Four seasons quilt

Friday, March 31, 2017

How to join granny squares

This video shows you 5 different ways of joining granny squares so now you have choices! The different ways of joining the squares will create different effects. If you just sew them then that can deteriorate over time especially on a big blanket and you might find yourself resewing  the squares together down the track. Bags need stronger seams  on the granny squares too. When you are at the stage of sewing the squares together then think about he yarn you are using and the purpose of what you are creating. If you join the squares as you go it means you cannot change them and sometimes you want to . I enjoying having a pile of squares and working out different ways of putting them together so I don't attach them as I go. It depends on you and it depends on the sort of granny squares you are making.In any case, knowing different ways of putting the granny squares together helps you to choose the best way for your project. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Crochet baby blanket

 This baby blanket has a history. I originally crocheted the blanket for my daughter a long time ago. It served her well. I had used synthetic yarn because I wanted to be able to machine wash it.  I found the blanket again when I was looking through her soft toys to see which ones might be suitable for her baby which will be coming in August. It was like finding an old friend. I washed it and conditioned it along with her fluffy toys by using organic Castille soap. The backing of the blanket was looking worn so I ripped it off. I then thought the blanket looked too plain. I decided I'd make some animals because the blanket then can be used to teach animals and talking when the time comes. It's cute and functional but there is the other side of it now where it can be a good thing to develop literacy!! I explained in the previous post how I came to make the animals and I can assure you I had a lot of fun. I am also so pleased with the lion because the baby will have Leo as its star sign so the lion needed to look special and important. All of this is machine washable and so easy care.

 I crocheted the new edging and cross cross bars in double crochet. I then put on a soft , white polar fleece backing which I hand stitched into position. The original , simple blanket I made is now a family heirloom and I am really pleased with how it turned out. Blocking became important to give everything straight edges and a flatness which it needed. The cat is my favourite , though, I have to admit. I didn't put animals on all the squares because I didn't want the blanket to be too busy and then to swamp the eyes with too many animals. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Crochet animals

I am making another baby blanket. I'll soon be finished and you will be able to see and judge for yourselves. You can see some of it in the picture on the right. I wanted to put animals on it but it is not something I have really done before. Not much anyway. I decided on which animals I wanted to represent and then googled pictures of them. The lion has turned out really well. There weren't any pictures of crochet lions I liked so I had to make that one up and look up things about lion eyes and ears on the internet. Most of these animals are based on circles and were a great way to use up odd bits of wool. Now I have made several of them I shall so them more often to decorate things. I especially liked the owl. Oddish I had to make up from a picture too. I didn't want too many animals because I didn't want to make the blanket look too busy. The white eyes are circles of trebles and on the cat they are circles of double crochets.I really enjoyed doing this. It was really fun to find animals and then to try and make my crochet version look good. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Crochet a 3D rose

These are not hard. If you have mastered double and treble crochet you will not have to make a great leap in skills to make these crochet roses. They can be used to embellish all sorts of things or used on their own as decorations. They look especially nice in variegated yarn or if you use a block colour and then just slip stitch around the edge with a contrasting colour. There is a nice pattern on the Whoot for crocheted roses. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

How to needlepoint

Heart needlepoint pincushion
I have always liked to needlepoint. I have completed some pretty big canvases in my time which are framed and around my home. I have also made pincushions , chair cushions and decorations for patchwork bags. Needlepoint creates a very durable fabric . You can buy kits, create your own designs, use up your odd bits of wool and decorative yarn. It is easy to pick up and put down. It's not the sort of thing which is disrupted by active pets and little children, either. It won't unravel or come apart  if it is knocked over. I have made needle cases with it, too, to store my needlepoint needles. Barbara Reinfeld has created a very good video to show you how to get started. She has a Facebook page  and website too. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sock loom

I had no idea they had sock looms. I am not sure I want one and I haven't seen them on my rounds, but then again you often don't see what you are not looking for! I still haven't mustered the courage to knit socks. It is the heel part which is bothering me. I can do all the fancy stitches and DNPs and round needle knitting . It is the heel. I'd hate to knit socks and make stupid heels. I'll get there. You just have to keep feeding yourself the positives and then one day you sit there and wonder why it took you so long to get there. A sock loom might help? I am putting the video here so I don't forget to look out for them. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Baby blanket

I have finished the baby blanket with matching beanie and am well pleased. I like the colours because it looks like it is for a baby but it is light and cheerful. I started with my afghans and then sewed those together and crocheted around those. I sewed the bigger blocks together and double crocheted around those. I included 3 rows of puff stitch just to create a bit of a change. I sewed white  polar fleece on as a backing because it is so soft and then double crocheted around the edge. The beanie is the baby beanie I blogged about and I used my new pom pom maker to make a colourful pom pom for it. I am happy with the colours and have had some good feedback on this. The squares for the blanket needed blocking so they would sit properly. It was worth it.  It is two and three ply yarn and a 3.50 crochet hook. The beanie was made from knitting tow strands of two ply together on number 10 (3.25) needles. Today the blanket and beanie go to their new owner. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Pom pom maker

