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

Rainbow mittens

Rainbow mittensSo here is what I was making! The photograph was them end to end and inside out showing all the ends. PuzzleNot easy to guess I know.

The reason I made them was because the saffron coloured ones I had made beforeOriginal mittenshad got rather grubby and fluffy because I wore them so much and my winter jacket had velcro.Grubby mittensBut what could I wear when these were in the wash? (Now they did wash up very well and looked bright and clean and much less fluffy.)

When I made them I had a limited amount of that colour yarn left after making the hat so they are a bit short.

I saw some rainbow hand/wrist warmers on Marr Rose’s Treasury Tuesday and that made me decide to try a rainbow versionof my mittens.

This time I would make them longer and decided on two rows of each of the seven rainbow colours and that meant repeating the colours twice.

Here I am wearing one – backBack of mittenand frontFront of mittenThey are very easy to make and because of the back and front post trebles (US – dcs) they are very warm and cosy. The fact that the lower part of the thumb has it’s own little cover means the thumb stays warmer than on those mittens made from a rectangle joined down the side with a hole left for the thumb. In fact you can tuck the thumb in even more than it looks on the photos.

Just in case anyone is interested I will include the pattern since I made it up myself except for the basic stitch that came from the pattern for the Bonbon hat.

They are just as nice made in one colour and that allows you to make the wrist part just the length you want but I will give the pattern as if making them in rainbow colours.

Pattern in US terms below UK one.

My Pattern for Rainbow Mittens – UK terms

I used DK acrylic yarn and 4.5mm hook. Tension worked out at 16 sts to 4 ins (10 cm) over rib.

Increase = Work your 1 bptr as usual, then work 2 fptr into the first of the fptr of the previous row; work 1 bptr into the second of the fptr of the previous row, then work 2 fptr into the same stitch.

Start with purple : 28 chain and sl st together. [My hands are about 7.5 ins (19 cm) round above the thumb and this size makes snug mittens that still fit nicely when the acrylic stretches a bit.] Any even number will do but you will need to adjust below when increasing for the thumb.

Start 3ch=1st tr then tr into each ch (28)

Start each of the following rows with 2ch that does not count as a stitch. [ I work the first bptr or fptr round these 2ch along with the stitch on the row below.]

Rib

2ch then (bptr, fptr) x 14. – Purple

Repeat 11 times more. – Purple (1), Indigo (2), Blue(2), Green (2), Yellow (2), Orange (2)
[For single colours mittens you could adjust here for how long you want the part covering the wrists to be.]

Now work in pattern.

– 2ch, then (bptr, 2fptr) x 14

Repeat pattern row 2 times. Red (2)

Increase row

7 repeats of (bptr, 2fptr) then work increase as shown above in both next two pairs. Then 5 repeats of (bptr, 2fptr). Purple (1)
[This is for the right hand mitten to make the joining line lie along the edge of the hand so reverse for left hand – 5 repeats before increases and 7 after. (You could of course not care about the join and just use 6 both times. Then you won’t need to worry which mitten is which!)]

2 more pattern rows. Purple (1), Indigo (1)

Another increase row

7 repeats, increase, 2 repeats, increase, 5 repeats (right hand – left in reverse as above.) Indigo (1)

5 pattern rows. Blue(2), Green (2), Yellow (1)

Finish thumb hole edge row.

fptr into each bptr and second fptr all round. Yellow (1)

Wrap below fingers rows.

bptr into all sts except those between outer increase ridges. (This means missing 8 stitches). Orange (1)

bptr into all sts – repeat 3 times. Orange (1), Red (2)

Finish off ends.

My Pattern for Rainbow Mittens – US terms

I used worsted weight acrylic yarn and 7 hook. Tension worked out at 16 sts to 4 ins (10 cm) over rib.

Increase = Work your 1 bpdc as usual, then work 2 fpdc into the first of the fpdc of the previous row; work 1 bpdc into the second of the fpdc of the previous row, then work 2 fpdc into the same stitch.

Start with purple : 28 chain and sl st together. [My hands are about 7.5 ins (19 cm) round above the thumb and this size makes snug mittens that still fit nicely when the acrylic stretches a bit.] Any even number will do but you will need to adjust below when increasing for the thumb.

Start 3ch=1st dc then dc into each ch (28)

Start each of the following rows with 2ch that does not count as a stitch. [ I work the first bpdc or fpdc round these 2ch along with the stitch on the row below.]

