So what might this be?

stripsI have at last managed to finish these. Other things that might have been finished by now have been left but these were easy to do.

Within a few hours of taking the first photograph they had morphed into this strips woven togetherwhich is half a cushion cover.

Wanting to make a Celtic Plaitwork type cushion cover in rainbow colours and preferring an even number of different colours for this sort of design I chose the following Stylecraft Special DK colours. colour choiceDeciding to increase the number of colours from the standard seven ‘rainbow’ colours by adding a purple as a bridge between ‘violet’ and ‘red’.

Of course I had to spend time on my computer playing around with the colours to decide what exactly I wanted to do with them. This was the ‘original’, if you like, designplan for first sidebut I decided that it would be fun to create a cushion cover with this arrangement on one side and plan for second sidethis variant on the other.

I have now squared off the first side One side completewhich I was pleased to find came out about the size I had calculated and will now fit in making the strips for the other side in between my other projects which include edging my symmetrical granny ripple blanket, finishing off the socks for my granddaughter and making the hat I promised my daughter.

One thing this has shown me is that despite my doubts that such an arrangement could be used for a blanket. The woven strips do actually hold together pretty well, even before being edged, and so a blanket could be possible subject to various issues regarding colour(s) and length and thickness of strips.

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Recent makes and WIPs

I have been working on quite a few odds and ends before and after my holiday, apart from the coasters I showed you recently.

I thought that it seemed a shame to waste the place mat I had made just to show it could be done,Placemat and coasterand I remembered that I had a cushion that could do with a new cover. Old cushion coverSo I worked out a way to make a surround and thought I could turn the placemat into a cushion cover. Half a cushion coverThe only question was what should I do for the other side? I found a pattern for a Celtic style weave using front post and back post crochet stitches but didn’t really enjoy working it and thought it was a bit too holey, so I am not sure what to do for the reverse.

Until I do this will remain a WIP.

I have a local crafting friend who has been making some of my cross and angel bookmarks to give to children who are about to be baptised. She said that she had worked the angel one in #20 thread. Now I have always made the angels in #10 thread so I thought here was an interesting challenge. Could I see well enough to make the angel in #20 thread? The only thread I had enough of was my Anchor Artiste multicolour one. After the first row or two I found it easier than I expected! Crochet angelOf course this is larger than life size. (Unless it is on a small screen!)

I have also been making a couple of cross bookmarks, to maybe give away some time. Cross bookmarkThis one is finished, though neither the cross or angel has been stiffened and ironed yet.

I have also gone back to working on my sea-and-sand blanket that has been a bit neglected of late. I feel I am on the home straight now as I am working the last repeat of the colours.

 

Cushion cover revealed

First a bit about the side made out of thirty six one-colour squares.

I started by making some squares out of yarn I had left over from my blanket. Blanket on the setteeLipstick, Pomegranate,Shrimp, Saffron, Citron, Meadow, Sage, Aster, Violet, Plum.

As I mentioned in a previous post the idea was to use these round the outer part and have bi-colour ones in the centre but I couldn’t get that to work so I chose two more colours: Aspen and one colour I had not used in the blanket but had bought as an impulse purchase: one of Stylecraft’s new colours, a dark blue called Lobelia. I thought it was prettier than Royal.

This gave me three each of twelve colours, a total of thirty-six.

I had worked out that a 7×7 square would be too big and a 6×6 square a little too small for a side of the cushion, so I chose to make a 6×6 square with a border. Finished side
This time I decided to crochet the squares together using slip stitches on the wrong side. Slip stitchingThis was much quicker and easier than sewing. Not that I regret sewing the other side of the cushion cover as that would have been tricky to crochet because of the different sizes.

Some information about the other side. Cushion cover - first side that was madeThere I had used only seven ‘rainbow’ colours: leftovers from the blanket again – Lipstick, Pomegranate, Shrimp, Spice, Saffron, Citron, Meadow, Sage, Aster, Violet, Plum. Again I had added the Lobelia as an ‘indigo’ colour.

And here is the finished cushion. Final cushion first sideand the other side. Final cushion second sideIt was hard to decide how to close the cushion so I decided to crochet all the way round leaving the ends easy to get at so if I needed to wash the cover at some future time I could pull out the crochet round the last side and re crochet afterwards.

And here a couple of picture of my old and new cushions.Two cushions first sidesandTwo cushions second sidesThese are two cushions not four! I can just mix and match which side is showing.

Three choices – my choice

It was interesting to see that your preferences seemed to be evenly spread between the three possible choices.

Number two was actually the first arrangement I tried out. First arrangementBut I had wanted something where the colours flowed into each other and with the bright red diagonal in particular I felt that this was breaking up into triangles.

So I tried again. Chosen arrangementThis I felt gave that sense of flow I wanted and I think that was what Nanacathy saw.

Having realised that there were only three totally different arrangements if I kept the basic pattern and colour order, I laid out the last arrangement which was given as the first of the three. Third arrangementThis, to my mind, very much dived the shape into squares. A red-orange square, a yellow-green square, a greeny-blue square and a dark blue-purple square.

