Birthday

birthday flowers

I’ve had a week filled with lovely birthday things. I’ve been out for dinner/lunch, twice, no! three times. I’ve had lots of awesome presents and there has been gorgeous weather. Smashin’.

I got my hair cut off too, so when I went out to dinner on Saturday night (The Five Bells in Clyst Hydon- very nice) I felt all new and swooshy. I didn’t feel so new and swooshy when we went out for lunch on Sunday (The Rock Inn on Dartmoor). A roast dinner sorted me out but, crikey, I felt rough yesterday. I took loads of pictures of Haytor whilst there, which I’ll post in a day or two.

granny blanket

I also finished a blanket, one that I’m really pleased with. I especially love the border, which is the same pattern I used for my granny shawl. It’s Stylecraft Special dk.

big granny square blanket

At some point this blanket will end up in my Etsy shop. I will sort out a link when I’ve got some blankets and other things in there.

Handmade bags

Other things I managed to finish last week were two little bag/purse type things. One is for my unimpressive collection of barely used knitting needles and the other is for keeping small projects in so I can take it out and about. I used the fabric I bought in Totnes shops during the Easter hols. They both need pressing again because I made a very lacklustre job of it.

sewing time

I had all my sewing laid out on the table. I’ve made a half hearted pledge to take part in Me Made May. Since last week, I’ve worn hand made things already and I made a dress! I’ll take pictures of the dress before the end of May, I’m sure.

Green crochet wip

Another work in progress is a new shawl. I’m doing a variation of my granny shawl just to play around. I’m using Drops Baby Merino. I went on a Drops spending frenzy last weekend. They had a sale at Woolwarehouse so I went a bit bonkers.

Drops Lace.

See! Drops. I have an idea.

next project!

More Drops. I cannot wait to start this, Cherry Heart’s Victoria shawl. Pattern bought and printed, ready to start any second.

Some new fat quarters.

Some lovely presents were received, I got a bunch of fat quarters from my mother-in-law. She went to a quilting shop in Bovey Tracey. I know about this shop but I’ve not been. It’s supposed to be good.

birthday books

I got lots of fab books. Looking forward to getting stuck into those…

My new bowls

I got these bowls too. I got loads of stuff, I won’t show it all, but needless to say it’s all good gear. One of my favourites is the drawing from the photo at the top. It’s by my friend who is an artist and graphic designer. It’s a picture of me doing me crochet! I guess I should frame it, I think it’s beautiful but then so is the subject matter, obvs.

power ranger

And then the week before last, I got this wonderful bundle of stuff from Samantha at createitsamantha.co.uk We took part in the  #craftblogclub spring clean challenge on twitter. Essentially it was a craft stash swap. It was such a lovely surprise to open up the parcel and have lots of delightful things tumble out. The Power Ranger didn’t come with my new stuff; Three year old thought I should take a picture of it. I have some ideas of what I might do, I’m looking forward to playing around in the next week or two.

pretty birthday flowers

I love getting birthday flowers!

Anyway, I’m off. Got a house to tidy and a child to entertain. Can’t watch A Bug’s Life all day. Actually, we did sit down and watch the local secondary school do a live Q&A with Tim Peak on the International Space Station a couple of hours ago (via the internet). I thought it was interesting but Three year old only managed five minutes before going off to look at a Lego book.

A One Skein Crochet Mesh Bag. Free pattern.

Using my bag. Crochet mesh bag pattern.

EDIT:: Hold your horses!! Before you read on, you might like me to direct you to the updated version, which is a far more straight forward pattern with pretty much the same results. GO HERE for the written pattern. And go HERE to YouTube for the video tutorial. Ta! x

The first anniversary of my blogging ways today. That went quickly! Yay me! I’ve enjoyed all of it so far. I’ve learned so much and (conversely) haven’t learned anything at all! I wasn’t sure what it would be like and have been pleasantly surprised. I wonder what the following year will bring!?

In celebration of this momentous occasion (and it totally is momentous) I’m sharing a pattern of mine.

I’ve made a couple of mesh bags before but they required more than just one ball of yarn. I didn’t want loads of balls/skeins rolling about everywhere and I didn’t want to spend loads of money. Crochet can be an expensive hobby! This isn’t a tutorial as I didn’t take many pictures of the making process. I forgot. I remembered in time for the handle making stage, so I have some pics of that part. There is also a delightful diagram I’ve spent aaages drawing. It’s there to help with the end of rounds. I found it tricky to word the pattern for those bits!

