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Grey Skies Freeform crochet scarf – how I made it

Grey skies freeform scarf

I’ve been having such fun doing the UK freeformers challenges over on Ravelry.   The group is great for inspiration, tips on how to do things, support and generally drooling over the beautiful items members create.  I thought I’d share here how I made my scarf for the CAL.  But as its free-form it’s not a tutorial as such but more a guide of what I did so you can make your own individual version if you wish.

The latest challenge was to create a freeform scarf or cowl.  Instructions for the challenge: “With winter approaching, our next cal is a scarf or cowl. The choice of colour, yarn, and stitch patterns is yours, but only trebles (US double crochet) and chains can be used.”  You can see the beautiful designs other Ravelry members made as part of the CAL in the UK Freeformers Scarf/cowl CAL-thread.  (You may need to join Ravelry to be able to view their forums, but its free to join and full of inspiration and tips for crochet and knitting).

I started off by looking through my stitch pattern books for tc (US dc) and chain only patterns.  One I found especially useful was The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs.  This book shows pictures of each pattern with both charts and instructions on how to create them.   Perfect for when you are making your own patterns up.  I found some good stitch patterns that are dc/chain only in the dc and chain, shell, x-stitch and puff stitch chapters and bookmarked them so I could easily flip from one pattern to the next as I crocheted along.

My floor was then hidden beneath a huge yarn pile of black and grey yarns that would be suitable for this project.  My initial inspiration for the scarf was the grey winter evening skies that flow from black through the grey of the clouds.   I wanted a neutral scarf that would go with any outfit so chose a grey to black colour scheme. I needed a variety of textures and shades as I wanted the scarf to be very tactile.    Therefore the yarn weights varied from thin 2-ply up to chunky weight.  I especially love King Coles Galaxy sequins yarn it adds such glamour to a project and I also added in a couple of yarns which had silver thread running through them for a bit of sparkle.   Winter is so dull a girl needs plenty of sparkle to brighten the days up.  But any yarns that you have on hand can be used to create a freeform scarf.

I made the first “fish” scrumble using treble pattern stitches and the range of black and grey yarns.  I was drawn to creating a gradient moving from the darker to the lighter yarns.   I worked in rows and each time I changed yarn I altered the stitch pattern that I was using.  I increased and decreased randomly as well to give the scrumble a wavy effect.   I varied the stitch patterns using shell stitches, X-stitches, puff-stitches, dcs and chains.

First scrumble

Its really easy to create a scarf in this fashion. Just change the the yarn every few rows.  And each time you change the yarn you use a differnt stitch pattern.   If you find a pattern you really like the look of you can use it again further down the scarf.  There’s no set structure, just follow what feels right for the next section.
An example of how I did this:  The nose of the scrumble was created by chaining 1 then adding 2  treble crochets (US double crochets) in sequin yarn.  Each row I increased at the edges of each row  adding 2 tcs to expand it outwards. After about 5 rows I changed the yarn to a plain black dk then  added a simple mesh pattern of tc, chain 2, tc for 3 rows.    I continued addng more rows of  yarn using different tc stitch patterns.  E.g. When I switched to a grey chunky yarn I changed to using a X-stich and decreased the number of stitches per row to make the scrumble curve back in.    I added a  slightly fluffy grey yarn (King Cole haze) to make 2 rows of tc puff stitches  separated by 2 chains.   The eyelash yarn at the end is weaved in then dcs used to secure it in place.   This scrumble measured 36cm long and 16cm at widest part.  Its a  big scrumble that ended up being a 3rd of the scarf!!

The next scrumble I moved from grey to black  but varied the sequence of the colour change so it wasn’t identical to the first piece.  I used different stitch patterns from the first scrumble   which gives it a distinct wavey shape, but again it is all in treble and chains.  The change in stitch patterns and colour order I hope means it doesn’t look too organised when the two are together. This piece measured 40cm long and 18cm wide max and I nicknamed it “the squid”

2nd scrumble

For the 3rd scrumble I worked from black to grey again altering the order of the yarns and the stitch patterns that I used.

