Vintage Granny Star Blanket

So my 2020 square a day project didn’t turn out as I might have liked but then again, neither did 2020. This time I decided to try and keep things a little more simple.

For example see this calendar avalible from Amazon

Rather than track moon phase and star sign I’m just going to stick with moon phase. I’ve increased the number of chromatic shades and will change colour based on the percentage illumination at the point I look at it (based on my moon phase app). This should result in a nice colour change which replicates moon phase calendars.

I am using James C Brett Top Value DK for this project.

I still wanted to incorporate a star into the final blanket, and be able to join as I go or else I’d loose the will to live sewing all the parts together. Fortunately I found a vintage blanket tile pattern by Annoo which could be turned into a join as you go module blanket tile by dropping the final round and modifying the corners from a 3dc cluster into a v-stitch cluster. I also decided to drop the colour change and worked out how to complete the joining round without breaking the yarn.

Unfortunately I found the starting change did not work for me. At first I didn’t understand why so increased it from 23 to 26 chains, placing my first dc into the 6th chain from the hook. It wasnt until I’d finished the third days tile that I realised what the problem had been… I’d read the pattern wrong.

The pattern title of had locked my brain into a traditional granny cluster placed in chain spaces, like a traditional granny square or stripe. So, using the original starting chain, I created clusters. This of course didn’t work out, resulting in a tight and uneven first and second rows. I checked back on the pattern, couldn’t see what I was doing wrong, so added the three chains and changed the first worked stitch, assuming that there was a typo.

I should have more patience, because I was not reading the pattern with due care and attention. Annie’s pattern is worked across stitches of the previous row, anchoring stitches rather than leaving them floating in chain spaces. This results in a slightly more ridged tile, though I dont think the over all size is affected.

My Vintage Granny Star Tile

By the time I’d realised what I’d done wrong I already had three tiles joined and weaved in all my ends and was not massively keen on frogging or just abandoning the yarn and starting again, particularly as I like the effect and the star doesn’t loose anything in its form. I have decided that at the end of every month I will block the blanket by pinning it out on the living room carpet, which is not something I did for last years Moon and Stars blanket as it should help with the overall shape of the final blanket.

Hopefully the pattern snafu will be the only problem this years project has, just like I hope one instance of open insurrection in the United states is the the worst thing we have have to deal with this year… though excuse me while I don’t hold my breath on either count.

2020 Picture Perfect

2020 has been one hell of a year – my other half read me a perfect description found in his news feed “it’s like checking both ways before crossing the road and being hit by a submarine”. Not much has worked out as planned despite all the best efforts.

My blanket for 2020 similarly hasn’t worked out. By the time I’d completed the square for the 25th December I called it quits. I could have carried on into early 2021 to get a full lunar year in but it was square and I’d had enough.

I have a plan for 2021 – and it isnt just to join in on the Attic24 crochet along starting in February. I’m going to follow my original instinct and make a blanket which just follows the moon phases, but still incorporates a star or two.

I don’t want to end my 6th year of blogging on a relative downer so I thought I would share something else that I have made in the last couple of weeks which are far more beautiful. I had a lot of Stylecraft yarn left over from my epic four landscapes harmony blanket and have used it up by making a series of self fastening scarves / long shawls with arm holes.

The colour way for Moorland somewhat matches the original Attic24 Moorland blanket and uses the same neat wave stitch. Heath was roughly colour matched to a picture of heath that I found online and uses a crisscross crochet stitch. Both scarves have sky colours above the arm holes to give the impression of a full landscape

I have just enough left for one more, which I am partway through. I have messed up the colour way a little but I’m hoping it will be a little like a purple heather patch surrounded by heath once it is done.

Whatever 2021 brings I hope we will continue to weather it together.

Moon and Stars Blanket – Update

Like many I am honestly done with 2020 – it has absolutely been the Error Year in which the powers above managed to cram a decades worth of crap into 365 days… and 2020 is the year I decided to do a square a day project.

At least I will have a reminder of the year that was.

Partway through the final quarter of the year and it’s time for a blanket update. I am not entirely up to date with my squares but it is slowly getting there.

I also have a second blanket project, which has been ongoing for a couple of years because 1) it’s not the cheapest yarn 2) it is not a summer time project.

I am 3/4 of the way through my Attic24 “landscapes” blanket using the Moorlands, Dune, Cottage and (eventually) Woodland colour ways and Insomnia Crochet’s Harmony colour ways. I think have made a mistake i the orientations but once Woodland is there I will actually like it.

