If you’re a bag lady like me, you might be interested to learn that I have a new granny market bag pattern in the latest issue of Olann and magazine. (I’m not even going to mention the fact that it’s made of granny stitches, or the fact that I said I’d back off granny for a bit).
Olann and is a fabulous online magazine and it’s completely free! It’s a brilliant and beautiful resource for all kinds of yarny goodness. Whether you’re a crocheter, knitter or an all round fan of fibre and crafts, you’ll definitely find something in there that you’ll like. I’m coming off like an annoying ad (soz about that), I don’t mean to, honest, I just happen to really like this magazine; the fact that it’s free is amazing. One of my favourite things is that crochet is so heartily included within the issues. No second class status for us hook wielding folk!
I wish I’d had the wherewithal to take another picture so you could see its rounded granny bottom. However, fear not! If you pop over to find the pattern you get to see a couple more pics, and another variation of colours with different striping too!
Deirdre and Lora also have a podcast on YouTube that you might fancy checking out. There’s usually plenty of giggles and a good selection of things they’ve made. Thanks go to Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast for introducing me to them!
I have a new pattern out! Yay! Do you remember my crochet fade shawl, Holey Smokes!? Well this one is has evolved from that. Lacy sections of crochet combined with gorgeous texture always looks beautiful so that stays, it’s in the original and it’s in this. I love a triangle shawl but wanted something that wasn’t as deep as the original so I’ve played around with shaping. I was also desperate to try a Scheepjes Whirl and needed an excuse to buy one! I thought Holey Smokes! would work well with this yarn but as I wanted to try a shallower shawl design, I’ve come up with a new take. Therefore, we now have Smoke on the Water! This also has a simple yet pretty border, which is a lovely new feature.
This pattern includes the written instructions, a chart diagram, oh so important stitch counts and step-by-step photographs of the main stitch used. For the more visual learner there’s a YouTube tutorial demonstrating the crossed treble stitch. All the info you need is in the pattern; want to get yourself a copy?
I was contacted by HobbyCraft a few weeks ago, Emily [she deals with the knit/crochet side of things there – check out @knitcraftHQ on IG] thought I’d be interested in trying out some yarn for them. As you know, I have an inability to refuse free stuff so I was very happy to take a few balls off their hands! I was given a choice of any yarn from their Phildar range. I have a feeling that all things floof will get pretty popular in the coming months (Yep, I’ve been saying that since last year when I tried out Wool and the Gang’s Take Care Mohair). I need to do my bit in fulfilling this prediction so I chosePhildar Phil Flocon. It’s not mohair but it’s just as fluffy.
It’s a blend of all sorts but usually if I see alpaca on the label, I’m sold. I love anything with alpaca in it. This yarn is alpaca, wool, acrylic and polymide and it has a yummy woolly smell.
Did you know that Flocon can mean both flock as in wool (think flock wallpaper) and flake, as in snowflake! It’s wool and looks like fluffy snow!! Brilliant!
I had lots of fun working with it. From experience I know that this isn’t yarn you want to frog. Whatever I made had to be super simple. I didn’t want to make mistakes and have to waste hours with failed rescue attempts. I decided on a cowl, you can’t get much more basic than that. I love the result, it’s fab. It is also super quick to work up. The fluffy nature of the yarn means it comes out quite chunky. Chunky is excellent, chunky means less work as far as I’m concerned!
Because I got the yarn for free and because it’s a super easy crochet design I thought it’d be a nice idea to pop up the pattern for free too. Whilst you’re here, please do bear in mind that on the next episode of my podcast/vlog I’ll be doing a Giveway for my Phildar dregs. How appealing does that sound!!? Ok, sorry, not dregs. I have two full balls that I didn’t use and would love to pass it on. Keep an eye out for Episode 10, which is due to come out on the 21st July.
Sooo, fancy and warm and cosy crochet cowl for winter (a winter that’s ages away!)? Here’s the pattern…
You’ll need Phildar Flocon: 2x Creme, 2x Glacon and a 6.5mm hook.
Pattern is written in UK terms. 3tr=cluster.
Row 1: 3tr in 7th from hook. (skip 2 st, 3tr in next) nine times. Ch2, 3tr in next st, (skip 2 st, 3tr) nine times. Skip 2 st, 1 tr in last st. Turn.
Row 2: Ch3. 3tr in space between clusters, nine times. (3tr, ch2, 3tr) in 2 chain space. 3tr in space between clusters, nine times. 1tr in last st of row. Turn
Row 3 – 35: Rep row 2, changing colour every six rows.
