Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Woven Braids

Woven Braids are a great way of using up scraps of left over yarn and all you need is 7 strands of yarn approximately 40 cm long and a  piece of card cut into a circle.  Mark out 8 points evenly around the card and make a small 1 cm cut into each of these points.  Next make a large hole in the centre of the circle.
First take all the strands at one end and make a knot.  Next push the knot through the whole in the circle of card.
Next turn the circle over and space each of the seven strands of yarn into one of the cut spaces on the outside. It doesn't matter which colour goes where.

 Hold the card with the one empty space facing you as above.

Count three strands going anti clockwise from the empty space.  Pick up the third thread and move it down into the empty space

Turn the card so that the empty space is facing you and repeat the process.

 As you continue you will notice the braid appearing underneath the card.  Occasional you may need to pull the knotted end gently to make sure the braid comes out nice and evenly.
Continue until you are happy with the length.  If using your wrist to measure it ensure you leave enough to tie each end in a knot together.

Once you are happy with the length, take all the pieces of yarn out of the cuts in the card and pull it all through the hole.

 Tie this end in a knot and cut both ends to the same length.

You do not have to make your braid into a bracelet, how about attaching it to a hair grip and putting it in you hair - much easier than the standard way of braiding hair!

If you have any questions or notice any mistakes please do not hesitate to contact me, details in the about me tab or leave a comment on this post. 

Happy Crafting x.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Make your own Dorset Button


 To make your own Dorset button all you need are the following:

Approximately 6 metres of two different coloured yarn
A wooden curtain ring
A pair of scissors
A darning needle.

1. To get started you first need to choose which colour yarn you would like on the outside of the ring  attach your  the ring by securely as follows:
2. the next step is to start making a blanket stitch.  Keep the beginning knot on the outside of the ring.  Thread your needle and bring it through the centre of the curtain ring.
next you put the needle through the yarn at the top of the outside of and gently pull it tightly...
Continue,  pushing the stitches close together until your ring looks like the following
3.  Next you need to push the stitches until they are all on the inside of the ring.
4.  Next you are going to make the 'spokes' in your button.  First take the yarn and wrap it around the ring opposite to where your yarn starts and back to the top.
5. Next using the needle thread around the ring several times until the yarn is in the position of being a quarter of one side.  Then repeat the wrapping, taking it to the opposite side and back again.

6. Continue to do the same until you have 8 spokes in total
7.  The centre of the spokes now needs to be secured.  To do this draw your needle up in between two of the spokes and then put it back through in between the opposite two spokes. Do ensure that your stitches are holding the spokes in the absolute middle of your ring.  Continue until all the spokes are securely together...

8.  It is now time to start filling in the middle of the Dorset Button.  To do this put your needle in between two spokes and then go backwards around that spoke

9. You now need to thread the needle back up through the next two spokes.
10.  Again go backwards around the next spoke.  Continue to do this working around and around..
11. You may need to add more yarn.  To do this you need to knot the two ends of the yarn together.  Then continue to go around making sure that the knot stays at the back of your work.  Once you have been around a few more times you can cut off the excess thread at the back.

If you wish to change the colour at this time then continue in the same manner.

12.  When you have filled in as much as you want to ( you don't have to fill in completely). Put the yarn to the back of the button.  Turn to the back and use one of the last stitches to go around that  and knot the yarn a few times before snipping off the excess.

And now you should have your Dorset Button.......

I wonder what you will do with yours, hang it somewhere? Make it into a necklace? Do more and make a mobile?  Whatever it is enjoy your crafty work.

If you have any queries or notice any mistakes please contact me either in the comments or from my details on the about me tab.

Happy Crafting :o)

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Free crochet flower, stem and leaf pattern.

It is so long since I wrote a pattern out properly, I appear to formed a new shorthand in my pattern writing book, that only I can understand so if you fancy having a go at this one do let me know if you find any errors.  I would love to see your creations.

I used Debbie Bliss, Eco baby, fair trade organic cotton, two colours required, one for the flower and one for the leaf.  I used a 2.75 hook for the flower and a 2.25 hook for the stem and leaves.  You can play with your own yarn with different hooks to see which ones suit you best.

