Showing posts with label yarn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yarn. Show all posts

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Voila Koala Brooch

 
Koalas are cute. 

They smell of wee and gum leaves.




They can also be scary and may have chlamydia.

This is not a photo of me with PMS.   Image courtesy of wikipedia

I started making these guys in recent weeks as they're great for using up scraps of yarn and only take a few minutes to whip up and wear as a sweet brooch!
 

Would you like to make one of these super dooper cutie brooches?

Let's get started!
 
So what do you need?

Any scraps of cotton yarns. I have used Scheepjes Catona.

You'll also need a 3.5mm crochet hook.

In the tutorial photos below, I will be using Scheepjes Catona in a soft champagne colour (Yarn A), a nectarine colour for the inside of the ears (Yarn B), and a funky grass green for the nose (Yarn C).

You will also need: 
a piece of felt large enough to cover the back, 
scissors, 
a darning needle, 
small needle, 
sewing thread, 
glue 
and a brooch finding.  
You will also need either black/ brown thread for embroidering eyes or plastic toy eyes which can be glued on.



Let's get started!

Face

With Yarn A, make a magic loop.
Round 1 (RS): Ch1 (does not count as stitch), 6sc into loop. [6sc]
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch. [12sc]
Round 3: (2sc, sc in next st) 6 times. [18sc]
Round 4: (2sc, sc x 2) 6 times. Sl st in next stitch. Finish off. [24sc, 1 sl st]


Ears (Make 2)

With Yarn B, make a magic loop.
Row 1: Ch 1 (does not count as stitch), 3 sc into loop. Ch1, turn. [3 sc]
Row 2: 2sc in each st. Join Yarn A. Ch 1, turn. [6sc]
Row 2 finished, and about to join Yarn A
Row 3: (2sc, sc in next stitch) 3 times. FO leaving a long tail. Weave in all other ends.

Nose

With Yarn C, make a magic loop.
Round 1: Ch 1 (does not count as stitch), 6sc into loop. Finish off leaving a tail. 

To make up:

Sew on both ears using the long tails left over with a 3-4 stitch gap between the inner corner of each ear. See photo for details.

Next sew on the nose. Although this is round, stitch on so it is in an oval shape.

The koalas nose is attached with the top of the nose in the middle of the face and the bottom in the lower third of the face. See further finished photos.

Embroider on the eyes with a french knot or glue on toy eyes.

Cut the backing felt in the same shape as the koala head but just a little bit smaller.


Sew the metal brooch piece securely onto the felt, then glue the felt onto the back of the koala face.  Press carefully and firmly and leave to dry.
And voila koala!
 

I'd love to see your makes! Tag me on Instagram @red.haired.amazona.crochets 


Louise
Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Hello Autumn!


The long hot days of summer are disappearing and are replaced by the up and down temperatures of Autumn. Most days we are lucky as it still hangs in the low to mid 20s. Glorious, warm sunny days and cooler nights.
So far we have only had to light the fire once.

The garden is still producing vegies and flowers.  We even have two watermenlons growing. I planted the seedlings just after Christmas. I should have planted them a lot earlier in the season but I didn't really PLAN to plant watermelons. I saw them in the garden centre one day, and thought, "Hey, let's see what happens with these!"


The Lebanese zucchini keep on producing. But the Bear and I decided we mostly eat zucchini in our winter casseroles and curries, so we keep offering them to anyone who visits. Otherwise they don't get eaten.
 I've come to the realization that I'm a Dahlia fan. I'm not sure when or how this happened. One day I was rather kind of 'Meh' about Dahlias. The next thing I knew I had them all through my garden and I get ridiculously excited when they flower.
It's all very strange. Has that ever happened to you before?

But look at this gorgeous thing! I can't remember what it's name is, but I bought it from a dahlia bulb seller at a farming expo last April.

 This amazing one was also purchased from the same seller. This one is called 'Starsister'.  I thought I had planted it in a pot. Then that dahlia started flowering with plain little pink flowers and I was really cranky as I thought perhaps there was a mix up of the bulbs at the store. Then a few weeks later this popped up and started flowering in the garden bed. I had mixed the bulbs up when I was planting them out!

I just adore it!
 Here's the little pink one.

I love a good pompom dahlia, don't you?

Our tomato plants went nuts! They are still producing loads of fruit. Loads of little orange pear tomatoes and black cherry tomatoes. They are only 2 plants on this arch trellis but they have been branching everywhere.



