Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Kiss Me Mr Darcy Wrist Cuffs Tutorial

Behold!



Another addition to my wrist cuff obsession....

Kiss Me Mr Darcy! (you know he wants to!)




My first pair of cuffs, Do The Fan Dance are a more basic version with just one frilly edge, but these ramp up the style factor a teensy bit. 

Would you like a pair?
Great leaping Mozarts you do!

Will I make them for you?
Pfft! Make em yourself!

It's not hard! Intermediate, maybe. Beginning. Hmmm, give it a go. I guarantee if you're a beginner, you'll be able to shed that humble moniker as soon as you're finished and declare yourself beginner no more!

I had a wee little fun while making these and created a stop motion animated video. My first ever. So it's a bit wobbly.


The main body of the cuff is super duper easy and is fairly similar to the Do The Fan Dance wrist cuffs...

Don't be put off by this seemingly loooooooong tutorial.  They are actually very quick to make and not too hard.  I just always like to include LOTS of photos to show what I'm doing.


Tools of the Trade

3ply crochet cotton
2.5mm crochet hook
2mm crochet hook
Scissors & needle for sewing in your ends


Stitches used are in American Terms

Sk- skip
Sl st- slip stitch
Ch- chain
Sc- single crochet
dc- double crochet

The Cuff

To start take your 2.5mm crochet hook and ch 34.  (I use a larger hook for the beginning chain to prevent any tightness as you start to work with the chain.)

Then switch down to a 2mm hook.

Row 1: Dc in the 4th ch from the hook.  Dc in each ch across.  Ch 3, then turn.


Row 2-25: dc in each dc of the previous row across to the end. Ch 3, then turn.  At the end of the last row of your cuff, don’t tie off as you will then fold the piece widthways and slip sitch the 2 ends together to form your cuff.
I have crocheted 25 rows to fit my chubby little wrists, but please check your measurements and crochet more or less rows accordingly.

The Subtle Frilly Pretty Bit on the Elbow End

Turn your work 90 degrees so you are now working around the rim of the cuff. 
This will be the soft shell edging on the elbow end.

Row 1: Ch1, then work 2 sc in each dc post around. Continue around, then join with a sl st to the beginning ch 1.
Row 2: *Ch3, sk 2sc, sc. Repeat from * to the end. Sl st in the beginning ch.
Row 3: Sl st into the ch 3 space. In each Ch 3 space *sc, 2 dc, sc. Repeat from *  to the end. Sl st into the beginning of the row. Finish off.

The Main Double Frilly Fantabulous Bit on the Hand End


Turn your work now to the other holey end bit where your hand will stick through.  Join your crochet cotton on one edge where your joining seam is (so all the beginnings and ending happen in one place).

The front fan pattern is worked up in a space of 10 stitches. To ensure the pattern works around completely and even with no half fans at the end you may need to add in extra single crochets.

STEP 1:

Ch 1 & Sc evenly all the way around the cuff edge. Generally you will work 2 sc per dc post as shown in the photo below. BUT in order to ensure you finish in 10s, you may have to work some extra scs in. This pattern used 25 rows of DCs. Therefore with 2 scs per dc post, I would have ended up with 50scs.  Perfect.  
But if you use more or less, then sneak in extra scs evenly around the cuff.
Better to increase than decrease as this will give a nice flared out effect.

STEP 2:

NOW FOR THE BACK FRILL!!!
No need to finish off your previous colour. If you're comfortable, leave that attached for when you start work on the front frill.

Attach your back colour (mine is a lighter green).
Row 1: WORKING IN BACK LOOPS ONLY , ch 1, sc in same sp, then sc around. Sl st in beginning sc.
Kiss Me Mr Darcy Crochet wrist cuff
Back loops only!

double crochet cuff
SC all the way around
Now continue working in both loops.
Row 2: Ch3, 5dc, ch x 2, sk 2 sc, *dc, dc, 2 dc, dc dc, ch x 2, sk 2 sc. Repeat from * around to end, then sl st in top of beginning ch3.

Row 2
Row 3: Sl st across to Ch2 space.  Ch 3, 2 x dc, ch 2, 3 x dc. Then *Ch 2, in next 2 ch sp (3 x dc, ch 2, 3 x dc). Repeat from * to the end. Then sl st in top of beg ch 3.


