Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Slouch Bag

I wear my Very Berry handmade slouch bag with pride since it was one I made for myself.  It was made to fit on the back of my wheelchair and has been admired by my fellow wheelchair companions.  It certainly adds something to what is a rather dull looking chair.



A friend who also admired my bag asked if I could make one for her daughter and since I enjoyed making my own I thought why not!

I decided I would go down a hook size on this project so worked on a size 3mm hook.  I didn't realise that it would actually use more yarn in the process so I ran out of purple yarn which I used for the base of the bag and instead, finished the top half in the pink.

Another change I made was to get some bag handles instead of creating my own.  I thought this would stop the bag sagging and it does work brilliantly.

Let's see what you think.



Sunday, 24 June 2018

The Mabel Blanket

Little did I know when I picked up my crochet hook last summer, whilst recovering from a hip replacement surgery, that I would be making blankets still.  Although, I haven't abandoned card making completely, the joy of crocheting seems to have resurrected itself and I find it a much easier hobby to do from a wheelchair. 

Working in monochrome is something new to me when making blankets as they are often worked in bright and cheerful colours and often with leftover yarn.  However, in this instance I wanted to make a blanket that would compliment another one already made so I chose a blanket and white theme.  

I scoured the internet for ideas and came across the Mabel Blanket on a website called Meghan Makes Do. I was immediately drawn to this design because the granny squares are laid out as diamonds and the sides are filled with triangles.  It is a free pattern so if you are interested in having a go yourself hop over to Meghan's website and download the pattern here.

This blanket was really easy to do and I took less than 3 months to make it.  

I joined the seams with a needle joining the right sides together and sewing through through the back loops only.  This illustration is based on the right sides facing together and loops that are meeting are not illustrated.  I have just drawn the back loops that I have sewn through and the method I used to ensure a strong seam.

Here is the end result:


and a close up:


Well Ben, I hope you like your blanket!


Monday, 7 May 2018

Mrs Frizzle Practice

I am busy working on two crochet projects at the moment so haven't been fitting in anything else of late until today when I settled down and made this recycled card.  

I had a rather lovely card for my birthday last month from my brother and was reluctant to just throw it in the drawer where I tend to keep most cards I adore.  No, I had an idea almost immediately on how I could re-use the elements on this card.

I realised that the Craftwork Cards Texture Pad was going to make very similar background that the existing card had so I cut out the butterfly so I could adhere it onto the card.  I also re-used the side panel and made a tag from part of the original card.  I had some lace rub-ons that I had had for many years and though this was the appropriate time to use these.  

Since the original card had the wording sister on it and I wanted to the words "Happy Birthday", I purchased the Mrs Fizzle Practice" font from the Silhouette Design store and then used a sketch pen to write on the texture card.  It was straightforward from here on in, just a case of sticking all the elements back together again and writing a sentiment for the inside.

Here is the finished card which I am very pleased with.



Sunday, 22 April 2018

Bookatrix Cards

It is surprising that although the Bookatrix card has been around for some time, it is a style of card that I have never made.  Even more so when you consider that I have a Bookatrix embossing board yet never tried it out.  This style card works particularly well for special occasion cards like weddings, special Birthdays and Christening cards and I felt quite inspired by the ideas on Pinterest.

Back along when the craft room had a clear out I decided that I would make up a few Christening cards as I had some card toppers that I needed to make use of.  The first couple of cards I made suited 6x6 cards.






Since the remainder toppers were larger, I needed another solution for them. These toppers consisted both of an image and matching wording and I felt they would sit well together on the front of a card.  That's when the idea of making a bookatrix card came into play.  

I then realised that the image was too large to fit on any card I made using my Bookatrix board  so I turned to the trusty Cameo Silhouette which would enable me to create my own Bookatrix to the size necessary.

Now that I have created my own template I can make as many as these as I wish although they will need some presentation boxes made up too!  

Well here is the big reveal, dah dah!




I had fun making these cards and decorating them with flowers.  I like the stands that they sit upright on.  I don't have a die for these so I ordered 10 of them from Ebay and have another 10 on the way in white.  



All that is left now is to make the presentation boxes for them.


Sunday, 15 April 2018

Decoupage



I managed to get a week off over the Easter break and took the decision that the craft room needed some much needed tidying.  The problem I face is that crafting in a wheelchair has limits to what is truly accessible.  Yes, I have shelves but I can't actually reach anything on them so it requires a bit of forward planning if I need anything taken off them.

