Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Buttons Baby Blanket (aka The B.B. Blanket or The B.B.B.) : make it or not?

In February I started a small, but industrious project, which I completed before the Easter weekend ...

I had a big (500g !) yarn ball in silver (from Robin DK 500g) and I wanted to use it since a long time, so I collected a pile of crochet patterns books from my bookcase and I started to browse trough them all ...
It didn't take a long time to find the right pattern. I wanted something different and challenging in various ways...
First, I never tried a ripple pattern before, NEVER ! Unbelievable, if you think how easy it is and how common it is between the blankets makers!! There is always a first time, right?
The other thing that I was dreading was to start a long foundation chain for the blanket to be, but the pattern I found didn't need one!!!! How great was that!!!
You "just" need to crochet "some" circles to start your blanket : I know, this could be a time consuming task, but it made my blanket special ! Worth it!
The pattern I'm writing about is by Leonie Morgan and you can find it on one of her books, that is 100 Colourful Ripple Stitches to Crochet, on pages 114/115.
Luckily the pattern is developed both in written and charted (the one I prefer) forms, so it was not a problem to follow. I agree with the personal author advice, who underlines the skill level as advanced.
You have to be a confident crocheter with some experience, because, for example, I found the written explanation for row 5 not well done .... but the chart and my personal crochet knowledge helped me a lot to figure out how to crochet properly row 5 (that is the row with the circles ! ;oD).
I even contacted Leonie via email to ask if I could share the pattern with my readers, to explain how to crochet this blanket and she was so kind to reply to me and she clarified all the copyright issues, that at the end I decided just to show you my result, with no photo tutorial/pattern along : sorry!
After this long introduction, let's start with the usual flow of pictures and comments from me!
Together with the silver yarn, I chose to use some discontinued Lustruous Extra Fine Merino DK by Sublime Yarns (shade 293 saffron and shade 294 folie) along with some Katia Kiss (shade 55 camel, shade 60 fuschia and blue navy). The hook used was a 4mm one!
At the beginning of this project, I decided to crochet 20 circles for each colour, starting with saffron for the bottom border of the blanket...
The pattern repeats itself every 4 rows and I followed it for the first 16 rows, using the silver yarn as the background for the blanket, while I was just changing the colour for the circles, for each new row with them in : saffron, folie (delicate pink), fuchsia and camel ... each row is made of 20 circles ...
I'm thrilled with the 3D effect given by the circles!!!
The pattern for the blanket was developing little by little, as I progressed with the crocheting and I took al the time I needed...
Did I want only rows of circles? Only the colours used until the end of row 16? Some different embellishment to add? Too much??
Well, let's start with some basic surface crochet, that was done in the between of rows 4 and 5 of the crochet ripple pattern... The colours sequence was totally repeated as for the circles ...
After that, in the middle of my project, I had the idea to add an extra colour (navy blue) ad to vary slightly the pattern ... This time I crocheted 40 circles in one colour ...
Once all the blue was done, I started to repeat the previous pattern, simply reversing the colours arrangement for the surface crochet and changing a bit the circles layout ( more like < and >)...
The last 3 rows of circles required 22 camel circles, 18 delicate pink circles and 20 fuchsia circles.
I needed, instead, 20 saffron circles for the top border of the blanket (as for the bottom/start), which were embodied in the third ripple row (counting the rows after the last row of circles made), This is also the last row worked for the blanket ...
After that, well the blanket was DONE !!! This baby measures : 98cmx96cm ...
Both sides of the blanket have been smoothed simply working groups of 4 chains, joined to the blanket with the help of slip stitches ...
Last extra photos ...
That's all !!!
xxxx Alessandra

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Make it ! Bunnies Galore Bun(-ny!)ting !!!

This year, our Easter will be full of bunnies !!!!

In fact, I have just completed a crocheted garland, not too big, with some colourful bunnies ...

If you are a fan of the Easter Bunny (who is not?) I invite you to follow my directions and to collect all you need to crochet these sweet creatures :
  • a hook (4mm)
  • some yarn (I've been using a selection of filati cervinia caprice)
  • a pair of scissors
  • some buttons to use as eyes
  • a pom pom maker (optional) : 2cm diameter
  • yarn needle
  • a needle that passes through the buttons holes
  • toy stuffing
I decided to use the white yarn as the main colour for the  bunnies muzzles and please remember that I follow the US crochet terminology! ;oD


Grab your hook and make a slip knot on it, using the white yarn.
Chain 4 and push the hook in the first chain made, to form a ring.
FIRST ROUND : chain 2 and crochet 12 double crochets into the ring. Slip stitch in top of first DC (=double crochet) to close the round
SECOND ROUND : chain 2 and work 2 DCs in each top of the previous stitches. You will end this round with 24 DCs. Slip stitch in top of first DC to close this round.