Row 3
Row 4: Sl st across to Ch 2 sp between the 2 3dc clusters. Ch 3, 2 x dc, ch 2, 3 x dc. Then *Ch 3, in next 2 ch sp (3 x dc, ch 2, 3 x dc). Repeat from * to the end. Then sl st in top of beg ch 3.

crochet wristlet
Row 4

Row 5: Sl st across to Ch 2 sp between the 2 3dc clusters. Ch 3, 2 x dc, ch 2, 3 x dc. Then *Ch 2, then in the ch 3 sp, sc in the middle of the ch 3 sp to also crochet around the previous 2 row chains.  Then Ch 2, and in next 2 ch sp between the dc clusters (3 x dc, ch 2, 3 x dc). Repeat from * to the end. Then sl st in top of beg ch 3.
See photo below for close up.
Kiss Me Mr Darcy Wrist Cuffs
Row 5
Row 6: Ch 1, Sc in same space, *then 3 sc (one in top of 2 dcs, then 1 in next ch), 
ch 3, sc in next ch, sc in each of the next 3 dcs, 
sc in the next 2 ch, 
sc in sc of previous row, 
sc in next 2 ch, 
Repeat from * to the end. Sl st in beginning ch. Finish off.
free pattern
Row 6- looks like a crown!

Done! Sort of. One last frilly bit!
This is worked the same as the Do the Fan Dance Cuffs, so I've pinched those photos...

STEP 3: 
Row 1: Pick up the previous colour, ch 1, sc in same sp, then sc in EACH FRONT LOOP all the way around.
Row 2: WORKING IN BOTH LOOPS:  Ch1, sc in same space, then sc in each of the next 4 sc of the previous row, *Ch3, sk 2 stitches, sc, ch 4, sl st back into the same space to create a loop. Ch 3, sk 2 stitches, 5 sc. Repeat from *. Continue to the end, then join with a sl st to the beginning ch1.

crochet wristlet
See that cute little loop and the skipped stitches and all that jazz? 

wrist cuff crochet
Now Row 2 is finished! Not much further to go...
 Row 3: Now we want to create a little pyramid of scs.  So after joining up with the first of the 5 scs of the previous row, sl st to the 2nd sc (essentially skipping the 1st) and Ch1, then sc in that and the next 2 scs of the previous row (scs in the middle three stitches).  *Ch4, join with a single crochet to the 4ch loop of the previous row, ch4, sl st back into that loop, ch 4, sl st back into that loop, ch 4, sl st back into that loop. Now you made a shamrocky looking thing! Then Ch 4, sk the chains of the previous row AND the first sc of the 5 scs, 3 sc in the next 3 scs of the previous row.  Repeat from *.  When you've gone all the way around, join with a sl st into the beginning ch 1.


free crochet pattern
So skip the first sc, the 3 scs, skip the last sc. 

free wristlet
Chain 4, sc to the loop, ch 4 again....

do the fan dance wrist cuffs
And join back into the loop...

luck of the irish crochet
After doing this 2 more times you have a little shamrocky thingo!
 Row 4: Now To begin Row 4, finish Row 3 by joining to the beginning ch 1, then slip st to the middle of the 3 scs, ch 1, then sc in the same space. *Dc over to the first loop in your little shamrock skipping the next sc and all the chains. Dc again into the first shamrock loop, ch 1, then 2 dc into the same shamrock loop. 
Then in each of the next 2 loops (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc), then sk the chains of the previous row & the first sc to do 1 sc in the 2nd sc. Repeat from * around to the end. Then join with a sl st to the 1st sc.


Now To begin Row 4, finish Row 3 by joining to the beginning ch 1, then slip st to the middle of the 3 scs, ch 1, then sc in the same space.

From that sc, sk the next sc and chains to dc into the first of the 3 loops


Ch 1 then 2 more dcs into the loop (2 dcs, ch 1, 2 dcs)

Do the same thing in the other 2 loops as well.

kiss me mr darcy wrist cuffs
Then sc into the middle sc of the 3scs of the previous row to complete this part of the fan!
Done!  
Well, first sew in your ends.
Now you're really done! 

