Monday, 31 March 2014

And then there was Bumble...the bee


                               And then there was Bumble… 

Oh Bumble!  You are the sweetest, plumpest bee.  When I posted this pic to Instagram, I thought the hedgehogs would garner the most attention but Bumble has melted people’s hearts.  You can find the free Amigurumi pattern here… http://www.examiner.com/article/bumble-bees-free-crochet-pattern-japanese-amigurumi-quick-easy-craft-project

  Bees are everywhere.  Chocolates  (left) and as small wooden magnets (below)      











When a friend on IG (@brodiefairall), an artist, said she thought he was sweet I suggested she draw him.   I love how he turned out under her hand and brush! Thanks Brodie!


Bottom left - illustration of Bumble 


Bee Happy this week! 
Lu x






Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mesmerising Mandala, Motif 6

    MOTIF MONDAY AGAIN!  NO. 7. 

   Mesmerising Mandala

Find this pattern here on Ravelry ...Mesmerising Mandala and coasters
 Mandala’s are  so popular right now and the designs are just gorgeous!  After last week’s Carnivale motif, I just couldn’t help continuing with the colourful theme.   I’ve had fun with the motifs and come April, there will be a new weekly design idea to make! 

*TIP: if you  want to print out the pattern,  copy it to a word doc, delete the pictures you don't need, and then print the text. Sorry but I'm still working out how I  can download a PDF as well as the pattern with images to Ravelry. :-( 

FACTS
8ply yarn  - 7 colours      4mm hook        tapestry needle
Diameter - 30cm
ABBREVIATION
4dtrcl – 4 double treble cluster
  1. Wrap yarn or thread around hook 2 times before beginning the stitch, insert hook
      in stitch, pull a loop through, wrap yarn over hook and draw through two loops,
      (there are now three loops remaining on the hook), yarn over hook and draw through
     two loops (leave remaining loop of the treble on the hook, which makes a total of two
     loops on the hook).

2. Working in the same stitch, make a second treble (leave the last loop of this treble on the hook also). At this point, there are 3 loops on the hook.

3.  Repeat no. 2.  At this point, there are 4 loops on the hook. 
4.  Repeat no. 2.  At this point, there are 5 loops on the hook.

Wrap yarn or thread over the hook and pull a loop through the 5 remaining loops on the hook all at once. This completes the cluster.
 NOTE - every row is the start of another colour.  
  
METHOD (UK terms used)    
the design process...
Magic Ring                                  
1. Ch 5, * tr into ring, ch2, Repeat from * 6 more times.  Join to 3rd ch of beg 5ch. Fasten off.
2.  Sl st into next sp, ch5, 4dtrcl in same sp,, *ch8, 5dtrcl in next sp, repeat from * around, end with ch8, slst at tip of 1st cluster.  Fasten off.
3. 10dc in each sp (80dc in round) Fasten off.
4-9. Dc in each dc.  Sl st into next st. Fasten off.
10.  *Dc in first st, 2dc in next.  Repeat from * all around. Fasten off.
11.  Dc all round. Fasten off.
12. *Dc in first 2 stitches, 2dc in next.  Repeat from * all round. Fasten off
13. Dc all round. Slst into first dc.  Fasten off. 
Row 9, motif 7


14. Treble all round. Slst into first tr.  Fasten off.
15. Join yarn, *ch6, miss two stitches, dc into next stitch. Repeat from * all round. . Slst into  ch3 of beg ch6.  Fasten off.
16.  Join yarn, *ch6, miss two stitches, dc into next stitch. Repeat from * all round. . Slst into  ch3 of beg ch6.  Fasten off.
COASTERS
Make coasters using rows 1-3 of  mandala. 

coasters  - don't stop at three...:-) 

 The coasters are quick and easy to make.
Several joined together would make a light colourful scarf.  

Have a happy week!

