Category Archives: Crochet

How to: Crochet a perfectly straight granny square

How to Crochet a perfectly straight granny square

Have you ever crocheted a granny square and found that it looks skewed or wonky, like its being dragged to one side? If so I have a few tips for you on how to crochet a perfectly straight granny square.

My golden rule to avoid the wonky granny square is……

“Flip your work on every round”

Cottage Garden Granny

What does this mean? Basically after finishing every round of crochet, rather than starting another round where you’ve finished, you flip your crochet over and start hooking the next round on the “wrong side”.

If you think about it if you add round, after round on the “right side” you are always crocheting in the same direction which helps create that skewed granny square look. If you use the flip method you will essentially crochet in opposite directions on each rounds which corrects any skewing!

If you don’t believe me look at these samples:

Crochet granny square examples

I have a few other tips which I use when hooking up my granny squares:

1. Do two chains (rather than three) in your corners

2. Start each round on a different side, so you aren’t joining the yarn in the same place on each round.

3. Never start a new round in a corner, always start your rounds on a side.

4. Don’t chain stitch between your clusters (tr uk or dc US), except on the corners see no.1

Cottage Garden Yarn Pack

I am currently in the middle of hooking up a giant granny square blanket, thats where you make a granny square and you keep adding rounds so it spreads out into a square blanket. The beauty of the giant granny square is you keep adding rounds until it reaches your desired size, or you become fed up, whichever comes first! I’m thoroughly enjoying seeing my granny growing on each round.

Cottage Garden Granny Square

Cottage Garden Granny

I’m using Stylecraft Special DK in 10 colours: Cream, Fondant, Pomegranate, Candyfloss, Wisteria, Sage, Storm, Meadow, Sherbet and Citron. If you fancy hooking along I have popped a yarn pack together here

Cottage Garden Yarn Pack

I will keep you posted on my progress!

Happy hooking!

Kate signature

Frida’s Flower Crochet Along

Fridas Flowers Blanket 3

Stylecraft are back with a brand new Crochet Along for 2016, Frida’s Flowers!

Designed by Jane Crowfoot Frida’s Flowers Blanket is a stunning rich floral blanket inspired by Mexican Folk Art and the colourful dresses worn by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Fridas Flowers Blanket 2

The yarn packs for this gorgeous blanket go on sale on Friday 11th March and the first part of the Crochet Along is released on Tuesday 5th April over on the Stylecraft website with patterns released fortnightly over the following four months.

The blanket can be crocheted in Stylecraft Classique Cotton or Stylecraft Special DK, since Stylecraft Special DK is hands down the most popular yarn we stock we have put together a complete yarn pack in Special DK for our customers which you can find here

Fridas Flowers Blanket 4

If you already have some Special DK in your stash the yarn required for the Crochet Along is as follows:

3 x Black
2 x Plum or Fuchsia Purple
2 x Petrol
1 x Lipstick
1 x Cream
1 x Shrimp
1 x Saffron
1 x Meadow
1 x Teal
1 x Magenta
1 x Turquoise
1 x Copper

The Frida’s Flowers Crochet Along is aimed at those looking to improve their skills rather than complete beginners.

Fridas Flowers Blanket

So if you fancy hooking along with the Fridas’s Flowers Crochet Along starting on 5th April  be sure to head over to the website to get your Stylecraft Special DK yarn pack here

Happy Hooking!

Kate signature

Homemakery How To: Earring Hoopla

Earring Hoopla

If you caught my tutorial on how to crochet around an embroidery hoop you will recall I promised to share what I did with my completed hoop. Well I turned it into what I’m calling an Earring Hoopla! Its an idea that has been on my mind as a way to display my some of my prettiest earrings for some time! In total this project probably took me two hours to complete so perfect if you have a quick gift to make!

