Crochet Catch Up and Free Pattern

Well, I am sorry to say I have neglected my blog for a little while, on the positive side I have completed so many projects, Yay! also started new ones and added lots of inspirational makes to my To-Do list – I just can’t keep up!
I have also managed to write up a pattern for a cute Christmas make.
So firstly, a quick round-up of the finished projects. ( Is’nt it a great feeling when you get a project finished, nothing like it!) in my last post I mentioned a poncho I was making for my sons Birthday in December, this was a lovely make, a free pattern from Two of Wands,  Ravelry shop twoofwands.  I adapted slightly so that the neckline was not quite so low and used my sons’ favourite colours. So many ends to sew in!  But it’s so him, I don’t think he will take it off once he gets it!

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Have you ever tried making crochet baskets?, I am totally smitten with them after finding a lovely pattern by Mijocrochet called doubledouble baskets.  I made up a few to show the ladies at the crochet class I teach and then made a square one just for the fun of it.  The way this pattern is designed, means you don’t have to stiffen them as the double outer wall helps them retain their shape beautifully.

A few Stashbuster projects

Looking at the amount of yarn I have accumulated I have been focusing on projects to stash bust, that was the theory behind the poncho I made, although it didn’t actually use as much as I thought it would. The next stash buster project I tackled was this bright cushion, which hubby has already claimed as his own.  Make lots of triangles and join together, with a few rounds of Linked Treble (UK Terms) stitches to complete, easy peasy and so satisfying as really quick to make up.

What do you do with all those little leftover last dregs of yarn? not quite enough for a full project but if you’re like me, you just cannot bear to throw away.   Another great find from Pinterest this time, for a bright wall hanging, more for a little bit of fun than a serious make. I am still trying to find the ideal place to hang this one so that I can look at it and let it brighten my day when I do.

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Tea Light Candle Holder Pattern

I finally put pen to paper and wrote up this simple candle holder pattern available here as a free PDF download if you would like to give it a go.   The candle holders are ideal for the festive season, shown here with glass inserts.

 

They also look lovely without the glass,  using the imitation battery operated candles (much safer and advisable if not using glass inserts).  I made mine using 100% cotton yarn and stiffened them with PVA glue and water by covering the glass first with cling film and using a foam brush to apply the stiffener.  Leave in a warm place to dry completely.

Let me know how you get on with the pattern, I have tested it a few times so hopefully no errors! Until next Time Happy Crafting!

 

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Finishing Up WIP’s and Hello Autumn

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So where did September go!  Someone is definitely speeding up the monthly calendar, the nights are getting darker (more crochet), Christmas will soon be upon us (more crochet) do I sound happy about the changing seasons? You bet, more crochet time snuggled up with some cosy slippers on, fire roaring and crochet in hand, sounds great 😀

Finished WIP’s  

So I was very disciplined and made sure I finished the WIP’s I had on the go before letting myself start the Autumnal Projects I am inspired to make.  Firstly I finished my cotton sweater in pretty dusky pink 100% cotton by Drops Yarn.  It only took 6 x 50gram balls and to my surprise fitted me perfectly.

Look at me grinning!  Sorry about that cheesy grin! I don’t normally do selfies, now I know why haha.  This was a free pattern from a great website I found called http://www.knitsi.com.  They have both knitting and crochet patterns available, worth taking a look if like me you want something a little different.

Granny Square Summer Cotton Top

During one of my crochet classes, I encouraged my ladies to think outside the box and re-visit the good old granny square with some projects that would stretch them.  This is one project I was helping them with, so of course had to make one myself as their teacher!

This is the Sailmaker Top featured in Crochet Now magazine, issue 15, designed by the very talented designer, Lena Fedotova.  I made this again in Drops 100% cotton ( I do have a large stash as bought a lot in a recent sale). So this is another one that was sitting in my WIP’s for far too long.

Now I have finished it, the weather has changed, so guess it will be next season before I can get any wear out of it.  Another reminder to myself to get a move on and finish more WIP’s  before starting another!

Round up of September Makes

As some of you know, I recently became a grandmother to an adorable baby girl, so obviously, baby crochet is high on my priority list.

