Meadow Cushion

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

 

A new mandala

Do you remember this post when I promised to share more of my mandala designs when they had progressed further?

Here is the Buxton Mandala which I have just published.

Buxton Mandala
Buxton Mandala

This is the ‘prototype’ I made in Buxton.  It is made in Drops Muskat which is a mercerised cotton dk with a lovely sheen.  I didn’t have many colours of this yarn with me at the time so I used only 5 colours.

When I reworked the design I used Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK of which I had a much wider range of colours.  I loved the original design so much that the only thing I changed as I reworked it was the colours and I added one more colour.

Buxton number 2
Buxton number 2

There is quite a difference in the yarns – Stylecraft being softer with less of a sheen and giving less stitch definition.  This photo shows the difference a little more clearly:

2 Buxtons
2 Buxtons

Which do I like?  Well both – I love the colours of the Stylcecraft version and I love the sharp stitch definition of the Drops version.

Which do you like?

The pattern it is on special sale on Ravelry until midnight GMT Sunday 10th May 2015 – 50% off the original price if you use coupon code BUXTON at checkout (with apologies to EU purchasers where the coupon code will not work as EU sales are currently diverted to LoveKnitting – something that will be remedied in future).

Happy crocheting xxx

It’s arrived!

Mr Postie delivered something very special this morning – my yarn from the sheep I have rented from The Meadow Farm Wool Project.

The yarn
The yarn

Two weights of yarn had been spun – the cream (which has lovely grey speckles in it) is a double knit and the dark brown is a thinner weight called 2ply but makes up like 4ply/fingering/sock yarn.  They both smell deliciously of newly spun fleece 🙂

So I wasted no time – my hook came out and I made a couple of motifs:

One of each
One of each

This motif is the one I designed especially for the project and is available to sheep renters only.   The cream one came out just the right size for a 9 motif square cushion – so that is what I am making.  The brown motif is a bit smaller but I will make a large granny square backing to the cushion using the brown, I may just add a few interesting stitches to it.

Here’s a photo of the cream motif which shows the design well.

Meadow Farm Motif
Meadow Farm Motif

There is still time for you to rent a sheep for this year and choose your selection of yarn – I opted for half and half.  In due course, once all renters have their yarn, you will be able to buy the yarn at £6.50 per ball.  And all rentals and purchases help go towards 2 fabulous charities – Teenage Cancer Trust and Headway.  This is quite a new project and one I hope will grow, so please support it if you can.

Meanwhile, I know which project I will be working on at knitgroup tomorrow!

Happy crocheting xxx

 

A colourful obsession

Yesterday I posted this photo on facebook:

Mandala heaven
Mandala heaven

It is a selection of mandalas.  This is a new obsession for me.  But I didn’t realise just how many people are also obsessed or at least love mandalas; that is until I saw my facebook hits – they rocketed off the scale!

So I thought I should at least tell you more about the mandalas in the photo (and yes, test how far my blog hits go!).

In no particular order – there is the Sunshine Mandala which I published the pattern for a few weeks ago, the two I designed on my Knitaway holiday, one which was a bit of a test (or what I call a crochet doodle!) and a couple I designed very recently that will feature in a new workshop (design your own mandala).  You see I love designing these so much that I thought I should share how I do it 🙂

Happy crocheting xxx

 

Lovely surprises

I received something lovely in the post the other day.  Here’s a photo of some of it:

PERFECT PROJECT LABELS
PERFECT PROJECT LABELS

These labels are cheeky and practical.  They are perfect for adding to handmade items, informing the lucky recipient just how to care for their gift and hopefully giving them a smile as they read the cheeky words!

They are supplied by Joanne Scrace (aka Not So Granny), a talented crochet and knitting designer, and she sells them in her Etsy shop here.   A few weeks ago she ran a competition on her facebook page asking what people would write on a care label.   Now I don’t often enter competitions, but I thought this was a great idea – I always worry that preciously-made gifts should be cared for properly, I have been known to produce care sheets for those I make!   So I entered the competition with ‘one of a kind – just like the wearer’.  Lo and behold, Joanne liked it and I won some labels!

