Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Crochet Blankets & Jumpers

 I hope that everyone had a fantastic Christmas, I know we did.   Oliver and Lily were old enough to really enjoy and understand what was happening.   Since Christmas has now been and gone and everyone has their presents, I can now share the projects I have been working on since September - my families Christmas presents.

Mostly I made blankets for my family members, although also a couple of jumpers too.  Some are patterns that are free, some paid and some are my own designs.   This week I am basically going to have a gallery of the presents I made my family without too much text.  I'll add a little information for the patterns I used so you can find them too, but mostly I just want the images to do the talking for me.

In the above picture, on the left is the jumper I made for my Dad in the Navy Blue aran wool from Aldi - the midwestern warmth men's cabled pullover.   I really enjoyed making this and learnt a lot from the pattern about cables, its a paid pattern but definitely worth it.   Top right is the dragonfly triangle scarf, a free pattern made in bamboo cotton in turquoise double knit.   As its a smaller thread I did add a few extra rounds to make it a little largers.   This is a quick pattern to work up and I really enjoyed making it.   Finally on the bottom right in the cream aran from Aldi is the vertical RIB sweater, although I actually worked it in both loops rather than the back loops and added a smaller alternating back and front post HDC around all the edges to finish it.   This is a paid pattern and was something new for me, I have never worked clothing vertically before.

Top left is a Chinese dragon blanket made in Paintbox Simple aran (becoming one of my favourite yarns to work with).   I made the graph using Stitch Fiddle and is worked in basic Tunisian crochet stitch with a popcorn border.   On the right is a chunky aldi yarn blanket worked in the Navajo Diamond Stitch, in Navy, sky blue and platinum colours.   This is a really thick blanket which only took a few days to work up, plus the bonus is no ends to sew in!

On the right is a Hexagon sunset colour blanket, with 8 hexagons made in 10 different sunset colours, finished off with a pompom border at both of the short ends.  It was designed for my sister to match her living room colours (plus she also likes hexagons!)   On the right is a map blanket completed in Tunisian Simple stitch.   The map was designed by my brother and sister for a book they are writing so seemed like the perfect Christmas present for him.   Both blankets above were completed in Paintbox Simply aran.   The graph was made using Stitch Fiddle.

On the left is a c2c crochet blanket with the image of a deer, completed in Aldi aran in red and brown (with a little cream).   The border is an adaptation of a Celtic border pattern from the book of the Kells, possible the most challenging of all the Christmas presents I made this year!   On the left fan of the video game Destiny may recognise the design as some of the banners from the game.   This blanket was made in Paintbox simply aran and is completed in Tunisian crochet again.

The final two blankets are above.   On the left is the leaping Stripes stitch, made in the baby wool from Aldi in pink, yellow, blue and white.   On the right is my nieces princess blanket.   In the middle is her knitted baby blanket and around the edge I have used the Princess and Villians graphs to add some of her favourite Disney Princesses, finished off with a puff stitch border.   The blanket is completed in two colours of pink double knit with the princesses being made mostly using scraps I had left over from other projects.   She hasn't received this yet as its for her 3rd birthday next month, but I don't think she will be looking on here yet!

I hope that you have enjoyed looking at the Christmas presents I made this in the final blog post of the year.    Join me next week for my round up of my first year blogging at Cosy Crochet.

Finally I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year, however you are celebrating.

Vicky x

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

A Very Crochet Christmas - Crochet Chocolate Orange Covers

 Although it is Christmas very soon, if you are still looking for a quick home made Christmas gift idea, then these Chocolate Orange Covers would be perfect.   They are cheap and quick to make and look fantastic.   I didn't have to buy anything except the chocolate oranges to make these as they basically used odds that I had left from other projects.   In addition to this they probably took around an hour to make each one and I think they make this tasty chocolate a fun present too!

I started off using this pattern from Crochet with Kate as a basis for my covers, but after making one they came out way too big for the  Chocolate oranges I had made.   Either my gauge was way off or her chocolate oranges were much bigger!!

