Saturday, 21 February 2015

Flower Crochet Tutorial


Since posting a picture of a flower pattern I designed, I have had numerous requests for the pattern, so, I have finally got round to writing it up



There are many flowers out there, but I didn't want one that I had to physically sew onto blankets. My pattern is formed in such a way that it is easy to turn into a granny square, and it's lovely and neat from the back..........and as it hasn't had to be sewn on, is a great time saver too 

You will notice that I am using a huge hook compared to the weight of my yarn.  This is purely so you guys can hopefully see the stitches clearer.  I am using a DK yarn and would normally use a 4mm or maybe even a 3.5mm hook



1st Round - To begin, use the magic ring method and work 8 double crochets into the centre of the ring. Close the ring with a slip stitch into the first double crochet worked

For the next round, I like to think of it as creating a basket to put the petals in.  We only need 5 petals in the first set, but we need to be prepared for future rounds which will each have 8 petals, so this is why we start with 8 double crochets in the first round

2nd Round - Work a 3 chain (this counts as a half treble and a 1 chain), We now need to work the sequence (1 half treble, 1 chain) into the remaining 7 stitches in this round, finishing on the 1 chain.  To close the round work a slip stitch in the 2nd stitch of the 3 chain worked at the beginning.






3rd Round - As we only need 5 petals in this round, we do not need to work our petal sequence in every space as 5 into 8 simply doesn't go.  As you will see in the video above, we work our petals as even as we can in the 8 spaces. Personally, I like to do the 5th petal in the last remaining space, so that I can easily work the slip stitch that closes the round. My 5 petals are worked in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th spaces.  Remember the sequence for each of the petals in this round are (1dc, 1ch, 2tr, 1ch, 1dc)





4th Round - In this round we need to work another basket for the next round of petals.  In the next and subsequent round of petals we will have 8 in each round, so we need to create 8 spaces.

Work a one chain and turn your work around so that you have the wrong side facing you. We will use the half treble stems from the 2nd round and work behind them with our treble stitches. To start, we need to get the yarn at the back of our work so we do a slip stitch behind the half treble stem directly below.  Next, work a 5 chain (this will count as a treble and a 2 chain) which is the sequence for this round.  Work a treble behind the next stem and then do a 2 chain.  Keep doing this sequence (1tr, 2ch) for the remaining 6 half treble stems, ending on a 2 chain and close the round with a slip stitch into the 3rd chain of the 5 chain worked at the beginning 






We now have our basket to work our next round of petals in.  

5th Round - Work a 1 chain and turn your flower so that you have the right side facing you. For this round we work into each of the 8 spaces we created in the last round and the sequence for each petal is (1dc, 1ch, 3tr, 1ch, 1dc) repeat this 8 times into each space. Close the round with a slip stitch into the 1st petal space of this round






6th Round - Work a 1 chain and turn your flower, so you have the wrong side facing you. As in previous basket round do a slip stitch into the stem directly below your yarn. The next round creates another basket, but we start with a 6 chain this time, as we will have more stitches worked in each space.  Working the extra stitch allows for this and will make the petal sit nice and flat. So work a 6 chain (this counts as a treble and 3 chain) Work this sequence (1tr, 3ch) behind each of the remaining 7 stems ending on a 3 chain.  Close the round with a slip stitch into the 3rd stitch of the 6 chain worked at the beginning of the round






7th - Round - For the final round of petals, the sequence is slightly different in the fact that the middle stitch of the petal is a double treble.  This gives it a bit more height in the centre and changes the look of the petal.  Work a 1 chain and turn your flower so that you have the right side facing you and work the following sequence into each of the 8 spaces in this round (1dc, 1ch, 2tr, 1dtr, 2tr, 1ch, 1dc) and as usual complete the round by slip stitching into the 1st petal space 


The tutorial on adding the leaves and turning it into a granny square will follow shortly but in the mean time if you have any questions, please message me and I look forward to seeing all of your pretty flowers

Happy flowering

The Crafty Co
x

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Spring Smellies


Spring Smellies





February is finally upon us! We may not be out of the woods with the cold weather and rainy skies quite yet, but the days are getting longer and the sun is peeping again, yaaaay 

With Spring just around the corner it's time to start thinking about the all important Spring cleaning. There's nothing quite like that clean, fresh feeling, and although February might seem a bit early to start the cleaning prep, these products are going to be something that you will want in your house all year round. 




