Monday, 23 November 2015

20% off all beads! Winter sale!


Use code WINTER20 in my my Etsy bead shop for a massive 20% off all items for this week only! Offer expires on Saturday, 28th November. Minimum purchase two sets.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Chunky crochet fingerless mittens - free top down pattern

Free pattern for fingerless gloves
Here is the free pattern, tutorial and instructions for my chunky crochet fingerless mittens. I have made mine in Katia Azteca in a gorgeous red (shade no 7809). Azteca is classed as an aran weight yarn but you can use any chunkyish yarn as long as the gauge works out as 14 stitches and 8 rows in treble equals four inches.

A good suggested substitute yarn is Rico Creative Melange Chunky which crochets up to the same gauge.

The pattern really is quite easy to do. Most of the stitches are just UK trebles. The ribbing effect also uses trebles but instead of ordinary trebles, we use front post trebles (fprt) alternated with back post trebles (bptr). The thumb and shaping might look daunting for beginners but I walk you through that bit using detailed instructions and photographs so you know what it should look like.

I think this is a perfect pattern for a beginner looking to expand their stitch repertoire. If you can do chains, slip stitches and trebles, all you have to do before trying this pattern is to look up how to do the front and back post trebles and familiarise yourself with 2trtog for shaping. An explanation of how to do 2trtog is included in the pattern abbreviations below.

Here is a link to a video guide of how to do front post treble (FPtr)
NB, the video is made using American terms which is why they could it a front post double but don't worry about that, just follow the video and do it exactly as its shown.

Here is a link to a video guide of how to do back post treble (BPtr)

We're making these mittens top down, so we start at the fingers end and finish at the wrist

All instructions use UK crochet terminology

MATERIALS

60 grams Katia Azteca (108 metres/119 yards)
5.5mm hook

GAUGE

14 stitches and 8 rows in trebles = 4 inches

ABBREVIATIONS (UK terminology)

ch chain
ss slip stitch
st stitch
tr treble
FPtr front post treble
BPtr back post treble
2trtog 
yoh yarn over hook

Here is an explanation for 2trtog:
The stitch is worked as follows over two sts and joins two trs at the top to reduce the stitch count by one
yoh, insert hook into first st, yoh, pull yarn through first st (3 loops on hook), yoh, pull yarn through first two loops (2 loops on hook) yoh, insert hook into second st, yoh, pull yarn through st (4 loops on hook), yoh, pull yarn through 2 loops (3 loops on hook), yoh, pull loop through remaining 3 loops (1 loop on hook)

INSTRUCTIONS

Foundation row: ch 26, ss into first ch to form a circle

Row 1: ch 3 (to count as first tr), tr in each ch all round, ss into top ch of beginning 3 ch (26 trs)

Row 2: ch 2 (counts as first tr), FPtr in next st, *BPtr in next st, FPtr in next st, repeat from * to end, ss into top ch of beginning 2 ch (26 sts)

Row 3: Repeat row 2

Row 4: ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), 1 tr in each st all round, 1 tr into st at the base of 3 ch, ss into top ch of beginning 3 ch (27 trs)

Row 5: ch 8,

 skip next 2 sts, ss into next st to form a semi-circle,

ch 3 (counts as first tr),

tr in each of next 23 stitches, 1 tr into base of st where semi-circle starts (25 trs),

1 tr in each ch of 8 ch, (photo below indicates where first tr should go)

(the photo below shows what it looks like half way through the 8 trs)

(the photo below shows what it looks like when you've completed all 8 trs and where to put the next ss)

ss into top of beginning 3 ch (33 trs)

Row 6: ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), 1 tr in next 27 trs, 2trtog, 1 tr in each of next 3 sts, ss in top ch of beginning 3 ch (32 sts)

Row 7: ch 3 (counts as 1 tr) , 1 tr in next 27 sts, 2trtog, 1 tr in each of next 2 sts, ss in top ch of beginning 3 ch (31 sts)

Row 8: ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), 1 tr in next 27 sts, 2trtog, 1 tr in next st, ss in top ch of beginning 3 ch (30 sts)

Row 9: ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), 1 tr in next 27 sts, 2trtog, ss in top ch of beginning 3 ch (29 sts)

Row 10: ch 3, 1 tr in each of next 26 sts, 2trtog, ss in top ch of beginning 3 ch (28 sts)

Row 11: ch 3, 1 tr in each of next 25 sts, 2trtog, ss in top ch of beginning 3 ch (27 sts)

Row 12: 2 ch, yoh, insert hook in next st, yoh, pull loop through st (3 loops on hook), yoh, pull yarn through 2 loops (2 loops on hook), yoh, pull yarn through 2 loops (counts as 2trtog), 1 tr in each of next 12 sts, 2trtog, 1 tr in each of next 9 sts, 2trtog, ss in top of beginning 2trtog (24 sts)

Row 13: 3 ch (counts as 1 tr), 1 tr in all sts all round, ss in top ch of beginning 3 ch (24 trs)

Row 14: 2 ch, FPtr in next st *BPtr in next st, FPtr in next st repeat from * to end, ss in top ch of beginning 2 ch (24 sts)

Row 15: repeat row 14

Row 16: repeat row 14, fasten off and weave in ends

Both mittens are the same, make two. 






Saturday, 14 November 2015

Warmth and sickness

There's nothing like a reassuringly full log pile to make you feel cozy when the weather turns a bit colder.

I'm having a quiet day indoors, staying warm and keeping an eye on Missy our dog who has been poorly since Tuesday night with an upset stomach. We're all tired as during the nights there have been many urgent dashes to the back door. On Wednesday, I slept on the sofa with her cos it was nearer and gave MTM the chance to get some sleep. 

So far, she's been to the vet twice, she's had an injection and we give her some paste-like substance, the doggy equivalent of kaolin and morphine. We're all hopeful she'll be recovered by the end of the weekend.

For anyone reading this in France, I struggle to know what to say about the chilling events there overnight, my thoughts are with your nation, my tears will mix with yours for all the lives so senselessly cut short and affected by terrorism's brutal hand. xxx

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Apparently it's still summer ....


I noticed a late season borage seedling flowering its heart out in my garden today, bless it. Here's some of the said flowers on a long tall glass of Pimms with Italian lemonade.

I may well be crocheting hot water bottle covers for winter but if it's OK for herbs to pretend it's still summer ... so can I .... slainte!