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…99, 100!

The day has finally come. I’ve reached 100! No, not years, but colourful squares.

Almost a year ago, I set myself the challenge of making 100 colourful granny squares for a crochet blanket (see my first post about it, here).

The first square I made was red, and then quickly came orange…

One, two...

One, two…

Many more months later and after 96 squares, I reached the 99th square this evening – which turned out to be a yellow one, for some reason. So I couldn’t rest my hooking hand until I’d made the 100th, a turquoise square.

...miss a few, 99, 100!

…miss a few, 99, 100!

Whenever we played hide and seek as children, we would always count: “One, two, miss a few, 99, 100!” And that’s how I felt tonight, looking back at how many squares I’ve made.

So, now all I need to do is join the last 30 squares to the rest of the blanket, and then do the border. I might just get there before the year is up! (Have a look at the finished blanket here)

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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Christmas crowns

One of my favourite parts of Christmas day is pulling crackers and then wearing the silly crown while eating my Christmas meal. I like the idea of wearing a crown (we’re all royalty for the day at Christmas!) but all too often, the flimsy paper crowns rip or they’re too big and fall down over your eyes! What I really like is the idea of a crocheted Christmas crown, that’s been designed to suit you, and that you can use year after year.

Last year, I crocheted a children’s Christmas crown for Simply Crochet (see the post here and buy the pattern on Ravelry here or on Etsy here), but I didn’t get it back in time to give it to anyone for Christmas. So I stashed it away, ready for this year.

I’m aunty to two gorgeous little girls, who I’ve crafted plenty of treats for – but I sometimes forget that I’m also aunty to my other half’s nephew and niece, William and Lauren. So I decided that last year’s bright red and gold crown would be fit for a king, or rather for 8-year-old William, and that I’d make a new pink crown for 4-year-old Lauren. Here they are…

Christmas crowns

Christmas crowns

Lauren loves pink and princesses, so I tried to make a crown that would make her feel like a princess on Christmas Day. There’s a little bit of lacy, girly-ness in the central band and gentle peaks at the top, which I finished off with some dainty pearl beads…

Pink crown

Pink crown

I hope they like their Christmas crowns and use them again and again. The red crown has some elastic sewn in the back so it’s quite stretchy, while the pink crown has a stretchy lower edge thanks to a special technique I used. So hopefully, both will be able to stretch to fit their heads for many more years.

The special technique I used is crocheted foundation rows, which means you start crocheting by making the first row, rather than having to crochet a chain and then work stitches into it. I recently learned how to do it and this was the first project where I got to use those new skills. I’m loving the results and it’s so much faster and easier! If you haven’t tried it yet, please do give it a go.

Merry Christmas and hope you all enjoy your Christmas meals, wearing brilliantly silly crowns!

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 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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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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