This made me certain that I would use the pattern shown as three in my arrangement. All three choicesThe squares, the triangles and my chosen one.

All attractive in their own way.

I have joined the squares and will show you them next week and maybe the finished cushion if I have got that far. It seemed too much to add to this post.

Three choices

I have finished all the squares for the other side of my cushion cover and been arranging them and rearranging them to decide how to join them together.

My first idea had been to do a few in solid colours then a few in two colours and blend them together but after using up a lot of the yarn left over from my blanket making about thirty squares, I couldn’t work out how to fit them together with some bicolour ones so I chose two other colours and made just one-colour ones.

There are just three possible ways to arrange them if I want them in a sort of rainbow order round the centre.

All three choices

Now I must admit I have decided which I am going to use but I thought it would be interesting to ask you which arrangement you would find most pleasing for a cushion cover as I feel each has a distinct character.

Here are the three choices in a logical order. Choice oneand Choice twoand Choice threeand all together again. All three choicesSo which would be your choice?

A Crochet cushion cover

Do you remember when I showed you this teaser. TeaserWell the squares on the left were for one side of a cushion cover. So are the ones on the right but I haven’t made the full set yet.

Now I haven’t done much crochet since I made these and it seems to have been all knitting. I started sewing them together – yes! sewing though it isn’t my joining method of choice as any other method seemed too tricky – some few weeks ago but I started by using some left over ‘camel’ coloured yarn and I decided that showed up too much and that black would be better. I didn’t have any black yarn.

Now having finally got around to buying some black yarn and spending the time on sewing them together I can show you the finished side for a cushion. Cushion cover I have worked a couple of rows of dcs (US scs) round the edge but will have to leave that now till I make the other side.

I have been planning to make this for a long, long time.

I was first inspired seeing THIS BLANKET. I knew I didn’t want to make a whole blanket but I thought I could consider making a cushion cover.

So I drew this sketch to see how I might arrange the squares to give the right effect. Initial sketchMore recently, after I had finished my recent snuggle blanket, I sat down drew a larger version and coloured it in with an eye to using some of the yarn left over from the blanket. Coloured planIt may not be obvious but I mainly chose shades that were different to those I would normally use for a rainbow inspired selection. Spice instead of jaffa for instance.Cushion coverWhen it is finished I think it will make a colourful companion to this one. Previous cushion

A new Cafetière Cosy

A long time ago I made a cosy for my 2 cup cafetière.Cafetiere cosiesThat’s the smaller one in the picture.

Well the cosy on the larger one has already been replaced and recently I decided that the small one was stained, rubbed and saggy and that I should make a new one.Old cosyNow my cafetière Cosies have always been an excuse to try out a new crochet pattern and this time was no exception.

I had seen a pattern that I wanted to try and although I couldn’t remember where I had seen it I started working on it.First try Now I knew that the idea was to turn the chain strips into a plait but I just couldn’t remember how to do it.

I tried a search for crochet patterns using the word ‘plait’ but no luck.

I later discovered that ‘braid’ gave me something but in the end I discovered that this sort of pattern is described as ‘Jacob’s Ladder’. Now I know all about Jacob’s ladder – Genesis 28:12 – but quite why this has that name I am not sure.

Now I could make the plaits.Plaitbut I didn’t like the thin stripes so I decided to use trebles (US – dcs) instead of dcs (US – scs). I found a helpful hint that the chain strips should be twice the number of chains the stitch is equal to plus 1. So for a treble (US – dc) the number would be seven.

I think you can see that the above is just several (5) dcs followed by 5 ch, repeated.

Here is what I made for the cafetière.Just the cosyThe reason I chose three colours was because I had discovered when I started to teach my granddaughter crochet that if you use three colours you don’t have to break the yarn you can just thread it up the side. So less ends to sew in. Yay!

And here is it on the cafetière.Cosy on cafeteireAnd the side with the buttons.Cosy on cafeteire button sideThe buttons are just old used ones I had in my button jar.

So that is what I have been doing lately.

I have also made a few more cross bookmarks.More cross bookmarksand I must show you this cushion I bought from Ikea for lumber support.Ikea cushionIn time I may make it a crochet cover but I did think it was rather fun. It makes me want to embroider the birds like they are a transfer or colour them in like a colouring book.

Another cushion cover!

[The colours in these photographs are not completely true to life I am afraid. Some are better than others.]

I’ve finished the cushion I wanted to make with the leftover yarn from my spectrum granny ripple blanket.

I started using one colour for each row and was very pleased with the effect.

0220-firsthalf

But then when I got half-way, I thought it might be interesting to make the other side with mixed up colours and using the normal double rows of each colour, since of course that is the only way to make each coloured stripe the same. So that is what I did.

0220-secondhalf

Now the five ripples were just a little bit narrower than was ideal for the cushion pad I had (though six ripples would have been too much) so I worked down the two sides with a row of dcs (US scs) two to each row of stitches to give a firm edge and then finished off with a row of trebles (US dcs) to give a bit more width.

