November Montage

The Photo Callenge topics for this month were: Hunt, Socks, Wild and Still. I found the first and fourth quite hard. As an aside – we had our first frost and now the fuchsia is a sorry sight!montage1611I managed to fit in both knitting – my cowl and crochet – my latest blanket that is a more symmetrical version of my original Granny Ripple. I tried to show why I consider it more symmetrical.

Surprisingly two of my posts related to cards – the two cross stitch Christmas cards I have made and a ‘never-ending card’ for someone’s birthday.

Never-Ending Card

Having see the idea of a never-ending card on Wild Daffodils’ blog – HERE I had thought that I would like to try it.

Recently I needed a card for a Crafty Coffee friend’s birthday. She makes beautiful things out of many pieces of origami paper so I thought that she would appreciate that sort of card. (This appears to be called modular origami and the constructs referred to as Sonobe Polyhedra.)

I didn’t have much time but I managed to find some stickers in a shop when on the way to the cinema and thought my highlighter and silver pens could be useful. I made a demo model in paper to start with and scribbled on it as I developed my ideas. 0532-ready-to-decorate-cardThe final card was made with pieces of cut down postcard 3×6 inches as I had plain postcard sized pieces and it meant all the pieces could be the same shape.

Here is the first side 0532-page-1which opens up to show 0532-page-2Then lifting top and bottom gives 0532-page-3which in turn opens to. 0532-page-4If you peep through the gap in this side I think you can see the first side showing and if you open the card up top and bottom you are back at the beginning, all ready to start again.

I may have gone a bit overboard with the hearts but apart from the stars, which were an afterthought, they were all I could buy at the time.

I tried to make the card work both ways up as you can see.

The fact that the third one was in the shape of a cross gave me some ideas for Easter cards. So look out here come next Lent.

 

Mother’s Day card

I know Mother’s Day was a couple of weeks ago but I thought that I would like to share the card my daughter gave me with you. (That’s the Tram museum daughter).

It is just the sort of thing it would be lovely to make if I was good at that sort of thing.

0246-peacockcard

I love peacocks and their beautiful tails and this card is so cleverly made. I can’t show you enough so you can see how to make one but I will show you a few closer views.

0246-sideview

You can see how the tail is made from many pieces that fit together

and here is how the body is made. I love the legs dangling down.

0246-legsview

and here is the body from above.

0246-wingsview

Not only do I keep birthday and other cards up for at least a week after the event but cards I especially like are put up on the inner window sill in the kitchen

0246-kitchen

or the bookcase in my study.

0246-study

This one will definitely be joining them.

Easter cards

I made some crochet cards at Christmas with removable stars but it seemed to me after I had got into making bookmarks that cards incorporating removable bookmarks would be even more worthwhile.

Now I am not really an Easter card sending person but where people have sent me cards in the past, I have felt the need to respond. So I decided that Easter cards incorporating cross bookmarks would be something I could make for this year as I only had a few to send.

Now one of the Easter cards I get is from people who are, as far as I know, not at all religious, so for them I made this card. Quite quick and simple because I wasn’t sure what to make and as time was running short (they live in the U.S.) I had to buckle down and produce something. 🙂

0130-eastercard

But I had already started on my cross bookmarks for my christian friends.

As with the eggs, I started by looking on Google for ones I liked and used that as a way in to some free patterns.

http://www.crochetnmore.com/bonniescrossbookmark.htm

http://craftpals.com/bible-crafts/cross-bookmark.shtml

I expect you can see their influence in what I chose to make in the end.

However both these patterns used dcs (UK trs) and when I started making them in my #20 cotton I felt that the stitches were too small and decided that I wanted to make the same shapes (reminiscent of the pineapple ‘shell over shell’) but using trs (UK dtrs).

So using the picture from the first link as a starting point I made this:-

0130-firstcross

As you can see, on my cross the arms are further up and there are less ‘shells’ as mine are longer.

I liked the idea of a contrasting edge, that I had adopted from other pictures I had seen, but overall I was not entirely happy with it as I felt the stitches were too loose and that made it too flimsy so I decided to try again with my #10 cotton.

I only have one ball of this so I abandoned the contrasing edging and produced this:-

0130-cross1

This was much better (I had used the same size hook). I had also decided that a picot edge could look quite appealing and adapted the method of making picots from the ‘fan bookmark’ pattern.

The other pattern I had found had had a positive centre and so I made another cross this time starting from a central boss.

0130-cross2

Finally I got out a smaller hook and made a cross similar to the first cross, though using the second pattern and a picot edge this time.

0130-red&whitecross

This was acceptable.

