Thursday, 30 July 2015

Monochrome Spiked Ripple Blanket

Both my girls got an 'Heirloom' blanket when they moved out so when my son left I thought he should have one too!
I discussed colours and it was going to be shades of blue. I also wasn't planning on granny squares this time as I wanted to have a go at the spiked ripple I had seen on the Internet . 
I found a pattern for free ( LOVE free patterns!!) called Grandma spiked my ripple by Darlisa Riggs. This had a diagram of the stitches... Always very useful and she also had a YouTube video on the spike stitch.. A win win all round!
Then I changed my mind on the colours and decided on a monochrome palette of  black, white, silver, grey and graphite.

My finished blanket and cushion.

 All Stylecraft DK two balls of each colour (100gms in each ball)

I used a 5mm hook and worked out I needed 187 chain to start which would give me 10 pattern repeats which I thought would be a decent size.
This pattern is easy to follow and grows at a good pace. I tried to do one colour repeat most days and fell in love with how the pattern looked. It was really stunning!

I did 8 colour repeats which gave me a blanket approx 100 x 150cms
I shouldn't have stopped there as when I laid it on the bed later I realised if I had done 3 more colour repeats it would have draped nicely over the end of a double bed!!! Arghhh! So if you have bought the yarn to do this pattern go for the three extra rows... it will look fab and you won't be disappointed!! Unless of course its a single bed ...job already done!!

As it was I only used a small amount out of  the second ball and would have had plenty to carry on! Never mind hind sight is a wonderful thing!

The border was crab stitch. I have  never done this before and after watching some confusing videos on YouTube found this one which I found simple to understand.

You can't see very well in this picture but the stitch makes little bobbles and looks like a twisted rope.

I loved this pattern so much and had plenty of yarn left over so I decided to make a matching cushion.
This was to be a 16" x 16" cover so had a starting chain of 79. Due to the points made by the pattern it would be an envelope style cushion.
I did 8 colour repeats. 

Then dc around the whole piece but not the last row of points... It doesn't need it. I did 2 dc in each side of the treble and 3 dc in each chain space.

It is probably best to block the points now... Not like me who had to try and do it after I had started making up the cushion...doh!

I folded it over my cushion insert until I was happy and marked where I was joining. I joined in two parts... First I slip stitched the bottom two sides then the top two sides. Don't forget to leave a flap to put the insert in easily!

Then I chose 5 random grey buttons from my stash and sewed them in place then put in the insert.

Just a note for a cushion 16 x 16" you will need an insert of 18 x 18" to make it plump!

I have loved making this pattern and will be trying out some different colourways.

Happy crocheting xxx Eirawen

Monday, 25 May 2015

V Cushion Love

Love my V cushion, Snuggly and comfy and just perfect to have my first cup of tea in the morning!
But the covers I bought for it were boring or too big and it was really the ugly duckling among the other pillows!!
Then I got Jan Eatons 200 Crochet Blocks book and had a brainwave! I would make samples of the blocks and cover my ugly pillow!

The colours I picked from my stash of Stylecraft Special DK were pale rose, aspen, cream, sherbet, peach, mocha and lilac. Parchment was chosen to join them all together.
I made 24 different squares. Each square is 15cm  (6") I used a 4mm hook.
This is just a selection of the patterns I picked:

 I blocked every one which really does improve how they look and makes joining so much easier!
I laid them out on the cushion to see which way was best.

I then decided that I would use a 3 chain braid to join them. This is a lovely, quick, neat joining method and brilliant for solid grannies. Bethinx 1 has a good tutorial on YouTube on this.

Coming together!

When I had both sides joined I joined them together by making a granny stitch gusset all the way around leaving the bottom of the cushion open.

Here I added another row of granny stitch then made a long chain which I threaded through to close the cushion and tied it with a bow.

Very pleased with how it looked! A vast improvement on its previous cover!

xxx Eirawen

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Granny Square Jacket Coat

Well I went into 2015 full of hope and optimism and boom! Something idea what but I lost my crochet mojo and that was that.
I had no idea what I wanted to crochet next. No wish to pick up my hook. No excitement to pick new colour schemes...nothing! I was lost and undeniably miserable!
Then on Saturday the 1st of February I woke up thinking... I will make a granny square jacket! Where did that come from? I have not had much success in the past in making adult clothes so it was bizarre.
After a quick look on the internet I decided that I did not want to have a hood and needed to keep it simple!
Here I will try and show you how I made the jacket/blanket coat that I love!

