Friday, 10 March 2017

The Very Hungry Catterpillar Crochet Toy

Watch out there's a hungry catterpillar about! Lock up your fruit and vegetables :)

Loved making this for my friends granddaughter and it is really easy to do, working in the round all the sections join together in one piece so there is not lots of sewing to do! I made it in a week working on it just in the evenings now and again.

Don't make my mistake and decide to leave stuffing to the end (I didn't have any and was keen to get on with the crochet) however I managed to stuff it OK but it would have been easier to do it as I went along.

There is not a great amount of sewing, just the legs, antennae and eyes. 

To help keep the body tight I ran a long thread from nose to tail and pulled it tight sewing it firmly at each end, you don't have to do that but I felt it gave it shape.

Mine came out at around 22" long and about 5" high to top of antennae but you could make it bigger by just keep making more segments - or smaller by using thinner yarn and a smaller hook or less segments.

I used Cygnet Aran yarn in Mint and Forest green and then oddments of yarn from my stash for the other parts. 

Hook size used - 5.00 mm and 5.5 mm

Very easy to follow FREE pattern with clear instructions big thank you to Londie for sharing this for free.










Happy crocheting!



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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

My attempt at the Anansi Shawl by Aoibhe NĂ­

Well here goes, I've only dabbled in some Tunisian crochet so this is going to be a learning curve for me, however armed with Aoibhe's excellent written pattern, charts and YouTube video I hope to be able to make this beautiful work of art.

I hope you will join me on my journey.

I'm beginning today, February 22nd 2017 and will update this page as I go on.

My first stop was choosing a yarn, I looked through Ravelry at what other people had used and some had used Double Knit and some the recommended Lace/2ply.

Unsure what to do I had a walk to my local shops, sadly all the yarn/craft shops are now gone but a few high street stores do still sell yarn. I was thrilled to find that Boyes were selling Stylecraft Senses Lace yarn at just £1 per ball in their sale. It was like it was meant to be! So here I am about to begin in a beautiful mullberry, slightly varigated colour:


23rd February 2017

Well today has been a learning curve and I've found I've been doing it all wrong!

First thing I discovered is that you can't really do this pattern with the soft grip handled crochet hooks, they do not give you enough room for the stitches, so I swapped to a proper Tunisian crochet hook.




That wasn't much of a problem and the worked started to look lovely:


I must admit I was a bit uncertain though about the jagged edge, it was hard to tell from the pattern photos but I was sure that they did not have that effect.

I had watched Aoibhe Ni's video tutorial on how to do the 'uple treble' stitches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlqzkNaIOWA
and had been using this same technique to make the Lt1, 2 3, etc. stitches as mentioned in the pattern, i.e. I was chaining the said number of chains then working the uple trebles on them, each time on top of the last. As I went along I realised that if I continued I would have the final 24 stitches, which I needed to then carry on with chart A and B, but as I had been working on top of the previous 'uples' I would have had far, far too many stitches along the working edge.

A search of Ravelry took me to a forum thread which, although 3 years old, gave the explanation of what I should actually be doing. You can see the forum posts here: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/aoibhe-ni/2522973/1-25#2

Vivian-pearl explained it excellently on how to work on the foundation chains after doing the 2dc increase (note: being in the US Vivian-pearl uses the term 'sc' which is the same as a UK 'dc'):

After you have your 2 sc in the same chain:
YO and hook into the next chain and return. (creates a Ltr)
Hook the YO loop and hook into the chain, then return. (1st Ltr in ch)
Hook the line, hook into the same chain, return. (2nd Ltr in ch)
YO and hook into the line, hook into next chain, return. (creates L2tr)
Hook the YO loop, hook the line, hook into the next chain, return. (1st L2tr in ch)
Hook the 2 lines, hook into the same chain, return. (2nd L2tr in ch)

Continue in the same manner until you have made all your increases.

