Saturday, 18 October 2014

Braid edging

A recent FB post of a Mandala I made for my Christmas wall collage, resulted in a flurry of requests for a 'how-to' for the braiding on the last row ..... 

The pattern for my Christmas Mandala is The Sunny Flower Mandala from Zooty Owl's Crafty Blog.  With her blessing I added three more rows to make a larger Mandala, two of which make up the braiding rows.

The last cluster row in white is made up of 2dc 1ch 2dc, 
and then a row of 1sc into 1ch space, 2ch, 1sc into space between clusters in green followed.  
Thereafter I added the row of braid crochet in red.

Here is the 'how-to' for the braid row  ...

I have crocheted a small mat shape to start us off.  Then you need a row of chain spaces into which you will work the braid.  So I add a row like this:  1sc into a suitable starting stitch, 2ch, miss 1 st, 1sc into next st.  Proceed in this way to the end of the row, sl st into 1st sc to join row.

    Next join the new colour for the braid into any chain sp leaving a longish thread, about 10cm. 

Chain 5

Remove hook from loop.  The point of the hook is pointing to the space where you will insert hook, i.e. the next 2 ch space.

 Insert the hook through the 2ch space ..

 and then through the loop at the end of the 5ch leg.

Pull 5ch leg through from the wrong side to the right side of work.

Chain 5 again.

Repeat the process
to the end of the row

When you have pulled the braiding through the last 2ch space, chain 3.

This photo shows the wrong side of the work.  You can clearly see the starting stitch at the beginning of your row.

Back to the right side of the work.  Sl St carefully into the st at the back of work;  leaving a 10cm thread, cut yarn, and pull the thread through the last loop on your hook.

Turn your work over so you have the wrong side facing you again.    Gently pull the braid at the back so that it looks good on the front.   Collect your starting 10cm thread and then carefully tie a small neat knot, using your finishing 10cm tread (I know .. knots are not OK) but in this case there is a purpose for the knot.  It serves to pull the braid nicely to the back of the work, so that once you have securely sewn the threads away   ......

This is your end result!

Do try this fun edging on your next doily or mandala!  I would love to see your creations, so please pop a
 photo onto my Sunshine and a Sewing Basket FB page!

Have a lovely weekend all
Pat xxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Mandala ....... for Christmas!!

Hello to everyone!

Short and sweet, that's my post today.   Do you start thinking about Christmas in October, and then with the best intentions vow to start with planning, making decorations that you have carefully stored in Pinterest, gathering ideas for presents ..... only to fall into the typical mad rush in December!  So often, too often, that has befallen me.

Not this year I have committed to dear self, and so here I have produced my first Christmas decoration.

The pattern is from Wink :: Issue 12 of Simply Crochet.  The wonderful thing is that any Mandala pattern will translate into a Christmas colour theme ... be it Turquoise and Silver, the traditional Reds, Greens and white, Purple and Silver or Gold ... the mind boggles at the possibilities of colour combinations ... and ... 

Where to use your beautiful Mandalas?  Well what about a gorgeous runner for your Festive table, or a beautiful doily on a bespoke Christmas hall table with a lovely candle in the centre.  Make several up as placemats for your table .. 

My choices are *A large Mandala as a very different wreath decoration for my front door, and ** several Mandalas of different sizes attached to ribbons and hung at varying heights on my huge walls (we have a double height lounge/dining area).  I have to confess this idea comes from the Yarndale display! but a grand idea it is I think!!

You will need to stiffen your Mandalas after completed; this link will take you to Attic 24 for a good pic tutorial on how to go about this.


My WIP vis-a-vie Christmas is the cute Folded Granny Square Christmas Tree. So very easy and makes a super wall decoration.  Still need to make the trunk of the tree.  And decide on how to decorate it, I am definitely making crocheted red rings with a shiny white pearl in the centre.


So after a week fraught with a stressful family issue, I am chilling this weekend, Christmas patterns by the dozen at hand ... well let's just say quite a few ... bliss.  Isn't it amazing how crochet can de-stress an anxious soul.  So calming and relaxing, don't you agree?

Did I say short and sweet .. Oh lovely people, when it comes to Christmas I can go on and on and on .. sorry!

Thank you for popping in
Cheers for now
Pat xxxxxxxxx

Monday, 6 October 2014

Tea and Roses - Part 2

Hello again,
Some colour and pattern variations of our Tea and Roses Cosy ~ pattern here

Standard Granny Squares in yellow and white, set into solid Aqua.  Yellow and white roses and white daisies adorn the cosy. 

