Saturday, 14 February 2015

Crochet a magic circle

Probably one of the most useful little tricks I know, this one.

It's a great way to start off your projects in the round (hats, toys etc) as it leaves a nice neat finish, with no visible hole.

And it's really not difficult, either.

I tried a few techniques until I settled on this one, which I thought I'd share with you.



Enjoy crocheting,
Sarah xx

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The one where she does Youtube

So I've thinking for ages about making some video content for my blog and I've had lots of lovely peeps asking me for patterns, tutorials and the like in video format.

No, I said emphatically.
I am too technologically challenged to even comprehend how to achieve such things.

And then a while ago, I got a smart phone and a tablet and all these impossible tasks became a little easier.

Actually, a lot easier.

And so, buoyed by my recent adventures on film, I decided to have a go.



I wanted something which looked ok, but the most important thing was its clarity; I wanted the videos to be informative and clear.

So now, with a little precarious balancing of the ipad on the corner of the coffee table and trying to record audio inbetween the dog barking and the kids demanding biscuits, I have cobbled together a few videos.

It's just a little start, but I intend to cover the basic stitches, as well as some simple projects and a few patterns from my blog, too.

The clips are just over there on the left sidebar, so do have a look, and I'd love it if you subscribed to my channel too- just click on that button at the top and you won't miss out on anything new.

Right, am off to order a proper ipad-holder-bracket-type-thingy from a well-known online retailer.....

Wishing you all a fab week,
Sarah

P.S. do let me know if there's anything you'd like to see as a YouTube tutorial.. x

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The one where she does some telly

Oh yes, indeedy. 
Been asked to do some TV work, I have.


Here's me in action, trying to look like the fountain of all crochet knowledge, with my fabulous co-star, Sarah Callard from F&W Media.

So let me fill you in; Craft Daily is linked to my publisher and they thought it would be nice to film a few short programmes to link with a couple of projects in my new book.

And so I jetted off drove down for a short break in Hollywood Devon, where filming took place. 
And what a fab day it was. 
Totally exhausting, and completely brilliant.

We managed to film about 40 minutes of footage, including two projects from the book and one completely new pattern, designed exclusively for the show (and I'll be blogging the pattern here, too!)



(Sneak peak)

And so how may do your view this awesomeness, I hear you ask?

Well, here's the blurb from the website:
Craft Daily is available to watch on Freeview, as well as Freesat and Sky.  If you have an Internet connected TVs or HD Freeview box connected to the Internet, you can watch Craft Daily on channel 244 – Vision TV – just select showcaseTV.
The show airs on Freeview at exactly the same time as the Sky and Freesat showings, that is 10,30am on Mondays, 9pm on Tuesdays and 7.30pm on Thursdays.
The first two dates for viewing are Monday 16th March and Monday 23rd March , so don't miss out. The shows are also available on the website a couple of weeks after airing.


Cheeeeese!
Wishing you a fab week!
Sarah x

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Chevrons with a straight edge

Chevron. Ripple. Wave. Zigzag.
Call it what you like, but this little stitch is a winner.

Recently, I've been working on a pattern for a magazine and I needed to straighten up the top and bottom edges so that I could stitch it closed.



also had lots of lovely people on Instagram asking me about the pattern. So here you are. Fresh off the hook. I worked on two different versions- you can choose the one you prefer. Mine are just small samples, but you can adjust the pattern to make it as mahooosive as you like- I'll explain how. 
And I've also written the patterns in both UK and US terms and I've (badly) drawn a chart for each.
Cos I'm nice like that.

As you can see from my photos, a bit of blocking would do wonders for the edges, but as I said, this one's straight off the hook and I really can't be bothered.*



*I totally understand the need to block certain items; It relaxes the stitches and defines the shaping. I know that. I am just too lazy. Do block yours. It will look a gazillion times better.

UK patterns
Work in rows. At the end of each row, turn your work.

Stitches
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
htr = half treble crochet
tr = treble crochet
dtr = double treble crochet
tr3tog = treble 3 together (over three stitches)
dtr cl = double treble cluster

To make the tr3tog stitch:
1. Yarn over hook, hook into first stitch.
2. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (3 loops on hook).
3. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (2 loops on hook).
4. YOH, hook into second stitch.
5. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (4 loops on hook).
6. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
7. YOH, hook into third stitch.
8. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (5 loops on hook).
9. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (4 loops on hook).
10. YOH, pull yarn through all loops.

