Monday, 23 January 2017

Crochet a cosy draught excluder (and stay warm this winter)

I live in a new-ish house.
But still, the draught which sneaks in from under the front door can be arctic.

So I had a draught excluder - I say HAD, because it is retired from service, having most definitely seen better days; it's lost all stuffing from being dragged around by the kids, in fact, child 1 used to regularly take the dirty, fluff-covered thing to bed with him *sigh*. 

The Mister has been suggesting for ages that I should make a new one. And I have:

Now, my two prerequisites for any project are this; it must be
a) quick and b) easy.

So I decided on tshirt yarn as the perfect stuff - it's big, works up quickly and is also heavy enough to give weight to the draught excluder and keep the cold air out when laid by the front door.

I chose a simple design, which uses the centre double crochet stitch, as it's great for creating a dense and non-gappy stitch (I don't want the stuffing falling out, or the dog will eat it *big sigh*).

So the best thing about a draught excluder is that it's a great way to keep your toes warm and save energy too. And why not keep track of the energy used in your home by having a smart meter installed?  It's easy, free and means you only pay for the energy you use. Visit Smart Energy GB to find out lots more.

If you fancy keeping cosy this winter, then first is my YouTube tutorial, or scroll down for the written pattern.
It goes without saying that you can change the width and length of your draught excluder to fit the doors in your house.

(Patterns are in UK terminology- for US, change 'dc' to 'sc')

You'll need:
approx. 1280g / 256m of tshirt yarn (about a third of this is colour A, two-thirds, colour B)
12mm hook
approx. 500g cushion stuffing 

From Rnd 1, the draught excluder is made in a continuous round of stitches, but you don't need to bother with a stitch-marker.

Stuff as you go.

In colour A, chain 20, join with a sl st to first ch. 
Round 1: 1ch (doesn't count as a st), 1dc in each st around.
Rnds 2 - 18: 1cdc in each st around.

Flatten the beginning end and slip stitch the two sides closed.

Rnds 19 - 20: change to yarn B, 1cdc in each st around.
Rnds 21: change to yarn A, 1cdc in each st around.
Rnds 22 - 67*: change to yarn B, 1cdc in each st around. 
*or until desired length reached - mine needed to be 90 cms . 

To make up.
Finish stuffing and slip stitch the other end closed.
Fasten off and push the ends inside.

Do share pictures of your projects - you can find me at all my favourite places - I love to see what you've been making!

How will you stay warm and save energy this winter?

Have a great week, and stay cosy,

Sarah xx

(This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Smart Energy GB)  

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Stylecraft Giveaway WINNERS!!


Yes, its time!

I've counted the votes and employed one of those random-number-generator-thingies to choose me some WINNERS!


If you're a winner, then please leave a comment below (it won't be published) with full details of your postal address.

The UK winner is: Faerie - well done, lovely gal. You've won £25 in vouchers to spend in a yarn shop on squidgey balls of Stylecraft.

UK 2nd place is Ros Burrage. Well done, Ros - it's £15 for you. 

UK 3rd pace is Anna Ridley - hooray, Anna. £10 is all yours.

And not forgetting my wonderful overseas readers - a package of Stylecraft goodies will be flying across the seas to Zen in Australia!

A big THANKYOU to everyone who entered and 'hello' to any new followers!

Don't forget to subscribe via email to receive all my posts straight to your inbox. I've got lots of new patterns to launch and there'll be more giveaways, too.

Have a fab week,
Sarah xx 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Stylecraft Giveaway *NOW CLOSED*

**This Giveaway is now closed**

Know how to beat those January blues? - Win yourself some free stuff, of course!


So I thought it the perfect time to host a Stylecraft Yarns giveaway.

Let's cut straight to it - the winner will receive £25 to spend in a bricks and mortar, real-life yarn store on Stylecraft yarns. 2nd place will get £15 and 3rd place, £10. The vouchers cannot, alas be used online but 'tis a great way to support your local yarn store - and there's nothing like going into a shop and squidging some lovely balls of the fluffy stuff.

Now unfortunately, this is only open to UK residents, BUT I will not leave out my overseas friends, so I'll draw one non-UK winner and they'll receive a bundle of Stylecraft goodies.

Liking the sound of this?
Then all you need to do is leave me a comment below and state whether you're in the U.K. or overseas.

