Tag Archives: yarn

Little Boy Blue

20 Feb

bobblesI recently finished the blanket I have been making for my cousin’s baby.

I was surprised at how wonderfully it turned out, as while I was making it I was having second thoughts about the square and colours I had chosen and to be honest I really didn’t  like it that much.

However, joining the squares and adding the border really transformed it and I now love it.

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The square I used comes from Edie Eckman it combines bobbles with spike dc to create a peak a boo feel.

I joined them together with dc in the back loop only. This was something I had never done, I had always used both loops. By using back loops only the squares are really enhanced as they seem to get a little border around them.

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I was attempting to do a bit of stash busting when I started the blanket, so this led me in my colour choices. I already had the light and dark blues and the white. I added the gunmetal  for some sophistication and keep it masculine as the baby is a boy. It is all acrylic, the gunmetal is 8 ply, thick , squishy and will be so warm for the coming winter.

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For the border I mimicked the same style from the square, I toyed with a more embellished edge but in the end kept it simple and that was the perfect choice.

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I didn’t block the squares individually nor have I blocked the final product, since the yarn and pattern are quite sturdy I am happy with the way it sits, I may change my  mind on this though before April.

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I am really happy with this blanket, I love the tactile bobbles and I can imagine babies loving them too. I am in love with the colours too, the combination of neutrals and brights has to be my favourite.

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Hexie Heaven – My top picks

17 Feb

I recently started on the last of my baby blankets. This one is for a friend who is about to have her third little girl. I wanted something simple, a little lacey and definitely a hexagon. This is a round-up of my favourites, they all are delightful and all have free patterns.

1. This is such a gorgeous variation on the African flower motif that is so popular. This one comes from the lovely Crochetbug.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

hexagon granny square

 2. This little lacey number comes from a Dutch blogger  Catherine from Blij met Draadjes . The instructions are in Dutch, obviously and Google’s attempt at translation is not completely awful so you may just be able to figure it out.

3. I heave recently had a little Pinterest potholder obsession and this climbing trellis from Ali Pyper is just so sweet and could just as easily be used for other larger projects  like blankets by leaving off the darling little scalloped edge.

4. This cute little daisy makes me think og Spring! It  comes from Daniela’s Needle art and she offers a few different variations on it too.

5. This was the inspiration for the hexie blanket I have just started on. This one comes from Scrap yarn Crochet. for mine I have changed the centre of my hexies just a bit to create a flower centre.

Are you in love with hexies now as much as I am? Have you made any hexie projects lately? Come share them on my Facebook page I would love to see them!

On the border – a round up of my favourite crochet borders

13 Feb

With 3 babies due to 3 lovely ladies in my life this April my life has revolved around baby blankets the last few months. I have finished my second blanket this week (post to follow once I can get some photos) and have started on the final blanket, pink hexies for a little bundle of pink. My fingers are stiff and my eyes sore from the amount of googling I have done to find the perfect inspiration for these blankets. I have come across some amazing patterns and ideas and I would like to share some of my faves with you.

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1. Pom Pom edging from Once upon a Pink Moon this is by far my favourite border for a baby blanket. It is tactile, fun and whimsical. I used this in my citrus bobble blanket and I can definitely see myself using it over and over again.

2. Catherderal edge from Halfknits charity knitting. This is such a beautiful border. The simple addition of the picot turns a regular scallop style edge into something really special.

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3. Link stitch with tassles from Poppalina. This edge is just amazing. here it was used on a baby blanket, but I think it would be just fabolous on a floor rug with those huge tassles.

Crocheted Bobble Stitch Border

4. I seem to be drawn to bobbles, that must be why I find this cherry berry bobble border by Hooked on Needles just so adorable

5. Rounding out my top 5 is this simple yet totally devine little border from Hooks and Yarns I think this is works so well with the granny to jazz her up a bit.

I hope you have enjoyed these gorgeous borders as much as I have and I hope they provide you with some inspiration for your next project.

P.S They all have free patterns!

A Baby Blanket and a super dooper new blocking board

30 Nov

Recently my husbands cousin announced she was having another baby. She is someone who appreciates handmade goodness, so I am making a blanket.

I have chosen a a large square motif, it is around 20cm wide and I am using baby merino in a palette of citrus colours, yellow, orange, lime and cream.

