Sunday, 25 September 2016

FOR SALE - Louet S51 DT Spinning Wheel




With a heavy heart I'm putting my much loved Louet spinning wheel up for sale.  As some of you may know I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that causes me a lot of symptoms including hypermobile joints, pain and fatigue.  Recently I've found it too painful to treadle my wheel so I've bought an electric spinning wheel to allow me to continue spinning.  I love my Louet, it's not only functional it's a beautiful piece of furniture but the time has come to find it a new home.
Discontinued in 2010 the S51 DT is more or less the same as an S10 DT but with a prettier wheel.
It’s a double treadle wheel with Irish tension. It comes with 3 x three speed bobbins and a built in lazy kate which can be positioned on the left or the right. I also just fitted a brand new drive band as the old one was stretched out a bit.
I'm not exactly sure how old it is.  I bought the wheel second hand and I’ve had it for 6 years. It has a few minor knocks and scratches from living in a family home and being taken to the odd meeting but it’s a solid little wheel and great fun to spin on. Spare parts and accessories are easy to come by as they are the same as the Louet S10.
£200  Buyer to collect from Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
If you're interested please email me at clair@dunmani.co.uk

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Meet Horsea - the little water Pokemon

Meet Horsea!  Isn't he cute?

I've been busy making lots of Pokemon for #CrochetGo using Nichole's Nerdy Knots patterns and I thought I'd have a go at writing my own.  I love water Pokemon so I chose Horsea because he didn't look too complicated.

It turns out that pattern writing isn't that easy but after a few false starts and revisions I got there in the end.  And here he is!

Anyway, if you'd like to make your own Horsea here's the pattern.  It's written in British crochet terms using DK yarn but you want to make it in worsted I'd recommend going up to a 4mm hook.

There's a PDF version of the pattern if you want to print it out.

Happy crocheting!


Horsea Pokemon

You will need:
oddments of DK yarn in the following colours:
            pale blue
            pale yellow/cream
            white
            red
            black
3.5mm crochet hook
tapestry needle
toy stuffing

Please note: this pattern uses British crochet terms.


Abbreviations:
ch        chain
dc        double chain
bldc     back loop double chain
slst       slip stitch
htr       half treble
inc       increase by working 2dc into the same
stitch
dec      decrease by working 2dc together over next two stitches
join      join to first dc of round with a slip stitch

Before you start:

Exact gauge is not important but you need to make a firm fabric with small holes so the toy stuffing doesn't show through.  Go down a hook size if you need to.

Gently stuff the head and body after the first decrease round and keep topping up the stuffing as you near the last row.  Don't over stuff, it just needs to be firm enough to hold its shape. 

To make the head:

Using black make a magic ring.
Round 1: 6dc in the ring, pull ring tight, join and change to pale blue yarn.
Round  2:  1ch, dc into each stitch, join. (6)
Round  3:  1ch, bldc into each stitch, join.  (6)
Round 4 - 7: 1ch, dc into each stitch, join.  (6)
Round 8: 1ch, inc into each stitch, join.  (12)
Round 9: 1ch, *(1dc, inc) repeat from * to end, join.  (18)
Round 10: 1ch, *(2dc, inc) repeat from * to end, join.  (24)
Round 11 - 13: 1ch, dc in each stitch, join.  (24)
Round 14: 1ch, *(2dc, dec) repeat from * to end, join.  (18)
Round 15: 1ch, *(1ch, dec) repeat from * to end, join.  (12)
Round 16: 1ch, dec to end, join.  Fasten off.  Use tail to draw through stitches and close up hole.

To make head spikes:

Using pale blue *make 6ch, htr in second chain from hook, 1 htr in each stitch to end.  Do not fasten off.  Repeat from * twice more.  You should have three spikes all joined together.  Fasten off leaving a long tail to sew onto the head.
Make a second set of spikes in the same way.