Once I had masted this everything began to look better and I think I am now on the right track, thankfully I had not done too much work. Let's see how things go from now on!


24th February 2017

Well another little set back but nothing that can't be sorted. I got to the end of the first section ready to do the first of the charts but realised I did not have enough chains left to work the charts on. On closer inspection I found that I had worked happily away until I had the correct number of stitches but had been missing some of the YO (yarn overs) which meant things had gone wrong.

All my fault for not counting stitches and being careful! So my advice is COUNT, COUNT and COUNT again and watch out for those yarn overs, they can get hidden amongst the other stitches (see photo added further down below). You need good light and concentration.

Anyway, I'm not one to give up (perhaps you'd noticed that :) ) so after ripping it back yet again I am now back where I should be. This time I placed stitch markers on the chains at each point where the section or chart should end and this helped me be sure I was counting correctly.

The top piece is what I had done wrong and the bottom one is correct and ready for moving on to chart A and B - you can see how much smaller and narrower the top one is, it would not have achieved the size required.


You might think that all this means the pattern is not worth trying but PLEASE do have a go, all these mistakes are my fault so don't let me put you off, it is quite easy once you understand what you should be doing and once you have done one segment then that is all there is to it, you then have to make another 10 segments exactly in the same way so it is bound to get easier because of all the practice.

We have the grandchildren to stay this weekend so there will be no updates until at least Monday but I am feeling really good about this shawl despite my mistakes I am learning from them. The yarn is soft and beautiful, although a bit of a pain to undo as it has a slight mohair feel to it and the fibres can get tangled if you are not careful, but fingers crossed this is my last rip back!

Tuesday 28th February 2017

I was able to spend quite a few hours on this yesterday and have completed the first panel. YAY! The charts A and B are easy to understand but you do need to work on it with patience and quiet concentration, certainly not something to do while watching TV - not for me anyway!

This is how it is looking so far, once finished it will need blocking which will help open up the pattern and show it in more detail. I can't fit the whole length on my table so it is folded at the plain end.



My main observation is to watch for those yarn overs, it is very easy to miss them, so remember to count all your stitches - I recommend counting on the first pass rather than the return then if you have missed one it is easy to go back.

Below is a picture of a yarn over, I hope it shows what I mean about how hidden they are, it is vital that you do not miss picking them up from the previous row or the hole which is part of the pattern will not form.


So now it is on to the next panel which is worked onto the side of the previous one, at the end you join the last panel to the other edge of the first and voila, you have a circular shawl :)

1st March 2017

I am as they say over here 'cooking with gas' and everything is working out fine. I've done the first part of the second panel and the last row arrived exactly where it should on the stitch marker I'd placed after counting where it should end. :)

I did get in a bit of a panic when looking at the diagram of the finished shawl and how the panels join together, my little 'wing' triangle was on the top side, not the bottom as in the diagram but after studying it a bit more I think the diagram is showing the reverse, so all is well.

I'm now well into the two charts for panel two and expect to go much faster now that I am fully understanding the pattern and seeing how it looks in progress.

I expect it is going to take me a few weeks to complete, yes I think there are a few mistakes but even I find it hard to see them so I doubt anyone else would and this yarn is quite forgiving as it has a slight mohair to it so hides any errors. :)

3rd March 2017

Panel two is now almost finished and it looks lovely, I am really getting into the pattern and even did a little bit while watch some TV that didn't need too much concentration.

I am really getting into the pattern and finding it easy, it's amazing how once you get into something it all becomes clear.

If you fancy having a go I can recommend it - go for it!

Panel three will begin today, not much point me keep updating unless I have some technique information to share so it might be a few days before there is another update.

10th March 2017

Just a quick update to say that it is still coming along nicely I'm almost half way through - YAY!

14th March 2017

Thought I would add a photo of the work so far, really happy with how it is coming together.

