Pineapples everywhere!

I am aware that these photographs were taken and processed rather quickly as I am a bit short for time.

Patricia over at Daniella Joe’s blog was interested in pineapple patterns so I thought I would share the ones I have. They were obviously very popular in the past.

These are from two books that were my mother’s.

The smaller book is called “Modern Crochet”."Modern crochet"Price is two shillings and sixpence for youngsters. Also called a “half crown” – eight to the pound!

The main pineapple motif offered was this:"Modern crochet"- basic patternsWith another one for a bedcover."Modern crochet"-bedcover patternBut the best book is this:Best Pineapple crochet bookEven cheaper! only one shilling. Probably older.

This has lots and lots of motifs. This for a runnerRunnerbut with a dressing table version as well.Dressing table matsA similar motif that could be used on it’s ownSimple motifor to make a centrepiece.Centrepiece

A motif to be used for either a bedcover (left) ot tablecloth (right)Bedcover or tablecloth motifsand another similar one for the same two purposes.More bedcover or tablecloth motifsAnd one just for a tablecloth.Tablecloth motifFinally, some table mats: thisTable matsand this.Fancier table matThe first of these last two designs was used by my mother for a cloth on the dining table on which sat the wooden fruit bowl.

A bit worse for wear now. I think she may have intended to make another before she died. It is made in #40 crochet cotton.Mat my mother madeI had originally intended to make this for my table till I decided a larger one would be better.

 

Slipper soles

Just a short post today as I have had a bad cold these last few days and none of my ongoing projects are finished yet.

Do you remember these:-

Knitted slippers

And how I used stuff to make the soles non-slip.

Slipper soles with non-stick dots

As you can see rather badly, partly because the stuff became very thick once the pot had been opened but also because I am a bit clumsy with things like that.

Well in wear I had two problems because the second coat had made the bobbles too thick and so they hurt my feet and tended to break off.

Eventually I removed most of the bobbles that were left and waited for inspiration and time.

Having looked at all the sew on soles that one could buy – and the prices! I finally decided to try and make my own from dishcloth cotton and silicone sealer. The soles are crocheted not knitted!

This is the result.

Slipper with non-stick soles

I actually made the first one a while ago and unlike the special non-slip sole stuff silicone sealer actually stays at the right consistency weeks later. (I had bought it to use in my shower tray.)

They had been worn when I took this photograph which is why the cotton is not gleaming white.

Of course knitted slippers are fine on carpets but I have a ceramic floor in my kitchen and I wanted to be safe when I went in there. The silicone sealer works well for this.

The soles show a little in use but that means, I hope, that the wool is not rubbing on the floor and since they are sewn on, if the soles wear out before the uppers, I can remove them and make some more.

Snowflake bookmark pattern

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This pattern is now available for sale on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/four-snowflake-bookmark

This is a very easy bookmark pattern that can suitably be made in either #10 or #20 crochet cotton. Individual snowflakes could also be made in any yarn for decoration.

The pattern is available in either UK or US terms.

A little silver in the tassel can add a little sparkle.

Crochet key rings

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Now it is actually Christmas and people have had their presents I can show you my crochet key rings.

Okay! not actually crocheted key RINGS but little amigarumi figures attached to key rings.

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These days I give my children money plus a little something I think they would enjoy. This year for my daughters and their husbands it was key rings.

I started my making a little red bear for my older daughter.

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I had found a free pattern  by Lisa van Klaveren of www.holland-designs.com

The pattern was for DK yarn but I wanted to use #10 crochet cotton so I decided that I wouldn’t be able to use safety eyes to articulate his arms and legs but I found a way to do it with a couple of strands of yarn that I tied together.

I wanted to make a green fish for her husband but I couldn’t see a fish pattern so I made my own, though you won’t see it written down as I just created it as I went, with a certain amount of undoing as I went along.

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The inspiration for the design came from a Siamese silver bracelet that my father bought me after a trip to the far east when I was a child.

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The silver was very soft and the fish unfortunately was one of the first casualties.

Here is a close up so you can see the way the body is formed with overlapping sections.

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So here are fish and bear together.

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I stiffened the fish’s tail to make it look right.

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For my younger daughter I wanted to make a blue cat.

Again, a Google search didn’t reveal any crochet cats that looked just the way I wanted it to turn out.

I did find THIS ONE that was the nearest but in the end although I got Google to translate it into English, I decided that again I would design my own.

The hardest part was the tail and I had frequent recourse to a magnifying glass to check the number of stitches as I found it very easy to inadvertently increase them.

Having decided that it would be rather fun to give the cat stiff little whiskers, I used some of my PVA glue to stiffen the central part of some strands of white crochet thread and pulled them through like this:-

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And so here is the finished cat – front

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and back.

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Lastly for my second daughter’s husband I decided to make one of the owls from the ‘Bunny Mummy’ blog.

And here it is.

Again front

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Everyone loved their keyrings! They were a very popular present.

Crochet Baubles

Last Christmas I showed you these crochet baubles I bought in Paperchase.

Crochet balls

And told you that I would like to make some myself for the next year.

