Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Daffodil Pattern and Tutorial

It's finally here!

I'm sorry it's taken so long to write up my pattern but it's been very busy here over the last week. I was invited to the local Volunteer Framework Launch, then had a girly day out to attend, before I knew it the weekend was here, the sun was shining and the garden calling. So after all that I finally got a chance to sit down with my camera, a 4mm hook and some yellow acrylic dk yarn (Sirdar Hayfield Baby Bonus if you're asking).

The stitches I used were
UK -  chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), double crochet (dc), half treble crochet (htr) and treble (tr)
US -  dc = single crochet,  htr = half double and tr = double

Leaving a long yarn end, start with 6 ch and join with a sl st to form a ring.

Catching the yarn end in at the back of the ring, work 12 dc in ring and join with sl st to 1st dc.

wrong side showing yarn carried through dc stitches

For the petals:

Ch 7, 1dc in 2nd chain from hook,

1dc in next 5 chains, 1 sl st into each of next 2 dc on ring. Repeat 5 times.


  The petals are a bit curly but will straighten out later on.


Work 1 dc in first 2 stitches of petal, 2 htr in next st, 2 tr in next st, 1htr in next st,

 3 dc in top of petal,

1 htr in next st, 2 tr in next st, 2htr in next st, 1 dc in each of last two st of petal ending with sl st at the base. Repeat 5 times.


Work 1 dc in each st to top of petal, ch3,

sl st in 3rd ch from hook (forms picot),

 1 dc in each st to base of petal. Repeat 5 times.

For the cup:

Sl st on right side  to centre ring or fasten off and re-join yarn.

Work 11 dc evenly around ring surface and join with a sl st. Mark the end of the 1st row, I've used a pretty stitch marker but a small safety pin or even contrasting yarn would do.

Then work:

 1 ch, 1 dc in each st to end, sl st to 1st dc.

1 ch, 1 dc in next 3 st, 2dc in next st, 1 dc in next 3 st, 2dc in next st, 1 dc in next 2st, 2dc in last st, sl st to 1st dc.

1 ch, 1 dc in each st to end, sl st to 1st dc.

*2dc in 1st st, sl st in next st* repeat to end.

Fasten off leaving a long end and using a yarn needle weave in down the inside of the daffodil cup.

Knot the yarn at the base ring (to stop the cup being distorted)  then make a loop by passing the needle up through the stitches on the base ring inside the cup, then back through the ring on the next stitch along, catching the yarn with your fingers to keep the loop long. Fasten off and weave in the end. Repeat with the other yarn end on the opposite side of the base ring (you won't need to make a knot this time).

Almost finished. Block and starch your daffodil, making sure the loops are standing up. Once blocked, cut the loops to give four stamens, then add a drop to each stamen from a Pinflair Pearl Wand if you have one or leave as they are. Your daffodil is ready to use.

This daffodil is a little larger than the one I made for the brooch, to make it smaller change the hook size and/or yarn. My original daff was made using a 3.5mm hook and the same acrylic yarn as I've used in the photos. Using a 4 ply cotton or even crochet thread would make lovely small daffs. I've used a single shade but different colours could be used for the petals and stamens to give a different look.

I hope you enjoy making it whether for yourself or for someone else. The pattern is completely free to use, however if you would like to you can make a donation to the Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal by clicking here. If you wish to copy or share this pattern or my photos please link back to me.


H x

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

D is for Daffodils

Hello, how are you folks? I love having a garden, it's why we moved to this house. I find it so peaceful getting out in the sunshine and putting it to rights, in between the rain showers that is. At the moment the Spring bulbs are coming out and everything is starting to look more cheerful. The early flowering narcissi were gently nodding their golden heads in the spring sunshine when I was out there while the crocus flowers are providing carpets of purple, yellow and white in the gardens, parks and even roadsides. It really lifts the spirits after a long winter.

I'd been thinking for a little while of making a flower brooch for my Mum, so with Mother's Day being last Sunday, I came in after enjoying the flowers outside and had a bit of a play with some spare yarn from my stash. This is what I came up with, shown after blocking, do you like it?

 I wanted the stamens to be more visible, the trumpety cup part of the flower is just under 2cm and I felt they got a bit lost so out came my new Pinflair Pearl Wand. I bought this on impulse at the Hobbycrafts event I went to.

Now this I love! It was really easy to use, I just put a dot of the gel on the tip of each stamen and left it for 24 hours to harden. The wand instructions say it can be washed at 30 degrees and even ironed on the reverse so it should be plenty tough enough for anything my Mum might do with it. I think it worked well, the stamens don't disappear into the cup anymore. It was so much easier than using beads and worked so well I won't think of it as cheating, nope, definitely not. What do you think of it, have you used a Pearl Wand like this?

I made this spring green cardigan in Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton 4 ply a little while ago. Unfortunately, my Mum didn't fancy being a model so here is the brooch on her cardigan minus Mum wearing it.

I wanted to design the brooch myself instead of going looking for a pattern and didn't want narrow petals so I worked it in the round using slip stitch, double crochet, half treble and treble stitches with a picot at the top of each petal ( for US it's slip stitch, single, half double and double crochet).  It was easy and quick to do and although I used it for a brooch for Mother's Day, I think it would be lovely for Easter too so plan to write up the pattern and post it on here for anyone who would like to make it. I've also toyed with the idea of crocheting stems and using pipe cleaners in them to make a posy.

