Wednesday 27 June 2012

Stripes and Buttons

I love stripes. 
I'm drawn to them. 
Particularly bright, sunshiny rainbow colours.
And I want to crochet them.

So what's the problem? I hear you ask.
Well, I want to make a stripy monkey. 
Here it is so far:

Stripey crochet

And, apart from the fact it is taking a baziiiiiillion times longer to make because of all the sodding colour changes, I like it. 

From the front.

But I don't really like the back.

Stripey crochet

I'm not keen on the 'steppy' colour changes (I know it's a thing with working in the round). But I'm just not sure about it. 
What do you think? Any comments gladly appreciated, as always. 

Stripes done. Now buttons.

I love stripes, as you know. But I also love buttons.
Really, I do.
They brighten up just about everything and I use them a lot. I mean, seriously. A LOT. 

Sooooo imagine my delight in winning a BUTTON giveaway from the lovely Barbara over at Made in K-town!!
Here's my package- check out those stamps from Germany.

Stripey crochet

I have to show you:

Button mosaic

Aren't they great?
And look! 
A sweet little heart pendant and some lush little glass beads (more boho bracelets, methinks)

Button giveaway win Button giveaway win1

Thank you so much, Barbara- this is a fabulous win and it really did make my day.

Right, I'm off to have fun with my buttons and go make myself a new pendant and bracelet. 

Thanks to everyone's kind comments about the jewellery- I'll be putting new things into my Etsy shop in a couple of weeks time, once I've finished with my summer craft fairs.

Enjoy your week.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Boho Bracelets

Boho bracelets

A few beads + 1 metre of cord + some nifty knotty action

= adjustable boho bracelet

1. Cut cord into 2 lengths, one measuring 70cms, the other 30cms (increase the longer cord for larger wrists)
2. Double up the longer length of cord and thread your beads onto it. Make a knot either side to keep the beads in place.
3. Wrap the ends of the bracelet so that they cross each other. Hold the ends in place. (I used mini pegs for this and a bit of blu-tack to steady the bracelet)

Boho bracelets

4. With the shorter length of cord, make a series of adjustable square knots (see here) and trim off the ends.

Boho bracelets

5. Knot the other ends of your bracelet.

Ta daah.

Boho bracelets

Have fun!

Monday 11 June 2012

Back to it

Cor it feels right weird being back here, writing a 'normal' post, after all the tutorial instructions and photos.
What do I usually write about, I wonder as I sit here in the glorious British summertime (tumble dryer on, heating on, jumper on etc)?

I can't for the life of me remember. 

I'll show you what I've been making for a craft fair at the end of the month [there's the usual guff I won't bore you with; crochet flower hairbands and clips which were a good seller for me before and of course, a couple of Monks commissioned by a friend]

So instead, a new venture for me: Some simple jewellery.







And a gratuitous crochet pic of a doll I've just made for my mate Kate.

New doll for Kate

Have a great week.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

CAL Episode 5: The Finale

Crochet doll finished

Ok, doll makers. You are my patient friends who have been waiting and waiting, so without further ado, let's give them finished.

Firstly, I MUST point you in the direction of the most amazing crochet doll maker:
Beth at By Hook, By Hand. She publishes loads of free patterns for dolls and clothes and is where I learned to make dolls and their hair. DO go and visit her- she has patterns for all types of dolls and the most amazing wig-making tutorial too.


Ok, this is what you do:

With your chosen hair yarn and with the same hook, you need to crochet the same pattern as the original head and repeat until you have a snug fitting cap which covers the area where you want hair on your doll.


I used 2 strands together of a thinnish yarn to make mine. You could experiment with mohair or other fluffy yarn, too. 

Round 1
5 sc in magic ring OR
Ch 2, 5s c in 2nd chain from hook. (5 sts)

Round 2
2 sc in each sc (10 sts)

Round 3
(1 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (15 sts)

Round 4
(2 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (20 sts)

Round 5
(3 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (25 sts)

Round 6
(4 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (30 sts)

Round 7
(5 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (35 sts)

Round 8
(6 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (40 sts)

Rounds 9- ?
Sc 40

Repeat until you have enough of the head covered, then turn out the right way.
This makes a wig cap and means that you don't get bald patches on your doll. (Don't sew onto the head just yet)

Here's how I made my doll's hairstyle (bunches/pigtails), but you could do whatever you want here- be creative and have a try. Anything you don't like can be easily changed, so don't worry.

You now need to wind lengths of yarn for the hair itself. Decide on roughly the length you'll need and then choose a book of the same size to wind the yarn around. Remember to opt for slightly longer hair than you think- you can always trim it later. 


Cut the yarn at one end only- this gives you double the length.


For bunches/pigtails, I found the best method is to surround the edges of the wig cap first.
Push your crochet hook through the V of the stitch:


Hook the yarn and pull through: 


Now pull the tails of the yarn through the loop and tighten the knot.



That's it.
Repeat around the edge.


Now to make the centre-parting.
Make a chain the length of your wig from the middle of the forehead to back of the wig cap.


Lie the chain in front of you.
You will add the lengths of hair, as you did for the wig cap, but ONLY through the top loops of the V.


Work along the top row.


Turn around.
Now work the hair through the (now) top loops again.


Hair (nearly) done!
Ok, we're on the home stretch now:
Get yourself a long length of cotton and a sharp needle and stitch the wig cap to the head. Make sure it fits tightly and go round a couple of times.
Then stitch the centre parting from the middle of the forehead to the back.


Now, style!! 
High pigtails, or low? A pony tail? Long hair? or short?
It's up to you!


Check out Beth's blog for other hair ideas, too!

What about a dress?

Crochet doll dressed!

Here's the link to the lovely Molly Chicken's blog, where I found instructions to make my dolly's reversible dress.
Simple and quick. 
[And I am a complete sewing novice and managed this with no problems.]

Crochet skirt

This is for you guys and gals who did a nifty bit of back-loop-only single crochet on Round 8 of your doll's body.

Image from Fotolr Photo Studio HD!

Ok. Put the skirt colour onto your hook with a slip knot and hold your doll upside down, with its legs in the air, with its back facing you.

Hook through the first loop you can see and make a single crochet.


Continue with Round 1: Single crochet around (24 sts)


Round 2: (1 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (36 sts)
Rounds 3- desired length: Sc 36.


Finish off and weave in ends.


Have I forgotten anything?
I do hope not.

You should have a lovely Monk, Kat, Doll, Bunny, Bear or maybe something else in your hands.
Hug them now, give them a name and feel super-proud, especially if this is the first crochet toy (amigurumi) you have ever made.

I hope you've enjoyed playing along with this CAL.
Enjoy your week and do post your finished pictures in our Flickr CAL group- click over there on the right to join up.

See you soon.