Category Archives: Crochet

A Little Extra – Happy Crocheting Bag

As promised, another prize!  Would you like a Crocheting Bag?  Part of my Planet Penny campaign is for regular newsletters, so I’m launching this latest one with a chance to win a fabulous bag to carry your stash.

Would you like to see?Happy Crocheting Bag

There’s loads of room for your yarn stash, hooks and patterns and a handy shoulder strap for travelling.  You can find the bag to buy at Happy Crocheting but I have one to give away exclusively to Newsletter subscribers.  All you have to do is to click the yellow button to  subscribe and reply to the newsletter with ‘Yes, please!’ to enter the draw, it’s that simple.

subscribe

And, in the meantime don’t forget there is still time to enter the draw for the Crochet Therapy book as seen in the bag above.  Just comment on the post here

So just a little post, but full of goodies.  Make sure you are in with a chance to win either the crocheting bag or the book, I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

See you soon…x

Crochet Scarflet – Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky

A little while ago I was asked if I would like a sample of a new yarn to try  (I’m sure you can guess my answer!) and the postman duly delivered a gorgeous ball of soft sea green loveliness, Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky, a mix of 75% wool and 25% true hemp.

Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky - SeaIt’s sometimes a problem to find just the right pattern to show off a sample, isn’t it?  I really didn’t want to just knit a swatch to look at, I wanted a ‘thing’, and a lovely one at that. Fortunately, in the wee small hours one night, Madame Serendipity came to call and I came up with a pattern which I think ticks all the boxes.

It’s simple, it’s cosy and makes use of every scrap of the 100gms of the Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky.  I couldn’t ask for more.  So without further ado, just a quick Ta – DAAA… may I present my Chunky Scarflet with Pompom…Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky Scarflet …or button…Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky scarflet with buttonor even a pin…Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky scarflet with pinIt’s a really quick and simple weekend project suitable for all skill levels and a perfect little snuggler to pop in your handbag in case of unexpected Autumn chills.  The yarn is lovely to work with and makes up very quickly.  I used a 7mm hook, didn’t have any problems with splitting and the yarn is soft and light.

I am working on writing basic instructions in much the same way that I did for last year’s crochet sweater so if you are interested do let me know in the comments.   The Rowan Hemp Tweed Chunky yarn itself is available for pre-order from the online knitting and crochet shop Laughing Hens and there are eight fabulous colours (so maybe I need to make one to match everything I wear!)

It’s been a busy summer and I’ve missed being here but I have that September ‘New Term’ feeling coming up (does it ever go away?) and lots of things to share.

I’ll be back soon…x

An office in the sun!

Well, this is a rare occurrence,  Higgins and I have moved outside.  We’re on the veranda outside the studio, there’s blue sky, sunshine, flowers, birdsong…What could be better?office_in_the_sun

Only last week we were huddled under a blanket (in Higgins case, three blankets) watching the rain lash down so I’m making the most of every minute now.

There is just one weekend left of Open Studios here in Norfolk and it’s been good, as usual.  Really nice to meet the people who come to visit who are really interested in what we do, and in who, in turn, have interesting stories to tell.  Higgins has been working well with the meeting and greeting, he even had an assistant!Higgins&CocoIt did get very tiring in the end though…tired Higgins

I have been been diligent in my decluttering efforts.  So many things which I have made in order to create patterns, but eventually I have to reluctantly part with them in order to make room in the studio, and in my head, for new ideas.

It’s not easy! The knitting mobile has been sold…Knitters Mobile from Planet Penny

it’s off to Germany as a present.

And the Hearts and Flowers Mobile is off to grace a little ones bedroom which is lovely.  It’s nice to know it will have a good home.

Hearts and Flowerts Mobile from Planet PennyQuite a few little needlefelted pieces have been sold too, although I’m not going to part with Clover the sheep!

Flock of needlefelt sheep - Planet Penny

Clover is the one in the middle!

So if you are in the area next weekend do call in.  There’s bunting and baubles and fairy lights and books too!  I’m never going to rival decluttering queen Marie Kondo, but I’m trying!

Back soon…x

And the winner is…Daylight Lamp

This grey and gloomy day seems a very good time to announce the winners of the Daylight Lamp Giveaway.  It’s going to brighten the days of the two lucky recipients Gail and Pauline!Smart Light D20 - Daylight company Daylight Lamp

The main prize was won by Gail.  I love her description of the sort of winter days I enjoy most…

“I live in a town called Horsham, in the south East of England. The thing I love most about winter is the frosty mornings, when all the cobwebs are highlighted in droplets of water, when you  can see frost patterns on the window panes and best of all when you see the children on the way to school breathing out just so they can see their breath. It’s just magical.” 

…I just hope we get a few of these mornings soon and not the wet and windy gloom which we are currently enduring in the UK… I think Gail is going to need her Daylight Lamp!

If you have noticed I have been conspicuous by my bloggy absence, please forgive me. We’ve had a special delivery in the family, my very first granddaughter, and I’ve been somewhat distracted…

crochet blanket

I can only take credit for the blanket! crochet blanket - Daylight Lamp Giveaway

See you soon…x

crochet sweater without a pattern

Crochet Sweater Crib Sheet

May I present, as promised, the Crochet Sweater Crib Sheet…ta DAH!

 Making garments using basic squares and rectangles is how we first clothed ourselves, and crochet is particularly suited to being a bit experimental.  With knitting, you have everything bunched up on the needles and have to wait till casting off to see exactly what is going on.  With crochet however, you can stop at anytime to make decisions and adjustments.

I’ve made little garments for little people this way before, but this is the first time I’ve made something my size, and it worked well.  (I’m wearing my sweater as I type!)

So this isn’t a pattern, it’s a crib sheet.  I hope it sets you off experimenting with different yarns, and shapes and sizes.  This particular crochet sweater was made using Aran weight yarn, a 5.5mm hook using a treble crochet stitch (US double crochet) but as long as you stick to the basic rules with your tension square and some basic arithmetic you could use any yarn, any stitch for any size.

Be prepared to buy enough yarn to finish the project.  I admit you have to guess, my version took 16 and a half balls.  It all depends on the yarn.  Be on the generous side and you can always make a matching hat!

It all hangs on the tension: match the yarn to the hook, choose your stitch and work a tension sample , not too small, about 30 stitches (I know, I hate tension squares too but it must be done!)The most important measurement is the width – the length is decided by the number of rows worked.  From this you can see how many stitches there are per inch/cm.

tension - crochet sweater crib sheet - no need for a patten

Draw a plan.  The garment is based on rectangles so draw a simple design as shown:-

crochet sweater crib sheet - no need for a pattern

Take some measurements:  The simplest way is to use a garment you feel comfortable in around the hip and shoulders, lay it flat and measure this across its widest part; this will give you the width of the garment.  Don’t forget, it’s meant to be loose, casual and slouchy! Write this on your plan.

Do a sum!: For example…If your sample shows you have 12 stitches per 4”/10cm and your required width is 24”/61cm then 24 ÷ 4 = 6 and 6 x 12st = 72st.

Back: Make a chain of your number of stitches plus 2. Miss 2 ch and work in treble crochet (US double crochet) to end, turn.

Starting with 2ch on each row and working the last st into the top of the 2 ch continue to crochet until the back is your desire length.  Fasten off.

Front: Work as back until 4 rows short.  Work 22 tr, turn and work the last 3 rows on these stitches, decreasing at the neck edge twice.  Rejoin the yarn on the other side and repeat.  Fasten off.

Stitch together the front and back at the shoulders and slip over your head.  Ignore the comments about Clint Eastwood.

Decide how deep you would like the armholes to be and mark with a pin.  Remove the sweater, then stitch together from the armhole to the bottom edge, leaving a slit of a few rows if you like.crochet sweater without a pattern

Sleeves: With right sides facing and starting at the under arm with 2ch, crochet round the armhole as before and join with a slip stitch. (with treble crochet it works out about 2 stitches in the side of each stitch)  Turn for next and subsequent rows as this forms the texture to match the body of the sweater (working in rounds looks very different) Keep on working until the sleeve is the desired length (just keep trying it on till you are happy with it) work a bit more if you like a turn back cuff. If your armhole is quite deep as mine was, work a couple of decreases in alternate rows at the start just to narrow the sleeve slightly.

Then make the other sleeve just the same way.

Neck: Pick up and crochet a couple of rows round the neck edge and try on.  You might like it wide and slouchy in which case 2 rows may be enough. I went for 6 rows and then finished with Crab Stitch.  This is double crochet (US sc) worked from left to right rather than right to left. It’s a little awkward to start with but not difficult.  It’s one of my favourite edging stitches.  There’s a useful You Tube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE-ObvYb_Pk

crochet sweater crib sheet - crochet a sweater without a pattern

I hope you enjoy being a bit experimental with your crochet sweater or whatever else you choose to make. You can download the Crochet Sweater Crib Sheet here

Have fun…!

SUBSCRIBE,  and never miss out on new patterns, ideas and inspiration!

Crochet sweater - Planet Penny

A crochet sweater for Autumn

The autumn equinox, the first day of autumn…It seems a really good day to unveil my hunky, chunky crochet sweater!

As mentioned in my last post, this crochet sweater was inspired by a Frank & Olive Crochet pattern. However I had different yarn, I was making a different size, I wanted a different neck and longer sleeves and so I had to basically make it up as I went along!

The yarn is  Merino Blend Aran superwash wool (anti tickle too!) by King Cole in a gorgeous shade of Aubergine, bought from the Wool Warehouse. (I love buying from the Wool Warehouse, the yarn arrives in a gauzy drawstring bag which makes every purchase feel like a pressie!)

So there isn’t a pattern as such, but if you would like a crib sheet of how I worked it out I’m very happy to share so please let me know if you are interested.

crochet sweater detail

neck – edged with crab stitch

crochet sweater detail - side slits

detail – side slits

crochet sweater - Planet PennyIt’s exactly what I need for cold winter days in the studio, and there’s just about room for Higgins too!

So do leave a comment if you want to know more.

And I’d also like to ask for a little feedback from anyone who has subscribed to follow Planet Penny by email.  The widget appears to be misbehaving!  If you have arrived here because you’ve received the email, brilliant, can you tell me it’s working for you? If you have been expecting an email, haven’t received one and have arrived accidentally to see where I’m hiding, can you tell me that too?  I will need some ammunition so I can go and moan at someone! Thank you, lovelies…

I shall be back here soon with a review, and news of a super duper giveaway on the newsletter so please sign up for that.  I know that bit is in good working order!

See you soon..x

Edited to add: link to the crib sheet here

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