Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Aching for creativity

I sometimes  wish that I was more creative. Or more talented. At least better at design. At times I long desperately for inspiration for something really beautiful, something that isso me and that I have designed. Unfortunately, I am really terrible at picturing things in my mind. The imagined object is really blurred and I have no idea gow to make it. But it almost aches, this craving for creativity. 

I love flowers. And I love making afghans. I want to get this brilliant idea of a flowery afghan that is all my design. And really pretty too. 

I got this idea that I could try c2c (corner to corner) crochet and make something pretty. I was all fired up, but forced myself to at least try the technique once before I got carried away. Well, it wasn't hard, and quite fun to make. But oh my, all those ends to fasten!

This is what I made. A simple flower, 4 colours and 10×10 pixels. And I got 14 ends to fasten. 14!!! I usually crochet over the ends as often as it's possible, since I hate weaving in those ends. And I can only imagine how many ends there would be on a big afghan. So I guess my mind will go on searching for the ultimate design idea. And the rest of me kind of longs for this mood to shift.

Friday, May 27, 2016

My Sophie's Universe

May I introduce Sophie's Universe CAL 2015

This, my friends, is the first crochet afghan I ever made. I saw it on Instagram, and it was love at first sight. I got started the same day! And I enjoyed it so much. I crocheted in an insane speed. It took me a month and a half to finish it.

I made it a year ago, but I never blogged during that period. I have more things to show you that might be new to you but not to me, so to say.

It is remarkably varied, there are new stitches and techniques the entire time. It's so hard to take a fair picture of it since you loose all the details.

I made mine in cotton, with a 3,5 mm hook if I remember it right. It's soft and cosy, and I use it almost every day.

 I didn't have a colour plan, just used what I had in my basket, and decided each round when I was there.

Take a look at some of the details! The squares to make it rectangular, the center flower, a flower shaping a corner and a row of tulips.

Another row of tulips, an amazing flower, another flower forming another corner, and a row of roses. Possibly my favourite part.

I keep it on our bed, and I spread it out so you can get a clue about the size. The bed is 1,8 m wide.

I always thought that I lacked the patience to crochet a afghan. Turns out you don't need all that patience, you just need to find the right pattern!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

African Flower blanket border

When I showed you my African Flower blanket, I stated that there was nothing much to say about it. Today I decided that I was wrong. I have more to say, that I hope might be helpful for someone. 

Maybe you are new to African Flower hexagons? You can find the pattern here.

We can also talk about the join. Sometimes I sew the hexagons together, but I don't have that patience with a big piece like this. So I joined on the go, as I was doing the last round on the hexagon. 

The first join takes place in a corner. Instead of just making that chain, I make a slip stitch through the corner of the hexagon I'm joining to. Then I make 3 hdc and I slip my hook from the loop. I stick the hook in between the 3rd and 4th stitches (on the left side from the joined corner) and pick up the loop and pull it through. I do this every 3rd stitch. When I join to a corner with two hexagons, I make on slip stitch in both corners.

This join isn't completely flat or invisible, but it is fast and easy. 

If you want to try this join but you don't understand my instructions, just let me know and I can show you.

The thing with hexagons is that you don't get even edges. If that is what you want, you have to fix it somehow.

Below, you can see the long side of my blanket. Between the peaks of the hexagons, you get a V that you might want to build up to an even (or almost, you can tell I don't like blocking, right?) edge.

This is how I  do it.

Round 1
Start in the top chain space, join the yarn and ch 1. This is your first sc. *Sc in next st, 3 hdc, 2 dc, make a dc cluster with first dc in the corner, second in the join between the hexagon, and third in the corner of the next hexagon. Continue with 2 dc (don't miss the stitch in the corner), 3 hdc, sc and sc in the corner.* Now you can repeat from * to *. When you reach the corner of your work, you make 3 sc in the corner space.

On the short side, make sc evenly across the entire side. Make 3 sc's in the corner space and repeat the pattern for the long side. Join with a slip stitch in the first sc when you have completed the round.

