Friday, 24 July 2015

Crocheted Jam Jar Cover

Hello there,

Do you make gifts for people? Perhaps you crochet, knit, sew or bake?

I love how versatile crochet is and often crochet for others, whether it is a full garment, a small, quick project or trims to jazz up a gift. When I heard a friend was having a difficult time and couldn't get out much I knew it was time to turn my hand again to making for someone else.

I often give little gifts to friends from my garden in summer, gooseberries, rhubarb or blackcurrants in the summer and plums from my tree in September, but that would be no use as it would be too much work to make something right now. So I made a cup of tea, sat down, had a good think and came up with this.

Just the thing for a home made cream tea, complete with clotted cream.

First I made the jam pot cover, the jar is a pretty hexagonal one with a lid the same size as a standard 1lb jar lid so I dug a spare jar out of my cupboard for sizing and fetched some white size 10 crochet thread and a 2mm hook.

I had a flick through my books and magazines and found some lacy jar cover patterns. I didn't have any new jars and lids so would be sterilising the one I had, I didn't have any pretty fabric either to hide the plain black lid under the lacy cover so I thought a less lacy pattern might be better than the ones in my book. I did my usual playing about with thread and hook and came up with this, a solid top with granny type edging. Simple, quick to make and pretty too.

It needed some colourful ribbon to finish it off so I popped down to the craft shop and got this lovely coppery ribbon to thread through the jar cover. I had been going to buy red ribbon but when I saw this coppery colour I thought it would look lovely with the blackcurrant colour instead and make a nice change from red.

I make my own jam and scones as I like to bake and cook but it would be easy to jazz up bought ones by making the crocheted pot cover and adding colourful ribbon and napkins. I'm going to put this in a little basket with some freshly baked scones, clotted cream and a small box of Twinings tea selection, wrap it in cellophane and take it round in time for afternoon tea. I know my friend will love this and hope a sit down with tea and scones brightens the day.

The crocheted pot cover was very easy, I'll probably make more nearer Christmas as I often make hampers. If you would like me to write up the pattern let me know.

I'd like to thank you all for reading despite my erratic posting and also for the lovely comments you left on my summer shawl, they make my day. We are approaching the last few weeks of the summer holidays here after which life will change gear again and I should be able to catch up properly on all your blogs again.

Til next time.


Saturday, 18 July 2015

Shawl, Stole or Wrap?

Hello folks,

What do you call them? I usually go with shawl or wrap, rarely using the name stole. Last week I wrote about making a wrap with the summery merino lace yarn I had. Thank you so much for all the lovely comments you left, I loved reading them and was delighted that you all liked this yarn too. I'm pleased to announce the wrap is now finished!

This worked up really quickly and I finished it a few days ago, it then languished the next few days waiting to be blocked while I took advantage of the better weather to get back on top of the garden. I finally got around to blocking it and here it is.

I kept the edge very plain in the end, just a single row of double crochet all the way around and then a row of picots at either end. My picots were made by working 3 ch, sl st in 1st ch and then sl st to where I wanted the next picot. I loved these colours the moment I saw them and I'm really pleased with the way this shawl has turned out, simple definitely was the way to go as it really shows off the colours. It looks green shown on some lime broderie anglaise,

and the turquoise is brought out by this dress.

When I wrote about making this last week I had been thinking how lovely it would look over a summery white top or dress, I'd completely forgotten I had this simple long turquoise shift dress for which it is also a perfect match.

Isn't it lovely how a single layer of the wrap looks turquoise but where it is hangs in folds it becomes green? Would you like a closer look?

I'm going to really enjoy using this shawl, matched with this dress it would even look good for a summer wedding reception.

Are you enjoying the summer so far? It's been somewhat wet here this year which hasn't been good for getting out in the garden but has been good for cracking on with my crochet projects. Yes, it's plural again, I don't seem to be able to limit myself to just one, my mind races off with too many ideas. Do you find that too? I want to make another Paisley cushion but with a slightly different design, I have some small, items to make in thread crochet and last but not least, I want to try some broomstick lace. I think that should keep me busy for a little while.

Til next time,


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Summer Colours

Hello there, first of all I'd like to say a big thank you for all the lovely comments on my cushion, I'm really chuffed you all liked it and took the time to let me know.

I wasn't able to post last week, life has been both busy and sad here as I was helping N sort out his late mother's home. It was also the hottest week of the year so far so it was exhausting. Arriving home late in the evening I didn't feel up to doing anything too complicated but I did manage to squeeze in a little crochet to relax before bed time. Do you remember this?

It's the lace weight merino yarn I wrote about buying here. I fell in love with these summery colours and have, from the day I bought it, pictured a summer wrap to throw over light summer dresses or white tops in the evenings. I've enjoyed browsing through different lace stitches, picturing the end result before trying a few out and finding that actually, it looks far nicer if I keep it simple.

I loved the effect of the different colours in a simple chain made with a large hook, the bright green fading to yellow, turquoise and lilac so I decided to keep it simple and make the wrap in an easy diamond mesh pattern. This is just the thing for working in a nice easy rhythm when I'm too tired to concentrate on a pattern. It also has the benefit of showing off the yummy summer colours of this yarn much better than the more complicated lace patterns. Isn't this gorgeous?

By Thursday we were shattered and ready for a break so worked really late to finish up and stay home on Friday. We had a quiet day relaxing and pottering about and inspired by Elizabeth's post at Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse I was pleased to see the elder flowers finally out in our garden so I could make a batch of cordial. This Elder is called Black Lace, the cordial it makes is pink and the newly opened flowers have a delicious citrussy elderflower aroma. It also looks absolutely gorgeous in the garden.

So that was the first week of our summer holiday - clearing, cleaning, pottering in the kitchen and garden and of course a little crochet.

The light is much brighter today when I took this last photo and the yarn looks more blue, mostly it looks green though. If you would like to make a wrap like this, I'm using a 5.5mm hook with a 3 ply laceweight merino yarn with 400 metres in a 100g skein. This is a bigger hook than would usually be used for this yarn weight but I chose it as I liked the effect of the bigger hook and wanted the wrap to work up quickly. It only uses chain and double crochet stitches (single crochet in US) so is ideal if you are new to crochet and want to move on to making something a little bigger than squares. I made 242 stitches then working in UK terms:

1st row - miss 1 ch, 1 dc in next ch, *5 ch, miss 3 ch, 1 dc in next ch* repeat to last st, 1 dc, 5ch, turn

2nd row - *1 dc in ch space, 5 ch* repeat to end

Repeat the second row until the wrap is the size you want and that's it, nice and simple. I don't know yet how wide mine will be or how I will edge it, I'll just stop when it looks right.

Til next time,