Monday, 2 July 2018

Mermaid Tail Crochet Baby Blanket

My poor blog has fallen by the wayside in the last couple of years. A lot of life stuff has happened while I've been absent and I'm now a busy mama to not just Poppet (who is almost 6, btw!) but also to my sweet boy who just turned 11 months. It's busy around here these days and I have a lot less time and energy for crafting but I have noticed in the last few weeks I'm feeling a lot more inspired to get making (and I have several projects underway!). I've managed to make a few things recently. My biggest make of recent months has been a mermaid tail baby blanket for my second niece who's arrival is eagerly anticipated by the whole family (and not least by her mama!). A few more weeks to go before we get to squish her!

This new baby has a beautiful mermaid themed nursery ready and waiting for her. As soon as I knew the nursery theme I just knew I had to make her a mermaid tail blanket! These have become very popular here in the UK in the last few years but I wanted to make one that is different to the rest. Most mermaid tail blankets are like cocoons that you put your legs in and pull up over you to make it look like you're wearing the tail. These are cute and I even made one for Poppet a couple of years ago, but for a baby I wanted a flat blanket. Those cocoon/pouches are sweet but so impractical. Have you ever tried to stuff an octopus into a sock? That's how I'd best describe what it is to get a squirmy baby into one of those!

I scoured Pinterest for inspiration and looked all over for a flat mermaid tail blanket. I knew in my mind's eye what I wanted it to look like but it appeared that no one else had thought of it yet (and I'm not clever enough to design my own!). But then I found this great post which was just what I wanted! Kali at the Friend Red Fox had already done the hard work for me and written up her pattern for a mermaid tail baby blanket. So I dived right in! I had a few setbacks due to choosing the wrong thickness of yarn and then trying to upscale the pattern but I just couldn't make it work. I eventually went back to my local yarn shop and bought the right kind of yarn and whipped the blanket in just a few evenings. It's amazing what can happen when you stick to the pattern, ha!

Mermaid Tail Crochet Baby Blanket

I particularly wanted to share this project as I found it so difficult to find a pattern for a flat blanket with a mermaid tail that was suitable for a baby. I used Caron Simply Soft in Ocean for the main blanket colour and in Teal Zeal for the tail and border with a 4.5mm hook as I wanted a tighter fabric. For the border, I used this great pattern to get that seashell/wave look and using the ombre yarn has really given it a nice effect.

This blanket has turned out so well, I may be making more for future babies! I didn't measure it before gifting it but I would say it's a good size for a baby or toddler and ideal for a carseat as there is plenty to tuck in around the legs. I think for the best effect, the blanket is ideal for use in a crib or cot as then you'd see the full tail. I can't wait to see my baby niece snuggled under this!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Massive Granny Square Blanket - a well loved blankie

Way back in early 2013, I was coming out of the 'new mother' haze and starting to get itchy fingers, wanting to get back to some crochet. I picked up a hook and some scrap from my stash and started a granny square which soon became a massive blanket.

As I was looking throught my photos for a previous blogpost, I came across loads of pics of this bright and colourful blanket in use so I thought it would be nice to share some here, if nothing else than for my own enjoyment.

Lego playmat

A roof for the 'den'

This is my fave way to enjoy this blanket, usually with a glass of wine!

This blanket has served use very well over the last three years, and it is a staple in our living room. It doesn't match anything and is pretty loud but that's why I like it so much!

Have you made a blanket that has become a firm favourite?

Friday, 4 March 2016

Crochet for my girl

One of the best things about being able to crochet and sew, is that I can make cute unique items for my girl. She has sported a great many handmade items from things that I have made to loads of gifts from skilled family and friends. Now she's almost three and half, she totally knows if something has been handmade and asks me who made what anytime she wears a cardi, jumper, hat scarf etc. which I really like to see. She even makes requests! The latest was for a hat "a yellow had with a yellow bow and big yellow pom pom, or maybe some pink"...

Two of my latest makes for her are this cute pixie hat fron Kat Goldin's Hook Stitch and Give and the short sleeved cardigan from Simply Crochet magazine, issue 32. Both are in Drops Nepal, using the same colours as my poncho. So some days the two of us go out all matchy matchy!

I have plans to make another cardi from Inside Crochet issue 74 which is a lovely blue with a rainbow coloured yoke and cloud shaped pocket! i just need to get some other WIPs out of the way first.

Until next time,

K x

Thursday, 3 March 2016

A Poncho Story

When I was still at school, I had a grey fleece poncho with a funnel neck, two pockets and a cream blanket stitch edging. It was brilliant. I loved it. It was from Next and I felt so trendy in it. Until I wore it to non-uniform day. Turns out I was the only one who appreciated this fashion choice. So I probably hardly ever wore it after that and one day it got sent to the charity shop. I still think about that poncho and my older, more self-confident self wishes I had kept it because I sould SO wear it now!

Sometime in the last year or two, ponchos and capes have come back into fashion and I was on the hunt for one. Yanno, cos all the cool kids are wearing them now.

The shops just didn't offer anything I wanted to part money with, and then those that I did like made me look like some matronly nanny which is just a look I wasn't going for. Then Simply Crochet magazine had a pattern in issue 25 that just spoke to me. With a chunky cowl neck and lots of bright colours, it was just my kind of thing. So off I popped to order the wool (Drops Nepal) and I got hooking!

The waffle cowl neck was fun to make and it was a different way to get the waffle effect which I hadn't tried before.

