Thursday, 6 February 2014

Colours of Winter Sunrises

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Winter Sunrises are amazing - the grey clouds of dawn, the pink glow of daylight. Some times more orange, other times more magenta, yet always beautiful!

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I love being up to capture these moments, quite often they only last a short time and as soon as the sun starts to rise, either the clouds move in and all the glorious colours disappear or the glow of the sun eliminates the hues. So you have to be quick to capture the moment. When I am in a hurry to take the photo before the colours change and disappear I use my mobile instead of digging out my Fuji camera which then results in a mediocre photo.

The best time is when I have risen before the sun and the colours are just starting to appear, this is the time the Fuji is dug out of it's case and I delight in zooming in and out to capture segments of colour in the early morning skies.

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Aren't they lovely colours?


So it is these beautiful winter sunrise colours which inspired my winter scarf design. 

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I purchased these AMAZING coloured hanks of yarn by Debbie Bliss known as Andes. It was July 2013 at a 50% OFF SALE, almost a whole eight (8) months ago and it's taken this long to do something with them, it seems that life just got in the way. Honestly, I had no idea what I was going to make from these delightful three (3) hanks of colour, and then later I found and added another hank, the colour is fuchsia and it is just gorgeous, too beautiful to resist.

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As you can see I have managed to use up the beautiful coloured hanks to make a lovely pair of fingerless mittens, SEE BELOW, and you can read all about these French inspired mittens in my previous post PARIS Crochet Mittens.

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With the remainder of the yarn I crocheted a simple and easy scarf, I have called it ANDES after the name of the yarn. This is my special dress-up winter sunrise scarf and I am going to share the crochet pattern with you below.

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Debbie Bliss Andes yarn is pure luxury! 
Baby alpaca wool makes it irresistibly soft and warm, while mulberry silk creates shine, drape and elegance. 
This yarn is just one of those extra-indulgent treats for your most special projects.

Unfortunately ANDES yarn has now been discontinued which is a real shame, however you may still find ANDES or a similar yarn online via Ebay. If not go to this amazing website called YARNSUB where you can check which yarns you can use instead.


A simple striped crochet scarf using one stitch throughout and easy colour change.  No hiding ends.  No sew.  

SKILL:  Easy
YARN:  Debbie Bliss Andes ● DK/8ply ●  Baby Alpaca 65% Mulberry Silk 35%  ● 50g 100m(109yd)
YARDAGE:  200g = 400m(436yd) 4 x 50g - 1 skein of each colour
SUBSTITUTE YARN:  Rowan Alpaca Colour or any other similar DK yarn
HOOK:  7 (4.5mm)
MEASUREMENTS:  Length 55in (140cm) without fringe, Width 6.5in (16.5cm)
TENSION:  Not critical to this pattern.

ABBREVIATIONS:  USA (American) Crochet Terms
ch = chain, hdc = half double crochet, sl st = slip stitch, st = stitch, CC = contrast colour, MC = main colour.

PATTERN NOTES Beginning and end of each colour change, leave 3-4in tail, before cutting yarn. These yarn tails will be incorporated into the fringe.  

With MC and 7 (4.5mm) hook
Row 1:  Ch200, 1hdc in 3rd ch from hook, 1hdc in each ch to end. Turn.
Row 2:  Ch2, 1hdc in each st to end. Turn.
Row 3:  Repeat Row 2.

Change to CC1
Row 4-6: Repeat Row 2.
Change to CC2
Row 7-9: Repeat Row 2.
Change to CC3
Row 10-12: Repeat Row 2.

Change to MC
Row 13-15: Repeat Row 2.

Change to CC1
Row 16-18: Repeat Row 2.
Change to CC2
Row 19-21: Repeat Row 2.
Change to CC3
Row 22-24: Repeat Row 2.

Change to MC
Row 25-26: Repeat Row 2.
Row 27:  Sl st in each st to end.

Make fringe measuring 4-5ins in length.  Use all 4 colours.  2 strands of each contrast colour and 1 strand of main colour per fringe group.  7 fringe groups on each end of scarf.  Remember to incorporate the yarn tails into the fringe groups.

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ciao, ciao!
Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet
2008 (C) Copyright - All rights reserved.


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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Paris in Winter

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Under the sky of Paris

A song takes flight
It was born today
In the heart of a boy
Under the sky of Paris
Lovers walk
Their happiness built
On an atmosphere made for them

I love this song about Paris -  Sous le ciel de Paris

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Why am I talking of Paris?  because my new crochet pattern is named PARIS, and whenever I think of Paris I just want to get on the Eurostar and go, go, go, all the way to Paris.  

I just love the city, no matter what time of year it is.  Winter, Summer, Spring or Autumn, they are all beautiful in Paris.

I took these photos in 2008, it was January and we went there for my husband's birthday before we left England to return home to Australia. It was magical!  Winter in Paris!  Fabulous!

We have been back a few times since then and we always have the best time.  I have been to Paris in every season and I always love it!

Must be the time of year, but I am getting itchy feet again, maybe Paris is calling?

MAYBE NOT! OK stop daydreaming and let's get back to reality, for now, the reason for this post is my new pattern for crochet mittens, named PARIS.

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I love this stitch, so simple and delicate, yet sturdy and warm.  And I love the yarn, so soft and silky.  With a beautiful weight and drape.  Maybe a cowl or scarf will be next on the "to do list" to match the mittens?

Anyway, I am very pleased with these mittens, and can't wait to wear them when I'm dressed to go out to lunch or dinner, and when I'm wearing my "going out" clothes, NOT when I'm out in the countryside and hiking for miles and dressed in hiking gear!

