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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Tutorial - Vintage Granny Patch Blanket

Since about the Spring I have been working on my Vintage Patch Blanket and I finished it a couple of months ago. I have written up the pattern and the process which I would love to share with you!


So lets start at the beginning. I've always loved making blankets, it was the first thing I ever crocheted (ahem) about thirty years ago, and have made many more over the subsequent thirty years. At one point it was the only thing I wanted to crochet, everyone had one, if there was a baby being born in a ten mile radius, they had one too! I did soon progress away into making other stuff but I do like to have a blanket project always bubbling away in the background

So with this one, I decided I wanted to use some of the lovely vintage colours in the Stylecraft Special DK range and also, I thought I would use the opportunity to try some new things. Believe it or not, there are always new things to try with crochet....

Planning - I always blag a patch blanket, it is a great no fuss approach with very little thinking involved but  you can lose track of your colour combinations and are guaranteed to have a few duplicate patches. So the plan was to make all the first rounds, then the seconds and so on.

Look at all those scrummy rounds!!!


When you have finished each round you sort them out into groups which you assign to the second colour, and so on with he next round. I had read from a few other bloggers that this was a quick and easy way of working up a blanket fast. It really did seem quicker to do it this way and was fun to plan for once!

The Design - I like the look of the circle in a square, having never really made this before, wanted to perfect a patch design for this. After a few protoypes and a bit of frogging I worked up a patch pattern I was happy with!


Join as you go - Which is basically joining the patches at the same time as crocheting the last round. I have used this method before and it is my favourite. I love seeing all your hardwork coming together and I don't even mind sewing in ends!

First things first, we need yarn and I used my trusty 'go to' yarn of Stylecraft Special DK. As mentioned they have some beautiful vintage shades in their range and wanted to combine these, so the yarns I used were :-
1 ball of each: -
Pale Rose
Parma Violet
Duck Egg
Pistachio
Mustard
Pomegranate
Sage
Violet
Storm Blue

3 balls of: -
Buttermilk (for the joining round and edging)

Next we need a pattern for the circle in the square patch which is as follows: -

(special stitches used:- begpf - beginning puff stitch using 2 ch and 3 tr. pf - puff stitch using 4 tr. See my stitch guide for futher information on how to work a puff stitch and other stitch definitions)

Using a 4.5mm hook, make a magic ring


Round 1 - 4 ch, 15 dtr into ring, join with a sl st in 4th ch of 4 ch and fasten off (16sts)










Round 2 - join yarn in any sp between dtr's of previous round, work begpf in same space, 1 ch, *pf in next sp, 1 ch*, repeat from * to * to end joining with a sl st in top of first begpf (16 sts)
Fasten off yarn








Round 3 - join yarn in any sp between any pf st of previous round, 3ch (counts as tr), *2 tr into top of next pf st, 1 tr into next sp between pf sts*, repeat from * to * to end joining with a sl st into the 3rd ch of the starting 3 ch, (48 sts)
Fasten off yarn







Round 4 - join yarn in top of any tr st from previous round, work begpf into same st, *1 ch, skip 1 tr, pf into next st,  repeat from * to * to end joining with a sl st into the the top of the begpf st (24 sts)
Fasten off yarn








Round 5 - join yarn in between any pf st from previous round, work 4 ch (counts as a dtr), dtr, 2ch, 2dtr into same st (corner made), *1 dtr and 2 tr into next sp, 3 tr into next 3 sps, 2 tr and 1 dtr into next sp, 2 dtr, 2 ch, 2 dtr into next sp*, repeat from * to * to end omitting last corner (56 sts)
Fasten off yarn






This completed the first patch! The blanket I made was 11 by 9 patches, so we will need to make another 98 patches. Using the planning method they worked up in no time, or so it felt, as you concentrated on each round at a time


Because of the circle in the square method, these patches will need blocking just to establish the square shape. I wet blocked mine, using my little homemade blocker!


This is just a piece of polystyrene, wrapped in duct tape and the patches held in place with kebab skewers!

