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Sirdar Happy Chenille Review by Irene Strange

By Irene Strange 2 years ago

As an amigurumi designer I have a soft spot for all fluffy and textured yarns, they can really make a toy project come to life. In the past I have experimented with different yarn types to get the perfect finish for a particular animal. Nothing says cuddly quite like a soft and fluffy amigurumi. So you can imagine my excitement when Sirdar announced the newest addition to the Happy yarns family, the Happy Chenille!

The cheerful colours of the brighter shades go well with the more delicate pastels, and there’s plenty of neutrals - it’s a great colour palette for all kinds of designs. I especially like the zingy greens and bright corals, they have such a summery vibe!

This is the first DK weight chenille yarn I’ve tried, and I have to say I’m very happy with the way it worked up. The amigurumi have a soft plush-like feel, with increases and decreases blending well into the overall shape. The finished toys feel very squishy, an instant hit with the little ones! At 15gr each these balls feel very light, but 38 metres goes a long way in the world of amigurumi. I feel these will be perfect for combining different colours for medium size amigurumi, adding details to projects, or small single colour makes. I’m already imagining so many possibilities!

Working with chenille isn’t that different from other yarns, but does need a little more care when starting the project and weaving in the ends. Take care not to yank at it when making magic rings or the fluffy fibres can get bunched up! Using a stitch marker will help keep track of the different rounds too.

Why not have a go combining the Happy Cotton and the Happy Chenille yarns with my quick amigurumi Happy Planet project!

Happy Planet

You will need:

  • 1 ball of Happy Chenille - Tutti Frutti (032)
  • 1 ball of Happy Cotton DK - Seaside (784)
  • Tiny amount of Happy Chenille - Cheeky (015) for pink cheeks
  • Tiny amount of black embroidery thread for mouth
  • Pair of 10.5mm safety eyes
  • 3.5mm hook
  • Toy Stuffing
  • Large tapestry needle

The pattern is written in UK crochet terms, the following stitches are used:

double crochet (dc)

double crochet decrease (dc2tog)

Slip stitch (slst)

1. Body

Make in Happy Chenille and 3.5mm hook. Work in a round without joining chains.

Rnd 1: Start with a magic ring, 6dc into ring, pull ring tight [6]

Rnd 2: 2dc in each st around [12]

Rnd 3: (2dc in next st, 1dc) repeat 6 times [18]

Rnd 4: (2dc in next st, 2dc) repeat 6 times [24]

Rnd 5: (2dc in next st, 3dc) repeat 6 times [30]

Rnd 6: (2dc in next st, 4dc) repeat 6 times [36]

Rnd 7: (2dc in next st, 5dc) repeat 6 times [42]

Rnd 8: (2dc in next st, 6dc) repeat 6 times [48]

Rnd 9 - 16: 1dc in each st around - 8 rounds total.

Rnd 17: (dc2tog, 6dc) repeat 6 times [42]

Rnd 18: (dc2tog, 5dc) repeat 6 times [36]

Rnd 19: (dc2tog, 4dc) repeat 6 times [30]

Add safety eyes between Rnd 13-14, about 12sts apart.

Rnd 20: (dc2tog, 3dc) repeat 6 times [24]

Rnd 21: (dc2tog, 2dc) repeat 6 times [18]

Add plenty of toy stuffing.

Rnd 22: (dc2tog, 1dc) repeat 6 times [12]

Rnd 23: dc2tog 6 times [6]

Fasten off, carefully pick up all the front loops with a tapestry needle and pull tight to close. Weave in the end.

2. Hoop

Make in Happy Cotton and 3.5mm hook.

Ch48, join to work in a round, taking care not to twist the chain. Work in a round without joining chains.

Rnd 1: 1dc in each st around [48]

Rnd 2: (1dc in next st, 2dc in next st) repeat 24 times [72]

Rnd 3: 1dc in each st around [72]

To add more thickness to the hoop try adding a layer of surface slip stitches between the rounds like so:

Rnd 4 (optional): slst in each st along all previous rounds finishing at the starting chain.

Fasten off and weave in the ends.

Leave the hoop as a separate element or gently secure it to the body in your preferred position.

Using the pale pink yarn embroider some cheeks either side of the eyes.

To finish the toy embroider a happy smile in-between the eyes with the black thread.

You can find more of Irene Strange' excellent amigurumi creations over on her Instagram. And to see the full range of the Sirdar Happy Chenille yarn and Sirdar Happy Chenille books take a look here and get inspired!

Valentines Day Projects

By Amy Sosbe 2 years ago

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us and even if you’re not very romantically inclined, we’ve got some sweet patterns that will steal your heart! There are also some great little makes that would make a perfect gift for the loves in your life.

Did you know that Valentine’s Day, or Saint Valentine’s Day, originating as a Western Christian feast day that honoured the saint named Valentinus, hence Valentine's Day. The traditions surrounding Valentine’s day as we know it today began in the Victorian era, when people sent elaborately decorated and homemade cards to their sweethearts. In 1868, the British chocolate company Cadbury created ‘Fancy Boxes’ to be gifted on Valentine’s Day, these were decorated boxes of chocolates in the shape of a heart. Boxes of filled chocolates then quickly became associated with the celebration. Valentine’s day has evolved over the years and is today celebrated all around the world, as a celebration of love.

