Thursday, 21 December 2017

Christmas baubles


I have been completely obsessed with embroidery lately, and have been trying out different stitches. Of course, the first thing I wanted to try is to embroider onto crochet fabric, which gave me an excuse to play with Scheepjes Catona. The cotton yarn is now available in the cutest 10g balls in a huge range of colours and at 55p each, who could blame me! I decided to create something festive and the result are these charming Christmas baubles. 

 

They are pretty quick to make, it takes me around 1.5 hours
to completely finish one, so still time to make few before
Christmas.
Hope you enjoy making them as much as I have.

Materials 
Scheepjes Catona - 100% Mercerised Cotton - 10g -
25m/27yrd
Colours used: 130 Old Lace, 173 Bluebell, 192 Scarlet, 205 Kiwi, 241 Parrot Green, 251 Garden Rose, 391 Deep Ocean Green, 411 Sweet Orange, 513 Apple Green, 514 Jade, 518 Marshmallow.
3.00mm crochet hook
Lockable stitch marker
Tapestry needle
Toy stuffing
Pencil or tailor’s chalk (optional)

Finished size 
The completed bauble measures approximately 9cm (3.5'') in
height and 14cm (5.5'') in circumference around the biggest
part.

Abbreviations
Ch - chain 
Dc (US sc) - double crochet (US single crochet)
Dc2tog (US sc2tog) - double crochet two stitches together (US single crochet two stitches together)
Ss - slip stitch 
St(s) - stitch(es) 
Rd(s) - round(s) 
Rep - repeat 
Magic Loop - You will find tutorial on how to make Magic Loop on my website: http://moochka.co.uk/pages/support 

Pattern note - Please note that pattern is written using UK terminology with US conversion given in abbreviation list.


Baubles 
Using chosen colour make a Magic Loop. 
Rd 1: ch 1, 8 dc into Magic Loop, pull tight on the tail to close up opening, ss to first dc.
From now on you will work in continuous spiral, which means you will not ch 1 at the beginning of round and slip stitch to close round. Placing a marker on the first stitch of round is vital to denote the beginning of round. Move the marker up on every row. 
Rd 2: * 2 dc into next st, 1 dc into next st, rep from * to end. (12 dc) 
Rd 3: 1 dc into every st to end. 
Rds 4 & 5: as rds 2 & 3. (18 dc) 
Rd 6: * 2 dc into next st, 1 dc into each of next 2 sts, rep from * to end. (24 dc) 
Rds 7 to 10: 1 dc into every st to end. 
Rd 11: * 2 dc into next st, 1 dc into each of next 3 sts, rep from * to end. (30 dc) 
Rds 12 to 16: 1 dc into every st to end. 
Rd 17: * dc2tog, 1 dc into each of next 2 sts, rep from * to last 2 sts, dc2tog. (22 dc)
Begin stuffing the bauble. 
Rd 18: * dc2tog, 1 dc into next st, rep from * to last st, 1 dc into last st. (15 dc) 
Rd 19: * dc2tog, 1 dc into next st, rep from * to end. (10 dc)
Change to contrasting colour. 
Rds 20 to 23: 1 dc into every st to end.
Insert more toy stuffing into top of bauble. 
Rd 24: *dc2tog, rep from * to end. (5 dc)
Cut yarn leaving 10cm (4’’) long length for weaving in.
Following the picture tutorial below, work as follows: 
1 & 2: Using tapestry needle, weave in yarn around the opening, I have used contrasting colour so you can see
better. 
3: Pull tight on the yarn to close up the opening. 
4, 5 & 6: Hide the tail of your yarn in the top of bauble by
inserting your needle downwards through the top of bauble,
then back again the same way you took your needle out, to
trap the yarn. Cut off excess tail.

 
Embroidery 
I have used only three types of stitches on the baubles: a
combination of back and straight stitch, running stitch and
chain stitch. I’m not an expert in embroidery (not even close!)
I just try out things and see what the finished product is like. I
think embroidery gives you lot of freedom as you really don’t
have to follow the rules, no need for structure, try it, if you
don’t like, then undo. The wonderful result of embroidering
onto crochet is that the finished result looks rather clumsy (in
a good way), which to me means handmade.   
Crochet fabric does not produce perfectly straight lines so
working embroidery onto it gives you the perfectly rustic
look. 
 

Below is little tutorial on how I worked some of the stitches.
These are just guide lines that worked for me, if you find a
way of working them better, then that’s fantastic. This is the
first time I have tried to explain how to work embroidery
stitches, I hope my instructions will be clear.
Please check out thespruce.com website, I have found it very
helpful for explanation on how to make some of the stitches.
For the snowflake bauble, I have drawn a template, then
traced it onto the side of the bauble using tailor’s chalk as it
dusts off easily. If you do not have a tailor’s chalk use a
pencil or just try embroidering free hand. 