Lu x




Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Garden  Creatures

Esmerelda (hedgehog) , Bumble, Scarlet (front), Winston (hedgehog)


I had a lovely time creating the garden creatures. I first saw the hedgehog at Tangled Yarns in Brisbane and knew I had to make it.  You can never stop at one so Esmerelda and Winston were born.  (I’ve decided I need to make a baby...Quills will soon join his parents!)   The hedgehogs – a pattern for sale by Marika Uustare, find them here 
                      http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hedgehog-11

The ladybird – (Coccinella septempunctata)-  this beetle is my favourite motif so don’t be surprised if you see her in everything!  I just worked her up one day and lo and behold,  Scarlet became my creation!  I’ve since made quite a few. They're lovely to send with gifts to friends or to attach to a card, or to give to children - a pet to hold in the hand and quick to make.  (see below for free pattern)

Watch Scarlet star in her own animation buzzing around my crocheted Valentine’s heart.




And then there was Bumble…oh Bumble!    You deserve a post of your own.   Come by tomorrow to see Bumble.

Happy Gardening.


Lu xx





             Scarlet -  free ladybird pattern   


Facts
4ply yarn, 3mm hook, tapestry needle
black, red, small amount of  toy fibrefil

BODY
Scarlet yarn.
Magic ring, dc6 into ring, slst into the first dc.
1.  2dc in each dc (12sts)                                              photo 1 (right) 




   (photo 2 left  place a marker on the last stitch of the row)  

2. *dc, 2dc in next dc repeat from * around. (18sts) 
3. *dc, dc, 2dc in next dc repeat from * around  (24sts) (photo 2) 
4. dc all round (if you want a larger ladybird, increase again in this row and decrease another row accordingly) 
5. dc, dc, dc2tog, repeat all round (18sts)
6. dc, dc2tog, repeat all round (12sts)  (stuff body with fibrefill)
6.  dc 2 tog all round. Fasten off and leave a tail. Gather up last six stitches onto a tapestry needle and pull tight.  Sink the knot into the body of the ladybird. Don’t hurt her too much.  ;-)          



The body should look like this... (left)  
Fold the heap cap in half and sit over the body (above) 
  
.
Stitch back and forth through the body and heap cap to secure


Making the dots and spine, stitch two rows of backstitch  down the spine 
 Twin Scarlets


L is for ladybird

HEAD CAP
Black yarn
Magic ring, dc6, slst into the first dc.
1.  2dc in each dc, slst into the first dc. (12sts)
Fasten off.  Leave a tail to stitch the head onto the body using small anchor stitches, securing the head cap through top and bottom. 

Dots – make the dots and the spine line  with yarn and your tapestry needle.  Backstitch is used for the spine. 

(Ladybirds were introduced  in our country - Australia -  from America to reduce scale/mites on plants. Their brightly coloured bodies are a warning sign to birds and prey, meaning they are distasteful or toxic.  They are associated with good luck and other myths.  They seem to find me wherever I go! :-) )   

Hope you spot one soon! 

Lu x















       





Sunday, 23 March 2014

    Motif Monday 6

Carnivale with Scarlet and the Butterfly

I needed a colour fix  after all the plain coloured motifs, 
and what better than….ta daaaa! 
                                                   
Carnivale     

Facts
*Four colours – Sky blue, French blue,  Mellow yellow,  Rose red
The line up! 
*Yarn – 8ply (DK)    * 4mm hook   * Tapestry needle to sew ends in
Diameter - 20cm 
                                           
                         Let the Carnivale begin!!

1. Ch8  Sky blue
 Ch5 (in place of the tr and ch2 , tr into ring, ch2, *tr in ring, 
ch 2  Repeat from * 5 more times (8 spaces).  Slst into the 3rd ch of the beg ch5. Change colour on the slst.
2. French Blue
 Slst into the next ch2space, ch3, 2tr into the same space, *ch2, 3tr in next space repeat from * all round.  Ch 2, slst into the top of the beg 3ch.  
3.  Mellow Yellow
 Change colour and dc into the middle of the 3tr group.  *ch10, dc in centre of the 3tr group, repeat from * 6 more times, ch10, slst into the first dc.


Mellow Yellow Row 3


4.  French Blue
Change colour and slst into the ch10 space.  Ch 3, 2tr in same space, ch4, 3tr in same space, *ch3, (3tr, ch4, 3tr) in next ch10 space, repeat from * all round, ch3, slst to the top of the beg ch3.




5. Rose Red
 Slst with a dc into the ch4 space between the 3tr.  *1dtr in same space, ch1, repeat from * 6 times, *ch1, dc in next 3ch sp, ch1, 8dtr with ch1 in between each dtr in the 4ch space,  repeat from * all around, ch1, dc in the next 3ch space, ch1, join to the  top of the beg dc.

