16 April 2016

teddy bear puppet appeal

OCC Barton on Humber are having a teddy bear puppet appeal.....

They are hoping to break the world record of teddies in a line. To break the record they need more than 15534 teddy puppets and the deadline to return knitted puppets is the 18th September. The puppets will then find there way into shoe boxes, as OCC stands for Operation Christmas Child, a charity which sends filled shoe boxes to needy children round the world.
For more details visit their Facebook page Occ Barton on Humber, click here
If you are interested in knitting up a few teddies, here is the pattern, a nice easy knit.


My pattern notes
I knitted the front and back in one piece.

I started and ended the puppet with two by two rib.
I embroidered the face before turning inside out and sewing the side seams as I thought it was easier.

My scarves were I-cord.

For the crochet pattern, click here.
Thanks to Linda's Crafty Corner for bringing the teddy appeal to my notice and I'm hoping to spread the word as well.
 Till next time, Ali.

9 April 2016

cup of tea

The latest novelty knitting pattern Ive tried is one by Clare Scope-Farrell, entitled Time for Tea.
Usually when I'm commenting on other designers patterns, I'm off the opinion "if you cant say anything nice, don't say anything at all", as I know how hard it is to actually write a pattern.
However, my gripe was not with the actual pattern, which was a fun knit, it was that it was only available as a Kindle edition e-book. Now I don't own a Kindle but was able to download the Kindle app on my phone....

Call me old fashioned, but I did struggle with this. I like a hard copy so I can scribble my own notes on it and mark the rows off as I go along. Anyway, I persevered as I quite liked the look of the finished item. I did change the pattern "translating" it so that i knitted most of the pieces I could in the round. I don't know why the designer has chosen this way to distribute some of her patterns, maybe it is here way of dealing with copyright issues.
I did finish it with a few technical hiccups on the way....

The buns are real, by the way. For more details of this and other Clare Scope-Farrell patterns, click here
Till next time, Ali.

25 March 2016

happy easter

I had great fun knitting this cute little chap as one of my Easter knits. The pattern is called "Dutch Rabbits" from the Yarnigans and the designer is Rachel Borello Carrol. It's a great pattern, everything including the making up is well explained. Also nice to have a pattern written for dpns. Pattern can be found on Ravelry, click here. I used a strand of Drops Karisma with a strand of Drops Kids Silk and it worked well, making the knitting tight so that stuffing didn't show through.

All that's left to say is have a lovely Easter everyone.
Till next time, Ali

2 March 2016

knitted feast

I do like a competition .....and when I saw that there was to be one at the Knit and Stitch Show this Spring, I just had to enter. Especially since the title of the competition was Knitted Feast and the requirement was to knit or crochet an item for the banqueting table.
I wanted to do something colourful and after perusing the internet I took my inspiration from a photo found on the Not From a Packet Mix Blog of a fruit tarte.
I started with a pastry base and custard filling and a row of strawberries and blueberries.....

Then added some tinned peach slices and kiwi fruit.....

and of course every pastry deserves a pretty cake stand......

and a few flowers and pieces of fruit for a bit of decoration......

And my final entry....

If you are lucky enough to be going along to the Spring Knit and Stitch Show at Olympia in London this weekend have a look out for my fruit tarte and all the other entries.
Unfortunately mine was not in the winning three!
Till next time, Ali.

21 February 2016

free flower pattern



st(s): stitch(es)
k: knit
p: purl
kfb: increase, knit front and back of same stitch
tog: together
rpt: repeat
sl: slip
psso: pass slip stitch over 

two 3.25mm / US 3 needles
small amounts of dk / 8ply yarn, two colours for petals and centre 

PETALS (make 6)
Cast on 7 sts, leave a long yarn tail on one of the petals.
ROW 1: k1, p2, k1, p2, k1  (right side).
ROW 2: p1, k2, p1, k2, p1.
Rpt ROWS 1 and 2 four times.
ROW 11: k1, p5, k1.
ROW 12: p1, k5, p1.
ROW 13: sl1, k1, psso, p3, k2tog  (5 sts).
ROW 14: p1, k3, p1.
ROW 15: sl1, k1, psso, p1, k2tog  (3 sts).
ROW 16: p1, k1, p1. 
ROW 17: sl1, k1, psso, return st on right hand needle back on the left hand
needle, pass the last st on left hand needle, over the returned stitch. 
Fasten off.

Loose yarn tail at the tip of the petals along the side edge.
Shape petal by turning over so the reverse side is facing upwards. Pinch the two
sides of the cast on edge and fasten with a few stitches.

Using the petal with the long yarn tail, thread the six petals and join to form a circle. Pull tightly and secure.