We hope you enjoy our collection of romantic patterns. All the Drops patterns in our selection are also FREE! Simply click on the image or on the pattern name and it’ll take you to the pattern, which you can print out. Happy making!

Made using DROPS Paris, this crocheted heart shaped basket is perfect for a sweet Valentines gift. It would also be great for holding gifted chocolates or sweets.

If you’ve got a romantic meal planned, these crocheted heart-shaped place mats in DROPS Paris, would make a beautiful place setting.

If you fancy going all out, why not make these crocheted heart-shaped coasters to match the place mats! Also knitted in DROPS Paris.

A quick and fun project, these sweet crocheted hearts are great for adding detail to other projects like blankets, bags or garments. They’d also make a lovely Valentines card, by glueing to the front of a plain card. The pattern uses a cotton yarn and our Sirdar Happy Cotton DK is perfect, coming in small 20g balls.

Such a pretty decoration! The 18 tiny crocheted hearts that make up this simple mobile are easy to make and added to a piece of decorative wood will spread the love in any room!

This simple knitted cushion cover with heart detail, is a lovely Valentine’s Day make and is also a great introduction to intarsia knitting. DROPS Andes is used in the pattern, but you could also use DROPS Eskimo Uni Colour.

This garter stitch knitted heart can be knitted up in jiffy to gift to a loved one! Adding on a length of pretty ribbon makes it into a lovely decoration.

This sweet felted heart uses DROPS Eskimo yarn and is then felted. If you’ve not tried felting before, this is a fun little project!

This striped heart knitting pattern would make a wonderful romantic gift for someone special. It’s also a great stash buster!

To form the intarsia heart on this fabulous sock pattern, you simply reverse the pattern chart on the second sock. Knitted in Wendy With Wool DK for a cute and cosy treat for your feet!

For more romantic makes, why not have a read of our Wedding Gifts and Accessories to Knit and Crochet blog post.

Peaches and Cream Blanket

By Amy Sosbe 2 years ago

Introducing the gorgeous Peaches & Cream Blanket, a vintage-inspired knit that uses one of our favourite colour palettes!

Our Peaches & Cream Blanket is a wonderful knitted sample blanket that uses a mix of four different knitted stitches, each beautiful in their own right and surrounded by a simple garter stitch border. We came up with the concept of Peaches and Cream, with the idea of having a vintage inspired blanket and colours to suit the theme. We had various stitches in mind and had some beautiful samples to choose from - our favourites were the lace-style stitches and ones creating a pretty wave effect. Designer, Nicola Valiji has brought our vision to life beautifully and we really hope you like it too!

The overall lace design gives the blanket a vintage feel and the ‘peaches and cream’ colour scheme conjures up memories of this old-fashioned comfort food, taking us back to our childhood. The warm colours, together with those nostalgic childhood memories evoked by this delicious dessert, makes for a lovely themed and fun design.

The combination of knitted stitches that make up this pretty blanket creates a wonderfully touchable texture. Together with the ten different peachy shades, this blanket is an engaging and interesting project that can be picked up and worked on in between busy days. So, take a few moments for yourself, sit back in a comfy chair, enjoy the pattern as it reveals itself and have fun indulging in some wonderful nostalgia!

We’ve used Stylecraft Special DK yarn for this blanket, which is soft and warm and can be easily washed in the washing machine for practicality. The finished blanket measures a generous 95 x 130cm/37.5 x 51" (approx.)

Our Peaches & Cream Blanket Colour Pack contains all 10 balls of Stylecraft Special DK yarn you need to complete the blanket, plus a printed copy of the pattern and an ‘I Love Knitting’ sticker. You can buy yours here for just £21.99 >>

Happy knitting! Don't forget to share you progress with us on social media using the hashtag #peachesandcreamblanket - we can't wait to see how you get on!

Australia Day

By Amy Sosbe 2 years ago

Australia day is marked every year on the 26th of January. It's a day to reflect on its history and to celebrate the nation, its achievements and most of all, its people.

We’ve all been shocked by the news about the awful bush fires, which have had devastating effects. More than 10 million hectares have been burnt, and this number continues to climb. That’s the equivalent of 40% of the entire UK. Lives, homes, and an estimated 1.25 billion animals have been affected, including 30% of the entire koala population in mid-north coast of New South Wales. For more information you can visit WWF’s website here.

In aid of this crisis and to mark today being Australia Day, we’re selling this adorable PDF - Print at Home Kangaroo knitting pattern for £1 and all proceeds taken up until the end of January will be donated to Wildlife Victoria's Victorian Bushfire Appeal (digital PDF pattern only). Donations to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal will be distributed to wildlife shelters and carers to help rebuild enclosures and equipment that they have lost in the fires so that they can continue their lifesaving work, and support those that are struggling to cope with the enormous number of animals that will need care in the coming weeks and months. You can read more about the charity here.

We’d love to see your knitted Kangaroos and Joeys and you can share your WIPS and finished projects over on our Facebook page. By adding the tag @wildlifevictoria you’ll also help to spread the word of the important work that Wildlife Victoria do.