One!

Hellooooo!!!

It’s an exciting day today, as it has been one whole year since Crochet with Raymond began.  I thought that it would be nice to celebrate this, and say a big thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 365 days by posting a pattern for my latest tea cozy!

I am completely in love with this tea cozy, a bit infatuated by it in fact, and have been desperately excited to post these pictures from a photo shoot KB, Raymond and I did last night as big dark rainclouds threatened us!  But I’ll write the pattern before I commence with blogiversary chatter and tea cozy love…

May I introduce to you, the Polka Dot Tea Pot!

This pattern combines knitting and crochet and is a great project for beginners or people unconfident in one or the other (or both) as it is very easy and looks fantastic when complete.

So!  To knit the cozy, you will need 8ply wool, 4mm needles and two stitch holders.  Gauge is 22 stitches/ 10cms but if gauge terrifies you, don’t worry too much unless you’re a very tight or very loose knitter.

This pattern fits my tea pot, which is seemingly average at 15cms tall and 19cms wide, you may need to jig the pattern a bit to fit your pot.

Abbreviations:  CO= cast on, k= knit, k2tog= knit 2 together.

To begin:

CO 76 stitches

Knit 2 rows (this creates a nice lacy effect and stops the work from rolling terribly when you are knitting!)

Continue in stocking stitch to the bottom of the spout.  When you reach the spout, knit (or purl, it doesn’t matter which side is facing) 38 stitches and place the remaining 38 onto a stitch holder.

Continue in stocking stitch to the top of the spout.  When you reach that point, place the stitches onto a stitch holder and snip off the yarn leaving a 10cm tail.  Place the other 38 stitches back on the needle and knit in stocking stitch to match the other side.

At this point, place all of the 76 stitches onto one needle and knit in stocking stitch until the tea pot begins to decrease. 

With the right side facing you, k5, k2tog until end of row.  Next row purl.

Next row, k4, k2tog until end of row, purl next row.

Next row, k3, k2tog until end of row, purl next row.

Next row, k2, k2tog until end of row, purl next row.

Next row, k1, k2tog until end of row, purl next row.

Next row, k2tog until end of row and continue until 5-10 stitches remain.  Snip off yarn leaving a 30cm tail and using a tapestry needle, pull the yarn through the remaining stitches on the needle, take the stitches off the needle and pull tight.  Sew the seams closed until the top of the handle is reached.

Now for the crochet!  Take your 4mm crochet hook, and fasten yarn to one of the bottom corners.  ch1, sc along the bottom of the cozy, I worked into every second stitch so it wouldn’t flip up, but see how it looks for you and decide if you want to work into every stitch or every second stitch.  Continue along the handle edges (sc into every stitch when working vertically) and slip stitch into the first ch1 of the round. 

To make the mini-shell stitch edging, ch1, *into the next stitch make 1sc, 1hdc, 1sc, slst into next TWO stitches* repeat until end of round.  When you reach the end of the round (bottom corner) ch 8-10 (depending on button size) and slst into same stitch.  Fasten off and sew button onto the opposite side.

Now repeat the instructions for the spout opening and you are ready to embellish with polka dots!

To make the polka dots, use a 4mm hook and make a magic ring (photo-tutorial HERE) and fasten with a slst.  ch1, make 7sc into ring and pull ring closed.  Fasten off and leave a 10cm tail to sew the dot onto the cozy.  Weave in other end.

Make as many polka dots as needed and sew onto the cozy!  Ta-daaa!

I hope that the instructions were clear, and that the pictures helped to explain what I can’t!  If you need a visual how-to for the knitting, please click HERE, it is a slightly different pattern, but same concept.  Also, if you need a memory-jog with the crochet stitches, there is a step-by-step guide to the stitches HERE.  And one last link, it is ravelled HERE

So there we have it, the Polka Dot Tea Pot… I love it.  Do you know, I can’t believe it has been a whole entire year since I began blogging!  It has been an interesting year with so much change both in the world and here in my mini-world too!  I began this blog as a way to share my love of crochet with other like-minded people, and when I look back over the many posts I’ve written, I can see how much I have evolved as a hooker and a knitter too!  I love crochet, and I love knitting and I love having a medium to share what I love doing, and I love the feedback I get from my lovely, lovely commenters, thank you so much for your support.  Hearing from you brings me so much joy and I can honestly say, I would have bored of this lark long ago without the communication and friendships I’ve gained from wonderful, kind people all over the world.

