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Broomstick crochet

Learning new techniques is one of the best aspects of crochet – and there are so many different techniques to learn!

Recently, I got my head (and hands) around broomstick crochet, which involves creating long loops of yarn (wrapped around a ‘broomstick’) which you can then work standard crochet stitches into – the finished fabric is beautifully lacy. You can use almost anything as your ‘broomstick’ – I’ve tried it with a large knitting needle (worked well), the handle of an actual broomstick (a bit too big for me) and for the project below, a marker pen! (That worked surprisingly well, too.)

Being new to the technique, I started off by practicing with some spare yarn. Broomstick crochet is actually really easy to do, so I quickly progressed to making this little bracelet. With only 12 stitches to worry about, there wasn’t much for me to get wrong!

Broomstick bracelet

Broomstick bracelet

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It was the perfect opportunity to use a pretty yarn from Bergere de France called Reflet, which combines a soft strand of organic cotton with a sparkly strand. I chose the Ocean colourway, but I’ve got my eye on the other shades for forthcoming projects (watch this space).

I decided to use buttons to fasten my bracelet and chose three that were small enough to pass through the broomstick loops – I think it’s neat that the fabric formed its own little buttonholes.

Bracelet buttons

Bracelet buttons

After finishing it, I was a little worried that the buttons were rather fiddly to undo and do up with one hand, but it soon became clear that wouldn’t be a problem – the next day I showed it to my friend and work colleague Becca Parker (from Knit Happens). The buttons were already done up and before I could say anything, she tried it on by stretching it over her hand. “Nooo!” I exclaimed. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to harm the bracelet, so that’s become my new method of putting it on! Problem solved, thanks to Becca 🙂

A small project like this is ideal when you’re first getting to grips with a new technique, so if you’d like to try broomstick crochet and even make the bracelet, check out issue 42 of Simply Crochet magazine (on sale now), which includes the pattern for the bracelet and a step-by-step guide to the techniques involved.

Broomstick bracelet flat

Broomstick bracelet flat

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Crochet

 

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Upcycled shirt

We’ve all got items of clothing in our wardrobes that we can’t bear to part with, even though it’s stained, threadbear or falling to pieces. It’s funny how memories can soak into pieces of fabric.

My other half loves his checked shirts and a fair few have come and gone over the years. One of my favourites was a red and green checked shirt that he often wore when he visited the office where I worked. I keep a photo of him in my purse (from all those years ago!) and he’s wearing that very same shirt.

Anyway, he donated that shirt to my fabric stash a little while ago (it was threadbear in places), and I promised to make him something ‘cool’ with it. In my experience, crafting things for men isn’t easy, so it took a while to think of something suitable…

Shirt folder outer

Shirt folder outside

So this is it: an A4 folder covered with his shirt. It’s simple but practical and manly. You can still see a good portion of the shirt’s pattern repeat on the front and back, and lining up the buttons with the spine adds interest and means you can still see that when it’s on a shelf.

On the inside, I had to make a gap for the binder workings, and the buttons helped out here again…

Shirt folder inside

It took a bit of pulling and pinning to get the top pocket of the shirt to sit straight on the inside back cover of the folder. It’ll be handy for pens, pencils or even secret notes…

After a lot of slip stitching by hand, the folder was finished, and it got a thumbs up from Jonny. Phew!

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Sewing

 

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