It’s a busy time of year 🎄

I haven’t been around for a bit as I was in hospital for a week receiving treatment for my lupus, which is in rather a vicious mood.  The benefit of being stuck in a hospital bed was it gave me a lot of time to plan and crochet a bit.

2017-10-24-19-01-45.jpg

I’m working on Christmas decorations, and just love the Christmas angel that I have designed freehand.  She’s still a work in progress and needs wings, arms and a halo.  I’m also going to crochet Christmas baubles and make little beaded trees.  It’s all terribly Christmasy.  I’ve crocheted the angel in the amigurumi style. which gives a nice tight fabric for holding stuffing without any peeking through.  Amigurumi is so much fun!  It’s lovely to see the characters appear beneath your fingers.

There is also some very exciting news.  I will be opening an online shop, that will showcase my work and that of other local crochet artists, as well as other handmade crafts.  I can’t wait to tell you more!

And that’s it for today.  Please share your makes and plans for a crochet Christmas.  🎄

 

 

Book Review: “Crochet Crazy Girl: My Colorful Life”

2017-10-15 15.24.03

I love colour!

My friend, Wendy, is a wonderful lady with a beautiful home that is decorated in a really bohemian style, with her lovely crochet everywhere.  Wendy loves colour and uses it with a quiet confidence.  You might know her as Crochet Crazy Girl.  She has a great Facebook Group, Crochet Crazy Girl Group.

I was delighted when I learned that Wendy had published a book. It is called “Crochet Crazy Girl:  My Colorful Life”.

IMG_20171015_0001_edited

It is a glorious book filled with her delightful makes and incredible photos.  One might say that the book is more than just a collection of crochet patterns, it is just a comfortable on the coffee table.   Enormous care has been taken with the photography, and there are patterns for every skill level.  Like me, Wendy lives in South Africa’s Eastern Free State, for which we are very fortunate.  There is inspiration everywhere, and you can really see how the bright colours of her work enhance the delicate colours of our landscapes and buildings. It is simply a feast for the eyes, and you’ll be hauling out your hooks to be sure.

If you would like to get your hands on a copy in South Africa the cost is R245 and R95 for the courier.  Email Wendy at crochetcrazyy15@gmail.com.  The book is only available in English, and uses US terminology.

If you live outside South Africa, the book can be ordered from Amazon.

Happy crocheting!

WIPs…WIPs everywhere!

20171015_151903

Mo the Monkey

 

I have a confession to make.  I am really, really good at starting projects.  I am able to drum up a massive amount of enthusiasm and really get stuck in.  Then I get bored.  Or distracted.  Sigh…The compulsion to start a new WIP (Work In Progress) rears its head, and I simply cannot help myself.  It normally starts with the discovery of a scrumptious yarn I cannot live without, or a pattern I simply have to make.  I will say that I have become better over the years and certainly have fewer than ever before, but it’s something I have to keep a handle on constantly.  And I don’t think I am the only one.  Many of the crochet groups I belong to on Facebook show hordes of crocheters with exactly the same problem. Do you do it too?

Let me share with you a picture of my present WIPs.

20171015_151847

My current WIPs

Some WIPs are seasonal.  For example, the ripple blanket in the back is for my husband, and because it is made with a wool blend, it is simply too hot to work on at any time other than the dead of winter.  I’ve tried.  It’s been three years in the making, but I’m 7/8ths of the way there.  The rest are less than a year old, and it is my goal to get the lot finished before the end of December (with the exception of the ripple, which is scheduled for next July).

One of  the methods I use to get projects finished combines sheer bloody minded determination and not allowing myself to even look at yarn, books, or pattern websites (I have a real thing for buying patterns on Etsy).  I plow through the project, whether it induces blood, sweat, or tears (sometimes all three) and do not do anything else until it is finished.  Then I reward myself.  It’s the only way I can do it.

I’d love to hear from you.  Do you have many WIPs?  How do you keep things under control?

Until next time, have a great week, everyone.

