Sunday, 20 December 2015

My Christmas Wreath

Have you ever seen a picture of something beautiful and immediately knew you had to have one just like it?  When I saw the beautiful Christmas Wreath that Lucy from Attic 24 posted last year, I was smitten! So this year I set about making one of my own. With just enough time to get all the flowers, little balls, pom-poms, little stars and jolly holly leaves made, I gathered together all the charms, ribbons, buttons and bits and bobs I had been collecting just for this project.


Then I shopped for a polystyrene wreath form ... well was I in for a let down .. none, simple not one anywhere. Not a readily available item in SA it seems.
Then my dear husband came to the rescue and went on a search for me and came upon a very nice young gent who has a florist .. he had one at home he told David, full of pink feathers from a display he had done.
He agreed to bring it in for me, I collected it and it was perfect, and he very kindly gave it to me free of charge .. so very kind! 

This is the wreath shape with it's stripey 'scarf' sewn on, joined at the back with neat stitches.  Random colours and stripes.

I added a tiny elf sort of sitting on the rim looking quite cheeky!  My first attempt at making such a little item, lots of fun, very fiddly and faffy, but I am delighted, he is very cute!  I followed this nice pattern, but had to adjust as a I went along as I used 4 ply wool and a size 2.50mm hook. My stitching is not great, much improvement needed if I make another Amigurumi figure!  Which I feel I might do, so many wonderful patterns out there!  

Anyway, here is my little elf-man!

I really enjoyed the process of placing the flowers and other adornments;  it takes a long time ...  I find it relaxing. I had made more than enough, so I could play a little.


I added charms with a festive look ~ a Christmas tree and a Santa and bells and some snowflake buttons, and ribbon tucked behind two of the bigger flowers.

Some details for your information:

Wreath ~  The yarns are varied, but mainly Stylecraft Special DK, and Elle Pure Gold DK and I used a 3.50mm hook.  I used Attic 24 patterns for the flowers (treble layer and double layer), little stars, little balls, and jolly holly.
Elf ~  The yarn is our Mirage 4 ply and I used a 2.50mm hook.  The pattern is from Kristi, called Small Christmas Elf, I added the little ruffle (mainly to hide my stitching) but it looks rather cute. 

And so here we are at the end of another year, how fast it has flown by! To all my lovely friends who have taken the time to read my blog and sometimes comment, I am so grateful for you and your friendship and look forward to seeing your names pop up now and again in 2016.

There is nothing more magical than a beautifully decorated tree no matter the size, with lights and special baubles and home made ornaments decking the halls, well maybe not halls but your favourite room! and friends and family to brighten up your festive days.  Wishing you Merry Christmas, love and blessings and peace xxx Pat

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

'Frozen' Christmas baubles

A large order has been on my crochet hook for the last several weeks ..... of such beauty I must tell you, I am knocked sideways at how the items turned out ... but ... the big reveal will take place after Christmas.  You see the items are all Christmas presents, so I cannot show you yet!

The last two days have been back to making Christmas gifts and baubles.   These I finished today, so pretty in their soft turquoise colour.

Patterns are based loosely on baubles I found here and here.  I embellished the top bauble with little white pearl beads that I sewed on once the bauble was complete.  For the second bauble I crocheted two tiny snowflakes and sewed them on.  I followed the first few rows of Annaboos House Star Ball (the first pattern link) because I liked the star shape to start off the bauble and then just winged it into a sort of lattice pattern to show off the silver bauble inside.  These are both super patterns I must add.   I made different lengths of chain st for the loops.

Details FYI ... the yarn is Stylecraft Special DK in Sherbet.  I used a size 3.50mm hook for a good close texture.  The baubles are of the plastic variety in silver, and I twisted the tops off (they were dodgy anyway) so that I could attach the loops to the actual crochet body of the bauble.

A delicate and pretty addition to my bauble collection!

As I type, the clouds have gathered and I can hear distant thunder.  We are having one of the hottest early summers that I can remember with daily temperatures mostly up in the 30's C and very little rain .... so a prayer for a nice shower later would be so appreciated. 

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Hugs Pat xxxxxx

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Psst .... only 94 days till Christmas!

and I have indulged in some early (very) Christmas hooking. I have been quiet but I have been busy, laid low with bronchitis that I feel is not done with me yet, these cute decorations have kept me company, along with many, many cups of tea!

