Thursday, 30 August 2012

Crochet flowers pattern

This has been back to work week for me, after my week's holiday. Getting up when that alarm goes off has not been easy! I feel like I've somehow had even less time that I normally would in a working week to do the things I love in the evenings. I guess its just been a busy week.

But, one thing I wanted to try and do this week was post the pattern for my crochet flowers, so here goes:

Small flower

Make 5 chain and join into a ring
Round 1: Work 2 dc into each dc from round 1.
Round 2: Slip stitch into first dc from previous round, work 1 half treble and 1 treble into next stitch, work 1 treble and 1 half treble into next stitch, work 1 slip stitch into next stitch.
This makes 1 petal worked over 4 stitches. Repeat four more times to create 5 petals in total. Slip stitch into first stitch of round to finish and fasten off.

Large flower

Make 5 chain and join into a ring.
Round 1: Work 10 dc into ring and slip stitch into first dc to complete round.
Round 2: Chain 7, miss 1 dc, 1 treble into next dc. *Work 4 chain, miss 1 dc, 1 treble into next dc. Repeat from * to end of round, ending by slip stitching into 3rd of 7 chain made at start of round. Creates 5 chain spaces.
Round 3: Into each chain space from last round work: 1dc, 1 half treble, 1 treble, 2 double treble, 1 treble, 1 half treble, 1 dc. Slip stitch into first dc of round to finish and fasten off.

To make up, layer one small flower on top of one large flower and stitch into place.

These are the flowers which I used to make my crochet flower patch cushion cover. I used dk yarn and a 3.5mm hook, but you should be able to make them with any weight yarn and appropriate hook size.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Bristol and Bath

I'm back from my and S's little trip down to the West Country over the weekend! We left from Paddington on Thursday morning and came back this morning (Sunday). As you can see from the shot of Bath's Royal Crescent the weather wasn't great every day, but given what this summer has been like it could have been worse!

We managed a trip to Bath on Friday (including a walk along the Crescent in the rain!), and then to Bristol on Saturday. Of course I managed to work in a little craftiness to the trip, despite the main purpose being to visit S's family.

I had time to visit a little quilting supplies shop, Country Threads in Bath. I discovered this shop when we visited the City earlier in the year. It's an Aladin's Cave of fabric, with so may fat quarters, charm packs and jelly rolls for sale! There are baskets of various makes and colours of fabric arranged in rainbox order just inside the door, and I had fun picking out a big bundle of fabric fat quarters for myself!

I'll try and show you the colours and patterns I went for - a theme of pale blue, pink, green and white, with roses and more geometric patterns to break it up a little. Some of them are Tilda fabrics - so pretty!

I'm afraid the colours haven't come out brilliantly in these pictures. I'm planning to use these for some more patchwork cushion covers - still trying to improve my skills! I'm thining it will complement some crochet cushion covers I am working on at the moment too - more soon!

If you're in the area of Bath, definately try and visit this store, Country Threads - their website has the address.

Our Saturday visit to Bristol also took in a stroll down the Crescent - I think its a little more impressive than the famous Bath Crescent actually!

Back in October last year when we visited Bristol, I went to a little independent yarn shop in the Clifton area of the City, called Woolly Thinking - I even blogged about it. Unfortunately when we went back over the weekend, I discovered that the shop has closed. I also checked their website and discovered that they have also ceased online trading. I think it's a real shame - it must be such a struggle for these independent stores to survive. I'm in the sad position that I don't actually have a local yarn shop in the form of an independent retailer - the nearest and most convenient physical stores for me are John Lewis and Liberty's on Oxford Street. I often wish I did have a store close to home, so that I could support it rather than shopping at chains (not that Liberty's and JLs aren't great for range and colours).

Well, thats all for now - I'm off to squeeze in some work on that ripple throw.....

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Fuschia and pale blue

I'm on to my second crochet cushion cover of the week now, and I've discovered a new colour combination that I really like - fuschia, pale pink and pale blue.

I've loved making these motifs so much (love the sunburst effect) that I've made more than enough sqaures for a whole side in only a couple of days.

From doing this, I've decided I really love the pinks and baby blue sort of colour together.

No time for more today I'm afraid. I'm off with my partner to go and see his family in Bristol for the weekend. I'm taking this project with me - small sqaures are perfect for crocheting on the go!

I've taken this whole week off work, but somehow it hasn't felt much like a holiday so far. I seem to have spent a lot of it running errands and doing washing that I don't get time to do when I'm working. Sometimes life feels a but like a Merry-go-round that I just can't get off. Work, studying, trying to keep the Man happy (I'll refer to him as S) - I feel like I never get time to myself. Its probably all compounded by the fact that my life revolves around London, even though I don't live there. I shudder to think what percentage of my time is spent on the train travelling to and fro! From now on I must start converting that wasted time into crochet time. Much easier than knitting on the train - whenever I tried that I would end up poking the unfortunate person next to me with the end of the needle! My fellow communters are really remarkably patient - no one ever complained!

Well, back next week - have a lovely weekend wherever you are!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Flower patch cushion finished

Remember the Flower patch cushion which I started last week? It was my take-along project for the weekend.

Well I finished it:

Hmm, now that it is complete, I'm not so sure about the colours together. It was quite fun to make though. Originally I intended to have a flower on each granny square, but once I'd sewn on the ones in place in the picture above, somehow that seemed like enough. More would have felt like too much.

So now I have a lot of spare flowers waiting for a use!

To make this cushion I made 25 granny squares (5 rows of 5). Rather than oversewing the edges together to join the squares I double-crocheted them together to get the ridged effect.