THIRD ROUND : chain 3 and
  • 2 trebles (=Tr) in first stitch
  • 1 DC in next stitch
  • 2 DC in next stitch
  • 1 single crochet (=SC) in next stitch
  • *2 SC in next stitch
  • 1 SC in next stitch*
  • repeat the pattern from *to* other 3 times
You have done the first half of your third round ! Next, you will complete the second half of the round just repeating the previous pattern, reading it from bottom to top, as follows :
  • *1 SC in next stitch
  • 2 SC in next stitch*
  • repeat the pattern from *to* other 3 times
  • 1 SC in next stitch
  • 2 DC in next stitch
  • 1 DC in next stitch
  • 2 Tr in last stitch
Make a slip stitch in top of first treble, cut yarn and fasten off. Trim in all ends.
If you desire to use the bunny as a hanging decoration, please leave a tail of 15/20cm long, that, knotted with the other tail, will form an useful loop!! ;oD

You need to crochet a second piece as the one just done, to make the back of the bunny head!!!

Now, we'll start to give our bunny his typical features ....

Choose a colourful yarn and the pompom maker to create a fluffy nose

Once the pompom is done (wrapping and trimming completed), with the help of a yarn needle pass the pompom threads in the hole of our shape, from front to back and using these threads (one for each button) with the right needle, sew the buttons on the muzzle, so you will have the following ...

Now, collect the second oval shape ant put its back on the back of the bunny face and (using the same yarn of the nose) and start to join the two shapes as follow :

make a slip knot on the hook and push the tip of the hook under the first stitch on the top left (just aside the tail) and under the corresponding top stitch of the other shape and make your first SC to join your two pieces together.
Then, chain 15 and make a slip stitch in the first SC done, to form the first ear of the bunny!
In next stitch and all the following stitches, to the second-last stitch included,  make a SC in each stitch ...

When you have done 3/4 of the joining, please remember to fill your bunny with some toy filling and then complete to crochet your SCs to the last but one stitch.
At this point, make your last SC in the last stitch, chain 15 and make a slip stitch in the last Sc, to have the second ear!
To close your work, make another slip stitch in the first SC of the joining round, cut the yarn and fasten off!
Trim in all the ends!!!
Your first bunny is done, as you can see ...

This blue bunny had the honour to become a brooch (I just sewn a safety pin on its back!) ...

... while for my bunting, I indulged in the use of different colours, as you can see in the following pictures (sorry for the truckload !) ...

I decided that 5 was the right number of bunnies for my bunting, so I picked up the hook again and with a new colour I started the chain for my hanging decoration !

You need to make a slip knot on your hook with the new yarn and chain 60.

To join the ears to your working chain, you just need to push (from front to back) the tip of your hook into the top of the bunny's ear

pull yarn to front (it forms a loop)

and push the brand new loop trough the old loop

the join is done!!!

Between each couple of ears : chain 5
Between each bunny : chain 20

Obviously, you can choose how many chains to work for your bunting (beginning, between ears or bunnies, ending) : honestly it's up to you!! ;oD

After the last bunny was joined, I ended my chain with 60 chains same number as the beginning).

To embellish the ends of my chain, I decided to add a couple of carrots to my bunting !

With some orange yarn, I made a slip knot on my hook, then :
chain 3 and 1 half double crochet (=hDC) into the first chain made and chain 2
FIRST ROW : turn, 2 hDC in next stitches, chain 2
SECOND ROW : turn, 2 hDC in same stitch, 2 hDC in next stitch, chain 2
THIRD ROW : turn, 1 hDC in every stitch (total : 4 hDC), chain 2
FOURTH ROW : turn, work 4 DC, but only half for each stitch, so that you will have 5 loops on your hook. Then, wrap yarn around your hook and pull it trough all the loops. Cut yarn, fasten off.

Attach them to the main chain (at both ends) with the help of some green lengths and knot the carrots to them! the mini bows will resemble leaves !!! ;oD

Find the right place to hang your bunting ....

and enjoy it !!!!

xxxx Alessandra

Today links : Link your Stuff!March Link Party #3 and Craft Schooling Sunday


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