To make tail and body:

Using pale blue make a magic ring.
Round 1: 6dc into magic ring, join.  (6)
Round 2:  1ch, dc into each stitch to end, join.  (6)
Round 3: 1ch, *(1dc, inc), repeat from * to end, join.  (9)
Rounds 4 - 10: 1ch, dc into each stitch, join.  (9)
Round 11: 1ch, *(2dc, inc), repeat from * to end, join.  (12)
Round 12: (1ch, *(1dc, inc), repeat from * to end, join.  (18)
Round 13: 1ch, *(2dc, inc), repeat from * to end, join.  (24)
Round 14: 1ch, *(3dc, inc), repeat from * to end, join.  (30)
Round 15 - 16: 1ch, dc in each stitch, join.  (30)
Round 17: 1ch, *(3dc, dec), repeat from * to end, join.  (24)
Round 18: 1ch, dc in each stitch, join.  (24)
Round 19: 1ch, *(2dc, dec), repeat from * to end, join.  (18)
Round 20: 1ch, dc in each stitch, join.  (18)
Round 21: 1ch, *(1dc, dec), repeat from * to end, join.  (12)
Round 22: 1ch, dc in each stitch, join.  (12)
Round 23: 1ch, dec to end, join.  (6)
Fasten off leaving a long tail to stitch head onto body. 

To make the chest:
Using pale yellow or cream yarn make 4 ch, leaving a long tail for sewing chest onto the body.
Row 1: Dc into second ch from hook, dc to end, 1ch, turn.  (3)
Row 2: Inc, dc, inc, 1ch, turn.  (5)
Row 3: Inc, 3dc, inc, 1ch, turn.  (7)
Row 4: Inc, 5dc, ince, 1ch, turn.  (9)
Row 5 - 6: Dc to end, 1ch, turn.  (9)
Row 7: Dec, 5 dc, dec, 1 ch, turn.  (7)
Row 8: Dec, 3dc, dec, 1ch, turn.  (5)
Row 9: Dec, 1ch, dec, 1ch, turn.  (3)
Row 10: 3dctog.  Fasten off.

To make the fins:

Using pale yellow or cream yarn make 2 ch.
Row 1: Inc in second chain from hook, 1ch, turn.  (2)
Row 2: Inc in each dc, 1ch, turn.  (4)
Row 3: Inc, 2dc, inc, 1ch, turn.  (6)
Row 4 - 6: Dc in each stitch, 1ch, turn.  (6)
Row 7: Dec, 2ch, dec, 1ch, turn.  (4)
Row 8: Dc in each stitch, 1ch, turn.  (4)
Row 9: Dec, twice.  Fasten off. 
Make a second fin in the same way.

To make up:

Sew spikes onto the sides of the head.
Sew the head onto the body.
Sew the chest onto the body.
Sew the tail in a tight curl towards the body.
Sew the fins onto the back about 2.5cm/1" below the head.
Embroider the eyes using red, white and black.


Pattern written by Clair Louise Coult.
This pattern is for personal use only.  

You can download a PDF version of this pattern here:  Horsea Pokemon

Monday, 5 September 2016

The Big Knit - Pikachu Crochet Pattern

Hi!

Every year I take part in Innocent Smoothies The Big Knit.  I make and send in miniature hats to go on top of smoothie bottles.  For each hat Innocent give Age concern a donation.  How cool is that?

It's a fun way to fund raise and each year I like to do something a little bit special.  This year the world has gone Pokemon mad so I thought I'd make some Pokemon themed hats.

The first one I made was Pikachu, my favourite Pokemon.  Isn't he cute?   I've also made a Pokeball hat and now I'm musing over what character to make next.

Anyway, I've written up the pattern if you want to make one too.  It's not too difficult and you only need oddments of yarn so go dive in your stash and make your own Pikachu for The Big Knit.

You will need:

Oddments of DK yarn in yellow, black and red
3.5mm crochet hook
2 x 8mm sequins or buttons for eyes (optional)

Please note - Instructions are written using British crochet terms.
 
Abbreviations:

ch            chain
dc            double crochet
inc           increase by working 2dc into the same stitch
join         join to first stitch of round with a slip stitch

To make the hat:

Using yellow yarn make a magic ring.
Round 1: 6 dc into the ring.  Join and pull the ring tight.
Round 2: 1ch, inc into each stitch to end.  Join. (12)
Round 3: 1 ch, *(1 dc, inc), repeat from * to end.  Join. (18)
Round 4: 1 ch, *(2 dc, inc), repeat from * to end.  Join. (24)
Rounds 5 - 10: 1 ch, dc into each stitch to end.  Join. (24)
After round 10 fasten off and weave in ends.

