Friday, 25 February 2011

Loving the Hearts - Crochet Doily Pattern

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Crochet Hearts Doily - after row 8
Work in Progress
As promised I started the "Crochet-Along Hearts Doily" last night and here are some photos of my progress.


I placed it over my blue doily for size comparison, you can see it will end up a bit bigger which is not an issue, and I am really enjoying the experience.  

Thank you to Cylinda Matthews from Crochet Memories for this wonderful crochet hearts doily pattern.

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Crochet Hearts Doily Pattern - after row 17

Confusion
The pattern is easy to follow,  although there were a few moments there, I wasn't exactly sure what it was saying and I actually thought there was a mistake in the pattern, I think it was my haste to get on with it, because as soon as I focused and re-read the instruction it all made sense.

I think this is where a chart would help to explain what is happening in each row.

The end is in sight!
So tonight I will have completed the doily, so excited about it, now it will be interesting deciding where to use it!

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Crochet Hearts Doily - WIP

I hope you are willing to try this Hearts Doily Pattern, it is really quite easy and I think it would look lovely in a heavier cotton, maybe something like a 4ply or even an DK, using either Patons 100% Cotton, or Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton.  I am sure that will be a project for another time.

Do come back and share your creations, when you have tried this beautiful Hearts Doily Pattern, I would love to see your lovely handiwork.

Ciao, Ciao



Copyright © 2008
Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet.
All rights reserved.


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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Mandala of Hearts - Love, Love, Love!

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Doily Heaven


Have you ever searched for doily patterns on the web?  OMG - there are soooo many. I don't know why I never thought to go to this place before. So many designs and colour schemes and amazing little angels and swans and oh my just so much doily stuff. I am in doily heaven.

I spent at least an hour or so, of just browsing and admiring and dared not spend more time searching in case I was swallowed up by the massive array of doily patterns. A bit like a "black hole" - the black hole of crochet doilies!

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Joy of Discovery


I was overjoyed to find at least a couple of FREE doily patterns which included heart shapes and didn't seem too complicated or overtaxing. You know, it is my first real attempt at serious doily crochet - and I am so keen on following through with my "hearts" theme  - I like to think of these as my heart mandalas bringing in lots of love into my world!

I managed to crochet a total of  three (3) doilies (different sizes using different yarns and hooks) all made in one afternoon - this crochet heart doily pattern is really easy and once you have made one doily, it is REALLY easy to remember the pattern and to crochet another doily without having to refer to the writtern pattern (well hardly) at all! 

I really, really love this easy heart pattern and have a few ideas about how I can use it elsewhere. Of course, when I get around to crocheting my ideas I will share it with you. But for now I am taking a break from the heart doily thing and focusing on finishing a few other "WIP" which have been  patiently waiting in the bottom of my work basket.

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Pattern Source

This first pattern is a very good beginner's pattern.  If you would like to download the pattern you will find it HERE.

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I also found a second hearts doily pattern, however you will have to wait for my next hearts mandala doily BLOG.  I aim to start on the lovely heart doily pattern tonight or tomorrow. Depends on how quickly I finish off some loose ends (so to speak)!

The Crochet Memories website seems to have (or used to have - I didn't check it out thoroughly yet)  "crochet-along" patterns.  So you could join in and crochet a certain amount of the doily and then wait for the rest to be posted. Anyway the Hearts Doily Pattern I am talking about is available to download from HERE.

I hope this has been of benefit to some of you and if anyone has any other websites of interest to share please post a comment at the end of the blog post below, and it will be lovely to see what else is out there for everyone to enjoy!  

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Enjoy!
Ciao, ciao!

Copyright © 2008
Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet.
All rights reserved.


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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Coffee Coaster Blues

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"One of these days Alice!" bang!!! zoom!! pow!    "I'm gonna make you some coffee coasters".

Ideas brew!

I love the way ideas just fly into one's head. Rummaging through my stash I came across some cotton ribbon yarn - yes could be a sunhat but is there enough?  maybe, no not really. Oh hang on, there is also this bamboo yarn, ooh cool, just the perfect contrast too. OK, now what?  um let me handle it, play with the yarn that is, hmm hook size recommended is 5.5mm, no I think I will use a 6mm hook. 