Pattern: Barberton Daisy Square

Spring is bursting forth around us in all its glory.  It’s my favourite season, even if it does require antihistamines.  To celebrate this wonderful time of year I’d like to share a pattern for a square that I designed of one of my favourite flowers, the Barberton Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii).

20171009_051010_edited

Difficulty

Advanced beginner

Finished size and guage

The square should measure 10 x 10cm.
Guage is not important for the project, but remember that tighter or looser tension may result in a change in size, as will changing any of the variables, such as hook size or yarn.

Materials needed

To make one square you will need:

Stylecraft Special DK – small amounts of each of the following colours:

A Mocha (1064) | B Mushroom (1832 | C Booysenberry (1828) | D Pistachio (1822) | E White (1001)

4mm hook
Scissors
Yarn needle for sewing in ends

IMG_1216_edited_edited

Yarn substitutions:  You can substitute the yarn with any DK yarn of your choice in your own preference of colours.  As not all DK yarns are identical in thickness there might be a slight variation in size.

Terms and abbreviations used

This pattern is written in UK terms.

The following abbreviations are used:

ch – chain
dc – double crochet (US single crochet)
sk – skip
sl st – slip stitch
st – stitch
tr – treble crochet (US double crochet)

Pattern

  1. With yarn A ch4 and join with a sl st to form a ring.
  2. Ch1 (does not count as a st) and work 12 dc into the ring, join with a sl st to close and fasten off. (12dc)IMG_1217_edited
  3. Join yarn B to any dc, ch3 (counts as  first tr), tr in same st, then 2tr in each st round.  Join with a sl st and fasten off. 24tr
    IMG_1218_edited
  4. Join yarn C to any tr from the previous round, ch12 and sl st in the same st, *sl st in the next st and ch12 then sl st in the same st*. Repeat from * to * until a petal is made in each st and fasten off. 24 chained petals.
    IMG_1219_edited
  5. Turn the flower over. You will note there is a little loop from round 3 at the back of the stitches underneath the petals.  You should have 24 such loops.  We will be working in these loops in this round.
    IMG_1220_edited
    With the flower front facing you, fold the petals down and join yarn D to any loop.  Ch3 (counts as the first tr) and 2tr in the same st, ch3 and 3 tr in the same st (corner made).  *Sk a loop and work 3 tr into the next st twice.  Sk a loop and work 3tr in the next st, ch3 and 3 tr in the same stitch*. Repeat from * to  * 3 times. Join to the top of the corner cluster with a sl st.  Do not fasten off.  You should now have four corners with two sets of clusters between corners.
    Sl st your way through the two stitches of the corner cluster into the corner space.
    IMG_1221_edited
  6. Ch3 (counts as first tr) and 2 tr into the same space, ch 3 and make 3 tr in the same space (corner made).  3 tr into the next space between clusters 3 times. *3 tr into corner sp, ch3, 3 tr into same space. 3 tr in the next corner space, ch3, 3 tr into the same space (corner made), 3 tr into the next space between clusters 3 times*. Repeat from * to * twice. * Join to top of starting ch with a sl st. Fasten off.
    IMG_1222_edited
  7. Join yarn E in any corner space, ch3 (counts as first tr), 2 tr in same space, ch3, 3 tr in same space. 3 tr into the next space between clusters 4 times. *3 tr into corner space, ch3, 3 tr into same space.  3 tr into the next space between clusters 4 times*. Repeat from * to * twice more.  Join to the top of the starting ch with a sl st.  You can fasten off should you be happy with the size, otherwise you can continue with the granny square section until it is of the desired size.
    20171009_051010_edited

If you find your square a bit wonky, blocking will achieve excellent results.

Should you wish to make only the flower to use as an embellishment, or for whatever purpose, simply omit steps 5-7.

If you find any errata, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

(c) Copyright Gina Shepherd 2017
Copyright subsists in this material.  If you wish to share the pattern please do so using the link.

And that’s all she wrote…for now at least.  Thank you for visiting.