Tag Archive | crochet techniques

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!

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 😉

 

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!