Crochet mesh bag. Easy, one skein pattern.

It’s a deceptively good size bag. When I was making it I was unsure there’d be much point in it but you can actually fit loads in there!

I used Rico Essentials cotton dk in Emerald and a 3mm hook. At the end I had approximately a metre left. Your tension will probs be different to mine and if you’re worried about running out of cotton, you could skip a round or make the handle shorter. This yarn is lovely to use and I want more!!

One skein crochet mesh bag. free pattern.

Crochet Mesh Bag.

The pattern is written in UK terms.

Start with a magic ring (or ch4 and join with a slip stitch).

Round 1: Ch3, 11tr into ring. Join to third ch of initial 3 ch with a slip stitch. Pull the magic ring tight to secure. [12st]

Round 2: Ch3, 1 tr into same stitch. 2 tr into each space. Join to third ch of initial 3 ch with a slip stitch. [24st]

Round 3: Ch3, *2tr in next stitch, 1 tr in next* around, ending with 2tr in last st. [36st]

the bag's bottom.

Round 4: Ch1, 1dc in same st. *ch3, skip 1 stitch, 1dc in next* around until the second to last st (stitch). At this point, ch1 and make a half tr into beginning dc. (Have a look at the diagram to see how to join rounds at the end. Bear in mind that it’s just a section of the round, showing the important bit. Placing a stitch marker on the last stitch of each row from here will help) [18 ch sp].

Mesh crochet bag diagram

Round 5: *Ch4, 1dc in next ch sp* around until second to last ch sp. Ch2, 1htr into the top of the last st of the previous round (ie into the top of the htr of previous round).

Round 6: *ch5, 1dc in next ch sp* around until second to last ch sp. Ch2, 1tr into the top of the last st of the previous round.

Round 7: *ch6, 1dc in next ch sp* around until second to last ch sp. Ch3,  tr into the top of the last st of the previous round.

Round 8-9: *Ch7, 1dc in next ch sp* around until second to last ch sp. Ch3, 1double tr into the top of the last st of the previous round.

Round  10:  Three increases will be made at even intervals in this round. *Ch7, 1dc in next ch sp, ch4, 1 dc in same ch sp. (Ch7, 1dc in next ch sp) x 5. Repeat from * two more times, finishing before the last ch7. Instead, Ch3, 1double tr into the top of the last st of the previous round. [21ch sp]

Round 11-12: *Ch7, 1dc in next ch sp* around until second to last ch sp. Ch3, 1double tr into the top of the last st of the previous round.

Round 13-20: Ch8, 1dc in next ch sp* around until second to last ch sp. Ch4, 1double tr into the top of the last st of the previous round.

Round 21 : Same as round 7.

Round 22 : Same as round 6.

Round 23: ch1, 1dc in same stitch. 4dc in each ch sp, 1 dc in top of each dc of previous round. Ss into first dc.

Round 24-25: Ch1, 1 dc in same space. Dc around. Ss into first dc.

Handle stage now…

Row 1: Ch1, 1dc in same space, 1 dc in next 7st. Ch1, turn. [8]

Row 2: Dc along the next 8 stitches. Ch1, turn. [8] repeat row 2 until desired handle length or when nearing the end of the yarn (I made my handle approx 18″).

Turn your bag inside out. To attach the handle to the other side of the bag, first count how many stitches are around the top of the bag. I had 100 stitches. You want your handles to be in the middle, I counted 42 stitches along from the right side of my handle and the next stitch (see pic below) was where I started to attach the other end of the handle. Make sure there are no twists in your handle!

crochet mesh bag. Attaching the handle.

The hook should be on the right side. If it isn’t, make another row or take one away.

Ch1. Insert hook through first stitch on handle and the chosen stitch on the other side of the bag (see pic below). Yarn over and pull through all loops/stitches. Repeat for the last 7 stitches, leaving out the initial ch1. Fasten off and sew ends in securely. Finished!

attaching bag handle

Make sure to sew the ends in really well.

handle finished.

This hasn’t been tested and I only made one bag (frogged it a few times in the process) so if you spot something that doesn’t make sense, or I’ve made a mistake, please let me know. This is mostly a way for me to practice pattern writing. I’m not a professional, it took blinkin’ ages and it’s free! Useful feed back here would be gratefully received. Thanks.