So… how about some blog stats? In the last year:

I’ve posted 203 posts (and deleted 23 of them recently, it was a cathartic experience!)

I’ve read and loved 4,546 comments

I’ve been protected from 2,583 spam comments

 and I’ve been wowed by 451,910 total hits!

It has been ages since I’ve had a giveaway, and to mark this blogiversary, I’ve decided to have one.  And the prize?

Well, this of course!

The Polka Dot Tea Pot cozy is going to be given to one lucky winner, even though I wish I could give one to everyone who sends appreciation my way!  So I hope you have a tea pot this cozy will fit, and if not, you will have an excuse to go and buy yourself a lovely one!  (My Nana’s china tea cup is not included sorry!!!  It is tea cup perfection though… I wish I had one to give away!)

I really, really love this tea cozy and ooooooooooohhh it is hard to give away!  But as I have many, I can spare one, and it will be lovely to send a bit of my creative goodness out into the world!  So, to enter, leave a comment at the bottom of this post and Raymond and I will pick a winner by a random number generator on Sunday 22nd May!

Well, what are you waiting for!

Good luck!

Lots of love, Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Posted in Knitting!, Tea Cozies! | 199 Comments

Do you dare to wear a granny square?

I’m not sure if I’d manage a granny square evening dress….

But I’m loving the cowl I made last week and have been quite excited to show you!

I must apologise for the photos, I’ve cropped them right down this week, so you can’t see the whole effect, but let me tell you, it really is lovely, I tried it on my friend to see how it looked on someone and couldn’t get it off her and back around my neck fast enough!

Being that we are heading into winter at what seems like a veeeeeery fast pace right now, I’m obsessed with cowls and this I have to tell you, is the first of a series of cowl posts.  Cowls are my new thing, neck warmey snuggliness without flappy ends, they are perfection.  I’ve got another one on the hook right now which I’ll share with you when it’s finished, but I was also thinking it would look fabulous in Lovely Lucy’s Granny Stripe pattern too!

Anyway, let me tell you how I made this one before I run off telling you about others to make!   Even though I’m sure most people reading this are Granny Square making legends, I’ve added a quick pattern below…

  • Begin with a magic ring/ sliding loop, ch3 (counts as 1dc) 2dc into ring, ch3, 3dc into ring, repeat twice more and join with a slst to 3rd ch of original 3ch.  Pull loop tight.  Fasten off.
  • Attach new colour with a slst into 2ch space, ch3 (counts as 1dc) into same space make 2dc, ch3, 2dc, ch1, *into next 2ch space make 3dc, ch3, 3dc, ch1* repeat ** until end of round and join with a slst to 3rd ch of original 3ch.  Fasten off.
  • Attach new colour in corner space with slst, ch3 (counts as 1dc) into same space make 2dc, ch3, 3dc, ch1, into next 1ch space make 3dc, ch1, *into corner space make 3dc, ch3, 3dc, ch1, 3dc into next space, ch1* continue until end of round and join with a slst into 3rd ch of original 3ch.
  • Repeat until granny square is at desired size. 

I made my squares with a 5.5mm hook so they would be nice and drapey and not resemble a granny square neck brace, and used 8ply wool in 6 different colours, so 6 rounds in total, which makes a nice big granny square.

Make one, and on the last round of the second square, join as you go to one side of the first square.  If you’re not a fan of the join as you go method, you can obviously slip stitch them later or sew them, your choice!  I made seven in total, which made my cowl long enough to wrap around my neck twice.  (Cozy and warm yay!)

Once you are finished joining your squares, even up the edges by joining a new colour with a slst, ch1, sc into all of the stitches except when you reach a joining place between two squares, in these stitches (the 3ch gaps from the last rounds) make a hdc to make the edge nice and straight and not dip at the join.  Join with a slst to first ch, repeat other edge.  I went around then and did a row of dc clusters, but these are not necessary, you might like to do none, or one, or ten to make it a big chunky cowl!

In fact, the possibilities are huge, you can make them with lots of little squares, I think I’m going to have to spend this weekend (Easter yay!) trying out some of these possibilities!  I’m loving this cowl and have had so many comments on it from people, including strangers which is always telling!  I say to them, it’s not often you get an excuse to wear a granny square, and they all agree!

So what do you think?  Is it still cool enough to hook yourself up a granny cowl before summer hits?  I’m thrilled with this and can’t wait other variations pop up around the place!

