Posted in Hobbies, Life, Personal

Crochet – Memo

“Marvellous Memo Board” designed by Louise Smith

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I found this quick, useful and gorgeous project in issue 56 of the british “Simply Crochet”  magazine which I bought while on a short getaway just before Easter.

Although it is a UK produced print, in this digital age obtaining the materials to follow patterns are really no issue.

In this case I placed my second yarn order with “Love Crochet” – also located in the UK. My order took just a week or so to arrive in Oz. And there isn’t much that you can’t get there.

Now to the project: It uses the y-stitch, an attractive and easy stitch I only discovered because it was introduced to my by this magazine.

Here we go:

I pretty much followed instructions, I used:

  1. Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK   (100% cotton, 50g/125m), 1 ball each:                             Tea Rose (443), Duck Egg Blue (436), Candy Floss Pink (450), Bubblegum Pink (451), Dusty Rose (442), Pale Lilac (446)
  2. 3.0mm hook (US C/2 or D/3)
  3. 3 meter each hot pink & rose satin ribbon
  4. 30cm x 30cm cork board (a 3-piece set I bought at Officeworks)
  5. Fat quarter of matching fabric
  6. fabric / craft glue

Naturally, you can mix and match any colour you like.

Once the crocheted work was finished, I wrapped a colour-matching piece of fabric around the cork board to avoid the “see-through”. I glued this with my my glue-tape roller (very easy to use by the way on all sort of projects). Next I fitted the crochet piece over it, making sure the border and corners fit the cork board nicely. I did have to cut a strip of the board to adjust its size to accommodate my work.

Once the basic memo board was complete I placed the ribbon diagonally over the board and repeated the process in the opposite direction weaving the ribbons over and under each other.

Since I didnt like the look of the back of the board with all its bits and pieces glued behind it I just cut another panel of the fabric and glued it on top to tidy it up.

I decided to use my small leftover ribbon to pin it to the back and create a hanger. That’s it.

Here is the first / “wrong” (but-preferred-by-my-daughter option) which I made with a 4.0mm hook as the 3 was the only size I didn’t have but couldn’t wait to get started:

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As a side note, I am always worried that I may run out so I bought 2 balls each – trust me: that is too much if you are only making one or two. I am still using it now by making a small bag….more soon when it is ready for “Show-and-Tell”.

Until next time, as always please share your thoughts and stay safe. xxx J.

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Posted in Hobbies, Personal

Cosy Stripe Blanket (Attic24)

I am so proud of myself. Yep, this is how I am starting this post 🙂

My biggest project yet – let me re-phrase this: my biggest completed project yet is finished!

cosy-blanket

Attic24Cosy striped blanket is here albeit not for long. It will make the trip to Europe in less than 3 weeks to help my nearly 98-year old Purzel-Oma to stay warm while thinking of us here in Oz.

I found this project while I was looking to crochet something that would take me a little longer, would be a bit bigger and completely different from all my other things I have ever done.

Yes, this is also my very first blanket and how much I enjoyed doing it.

cosy-blanket-edge-folded

Lucy is the name behind Attic24 and is full of creative handcrafts and projects. I highly recommend you to check it out.

So here it goes:

I have Lucy’s website Attic24 bookmarked as I find a lot of fun projects on it. Most of her patterns are in UK terms and it is great that she actually specifies that very fact. I find that extremely helpful.

Anyway – back to the Cosy Stripe Blanket, let’s get started:

Best thing, it uses only one stitch: the Treble Crochet (or DC in US terms):

tr [treble] – yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull through the stitch (3 loops on the hook), yarn over and pull through 2 loops, yarn over and pull through remaining 2 loops

The pattern is also step-by-step accompanied by pictures if you need some visual help.

Next we are required to have 15  x 100g balls of Stylecraft Special DK but as always I needed to find an alternative and used 4 Seasons Marvel 8 Ply Yarn from Spotlight .

The colours I chose were: mint, cerise, laguna, aqua, green, pink, orange, lemsor, flesh, royal blue, sungold, lime, purple, saxe and claret.

Before I started I needed to get my colour sequence in order. To do that I cut from each ball about 10cm and arranged the strings until I was happy with the order. I sticky-taped the sequence to the back of the printed pattern and with the recommended Size 4 hook I was ready to get started.

For you guys that started following me you will know that I learned the Foundation Single Crochet stitch which replaces the chain and subsequent first row of stitches with the Fox Fingerless Gloves.     I did use them here again and am pleased to say it looks a lot tidier for me as my chains are very crooked.

I wasn’t too worried about the measurements of the end result which actually is 145cm x 147cm; nearly square without intention. However when it came to the edging I did get quite worried about having enough yarn left, so I decided to finish the blanket with 2 colours short off completing the full sequence in the hope that it will leave me with enough yarn for the  first two rounds of edging. I knew the 3rd round was easy enough and not very yarn hungry but the last and 4th did get me worried. But as can be seen – all is well and there is still plenty left.

cosy-blanket-folded

There you have it; I can just imagine my beautiful Purzel-Oma (grandma, in case you are wondering is named after her most treasured late cat) sitting on her balcony with this blanket on her knees for comfort and warmth, a cuppa in her hands and thinking of us. Bliss ♥♥♥

Until then – stay safe peeps. J xx

Posted in Hobbies, Personal

August Craft Choice – Key Rings

I made these key rings / fobs and actually really really enjoyed it.

