Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Crochet, plain and fancy

Thank you so much for your comments and suggestions around children and cooking. I have written them all down and will be returning to them. This week, Bella has been much more involved in the preparation of meals (lots of chopping vegetables) and I think something really simple like pasta or baked potatoes will be a good starting point for her. Lots of you mentioned spaghetti bolognese as a good starting recipe, but John prides himself on the ragu sauce he makes (it simmers in the oven for hours - it is incredible) and I think we'll have some difficulty wrestling that one from his grasp.

Anyway, crochet. It's been all go here lately with yarn and hook, and I've been making some very practical household items for bathroom and kitchen. They've proved to be the perfect in-between project after the jumper and blanket, and now I am ready for something a bit more challenging.

I wanted to learn how to crochet waffle stitch, and a few simple square facecloths seemed like a good way to start. My skin care regime - if it could be called that - consists of removing eye make-up then washing my face with soap and facecloth, so I wanted the cloth to be soft but exfoliating too. I found a really great video tutorial for waffle stitch here and bought my yarn. I wanted 100% cotton, unmercerised (so non-shiny) in neutral colours, and in Hobbycraft I found some 25g balls of cotton called Ricorumi - small balls of coloured cotton and DK yarn aimed at amigurumi crochet, but ideal if you need a little bit of one colour but don't want to buy a big ball. (I wish I'd known about these when I was making my crocheted fruit and vegetables a few years ago, it would have saved lots of leftover yarn when I only needed a tiny bit of, say, green for a stalk or something.)

I bought two 25g balls each of white, cream, light grey and silver grey. Using a 3.5mm hook, one and a half balls made a facecloth and with the rest I made washable make-up remover pads, or scrubbies, to replace the ones I buy to remove my eye make-up. There are lots of very similar patterns online but I liked this one.

I was starting to find all these cloths quite relaxing to make, so whipped up a load of new dishcloths using some cotton yarn in aran/worsted weight and a 5mm hook. 

Just rows of double crochet for these, nothing fancy. 

Now for the fun stuff: all the new projects I have to look forward to this spring! My mother-in-law kindly gave me some Wool Warehouse vouchers for my birthday, and I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours last weekend choosing, downloading and printing out patterns and spending my vouchers on yarn, without any guilt about the cost. 

I chose this basket by Lakeside Loops perfect for holding yarn or a plant. Like blankets and cushions, there is always room for another basket in this house, and another houseplant to put in it.

Next, I felt like making another lightweight shawl. I wear my shawl so much, and for a long time have wanted to make the Ombre Shawl by Sarah Shrimpton, especially as she recommends a ball of Scheepjes Whirl for the yarn. 

For a long time I've hoped to try crocheting with one of these colourful yarn cakes and eventually chose the colourway Raspberry Rocky Road.

Finally, something else I planned to make this year was some more crochet socks. I have a couple of pairs of crocheted bed socks that I wear all the time, but I wanted to try making some finer everyday socks in a smaller stitch, and went for this pattern by Vicki Brown.

I treated myself to some beautiful variegated sock yarn - Arco Iris sock yarn by Malabrigo - and now have the fun task of winding this into a ball. Buying yarn this way always feels like a bit of a novelty to me. 

So now I have three projects, all nicely organised in those bags Wool Warehouse send their yarn in, ready to go. Trouble is I just don't know which one to start first. 


  1. They are all lovely, but I'd go for the shawl as it will be perfect to wear in spring. I love your little crocheted make up remover pads and might have to follow suit. I'm crocheting too at the moment, which is unusual for me but I'm really enjoying how relaxing the simple pattern is after lots of lace and colourwork knitting. Whichever project you choose, I look forward to seeing the finished article!

  2. Love the washcloths and makeup remover pads, nicely done. The crochet plant basket will be wonderful, exactly the sort of thing I love, although I fear Bertie would make very short work of it. He destuffed a cushion at lunchtime today, honestly it looked like a chicken massacre in the living room. I got the middle boy to hold some yarn for me the other evening when he couldn't sleep. It was a novelty to be allowed up late, so he didn't complain. CJ xx

  3. I bet you enjoyed choosing those goodies. I always get lured but yarn on a skein but it is such a pain to wind. One ball will probably be OK but when you are making a jumper I hate having to stop to wind more - one of them always ends in a tangle! Start the shawl first pretty please because I want to see it! Jo xxx

  4. So lovely picking new projects and getting the yarn for them. Your blog posts are always so inspiring.

  5. I absolutely LOVE the idea of washable eyemakeup removal pads - so good for the environment! It is a great idea and I think a bathroom set of facecloth and makeup removal pads, in either the lovely quiet colours you chose, or some soft pastels, would make a perfect gift for a friend.

  6. Making dishcloths and washcloths is a bit addictive, isn't it? Yours are looking rather stylish - mine are a colourful jumble of using up leftovers! Gorgeous projects... I would start them all! I like to have a pair of socks on the go (easily portable for out and about), a shawl (tv crochet/knitting) and a bigger make for all those other times! Look forward to seeing them...

  7. I love the neutral color palette you chose for your washcloths and face scrubbies! And thank you for sharing the pattern for the face scrubbies!

  8. What an exciting line up of craft items. You've chosen some lovely things to make in beautiful colours. I love your washcloths and scrubbies, I too have made a few scrubbies recently as I'd finished a blanket that took ages and wanted a quick project. Thanks for sharing the scrubbie pattern, I used one from moralfibresblog link.
    You might like to look at this soap company who make facial soaps - so lovely and not that expensive. All the best with your projects. Cathy x

  9. The projects are fantastic! And I love the way you use the bags to store them in. I do too. They seem more special that way! Can't wait to see these projects on the go!


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