Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tah Dah! Revealing the starburst throw blanket

Good morning to you all!  I hope everyone is enjoying a lovely July thus far.  I have been really horrible about updating this blog for a while.  Part of it is due to the warmer weather where I am outside and enjoying the time outdoors.  Part of it is due to being lazy.  Part of it is because recently, I got busy again with my crochet hook and got lost in it all with all my time being spent on that, instead of here.  Now I get to play catch up.  I have several things that I recently completed, and I need to make a separate post for each one.  So, now I have some blogging material to blog about, right?

Let me get started with this one shall we?

Here is my finished starburst throw, Tah Dah.  I bet by now everyone must for sure think this is just about the only thing I know how to make, lol.  But, do not fear, it is only because I started a project several months back and have been using them to complete a bedroom set.  These had been sitting here for a while in my closet and I finally pulled them out to complete the set.   If you look here, you can see where I was using them earlier.   The circle (starburst) is used as a base for many things.  If you google "Flowers in the snow" blanket, you will see the crochet as you go design using them.  I made the blanket currently on my bed from that and used the same centers to make the above blanket, but the granny square outside is different.   If you google "Attic 24 hexagon" you will see the same center as well.  In this one this is what I did. It is the same as the 2 bed pillows that I made with the starburst pattern as well.

Chain 4 and join with a slip stitch to form a ring.  Then you make 12 double crochets into the ring with a chain 2 counting as your first double crochet.  Then in every space around you crochet a chain 2 for the firt stitch, and a double crochet in that same space, which counts as a 2 double crochet cluster and chain 1.  Then make a double crochet, 2 cluster all the way around with a chain space in between them and join with a slip stitch at the top of the first cluster to form a round.  Then on the 3 round, you do the same except you make a 3 double crochet cluster and a chain between each space.  Now you have a starburst round.   How I made these into squares, was by making a 3 cluster of double crochets in the corner, and a 2 chain space between them, and on the sides a half double crochet 3 cluster with a single chain space between them all.  This made it into a nice square. 

If you look closely you will be able to see what I mean.  Do not be distracted by my lovely assistant :) 

After I got them all done I arranged them by outside color and distributed by rows and laying them out.  Here you can see where I have whip stitched rows together.

I use a smaller hook to pull the yarn through instead of darning needle.  I find it goes faster.  I assembled them by sewing them by back loop only.

But, before you get that far, just make sure to take your time sorting the colors so no two of the same exact outside color touches if possible.  I sat out in my back yard on a lovely sunny day and did this, and kept moving them around until color distribution was pretty even.  In this photo some of the colors might look like they are touching but they are different colors, just close to the same.  I have absolutely no idea how many colors of yarn is in this.  All I know is that it is colorful and cheerful and it used a lot of scraps up.

Finally, here is the blanket all spread out and assembled with a border.  It measures approx 64 x 56 inches.  It has 195 starburst granny squares.  With the white border (the complete square) they measure just slightly over 4 inches each.  I have them arranged by 13x15 rows. Just the perfect snuggle up size for watching a movie or reading a book.  

I used the Around the border crochet book by Edie Eckman.  This is border #129.  I did go around the blanket with a double crochet first, of the white, then a row of single crochet of the red, then I proceeded with her pattern.  The color combo was simply just based on what scraps of yarn had the biggest balls in order to go all the way around the blanket.  

I altered the corner slightly from how it is in the book.  That was operator error that I did not want to rip out.   I was sitting up comforting my cats on the 4th of July with the loud fireworks and was trying to crochet, and I did not reference how she went around the corner.  It still looks good though, it is just not as sharp of a corner.  The border is slightly ruffled and softens the blanket up nicely.  

And now to present to you, the place where I sleep.  Not all the pillows that I made can be seen from this angle but most of them you can.  I now have the throw folded at the foot of my bed along with the flowers in the snow blanket used as a bed spread, the 2 big bed pillows I covered and then the two recent throw pillows that I made and then the full size bed pillow with the flowers on it.  I used up a ton of scraps and it is all based on an off white color.  First I was using my scraps, then I inherited a bunch more from a neighbor that moved away, and I STILL have not touched any of the yarn I purchased recently.  The scrap basket is till pretty full of yarn.  But do not fear...  I am still using those scraps up.  That is another post, another day... 

