Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Polka Dot Square - 2018 Updated Version

A few months ago I started a new blanket using the polka dot square pattern that I made several years ago when I first learnt to crochet.  It is still a favourite of mine because the circles are nice and solid and the squares turn out solid and fairly gap free.  I'm not the biggest fan of open lacy crochet so this really appeals to me, I seem to make lots of solid, tight crochet fabric type projects.

In the original squares I striped the circles, giving a bullseye effect, 
(you can see this cushion cover over here if you are interested). 
For this blanket I wanted to use the rather large collection of speckled hand dyed 8ply wool I seem to have accumulated,  there are lots of different dyers work in here, some of these I have dyed myself, but mostly they are from other dyers.  I also had some lovely semi solid hand dyed colours, so they were also included. 

Here is the updated version of the Polka Dot Square pattern..

UK crochet terms -  dc = double crochet   (US sc) 
                                 htr = half treble          (US hdc)
                                 tr = treble                   (US dc)
          slst = slip stitch
  ch = chain

Chains at start of each round do not count as stitches
The circles can start to curl up a bit around the edges, but they flatten out once the background is added.  You can also stagger the increases so the increase points don't all sit on top of each other to  get a rounder circle, as long as you keep the correct amount of single dcs in between the increase 2dcs. 
If you don't like the magic loop at the start you can Chain 4 and join to make a ring and then make the 8 dcs into the centre.

Centre Circle: Using circle colour
Rd 1 : In a magic loop, make 8 dc,  join to first dc with a slst to create first round.  ( 8 sts)
Rd 2 : Ch 1, 2dc in 1st stitch, 2dc in each stitch around, join to 1st dc with a slst. (16 sts)
Rd 3 : Ch 1, 2dc in 1st stitch, 1dc in next stitch, *2dc in next stitch, 1dc in next stitch,* repeat to end of round, join to first dc with a slst.  (24 sts)
Rd 4 : Ch 1, 2dc in 1st stitch, 1dc in next 2 stitches, *2dc in next stitch, 1dc in next 2 stitches* repeat to end of round, join to first dc with a slst. (32 sts)
Rd 5 : Ch 1, 2dc in 1st stitch, 1dc in next 3 stitches, *2dc in next stitch, 1dc in next 3 stitches* repeat to end of round, join to first dc with a slst (40 sts)
Rd 6 : Ch 1, 2dc in 1st stitch, 1dc in next 4 stitches, *2dc in next stitch, 1dc in next 4 stitches* repeat to end of round, join to first dc with a slst  (48 sts)
Rd 7 : Ch1, 1dc in each stitch to end of round, join to first dc with a slst (48 sts)
Rd 8 : Ch1, 1dc in each stitch to end of round, join to first dc with a slst (48 sts)

Rd 9 : join background colour to any stitch, ch1, *3dc, 3htr, 3dc in next stitch, 3 htr, 2 dc* 
repeat *to* 4 times, join to first dc with a slst.
Rd 10 : Ch1,  *2slst, 2dc, 1htr, 4tr in next stitch, 1htr, 4dc, 1slst* repeat *to* 4 times, join to first slst with a slst.
Rd 11 : Ch1, 1dc in each stitch of the round, making 2dc, in each of the 2 centre stitches of each 4tr corner.  Bind off .

My blanket has 80 squares, and is about a cot size, I haven't added a border yet, but plan to do a simple border of a few rows of dc, and then a final round with a few picots for interest. 

I have heaps of speckled wool left over, so might have to make another one of these, maybe with different coloured backgrounds this time, or maybe a pale blush pink....

It's a gorgeous day here, the sun is shining and a big blue sky is above, I hope its lovely where you are too! 

