Freestyling crochet scarf

My 10 year old girl is soon to be 11 and she made a birthday wish list. It was an achievable and good list. Amongst the art supplies, how-to draw Manga and the next book in the Angie Sage Septimus Heap series included a funny request for a Parrot (alive) and Piranha (alive), but at the very bottom of the list was a ‘spotty dotty scarf’. That I can do I thought. So I got my crochet hook out, all my colourful yarn and got to making crochet circles. After about 15 colourful circles I started to wonder how I would put them together. I had an idea in my head but wasn’t sure if it would work out. So after some looking around the internet and on Ravelry I came upon some freestyling crochet designs and so thats what I did. I winged it.

Here is what I did:

Step 1. Make about 20 circles in different coloured yarn (medium weight yarn – medium size hook).
- chain 6
- join chain with a slip stitch to make a loop
- Treble crochet (uk) / double crochet (US) (which I will now call Tr) 12 stitches into the loop
- join with a slip stitch
- chain 3 then Tr into the next stitch then 2 Tr into each stitch after that – total of 24 stitches
- join with a slip stitch into the top of the chain. Tie off – leave a long tail.

Here is a good visual tutorial for making crochet circles

I used alpaca and wool from Bendigo woollen mills.

Step 2. Take 8 of your circles and add a row of white around.
- Tie in your white thread to the tail and chain 3.
- Make 2 Tr into the next stitch, 1 Tr into the 3rd stitch, 2 Tr into the 4th stitch, and so on all the way around.
- join with a slip stitch into the first chain. Tie off, leave a long tail.

Step 3. Lay out your circles in a long line:
- Large circle, small circle, large circle, 2 small circles, large circle etc until you are happy with the design.
- then join the circles to each other using the long tails you left and slip stitch together (about 4-5 slip stitches) and tie off.

Step 4. Crochet around the outside:
- Choose a different colour and crochet Dc [= Double (UK) which is the same as Single crochet (US)] all the way around. When you come to the bits where you have a smaller circle and it dips in, then you will need to stitch in Tr, then go back to Dc again.
- Go around doing this until you are happy with how it is shaping up.
- Block it, press it gently with a warm steam iron and you are done!

Abbreviations
Dc = Double (UK) which is the same as Single crochet (US)
Tr = Treble (UK) which is the same as Double (US)

Crochet blanket efforts

Lately I have been lovely the up and down and round and round of simple crochet blankets. I have almost finished the hexagons – - do you remember when I started it? I now have just another round to add on and then some ends to weave in – but it is on hiatus as I made a silly mistake and had to rip out a whole heap and so I moved on to other things – I will get back to it – but in the meantime it is well loved on my daughters bed. I used the pattern by attic24 – but toned down the colours a bit – and since then I saw this grey hexagon blanket post at Rosa P - and love all that grey.

I also have nearly finished my Granny stripe blanket – well I could have added more rows but was getting sick of it – also I decided that I hated the yellow and just couldn’t go on. I still need to edge it and weave in a few loose ends – but it is otherwise done! Everyone loves it though. I used Bendigo wool and alpaca as usual – I really do love that stuff.

Now I am starting a ripple blanket - just doing a mini one to begin with to see if I like it – then I might do a bigger one later. I am using softer colours this time around – I am still in love with grey and am adding a creamy white, this beautiful two tone grey/blue and a fun minty green and soft fluffy mauve. Again a mixture of alpaca and wool from Bendigo Woollen mills.

I seem to be a bit mad on Attic24 patterns – but I like them because I am just a newbie at crochet and I need the visual instructions that she provides – really easy to follow.

making crochet circles

I am on my way to making a crochet blanket – very similar to this one here and using the instructions here – they will eventually be hexagons – but start out their life as circles. I am using beautiful wool from Bendigo wool mills – you get 200gram balls instead of 50gram balls – and it is incredibly soft and yummy. [colours I am using are natural cream, storm grey and grey alpaca and various colours from the luxury wool range - may i recommend purple storm, leaf and lavender.

I am finding crochet to be incredibly relaxing - my parenting tip of the day is when you feel like screaming - crochet instead! Moving the hands by making something seems to do something to your brain - you suddenly focus and everything becomes clearer - you realise that yelling and getting stressed is not the answer - really its not worth it - much better to wind down and go slow and talk softly - all this is possible if you are crocheting. Give it a go. [Hey Jon its good for dads too.]

making felt balls – its a whole family gig

On the weekend we spent a good wet few hours making felt. Felt balls were the main occupation – although felt squares and felt bags did also get a look in. Something really quite satisfying about rolling wool around in your hands until it turns into a solid little ball. Once you have made a few of these you can string them up to make a garland or a necklace or even window decoration.

Here’s how:
You will need wool roving (that’s wool that has been carded but not yet spun) and some warm soapy water.

Take a handful of wool roving and wet it in the warm soapy water. Start by gently tossing it back and forth between your hands, not rolling it just yet. When it starts to take shape you can gently at first then more firmly roll it into a ball. It takes about 2-3 minutes of rolling per ball.

new winter hats

I have been on a hat making craze, with the sudden chill in the air and the new yarn in my possession I sat on the couch and crocheted. Tea, couch and crochet the perfect remedy for a cold. I made hats for my boys (pictured here) made hats for the nephews (soon to be in the post boys), and spare hats for gifts for friends and family. I tried to make myself a hat three times but each time it was stolen by appreciative family members.

The pattern I made roughly follows these guidelines:

Crochet a chain of 3 and make a loop, then single crochet 9 stitches into the loop, the next row increase every stitch, the third row increase every third stitch, and so on – crocheting single crochet round and round, increasing incrementally to keep your round piece flat until you have a circle with a circumference that is approximately 1/3 the circumference of the recipients head. Its a very forgiving recipe, with the crochet stitches stretching quite a bit to fit a variety of head sizes. Once you reach this part, all you have to do it continue to crochet around and around, without increasing or decreasing at all until you have crocheted about 20 more rows – at this point try it on and see if it fits, add a few more rows as necessary then tie it off and weave in that loose end. I like the nubbly texture of single crochet – but some of these hats pictured I have used triple crochet which goes much quicker and adding ear flaps and pompoms are optional.

Some other people’s crochet hat recipes that might help you out:
double crochet beanie
baby beanie hat with ear flaps and very easy directions for beginner crocheters
single crochet hat – this is basically the design I use – so simple to make
here is a good design if you want to add a visor
another super simple single crochet beanie recipe
great skater beanie recipe

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