Archives for posts with tag: easy crochet

This time a month ago I was very happy that I had 2 designs feature in 2 different magazines – I blogged about it here.

It felt wonderful!  And I really didn’t think it could get better, but it has!  My latest design for Inside Crochet (issue 69) has made the front cover.   This is Autumn Beaches, a motif scarf that uses just one skein of Yarns from the Plains’ Mobberley DK.

Photo courtesy of Nic, Yarns from the Plain

Photo courtesy of Nic, Yarns from the Plain

It is called Autumn Beaches because the colours of the yarn reminded me the shades in the ripples of sand created by the tide going out.  It is reminiscent of childhood holidays, playing on the beach (British beaches because we never went abroad for holidays).

However, this colour is called Malted Chocolate and I love chocolate so couldn’t resist!  When I saw the yarn originally it wasn’t the colour name that attracted me, it was the yarn base name – Mobberley.  Why? Because I live in Mobberley!    Nic who owns Yarns from the Plain lives not far from me in Cheshire and all her yarn bases have names of local villages and towns, and when I saw Mobberley I just had to have a skein (mmmmm……maybe I bought more than one!).  And when I touched the yarn it was so soft, it is made of 70% Exmoor blueface/30% British Alpaca and is entirely British.   So British yarn, dyed in Cheshire, using Cheshire names and reminiscent of British beaches – it all fitted together well for me.

The design of the motif is one I swatched last year, ok I say ‘swatched’ when what I mean is ‘doodled’ because that’s what I do with a hook and yarn in my hand, I make crochet doodles.   Originally I was thinking of making a small pincushion and the design was my first attempt at a crochet cover for it……..but it never made it to a pincushion.  You see I doodled it in DK, and I loved the look of it in DK, so I set it aside and waited until the right yarn came along.

And it did….and it was perfect.  So that’s how Autumn Beaches was created.  Whilst it is beautiful in the Malted Chocolate colourway, I think Nic has some fabulous colours in Mobberley DK and I would love to see the design in some of these – I love Libby and Sweeties, and my favourite is Bewitched.  What colour would you choose?

Happy crocheting xx

Today part 2 of the Anniversary CAL is published.   You can find it on Ravelry and LoveCrochet.

Part 2 has a new motif – a large one!   And it is included in this mini cushion I made:

DSC00890

As you can see the 2 motifs work together well, I designed the sizes so that they did!  Part 2 of the pattern includes a suggested layout if you’d like to make a blanket or throw with just these 2 styles of motif, but there are plenty of other options available – just use your imagination (and maybe a little maths!).

If you haven’t already joined in the CAL, please do – I love seeing what everyone makes with the motifs.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

My rainbow stashbuster cowl has been published here and here.

Luscious rainbow colours

Luscious rainbow colours

Whilst designed as a cowl, the motif can be used in anything and would be great in a blanket.  It is a little addictive and very easy to join as you go.  I used my leftover stash to make this – lots of colours of DK.  But it would be perfect in any yarn.

Cowl

Cowl

Pop over to my Ravelry forum for a little offer for the first 10 purchasers 😉

Happy crocheting xx

 

 

 

I have been working on a new design, a stash busting cowl.  Or rather an all round stash buster 🙂

I had a lot of double knit in a variety of rainbow colours so I designed a square motif which I put into a lovely colourful cowl.  I love the motif and I think it is a little addictive.  It would be perfect in a blanket.

The pattern is currently in test but should be published by the end of the week, meanwhile here’s a sneaky peek:

Stash buster

Stash buster

Do you have any ideas to share for stash busting?

Happy crocheting xxx

I made a decision last week that I really should share with you.

First, let me show you what I published last weekend:

Julie's mini mandala

Julie’s mini mandala

It is a simple design, a great stash buster, quick and easy to make.  It’s a gift tag, an ornament, or even a string of bunting, but most of all it’s a fun make.

I was just about to push the ‘free’ button when I halted…….this just isn’t fair to other designers.    And so my decision was to not publish it as a free pattern, nor will I publish any future new patterns as free patterns.

The reason I started selling my patterns many years ago was to be fair to all designers and operate on what I call ‘a level playing field’.  You see I recognised that there are a lot of designers who work extremely hard to make a living out of designing and selling patterns; if I made my patterns free then human nature is such that, even if my patterns were only half as good as some of the paid-for patterns, people would take my free patterns rather than buy those paid-for patterns.   Indirectly, I would be stealing the income of those designers if all my patterns were free.  But I couldn’t do that, I believe the designing world works best with lots of designers sharing their ideas and publishing their patterns.  The discerning knitters and crocheters deserve variety and quality, and the hard working designers deserve rewarding for all their efforts.