( It's been a while since I've written up a crochet pattern, so please excuse any mistakes or unclear bits!! ) 

Bye for now! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Handmade Christmas 2018

Hello!!  It's been a while since I've been over here, I'm blowing the dust off my blog and hoping to get back into blogging, I know I have said this before and it hasn't stuck, but I'm going to give it another crack, it is such a great way to record and share things! :)

Anyway, it is the start of September and Spring here in Australia, and our thoughts turn naturally to...Christmas!  Just joking, it is super early to be thinking about Christmas, but I have an idea that I'd like to make some presents and decorations and it all takes lots of time!  Usually I don't start my Christmas makes till much later in the year and then of course I never get things finished in time.  

This year, now that I have the shop, I thought it might be nice to start a Handmade Christmas Club for anyone who is interested in getting their craft on for Christmas. 
I am thinking that we will meet once a month at the shop for a making, sharing, inspiring each other session.   I will bring out my collection of books and patterns to get the creative spark going, and hopefully other people will have ideas for things they want to make too! 
(I also have some cute Christmas decoration kits coming soon in the shop, so there should be plenty of inspiration for things to make!)

I will share any cute/ Xmas gift potential patterns that I come across on here as well, so we can encourage each other over the next 4 months, and anyone can join us even if you can't come to the meet ups.  I will probably do a weekly Handmade Christmas post and share anything I think is interesting! 

The get togethers will be held at the shop in Hastings, Victoria, Australia, the  dates I have for the Christmas Club get together are:

Sunday September 16th  12 - 4pm 
Sunday October 21st  12 - 4pm
Sunday November 11th 12 - 4pm
Sunday December 2nd 12 -4pm

For the local girls coming to the get together, I'm thinking it will be a bit like the Saturday Crafternoons, costing $5 a head, you can bring your own stash yarns and materials, or buy things in the shop,  and everyone will be working on their own different things.  (I'll have some snacks and drinks to refresh us when we need a break. :) )

Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to come along, and I'll make sure I have enough chairs! :) 

Anyway, that's all I can think of at the moment, maybe no one else will be interested and I'll be crafting by myself, but it should be a bit of fun!

Have a lovely crafty day peeps! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Little Woollie Rabbits!

Hello everyone!
I hope you're having a good week, it's a beautiful day here and I'm making bunnies!  :)
I have had so much going on recently, (I've been trying to push myself out of my comfort zone and run more classes and workshops) it seems like my brain is always buzzing and full!
Organisation is not my strong suit, (as my sporadic posting over here shows! ) so I do find it quite a challenge to get everything ready for workshops.  I'm slowly getting slightly more comfortable with running workshops, I find if I keep my intro very short and we just get on with the making, I can enjoy the afternoon and just talk with people one on one. 
Anyhoo, that's just what  I've found seems to work well. :)

But I digress!  I was going to talk about this little bunny rabbit I've made for an amigurumi workshop on the weekend.  The girls all seemed to enjoy making him, and we ironed out a few pattern faults,  (thank you ladies!!) so I thought I would pop the pattern up for sale on my Ravelry pattern page for anyone who would like to make one too! Also, I think he would be a great little Easter bunny gift !

I made him out of Scheepjes Cahlista cotton, which is 10ply, and used a 3.5mm hook, so it's a nice tight fabric.  You could use an 8ply cotton with a 3mm or 2.5mm hook as well, and I have also made a small bunny with 4ply wool and a 2mm hook.  It is great for using up small amounts of yarn, so start stash busting!!

These bunnies don't take too long to make, you could probably whip one up in a couple of nights, so I think a whole bunny family is very doable. :)  The little satchel bag is also the perfect size for a mini chocolate egg.  I think I might make a couple of these for my nephews for Easter, I do have a lot of colour combos to try out!

Hope you all have a great day wherever you are in the world, and that you are getting some fun crochet time !  xxxxxxxx

PS I have a lot of crochet things on the go at the moment, I'm going to try and share them on here soon, I miss the record of makes that blogging gave when I was doing it regularly!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Workshops and groups coming up at the shop!

