Thursday, 28 January 2016

Crochet Rose Quicky!

Just a quicky to share some love.

I found a link on Pinterest to a video tutorial for a beautiful rose.  A video?  No several lengthy videos where She's Crafty takes you through every stitch and every stage to make a rose bud, a half opened rose and a fully opened rose.

It is a beautiful design.

I've spend quite some time over the last two days with this CAL and I'm so happy with the results I had to share.

Warning:  You will need to use a 2.2mm hook with DK yarn - tricky and tight ... I upsized to a 2.5 because my yarn was splitting too frequently.  Also, the videos are quite long and slow if you're a very competent crocheter.  I was often waiting for her to catch up.

With Valentine's Day coming up what better gift?

Here's the link if you're inspired: Crochet Rose by She's Crafty

And here's my rose:

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Wintergreen Free Form Crochet parts 5 and 6

This week I have made lots more patches. Three of them have been added to the original scumble. The idea was that the greens of winter are often dark and I felt that the work was becoming too spring like.

A green triangle to fill a gap. Made from a boucle yarn. Will be explaining this and more in part 7 how to fill awkward gaps.

A little piece ripple stitch done in 4ply green yarn.
You can find instructions and diagrams to help you make this pattern at Planet June (another crocheter we admire).

The third patch is an open loopy square. Choose any square that pleases you. There are some examples here. These are 12 inch squares so they are a bit big for the present work but you can stop anywhere you like in the patterns.

Part 5
This is the scarf so far. The trouble is it looks like some mad womans' jigsaw puzzle ( no comments thank you ).  To link the piece into a whole garment you can use crochet edges that go across more than one patch. The first example is across spiral and one leaf. This is just a row of double crochet, the thickness of the yarn is irrelevant as long as the hook is approximately right for the yarn gauge. The way I make sure that the new edge fits is to watch the stitches and if they lean backwards I do two stitches in the next hole, if they lean forwards I might miss a stitch. This is something that needs practice but as I have said this is free form so if the edge you are crocheting becomes a bit frilly it doesn't matter.

This edge starts at  the yellow popcorn/dome and goes all the way round to the light green fan/wing. But I wanted to finish the small ball of yarn so I went back a bit so there are two rows in places.  I was using dc and a colour changing boucle yarn. Remember to do more stitches at outward corners and crochet two or three together at inward facing corners


These were just crocheted to fit a gap: small square of dc and a little circle  using htr, The paisley I made up but there are plenty of patterns on line PattiHaskins has gone to the trouble of making a PDF  for anyone to use.

Here they are sewn on.I am still not quite happy so I went looking for inspiration.

This is my favourite -I think because Vicky and I both contributed.
I also love the colours.

I think the difference between this one and the current piece is the amount of raised texture so I am going to add some by means of Bullions.

Part 6 A more complicated patch

So here are the next addition there are only 2 new things one very easy - the good old granny square but done in furry yarn and the spiral using 2 colours and including bullions. I had struggled for ages trying to do bullions until I found a method using a straw (I told you I would explain it later.) There is a very good video showing how to do it here . It should also be clear why you need a straight hook.

If you need to look at some more very beautiful free form, you can't go wrong with the work of Daniela Cerri. I particularly like the room divider screen.
Next time how to fill awkward gaps.
Lynn and Victoria.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Wintergreen Free Form Crochet Parts 3 and 4

Part 3 The Tools
The tools I use. Right cork pin board

Free form can use different thickness, different texture and different fibre yarns so you will need different size hooks and yarn needles. The pin board is a way of organising and arranging the patches until you are happy with the effect. When I crochet I prefer a hook with a handle whereas Vicky always uses a sraight hook, but for some techniques you can only use a straight hook and the Macdonalds straw is essential but this is for part 6 'More advanced techniques and patches'

My method of making a free form piece is to make lots of small patches and then lay them down on the pin board, changing their positions until a particular combination pleases me. This is usually a small area which I then sew or crochet together. The inspiration for the small patches can come out of my head, from some of the free online patterns or from the book by Renata Kirk Patrick. (which actually belongs to Vicky) or the down loadable booklet by Prudence Mapstone - this is not free but it is really worth looking at her work - she is a real expert and her art is amazing.
But this is free form you can do what you like, your edges do not need to be straight and your mistakes can become part of the pattern -I love it!

Part 4 The first patches

So as I said having made a few motifs, I try them in different arrangements until I find something I like. I suspect most people are more organised than this and have a plan in advance of starting the crochet - but this is free form so we do whatever we feel like! Hooray!