Even though that was my reason for starting to sell patterns, I was guilty of publishing some patterns free, because they were simple or small or used techniques that are very common.   But I have had this constant guilty feeling about it, it just isn’t fair to others.  Also, I do put a lot of work into my pattern writing, after all I am a tech editor and strive for high quality, and giving those free patterns is totally undervaluing my own work. And really ANY free pattern is undervaluing the work of all designers.

So I will not be publishing free patterns again, no matter how simple or small they are.  But from time to time I will offer discounts.   If you are a regular reader you will know that I have a forum on Ravelry.  Members of that forum (or people who like to read the forum) will find any discount codes there.   There’s a discount code lurking in there right now for the pattern I published last week, but it expires soon 😉

So what are your views – have I made a good decision?

Happy knitting and crocheting xxxx

I have finished my first project using the Meadow Farm Wool project yarn.  It is a cushion:

Meadow farm cushion

Meadow farm cushion

I wanted to use both colours of yarn in the cushion but the cream was dk and the brown was 4ply, not easy to use in the same project.  So I improvised – as you can see the front is in cream DK and I joined 9 of the Meadow Farm motifs together, all made using a 4mm hook.  For the back I used a 3mm hook and the brown yarn  – I started with a Meadow Farm motif and then continued it as one large granny square.  Then I joined back to front and added a shell edging in cream, finally a row of shell buttons (bought at a The Harold Porter Botanical Gardens enroute to Hermanus in South Africa almost 5 years ago).

The back

The back

I do need to line this cushion with some fabric, probably in a light brown that will show off both sides properly.  But I was eager to share the finished project with you 🙂

I used 3 balls of yarn in this project – so I still have 7 balls left 🙂

There is still time to rent a sheep from the Meadow Farm Wool Project, and support 2 charities.  What will you make with yours?

Happy crocheting xxx

 

Whenever I design anything I always swatch various ideas and some of them are changed or discarded altogether before I settle on a design.   This is not unusual, I am sure most, if not all, designers do something like this.

When designing the squares for the Blog Blanket CAL, I swatched one square which I decided wouldn’t be appropriate – I needed it to finish on a solid round and the 8 round version would end on a granny round.  But it wasn’t discarded, I liked it so I just put it aside waiting for some other use.

This is my original swatch and……………there’s an error in it, but I won’t tell you where!

The one that got away

The one that got away

That other use just came up.  I am making a small blanket and I thought a huge granny square using the design would be perfect.  It would be quick to make but also have just enough interest to avoid being boring to make.

The blanket was started yesterday, and I have already completed 15 rounds.  I decided to swap colour every 2 rounds because the pattern changes then (which is what I did intuitively on my original swatch).   But when I got to Round 6 I thought it looked familiar.  And then I realised it is similar to Attic24’s cosy stripe blanket.  Of course, it wasn’t planned and it does have 2 significant differences – firstly it is a granny-style square not a stripe and second I use some chain sts in this square.

If you wanted to make an Attic24 cosy stripe-style granny blanket then it would be easy to adjust the pattern by removing the chain sts and adjusting the number of trebles along each ‘granny’ round – but I wanted to continue with my own design.

So here’s the pattern for you (with a sneaky peek at a part made blanket that I don’t really want to reveal):

Sneaky peek

Sneaky peek

ABBREVIATIONS

The pattern is written in English crochet terms.
St = stitch
Ch = chain
Tr = treble (US dc)
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp =chain space
I changed colour every 2 rounds, simply joining the new colour where I started each round with a ss.

Foundation:  Make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss
Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, 2tr into the ring, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into each of the next three 2ch-sps, 2tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 3: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each st around (working into the 1ch not the 1ch-sp), (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into each 2ch-sp, and work a final 1tr into the first 2ch-sp,  join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 4: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each st around, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into each 2ch-sp, and work a final 1tr into the first 2ch-sp,  join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 5: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, miss 3 sts, [*(3tr, 1ch) in next st, miss 3 sts; repeat from * to next 2ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) in 2ch-sp, miss 3sts] 4 times but on the last repeat of this just work 2tr into the 2ch-sp at the start of the round,  join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 6: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into each 1ch-sp around and (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into each corner 2ch-sp,  2tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5 ch with a ss.

Repeat Rounds 3 to 6 until you have a blanket the size you want.  I plan to finish on a Round 4 so I have a nice edge.

If you decide to make a blanket  using this design, please share a photo 🙂

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

 

 

Here is my finished blanket:

005

When I photographed it on the bench I realised that I would make a sturdy outdoor blanket, so I expect plenty of use from it this spring.