After the cowl was done, it was time to start on the colours, and my are they devine!

This is the only pic I have of myself wearing the poncho. I'm just not a selfie type of person. I never know what to do with my face! Anyway, I wore it on top of my coat at last year's Easter Egg Hunt, hence the ears, and it was super warm. Everyone kept looking at me that day and I thought they were admiring my handiwork but it turns out they were eyeing up my headband! When did being a grown up mean having to be dull and boring? That's so not me!

This poncho has served me well and I'm excited to wear it a bit more now that the worst of the winter is over. Althought it's made from aran weight wool and is pretty heavy, it's a bit drafty on the cold windy days of winter. Having said that, I've worn it over my coat many times and not felt the cold at all those days! It even serves as a great blanket for a little person as Poppet found out while on a boat trip in Malta las year.

Until next time,

K x

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Sewing Adventures

I used to be afraid of my sewing machine. My machine is a 1974 Singer and belonged to my Granny who used it for many many projects. When I first got it, I has now idea how to get it to do what I wanted and we fell out a lot!

Over the years, I have taken the odd sewing workshop here and there and have made friends with old faithful who has helped me make some great wee frocks for Poppet, a table runner in our family tartan, and even some clothes for myself!

Pattern matching this was a total nightmare! It looks amazing though.

Usually, I'm sewing at the dining table, among all the debris of every day life!

I'm hugely into flamingo print at the moment! I made a skirt with this fabric and I love lfouncing about in it!

I had some of this leftover from a dress I made myself, so naturally, made shorts for my girl

The mustard bias binding totally sets it off

Ice cream shorts

Shorts for a boy, these were a fun print!

One of my most recent makes is this beautiful cape in Liberty purple

I used Liberty tana lawn bias binding and covered my own buttons to match

9m of hand sewn binding...

Pattern cutting

This is my latest make, a Merchant and Mills Trapeze dress in a grey/pink tartan print

 I have plans for some more skirts and a few short sleeved tops for the (hopefully) upcoming spring weather, so watch this space for more!

Until next time,


Monday, 29 February 2016

Baby Makes

Here's a little selection of items I've crocheted in the last year or so for some new babies.

Tiddly mary-janes for a little lady's christening

This is the beginnings of a little baby blanket

There were a LOT of ends to sew in!

Tiny granny squares, all joined up with dc

I worked on it everywhere I went, even in the car on the way to Cornwall!

Here's how it turned out, and I must say I love the colour combination

Checkout the mustard!

These cute wee turban are always a hit for new baby girls

A pink granny square blanket with a white ruffle edging

A teensy turban for a wee baby born several weeks early

A wee dolly blanket for Poppet's little baby Susie

A wee teddy hat for a boy due to be born very soon

There's something special about making items for new babies. I think I prefer making baby items the most! I know I treasure all the handknitted and crocheted items Poppet has received over the years, and I always hope the items I give make a little difference to a new baby's wardrobe!

Until next time!

K x

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Fashionable Dreams, my visit to Liberty in Fashion

Well hello!

It's been an awfully loooong time since I last blogged. A lot has happened in the time that has passed, some good and some not so much fun. Life just happens to you sometimes, doesn't it? I lost my mojo for writing and blogging and then I fell out of the habit... But this morning I woke up with the desire to write again, so here I am!

Last weekend my husband and I spent the weekend in London (a total rareity these days, damn you mortgage payments!) and we had a lovely time just being us and bimbling about at our own pace, doing what we wanted. We did a number of fun things but what I really want to tell you about is the Liberty in Fashion exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum. Oh my goodness, it was wonderful!

This has been an exhibition I rather fancied getting to for a few months now and I'm so glad we went. Even Husand quite enjoyed it. Although, I think he more enjoyed chuckling at me proclaiming how I 'would SO wear that' every other minute! I've decided that the 1920s-1940s are my favourite style, and I lamented all the way around the exhibit that the dresses weren't available for purchase in the museum shop! Imagine if they were...! Sadly, the exhibition closes on 28th Feb, but hopefully it'll pop up again sometime in the future.

So let me get to it. This exhibition is dedicated to the influences that the now-world-famous Liberty London had in fashion since its inception. It went through from the 1870s up to the 1990s and showcased some of Liberty's most iconic styles and patterns of these decades. It was really interesting to see how ladies' fashion developed over the years and to see some elements that have definitely seen a revival over the decades.

Now, I could prattle on for ages about what I saw, but I figure I should let the pictures do the talking so here's a selection of the best bits from the exhibition. Sadly, I didn't make notes of the dates, designers or fabrics used but hopefully you'll get the idea of how lovely the pieces are. The lighting was terrible for photos (as is usual in museums) and I only had my iPhone, so these pics won't be the best but enjoy them anyhow.

One of Liberty's first capelets

This is the back of a beautiful velvet kimono

These just screamed 'Downton Abbey'!

The emboidery on this silk kimono coat was swoon-worthy

I HAVE to make a dress like this!

It even has a pocket!

Beautiful examples of hand smocking

This might be my top fave, check out the deep crochet lace trim!

Such a lovely print on this one, and hand smocking too

This is a velvet and silk pinafore, utterly gorgeous!

Hello 1960s flower power!

If only you could see how ORANGE this skirt suit was!

Velvet mini dress

I hope you enjoyed that little foray into fashion history. I don't promise to blog daily or even weekly, but I can say that I hope it won't be another two and a half years til my next installment!


K x

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