Snowflake
For the snowflake, I have used a combination of back and
straight stitch. 
1 & 2: Thread your yarn through a tapestry needle and inset
it from the back to front, where the centre of the snowflake will be.
3 & 4: The long spikes of the snowflake stretches over 4 rows and the short ones over 2. The long ones are made using back stitch and the short ones using straight stitch. Insert your needle two rows above the centre and out again 2 rows above that. Pull the yarn through, being careful not to pull all of it out. 
5 & 6: Insert the needle back into the same place as the end of first half of the spike (this creates the long spike of the snowflake) and at the same time pull the tip up 2 stitches to the left (this will create the short spikes). 
7: Insert the needle back into the centre (short spike made) and pull the tip up through 2 stitches to the left (this is the first half of second long spike). 
8 & 9: Insert the needle back into the centre and pull the tip up 4 stitches to the left, in the same line as the first half of the long spike. 
10 & 11: Insert the needle back into the same place as the end of first half of the spike and at the same time pull the tip up 2 rows below (this will create the short spikes).
Continue repeating steps 8 to 11 until the full snowflake is made.


Embroider the little branches of the spikes using the straight
stitch, just going 1 stitch to each side of the spikes.
The dots above the short spikes are made using the running
stitch (see below for instructions)
When you finish the star, hide the yarn by feeding it through
the bauble twice, so it gets trapped in the stuffing, cut the
excess tail.
 
Running stitch 
I have used this stitch at the bottom, around the decrease
part and the tops of the snowflake bauble.
Starting at the back 
1 & 2: Insert the needle in and bring the tip up 1 stitch apart. 
Pull yarn through. 
3 & 4: Repeat the last steps with 1 stitch apart all around the
bauble.
Feed the yarn through the bauble to trap it. 


Chain stitch 
I used this stitch on the firework bauble. It looks beautiful
when done in different colours.
I have worked this stitch over one double crochet stitch going
up, down and sideways. 
1: Bring the needle up through back to front. This is your
starting point. 
2: Insert the needle again at the starting point and bring the
tip up 1 stitch away. 
3: Place the yarn behind the needle and pull the needle through the loop. 
4: Insert the needle back into the same stitch you just came
out from, but making sure the loop is secured in-between the
two strands of yarn. This will trap it and you can move on to
the next chain stitch. 


Straight stitch
This stitch was used to create the stars and crosses on the
top of the firework and star baubles.
The stars are worked as described in the snowflake but all
the spikes are made with single thread and over one or two
stitches. The crosses on tops of the baubles are made the
following way:
Starting from the back and around 2 rows up from colour
change. 
1: Insert the needle in and bring the tip up 2 stitches apart.
Pull yarn through. 
2 & 3: Insert the needle from top, 2 rows up and 2 stitches
apart, going downwards, bring the tip up 2 rows below, this
should be in line with the starting point. Pull yarn through.
This is the first leg of the cross. 
4 & 5: insert the needle in the same place as starting point,
pull the tip up through the same point as end of last step. Pull
yarn through. The second leg of cross made. 
6 & 7: Insert the needle, 2 rows down and 2 stitches apart,
going upwards, bring the tip up 2 rows above, this should be
in line with the end of last step. Pull yarn through. This is the
first leg of second cross. 
8 & 9: Insert the needle in the bottom corner of previous
cross, pull the tip up through the starting point of last step.
Pull yarn through. Second cross completed.
Continue repeating steps 2 to 9, working around the bauble.
Feed the yarn through the bauble to trap it.

 
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas

Anna xx 

One last thing; Please excuse the rather wonky wreath, it's the first time I actually properly shaped one (apart from the ones for the wedding, but they were in ivy, far easier). Quite a good fun though, and costs nothing, I used branches from my garden and local park.


                                                               
 
 

Friday, 27 October 2017

Love in Every Stitch - blanket



I’m delighted to announce that the ‘Love in Every Stitch’ blanket is now live on my website. 

When designing this blanket, I wanted the maker to be able to customise it to reflect themselves or the person they are making the blanket for. To be in full control of the size and be able to choose colours to suit the person, mood or soundings.


This blanket has a fantastic corner-to-corner construction, which gives you full control of how large you would like it to be. It can be made into a cot blanket, sofa, lap, double or single bed all you have to do is repeat the increase pattern repeats until you reach the desired size, then start decreasing until the end and you will produce a beautiful square blanket. The slip stitch pattern is easy to memorise and it complements the garter stitch border, not to mention that it shows up beautifully when worked in colour. The blanket is completely reversible; it looks equally stunning on both sides.



In the pattern, you will also find where to find inspiration for colour: mood, weather, name or even month of birth, this is where I took the inspiration for the two blankets. 

