Easter Giveaway

Following on from my making lots of Celtic crosses I have decided to offer three of them as a Giveaway. Three Celtic crossesOne each to three people.

This is open to anyone anywhere.

All you have to do is comment at the bottom of this post saying which of the three you would prefer.

I think that all would be suitable as bookmarks though the plain red cross is the thinnest.

If you would like me to add a cord and tassel as I have done to this one that I made for myself Celtic cross with tasseljust say so in your comment.

The Giveaway is open till the Second Sunday of Easter (23rd April) when I will choose the winners.

Celtic Cross revisited

Having made variations of the Celtic plaitwork bookmarks I decided to revisit my pattern for a Celtic Cross and see if I could do the same.

I notice that in my original pattern I used my 1.25mm hook. This time I have also been using a 1mm hook and later tried what I believed to be one that was slightly smaller again, though not by much.

The first thing I did was to add slip stitches to the edges. Celtic crosses with added slip stitchesLike with the bookmarks this does make the cross rather thick, maybe even thicker. I made the one with the purple stitches first and thought that it would maybe be better if the upright was longer so I increased the number of stitches in that part and made the one with the red.

Then of course I had to try one with a coloured edge.

This time I pretty much doubled the stitches for each section and came up with this. Celtic cross with purple edgingAlthough the cross is about the same height as the bookmark one. Above cross compared to bookmarkIt feels too large to be used as a bookmark and I think I will hang it up on a wall somewhere in the house.

I decided to try using #20 thread instead of #10 but I made a mistake and used the #10 red for the edging (which is a shame as I have lots of #20 red!) Two edged crossesThis would be useable as a bookmark or for a wall and in fact using the thicker cotton for the edge made it firmer. I am not sure what size hook I used as it was one of the ones I inherited from my mother. In those days each hook maker seems to have had their own system of numbering and I couldn’t work out what would be the metric equivalent.

I then tried making one of the original plain ones, still in what I thought was #20 cotton, so it came out smaller and a little firmer than the original. Two plain crossesI actually think that the smaller size hook is an improvement. I was previously using the smaller of the size hooks recommended on the label.

I have stiffened all the crosses with spray starch.

The original does seem to be the best for a bookmark.

I also wanted to examine the pattern more closely and see if I was choosing the right numbers of stitches so I worked a trefoil knot.Trefoil knotThis seemed to fit together just right!

I then went on to consider where I was putting the join, as although it should have come behind the circle it seemed to have a tendency to slip towards the next over part and so become visible. I am therefore adjusting my original pattern slightly to improve it.

Using my slightly adjusted pattern and some multi-coloured thread I made another cross. Multi-coloured Celtic cross

I am not sure which I like best but I unfortunately I think the plain ones work best as bookmarks.

Celtic Napkin Ring pattern

The light has been very bad lately, with the odd bits of brightness at inconvenient moments, or I would have shown you my blanket at the half way point. So finding a little bit of better light I quickly took the photographs for this tutorial.

I used DK (US worsted weight) cotton and a 3.5mm hook. If you crochet loosely you may need a smaller one.

You need to crochet all stitches into the back loop of the the chain so both edges look the same on the right side. (One such loop is shown in black below).Back loop of chain

To start make 50 chain and then make the first treble (US – dc) into the back of the fourth chain from the hook.

After the 50 chain the pattern is

4 tr, 5tr tog, 9tr, 5tr into 1ch, 9tr, 5tr tog, 9tr, 5tr into 1ch, 4tr.

US version

4 dc, 5dc tog, 9dc, 5dc into 1ch, 9dc, 5dc tog, 9dc, 5dc into 1ch, 4dc.

Make four pieces as above in four different colours. Four strips For the tutorial part of this post I used the same colours as I used originally. If you want to use different colours you might find it helpful to copy what I have written and replace my colour names with yours.

The first thing to do is to join the red piece in a ring. Red strip joined All the joins will be hidden but it is only 3 trs (US-dcs) that will be hidden so it is best if you finish the ends up and down the trs (US-dcs) rather than along the edges.

I hope it will be possible for me only use the term treble from now on and for US readers to understand that to them it means the dcs.

Now you thread the blue piece through. You need to secure this in place at each overlap or underlap, as you go, unless you are very deft with your hands.

I have found small safety pins work better that dressmaking pins though if you didn’t have a lot of safety pins you could stitch each overlap with a piece of contrasting thread that you remove later.

The blue starts by overlapping the red just to the right of one of the upper points. This overlap consists of the three trs next to the corner 5tr into 1ch. Pin or secure this overlap. First blue overlap Now align the blue strip along the side of the red one passing under the red this time just next to the corner and secure. First blue underlap Continue along the side of red strip going over the next time then under the final time and securing each overlap.

