A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: crochet

I finally got around to making some reusable cotton pads for removing make-up. I ran out of disposable cotton rounds some time ago.

My handmade pads took some getting used to. They absorb a lot of liquid, which seems a bit wasteful, but then I probably need to re-think using micellar water once I run out of that. The crocheted surface is also very different to the smooth surface of a disposable product. However, I used them to take off the makeup (liquid eyeliner and lipstick, false eyelash glue) from my Wonder Woman costume and they worked fine.

I would probably mark the cotton pads down as a fail overall. I bought some pre-made reusable cotton pads from the Source and they are much better. Removing make-up with toner is still an occasional part of my skincare routine and my skin suffered when I stopped using disposable pads.

It’s so interesting to reflect on the genius of the cosmetics industry. I started using micellar water when it came out a few years ago and totally believed that it was superior to toner. I remember how MW was marketed as being better (and thus justifiably more costly) because it eliminated the ‘need’ to use cleanser. I thought this was great! A few years later I wanted to take some MW on holiday so looked for a travel-sized bottle at the airport. They had nothing under 100ml so I reluctantly bought toner instead.

Reader, the two products were indistinguishable to me. I got got. I have since switched to showering at night, which means that I seldom need to remove my makeup (I just wash my face in the shower) but it was such a revelation at the time. Marketing can be so powerful, even if you consider yourself to be a thoughtful person with a critical eye.

Speaking of showering, I have also been trying to get single-use plastics out of my bathroom in general. I went to Lush and bought a few plastic-light things to try. I went in looking for a shampoo bar and some face wash. I came out with two solid facial cleansers. I have to say that I’m not too keen on them so far. The base is quite oily and I find it impossible to remove the oily feeling without using soap on top of the cleanser, which doesn’t really make sense to me. I am yet to try removing the product with a hot washcloth (this is my face wash routine in the morning) so perhaps that will work better for me.

In the end, I got a tub of liquid shampoo since I didn’t think that any of the bars would be suitable for my hair. The tubs can be returned to their stores. I’m not sure if any of their products are designed with POC in mind. I am planning to cut my hair very short soon, so perhaps I will try a shampoo bar then.

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I bought some fibre in Finland with the aim of knitting some replacements for our kitchen sponges. I’m pleased to say that I’ve finished! And I thought I would write up a quick pattern.

When I searched on Ravelry, I couldn’t find many free patterns for simple dishcloths, hence making up my own. I believe the technical term for this stitch pattern is a 3*3 garter rib.

Gauge

22sts and 38 rows to 10cm in pattern.

I used a 3.5mm needle. I tried a 4mm first but I wasn’t happy with how the work looked.

Can you tell which is the dodgy one?

A characteristic of this yarn is that it varies significantly in width- not really a problem, especially since a dischcloth doesn’t exactly have to be an item of great beauty, but I don’t like uneven knitting.

Pattern

Cast on 27 stitches. I used long-tail CO.

Rows 1-3: Knit

4 (WS). K3 P3

5 (RS). K

Repeat rows 4-5 until work reaches desired length (I went for 12cm).

Knit two more rows.

Cast off.

I used the yarn tail to crochet a hanging loop in the corner.


I’ve been meaning to try making some cotton pads for ages. I found a few patterns on Pinterest and I had a very small amount of cotton left over from my Elfe sweater. I managed to pick up a hook of the correct size in Kangasniemi.

I ended up making one of the rounds smaller due to using leftovers. This is also why the rounds are both multicoloured. Some of the patterns I saw had quite confusing instructions for the puff stitch but I found these ones quite straightforward to understand.

Unfortunately the rounds are really not the same as using the disposable cotton pads. I’m not sure if this might be because the cotton I used is treated somehow. I’m going to persist with using these for a bit and then reassess. A note for next time would be to add a chain-stitch hanging loop so that they can be hung up to air after use.

Yarn: Sublime Yarns Organic Cotton DK (white), Sublime Yarns Soya Cotton DK (red)

Pattern: Linked above

Ravelry project page


I went to a peculiar crochet event at the Natural History Museum recently. In order to celebrate replacing the famous dinosaur skeleton in their great hall with the bones of a blue whale named Hope, Toft designed a special kit to make a crocheted version. Here’s what we were emulating.

And here I am hooking underneath her.

In terms of amigurumi, I’ve only ever trial crocheted some simple spheres before, so the whale was quite a step up. I made a few mistakes, especially with the decreases, but I remembered my friend Anna’s advice that crochet is very forgiving and ploughed on. I don’t think the errors notice too much.

This is actually the bonus pattern, Blue the whale calf. I’m pretty pleased with it as my my first crocheted toy. I’ll probably have a go at the full size whale one day.

Kits exclusive to the Natural History Museum in London.

Pattern not currently featured on Ravelry.


I realised that I haven’t posted a satisfactory knitting update in some time, so here is my attempt to redress the balance. My knitting libido (knitbido?) is still quite low this year. I wonder if that’s due in part to taking a sabbatical from the HPKCHC. I’m still working on most of the projects I mentioned in my will-it-ever-end Wednesday post.

League

I’m still making slow but steady progress on my League sweater. I have finished the back, and I just did the second set of decreases on the front, which means I’m over halfway towards starting the armhole shaping, which is a little more interesting.