So after blocking, your patches should look like this

 

Next we need to join the patches. To do this we are going to work a 6th round on the square and this will be in the same colour for all rounds, for which I choose Buttermilk.

For the first patch: -
Round 6 (non joining) - join yarn in the 2 ch sp of any corner of round 5, work 3 ch (counts as a tr), tr, 2ch, 2tr into same sp (corner made), *3 tr into next sp, 3 tr into next 5 sps, 2tr, 2ch, 2tr into next sp*, repeat from * to * to end omitting last corner (88 sts)
Fasten off yarn

Now when we make the 6th round on the next patch (patch B) we will be joining it to the first patch (patch A). So on patch B work the pattern the same until you get to the first corner. After making the first two tr in the corner, make 1 ch, then insert the hook into a corner sp of patch A, make another chain and then complete the corner on patch B.

Begin working the second side of patch B, insert the hook and make a chain in the sp between the corner and first set of tr of patch A. Work 3 tr in next sp of patch B, insert hook in next sp of patch A and make ch and so on, until you get to the next corner. You will make the last join in the corner sp.

Finish the round and you should have 2 patches joined on one side, corner sp to corner sp.

Work the subsequent patches until you have joined a whole row of patches, joined on one side. For the second row, you will join the first patch with the same method but when you get to the second patch you will need to join 2 sides. Just work the same method, ensuring you carry it round to the second corner. In the corner sp you will need to make sure it is joined to all adjoining corner sps


So once joining is complete (and ends sewn in) we move onto the border and for this I wanted to continue the granny theme, so worked a really simple boarder to finish. Firstly 2 rows of granny (3 tr), working 2 tr, 2ch and 2 tr into the corner. The last row worked 3 tr into the middle st of each 3 tr group, 1 ch and then join a sl st in the space between the 3 trs of the previous round


And there we have it! All finished and I am really happy with the result.




Another enjoyable blanket journey, now onto the next one!

Happy Hooking
Kelly@lovedotty


© All images belong to Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated. Please link to pictures, content or DIY's if used on your own website. Crochet patterns are written by Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated, please link to original post if used on your own website. Feel free to sell the finished product that has been created from the pattern, if sold via a website, please link to lovedotty blogspot. However please do not publish patterns in full or as your own, unless agreed by Kelly of lovedotty 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Crocheting with Paper

When I first saw paper yarn become available I have to admit I thought it a bit daft. What was the point, if you get it wet it is useless, you can't clean it (because if you get it wet it is useless) and it looked a pain to crochet with...I mean, surely the paper would break easily right???
Well one day whilst perusing the yarn clearance rack in Hobbycraft (which I never do btw,...never, ....honestly husband) there was some paper yarn for sale.


And it looked so pretty with its variagated pinks and blues and purples, so I bought some. All my previous thoughts vanished from my mind because, well, it looked pretty!! So I got it home and looked at it, sat it on the sideboard with my other yarns and admired how pretty it was. Husband came home, looked at it and grunted how stupid paper yarn was (for all the previous reasons I thought). I acknowledged his point and pointed out the pretty colours to him but he just didn't get it (strange I know!).

Anyway after a few days, I thought maybe I should try to crochet something with it. So I went onto good ol' Pinterest to get a few ideas. Most things coming up were kitchenware, placemats and coasters so I thought I would give a placemats a go. So after going back to Hobbycraft to buy some more (ahem), I started with a bog standard crochet in the round and surprisingly I actually found it a pleasure to crochet with. However, the finished product did look like something my son had made at nursery. I think it is beause I had used treble crochet and it really looks better in double crochet. So I frogged it, which is a bad idea with paper yarn as if you overwork the paper it becomes flimsy and looks worn when you try to crochet with it again. You need to keep it as crisp as possible.

