My 2016 Crochet Resolutions

Hey everybody, it’s been a while! I’ve been fairly busy and haven’t really been focused on keeping my blog up to date. I have been crocheting diligently over the last few months, so it’s not for a lack of content, but a lack of discipline!

The reason I’m here today is because I want to share with you all my Crochet Resolutions. I would usually set myself some sort of resolution that is restricting my life in some way for the purpose of making myself a better, more healthy person. But this year I’ve decided that life will do as it will, but that I will be setting myself goals for my passion – my crochet.

My Five Crochet Resolutions of 2016:

  1. To finish all my WIPs that are currently outstanding. Sounds easy enough, but according to the spreadsheet I use (gotta love spreadsheets!), I have 16 WIPs! That’s not including any that I may have cheekily started and not added to the spreadsheet, or WIPs that are hiding away somewhere in my home. My plan is to work through this list, and get these WIPs off this list! Whether it be by sitting down and sewing those last few squares together, buying that missing yarn and completing the project, or even frogging it back, putting the yarn back in my stash, and using the yarn for something else. I’m determined to sort my WIPs!
  2. To take better pictures of my FOs with my bridge camera. I bought a camera a few months back, once my crochet orders kicked off. It was relatively cheap, a Canon bridge camera, but has a lot more functions than my old point-and-shoot digital camera. My aim this year is to sort out a little corner in my home for photographs, and have a simple backdrop, some good lighting, and take some good, quality photographs of my projects. If I’m feeling adventurous I might go so far as looking into photo editing software!
  3. To build a supply of stock, and make some sales on Etsy. What I have been currently doing is putting up pictures of things that I have made, and wait to be approached with specifications of what somebody would like. This time, I would like to analyse what has done well, and make up some stock using different colour variations and put them on my Etsy page. So far I haven’t made any sales, because I don’t really have any stock on there. But really it could be that Etsy isn’t the right selling platform and I need to look at something else. I don’t know. I’m flexible to changing it up.
  4. To get back into regular blogging (!) with a schedule. Hurray! That’s what you wanted to hear, right? I honestly do love blogging about what I’ve been up to in my little crochet world. Like I said earlier, I need the discipline. I love the whole WIP Wednesday and FO Friday. It may be that I need to be disciplined and stick to that structure. It may be that I need to reconsider and post more freely, a few times a week. When I started this blog I didn’t want to do that because I thought it might be a bit stagnant, by showing that I’ve been working on the same thing across a few different posts. But when I have a few orders of the same thing (like the dinosaurs) or I’m working on something large (like a blanket), it’s bound to happen. So we’ll have to see how it goes but I really, honestly want to be making more regular posts.
  5. To design some of my own crochet patterns. This is one I’m possibly looking forward to the most in terms of creativity. The rest are success driven, or sort-out-my-stock driven, whereas this is expanding on my crochet knowledge, and putting it to the test. I have designed and published a few patterns already, but would like to turn those pages of scribbles in my notebooks into something more tangible, and something that I can share with people. I’m not fully sure on my goals yet – whether they be free patterns, whether I sell the patterns, or whether I keep the patterns to myself and sell the finished items. I’m not sure what I want to do. All I know is I want to get designing and writing up some pattern notes, and see where it takes me!

So there we have it! My goals are a little vague in some aspects, in that I haven’t quite figured out all the details yet, but I’m learning to be more flexible and just go with the flow with everything in life, rather than set up rigid plans and get upset when things don’t follow them correctly. At least I have a direction that I’m heading in, and something to focus on!

So, until next time (and hopefully it won’t be too long)~!

Dinosaur Galore!

Hey everybody! Apologies for not posting last few weeks as I was struggling to show a WIP and a FO that I have done recently. I had a large influx of dinosaur orders and have steadily been working through those. Remember Henry the Stegosaurus? Since then I have made another five dinosaurs! I still have about another three to go, so if I did a WIP and an FO post, it would just be varying stages of different coloured dinosaurs. Instead, I decided to merge the posts and have a dinosaur showcase to show what I have been doing!

