Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Saturday, 26 January 2013

MIDNIGHT in the HIGHLANDS


crochet patterns, how to crochet, hats, mittens,

Late last year, whilst on holiday, I was inspired by the autumnal colours of the west highlands of Scotland.   Simply they were MAGIC.  I know I have shared these photos before but the highlands are just so amazing I am sharing again.







How can you NOT be INSPIRED to CREATE with colours like these?  So, finally this week I managed to get some work done on my first highland inspired pattern.  Here is my highland project a delightful, winter warm HAT and MITTENS set.


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I crochet with two different yarns - first yarn is one of my favourite Donegal Tweed Aran  


and the second yarn Rowan Alpaca Cotton  


Aren't the colours simply divine? deep, rich shades of purple, reminiscent of blackberries and blueberries.


The two yarns compliment each other very well and create the perfect gaps of colour between the different stitch rows. 
 

Of course, you can choose other yarns, the pattern can be adapted to other similar yarns, just match the yarn weight and gauge/tension. 

How much yarn?
  
Hat - whole of one 50g ball of Rowan Alpaca Cotton = 135m

Mittens - 3/4 of one 50g ball of Rowan Alpaca Cotton

My estimate for the Donegal Tweed Aran is approximate 80-100gr for both hat and mittens, because I was using my leftovers from a 200g hank.


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Naturally, I have made this set for moi.... I am in desperate need of a new hat and mittens... I seem to be always making stuff for everyone else... and I end up wearing something I made 5 years ago.... doh!  

Here are the PATTERN DETAILS:  
Skill Level:  Intermediate
Yarn:  Donegal Tweed Aran and Rowan Alpaca Cotton
Hook:  5mm
Gauge/Tension:  16sts to 4in (10cm)
Size:  Adult - Ladies - Medium/Large


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the pattern is now available 
from these on-line stores

Ravelry,   Craftsy,   Etsy  
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Enjoy every moment,
focus on every stitch,
create a masterpiece....
ciao, ciao...

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Monday, 7 January 2013

CROCHET BABY BLANKET "SUN & STARS"

crochet patterns, blankets, afghans, baby, pram, cot,


CREATIVE MOTIFS - OCTAGONS and SQUARES

OCTAGON - the eight-sided motif is a striking alternative to the SQUARE granny motif.


To make a solid afghan blanket with octagons you need small squares to fit in between the octagons.

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The pieces fit together like a puzzle - four octagons surrounding a square.



KEEP IT SIMPLE



My focus for the design of this octagon blanket was to keep it as simple as possible.  By using only two colours for the motifs and by repeating the same colour sequence for each motif, I found the whole process of creating each octagon and square very relaxing and satisfying.



It was so easy to keep track of my progress, I was able to lay out the octagons and visually gauge the size of blanket I wanted to make.  



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This pattern was also published in the INSIDE CROCHET magazine, Issue 37, January 2013. 

When I finished making all the octagon motifs, I then proceeded to design the square motif to fit into the gaps.  Again, I kept the square filler motif very simple, just enough definition to highlight the octagon motif.

 Joining Motifs


The next task at hand, sewing the motifs together, and as you all know, sewing is not my favourite hand craft. But this was a very special project, for a very special person, my first grandchild, so I was prepared to do what it takes to get it done, and get it done well.



Octagon motifs were joined side-by-side into long rows, and then each row was joined to next row, and finally the square motifs were added into the gaps.  



Finishing Border



After all the motifs were joined and the gaps filled, the blanket took on a whole new look, and the result was very pleasing indeed.

Only at this point, after all the joining was complete, did the blanket  present the SUN and STARS mosaic, therefore the name.
So, to finish off the motif blanket, I proceeded with a contrast row of cilantro around the edge of the motifs and finished with a simple row of reverse crochet in slate.


Simply perfect... I presented the blanket to my daughter in Australia, two weeks before the baby was born (CC was born June 30).



(You may have noticed my blanket for grandchild, was made with Cilantro and Slate, whereas for the magazine, I used Cilantro and Aubergine.)  
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Both blankets were made using



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SUN and STARS Baby Blanket PATTERN 


is AVAILABLE


from my online shops



CRAFTSY       and       ETSY


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Enjoy every moment,
focus on every stitch,
create a masterpiece!



ciao, ciao...