Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Soft Spring Cowl

I bet you thought I would never get back to designing!  Well, it was a rough ride there for a time, but here I am with a sweet little cowl for you to try.  See if you like it.

As always, it FREE - and there is a Print Friendly button at the bottom of the post.  Note:  Apart from me making this, it has NOT been tested.  I wanted to get it out to you all.  So if you see any errors or have any problems, just let me know.

Enjoy!  AG :)

Soft Spring Cowl



cowl1bc.jpg


Materials:  1 x 100 gm Skeins worsted weight (aran/10ply) yarn in 1st colour; 1 x 50g skein in second colour;  6 mm (10/J) hook; yarn needle for sewing in ends
Abbreviations:  sc = single crochet; dc = double crochet; beg = beginning; rep = repeat; sp = space; sk = skip; st = stitch; sl st = slip stitch
Gauge:  Each pattern repeat:  (dc, ch1, dc) and (dc, ch1, dc) again = 2”; 3.5 rows in pattern = 2”
Sizing:  Women’s
Actual finished size of sample shown:  35” x 12”
Difficulty:  Easy/Intermediate

Pattern is written in US terms, a conversion chart is included at the end.

Pattern:

I always begin cowls with a foundation single crochet, instead of a simple chain, as this keeps the edge loose.  If you have never worked a foundation single crochet, here is a link to a tutorial by the lovely Tamara Kelly of www.mooglyblog.com:  http://www.mooglyblog.com/foundation-single-crochet-fsc/

Row 1:  With 6mm (10/J) hook, work a foundation single crochet, as stated above, for a total of 90 sts.  [*Alternatively*, chain 91, sc in the 2nd chain from the hook and to the end.]  Do not turn.  Slip stitch to the beginning sc to make a loop, being careful not to twist the work.  (90)


Row 2:  Chain 4 (counts as 1 dc and ch1); dc in the same st; (dc, ch1, dc) in the next st; skip 4 sts; *(dc, ch1, dc) in next st; (dc, ch1, dc) in next st; skip 4 sts; repeat from * to the end of the row.  Slip stitch into the 2nd chain from the hook of the beginning ch4, then slip stitch over the ch1 and on to the next dc (the 2nd in the group of 4).  (15 groups of (dc, ch1, dc; dc, ch1, dc) (90)


Row 3: Working now in the top of the dc from the previous row, ch 4, dc in the same st; (dc, ch1, dc) in the top of the next dc, skip ch1, 2 dc, ch1, so that you are always working into the middle 2 dcs of each group of 4.  *(dc, ch1, dc) into next dc; (dc, ch1, dc) into next dc.  Skip ch1, 2 dc, ch1.  Repeat from * to the end, Slip stitch to the 2nd ch of the beginning ch4, then over ch1, to the next dc.  


Rows 4-5:  Repeat Row 3 twice more.  At the end of Row 5, slip stitch to the beginning ch4 and over to the 2nd dc of the group of 4, as before, change colour on the last sl st.


Rows 6-20:  Repeat Row 3, changing colour at the ends of Rows 7, 10, 11, 14, 16.  The repeat sequence after the initial single crochet row is 4, 2, 3, 1, 3, 2, 4.


Row 21: Ch1, sc around in each dc and each ch1; sl st to beg sc; fasten off and weave in ends. (90)

©AG Handmades 2016





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Monday, 7 March 2016

Random Project 2016, Part 2

Following on from this post:

Random Project 2016




I have now moved on to Part Two!

It was always my intention with a very random set of colors to surround the multi-colored squares with one unified color, to bring them all together visually and to give an even baseline for sewing them up.  I have no idea yet how these squares will be arranged finally, but this is the next phase:


I have simply taken a few skeins of Cream colored aran weight yarn (#4, 10ply); again with my trusty 5mm (H/8) hook and surrounded them with a fourth row of granny clusters.  I think the effect is quite dramatic!

Remember, I have not put any real thought into this project.  The whole idea is something totally mindless, relaxing, and something you can pick up for a few minutes at a time, or for hours at a time, whatever suits you, using scrap balls of yarn, and make something pretty.

