Friday, 30 September 2011

Not another blanket

No, this is not another blanket...well it is, but one with a difference.

In my previous post I showed you a snippet of the plain ruffle throw I was making.  Well, I finished it, and here it is:

Yep - that's it.  It's very thick, the stitchwork is pleasant, and the ruffles raise it above bland.....but it's still rather bland isn't it?

So I decided to experiment a little and add a few embellishments.  I looked around and spotted a flower garland that I made a while ago, and decided it would be better served cheering up my ruffle throw than dangling from the book case.  

Then I whipped up a few flowers and discs made from different yarns.  The result, is a somewhat experimental, less boring, slightly more colourful throw:

I'm reasonably happy with it, but I'm not sure if I love it.  What I do know is that it is truly one of a kind, and will be very snuggly this winter...and it is definitely no longer boring!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Look! A new crochet book!

One of the best things about having a crafting hobby is that your family and friends are never stuck for present ideas for you.  The absolute BEST thing about my hobby is that my friends often come across crochet related items, and because they are such lovely friends (see how grateful I am, K and T?), they buy these items for you, just because they know how much you'll love them.

One such item is this absolutely gorgeous book - Easy Crocheted Accessories by Carol Meldrum

I've read it from cover to cover, and flicked through it repeatedly, and like a hungry man leafing through an illustrated cook book, I never tire of looking at it...and salivating.

Of course, it hasn't taken me long to start working through my favourite patterns - the first one being this ruffle throw.

It's unusual for me because it is just one colour - and a pale, relatively bland one at that.  I don't know why, but it really appeals to me, and I can picture it now on the back of  my (yet to be purchased) chocolate brown leather sofa.  I'm about 1/3 of the way through so far, so give me another couple of weeks and hopefully I'll be able to show off the finished product.

The other item I'm attempting (not with much success, I have to say) is this unusual open-mesh shrug.

The friend who bought me this book let me know just how much she LOVES this shrug, so I'm trying to make it for her......she may have to wait a while though as I'm struggling badly.  The problem I have is that it's crocheted in two tubes - I've managed to do one, but am having difficulty replicating it.  It is the joining of the first chain without twisting that is causing me a headache, and I've had to shelve the project for a while, but I will finish it - even if it means adapting the pattern, she will see her shrug!

In the meantime, here is one of the "tubes" that I managed to finish, made with a gorgeous mohair/polyester/acrylic mix yarn.

Another project I have my eye on is the felted (oh yes, felted no less) scarf.  I'm sure I'll be able to squeeze this one in between now and Christmas.....

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Raspberry Beret

A while ago, I made a few hats, my favourite of which was the Raspberry Beret.  I thought my friend would like it too, so I sent it off to her.  It appears her gorgeous daughter ALSO loves the raspberry beret....doesn't she look sweet?

Stash Busting Baby Blanket

Well, I think it's fair to say that I've now reached the end of my seventeen balls.  The final project has been this stash busting baby blanket.  

Using a traditional granny square, I simply used it ball of wool until it ran out, then carried on with the next ball.  It resulted in quite a random pattern, and the colours are very eclectic, but at least its bright and colourful!

It measures 24" x 24" so would make a lovely pushchair, pram or car seat comforter.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Toasty Wrists

When I'm not crocheting scrummy things or looking after my brood, I'm mostly chained to my desk running my online party bags business.  I absolutely love working from home and running my own business, but it seems that no matter where in the house I put my desk, it is always in a draught.

Inevitably I end up wrapping a scarf round me to keep off the chill, but my hands and wrists do become icy, especially in the what I really need is a pair of wrist warmers. I've already made a pair, but I'm not happy with the end result, so decided to have a go at my own pattern...and it goes something like this:

I'm using UK terms.  Using DK yarn and a size 4.5mm hook, make a chain of 30 (or the right length to go round your wrist - make sure the chain only just fits round your wrist, as the piece stretches as you go).  

Chain 1, and starting with the first stitch, double crochet to end in col A.  
*2 rows of half treble crochet in col B (starting with a ch 2 turning chain, at beginning of each row)
2 rows of half treble crochet in col A.*  (starting with a ch 2 turning chain, at beginning of each row)
Repeat  from * to * until you have reached almost the desired length.
Finish off with 3 rows treble crochet, and fasten off.

Starting at the treble crochet end, double crochet or whip stitch the 2 sides together to create a tube - leaving a gap for your thumb when you are 4 stripes from the end.  Double crochet around the thumb hole to finish it off.  And there you have it! 

The pattern is the same for the left and right hand.  

Friday, 9 September 2011

Cushion Crazy!

Anybody who knows me and my crochet habits knows that I LOVE making granny squares.  I love how you can use different stitches to make them look like flowers, colourbursts, or traditional granny squares....and I love using different combinations of colours and seeing how they develop and fit together.

Until now, I've only used granny squares to make blankets, but I fancied a project that wouldn't take too long, so decided to try my hand at cushion covers.  I completed two different cushion covers in one weekend, which I think is pretty good going.

The basic method is to make 2 big granny squares - I had to make 18 rounds to fit this particular cushion - crochet them together, leaving an opening big enough to remove the cushion (for washing when your 6 year old spills juice all over it).  I was going to use buttons to close the opening, but seeing as I didn't have any, I simply wove some fancy thick yarn through the holes and fastened the ends - perfect.

Side one is a traditional granny square - with 2 rounds per colour
Side 2 is a traditional granny square using oddments of yarn, so instead
of a uniform pattern, the colours change randomly.

Side one is a traditional granny square in 2 colours
Side two is a never-ending granny square in 3 colours

This is my first attempt at a never-ending granny square, and once I had it started, it was really simple to do, and grows really fast!  If you want to try your hand, take a look at Mikeyssmail's video tutorial: 

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Caterpillar Scarf

I recently treated myself to some lovely Sirdar Fizz yarn.  It's very fluffy, but extremely thin, and difficult to work with.  Basically it's a very thin yarn, with fragments of fabric attached to it at regular intervals.

A member of the Crochet Crowd on Facebook suggested doubling it up with normal DK yarn, which I did....and came up with this lovely long thin scarf.   It goes really well with a stone washed denim jacket and is sooooooooo soft!

I've called it a caterpillar scarf because it reminds me of a big (cute) furry caterpillar.