Thursday, 27 November 2014

Blackberry Smoothie headband

When creativity strikes I usually end up working on half a dozen new patterns at once.  One maybe two of those ideas will then make it to the point of being written up.  This last couple of weeks I have been working on some Tunisian crochet ideas and a couple of days ago I finished a rough draft of a tunisian hat.  It needs some refining to make the numbers add up but it may well make it to being written up properly!

Just as I had finished, a couple of people asked me to make them a headband to keep their ears warm.  I love the fit of the Tunisian knit stitch band so I upped the stitch count a little and came up with this:

Snug and cosy!  The yarn is superwash merino so easy care (yay!) aaaaand the headband should keep it's shape pretty well too.  I managed to get 2 of these out of a 50g (165m/180yd) skein of sportweight merino.  However the pattern works as well in dk weight too :)

Finished size: 15" around (to fit a 22" head) 3.5" wide

You will need:
  • 50g sport weight merino (I used Katia Merino Baby in purple)
  • 5mm hook (standard length is fine, all the stitches will fit!)
  • darning needle to weave in ends

Stitches used:  This piece is worked in Tunisian knit stitch (TKS).  To make the stitch, push hook between the two vertical bars in the stitch you are working into, and pull up a loop.  Continue across like this - in the last (end stitch) pull up a loop as normal.
Return pass:  YO, pull through first, *YO pull through 2* across until one loop remains. Start next row!

1.  Ch 20
2. Forward pass, return pass
3.  TKS in each stitch across, return pass.

Repeat row 3 until piece measures approx. 15" (mine is 86 rows total).  With right sides facing each other, sl st together matching stitches.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Or if you prefer, work a Tunisian bind off row to finish and whip stitch together.

You could add buttons or crochet flowers to decorate.
Repeat row 3 until headband reaches size required.  Mine are 86 rows long for a 22" head.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Rustic Wrap Cardi

I was having a sort through my stash at the weekend.  I'm pleased to report I've now made a reasonable dent in it and I've managed to clear a whole trug!  While I was going through everything I found a few yarns I had left over from my cloth nappying days and thought I should make something with it.  I wanted a cardigan pattern but as is so often the case, I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I came up with my own pattern.

The finished cardi has a 24" chest (approx age 5), if you need to adjust this you could add a couple more chains when you form armholes.

You will need:
6.5mm hook
300g worsted/aran or bulky weight yarn.  The original is made with Arucania Magallenes which is a thick and thin slubby-esque yarn.
4 stitch markers

1. Ch51, dc in 3rd ch from hook (turning ch does not count as stitch here or throughout) and each st across, turn (49)
2.  Ch2 (doesn't count!) 2dc in first st, dc in each stitch across, 2dc in last, turn (51)
3. Ch2, 2dc in first, dc in next 11, 3dc place marker in first and 3rd stitches just made, dc in next 25 sts, 3dc place marker in first and 3rd sts just made, dc in next 11, 2dc in last, turn (57)
4. Ch2, 2dc in first, dc to first marked st, *3dc in marked st, move marker to first st of cluster, dc to next marked st 3dc in marked st, move marker to third st of cluster, * dc to next marked st, rep **, dc to last, 2dc in last, turn (67)
5-10.  Repeat row 4, increasing by 10 stitches on each row > (77, 87, 97, 107, 117, 127)

To form armholes:
11. Ch2, 2dc in first, dc to  first marked st, ch2,  sk both marked sts and those in between and rejoin with a dc in st after second marked st, dc across to third marked st, ch2, sk both marked sts and those in between and rejoin with a dc in st after fourth marked st, dc to last, 2dc in last, turn. (71)
Leave markers in to help you see where you need to work when you join the sleeves.
12.  Ch2, 2dc in first, dc to last (remember to work a dc in each ch under arm (2dc in each ch2 sp), 2dc in last, turn (73)
13- 28:  Repeat row 12
Do not fasten off!!
Finishing round:  turn your work to work along side of front up towards neck band, ch1, work 2sc in each dc row end to first neck corner, work 3dc in corner st, sc in each st around neck, 3sc in next corner sp, 2sc in each dc row end to next corner, 3sc in corner sp, sc in each st to last corner, 3sc in last corner, join with a sl st, fasten off and sew in ends. 