 Hi there!  Hope all has been good with you!
I have made a timetable for classes and groups at the shop for the next few months so thought I'd pop it on here for a reference.
If anyone would like to book a spot for any workshop or class, just send me a message or comment on here or facebook or instagram. 
These dates are in addition to the Tuesday and Thursday morning weekly get togethers which are on going. :)

Thanks peeps, I have so many blog posts in my head to share with you, I have been making lots of stuff and life has just been busy!  Hopefully there will be a bit more blogging time soon! xxxxxx

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sock knitting in 2018

Hello there!  Happy New Year 2018! 
2017 went by in such a blur, I really hope this year meanders a bit more so there is time to do all the things properly.  Enjoy, relax  and savour the process of making, and not the 'half arsed, that will have to do, run out of time' rush of a year like 2017!  
I'm sure I will make big plans that never get realised, it happens every year.  I think I will do a priority list so at least the things I really want to try get done!

Which brings me to Sock Knitting.  :) 
I am so in love with sock yarn, I really want to make All The Socks, there are just so many beautiful colours and clever dyers and challenging patterns out there! 
I'm thinking a doable goal would be one pair a month for 2018, that would give me 12 pairs or 24 individual socks, (because I just know I'm not going to want to make a second matching sock, they can be samples for the shop of all the amazing yarns!) Surely I can manage that! 

I'm off to a good start anyway, the photos are of my first sock for the year, I started it on the weekend and am going to go and turn the heel after I finish this so hopefully I'll have one finished later this week! 

I'm loving the combo of charcoal with the amazing speckles, 
I still have a couple of skeins of these in the shop I think, but will have to order more, its so lovely! 
The pattern I'm using is the excellent 4ply Basic Sock pattern from Winwick Mum

There are so many colours speckled through this yarn!

Anyway, that's the first of my yarny ambitions for 2018, I'm sure I'll come up with plenty more! 
There are lots of new yarns coming to the shop over the next few months, I am always inspired by new yarns and just have to give them a try out, so lots of new projects are sure to be started, and maybe even finished! :) 

Have a great day my crafty friends, Julie xxx

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Crochet a Christmas Tree!

Hi there! I hope you're having a great day wherever you are! 

So December is nearly here, and that means Christmas is just around the corner!! Eek!  Where has the year gone? I feel like I have been going backwards this year, always chasing my tail!  Hopefully I'll be more organised next year and get my act together!! :) 

Anyway, I have been doing a bit of crochet and I thought I'd share a little Christmas decoration that I've been making this week, I like to try and come up with a new decoration each year and this is what I've made for this year! 
I hope you like it!  It has a bit of a rustic, folky feel which I like.  

These cute crochet Christmas Trees are made in 2 flat pieces, a front and back, that are then crocheted together. They can be left flat or can be stuffed for a more 3D effect, They are very simple to make, I have done a spotty bobble version and a striped version, so you can make a whole forest of dangley trees if you like!  There are lots of ways you could decorate these trees you could add a little sparkly star to the top and a loop and hang them, you could sew on beads or buttons, or make little stands from slices of branches and stand them up like a forest. or you could make a few and turn them into a Christmas bunting!  ( I think I might do this with mine!)


Crochet Christmas Trees!

Materials and hook: They can be made from any yarn you like, different yarns will give you different looks, use the crochet hook 1 size smaller than recommended for the yarn you use.
I used MoYa cotton Caresse which is a rustic 10ply yarn and a 4.5mm hook.

Stitches used:

Chain (ch): Yarn over and draw through loop on hook.

Treble (tr): Yarn over, insert hook in stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, (3 loops on hook),
yarn over and draw through 2 loops, yarn over and draw through remaining 2 loops.

Treble two together (2trtog): [Yarn over, insert hook in stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops] 2 times, yarn over , draw through all loops on hook.

Double Treble Bobble (dtr bobble) : [Yarn over twice, insert hook into stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over draw through 2 loops, yarn over draw through 2 loops] 3 times, yarn over draw through all loops on hook.
(To make a bobble in a contrast colour; in the stitch before the bobble, use the bobble colour for the last yarn over so that it is ready to be used to make the bobble. Change back to the background colour in the last yarn over drawing through all loops on hook.)

