Monday, 14 March 2011

More crochet gifts...

Following on from my last post, here are some more gifts I gave at the end of last year.

My daughter's teacher was about to go on leave and was heading for the UK and Europe as soon as school ended... hoping for a white Christmas and I'm pretty sure she would have had one. So with her bottle of wine she got a scarf, and a block of Toblerone. (Just 'cause she likes them. :-) )

The scarf is lovely and soft, but there are a few things about it that I wasn't happy with.

For starters, it took more wool than I expected; that's why it has black rows either side of the purple. (I had more black than purple. I used purple as this particular purple is this teacher's favourite colour and she wears this colour somewhere on her person almost every day. But I thought the black would work okay with it.)

Also it's a bit too short; I was worrying about the amount of yarn I had. It's the sort of length that will work tucked into the front of a coat, but it's not the sort of length for multiple-wraps-around-your-neck or tossing-over-your-shoulder stuff.

I'm 99% sure that I used this pattern. (It was a few months ago and I was pretty busy - I didn't note down anywhere what I was using!) The pattern is simple, but a little bit different: all you do is US dc, US sc, all the way along. Then, on the next row, do a dc in every sc from the row before, and in every dc from the last row, do a sc. Make sense? The pattern explains it better than me. :-) It produces a nice bumpy texture and helps the yarn to drape softly. I liked it and will probably use it again, next time trying a more chunky yarn like the pattern suggests.

I'm not even sure of the hook size any more, but I think it was a 5 or 6mm (bigger than recommended for the yarn to help the scarf to drape). The yarn I do remember, it is Moda Vera Cupcake. A nylon/acrylic blend, it is sooooo soft. Lovely to touch and work with.

And here is one more thing I made last year. I found this great pattern over at Tangled Happy. Tangled Happy is a great new blog absolutely choc-full of crochet ideas. I absolutely LOVE it! If you haven't visited it, please do - it is such a beautiful place to browse and get ideas.

Anyway, this "ear-warmer" pattern - I thought - was also a great headband pattern. I made these for two sisters, aged 2 and 5. The red one is for the little girl, so it is a bit smaller and one row thinner. The pattern is dead simple and sooooo quick! I used 8ply cotton/acrylic yarn and a 4mm hook. Such a quick, easy gift.

To attach the flowers, I used an idea from Little Birdie Secrets - I sewed a button on to each headband, and the flowers are attached to the hat using the button and the centre-loop of the flower. This means the flowers can be swapped over if the girls want to, or they can be left off the headband altogether for a simpler look. I really liked doing the flowers this way and think I will use this method a lot in future, as my own little girl often changes her mind about what she likes!

As for the flower patterns... I'm pretty sure the first flower I did (the red one) was from a link provided by Tangle Happy (pattern can be found here). But I found this pattern to be a little to open/loopy, so I got some ideas from patterns here and here, and modified my second flower a bit so that the petals sat a little closer to each other and to the button. I wish I'd taken more note of what I did, because now these have been gifted, I can't look back at them at all. Sorry! But if you try those links, you'll get some great ideas for layered flowers.

Well, that's all I have for my "show and tell" today! :-) But more to come soon as I had a very productive Christmas holiday.

Have a happy, hooky day,
Caz :)