To work sleeves, make sure you working in the opposite direction to previous yoke row!
1.  Join with a sl st in one of the ch sps under arms, ch2, dc in same sp, dc2tog across dc row end and marked st (remove marker), dc  in each st around to marked st, work dc2tog across marked st and dc row end, dc in other ch sp, sl st to join round, turn. (33)
2-19: ch2, dc in each st around, join with a sl st in top of first st of round, turn (33)

Fasten off, weave in ends, sew on buttons!  There are no buttonholes in this pattern, just use the holes in the fabric.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Draco Shawl

It's been a while since I posted, but I have a good excuse:  I accidentally came up with a new pattern!  As so often happens with me, I was messing around with one idea and ended up with something completely different to what I had intended.  Completely and marvellously different.  I have had a touch of the Willy Wonka creativity with this one!
So, I crocheted my way through my original draft, thinking first that I would end up with a triangle, then that I would have a parallelogram on my hands.  I got my husband to help me stretch it to check it would be long enough post blocking...  Then I blocked it and was totally surprised by the shape!
The kids decided it looked like a dragon wing.  I hadn't written down the pattern.  I would need to make another one.
So I did.  Only I have been beading a lot of my shawls recently and considered how I might bead this one.  At first I thought I should just do the tips of the points but hey I had a lot of beads...  maybe I should try something different...
So I crocheted and wrote down what I did.  The beading took aaages until it dawned on me I should probably just get a really tiny crochet hook.  The project sped right up and I was finished in a week!  I'm so glad I chose a yarn with silk in, the drape was much better in the second version of the shawl.

So that's what I did this summer!  The pattern has now been tested over on Ravelry and is available with 25% off for a couple more days (till Friday), Draco Shawl .  The price will then be going up to £2.  Follow the link to see my testers projects, they've chosen some awesome colour combinations!
The pattern has been my most popular to date and I've learnt a new skill - charts in excel!  I've also made a third version with matching yarn and beads:

The pattern is also available in my etsy store: RedcloverCrochet at the full price of £2

Monday, 2 June 2014

Tri Cowl

I was recently working on testing a pattern for the lovely Aoibhe Ni on ravelry and took the opportunity to go stash diving in search of some yarn for the project (read I have no cash to go yarn shopping - woe is me!) and discovered a bundle of stylecraft merino I had bought on sale several years ago.  I have not stopped crocheting with it for a week or more and it has been turned into a tank top, a slouchy hat, and this cowl.  I had only 1 ball of the red I've used here so I decided a colourwork cowl was in order to stretch it out into a whole project.  I ended up stretching it out so far that I am now working on matching mitts (pattern to follow!).

The measurements for this cowl are 24" around and 5.5" deep, this can be adjusted by changing the length of the starting ch, as long as you start with an even number on the chain, the pattern should work fine!

So, for this project you will need:

50g dk weight yarn x 3 - in 3 different colours you think would look good together, I've gone for quite a loud combo of gunmetal grey (main colour MC), deep red (CC1) and cream (CC2), but I think this could look good in tonal shades too :) 

(My original yarn is Pure Luxury Merino by Stylecraft 119m/130yds per 50g ball, long since discontinued :(   A similar yarn to try would be Debbie Bliss' Cashmerino dk)

5mm hook

Stitches used:  Nothing too fancy, this is all sc and ch, but you will need to change colour at the end of each round by working the last YO and pull through in the next colour.

1.  In MC, ch120, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across, changing to CC1 in last st (119)

(like the autumnal cowl, this could be worked in the round by joining the foundation ch with a sl. st and working in a continuous spiral, but as I like to work into the bottom bump for the sake of neatness I always end up with a twisted ch that I can never rectify no matter how many times I rip out my work and re-try!)
2.  Ch1, and without turning, check your work is not twisted and join to form a circle by working a sc in 2nd sc of row one (skip the first).  *Ch1, sk1, sc* around, changing to CC2 in last st of round

For this pattern, to keep the colour changes neat, on every second row I worked the last sc of the round into the first ch of the round in the same colour, this 'stepped' the colour changes and kept them in a straight line.

3. *Ch1, sk 1, sc* around, changing back to MC in last stitch of round

Continue in pattern until you have 30 rows completed (10 complete bands of each colour), in last stitch change to MC

31.  In MC, sc in each ch sp and each sc around, sl st to join round, fasten off and weave in ends.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Birthday Gift

A work colleague is celebrating her 50th birthday and I wanted to make her a gift.  As we are heading towards summer it needed to be something lightweight but I'd left it too late for a shawl.  I had a look through some patterns online, but none were quite what I wanted.  So I started experimenting.  As I have yet to give her the present (and because it's not finished yet!) pics of the finished cowl will follow.  I've put the pattern up while I have a quiet 5 minutes - please feel free to grab up a hook and some yarn and try out the pattern :)  I will be adding a ravelry link next week!

Finished size is around 34" around and 7" deep (approx!  I'm not finished making mine yet!)

You will need:
Around 25g laceweight yarn (200m)
4mm hook
A little patience!