Perhaps if I was hooking less I could be writing more but 2020 is what it is. From November my routine will take a little half step back to normal and I will be able to get back to a blogging project looking at the Ogham. I am nearly finished with my Tarot posts, though I’ve been desperately trying to space them out and once I go back to commuting all the excuses will be gone.

There will be more and more small steps back to normality over the next months to a year but there are many things that need to stay as they are – such as the approach to public health and work place environments. Thats not to say there isn’t a long way to ho in respect of child poverty, environmental issues, international relations and the rolling cluster f–k that is the USA…

… actually I am not surprised I have been prolific in my crochet…

Stay safe and stay sane everyone

❤🧡💛💚💙💜

I’m in the Cro-flo

I totally forgot to blog this weekend after seeing a request from our local neighbourhood network for Twiddle Muff’s. Apparently there is a need for them amongst local residents and of course I got inspired.

I am hooking up some woolen muffs but there are plenty of options for knitting. Texture, fiddly bits and colour are key. My efforts are failing a little in texture as I donated all my fancy yarns years ago (they make me sneeze) but hopefully I can make up for it in being fun and engaging.

Lots of local NHS services have their knit and crochet recipes uploaded to the interweb in PDF form but I am working to 50cm total length so as well as acting as a hand muff it can be worn on one hand and not be totally overwhelming.

I wonder if they would be interested in some blankets as well…

Pentacle Crochet Pattern – Free

Beyond Moon and Stars I am actually between projects at the moment. I am waiting for an order of wool for some Yule presents for family but whilst I wait I’ve been messing around with my odds and sods.

I made a snake neck wrap for World Snake Day, using this basic watch strap pattern and a bit of ingenuity. I also made myself a scarf for winter (gloves to follow) and tested to see if a vintage potholder pattern would make a nice wheel of the year (it will with a bit of work).

Whilst I was there I spotted another vintage potholder – a five pointed star doily. It wasn’t exactly round but with leftovers and hook in hand I had a go circling the pentagon and this was the result….

Awesome right?I just followed the pattern as far as round six and then winged it. One of the additional rounds felt extraneous but on experimentation it provided a much better circle and a nice distinction between the star and the circle.

The first one was made in Patons 100% Cotton (Rafata I think). I can remember if is DK or 4ply (the wrap is long since lost) but I like this one because it has ended up rather stiff and would actually be somewhat protective of the surface it was on.

My second attempt using James C Brett “Its 100% Pure DK Cotton” picked up in Leeds Kirgate looks like an apple (awesome) but the resultant fabric is rather floppy. I am still learning about working in cotton, and whilst I know I could stiffen it up I think the Patons made a much better end product.

So without further ado, here it my write up of the Pentacle Doily Pot Holder.

Pentacle Doily / Pot Holder

Stitches used

  • Sc – Single Crochet
  • DC – Double Crochet

Chainless double crochet – video tutorial

Reverse single crochet – video tutorial

Instructions

1st rnd: mc ch1, chainless dc chain5, [ dc chain5 ] x7 slip stitch into the top of the first dc. (8 dc and 8 chain5 spaces)

2nd rnd: slip stitch into chain5 space.
Chainless dc, 4 dc into the same space. 5 dc in to the remaining 7 spaces. Slip stitch into the first dc. ( 40 )

3rd rnd: chainless dc, dc in the next 7 stitches, chain 5 [ 1 dc in the next 8 stitches, chain5 ] x 4. Slip stitch into the first dc.

4th rnd: Sl st to 2nd dc, chainless dc into the same stitch, 1 d c each in next 5 dc, chain 5. [ sc in loop, chain 5, skip first dc, 6dc, chain 5 ]x 5. Slip stitch into the first dc.

5th rnd: Sl st to 2nd dc, chainless dc into the same stitch, 1 d c each in next 3 dc, chain 5. [ sc in loop, chain 5, sc in loop, chain 5, skip first dc, 4dc, chain 5 ]x 5. Slip stitch into the first dc.

6th rnd: Sl st to 2nd dc, chainless dc into the same stitch, 1 d c each in next dc, chain 5. [ sc in loop, chain 5, sc in loop, chain 5, sc in loop, chain 5, skip first dc, 2dc, chain 5 ]x 5. Slip stitch into the first dc.

7th rnd: slip stitch into next dc. [ Chain 10, skip first 2 chain 5 loops, slip stitch into sc, chain 10, skip next 2 chain 5 loops, dc across point ]. Repeat [ to ] 4 more times. To finish, slip stitch into chain 10 space AND the first chain 5 space of round 6.

