Thursday, 31 December 2015

Mine's a pint

All I need to get is a few crackers and we're set to see in 2016.

I wish everyone a healthy and very happy new year. x

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Press ganged cats

My two sisters' cats have been voluntold* they are participating in my trial of catnip cat toys by way of all four of them receiving one for their Christmas presents. Here is Darcy (belonging to Sandy) enjoying hers!

I shall expect full reports from Georgie, Harvey and Jonesy in due course! 

Pattern for the toys is Hillary Meyer's No-Sew Catnip Mouse

*voluntold is a made up word meaning to be ordered into volunteering

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Lace snowflake jar - free crochet pattern for pretty fringed ribbon jar topper

I posted the photograph from my last blog entry in a couple of crochet forums to wish my friends there a Happy Christmas, and very flatteringly, I've been asked how I made the snowflake candle jar, so here are the details (really quick!) so you can do one yourself, there's still just about time to get one done! I'm sorry I don't have time to do a photo tutorial for it at the moment but I have tested the pattern again myself after I typed it  out to make sure it's accurate.

I made the snowflakes using Caitlin Sainio's book, 100 Snowflakes to Crochet. The instructions for the fringed lace ribbon jar topper and how to affix the snowflakes follows.

Small quantity of 3 ply linen in any colour you like (I used silver grey)
Clean and empty 360g Branston Pickle jar
12-18 inches thin ribbon in a colour of your choice
Silver coloured charm of your choice (optional)
2mm crochet hook
PVA glue
Tea light candle or LED artificial flicker candle

All instructions use UK crochet terms

ch - chain
ss - slip stitch
st - stitch
tr - treble crochet
dc - double crochet
dtr - double treble
yoh - yarn over hook

ch 56 for the 360g Branston Pickle jar, (for larger or smaller jars, you can adjust the size by adding or subtracting multiples of 8 to the foundation ch),
Use a ss into 1st ch to form a circle

Row 1
ch 3 (to count as 1st tr), 1 tr in each of next 2 ch, ch 1, *skip next ch, 1 tr in each of next 3 ch, ch 1, repeat from * to end, ss into top chain of the commencing ch 3

Row 2
Ss into top of next tr, ch 1, dc into same st, 5 ch * skip (1tr, 1 ch, 1 tr), dc into next tr, 5 ch, repeat from * all around, ss into commencing dc 

Row 3 
2 ss into 5 ch space, 1 ch, 1 dc into same 5ch space, *1 ch, 1dtr into next 5ch space, 1 ch, (1 dtr, 1 ch into same 5ch space) 4 times, 1 dc into next 5ch space, repeat from * all round, finishing with a ss into dc at commencement of row

Row 4
ss into 1ch space, ch 1, (dc into dtr, dc into 1ch space) twice, *ch 3, skip dtr, (dc into 1ch space, dc into dtr) twice, insert hook into next 1ch space, yoh, pull loop through (2 loops on hook), skip dc, insert hook into next 1ch space, yoh, pull loop through (3 loops on hook), yoh, pull loop through 3 loops (dc into dtr, dc into 1ch space) twice, repeat from * 5 times, ch 3, skip dtr, (dc into 1ch space, doc into dtr) twice, insert hook into 1ch space, yoh, pull loop through (2 loops on hook), insert hook into commencing ch, yoh, pull loop through (3 loops on hook), yoh, pull loop through 3 loops, ss into dc, fasten off. 

Weave in ends, dampen slightly and block, leaving until completely dry.

Thread ribbon through gaps in the first row, slip over top of jar, thread on your silver charm if using and tie ribbon into a bow.

Take snowflakes, put them right side down on a clean piece of paper, cover the back liberally with PVA glue, place carefully onto jar and leave to dry. The glue will become clear as it dries so this method works with any colour of snowflake. 

Add the candle to your jar, sit back and admire!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Solstice candle

Candle for the winter solstice
Love and light and other seasonal greetings for the Winter Solstice to my family, friends, customers and readers of my blog.

Quite often, I feel a bit downcast at this time of year. Christmas can sometimes feel like a huge barrier to be overcome so that Spring can arrive. The tree and lights are up; they're cheery and bright but the older I get, the more I realise that the things I really want for Christmas cannot be bought. On the bright side, I'm very much looking forward to spending Christmas day with the whole of my family; for the first time in some years, all of the Cannings brothers and sisters will be together on the day.

With the shortest day of the year being tomorrow, the 22nd, the sun will start to come back for longer and longer each day. Welcome back to the sun!

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Monday, 14 December 2015

Three blind catnip mice

Have you got a cat? Do you live in the UK? Would you like to be a product tester for one of the above little mice cat toys?

They've been crocheted with two strands of very strong 100% mercerised cotton and then filled with polyester stuffing. In the middle of the stuffing, I've included a "teabag" containing approximately half a teaspoon of organically grown dried catnip. Each mouse measures a little over two inches long (excluding tail). They've been created using Stephanie Meyer's No-sew Catnip Mouse pattern on Ravelry.

Leave me a comment here on the blog (not on Facebook) with your e-mail address and I'll get in touch. First three requests from people who live in the UK will get one of the toys.

Anyone who reads my blog and who lives in the UK can get one of these sent to them free. After your cat has had it for a couple of weeks, I'd just like some honest feedback on how the toy withstood the worst your cat could throw at it!