Crochet

Crochet A Cool Rainbow Fur Cowl And Give To Charity

My daughter has a bit of a thing for rainbows so how could I resist picking up this ball of multi coloured neon fabulousness when I saw it?
rainbow yarn ideas, ombre yarn, space-dyed knitting wool
There are some lovely patterns out for all manner of spaced-dyed cardigans, jumpers, dresses and accessories, but I was looking for something a little different… and I wanted a quick project, and one that’s nice and easy but still a little bit of a challenge for you folks who are new to crochet but want to push it juuuust that little bit further. 
I thought this might be fun.
Rainbow Fur!
What to do with it though?
Texture is HUGE at the moment and this fur effect can be knit or crocheted quite easily.
This great yarn fur could potentially be made up into all sorts of wonderful shapes and styles and perhaps that’s another future project – but for now I’ m sticking with something simple… and quick…. a project that uses only one 100g ball. 
A gorgeous little crocheted rainbow fur cowl….  
My simple cowl, I posted a while ago now is one of my most popular patterns.

…and all the little girls are wearing cowls these days. they’re just so easy, and warm, and stylish.
I made if for my now 6 yr old and it was designed with youngsters in mind, but who’s to say it can’t be for a grown up. We can wear bright colours too yeah?
In fact, it can be made up in any DK yarn in any colour and doesn’t have to be space dyed either. Looks just a good plain. 
Get an eyeful of this gorgeous teal wool.
Great for when we’re all fed up of the darks, and neutral tones we’ve seen through the winter months,  and for the onset of Spring with a fleece or hoodie and Autumn when we’re not quite ready to put on a heavier jacket.
Just think of those lovely colour combos you can get your teeth into.
Hollow Ponds, Leytonstone, London

I thought it would be good to start the New Year with something positive. 
 2015 was a tough one –  for people all over the world, and I’m perpetually in awe of those that give up their time and put their own lives at risk to help people in need. I thought I’d try do a little bit from this end and donate this pattern to p/hop (pennies per hour of pleasure)  – a charity knitting project that raises funds for the incredible emergency medical aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
You can read about the work they do HERE
… and HERE is where you can get the crochet pattern.   

Modern Granny Square Blanket

Modern Granny Blanket,Modern granny square afghan,pixel afghan
There’s nothing I like more than a special event or occasion. Weddings, births, house warming, anything that marks the beginning of a new phase of life.
In my humble opinion, special occasions require special pressies. Easier said than done, I hear you say. I agree.
Thankfully, for me, I love an excuse to get out the yarn, cloth, hooks needles, whatever just happens to be the latest making phase I’m going through, and the chance to embark on a new challenge.
What ‘s more special than something handmade – something utterly unique that no-one else has, that you just wouldn’t be able to buy, with out having to commission.  

It was a couple of lovely old friends who were tying the knot. They’d been together a while, long enough to have already established themselves as a family with two gorgeous boys of 7 and 5, and me and my little posse were thrilled to be invited to celebrate with them.

I seem to have rather an awful lot of clever, creative friends and these two are no exception. Means only one thing – they like cool stuff. Instantly the stakes are raised. Don’t get me wrong, these folk totally get ‘handcrafted’, whatever shape or form it may take, but in this case, I felt something a little more was needed. I wanted it to have a modern twist – something for both the Designer and the Artisan.

I’d been wanting to make a chunky blanket for a while. I love ’em.

I’ve been impressed by some of the beautiful patchwork ones I’d seen, spread out  across the internet, and always thought that basic granny squares was something you could do something really quite contemporary with.

1.Feathered Hues – Design seeds. 2. Ellsworth Kelly quilt – spontaneous color.  3. Colour Explosion Quilt – Sew English Rose, Folksy. 4.Bears Rainbow Blanket – The Purl Bee.

Here’s what I Did

In a wool/acrylic mix (wearability combined with washability), knitted with two strands of DK yarn. Chunky would’ve done, but the colour choice of chunky yarns is always so restricting… and for this project I wanted some full-on colour –  

a simple two row granny square.

Hundreds of them.

488 of them to be precise.
My, clever other half came up with the excellent visual effect of colours scattering from the corner – just like a mini explosion. It looks simple and random but had to be planned quite carefully, taking into account the careful mix and concentration of colours and neutrals. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work.

When all the squares were made.


they then had to be joined together,

and all the ends had to be woven in.

I can honestly say it’s probably the biggest project I’ve ever done. At times I thought I’d never finish. Anything like this is always going to be labour intensive – that’s what makes it so special. 

Three months and 2,200g of yarn later, tadahh, and what a great sense of satisfaction.

