Monday, 20 January 2014

Crochet Butterfly Hair Clips - The Pattern

I have decided to write the whole pattern again rather than trying to cut and paste from pdf or word documents. So here are the butterflies - I hope.

Butterfly Hair Clip Pattern.
You will need some short lengths of yarn in the colour you want for your butterfly wings and about a metre of black or brown for the body ( for the biologists among you that is abdomen, thorax and head!)For the purposes of the demonstration I have used stranded embroidery thread and a 2.5mm hook but you can use any type of yarn and a hook that matches.

You will also need blank hair clips, a little piece of felt and access to a glue gun or the equivalent.. Two different types of hair clip are shown in pictures 1 and 2.
Picture 1

Picture 2

1  Make a magic circle *(2ch, 2tr, 2ch, ss ) all in the magic circle*

2  Repeat from* to * once as shown below.

3  (3ch, 3hdtr, 3ch, ss) in the ring twice
4. Fasten off and tighten the magic circle to leave a small hole in the centre. Weave in or tie off ends.

5. To make the body it is best to use black or brown thread. I have used yellow so that it shows up against the dark background. Thread a yarn needle with about half a metre (18 inches) of thread. Pass the needle through the hole in the centre leaving a long end, which will form the head and the antennae later. Pass the thread between the small wings and back through the hole in the same direction as at the start. Do this about three times.

6. Pass the thread between the bigger wings and back through the hole about three times

7. Tie the two ends of the thread several times (this forms the head).

8. Tie little knots in each antenna and cut to length.

I have found that one skein of embroidery thread will make about 5 little butterflies. You can use them for all sorts of decoration and embellishment but if you want to make hair clips:
 9. Glue a small piece of felt to the clip ( this is shown in pictures 1 and 2). When this dries, glue the butterfly to the felt. They can be glued either parallel to the clip or at an angle.

If you don't have the necessary equipment, these will be available in kit form soon. The kits will include all you need to make 4 clips (except the glue) and the pattern will include how to make the little flowers shown here.

This may be my last blog for some time as Graham and I are going to Portugal for two weeks. It has to be possible to getaway from the rain somehow!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Crocheted Creatures, Cute and Creepy

I have been planning this project for ages.

In a previous blog I showed a bendy cat that I had made from bendy hair curlers and I felt that the idea could be  used for other animals. The snake is made around a very long version of those curlers. I am sure it is not meant to be a curler but I am not very sure what it is intended for, all I know is Ben and Danny thought it was a wonderful weapon! It is made with a variegated yarn that I had in my stash which seems to have worked well but I did find it quite difficult to stuff around the bendy thing and it has ended up looking as though it has just had a small rodent for lunch, which it hasn't digested yet (gross!).

From creepy to cute. My second book of 'Ami Ami Dogs'  arrived yesterday so I had to try it. Don't you just love him. He is about 3 inches high and made from synthetic fibre DK. The pattern suggests felting the spots onto him but I didn't have a felting needle so these are made from a sort of velvety velour yarn and are sewn on,
I promised a pattern for the butterflies on the hair clips (see previous blog) I have written it with explanatory photographs etc but I don't know how to transfer a word document to this medium - I will ask my children tomorrow
I have just thought Vickie's mother in law, Dot, is coming tomorrow as well and she has a snake phobia. My snake is so lifelike that I had better find it a hiding place so that I don't frighten anyone!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

An unusual cake, a shawl, some crochet skulls and a small head.

I don't think I ever shared my Christmas cake (it was too yummy to share actually). Ben and Danny, with a little help, iced it for me. I really love the slice placed on top because Ben doesn't like marzipan, it is an idea that could be adopted nation wide. Mind you I think people who don't like marzipan are mad! I was just thinking my mum used to make Christmas puddings and keep them for years, she would then slice off any mould and boil them for several hours before giving them to us and they were puddings to die for but we didn't. I suppose home made things don't have a use by date.

I have finished the giant doily- it is really a shawl or a scarf- but I am still struggling to show the colours in the yarn that is why there are so many pictures.

If you recall this is a pattern from this months 'Inside Crochet ' magazine and although it looks complicated it only uses chains, slip stitches, double and treble crochet so it could be made by a beginner. It could also be used to make  Halloween spiders web perhaps?

Vicky has so many commissions and orders that I have been trying to help out by making these skulls.

As usual I havn't pressed them yet so they look a bit wonky. They are made from non-mercerised cotton and these are about 5.5 cm from top to bottom. Vicky wrote the pattern that includes two other sizes to make.

When we revealed the hair clips several people asked for a pattern so  I too have been trying to write a pattern for the tiny butterfly hair clips, not quite ready yet but watch this space. We are also planning 'make your own hair clip' kits. So just to remind you what they look like, I would like to introduce you to my latest charity shop find:

I don't want you to think that these are enormous clips that will make it hard to hold up your head, it is just a small version of the girls world head and it makes the clips look bigger!!
I hope the pattern will be ready for the next blog.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Crochet eyes, spinning and enormous doilies!

Eye know you have seen some of these before! We will soon be making a pattern for them or you can order them from us. Their names are:the green eyed monster, the red eye, the blue eyed boy, the little yellow eyedol (sorry), the black eye, and the brown eyed girl. There are three more to follow -why not collect them all?

