Crocheting with beads

Just finished a beautiful but simple crochet project, crochet wise a very simple repetitive pattern but incorporating beads which gives it that extra special twist. The pattern is by Kirsten Hoogerwerf- Ballering from the Haakmaarraak blog and has been run as a make a long recently in the Scheepjes Facebook international crochet group, the pattern is available via Kirsten’s blog or via her Etsy shop of the same name as her blog. The yarn from Scheepjes is not one I have used before, like most Scheepjes yarns the Alpaca rhythm laceweight yarn is gorgeously soft and comes in an excellent range of shades, the yarn has to be used double so 2 balls at a time using 8 x 25g balls in total so it is not a cheap project. However the design produces an heirloom type shawl for bridal or evening wear with the addition of seed beads so is a reasonable investment if you want to make that type of garment. I’m experimenting with a cheaper Scheepjes yarn for a second shawl, Stardust which also has  mohair content and tiny amounts of sparkly fibre throughout which makes it ideal for this project, when I have completed the alternative project I will let you know how the cheaper non alpaca yarn works out.

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The pattern although simple does require patience in the preparation however as the seed beads need to be strung onto the yarn every 10 rows or so, stringing about 200 beads allows you to complete 10 rows without any tarn bead tangles before needing to cut the yarn and re-string the next lot of beads. The beads required are 6/0 seed beads to fit the yarn size, any make is suitable in the correct size, (a big eye beading needle is recommended for stringing the beads) Toho beads are suggested due to the pretty variety available, this is the type I used, again there are a number of websites that sell beads, I can the recommend the one I use for price and speed of delivery, I also sometimes use these type of beads for embroidery I- Beads.

For my evening shawl I used the deep bluey purple shade of vogue in the Alpaca rhythm yarn and I combined it with 3 different colour Toho beads: transparent rainbow sugar-plum, gold lined rainbow light sapphire, and aqua/ purple lined.

The second version in progress is Scheepjes Stardust Pegasus 652 with Toho beads 6/0 silver lined crystal and gold lined rainbow crystal, see the photo below, I will update you about whether it works out as well as the first shawl when I finish it.

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Optical Illusions

My latest crochet project is a very clever patten ‘Crochet between the lines’ from Canadutch using Scheepjes Whirl, and not just one gorgeous whirl but two! Through a very simple double crochet stich it creates a lovely soft fluid fabric with a clever striped optical illusion. It is a long project for a shawl but the final result makes up for the amount of work it requires using both complete whirls, each whirl provides a 1000 metres of gorgeously soft magical colour changing smooth 4 ply cotton yarn, it is a delicious yarn to work with due to both the smooth texture and the simply huge range of mouth watering colour choices available to choose from. This shawl/ wrap project gives you the opportunity to choose two of the available colour streams or you can combine two of the same starting at opposite ends and create a personal colour fusion from your favourites, there are literally upteen possibilities. On the Scheepjes make a long page on Facebook there are many photos of all sorts of tantilising variations that crocheters have embarked on, also for those who prefer two needles to one there is knitting pattern version called ‘Read between the lines’.

My own attempt combined two whirls I had in my ever growing yarn stash – ‘Sherbet Rainbow’ whose bright effervescent colours conjure up exactly that premise and the slightly more sombre but deeply rich colours of ‘Dark Grape Squish’ which appeal to my own very bad crush or squish on the colour purple. I now have a gorgeous big wrap that I can use during the summer to jazz up my summer dresses and T-shirts during those enevitable cooler moments in this country, it will also accompany on my much awaited summer hoilday cruise this year as well as cover up from that sometimes too intense sun of the mediterrean on my shoulders ( being of slightly fair skin ). A cruise is of course the perfect excuse for many types of shawls and my current new project is a beaded evening shawl to accompany me as well, but more of that on my next post!

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Ready for December

Well I’ve finished that blanket that I shared a few squares of last time, so pleased with it, the contrast of the grey with the bright coloured centres is just lovely, and yet again another Scheepjes new yarn turns out to be a great choice to crochet with, Scheepjes Spirit is the name of this one – each cloud is named after a spirit animal:) its similar to Scheepjes stone washed but a fingering weight made from 56% cotton and 44 % acrylic. it is sooo super soft and tactile and I think will end up up being one of my top favourites! here are a few photos of the blanket I have completed, the pattern is by Dedri Uys of lookatwhatimade which appears in the the third Scheepjes Yarn bookazine.