Dinosaur #1 - green with blue accents.
Dinosaur #1 – green with blue accents.

First off is the original that I named Henry the Stegosaurus. I started him over a year ago and recently decided to finish him off as I was working through my pile of WIPs. I posted him onto a facebook group and someone asked to have him, so I finished him up and sent him on his way! Soon after receiving him, I was asked to make a girly one in pink, who the receiver had named Rosie in preparation. So dinosaur number two was made, and posted too! I then took a quick break and whipped up some penguin lovies, which I will show in another post!

Dinosaur #2 - pink with purple accents
Dinosaur #2 – pink with purple accents

I then posted pictures of the two lovelies onto a craft group, and had a lot of interest in making more! As I had only made two, and had just started my new job, I was cautious to not take on too many orders as I didn’t want to disappoint, as the majority of people ordering one wanted the dinosaur as a Christmas gift for someone. I didn’t want to take on too much, make promises, and then have to let people down! Next up is a blue one that I made:

Dinosaur #3 - blue with green accents.
Dinosaur #3 – blue with green accents.

Once he was finished and posted, I was on to making an identical blue one for another customer:

Dinosaur #4 - blue with green accents.
Dinosaur #4 – blue with green accents.

The next dinosaur was a part of a set: a customer asked for a green dinosaur and a purple unicorn. It was quite nice to take a break from the pattern and create a unicorn instead. Here they are together:

Dinosaur #5 - green with blue accents, and Unicorn #1 - purple with pink accents, and a white nose!
Dinosaur #5 – green with blue accents, and Unicorn #1 – purple with pink accents, and a white nose!

The next dinosaur that I completed is one that I am swapping with another crafter for some fabric items. I’m so excited to be doing a swap and giving handmade gifts this Christmas. I don’t want to say too much as I want it to be a surprise for another post!

Dinosaur #6 - bright purple with lime green accents.
Dinosaur #6 – bright purple with lime green accents.

I’m currently working on a pink with white accents dinosaur for a colleague. I will admit that it is getting a little bit tedious making so many dinosaurs, but at the same time it is getting quicker and easier to make them as I am so familiar with the pattern now!

I’m also working on an Amineko cat for myself as well, for another break from dinosaurs!

Until next time~!

[FO Friday] Fibi Fox!

Hi everyone, end of another week! This week I’m showing you my Fibi Fox that I posted a WIP Post a little while ago. She is finished and would like to say hello!

Here she is, looking a little shy!
Here she is, looking a little shy!

As before, here is a link to the Ravelry page for the pattern, and the designer’s page. I made my Fibi with DK weight yarn, and a 3.5mm hook. I used almost a whole 100g ball of the reddy-orange, and small amounts of the other colours.

She's rather tall!
She’s rather tall!

Fibi measures roughly 38cm tall, and I believe she is my biggest amigurumi so far! She was such a pleasure to make. The original pattern calls for a little knitted scarf. I did begin to knit one, but after not knitting for years, and remembering why I stopped, I decided a knitted one would be too tedious for me so opted to crochet a little green one instead. What do you think?

Fibi Fox

Fibi currently spends her time sitting on my window sill, until I can find her a new home. If you’re interested, contact me through my Facebook page or send me an email at crochetcomfortsonline@gmail.com

See you soon~!

[WIP Wednesday] Triangular Shawl

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all well. I’ve completed my first week of my new job and absolutely love it. Luckily I’m managing to find time to crochet in the evenings and at weekends, so hopefully I can keep up with any orders!

This week’s WIP is a triangular shawl that I’ve been working on. The pattern is called the Road Trip Scarf, and you can find the pattern here on Ravelry or on Zooty Owl’s Crafty Blog. It’s an incredibly easy pattern to follow, and the pattern consists of repeating one row, once you have the scarf set up.

My Road Trip Scarf so far!
My Road Trip Scarf so far!

