Monday, 29 August 2011

More leeeetle blocks!

I'd like to start by saying hello to my new followers- thank you. I can't believe that I have 80 of you who enjoy being here.
And to the gals who comment on my stuff- a great big hug. You really make my day!

So not so much happening in my land of crochet (just some mundane finishing of WIPs). But here are some new blocks!

Image from My iPhone!

Image from My iPhone! Image from My iPhone!

Image from My iPhone!

Thank you for all your lovely comments about the blocks and I know many of you would love a tutorial, but I have decided to sell! I've signed up for a table top sale this Saturday (may turn out to be more of a jumble sale than craft fair, but worth trying I guess) and am also toying with the whole Etsy/Folksy thing too.
Can I ask about your experiences of online selling? Does anyone sell much? Is it worth it?
I'd love to know!
I may be a bit absent from blogland this week as I try to get everything ready for my stall, but I look forward to catching up with all your blognews soon!

Wish me luck, and have a great week everyone.

Xx

Monday, 22 August 2011

Playing with words

Image from My iPhone!

This just about sums up how I feel about making these little blocks.
For a while now, I've been making them and just stashing them away, ready for gifts etc..

Really, they are very leeeetle- look, here's my Whimsie owl next to some.
He looks a bit overwhelmed, doesn't he?

Image from My iPhone!

The teeny-tiny blocks measure 2x2cms and are quite cute, I think. Here's some more:

Image from My iPhone! Image from My iPhone! Image from My iPhone! Image from My iPhone! Image from My iPhone! Image from My iPhone!

I've also made some slightly bigger ones (3x3cm- ish) too:

Image from My iPhone! Image from My iPhone!
Image from My iPhone! Image from My iPhone! Image from My iPhone!

And here's a pic of them all together.

Image from My iPhone!

They're not quite finished- a coat of matt varnish should do it.

Would love to know what you all think.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

New arrivals ..

I have a new house guest:

Well behaved.
Quiet
Tidy.
A good listener, too.

Meet Betty:

Cowls

Bless 'er.
She looks dead bored.
And a bit cold too.

Cowls

That's better! Nice and snug now.
This wool is a Sirdar chunky something-or-other from a charity shop. It crocheted up quite nicely on 10mm hooks. It is verrrry chunky, but will keep someone warm in arctic climates, methinks.

It's official. I've gone a bit mental.
The weather here today has been a balmy 20+ degrees and me and Mister&kids have been to the local village fair and yet, I'm contemplating cowls.

I think it's something to do with it being the summer holidays, and needing an easy, mindless project (which doesn't involve counting stitches, or doing clever things of any sort) and which I can pick up for seven seconds and put down again. Regularly.

Sorry, Betty, what?
You have more cowls to show us?

Cowls

If you've visited here before, then you will have read about my mahooooousive Noro stash from the local charity shop- I'm not kidding, 50p a ball and I must have grabbed about 20 balls ...
Anyhoo, this was my first attempt at making something with some Noro Iro.
Simple. Double crochet (US)around.
I have to admit, although I love the colours, it's still a bit clunky. I may frog this and start again, but I have to say, I have loved working with this yarn - just watching the colours and textures change through my fingers has been therapeutic.

Pardon, Betty?
More to show?

Cowls

This one is just plain, cheap old chunky-ish acrylic (found in local hardware shop for a quid a go) still lovely, but quite dense in texture. Inspired here.

Next, Betty ...

Cowls

The same wool, but Navy.
This time have solved the dense/clunkiness problem- use a bigger hook!!!
Genius.

This gives a little more air throughout the piece and gets a bit more from the ball of yarn too.

Last thing:
A couple of little roses from here, which are seasonal, at least.

Crochet roses

Have a good weekend!
Xx






Sunday, 14 August 2011

Let's get cosy

Well, eerrrrm, tea-cup cosy to be exact:

Mug cosies 3

Not original, as I have seen this sort of thing on t'internet before, but hopefully, a bit different.

As with all my crochet projects, dead easy to do:
Chain the right number of stitches to nearly fit around the cup .....

....sorry, I have to interrupt myself here as I have, this week, stumbled upon the most amazing thing:
Now girls, please do bear in mind that I am still relatively new to this crochet-malarky, and so still struggle MASSIVELY with crocheting into the chain - (imagine wonky edges, dreadful tension and lots of swearing, and you'll be somewhere close).