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Lots of pinks, with cute little buttons… I love crocheting baby clothes, no WIP’s there as they work up soooo quickly. 😀

Hello Autumn

I’ve started my first autumnal project, worked up a colour swatch in those lovely rich autumnal colours…. oh so rich, I am loving this colour combo!

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A simple stitch pattern using (UK Terms) Treble crochet, its the type of project that I can pick up and put down whilst watching TV, we all need one of those projects, don’t we!  This is going to be a poncho/Blanket for my son.   I’ve already got a few other things on the go which will hopefully inspire the ladies at the crochet class I teach,  I am sure they like them as much as I do… show and tell next time.

Hope you all have a very creative Autumn, looking forward to seeing your makes. 😀

Wall Art Mandala’s and Dubrovnik

IMG_0872We recently enjoyed a little holiday to Croatia.  I’ve never visited this country before, wow it is really beautiful. On one of our days, we visited old town Dubrovnik and walked all the way around the outer wall surrounding the old town taking in the amazing views.  A fabulous day but it was so busy there, so many cruise ships visit the old town, apparently, we went on a quiet day, would hate to be there on a busy day!

IMG_0882For those of you who are Game of Thrones fans, they did quite a bit of the filming in the old town,  so it has brought a lot of tourism interest since the program was aired. Not that is the reason we visited, but it was cerainly strange to see all the merchandise in the gift shops.  Here we are, sitting on the wall for a little rest overlooking the red-tiled rooftops after about an hour into our walk it was soooo hot that day!

As you can see from the pictures below, we certainly had some pretty changeable weather! Is’nt it handy I took my Crochet hook and some Cotton in my suitcase. 🙂

I was pleasantly surprised to see my colour choice of yarn perfectly matched the hotel decor, and my two little mandala makes, looked totally at home in the hotel room.

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I made these one afternoon when the only thing to do was to stay in our room and wait out the thunder and lightning storm.  It was so relaxing, listening to the rain on the balcony and hear the sea in the distance with a crochet hook in hand, who needs the sun eh!

#NotaCal

Before I went on holidays I took part in a new sort of Crochet Cal (Crochet Along) on Instagram,  called #notacal by Dedri Uys. It was a photo tutorial of Mandala 21 by designer John Kelly who gave Dedri permission to share his lovely pattern.  It consisted of 15 rounds with each round being posted at different times on Instagram.  I thoroughly enjoyed making this mandala and as usual Dedri’s instructions were easy to follow and very informative, fingers crossed she will do another for all her IG fans.

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I had some lovely Yarn and Colours 100% cotton mini balls in my stash and decided they would be perfect for this mandala, although I did run out of the raspberry colour just a little way off finishing my round! Aghh…

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I was just going to frog the last round and choose a different colour when I heard a loud ‘NO…..’ from the seat next to me!  It was my dear OH, he said “you cant do that just order more cotton! ”  Music to my ears!  haha, so of course I had to order a few other colours just to make the order worthwhile.

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This is the finished Mandala.  I loved the bright colours and decided to make it into a wall hanging which would be perfect for my new Home Office/Craft room (which is still in the decorating stage).   So,  I found some lovely metal plates in our local Ikea Store, I think they are meant for candles but are perfect for what I had in mind.   Using the last round colour of raspberry, I attached the mandala to the plate using a darning needle weaving in between the holes of the plate and  Ta-Dah! Perfect.

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I can’t wait to put this up on the wall but of course, I will need to do a few more, just to balance the look of it you understand and not because I love making them  😉

Crochet Wall Art

Talking of wall art, I was most surprised to see the huge glass cabinet displays in the bar of the Hotel in Dubrovnik, some beautifully crocheted red mandalas.

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Both Mandalas were of a different design but both had sort of like ‘bite-size’ pieces left out of the finished rounds.  They were perfectly finished, so like me they had definitely not just run out of yarn.

I sat for a very long time sipping my cocktail, just looking at these and wondering why they had that section missing and if I am honest thinking how much nicer they would have looked with complete rounds. Eventually, I found someone to ask who worked at the bar, but she had no idea and was obviously not as interested in them as I was, I think hubby was getting a little tired of my vocal theories as to why the looked like that and was desperately trying to hurry me to dinner.