The smaller blanket is knitted in Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK and is made for the cutest little girl called Ella who was born in April.
The colours of the name Ella are blue, green and pink. The colours of April are yellow, red, white
I decided to get rid of the red as I thought it was too strong for a baby, but I stuck with all the others and added few complementary ones. 

The bigger blanket, knitted in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, is for a beautiful young lady called Sukie who is 8 years old. Of course, Sukie is at that age that I can just simply ask what colours she likes, however I still wanted to combine the colours of her birth month, May, which are yellow, red and green. I have chosen green to go with Sukie’s chosen colours. 


In both blankets, I’ve chosen cream as the complementary colour throughout, but please experiment with colour and see what combination you like best. I’m planning on knitting one with just grey and mustard.

However many colours you choose for your blanket, make sure you carry the yarn up the work with you and not cutting and weaving in at every colour change. You can carry yarn up 4 rows, any more than that will cause the yarn to form loops on the edges.

It’s important to get the edges nice and neat when taking the yarn with you. I have found the method below the best for producing neat edge. 

Don't cut the yarn every time you switch colours, just run the colour you're not using along the side of your blanket. 
  • Just keep picking up the different colours as you alternate (fig. 1).
  • Do this neatly so it will barely show, just pick up the yarn to be worked next from behind the other strand (fig. 2).
 Fig. 1
Fig. 2

You will find the pattern for 'Love in Every Stitch' on:


Happy knitting, 

Anna x

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Crochet flower





Since I posted a picture of the flowers I crocheted for the beautiful and courageous Jenny. I have had quite a lot of inquiries for the pattern, it was a flower that I made up, but you have encouraged me to put the pattern on paper.

I would like to share the flower with you in memory of the amazing Jenny and encourage you to make and share the flowers with anyone who needs cheering up. Spread a little love around, the world really needs it right now.

Enjoy

Anna xx


Abbreviations
Beg – beginning
Ch – chain
Ch-sp  - chain space
Dc (US sc) – double crochet (US -single crochet)
Htr (US hdc) – half treble crochet (US -half double crochet)
Magic loop – for tutorial on how to work this technique, please click here
Tr (US dc) – treble crochet (US -double crochet)
Ss – slip stitch
Materials
You will need small amounts of
Rowan Kidsilk Haze in 3 colours A, B and C
3.5 mm (US E/4) crochet hook     
Approx. 11 x beads - I have used 6 mm glass beads  
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends 
Needle that will fit through the bead.        
Matching thread                                    

Pattern note – The yarn is held DOUBLE throughout.
The pattern is written using UK terminology with US translations in abbreviation list.

Finished size
The completed flowers measure: L - 8 cm (3.1 in), S - 6 cm (2.3 in) in diameter.

Tension 
It is not important to achieve any particular tension in this project. 

Let’s begin
With colour A held double, make a magic loop.
Round 1: ch 1, 8 dc into magic loop, ss to first dc and pull tight on the tail to close up opening.
Round 2: ch 5 (counts as 1 tr and ch-2 sp), [1 tr into next st, ch 2] 7 times, ss to 3rd of ch 5. (8 ch-2 sp)
Round 3: ch1, [5 tr into next ch-2 sp, ss to top of next tr] into every ch-2 sp, ending with ss to beginning ch 1.
Change to colour B
Round 4: working behind each petal (see tutorial below), ss into base of next 2 tr, 1 dc into base of next tr, [ch 4, 1 dc into base of tr in the centre of next petal] 7 times, ch 4, ss into first dc. (8 ch-4 sp).
Round 5: ch 1, [7 tr into next ch-4 sp, ss to top of next tr] into every ch-4 sp, ending with ss to beginning ch 1.
Fasten off.

For small flower just work rounds 1 to 3 in desired colour, holding yarn double throughout.


Leaf (make 2)
With colour C make 11 chains.
Round 1: 1 dc into second chain from hook, 1 htr into next 2 ch, 1 tr into next 4 ch, 1 htr into next 2 ch, 1 dc into next ch, ch1, working on the other side of chains, 1 dc into next ch, 1 htr into next 2 ch, 1 tr into next 4 ch, 1 htr into next 2 ch, 1 dc into next ch, ss to first dc.
Fasten off.


Making up
Weave in ends. Attach leaves to the back of the flowers. Using needle and matching thread to yarn or one strand of yarn sew on beads to the centre of the flower.



Tutorials

Below are the video and picture tutorials to show you how to work into back of the flower.



1: Working from the back into each petal, insert hook in between stitches under the chains that formed ch-spaces on round 2. Ss into base of first tr.




2: Ss into base of second tr. 




3: 1 dc into base of third tr.


4: Ch 4, 1 dc into base of tr in the centre of next petal.
 



5: Work as instructed, forming ch-spaces at the back of work.