Thursday, 28 October 2010

Sunshine Booties

Autumn looks to have finally struck with temperatures starting to drop. The new boiler appears to be doing sterling service in these first days and nights of needing the heating and we've all had colds.

This is M's first cold and I think she's coped remarkably well - at least through the day. Nights have been a bit fraught as tiredness and feeling grotty have gotten a hold, but otherwise M has been quite chirpy about the whole thing.

I've also had a birthday which passed fairly quietly this year - not that my birthdays are ever really raucous affairs! We did manage to get together with friends for lunch last Saturday which was good. I also received a good haul of crochet books for which I am grateful. So far I've only really had time to glance through them but they're all focused on small projects which can be squeezed in as and to when around M.

All of which means I really do need to get on and make some stuff.

Following on from the success of the Flaming Hot Booties I decided to make another pair!

This time I did a little stash diving, rummaging in my sock yarn hoard and pulling out two solid balls. One of the joys of sock knitting is watching a self striping or patterned yarn do its thing, as a result I don't own many solid colours. In fact I only had three colours to choose from - pink, yellow or grey. The pink had a bit of silk mixed in, so wasn't ideal for booties so I put it aside, leaving me with the yellow and grey. Hopefully the result looks bright and cheery.


The sock yarn in both cases is a standard Regia 4 ply; 75 percent wool, 25 nylon making it both warm and durable. The same 3mm hook was used and because the booties followed on quickly from the previous pair they were easy to work.


Once more the pattern is Little Feet by Joan Nossa (Ravelry Link) but learning from experience I reworked the stitch count to make joining the sole easier. I also rang the changes a little adding a scalloped edge to the cuff rather than picot. The resulting booties fit a foot up to 11cm long which should fit between 3 and 6 months I hope.



Changes I made to the pattern are as follows.

I started the top of the foot with a sliding loop rather than a chain, just because that’s my preference.

I had to resize it to fit a 4 month baby foot as follows…
  • 8 inc rounds on the top of the foot, to give me an extra 5mm of growing room
  • R9 - (2scx1, scx6) x4, 2scx1, 33ch leaving 11 st gap
  • R10 - (2scx6, 2sc1) x4, sc until end
  • 10 rounds of sc rather than 6 as per original pattern (72 st)
  • Pick up sts for ankle and work 14 rows
  • Work scallop edging - ss, (3sc into next st, ss) repeat in brackets until end

Work sole as per pattern, except

  • R6 - (2scx1) x4, 12sc, (2scx1) x12, 12sc, (2scx1) x8 (72 st)
  • R7 - work sc around

Note - all mods follow original pattern writing style and assume American notation… So 2scx1 means “2dc into next st”


Again, a good little project easily worked around a baby and made up fairly quickly. Using solid colours makes them appear more chunky somehow, despite this pair being only marginally larger than the first. M likes them and has indicated they are very nom-able!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Not happy campers

We've been a bit derailed this week as some thieving toerags have broken into our shed and cleared us out.

Our garden is fairly secure from the front, the only access being via a side gate and a tiny bit of fence, both of which are six foot tall. Imagine our surprise last week when we discovered a muddy footprint on top of it. Surprise turned to irritation when we realised our garden bench was missing.

It took Dave some time to find the bench where some bods unknown had tucked it behind our shed. Along with the bench we found coke and beer bottles suggesting a group of someones had had a little private party at the bottom of our garden. We back onto several properties all of which are fenced to different standards which would make accessing the garden difficult which was why they apparently came over the gate. Our big question was why?

We contacted the police who said our prowlers were most likely just kids looking for somewhere private to hang out. My response was that our garden seemed an odd place to choose, given how difficult it is to access. I asked if there could be something more sinister behind it - like someone scoping out houses or gardens for burglary but was laughed at and told no, very unlikely.

Yeah, right.

They came back and this time were prepared.

They took down a section of fence at the back of the garden to give themselves easy access via a back neighbour who's side gate was open and removed the shed doors. They then had a leisurely rummage through our shed contents helping themselves to some large items and pretty much clearing us out on camping gear.

The lucky toerags haul included - a gents bicycle, a ladies bicycle, 2 camping stoves, 4 tents (ranging in size from a 6 to a 2 man), a garden strimmer, an electric pump, a collection of camping chairs, a travel cot, tools and a turquoise silk ball gown which stank of smoke so was airing in the shed.

To shift all that stuff we think means there must have been at least two people involved and they must have had either a very large car or a van to cart it off.

So far the police response has been less than sympathetic with the officer Dave spoke to being a bit flippant about the whole thing. The impression I'm left with is that in the scheme of things it's unimportant other than as a statistic. The police won't even investigate, so the culprits are pretty much certain to get away with it unless caught red handed with our stuff.