Finished off with a simple row of charcoal single crochet, thankfully I think it works.
When my young daughter saw it she said “Mum, it looks like it’s going ‘Boom”
I think that was the effect I was after…. so I called it my ‘Boom blanket’.

Here’s to Chris and Lucy.
Hope they like it 
Wishing them many more happy, cozy years.
Cheers!

No…. Don’t Put Down Those Hooks

Ok… winter has pretty much passed (dare I speak too soon). It’s May and it’s getting warmer out there. I’m now packing away my winter Jumpers. It’ll be a while before we get the urge to make warm things, although I always regret not starting much earlier than autumn.  
There’s a wealth of cool crochet out there that’s is just perfect for summer. Some great shapes – it ‘s amazing what you can do with a bit of crochet. Here are some ideas that I think are just fab –  all with patterns, some free, some not – but still great value. 
1. Love the shape of this simple but very stylish summer shell from Lion Brand
2. Cover up with this gorgeous little summer cloche from the I Love Pompoms blog.
I bet it would look great in raffia.

   

3. How fab is this idea. Lots of potential for creativity here. Lovely free picture tutorial from Genuine Mudpie
4. Found this lovely number on Crochet Kingdom. A longer version would make an excellent beech cover-up. Just think of all those bright coloured cottons out there crying out to be made into this.

5. One for the tots. Protect their little feet in the gentlest way with these cool shoes (pattern) from TwoGirlsPatterns on Etsy

6. Is this not the slickest crocheted bag you’ve ever seen? You too can make one. Get the pattern from Etsy’s IsWoolish
And there’s much, much more out there..

Happy Galentines Day

I’m loving the new February 14th concept that is Galentines Day. (Boys, you need one too).
It’s great to hear of all those single.. and not-single girls getting together to have fun on a night that’s been well and truly hijacked by couples. It’s about time, I say.
It’s a while since I last did a granny square project – so, with Valentines(Galentines) day on the horizon, I’ve been on the lookout for a nice ‘heart’ version of the the granny square. There’s loads of them out there, but nothing quite matched what I was looking for. 
I decided to do my own – I wanted it to be slick (well, as much as hand-crafted can be), well-defined – and I wanted it to glow. Here’s what I’ve got so far.
Heart Granny Square, Valentine granny square, Galentines day
Sadly, I’ve written no pattern as yet, –  life’s been getting in the way of blogging lately. I will post one hopefully in the not too distant future. 
But for now….. wishing you…
Love, in whatever shape or form…. X

Graduated Stripe Buggy Blanket

Another new baby in the ‘hood….a boy.  
Seems that there are lots of boys being born round here at the moment. 
Means only one thing….
…yep, another blanket.  

This time I had hardily any time to whip one up. 
Wait…. I really shouldn’t say that – handmade items are NEVER ‘just whipped up’. 
So a nice simple stitch in an easy to do and contemporary graduated stripe. This can be made in any DK yarn. I used Stylecraft Life DK in classic, but not traditional baby colours. It is one of my favourite wool mix yarns and has a real quality soft feel. What’s more it washes and wears well and doesn’t break the bank. 
 Cream, Fern and Blue Haze – Perfect for a boy ….or a girl.

This is a great project for beginners.
I’ve made an easy to follow pattern with a chart for those more visually inclined, plus a guide to the graduated stripe pattern.
You can get it HERE

US Version
UK Version

Here Comes Christmas…… Fluoro Flakes

crochet snowflakes, modern crochet, cool crochet snowflake pattern,
Did anyone just mention Christmas?….. Yes it’s nearly here….. and, believe it or not,  I’m pretty organised this year, for a change…. At least i think I am.
Just one little thing though – my tree’s looking a bit bare… still. Every year i try to make new ornaments for it, but this year I’ve been too busy getting organised.
 I needed to give it a quick boost.
 Here’s what I came up with….

Funky crochet Christmas decorations, make your own 'Conran Shop' style tree decorations
… a slightly different twist on the crochet snowflake that, let’s face it, is everywhere these days. 
This one is has a more modern, slightly ‘Scandi meets Conran Shop” inspired twist and instead of traditional white is, yes, you guessed it…..fluoro. 
It still has that handmade quality and sits nice and quirkily on a real tree but also works with something more contemporary.  
Nice and simple, and those colours are fab. Crochets up in just two rounds. You can make a good few of them in one evening, easy peasy – and it’s still not too late. As a special Christmas treat I’ve included a free pattern.
 HERE’s how to make them.
Happy decorating.