So having spent four days having a clear out and a tidy up I well and truly needed a crafty session and it couldn't have come soon enough after a busy day back at work.

I had some ring binders that were now empty but sadly had dis-coloured so in an effort to resalvage at least one of them, I got out my Decoupatch papers and glue and began gluing and this is what the end result looks like.


I also found some small Christmas shapes amongst my decoupatch papers and couldn't resist covering these too in paper.


All in all, I had a very satisfying crafting session.





Sunday, 8 April 2018

Cat-tastic!

I occasionally go to antique fairs as I enjoy looking for unusual items or things that can be repurposed.

When I went in January I was looking for old cups and saucers that I could re-purpose as I had been given a candle making kit as a gift at Christmas and wanted to set the candle wax in the cups.  


I found what I was looking for, a set of six matching cups and saucers with dainty yellow flowers on them and at a bargain price of £3.00. 

As it turned out, the task of making the wax was a little challenging for me to say the least so my husband lent a helping hand.  This wasn't a bad thing as the gift we were making was to be for his mother for Mothering Sunday.



The next time we were trawling around the antique fair we found a stallholder with a very large pet carrier made of wicker.  It looked very old but in reasonable condition.  One of the metal fixings for the door was broken but we had another idea for its use.

We were hoping that our cats would love to use it as place to tuck themselves away in and maybe have a little cat-nap. So we got it home and it had a clean up whilst I had a rummaged for some suitable fabric to make a comfortable base to go inside it.  

I cut out an oval shape and then the seams were tacked in place before the sewing machine came out.  An opening was left for filling the large cushion with the polystyrene filling which we seemed to have already acquired from another activity.  

Next came the messy bit!  I sat on the bedroom floor trying to fill the large hole without making a mess but it was impossible as those pesky polystyrene balls had a mind of their own and despite my best attempts, they went everywhere!

Sometime later, the cushion was stuffed and the hole was carefully sewn up so the little polystyrene balls could cause no more mayhem. 

After an hour or so of labour we now have a large cushion that will fit comfortably inside the carrier.  

I have a fleece blanket over the cushion so that this can washed as necessary.  Hopefully the cats will make full use of it.  Milo has already given it the thumbs up!  It is quite a large carrier as far as carriers go and I am sure both of our cats could squeeze in there if they tried.

Here is a short video of Milo enjoying the new carrier.







Sunday, 1 April 2018

Cosy Stripe Blanket


I am in the throes of making crochet blankets as gifts and have just finished making a Cosy Stripe Blanket.   The design and pattern for this blanket is courtesy of Lucy @ attic 24.    I have made this one for my niece Charlotte who wanted me to crochet it in colours that would remind her of the sea and sand.  I buy my yarn from Deramores who have always giving me great customer service.

These are the colours used:


  • Stone
  • Cream
  • Sage
  • Silver
  • Mocha 
  • Storm Blue




Storm Blue is my utmost favourite colour to work with and I enjoyed using these colour combinations.

The pattern uses one crochet stitch, the treble.  There are two rows of crochet for each colour which I liked as it meant less ends to sew in!   

I followed the instructions and chained 198 for the foundation row; starting on the 4th chain in from the hook as the pattern is a multiple of 3.  The turning chain was counted as a stitch and you work each row with a stitch count of 196.

When starting row two you should ignore the stitch at the base of the chain 3 and work into the next stitch along.  

When coming to the end of the second row of trebles work the last stitch into the top of the chain stitch.

Change colour yarn for the 3rd row and chain up 3 and crochet a treble into the same stitch as the chain.  Skip the next two stitches and work 3 trebles into third stitch and then repeat this (skip 2; 3 trebles into next stitch until you reach the end of row.  You only work 2 trebles in the very last stitch.  Chain 3 and turn the work to begin the fourth row.  Work 3 trebles in the next chain space and repeat to the end of the row where you work 1 treble into the top of the last treble.

When working row 5 which is a repeat of row 1 it is important to note that you do not work the last stitch in the top of the 3 chains at the end of the row.  

If in any doubt visit Lucy's blog at Attic 24 for full instructions and step by step photos.

I found that it took me around 2 hours to crochet 4 rows whilst watching television.  It does crochet up in about 4-5 weeks and there are minimum ends to sew in afterwards.

The edging is another creation of Lucy's and instructions can be found on her website.

Here are some photos of the finished blanket and my thanks to Lucy for the inspiration and the free pattern.