Row 36: As row 2 but slip stitch to join to Row 1 between each cluster. (Check the pics below to see the join) Fasten off and sew in ends.
I wish I’d worn eye make up the day I took this!
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By the way, this pattern belongs to me, please don’t publish it, pinch it, or do anything with it other than use it for your own personal fun. Give me a shout if you want to talk about that. Thanks ever so much. X
At the very beginning of April I had an email from Hobbycraft asking if I’d be interested in designing a crochet project for them. It was really exciting to be asked and really exciting to learn that I could pick any materials from stuff they sold in their stores! Caron Cakes took my fancy, it’s self striping so no colour changes!! The brief was “summer” and what’s more summery than a bag for the beach?! The pattern pretty much uses two entire “cakes” including plenty for pompoms. Honestly, it’s a super easy crochet pattern and pretty fast to work up too.
Hobbycraft have an Instagram account and blog page especially for knitters and crocheters. The bag pattern is up and ready to grab over on Hobbycraft (see below). The best thing of all is that it’s totally free!! They’re asking lots of IGers to come up with patterns. It’s a lovely idea to include crafters who are already connecting in a virtual community. There are some fabulous patterns available and they’ve all been designed by us!
And if you spot my error, please keep schtum!! 😀 It was very late at night, I was tired and mistakes happen. I kicked myself for not noticing until it was beyond changing. What a silly sausage. Ah, you’re gonna seek it out now. Psshh.
Hello! Happy May! Love May, May makes me happy. Proper spring you see, it’s magic! Plus it’s my birthday in a couple of days and that always gets me giddy (I can’t believe I still get excited about my birthday). It’s been a while since I wrote a post about crochet. They’ve all been videos haven’t they?! I’m starting to see a divide between blogging and vlogging, that I had no idea about. It’s not a problem but I’d like to not neglect anyone.
Anyway… blanket. At the beginning of April a friend got in touch with me and asked very nicely if I would make a baby blanket for her friend. I liked the ideas she had and fancied having a go at something different. It was nice that I could do a brainless ripple but there was also going to be something interesting in the mix as well.
I know that the baby in question is having a safari themed nursery and because grey was to feature in the blanket’s colour palette, it was elephants that sprang to mind. I did a quick search online and came up with these cuties. The pattern is from Repeat Crafter Me and it’s exactly the sort of thing I wanted.
I like how the secret elephants are hidden inside when it’s folded up. You might think it’s a boring blanket. But tumble it open and the cuteness is revealed!
They had to go trunk to tail, that’s something I definitely wanted. I hadn’t thought much about how they’d be attached. I’m glad it dawned on me not to merrily stitch through to the other side. I paid lots of attention to making the stitches only on one side. I had to forgo safety eyes for the same reason (they’d poke right through to the other side). I forgot to take pics of the other side to prove that there’s nothing on show. Watch my latest vlog, the evidence is there!
I used Stylecraft Special dk as it’s perfect for baby blankets. I ordered the yarn at the same time as the release of the new shades so I knew Buttermilk had to be part of it. It’s like someone has added mayonnaise to the Mustard. They go very nicely together. Also in the mix are Teal, Sage and Grey. It looks quite nice on my fabulous(ly cheap) sofa too!
And let’s not forget the ubiquitous Neat Ripple! I have no idea how many times I’ve made Attic 24’s Neat Ripple! So many! I did 8 pattern repeats and 64 rows before adding the grey. At each end I added a ripply row of grey and then a straightening row. You can straighten it off by following this useful guide from Little Tin Bird. Then it was just a case of making a couple of rounds of UK trebles before going back to Attic24 for the edging, which was pilfered from Lucy’s original Granny Stripe. Phew! What do you think? I like it! Anything with grey and mustard floats my boat though. Grellow they call it.
Anyway, I’m late for an evening walk that I must do. I’ve been very lazy recently and done no proper exercise. And I need to go to the shop for bread and milk…
I had no idea that I was going to make a bag last week, no idea at all! I was dashing off somewhere and felt I could do with taking a little crochet project with me. Hurriedly, random balls of yarn were grabbed and off out I went. Thus, a granny square bag was made! Yay!
I’ve had a few new friends come and join in the fun here recently, so I thought it’d be nice to share the pattern with you guys as a thank you. Thank you!