8th rnd: chainless dc into 10 chain space (rnd 7) and chain 5 space (rnd 6), 3 dc in same spaces, 4dc into next set of chain spaces. 3dc into the sc of round 6, 4dc into both chain spaces, 4dc into both chain spaces, sc2tog. [ 4dc into both chain spaces, 4dc into both chain spaces 3dc into the sc of round 6, 4dc into both chain spaces, 4dc into both chain spaces, sc2tog]. Repeat [ to ] 3 more times. Slip stitch into first dc (102 dc around)

9th rnd: chainless dc into first stitch, dc I to next 3 stitches, dc increase in next stitch [ 4 dc, dc increase ] x20 around. Sc into the first dc.

10th rnd: reverse sc around
Or sc around

Usual rules apply – this pattern is free and you can sell anything you make from it but please link back to this blog so that my links remain intact.

Moon and Stars Blanket – Update

I thought I would post a quick update on my Moon and Stars blanket seen as though we’ve hit the mid year point.

Like 2020 overall there was a hiccup when I completely forgot to include the spring equinox. By the time I had realised I was too for on so the blanket is only going to include the cross quarter days.

The greys lasted much longer than I anticipated as I’ve only just bought some more of it, which was a perfect excuse to splurge on wool.

I am not the most elegant when it comes to colour combinations but this blanket is fugly even by my standards – which means it’s a perfect representation of 2020!

Maybe next year I will go for simple temperature blanket … or I can come up with something more visually pleasing for 2021 – the year we start to sig ourselves of out the hole that has been 2020.

Moon and Star Blanket

After last year’s abortive attempt at a granny square a day project I’ve been chomping at the bit to do another one. I started looking around in December for one but decided against a temperature blanket due to my fear it would end up being dominated by all the cooler colours.

After a bit of angst and searching around for witchy inspiration I decided that I wanted something that would track the phases of the moon but would also allow me to mark it’s journey though the zodiac signs. This would allow me to be mindful of the moon’s journey through the sky all year long, giving me no excuses to be all “oh shit, the moon is full tomorrow” like I usually am.

What followed was a bit more angst as I couldn’t decide on what modular square to use. I wanted a relatively solid square which I could join easily as I went along (no blocking and fiddly sewing) but struggled to find anything that would fit the bill. Finally I broke down an made my own pattern and so the Semi-solid Circle To Square was born.

Semi-Solid Circle to Square

Stitches Used
Magic Circle (MC)
Treble Crochet (tr)
Half Treble Crochet (htr)
Double Crochet (dc)
Chain (ch)
Slip Stitch (ss)

Notes – 3 chain at start of round counts as tr throughout.

Pattern written assuming colour changes for the the Moon and Stars blanket. If you’re using a single colour or changes on different rounds you only need to fasten off when it is appropriate to do so.

Pattern
Round 1 – MC, chain three, 11tr into MC. Close up loop and ss into top of chain 3. Fasten off. (12 tr in total)
Reinsert hook a stitch or so along and draw up next colour.

Round 2 – chain 3, tr into same stitch (first tr cluster). 2tr in each stitch around. Ss into top of chain 3. Fasten off (12 tr clusters, 24 stitches total).
Reinsert hook a stitch or two along and draw up next colour.

Round 3 – chain 3, tr chain 2 2tr into same stitch as tr.
Across the next five stitches *htr, dc X3, htr. In the next stitch 2tr, chain 2, 2tr* (second corner made)
Repeat * to * once and then htr, dc X3, htr across the final five stitches. Ss into the chain 3.

Your circle should now be squared and look a little something like this

Either fasten off and draw up new colour at the corner ch2 space or ss across to it and chain up with the same colour.

Round 4 – chain 3, tr ch2 2tr into ch2 space. *Tr into first stitch (see photo).
Skp St, tr x2 in next two stitches. Repeat until the last stitch. Tr in last stitch and 2tr ch2 2tr into next ch2 space.*

Looking at that first complete side there should be three stitches in the corners, two in the space and one in the first stitch and you should have three skipped stitches (these will be used to join as you go when making up the blanket.

Repeat * to * twice more in full and as far as the final tr on the last side. Ss into top of ch3 and fasten off.

If you don’t know how to join as you go check out this video, it will require a slight modification but it is essentially the same.

If anyone is interested in doing something similar I made my blanket using J C Barrett Top Value DK but gauge doesn’t really matter for the pattern above so you can use your preferred yarn and the hook appropriate to it.

Moon Phase

New Moon – black – 3 squares per cycle
Waxing / Waning Crescent – Dark Grey 5 / 5 squares per cycle
Waxing / Waning Gibbous – Light Grey 6 / 6 squares per cycle
New Moon – White – 3 squares per cycle

I can’t confirm exactly how many balls it will take over all but so far I I recon I have usee half a ball of light grey each moon cycle, the same for the dark grey, whilst the black and white should last me quite a bit longer.

