Saturday, 30 January 2016

Thick, Quick Reversible Cowl

Oh yes, indeedy.

The front

This pattern features two of my favourite words when it comes to crochet projects. I may add reversible to that list, too after making this.
I've been trying out lots of things with this lovely, squishy yarn lately. This project just happened to be a happy accident.

The reverse side with ridges

It couldn't be simpler. 

I used about 3 balls of Drops Polaris in white and a 15mm hook. You could use any hook and yarn you fancy. If you have thinner yarn, then simply increase the number of chains in your foundation row (your cowl should measure around 12 inches/30cms wide) and add more rows until the desired height is reached.

Chain 37. Join with a sl st to the first ch.
Round 1: ch3, 1 treble stitch (US double crochet) in each stitch around. Join with a sl st to the top of the ch3.
Rounds 2 - 9: ch2, 1 front post treble stitch (US FP dc) in each stitch around. Join with a sl st to the top of the ch2.

Never made a front post stitch before? Don't worry. It's super-easy.
Yarn over hook, as you would for a normal UK treble (US dc)


Rather than working into the top of the stitch, insert your hook around the post of the stitch below, from the front to the back and to the front again.


Now finish off your stitch as usual (yarn over, pull a loop through, yarn over, pull yarn through all loops).





 
Enjoy making and don't forget to share your makes with me- I love to see what you do. You can find me at all the regular social media haunts. Just tap on the links to the side of the page.

Have a great weekend,

Sarah xx

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Little Box of Crochet

Have you heard of the Little Box of Crochet?

It's the brilliant brain-child of Amanda Bloom. A monthly subscription of crochet loveliness; you receive an exclusive pattern, along with all the goodies required to complete the project, contained within a beautiful box and delivered right to your door.

Previous talented designers include Kate from Greedy For Colourwho designed these wonderful fungi...

These gorgeous hand-warmers by Heather from Pink Milk...

The cutest bobbly head-warmer from Kate from Just Pootling...

And I am very proud to be Little Box of Crochet's February designer!
Yay! 
I hope you all enjoy my sweet little design for the month of love! Here's a sneaky peek...
Want to know more? Here's Amanda's amazing story:

My name is Amanda Bloom, lover of all things creative and cute. I live in Cheshire with my beautiful daughter Jenny.
In 2013 Jenny was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. She was 15 at the time. I closed my hairdressing salon and focused on caring for my darling girl.
I had always loved making things and had a blog called Amanda Makes where I shared my creative life with many other fabulous makers around the world. When Jenny got sick, creativity became our comfort blanket and therapy. The thing I enjoyed most was crochet. What had been a pleasant hobby became a passion.
One day, whilst on holiday with Jenny, I came across the website of a Subscription Beauty Box. I had never heard of the concept of monthly subscription boxes. ( I must have been asleep because there are LOADS of them!) I loved the idea of receiving a sweet box of surprises every month! A wee gift to yourself! Not being big on beauty products, I started searching for a company doing creative boxes. I couldn’t find a crochet one that I liked so I decided that there was a gap and pressing need for a delicious monthly box of crochet. I knew that I’d stumbled across my ‘thing’.
I hope from the bottom of my heart that you will have the same enjoyment from the moment your Little Box of Crochet arrives each month. I would love to hear from you and see your makes. You can use the hashtag #littleboxofcrochet on Instagram; follow our page @littleboxofcrochetor like our page on Facebook …Little Box of Crochet.
Big hugs to all of you!
Amanda x
For more information about LBC, including details of how to subscribe (worldwide shipping available) please visit the website.
Wishing you all a wonderful week,
Sarah xx

Thursday, 31 December 2015

EXTREME crochet

I've only gone and done it again.
Not satisfied with writing one book this year, I decided to do another...


And not just any old crochet book, either. 
EXTREME crochet.

But what on earth can you do with EXTREME crochet*, I bet you're wondering...?

My answer, dear reader is this: Imagine the biggest hooks, the chunkiest yarns and some stuff that's not even yarn at all and you're on the right track. Choose chunky, high-loft woollen yarns, or fabric and T-shirt yarns, string, rope, washing line or even make your own. If it's long and cord-like, then you can probably crochet with it. So what can you do with extreme crochet? Anything you like! It's perfect for maxing out the classics; want a cushion? Super-size it with big yarn. A blanket? Whip up one in a day with mega wool. A necklace? Walk on the wild side with funky T-shirt yarn. Extreme crochet doesn't have to mean that everything you make is massive, just that everything you make is awesome. 


*apologies to some of my friends who had hoped that Extreme crochet meant crocheting whilst abseiling down a cliff, or strapped to the roof of a tank. That will be another book, I promise.

And so my book is a collection of 8 simple patterns, from homewares to accessories and is available (to date) from here.



Enjoy!

