Thursday, May 31, 2012

Variegated Divine Hat

I made this hat with unravelled yarn to practice the divine pattern at Rheatheylia. I had made one in a dark green hopefully to give to my friend Karen for her birthday, but I wasn't happy with it. So I started this hat to practice the pattern.
variegated divine hat
I made these two hats while I was learning in 2010, but I never wore them. They just weren't quite right, one I made following a pattern I found on a free sheet from Lincraft. But when I sorted out my wardrobe the other day I realised this yarn would go well with my winter clothes, and that I needed another beanie for myself. The yarn for these I bought new from Lincraft, its a nice thick variegated yarn in pink, green and white, but these hats were not worthy of it, so I unravelled them to make one special hat for myself.
I ran out of yarn so couldn't do the full brim. Because this is a very thick yarn, I originally tried using a smaller hook, but I had to still use the 6mm for the body and 5mm for the brim as suggested in the pattern because of the gauge. So because I ran out of yarn, I only did 2 rounds of sc for the brim, but the hat fits just fine. I had a tiny amount left at the end so I did a small loop at the brim so the hat can be hung on a hook.

This was a good exercise to practice the pattern, and I get a nice beanie for myself as a bonus! Now I can go back to making the beanie for Karen.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dark Green Divine Hat

Here is a hat I hoped to give to a friend for her birthday on 22nd May, but I've been so busy I didn't get it made in time!
dark green divine hat
I followed the pattern at Rheatheylia, anyone is allowed to use the free patterns there as long as the author is credited and a link provided. Using my 6mm hook for body and 5mm hook for brim, I made this beanie in one day. Its a very thick beanie, only suitable for really cold weather, it might be too thick for an Australian winter.

I misunderstood how to hide the starting chain, I hid it at the end of the round instead of the beginning. I think this may have caused a buckle that wraps around the hat where each round starts. I also sl st along one cluster to do that, which might also have caused the buckle. I want to make this again, but I don't feel like making another one the same colour!

I'm still considering if I should unravel this and do it again, maybe it is alright as it is because once the hat is on you can't see the buckle ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Green Monster Beanie with dark green tail

Here is a child sized green monster beanie I have made with dark green tail and dark green eyes.
green monster beanie with dark green tail and dark green eyes
I finished the eyes in the early hours of Friday morning,. The only time I can do the tricky monster eyes with yarn needle is when my baby is sleeping!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ear flaps and ties for toddler beanies

When we tried the toddler sized monster beanie on one year old Mason's head, he pulled it straight off! So this was the solution - ear flaps with ties!
ear flaps and ties for toddler sized monster beanies
The triangle begins with a row of 10 sc, turn skip one 9 sc, turn, sk 1 8 sc etc until 1 sc then 50 ch, then sl st back along the ch. Then sc along one edge of the triangle, sl st along the edge of the triangle ear flap that runs along the bottom of the beanie. End with some more sc along the last side of the triangle, you should finish at the pointy end of the triangle where the tie is, fasten off.

I wasn't sure what colour they should be and fooled around with contrasting colours. But thanks to my husband who told me it looked funny and should be the same colour as the beanie its turned out rather well!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pink Princess Hat

This pink princess hat to match the jacket is made to fit a 3 month old baby. There is some stretch in it so it can be worn for a little while this winter.
Pink Princess jacket and hat set, size 00
I've been working on making neater starts to rounds as the seam really bothers me when it shows. I found a new site that explained a way to make tidier starts to rounds so I tried that in this project. I am a little happier with the result. I also went back to not using magic circle as I found that made a messier start, as does holding the yarn end in the work. I left the yarn end out at the back to sew in later with yarn needle. I also found a better way to start a new colour by making a tidy knot at the start of the colour change by pulling both working yarn and yarn end through the first stitch. I found it about a minute and a half into this crochet video on youtube. All my ends are now getting sewn in with a yarn needle. After some ends poking out in some of my earlier projects, I've decided the weaving with hook method produces unsatisfactory results.

My beanies tend to have a cone shape at the crown so for this hat I tried the more flat round start. The second round still has 24 dc, but the first round has 12 dc so the second round increases in every stitch. After four increasing rounds there were 48 dc in the round, so divided by 3 makes 16 granny clusters. There are 11 non-increasing rounds of 16 granny clusters. Then using the contrasting colour, the last round is 5 dc into the middle dc of the granny clusters and sl st into the sp.