Rib

2ch then (bpdc, fpdc) x 14. – Purple

Repeat 11 times more. – Purple (1), Indigo (2), Blue(2), Green (2), Yellow (2), Orange (2)
[For single colours mittens you could adjust here for how long you want the part covering the wrists to be.]

Now work in pattern.

– 2ch, then (bpdc, 2fpdc) x 14

Repeat pattern row 2 times. Red (2)

Increase row

7 repeats of (bpdc, 2fpdc) then work increase as shown above in both next two pairs. Then 5 repeats of (bpdc, 2fpdc). Purple (1)
[This is for the right hand mitten to make the joining line lie along the edge of the hand so reverse for left hand – 5 repeats before increases and 7 after. (You could of course not care about the join and just use 6 both times. Then you won’t need to worry which mitten is which!)]

2 more pattern rows. Purple (1), Indigo (1)

Another increase row

7 repeats, increase, 2 repeats, increase, 5 repeats (right hand – left in reverse as above.) Indigo (1)

5 pattern rows. Blue(2), Green (2), Yellow (1)

Finish thumb hole edge row.

fpdc into each bpdc and second fpdc all round. Yellow (1)

Wrap below fingers rows.

bpdc into all sts except those between outer increase ridges. (This means missing 8 stitches). Orange (1)

bpdc into all sts – repeat 3 times. Orange (1), Red (2)

Finish off ends.

A beautiful bag

I have just completed the project I started after I had finished the cloth for the dining table. I wanted something that would be easy on my hands and this bag has been on my to-do list for quite some time.Finished bagI have made two bags before.

This one was a present and a trial before making my hexagon blanketShopping bagand this is one that I use for my knitting or crochet projects.Lucy bagFor the first I used a cotton shopping bag from John Lewis as a lining and the second bag had no lining. So this is the first time that I have actually made a bag where I had to make a lining.

This bag was one I first saw made by Jill – https://jillgoldberg19.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/my-big-fat-granny-bag/

The pattern is on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/29-210-44-striped-bag

Of course with it basically being a granny square with thirty rows. I couldn’t resist the temptation to use my fifteen ‘spectrum colours’, two rows each.

Having recently seen a post by someone saying how they reversed direction every row because it made a granny square square and knowing that if you went round and round it was hard to keep the square square, as when I made the doll blanket.Doll blanketI reversed direction for this even though the chart showed it being made just round and round.

And I was pleased with the result. Here is the granny square.Granny squareThe corners are curling at the top because I finished the square in the early evening and went on to do one of the gathering edges.

And here is the inside. I got the fabric for free one Friday when someone had fabric they wanted to get rid of at the Craft group.Inside bagand another view.Inside of bag other wayI’ve already started on another project but as it will be a present I won’t be able to show you it for quite a while.

 

 

My latest Rainbow project

This is a very special project that has been on my mind since the early days of my blog.

Once I was comfortable with crochet, I knew that I wanted to make something to go on my dining table. The early thoughts were actually fairly monochrome but one day I saw this rug – http://vi.sualize.us/pdf_pattern_hexagon_rug_available_in_english_and_spanish_yo-yo_spiral_crochet_stripe_picture_C1BQ.html – and I was inspired.

What could be better than something made up of hexagons that was also a spiral!

(I really like multiple spirals – Bedcoverviz. my bedcover my mother made for me.)

One thing that has always fascinated me is the fact that the rainbow that is essentially linear – longer to shorter wavelengths – is paralleled by the colour CIRCLE which goes round and round!

Here was a chance to use that since hexagons meant a six colour spiral and I have always considered the indigo to be a bit redundant.

And if the hexagon motifs were actually snowflakes! what could be better.

When I shared my new snowflake motif and my Snowflake bookmark pattern in January 2014 what I was planning was this cloth but I didn’t want to share the whole idea yet as I didn’t know when I would fit it in.

I had mentioned it earlier here – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/a-new-snowflake/

The size was largely determined by how many motifs I could get out of one ball of yarn.New yarnThis is the yarn I bought last October. Including one ball each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet and two balls of dark blue for the edge. I was going to make the central motif in white but I had that already.

I didn’t find time to start it till this February and it might have been finished before Easter if I hadn’t got distracted by other things!

A first I had terrible second thoughts as to whether it was going to look any good but by the time I had spent a week on it and it looked like this.After 1 weekI felt reassured.

Because I can and because I am so happy I will show you various stages in it’s developement.

The coloured spirals complete.Spirals completedThe dark blue (indigo!) edging added.Blue edge addedFinished off with a white chain edging.