V st: dc, ch1, dc in same st

1. Ch146 (or starting chain can be a multiple of 4 + 2 for the turning chain).

You may want to FSC (foundation sc) 144 here if working into a long laceweight chain is likely to send you over the edge!  You may also prefer to join starting chain and work as a round straight off, in which case you will need to drop the ch2 and start with ch144 :)

2.  dc in 3rd ch from hook (ch 2 does not count as stitch), *sk ch sp, V st, sk ch sp, dc* along ch, ending on a V st.  Leave last ch unworked and end with a sl st in top of first dc of the row to join into a round (careful not to twist!).

3.  ch2 (doesn't count as a st), 3dc in first dc, *sc in ch sp of Vst, 5 dc in next dc* around, ending with a sc in ch sp of last 5 st.  To complete the round work 2 dc in the same st as the beginning 3 dc were made and join with a sl st.

4.  ch1, sc in first st, *ch2, sk 2, dc in sc of previous round, ch2, sk2, sc in middle dc of shell* around, ending with dc in last sc, ch2, join with a sl st to first sc made.

5.  Repeat row 2

6.  Repeat row 3

7.  Repeat row 4

Repeat rows 2-4 as required and end on a row 4.  Fasten off and block as needed.  When sewing in the ends, for the starting chain stray end, be sure to join the gap created if you have followed the pattern as written (starting with rows and joining to rounds).

If you started with an FSC row you may want to do a final row of sc around for balance.

I am still in the midst of my cowl but I think I will end up with 7 rows of shells.

Here is an in progress shot of what I have so far:

The Finished Article :)
I ended up with 7 rows of shells and ended on a round 4 pattern repeat.  The finished cowl was 24g.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Summer Daisy Beach Bag

In a few short weeks I will be doing my first Summer craft fair at Ickwell's May Day event.  I knew I would need to come up with something a little less woolly than what I would sell at a Winter fair, so I've been working on a few cotton bags.  This one uses 75g of dk weight cotton (King Cole cottonsoft Khaki) plus some dk scraps from other projects to make up the daisy.  The finished bag is approx 8" (20cm) deep, 10" (25cm) wide.
The project size can be easily adjusted by changing the length of the starting chain or working extra repeats of the pattern (remember to adjust yarn quantities though!)

You Will Need:
Approx 75g (150+ m) dk weight cotton or similar, plus scraps for the flower
4.5mm hook
3.5mm hook (optional, I used a smaller hook for the petals of the daisy)
2 stitch markers

1.  Ch 17, 3dc in 3rd ch from hook, dc in next 13, 6dc in last ch pivoting as you work as you will be working along other side of chain (mark first st in group), dc in next 13 along underside of chain, 3dc in last ch (mark first st of this group), join with in top of first dc made.  (38 sts).

2.  Ch2, work 2dc in first 3 sts, dc in next 13, 2dc in marked st (move marker up to first st in this pair), 2dc in next 5 sts, dc in next 13, 2dc in marked st (move marker up as before), 2dc in last 2 sts, sl st in top of first dc (50)

3.  Ch2, [2dc, dc] 3 times, dc in next 13, [2dc, dc] 6 times from marked st, move marker up, dc in next 13, [2dc, dc] 3 times from marked st, move marker up, sl st in top of first dc (62)

 4. Ch2, [2dc, dc, dc] 3 times, dc in next 13, [2dc, dc, dc] 6 times from marked st, move marker up, dc in next 13, [2dc, dc, dc] 3 times from marked st, move marker up, sl st in top of first dc (74)

The bottom of the bag is now done and there are no more increases.  Now work the sides of the bag:

5.  Ch2, dc in first st and each st around, sl st in top of first dc (74)

6 + 7: Repeat row 5 (74)

8.  Ch1, sc in first st and each st around, sl st in top of first st (74)

9, 10, 11:  Repeat row 5

12:  Repeat row 8

13, 14, 15:  Repeat row 5

16:  Repeat row 8

17, 18, 19:  Repeat row 5

20, 21, 22, 23, 24:  Repeat row 8.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Handles (make 2)

1.  Ch6, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each st across, turn (5)

2.  Ch1, sc across, turn

3.  Repeat row 2

4.  Ch2, dc in each st across, turn

5, 6, 7:  Repeat row 2

8.  Repeat row 4

Repeat in this pattern of 3 rows of sc, 1 row of dc, until you have the size handles you need.  Be sure to end with 3 rows of sc.  My handles are 39 rows.  Fasten off and sew inside on the sc section at the top.


With 4.5mm hook and yellow yarn, begin with a magic ring (or ch2 and work in 2nd ch from hook)

Work 14 sc and sl st in top of first st made.  Pull magic ring tight.

Fasten off yellow and move to smaller hook (optional) and white yarn.

Join with a sc into one of the stitches in the ring, ch10, sc in same stitch.