Eventually, I found someone to ask who worked at the bar, but she had no idea and was obviously not as interested in them as I was, I think hubby was getting a little tired of my vocal theories as to why the looked like that and was desperately trying to hurry me to dinner.

I do have a theory which until advised otherwise I am sticking with… All around the local area, shops and gift shops we visited they had many pieces of red jewellery, which I found out was made from local coral – also a traditional Mediterranean ornament, a symbol of vitality and a protective charm.  So I am thinking the mandalas represented the red coral of the area.  What do you think, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings… I’m on a mission to finish all my WIP’s so I can start on my Autumnal projects, I will share them with you soon.

Happy Crafting!

Filet Crochet and Diploma Update

Filet Crochet

Filet with Bars and Lacets

In my previous post, I talked about my struggle getting my filet crochet design square and the technique I used to overcome that. ready for submission for the part 1 of the International Diploma in Crochet.    Well, my filet samples have been returned along with other swatches submitted having being marked by my assessor.   The swatch above only achieved a ‘Pass’, (I say only as I have been getting very good’s and excellent with my other work).

My blocks and Lacets in my design were meant to be around the outside to form the background of the pattern and not in the main part of the motif, so that will teach me to read the requirements properly.   I may well just go with the ‘pass’ I’m not sure I want to re-do that one.

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My square filet piece needs to be re-submitted (sigh ) as although I did get it to be square and submitted both versions, apparently, my method of using extended trebles would not be classed as traditional filet.  So I need to give that another go.  I love the look of filet crochet, not so much doing it.  Oh well back to the drawing board!

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I did get an ‘Excellent’ for submission #17 a textured crochet swatch with a minimum of four different stitch heights.  I used (UK terms) Dc, Tr, Dtr and TrTr. in my swatch to create this swirly candy floss type texture.  Loved doing this one.

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This was my two coloured heavily textured swatch, reminded me of little acorns after I had made it. So, as yet I still have to tackle those buttons… I’m not procrastinating really (well maybe a little) anyway,  I hope you enjoyed my little update for the International Diploma in Crochet Part 1 which I am really enjoying.

Also on my Hook….

Again I have enjoyed making a few more Mandala’s one of which I have made into a wall hanging, I will show you in my next blog post.   I have so many ideas and projects I want to start but first I will finish the cotton sweater I’m making for myself, last part of the second sleeve then to sew it together.  ( I will finish it before starting anything else…. I will…. I will…. hmm who am I kidding, not you obviously!)  Funny how when you make things for other people you get them done quicker!

Till next time….. enjoy your yarn projects!

Crochet First’s Filet and Mandala

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I haven’t posted for a little while on the blog but have been spending time with my hook, paints and of course family.

This catch up is all about a few First’s that I have tried in crochet, things that I have either never considered or not know about before.

The first first…….Overlay Crochet’ with a beautiful Mandala design by Amanda Williams from Yarn House Creations.  You can find her designs on Etsy or Instagram @yarn_house

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This gorgeous pattern came in my Little Box of Crochet subscription, along with with yarn needed, hook and all instructions.  I loved making this and learnt a lot about overlay crochet which gives the finished Mandala a beautiful multi dimensional look and feel.  The yarn used was 100% cotton which again was a joy to work with.   Isn’t it yummy!!

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Even the back of the work is sooo pretty…

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I loved this design so much I purchased another pattern from Amanda, just need to choose my colours now.  This one is currently sitting on my dining room table, look out anyone who tries the put a cup or anything on it ( dear other half).   I may make a wall hanging so I can put in my room and enjoy looking at it every day.   Hmm I like that idea. 😀

Filet Crochet Swatches for Diploma Submission

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Second First …One of the required submissions for the International Diploma in Crochet Part 1, is a square of filet crochet of your own design.   I have never tried Filet crochet, and although  it looks pretty, I have never had the inclination to give it a go… so another first!

I used DMC Petra Cotton ( love that yarn) and a size 2.5mm hook, so needed my glasses on this one.  After a few attempts at drawing out a pattern  that I liked and also trying to keep it simple,  I made up the swatch.   Shock , Horror, ITS NOT SQUARE!

Now I am confused… my stitch count is right, the pattern drafted out on paper is perfectly square…. so now what?  Anyone else experienced this?  I read and also researched a lot about it and there were several answers , mainly relating to my tension , the hook size etc but I had discounted those already through trial and error.

