Monday, 22 December 2014

My Special Year

~ Gifts under my Christmas Tree ~

So here we are with the year drawing to a close; a time for reflection, gratitude and anticipation for the New Year ... "full of things that have not yet been" 

 I have had many blessings come my way through the year.  In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined how my Sunshine blog would grow, how I would grow with it, how many lovely friends I would meet, how sweet the feeling of success however small.

Five Beautiful Gifts came my way, leaving hardly any space beneath my virtual Christmas Tree. 

This is my first Gift;   #4 is my Sunshine Mandala

Second up a very special # 1 place !!!!! Emily's Garden ~ A Blanket of Flowers,
a blanket inspired by a blog I love ~ The Patchwork Heart ~

 Third special treat; #3 is my Snowflake Mandala
 a Christmas Mandala ~

Next, two excerpts from FB pages I belong to,  that garnered so many 'likes' I was quite simply ... totally delighted and beyond ~ I took part in a CAL, made up my Christmas Throw in traditional Christmassy colours and ended up with an awesome little blanket!  Hope you will excuse me for feeling just a tad self satisfied with over a thousand likes ... came as such a wonderful surprise!  

Lastly, and the Santa on top of the Christmas cake!! placed second in another link party ~

More than I ever dreamed, expected or imagined possible!
The biggest most heartfelt thank you leaves me and floats out into Blogland to the wonderful ladies who helped place the five gifts under my Christmas Tree ♥

Thank you for reading
Love you all xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 8 December 2014

Old Brand New

Baubles .... old brand new!!

Several of my beloved mom's Christmas decorations have lovingly been cosied in the softest cloth for years in my Christmas boxes ... so many fond memories of my sister and I as just little tots watching my mom decorating our tree ♥ love you mom ♥

A lovely post by The Patchwork Heart inspired me to transform these really old baubles and I love how they look!

So easy, and quick too .. and I am so happy now that the baubles that have been in my life for soooo many years, now look right up to date for many years more.

Have a wonderful week ..
Lots of love 
Pat xxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Merry Christmas Throw

♥Wow♥ .... I am delighted with my Merry Christmas Throw. I participated in The Blog Hop CAL with some very talented craftswomen each designing some beautiful squares.   It is so very hot here in Johannesburg during our Festive Season, I knew I wanted to make a statement blanket, not 'cuddle me and keep me warm' blanket, so the idea came to me to make a Christmas theme throw.  Not too big, just enough to make a pop of Christmas colour. And jolly jingle bells!!! this throw does make a huge pop of beautiful, traditional colour in red, white and green!! Makes my very neutral colour, all time favourite chair take centre stage!!!

The throw consists of twelve squares of about 9.5" / 24cm each, and the border is one of my current go-to patterns, the Block St.  To finish off with a merry flourish, I used a Braid edging.

The following pictures show how I have joined the squares. Sometimes, as in the CAL featured here, squares are made up and often will have an different stitch count per square. To overcome this and to join the squares easily and attractively, this is the way I do it:

First I choose the square with the easiest stitch count on which to base the consequent squares.  I chose a traditional Granny square.

*I edged the square with the two rows which constitute the basic two rows of the Block st, i.e. 1sc, 3ch, skip 2/3 sts, 1sc;  all around the square, and then three dc into each 3ch loop.  

*Around the second square, work the first row of the Block st, and as you work along you need to make sure you have the exact same number of 3ch loops as your first square.  If you look carefully at the pictures below, you will see that I have gaps of three stitches and four stitches between the single crochet stitches, worked across the side of the square evenly, so that at the end of the row there are the same number of 3ch loops as the first square.  The corners are 2sc, 2ch 2sc, into the corner spaces in the first of the Block St and 2dc, 2ch 2dc in the second row.  I used the 'join-as-you-go' principle to join the squares. 

*Dedri from Look at what I Made blog, has a very good tutorial on joining squares with different stitch counts, you may like to take a look here as well.

These are a some of the pretty squares ...

Thank you for reading and 
happy hooking!
Pat xxxxxx

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Lacy jar cosy

In the spirit of all things Christmassy ... sparkly, homely and pretty, I made jar covers to add to my decorations for our ‘big room’ ....  lounge and dining room open plan and 1½ height ceiling, it's huge!