Wrist cuff crochet tutorial

If you'd like to try my other more simpler version Do the Fan Dance, it looks like this:


If you make yourself a pair or two, show them off! Pop on over to my Red Haired Amazona Facebook page and post your pictures, or just say hi! I love seeing what everyone is making and meeting new peeps!

If you did enjoy my tutorial or any others you've found on my little blog.  Many of my tutorials are free for everyone, however if you'd like to make a little donation, it would be gratefully received and contribute towards future free tutorials!
 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Monday morning Catch Up

Good morning lovelies!
I've been a bit quiet on the blog front lately as my hands and brain have busy busy with crochet designing. 
I've been working on a couple of ideas and projects. 
I'm still trying to write and photograph a new wrist cuff tutorial. It's a lot of work with all the photographing, writing, editing and watermarking all the pictures!

I also have been experimenting with cross stitching on crochet! 
I love the results but still have to perfect my cross stitch technique.  I used to cross stitch when I was alot younger so am a bit rusty.
What do you think?

Cross stitch crochet

After completing my latest granny stripe blanket, I couldn't help but pile my collection up for a photo...

Granny square blankets

And here's a gratuitous 'mid tutorial pic'. 
Not very exciting but hopefully a teaser.


The Sonofaguns have been very patient with their preoccupied Mothership.
We were very proud when little Sonofagun No.2 came home with his first certificate last week.
In school assembly, he was presented with the Principals Award for Maths. He has apparently excelled in learning double digits numbers! (He is only 6!)
He came home and proudly showed his certificate to his big brother...

Sonofagun No.2 : "Hey look what I got today!"
Sonofagun No.1: "Cool! What's that for?"
Sonofagun No.2 replies with his missing 2 front teeth : " Coz I'm awesome at Maffs!"
Sonofagun No.1: "Cool. What's10 x 1?"
Sonofagun No.2 : " 3"
xox

Monday, 20 July 2015

Granny Stripe Blanket in 29 days!

There's nothing so satisfying as sewing in those final threads and cosying up under a newly finished blanket!

After a few months of wrist cuff designing, I wanted to give myself over to someone else's design and do a wee bit of stashbusting. I had SO MUCH YARN.  I needed to use it up to clear the decks a little. 

And what better than to make one of Lucys Granny Stripe blankets!

I did a quick stocktake of my supplies and found that I had all but 3 of the colours which I then picked up from a local department store and I was ready to roll!



It worked up super quickly as my stash disappeared...


Crochet blanket step by step

And I finally completed it last night! In just 29 days!





It's big enough to sit over two laps on the couch. 

So now I have a yummy new blanket to add to my collection. And I've put a significant dent in my yarn basket.

But then I saw something on TV this morning which made me reach for my phone and fire off a text to my bestie The Blonde Bombshell. She was here within an hour.

We jumped in the car and...

Yarn sale

Oh no you didn't! 
Oh yes I did!

Tunisian crochet hook

35 juicy balls of merino and acrylics!
And a Tunisian crochet hook. 

I have a copy of Simply Crochet from a couple of months ago which has a pattern for a lovely cardigan made in Tunisian crochet from merino. New project coming up!

Plus my lovely ManBear has requested a blue & white man blanket of his own. Which I'm starting tonight.

AND the rest are just to replenish the stocks or because they were groovy (neon pink and yellow!)

So much for trying to use up my yarn...

I'm joining some very clever crafters over at Handmade Monday. So pop on over there too!





Saturday, 11 July 2015

Beware the Antarctic Vortex!!!

Hello Possums!

Just popping in for a quick hello!

It's a dreary week we have ahead. 

A big icy blast is hitting Kangaroo Land this week from the south. The news peeps are calling it The Antarctic Vortex! When I heard that on tv last night I laughed and laughed! 

It won't be anywhere near as bad as the Polar Vortex which hit the US last year. But they do love to over exaggerate, don't they? 

If one of my favourite fellow bloggers Auntie Shan in Canada reads that the Antarctic Vortex will see Melbourne shivering in temperatures as low as 10c, she will also laugh and laugh!  

