Friday, 9 October 2015

Wee bunny rabbit pattern





Notes and abbreviations
 

This pattern is written in UK terms.  But as there is only really one stitch in the pattern, simply substitute 'dc' for 'sc' wherever you see it to switch to US terms and you'll be on your way!

ch chain
s.s slip stitch
dc double crochet (US single crochet)
2dc 2 double crochet in the same stitch (dc increase)
dc2tog double crochet 2 sts together (dc decrease). Insert hook into first dc and pull up a loop, then insert hook into second dc and pull up a loop, yarn round hook and pull through both sets of loops. 
st/ sts stitch/ stiches
dc3tog double crochet 3 sts together (another type of dc decrease). Insert hook into first dc and pull up a loop, then insert hook into second dc and pull up a loop. Lastly insert hook into third st and pull up a loop, yarn round hook and pull through all loops on hook.

This pattern uses the magic/ adjustable loop method to start, which ensures a tight hole that can be closed securely. After each Row 1 use the yarn end to tighten and secure the loop, closing the hole.


To make this cute little guy you will need:

•Around 35g of cotton DK yarn in a colour of your choice. I used Rico Baby Cotton Soft (colour ‘Silver’) because it is so beautifully soft.
•3mm crochet hook (or size to match your chosen yarn)
•Small amount of pale pink yarn for the nose and tail (or a colour of your choice!)
•One pair of safety eyes (I used 6mm here)
•Toy stuffing
•A wool darning needle


NB: You can use any yarn for this pattern, a thicker yarn will result in a bigger bunny :) 






Head

Row 1: 
In a magic ring, crochet 6dc and do not join with a slip stitch; work in a spiral from now on, placing a marker at the start of each round.
Row 2: 2dc in each dc around (12sts).
Row 3:
(2dc in the first st, 1dc in the next st) around, (18 sts).
Row 4:
(2dc in first st, 1dc in each of the following 2 sts) around (24 sts)
Row 5:
(2dc in first st, 1dc in each of the following 3 sts) around (30 sts)
Row 6-10:
work straight (1dc in each dc around) (30 sts)
Row 7:
(dc2tog in the first st, 1dc in each of the following 3 dc) around (24 sts)
Row 8:
(dc2tog in the first st, 1dc in each of the following 2 dc) around (18 sts)
Row 9:
(dc2tog in the first st, 1dc in next st) around (12 sts)


 

*Now stop to place the eyes and embroider the mouth*. 





I placed mine in the gap between rows 6 and 7, with 3 stitches between them.
Mouth embroidery- I used one vertical stitch with two horizontal stitches (like a T shape).  Stuff the head and continue.  






Row 10: 2dc in each dc around (6 sts). Fasten off leaving a long tail.
Thread the yarn through the remaining 6 sts and pull tight to close the hole. Secure and fasten off.





Ears (make 2)



Row 1:
In a magic ring, crochet 6 dc. (6 sts)
Row 2: 
2dc in each st around (6sts)

Work straight for 18 rows. Fold flat and s.s across the bottom edge to close, as shown in the photograph. Fold the ends together and slip stitch through both end sts to give the ear it’s distinctive shape (see photo below). Fasten off.





 





 
*At this point I attach the ears to the head…. Just because it is too cute to resist! *






Body 
 

We will be shaping the body here to give your bunny a nice fat tummy.

Row 1:  In a magic ring, crochet 6dc (6 sts)
Row 2: 2dc in each dc around (12sts)
Row 3: (2dc in the first st, 1dc in the next st) around, (18 sts)
Row 4: (2dc in first st, 1dc in each of the following 2 sts) around (24 sts)
Row 5-8: Work straight (1dc in each dc around)
Row 9: (2dc in first st, 1dc in each of the following 3 sts) around (30 sts)
Row 10: (2dc in first st, 1dc in each of the following 4 sts) around (36 sts)
Row 11-14: Work straight (1dc in each dc around) (36 sts)
Row 15: (dc2tog, dc in each of the next 4 sts) around (30 sts)
Row 16: (dc2tog, dc in each of the next 3 sts) around (24 sts)
Row 17: (dc2tog in the first st, 1dc in each of the following 2 dc) around (18 sts)
Row 18: (dc2tog in the first st, 1dc in next st) around (12 sts)

*Stuff body firmly*


Row 19: (dc2 tog) around and fasten off leaving a long tail (6sts)

Thread the yarn through the remaining 6 sts and pull tight to close the hole (as for head). Secure and fasten off. Stitch the head to the body. 