 I hope everyone had a lovely weekend doing something special with your Mum if you could, or if you are a Mum being cherished.

H x

Thursday, 12 March 2015

A Craft Heaven?

Hi there folks, it seems so long since I last posted on my blog but it's really been just over a week and there has been so much going on here. Last week was, of course, the Stitching, Sewing & Quilting and Hobbycrafts show so not a lot of crochet went on here. I went on the Thursday which was the first day of the show.  There was a different format this time in that all the exhibitors were crammed into one hall instead of two. It was very, very busy and I did hear  a few complaints as I went round. I was a bit disappointed myself this year and got few of the items on my wish list so I'm not sure if I would go again next year, the jury is still out on that one. Now having told you the negatives lets move on to the positives and I hope you enjoy a peek into my day out.

I loved, loved, loved the quilting and embroidery exhibitions. It was fascinating to see the different images the idea of India conjures for people and the different styles of stitching the entrants used for the Glimpses of India competition . I love the vibrant colours from warmer climes such as India and there was great variety in the different entries. I took lots and lots of photos, not easy when it was so terribly busy and with the bright lighting hitting the exhibits. I really admire these as I don't have the patience for embroidery, especially by hand. My favourites are below, do you like them? The last one was the overall winner and is machine embroidery.

Then it was on to the Paisley Patchers stand and my goodness, these quilters are so clever and talented. I had a lovely chat with one of the ladies there who talked me through the quilts and these were my favourites, don't you just love the clever use of the fabric with music notes on  for the dancers?


 I also really liked the butterflies and flower, though I think the butterfly quilt is my favourite out of the the three, what do you think?

After my lovely chat and photo opportunity it was on to the display for costumes from the Mr Selfridge TV programme. I especially loved the embroidered sleeves on the black costume and the gold embroidery on the jacket of the other costume. Unfortunately it was just too busy to get a good shot of the entire display.

I'd spent quite a bit of time looking at the different displays and it was time to get down to some serious retail therapy. This is where the day became more disappointing and I got very little of my shopping list BUT I did get this gorgeous merino lace yarn from Karelia House.

 No, it wasn't on my list at all but it's so beautifully soft and such fab colours I just couldn't resist and bought it in four different colours. Can anyone resist impulse buying beautiful yarn? I must confess that I wouldn't have bought the one in shades of brown and grey, it's just not me but that skein was actually my Mum's choice. She really liked it so added it to the pile hoping I'll make something for her. I love lace weight yarns and the way they work up into beautiful shawls and wraps, with the colours in these skeins they will look lovely even with a quite simple design.What hours of fun I'll have deciding what to make and what stitches to use. What would you make?

In the meantime, I've been finishing off my bolster cushion of an evening. I'm going to block the pieces before making up and hope it will be ready to use very soon but oh, those ends which need weaving in, there are just so many! They'll be finished soon enough though and it will be time for my next project, with Mother's Day fast approaching I'd better hurry up. Will you be making anything for Mother's Day?


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Hooking up the blues

It's time to welcome March already, can you believe it? In my head that means daffodils, Mother's Day and of course Spring! For the moment though winter is clinging on as much as possible. Cold it may be but the days are getting longer and the lighter evenings are on their way which turns my thoughts to sprucing up the house and garden. On my last visit to my local wool shop there was an offer on these which I just couldn't resist.

I've been meaning to buy blue yarn for a while now as I have a very plain cushion  which could do with jazzing up, so with a blue and white guest room this will be ideal. It's Robin acrylic double knitting yarn which can be tossed into the washing machine and tumble dried, quite important here in the west of Scotland where we have quite high rainfall!

So having bought the yarn, the next question was what to do with it. Should it be shells? Ripples? The cushion is a very plain Ikea bolster and the guest room already has blue toile de jouy bedding and curtains so after a bit of a play about with it I decided to do plain stripes. I have three shades of blue and one cream, worked in trebles here to see how it looked.


I decided I liked this, it looked nicer than double crochet (single crochet in the US) and isn't too fussy for all the other pattern going on in the guest room. I hope to be able to show you it finished soon, in the meantime it's doing a great job of keeping me warm while I hook it up.

This week is going to be a busy one with the Glasgow Stitching, Sewing & Quilting and Hobbycrafts event starting on Thursday and running to Sunday 8th March which I'm really looking forward to. I'm especially looking forward to the Glimpses of India exhibition and the Mr Selfridges costumes as well as all the yarny, stitchy shopping oportunities and demonstrations of course. I have so many ideas for projects I've had to exercise a lot of restraint to stop myself ordering more yarn before the show. I still have some of the discontinued Rowan Kidsilk Aura (in blue of course) which I bought at a previous event and haven't used yet. It's a beautiful yarn which is heavier than Rowan's popular Kidsilk Haze. Luckily I have ten balls of the Aura so have plenty for a future project in the pipeline for this year. I adore fuzzy, lacy type yarns and lace weight shawls and scarves, don't you? They just take sooo long to hook up though!

H x