So it will be a little bit extra cold and unpleasant in Melbourne. 

This afternoon I have been cosied up inside watching Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith with Sonofagun No.2, slurping down huge cups of tea and playing with yarn.

organic cotton yarn

Last week the Mothership gave me the beautiful yarns that she bought for me whilst holidaying in Italy.

2 balls of delicious Bio-bimbo cotton and a selection of Lana Gatto merino.


Italian merino

I still haven't figured out what I'm going to make with them. But how gorgeous and exotic!

Axel the genderless budgie is happily tweeting everytime he/she hears R2D2 in the movie from his/her perch atop Juicy Moosey.


flocked deer

Actually he's more of a deer than a moose. Whoops. 

I'm more than 2/3 through my Granny Stripe afghan.

attic 24 afghan

I am absolutely loving my new Knitpro crochet hook. So easy on the hands! 

I also indulged in another super expensive imported craft magazine this morning!


freebies

Cup's almost empty. Must be time for another!  This is one of those gorgeous cups I bought in Port Macquarie at World Par- Tea

Peacock Tea Mug


On the WIP front, I have finally finished backing and adding the finishing touches to my Intarsia scarf. Just in time for the Antarctic Vortex!!


Antarctic Vortex knit scarf



How's your weekend going?
xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Valla Beach Holiday: Koala Quests, Disco Buses & Whales Galore!

 


We've just returned from a short Mid North Coastal adventure!

It was so good to have a break from the wintery Melbourne gloom.

We flew to Newcastle north of Sydney, hired a car then drove to Port Macquarie. 
We stayed one night in Port Macquarie, then travelled up to sleepy Valla Beach which is 35 minutes south of Coffs Harbour.

Alot of my family all made the trek as well for a fun family reunion.

We stayed in the same tourist park together, kind of taking it over, and had bbqs, singalongs (there were 4 guitars and 3 guitarists!) and visited the local tourist attractions.

In Port Macquarie, we drove straight to the nearest mall for a quick lunch before finding the caravan park we were to stay at.

You could say I was literally in Port Macquarie for just 5 minutes before I met a kindred spirit...


As I walked in through the entrance from the carpark there was a table filled with crochet and knitted goodies!

Of course I stopped!

My attention was immediately taken by some chunky collars made in star stitch!

I looked up and saw the stall holder behind the table.

Red Haired Amazona: "Is this..."

Stallholder: "It's CROCHET darl..."

Red Haired Amazona: "...star stitch?"

Stallholder: "Oh! You know crochet?"

Red Haired Amazona inwardly chuckles!

Then we chatted for a few minutes (actually it was closer to an hour) while the boys found other amusements, then went back to wait in the car.
I bought the star stitch collar in a gorgeous navy blue with a bone button.  When I got home last night and put it on, it was deliciously warm!

The stallholder Chris has a Facebook page called Beanies & Bits.  She also collects granny squares from anyone who wants to donate them, then sews them into blankets for the local Domestic Violence Support Group.  This is a cause close to my heart, so if you live in the area, please get in contact with her to see how you can contribute!

The next day before we left for Valla Beach, I wanted to check out a local Tea shop called World Par-Tea.  


teapot

Out the front of the shop was this handsome creature!


World Par-Tea
Komorebi Koala outside World Par-Tea in Port Macquarie

I asked the lovely shop assistant about him and she said he was one of the Hello Koala Sculptures and gave me this brochure...


As well as lots of gorgeous teas, tea pots and mugs (yes I did indulge!), they had a selection of Hello Koala magnets.  I spied this one:

Oh My Glob!!!

Hello Koalas

Red Haired Amazona blurts out in the middle of the shop: "Are you serious? Is this real? We have to find this!!!"

Helpful shop assistant (who was also pouring me a sample cup of Vanilla English Breakfast tea) handed me this brochure, then I knew the quest was afoot:


Granny Square Koala

Wauchope (pronounced War-hope) was only 20 minutes drive away. We agreed to stop by for a look on our way to Valla Beach.
But first there were a few more koalas to visit.  There are 50 beautifully painted koalas on the Hello Koala Trail, but sadly we didn't have time to find them all.

