Monday, 30 December 2013

Crochet Container Conversions, a Sumo Baby, Hair Clips and Hearts.

Another lovely day yesterday. It was Ben's birthday so I spent some time in another dimension with Danny looking at the purple skies and the green sun and meeting aliens who did not need to eat or drink ( I wouldn't like that on either count). I then spent some more time on a magic carpet as Ben and I visited Australia, the North pole and the seaside. It is truly amazing what you can fit into one day if you have an imagination.
I told you that I had a new thing rattling round my head. It is the reason I did not do any more with the flower buttons. You are also welcome to this idea that I am calling container conversion. What can you do with an old chinese food container like this?

You could make a crib like this:

Then add a little pillow

Followed by a granny square cover

All is going so well and I am really pleased with the result but as usual I went a step too far and tried to make a baby to go in the crib.

It doesn't look too bad covered like this, but uncovered it looks like a sumo wrestler

And Matthew ( Vicky's brother ) says you shouldn't put a baby in a food container. I am not put off and will try with the Ferrero Rocher container tomorrow. (I have eaten them all).

I still have part of my mind on the next craft fair and since the mistletoe clips were so popular, I have been experimenting to give the clips a feel of Spring which will be here soon (honest). I have made two of most of them for little people (and big ones) who want to wear two clips at a time.

My particular favourite is the daffodil:

While I was gluing these together the postman delivered my latest lot of buttons. So I had to try them on the hair clips as well

I like them so much that I may do more in other colours even though they are not crocheted.

Once again we hope the new year brings you peace and happiness.
Lynn and Vicky.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Two small gentle men, some creatures and a scary cat

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas I know I did. One of the joys of Christmas is having my grandsons visit and this year my brother's grand children also came for a brief time. The picture above gives you some idea of the difference in age and size of three of the children but the two big boys looked after the little girl so well that I am thinking of making this the picture on my Christmas cards for next year. The most lasting and moving image I shall carry with me is of Ben aged 5 putting on Ellie's (aged 2) shoes with absolute concentration and gentleness.

Apart from my amazing family time, I did do some crocheting, mostly preparing for the spring and valentines day.

I have also made other colours but I like this one best.

More animals which prove I have not eaten all of the Christmas sweets.
A pretty hat made in the car travelling to Weston Super Mare.

Then there is this. I freely admit that I am a dog person but I have had cats in my time and so every now and then I try to make one but somehow I always miss out on the essential catness of the creature.

 Face on it looks like a passable bear but from the side it looks like something the wicked witch of the east would be proud of. Ah well back to the drawing board. Happy New Year to all.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas Present Episode 3

I am a great reader of science fiction and fantasy. Very often you read the first novel of a trilogy and enjoy it so much that you go out and buy the second one. You are then desperate to get to the inevitable happy ending  but find that the third novel has not been printed yet. So you wait and wait and finally the book comes out when you have forgotten what happened in the first two books! What is worse the trilogy has become a quadrilogy - is there such a word? It doesn't matter that the saga has become more and more books if you are enjoying it but sometimes you just want to know what happens in the end. Now I am not arrogant enough to put myself in the same group as great science fiction writers so I will try to finish my trilogy today!
Synopsis: episode 1 how to make the flowers
                episode 2 how to make simple and sometimes beautiful things with the flower buttons
                EPISODE 3 expepriments and extensions of the ideas.

I decided I needed something festive:

Red flowers with gold buttons if you made it longer it would make a good decoration or garland.

What happens if the buttons are not at the tip of a petal? Here the buttons are made of shell and varnished a shiny black and sewn to  the middle of the flower.

A lovely bracelet or choker don't you think? This also gives a much firmer feel.

Then I wanted to work out how I could make a wider fabric so ( ignoring the colour scheme perhaps) I sewed on two buttons like this.
 The idea being that you could link the flowers vertically and horizontally

Joining the flowers like this you could make shawls and skirts - although you would need to make sure the buttons fitted tightly in the petals!

So then I started thinking about making the join between buttons more secure. I made a 6 petal flower and joined like this:


This is lovely soft yarn and I intend to finish this scarf over Christmas so I can wear it when the weather gets really cold..

Finally it occured to me that not everybody has buttons in vast quantities (like me) so I started working on an idea for the buttonless flower chain - no sewing either!

These flowers are just threaded onto the chain. I have shown the back and the front so you can see what I did. This is a lovely hairband ( especially good for the music festival season when the summer comes) and you could sew buttons into the middle of each flower if you wanted to.
Sometimes I have what I think is a brilliant idea BUT!!!
When you look at the left hand picture you can see why I thought that buttoning two dark green flowers together would make good holly leaves. But when you see them buttoned to the festive chain you can see that this was an error!
I love to experiment but my grasshopper mind is already thinking about the next idea and so I don't develop the ideas properly so if anybody out there does use these ideas please show me the results.
Vicky and I wish you all a Happy Christmas and remember keeping your hands busy with crochet could stop you eating and drinking too much. ( well maybe not )
Lynn and Vicky


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas Present Flowers Episode 2

In the last blog I showed you how to make a very simple flower, most of you are probably thinking it is too easy. Today I will show you how to make the flowers blossom (sorry).

