Sunday, 2 October 2016

Santa Corner-to-Corner Crochet

Now, I'm not sure if it's too early to show Christmassy makes?!  But I figure that in the crafting world thoughts of Christmas need to start earlier, as handmade takes time... so if this it to prove as inspiration, it would help to get it now!

I'd been seeing lots of corner-to-corner (C2C) crochet blankets popping up here and there on blogs and instagram, and thought it was something I'd like to try.

I'd also seen and saved this pin to my Christmas Pinterest board.  (Actually, after I've finished this post I'll have to have a good look through and see what else I've pinned and forgotten about!)

This santa square pattern is by Repeat Crafter Me, and can be found here.  It is designed to be one part of an amazing Christmas blanket - which is so clever and fun!  You can see that here.  Looking at it now, I kind of wish I had the patience to make the whole thing - it is excellent!

But... I think (for now) I'm just sticking with the one square - and I have plans for it which I will reveal to you as soon as I have completed them.

Not sure if it's just my eyes, but the white looks grubby here - it is actually nice and white, I think it's the light!

The square looks very wobbly - it probably needs a good blocking!  Once I've finished with it, it should straighten up.

So... how did I find the whole C2C experience?  It is great easy fun crocheting as it stands... although adding the colourwork adds a bit of complication to it.  Having a few different coloured balls of yarn on the go certainly made for some tangled messes!

I used this post from One Dog Woof - aptly titled 'Learn C2C Crochet: Everything You Need to Know'.  It was very helpful, and I wish I'd followed the advice on bobbins to separate the yarn.  I was impatient, though, and just went with the tangled mess approach instead!  Ah well, it all worked out in the end...

Yarn Details:
Stylecraft Special DK in Grey, White, Lipstick and Candy Floss.  I had all these colours in my stash, which is very satisfying - no purchases required!  I'm not sure the make of the black yarn, it was left over from the zebra hat I made.

Now I have the challenge of turning this into something - watch this space!

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Amigurumi Crochet Elephant

Well, following on from my last post... I've ended up making another amigurumi animal!  This is a birthday present for my Mum.  She loves elephants and lilac, so I decided to combine the two!

A little lilac crochet elephant!  With some pretty tilda fabric on the ears...

I used this pattern which is a translation into English of a Japanese pattern.  I liked the cute design, and also the minimal sewing on of limbs appealed greatly to me!  The way the legs are crocheted onto the body is a method I've never seen or tried before, but I love the seamless finish it gives.  It also means there is no having to try to line and match them up evenly, which you'd have to do if sewing on.  As it was, sewing the tail and ears onto the elephant gave me enough trouble - I do hate that bit!!

I found it a bit fiddly in places, and I don't deny some cursing and angry words towards the end!  But, as is most often the case, I'm glad I made it (now it's done)!

Now I'm just off for my Mum's birthday celebration... I hope she likes her little elephant!

[Edited to add: My Mum loved it - makes it all worthwhile!!]

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Friday, 9 September 2016

Five on Friday: Crochet Amigurumi

I thought I'd share five things with you today... five crochet amigurumi projects I've made.  Amigurumi is not my favourite form of crochet at all, and yet I always love what I make when I do give it a go!

1)  Penguin - I made this when I first started crocheting, a few years ago now, once I'd mastered the granny square.  It was the first time it clicked how to crochet into stitches (with the granny you crochet into the gaps) and it was surprising how long it took me to figure it out - hard to imagine now!

The pattern I used for this was actually a crochet egg pattern, which I then embellished with felt and a couple of beads to create the penguin.

2)  Owl - This came shortly after, using the same egg pattern and same idea...

I love these little guys - so cute and dinky!

3)  Pink Monkey - This was a little more tricky and a definite favourite of mine.  I just had to have a pink monkey!

You can find the pattern here.

4)  Blue Monkey - Fast forward a couple of years and I made one for my nephew, in a top with his initial on...

5)  Snail - Then more recently, you will have seen the crochet snail I made for my sister-in-law...

More details and pattern here.

The last two are with their new owners, but the first three hang out with me at home...

What do you think?  Is amigurumi something you enjoy?

I'm linking up with Love Made My Home's Five on Friday - thanks to Amy for hosting it!

Check out my other crochet items here.

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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Decorated Gift Box

Last week I showed you the cute crochet snail I made.  Now you can see how I packaged it to give to my sister-in-law.  If you're expecting skill, sophistication, creative genius... you'll be disappointed!

I started with a box I already had.  An alarm clock had been packaged in it, and I'd been saving it for the last one or two years as it was a good little box, in brown kraft paper/card (or some such similar material).

The box was a bit damaged where I'd removed the labelling, but decorating it would cover that.

I started by drawing and cutting out a big flower out of some pretty green and pink paper to cover the worst of the damage...

... then I remembered I had some cardstock flower stickers in my supplies (from my card-making days) - so I thought, why stop there with just one flower?!  Let's not be stingy!  I decided to add more flowers to that side of the box.  Well... then I just carried on and covered the whole thing!