I was so excited to get a picture after it was finished I made my daughter stand out in the rain while I photographed her!!

It is basically made up of rectangles!

First you need to pick your colour scheme... I had awful trouble deciding but went in the end with a simple scheme of 4 colours from Stylecraft Special DK in meadow, pale rose, plum and graphite. Since I am not a size 10 I thought it sensible to go with more muted than vibrant colours!

I had no real idea of how to do this but what I did know was I wanted to join the squares by a continuous join as you go rather than sew them together.
I roughly worked out on graph paper what I thought it should be and set about making my squares.
I did basic 4 round grannies omitting the fifth round as that would be my join round. Little Tin Bird has a good tutorial on the granny square.I used a 4mm hook.

So 86 granny squares later... 54 for body and 32 for sleeves. I started to join... first the body...then right front... centre back... left front... leaving a split for the armholes ( see graph diagram).!

Hope you can make some sense out of it! If you are sewing the squares together (you will need 5 round grannies) you can join in what ever order you like!

Then join the shoulder seams. I joined the two front squares to the corresponding squares on the back.

Then I joined the squares for the sleeves. 4 x 4 squares and folded them over and joined the sleeve seam.

The end without the row of graphite is where it will join to the body (hook end ).

Once both sleeves where attached it was time to think about the finishing touches. The edges and the cuffs. This is again when you can do whatever you want... mix up the colour... the amount of rows... whatever you fancy!
I did  6 rows of border in graphite around the front body and neck edge first.

Then started on the bottom border which was 12 rows using all the colours used in the squares.

 Finally did 1 row around the whole bottom, body and neck.

Should just mention that if you want a flat edge and not for it to go frilly then when you first start your edge you need to do only three treble crochet into the corner squares and not be tempted to do three in each! I do a treble then tr2tog which straddles the two corners and then another treble . Hope you can make that out in the picture! Useful picture tutorial here.

Then 6 rows around each sleeve to form a cuff.

This  seems to fit one size from approx an 8-14/16. If you want a more fitted jacket just omit one of the centre back rows or make a band to attach to back ( with buttons) to pull the jacket in so you can go from slouchy to fitted!

To make the band I had a foundation row of 43 and did 3 rows of trebles. Folded over the ends and attached a flat button to each end... this is the one you will attach to the jacket through a gap in the square. For cosmetic purposes I added another button on the opposite side to each end.

I also wanted to add something to the kilt pin I will use to close the jacket. A few weeks ago a tutorial on crocheting around buttons came up on my Facebook feed from LaBioguia and thought these would be ideal.

They were rather fiddly but made three...

and attached them to my kilt pin!

I am still thinking about maybe adding pockets...

This took 4 100g balls of the joining colour and 2 100g balls of each of the 3 other colours.

xxx Eirawen

Here it is in another colour way...

Sunday, 4 January 2015

The Cathedral Motif

Happy New Year!
Early in December I saw a post on Instagram from poppyandbliss of a cushion she had made using the cathedral motif... it was lovely and I fell in love...
So I tried to find it (preferably for free!) It is available on Ravelry but not for free however I eventually found it on a blog by lostsentiments.
I decided I would like to cover my old footstool with it, so with that in mind I choose the colours of mocha, meadow, grape, gold and parchment in Stylecraft Special DK.The footstool measures 21" x12".
This is where I lost the plot and somehow... no idea how...I estimated I needed 48 squares! Now this is a small footstool so my alarm bells should have been ringing...but they were silent and off I went and made 48 squares! They took a while!

Such a very pretty motif!
Then I found I only needed 15... seriously... I need locking up... I could have cried!

All joined with parchment with the join-as-you-go method which is a little different with a solid granny square.
Ooana has a good tutorial on YouTube

Blocking before I start the border to fit the stool. You know how much I love to block!

This is where I thought I might have trouble making it fit and look nice.
On the first round I decreased at the corner by 3 stitches and this gave a really great corner shape... so happy!
Then decreased each row starting with every 5th stitch, then 4th, 3rd and 2nd which made a super fit.
Just to make it secure and not get rucked up by bottoms, feet or cats, I made a long chain and threaded it through the final row and fastened it tight with a bow.