Round 2
Sc in the same stitch, *sc in the next 3 sts, 3 hdc, 2 dc, dc cluster in the next 3 sts, 2 dc, 3 hdc, sc*. Repeat from * to *. In the corner, make (hdc, ch 2, hdc) in the middle sc.

On the short side, hdc in each stitch. Repeat corner, long side and short side around your work. Join in first sc.

It might happen that you will have to add an extra sc or two around the corners. If you don't like my crooked style, you can always block.

I didn't mention this, but in order to get my short sides even, I made a half African Flower for each space. This gives a fairly straight edge to just work sc over.

Well then, let's move over to the actual border. I made mine in brown and beige, to calm down the blanket a bit. 

Round 1 - Brown
Sc in every st. (Sc, ch 2, sc) in corner space. Join with first st and cut yarn.

Round 2 - Beige
Hdc in every st. (Hdc, ch 2, hdc) in corner space. Join with first st.

Round 3 - Beige
Make sure that you will skip the last st before the corner. If not, make sl st into next st before you start this round.

Ch 4 (this is your first dc and ch 1). *Skip next st, dc in next st, ch 1* repeat to corner. In corner space make (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1). Skip hidden st in corner and next st. Repeat * to * and corners. Join in 3rd ch in the beginning of the round. Cut yarn.

Round 4 - Brown
Join in dc with sl st and ch 3, or start with standing dc. Dc in same stitch. * Skip ch, 2 dc in dc*, repeat * to * until corner. In middle dc, make 6 dc. Repeat for every side. Join and cut yarn.

Round 5 - Beige
Dc in every st, in 4th dc in corner make (dc, ch 2, dc). Repeat for every side. Join but do not cut.

Round 6 - Beige
Ch 2 (first sc), sc in every st. 3 sc in corner space. Do not skip hidden st in corner. Repeat, join and cut yarn.

Round 7 - Brown
We will make a sc cross stitch.
Find the middle corner sc. Count two st away, join and ch 2 as your first sc. Now, go back and make a sc in the first st after the middle corner sc, over your first sc. Skip the 3rd st and sc in 4th st. Sc in 3rd st. Continue like this, skip one st, sc in next, sc in the st you skipped. When you reach the corner, 3 sc in the middle sc. Skip the next st, sc in next st, sc in the st you skipped.

It is not easy to explain without a lot of pictures, which I didn't have now. If you want a tutorial, just ask. Or search, I am sure there are videos and tutorials on this stitch out there.

Well, now I think I have said it all. Time to get some sleep, I guess.

Take care!

Friday, February 19, 2016

African Flower Blanket

I used to only start quick and simple projects. I shook my head at the bare idea of making a blanket in crochet. Well, I just finished my second! 

There is not much to say about it, really. I made African Flower hexagons, and a few half hexagons to make a straight edge. On the long sides I used the same technique I used on my African Flower bag pattern to make it straight, that is starting with sc on the top of the hexagon and increasing the height of the stutches by making hdc, dc as the "V" between the hexagons got deaper. Two rows is what it takes for me to straighten it up. But the corners tend to end up with too many stitches. However, what I make will never be perfect, so I'm still very happy about this blanket.

It's quite a heavy thing, it weighs 1,8 kg, made in Järbo soft cotton with a 4.5 mm hook. But I find the weight comforting, and it's soft and warm. A real winner if I may say so!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Towel crochet edging

In our downstairs bathroom, we can't use standard towels next to the basin. We need the smaller size, like a guest towel. However, when I went shopping for towels, I couldn't find anything in that size that I liked. So I bought the standard size and cut off the bottom part.

I used blanket stitch on the cut raw end, and I made crochet edgings using those stitches.

Short enough!

The patterns I used were simple ones, not building too much since I needed the towels to be short.

The left: ch 2, *skip one stitch, (2 hdc, ch 2, 2hdc) in the same stitch, skip one stitch* repeat from * to *

The middle: *sc, skip one stitch, 5 dc in the same stitch, skip one stitch* repeat

The right: front side facing you, make sc the entire row. Without turning the towel, use crab stitch the entire way back.

