Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Mini Knitted Makes

My mini knitted makes begin with mock cables, inspired by a little sample of these stitches that I found in the bottom of one of my project bags. I stretched it about and wondered what I could make incorporating these stitches and decided that I could use my basic glove pattern with a panel of little cables on the front for decoration.

The first glove didn't go too well as I underestimated how many cable repeats to include so they ran out on my ring finger rather than around the side at the edge of my little finger. It didn't look good I can tell you. I had also miscalculated where to start the round so the transition between stocking stitch and the mock cable section was quite ugly.

Once I'd sorted out these problems the pair of gloves looked perfect, well perfect enough for me given that it's the first time I've tried to make gloves any more complicated than plain stocking stitch. I intend to make them again and I might even attempt to write the pattern out too.

The second thing that I've knitted recently is another, yes another, poppy cardigan designed by Georgie Nicolson.

It would seem that no stuffed animal in my home is safe at the moment without a little knitted cardy to keep it warm. Perhaps I've scratched that itch for now, we'll see...

Finally I found a book gifted to me years ago, Knitted Cakes by Susan Penny, and I just had to make my own little piece of creative nonsense.

I spent ages deciding which one to make and finally settled on the doughnut because I knew that I'd got some beads somewhere which would be great to sprinkle over the icing once it was knitted.

It's very pretty to look at and I've since decided that it could be used as a pin cushion so perhaps it's not as useless as it first appears, well that's my justification for it.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Golden Celebration

The Summer of 2018 has certainly been golden, with the heat turned up to max for weeks and weeks on end, so much so that it was virtually impossible to crochet anything on a grand scale. 

I reached for smaller items to make here and there during all that heat and this cotton doily was just perfect to satisfy the need to make something.

I've made this pattern before as you can see in this older post. It's Vintage-style Vase Coaster, designed by Nicki Trench, which can be found in her book titled Cute & Easy Crochet with Flowers.

I used the same yarn as last time, Drops Safran, but I chose a different set of colours to celebrate our golden Summer.

I think that the two doilies will look pretty together and I'm sure that I'll return to this pattern again to make many more beautiful, colourful doilies.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Woodland Creatures - The Hare

I posted here about my early progress with this cross stitch kit back in May when the poppies were just coming out.

Since then we've had an absolutely baking hot Summer which has been too hot to do anything involving  much yarn, so I've had the perfect excuse to leave crochet and knitting alone whilst I've worked on this instead.

The kit is the hare which is one of the woodland creatures designs by Karen Carter, designed and produced by Heritage Crafts.

All of the threads are included and there are two really good sized charts, one for the cross stitching and one for the back stitching, so it's really clear what to stitch where.

I particularly enjoyed working on the grasses and flowers, or are they weeds? The additional back stitching really brings the whole thing to life.

I'm tempted to make one of the other designs in this series too, maybe the fox or mouse, to accompany the hare once it's framed. For now I'm just pleased that I managed to pick up a kit and both start and finish it in the same year, I don't often do that.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Passion Flower (UK and US Terms) - A Free Pattern

Earlier this year I was asked by the BAMCAL group on Ravelry to design a 12 inch square for the group's members to make as part of their 2018 blankets.

At the time I'd been working on a pattern which reminds me of passion flowers but I wasn't happy with how I'd turned the flower in to a square.

Ironically working on extending it to a 12 inch block didn't take that long to come up with and the additional rounds make a much nicer overall design.

The pattern is available as a pdf file which will open in another window. To access the UK version click here and for the US version click here.

I must thank Ravelry members Berniece, Jacqui, Jill, Lynne and Sharon who gave up their time to test these patterns for me.

I would love to see what people make with this square and the colours that you choose too so if you're on Ravelry please link your project to the Passion Flower pattern.

Happy hooking.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Millefiori - A Free Pattern

I've written up a new pattern which includes photos to make it a little easier to see how it progresses as you work through the rounds in the design which was inspired by beautiful colourful Millefiori beads, glass and paperweights.

If you'd like to see the square already made in a variety of different colours, you can see lots more pictures as well as the colour combinations that I chose here and here.

I would love to see what people make with this design, if you're on Ravelry please link your project to the Millefiori pattern page which I'll be adding shortly to the database.

Happy Hooking.

Abbreviations (UK terms)

ch = chain
dc = double crochet
htr = half treble
sp = space
ss = slip stitch
st = stitch
tr = treble

Other Information

The squares pictured in this post were made with a 4 mm hook and Stylecraft Special double knitting weight yarn. Gauge isn't important. Each square measures approximately 3 ½ inches wide, horizontally not diagonally.