Ta'Dah! So pleased with how this turned out and have enough squares left over to make some matching cushions... which is of course what I always intended...

xxx Eirawen

And here they are :)


Cushions are the easiest and quickest things to make and I will tell you how I made these.                                 
Each cushion needs 18 squares... 14 x cathedral motif and 4 x  three round solid grannies.
This makes the cushion have a different design on each side. There are 9 squares on each side and I have joined them in a continuous join as you go. If you are stitching them together or some other crochet join you need to add a round of trebles to both the cathedral motif and the solid granny. 

This is the pattern for the solid granny square:

4ch, sl st to join ( or magic circle)
1. 3ch 2tr, 2ch 3tr, repeat twice more until 4 corners, sl st to join.
2. 3ch, tr into each tr, 2tr 4ch 2tr in each corner, sl st to join.
3.Repeat round 2
4 Repeat round 2 (OMIT THIS ROUND IF JAYG)

Once all the squares were joined I added 2 rows of trebles around the whole edge to give the size I wanted (14" x 14"). Now they are ready to join together.  So many ways depending on the effect you want. You can crochet them or stitch them , whatever you fancy! I joined mine with a simple slip stitch . You get a slight raised edge which looks very neat.

I left an opening at the bottom for the cushion insert and then made a chain of 130 to close the bottom with. I doubled it over to give more strength that is why it is so long! Then using a darning needle I threaded it through and closed it with a bow.

This makes a 14" x 14 " cover and will need a 16" x 16" insert to plump it out properly!   

I am so pleased with these they look so pretty and elegant in these colours. 

xx Eirawen

Friday, 5 December 2014

Nia's patchwork blanket

For two years my daughter and lovely son in law have lived with me... plus their unsociable cat...well he's lovely, beautiful to look at but not a people or other cat person and I have two other cats so things have been a bit fraught at times!

Awww doesn't he look sweet! Do not be fooled! Anyway they are moving out this week so when I was first told I thought it would be nice to make them a blanket to snuggle under.
Off I went and delved into my yarn basket and decided on autumnal colours all muted and warm.

I added two extra colours to this... burgundy and khaki.
So this blanket uses Stylecraft Special DK in gold, khaki, meadow, grey, graphite, mocha, burgundy, parchment and copper.
For a while I have wanted to make a blanket using blocks from Jan Eatons 200 Crochet Blocks so chose 6 of my favourites

... though after I had taken this picture my daughter decided to use the parchment for the joining and not in a block!

The blocks chosen were:

Centred square no 55
Seville no74
Willow no189
Wisteria no113
Gothic square no 94
Criss Cross no 137

So 8 colours and 6 patterns made 48 6 inch (15cm) squares.
( Picture is missing the  graphite colour squares as I hadn't done them yet!)

With this project and the type of squares I was making I needed to block each one as I went to shape them and make it easier to join.

Now who would have thought that blocking would be such a topic of conversation... well it is!
Blocking is so satisfying for turning a wonky looking wiggly block into a professional looking handmade block!
It straightens out the stitches, sets the shape and helps lock in the ends.
I spray the blocks with water and pin them onto a Boyes crochet blocking board  with brass rustproof pins and leave about 24 hrs to dry.

The top one has been blocked.

This is the Gothic square mid block.

 This is one of the hardest parts... setting out the pattern so no two colours are next to each other and achieving a pleasant looking random pattern blanket...this took an hour with the help of my husband who kept spotting things I had missed! Once happy the joining can begin. Solid grannies are harder to join I think than granny squares and one of my favourite methods is the 3 or 5 chain flat braid. Bethinx1 has a great tutorial on Youtube about this. I used a 3 chain braid.

It is a very pretty join and quick too!

Half way... and loving it!
I always have to look at the blanket and then decide on the border. For this one I thought I would do a pattern of shells for 5 rows and then added a final row of  3 chain and double crochet.


Finally after two weeks work I have the most amazing blanket I am so happy with... I love it!!( More importantly so does my daughter). It has a lovely 70s retro feel and the most fantastic drape from the Stylecraft yarn! Love, love, love!

Oh and the final size was approx 153x115 cms

xxx Eirawen

P.S. Made a reversible cushion to match.