It symbolizes a time in my life when everything turned into chaos and heartache, and was very dark indeed.  My ability to "design" seemed to have left me for a time as I struggled with a whole gamut of emotions and life-changes.

Carole King once sang about our lives being a Tapestry.  Some of you are old enough, like me, to remember that song when it first came out!  This project is a symbol of my life over the past few months.  Beginning with an unraveled pile of seeming chaos, being picked up, one small piece at a time, and woven into, hopefully, something beautiful.  Certainly something that is helping me to recover and which will be a treasure to me in the years to come.

I hope you find a similar strength from similar projects.

Crochet doesn't have to be difficult to be pretty.

More to come soon!

AG :)

The Pattern:  



Materials required:  Any oddments/ odd skeins of aran weight yarn (#4, 10 ply); a 5mm hook (H-8); scissors, yarn needle.

Yarn can be all kinds of colors, either coordinated or not.  This can be completely random and it will still work.

Row 1:  With 5mm (h-8) hook, make a Magic Ring (alternatively, chain 4, sl st to beg chain to make a ring), Ch3 (counts as 1 dc), into the ring you made, work 2dc; ch2; continuing in the ring you made, work (3dc, ch2) 3 times, sl st to top of beg ch3.  Fasten off, weave in ends, and change colour.  (12 dc; 4 x ch2 spaces).

Row 2:  Attach yarn to any ch2 space; ch3 (counts as 1 dc); (2dc, ch2, 3dc) into same ch2 space, ch1; *(3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1*; repeat from * to * 2 more times; sl st to top of beg ch3, fasten off, weave in ends, and change colour.  (24 dc; 4 x ch2 spaces; 4 ch1 spaces).

Row 3:  Attach yarn to any ch1 space; ch3 (counts as 1 dc); 2dc into same ch2 space, ch1; (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1; *3dc into next ch1 space; ch1; (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1*;  repeat from * to * 2 more times; sl st to top of beg ch3; fasten off, weave in ends, and change colour.  (36 dc; 4 x ch2 spaces; 8 ch1 spaces).

Row 4:  Attach yarn to first ch1 space on any side; ch3 (counts as 1 dc); 2dc into same ch2 space, ch1; 3dc into next ch1 space; ch1; (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1; *(3dc into next ch1 space; ch1) twice; (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1*;  repeat from * to * 2 more times; sl st to top of beg ch3; fasten off, weave in ends.  48 dc; 4 x ch2 spaces; 12 ch1 spaces).

Now repeat from Rows 1 to 4 for all subsequent squares.

When you have enough for the size of blanket you require, start sewing them together!

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Monday, 29 February 2016

Random Project 2016

This last few months for me have been tough.  There's no other way to say it.  Tragedies and heartbreak all around, but somehow, we must pull through and walk into the future, yes?

As we face a new year ahead, I've been struggling with coming up with new designs.  My head is just not "in it" as my children would say.  So sometimes you have to retreat back to the old tried and trusted... the good old granny square!

Now I know for some of you this might be totally boring, but, for me, for now, it's keeping me going, so it may help you too and give you some inspiration.

How many of you have dozens of tiny balls of left over yarn in your stash?  I would imagine quite a few!  I have odd whole skeins, and lots of little balls which are not enough to make anything on their own, but will make the beginnings of a granny square.

And so begins ...  "Random Project 2016"

Here is a sample of what I have begun with:


This is not all the odd yarn I have in my stash; only some of it.  All different colors, large and tiny amounts.  The only rules are:  They must all be the same weight of yarn.  All these are Aran weight, or Worsted weight, #4.  They must all be made with the same size hook:  I am using a 5mm (H/8) hook.  They must all finish the first 3 rounds with a slightly darker or brighter color in preparation for the 4th round (I will complete this later).

How am I picking the colors?  Well, I know that generally, in design, I would think about it very carefully, match up the colors according to a palette, and make sure it was all matching and symmetrical and so on.  This time... completely random!  This is the fun part.  You just dip in, pick any color you want out of the pile and make a granny square.  You can make it solid, or with various colors.  I have done a little of both.  