I am very happy with the outcome. Oh, and the rugs are brand new, that's why they look so clean.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Decoupage on fabric

I love decoupage. I wish I was a good painter, but I'm not. Decoupage lets me make beautiful decoration without being able to make pretty flowers by hand. Love it!

If you're not familiar with decoupage, it's a technique where you use a glue/varnish to stick the top layer of a paper napkin on a surface. Like on this canvas. The text is my making, but the flowers are decoupage.

I have used decoupage on multiple objects, but now also on fabric. It opens a world full of possibilities! I have made pillow cases for the couch (I made a green painting and the pillows didn't match) and decided to try decoupage when I ran out of green fabric.

I used one motif with stars and one with flowers, the one I used on the canvas. It turned out great! The glue feels a little plastic when it dries, but that's fine.

I tested to use the napkin as it was on one pillow.

Then I cut out the flowers and formed a bouquet on the front of the next pillow...

 ... and on the back I just spread them out.

I also made a new lamp shade for the window. It is a piece of fabric glued with hot glue to the wire frame. I love that I now have a matching canvas, lamp and pillows in this room!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New year, new mittens

Happy New Year! A little late maybe, that's a habit of mine. Yep, I've been knitting mittens. I wanted a pair to go with my red coat, now I've been using the grey and purple made for another coat. Moving them from coat to coat made me worry that I would forget them and end up with cold fingers. :)

I bought grey, red and orange wool and intended to make a pair just like the old ones.

Didn't happen. I got the idea that I would knit with all three colors in every row, making a warm inside on the mittens, with all the strands carried behind. It took a while to find a pattern. And it was made in stripes. So I made up a pattern of my own, making it striped diagonaly (however you spell that).

I like them, but I wish I had done a few things differently. They are a bit tight, even though I thought I had more than enough stitches. I should have made them even wider.

Making the second mitten, I decided to let the stripes turn the other way. I also changed the order in which I held the three strands. Misstake. Now the grey pops out on one, and red on the other. Also the thumbs could have used an extra round. No big things. I just worry they will be cold due to the tight fit, and the whole idea using three colours was making them warm. But still, they're fine. And they reminded me that I really like knitting mittens. :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Long time... again

I'm not here too often, am I? I haven't let go of the blog, it's simply easier to use the faster social networks these days. Facebook, Instagram... Don't have the patience or enough words for the blog. But tonight I'm here!

Winter is truly here. Snow and all. The son started using his winter hat, which looked a little too tight. So I convinced him he needed a new one. :) I went to my yarn shop today, and made the hat tonight. I love a quick project!

A dark picture, I know. But do you really expect me to wait until tomorrow?

This hat is a Minecraft hat. If you have young kids you know what I'm saying. It's a computer game. "Everybody" a certain age plays it. The hat is supposed to look like a creeper, a creature from the game. He has a cap with a creeper and he loves it.

The hat is made in crochet with three strands of baby wool in two different greens. With a big hook. 7 mm. I made the face in black and stitched it to the hat. It's a very soft hat, so I might have to make one for me too. Without the creeper... I hope he will enjoy wearing it!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Spent last night in the crafting-room. The clock in our livingroom stopped a while ago. Since I wasn't very happy with the look of it, I decided to give it a re-make. I stripped it and only kept the hands and the mechanism. And then... nothing. :)

So last night I felt the inspiration. And went with it. This is how it turned out.

It's a dark picture, but Sweden in November doesn't get much lighter... :)

My favourite detail? The pink second hand! I painted the canvas with a "sea green" acrylic paint, and the hands with green and pink hobby paint. Rhinestones and a paper doily.

The green colour on the hands was also used on the lamp shade i finished last night too. It used to be an ugly pink velvet shade, but I stripped it and painted the wire green. It stayed like that for a while, but last night I decided to add some paper roses from my scrapbook flower box.

It was hard to catch the lamp with the camera last night, so I took a new shot today.

I like it so much more than the old lamp...