Sooo, imagine my absolute joy to discover the art of chainless foundation- yes, it's a marvellous thing whereby you crochet the chain and the next row all in one! See here.
[I tried taking photos of the process, but you really need to see it in action- what did we do before the days of YouTube?]

Here's what it looks like:

Chainless foundation crochet

Not bad, methinks- no more faffing around, trying to get the bloomin' hook or wool to behave.
Egad, it's a revelation (to me, at least).

Ok, back to where I left off with the cup cosies- once you've made your chain, you then just crochet your chosen stitch forwards and backwards until the correct height is reached.

3 mug cosies

From left to right:
The grey was the same version of the grit stitch that I used for my Vintage Phone case, in the middle, the granny stripe from here and the pink was a version of the pattern for Chloe's dress from here.

I then edged the pieces with single crochet to neaten them up, added a couple of buttons on one side and chain-stitched loops to fasten them on the other.

Mug cosy making Mug cosy making

Job done.

Mug cosy buttons

Feeling cosy, with warm cuppa, but not burning hands on a freshly-poured cup?

Marvellous.

Enjoy your week.
Xx


Monday, 8 August 2011

Crochet tutorial- Korknisse and Toadstool patterns

So I've dug out my notes and tried to piece together a pattern for crocheting these cute toys. If something is wrong/unclear in the pattern, tell me and I'll try to help. 
If you make these, do let me know (I'd love to see them) and please link back here if you post them on your blog. Ta. X  

Crochet korknisse in the garden

The korknisse and Toadstool arre crocheted Amigurumi-style. This is a Japanese crochet form which roughly translates as 'crocheted or knitted stuffed doll'. 

- If you can make a magic ring (or ch2 and make your scs in the 2nd chain from the hook) and do single crochet, you can create amigurumi.
There's no need to make a chain at the beginning of every round, or to join with a slip stitch, you just keep going round and round ... Remember to use a stitch marker at the beginning of every round, but don't worry too much if you make a mistake, ami crochet is very forgiving!

Here we go ..
To make Korknisse.
(adapted from original knitting pattern here)
4 little korknisse

You'll need:
Standard cork
DK yarn (these are fab for using up odds and ends, each only takes about 4g of wool
4mm hook
Stitch marker 
Buttons etc for decorating

Jumper
1. Make 8 sc in magic ring (check out YouTube for great tutorials for this. Or: ch2, and make 8sc in the 2nd ch from your hook)
2.  2 sc in each sc around (16sc)
3. Sc 16 (use stitch marker to mark 1st stitch of each round)

[Check that this will fit your cork; you might need to increase of decrease stitches depending on your tension]

4-8. Sc 16
Slip stitch into next stitch, fasten off.

Hat
1.  3sc in magic ring
2. 2sc in each sc (6)
3. Sc 6
4. (sc 1, 2sc in next sc) rep 3 times (9sc)
5. Sc 9
6. (Sc 2, 2sc in next sc) rep 3 times (12sc)
7. Sc 12
8. (Sc 3, 2sc in next sc) rep 3 times (16sc)
9. Sc 16
10-12. Sc 16

[I make this hat from the top down, but if it's too fiddly, then make a ch of 16, join with sl st and work backwards through the pattern]

Now decorate the hat or jumper, or both and dress your little cork and give him a face. Easy.

Royal wedding korknisseKorknisse nice hatCrochet rainbow korknisseCrochet korknisse in the garden
Moving on...

Making the Toadstool
This pattern is my own, so please remember to link back here if you use it

Crochet toadstool

You'll need
DK yarn (one colour for base and another for top)
4mm hook
Stitch marker
Rice or sand
Felt/ material/ buttons to decorate
Polyester toy stuffing
Tapestry needle

Toadstool Base

1. 6sc in magic ring
2. 2sc in each sc around (12sc)
3. (1 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (18sc)
4. (2 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (24sc)
5. (3 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (30sc)
6. (4 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (36sc)
7.  Ch 3 (first dc), 4 dc, 2 dc in next sc, (5 dc, 2dc in next sc) rep 5 times (42dc) sl st into 3rd stitch of chain
8.  Ch 3 (first dc), 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc, (6dc, 2dc in next sc) rep 5 times (48dc) sl st into 3rd stitch of chain
9 - 12. Sc 48
13. (4 sc, decrease 1) rep 8 times (40 sc)
14. (3 sc, dec 1) rep 8 times (32 sc)
15 - 23. Sc 32
Decorate the base however you like.
24. (2 sc, dec 1) rep 8 times (24 sc) 
sl st into next stitch and fasten off
Use rice or sand (in a muslin bag) to fill the base

