Sunday, 15 April 2018

Crochet Tutorial - How to Make the Perfect Granny Square

Hello everyone, I hope you are enjoying the weekend.  For a while now I have been wanting to add a tutorial section to my blog aimed at beginners.  This will enable them to turn the basic stitches that they have learned into a blanket or throw.  Something to help them on their journey from novice to pro in no time at all.  I am hoping to include a variety of very easy patterns and perhaps a section on different joining methods and so on.  So without further ado...

How to Make the Perfect Granny Square



Abbreviations  
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
sl st - slip stitch
 ch - chain
 sp - space


Instructions in parenthesis [  ] are repeated the required number of times.  Join new colours with a sl st.

 Foundation Chain 4 and join with a sl st to form a ring


Round 1 (right side) ch 3, 2 dc into ring, ch 2, [ 3 dc into the ring, ch 2] 3 times, join with a sl st to the top of starting ch 3.  Turn your work over.


Round 2 (wrong side) join a new colour in any corner sp, ch 3, 2 dc into same sp, ch 2, 3 dc into same sp (corner formed), [ 3 dc into the next sp, ch 2, 3 dc into same sp] x3, join with a sl st to the top of the chain 3.  Turn your work over.


Round 3 (right side) join a new colour in any corner sp, chain 3, 2 dc in same sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, [3 dc in next sp, 3 dc in next sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp] x 3, 3 dc in next sp, join with a sl st to the top of the chain 3.  Turn your work over.


Continue in this way...


...round after round...


...in the same manner...

...changing colours and turning your work over after each round (this keeps your squares nice and straight with no twisty corners and adds a lovely texture).  
Now you have mastered the basic granny square you can use this for the base of many projects.  Make lots of squares and join them together to make a blanket or throw.  For a super easy baby blanket project just keep adding more and more rounds to your square until you get to the size you want and you can make a pretty blanket like this one...


Full printable instructions for this blanket can be found in both my Etsy and Ravelry stores...

Enjoy!
Catherine
x



Sunday, 18 March 2018

Granny Flower Love!

Well hello everyone!  If you have been waiting for another stash busting post please accept my apologies, I have had a couple of commissions that have taken up all of my time and the stash busting will have to wait.  So, I will share 1 of those with you instead.


I was very fortunate enough to receive an order for a single bed blanket.  I don't make large blankets very often, so it was a refreshing change.  My customer chose the colours and the design.  She wanted granny flowers on a cream background.  The room the blanket was intended for was to have Cath Kidston wallpaper and so the colours were chosen around this...

I used Stylecraft Special Aran for this project.  I find an aran weight yarn is much nicer for making bigger blankets and the Stylecraft aran is so soft and squishy.  

Colours used  - Lemon, Pale Rose, Cloud, Aster, Pomegranate, Pistachio, Baby Pink and Cream.


First I make all the flowers


Then surround them with cream.


 I am really loving my customers choice of colours.  Soon there are too many to fit on my table...


...and then the joining begins.


I used the continuous join as you go method as this means a lot less ends to weave in.


Finished off with a border of pretty shells in Pale Rose.
Ta Da!


All that is left to do now is add a pretty bow and off it goes to its new forever home.


Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope to have more things to share with you soon.

by for now..

Catherine
x



Thursday, 15 February 2018

Stash Busting Challenge - Week 2

Hi everyone, sorry this post is a little late.  We have been super busy with half term activities, days out and visiting family.  

So continuing with the stash busting, more granny squares, large ones this time.  For this blanket I have used Stylecraft Special dk in shades of Pale Rose, Mocha, Parchment, Duck Egg, Soft Peach and Cream.


 I joined the squares with single crochet from the back in Pale Rose, which leaves a lovely dotted line of colour on the front of the blanket.


 A simple border of pretty shells to finish it off.


Ta Da! blanket three finished...


 ...looking for a new home.


I loved the way the pink and duck egg blanket turned out and wanted to make something similar for a boy.  So I exchanged the pink and peach for Copper and Stone Nepp in Life dk.


For this blanket I used a round of bobble edging in Duck Egg to finish it off.


Ta Da! Blanket four finished.


Now available in my Etsy store... 


