Thursday, 21 February 2013

Spring is coming...

Spring is coming. The sun has been out, and tulips were on special at the florists. I couldn't resist buying myself some...

I love the colours of spring, and these tulips inspired me to make a brooch.

Here is how I made it.

Spring flower brooch

Use DK yarn in four colours plus green and a 3.5 or 4mm hook – it is better to keep tight tension or use a smaller hook for this project. Look at spring flowers for colour inspiration.

Slst Slip stitch
Dc double crochet
Htr half treble crochet
Tr treble crochet
Dtr double treble crochet
You will also use a magic ring to start your flower. 
All stitches are the English version.

Make a magic ring.

Round one: Ch 3 (counts as 1st tr).

11 x tr into ring. Sl st into the top ch of the 3ch first stitch. 

You should have 12 stitches. 

Pull the ring closed as tightly as you can and sew in the ends.

Round two: Join in new colour. Ch 4 (this creates 1 dc plus 3 ch), miss a stitch and dc into the next stitch. 
*3ch, miss a stitch and dc into next stitch.* 
Repeat from * to * and sl st into 1st ch to join. Now you have 6 petal stumps  to work with.

Round three: (Same colour) *Sl st, dc, htr, 3tr, htr, dc, sl st* into the ch gap you created in round two. 

Repeat from * to * to form 6 petals. Sl st into 1st sl st and fasten off. Sew in loose ends.

Round four: Working in the gaps inside the petals you created in rounds two and three, make mini petals. 

From the front, join new colour to one of the missed stitches in round two, and sew in the tail on the back of your flower. 

*Sl st, dc, htr, dc, sl st into the same missed stitch*. Repeat from * to * to create 6 mini petals. Sl st to the first petal and fasten off. Sew in your loose end.

Round five: Working behind the petals you made in rounds two and three, join new colour by working into the back of one of your dcs made in round two (photo shows back of flower).

Sew in your tail. 

*Ch 5 and sl st into the back of the next dc from round two.* 

Repeat from * to * until you have made six chain gaps and join with a sl st.

Round six: *Sl st, dc, htr, 3tr, 3dtr, 3tr, htr, dc, sl st* into the chain gap you made in round five. 

Repeat from * to * to make six super sized petals. Sl st to join to 1st petal and fast off. Sew in end.

By repeating the idea of rounds five and six you can keep increasing your chain gap length and number/height of stitches until you are happy with the blousy over-the-top-ness of your flower.

Leave yourself a tail long enough to sew with. Make a slip knot and ch 10.
Row one: Dc into the second chain from your hook, then 2 htr, 3 tr, 2 htr, dc.

Row two: Turn. 1 ch (counts as dc), skip 1st stitch and 2htr, 3 tr, 2 htr, dec, sl st and fasten off.

Sew in end by running a needle along the “ridge” at the back of your leaf. 

Use the tail you left to stitch your leaf to your flower at the back. 

Attach as many leaves as you like, and make sure they cover your pin so it doesn’t show from the front. I find that odd numbers work best.

Use a leaf tail to over-stitch a safety pin to the back of the flower. Make sure your pin doesn’t show at the front by positioning it behind petals and leaves. Ensure your pin is large enough to use comfortably.

You might add a bead or a button or even a bee to the middle of your flower. 

It’s your flower, make it how you like, and enjoy!!!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Snow has melted...

The snow has melted and there are little green shoots popping up in the garden, so I was inspired to get creating. One visit to Attic 24 blog had me ogling Lucy's Blooming Flower cushion. Here's how it goes...

First up, visit Attic24 (but only if you promise to come back), and check out Lucy's tutorial. Big thank you to Lucy (you don't know me, but I love your blog! Hope that doesn't sound creepy...).

So off I went and ordered some yarn. I bought Rico cotton essentials DK. It comes in yummy bright and cheery colours, and it's reasonably priced.

So, armed with the tutorial and my new yarn, I hastily began... My work looked a bit loose, so I went down to a 3.5mm hook. Luckily this is a pattern that grows pretty quick, or I think I'd have put up with the loose look.

From this little wheel of stitches, 

beauty did grow.

And it grew...

And it got brighter...

And brighter!

Until at last the front was finished.
Then the back. Stripey and bright, and kind of like a sombrero!

Until I could crochet it together and stuff it with a cushion.

And Pip could test it for comfort.
OK, so Pip kind of got in the way there...

I am so pleased with this cushion - I keep glancing up and seeing it all bright and happy, and it cheers me up - especially in this Januray/February gloom (the sun has gone behind clouds again). Who would ever have known so few stitches could be so beautiful. Even my Mum liked it! And, it was a small enough project that I didn't get bored, and I grew in confidence so that... Yes, you guessed it, my next project will be a blanket!

Hopefully next month I'll be able to tell you all about it. Meanwhile, stay warm and happy xx