 14 chains, but its stretchiness makes for a bigger block and obviously not straight edges. hmmmm.

Pattern: Bella Blocks by Lion Brand Yarn
Hook: 4mm
Yarn: assorted 5ply Coton-A cottons