When browsing the shelves of supermarket aisles there is such a wide range of house smellies to choose from, it's all a bit overwhelming. The cheaper products always seem to smell the best, but you tend to feel as though it's the more expensive ones that will last and work best. 

That's where Cristalinas comes in! The products are natural, using raw materials, to ensure the fragrances don't effect your health, and are long-lasting at a price you can afford. 


 













The candles are made from natural wax, and burn for approximately 30 hours, at just £2 per candle. This particular scent Ocean Breeze has is made from scents including lemon and lily of the valley, that leaves a fresh feel throughout your home. The best way to describe it is like fresh washing without all the hassle of actually doing the washing !



 













The Cherry Blossom diffuser displays quite a contrast in smells, with a scent that is sickly and sweet. The formula is alcohol free and claims to 'fill you with well-being and positively influence your mood', quite like real sweets do really! It lasts for a minimum of 2 months, and you can choose how strong you would like the smell depending on how many reeds you place in the container.



         


At just £4 per diffuser it's also quite cheap in comparison to most on the market. However unlike others, the scent from this one is strong, and spreads throughout the house. The jar is pretty, and the bright pink makes a lovely touch in terms of decor.

Both of these products were purchased from Asda, and there were a small variety of flavours and product types to choose from.

You can see the full range of the products on Cristalinas website here:

http://www.cristalinas-usa.com/index.html



There is nothing quite like a lovely fresh smelling home, so give these a try, and start to get excited about the Spring that will be here before we know it!



The Crafty Co x

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Up cycled books


It's hard to believe, but half term is fast approaching.  These super cute book animals would make a fab project for a cold or rainy afternoon, and you will end up with a really useful note or pen holder that will be admired by all



These are not suitable for small children, due to small parts

If you fancy having a go at making one, below is a step-by step picture tutorial


For the basic animal you will need


old books (roughly 300 pages)
a ruler
scissors
buttons
pom poms
glue
felt or you could use card

Not essential, but if you would like to add a base,  you will also need


Cardboard or heavy weight card
elastic bands

And if you would like to make the pen holder you will also need


Pens (preferably the ones you would like to put in the finished holder)
Coloured card
Tape


Right lets get started 

BASIC ANIMAL


Carefully remove the front and back covers


Stand the book up and measure 2.5cm and mark with a pencil


Starting from the left, remove the unwanted pages carefully 


Cut away the excess part of the spine, making sure that you don't cut into any of the pages, as they will fall away as you start to fold


Lay the book flat, and with the spine at the bottom, fold the top right corner down as indicated above,
and run your finger down the crease


Then, fold the top of the page downwards so that it meets the line across the spine, and run your finger across the fold to make a nice sharp crease


Move the page down and out of the way and do the next one in the same way


And the next, and the next and you've got it.......the next


Once it becomes awkward to fold it, turn the book round so that the spine is to the right


By now you will understand the folding process, but it just makes it a bit easier if you fold into the spine, tucking the edge of the page in


and doing the 2nd fold as normal, but again it's easier to tuck in from this angle


Keep going until you have got a nice compact shape.  The more pages you do, the tighter it will be between the pages, and the firmer they will hold the things you place in them


Once the shape starts to lift up when you place it on a flat surface, it's time to stop


Now you need to carefully remove the pages that you don't need


You will now have something that should look like this


This part is not essential, but personally I think it finishes the project off nicely. Lay your animal down on a piece of cardboard or heavy weight card and draw round the outside of the base shape with a pencil


Cut it out making sure that you cut inside the  pencil line (it is better to have the cardboard base a bit smaller and not show) and cover with a generous amount of glue


Place the animal down on top of it, and press down firmly, taking care not to squash the pages. Turn it over and wrap a couple of elastic bands around it for a few minutes, to make sure the glue sets firm


