Sunday, 28 April 2013

On the way to my first yarn bomb ...

Today, for me, was one of those surprising days where everything was unexpectedly perfect. I did my first yarn bomb, though it probably went off with more of a pop than a bang. It was part of a global yarn bombing organised on Facebook by the Treblemaking Hookers.

I chose to bomb a chain link fence along this bike/walking path along the coast where I live in the north of Perth, Western Australia. The path runs by this small boat harbour where everything is beautiful, except for the rusted fence which only appears in this one section near the boat harbour. My sister, her daughters and another young friend of ours volunteered to come and support me in this tiny act of craftiness. I was nervous, worried that someone might tell me off or charge me with littering … but before I even started my bombing something lovely happened.


 A mother dolphin and her pup visited the harbour. I've been coming to this harbour for nearly 12 years and have never seen dolphins swim there before. All five of us were blown away by the moment. I don't think that the dolphins were in any distress. They seemed curious about us and came up close to us and the other people watching them from the narrow jetties. After about 10 minutes exploring the harbour, the pair swam out to the open sea and it was time to do my yarn bomb. Being told off wasn't really a concern anymore.

I chose to hang some of my micro hearts on the fence and this guy --


I was going to make just a simple doll to have climbing the fence, reaching for the hearts, but I struggled with how I should dress this heart chaser. So I asked myself, what kind of person is reaching for a heart? Yep, the Tin Man.


People ran past, walked past and cycled past and not one told me off. My sister and I and the older girls each hung a heart. I took my photos (as you can see, it was a beautiful day) and said goodbye to my Tin Man. I'll go back on Tuesday to take him and the hearts down if they are still there. It was such a lovely experience. I'm so happy we did it and I hope my little creations will bring a smile to a few faces. Kim Sofia, the treblemaking hooker who started it all, has done a post on her blog on some of the yarn bombings that took place over the weekend. Also, if you're interested in doing something like this yourself, have a look at this post by Twilight Taggers on how to yarn bomb.

Wishing you all an unexpectedly perfect day ...

Sunday, 21 April 2013

SadDays' Mirror Crochet

Hey, guys! I hope everyone is having a great Monday.

I just came across this great technique shared by SadDays Crochet. It allows you to crochet flat pieces of work with a texture that will match your pieces that have been worked in the round. It's called mirror crochet or backwards single crochet. Not sure what I'm talking about? It's okay - SadDays has explained everything in her video. I'll definitely be using this technique in the future. You might want to keep an eye on SadDays' blog and facebook page. She's a wonderful crochet artist who is also working on an online stitch guide.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Trumpet

 I have an end of the week pattern surprise for you. It's a little trumpet! Enjoy!




Size
5cm/2in tall

Skill Level
Moderate. The crocheting is straightforward but it's quite a small project and so it's a little fiddly, particularly when stitching on the keys. Alternatively, you can glue on the keys with hot glue or craft glue or leave them out all together.

Note on yarn and hook size
I crochet with a light worsted (DK) weight yarn. You can use a slightly heavier or lighter yarn as long as you use the same type of yarn for the different colours. This will ensure your toy is in proportion. Use a hook size that will give you a nice firm stitch. I used a 3.5mm hook for this project.

Materials
Yarn
Yellow

Crochet Hook – 3.5mm or preferred size
Tapestry needle
Scissors

Terminology
***This pattern was written using US crochet terminology***
ch – Chain
Rnd – Round
sc – Single crochet
sc2tog – Single crochet two stitches together.
sl st – Slip stitch
st – Stitch. This term covers ch, sc, hdc, sl st and other stitches used in crochet.

Make a ring – The starting point for crocheting in a spiral. Use which ever method you prefer.
* * - Repeat the instructions between the asterisks as directed.
( ) – The number of stitches that should be in a completed round are placed in brackets at the end of that round’s instructions.

Instructions

Trumpet (in Yellow)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in ring (5)
Rnd 2-25: sc in each st around
Rnd 26: sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st (7)
Rnd 27: 2 sc in each st around (14)
Rnd 28: *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st*  around (21)
Cut yarn and do an invisible fasten off, leaving a long tail of yarn to use later when joining the keys.

Keys (in Yellow)
Chain 6.
Row 1: sl st in 2nd chain from the hook, sl st in next 4 st (5)
Cut yarn and fasten off. Make three. Weave in yarn ends on two of the keys but leave a tail of yarn on the third one.



