Saturday, 10 December 2011

100 Flowers in the Snow and it is Snowing

Last night I finished joining together all of the 100 Flowers in the Snow.
Woke up this morning to this, the first snow of the year.
Here's a picture of the complete blanket laid out on the rug:

And here is the back to give an indication of the number of ends that need to be sewn in on a blanket of this type.You can see where I have started to do this already.It will take a couple of nights of movie watching to finish this.

I'm not sure at the moment whether to make this bigger - it is about half the size needed for a single bed. I might just leave it this size. Can't decide :)

Friday, 9 December 2011

Best Crochet Snowflake

This is the best crochet snowflake ever. There are lots of lovely crochet snowflake patterns out there, but most of them are made in very fine crochet thread, and beautiful as they are, they would take me a week to make.

This one takes a few minutes to make, and the pattern is easy. I make several of these each year. This year: red, to match my lovely fake tree :) I decided that at £10 a foot for a real one plus £12.50 for a log stand, I would economise with a £19.99 fake one from B&Q. I'm not really really sure that I like it, but its cheery and does the job.

The free snowflake patten is here.

They also make great parcel decoration for Christmas presents.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

How to crochet a tiny flower

It took me longer to crochet two tiny flowers for my new gloves than it took me to crochet the gloves.

I experimented with various people's patterns for small flowers, and in the end, none of them were small enough, so I made this up myself.

The ones I chose are the smallest ones in the bottom of the picture above. Here's how to make them.
Make a magic loop and into it do 10 double crochets (US single crochet).
Join up this round with a slip stitch.
(Now if you hate a magic loop, then don't worry. Just do a little chain 4 and join it with a slip stitch, and into that little loop do your 10 double crochets).

Then for the next round, notice that you have 10 double crochets, and you are making a flower with 5 petals, so each petal uses up 2 of those double crochet spaces from the first round. So, here goes:
double, half treble, double in the first space
then slip stitch into the next space
then start again with double, half treble, double into the next space
then slip stitch into the next space
then keep going like this until you have 5 petals, and slip to first chain to join.

When you are sewing on the flowers, put the glove on your hand first before positioning the flower. The flower is not in the middle of the glove and the easiest way to get it looking good is to try it on first.

Have fun!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

How to make the easiest crochet gloves

Here's how to make the easiest crochet gloves on the planet.

I make these every year. Every year, up here in Edinburgh, when it starts to get cold, I'm on the Brora website choosing myself a few pairs. Then reality sets in, and I decide that I'm not in an income bracket that can spend £150 on gloves. So I decide to make them. Here's last year's stripey ones since stripey clothing seemed to be trendy last year. Last year's stripey easiest gloves

So, looking for something a little more grown up this year, to match my black Boden coat with the yellow buttons, I choose a black Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, with a mustard yellow trim.

I feel like Laura in the Little House on the Prairie. I think my favourite bit of the story was when they used to go to the store to choose fabric for their dresses, and Laura having brown hair always got the pink trim, whilst Mary with her blond hair wore blue. Anyway, I digress....

This first stage may involve a little experimenting. You need to work out how wide to make them. No - don't give up now, it is not difficult, and I'm here to help.

If you don't want to measure, then copy mine. As I mentioned last year, I have quite large hands with long fingers, so you will have to scale down if you are more normal than me.

Using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino or a similar yarn, and a size 6 mm hook, I cast on 25 stitches for my "large" size hands. If you take a medium glove, then 23 stitches, and 21 stitches for little petite hands.

Now, change to a 5mm hook.

The reason I cast on a with a bigger hook than the rest of the work is to make sure that the first row is not too tight and doesn't pinch when the gloves are worn.

So, now with that 5mm hook, do 3 extra chains, and then do a half treble (UK) or half double (US) into each of the next 24 chain stitches to the end, giving 25 stitches across.

If you don't know how to do a half treble(UK) (half double as you US based crocheters call it), then don't panic. It is easy. Pretend you are doing a treble (UK) or double (US), then stop when you get to 4 stitches on the hook - and then pull the yarn through all. Here's a little picture of the step you get to in a half treble when you have the 4 stitches on the hook. So from here, just pull that hook through all of those stitches in one go, leaving you with just one stitch on the hook.

That's it, easy. If it stresses you to do a half treble (double) then don't bother: do a normal treble (double). The glove will not be as dense, but it will still be nice (and you will finish it quicker).

Do a couple of rows and then measure them against your fingers.  I like mine to be a little loose on the fingers, and to come up to about half way between the first and second finger joints, like this:

If you don't like the width, then go back to your first chain and add or remove a few stitches. This is the end of the measuring, experimental bit.

( I did two rows of mustard at each end to get the yellow trim. You don't need to do this if you don't like it. You could work them all in one colour).

So now, this is the bit where you get a film on, and really Miss Marple is the only one to crochet to :)
Open a box of chocolates, put your feet up, and keep going, crocheting back and forwards till you reach the right length.

Now a tip here. If like me you get a bit carried away watching Marple (only kidding!) then you may get to the end and realise that you have dropped or added a stitch, and that your lovely rectangle is more triangle than rectangle. I have done this so many times! So at the end of each row, just take a quick break and count back along that row making sure you still have the same number of stitches as in the first row.

Continue until the work measures the correct length for you. What do you mean? Correct length! I hear you say. Don't worry - you know how long you like gloves. For me, they go from between the first and second finger joints down to about 2-3 inches below the bend in my wrist. You might like them shorter. Don't make them much longer though, since there is no shaping in these, and unless you have arms like Betty Spaghetti they are going to be too tight on the arms.

Make another one. Oh no! Don't make me watch another movie, and eat another box of chocolates!

The sew them up, and Enjoy.

I added a little flower to each of mine. Instructions in the next post.