3rd scrumble

All 3 scrumbles were attached together with safety pins so I could see how the scarf flowed and draped.   As some of the thinner parts stretched too much for my liking.  I worked around these sections of the scarf adding horizontal mesh to make the scarf wider in parts and to help it drape well.  I used a simple mesh pattern of tc, chain 2, tc.  I then used dcs to attach the 3 scrumbles together and removed the pins. Ta-dah one finished scarf.

scarf detail

I’m really pleased with how this turned out. Its great for this cold weather and was such fun to make.  Although it takes longer to complete an item I find freeform much more enjoyable than repeating the same pattern over and over.    Its suprisingly easy once you get started and as the stitch patterns and yarns vary each item is wonderfully unique.  Which really appeals to my individualistic, eclectic tastes.

And here I am modelling the finished item, looking immensely pleased with making the scarf. 🙂

Modeling the grey skies freeform crochet scarf

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Meshed-up Crochet Headband Pattern

A girl can never have to many hair accessories.  These headbands quickly work up into a stretchy mesh perfect for keeping fly-away strands out of the face.  Changing the colour, yarn thickness and adding decorative elements such as flowers gives a wide variation on the basic pattern.   Gauge is not important for this project. The headband can be created using any combination of yarn and hook you like to create your desired thickness. As it only uses a small amount of yarn its a good stash buster for using up those little ends left over from larger projects.

Blue headband was crocheted using 3ply blue acrylic yarn and a 2.5 hook using the wide meshed-up  Headband pattern.

Grey headband was crocheting using King Cole Haze dk in grey and a 2.5 hook using the narrow meshed-up Headband pattern.

 

Instructions are written in american crochet terms.  ( Ch = chain, dc = double crochet, sc = single crochet, tc = triple crochet)

Wide Meshed-up headband

Shown in blue in the pictures.

Chain 17

Row 1:  Ch 5  into 10th chain from hook do 1  tc, *ch  3 and miss 3 ch , 1 tc* repeat x3 to end of chain.

Row 2 : Ch5 (counts as 1dc and 2 ch),  1 sc into  3-chain-space, 2ch  1dc into tc, *2ch 1sc into 3 ch, 2 ch 1 dc into  tr* repeat to end.

Row 3: Ch6 (counts as 1 tr and 3 ch) , 1 tr into 2nd dc, *Ch3 1tc into dc, *  repeat to end.

Row 4: Repeat row 3.

Row 5: Ch  2 (counts as first dc) *3 dc into 3-chain-space, 1 dc into tr,* repeat to end.

Row 6:   Ch6 (counts as 1 tr and 3 ch) 1 treble into 5th dc, *ch 3 skip 3 dc, 1trc into dc* repeat to end.

Row 7: Repeat row 3.

Continue repeating rows 2 to 7  until you have a headband long enough to wrap around your head.

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 Narrow Meshed-up Headband

Shown in grey in the pictures.

Chain 9

Row 1: ch 6, into the 5th chain from the end do 1 tc, 3ch, miss 3 ch. 1tc into last ch.

Row 2: 5 ch, miss 1 ch, 1 sc into 2nd ch, 2ch miss 1 ch, 1dc into tc, 2ch miss 1 ch, 1sc into ch, 2 ch miss 1 ch, 1 dc into next ch.

Row 3: 6 ch, 1 tr into centre dc, chain 3, 1 tr into end dc.

Row 4 onwards. Repeat alternating rows 2 and 3 until the headband is the desired length.

Without twisting the chain sc the ends together.

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Me modelling the headbands (ignore the roots!)

I love to see any items that you make from these patterns for yourself, gifts for friends and family and charity so please do post links or add your projects to Ravelry. This pattern can be found in Ravelry here .

Sweetpea Crochet Hook Case Pattern

I’ve been collecting a number of crochet hooks lately and always seem to be loosing them. I get a small collection back every time I tidy from ones that have escaped under the sofa, behind the cushions, and they always tumble out of the wool bags I hide behind the sofa. So I definitely needed a safe place to store some. I also wanted a method that would allow me to transport hooks and the essentials like needle, thread, scissors and safety pins around with me as I travel back and forth to my mums. After glancing through a few images of hook cases I decided to make up my own. This meant I could try out the Sweetpea stitch I had seen in one of my crochet stitch directories.