To make the ears:

Using black yarn make a magic ring.
Round 1: 5dc into magic ring.  Join and pull the ring tight.
Round 2: 1 ch, dc into each stitch to end.  Join and change to yellow yarn.
Rounds 3 - 6: 1 ch, dc into each stitch.  Join.
After round 6 fasten off leaving a long tail to sew the ear onto the hat.
Make the second ear in the same way.

To make the cheeks:

Using red yarn make a magic ring.
Round 1: 5dc into magic ring.  Join with a slip stitch and pull the ring tight.  Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing the cheeks onto the hat.
Make a second cheek in the same way.

To make up the hat:

Using the long tail stitch the ears onto the hat approximately between rounds 3 and 5.

Sew on 8mm black sequins or buttons for the eyes.  Alternatively you can embroider the eyes or stitch on small circles of felt.

Using the long tail stitch the red cheeks onto the hat.  They will be almost at the bottom edge and space slightly wider than the eyes.

Send your finished hat to the address on the Innocent Smoothies The Big Knit website.




Happy crocheting!



Monday, 29 August 2016

A new Pokemon phenomenon - #CrochetGo

For the past couple of weeks I've been busy crocheting something different - pocket monsters, better known as Pokemon!  I was a huge fan when Pokemon came out, I watched the adventures of Ash and Pikachu on the TV show and I even bought a Pikachu backpack.

Now I'm a mum and my kids have seriously become addicted to Pokemon Go, spending every waking minute searching the streets for new Pokemon to catch, looking for Pokestops and battling in gyms around town.

I came across some crochet patterns for Pokemon on Ravelry and learned that a lady called Nichole from Texas, USA, had started something called #CrochetGo.  She was posting free crochet patterns for Pokemon and encouraging people to make them and leave them at Pokestops in their home towns for Pokemon Go players to find.

Each Pokemon had a tag asking the finder to post a photograph on social media with the hashtag #CrochetGo so the maker could keep track of which Pokemon had been found.  I thought it was an excellent idea so I dived into my stash and started crocheting!



I left my Pokemon at Pokestops and game shops in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK and I've had some wonderful messages on Twitter from people who have found my gifts.   It's such a rewarding thing to do, especially when you see happy faces of the children who found a real life Pokemon.



 If you want to take part in #Crochet Go check out the following Facebook groups:


Gotta catch 'em all!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Meet Roberta, my spinning saviour!

A few years ago a good friend of mine, Babylonglegs, got me into spinning.  I tried out her Louet S10 and loved it so I bought my own Louet S15.  It was so therapeutic turning the fluffy clouds of wool fibre into squishy multicoloured yarns but one thing was holding me back - pain.  I didn't know it at the time but I had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder which causes hypermobile joints and pain (along with lots of other unpleasant symptoms).

I found it difficult treadling with my right knee and the pain almost made me quit spinning but I don't give up that easily.  I traded my S15 in for a very pretty Louet S51 DT, hoping that using both legs on the double treadle would ease my pain.  Sadly for me it didn't and my lovely spinning wheel and my stash of fluffy fibre have sat unloved for the past few years.

I really missed spinning and I was determined to find a way to continue my hobby.  I researched electric spinning wheels (no treadling required!) but they were all very expensive, ranging from £430 for an Ashford E Spinner to over £1000 for a Hansen Mini Spinner.  They were all out of my price range so I scoured buy and sell groups and checked eBay every day for months until this one electronic wheel appeared.  An Ertoel Roberta.

The seller didn't seem to know much about spinning, the wheel looked in really bad shape but from the photographs it looked like all the important bits were there.  The starting bid was £20, which is incredibly low considering they sell new in America for $1,095.  I watched the auction until the very last few minutes and I put in my bid.  I didn't think I was going to win, I was convinced someone was going to outbid me and I prepared myself for disappointment but when the countdown ended I was the highest bidder at £129.77!