The winners will be drawn at random and announced on Saturday 14th January- I'll post the winner here and tell you how to get in contact.

Wishing you all loads of luck ...🤞🤞🤞🤞
Have a great week,

Sarah xx

Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Little Snowman

Our story begins early one December morning...

It had been snowing overnight and two children from the little Alpine village made a Snowman.

In wonder he watched as they carefully dressed him in an old blue hat, with a carrot for a nose and a bright red scarf to keep him warm. 

But they had forgotten one thing and this made the Snowman sad.

Day by day, as Christmas approched, the festivities of the Yule market surrounded him.

He loved to see the magnificent tree and hear the bustle and chatter of the people preparing for the holidays.

But still, he was sad.  

Even the arrival of a man dressed in red, who bought gifts for the children and made them so happy, could not lift the Snowman's spirits. 

It was Christmas Eve when the Snowman noticed that the children had made another Snowman in the village and he looked enviously upon him, for he had the one thing the Snowman desired...

The next morning was Christmas Day and the church bells rang as the villagers celebrated, sharing presents and singing together. 

And the Snowman? 

His heart overflowed with happiness and joy, for he had the one thing he wanted so much - arms of his very own.

Footnote. When questioned by the children, the Snowman claimed that he 'found' the arms on the floor and that he had 'no idea' what happened to the children's second Snowman, suggesting that there must have been a freak accident, of which he was 'not involved'.

If you'd like to make your own Little Snowman, here's the pattern (written in U.K. Terms. - for US , read dc as sc)

You'll need
A small amount of DK yarn (I used Rico Creative Cotton Aran in White, Turquoise, Orange and Red)
3.5mm hook (or one which matches your yarn)
Toy stuffing
2 x 6mm safety eyes
Glue gun - cos I am lazy (optional)
Small piece of card (optional)

Worked in rounds. Stuff as you go.
1: In white, 6dc in magic ring or ch2, 6dc in 2nd ch from hook. (6 sts)
2-3: 2dc in each st around. (24)
4-8: 1dc in each st around.
9: (2dc, dc2tog) repeat around. (18) Insert eyes.
10: dc2tog around (9)
11: 1dc in each st around.
12: 2dc in each st around. (18)
13-14: 1dc in each st around.
15: (2dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (24)
16-17: 1dc in each st around.
18: (7dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (27)
19-20: 1dc in each st around.
21: (1dc, dc2tog) repeat around. (18)
22: dc2tog around. (9)
23: dc2tog x 3
Sew closed.

1: In turquoise, 5dc in magic ring or ch2, 5dc in 2nd ch from hook. (5sts)
2-3: 2dc in each st around. (20 sts)
4: in BLO, (dc2, dc2tog) repeat around. (15)
5: 1dc in each st around.
6. (1dc, dc2tog) repeat around. (10)
 7. 1dc in each st around.
8: in FLO, 2dc in each st around. (20)
 9. (3dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around. (25)

1: In Orange, 3dc in magic ring or ch2, 3dc in 2nd ch from hook (3sts)
2-3: 1dc in each st around.

1: in red, ch40
2: 1tr in each st to end (beginning in 4th ch from hook)

To make up:
Cut around a 2p coin and insert into top of hat. Stuff hat.

Because I am sooooo lazy (and because my snowman is for decorative purposes only) I fired up my hot glue gun and stuck the hat and carrot in place. PVA glue would work, too.
Don't feel you have to adhere to my slovenly ways- you can stitch yours if you'd prefer.

I hope your Little Snowman is happy in your house this Christmas time  - just don't let him near the playmobile Snowman- there's no telling what he might get up to...

Happy, happy Christmas to you all,

Sarah xxx    

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Christmas Crochet

Yay! Christmas!   Bring on a load of festive-themed-crochet-goodies*!

Ooooo, he looks like trouble

*free, of course. It IS Christmas, after all...Click on the picture to find the pattern.

Make a stocking for all the family

Totally LOVE that little sheep..

Simple stars. Perfect for the tree or as gift tags

Aren't these trees absolutely BRILLIANT? (shamelessly plugs own pattern)
This Christmas Light garland would look fab on a mantlepiece
A stunning wreath of crochet balls
Christmas wouldn't be complete without sprouts eh?

 Enjoy making ALL the Christmassy things!

 Sarah xx