Tag Archive | crochet patterns

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!

March Makes , Crafting Night and Doilies

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March went so quickly, don’t you think, or was it just me! I guess because I have been so busy, with work the family and of course crafting.   I spent a lot of time preparing for a Crafting workshop I was invited to take part in.  A new concept for our area ‘Speed Crafting’!  The idea was that five crafters would put on mini workshops or taster sessions with a small project that could be completed in 20 mins.  If the project could not be completed in that time, no worries, people could take the project home to finish later.

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Isn’t this pretty, looks like a basket of little bows..

So 50 tickets were sold therefore lots of yarn winding and kits to be made for the little flower hanger ,I had decided to make.  Just one little flower and a few leaves, keep it nice and simple I thought.  A smaller and greatly scaled down version of the larger heart hanging I made a little while back.

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The evening was a great success although really hard work!  We had five sessions of 20-30 mins with 8-10 ladies at a time.  The wine was flowing ( for the customers that is!) I really could have done with some myself !

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Three flower version , then scaled down again to one flower – but still pretty.

A big lesson learnt for me, was that when wine and a pretty project is presented to a group of ladies, they are determined to complete the project whether they can crochet or not!  Boy we had our work cut out! Haha. Those of you who have taught crochet understand that even holding a hook for the first time can be a challenge for some.  I was so pleased I had coaxed my lovely daughter Jenny to come and help me on the night (although under the illusion she thought she would be manning the glueing station). She rose to the challenge nicely although the comments ..”Never Again” were heard to be muttered now and again.  Another is being planned for the Christmas market (don’t tell Jenny) …. hmmm will have to think long and hard for that one.

International Diploma in Crochet Samples Update:

My samples were returned from my assessor with marks ranging from Excellent to Very Good Indeed.  Yay!  Although my re-submission of No. 8 -A square of raised double rib, failed again!  Why is it the ones that seem to be simple give you the most trouble. Apparently I only had my rib on one side of the swatch instead of both sides, but at least I know I am on the right track eh!  Time to get on with some more swatches, more hair pin lace and buttons! 

FullSizeRender 30One sided Rib! Still pretty though right?

Remember Doilies?

I may be showing my age now, but when I was little my Nanna would make these beautiful doilies for the dressing table and any other surface that required something pretty.    Its what a lot of people think of, when you mention crochet.. along with Granny Squares of course!

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This is one I still have that Nanna made, she never read patterns just made it up as you go along, how cool is that!

Today’s doilies have had a little bit of a makeover and there are some lovely patterns out there.  I made these with 100% cotton , I’d like to think Nanna would have liked them, I certainly enjoyed making them . Hubby did ask what they were for though.. doh!

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So until next time Happy Crocheting… and remember there is more daylight now, so more time to Crochet  😉

 

 

 

Diploma Catch up..

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My remakes are done! … Phew! ( for the ones that got lost in the post) , finally done and ready to be sent off for Part I of the International Diploma in Crochet.  I thought I would find it a chore to re-do these swatches but hey what can I say… Crochet is never a chore is it, especially when your a Crochetaholic like me.

So my swatches were the Treble and Quadruple Treble squares, and the sample of Double Crochet with 5 hook changes…

FullSizeRender 31Tunisian Simple Stitch one colour and another two colour swatch giving a tweed effect, finished with a round of dc and crab stitch( or reverse dc)  Love the way that looks!

Also having some fun with Tunisian squares with a  lap blanket I have on the go, ( my watching TV project) shown here with the cute little stitch holder from my Little Box of Crochet last month. Just so cute!!

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Ooo these were some of my fav makes so far, Broomstick Lace, one with dc and the other trebles in between.  I didn’t have a large knitting needle so used a large lollypop type stick, worked a treat, not sure if the loops will be considered long enough but we shall see, but my first attempt at this lovely stitch and it won’t be my last for sure.

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This little swatch gave me so much trouble… strange the simple things that catch you out… its a square of raised double rib.  This one was a re-submission from my first batch, the one on the right was my first attempt in lovely Scheepjes Stone Washed yarn, loved working with this, shame I only had one ball to try!  The swatch on the left above is my second attempt and looks much more like the photo that my assessor sent me, so again will need to wait and see on that one.

So after making all those little squares, I thought I have a change, I made some more little squares haha… This time for me!

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I have started stocking up on Cotton Face Clothes,  ready for my weekend away (Anniversary Jaunt ) made with 100% Cotton, two Waffle  stitch versions and the other two from a fab pattern I stumbled upon on You Tube.  It was all in Italian/Russian or was it Polish?  No idea, I couldn’t understand a word , I’m Welsh! …so I just turned off the volume and watched.  Aren’t they so cute,  when making these, you crochet the two sides at the same time, independently, a new technique for me again (did I say they are also reversible), the pattern reminds me of little hearts.

Well there you go.. my last few weeks of Crochet makes in my ‘Happy Place’.. and just to show you that I do actually do other things other than crochet.. (yes really I do), heres a link to a review I did recently for Jacksons Art Supplies and their Art Spectrum Pastels, should any of you be interested in my Arty abilities that is!

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https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2017/03/01/liz-elsworth-reviews-art-spectrum-soft-pastels/

Bye for now.. hope you enjoy the forthcoming weekend… apparently the forecast is set to be  Crochet with a chance of Wine 😉

 

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!