The hat and jacket set is completed with contrasting 5 petal flowers. I think its turned out rather nice!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pink Princess Jacket

Happy 4th Birthday to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, the only blog party I join in with! Be sure to check out all the pretty things posted at this blog party. Four years and going strong! Here's a link to the jacket on Ravelry, which has a link to the free pattern. The hat is my own pattern and is available for free here on this blog.

I had my doubts about these colours when they arrived from Bendigo, but I had promised my friend two shades of pink and now its together I'm more convinced that they do actually work. I'm looking forward to seeing a photo of this jacket being worn by the baby girl so I can check my sizing. Making sure this is the right size is my main doubt now, although I do think it will fit!
Pink Princess Jacket with contrasting hat, size 00
To make sure it was a size 00, I lay down all of my son's size 00 clothes on top of it to check. There is quite a bit of variance in the sizes of baby clothes, so this jacket is on the larger of size 00. I think too small is a greater sin than too large as it can always be grown into. This is also what I call my lifetime jacket design. My lifetime jackets can be enlarged and worn for many years, by simply removing the contrasting trim and three seams. I plan to enlarge the blue winter jacket I made for my son for Easter as he has already grown, so I can demonstrate what I mean by my lifetime jacket design. But my first priority now is to finish my custom orders, of which this set is one.

So to make this size 00 jacket, I used a 4mm hook and 8ply luxury wool from Bendigo Woollen Mill.I started by I making two 11 round hexagons, each hexagon has an extension of 5 rows on one side to form the extended sleeves, then they are fastened off. Then the 3 sides that form the centre and bottom were extended by one row then fastened off. Then the top of the sleeves were joined with invisible joins leaving 5 clusters each side for the neck, and 5 clusters at the wrists to form cuffs. I then joined the back seam with another invisible join. Finally the jacket was edged in a contrasting colour using sc along the neck and front, and scallops of 5 dc at the base. The wrists were also edged with scallops, except for the 5 cluster gap which was edged in sc.

I took my project to craft class and my crochet teacher suggested to put ties at the wrists to make a better fit. I've made the size large so the sleeves could be too big, so these ties will keep it on more nicely if that is the case. My crochet teacher also suggested I make ch sl st ties, instead of ch sc, which I did and they turned out very nicely. Another suggestion my crochet teacher made was to put more stitches in the corners so they don't curve up as much, which I also tried to do.

I made a matching hat for this jacket, which will have its own post as this one is too long. On both hat and jacket I put a contrasting flower, how cute!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tiny Yellow Herb Pillow

Here is another slip I made for one of the scented herb satchels I made last week. I used my 1.5mm hook and some fine yellow cotton my mum gave me.
tiny yellow slip for a herb satchel
I had a go at making a granny square like one I saw on pinterest. When I followed the link I couldn't find the pattern, so I just guessed it. Then I extended one of the sides of the granny square for another 11 rows. Then I folded the slip and started working on the opposite side of the granny square, extending that side for another 6 rows. Then I did a rounds of sc around the edge of the granny square, securing the folded sides. This forms a slip like a pillow case.
back detail of the tiny yellow slip
I was thinking of putting one of these in the package for a paying customer, but I've decided they're not nice enough for that! I'm going to keep these ones and product test them first.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hand-made Labels

I've finally made a decision about the labels to attach to my work, and here they are!
hand-made labels made with an old lettering stamp and a new flower one
I was considering using tags ironed onto ribbon using my DYMO labeller and iron-on tape. I'm still not sure about that, I may yet do it as well. But the very least I need is a tag with the washing instructions, which is very important!

Thankyou to my mum who gave me these fantastic flower stamps and ink, I think they're really pretty and will do the job very nicely. I also dug out an old stamp I've hung onto from my old life, a good thing too as it's been very useful over the years. It's quite fiddly to arrange the letters, and even more so when putting the tiny letters back in the case. But its not something I have to do very often. I just leave these letters in the stamp for now! I was going to attach ribbon to these, but I've since decided that some nice clean white crochet cotton will do the job better.

