Tutorial – Interchangeable button on flower

I love, love, love making gorgeous little hats for my little girl, but I wanted to find a way to match them with her outfits without having to make a billion different hats. The easiest way I thought to do this is to have detachable crochet flowers that a permanent button on the hat can attach to.

Newborn flower hat with button flower

Here’s the tutorial for these lovely little flowers:

Form a magic ring and ch 1
12 sc in the ring
sl st to join
*(1 sc
4 dc
1sc) in 1st stitch
sl st in next stitch*
repeat between *’s 5 times (5 small petals)

Sl st into back post before first petal
*(1 dc
4 trc
1 dc) in next back post
sl st in next back post*repeat between *’s 5 times (5 large petals)

Fasten off and weave in tails

Pattern – Granny Hexagon Block

I recently purchased some Special DK by Stylecraft for making baby blankets. I ordered 17 colours (I know I might have a slight addiction to yarn purchasing!!!) and these have been hidden in various locations to stop my other half finding them and telling me off. Anyway, I digress.

I want to make a fun and summery throw to go over the bed in our spare bedroom, so I thought what better way than to try my hand at a honeycomb blanket made from granny square hexagon blocks.

Hexagon crochet granny square block

Here’s how to make a granny square hexagon crochet block:

Materials:
Stylecraft Special DK (100% acrylic)
1 x 100g ball (295m/322yds) each of:
1390 Clematis (A)
1188 Lavender (B)
1422 Aspen (C)
1034 Sherbet (D)
5mm hook

Abbreviations:
ch chain
dc double crochet
slst slip stitch
rnd round
*…* repeat between
sk skip

Finished measurement:
5 inches side to side / 6 inches corner to corner

Tension:
4 dc to 1 inch
4 dc row over 2.5 inch

Special Stitches:
Corner cluster

3 dc in same stitch
ch 1
3 dc in same stitch

Side cluster
2 dc in same stitch

Notes:
This blockĀ  is worked in the round using US terms. I’ve used a 5mm hook, but you can use a 4mm hook for a stiffer fabric. I wanted something a bit more squishy.
Attach each new colour each round in the top of the starting ch 2 of the previous round.

Method:

Form a magic ring
Rnd 1:
With colour A
ch 2
2 dc into ring
*ch 1
3 dc into ring*
repeat 4 more times
slst to join
Fasten off and weave in ends

Rnd 2:
Attach colour B to a ch 1 made in Rnd 1
ch 2
2 dc in same stitch
ch 1
3 dc in same stitch
ch 1
sk 3
*corner cluster
ch 1
sk 3*
repeat 4 times
slst to join
fasten off and weave in ends

Rnd 3:
Attach colour C to ch 1 made after corner cluster
ch 2
1 dc in same stitch
ch 1
sk 3
*corner cluster
ch 1
sk 3
side cluster
ch 1
sk 3*
repeat 4 times
corner cluster
sl st to join
fasten off and weave in ends

Rnd 4:
Attach colour D to ch made after corner cluster
ch 2
1 dc in same stitch
ch 1
sk 3
side cluster
ch 1
sk 3
*corner cluster
ch 1
sk 3
side cluster
ch 1
sk 3
side cluster
ch 1
sk 3*
repeat 4 times
corner cluster
sl st to join
fasten off and weave in ends

Tutorial – foundation single crochet

The first tutorial I want to share is one that I wish I had known from the very beginning of learning to crochet and something that given half the chance I use in all my pieces…foundation crochet. It can be done in single, double, treble…whatever as long as you know the basic formula. It’s a little fiddly and took me a fair few goes before it suddenly twigged, but now I’ve got the hang of it I don’t need to do anymore of those annoying chain rows at the start of a piece.

The foundation single crochet row gives, in my opinion, a neater start to a piece of work and I always get a bit muddled with how many I’ve chained. It also means you don’t need to change hook size to ensure you’ve got not gone too tight.

Here’s how to go about it…(video located after instructions)

make a slip knot

1. Ch 2
2. Insert hook in 2nd ch from hook
3. YO & pull through 1 loop (2 loops on hook)
4. YO & pull through the first loop only (this counts as your Ch that we’ll use when we make the next fsc)
5. YO & pull through 2 loops (1 loop on hook) – 1 fsc completed

6. Insert hook into Ch
7. YO & pull through 1 loop (2 loops on hook)
8. YO & pull through first loop only to form a chain
9. YO & pull through 2 loops (1 loop on hook) – 2nd fsc completed

Repeat the last 3 steps until you have the required number of ch for your pattern.

As you create the foundation row, you are creating a row of chains on the left of your work, and a row of stitches on the right of your work. When you complete the foundation row, you will turn the work and start to crochet into the stitches that form on the right.

WIP – Sunny Granny Baby Blankets

A week or so ago my other half told me that one of our close friends is terminally ill. She went into hospital just over a month ago with suspected kidney stones, and has been given a stage 4 diagnosis for the big C. Her eldest daughter has just had a little girl in December and I felt incredibly sad for her family. Our friend has been in a lot of pain and in hospital for most of the time since her granddaughter was born, so I thought I would cheer her up by making my first granny square baby blanket for her to give to her new grandaughter.

Sunny granny square baby blanket

I had yarn leftover so I decided to make a granny stripe baby blanket in the same colours for her to keep to one side if her younger daughter ever had a baby, then both daughters would have matching blankets from their Mum.

Sunny granny square blanket

I think having recently become a mother myself, accompanied by going through having thyroid cancer in 2010, I was especially compelled to do something to help this family through such a devastating event in their lives. I’m really pleased with how the granny square blanket has turned out, and I’m excited to see the finished stripe blanket.

Both blankets are made using Stylecraft Special DK and a 4mm Tulip hook. The colours used are: lemon, white, silver, and sherbet.

New Beginnings

In August 2014 after having our first child, we bought our first property. It’s a lovely 3-bed 1950’s semi-detached on the outskirts of Bristol. Close enough to the countryside to have a nice sized garden, but still within 30 minutes of the City Centre for the hustle and bustle. From the moment I saw a photo of our house I knew it was perfect for us. The garden alone filled me with excitement as there is more than enough room for a large vegetable patch and a lovely sized workshop for my crafty ways. There’s also ample space for our two little kitties to have their own outside space, which should save us at 5am when they tend to run around the house like banshees.

Leo the bengal and Chloe the siamese

Unfortunately, having a small person means that my crafty ways are relegated to a few short hours grabbed here and there. But now that she’s a year old I’m finding I have more and more time to indulge whilst she plays with her blocks, or dolls and I sit watching her from the sofa. Plus our rather plain, magnolia house is in dire need of some soft furnishings and life to be brought into it.

Whilst she was still on the inside, in the final few weeks, I decided to teach myself how to crochet. I knew nothing about yarn, tension, or in fact the different stitches. So I made a single-crochet (UK terms) blanket for the expectant baby in a Debby Bliss Cashmerino. It’s completely wonky, and now that it’s been vomited on a few times and washed several thousand, I realise that the stitch I’ve used is far too stiff for the hook size and the gorgeously soft yarn is no more *sob*

This has led me to think that I should start to write down the things I’ve learnt, particularly tutorials I’ve adapted and have a collection of patterns I love all under one umbrella. As whenever I try to search for something it takes me several hours to find it again.

So this blog is going to provide me with reference as well as hopefully helping fellow hookers.