Hexagon Jackets

I saw this baby’s hexagon jacket at Crochet Soiree and thought it was so cute and might be fun to try, even though there isn’t anyone in particular for me to be making it for!

I didn’t follow a pattern, just made a couple of hexagons and joined them together. The orange and blue one was my first try, which wasn’t quite right but I thought it might do as a toy’s jacket. I covered an old button with the blue wool. Then I did the white one, which fits on my big teddy. I think it looks rather pretty with the pink buttons which I haven’t decided to attach yet or not.  I’ve been feeling a bit blue the last couple of days to be honest, but I don’t feel like I’m allowed to express my opinion, even on my very own blog that no one actually reads! Go figure.

Three Small Things – showerpuff, beaded hanger, doily

>>> I finished this pink shower puff yesterday. I used the crochet shower puff pattern from Crochetspot. It was really fun to make, the pretty pink cotton yarn I chose to try was really nice, but it took more than a whole roll. It certainly isn’t the cheap option for shower puffs, as you can pick up the plastic ones for a dollar or two, and the yarn cost $3 each. It took a while to do as well, but it was a relaxing exercise. Apparently they last longer than the plastic ones, so I decided I needed to try it out in the shower. It feels like a face washer, and lathers up about as much. I’d rather the exfoliation of the plastic shower puff, so I think I’ll pop this one in the guest bathroom because it is quite pretty.

<<< After I picked up David’s suit yesterday from the drycleaners, I beaded the wire hanger with some old plastic beads I had stashed away. I don’t have any other wire hangers, I threw them all away years ago, but wanted to try this out to see if it works. I got the idea for the beaded wire hanger from allfreecrafts. With it being summer, I’m wearing more singlets than usual and want to hang them up, but don’t have enough of the kind of hangers where the straps won’t slip off. I finished this hanger with some red ribbon and a cute little bow.

>>> On Monday, I bought a new dress that might do me as a wedding dress, if we actually get around to organising a wedding sometime in the next 12 months or so, which might not happen. I’m wondering if I’ll be able to make myself a little cream coloured bolero to go with it, so I’ve started practicing and working out a draft pattern that has potental. I’m really liking the gathered petals, which is (tr 4 tog).  Part of this sample was inspired by a pattern my mum gave me, and I used some lovely lemon coloured cotton she also gave me. Thanks, mum!

A special old dress

Another thing I’ve been doing to improve my crochet skill is by making clothes for my small collection of toys. It may seem silly, but so far it has helped me get better, and they are there for the children to play with when they visit, if they wish. My goal is make one item of clothing for them all, but each item has the purpose to develop my skill in a certain way.

I have saved from my childhood barbie doll collection this very special dress. I don’t recall how it came into my possesion, I have a vague memory of it being given to me by another girl, maybe in a swapsie arrangement. I don’t think my mum made this, but I could be wrong (edit- I’ve sinced learnt my grandmother Pam made this dress!). I’ve managed to keep it with me all these years, as it is particularly nice. A couple of Saturdays ago when David and I were at the shops, we decided I should get a new barbie doll! She was to be a model for my crochet practice, of course. I didn’t realise I was still such a fan, as I had lost the last of my collection in a moving mishap after I left my first husband, but I’ve quickly become quite attached to my new doll, which is quite funny.

My goal was to look at the dress and see if I could copy it. I wrote down a pattern from counting the stitches on the dress and reproducing it row by row. Up until recently, when I started work on my crochet skill in earnest, I could only copy very easy things by looking at it, and I couldn’t read patterns. Now I can read easy patterns. This dress has been the most challenging thing I’ve copied without a pattern. I’m quite pleased I managed to produce something resembling the original, although its not the same of course. I finished this exercise a week or two ago, only posted now. I made a few more things for the doll while I was at  it, practicing working with fine yarn by making the red slippers. My second attempt at making a snood was better, they’re good to keep the hair in place so it lasts longer. I wrote out the patterns for practice, posted below. More

Love Heart Rag Rug

This is my first completed rag rug and it was hard work so I don’t think I’ll be making these very often!

