Tuesday, 17 January 2017

3-6 Month Baby Hat - Free Knitting Pattern

I saved holidays and was lucky enough to finished work on the 21st December and have been waiting for the arrival of my daughter (and still waiting due date was yesterday) during this time my fingers have been on fire knitting and crocheting baby bits and bobs, most have been shared on my Instagram feed, some from existing patterns and some I have designed I hope you have enjoyed seeing them.

One of the patterns I created was for this slouchy style hat, I was inspired to create this as I had seen a lot of hats like this on other peoples Instagram feeds and in the shops and really liked them and I had a ball of yarn I thought would be perfect for it, rather than try and get a pattern to suit my yarn I decided to create one. I haven't converted this in to other sizes so the below relates just to 3-6 month size.

The yarn came before the design, it was something I picked up a year or so ago, I had no idea what to do with it I just liked it :) I would never have guessed I would end up using it to make a hat for my own daughter.

So anyway enough chit chat here it is, I hope you like and if you have any questions or feedback just drop me a mail I am always happy to help; owlinstitches@gmail.com

Yarn: 1x Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots Baby Fashion DK, Shade 0996, 50g
4mm DPNs
2 pompoms

Cast on 70st and split across the DPNs and join to work in the round
Work 5 rows; K1, P1 rib
Knit 6 rows
Purl 6 rows
Knit 6 rows
Purl 6 rows
Knit 6 rows
Purl 6 rows
Knit 18 rows
Cast off

Fold the hat in half and join the two sides of the cast off edge together to close the top.
Attach a pompom to each corner, or an alternative - tassels.

I have done this on DPNs as I didn't want to have a seam in it, but you could easily switch DPNs for straight needles and work in st st, and then reverse st st to create the knit and purl sections


Keeping us waiting

So yesterday was my due date, but no signs of baby yet! She must be far too cosy and who could blame her, with the frost and snow we have had recently.
I am trying to be patient but I am so excited to meet her its not easy, I have about 10 knitting projects on the go too as I just cant keep my focus :)
So yesterday to mark the day and as Beans was off work I got out of the house for a few hours and went shopping and Beans bought me a 'push present' although I haven't actually 'pushed' yet it was nice to go together and pick it and the fact we did it on her due date marked the day nicely (although I would rather have met her), so my push present, I think this is something that has come from America but I'm not sure, basically an excuse to get a gift :) but I wanted a gift I could hand down to my daughter when she is older, to make it personal to her I decided I wanted something around her birthstone, which given she will be here sometime in the next 2 weeks whether that be off her own accord or a forced eviction her birthstone will be Garnet, which is like a red gem, in the end we picked a Pandora Bracelet and I am so pleased with it, it is the January Birthstone edition which came with a heart charm with the birthstone set in it, and we added a further 3 charms, one is her initial (we have had her name picked and have done since about 20 weeks pregnant) and the other two relate to family. No other charms will be added whilst I have it, once it is passed on to her she can add to the charms.

And here it is, and here I am at 40 weeks..... you will see the charm is slightly cropped out, that's because we have kept the name top secret, I don't know how we have managed it but we have so we don't want any guessing now in these final few days :)

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Its Been a While

I know I know I am so rubbish at keeping on top of this blog!
If you follow me on Instagram you will know what I have been up to and that earlier in 2016 I shared some exciting news that me and my husband are expecting our first baby, we are still awaiting her arrival but now at 39+ weeks it will be any day which is very exciting!

On the knitting front I was very fortunate to continue to work with Knit Now Magazine and have a number of fabulous patterns published with them!
And actually yesterday I received a copy of there latest book-a-zine which is a book filled with baby themed knits and it was lovely to see a couple of my patterns made the cut, and my Love a Hug Bear even made the cover!

I promise to try and get better with this blog over 2017 however I cant make any promises with a baby on the way :) so if your on Instagram pop across to my feed and say hello :)
Follow me here

Monday, 2 May 2016

Alphabet Baby Blanket - Free Crochet Pattern

With a coulpe of friends expecting I wanted to create something special for them, both are keeping the sex a suprise so it needed to be neutral,  and I wanted it to be a keepsake and for that a baby blanket it perfect!

I discovered the C2C method last year so thought this was a perfect opportunity to design my own, and this is what I came up with, my alphabet baby blanket;

C2C basically stands for corner to corner as that is how it grows! its is made by creating small squares, these squares are created by doing 4 DC stitches, if you have never tired it before it is so simple, give it a go, you will be hooked!

I have put a link below to some great instructions available on craftsy, but YouTube is also a great resource, just search C2C and you will find loads of video tutorials!


Couple of things to note that I didnt get at the start - the odd rows are the right side and the even rows the wrong side.
You read the chart from the bottom right corner working the odd rows down and the even rows up

My alphabet blanket is made up of 30 small C2C squares which are then joined, 4 are plain so if you have never tried it before they are great to start with and practice,  then the other 26 each have a letter of the alphabet on!

Any standard Double Knit yarn can be used and a 3.5mm hook.

Here is the chart to follow for each square:

The squares are finished with a single chain stitch around the edge and it is this edge that neatens then up and is used to join them.

