Friday, 18 April 2014

African flower pot-holders

I'm not entirely sure how to spell "pot-holder". I've seen it as "pot holder", "pot-holder" and "potholder". Anyway, I've made some of those circular things you handle hot pots and pans with. :)

This project was partly to help with stash busting and partly because I genuinely need new potholders and crochet ones will be pretty and quick to make.

African flower potholders

I started to follow a pattern for an African flower granny mandala potholder but I thought it might come out too holey. I didn’t want to risk burns, so instead I did solid treble crochet (UK) circles to surround the African flower rather than treble clusters. I had to do a bit of frogging before I got it to lie flat, but I got there after a couple of tries.

I finished off the second pot-holder yesterday. I only did African flowers on the front, so the backs are just concentric circles of pink, white and blue. For some reason, one potholder fitted together perfectly, the other needed a bit of fudging because though I was sure I’d done the increasing the same, it seemed to have far more stitches. Anyway, they’re fine for my own use and worked great when removing the pizzas from the oven yesterday. :) I joined the two circles with double crochet (UK) and then did a final round of Crab Stitch to give a nice firm edge.

I may make this pattern again, but there are some other pretty ones I want to try first.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Ta da! Easter bunnies and pretty baskets

I can't resist showing off the Easter Bunnies and crochet baskets I've made for my grandchildren. The baskets I just improvised so there's no pattern. However, I talked about them here. If you want to make your own bunnies, the pattern is free and available from this website.

Easter bunnies in baskets

I could just have bought Easter eggs, but I wanted to do something a bit different. I also wanted to give the grandchildren something to play with once the chocolate had gone. The project has also been a very useful stash buster and I've managed to use up some colourful odds and ends of yarn left over from all the blankets I made last year.

Easter bunnyEaster bunny with basketEaster bunny with basket

I've bought chocolate and sweeties to add to the baskets and now they're all ready to be wrapped up and posted to the grandchildren.

Bunny tails Now I just have to find boxes and bubble wrap and they'll be on their way in good time for Easter.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A table runner becomes a net curtain

My 92-year-old Dad moved into residential care last autumn and my brother and I had the job of selling his bungalow. I started to make a filet crochet runner for the lovely dark wood dining room table, thinking it would help to brighten up the place while the bungalow is being viewed by potential buyers. Once the bungalow was sold, I intended to find a home for the runner in our house. However, the bungalow sold more quickly than I expected so I didn't have time to get very far with the project. In fact all I had was a number of Japanese flower style motifs joined into a strip.

The table runner languished for some months. I was busy with Christmas projects and also wanted to finish a blanket for me to use while the weather was still cold. It didn't help matters that we don't really have a suitable place to display it as a table runner, so motivation wasn't high. And then, realising the Easter bunnies and baskets (see next post) were almost complete and wondering what to make next, I had a rummage through the bags of yarn and unfinished projects and found the pretty flower motifs I had made. My first though was to finish it as a table runner, but then I had a better idea. A net curtain!

I removed a couple of motifs and managed to improvise a way of joining the filet crochet onto the floral strip. Once I'd put some different sized stitches in to level up the row, the filet part became very straightforward.

I contemplated placing the another band of motifs part way up the curtain, but then rejected that idea and instead I'll place them randomly on the net. This is a venture into the unknown for someone who, until now, has always religiously followed patterns! :)

Floral net curtain WIP

As spring is here and sometimes -- like today! the sun streams through the window on the landing outside my study-cum-workroom, I think a new curtain should look good and it will kick start the next round of cleaning and decorating. I went round the whole house a few years ago, but the d├ęcor is looking a bit tired and grimy because it was quite a few years ago now.

Anyway, I'm delighted to have found a good use for the motifs. Progress has therefore resumed and crocheting the filet net is a nice mindless project to do for relaxation.