Having said that, if it does work, please don’t then publish this pattern without my permission, please don’t pinch the pattern to sell and if you want to make the bags to sell, please give me loads of credit. And I mean loads. And send me a message to say what you’ve been up to. Ta very much!

working extremely hard!

Thanks very much and thanks for reading!

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Using my bag. Crochet mesh bag pattern.xxx

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Crafty Bits and Bobs: Catching up on where I’m at.

crochet mandalas

I was tempted to write a post about the garden today but I’m behind on my crafty gubbins so it might be more pertinent to blog about that instead. It feels like it’s been a while too.

I think a lot of my time has been taken up with my addiction to Instagram. I’ve been taking part in a month long mission of posting crochet makes everyday. It has become an obsession and I possibly need to chill out a bit . It’s called the Lazy Daisy Jones Hook Up (#ldjhookup) I found her blog via this too and it’s a wonderful place, full of colour and inspiration. It has encouraged me to get my craft on and make some stuff rather than fart about on the computer. However, the downside is the IG addiction. One bit of tech to another but at least I’m making stuff too. And what do I care?! I flippin’ love it all.

crochet flowers

Some of the themes meant I had to whip something up quickly as I didn’t have anything around the house. Some of my pictures have been tenuous to say the least. The mandalas were made a couple of nights ago [top left is a pattern from the fabulous book, Boho Crochet and the other two are found here] and the flowers [also from Boho Crochet] were last week. It’s fun!

green mesh crochet bag

On the side, I’m making this. More another day!

new fabric

Over the Easter holidays we were in Totnes. I love the shops in Totnes, there are some truly lovely places. I only bought a few fat quarters and some buttons. I almost bought some wool but there weren’t enough balls of it for the project I have in mind. I had also intended to buy shed loads more fabric but I didn’t fall in love with as much of it as I imagined was going to happen. Come on, I was totally willing to go on a spending spree! Ugh.

green buttons

Love this Liberty print. I wanted to buy swathes of it but stuck to a small amount as I know that I’m not ready to ruin that much Liberty fabric on my dodgy sewing skills.

blue buttons

I’ve got plans for the fabrics but not the buttons.

greenish buttons

It all came from different shops. There are a few dotted around that are craft related.

red buttons

Buying these buttons meant I had to get my (Hendricks) button tin out.

my button tin

It’s only half full here but it’s usually buttony all the way to the top.

rainbow buttons

I even attempted a rainbow thing but got bored (this is only half of my buttons. I’m sad enough that the rest are bagged up into different categories: big, small, multiples, colourways etc). I tried again another day but was interupted by cat and kids. Everyone loves buttons it seems.

favourite buttons.

These are some of the fancier buttons I’ve got. I think I need to re-evaluate this mini off-shoot collection. I’ve got some more favourites/fancy ones that can be added and a few that need to be taken away. But, you know, that’s for when I’m desperate. I honestly don’t know if I’m enough of a button geek to go that far but, yeah, there’s a chance I might be.

Anyway, that’s it for now. As I said I have plans for the fabric and hopefully I’ll get me machine out this weekend. I’m also surrounded by lots of crochet squares that are being blocked for a new project. Everything is alright.

Gah, I almost forgot!  I celebrated my first Etsy sale on Sunday! I was so very happy. SO thank you to my lovely customer! It has spurred me on and I’d better get some more stuff in the shop now I know I can do this thing.  XXX

I link up here:

www.mrscraftyb.co.uk

 

 

Catching up with old projects and starting new ones. WIPs.

Making a patchwork bag.

This is going to be a bit of a random post today. I’m chucking up pictures of where I’m at this week. There isn’t a theme as such, just things I’m tinkering about with.

hexies

I’ve had all these hexies stored away in a tatty old paper bag for about three years. I think I was knocked up when I was sewing the fabric to paper and now my boy is turning three soon. A long time.

backs of paper piecing

With spring on its way, the change in season has created a new surge in enthusiasm. I have the painstaking task of hand stitching them all together. It’s actually not that bad. Think I put it off for so long because I thought it was going to be a nasty job. I’m enjoying it!

paper piecing hexies.

I’m not going to go nuts, it’s only a bag. It’d be a definite labour of love to go bigger. I’ve got a patchwork blanket my Nanna made for me, I think she was at it for years.

not a very exciting photo

Next: a pile of Jedi appropriate fabrics. Both my boys have birthdays on the way so they will each have something Star Warsy. If I’ve got enough fabric, I’m thinking reversible robes. They can decide whether to be a Jedi or join the Dark side! Not sure how this’ll work right now but I’d better get on with it.

new sewing project.