So with a new ball opened I had a brainwave! I had planned an Easter Egg hunt for my son and his cousins and I thought, why don't I make the Easter Baskets!!!! Out of Paper Yarn!!!! So after buying more paper yarn (well the kids had to have different colour baskets right?!!!!) I set to work with a basic double crochet basket pattern and plaited the yarn to make the handles



Amazingly not only did I enjoy the process but they also crocheted up really quickly. The finished articles looked lovely and the kids were very pleased to receive them, although not as pleased as they were to fill them with chocolate eggs. My little boy still uses his, it is so cute!

So I still had a bit of yarn left over and with no plans to finish my paper yarn crochet journey there, I whipped up a little basket to keep my projects in


I would love to share the free pattern here - Paper Basket Pattern

Moral of the story, always give it a go before judging the outcome.......and always buy that ball of clearance yarn, you never know! 

Happy Hooking!
Kelly@lovedotty

© All images belong to Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated. Please link to pictures, content or DIY's if used on your own website. Crochet patterns are written by Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated, please link to original post if used on your own website. Feel free to sell the finished product that has been created from the pattern, if sold via a website, please link to lovedotty blogspot. However please do not publish patterns in full or as your own, unless agreed by Kelly of lovedotty 

Pattern - Paper Basket

So if you fancy crocheting with something different or would like a quick and easy project then have a go at these cute little paper yarn baskets. Ideal for keeping your craft projects in if you are 'on the go' or even for a little one to use a handbag!


Hook - 8mm

Yarn - Rico Paper Yarn
Yarn A - Variegated (Yarn 15)
Yarn B - Blue (Yarn 9)








This pattern will be worked in the amigurumi style, working continually round with no requirement to start a new round each time. Recommend you use a stitch marker in the last stitch of each round and move up as you go.

With yarn A make a magic ring and work first round into ring (alternatively you can make 2 chain and then work into the 2nd chain - you may find this method preferable with paper yarn)

Round 1 - 1 ch (does not count as st), 7 dc into ring. 
Round 2 - 2 dc in each st (14 sts)
Round 3 - 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st, repeat to end (21 sts)
Round 4 - 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 2 sts, repeat to end (28 sts)
Round 5 - 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 3 sts, repeat to end (35 sts)
Round 6 - 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 4 sts, repeat to end (42 sts)
Round 7 - 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 5 sts, repeat to end (49 sts)
Round 8 - 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 6 sts, repeat to end (56 sts)
Round 9 - 1 dc in each st to end (56 sts)


Round 10 - Working in the back loops of the previous round, 1 dctog, 1 dc in next 6 sts, repeat to end (49 sts)
Round 11 - 1 dc in each st to end (49 sts)
Round 12 - 1 dctog, 1 dc in next 5 sts, repeat to end (42 sts)
Rounds 13 to 18 - 1 dc in each st to end (42 sts)
Change to Yarn B
Rounds 19 to 23 - 1 dc in each st to end (42 sts)
Round 24 - *10 ch, skip 10 sts, 1 dc in each of next 11 sts*, repeat from * to * (22 sts)
Round 25 - *10 dc in 10 ch sp, 1 dc in each of next 11 sts*, repeat from * to * (42 sts)
Round 26 - 1 dc in each st to end, join with a sl st in next st.
Fasten off and sew in ends

Finishing - To create a neat finish, using a yarn needle, thread Yarn B and work a whip stitch around the top sts of the basket.


© All images belong to Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated. Please link to pictures, content or DIY's if used on your own website. Crochet patterns are written by Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated, please link to original post if used on your own website. Feel free to sell the finished product that has been created from the pattern, if sold via a website, please link to lovedotty blogspot. However please do not publish patterns in full or as your own, unless agreed by Kelly of lovedotty

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What have I been up to!

So it has been a while since I last blogged and that's mainly because my laptop has been playing up and I just lost my patience in the end! So my planned regular updates on my CAL shawl never really happened, I only managed two, Week 1 & Week 2 & 3 and we are now in the final week!

The good news is, although I have been behind on my blogging, I am on track with the shawl (well the rainbow anyway, the pastel will now be a filler project!)
This is the shawl as of a couple of weeks ago. I have finished all the crochet and cross stitch now, just the lining to go but thought I would do a final reveal once that is done.

