Floral Chain Granny Square

Hello all! 

Just poppin in to share with you this first pattern of the new year! 

As you may all be aware, I swap squares with people all around the world for friendship blankets. 

Well, whilst looking on ravelry I round a square I liked but there was sadly no pattern. So I decided to design my own granny square!

Here is the pattern. 
1. Chain 6 and slip stitch into first ch for foundation ring. 

2. Sc 8 times into the ring then join with a ss. 

3. Chain 8, then ss into the next sc. Repeat for 8 petals or 8 ch. Ss into first stitch of round, then up the first 4 chains, so you can start the next round in the middle of the first petal. 

4. Chain 8, then ss into the 4th chain of the next petal. Repeat to end of round. Join with a ss into the first stitch, then a ss into the first 3 chains so you can start the next round just off center of the first petal of the round. 

5. *Sc into the first petal 3 times. Chain 3. In the next petal, Sc 3, Ch 2 then Sc 3 to create a sort of corner*. Repeat 3 more times. You should now have something that looks vaguely like a square. At this point you should fasten off. 

6. Join your yarn in to the top left Ch 3 Space. Chain 3 (for your first Dc) then Dc 4 more times into the chain 3 space. Stitch 1 Dc into the second Sc of the previous round. Dc 5 into the next Ch 3 space. Then into the Ch 2 space at the corner of the previous round, Dc 3, Ch 3, Dc 3. *Dc 5 into the next Ch 3 space, Stitch 1 Dc into the second Sc of the previous round. Dc 5 into the next Ch 3 space. Then into the Ch 2 space at the corner of the previous round, Dc 3, Ch 3, Dc 3.* Repeat 2 more times, then Ss to join up the round.

7. This is the round where this square becomes more like a traditional granny square. Basically, you should do 3 Dc into each space between thr clusters of stitches. That is, 3 Dc between the 3 and 5 Dc cluster, the 5 and 1 Dc, the 1 and 5 Dc and the 5 and 3 Dc. In the corner (where in the last round you chained 3) you should do 3 Dc, 3 Ch then 3 more Dc. In total you should have 6 sets of 3 Dc along each side.

8. For the final round, just place a sc into each stitch of the last round. At the corners, Sc 4 times into the Ch 3 space. 
And there you go! All done. Done with DK yarn and a 5mm hook, this wlrks out to be around 6 ins in size, but this may vary depending on your tension. You can always make it larger by adding more traditional granny rows between round 7 and 8.


A Gift for Myself!

Its my partners birthday in a couple of days. Whilst I was noodling around on amazon, selecting a few gifts for him, amazon kept suggesting I buy stuff for myself instead.

Who am I to argue!

I decided that since I had worked super hard over christmas and had just managed to pay off my remaining student overdraft and credit card, I deserved a treat. So this is what I got!

A set of Clover Amour hooks! 

I had put the crochet hooks on my christmas list but sadly was not gifted them. I have been eyeing them up for a while. A lot of my fellow crocheters regard them as the best hooks they have ever had, so I thought it was worth the money. Plus, the crochet hooks I use at the moment are cheap and cheerful sorts and I have been using them for a good 3 or 4 years now, so it must be about time for an upgrade? 

But now I had a dilema! I had a lovely new set of crochet hooks but nowhere to put them! So off to etsy I trotted to find a crochet hook case. And this is what I eventually chose.

Isnt it just the sweetest!

I got it from the etsy shop Sarah Sews It. She has lots of lovely fabric things on her page and there is so much care and attention put into every item! I love it! You should go and check it out!

Its Filofaxin’ Time

As you will remember, back in october my partner bought me a filofax and stationary so I could start bullet journaling. Whilst thinking of how I wanted to use it, I decided to wait until january first to begin. And Now it id january, I have started! I just wanted to pop in and take you through the set up!

Here. Is my index page. 

Here are my diary pages – I decided to make my own as I did not like the way the months ran into each other on all the already available options. I have each week split over 2 pages, and at the beginning and end of the month I have a space for notes – at the beginning, it is goals for the month, and at the end it has a summary space. I felt like this was important to me as often we can forget about what we have acheived across the year and this can leave us feeling quite down. I thought having a space which forces me to reflect upon the month and record what I have acheived will help to keep me focused throughout the year.

These are my monthly to do lists. They arent very interesting as I just used bog standard shop bought to do list inserts.

Here are my trackers. 

I have 3 types of tracker. I have graphic trackers, which I have used for my book and film goal. These I will fill in film/book name once I have decided on it and will colour it in once I have completed it. 

I have a track based tracker, for things like weight loss and savings, where the value is preset, and I will colour it in and date it once I have acheived it.

And I have a volume based tracker, for larger number tracking. For example tracking debt payments and blog views. On these pages, each square has a value, which will be coloured as the value increases or decreases. 

To help me keep it nice and colourful, I grabbed myself a small stationary haul on amazon! If you are a stationary nerd like me, you will love this!