Here's a sample of what I have completed so far:


There are solid squares in there, and different colored squares.  No planning or reasoning, just grab and go!  What I do intend to do however is to finish off all the squares with another row of one solid colour, maybe white or cream.. depending on what I fancy using at the time.  Just to bring them all together a little.  Other than that - it's totally random, totally mindless, totally relaxing!

I have NO IDEA what this finished project will look like in the end, but what I do know is this:  When I have finished my blanket, and put it all together, whether it looks great from a designer's point of view or not, I will have something to pull over me to remind myself that I fought through, I didn't give up, and out of awful tragedy came something good.

I hope this inspires you to do something similar if you are ever struggling with what life throws at you.

I will try to keep you posted as the project progresses!

AG  :)


The Pattern:  



Materials required:  Any oddments/ odd skeins of aran weight yarn (#4, 10 ply); a 5mm hook (H-8); scissors, yarn needle.

Yarn can be all kinds of colors, either coordinated or not.  This can be completely random and it will still work.

Row 1:  With 5mm (h-8) hook, make a Magic Ring (alternatively, chain 4, sl st to beg chain to make a ring), Ch3 (counts as 1 dc), into the ring you made, work 2dc; ch2; continuing in the ring you made, work (3dc, ch2) 3 times, sl st to top of beg ch3.  Fasten off, weave in ends, and change colour.  (12 dc; 4 x ch2 spaces).

Row 2:  Attach yarn to any ch2 space; ch3 (counts as 1 dc); (2dc, ch2, 3dc) into same ch2 space, ch1; *(3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1*; repeat from * to * 2 more times; sl st to top of beg ch3, fasten off, weave in ends, and change colour.  (24 dc; 4 x ch2 spaces; 4 ch1 spaces).

Row 3:  Attach yarn to any ch1 space; ch3 (counts as 1 dc); 2dc into same ch2 space, ch1; (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1; *3dc into next ch1 space; ch1; (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1*;  repeat from * to * 2 more times; sl st to top of beg ch3; fasten off, weave in ends, and change colour.  (36 dc; 4 x ch2 spaces; 8 ch1 spaces).

Row 4:  Attach yarn to first ch1 space on any side; ch3 (counts as 1 dc); 2dc into same ch2 space, ch1; 3dc into next ch1 space; ch1; (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1; *(3dc into next ch1 space; ch1) twice; (3dc, ch2, 3dc) into next ch2 space; ch1*;  repeat from * to * 2 more times; sl st to top of beg ch3; fasten off, weave in ends.  48 dc; 4 x ch2 spaces; 12 ch1 spaces).

Now repeat from Rows 1 to 4 for all subsequent squares.

When you have enough for the size of blanket you require, start sewing them together!  



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Saturday, 20 February 2016

The Sturdiest Ever Market Bag by Celina Lane of Simply Collectible

As you all know, because of personal circumstances, I've been in a bit of a "slump" lately.  I haven't had much imagination for designing, though I hope that will return very soon.

Meanwhile, frustrated with having to keep remembering to buy plastic bags at the store to carry my goods home, I decided I needed to make myself a new market bag.

Enter the wonderfully easy and functional "Sturdiest Ever Market Bag" by Celina Lane of Simply Collectible.



Now mine doesn't look as good as Celina's; mine was made in rather a hurry, and the picture isn't brilliant, but you can see what a great bag this is.

Lots of stretch, and because it's worked with two strands of cotton, it is very tough!

To make mine, I had some spare skeins of Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn that needed used up, in different colors - green and white, red white and green multi, and orange and white.  I started with the green and white, and just changed colors as the remnants of the skeins ran out, ending up with the lovely bright orange and off-white at the handles.

I LOVE this bag, and I love this pattern.

The pattern itself is sooo easy to follow!

I watched N.C.I.S. while making it, and I like to really get into the plot of that program, so you can see that the bag took very little concentration and counting.

