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“Selfie Slouchie” by Mandie (Tulip and Thistle Crochet)

People who like my page on Facebook Tulip and Thistle Crochet will be in no doubt as to what my favourite yarn is…… Lumio by SMC, US Facebook page. It comes in ten colours, all with a strip of reflector thread running through it.

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It is like a ball of magic. In broad daylight, it looks just like normal yarn… Until a car with headlights on drives by or someone takes a photo with the flash on. This happens….

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See, magic! :-D Top photo is taken with the flash off and the bottom with the flash on.

Usually I get bored of hats or forget to take them but I really wanted to make a hat with this yarn. I trawled through millions of hat patterns. Then I saw slouch hats and started leaning towards them.

There are loads of patterns out there, all just not what I was looking for. It was either for another weight of wool or I didn’t have the correct crochet hook for it. So, I ended up winging it and came up with the following pattern.

I came up with the name after I took soooo many selfies to try and capture the shine from the reflector strip.

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Only a small selection of selfies.

This particular hat was made whilst sitting in the back of the car between the wee shamrocks so I wasn’t able to write down instructions so this is written from memory.  I have another hat to make soon so I will double check  the instructions.

Or, if anybody has a go at it, maybe you can tell me if I have forgotten something.

UK terms are used in this pattern.

Materials:

8mm hook for the rim
15mm hook for the main part.
1 ball of 150g SMC Lumio, or any other super bulky/chunky wool. Any colour you wish.
Darning needle.
A big button (optional)

Terminology

ch = chain

sl st = slip stitch

dc = double crochet

htr = half treble

tr = treble

tr2tog = treble 2 together

sk 2 = skip 2 stitches

Instructions

With the 8mm hook ch enough stitches for it to fit around your head, ensuring there are no twists in it.
I made a chain of 52 and my head is 55cms circumference.

Sl st to the first chain, ensuring there are no twists.

Row 1-3
Ch1
Dc in each stitch to end. Sl st to first st.

Row 4
Repeat row 1-3 but make the stitches looser to allow the next row easier to crochet with the thicker hook.

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Row 5 – 7
Using the 15mm hook, ch 2.
Tr, htr, dc in the next st (3 stitches in one stitch), ch 1, sk 2 st, tr, htr, dc in next st all the way around. At the end, instead of a sl st, carry on in a spiral manner.

If you like a longer slouchie hat, do more rows of the above before decreasing

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I use the long starting tail as a guide to where the row would start again.

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ROW 8
Start decreasing

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Tr2tog, (yo, hook through ch sp, yo, pull through, yo pull through the first 2 st. Yo, hook through the NEXT ch sp, yo, pull through, yo, pull through first 2 st, yo pull through all 3 stitches on hook.)

Carry on doing htr dc, in 2nd space, ch1.
*Tr, htr, dc, ch1 in the next 4 spaces. Sk 2 st
Tr2tog, htr, dc in 2nd sp, ch1, sk 2 st*

Repeat between *&* until the end of the row, use starting tail as a guide.

Row 9
*Tr2tog, htr, dc in 2nd sp. Ch1. Tr, htr, dc, ch1,  in next 3 sp.*
Repeat from * to * until the end.

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Row10
*Tr2tog, htr, dc in 2nd sp, ch1,sk 2 st. Tr, htr, dc on next 2 spaces. Repeat from * to end.

Row 11 & 12ll
Tr, htr, dc, ch1, sk 2 st in each ch sp, ch1 all around

Fasten off leaving a long tail. Cut yarn and thread a large darning needle.

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Guide the needle through the top stitches to close the hole.

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Pull the yarn tight, thread the yarn through to the other side and anchor the yarn so it is secure. To finish off the hat, I double crocheted in every stitch around the rim of the hat to even off before attaching the button.

I ensured that the seam of the rim sat at the back of my head and the “slouch” fell over it. For this hat I placed a button on the left hand side so that the seam (not that noticable but I always notice) will always be hidden. I do not have a button on my hat at time of publish but I will soon.

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I see that I am still covered in glitter :-D

I gave this one to the Tulip mother. The tulip said it looked like a hat Sinterklaas’ helpers wear. Sinterklaas and his helpers arrived in Holland yesterday 16/11/2013. So this is a present to celebrate that.

If you come across anything on this pattern that didn’t work,  please let me know :)

Enjoy!

Edited to revise the pattern…

Making tablet

Tablet, of the sweet variety is said to come from Scotland.