I didn’t have enough yarn to make a blanket, which made me wonder what else I could turn the squares into. I considered making a cushion, but what got me really excited was the idea of a bag! It’s a tricky thing to take a picture of, the bright colours were shouting loudly. I used leftover Paintbox aran and joined as I went (I’m fairly sure I used the Attic 24 method)
If you’d like to make a crochet granny bag you will need the following:
-Colourful yarn (I used aran weight but any yarn is fine)
-Bag handles (search”bag handles” on ebay to find some, that’s what I did!)
-Lining fabric (something measuring a couple of inches bigger than your finished crochet piece)
-Sewing needle for yarn, pins, sewing needle and thread.
The main body of the bag is a bog standard gang of grannies; super quick and easy to do! Rounds of three, joined together in 8 rows of 5 (you’ll either need more rows or more rounds for each square if you’re using DK yarn). Every now and again all you need to do is check to see that the spread of colour is even! My piece measured 15.5×27″ (40x68cm)
Once the main body is complete, the handles need to be shaped. It’s not as tricky as it looks and luckily, accuracy is not paramount. I don’t mind a project that needs a bit of bodging and crochet is usually very forgiving when it comes to bodging! Not that you need to bodge it, I’m just saying!!
UK terms are used (a treble is a US dc)
At one end of the main body, (right side facing) make a strip of granny clusters starting with a ch3 and 1tr in the first st and ending with 2tr on the last stitch of the row. Straddle the square joins with 1tr, 2trtgr, 1tr. You can see what I’ve done on the picture above.
Turn the work. Ch2, 1htr in each st along to the end. Turn.
Ch1, slip stitch along approximately 10 stitches (you want the narrow section to be the same width as the handle slot). Ch2, 1htr in each stitch along, missing the last (approx) 10st. Turn
Ch2, 1htr in each st of last row. To widen the work again, ch13, Turn.
1htr in 3rd ch from hk. 1 htr in each st along to the end. Continue by adding 10 more stitches using a chainless foundation half double stitch. This is actually easy, I promise. I’ve found a good video that shows you how: The half double chainless stitch. Skip the first minute of the video, the informative bit starts just after! Turn.
Ch2, htr all the way along. Turn
Repeat row 6. Fasten off. Repeat 1-7 on the other end of the bag.
Next, with right side facing, evenly stitch dc’s (sc’s) all the way down the edge of both lengths. Don’t fasten off yet…
Fold the bag in half and using the yarn still on the hook, slip stitch the sides together. Repeat on the other side.
Tuck the handle bits through the bag handles, fold down to the inside and pin ready for sewing closed.
The stitches don’t have to be neat, if you use matching yarn, you won’t see if you’re making a dog’s dinner of it! Try not to come through to the right side though, or if you do, make the stitches small so they’re not staring at you. Don’t forget the top bits at the ends.
Next you need to add the lining. It’s not 100% necessary but I think it looks better and you won’t have your stuff escaping through granny holes! Fold your length of fabric in half, right sides together. Place the bag on top and mark/draw where you need to sew. Also mark where you want the fold of your top hem to go. Sew down both sides to make the bag cavity. Next, iron the seams nice and flat, at the same time fold down the top hem and press. I went back to the sewing machine and top stitched the hem.
Tuck the lining into you bag, pin it in place and hand sew the top of the lining to the top of the crochet!
I think I need a course in how to photograph bright colours!!
I would absolutely love to hear if you make one of my designs, please do give me a shout. I’d love it if you said Hi! Don’t forget that I’m on Ravelry, so your makes can be added there. Oh, and I almost forgot Instagram! #zeensandroger
What you’re about to see is somewhat of a car crash shambles but I’m biting the bullet and hitting publish. I could make more attempts but I reckon that’ll just prolong the agony.
So here we go, click on the image above to take a short journey to YouTube (I seem to recall embedding videos on here is a no go).
Here is how it happened….On wednesday morning (without really knowing what was going to happen) I got out my tripod and camera, hit record and just started talking. After that I put the files on the computer, downloaded a little jingle and then did what I usually do. I asked Husband for help. He just knows stuff. He found me a free bit of editing software (the one I’d found was questionable) and within a few minutes, he knew how to use it. I dutifully sat and watched, trying to take it all in. He’ll hand over the reigns at some point, and it’ll be me in charge. Oh crikey, what have I done?!