This case is very adaptable and you can add pockets or hook holders where you need to fit in your crocheting goodies. It could also be adapted easily into a pencil case or jewelry pouch. I’m considering making another to store my crochet necklaces in, replacing the surface crochet with more pockets.

As always feedback is welcomed. If you do run into any problems let me know so I can amend the pattern to make it clearer! Feel free to use my designs for gifts etc and please do link back here to the pattern so I can see what beautiful items you have made.

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chookcasefront11

I haven’t blocked my case yet, but this would make the case more squared and less likely to curl up at the corners. I’m not sure it needs it though as most of the time it is rolled up to store the hooks.

Stash Buster – Sweetpea Crochet Hook Case

This pattern is written in American crochet terms conversions and abbreviations are given at the bottom of the pattern.
As you can use up the ends of yarns and mix and match to create stripes etc. this is a great stash buster or way to try out a new yarn without committing to a large project.

What you need:
4.00 mm crochet hook
Double knitting weight yarn Colour A and Colour B
I used less than one skein of red Woolcraft New Fashion Double Knitting and a small amount of Black King Cole Haze DK.
One button, needle and sewing thread

Case:
Chain 37 (increase or decrease this chain depending on wool and hook so that the chain is about a couple of inches longer than the height of crochet hooks. Just ensure that your chain number is a multiple of 7 plus 2 extra – e.g. 7*5 = 35 + 2 ch = 37 chains)

ROW 1 ch 3, 1 dc into 4th ch from hook, dc along into each chain to end of row.
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Row 2 ch 3 (counts as first dc) 1 dc into 2nd chain of hook, *miss 2 dc, 5 dc into next dc (shell), sk 2 dc, 2 dc into next 2 dc*,
repeat from * to end of row.
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Row 3: ch 3, 1 dc between first 2 dc, *1 dc between 3rd and 4th of shell, 5 dc between the 2 single dc,*
repeat from * to end of row with 2 dc between last 2 dc.

Row 4: Ch3, 1 dc between first 2 dc, *5 dc between the 2 single dc, 1 dc between 3rd and 4th of shell, *
repeat from * to end of row with 2 dc between last 2 dc.

Repeat by alternating row 3 and row 4 until crochet case is desired width. I used 18 rows.

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Pocket:
Chain 12
Row 1: Ch3 tc in 4th ch from hook, tc in each chain
Row 2: Ch3, turn, tc into back loop only of 2nd tc and tc in each tc to end
Row 3: Ch3, turn, tc into front loop only of 2nd tc and tc in each to end.
Row 4 + repeat alternating row 2 and 3 until piece measures high enough to hold your scissors or other items.
Attach to the case using sc along sides and bottom.

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Hook inserts
These are worked using straight lines of single crochet surface crochet. I added 2 lines to hold my hooks (see picture for positioning)
Join the yarn and hold on the side with the pocket.
Insert the hook under the row to be worked and out to the front again, yrh and draw loop through, yrh and draw through 2 loops on hook. (One surface crochet is now completed).
Work a line of surface crochet until about 1 inch from the edge of the case.

If you are unfamiliar with surface crochet it is demonstrated in this video by CraftyAndy:

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Border and button – worked in Colour B
Row 1: With Colour B sc around edge of case.
Row 2: Ch3, (dc, ch1, 2dc) in same stitch, * sk 3 sc, (2dc, ch1, 2dc) in same stitch, * repeat from * all around the case.
Finish by adding a button to fasten the case into a roll.

buttonchookcase

Abbreviations and Conversions

ch = chain
dc = double crochet (American dc is equivalent to treble crochet in English crochet).
sc = single crochet (American sc is equivalent to double crochet in English crochet).
shell = 5dc into one dc.
sk = skip
tc = treble crochet (American tc is equivalent to double treble crochet in English crochet)
yrh = yarn around hook

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My little crochet helper cuddling up to the work in progress. She loves to curl up on my lap whilst I crochet which unfortunatly adds a few dog hairs into the stitches!