So ‘MY FIX’ (are you waiting with baited breath?, No? oh ok moving swiftly on…)

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Look at the above swatch… its square.. Yay!  I achieved this by firstly rather than using treble stitches for the blocks (UK Terms) but extended Treble, a very useful stitch which looks very much the same but taller.  Here is a lovely tutorial if you have not tried the extended stitches in crochet.

My second fix related to how you work the spaces ( in Filet you work blocks and spaces, the blocks being filled in with trebles and the spaces are chains)  In all the guides I looked at the blocks were worked into the chain spaces, which to my mind made the stitches shorter, so I decided to work into the actual chains, and it worked!

So two little tweaks, a lot of cursing and breaking out in frustrated sweats and I have a square!  Yay… now we have to see if it will pass the scrutiny of my assessor   ….. I will keep you posted.

Filet crochet using a background of Bars and Lacets  next… can’t wait (NOT)….. I don’t think I will be pursuing future projects in Filet not my fav technique but I appreciate the concentration and effort and patience required  when I see all those wonderful makes using Filet.

Next time… my challenge with bumpy and texture , two words that sound very similar but mean very different things for the diploma apparently – Happy Hooking 😀

 

 

Hairpin Lace and Sirdar Yarn Review

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I recently revisited my to-do list for the International Diploma in Crochet Part 1 that I am doing.  This re-visit was partly prompted by the CrochetNow Magazine issue 15 that I recently purchased.  (So many inspirational ideas in this issue) .  It came with a supplement on Hairpin Lace and had a mini loom as a freebie and some nice patterns too.

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I love that summer top,  another that’s added to the huge To-Do list I am compiling!  The loom is thin plastic and ok for giving hairpin lace a go but very flimsy, luckily I have a nice sturdy loom which then came out to play 😀

For this part of the diploma, I have to submit 5 strips of Hairpin Lace, any width but with different spines and make them all the same length, these are my 5 makes…

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The strips of yarn running down the sides are just to keep them neat.  I loved making these  but my favourite one is the most simple spine, made using just one dc (UK terms) in the centre.  I did find it very difficult to measure them keeping to the same length as they are quite stretchy , all with a different number of loops so I couldn’t just count those as a way of measurement. So I simply measured the spine, while still on the loom and went with that. Lets hope thats the right way!  Any suggestions, please let me know!

Also I needed to make a hairpin lace strip with an offset spine which then was made into a fringe for a household item.  I used two strands of cotton for this one and again love the look.

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Would make a lovely trim on a summer bag or top or even the edge of a rug or table runner.  You have probably noticed that none of these or my other samples are finished and the ends are not neatly sewn in, this is one of the requirements and not me being lazy! Honest 😉

I still have many more swatches to make including filet crochet which I’ve have never tried, and also Buttons again a first for me.. I am so pleased I decided to take this course, it has certainly opened my eyes to so many ways of crochet and I am sure this is only the tip of the iceberg!  I have already learned and passed on many tips to my ladies at the crochet class I teach.  So anyway watch this space and I will let you know how these fair with the assessor , fingers crossed I have done them correctly.

Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots Yarn Review

Earlier in the month I did a blog post review for Minerva Crafts of a yarn they have available on their site, called Snuggly Tiny Tots.  Its a textured yarn in DK weight, with a fine white thread running through it.

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I made a little jumper with this yellow and some blue yarn, if your interested, here is the link to the blog post on their site.

Sirdar Snuggly Tiny Tots Yarn Review by Liz

I would love to know your thoughts.  Till next time , wishing you a very fruitful June filled with Crochet, Crafting, Fun and everything you Love!

Liz 😀

 

Baby Crochet, Fashion and Tatting

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I have been on the lookout for a pretty baby blanket crochet pattern, tried a few designs of my own, (mentioned in my last blog).  I didn’t want anything overly complicated but something that at row 20 I wasn’t already tired of the repetition.  So I opted for a multi colour shell pattern, with two rows of Dc ( UK terms) between colours, using a baby Alpaca/Silk mix yarn,which is heavenly to hold and work with.

