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

My Top 10 Crochet Stitches

We have been experiencing some lovely weather here in my part of Britain this week and as a result we have been outdoors having picnics, feeding ducks and going to the park.   All great fun, especially for the children, but not overly productive for crochet!   So this week, as I haven’t got any finished projects to show you (I am still working on the dragonfly stitch project I shared last week on social media) I would like to share with you my top 10 crochet stitches. (All stitches are referred to in american terms)

  1.  Single Crochet – I know this is a really basic stitch and something that is pretty much something everyone starts off learning, but it really is a stitch I couldn’t do without.   It is great for making all sorts of other stitches and I use it as an alternative to sewing clothing and blankets together (I really don’t like sewing!)   But even more than that I love how it can be used to make toys and with good tight tension prevents stuffing from showing through.
  2. Shell Stitch – This was one of the first stitches that I learnt to crochet and I loved how easy it was.   I have made lots of items with this stitch, cardigans, skirts, tops, jackets, blankets I love it.   I love how it can be adapted so easily to create different sized shells and to make it stretch across the edges of blankets.   This is definitely a stitch I would recommend you learn.
  3. Dragonfly Stitch – This is a stitch I have been wanting to try for ages, but I have only just gotten around to it.   It look me a while to get the hang of spacing it easily as the dragonflies are made over a couple of rows, but I absolutely love this stitch.   It is so pretty and I have so many ideas for what I can do with it, so keep a look out for future dragonfly projects on this blog!
  4. Popcorn stitch – When I was extending Lily’s baby blanket I learnt many new stitches but one of the ones I have used again since is the popcorn stitch.  I love the raised texture it gives and the fact that you can adapt it from the polka dot effect to being a strawberry (or any other round fruit if you changed the colour) to a ball or anything else you feel like.  This is a stitch I know I will continue to use in future projects.
  5. C2C (corner to corner) Stitch – this is a stitch I have only learnt this year and it is a stitch that I really love.  I really like how it can be used for stripes, plain or even a picture graph.  It is easy and quick to work up and I will continue to use this stitch for many projects in the future.
  6. V Stitch – This was a stitch I have used a few times.  I learnt it when making my wedding shawl and transferred it into part of my Lacey jacket pattern.  It also made an appearance in Lily’s blanket and it is a stitch that is really easy to replicate.  It gives an open Lacey feel and looks really nice, a real summery stitch and one I will use a lot.
  7. Granny Stitch – This is the classic crochet stitch and makes amazing squares.  I have been using the granny stitch for a while now, having made a poncho and a patchwork blanket I know this is a stitch I will a lot more in the future – in fact I have a few projects in the pipeline with this stitch when I have some more time!
  8. Backpost / Frontpost stitches – technically these are two different stitches, but I love putting them together in an alternating pattern to create a similar look to the knitting RIB stitch.  I find this is great for sleeve cuffs and edging on clothing particularly, it really finished a piece off.   These stitches also work really well to create cable patterns, something I want to work with more this winter!
  9. Mesh stitch – I love the simplicity of this stitch and used it to create the toy hammocks for the children, and think it would also look fab incorporated into a summer top.   It would also make great shopping bags made in a good sturdy cotton and probably loads of other projects it would work up great for too.
  10. Chevron/wave Stitch – This is perhaps the stitch that I struggled with the most.   I learnt it quite early on to create Oliver’s blanket and I had many issues with the counting of rows which has resulted in a wonky blanket.  Despite this, I love the look of it and it is a stitch I fully intend to work on some more in the future and I would love to use it in rainbow colours to create a rainbow wave effect.
Top 10 Crochet Stitches
Top 10 Crochet Stitches

These are my current top 10 crochet stitches at the moment, but there are literally hundreds more out there I would love to try.   I have an idea for a stitch a week square to make a patchwork blanket up over a year or so and is something I might do to use up the wool ends next year from this year.  It may be something I will do as a mini weekly blog crochet a long starting after the summer.   I would love anyone to let me know if this is something they would be interested in joining in with.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my top 10 crochet stitches this week, I will see you next week with hopefully a finished project!