Zodiac Signs

I’m not going to give you colours for the 12 signs, for a variety of reasons, but mainly I think it needs to be your decisions as to what works well and your colour choices will variety depending on brand. These should last the year but we’ll see.

Lunar Eclipse

For Lunar Eclipses the moon phase rounds will be worked in red. Try an avoid using a colour used in the zodiac colour pallet just in case it aligns with a sign of the same colour.

Sabbat Dates

To mark a quarter and cross quarter days round 3 can be worked on a bright yellow /gold before changing back to the moon phase colour. Just make sure the colour used isn’t also used in your zodiac colours. I am timing these to the astrological date rather than the fixed date but whatever works for you.

Summary
Round 1 Moon Phase
Round 2 Sign
Round 3 Moon Phase / Sabbat
Round 4 Moon Phase

I could have made the blanket 15 squares across and 24 rows high but having reached 15 I decided the blanket width wasn’t quite wide enough so I have settled on 18 squares by 20 rows. This will give me 360 squares and offset the pattern of the moon slightly more than it would have been otherwise.

Peacock Pouch Crochet Pattern

I’ve been ignoring crochet again! I mean to share this pattern months ago but the laptop fiasco distracted me. So without further ado…

Peacock Pouch Crochet Pattern

You will need
3mm hook
Purple, turquoise, gold, navy blue, green dk cotton

Stitches Used
MC – magic circle (aka magic ring)
Ss- slip stitch
Sc – single crochet
Increase – 2sc in the same stitch
Spike Stitch – insert hook into row below, yarn over, pull through yarn over, pull through both loops on hook. Repeat twice more in same stitch to work a cluster. You are working over two stitches of the row below, do not go back and work them but continue the round as normal.
Fsc – foundationless single crochet

© Vicky Newton

Pattern

with purple

1) mc (7sc), ss

2) 7 sc increase (14sc), ss

with turquoise

3) sc, sc increase, spike stitch cluster, (sc, sc increase) *5 (21), ss

(count your stitches to check your round count if you have more than 21 stitches you have worked into the cluster stitches by mistake)

4) 2 sc, sc increase *7 (28), ss

With gold
5) 3sc, sc increase *7 (35), ss

with navy blue

6) 35sc, ss

7) 4sc, sc increase *7 (42), ss

8) 42sc, ss

With green

9) 6sc, sc increase *6 (48), ss

10) 7sc, sc increase *6 (54)

Fasten off and sew in ends. Put the two sides wrong sides together Using contrasting colour sc around the outer edge leaving at least 10 un-worked stitches but do not tie off. Work each side separately sc around evenly and ss to join.

I tend to put an sc into the top of the first stitch of the joining round to close everything off neatly. If you want a heavier chain for the pouch to fasten off here, sew in the ends and skip the drawstring instructions. To create a drawstring continue a second round for the next. Ch1 and sc into the same stitch. (Ch1, skip a stitch, sc) evenly around and ch1 and ss into the top of the first sc to end. Fasten off

Crochet a chain long enough to go around the neck and tie off, leaving enough length to allow for sewing through the drawstring and the ends together if desired. You can thread it all the way around or just the front, which is my preference as it is sufficiently sealed but lies flat.

** For a heavier chain with right side facing attach the contrasting thread (leaving enough free for sewing) to one corner of the pouch neck to allow you to fsc the chain to the appropriate length. When done fasten with enough length for sewing and attach to the opposite side of the pouch neck securely. You can either leave the pouch open or add a button or ties to give it some even of security.

© Vicky Newton

What else have I been up to?

Listening to podcasts leaves idle hands and whilst my brain capacity at the end of the working day can be limited to making itty bitty crochet squares I do occasionally have the ability to do more.

For the last couple of months I’ve been busy making things in anticipation of a couple of craft markets towards the end of the year. I’ve made a selection of pagan themed stitch keepers, sutible for anything up to an Aran wool weight, as well as keychains, bracelets and necklaces.

Keyrings and Stitch Keeps © Vicky Newton

Charm Oracle © Vicky Newton

Pagan Oracle © Vicky Newton

As part of the process of sorting through job lot bags of silver charms of a spiritual nature I found myself putting together a set of charms which could function as a portable altar. I then realised that they would also work as a set of oracle stones and surely started to scratch out one or two lines of oracle as they came to me, similar in style and form to the Greek Alphabet Oracle.