My mum also gave me the cardboard tags that are cut with a special embossing machine she has. These ones are great because they fold into themselves, open them up for extra room to write the washing instructions! I think these will serve very well ...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lion Slippers

For a bit of fun, I put these lion faces on the top of some slippers I bought as a birthday gift for a four year old! I should have had a go of making my own slippers, but I ran out of time as that would have taken me many hours to get right.
lion slippers for a 4 year old boy
I hope he likes them! ROARRR!!!
these happy lions have found a new home

Monday, May 14, 2012

Small Lavender Satchel

This is a tiny slip I've made for a herb satchel. Using some fine lilac coloured cotton and a 2mm hook, I made up my own pattern for the 6 petal flower in the centre of the granny square.
six petal flower inside a granny square
I attempted to write the pattern down, but I'm not happy with it so in the bin it goes! Back to the drawing board, I wonder what I will make next ...
the back of this slip is like a pillow case that opens the same way

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Purse for my Mother

My mum liked the crocodile stitch purse I made and asked for me to make her one, so of course I did! And its perfect timing too, because in Australia we celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. This is my very first attempt at lining a crochet bag, and I must say I really enjoyed doing it, it turned out surprisingly well. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing this again for other crochet bags I make!
crocodile stitch purse made with Wangaratta acrylic
Thankyou so much to future girl for showing me how to line a crochet bag. (updated futuregirl craft blog : Tutorial: Sew A Lining Into A Crocheted Bag) She has an excellent tutorial on her blog which explained clearly what I had to do. She has helped me make something really polished for my mum this mother's day. Besides the lining, this small purse is very similar to another one I made. Both use the same variegated acrylic from the Wangaratta Woollen Mill and a 3.5mm hook. I revised how to do the crocodile stitch by watching again the Art of Crochet video by Teresa. I remembered to add 2 ch to make each scale pointy.
detail of pink bag lining, my first attempt
I'm fairly confident my mum will like this! Happy Mother's Day, mum!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Black Beanie with a coloured stripe

This is a large adult sized beanie for my father, as he wanted a new one for the coming winter. The simple brown beanie I made for him two years ago has stretched, it was made with acrylic, this one is with the luxury wool from Bendigo.
large adult size black beanie with white and green stripe
I'm not sure this beanie will not be too big, although I did try it on my dad's head when he was visiting last weekend and my mum said it was the right fit. I suspect this one might be too big! Its what I call a 'large adult' size, with 10 increasing rounds.

I have been starting new rounds on beanies with a sc 2ch after a visit to my craft centre and my crochet teacher suggested it. But that leaves a gap so the seam can be easily seen, which is why I put tails on my monster beanies. But my father was quite adamant that his beanie should not have a tail! So for this beanie I started each round with a sc 1 ch and there is less of a gap.
detail of white and green stripe on a black beanie
For the colour changes at the stripe, I used a new method for invisible seams on Sarah London's blog. I also now sew every end of yarn through with a yarn needle. I've found that when I've used the weave in method the ends poke through after you wash the item. I believe taking a bit more effort and care produces a hand crafted item of high quality. I'd much rather do this than a rush job and be less than happy with the result. But I'm still not entirely happy with the colour changes at the stripe, so its something that I have to keep working on.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Home-grown Herb Satchels

I've read that rosemary and lavender are excellent moth repellent herbs, so I've made some satchels using these herbs from my potted garden. I'm considering slipping these in with woollen things I make.
dried rosemary and lavender with lentils as satchel filling
I pruned my rosemary bushes on Anzac Day, its something you do to remember the horror of war on this traditional day in Australia. I removed the leaves and dried them in our new food dehydrator, which took a couple of days. When they were dry, I pruned my lavender bush and dried the tiny branches the same way, that also took two days. I scrunched up the lavender leaves and sticks with my hands in a bowl, there were no flowers in this pruning. Then I added most of the dried rosemary leaves and a few handfuls of lentils. The lentils give the satchels padding and firmness.
moth repellent herb satchels waiting for pretty crochet slips
I then used my trusty sewing machine to sew up some tiny pouches and put in a scoup of herb mix. I sewed the last seam right up, there's no need to open up these herb pillows again. Next I will crochet some slips to go over them!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How to wash hand-made woollens

Its really important that hand-crafted woollen items are cared for properly. I wash all my garments before giving them to customers so they can wear them straight away.
drying woollen beanies flat on a towel
I recently had to wash a bunch of monster beanies before giving them to customers. First I washed them in luke warm water and Earth Choice wool wash. Then I rinse them in cold water and squeeze them gently. I then lay them on top of a towel on top of my kitchen table and gently ease them into shape. I pinch the ends of the scales and teeth to make them more pointed. I press the double tails together to make them stand up better, and pull the bottom scale of the tail into shape.

I hope the washing instructions are not too tedious for the mothers who have bought these beanie monsters!

Here are the washing instructions that I now write inside my hand-made labels.

