Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Do Over

We had two little visitors on Sunday who came for lunch with their Nana. I thought they'd be the perfect candidates to try out the little bracelets for me, make sure they would go over the hand and then stay on the wrist. They do. The little girls tussled over them for a while and they withstood that, so that was a good test too. Of course the little girls went home with them, so yesterday I made some more for my friend's granddaughters. I'll deliver them on Thursday.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Isabel's Place

These butterflies are less subtle than the one I gave up on, but boldness has its own beauty!  Isabel's place mat is now done and ready to be posted off to her.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Making Progress

Aha, a butterfly is emerging at last. I'm enjoying this pattern. I may even do two butterflies. The pattern is given in two colourways, it would be fun to try them both.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I Give Up

OK, I'm tired of peering at a tiny graph and trying to distinguish between two very similar shades. I know from experience that if you put a cross stitch in the wrong place you throw everything out. Why on earth I thought I could wing it in 'freestyle' I don't know. When I came to put light pink in, it didn't fit at all. I couldn't even make it fit.  I'm going to use this much clearer graph from a book I've had for many years. First I must sort out the new phone I bought yesterday, put in contacts and so on, which is also likely to be frustrating!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Beret Progress

This is my second attempt, I had to make adjustments because my yarn is a bit thinner than the designer used. I'm not absolutely sure about this, so I've left the yarn attached and will show it to the experts at the next craft group meeting. It will also need blocking; I'll have to get advice on that.

Butterfly Begun

The printed pattern is tiny, but I hope that being able to zoom in on the e-version will help me make sense of it. Since it's a very 'free style' pattern, I don't think the odd stitch in the wrong shade will make too much difference. I downloaded the pattern, which has no 'distinguishing marks', so I don't know who the designer is.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Beret Begun

I'm making good progress on the beret. The written pattern, Peach Spring Beret by Wika, doesn't explain the 'bobble stitch', so I had to look at the video that goes with the pattern. I try to avoid videos because my internet connection isn't really up to the job and they tend to keep 'freezing', and because they use up my data allowance in double quick time. But it is  possible for me to watch one, so I clicked on the link and learnt how to work the petals in 'bobble stitch'.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

On Pause

I have a couple of projects on the horizon, but I haven't got stuck into anything yet. Isabel would like a butterfly on her place mat, so I've been looking at cross stitch patterns. I have material and I'm sure I can find the right colours in embroidery thread in my stash.  I've also been looking at crochet patterns for next year's competition. The brief is a beret and scarf. I found a couple that might do and showed them to my craft group who agreed that Peach Spring Beret by Wika Crochet would be the best bet. I found it on Ravelry, but it's also on Craftsy.  I'll have to make up the scarf pattern to match. Yesterday I bought some yarn for that project. The lady in the yarn shop was very helpful, pointing out that the yarn I first chose was too thick for the pattern - the pattern gives weight and yardage, thank you Wika! The shop owner also shone her torch on the seed beads ( there was a power cut in the town and the little shop is very dark) so I could choose some for future crochet rope projects.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


I had another go at tatting Jon's Daisy Picot Star using two colours. This time I was careful to use Cebelia 20 on both shuttles. Yesterday I tried a two colour version using green Cebelia and Milford 20 for the 'flowers'. Milford is more tightly spun than Cebelia, so the green had a tendency to show through. This looks better. Here it is together with the single colour version:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jon's Daisy Star

I was looking through my bookmarked web pages and remembered I meant to try Jon Yusoff's Daisy Picot Star.  It's quite tricky. I started off using two colours, as in Jon's example, but it looked so messy that I decided to start with just one thread. There was another false start because I joined the 'leaf' rings all wrong:
The third attempt is not perfect, but completed!  I don't think I have all the chains facing the correct directions. I might have another go at using two colours, which emphasises the flower look, though I like how the single colour version looks 'spiky'.

Monday, June 12, 2017


A friend of mine asked me to make two beaded crochet bracelets for her granddaughters. Sure, be happy to. The interesting thing about the first one is that the designer, Vinjuleve, has worked to counteract the way beaded crochet spirals. In the chart, which I found on Pinterest, looking at a specific bead will show how the pattern repeat has been staggered. In the final product, the motifs line up. Clever. The top two pictures show the two sides of the bracelet. Both bracelets have interesting side views too. The chart for the other bracelet is here on Pinterest. The designer is Marass.

I've been wanting to try an invisible join in beaded crochet rope and this seemed like a good opportunity to give it a go. I used a tutorial from fusion beads, which has very clear diagrams. My joins are not absolutely invisible, but not bad for a first attempt.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Corner Daisy Square Blanket

After sorting out the misaligned square and doing the edging, the blanket is finished. I got a bit carried away with the edging, doing four rows where I intended to do one or two, but I'm happy with the result.
 The pattern is called Corner Daisy Square, but Marrietta.ru. Here is a Link.  I found it on Pinterest. The yarn is handspun wool, handdyed by me. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Spot The Mistake

I spread the blanket out on a table to make sure it's big enough before I start the edging, (it is) and left it there while I prepared breakfast. While I was eating breakfast, I glanced across at the blanket and a misaligned square leapt out at me! Oops.  Jack reckoned I should leave it to show the blanket wasn't made by a machine, but once I'd seen it, I knew it would bother me until I corrected it. It didn't take too long to sort out, that's it with a contrast thread attached.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Square By Square

I'm still joining blanket squares. I never do learn - these jobs always take longer than I expect! I did have to spin a bit more wool. I hope I have enough spun now to work the edging when I've finished joining all the squares.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Coming Together

I'm joining the squares of Annika's blanket. There are a number of variations on this way of joining, you can join from the front or the back, through the front loops or the bottom loops.... It goes quite quickly.  The good thing is that you can match the two sides stitch by stitch to get a neat effect.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Annika's Place

I have duly completed Annika's place mat. It's possible that Isabel might like one too....