Most evenings before dinner, I take my little harvest basket out into the garden and pick limes, tomatoes, herbs and strawberries.
We no longer live super close to the beach, but on my days off after school drop-off, Chuck Norris and I go to the beach.  It's an 'off- leash' beach for dogs. And he loves it.
He runs around and says hello to the other dogs, smells all the smells, pees on Pee Rock, and occasionally runs back over to me wagging his tail as if to say, "THIS IS THE BEST FREAKING DAY OF MY LIFE!!!"
So I started thinking that the cooler evenings mean Chuck might need something to keep him warm.
I'm new to the world of dog clothing. Chuck didn't come with his own wardrobe. But he is a short coated dog who will need some protection when it get cold.
I found this pattern for a striped crochet dog coat by Bernat yarns.

I chose rainbow colours because I am allergic to non-rainbow.

I really like the way the neck ribbing is created. The pattern is fairly easy to follow, but I did encounter a few issues which were answered by some of the comments left on the webpage.

I am using Stylecraft special DK whereas the pattern requires an aran weight yarn (Bernat Super Value).

So whilst Chuck would be a 'medium' size, I altered the stitches a little to crochet his jumper between a 'medium' and 'large' size.

It mostly fits well so far, except for the front leg holes which are a little tight. I think that's more the fault of my adjustments than the pattern.

I have a few more rows to go, then sew in the last ends and it's done!

Doesn't he look like a supermodel!

I have also been crocheting some jackets for a set of metal tealight holders which are kind of metal and naked looking (ie: ugly).
I'm using Scheepjes Catona. I love it's glossy colours.

I simply started by crocheting a flat circle. Then when the flat base was the same diameter as the tealight holder, I crocheted 1 round without increasing in the back loops. Then kept crocheting around without increasing.

This one below was inspired by the silk blue bag that it's sitting on.



This one below is a little experimental and as yet, unfinished. I love the art of French artist Nathalie Lete.
I have a few blank notebooks that are covered in her designs, such as this one.  For months I have played around with the idea of crocheting designs based on her paintings.


 It's not finished yet. I love the vibrant colours and quirky creatures she paints. I also absolutely ADORE, (or should I say 'j'adore') her Christmas decorations. Very expensive and hard to find in Australia.

They give off a lovely warm glow and the tealight holder is large enough that the cotton isn't close enough to catch the flame.

 And while many of you are watching your Spring bulbs pop up, soon I'll be planting mine!
Thanks for visiting!

 Louise
Red Haired Amazona















Sunday, 6 January 2019

I haven't been quiet, I've been crafting like crazy!

It's always tricky for me to blog around November/December about what I'm making as it's usually gifts for Christmas.

So firstly I don't want to show friends and family what they're getting for Christmas.

Secondly and mostly I travel through November and December in a a sort of dazed chaos. I am disorganised, befuddled and just trying to get through it ONE DAY AT A TIME.

This year was especially busy. At the beginning of December I jumped on a plane and flew 1100km up to northern NSW to the town of Tamworth.  An old and much loved friend of mine, Jaime is pregnant with her first baby and was having a baby shower. 

Tamworth is a small town and the country music capital of Australia and home of the Golden Guitar.

Guitars breathed & scribbled on by Dolly, Keith Urban, Kris Kristopherson & Paul Kelly
Dolly breathed on this thing. And scribbled on it. In person. There may still be Breath of Dolly in the hole of the guitar. And I was close to it. This is the closest I have ever been to a holy relic.
This weekend the temperatures were in the mid to high 30s. Really hot!

So it was totally ironic that my present for Jaime's baby would be a crocheted blanket!!

Jaime and her lovely fella Casey don't know if they're having a boy or girl yet. And Jaime is like me. We both love bright bold, fun colours. 

Whilst thinking of what to make, I was inspired by a bright blanket I spied in a blog post by Pip from the blog Meet Me At Mikes.  Pop over and have a look at her blanket. It's just so fun and beautiful! I used many of the colours Pip used as I had them in my stash and many of her colour combos as they were so bright and joyful.
Here's my meager effort.

Chuck Norris approves.
As you know I was also working furiously to finish my Amazona Parrot pattern. I really wanted to finish it by the beginning of December. But LIFE keeps getting in the way.

LIFE= work, house work, kids, sleep.

