Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How to crochet a #grannyhottie - the grand finale

Hello and welcome to this week's edition of the #grannyhottie-a-long.

This week we'll be making a button closure so you can get your hottie in and out of its cover, crocheting the two sides into one and then we'll be making the neck cover.

Sounds like fun! Let's get to work.

Before we begin step four, if you need to catch up a bit you can find step one here, step two here and step three here.

Now for this bit we'll need our two granny square sides, a hot water bottle, a tapestry needle, some snippers, between three and five smallish buttons (1-1.5cm across), your main colour of wool and your crochet hook.

Start by sewing your buttons on the bottom of one of the granny sides. Make sure they are evenly spaced apart, I lined mine up with the middle of each square and make sure they are very close to the bottom of the last row of stitches.

Place your other granny panel on-top of the buttoned panel, wrong sides together, and do the buttons up by slipping them through the last row of dc's on the top. They will probably be tight but will wriggle through.

Now we're going to start crocheting the two panels together.

Join your wool a stitch after the outermost button and start crocheting around.

You can use slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet, or even something a bit fancy like a scallop for the joining, whichever you like the look of best. I used singles.

Continue hooking around making sure you crochet two stitches into each corner.

When you reach the opposite side of the cover to the buttons, stop in line with the end of the first square.

At this point I like to insert my hottie and crochet around it to ensure all the stitches fit it snugly.

Staring again on the other side of the neck, after the next square, crochet around the other side.

Fasten off one stitch before the first button.

Now you have a clothed hottie with a naked neck sticking out!

Join your yarn to one of the stitches in the row below, chain three and then start double crocheting your way around the neck. If it looks like there's a gap when you get to the side you can add an extra stitch or if it feels too loose, you can decrease a stitch.

When you get all the way around to the start, slip stitch into the third chain.

Then chain three and work your way all around the neck again.

Continue like this until your neck is covered. I did five rows.

Purely as a guide only;

  • my first row had 28 stitches.
  • I decreased one stitch on either side of the second row making 26 stitches.
  • my third row had 26 stitches.
  • I increased a stitch on either side of the fourth row making 28 stitches.
  • I increased a stitch on either side of the fifth row making 30 stitches.

After you have finished crocheting the neck, darn in all your straggly ends.

And look at that, you're all done!!

You have finished your #grannyhottie


IMG_0885Now all that's left is to fill it up with hot water and jump into bed!!!

Ahhhhhh doesn't that sound like heaven.

If you've been grannyhottieing-a-long please share your pictures with us on instagram using the hashtag #grannyhottie. I can hardly wait to see how great yours all look.

Big love, happy grannies and toastie tootsies.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Snippets the third


OK, I'm doing a snippets post again. I feel like all I ever blog these days is craft and my attempt at a how I'm really feeling blog that I tried to write this morning isn't sitting comfortably and needs time to settle. So I'm leaving it in my drafts for a bit and falling back on a trusty tried and true method of blog catching up.

I always hope that by skimming the surface, it might clear the way for bigger and better and braver posts to come. Sometimes it works, and other times, well, like I said there have been several crafty posts around here but not much more.

So let's get started shall we, several snippets of my life right now.

I am...

Enjoying my girls and my farmer boy. So much at the moment. They all seem happy and inspired and lovely to be around. So often we seem to be dealing with challenges and fixing things up, it's just lovely to sit back and enjoy this moment in time when it all feels just right.

Playing Suzanne Vega on Spotify whenever I am alone, all the time.

IMG_0791 IMG_0792 Smelling the sweetest signs that springtime is on her way.

Listening to the latest episode of Strangers and feeling heartbroken and inspired and sad and hopeful all at once.

Wearing coveralls (long sleeved, button upped overalls). They are the best winter invention ever. Sometimes I even wear my jammies underneath all day long and none ever knows. Best!!

IMG_0784 Reading The Signature of all things and loving it. Thanks so much for the recommendation Ms Mogantosh.

Crocheting - my hottie cover, step four is coming tomorrow, are you excited?!

IMG_0773 Knitting - another pair of slippers for my farmer boy who wore his first pair out.

Blogging - not so much these wintry days.

IMG_0801 Flicking  to my spread in ABC Organic Gardener magazine and thinking it's funny that I am in a magazine about organic gardening not with our organic farming but with my crafting.

