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Crochet Spring Shawl

 

I am constantly drawn to wraps and shawls to make, I enjoy making them, they have purpose and above all I love to wear them.  Christmas, starting my own blog and a couple of commissions has stopped me making for me.  This project has been in the queue for six months. I’m excited to finally have made this Crochet Spring Shawl designed by Debbie Bliss.

I generally don’t pay for patterns, I am always searching for free ones, so for me to buy a pattern book means I like it alot.  This pattern is an exception to my general no pay rule, apart from the odd odd crochet magazine or two of course. When I stumbled across this Debbie Bliss collection I just couldn’t resist it. After much searching I found a website to buy it from, it was the only website and the last one in stock at a price I was prepared to pay, it was published back in 2012 so is a couple of years old.  The Debbie Bliss website doesn’t offer the sale of her patterns which is a little frustrating but understandable. This pattern book will now take pride of place in my pattern library and I will  covet the eleven designs it contains.  I plan to use some of the other patterns as gifts for my nieces as the style of the patterns are so right for them.   I may even tackle the dress you can see on the front cover. This will test my adherence to gauge and adjusting a pattern for sizing and I really like a pretty top for me. Another challenge and one for the project queue.

The shawl was relatively quick to  make up, its difficult to pin point how long because  I had a few projects on the go and I only make in the evenings. I did intersperse making it with researching and practicing flowers for mothers day .  If I had to estimate how long it would take it would be four to five days if you are at home or on holiday and are making this at your leisure.  I’m really pleased with the outcome, the pictures show you lots of ways to wear this pretty shawl.  The pattern was  easy to follow as it repeats until you get the desired length.

Yarn

The yarn I used is Drops Puna a beautiful 100% alpaca, its so soft and warm.  In total I used 8 x 50g balls with about 2/3rds left of the eight ball.  It is yarn group B see Drops website for the description.  Puna  is a light double knit/ worsted weight yarn which is slightly heavier than the Debbie Bliss Rialto recommended for the pattern.  The Rialto is described as a double knit too but isn’t the same type of wool.  I am really please with the outcome it has worked really well.

Hooks

I use a 4mm Addi Swing crochet hook, I have had two operations on my right wrist so using an ergonomically designed hook is very important for me. they are expensive but for me they are worth it. They are very comfortable to use, I don’t get crochet fingers when I use them.  You can buy them from Woolwarehouse ,  Love Crochet or Amazon.

Finishing

I didn’t block the shawl as the weight of the shawls pulls the pattern out nicely.  I just gave it a hand wash with a hand wash liquid, no fabric conditioner and laid it flat to dry.

Future Projects

I can see using this pattern repeat for many shawls and scarfs as its easy to set out in different sizes for a scarf rather than a shawl and easy to work out how to use it with different size yarn and hooks.

What this pattern has also encouraged me to do is design my own wrap, I am researching different stitches and trying out some other patterns as practice before I settle on my own design to try.

I broke the lens on my digital SLR camera taking these pictures, I dropped it because I was focusing too much on arranging the shawl on the manikin. I have now replaced it so there will still be pictures but a lesson learnt that my camera is a very important item in my life.

 

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Crochet Butterfly – Free pattern

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To go with the Easter eggs I wanted something bright and pretty so I’ve made some butterflies.  They started life as a flower pattern but soon became butterflies when I accidentally folded the flower in half.  Not only are the sweet enough to hang on the branches with the eggs they are a great addition to a wrapped gift as a tag or as an applique on a blanket, child’s cardigan or hat.

Can you spot my mistake in some not all of the butterflies??

Butterfly Crochet Pattern

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Supplies 

Assorted 4ply cotton. I used Schjeepes Catona 4 ply.

2mm hook

scissors

Yarn needle

Fishing line to hang

Special Instructions 

Colours (as in the picture above), A= cream B=pale pink C= pink D= yellow

Pattern 

Butterfly body

Round 1: Colour A, start with a magic circle ch5 (1tc, 2ch), *3tr, 2ch in the magic circle* repeat * to* twice more, 1 tr. Do not sl st to join pull the magic circle closed.

Round 2: Change to colour B in 3 ch of the row 1 ch 5. Ch3 (1tr) 2tr, ch2, 3tr all in the first ch2 space. Miss  3 sts, 3tr, ch2 3 tr in the next ch 2 space, repeat to the end, end with 3tr,ch2,3tr in the last ch 3 space.