My plan for this scarf/shawl is to just continue until I run out of yarn! Unless it becomes really big, in which case I’ll stop. For the life of me I can’t remember where I got this yarn from, it’s just been sitting in my stash for a couple of years. It’s a dk weight acrylic yarn of some sort, and I absolutely love the greys, pinks and purples:

Beautiful colours!
Beautiful colours!

I’ve worked my shawl with a 5.00mm hook like the pattern suggests, to really open up the gaps between the double crochet stitches. It also means it works up a bit quicker, too!

The pattern also suggests adding some embellishments of little flowers, of which I made. I’m not quite sure I like them so much, so I may change them and create some different flowers to sew on when finished:

Little flowers as suggested - not quite so sure I like them!
Little flowers as suggested – not quite so sure I like them!

This project has been on the backburner for a little while, whilst I continue with some orders that I’ve had recently. I’m looking to get it finished soon though, especially as it’s starting to get a bit colder – this would be lovely to wear on the way to work!

Until next time~!

[FO Friday] Jack Skellington Beanie!

Hi all, hope you’ve all had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend! This week’s FO is a hat that I made for my sister’s 16th birthday. I knew that she loved The Nightmare Before Christmas, and thought, what better than her own Jack Skellington that she can wear?! Here’s me sporting the hat that I gave her:

Jack Skellington Beanie!
Jack Skellington Beanie!

Now, me being me, I was silly enough not to really take any pictures before I gave it to her. Doh! But here’s an image of the hat from the top so that you can see Jack’s face:

Jack's Face
Jack’s Face

Now here’s the pattern!

You’ll need:

  • 1 skein of white yarn
  • 1 skein of black yarn
  • 4.00mm hook
  • Sewing needle
  • Pins
  • Scissors

Additional notes for working out the size of the hat:

Measure the circumference of your head, divide this by Pi, and then subtract an inch or 2.5cm to get a hat diameter. So the calculations may go like this:

Circumference = 59cm

~Divide this by Pi (3.1415)~

Head diameter = 18.78cm (round this to 19cm)

~Minus 1 inch or 2.5cm~

Hat diameter = 16.28cm (round this to 16cm)

You will then work your hat FLAT to this final diameter before working in the round to create the bowl shape of the hat. For these measurements, this is how my hat went:

Hat:

In WHITE:

1: hdc 8 in a MR (8)

2: Inc in each st around (16)

3: *hdc 1, inc* around (24)

4: *hdc 2, inc* around (32)

5: *hdc 3, inc* around (40)

6: *hdc 4, inc* around (48)

7: *hdc 5, inc* around (56)

8: *hdc 6, inc* around (64)

9: *hdc 7, inc* around (72)

10: *hdc 8, inc* around (80)

11: *hdc 9, inc* around (88)

12: *hdc 10, inc* around (96)

13-28: hdc around (96). to create a smooth edge (as the pattern is worked in a spiral), sc in the next 3 sts, and sl st in the next 3 sts. FO and weave in ends.

Eyes x2

In BLACK:

1: sc 6 in a MR (6)

2: inc around (12)

3: *sc 1, inc* around (18)

4: *sc 2, inc* around (24)

5: *sc 2, hdc 2, dc inc, dc 2, dc inc, hdc 2, sc 2* x 2 (28)

6: sc 4, sc inc, sc 4, sc inc, sc 8, sc inc, sc 4, sc inc, sc 4 (32) Sl st into next st and FO leaving a long tail

Assembly:

Pin the eyes into place and sew around.

Nose and mouth: see image for reference for sewing yarn into place.

Enjoy~!

[WIP Wednesday] Eyelet Sweater!

Hi all, back again with another WIP! This week I’m featuring a sweater that I’ve been working on casually for a few weeks – eyelet sweater:

Two panels for the sweater!
Two panels for the sweater!

