Crochet Jewellery

Last summer I was looking for a new project and after a bit of searching patterns and videos I decided to make some crochet jewellery.   I came across a video tutorial for 3D Romanian Point Lace Cord which made really pretty bracelets.   I didn’t have any crochet thread at this point so I went over to Hobbycraft to find some and came back with several different colours.   I watched the video again and began to experiment.   It took a couple of tries to get started since the beginning was a bit tricky, but I soon got the hang of making the cord.   I tried doing several different knots and loops to keep the bracelet attached but I didn’t quite like anything I came up with, so after another trip to Hobbycraft I came back with T bar fittings and they worked great.   I found they needed to be threaded onto the wool prior to starting to make the cord, since that made them more sturdy than just sewing them on.    I have a Pandora charm bracelet and way more beads than I can ever wear on it at a time, when made with a 2ply thread and a 2.5mm or smaller hook the Pandora charms fitted great on the bracelets.  After making several bracelets with charms I then extended to make a couple of necklaces using the same technique, one with charm beads and another with an old celtic neckace pendant (the cord for which had broken long ago!).

I then decided to expand my jewellery making into earrings.   Initially I wasn’t quite sure how to go about this, but after browsing many different patterns on Ravelry and watching a few YouTube videos I started to experiment.  As with the bracelets, its easier to thread the earring hooks onto the thread prior to making them, and then just bringing them up at the point you want to attach rather than sewing them on.   I have made a few pairs of earrings now and they seem to hold up quite well, although, I wouldn’t recommend wearing them around young children – a couple have come off of the hooks when they have been tugged on.   The actual crochet part though has been fine and luckily I have some jewellery pliers to be able to fix them!

Crochet Jewellery
Crochet Jewellery

I actually have been quite busy since I first started to make crochet jewellery, so I haven’t really made much since last summer until this week.  After finishing my 60’s project I talked about a couple of weeks ago (it is currently being blocked and I will share more about this next week) I decided to use the small amount of wool I had left over to make some jewellery to match.   I made a cord bracelet using the Romanian technique I talked about above, although this time, without any beads.   I then made a pair of earrings picking out one of the motifs in the project.   I liked how they looked and so decided to string several of the motifs together to make a choker.   I finished this off with a string of single crochet to make a cord either end to tie the choker on.   Both the earrings and choker were a bit curled after making them so I blocked them overnight and I am very pleased with the result.  I think they will look great as a set with the bracelet and 60s top (it turned from a dress into a top as I was making it).

Crochet Jewellery Set
Crochet Jewellery Set

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post on crochet jewellery.   See you next week.

Vicky x

 

Shell Crochet Clothing

This week I have decided to focus on one of my favorite stitches, which also happens to be one of the first stitches I ever learnt, the shell stitch.   The first thing I learnt to crochet was a couple of flowers for a  knitted baby blanket, I wanted to add a border to it and after looking up a few I found the shell stitch.  It was easy to do and looked really effective (unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it, it was before I photographed everything I made!)  I have since used the shell stitch a lot as a boarder but only once have I used it in clothing.

Last year I found a pattern for a quick and easy baby cardigan using the shell stitch and I made one in rainbow wool for my daughter this year.  But as she is taller than the pattern size required, I made the sleeves and body longer (she fits the width fine) plus I also added a hood.  It’s made from chunky wool so I think the hood makes it more cosy for going out in colder weather.   Using the shell stitch really makes this work up quickly and so I started thinking about other items I could make with it.

Shell Jacket
Shell Cardigan

I had a couple of 400g balls of Aran/worsted wool in my box that I had no plans for and decided to use it for this project.   I started with the skirt.   I wanted the skirt to have a fairly plain waist band, as I wanted to add a cord to allow it to be adjusted allowing the skirt to last for longer!  A few rows of half double crochet created a lovely waist band.  The tricky bit was finding the right number of stitches that would fit Lily comfortably but also allow the shell stitch to work, 64 ended up being the perfect number.   Once I had found that number the skirt worked up really quickly.   I started it mid afternoon and finished it before the kids went to bed, this included nappy changes, cooking dinner and eating it and stopping for anything else the kids needed!)   I actually made it a tiny bit too short as when Lily wore it the next day when her nappy was full you could see if hanging under the skirt.   This was no problem, however, I had plenty of wool, I just took it off her and added a few more rows to find the perfect length.

Having finished the skirt, I loved the idea of a matching top which would create a sort of dress like look if worn together or that could be worn separately.   The top took a little longer to work out the stitch counts.  I knew it needed to end with 64 to start the shell stitch (I wanted the top part to be plain like the skirt waist band) for the part under the sleeves but after a lot of fiddling around I was able to make the top in an afternoon and evening (still sorting out kids in between).   Once I saw Lily wearing the skirt and top I thought it might also be nice to create the two together to create a top, and I have made a note in theory of how this should be able to work.   I haven’t actually had time to try this yet but it should work – I definitely plan on testing this soon!

Shell outfit collage
Shell outfit collage

Having this made with the thicker wool makes it perfect for use most of the year.  I added tights when Lily has been wearing it on spring days and I think for extra warmth it would work well with a plain long sleeved top underneath – great for autumn and spring or winter with an added coat when outside!  I probably wouldn’t put it on her in summer unless it was a cold day but it might work without any tights or additional tops.  I have written up the pattern for the top and skirt with the optional rows to turn it into a dress, as well as notes on adjusting the pattern size.   As always, if you decide to make this, I would love to see pictures of them via either the comments on the blog or any of my social media channels.

Lily's Shell Outfit
Lily’s Shell Outfit

I hope you have enjoyed my shell crochet clothing this week and inspired you to try the shell stitch if you haven’t already!  Thank you for reading and see you next week.

