Tag Archive | learn 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 😀

 

 

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

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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!)

 

Mandala Bag

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Another stash buster project.. found this lovely bag on Corina’s blog Stitch 11 thank you for sharing Corina!  I love mandala projects so had to give this a go.

The pattern was really easy to follow, although as per usual I made a few adjustments to suit me.  When sewing up I used a double crochet seam on the outside to give some texture, and of course  lined my bag.

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Because the bag has a block bottom, I adjusted the lining by sewing and cutting across the bottom as per photos so it fitted beautifully.  I also added a little padding between the lining and the bag to make it a little stiffer. Isn’t that a fab fabric! I knew I kept that scrap for something.

So my bag ended up just the right size for all those essentials! Yay.

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I have enough of this lovely ball of wool for one more bag… hmmm this one will have to be one of my designs I think…. Happy Hooking 😀

 

 

Stashbuster Yarn and Eureka Moment!

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I am being so disciplined at the moment and using up my odds and ends in some pretty stash busting projects ( more bags and clutches will be posted soon), BUT….. don’t you just hate those tangled bunches of yarn that you just can’t throw away and are also such a pain to work with? Or is it just me 😉

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There is so much milage in these little odd ends and bits and pieces, messy but a good resource for smaller projects.

Well ladies, I just had a Eureka moment, at least thats what I thought it was, it may have just been a bright idea that I have seen elsewhere but didn’t register until now, either way what a great idea!

Firstly grab yourself a bag of cheap plastic pegs, the ones with the curve on the edges like mine below.

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These are perfect as the yarn just snaps nicely through the end of the peg and holds well… also I really really like the sound of that yarn snap when you pull it through ( sad but hey, little pleasures)…. Once the yarn is snapped and held in place wind as per the photos below.

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Every now and again wrap around ends and snap so the yarn does not slip back off.  You can wind away to your hearts content until your yarn is really well behaved and wound nicely in its new home ready for your next project.  Neat eh!

You can make the little yarn pegs as small or large as the peg will hold, I know pegs vary in size but I found even these standard little pegs hold quite a lot of yarn.  Also great if using multiple colour ways in one project.

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I have discovered another great feature of using these, if you drop them while winding, or crocheting, they don’t roll away under your sofa and you can retrieve with no pain!  Also they look so pretty in my little dish.  😀

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So now I am moving on to using these beauties for a stash buster project for my Crochet Class, just in time for Valentines.  Hope you enjoyed my little indulgence and if like me this idea really hits home then great!  If you already knew about this little neat trick … why didn’t you tell me before! 😉

Happy Peg Hunting! Bye for now.

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.