Tri-colour Crochet Striped Scraps Snood

Tri-colour striped Snood

Some of you might have noticed that I’ve been modelling some new homemade knitwear on my twitter profile. What do you do with all of those colorful yarns ends that need using up? Those bits of scraps will forever be at the bottom of your wool bag, but here’s how to make a warm woolly accessory and crochet up all those loose ends.

Using up scraps by bad bad magpie on Flickr

This hat by bad bad magpie caught my eye on Flickr – as do most of my crochet projects, like the Manta Hueco Zig Zag Cushion cover. I really liked the colorful randomness of the pattern, which is made up of different coloured yarns, but each round has the constant dark green or sage strand running through it. It inspired me for my next project, a thick woolly snood.

Tri-colour striped Snood

I started making this snood while I was between projects, and had lots of yarn ends and scraps that needed using up. I use three colours in one yarn, my main constant colour was going to be purple (my favourite colour), and I decided to keep the colour scheme graduating from one colour to another, with each . For example;

Round 1 was green, black, purple,

Round 2 was red, black, purple,

Round 3 was dark red, red, purple…. and so on.

The wool used was mostly Stylecraft DK and I used a 8mm crochet hook. The pattern was also very simple:

Ch to the desired length of the snood – this one was at least Ch 120 and slip stitch the foundation chain without twisting it so you have a continuous loop. Round 1 is a continuous round of  double crochet stitches, and then round 2 is a continuous round of triple crochets in the same colour. Round 3 is a colour change, and then a repeat of the round of DC stitches and then DTR stitched. Easy peasy, but look tri-brilliant!

Tri-colour striped Snood

 

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Manta Hueco Zig Zag Cushion Cover

rosie2 (13 of 18)

I’m quite chuffed with this pair. They don’t match, but this stripey wool twosome were the perfect crochet cushion covers for some Ikea cushions that we have had for yonks. It’s a really easy pattern, as long as you have already nailed the mighty Granny Square, and I’m going to show you how to make.

I had been eyeing up a Manta Hueco Zig Zag design on a photo on Flickr, and asked the maker who I could make my own amazing creation, and the reply was, just google it! The pattern is  traditionally made of small granny squares and the corners are stitched together, but then zig-zag stripes are made either side of the squares. A tutorial on this Spanish blog ‘buscando comienzos’ provided all the information that I needed to start this pattern off.

Manta Hueco Zig Zag cushion cover

Manta Hueco Zig Zag cushion cover

How To Make

To make the cover you need to make 3/4 granny squares that are the length of your cushion when arranged diagonally in a straight line. You make the stripes like making normal rounds on a granny square (3TC Ch1 or Ch2 if on a corner) , but when you go to attach the squares on the decent, you need to do this unusual stitch.

stitcheshowto

1) Begin a triple crochet stitch as normal – yarn over the hook, insert into the stitch, yarn over again, pull through two loops

2) Rather than finishing the stitch, you want to start making the next triple crochet. Do this twice more, so you have four loops on your hook, and three unfinished stitches.

2 ) Continue into the next square, by repeating the above process again, so there are three more unfinished stitches and 7 loops on your hook.

3) Yarn over and pull through all 7 of the stitches. Ch 1.

Once you have nailed that stitch (anyone have any ideas of it’s name?) then this pattern is your oyster! Continue with the rounds until the work wraps around the cushion and the points of the zig zags touch, and connect the work by doing reverse granny squares with the above stitch. Stitch one side together with a DC seam, and the other side sew 5 buttons.

Manta Hueco Zig Zag cushion cover

Manta Hueco Zig Zag cushion cover

Ta Ta! Now you have a super stylish stripy cushion cover. Who said granny squares are boring? Not when they are stripetastic! Have you made something with Manta Hueco pattern? Feel free to share your stripey wares in the comments below!

A Beginners Thoughts on Crochet (or How to Make a Giant Granny Blanket)

So, I have recently just blogged about a recent crochet project I have just completed, rainbow ripple crochet scarf for my lovely boyfriend. What I didn’t share however, was that the scarf wasn’t the first project that I completed. Oh no. My first learning of the dark art of crochet were first with the Amazings, where after covering the basic stitches I then tried to tackle the idea of making a granny square, which then developed into a giant blanket. Pretty standard beginner’s fare eh?

To begin with I did a lot of Pinterest research – If research counts as looking at other people’s gorgeous items and thinking “I wish I could make that”, until I finally settled on recreating a similar design to this one featured on the Little Tin Bird blog. It’s not in my nature to keep things small and square. With Rosie, life has to be big, bold and colourful. And even better for me, there was a tutorial to recreate the magic on the post, as well as plenty more tutorials to look through. Hurrah!

http://www.littletinbird.co.uk/basic-granny-square-pattern/

So. I had picked the pattern. Now to pick the yarn. I had discovered that my local sewing shop lives up to it’s name, Sew Amazing. It stocked lots of different varieties of the colorful Stylecraft Double knit DK, which was my yarn of choice, for cost (£2.50 a pop) and aesthetic reasons. Living room wise, we have a  red sofa, a green rug, and accents of different colours around the room, so I decided that the main colour of the blanket should be lime green, with each square having a different multicolored accent colours. In practice, some of the squares took a  rainbow and graduated turn rather than completely random. Armed with a 4mm crochet hook from amazon, I was ready to rock & wool!

