Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Crochet Decorations for Home - Cushions

 I have worked on lots of crochet projects in the last few years, most of which end up either given away or in my children's bedroom.   I do have a couple of blankets I keep on the sofa's in the winter, however nothing to show in our living room during the summer.    I wanted to brighten up the room a bit and I have decided to start making some crochet decorations for home in between other projects.   I have quite a few ideas of what to make but to start off with, I have been making cushions.

I went to my local Hobbycraft at the beginning of the month and bought 4 cushions pads and 8 100g balls of double knit wool in rainbow colours (red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, purple and black).   I had no idea if it would be enough at the time, but it turned out to be perfect.   I used more or less every ball up, leaving only odd bits left (which will be put in a scrap bag to use on something when I have collected enough).

This week, I want to share with you my first two cushion designs.   I wanted to go for stitches and patterns I had not yet tried and so after much searching I came across the Sophie's Universe blanket.  I love this design, but don't really have need of a full size blanket, (and being as the weather has been so warm lately, don't really want to be crocheting something so large presently anyway!) so I decided to use just the centre motifs of this beautiful pattern to create my cushion front.  I was hoping I may have been able use the pattern up to the part where it turns into a square, however, even with the thinner DK wool and a 4mm hook it would have been way to large for the 16" cushion pads I had puchased.   In the end I completed parts 1 to 19 and then used a couple of additional rows to make it into the square I needed.   I just used growing stitches to create a corner in each end and then finished with a row of double crochet to pull out the square a little more.   I just picked random colours out of the basked when creating it, however, I probably would have done the pattern more justice if I had thought more about the colour combinations (and I may well do the whole pattern with better thought to this in the winter).   Since this was the last cushion I made I was pretty low on some colours and that really dictated what I could use where.

The back of this cushion, I just went for a simple striped c2c (corner to corner) pattern using the colours in the order of how much was left.   At the end I added a single crochet row to make it easier to attach the the front of the pillow.  To put them together, I simply held them as I wanted the cushion to appear and then used single crochet through both sides of the cushion.  This creates a bit of a ridge around the edge, but I like that effect, sort of like piping around a fabric cushion.

I wanted to make the cushions washable, and I didn't want to bother putting in zips as it takes a lot of time to do, so I made small flaps for the cushions and added buttons to close the gap.  It is just as well I did this as I have already had to wash one, thanks to my potty training daughter!  To make the flap I  put 4 rows of double crochet at one end of the cushion front and then folded it over between the front and back of the cushions.   When I used single crochet to join the front and back, I just made sure I went through the edges of the flaps at either end and didn't single crochet the forth side (flap end) up.   I added buttons across the middle of the flap and they secure nicely in between the stitches at the back without needing button holes.

The second cushion design I want to share with you this week, is my Tetris inspired cushion.   I wanted to make something a bit more manly for my hubby so he wasn't surrounded by flowery cushions all the time.   He is a gamer and so I thought about games that could be easily made into a cushions.   A search using Pinterest showed me a Tetris blanket and this gave me the idea.  I initially divided my 16" cushion into 2" squares and after realising each Tetris piece is made of 4 squares I decided to make 8 squares in each colour and 8 black pieces for the Tetris board.

It doesn't really take that long to make a 2" square, I just made 2 rounds of double crochet into a magic circle and used a double crochet, treble crochet, double crochet as a corner.   The squares were made quickly and I blocked them all as I went making them so much easier to put together.   The back of the cushion took a little longer, as that was a much larger square, but worked up in the same way as the 2" squares.   This time, however, to make the back less 'holey', I used the joined double crochet method for the first time and this was really great!  Its worth noting that it loses its stretch using this method and will need more rows than it might otherwise have needed to get the required size using normal double crochets.

I had drawn a picture on graph paper of how I wanted my Tetris board to look so I didn't make any mistakes putting the grid together.  I used single crochet in black to put them together which creates the raised look and makes it more grid like, I think.   Perhaps the longest part of creating this cushion was sewing all the many ends in once the cushion front was put together.

The rest of the cushion was made as the flower cushion above, creating the extra flap at the top of the cushion front and using the single crochet to put the front and back together.   I did the same again with the buttons to secure the cushion around the pad.

The picture above shows the cushions, front and back for the flower cushion and the Tetris cushion (The back isn't very exciting so I didn't take a picture of it).   I am pleased with how the cushions have turned out and my husband seems to like his Tetris cushion too (he would now like a gaming blanket for cold nights - maybe one for Christmas!).

I hope you enjoyed looking at my cushions this week.   Next week I will be looking at the next two cushions I have made, both the same rainbow colours as above, but with a Native American stitch design, you may have seen the previews as I was trying out the stitches on Facebook and Instagram.  Please feel free to share and cushion designs you have made with me, I love looking at other peoples projects.