Ingredients

Yarn – Rico Essentials Cotton DK in Candy Pink (12)
4mm Crochet Hook
Embroidery Hoop – 7 inch
Fabric –  Petal Taupe French Dots by Tanya Whelan
Crochet Lace Trim
Ribbon
Glue
Felt (optional)

Earring Hoopla ingredients

Instructions

1. Crochet around your embroidery hoop following our tutorial here

Crochet around an Embroidery Hoop

2. Cut a piece of fabric to fit your hoop and arrange your scalloped crochet lace across the hoop taking consideration of how long your earrings are. On a 7 inch hoop my first scallop trim was 2 inch down and the second line of trim was 2 1/4 inch from the bottom of the scallop trim above. Pin your scallop trim in place.

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3. Sew your crochet lace down using your sewing machine.

P1018953

4. If you intend to cover the back of your frame trace around the inside of the inner hoop onto a piece of felt. Cut out your felt and keep to one side.

5. Put your fabric back into your hoop and tighten your hoop ensuring the crochet lace trim is straight. Cut the fabric off so you have about an inch remaining around the edge. Glue the fabric to the inside of the hoop.

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If you cut out your felt piece, place it in the back of the hoop to cover the fabric. It may need gluing down, mine didn’t.

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6. Add some ribbon to the top of your hoop for hanging and your earring hoopla is finished, just add earrings!!

hoop & earrings

Earring Hoopla

Happy Crafting!

Kate signature

Homemakery How To: Crochet Around An Embroidery Hoop

How to crochet an embroidery hoop

I confess I have a little bit of a love affair with HoopLa! For those of you not sure what I’m on about Hoopla is quite simply using humble Embroidery Hoops to frame stitching, sewing or other crafty endeavours. What goes inside the hoop is just as important as prettifying the hoop  itself so today I’ve done a quick How To on Crocheting around an embroidery hoop. It looks amazing when its done and its quick project that only takes a couple of hours.

Ingredients

Yarn – I used Rico Essentials Cotton DK in Candy Pink (12)
4mm Crochet Hook
Embroidery Hoop – 7 inch

Instructions

All Crochet Stitches are UK. If you are new to Crochet I have linked each stitch to a handy diagram over on Learn to Knit

1. Create a slip knot on your crochet hook and slip stitch onto the hoop.

Slip Stitch onto Hoop

2. Double Crochet (DC) into the hoop. To do this put your hook into the hoop, hook the yarn through (from the back to the front). You will now have two strands of yarn on your hook. Yarn over the hook and pull through both strands of yarn. Thats your first DC completed.

Double Crochet onto Hoop

3. DC all around the hoop until the yarn covers the hoop completely.

4. At the end of the hoop turn your hoop around, Chain (CH) 3 and then Treble Crochet (TR) into every other DC in the row below. Note: I did experiment TR into every DC but found that as I had so many DC it created a ripple effect which I didn’t like. Depending on the yarn you are using you might want to TR into each DC rather than every other.

Treble Crochet in every other DC

5. Once you have TR all around the hoop join the last TR to the first CH3 with a slip stitch.

6. To create the scallops skip 1 stitch then TR7, skip 1 stitch and DC. Repeat. Note: if on the previous row you TR into every DC you might want to skip 2 stitches, then TR7, skip 2 stitches and DC.

Slip stitch & scallop

7. When you get to your last couple of scallops its worth double checking the number of stitches left in case a little fudging on your scallops is required. I got lucky with this one and it worked out perfectly!

Crochet around an Embroidery Hoop

Scallop trim on embroidery hoop

And thats how you crochet around an embroidery hoop!

A note on yarn

I used Rico Essentials Cotton DK yarn which is a mercerised yarn. The mercerisation process binds the fibres, strengthening the yarn and gives it a gentle sheen which reminds me of the sheen you get on embroidery thread. Owing to the mercerisation process the yarn is very smooth and the fibres stay together making it perfect for crocheting around an embroidery hoop. Normal cotton or acrylic yarn will give a slightly different effect as there is more give in the fibres and you probably wont have to do quite so many DC on the first round!

I will be back soon to show you what I did with my finished hoop!

Happy Hooking!

Kate signature