15.1.17

Carnival Cushion - Free Pattern!

Ok so it's a little much later than anticipated but Dad has been sick again....
Anyway! Today I'm sharing the free pattern for my Carnival Cushion!


The cushion is made up from 4 mitred squares joined together to form the front section....


and rows of double crochet stripes to make the back section.


A little surface crochet and a pom pom edging give the cushion a nice finish.

I'm not doing a step by step tutorial for this cushion (time has not been on my side recently!) so I'm presuming you have a little basic crochet knowledge. This isn't a difficult pattern but the pom pom edging can be a little fiddly until you get the hang of it!

Ok.....ready??? Here we go.....

The pattern is written in UK crochet terms.

Supplies

A - 844 Hepburn x 100g
B - 845 Astaire x 100g
C - 846 Monroe x 100g
D - 847 Bogart x 100g
E - 848 Rogers x 100g

4mm Crochet Hook
Scissors
3 x Buttons (3cm diameter)
Darning Needle
20 inch Cushion Pad

Cushion Front



Using yarn B make 2 plain mitred squares as follows:

Foundation row: Ch2, dc 3 in 2nd st from hook, ch1, turn
Row 1: dc, dc 3 in next (corner) st, dc, ch1, turn
Row 2: dc 2, dc 3 in next (corner) st, dc 2, ch1, turn
Row 3: dc 3, dc 3 in next (corner) st, dc 3, ch1, turn
Rows 4 - 40: Continue increasing in the corner stitch and working dc in the other stitches as above
Fasten off and weave in ends.  



Make 2 mitred squares as above but work in stripes as follows, fastening off and joining in a new colour as needed:
Foundation, row 1 & 2 - E
Rows 3 & 4 - A
Row 5 - D
Row 6 - C
Rows 7 & 8 - B
Row 9 - D
Rows 10 & 11 - E
Row 12 - A
Rows 13 & 14 - B
Row 15 - A
Rows 16 & 17 - C
Row 18 - E
Rows 19 & 20 - A
Row 21 - B
Rows 22 &23 - D
Rows 24 & 25 - E
Row 26 - B
Row 27 - A
Row 28 & 29 - C
Row 30 - A
Rows 31 & 32 - D
Row 33 & 34 - B
Row 35 - C
Rows 36 & 37 - E
Row 38 - D
Rows 39 & 40 - A
Weave in ends.

Now mitred squares have a tendency to have wavy edges so you need to block the squares to 9.5 inches (24cm)


With right sides together, join the squares with an oversew stitch. With the right side of the cushion front facing upwards work a row of surface chain crochet down each of the seams using yarn C. This will add a decorative seam and also hide the joins!
Cushion Back (2 pieces)



With Yarn D ch72 and work in 2nd st from hook work rows of double crochet. Unless changing colour, ch1 and turn at end of each row. Work in colours as follows:

Piece 1

Rows 1-7: D
Rows 8-10: A
Row 11: C
Rows 12-13: B
Row 14: C
Rows 15-18: E
Rows 19-21: D
Rows 22-25: A
Row 26: B
Rows 27-29: C
Rows 30-31: D
Rows 32-33: B
Row 34: A
Rows 35-38: E
Rows 39-40: A
Rows 41-42: C
Row 43: D
Row 44: B
Rows 45-48: A
Rows 49-51: D
Rows 52-54: C
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Piece 2

Rows 1-5: E
Rows 6-8: A
Rows 9-10: C
Row 11: B
Rows 12-15: D
Rows 16-17: A
Row 18: B
Rows 19-22: E
Rows 23-27: C
Rows 28-29: D
Rows 30-32: A
Row 33: A - Buttonhole row - dc10, ch3, sk3, dc21, ch3, sk3, dc21, ch3, sk3, dc10
Row 34: A
Rows 35-36: B
Fasten and weave in ends.

To join the 2 pieces lay them smaller section on top to form a square (measure the edges to ensure you have a square shape) and pin the section where the 2 pieces overlap. With Yarn C join at any point and work a border of double crochet working through both pieces where the sections overlap and working 3 dc in each corner. Work another 2 rows of border in dc as before. 

Joining the back and front.
With wrong sides facing each other and with the back of the cushion facing you join the two pieces together using double crochet and Yarn C. You made have to fudge a little to get even stitches along all 4 sides! I would recommend pinning the pieces evenly together to get an even finish. 

Now to add the pom pom border! I used Yarn C 

The pom pom edging I modified from this lovely blog. There is a wonderful step by step tutorial!
I wanted my pom poms to sit snuggly around the cushion edge, so instead of working 6 chains I worked 3 chains So start with a double crochet, chain 3 and work the pom pom into the double crochet. In between each pom pom I worked 3 chains, skipped 3 stitches and worked the pom pom into the next double crochet. Before you start I need to point out that the pom pom has a back and a front!

Sew on your button and add the cushion pad. Your cushion is completed!!!!
Enjoy!



Til next time x

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21.12.16

New yarn = new project!!!