To make the dtr cl stitch:
1. Wrap yarn twice over hook, hook into next stitch.
2. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (4 loops on hook).
3. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
4. YOH, pull yarn through next 2 loops (2 loops on hook).
5. Wrap yarn twice over hook, hook into same stitch.
6. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (5 loops on hook).
7. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (4 loops on hook).
8. YOH, pull yarn through next 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
9. YOH, pull yarn through all loops.

Yellow Chevrons 
Your foundation chain needs to be a multiple of 12, then add 1 more.
Add as many rows as you need.
Make one of each stitch in every stitch along the row unless directed otherwise.



Foundation Chain. ch 25
Row 1. ch 4 (counts as dtr) then beginning in 6th chain from hook *2tr, 2htr, 1dc, 1sl st, 1dc, 2htr, 2tr, 1dtr* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 2. ch 3 (counts as tr) 1tr in same st, 4tr, tr3tog, 4tr, *3tr in next st, 4tr, tr3tog, 4tr* repeat from * to * along row, 2tr in the top of the ch-4 from row 1.
Row 3 onwards. Repeat row 2. The last 2tr of the row should be made in the top of the ch-3 from the previous row.
Top row. This row should be made on an odd numbered row, so that it is right-side-facing. (Otherwise the reverse of the slip stitches will look a little strange).
1sl st, *1dc, 2htr, 2tr, 1dtr, 2tr, 2htr, 1dc, 1sl st* repeat from * to * along row.

Pink Chevrons 
Your foundation chain needs to be a multiple of 16.
Add as many rows as you need.
Make one of each stitch in every stitch along the row unless directed otherwise.




Foundation Chain. ch 32
Row 1. ch 3 and make 1dtr in the 4th chain from hook (counts as dtr2tog) 3tr, 1htr, 1dc, 4sl st, 1dc, 1htr, 3tr, dtr2tog, *dtr2tog, 3tr, 1htr, 1dc, 4sl st, 1dc, 1htr, 3tr, dtr2tog* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 2. ch 3 (counts as tr) 2tr in same st, 4tr, tr3tog, tr3tog, 4tr, 3tr in next st, *3tr in next st, 4tr, tr3tog, tr3tog, 4tr, 3tr in next st* repeat from * to * along row. The last 3tr should be made in the top of the first dtr from row 1.
Row 3 onwards. Repeat row 2. The last 3tr of the row should be made in the top of the ch-3 from the previous row.
Top row. This row should be made on an odd numbered row, so that it is right-side-facing. (Otherwise the reverse of the slip stitches will look a little strange).
*2sl st, 1dc, 1htr, 3tr, dtr2tog, dtr2tog, 3tr, 1htr, 1dc, 2sl st* repeat from * to * along row.

US patterns
Work in rows. At the end of each row, turn your work.
Stitches
sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet 
dc3tog = double crochet 3 together (over three stitches)
tr cl = treble cluster

To make the dc3tog stitch:
1. Yarn over hook, hook into first stitch.
2. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (3 loops on hook).
3. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (2 loops on hook).
4. YOH, hook into second stitch.
5. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (4 loops on hook).
6. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
7. YOH, hook into third stitch.
8. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (5 loops on hook).
9. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (4 loops on hook).
10. YOH, pull yarn through all loops.

To make the tr cl stitch:
1. Wrap yarn twice over hook, hook into next stitch.
2. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (4 loops on hook).
3. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
4. YOH, pull yarn through next 2 loops (2 loops on hook).
5. Wrap yarn twice over hook, hook into same stitch.
6. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (5 loops on hook).
7. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (4 loops on hook).
8. YOH, pull yarn through next 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
9. YOH, pull yarn through all loops.

Yellow Chevrons 
Your foundation chain needs to be a multiple of 12, then add 1 more.
Add as many rows as you need.
Make one of each stitch in every stitch along the row unless directed otherwise.