It hasn’t been plain sailing, I tried editing on my own at first and really messed things up. The computer crashed twice and a twenty minute video has taken four hours to upload! What’ll happen when I want a longer episode?! There is so much to learn but I also think this is a skilll worth learning. Wish me luck, won’t you!? And please subscribe to my channel!!
Hellooo! After a two week absence I have returned!! That might be the longest I’ve been away, which is pretty good going. Phew! And I’ve finished my latest crochet blanket! For a relatively small blanket, this one seemed to take forever. I’ve made chevron blankets before but not for a long time. I now know why. Every stitch is so small that the build up is mega slow (yet very much worth it).
It took a good week to get into the flow. Once I could see that the colours were making me happy, I sped up and started to enjoy the rhythm of it. It’s a classic chevron pattern, back loops only. I used this one from Meet me at Mike’s which has step by step photos. I think I did 11 multiples, maybe 12. I thought that would be plenty but it’s actually a lot smaller than I was aiming for. The nature of the stitch meant that there was a concertina effect and it shrunk dramatically. If I stretch it out, it does look bigger and I think that if I give it a wash, it should settle down more.
The border was a bit of a pain. I knew I wanted the blanket to have a border and I also knew that many zigzag blankets don’t have them. Probably for a good reason. When I blogged about my progress Mrs Craft got in touch with me to suggest a tutorial of hers. I dutifully went to investigate, eager for the answer. It was the spark I needed. So, thanks very much Mrs “(crocheted) Caped Crusader” Craft!!
I haven’t followed the tutorial exactly because my chevrons were much smaller but I did use part of the idea. I only needed two rows to straighten the edge. The first row was modelled on the tutorial (all the yellow bits in the above pic are done separately!) but the second row (cloud blue) was filling in with the method I use for ripples (a bit like this one from Little Tin Bird but with longer stitches crocheted together to prevent too much buckling). How I wish I hadn’t doubled back with another row of cloud blue dc’s (US sc’s) over the top of them. It looks so messy and it really doesn’t need to be there. By that time I’d got to this section though, I’d already unpicked a first and really ugly border attempt. I was fed up. I just could not be bothered to do it all again (I’d already gone round with the grey at this point, as I had done the first time too). So if anyone out there fancies having a go, don’t do a second row of blue!
I thought the grey was going to be the final colour but the blanket’s recipient (Youngest boy) came over and told me that he wanted the neon pink. He knew what he was talking about, it looks fabulous. I seriously love it. You know, I think grey would have been nice on its own but now it really pops! (and I don’t use that word lightly- I never ever say “pops”). There isn’t really a pattern for the border, it’s just 2 UK tr (each in their own st, not together like a granny) and ch1. Miss a stitch, 2tr, ch1 etc, twice round. The bobbles/pompoms are from when I did a Touch of Spice blanket nearly a year ago. This time I chained 6 not 7, made my 4trtgr in the 4th ch from hk and chained 2 not 3. Pop over and take a closer look.
Essentially, this was stashbuster. I had so much Stylecraft Special that it needed to be made into something lovely and not stuck alone in the dark cupboard under the stairs anymore. I’m going to say that it was mostly random but there is a pattern repeat: Six rows of one colour, then 3x two rows, four rows of another colour, then 2x two rows, finishing with six rows again. I’ll also tell you the colours because I’m super proud that I remember them all off the top of my head: Fiesta, Grey, Citron, Wisteria, Aspen, Shrimp, Sherbet, Cloud, Kelly, Apricot, Lobelia, Fuschia, Plum, Pistachio.
And I’ve still got enough to make another sort of blanket…because there’s a chance I might have gone out and bought some more… you know, to make up the colours….Soooo…. what next? Granny squares or treble chevrons, maybe a sunburst? I’m torn.
It’s been a while since I had a round-up of current crafty WIPS. Today is the day to remedy that.
This crochet chevron has been my main focus. A very jolly, bright blanket. I’ve wanted to make one for ages. I gathered all the colours together in October but they sat in a bag for months. I think I made over 200 stitches for the foundation. Unfortunately, the chevrons have a concertina effect and it’s smaller than I wanted. I’m having a think about how to square off the zigzag for the border. The chevron pattern is from Meet me at Mike’s.
I’ve made a start on the Humbug shawl with a pistachio coloured wool from Blacker yarns. The yarn was a Christmas pressie from Becki at The Dartmoor Yarn Company. The pattern is by The Crochet Project and I got that as a freebie for naming it! (Always happy to mention that). I started it a few weeks ago but put it down for a while. Last weekend I did a few more rows and I’d like to see it grow some more soon.
