Yankee Candle Cosy

I was a little bit bored one evening so I decided my large Yankee candle needed a sweater! It’s a really quick pattern so it shouldn’t take too long.

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Equipment:

  • 7mm crochet hook
  • DK wool in any colour you like.

***I use American crochet terms in my patterns!***

Pattern:

  1. Make a foundation chain 38 sts long.
  2. DC into 3rd st from end of chain. Continue to end. (35)
  3. Ch 1. SC to end.
  4. Repeat 2 and 3 twice more.
  5. I added shell pattern stitching for the next few rows. I recommend this link for thorough instructions on how to crochet in this stitch.
  6. Repeat 5 twice more.
  7. Repeat 2 and 3 three more times.
  8. Fasten off and use the loose end to sew the sides together.

You can now pull the candle cosy over the top of the candle!

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This fits on all large Yankee candles, but will also fit any glass jar or candle of a similar size.

It’d be a great personalised addition to any gift (birthdays, housewarming, Christmas, etc)

(Pattern can also be edited to exclude the shell stitching. Another 3 repeats of steps 2 and 3 would do instead).

 

Crochet Camera Bag

I have to confess, I don’t know this pattern off-by-heart because I made it up as I went along, but I’ll give you a rough idea!

Note: I use US notation for my patterns.

I used a 4.5 mm crochet hook and double knit yarn. You’ll also need a button and a darning needle for weaving and sewing the button on.

  1. Measure the width of your camera and make the foundation chain that long plus two sts. (I think mine was around 20).
  2. 2 hdcs in first st  (placing your hook through the third st on the chain) and 1 hdc  to the second last st, 2 hdcs in the last, then start crocheting in the “bottom” or underside of your foundation chain. Start with 2 hdcs and then 1 hdc to second last st and 2 hdcs in last st. Sl st to join.
  3. Ch 2 and hdc into each st around. Sl st to join. Repeat this until you get to roughly the right size of your camera. (It would look like a bowl or basket-type thing at this stage.
  4. When you’ve gotten to this stage, begin rows of hdcs on one half of you bag only to make the flap. (So if you’ve got a bag 44 sts in the round, maybe make the flap 20 sts.) Repeat rows until you reach your desired length.
  5. To the end of the flap on my camera bag, I added triangle edging. Firstly, because it looked nice and secondly, because it saves on having to make a button hole and you can pop your button through the central triangle. The pattern for that can be found here.
  6. Weave in your ends once you fasten off.
  7. Sew button on. I used a contrasting yarn for this, but it’s not essential.

Et voila!

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Spiced Apple Jam

Christmas is coming, so aside from the usual knitting and crocheting of gifts for people, I thought it would be nice to make some preserves as gifts for people. Nothing says “I’m thinking of you” like something you’ve invested time and effort into making yourself!

My grandad (and many others) absolutely love jams and jellies, so I thought this jam recipe was perfect for the Christmas season. I always associate apple and cinnamon scents with the festive season!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg Bramley (or crab) apples
  • 1 kg jam sugar (contains pectin)
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 tsp each of nutmeg and allspice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • If you have no nutmeg, allspice or cinnamon, 1 tbsp of mixed spice will do perfectly well.

NOTE: if you want to make jam quickly without delay, do step 8 in the hour the apples are stewing (step 4).

Recipe:

  1. Wash and core your apples and chop them into roughly the same sized pieces into a large pot.
  2. Squeeze lemon juice on apples to stop them going brown.
  3. Just cover apples with water and place the pot on the cooker over a high heat until it is brought to the boil.
  4. 2013-09-24 18.42.03Simmer for an hour or until the fruit is pulped.
  5. Add sugar and spices over low heat until it has melted into the apple mixture.
  6. Raise the heat and test frequently to see if the jam has set, using a sugar thermometer or the cold plate method.
  7. 220°C is the setting temperature of jam. For the cold plate method, if you have no sugar thermometer, put a teaspoonful of jam on a plate that was in the freezer for 10 mins. Wait 15-20 seconds. If the jam wrinkles when pushed with the tip of your finger it has reached setting point.
  8. Place your jam into pre-sterilised jars. Washed jars placed in an oven at 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 1/2 for 10 minutes, a hot cycle in the dishwasher or just Milton should do the trick (rinse in plenty of water after Milton sterilisation).
  9. Enjoy your home-made jam.

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Jar labels can be removed with methylated spirits or by placing in water for a while and peeling off.

I have made my own labels and material lid covers 🙂

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Happy Halloween: Pumpkin Carving!!!

I’m sure nobody needs to be told how to carve their own pumpkin, so I’m just going to post a few pictures of the pumpkins I did this year and last year.

This was the owl pumpkin I carved last year. I just looked it up on Google images and drew it by eye with a permanent marker.

26102012465The permanent marker is a great way of making sure the design goes on smoothly (if you have no template). You can wipe off what’s left of it when you’re done with nail varnish remover (or alcohol) and tissue.

I did two pumpkins this year. One is just a creepy pumpkin face (design also found on Google).