It’s worked up with a 3.5mm hook and 4 ply yarn – I bought 5 skeins of King Cole Bamboo Cotton 4 Ply in Jade to work up this sweater. The pattern was gifted to me from a page in a magazine, and this is what it should (hopefully!) look like when complete:

The pattern image for the eyelet sweater
The pattern image for the eyelet sweater

As the pattern was gifted to me, unfortunately I do not know which magazine or issue this is from! But it’s quite simple: groups of 3 dc with a skipped stitch inbetween, and then a row of sc on the top to cap it off before repeating the pattern but in a staggered manner to create this isometric design.

One of the panels for the eyelet sweater!
One of the panels for the eyelet sweater!

Now, I will admit a boo-boo that I have encountered. When I started the first panel, I used a specific aluminium hook and was being very careful with the stitches – this lead to a very tight tension. The hook started to give me cramp so I switched hook to another brand – still aluminium and still 3.5mm – but my tension loosened somewhat! I continued for a little while to see if it would rectify and eventually decided to stop with that panel, and start on the next one. I didn’t want to rip it all back and start over, but at the same time I didn’t want to complete the panel and regret it. So I switched to the second panel while I had a think.

Crocheting the second panel has solidified the fact that my tension is definitely different since switching hooks. Take a look:

Differing tensions...
Differing tensions…

So the top panel is the one that I originally started. The bottom panel is the newer one, crocheted completed with the newer hook. There’s a big difference!

I think my next step will be to see if anywhere in the pattern it suggests what the gauge should be, and which piece matches closer to that gauge, and then rip out and start over with the correct one!

So I have a feeling this may be a WIP for a little while, but hopefully not too long as the weather will start turning soon and it would be so lovely to be able to wear this to work!

Until next time~!

[FO Friday] Eloise Baby Cardigans!

Hi all, hope you’re all looking forward to the weekend! I’m super excited because I start my new job next week, so these are my last few days of crocheting constantly, and I’m feeling a teensy bit nervous about starting! So without further ado, here is this week’s finished object. Remember the post a few weeks ago of the WIP Eloise Baby Cardigans? Well here are the finished images!

Completed Eloise Cardigans!
Completed Eloise Cardigans!

They’re just so cute! I absolutely adore the pink edging on the sleeves and the neckline, not the mention the adorable pink bears for buttons:

How cute are these bear buttons?!
How cute are these bear buttons?!

These cardigans were such a joy to make. What wasn’t a joy was all the ends to weave in. Guess how many? For both cardigans, there were 92. Yep. I counted. How can such small objects have so much sewing?! It’s all those pretty pink stripes that were the issue. But nevertheless, I just plowed through watching YouTube/Netflix and got them done.

These lovely stripes were the culprit of all the ends to weave in! But I do believe they were worth it in the end
These lovely stripes were the culprit of all the ends to weave in! But I do believe they were worth it in the end

I completed the cardigans and passed them on to my relative, who was gifting them to a couple who had twin girls recently. The cardigans are still too big for the babies right now, which is good because they should fit in time for the colder months, and hopefully be appreciated more.

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoy looking at these cardigans as much as I enjoyed making them. I’m now off to work on a few orders that I have, before I start my new job. Wish me luck!

Until next time~!

[WIP Wednesday] Henry the Dinosaur!

Hi all, hope you all had a lovely weekend! This week’s WIP is one that has been in storage for a little while, as I ran out of yarn and couldn’t remember where I originally got it from. I finally got my hands on another skein and have begun Henry again:

Henry the Dinosaur!
Henry the Dinosaur!

He’s just so cute! You can see in the above image that his little arms are only pinned on at this stage, but will soon be sewed on, like the legs. Here’s another angle so you can see his cute tail (and the ends of the arms wrapped around it!):

Henry's Tail (with ends!)
Henry’s Tail (with ends!)

I have used Natura Just Cotton to make Henry – two of the green and one of the blue. I’ve also used a 6mm pair of safety eyes and lots and lots of toy stuffing. He is worked with a 3.5mm hook to ensure nice and tight stitches that don’t show the stuffing!