Remove the bands and you now have the base of your animal finished. Now comes the fun bit where you decide what animal you would like to make

I'm going to make a dog, but you can make anything



To make the ears, fold a piece of felt in half and lightly draw the shape of the ear in pencil.  Cut out the shape cutting through the two pieces at the same time. This will ensure that the two ears will match  


Once you have cut them out, turn one of them over so they will mirror each other


Place them in the book but at this stage don't glue them in - just in case you change your mind.  Using  a strong glue, fix two white buttons to the sloping edge


To make them look like eyes, fix two smaller black buttons in the centre of each of the white ones


Make a pom pom and carefully cut away at one side to make it flat, as it will be easier to attach to the front.  Make sure you don't cut too far down or your pom pom will fall apart


Attach it to the front and secure it with an elastic band, just until it dries.  Make sure that you now glue the ears securely in the desired position.


Once it's set, remove the band and admire your handiwork

To make the pen holder, the instructions are the same as the basic animal but it is best to use a book with much thicker pages.  Picture story books are great and they add a bit of colour to the animal.


This book had 46 pages and is just about the right amount.


This is the back view and as you will see, the spaces between the folded pages are much bigger


Find the middle page and push the two sides flat so that there are the same amount of pages on each side

The next part will be different for everyone as it depends what book you have used, but the general rule is you need to make tubes for the pens to sit in. In the picture below I have made template for my tubes. I found a crayon that was bigger than the barrel of my widest pen, however it wasn't quite fat enough so I wrapped and secured a piece of card around it.  I then measured the depth of the pages and cut lots of pieces of black card in order to make the tubes


The depth of my pages were 8cm, and I cut my tubes 6cm deep by 10cm long. The tubes should be about 2cm shorter than your pages to allow for the width of the tubes pulling the pages apart


Wrap the cardboard around the crayon and secure with glue.  Don't wrap it too tight as you may not be able to slide the tube back off


You will now have a perfectly formed tube


Make lots more and then you can start to join them


Lay some along the page and see how many you will need in your row.  I calculated that I would need 7 in each of my rows.  Secure the tubes in a row along one side. This will be hidden once glued in - you can use clear tape, but masking tape works well too


check to see if the tubes will fit before carrying on


You now need to tape two pages together and the first one you do is the centre one that you found earlier.  Place tape down the centre angled part of one page and down the back of the same page.  Join it together with the next one


This creates a pocket and you can now pop the tubes in and secure with strong glue.  You may need to place pegs to hold in place until the glue sets


Makes two more pockets either side of the centre pocket so there are five in total


You now need to cover up the tape that you put on the edges of the pocket.  To do this, fold a spare page in half and cut a strip that is slightly wider than the tape so that is covers it completely.  Taper one end with a 45 degree angle that will allow for the fold at the nose


Glue the strip to the front and back edges to cover the tape


Now all you need to do is add the eyes and nose and fill it with your favourite pens and pencils

Why stop there with animals - there are all sorts of wonderful things you could make

How about using an old annual of a favourite football team and create a desk tidy



When you remove the cover, if you take extra care, you can use this for the base of your tidy

As the pages are nice and thick in glossy annuals, you won't need to use so many pages and they make a really sturdy holder for the tubes to go in





Complete the first part of the fold as per instructions for basic animal




Then do the same for the other edge of the page folding into down into the centre of the book




Then just fold the top point of the page downwards and crease along the fold.  You don't need to go right into the centre of the spine but make sure you do all the pages roughly the same or it will look uneven.  The double fold makes the page really thick so that's why you don't want to tuck the point right in at the spine

For the ruler holder, I simply covered a cardboard sweet tube with a page that had a picture and stuck the tube firmly in position.  Make sure that you place it somewhere that will not be in the way of any of the pens once they are placed in their tube

Or how about making a rocket to hold your memo's and important notes


These ones are super easy.  Use the basic animal instructions and then just add a base.  I used a mixture of craft foam and cardboard and you can let your imagination go wild.  How about a plane or a train.

Go on ....... have a go

I hope you have as much fun making your book animals as I did and I would love to see your creations

Have fun

Happy Crafting

The Crafty Co
x