Crochet Dinosaur Series – Terry the Pterodactyl

This week Kicks off my Crochet Dinosaur Series.   I have been working very hard to produce this series and I am very pleased with it.  At some point in their lives, most children love dinosaurs, and my children are no exception.   We decorated their bedroom a while back with a dinosaur theme and that is where the idea came from.   I have wanted to do more with the playmats I have made and so combining the two ideas seemed perfect.

Crochet Dinosaur Series

The dinosaurs themselves, work well in two different sizes.   I have made them in Aran/Worsted weight yarn with a 3mm hook as well as in Double Knit weight yarn with a 2.5mm hook.   They both came out well, the larger sizes have gone as presents to other children and the smaller ones we have kept for use on the playmat.   I have designed 8 dinosaurs in total, alongside a playmat with trees and a volcano, all of which fit into a dinosaur bag for storage.   My kids love their dinosaur playmat set!

I have divided these patterns up in to 12 weekly sections (8 dinosaurs, playmat, volcano, trees and dinosaur bag) and I have decided that each pattern will be released on a weekly basis, which for that week only, will be FREE!   If you miss the pattern that week, or are too impatient to wait for them all to be released then don’t worry, they will be available to purchase in the ‘Crochet Dinosaur eBook’ which will be released soon.  Also included in the eBook will be two bonus patterns, the dinosaur comforter and C2C Dinosaur baby blanket, which I have now added written instructions to go with the graph.   You will only find the blanket’s written instructions in the eBook.

So to kick the Crochet Dinosaur Series up, this week’s first pattern is for Terry the Pterodactyl.   Terry was the first dinosaur I designed and is made with join as you go legs and sew on beak, tail and wings.   He stands up well and you can also make him fly.   I made Terry in Red and Yellow, but I think other colours would work well too.

Terry the Pterodactyl

You can purchase the pattern for Terry the Pterodactyl by clicking on the link and they include everything you need to make him in either the larger size or the smaller size to go with the playmat.  He uses basic stitches, but has more details instructions for any techniques which are not commonly found.  Therefore I think, anyone should be able to make him.   If you do need any further information or support when making Terry, then you can, as always, email or contact me on Facebook.

I hope you love making Terry as much as I did designing him.  Join me again next week to see the next dinosaur pattern released.   Which dinosaur do you think is coming next?

Vicky x

 

Crochet Dreamcatcher

This week is my final week looking at Crochet Decorations for the home (at least for now).  I have always loved Dreamcatchers, they look so pretty and I love the idea behind them too.   However, until this week it has always been a project I wanted to try but have never quite gotten around to.

To begin with, I bought some embroidery hoops in two different sizes and removed the top hooks.   This gave me 2 larger and 2 smaller sizes to work with.   I also used some more of the new Women’s Institute cotton from Hobbycraft that I was using for last weeks Kitchen projects.   I googled a few designs and read through a few patterns and the basic principle seemed to be the same.   Essentially you work in the round from the middle until it is big enough and then crochet it to the hoop last before adding any decorations.

I began with a small dreamcatcher using the blue and white cotton and worked a simple circle design which turned into a 10 point star before being attached to the hoop.   I wanted to add a feather as is traditional and remembered seeing a pattern for Tunisian crochet feathers on Pinterest which I thought would fit in perfectly.   I actually haven’t tried Tunisian crochet before, (although it is something I have wanted to try) so it took a few attempts before I got the hang of it.   I initially just worked a plain feather and added some stitching decoration, but after the first try I braved working with 2 colours, which was not really that much more difficult, but definitely more effective.

The second dreamcatcher I made was the pink one, which was again free handed from a flower in the centre, although it has actually ended up looking more like a star in the end!   As I was working these sitting next to one of my cushions (from a couple of weeks back) I thought the centre of the Sophie’s Universe pattern would look great as a dreamcatcher.   Since I was making it one morning whilst the kids were playing, I actually managed to make more petals on the starting flower and as a result I ended up having to adapt the pattern as I went to make it work.  Despite this I am pleased with the final result.  My final dreamcatcher I worked the Granny spiral Dreamcatcher pattern, with 10 strands alternating in black and white.

Dreamcatchers
Dreamcatchers

I have put the smaller pink and blue dreamcatchers hanging over Oliver and Lily’s bed and the larger ones are hanging in my kitchen and living room windows and I am really pleased with the results.   Dreamcatchers are definitely something I want to make more of, and I am thinking I may even try with much thinner cotton next time to make something more delicate.

I hope that you have enjoyed this weeks post on dreamcatchers.   I hope to see you next week for the start of my new dinosaur series.

Vicky x

Kitchen Crochet Projects

Continuing on in the Home Decorations theme, this week I will look more specifically at Kitchen Crochet projects.   I think this room is often neglected from a crochet point of  view, and until recently, was not a room I considered crocheting anything for.