After a few tries I came across this combination which I liked so I have sewn it together, There are only four different motifs how to make them is explained below.

These are called domes or pop-corns. The way I make them is to make a magic circle then
ROW 1: 3ch and work 12 tr into the circle. Join with a ss to the third of the three ch.
ROW 2: Then 1ch and then work 1dc in each stitch to the end, join with a ss to the first ch.and fasten off.

But as I keep saying this is free form try making the first row 12 htr or 12 dc. Try working the second row in the back loops only. Make your dome taller by making the second row half trebles or even trebles. Have fun experiment.

This one is called a wing and  is quite tricky but you can find out how to do it here.  Number #7  leads you to  how to make spiral flowers and all you have to do is stop half way.  

The same blog has lots of links to how to make spirals.

   I have a little confession; the brownish surface crochet was not in the original tube of yarn. I used a little bit of embroidery thread.

   Crochet leaves; there are lots of helpful videos showing you how to do this. The way I do it is:
1. 10ch turn
2. ss in second ch from hook, dc in next ch, htr in next, tr in next 2 hdtr in next ch, then tr, htr, dc, ss
3. 2ch then work up the other side of the starting ch. ss, dc, htr, tr, 2hdtr, tr, htr, dc, ss. Then ss into point of leaf.
4. You can fasten off now if you want a smooth edged leaf or you can do another round working in back loops only (dc, dc, 2ch ) all around your leaf.

If all this feels a bit daunting, Vicky has made a guided free form pattern for a note book cover to get you started.

Next time Part5: crocheting directly on to the scumble.
                Part 6: more complicated patches and techniques.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Monday, 11 January 2016

The process of Free Form Crochet Wintergreen Parts 1 and 2

Very exciting; I am about to start a new free form project and share the thinking, preparation and process of the construction. 
Vicky has shared a post which shows you how to make some patches on the facebook page. It has been so popular that it inspired me to start another project.
I was thinking about making another scarf but as you will see this may end up being a small project like a purse or a book cover.

Part 1 Inspiration : I was listening to a news item about daffodils and the mild winter, I was also looking outside at the grass and thinking it needed cutting -In JANUARY!!! So the new project is going to be called 'Wintergreen'. All about this winter must include allusion to rain and flood, Christmas and spring flowers.

Part 2 the Yarn: My favourite bit. Vicky keeps her yarn colour coded but I have to rummage through my entire stash to find mainly greens and some blues.

here is what I found in a basket

This is what it looks like out of the basket

I also found this

 A few years ago we did a fair and concentrated on free form advice and supplies. We made little bags of colour themed yarn, called Yarn Truffles and Bigger tubes called Yarn Candy. Having come across a tube of greens I decided that to start with I would try to make the free form using one of these tubes.

The tube and its contents

I will need to add some yellow and some red and possibly some white - if we get any snow or frost.

Then I like to add buttons and beads so another search produced:

Now we have the materials. Part 3 will be the tools Part 4 the first patches.
Lynn and Victoria.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Crochet Round up of The Year Perhaps?

This started as a round up of our year's crochet but really didn't end up that way - or maybe it did!
I blame Vicky for publishing this picture:

Wall hanging using Dorset button technique

Which is nearly the most recent thing we've created and an ideal place to start going backwards through 2015 with the things we have made using supporting rings.  Hope you find something to inspire you.

Dorset buttons in sets  (the long ends for sewing)

Dorset buttons on a garment.
Buttons always match perfectly if you make them yourself ;-)
All of these projects are based on rings of varying sizes. These are just a few that I haven't used yet. I am always on the look out in charity shops for plastic bangles, old curtain rings and jewellery that I can dismantle. But you can buy then in DIY shops and online too.

So by now I am on a mission to see how many things we have made using rings here are a few:

Spring wreaths made on florists formers ( the wreaths not the florists)

Summer dream catchers made on rings from old lamp shades.

 Autumn colours for this belt or hair band made on Roman Blind rings.

I know, why not make bracelets from these plastic bracelets?

These are based on metal curtain rings

Tiny stars and snow flakes based on 1cm plastic rings. Same rings as the little Dorset buttons
Winter decorations

End of year quiz? The Galaxy free form Scarf - spot the rings

Having started I then wanted to know what  other people were doing'

Lovely crochet necklaces based on rings.

Here you can see how to make crochet earrings

Here you can find out how to crochet into/round rings

So what started as a round up has finished going round in circles.
Happy New Year again
Lynn and Victoria.