The stash busting will continue next week...
By for now
Catherine
x

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Stash Busting Challenge - Week 1

Well hello everyone!  This week has been all about grannies.  I have managed to burn through a substantial amount of my stash already and have two finished blankets to show you.  I have also made a start on two other blankets that will hopefully be ready to show you next week.  So with out further ado, here's what I've been up to this week...

For my first blanket I wanted some very girly.  I first rummaged through my stash finding all the pinks and purples and any other shades that were colourful but nothing too dark.  I even used up some of those dodgy variegated yarns that I never could find a project for.  You know, the ones you buy on a whim, sure that you will find something amazing to make with them; but in reality they sit in a box under the bed never to see the light of day again.

My first square...


...led to another...


 ...and another...


...and another.  Making granny squares is very addictive.


Very soon I had a whole stack of them.  Enough to make a small baby blanket.


I chose white to join the squares together and used the continuous join as you go method.  I find this method saves you so much time and with the bonus of hardly any ends to weave in.  You can find a great tutorial for this over at The Patchwork Heart.


For the border I kept it simple with a couple of rounds of granny clusters and finished it off with a round of pretty white shells.


Ta Da! Project one from my stash busting challenge finished. 


All this blanket needs now is a new home...


We have a very similar story for my next blanket.  This time I wanted to use up some of my brighter colours.


I love working with bright colours, they always make me feel so cheerful.


The squares soon added up to... 


  ...a whole pile...


 ... ready for joining.


Once again I used the continuous join as you go method, choosing soft Slate grey to really make the bright colours stand out.  A row of bobble edging adds the finishing touch.


 ...and in no time at all, the grannies became a lovely squishy blanket.  Just waiting for someone to snuggle up in.  Of course little T just had to test it out.


Ta Da!  Blanket number two finished


Also waiting for a new home.


Come back and see me next week when I have more stash busting exploits to share with you.
By for now
Catherine
x

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Sunday, 28 January 2018

Stash Busting Challenge!

Well the new year is rushing forwards at break neck speeds.  We are almost at the end of January and I have hardly had time to think let alone make a post on my blog.  So here it is, a little late but happy new year everyone!  

So who has made any new years resolutions?  Are you sticking to them?  I don't know about a resolution for the whole year but I am setting myself a challenge for February.  I have so much yarn, quite frankly ridiculous amounts.  The photos show my stash of dk (only the ones already broken into).  I also have a load of tubs all sorted into similar colours...






...so through out February I am challenging myself to see how many blankets I can make, without buying any new yarn.  I am thinking granny squares will be the way to go, perfect for using up all those odds and ends.  Perhaps you would like to join me in my Stash Busting Challenge?  I would love to see your photos if you do.

See you next week with my first blanket.

Catherine
x

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Sunday, 24 December 2017

Reindeer Trail at Black Park Country Park

Black Park Country Park in Wexham boasts over 10 miles of wood and heath land, tracks and trails.  Best of all, at this time of year is the delightful reindeer trail, situated along the lake path.  The lake was partially frozen from the cold spell we have had and little T enjoyed watching the birds skating across the ice. He made a great game of trying to break through it with pebbles...


As we walked around the lake we came upon all of Santa's 8 reindeer one by one.  Reminding me of Clement C Moore's poem...

"More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen.
On Comet! On Cupid! On Donner and Blitzen!"


But where is Santa's favourite reindeer?  We hadn't seen him yet...  We stopped for a while at the adventure playground until little T had played to his hearts content and then popped into the cafe for a well deserved bacon sandwich and cup of tea to warm us up.

After a little break we continued our walk around the lake, finally finding the one reindeer we were still looking for.  There he stood in all his glory with holly antlers and a big squishy red nose.  Rudolf! 


All in all a lovely morning spent in the fresh air enjoying the country side.  If you live nearby and have little ones be sure to visit and see how many of Santa's reindeer you can spot.

Have a wonderful Christmas

Catherine
x

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Zombie Meatloaf with Mashed Brains

So getting in the Halloween mood, today we had Zombie Meatloaf with Mashed Brains for lunch.



We used this fantastic meatloaf recipe by Chef John of Food Wishes and you can watch how to make it here





I think our zombie may need the dentist!

For the Mashed Brains...
Simply boil up a few potatoes with some beetroot and mash.  Add a little cream, a nob of butter and season with a pinch of salt.


 Totally gruesome!
x