I love to see what people make so please do link your creations to me. This pattern can also be found/linked to via Ravelry:

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!

Puffballs purse

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Puffball purse was inspired by my cuddly, furry black and white panda hottie. It warms me up on cold nights and the lavender scented herb bag filling  aids my insomnia.  Cute and functional.

The puffball purse is a quick project perfect for using up ends of stash yarn. It is written using US terminology.   I would say it is suitable for a beginner crocheter using single crochet (UK dc) , double crochet (UK tc) and puffball stitches.

I always welcome feedback on my designs.  If you have any problems please do contact me.  I’m new to writing patterns so any tips on improvement or what parts you like most are much appreciated.

Materials
4mm crochet hook.
Any DK yarn in 2 differwnt colours
Size can be altered by increasing/decreasing chain length.  Ensure the chain length is divisable by 6.  Ensure that the colour changes are done on the inside of the purse and any lengths of yarn are on this side.

Abreviations:

US Crochet terminology used : Ch – chain, DC – double crochet, Tr – treble crochet, SC – Single crochet, SS – Slip stitch,

Special Stitches

Puffball stitch – (done in alternate colour to rest of bag: 1 ch (1  tr into next st two rows below) 6 times. Take hook out of last  tr, insert it into first chain of this group, pull the loop of the last  treble through the chain to create a puffball.

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Side of Purse
With colour A Chain # (divisable by 6 )  ss to join.  (I used chain 54)
Row1 Work sc into each chain, ss to join
Row 2 Ch 2, work dc into each chain, ss to join.
Row 3 Ch 2, work dc into each chain, ss to join.
Row 4: Ch2 1 dc into each of next 5 dc.  Join Colour B, *With Colour B *1 ch (1  tr into next st two rows below) 6 times. Take hook out of last  tr, insert it into first chain of this group, pull the loop of the last  tr through the chain to create a puffball. With Colour A 1 dc into each of next 5 dc, repeat from * to end.  Join with ss.
Row 5 Still using colour A Ch2, work dc into each stitch, ss to join. (Note puffball counts as one stitch)
Row 6: Colour A ch2, 1 dc into each on next 2  dc. *With Colour B do puffball stitch, with Colour A 1dc into each of next 5 dc, repeat from * to end.  Join with ss.
Row 7 Still using colour A Ch2, work dc into each stitch, ss to join.
Row 8 Still using colour A Ch2, work dc into each stitch, ss to join.
Repeat rows 4-8 until purse is required depth.
For the black and white purse I did one more repeat of row 4-6.

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Bottom of purse:
Sc into each dc with colour A.

Turn bag inside out and hold both front and back sides together.  Chain 2, SC through stitch on both front and back of the bag so that you join them together.   Work SC across the bottom of the bag until it is sealed shut.
Tie off end and weave in ends.

Finishing:
If you are a sewer you can line the purse and add a zip to the top.   I would recomend this method if you plan on using as a coin purse.
Alternatively if you wish to hold larger items such as make up you can add a flap as shown:
Flap
Row 1: Attach colour A to top back of purse.  Chain 2 then dc along back edge of the purse.
Row 2: Dc in each dc.
Row 3 working in back loop only sc in rach dc.
Attach press stud to middle of flap and middle of front or alternatively add a button for closure.

** Please feel free to make this project for gifts. If you choose to pass along this pattern, link my blog!**

Shells and Squares Bag

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I’m always running out of storage space.  Especially since starting this new hobby.  There are so many yarns, WIPS and UFOS that need to be safely stored and transported around.  Additionally I have a minor bag fetish, I love to have a different colour bag to match each outfit, each passion and in all different sizes and shapes.

This is my first bag design and has yet to be tested :O I’d love it if you do make anything with this pattern please send me links. (Or use Raverlry to add your project). If you find any errors or need any clarification please send me a message. Any feedback is gratefully received.

