Crochet Vlogcast Episode 17

Happy Hallowe’en folks! I have made minimal effort to jazz up this week’s crochet vlogcast with a spooky theme. Whilst there is a spider and some fancy-dress, er, there is little else to do with this fun filled holiday. But I still love Halloween! Please click on the pic above to fly (broom stick style) to YouTube.

In this episode I talk about the following delights:

My Rainbow Edged Granny. The blog post is Here, the video tutorial is Here.

Spider Blog Post is Here. The YouTube Tutorial Here.

Giant crochet hook case. This is the tute I used.

The Weekender Blankie by Sandra of Cherry Heart.

Check out Shirley Rainbow’s Folksy shop. And why not see her work on Instagram (this is where I saw the discount code).

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Thanks as always. x

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Stuff from Episode 5!

Hey! Welcome to Episode 5 where I talk about crochet. It’s a crochet podcast or vlog, I still haven’t decided what to call it. Technically it’s a vlog but podcast is the word that has caught on… The pedant in me is finding the situation very hard to deal with.

Click on the pic above to take you to YouTube!

Here, you’ll find links to all the things I’ve talked about, along with some photos. So even if you don’t want to watch, you can at least see what I’ve been up to recently.

Links:

The Neat Ripple by Lucy of Attic24

A simple blanket edging (the one from Attic24’s original granny stripe).

Cute elephants from Repeat Craft Me.

Straighten out your ripples, here.

My little purse tutorial.

The Cleckheaton colour block jumper that I so desperately want to make!

What my garden looked like a fortnight ago (it’s much more bloomy now-will take pics).

Instagram RavelryPinterestFacebookEtsy

I think this blanket deserves its own blog post! I’ll get on to that next week.

All my sewing projects are in full use, I’ve got a couple of other things on the go and yep, that’s it really! Let me know what you think! Have a fab weekend. X

How to Make a Granny Square Bag. Free Crochet Pattern

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)

-4.5mm hook

-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)

  1. 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.
  2. Turn the work. Ch2,  1htr in each st along to the end. Turn.
  3. 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
  4. Ch2, 1htr in each st of last row. To widen the work again, ch13, Turn.
  5. 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.
  6. Ch2, htr all the way along. Turn
  7. 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

Thank you. X

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Crafty Catch Up…

i-love-this-picture-daffodils-with-my-crochet-cushionIt’s been a while since I had a round-up of current crafty WIPS. Today is the day to remedy that.

chevron-progress crochet-chevronThis 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.

pistachio-humbug-crochetI’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.

crochet-mandalaI 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.

crafty-messingThe 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….

embroidery-on-jeans…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.

nebula-the-wool-kitchen custom-dyedI 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.

crochet-trianglesBoth 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?!

ugly-granny-crochetOnce 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.

flapjackAnd 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.

inside-crochet-magEdit: 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

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A Bunch of Handmade Gifts.

a-pile-of-christmas-makesMy blogging will is not here today. I’m not really here. I’d rather be doing my crochet. I’m looking over to the other side of the room to where my current WIPS are. Getting the balance between making stuff and blogging about it can be tricky! The problem today is that I’ve seen all this stuff, like, ages ago! I love writing a craft blog, I really do but I also must find the time to do the thing I write about. It’d be a bit futile if I didn’t do any craft wouldn’t it?!

little-fabric-basket handmade-christmas-presentI probably made this little fabric basket in October. I use a great tutorial for making these (it comes in two different sizes). Go Here for the instructions.

handmade-bag-with-bamboo-handl bag-with-bamboo-handlesI made up the pattern for this bag. I must make another and, when I do I think I’ll do a tutorial. This will hopefully happen at some point this year, it’s on a list of things to do but so are lots of other things! I also want to do a crochet version with bamboo handles as well!

could-do-betterThis project bag annoyed me. I forgot to add interfacing and it’s all floppy. The recipient didn’t mind and I guess that’s what counts.

t-shirt-yarn-crochet-bowlI made this a few months ago and it was meant to have another to nestle within. It hurt my hands so I didn’t make the other one. I think I chose a hook a size that was too small, which is what made it painful. The yarn itself is a t-shirt yarn from Tiger and felt beautifully silky. I don’t know who has t-shirts that silky, not anyone I’ve met.