Using crochet to make a rag rug like this uses a lot of material, so I want this to be the only one that uses material that’s not recycled. Really, rag rugs should be made from strips of material salvaged from discarded clothes and sheets. But I had a small collection of cotton material squares that I’d been carrying around for ages, so I decided to put it to good use. It’s all the same type of matterial and I think the colours kind of go together. Luckily I have a heap of that blue otherwise this would have turned out a lot smaller.

I needed some new mats for the kitchen and knew I could make some from strips of material. After hunting around on the net for ways to turn recycled material into rugs, I found the best one at The Sunroom. My first attempt didn’t work out because the biggest hook I had was a size 6, so I went and got myself a size 10, the biggest one they had at the shops, and started again.

Using my new pinking shears, I cut strips of ribbon from the material to reduce any fraying. I cut up one square of material at a time to give my hands a break, but my wrists hurt a little from all the hard work! lol. I spent at least two whole days on this, plus several hours here and there spread out over two weeks. I think this is a great way to reuse material that can be cut into long strips, but only if you’re time-rich like me. If you don’t have the time, I think paying $10-20 for a small rug from the shops might be worth it! But this is a good way for me to make things for my home without spending any money (other than getting a new hook which I’ll reuse) and using up things that I might otherwise throw away. From what I’ve read, this rag rug will flatten out and I can wash it in the machine. This one is about 60cm wide and it’s my Valentine’s gift this year for the home I share with my true love.
/awww

Love Charm Pincushion

I started the week off yesterday morning with a quick tidy up and stocktake of my current projects. I had some scraps lying around that needed a home and last week’s scraptrap was currently deployed! So I quickly whipped this one up, and already its full of scraps and finished to become a lucky love charm or pincushion… or both!

I was upstairs in my sewing room and couldn’t be bothered coming downstairs to the computer to check the love heart patterns, so did the only one I could remember from the top of my head. The new scraptrap just had to be a love heart, right? The square based love heart was the only one I could remember, probably because I actually didn’t follow a pattern for that one, its just a square with trebles to form the cheeks. I made one, then did a row of trebles along the side which would become a side panel of the 3d heart. Then I made a second heart, putting the treble cheeks where they would match the first heart. It was all matching up nicely, I just had to sew around the two sets of heart cheeks using slip stitch, then a few more trebles down the other side. I left an opening for the scraps to go in during the day, and also some from today went in. I just closed up the opening when it was full. I added a chain at the top, so if I want to hang it up, like in a window or something, I can.

I think this very simple pattern will make a lovely luck charm to hang in our home somewhere, or I’ll probably use it as a pincushion so I can retire the silly old spider thing I made! If anyone would like the pattern for this 3D heart charm, just let me know. I’m pretty sure I could write it out if anyone wanted me to.

If you’d like to use this idea on your own website, please link to my blog :)

Lucky Ladybug Pincushion

Oh yes, according to the pattern, this here is a Ladybug. As the last project of the day, I had to have another go at it because I had trouble with it the other morning and that … bugged me! After two days of reading crochet patterns, surely I’ll be able to do this.

Well, what I was doing wrong had nothing at all to do with the different crochet languages. Like almost all patterns I’ve read so far, this one is English. After the reading of the last two days, when I came back to this one I found it was very simple, just a small round ball really. What gave me the problem was I thought the “sc 3″ in  “sc 2, sc 2 in 1, (sc 3, sc 2 in 1)” meant “three single crochet on one hole” which of course is wrong and was why I ended up with a hyperbolic shape. I don’t know why, but after reading crochet patterns for two days, when I came back to this I saw it simply as “single crochet three stitches each in its own space” lol. It’s good to know my feverish production of small crochet projects over the last two days has helped my poor reading skills to improve.

The pattern called for glueing, felting and attaching, but I did none of that. I simply chain stitched the attennae as part of the chain stitch that goes over the top between the two colours, and used embroidery stitches for the eyes, dots and fine line at the back. A very simple project I’m unlikely to do again unless someone requests it as its a bit fiddly, fussy and not a particularly useful object. It felt like a primary school project to me. What practical use for something like this? Either a pincushion or a little critter for the kid’s guest room. On the other hand, if I made this one out of plarn and filled it will plastic, it could go in the garden. We do need a Lucky Ladybug charm for our garden, to eat up all the nasty bugs that the real ladybugs would normally eat, if our landlords hadn’t poisoned them all away. So that’s where I decided to take the foto, in our garden the next morning. I can sense all the nasty bugs quivering with fear at the prospect of a Ladybug moving in!