There are several cheeky messages to choose from, so I may be going shopping for some more.  I love the one designed for your project bag.  I will be adding mine to my favourite project bag:

Carpet wool bag
Carpet wool bag

This bag was made from a kit by Hookedbydesign given to me for my birthday last year by Karen and Ruth, another lovely surprise.  It is made from carpet wool which is exceedingly sturdy and perfect for a bag.  I lined it with fabric, added some strong hessian tape to the handles (which I encased with crochet) and it is now my most favourite project bag which travels to many a knit group.  Similar kits can be found here.

What would you add your labels to?

Happy knitting and crocheting… and gifting  xxx

 

Hooking Up!

This week I published a new ebook: Hooking Up!
This ebook contains 6 patterns that are ideal for those who have just learnt to crochet as well as experienced crocheters.

Hooking Up!
Hooking Up!

If you are new to crochet then you will gain experience and learn new techniques as you work through the 6 designs. The book also provides good reference material – a reminder of the stitches used, the importance of tension and how to adjust your hook size, what to have in your beginner crochet kit, all about blocking and lots of other useful reference material.
If you are experienced at crochet then you will find some beautiful projects which you can make quickly and adapt to your requirements.

Over the next week I will be featuring each pattern in turn. Today it is Simple Scarf.

Simple Scarf
Simple Scarf

I designed this especially for some gorgeous silk yarn by Willow Knits and I used 5 mini skeins. However, it is adaptable and can be used with any type of yarn – ideas on how to adapt are provided in the ebook. Here is one I made using a single ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze:

Simple Kidsilk Scarf
Simple Kidsilk Scarf

If you make a mistake counting your foundation chain on this pattern then you will find a cure – I provide instructions on how to work with this little mistake without having to take back your work; a simple scarf with simple solutions!

The other patterns in the book are April Scarf, Round and Round Cowl, Granny Blue Lap/Baby Blanket and, by special permission, Cassia Cowl and Starry Night Blanket by Amanda Perkins. More information on these 5 patterns will feature in future blogs.

Happy crocheting xxx

New Year, New Project

I’m embarking on a new project, something using the traditional granny square.

New granny
New granny

I am using some cotton 4 ply/fingering weight yarn which I haven’t used before – Scheepjes Cotton 8.  It is lovely to work with and when I started to use it I got carried away with just making some grannies, they fly off my hook!  So I have a little production line going:

Grannies growing
Grannies growing

What am I making?  You’ll just have to wait and see!

Happy crocheting xx

Christmas CAL part 6

Happy New Year’s Eve!

I have finished my blanket now, but I will save the big reveal until New Year’s Day.  Today I am sharing my little embellishment.

If you have been reading this blog for the last week or so you will know that I had my idea for the little embellishment only a few days ago.   I thought a small flower would look lovely in the centre of some of the squares:

Embellishment
Embellishment

Regular blog readers may recognise this flower, it is the Anniversary Crochet Flower that I designed and published here.  I used one colour for the first 2 rounds, then swapped to a different colour for the last round.  I think it is perfect as a little embellishment.

Embellishment 2
Embellishment 2

What do you think?   Maybe you should wait until your blanket is joined and edged before making these, as you don’t want to run out of yarn!  But you can practice on some scraps, as these little flowers don’t use too much yarn.

Flowerf field
Flower field

I still haven’t decided whether to add them to my blanket (hence the long tails haven’t been cut off yet as they will be needed for sewing on),  I think my blanket zings already………..decisions, decisions…….

Tune in tomorrow for the final part and THE BIG REVEAL!

Happy crocheting xxxx

 

Now for the legal stuff – I designed this, it’s all my own work and is copyright. Please feel free to make as many as you like, but not for commercial purposes, and please credit me with the design. Thank you!

