Sunday, 8 September 2013


If there is such thing, we are back to it. It's been a nice Summer - some bits didn't work out as planned, but things got done, fun was had, and the weather for once played ball - we've had amazing long sunny spells since July (this is not usually the case here in the UK I can tell you!)

Now, September has set in and the weather has instantly become more autumnal. Schools are back and Christmas chocolates are already in the shops. Boo hoo! I love Summer - the sun, heat, nature - and not having to wear jumpers and coats, I hate those things! I really should move somewhere a bit warmer...

But, with all the change as we lose our Summer once again, a sense of relief also comes into play, as normality is restored. It's just me and the Little Lady pootling about our business through the week, doing jobs, shopping and plenty of things to keep her entertained! The Summer was lovely, but it's nice to be settled back into our familiar routine.

This means less crochet time however, but it's OK as that time is transferred to full-time Mummy, which is a job I love! I've managed to sneak in some most evenings through the week, which is just enough to keep me sane/happy. This week's project has been the FreshStitches Tiny-A-Long - a crochet-a-long where you can make any of her patterns, but the twist is they have to be tiny (or at least smaller than worsted weight yarn!) I consider FreshStitches animals to be large. If you make them out of the suggested worsted weight yarn, they can be a foot or more tall! Whilst I like the odd larger creation, storage is not practical! Previously I have made her patterns with DK weight yarn, meaning they came out smaller than intended, but for me they were still plenty big enough. For the tiny-a-long, I decided to go one smaller, into unchartered territory - 4ply yarn and a 2.5mm hook! Arghhh! I had none of this, so of course I had to shop. I wanted to use cotton, as usual, and remembered the DMC Natura Cotton my friend once used. It comes it loads of yummy bright colours, so I went and picked out a few I liked.
I still didn't know what I was actually making, so I browsed FreshStitches patterns and tried to figure out what would look good in the colours I had bought. I probably did this the wrong way round, as I usually know what I am making before I go colour hunting, but it actually worked out rather well!
So now I will introduce Jacques, le Hermit Crab!

Friendly little chap isn't he?! I added the smile as I thought he needed it - and Little P likes to pretend to feed these things, and we need a mouth for that!
Even with the 4ply yarn and 2.5mm hook, he still turned out about 9 inches long, imagine if you made him full size?! I striped the shell too, to make him a bit more interesting and bright, and I'm pleased with how that turned out, even if it was a bit of a faff changing colour every row!
My main gripe with the construction of Jacques, was the 5 rows in the middle of his 'body'. They comprised of single crochets, slip stitches and half-double crochets. I understand that this is a necessary technique in order to get his body shape, but working with such small yarn, it slowed the process right down!
In fact, the whole thing took a lot longer than I expected as the yarn was infuriating! It may look and feel lovely, but it was very, very splitty, and working with a small hook, you really noticed it. I was dead chuffed it I managed to complete a stitch without stray loops appeared from where the yarn had split. I won't be using this for amigurumi again in a hurry... or ever!

I was not looking forward to assembling him (I often find sewing on bits can be tricky!) but this was actually plain sailing compared to the rest of him! I don't blame the pattern at all, that's great - it's that yarn! And I won't write the yarn off entirely either - it's just not made for amigurumi! I think he was worth the blood, sweat and tears though, and I've rather fallen in love with him since his completion last night. Little P found him this morning and had to get her other toy crab so they could say 'hello' to each other. Ah sweet child!

I also had another one of those exciting yarn deliveries on Friday. All the way from the States. You guessed it - more Lily Sugar 'n Cream! I've had a few people ask where I get it from, so here is the link to the Bernat shop. It's relatively cheap, comes in great colours and variations (even smells?!) and works up lovely too. I love it. Not for everything - I'm not sure I'd ever use it for toys or blankets, but for decorative stuff it's top notch. Obviously, being as it's from over the pond, shipping is relatively large ($16 to the UK). But I figure, if you order enough (meaning loads) it balances out quite well! Also, I have only been charged shipping once out of 3 orders - I'm not sure how that works? But I was charged this last order, which ruined my idea that if I ordered enough they scrapped the shipping! However, it still works out a good price per skein (mine was about £2.20 per 71g, and works out about the same price per gram as Rico Creative Cotton), and I'm quite happy to pay for the luxury of this stuff!

I ordered a couple of super-size balls this time, and will do so in the future if they have the colours I want available. I also tried a super-sized striped ball of 'Creamsicle', yummy isn't it?

Which leads me nicely on to the other thing I've been getting on with this week - the Little Sunshine Hat pattern is written up, and ready to download as a PDF file (via Google Drive)!

Now the Summer is over, I've finally pulled my finger out and got it written up, good timing eh? Better late than never! I used the Lily Sugar 'n Cream yarn to make these hats, as it has enough strength to it to hold it's shape, but is soft and floppy enough to make a nice hat too. Go take a look! I hope to be writing up another pattern sometime soon, when time allows, but until next time...


  1. I've just ordered some lilly sugar n cream yearn after seeing all the wonderful things you are making with it! I'm interested to see that you didn't like the DMC yarn as well, i bought some a little while ago to knit some mittens with and gave up after a while as it just kept falling apart and i was splitting stitches left right and centre! very frustrating indeed!

    1. Glad I'm spreading the sugar 'n cream love! Hope you like it! Let me know how you get on with ordering from that site, I might try that one next time! Yeah definitely not into the DMC cotton, too much trouble! :)