A Crochet Blanket for the Autumn.

a-granny-square-crochet-blanket-for-the-autumn

I completely forgot to write about this cosy crochet blanket. I finished it before the summer holidays. It got a wash and was then stored away before I realised I should probably show it off a bit and then put it up for sale on Etsy (which it now is!). Actually, now is a pretty good time to do it because the colours remind me of autumn and that’s just where we’re heading.

bright-autumn-colours-crochet-join-as-you-go-granny-squares

Amazingly for me, this is the first time I’ve done a join-as-you-go granny square blanket.  Whilst I’ve done plenty of continuous joins, this is slightly different due to all the colour changes. It looks so much better than if I’d whip stitched the squares together (which is what I always used to do).

autumn-colours-crochet-blanket

The border is quite plain but I didn’t think it wanted flouncy. Just some scallops between every other cluster. In the alternating clusters, it’s just a UK dc (US sc). To stop it curling too much, there are chains between them.

kind-of-autumnal-granny-square-crochet-blanket

There’s something about this blanket I really like and I’ll be jiggered if I know what it is. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it, or it could be the autumn colour palette. I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet but it doesn’t really matter, does it? I like it because I do!

autumn-crochet-granny-square-blanket-with-orange-border

The colour scheme wasn’t a choice I made, it was more determined by what I had left hidden in the cupboard under the stairs. Over the last few months I’ve been making an attempt to get that down to a more manageable collection. I’m trying to train myself not to impulse buy yarn too. It’s not working that well, I’ve just transferred my lustings to fabric instead. Anyway, if you are at all curious about the colours, they are Stylecraft Special DK in: Saffron, Gold, Pomegrante, Petrol, Spice, Parma Violet, Khaki, Spring Green, Magenta and Lavender. It’s deffo less than a ball of each but I couldn’t tell you how much exactly as none were full balls to begin with.

join-as-you-go-autumn-granny-square-crochet-blanket

It’s a blanket that I wish I’d made bigger. Well, I couldn’t; didn’t have enough stash! I hope that it finds a home…

crochet-granny-blanket

tour-of-britain-in-ottery

In a complete random change of subject, I popped out to have a very speedy look at the Tour of Britain this morning. This was at the end of my road just before midday today. I timed it very well, I was out and back home within fifteen minutes.

tour-of-britain-2016-ottery-st-mary

I had to leap out of the way because they were extremely close. I don’t know how they managed to do it so fast, this is the top of the hill. They had an even bigger hill to climb a few minutes later, one which my car struggles with. Wish I’d seen that!

spare-parts-tour-of-britain-in-ottery

I thought it was great and I’m not even a cycling enthusiast! Bit of excitement on a rainy day anyway. I bet all those cars have a crochet blankets in the boot…

A Crafty Catch Up: So Many WIPS!!

mustard!

September is here and I’m ready to begin my blogging ways again. You think you can carry on with it in the summer holidays, but you really can’t. I managed to squeeze in a few posts but production was down and time was limited. The exciting thing for me now, is that Youngest has started preschool properly. He’ll now be doing two and a half days a week. Think of all the stuff I can make!

a crochet cushion. waffle stitch.

At some point in the holidays I discovered the waffle stitch. I totally love it, it eats yarn but it’s such a lovely texture, it’s just wonderful. I was going to jump straight into another crochet blanket but then I thought a cushion might be the way to go. I even have some complementary fabric that can be the back. I’ve got some cusion pads, so there’s not much to stop me. I do have to frog all that I’ve done though :/  It’s working up blanket size at the moment, not cushion size. A small sacrifce, I reckon.

crochet ideas.

I’ve continued to tinker with my half circle project. I have re-started this project more times than is necessary. I’m getting miffed with it now. The latest issue was a lost crochet hook. My favourite crochet hook too. The only one of its size in my collection. Pssh, I was frustrated to the extreme. Worst of all, I lost it on holiday. I had to leave our holiday destination, knowing that I was leaving it behind. Except that I wasn’t. As soon as I ordered a new hook (and another back up set – just in case) I found it. I just don’t understand. I do not understand in the slightest. I took it, in a project bag, on holiday. I even worked on the crochet, in the car, on the way to our holiday destination. So how come I found it in another project bag, at home? How’s that?! Makes zero sense. Pfft.

geometric crochet design.

To forget my frustrations, I got drunk on geometrics. Do you like my new squares?! I love them! Thinking cushion again. I’ve gone from big blankets to baby blankets. From baby blankets to cushions. I guess I can work on more things that way. I’ll get each project done in no time and then I can move swiftly onto the next thing. Like it.

simple crochet squares.