As I said... absolutely no skill required here!

The box was a perfect fit for the snail.  A bit of pretty spotty tissue paper...

...and snaily was happily ensconced in his temporary home!

I used washi tape on the underside of the lid, to cover an alarm clock related sticker that I couldn't remove - the pattern goes well with brown box I thought.  And an extra flower sticker for fun!

There you have it - cheap and cheerful!  What do you think?

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Crochet Snail

A short while ago I finished making this cute crochet snail for my sister-in-law, as a little gift.  She has now been presented with said snail, so I am sharing him with you here!

I'd had this pinned on one of my Pinterest boards for quite some time, so was excited to finally get round to making it.  It is the Sofie Snail by Stipenhaak, and you can find the free English pattern here.  Fantastic pattern, clear and easy to follow - and makes the cutest of snails!

He was crocheted in King Cole Bamboo Cotton, which I think is perfect for amigurumi crochet, as it creates a lovely smooth finish.  I used small black buttons for the eyes, and white felt for the spots on the shell.

I'm so pleased with how he turned out!  What do you think?

Check out my other crochet projects here.

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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Tilda Blog Hop - Cabbage Rose and Memory Lane

I was lucky enough to get the chance to play with part of the latest Autumn 2016 range of Tilda fabrics, before they were released!

This was as part of a blog hop organised by Stitch Craft Create.  I was sent a selection of fabrics from both ranges to try out.

Four from Memory Lane...

...and four from Cabbage Rose...

Which fabrics to use first?!  I decided to make a zipped pouch using a couple of the designs, which I thought went together well.

This actually looks better in real life than it looks in this picture - it was hard to capture it well.  It's padded with cotton batting/wadding and has boxed corners to make it nice and roomy inside.  I designed the pattern for the pouch myself, but there are so many tutorials for zipped pouches online, if you want to make your own.  The fabrics I used were:

Bottom Section:  Memory Lane - Flowercloud Dark Slate
Top Section:  Cabbage Rose - Tess Red

Cabbage Rose - Tess Red

I also used the bottom outer fabric for the tabs at each end of the zip.  You can see one of them a bit clearer here...

But I hadn't finished with that red fabric.  For a couple of years I've had fabric strawberries on my 'craft to-do' list and when I saw that Cabbage Rose Tess fabric in the red colourway, I knew it would be perfect... the time had come!

I thought one of the other Cabbage Rose fabrics would work well too, for a bit of variation.  The fabrics I used were:

Cabbage Rose - Tess Red
Cabbage Rose - Tilly Red

I absolutely love these strawberries!  I used this adorable strawberry pincushion tutorial - but with a few changes.  I made them smaller as I wanted them to be real strawberry sized and to be decorative rather than pincushions.  I think with a keyring loop on, they'd make lovely keyrings.  I also skipped the extra leaves and flower and didn't sew the green felt flat to the strawberry, as I wanted the points to stick out a bit, for a more organic look.  (As organic as a fabric and felt strawberry can look anyway!)

Then I thought I'd give the mustard/olive fabrics a go - not my usual choice of colour, but I have fallen in love with the dinky little fabric tray I've made!

I used this pattern, so lovely!  I think I'll be making more!  The fabrics I used were:

Memory Lane - Flowercloud Olive
Memory Lane - Solid Fabric Olive

The trinket tray can be used for jewellery...

Or in the sewing room, for your crafty bits and bobs...

And I'm sure there are a myriad of other uses too!

As expected, the fabric is fabulous quality, but I'm sure that I don't need to tell any Tilda fans that!  

This has only made a small dent in the fabrics I was sent, and there are three patterns still to cut into, so no doubt there will be more creations using them here on my blog in the future - be sure to check back and see what else I make.

And if you'd like to get stuck in to some sewing with these ranges too, Stitch Craft Create are running a competition to win a fabric quarter bundle of this fabric and one of Tilda's friends (a fabric fox or rabbit).  You can find it over on their facebook page, so good luck!  Alternatively you can buy Memory Lane here and Cabbage Rose here.

Thanks to Nadine of Stitch Craft Create for inviting me to take part - it's been great fun.  Check out my other sewing projects here and follow me on bloglovin to keep up to date with my latest crafting projects!

Below are links to all the other blogs taking part, so go on over to see their lovely makes...

1st August – Stitch Craft Create
2nd August – Stitch Craft Create
3rd August – Vicky Myers Creations
4th August – Strawberry Patch Ramblings
5th August – Charm About You
8th August – Crafting Not Cleaning
9th August – Popular Patchwork
10th August – Dinki Dots
11th August – Little Black Duck
12th August – Tea and a Sewing Machine
15th August – A Saucy Stitch
16th August – Very Berry Handmade

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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Tilda Fabrics

I've been working on some projects using the below Tilda fabrics, from the new Autumn 2016 ranges - Cabbage Rose and Memory Lane...

I was sent 8 fat quarters from Stitch Craft Create.  What do you think of the patterns?  What would you have sewn with them?