Blocking motif 6
                                                              
TIP: I draw a circle on my blocking material to help me stretch the  motif to a perfect  round shape where possible. 

6. Stay with Rose Red   

   ch8, skip 4 dtr,  *(dc in the centre of 8 dtr, ch6, dc in  the  same place as the previous dc, ch6,  dc in same space, ch6, dc in same place, ch6, dc in dc of the previous row,   ch6**

 Repeat from * to ** all round.   Sl st into the 2nd ch of the beg 8ch 

The final round with its three 6ch picot is easy for beginners. 

Happy stitching!

 Lu x

P.S. Scarlet is my ladybird pattern.  I will post that on Tuesday.  Make a whole family.  

The butterfly  by Chrissy can be found on Ravelry here:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/butterfly-grace



Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sunflower Doily, Motif 5


                                     Motif Monday no.  5 
  

Sunflower  Doily
March 16, 2014


Dear friends, it’s been a yellow kind of week this week and I love that, don’t you?  it's such a cheerful colour!  The flowers were a  surprise gift from a dear friend!   Even though it’s Autumn here in Australia, it still feels like Spring! 

Motif Monday is all about making easy-to-complete motifs that are not just for beginners.   Thank you to so many of you who are trying the pattern and sending me the photos or links to your completed items.  I love seeing them all and how you use them.    I’ve put the patterns up on Ravelry under Lu Douglas now so I can share them even more…

I lamented last week that the centre is the most decorative yet it gets covered up with a vase or a teapot! This time, Sunflower has a simple centre and a little detail around the edges so you can sit a candle or vase on the doily and still see the pretty pattern. And yes, you will achieve it in under an hour!  Success!  J


Sunflower Doily - motif 5
4ply yarn
3.5mm hook

Magic ring.
Row 1 and 2 detail of centre
1. Ch5 (in place of the first dtr and ch1), [dtr in ring, ch1]) 15 times in total (this makes 16 dtr, 16ch) .  Slst to the 4thch of the ch5.

2. Slst into the next ch1 space, ch7, (dtr in next ch1sp, ch3) 15 times.  ( 16dtr, 16 3-ch spaces)  Slst  in the 4th ch of the 7ch.

3. Dc in next space, ch4, 3dtrcl in same   sp, *ch4, 4dtrcl in next space  Repeat from * around.   Slst into the tip of the first cluster. 

4. Ch6, *dc in next sp, ch3, tr in tip of next cluster, ch3.   Repeat from * around, Join last ch3 to the 3rd ch of the ch6.

5. ch10, *tr in next tr, ch7 repeat from * around.  Join last ch7 to 3rd ch of ch10.

6. Ch6, dtr in same place as slst, *7tr in next ch7sp, in next tr make (dtr, ch2 & dtr) .  repeat from * around, slst in 4th ch of ch6.   


7. Sl st into next sp, ch6, tr in same sp, *ch3, dc in 4th tr of 7tr group, ch3.  In next ch2sp, make a (tr, ch3, tr).  Repeat from * around. Join last ch3 with slst to 3rd ch of ch6.

8. Slst in next sp, ch5.  In the same place as slst, make   (tr, ch2, tr, ch2, tr).  *Ch3, dc in next dc, ch3. In next space, between 2tr, make (tr, ch2) three times and tr.  Repeat from   * around.  Join the last ch3 to the 3rd ch of ch5.  

Fasten off.  Block.  

The motifs  are growing!   I thought about whether I'd make the motifs the same size so they could be joined later but this is really a huge project and not the aim of Motif Monday.  I enjoy seeing my motifs under a vase or candle or just sitting on their own.  


    Completed motif
And again...




I've been delighted by the Instagram interest in the motifs.  Thank you everyone. With permission from the makers, I'd like to feature some of these motifs.  *** Please email me at wildaboutyarn@outlook.com if you don't have Instagram and have made a motif that you'd like me to include in future posts.    
Last week’s Vintage Floral ended up on a sweet clutch.  Thank you to Albadra (Instagram @albadra_crochet)

Bella made coasters from the Tea Time Doily pattern, Motif 2.  Thank you so much!  @lila28a

And Alicia  Imagine Knits with Husky   (Instagram - @knits_with_husky) was busy making more teapot sized doilies from motif 2.   It's interesting seeing the colour ways other crocheters think of!! Inspiring! 