Final rainbow spiral clothI wasn’t sure which way to put it on the table.Cloth parallel to sidesorCloth across tableNow recently the cloth I have had on the table has been this:Childhood tea clothwhich was the teatime cloth my mother made that was used when I was a child. (Just a bit of nostalgia!)

Aren’t the rabbits cute?Embroidered bunniesBefore that I was using this.Mother's crochet clothAlso made by my mother.

Which is now replaced by this.Rainbow spiral cloth

Everyone in my Friday craft group seem to just love this and there is a women in the craft group who wants to make a bolero for her daughter using these motifs (though all in the same colour). So in due course I was intending to supplement the bookmark pattern with further instructions on joining the motifs in case anyone else would also like to use them.

Some statistics:-

Yarn was Rico Essentials Cotton (DK) 50g balls. One each of: Red (02), Pumpkin (87), Banana (63), Grass-Green (66), Turquoise (33) and Purple (18) and two of Cobalt Blue (32), with small amount of white.

Size 4mm crochet hook.

21 motifs for each coloured spiral. 42 motifs for edge. Total of 169 including one white central one.

Finished size from side to side is about 30 inches (75cm) and 35 inches (87cm) corner to corner.

Time taken in the region of 50-60 hours including sewing in the ends. (Spread over about six weeks).

I’m just a child at heart!

Last Christmas I bought my granddaughter a Rainbow Loom and some extra bands to go with it. (Well just the name was obviously attractive!)

I’m assuming here that everyone knows what I am talking about – It’s a way of making bracelets from small elastic bands.

These last few weeks I have seen that you can now buy the bands all over the place and only £1 per bag. So I bought a bag of rainbow colours and brought it home. I knew I had crochet hooks so I thought I was well set up.

The first thing to do was to find some way of storing and sorting the bands – I decided to use an ice cube tray.

Bands in tray

And I found that not only did you get ‘S’ clips to join the bracelets but also a plastic hook.

Hook and clips

I have been using this (or fingers) as it seemed less likely to break the bands than one of my crochet hooks.

I needed pins but I had seen on the internet the suggestion that two pens could be used so that is what I did.

Two pens

Here you can see them with the first two bands for the double fishtail bracelet.

Of course I had to start by making a rainbow one. So I made a rainbow ‘double fishtail’ bracelet and then a single fishtail one.

First three band bracelets

These were both easy.

I had a bit more trouble in getting to grips with the method of making an inverted fishtail but I thought that it was probably my favourite.

Being of a nervous disposition I tied a piece of yarn through the last couple of bands so if they slipped off the s-clip the whole thing would not come apart.

Yarn tied through bands

Obviously I trimmed off the ends. I left them on here so you can see what I mean.

I had seen that one sort of bracelet you could make was called ‘Dragon Scale’ so of course (loving all things dragonish) I had to investigate.

This required four pins and it was suggested that if one did not have a loom that a fork would do.

My forks are not very big and the bands were too long to work easily that way. I fumbled and fussed and decided I would have to think of another way. I thought my garden rake might do, so there I was sitting on the floor of my integral garage making a dragon scale bracelet.

Using a rake

Next I made a ‘French Braid’ bracelet that I thought very pretty and light – I actually prefer the light weight ones.

French braid bracelet being worn

I had used all of the red for the dragon scale bracelet so no chance of making another rainbow one, so I was happy to use pink and blue for this. Pink and blue are the colours I wear most often so it will go with lots of my clothes.

At this point I wanted to create something myself and wondered about using three pens.

Three pens as pins

However I reasoned that whatever I might come up with would probably have been discovered by someone else, so I had a look on the internet and sure enough – there was the three pin fishtail described.

I decided to make this in repeating stripes and thought that if I laid out the bands on my wrist-rest that I could make sure I used the right pattern of bands. However I actually started three bracelets and only kept the third one.

Setting out colours

I started with the two shades of pink but they didn’t really show up aginst each other. So I tried pale pink, green, dark pink, purple – 9 bands each but then the stripes were too long. So I reduced the number for each stripe to four and was happy with that.

I find making these bracelets very relaxing and you must imagine me sitting at my computer listening to one of my CDs courtesy of iTunes software (lossless of course – I find MP3s lack depth.)

0282-itunes

And happily adding one band after another.

Three pin bracelet being made

Only slight downside to this bracelet is that you have to cut those three black bands you can see – mind you I didn’t like the black ones really.

Here are my last three bracelets.Second three bracelets

And because it is hard to see how pretty it looks here is the dragon scale bracelet worn by me.