Round 1 (light pink) – Begin with ch 4 and join with a ss then ch 3 [counts as first of 16 tr], 15 tr in the ring, ss to join.

Round 2 (orange) – *Ss into a tr of the previous round, ch 2*, rep from * to * 15 times, join using an invisible join.

Round 3 (lemon) – *Ss into a ch 2 of round 2, ch 3*, repeat from * to * 15 times, join using an invisible join.

Round 4 (lemon) – Surface crochet or embroider a chain stitch in the tr stitches in round 1.  [To do this I make a slip knot and remove it from the hook.  Working from the front I insert the hook into a tr in round 1, place the slip knot on the hook and pull it through to the front then ss into the next tr from the front. I repeat this a further 14 times and use an embroidery needle to make the final chain as this creates an invisible join.]

First surface crochet stitch made.

Invisible join.

Round 5 (dark pink)Begin with a slip knot on your hook, use a chainless start *dc into the vertical strands at the back of the ss made in the previous round, ch 3, skip next ss made in the previous round*, repeat from * to * 7 times, ss to join, do not cut yarn. 

The following picture shows the hook being inserted through the vertical strands at the back of the work.

Round 6 (dark pink) – continuing with yarn still attached from the previous round, (ss, htr, 3 tr, htr, ss) into the first 3 ch sp, *(ss, htr, 3 tr, htr, ss) into the next 3 ch sp*, repeat from * to * 7 times, join using an invisible join.

Round 7 (blue)Begin with a slip knot on your hook, use a chainless start dc in the first ss of a petal made in the previous round, *ch 3, dc in the first ss of the next petal made in the previous round, ch 3, (dc, ch 2, dc) in the second of the 3 tr of the same petal, ch 3, dc in the first ss of the next petal in the previous round*, repeat from * to * twice, ch 3, dc in the first ss of the next petal made in the previous round, ch 3, (dc, ch 2, dc) in the second of the 3 tr of the same petal, ch 3, ss to join, do not cut yarn.

Round 8 (blue) – continuing with yarn still attached, begin by pulling each loose petal to the front of its corresponding 3 ch sp in the previous round.

Ss into the 3 ch sp, ch 3 [counts as first of 3 tr], 2 tr in the same 3 ch sp. For the rest of this side and the other three sides, tr in each dc in the previous round and 3 tr in each 3 ch sp in the previous round.  In the 2 ch sp corners of the previous round, (2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr).  To finish the round, join using an invisible join.  [You should have 17 tr stitches along each side.]

As you complete each square, sew in all the ends using a needle.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Millefiori - Colour Combinations

Following my previous post about the Millefiori crochet squares that I've been making, I've been working out all the colours that I've used in the squares shown in the pictures in the aforementioned post.

I've made 16 different squares using a total of 19 colours in the Stylecraft Special double knitting yarn range. So here are the colour combinations, working from the inside outwards.

 Sherbet, clematis, magenta, clematis,
lemon and violet.

Fondant, aster, sherbet, aster,
citron and sherbet.

Aster, lemon, aspen, lemon,
sherbet and magenta.

Spice, wisteria, violet, wisteria,
apricot and turquoise.

Magenta, apricot, fondant, apricot,
wisteria and spring green.

Sage, fondant, lemon, fondant,
spring green and spice.

Spring green, wisteria, saffron, wisteria,
turquoise and lemon.

Candyfloss, lemon, spice, lemon,
fondant and aster.

Clematis, saffron, turquoise, saffron,
magenta and apricot.

Wisteria, turquoise, spring green, turquoise,
saffron and aspen.

Lemon, magenta, sherbet, magenta,
clematis and sage.

Aspen, sherbet, fuchsia purple, sherbet,
aster and saffron.

Apricot, citron, sage, citron,
aspen and clematis.

Turquoise, spring green, clematis, spring green
fuchsia purple and candyfloss.

Citron, aspen, apricot, aspen
spice and wisteria.

Saffron, sage, wisteria, sage,
violet and duck egg.

They really are quite a colourful set of squares. Some of the colour combinations work better than others, particularly lighter coloured petals on a darker background, or petals that contrast quite markedly against the background colour.

My favourite squares are those with a background colour of violet, magenta, spice, aster, aspen and sage. Colour choices are very personal so maybe you have other favourites or would pick an entirely different palette.

I'll be giving the pattern for Millefiori squares a final once over in the near future and then I'll be back to post it later on during this month.