Gently press the top half of each petal using a cool iron and a damp cloth. 

Wind yarn around three fingers six times.

Slip off fingers and tie in the middle. Ties will be used to attach to flower later.

Snip both ends and spread out to form a loose pompom.

Thread the yarn used for tying, through the centre of the petals, pull tightly and knot. Trim stamens.

Cast on 3 sts, leaving a long yarn tail.
ROW 1: kfb, k1, kfb  (5 sts).
ROW 2: p.
ROW 3: k.
ROW 4: p.
ROW 5: sl1, k1, psso, k1, k2tog  (3 sts).
Cast off purlwise, leaving a long yarn tail.

Using one of the yarn tails, gather half way round the circle edge. With the other yarn tail, gather round the other half of the circle.

Pull yarns tightly and tie in a knot.

Place centre on top of stamens and thread the two ends through to back of flower. Pull tightly and knot.

Leaf pattern also available on my blog click here scroll down.

copyright Alison Hogg 2016

30 January 2016

facebook and instagram

You can now find me on both Instagram and Facebook. On Facebook I'm under Crazy Dazy Knits and I hope to post updates about patterns and what I'm working on at the moment. To find my page, click here.

You can also find me on Instagram, again under Crazy Dazy Knits. I'm having great fun there perusing everyone elses photos, its very inspirational. Thanks Helen from Midget Gem Quilts for the guided tour. I still get my "#"s mixed up with my "@"s but I am getting there....

It would be great if you came over and visited me in either or in both places.
Well better hop to the knitting, I think I spend much too much time online these days.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Ali

20 January 2016

easter pattern

Just a quick pattern update. I have rewritten my Easter bunny creme egg cover pattern and it is now for sale in my etsy shop click here and my Ravelry store, click here.....and here are the three little maids......

My cupcake knitting pattern is also included in the Love Knitting winter catalogue. It is in great company, photographed beside the Kawaii Ice Cream Cone, by the Flying Dutchman Crochet Design.

Till next time, Ali.

6 January 2016

new yarn

I was lucky to receive as a gift several balls of yarn. They were bought in Lighthouse Yarns, a shop in the Bank House, Whitehead. The balls are part of the Vintage Collection, which come in different weights and have been reloved from local woollen mills and are absolutely gorgeous...

For my first project I used the 4 ply white slub yarn and combined it with a black 4 ply yarn and a silver thread for a bit of sparkle. I used the free pattern from Purl Soho - Fisherman's Rib Scarf, available here.

I love this pattern and have used it before as it doesn't need blocking and the rib makes the scarf springy and cosy. Using 8mm needles the scarf knit up in no time.
Now thinking of other unique projects to use up rest of the vintage yarn.
Till next time, Ali

23 December 2015

christmas wishes

Have a great Christmas everyone.
 Hopefully on soon with more crafty creations.

12 November 2015

felt ball garland

I have a lot of wool leftover wool from felting a few years ago and determined to use up my craft supplies before buying more I thought a felt ball garland would be a good idea. There are various methods for making the balls for the garland, needlefelting, wet felting by hand or wet felting in the washing machine. The last method appeals, leaving all the hard work to the machine. Here's how I made the garland....its easy!

What you need

old tights
thread or cotton
large sharp needle
washing machine
colour catcher sheet


Take a small amount of roving and using fingers form a small ball.

Tear long lengths of the roving and then split to form long thin strips.
Wind the long strips round the small ball to form a larger one that fits into the palm of your hand. Balls will shrink about a third in size during the felting process.

Give the ball a final roll between the palms of your hand.
Insert the ball inside the leg of tights, compact the wool ball and tie both ends with string.

Once all the balls are tied into the tights its time to felt.

Place the balls inside the washing machine with a pair of jeans or old towels, a little detergent and a colour catcher sheet The colour catcher sheet is very important if using a mixture of light and dark coloured wool.
Use the hottest wash cycle with the least water.
Once "washed" if the balls do not feel firm they may need to go through another cycle.
They will have probably felted through the tights and these will need to be peeled off the balls.
The balls will be still wet so at this stage can be molded and rolled in your hand to form a spherical smooth shape

Once the balls are dry take a long sharp needle and thread some embroidery floss through each ball. You can tie a knot at either side of the ball if required. I perferred not to knot as it gives a more random effect.

My garlands are going to be used for Christmas decs, but are the sort that can be left up long after Christmas has been and gone.
Bye for now, Ali.