Turn work after each row.
Staring chains in each row do not count as stitches. 

Australian/English terms.

Bobble Tree Front:

Row 1: Ch3, 2tr in 1st chain. (2sts)
Row 2: Ch2, 2trtog in first stitch, 2trtog x 2 in last stitch. (3sts)
Row 3: Ch2, 2trtog in first stitch, dtr bobble in next stitch, 2trtog x 2 in last stitch (4sts) 
Row 4: Ch2, 2trtog in each stitch to last stitch, 2trtog x 2 in last stitch. (5sts)
Row 5: Ch2, (2trtog in first stitch, dtr bobble in next stitch) repeat to last stitch,

2trtog x 2 in last stitch. (6sts)
Row 6: Ch2, 2trtog in each stitch to last stitch, 2trtog x 2 in last stitch. (7sts) 
Row 7: Ch2, (2trtog in first stitch, dtr bobble in next stitch) repeat to last stitch,

2trtog x 2 in last stitch. (8sts)
Row 8: Ch2, 2trtog in each stitch to last stitch, 2trtog x 2 in last stitch (9sts) 
Row 9: Ch2, (2trtog in first stitch, dtr bobble in next stitch) repeat to last stitch,

2trtog x 2 in last stitch. (10sts)
Row 10: Ch2, 2trtog in each stitch to last stitch, 2trtog x 2 in last stitch. Bind off (11sts)


Tree Back:

Row 1: Ch3, 2tr in first chain. (2sts)
Row 2: Ch2, 2trtog in first stitch, 2trtog x 2 in last stitch. (3sts)
Rows 3 to 10: Ch2, 2trtog in each stitch to last stitch, 2trtog x 2 in last stitch. (increasing 1 stitch in each row) Bind off.

Place the front and back together with right sides outside, join edge colour to bottom right corner and dc through both layers. Dc around the tree making a picot (4 chain, slip stitch into 1st chain) ever 3 stitch or so. when you get back to the bottom edge, dc half way along then pop a small stick for a tree trunk and crochet around it and continue to where you started , join with a slip stitch to the first stitch and bind off.

For a striped tree:

Make as for the tree back, but use 2 colours alternating each row and crocheting over the unused colour across the row, so it is in the right place to start the next row. 


Well that's it for now, I'm off to make a few more trees for my shop window! 
Talk soon! xxxxxxx

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Home Decoration in Crochet by Tanya Eberhardt

Hi there my crafty friends!  How's your October going?  It has been a busy month for me, but then again this whole year seems to have flown by, life away from the computer has been full on!

Anyway, I have still been finding time to crochet so it's all good. :) 

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of a gorgeous new crochet book called 'Home Decoration in Crochet' by Tanya Eberhardt, and was asked to take part in a blog hop to celebrate the release of the book.  I was happy to say yes! You might already know that Tanya has a fabulous crochet and knitting blog called Little Things Blogged, and now she has written this beautiful book full of lovely crochet designs to make for your home. I also think there are lots of projects in this book that would make great gifts!

I decided to try out this cute doily pattern, because I really love the colours in the photos of the 3 sizes of doily, and I like their updated retro feel.   The pattern was easy to follow and had both written and graphic instructions which I really liked, (often I like to refer to the graphic pattern to get an overview of the design).
I think it has turned out really well, I have decided I'm going to have an ongoing project, making pot holders and doilies when I find cute patterns, and make an installation on a wall in the shop, I think this might be my first one to pop on the wall!
There are several projects in this book that I'd like to make, and with designs for blankets, cushions, bags and lots of smaller projects like pin cushions and jar cosies, there is something for every skill level!  I also really liked the geometric popcorn cushion pattern, that might be the next one I try out!

There are lots of other bloggers taking part in the blog hop, sharing lots of different projects from the book, you can find the schedule on Tanya's post over here.

Talk soon peeps, I'm off to do some crochet! :)