These little crochet squares can be twiddled into different formations too. I haven’t made my mind up about the directions they’ll eventually go in, but I’m getting there. It’s lots of fun. It has also lead to other ideas, one of which I will write a separate post about soon because there will be a new pattern! Woot!

colour pop swap.

For Halloween I’m taking part in a Colour Pop Craft Swap!! I haven’t actually started this yet but I’m already getting urges to pick up the hook. It’s linked to Instagram and fellow blogger Set Free My Gypsy Soul. I’m very much looking forward to it, I’ve got the perfect thing in mind! I’m to send my finished present to an assigned IG friend and I’ll get one from someone else. It’s like Christmas but better; Halloween is my favourite!

puff stitch hat

I made this puff stitch hat on holiday (when I couldn’t do the other thing). This derrived from a yarn buying fail. I was in a hurry one day and grabbed an aran ball of Stylecraft Special instead of the dk. With only one ball I thought I’d give a hat a go. Whilst it fits, it doesn’t fit how I want it. Not slouchy, is the thing. At least I know for next time.

home made dolly fail.

Dolly fail. You think you can just cut out some bits of fabric and they’ll magically stitch up into the perfect doll. This is based on a pattern I drafted last year. It was dodgy back then but I still made a doll to give as a Christmas present. This time, it just isn’t up to scratch. I want it to be really good. I’m struggling with the neck/head. And symmetry. I guess that one is quite important, no one wants a wonky dolly. Still, considering I haven’t followed a professional pattern, it’s not too bad. A few more tweaks and it might be OK.

doll's coat.

I probably should have focussed on the doll before getting excited about making her clothes. This was going to be a very glamorous reversible coat.

making a doll's dress.

I added facings on a dress but didn’t get any further. Both the coat and dress would fit quite well but it’s still probably just rolling a turd in glitter.

my crafty holiday buys

These are my holiday purchases! We went to Wales. We stayed in the Cardigan Bay area, which is beautiful. I might write a post about that too… We took a (half) day trip to Newcastle Emlynn, which is a nice little town (no shoe shop, which I needed – my flip flop broke). There were lots of charity shops and a couple of antiques places and three fabric shops!  I fell in love with one of the fabric shops. I think it was called The Cross Patch. Seriously, it was room upon room of fabric and all things sewing. So much beautiful cotton fabric, it was so hard to leave so much behind. I also bought a new purse from the National Wool Museum. I love my new purse! Oh and I haven’t taken a picture of the Sylvac plant pot holder I got for 3 quid from one of the charity shops. Bargain!

tray of sewing.

And finally, I got the sewing machine out again today to start on a couple of other things. One is linked to the geometric squares and the other, is a thing just because I want it.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve gone on quite enough for today, so I’m off. I have some photos to edit for a tutorial and Etsy. I’ll be sharing both here in the next week or two. I’m so excited by the extra time I’ve got! I’m trying hard not to squee about it because there’s also the expectation that things like more laundry and toilet cleaning will get done too. Haha!

 

Finding time in the Holidays.

crochet half circle

Finding time in the holidays to do crafty things… it isn’t really happening. I’ve got some new ideas too; I’d like to play but can’t. But this is the holidys and I’m just busy. Mind you, the lovely day out I planned only took about two hours and we’ve been at home all afternoon. All the “fun” things are getting on my nerves.  I’ll snap out of it and share the stuff I have managed to tinker with.

writing patterns

I’m trying out an idea for something. It’s slow going because I don’t actually know how to write patterns. I wonder if there is a secret that I’m not party to? I just keep trying different ways until I get it the way I want it. Is there a formula I should know about?

frogged

This sort of thing happened a lot over the weekend.

granny square

But also this! I found sparkly yarn in Poundland. I wouldn’t have known about it if it weren’t for folk talking about it on Instagram. It’s Granny Square day today so I made this granny square to put on IG.

new wool

Why wasn’t the green sparkly?!

sari  silk spun

I also made this. Aaages and aaages ago I took part in a craft destash swap on Twitter. It was very exciting to think about what parcel I might send to my crafty partner and even more exciting to receive a present of all things that appeal to me. I got this crazy yarn, as well as many other lovely things. One of the things we had to do was make something and share it on social media. I have no idea what I’ll do with the other stuff (I might have already messed up the lovely fabric I got). Have a look at the bottom of my birthday post from May to see the other things.

crazy crochet purse

It’s a little purse. It’s just rows of half trebles, with a button hole. I lined it with some cheap Ikea fabric and roughly stitched it together. I don’t mind that it’s not neat, it isn’t supposed to be neat.

cat basket

Remember my trip down memory lane? The basket I’m supposed to be fixing has been commandeered by the cat. Youngest thought this was great and wanted to carry her about. She wasn’t best pleased.

