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Unfinished objects

All crafters have unfinished objects – those projects that you started with great enthusiasm, but for some reason it’s been abandoned, tucked away in the back of a cupboard and forgotten. I’ve got my fair share of these, usually projects that I start when I’m in between paid commissions -and then I get a commission that I need to focus on instead!

So recently when I was in between commissions and wondering what to do with my impatient hands, I realised that delving into my unfinished objects or UFO bag might result in a quick-finish project. Why have I never realised this before??

Braving the crochet UFO bag (there’s a whole separate one for sewing UFOs!), I found a couple of heads from abandoned toys, some pretty shell shapes that I made far too big, and an orange circle. I think maybe this circle was the start of a summer hat that I realised was just going to attract wasps! So I sat down to think about what I could turn it into…

I could have used it as a coaster, or continued it into a bowl or some sort of cosy. There were two shades of orange so I wanted to find a way to make something out of that feature. And then I folded it in half and realised it looked like a slice of orange! Ooh a fruity purse would be a lovely gift for someone, I thought.

With a quick dig around in my stash, I found a brown zip the right length – not the ideal colour but it’s ok. I was all ready and raring to go, and then I remembered that I had agreed to work a volunteer shift at my local charity shop. So I gathered everything up into my project bag and took it with me. The afternoon at the shop was quite quiet so in between serving customers, I adding segment lines and then sewed the zip in place. People seemed quite intrigued by what I was doing!

Orange purse finished

He’s a surprisingly roomy little purse and when he was finished and I was packing everything away, I realised it might be big enough for all my crochet notions…

Crochet notions inside

When I got home, I found that it did fit all my notions inside and all these bits and bobs helped to pad out the purse and make it look more like a piece of orange – win!

Not bad for an afternoon – UFO complete and a new little notions purse to brighten up my crafting. And yes, I’m keeping this orange guy all to myself – if only to remind me about the creative potential of all my other UFOs!

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Posted by on September 21, 2018 in Crochet, Sewing

 

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Granny square day

Apparently there was granny square day last week! How could I not know about it?? My family are always joking that I’m late to everything so it seems sort of fitting to be late to this party!

I love making granny squares and a while ago made this rainbow blanket:

I’ve shared the pattern for it in my Ravelry shop at www.ravelry.com/stores/becky-skuse-designs or in my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MakeMeDo.

If you’ve never made a granny square before then you can follow my free guide to make this square here:

Granny square light pink © Becky Skuse

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2018 in Crochet, Uncategorized

 

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Crochet summer pinwheels

I love the seaside. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said that, both in real life and on this blog!

So when it comes to my making, it’s no wonder I’m a sucker for anything with a seaside theme – I’ve even got a whole Pinterest board dedicated to crafty Seaside ideas here, including crocheted and sewn projects as well as some lovely inspiring photos.

I’ve actually just come back from a lovely week’s holiday in Cornwall, enjoying some glorious sunshine and beautiful beaches, so I thought it was the perfect time to share my love for the seaside with this crochet pinwheels pattern:

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I’ve just put the PDF pattern up for sale on my Etsy shop here and Ravelry here.

It’s been so hot recently that I found it tricky to decide on a craft project to take away on holiday with me – anything big or woolly would not have been practical! I needed something light and small to make with a cool cotton. I’ll tell you more about what that was another time, but this crochet pinwheels pattern would have been perfect.

They’re really easy and fun to crochet, and perfect for making while you’re on holiday, or once you get back. You could even get the kids to help you choose yarn and buttons for a really special make.

The pattern includes instructions in UK and US crochet terms, and they’re a great stashbuster because you can use any yarn you like (with a suitable hook). I used DK cotton yarns and a 4mm (US 6) hook, and I only needed approx 15g of yarn per pinwheel. You also need one button for each pinwheel, and a small stick, such as a barbecue skewer.

There are four different sizes of pinwheel: Large 11cm (4.5in) diameter, Medium 9cm (3.5in) diameter, Small 8cm (3in) diameter and Extra Small 7cm (2.75in) diameter. Plus there are diagrams to help you make up the pinwheels.

If you’re interested in the PDF pattern, head over to my Etsy shop here or Ravelry here, and enjoy the summer!

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2018 in Crochet

 

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Knitted slippers

With the weather getting warmer, it might seem like an odd time to be making slippers. But my feet seem to get cold throughout the year, so I can never have too many pairs of slippers!

I’ve knitted plenty of baby bootees in my time, and I have a fool-proof pattern by Debbie Bliss that I use. I recently had a thought that if I used the same pattern (intended for DK yarn), but with a chunky yarn, I might be able to make a bootee big enough to fit my size fives.

It worked a treat!

Knitted slipper © Becky Skuse

Knitted slipper © Becky Skuse

I’m really busy with crochet work at the moment, so I’ve only had time to make one bootee so far. But it’s lovely and cosy and stretchy. Now I just need to sew some fabric to the bottoms to make them a bit more hard-wearing. Oh, and make the second one.

Then I’d like to see if I can adapt the pattern into crochet…

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2014 in Knitting

 

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Crochet cables & bobbles

Firstly, apologies for no blog last week – I spent my day off on a training course, although I can’t say I learned an awful lot (it was still good though).

I have been doing a lot of learning elsewhere though, specifically about crochet. I’ve started working on a publication that covers more advanced crochet techniques, such as cables, beading and surface crochet.

It’s not essential that I learn all of these techniques because we have some expert contributors, but there are many that I’d like to learn, so now is the perfect time! Plus, I know it will make me feel more confident when I’m proof-reading pages.

