Archive | August 2012

Scrumbles Bracelet

Scrumbles are  my latest addiction.  I love the little pieces of crochet joined together to form freeform pieces of art.   Mishmash of colours and textures make these pieces really unique. Such a brilliant way to use up ends of yarn or to just try a sample of new wool without committing to a huge project.    Each step of creating a part gives that little buzz of achievement…..no need to wait 10 hours for the finished shawl buzz.  And with my many and increasing WIPS getting a few mini pieces that I can class as finished is such a bonus 🙂  I now have a little bag  filled with samples/flowers/embelshments crocheted in different yarns and shades, waiting for me at mums, all ready to be combined into artwork.

My first attempt at a “finished piece” was a scrumble bracelet made in blues and greys colours that evoked our summer rainy day sky’s in the UK.  The freedom of creating little crochet embellishments and then combining them and adding garnishes of gems and beads was very enjoyable.

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My inspiration ( a very small selection):

I just love all the blogs I follow they always give me  inspiration and motivation to further develop my crochet skills.   Wether its a wonderfully toned colour selection or the most adorable little motifs they get the brain whirling over what I could create myself.

stitchedupmama has some absolutely beautiful scrumble pieces that combine different textiles and I especially love the beautifully decorative and organic woodland artwork    This really opened my eyes to the versatility of crochet.

There’s a good selection of scrumble and freeform crochet on pininterst – I fell headfirst in love with the bags and scarves pinned  by taarna.

And of course Ravelry features wonderful examples of freeform scrumbles.

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Awesome giveaway from Millie on her World – fingers crossed for a little bat and panda 🙂

millieonherworld

I’ve been meaning to do this for days—my 100 Follower Giveaway! 🙂

Starting this blog has opened up a whole new world for me that I never knew existed! This blog has helped me so much, I find I can be as expressive as I want, not afraid to hold back (normally I am EXTREMELY shy, like I get nervous to say a simple “Hello” to a stranger). Millie on her World has been great for me, but what I love the most is reading your blogs, reading experiences of others is a blast! I love seeing your crafting projects, hearing your funny children’s stories, trying out your recipes, all the wonderful things you share. To thank my followers that take a peak into my life, I’m hosting my first giveaway!

Wondering what you’ll get? 🙂 ofcourse!

 

 

I’ll be giving away one of my Chibi Cuties, one Bun Buddy…

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Of Crochet, Lace, and Steampunk

A steampunk event in Leeds called for a new outfit (yes I know, any excuse for new items…..)  It was my first venture into the world of Steampunk so I wasn’t quite sure how I should dress.  I went for a grey ruffled shirt with a black bustle pencil skirt and black boots (all from my usual wardrobe).   I decided the cheapest way to make this more Steampunky was to add a few accessories (crocheted of course)  to make my look a little bit more antique.      The first accessory was my flower headband (pattern here).  Followed by a crochet gothic necklace (one I had made and photographed previously)

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Gothic crochet necklace

I finished the outfit off by making  a new corsage from black lace, a sparkly button and a grey flower I had crocheted. I think it turned out rather well and its really simple to do (instructions below).  I’ve discovered the beauty of combining different textures in my art.  Crochet and lace just go so well together like chocolate and caramel….

Whilst at the event I discovered a wonderful Steampunk short-story book – Tales from the Asylum and got a signed copy.  It’s produced by an independent UK publisher (I think) that describes itself as “by Steampunks, for Steampunks”.      This really appealed to my love of  dark gothic horror with the bonus of supporting local writers.  The short tales that dip into different themes and visions seemed a fun intro to Steampunk novels as I could read snipets from different authors viewpoints without committing to reading a lengthily novel.  It is set within the dark decaying walls of an old fashioned asylum.  Each of the story’s  tells a tale of one of the special inmates and they are linked together by the wardens footsteps and laminations as he journeys from cell to cell through the asylum. This all makes great bedtime reading.  Available from the publisher or in the UK via  Amazon link.

Corsage:
What you need:
Lace
Fabric
Crochet flower
Sewing thread
Sewing needle

Button
Safety Pin

Cut the lace and fabric so that it is a little larger in size than your crochet flower and scrunch/fold to form a flower shape then add a few stitches to hold the shape.

Place the crochet flower over the lace.

Sew  on the button to hold all the layers together.

Push the safety pin through the back to turn this into a brooch.

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Corsage – I think it looked quite Steampunk from what I know of the style!

An afternoon of Corsages and Tea

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I needed an easy project to do that would only take a  few hours as a break from crochet necklaces.  A “quick” look at Ravelry (quick meaning I didn’t spend the whole afternoon browsing the wonderful creations on there but only an hour or so) and I found a pattern for a beautiful large corsage.  I skimmed the pattern notes and saw it looked simple enough.  But there were no other completed projects to see how others had faired.  I just love browsing through what others have done to see yarn and colour combinations and to read any hiccups and modifications in their project notes.   However I decided the lack of projects must be put right immediately and dived head first into my yarn stash.    I came out grasping 2 shades of blue which looked so complementary together. One a bright turquoise and the other a paler minty blue both Woolcraft New Fashion Double Knitting. This is a cheap and cheerful yarn perfect for mini projects/testing new patterns.