The one on the right is straight off the hook, the left one has been blocked

The one on the right is straight off the hook, the left one has been blocked

My aim is to have it completed in around 4 weeks.

Last weekend I made myself a new blocking board using a discarded shelf and some nails. I measuredand drew a 20cm square on the board and hammered in the nails at regular intervals.DSC_1073

The squares fit snuggly  around the nails, I did spritz the first ones lightly with water, but it is unnecessary, just being on the nails for a few days straightens them out.DSC_1077

This is such a great way to block granny squares.DSC_1075

I can’t wait to share the finished product with you.

Treasures in the Garage

17 Jun

Last weekend was my Grandma’s 84th birthday, so I traveled back to Lismore for the weekend. This gave me a chance to go through my Mum’s shed again and sort out some of the things she has stored there. I can’t believe the treasure trove that I found!

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At first I thought I just had bags of yarn, which is great, there were some really beautiful colours and textures there. I was really taken with some delicious dapled lemon and peachy baby merinoDSC_0668but was completely puzzled at the abundance of some pretty wretched colours, particularly bubblegum pink, burgundy and beige, however I continued to sort.

There was an old metal biscuit tin which had belonged to my Great Grandmother and inside there were heaps of spools of crochet cotton, some embroidery yarn, embroidery patterns and some unfinished embroidery. There was also an old wooden spool, which was empty, but I kept it as I thought it was a little bit special, as spools are all boring plastic these days, and I know people collect things like that.

Then I pulled out a heavy bag, which to my delight was filled with old fabric, some of these I remember being around the house when I was very small.

Photo: And vintage fabric.  I am in heaven

I don’t know what I will make from them, but I couldn’t turn down metres of free fabric so I will find something to do with all of this.

There were more doilies than you could poke a stick at! My mum can tell the difference between the ones my Great Grandmother did and the ones my Grandma did. Apparently Nanny crocheted looser than Granny, Also Nanny loved colour (she is the one responsible  for all of that bubblegum pink!) so many of her doilies have colour in them. Granny was a no nonsense country woman and all her crochet is perfect and done with a beigey coloured cotton.

I brought home a few doilies that I plan on washing and blocking then sewing together to create a table centre (add that to the to do list)

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Then I found the reason for the horrible coloured yarn!DSC_0657

This half finished afghan! I understand why it is half finished, Nanny must have come to her senses and realised what an awful colour combination she had chosen. The other piece in the picture is a jacket and booties which were started for me but were never finished before the end of Winter, so they were put aside and forgotten until now. which is unfortunate as they are nothing short of beautiful!

There were two of these great squares

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 but no pattern, my Mum thought it should be easy enough to figure out though. Finishing this might also be added to the to do list.

Here is some of the embroidery

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Just look at how perfect all those little tiny crosses are! I really want to learn embroidery but I can’t see myself having the patience for it or being neat enough for it to look any good.

Below is an embroidered table cloth with a crocheted edge. It has a few stains on it so hopefully I will be able to get those out and put this to use!

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Then there is all the patterns! Most were from the 70’s and 80’s, some were older, some were much older! Some, I am sure if they were in better condition would be collectibles.

I have to laugh at the pictures in the magazines. Everyone always seems so happy to be wearing the ghastly crocheted creations they are in.

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I don’t know if you can see in this picture but the lady on the right is quite exposed in that top, yet she looks as though she hasn’t a care in the world. I don’t think I would be that carefree if I had a nipple hanging out of my shirt, how about you?

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I was surprised to find a couple of things that I am going to add to the ever expanding to do list. What do you think of this Egyptian inspired top on the right. I think it could look rather fetching with some gorgeous jewel colours around the neckline.

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I love the staging in the old magazines. Just look at how beautiful that navy coffee pot looks against the red pineapple doily, and the simplicity of the tea cups on the tray mat with its fabulous turquoise edging, but my favourite has to be the green chair back cover with the recently discarded magazine perched on the chair just waiting for its owner to return.
I can just imagine housewives from the 70’s falling in love with these pictures and having to whip up their own red doily to serve coffee on when the ladies come to visit.

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There was also a lot of knitting paraphernalia, and a half knitted jumper in bubble gum pink! These, regretfully I left behind.
It makes me nostalgic and sad going through all of this stuff but I am glad I have been able to give it a new home and a new life and continue the tradition that has been so strong in my family.

Blocks and Blocking

31 May

I finished my gorgeous ball or alpaca yarn today, and I made one row short of 13 different blocks, which was actually more than I thought I would get.