Work [sc, ch12, sc], then [sc, ch10, sc] alternately into each st around, sl st in first sc made and fasten off leaving a tail long enough to sew flower onto bag.  Ta-da!!

Don't forget to post your finished projects on Ravelry !

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Galaxy Scarf

While in my LYS before Christmas, I bought 2 skeins of King Cole Galaxy.  Not something I would usually buy but I wanted to make a slightly sparkly gift without all the concentration and time needed when using beads.  This yarn is perfect for the job as it is 'pre-sequinned' (is that even a term?!) so I caved in and bought it!
This is what I came up with:
Here's what I did:

6.5mm hook
2 x 50g King Cole Galaxy
Stitch marker

I worked the flat section in the middle in rows, back and forth.  For the ruffle, I worked in a continuous round around the outside until I was happy with the level of ruffliness, in my case 5 rows.

The finished scarf is 52", for a longer scarf start with a longer chain, making sure it is an even number.  (Make sure you have enough yarn!)

  Loosely ch 180
1.  Sc in 2nd ch from the hook, *ch1, sk1, sc* to end, turn (179)
2.  Ch1, *sc in sc, ch1, sk ch sp* across, sc in last, turn (179)
3 - 14: Repeat row 2

You will now work in rounds, a stitch marker is placed in the first st so you don't get lost!  These are continuous rounds that you don't need to join.
You will turn your work to begin working in the short side.  You will need to work *sc, ch1* across this short side, working each sc in the corresponding row end (14 sc made, 13 ch sps) - from now on you won't be skipping any ch sps, they will all be worked in .

Rnd 1: Ch1 and pivot your work, *sc, ch1* along the first short side in the end of each row, ch1 and turn to work along the bottom, *sc, ch1* across the length of this row, ch1 and turn to work across the short side being sure to work 14 sc into this end too!  *sc, ch1* across short side, ch1 and turn to work along the top, *sc, ch1*  in all sc and ch sp, along to the marked st.
Rnd 2-5: continue in *sc, ch1* pattern for another 4 rounds or more if wanted, moving the marker up to keep track of the rounds.  Each round should be double the stitch count of the last, creating the ruffled effect.

Weave in the ends and wear or gift :)

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sari Silk Scarflette

While I was up in Haworth, North Yorkshire a couple of summers ago visiting family, I wandered off the cobbled street and into a fairtrade shop.  Among the incense and fair trade clothes I found a basket of fair trade recycled sari silk skeins.  I bought one which has been in my stash ever since due to a lack of inspiration.  I loved the jewel colours but at the time I was taking on more challenging patterns and didn't want to work the plain stitches that would be needed so as not to lose the texture and colour of the silks.

Fast forward to this weekend and I stumbled across the silk yarn again.  I had half an idea to use the birch bark cowl pattern but I quickly realised it would be tricky to work into the chain spaces so I went with this pattern instead.

My finished scarflette measures 32" x 5" approx.  Keep an eye on the amount of yarn you have left as you come towards the last row, you may need to drop one of the repeats so you don't run out of yarn!

You Will Need:
  • 100g sari yarn.  Mine looks to be dk/worsted weight but I don't know the yardage, sorry!
  • 6mm hook
  • button to finish, this will need to fit through one of the gaps created by the ch sp
Start by chaining 100
1.  sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across, turn (99)
2.  ch1, sc in first st, *ch1, sk 1, sc* across to last, turn
3.  Ch1, sc in first st, *ch1, sk ch sp, sc in sc* across to last, turn

Repeat row 3 for 13 more rows

17.  Ch1, sc in each sc and ch sp across to end, fasten off and weave in ends.

Sew on button as wanted and wear!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Lilac cowl

So I got some gorgeous bulky weight alpaca in the sale from wharfedale woolworks and I wanted a quick project that I could pick up and put down without too much thought while the kids were still on holiday from school.  I wanted to make a larger version of my birchbark cowl, this pattern uses the same stitch pattern but a larger hook to make the fabric more floaty.

Finished cowl measures approx 30" x 6"
You will need:
100g (100m/110yds) bulky weight (12 ply) alpaca
9mm hook (M/N)
3 x 1 - 1.5" buttons

1.  Ch71, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across, turn
2.  Ch1, sc, (ch1, sk1, sc) across, turn.
3.  Ch1, sc in 1st st, (sc in ch sp, ch1, sk sc)across, sc in last 2 st, turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for 17 more rows (or until cowl is size needed).

21.  Ch1, sc in each sc and ch sp across, fasten off.

Weave in ends, sew on buttons on both corners of the short side and check placement of third button before attaching.  There are no buttonholes for this project, the buttons need to be able to slip through the holes made in the fabric.  Block if needed.