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


I've been busy with household chores, so I'm making slow progress on Annika's place mat. But the little girl with her ice cream is gradually emerging


These squares are a little bigger than the flower garden ones, so 96 should be enough, 8 by 12. Now I have to decide how to join them. No sewing! I didn't really enjoy sewing hexagons together. I don't want to use the method I used for the flower garden, because it's a bit 'off', not absolutely square. These mitred squares are also a bit 'off', they look terrible until the last round is done, so I'm going to look for a method that is more exact.

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Special Request

When my children were small, I made each of them a place mat, decorated with cross stitch. Yesterday Penny showed hers to her daughters and Annika promptly asked if she could have one. I said I'd see what I could do. This morning I dug around in my craft supplies and, amazingly, came up with the original pattern I used for Penny's one, thirty years ago!  That's the little girl on the bottom left of the page, so I'm going to do the bottom right one for Annika. I have some cross stitch alphabets but had a look on-line because I wanted one with a modern lower-case a. It's surprising how many have this 'a'. I settled on one from better-cross-stitch-patterns.com  I've collected all the materials I need and written out the lettering on graph paper. Now to begin....

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Quick Spin

It takes me about 11 hours to spin a full 'batch': that is, fill two bobbins with spinning and then ply them together. I'm in 'crochet mode' at the moment, rather than 'spinning mode', so I decided to just spin a half-batch. I have to wash this lot. It'll dry quickly in this weather, so I should be able to crochet again this afternoon.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


That's my new tally of crocheted squares. I've been working them in sets of 10:

Whether that way of working is really quicker than working one complete square at a time, as I read somewhere, I don't know. I have run out of the natural so will have to spin some more before I can resume crocheting.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In Colour

Following a comment by Maureen on yesterday's post, I gave some thought to making the dot picots in a different colour. It's a bit fiddly, but possible, and the working did get easier as I went along. I used three shuttles and encapsulated the pink thread. I think it may be pertinent to muskaan's idea of using dot picots instead of beads. For a link to Usha's instructions for dot picots, scroll down to yesterday's post.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dot Picots

I was a bit dubious when I first read about Usha's invention,  dot picots, because it involves frequently having to swap shuttles. But in practice it's easy enough to swap shuttles and it's very effective. A dot picot is a 'ring' with just one double stitch, made with the second shuttle. It creates an interesting textured look. I like muskaan's  working of Usha's pattern, where the beads echo the dot picots.

Monday, May 22, 2017


This is another combination of beaded crochet and Clare Gaylard glass.  I kept the crochet simple so that the glass beads are the main feature. Here's a picture of the work in progress, to give some idea of how it's done:

Friday, May 19, 2017


This is a 'for the record' progress report. I've crocheted 30 squares so far. I'm working on these mainly in the evenings, so I'm happy enough with that.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Leaves and Flowers

There's sometimes a long gap between having an idea and actually carrying out. I've been meaning for some time to try combining beaded crochet with Clare Gaylard's glass.  I tried a sample first, just to see if it would work:
It did work, better than I'd hoped. I threaded the glass leaf onto the thread as part of the beading pattern. It hung down on a loop of thread and I could continue with the seed bead pattern.

 I wasn't really happy with the beaded crochet pattern I'd used. The big flower looks good in the flat pattern, but disappears in the round. I also thought the red was a bit overwhelming.  I looked for a pattern with smaller flowers and settled on one by kolorowekoraliki.pl.  I think it works better.  Here's a closer view:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Winter is rapidly approaching and the first frost will wipe out the rest of the tomato crop in the vegetable garden. Jack has been picking tomatoes rather green and ripening them on the windowsill, which works well. I've been cooking them up with onion and celery and freezing them in small batches, so that we can go on enjoying them during Winter.


I'm working on squares for Annika's blanket. There's a long way to go, but square by square I'll get there.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Tra-la. I've finished Renata's 2017 doily. Thanks Renata, I love the design and I'm very happy with how it has turned out. It measures 46 cm/ 18 inches across, in size 40 thread. Here's a link to the last round. All the other rounds can be found on her blog, or you can buy the whole pattern in Renata's etsy shop.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Working On The Final Round

Round 13 is zipping along. I'm using a few very small picots to add stability. I could've done this round with shuttle and ball. I thought that the outermost ring would have to be done with a second shuttle, but that's not the case. But using the second shuttle means I can do a Catherine Wheel join at the top, so that's fine.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

I quite like rolling skeins into balls by hand. I like the feel of the wool and winding this way and that to get a neat ball. But it's very time consuming. With a lot of skeins to wind, it makes much more sense to set up the skein holder and ball winder:

When all goes well, a skein  winds into a ball in a couple of minutes. But some skeins become very muddled during the dyeing process and untangling them can be tedious and time consuming, whatever method you use. I still have more spinning to do for my blanket, but all the dyeing is done and that wool now rolled into balls, ready to crochet.