For me, I want a summer dress. I saw a really pretty one on Instagram about a month ago, did some nosing and found out it was the Charlie Dress from Simply Sewing magazine. The pattern was spread over two issues and it was the second issue that was in the shops. I ordered the back issue of the first one and it arrived within a week. I’ve sorted the pattern pieces and dug out some ancient fabric from the depths of my fabric drawer. Fingers crossed I will actually do this. I have repeatedly got to this stage with many a dress pattern over the last few years. Then all stops. I chuck it all back in the fabric drawer and forget.  I think I’m pretty consistent like that.

Beginning something new

Also kicking about is my sweety tin. My sweety tin is a good size for keeping embroidery type projects in.

bits for hoop art.

I’m not very far ahead with this. I’ve drawn a rough sketch of what I want and now need to sort out all the little bits for it. Not sure how it’ll turn out, it’s more of an experiment at this stage. I just really enjoyed making my spring flower stitching a few weeks ago and want to play some more.

A new crochet ripple baby blanket.

Then there is an actual finished thing. A baby ripple. I’m going for the plain border. I wasn’t sure. I guess I could add something a bit snazzier but feel like I’m finished with it.

I thought that was it for WIPs but I’ve got that knitting kicking about somewhere.

It feels a bit weird to write this post as I reckon I’ve mostly been banging on about crochet for the last few months. This has actually been quite effective because traffic here has gone bonkers (relatively speaking). It’s tempting to try and force new crochet ideas upon myself to keep up with momentum. Not gonna do that though. Since I don’t get paid for blahing about my hobbies I’m going to carry on and do whatever I fancy. But it is lovely to know that people like things I do, so, thank you. I’m loving it here. x

A Touch of Spice with a Pompom Edge.

SoL Inspired crochet blanket.

I think this is one of my favourites. A blanket just for me! I am really surprised that I Iove it because most of my finished blankets tend to make me feel a bit meh. It’s usually to do with not turning out how they looked in my head, so they get abandoned or I give them away. The stitch used is the Stacked Shells section of Cherry Heart’s Spice of Life blanket. Sandra herself did the same thing and I liked it even more than the SoL [my SoL]. I’ve totally copied! It’s called A Touch of Spice and I really love it.

Stacked shells. SoL inspired blanket.

Last year I bought a pile of Stylecraft Life DK thinking I was going to make a Rustic Lace Square blanket. I’m still undecided about the Rustic Lace Square with this yarn though. Some of the blankets I’ve seen are exquisitely beautiful but they look cottony and fine, not woolly and wintery. They’re lacey. I’m not sure this is the yarn for that project but I’ve still got loads of Stylecraft left so…

Stacked shells with a bobble edge.

The bobbly pompoms are my absolute favourite bit. I love the red and I just think they’re fabulous. I was super proud of them because I made up the pattern myself. Well, I thought I had until I started checking out other places on t’interwebs.

All the bobbles!

I’d found a couple of patterns and tutorials that had really faffy ways of crocheting pompoms,  that I just couldn’t be bothered to do. I did try. Every pompom took an age and it would have taken a lifetime to go round the whole blanket. My reaction to that was to come up with my own cheaty pompom. However, someone else has too, I discovered via Pinterest. Oh well. On the plus side, I have discovered a delightful blog!

Since I’ve already taken some photographs I’ll put up the method of how I made my pompoms. It must happen all the time. It does happen all the time. Have you had this kind of experience? If you’ve come up with a new idea/pattern, do you check out whether or not it has been done before?

Spice of Life inspired Stacked Shells crochet blanket.

Bobbly pompom edging.

These are UK terms.

4tgr = treble crochet 4 together

Yarn over (YO) hook, insert hook in stitch (st), pull up a loop, 3 loops on hook. YO hook, pull through 2 loops, 2 loops on hook. YO hook insert into st, pull up a loop, 4 loops on hook. YO, pull through 2 loops, 3 loops on hook. YO hook insert into st, pull up a loop, 5 loops on hook. YO, pull through 2 loops, 4 loops on hook.YO hook insert into st, pull up a loop, 6 loops on hook. YO, pull through 2 loops, 5 loops on hook. YO pull through last 5 loops.