The pattern was very straightforward with just one (130+) row in each colour.  But I kept loosing track when counting to 8 for each petal set whilst trying to keep in my head which part of the stitch pattern I was on.   It was just a little too much information for my brain to hold on a warm afternoon whilst I indulged with tea and homemade tea loaf.  Next time a pen and paper will be utilised to keep track of where I am up to in the pattern. However,  happily as I’m sure I messed up in a couple of places,  it is very forgiving if you miss/duplicate stitches so any mistakes don’t really matter. I made a couple of changes to the finishing off of the pattern.  Crocheted the corsage onto the back piece rather than sewing and made it more ruffled up and on top of itself so it wasn’t as large a diameter.    I found a flowery pale blue  button which I attached into the centre to set it off as a statement piece.

Good fun project for beginners  as mistakes really don’t seem to matter too much at all.  The pattern is available on Ravelry by Jane Crowe.

Home made Tea loaf:

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Half eaten loaf

This makes a  rich tea-loaf perfect to spread with butter and have with your favourite cuppa.

As wheat is my enemy  I bake my own cakes and bread so I can achieve gluten free on a reasonable budget.  To aid me in this I have a wonderful breadmaker which allows me to chuck in a bunch of ingredients and return a few hours later to delicious baked goods, magic.    This is a recipe I’ve adapted from several recipes online which I find makes a good slightly moist loaf in my breadmaker. You can bake this substituting normal flour for the gluten free variety if you don’t have a wheat sensitivity.  If you don’t have a breadmaker you can mix this all together, beat in the egg and put into a lined bread tin and bake in the oven at Gas Mark 4 for about 45 minutes.

Ingredients

1 cup of tea (I used Tetley decaf  but any tea you like would be fine)

1 cup of  sultanas (or any mixed dried fruit)

2 cups of plain gluten free flour

2 teaspoons of gluten free baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tbsp oil (I used Sunflower but any mild flavoured cooking oil would be fine)

1 teaspoon mixed spice

Directions:

Boil kettle and make up one cup of black  tea.  Stir in one teaspoon of honey.

Put sultanas in a bowl and pour over the tea and honey mix.  Leave to soak for around 1 hour until it goes cold.

Meanwhile, pour yourself another cup of tea,  add milk/sugar as desired and sit and  browse through Crochet magazines and online patterns to find your next must have item.

Once the tea is cold and the sultanas are nicely plumped.  Measure all other ingredients into the bread-maker.   Pour over the black tea and sultana mix.

Set the breadmaker to “cake”.

Sit and crochet your chosen “must have” accessory and go back to get your rewards from the breadmaker after 2 1/2 hours.
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In my impatience to eat I didn’t cut it very straight!

Crochet scarflets and bowtie necklace

Oopsie I haven’t updated in a while as I’ve had a busy, busy, busy week crocheting, playing with dogs, attending a steampunk exhibition and carbooting amongst other delights. I’ve been working hard on my own crochet jewelry designs, reading through and practicing different stitch designs from the stitch dictionary’s I recently purchased in order to increase my stitch knowledge. which I will share on here shortly.

Here’s a selection of some more wonderful designs that I have turned into creations for myself and family to enjoy. I’ve been busting through my 50 + que of patterns I must create from Ravelry. 🙂

Bowtie necklace – pattern by Sara Dudek available on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-bowtie-necklace

Amazingly funky. This was quick and simple to do as it only involved crocheting a rectangle and creating a tie and chain. A really fun project and I loved the bobble chain which added extra fun to the design. I used King Cole – Mirage yarn for the first time and was happy by how beautifully it worked up. I shall definitely be using again for some projects.

Bowtie necklace

Mademoiselle’s Crochet Scarflet– pattern by Eva Wenig available on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mademoiselles-crochet-scarflet

Easy to follow pattern to make a wonderful little choker/scarflet. The photo’s and step by step instructions made this great for beginners. It didn’t take much yarn at all. I loved the combination of shell stitches and bobbles. I added pink glittery buttons to make this a really girly accessory for the autumn. I can see me making a few more of these in different yarns and colours for my autumn/winter wardrobe. This pattern was perfect for testing out my new grey King Cole haze yarn. Haze is wonderfully soft and fluffy but doesn’t seem to give good stitch definition. So I think this would work for winter scarf’s/hats and other items where you want warmth and are not worried about showing off an intricate lacy crocheting.

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Mademoiselle’s Crochet Scarflet

Scarflet (130 Drops scarf) – pattern by DROPS design available on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/130-29-scarf-in-cotton-viscose

Another simple pattern which created a beautiful scarflet. I made this as a gift to my mum to keep out the winter chills from an open necked coat.

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Upclose detail
Stealing back the scarflet to model
Now off to read the amazing blogs I follow and catch up on what wonderful designs others have been creating 🙂