Round 3: In the 3ch of row 1 join colour c, sl st twice in the side of the row 2 ch 3, sl st in the top of the row 2 starting tr,* 8 tr in the ch2 space of row 2, miss 3 st, 1 dc in the space between the row 2 tr groups* repeat from * to * three times.  (4 x8tr groups), sl st in the top of the last tr of row 2, 2 sl st in the side of the last tr of row 2 cast off.

Antenna

Round 1: Antenna top. Colour D, Ch 13 cast off weave in the ends to the middle of the ch 13 leave the ends.

Round 2: Antenna body. Miss two 8 tr clusters, cast on with colour D, you are going to surface chain up the middle of the butterfly starting at the bottom of the butterfly.  Insert the hook in the base of the butterfly and yarn over pull through the butterfly body, repeat six times until you almost reach the top of the butterfly.  Sl st through the middle of the antenna from round 1 and through the top of the butterfly. Close with 1 further sl st, cast off.

Finishing:  weave in your ends to finish, if your butterfly has curled up then steam press it to flatten it.  You can add a hanging loop using one of your colours I used fishing line so the butterflies look as if they are flying around the branches.

Butterfly pattern

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Mothers Day Crochet Flowers

Happy Mothers Day Mum, with all my love xx

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Last year I had only been crocheting for a short while.  With mothers day looming it was the perfect opportunity to make something pretty for both my mum and my mother-in-law.

What to make? It had to be a flower for mothers day.  I found this great daffodil pattern on Attic 24’s web page.  I also found a book mark on Ravelry , I just exchanged the rose on top for the daffodil.  This was the result, they went down very well and are still being used as book marks today.  After I gave it to my Mum she asked me to get her a box frame to put it in.  I insisted she used it as intended as a book mark but promised to make her a pretty picture of crochet flowers.

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I have been exploring flowers and colours to decide on what I should make.  Last summer I was looking for flower patterns and came across an amazing book of crochet flowers by Claudia Giardina or Creativity Claudia.  You can find her on Ravelry.  Her patterns are amazing, and what a wonderful gift to give, a flower that never fades.  You do have to pay for the book if you want the whole thing.  Having purchased it myself it is worth every penny. As soon as I received it I really wanted to find an excuse to make a flower arrangement, the flowers and leaves are wired which make them stand beautifully.

As well as the Gerber daisy in the picture frame,  I’ve made these from it so far :-

As well as wired flowers I have researched lots of other flowers too.  My friend at work wanted a daisy broach, I found quite a few patterns but needed something small most of the others I found were too big for a broach or wouldn’t convert very well to smaller thread and a smaller hook.  I tried these two:-

They are both free patterns that are easy to follow and you can find them at Yellow Pink and Sparkley, for the more solid daisy on the right.  The pattern is for bunting, I just used 4ply cotton and 2mm hook to make it smaller.  The centre is very robust and will hold a pin really well. The other one, on the left, you can find at Love Crochet, crochet club blog . Another daisy for bunting but it downsized really well by using 4ply cotton and a 2mm hook. Equally it will look fabulous as bunting.  My friend is very pleased with her daisy broach.

To honour the promise to my Mum’s I’ve been busy taking pictures of flowers and either finding patterns or recreating them myself.  The attic24 daffodil was downsized, the gerber daisy came from Creativityclaudias book of flowers,the daisy is the one from love crochet blog but I couldn’t find a pattern for a primrose so I made one up.

You may not have time to make a whole picture for your Mum but you will have time to make this flower it’s quick easy and effective.  You will be surprised by the pleasure it brings the recipient.  Here it is for you to try:-

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Primrose Crochet Pattern

Supplies

4ply cotton yarn, various colours. minimum 15g. I used Scheepjes Catona, it comes in so many pretty colours and you can buy it in 50g balls.  A 50g ball will make lots of primroses.

2mm hook

Yarn needle

scissors

Pattern

Start with a magic circle , (or chain 4 sl st to join)

Row 1: (in the ch4 loop) ch2, 6 dc sl st in the first st to close, pull the magic circle closed.

Row 2: 2dc in each dc sl st in the first st cast off.

Row 3. attach your new colour in any dc, ch 1 dc in the same st, *htc, trc, dtrc, ch 1, dtrc, trc, htc in the same st, dc in the next dc* repeat to the end you should have six petals in total.  Join with a sl st in the first dc, cast off.