Three Pink Hearts

I did up some more hearts for practice, with varying degrees of difficulty but equal in cuteness!

The smallest heart is another go at a very easy heart pattern from Suzie’s Stuff. The first one I did was blue and wonky, so I had another go and this one is much better and very cute. I’m thinking of slipping it in somewhere for good luck, like in David’s wallet or sock drawer!

I thought I could try the square lattice heart by just looking at the picture, without reading the pattern. The change from square to round was trickier than the other heart I did from Drops Design, so I did peek at the pattern. I think my reading is getting a bit better, because I could find my place. I found a small bit of yarn left over from my childhood and used that, still not sure what will become of this heart yet.

The large heart of fans is impressive, still at first I thought I could try it without reading the pattern, but ended up following it which is from Donna’s Crochet Designs. This one was a little more tricky than the others, but very nice. This one might end up in the trials and samples rug, or perhaps I’ll save it for something special like a bag.

Teddy Bear Mary Janes

These orange mary jane slippers are meant to look silly on my purple angel beanie bear! I’m pleasantly surprised these worked out as well as they did. I did not follow a pattern at all, I made these slippers up freestyle. I did this activity to see if I was able to make up something to shape without a pattern. Maybe if I can do this, one day I’ll be able to make my own freestyle socks.

First, I started by making a flat round that was as big as the sole on the teddy’s foot. For this teddy, it took 4 rounds, with the 1st round being 8 sc. These are slightly large and because crochet has some stretch, when I make these again I’ll make them the same size as (not larger than) the foot.

When the sole is done, finish off with a slip stitch then start the next round moving vertical up from the sole and no longer increasing stitches. For these, it took 2 rounds before it was time to do the toe. For the toe I turn, slip stitch and sc across the front, then turn and go back, adding a slip stich in the side as required. It’s a freestyle so I just worked in a stitch as was required to form the platform on top of the toes. For this teddy, they took about 4 or 5 rows of sc. I then did another round along the rest of the shoe and did a couple of extra rows of about 3 sc each at the heel. Then it was time for the ankle strap which was simply a matter of chaining the required length then turning back with sc along the chain. Then I did the other side of the  ankle strap, ending with about 5 chains in a little circle for the button hole. I put the shoes on the teddy to measure where the button should go and then used my tiniest hook to pull some yarn through the button to fasten it.

See? Angel just needed some high fashion shoes before hitting the town with her friend!

Pink Ribbon Toy Shrug

One thing I really want to do is make myself a shrug but I tried a very simple pattern last week and it was epic fail! The large rectangle I made is now being saved, along with the big yellow round thing in the previous post, for what I think I might turn into a big blanket of all mismatched samples and trials. I was thinking, rather than risk wasting more time crocheting up a free shrug pattern from the net that might not turn out, I would trial some by first making miniatures for the soft toys in the kid’s guest room.

This special pink fellow actually lives in our car’s glove box. He was an impulse buy (yes, I do think it is a ‘he’), from the chemist and is a fund raiser for breast cancer research. He has lovely soft fur that’s comforting to hold and play with when we drive the 2 hours to visit my folks. The traffic on the highway is simply madness! The green ribbon in the foto is recycled from a special packet of chocolates that looked like olives brought back from Paris by Dave’s mum on her recent trip to Europe. I thought he looked particularly cute with the cheerful bow, and all the way from Paris no less! Darrrrling, simply devine!! That is one well dressed bear.

I didn’t follow a pattern, I just made it up. To make this little shrug for the breast cancer toy I first made a chain long enough that if made into a circle would fit around his hands. Basically the shape I made is widest in the middle and tapers to the ends. I used a DC and 1ch stitch. The 1st 3 rows of each end have 11 ch sp, the 4th and 4th last rows have 12, the 5th and 5th last rows have 13. I made about 8 rows of 14 ch sp for the wide part in the middle. I chain joined the 3 rows on each end to form sleeves. I also did 2 rows of treble stitches in the inside of the sleeve joins to form chest panels, the 1st row had 3 trebles into the same space (the sleeve join) and the 2nd row had 6 trebles, 2 in each ch sp. I chained up a little tie to make a bow at the front.