 




Tail

Row 1: (Using  same yarn as the nose) In a magic ring, crochet 3 dc (3 sts)
Row 2: (2dc in each dc) around (6 sts)
Row 3: (2dc in first st, 1dc in next st) around (9 sts).
Row 4: Work one row straight (9 sts)
Row 5: (dc2tog, dc in next st) around and fasten off (6sts). 

 
Stuff the tail and sew onto the base of the body at the back, ensuring it’s in the centre.  




Arms (make 2)

Arms are worked from the hands (paws!) up. 

Row1: In a magic ring, crochet 6dc (6 sts)
Row 2: (2dc in each st around (12 sts).
Row 3:Work one row straight (12 sts)
Row 4: (dc2tog in each st) around (6sts) 
Rows 5-10: Work straight (6sts).

Fasten off and stuff lightly (you may have to push the stuffing in with the flat end of a pencil or similar). Alternatively, your arms might sit well with no stuffing at all. Stitch arms onto the body.


Legs (make 2)
 
Legs are worked from the feet up.

Row 1: In a magic ring, crochet 6 dc (6 sts)
Row 2: 2dc in each dc around (12sts).
Row 3: (2dc in the first st, 1dc in the next st) around, (18 sts). Join to first dc with a slip stitch and ch1 (does not count as a stitch)
Row 4: Working in the back loops only, dc in each sr around (18 sts). Join with a slip stitch to first back loop dc in round (skipping the ch1)
Row 5-6: Working in a spiral again and through both loops of the stitch, work 2 rows straight. (18 sts)
Row 7: (dc2tog, dc in next dc) 5 times, dc3tog to finish round (11 sts)
Row 8- 13: work straight (11 sts)


 
Stuff the foot only. Turn so that the foot is pointing upwards as shown in the photograph.

Fold the leg flat and dc across the top to close. Ch1 and turn. (5 dc).

You will now work flat using a turning ch each time which does not count as a stitch.



 

Row 14: dc in each dc across, ch1 and turn.
Row 15: dc in each dc across.  Fasten off.



 

Stitch legs to the base of your rabbit as shown, ensuring that the toes are pointing upwards.





 


Finishing Touches

Tidy away all ends by working them in with the darning needle. Then sit back and enjoy your little guy!








A little note:

I have spent time and energy developing this pattern to share with you for free. Please do not claim it as your own or sell it for money. I am happy for you to sell finished items made from the pattern, but please credit me, littleschoolofwool, with designing it and link back to my blog or FB page. It would be smashing if you could add me to your queue or library in Ravelry or leave me a comment. Happy hooking! 








Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The name's Cake.... Cupcake



 Many moons ago I promised you a simple cupcake pattern. Well... here he is! 




Notes and abbreviations

This pattern is written in UK terms.  But as there is only really one stitch in the pattern, simply substitute 'dc' for 'sc' to switch to US terms and you'll be on your way!

ch chain
s.s slip stitch
dc double crochet (US single crochet)
htc half treble crochet (US hdc)
2dc 2 double crochet in the same stitch (dc increase)
dc2tog double crochet 2 sts together (dc decrease). Insert hook into first dc and pull up a loop, then insert hook into second dc and pull up a loop, yarn round hook and pull through both sets of loops. 
st/ sts stitch/ stiches

This pattern uses the magic/ adjustable loop method to start, which ensures a tight hole that can be closed securely. If you're not sure how to do a magic loop you can find a good video tutorial here.