See you next week,

Vicky x

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Dragonfly Granny Shrug

 This week I want to share with you my granny shrug with a twist.   I had been looking online for ideas and the granny shrug seems to be really popular at the moment.  I loved the idea of it, however, I have used the granny pattern a lot and wanted to try something a little different.   Since the basis of the shrug is to make a really large square I figured any pattern in a square would work.   After browsing around for a while I was reminded of the dragonfly stitch that I have been wanting to try for a while, and the idea came to me to combine the dragonfly stitch with the granny shrug.   If you have followed me on social media, you would have seen some of my sneak previews learning the dragonfly stitch to create my granny shrug.

I started with the blanket pattern Radiating Dragonflies and used it as the basis to start my shrug.   The pattern is easy to understand and once I got to grips with it I was able to work through the square pretty quickly.   However, despite how easy I found the dragonfly stitch, I actually ended up frogging this 3 times before I got it right.  The first time, I couldn't find the right size of square I needed and I stopped and finished it off way too soon and it didn't fit at all!   The second time I tried to make it bigger, however, I ran out of wool and since I was using the purple sweet rolls from America (a gift from a friend) I wasn't able to get anymore.   I tried adding a trim in a turquoise sweet roll, however, again I didn't have the amount of wool in one sweet roll to complete it.

I had been looking at the Caron Cakes that Hobbycraft now sell, and decided to get a couple of the Faerie ones and once again I frogged my work.   This time I decided to work a set of dragonflies in alternating colours until the square was big enough, which in this case was the same size as the Radiating Dragonfly throw, with 7 dragonfly repeats.   Once I got to this size, I continued to fold the square up to make the holes for the arms and at this point it was fitting great, so I was able to go ahead and finish the trim.   I used 5 rows of RIB stitch around the edge to make the collar and sleeves and then sewed some chunky turquoise buttons on to finish it off.  They fit great through the RIB stitches and therefore I didn't need to worry about making buttonholes.

In the end I used about 3 and a half of the purple sweet rolls and about 1 and a quarter of the faerie Caron Cakes to make this and it is large enough to really feel snug.   I can wrap it round me tightly and despite the holes from the dragonflies, it keeps me really warm.   For a lighter feel I can do up 1 or 2 of the buttons or leave it completely open.   It is of course typical that I finish making it just as the heatwave seems to have hit us in the UK and its now just hung up waiting to be worn.   However, once the weather does cool down, I know that I will love wearing this granny shrug and I love that it has the twist of the dragonfly stitch and is in my favourite colours!

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my Dragonfly Granny Shrug and maybe try one of your own.   See you next week.

Vicky x

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress

 This week I want to share with you my Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress.   An idea came to me a while ago for this dress and for the first time in a long time, this dress ended up exactly as I saw it in my mind.   I think I was browsing Pinterest on day and looking at all the granny squares and I have seen this pattern for many blankets, cardigans, jackets, bags and even some skirts and dresses, but they are almost always as squares put together and meant to be worn in the winter.   The weather is lovely in the UK at the moment and I had some amazing 4ply (sport weight) wool lying around in my stash that I wanted to use to create this dress.

The dress worked up quickly, although I always find that the granny stitch does and having Lily around meant I could occasionally try it on her to check it was fitting (even if she acted like I was torturing her!)   The body and skirt part were the easy part, and I was really pleased that the number of rows I picked for each stripe worked out being the perfect length for both sections.   I love the finishing neck and hem lines in the white shells, it reminds me of fluffy clouds around a rainbow in the sky.    It was actually the straps that I spent most of the time playing around with trying to get them how I wanted them to be, but I am now really pleased with them even if they do fall down a bit on Lily.   (I purposely made it slightly too big so that it would last all summer for her, she seems to be growing all the time at the moment.)   Although there are a lot of strands of the straps  did show through the shell decorative edge, I knew I wanted a button or something to mark the front of the straps and the white flower with the red button really works well.   I did try other colour buttons but the red definitely looked the best.

I have written up the pattern for this dress and it is really simple.   In  fact this pattern is so simple and fun to make that I might well make more in different colour combinations and I love the idea of making it adult sized, although that would require a lot more wool!  f you would like to try this pattern then please follow this link to find it here.   I would love, as always, to see any pictures you make of this dress, but for now here is one of Lily enjoying it (she calls it pretty!).

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress as much as I enjoyed making it.  See you next week.