O.O.A.K. Monster Beanie
luxury Australian wool from Bendigo Mill, VIC
* gentle hand wash in luke warm water and wool detergent, rinse
* squeeze gently
* dry flat in shade
* ease into shape
* pinch scales and teeth while damp to make them pointed
* do not tumble dry
* do not iron
* do not bleach

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two more Monster Beanies

Here are two more monster beanies I have completed for my little online shop.
child size dark blue monster with blue tail and blue eyes

toddler size green monster with purple tail and dark purple eyes
The dark blue one was made to order and is sold, I wonder if someone will buy the green one?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tiny Bow Tie for a toy

I quickly did this up while my son was on my lap. I did this to amuse him, as he has shown some interest in carrying around this toy lately. I'm thinking it will fit into his childcare bag better than the glow worm comfort toy he usually takes.
a tiny bow tie for a small toy
I quickly did a short chain, then sc into every ch, and another row of sc. Then sl st to the centre and a ch to go around the middle of the bow. Then I slst to secure the ch, then ch around the neck. There is no attachment, its just sl st right onto the toy. I figured that was the best thing to do with such a tiny bow tie!

This was just a quick fun thing to do that I thought I would share!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Blue Hair Bun Net

I quickly made this on Tuesday night because I had an appointment the next day and wasn't happy with my hair and decided I needed to tie it up.I feel like I need to hide my hair until I find time to get to a hairdresser!
a useful blue hair bun net by Teena Sutton Murphy
 For this I used some blue 4 ply cotton my mother gave me and  a 2mm hook. I didn't follow a pattern for this, although I did check google images for ideas. But I didn't really like anything I saw there, so I made up my own.
blue hair bun net
I started with 12 dc into a magic circle, then dc 2 ch into every dc for the second round. The third round is a dc 3 ch into every ch sp, the 4th round is dc 4 ch into every ch sp. Then there are 3 rounds that do not increase, starting with dc 2 ch, dc into next ch sp 2 ch, dc into next dc. The 8th round starts to decrease with dc 4 ch, sk dc, dc into next dc. The 9th round is sl st dc 3 ch, into next ch sp. Finally the last round is when I attached the elastic hair tie by doing 3 sc into every ch sp around the hair tie.
detail of blue hair bun net
I'm quite pleased how dainty this turned out, I haven't worn one of these since I was a girl, I hope it doesn't look silly! At least I can hide my hair until I get a chance to get to a hairdresser!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blue Easter Jacket

When I finished the Autumn Cardigan last week and tried it on Thomas, I realised it needed a simple tie to keep it on.
a tie is added to a blue winter sleeping jacket
A tie is perfect for a sleeping jacket as there is no button to dig into the skin. So I also added a tie to the blue Easter jacket I made for our Easter visit to Stanthorpe, which is a lot colder place than here. The tie is a chain of 35 then sc back the other way, and securely fastened into the edge. I put the tie down the front the same width as the neck. This blue jacket is made out of 8 ply, while the Autumn cardigan is made out of 4 ply, so this thicker one is to be worn during the coldest season.

Just in time for winter, perfect!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yellow edged Handkerchief

Thomas and I have been really sick with flu for the last month, David also got it but not as bad as he's had the vaccine. Next time I'm at the G.P. I'll be getting a flu vaccine, having the flu with a sick baby is Not Fun!
I'd misplaced this handkerchief and thought it had been thrown out because it's white, it might have been mistaken for a tissue. When I found it yesterday I decided to have a go at edging it so it will be less easy to loose. I used the petal edge pattern on page 87 of "Crocheting on the edge" by Nicky Epstein, and a 1.5mm hook and yellow cotton my mother gave me. For the 1st round I used my .75mm hook, I took one evening and a bit of a morning to complete this.
I'm not really thrilled with how it turned out, but I don't have a lot of time for something as frivolous as this, so this will have to do! I think it came out tight perhaps because my tension didn't match the gauge. It was a good exercise none the less, to learn something new. But next time I edge a handkerchief, I think I will try a more simple stitch.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Frog and Lion Faces

I'm fooling around with some ideas for kids, and came up with some animal appliqués. I'm wondering if they will look fun on a pair of socks or slippers?
lion and frog face appliqués
These were pretty easy, I just started with 12 dc in a magic circle, then a 2nd round of 24 dc. After that its easy to add ears. For the lions, I changed colour and added 5 ch behind every dc to form the mane. For the lion eyes and frog smile I crochet sl st in white. The frog eyes are a round of 12 dc. Finally I finished these with some embroidered black cotton. I'm thinking I need some embroidery lessons, as I need to get better at that!

I'm not quite sure what I'll use these for, but I suspect they may come in handy at some point!
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