Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Crochet Ripple Blanket Tutorial

I'm not afraid to admit that Ripple Blankets used to scare me. They looked so complicated. How did you get the neat colourful lines to wave up and down so beautifully? I stuck to granny squares, those I had mastered and could practically whip up a square in my sleep.


I month or so ago I decided to rip off that bandaid and face my fear. It was time to take on the crochet ripple blanket.....I can't belief this use to scare me, it's so easy when you know how! So here I'm going to share the Ripple Blanket secret.

The Ripple Blanket uses 2 basic stitches - chain and treble, that's it!

The pattern is also simple once you are into a rhythm, my pattern uses 4 of the same stitches before moving on, let me explain.

Start with a chain, you will need a multiple of 14, as 14 stitches forms one "V"

I found it helpful to place a stitch marker on every 14th chain. It means when you are completing your first row of trebles you can make sure you are on the right track at every completion of a "V" rather than reaching the end of the row and realising you have gone wrong (I learnt this the hard way on a 200+ chain, uh,)

Now we are ready to start the trebles and form the "V" shape
The pattern starts at the top of the "V"
Chain 3 and then crochet a treble into the last stitch with a marker - this is the equivalent of 2 trebles
Now create the downwards slant by 1 treble into each of the next 4 stitches
We are now at the bottom of the "V" and need to decrease the stitches by crocheting 2 trebles together.
Do this twice
The upwards slant is a repeat of the downwards, 1 treble into the next 4 stitches - you can see the "V" starting to form
Back at the top of the "V" and at the end of the pattern. 2 trebles into the next chain.
The next stitch should be marked and is the start of the next 14 chains, start the pattern again with 2 trebles into the stitch
Continue to the end of your chain in the following rhythm
2 trebles into one stitch
1 treble into next 4 stitches
2 trebles together
2 trebles together
1 treble into next 4 stitches
2 trebles into one stitch
Don't be too concerned if you don't have a perfect wave at this stage, this will form over the next few rows, you can see in the picture below itch just one more row the "V" is more defined
Eventually your ripples will look like this.
I hope you can master the crochet ripple blanket pattern too, what craft do you have an unexplained fear about?



Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Indoor gardens - terrarium

I've become a little obsessed with terrariums recently. These are mini gardens which can be grown in various vases, bottles or bubbles, the plants used are generally succulents (plants which retain water) or air plants which require very little care which is great for someone like me who has a rather disastrous track record with house plants.


This is my latest creation

This hanging terrarium has a large double flower Echeveria, really easy to put together.
Plant your succulent plant in some soil and spritz with water, then plant up your arrangement. Spritz with water 1-2 times a week depending on your home climate, sit back and enjoy, see easy
I have my eye on another bubble vase which I think will make a wonderful table centre terrarium so watch this space

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Why do we always want what we can't have?

So I've been without a sewing machine for a week. I've got crochet and embroidery projects on the go but every project I think of involves a sewing machine.




Well I have a plan....

- evidently my mum has secret skills as a magic sewing machine fixer, she has only just revealed these skills to me, I wonder what else she can do??? So when I next see her in early March I will be providing coffee whilst she as a little tinker

- Plan B is to buy a new machine at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show, just booked my tickets. I'm off with a great friend for workshops, shopping and a good natter. Can't wait


Until then I'm going to have to stick to non-machine projects, quite frustrating


Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Little Patchwork Scottie Dog

I remember seeing a cute patchwork Scottie Dog online ages ago when search for something I fail to recollect now. The simple idea has stayed in my mind ever since. This afternoon I decided to have a go at creating one. Armed with the off cuts of a patchwork play mat, a doodle of the end goal and a few hours free, set off.


I started really well cutting the pieces to size and laying them out as below.


I then went ahead and stitched these together. Now dearest reader you are smarter than me, I'm sure you have already picked up my error, yes I stitched the fabric just as in these 2 photos, yes I stitched 2 left sides! Doh...

After a little swearing and a few chocolate biscuits I started on the right side.


I was almost finished....just a few more lines and crash my sewing machine jammed. My machine is nothing too special, a Janome which can do most basic stitches well but nothing overly special. After much tinkering, a bit of poking with a screw driver and many more failed sewing attempts I have admitted defeat. My machine is broken.

So, I'm faced with a dilemma....to fix or to replace?

I can't imagine a fix would be cheaper than £50 and that's if I can even find somewhere that does machine repairs. But then how much are sewing machines these days? I'd want to get a decent machine, probably one with lots of functions I will never use.

Oh what to do??

And with Christmas and birthdays so far away it looks like this is coming out of my pocket :(

My little Patchwork Scottie Dog will have to wait until I have a working machine, he will live on the corner of my desk till then


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Ripple success

Just a quick check in, the whole house has been out if action for the last week or so. A horrid cold/flu thing, we've basically spent the week drinking lemsip and snuggling under duvets feeling sorry for ourselves.


Not much crafting has been going on. Although I'm pleased to tell you it looks like I may have mastered the pesky crochet ripple.... 18 rows in now :)