Toadstool top
1. 6 sc in magic ring
2. 2 sc in each sc around (12 sc)
3. (1 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (18sc)
4. (2 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (24 sc)
5.  (3 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (30 sc)
6. Sc 30
7. (4 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (36sc)
8. Sc 36
9. (5 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (42sc)
10. Sc 42
11. (6 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (48sc)
12. Sc 48
13. (7 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 6 times (54sc)
14. Sc 54
15. (5 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 9 times (63sc)
16. Sc 63
17. (2 sc, 2sc in next sc) rep 21 times (84sc)
18- 26. Sc 84
27. (4 sc, dec 1) rep 14  times (70sc)
28. (3 sc, dec 1) rep 14  times (56sc)
29. (2 sc, dec 1) rep 14  times (42 sc)
30. (1sc, dec 1) rep 14  times (28sc)
31. Sc 28
Sl st into next stitch and fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing onto base.

Decorate the top of the toadstool
Fill with stuffing.
Sew top to bottom, using a tapestry needle.
Stand back, and admire your cleverness.

Crochet korknisse in the garden

Hope that works for you. Good luck, and enjoy making.
X  


 

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Rainbow Korknisse

Oooo, a little toadstool house.
Who lives here, I wonder?

Crochet korknisse in the garden

*knock knock*

Crochet korknisse in the garden

Of course! It's the little Korknisse!
How lovely to see you.
How are you?
Are there any more of you in there?

Crochet korknisse in the garden

Oh how super! Lots of Korknisse.
And rainbow colours, too.
Please can I have a nice photo of you?

Crochet korknisse in the garden

Oh now, that's just silly.
Please behave.

Crochet korknisse in the garden
Thank you, that's better.

Now, can I take a photo indoors, so we can see you in all your summer finery?

Right, in a line please.
Crochet rainbow korknisse

Really. You are just being naughty now.
Stop buggering around and behave.

Crochet rainbow korknisse
That's more like it. Thank you.


Crochet rainbow korknisse
Well now, that's just plain showing off now, fellas.


Crochet rainbow korknisse
"Nice butterfly."
"Ta."

Oh dear, I think the sun got to me today.

'Korknisse' means 'cork elf' in Norwegian. They are traditionally knitted Christmas ornaments, but I crochet mine Amigurumi-stylie and love 'em at any time of the year.

I've already made Spring Korknisse here and Royal Wedding Korknisse here too.
Mad, but true.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Some up-do action

The crochet's a bit slow this week- too many WIPs and not enough progress on any of them - probably because my creative juices have been running elsewhere.

Take this, unassuming 1930s bureau, minus the openy-top-thingy (woodworm, apparently).

More shelves before

Purchased from charity shop for a tenner.
Given a bit of a sanding (I'm a bit unenthusiastic about this stage and get bored easily, so am not thorough).
Holes and cracks filled with flexible filler (marvellous stuff).
Slapped about with 3 coats of eggshell (not carefully applied- managed to get it on the curtains and the sofa- don't tell the Mister).
Jooooshed up a bit with some lush paper from a nice arty shop.

Et voilà!

More shelves 2

Lovely shelves for the little'un's room. I'm actually very surprised at how nicely they've turned out, as it goes.

Moving on..
Another up-do. A little table, given the same treatment as the shelves above (minus the pretty paper). Sorry, no 'before' photo, just an afters:

Table finished

I love that knitting bag. Charity shop find, obviously. I thought the cats looked happy and they are wearing bow-ties, which is always a good thing in my book.

I digress. Yet another up-do in the form of some little shelvy-things (originally Ikea, mine from Charity shop, of course):

Crafty drawers!

This time I went mad with spray paint. Two coats. Very quick and dried in no time.
Then glued the same paper I put on the shelves.

Bingo!

Ikea shelves made over

And here's some more shelves I had a go at, just different paper glued to the front.

Ikea shelves made over

Pretty and easy too.

Wishing you all a creative and crafty week (if the kids'll let you)

Happy Monday, all. Xxx