It was interesting watching the blocks form, some were much bigger than the pictures implied. The blocks that looked like they should be easy from the picture were often the more challenging and the ones I looked at and thought “how on earth am I going to do that?” were the ones that came together first time. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed making the first blocks for my afghan, and I can’t wait till pay-day to go and get some more yarn.

I have seen blocking mentioned quite a number of times in regards to finishing an item. I definitely want my afghan to have a handmade rather than homemade look so I thought I would give blocking a go.

There are some good explanations of blocking here and here.

Basically it is wetting your work and either manually working it into the required size and shape or pinning it and then leaving it to immerse your piece in water, use a spray bottle or a steam press/iron (without letting the iron touch the yarn)

This is a before of the Evelyn square

This is a before of the Evelyn square

Since my blocks were alpaca I chose to use the spray bottle method. So after pinning my blocks to a quilt that I had wrapped around a board I gave them a heavy mist and have left them to dry.

This is my squares being blocked

This is my squares being blocked

Make sure all your ends are woven in first to give them a chance to adhere to the rest of the yarn.

It is important to not touch your piece until it is completely dry otherwise you run the risk of having to start the process again.

So it rained here for two days and it took a really long time for them to dry, luckily today was sunny and I was able to put them outside  to finish them off. I unpinned them this afternoon and they look so good! The edges on some are still a little wonky, but that is more due to my dodgy crochet skills, blocking is not able to undo uneven work but it will make it look better.

Here are my squares

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The Michele Square

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The Janine Square

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The Waffle Square

The Chantal Square

The Chantal Square

The Bicolour Square (although mine is obviously not bicolour)

The Bicolour Square (although mine is obviously not bicolour)

The Old America Square

The Old America Square

The Sylviane Square

The Sylviane Square

The Héléne Square

The Héléne Square

The Simone Square

The Simone Square

The Evelyn Square

The Evelyn Square

 

The Antoinette Square

The Antoinette Square

The Danish Square (being blocked)

The Danish Square (being blocked)

Blocking has made the motifs more visible and made some of the squares a more uniform shape, hopefully some of the wonkiness will be hidden when they are stitched together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cannot read a pattern, nor can I unravel a skein.

23 May

This week has been a week of firsts and fails.

I saw my mum at the beginning of the week and she had a parcel with some vintage crochet patterns that had belonged to my Grandma,DSC_0549

a book of motifs from the 80’s that had been hers,DSC_0550

a whole box of crochet cottonDSC_0547

and a few hooks. There was also the little surprise of a handwritten pattern (not sure what it is for though there is no heading on it)

I was quite excited to get it home and go through everything, it all had the gorgeous aroma of the rose soap that it had no doubt been stored with over the years.

My first first was working with cotton. I didn’t expect cotton to be so slippery, it is very different to using 8 ply acrylic yarn and I struggled to get the tension right.

My second first was making applique motifs with that cotton. These were difficult, mainly because the patterns are more involved than a simple granny square and the other little things I have been teaching myself with. I really had to concentrate on reading the pattern and there were several undoings along the way.DSC_0551DSC_0538DSC_0552DSC_0542

This is also where my first fail comes in. The third motif I chose was quite complicated for my novice ability and introduced triple trebles, quadruple trebles and open triple trebles into my stitch repertoire, this was a lot to get my head around especially the open triple trebles! So even though I thought I had read the pattern carefully and I had undone and redone portions of it, when it was finished I realised that somehow I had missed some stitches. So, although this one probably has the best crochet it has the worst pattern interpretation.

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The cotton I used was a 4 ply bubblegum pink. For the first two motifs I used a 3 mm hook as the band said to use a 3.25 mm but I was unhappy with the way the stitches were looking so I changed hooks and this is my third first. For the third applique I made I used a 1.25 mm hook, I have never used a hook so small, I found it difficult to hold and lost grip on it regularly. Overall I enjoyed making these appliques and working with the cotton, even though my efforts were more fail than fantastic I am still proud of  what I achieved.

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It has been cold in Brisbane this week, and yesterday was one of those days where you just want to put on every item of clothing you own in an attempt to stay warm. I realise that for some of you a Queensland winter might be considered balmy but when 9 months of the year is singlet weather, when the temperature drops below 20 degrees Celsius everyone here is rugged up like they are in Siberia! So this cold snap made me decide that I am ready to move my crochet to the next level and actually make something with some use….an afghan!