Red roses and white daises atop a colourful cosy in yellow, red and green with Parchment as the base colour.

A single large flouncy flower in a lovely peachy colour adorns the top of this cosy in yellow, green and shrimp.

Pretty white base for this cosy with pink, lilac and purple colour accents.

I must say, I have had the best fun making up these cosies, easy to make and finished in an hour or two. 
And what you may think, am I to do with all these cosies, well Christmas Presents of course!

Have fun this week, until next time
Pat xxxxxxxxx

A quick note :: due to my over-enthusiastic attempts at Bin clearing, I have managed to delete necessary photos, and now find strange things happening to my blog page.  I am working on getting all back in order just as soon as I can .. Pat xx 

Friday, 3 October 2014

Tea and Roses (Part 1)

Tea and Roses Cosy

I have discovered Block stitch with contrasting colour yarn 'seeding'  and I love the effect. So I thought of how I could use my new found favourite stitch, but not in a blanket edging or Mandala, and so my Tea and Roses tea cosy came to life!

It is a very versatile method of making a cosy .... as you will find in the pattern notes as we go along.

Pattern details:
Yarn ~ Stylecraft Special DK in Parchment as the base colour, and Bluebell, Wisteria and Plum.
Hook ~ 4mm
Terms are US

Abbreviations ~
YO, yarn over hook.
RS:  right side of work

Special stitches ~
Within Square:
3dc cluster:  YO, insert hook into Magic circle, YO, pull yarn through (4 loops on hook - 1 loop from previous ch 1, and 3 dc), YO, pull yarn through all 4 loops at once, 1ch to close cluster.

Rest of cosy excluding Square   
3dc cluster:  If you are not sure how to make a 3dc cluster, this is an excellent photo tutorial.

2dc cluster:  YO, insert hook under chain loop, pull yarn through to right side, YO, pull yarn through 2 loops, leave 2 loops on hook.  YO, insert hook under chain loop, pull yarn through to the RS, YO, drawing yarn through 2 loops, leaving 3 loops on hook.  YO, pull yarn through all three loops on hook.

Row 1 ~ 
Start with a Magic Circle, or ch 4, join with a sl st to form a circle.  Into the circle we are going to make 8 x 3dc clusters. First cluster:  Ch3, work 1 incomplete dc in next two sts, leaving last loops on your hook, YO, pull hook through all three loops, chain to close cluster, ch 1. Second to eighth cluster as per note in Special Stitches.  Ch 1, sl st to join in top of first cluster.  See photos 1 - 3.

Magic circle; first three dc cluster

First 3 dc cluster plus ch 1

Row 2 ~
Join in new yarn in any 1 ch gap.  Into each gap we are going to work 3 sc, with NO ch st in between each group of 3 sc.

Row 3 ~
Join new colour into any space between a 3ch group.  1sc,
3 ch, sc into next space. Proceed all the way round, ending with 3 ch and a sl st into first sc to join round. 8 3 chain loops.

Row 4 ~
Join new colour yarn into any 3 chain loop;  we will be squaring off the circle now.  3ch (or standing dc if you prefer) and 2dc, 2ch, 3dc; this grouping forms the corner. Work *3hdc into next 3ch loop; work a corner grouping into next 3 ch loop.   Proceed from * to last 3 chain loop, 3hdc and sl st to top of 3ch to close.

Make six little squares in total.

Now we will join the six squares into two sets of three squares each.  Use what ever is your favourite method of sewing squares together. I place two squares together right sides facing; then I stitch through the back loops in this way.  

Row 5 ~
Starting in a 2ch space on the right side (as opposed to left side)of first three-square set, join in new colour and ch 4. Stands as 1sc and 3ch. Into next space between corner group and hdc group, work 1 sc and then 3ch. Working across to the left side, into each space in between groups, 1sc and 3ch until you have reached the last 2ch space in the last corner group; 1sc and ch2 (bridging chains).  Now repeat, working across second three-square set, starting with 1sc into first 2ch space of the presenting corner group. When you reach the last sc in the last 2ch space of the last corner, ch2 (bridging chains) and sl st into 1st sc of 1st three-square set.  (Shown below in colour Bluebell)

I have made a little collage of the steps, hope this helps .. although the instructions sound a little complex, what you are doing is joining the two three-square sets into a circle. The two 2ch bridges joining the 3-square sets, will form the gaps for the spout and handle of the tea pot. 