I’ve still got both sleeves to do next, so this jumper isn’t going to be finished any time soon. That’s okay, because it’s not woolly jumper weather right now, but if I continue at this pace, maybe I can have it finished for the autumn.

Featherweight

I’ve also made a small amount of progress on this cardigan. I’ve finished the waist increases. I’m going to add some shaping at the back hem for interest.

Apologies for blurry pic. 

Humboldt?

The most exciting knitting on my needles is the swatch I’m making for a possible Humboldt sweater. This pattern, in particular the use of marl, has really grown on me as the designer occasionally posts about in on Instagram. I’m thinking this would be a lovely cropped jumper to wear over dresses- less boring and warmer than a cardigan. I would probably knit this in Lemonade Shop speckled yarns, like the purple used in the swatch, so this sweater would be a pretty big financial investment. However, I also think that a sweater like this in worsted weight yarn would spark my interest more than the two small gauge projects I’ve got on the go at the moment. Plus, it would plug a gap in my wardrobe.


I made a second swatch using DK rather than worsted weight Lemonade Shop yarn and that gets me closer to the stated gauge. Although the yarn will cost SO MUCH.


I probably need to start work on some kind of fun accessory to give myself some more interesting knitting. I’m just low on inspiration. If anyone has any ideas, I would be very open to them!


I finished crocheting my basket out of Jersey Be Good t-shirt yarn. It came out really well!

I’m not entirely sure if this object is really finished. I stopped because I ran out of yarn. The basket is big enough to be useful, so I’m not going to buy yarn specifically to finish it. The good thing about crochet is that I can leave it like this for now, and add more rounds if I decide I want the basket to be taller.

I followed the pattern pretty much exactly. Using JBG held double, this yielded a basket that is

The yarn ran out partway through row 20.

If you want to make a basket, you will need four cones of JBG, or about 400 yards total of t-shirt yarn. I think it would be a lot of fun to make a basket like this using old t-shirts. You could make the yarn thicker so that it wouldn’t have to be held double that way.

The pattern I used is okay. I spent a lot of time searching Ravelry to find a free crocheted basket pattern and this seemed like the best. My only criticism is that the bottom of the basket isn’t completely flat. There must be a different way to crochet a flat circle. This may also be a tension issue but I don’t know since I’m inexperienced with crochet. I blocked the bottom of the basket, which helped, but I wouldn’t really recommend doing this because the fabric is so thick, it took several days to dry and started to smell a bit musty.

 

Pattern: Neon touch baskets (FREE!)

Yarn: About three cones of Jersey Be Good by Wool and the Gang

Hook: 8mm

Ravelry project page


2015 has been a funny year for me. It’s been my first year of qualified practice as a psychologist, which has been a big change from the previous three years of training. While I’m thrilled to have my evenings and weekends back, I’ve discovered that working full time is no joke. I’ve also faced previously unasked questions such as ‘when do single adults do their washing in winter?’ (note: discovering the ‘Delay Start’ button on my washing machine has CHANGED MY LIFE).

Finding a balance between work, life admin and the millions of things I want to do in my personal life is still a work in progress. I like the fact that the new year provides an encouragement to reflect on the year past in order to try to live better in the year to come.

At the beginning of the year I drafted a goals blog post that never made it out of the drafts folder. It’s a nice document to have when I look back on my year in craft.

New Year’s ReSEWlutions

  1. Knit a seasonal jumper in time for, you know, the season. This was actually a goal for this year but I kept putting it off until it was far too late.
  2. Learn to knit continental style. I hear it’s quicker, and I would really like to knit Fair Isle two-handed. Also, I think it would help my knitting RSI if I could change styles periodically.
  3. Sew at least one dress for work.
  4. Finish secret project (heart blanket) on time!
  5. Have my knitting appear on red carpet**

I think it’s fair to say I smashed it!

**This was not a resolution, but if I had known it would actually happen, it definitely would have been!

Knitting

Knitting has become my primary craft. More than that, it’s become a part of my identity. I’d certainly say it’s the craft I’m best at, and I love continuing to learn and grow as a knitter. I’ve always been pretty ambitious in the projects I’ve selected, and I’ve learnt loads from the mistakes I’ve made over the past seven years. This year I’ve really challenged myself in the projects I’ve taken on and I’ve managed to create some items that I’m very proud of, and that I hope I’ll be able to use for many years to come.

  
This year I finished

Crochet

I’m still a distinctly average hooker. But I love the speed of crochet and the fact that you can create visually striking designs from simple motifs.

Sewing

My sewing has developed loads this year as well. My feather print skirt represents the first garment that I made without any help from an experienced seamstress, and I’m pretty delighted with it.

IMG_3810

I’m also very proud of the blanket I made for my friend’s wedding.

Wedding guest book quilt

I’m excited to get back to my beautiful denim dress when I get back to London after my festive adventures. I quite like having WiPs to return to after a holiday. They are my textile babies.

Blogging

I’m still enjoying writing, and also documenting everything I make on this site. Thanks to everyone who reads, likes and makes comments on my posts. It really does motivate me to continue. Something I plan to do is invest in a proper camera, and I think I’ll enjoy developing my photography skills.

If you’re interested in my photography progress, I am on Instagram @craftycrusader

Baking

Baking and cooking in general has really fallen by the wayside this year, especially after 2014 (the year of bread). Building in more time to make myself tasty meals is a priority for me next year, so I’ll hope to share some delicious recipes here.