Friday, 9 January 2015

Crochet Jar Covers

I absolutely hate throwing things away and am always looking for ways to upcycle everyday objects that would otherwise be heading for the bin

I have an obsession with saving glass jars and using them to keep all sorts in - pens, hooks, knitting needles, stationary and lots more things - tall jars are great as vases and cost next to nothing to make. They are really boring to look at bare so I make them jackets using jute (garden twine) to make them look very chic

From this 


To this



This is a quick, fun and easy project so grab your crochet hook and some old garden twine and give them a go

You will need:


Empty jars
Jute (garden twine)
Scissors
Crochet hook
Big eye darning needle
Stitch marker (optional)

Firstly a quick note about jute - there are different quality ones in the shops and I have used most. In my opinion, the only real difference in the cheaper ones, is it tends to be more lumpy and not as refined, but it does give a more rustic look, so it really comes down to personal preference. It can also be a little bit harder on the hands, trying to work the thicker bits that appear along the yarn, but if you slacken the tension slightly its fine

Right lets get started

In this tutorial I have used the cheaper twine and a 5.5mm hook, which was fairly hard going as the hook was a bit too small, but it did give me a tighter tension, which was the effect I was looking for

If you are new to working with this medium, then start with a slightly bigger hook and if the tension is too loose for you, work down hook sizes until you find one that you are comfortable with and like the effect it achieves

First work a chain that is longer than the circumference of your chosen jar



I always make my chain longer than needed, as it is much easier to unpick any excess that you have after the first row has been completed

Once you have your foundation chain work a treble into the 3rd chain from the hook




The stitch to the far right looks like a real treble but is made up of the missed chains making it the dummy treble




Continue to work back along the foundation chain with treble stitches until your chain is just shorter than the circumference of your jar




We need to make it slightly shorter so that it hugs the jar 
We don't want it to fall off when we pick the jar up 

We do however need to have a total number of trebles on this row that is divisible by 4 - I had 32 stitches on my base row so I knew that I would have a pattern with 8 sets of stitches in each row

If you find that you are struggling to get the right length you may need to change your hook size 

Once you are happy with the length of your base row, close the row by working a slip stitch into the top chain of the dummy treble worked at the beginning of the row

Make sure that your work isn't twisted before you close it




Once you are happy with the base row, simply unpick the excess chains, up to the bottom of the dummy treble worked at the beginning




Work a slip stitch in-between the trebles to the left of your hook
to centralise your yarn ready to start the next row




As I have already done a slip stitch, I personally like to work a two chain at the beginning of my rows as it gives me perfect height for a treble but if you prefer, work a 3 chain which will count as your dummy treble




Now work a further 3 trebles into the bottom of this chain to complete one pattern on this row




As I have 32 stitches, 32 divided 4 = 8 so I will complete 8 sets of these in total for this round

Next, miss 3 chains and work 4 trebles into the next chain space - for this row I like to work the trebles into the top of the stitch as opposed to the big gap at the bottom 






Continue in this way until you have completed the correct number of sets of 4 trebles - if you have done it right, then before you close the round you should have a 3 chain space


To close the round work a slip stitch into the top chain of the dummy treble worked at the beginning of the round





For the next round we will working the set of 4 treble stitches in the middle of the previous row set of stitches. To get to the right place in order to start the next row, we need to work a slip stitch in the middle space of the previous rows 4 trebles to the left of your hook




Now work a 2 or 3 chain (whichever you prefer) to make your dummy treble 





Then work a further 3 trebles into the previous rows centre space




To complete the round, work 4 trebles into each of the previous rounds centre space in the treble pattern and close the round with a slip stitch into the top chain of the dummy treble at the beginning of the round




Every now and then, fit the cover on to the jar to see how many rounds you need to complete

As you will see, as mine is a small jar, I'm already nearly at the top so I just need to work a closing round




With most jars, they naturally get slightly thinner at the top, so I need to make a closing round that is slightly smaller than the ones I have been doing

For my closing round I work a simple round of trebles - but to ensure that this round is tighter, I work fewer trebles than in the previous round




As above work a 2 or 3 chain (whichever you prefer) to make your dummy treble and then work a treble into each of the pattern spaces but do not work a treble in the larger spaces between the 4 treble patterns - that way you will work 8 less trebles on this round and create a nice tight round that will hug the neck of your jar

This round may be a bit of trial and error, if you find the neck is too tight perhaps work a treble stitch in a couple of the large spaces evenly in the round

Close the round with a slip stitch in the top chain of the dummy treble worked at the beginning





Put the cover on your jar to check that you are happy with the fit




Now all you need to do is sew the ends in using a large eyed darning needle 




I like to weave my ends back and forwards and back again to ensure that it won't unravel

All you need to do now is fill it with your hooks !




You can add a bit of glamour with a ribbon


For the pot below I used chunky cotton yarn and worked in continuos rounds of double crochet.
It is better to use a stitch marker when making this design so you know where the start of the rounds are

Once it was almost the height I wanted, I worked a row of trebles and then slip stitched a top row. I was then able to easily thread a pretty ribbon through the trebles and it now sits on my dressing table with my make-up buds
Why not have a go at glamming up your jars and I would love to see what you make

If you have any questions just ask and happy crafting

Wendy
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