I was going well… until I got stuck. I had forgotten all those wise words those amazings taught me! Thankfully Youtube came to my rescue. If you ever have a question, 9/10 there is a YouTube tutorial answering it. And for me, this was my gospel. Four months later I had completed all the squares, or so I first thought, thinking that 12 squares was going to be enough, bearing in mind it took me about 3 hours to make justvone square of 18 rounds. It wasn’t. I had to do 15, or else it wasn’t going to cover my toes. This was going to be a giant blanket…

9 giant granny squares     

Post assembly, joining and a few extra rounds around the whole blanket and I’m not just impressed with the result, I’m now properly addicted.

Giant Square Crochet Blanket

I’m already dreaming up new projects. tutorials, and homewares. I’m afraid by previous love of cross-stitch is now taking a bit of a back foot! But if I could do it all again, I would pass on the following tips:

  1. Do a test square first. You don’t have to use it in the final pattern, but it’s important that you get the pattern nailed before you carry on. Everyone makes makes mistakes in the beginning, and your first project is not going to be perfect. But the best bit about crochet is that you can unravel if you go wrong!
  2. Watch a master in action. They can teach you things about the craft that you can’t learn from a book. Like the best way to hold wool. Or crochet anecdotes. And if you are lucky, their skillz might be catching…
  3. Buy all your wool in advance – and then some.  I made the tragic mistake of not buy enough of my lime green wool to finish my lime green border. Unknown to me at the time, wool is dyed in batches, and once the whole batch has gone, the next batch might be the same shade, but not the same tone – which is silly of me not to realise that now thinking about it. I used 3 balls of the lime green, and still needed more. Next time, I’m buying bulk.
  4. Buy your wool in person if you can. Then you can really get a feel for the textures and qualities, as well as comparing those all important colours. You can always buy your favourite kinds online later on, but it’s important to support local traders!
  5. Absorb ideas everywhere. Read blogs. Make a Pinterest board. Like pictures on Instgram. Keep collecting visual examples of projects to inspire and challenge yourself ton the next project. The craft community is lovely too, be sure to share the love! Books are great, but the internet is your friend. Here’s a few blogs that have defiantly inspired me along the way: One Sheepish Girl, The Purl Bee and A Beautiful Mess.

So there are my thoughts and musings from a crochet beginner, even now I am no longer a novice. but it’s OK. Because I am making pretty things If anyone has any crochet thoughts, stories or musings as a beginner, be sure to let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!

 

Finished Cross Stitch – Malarky Graffiti

4 weeks of hard stitching and I have finished my latest cross stitch. You might have seen my posts showing off the work in progress but here is my finished embroidery, my first project from a completely new own made pattern.

Malarky Graffiti Cross Stitch

East London residents might recognise this cuddly multi-coloured bear, it’s a character created by Graffiti artist Malarky, as seen on the shop shutters in Shoreditch. I first discovered his street art in the brilliant Street Art Magazine VNA, and since I can’t walk down Brick Lane without encountering these cute colourful characters.

Malarky graffiti East London

Image by snakefightinglife on Flickr

I have been a fan of this London/Barcelona artist for a while, but inspiration struck when I saw his prints for sale at the Pick MeUp Graphic design fair. I was toying with the idea of buying a print for several months, but I then decided to make my own as a homage to his fun and playful work. Browsing through Flickr I was instantly drawn to the this bear, a) for the Bolt shades (it is the Olympics after all) b) for the colour c) for the gnarly gnashers. This hipster bear has attitude! To make the design I borrowed an image from Flickr, put it into Photoshop and modified to make sure the colours were all in blocks and there was no shading, put that image into Kit Pro App and then commenced stitching.

Malarky Cross Stitch

Malarky Back Stitch

And…. (and this is going to become a running them with my posts)… I couldn’t resist making another animated gif of my stitch in progress.  Note: The Gif doesn’t replay – yet – so just refresh the page to watch again!

Malarky Gear gif

Not sure what to do with my latest work, it seems like it would work well to be turned into a cushion cover, or I could stick in a frame. Not decided yet, but I am sure I will share it all with you when I do.

Now for the next project… this latest embroidery has given me the bug for making my own designs. Rather than cheekily copying designs from other people’s work I defiantly want to start drawing again and see if I can come up with some new patterns and designs to share with the world.

 

New Cross Stitch Project…

New Threads

I have a new cross stitch project on the go. This time I have selected an image of my own choosing, done a little photoshopping to make sure all the colours are 2D and processed the image through the Knit Pro App to get my own cross stitch pattern.

This will be very exciting as it’s the first time I have made a design, my only forays into stitching have been from other designs, so very excited to see how this will turn out.

But what is the image? Well, lets say he’s a familiar sight on every shutter in East London, and will be a very cute addition to the craft wall, which I am sure will be growing exponentially in the future.

So I have picked my DMC threads and I am ready to stitch, I might even make a little animated gif of the process…

DMC Threads