Assembly
***These are guidelines only. Be guided by your own eye at all times.***

Join the keys to the trumpet. Weave the tail of yarn on the trumpet through the bell and down through the tube. You want the tail of yarn to come out where the first key will be joined so twist the trumpet into shape to determine where this will be.

The first key will be joined where my index finger is sitting.

Pin the first key in position (be very careful not to jab yourself) and use the tail of yarn to stitch it on. Make sure the top sticks up a little above the tube.


Position the second key next to the first and stitch on.


Finally, pin the third key, the one with the tail of yarn, and stitch on. The tail of yarn should be at the bottom of the key.



Twist trumpet into shape. Using the same tail of yarn used to stitch down the keys, stitch together the tube of the trumpet so that it stays in shape.



Join the bottom of the keys to the trumpet tube. Use the tail of yarn on the third key to stitch the bottom of the keys to the bottom section of the trumpet tube.



And you're done. I had the horn section of "You Can Call Me Al" in my head the whole time I was making this. It was a fun project.

If anything is unclear, please let me know.


Copyright © Kim Lapsley 2013

Friday, 12 April 2013

My Tiny Heart


A while back I crocheted a micro heart. It's 0.8cm wide and it's the smallest thing I've ever crocheted.


Someone requested the pattern so I'm sharing it in this post. This is my own pattern but I have to say that it has been influenced by other crochet patterns. Amigurumi hearts were some of the first items I crocheted. Unfortunately, I can't remember the different patterns I used in those early days of crochet - I know that MyGurumi's gorgeous Pop Heart pattern was one of them. The method for creating the humps/bulges of the heart is something I learned from these patterns and, even though I can't remember all their names, I give them credit for helping me with my tiny heart.

I hope you enjoy the pattern.

My Tiny Heart




Size
The size will depend on the hook and thread you use. My 0.8cm/0.3in wide heart was made with sewing cotton and a 0.6mm hook. My 4cm/1.6in wide heart was made with DK weight yarn and a 3.0mm hook.

Skill Level
Moderate. Like my micro pig, I'm not sure how to rate the skill level. It's a simple pattern but if you're attempting to make a very small heart and want to work with sewing thread and a fine hook, crocheting will be difficult. Micro crochet is still new to me and I'm still learning all the tricks but really the key is patience. Take it slow and you'll get there.

Materials
Yarn/Thread
Red

Crochet Hook - choose a size that matches your yarn/thread and that will give you a nice tight stitch.
Filling
Needle
Scissors

Terminology
***This pattern was written using US crochet terminology***
Rnd – Round
sc – Single crochet
sc2tog – Single crochet two stitches together.
sl st – Slip stitch
st – Stitch. This term covers ch, sc, hdc, sl st and other stitches used in crochet.

Make a ring – The starting point for crocheting in a spiral. Use which ever method you prefer.
* * - Repeat the instructions between the asterisks as directed.
( ) – The number of stitches that should be in a completed round are placed in brackets at the end of that round’s instructions.

Instructions

I'm using the word hump to describe the bulges of the heart. I wish I could think of a better word. Bulge seemed worse than hump and lobe seemed out of place. Ah well, on with the pattern.

First Hump (in Red)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3: sc in each st around
Cut yarn leaving a tail. Sl st in next stitch and pull yarn through to fasten off. Do not weave in the tail of yarn.

Second Hump and Body of the Heart (in Red)
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3: sc in each st around

In Rnd 4 you will be crocheting the two humps together. As you crochet, make sure that the tail of yarn left on the first hump hangs between the two humps.  (See, that sounds rude, right? Maybe I should have used the word lobe.) This will be used at the end to close up any gaps left between the humps.

Rnd 4: sc in next 6 st of the second hump, take the first hump and make a sc in stitch near the tail of yarn, then sc in the next 11 st around the first hump. When you reach the second hump, continue to crochet, sc in the remaining 6 st of the second hump (24)


Rnd 5: *sc in next 2 st, sc2tog*  around (18)
Rnd 6: sc in each st around
Rnd 7: *sc in next st, sc2tog*  around (12)
Rnd 8: sc in each st around
Stuff the heart firmly.
Rnd 9: sc2tog around (6)
Cut yarn and weave through remaining stitches, pulling tight to close up hole. Weave in end. Use the tail of yarn hanging between the two humps to close up the small gap left between them.



Weave in yarn end.

Your heart is finished. Make sure you give it to someone who deserves it ;)

Copyright © Kim Lapsley 2013
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