This ribbon yarn will have just the right thickness and perfect for coasters. I wonder if I can get six (6) coasters out of one skein? Maybe try it, if not I can also make some from the dark blue ribbon yarn instead. OK let's go for it!

Time tells a story!

From conception to finish, these coasters were a "no brainer". Simple double crochet into a magic loop, for three (3) rounds, and then contrast single crochet and crab stitch to finish.

I like to "just crochet" sometimes. No patterns, no checking gauge, nothing to adhere to - I am free to go anywhere with this yarn and hook. Moments like these I have no thoughts, and I am totally consumed by the process of crochet, totally in the moment, I exist in the present and time is nowhere!  Simply heavenly crochet time!

I started these coasters on Wednesday afternoon and managed to make eight (8) coasters from 1 skein, that was a real bonus. I then decided to make a large centre piece, initial thoughts were to use on my circular tray when afternoon tea/coffee is served.  Good idea! 

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Crazy Doily!

This large centre piece was quickly turning into hours of crochet and ripping, ripping and crochet, just experimenting with the stitches so I could make the yarn go further to get the perfect size centre piece to fit the tray.  Hey karumba!  I am starting to admire doily crocheters.  

OK so I was working without a pattern but really how difficult can it be?  You go round in circles right?  Too easy!  Well not so easy when asking a piece of circular crochet to lie flat, it becomes a challenge!  I could have easily done the increasing in the usual manner but then I would have ended up with a hexagon or an octagon and that is not what I was aiming for.  So changing from double crochet to a variety of V-sts and incorporating the contrast mocha bamboo to help bring the piece together was a bit of a "ripping" experience! Hahaha! So glad it is now finished, I literally spent hours. Phew!   Click HERE and watch

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Moving along!

After this crochet centre piece triumph? or should I say marathon more like it, so many hours for something so basic, r e a l l y !  I am now keen to try my hand at doily patterns. No, I am not going to re-invent the wheel, I am going to find a pattern to work with. It will be something new to accomplish.

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Square Heart!


Earlier in the week I also played around with placing my "perfect heart" into a square. Another small achievement with loads of hours of rip, rip, rip. Yes, it is definitely trial and error week, lucky me!

I believe I am getting a message from the crochet angels telling me to look at doily patterns. Thanks a lot, wish you told me before I started these two (2) projects. I am sure the creations would have been easier to work out with a bit of knowledge of doily construction.

I promise to keep you all posted on my search for a doily pattern which will inspire me!  

Ciao, Ciao



Copyright © 2008
Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet.
All rights reserved.


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Friday, 11 February 2011

Perfect Heart Mania!

Perfect Heart Projects


Obsessive Behaviour? That's me!
Its seems I have become a little bit, only a little bit, obsessed with my "perfect heart" crochet pattern - well, only when I have been home and not out walking or touring.  I just want to see how many different ways I can use this crochet heart pattern.  My brain has got a pile of ideas but I have a reluctance to even try some of those ideas - mainly because my general philosophy for crocheting is to make things that are useful and practical.  Yes, I may admire those artistic crocheters who crochet up cup cakes and other odd vegetables and fruits - but for me it is not the direction I want to go!

Big Heart Effort
In the last week, my crochet hours have been limited and my time has been filled with other things.  But as soon as I had the chance I was trying different yarns and deciding on ways to turn my perfect hearts into a useful, practical item.

Of course my most basic use of the heart is:

Perfect Heart Motif/Brooch
No.1:  attach heart to a hat, scarf, bag, whatever.














No. 2:  my favourite use make two hearts, join and fill with dried lavender, to hang in the wardrobe. I really like these lavender pouches and I am glad I have a good supply of lavender which I bought last summer from the Norfolk Lavender Farm.
Perfect Heart Lavender Pouch



















No. 3:  making heart decos, make two hearts, join together, make a chain loop, and attach to handbag, keyring, hang on tree, make a garland.









No. 4:  make a wristband, headband, belt etc. and attach a heart motif.

I am thinking of writing up and posting this wristband pattern.  Anyone interested?

Let me know.



No. 5:  still working on it.... thinking cap is on and crochet hook is working....



All this talk about hearts reminds me of a fantastic poem written by E.E. Cummings:

i carry your heart with me
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) 
i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Heart me!  I love it!