Best of all is that both clock and lamp didn't cost me much at all. The canvas was a cheap one and the lamp shade was bought on a flee market. I love budget crafting!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tired of crochet

Or tired from crochet? I don't know. I only know I won't touch a hook again. Today. Maybe tomorrow. ;)

I guess I have been working a little too hard these last few days. My thumbs are hurting. But at least I got something for my trouble. For a while at least. She'll be up for sale too.

She's a sweetheart, don't you think? I was worried she would look all weird, since I never manage to make the flowers flat when I work with a small hook. And I have to, to avoid the stuffing to sneak out. Especially the pentagons are hard. But she flattened out when I filled her up.

Want to make one? Here's the pattern!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Prince Charming

I am in love! ♡

Isn't he gorgeous?! Heidi Bears should get the Nobel Prize in crochet, she's a genious!

I was afraid I might not finish him today since I ran out of yarn, but I worked my magic with what I had and it turned out fine.

I'm glad I had some gold hidden in my yarn treasure too, for his crown. He was pretty fiddly to make at times, but I love him dearly. He will be up for sale on that market, but I'm starting to think I should make him so expensive that noone will buy him! ;)

If you want to make one, here's the pattern.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Me, a crochet teacher?

Not really, but today I had the joy to knvite a friend into the World of Crochet. She's been interested for a while, and always send me pictures of cool crochet stuff she has spotted on the web. She is also the reason I found the pattern for the african flower pony. And today she popped in. I got started on a new piece of crochet and showed her how to. She seemed to get it so I threw her a hook and some yarn, and a few hours later she had made this.

I'm impressed! She really got the hang of it and she loved it too. And she was fast too, I am making the same thing and I didn't get so much further.

Do you want to know what we are making? Stripey owl rattles! I have made one allready.

Cutest pattern! And easy to make too.

Do you want to know what else I'm working on? Okay, I have made this (so far) leg-less, blind guy.

I hope to finish him tomorrow. Another pattern from Heidi Bears. I saved a week from my summer vacation, so I will be at home this entire week as the kids are free from school. Lots of time to crochet. Yay! :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My flower pony

Hi there! Just a small post, have to show you the pony I just finished. Pattern by Heidi Bears, "Fatty Lumbkin the brave African Flower Pony" found here on Ravelry.

Try it! It's a brilliant pattern! This beauty will follow me to a handicraft market a bit before Christmas and hopefully be sold. Yes, you are allowed to sell objects made from her patterns, as long as you make them yourself.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Love knots again

Maybe I can look into the future. Or rather, I know myself too well. I finished this beauty today.

A shawl, just like I predicted a long time ago. I get bored easily if I make the same thing over and over again (at least when it comes to crochet), I want to make something new! But I never get tired of making shawls in love knots. Maybe because different yarns make so very different shawls?

I love how the yarn get to show every beautiful detail in this stitch. Every colour shift...

Knitting or a different crochet stitch would blurr the colours, make it duller. Now, I can admire every pretty inch of it!

I won this yarn on a blog. Lucky me! Now, I will probably put it out for sale. I've booked a table, you see, at a handicraft market before Christmas. It's going to be so much fun, but I have to fill my table with beautiful things. (But I hope nobody will buy this one, so I can keep it! ;))

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Granny square pillow

Made something a week ago that I wanted to show you. I haven't been making a lot of things in regular granny squares, but I'm really in love eith them now. Thought I needed some colout in my new white sofa, so this is the result.

Since I like both sides equally, it doesn't really have a front and a back. It simply has two sides. :)

I have found it hard to close a pillow case neatly and still be able to take it off for a wash every now and then. So I tried something new this time, that worked perfectly. I joined the two sides with join-as-you-go technique (I hate sewing things together!) and saved an opening on one side. I then tied a piece of yarn in each end of the opening, twisted the strands and an knot in the end. Then I weaved the yarn through the holes in the ends until they met in the middlle.

Tied a knot, but I didn't want to leave them hanging on the outside like this.

So i grabbed my hook and pulled the strands inside the pillow case. Perfect!

Do you have the perfect way to close a pillow case, without buttons? Feel free to share!