A small hitch when I was working on an area where you work a small triangle by decreasing the Ltrs. I only had the chain stitches worked and had to put it down to let the cat in who was scratching at the door, when I picked it up I must have turned the work and not realised, I ended up running out of stitches and found I had been going back the wrong way. Doh!! Please don't laugh. :) Anyway, it was only about 10 rows to undo and I was soon back on track.




Watch this space for updates!







Happy crocheting!



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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Curly 'self tying' scarf

This is a really easy scarf to make and it is done in just a few rows!

Once made it is so curly that just by wrapping it over itself it stays in place and holds together in a 'self-tying' way.

I made it in a DK cotton yarn with a little bit of silver running through it which gave it a nice sparkly look. I used a 5mm hook and it took 150g for a scarf with 180 starting chains.

If you want a longer scarf you can begin with as many chains as you need to get the length of scarf you are looking for - keep chaining and holding it around your neck until you have about the length you want.

Worked in UK terms:

Double Knit Cotton yarn - 150g approx.
5mm hook

Foundation row: Make 180 chains or the number you require for your own length

Row 1: one double crochet in second chain from hook, one double crochet in each chain until last one then work 3 double crochet into this last chain.
Do not turn, work down the other side into the loops of the foundation chains working one double crochet in each. Turn

Row 2: chain 2, work 2 double crochet in each double crochet of previous row to end. Turn

Row 3: 3 chain then work two trebles in each double crochet of previous row to end. Turn.

Row 4: 3 chain then two trebles in each treble of previous row to end.

Fasten off, weave in ends and wear!





Terms of use: Please feel free to share the pattern but please don't copy and paste the pattern - please link back to my page instead - thank you.

Happy crocheting!



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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Victorian Lattice Square Crochet Tutorial Crochet along (CAL)

Someone asked if I could do them a video tutorial for a Victorian Lattice Square because they could not follow written patterns.

I don't do videos of other people's patterns unless I am sure they won't mind and I managed to find a lovely Lattice Square pattern on Ravelry by Destany Wymore where she said she was happy for people to translate them if they wanted.

You can find Destany's original pattern here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/victorian-lattice-square


I made just a few changes to the way the rounds start and end because I find it easier that way.

You can find the full step by step video tutorial here where you can crochet along (CAL) to each round:

 


Please credit Destany as the designer of this square in any posts, blogs etc. and link back to her Ravelry store or profile - thank you.

I did this one in 4ply cotton and as you can see the edges are a bit uneven so it could do with blocking just to get the shape correct.



Happy crocheting!



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Saturday, 11 February 2017

Cat toys quick and easy crochet

I made these cat toys in just an hour or so, they were so quick and easy to make and my cat loves them.

I didn't have any catnip to add but all the same she still chases them around and throws them in the air!

The little loops around the edge help the cat to catch them but without tangling in their paws or claws.

If you don't know how to do the loop stitch you can find my tutorial here, it is very simple to do:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-8g1HRjt1s
 



The FREE pattern for the cat toy can be found here on Ravelry by Esh Crochet: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/squibble-cat-toy






Happy crocheting!



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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Amigurumi Little Monkeys in Hats

These little monkeys are made from two patterns.

Little Big Foot Monkey by Sharon Ojala at Amigurumi to Go and the little hats by Jennifer Wang.

I loved making these, both patterns have very clear instructions and are easy to follow.

Each pattern is set out with detailed step by step instructions and Jennifer explains how to alter the Little Big Foot Monkey pattern slightly so that the hats fit better.

Both patterns can be found on Ravelry and are FREE - how kind are these people? It inspires me to always offer my patterns for free too. :) Let's all share!

Little Big Foot Monkey by Sharon Ojala: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/little-bigfoot-monkey-2014

Little Hats by Jennifer Wang: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/amigurumi-monkey-hats

I made mine using Drops Safran yarn which is a 4ply cotton in brown and white for the monkey and pink and yellow for the hats. The monkey comes out at around 5" tall when sitting.

I made two hats, the sun hat and the newsboy hat. There is also a cowboy hat and a Fedora to make.