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Unfortunately, I have made these mittens with a yarn which for some reason has now been discontinued. 

I am always amazed how quickly some yarns get replaced with newer yarns?  Especially, when the yarn is absolutely beautiful.  I love it.  

I know for a fact there is still quite a bit of the yarn available online from various stockists and yarn stores (I ordered some extra skeins from Pavi Yarns).  So if you really want your own silky alpaca mittens, get online and go hunting for those Debbie Bliss Andes skeins.  All worth the effort.

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A lovely lace-look pattern for ladies fingerless mittens. Made with a lovely soft, alpaca and silk yarn, which makes these mittens extra special. Choose subdued or vibrant contrasting colours.

DIFFICULTY:  Intermediate
SIZES:  Two sizes - Small to Medium, Medium to Large
YARN USED:  Debbie Bliss Andes  ● Baby Alpaca 65% and Mulberry Silk 35% 
Substitute Yarn Suggestion:  Rowan Alpaca Colour  ● Baby Alpaca 100% OR any other similar DK yarn

Crochet in the round. No seams to sew. Wear the mittens on either hand. The pattern is the same for both left and right mittens.

This pattern is written in USA - AMERICAN and UK - BRITISH crochet terms.
You will need to  SELECT the CORRECT PATTERN TERMINOLOGY prior to purchase.

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from my online shops



ciao, ciao!

Friday, 17 January 2014


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You fill up my senses,
like a night in the forest,
like the mountains in springtime, 
like a walk in the rain 

Most of you will recognize these words as the famous song by John Denver "Annie's Song", for me these words convey how I feel about the great outdoors. I love being outdoors in the forest (my favourite), or surrounded by mountains, give me the wide open spaces anywhere in nature and I am fulfilled and happy. 

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Crochet Hat Patterns

You may wonder how this relates to crochet, but it is exactly this love of the outdoors which has lead me to wearing hats all the time. Whether for warmth, or to keep the sun off my face, I AM A HAT WEARER, ALL THE TIME! That is why I love crocheting hats and I love creating new crochet patterns for hats.

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Creative Crochet

I often play with ideas for crochet hats and then leave them lying around for years before I get back to them and eventually get around to writing up the step-by-step instructions for the pattern. And most certainly when I do get to that stage, I guarantee you I will probably revise the crochet hat and remake it with new yarns.

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FOREST HAT Crochet Pattern

This is where I come to talk about my latest crochet hat pattern, it is an old hat from my market stall days in the Old Spitalfields Market, London, UK. That is where the first FOREST HAT was designed and created in a range of colours (with three little flowers attached). Funnily enough, I didn't sell many Forest Hats in London, but instead sold more of these hats on my return back to Australia at the markets in the Northern Rivers, NSW. 

Go figure, somewhere where it isn't as cold as London and I sell more FOREST HATSYou just never know who is going to like what?
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Today I have revised the Forest Hat crochet pattern, I have updated to a heavier yarn weight and larger hook than the original FOREST HAT and I have also given it an optional cotton lining for extra warmth and comfort. 


YARN:  Freedom Purity Chunky ● Wool 85% Alpaca 15%
HOOK:  6mm (J-10) 
SIZE:  Three (3) sizes - Child to Adult

This pattern is available in USA (American) 
and UK (British) Crochet Terms.

You will need to SELECT the CORRECT PATTERN TERMINOLOGY prior to purchase.
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AVAILABLE from my online shops


ciao, ciao!

Copyright © 2008
Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet.
All rights reserved.

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Crochet Baby Mittens RAINBOW

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Baby Mittens Crochet Pattern

At long last, I have finally had the time to sit down and write out the mittens pattern and everyone who has been patiently waiting for the instructions for these baby mittens can now enjoy making them.

RAINBOW Crochet Mittens 


YARN USED:  BWM Cotton 8ply  6 colours
NOTIONS:  G-6 hook, Yarn needle
This pattern is written in USA American crochet terms.

Perfect Newborn Baby Gifts

These baby crochet mittens are ever so cute and they are perfect for that newborn gift for a baby boy or a baby girl. They are made with a lovely soft, cotton yarn, ever so comfortable for delicate baby hands and also very easy to wash and they look fabulous in bright rainbow colours.   

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You can match them up with the colourful baby hat crochet pattern called TROPO, (pictured in the photo above), it has been one of my most popular crochet hat patterns for newborns.  

You could also stretch your crochet skills and make mittens, hats and scarf with the ebook RAINBOW TREASURES.

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All these patterns, hats, scarf and mittens were inspired by the RAINBOW Baby Blanket I made in 2012 for my grandchild. 

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If you would like to read more about the RAINBOW blanket see my previous blog here.



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ciao, ciao!

Friday, 3 January 2014


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May you all have a wonderful 2014 year, crocheting and knitting many projects and conquering new techniques and stitches.

For the past 12 weeks I have been "down-under" travelling and visiting family, with NO TIME to crochet a stitch. 

My mother's 80th - photo of mum and her four 4 offspring (I am second from the right)

Now I am back in the UK and I am excited about all the ideas floating around in my head for new patterns and keen to get started.

As soon as I get over the jet lag which is forcing me to sleep way too early in the evening, resulting in the waking at 2.30am and patiently waiting for the clock to hit 4am so I can get up.

This too will change. And life will return to normal. I am confident it will.

For now I would like to thank everyone who has supported my creative work during 2013 and I am looking forward to sharing my new designs in 2014.

In the meantime let me share with you all my FREE PATTERNS which are available from my online stores:

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Ciao, ciao...
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