Allright lovelies, I’m off, this morning I have begun my Easter break, the sun is shining and I have lots of fun knitting and hooking to do, walks to go on, assignments to finish and books to read, sending you lots and lots of love and blessings!

From Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Posted in Granny Squares | 76 Comments

Granny Bunting- Remix Styles

Helloooooo!!!

I’m discovering that writing patterns is quite different to writing photo-tutorials!  As I type out the patterns for my students-to-be to learn from, I’m noticing that everything needs to be perfectly clear as I can’t rely on pictures to explain things for me!

As I promised that I would share these classes with you lovelies, here is the latest installment, the Granny Bunting pattern, cut and pasted, fixed up, de-photographed, and re-worked to (hopeful) perfection!  Enjoy!

You will need:

  • 3 different colours of 8ply wool and one length of white/cream wool
  • A 4mm crochet hook
  • A wool needle for darning in ends

To begin:

  • Make a magic ring and into the ring make 1slst, ch3 (counts as 1dc) 2dc, ch4, 3dc, ch4, 3dc, ch4, join with a slst to 3rd ch of original 3ch.  Fasten off.
  • Join new colour into one of the 4ch spaces with a slst and ch3 (counts as 1dc) 2dc, ch4, into the same space 3dc, ch1, into the next 4ch space make 3dc, ch4, 3dc, ch1, into last corner space, 3dc, ch4, 3dc, ch1 and join with a slst to the 3rd ch of original 3ch.  Fasten off.
  • Join new colour into corner space with a slst and ch3 (counts as 1dc) 2dc, ch4, into the same space 3dc, ch1, *into side 1ch space make 3dc, ch1, into next corner space 3dc, ch4, 3dc, ch1* repeat ** until the round is finished.  Fasten off.
  • Join first colour into a corner space and repeat previous round, allowing for two sets of 3dc along each side.  Fasten off.

Edging:

  • Join the same colour with a slst into one corner space.  Ch1, sc into each stitch along the side of the triangle, including 1ch spaces.  When the 4ch space at next corner is reached, into the 4ch space, make 1hdc, 1dc, 1htr, ch1, 1htr, 1dc, 1hdc, sc into each stitch along next side.  At the last corner space, make a slst, ch1, turn.
  • *Slst into next 3 st, ch3, slst into 3rd ch from hook (picot made)* repeat ** around both edges.  At bottom corner, take care to ensure picot is made on very bottom stitch, if not, make an extra slst on either side.  At last corner, slst into 4ch space and fasten off.

Blocking:

  • When all 5 bunts are made, it is essential to block them.  To block, dampen each bunt and pin them to a secure surface.  Pull gently to stretch bunts to the shape you want them, taking care to pin bottom picot so it is nice and pointy, then spray gently with water.  Leave until dry.

 Assembling:

  • With white/cream wool, ch10, join with a slst to 1st ch, ch10, *attach bunt with right side facing in corner space with 1sc, ch1, skip 1 st sc into next stitch until end corner is made, ch5,* repeat until all five bunts are attached, ch20, slst into 10th ch from hook, fasten off.

I am such a sucker for granny bunting these days, I’ve made a million sets and still ready to make more!  These ones are currently hanging on my front door but are destined to be a display, which is a terrible shame because I’ll have to make another set to replace these when  I take them down!

OK then, just a (re)pattern for today, but I’ll be back really really soon because I have some felting to show you which I am sooooooooooooo excited about and can’t wait to share!

Lots of love from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Posted in Bunting | 53 Comments

Volcanic Adventures!

Hellooo!!!

I’ve been on holiday for the last few days, enjoying the last week of my three weeks off by taking a trip with my Mum and Aunty Linda to Taupo to have some volcanic adventures!  The trip was amazing and we all had the best time ever… it was hard to come home but when I walked in the front door, saw my lovely KB, and looked around my colourful, happy little lounge, and saw Raymond on my (his) rocking chair, I felt pretty pleased to be back.  I’m going to share some pictures of my trip today, which I hope you enjoy!  But first, wow…. my heart is going out to all of the people in Queensland and Brisbane right now…. those floods, it’s just devastating and seeing the pictures makes me feel very, very sad.  My dad told me that it has stopped raining now, what a relief, but I’m sure that like all of the other disasters that have been occurring worldwide in the last couple of years alone, that the clean up and healing will take a long time. 

