Crochet Owl Hats for Twincesses

Cold winter weather makes my fingers fidget and I have to get going on some woollen crafty project.  Crochet is my distraction of choice and I’ve realised that choosing smaller, achievable projects is the best way to achieve (somewhat) instant gratification.

I have been eyeing out Repeat Crafter Me’s awesome crochet animal hats for a while now. Last winter I crocheted an ear-flapped hat sans eyes and animal bits but really felt like it was lacking. So this winter I dived in and made not one but TWO owl hats (aaah life of a twin mom crafter!).

I love the free patterns that Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me so generously shares and as I mentioned, these cute owls were top of my list.  So I had no trouble deciding what to make.  I love the ear flaps and the cute ear tufts.  The pattern is easy to follow and came together nicely although I did have to Google a few of the crochet abbreviations but I think that’s standard practice because I can’t keep those different stitches in my head from one winter crochet session to the next!

The yarn I used all came from my stash (except I did have to top-up on purple halfway through). I used:

  • Real, hand spun, raw 100% wool from the Orkney islands (!) in grey
  • Green, purple, white and yellow cotton yarn leftover from my blanket projects.  I used a double strand because I wanted a chunkier yarn, tighter stitches and it needed to match the grey wool
  • The additional purple is a cotton blend from a local wool shop gem called Wolmart.

A side note on the Orkney wool: Years ago when my sister graduated from Edinburgh University, my family went on a cycling trip from Glasgow to the Orkney islands (as one does…) and while exploring the islands I heard the fascinating story about the local North Ronaldsay Sheep. These sheep have adapted to living on the tidal flats between the ocean and the sea wall and subsist on only sea weed. They eat at low tide and then escape to higher ground at high tide to digest their meal.  Their digestive systems have had to adapt to their interesting diet and they would probably suffer if they had to eat grass.

North ron sheep.jpg

Needless to say, after hearing about these sheep, I HAD to track down some of their wool so that I could thread their story through my own creations. I meandered through the wool shops of the little villages and did eventually find some authentic wool which I have been hoarding since then.  And what better project to use it on that warm owl hats for my girls.  The wool was so great to work with and felt so good in my hands.  I’ll have to come up with another suitable project for the rest of it!

I had thought that the separate eyes and beak would be complicated and irritating to attach to the hat, but it wasn’t a problem at all.  The pattern also suggests adding black buttons in the middle of the eyes.  I left these off (at the suggestion of hubby), but I may consider putting them on in the end…

I made the ‘toddler’ size hat in green first but after Little A took a particular liking to the “gweeeenn” one, I realised that her plus size head probably wouldn’t fit into it for much longer, so the next one in purple was in the ‘child’ size.  It’s a little big but I think a better fit and at least there’s a chance they can wear it next year too.


The girls love their owl hats – particularly the green one – and if it’s one item of winter clothing we can get them to put on voluntarily, then it’s a definite win!


Summary:

Pattern: Owl hats from Repeat Crafter Me in size Toddler and Child; I left off the button eyes…for now.

Yarn: Pure wool and cotton

Do it again?:  I’m keen to make matching adult ones for mom and dad!

Advertisements

Crochet Blankets for the Twincesses

IMG_4146

IMG_4144

These two crochet blankets have been LOOOOONG term projects that were started years ago before the twincesses were even twinkles in our eyes.  But the girls are here and the blankets are done!  Amazingly the blankets were actually completed before the girls arrived but have just been slow on the blogging side.

The first blanket is a Rainbow ripple that I mentioned in my Mile High Crochet club post back in 2014. The pattern is based on Attic 24’s awesome tutorial. It’s a great pattern that comes together relatively fast (if you don’t have crochet hiatus’s for years on end!).

IMG_4147

The second blanket is a granny square blanket that is made up of a bunch of granny squares that are then crocheted together.  The granny squares were quite fun to make but I didn’t enjoy the stitching together or tucking in of loose threads as much.

IMG_4145

Both blankets were made with a cotton yarn that felt really good to work with and has a great weight to it now in the completed project. As mentioned they took a LONG time to come together and have been worked on mainly during holidays or hospital stays.  I’m quite proud that they did actually get finished thanks to my confinement to the couch during my last few weeks of pregnancy. Needless to say, the blankets aren’t getting much use as covers in these sweltering summer days but they make great play mats too!

IMG_4139

IMG_4142

The Mile High Crochet Club

I just got back from an overseas trip to a conference (and some family time) in South Africa. This of course means no sewing, no blogging and some very long air plane flights.  Because I have a hard time doing nothing and feel that sitting idle is wasted time that could be used productively, the solution to the problem was to take my crochet project on the plane with me! I’m not a major crochet’er but I enjoy the therapeautic repetition that comes with row after row of neat little crochet stitches. And it’s a fun winter project especially for trains, waiting rooms and now planes!

I assumed that I was a bit of an anomaly and did get some interested looks from around the cabin.  But to my suprise, a woman on ‘granny duty’ walking her toddler granddaughter up and down the aisle, stopped to chat and mentioned that she too had brought her crochet on the plane and we chatted about the tips we had learned about inflight crochet’ing.

DSCN2712This bright, happy rainbow ripples blanket is a work in progress and I’ll have to talk more about it when it’s done.  For now I wanted to celebrate my debut as a member of the ‘Mile High Crochet Club’ and share some tips that I’ve learned along the way:

1. Choose a bamboo crochet hook – They are less likely to show up on the security scan and people feel less intimidated by bamboo than by metal

2. Keep your scissors out of your project bag – Scissors will definitely show up on the scanner and will be confiscated.  Not ideal if they are your favourite little embroidery snips.

3. Let your yarn ends dangle – Because you don’t have scissors you will find that if you’re changing colours (as I was), you will have to let your yarn ends (and ball of yarn) dangle at the end of your colour.  This is a little annoying but not really a problem as long as your yarn ball is tied up neatly.  If not, you could have a huge mess on your hands.

4. Bring enough yarn – Make sure you bring enough of the yarn you intend to you use for your project.  There is nothing worse than getting in your crochet groove and running out of your red line when you only have a few centimeters to go.  And there is NOTHING you can do at 31,000ft!

5. Rest your eyes – The air in planes in notoriously dry and you are most likely tired, watching movies and trying to crochet  in pretty dismal light.  Use your overhead light but rest your eyes when they start to feel scratchy and get some sleep if you can.

Are you a member if the Mile High Crochet (or Knitting) Club?

I’d love to hear from you.