You will need some buttons, for the moment one for each flower. The petal of the next flower is going to be the button hole so make sure the buttons are the right size. On each flower sew a button onto the tip of one petal. You can then button them together. The button should pass through the petal of the next flower. Like this.

Here I have joined 11 of the larger flowers together  to make a scarf.

And here I have the same number of flowers but joined to fit more snugly around your neck and with a dangly end.

As before sew a button on a petal - obviously smaller buttons. Not so obviously if you want to alternate colours like this put the darker button on the lighter flower. You can see why if you look at the picture below.

 These more delicate flowers make lovely necklaces, bracelets, anklets and headbands. Best of all you could make a belt to wear with your Christmas outfit. If you made it like the last picture you could surreptitiously make it longer if you should eat a little too mach!

This saga has become a trilogy because being me I kept thinking of new things to try using the same ideas so some these will appear in the next enthralling episode.

If anyone uses these ideas I would love to see the result.
back soon

Monday, 16 December 2013

A Christmas Present for Our Readers. Flower Pattern Episode 1

Here is a very simple pattern to make a flower with eight petals (But this might change in the next exciting episode)

Fig 1
fig 2

fig 4

 This is just to show how thick the yarn is but as you will see any thickness will do. The hook for this yarn is a 10mm one but it is not really critical.
1. Make a magic circle note that the long end of the yarn is over the short end. (fig 1)

2. Put the hook through the ring and pick up the long end of the yarn. Pull it through the circle (fig 2) hold the point where the long and short yarns cross while you are doing this
3. Pick up the long end of yarn again and pull it through the loop on the hook. Pull this tight  - it should hold the magic circle tight. fig 3

4. Put the hook through the magic circle again ( underneath both pieces of yarn). Pick up the long yarn and pull a loop through the circle.(fig 4) Yarn over the hook and pull through both the loops on the hook. This is a double crochet.

5. Do this 7 more times so that you have a total of eight double crochets in the magic circle. Fig 5

6. Join with a slip stitch to the first double crochet.

7. ( Work 5 chain stitches. fig 6 ss into the next double crochet.) Repeat the stuff in brackets six more times and then chain 5 and ss into the ss at the base of the first five chain. You should now have eight petals.fig 7.Fasten off.

8. This will work with any thickness yarn provided thay you choose a size of hook to suit. In fig 8 the little flowers are made to exactly the same pattern but using double knitting and a 3mm hook.

For the experienced crocheter:
Make a mc.
Work 8 dc into the mc.
join with a ss to the starting dc
(ch5 ss into next dc) repeat 7 times more all the way round
fasten off

fig 5
fig 6

fig 7
fig 8
In the next blog I will show you how to make these simple flowers into an accessory that you can change to suit your outfit or the weather.
 You can see that I have not done much crochet this week but I am pleased with the idea I have started here. I suspect that these blogs may become a bit sparse as Christmas approaches. Tomorrow is wrapping and last minute deliveries of crochet to customers. Wednesday is preparing a room for my Dad to sleep in, Thursday is food shopping, Friday is baking - anyway you get the idea, I am very busy from now on but I promise to show you the next exciting episode of the readers present

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Home Sweet Crochet?

This week I have started and as usual, almost finished, a project that I had shelved due to the Cristmas rush.

As you can tell it is not quite finihed as the fringe is a bit tangled and not properly trimmed. The trouble is I left it on the dining room table to finish and Graham came along and put it around the dangling bare bulb! It is made on the skeleton of an old lamp shade using string and two different cotton yarns. It is a bit rough and ready but I think I could do a better job next time so it is not entirely wasted. The point is as I was doing it I was reminded of all the crochet things around the house so armed with my trusty camera I have taken pictures so that I can share the ideas.
The surface crochet wall hanging in the bedroom. This again was my first attempt so it is a bit wobbly but I am very attached to it. In the same bedroom is this pot plant which has the advantage that you can't kill it.

A tatty old bath mat -I have three of these and another one as a bedside mat all made from t-shirt yarn,

A cushion by Vicky and my precious mothers day card:

A present from Vicky to keep my yarn tidy and in one place.

And a much loved and very worn old dragon draght excluder.

There is alot more crochet around the house but you can have too much of a good thing so something different.
This yarn has been shouting at me since I bought it so  thought I would try it.

Without any planning this is what happened. What is it? Does it show I havs lady smurfs on my brain? Am I losing it entirely?