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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

My Tree is Up and I made a button garland!


It's the earliest I've ever put my tree up, but I have so much going between now and Christmas it had to be done! This is third year I've put my crochet baubles and chains on the tree and I still love them as much as when I first made them. I'm not one to change themes every year. Christmas is a time for traditions in our house, I like the familiarity of using favourite ornaments.



Although, there are always decorations that start to look a little shabby when you get them out of hibernation. When they need to be retired I make something new, and preferably crocheted, to take their place. So my decorations are getting progressively yarnier. But as a child of the 80's I will always insist on at least one piece of tinsel in my house.

For my new decoration this year, I made a simple button garland. It was just a very long chain of cream yarn, with assorted red and green buttons every ten chains. It's hanging above an arch in my house and I added a home made felt and scrap ginger bread man in the centre and a felt Father Christmas and snowman at either end.




The chain garland itself is very quick to make up. It would be a good family craft to make with any little budding crochters, and I think would also look lovely decorating a tree or woven amongst bigger evergreen garlands.

What do you think?

I'm also 90% finished on my crochet garland wreath. It's currently hanging on my ironing board while I find the time to sew it together up the back. I'll do it tonight, honest! I was thinking I might add a poinsettia in a red shimmery yarn? Or maybe holly and berries? I'll post pictures of whatever I decide, but any input is always welcome.




How is everyone else doing with their festive crocheting and crafting?


Friday, 4 November 2016

Crochet Bobble Hat for Woody


My one year old loves his Woody doll, and gets quite stressed if he's hatless for some reason. 'Hat!' Is one of his favourite words. He enjoyed Halloween shouting 'Witch!' Hat!' Repeatedly.

The only problem with his much loved Woody doll, which he pronounces as Wood-oo (sooooo cute), is that the cowboy hat he comes with is quite awkward to get on his head. It's made from fairly stiff plastic and frequently pops off. My little one isn't quite dexterous enough to put it back on himself so I must have Woody thrust in my face with a demand of 'Hat!' at least one hundred times a day.

Enough was enough, so taking a small break from yarn bombing crochet work, I whipped up a bobble hat for Woody that little hands can pop on his head with no trouble. I wasn't sure if his new hat would be accepted by my little monkey, but he smiled his head off when I popped his Winter replacement on. 'Wood-oo Hat!'

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Yarn Bombing, Christmas Crochet and Ideas Explosions

I'm part of a local crochet group that is going to be doing some yarn bombing at Christmas time. I don't know how much I'm actually allowed to say, so I won't go into too many details yet, but I will say that I am extremely excited - and that it involves a lot of foliage.



I picked up my yarn at the end of last week and it's unlocked all of my festive crafting feelings. I'm getting so many ideas that my trusty green Moleskine notebook hasn't left my side in days. It's being steadily filled with notes, pattern ideas, doodles and revisions. Christmas is always my biggest crafting muse, but as crochet projects tend to require time as much as yarn, I usually start my festive crochet in October.

At the moment I'm working on the yarn bombing foliage, see the holly perched on my snazzily pyjamaed knees, and a jumper of my own design. I'm writing the pattern down as I go, and also frequently frogging and changing so I would be amazed if anyone but me could make sense of my notes at the moment. It's not a Christmas jumper but the idea for it came to me amongst this creative flood and I was so excited I just had to start straight away, but there are so many other ideas begging me to make them real too, it's hard not to have ten projects on the go at once.

Does this happen to anyone else?










Friday, 22 July 2016

Crochet Mandrake Tablet Case | Harry Potter DIY


For some reason the Harry Potter series is like a crafting muse for me. I have a notepad filled with all sorts of ideas that I'm regularly adding to. Last week, when I booked tickets to go to Harry Potter Studio Tour, my brain went into crochet overdrive and I had to make something to get my crafting energy to calm down. The trip will be my second, but I'm beyond excited as it will be at Christmas and with my sister, who loves the wizarding world as much as me.

I decided I needed a case for my tablet as it will be travelling with me and I don't have one.
When my brain is full of ideas I like to use an A4 pad to map everything out and it helps me come to a decision. With this project I had a couple of Ravenclaw themed ideas first and then I just saw a baby mandrake plant fully formed in my head.

I knew it would be a crocheted case and as soon as I had my design sketched out I went searching for the right yarns.




I decided on Sirdar Wash 'n' Wear Double Crepe DK in brown and duck egg for the main body of the case as I wanted something fairly durable. For the Mandrake itself, well they're a bit magical so I needed something a more special than 'normal' yarn. I decided to go with Sirdar Softspun Luxury Soft DK in goldie and green as it has a beautiful shimmer to it and it makes the Mandrake jump out of the background. I'm terrible at taking photos, so you'll have to trust me!

For the eyes I used a black sparkly Jomil Starmist crochet thread. I bought mine from a sale bin at my local yarn shop for £1, so have a look around, as the when I searched for it online so I could give you links it was selling for £7 which is frankly ridiculous!

Anyway, what do you think of the finished product? I'm really happy with how it turned out

For the crochet lovers who want a bit more detail about what I did:

The body of the case is entirely single crochet (US) using a 4.00mm hook. I made a foundation chain the length of my tablet as the bottom and then for one round worked in the front loop only all the way around to make a 'corner' so that bottom and sides had a better shape. Then it was just plain old single crochet until it was big enough to entirely cover my tablet.

The Mandrake itself I made in seven pieces with a 3mm hook. (Head, body, 4 limbs and 2 leaves) I made each part free form, but using mostly single crochet, with the odd half-double, and double to make it look a bit gnarly and root-like. The body and head were made as off circles with random increases, decreases and missed stitched to alter the shape. I basically just eye-balled it.

