Create · Crochet · Crochet Patterns · Inspiration

Crochet Shawl – Pattern Review

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In the UK its the middle of the summer a perfect time to start thinking about making beautiful crocheted things for autumn and winter.  Its seems a bit crazy to be thinking about winter just now but for me personally I need the time and creative space to make things whilst I continue in my bid to learn as I go. I wrote a pattern review for a Debbie Bliss Shawl I made at the beginning of this year, it was very popular post so I’ve decided to share this one too. I hope you like it and want to embark on the pattern yourself.   I am in the middle of making a a series of crocheted shawls or wraps to extend my repertoire and to understand how I start to design more things for myself. They are in hot demand with my family and friends, there will be something on the blog later this summer for you to try out.

Back to this pattern. Stash Buster Stripes by Laura Strutt aka Made Peachy from the book Modern Crocheted Shawls and Wraps is a great pattern if you are learning to crochet and you want to progress to something slightly more complex and larger to gain more confidence.  Don’t be put off by the size once you get going it actually works up pretty fast.

Here is my finished version beautifully modeled by my sister.

I  have worn it a few times on chilly days and to a couple of outdoor evening events when its been a little cool. If you live in the UK you will know that summer evenings are not hot, except on rare occasions. It has been perfect for a late summer evening  with my husband enjoying the last of the light relaxing after a busy week at work.

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On my crochet journey I want to learn as much as possible, I don’t like to purchase patterns but after making this beautiful shawl in my own colours I had to buy this book. It’s available on Amazon at a very reasonable price.  I highly recommend it, its easy to follow and  has some very enticing images to encourage you to make something from the book.  All of the patterns have a one, two or three star rating so you can choose were to start.  This one is a two star, I found it very straightforward to make and there are lots of different styles to try out.  I have my eye on two more patterns from the book they are the Walled Garden and Woodland Colours patterns.  I really, really want to play around with the crocodile stitch the Woodland Colours pattern will certainly make me an expert in the stitch. That said they will both test my skill and staying power to make bigger crochet items as I do find that I flag halfway through a big project and get a bit bored. Trying out new stuff all the time is really important to keep my interest and motivation going and it helps my creative side think of other ideas for my own patterns.

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This pattern was brilliant for working out the stitch repetitions, growing the shawl with increases at both ends and trying out new stitches.

My advice is to watch the pattern at the start and end of each row make sure you’ve understood the increase at each end or you get a curl going on at the ends.  Once you are into the colour changes its a pain to frog (unpick) your work and redo it so check each time that its correct if you are not sure re do your stitches it will be worth it in the end.

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My other tip is to think about what type of hook you use. I use an Addi Swing crochet hook, they are a little expensive but I have had a couple of operations on my right wrist and value my hands as a result. The cost of the hook is worth it to save my wrist.  They are very comfortable to use especially for a big project, you don’t get a squished finger from holding the hook to hard.  The best thing about them are when you need to do a stitch that needs some even repeating length, because you have a short metal shaft you can do really even puff stitches as you can use the whole of the length of the shaft each time making each loop and each puff stitch the same size. They are great for solomon’s knot too. You can buy them from Lovecrochet.

Here is the link to the Made peachy Stash Buster shawl pattern – Press Here.  Made Peachy has lots of other great stuff on her website so do please go have a look. There are some amazing craft ideas and other great stuff for you.

I used the following colours all from the  Stylecraft Aran Special acrylic yarn range which can be purchased from lovecrochet.

 

Colour A – 1402 Camel 3 balls 100g 196m

Colour B – 1005 Cream  1 ball 100g 196m

Colour C – 1709 Gold 1 ball 100g 196m

Colour D – 1029 Copper 1 ball 100g 196m

Colour E – 1065 Meadow 1 ball 100g 196m

Colour F – 1027 Khaki 1 ball 100g 196m

I love the original choice of colours for this shawl and I love the colours I choose for my version. Have the courage to choose your own colours and really make this shawl your own.