Here you go!  Isn't that fun and girlie?  That was a lot of stitching to make a completed bedroom set.  But, in the end, I have something fun and functional.  I used up a lot of scraps and the only yarn I purchased was the background color.  It ended up being very inexpensive to make and I am sure it will bring me lots of comfort over the years with keeping me warm and happy and snuggly.  Thank you so much for visiting and reading up on what I just completed.   I have more updates to make soon as I have been busy and sneaky with making all sorts of things.  So I will bid you all farewell for today.

Until then... xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Granny Flower Square Tutorial

Hi everyone!  I am here to show you how I made these flower granny squares that I used while making the pillow above.  Please note that I am using one color of yarn in this tutorial, so I could keep going while taking photos but for more interest, have fun experimenting with various color combinations. 

 Let me start off by explaining, that you can turn any flower into a granny square.  This is a 6 petal flower with double layers.  You can do this with just about any flower as long as you build a chain in the back side and attach on all 4 sides equally spaced.  I have several blankets that my grandmother made way back when turning simple flowers like this into squares.   She did it out of simple flowers like these easy 6 petal flowers and some more complicated flowers many many years ago.  I need to pull them out of storage some day and show them off, but that is another day. You can do it with 5 petal flowers, 12 petal flowers, etc.  All you need to do is count the number of stitches around, and divide by 4.  That will be where you place the slip stitch with the chain you make to attach on the back side, and start a granny square off that foundation you built.   It is not so difficult to do, but I am getting ahead of myself here.  I hope that everyone finds this tutorial easy to follow.   Let's get started shall we?  

First we will be making the flower.  All terms mentioned here are in American crochet terms. If you are from the UK or anywhere else, you will need to convert to the crochet terms in your land :)  

 Chain 4 and then slip stitch into the first chain to form a ring. 

In the center of the ring, chain one stitch, this will count as your first stitch and go around until you have 12 stitches total.  Slip stitch into the first stitch to finish this round off. 

Chain 1 and then in the next stitch make 3 double crochet stitches and then in the next one slip stitch, alternating all the way around, through both the front and back loop of the single crochet stitches.

You should do this until you have a total of 6 flower petals.  Slip stitch into the first single crochet stitch when you started the round to finish off this round. 

Chain 3 stitches.

Turn the project around so the back side is facing you.  Make a slip stitch in every slip stitch space between the petals when you finish off the chain.  Do this 6 times with a chain 3,  behind each and every petal. 

When you are done it should look like this from the back.  Finish off that round with a slip stitch where you started the first chain of 3.  

Flip the flower around so it is facing the right way again, as you will be working from the front again.  Make a single crochet over the first chain 3 space and then 5 double crochet stitches.  Do this for each 3 chain space (1 sc and 5 dc).  You should have 6 flower petals now.

Make a slip stitch in the first single crochet stitch that you started the round with, and then chain 5 stitches. 

Turn the flower around so the back is facing you again.  You can see in the diagram above where to make a slip stitch, and that is at the base of the next flower petal over, between the 2nd and 3rd double crochet stitches.  Then chain 5 more stitches and make a slip stitch between the petals.  Do this again until you have a total of 4 chain stitches secured to the back of the flower.  

Still working from the back side, now you will be making stitches like a granny square.  Chain 2 (this counts as your first stitch) and then 2 double crochets after that to form a granny square cluster on to the chain, of 3 double crochet stitches together.  Then, chain 2 and make 3 more double crochet stitches to form another cluster.  This is side one completed.  Do this on all  4 of the 5 chain spaces on the back of the flower. 

Finish this round off by making a slip stitch into the first chain 2 when you started the round. Flip the project around and chain 2.  You will be working from the front again. 

Make a double crochet stitch in each space around, and then 2 at the end, and then 2 chain stitches to go around the corner and then 2 double crochet stitches, and continue around in each space, for a total of 12 stitches on each side (not counting the chain stitches around the corner). 