Very easy to make,  all you need are a couple of common kitchen glass bottles or jars.  Take the labels off and wash.  Pull the crochet cosy over the jar, pop a tea light candle into the jar and light and there you have a quick and very affordable ornament for your dresser or mantel.

Yarn:  I used a Lurex Cotton in white with a silver thread
Hook:  SIze 4mm
Jar:  Approximately 9"/23cm measured around the widest part

Row 1
Chain 36; make sure you keep the chain straight and join to form a circle.

Row 2
Ch 1 (counts a first sc) and sc all the way around.  Join to first sc with a sl st.

Row 3
Repeat Row 2

Row 4
1sc into same st as sl st.   *Skip two sts;  5dc into next st (so forming a 5dc shell).  Skip 2 sts and 1sc into next st.  Ch 5, sl st into same sc;   Repeat from * to the end of the row, ending with a 5dc shell into third from last stitch,  1sc into starting sc, 5ch and sl st into same sc to finish.

Row 5
Sl st up to third st (centre st);  1hdc into same st, ch 1;  * (1dc,1ch, 1dc) into loop between shells;  1ch; 1hdc into third dc of next 5dc shell;  1ch.  Repeat from * to end of row, finishing with 1ch and sl st into first hdc.

Row 6
*5dc shell into first 5ch loop;  1sc into next hdc (on top of the 5dc shell) 5ch, 1sl st into same sc;  continue from * and make last 5dc shell; sc into sl st of previous row; 5ch; sl st into same sc.

Row 7
Repeat Row 5

Row 8
Repeat Row 6


Repeat Rows 5 and 6 until you reach the height you want. Finish with Row 5. Remember that you will need the very last row of the cover to finish below the height of the jar, so there will no danger of flame and yarn meeting!!

Row 9
1ch, 2sc into each loop.  You are not working into any st, just into the 1ch loops from Row 8. Continue to end of row with a sl st into starting 1ch to end row.

Row 10
1ch, sc into each st to end of row, sl st into starting chain.

Cut thread and sew away ends.

For the second jar in the photo below, I finished with Row 6 and then did two rows of single crochet around the top. Either way, it's the lacy pattern that I love;  allows the light from the little candle to flicker through, and cast warm shadows all around ..

Have a wonderful weekend
and thank you for reading!
Pat xxxxxxx

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Blissful Mood Blanket 2014

Just had to share my Mood Blanket ... I am beyond delighted, it looks toooo beautiful.

I joined a CAL in January, calling for a blanket to be made over the space of twelve months.  The brief was mainly that, but also that your 'moods' should be reflected in the colours of the blanket.  Well, I mulled over this part of the CAL for a while, and decided that my blanket would eventually be many squares of 'upbeat mood' colours and only a few in 'downbeat mood' colours. So I decided to simply make up the squares in my very favourite colours, in random order and about five to seven squares a month.  And so my Blissful Mood Blanket came to life!

Details ~
Yarn: Double Knit
Hook: 4mm
Squares:  I used the Maybelle Flower Square for the squares. My Rose Valley was one of the first blogs I ever read, and just knew, when I saw this beautiful square, that I would use it in a project in the future sometime.

Joining method: During the early stages of the Mood Blanket CAL, I met another wonderful blogger from Zooty Owl Cards ...... . I was so thrilled to discover that she was a fellow country-lady .. she lives in South Africa too, and in the same city!  I spotted a joining method she had used and asked her to share her secret!  Here is the link for this very easy and attractive joining method.

Border:  Another blog that I have followed forever is The Patchwork Heart, and I first saw this border on one of Heather's fabulous blankets.  Here is a useful link that explains how to do the border.   I used this pattern but with four dc groups (you can see the groups clearly in the pictures).  This fitted in better with the spacing I used that would accommodate the number of stitches on each side of the blanket.  The finished size : 60" x 94" / 150cm x 240cm.

And so now it is finished, ready for a little wash and then to be packed away till winter comes round again.  It was fun, very satisfying and immensely enjoyable to work on a project for twelve months.  Stressful .. No;  Blissful .. Yes!