The first one (work) is so ANNOYING! I know we have to pay bills, buy food and shit, but seriously! It totally interferes with the No.1 priority in my life. Crochet. And it is as annoying as anything.

OK, so mini rant alert.

I'm sure about 2 years ago I seemed to have WAY more time to create patterns for you guys. I was a creative FORCE OF NATURE! I had patterns oozing out all my orifices.The good ones. Not the yucky ones. I blogged. I wrote patterns. It was my thing.
Now it takes MONTHS for me to write up anything. It used to take just a few weeks.
AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!
A few months ago I was on an online job website looking for a job for Sonofagun No.1 when I randomly found a job for a major craft retailer in Australia.They wanted a knit & crochet designer who had experience writing patterns, providing pattern assistance, and testing new patterns for knit and crochet. 
It was TOTALLY my jam!

See? Even Chuck Norris thinks so!  I filled out the application. Wrote up a super groovy resume that was just informative enough, sounding like I was amazing with a touch of modesty. It had links to the blog and the patterns and ALL OF THE THINGS without being too overboard. Because you're supposed to condense your experience into less than 2 pages, yeah?
I did that thing you're not supposed to do. I told a few of my colleagues at work. They were totally like, "OMG THAT IS THE JOB FOR YOU! YOU WOULD BE AWESOME! THAT JOB IS MADE FOR YOU!!!"  Incredibly supportive and excited for me.


And to top it all off, there was the option of work from home. AND the office is literally 10 minutes from my house which is Melbourne is ridiculously rare.

But I didn't even hear back from them. Ah well. I'm sure they found someone who would be super amazing. They may have probably wanted someone with more knitting experience than me. I'm only good for knitting socks. And there is usually lots of swearing and frogging involved.

I don't believe in New Years Resolutions. They're kind of a load of crap actually. You promise to do something. Like lose weight or whatever. Then you try really hard for a week. Lose 300gms. Then kind of forget/ lose interest/ accidentally binge on a carton of Baileys Irish Cream flavoured ice cream then gain 3kgs and give up. 

But without making a New Years Resolution, I'm going to try really hard to make more time for crochet and designing again. And blogging about random stuff. 


RANT OVER

Back to Craft-ember (craft + december)...

For Xmas this year we did a Kris Kringle type arrangement where we had to buy a present for 1 person (I got my sister) and gift them something that was handmade/ 2nd hand/ upcycled.

I knitted the Blonde Amazona a pair of socks.
I did make them a bit too long. But apparently that's ok as the Sister Amazona has a freakishly long big toe.
Once again I used the wonderful and easy to follow tutorial by Winwick Mum. Thanks again Christine! 
Sabrina the kitten rescued from the highway to hell (aka 45 mins out of Melbourne) approves.
I also made some polymer clay handles for crochet hooks. I gave 1 to the Sister Amazona, 1 for my Best Bloggy Buddy Vicki from Off The Hook, 1 for my friend Emma and 1 for me.
 




I have also finally started a project using a skein of Scheepjes Whirl in Blackberry Mint Chip which was gifted to me a while ago by Vicki. 
I came across a wrap pattern in a copy of Inside Crochet magazine (issue 104).


It's called the Ayumi Wrap by Annelies Baes.  The pattern is written for a different yarn and I have been following the pattern, but taking a few liberties. The pattern is written where you work off both sides of the base chain, 1 side in one colour, then the other side in a contrasting colour. I have just been working from the base chain in one direction. I hope Annelies doesn't mind!

It's lovely how the gradient colours start to emerge!

 And finally my holiday project.

When we went to the coast, I took lots of crochet cottons with the intention of making more Amazona Parrots. I also took the Inside Crochet mag mentioned above to keep working on the shawl. In that magazine there was a beautiful mandala pattern designed by Dedri Uys from Look At What I Made.
The journey home in the car was about 10 hours, so I whipped up this mandala! 
One of the rare times I block anything...




I did make a few mistakes as I was crocheting in the car. The highway stretches are fine, but there was also bumpy country roads, and windy mountain range roads involved.
The original pattern uses Scheepjes Calista which is an aran weight cotton. I only had a handful of 2 and 4 ply cottons with me. So it is a bit more 'doilyish' than Dedri's.  


I might make it again with some of the cottons from my new box of Scheepjes Catona... 

That's my project wrap up. What have you had on your hook lately?

Louise
Red Haired Amazona