It is similar to fudge in colour but has a hard, crumbly, melt in your mouth texture.

Tonight I made a batch for biggest shamrock’s school to sell at the jumble sale.
Since a few people asked for the recipe, I thought I would write it here.

Edited to add photos and tweak.the instructions.

So, you will need ;

a HUGE heavy based pan. Non stick won’t be good for this.
A long handled wooden spoon.
A glass of water
Teaspoon
A plate to rest your spoon. This will also help you gauge the difference in colour.
A buttered large shallow baking tray.

INGREDIENTS

1kg granulated sugar
100g butter
Tin of condensed milk (397g) I prefer to use Farmlea or Aldi version.
A cup of milk.
Vanilla (optional)

METHOD

Pour the sugar into the pan, add the milk, stir until it starts to melt, add butter over medium heat, keep stirring until the granules have melted.
Slowly bring to the boil then pour in the condensed milk.  Raise the temperature and bring to the boil. Stirring all the time.

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BEWARE this mixture is extremely hot so please be careful when stirring.

 

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The plate shows how the colour begins to change.

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Still stirring the mixture, reduce the heat until the tablet simmers gently.

Stir continuously.

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Test the mixture by scooping some mixture out of the pot and putting it in the glass of water. When the mixture makes a sort of ball shape (I tried to show it in the above photo).

Now that the mixture is ready, here is the part where you can earn an extra piece of tablet.

Take the pan off the heat. Using the long handled wooden spoon, you need to beat the mixture with pure muscle.

Please be careful for splashes.

You need to beat until the mixture is smooth, approximately 10-15 minutes.

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Now quickly pour the mixture into the buttered baking tray.

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I can’t pour mine in the one go due to the weight of the pot and my height so try and get someone to help with this part.

Let the tablet cool for about 20 minutes and cut your portions already. This will ensure nice clean cuts…. Unless you would like the “rustic” effect ;-)

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A few ways that I have presented the tablet

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I quickly ccrocheted two wee pouches to hold the tablet for Christmas gifts.

For reference, the varying colours of the making of tablet

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The author takes no responsibility for burns, weight gain or health issues,arising from this delicious sweetie ;-)

It has been a while…

HI !!!!
We have arrived back to normality…… Whatever that is.

School has started again.

The 2013 life list hasn’t exactly turned out as we had wished for.  
Here is a reminder of the list;

The 2013 checklist :  Taken from the very first post I wrote on here:

  • Moving to Dublin
  • Restarting my Early Childhood Education honours degree
  • Turning 40 *tick*
  • Husband graduating  *tick*
  • Having a family filled summer *tick*

As you can see, there are two items on the list that have not been ticked.

 

Unfortunately I wasn’t successful in transferring my degree to Dublin this year,  There has also been a serious lack of jobs or Masters for a first class honours graduate.  So, the plan to move has been moved to the  2014 list.

We are a bit sad that our dreams couldn’t be fulfilled this year but we are more determined than ever to move east side next Summer.

It makes complete sense to stay put for the extra year.  Tulip and his friend from class are in the process of starting a business.  

Shamrock one has been discharged from speech therapy and the Ear Nose and Throat Department at hospital. This is huge news as we have been on this road since he was 3 years old.  His hearing is good and with this his speech has improved immensely.

Shamrock 2 starts “big” school next year so that will be a clean break for her.

I plan to apply to my preferred institute next year at the first opportunity I can get.  In the meantime, my crochet has proved to be incredibly popular.  I had to start an order book in order to remember all the items that were ordered.  As it stands now, the orders are still coming in and there is a significant waiting list.  I am absolutely delighted!

Tulip has been on the road today to finalise things for his business.  He popped into our derelict cottage during this road trip and phoned me straight away.  There are seemingly buckets full of blackberries on the lane leading to our cottage, just waiting to be picked.

Guess what the next blog will be about ;)

Must get on with my orders.  Chat soon :-D

Coming of age

In 8 days time I will have left my 30’s.  This milestone seemed like so far away and now it is here….
Not sure how I feel about it.  I certainly don’t feel as old as I had imagined I would all those years ago.

I am mad busy washing, drying and folding clothes in order to get back to the caravan for “The Final Countdown”

For the benefit of the young ‘uns out there…..

Watch this 

From Saturday I have my family arriving! I seriously cannot wait! It will be the first time all the family will be together at the same time.  We can’t count the Christmas we were together as Shamrock 2 was still cooking.  The excitement is bubbling and I fear that I will be a squealing wreck by the time they all arrive.