The leaves I based loosely off the Fern leaf pattern from 100 Flowers to knit and Crochet. (If you haven't had a look through it before, I can't recommend it enough)

The eyes were little knots made with a darning needle.

The features were made with a 2.5mm hook in a chain on top of the face. I did a little down-turned mouth shape and frowning eyebrows, although it's fairly hard to see. If I did it again, I'd probably use a bigger hook for that part. Or perhaps a slightly darker shade of yarn.

When I had crocheted all the body parts together, I loosely pinned it on the case and sewed it into place with a large darning needle. I actually remembered to a few photos here and there in case anyone fancies having a go themselves and finds them helpful.

 

 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

I Want to Collect All of the Things!

I want to start by saying, I'm 31 year old Mother of two, which makes me an official grown up now, okay? So it's a given that I'm way too old to be collecting toys, but look! Would you just look at the tiny, adorable, Potter characters!



Funko are releasing Harry Potter Mystery Minis! I never collected things as a child and their Pop Vinyl figures never tempted me, but I really want a tiny little Minerva! Forbidden Planet put's their UK release date as 4th August, but I found some available on Amazon now and I'm so tempted to buy a whole box. Is it considered bad parenting to feed my children only beans on toast so I can buy myself toys?






Sunday, 10 July 2016

2 Crochet Hooks - Tea for Two

Hi everyone! This is just a quick little post to let you all know that 2crochethooks.com have had me as their guest this week, on their Tea for Two feature. If you haven't come across their site before, it's a great place to find free patterns, inspiration and new blogs to binge on.

Pop on over and find yourself another project to add to your list, perhaps something festive, July 'tis the season for Christmas Crochet after all.









Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Tuna and Cheese Burgers (or Bake)

This is a great recipe for making sure you use up food that can get forgotten about in the back of your cupboard, along with some fresh ingredients. It's easily changed and adapted depending on what you have in or what you're in the mood for and it doesn't take too long. About 10 minutes prep time and roughly the same for cooking.

It can be made as burgers in a pan or as a bake in the oven. In Spring and Summer I tend to favour making it as burgers and having it with couscous, green beans and salad. In Autumn and Winter it's lovely comfort food as a bake with sweet potato chips and veg.



Ingredients
  • 250g of tuna
  • Seven Ritz sized crackers (can be changed to taste)
  • One cup of grated Mozzarella
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 3 Spring onions, chopped
suggested alternatives: I've also swapped the spring onion for sweetcorn, chopped peppers or red onion and all work well.


Method

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. The crackers should be broken into pieces, not dust. If making burgers, divide into four or five and shape into patties about 2cm thick and cook in a frying pan over a medium heat for roughly 4 minutes each side.

The burgers can be cooked straight away after making, but I find that if you let them chill in the fridge for at least twenty minutes first they tend to hold their shape better when cooking. I tend to make mine ahead of time, either the night before or earlier in day.

If making as a bake, put in a greased oven proof dish, add a little extra cheese on top and place in the centre of a preheated oven at 180oc for 10-15 minutes.

Below is a video showing me making and cooking the burgers. If you want to skip straight to the cooking part (and miss out the intro and ingredients) it starts at 1:54.





Let me know if you try it!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Crochet Spring Daffodil | Pattern

At this time of year with Spring and Easter right around the corner I always get the urge to start crocheting Daffodils. They were the very first flower I ever crocheted, so I have a soft spot for them. There are a myriad of patterns for them out there. However, when I couldn't find the 'perfect' one after lots of Pinterest and googling they became the first thing I ever made my own pattern for.

Each year I end up going back to it and refining it and changing it as my crochet skills and knowledge of stitches grows. This year I think I'm finally happy.

I used a stitch that I'm not certain of the name of on the outer petals as it makes them ever so slightly pointier. (Too roundy petals was my problem with other daffodil patterns.) It might be two double trebbles together, or as there are a lot of other stitches in the same stitch is it a type of puff stitch?

I've put the pattern down below, and tried my best to note down the stitch I used on the outer petals. I also made a video of me making a petal. Does anyone know what I should be calling it?

Anyway, here are some pictures of the final product and a video of how I make the petals. I think I might whip stitch a brooch on the back and put it on my coat. Or maybe make a whole vase of crocheted Daffs. What do you think?






Crochet Daffodil Pattern

The flower is made in two parts. The outer petals and the inner petals. The pattern is written in US Crochet terms.

Abbreviations:

CH = chain
SS = slip stictch
SC = single crochet
HDC = half double crochet
DC = double crochet
TR = treble crochet
DTR = double treble crochet
YO = yarn over

Inner Petals

To begin: CH3,SS in first CH to make a loop.
Round 1. CH1, 6SC in the loop. SS to first SC to join.
Round 2. CH4 (this counts as a TR) 2TR in the front loop of each SC around, with the exception of the final SC. Make 1TR in this stitch and SS to the top of the CH4 to join.

Fasten off and weave in your ends.

Outer Petals

To begin: CH4, SS in first CH to make a loop.
Round 1. CH1, 6SC in the loop. SS to first SC to join.
Round 2. CH1, 2SC in each SC around. SS in first SC to join (12 SC)
Round 3. CH1, (2SC in next 2 SC, SC in next SC) around .SS in the first SC to join (20 SC)
Round 5. CH1, (SC,HDC,DC,TR in the next SC. In that same stitch DTR2TOG SC around the most recent DTR post then continue to work a TR, DC, HDC, SC in the same stitch you placed the second of your DTR. SS in the next two SC) around.

Fasten off and weave in your ends. Attach the two flower parts together in your preferred method.