Tag Archive | yarn

Buttons Braids and Edgings


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!


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.



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!


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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 😀


Baby Crochet, Fashion and Tatting


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).


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.


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.


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.


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 . 😀


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!

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.


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 .


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 🙂