Here are some grown up shrugs that I might like to try one day …

http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/en/visoppskrift.php?d_nr=99&d_id=20&lang=en

http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/en/visoppskrift.php?d_nr=111&d_id=25&lang=en

http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/en/visoppskrift.php?d_nr=99&d_id=3&lang=en

A Day of Crochet Trials

I spent the entire day yesterday trying new small crochet projects (except for when I did a quick run to OS with the guild and some pugs for the weekly on my paladin tank, Yulara!) Recording this learning process will be good for me to look back over later, I’m sure!

To start me off, I had a go at this four leaf clover. It looked pretty simple and I figured it could be used as a lucky charm fridge magnet. At the start of the day my purpose was to work on my crochet pattern reading skills, and this one went fine.

I was off to a good start, so I thought to try something a little more tricky with this three layer flower. I followed the large flower pattern and discovered I didn’t know what “bpsc” was. Turns out that’s “back post single crochet” and I learned how to do it by watching the youtube video.

After these successes I thought I would try a little lady bug pattern I saw. It started off with the magic ring, which was great to learn so I can make my start rings small if I wanted. But the lady bug was not working out at all, all the extra stitches formed a type of hyperbolic shape and it reminded me of what I kept getting when I was trying the beanie pattern at crochetspot. Then I remembered that there are two crochet languages, English and American. Crochet Australia has several charts on how stitches, yarns and hooks vary between the two. I also did some reading up on Wikipedia on the history of crochet, which of course was very enlightening. All this made me wonder that that beanie pattern is American, so I went back and tried it again, this time doing English DC instead of SC, and guess what… it worked! But when the ball of yellow yarn I quickly grabbed to try this ran out I thought that I would put in a different colour. I fooled around with some wavy stitches, trying something I learnt in the morning from those little round patterns and made up a stitch (sl st sc hdc 3dc hdc sc). From Smart Knitting-Crocheting I found some example of stitches and chose a wavy fan pattern. The diagram was very easy to read and a good alternative than trying to read a pattern when I wasn’t sure if DC =/= SC !! But my initial row didn’t match so I unwound it and did it again. I thought the pattern would simply continue the beanie, as it was up to the point where the rounds were no longer increasing, but that didn’t happen. It doesn’t quite lie flat either, but this is definately not a beanie. Serve me right for trying to put in fancy stitches! One day I’ll get around to following Rachel’s beanie pattern to complete one, which now I know what I was doing wrong, I’m sure will work just fine. I’ll keep this large flower thingy for another project I’m working on.

Another small project I had open to look at was a dancing shells washcloth pattern at All Free Crafts. It didn’t look too hard so I gave it a go, but my cotton is too thin. A fair few American patterns call for “weight worsted cotton” and all I’ve been able to find out is the Australian equivilant is a 10ply which doesn’t make sense to me.  I think my mum will know, so I’ll ask her next time I speak to her. A new stitch I learnt here was Dc2tog (double crochet two stitches together) and again, I learnt how to do it from a youtube video. I actually unwound this little exercise to reuse the cotton.

My mum gave me several balls of this lovely cotton so I was determined to do something with it and tried one of the many patterns she gave me. This square motif was easy enough and if I made 38 of them, I could make them into a top. I wonder if I’ll get around to doing that one day …. lol! If I went to that much trouble, I would want to be sure to wear the thing!

I have lots of pictures of crochet hearts bookmarked to try, including some from the Drops website. I didn’t follow the pattern for this Christmas heart decoration, I just looked at the picture and did it very quickly. I simply SC a 6 x 6 row square, then 5 trebles into the middle 3rd space, then ch st around the edge. Easy as! Lol, more crochet junk to work out what to do with ….

After I did the square heart, I set to work on making a toy shrug. Now that was a full day’s worth of work! /satisfied sigh

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