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.

Jumpers & scarf

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.

Dragon & Navajo

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!

Hexagons & Map

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.

Deer & Destiny

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.

Princess and waves

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

 

 

 

Dragonfly Granny Shrug

This week I want to share with you my granny shrug with a twist.   I had been looking online for ideas and the granny shrug seems to be really popular at the moment.  I loved the idea of it, however, I have used the granny pattern a lot and wanted to try something a little different.   Since the basis of the shrug is to make a really large square I figured any pattern in a square would work.   After browsing around for a while I was reminded of the dragonfly stitch that I have been wanting to try for a while, and the idea came to me to combine the dragonfly stitch with the granny shrug.   If you have followed me on social media, you would have seen some of my sneak previews learning the dragonfly stitch to create my granny shrug.

Dragonfly Square
Dragonfly Square

I started with the blanket pattern Radiating Dragonflies and used it as the basis to start my shrug.   The pattern is easy to understand and once I got to grips with it I was able to work through the square pretty quickly.   However, despite how easy I found the dragonfly stitch, I actually ended up frogging this 3 times before I got it right.  The first time, I couldn’t find the right size of square I needed and I stopped and finished it off way too soon and it didn’t fit at all!   The second time I tried to make it bigger, however, I ran out of wool and since I was using the purple sweet rolls from America (a gift from a friend) I wasn’t able to get anymore.   I tried adding a trim in a turquoise sweet roll, however, again I didn’t have the amount of wool in one sweet roll to complete it.

I had been looking at the Caron Cakes that Hobbycraft now sell, and decided to get a couple of the Faerie ones and once again I frogged my work.   This time I decided to work a set of dragonflies in alternating colours until the square was big enough, which in this case was the same size as the Radiating Dragonfly throw, with 7 dragonfly repeats.   Once I got to this size, I continued to fold the square up to make the holes for the arms and at this point it was fitting great, so I was able to go ahead and finish the trim.   I used 5 rows of RIB stitch around the edge to make the collar and sleeves and then sewed some chunky turquoise buttons on to finish it off.  They fit great through the RIB stitches and therefore I didn’t need to worry about making buttonholes.

Dragonfly Granny Shrug
Dragonfly Granny Shrug

In the end I used about 3 and a half of the purple sweet rolls and about 1 and a quarter of the faerie Caron Cakes to make this and it is large enough to really feel snug.   I can wrap it round me tightly and despite the holes from the dragonflies, it keeps me really warm.   For a lighter feel I can do up 1 or 2 of the buttons or leave it completely open.   It is of course typical that I finish making it just as the heatwave seems to have hit us in the UK and its now just hung up waiting to be worn.   However, once the weather does cool down, I know that I will love wearing this granny shrug and I love that it has the twist of the dragonfly stitch and is in my favourite colours!

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my Dragonfly Granny Shrug and maybe try one of your own.   See you next week.

Vicky x

Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress

This week I want to share with you my Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress.   An idea came to me a while ago for this dress and for the first time in a long time, this dress ended up exactly as I saw it in my mind.   I think I was browsing Pinterest on day and looking at all the granny squares and I have seen this pattern for many blankets, cardigans, jackets, bags and even some skirts and dresses, but they are almost always as squares put together and meant to be worn in the winter.   The weather is lovely in the UK at the moment and I had some amazing 4ply (sport weight) wool lying around in my stash that I wanted to use to create this dress.

Rainbow Granny Dress
Rainbow Granny Dress

The dress worked up quickly, although I always find that the granny stitch does and having Lily around meant I could occasionally try it on her to check it was fitting (even if she acted like I was torturing her!)   The body and skirt part were the easy part, and I was really pleased that the number of rows I picked for each stripe worked out being the perfect length for both sections.   I love the finishing neck and hem lines in the white shells, it reminds me of fluffy clouds around a rainbow in the sky.    It was actually the straps that I spent most of the time playing around with trying to get them how I wanted them to be, but I am now really pleased with them even if they do fall down a bit on Lily.   (I purposely made it slightly too big so that it would last all summer for her, she seems to be growing all the time at the moment.)   Although there are a lot of strands of the straps  did show through the shell decorative edge, I knew I wanted a button or something to mark the front of the straps and the white flower with the red button really works well.   I did try other colour buttons but the red definitely looked the best.

I have written up the pattern for this dress and it is really simple.   In  fact this pattern is so simple and fun to make that I might well make more in different colour combinations and I love the idea of making it adult sized, although that would require a lot more wool!  f you would like to try this pattern then please follow this link to find it here.   I would love, as always, to see any pictures you make of this dress, but for now here is one of Lily enjoying it (she calls it pretty!).

Rainbow Granny Dress
Rainbow Granny Dress

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my Rainbow Crochet Granny Stripe Summer Dress as much as I enjoyed making it.  See you next week.

Vicky x

From 60’s Crochet Dress to Crochet Lace Vest Top

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the 60’s dress I was trying to create and since then I have shared a couple of updates as it was progressing.  Today, I am pleased to say, it is finished and I am able to share it all with you.   It is nothing like how I originally pictured it in my head when I started to design it, and it is not even a dress anymore, but I am very happy with my first adult top that I have fully designed myself.

As I stated above it is no longer a dress.  I got to a certain point and I just decided it wouldn’t look as good if I made it any longer, so I stopped.   I had intended it to have long sleeves, but they ended up as short sleeves, although having fiddled around with them a great deal, and not being able to get them quite how I wanted, I have decided to leave them off, creating the crochet Lace vest top.  It is made of two main motifs, throughout and a couple of modified motifs at the neckline.   Then I have just used simple half double crochets to finish all the edges.

It isn’t difficult to make any of the motifs for this top, however, it has been a pain putting them together and I have spent a great deal of time taking it apart, probably as much if not more than  making it!   Its a little loose on me and measures 19 inches across (38 inches around) and 23 inches from top of shoulder to the bottom of the top, but is easily adjusted to size by taking out or adding a row or rows of the top and it is probably best to try it on as you go and definitely not to sew in the millions of ends too soon incase you need to adjust as you make it.  I haven’t got a good picture of me wearing it yet, (I am no good at taking selfies) but as soon as I get one I will add it onto my social media pages.

Lacey Vest Top
Lacey Vest Top

I am just finalizing the pattern and typing it out, but I would love to hear from anyone who would like to pattern test this for me.   It required a 3mm hook and 4 ply wool (I used just under 4 100g balls).   I think it would look lovely in a single colour as well as the rainbow, but if you wanted to use the same I used the Womens Institute Soft and Silky Lilac Mix.   It is written in american crochet terms and will have pictures for reference.  I am not in any particular rush to get the pattern out, so if you are around this month or next and would like to test it then please send me a message, either here, via email or Facebook.   It would be helpful if you can open a PDF file and can chat  via Facebook chat, but I can also used email if needed.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks post about my crochet Lace vest top, and I would love to hear from anyone who would like to test the pattern for me.  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