Tag Archive | learn crochet

Christmas Crochet and Free Pattern

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Well, my hook has been super busy with Christmas crochet projects this year, the first one being the adorable Christmas Santa Gonk.  A lovely amigurumi pattern designed by Ling Ryan for Hooked on Patterns, I can’t remember where I bought this one, may have been Ravelry.  So cute!

I used acrylic DK yarn for my trial run and then 100% cotton yarn by Drops, for the finished version.  If you visit  www.hookedonpatterns.com, there is a host of extras available as long as you have purchased the original pattern.

Tapestry Crochet

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This is my first attempt at designing and swatching a small tapestry crochet piece.  I have always loved how this looks in knitted work and really wanted to see if I could achieve a decent crisp look.   Still working on that! haha, but the interesting thing about this technique is that you never turn your work, and the second colour is carried along the back of the swatch as you crochet.  The stitches used are all dc (UK terms) and through the back loops only. Note to self ‘ I must spend more time on this technique in the future’.

Christmas Baubles – Free Pattern

There are many lovely free patterns out there for colourful Christmas Baubles but I wanted to try something different, something more open and lacy but quick to makeup and a great stash buster too.

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These baubles are made using 100% cotton from my stash and used less than 10gms to make.  I designed them to be made in two halves and joined around the centre to finish, you will need a balloon and some fabric stiffener to finish but all the instructions and details on how to make are included in my Free Pattern available to download Here.

They really brightened up my tree, especially in the daylight when the lights are not twinkling, they just added that splash of colour I needed.  I hope you try them, please let me know if you find any problems with my pattern, I would love to see your makes if you want to send me a link.

More Christmas Tree Ornaments

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Are you a hoarder like me?  I keep everything that I think will come in useful for ‘something crafty’.  Well, this hoard was a blessing and was used as the centre circle for these little crochet wreath tree ornaments.  Can you guess what they were originally? – Curtain pole rings!  complete with their own little hook ready to add the tiesto hang on  the tree.

I made these to give as little thank you gifts to the ladies who come to my crochet classes and support a worthy charity.  We have raised over £1000 for Velindre Cancer Fundraising to date and have had some great fun with our makes.  These are made using DK acrylic yarn and again great stash busters.

Watercolour Doodle

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Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without some home made cards, so my watercolours came out for a little play and I doodled a bit to get some ideas for cards for the special people in my life.  Let’s hope I get time to finish them.  Even if I don’t, it’s so relaxing and such a stress buster when I paint, definitely right up there with crochet!

Wishing you a Happy Healthy and Creative Christmas and New Year!

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Crochet Catch Up and Free Pattern

Well, I am sorry to say I have neglected my blog for a little while, on the positive side I have completed so many projects, Yay! also started new ones and added lots of inspirational makes to my To-Do list – I just can’t keep up!
I have also managed to write up a pattern for a cute Christmas make.
So firstly, a quick round-up of the finished projects. ( Is’nt it a great feeling when you get a project finished, nothing like it!) in my last post I mentioned a poncho I was making for my sons Birthday in December, this was a lovely make, a free pattern from Two of Wands,  Ravelry shop twoofwands.  I adapted slightly so that the neckline was not quite so low and used my sons’ favourite colours. So many ends to sew in!  But it’s so him, I don’t think he will take it off once he gets it!

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Have you ever tried making crochet baskets?, I am totally smitten with them after finding a lovely pattern by Mijocrochet called doubledouble baskets.  I made up a few to show the ladies at the crochet class I teach and then made a square one just for the fun of it.  The way this pattern is designed, means you don’t have to stiffen them as the double outer wall helps them retain their shape beautifully.

A few Stashbuster projects

Looking at the amount of yarn I have accumulated I have been focusing on projects to stash bust, that was the theory behind the poncho I made, although it didn’t actually use as much as I thought it would. The next stash buster project I tackled was this bright cushion, which hubby has already claimed as his own.  Make lots of triangles and join together, with a few rounds of Linked Treble (UK Terms) stitches to complete, easy peasy and so satisfying as really quick to make up.

What do you do with all those little leftover last dregs of yarn? not quite enough for a full project but if you’re like me, you just cannot bear to throw away.   Another great find from Pinterest this time, for a bright wall hanging, more for a little bit of fun than a serious make. I am still trying to find the ideal place to hang this one so that I can look at it and let it brighten my day when I do.

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Tea Light Candle Holder Pattern

I finally put pen to paper and wrote up this simple candle holder pattern available here as a free PDF download if you would like to give it a go.   The candle holders are ideal for the festive season, shown here with glass inserts.

 

They also look lovely without the glass,  using the imitation battery operated candles (much safer and advisable if not using glass inserts).  I made mine using 100% cotton yarn and stiffened them with PVA glue and water by covering the glass first with cling film and using a foam brush to apply the stiffener.  Leave in a warm place to dry completely.

Let me know how you get on with the pattern, I have tested it a few times so hopefully no errors! Until next Time Happy Crafting!

 

Finishing Up WIP’s and Hello Autumn

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So where did September go!  Someone is definitely speeding up the monthly calendar, the nights are getting darker (more crochet), Christmas will soon be upon us (more crochet) do I sound happy about the changing seasons? You bet, more crochet time snuggled up with some cosy slippers on, fire roaring and crochet in hand, sounds great 😀

Finished WIP’s  

So I was very disciplined and made sure I finished the WIP’s I had on the go before letting myself start the Autumnal Projects I am inspired to make.  Firstly I finished my cotton sweater in pretty dusky pink 100% cotton by Drops Yarn.  It only took 6 x 50gram balls and to my surprise fitted me perfectly.

Look at me grinning!  Sorry about that cheesy grin! I don’t normally do selfies, now I know why haha.  This was a free pattern from a great website I found called http://www.knitsi.com.  They have both knitting and crochet patterns available, worth taking a look if like me you want something a little different.

Granny Square Summer Cotton Top

During one of my crochet classes, I encouraged my ladies to think outside the box and re-visit the good old granny square with some projects that would stretch them.  This is one project I was helping them with, so of course had to make one myself as their teacher!

This is the Sailmaker Top featured in Crochet Now magazine, issue 15, designed by the very talented designer, Lena Fedotova.  I made this again in Drops 100% cotton ( I do have a large stash as bought a lot in a recent sale). So this is another one that was sitting in my WIP’s for far too long.

Now I have finished it, the weather has changed, so guess it will be next season before I can get any wear out of it.  Another reminder to myself to get a move on and finish more WIP’s  before starting another!

Round up of September Makes

As some of you know, I recently became a grandmother to an adorable baby girl, so obviously, baby crochet is high on my priority list.

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Lots of pinks, with cute little buttons… I love crocheting baby clothes, no WIP’s there as they work up soooo quickly. 😀

Hello Autumn

I’ve started my first autumnal project, worked up a colour swatch in those lovely rich autumnal colours…. oh so rich, I am loving this colour combo!

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A simple stitch pattern using (UK Terms) Treble crochet, its the type of project that I can pick up and put down whilst watching TV, we all need one of those projects, don’t we!  This is going to be a poncho/Blanket for my son.   I’ve already got a few other things on the go which will hopefully inspire the ladies at the crochet class I teach,  I am sure they like them as much as I do… show and tell next time.

Hope you all have a very creative Autumn, looking forward to seeing your makes. 😀

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 😀

 

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

Strawberry Clutch

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!)