Friday, 2 June 2017

Wedding Keepsakes

Hi folks,

It's such a lovely time of year just now and though weddings are lovely at any time, Spring and Summer are my favourites. Recently I've been trawling the Internet looking for inspiration for wedding keepsakes and there are some lovely patterns out there. In the end I returned to a tried and tested pattern, a lace horse shoe for good luck, however I have a confession to make because it isn't crochet.




Nope, no crochet in sight. It's actually tatted lace though it does need a crochet hook to make joins. Some years ago I bought a starter kit from the Ring Of Tatters and using their DVD, taught myself shuttle tatting. I only learnt the basics and after making a few items I returned to my first love of crochet as I found it easier but I have always loved this simple horse shoe pattern from Be-stitched. It's a beginner's pattern which is lucky for me as it is all I can do.





Tatting can be made with either a tatting needle or a shuttle, I use a shuttle. Some shuttles have a hook at one end for joining purposes but as mine doesn't I use a small steel crochet hook. The stitch used is called double stitch and is made in two parts, these form the chains and rings and even the picots.





Using white crochet cotton, I wound the shuttle full of thread but didn't cut it from the ball.






The thread is held by the left hand while the shuttle is worked around it. The ring was worked by making a loop of thread around the fingers and holding the thread between the index finger and thumb. The shuttle is then worked around the thread of the ring and when enough stitches have been worked the ring is tightened by pulling the shuttle thread to close it.



The horse shoe pattern starts with two rings joined together at the first and last picots using the crochet hook..





It then continues using chains and rings









until the other end of the horse shoe is reached where it is finished by making two rings joined together to mirror the first two rings of the horse shoe.



The horse shoe is finished off by knotting the two threads and weaving the ends in at the back of the motif. A little blocking and it's done.


If you fancy trying tatting I recommend checking out the Ring of Tatters link above, the DVD I learnt from is still available and was much easier than trying to follow written directions. The tatters from the Ring I met demonstrating the craft were all lovely ladies who were incredibly patient and helpful. The Be-stitched site has some gorgeous tatting pics on the pattern pages too.

I love this little horse shoe and hope the bride will too, especially with a cute little pageboy or flower girl to present it to her.

Having picked up my shuttle again I plan to learn some more tatting techniques but crochet is still my first love and I'll be back to blogging about hooky times again soon.

Til next time,
Hx

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A Paisley Bag

Hi folks,

I have had so many compliments on the Paisley cushion I made back in 2015 that last year I decided to use the same motif again, only this time for a bag.



Out of all the different colours I had used to make sample motifs for my cushion my Mum really liked the turquoise and yellow motif, so this time I chose those colours for the motifs worked in DK yarn. The bag was a surprise birthday gift for my Mum back in January.



I started off making 24 turquoise and yellow Paisley motifs, this time weaving in the ends as I went along to make sure I actually finished the bag in time for Mum's birthday and didn't leave the motifs lying forlornly in a bag.



The turquoise and yellow are such strong colours there weren't many shades which would go with them to fill the background so after much consideration I went with a bright red background and lining. I had to rework the motif background to create a more solid shape than on the Paisley cushion. There were a lot of rainy days while I was making these so I'm sorry the photo is so dull, the light was really bad.




I knew I wanted this bag to be a statement but didn't want the red to overpower the other colours so instead of sewing these motifs together I decided to double crochet them together with the turquoise yarn to balance out the red while the yellow gives a pop of colour in the middle.



Continuing with the blue yarn I worked the ends, base and handles also in blue. The photo shows the bag before I added the lining fabric.




The sides and base were worked in one long piece in double crochet. I started from the top of one corner on the first side of the bag, working back and forth until the base and sides reached the ideal width, then joined to the second side. I then worked in dc around the top of the bag for several rows before working a chain in the middle of each side on the next round to make a handle space. Continuing in the round, I double crocheted over the chain in the following round then finished by doing several more rounds of double crochet to complete the handles. I know Mum will be using this bag to carry books so I wanted to make it as strong as possible. I thought working these parts all in one piece would make it stronger than working a separate base and sides to sew together, and how could I resist less sewing??



Finally I added a lining in the same shade of red as the background yarn so those little odds and ends from the shops don't fall through. I was so lucky to find a fat quarter in exactly the same shade of red at Allison's shop, it's a treasure trove of goodies. I wouldn't have picked the turquoise and yellow motif myself but I like this bag so much I'm tempted to make one of my own.

Til next time,
Hx