Sarah xx


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Easy-Peasy, super-quick, one ball of yarn Crochet Bobble Hat (THE perfect last minute Christmas gift


Yep.
The title says it all.

Perfect for beginners, this hat uses chunky yarn, a big-ish hook and UK treble crochet (US doubles) to create a hat in about half an hour. And as it only uses one ball (plus some extra yarn from your stash to create a pompom) it's a bargain to boot. 

I bought some Drops Andes a looooong time ago to make a thing. The thing never happened and so I had some yarn which needed a new thing, so I decided on a hat. 
Not just any old hat; a bobble hat. 
You know- the one with the pompom. 
And not just any old pompom. A BIG pompom.




You can probably tell from the photo that this yarn is mega-lush. Slightly fluffy, being 65% wool and 35% alpaca, this stuff comes in a nice range of colours and is the perfect ingredient for winter woolies (and at the time of posting, I've found it online for less than 3 quid a ball... so a very reasonable price for a super-warm hat).

'Enough of the waffle,' I hear you say. 'Give us the pattern!'
 Here it is. The pattern fits an adult. Adjustments to make it fit smaller people are given, too.

Now if you're not a written-pattern kind-of person, then don't worry- I've got a YouTube video to guide you through, step by step. You'll find it below.



Enjoy, you lovely lot and have a wonderful Christmas!

Bobble Hat pattern (In UK terms. For US, substitute treble crochet (tr) for double crochet (dc)

Abbreviations:
Chain = ch
Stitches = sts
Slip stitch = sl st 
Treble crochet = tr

You will need:
1 X 100g ball Drops Andes in colour of your choice (or any other yarn which requires a 9mm hook)
9mm hook.
85 mm pompom maker (optional)

Worked in joined rounds. 
Note: I used a chain of 2, rather than 3 at the beginning of each round- I found a ch3 just too tall. It still counts as a stitch in the pattern.

Rnd 1: Ch2 (counts as tr here and throughout), 11 tr in magic ring or ch2, make ch2 and 11tr into 2nd ch from hook. Join with sl st to top of ch2. (12sts)
Rnd 2: Ch2, 1tr in same st, then 2tr in each st around. Join with sl st to top of ch2. (24)
Rnd 3. Ch2, 2tr in next st, then *tr 1 in next st, 2tr in following st* repeat from * to * around. Join with sl st to top of ch2. (36)
Rnd 4: Ch2, tr 1 in each of next 7 sts, 2tr in next st, *tr 8, 2tr in next st* repeat from * to * around. Join with sl st to top of ch2. (39)
Rnds 5-11: Ch2, 1tr in each st around. Join with sl st to top of ch2.
Brim
Rnd 12: Ch2, TURN, 1tr in each st around. Join with sl st to top of ch2. 
Rnds 13-14: Ch2, 1tr in each st around. Join with sl st to top of ch2. 
Fasten off, weave in ends.

Make pompom and stitch to top of hat!
Job done.

To make this hat fit smaller heads, then simply leave out round 4 and even round 3. Then continue making just one treble stitch in each stitch around. Simply adjust the number of rounds to fit the size head you need. 

Here's the YouTube video:






Happy crocheting, 
Sarah xx


Thursday, 22 October 2015

Crochet with twine (2)

Crochet with twine?
What?! The stuff I use in the garden to tie up the Sweet Peas??!


Oh yes, dear Reader, the very same.


When I think of normal twine, I think natural-coloured, very nice, common-or-garden beige stuff. In fact I used some of it to make a mini plant pot holder. See here.


Imagine my surprise when I was asked by the very lovely Rose from Unwrap Colour whether I'd like to try her coloured twine.
Coloured?! Count me in, I said.


And so she kindly sent me some red and orange to try. AND she has offered you an exclusive 10% discount, valid until the end of November to use of any products in her Etsy shop (no minimum spend, either, 'cos she's nice like that). Just enter the discount code ANNABOOS at the checkout.
Well, I fancied making a wall-hanging. One crocheted on a twig (as you do). 

Before I begin, I feel I should share a few words of advice about crocheting with twine:
1. It is tough stuff; we are not working with baby-soft Alpaca here. 
2. That said, we are only making a small project, so bear with it, you'll be fine.
3. Work with loose tension to avoid it rubbing too hard on your fingers.
4. Be aware that coloured twine may not be colourfast, particularly >when wet.
How to crochet along the stick (UK dc / US sc). This is actually much easier than it sounds:
Put the yarn on your hook and swing it underneath the stick. Yarn over and complete the stitch. 

It takes a little getting used to, but you should end up with something a bit like this:

Ok. If you'd like to make my wall hanging, then here's the pattern: (UK first, US below) and there's a handy chart right at the bottom of the post for those who prefer.
Stitches used
Chain = ch
Double crochet = dc
Treble crochet = tr
Treble three together = tr3tog

To make the tr3tog stitch: 
*Yarn over hook, hook into st and pull through a loop. YOH and pull the yarn through the first two loops* repeat from *  to * 3 times. YOH pull yarn through all four loops.