Unless you are very unsure this is a good time to join the ends of the blue strip together. If you were being very cautious you should still join the two ends together maybe just with a knotted loop of contrasting thread at each edge.

When I made it the first time I distributed the joins around the circle but here you can see the joins in the red and blue strips as neat as I could make them. Joins will only show on the inside. Red and blue joins Now you add the green strip. Again you start by overlapping the strip after an upper point – the blue one this time – You need only secure the outer overlaps this time.

Again you will go over and under and align the strip against the previous = blue one.

However you will go over blue and then over red, followed by under blue and under red, then over blue and over red, followed by under blue and under red. Green overs and unders Join or secure the ends of the green strip at the back. This time the join will be hidden under the red strip. Green ends join Now thread through the yellow strip. (No need to secure except at the start at the back of the blue strip.)

Start, as before, to the right of one of the upper green points. Secure in place tucking the end treble under the blue strip and pinning at the back. Starting yellow This time you have only to go alternately under and over as you work your way round in a similar manner to before. No more securing needed till the end.

Turn the ring inside out and secure the two yellow ends with the safety pin you started with. Yellow ends secure Now remove all the other pins (or securing threads) before joining the ends of the yellow strip (and any other ends you didn’t connect before).

Now you can make sure that all the interweaving is even and you are done.Finished napkin ringMaking one of these takes me a couple of hours.

Celtic napkin ring

Flowered napkin with ringOne of the comments on my original post with a pattern for some celtic coasters mentioned napkin rings and it occured to me that it would be interesting to see if it was possible to make one in a similar way to the coasters.

I decided to use my celtic bookmark as the starting point. Celtic knot bookmarkand the coasters as a guide to size.

The coasters suggested that the ring might be too large, so I moved down a size to a 3.5mm hook and was pleased to find that the resulting napkin ring was just perfect. Celtic napkin ringA closer look at the front. Celtic napkin ring frontAnd on one of my mended white napkins. White napkin with ringI could write out the pattern if anyone is interested though it might be good to add some advice on fitting the four pieces together as it is even trickier than the coasters!

Celtic Coasters

The Pattern for this is now available to buy on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/celtic-coasters

You may remember my “I have a new obsession” post. Well since then I have been working on more celtic designs, in particular I have continued thinking about how to make a coaster.

I had given up the crochet cotton coaster because my hands were hurting but it occured to me that it might be possible to make one in DK weight yarn if I gave up the idea of combining five pieces, so I tried with three and my standard method of working out how many chains were needed.3 part coasterI realised that although this worked well for my celtic bookmark that the gaps in the resulting coaster would be better eliminated, so I reduced the number of trebles (US-dcs) for a crossing point from four to three and tried again.

I had realised that using less trebles per crossing, I could increase the number of pieces from three to four.

So this is what I did and here is the result.4 part coasterI then got out the oddments of my Rico essentials cotton yarn and made another one.Coaster from cotton oddmentsI thought it worked it even better in cotton.

Now, I had shown you how I messed around with a drawing program to see how different colours could be used. I had a play and chose to make a couple more coasters like this from my regular stash.Red to green coasterandGreen to purple coasterI then thought it might be fun to use just two colours arranged so as to get a chequer pattern in the centre.

This is what you get.Black and cream coaster

I would love to make some more but my coffee table is getting Coffee tablea bit crowded.

Celtic Cross crochet pattern

This is a new improved version of the pattern. I find it easiest to work from an abbreviated pattern so that is what I give below with an explanation of the abbreviations. I hope it is easy to understand.

My original cross.Crochet celtic crossWhen I used #10 crochet cotton and a 1.25mm hook (Blue cross) it came out about 4 inches high and three inches wide. (10 x 7.5 cm) However using a smaller hook will give a firmer though slightly smaller bookmark. (Red cross)You could also try multi-coloured thread. For this I used a 1.25mm for the starting chain and a 1mm hook for the rest. I also increased the picot stitches from two to three.This is what I think of as the improved pattern.

Celtic Cross Bookmark

Start with at least 158 chain. Ideally make a few more to allow for missing the odd one or miss-counting. Excess chains can be undone at the end.

You need to crochet into the loop at the back of the chain. (Method 4 in my tutorial.)

The starting chain should not be too tight or you will not be able to find the loops, especially the ones after working the corners. I found using a 1.25mm hook for the starting chain and then a 1mm hook for the rest of the cross worked best but you should maybe experiment to see what works best with your crochet style. I know I work a little more firmly than some.

I find it easiest to work with an abbreviated pattern, so here are the abbreviations.

UK

Corner = (2tr, dtr, trtr) into first ch, 3ch ss into 3rd ch from hook, (trtr, dtr, 2tr) into next ch.

V = 2tr into ch.

N  eg 12 = 1tr into each of next 12 ch.

First V = tr into 3rd ch from hook.