Vicky x

Rainbow Lace Crochet Dress WIP

This week I want to do something a little different, instead of sharing a finished project, I would like to share something I am currently working on, my WIP (work in progress).  I was invited to a 60’s themed hen party at the end of the month and I did not have anything 60’s style to wear.  I thought about buying something, but I had seen some lovely rainbow wool in Hobbycraft which would be great for the project.   I spent a few hours browsing Pinterest for inspiration and I found a few crochet dresses I liked.   (If you would like to see my inspiration check out the board I made here.)  I then purchased a load of the chunky rainbow wool I saw (James C Brett Partytime) and sat down with the images to see what I could create.

This is the first time I have ever tried to work directly from photos and it took a lot of trial and error, making and undoing, but I started to get somewhere I that was beginning to like.   My first attempt shown below on the right I actually got quite far with, and although it fit nicely it wasn’t getting any real shape to it, and I quickly realised that it perhaps needed to be reworked.  Since I had done the individual motif’s and joined them together as I went it was quite a lot of work to undo, and I had also weaved in my ends as I went, not something I should have done whilst I was experimenting!   I have actually ended up putting it aside to deal with later (I bought plenty of wool to try with and therefore I had the luxury to be able to start again without having to undo it straight away.

Chunky WIP's
Chunky WIP’s

The picture on the the left represents my next try, somewhat more floral that than attempt number 1 but I actually like this design and it is 100% my idea and not copied from images.   I did note this time to not weave in my ends until I was 100% happy with it, so it will be so much easier to undo if I change my mind!   The weather in the UK has been unusually hot for the last week or so and I therefore I decided to leave this WIP too since the chunky wool was likely to be just too hot for the end of April.  So for the moment both of these are sitting in a drawer, but I fully intend to something with them later in the year, I think perhaps they would be better for the winter months and would work great for a jacket rather than a crochet dress.

I actually remembered I had bought some rainbow 4ply wool last year (Women’s Institute) which was sat awaiting a project and I thought this would be great.   I wanted to combine the circles and flowers from my previous 2 attempts but also again come up with something unique.   I have spent the last couple of weeks or so working on this new version in the lighter wool which I am really liking.  The top picture shows the motives held together at the start and the bottom shows the top of the dress with the start of the sleeves.   I have obviously got a long way to go but I like how it fits on me so far and how it is coming together.  In fact I was so pleased with it that I weaved in all the ends so far last night.   I am hoping to have some long flowing sleeves on the dress and most of the top being quite fitted with a more flowing short skirt on the end.

Rainbow Dress WIP in 4ply wool
Rainbow Dress WIP in 4ply wool

This version of the dress will definitely be a lot better for the warmer weather and the rainbow it a little more subtle than my original choice, but it means I can probably wear it a little more often!   I will be putting up my progress pictures on my social media channels, if you would like to follow them.   I will also be writing out this pattern, but since it is a larger project it will be a while before it will be available.  I will probably be looking for some individuals to test the pattern in May, so send me an email or comment on the blog of social media if this is something you would be interested in.

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s post and will look forward to my progress on the crochet dress.  See you next week, I’m off to continue working on it!

Vicky x

Spring Strawberry Crochet

My children love strawberries, they are one of their favourite fruits and now the weather is warming up we have been enjoying eating them.  I decided a while ago that I wanted to make Lily a strawberry based cardigan but I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to do it.  This week I finally sat down and came up with an idea and worked on it, however, it ended up nothing like I originally imagined, but I love it.

I originally wanted it to be long sleeved and button up the whole way down.   I was going to do strawberry rows for the entire cardigan and make it mostly white.   I didn’t have enough white at home to make anything with so looking at the colours I did have enough of it has become mostly purple with green edging plus, of course, the strawberries.

After having worked a couple of rows I realised this had to be worked from the bottom up to make the strawberries the right way up.  After having worked 3 rows of strawberries my design idea began to change, I felt that anymore strawberry rows might end up being too many and so I stopped and ended up making 4 pieces.   Having the top and bottom in different stitches it made sense to only have it half buttoned up.  Once I had gotten to putting the parts together I loved the look of the short sleeves and just decided to give them a simple edge.

Its a little bit smaller than I would have liked it to be for Lily, it fits but won’t last her long, but the pattern is easy to adjust to make it larger so I might make her another one if she outgrows it before the end of summer.  Overall I am pleased with how it came out and she seems to like it too.

Strawberry Cardigan Collage
Strawberry Cardigan Collage

To continue the strawberry fun this week, I made Oliver the cuddly strawberry he’s been asking for.   He knows where I keep my wool and so he has been pulling out the red wool and asking for me to make it into a cuddly strawberry for him.

The strawberry is a fairly simple pattern with arms and legs that are made first and attached as you go along.   The complicated part is, like the strawberry cardigan, working with multiple colours as you go.   I have found the easiest way to do this is to trap the wool under every other stitch as you go so you don’t see the wool at the front.   Since the spots are only used every couple of rows it doesn’t need to be carried too much and is not too difficult to use.

I couldn’t find a way to attach as you go the eyes or top leaves (made with crocodile stitch) so there is some sewing involved but it’s not too much since I really hate that part of crochet!   I finished the strawberry late one evening so Oliver didn’t get it until the following morning, but he has been carrying it around with him everywhere and strawberry has to do everything he does.  He named his strawberry Stella (after the spaceship in Miles from Tomorrow Kids TV program) and really seems to love her.

Stella Strawberry Collage
Oliver and Stella and Stella Strawberry

If you would like to make your own Strawberry Cardigan or Stella the Cuddly Strawberry then click on the links to find the patterns.  As with all my patterns I would love to see pictures of anything you decide to make and you can post them in the comments or on any of my social media profiles.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks Strawberry post and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Vicky X