Archive | January 2017

Stashbuster Mini Clutch

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It’s the weekend and  surprise surprise it’s raining, (so unusual for Wales). What better way to spend a rainy day but with my feet up and a new crochet project.

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I’d like to say I knew exactly what I was going to make but, to be honest, this one just morphed into a finished project after I decided to try a stitch pattern with some of my left over yarn.   I liked the look of the Block Stitch that I have seen popping up on Pinterest .  It’s a combination of a two row pattern and worked with two different colour yarns I think it’s  pretty neat.
There is a lovely tutorial from Olivia on her blog Hopefully Honey if you would like to check it out.

So after making a nice little rectangle, I looked at it and thought this would make a cute little clutch bag.  Just big enough for my phone and some cash for those times when you want to pop out , without taking the usual bag with everthing but the kitchen sink inside !  Of course not only do I have a yarn stash , I also have a fabric stash , (surprise,surprise) so decided to make a lining complete with inner pocket for an emergency debit card.

 I measured and pinned the lining before sewing the side seams on my machine. Did you notice my flower crochet pin cushion? another little previous stash busting project. 

It took a little while to thread that darned needle before successfully sewing the lining into my bag.  (I’m not the only one  having trouble there I doubt)   Now for the clasp!   I bought these some time ago in one of those “they will come in handy” moments and have been waiting for an excuse to try them , now how to fix them together…. as usual, no instructions provided!


So finally I figured it out and Ta-Da! My mini clutch is finished.  I rewarded myself with a nice cuppa and took some more photos, just to show off. 😏

So still some yarn left, as didn’t use very much of my stash at all on this one.

Feeling chuffed my Little bag fits my phone and some emergency lip gloss nicely, hope you enjoyed seeing my little rainy day project and perhaps you’ll give it a go yourselves.

It’s Never too late to learn!

I am having great fun with the ladies at my crochet class, they are so enthusiastic and eager to learn new stitches and techniques!  This week we tackled Chevrons or Ripples, in a few different styles.  Firstly, they all made the mistake I am sure we’ve all made at some point and not crocheted the increase on the first and last stitches of the row, which lead to mis-aligned ‘Valleys” and ‘Mountains” as I like to call them, (its the Welsh in me) but after a few more goes they have it sussed!  I really enjoyed making up some swatches to show them and of course the charts to work from.  Aren’t they pretty?

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So I’ve been thinking for a while now that perhaps I should develop and hone my skills, especially as my class members are steaming ahead… so I took the plunge and enrolled for the International Diploma in Crochet.  A course developed and run by Pauline Turner, on her website called Crochet Design.  Its not an online course, we have to send swatches and projects written and practical to be assessed .  So I am officially back in School! Aghhh…

My long term goal is to design and write patterns and especially charted patterns in crochet as I just love charts…. I am sure I’m not alone on that one (am I?!) and this is something I teach my ladies at class, makes life so much easier when explaining stitch patterns .

So for part I of III of the first part of the diploma, (Yes there is a lot to do already…) requires about 35 swatches in total to be made up and my first have been sent off for assessment and returned marked.  I was very pleased and relieved to receive high marks and excellent for the first submissions. Funny how after crocheting for many years, you suddenly doubt yourself, even on the basics!

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The first samples included; a triangle of dc starting at the point, a square of trebles, a network of chains with four straight sides and a square of dc suitable for seaming.  Only one sample has to be re-submitted and that was a triangle of trebles working to a point.  Apparently, I should have decreased even on the very first row to get perfect points at each corner, well there you go, I have learned something already!

I also had a ‘Well I didn’t know that!’ moment…..some good working practices for crochet which requires turning chains, and that it is – it’s ok to reduce or increase the number of chains no matter what stitch your doing in order to get a nice neat finish and also for me to chain before I turn, turning my work not like a book page but reverse as if turning the page back… get me?   This means that I could easily see the last turning chain to work into.   May just be me and your all doing that anyway, but it certainly was a very handy thing to remember.

So my second batch has gone off, and I am swiftly moving on to the next swatches, I may be slightly addicted 😉

 

Sparkly Cowl

 

Last October we made a visit to Aberaeron West Wales, a beautiful place to visit on the coast, with colourful houses and beautiful long walks along the coast, well worth a visit .

Of course there just happened to be a craft shop with lots of yummy yarn, my lucky day!  I was very disciplined (yes really, it took a lot of strength ) and after a lot of restraint I just bought a few balls of a lovely sparkly yarn by Katina, called Air Lux. It’s 70% Viscose, 30% Merino Wool so really soft and warm, also sparkly. I’ve never come across yarn like this before .

 

I had Christmas presents in mind when I bought it and something for my daughter as she just loves wearing black, so this would be perfect!

I couldn’t find a pattern I liked, I thought to make a Cowl for evening wear and jotted down a few ideas , it was lovely to work with and I’m really pleased with how it turned out!

The yarn recommended a size 2-2.5mm hook but I used a size 3.5mm because I wanted that drapey feel to the finished Cowl. The pattern consists of a 5 row  pattern repeat , see my little chart below if you would like to give this a go. Stitches used were UK terms half treble and double crochet.

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Not very neat but guess you can work out my scribbles!  you could substitute  Trebles (uk terms) instead of the Half Trebles if you want . I started with ch46 for  the width, the final row was a row of DC which I made into the initial ch46 foundation row, which completed the pattern nicely.  Also I found the two rows of dc, between the the pattern rows ,  just balanced and held the shape of the cowl nicely.  I am happy to say it was a big hit with my daughter at Christmas along with the fingerless mittens I made out of the remainder of the two balls.

Hope you give it a go!

 

The Start of a New Year

Well where did 2016 go?  Such a busy year but also personally a very challenging one in many ways.  Throughout I found my Crochet and Art to be a big stress buster, especially Crochet when I could sit with my squidgy wool and hook and feel comforted.

I know many of you know what I mean by that!  So what did I achieve in 2016 well here are some of my favourite projects…..

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Loved making these blankets with such inspiring designs!  I even managed to make a few things for myself… now thats new!

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Yes a cardi, a beautiful shawl, terrible photo sorry, the pattern by Julie Blagojevich – Schaumburg, and of course the must have bag for all you magazines.

I also at last mastered socks , great for my walking boots.  Will definitely be making more of those. Lots of other little projects, too many to post here or you will be falling asleep!

One thing I am proud of in 2016 is that I really stretched myself started to teach Crochet classes in our local town.  It all started as a way of raising funds for Velindre Cancer Fundraising, as my Daughter and Son in Law took part in the ‘Ride the Rockies’ cycle challenge. 450+  Kilometres around the Rockies in Canada.  (So proud of them!!)

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All the class fees were donated to their fund, and I even Crocheted a mascot for them to take with them.  Well you just got to have a mascot haven’t you!  Of course as I am Welsh the mascot was a Sheep!  A lovely photo above from  his travels around Canada, and one with the Green Green Grass of Home. (Sorry had to get that in)

So what does 2017 hold for me?  Well I am continuing with the Crochet classes, thats keeping me busy !  I have also decided to go all out and start the International Diploma in Crochet course.  I have seen a lot of blogs about it and decided to go for it, so watch this space as my journey commences. Of course there will still be crochet class to prepare for and new projects I hope to design…. oh dear how will I fit it all in!

Bye for now, hope you all have a happy, healthy and creative New Year!