 

 

Create · Inspiration

Crochet Doilies

 

dsc_0857-2Crochet Doilies are my exploration of something I really enjoy, being so engrossed in a a pattern that it feels like I’m getting lost in it, shutting out the world to make something beautiful is my idea of heaven.
My inspiration for Crochet Doilies comes unexpectedly, from my Grandmother ‘Nanny’. When I started my crochet journey and began to produce lots of beautiful things my Mum gave me a piece of crochet my grandmother madedsc_0999 a beautiful delicate pomander. I had never seen it and had no idea my Mum even had it or that my Nan did this type of crochet. All I remember of the crocheted pieces Nanny made where the beautiful crochet baby blankets she made for each expectant grandchild.  I couldn’t understand why I was drawn to thread crochet but this explained it, it’s in my blood I’m meant to do it.

 

I bought this book, Simple Crochet by Sara Sinaguglia.dsc_0994
You can buy it on Amazon.  It has lots of little projects for different skill ranges for me to practice my craft. I started with the apple cosy you can see on the front page and then moved swiftly on to a small crochet coaster. To start with I made it in a larger thread so it’s more of a jug coaster than a cup coaster. My mum is the recipient, I never took a photo but it was a thank you for sharing my Nan’s pomander.

Crochet Coaster
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This is the second one I made in the correct size thread and using the right hook size. It’s been well used on my coffee table so please excuse the stain. It’s been laundered but tea and coffee are hard to shift on something so delicate. The stitches are very simple, its a really good project if you’ve never crocheted with cotton thread before.

I’ve researched Crochet Dollies and have a stack of projects waiting to be started. Since the simple coasters I’ve made two more beautiful things.

 

This one  I made for a very close friend who married last year. A Nancy Hearne free pattern, she also sells patterns on Craftsy.

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My friends husband is of Irish decent and on researching traditional Irish wedding gifts, Irish lace is prominent for wishing good luck. I found the pattern on Ravelry but Nancy Hearne has a webesite, it’s a bit clunky to navigate but once you worked it out there is a treasure trove of lacy patterns. I want to make lots of her beautiful Crochet Doilies.
I’ve made an ‘easy to travel’ Crochet Doily. This one is from Simple Crochet again and is one of the many Christmas gifts I hooked last year.

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I called it ‘easy to travel’ as it needed to fly to get to my sister in Australia. A jug cover with hearts perfect for the hot climate. I hadn’t quite anticipated starting the blog when I took this picture so it could have been better not a great feast for the eyes in the picture, but it is beautiful in reality.

 

 

This project needed was a challenge for me, thread crochet with beads is very fiddly and you need good lighting as the stitches are extra small. I am very pleased with the outcome it was a real achievement to not get the thread all knotted up with all those beads attached to it.

So what’s next for thread crochet? I’m mulling over two options, this one from Simple Crochet, Sara Sinaguglia writes easy to follow patterns and I’ve admired this pattern since I first bought the book.

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The other option is inspired by my love of gardening. These are two beautiful Dahlia’s from my garden last summer.


After some web research and looking through some of my favourite blog sites, the other option is this one on the US Red Heart web site.

This Crochet Dollie will be for my Mum she wants one for her table and she loves Dahlias as much as I do. So I’m erring towards some pretty spring colours.

 

Whichever pattern I choose watch out for a future blog post on the Crochet Doily journey.

Crochet · Crochet Patterns · Inspiration · Uncategorized

Five Crochet Heart patterns

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The wall hanging hearts in the Crochet Hearts  blog post traveled to the beach.  Whilst I loved them in my lounge they fit perfectly at the beach. They have a new home on the Isle of White and  I now have a pending commission for beach huts to go with them.

Crochet has soothed me this month and helped me think of happier times as winter is slowly coming to an end.  It has helped to clear my mind and keep me peaceful. I hope you get pleasure from it too. Following the interest in my simple Hearts Pattern, thank you everyone who viewed it, I thought you might like me to share some of the heart patterns I tried whilst researching for these valentine projects.

