Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crochet Crazy & Free Pattern

It seems like I have been crocheting like mad lately.  Here are a few things that I have been working on:

This is the Crochet Flower Scarf that I crocheted as a class sample for a class that I am teaching, for more info click here.
This is the Chunky Lace Crochet Scarf that is also a class sample for a class that I am teaching. For more info, click here.

 A special thanks to Jessica for modeling both scarves for these photos :-)

I am also working on this scarf that I am lovingly referring to as my "Jessica Copycat Scarf".  Jessica made one of these and I LOVED it so I am making one out of the same yarn, but different color way.  So far so good one this one.

And as promised here is a free pattern for the Jumbo Crochet Flower with Poof.


Yarn- Super Bulky yarn.  For a solid color I recommend Gedifra Highland Alpaca.  For a variegated color  I recommend Berroco Sundae.  (both of these yarns are available at Urban Arts + Crafts in KC,MO)
Hook- P (11.5mm)
Darning needle, scissors

Abbreviations & Symbols:

For symbols, please refer to this chart with 1 exception; I drew a straight line for the "in back loop only", and 2 additional symbols; the small star indicating where to start, and the small triangle indicating where to end and tie off.

Ch - chain
SlSt - slip stitch
SC - single crochet
HDC - half double crochet
DC -  double crochet
St - stitch
Sts - stitches
Image A

Pattern: (see image A)

Row 1: Ch 4, SlSt into 1st Ch to create a circle

Row 2: Ch 2, DC 9 into the circle, SlSt into the top of the (Ch 2).

Row 3: *Ch 3, working into the back loops only, skip one DC, SlSt into the next DC from precious row.  Repeat from * 3 times. Ch 3, SlSt into the top of the (Ch 2) from row 2.

Row 4: [SC, 1HD, 2DC, 1 HD, SC] into each of the (Ch 3) loops.  SlSt into the back post of the (Ch 2) from row 2.

Row 5: Ch 5, SlSt into the back post of the DC to create the next row of petals.  Repeat 4 times.

Row 6: [SC, 1HD, 3DC, 1HD, SC] into each of the petal loops.  SlSt into the last post. Tie off. Tuck in ends.

Image B

For center "poof" (see image B):  With a different color yarn (if desired), SlSt into one of the front loops of the center DCs, created in Row 2.  DC into each of the front loops of the DCs.  Tie off leaving a 6"-9" tail.
Image C

(See image C)- Using a darning needle, thread tail and wrap around each of the back loops of the DCs that you just created, then pull taunt to close the poof.  Tie off and tuck in ends.

The above photos are the finished product.  I used Gedifra Highland Alpaca in the colors 2980-Teal and 2907 Kiwi.

The above photo shows another flower that I made with Berroco Sundae in the color 8715-Isle of Skye.  This flower I added on a 3rd row of petals.

That's it for now.  I am almost done with my son's quilt...  I just have to make and sew on the binding.  Hopefully I will get that done soon :-)      PS. feel free to e-mail me with any questions about this pattern.  Happy Crocheting!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baby Boom

Another baby, another Nappy Bag.  This is one of my favorite go-to gifts for new or expecting moms.  Sometimes I knit hats and booties, but if I actually have the time to sit down and make something, these nappy bags tend to be a little more "instant gratification".  I have made many including this one, this one and of course mine.  The pattern is actually called "Nappy bag" and it is made by Amy Butler.  I have made some minor alterations for aesthetics and function so the ones that I make are a bit different than the pattern...  but the pattern is a good one and pretty easy to make.  I highly recommend it!

The pattern also comes with instructions to make a changing pad and the cover for the changing pad.  The intention is that the changing pad is rolled up and fits into a "yoga mat style bag" for transportation.  This was the first time that I made the changing pad and I thought that rolling it and putting it into a bag was a little much to be carrying around in the diaper bag.  So, I skipped the bag, took a bunch of liberties with the changing pad and decided that a folded version was a little less bulky. Basically I just used the size as a reference and made up the rest.

The best (or worst) part about the nappy bag pattern is that there is a ton of extra fabric left over.  So I used some of the scraps to patchwork the "pretty side" of the changing pad.  I used a solid colored flannel for the "functional side".  Despite having made a quilt before, I have never machine quilted anything.  I thought that this would be a good opportunity to test out those skills since this was such a small piece.  I quilted this one in the traditional diagonal pattern.  It turned out kind of "Vera Bradley", which (no offense to her or her admirers) I am not really a fan of.  But it was o.k.  I think I might do it differently in the future but I love how this one tuned out.  I picked a coordinating fabric for the binding and made my own "bias" tape.  I didn't actually cut it on the bias because I didn't like the lay out of the fabric pattern on the diagonal.  I used natural cotton batting for the inside so the entire changing pad is 100% cotton which means that it is 100% washable!!

Since I had extra fabric, I also made a diaper pouch.  I saw this free pattern on line and thought I would whip it out.

I used left over cotton batting for the inside and leftover fabric + linen that I had.  I liked how it turned out....  I think I would make some simple alterations for the next time to make construction a little easier. (I didn't iron it after I made it, so pardon the wrinkles)....   it also tuned out to be deep enough to also house a small disposable container of wipes, which I added after the pictures were taken

And last but not least here is the actual bag.  Can you tell that the baby is a girl?  Even when I am making these for the ladies that are having boys, I always make them with a feminine touch because I think that these make great purses even after the kiddos are potty trained.  The exterior fabric [Summer Totem AH37 in Grapefruit from the Loulouthi collection] and changing pad binding fabric [Hugs and Kisses AH45 in Candy from the Loulouthi collection] are Anna Maria Horner and the interior fabric is Art Gallery [Cherry Lace from the Bohemian Soul collection].  All of these fabrics were purchased at Urban Arts + Crafts in KC.

***Side Note:  I am a super over achiever and I have started embroidering care tags for the inside of these bags.  The first one I embroidered was for this bag and I just hand wrote out the instructions on a piece of linen and embroidered on top.  This time, I wanted to be a little more uniform so I though, 'why not stamp it first'?  I figured it was pretty much similar to an iron on embroidery pattern, but I have more control...  I used Tim Holtz's Distress ink, which I had.  These inks are semi transparent so if you end up seeing any of the stamp, it won't be that noticeable.  It turned out great and this has opened up a whole new world for "embroidery patterns".

That's it for now...  up next is a free crochet pattern!!