For Mums

It’s Mothers day again over here in the Uk. I can’t believe it’s come round again. How time flies. 
Big bunches of flowers, lovely handmade cards from the little ones, having breakfast in bed or lunch down the pub – it’s all going on in this part of the world today.
But let’s spare a thought for those who don’t have mums – for whom Mothers Day is not an easy one. 
I’m dedicating this post to the mums who are no longer with us, for whatever reason.
Lets not make too much of a big deal of Mother’s day, as nice as it is for some. Let’s just appreciate the mums we have –  everyday. 
In the meantime, to all you mums out there, Happy Mothers Day.
Crochet Iris by thredHED. Rainbow flower by Iris. Keep watching, pattern to follow.

Hearts – not just for Lovers.

light up with hearts, heart fairy lights,valentine heart lights
It’s nice to take time to appreciate those you love but, let’s be honest, Valentines day is not everyones cup of tea. Red Roses, Chocolate Hearts, or candle-lit dinners – been there, done that, have come out the other end – now totally indifferent…….  so I’m not going to go on about love… or romance. 
Having said that, I do love the paraphernalia…. but that can be just as much fun without all the sugary stuff. 

So for those of you who are…, or who are not, doing Valentines Day, for whatever reason…. but like the odd heart or two, here’s a nice little project .
 ‘Crochet hearts’, I hear you say, ‘they’re everywhere’. 
Yes’ that’s true and they look great – but I wanted to push  it further and make something extra pretty and, in true thredHED style, 
… a little bit useful.

These little lights instantly perk up a dark corner and look pretty at the same time. Made from crocheted hearts, sewn together and reinforced to make little filigree shades for a chain of LED fairy lights (and I must stress LOW VOLTAGE LED). Use can use any fibre yarn – it’s great for using up your stash.
They can be red and racy, hot pink, or muted pastels for that vintage look….or why not mix ’em up. Which ever way you choose they do look nice…. and if you like a bit of crochet you can make them.  Here’s how – for a limited period of time, my pattern and instructions are free to download to all fans of my thredHED face book page

Click to get it HERE  

The Cheat’s Guide to Christmas Crochet Bunting

Back in August, you may remember, I did some crochet granny bunting (well just a bit). I liked it so much, I wondered if I would be able to find a Christmas version. I did – I found this  great little Crochet Granny Christmas Tree over at the fabulous Royal Sisters Blog. It’s nice and simple with a great step-by-step photo tutorial to follow.

Just what I was looking for – although it needed a little something to finish to off….

That’s more like it.
As ever, the madness of of the run-up to Christmas means that there’s never enough time for me to crochet up a stack of these. I will at some point, but in the meantime I did exactly as I did with the last lot of crochet bunting. Yes, you guessed it – another printable. Another little crochet trompe l’oeil.
It works really well…. and it means that you can have Christmas Crochet Bunting even if you’ve never crocheted in your life. Once again it’s available as a free download for thredHED Facebook page fans. Get it HERE.  As with the previous bunting, make sure you print it on a good  quality paper and a high quality media setting….or…. you could use iron-on transfer paper, even printable cloth…. for crochet-print fabric bunting. 
Happy Decorating.

Yarn Christmas Wreath, Part 2….Time to Embellish

Okay, time’s pressing on. The lights are up and our high street is positively twinkling. Trees are stacked outside the shops, and one by one our windows are beginning to light up. Your Yarn Wreath is made and now it’s time for the best bit – embellishing. 
There are lots of ways you can do this – it doesn’t even have to be knit or crochet, although it’s nice to continues the theme. I’ve used my own pattens for my wreath, but, sadly due to my other commitments haven’t yet written patterns (perhaps that’s something for next christmas). There are, however, loads of great patterns out there, free and to buy, for little christmas flowers, leaves etc…..or you can even but them on Etsy or Folksy if you’re a bit pushed for time. 
 Here are some of my favourite, most realistic, free patterns for fabulous knit and crochet Christmas decorations. 

Mistletoe (crochet)
This one’s my favourite. It’s very simple and quick to make…and it’s so effective. Would also look great as a garland. You can get it over at the blog Marie’s Making
Holly (crochet)
Here’s a lovely, lovely, and very simple holly leaf. There’s a great step-by-step photo tutorial with this one, from everyone’s favourite Attic 24
Holly (knitted)
Here’s another Holly option if you prefer to knit. Looks great doesn’t it. You can get it here at  the Cvetulka blog
Pinecone (crochet)
I love this one. It’s a very clever idea – and much easier it looks. Here it is from Planet M Files
Poinsettia (crochet)
Last but not least, a beautiful crochet poinsettia. I think it looks fab. Find the Pattern here at Hobbycraft – Christmas Craft Ideas
I think that’s enough to be going on with, don’t you. 
Don’t forget, it’s important to give thanks to these bloggers for sharing their great patterns, and giving something very precious – their time – for free. Writing patterns is not easy, I know. It takes a lot of knowledge, time and concentration to be clear and accurate.….so a big ‘Thanks’ guys, and all the very best to you.