Saturday, 24 March 2018

Crochet Bag

I know I have been quiet for a few weeks but look what I have been up to!




I strayed from my usual Stylecraft DK yarn to work with something new for this crochet bag  project.  I have been working with Sirdar Knit and Crochet Cotton DK yarn.  It is incredibly lovely to work with and I chose it because I wanted a yarn that wasn't going to have any stretch in it for my next project.

Slouchy Market Bag
After a long search for a design to work with I came across a slouch bag that I really liked the look of designed by Very Berry Handmade.  

The pattern is free and if you hop over to her website you will be able to view the pattern and image of the bag here.  But before you do, let me tell you a bit about the bag I have made which is a hybrid of the Market Bag.


I didn't follow the instructions provided for the base of the bag although I did ensure that my last round matched the exact number of stitches of the original pattern.  This is crucial in order for the pattern repeat to work out.

With the base done I started working on the main design.  It was the design that attracted me to this bag as it is absolutely gorgeous and the pattern I found very easy to follow.  

Once I had enough rows for my needs, I then had to think about how I wanted to finish the bag because I had to take into consideration how I would wear this bag sat in a wheelchair.  

I decided the bag needed handles so it would be easy to hold onto.  When I got to the point I needed the gaps for the handles, I created a number of chains and then rejoined back continuing with the double crochet stitch I had been working in.  On the next round, I was able to continue in double crochet working on the tops of the chains I had created for the handles (front and back). 




I also felt that a shoulder strap would be useful so that it is fitted securely over my shoulder so I ordered some D rings and a canvas strap.  I then made some small strips of crochet panels to wrap around the D rings and sewed this onto the inside of the bag.  The strap has clips so they easily secure onto the D rings but are removable.
  

The final thing was to make a solid base for the inside of the bag so that it didn't collapse.  I cut a shape from an old plastic file and then covered it in some matching fabric.  

It has taken almost three weeks to finalise the project but I am really pleased with my new bag and love the fact that I was able to customise a pattern I adored to work for me as a wheelchair user.  Let me know what you think by dropping me a comment at the bottom of the article.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

My Beanie Pom Pom Hat

The last project in the Introduction to Tunisian Crochet I have been following on Craftsy was to learn how to knit and purl and in doing so produce a Beanie Hat with a Pom Pom.

The feedback from the students was that the pattern provided for the hat was a small one so I played around until I had enough stitches to make a comfortable fit for myself.

As the cast of chains was originally 58 stitches I increased mine to 72 for a 22" diameter. It was important to increase in multiples of 4 because of the pattern which consisted of a 2 pearl and two knit repeat.   

I used the same yarn that I used for the cowl so that I had a matching hat.  This was a caron cake and the colour label is Cake Pop.  It is a hand wash only yarn and 80% Acrylic and 20% Wool.  It is quite a thick yarn and perfect for a hat. I used a Tunisian Crochet Hook size 6. 

I started off the project Friday evening and it took a few false starts before I was producing the stitches correctly. I started a fresh the next day and had the project finished before midday on Sunday so it is quite a quick project to work up once you get going.  

I altered the pattern as I neared the end by starting to decrease  on the last 8 rows in order to have less bulk when gathering up the edge.  I am glad I did as it not only gave it some shape but I also have a hat shaped to fit my own head.

The finale was to sew up the side seams and gather up the long edge to pull it in.  I then made a pom pom using one of my largest pom pom makers and sewed this onto the top.

So here is the hat I made in a weekend!





Sunday, 18 February 2018

Granny Square Blanket

Here is a grannie square blanket I started crocheting over the Christmas break and finished in the first couple weeks of February.  

Image result for diagram joining crochet squaresI used Stylecraft Special DK yarn in black, red, white and pink.  Each square was made individually and then crocheted together in rows using the join as you go technique.  Bella Coco has a great video on YouTube you can follow here

When joining, start by laying out your first row of squares all facing up.  Start by taking the first square of the row (to your left) and crochet a border completely around it and then sew in your ends.  From this point on you are now going to join each new square to the one to its immediate left.  Bella will show you how to join the corners together in her video so be show to watch this.

Take the next square which will sit to the right of the first square you have just completed the border for and start crocheting around the side, top and then join the third edge to the first square along one side.  This leaves the bottom edge to crochet before you begin again.  Work like this to the end of this row and then lay out your second row making sure all squares are the correct way up.  Keep repeating the above until all the squares are joined.

I finished off sewing in all my loose ends before edging the blanket with three rows of double crochet and here is the end result.