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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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Mosaic crochet fun

I’m so lucky sometimes that I get to spend my time combining the things I enjoy to create cool stuff! My latest project ticks so many of my enjoyment boxes – it’s this mosaic crochet green and beige bath mat.

I love learning new crochet techniques (tick!) and mosaic crochet is really simple to learn (tick!), but it creates gorgeous geometric patterns that I love (tick!).

We had an extension built this year and as part of that we have a new bathroom/utility room. We had plenty of spare towels and other paraphernalia for it, but the one item we needed was a bath mat for the shower enclosure. So when I learnt mosaic crochet (as part of a feature for Simply Crochet magazine), I knew this was the perfect technique for making my own bespoke bath mat (tick!). The mosaic pattern is created at the front of the fabric with overlapping stitches, which makes the fabric pretty thick and sturdy. I used a really big yarn (Hoooked Zpagetti jersey yarn) with a really big hook (tick!) so it only took a day to make (tick!). I used green and beige to coordinate with the colours in the room.

So there we have it, I had fun and made something useful – that’s what crafting is all about!

If you’d like to have fun learning mosaic crochet and making your own bath mat, the tutorial and project are in issue 74 of Simply Crochet magazine (www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk)

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2018 in Crochet

 

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Make: crochet dishcloths

Blogging can sometimes be a lonely business. I quite often feel like I’m talking to myself. Which is fine. I’m happy to listen.

So it’s great when something I’ve made, written about or photographed is noticed and liked by other people. That’s what happened with this image of some simple crochet dishcloths I made:

Crochet dishcloths

Crochet dishcloths

A lot of crocheters like to make dishcloths and these ones are nothing special. But I remember making a special effort to photograph these ones nicely. So it’s great to discover that the image has been re-posted on a few other blogs as well as on Pinterest. It’s very nice.

Anyway, I thought it was about time that I posted the pattern, for anyone interested in making these dishcloths. They’re super-simple and beginner-friendly to make.

Dishcloths

You will need
Any DK-weight yarn (I used Yeoman Soft Cotton DK)
A 3.5mm (US E/4) hook

Measurements
Finished dishcloth measures approx 20cm (8in) square

Notes
Pattern uses UK crochet terminology: UK treble crochet is US double crochet, UK double crochet is US single crochet.

Dishcloth
Using 3.5mm hook, ch42.
Row 1 Tr in fourth ch from hook and each ch to end, turn. [40 tr]
Row 2 Ch3 (counts as tr), tr in each st to end, turn. [40 tr]
Repeat Row 2 until dishcloth is square (approx 20cm/8in).
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Edging
Join a contrasting shade of yarn using a slip stitch in any stitch of final row.
Round 1 Ch1 (does not count as st), *dc in each st to end, work 3dc in corner st, rotate to work into row ends and work approx 2 dc into the side of each treble stitch, work 3dc in corner st; repeat from * around, dc in each st until you reach the first dc, ss to first dc to join round.
Round 2 Ch1 (does not count as st), *dc in each st around working 3dc in each corner st, ss to first dc to join round.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in Crochet

 

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150 Thrifty Knits

It’s been a while since I’ve knitted anything – crochet seems to have been demanding all my creative time! So it was fun recently to work on a knitting bookazine, 150 Thrifty Knits, which is on sale now:

150 Thrifty Knits bookazine

150 Thrifty Knits bookazine

My involvement was to compile the patterns inside from previous issues of Simply Knitting magazine. The most fun challenge of working on this was trying to get 150 patterns into 132 pages – not easy!

But I’m pleased to say I managed to squeeze in all sorts of patterns for every occasion, including sweet little makes for babies and kids, gift ideas for all the family, treats for yourself or a very special friend, fashion and accessories, and homewares.

At just £7.99, I think this is a real bargain. You can find out more at www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk or purchase a digital copy from within the free Simply Knitting app (see here for more).

I’m surprised how this bookazine has reignited my enthusiasm for knitting – now, where is my needle stash…

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2014 in Knitting

 

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Simple sewn mats

You might remember that we redecorated our bedroom in July, and I got busy crafting little extras to make it truly ours. Maybe you even remember this photo of our windowsill:

Bedroom temporary plant mat

Bedroom temporary plant mat

Yes, that was a spare oven mitt being used as a plant mat, to protect the wooden windowsill that I’d very carefully painted. Well, I’m happy to tell you that the oven mitt is back in its kitchen drawer, where it should be, because we’ve made a whole windowsill full of pretty, sewn mats:

Six simply sewn windowsill mats

Six simply sewn windowsill mats

The best thing about this sewing project is that all six mats were made by both me and Jonny (the other/better half). We had chosen the fabric together, I’d cut all the pieces and threaded the sewing machine – I was all ready to get started by myself when (as a joke) I asked him whether he might be interested in learning to sew by doing the first (easiest) sewing stage on the mats. To my surprise, he said: “Yeah, I’ll give it a go.” I was surprised and delighted in equal measure!

I think his willingness was, in part, due to a television programme that we’d watched the night before. The BBC do a show called The Great British Sewing Bee, which I really enjoy. Well, they did a series of three charity specials recently, for Children in Need, with celebrities – some of whom were men (some of whom were pretty good). We watched it together and I think seeing other men sewing had made it acceptable for him to do the same.

So I pinned two pieces right sides together and showed him the basics of using the machine, backstitching, sewing in a straight line, turning a corner and leaving a turning gap. And he was really good. He’s not too fond of any task that is “tedious and repetitive”, so his attention span only stretched to doing three mats before he had to have a break. But he came back and sewed the other three. He also helped me turn them all through to the right side and then I just added the wadding and did the topstitching to finish them off. Here’s one a little closer:

Side 1: beige flower fabric

Side 1: beige flower fabric

We made them so that they have a different fabric on each side and each one has a different feel. Sometimes I’m in the mood for the beige side with its delicate little white and blue flowers. Other times, I crave the visual stimulation of the blue side with its geometric patterns:

Side 2: Blue fabric

Side 2: Blue fabric

So far, we’ve got the best of both by having some of the mats on one side and some on the other side. It’s really lovely to have a few different handmade items decorating our new bedroom, but what’s makes these mats even more special is knowing that we made them together. They’re the product of a crafty romance 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in Sewing

 

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Rainbow blanket finished!

At long, long last, my rainbow blanket is finished…

Rainbow blanket

Rainbow blanket

I first had the idea to make this blanket in early May, 2013, so it’s been a pretty long time in the making. But I’m still totally in love with each and every colour of the granny squares – I could just look at them for hours…

My first blog about making these granny squares was here and it’s funny to look back at the humble beginnings of my simple but beautiful blanket.

It was too big for me to fit the whole thing into one shot, but I’ll try again over the weekend.

I just love this blanket and I’m so proud of it. At the same time, part of me is almost sad that the project is over…

You can find the pattern for this blanket on my Ravelry shop here or my Etsy shop here

Look at all these colours…

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in Crochet

 

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