(I think this is correct. Tricky to write down, that’s for sure).

making a crochet bobble edge

Essentially this is the pattern:

*Ch7, 4tgr in 4th ch from hook, ch1, ss into bottom of cluster, ch3, skip 3 st and ss into next st.* repeat around.

I’ve broken it down with a few pictures below:

How to make a crochet bobble edge. Tutorial.

Photo1: chain 7.

Photo 2: Beginning the 4trb cluster.

Photo 3: Before yarning over and pulling through last 5 loops.

A photo tutorial for a crochet bobble edge.

Photo 4: Finished cluster.

Photo 5: Slip stitch into bottom of the cluster (original 4th ch from hk.)

Photo 6: ch3.

How to crochet a bobble edge.

Miss 3 stitches. Slip stitch into 4th. Repeat all the way around. Fasten off, sew in ends and admire.

My Spice of Life inspired crochet blanket.

Amazingly for me, I blocked the blanket. I pinned it directly onto the carpet because I don’t have any spongey foam boards. It doesn’t seem to have ruined the carpet. I sprayed it lightly with water and left it over night. By morning it was dry (It was near the radiator). I have draped myself in it every evening since I finished it last week. It’s lovely.

Anyway, that is that. Sewing stuff next I think. Maybe some Jedi robes for the boys, slightly different. And I’ve dug out some paper piecing hexies, which is a very old, ongoing project.

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Amigurumi Easter Egg! Free Crochet Pattern.

Amigurumi Easter eggs. Easy crochet pattern.

Easter Eggs

Chocolate Easter Eggs are my favorite sort of chocolate. Mini eggs and creme eggs are both very good reasons to look forward to Easter but neither truly beat a large Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (or other Cadbury) egg that has been put in the fridge for at least two hours so that it cracks and crunches as you bite it.

When I was little I used to drink milk out of half a chocolate egg, I thought it was fancy. The other half used to get crumbed into a mug and ruined with hot water to make some kind of bad hot chocolate (not so fancy). I don’t waste it like that now, I shovel it in my face whilst hiding behind the fridge door. Mostly I hide because the chocolate doesn’t belong to me. When I’ve finished mine I’m then stealing from the children. Anyway, I shall move on…

Pretty amigurumi Easter eggs. Free crochet pattern.Nearly as good as the chocolate thing are crocheted versions. I am here to celebrate Easter with a little bit of amigurumi style eggs. I came up with the pattern for these at Christmas. I was trying to design a Father Christmas head/hat combo but whatever shape I tried looked like an egg. I binned the FC idea but out of it came these so I can’t complain. That’s the thing about designing. Through mistakes and fails, come good things! I guess that’s the creative process, right?

I think they’re cute and I hope you like them too.

Easter egg displayThey did look quite nice sitting up by themselves. The children like throwing them around and I know the cat would too if she could get her paws on them.

Cute crochet Easter eggs. Free pattern.It’s rather telling that I don’t have any egg cups and I had to use shot glasses.

Happy Easter! Cute amigurumi Easter eggs. Free crochet pattern.

Amigurumi Easter Egg Pattern

As with most amigurumi patterns, the pattern is written in US terms.

I used Stylecraft Special DK and a 3mm hook. I even found a use for the shade, Duck Egg!

Round 1: 6sc into a Magic Ring.
Round 2: 1 Inc in each stitch around. [12].
Round 3: 1 sc in next stitch, 1 inc in next. Repeat around [18].
Round 4: Sc around. [18]
Round 5: 1sc in next 2 st, 1 inc in next. Repeat around. [24].
Round 6-7: Sc around [24]
Round 8: 1 sc in next 3 st, 1 inc in next. Repeat around [30].
Round 9-15: Sc around. [30]
Round 16: 1 sc in next 3 st, 1 dec. Repeat around. [24].
Round 17: 1 sc in next 2 st, 1 dec. Repeat around. [18].
Round 18: 1sc in next st, 1 dec. Repeat around [12].

Fasten off leaving a long tail. Stuff firmly. Using a darning needle thread through the front loops only. Pull tight to close the hole. Stitch in and out a few times to fully secure and then snip the end neatly.

(Go HERE to see what I’ve done with the pattern for 2018!!)

Amigurumi Easter Eggs. Free crochet pattern.Embroider your Easter Eggs

Decorating is relatively quick and easy. With a darning needle, I went in through the bottom of each egg and then made french knots for the flower centres and a few chain stitches for petals and leaves.  With a poke and a prod from the darning needle, the snipped ends can be hidden inside. Hey presto!