I did my happy dance and then patiently waited for my parcel to arrive.  And this is what I got.

After doing some research I discovered she's about 30 years old and made in Australia.  Cosmetically she needs a little TLC.  The lacquer is peeling off the woodwork and the orifice hook holder is broken but there is nothing that can't be fixed.

The flyer is a little rusty and slightly bent so that will need replacing with a modern jumbo flyer, one of the bobbins rattles a little and the leather bearings have seen better days but everything else is in good working order.

I'm back spinning and I couldn't be happier :)

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Mrs Flowerpot's new shop!

Hi!

I'd like to invite you over to my new shop, Mrs Flowerpot's.  I've set up on Etsy selling my crochet shawls and other trinkets and accessories.


Mrs Flowerpot's


As some of you may know I started Flowerpot Tots 12 years ago selling wool longies and cloth nappies. My children are growing up fast and my nappy days are long behind me so I thought I'd put my talents to good use making something a little more grown up.

I have always loved to crochet, I caught the bug when I was 15 and I've never stopped.  I've made everything from granny square blankets to intricate doilies using crochet hooks so small you can barely see them.

Recently I've been making a lot of shawls in sock and lace weight yarns.  I've posted pictures on social media and people started asking if I was selling them, so I thought it would be a good idea to set up shop.

At the moment I only have shawls in stock but I hope to be adding some Japanese knot bag very soon. They make excellent project bags for your knitting of crochet.

So please pop by the shop and if you like what you see add me to your favourites so you won't miss out on the latest updates.

See you soon!



Monday, 20 April 2015

Magenta Tartan Granny Square Blanket

I love making granny square blankets but sometimes they look a bit old fashioned.  I'd seen other people do tartan and plaid style blankets so I thought I'd give it a go myself.

To make it look like tartan the trick is to use two main colours that produce another shade where the lines meet.  For my blanket I chose magenta and teal with purple cross over squares on a neutral grey background.

Materials:

Stylecraft Special DK 100g

4 x silver
2 x magenta
2 x petrol
1 x emperor

4mm crochet hook.

Finished blanket was 14 x 14 squares and measured approximately 110cm (43") square.  It's easy to make a larger blanket by repeating the pattern.

I made basic crochet granny squares, working three rounds before fastning off.  I followed the pattern below and joined the squares together as I went along but if you're joining them later you need to make the following number of squares in each colour:

100 x silver
40 x magenta
40 x petrol
16 x emperor

My granny square pattern (UK crochet terms)

Make 5 chains and join in a circle with a slip stitch.

Round 1: Make 3ch to count as first treble, into the circle work 2tr, 2ch.  (3tr, 2ch) three times.  Join with a slip stitch to the top of the first 3ch.

Rounds 2: Slip stitch into the next 2tr and 2ch loop.  Make 3ch, 2tr, 2ch 3tr into the 2ch loop, 1ch.  *3tr, 2 ch, 3tr into the next 2ch loop, 1ch.  Repeat from * two more times.  Join with a slip stitch to the top of the first 3ch.

Round 3: Slip stitch into the next 2tr and 2ch loop.  Make 3ch, 2tr, 2ch, 3tr into the 2ch loop, 1ch.  *3tr in the next 1ch space, 1ch.  (3tr, 2 ch, 3tr) into the next 2ch loop, 1ch.  Repeat from * twice more.  3tr in the next 1ch space, 1ch.  Join with a slip stitch to the top of the first 3ch and fasten off.

Join the squares in the following pattern.





S - silver (grey)
M - magenta (pink)
P - petrol (blue)
E - emperor (purple)

I finished the blanket off with three rounds of double chains (US single chains) in emperor to give it a neat edge.  I worked 3dc into each corner, one dc into the top of each tr, 1dc into each 1ch space and 2dc together where the squares join (1dc into each corner 2ch space, worked together).

The pattern is adaptable to any number of colour combinations but I think it looks best if you stick to colours that blend to form another colour, for example yellow and red crossing over to make orange, or blue and yellow crossing over to make green.

You can make the blanket any size you like by simply working as many pattern repeats as required. Each square measures approximately 7cm (3")

Happy crocheting!