And what am I doing with the finished shawl? Well as mentioned in previous blogs, I hadn't actually thought of a practical use for the finished item, I just wanted to make it (common crafter affliction!) However, having admired myself in the mirror the other day I think I will use it as an actual shawl. It looks so lush and I felt all hygge and cosy! To clarify though, the rainbow shawl is actually for my mum, and the pastel shawl is for me, so I will 'borrow' mum's shawl until mine is done (mum, if you are reading, that's ok right???)

So did I keep up each week with this CAL? Did I heck!!! I got to the centre panel where you just had to crochet a load of dc rows and my mind wandered. I dipped into a few other projects in between. As soon as I got my mojo back I was on track and did the last three panels in about a week!

I have to say I found the whole CAL thoroughly enjoyable and I will miss getting my weekly update. I am definitely going to do another CAL soon!

So in between this, I have also been working on my Vintage Patch Blanket which I have mentioned before and given updates on my Facebook page: -


I am now working on the 5th round, last one before joining which will be a join as you go. I will do a blog post when I am finished!

I have also had a go with those pointy stick things...yes I knitted. Just because I fancied a change, but as much as I enjoyed the mummy and baby owl project I chose, I did breathe a sigh of relief to pick up my trusty hook again!
Oh and course, it is Spring, my favourite time of the year, so aswell as crafting I have been enjoying the brief sunny weather we have had so far in my lovely garden. And it also meant I got to put my bunting up!
Happy Hooking!
Kelly @ lovedotty
© All images belong to Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated. Please link to pictures, content or DIY's if used on your own website. Crochet patterns are written by Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated, please link to original post if used on your own website. Feel free to sell the finished product that has been created from the pattern, if sold via a website, please link to lovedotty blogspot. However please do not publish patterns in full or as your own, unless agreed by Kelly of lovedotty

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Scheepjes CAL 2017 Week 2 & 3 Progress!


Ok, I am sorry! I didn't post my week 2 progress last week because, well I hadn't finished! So I thought to myself, I will combine week 2 and 3, but guess what! I haven't finished week 3 either! Well to be fair to myself, I do have one of my CAL's finished in time, but because I was greedy and decided to do two shawls, this is where I am struggling! So anyway, as an unfinished week is still progress I thought I better post my update!

First of all, at the start of every week you have to double crochet 24 rows which is what you will be working on and oh my goodness there must be steam coming out of my hook as I just can't wait to get started on the decoration!

So Week 2 was where we did our first bit of surface crochet and our first bit of embroidery. I had done surface crochet before, but never really liked the finished peice. But.... I absolutely love my diamonds separator.


Once you get your head round where the corners for each dc 'square' are it flows lovely! I will admit I did have to frog my pastel one as I made it too tight. This is one of my issues, I crochet way too tight, and this has also meant my shawl is narrower than it is meant to be, but I will sort that when it comes to the edging (*crossed fingers*)!

Next onto the embroidery and we were given a lovely flower motif to cross stitch. I have done a lot of cross stitch in my time but hardly any on crochet and I can't believe I haven't fallen in love with this method before now. I find this part of the CAL extremely relaxing and 'hygge' and get totally lost in it. The only downside to cross stitch is it does take a long time, but it really is worth it to get the beautiful results.



Week 3 was more surface crochet and embroidery. This week it was hearts and I was really looking forward to them as this is the design that really pops out to me when I look at the finished image.


I can only show the Rainbow colourway as I haven't quite finished pastel! Almost there!

So here is the total progress so far...


Another thing I am enjoying about this CAL is seeing everyone else's progress via their Facebook page. Its nice to see all the different colourways everyone is coming up with. My sister in law has chosen her own colourway of icecream inspired colours and it looks so yummy


So all in all, still loving this CAL, although I have bitten off more than I can chew with making two at the same time. I think I may concentrate on getting one done every week and then work on the other in between!

