Month: April 2017

Tooth Fairy Door Hanger

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Sorry for the short absence, I had to have yet another surgery but the positive of bed rest is being able to design. I’ve been asked a few times to write up the pattern for these cute tooth fairy hangers so I’ve finally done it. They sell really well and I can imagine them being a big hit at craft fairs too. They only take around an hour to make and materials are minimum so here goes, treat yourselves to another free pain med written pattern lol if you find any discrepancies then a) forgive me and b) please let me know so I can edit it!!

Turning chain counted as a stitch. When dc2tog at the beginning of the row it will be done between stitches 2 and 3. DC2 in same stitch is a dc increase.

TOOLS
5mm/H hook
Less than 1 skein of white worsted yarn
Small amount of black worsted yarn
Small amount of ribbon
Polyfil or similar stuffing.
Yarn needle for face, pocket and weaving in ends

STITCH ABBREVIATIONS (U.S. Terms)
CH – chain
SC – single crochet
DC – double crochet
DC2TOG – dc 2 together

PATTERN
Tooth *make 2*
Row 1. With white, ch18, dc in 3rd ch from hook to the end, ch2, turn (17)
Row 2-4. dc across, ch2, turn (17)
Row 5. dc2tog, dc next 12, dc2tog, ch2, turn (15)
Row 6. dc2tog, dc next 10, dc2tog, ch2, turn (13)
Row 7. dc in same space as chain, dc11, dc2 in same stitch, ch2, turn (15)
Row 8. (start of the first root) dc in same space as chain, dc5, ch2 turn (7)
Row 9. dc6, ch2, turn (7)
Row 10. dc6, fasten off.

Other Root
Count 2 chain spaces from the other root and attach white yarn.
Row 1. Ch2, dc in same chain space, dc5, ch2, turn (7)
Row 2. dc6, ch2, turn (7)
Row 3. dc6, fasten off.

Pocket
Row 1. Ch9, dc in 3rd chain from hook and across to end, ch2 and turn (8)
Row 2-4. dc 7, ch2 and turn (8)
fasten off.

tooth.png

Now comes the fun part!! Put your 2 pieces together to figure out which is the inside and which is the outside. Stitch on a face to the outside of one side of one tooth and whip stitch the pocket onto the outside of the other piece. Attach your white yarn, ch1 and then single crochet evenly around the tooth leaving a small space, stuff your tooth making sure to push your stuffing into the roots and then carry on with your single crochets to close your project. Lastly, use your crochet hook to pull through a small amount of ribbon at the top of your tooth and knot, do this evenly on the other side to create your hanger and voila! You have yourself a tooth fairy hanger that saves you risking waking up your beautiful, sleeping, newly toothless bambinos while they slumber.

EDIT: The lovely Joanne Pilon Nish from Crochet Gate tried the pattern and discovered the spaces between the dc stitches in the pocket may be too big and a tiny tooth may fall through. I always used to wrap my daughters tooth in tissue but if you are having an issue with this maybe try the pocket in sc or hdc and adjust your rows/height (not the chain count) and let me know how you get on!!

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Ruby Rose Garden Blanket

P1070077 (2)The process of designing something yourself is not an easy one. For me, it starts with a picture in your head, you then have to figure out how to make that picture into a crocheted reality. So next comes the designing, the putting together and pulling apart, “that part doesn’t sit right, this side needs more chains/stitches/layers/tension, but if I change that I’ll also have to change this”. The process is long and arduous. But guess what? You’ve done it, you’ve designed it, you’re over the moon…and then you look at your notes… So now you have to make those notes (pages of scribbled out and rewritten shorthand) into understandable instructions. And then take pictures of every stage. And then write it up on a computer, resize and adjust the pictures, write the instructions row for row, round for round, check them, check them again, convert it to PDF etc etc …but you’re not done there. Now you need testers to make sure your pattern is read-able, do-able, that there are no errors. In short, this whole process takes a long time and is a labor of love. That’s why I’m so proud of this one.

The Ruby Rose Square has been just that, a labor of love. . I made the square using worsted weight yarn and as per the pattern http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ruby-rose-garden used a 5.5mm hook.

For this little blanket I joined the squares with a simple single crochet joining method and then added a block stitch border (all links provided below)

I cant wait to try more ideas I have out with this little square, some cushion covers are a must and I’ve gone as far as dreaming up a white shawl with these squares so the future looks very “rosy” at the moment. Hope you enjoy it!! (better pics coming tomorrow, I was just far too excited to say I’ve finally finished this yay!!)

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PATTERN; http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ruby-rose-garden

BLOCK STITCH TUTORIAL; https://www.allfreecrochet.com/Tutorials/How-To-Crochet-The-Block-Stitch

SC JOIN TUTORIAL; http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2014/04/how-to-join-solid-granny-squares.html

Weaving In Ends

The age-old crochet question…how can I weave my ends in and make SURE they won’t come out? Before I start let me say this is just about weaving in your ends, not crocheting over them, not knotting, not joining the same or different colors, just weaving ends in and I’m going to explain my way of doing it so I hope you can find it helpful. It may not be the best method but the one thing is I can ASSURE you they’re not moving!

