Thursday, 25 May 2017

Book review - Colourful Crochet

Would I like the opportunity to review a new crochet book and be a part of its blog tour?
Would I 'eck!!
(Especially when it's been designed by a fellow crochet pal, Marianne Dekkers-Roos)

Marianne and I have 'known' each other through blogging and social media for many years now and I'm very honoured that she has reviewed both my books, so was super-glad of the opportunity to repay the favour - and what a treat it is.

I love Marianne's designs; they're bright, colourful and completely inspiring, and if you follow her on Instagram, or via her blog, you'll know exactly what I mean.

This book does not disappoint.
There are 23 projects listed, but what I really like is that some of them show two or three different items you could make with the motifs - clever, eh?

The patterns themselves are varied and are a mix of projects for your home and accessories to wear. They also range in difficulty from beginner-friendly to something more challenging, too. 
Each project is written clearly, with each step well-explained and there is an accompanying chart too; perfect for those of us who prefer a visual approach to making patterns.


AND, Marianne has a top tip for getting your granny square to stop being squiffy (you know how they kind-of lean?) anyhoos, I cannot reveal the secret - you'll have to read the book.


So, what did I choose to make?
Not an easy decision- there are so many designs I wanted to try, but I settled on the Geometric Triangle Blanket. I was intrigued to see how this pattern came together.


Ok, so I may have lied a teeny bit. 
I have not made a human-sized blanket. I have made a tiddly mouse-blanket.


Here's the first row done. Isn't it clever? I love how the triangles are constructed.


And this is the beginning of the third row. It's a lovely pattern to crochet and not as tricky as I thought it might be - there's a lovely rhythm in its making, with a two row repeat, which I really enjoy. 

If you'd like to join the blog tour and see what other crochet peeps have made (there's some crochet royalty taking part, let me tell you) then take a look here for all the links.

And if you'd like to purchase your very own copy, then see here.

Well done, Marianne - it's a really wonderful book.

Sarah xx

Monday, 1 May 2017

The perfect little bag




It's a bag.

Just a little bag, but so useful. 

The perfect size, in fact for all the essentials*.

What makes it even more perfect is the fact that it takes about an hour to make and it doesn't need lining (what a Godsend - I blimmin' HATE lining bags).

Oh, and it has tassels. 
What's not to love??

Fancy making one?

*There is, in fact a bigger, tote-style bag in my NEW BOOK, Supersize Crochet (and it doesn't need a lining, either - hoorah! Take a quick look over there on the sidebar →



You'll need around 500g/ 71 meters of your favourite t-shirt yarn (I love this shop) and a small amount in a contrasting colour for the tassels, 17cm / 6.5" bag handles (mine are from here) and a 12mm hook.

The finished bag measures around 26 x 19 x 6cm

Pattern notes 

I used the cross-dc variation of the double crochet (US single crochet) stitch - see my post Quest for a Stitch to find out how to do it. If you prefer, you can use the normal dc (sc), the pattern will work just fine.

I also worked from round 2 in continuous rounds without a slip stitch to join or ch1 at the beginning, which was to avoid a seam. If you'd prefer joined rounds, then feel free to do so. Again, the pattern will work.

Don't want tassels? Simply work rnd 5 as regular dc (US sc) stitches and leave off the tassels!

Nope, I'm not crocheting glasses - it's how you work across the bag handles on Round 1


UK Pattern (US Below)

Rnd 1: Make 10dc across the first handle, 5ch, 10dc across the second handle, 5ch. Join with a sl st to the first dc to join. (30 sts)

Rnd 2 - 3: 1ch, 1dc in each st around (do not join - work in continuous rnds from here on).

Rnd 4: (Short row) 5dc (leave 25 stitches unworked).

Rnd 5: 1dc in each st BLO.

Rnds 6 - 12: 1dc in each st around.

Base 

18ch
Row 1: 1tr in each of 12 chains, beginning in the 4th ch from your hook, sk 2 ch, sl st in last ch.

To join base to bag, and with RS facing, sl st through FLO of rnd 12 to stitches around the base piece.

Fasten off.

To make up:
Cut tassels to the desired length and attach to the exposed loops from Rnd 5.
Joining the base to the bag


US Pattern

Rnd 1: Make 10sc across the first handle, 5ch, 10sc across the second handle, 5ch. Join with a sl st to the first sc to join. (30 sts)

Rnd 2 - 3: 1ch, 1sc in each st around (do not join - work in continuous rnds from here on).

Rnd 4: (Short row) 5sc (leave 25 stitches unworked).

Rnd 5: 1sc in each st BLO.

Rnds 6 - 12: 1sc in each st around.

Base 

18ch
Row 1: 1dc in each of 12 chains, beginning in the 4th ch from your hook, sk 2 ch, sl st in last ch.

To join base to bag, and with RS facing, sl st through FLO of rnd 12 to stitches around the base piece.

Fasten off.

To make up:
Cut tassels to the desired length and attach to the exposed loops from Rnd 5. 




Taaa daaaaah!
See? Quick and easy !!

Enjoy crocheting and don't forget to tag me so I can see what you've been making!

Have a fab week,
Sarah xxx