Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pattern Pitfalls

I'm grateful to all the designers of beaded crochet ropes who have made their patterns available online. Without them, I'd not have been able to learn the craft. But patterns are not all created equal. Yesterday I printed out a pattern that showed the sequence for stringing the beads, but not the draft of the pattern showing which bead goes where. No problem, I thought, I'll make my own draft. I worked one pattern repeat, it looked good, so I spent a couple of hours stringing several repeats. I should have looked more carefully. The pattern repeats didn't follow on from each other. It wasn't going to work.
I spent half an hour this morning unstringing beads. My advice would be that before you print a pattern, make sure it has Draft, Corrected, Simulation and Report, or at least Draft, Simulation and Report.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five Lizards

Or perhaps geckos. Can you see them? They look as though they're clinging to the bracelet. I thought this pattern was fun. It's only 6 beads in circumference, so it's pretty easy. At first I put them nose to tail, but then the lizards were really hard to see, so I put a space between them. The space could've been greater.  Here's a link to the pattern.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Testing The Idea

I spun a bit of wool and  dyed two shades of brown, similar to the colours used in the original pattern, Beret Cup Cake Rose by Wedina Schmidt. The beret has white in its outer rows, which is why I've used white to join the hexagons. I think hexagons do show the flower pattern better than squares, thanks for all the feedback. I'll take these along to the next craft group meeting and run it past the experts. Fingers crossed they don't think it'll be too outlandish for the rather conservative judges.

Monday, July 17, 2017


I did this one just for practice. I like the contrast between the colourful flowers and the black-and-white 'trellis'. The pattern is by LBeads and is here.


I visualised a scarf with raised 'petals' to match the beret. I crocheted several swatches, but soon discovered that front post crochet creates a rather stiff fabric. That's fine for a beret, but not so good for a scarf, which requires more drape. I decided to take a look at Ravelry. I typed 'crochet scarf' into the pattern search and came up with 386 pages, with 50 odd patterns per page! After a couple of hours of browsing and scribbling down possibilities, my eyes glazed over and I decided to read tatting blogs for a break. On muskaan's blog there's a link to a crochet blog called ergahandmade Crochet, and there I found what I was looking for! I think. The pattern is not for a scarf, it's for a woman's top, but it uses a hexagon motif with a 12-petal flower, just as the beret has a 12-petal flower.
I crocheted a sample and in the process realised that the motif could easily be changed into a square by working four corners instead of six. Squares would be easier to join, though I did see scarves on Ravelry made of hexagons. I'm hoping I can use colour to reinforce the connection between the flower on the beret and the more lacy flower on the scarf. I'll need to spin and dye a couple of skeins to test the idea.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


I finished Isabel's blanket at the beginning of March and posted if off to her on the 5th. I remember hurrying to get to the Post Office before it closed for the day.  The blankets I posted to New Zealand took about three weeks to arrive, so I hoped that Isabel would get hers in Perth, Australia, before her birthday in early April. Mmm, no. It was delivered on Thursday, more than four months after I posted it! I'm just relieved that it has been delivered.  I was beginning to wonder whether I'd best start making a replacement. Now I must post Annika's blanket. I have no confidence that it will arrive before her birthday at the end of August!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Back To The Drawingboard

I took my beret to show the craft group. The fundis gave it the thumbs down. They said they don't think it's what the judges will be looking for. They want something warmer, something made in wool. That's fine; that's exactly why I asked for advice. Now I'm looking at a pattern called Beret Cup Cake Rose by Wedinas, that I found on Ravelry. First step is to practise some techniques that I'll need for the pattern, such as crocheting into the second back loop of a stitch, and crocheting a 'front post double crochet':
The green one is much too stiff, so I will have to spin a yarn like the peach one, not like the green one. Before I begin to spin though, I had better see if I can work out how to turn the beret pattern into a pattern for a matching scarf.