Looking at them arranged like this in my photo, I can picture a pretty quilt.  Check back on Wednesday to find out more and see what creations I came up with!

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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Tissue Paper Pom-Poms

I've spent most of my spare time lately making tissue paper pom-poms for an up-coming party.

The birthday-girl doesn't like balloons, so this was an alternative to bring colour to the hall.  A lot more work than blowing up balloons, though!

There are plenty of tutorials out there for making these, so I won't go into instructions here, but do let me know if you have any questions.  They are fun to make, in small doses - but I have made 73 of them, so I'm pretty much pom-pommed out now!  55 large ones, and 18 small ones - you can see 5 of each below.

I went for warm fiery colours - tissue paper in burgundy, red, orange, yellow and hot pink.  I was nervous about my colour choices at first, but I'm actually really pleased with the bright colourful look!  Someone on Instagram mentioned that it looks like a fiesta - well, that's ideal!  (Thanks Chrissie!)

Here are the 55 large pom-poms stacked up in the spare-room (they were taking up most of the living room floor as I made them!)...

I wanted to give you an idea of how big the pile was - but it seems a lot bigger in real life!  The next challenge is transporting them to the venue and stringing them up somehow... eeek!

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Jenny's Blanket of Hugs

Kate over at Just Pootling has taken on the mammoth task of organising a big crochet-community project as a gesture of love and support for Amanda Bloom (of Little Box of Crochet) and her daughter Jenny, who is fighting a battle against cancer.  You can read more about this here - she puts it all into words far better than I can.

To sum up, crocheters in this country and around the world are all busily making crochet squares following Kate's gorgeous patterns, which will together make up a big comforting blanket for Jenny, in her favourite colours.

My three squares have been made, as you can see above.  I've never tried bobbles before - and I love them!  I definitely see more bobbles in my crochet future!

If you would like to take part, the pattern and all the details can be found here.  Kate uses a 3.5mm hook, but I found that to get my squares to the right size I had to go up to a 5mm hook!  I am clearly a very tight crocheter - it makes you wonder how tense I am?!  The stripy and plain squares also came up a little smaller than the bobble square, but they are not too far off.  With so many different crocheters involved, the square sizes are bound to vary slightly, but I'm sure when everything is crocheted together it will all even out.

I'm glad that I got the chance to contribute to this lovely kind project of Kate's.

Check out my other crochet projects here.

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Instagram Crochet Hook-Up - Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1 - I took part in a crochet hook-up on Instagram, organised by Lazy Daisy Jones.  You can find more information in that post.

I showed you half of my pictures then, so here is the other half...

As I mentioned, I went to Cost Rica on holiday so couldn't finish the month, but I had great fun doing the days I did do!  Thanks to Lazy Daisy Jones for organising it and looking forward to the next one!

I'm over on Instagram here if you'd like to see more.

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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Tapestry Crochet Chevron Phone Case

I got a new phone at the beginning of the year.  Despite being all excited about making a new phone case for it - it's taken me until now to finally do it!

I used a technique I've never tried before - tapestry crochet.  Using this I was able to create the zig-zag (or chevron, as 'zig-zag' doesn't seem to be a fancy enough name these days!) design.  It was quite fun to try, and there are all sorts of design possibilities.

It does give a kind of jaggedy edge between colours, but I think that is all just part of the effect.  Although there may be techniques to make a smoother line - I'll have to research this if I do another tapestry crochet project.

I used a pretty mint button to hook a crochet loop around, to secure the phone.

My previous crochet phone case, I crocheted in a continuous loop, rather than ending each row with a slip stitch and chaining to start the next row.  It creates a very neat fabric.  For this one, I thought that the design might get muddled if I did it that way so I didn't use the continuous method.  You can see in the picture that this has created a diagonal join 'seam' on the back, where each row ended and the next began.  I prefer the look of the continuous crochet, but it's not too bad.

Below you can see the pattern I created in Excel to use when making this...

Each square is a single crochet stitch and a row covers both sides of the case as the whole case was made in one, rather than making each side and sewing together.

I think I prefer my previous phone case, but I still like it and it was fun to learn a new crochet technique!  What do you think?  Have you tried tapestry crochet?

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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Instagram Crochet Hook-Up - Part 1

It's a little bit delayed, but I wanted to let you know about a 'Crochet Hook-Up' I took part in on Instagram back in April.

It was organised by Lazy Daisy Jones who blogs here.  I'd not tried anything like this on Instagram before, but I really enjoyed it.  You post a picture a day, following a subject prompt.  It's great as it gets you thinking in different ways and means you take pictures that you might not have thought to take.

We went on holiday to Costa Rica before the end of the month, so I didn't complete the full month, and there were also a couple of days I missed.  However, I thought I'd show here on the blog the pictures I did take, as it was such good fun!  Half of them are shown in this post, and I'll show the other half another day.

A photo posted by Maria (@dinki_dots) on

I'm over on Instagram here if you'd like to see more.

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