And this hastily put together post is pretty much all I’ve had time to do. You can even spot that I was in my pyjamas for most of it! I keep forgetting to take pictures of a blanket I finished too. I’ll do that next (as long as I don’t forget again).

How to sew a cute kitty brooch. A tutorial.

Finished kitty brooch.

Whilst I was sewing lots of felt bits recently,  I had a thought that it would be nice to share how I do it. It doesn’t happen often. Some kitty cats I made were quite popular so I decided to use my design to show you how to make a brooch. Sewing felt is great, no fraying edges to worry about, it’s versatile and quite sturdy.

I’m making a cat brooch here but you can create any design. Even if your drawing is shocking, something interesting will come out of it. I do not care for the excuse that a person is not creative, it’s complete nonsense. If you want to have a go, just do it. And, since we’ve just begun the summer holidays, I can tell you that this is a fabulous project to do with the kids. Mine love doing this kind of thing. Summer holiday crafts are a must.

Keyrings work well too. Or if you can’t be bothered to source brooch backs and keyrings (get them from Etsy or Ebay), then a few inches of ribbon attached means that it can become a hangy decoration.

This is a good craft project for those who don’t have loads of supplies. A square of felt and a couple of buttons costs less than a quid. You can use buttons, cut from old clothes. You can even use fabric off the same thing if you want. Change the thread for yarn, if that’s all you’ve got. Whatever.

What you’ll need:

Paper and pen/pencil.

Scissors.

Felt (or thickish fabric).

Buttons for eyes.

Embroidery thread (or normal sewing thread doubled up).

Sewing needle and a pin or two.

A small amount of polyfibre fill.

Brooch back, keyring or ribbon.

basic template

Draw out the design of your choice: cat, dog, fish, fruit, flower, blah blah.  Cut it out. A tip here is to go slightly bigger than you want the finished item to be. The finished thing will work up slightly smaller. Keep shaping to a minimum too, you don’t want to give yourself the headache of awkward corners, or thin poky-out bits. Simple is key.

getting pieces ready

Pin your template to both layers of felt and cut out. I do it together so that they’re both the same shape.

splitting your embroidery thread.

Cut your thread to about 40cm. If you’re using embroidery thread then you need to separate out two strands, as in the picture above. This might seem daft but a whole thickness of floss is too bulky and looks naff. Alternatively, use sewing thread doubled up. This doesn’t produce as nice a finish but it’s good enough. Tie a knot in the end (obviously). If it’s for the kids, I tie the ends of the thread together because they always yank it off the needle. Always. If that’s the case, I make the thread longer.

sewing kitty eyes

I start with the eyes. You can place them anywhere you like, I like to go wider (leaving room for edge stitching). Poke your needle right through his eyes! Keep knots on the back. I think three rounds per eye is good.

use a invisble ink pen.

I recently bought a fancy pen for drawing embroidery designs. It cost about £3 from a fabric shop. The ink disappears after a few hours so you can draw your face and not worry about scruffy pen marks. If you’re not that fussed, you can free style it or see if a soft pencil works.

satin stitch noseWith the embroidery thread, you’re essentially colouring in. For the nose use a satin stitch, which is just stitches placed really close to one another. For the bit under his nose, I change to a running stitch and follow the line I drew.

cat face embroideryYou Tube is your friend when learning stitches.

I ran out of my first lot of thread at this stage. It’s best to leave maybe 8-10cm of thread at the end to give yourself a sufficient amount to tie off and weave in. It doesn’t  matter about the tangle you create on the wrong side. Just as long as it is kept to the wrong side.

kitty face sewn

A little kitty face sewn! If you still have a decent amount of thread left, don’t tie it off yet as you can use it to sew the two sides together. Put this face to one side while you do the next stage.

sewing on a brooch back.

Sewing on a brooch back is similar to sewing on the eyes. I go in and out of each hole three times at the top and three times each for the bottom holes (bottom holes!!).  Make sure the brooch back is the right way up and that it’s placed towards the top middle. Make sure you sew it to the correct side of your felt/fabric too.

How to make a cute kitty brooch.

Almost there. Just need to sew them together.

stitching felt pieces together

Rethread the needle and it’s time to sew the front to the back. I use a whip stitch. I used to use a blanket stitch but it uses a tonne of thread and a whip stitch looks similar when looking straight on. Meh, you can choose. Just make sure the stitches are neatly done.

quick whip stitch

(If I was using ribbon, it’d be at this stage, near the top that I’d get it ready to stitch between the two layers).