So here goes, my favourite first :-

Crochet Millan  the first pattern I found and the one I used for my own garland and the beach hearts wall hanging.

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Craftaholics Anonymous a really cute simple heart pattern to try. There are some great pictures to help you get the heart right. This is a great next project if you tried the simple crochet hearts pattern. I plan to give this one away as a key ring.

 

 

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Sandra – Cherry hearts – I love this blog so colourful, a great stitch library and some easy patterns if you are learning.  I bought way to much yarn to add to my stash after reading Cherries blog her pictures are a feast for the eyes. I want to make these hearts in to cup coasters by joining them together.

 

 

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Annoo’s crochet world  I didn’t follow Annoo’s pattern exactly, I did a combination of Cherries heart and turned it into a square with help from Annoo’s pattern.  I can see a heart blanket if time ever allows me to make it.

 

 

 

 

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Last but not least Irish lace, the website isn’t as visually pleasing but this heart diagram was very easy to follow and came out really well.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoy trying these pretty heart patterns as much as I have and that you have a very special Valentine to share them with.

Happy Valentines Day 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochet · Crochet Patterns · Inspiration · Uncategorized

Crochet Beanie

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Last Christmas a very few select friends were the beneficiaries of some select crochet beanies. Crochet beanies are a great starter project as they teach you a lot about working in the round, sizing and different yarns and hook sizes.  I think I’ve tried something different with every crochet beanie I’ve made in the last few months.  They are a brilliant to make when you are learning to crochet once you have become proficient at granny squares and the basic double crochet, treble crochet stitches etc.  This Christmas more of my family received a crochet beanie as gifts, I’m pleased to say they all fit beautifully and all the recipients are very happy with them.

I recently read a great post by Eleonora who writes the Coastal Crochet blog on secret Christmas projects, I can totally relate to Eleonora’s words on keeping things secret. My early 2016 projects will definitely remain a secret unless I catch someone wearing one of my crochet beanies that hasn’t been photographed yet.  I will continue to regret the things I forgot to photograph in 2016 as write about the new things I make.  My New Years resolution is to always take in progress pictures and finished pictures so that I can share them with you. I also plan to start taking inspiration pictures to share in my posts too.

Choosing a pattern

There are so many free beanie bpatterns out there it can be overwhelming choosing one. My tip is to do a simple hat to start with but save all the ones you ooh and ahh at when you find them. Pinterest is amazing for saving the images that inspire you but don’t be fooled by just the images explore the post, look at the blogs and save the ones that have patterns that don’t disappear.

The pattern I eventually settled on is an easy double crochet stitch with or without stripes. I don’t seem to be able to easily re-find the pattern so I can’t quite work out where I found it but here is a link to Red Heart UK site, it might have been a ravelry find but who knows. My other lesson learnt is to always, always save the patterns and pictures you see so you can back to them at a later date.  What your looking for one day may change the next depending on what your making.

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Once I’d made two of these I started to be able to work out how to size it based on this pattern. You will know that your head is not the same size as someone eases both in terms of circumference around your head and if you want a  crochet beanie that fits perfectly or a beanie that is slouchy.

I took a couple of approaches, the first was to repeat the crochet beanie pattern in an Aran weight yarn  with a size 5 mm hook.  It worked really well and fitted my younger son’s larger head but in the Aran weight yarn a slouchy look doesn’t work as a long slouchy its only forgiving if its a little slouch. The double knit weight yarn is definitely better for a slouchy crochet beanie.  To adjust for Aran weight yarn I reduced the number of rounds in round 20 – 26 to only be 22 then continued with the decreasing rounds as written.

A tip I picked up from a sock pattern by Patons, Kroy Toe Up Sock 1, that was accompanied by you tube video is to use a yarn stitch marker. I tried it and its so much easier than the little plastic markers that snap as soon as you pull them too much and get in the way when you are learning and make a stitch too big. You can see it in the picture as the grey wonky line. The picture below I used a yellow stitch marker.