In this pattern you begin each round by chaining 1, which does not count as a stitch.  At the end of the round, you skip over this ch1 and s.s into the first proper st of the round.This method gives a more regular shape and size than the continuous spiral technique.

The pattern is worked in two pieces: the base and the lid. If you wish to add a smiley face to your cupcake base then do this before you join the two parts together.  




Base


Using a cakey colour (or white if you want your cupcake to be in a case)...

1.  In a magic ring, crochet 6dc and join with a s.s (6sts).

2. Ch1, 2dc in each dc around, skip ch1 and join to first dc with a s.s  (12sts).

3. Ch1, (2dc in the first st, 1dc in the next st) around, skip ch1 and join to first dc with a s.s (18 sts). 

4. Ch1, (2dc in the first st, 1dc in each of the following 2 sts) around, skip ch1 and join to first dc with a s.s  (24 sts).

5. Ch 1, (2dc in the first st, 1dc in each of the following 3 sts) around, skip ch1 and join to first dc with a s.s  (30sts).

6. Now work one row straight (ch1,1dc in each dc around, skip ch1 and join with s.s), double crocheting through the back loops only. This gives the base a nice flat bottom. 

7. Now, working through both loops as normal, work straight (ch1, 1dc in each dc around, skip ch1 and join with s.s) for as many rows as you choose. This will depend on how deep you like your cupcake base to be. I ususally work straight for 6 rows. When you are finished, fasten off and work the yarn ends in. 

*If you want to add a face to your cupcake then this is the time to do it.* 





Lid (iced part) 


Choose a colour for your icing (or you can work in stripes- yum!) Follow steps 1-5 until you have 30sts. Then work 2 row straight. This forms the top of your cupcake. 

In your final round you are going to add some frilly bits around the edge of your cupcake top.

Final round: Ch1. (1dc, 1htc, 1dc in first st, sl.st in the following two stitches) around, s.s to join. Fasten off, leaving a long tail of yarn for stitching the pieces together. 










Cherry


1.3dc in a magic ring (3sts).

2. 2dc in each st around (6sts).

3. (2dc in first st, 1dc in next st) around (9 sts).

4.Work one row straight.

5. Decrease row- (dc2tog, dc in next st) around (6sts). Stuff with a little red yarn.

6. (dc2tog) around (3sts). Fasten off and join to lid. 



Stuff base and start to join the lid, when it is almost joined stuff some stuffing into the lid too and seal.

Smile at your cupcake and watch him smile back :) (But do not talk to him because this is viewed as being a little crazy). 







Sunday, 7 September 2014

Teacake Pattern



Shiny foil. Crispy chocolate. Squishy marshmallow. Crumbly biscuit. Teacakes. So good I had to crochet one. PDF can be downloaded from Ravelry here.



If you are also a lover of the great Scottish teacake, then you have come to the right place!


Ingredients:  

 



To make this shiny, crispy, squishy, crumbly, crochet teacake you will need the following:


 



    • A small amount of silvery yarn - I use Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton DK as it has a silver thread through it which makes it look metallic like shiny foil
    • A small amount of red metallic thread (I use Twilley's GoldFingering held double)
    • A large wool darning needle
    • A crochet hook, size 3.25mm is good
    • A small amount of corrugated cardboard- I raid the cat food boxes
    • A mug of hot tea (hopefully fuller than this one!) and a chocolate tea cake for inspiration and sustenance
    • A wee bit of stuffing

       Notes and abbreviations

      This pattern is written in UK terms.  But as there is only really one stitch in the pattern, simply substitute 'dc' for 'sc' to switch to US terms and you'll be on your way!

      ch chain
      s.s slip stitch
      dc double crochet (US single crochet)
      2dc 2 double crochet in the same stitch (dc increase)
      dc2tog double crochet 2 sts together (dc decrease). Insert hook into first dc and pull up a loop, then insert hook into second dc and pull up a loop, yarn round hook and pull through both sets of loops.
      st/ sts stitch/ stiches
       


      This pattern uses the magic/ adjustable loop method to start, which ensures a tight hole that can be closed securely. If you're not sure how to do a magic loop you can find a good video tutorial here.

