Category Archives: project updates

Finished – Crochet Shell Baby Blanket

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A while ago I posted about a blanket I was rushing to finish to send to a friend who had her baby earlier than planned. Finally, after crocheting my fingers off for a week, I finished it.

I thoroughly enjoyed crocheting this blanket. The pattern wasn’t too repetitive as it had lots of colour changes and the recurring shells throughout add texture and interest. The border was a tricky one to decide on – I wanted something that would add to the overall delicate look of the blanket, without being too fiddly. I decided on a shell border with decorative gaps, to mimic the shell pattern whilst adding enough interest to frame the blanket. To keep it light and fresh I decided to border it in white, instead of blue – I think this works well.

This hardest part of the project, as any crocheter will know, is the dreading darning in of the  photo BD3740E4-2FE0-4085-9867-5A2475144F6D-26811-000002E863374C38_zps6ea8c176.jpgends. There are 88 rows in total, and each row had 2 ends to darn in. I managed to finish the darning in process within 3 hours though, and then double crocheted around the edge to give the decorative border something to stick to.

The photo to the right shows the front (right of the border) and back (left of the border) of the blanket, the pattern allows the colour to sit back to the white shells on the front of the blanket, giving it a great texture without allowing the colour to become too bright. Even so, I still think the back of the blanket is pretty; a little more muted.

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The finished size of the blanket is 30″ x 37″, bringing it out at a fat rectangle, the perfect size for wrapping up baby. It’s not too far off a suitable size for a cot blanket too, so hopefully my friend will get a lot of use out of it.

 

 

I will be listing this blanket as a made-to-order item soon, so if you would like one, sign up to

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blog updates using the button on the right of the homepage to receive an email when the new page goes live.

Happy crafting 🙂

My next project…

I am slowly nearing the end of a crocheted blanket for a dear friend who I have worked with for the last couple of years. She gave birth to her bouncing baby boy a month early, just a few days ago, so I really need to step up my hook-time and get this done for her! Here it is – a photo from a few weeks ago – but this shows the pattern off well

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I’ve been using Hayfield Baby Bonus DK to create the blanket, alternating rows of white shell stitch with blue, mint, pink and lemon. When I started the blanket, we didn’t know the sex of the baby, so I’m hoping the pink will be OK! I am planning to edge it in a row of white double crochet, followed by a row (or two) or double crochet in blue, just to give it more a boy-ish feel.

Anyway, I digress. The reason I’m harping on about this lovely shell stitch blanket is because once I finish it – and only when I finish it – will I allow myself to order yarn and start on a new project. A project that has been on my list for months. The Springtime Throw by Nicki Trench – a pattern that features in Nicki’s book Cute and Easy Crochet. It is probably one of my

Springtime Throw, courtesy of laughinghens.com

favourite crocheted throws, ever. I love the little granny squares, don’t they look like little sweets? Or perhaps stained glass windows?

Nicki uses the most delicious wool to crochet this – Rooster Almerino DK – in a very fresh, colourful palette that is this blanket’s namesake.

As much as I love this blanket, I just can’t justify the cost of Rooster wool. It’s totally out of my price range. So I have decided to use the pattern, but adapt the colours, to suit my bedroom.

With roses on the bed cover, a rose garland on the bed frame, and white wooden furniture, my bedroom is quite girly (the other half puts up with it VERY well). So I want the blanket to echo the pink palette of my bedroom, whilst still being quite contemporary and not too girly or parma-violet.

I’ve decided to use Stylecraft Special DK yarn – a ridiculously cheap (£1.59 per 100g at www.woolwarehouse.co.uk) but soft yarn with an extensive colour range. I copied and pasted the blocks of colour from the description page on the website and used them to create a slapdash tester (on MS Paint, no less) of a proposed colour scheme. It took me ages. It started out too girly, way too much sugary pink, and then it descended into crazy blues and reds – which does not suit my room. In the end, I finished on this:

springtimethrowtest

Granted it isn’t the tidiest of tester charts, but it gave me the opportunity to play with colour. I’ve never been very good at colour choice – and have only just discovered the absolute joy that is the colour wheel (will post about it soon). So I’m starting to feel a bit more confident about putting colours together, and I think I’ve got the balance right with this combination. The colours are as follows: raspberry, grape, pale rose, bottle, meadow and carmel. The background colour, that makes up the middle section around the central diamond of colour – will be crocheted in the same yarn, in the colour ‘parchment.’ I used my knowledge of the colour wheel to select the colour carmel – being almost yellowish or caramel in colour, it sits opposite the pinky side of the colour wheel, so I think it brings out the pinky tones nicely in the tester. The green will keep it fresh, whilst mirroring the little splash of leaves and foliage that’s scattered over my bedding and in the rose garland. I’m really excited to order the yarn, but must finish the baby blanket first. Here’s some more photos of the lovely Springtime Throw from various blogs. Click on the image and it will take you to the source.

Beautiful!!

Crocheted Tea Cosy

Over the last week and a half I have been creating a crocheted tea cosy to cover my Christmas themed tea pot. I really love the shape of this teapot – it’s a ‘tea for one’ design: the top half is a tiny teapot that sits inside a teacup at the bottom. As a result, it has two handles (that move independently of eachother) and a really high spout. It’s so funny when you start to crochet something for a static object – like a teapot. You look at things in new ways. I never thought I’d describe a spout as being ‘high’!

Crochet with Raymond tea cosy

I read a few patterns first, including this one from one of my favourite blogs, The Green Dragonfly, and this one from another favourite (but sadly no longer active) blog, Crochet with Raymond (left), to get a good idea about the construction of a tea cosy.

The main things to consider are – the width of the bottom of the teapot (as this determines your foundation chain), the change in diameter of the teapot as you progress up (this will determine how many increases you need to make, and how often) and the positioning of the spout and the handle. It was a challenge, but with the inspiration from two of my favourite blogs, I set out to cover my seasonal teapot with a suitably spring-like tea cosy.

I started with a foundation chain long enough to fit around the base of the teapot, and then worked in double crochet in rows all the way up, evenly increasing the stitches to allow for the round shape of the teapot. Shaping around the spout was tricky, but the key is to keep putting the cosy on the teapot to check that you are increasing correctly and the cosy isn’t too baggy. Create the hole for the spout by folding the long rectangle of fabric in half and marking the middle with a stitch marker. Work out how many stitches either side will give a snug hole for your spout to fit through, leave these stitches unworked, and then work in rows on seperate sides of the fabric, leaving the area free for the spout to come through. When you have worked enough rows to come up to the top of the spout chain the number of stitches that you missed and then join to the other side of the fabric. You’ll now be working in rounds! Decrease to keep the cosy snug, leaving a hole in the top of the cosy for the teapot’s handle to poke through. I might do a tutorial for this one day – but for now here’s some yummy photos

Once finished, I made the daffodil and the roses using the amazing tutorials from Attic 24. You can find the roses and leaves tutorial here, and the daffodil tutorial here. Attic 24’s tutorials are so easy to follow. I used a slightly thicker yarn for the flowers as I wanted them to come up chunky enough to cover the top of the cosy completely. The leaves are one of the most effective tutorials I have come across and look really sweet next to the flowers. The daffodil was surprisingly simply, but so pretty.

I will definitely be using these patterns again, I think the roses would look beautiful crocheted into the centre of granny squares, perhaps for a cushion cover of a blanket.

I found it easier to sew the leaves onto the back of the flowers first, so leave a long tail if you intend to do this. It made placement alot easier and I was able to control the positioning better too. I also found I had to block the leaves and the daffodil petals – this is really easy to do. Just mist each piece with water, place a folded up tea towel over it and run a warm iron over it. With the daffodil, you will need to do a couple of petals at a time to avoid pressing the central trumpet – you want this to stay standing up 🙂 Let the pieces cool down and dry off before you sew them on. Alternatively, if you have more patience than me, you can pin the daffodil petals and the leaves down individually to a thick piece of foam, or even a large cushion (a flat one!) and mist with water, leaving to dry naturally. Both techniques work perfectly!

I’ve put my finished tea cosy on my kitchen dresser, ontop of a cut glass cake stand, to really show it off! But here’s a rather badly executed photo of it, which was taken as soon as I finished! I was too eager to show it off!