I will add the patterns at the bottom of the post.

At first I hung the bookmarks on my Easter tree but it the meantime I went to ‘Paperchase’ and bought some folded card and matching envelopes as I had for Christmas.

I would have preferred a slightly less acid green but I bought three lots anyway, brought them home and printed a greeting inside.

0130-insidecard

Then all that was left was to attach the bookmarks to the front of the card, which I did in a similar way to those I made at Christmas but more simply.

0130-backofcard

Giving me three cards to send to people.

0130-3cards

Realising that up to now I have not made any bookmarks for myself I made a cross bookmark using the second pattern with my pastel rainbow mix #20 cotton.

0130-rainbowcross

Having bought myself a 1mm hook this was a lot easier than the one for the cards made in #20 cotton as I was then using a smaller hook out of the ones inherited from my mother that was probably .75mm or less.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

The patterns are very straightforward.

Pattern 1

UK version

I used a magic loop to start as I am finally getting to like it but you could use a four chain loop if you prefer.

To make the upright.

Start: Into the loop work, 4ch (=1st dtr), 3dtr, 2ch, 4dtr, 4ch and turn.

Row 1: Work 3dtr, 2ch, 3dtr into 2ch gap of row below then 1dtr into fourth chain, 4ch and turn

Repeat this row until you have made 14 shells, omitting the 4ch on the last row, and finish off yarn.

To make the arms.

Now working into the 4ch gap between ninth and tenth shells for one and the dtr gap between ninth and tenth shells for the other.

Join thread at the right, 4ch, 3dtr, 2ch, 4dtr , 4ch and turn

Then repeat row 1, three times , finishing off the last row as before, unless you are making the edging in the same colour when you can leave the thread for the second arm to continue working the edging.

[I find it very hard to find a suitable needle to sew in the ends of crochet cotton, as if the eye is big enough to thread then the needles is hard to force through the fabric. But here by creating an edge you can crochet over all the ends but the last and so save some work.]

To create an edging.

Using the same or a contrasting thread and turning the cross over but

Starting where you are, work 1ch then (dc,2ch, dc) twice into each of the 4ch or dtr gaps round the edge. ( I only worked the (dc, 2ch, dc) once either side of the inner corners of the cross shape as that keeps it flatter.)

For the ends of the arms I worked (dc, 2ch, dc) into the first 2 dtrs, then dc into the next dtr, 2ch, dc into the gap. Then the reverse for the other side.

To finish off, I used a double strand of thread and crocheted a chain of about twenty six stitches, joined the last six ch in a loop with a slst and worked dcs all the way round the loop. I found this took about 1.5m doubled.

But you could work this at the bottom of the cross if you prefer or add a tassel.

Pattern 2

UK version

I used a magic loop to start as I am finally getting to like it but you could use a eight chain loop if you prefer.

To make the centre.

Start: Into the loop work, 4ch (=1st dtr), 2dtr, 2ch then  (3dtr, 2ch) seven times. Join with a slst into the fourth chain.

To make the arms.

Row 1: 4ch then 3dtr, 2ch, 3dtr into gap to the left, dtr into ch nearest 1dtr of row below. 4ch and turn.

Row 2: Work 3dtr, 2ch, 3dtr into 2ch gap of row below then 1dtr into fourth chain, 4ch and turn

Repeat Row 2 until you have made 3 more shells (that’s four in total for the arm), omitting the 4ch on the last row, and finish off yarn.

Rejoin the yarn to make two more arms as above then finish by doing an arm with an extra four shells to make the upright but do not finish off the yarn unless you are using a contrasting colour.

[I find it very hard to find a suitable needle to sew in the ends of crochet cotton, as if the eye is big enough to thread then the needles is hard to force through the fabric. But here by creating an edge you can crochet over all the ends but the last and the one at the beginning and so save some work.]

To create an edging.

Using the same or a contrasting thread and turning the cross over but

Starting where you are work 1ch then the edging for the end of the arms thus:  dc, 2ch, dc into the first 2 dtrs, then dc into the next dtr, 2ch, dc into the gap. Then the reverse for the other side.

The work dc,2ch, dc twice into each of the 4ch or dtr gaps round the edge. ( I only worked the dc, 2ch, dc once either side of the inner corners of the cross shape as that keeps it flatter.)

And the edging for the end of the arms as described above.

To finish off, I used a double strand of thread and crocheted a chain of about twenty six stitches, joined the last six ch in a loop with a slst and worked dcs all the way round the loop. I found this took about 1.5m doubled.

But you could work this at the bottom of the cross if you prefer or add a tassel.

