Monday, 28 April 2014

Mandala Madness

I have recently been seeing a lot of Mandala designs popping up on all the crochet pages and on Pinterest, and of course I had to get in on the act......but instead of following someone else's pattern I decided to make my own.

Having never made a mandala before I thought it should be simple enough,and it was fairly simple.I have used a variety of stitches while making it to add a bit of interest and I'm quite happy with the end result......now here is the tricky bit!

Being slightly over ambitious when it comes to my creativity I had to go one step further and try to write the pattern for the mandala. This was not as simple as the hooking. As I have only been hooking for the last seven months, so sometimes reading a pattern can prove difficult, never mind writing one but we all have to start somewhere.......I am going to dedicate all day tomorrow making another as I now have a fixed idea of colours I want to use in certain areas and I also want to change a few stitches and see what happens.

I have a couple of testers lined up to try out the pattern before I inflict it on the public so please bear with me while I do the fine tuning and have it tested for errors.

Here are the two I have made so far. The finished size is 36.5cm in diameter. Hope you all like them.

John.



Tuesday, 22 April 2014

My friend's a hooker too!

I recieved a lovely gift in the post from my friend Pauline. We met on a facebook group called Make a House A Home where we soon discovered we had a common interest in crochet. Pauline has been crocheting for many years and I am just a novice in comparison.

Last week she made a beautiful mandala just for the hell of it....and posted it on The Creative Crochet Crew facebook page, saying she didn't want it and didn't know what to do with it.......so me being the cheeky chappie that I am asked her to send it to me.....and she did!

Much to my delight when I checked for post this morning there was a lovely little parcel waiting for me. Of course I opened it like a kid at christmas and inside I found my treasure.

I told Pauline last week that it would grace the walls of my home so I had to frame it straight away. I did lay it on the table first just to get a pic of it in use but that was not where it was destined for. I used the only spare frame I had and although it is not made to display anything like this I think it looks great. I have already seen the perfect frame in IKEA for it but I will have to wait until I'm in Dublin next......anyhow I'm smiling regardless, delighted with the original art on my wall.

Thank you Pauline. xxx


Ripple Tastic

I'm back in business.....Called into Kathleen today in The Little Wool Shop and collected the yarn to continue my ripple blanket. From now on I will be calling it a blanket......not an afghan......Irish boys call them blankets, and I'm an Irish boy........plain and simple.




I wonder how many rows I can get done between now and when I return to work on Thursday evening??? Watch this space!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Groovy Baby Groovy

I came across this afghan made by Denise Brown in a facebook group I am a member of.......It's called The Creative Crochet Crew. It is a fantastic resource for inspiration, advice and friendship......check it out and join for yourself.

This afghan cheers me up just looking at it......LOVE IT - LOVE IT - LOVE IT


CLICK HERE for a link to the pattern on Ravelry

Thanks Denise for brightening my day.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

CAL Block a week challenge.

I came across a facebook page called Official CCC Social Group a couple of months back who are doing a Crochet Along (CAL) block a week challenge and decided I would join in when I finished all my WIP's, but as we all know there is always another WIP waiting on the sideline.

For the un-initiated what happens in a CAL is you are given a link to a pattern each week for a set number of weeks. The object is to complete each pattern and join your completed squares together at the end, do a border around the outside, and you have a completed afghan made up of all different squares. And by joining a group like The Official CCC Social Group you will meet like-minded people with similar interests who will inspire and help you should you get stuck on any pattern. Like a lot of people I didn't start at the begining and I am now playing catch up.......but I will get there in the end. Why not join me?

Last week I was in with Kathleen in The Little Wool Shop buying some yarn for my Spring Ponchos and I picked up one ball of King Cole Bamboo Cotton to have just in case I decided to start the CAL.

Of course the devil got the better of me yesterday and instead of doing my poncho's I started my blocks. I hasten to add that I have finished the ball of cotton and have weeks one, two and part of three complete and didn't even do a single stitch on the Poncho's which I need for this Saturday coming. Typical!

I have decided to do my CAL all in cream so it will be timeless and co-ordinate with any decor in the future. Where possible I have amended the  patterns and used used the back loop on certain rows to give a bit of texture where there are just ordinary stitches so as to make up for the lack of interest or changing of colour.

Here are some pics with links to the relevant pattern.


Blocking required and ends need sewing in.


 Detail of where I used the back loop.


Week 2 Popcorn Parade
CLICK HERE for a popcorn stitch video tutorial


Really enjoyed making this one......lots of variety in it.


Everybody loves popcorn :-)




Learning new stitches and techniques is always a good thing.