Here is the whole piece.

0220-wholecover

The last royal blue double stripe was designed to cover the ’emperor’ and ‘royal’ rows at the start to give a seamless look.

Never a fan of sewing (since I am not very good at it) I chose to join the two sides together with dcs (US scs) worked through the stitches of both edges.

Now I had decided to try an idea I had had for a long time when thinking of making cushions. This was that when joining the two sides it might look good to finish off with crab stitch like I did for my hexagon blanket to give a corded look to the edge.

A row of crab stitches
A row of crab stitches

Now normally when I do crab stitch I work my row of dcs (US scs) and then just reverse direction and work the crab stitch back along the row.

I started doing this only to realise that crab stitch and dcs do have a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side just like trebles and that I had done the row of dcs with the wide stripes as ‘right’ side not the spectrum side.

Rather than undo the whole join, I decided to see what would happen if I worked the crab stitch from the other end so that the ‘wrong’ side of the dcs was married to the ‘right’ side of the crab stitch and vice versa. I decided that this actually evened out the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ look and worked well.

So here is the spectrum ‘right’ side

0220-edgefront

and the reverse

0220-edgeback

Another thing worth noting is that on my hexagon blanket the edge seems to have a little bit of a ripple and I always thought it was because when working the crab stitch I hadn’t bothered to make allowance for the irregular edge but with the cushion I was noticing the same so I changed down to a smaller hook – 3.5mm, from the 4mm that I had used for the rest of the cushion, and that solved the problem.

And here is the finished cushion –

Right side

0220-cushionfront

And the back /alternative side.

0220-cushionback)

I rather liked the way the rows go when you use a different colour for each row, with the alternation of level and thickness.

0220-closeup

I joined the cover with four little buttons. I have yet to use buttons as a feature in the things I make and the join was meant to be as unobtrusive as possible.

0220-buttonrow

Here’s a close up

0220-twobuttons

I just have a few tiny balls of yarn left.

0220-scraps

I think I rather like this cushion making. As much fun as blankets in choosing pattern and colours but so much quicker. 🙂

October Montage

In October I shared with you the Orange and Yellow flowers of my Rainbow Garden.

I showed you my first crochet cushion cover that I had made for my son’s new flat.

I displayed a large number of the photographs I had taken on my Spanish pilgrimage “In the footsteps of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross”.

As well as my new book: “100 Snowflakes to Crochet” and the first few snowflakes I had made while away on the pilgrimage.

I also created three posts showing you the progress I was making in joining together the CAL blocks into a blanket.

montage1310

My first crochet cushion

0189-cushion

Sometime ago, when I told people about my son’s new flat, someone suggested that I should make him a housewarming present.

I wasn’t sure if such a thing would interest him but he had asked me to make a crochet phone cover a little while before

0146-phonecover

so I decided to offer to crochet a cushion cover as the only cushions he had were rather bedragled ones I had cast off in his direction years before.

He was amenable to the idea so I Googled ‘crochet cushions’ and asked him to look and choose the style of crochet he preferred.

Almost immediately he pointed at this picture and said “That one!”

0189-thornberry-cushions

This picture and the next one come from this post on the WordPress blog – thornberry.wordpress.com . She makes lovely things so why not go and look!

I then established that the particular cushion he liked was this one:-

0189-thornberrylarkspurcushion

I asked him what sort of colours he wanted and he said that he wanted it exactly like the one in the picture.

It is always a little difficult to match colours on screen and different yarns have differing shades so I did my best out of my stash of Stylecraft yarns and made a small sampler.

0189-sample

The stitch in question is called ‘larksfoot’ stitch.

I had plenty of all the colours except the pink which was a small quantity left over from the CAL blanket. So noticing that in many ways the colours made an ‘almost’ rainbow, I toyed with an alternative but similar colour choice and laid the balls out on the arm of the settee.

0189-colours

The colours are: Aster, Aspen, Saffron, Shrimp & Lipstick.

When my son came round I showed him the sampler and explained about having to order more pink, but he had caught sight of the balls on the settee and said that he liked them just as much if not better.

We then went off to John Lewis and he chose a feather filled cushion pad of the right size and so I started to work on it early in September.

I decided to crochet the whole of the cover though the second half was somehow less exciting than the the first half even though it was the same! 😉

Larksfoot stitch is straightforward enough, except for trying to get the longer treble (US dc) stitches all the same length. So being a perfectionist who is not very perfect 🙂 I did undo those stitches quite often when they were not close enough in length.

Here is a close up.

0189-larkspurstitch

Having sewn in all the many, many ends, I then joined the edges together using some invisible thread I had and sewed on six buttons to close the cover.

I bought clear buttons so that they did not show too much.

0189-button

Here you can see the whole overlap.

0189-buttons

And another picture of the cushion at a jaunty angle!

0189-cushionangled

When I gave it to my son, he smiled, said he loved it and gave me a great big hug. 😀