12 October 2015

christmas curls

I have seen crocheted spirals on Rav embellishing many projects, but shied away as I thought they would be too complicated to make. Another thing puts me off crochet patterns is a lot of patterns use US crochet terms which I find confusing. I eventually took the plunge with these crochet spirals and could not believe how easy they are. I've written the instructions below using UK/Aus crochet terms. This is not my original pattern, I watched a few tutorials on you tube and combined them, translating them and added a few extra bits myself, I mostly used the video tutorial  by Shopetsy, click here.
Any weight of yarn can be used, just use a corresponding size crochet hook.
I used dk yarn and a 4.00mm hook

Christmas Twirly Curly Tree Decoration


ch : chain
dc : double crochet
rpt : repeat

Make a slip knot, leaving a long yarn tail approx 12ins/30cms (this will be the hanging loop at the top of the spiral)
chain 20 approximately
the finished spiral will be half the length of the original chain

Working back along the line of chain. Miss one chain stitch, then slip stitch into next ch.

4 dc into next ch.

Rpt 4 dc into each ch.

As crocheting continues work naturally spirals but may need encouraging to curl in the right direction

Break yarn (when spiral is in place use this yarn end to secure the top, by sewing a few stitches into the lower level of the spiral)
Change to a contrasting yarn, starting at the bottom end of the spiral, work one slip stitch then dc into each previous dc

Break yarn and fasten off.

Return to the yarn end which made the slip knot, thread onto a needle. Double over the yarn and make a loop securing with a few stitches at the top of the spiral.

Other Ideas
Use sparkly yarn to make the project more Christmassey. Or Crochet using a metallic thread together with yarn.
Use variegated yarn for an interesting effect.

For a chunkier spiral treble instead of dc, (3 chain and 3 treble into first chain, then 4 treble into remainder of chains)

Other Projects
The spirals could be used in so many different projects. To decorate hats and scarves. Attach them to pony tail elastic bands. Ringlets for dolls hair or Santa's beard. Decorating parcels, much nicer than curling ribbon. I would be interested to know if anyone has any other ideas how they could be used.

Till next time

30 August 2015

holiday knitting

I am just back from a short break in London. I'm not a great reader so wanted to bring some knitting for any spare time I had when I was away. I was only taking hand luggage so wondered how I could get knitting needles past airport security. My usual Knitpro Karbonz had to be left behind and instead I took a set of bamboo dpns. I knew I couldn't take scissors either, so I purchased a Clover yarn cutter - makes an attractive pendant too.

 I wanted a nice easy knit so decided on some preemie hats for the local charity Tiny Life. I contacted them a while ago and they kindly sent me some patterns.
All went well going through security and the needles went unnoticed, no problem. On arriving at the hotel, I "bagged" the lounger as my knitting chair, lovely and relaxing and the light was nice and bright.

I got quite a few hats knit, being so small they knit up very quickly. Here's a few of them in a variety of sizes....

As well as the hats I practised a bit of cabling, something I haven't done before and wanted to have a go before starting my next project.

  Till next time, Ali.

12 August 2015

a bit of sewing

This is my sons last year at secondary school and hopefully he will be going to uni next year. To mark this milestone I decided to make him something. I did a bit of up cycling using his old blazer, old tie and PE kits, which I've kept over the years. Had to blow the dust off the sewing machine it's been so long since I've given it a whirl. I pieced together bits of the uniform and ended up with a cushion I even inserted a zip on the reverse side. Here it is.......

A wee memento of his seven years spent at Inst, Im not sure if he will appreciate my efforts but I had great fun sewing it, must do more sewing.
Good luck to anyone who is waiting for their exam results tomorrow, or later in the month.
Till next time, Ali.

4 August 2015

fingerless mitts

Its summer here.....well supposed to be anyway. Awful though it is, still not the weather for wearing woolly mitts but this hasn't stopped me knitting up two pairs. For the first pair I used my all time favourite pattern - Susie Roger's Reading Mitts. My old grey ones were looking very sorry for themselves so these are a replacement. The pattern is a freebie and available on Ravelry, click here.

A girl cant have to many accessories, so I wanted to knit a pink pair as well. I decided to look for another pattern and found one by Louisa Harding. This one, Victoria Mittens is available in her book - "Knitting Little Luxuries".

The pattern is written for two needles which is a shame as mitts tend to lend themselves to be knitted seamless. I tweaked her pattern and used my trusty dpns. What I loved about it was her use of picot cast on and off.... I thought it gave a pretty effect.

I used the loveliest of yarn for these two projects, Findley dk by Juniper Moon Farm, found in the Textile Studio, Ballyhackamore, Belfast, so soft and with a lovely sheen and a delight to knit up.
And after trying both patterns, the Susie Roger one is still my favourite.
Enjoy the rest of your week, Ali.