I have also managed to finish some hats and a cowl for the chilly weather one in Bernat Chunky and one in Scheepjes wanderlust, definitely a good make now the temperatures have dropped slightly. I shall now be getting on with more items for Christmas as the countdown begins as usual, I have also included a photo of one of my embroidered decorations below- a partridge in a pear tree from the 12 days of Christmas theme, a few more of those to complete too:)

 

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And onto the Autumn

Well unfortunately another long gap before writing again due to so much going on, wondering what I would have done if I had not retired 🙂 so many things happening, including moving house and unfortunately my husband lost his mother at the beginning of July after caring for her duing her illness. However we are now more settled in our new home now after moving 10 miles down the road to the outskirts of Wareham in Dorset and hopefully I shall be able to get down to some serious crafting again includling reopening my Etsy shop.

I have managed to complete some projects in between though despite all the upheaval – however I hope to get back to creating some designs of my own now life is more settled.

I managed to try out a few of the many new scheepjes yarns that have come out- though still a few more to try ! I already showed you my Scheepjes secret garden shawl last time, this time I tried the new wanderlust line ( which I have to confess to buying more than one shade of)- but so far I have only tried one of the three the gorgeous Rio de janerio shade to make a virus shawl, such vibrant colours and lovely smooth silky yarn to work with:

I also sucumbed to the purchase of one of the new Scheepjes whirls, I will just have to try the other colour combinations – they are all so gorgeous, I made the the lovely textured stormy day shawl pattern by Scheejes blogger haakmaarraak.nl   Kirsten Ballering.IMG_3448

I did manage to turn out a couple of amigurumi animals as presents too, another little elephant cutie made with Scheepjes cotton catona  and Lisa the mouse from another Scheepjes blogger pattern by lillabjorncrochet.com and made with Scheepjes soft fun denim yarn which is so lovely to work with.

Well hopefully this time I will be back sooner- I will just leave you with a little taster of my next project on the go whilst trying to create some ideas of my own, a nice relaxing granny  square style blanket from the Midnight Garden edition of the Scheepjes Yarn bookazine using yet another new yarn from them – Scheepjes spirit which has elements of scheepjes stonewashed and scheepjes colour crafter I would say, the Lapghan as it is described has a very rustic feel but includes some gorgeous colours. These are the red squares:

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Springtime update

Has been so busy for me and no time to post, partially because I have been busy crafting to sell, but also because I am busy making items for my daughters wedding this summer as well, the wedding invitations have taken a lot of time and now I’m onto the soap making for the individual wedding favours. However I have managed to finish my melting snowflakes shawl kit from Scheepjes which was one of my Christmas presents, I am really pleased with it, especially as this item is for me to keep for myself 🙂 , it’s gorgeous to wear- beautifully soft with the Scheepjes merino soft yarn and it feels very luxurious, I just love the beading decoration, I would recommend this kit as a present for any crochet lover!

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Scheepjes melting snowflakes shawl kit in “Crystal”

I did fit in time for a weeks holiday in Scotland, Loch Long in Argyll, Bute, next door to Loch Lomond over the Easter holidays, which was beautiful (and lots of time for crochet) and the scenery was really inspiring, we were lucky to have warm and mainly dry weather for the week- which must be quite an achievement for a Scottish holiday at this time of the year. Our cabin was right on the shores of Loch Long and this was the view:

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We travelled to a few places including the stunning Glencoe which was not far away and to this lovely place called Eilean Donan Castle which was a few hours drive away:

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Nearby to us at Loch Long was the very pretty village of Luss, which definitely boasted some great places to go and eat as well, including the local pub/ hotel and  The Village Rest bistro.

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Back refreshed and full of ideas now ….. always though i would have enough time to do all these things once retired but there still aren’t quite enough hours in the day !

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Finishing last year and onto 2017

I haven’t been on my blog for a while- December was very busy craft wise as this year I made all my own cards and Christmas presents as I had a lot more time than previous years now I’m retired from midwifery, and then its been the usual post Christmas rush catching up with all sorts of projects, however hopefully now things are back to a more steady pace and I can share my projects during the year which will include a few for my eldest daughters wedding . She got engaged at the end of the summer and will be getting married on August 18th this year in Christchurch Dorset. Currently i am making some hopefully very nice “rustic” themed wedding invitation cards which hopefully I can share with you soon including the details of how I made them. A couple of photos below of some of the crochet Christmas  presents made for my daughter and son in law to be and my youngest son.

I made a a lovely chunky mermaid tail for my daughter at her request – using 12 balls of Sirdar “Chunky” yarn

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mermaid tail in Sirdar chunky

I made some warm bobble hats for my sons and son in law to be, scarves and mittens, the basket weave stitch hat and scarf were made with Scheepjes stonewashed yarn in the lovely shades of blue apatite and smokey quartz which go very well together, another hat in some left over schweppes merino soft from my last dance under the stars blanket, and some bright blue creations for my youngest son in the Pokemon team mystic colours using the new love crochet Paintbox aran yarn, which I must say is a nice budget acrylic yarn to work with with- practically no splittings  and a nice soft finish

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Blue, white and grey team mystic set with Paintbox yarn aran and Scheepjes stonewashed basketweave hat and scarf.