Christmas CAL part 4

Today I finished my final square.  Phew!  Only just ahead of you all….this spontaneous CAL has been a lot of fun and has kept me busy over the Christmas season.  It is lovely to be able to say I made a blanket in this short time.

My promise for today was to publish the final 2 motifs, so here we go……

Here’s the usual 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

This GRANNY 2 MOTIF, I am making 10, 2 of each of my colours:

Granny 2 motif
Granny 2 motif

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 first 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 tr and 1ch-sp along each side and (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in each 2ch-sp on the corners, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss.  You should have 11tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

Round 4: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each tr along each side and (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in each 2ch-sp on the corner, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss. You should have 15tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

Rounds 5 and 6: Repeat Round 4. You should have 23tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.  Break yarn and fasten off leaving a long tail about 3m long for sewing or crocheting together later.

This GRANNY 4 MOTIF, I am making 10, 2 of each of my colours:

Granny 4 motif
Granny 4 motif

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 first 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, 1ch) into the next 1ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into the next 1ch-sp, 2tr 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), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(3tr, 1ch) into each of the next two 1ch-sps, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into each of the next two 1ch-sps, 2tr in 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 into each tr and 1ch-sp along each side and (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in each 2ch-sp on the corners, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss.  You should have 19tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

Round 6: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each tr along each side and (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in each 2ch-sp on the corner, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss. You should have 23tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.  Break yarn and fasten off leaving a long tail about 3m long for sewing or crocheting together later.

My mind is now turning to edging but first I need to join them all.   I don’t have a lot of yarn left, in fact I have to confess now that I didn’t have a full 2 balls of each colour and I knew I might be a little short of yarn at the end.  But you should have taken my advice and made sure you have at least a full 2 balls of each colour (or 2 x 184m/201yds), so you should have plenty left.

I do want a simple edging and I know I have just enough for that, but you may want to do something more fancy and I know you’ll have enough yarn left to experiment.

Tomorrow I’ll share layout ideas and how to join.

Please keep sharing your progress on my Ravelry group here:

Happy crocheting xxx

 

Now for the legal stuff – I designed this, it’s all my own work and is copyright. Please feel free to make as many as you like, but not for commercial purposes, and please credit me with the design. Thank you!

Christmas CAL part 3

I’ve been busy today, so I apologise for being a bit late with this post.  My ‘busy’ was a family gathering.  It is always lovely to see the family, especially at Christmas.  And I do enjoy the catering for a crowd, which I don’t do very often.   Perhaps if I catered for a large group more frequently I wouldn’t enjoy it as much!

So now I am ready for some relaxing crochet.   Are you ready for the next motif?    I hope so, because here it is:

First 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

This is the third motif design, I am making 10, 2 in each of my chosen colours.

I call it the GRANNY 3 MOTIF:

Granny 3 motif
Granny 3 motif

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 first 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, 1ch) into the next 1ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times, (3tr, 1ch) into the next 1ch-sp, 2tr 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 tr and 1ch-sp along each side and (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in each 2ch-sp on the corners, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss.  You should have 15tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

Round 5: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each tr along each side and (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in each 2ch-sp on the corner, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss. You should have 19tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

Round 6: Repeat Round 5. You should have 23tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

Break yarn and fasten off leaving a long tail about 3m long for sewing or crocheting together later.

Tomorrow, yes so soon, I will publish the last 2 motifs.  I know some of you are powering away with your hooks, I can see the smoke from here!  And those of you who haven’t progressed as quickly may like a little variety.

On Wednesday I will share my 2 proposals for layout, suggestions on how to join and my little embellishment.

And on Friday I will give you ideas on edging – mine will be simple.

As always, how you finish your blanket will be up to you, so all my ideas are only here to help inspire you.  I love seeing variations, so please feel free to adapt as you like.

Please share your progress on the discussion thread on my Ravelry Group here.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

Now for the legal stuff – I designed this, it’s all my own work and is copyright. Please feel free to make as many as you like, but not for commercial purposes, and please credit me with the design. Thank you!