Saturday, 27 June 2015

Saturday Morning Pancakes & Crochet

After spending the last few weeks preoccupied with designing wrist cuffs (a few more patterns to come my sweets!) I wanted to switch off my brain for a little while. Put myself in someone elses creative hands! 

So I've been happily working away on Lucy's Granny Stripe blanket. It's now at that lovely foldy stage. I think I'm up to 42 rows? And more to work on tonight!

color list granny stripe
I copied Lucy's list of colours from her blog and matched them up with I already had in my stash. Only needed to buy a couple of extra colours. 

crochet granny afghan

granny stripe blanket

The Sonofaguns and I had pancakes for breakfast this morning.  Nothing too Masterchefish. Just one of those Shake a pancake thingos. With a selection of yummy toppings like Sovereign Hill Lemon Butter, Lingonberry Jam and Honey.

And while I soaked up those wonderful, hideous calories, I read through some of my crochet magazines.  It was soooooo glorious!

Saturday morning.

Pancakes slathered in butter and jams.

A mug of coffee.  And then another mug of coffee!

A stack of crochet magazines.

And nowhere else I had to be except right there, at that table with all those marvelous things!

Sonofagun No. 2 drew Minecraft/ Middle Earth inspired maps.

And I found a Star Stitch tutorial in a copy of Crochet Magazine.  So I decided to try out this pretty stitch I've seen so much of.

pancake crochet

And started making it into a biggish coffee mug coaster.

star stitch pattern

cotton coffee mat

And then found another crochet magazine with some cute crochet embroidery, so stitched on a simple flower.

crochet coaster

cotton crochet drink coaster

What do you think?

embroidered crochet coaster

How was your Saturday morning?

The Red Haired Amazona

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Beating the Winter Can'tBeStuffeds with Crochet

I haven't really been posting as often lately. I haven't exactly got the winter blues, more the Winter Uninspireds.

The Winter Boreds.

The Winter Can'tBeStuffeds.

Not with crochet. But with Doing Other Stuff.

Like excursions and day trips.  

Melbourne winters aren't that challenging. Yes it's a bit cold. Sometimes really frickin cold. But I grew up in Canberra which is bitterly icy freeze your nuts off cold.  Especially at night when it gets down to minus 7 celcius.  So Melbourne ain't that bad. But it's just unpleasantly windy, rainy, cloudy and glum. And I don't really want to leave the house that much. 

Which has been awesome from a crochet perspective!

I've finished a Rainbow Scoodie.

scarf hoodie scoodie

And 3 different sets of wrist cuffs including writing up and publishing the pattern for one of them.

Crochet wristlet
I'm still experimenting with this wrist cuff. I think the shell cuff part should probably be horizontal striped instead of vertical. What do you think?

I was also sorely, sorely tempted to purchase an Attic24 pack from Wool Warehouse in Pommie Land to make a granny stripe blanket.  


2 reasons. Firstly I looked at my mishmash of yarn and wanted to make something to use it up.  Like thousands of Crochet Queens, I love Lucy and always wanted to make a Granny Stripe Blanket. 

Secondly because I worked out that it's just as cheap to buy one of these packs (including postage) as it is to buy the same amount of DK but another brand from retailer Lincraft here in Australia! Crazy isn't it?

But after sorting through my stash, I realised I had the same of most colours, and similar shades of others. The compulsive shopper in me itched to jump online and order. Fulfil that glorious endorphine rush of waiting for that big package to arrive in the post with the thrilling Royal Mail sticker. Opening it and soaking up all those gorgeous bronze bands of Stylecraft DK that I've seen online.

BUUUUTTTT the sensible Amazona (who rarely makes appearances) popped her head up and said "No. Not yet sweet Red Haired Amazona. USE WHAT YOU HAVE!!!"

I only needed to buy 3 extra colours.  I had small balls left of them but they wouldn't have completed a whole stripe. I found them at my local Big W. 

So I've put my designer brain to rest for a little while and am enjoying row after row of mindless granny stripes. So delicious and satisfying!

rainbow crochet
25 rows of delicious Granny stripes with only 1 colour substitution. I couldn't find Aspen green so used a grey instead. No, they aren't rug stains, just lens smudges. OK they are rug stains.  :(

I've promised myself that special thing that all Yarn Crafters promise themselves.  Not to buy anymore yarn until I use what I have....  Are you laughing with me? We both know it's sort of a white lie, don't we? 

crochet meme

As I mentioned before, we haven't really had any excursions out for a little while. We've had a bad run of illness and injury here in the Amazona household. 
At the moment Sonofagun No.2 has a persistent cough which has kept him home on and off for a couple of weeks. I'm exercising Mothers Discretion and have kept him at home since last Thursday to try and help him shake it.  

But in a week* we are fleeing Melbourne's Wintery Lurve for some Northern Exposure.