Enjoying the chit-chat on my Foxslane Facebook page and wishing it were as easy to comment and reply over here on the blog as it is over there.

IMG_0785 Not loving these cold, wet, dark and windy last weeks of winter. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Knowing - that I need to menu plan but not knowing where to start.

Wondering - if I'll get a chance to get this post up before school pick up today, 45 minutes and counting....

IMG_0787 Dreaming - of getting out into the veggie garden again later in the week when it warms up a tad.

Hoping to host a fabulous crafty event later in the year with the acest Veggie Mama herself.

Giggling inside when finding out in the middle of a pap smear last week that my doctor reads my blog. Hi!

IMG_0759 Knitting socks!! From the toe up on 2mm needles that may as well be tooth-picks they are so tiny. Sock knitting might just be the very definition of slow craft but I am well and truly addicted and have plans for lace pairs and fancy yarned pairs and birthday present pairs and kiddie pairs. I loveLOVElove knitting something so basic and so essential, so pretty and so comfy.

Ravelry details here.

Laughing at one of my girls who declared that sex education at school is silly because they don't even show you how to have sex!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_0780 Casting on - another pair of socks. This time for Miss Indi in the cutest yarn that almost looks like sprinkles on fairy bread.

Grateful that my parents are back across the road after their three wonderful weeks away. Life and maths homework and circus and dancing pick ups and drop offs just weren't the same without them.

IMG_0795 Adoring teaching wool craft to a mixed aged bunch of kiddies at the girls' school each Tuesday. We've been having the greatest time making pom-poms, god's eyes, finger knitting and weaving. And I've remembered how much I love to teach. It's been a long while but that feeling you get when you watch something click with somebody is priceless.

IMG_0746 Smiling at the memories of last weekend; of packing up, of visiting a biodynamic farm and buying seed, of getting lost and not sleeping and spending hours and hours together in the car. Such crazy fun times. Let's do it again SOON!

And that's me all caught up with no place to go (except to the kitchen to wash some potatoes).

I hope you are well and happy and warm.

I wonder what you've been enjoying, playing, smelling, listening, wearing, reading crocheting, flicking to, enjoying, not loving, knowing, wondering, dreaming, hoping, giggling, knitting, laughing at, casting on, grateful for, adoring, smiling at...?

Big love


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

#grannyhottie step three

Hello it's Tuesday again!

I know, I can't quite believe it either.

But never fear, step three of the granny-hottie-a-long is here!!!


If you're running a little late to the hottie party, you can find step one here and step two here.

OK let's get started, for this step you'll need your granny squares all joined neatly into a front and a back.

You'll also need your crochet hook, a pair of scissors and your main colour of wool.

Now for the fun stuff.

Starting anywhere you like on the front part of your hottie cover, join your wool to a back loop and chain three.

Then make a double crochet stitch into the back loop of every single stitch along the row. This pattern is pretty forgiving so don't worry too much if you get confused and crochet a stitch too many here or not enough there.

(Remember I am working in US crochet terminology, conversion chart here).

When you reach the corner make two double crochet stitches into the corner stitch and keep going along the next side.

When you reach your first double crochet stitch, make a slip stitch into the third chain stitch you started with.

Then chain three stitches and double crochet in the back loops all the way around the outside of the front panel of the hottie making sure to crochet two stitches into the corners when you reach them.

IMG_0724 Once you have finished the second row of stitches, fasten off and repeat for the back of the hottie.

And there you have it, the front and the back of your hottie cover. Well done!!

I was planning to go a little further and join the two panels this week but;

a) I ran out of time

b) I'm loving this hottie-a-long and want to stretch it out so it lasts a little longer

c) I found out that some people like to be able to take their hottie out of its cover and therefore need a cover that opens and closes and that's thrown me.

d) I have become OBSESSED with sock knitting and all my spare crafting time has been sucked up by the sock.

The answer of course is all of the above. The quiz of course is because I finished Gone Girl and loved it.

Let's meet up here for step four next Tuesday Ok?

In the meantime we can chat about our granny hotties in the comments here, on Facebook here, and we can share photos on instagram using the hashtag #grannyhottie.

Happy grannying!!

Love Kate xx

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

#grannyhottie part two

Hello and welcome back to the granny-hottie-a-long.

Today we'll be moving right along to step two, but if you missed step one never fear you can find it here. Yay!

Today we are going to start with your pile of 24 cute little grannies.