Crocheting the sqaures together was a little tricky, but I think it looks quite nice.

I also did a big granny square for the back.....

...and a scallop edging to finish it off....

So, the yarn I used from left to right (shown in the picture below):

Rowan wool cotton DK
Shade 955 Ship shape
Shade 943 Flower
Shade 951 Tender
Shade 969 Cypress

It was a good project to try out I think - I've never added flowers to granny squares in this way before, and its also been a long time since I have made a crochet cushion cover. If I made it again I think I would go for different (brighter?) colours though.

One last thing before I go - although I didn't follow a pattern for this cushion and made it up as I went along, I think its important to say that it was inspired by a couple of other patterns I have seen around, and owes a lot to them! So, my sources of inspiration (thanks all for your beautiful designs!):

Sarah London Ethel cushion - available from Ravelry
Camelia Blanket - by Nikki Trench

Bye until next time!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Hampstead Heath Pergola

The weather was glorious in South East England yesterday (it still is today as well!), so boyfriend and I decided once again that a picnic was the best way to spend the day. As you can see there were only a few wispy white clouds in an otherwise perfect blue sky.

This time we headed up to Hampstead Heath to find a picnic spot, rather than going to one of the parks as we did last weekend. After lunch, instead of climbing up Parliament Hill to check out the view like we normally do when we go to the Heath, we thought we'd go over to the West Heath for a change.

There is a beautiful Pergola and garden there, if you're ever in the area, it is well worth a visit!

There were lots of climbing plants winding around the stone columns and up on to the wooden framework above the columns (I'm sure there's a proper word for that, I just don't know what it is!).

In a way the plant life growing here looked quite sparse and arid. With the pure blue sky and the heat (must have been more than 30 degree centigrade in London yesterday) I felt as if I had stumbled into another country, maybe Greece or Italy. The atmosphere and weather made it feel positively mediterranean, which was nice!

But then, every so often you would find a cluster of red or white roses or other flowers growing, enjoying the sunshine.

I think I was lucky to be there on the right day, when weather and location combined so perfectly. I definately recommend a visit though, if you get the chance!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Flower patch cushion

I've started yet another new project (whilst still with the ripple throw on the go). The problem is, the ripple throw is too big a project for me to take with me when I go to stay with boyfriend at the weekends.

I'm calling it a flower patch cushion - its made of granny squares with little flowers to stitch onto each square.

So far it is still in the early stages. I couldn't decide which colours to go for to start with. At first I thought of pink and green, then maybe pink and purple and green, but in the end I settled for a purple and green 4 colour scheme - 2 shades of purple and 2 of teal green:

I think these colours are so pretty together. I designed the flowers myself again, 2 sizes, so that I can layer one flower on top of another and then stitch on to the sqaures.

A small project like this is much easier to cart down to London on the train - the joys of being a commuting crafter! I'm normally at boyfriend's from Thursday - Sunday, and let me tell you I just can not go that long without some kind of knitting or crochet (he's really very patient, never complains about my constant crafting on the sofa while we're watching a film).

So you see why, at the moment, I have a need for a smaller more portable project to take with me at weekends, so I can still get my craft fix! Trouble is, as soon as I come up with my idea for the smaller project, I get so excited about it that I can't wait until I'm at his to start and end up doing it during the week too!

I realise on a scale of world problems this is not a big one, but it does mean progress on the ripple throw is slow!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Striped bag

Something else I've been working on in the last week or so.....

Inspired by Attic 24 (again) I made my own version of a striped crochet bag. I have to admit I didn't follow the pattern, but just made it up as I went along.

I'm fairly pleased with the way it came out. I think I probably could have made the bag a bit bigger and the handles a bit shorter, but never mind!

What I do love are the little flowers hiding where the handles are sewn onto the body! I made up the pattern quickly myself:

Chain 4 and join into a ring with a slip stitch.
Round 1: chain 5, *work 1 treble into ring, chain 2. Repeat from * five times more. Finish by slip stitching into 3rd of 5 chain from start of round.
Round 2: work 1 dc, 1 half treble, 1 treble, 1 double treble, 1 treble, 1 half treble, 1 dc into each of the 6 chain spaces made in 1st round. Slip stitch into first dc from start of round to finish.

Then fasten off, and sew into place with a button in the centre! I think they look so cheerful and cute. They definately put the finishing touch to the bag.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Day out in Piccadilly and Regent's Park

The weather around London was glorious and sunny yesterday, so boyfriend and I headed out for a wander around Piccadilly (with a stop at Waterstones so I could look at the craft sections - love the Piccadilly Waterstones for that!).

We visited a little crafts market which is usually to be found just off Piccadilly on a Saturday, in front of St James' church.

The stalls here sell some really pretty things. This stall was full of plates and dishes in bright colours - they look as if they may have been handpainted.

I loved these Russian dolls, sold at anonther stall.

My favourites are the traditional ones - so pretty! I may have to get some sometime, to match my crocheted versions!

 Couldn't resist taking a snap of the Olympic bunting against the sky - love the colours together.

After Piccadilly, we jumped on a bus and headed over the Regent's Park for a picnic away from the hurley-burley. I love London's parks - you can espace into these little green oases and almost forget your in a city at all.

Just laying there listening to the wind through the leaves felt so peacefull.

Thought the flower beds planted in Union Jack patterns were quirky and cute!

Also just loved the profusion of flowers there - so many colours and types!

Wherever you are, hope you're having a happy and peacefull weekend too. X