And finally... a word from my assistant...
 Did you make this for me? 
                                            

I don't know what it is but Hunni has to be ON the current project.  How could I be cross with this face? (She's a cocker spaniel/poodle cross and is TOO devoted to me.)

   




Monday, 10 March 2014

Vintage Floral motif 4


Motif 4 - Vintage Floral 


I just love the centre!  My only lament about motifs/doilies is that often, the most beautiful design is in the middle and gets covered up.  Now and then I just sit an arrangement of doilies on a table to show them off!  I might have to do that with this one. :-) 

FACTS
Yarn – 4ply
3.5mm hook
Finished diameter - 20cm (7 3/4") 
Abbreviations -  UK terms
Ch – chain                  tr - treble
Dc – double crochet    2 stitch dtrcl -  2 stitch double treble cluster
3 stitch dtrcl - 3 double treble cluster - made over three stitches **

**   2-stitch dtrcl -  2-stitch double treble cluster
Omit the last step of each double tr – to begin: go into the first stitch and do a double treble to the last step, go into the next stitch and do a double treble to the last step, then yo and pull through the  three loops on the hook.

3-stitch dtrcl : 

Omit the last step of each double tr, go into the first stitch and do a double treble to the last step, go into the next stitch and do a double treble to the last step, go into the third stitch and do a double treble to the last step,  then yo and pull through  two loops, yo and pull through the three loops on the hook.. 

 4dtrcl

Omit the last step of each double tr and instead of going into the stitch, go into the chain space of the row before.  Repeat  in the same manner as for 3stdtrcl  but do one more repeat before pulling through all the 5 loops on the hook. 

Magic circle  
1. Ch1, 24dc into ring.  Join with a slst into the first dc.
2. Ch4 (counts as 1tr), 2dtrcl, (the ch4 and the 2dtrcl is equal to a 3treble cluster)  *ch7, make a 3dtr cluster over the next 3 dc  . Repeat from * around joining the last ch7 with a slst in the top of the 1st cluster. 
3.  Slst into each of the next 3ch, ch1, dc in the same loop, *ch8, dc in next loop.  Repeat from * around, joining the last ch8 with a slst in the 1st dc.  
4. Slst into the loop, ch4, make three 4dtr clusters with a ch5 in between, *ch5, three 4dtr clusters  with 5ch in between in the next loop. Repeat from * around.  
5.  Slst into  1st 2 ch of the 5ch space,  dc in the same loop, *ch5, dc in next loop.  Repeat from * around. Join with a slst to the dc. 
6.  Dc in same place as the slst, 7dc in 5ch space, *dc in dc of previous row, 7dc in 5ch space. Repeat * around.   Fasten off.

 Block using your preferred method.


This reminded me of a handkerchief from the old days...

There...a fresh bright Spring  floral motif.  (It's Autumn here in Australia.  The nights are a bit cooler but the days are divine!)

Look...already Vintage Floral has been made by Imagine Knits, Alicia. (Follow her on IG @knits_with_husky)   Thank you, Alicia!  I love it! 






FLYING NORTH -  a little trip away from home for a change

I had a trip recently to an artist friend's place in the hinterland of Rockhampton, Queensland.  I love flying over this landscape, the meandering river, the patchwork designs on the ground and the ever changing palette depending on the weather changes.


The Fitzroy River, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

So green after the recent rain...the area has been in drought for a long while.


Coming in to land over a tributary of the river

Now I'm working on a special  crochet project for Easter . ;-) Of course working on a project means I need fuel by way of a muffin and a coffee!  

I bought a new mug. I don't like the plastic or styrofoam kind so I generally take my own.  Today I forgot so I bought this one on the way...lovely, isn't it?

Happy crocheting,
Lu x



Monday, 3 March 2014


Motif 3 March 3, 2014

Pretty Pointed Petals - ‘Mini  Neckerchief’

By now, you will know I love flowers.  Let me shout it from the rooftops- 

                                     I ADORE flowers!! 