It should look like this photo above at this point. 

Chain 1 stitch and then single crochet all the way around, with 2 single crochet stitches at the end, and then 2 chain stitches to go around the corner, and 2 single crochet stitches again, and a single crochet in each space after that around.  You should have 14 single crochet stitches on each side not counting the 2 chain crochet stitches to go around the corner.  

Finish off and then to add some bling, you can sew a button in the center.

That's it!  Now you have made a flower and  converted a flower into a granny square.  You can make a blanket, a pillow or many other things with these flower granny squares.  If you want to use another flower, just have fun experimenting.  You have learned the basic technique and with simple math you can do this.  To figure out how long the chain should be, depends on how wide your flower is.  Just make a chain that reaches across tightly (but not too tight) and if it lays flat, do that all the way around.  It really is that simple and no big mystery here.  Don't be intimidated, just have fun... I know you can do it!  I have confidence in you dear reader. 

When I made the pillow above, I changed colors with the petal rounds and the final outer round of single crochet was made with the white, and they were whip stitched together from the back loop only to make a flat seam.  

I hope you can understand my instructions as I am not well practiced at writing patterns.  If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment and I will update this post or answer you in the comments section depending on the question.  

Now go forth and create!  Until next time... xxxxxxxx

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Granny Flower Pillow, The Big Reveal, Tah Dah!

Hi dear internets!!!  Here is my latest project.  It only took about 4 or 5 days to make, and that is with a bit of down time.  The squares went really fast.  I had a bunch of yarn scraps that I needed to use up.  When my neighbor had her garage sale a few months back, I ended up purchasing a lot of yarn from her.  But, when the garage sale was over there was a big box of half skeins of yarn that had been rifled through and were one giant tangled mess. She gave me the box for free, and I went to town untangling all of it and rolling them all into balls.  I didn't know what to make from these but there were so many colors, I hated to see them go to waste.  I wanted to make some pillows to cover the two pillow blanks I had on hand.  I felt so giddy and sneaky because nobody knew I was making all these and suddenly in no time at all, I have two projects up on the web this week. 

The above photo is the front of the pillow.  It is a very happy pillow don't you think?  It fits over a 16 x 16 inch pillow form.  I added some bling bling to the centers with the rhinestone buttons that I purchased recently to make my previous pillow.  It just needed that extra touch.  I guess I am in a blingy mood these days.  

The back side of the pillow is just double crochet with 6 rows of single crochet and then a scallop stitch to give it some interest.  As you can see by now if you have been reading my blog, I like to make all my pillows with a button up back side.  This helps me to remove the cover and wash it whenever I want with ease.  

When I stitched the pillow together with the front and the back, I did one row on the outside of single crochet and then I did these scallops that are seven double crochet stitches in one single crochet space, skip two spaces, slip stitch, skip two single crochet spaces and then do seven more double crochets and repeat all the way around the pillow.   With this pillow being so "girlie" I just had to add a scalloped edge to it. 

The whole idea started from this one little sample square I made and that is when it sparked the idea to make a pillow.  I have a theme going on in my bedroom where all the blankets and pillows have the same off white, with lots of splashes of color.  I decided that if I made the outer petals out of the same white, I could mix it up some.  

So I got busy and did just that.  Here they are on my bed while I continue to make squares out of various colors to mix and match.  

The weather has been hit and miss so I did not feel guilty for one second sitting with my feet up making this pillow.  It was a perfect excuse to hang out with the cat, drink tea and crochet to my hearts desire. 

In order to pull the them together I made a single row of single crochet around each granny square, and then I sewed them together with the back loop only to form an invisible seam.  Then I crocheted the back on to each end, and sewed it up, and put the ruffle around it.  This is the pillow before the back went on or anything. 

Let's take one last look again shall we?  I think it turned out adorable if I do say so myself. 