You will need:
Jute Craft Twine in Pumpkin Orange and King Crimson
7mm / 10.5 / K hook 
Or any twine and a hook to match
A stick or twiggy-thing approx 27cm long/ 1cm diameter

Crochet Twine Wall Hanging Pattern:
The ch 3 at the beginning of each row counts as a treble stitch. When making the last stitch of each row, remember to work it into the top of this chain, from the row below.

In Pumpkin Orange
Row 1: dc 17 along the stick. Turn.
Row 2: ch 3. Beginning in 5th st from hook, tr 16. Turn. (17 sts)
Row 3: ch 3, (1 tr, ch 1, 1 tr) in 6th stitch from hook, *skip 2 sts, (1 tr, ch 1, 1 tr) in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 stitches left, skip st, 1 tr in last st.
Row 4: ch 3, (1 tr, ch 1, 1 tr) in each ch1-sp along row, 1 tr in last st.
Row 5: repeat Row 2.

Row 6: change to Crimson King, repeat Row 2.
Row 7: ch 4 (counts as tr and 1ch), 1 tr in 7th st from hook, *ch 1, skip 1 st, 1 tr in next st* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 8: repeat Row 2.

Row 9: change to Pumpkin Orange, repeat Row 3.
Row 10: ch 4 (counts as tr and 1ch), tr3tog in ch1-sp, *ch 2,  tr3tog in ch1-sp*, repeat from * to * across. After last tr3tog, ch 1 and 1 tr in last st.

Row 11: change to Crimson King, ch 3, 1 tr in first ch1-sp, 3 tr in ch2-sp, 3 tr in ch2-sp, ch 1, 3 tr in ch2-sp, 3 tr in ch2-sp, 1 tr in last ch1-sp, 1 tr in last st.

Rows 12 - 13: change to Pumpkin Orange, repeat Row 2.
Row 14: repeat Row 3.
Row 15: repeat Row 4.
Row 16: ch 3, 1 tr in same st, 1 dc in next ch1-sp, *(2 tr, 2 ch, 2 tr) in next ch1-sp, 1 dc in next ch1-sp* repeat from * to * again, 2 tr in last st.

Fasten off and weave in ends.



US pattern
:
Stitches used
Chain = ch
Single crochet = sc
Double crochet = dc
Double crochet three together = dc3tog

To make the dc3tog stitch: 
*Yarn over hook, hook into st and pull through a loop. YOH and pull the yarn through the first two loops* repeat from * to * 3 times. YOH pull yarn through all four loops.

You will need:
Jute Craft Twine in Pumpkin Orange and King Crimson
7mm  / 10.5 / K hook 
Or any twine and a hook to match
A stick or twiggy-thing approx 27cm long/ 1cm diameter

Pattern:
The ch 3 at the beginning of each row counts as a double crochet stitch. When making the last stitch of each row, remember to work it into the top of this chain, from the row below.

In Pumpkin Orange
Row 1: sc 17 along the stick. Turn.
Row 2: ch 3. Beginning in 5th st from hook, dc 16. Turn. (17 sts)
Row 3: ch 3, (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in 6th stitch from hook, *skip 2 sts, (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in next st* repeat from * to * until 2 stitches left, skip st, 1 dc in last st.
Row 4: ch 3, (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in each ch1-sp along row, 1 dc in last st.
Row 5: repeat Row 2.

Row 6: change to Crimson King, repeat Row 2.
Row 7: ch 4 (counts as dc and 1ch), 1 dc in 7th st from hook, *ch 1, skip 1 st, 1 dc in next st* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 8: repeat Row 2.

Row 9: change to Pumpkin Orange, repeat Row 3.
Row 10: ch 4 (counts as dc and 1ch), dc3tog in ch1-sp, *ch 2,  dc3tog in ch1-sp*, repeat from * to * across. After last dc3tog, ch 1 and 1 dc in last st.

Row 11: change to Crimson King, ch 3, 1 dc in first ch1-sp, 3 dc in ch2-sp, 3 dc in ch2-sp, ch 1, 3 dc in ch2-sp, 3 dc in ch2-sp, 1 dc in last ch1-sp, 1 dc in last st.

Rows 12 - 13: change to Pumpkin Orange, repeat Row 2.
Row 14: repeat Row 3.
Row 15: repeat Row 4.
Row 16: ch 3, 1 dc in same st, 1 sc in next ch1-sp, *(2 dc, 2 ch, 2 dc) in next ch1-sp, 1 sc in next ch1-sp* repeat from * to * again, 2 dc in last st.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

So that's it!
Very simple and a nice quick project, too.



Crochet Twine Wall Hanging Chart




Enjoy making, and don't forget to find me in my various social media haunts and tag me in your makes, too.

Have a fab week,
Sarah xx