rich-red-crochet-cowl gorgeous-red-crochet-cowlThis cowl was lovely to make. Very quick too. I used two balls of Drops Alaska and the pattern is from a new book by Nicki Trench. Crocheted Scarves and Cowls is the name and I bought it from The Works around November.

mustard-waffle-crochet-cushion-wiht-wooden-buttons crochet-waffle-stitch-mustard-cushion crochet-waffle-stitch-mustard-cushionAges ago I’d wanted to make a waffle stitch blanket. About a ball into the project I realised that the stitch was a massive, greedy yarn eater and it wouldn’t go as far as I’d invisaged. I frogged it and went in the cushion direction. It’s an 18″ cushion and I did 70 something stitches across with the old Stylecraft spesh. Love it. But it was a present so I gave it away.

kelpie-hat kelpie-hat-using-malabrigoThis is the Kelpie hat by The Crochet Project. Such a lovely yet simple stitch! I had to tinker with the number of stitches because I used a thicker yarn than recommended. This is a Malabrigo aran. I can’t remember the colour name and I don’t know where the label is!

red-cowl pretty-red-cowl

And this cowl is a free pattern from Here. I reduced the number of stitches so that it was a cowl and not an infinity scarf. Think this is Drops Nepal. Maybe three balls … 4? A couple of years ago I made the infinity version in a brown yarn and I wore it for about two years solid.

There really was so much more that I intended to make and time ran away from me. I also gifted lots of Christmas decorations too. Crochet baubles and lots of felt things were great for giving as little extras.

And now I’m going to dash back to my crochet pile and hide in there. It’s a lovely place to be.

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End of November Crafty Catch up.

my-felt-decorations-for-christmasSince November started it feels like I’ve hardly had any time for making things but looking at my photos, it turns out that isn’t true. I actually appear to have been quite busy. I’ve been sewing instead of doing my crochet.

my-felt-decs felt-christmas-decsI’ve got the school’s PTA Craft Fayre on Saturday so these decorations will hopefully be sold to lots of jolly holly people. I’ve mostly used designs from previous years. There are a few new ones too. This year I designed a bunch of mistletoe, a bell, some stars and a Christmas pudding. There are three or four other designs I came up with that haven’t made the cut and some old ones that  I didn’t bother with either. They’re more complex in their construction and they’d end up costing more. One day I’ll make the whole collection, I’ve got quite a few now. I really really want to turn them into sellable patterns but first I need to work out how to transfer rough, scribbly templates into professional printable patterns.

crochet-christmas-baubles crochet-baublesI’ve made these baubles too. Get yourself to Wilko’s to grab the naked set. £2.50 for 12. I’ve used various cotton DK’s. I’ve used mostly used Drops Muskat, Stylecraft Classique and Paintbox Yarns. My favourite is the Drops. It’s hands down, the best of the bunch (although there’s nothing wrong with the others either). The pattern is a mix of existing ones. I’ve got the book Boho Crochet which has a bauble pattern for giants. I used that as a base and took out lots of rows. I saw on Kaleidoscope City a pattern which slip stitched the two halves to the bauble and that created a lovely finish.

new-crochet-booksI went into Exeter a couple of weeks ago (and actually did some Christmas shopping!). Whilst there I popped into The Works because they now have an awesome selection of craft things. A lot of it isn’t my cup of tea but if you’re into all things crafty then there’s a shed load of treasure waiting for you. I always head for the books. I bought four because when the most expensive is four quid, why the blazes would you leave any behind? I’ve since discovered that these are new publications. New! Why are they being sold in a cheapy shop for £3 or £4??! Does it get sales figures up or something? Whatevs, I’m well pleased.

my-new-autumn-scarfThis has been one of my only crochet projects over the last few weeks. I’m making myself a scarf out of some Paintbox aran. It’s the stuff that Emma from Potter & Bloom sent me for when I tested her Geoffrey scarf. I caved and bought more colours (here, that’s the blue and green).

crochet-mohair-hatOk, I made this too. Since doing the Take Care Mohair review I’ve been on a mission to find a cheaper alternative. I feel quite guilty actually (not that I’m under any obligation) but I cannot afford to buy the Wool and the Gang stuff for experiments and pattern workings. I’m using Drops Melody instead, which is nice but not super fancy. Now that I think I have a pattern sorted I might get some of the real deal. Comparatively, it is much silkier and has a thicker halo on it. I really like the designs I’ve come up with, however, I’ve been looking at and working with mohair for two months. Do I want to buy the posh stuff when the excitement is waning? Hmm.