First up is a Christmas Star with a cheeky face, Nathan embroidered in white and two little bells to finish it off. The pattern is from Julie at Little Woolie blog, the face is a simple circle in UK Dc/US Sc, eyes are French Knots and the smile is Backstitch. This little star will be winging it's way to a sweet little boy together with his Minion beanie I made him.

These two are made from the same pattern, each finished with a shiny brassy coloured button on both sides and brass bead loops.

Next are the absolute cutest Gingerbread Men .. this sweet pattern is from Repeat Crafter Me.  I experimented with different colours of brown yarn and size hooks.  They all need loops added, and I may use red ric-rac just for something different.

I am 'hooked' on these beautiful Hearts, with roses and leaves from Lucy at Attic 24 on the purple, shiny purple and blue hearts and Jolly holly again from Attic 24 on the white heart.  I fashioned the berries as I went along, so no pattern.  There are many berry patterns on Pinterest. 

This is an easy and very sweet star from my good friend Zelna at Zooty Owl Blog.  I will be making many more of these I think.

Next up is such a cute and very popular little Christmas sock ornament, pattern from Angie at Le monde de Sucrette. I couldn't stop, once I had made one I just could not stop!!

The last ornaments are made with two circles of the same size. To see how to make circles, link to this post of mine, and follow the first three rows or so, depending on how large you want your ornament.   Crochet them together with UK Dc/US Sc almost to the end, then fill with a little wadding or what ever you have handy, even snipped off threads from your other crochet projects will do.  Complete closing the circles remembering to add a little hanging loop, and then decorate with holly or beads or whatever takes your fancy.

Pinterest is a gold mine of crochet Christmas ornaments and decorations.  Check out my board Christmas Handmade for more super ideas.

I am filling an order for three blankets for a good friend now, so the red, white and green yarn is packed away for a little while!  More on these projects later!

Thank you for joining me, till next time,
love to all xxxxxxxxx Pat

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Richard's C2C cushion

My first C2C project and it was such fun! Surely one of the easiest patterns once you get the hang of it, works up super fast, and is so pleasing to the eye!  

In this post last year, are pictures of the Ripple Blanket I made for my youngest son Richard for his 30th birthday.  It is quite fabulous, the colours blending so well.  So when his birthday approached this year, I looked at the left over yarn, and not long after this cushion cover was on my hook! The colours for the blanket and cushion cover were not chosen intentionally with Fall or Autumn in mind ... they were the colours chosen by my son.  However, the browns and tans and golds do rather fit in well with an Autumn theme, cosy and warm.  The yarn is a local Double Knit, and I used double thread throughout and a size 7mm hook. It is plump, soft and comfy, and he loves it!  

It is about 600mm square, with a nice linen inner cushion pad with Hollowfil filling, so that the cover can be removed and washed.

There are some excellent tutorials for the Corner to Corner pattern; I used The Crochet Crowd YouTube pattern, just to get the general idea.  This pattern is also a good one. Felted Button also has a super Ravelry download tutorial.
I crocheted two squares measuring exactly the same number of stitches and rows, and stitched the squares together by hand around three sides.  The last side I left open, and finished off with a row of UK Treble (US Double) crochet right around.  Then the buttons went on next ... This post by Lucy of Attic 24 shows in clearer detail (my pics are in browns and not that sharp) how to go about attaching the buttons.  One set of buttons is on the inside of one square, so that they can button through the row and show on the outside.  

Then I added another different set of buttons, a button sewn onto the reverse side of each of the first set of buttons.  Now the cushion has buttons on both sides and can be used either which way up!

My picture below might clear up any confusion! 


One side has slightly different colours to the other, with the buttons matching the appropriate sides.  The photos were very unco-operative, just refused to match up in colours!! Some are darker, some lighter, I have a lot to learn in the photo editing department it would appear! Most frustrating!

Below is the gorgeous Ripple Blanket, so proud of it.

Spring is upon us here in South Africa, such a amazing time of the year with a long awaited thunder storm and lovely rain a weekend or two ago ...  I have a strawberry or two on my new plant, my lemon tree is groaning with new fruit, and the scent as you walk under the tree is too sublime! 

Thank you for reading lovely friends, much love till next time 
Pat xxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Riley's Blanket

My gift to my grandson this year for his birthday is this checkerboard granny square blanket.