US

Corner = (2dc, tr, dtr) into first ch, 2ch ss into 2nd ch from hook, (dtr, tr, 2dc) into next ch.

V = 2dc into ch.

N  eg 12 = 1dc into each of next 12 ch.

First V = dc into 3rd ch from hook.

Pattern

(V 4 V 1 V 1 V Corner V 1 V 1 V Corner V 1 V 1 V 4 V V 4 V) x 3

then

V 12 V 1 V 1 V Corner V 1 V 1 V Corner V 1 V 1 V 12 V V 4 V

Tie trefoil knots first then interweave centre and sew ends together. Join should be underneath circle when cross is complete.

Here are a few diagrams to help you see how the different parts go but the crochet fits more tightly.Fitting cross diagrams

Then make circle.

Ch 24,

(V 1 1) x 8.

Interweave round centre of cross and position so join is underneath.

Adding circle diagram

For a bookmark you could add a cord at the top or bottom as I describe at the bottom of these patterns – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/cross-bookmark-pattern/

To use as a bookmark this definitely needs to be stiffened though I think some spray starch is enough. It is necessary to pull the corners firmly and pull the strands into exactly the right place before stiffening.

 

I’m still thinking ‘celtic’!

I am not ready to start my blanket so I have been messing around with various small projects,: one of which was to continue with my idea of making a cross bookmark based on this silver cross my brother gave me a long time ago.Ideas for patternI refined and completed my ideas for a pattern and using some spare acrylic yarn created this.Trial in acrylicThe sun was so bright and I was in a hurry but I think this gives the idea.

This told me what I needed to do to tighten up the pattern and shorten the arms and then I found a way to make the corners pointier. So I experimented with some #10 cotton thread and got this.Trial in cottonJust clipped together for speed.

This enabled me to work out just what was needed and make a final one.Finished celtic crossI was very pleased with the proportions of this one.

I was a bit worried about the lower upright, when I had made it, because of the two long pieces being separate and thought that it would not be any good as a bookmark but stiffened with the spray starch it feels a lot better, so I may continue with the idea and maybe try making one with the circle in a contrasting colour.

You can’t feel it but what do you think?

I have a new obsession!

Celtic knotwork or plaitwork. (And I haven’t forgotten about the orchids.)

I few weeks ago I showed you the bookmark I had made. Well since then I have been busy drawing and planning and thinking up ideas.

For further ideas I turned to my book on Celtic knotwork.BookHere are some of my early drawings. Early drawingsThe one with colour comes from in the book but done my way.

The ones lower left are just plaitwork squares and the one at the top is my idea for a celtic knot cross bookmark.

This is it done on the computer.Knot crossI have a silver celtic cross and I also wondered if that could be turned into a crochet pattern.

Silver cross designThe curves make this trickier to work out.

Having decided that the plaitwork was the simplest, I played around with a few colours

I decided that using my computer drawing program would make that easier.Complete plaitPutting each colour on a different layer e.g.First layer

made it easier to try different combinations.

Different colourwaysMaybe you might like to try on squared paper or the computer.

The only shapes you need are these.Needed shapesor the mirror equivalent. I have used both.

It’s best to start in the middle like this.Start

Turning this into a pattern is easy.

Draw round the curve to represent the chain you will start with, as in this pattern for my bookmark.Drawing for bookmarkYou will make a long chain the right length (or a little longer and undo any excess chains). Working into the back of the chains gives the best finish.

Each crossover point means 4 chains (ignore the squares between crossovers). Each 90 deg turn means either 1 chain or 5 chains if the chain is on the outside of the curve.

Each 180 deg curve is similarly either 3 chain or 11 chain.

You work 1 tr (US-dc) into each chain except for corners and turns.

A corner 90 deg turn is made by working 5tr (US-dc) into 1 chain or else doing 5trtog.

A 180 deg turn is made by working 5tr into first chain, then 1 tr into next, then 5 tr into next, or else 5trtog, 1 ch, 5trtog.

I liked to start in the middle of a crossover point.

This works for any design not just the bookmark.

I realised that if I made the smaller plaitwork design in DK (US-worsted weight) yarn it would be too big for a drink mat so I thought I would try with some #10 cotton.Halfway finishedUnfortunately I had to stop at this point.

I have had pains in my wrists for the past few months and although making my rainbow spiral cloth was fine, working into the back of the chain for these hurt too much.

I thought it was something that would get better if I just rested my hands and didn’t do things that hurt but now I have been told that it is osteoarthritis. The doctor didn’t seem to think I needed any more information as it was enough to know that it was “nothing scary”.

I am still hoping to finish this one day and try my bookmark ideas. Just need to find out a bit more about living with osteoarthritis and whether if it hurts it’s doing damage.

My hands work fine and the pain is not as bad as it was; just don’t want it to get worse.

It’s thicker than the others but I love using my celtic bookmark.

Celtic knot bookmark