I remember just starting to crochet and my biggest fear was that all my hard work would be undone by the ends coming out. At first, I’d knot them and weave them around so much that there were bumps all over the place and it was untidy. Nothing worse than working on a beautiful piece only for it to be all fudged up when it comes to OCD end weaving!!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I use different methods too. If I’m not changing color and I’ve just come to the end of the skein and need to tie in a new one I’ll crochet over the ends for a few inches BUT I still always leave a tail to weave in, this way I know it’s not going anywhere.

My basic method of doing this is a letter S. Yep, back and forth just 3 times and occasionally going through an actual strand of yarn instead of just under a stitch as it clasps around your end and stops it escaping.

I’ve used black here just to make it easier to see but typically you’ll always weave your end into its original color. It looks neater. As per the first picture, working from the back of your piece, I take my end down the stitch to where the loops are, right through the middle of the stitch. It makes it less visible. Weave your end in one way under your stitches, pull your needle and yarn right through, then going one stitch further to “lock” it go back the other way. Here you can use the same technique, i.e. go a stitch further, to go back once more or if you think its creating too much of a raise then use the stitch directly above it. 3 opposite directions that are going to force a “push-pull” system. A piece of unravelling yarn CANNOT travel in 2 directions at the same time and this method will ensure its not going anywhere.

As you can see I’ve even pulled on the end to see if it comes out, nothing but gather, pulled it from the other end and the same, so trust me, whether it be a gentle wash with minimal agitation or being dragged around on the floor by a toddler, that end is not coming loose.

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Chronic Illness And Crochet

I’ve mentioned before that I have a chronic illness. Today, after a conversation in one of my crochet groups, I’m going to go into a bit more detail of how this works for me.

I have chronic pancreatitis. To those not familiar with this illness it’s an extremely painful condition, for me its included several hospital stays, multiple operations and many, many a night spent in unimaginable pain. One of the things that takes my mind off what I endure daily is crocheting! I’ve crocheted at night when the pain stops me sleeping, in the day waiting by the phone for test results, in doctors offices waiting for appointments, in hospital clinics waiting for CT scans and MRI’s and of course, during my hospital stays.

hosp

I’ve spoken to so many people who use crocheting as a therapy, whether it be for anxiety, depression or like me, for a chronic illness. Working on your crochet project takes you away. It submerges you into a world of soft yarn between your fingers, a place where you are counting your stitches endlessly which quietens all the other thoughts in your mind AND it gives you a beautiful work of art as an end result. Crocheting can be a lifeline for some people, its something you look forward to, ill or not. It can be time on your own, a break from the hum-drum normality’s of the day, a release from whatever it is you are going through. A positive to the negative. An escape.

If you are new to crochet or have never tried it I implore you to give it a go. Making a granny square was my first time picking up a hook and it was on a 4 day road trip to go see Brian Wilson in concert. I’ve knitted for years but my step mom crochets and it always fascinated me. I’d sit watching her at night in front of the tv and somehow she’d magically whip up these beautiful blankets with her fingers going at lightening speed!! She inspired me, gave me an idea. I’d not long got out of hospital, had a 10cm (yes you read that right!) cyst on my pancreas, was on a lot of pain meds, could hardly eat, had zero energy and was NOT looking forward to sitting in a car for hours at a time wriggling round in pain. I made plans to learn a new skill, to have something to take my mind off the impending car journey and the uncomfortableness that was going to accompany it.  I ordered a hook set off eBay and with yarn in hand and youtube on my phone I not only enjoyed the trip but I learnt a skill that was soon to become a passion. I found my escape. 😊

Here is the basic granny square pattern. This tiny little square was the start of something big for me. The original one grew to over 5ft, it now envelopes my daughter as we speak!

Granny Square
Rd1. Ch4 and sl st to first ch. Ch2, 2dc, ch3, 3dc, ch3, 3dc ch3, 3dc, ch3 all into the circle joining to top of first ch2 with a sl st. Sl st across the next 2 dcs. (4 sets of 3 dcs)
Rd2. Ch2, 2 dc, ch3, 3dc in first ch sp, ch1, 3dc in next ch sp, ch3, 3dc, repeat around and join with a sl st. Sl st across the remaining 2 dc.
Rd3. Ch2, 2 dc, ch3, 3dc in first ch sp, ch1, 3 dc in next ch sp, ch1, 3dc, ch3, 3dc in next ch sp, repeat around and join with a sl st. Sl st across the remaining 2 dc.
Rd4. Ch2, 2dc, ch3, 3dc makes corner, ch1, 3 dc in next chsp, to corner, 3dc, ch3, 3dc. Repeat around and join with a sl st to the first ch2.

Here you can either fasten off and join all your eventual squares together or you can keep going and just make the square bigger and bigger!! It’s the same pattern for every round. 3dc in each chsp on the sides and 3 dc, ch3, 3 dc in each corner. Simples!!

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