Oh don't you just love starting something new! I maybe like it a little too much....hence the pile of unfinished objects in my guest room 😉
Anyway, let's pretend they don't exist and my conscience is clear to start something new!
What yarn to use? What colours to choose? What design?
Ooooh! Decisions decisions!
I think a blanket. Yes a blanket. I've only made three so far this year 😂😂😂
A smaller blanket this time. A little bigger than a lapghan. More like a baby blanket size.
Ok now that's decided onto yarn and colours!
Yarn....something with a huge colour choice. Easy to care for and snuggly soft....
No contest really.....
SCHEEPJES COLOUR CRAFTER!!!!
The perfect choice! Do you know it's available in over 90 colours??? Yes....more than 90!



Look at all those colours! How to choose....how to choose???!!!!
This premium acrylic yarn really is very different to other acrylics that I've worked with before. For a start there's no nasty squeak to this yarn. It really doesn't feel like 100% acrylic. It's unbelievably soft and washes and wears well. 100g balls give you 300 metres of yarn so making larger projects is very affordable. 


I decided to go with a combination of greens and blues with with lovely soft grey.


A nice colour combination! Next job is to decide on a design!
I'll update you on that in the coming days. Well that's if my laptop stays alive. We have laptop woes in this house at the moment. Poor thing is old and worn out (a bit like me!)

I've also got a pattern to share....I haven't forgotten. A trip to Holland and Christmas preps just got in the way! I *think* I'm on top of things now 😉

Til next time x

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20.11.16

Carnival Cushion Reveal!

Hi folks! As promised, this time I'm sharing the finally finished Carnival Cushion made with Scheepjes Velvet yarn.
This yarn is from the Colour Crafter family and gives the effect of worn velvet....truly delicious!
You can buy it from Wool Warehouse 😊

If you can cast your mind back to June and THIS post, I updated you on the progress of the cushion. It was inspired by the colours in a lovely hook that I picked up on holiday earlier in the year....


I just loved how those colours worked together!
I decided on a mitred square design using random colour stripes...


Contrasting with a plain square.


And then a simple stripe design for the back.


So! You wanna see the finished cushion???
Oh go on then.....


TADAAAH!!!!!!
I just 💖 the finished cushion.


A close up of the cushion front....check out that pompom edging!


And the back....a simple 3 button closure is all this cushion needed.


Ziggy couldn't resist getting in on the photo shoot which is typical because as I go near him with a camera he does a disappearing act!!!

I have written a free pattern to share with you all which will be posted very soon...
But next time I want to share something new! A blanket....or the new beginnings of a blanket!

Til next time x

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19.11.16

Normal Service Is Resumed.....

And breathe.....
take long deep breaths.....
and relax.

I've had an unforeseen, totally unplanned and unexpected 4 month break from blogging. 
I make no apologies but feel an explanation is owed. 

My Dad got sick. Like really really sick. Like life threatening, oh my god! we don't think he's going to make it type of sick. He did indeed make it, by the way, but it was touch and go for about 3 months. He's had 3 stays in critical care units. Ventilated once. All very scary.

Now anyone who has had anyone sick knows that everything else that once seemed important goes on the back burner and all energy is concentrated on hospital visiting and keeping everyone, yourself included, sane. Or sane-ish. I don't I'll ever truly fall into the sane category. But that's ok. I'm happy with that. 3 long months of not sleeping properly, worrying yourself sick and just waiting for the dreaded middle of the night phone calls takes its toll. On everyone. My poor Dad, his partner, my sister, my auntie, her partner....me. We are all exhausted. But he is home! Doing well. Very skinny (I need a bit of skinny at the moment too!!) but gradually get stronger day by day. His partner is feeding him calorie laden meals (she's a great cook!) at every opportunity and fingers crossed the pounds will start creeping back on soon. I have cried an ocean worth of tears over the last months, but as always, I amaze myself at my ability to keep soldiering on. 

Just before my Dad got sick I started learning to run. I say learning because I've never ran before. Even at school I managed to avoid it like the plague! With the encouragement of a good friend I started the NHS Couch to 5k (c25k) program. For those of you who have never heard of it, it's a 9 week program that gradually guides you to running for 5k or 30mins. So 3 times a week, in-between hospital visiting I donned my trainers and headed out to run. 



It kept me from going completely insane and gave me something to focus on. I'm really not a natural runner. I don't run fast. But I run! I'm even training for a 10k run next Easter!!! 

It's easy to forget what normal life feels like amidst the constant juggling of hospital visiting, work and running. Sitting down to relax at 9pm after being on the go from 8am became the norm. Crochet projects, socialising, cooking, blogging etc all went on the back burner. I developed an unhealthy dependence on strong coffee! 

I did manage to sneak a lovely day in the countryside though!
A full day spent outdoors, walking, riding the Weardale Railway, picnicking, drinking coffee....admiring the wonderful autumn colours! Heavenly!


These never fail to make me smile 😊😊😊 (yay! blogger FINALLY has smiley face thingys!!)


Hamsterley Forest really is a magical place!
Sometimes a little escapism is completely necessary...

Life is slowly returning to normal. I feel content, happy and RELAXED!
I'm also a little tanned after a week away with my friend Nikki (aka my evil twin!)