Changing thhread half way through

Again, if thread needs changing, tie off the old stuff and knot in the new all inside your kitty. No one will ever know about the mess!

stitching together a kitty brooch

When there’s only a couple of inches left to sew, kitty needs to acquire some chub. I’ve got a bag of toy stuffing (bought from Amazon) but if desperate go and destroy a cushion (but perhaps you shouldn’t :/). I can’t think of what else would make a good alternative. Anyway, stuff lightly, match up the open pieces and carry on with the stitching.

tying off your work.

To finish off, the last stitch to the back needs to be poked upwards and out again, next to another stitch as in the left photo above. Check the front to make sure you didn’t go through to the face too. Go around the stitch you popped out next to and then repeat the process a few more times. I usually aim for five times or just keep going until the thread comes to an end. lose the thread inside newly made felt cat or carefully snip off any that is showing.

How to make a felt kitty brooch.

back of pink kitty brooch.

Pink kitty cat. Felt cat tutorial.

It is done. Miaow.

Feel free to and look at my Etsy shop where there are a few for sale! Here are some others that I’ve made before…

Even more felt things.

By the way, if I spot any of these for sale any where else, I will be cross that you’ve pinched my ideas, so don’t do it. Thanks. Have a good summer!

I have linked up here…

www.mrscraftyb.co.uk

 

Me You and Magoo

Etsy Shop is Open!!

felt owl brooch

Just a quick one to let you know that my Etsy shop now has stuff in it! Woohoo. It’s been a while.

All my blankets are up and I’ve added some other bits and bobs too. I’ve run out of time for today though so I will have to try and get some more up tomorrow. Now that I’ve done this, I’m starting to think maybe Folksy would have been a better option!? Oh, I don’t know. Let’s just see how this goes. I’m in absolutely no rush.

Zeens and Roger on Etsy.

If you ever need to find the link to my Etsy shop, it is also in my Contact page and my About page. Cheers.

Go and have a look!! Thanks. X

blue fish brooch. sequins

Red felt apple keyring. purple and blue butterfly keyring. A felt strawberry keyring. colour block blanket. Easy crochet. pastel ripple Gotta love a granny square. clashy granny square Bright crochet granny square blanket

Block Colour Crochet Ripple blanket.

block colour crochet blanket. drapey drapey.

Excuse me whilst I saturate one single blog post in several pictures of the same thing. I took many photographs and enjoyed doing so. I’m spreading my joy. There also might be a “reward” at the end, in the shape of different things.

Crochet ripples. block colour blanket.

This will be on Etsy by the end of the week (I tell myself), along with many others. I need to stop hoarding.

folded blanket

This was such a quick and easy blanket to make. It was one of those ones where you don’t have to think. Love those ones. The only fretful moment was when I ran half a row short of the shrimp. Luckily I had a small ball (less than a handful) left from previous adventures so I didn’t have to buy a new ball just for the sake of a few metres.close ups. over exposed edge.

 

I’m now wondering what other colour combinations will work well. For many years I would make all sorts of blankets, in all sorts of colour combinations but I’ve recently begun to notice a pattern emerging. I think I might be developing some sort of crochet style. It might not be a good style but I suspect there’s one there nevertheless.

block colour crochet ripple blanket

Taking repeated pictures of the same thing is confusing, I hope I’m not posting the same pictures twice.

colour block blanket. Easy crochet.

This is still me using up the significant yarn stash I have. I’ve been really good recently, I don’t think I’ve bought any yarn since May. (I’m not including the stuff I bought at the Bovey Craft Festival. Special circumstances).

Colour block crochet ripple blanket.

Here are the details: It’s Stylecraft Special dk in Denim, Shrimp, Navy, Mustard and Sage. I used Attic 24’s Neat Ripple and I think I chained 115 to begin, just right for a baby blanket. The border is Parchment and I used it to fill in the ripples and make a sort of picot edging.

Collection of crochet blankets.