Celina has done a great job with this pattern and I know I will be making another bag very shortly.

In fact, I already have the yarn set out to begin!

Thank you Celina for a great idea, and a great product!

Oh! The pattern also includes a free flower embellishment, though I didn't make that.

http://simplycollectiblecrochet.com/2014/03/free-pattern-easy-crochet-flower-headband/

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sturdiest-ever-market-bag---beach-tote

https://www.facebook.com/SimplyCollectibleCrochetDesignsandPatterns/?pnref=lhc

Give it a try - I know you will love it!

AG :)

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Slouchy Hats – 12 Free Crochet Patterns



Slouchy hats are not only easy to crochet, but they are also stylish and cozy to wear in the cold winter weather. There are many styles of slouch hats and thus can be worn in many ways with both long and short hair. You can pull them down over the forehead for extra warmth, or position them at the hairline for a nice hip look.

And because they slouch, many styles will fit nicely over a ponytail.

In this collection of slouch hats you'll see some beautiful styles, so hopefully there will be something here for everyone's fashion style.

This roundup is compiled by Rhelena from Crochet PatternBonanza – a free crochet pattern directory.

1.) Clara Slouchy Hat andNeckwarmer by AG Handmades

This slouch has a gorgeous texture of ribs and puff stitches. It’s shown here in a material with wool, but can be crocheted in any worsted weight yarn.

It's designed to fit the average women, and also comes with a matching neckwarmer pattern.

2.) "Knit-Look"Bulky Slouch by A Crocheted Simplicity Designs

This slouch looks like it's knit, but really it's crocheted. It's all in where you insert your hook. The hat pattern is available in all sizes from toddler and up.

3.) On Fire Slouch Beanie by MNE Crafts
This slouch displays a pretty texture, and has a nice ribbed edge to help keep it in place. It's crocheted in a DK weight yarn, which takes a bit longer to crochet with, but it's totally worth the elegant fabric you get.

4.)  Berry Patch Slouchie by Kim Guzman of CrochetKim

I love the beautiful textures created by the popcorn stitch. It's a gorgeous style suitable for teens and adults.

5.) Ice Blue Slouch by AG Handmades

Crochet this slouch in an evening and wear it the next day. It's quick, it's easy, and a great compliment to the rest of your winter outfit. I love the blue, but I can picture this in a snowy white as well.

6.) Pretty Cluster StitchSlouch Hat by Oombawka Design

This slouch is available in all sizes from toddler to adult. It features a gorgeous stitch pattern and a drape to suit women of all ages.

7.) Lovely Lady Slouchy Hat by Stitch11

Wear this lovely slouch with anything and everything you have in your closet. The simple lace goes well in the drape of the hat. It's shown in a casual color, but try it in a black or white for a whole new look.

8.) Round Slouchy Hat by Cream Of The Crop Crochet

This size is given to fit a teen and adult. It features a simple stitch pattern and an elegant drape and texture. You will need to be familiar with making post stitches in order to crochet this.

9.) Accidental Spiral Slouch by AG Handmades

The gorgeous textures in this hat came about by accident – a good kind of accident, as you can see. The pattern is accompanied by a few photos showing you how to crochet the beautiful stitch.

10.) Hypnotic Heart SlouchHat by My Hobby is Crochet

This slouch hat is not only cozy, but it's fun and stylish as well. The pattern resembles tiny hearts that are worked into the fabric with a simple stitch and by switching up your yarn colors. It's great for Valentine's, Christmas or any day cool day of the year!

11.) The Snowdrift SlouchHat by Little Monkeys Crochet

As you can see, this gorgeous hat features a nice texture due to the slight bump in the stitch pattern that's used. The hat is designed to fit teens and adult women.

12.)  Pretty Simple Slouch by CrochetN'Crafts

This slouch hat is worked in a tube, so you can actually make this as long or as short as you like. It's got a lovely drape and suitable for all heads and hair types. And it fits nicely over a ponytail!