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First decide what size you want to make them; I chose 1 inch width and approximately 9 inch in length (give or take – it really only matters if it is supposed to fit a wrist).

What you will need:

Key ring hardware, at least a key fob and additionally a key split ring:

                                            61VENhELLEL._SL1500_ (2)                                61VENhELLEL._SL1500_ (3)

I found both on eBay (different sellers)

The key fob with the split ring – 25 sets at just under $18 incl. postage.

Later I will also use a D-Ring in the other end (20 pieces at $5 free postage):     Wholesale-Freeshipping-50-Pcs-lot-Inside-Diameter-25-MM-Metal-Silvery-font-b-D-b-font

 You will also need some cotton webbing that needs to be the width of your hardware fobs, in my case 1 inch:

Cotton webbing

– I started with 1 meter each of red, black and white (this made about 4 each)

Then comes the fun part where you can let your creativity thrive; the ribbons. As long is it is a bit thinner then your base cotton nearly anything goes. You can use fabric ribbon, some leftover fabric cut to size and even lace will make it pretty.

If you want to make the sewing easier you can iron the ribbon with fusible tape to the webbing; I just used pins.

Next you sew the ribbon to the cotton, make sure you use a heavy-duty needle unless you are happy to change the regular needle once you are done (it is fine to use it). Once I had my first few done, I figured that they look better if the bobbin thread matches the cotton webbing (red, white or black) and the sewing thread the ribbon. The latter can also be different to make the design more interesting.

Having finished all the sewing on, trim the ends to make them nice and even.

Now grab your hardware, fold your sewn piece of cotton in half with the ribbon showing outside. Using a pair of pliers that are taped so they do not leave any marks on the metal of the fob, gently squeeze the fob to trap the cotton neatly and tight. Add the split ring and voila – finished.

They are a really fun project and I cannot wait to make some more as now I have a few orders for footy-coloured pieces.

And – looking at my versions in the first picture there may even some “manly” key rings in the collection.

So, peeps – there you have it. Hope this inspires one or two to try this project.

Until then as always, stay safe xx J

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Posted in Hobbies, Personal

Crochet – Chunky Fingerless Gloves

Pattern 2 Review

Amazing how time flies when you are having fun. And as requested by my daughter I have now finished the second pair of finger-less gloves for her to take on her trip.

And as I did enjoy doing it the first time around I decided to keep going. That is not to say I am an expert – far from it. But sometimes being the beginner trying to follow that pattern makes us smarter for next time and/or forces us to learn new things.

So with no further ado, here it goes:

Chunky Fingerless Gloves by Jessica at Domestic Bliss Squared

Before I start, here is what the designer Jessica’s gloves look like – pretty cool right?:

Gloves orig

Now to the supplies required:

1.Yarn:

Jessica used Lion Brand Yarn 830-132I Cotton-Ease Yarn in Taupe

This does not seem to be available in Australia or even on the manufacturer’s website. So, again I went to my trusted local wool store Mooroolbark Wool and we chose to purchase two 50g donuts of Cleckheaton Lawson Tweed 12 ply in Ether. You will need two even if most of the second donut will not be used.

  1. Hook H (5.0mm)
  2. Yarn Needle to weave it all in neatly.

Now to the making of it.

The pattern is written clearly and easy to follow until I got to the thumbholes. They have got me twice and funnily enough on the second glove. It seemed to be flowing on the first as instructed but on the second I started thinking about the workings and that forced me to undo it twice right back to where the clusters start.

Jessica did edit the pattern sometime after she initially wrote it as there were a few confusions by other crocheters as well. It didn’t make it clearer for me but I am not here to complain rather just wanting to tell how I went with it.

Even as a novice I think it is possible to find ways around it although they likely do not look as neat as Jessica’s gloves.

I will not go with the failure part on this pattern as I think that this is a challenging one (perhaps just for me) but I cannot see where I failed to read it correctly. The one thing I will say though: I really need to start using stitch markers; especially when working rounds.

But here is what I did do differently; I did use the Foundation Single Crochet stitch I learned on the Fox Fingerless Gloves. I have come to love that one as it is easier, faster and neater. So for me I will replace chains & single crochet starts with this FSC.

I also made chain stitches where the pattern didn’t call for it and tidied up bits and pieces that didn’t make sense to me.

A massive bonus goes to Jessica because she did include links to tutorials for the different stitches the pattern uses.

Overall though, I never intend these reviews to be critical of the designer or pattern. Especially not if they are provided free of charge for personal use.

As with the Fox Fingerless Gloves I did enjoy “hooking” these regardless of the difficulties I had with the pattern. I am sure I did make some mistakes along the way as Jessica’s pair looks much neater and tidier than mine.

But – being the good child that she is my daughter will not mind and probably pretend to love them anyway…THAT is what it makes it all worthwhile. And here are mine:

my gloves

So, again – Thank you Jessica for providing/writing a cute version of a great winter favourite. I can only imagine how difficult is is to write a pattern.

Make sure to head over to her blog/page if you are looking for some stunning craft ideas or patterns to do. There are even some great food ideas.

Until then, enjoy your leisure times with some crocheting, knitting, sewing or whichever hobby takes your fancy. xx