I got as far as the 9th row of shells, sat back and thought nope, the colours are not doing it for me, they are lovely but not for a new born. So back to the drawing board.  After much deliberation I realised that this beautiful yarn didn’t need any fancy pattern, the feel and cuddleability ( is that a word?) of the yarn is enough, so I picked up a 3mm hook and the white and started a C2C instead.

The C2C (corner to Corner) design is so easy to crochet, a great pick up put down TV project.  Honestly I spent so much time looking for the ‘Special’ pattern I could have finished this by now!

The white is not a bright white and not quite an off white, but has a slight sheen, I guess from the silk content.  Anyway, I’m on row 25 and its still very small, quite a few more rows to go yet!

In Between Blanket Projects

I have managed to make two little cardigans with this yarn aswell, just to get an idea of how to do them.  Crochet for Baby is all new for me, my children are all grown now, and when mine were little I had no time for Crochet.

The first one I made was a simple cardigan type, just the gauge sizing with the yarn (again the Baby Alpaca, as I’m not using the colours in the blanket).

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A very easy pattern just Trebles (UK Terms) worked from top down, the colour is called ‘Powder’ not pink , not beige, but very pretty.  Looking at jazzing up with a few coloured buttons.  Again not really one for a new born ( Did I mention I’m going to be a Granny !) I know, I know, I did, but I just like saying it! (So exciting :D)    I found a pretty new born matinee style pattern on Just Crochet and tried that one too.

FullSizeRender 71Aww! So cute…. drools.  Again worked from top down, the pattern on the lower section is pretty too, with lots of texture, again easy but very effective, does take a fair bit of yarn, so this one was discounted for the blanket.

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So enough about Baby Crochet , how about some Adult content ( Steady!)

Fashion and Inspiration for Crochet Class

Can you believe what I saw in one of our large UK Fashion Chain Stores recently………

Who said Crochet isn’t fashionable!  These were plain white basic T’s with a multi colour granny square added to the pocket.  They wanted £12.99 for them, how many balls of yarn could you buy for that!  I am sure we all have T’s we could jazz up.

So that gave me the idea, for the subject of my next crochet class, ‘going back to basics with granny squares.’

Its surprising that after a while of getting into the groove with ripples, ribs, chevrons etc, how productive it is to go back to the basics.  Many of my ladies, started with little or no crochet experience and the humble granny (erm ..no I’m not still fixating on the up and coming event!)  was covered a long time ago at our early classes.

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We reviewed a few techniques, such as colour change, how to stop your granny square from twisting, the False Treble Stitch (they all loved that one) and then decided on two granny square projects to have a bash at.

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Isn’t this fab! its a free pattern available from  www.1dogwoof.com and uses two large granny squares topped with waffle yolk. Simple design but so effective.

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This is another design using the humble granny stitch but with an unusual construction.  I found this in my ‘CrochetNow’ magazine issue 15. Both of these fashion tops were a big hit with my ladies, guess I will have to make both… just in the interest of research and class preparation of course! ;D

and Finally … Tatting

I follow a blog by a lovely lady called Tami https://tanglewoodknots.com why not pop over and see her lovely makes, she’s and amazing cook too!  Tami recently posted about her experiences with Tatting.

Tatting is a beautiful craft, like crochet but very fine yarn and using needles or shuttles to make intricate designs, lace, jewellery etc.  After ready Tami’s post, I thought yes I must dig out my supplies that I completely forgot I had previously purchased and give this a go.

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These are the shuttles and yarn, shown here with a pretty tulip, one because I like flowers and two to help you see how small the shuttles are . 😀

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This is how far I got!  I’ve threaded my shuttle ready to go…. that was about 2 weeks ago, well its a start haha.  I did find a tutorial I had purchased on Craftsy (and never watched, my bad!) so the plan is watch that first , then pick up my shuttles and create something wonderful… we can dream right!

P.S. International Diploma in Crochet swatches are back.

In my previous post, I blogged about the swatches that were submitted for part one of the diploma course.  Happy to report they all came back with Excellent or Very good indeed.  On to the next ones…. I really should finish the Hair Pin lace and make a start on the buttons.  Jenny from Prawn and Pebble has made some lovely lace and buttons and has just completed her broomstick lace, pop over and take a look, it’s beautiful!

Until next time…….. Happy Crafting!