 I enjoyed crocheting this simple yet quite dramatic blanket ... it was just so good to settle down to the gentle rhythm of making plain monocolour granny squares, joining each one as it was finished, and watching as it grew and grew.  In no time the blanket was complete and it was time to add the border.  Because the squares were plain charcoal and red, I decided to jazz up the border a little with five rows in alternating colours .. very happy with the end result. 

 Some pattern details:

  • Terms are US.
  • I used a DK yarn in colours of charcoal and red and a size 4mm hook. 
  • Each square is made up of five rows and then a sixth row as the joining row, and is one solid colour, either red or charcoal throughout. The square has no stitches between the 3dc groups, except on the corners where I used 2ch to separate the two 3dc groups to form the corner.  
  • Each square measures 15cm/5.75in with 48 squares in total; ie 6 squares across and 8 squares in length.  The blanket measures approximately 128cm/50in x 98cm/38in, the border included. 
  •  I turned my work over after each row. I have just recently started crocheting my squares this way, and am delighted by how neat and "square" my work is, with no twisting or unshapeliness (not a word but you get the drift I'm sure)
  • I used the join-as-you-go joining method.
  • I finished off the border with 3 rows of sc in red. 

 I hope to have a photo of Riley and his blanket to show you shortly .. I will add it to the bottom of this post.

Cheery bye till next post
Pat xxxx

Friday, 31 July 2015

Flowers for Memories ~

Yarndale 2015 ... and this year the call has gone out for ...
 an abundance of colour translated into flowers of all shapes and in any discipline of yarn art, be it knitting or crochet, with pretty embellishments if you feel so inclined ... what a glorious brief!!

Since the early days of my crochet journey, when I discovered the joy of making beanies and hats, I have had a love affair with crocheting flowers to add to sweet little creations for girls;  hats with huge flowers or a posy of small flowers with dainty beadwork in the centres adorning their brims.  And then I started making tea cosies, and my word, I had such fun decorating them with gorgeous arrangements on the tops!  Headbands and earwarmers, bookmarks and handbag handles, they all got the floral treatment;  great for stashbusting too!

And a beautiful blanket, designed by Heather of The Patchwork Heart ..... my blanket was made as a gift for a very dear friend.

So imagine my delight when I read that this year the theme would be ..... flowers!  Without ado I scoured my files and folders for my favourite patterns ..... a goldmine of fabulous and easy and free patterns can be found on Pinterest ....... some of my favourite bloggers have designed lovely flowers too.

This is the method I use to neaten off the back and attach a clasp or pin, should you want to use the flower or posy as a brooch.

Position your leaf or leaves if any on the back of the flower and stitch on neatly using the tail on each leaf.

Now using either a colour from your flower, or the colour of your leaf
crochet a little three to four round circle, depending on how much you need to cover in the way of stitching and threads.
You need to have a +- 15 cm tail at the start of either your magic circle (or preferred method) which needs to be on the right side of the patch,
and a longer tail at the end.

Using the tail in the centre of the patch, 
stitch your pin neatly and securely, 
take the thread to the back of the patch and secure.

Position the patch on the back of the flower, making sure that all your stitchery is neatly covered ... and sew in place with the long tail you have left
on your last row of the patch.

A good idea is to pin the flower to yourself with a straight pin .. taking care not to injure yourself.  You may need to position the clasp a little higher than the centre
so that the flower doesn't flop forward if pinned to a garment 

Here are some of the patterns I have used ~

Autumn Berry Flower

Hellibore bloom

Coiled Roses

Five Petal Tropical Flower

Triple Layer Flower

Pretty flower

May Roses

I hope you have as much fun creating beautiful flowers as I did .... they will be winging their way to Skipton in the next day or two! 

Local Skipton crochet artist Sheila Metcalfe raises funds on behalf of the Alzheimers Society. Flowers for Memories, sure to be an amazing display of crochet flowers, will no doubt be a huge draw at this year's Yarndale show and at the same time add much needed funds for her most worthy cause. 
Here is her postal address to which to send your
floral contributions!

Sheila's Flowers
Box 97 Skipton
North Yorkshire
BD23 9EN
England UK

The due date is September 11 ~
more details re size etc can be found on
the Yarndale Blog

Have a most wonderful weekend
Much love Pat