Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Happy Mr Sunflower


Aww, look at this little chap.
Happy fella, isn't he?

I was inspired by the fairly miserable weather we've been having here in Sussex recently and wanted my own sunny friend indoors.

Fancy making one?
Good-o.

(Oh, and a quick apology about the photos. They were all taken against a white background, but the light has made some of them blue. I've tried to fix it using filters etc, but to no avail. I give up. Modern technology has defeated me, so blue photos it must be - sorry about that.)

Here's what to do. The pattern is written in UK terms first.Scroll down for US Pattern.

Mr Sunflower
UK Pattern




Abbreviations:
Chain = ch
Stitches = sts
Slip stitch = sl st 
Double crochet = dc
Half Treble = htr 
Treble crochet = tr
Double Treble crochet = dtr
Wrong Side = WS
Back Loops Only = BLO

You will need:
Any brown, yellow and green yarn and hook. I used oddments of Rico Creative Cotton Aran and a 4mm hook.
Toy stuffing
6mm eyes
Black embroidery thread
An old wooden 4mm knitting needle/ pencil or other pointy, solid object (I'll explain in a bit)
Spray Starch (if you want to stop the petals and leaves from flopping)

Face pattern Make 2 in brown.
(Worked in the round. Use a stitch marker to identify the first stitch of the round)
1. 5dc in magic ring or ch2, make 5dc into 2nd ch from hook. (5sts)
2. 2dc in each st around (10)
3. 2dc in each st around (20)
4. (3dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (25)
5. (4dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (30)
6. (5dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (35)
7. (6dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (40)
8. (7dc, 2dc in next st) repeat around (45)

Fasten off
Add eyes between rounds 5-6, 3sts apart.
Stitch mouth.

With WS together, and using yellow yarn, dc the edges closed. Stuff before closing completely. Do not cut yarn - you'll attach the petals with this in a bit.

Petals make 9 in yellow
Work along both sides of the chain (see photos)

Chain 10 
1. (make one st in each ch) >Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 2dc, 2htr, 4tr, ch3, turn, sl st in 1st unused loop on other side of ch, ch2, 1tr in same st, 3tr, 2htr, 2dc, 1sl st, ch2, join with sl st to 1st sl st of row.
Turn your work and make the slip stitch into this unused loop of the other side of the chain
After making a chain of 2, the first htr is made in the same stitch

Block petals using spray starch (if wanted) and allow to dry before continuing.
To join petals to head, use length of yellow yarn from closing head. Ch1 and turn so that the back of the head is facing you. Hold petal with WS facing and sl st across the BLO of the 5 ch stitches from the petal to 5 sts (also BLO) of the sunflower head.
See what I mean about the blue? Why, oh why???

Stem
In Green, work in the round.
1. 5dc in magic ring or ch2, make 5dc into 2nd ch from hook.
2 - ? 1dc in each st around.
Repeat as many times until desired length is reached. Leave long tail at end for stitching to the head.

Leaves
In Green, make 2
Work along both sides of the chain
Leave long tail at the beginning for sewing to the stem.

Chain 13
1. (make one st in each ch) Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 2dc, 2htr, 2tr, 1dtr, 2tr, 2htr, ch2, turn, sl st in 1st unused loop on other side of ch, ch2, 1htr in same st, 1htr, 2tr, 1dtr, 2tr, 2htr, 2dc, 1sl st, fasten off.

Block leaves using spray starch (if wanted) and allow to dry before continuing.
Use long tail from beginning to stitch to stem.

Now for the 4mm needle*. Break off the end (carefully) and make it safe by wrapping tape around the end. Insert the blunt end into the stem and leave the long pointy end sticking out of the top. Push the pointy end into the head and stitch the stem in place.

* obviously this isn't suitable for a child's toy. 



And that's it. Your very own sunshine to brighten up your days!




Enjoy making,
Sarah xx


Mr Sunflower
US Pattern




Abbreviations:
Chain = ch
Stitches = sts
Slip stitch = sl st 
Single crochet = sc
Double crochet = dc 
Half Double = hdc 
Treble crochet = tr
Wrong Side = WS
Back Loops Only = BLO

You will need:
Any brown, yellow and green yarn and hook. I used oddments of Rico Creative Cotton Aran and a 4mm hook.
Toy stuffing
6mm eyes
Black embroidery thread
An old wooden 4mm knitting needle/ pencil or other pointy, solid object (I'll explain in a bit)
Spray Starch (if you want to stop the petals and leaves from flopping)

Face pattern Make 2 in brown.
(Worked in the round. Use a stitch marker to identify the first stitch of the round)
1. 5sc in magic ring or ch2, make 5sc into 2nd ch from hook. (5sts)
2. 2sc in each st around (10)
3. 2sc in each st around (20)
4. (3sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around (25)
5. (4sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around (30)
6. (5sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around (35)
7. (6sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around (40)
8. (7sc, 2sc in next st) repeat around (45)

Fasten off
Add eyes between rounds 5-6, 3sts apart.
Stitch mouth.

With WS together, and using yellow yarn, sc the edges closed. Stuff before closing completely. Do not cut yarn - you'll attach the petals with this in a bit.