Vicky x

 Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress


1.    Materials and Resources

·        3mm hook

·        4ply/Sport weight yarn 60g of each colour (I used Women's Institute Soft and silky in Red, Pink, Yellow, Green, Turquoise, Pale Blue, Lilac and White)

·        3 14mm buttons in red

·        Needle to sew in ends


2.  Stitch List

·        Sc – single crochet

·        Dc – double crochet

·        ch – chain

·        sl st – slip stitch

·        trc - treble crochet

·        hdc - half double crochet

·        Shell Stitch - *5Dc in same stitch, Skip 3, sc, skip 3* rep from * to *

·        Granny Stitch - *3 DC in same stitch, ch1, sk 1* rep from * to *

3.  Notes


  • 6 Granny Clusters wide and 12 rows long in a 10cm square


  • This is to fit approximately age 2-3 however, it is easy to adjust the size by increasing or decreasing the starting chain in multiples of 6 .
  • You need to have an even number of clusters in the body to make the points on the square evenly spaced.
  • You can extend the amount of rows in the body and skirt as required to increase the length of the dress.
  • It helps keep everything looking even if you turn at the end of each row.
  • Work 2 stripes of each colour in the body and 4 stripes of each colour in the skirt portion ( you can adjust this if you make the skirt longer.)

 4.  Pattern Starting at the top in red





ch 108, sl st to form a ring, ch 2


2 DC in same st as ch2, ch1, sk 2 stitches, *3DC in same stitch, ch1, sk 2* rep to end of round and sl st into the top of the ch2 and turn


2 DC in same st as ch2, ch1, *3DC in ch1 sp, ch1, sk 2* rep to end of row and sl st into the top of ch2 and turn


rep row 2  in pink


rep row 2  in yellow


rep row 2  in green


rep row 2  in turquoise


rep row 2  in pale blue


rep row 2  in lilac


in red ch2, 2DC in same stitch, ch 1 *(3DC in ch1 sp, ch2, 3DC in same ch1 sp to form a corner), [ch1, 3DC in ch1 sp] 8 times*, rep * to * 2 more times, then (3DC in ch1 sp, ch2, 3DC in same ch1 sp to form final corner), [ch1, 3DC in ch1 sp] 7 times and sl st in starting ch2 and turn


in red work as row 16 with a corner in every ch2 sp and a 3DC in each ch1 sp


Rep row 17 in red


Rep row 17 in pink


Rep row 17 in yellow


Rep row 17 in green


Rep row 17 in turquoise


Rep row 17 in pale blue


Rep row 17 in lilac


in white, sc in each dc and sc in each ch1 sp, sl st into beginning of row and ch1


shell stitch row -* sc, sk3, 5DC in sc, sk3* rep to end and cast off


Neck edge




in white sc around (1sc in each 3dc cluster and 3sc in each ch2 gap, sl st to join and ch 1


shells stitch row - *sc, sk3, 5DC in sc, sk 3* rep to end and cast off


Straps - Making sure you work out where the front is (it is best to fold the dress in half (see image below) and position the straps from there, I used 3 shells for the arm space)




attach each main colour to the inside of the base of a shell with a sl st and then ch 49 (it is easiest to to this part for all 7 colours and pulling up a long loop and cutting the strand of yarn before proceeding)


Once you have all 7 colours ch then you need to twist the strands together, then holding the chains twisted, sl st each end to the opposite base of the shell on the inside of the dress.


Sew in all ends (it doesn't matter if you can see the strands showing through the shell as a flower and button will go in front)


Flower (make 2)




In white ch4 and sl st to form a ring, ch3


sc in ring, *ch2, sc in ring* rep 3 more times and then sl st in to starting ch at the base to form 5 loops


*sc, ch2 trc, ch2, sc* rep 4 more times in each loop


*sc, hdc in ch2 sp, DC ch2 DC in trc, hdc, sc in ch2 sp, sl st into sc from previous round* rep 4 more times in each loop


cast off sew in ends and attach to the front of each strap

sew red button in the middle of the flower to finish the dress


© All patterns on this page belong to You may not sell this pattern. Please feel free to sell the items you make using this pattern, however please acknowledge me in your listing.



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Crochet Gallery

 This week, is going to be a bit different.  I have several almost finished projects that I want to share with you soon, and even more ideas that I have not even started yet, but nothing fully finished.  I was rushing to try and finish one of them, but I won't be able to do it in time, and I would rather not ruin the project by rushing, so I was looking around the house at ideas to share with you this week.  I have found several toys that I have made in the last few years, most of them free handed with no patterns, so rather than having too much text or patterns this week, I am going to do a gallery of past projects.

Most of the pictures will speak for themselves, so I will just caption them.   There are no patterns for most of these and I'm not sure that I could write down what I did for most of them, so this is mostly a look and enjoy week.  I will as usual link any patterns I have used.   I hope you will enjoy the crochet gallery and I will be back next week with a new design and finished pattern for you all.

See you next week

Vicky x