I made a mandala in yucky colours. Ok, they’re not yuck. Just not seasonal. I don’t have a vast collection of cotton dk to choose from. It seems I need some spring colours. Great pattern though. It’s a free one. Go here.
The idea was to stitch it over a gaping hole in my jeans. It turned out that a great big doily stuck to my haunches was gonna look pretty dodgy so the idea was binned….
…in favour of something more subtle. I quite like how this turned out. I posted a pic of the finished article on Instagram the other day and it got a really positive response. I’m happy to wear my jeans with a piece of Liberty fabric embroidered on. Make do and mend etc. I’ve got another pair of jeans waiting to have similar treatment but this time the affected area is round the other side. Do you know that awful feeling when you realise you’ve been walking round in public, all day, with a split in the seat of your trousers?! I do.
I made a couple of naughty yarn purchases recently. I’m arguing that this is still Christmas money. Not sure how long I can get away with that excuse though. The pale one is a dye job I requested from Rhapsodye Yarns and the other is called Nebula from The Wool Kitchen. Both are aran.
Both new yarns are for my continuing experiments with triangle infinity scarves. Once these are done, that’s it. No more messing about with triangles. I have to draw a line under this project. Still, I’ll make the most of it while they last. And maybe I’ll wear one of these to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival next month! That’s right, I got me a ticket!! I’ll be there with my sister on the Saturday. My birthday is the beginning of May. Do you think I can wangle some birthday money for March?!
Once all the other stuff is done, I’ll pick this up granny square up blanket. I like getting it out every few weeks. It feels like a new project each time I work on it.
And last week, me and one of my boys made flapjacks. Not technically a crafty thing but nevermind. I forget how yummy they are. I can even eat them when I put raisins in them. That means they must taste good; everyone knows how much I don’t like raisins! Maybe we’ll make some tomorrow too.
Edit: I can’t believe I forgot to mention my mini interview in Inside Crochet magazine. What a chump! I was so excited to see it in there too. It’s the “Blog We Love” section. Get yourself a copy. Lots of fabulous patterns too. X
I was working out the design for my recent crochet wrist warmers pattern; playing with different methods and whatnot, when this one popped up. It’s basically front post and back post stitches, which ended up being too bulky for the mitts but still had something I liked. It is such an easy crochet pattern, it only takes fifteen/twenty minutes from start to finish.
If you’ve not tried Front Post or Back Post stitches before, it’s a great pattern for practising. These stitches are much easier than they sound. They’re the same as normal, it’s just where you put your hook that counts. There are countless You Tube videos out there that demonstrate beautifully.
I’m not sure if this is a crochet cuff, bracelet or other thing but whatever it is, (seeing as it’s Christmas) here’s a lovely little free crochet pattern for them!
Notes: I’ve used Paintbox Aran (I used up loads of my old Stylecraft Special dk this year and allowed myself a restock of something new!!) with a 4.5mm hook.
I’ve used UK terms with US terms in brackets.
In Row 2 I work under the bumps of the foundation chain. This makes a neater finish but it does mean it looks twisty when you come to slip stich together. Ignore the twist and join anyway, it won’t be noticed in the final piece. Just double check that you’ve not got a twist in the stitches you’re going to work into next.
Crochet over the ends as you go to allow for minimal stitching at the end.
Row 1: Chain 24 (I have wrists like twigs, you may need to go up to 26 or 28 stitches). Join with a slip stitch.
Row 2: Ch1 (does not count as a st), dc (US sc) in each st around. Join with a slip stitch to the first st. Fasten off. 
Row 3: Attach new colour to any stitch. Ch3 (counts as a st), 1tr (USdc)in each st around. Join to the top of the inital ch3. 
Row 4-6: Ch2 (does not count as a st), FPtr (US FPdc) in st at the base of the ch2, BPtr (US BPdc) in next st, *FPtr in next st, BPtr in next st. Repeat from* to the end. Slip st to the top of the first FPtr. Fasten off after row 6. 
Row 7: Attach new colour to any st. Ch1 (does not count as a st). 1dc (US sc) in each st around. Join with a slip stitch the the first st. Fasten off and sew in any ends. 
And there you have it. Easy peasy! Now go and crochet loads of cuffs, bracelets, sweat bands, whatever they are!
Happy Christmas! See you in the New Year. 2017 is going to be amazing!! X