Natura Just Cotton - in Jade and Star Light
Natura Just Cotton – in Jade and Star Light

I’m so happy to have a dinosaur that can sit up on its bottom, rather than falling over! The pattern came from a magazine (Issue 21 of Simple Crochet, p.53) and offers two variations: a triceratops and a stegosaurus:

Henry having a read...
Henry having a read…

And what I find interesting for this pattern is that the arms, legs and tail are made using multiples of 5s for each round, rather than a multiple of 6. I would have thought that it would make the arms and legs more ‘cone shaped’, but it has worked well, so that’s something to consider in my future designs!

All that’s left to finish Henry is to sew his arms on, and then decide whether he will become a Triceratops or a Stegosaurus. What do you guys think?

See you soon~!

[FO Friday] Lace Bookmark!

Hi all, after such a large blanket as a WIP this week, this week’s FO is a little one. I combined a technique that I haven’t done in quite a while (crochet thread), with a technique that I have never tried before (blocking!), and produced this lacy bookmark:

Lacy Bookmark
Lacy Bookmark

I used a pattern on Ravelry for a Rectangle Granny Bookmark which is a free PDF pattern. The pattern creates this effect by working on both sides of the starting chain to make an elongated granny square. I used a pale pink crochet thread and a 1.5mm crochet hook to make this bookmark.

It didn’t quite sit right and kept curling, so I decided to try blocking for the first time! I used a foam exercise cube to pin the bookmark to, and then sprayed it with water and left it overnight to dry out. I wish I had taken a ‘before’ picture to show just what a different blocking can make!

Blocking the Bookmark!
Blocking the Bookmark!

I’m so pleased with how this turned out that I may make some more when I have a spare moment to make as small gifts for family and friends. Or… I may revert back to using crochet thread to make doilies! The next step would be figuring out how to block those…!

Until next time~!

[WIP Wednesday] Sophie’s Universe Blanket

WIP Wednesday is here once again, and this week I am showing you something that has been a WIP for a little while… my Sophie’s Universe Blanket!

Sophie's Universe
Sophie’s Universe Blanket!

The CAL (Crochet-A-Long) can be found on Dedri’s “Look at What I Made” blog, all 20 weeks of the lovely pattern are on her blog for free. I originally began this CAL at the same time as the patterns were posted. It was such a thrill to rush to complete each week’s rounds before the next part of the pattern was posted.

Sophie's Universe
Close-Up of Detail: Row of Roses

Unfortunately, when I moved in April we lost internet connection for a few weeks. This meant that I had to go a few weeks without updated patterns, and fell behind. Once I established a connection again, the motivation was lost, after seeing a few weeks worth of posts to catch up on, and seeing everyone’s lovely pictures of their blankets, and mine was behind. My blanket has been sat for quite a while now, incomplete.

Sophie's Universe
More Surface Details!

But as I recall, I was fairly close to the end of the pattern (on part 15, I believe) but totally lost motivation! …As well as running out of yarn, as this blanket starts to eat yarn like there’s no tomorrow – to give you an idea, at the end of 100 rounds you’re on around 180 stitches per side! Due to the moving home, and the costs involved, I wasn’t able to replenish my stash for a little while, and once I had I moved onto other projects that were a little smaller or didn’t require a pattern.

Sophie's Universe
Blanket Centre Close-Up

Hopefully, by showing you how far I got with my blanket, it will motivate me to continue and try and finish this beauty off!

If I could start again, I would choose a colour palette to begin with. While making my blanket I just went with what I had available in my stash, and what colours looked good together. As the blanket grew, the tones changed and it became very multi-coloured. Maybe next time I could do a pastel-shade blanket, or a warm-coloured blanket. Who knows?! I need to finish this one first! Taking a look at the images posted onto Ravelry and Instagram really have inspired me to continue. I was fairly close to the end, why not finish her off?!

Until next time~!