Crochet daffodils

It’s St David’s day on 1st March, hooray! Last year, I made a felt daffodil and some Welsh cakes. This year, I’ve made a crochet daffodil. I’ve also made some bara brith, which will be the subject of another post coming soon.

I followed (mostly) this pattern from Attic 24. I’m not great at following instructions, so there is definitely some degree of improvisation going on. I did my middle differently as well – two rows of UK trebles, using slip stitches at the end of each row to make a full circle.completed crochet daffodilThe pattern from Attic 24 is really easy to follow, and uses hardly any yarn at all, so it is great scrap buster.

Crochet block of the day

I’ve been off work ill for a couple of days with a horrible chesty cough, but today I finally felt able to do something productive. I’ve started crocheting again. Way back when last year, I was building up a stock of crochet squares to make a blanket. I kind of got side tracked though with other shiny crafts and projects, but I will see it through this time!ribbed crochet squareMy block today was number 72 – Ribbed square – from 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix-and-Match. It is UK double crochet, but working only into the back loop of each stitch, to make it look ribbed. Next up is a lacy style block, I’ll keep you updated.

Tiny crocheted jumper ornament

For my secret Santa at work, the criteria seems to be hovering around something around the recipients initials (RJ), charity shop purchased or home made. I have gone for the home made, and whipped up a tiny little crocheted jumper (to go with a box of Roses chocolates)! mini crochet jumperThis is the pattern, if you fancy making one yourself. As some of you may know, I am rubbish at curves, circles and anything which isn’t a straight line when it comes to crochet, so I had to come up with a pattern to avoid all of these. These jumpers use minimal amounts of wool, so they are great scrap buster.

Main body 

mini crochet jumper body

  • Chain 11
  • Row 1 – 1 dc into the 2nd ch from hook, then dc into each ch until the end (10 dc in total). Ch 2 and turn.
  • Row 2 – 7 – repeat 10 dc until the end of the row, ch 2 and turn.
  • Row 8 – dc 3, miss the next 4 stitches, and chain 4, then do 3 dc to the end of the row. Ch 2. This makes up the neckline of your jumper.
  • Row 9 – 14 – repeat 10 dc until the end of the row, ch 2 and turn.
  • Row 15 –  10 dc until the end of the row. Secure final stitch and sew in all the ends.

For the arms

  • Chain 7
  • Row 1 –  1 dc into the 2nd chain from hook, then dc into each ch until the end (6 dc in total). Ch 2 and turn.
  • Row 2 – 4 – repeat 6 dc until the end of each row, ch 2 and turn.
  • Row 5 –  6 dc until the end of the row. Secure final stitch and sew in all the ends.

Sewing together

  • Sew the arms into place using matching yarn and a darning needle (sorry for the terrible photo – rainy and winter light is terrible!)sewing mini crochet jumper
  • If you want to decorate the front with any embroidery, do it before the whole thing is sewn up. Otherwise, once arms in place, sew up each side of the jumper.
  • Use a small piece of yarn to make a hanger by threading it into the back of the jumper and looping through using a girth hitch knot (who knew that’s what they are called!) girth_hitch_hI’m making a couple of others for some baby presents, with the baby initials sewn on the front and brown luggage label attached.

Crocheting with double strand wool

I have been trying out crocheting with two different wools at the same time. It came about because I started crocheting using some very fine purple wool on its own, and it was taking far too long. So I combined it with some turquoise wool of a similar thickness I had left. The result is a nice, chunky, jewel coloured effect, which works up much more quickly! It is quite yarn-hungry though. I’m using UK treble crochet and I’m planning to make a cowl. double strand crochetTalking of cowls, how do you like this one I knitted the other week? It was just a rectangle, but I twisted it once at the front before I sewed it shut. This makes it sit a bit nicer around the neck. It also makes rather a nifty turban style earwarmer. knit cowlTo finish up, my sister sent me this picture yesterday, so true in my book!
crafting comes before housework

ATC loveliness!

Well I have been on holiday AGAIN (I know, I’m so lucky!) When I got back from holiday, I not only had a nice pile of birthday cards, I also had my ATC, all the way from Australia. It is quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen. mini jumper atcIt is from Larisa at Stitching Notes, and she explains a bit more about it in this blog post. The theme was “getting away from it all” and this is what Larisa said her inspiration was.

Knitting used to be a huge part of my life, it was my relaxing time, my by myself time, my getting away from it all time and my stay warm in winter tactic as wellI loved it!  Scarfs, hats, gloves, mittens, jumpers, dresses, cardigans, with buttons and ties, with any ornaments and stitches, with buckles and pom-poms… you name it. There was nothing too complicated for me to make when it came to knitting. There was always someone to share all the tricks and tips on knitting with and to compare our achievements.