In the meantime to take my mind off the reunion I will show you some of the photos I took in the last couple of weeks.  

At the campsite we go to, there have been loads of bees in the area and they have joined me whilst sitting, drinking coffee and crocheting in the sun. I have some cracking shots.

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The campsite is amazing for kids.  They go off all day long with their friends and we only see them when they are thirsty or hungry.  The way childhood should be.
Shamrock 1 wanted to show his cousins how he enjoys the “Lazy River”

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As usual, when the kids are entertained/playing I get on with my orders and my ongoing project. I had to bring my “whole” stash along with me (although I couldn’t justify taking all of my yarn)

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Acrylic stash

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Cotton stash

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Ongoing project.  A throw for my folks’ caravan

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Progress report

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Photo shoot of the boots available to order on my Facebook page here

These booties have become my best seller.  My plan was to make children and adult’s high top slippers.  I am currently waiting on a delivery of non slip glue for soles so that I can start making the order of 6 pairs of children’s slippers that I have already.  Not to the mention the whole load of baby ones that need to be completed.

On that note. Must rush and carry on with the orders and packing.  I won’t have a lot of internet over the next few weeks.  

Next time I come here I will be a 40 year old *gulp* ;)

Made a Lego bag for easy tidying (with photos)

My husband always talked about a storage/ tidy bag which can help cut tidy time.
It sounded perfect and exactly what we needed to help keep the Boxes and boxes of Lego under control.

We couldn’t source suitable fabric locally so when we were in Dublin we popped into Ikea to have a look at their fabric.
The fabric I needed had to be sturdy to allow Lego to become mobile so that we could take it to the caravan in the Summer.

The Mum in Law brought her sewing machine to let me have a go and to help make the bag.

Ikea didn’t have what I was looking for…. Until I reached one of my favourite departments, the “Discount Corner” (I am Scottish after all, not to mention married to a Dutchman ;))

Right at the back there was a whole pile of material and stuffing. In amongst this was a settee cover… It was big, red and a sturdy type of material.

We held it open and saw that we could take off the atm parts and we would be left with a straightforward shape which we needed to work with.
If we were clever we wouldn’t need to use the sewing machine. I am not much of a sewer.
I then remembered that I could buy eyelets, the ones used for curtains. When buying them I came across the eyelet border.

Fast forward a couple of months, we finally managed to put it together.

First, I cut one huge piece of fabric and placed the (already cut to size eyelet border) along one edge. I drew circles inside the circles of the border.

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When the circles have been cut out, line up the holes, place the opened eyelet under and over the holes and press until you hear a click.

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Carry this on all around until you have the desired amount.

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This is the opposite side of the finished piece of material.

Shamrock one was helping pub them on whilst Shamrock 2 used “her hammer” to make sure they were secure.

Tulip found the rope which was to become the drawstring and we all helped thread it through.
I liked how the sides still stood when the rope wasn’t let go too far open. This will make sure the Lego doesn’t get spread around too far.

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I need to find a way that we can adjust the tension of the rope easily.

Now it was time to test it out and fill it with Lego

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One box first to see how it would cope with that load. Then another… We couldn’t test out any more as the kids had already dived in and were playing with the Lego before the photoshoot finished.

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Tidying up went just as smoothly as playing with it.

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I need to finish off the edges for aesthetic purposes but I am pretty pleased with the result.

Next step a bigger one, first it will have to endure caravan play.

Viral Slippers

Following on from the huge high of the previous post, a few days later I received an email that would burst our bubble.

I wasn’t accepted to transfer my degree to the place I thought I had the best chance. At the beginning of the week we were certain of our move east side but this put the spanner works.  I am still waiting of notification from another school so the fingers are still crossed.

Otherwise I am readily available to work in a wool shop

At the same time I was completing an order for my crochet page that you can see here. It was a slog to work out how to do them justice but after crocheting followed by unravelling to nearly the start to trying again. I have notes but they make no sense to me anymore :-D

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Soon, I will be making another pair just so that I can write it out step by step, maybe with pictures…

I was still a bit disappointed about our plans potentially being derailed but I finished the order.  I seriously fell in love with them.

After posting the photograph of the adult slippers, it went viral.  In a few days the photo had reached 2,100 people!  What a tonic to pull a person out of the doldrums.

Since the photo was posted I have had various orders for baby slippers to match the adult ones.  Which you will see here.

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From here, I wonder if there will be a call for crochet Jimmy Choo slippers ;)

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