We are not happy campers.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Flaming Hot Booties

With my new found skill for crocheting small things around a baby, I wasted no time in looking for a suitable first project.

With autumn well under way and winter drawing in, my thoughts turned to slippers. Specifically I was thinking how cold my own feet get during the winter months and how cotton socks just don't cut it in terms of keeping my toes toasty warm.

So the search was on for baby slippers that could be worn over cotton socks both indoors and outside. M doesn't need much in the way of a sole since she is a long way off walking, let alone running about outside, hence providing the slipper is substantial enough it should do for outside use.

I don't have much experience with babies in general, but in M's case she is a very enthusiastic foot kicker. For any slipper to have a chance of staying put it would need to have a cuff around the ankle... And so what I obviously needed were booties.

After a trawl through Ravelry's pattern database I eventually settled on Little Feet (Ravelry Link) by Joana Nossa.


Little Feet are worked in a spiral, starting on top of the foot and then extending around the heel before working down towards the sole. The yarn is cut and rejoined to work the cuff, while the sole is made separately then attached to the body of the shoe. The bootie is finished off with a picot edging around the cuff.

The result is a rather robust looking bootie.


M's feet are not that big and didn't need a huge amount of yarn so I made these booties using left over sock yarn. The yarn in this case was originally used for my very first pair of socks. It's a standard Regia 4 ply, 75% wool and machine washable - so should be very cosy and fairly durable.

Being the left over yarn from another project, I can only estimate but would say I used approximately half a ball or 25g to make both booties. I don't have the ball band so don't have details of the colourway but it's made up of eye catching reds, pinks, orange and grey; very cheery and I love the way the colours work together. That the colours match a little on both booties is a happy consequence of having tried to match them up on the original pair of socks. Since I was using the remnants of two 50g balls, each had ended in a similar place in the colour striping which is why these two booties look similar.

I used a 3mm hook to make the gauge specified by the pattern and sized up to fit M's non newborn foot. Hence the pattern mods were as follows...
  • I started the top of the foot with a sliding loop rather than a chain, just because that’s my preference.

While I followed the pattern, I had to resize it to fit a 4 month baby foot as follows…

  • 8 inc rounds on the top of the foot, to give me an extra 5mm of growing room
  • R9 - (2scx1, scx6) x4, 2scx1, 30ch leaving 11 st gap
  • R10 - (2scx6, 2sc1) x4, sc until end
  • 8 rounds of sc rather than 6 as per original pattern (69 st)
  • Pick up sts for ankle and work 14 rows

Work sole as per pattern, except

  • R6 - (2scx1) x4, 12sc, 2scx1, 1sc, (2scx1) x9, 1sc, 12sc, (2scx1) x7, 1sc (69 st)
  • R7 - work sc around

Finish as per pattern and add picot edging.

This gave me a bootie to fit a foot approx 11cm long which will hopefully mean there is a little growing room while not being too big for my 16 week old baby.

The overall result is a striking, colourful bootie which I'm hoping will stay on despite vigorous foot and leg kicking on the part of M.

Initial tests suggest they'll do nicely and here you can see them in action.


This is the first time I've tried to photograph knitware on a baby and it is more difficult than I thought it would be. M, bless her, loves waving her feet especially when excited (and who wouldn't be excited by a pair of crocheted slippers?), hence most of the shots I took came out very blurry. These were the best of the lot so hopefully they do the booties justice.


I thoroughly enjoyed making these booties. The pattern was a little difficult to read but the pictures showing the construction helped a lot. Since I was resizing, it was more important that I understood how to put the shoe together than following the pattern exactly as written. My notes reflect the style of the original pattern which they're intended to compliment.

I would certainly give these booties another go, sizing up again as needed. All in all, a fun, quick and importantly small project.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Some small activity

A few weeks ago after some experimentation I discovered that I can crochet around M whilst I'm nursing.

This was a fantastic revelation because M has a voracious appetite and as a result I'm often stranded for hours, sitting still while I feed her. I've tried reading at the same time but found the activity too relaxing, which in my sleep deprived state was just making me drowsy.

Crochet on the other hand requires my brain to stay engaged so isn't having the same effect. Of course the other bonus is that I get to indulge my inherent need to 'make stuff' - albeit small stuff and very slowly!

So small crocheted items are now a possibility and hence there may well be activity which is blog worthy again.

Mind you finding time to type anything up or process photographs is perhaps another matter... Although I've discovered I can type up text on my mobile phone which certainly opens up possibilities.