1 set of staedtler pencils, 1 set of fineliner pens and a sharpner as well as a filofax ruler, zip lock pocket and tube map! Yay for stationary!

Budget Friendly Beard Oil

Have you ever bought beard oil. Many of the blokes in my family have beards so I have gifted beard oil many a time, and I can tell you something – beard oil is expensive! Like, £10 for around 20ml kinda expensive! Thats a lot! The worst thing is, it has such basic ingredients! So, I figured why not give it a go myself? And this is what I came up with!

Here is what you need:

1 jar of coconut oil

1 pack of fresh herb (I used Rosemary)

Black peppercorns

Tins or jars to store the oil in.

Here is how you make it.

1. Take a jar of coconut oil. Place the contents into a pan and melt on the lowest heat. 

2. Once a liquid state has been reached, drop in a good load of sprigs of rosemary. You can chop a sprig or bruise it with the side of a knife to release more oil if you like. 

4. Add in a mixture of whole and ground black peppercorns.

3. Leave to sit for a good while on a low heat. The key here is to not let it get too hot! We dont want to fry the rosemary after all. 

4. Once you can smell the herbs, you should take the oil of the heat and leave to cool, before decanting the entire mixture back into the jar. 

5. Seal the jar and leave to infuse for at least a week. 

6. After a week is up, empty the contents once more into the pan and melt it down. 

7. Once fully melted, Pour the mixture through a seive into a glass jug, to filter out all debris. Then pour into the tins/jars and leave to set. You can speed it up by refridgerating. 
There you go! Simple right! My two testers love it and are surprised themself at how easy it is! And the best part? I can make around 25 times as much for a third of the price! As I said at the start of this post, a small bottle of beard oil can cost £10 or more for around 20ml. I can make around 500ml of this beard oil for just £3! Bargain! And because it is solid it is also more portable! Its a ein win as far as I am concerned!

If you wanted to customise it yourself you could use any herbs. I think mint would be extra nice, or perhaps basil. Or you could give it a go with flowers too, maybe the petals of a rose or a stem of vanilla, or maybe you could use spices such as cinnamon. Go on, have an experiment! I would love to see what you come up with!

Gifting Rundown Part 3 – Textiles

For the third and final part of gifting rundown, I would like to share with you some of the textile based gifts I made! 

I made this wonderful hat for my littlest future brother in law.

I made it up as I went along but unfortunately was in such a rush to get it finished that I didnt write down any instructions. I do have enough yarn left to make another though so perhaps I will see if I can recreate it! If I have time that is!

I crocheted this scarf for my partner.
And my partner and I made these shirts for two of his other brothers!

Yes thats a teapot. Aparrently its a reference to animation (something my oldest half brother in law to be is currently studying). I dont get it personally. Neither did he. Oh well.

Finally I made these buttons for my mummy. She collects buttons.

And this concludes my christmas gifting round up! So what do you think? How did I do? Did you make gifts this year? I would love to see them!

In conclusion, Whilst I really enjoyed making these gifts, it was far too stressful trying to force myself to make everyones gifts, especially when it came to the teenagers, because teenagers are difficult even at the best of times! I am proud of myself, in the knowledge that U managed to pull off a non commercial christmas, and It is a huge confidence boost to know that I am capable of making so many lovely things. So perhaps next year, I will hand make some gifts, but I certainly wont force myself to avoid shop bought gifts completely! 

Gifting Rundown Part 2 – Oils and Waxes

Today is the second part of my chridtmas gifting run down! Oils and Waxes. In this one I will tell you about carious smelly nice things I made for my family!

I made a couple of jars of body scrub/butter. You can find the recipes here and here respectively. 

I made some tins of beard balm – this was my own recipe. 

I will teach you it soon! Just keep your eyes peeled for the simplest beard balm recipe ever!

And I made Candles!

Festively spiced candles with vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and clove! 

Gifting Rundown Part 1 – Food and Drink

Now christmas is finally over I can share with you the gifts I made for my family!

I have decided to split it up into 3 sections. In this section I will share with you food and drink gifts.

I made a chutney gift set (I made an enourmous amount – like 8 jars of each!)

I made Apple and Rosemary Jam, Mango Chutney and Red Onion Chutney! You can find the recipes by clicking on the names. I also intended to make Sweet Chilli Jam. Unfortunately peppers and chillis were in season when we made the test run about 5 months ago, but they no longer were when I went to make the gift batch, so we had to make a last minute change and go with apple and rosemary jam instead!

I also made Hot Chocolate gift sets. One for my cousin:

And one for my auntie!

I used the same basic hot chocolate recipe, which you can find here, and then added tasty extras. For my cousins, I crushed up some peppermint candy canes and mixed it straight into the chocolate mix. For my aunts, I crushed up some candycanes and added some festive sprinkles, then layered it all up in one jar with marshmallows on top. On the second I did exactly the same but instead of candycanes, I added a layer of little fudge chunks.