Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Sunshine Lollipops Blanket- How I made this thing!

This isn't a pattern post.  Nor is it a tutorial. This post will simply explain how I made this blanket. Then if you want to make one, you can too. But it's very informal. If you have any further questions or want extra info, please feel free to message me through my Facebook page  or email me at balibelibear@gmail.com
 
 
When I'm going on holidays, I spend quite sometime deciding what yarn and projects to take. Then my choices are packed super carefully.



Back in December we went to stay in Mollymook with the parental units for Christmas and this is what I took along.

A bag of cottons to play with in the car when I wasn't doing the driving, and a basket for other projects to be packed in the boot.

I chose a nice deep blue merino (just in case), some pompoms to finish off the Winterlude Keyhole Scarflet (underneath), my hook case, and a selection of colourful acrylics. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the acrylics but I loved looking at those colours together!

After spending an hour or so choosing and packing yarns, I selected my clothes and threw them into a suitcase which took less than 10 minutes. Because #priorities


Once we had arrived and settled in, I decided I fancied making lots of colourful circles with the acrylics. I took my project to the beach.



I made lots of circles during daytime games of Monopoly, and after the kids were tucked in bed, during games of Cards Against Humanity. Have you ever played that game? Not for the faint of heart or prudish minded!

BTW the little nail clippers on the table are not for personal grooming. There is always a pair in my hook case from my last plane trip for cutting yarn when you can't carry scissors!


I set up a crochet corner in this comfy place on the Motherships back verandah.
 

Once we had returned home after a lovely 2 weeks away, I started turning my circles into squares.


Would you like to know how to make these circley square grannies?

I used a selection of colours in DK acrylic.
A 4mm crochet hook.
I also had a pair of scissors and a darning needle for sewing and trimming ends.

I use US crochet terms.

First I started with a magic circle, chained 3 (counts as 1st DC), then 11dc in the circle.


Once all 12 dcs (including the beginning ch3) are complete, slip stitch to the top of the beg Ch3 and pull that centre thread in the middle of the magic circle nice and tight!



For round 2: Ch3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in same st, then 2dc in each stitch around.
Once you've crocheted 24 dc (including 1st Ch3), slip stitch to top of beg Ch3.


For round 3: Ch3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in same stitch, dc in next stitch then work in pattern (2dc, dc) all the way around. This should give 36 dcs (inc beginning Ch3). Slip stitch to top of beginning Ch3 and finish off.



Join your next colour.



In the stitch where you joined in your new colour, Ch1, then sc in same st. Then hdc, hdc, dc, in next stitch: (tr, ch3, tr)...
 


For the next 3 sides in each stitch:
 
dc, hdc, hdc, sc, sc, hdc, hdc, dc, in next st (tr, ch3, tr)
 


In the last part: dc, hdc, hdc, sc, then join with a slip stitch to the beginning st. Finish off!.


Join the last colour, ch1, sc in the same stitch and in each stitch around. Finish off.


And sew in your ends.




video


Here are all the little finished squares laid out on a white sheet. There are 9 rows of 13 squares. Or 13 rows of 9 squares! 


It now looked nothing like what I initially imagined. But I started to love my blanket for it's new character.


After they were all sewn together, I crocheted 7 rounds of single crochet.


5 of the 7 rounds...

Then I decided to go a bit wild!  I wanted to create a tulip border similar to what I used in my Happy Flower Mandala.

I crocheted 1 round in green as follows:

Ch3, dc in same st, Ch2, 2dc in same st as 1st 2 dc. Sk 3 st, *{(2dc, 2ch, 2dc, sk 3 stitches) to the first corner. In the corner stitch (2dc, 3dc, 2dc)}. Continue from * on each side.and corners. Join with a slip stitch to top of beginning Ch3. Finish off.


 
In the next round, to complete the flower tops I made little popcorns. They are kind of in 4dc clusters made like this:
 
Starting in any ch2 space...

For the first popcorn:

Ch 3, yarn over, insert hook into the Ch2 space, YO, pull up the loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will still be 2 loops left on the hook. YO, insert yarn into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will now be 3 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will be 4 loops left on the hook. YO, pull through all 4 remaining loops.