So my inbox was full today, with about a million-billion comments (thank you!!!!!) and e-mails, facebook messages, blog subscriptions from my fave blogs and many other things!  I had only been away for four nights, and was amazed at all of the lovely comments people have left during this time!  I’m going to love going to visit all of the blogs of people who have left comments!  I had two particularly exciting messages in my box………

1.  I won a giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I wanted to win this giveaway soooooo badly, I asked the Universe… no… BEGGED the Universe that I get picked and I DID!  The lovely Penny from Planet Penny which is one of my all time favourite blogs drew the winner while I was away, so make sure you pop over and see what I won HERE!  And if you haven’t already, you’ll meet Higgins who is fabulously naughty but makes up for it with his cuteness…. Thank you Penny!  I’m thrilled!

2.  The lovely KJ Sunflower has started up a flickr group called Crochet inspired by Crochet with Raymond, the link to this is HERE and what an exciting moment as I clicked into this!  Thank you Lovely!  I’m loving seeing the pictures, and in fact, am getting inspired myself from it, so pop over and have a look!  In fact, I’m going to do some emotional blackmail here, pleeeeeeeeeeeeease go and join this group so it reaches a reasonable size!  hee hee!

So…. now let me tell you all about my trip!  First, I suggest you have a veeeery quick look at this post and remind yourself of these beautiful volcano shots I took when I was travelling to Taupo a few months ago, when they were all covered in snow and freezingly beautiful!  Remember it’s the middle of Summer here now (bliss!) and when my Mum and her sister Linda decided to do the Tongariro Crossing, I decided to come too, because if you remember, I love volcanoes and these three, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro are three of the best!  The Tongariro Crossing is described as New Zealand’s best day tramp, it’s a “challenging” 19km tramp across Mt Tongariro which I think is 1158m high if I remember from the guidebook!  We drove up to Turangi on Sunday and on Monday the conditions were perfect for the tramp.

The pictures I’m going to show you are very special, because you can only see these views if you walk 10km up a mountain! I hope you enjoy taking the trip with me!

On Monday morning three alarm clocks went off at 4.45am, we got dressed in our tramping gear and packed our bags with everything from thermals, raincoats and lunch to barley sugars and even a flare (!) -My Mum likes to be prepared for everything, which makes her a great tramping companion!-  We got picked up at 6am by a shuttle and driven to the foot of the mountain, and began our tramp at 7am.

At this point, there was low cloud, but by 8am it burned off in the lovely hot sun, by which time we were well on our way!  The first hour is lovely and easy, it’s reasonably flat and the trail makes its way through volcanic rocks which are black and look a lot like coral….

We reached the first incline, called the Giant’s Staircase, which went up and up and up and up and up for about an hour, walking up through big boulders and up many flights of man-made stairs!  We had forgotten our map, which didn’t matter as the track was marked, so we had no idea where we were when we reached the top of the first incline.  At the top, we found a crater.  Now, remember, these three volcanoes are all active, Ruapehu last erupted in 1997 I think, maybe 1996, and we were reminded of this by the steam coming through vents in the sides of the craters.

 This picture shows the beginning of the first crater we came to.  No words can describe what it felt like to walk through this huge, vast space… It was like being on the moon, right up high, away from all infrastructure, it was incredible.  The mountain off to the right is the base of Ngauruhoe, the perfect, cone-shaped wonder that was covered in snow in my last travelling post!

At the edge of the crater, we saw teeny teeny tiny people at the top of this hill on the right…. that’s the crater floor we’re walking along, and if you care to zoom in close, you can see little ant sized people up there on the ridge…..

Well, we said, the book said “challenging,” and we’ll eat our lunch at the top of the hill!

The views were breathtaking, and when we were at the top of that incline, we discovered we still had further to go before we reached the summit!  At this point the track had become very… errr… rugged, meaning there was no track, and it was along a thin ridge.  Mum got what she called the “doo-daas” and like many others, didn’t want to go too close to the edge, because it was a loooooooooooooooong way down!  So we walked up the last little bit to the summit, and the incredible views of the Red Crater.

Standing at the top of the Red Crater, looking in, I felt the biggest wash of deja-vu, and looking in, at such a wonderous thing, created by nature, I was blown away by the insignificance of myself and all of the other people, walking across this mountain, marvelling at it for just a fleeting moment.  It was just amazing.  Mum stood next to me and said… “you could knit that.”  I looked at her and said… “What?”  “Those colours” she says…”I could make some Tongariro Crossing socks….”