Quick tips

You can alter the length of the bag by increasing or reducing the initial chain – just keep it to a multiple of 3.

The base of the bag can also be made deeper by increasing the number of rows.

The height of the bag can be altered by repeating rows 5-8 until the bag is the height that you want. I tend to end on the square pattern at the top.

Gauge is not essential to this project but will effect the overall size of the bag and the size of the holes. Ajust hook size and wool thickness to suit your own preference.

Line the bag with fabric if you plan on carrying things around in it as the holes are too large for small objects!  I leave mine unlined as I use them for stashing wool, WIPs and UFOs.

Quick instructions for shopping bag size:

I used Robins Chunky wool in 2 contrasting colours, 6.5mm crochet hook
Base of bag

Chain 51 in colour A
Row 2 SC around the chain on both sides to give two rows of sc.
Row 3 Ch2 and turn – sc into each sc for row.

Sides of bag.

You now work in a round  crotcheting around the edge of the bottom bag piece you have formed.
Row 1: Ch3 work 2 dc in same stitch, *skip two stitches, work 3dc into next stitch (shell) *  Continue from * to end of row.
Row 2: Ch3 work 2 dc into space between shell.  *Work dc (shell) into space between each shell.
Row 3:  Join 2nd colour with a ss (colour B).  Chain 3, DC in each stitch around, finish with ss to first stitch.
Row 4: SS so you are beginning in space above shell.  Ch 7 *skip 2, treble into backloop only of next stitch, ch2* repeat * to end of row.
NB Your trebles should be on either side of each shell.
Row 5: Chain 3, dc into each stitch working into back loop only.
Row 6:  Attach colour A into stitch above centre of gap from row 4. Ch 2, dc x2, * skip 2 dc x3 (shell),* repeat * to end ss into first stitch.
Row 7: Chain 3 work 2 dc into space between shell.  *Work dc(shell) into space between each shell.
Row 8: Chain 3 work 2 dc into space between shell.  *Work dc(shell) into space between each shell.

Repeat rows 3-8 until bag is desired height.

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Top Trim:

Row 1: Using colour B SC in back loops only.

Row 2: using colour A SC in back loops only

Row 3: Using colour B SC in back loops only.

Bag handles:

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Chain 75 with colour B

Row 1 DC in each chain with colour A

Row 2 Sc in each DC with colour B
Finishing

Weave in the ends and fill up the bag with lots of goodies.

Circle Headband Pattern

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A basic little pattern that works up quickly into a delightful headband. Given the simplicity of this pattern I’m probably not the first person to do this!!! But I thought I’d share on here as its perfect for people who like quick and easy patterns. 

 I made this one as a gift for my sister to say thank you for teaching me how to bake macaroons.

Instructions:

Chain a multiple of 8 sts. (So there are enough to fit comfortably around your head.)

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in 2nd ch from hook, *ch 1, sk next 3 ch, in next ch make (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc), ch 1, sk 3 ch, sc in next ch (shell made). Rep from * all around ending the last rep with sl st in first sc to join.

Row 2: Turn so you are crocheting back along the original chain (the shells will form a circle with the previous shell). Ch3 *in centre on shell (3dc, ch1, 3dc) ch1, sk 3 chain . Sc in next chain (where you had previously sc in row 1), ch 1. Repeat from * End last repeat with sl st in first sc to join.

To join : Sl st into the opposite end of the headband taking care to ensure it is not twisted.

To decorate: Add flowers to cover the join. I used 2Petal Puff Stitch Flowers as these are wonderfully simple to make.

Flower pattern from Easy Makes it Happy http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/6-petal-puff-stitch-flower

Although I’m from the UK I have used American terminology for the pattern. A conversion table for stitches can be found here: http://crochet.about.com/od/conversioncharts/a/termtranslate.htm

Abbreviations used: Ch – chain dc – double crochet, SC – single crochet, Sl st – slip stitch. sk – skip

Apologies for the poor quality of these photos  – taken on my mobile phone as I don’t have access to a digital camera at the moment.

,Photo0215.jpg image by veldagia