Well! that time has come but with wanting to finish two blankets and some Christmas gifts to make as well I have not progressed as much as I would have hoped. However it still seems appropriate to share with you what I have managed to do, with a bit of a tutorial in case you are inspired to make some yourselves.

I decided to start by using the balls I had as inspiration for working up a pattern. I also persuaded my daughter to give me one of the plastic balls that were lying around the house that had come out of a small home ball pit.

The first pattern I used (copy included at end) gave me this:-

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I used #10 crochet cotton and a 2mm hook as the shop balls seemed to have been made loosely and this gave me something that fitted nicely over my ball. (The ball was about 70mm in diameter – a little smaller than the ones I had bought but I actually like them better that way.)

I bought some School PVA glue. (This was cheaper than the ‘Craft’ glue and was washable so I thought it would mix better with water – I have never used it before; maybe some of you know more about using it). I mixed one teaspoon of glue with 1 teaspoon of water in an egg cup and thoroughly soaked the crochet in the glue water mixture.

I covered the ball in vaseline (petroleum jelly) to stop the crochet sticking to it. (More on this later).

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Apologies for the mess in the background. 🙂

I stretched the crochet hemispere over the ball

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and put it in the airing cupboard to dry.

Here is a ‘before and after’ picture.

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I then made a second hemisphere and did the same.

However I began to realise that the vaseline, or the moisture, had softened the ball and it was getting harder to get the dents out of it so I decided that maybe it would be better to cover it with a piece of cling film: not quite as smooth but good enough.

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Looking closely at the balls I had bought I decided that the two halves had been stuck together with polystyrene glue so that is what I did and got this:-

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I also worked up a different pattern which was less lacey based on another of the balls but this was less satisfactory (though not entirely unusable) so I won’t bother to share this pattern with you.

This made the following

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I don’t know if you can see but they are less naturally rounded than the first and, though it is hard to see in a photo, I also made a mistake and on one of the rows: I used trebles (US dcs) for one and double trebles (US trs) for the other.

However they did dry fairly rounded when stretched over the ball.

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This second time I had intended to make both halves first and stretch them over the ball at the same time to make the two edges more easily match up but another shortcoming of this pattern was that they did not quite meet so in fact the ball is not truly spherical and the one half fits inside the other to a certain extent because of my mistake in the pattern. (I forgot to write it out as I went 🙂 )

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I think though that hung on a Christmas tree it is still usable. I have yet to add a loop to hang them by and it would probably have been easier to do this before I stuck the two halves together.

Here they are together.

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And here is the pattern I used for the first, lacey ball.

Christmas Bauble pattern

My recommendation would be to use a polystyrene ball that can be found in a craft shop and cover with cling film though I have yet to do it this way.

Using the cotton and hook size given below the ball should be about 70mm in diameter.

I used Anchor Aida #10 crochet cotton and a 2mm hook.

UK version

Starting with a magic loop or other preferred method.

Row1: 6ch, then working into the centre of the loop (tr, 3ch) five times and s.s. into 3rd ch at start..

Row 2: S.s. left till you get into loop, 6ch, tr into same loop, 3ch then (tr, 3ch) twice into each of next five loops, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 3: 3ch, [(2ch, dc, 2ch, ) into loop tr into tr] eleven times, then (2ch, dc, 2ch) into last loop, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 4: 7ch, (tr into tr, 4ch) eleven times, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 5: 3ch, [(3ch, dc, 3ch, ) into loop tr into tr] eleven times, then (3ch, dc, 3ch) into last loop, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 6: 8ch, (tr into tr, 5ch) eleven times, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 7: As Row 5.

Row 8: 9ch, (tr into tr, 6ch) eleven times, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 9: As Row 5.

Row 10: 9ch, (tr into tr, 6ch) eleven times, s.s. into 3rd ch at start. Or else instead of the tr, use a dc or s.s. – whatever makes the shape cover half the ball.

US version

Starting with a magic loop or other preferred method.

Row1: 6ch, then working into loop (dc, 3ch) five times and s.s. into 3rd ch at start..

Row 2: S.s. left till you get into loop 6ch, dc into same loop, 3ch then (dc, 3ch) twice into each of next five loops, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 3: 3ch, [(2ch, sc, 2ch, ) into loop dc into dc] eleven times, then (2ch, sc, 2ch) into last loop, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 4: 7ch, (dc into dc, 4ch) five times, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 5: 3ch, [(3ch, sc, 3ch, ) into loop dc into dc] eleven times, then (3ch, sc, 3ch) into last loop, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 6: 8ch, (dc into dc, 5ch) eleven times, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 7: As Row 5.

Row 8: 9ch, (dc into dc, 6ch) eleven times, s.s. into 3rd ch at start.

Row 9: As Row 5.

Row 10: 9ch, (dc into dc, 6ch) eleven times, s.s. into 3rd ch at start. Or else instead of the dc, use an sc or s.s. – whatever makes the shape cover half the ball.

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I am hoping in time to try out other patterns although I must say that I particularly like this one. I would also like to make the balls in a variety of colours. I may share these with you if and when I complete them.