Dragon scale bracelet being worn

A second crochet case!

As I said last week, I was going to make a second crochet hook case for my longer thicker hooks. I do have one really thick hook that I inherited from my mother that is the equivalent of a 6.5mm hook. I have not included this one.

Both hook cases

This time it is my own pattern.

Here is the inside where the hooks go.

Inside of case

And the other side.

Outside of case

And here it is with the hooks in place.

Crochet hoks in case

There are many ways I could have arranged the hooks. In the previous case I put all the hooks of the same size together but here I have chosen to have same size hooks in the same colour stripes. The hooks on the right with the straight ends are my favourites. They, from the turquoise to the red, are 3mm, 3.5mm, 4mm, 4.5mm and 5mm. The dark blue is an odd 2.5mm hook I had and I may get a 2mm hook for those odd times when I may need one – for sock yarn perhaps.

I do have two 4.5 hooks (orange) but I was helping a couple of women to start learning to crochet at Crafty Coffee on Friday and I lent one of them my 4.5 hook (my less favoured one).

The shorter hooks on the left are ones I inherited from my mother and they go from 12 (2.5mm) on the left to 9 (3.5mm) [not exact equivalents I think] on the right (green). I do have a couple of other inherited hooks that I haven’t bothered to include as they are only repeats.

And as at the start – the case rolled up.

Case rolled up

Because I wanted to just use the seven classical rainbow colours three times the case does not quite cover all the places where the reverse of the hooks show. It goes from red at the edge to about half way through the earlier yellow.

Just in case anyone wants to make a case like this I include a brief pattern.

Pattern

I am assuming that anyone who wants to make a crochet hook case is already an experienced crochetter.

I started with a 4mm hook and some Rico Essentials cotton which is nominal DK but a little thinner than most DK in my opinion.

I found that 40ch gave me a case just a little longer than my 15cm long hooks.

[I think that before you make the case it would be worth experimenting in a small way just to check that the loops for the hooks come out a suitable size for your hooks and adjust the hook size you are using appropriately as not everyone crochets to the same tension – I think that I incline to being tighter than most.]

Ch 40.

Row 1: dc in second ch from hook and in all subsequent ch. [I worked into the loop at the back of the chains to give a neat edge] (39dc)

The next three rows create the stripes for the hooks. (Obviously you don’t need to change colour if you don’t want to). Work as many of these as you have hooks.

  1. 1ch, dc into each dc.
  2. 1ch, dc into each of first 6dc, dtr into next dc, dc into next dc – twice, dtr into next dc, dc into each dc until 29th dc. 30th dc – dtr, dc into next dc – twice, 33th dc – dtr, dc into each dc to end. [This gives symetrically placed loops top and bottom in 7th and 10th stitches from edge.]
  3. 1ch, dc into each dc.

Change colour at the end of the row if wished.

After all the stripes for the hooks, it is a good idea to make a few more to cover the back where the hooks show through. For my case of fourteen hook stripes it should have been about ten stripes to cover.

I now give a few pointers that helped me with working dtrs into a fabric of dcs. They also helped to create the loops for the hooks.

Pointers

When you have worked the dtr it helps to insert a small piece of yarn round the stitch where the extra hook has been threaded through in this photograph.

Where to thread yarn

When you are working with the inside of the case towards you it should end up like this.

Yarn threaded through

Because for symmetry the loops are worked as the central row of three, you will find that the loops alternate between being worked with the outside towards you and the inside.

The first loops are worked with the outside toward you and so then the loops of yarn appear thus.

Yarn threaded other side

I found that however careful I was, the top of the dtr stitches didn’t flow smoothly with the top of the dcs.

They looked like this.

Messy top of stitches

Messy!

But if you pull the pieces of yarn hard. You not only create the loops you will later need for the hooks but it makes the stitches look more regular.

Stitch tops when yarn pulled

Edging

I worked the edging on only three sides as you can see.

I worked a dc into each dc on the edges and end, with an extra one for the corner.

I then worked dc, 3ch, dc into every other dc except for the corner where I worked it into all three dcs round the corners.

Tie

I chained 70 dcs threaded it through the middle of the edge at the end and tied it in place.

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

I realise that I have omitted my normal Monthly Montage so I will do that later this week. [ I shouldn’t have published this today but I pressed ‘publish’ instead of ‘preview’ so I hope there are not too many mistakes when you read it.]