I use them in all my work, in every medium, not just with yarn.   Making the flowers for the Valentine’s heart  (see it here: http://wildaboutyarn.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/welcome-on-this-sunny-summer-day-here.html ) was such a delight that I itched to make more.  And what sweeter than the pretty petals with droplets as a feature. 
 Take some yarn and a hook with you wherever you go this week and 
you’ll have whipped it up in no time
 NOTE: any weight yarn would be fine with  a corresponding hook.

Motif 3 - Pretty pointed petals is perfect to dress up an outfit, but it's especially suited to our Australian weather.  It’s light, pretty and quick to make. Start yours today in your colours. (Grey is the new black for me at the moment!)

The features of this project are:

1. NO CHANGING COLOURS  
                2.  JOIN AS YOU GO
                            3.  it's a Two- row Wonder!!!   
 To help keep track if you're a beginner, each petal is worked over  2 dc  stitches from the row below. You have 12 dc on row 1, you will have 6 petals in row 2. 

                                                   Pretty Pointed Petals 
Abbreviations   (UK terms) 
ch - chain
slst - slip stitch   
How to do a slip stitch  (sl st) – insert the hook into the stitch, YO (yarn over hook), pull the yarn through the stitch AND through the loop on your hook at the same time.  A slip stitch is not a climber – a stitch to add height. It’s just a joining stitch. 
dc - double crochet 
3dtrcl = 3 double treble cluster: 
Yo hook  2 times (YO2) , insert hook in st, yo, pull through the st only,

(yo, pull through 2 loops on hook)  twice

 *yo 2 times, insert hook into the same st, yo, pull through st,

(yo, pull through 2 loops on hook) 2 times;

 repeat from *

 yo, pull through all 4 loops on hook

(** apologies for the recent post... there should not be a 'ch1' at the end of the 3dtrcl.  )



FACTS
The Colour Palette 

7 yarns - grey, pink, purple, yellow, aqua, apricot, green, 4ply weight, 3.00mm crochet hook, tapestry needle
¹Time to hook one flower?  ..........................  (What's yours?) ....................................

12dc into magic ring/circle, joined with a slip stitch
Row 1.    12 dc into the circle, slip stitch to close the circle  into the first dc.  
Row 2:    *4ch, 3dtrcl into next dc, 
                   3ch, slst into top of 3dtrcl,  (picot made) 
                   4ch, dc into next dc **        Repeat all round.   This is your first petal.  Fasten off.

Three petals added
Make ONE flower then join as you go below.  



Join flower 1 to 2 with a slip stitch


Motif 3  - Join as you go 
{Written instructions for joining as you go:
TIP: you only ever join on three petals of the  WF (working flower)
1.  Complete three petals on the second (and subsequent flower/s)
2.  Do the fourth petal up to the 3ch.
3.  Do 1ch as per usual, place the flower you're working on (WF - working flower) with any point on the 1st flower you have already done (FD - flower done), come down from the top (right side) of theWFand do a slip stitch to join it to the FD (this  slip stitch replaces the middle chain of the 3ch), do the last ch then slst into the top of the 3dtrcl, 4ch, dc into next dc on row below.  
4. When you join the third and subsequent flowers, check the diagram for where to join them.  You will always go through two petals that have already been joined from the third flower onwards.  

                (Once you get yourself oriented, you will know from then on how to join the petals together. 
 Don't despair - you won't need the diagram after a while! Honestly!  Trust me!) 
And now the moment I've been waiting for...here is a great gift for a friend that can be whipped up easily.
                                                              That special moment when it all comes together!
 You can keep adding to your neckerchief to make it a longer scarf if you wish.  


FRINGE
To make the droplets for the fringe, start as for the petals and work row 1.  
Chain anywhere from 8 – 16 and fasten off leaving at least a 6ins (15cm) tail.  
Slip stitch each individual droplet  along the final two petals on the scarf once it’s joined.     

Ideas
{one long scarf, one petal wide
{mandala with a flower for the centre - 7 flowers
{A long scarf joined in the same manner as the neckerchief  ie. offsetting the flowers

Making a horizontal scarf 
{A long scarf joining the flowers in a straight line
Join straight scarf as for first two petals.

Happy Petals!

Lu x

P.S. I blocked this scarf using the iron steam method.  Do not allow the iron to touch the fibre.