A few weeks ago, however, I received from a friend, a couple of dish cloths, which I thought were too pretty to use.   Once I finally decided to give them a go, I loved them.   They wash dishes great and can also easily be chucked in the washing machine.   We already used reusable dish cloths but the cotton actually makes washing the dishes even easier.

When I saw the new range of cotton by Women’s Institute in Hobbycraft on offer, I decided to get some.   They have some lovely colours (all those shown below, plus black and cream.   They feel lovely and are 85% cotton so I thought would be perfect to try making some of my own dish cloths.   I am also using this as an excuse to try out some new stitches and patterns I have been meaning to try but haven’t quite found the time yet.

I started with a waves and chevron pattern (from ‘200 Crochet stitches’ Book) and really love the design.   The colours in this particular cotton all look amazing in this design.   I didn’t stop with just the dish cloth.   I also decided to try and make a tea towel with the same pattern.   I figured if the cotton would work well enough to wash dishes, it should also work great to dry them.

After some testing in the kitchen, I really like how they work.   The dish cloth seems to lift tough stains easy, much easier than my previous dish cloths, plus it looks a whole lot better.   It is also super absorbent, so perfect for wiping up all the messes my kids seem to make when eating.   In fact, I think I will probably make a few more just solely for wiping the kids up after meal times.

The tea towel works great at drying the dishes too.   It doesn’t smear and is super absorbent which is great when there is lost to dry, I didn’t feel like I needed a new one out after drying up only a few items.  It also seems to be really soft and works great as a hand towel too, so maybe I could even make some for the bathroom with this cotton!  I also added a hanging hook in the corner of the tea towel as it annoys me they don’t usually have them.  Now they should never end up on the floor!

Finally I found a linking flower pattern and was going to make another tea towel with it, however, after looking at it I think it would actually make a much better place mat for the middle of the table.   I’ll probably experiment with it  and see where I like it.

Tea Towels, Dish Cloth and Placemat
Tea Towels, Dish Cloth and Place mat

I haven’t washed these particular makes yet, although I can’t imagine there would be a problem as long as they are washed on a cool wash and air dried.  Certainty the other cotton dish cloths have washed great, they may take a bit longer to dry though due to their great absorbency.

I hope that you have enjoyed looking at my Crochet Kitchen Projects, and that it may have inspired you to make some of your own.  I’ll definitely be making more of all of these for my kitchen (and bathroom too!)

See you next week,

Vicky x

 

Native American Crochet

This week I will focus on the second part of my Crochet Decorations for Home Series about Cushions.   This week I want to share my Native American Crochet Inspired Cushions.   I have always been fascinated by history and tribal societies and I love the artwork many of those societies have, especially Celtic and Native American art.  As I have browsed through various crochet patterns and stitches I often saw Native American patterns that I wanted to try and the cushions seemed the perfect time to do it.

I started with the Apache Tears pattern choosing purple as the edging colour I began by working out the starting chain needed for my cushions.   I had to make sure that it would be in multiples of 7 so the pattern would work and also long enough to cover the cushion properly.   Once I had figured it out I then worked a few rows of purple as a base before starting the Apache Tears stitch in rainbow colours starting at the end of the rainbow.   The pattern is actually not as complicated as it appears to be and is repetitive enough that once I had completed a few rows I didn’t need to refer to the pattern again.  The pattern requires you to mostly work in the back loops although the long stitches work in the front hoops and as long as you figure that out the rest falls into place.

For my 16″ cushion I ended up with a starting ch of 63 plus 1 to turn and 64 rows in single crochet (the long stitches go below the rows so don’t count).   I made two pieces, one for the back and one for the front, although the front piece had an additional 8 single crochet rows at the top to provide the flap.  The cushion was put together in the same manor as last weeks cushions, using single crochet to join the pieces and create the flap.   The major difference between this cushion and last weeks is the tassels.   Since every row in this cushion is cut at the end and you start with a new piece (you cannot do this pattern working both sides) you are left with a lot of ends.   The easiest thing for me to do with the ends was to tie them together to create side tassels and then trim them.   I think it adds to the tasseled effect you see in Native American clothing.

The second cushion I made was the Navajo Diamond Pattern.  Again I used the rainbow colours but rather than having a different colour per row I changed colours every 9 rows to give a different effect.   The pattern is worked in a similar way to the Apache Tears, cutting the wool at the end of every row rather than working the back, and so I also made tassels for this cushion.   You can clearly see the diamonds in the Navajo Pillow compared to the arrow effect on the Apache Tears and it was just as repetitive and easy to work up using the back loops for the single crochet stitches and the front loops for the longer stitches.

Native American Rainbow Cushions
Native American Rainbow Cushions

I love the look from both these pillows, and although they use rainbow colours rather than the traditional Native American colours, I think they look great and tie in with the other cushions I have made.   I definitely would like to make both these patterns again using more traditional Native American colours, although perhaps something different to cushions.

I hope that you have enjoyed the concluding part to my Crochet Decorations for Home – Cushions and maybe I have inspired you to use the Native American Crochet Patterns for something yourself.

See you next week.

Vicky x