It wasn't too difficult to make them smaller, I just one less increase row on each half and only had 3 rows before adding the closing method.   Pretty much everything else I kept the same and just adjusted the patterns to make different characters.   I did end up using the embroidery french knots as eyes rather than safety eyes as I found they dug into the chocolate and didn't give quite as good a finish.

I ended up making the reindeer, robin and Christmas pudding that was suggested on the blog, but also adapted the robin to make a penguin and a snowman.   Having completed all of them I am not quite sure who is my favourite but I think Rudolf may just be my favourite!

If you have any more last minute presents you want to make for family, friends or even teachers then I would definitely recommend making these!

I hope that everyone has a fantastic Christmas however you are celebrating.  See you next week for the final post of the year!

Vicky x

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

A Very Crochet Christmas - Crochet Pooling Table Runner

 Since I finally worked out how to do planned pooling when making my bag a couple of months ago I wanted to do some more, but this time with a Christmassy feel.  Although I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to make with it initially I bought as many balls of Christmas colours I could find for a reasonable price in the UK.   This turned out to be more of the Lily Sugar n Cream and although I wanted to experiment with acrylic rather than cotton the price dictated and I got more cotton.

The mistletoe colour actually ended up being slightly easier to pool than the moonstone, I guess because there are less colours in it, but I also found the colour changes to be a little more consistent in length than the moonstone, although it was definitely not perfect.

I started with pooling one ball, and then ended up working 4 balls in a strip.  At this point I sort of wished I had doubled the pattern to increase the width but had spent quite a bit of time on it and didn't want to start again.   So the sensible solution seemed to be to use 4 more balls to make another strip the same size and use the final ball to join them together then work a simple single crochet border.

The whole pooling effect actually matched up quite well considering it was done in 2 strips, but next time I try I am going to increase the width of the pooling.   I think that now having completed this project with larger pieces I feel more confident in tackling a bigger pooling project, or perhaps in a different pattern next time.

The Christmas colours of the mistletoe make it the perfect colour table runner for the Christmas period and it really looks great with the Christmas lantern on it.

I hope that you enjoyed seeing my Christmas table runner and join me next week for the final Christmas post this year.

Vicky x

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

A Very Crochet Christmas - Christmas Wreath

 I have always wanted a wreath on my door at Christmas, but have never bought one before.  This past year I have been much more involved with crochet facebook groups and have seen a whole load of wreaths made for all different times of the year.    Feeling inspired, I decided this year would be the year I would have a wreath on my door at Christmas.

To start off I bought a polystyrene wreath base from Hobbycraft for £4.00 and for the rest I used scraps of wool that I already had.   As I have been making all my Christmas presents this year, I haven't had loads of spare time to make Christmas decorations so I wanted to make the wreath as quickly as possible.   As a result of this I decided not to crochet the part that goes around the wreath base, but decided instead to wrap the wool around the base and superglue the ends.  I used the Aldi baby wool I got a couple of months ago in blue and white to create the background.

The decorations I all made and glued on using scraps of paintbox aran yarns and silver crochet thread I already had at home.   The snowman and his hat I just made up as I went, using basic circles and single crochet increases and decreases to make his shape.   The snowflakes and Holly leaves I probably could have worked out but being as I didn't have much time, I used the excellent patterns from Attic24.   The berries I used the embroidery technique French knots which also held all the leaves together.

Finally I made some small pompoms in white using my finger as the wrap around size.   All the decorations I simply glued onto the wreath, I much prefer to sew as little as possible as I'm not wonderful at it.   After everything dried, I attached a plaited loop to the top of the wreath, threading it through the back of the wrapped wool to hang the wreath up.

The whole wreath took around 2 to 3 hours to make, most of it was made whilst my daughter was napping so definitely easy to do and I love looking at it hanging on the inside of the front door every time

I come down the stairs, it really cheers up the hallway which doesn't often see many Christmas decorations!

I'm definitely going to make more wreaths in the future as they are quick and fairly cheap to make.  Join me next week for more Christmas decorations.

Vicky x