Some people have smaller hot water bottles so they are going to start with their pile of 18 or maybe even 12.

Divide your pile into two, half for the front of your hottie cover and half for the back.

Then arrange and rearrange your granny squares until you have a colour order that is pleasing to your eye.

After that gather your crochet hook, your scissors and a ball of yarn to crochet them all together with.

Start by crocheting two mini grannies together through the back loops.

Gorgeous Lucy over at Attic24 has a brilliant and easy to follow tutorial over on her blog if you need a bit of help with how to do this.

After you've joined two grannies, go ahead and join three.

Then join them all into rows of three.

IMG_0643 And then join those four rows of three all together into one piece.

Great job!! You're half way through step two.

Now go back to the top and follow along to crochet the other 12 grannies together.

Once you've made your front and your back you can darn in all your ends by threading them onto a needle and tucking them through a few stitches on the back and then snipping them off.

And that my friends, is step two done and dusted.

I'll see you back here next Tuesday for step three.

In the meantime we can chat about our granny hotties in the comments here, on Facebook here, and we can share photos on instagram using the hashtag #grannyhottie.

Happy grannying!



Monday, August 4, 2014

Snapshots again

Hello lovely online friends. How are you? How was your weekend? Have you got anything exciting planned for this coming week? Are you feeling grounded or a bit aflutter?

I'm good. A little bit unsettled with all that I have to do and all that I want to do rushing around my head and making me feel a little bit out of breath. But I feel like my life is busy with good things at the moment and that makes me feel grateful.

But it also makes me feel like I don't know where to start this blog today. Which stories to tell? Which bits to share? And which to let go never to be heard from again?

Sometimes my blog speaks to me in such a clear bossy voice, while at other times I need a formula to get going. Today is definitely the latter so I've decided to go back to a post I wrote back about six weeks ago and do the same thing all over again. Eight photos that represent a bit of a snapshot of my life at the moment (minus the girls of course because they are at school) and a sentence or two as a description of each.


Beetroot. I feel like beetroot kind of fills the void of tomatoes when they are out of season. The flavours are completely different, but they both add something special to the salad, the roast veggies and the sandwiches that nothing else does.

I pickle my beetroot using this recipe. Yum!


Another cabled beanie for my farmer boy from this pattern.

Last year two photographers came to our house to shoot us for a fancy country magazine. After we had done our polite introductions they asked us if it were at all possible for Farmer Bren to go beanie-less for the shoot. Although it was the middle of winter, the magazine would come out in summer and they wanted it to look warm.  Apparently the order had come from the top so who was he to disagree. I think those few hours were the only few hours I have ever seen him without a beanie on our farm in autumn, winter or spring since we've been here.

I like how happy a new beanie makes him and I like the charcoal instead of his usual brown.


Gone Girl. My littlest sister Abby was so surprised to hear I hadn't read it that she ordered it and had it delivered to me by post. And she's right, I'm loving it. Even though I only have time for a chapter or two each night, I'm still reading it far too quickly and will be sorry when it's done.


The fire. Always. Collecting kindling, filling the firewood trailer, splitting logs, bringing loads inside and keeping the fire going. Sometimes I dream of push button central heating, so clean, so quick and so easy, but the fire is the heart of the home and I'd probably miss it if it were gone.


Whether or not to knit the pair to my first ever sock. The length is right, the height is right, the heel makes me happier and prouder than I ever thought a heel could, but it is baggy under the instep and uncomfortable to wear. Shame.


Toe up this time instead of cuff down. And with much smaller needles. Wish me luck, I don't know if I'll have the heart to try a third sock if this one doesn't fit right.


Backyard Bees a gorgeous new book by Doug Purdie published by Murdoch books. So much important beekeeping info, such great photos by Cath Muscat, lots of delicious looking recipes, it really is a fabulous book.

And look, there's us all dressed in our bee keeping best!!


The wool that came with some other cute treasures in the last instalment of the Jellywares winter yarn club. Mmmmmmmm delicious. Jodie plans to run a spring wool club starting next month too, so keep an eye on her Facebook page for sign ups. It's been such fun to get my box in the post each month.

And that's that. How about you, what are you picking, reading, feeding, deciding, trying again, admiring and squishing?

I'll be back tomorrow with the next instalment of the granny-hottie-a-long. Have you made your 24?

Happy new week friends. May your news be fabulous.


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