Now I want you to be amazed at how green we have been. Vicky saved ends of yarn that crocheters and knitters usually throw away. Graham carded the ends and then spun them into this really interesting, chunky yarn and then I crocheted the yarn to show you what it will do.

It gives a gorgeous textured finish that I will make into a bag when we have enough.

This is another piece of practice spinning which I think will be lovely when we have enough.

As you can probably tell I don't have as much crocheting as usual to show you. This is because I have been trying out the pattern in this months 'Inside Crochet'. It is called A Juliana Shawl and is based on a Dutch doily pattern. As you can see I have started twice because I ran out of yarn and am waiting for the next lot to arrive, so I started again and I am now nearing the end, this time using some Denis Brunton magi colour yarn.

Neither piece has been blocked and it is difficult to see the beautiful colours but it is a lovely pattern. Thank you Inside crochet.
I am now going to crochet some skulls for a customer. A crocheters life is nothing if not variegated (or is that the yarn)

Friday, 10 January 2014

Crochet coincidence, creatures and eyeballs.

I have been having more problems with my computer, except it turns out that lots of people have the same difficulty so I found advice on line and I am now back.
There are some gifts that you didn't know you wanted until you have one and then they become indispensible. My glue gun is one such present and I couldn't have made these without it.

 The picture above is of two hair slides made with Vicky's cotton flowers and some buttons I bought on ebay. It is pure coincidence that the colours match so well.

I have been trying to think of ways of encouraging small people to put away their hair stuff so that they don't get lost so I made a tiny purse to match the butterfly hair pins. It is really just an excuse to use the yarn that Vicky gave me to try. It is 60% alpaca, 40% cotton, it is called Serena and is hand dyed in Uruguay. It is amazing to use and I highly recommend it for crochet. Also isn't it amazing what changing the background colour does to a photograph?

I have also been making more 'cute ' creatures for the various fairs we will be going to in the spring.

A pink horse with a silver bridle! This is made using a free pattern that I found on line. It is called a Horse for the Barnyard Collection but I have no name to attribute it to. So thank you whoever you are it is a lovely and easy to follow pattern. This is my favourite make of the week. It is supposed to be a corgi but the ears are a bit big. I love him anyway!
Made from one of the patterns in the 'Ami Ami Dogs' book by Mitsuki Hoshi. I like thse patterns so much that I have ordered the second book by the same designer.

Graham has been plying thin wool again so I used the result to make this strawberry beany - sounds awful- I have this vision of strawberries served with baked beans. But you could use any beany pattern to make this and just add a stalk and some yellow buttons. The buttons that I used are heart shaped and sewn on upside down -I hope they are not like horse shoes!

Finally this week I made some more of our ever popular eyeballs, which can be attached to things by means of a lobster claw clip.The amazing thing about them is that they change character when you turn them upside down or squeeze the sides.

Inspite of appearances I don't crochet day and night ( I wouldn't mind if I did ); Graham and I went to the seaside yesterday. Practically no one on the beach and a glorious day. We had a long walk and did some beach combing as we walked (really interesting after the storms) and then had a nice  meal before coming home. Retirement is amazing!!!!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Crochet cat, button beany and some tiny little creatures.

Do you know I am getting fed up with wind and rain. When it all started I was happy to be indoors crocheting with a really good excuse not to go and tidy up the garden but now I want to be able to mend the fence and pick up the sticks that have blown out of the tree and go for a walk. Still it looks as if it might cheer up towards the end of the week.
 Needless to say I have been crocheting. He is called rattle the cat - see why below!

I have made this for a friend from a lovely pattern by Nekoyama ( all copyrights reserved). The writer of the pattern asks that a link is made to the site above but it is in Japanese and will need a translator. It is a really clever design with weights in the hands, feet and bottom, so that it sits and you can position it how you like. I was really enthusiastic and got started immediately and then sent for the pellets that form the heavy stuffing. When the pellets arrived I found that they were so tiny that they slipped through the natural gaps in my crocheting. Never mind I soon found a muslin bag to contain the pellets and all my troubles should have been over but the arms and legs are so thin that I couldn't get a bag full of pellets down them and into the hands/feet and being me I couldn't bear to undo the arms and legs . I solved the problem by using some beads which work very well but the cat doesn't so much purr as rattle. Never mind he is lovely and I highly recommend the translated pattern.

For the rest of the day I unconsciously set myself a challenge: First Graham had made me some lovely thick orange yarn by plying some very fine stuff. I had intended to make another fish hat since we had sold the last one but then I decided it looked like an orange and I contemplated putting a stalk and leaves on the top but eventually it became 'the three button beany below'.

This fits my rather large head so you can probably tell it is really thick yarn but these are from very fine yarn:

I really love the tiny little hedgehog with the bright, sparkly, black eyes but the owl has eyes that make it look like a cartoon creature that has just been hit on the head.
You see the challenge, from really thick yarn to really thin yarn and from using a 10mm hook to using a 2mm hook in the space of an hour. But best of all it shows a little of the versatility of crochet and a little of why we love it.