Please don’t be frightened of the embroidery. I show you how I do it in the video tutorial (link just below).  I have very little experience of needle work and just make it up as I go along. If I can do that then so can you, I promise!

I also tried a few different styles over the following years too.

YouTube Video Tutorial

EDIT: For 2017 I’ve added a video tutorial on YouTube, which also includes how to decorate with pretty embroidery. Please go here! Cheers.

This is an amigurumi Easter Egg pattern I’ve designed and belongs to me. It can be used to make decorations for yourself or for gifts for friends and family but please not for mass production. Thanks very much. Feel free to say hello and you can even follow my blog to get more patterns and, dare I say, inspiration. Cheers!

In an egg cupHappy Easter!!

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Dodgy Battenburg.

battenburg scarf

I had a great idea for a new scarf but it hasn’t turned out how I thought it might. I chose the colours thinking they were springy and new but once I’d completed it, all I could see was a bit of batternburgh. I’ve made a cake scarf.

me in battenburg

It’s a pretty useless scarf as it’s too big. Sooo, my question is do I add a couple more sections to make it big enough to twist and double up. Or… is it acceptable to wear as is? I thought about adding a border too but can’t do that until I’ve made a decision.

battenburg n me

There’s not much point in a scarf that’s open at the neck but the thought of revisiting a project I’d hoped was finished is annoying. But then, if I leave it, will I wear it?!

spring daffodils

Some daffodils to big up this half arsed post!

Small things and Fun things.

Easy handmade valentines day card.

It’s half term, so it’s all a rush. Without too much gubbins I’ll share what I’ve been up to over the last few week.

Handmade birthday card

Husband got a Valentine’s card, my Mum got a birthday card. Both quick, easy and fun to do yet very effective, I think. Inspired by The Messy Brunette and her post about Valentines.

Cotton crochet doily

I made a couple of doilies with the cheap Drops cotton I bought. Cheap for a reason. VERY splitty. But I wasn’t expecting it to be amazing at 80p a ball.

Ugly cotton doily

The first one is the better of the two but neither are great. Not dainty in the slightest and I think they’ll just get hidden away rather than used. I found a diagram pattern on pinterest that I used. And I only went and blocked something!! I usually try to avoid it but here, there was no escaping it this time.

Hyacinth embroidery

I completed my hyacinth embroidery. I can’t find the time to do anything with the flowery embroidery things I’ve been doing. Maybe next week.

Making a crochet scarf.

Crocheting instead of perservering with my knitting. I love crochet.

perle cotton x50

Buying cotton. I can go through so much embroidery thread. Hopefully this is the answer. Bought from Ebay for less than £25! 50 flippin balls!

many colours of anchor cotton

It wasn’t in any kind of colour order so I’ve been playing with the way they live together.

colours!

I’m more excited than I should be about some cotton.

Look!

Look at the beautious bounty of awesomeness!

colourful thread.

It was bought with Christmas money, I still got a mild telling off for buying more craft crap. It has nowhere to go.

Crochet Circles in a Square Blanket.

Crochet circles in squares.

A few days ago I had a nice comment about one of my blankets that I’d used as a backdrop for another project. Every once in a while the blanket just happens to appear here on the blog somewhere, usually in the background of a random photo.

[Check out my more colourful version Here]

One of my many crochet blankets.

It was lovely to hear from the person behind 365 days handmade (I see lots of crochet goes on there!). She had noticed the blanket and it got me thinking. I decided that I should write a post about it. I don’t have much I want to share this week so it’s an ideal opportunity to talk about an old thing.

crochet

I’ve taken lots of pictures of the blanket and I will just bung them up as I blather on about how I made it.

pastel colours

I remember the picture that made me want to make it. I haven’t seen the picture for a couple of years and now that I see it again… well, it’s miles better than mine…poo. The person who made it has a (now defunct) blog called Crochet with Raymond. It’s still up and has lots of beautiful woolly things.

crochet blanket

I was making it three years ago, I was pregnant with my youngest boy and I really wanted it to be finished by the time he arrived. I remember staring at it whilst I was in labour, feeling annoyed that the border still had two rows to go.

crochet blanket for bedtime

I chose colours similar to the original, I used Stylecraft Special DK because that is what they sell at the shop down the road. I use Stylecraft for the majority of my projects but I want to try something new – any suggestions?