DSCF7230This one was pretty easy to do because there were no delicate bits to contend with. Including all the scooping and clean up it took less than 2 hours. The second pumpkin was a bit more tricky. It’s a banshee that was carved part of the way through with a lino print tool.

DSCF7236This one took about 2 and a half hours, because of the delicacy involved and the fact that you must be very careful when using a lino print tool as it will slice through your finger without a bit of trouble!!

The only tip I can offer you with regards to pumpkin carving and display is to find some battery-operated tealights to put into your pumpkin to reduce the risk of fire and so you can leave it on the windowsill unattended even with the curtains drawn! They should also last all night so you won’t have to replace real tealights. Also, dip your carved pumpkin in diluted bleach to prevent it from going mouldy. It should last about a week that way.

Have fun, be safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

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Ghastly Hanging Halloween Light

I was bored one evening and was in the mood to try something Halloween-themed, so I fashioned my own crochet ghost, which you can put a light into to add to the eerie effect! 😀

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Materials used:

  • 4.5 mm crochet hook
  • double knit yarn of any kind in white (I used acrylic)
  • double knit yarn in black (embroidering eyes and mouth)
  • tapestry needle
  • a small light or flameless tea light

I use American notation for my crochet pattern.

Pattern:

  1. Make a magic circle with 6 sc.
  2. 2 sc in each sc around (12)
  3. Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc around (18)
  4. Sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc around (24)
  5. Sc  24 sc rounds until you reach your desired length (about 3-4 inches). Then FO and weave in your ends.
  6. Embroider the face in whatever scary way you like.
  7. To make a “ledge” inside your ghost, make a foundation chain 7 ch long.
  8. Turn, sc to end (6)
  9. Turn, sc to end (5)
  10. Turn, sc to end (4)
  11. Sc in each st all around, FO and sew to the inside of your ghost, so that it makes a roughly oval-shaped “ledge” inside for you to rest your light on.
  12. Put your light in, and enjoy!

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EDIT:

I also used sewing thread to hang the ghost off the bottom of my mantelpiece in my living room. Any coloured thread is fine, the thinner it is, the more difficult it is to see, so it will look like it is floating around 🙂

Amigurumi E.coli Pattern

I apologise in advance for this pattern, I didn’t keep a good count of the pattern as I was going, so it might not be exactly the same, but it’ll be close enough to resemble this pesky little coloniser!

You will need:

  • 4-4.5 mm crochet hook (US size 6-7 or G will do nicely).
  • Aran or worsted weight yarn in the colour of your choice.
  • Stuffing.
  • Tapestry needle.

Abbreviations:

  • sc = single crochet
  • st(s)= stitch(es)
  • Inc= increase
  • hdc= half double crochet
  • Dec= decrease
  • FO= fasten off
  • ch= chain

Pattern:

  • Make a magic circle with three sts on it (3)
  • Inc to 6 (make 2 scs in each sc)
  • 1 sc in 1st st, 2sc in 2nd and 3rd sts, continue to end. (10)
  • 1 sc in 1st st, 2 sc in 2nd st, continue to end. (15)
  • 1 sc in 1st and 2nd sts, 2 sc in 3rd st, continue to end. (20)
  • Use hdc around. (20)
  • Repeat hdc rows until you have a tube-like structure measuring about 7.5 cm (3 inches) in length.
  • Dec to 15 (1 sc in 1st and 2nd sts, dec with next st, continue to end)
  • Dec to 10 (1 sc in 1st st, dec with next st, continue to end)
  • If you haven’t been stuffing by now, stuff as much as you can now before the opening gets too narrow to fit anything in.
  • Dec to 6 (1 sc in 1st st, dec winext 2 sts, continue to end)
  • Dec to 3 (dec in every st around)
  • Sew closed and FO.
  • To make the flagellae, I just picked out stitches randomly from the tube of hdc stitches and ch 10 right there. I did about 3 a row, every second row until the end of the hdc tube. FO and weave in your ends.

Et voila

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DSCF6591If any of the instructions aren’t making sense, feel free to ask me any questions. As I said, I’m working off memory. I hope you enjoy making these 😀

Munich Reunion!

Last week, I travelled across the pond to my blogging compatriot, Ciara’s homestead in Munich, Germany. She was generous enough to have me squat in her apartment and bring me on adventures around the city. It was a fantastic week, and one I hope to repeat in the future, albeit a bit more relaxed the next time 😉

cropWhile I was there, we were able to get down to some knitting and crochet work to pass some of the colder evenings when we were just too tired from the day’s activities to do anything else.

Ciara made some adorable baby booties with blue bows as a gift, as per pattern here.

We did a joint crochet project for a Halloween bat decoration, which will be used for a Halloween party that Ciara will be hosting 🙂 It’s an adaptation of this pattern

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Finally, I made an amigurumi E.coli as a bit of a joke, because of our shared love of all things sciencey! I think I’ll make the E.coli pattern a separate post, just so there’s not too much text going on here. Hope you enjoy the little update!

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