A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

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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


This week I won some tickets to one of Wool and the Gang’s knit parties at a pub in Islington. Anna and I got to spend two pleasant hours twisting rib and displaying our knowledge of advanced knitting techniques.

After two hours, we both had about three quarters of a cowl and I finished mine off the in the odds and ends of knitting time I had on Wednesday. I decided to feature a visible seam as I love the braided look of a cast off edge. Since this is a moebius cowl, it’s not possible to seam the twisted rib invisibly. I may even add a little colour contrast at some point.

Apologies for the overly filtered Instagram pic, but the lighting was terrible.

I’ll post some modelled pics at some point. This is a cowl to be worn with a coat, as it takes on the appearance of a collar and will prevent any wind sneaking down your neck on blustery autumn days.

Pattern: Snood Operator

Yarn: Crazy Sexy Wool

Needles: 15mm

Ravelry project page.


Now that I have a room big enough for shelves, I’m free think about handmade storage solutions. One thing in particular that I need is a better way to store my current works-in-progress, and yarn and fabric that I’m thinking of using soon. Currently they’re in a big pile on my shelf, which looks messy and is an inefficient use of space.

I’m super excited to be able to use the yarn my friend Natalia kindly brought me from Scotland. This yarn is super cool, with each ply in a different colour of the rainbow. I’m using a small crochet hook to give a stiff fabric that should hold its shape.


I’m currently at 60 stitches and I’m just going to keep increasing until the circle is the right diameter to fit on my shelf. I think I’ll block the base after that so it’s nice and flat before I make the sides of the basket. I believe that the pattern I’m using is meant to produce a flat circle, but it’s curling up at the edges. This is most likely due to a combination of my basic crochet skills and the unusual yarn/hook size combination I’ve chosen.

Update: Here the base is blocking. I increased until I had 120 stitches around and the basket should fit nicely on my shelf. 

  

I’m also using the Jersey Be Good left over from my Hold Tight clutch bag to make a second basket. I’m using a larger 8mm hook with this super bulky yarn.


I wasn’t entirely happy with this base so I decided to try holding the yarn double. Although this makes it much more difficult to crochet, I prefer the result. Both circles have the same number of stitches so you can see the difference that doubling the yarn makes.

The new technique I learned for this pattern is the awesomely named ‘magic ring’, which allows the centre of a crochet project not to have a hole in the middle. It’s pretty simple but I found a lot of the tutorials confusing to follow. This is the one I liked the best.

Pattern: Neon touch baskets (free pattern)

Ravelry project pages: Rainbow Basket, Jersey Be Basket


I’m really pleased with how my Wool and Gang Hold Tight clutch bag knitted up. I think I picked colours that go well with my wardrobe and I’m loving the neon colour pop trend. Why have highlighters trapped in a pencil case? Let them be free! Here are a couple of pics of the finished item.

Can you tell I’m pleased with it?

Jade helped bring out my inner model on the South Bank.


  

I was surprised at how long the project took overall. The bag is made with Jersey Be Good held double, which gives a really sturdy structured fabric, but is a killer on the hands!

I have a few tips for anyone who wants a double contrast trim like me.

For the binding, I found it easiest to stick closely to the pattern by starting with a WS row. I switched to CC2 (the yellow) and cast off before picking up the same number of stitches behind the ‘braid’.

  
I started the woven stitch with a RS row, I don’t think it matters whether you start RS or WS. I found the instructions a little unclear- you need to start every row by slipping the first stitch.

As other makers on Ravelry noted, the snap closure seems small compared to the size of the bag. I just tried to sew it neatly and hope it worked out, which it did.

   

I also did a picture tutorial for the cute tassels. 

    


This is a quick tutorial for anyone who want to make tassels from any kind of t-shirt yarn. I used mine to embellish my Hold Tight clutch bag and I think they look really cute.   

All you need is a couple of metres of jersey or t-shirt yarn, either handmade or bought, and a tassel end. 

         


The second I saw one of these cowls made up, I knew I had to have my own in this stunning grey/black melange. You can’t really go wrong with Wool and the Gang’s Crazy Sexy Yarn but I think the fluoro binding is what really makes it pop.

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This is such a simple pattern in moss stitch and I like the fact that you can use a single ball of yarn with virtually no waste. Very quick too. Here’s a progress shot.

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My only real regret is that I did the wrong cast-on, but it doesn’t look bad enough for me to re-do it and it means that I have a clear top and bottom to my snood.


I recently became a gang maker for Wool and the Gang, who are a really interesting company with some truly wonderful yarns and simple, cool patterns including this Zion Lion hat. I was amazed to hear that someone bought the first one I made, then a friend requested one in the same colours. These colours.

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These hats are a nice simple pattern and chunky knits seem popular at the moment, so they’re a great winter project. Here’s a couple of pics of it in progress. I don’t have a 12mm circular needle so used straights and cast on 2 extra stitches for seam allowance.

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I thought knitting flat would help the stripes to be jogless but it didn’t really work so I used the ends of the yarn to neaten the right side like so.

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I made the needle specifically for working with the Crazy Sexy Yarn. Check out this post for the how.