Whenever I’m learning a new technique, I like to actually make something at the same time as practising it. So I made this manly grey cowl for my other half, incorporating some new-to-me techniques:

Grey cable & bobble cowl

Grey cable & bobble cowl

Slate grey is his favourite colour, so I found this DK yarn in my stash and used quite a big hook (6mm) for a chunky feel. I started off working a treble foundation row instead of working chains and then working stitches into the foundation chains (if you’ve never tried this technique, I highly recommend it).

I joined into the round and continued in trebles. On the next round, I used stitch markers to mark out every 10 stitches, which would help me keep track of where to place my bobbles and cables on the following rounds.

On the next round, I worked a 4-stitch cable at every stitch marker. It took me a while to get the tension right – too tight and the whole fabric puckered; too loose and it just looked like strands of yarn instead of a stitch.

On the next round, I worked a 7-treble bobble at the halfway point between two stitch markers. If I made it again, I might work more than seven though because they look a bit more like clusters than bobbles, in that they don’t stand away from the fabric very far. They still look good though (and he won’t know the difference).

So I alternated the cable round and the bobble round, and added an extra round of plain treble stitches at the centre to space out the bobbles a bit more. By the time I finished the cowl, I was cabling and bobbling on auto pilot!

Luckily, he really likes the cowl, as does everyone else who sees it, which makes me smile. In fact, it’s so nice that I’ve started to borrow it (it’s so cosy in the wind and the grey goes with everything!). As you can see, even my bust (I’ve called her Betsy) likes it:

Cowl on Betsy

Cowl on Betsy

Perhaps I’d better make my own cowl while learning some more techniques…

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Crochet

 

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Hearts

They’re such pretty shapes, I’ve always liked hearts. Just drawing them makes me smile. Then colouring them in is so much fun. I’m always amazed how different shapes and colours of hearts can change the emotion that they convey. Here are a few that I just drew:

Heart shapes

Heart shapes

My favourite is the wide heart, in magenta. Although the dark, deep red shade is gorgeously intense.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about hearts recently in my crafting. I was inspired by a secret little treasure that I rediscovered recently. I’d forgotten all about this heart:

Shiny heart

My heart

The heart shape was originally the fancy packaging for some chocolates – the two plastic halves pull apart and the chocolates were stored inside, wrapped in red foil. At the top is a little hole in both halves, and there’s a little fabric rose that slots into the hole.

After the chocolates were eaten, I wanted to craft the little heart into something special that I could keep. So I flattened out some of the red foil wrappers that the chocolates came in, and used them to line the heart shape on the inside. The trickiest part was getting the two halves to close without creasing the foil.

Anyway, I kept this little heart for years, just gathering dust… And then I met Jonny.

I gave him this heart, and my actual heart, 10 years ago this week. (I recently discovered that he keeps it under the bed!)

I wanted to mark our special occasion by crafting another heart…

A few months ago, when we were having a clear out, he found some thick wire that he didn’t need anymore, which I pounced on for my craft stash.

With biceps at the ready, I bent a length of the wire into a heart shape, and glued and taped the ends together. Then I found some suitably pink yarn and worked around the heart in double crochet (single crochet in the US). The yarn was DK weight, but I had to use a 2.5mm hook to get the stitches close enough to cover the wire completely.

Wire crochet heart

Wire crochet heart

I’ve never done anything like this before so I’m really pleased with it. Jonny liked it too.

Yes, it’s a little bit wonky and a little bit plain, but no one’s heart is perfect 🙂

Wire crochet heart closeup

Wire crochet heart closeup

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Crochet

 

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Make: crochet granny square

They’re quick, they’re easy, they’re fun, they’re colourful: what’s not to like about crochet granny squares?

There are lots of different patterns for granny squares out there, but the classic granny is the one I’ve been using for my rainbow granny blanket recently (by the way, I’m on my third strip of the blanket now!).

This is the simplest type of granny square and uses clusters of trebles. So I thought I’d share the pattern with you…

Granny square light pink © Becky Skuse

Granny square light pink © Becky Skuse

I used a DK yarn and 4mm hook, but the classic granny should work with any weight or type of yarn, as long as you use the appropriate size of hook for the yarn you’re using (see the yarn’s ball band).

Here’s the pattern I used:

Classic crochet granny square (UK terms)
Make a foundation ring using your preferred method (I used Magic Loop, but you could just ch4 and ss to the first ch to join).
Round 1: Ch3, tr2 into the loop, ch3, tr3 into the loop, ch3, tr3 into the loop, ch3, tr3 into the loop, ch3. Tighten the Magic Loop. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start.
Round 2: Slip stitch into the next two sts. Ch3, tr2 into the corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start.
Round 3: Slip stitch into the next two sts. Ch3, tr2 into the corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next side space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next side space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next side space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next side space, ch1. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start. Fasten off.

Classic crochet granny square (US terms)
Make a foundation ring using your preferred method (I used Magic Loop, but you could just ch4 and ss to the first ch to join).
Round 1: Ch3, dc2 into the loop, ch3, dc3 into the loop, ch3, dc3 into the loop, ch3, dc3 into the loop, ch3. Tighten the Magic Loop. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start.
Round 2: Slip stitch into the next two sts. Ch3, dc2 into the corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start.
Round 3: Slip stitch into the next two sts. Ch3, dc2 into the corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next side space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next side space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next side space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next side space, ch1. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start. Fasten off.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Crochet

 

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