Aaahhh.  She really is yarn crazy, and I now see that I am only on the very beginning of my decline into wool-madness.   (I love my Mum)

At the top of the summit, when I could drag my eyes away from the Red Crater, I discovered the view of the Blue lake, another crater, which is, well…. see for yourself!  Perfection!

The plan at this point, was to stop for lunch, but being at the very summit, we saw that we had an extremely steep climb down a slope covered in scoria.  Do you know what scoria is?  It is sharp rocky gravel that slides down with you when you walk on it!  it took a little while to discover how to run down it, but once I worked out that you dig your heels in and run, I ended up at the bottom pretty quickly!

As you can probably tell by the adjectives I’m using in this post such as “breath-taking!” “Incredible!” “Perfection!”, I was pretty blown away by the scenery and the magnitude of the mountain.  Well… the best was yet to come.  The Emerald lakes are one of the main reasons I wanted to do the walk, to see these wonders up close.  Full of sulphur, they are old craters which have become little lakes of the most incredible, amazing, perfect colour.

Do the colours in these lakes blow your mind?  I was in awe of them, completely and utterly.  We stopped for lunch here, to savour the view as much as possible…. Just to the right of the lakes, you can see there is a steam cloud coming out… we thought the lakes would be hot, as there are many thermal pools in this area, but they are in fact freezing, so no swimming occurred!

Onward we travelled, towards Blue Lake, making our way across yet another vast empty crater… it was at this point that I looked back and discovered that the summit, and the scoria slope were in fact the lip of the Red Crater, the centre of Tongariro, and I nearly started to laugh in amazement…. what a journey…. If you look very closely in the above picture, you can see teeny people coming down that veeeeeeeeeery big scoria slope….

We carried on past the halfway mark (Oh my, only halfway???!!!) up another incline, and stopped to admire the view of the three volcanoes, all in a row, a view you can only see from here,that is not visible from the road or any other point.

Tongariro, with the Red Crater is in front, Ngauruhoe with the perfect cone is in the centre, and Ruapehu at the back, still with snow on top despite the season.

We left this beautiful view behind, and began our descent down the other side of the Mountain.  I’m not going to lie to you, this was the hard part for me.  The first 10km, despite the climb I found easy, but coming down was tough!  Not only were my feet getting a bit sore, I was also having a total fashion crisis because Mum was making me wear a cap with the “Dole” logo on it to shade my face because it was pretty hot, and I hate caps… When KB saw the photos of us she said immediately, “ooh…. you’re wearing a cap!  Bet you hated that!”

I’m not going to show you a picture of me in the cap.

The views, despite the sore feet and lack of iPod, were amazing on this side too…. above is Lake Rotoaira in front and Lake Taupo at the back.  Taupo is another crater, it blew the middle out of the North Island in AD 230…. apparently ash and dust spread for 80km and in China it was noted that there was an unusual glow in the sky at that time.  Thats a pretty extreme eruption, and the lake is enormous.

We carried on down, and down…. and down and down and down, past the Ketetahi Springs which are more geothermal pools, now inaccessible as they are tapu (sacred) to the Maori…. you can’t see the pools but you can see the steam and hear them bubbling!

Do you know what?  We had been on the mountain for about 6 1/2 hours  before we came to a tree!  A tree!  It felt so unusual to walk past something living!  What a strange experience!  We finished the tramp with an hour of bush walking, which was blissful as it was 1.30pm and the sun was bright and hot….

I love native bush as much as I love volcanoes….

That last hour was the perfect way to end the perfect tramp… by this stage my legs were walking by themselves and I was visualising that moment when Ross the shuttle driver showed up to take us home for a nice big lie-down….

And finally we made it, and I felt like a million bucks.  The sense of achievement was huge and the tramp, though not the largest, most difficult tramp ever, was life-changing.

The next day we took a trip into Taupo and I managed to get a picture of the mountains from the other side of the lake…

A few days later, I’m finally able to walk properly!  Ha! 

Well I hope you enjoyed that trip across Tongariro!  My next big challenge is going to be Ruapehu… there’s a lake in that crater that I want to see!  Tomorrow I’ll pop back with some lovely things I bought…as well as some crochet goodness of course too!

I’d better dash… KB and I have plenty to catch up on and Raymond seems to want to get on my lap… maybe he missed me!  Maybe!