Vicky x

Crochet Pattern Testing

A few weeks back I volunteered to be a part of a group of people crochet pattern testing some fingerless gloves and a hat.   UK term testers were required since everyone had been selected for US terms, and although I primarily use US terms, I do read UK terms (being based in the UK) definitely wanted to try pattern testing.   I was selected and a facebook chat group was set up.   I received the patterns later that day and began to test them almost immediately.   This was my first time pattern testing and I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect.   If you haven’t pattern tested before, you are given a pattern to work up and then find any errors which might hinder someone from making the item.  Its a fairly simple process and it is nice having the designer available to directly discuss the patterns.   (There have been patterns I have made where this would have been useful!)    I really enjoyed the process of working through the designs.  They were quick to work up and the instructions easy to understand.  As a group we worked out a couple of issues and got the patterns perfect and ready for release.   Terri Stewart, the designer of these patterns was really helpful and it was great getting to know her as we tested the patterns.

The actual items we tested are based on the loveknot stitch, which I had never heard of before, but absolutely love, and I am planning on designing some of my own items in the future using this stitch.  The hat comes in 3 different slouchy levels, and although I have only worked up the smallest slouch, I am sure the others would look great too.   All the items are the perfect fit and  The suggested wool for these was a variegated one in worsted weight, however, I only had a plain dark red in a similar weight to use.   At first I didn’t think they would look as good, however, I am really pleased with how well the plain wool brings out the pattern.     In fact I loved the hat and gloves so much that I decided to make the matching cowl pattern that Terri had previous released.   My only disappointment was that it was out of season and I would have to wait half a year to properly wear them!  I was therefore delighted when I went with some friends to an open air cinema one evening and it was cold enough to use my new winter set!  They fitted perfectly and helped keep me warm!

Loveknot set
Love knot hat, cowl and fingerless gloves

The loveknot patterns are really simple and look effective, and although it is out of season for most people, I would definitely recommend these patterns, which you can find in Terri’s Ravelry store.  They would also make great gifts for Christmas, if anyone is thinking ahead already.   I enjoyed my first pattern testing experience and I can see the benefits of this for my future patterns (more about this next week).

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks post and definitely check out Terri’s patterns.   See you next week.

Vicky x

 

Scrap Wool Granny Blanket

It’s finally finished!   This week I finished putting together the granny squares blanket made of scrap wool.    I’ve been\s in most evenings.    I am very pleased with the final product.   It measures 160cm x 160cm (the biggest project I have ever worked on) and should cover a double bed although it’s actually going to be for the new sofa arriving tomorrow.

It consists of 196 granny squares – some in plain colour and other that are mixed in colour.    I joined them together in black using the flat braid join and then just did a few rows of black and white to make the boarder.    I love how the black boarders give it a stained glass effect.

I still need to block it – since it is made of scraps not all squares are the exact same size and so makes it a little uneven but hoping blocking will help with that (although I haven’t blocked anything yet!)    I am definitely looking forward to seeing this on the new sofa tomorrow!

Scrap Wool Granny Blanket

Now this is finished in am working on extending my daughters baby blanket for her second birthday.    I look forward to sharing it with you when it is done.    There will probably be lots of mini projects in between especially as we sort out the kids bedroom now they are both older and sleeping in big beds!

Thanks for reading today’s and I hope you like my blanket as much as I do!    See you next week!

Vicky x

Using Scrap Wool

A couple of days after Christmas and before the new year the house had a big sort out and clean, including my big stash of Wool which sits in boxes in the gap between the sofa and wall next to the fireplace. It was only just over 2 years ago I started to crochet but it’s amazing in that amount of time how many scraps and small balls I have in the collection! I spent around half a day winding all the scraps into balls and put them into what became a large bag! My boxes are now soley used for the whole skiens for projects later on this year.

Bag full of scrap wool

Having seen the size of this bag I decided that I needed a project for them. In a couple of months my parents are giving us their old leather sofas and our much stained (thanks to the children) one is going. One of the concerns hubby has is leather will be cold so I thought I’d make some blankets for them and using the scraps seemed like the best idea!

So the start of the new year has seen me making various different coloured granny squares which will eventually turn in to 2 double bed sized blankets to go on our sofas in March. Granny squares were one of the first things I made when I learnt to crochet and the first solely crochet project I made was a blanket for when my niece was born. I actually ended up remaking a couple of months later as it fell apart but I have learnt so much since then that I feel confident these blankets should last for a long time!

Layla’s remade granny square blanket

So for now my evenings are filled with granny squares. I have chosen the most basic design as the colours will be so varied I thought that would be enough variety without different patterns too. Hopefully in a month or so I shall be able to show you my finished blankets and they will work as I see them in my head!

The growing pile of granny squares

Thanks for reading today’s post, I hope you are looking forward to reading more!

Vicky x