Now I did take the time to read through the Greek Alphabet Oracle which only served to reinforce my preference for this style of guidance; semi (okay, rarely) poetic prose which contain relevant keywords to fire the intuition and imagination. As a result my notes of Witch Runes and got the same treatment, and seen as though my Mother Shipton’s Prophecy Stones also chose to surface at the same time they got the same treatment too.

Let’s just say that much fun was had.

I also spent Saturday evening at the Jamyang Buddhist Centre to celebrate the launch of the Leeds Kindness Revolution. The event was an opportunity to find out more about the Kindness Revolution and to participate in planning the week long celebration to take place in 2020. Music, connectivity and kindness bringing people from all over Leeds to help make Leeds a kinder and more compassionate city.

#kinderleeds

The Leeds festival of Kindness, Compassion and Wellbeing will take place between the 5th -13th September 2020.

I also paid a trip to the bank this past week, and hope to have some exciting news by the time we set to Samhain for anyone local to me interested in learning more about or works by wih Hekate, and the Pagan community at large.

Watch this space.

Crochet Pattern – Basic Spell Pouch

The school holidays have been and gone and it was my turn to herd the children for the (very long) week they were out in the wild. The weather was not great, and I don’t drive, so we spent quite a bit of time at home so I employed them in tidying up their own messes around the house. This included taking apart our sofa storage to clean out all the illicit food rappers and the like and in the process of which I assessed my yarn stash. It turned out that it included a bushel of double-knit cottons in rainbow colour from when I made spell pouches for a friend a few years back and was inspired.

Although I could remember the pattern I’d previously used I wanted to try something a little different but despite looking for patterns on Ravelry (the first rule of crochet) but nothing inspired and I didn’t find anything which I wanted to adapt (the second rule of crochet) so I started scrolling through Google images for ideas for inspiration in the hope I could come up with something myself. This is always my final resort because I don’t particularly consider myself an inspire freestyle hooker but the search made me realise that a pouch made of two flat circles stitches together with a drawstring for closing and neck wear was a simple pattern that even I could come up with. Having worked a couple up I decided the finished item looked swish enough to write up and share the pattern.

Basic Spell Pouch Pattern

This pattern is worked in a spiral until large enough but I have written the instructions for 7 rounds using double knit cotton and a 3mm hook. This makes a nice sized pouch for wearing around neck or hanging around home or altar and is big enough to accept a medium size tumbled stone, paper sigil, herbs and other assorted small curios. You could, in theory, use any size yarn and continue increasing to create a pouch of any size but regardless of the yarn you use I recommend using a hook at least one size smaller than recommended to ensure a tight tension to ensure integrity of content.

Stitches Used

MC – magic circle (aka magic ring)

Ss- slip stitch

Sc – single crochet

Increase – 2sc in the same stitch

Fsc – foundationless single crochet

Make 2

Basic Spell Pouch.png
Copyright Vicky Newton

Round 1 MC and sc 6 times do not join. (6)

R2 increase x6 (12)

R3 Sc, increase (18)

R4 2sc, increase (24)

R5 3sc, increase (30)

R6 4sc, increase (36)

R7 5sc, increase (42) ss in the next stitch.

Fasten off and sew in ends.

Put the two sides wrong sides together and using contrasting colour sc around the outer edge leaving at least 10 un-worked stitches but do not tie off. Work each side separately sc around evenly and ss to join. I tend to put a sc into the top of the first stitch of the joining round to close everything off neatly. If you want a heavier chain for the pouch to fasten off here, sew in the ends and skip the drawstring instructions.

To create a drawstring continue a second round – Ch1 and sc into the same stitch. (Ch1, skip a stitch, sc) evenly around and ch1 and ss into the top of the first sc to end. Fasten off

Crochet a chain long enough to go around the neck and tie off, leaving enough length to allow for sewing through the drawstring and the ends together if desired. You can thread it all the way around or just the front, which is my preference as it is sufficiently sealed but lies flat.

**

For a heavier chain with right side facing attach the contrasting thread (leaving enough free for sewing) to one corner of the pouch neck to allow you to fsc chain to the appropriate length. When done fasten with enough length for sewing and attach to the opposite side of the pouch neck securely.  You can either leave the pouch open or add a button or ties to give it some even of security.

You can download a pdf copy of the pattern using the link below

Basic Spell Pouch

You can also add the pattern to your Ravelry queue and find some of my other patterns.

All my patterns are free for use and you are welcome to sell finished items but you may not sell the pattern itself. If you would like to share the pattern please make sure you you link back to this original post in addition to keeping the pdf’s copyright notice intact.

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