Have a beautiful day,

Lots of love from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Posted in Travelling NZ! | 34 Comments

Pointy Petal Flower

Hellooooo!!!

Here I am, back again, to finish what I began yesterday!  I wonder if it seemed strange to you all that I post a tutorial on how to make a leaf….. all will come clear today, I promise!

High Tea was lovely yesterday!  Oh I wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish I had taken my camera so I could have shown you the beautiful table covered in flower petals and the delicious cakes and fabulousness!  Another time I’m sure!  It felt like a faery tea party outside in the rose garden.  Thank you *S*!!!

I have to say, today I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited to post…. Brace yourselves for much enthusiasm and many exclamation marks!  I got a tutorial all ready to do this yesterday, but like I said, the weather was rubbish and so were my pictures.  But I’m glad now, because the second lot are soooo much nicer than the first lot could have ever been, so yay for that.

I told you a few posts back, that I had decluttered my stash, and sorted all of my wool into categories… consequently, I discovered some stash that I didn’t even remember I had.  I kind of knew it was there, but not consciously!  JOY!  I call this sub-category of stash  “luxury yarns” and I discovered my beautiful half and quarter balls of TouchYarn which is one of my favouritey-favouritist NZ yarn EVER.  it is soft and delicious merino fabulousness.  I never crochet with it because it is reasonably costly, so I knitted myself mitts, then stashed the rest of the ball, and ended up with a little bag of beautiful wool.  When I was photographing this tutorial, I decided to get it out and use it, and wow…. what a difference it made the the end product! 

Shall we get on with it?

I love pointy petal flowers very, very much.  Pointy crochet actually, and often modify flower patterns to make pointy petals, but then decided to have a play, and created a flower which let’s face it, is probably in circulation anyway, but it’s new and exciting to me!  And so super-duperly easy too!

So I’m going to show you how I made it today, theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen, I’m soooooo excited about the second part of this post!

Let’s get on with the tutorial.  I used (as usual) 8ply wool with a 4mm hook, and this pattern is in American terminology.  For a photo-tutorial on how to make a magic ring, click HERE.

To begin:  Make a magic ring, ch2 (counts as 1hdc) 9hdc into ring.  Pull ring nice and tight and slst into the 2nd ch of original 2ch.  You should have 10 stitches into which you will work the second round.)

Now… here you change colour… so weave in those pesky ends right away(!) and bring the second colour through one of the first round loops.  ch2 (counts as 1hdc) and into the SAME stitch, make the following stitches….. 1dc, 1htr, ch3, slst into 3rd ch from hook (picot made), 1htr, 1dc, 1hdc, slst into NEXT stitch.  Did you fit them all in???!!!

OK, so you’ve just made your slst into the second stitch, now make the second petal….. into the next stitch make 1hdc, 1dc, 1htr, picot, 1htr, 1dc, 1hdc, slst into next stitch. 

 Continue around until you have five petals, each with a slst between them.  Fasten off!

I love these sweet little flowers!  And aren’t they EASY to make!  I recommend you make your stitches reasonably loose so that you’re not wrestling with the flower trying to fit in all of those stitches into the one loop…

So the next part of the post is on how to make a lovely little brooch from this sweet flower! 

I made the flowers single colour for this adventure, so get yourself a flower happening, then make two leaves!  (Ah ha!  The purpose of the leaf is now clear!) You will also need a brooch back or safety pin, and a nice fun button.  I thought I had a fantastic stash of vintage buttons until I went through the bags and bags of them and discovered 90% of them are BROWN!  (I hate brown) But I managed to find a few fun ones to make some awesome and unusual brooches!

To make the brooch, sew the button onto the flower, then sew the leaves together securely.  They will form the back of the brooch, so make them nice and strong.  Then, sew the brooch back to the leaves!

Next, with the same colour wool as the leaves, sew the leaves onto the back of the flower, making sure you sew into the BACKS of the stitches so none of the green shows through on the front of the brooch.  Fasten off and voila!

I think it’s fair to say that I am utterly enchanted with these pointy petal flower brooches, and I hope you love them too!  I’m going to be making some for my handmade/NZmade 2011 challenge gifts as they are sweet little present fillers for when the present just needs a little something extra…. plus maybe one for me….. or two!

If they are gifts, make youself a little label to make them professional too!

 

Have fun making these!  They will be such cutie additions to market stalls etc…. for those lovelies who e-mail me asking my permission to sell things I post on here, go for it!  Make heaps!  I hope you sell heaps too!  Please, however, be mindful of continuing the sharing vibe!

