Tag Archive | International diploma in crochet

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 😀

 

 

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 🙂

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! 

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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 😉

 

Strawberry Clutch Free Pattern

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Well another stash busting project…. so much stash to bust! Anyway that’s another story. Today’s story is about my love of this Strawberry Clutch Bag.  Just big enough for all the essentials, or can be used as a make up bag… its washable.. yay!   Isn’t this such a pretty stitch.  Of course I had to line it and pop a zip in, to keep all my contents safely tucked away inside.

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I hand stitched the lining but my good old sewing machine came out to do the zip.  Did you notice the pattern?… ( grins..)  I actually got this pattern all down on paper, a full three page pattern with chart! ….Go me 😀

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So if you would like to have a bash at this one, the link for the full pattern to download or print is HERE.  Feel free to let me know how you get on, this is the first time I have written up a complete pattern, so any typos or errors please, please, let me know! Hope you enjoy…

Other News from the Creative Corner….

I have been such a busy bee lately…  getting all the preparation ready for my upcoming workshop.. well its a new one for me, a Speed Crafting night with 5 other ladies each with different crafts , the workshop is  based around Mothers Day.. so I’ll be there along with other crafters,  hopefully enthusing ladies with the joys of crochet!

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As well as the preparation for the workshop, I am also having to re-do the last batch of swatches I sent off for the International Diploma in Crochet, which some of you know , got lost in the post. 😦   These swatches included the Tunisian one and two colour samples, along with 3 others, so not too much to re-do… good to practice though right!  I will post my efforts before the next batch goes off, I am loving the Tunisian crochet and have now invested in a whole set of hooks ! I  have so many ideas already so its justified right?

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One swatch I am struggling with is a square of raised double rib.. I don’t know why I am finding this one so tough.. a basic stitch and I am very familiar with the front post/back post stitches, unless its my combination of them, anyway  I have to do a re-submission for this one, my feedback from Annette who agreed with my opinion on this sample sent (I feel that there should have been more texture) … she suggested a smaller hook than usual, so I’ll give that a go, also I used an acrylic /cotton yarn so maybe 100% acrylic next time as will be more stretchy.

Above left my sample, and right is the photo that Annette sent me as a guide.So looks like my evening crochet is planned!

Till next time… Have a Happy Crocheting Weekend ! (with wine if possible- naughty me!)

 

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 😉