I saw this gorgeous soft afghan on Pinterest

So my plan is to make something like this, all in grey and creating interest by using a variety of  blocks and motifs.

In yet another first I went to the yarn store! The store I chose was Tangled Yarns in Newstead and what a delightful store it is, they offer a vast array of yarn, knitting and crochet classes, social knitting and crochet and cake and coffee…what more could you want?

I have never bought fancy yarn before so I was excited to say the least. The yarn I chose was a super soft undyed baby alpaca.

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The label calls it oatmeal but I would call it light grey.

I have also never bought a skein before, nor rolled said skein into a usable ball, but surely it can’t be that hard, right?….Wrong. This was an epic fail!

I did Google how to do it, but in my haste to start using my new beautiful baby alpaca yarn I did not take the time to unravel the skein properly and ended up with a great big tangled mess. After about 3 hours I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and 20 minutes later I had 1 ball of delicious, soft, fuzzy alpaca yarn just waiting to be crocheted into something gorgeous.

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I love my little ball of yarn, I just want to hold it and look at it. I am so excited to turn it into a wonderful snuggly blanket!

Circles, squares and genes.

4 May

It seems that all those seemingly fruitless years of my Mum trying to teach me crochet has not been in vain.

It appears that all that knowledge has just been storing itself away waiting for my crochet gene to be turned on.

Since picking up a hook several weeks ago my skills and confidence in crochet has soared. Today I did something that I never thought would be possible such a short time ago….I created something  without a pattern!

I saw this blanket on Pinterest recently but was disappointed to find no tutorial when I clicked on the link.

crochet blanket squares 227x300 crochet blanket squares

Like I always do in moments of  confusion, I turned to Google to find the answer. I searched for circle in square motifs but Google had nothing like this.

I had all but given up on being able to make this, until yesterday.

Yesterday,  I successfully completed a solid concentric square pattern,which I found here,

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and over the past few weeks I have mastered crocheting in the round, see here. So  I thought that maybe I could combine the two of these to make my own motif . . And that is exactly what I did, here it is…

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I really like what I came up with, but on closer examination of the original Pinterest inspiration,  I could see how mine differed, so I went back and tried it again, here is my second attempt…

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I think this one is just about perfect, and it turned out to be really easy to make.

I am feeling pretty proud of myself, I have been carrying my square around all afternoon, I just can’t stop looking at it.

I feel there is no stopping me now my crochet gene has been switched on. I can’t wait to choose some delicious yarn to make my spotty blanket a reality.

A bit of Monday Morning Inspiration

29 Apr

As much as I am loving crochet right now, sometimes I feel it can look kitchy and dated, and it doesn’t really fit in with the design aesthetic I have envisioned for my home. With this in mind I began Googling “modern crochet” last night and I discovered something amazing!

Free form crochet! If yo have never heard of or seen this before you may be asking what is free form crochet? Well this is how the International Free Form Crochet Guild describe it…..

What is freeform?

Freeform crochet is like painting – the hook is a brush and the yarn a paint. 
The result can be abstract or realistic. 
Freeform is original design, not a reproduction of another person’s pattern, 
– it goes beyond the realm of patterns and restrictions that usually apply toward our art. 
The outcome is a piece of art like no other, not only functional, but beautiful as well. 
Freeform includes 2-D and 3-D art, clothing and useful items.

Here are some examples of free form crochet….

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As you can see it is more like an artwork, and can take a variety of forms. This sort of crochet really grabs my attention and caters to my crazy need for colour, sparkle and texture! What do you think? Has anyone out there tried this and do you have any tips?

This find left my head spinning last night and a little crazy thought popped in there…”I wonder if it is possible to felt crochet?” So of course the first thing I did when I woke up was Google felted crochet and guess what? It exists! I have never felted anything in my life, although I have always wanted to, it is something that I find somewhat daunting, I don’t know why because it looks fairly straight forward and easy.

Here is how felted crochet looks…..

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I like how these flowers in the bowl look like they are not fully felted and still retain some of their crocheted self.

I was worried when I started this blog that all the creativity I had when I was younger had long dried up but it seems that it has returned, my brain works overtime these days thinking of all the crazy projects that I want to attempt, I am going to have to get organised and make a plan of attack so that all these ideas become reality!

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