OK… I’m off… I’m still on holiday but I have assignments to do and I let myself post this as a reward for a morning of hard work.  Reward time is over and it’s back to the books! 

Have a beautiful day,

Lots of love from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Posted in Crochet Flowers | 82 Comments

A Crochet Leaf!

Hellooooo!!!

I’m just quickly popping in to give you the instructions on how to make these!

I have just finished cropping all the photos I took for a tutorial on how to make a lovely pointy petal flower, but as the mist is so think today I can’t see past my balcony, all of the pictures have turned out rubbish, so I’ll do it again a bit later on!

Leaf instructions are:

I used 8ply wool and a 4mm hook (I’m hooking along as I write this to ensure I’m getting it right!!!) and American terminology!

Ch 10.  dc into 3rd chain from hook, htr into next ch, tr into next ch, htr into next ch, dc into next ch, hdc into next ch, sc into last 2 ch.  (You should have run out of chain here!)

Make picot by ch3, slst into 3rd ch from hook.

Now working along the opposite side of the leaf, sc into first 2ch, hdc into next 2ch, dc into next ch, htr into next ch, dc into the next ch, sc into last ch.

Fasten off and leave a nice long tail to sew your leaf onto whatever you are embellishing!

OK then, I have to fly!  I’ve got High Tea happening at 2pm today and I have to go and bake a cake!

Lots of love from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Posted in Crochet Flowers | 29 Comments

Spring Explosion Tea Cozy!

Helloooooo!!!!!

Welcome to our spot today!  It’s a grey and rainy day in Wellington today, quite horrible in fact, so today is the perfect day for me to post my latest FO, as well as do a nice, long and involved tutorial for it in case you want to make one too, and get myself immersed in colourful woolly goodness!

Raymond is sleeping his unhappiness off right now, wrapped in his blanket… he was out last night, doing “fur patrol” around the neighbourhood, but during the night it started to rain, very hard, and he came in this morning wet and angry…. KB is having a nap too actually, on the day bed, surrounded by beautiful crochet cushions which she is not allowed to put her head on because she’ll wear them out, (oh God, I’m a tyrant!) so right now, I’m the only one in the family being productive!

OK, enough babbling from me….. shall I show you the “Spring Explosion” tea cozy?  (Named by KB who LOVES it…. *joy* because she doesn’t like woolly flowers and right now cannot understand why our tea pot needs more than one cozy…. it’s ART darling!)

Ta Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

This is what gardens all over the place look like right now… beautiful colourful goodness!  I’ve been seeing pictures on Northern Hemisphere blogs lately and wow, it’s foggy and dark and frosty and also quite cozy!  I’ve said it before, I love seeing what the other side of the world looks like right now, my first change of season as a blogger!  I hope you’re all having fun wearing all of your knitted and crocheted happiness and keeping cozy under your blankets, next to the fire!

While the idea for this cozy is hardly original…. flowers on top and all that, I’m quite in love with it, as I am with most of my creations!  I’ve been so deeply inspired by tea cozies around the place (Oh Penelope, I would just die to have one of your little birds adorning mine, but they are just beyond me!!!) and have in fact, posted one I made a loooooooong time ago, my first real knitting creation in fact, which was covered in knitted roses.  I’ve been wanting to make a better one now that I’ve got the crochet flowers happening, and here it is!  It took about three days to make and by last night, I had had enough!  I had decided I just didn’t like it, and it wasn’t as nice as I wanted it to be, and it didn’t match the vision in my head, but when I got up this morning and found it sitting next to my chair, I decided that it was in fact, perfect and I loved it deeply.

So as I made it, I wrote out a pattern.  I had fun with it, and deem it a perfect project for a beginner knitter like myself, as it is knitted on two needles, not in the round, it is just plain old stocking stitch, no fancy business, and it means you get to have fun putting stitches on stitch holders and then back on the needles.  It’s a very satisfying project and I promise those of you who are beginner knitters, if I can do it, so can you!!!  (Don’t be fooled by the Harvey Kimono, remember I had Mum help me with the hardest bits!)

The only problem is…. I’m POSITIVE that the pattern works for righty’s as well as lefty’s like myself, but I wonder if there is a righty knitter out there who can knit this up quick smart, just to make sure that it makes sense for the majority of the population!  I’ve sat there, trying to imagine it being knitted the opposite way, but here is what happens to my brain when I try doing that……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes…. not much!