When you join the squares there are lots of different options, but I have used the matress stitch method as I wanted a flat join:

You basically pick up the bars In between the edge chain stitch

Once they are all joined I finished it off with a DC in to each of the edge stitches, when you get to the corner do 2 DC in the 2 stitches on the corner so it goes round smoothly

The finished blanket is 55x65 cm

I have now started to blanket number 2 but with one is going to be all white with each letter a different colour, its a great stash buster to get rid of some odds and ends of colours, and against the white the colours really pop, here is the start;

if you give this a go i would love to see the results, you can find me on ravelry or if your on instagram use the hashtag #owlinstitches

enjoy xx

Friday, 29 April 2016

Flower Cushion, KN Issue 60

So the latest issue of KnitNow hit the shops yesterday, do you have your copy? did you spot my Flower Cushion Pattern?

It would usually be a perfect pattern for Spring but with this crazy weather we are having maybe we should still be on winter theme knits, its crazy that a few weeks ago i was posting about our long walk and then these past few days I've woken up to snow on my car and had to dig my winter coat back out!

Anyway hopefully it wont last much longer, im ready for some nice weather, weekend walks, al fresco eating and eveining fire pits.

But if you've not had chance to pick up your copy yet, here it is, my Flower cushion pattern, this photo is one taken from the magazine and i have got to credit Dominic Crolla and Daniel Walmsley for the fantastic photo,

The cushion is knitted using Cygnet Superwash yarn, its a yarn i have used for a few patterns including my his and hers childrens pajama cases and my love a hug bear, its such a good versatile yarn. it comes in such a good range of colours too and it very resonably priced!

If you fancy giving this pattern ago then a have a few tips to help you get a good finish, the first one is the joining, there is nothing worse than spending so long knitting the piece but then rushing the joining, not done properly can really detract from the qulity of the finished piece. So with this in mind make sure you use the matress method to join the sides. Matress stitch is a very commonly used join and is perfect for joining two pieces of stockinette stitch, it is usually used on jumper seams etc.

Matress Stitch Instructions:
You need to pull the two pieces together I always use stitch markers to hold them in place

using the bar you will find inbetween the edge V, heres a photo to hopefully show you what i mean;

And here you can see the finshed effect;

Attaching the Petals:
You should have no issues following the instructions with in the Magazine for the joining ofthe petals but if you are more of a visual person you may find these help;

So once you have all 5 petals and you have threaded the yarn through the stitches you need to thread the yarn back through the first petal

Then place this over once of the flower centers and pull tight - VERY TIGHT to make sure it is secure and can't be pulled off.

If you have a go at making this i would love to see your photos, you can either link your project to this pattern in ravelry or if your on instagram, use the hashtag #owlinstitches


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Down the Mines

So this weekend was one i have been looking forward to for while and it didnt dissappoint!

We arranged it a month or so ago with friends; a mini road trip to Birmingham for a Friday night out and then the Saturday exploring the Black Country Museum.

So Birmingham is about an hour or so's drive away so we were able to go after work on Friday, we had a lovely eveing in Birmingham although the weather was very wet that doesnt matter when your inside sipping a cocktail or two...

And luckily the wet weather didnt continue on the Saturday, although it was cold, but thats OK.
Sothe Black Country Museum is just outside Birmingham in a place called Dudley. Its a museum but not your usual museum, its outside set across about 26 achres and through its streets, buildings and cars it shows you the history of the mines and the towns and people that worked them. it is such a fun interesting place, i remember going as a child on a school trip many moons ago.
As you walk round and enter the different houses and shops there are people dressed up in the fashion of the period who will tell you about it and pass on stories of the past.
We also got to go down a mine and hear about the conditions the men would work in and the jobs they would do.
 Oh and the fish and chips, done authentically in beef dripping.... AMAZING! although i dread to think about the calories, ah well .... they were worth it :)
Heres collage from the day i put on instagram;

And in crafty news i have just listed some new stitch markers on etsy, they are Hello Kitty themed, what do you think?

Also the other day i mentioned that i had been working on submissions for the latest KnitNow call, well i am pleased to say they went down well and 3 have been selected, so i am now just waiting for the yarn to be confirmed and sent through to start these,  as always they have to stay top secret until published so it will be September / December before i can share these with you.

But whilst i wait for the yarn to arrive I want to start a baby blanket for my Friend who is expecting, she is due in September, i have a few ideas for this and plan on using some left over yarn from a commission, its called Lana Gatto and its a super soft Merion Extrafine New Wool, its has a lovely bounce to it that i think will work perfecting for a blanket.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

28723 steps

Yes thats right 28723 steps, or 14.2 miles is what we walked yesterday.

We were hoping for good weather, it had been so on and off all week, but when we work up yesterday morning the sun way breaking through the curtains it was perfect! so at 9:30 we set out on our walk, i live in Alsager which is a small town in Cheshire, one of the neighbouring towns is Sandbach, a walk down an old railway line known as the salt line and a walk along the canal connects the two so thats what we did.

When we reached Sandbach we nipped in a place called Miola, we spotted it on our walk in to the town centre it is a sort of garden/home store and cafe, what caught out attention was the large metal animals at the front, the owner was a lovely lady and she explained they are hand made in Kenya, you can see from the photo how big the elephant was, my husband is 6ft5.

It really was such a lovely place, a bit of a hidden gem i think, i will be going back there again with my mum as i know she will love it, and they do afternoon tea and had a log burner inside, perfect!

And then to top it off there was a Makers Market in the center of Sandbach so it was lovely having a wander through.

When it came to lunch we really felt we had earnt it, we ate in a lovely italian cafe, i cant recall the name but it was so nice, and authentic, the food was so fresh, unfortunatley i forgot to take a picture but i did get one of our G&Ts :)

And here is the evidene.... 28723 steps in total :)