I'm going to be making more monkeys in hats so will add photos as they are made.






Happy crocheting!



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Saturday, 28 January 2017

Pet Bed Cat or Dog bed crochet tutorial

This is a crochet pattern for a pet bed. It is worked in the round in a continuous spiral and the edge is stuffed to give a soft, cosy bed.




I was inspired to make this pattern after getting a new cat and finding all the beds very expensive. I had lots of odd balls of yarn around so used them up to make it.

The pattern is free to use, however please do read the terms of use at the bottom of the pattern before you begin.
If you have any problems or questions please do get in touch, I’ve found it hard to explain it all in writing so please do watch the video as it will really help explain what I mean: Video tutorial available here: https://youtu.be/dL4QAasj7lE or search www.youtube.com for Pookie Doodle Crafts




Instructions: .. to add to your Ravelry Projects, click here:

Yarn: Great for using any leftover oddments of yarns - aran and chunky work best but it might work with double knit too.
I used around 250-300g of aran and chunky.

Stuffing: Any suitable stuffing such as toy stuffing, old cushion stuffing, cut up t.shirts work too.

Method:

Hook: 5.5 mm - larger hook will give a larger size, likewise a smaller hook will give a smaller size.

All terms used are UK crochet terms.
Ch - Chain
dc - Double Crochet (single crochet if you are in the US)
St - Stitch
Inc  - work 2 double crochet stitches into one stitch below
FO - Fasten Off


To begin make a magic ring and work 6 dc into it ... if you prefer to work in chain rings, make 6 chains and join with a slip stitch then work 6 dc into it. (6 sts)

Place a marker in the first stitch so you know when you come back around to where you started. You will be working in continuous rounds, not joining the round.

1st round: 2 dc in each stitch (12sts)

2nd round: *1 dc in next stitch. inc in next stitch** - repeat from * to ** all the way around. (18sts)

3rd round: *1 dc in next 2 sts. inc in next stitch** - repeat from * to ** all the way around.
4th round: *1 dc in next 3 sts. inc in next stitch** - repeat from * to ** all the way around.
5th round: *1 dc in next 4 sts. inc in next stitch** - repeat from * to ** all the way around.

Continue is this way doing one more stitch between the increases until you have 25 stitches between the increases.

For a larger bed continue as above until you have the base the size you need.

Next round: Turn your work over and going back the other way work ONLY in the front loops (this round only) doing 1 dc  in each stitch.

When you come back around to the marker do not join the round but continue working on in a spiral, doing 1 dc into each stitch, now working through both loops.

Continue on, round and round in a spiral until the side wall is twice the height you want the finished bed.

Now fasten off and then sew the top edge to the back loops that were left when you worked into the front loops. These will be located inside the bed near the fold.

Alternatively you can crochet them together as I do in the video.

As you sew or crochet them together stop from time to time and begin stuffing the side wall - if you sew it all first then you might have difficulty getting the stuffing all the way around.

It is worth watching the video as I am able to give far more detailed explanation on what I mean, than I can express in writing: https://youtu.be/dL4QAasj7lE







Enjoy!

Terms of use:
The pattern is free to use for personal use only. You may not copy, reproduce, sell, distribute physically or digitally or put the pattern on your own blog/website - instead please provide a link back to my blog or Ravelry download.
Please do not claim the pattern as your own.
Please credit Pookie Doodle Crafts www.pookiedoodlecrafts.co.uk as the designer and provide a link where possible.

The items you make: You may do what you like with the items you make from the pattern but please give me credit for the design where possible. I would also love to see photos of your finished items, please share them here on my blog www.pookiedoodlecrafts.co.uk  or my Facebook page www.facebook.com/pookiedoodlecrafts or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/pookiedoodle
If you sell them and make a reasonable profit please consider making a little donation to a charity from it - I would really appreciate that and thank you in advance :) 


Happy crocheting!



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