These are some other blankets that I’m planning on Etsifying this week. I’ve bagged them up and weighed them.  Looking at Royal Mail yesterday was exhausting. The pricing schemes are baffling. In the past I’ve made the mistake of not charging enough for p&p and I want to avoid doing that again. It’s blinkin expensive no matter which way you do it and I worry it’ll put people off. But! I shall stop looking for excuses and just give it a go.

pile of blankets

And on a different note, I’ve put up a  picture on my facebook page to show my summer fete stall. Feel free to go and have a look. It was a very hot and sunny day, which was great (I feared rain). I had no idea what to expect, hmm, it was OK.  Having shared the fete blog post locally, I had a few visitors who came over especially to see me, which was lovely. But overall, I don’t think I had stuff that made people spontaneously decide to splurge. Eeh, I don’t know! It was a learning experience and I’ve even had interest off the back of it, so that’s good. Exposure innit!? I hadn’t considered that that could happen.

felt pixies.

And in the interests of sharing all that I do (not just the stuff that makes me feel pleased with myself), here are some cheeky pixies!

screaming pixie.

Er, yep, I made those!

sitting pixie made of felt.

I have no idea what was going on in my brain. A bit cutesy aren’t they?! At least they make me laugh and that can only be a good thing! What you must do is go and look up Pixie Day in Ottery (try wikipedia too). It’s another tradition here, in town, alongside the more famous Tar Barrels. The local kids from scouts, guides, beavers etc run around the town dressed up as pixies for Midsummer. It’s a long story but a fun one.

Anyway, I’m off to do some stitching now. The sewing machine is calling to me this week. This morning I drove to Exmouth, to go a closing down sale at a fabric shop. I spent so long choosing that I didn’t have time to go to the other fabric shop (probably a good thing; I’ve spent all my pocket money).

 

I’ve linked up to…

 

Me You and Magoo

Summer fete fun!

Even more felt things.

For four weeks I’ve been making things. OK, I know I always make things but this time I’ve been making things with a specific purpose. A month ago I was asked if I fancied having a stall at the school’s summer fete. I thought “why not?” Hopefully I’ll get to sell a few things and help towards raising money for the school. Sounds alright. I enjoyed doing a similar thing last Christmas. That was my first time doing such a thing and I found out that I really enjoyed myself!

My main concern this time is that I have no idea about the kind of things people might like at this time of year. Christmas is easy as everyone is always up for buying a new decoration (or two) for the tree. Summer? Not got a clue. I might have misjudged this but I’ve gone for a little bit of everything. It’s a learning experience and I’ll find out a lot, I’m sure.

Collection of crochet blankets.I’ve said previously that I don’t think this is the sort of event for selling baby blankets but I’m taking some anyway. You never know. By the way, these blankets have been made over a period of a few months not just churned out in the last four weeks!

Lots of felt brooches and keyrings.

There will be loads of felt designs. They’re all my own designs. I’ve got either brooches or keyrings. I think the owls are my favourite.. or the fish. And the cats!  The cherries look fabulously kitsch! I think I love them all.

Handmade crafts

I’ve got some random makes too. Leftovers from playing/experimenting. I really like the rose brooches. They’re aran alpaca with wool felt leaves. The rose is Attic 24’s May Rose.

Crochet hearts with roses.

Speaking of Attic 24, these are the May roses used on a sweet crochet heart. Have a look here for the original inspiration.

crochet hearts and flowers

Someone has already asked that I put one of these aside for them so I do hope that that’s a good omen for the rest of them.

crochet roses and bows

It would appear that I’ve got a thing about these May roses, I’ve used them for hair slides too (not many though as I know that there is another stall that’ll be there, selling hairclips and I don’t want to tread on any toes ;p ). For the crochet bows I started with a pattern from Nicki Trench’s Geek Chic Crochet but it was too big and taking far too long to make a single bow. I cheated by using less stitches and using quicker stitches too. For some reason I find trebles much easier and less fiddly than half trebles. Most of these are made using scraps that were left over from blanket making. There’s a lot of merino stuff and the pastel coloured ones are a merino yarn mixed with cashmere. It’s lovely stuff to work with.

crochet hearts. Keyrings.

Puff hearts are from Planet June. Very cute.

pile of blankets

There’s something about a pile of blankets that I love. It’s a good job too, I have a mountain of crochet blankets in my house. And that’s the ones that are here to stay. I’m not going to mention the ones I was supposed to put on Etsy six months ago.

Crochet ripple blanket

This one will be finished by the weekend. Just in time.  There are so many more things I wish I had time to make. It seems that I have just about run out of time. However, I would like to point out that this really isn’t everything that I’ve made over the last month. I might share some other things on Instagram too. There will be loads more…

Little crochet coasters

You’ll just have to come and see me to find out what else there is. I might look like a misery guts but I’m honestly not (I do suffer from Bitchy Resting Face though), so if you’re at the school fete in Ottery st Mary this Saturday, come over and say hello! I think it’s 12-3pm. Thanks very much. X