Tag Archives: crochet

Tie A Yellow Ribbon

Since I started my 52 project I’ve used up a few bits and pieces from my ribbon stash, but I’m still left with a big box of oddments that I’ve collected over the years.  It was time that some of them found a new home!

I decided to have a little search on Pinterest for ribbon crafts (not recommended unless you want to come away with ideas for ten other projects that you’re desperate to start too!) and saw a rather lovely ribbon wreath.  As luck would have it I had 2 polystyrene wreaths in my stash and I chose the larger of the two for this project.

 

 

I sorted through all my ribbon and chose a selection of colours that I thought went nicely together.  I then ironed them all and laid them out on the table next to the wreath and my glue gun.

 

 

The idea is nice and simple.  Take your first length of ribbon and glue one end to the back of the wreath.  You then wrap the ribbon around and around making sure you pull it tight and that it overlaps the previous strip of ribbon to ensure there are no gaps at all.

So long as you pull the ribbon nice and tight you’ll only need to glue the beginning and end of each piece of ribbon.  Work your way around the wreath making sure to overlap the ribbon as you go.

Once my wreath was complete I was really chuffed with the colours, but felt that it lacked something to finish it off.

I thought about using it as a picture frame perhaps, but reckoned that the wreath itself was too colourful and would detract from any photo I put behind it.

 

In the end I decided to crochet some flowers and leaves from cotton yarn and glued those on one side.  You don’t even have to sew in the ends if you’re going to glue them, you can just tie them together and snip them !  If you’d like to have a go yourself, there are lots of suitable free patterns on the Attic24 site.

 

 

And there you have it!

I’m about to start sorting out the garden shed, so I can turn it into a mini workspace, and think that might be the ideal place for this new addition to my ever growing wreath collection!

 

 

Granny B’s Granny Purse

I have to admit to loving small purses for change and other bits and pieces, so after my clasp purse I thought I’d have a go at crocheting a granny square purse.  I always show folk on my workshops all the different things that you can do the humble granny square, and these little purses have to be one of the easiest.

To begin with, you need a granny square!!  The size of the square will depend on what size you want your finished purse to be and the number of rounds you have to crochet will also depend on the thickness of yarn that you’re using.  I still have an enormous stash of double knitting yarn, so decided to use that for my purse.

 

My top tip for working the first round of any granny square is to pop a hair grip into the circle you make when you join your 4 chain stitches together.  This is where you’ll be working all the trebles and it can sometimes be really hard to spot.  If you pop a hair grip in then you’ll always be sure of exactly where your hook needs to go.

Keep going until your square is the right size and don’t worry if the edges don’t look straight or the corners don’t look particularly pronounced.  All you need to do is block your granny square.  To do this, lay your square flat on the ironing board (or on one of those rubber children’s mats which are ideal) and pin it into shape.  Now just simply give it a steam with the iron, leave it to dry, and it will look beautifully crisp and square like!

The next step is to cut out your lining.  I laid my granny square on to my chosen fabric and cut it out leaving a good 1.5cm allowance all the way round.  I then ironed the seam allowance towards the wrong side of the lining fabric, and laid it onto the granny square so that the wrong sides were facing.  I popped a short piece of ribbon in under the lining at one of the corners, then carefully hand sewed the lining to the back of the granny square, making sure to secure in the ribbon.

Once the lining is secure you can fold in the bottom right and bottom left corner to the centre of the square and sew up the two edges.

All that’s left to do is to sew on a button and that’s your purse complete!

I just have to decide what to use it for now.   Maybe somewhere to store all my stitch markers perhaps?

Spring has Sprung

I’ve made quite a few different crocheted flowers over the previous few months, but this latest project to make a Spring wreath saw me crocheting a daffodil which I’ve never attempted before!  I had some polystyrene wreath bases (which I’d used at Christmas) but thought if I was going to make a Spring wreath, then the twig one I had would be more appropriate.

 

The patterns I used all came from the Simply Crochet magazine 2019 Calendar.  The calendar features four stunning wreaths all designed by Kate Eastwood who has a wonderful book out  – Crocheted Wreaths and Garlands which I can highly recommend if you fancy treating yourself!

 

Obviously you could use any flower and leaf patterns, lots of which are freely available with detailed instructions on the attic 24 webpage.

 

Once you’ve decided on your chosen wreath base, it’s simply a case of setting to work and crocheting a selection of flowers and leaves (or you could knit them if you preferred, or sew them from felt or scraps of fabric).

 

 

 

Once I’d made a few, I placed them on the wreath and experimented with various positions.  If I liked the arrangement then I took a photo of it so that I’d be able to replicate it if I moved them about a bit to try other positions.

 

 

 

  

Keep going until you have enough to complete the wreath.  Remember, that you don’t have to fill it in completely if you don’t want to, a few strategically placed flowers can look really effective, but do have a good play around until you’re happy with how it looks (and remember to leave space to pop a ribbon on so  you can hang the wreath).

 

To attach the flowers and leaves I decided to use the glue gun, so it really couldn’t have been easier.  However, once they’re stuck then they’re stuck, so make sure you’re happy with the arrangement before you glue!

 

 

The final flourish was to add a daffodil head to the front of the ribbon – eh voila!

All Washed Up!