Finish: Weave in the yarn ends and trim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My First Commission – Crochet Afghan

dsc_1132 I started my first proper commission in early January 2017. A pretty lacy but chunky sofa afghan. I wanted to make something professionally for someone to see how long it would take me, how much to charge and what making something that I didn’t choose to make would do for my motivation and interest. I’m not a great lover of making afghans I get what I call “blanket fatigue” when I’m half way through.  Then I go into “blanket mourning” when I’m finished.  I always feel I’ve lost something when I’ve finished a big project, I get an emptiness that must be filled by something new to make. This feeling of mourning is usually counteracted by having the item with me to look at.  So making an afghan to give away is a new thing for me and in hindsight I really enjoyed it.

My friend is the lucky recipient of the afghan blanket commission.  We spent some time talking about where and what she wanted to use it for.  She took some pictures of a very pretty rug she had just bought, we discussed colour and I checked out what I thought would meet the brief.

I’ve been really lucky that the commission has worked so brilliantly.  I put this down to a strong understanding of my friend and her likes and dislikes.  In future I’d like to put together a mood board to check I’ve got the colour, feel and pattern right for the client setting out the inspiration before I start.

When we first discussed an afghan for her lounge we started with some items I’ve already made. My friend really liked the shawl I made last year, shown above, a triumph for me as it was my first complicated pattern.  I took my time with it so it took a while but the result has been beautiful and has stood up to a lot of wear over the last few months. I’ve been using it as a scarf rather than a shawl. This shawl project was a real turning point for me, it helped me to realise that I am a very good crocheter and was the trigger to start this blog to record what I learn as I make new things.

dsc_1137 My shawl is similar in style to her beautiful rug, shown above. Since finishing the afghan I want to find a pretty dollie pattern for a side table for her with colours to compliment her pretty cushions. The pattern looks like pineapples to me so I’m researching pineapple thread crochet patterns now.

Making a blanket is an emotional journey, I started this one with the most amazing enthusiasm and made the first few squares relatively quickly.  It wasn’t the only project I was working on at the time, the crochet hearts where a also a being created. I have found that something quick in between something that’s more time consuming works really well to keep my interest and motivation levels high. It counteracts the”Blanket Fatigue”, as mentioned earlier, when I am half way through a big project its hard to see the end and my enthusiasm wanes so doing an alternative small project really helps.

For this project I bought the most essential crochet accessory, a granny blocking board.  It has totally transformed the quality of my work.  It made the end result so much more professional,  I recommend investing in one for anything you make from granny squares. The test squares for my next project are already perching on the block for better shape. You can see the before and after results above.

Yarn, Pattern and Hooks

For this blanket I used Drops Alpaca Eskimo Uni colour in shade 52, light blue grey, super chunky.  In total I used 23 balls and crocheted with a size 8mm addi swing hook.  All purchased from Woolwarehouse.  The pattern is a Drops Designs free pattern called Winter Crystal.  Drops website and patterns are excellent there are even video tutorials if you get stuck or if there is a new stitch you haven’t tried before. I really liked the big wool its so quick to make.  You could use this afghan as a bed throw as below, I’ve shown you below what it might look like.  I can see it in all sorts of colours.   This pattern is a beautiful way to bring crochet up to date, it shows a different perspective on what’s possible.

 

Future Commissions

If you are interested in a paid for commission, I am happy to make something for you.  I don’t yet have an online shop so please contact me via the Contact page on the main menu bar of this page.

 

 

Crochet · Crochet Patterns · Uncategorized

Crochet Baby Blanket

 

This post is dedicated to baby Albert who arrived on 16th February 2017.

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I’ve been keen on making a baby blanket for ages but haven’t had a baby to crochet for as most of my family now have teenagers and they aren’t quite ready for babies yet.  So when a young lady I work with announced her news I took the opportunity to make a crochet baby blanket.

The pattern I’ve chosen isn’t for a baby blanket it was for an Afghan much bigger than I needed.  I like all the baby blankets I’ve seen, however I wanted a pattern that was lacy and delicate but also washable and wouldn’t be itchy for such new and delicate skin.  I have a bit of a granny square obsession at the moment so it also needed to satisfy the slight OCD I have about crocheting in squares. I searched my favourite visual search engine, Pinterest and have set up a board for all types of blankets including baby blankets.   After much deliberating I chose this one.

baby-blanket

 

The patter is a Red Heats free pattern  that I found searching on Ravelry.  The pattern is for Aran weight yarn but I didn’t need it to be that big so I used a double knit weight acrylic yarn and used a smaller hook.