(*I originally just wrote "In a few of weeks", then wrote the rest of the post. Happened to glance at the date today and realised it's in just 1 week! Crap! haven't found anyone to look after the bird or packed, or booked a rental car or anything!  Is there anyone in the area who is willing to Bird sit for 1 week in exchange for a couple of balls of yarn?)

5 days in Coffs Harbour.  

I had hoped it would be warmer than here. It is 15 hours drive north from Melbourne (we're flying thank goodness!). The Weather man is telling me it's only 19 degrees there today but thats a good 5 degrees warmer than here and it is beachside and lush and green and it will be lovely to have a change of scenery.  And of course I'll share holiday snaps with you! 

I'll probably pop instant snaps on my Facebook page. Now which crochet project should I take with me?  

My Granny Stripe Blanket? Or a small project like wrist cuffs?  
The Red Haired Amazona

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Do the Fan Dance Wrist Cuffs


I've developed a new obsession. 

With these gorgeous things. Wristlets, aka, wrist cuffs. 

I've also seen them referred to as 'wristers' but that sounds like Emergency room slang the nurses use when they get patients with household objects stuck in strange places.

They're so easy you won't be able to contain yourself.  

You'll wonder why you never made these before! You'll make heaps and heaps in all of the colours to wear with all the things to go to all of the places!

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

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 2-22: 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 22 rows to fit my chubby little wrists, but please check your measurements and crochet more or less rows accordingly.

The beginning chain, the dc in the 4th ch from the hook

Row 2 of the Cuff

Row 8, shut the gate...

Row 22, nuthin' left to do! (except sew together then commence the super freaky lacy stuff but let's not focus on that. I'm too busy rhyming.)

So did you slip stitch up the 2 ends? Don't forget not to finish off!  Then turn and you can start working on the elbow end of your cuff!

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.
See photo below!

Row 2: Ch 3, sk 2 scs, sc in the 3rd sc. Continue around the cuff, joining with a sl st to the first ch of the beginning ch 3.

Row 2 recap: Ch3, sk 2, sc etc

Row 3: Sl st into the first Ch3 space. In each ch 3 space: sc, 2 dc, sc.  EASY!!  Do this in each ch 3 spaces around.  Then join the beginning sc with a sl st, finish off and weave in your ends!

How to make these sweet little shells: first sc in the ch 3 space...

Then dc...

And another dc...

Sorry it's a bit blurry but now do the last sc, and repeat!

Victorian wrister
Told you it was easy!!  Looks great. You're doing fab!

Now for the Fun Part- The Big Frilly Part 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).

Row 1: The 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.

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 22 rows of DCs. Therefore with 2 scs per dc post, I would have ended up with 44scs. I need to have either 40, 50 or 60 scs etc. So I worked in an extra 6 scs evenly around the cuff.  Better to increase than decrease as this will give a nice flared out effect.

Row 2: 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.

Victorian wrist cuff
See that cute little loop and the skipped stitches and all that jazz? 

Victorian wrist cuffs
Now Row 1 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 stiches).  *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.

For close up photos, see below...
Victorian wrist cuffs
So skip the first sc, the 3 scs, skip the last sc. 

steampunk wrist cuffs
Chain 4, sc to the loop, ch 4 again....

Victorian crochet wrist cuffs
And join back into the loop...

edwardian wristlet 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.  See next 5 photos below for close ups.

edwardian wristlet
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.

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

steampunk wristlet

edwardian wristlet
Then dc again

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

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

boho crochet
Then sc into the middle sc of the 3scs of the previous row to complete this part of the fan!

edwardian fashion
Almost finished! 1 more row to go :)
Row 5: *Sc in the first dc of the fan, ch 2, then sl st into the 2nd ch from the hook, sc in the next dc,
 sc into the ch1 of the previous row, sc in the next dc, ch 2, sl st in the 2nd chain from the hook, sc in the next 2 dcs, 
ch 2, sl st in the 2nd chain from the hook, sc in the next dc and ch 1 space, sc, ch 2, sl st in the 2nd ch from the hook, sc in the next 2dcs, ch 2, sl st in the 2nd ch from the hook, sc in the next dc, sc in the ch 1 sp, sc in the next dc, ch 2, sl st in the 2nd ch from the hook, dc. This completes our micro picots on one fan. Continue from * on all the fans around.

See the next bunch of photos for close up details.

free victorian crochet pattern
SC in the first dc

gypsy edwardian steampunk
Here's where I sl st in the 2nd chain from the hook

edwardian crochet

When you get all the way around, sl st into the first sc, then finish off. 

Weave in your ends and now make another. That one gloved fashion trend went out in the 1980s, so you will need another cuff!
Then stand back and admire your gorgeous new cuffs!  You did good kid!

victorian fashion

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!