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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 😀

 

International Diploma Catch Up and Hello May…

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Well goodbye April and Hello May!… where on earth did April go? Anyone else feel the same.  When I look back on April, I did actually cram it full of crafting including crochet (of course), sewing , painting and I even went on Holidays for a week.  I guess thats where April went then.

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If I’m honest my Diploma was slightly neglected in April, so many other things on the go, but I did cram a few more swatches in the last week of the month, more so I felt I hadn’t totally abandoned them.  The last batch of swatches came back all with great marks, apart from that one darn rib sample, which I have now re-done (third submission!) and am confident I have got it right this time, the rib does show on both sides of the swatch which was the problem last time.

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So this is my swatch for the ‘two colour no texture ‘ criteria.  I’m loving this one, looks the same both sides so really great for so many applications.  I used Stylecraft Special DK , on of my favourite Acrylic  yarns for this,  Grass Green and Variegated Green, they look so nice together don’t you think? Its quite deceptive as it looks like it is textured but its just the way I have used the colours -clever eh!

Three more swatches, one for a pattern to include a shell, this one was made with again a lovely yarn by scheepjes called Stone washed, its an cotton/acrylic mix, so soft!  Then I have the lacy open pattern using just trebles, another great easy pattern which looks great anyway, lengthways, upright, back to front… a very versitle pattern.  Finally two of my hairpin lace swatches done.  Again I loved doing these, just need to find the next spine patterns for the last three, as we need to send five in one go of this one.

Non Diploma update…

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So apart from that, I have been playing with a few yarns with Baby projects in mind (yes BABY!) Ask me who’s going to be a Grandma (big grins!!)  So exciting!!

I have had one ball of the Drops Alpaca /Silk 4ply mix in my stash for a long time.. it wasn’t  a cheap yarn so I have been saving it some something special… its soooo soft! Gorgeous to work with and when I saw Wool Warehouse had it on Sale.. it was a no brainer.. I’ve just ordered a big bag for that special project that I haven’t decided on yet. Well you’ve got to be prepared haven’t you!! Its ok I have till July :O

I like this pattern very much but will try a few more in this yarn, before I decide on the final project.  I put my little swatch around my wrist, then thought oooh so soft and cwtchy (welsh word for cuddly)  would make a lovely sweater, for me that is… oops had to give myself a talking to…. stay on track woman!

The little booties are so quick and easy to make, I just had a play , just for practice 🙂  I also tried some animal squares for another blanket project but after my dear Hubby thought the cow motif was a pig, hmmm maybe I should re-think this one!  Interestingly I worked up one square for the tiger but in a smaller hook ( my mistake.. who would make hooks the same colour  -blue handle, but different sizes… doh!)  Anyway it turned out a lot smaller but also much neater… note to self… “do more swatches before committing to a project”.

Non Crochet update….

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Mmnnnn hot porridge breakfast!

In between all the other things that happened in April, I was also fortunate to finally have my new Kitchen installed (waited 15years for this!)   We splashed out dipping into our savings and went for real oak worktops..  ( Gasps!)  They look wonderful but of course need extra care with hot pans etc.  So with the help of my lovely daughter Jenny, who  loves sewing too,  we spent an afternoon making these lovely Tulip Bowl Cosies.

The are lined in the middle with heat reflective padding, like the sort in ironing boards and so are perfect for hot dishes and bowls.  I also made two larger ones for our big pasta bowls.

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They are so easy to make, I think they are called Tulip Bowl Cosies and I believe the pattern was a free one from Craftsy  although I  have had it a long time, if you google it, I am sure you’ll come up with the pattern if you want to give it a go.

Finally for this post….

So lastly with my catch up, my watercolours came out for an airing and I have started my next painting  – I love birds and watercolours and was thinking the other day  that I have not seen many Starlings around lately, how about you?  I think their iridescent plumage beautiful but is a real challenge to capture with watercolours , still a lot to do with this one but great fun .

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So for now bye  and hope you enjoyed the catch up -Happy Crafting!

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PS – I have no affiliation with the Shop  Wool Warehouse mentioned in my post, I just really like their products and service.  Just in case you wondered 🙂