The Very Berry Handmade Flickr page has some lovely pictures of some of the other ATCs which have been winging their way around the world – why not take a look? I have a collection of knitting needles which belonged to my great grandmother, and this little card has inspired me to at least pick them up and attempt knitting in the near future. Wish me luck!

More new stash additions

My sister had a clear out at work, so I have inherited some new yarns and buttons! Here’s a sneak at some of the yarn. They are all one balls, mostly nice chunky yarns and fancy yarns, although the light grey one is very light weight and fine. The dark grey one is apparently Aran wool.wool stashAny idea of small one ball crochet projects I can use them for? Or knitting for that matter? I still need to re-learn how to knit this year!

Knit a tank top

I’ve just heard about this charity challenge which is running until the end of July. Knit a tank top is raising money for Blind Veterans UK, by encouraging crafty people to create enough 8″ x 8″ knit and crochet squares together to make a jumper for a tank which will be at the Shoreham Airshow this summer. knit a tank top blind veterans uk

Once you register, you are committing to make a minimum of one square or a maximum of 20. While you don’t have to fundraise, if you do raise over £30 you will get a nice tote bag with the knitted tank logo on it.

This is a proper local event to Sussex (although it seems to be worldwide if you want to take part), and it is for a great charity. Blind Veterans UK works with veterans of all ages with sight loss – providing practical support, training and help, respite care and holidays. One of their big residential centres is near Brighton, but they have two other ones as well. Shoreham Air Show is also a huge local event which takes place every August (although I must confess, we normally end up at the Airbourne air show in Eastbourne).

New craft stash additions

I’m now back from holidays, and thought I would share some new goodies which I found while I was away.  I went to a lovely little shop which has been around literally forever (since 1913 anyway), called the Bon Marche.  It is a proper, old fashioned haberdasher and fabric shop, and they randomly keep budgies and parrots at the back.

I spent a while wandering round to find some wool to make a crochet diary cover for my sister, to cover her boring work diary.  She asked for turquoise, pink and sparkly, and while I couldn’t find that exactly, I found some turquoise, purple and sparkly which she is pretty happy with.  And it was only £1.70 for a massive ball!  I’m part way through this project, so when it is done, I’ll post a little tutorial.sparkly wool cocojudeI got some cute Scottie dog fabric from there, which I will be using with some other blues from my stash, to make another mini quilt. scottie dog fabric cocojudeI also had a quick hunt around the local charity shops, and picked up a very funky, 70s yellow floral double sheet for £1.50! yellow retro fabric cocojudeI’m not entirely sure what I’ll be using it for yet, but I’m sure I’ll find a use for it somewhere along the line.  I love fabric like this, it is very happy!


A Moral Tale

(from Stitchcraft magazine, 1941):  keep calm and carry yarn

Be warned by Miss Susannah Bleech,
Who wanted wool for undies – peach –
When all her woolshop could supply
Was in the palest shade of sky.
‘But How provoking!’ Susie cried
And stamped, ‘I’ve tried and double tried;
After the pains I’ve been and gone to
You’d better get peach ordered – pronto!’

‘Pray don’t upbraid me in this fashion,’
Replied the man, ‘I’ve had my ration,
And now I do not think it’s fair
To try and get an extra share,
Small special orders grieve the souls
Of Paper, String, and Wool Controls;
To enemies you give a hostage
When you incur unneeded postage.
Forget the peach and take the sky
To do your bit for Victory.
Besides, who really cares – do you? –
Whether your vests are peach or blue?’
* * * *
The shopman paused – he’d won the day;
‘I’ve been a chump,’ blushed Sue, ‘O.K.’

Thanks to my friend Beth for this brilliant little poem and Fiona Thornton for the great picture!

Tshirt yarn bag

Ta da!  My tshirt yarn bag has been finished, what do you think? tshirt yarn bagAs you can see, I ended up using ALOT of tshirts, I got about 3 UK treble rows out of each tshirt.  The bag is quite roomy though – the perfect size for a beach bag.  To finish it off, I added one of my last ceramic buttons, this one has a screw pattern on it.  The handle was made from the hemmed edges of the tshirts, which I plaited together, and knotted into place at on the sides of the bag. button fastener on tshirt yarn bagI have a plan to make a smaller purse, and I will be posting a tutorial.  However, I have just had my nails shellac-ed and I don’t want to damage them, and tshirt yarn crochet is very rough on your nails!