differencesThis picture is not a good representation as the one on the left has more stitches. But it is the Take Care Mohair and you can see that it does come out thicker and it’s a nicer pink too. Not that I have any reason to favour it other than personal preference.

mohair-yarnLaying side by side there is not much difference in yarn thickness. I think it must be the halo that adds body to the yarn. I’m trying to decide if I can recommend both yarns in the pattern I write. There might be a considerable difference in the finished product. Gah, it’s mini stumbling blocks like this that make things so much trickier than they need to be. Things I didn’t think would be important but actually are if you want to be a designer.  Boo. Anyway, it is my hope that I can write a pattern for a hat and scarf combo that I can sell. I’m miles off because the Paintbox scarf has taken my attention (I think I want to write up the pattern for that too). Maybe have some wrist warmers to go with? I say this all the time yet I still only have one pattern for sale! I’m easily distracted by new pretties, that’s my problem!

crafty-secret-santaLastly, there’s this jumble of crazy. Funny that the thing I should have finished first is the thing that I’ve left until last! Must do this today. I must also remember to take pictures of it complete!

Oky doky, I must go. Got lots to do and time is not on my side. xx

 

 

 

So Many WIPs…

cat-crochet

I have a silly number of Works in Progress at the moment. Here is the cat, sleeping on one that I left on the sofa.

workings

She’s sleeping on this; the never ending half circle I’m trying to work out. I think I’ve mentioned before about trying to work out patterns and how it’s done. My method is Trial and Error because I know no other way. So, with that in mind, I have, in fact frogged several rows this morning. Too many stitches were causing it to get ruffled. I don’t know how/where to increase the stitches in a nice, even way at the minute. Too many, not enough, blahhh. Whatever I try, it doesn’t want to mirror the initial semi circle of colour. I’m tempted to bin it. Bin the idea and move on. So. Much. Frustration!

hand-made-wooden-handle-bag

Anyway, this is more like it. An actual finished item. Woot! I loved making this. It was so quick and easy. I didn’t follow a pattern, I made it up and was surprised at how speedy the process was. If I were to have another go, I’d make the fabric pieces wider. I think there’s room for expansion. I took a load of photographs as I made it;  I’m tempted to write up a tutorial. I might also buy a new pair of handles and have a second attempt.

first-go-at-tunisian-crochet

New skill alert! I’ve tried Tunisian Crochet this week. A little bit addictive actually. I’m slow and not sure what goes on if I drop stitches but I did order a set of bamboo Tunisian crochet hooks so I can get properly stuck in. This hook is one I got from my Nanna. I keep meaning to ask her if she ever used it. Anyway, it’s slightly too small. And the freebie I got from a magazine is slightly too big.

bad-colour-changes-for-tunisian-crochet

Yesterday I struggled with colour changes. I really want to make pictures in crochet. It isn’t as easy as I thought it’d be. It’s mucked up the tension, making it skewed. Poo. I think I’ll benefit from some practise but I also think that Tapesty crochet might the way to go instead. Any advice?

ami-balls

This is part of my Brightoween ColourSwapCraftPop on Instagram. I’ve done a bit more on this project than this picture suggests but I’m still not quite finished.

new-ideas

Whilst messing about with the Brightoween and Tunisian projects yesterday another idea popped into existence. I had to try it immediately.

new-idea-progress

I’ll try and get this finished for next week although I’m well aware that I say that sort of thing quite often. I’ve got a crochet pattern/tutorial in handwritten scribbles that I’d said I’d publish this week. That’s really not going to happen. Not yet anyway.

linen-stitch-in-the-round

This idea is a lot more simple than the other not-yet-ready pattern. I think it’ll be a fun one so stick around for a future blog post.

another-wip

Then there’s this, which is related to the c2c geometric square cushion I made recently. I really hope this one looks like my imagination tells me it will look.

And now I need to go and make dinner before collecting Eldest from Judo. I really hope that some of these WIPs will actually be finished at some point soon. Today is not the day.

 

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!

 

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

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