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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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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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

Last Dance on the Beach- week 12 and joining up the squares

So I have finally  finished my last squares for my merino soft last dance under the stars blanket, I have just 2 more to finish for my last dance in the sea Colourcrafter blanket. The last square is a lovely wavy design  with depth using back loop stitches, simple once you get going but I did find the the first  couple of rows a little challenging at times 🙂 The Colourcrafter square is in the very deep green Emmen (1116), some people foud this colour not to their liking in the facebook CAL group but when you see it with the other squares and colours you can see how it perfectly compliments the other colours. The merino soft square is in the beautiful deep red Rothkow (623). I found I needed to go up a hook size with this square, even with my fairly average tension the design works up quite tightly size wise, I used a 5.00mm clover hook for the merino and a 4.5mm clover hook for the Colourcrafter.

 

Now its the task of joining the 48 squares for each blanket- I do enjoy this bit as its nice to see all your work coming together, the method of joining in this CAL pattern also is helpful as it doesn’t create so many ends, it uses the flat zipper (slipstitch) method which gives a perfectly flat seam. Your wool and slipstitches are on on the back of the blanket using the inner loops of the edging stitch on each square to join the blanket, you first join all the squares vertically and then finish the process horizontally.

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Vertical join only at the back of the blanket, horizontal join not yet made

The dance under the stars blanket uses the deep brown Rembrandt (609) for the joing and border, and the Colourcrafter dance in the sea blanket uses the pale wheaten Ermelo (1710). Hopefully in my next blanket post I will be able to show you a finished blanket.