The final part of the pattern for you is the border I used.  But of course you may use any border you like.

The Edge

The Border

I made the border a couple of weeks ago, in fact I made 3 borders.  At first I tried a simple one, but I didn’t like it.  Then I tried something more substantial, but that looked odd.  So I had to frog it all back twice.  I realised one of the reasons I didn’t like the border was the colours I used – originally blue and orange.    The orange worked well next to the squares but the blue was totally wrong.   So I looked at my remaining yarn scraps, chose some colours I preferred then ordered more yarn – no good trying to make do with what I had.

My border used a just under 4 balls of Drops Nepal (aran weight, 75m per 50g ball) – I used 2 of Goldenrod (yellow), 1 of Orange and 1 of Green.

Here’s the pattern:

ABBREVIATIONS
The pattern is written in English crochet terms.
St = stitch
Ch = chain
Tr = treble (US dc)
Htr = half treble (US hdc)
Dtr = double treble (US tr)
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp = chain space

Round 1 – using Orange, starting one stitch to the right of a corner, ss in the back loop of each stitch around, join the round with a ss. This gives a nice firm and crisp edge to work the rest of the border from.

Round 2 – again you should start this round one stitch to the right of a corner and ensure you work through the ss from round 1 and the back loop of each square for a good firm finish, *(1htr, 2ch) in this st, (1dtr, 2ch) in next st, then work (1htr, 1ch, miss 1 st) repeated along the side edge to the stitch just before the next corner; repeat from * until end of round, join the round with a ss to the top of your first st, break yarn and fasten off.   NOTE: I had 85 htr and 84 1ch-sps along each side and (2ch-sp, 1dtr, 2ch-sp) in each corner.

Round 3 – using Yellow, work 1htr in each stitch around (counting each htr and ch as a st and working into the ch not the ch-sp), in the corners I worked (1tr, 2ch, 1tr) in the corner dtr st, join the round with a ss, break yarn and fasten off.  (NOTE:  I had 175 sts along each side and a 2ch-sp in each corner, ideally you should have a multiple of 6 sts plus 1 along each side).

Round 4 – using Green, start in the tr just to the right of a 2ch-sp corner, 1dc in tr, *(2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in 2ch-sp, 1dc in next tr, [miss 2 sts, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next st, miss 2 sts, 1dc in next st] repeated to next corner 2ch-sp; repeat from * until end of round, join the round with a ss, break yarn and fasten off.

Round 5 – using Yellow, work (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in each dc and 1 dc in each 2ch-sp around, join the round with a ss, break yarn and fasten off.  Sew in all loose ends.

I blocked my blanket, taking up the most of the floor space in the spare room for a couple of days!  With the border (which is about 6cm/2.5″), it ended up at about 140cm/55″ square.

I hope you have enjoyed this CAL.  I have enjoyed sharing it with you 🙂

For me, most of the pleasure is in seeing your finished blanket, so please share a photo.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

The long Easter weekend is almost upon us and here in the UK we have some wet and windy weather forecast.  So I think crocheters in the UK may well have plenty of hooking time this weekend, much better to be inside with a hook than outside battling the weather!  So pull up a chair, get out your hook and your blanket CAL and start on the last square, plan your layout from the 2 options below and start to join your blanket.    Yes, this is a bumper post today – with plenty to help keep you occupied 😉

Here is square number 6, it’s a large version of square number 2, so you should be able to complete it with ease.

Square number 6

Square number 6

This photo shows number 6 joined into the blanket, look closely and you will see it has one large square above and below but 2 smaller squares to either side.  This gives you a clue to one of the layouts below 🙂

Here’s the pattern:

A reminder of the ABBREVIATIONS
The pattern is written in English crochet terms.
St = stitch
Ch = chain
Tr = treble (US dc)
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp =chain space