Foundation Chain. ch 25
Row 1. ch 4 (counts as tr) then beginning in 6th chain from hook *2dc, 2hdc, 1sc, 1sl st, 1sc, 2hdc, 2dc, 1tr* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 2. ch 3 (counts as dc) 1dc in same st, 4dc, dc3tog, 4dc, *3dc in next st, 4dc, dc3tog, 4dc* repeat from * to * along row, 2dc in the top of the ch-4 from row 1.
Row 3 onwards. Repeat row 2. The last 2dc of the row should be made in the top of the ch-3 from the previous row.
Top row. This row should be made on an odd numbered row, so that it is right-side-facing. (Otherwise the reverse of the slip stitches will look a little strange).
1sl st, *1sc, 2hdc, 2dc, 1tr, 2dc, 2hdc, 1sc, 1sl st* repeat from * to * along row.

Pink Chevrons 
Your foundation chain needs to be a multiple of 16.
Add as many rows as you need.
Make one of each stitch in every stitch along the row unless directed otherwise.





Foundation Chain. ch 32
Row 1. ch 3 and make 1tr in the 4th chain from hook (counts as tr2tog) 3dc, 1hdc, 1sc, 4sl st, 1sc, 1hdc, 3dc, tr2tog, *tr2tog, 3dc, 1hdc, 1sc, 4sl st, 1sc, 1hdc, 3dc, tr2tog* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 2. ch 3 (counts as dc) 2dc in same st, 4dc, dc3tog, dc3tog, 4dc, 3dc in next st, *3dc in next st, 4dc, dc3tog, dc3tog, 4dc, 3dc in next st* repeat from * to * along row. The last 3dc should be made in the top of the first tr from row 1.
Row 3 onwards. Repeat row 2. The last 3dc of the row should be made in the top of the ch-3 from the previous row.
Top row. This row should be made on an odd numbered row, so that it is right-side-facing. (Otherwise the reverse of the slip stitches will look a little strange).
*2sl st, 1sc, 1hdc, 3dc, tr2tog, tr2tog, 3dc, 1hdc, 1sc, 2sl st* repeat from * to * along row.

And that's about it.

Happy crocheting, lovely peeps.

Sarah xx


Saturday, 3 January 2015

Crochet with twine


The Mister had some useful presents for Christmas, including a ball of jute garden twine.
It would have been perfect for tying in plants and other gardenly tasks, but I had other ideas.

Involving crochet.
Obviously.


So here's a super-easy little pattern to make a mini flower pot holder. I made two, cos I had two little plants. One of them has some lengths of twine attached so that it can hang at a window. 

(Lots of people have asked whether the twine hurt my hands to work with and the simple answer is no. I made sure that I kept my tension fairly loose and to be honest, these are such a quick project, I didn't notice any discomfort.)

You will need:
I used:
1 ball of jute garden twine
2 x mini flower pots, measuring approx 4cm across base x 5cm tall
5.5mm hook
Stitch marker

[This pattern is written in UK terms. US equivalents are given below]

UK double crochet = US single crochet

Abbreviations:
dc = double crochet
sts = stitches
BLO = back loops only

Pattern:
This pattern is worked in a continuous spiral of stitches, starting at the bottom of the potholder. Use your stitch marker to mark the first stitch of every round, or you'll get in a pickle.

6dc in magic ring, OR ch2, 2dc in 2nd ch from hook.
Rnd 1: 2dc in each st (12 sts)
Rnd 2: (dc1, 2dc in next st) repeat around (18)
Rnd 3: dc 18 in BLO
Rnd 4: dc 18
Rnd 5: (dc 2, 2dc in next st) repeat around (24)
Rnds 6-8: dc 24

Rnd 9: Reverse dc / Crab Stitch edging (24)
(You can always just do an extra round of regular dc if you like)

To make the reverse dc/crab stitch, first chain 1. You are now going to work backwards, from left to right. Insert your hook into the 3rd stitch from your hook, from front to back. (You could try inserting into the 2nd st from your hook, but I found the 3rd easier)



Yarn over and pull through a loop (it all looks a bit weird at first, but bear with..)


Yarn over and pull through all loops. Stitch made.


Now have faith, and keep going. You'll soon get the hang of it and will be making a fabulous edge for your pot holder. 


Once you get back to the beginning of the round, fasten off and weave in ends.

If you want to make a hanging potholder, then cut three lengths of twine to your liking (mine measured about 30 cm) and knot them, evenly spaced to the inside of your potholder.



Job's a goodun'.

Now raid the shed, find the twine and get yourself a hook..

(Oh, and if the Mister comes a-looking for something to tie up the peonies, I'm keeping quiet.)

Enjoy making,

Sarah xx