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.

Christmas Wreath
Christmas Wreath

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.

Christmas Wreath
Christmas Wreath

 

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

 

Crochet Baskets

This week I would love to share with you some more makes from around the home.   As winter is coming I wanted a hanging basket to put all the hats, scarfs and gloves in, to keep that all tiny.   I also needed a new washing basket, but could never find one I liked for the price, so I decided to make one of my own.

I have been working with Bernat Home Maker Dec Yarn for these baskets, something which is completely new to me.  I had 3 balls in pebble beach variegated and 2 balls in spice variegated colour.  I used the spice option for the hanging basket and the pebble beach for the washing basket.

It took a while to get a good hook and gauge to create the look of the basket I wanted.   I didn’t want the washing basket full of holes and I eventually ended up using a 4mm hook after much trial and error.   I started with a simple circle increase in single crochet for the base and just kept extending it until the circle reached 15 inches.   At this point I did a row of single crochet in back loops and then continued the sides in moss stitch to give more of a basket feel.

I worked moss stitch until it was 11 inches tall and then created the handles.   For each handle, I chained 20 and skipped 10 moss stitch patterns (sc, ch1) and made sure they were opposite each other.   I think continued with a further 4 rounds of moss stitch to finish off the handles and the basket.   It was really simple and easy to create and looks amazing.  Its quite flexible and will be easily washed perfect if anything gets too dirty.

Crochet Baskets
Crochet Baskets

 

The second basket I made was the handing basket.   This time I used an 8mm hook and used 2 strands of the spice together.   This time I worked my base circle in hdc until is measured 12 inches and then I stopped increasing.   As this is a handing basket I decided not to work a row in back loops as I did above.  I then worked 9 rows of half double crochet before working some short rows to decrease one portion of the basket and add more depth.  I finished by adding a chained handle and a final row of crab stitch.

This basket looks great hanging above the bag and shoe area and has easily fitted four sets of hats, scarfs and gloves, and would probably take more if we needed it too.

I really liked how soft the Bernat home maker yarn is and would definitely use it again.   I think in future I would double strand the yarn and use a larger hook as it works up much quicker.  The hanging basket took me a few hours, about a third of the time of the washing basket!

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my baskets this today.  See you next week,

Vicky x

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Crochet Planned Pooling Bag

This week I want to share with you a project that I am very proud of.   For the longest time I have wanted to try a planned pooling project and this has been very challenging for me!   At first just finding a wool that would pool was hard enough, and I actually ended up with Lily Sugar and Cream moondance cotton from hobbycraft (which I have since found out is harder to pool with than acrylic!)

The amount of times I started and tore apart my work as I tried desperately to pool this cotton I don’t know, I lost count!   I watched

videos, used the planned pooling website, and also facebook groups.   I searched for everyone who had successfully pooled this cotton and saved photos, made notes of what they did and continued to try.

Planned Pooling Make Up Bag
Planned Pooling Make Up Bag

My first successful pool wasn’t the argyl I really wanted to achieve, but did produce some nice stripes.  The panel is 30 single crochet stitches wide and 43 rows long (basically one ball) and was made on a 4mm hook.  I turned it into a make up bag, just used some purple cotton (also by Lily Sugar and Cream) to crochet the sides together, then I crocheted in a zip and cotton lining.   I added a crochet flower in Hobbycraft’s Womens Institute Blue Cotton and added a purple flower button as decoration in the centre of the bag.   I also made a smaller flower with a smaller button as a pull cord for the zip.

After a bit more practice the planned pooling argyl effect eventually began to make sense and gradually I made the argyl effect.   After doing one panel the second was much easier to use.   What is slightly frustrating is the fact that (for this cotton at least) the sections of colour are all dyed to slightly different lengths, and this can also be different across different balls.  It definitely makes it more challenging to achieve, but once I knew what I was doing it got a lot easier.

The argyl panels are 31 single crochet stitches wide and 47 rows long (again 1 ball each) made with a 4mm hook.   I used them as the main portion of a handbag.   After making these panels I made several more to make it into a bag.   There are two purple panels each 31 single crochets wide and 10 rows long.   One of each of these panels is single crocheted to the argyl panel.   I left the ridge created from doing this face up as I kind of like the ridged look which divides the panels.