I’ve done a photo tutorial for this, SORRY!  It’s left handed, so er… just imagine it backwards and you’ll see what I’m meaning!  (eeeee!  Maybe I’ll be publishing a left handed knitting and crochet book one day!  Wouldn’t that be the best!)

So!  Let’s begin!  I’ve used 8ply wool and 4mm needles, remember that this pattern will fit my pot which is 11cms high and 17cms at it’s widest point, so you may need to tinker with the instructions to fit your pot, especially in the decrease as mine decreases very quickly.  RS= right side…. the right side really…. WS= back of the cozy.

CO 90 stitches and work in stocking stitch until you reach the height of the bottom of the spout and handle.

K45 and place the remaining 45 stitches onto a stitch holder.  Work in stocking stitch until you have reached the height of the top of the spout, finish on a RS row.

Place stitches on a stitch holder and snip off the end of the wool leaving a decent tail end to weave in later.  Put the remaining 45 stitches back on the needles, beginning to purl on the WS row.  (This may involve putting them on one needle, then tranferring them onto another one)

See, now this is where you need to imagine the photo backwards if you are right handed!  Work in stocking stitch until both pieces are the same height, ending on a RS row.

This involved a bit of needle juggling to get them all on, facing the right way, ready to begin purling!  Now, keep working in stocking stitch, knitting all 90 stitches together until you are ready to decrease.

So, decrease as you would when shaping a hat by knitting two together.  For my sized tea pot, when I reached the decrease point, my rows went:

(On a knit row) k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1… to end of row, purl next row, knit next row, next row, *k2tog, k1….. repeat until end of row, purl next row,* and repeat ** until all stitches have been decreased, bind off last stitch.

If your tea pot is taller, you may want to add an extra row of knit between decrease rows, if it is flatter, decrease every row… have a play, and at the risk of totally SHOCKING all of those knitting legends out there (Mum, don’t read this….) remember that you’re going to cover it with flowers, so does it really matter if it’s not 100% perfect???!!!  Freestyling knitting is fun!

Sew up the top to fit your pot, leaving adequate room for the handle, now grab your crochet hook and edge the edges beautifully.  For mine I did single crochet around all of the edges, and then mini-shell stitch edging, into the first stitch make 1sc, 1hdc, 1sc, slst into next 2 stitches and repeat until the end.  I’ve discovered when edging knitting that it needs to be decreased a bit with crochet, I did this with the Harvey Kimono and make a sc into every SECOND stitch to pull it in nicely and wish I had done the same with this tea cozy… it’s a bit flared at the bottom for my liking, but I had already sewn on the button and button loop by the time I decided that, so couldn’t frog it without a lot of work!

So button and loop…. at the bottom corner of the handle edge, sew on a pretty button and on the opposite side, make a chain loop to fit over it and make that nice and secure by weaving in the ends.

So theres your cozy!  now it’s time to beautify it!  I get HEAPS of people asking for a tutorial on the big layered flower I make regularly… it’s from A Crochet Bouquet, and all of the flowers I make are from one of these two amazing books.

I’ve mentioned before that I only learned to crochet in April this year, and do you know what?  When I was learning, I bought the book on the right, and these flowers took me soooooooo long to make, I mean, over an hour per flower.  These days, it takes very little time, which just proves, that practice makes perfect, so don’t give up on these little beauties!  They are so worth it, and so much fun!

So my flowers and leaves were made over about two days…..

I stitched the leaves on, then arranged the flowers after that…. and voila!  Finished!

Heaps of fun, and you must admit, pretty easy too….. nothing too frightening in that pattern anyway…..

OK Lovelies!  I’m off, it’s halfway through my Sunday, so I have study to do, apples to stew, dinners to cook and freeze for the week, knitting patterns to consider for my next project and blogs to visit for some beautiful inspiration!  Have fun with this, and if anyone has made a granny tea cozy, let me know!  I’m DYING to see one from someone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you all have a lovely week and that many lovely things happen to you!

Lots and lots of love, from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

P.S  Raymond and I are sending much love to the beautiful people who have sent us such lovely comments over at Ravelry, as well as the beautiful comments on here as well, saying such nice things…. you are just *WONDERFUL* and you truly make my day when I read them XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Posted in Colour Therapy!, Crochet Flowers, Crochet Goodness, Knitting!, Patterns, Tea Cozies! | 100 Comments