Petals make 9 in yellow
Work along both sides of the chain (see photos)

Chain 10 
1. (make one st in each ch) Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 2sc, 2hdc, 4dc, ch3, turn, sl st in 1st unused loop on other side of ch, ch2, 1dc in same st, 3dc, 2hdc, 2sc, 1sl st, ch2, join with sl st to 1st sl st of row. 

Turn your work and make the slip stitch into this unused loop of the other side of the chain

After making a chain of 2, the first htr is made in the same stitch

Block petals using spray starch (if wanted) and allow to dry before continuing.

To join petals to head, use length of yellow yarn from closing head. Ch1 and turn so that the back of the head is facing you. Hold petal with WS facing and sl st across the BLO of the 5 ch stitches from the petal to 5 sts (also BLO) of the sunflower head.

See what I mean about the blue? Why, oh why???

Stem
In Green, work in the round.
1. 5sc in magic ring or ch2, make 5sc into 2nd ch from hook.
2 - ? 1sc in each st around.
Repeat as many times until desired length is reached. Leave long tail at end for stitching to the head.

Leaves
In Green, make 2
Work along both sides of the chain
Leave long tail at the beginning for sewing to the stem.

Chain 13
1. (make one st in each ch) Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 2sc, 2hdc, 2dc, 1tr, 2dc, 2hdc, ch2, turn, sl st in 1st unused loop on other side of ch, ch2, 1hdc in same st, 1hdc, 2dc, 1tr, 2dc, 2hdc, 2sc, 1sl st, fasten off.

Block leaves using spray starch (if wanted) and allow to dry before continuing.
Use long tail from beginning to stitch to stem.

Now for the 4mm needle*. Break off the end (carefully) and make it safe by wrapping tape around the end. Insert the blunt end into the stem and leave the long pointy end sticking out of the top. Push the pointy end into the head and stitch the stem in place.

* obviously this isn't suitable for a child's toy. 


And that's it. Your very own sunshine to brighten up your days!




Enjoy making,
Sarah xx

Friday, 21 August 2015

Flowers Abound Winner

The winner (chosen at random) of Shelley's wonderful book, Flowers Abound is....


Comment number 25- theamiproject  !!



Well done to you!
I'll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for entering.

Have a fab week,
Sarah xx

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Flowers Abound giveaway

Hooray, it's another giveaway!



This time, I was asked by the ever-fabulous Shelley Husband from Spincushions blog if I'd like to have a little look at her new ebook before its release... And maybe host a giveaway...?

It took me all of 3 milliseconds to reply with a resounding 'yes'! - I've loved following Shelly on Instagram and watching her crochet designs take shape. She is a very talented designer and blogger and hosts amazing CALs (crochet-a-longs) and already has two very successful ebooks.



Her new book, Flowers Abound will be available later on this month, either as an ebook, or as a PDF and features 20 beautiful flower motifs. Why not use them to make a blanket, cushion cover, rug, bedspread, or a scarf?



And what a smashing book it is! There's lots of advice, tips and tricks for how to make these squares. Shelley's even designed a border to finish off your project beautifully.

I had to have a little play and so crocheted Zahra and Fhool squares. 


Aren't they pretty?
My plan is to make a cushion cover. I think I'll choose a few more motifs from the book, too.

Would you like to win a copy?

I thought so.
Just leave a comment below and I'll draw a winner on Saturday (22nd Aug).

Have a great week, everyone.

Sarah xx

Saturday, 1 August 2015

A cotton project

Cottons are one of my favourite yarns to work with; they have that lovely feel through the hands and are smooth on my hook.
Usually, I stick to my old favourites. Rico Creative Cotton Aran, or Drops Paris Cotton - both come in a huge array of colours, are inexpensive and have a wonderful, matte finish.


But I had an idea to make something else - something for me. Something for me to wear.
(Did you know that I have never made myself an actual, crocheted garment before. This is new territory for me.)

And so for that, I needed a different yarn. I still wanted cotton, but I wanted something finely spun, that would produce a nice drape....

And so I am trying this:


Patons 100% Cotton DK. It's mercerised, too (which has always scared me a bit). But is basically a manufacturing process which strengthens the yarn and produces a lustrous sheen. 


And so this is what I've managed so far:


Admittedly, it's not much, but I'm making it up as I go.
I like the stitch definition and I think the sheen is rather lovely. The label recommends a 4mm hook, but I'm using a slightly larger 5mm to give a better (I hope) drape.

My plan is for it to be a summer cardigan....


...at this rate it might be finished by next summer. 

I'll keep you posted!

And if you'd like to purchase some of this yarn, then you could try the very lovely folk at Stitch Craft Create, who will be only too happy to help.

Have a great weekend,
Sarah x

Sunday, 26 July 2015

And the WINNER is...

.... Sue Bellwood

Well done to you!

I used a random number generator-thingy and yours was the lucky number! 




You have won a signed copy of my book, along with a hook and some fab yarn to get you started.


Please leave me a comment below with your email address (it won't be published) and I'll be in contact  to arrange who you'd like the book dedicated to and where you'd like your goodies to be sent!

Super-exciting.

Have a fab week,

Sarah xxxx