Thank you so much for reading! And if you enjoyed these free crochet patterns you might also enjoy a visit to Crochet Pattern Bonanza for more free Women's Hats Crochet Patterns.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Rhiannon Boot Cuffs

dk grn cuffsbc.jpg


coffee boots cuffsbc.jpg   light grn cuffs 2bcccc.jpg


Difficulty:  Intermediate


Materials:  5mm (H/8) crochet hook; 100g (200 yards) Worsted Weight Yarn #4  ~ Suggested Yarns include Vanna’s Choice or Stylecraft Special Aran.

Gauge: 11 sts to 4" with 5mm (H/8) hook working hdc; 8 rows in main body pattern: [(sc, hdc), sk1] = 4" with 5mm (H/8) hook.


To fit: Calf Sizes:


Extra Small (XS):      10-12”
Small (S):                  12-14”
Medium (M):              14-16”
Large (L):                   16-18”


Pattern Notes:


  • Beginning chain/s on each row do not count unless specifically told that they do. They are merely to obtain height and a smooth transition between rows.


  • Pattern is written in US terms; a conversion chart is included at the end.


  • This pattern requires the knowledge of working a foundation half double crochet and also front post half double crochet.


Abbreviations:  sc = single crochet; hdc = half double crochet; dc = double crochet; fhdc = foundation half double crochet; fphdc = front post half double crochet; st/s = stitch/es; rep = repeat; beg = beginning; sk = skip


Instructions:


All sizes:


Row 1:  With 5 mm hook (H/8), make a fhdc of 30 (34, 38, 42).  Join to beg fhdc, being careful to not twist.  


Row 2:  Ch 1; *hdc in next st, fphdc in next st*, rep from * to * to end; sl st to beg hdc.  


Row 3:  Ch 1, hdc in same st; fphdc in next st; *hdc in next st; fphdc in next st;*  rep from * to * to end, sl st to beg hdc.


Rows 4-8:  Repeat Row 3.


Row 9:  Ch 2, (1 sc, 1 dc) into the same st as beg ch2, sk 1 st; *(sc, dc) into next sc, sk next st*; rep from * to * to end; sl st to beg sc.


Sizes XS, S, and M:  Rows 10 -14: Repeat Row 9


Size L:  Rows 10-15:  Repeat Row 9


All sizes:


Next Row:  Ch 1, sc in same st and every stitch around.  (30, 34, 38, 42)


Next Row:  Ch 3, 3 dc in same st; *skip 3 sts; 5 dc in next st*; rep from * to * to last 2 sts; skip to the space in which you worked the beginning Ch 3 and 3 dc at the start of this row; 2 dc into that same space to complete the cluster; sl st to beg dc (not the ch 3) to draw it all together neatly.


Fasten off and weave in ends.


Sew on a pretty button if you wish.


©AG Handmades 2015


us to uk terms.jpg




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Saturday, 14 November 2015

Kids' Chunky Fingerless Gloves

 


Materials:  50g Chunky/Bulky (#5) yarn; 6 mm, 5 mm crochet hooks; yarn needle.  Sample was made using Robin “Paintbox” Chunky.


Gauge:  10 hdc and 11 rows hdc to 4” square


Finished size:   1-2 years:  4.5” Length; 5” Circumference
2-4 years:  5.5” Length; 6” Circumference
5-10 years  6.5” Length; 6.5” Circumference


Difficulty: Easy


Abbreviations:  sc = single crochet; hdc = half double crochet; fphdc = front post half double crochet; fhdc = foundation half double crochet; st/s = stitch/es; sl st = slip stitch; beg = beginning; rep = repeat


Pattern Notes:  When working the main body of the gloves (the hdc rows), work into the spaces between the stitches, not into the tops of the stitches themselves.


Pattern is written in US terms; a conversion chart is included at the end.



Instructions:



1-2 years:


Row 1:  with 6 mm hook, make 13 fhdc. (or chain 15, sc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc to end) (13 hdc)  Turn.  (Leave a tail for sewing up the cuff later).