One of my favourite projects to date has definitely been the apron that I made from a tea towel, so I thought I’d have a go at upcycling another one in the drawer too (they actually came together in a set from Morrisons)

I’ve made a few projects for the living room recently – bunting for the fireplace, Coco’s basket that sits in the corner by the rocking chair, plus my 2 latest cushions, so I thought I’d continue the theme by turning the tea towel into a simple mini throw with a crocheted edging for the sofa.

 

There were 2 parts to the edging – a blanket stitch worked in embroidery thread, followed by a row of crochet stitches to make the decorative edge.

Using a water erasable pen, I marked tiny dots every 2cms along the hem of the tea towel to show me where I would need to make my stitches.

 

The next part was choosing what colour to make the edging.  I needed embroidery thread and cotton, so I laid all the possible suspects out on the tea towel to help me make my choice.  In the end I plumped for a deep purple.

 

 

Using the embroidery thread, I worked a blanket stitch all the way around all four sides of the tea towel using the dots as a guide.  This gave me a nice loop along the edges into which I could work the crochet stitches.

 

 

Using a 4ply cotton and a 3mm hook, I worked 1 double crochet, 1 half treble, 2 trebles, 1 half treble and 1 double crochet into each loop produced by the blanket stitch.  When I got to the corner, I worked 1 double crochet, 1 half treble, 6 trebles, 1 half treble and 1 double crochet to ensure there were enough stitches to go around both sides of the corner and lie flat.

 

A gentle hand wash got rid of the dots, and then it was simply a case of sewing in the loose ends and deciding which chair to put it on!

 

Now You See It, Now You Don’t!

I must admit that I have a bit of a reputation in my family for occasionally losing things.  Personally I prefer to think of it as putting things in safe places but then forgetting where those safe places are until way after I need whatever it is I’m looking for!

Anyway, I seemed to have misplaced the rather lovely silver brooch that came with a grey knitted hat I bought from Accessorize a few years ago, so when I came across a pack of brooch pins, I thought I’d have a go at making a replacement.

Having just finished a couple of crochet flower workshops, I thought flowers would be perfect for my new brooch, so set about digging in my yarn stash.  In the end I decided on this gorgeous King Cole Curiosity Tweed leftover from a shawl I knitted a while ago.  The full cake had lots of colours in it, but I was left with 2 here, so the obvious choice was to make one flower in the dark petrol blue shade, and one in the paler blue.

Some of my favourite flower patterns are from the wonderful Attic 24 website which has really comprehensive instructions with plenty of photographs to help you on your way.  I opted for the pretty flowers that you can find in Lucy’s Jolly Chunky bag pattern (this was the bag that ended up being a bed for Coco the chihuahua back in Project 17!)

 

To end up with a 3d effect I wanted to lay one of the flowers on top of the other, so needed one to be smaller than the other.  To achieve this, I simply used different sized hooks – a 4mm for the large flower and a 3mm for the smaller one and they came out really well.

 

 

Once I had my 2 flowers, it was time to layer them up and find just the right button to sew on.  The button needs to be sewn through both flowers to secure them together.

 

 

When you’ve sewn the button on, there’s no need to cut the thread, just use it to sew on the brooch pin on the back, making sure it’s nice and secure.

And there you have it – one flower brooch all ready to pin on whatever you fancy.  Now I just need to remember where I put my hat!

 

 

 

 

I Want to Ride my Bicycle!

Well we’ve had a few promising days weather wise recently and it got me thinking about getting out on my bike again!  I then remembered that I’d made a start on some rather lovely bike decorations that I’d discovered in this gorgeous book by Shara Ballard and published by David&Charles

 

The project I particularly liked was the bike spoke decoration and after a bit of digging around in boxes I managed to find the pieces that I’d already crocheted using 4ply cotton in a variety of different colours. The book provides patterns for some rather lovely shapes and I just had to make sure I’d made enough of each of them to complete the design.

 

Once I was happy with all the pieces I’d crocheted, it was a case of laying them out on the table and checking how they would fit together.   It took a little experimenting to see what looked best where, but when I’d decided on the final positioning I had to sew them together – this was simply a case of a few stitches at the places where the pieces met.

 

To make the spoke decoration rigid and weather proof, it needed to be varnished, and acrylic  varnish was recommended.   I decided that I’d better do a proper job and bought some spray varnish which I thought would be ideal.  I turned a tray upside down and placed a piece of clingfilm over it.  I then laid the crocheted pieces on top before I started the varnishing – that way they wouldn’t all stick to the tray and I could turn them over once they were dry and do the other side.  I soon discovered however that perhaps the spray varnish wasn’t the best option for use with cotton as I needed multiple coats before it was anywhere near rigid.  In the end I reverted to my trusty pva/glue mixture which worked perfectly – typical!!

Once the spoke decoration was rigid and dry, it was time to fix it to the back wheel of my bike.  To do this, I needed some plastic cable ties.   These I got from Wickes for the princely sum of 99p!  They were much longer than I needed, but it was an easy job to trim the ends once I’d fastened the decoration to the wheel spokes.  I ended up using 8 ties in the end to make sure it was firmly in place.

All in all this was a really satisfying project.  It’s been great to complete another of my WIPS (Works In Progress!) and I’m just waiting for the next sunny day now to get back out again on the bike.  I may even have a go at a few more of the lovely projects in the book!