My drug of choice for this project.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Spring Poncho

I went to visit my friend Kathleen at The Little Wool Shop to get some yarn to continue my Ripple Blanket but one of the colours was out of stock so I decided I was going to make poncho's for my friends two daughters instead of giving them easter eggs next week. I came away with three colours of yarn and started experimenting.

The yarn used is:
Stylecraft Special DK No 1241   Fondant
Stylecraft Special DK No 1130   Candyfloss
Stylecraft Special DK No 1084   Magenta

These are really girly colours for two girly girls.

I have never attempted a poncho before so I am keeping it simple with an ordinary granny square design and I am alternating the colours to give some variety. I will write the pattern for this when I am finished should anyone wish to try it later.

Here is the end result and some pics along the way.






Having worked a twelve hour night shift last night, I am quite pleased to get a few rows done since I got up earlier. I love the way the colours are working together. I'm very pleased so far.

Lots of options going through my head about how to finish the top and bottom of the poncho.....I think a little bit of experimentation lies ahead

Here are a couple of todays pics.



It is now Good Friday and I have finally finished the first of the two poncho's. The second one is complete just to sew in the loose tails and attach the flower. I know they say that self praise is no praise but I am very happy with the results, taking into account that there was no pattern and I just winged it. Here are some pics of the final results.



Just a simple edging in white to keep it fresh.


A beautiful flower to finish it off.
For the flower pattern CLICK HERE
The site is in Norwegian but there are some detailed pics which are quite easy to follow.

Here is how I did it.......please forgive me because I'm no pattern writer.....hope it makes sense.

 I started with ch96 (for a 5yr old) 
and ch80 (for 2yr old),

Row 1 - dc into each ch st. 

Row 2 3dc into first st, ch2, 3dc into same st (Back Point), ch1 ( Skip 3st, 3dc in next st, ch 1 and repeat until half way round) 3dc into first st, ch2, 3dc into same st (Front Point) Skip 3st, 3dc in next st, ch 1 and repeat until back to the begining......

Basically it is just like a granny square after that except it has only two corners (front and back points) instead of 4. Continue until it's as big as you need.....

The border is only sc into each ch sp, ch4, repeat all the way round then 7sc into each ch4 space.

Hope you have fun making your own.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Exterior Interior Design

Help your local birds to decorate their nests in this seasons most fashionable colours by leaving out your yarn trimmings for them this nesting period.


Hats off to you!

I have only tried to make the baby hats that I included with the round ripple blanket but I found this written tutorial on a website called www.slugsontherefrigerator.com about how to design your own hats using any type of yarn and ensuring a good fit every time.

The process is quite logical and should not pose too many problems. The secret seems to be doing a swatch test first and calculating from there.....I can do that.

Have a look at the tutorial for yourself by clicking here.

Will try it myself sometime.....have fun.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Ripple Ripple Ripple

This is my first ever ripple blanket which I started a few weeks ago but had to put on the back boiler as I had some other projects namely the Round Ripple Baby Afghan and my friends Wedding Afghan that I had to get finished by specific dates......now it's ME TIME. Here are a few pics of my progress so far.



The pattern I am using is The Neat Ripple from Attic24 which I have adapted to make a wider ripple. Where she has used 4 treble crochet (US) double crochet (UK), I have used 10 to create a wider spacing between the "mountains" and "valleys" on this blanket. Personally I think the smaller spacing would be ok on a smaller blanket but on the width I am working on I feel it would be far too busy for my liking. Hence the adjustment.

The yarns I am using are:
King Cole Pricewise DK No 272 Green
King Cole Pricewise DK No 309 Grey
King Cole Pricewise DK No 87   Tomato
King Cole Pricewise DK No 46   Cream
Stylecraft Special DK No 1062    Teal
Stylecraft Special DK No 1083    Pomegranate

Once again I have bought all my yarn from Kathleen at The Little Wool Shop.

To get the random striped effect I used the Stripe Maker program on the Biscuits and Jam Website. It is brilliant as it takes all the thinking out of the equation......handy for those who are borderline OCD like me and like neatness in everything. Sometimes it's good to throw caution to the wind and let the stripes of life be random.


Monday, 7 April 2014

My First Venture Into The World Of Crochet

Here is the very first project I ever tried to crochet. I expect like most peoples first try it is a granny square afghan. I added a lacy style border which I just winged without a pattern. I was very happy with it considering I had never crocheted before. Here are a few pics and some of the final hamper for little Rory which includes the round ripple afghan and hats I made.




Finally finished

I have finally got around to finish the round ripple afghan for baby Rory. I added tassles to the points to finish it off. I really like the effect of the back post double crochet in blue as it gives another dimension and a bit of texture. Hope you like it.