Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A week in crochet and CE testing.

Monday: made cute Boudica Bunny.

 And tortured cute bunny. Damn CE testing.

Tuesday: made a cotton mandalla. What I can't understand is why it isn't completely circular- I drew round a plate for the backing you would think that would be round!

Wednesday: Inspired by the mandalla, I made some coasters which I had seen in a magazine.

Attempt at posh picture.

Thursday: Made a chilli garland - my favourite of the weeks production.

Friday: Made cute Tiberius Teddy

Can you work out which one has been tortured, its the look in his eyes.

Tortured a bear,

I really hate CE testing!

Saturday: Family came to lunch. Nice barbcue Ben and Danny ate huge amounts of meat and ice cream but very little salad! Made bees and sugar mice to replenish stock.

I have already tortured both the mice and the bees.
Ce testing !

Sunday: day of rest you must be joking!
Made two eye-pods on key rings

I also have two bigger projects on the go so I did a bit of my poncho and thought about doing some of my crochet blanket - didn't actually do it but I will honest!
I really think Vicky's garden is looking lovely.

PS the pattern for Tiberius and Boudica ( actually Tumbelty Ted and Bunny Bunting ) is one that we sell as String Theory.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Not a proper crochet blog

This isn't going to be a proper blog post.  Just a quick share.   

I'm trying to turn my tiny front garden into a crochet-patch (like a cabbage patch but woollier).  We live in a public park and so many people walk by. I feel ashamed that our little plot is so dull and unkempt.  I certainly don't have a green thumb but I have found I have a green hook ;-)

I want to fill the whole garden with crochet flora and fauna.  I've set up a Pinterest board to collect patterns and inspiration.  Click here to take a look.

Mum's experimented with waterproofing sprays and I've got my fingers crossed it's not all going to go soggy.

Even though my garden is only the size of a pocket hanky, I think it's going to take me a very long time to finish to Chelsea Gold Medal standard but I'm begging, borrowing and stealing too.  I already have a bee and a bird from mum.

Today, the sunflowers bloomed.

Victoria x

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Part 2. How to add crochet compost and flowers to your pot.

The end result when you have added compost ( the brown bit ) and flowers.
This time you will need some stuffing, some florists tape and some wire. For these I used fairly fine jewelers wire. Also some crochet flowers and leaves.

1. put some stuffing into the pot you will be adding more later so no need to be too precise

2. Use brown yarn to make a flat circle in exactly the same way as the bottom of the pot. Make the flat circle about one row smaller than you need and then do one row of dc without any increases, this gives the earth its domed shape.

3. Sew the brown circle to the top of the pot. Just before you complete the sewing add a bit more stuffing to give a nice domed effect.

4. I am not going to tell you how to make the actual flowers as there are plenty of patterns on line and some very good books. I used:

You will also need some leaves again these can be found in the flower books. At this point you could stop and just sew flowers onto the earth/compost like this:


This is the wire and tape I used. The tape is amazing stuff - it only sticks to itself so it is very easy to use. The wire is also florists supply to make it easy to see what I am doing.Wrap the tape around the wire for about 6 inches.

6. Make a circle in the end of the wire. Place this on the back of the flower and sew it on

6. To cover this messy join I made a green cone: MC. 6dc in circle (working in a spiral) 1round straight ( 6dc.) 
next round (2dc then 2 in the next stitch.) x2 ( 8 stitches ) 
next round 1dc in each stitch
next round (3dc then 2 in next stitch,) x 2     (10 stitches) fasten off leaving a long end for sewing.
This works well for the daffodil but it will need adjusting for different types of bloom.

7. Push the covered stem into the top of the cone and out of the small hole in the bottom. Slide it up until it touches the flower and sew in place.

8. to add leaves: I have stiffened them a bit with wire. The wire is threaded through the leaf and then back down again.


Notice that I have not got rid of the ends because they can be wrapped in with the wire like this. Wrap the tape down the stem for about an inch -don't cut the tape.

10. Lay the stem of the flower next to the stem of the leaf and carry on wrapping until the flower stem is as long as you want it to be.

you can add more leaves in the same way

Making something like the flower spray below is just the same technique using lots of wired flowers and leaves.

Bend the stem into a slight curve before pushing it into the small hole in the centre of your pot. Wiggle it a bit to make it go in as far as possible and make it stable and then sew the leaves to the earth/compost.


Even better you could make this by the same method.

Flower or cup cake?
No contest!


Sunday, 17 May 2015

How to make a crochet pot of flowers - Part one the flower pot.

Sometimes I try to help Vicky with her commissions. So as somebody has asked for a pot of flowers  I thought I would share the secrets of making the flower pot itself while I help Vicky. These are what the customer saw but they were already sold.

1.Inside any cone of wool there is a really useful cardboard cone.

2. Measure up from the wide end about 9cm or however long you want your pot to be and then using a bread knife ( but don't tell Graham ) saw the section off.

3. Stand the smaller end on some card and draw around it. Then cut about 2cm away from the circle. Now cut V shapes in the extra 2cm of card with the point of the v just inside your drawn line.

4. Starting from the wide end of your tube push the card into and right to the bottom of the pot to be. You may need to fold the flaps first.

4. At this point you need to weight the pot so that it does not tip when you add your beautiful flowers. I have used plasticine or plaster of paris (from e-bay) or even some stones. The plaster of paris seems to work best. I make a fairly thick paste and put it in the bottom of the tube to a depth of about  1cm.

plaster of paris and a few stones.

5. The pot is now ready to crochet round. So make a flat circle ( I used terracotta coloured, chunky yarn because I am a traditionalist but anything will do ). 
i. magic circle and work 1ch (does not count as a stitch) 8dc in it. ss into first dc. 
ii 1ch and then 2dc in each stitch around (16 stitches )
ii 1ch , 1dc in same place 2dc in next stitch, ( 1dc in next stitch 2dc in next stitch ) x 7 (24 stitches)
iii 1ch , 1dc,  in same place 1dc,  2dc in next stitch, ( 1dc in next 2 stitches 2dc in next stitch ) x 7 (32 stitches)

Keep going, in this pattern until the circle is the same size as your pot base. You should increase the numbers highlighted in pink by one each round and the number of stitches should increase by 8 in each round. Don't worry if it doesn't fit exactly but better a bit too small than a bit too big.

Now work in a spiral (amigurumi style) 
first round using back loops only 1dc in each stitch do not join. 
Use both loops from here on
Second round 1dc in each stitch
third round increase one stitch at the start of the round and one half way round ( do this by working 2 dc into your chosen stitch)

From here until you reach the top the best advice I can offer is to keep trying your work on the pot and if it feels a bit tight then increase in the next round. Otherwise just keep working straight. The stretchy nature of crochet means that it will fit the pot snugly without too much in the way of increasing.

When the work reaches the top of the pot work one round in the back loops only and then a couple more rows that will tuck inside the pot later.Cut and fasten off.

here the extra has been tucked into the pot.

Lastly if you want a realistic looking pot you can work 3 rows of htr (in front loop only) in the unused loops at the top of the pot where you worked in the back loops only the front loops are free. This will then fold outwards to make the rim. I have used orange to make the extra bit clear.
this shows how the pot rim is attached
completed pot

Once you master this technique of trying your crochet onto the pot and then either increasing or decreasing the number of stitches, you can cover anything - try those plastic peanut butter jars add decoration  and you have some really handy screw top containers for all those annoying bits of K'nex or lego or for buttons.

example  of covered pots from the past.
Don't miss the next exciting episode - adding earth and flowers.