The biege with pink strip was my first beanie, the wonky line was corrected in future beanies by using the stitch marker. The trick is to join with a slst and dc in the same stitch to start the next round.  The pattern doesn’t say that in the first few rows so make sure you do it anyway. You can begin to see the difference in this second crochet beanie.

My third tip is to watch this you tube video on changing colour and weaving as you go. This will give you beanie a with really professional finish, you won’t have the tedious chore of weaving in lots of ends for them to pop out again once you’ve laundered the beanie or once the receiver launders it. Preventing it from being returned for repair at a later date.  For the strips in my beanie I didn’t joint each of the three lower strips at each stage I carried the yarn around the rows in the same way the earlier video shows you how to weave as you go. You only join and cast off once for all three rows and the rows further up the beanie.

I am very pleased with this beanie and now I’m confident on beanies and sizing. The latest crochet trend is a messy bun beanie and I just couldn’t resist making one! Here is where I found the pattern Mango Tree Crafts . I made the adult size messy bun beanie , I have a small head but I also crochet quite tight so check your gauge and try it as you go to get your sizing right. The recipient is very pleased with the outcome.

 

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Happy crochet beanie making xx

 

 

 

 

Inspiration

Blog Posts – Favourite Crocheters and Patterns

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Research

I’ve been doing lot of research on other crochet blogs in the last few weeks. Searching for future projects and to help galvanise some of the many ideas I have floating around in my head. Having reviewed many over the last year there are a few I return to regularly.  These are the Crochet blogs I enjoy following, reading and searching for help tips, tricks and video tutorials.  Some are regular bloggers and prolific on social media some not so frequent, the list is in no particular order. I hope they inspire you too.  I know I will be back  regularly to this post to reference these clever crocheters to check out who’s doing what and to see what I might like to try. I hope you enjoy them as much as me.

Here is to a year ahead full of beautiful crochet.  Happy New Year xx

 

Links

Anabelia CraCrochet lace motifs 3/16 1ft Design  This blog has to be my favorite of all.  I am really inspired by thread crochet.  Not many blogs exist that can be read in English that share such beautiful creations.  The vintage crochet coaster pattern is my inspiration from this site but there are many,many projects and patterns I want to try.  Anabelia please do not stop I love your modern twist on thread crochet.

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Mamainastitch Jessica does both knitting and crochet, clearly my interest is crochet.  I love her simple quick chunky style for items for the home.  It inspired my Afghan Lapghan inaugural blog post.

 

the-twisted-yarn The Twisted Yarn A British Crochet Blog one of the very few that you can easily find and one that I return to.  I am keen to learn crocodile stitch and the tutorial on this blog is particularly helpful. This is a great blog, Phil writes beautifully about her life.

 

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Annoo’s Crochet World The last post on this site was in April 2016.  Its a shame its not continued as I really like Anno’s easy to follow patterns.  Some great resources on this one, beach bags are my inspiration.

 

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The Little Room of Rachel Another British Crochet Blog.  I am keen on granny squares at the moment.  I love the William Morris inspired blanket.  A trip to the V&A might be on the cards for new year inspiration.

 

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The stitchin’mommy A whole heap of crochet from Amy.  This blog has lots of resources to help you choose your next project.  I love the Market or Beach Tote it inspired a beach bag which will be the subject of a future post!

 

 

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Cypress Textiles For beautiful blankets and mandalas, I found this site very early on in my crochet journey. I return to it regularly to see what Rachele will create next her blankets are beautiful.

 

 

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Mango Tree Crafts  for some easy to follow Beanie patterns, love the pictures in this blog. The latest post is a great messy bun hat that I’m just about to try out.

 

 

cCrochet in Color not a particularly regular blog but I first found it when I was searching for a beanie pattern that was easy to follow.  There are some great references to books Elizabeth has worked on which explains the infrequent blog posts.   Elizabeth please keep blogging I love the way you write.

 

sewrella

Sewrella For just about everything crochet.  How Ashley manages a baby and all her social media is beyond me, but I love some of the easy patterns.  When you are new to crochet something quick to turn out that has easy to follow instructions is a necessity.