I am using UK crochet terms throughout this pattern.

Make a starting loop and make a foundation chain of 48

Row one - Make one treble crochet in the fourth chain from the hook, chain 2, *miss one foundation chain and make a treble crochet in the next foundation chain* repeat from * to * to the last foundation chain.
You will notice that your work is starting to look like a helix if held vertically or rounded as in the picture when lying flat, this is good!

Row two - turn work and make a slip stitch into the first chain 2 gap, chain 1, do 3 treble crochet, chain 1 and slip stitch all into that first chain 2 gap. *Make a slip stitch into the next chain 2 gap, chain 1, do 3 treble crochet, chain 1 and slip stitch all into the next gap* continue from * to * until you fill the last chain 2 gap.

Your work should definitely now look like a helix.  Fasten off, leaving a good 12 inches of yarn to use in sewing the flower together.


Using the smaller hook make 5 double crochet into a magic circle.  Draw the circle closed.
The stem is worked in a continuous spiral, to ensure that you get a nice even stitch you might find it easier to count the total number of stitches in your spiral or you may prefer to count rows of 5, whichever works best for you.

Being careful to push the work towards you, start counting stitches or rows working in double crochet.  You will need to complete 75 double crochet or 15 rows of 5.
Row sixteen -  do two double crochet in each stitch around. (10)
Row seventeen - work one double crochet in the next stitch, two double crochet in the next stitch, repeat this around (15) Finish off leaving approx 5 inches of yarn to sew it to the flower.
Leaves (make 2)

Make a slip knot and work 10 foundation chain stitches.
There is one row to be worked which will go down the set of foundation chains and around the bottom and up the opposite side of those same foundation chains.
Row one - Make one double crochet in the second chain from the hook. Make another double crochet in the next foundation chain. Work one treble crochet in each of the next 7 stitches, work one double crochet in the next and turn your work
work one double crochet in the foundation chain closest to the hook. Work one treble crochet in each of the next 6 foundation chains, work one double crochet in each of the next foundation chains.
Fasten off your work, leaving approximately 10 inches of yarn to sew down the centre of the leaf and to sew it to the stem.

Putting it all together!

Lets start with the flower.  Working from the end you finished with, thread your needle with the long piece of finishing yarn.  Fold the first two petals right sides together and put a stitch or two through the foundation chain to secure them in a fold.

Continue to wrap the foundation chain around this fold putting stitches through the foundation chains of last fold.
Keep doing this making sure you turn the flower around to the right side to make sure you are happy with the shape of your flower.  Eventually it should look like this..
When the you come to the piece of yarn you started your foundation chain from you need to fasten off the yarn and take both pieces of yarn through to the centre of the back of the flower and snip them off.  This will be covered by the stem.
Don't forget to turn your flower over and check you are happy before you snip the ends off!
Next take the stem, if you still have yarn running up out of the centre of the stem, then snip this off where it opens out.  Thread your needle with the remaining long thread.
Hold the stem to the centre back of the flower and start stitching the two together.

Once you have gone all the way around you can fasten off your thread and snip off the excess.

Take each leaf in turn to finish them before attaching them to the stem.

Thread the short beginning thread and fasten it off to the rear of the leaf and fasten and snip it off.

Thread the longer thread and first thread through the first double crochet you made and, this will give a nice point to your leaf.

Next you need to back stitch down the leaf with the right side facing you to give the centre of the leaf a bit of definition

Next place the first leaf along the stem
Fasten it with a few stitches between the leaf and the side of the stem
Repeat on the other side with your other leaf and you should have done!

Here are two versions, one worked with the debbie bliss eco baby cotton and one worked with at 1.25 hook for the flower and a 0.5mm hook for the stem and leaf using embroidery cotton.

If you want to make your flower into a brooch then simply sew a fastener onto the rear of the stem
I hope you enjoy making these flowers as much as I have.  I have used the same flower and leaf pattern to make tea cosies

As well as making mini ones for my beautiful little pure british wool mice, a fitting tribulte to british wool week I think ...

Don't forget to post pictures of what you do with your flowers in the comments to this post.

Happy Crafting xx