If you'd like to check them out, visit the Hello Koala website. It looks like a similar idea to the Shaun the Sheep sculptures in England which my friend Vicki from Off The Hook visited in London...

First we decided to visit the Rainforest Boardwalk in Sea Acres National Park.

Area map
Sonofagun No. 2 knows where we are!




Where we met this lovely fellow in the Information Centre...

Crusader Koala
Crusader Koala!


The rainforest was lovely and lush. All around us we could hear the constant chatter and song of birdlife. 

Sea Acres Rainforest


 But whilst we would sometimes see a flash of wings, they were extremely hard to photograph. The only creature who stayed still long enough for a photo was this Rock Wallaby basking in a pool of sunlight...

Rock Wallaby
Rock Wallaby


So we journeyed onto Wauchope.  Outside the local community centre we found our third Koala. I loved his beautiful Aboriginal designs.

Hello Koala Sculpture Trail
Guula Koala by the Wauchope TAFE Visual Arts Students

And then finally outside the Wauchope Hospital, partly hidden behind construction fencing, I found the most beautiful creature I had ever seen!

Granny Square Koala Wauchope
Granny Square Koala

Yes. She is definitely my favourite! The Granny Square Koala.

Hello Koala Sculpture Trail
I am so in love right now!
I took several photos while 2 construction workers sitting on a bench a metre away gave me amused looks.

We then continued on towards Valla Beach.

After settling in to our yurt at Valla Beach Tourist Park, we decided to visit the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House.


Amazona Butterfly
The rare and beautiful Blue Amazona Butterfly

The Butterfly House Coffs Harbour
The Cairns Birdwing
The Ulysses Butterfly
The next day we drove up to Bellingen.  A beautiful little town known locally as 'Bello'. And lucky us, it was hosting the Bello Winter Music Festival that very weekend! 

There were buskers, bands, market stalls and general shenanigans such as the Lollipop ladies...


In order to cross the road, you had to disco dance across the crossing. Or break out whatever dance move they told you to!
bello winter music festival
The centre of town in beautiful Bello

Sonofagun No. 2 and I climbed aboard the Magic Bus.

Disco and Funk blared out of the speakers.  Everyone was given a piece of some kind of funky clothing to wear like a sequined hat, feather boa or big green sunglasses. For just $2 you could ride as many times as you liked all day up and down the main street of Bello. The Zebra suited driver even drove it down a side street down to a cul de sac where he did several 360s declaring it was a big bussy mirror ball!


magic bus
The Magic Bus is headed for funky town
Random friendly busker dude playing some beautiful guitar
That afternoon back at the tourist park, my cousin Amy from the blog Mrs Smyth Made This and I sat down for a brief but awesome crafting and blogchat session while everyone else played cricket.


This photo was taken by Amy's future photographer toddler!  I think she captured my best side.

Mrs Smyth is making this...  and my rainbow granny stripe blanket is in the background.

You know, Coffs Harbour is quite interesting.  I was particularly taken by this painted traffic signal box.

Coffs Harbour
Tweet.

A Windmill Motel. Sure, why not!

No trip to Coffs Harbour is complete without a visit to the Big Banana!

No false advertising here. They really do grow bananas at The Big Banana!
And so finally it was time to return home. I could have stayed longer. There is so much to see and do on the Mid north NSW coast. The weather was beautiful.  I snapped heaps of photos of birds...


And flowers...





































On Tuesday morning we headed back to catch our flight from Newcastle.  My sister recommended we stop at South West Rocks on the way to see the Smoky Cape Lighthouse.  She said she had seen a whale.



It was a steep climb up the hill...


But it was worth it!

Whales at South West Rocks
There were so many humpback whales!

We saw tail flips and lots of humps breaching the waves. Water spouts galore!

Here are 2 photos of the same two whales as they were closest to the shore, but all around we could see signs of whales frolicking. We identified about 6-7 groups or pairs in different locations around the point.

If we didn't have a plane to catch, we would have camped ourselves there all day to watch.



If you are interested in checking it out for yourself, I found a link with some information here.

Check out some of the lovely craft bloggers at Handmade Monday!
http://www.lucyblossomcrafts.co.uk/blog/handmade-monday-24-it-finally-happened#comments

xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona