Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Summer Holidays 2018

Hello lovelies!

I have been having a 'gentle' summer.

I haven't exactly been lazy but just trying to take it easy on myself. 

Almost immediately after Christmas, we followed the Parental Units 10 hours north to their little slice of heaven in Mollymook on the south coast of NSW.

 I took with me a beautiful skein of Manos del Uruguay Alegria grande which is a worsted weight yarn.

 The Motherships' evil/ adorably strange looking cat Tiki watched enviously as I wound the ball of yarn...

 I started making these circle popcorny things. I rather like them. But I'm really not sure what to use them for. My original thought was to make a small shoulder bag, the kind you sling around your neck, just big enough for my phone for when we went on jaunts to the beach. 

I know it's not cool to take phones to the beach because you're supposed to be enjoying the nature and stuff, but I love having it handy to take ALL OF THE PHOTOS!!!! 

You may or may not have noticed two refreshing glasses of cool liquid in both my yarn photos. This does not indicate Louise is being healthy and hydrating with a cool glass of water with a slice of lemon.

It means it's late afternoon and therefore Gin O'Clock and Louise has helped herself to a gin & elderflower cocktail....

The Parental Units love cooking. A gene I did not inherit. Here is the Fatherdom making pasta for the lasagne we had later that evening.

My Auntie Horse Whisperer has also now settled in town and expanded her collection of miniature ponies and horses to start a sweet pony party business called Wendy's Pony Parties.

I don't love horses. They can bite, kick, and generally when I ride a full sized horse or pony, I feel WAY too far away from solid land on a moving thing I can't control. 

But these ponies and mini horses were so freaking adorable!! And super friendly! They just wanted pats and cuddles!

We only had one week, then it was back in the car for the long drive home.

And it was time to get our party shoes on. One of Bears friends is in an 80s style metal band and does rock festival promotions. So when he proposed to his lovely lady a while back, they decided to have a Weekend Rock Festival Wedding...
We packed the campertrailer, slipped on our party dresses and hit the road...

Trying on my wedding outfit.  Do you see that lovely sparkly pendant? It was made for me by my lovely bloggy buddy Vicki from Off The Hook For You at one of her Makers Cabin classes!

Rocknroll Brides and Grooms get married on stage....
 It was a blistering 42 degrees celcius that day, until a cool change swept in at 6pm. The temperature dropped down to 25c straight away. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset, then listened to live bands and DJs till we stumbled back to our campertrailer (others had tents) to sleep.

I'm very lucky as I have been able to take the summer off work (with my long service leave) to spend time with my boys and try and continue to heal.

I have given myself a break from designing crochet patterns for a little while. This is hard because I always have ideas running through my head!  

A little while ago I started making granny squares with this beautiful yarn called Moda Vera Fayette which now I think is no longer stocked (insert sad face here). I made just enough for a wrap which I envisioned wearing when I want to pop out on a cool, but not cold evening. 

I finally finished the 80 something squares (in between lots of knitted sock making), and have now started sewing them together...
Apologies for the dark photo....

The yellow is a bit 'muddier' than I would have liked which I feel makes the overall colours a little duller but once it has been sewn and blocked, I'll take it out into the sunshine for a photo!
Thanks for visiting! 


The Red Haired Amazona

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Sweet peas, anxiety, some crochet, anxiety & Spring!

I've been less bloggy this year.

Sometimes bloggers get a little burnt out. Or lose inspiration.

Maybe they get bored of blogging.

I have been none of those things.

I have had a busy year. I moved house. I went overseas. And sadly we lost a very much loved family member in August.  

I do miss my old house & suburb. How empty it looked in this photo from May.

Sometime around Autumn ( April) I started feeling not great.

I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Then I felt very not great and thought I had asthma. 

Then I started developing chest pains and this awful feeling as if a vice was tightening around my chest.  It was pretty scary.

One doctor thought I had asthma.

But the ventolin made me feel a bit yucky.  

It got worse very quickly where I thought I was going crazy.

Another doctor said I could have a bronchitis thing and gave me antibiotics.

I went to a new doctor.  One who didn't throw antibiotics or ventolin at me.  She said I had Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

How ridiculous!  This wasn't me.  I'm no nutjob!  
I survived being married to a horrendous excuse for a human being for 10 years. 
I survived daggy hairstyles and pinafore dresses inflicted upon me by my mother in the 70s.
I survived being bullied through high school.  
I survived horrendous fashion choices in the early 1990s. 
I was a happy, optimistic chicky babe!

I believed I was one of the strongest, most resilient people I knew.

Apparently my brain had other ideas.  It started having a little melt down WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!  
And it wouldn't stop when I told it to.

I developed a phobia. I thought phobias were things that only affect people on current affairs shows. The type of people who ate cardboard and talked to walls.

I would wake up in the morning and struggle to get out of bed. I would barely be able to take Sonofagun No.2 to school.  

My new doctor was AMAZING.  She is this delicious portuguese goddess. I call her Dr Va-va Voom (or Dr VVV for short). She's like a tornado of exuberance and emotion. I walk into her clinic and she's like:



And then she grabbed my hands, looked straight in my eyes and said,


Do you know what it feels like when someone takes you completely onboard when you've been feeling like a lost soul in a stormy ocean with nothing to grasp onto?

So I was blood tested, inspected, detected and selected.  And whether this is the cause or just something else, it turns out I was very deficient in Vitamin D (so much for redheads generating their own!), magnesium and B. 

Now I'm on huge doses of those, I drink passionflower tea like it's going outta style and every couple of weeks take myself off to a psychologist who has entirely different ideas about what started this thing.

For some reason though, whenever I work in my garden I feel ok for a little while.

And the garden has totally benefited from my devotion!

Back in April BC (before crazy), and before I moved into Bears house, we installed a trellis and sowed Sweet Pea seeds.

They started to grow.

Months later Spring finally arrived and the sweet peas began to really move.

 The first flowers on the 4th of October...

Now these sweet peas are over 6ft tall.  The flowers are still slowly coming on but smell AMAZING!

We're only a week or two away from a strawberry harvest (under the netting), a month away from tomato picking, and are already eating the rainbow chard and lettuces.

And see this ugly patch?  Next weekend we will roll out some turf.

The Piggies get lots of fresh chard and weeds.


This morning I woke at about 6.30am.  I began getting that yucky feeling that usually means a panic attack was about to start. No reason why. Just because my brain is intent on pissing me off and being a jerk face.

So do you know what I did?  I started telling myself:

I am the Queen and this is my Queendom.

What a weird thing to think!

It came out of nowhere.

And by Queendom I was thinking of our house. Our garden. Our family. 

I ran that thought on rotation for a few minutes and strangely felt really good.
I don't think this is supposed to work that way. But this morning, on this occasion, it worked.

I got out of bed, had a shower, took Sonofagun No.2 to swimming lessons and felt like the Queen of today.
And then I bought some more seedlings.

 I am still crocheting everyday. I am currently working on a project with some beautiful variegated yarn. I'm making lots of lovely basic granny squares which I think may end up as a shawl.  I'm actually not sure yet!

I am also onto my 2nd pair of knitted socks!

But because some days are still not so great, it will take longer for me to publish patterns and be funny in blogland for a little while as I take things one day at a time.


The Red Haired Amazona

Monday, 21 August 2017

Twinkle Star Hand Mitts

A few years ago I crocheted myself a pair of these snug hand mitts designed by Lucy from Attic 24.

As you can tell, they've had a lot of use!

It was a super easy pattern and there are LOADS of variations out there in the interwebs.

Then recently a hole appeared.

I was totes devo* (as the youth of today say).

*totally devastated, inconsolable, grief stricken, my heart had broken into a million pieces

I was about to make another pair the same. I loved them. They were warm, but left my fingers free to handle keys, type sms, pick my nose and all the other things you need fingers for.

Yes, I do complain about the cold but it doesn't get super dooper freezing down here in Melbourne. So I don't need to hide my little typing, handling, picking fingers in chunky gloves.

And you know me. I get a little creative, experimental, sometimes psycho. But this time just the first two.

So here just for you is yet another scrumdiddiliumptious FREE tutorial for my latest pair of mitts!

Would you like to make some? Awesome!

So let's get started!

For this pair, I have chosen Peacock inspired colours of purples, blues and teals, with a splash of pink and silver.  But you can choose to use any colour combo you like such as the pinky, blue ones in the photo above.

What will you need?

* a combination of 8ply cotton yarns in the colours listed in the chart below, or your own choices.  The silver thread will probably be acrylic.

Colour A


Colour B

Hot Pink

Colour C

Mid Pink

Colour D


Colour E


Colour F


Colour G


Colour H

Navy Blue

* a 4mm crochet hook
* a 3.5mm crochet hook
* scissors
* a darning needle

Stitch Abbreviations
(U.S. Crochet terms are used)   




Double crochet


Finish off


Half double crochet


long half double crochet


Single crochet






Slip stitch



For this pattern, we will be working strictly right to left. At the end of each row, after you finish off a colour, DO NOT TURN!!!  You join the new colour back at the beginning of the previous row.
This creates a definite 'front' and 'back' side to your fabric. 

This applies for all rows EXCEPT THE STAR STITCH ROWS. (Sorry, didn't mean to yell in All Caps!)
For the Star Stitch rows only, we will turn and work on the wrong side of the fabric.

Let's get started!

Generally I create a starting chain in groups of 6 + 3. So for my mitt below, I crocheted a starting chain of 39 {6 x 6 + 3}.

To make one a little wider, you could crochet a starting chain of 6 x 7 + 3 = 45.
To make one a little narrower, you could crochet a starting chain of 6 x 5 + 3 = 33
This simply ensures the shell rows and star stitch rows all work out nicely. If you wish to deviate from this stitch count, then adjust your pattern accordingly.

Starting Chain: Take your 4mm hook, and crochet a starting chain of 39 stitches.
Do not finish off. SWITCH TO THE 3.5mm HOOK!
Crochet hand mitts
The Starting Chain
Row 1: Starting from the 3rd ch from the hook, sc in each stitch across. FO. [37sc] 
Crochet hand mitts
Row 1


Row 2: Join Colour B. Ch 1, sc in same st, *(sk 2 st, 5dc in next st, sk 2 st, sc in next st).
Repeat from * to the end. FO. [6 shells, 7 sc = 37st]

Crochet hand mitts
Row 2

Row 3: Join Colour C. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), then 2 dc in base of beg ch3. Sk 2 st, sc in 3rd dc of Row 2 Shell (middle dc of shell), *(sk 2 st, 5dc in sc of previous row, sk 2 st, sc in next st which is the middle st of R2 shell).
Repeat from * 6 times, then sk 2 st, 3dc in last st. FO. [5 shells, 2 x 1/2 shells, 6sc = 37 st]

Crochet hand mitts
Row 3
Row 4: Join Colour D. Ch1, sc in same st. *(Ch1, sk next st, sc in next st).
Repeat from * to the end. Sc in last st. FO. [19sc, 18ch = 37st]

Crochet hand mitts
Row 4
Row 5: Join Colour E. Ch1, sc in same st. *(Sc in Ch1 sp, ch1, sk next st). Repeat from * to the last Ch1 sp, then also sc in last st. FO. [20 sc, 17 ch = 37st]

crochet hand mitts
Row 5
Row 6: Join Colour F. Repeat Row 4. FO.

crochet hand mitts
Beginning of Row 6
crochet hand warmers mitts gloves cotton
Row 6

crochet gloves mitts mittens hand warmers cotton
Deciding what colours go next...

Row 7: Join Colour D. Repeat Row 4. FO.

Crochet mitts gloves hand warmers mittens cotton
Row 7
Row 8: Join Colour G. Ch1, then in base of same stitch: Lhdc in the sc of R6 right between the 'posts' of the stitch, *(sc in next st, then in the Ch1 sp from row 7, crochet a lhdc down into the row 6 single crochet right between the posts. See photo below).
Repeat from * to the end, finishing with a Lhdc. FO. [19 lhdc, 18sc = 37st]

crochet hand warmers mittens mitts gloves cotton
Row 8: Close up of the long half double crochet stitch placed between the posts of the single crochet from Row 6

Spike stitch crochet hdc sc mitts gloves
Tah-dah! Not so hard is it!

spike stitch half double crochet hdc gloves mitts
And then the single crochet stitch in the next sc...
Row 9: Join Colour H. Repeat Row 2. FO.

fan stitch crochet gloves mitts
Row 9

Row 10: Join Colour F. Repeat Row 3. FO. 
fan stitch basic crochet cotton 8 ply mitts gloves
Row 10
*******The Star Stitch Rows*******
Rightio! Do you know how to crochet the Star Stitch? if you don't, you will shortly.
Remember how we have been working on one side of the fabric only? For these next star stitch rows, we will be turning and working the half double crochet rows on the back side of the fabric.
After you finished Row 10, join Colour 'A' AT THE END OF ROW 10, then turn to begin Row 11.
Row 11: Ch2 (counts as 1st hdc), then hdc in each st across. Turn. [37hdc]
star stitch marguerite crochet gloves mitts
Row 11: the 1st row of the star stitch
Let's walk step by glorious step to make our stars!

Row 12:
Step 1: Chain 3

star stitch tutorial marguerite stitch crochet gloves mitts hand warmers
Row 12  Step 1: let's take this a little at a time....

Step 2: Insert hook into the 2nd chain from the hook...

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: Step 2

Step 3: and pull up a loop.  You should now have 2 loops on the hook.
star stitch tutorial crochet hand mitts gloves
Row 12: Step 3
Step 4: Insert hook into the 3rd chain from the hook...

star stitch tutorial gloves crochet mitts
Row 12: Step 4
Step 5: and pull up a loop. You should now have 3 loops on the hook.

