Monday, 11 December 2017

Christmas Stocking Decorations

Hi there,

Where does the time go, I always seem to be playing catch up at this time of year as it seems no time since I was writing about my autumn projects (more about them later). As storm Caroline passed over last week bringing freezing temperatures and just a tiny snowfall here afterwards I took some time out to to enjoy a lazy afternoon with a glass of mulled apple juice, a small crochet hook and some Christmas cards.

Yes, it's that time of year again when I like to write my cards and slip a little crocheted gift in some of them and this year it's all about stockings. I dug out all my fine crochet cotton threads and piled them on the table to choose what colours would make the most Christmassy stocking decorations.

Red and green were a given and I couldn't resist  the rich purple and royal blue cottons too with just one all white stocking.

The white one makes me think of vintage crochet decorations though the pattern I used is a modern one by Caitlin Sanio. Although I prefer bright Christmas and rich jewel colours I know just the right person for a vintage style decoration like the white stocking.

These tiny stockings are made from the top down and are worked mostly in double and triple crochet (single and double crochet in American terms). I used a 2mm hook and a mix of size 8 and size 10 threads so the stockings are not all the same size.

 Starting with the white lacy top then changing colour to work the body of the stocking.

Then simple shaping to form the foot and finish at the heel.

I like these little stockings, I wasn't sure about them when I made the first one but they've really grown on me. I think they go well with the nostalgic style of cards I'm using this year too.

I think a bundle of these little stockings in lots of different colours would make a nice garland or they could be added to gift tags for a little something extra. I love doing this each year and am so glad I started this Christmas tradition.

Til next time,

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Autumn Projects

Hi folks,

The temperatures have been dropping, the nights drawing in, the trees are gloriously rich golds, coppers and reds, it's definitely autumn. Time to curl up with a cosy crochet project in the evenings and I have three current projects to share with you, a skirt, a top and a pair of socks.

The is a skirt which I'm working in Wendy Aran yarn. I actually started this project before the summer but found it too warm to work a yarn this heavy over the summer months. I'm using a deep wine colour for the main yarn and haven't completely made my mind up yet what the contrast colour will be for the squares at the bottom.

The skirt is worked from the top down in one piece until it reaches the granny squares. The pattern is this one from Drops Design.


The next project is an old make I am reworking. Originally a tunic I made for my sister, it didn't fit her very well any more and hadn't been worn much. I made too good a job of weaving in the ends on this, finding all of them to undo this has been a challenge. I had thought to make a jumper from the yarn to keep my sister cozy on her long dog walks but I'm looking at a few different patterns.

My third project is a pair of socks for N using Woolcraft Superwash Sock Yarn in shade 44. This yarn feels lovely and soft so I'm hoping it will make a very cozy pair of socks to keep his tootsies warm. While I'm using the sizing and shaping from an existing pattern I'm adding a cuff at the top of the sock and using a different stitch.

It wouldn't be autumn without fallen leaves to crunch through on country walks, hot chocolate and cozy socks. I didn't keep well over the last year or so and now that I am feeling better I am really enjoying getting back to simple pleasures and enjoying crochet again. What are you doing or making this autumn?

Til next time,

Friday, 2 June 2017

Wedding Keepsakes

Hi folks,

It's such a lovely time of year just now and though weddings are lovely at any time, Spring and Summer are my favourites. Recently I've been trawling the Internet looking for inspiration for wedding keepsakes and there are some lovely patterns out there. In the end I returned to a tried and tested pattern, a lace horse shoe for good luck, however I have a confession to make because it isn't crochet.

Nope, no crochet in sight. It's actually tatted lace though it does need a crochet hook to make joins. Some years ago I bought a starter kit from the Ring Of Tatters and using their DVD, taught myself shuttle tatting. I only learnt the basics and after making a few items I returned to my first love of crochet as I found it easier but I have always loved this simple horse shoe pattern from Be-stitched. It's a beginner's pattern which is lucky for me as it is all I can do.

Tatting can be made with either a tatting needle or a shuttle, I use a shuttle. Some shuttles have a hook at one end for joining purposes but as mine doesn't I use a small steel crochet hook. The stitch used is called double stitch and is made in two parts, these form the chains and rings and even the picots.

Using white crochet cotton, I wound the shuttle full of thread but didn't cut it from the ball.

The thread is held by the left hand while the shuttle is worked around it. The ring was worked by making a loop of thread around the fingers and holding the thread between the index finger and thumb. The shuttle is then worked around the thread of the ring and when enough stitches have been worked the ring is tightened by pulling the shuttle thread to close it.

The horse shoe pattern starts with two rings joined together at the first and last picots using the crochet hook..

It then continues using chains and rings

until the other end of the horse shoe is reached where it is finished by making two rings joined together to mirror the first two rings of the horse shoe.

The horse shoe is finished off by knotting the two threads and weaving the ends in at the back of the motif. A little blocking and it's done.

If you fancy trying tatting I recommend checking out the Ring of Tatters link above, the DVD I learnt from is still available and was much easier than trying to follow written directions. The tatters from the Ring I met demonstrating the craft were all lovely ladies who were incredibly patient and helpful. The Be-stitched site has some gorgeous tatting pics on the pattern pages too.

I love this little horse shoe and hope the bride will too, especially with a cute little pageboy or flower girl to present it to her.

Having picked up my shuttle again I plan to learn some more tatting techniques but crochet is still my first love and I'll be back to blogging about hooky times again soon.

Til next time,