I wanted some neutral colours that were warm. I didn’t know if it would be a boy or a girl but I didn’t want to use the traditional lemon or pale green and I wanted the blanket to be modern rather than traditional.  I scanned some of the baby websites to see what the latest trends are and settled on grey the ‘in’ colour for baby accessories at the moment.

The pattern is described as a beginners pattern so I naturally assumed it would be quite swift to produce.  This has not been the case.  Some of the intermediate patterns have been easier to follow!  I made two mistakes with this pattern.  If you want to try this pattern and are new to crochet don’t be put off by me, have a go but be prepared for the joining challenge, this was my first mistake. I didn’t take enough time and attention on getting it right by working out what the pattern actually said.  A diagram would be immensely helpful with this pattern. If I ever manage to find the time I will draw and then reproduce this pattern.

My second mistake was not following the instructions for how to join the squares. It is set out on the back of the pattern but I decided to start with the center four squares.  This led to some very interesting options for joining squares that were quite brain taxing. More especially for me because I crochet in the evening usually after a busy day at work.  I’ve now, finally, got the technique for joining the squares but I’m still not convinced its how the pattern tells you to do it.

For now I recommend colour coding the pattern with some different coloured highlighters pens so you can work out each instruction on how to join.

I presented the blanket with a cute hat. I can only include a link to the blog page for Lacy Crochet as instructed I’m not allowed to do anything further with it. It’s so cute and now Albert has finally arrived I can crochet one in an appropriate colour.  The hat is so tiny its so cute.

 

I made up the boarder based on the pattern I’d been following, I have mastered drawing a straight pattern on graph paper.  My drawing still needs some work so I’ve included the written border pattern below the picture. Please do let me know if you try it and it doesn’t work.  I do hate a pattern that has mistakes.

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Boarder pattern for baby blanket

Row 1 – Join in any stitch, dc in each st to the first corner, *dc2, ch2, dc2, dc in each stitch to the the next corner*, repeat * to *, sl st to join.

Row 2 – ch3, trc in each dc to the first corner, *trc2, ch2, trc2, trc in each dc to the next corner*, repeat * to *, sl st to join.

Row 3 – dc in the same st as joined, *ch 3 miss 2 dc, dc in the next trc*, repeat * to *to the first corner, dc in the ch2 space, ch3 dc in the same ch2 space, dc in the next trc,* ch 3 miss 2 dc, dc in the next trc* repeat * to * to the next corner, sl st to join.

Row 4 – sl st to the ch3 space, *dc ch2 dc ch2* in the next ch3 space, repeat * to * to the first corner, *dc ch4 dc* in the ch3 corner space, ch 2 *dc ch2 dc ch2 in the next ch 3 space* repeat to the end sl st to join and cast off.

Welcome to the world baby Albert I wish a long, happy, healthy, successful life whatever that maybe.

 

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 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crochet Heart Pattern

Crochet Heart Pattern – an easy crochet pattern perfect for a beginner

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This is a simple but effective pattern that even the most novice of crocheters can tackle. This is dedicated to two special little girls who are learning to crochet, Bethany and Lucie.

Supplies

4 or 5 mm crochet hook

DK yarn, colour of your choice, I used a cotton dk by Stylecraft

Yarn needle and scissors to finish

Abbreviations (English terms)

ch = chain

dc = double crochet

htr = half treble crochet

Pattern

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Row 1: Start with a slip knot ch 7

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Row 2: Starting in the 2nd chain from the hook dc in each stitch (6 dc)

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Row 3: Turn ch 1, dc in the same stitch, dc in each dc to the end (6dc)

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Row 4: Turn ch 1, dc in the same stitch, dc in each dc to the end (6dc)

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Row 5: Turn ch 1, dc in the same stitch, dc in the next 2 stitches (3 dc)

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Row 6: Turn ch 1, dc in the same stitch, dc in the next 2 stitches (3 dc)

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Row 7: Turn ch 1, dc in the same stitch, dc in the next 2 stitches (3 dc)

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Row 8: continue working to the left, dc in each row end around the edge of the heart (6 dc) to the point of the heart where  your cast on tail is

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Row  8 cont: at the point of the heart 1 htc , htc = yarn over, insert the hook in to the point of the heart, yarn over,pull through all three loops.

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Row 8 cont: dc to the top left of the right hand heart curve (8 dc)

Cast off and weave in the ends of yarn to complete your crochet heart.

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I would love to see what you’ve made send me a picture of your finished heart and I will add it to the blog.  If you get stuck get in touch and I will help you.