Foundation:  Make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss

Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (1tr, 1ch, 1tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, (1tr, 1ch) into the ring, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (2tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(1tr, 1ch) into next 1ch-sp, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times,  (1tr, 1ch) into next 1ch-sp, 1tr into first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 3: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *(1tr, 1ch) in next st, (1tr, 1ch) in each of next two 1ch-sps, miss 1 st, 1tr in next st**, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 3 times but on the last repeat finish at **, 1tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 4: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in next st, (1tr, 1ch) in next st, (1tr, 1ch) in each of next three 1ch-sps, miss 1 st, 1tr in each of next 2 sts**, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 3 times but on the last repeat finish at **, 1tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 5: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in each of next 2 sts, (1tr, 1ch) in next st, (1tr, 1ch) in each of next four 1ch-sps, miss 1 st, 1tr in each of next 3 sts**, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 3 times but on the last repeat finish at **, 1tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 6: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in each of next 3 sts, (1tr, 1ch) in next st, (1tr, 1ch) in each of next five 1ch-sps, miss 1 st, 1tr in each of next 4 sts**, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 3 times but on the last repeat finish at **, 1tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 7: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in each of next 4 sts, (1tr, 1ch) in next st, (1tr, 1ch) in each of next six 1ch-sps, miss 1 st, 1tr in each of next 5 sts**, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 3 times but on the last repeat finish at **, 1tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 8: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each st and 1ch-sp around, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into each 2ch-sp, and work a final 1tr into the first 2ch-sp,  join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Break yarn and fasten off, leaving a long tail of about 6m for sewing or crocheting together later.

You should have 31tr along each side and a 2ch-sp at each corner.

I made 5 of these in varying colours, but you may make as many as you like. However, for the layouts below you will need a total of 48 small squares and 13 large squares.

Before thinking of joining, you need to see the layouts and decide which you want.   So here are the 2 options:

OPTION 1

OPTION 1

 

OPTION 2

OPTION 2

Both these options use the same number of large and small squares.

Option 1 is the layout I used, and it includes the colours I used as well as the square numbers.  If you choose this option then the best way to join is by sewing or slip stitching together the way I did in the Christmas CAL here.  If you try a different join (such as double crocheting together) the width of the joining seam of 2 small squares makes them too big to join neatly against a large square.

If you choose option 2 then first join 4 small squares by slip stitch or sewing together and then treat them all as large squares.  Using this option you can use more fancy joining – from double crochet to braids.

Before you join your squares, have a play with the different colours and patterns until you find a layout/colour scheme you like – it doesn’t have to be the same as mine!

As usual please share progress, either here in the comments or on the Ravelry forum here.

Tune in soon, for the edging and final reveal!

Happy crocheting xxx

 

As promised here is the 5th square in the series of 6 for this CAL.    This is another large one:

Square number 5

Square number 5

Look closely and you will see the first 4 rounds are a normal granny square, so this should be a quick one for you to make.

ABBREVIATIONS
The pattern is written in English crochet terms.
St = stitch
Ch = chain
Tr = treble (US dc)
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp =chain space
I made my squares from one colour throughout, but if you want to change colours then simply join your new colour at the point you do a ss on each new round.
Foundation:  Make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss
Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, 2tr into the ring, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into each of the next three 2ch-sps, 2tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 3: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(3tr, 1 ch) into the next 1ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * twice more, (3tr, 1ch) in next 1ch-sp, 2tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5 ch with a ss.
Round 4: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(3tr, 1 ch) into each of the next 2 1ch-sps, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * twice more, (3tr, 1ch) into each of the next 2 1ch-sps, 2tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5 ch with a ss.
Round 5: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1ch, *(miss 1 st, 1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1 st, 1tr in next 1ch-sp, 1ch) 3 times, miss 1 st, 1tr in next st, miss 1 st, 1ch, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr, 1ch) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * twice more, (miss 1 st, 1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1 st, 1tr in next 1ch-sp, 1ch) 3 times, miss 1 st, 1tr in next st, miss 1 st, 1tr in first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 6: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in next st, 1ch, (1tr, 1ch) in each 1ch-sp up to the 2tr just before the next corner, miss 1 st, 1tr in next st, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * twice more, 1tr in next st, 1ch, (1tr, 1ch) in each 1ch-sp up to the 2tr just before the next corner, miss 1 st, 1tr in next st, 1tr in first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 7: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in each of next 2 sts, 1ch, (1tr, 1ch) in each 1ch-sp up to the 3tr just before the next corner, miss 1 st, 1tr in each of next 2 sts, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * twice more, 1tr in each of next 2 sts, 1ch, (1tr, 1ch) in each 1ch-sp up to the 3tr just before the next corner, miss 1 st, 1tr in each of next 2 sts, 1tr in first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 8: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each st and 1ch-sp around, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into each 2ch-sp, and work a final 1tr into the first 2ch-sp,  join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Break yarn and fasten off, leaving a long tail of about 6m for sewing or crocheting together later.

You should have 31tr along each side and a 2ch-sp at each corner.
I made 3 of these in different colours, but you could do 4 or 5 if you prefer.

Please keep sharing progress on my Ravelry forum.

Next weekend is Easter, and many of you will have some spare time. So I will publish the last square and give you 2 layouts, so if you do have the time you can crochet away for the whole weekend! And as it is Easter maybe I will post it a day early 🙂

Happy crocheting xxx

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