April Montage

In April, I continued making squares for the CAL but got a bit behind because of pain in my hand.

I made bookmarks for the people who had commented most on my blog as part of my one year anniversay giveaway and bought lots of lovely coloured crochet cotton for this and future projects.

I also had a go at beaded knitting and made a pair of pretty slippers.

I went back to Portsmouth Dockyard with some of the family and saw HMS Warrior, an exhibition of costumes from the film ‘Les Miserables’ and also went out to Southsea for a ‘Dalek Invasion’.

Then at the end of the month I finished knitting my Buff®. and received a lovely surprise in the post from Patricia at DaniellaJoe’s

montage1304

Cross Bookmark patterns

I had intended to work on a couple of nominations for awards that I’ve had in the last few weeks but family matters have rather occupied me, so instead I am going to do something else that I have been intending to do for a long time and that is to add a US version of my Cross Bookmark patterns to the Top Menu.

0130-cross1I had been meaning to add lots of pictures to make it more of a tutorial but I think that is going to have to wait till I have more time.0130-cross2

You will find it under ‘MY PATTERNS’

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Practice make Perfect!

Well what have I been up to recently?

Here are three of the bookmarks I am making for my giveaway. Hopefully I will get the extra colours soon and can make the others. BUT see at bottom of post!!

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And here is a picture that actually comprises a lot of practice!

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It started on 100cm circular needles for me to show someone how to do small circular knitting using the ‘magic loop’ method. Not to be confused with the method of the same name in crochet which is the way of starting some crochet patterns.

After the first couple of rows I passed the needles over so she could practice before starting a prem-baby hat on her own needles.

I then decided that it was a good starting point for me to try knitting on double pointed needles that I am so wary of, so I transferred the knitting as you can see above and did a few rows.

I have decided that (at least with this much knitting on this size needles) it is not so much a problem of stitches slipping off the ends as the other needles getting in the way. 🙂 But I will persist in practice when I have nothing better to do.

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I have also started knitting a pair of beaded slippers and have been pleased to discover how easy it is to add in the beads.

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I bought the wool in ‘Hobbycraft’ when they were selling at three balls for the price of two, so it was a good buy and even the full price was not excessive. It is “100% Super Soft Merino Wool” and is lovely to handle.

The slippers are in three colours. The missing one in my colour choice is purple.

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And I have just received my new crochet cottons.

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I think this may keep me happy for a few months / years! In many ways I prefer #20 cotton but I think this may be more durable for household items.

Extra eggy ideas

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Originally I had thought that I wouldn’t be making any more eggs this year but then I got all sorts of ideas for new types of eggs and had to try them out. A bit of an obsession perhaps, like the snowflakes. 🙂

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I have added the final version of my ‘Basic Crochet egg pattern’ in the ‘My Patterns’ section of the Top Menu.

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For a more interesting texture you could use htrs (US hdcs) for the egg after the initial six dcs (US scs). This does however mean that you can see the stuffing if you look closely. I rather like the way the surface is made up of lots of little inverted triangles.

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Stopping at 18 stitches for a round will give a medium size egg.

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If you have variegated yarn left over from making some bed socks perhaps 🙂 0125-bedsocks you could make a naturally patterned egg. I found that my variegated yarn seemed a little thicker than some and the egg, although a 24 stitch -medium egg, was actually closer in size to the large ones.

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Crochet Christmas cards
Then again if you have some gold thread left over from making stars for Christmas cards you might have enough to make a golden egg. It was a very close run thing though. I was afraid I would run out before the end.

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Here a 30 stitch egg is still only small.

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And you could use the silver thread left from making the silver stars for the same cards, together with some deep blue cotton DK yarn and make a sparkly midnight sky egg. 18 stitches and a 4.5mm hook gave me a medium egg.

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You can even use #10 crochet cotton for a little dainty looking egg. I used 36 stitches here increasing the number of middle rows accordingly.

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Or #20 for a rainbow coloured egg. I decided to increase to 42 stitches this time and the egg came out a similar size to the creamy one.

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This last egg also made me decide that although the original pattern works well enough with acrylic yarn, that is very forgiving, that it would probaly give a better egg shape if at the end one went straight from 12 sts to the last 6 by doing 2dctog for the last row.

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And using DK yarn of any sort, the right size hook, the right number of stitches and rows, if you stop just over half-way through making the egg and then make the bottom half of the egg by increasing three times a row instead of decreasing and then the right number of straight rows you can make a little case to hold a creme egg or other goodies.

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There’s still time to make a few before Easter! 🙂

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I also made one of Janette’s rabbits in #20 cotton, as that is the only one I have in multiple colours, to add to my Easter Tree.

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And here is a picture of the Easter tree with the extra eggs, the crosses I didn’t use for Easter cards and the rabbit.

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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. 🙂

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

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and

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Finally I got out a smaller hook and made a cross with a contrasting edging using the second pattern and a picot edge this time.

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This was acceptable.

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.

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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.

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Giving me three cards to send to people.

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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.

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