Happy Hooking!
Kelly @ Lovedotty

© All images (with the exception of my sister in law's shawl image) belong to Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated. Please link to pictures, content or DIY's if used on your own website. Crochet patterns are written by Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated, please link to original post if used on your own website. Feel free to sell the finished product that has been created from the pattern, if sold via a website, please link to lovedotty blogspot. However please do not publish patterns in full or as your own, unless agreed by Kelly of lovedotty

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

My Very First CAL!!! Scheepjes CAL 2017 Week 1 Progress!

So the new year is full of new things to try and I always say I will try something I haven't done before but then the creature of comfort that I usually am, thinks 'nah', I'll crack on with something that I don't have to think too much about!
Well this year was pretty much going to be the same, until I saw this.....


I absolutely fell in love with this shawl by that was going become the 2017 Scheepjes Crochet-A-Long, the theme of which is hygge! Hygge means cosiness, comfort, happiness etc.. all the lovely things in life that make you happy and that is why it is my new favourite word! I'm all about the 'hygge' at the moment!

So anyway, when I saw this shawl was going to be a CAL, I was a tad disappointed. I have never done one before, they have never appealed to me as I don't like having to wait for the next bit. When I am stuck into a project I just like to get on with it! I remained tempted, and then the decision was made after discovering my sister-in-law was taking part! Doing the CAL with someone else sounded like fun, and would help keep me motivated (I hope anyway!)

Next challenge was which kit to get. They came in four gorgeous colour ways, plus there was an option of putting your own colour way together. The latter was never an option to me as I can be a bit of stickler with things like that. If a pattern tells me to use certain colours, I have to do just that! Maybe it is because I like someone else to do the thinking for me! I have to think enough when designing my own projects!

So I finally plumped for Rainbow, which is the one featured in the picture above. I loved the contrast of the bright colours against the grey background. However, when I went to order they were out of stock and I couldn't possibly wait 2 whole days till they were back in stock! So I ordered my second choice Pastel. Don't think just because it was my second choice it was not as stunning as it really is, and thinking about it, complemented my house and wardrobe a lot better!

Sooooooo, after 2 days my box arrived!!! How excited was I!


It is made up of Scheepjes Stone Wash for the shawl and Scheepjes Catona cotton for the 'decorating'. The stonewash is an absolute joy to crochet with, I will be planning a cardigan I think after this! And as for the Catona balls, they come in little 25g balls, and they are so cute and yummy. They do over a hundred different shades and I want them all....


So week 1 is all about the bobbles! I have bobbled a bit before so I found it fairly straightforward, only a half a row of frogging took place! I best not get too confident yet, I am sure I will struggle later!

Cuddled up on the sofa with crochet and Dotty for company, yes I was feeling very hygge....


However, there was one thing bugging me....I couldn't get Rainbow out of my head, so when my mum offered to buy a kit if I made it for her, I didn't hesitate.
Now to wait patiently (ahem) until it arrived...


And here are those scrummy Catona balls...


So my first ever CAL and I decide to do two! I am totally addicted and would do the other 2 kits if I could afford it! (Ps, if anyone else out there wants to buy me the kit to make the shawl for them, I would happily do that!!)

So end of week 1, and here is how I got on...
Pastel....


Rainbow....


I ended up using the 4.5mm hook the pattern advises, but as I do crochet quite tight it is already a tad narrow than it is meant to be. But I am not fretting.....yet!

So next up is week 2 which involves cross stitch! Wish me luck!

Happy hooking
Kelly@lovedotty

© All images (with the exception of the first image, which belongs to Scheepjes, www.scheepjes.com) belong to Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated. Please link to pictures, content or DIY's if used on your own website. Crochet patterns are written by Kelly of lovedotty unless otherwise stated, please link to original post if used on your own website. Feel free to sell the finished product that has been created from the pattern, if sold via a website, please link to lovedotty blogspot. However please do not publish patterns in full or as your own, unless agreed by Kelly of lovedotty