We headed off to Fuerteventura for a week of R&R
The weather was gorgeous....as was the food....and wine! 
We treated ourselves to fabulous spa treatments....chilled out and enjoyed the sunshine


And the sunsets. This was our sunset view from our terrace every evening!

So, all in all....a traumatic few months! But in the past. 
Now it's time to start catching up on sharing some hooky projects as I have managed to make some things 😉

Next time I have some reveal photos to share from my carnival cushion....quickly followed by the free pattern! I've got 2 more projects to share before the year ends so get ready for a glut of blog posts as I try to play catch up!!!

Til next time x

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17.7.16

Last Dance on the Beach Crochet Along Week 13

And onto the joining!!!!

Can you believe we are here already???!!!!

This week I'm sharing the blogpost of Esther....aka video Esther (It's All In a Nutshell). The lady with the beautiful hands and ever so soothing voice which keeps you totally calm when you want to scream swear words and stamp on your square in frustration ;-)

Esther has kept us on the straight and narrow throughout this journey and I know for sure that she has  been a lifeline to many with her clear instructions. You can read her blogpost here!

The zipper joining method isn't the easiest or the quickest joining methods. But! It gives, I think, the nicest finish. And after all the hard work we have put in while making our squares, doesn't your blanket deserve a beautiful finish?

I've used this method a few times now so am fairly proficient with the process. I can work fairly loosely so managed to join my blanket with a 4.5mm hook. My advice is to go up at least one hook size and keep checking your tension. If it looks a little tight then pull it out and use a bigger hook. Your finished blanket will thank you in the end and your squares will lie nice and flat. 


Your vertical joins will look something like this!
TOP TIP! 
When making the first vertical join you will have lots of fairly loose squares that twist very easily. To counter this I used some safety pin type stitch markers and joined the loose squares at the corners to hold them securely. (I forgot to take a photo....sorry!)


Next you do the horizontal joins and that's it! 
NB! I don't weave in my ends at this point. I find it neater to weave them into the completed border.


So here we have my Dance Around the Beach Huts blanket. I laid it out on the carpet to take a photo and boy! it's really tricky to get the lines straight!!!
That and I had to work quickly before a kitty decided to make a bed on my blanket ;-)


My muted and very sophisticated all grey blanket.


This blanket will live in my lounge. I'm about to buy a new sofa and chair and this colour way will work perfectly. I'm delighted that the single colour really makes the textures sing!


And here is my Dance Around the Beach Huts blanket in it's bright bright glory!
This blanket will live in my guest bedroom....or possibly my bedroom. I haven't quite decided as yet!
Again it was made with Scheepjes Merino Soft in the following colours:

600 Malevich
632 Degas
635 Matisse
644 Duerer
645 Van Eyck
629 Botticelli
646 Miro
617 Cezanne
621 Picasso
620 Munch

UK peeps can buy the yarn from Wool Warehouse (this isn't an affiliate link....I just love this store!!!) Overseas peeps can check out the Scheepjes site here for their nearest stockists :-)

Ok so now I'm ready to make the border! The final stretch! 
I have to admit that I'll be a little sad once this journey is at an end. I have loved every minute of it!

Til next time x

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10.7.16

Last Dance on the Beach Crochet Along Week 12

Yay! We have reached the final square!!!
I think these 12 weeks have just flown by.
I wonderful mix of square designs. Some more challenging than others but I have loved following everyones progress in the FaceBook groups.
So it is down to beautiful and funny as hell Tammy from Canadutch to show us the final design!
You can read her blog post about her square design here.


I have a confession to make here.....this is my favourite square.
I adored making this when I was pattern testing. I love the effect it gives. I struggled a bit with the gauge but that just gave me a valid excuse to make it more times ;-)


I used a 5.5mm hook (I know!!! What happened there??!!!!) with Scheepjes Merino Soft.


I love these squares :-)))
They remind me of the sand when the tide is out. Oh they do make me smile!!!

So now we have all of our squares! My Dance Around the Beach Huts squares are also all made and blocked. Just I've been too darn busy to take photos :-/
Next time we will start the joining the process. Exciting stuff!!!

Til next time x

post signature

Last Dance on the Beach Crochet Along Week 12

Yay! We have reached the final square!!!
I think these 12 weeks have just flown by.
I wonderful mix of square designs. Some more challenging than others but I have loved following everyones progress in the FaceBook groups.
So it is down to beautiful and funny as hell Tammy from Canadutch to show us the final design!
You can read her blog post about her square design here.


I have a confession to make here.....this is my favourite square.
I adored making this when I was pattern testing. I love the effect it gives. I struggled a bit with the gauge but that just gave me a valid excuse to make it more times ;-)


I used a 5.5mm hook (I know!!! What happened there??!!!!) with Scheepjes Merino Soft.


I love these squares :-)))
They remind me of the sand when the tide is out. Oh they do make me smile!!!

So now we have all of our squares! My Dance Around the Beach Huts squares are also all made and blocked. Just I've been too darn busy to take photos :-/
Next time we will start the joining the process. Exciting stuff!!!

Til next time x

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