I have already started sorting through patterns of beautiful squares for my 2015 blanket! 

Have an amazing weekend
Cheers Pat xxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Snowflake Mandala

♥ A beautiful Christmas themed Mandala ♥
The centre of this pattern is based loosely on a diagram on a page from a 1987 Crochet Magazine I have had forever :::: have I ever mentioned that I am a horder of note!  If I could pass on an attribute to the designer I would so happily do so, it is a very pretty and almost delicate little centre, reminiscent of a snowflake!

So here we go:
Yarn:  Elle Gold DK in Chilli, Lily and Limeade
Hook: Size 4mm
Special Stitches:  
Puff St ~ link here 
Picot ~ find a link here 

Row 1:   Start with a Magic ring or 5 ch joined to create a circle.
Row 2
Row 2
3ch;   then 23dc;   join with a sl st to top of 3ch to end row.   (24 dc)

Row 3a 
Row 3b

Row 3
6ch;  (counts as first sc and 5ch;  skip 2dc;   1sc into next st.  *5ch;  skip 2 sts;  1sc into next st.   Repeat from * to end of row; sl st into first sc at start of row. (12 x 5ch loops)

Row 4a
Row 4b
Row 4c
Row 4d
Row 4
Sl st into first 5ch loop and make another sl st, as per photo 4a.  This moves the yarn to the top of the loop.   Into first 5ch loop:  *Puff st;  5ch;   1sc 2ch 1sc into next 5ch loop; 5ch.  Repeat from * to end of row;  sl st into top of first Puff st to finish row. Photo 4d shows:  6 Puff sts and 6 2ch loops.

Row 6
Row 6
Join new colour in a 5ch loop before any Puff st.  3ch (counts as 1dc), 1dc, 1ch, 2dc all into loop;  1ch;  2dc, 1ch, 2dc into chain loop after Puff st;  3ch.  * 2dc, 1ch, 2dc into next chain loop;  1ch;  2dc, 1ch, 2dc into next chain loop;  3ch.  Repeat from * a further 4 times. Join to top of starting 3ch.

Row 7
Row 7
Join new colour into any 3ch space and work 3ch (counts as 1dc plus 4dc (making a 5 dc cluster);  into next 1ch space work 1dc;  into next 1ch space make 2dc, 1ch, 2dc;  into next 1ch space make 1dc;  into next 3ch space work 5dc cluster.  Continue to end of row, finishing with a sl st into top of starting 3ch.

Row 8
Row 8
Join new colour into third dc of any 5dc cluster and 6ch (stands for 1dc plus 3ch);  Puff st into top of next 1dc;  3ch;  1dc into third dc of 5dc cluster;  3ch;  Puff st into top of next 1dc.  Continue to end of row, finishing with a sl st into third ch of beginning 6ch.

Row 9
Row 9
Sl st into 3ch space;  Into each 3ch space, work 5dc cluster

Row 10
Row 10
Join new colour Into space between 5dc clusters;   work 1sc and 6ch;  1sc into next space between clusters; 6ch.  After last sc into last space between clusters, finish row with 3ch and 1dc into starting sc.

Row 11

Row 11
Sl st across first 3 chain sts;  6ch;  sc into next 6 ch space.  Finish row after last 6ch with a sl st into 1st sc.

Row 12
Row 12
Join new colour into any 6ch space.  3ch and 6dc (making a 7 stitch cluster);  next a Picot;  7dc cluster into next 6 chain space;  then a Picot.  Continue to end, making a Picot seperating each 7dc cluster.  Finish row with last Picot and a sl st into starting 3ch.

And there we are .. I love this Mandala!  Hope you enjoy making it up.  And if you do I would love to see your photos on the Sunshine FB page!

I must add an apology at this point;  after some most annoying problems on my blog template these past few weeks, all is sorted thanks to my beloved son Arend ♥ soo sorry for the delay in getting this post out, soo happy to see it finally on it's way :) Please forgive any out-of-sync looking pics too!

Until next post 
thank you for reading
Pat xxxxxxxxx