Next I made 2 smaller purple panels, each 10 single crochets wide and 10 rows tall.   Plus 4 smaller turquoise panels each 10 single crochets wide and 10 rows tall.   These panels are single crocheted together (ridge up) so you have a turquoise panel either side of the purple one.   This strip is attached to the other short side of the argyl panel.

The side panels are made one in purple and one in turquoise.   They are both 31 stitches wide and 16 rows long and are single crocheted to the front and back panels created above to create your rectangle bag.   The bottom panel is 51 single crochets wide and 16 rows tall and is also single crochets to the bottom of the bag with the ridge up.

Next I cut out some cotton fabric as a lining for the bag.   I sewed it inside out to create the rectangle shape and also used some to create slip pockets inside the bag.   I sewed a hem around the top of the bag and turned it so the patterned side of the lining was facing inwards.   I then put this inside the bag and I single crocheted through the stitching on the hem of the lining and the bag edge to attach the lining into the bag.

To add the zip, I used a simple straight stitch to sew around the edge of the zip.  I then single crocheted through the sewed loops all the way around the edge to create a single crochet round with the zip in the middle.   I used single crochet, chain 1, single crochet in each corner.   I then added 3 more rows in the purple increasing by 1 in each corner and then 4 more rows in turquoise until I had the right amount of rows to fit the zip panel at the top of the bag.   As  it is longer than wider, I added an additional 4 rows in turquoise either end of the panel.   The zip panel was then single crocheted ridge side up to the rest of the bag.

Planned Pooling Crochet Bag
Planned Pooling Crochet Bag

The handles are made with Romanian point lace cord, I held 2 strands of the turquoise cotton together and used a 6mm hook.   Each end was then single crocheted to ridge around the top of the bag at the edge of each argyl pattern.   Mine are 22inches long now, but it is worth noting that the cord stretches, so make it a little bit shorter than needed.

To decorate the bag I added flower buttons on the smaller patches and crocheted flowers on the larger panels.  The flower, with a button sewn in was also attached to the zip as a zip pull.   The pattern for my exact flower is as follows;

  1.   ch 4 and sl st to form a round
  2. (sc, ch 2 2 trc, ch 2 , sc) rep 5 times to form 5 petals and sl st to end round and ch 1,
  3. (sc and hdc in ch2 gap, dc, ch2, dc in between trc, hdc and sc in ch 2 gap, sl st in sc) rep 5 times to finish 5 petals, sl st to finish.

The larger flower a centre sewn on which is 5 single crochets in a magic circle and then sewn in the centre.

I love my bag, not only is it 100% homemade and completely washable (I have already tested this) but I love the fact that I finally achieved the planned pooling argyl patterns and this is displayed in my bag, which is unique to me!

I would definitely recommend trying planned pooling if you haven’t, but be prepared for a lot of hard work and trial and error.   I want to try some more as Christmas decorations, so watch out for more on it later this year.

See you next week,

Vicky x

Please note:  This post contains some affiliate links.   If you purchase through these links I may earn a commission.

Crochet Dinosaur Series – Dinosaur Storage Bag

This week is the final week in the Crochet Dinosaur Series, and to finish we will be making a dinosaur bag to put your playmat and dinosaurs into when they are not being played with.   Handy also for taking out with you.

Crochet Dinosaur Series

The bag is made primarily of double crochet stripes, in four colours, yellow, sea green, red and white.   I also added two bands of dinosaurs, so you know what is in this particular bag.  The dinosaur bands are made in Tunisian crochet, something I have wanted to explore a bit more.   I definitively enjoyed working out how to make these bands.

If you don’t know how to Tunisian crochet I have included instructions and a useful video to get you started.  If you don’t have the hooks or are not sure about it however, you could always make the band using normal single crochet in a tapestry crochet style.

Dinosaur Bag
Dinosaur Bag

One thing I did learn was that Tunisian crochet is tighter than my double crochet and I probably could have gone up a hook size to make the bag more even.   Since it is at the top and bottom however, it doesn’t really affect the bags use.

To get the Dinosaur Bag, click on the link provided.   Remember for this week only it will be FREE (until 17/10/2017).   After this time, if you wish to get the pattern or any other pattern from the Crochet Dinosaur Series then they will be available to purchase in the ‘Crochet Dinosaur eBook’ which will also contain bonus patterns too.

I hope you have enjoyed making everything in the Crochet Dinosaur Series, I know I definitely have and my children love playing with them.  Thank you for joining me every week and I look forward to seeing you all next week for something new and different.

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