Until next time... Happy Crocheting and Crafting... xxxxxxxxxx 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chain Flower Pillow Tah Dah! and Flower Tutorial and Leaf Tutorial

Hi everyone!  I hope this post finds you all well and in good health and spirits.  I finished a little project the other day.  I am here to do a big reveal after putting my hooks down for several months.  I picked them back up about a week ago to finish this pillow that I actually started months ago.  Here it is, Tah Dah!  I hope you like it.  I like the splash of color that this adds to my world.   The background I started a few months back and just measured it (The pillow is 16 x 16 inches).  and did a stitch that I made on my last big pillow which was just a double and a single crochet alternating them.  Then on the next row where there was a double crochet I made a single crochet, and where there was a single crochet, going back and forth to give it texture.  You can see the details of the stitch here

Here is the back side of the pillow.  I just made a simple scallop and it buttons in the back for easy removal of the cover so it can be washed.  

And here is a close up of some of the flowers.  I used some beads that resemble big crystals to give it some bling.  The back side of the glass buttons are painted with a silver reflective surface.  The tops are cut like diamonds and it gives just the hint of bling bling..  I thought it would be a fun little touch.  

I thought I would take a few moments to show you how to make a chain flower that I used on my garden chain mum flower pillow.  I had several friends on Facebook asked for a pattern.  I thought I would put one up with some photos to show everyone how to make one.  Let's have a go at it shall we?

Chain 4 stitches and join to make a ring with a slip stitch

Chain one and then single crochet 6 stitches into the ring and then finish with a slip stitch in the beginning chain stitch.

The next row, chain one and  single crochet 2 stitches in the back look only in each one of the 6 single crochet stitches to form 12 stitches total.  Slip stitch to form a ring.

Repeat the last row by chain one, and 2 stitches in each single crochet stitch to form 24 stitches total.  Then, slip stitch again to form a ring. 

Chain 14 stitches

In the next stitch, slip stitch the end of the chain and then chain 14 again.  Repeat all the way around  for a total of 24 times. 

Slip stitch in the beginning chain (your first chain stitch).

Then chain ten stitches. 

Slip stitch on the next row down in the front loop only to secure the end.  This will form the first petal of the inner row.  Do this all the way around. 

(Note:  I did not finish this off as this was a demo flower and did not want to cut my yarn) but once you get all the way around, finish with a slip stitch in the first beginning 10 chain and then cut leaving a tail.  Pull this through the back and weave in your end and secure it on the back side. 

You may add a button to finish it off.  Viola!  You should now have a flower made. As the flower sits over time the petals start to curl up and look less loopy.    Now see wasn't that easy? 

How to make a leaf.  

Chain 10 and then single crochet in the 2nd chain from the hook.  Then a half double crochet, then a double crochet, then a triple crochet, another triple crochet, and another triple crochet.  Then double crochet, and half double crochet, single crochet.  When you get to the last space with the single crochet, chain three and then work your way back in reverse.  When you get to the end, then tie off the two loose ends to secure the stitches.  Viola!  Now you have a leaf. 

I hope I made this easy for you to follow.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask me in the comments section so I can update this post or answer your questions there.  Happy crocheting everyone!

Till next time... xxxxxxxxx

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sneak Peek.. latest projects. I am still here too :)

Hi everyone!

I bet you thought I abandoned this blog didn't you?  I haven't abandoned it but I did take a bit of a break.  I had a lot going on here on the homefront and did not have any free time to blog.  I also put down my crochet hooks for a few months, and am back crocheting again.

I will give you just a tiny tiny hint and sneak peek, of what I have been up to lately.  I want to make proper blog posts along with some patterns which will take some work.  So, tonight I thought I would say hello to anyone that comes this way and give you a hint on the two projects.

This project came off the hook today, I can't wait to show off the completed project with all of you along with the pattern on how to make it.

This one I completed last week.  In this photo it does not look like it will be much, but just you wait and see. It is colorful and fun.  I need to write out the pattern for this one before doing a big reveal as well.  

I am excited to share these with you all and just wanted to let you all know that everything is well in Charity Land.  I just got side of distracted for a bit, but more on that later. 

I will see you all again real soon!  I promise!  Until then... xxxxxxxxxx