There are ten colours: Lipstick, Fondant, Pomegranate, Cloud, Sherbet, Aster, Meadow, Clematis, Wisteria and Cream. Lots of balls of cream were used, maybe 8 or 9 and then I think it was just one of each of the others but I really don’t remember.

angled crochet

I didn’t use an existing pattern, I made it up. It was easy enough to do but I reckon it’s probably the same as other patterns out there. I’ll quickly write down what I think I did (using UK terms):

With a 4mm hook ch4 and join with a slip stitch.

Round 1: Ch4 (counts as 1trb and 1ch), *1trb into the ring and ch1* repeat around from*. [12 stitches]. Join with a slip stitch to the 3rd ch. Fasten off (I think fastening off and then joining the new colour with a slip stitch looks much better than other ways of colour changing- didn’t do that here though).

Round 2: Join new colour. Ch2, 1htrb, ch1. *2trbtogether in each chain space, ch1. Repeat around from*. [12 trbtogether]. Join with a slip stitch to the top of the first 2ch. Fasten off.

Round 3: Join new colour. Ch3 (counts as first stitch). 2trb into chain space. ch1. *3trb into next chain space, ch1. Repeat around from.* Join with a slip stitch to the top of the first 3ch. [12 clusters].

circle in a square

Once I had lots of circles I crocheted them all together using Attic 24’s method of joining as you go. I think it’s this that creates the decorative pattern in the corners, which is one of my favourite things about this blanket. Using this method still means lots of ends to sew in, I’ve since sacrificed pretty corners in favour of the continuous join method, it stops all the dreaded ends. Looking at the picture above, I see that the stitches in the corners of each square have triple trebles rather than trebles.

crochet blanket on my bed

Anyway, I think that’s it. The border is just going round and round with clusters and the final round is a variation of the bobble edge from Attic 24 (thanks again!) but with slip stitches between them. There are either 2 or 3 slip stitches between each bobble.

corner of crochet

Mostly it’s screwed up on the sofa and the children wrap themselves in it whilst they watch the telly after school!

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My Spice of Life Crochet Blanket.

Spice of Life CAL blanket.

Started three Sundays ago, I sewed in the last end of the Spice of Life blanket on Saturday night.

Working on the Spice of Life.

I didn’t know where this blanket would end up for the first few days of making. Then all of a sudden I knew it would make a great birthday present for my Nanna and Grandad. They both had their 90th birthdays in January and on Sunday we had a lovely family birthday party.

Colour choices for Spice of Life

Stylecraft Special DK is the yarn. I loved the Spice of Life Rico colours that you can buy as a pack for making the blanket but I couldn’t justify spending any more money on yarny things when I had loads stashed away already. I only needed to buy a couple of balls to make up the colour palette, which consisted of: Cloud blue, Storm blue, Cream, Lemon, Mocha, Lipstick, Emperor, Fondant, Shrimp, Kelly Green, Lobelia, Petrol and Spring Green.

Spice of Life crochet blanket.

I looked at the original Spice of Life blanket and matched the colours as closely as I could. My eyes tell me that the Stylecraft colours are a lot more vivd and bright than the Rico stuff (not that I’ve seen the Rico in real life). I downloaded the pattern from Ravelry via Cherry Heart (one of my favourite blogs) and off I went. I went wrong a couple of times and had to do some unravelling. There were a couple of other mistakes I made without undoing it. I am hoping that they go unnoticed.

Blanket at Granny's house

I had to crochet in the car on the way to Southampton (about 2 hours from home). And I added the final row of the border at my mum’s house. I tried several times to get a good photo of the finished blanket but the weather was grey to the extreme. Rainy, cloudy skies and one hundred year old windows did not help.

Spice of Life Collage

I put the pictures in a collage rather than spread the dismal grey. The blanket is actually one of the brightest I’ve ever made. I’m glad it was for a present for some old people, their eyes are rubbish.

Painting the Spice of Life

Above is a painting of my hands as they sew in the ends of the blanket last Friday. My artist friend is painting my portrait! I’m finding the process lots of fun. I’ve said she can paint me any way she wants. Unfortunately, that means she wants me to take my clothes off. That certainly isn’t going to happen in February. Too cold. Anyway, more about that another day.

This week I’m trying out some very basic knitting next. Hone my skills and all that.