I hope this doesn’t sound too complicated, it is really straightforward once you get into it.

I have included the relevant patterns but only in a UK version because I don’t really know if they are likely to be of interest to anyone. If anyone thinks I should do a US version or a more precise version or should include it in my patterns at the top, please let me know.

Crochet Christmas cards


These are really easy to make.

First you make the stars.

I always think six-pointed stars for Christmas cards as a reference to the six-pointed ‘Star of David’ as Jesus was a Jew and was born in the ‘City of David’.

(Pattern at the end in UK and US versions.)

I used Twilley’s Goldfingering in silver and gold and a 2mm hook.

I also bought folded A5 sheets of card and matching envelopes from ‘Paperchase’ in dark blue.

I cut myself a piece of white card A6 size and marked out a hexagon where I wanted the star to go and then placed it on top of the front of the unfolded card. Underneath I placed an odd piece of polystyrene that I had so I could stick the end of my compass through the points of the hexagon.

Originally I was going to cut a hole and fit the star in it, which is why I have the extra lines. All you need is a hexagon.

(Mine was marked out using a vertical central line to locate the centre of the circle and top and bottom points then the normal straight edge and compass way of drawing a hexagon using a radius of 1.5 inches, which seemed about right).

You need to pull the points on the star well to work out the correct diameter. The holes should be where the points are when stretched.

You then push a sharp pin, needle or compass point through the corners of the hexagon and remove the white card.

Then take a piece of sewing cotton; I found about 18 inches (45cm)  was a good length; and make a good knot on the end and thread through one of the holes.

You then make a small stitch into the back of one of the 3 chain points and thread the needle back through the same hole being careful not to go into the thread coming out of the hole.

Repeat this procedure for each hole in turn going round the hexagon. You then need to gently pull the cotton on the back and the points on the front till the points of the star hide the holes and the cotton at the back is taut.

Then turn over

and finish off the thread by doing several stitches as illustrated: first into the starting length by the knot to make the loop tight and then to the final length to secure the end.

If I had beautiful handwriting I might have done the words below the star with my gold and silver pens but as my handwriting is very uneven I bought peel off words at a craft shop.

I would have preferred two sheets the same as the silver one but there was not a lot of choice. The silver letters came off so easily but the gold ones were very tricky.

Finally I stuck a label on the back of the front of the card with instructions on removing the star after Christmas is over.

The card and the envelope together cost me 75p. The Goldfingering was £3.50 a ball and I think one ball will make about a dozen stars so say 30p a star. The lettering sheets were 89p each. So I think the cards should cost me a bit less than £1.20 each to make. I haven’t made them all yet but expect to do about two dozen.

Christmas Star patterns

UK version

Using Twilleys goldfingering in silver or gold and a 2.00mm hook.

Start: 6 ch loop.

Row 1: Working into the loop: 7ch (= 1dtr + 3ch), dc, 3ch, then repeat {dtr, 3ch, dc, 3ch} 5 times. Slst into 7ch loop at start.

Row 2: Repeat {6ch, slst into top of dtr) six times. Last slst is into slst of previous row.

Row 3: Repeat {4ch, tr into 6ch loop of previous row, 4ch, slst into slst of previous row.} six times.

Row 4: Repeat {6ch, dtr into top of tr on row below, 6ch, slst into slst of row below} six times.

Row 5: Repeat {dc under loops of rows 3 & 4, 5dc under loop of row 4 only, 3ch, 5dc under loop of row 4 only, dc under loops of row 3 & 4.} six times. Slst to fix final dc.

Pinch the 3ch at the tips of the points and pull hard. Sew in the ends

US version

Using Twilleys goldfingering in silver or gold and a 1/B hook.

Start: 6 ch loop.

Row 1: Working into the loop: 7ch (= 1trc + 3ch), sc, 3ch, then repeat {trc, 3ch, sc, 3ch} 5 times. Slst into 7ch loop at start.

Row 2: Repeat {6ch, slst into top of trc) six times. Last slst is into slst of previous row.

Row 3: Repeat {4ch, dc into 6ch loop of previous row, 4ch, slst into slst of previous row.} six times.

Row 4: Repeat {6ch, trc into top of dc on row below, 6ch, slst into slst of row below} six times.

Row 5: Repeat {sc under loops of rows 3 & 4, 5sc under loop of row 4 only, 3ch, 5sc under loop of row 4 only, sc under loops of row 3 & 4.} six times. Slst to fix final sc.

Pinch the 3ch at the tips of the points and pull hard. Sew in the ends.

*  *  *  *  *

As always please let me know if you find any mistakes.