Tag Archive | yarn

Diploma Catch up

 

set of four potholders

Oh you’ve got to love those colours together.. reminds me of spring and summer and fresh air and sunshine.   These were the colours I used for a set of Pot Holders as one of my final projects for the homewares section of the International Diploma in Crochet Part 1.  Made in 100% cotton and same two colours for the set but in different textured patterns throughout.2

The inspiration for these hotpads/potholders came from a few different sources, I am sure you can tell this one was the start of the Elements CAL blanket available on  Raverly  I just loved the texture of this one, and one day I will progress to a whole blanket!  The other potholders include a Tunisian checked pattern, a mitred two colour square and another of my favourites is the one that looks like hearts, (well I think they do)  crocheted with two yarns at the same time.  A great video tutorial by simply daisy is available on YouTube and was the inspiration for this one. I really like them all but they are way too nice to use in the kitchen so at the moment , just for show !

These all passed the assessment with flying colours  I am glad to say.  I made a poncho for another of the projects and included a few rows of broomstick lace . I love how the graduation of colour enhances the whole design too.   The pattern was by Drops yarns available free on their website, pattern 168-13.  The yarn I purchased was a budget yarn, but again so lovely to work with and so soft and chunky. The pattern is also charted which I much prefer.  So  here is my lovely daughter modelling it for me (after several bribes aka Proseccos’ of course) .poncho

Finally I submitted a design of my own using a fashion yarn called Superwool by Universal Yarn Inc.  Its is super stretchy and very thick, so I designed this chunky triangle cushion with lots of yarn twiddly bits to add a quirky element .  I used three colours and an 8mm hook, with a crab stitch to join the segments.

 

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So that’s all my final projects done, I just have to knuckle down and do the written work now, which includes some multichoice questions and a report to write.   Time to really focus and nail this part 1 of the diploma.  I have learned so much already doing the diploma and so much has happened in my life since I started it but I really will be glad to get it finished and hopefully pass the final hurdle.   Thank you for reading about my diploma makes and thanks too for your encouragement along the way!

Till next time – Happy Crafting!

 

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Crochet for Stress Therapy

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Its been a little while since my last blog post .  Over the last few years and these last few months especially life has been very stressful . For those of you who have lost loved ones ie your parents you know how stressful and difficult life can become, it certainly makes you all growd’ up all of a sudden.  Well thats how I feel, but I have had a few constants in my world  to help me deal with this new life transition, my wonderful O.H. my beautiful Children and Granddaughter, my lovely Sister and of course my Crochet and other creative passions which help me look to the future.

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My Crochet Hook has had a fair workout, and has kept my mind occupied and busy and is wonderful for Stress Therapy.  March saw the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’ so it was a perfect opportunity to show the Ladies who come to my crochet class how to be creative with their granny squares and make some lovely mits.

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We should make mits more often beacause by the time we had nearly finished them to wear and show off, the weather turned into full blown Spring with glorius sunshine and a mini heat wave!  It did’nt last long before we were plunged back into winter but a nice welcome break maybe we should be hats next!

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At the beginning of March I joined in the the Casual Granny Cal over on instagram, hosted by Mandy of crochetbtyredagape, a lovely pace with squares being released every month or so, enough time for you to whip up 8 (I’ve only managed 3) in any colourway you see fit.  I also started the Seaside Stash Busting Blanket by the talented Elenora of Coastal Crochet,  available on her blog or instagram account, another nice pace and great to use up your stash of yarn with two pattern rows being released one on a Monday and one on a Friday, I must admit to falling slightly behind with this one, but enjoying all the same.

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Did you notice I seem to have a bit of an orange crush at the moment? Why not, its a great colour to slip in there between those blue’s for a cheeky splash of cheerful colour.

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Of course we could’nt let April pass by with out an Easter Bunny.  This little cutie was presented to my Grandaughter for Easter, she’s only 8 Months old and not surprisingly was more interested with the packaging!  This is one of many wonderful patterns by BubblesAndBongo from their fab Etsy shop, I could have bought them all, so many cute things to make.

Next time I will give you a quick update on my Diploma in Crochet progress. Its all going well and I am coming close to the end of Part 1.   Its lovely to be back sharing my makes and the crafters that inspire me with you and hope like me, if you need a helping hand dealing with lifes challenges, you take the opportunity to let Crochet or any Crafts that you love, fill you with creative comfort.

Buttons Braids and Edgings

Braids

I have been a bit lax of late with my International Diploma in Crochet work! So many other projects on the go and so little time.  I know that sounds very familar to a lot of you!   The Diploma is a great way to learn and stretch your abilities, to help advance your work and for me, help me to design more of my own patterns, a goal I have had for a very long time.

So the photo above shows 5 different Braids which I submitted for assessment along with 3 crochet edgings and 7 crochet buttons.   I was slightly confused by Braids and Edgings, but the course tutor explained the difference – Braids are decorative and designed to be added to your projects like applique whereas ‘Edgings’ are for (yes you guessed it) suitable for say edge to edge jackets or garments, sort of a decorative finish to a project .  Sounds so obvious when I read that back!

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I used a combinations of very fine crochet thread with a size 1mm hook right up to 4ply yarn and 3.5mm hook to complete these swatches, and was happy to receive ‘Excellent’ when returned from assessment.  I loved doing these as they made me think a little more about  not only how to make them and assess the type of yarn etc. but how they could be applied to my projects, so I got a lot out of this exercise.

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Buttons

These were my selecton of buttons, again loved making these!  Some are stuffed with cotton, others are crocheted around other buttons and all using my favourte yarns and lots of inspiration from YouTube.  The only one that I had a bit of a “hmmm not sure about that one” moment was the large mustard button, maybe just because I probably wouldnt use that in one of my projects and as the assessor said could have been made with a smaller hook to make it more durable with wear, which I agree with, but all passed again with flying colours. Yay (Happy Dance!).

Did you notice my little tea pot mat in the background?   Well, I had a little go at the Elements Cal  designed by Sandra from Hooks and Yarn  with super video tutorials from Esther ‘Its all in a Nutshell’ .  What a wonderful pattern, all that texture, love it!   The little tea pot mat is all I have made so far though because I would need to buy yarn for the CAL (Crochet Along) which ends up being a large Blanket but I am having an innner discussion with myself trying to justify buying more when I have so much already!  Of course the stash I have is the wrong colour, the wrong weight, not quite the colours I want… sound familiar? 😀 Still debating that one but for now a tea pot mat is all I have and I love it!

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Finally a little splash of colour using my button making skills (as an excuse ) to make this fun little cushion and also stash busting in the process.  Pattern is by the talented  designer Lucy from Attic 24, Blooming Flower Cushion , I may have to make more of these as it really did’nt use up much of my stash.  Any excuse eh!

Till next time happy hooking!

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!

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!

 

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 😀