Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Small Things

Following on from my post Finito, I have a few other small items to show you that I've finished recently. Once I'd finished the Blossom Shawl I needed something else to work on in the car. I remembered that I had some Aran wool that I bought a couple of years ago while on a short holiday in Galway. The wool is spun in Donegal and has a bit of a slub and little nebs of colour in it that make it very interesting. It also smells the way I remember Aran wool smelling when my mother bought it years ago. She seemed to always be knitting an Aran jumper or cardigan for someone in the family!

When I was buying the wool, not being able to decide which colours to take, I bought two balls of thirteen different colours. For a long time now I haven't made things for myself so, part of the thought process in deciding what to make next was that I'd like something for me. Deciding what to work on next is sometimes a long, thoughtful process but at other times it's an instant (or almost instant) decision. Next I needed to decide what exactly I was going to make and how. I have been thinking for a while about making a sort of poncho/capelet type of thing. Not big; just something to cover my shoulders. Well I was almost there. I picked my favourite seven colours from the stash of Aran wool and, rather than try to make up some sort of square myself, I decided to use the Willow block pattern from Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks book.

The wool choice was like this....

I took a photo after making the first three blocks. Jan Eaton's book says that the squares are all 6" if you use DK yarn and a 4mm hook. My yarn was Aran weight and I was using a 5mm hook. I only crocheted the first four rounds of the Willow block and this produced a 6.25" square but that was fine for me. Because I'm still loving the flat join method I used it here as well.

I couldn't believe how quickly this worked up. Before I knew it the poncho/capelet was finished. While I was crocheting it I was thinking ahead to what sort of edging I could put round the bottom and round the neck. But when it was finished I decided that I liked it the way it was without any edging. So I just sewed in the ends and gave it a little bit of a block and that was it - finito!!

Front view

From the back

Even though it has been so warm here recently I wore it one day!! It was admired and then, being almost overcome with the heat, I decided it was better to take it off and keep it for cooler days.

Here are the details of how I made this and what materials I used.

100% Aran wool - a total of approximately 320g

I used seven different colours, with three in each block. You can decide your own colour scheme of course.

5mm hook

I made 16 squares each 6.25". My pattern was the first four rounds of the Willow block from Jan Eaton's 200 crochet blocks book. You could do a simple Granny square so long as it ends up approximately 6.25" square.

The squares are arranged in two groups of 3x3 but with a corner missing from each group. Have a look at this photo to see how the squares are arranged. The two groups of squares are then also joined. You don't have to join the squares as you make them; you could crochet them or sew them together at the end.

 So what do you think of my little poncho/capelet thingy? I'm really, really please with it!

All the very best for now.


  1. Hello,

    what a lovely idea! I love the colours you chose, they complement each other so well! The wool looks truly scrumptious, especially with those tweedy flecks of different colours.

    Well done! Those cooler days will come soon enough and then you can wear it to your heart's content!

    So, with another lovely project finished, I wonder what you will be making next?

    (Have you tried the Maybelle Flower? http://myrosevalley.blogspot.be/2013/02/the-maybelle-crochet-flower.html
    I have done something similar to your idea - I used the flowers as 'building blocks' to start making a triangular shawl... so far i made 64 flowers which I have sewn together, however, I'm thinking of making it bigger still)

    ps: I enjoy reading your blog! Nice photos and a good description, very inspiring!

    Greetings from Belgium,


    1. I've seen the pattern for the Maybelle flower but haven't try it yet. I'd like to see your finished shawl - I'm sure it will be lovely. I finished a blanket last night so just need to block it. Another blanket is almost finished and I have 4 others started!! I like to have 1 for working on in the car and at least 1 for when I'm at home.

    2. Hi Gillian,

      your reply has prompted me to start editing my photos and catch up with uploading them to my flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/7404981@N04/) - I invite you to take a look around, there are more to come later..

      Here is the Maybelle Shawl so far:https://www.flickr.com/photos/7404981@N04/14598073320/in/photostream/

      Here are some more Maybelle flowers that I have been crocheting over a week ago whilst spending time in England (2 of my daughters graduated!), I managed to make 2 flower garlands for friends: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7404981@N04/14598245548/

      and https://www.flickr.com/photos/7404981@N04/14598262570/

      but this is what is keeping me busy at the moment: covering a Sainsbury's Jute Bag with Scheepjeswol Stone Washed Granny Squares (this sounds like a mouthful, doesn't it!!), I'm getting ever so close to finishing it, currently making the bottom panel. See here for photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7404981@N04/14598154040/

      haha, it sounds like we are all 'suffering' from the same thing - lots of WIP on the go at the same time.

      I also crochet everywhere, on the bus and tram (here in Antwerp) and in the car, since I am not the driver!

      Looking forward to seeing some of your blankets!

    3. Your shawl and the flower garlands are lovely - beautiful colours in the shawl. Thanks for adding your pictures. That's a brilliant idea for the bag - saves you having to line it.

    4. Hey Gillian,

      Just to let you know - my blog is now open! Finally you will be able to see some more photos! I finished the bag last night, I'm soo happy with it!!!

      How are your projects coming along?

      Ingrid xx

    5. Excellent! I'll have a look. I'm making scarves, a daisy blanket and a new baby blanket (small).

  2. It is lovely Gillian!! The colours go really well together, and it will be very cosy to wear when the weather is cooler too, but hot to wear now I would guess! So, what will you do now with the rest of that lovely yarn! xx

    1. Ah! I have already used quite a lot to make flower brooches. I'm not sure yet what I will use the rest for. There wouldn't be enough for a blanket but maybe a cushion cover. I'll have to think about it.

  3. Hi Gillian,
    Thanks so much for leaving a kind comment on the Blog.
    I just love this poncho, love the Square and the colours go together so well.

    I love your Blog too, you're making a wonderful job of it.
    Kind Regards
    Sue x

    1. Thanks. You and the others in your group are doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

  4. Hi there, love your poncho and the colours are just perfect - not that I'm wishing summer away, but I do hope you get to wear it soon! Looking forward to following your crafty adventures. Have a happy weekend, love Gilly xx

    1. I'm looking forward to the weekend - lots of crochet is planned. Hope you have a good one too.

  5. I'm just catching up with you, Gillian. I'd like to nominate your blog for a Liebster award. I love reading about your life in Northern Ireland and enjoy your craft posts even though I am totally hopeless at anything lie this. Are you OK with this?

    1. Thank you - I'm very surprised to be nominated for this award!! I see you did part 1 - 11 random facts about yourself. What is part 2? Are there more parts? Thanks again xx

    2. It's 11 random facts, then answer 11 questions which I give you, the write 11 questions of your own for the people you nominate. You are supposed to nominate 11 other blogs which aha e less than 200 followers, but I've only got about 4 or 5 at present. Hope you can take part.

    3. Yes - I'll give it a go. I've been thinking about it already! Thanks.

  6. Hello Gillian the willow squares look so pretty, and I love your sweet poncho! I think maybe you will get to wear it comfortably soon....it has certainly cooled down a lot here now! Happy weekend!
    Helen xox

    1. Yes the weather is comfortably cooler. Autumn is coming. Thanks x

  7. What a wonderful colour choice. It looks so cosy. Such a clever construction. I know what you mean bout the smell, people think I am bonkers when I smell yarn but I know what I am looking for. I try to get as much joy out of simply things smelling wool brings back memories of my childhood.

  8. Smell is probably the thing that evokes memories more than anything else.


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