Row 2:  Ch 2 (counts as 1 hdc), fphdc in next st; *hdc in next st; fphdc in next st; rep from * to end.  (13)


Do not turn, continue working now in the 1st st of Row 2, forming a ring for the cuff. Continue working the rest of the glove in a spiral.


Row 3 - 6:  Using a 5 mm hook, hdc in every st around, placing a marker at the 1st st of each row to keep your place.  (13 sts per row).


Row 7:  Hdc in the next 9 sts, 2 hdc in the next 2 sts, hdc to end (15 hdc)


Row 8:  Hdc in the next 10 sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, hdc to end (17)


Row 9:  Hdc in every stitch around.  (17)


Row 10:  Hdc in the next 11 sts, skip the next 4 sts, hdc to end.  (13)


Row 11:  Hdc 11, hdc into thumb space, hdc in next st.  (13)


Row 12:  Hdc in next 13 sts; Sc in next 2 sts, sl st in next st; fasten off, weave in ends, and sew up the remaining gap in the cuff.


toddler chunky mitts 1-2 years.jpg





2-4 years:


Row 1:  with 6 mm hook, make 15 fhdc. (or chain 17, sc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc to end) (15 hdc)  Turn.  (Leave a tail for sewing up the cuff later).


Row 2:  Ch2 (counts as 1 hdc), fphdc in next st; *hdc in next st; fphdc in next st; rep from * to end.  (15)


Do not turn, continue working now in the 1st st of Row 2, forming a ring for the cuff, and beginning as follows:


Row 3:  hdc in next st (1st st of row 2), fphdc in next st, *hdc in next st; fphdc in next st; rep from * to end.  (15)


Continue working the rest of the glove in a spiral.


Rows 4 - 7: Using a 5 mm hook, hdc in every st around, placing a marker at the 1st st of each row to keep your place.  (15 sts per row).


Row 8:  Hdc in the next 10 sts, 2 hdc in the next 2 sts, hdc to end (17 hdc)


Row 9:  Hdc in the next 11sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, hdc to end (19)


Row 10:  Hdc in every stitch around.  (19)


Row 11:  Hdc in the next 13 sts, skip the next 4 sts, hdc to end.  (15)


Row 12:  Hdc 13, hdc into thumb space, hdc in next st.  (15)


Row 13:  Hdc in every st around.  (15)


Row 14:  Hdc in next 13 sts, sc in next 2 sts, sl st in next st; fasten off, weave in ends, and sew up the remaining gap in the cuff.

toddler chunky mitts 2-4 years.jpg


5-10 Years


Row 1:  with 6 mm hook, make 17 fhdc. (or chain 19, sc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc to end) (17 hdc)  Turn.  (Leave a tail for sewing up the cuff later).


Row 2:  Ch2 (counts as 1 hdc), fphdc in next st; *hdc in next st; fphdc in next st; rep from * to end.  (17)
Do not turn, continue working now in the 1st st of Row 2, forming a ring for the cuff, and beginning as follows:


Row 3:  hdc in next st (1st st of row 2), fphdc in next st, *hdc in next st; fphdc in next st; rep from * to end.  (17)


Continue working the rest of the glove in a spiral.


Rows 4 - 9: Using a 5 mm hook, hdc in every st around, placing a marker at the 1st st of each row to keep your place.  (17 sts per row).


Row 10:  Hdc in the next 12 sts, 2 hdc in the next 2 sts, hdc to end (19 hdc)


Row 11:  hdc in next and every stitch around (19 hdc)


Row 12:  Hdc in the next 13 sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, hdc to end (21)


Row 13:  Hdc in every stitch around.  (21)


Row 14:  Hdc in the next 14 sts, skip the next 4 sts, hdc to end.  (17)


Row 15:  Hdc 14, hdc into thumb space, hdc in next st.  (17)


Row 16 - 17:  Hdc in every st around.  (17)


Row 18:  Hdc in next 13 sts, sc in next 2 sts, sl st in next st; fasten off, weave in ends, and sew up the remaining gap in the cuff.

chunky f-less mitts 5-10 years.jpg


©AG Handmades 2015



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