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: Step 5
Step 6: Insert hook into the 1st st of the previous row (at the base of the ch3) and pull up a loop. You should now have 4 loops on the hook.

Row 12: Step 6
Step 7: Insert hook into the 2nd st and pull up a loop. You should now have 5 loops on the hook.
Row 12: Step 7.
Step 8: Insert hook into the 3rd st and pull up a loop. You will now have 6 loops on the hook.
Row 12: Step 8. Woah! Look at all those loops!
Step 9: Yarn over, and pull through all 6 loops leaving 1 loop left on the hook.

star stitch tutorial marguerite stitch crochet mitt
Row 12: Half a star!
Step 10: Chain 1. This will make the 'eye' of the star.

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: See that little circle? That's the 'eye' of the star!
Step 11: Stick your hook into the 'eye' of the star which you just finished...

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: stick your hook right in his eye!!!

Step 12: and pull up a loop. You should now have 2 loops on the hook. 
Now look carefully for the spike!  See that last spike from the star you just finished? Look at the photo below...
Row 12: See that big arrow? Pointing at the 'spike'? That's the spike we mean!
Step 13: Insert the hook into that last spike...

Row 12: Inserting the hook...
Step 14: and pull up a loop. You should now have 3 loops on the hook.

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: You did it! Well, that small bit anyway...
Step 15: Insert the hook into the stitch at the base of that last spike. Then pull up a loop. 
You will now have 4 loops on the hook.

Row 12: 4 loops on the hook
Step 16: Insert hook into the next st and pull up a loop. You will now have 5 loops on the hook.

star stitch tutorial
Row 12: 5 loops

Step 17: Insert hook into next stitch and pull up a loop. You will now have 6 loops on the hook.

Step 18: Yarn over, and pull through all 6 loops leaving 1 loop left on the hook.

Step 19: Chain 1. This will make the 'eye' of the star.

Repeat Steps 11-19 for each little star all the way to the end.

For the very last star in the row, make sure you use the very last stitches including the turning chain from the previous row, and you should end up with 18 little half stars.

Remember we will be turning and working back along for the next row to finish the stars, so after the last star: turn!

Row 13: Ch2 (counts as 1st hdc), hdc in same st, then crochet 2 hdc in each 'eye' of the star of the previous row all the way to the end, finishing with 1 hdc in the last stitch. [37st]

Row 13: Working along the back side of the fabric, See how there's 2 hdcs in each eye?

Row 14: Repeat Row 12. [18 stars]

Row 15: Repeat Row 13 [37hdc]

Row 16: Repeat Row 12 [18 stars]

Row 17: Repeat Row 13 [37 hdc]

Row 18: Repeat Row 12 [18 stars]

Row 19: Repeat Row 13. FO. You will be finishing on the 'back' side of the work. Now turn over and we will continue to work on the 'front' side only from right to left.

Close up of the finished star stitch rows including the hdc rows.

Once you've finished Row 19, this is what the 'front side' of the work will look like.

star stitch back of work hand mitts
After you've finished Row 19, this is what the 'back side' of the work looks like. A bit weird and lumpy. Don't worry, it will all be hidden when we've finished.
Row 20: Join Colour F. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), then from the next st, dc in each st to the end. FO. [37 dc]

Row 20. Just dcs. Nothing crazy!
Row 21: Join Colour H. Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), then dc in same st. Sk 2 st *(3dc in next st, sk 2 st).
Repeat from * to the end, then work just 2dc in last st. FO [37dc]

granny stitch row crochet hand warmers
Row 21 is just a granny stripe row
Row 22: Join Colour D. Ch1 (does not count as 1st st). Sc in same st and in each st across to the end. FO. [37 sc]

single crochet hand mitts warmers crochet silver
Row 22
Row 23: Join Colour C. Repeat Row 4. FO. [19sc, 18ch = 37st]

Row 24: Join Colour E. Repeat Row 5. FO. [20 sc, 17ch = 37st]

Row 25: Join Colour A. Repeat Row 4. FO. [ 19sc, 18ch = 37st]

Tah- dah!
 Now sew in your threads if you didn't do it along the way, and block if you're a blocker.
I did as the star stitch rows make things go a little wonky.  I just pinned it out and gave it a light spritz with a water spray bottle.

Once you're ready to sew them together, fold in half with front or 'right' sides together.

Then using either the main colour cotton, carefully hand stitch along where indicated below, leaving a gap for your thumb.

I usually leave the gap from the top of the star stitch rows to about 2-2.5 rows down. Then place a stitch marker to indicate where I'm going to start stitching again.

And that's one done!  Now make another!

The cotton is washable and lightweight but cosy.