I was lucky enough to get a pom pom maker for my birthday which came in 3 sizes. it is very similar to this one. They are all much the same but some connect better than others. I used it for the first time yesterday and could not believe how fast it was to make a pom pom. I wound 3 strands at a time and it just went so quickly so I had a pom pom in less than 10 minutes. Not like the days with cardboard, awkward winding and testing my patience. These pom pom makers are quick and fun!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Super simple fingerless mittens

These mittens are priceless. They are quick, simple and a great way to keep the cold off your hands but still have use of your fingers. It would also be possible to pull your fingers and thumb inside of them and just have something to keep your hands warm. Since they are so easy you can make plenty of pairs quickly. Joanne has used garter stitch because it is thicker and warmer. You could make them in stocking stitch with a colour pattern. You need to make them first and then you'll work out how to change them. You could knit a bit of a thumb covering by picking up the stitches around the thumb gap and knitting a few rows. You could crochet around the edges to make them more decorative. It is simple patterns like this which allow you to be creative as you knit and succeed in producing something you can use. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Adult cabled booties

VeryPinkKnits always explains things well and shows you exactly what you need to do in order to accomplish something. The Hygge feet cabled booties for adults would be warm and cosy and that's the point isn't it? Knit and nurture. You don't have to do the cables if you feel insecure about it. Knit the pattern in stocking stitch or another stitch you are comfortable with so you understand how you create the booties. Once you have done that you can focus on the cables. Without the cabling the booties will be less bulky and hence not as warm. That might suit you. With the cabling you will have lovely knitted booties for a cold winter's night. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Baby beanie

Baby beanies are great quick projects which use up odd balls of wool or yarn and they are the sort of thing you can tuck in your bag and make on the train, or while you are waiting to see the doctor. They are a very handy way to fill in down time. I was knitting this baby beanie as I sat and waited for the train and then on the train trip itself. I got quite a bit done. I am using plastic tortoiseshell needles because I found them the other day and I could remember my grandma using tortoiseshell needles. They used to be the thing. The advantage for me was they were light and silent. I don't need extra wait in my bag. I am using the pattern on Mama's Stichery Projects . She is using inches so you might need the inches to centimetre conversion on this site. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Crochet Finger Puppets

Crafty Chrystal shows you how to make crochet finger puppets and a cute little bag to put them in which acts as a prop in activities and story telling. I can't find any of the finger puppets I made for my daughter . I used to make them and ,like Crafty Chrystal's, grand niece she  would make up little stories and they would stimulate her imagination. They are easy to make and a great way to use up those odd bits and pieces you always get if you knit and crochet. 

If you prefer to knit finger puppets there are some great patterns on Pinterest here

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Socks on circular needles

VeryPink is a patient, professional teacher and takes you through all the steps to knitting socks on circular needles in a careful and well thought out way. I was talking to a lady yesterday who was a long term sock knitter and so she was  very experienced. She assured me that if I was going to learn how to make socks that circular needles were the way to go. I have found my video and I really am going to have a go at knitting socks. It is one thing I haven't done and even though I am a competent knitter then I am looking at how best to get started. I feel a bit more confident now. Loved learning how to cast on with a crochet hook! VeryPink also understand the notion that you just have to get going and that you have to be able to see it as easy. She also understands that once you have done it , your own brain and imagination will move you forward and you'll try other things. I like the way she is not at all patronising and just is making a good quality video to help us learn how to make the lovely socks she does. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Afghan squares

You can do so much with granny or afghan squares. You can make them large, medium or small. You can join them together and crochet around them. They can make bags, blankets, clothes. You can use cotton, wool , yarn and they all turn out differently. If you take a look at 46 Easy Crochet Granny squares then you will see how versatile they are. I am making these afghan squares so that I can put a new baby blanket together. I am making them with a round centre and then I might make some others . I want the blanket to be able to fit a bassinet or a pram. It's a good way for me to use up the odd balls of baby wool I have. I really like the softness of the colours and then how quickly they come together. Granny squares are a good take anywhere project. They fit easily into a small bag and don't weigh much. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Baby blanket

I cannot believe I have finally finished this baby blanket. 650 grams of yarn later I am there. I used brick stitch but knitted garter stitch in the two rows in between. I have also crocheted around the border to stabilise the edges. I used 5.5 round knitting needles and 200 stitches. I made it wider than longer because I wanted it to be able to be a blanket which was good to wrap around but suitable for someone small. It's soft, colourful and squishy and machine washable because I used acrylic yarn. I was also conscious of the fact children can get warm very quickly and this is Australia. We don't always need to be using thick wool here.

Pattern is as follows:

200 stitches.
5.5 round needles
I have used 3 colours of 8 ply.
650 grams of yarn.
Brick stitch using garter stitch for plain colour. Knit forever and ever. 58 rows of bricks. Stabilise edges with a row of double crochet and then a row of 4 treble clusters. .