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New projects for this year include one of my favourite things to crochets – shawls, the first I have started is the Scheepjes melting snowflakes shawl which I have chosen to make in the “crystal” colour way, this uses Scheepjes gorgeous merino soft yarn again with crystal bead decoration in the flowers and for the tassels at each end- this is my work so far and when I finish it I will share some photos and review the kit provided by scheepjes.

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Scheepjes melting snowflake shawl in merino soft

Just finished on the shawl front is Joanne Scrace’s Northmoor lock shawl, I would class this as a shawl type scarf, from the The Crochet Project– The Shawl project Book 1, I previously made her Acer  shawl (Love Crochet CAL Acer Shawl) which you can see below also, Joanne is definitely the Queen of shawls as far as I can see and I will be treating my self to the Shawl project book 2 in the future. For the Northmoor lock I used the new Scheepjes secret garden cotton and silk mix yarn, I chose the shade lily pond as the shawl/ scarf was for myself and the pattern used 3 50gram balls, the pattern is suitable for any silk mix yarn, the scheepjes secret garden works up beautifully and makes a lovely draped fabric. I used a 3.5mm clover hook with the yarn, I blocked the the shawl afterwards as Joanne suggests and washed it in my favourite jasmine Eucalan for blocking 🙂 This an ideal project for a crochet beginner I would say.

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Northmoor Lock pattern by Joanne Scrace The Shawl project book 1

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Acer Shawl pattern by Joanne Scrace – Love Crochet CAL

I plan on completing some more of Joannes shawl patterns this year which i will share and also i am going to to do the new Scheepjes  CAL the “Hygge” wrap, I will review the kit provided by Scheepjes when I receive it and share my Cal journey – this CAL is slightly unique in that it includes decorating the crochet with cross stitch and lining the wrap, the project has been designed by Kirsten Ballering. So hopefully see you during the year for ongoing projects- what do you have planned for 2017?

Happy hooking and crafting 🙂
LoveCrochet

Bunny Blankie crochet pattern

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I love making blankies, a combination of my 2 favourites making blankets and amigurami   (making toys and figures by crocheting in the round), babies and children love both soft blankets and squishy toys to bring comfort and this is a combination of both. Ive concocted a few of these over the the last few years- but I think this is my favourite design, the combination of star stitch which has a super squishy texture  and a  cuddly bunny and made in one of the best baby type yarns from Sirdar in my opinion. This is my pattern below so that you can make your own :

You will need 2 balls Sirdar baby crofter snuggly fair isle dk for the main part of the blanket and the bunny ears (there are lots of gorgeous shades to choose from, the one I have used is 0166) and one ball of Sirdar snuggly baby in a plain contrast colour for the bunny and trim- I recommend the cream shade, you can either use dk or as I did use 2 strands of 4 ply crocheted together. You will also need a 4mm crochet hook ( I use clover hooks) a tapestry needle and some brown embroidery thread or wool if you prefer for the eyes and mouth. I recommend the use of a stitch marker for the bunny, for me a stitch marker is a must for amigurami.

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(all instructions are using UK crochet terms  ch : chain, dc : double crochet, htr : half treble crochet, ss : slip stitch, sst : star stitch, RS : right side, WS : wrong side, Dc2inc = 2 dc in same stitch creating increase in stitches, dc2dec= dc 2 stitches together to decrease stitch count)fullsizeoutput_d4f

Blanket:

Star stitch , Chain 66 using your fair isle shade using a 4 mm hook,

 Row 1 (RS) Starting 2nd chain from hook, draw up a loop in each of the next 5 chain, yah, draw through all loops on the hook, ch 1, ( first star stitch) *draw up loop through eyelet at centre of previous star, draw up loop around last spoke of previous star, draw up loop in same chain as base of last spoke of previous star, draw up loop in each of the next 2 chain, yrh, draw through all the loops on the hook, chain 1 ( next star stitch made); repeat from * another 26 times, htr in last chain, turn. (28 sst, 1 htr)
Row 2 (WS) Ch 2 ( Counts as htr here and throughout pattern) *2 htr in eyelet of star, repeat in each sst , 27 times, htr in last st and turn, (60 htr.)
Row 3 (RS) Ch 3, starting in second chain from hook, draw up a loop in each of next 2 chain, draw up a loop in each of next 3 htr, yrh, draw through all loops on the hook, ch 1, (first sst made). * draw up loop through eyelet of previous star, draw up loop around last spoke  of previous star, draw up loop in same st as base of last spoke of previous star, draw up loop in  in each of the next 2 sts, yrh, draw through all the loops on the hook, ch 1 (next sst made), repeat from * another 26 times,  htr in last ch, turn (28 sst, 1 htr)
Row 4 (WS) As row 2
Repeat rows 3 and 4 18 more times or depending on your tension your work measures approx 31 cm x 31 cm.
At the end of the last htr row ch 1 , turn and work 60 dc evenly along each side of the square, and 3 dc into each corner, ss to first dc, fasten off.
Border  The border is worked in simple linen stitch, cast on with a slip stitch in the contrast plain colour yarn, ( if your are using the snuggly 4 ply use 2 strands throughout) at one corner, work 1 ch, 1 dc in first dc, miss one dc , 1ch, 1 dc in next dc, for this round only the st should be worked in the back loop only, subsequent 3 rounds should be worked in both loops. At each corner work 1 ch, 2dc, 1 ch, then miss a dc and continue with row. Complete 4 rows and ss to fasten off at last corner. Weave in ends.
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This is the right side of the star stitch fabric created

Bunny 
Head 
Starting at the nose create a magic ring / circle using the contrast yarn, (if you are using the snuggly 4 ply use 2 strands throughout) using a 4mm hook ( if your fabric is too gappy reduce the size of your hook to make the tension tighter, if you tend to have loose tension, amigurami requires tighter tension than normal if you have not attempted this before) if you have not attempted a magic ring/ circle  before I would recommend watching this tutorial video on U tube by Bella Coco magic ring/ circle tutorial by Bella Coco
dc2inc = 2 dc in same stitch creating increase in stitches
dc3inc = 3 dc in same stitch creating increase in stitches
dc2dec= dc 2 stitches together to decrease stitch count
Round 1 Ch 1 ( does not count as a stitch )  work 6 dc into the ring ( 6 st)
Round 2 (dc2inc) 6 times, pull on the short end of the yarn from the magic circle to close the ring tightly, (12 sts)
Round 3 (dc2inc, 3 dc)  3 times (15 st)
Round 4 (dc2inc, 2dc) 5 times (20st)
Round 5 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 6 (dc2inc, 3dc) 5 times (25st)
Round 7 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 8 (dc2inc,4 dc) 5 times (30st)
Round 9 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 10 (dc2inc, 5 dc) 5 times (35sts)
Rounds 11- 17 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 18 (dc2dec, 2 dc) 7 times (28sts)
Round 19 Work 1 dc in each stitch
Round 20 (dc2dec, 2dc) 7 times  (21 st)
Round 21 (dc2dec, 1dc) 7 times (14 st)
ss to next dc and fasten off, leaving a long length of yarn.
Stuff the head and close off the opening with the yarn tail and tapestry needle and a gathering stitch .
Outer ears (make 2) with contrast yarn and 4mm hook
Chain 24
Row 1 (WS) 1 dc into second chain from hook, 1dc into next 21 ch, 3 dc into next ch, 1dc down reverse side of the chain to the end, turn (47sts)
Row 2 (RS) 1 ch, ( does not count as a st throughout ear) 23 dc, dc3 inc, 23dc, turn (49 st)
Row 3 1ch, 24dc, dc3inc, 24dc, turn, (51st)
Row 4 1ch, 24dc, dc3inc, 24dc dc2inc, turn, (55st)
Row 5 1ch, 27dc, dc3inc, 27dc, turn ( 57 st)
Row 6 1ch, 28dc,dc3inc, 28dc, turn (59st)
Row 7 1ch, 29 dc, dc3inc, 29dc, turn (61st)
Row 8 1ch, 30 dc, dc3inc, 30dc (63st)
fasten off with ss
Inner ears make 2 as above in the fair isle yarn
Sew the lower edges of the outer and inner ears together with the contrast yarn. gather the bottom edge of the ear with the same thread to shape the curve of the ear at the base, sew onto head.
Embroider the eye lines with chain stitch and 3 eyelashes in straight stitch on each eye. Embroider the nose with a large cross stitch.
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To construct the blankie, take 1 corner of the blankie and place it as shown in the photo below between the ears on the back of the head, sew and secure onto the head, at least 5 cms down each side of the blanket edges and at the corner point.
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happy snuggles!

Copyright

All patterns are for unlimited personal use. Do not reproduce or sell (parts of) the patterns. Patterns may not be copied in any way (print or digitally), in part or in full, except for personal reference. Items may be sold that are made from this pattern as long as the designer is credited.