Crochet

Stripe It Your Way Crochet For Home And Fashion

crochet for home & fashion
What a great book! “STRIPE IT YOUR WAY for Home & Fashion” is the kind of “go to” book that is so handy to have. The nine projects range from accessories like a scarf, a wrap, a shawl, a slouchy hat and a tote, to home items like a pillow, a lap robe, a bed runner and a star blanket. Whether you are crafting a treat for yourself, or a personalised gift for someone special, you are sure to find a useful idea in this book.

Stripe It Your Way Crochet For Home And FashionSo far I have finished a scarf and started on a bed runner. The instructions for both have been clear and easy to follow. The “Simple Scarf” was very enjoyable. It was definitely simple to do, and grew quickly, while still having enough pattern in it to keep it interesting. I am really happy with the end result.

Stripe It Your Way Crochet For Home And FashionThe bed runner is now also growing fairly quickly. Again, the stitches used are fairly straight forward but keep the work interesting. The yarn information in the book was very useful when I was trying to work out what I needed for this project. I couldn’t use the yarn recommended for either project so was able to use the yarn details given to work out suitable equivalents.

I have enjoyed using several new stitches in these projects. I like learning new things and the diagrams given here are very clear and easy to follow. The photographs of each of the projects throughout the book also give a really good idea of what the stitches as well as the garments/items should look like. To see photographs of the rest of the projects please follow this link to the Leisure Arts website.

I am looking forward to trying out other projects in this book and highly recommend it as a “must have” book for anyone who enjoys doing crochet.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Crochet

Toy Crochet Patterns For That Special Someone

Toy Crochet Patterns For That Special Someone
Image courtesy of Pixabay

The joy of crocheting often compels us to make all kinds of useful garments, place mats and tablecloths, in all manner of styles and in various colours. This fantastic use of yarn is however not used so much in the making of toys. There are a great deal of crochet patterns out there for a huge range of soft, cuddly bears and other outlandish characters.

Toy Crochet Patterns For That Special Someone
Image courtesy of Pixabay

If you’re on the look out for some fun toy crochet patterns, the internet provides lots to choose from. (Check out “Ravelry“.) Little teddy bears are often the preferred choice – coming in a bewildering array of styles – with or with hats and clothing; girls bears, boy bears. You can also find bears with specific occupations, so if you know someone who’s recently graduated from University, for example, you could crochet them a teddy in a graduation uniform! Police and firemen also all have lots of great crochet patterns to choose from.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even adapt one of your favourite soft toy crochet patterns to make it look like a member of your family! You should make sure it’s flattering though. Making a good likeness of someone you know is not always easy, even in the versatile medium of crochet, so it might be a good idea to create a prop that that person is normally associated with.

For example, if you’re partner is a plumber, then why not create a small plunger or spanner? If you’re not sure how to make such a prop and there are no crochet patterns detailing how to create such an item, you could perhaps visit a toy shop – those specializing in dolls house accessories are particularly good for little trinkets and props. Remember – the whole toy doesn’t need to be crocheted – so you’re not cheating if you use another material!

Often, when creating props using crochet, you’ll need to have some kind of solid interior to support the wool. This might be cardboard or plastic, but it certainly helps to create the shape of an object, as crochet itself can lack structural integrity.

Using one of the many crochet patterns out there you will be able to create any character you can think of. And if you can’t find one, why not try and adapt an existing pattern to your needs? It sometimes only takes a few changes to the face and clothing to make a likeness (a rough likeness admittedly) of someone you know.

For those with a great deal of experience this should prove to be no problem. But equally, it is important not to try something too demanding – so it’s worth checking through a few crochet patterns thoroughly, before you start.

Wherever you source your toy crochet patterns, there is a great deal of fun to be had in creating one of these fun items. A brief search on the internet reveals an exciting range of toys, for both children and adults. In these days of mass produced factory gifts, it is special indeed to receive a hand-crocheted toy from someone special. The time, energy and thought that goes into such a gift really tells someone how special they are.

Anna Stenning is an expert on crochet patterns having crocheted many a woollen item.
Cross Stitch

Getting Started With Cross Stitch, The Easy Way

Getting Started With Cross Stitch, The Easy Way
Cross stitch is a form of embroidery that’s been around for thousands of years. It involves making hundreds of tiny cross shape stitches – hence the name cross stitch – on special fabric. Once completed, these thousands of tiny stitches, form a picture or symbol.

Cross stitch can be used to make or improve on delightful wall pictures, beautiful hand embroidered clothes, dishcloths, household linens, doilies and more. These days, it’s more often used to create decorative wall hangings.

Although many people who’ve just touched on the art of cross stitch will only know of one stitch, there’s actually several other stitches that can be used. They include the Celtic, Italian, Ukrainian, long-armed, Irish and Montenegrin cross stitches. The basic pattern though will be enough for most people to achieve the design that they’re looking for so there’s really no need to learn about the rest.

The great thing about cross stitch is that it is not very hard to do, so it’s something that almost anyone can do – young and old.

So how can you get started with it? Go down to your local craft or fabric store and ask if they have any cross stitch patterns. Just start with a small one initially – you don’t want to take a couple of weeks to finish your first project. All good cross stitch patterns have instructions on how to complete it. While you’re there, make sure you get all the thread, needles and cloth that you’ll need.

When you get started, make sure you find the middle of the fabric first and allow at least three inches on each side for framing.

People will often try to tell you that you have to start in the middle, but this isn’t actually the case. While it is important that you take the time to locate the centre of the fabric before hand to avoid running out of room for your design, you don’t have to start sewing there. You can start at the bottom, top, right or left, it’s completely up to you.

An easy way to find the middle of the cloth, is to double it over one way, then double it over the other way. The place where the two creases that you’ve created in the fabric cross over will be the middle. It’s also a good idea to place a small pen mark in the centre so if it takes a few weeks to complete it, you still know where the centre is.

Once you’ve finished it, you might be wondering what to do with your piece of art. The obvious option that most people choose is to just frame them and hang them on the wall, but what if your walls are already covered in cross stitch hangings or you just want to do something different with this lot.

Don’t worry, there are heaps of different things you can still do with them. You could:

Turn them into napkins.
Join some together to make a lamp shade.
Put some on the coffee table as decorations.
Make place mats for the dining table.
Sew them in half and turn them into little purses or bags.

The possibilities are endless with what you can do with them, it’s all up to your imagination. So go away and brainstorm a list of ideas for your latest pieces of work – I’m sure you’ll come up with many more.

Discover more great cross stitch tips & cross stitch kits at Craft Boutique. Craft Boutique is one of the largest cross stitch sites on the net with stacks of free resources, plus the biggest range of cross stitch kits & accessories online.