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Friday, 4 February 2011

Perfect Hearts - Filling you with Love

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Day of the Restless!

I was feeling a bit fidgety yesterday, must have something to do with the New Moon!  I was not at all inspired to finish writing out the instructions for one of my baby hat designs, and I was totally indecisive about what kind of crochet hat to work on next.

Instead, I spent some time flicking through cook books, flicking through self-help books, found some great stuff again from Louise Hay.  Yes, she is my favourite, you know all that love stuff, love thyself, honour thyself, all is well in the world.  Which lead me to designing the thinking about designing a crochet HEART.

Ages ago, I used to have a great little heart pattern which I used to attach as a motif or as a brooch to my crochet hats. The simple heart pattern was the centre of a crochet granny square, however, this pattern is now buried somewhere in one of my storage boxes back in Australia.  AND for the life of me I can't remember how the pattern went.  

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And try as I may, I have not found a heart pattern which is as good, or simple, or as pleasing.  

So, whilst watching "Farscape" last night (yes, it's a Sci-Fi TV series from the late 1990's - which I have not seen before). I came up with this cute little heart pattern, easy and quick, and a very pleasing heart shape (even if I say so myself) and it's not too complex. 

I hope you find it useful.  Do try it, AND let me know what you think.  

Crochet Heart Pattern:
Yarn:  Patons 100% Cotton DK OR any other similar yarn
Hook:  3.5mm
Terminology: US
Gauge:  not so important, but I recommend using a hook half to one size smaller than recommended on yarn label.


 Perfect Heart Motif for use as:
  • a heart motif, heart applique,
  • make it into a brooch by joining two hearts together and then attach a brooch backing;
  • join two hearts, make a chain loop and fill with lavender, to hang in your wardrobe;
  • make loads of hearts and join with a chain to make a crochet heart garland, or heart bunting.
I am sure you will find other ways to use this crochet heart pattern.  


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PERFECT HEARTS CROCHET PATTERN 
is available from my online stores 

LOVECROCHET       RAVELRY        CRAFTSY 

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CIAO, CIAO !
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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Tropical Fruits - good enough to eat!

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Nature's Colours!

Nature provides us with amazing spectacular colours present in the beauty of fruits, vegetables and flowers. There is colour all around us, and I just love the variety and vibrancy of colours on show.

I love roaming around farmers' markets and admiring all the wonderful colours of fruits and vegetables - greens, oranges, reds, purples, yellows - and my favourite colours can be found amongst the amazing tropical fruits: mango; passionfruit; paw paw (papaya); kiwi to name a few. All these vibrant coloured fruits and vegetables just for us to eat and enjoy. Yummy!

Fruity Inspiration!

While doing a bit of travelling around historical Kent, I came across some amazing vibrant yarn colours which made me think about tropical fruits and also inspired my design for the next crochet hat for your baby/toddler.

Probably the one thing I really miss, here in the UK, is the abundance of fresh tropical fruits which were available in my hometown of Byron Bay, Australia. I used to love just stepping out the back door and picking a papaya off the tree or a passionfruit off the vine!  So fresh and so delicious!

OK so I apologize I am getting a bit sidetracked, I will return to talking about crochet and vibrant yarn colours.

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Yarn and Pattern Stitch!

The yarn is King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK and they have some amazing colours, beautiful deep, warm shades or pastels, you can check out the colour chart here

King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK is a naturally special 50/50 bamboo and cotton blend. It is soft and smooth on the skin, and will create garments with an elegant, fluid drape. 

I found this bamboo cotton yarn is just perfect for crochet hats for baby, toddler, teen or adult, and with spring around the corner I am convinced these colours are just begging to be displayed. 

Shrimp, Green and Violet, are the colours I used for my new hat design, which reminds me of tropical fruits.  Doesn't it look delicious?

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Harlequin or Catherine Wheel?

The pattern stitch I used is Harlequin stitch, which is very similar to the Catherine Wheel stitch and I think it is just the perfect stitch for a multi-coloured project.

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Crochet Hat TROPO is available from my online stores:


RAVELRY        CRAFTSY 

Enjoy!
ciao, ciao!

Barbara Summers Hand Knit and Crochet   www.crocknit.com
(C) Copyright - All rights reserved.

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