Thank you! and a hook case

Crochet matA BIG THANK YOU to everyone who made suggestions as to what I could use my stained glass style crochet mat for. I probably won’t follow up on all of them but I will definitely revisit this pattern in the future when I have some black cotton yarn.

Ripple blanket

I am really trying to work hard on my ripple banket because it has definitely slipped behind shedule but I did find time this week to make a crochet hook case. (I can’t always take the blanket with me when I am away from home – it is getting so big. And the weather has been so hot lately, one day I just had to give up on the blanket before I melted!)

Now I bought myself a knitting needle case because I thought the fabric was so pretty

Knitting needle case

and originally I had my crochet hooks in it as there are short pockets as well as tall ones but I had begun to feel that it was more convenient to keep my crochet hooks in a way that was more easily accessible and so I had bought a see through pencil case.

See through Pencil case

However from time to time I have seen fabric crochet hook cases which seemed so much better because you would easily see which size was which. I knew I could make one if I really put my mind to it but it seemed like a big challenge. But then I saw a pattern for a crochet case and that seemed to be so much quicker to make.

Case rolled up

I found the pattern on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/star-hook-case and also here http://allicrafts.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/free-pattern-star-hook-case.html

The suggestion is that it is made with medium weight yarn and a 5mm hook. I took medium weight to mean DK and tried a 5mm hook because I think of myself as crochetting tighter than most people but with the Rico Essentials Cotton that I used I felt that it turned out too loose. (The sizes on the ball band are given as 3-4mm.)  so I tried 4mm and 4.5mm and settled for the 4.5mm in the end.

I found the star stitch really quick and easy to do and so pretty.

Star stitch

Because of my colour choices I did two more rows than in the pattern but as you can see it is still not overly large.

Case open showing hooks

I had decided to make separate cases for my steel and aluminium hooks so this is fine for the steel ones.

When I get time I am going to make a larger case for the aluminium hooks but I have an idea of my own as to how I will do this.

 

Pretty – BUT

How could I use it?

0276-crochetmatIt is supposed to be made in cotton and then you make two and join them together and use it as a pot-holder. I don’t use pot-holders though. I have an old-fashioned style oven glove that I think is much more protective.

But it looked such a pretty pattern, especially as I could incorporate a rainbow.

This one is made from odd balls of wool just as a trial. And maybe if I made another one I would change the pattern slightly.

It is about eight inches (20cm) across, so too big for some uses, too small for others.

I started making one in my #10 crochet cotton but that would have been too small even for a coaster. So I really don’t know.

I fitted it in between doing other things but I would like to come back to the pattern if I knew how I could use it.

I could see a rainbow!

from my bedroom window on Tuesday: late afternoon.

0257-wholerainbow

Now this is the picture I should have taken The whole rainbow stretching across the sky but because last time I tried to photograph a rainbow it faded almost as soon as I had noticed it, I was in a hurry and didn’t even think to change the aspect on the camera but left in on the square setting that is the one I seem to use most often for my blog pictures. (Having checked: even with the camera set on wide-angle and 16:9, I still can’t quite get this.)

I don’t know if you can see where the join is but I can. However with the help of Corel I managed to combine two photos to give the above. It’s amazing what a bit of trickery can do, changing the colour balance and skewing pictures so they match.

Now rainbows can look particularly beautiful arching over a corn field but I had to make do with the view from where I live which is mostly houses.

However here is a Slideshow of the best of the photos I did take. Click on any photograph to see them full size.

 

 

My Rainbow Garden – Violet

I really enjoy looking back on these photographs of my garden and remembering summer.

Of all the flowers that may be considered to come into the ‘violet’ category the one that contains a colour nearest to violet is probably the Passion Flower.

0207-passionflower

Unfortunately, having killed my first Passion Flower, when I found another, that had grown from one of the fruits of the original one, it proved to be an extrememly hardy and determined grower and after a couple of years was really taking over. My garden is very small and regretfully I have had to remove the Passion Flower.

Another plant that eventually gave up the ghost last summer was my French Lavendar. Maybe I will get another one, though I don’t think it was entirely happy in a pot.

0207-lavenderI think this picture was taken a couple of years ago.

I don’t seem to have a lot of violet/purple flowers but I do have a few from the onion family.

There are chives

0207-chives

And my Alliums.

0207-alliums

This one below is Christophe and is my favourite.

0207-cristoph

I also have the pulmonaria in the early Spring

0207-pulmonaria

And these Cyclamen in the Autumn.

0207-cyclamen

A bit of a quick post as I am trying to finish the Christmas presents I am making.