Row 6 ~
Join new colour into any 3 chain loop.  3ch or (Standing Double Crochet) and 2dc into same loop.  Into each following 3 chain loop, work 3 dc, including over the two 2ch gaps. Join with sl st to top of first 3ch or top of Standing DC.


Row 7 ~
Join new colour into any space between 3dc groups, and repeat, in essence, Row 5;  the difference being now you will work around in a circle starting with 1sc and 3ch at the point of join, and finishing by a sl st into the 1sc created. (Shown here in colour Wisteria) Sew ends in securely.

Row 8 ~
Repeat Row 6 (Shown in colour Parchment)

Row 9 ~
This is the last row, finishing the bottom of the cosy.  Join new colour into any space between 3dc groups.  1sc, work 1sc into any 2 sts before the next space, 1sc into next space.  (Shown below in colour Plum) ... we are using only two of the available three dc sts, (coming about from the 3dc group in row below) so that the bottom doesn't 'flare' in any way.  In the example, I used the back loops of the sts only.

Finish row with a st st into first sc, and sew ends in securely.

Time to work on the top of the cosy!  
Row 10 ~
Repeat Row 5 (shown in the photo in Bluebell)

Row 11 ~
Repeat Row 6

Row 12 ~
Repeat Row 7

Row 13 ~
The shaping starts now.
Join new yarn into any 3 chain loop.
First 3dc cluster: 3ch and 2dc, keeping loop from 3ch on the hook, also the last loops from the 2dc's. Yarn over hook, pull yarn through all three loops so forming the first 3dc cluster.  
Following cIusters:   I have made reference to an excellent tutorial in the notes for making a 3dc cluster. Work a 3dc cluster into each 3 chain loop all the way around, finish off with a sl st into top of first cluster.

Row 14 ~
Join new colour into any space between 3dc clusters; *1sc and 2ch, 1sc into next space and 2ch.  Repeat from * to end, finish with a sl st into top of 1st sc. (Shown in photo below in colour Plum)

Row 15 ~
Join new colour into any 2 chain loop. 
First 2dc cluster:  3ch and 1dc, yarn over hook, pull yarn through both loops, so forming first 2 dc cluster. 
Following 2dc clusters:  Proceed with 2dc clusters as in notes.  Finish with a sl st into top of first 2dc cluster. (Shown in photo below in colour Parchment) 

Row 16 ~
Join new colour into any space between 2dc clusters;  1sc into each space. Finish with a sl st into top of first sc. (Shown in photo below in colour Bluebell)

Rows 14, 15 and 16

Row 17 ~
Join yarn into any sc stitch and ch 2, YO, insert hook into next sc, YO, pull yarn through st, 3 loops on hook.  YO, hook yarn through two loops; YO, hook yarn through last 2 loops to close.  
*YO, insert hook into next st, YO, pull yarn through to right side (3 loops on hook) YO, pull yarn through 2 loops, (2 loops on hook) YO,insert hook through next st, YO and pull yarn through to right side (4 loops on hook) YO, pull yarn theough 2 loops, (3 loops on hook) YO, and pull through all 3 loops at once. Repeat from * to end, finish row with a sl st into top of starting stitch.

Row 18 ~
Crochet a row of sc all the way round, join to first sc to finish.

Row 19 ~ If necessary, crochet a second row of sc right the way round;  what you need is to be able to take your darning needle and thread the end tail around the last stitches and pull the centre closed, not tight just closed. Any embellishment you add to the top of the cosy is going to hid the last two or three rows.

Rows 17, 18 and 19.

The gap between the squares for the spout or handle

Now the cosy needs something pretty on the top ... here the sky's the limit.   I have used the sweet May roses and leaves from Attic 24 for the large roses; Small roses from Thomasina Cummings;  and the daisies in colour Bluebell are made like so:

Make a Magic Circle, *ch 4, 1sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1sc in next two chains, sl st into magic circle. Repeat from * until you have the number of petals you need, I made eight. 
Pull up and close the circle, and secure the end in tightly. I added three French Knots in contrast Parchment in the centre.

The versatility with this pattern is ~
You could use any square pattern you like; a slightly bigger square will result in a wider circumference, and if you have a taller pot, just make more block and seed rows, above and below the squares row.

So pretty, I am very happy with how the cosy looks.  A post - Part 2 - will be cosies in various other colourways ... look out for it in the next day or two.

Welcome to my new viewers, and thank you for comments left on my previous posts, very much appreciated ♥  As I think my Blogland friends will concur, it is such a thrill to read a new comment, or make a new friend.

Have a most wonderful weekend
and a creative and satisfying week ahead.
Love Pat xxxxxxxxxx