Then chain 4, skip all the stitches to the next Ch2 space, then crochet the next popcorn:

4DC Popcorn:
YO, insert hook into next Ch2 sp, YO, pull up the loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will still be 2 loops left on the hook. YO, insert yarn into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will now be 3 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into the same Ch2 sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops. There will be 4 loops left on the hook. YO, insert hook into same sp, YO, pull up a loop, YO pull through 2 loops. There will be 5 loops left on the hook. YO, pull through all 5 remaining loops.
To continue all you need to do is follow the sequence (Ch4, 4dc popcorn) in each Ch2 space around.
 

 
The next round simply single crochets all around including in the top of each popcorn, followed by another round of single crochet.
 
Then 2 rounds of granny stripe.  I did one in green and one in orange.
 
Because I was sewing in my threads as I went, and the blanket was simply hanging around the loungeroom, it started being used!


After just sticking to orange, light pink, dark pink and green in the border, I decided to do a few rounds with the yellow and purple.
This was a bad decision.


For some reason whenever I looked at it, the colours made me feel gloopy. I threw the blanket in a project bag for weeks and didn't look at it!

SO I frogged back to the last orange granny stripe round, crocheted a round of single crochet in hot pink, then found this wonderful border pattern.

It is by Dragana from the crochet blog Dada's Place.

She has a pattern for this lovely edging. I had tried several different styles but found this on Pinterest and realized it was exactly what I wanted. If you would like to crochet this edging onto one of your projects, you can find her pattern here.


I then pinned the whole blanket out on some camping mats which I bought solely for blocking, not for camping!


Bijoux gave it her feline tick of approval.


And to wet it, I sprayed with the garden hose on 'mist'.


It was a beautiful warm breezy day so the blanket dried super fast.


And is now inside and being used.

All stacked up with my other blankets!

 
Some of the lovely ladies who follow my Facebook page gave me some gorgeous name ideas. Like Tutti Fruity (nice one Kim!), Summer Splash (thanks Christine!), Scrumptious Fruit Medley (thanks Kae!), Shades of COmfort (thanks Nancy!), Running Round in Circles (good one Debra!) and Sunny fruit salad (xox Vicki!). 
 
I've decided to call it Sunshine Lollipops because it reminds me of summer and lollies!
 



 


I love making super bright blankets because when we use them in winter when it's cold and dreary, they brighten up your day!

Thanks for visiting!


xox
Louise
The Red Haired Amazona









Monday, 17 April 2017

Unicorn Poop Arm Mitts

Do you remember how I was working on another mandala pattern?
 

And do you remember how I was working on a very bright blanket?
 
 
I kind of got distracted.
 
I have an old pair of mitts which I made many years ago. They were inspired by a pair made by Lucy from Attic 24.  You can check hers out here. Mine were made just like hers.
 
They have now seen better days. I wore them often during the colder autumn & winter months and I think may be close to retirement.
 
I decided to make a new pair.  And I went a little bit overboard!
 
 
They are kind of like a Sampler Blanket for my arms.
 
I haven't written a pattern for them, as I didn't write it down as I went along. I am going to make another pair and do a tutorial for them. These are kind of rough. I won't show you the back seam!
 
I started making them as a rectangular piece. I wasn't sure if I wanted the rows going up and down my arms, or round and round.
 
Once it was about 10 or 15cm long, I tried it on this way and that and decided round and round looked best!
 
So I sewed up the seams and continued crocheting it in rounds.
 
 
Then I found while on a recent weekend away to Phillip Island, I found a cute little LYS (local yarn shop) which had one ball of silver, and one ball of gold yarn. I snatched them both up!
 
I often look out for these colours at our big local shop, but they only stock them at Christmas.
 
 
It made a relatively ok arm mitt look fabulous!
 
 
I would crochet a few rounds, then try it on.
 
Yesterday they were finished!
 

 
 
 
 
There's a mixture of picots, granny stripes,
 

 
moss stitching, single crochet,
 

 
rows of chains, fans,
 


star stitch rows, drop double crochet, and sometimes just half double crochet stitches.


 What do you think?



 They do kind of look like gauntlets. Maybe that's a better name than 'arm mitts'?


Not only did I finish these yesterday, but last night I also finished my super bright blanket. It's currently blocking outside, pinned to a large camping mat.

I'll be honest with you. I'm not sure how I feel about it. We hated each other for about a month. Much frogging happened. Stay tuned for that blog post soon!
 
xox


Louise


The Red Haired Amazona