      In this pattern you begin each round by chaining 1, which does not count as a stitch.  At the end of the round, you skip over this ch1 and s.s into the first proper st of the round.This method gives a more regular shape and size than the continuous spiral technique.

      The pattern is worked in two pieces: the base and the dome. The dome is embroidered before the two parts are seamed together and stuffed. 


       

      Instructions 

       

      Base

      1. Make an adjustable loop and dc 6 stitches into the loop. S.s into first stitch to join and pull tight. (6 sts)






      2. Ch1. 2dc in the following st and each st around, skip the ch1 and s.s into the first st to join. (12 sts).


      3. Ch1. (2dc in next st, 1dc in next st) around, skip the ch1 and s.s into the first st to join. (18 sts).


      4. Ch1. (2dc in next st, 1dc in each of the next 2 sts) around,skip the ch1 and s.s into the first st to join.   (24 sts).


      5. Ch1. (2dc in next st, 1dc each of the next 3 sts) around, skip the ch1 and s.s into the first st to join.  (30 sts). 






      This completes the base- fasten off and set aside.


      Dome

      Round 1-5: As above for base. 


      6. Ch1.1dc in each st around (referred to as "working straight"), skip the ch1 and s.s into the first st to join.  (30 sts). 

      7. Decrease row- Ch1. (dc2tog, 1dc in each of the following 3 sts) around,
      skip the ch1 and s.s into the first st to join (24 sts). 






      8. Work straight for 4 more rows (ch1 and 1dc in each dc of the previous round, finishing by skipping the ch1 and s.stitching into first stitch of the round). This forms the walls of the dome.

      You should have 11 rows on the domed piece. Fasten off.


       

      Embroidering the dome 


      Use the placing of the rows to help you place your stitching- these provide a framework to help keep your embroidery even. 


      1. Start with the central star. 









      2. Then, using the crocheted rounds to guide you, add two circles (see below). 





      3. Then add some vertical lines up the sides of the dome. On a real teacake the foil is all scrunchy here so your lines should be a bit wonky and imperfect if you want it to look as realistic as possible. 










      Assembly/ shaping

       

      1. Cut a circle from stiff card- it should be slightly smaller than the diameter of your base. (Use the base as a template). 




      2. Assemble your teacake by stuffing the top dome, holding the cardboard in place and sandwiching it closed with the base. Secure the base by stitching it in place. 



       3. Give your teacake it's distinctive shape by running a line of stitches around the circumference, perpendicular to the red stitched lines (see below). 


       
      Pull on both ends of this string to tighten, this pulls the sides in to give it a proper, teacakey shape. Tie a knot and weave in the ends. 
       








      And there you have it- a crochet teacake to parade around, pretend to eat, give as a gift, use as a pin cushion, and generally enjoy without gaining a single inch on your waistline. What's not to love? 







      A little note:

      I have spent time and energy developing this pattern to share with you for free. Please do not claim it as your own or sell it for money. I am happy for you to sell finished items made from the pattern, but please credit me, littleschoolofwool, with designing it and link back to my blog. Happy hooking!
















      Sunday, 17 August 2014

      Charity begins at home

         

      Charity- helping others or helping yourself? I think it's a bit of both. 


      Knitting and crochet saved me from going mad in the early days of my illness, when it was one of the only things I could do whilst lying in bed feeling so poorly. As well as helping with brain fog, poor co-ordination and muscle weakness symptoms, knitting and crochet have helped me to tackle the isolation that can arise from being house bound. Knitting and crochet have helped to get me 'out there' into the outside world in a unique and fun way. Through joining online craft groups and making online friends I have become involved in some wonderful projects which have enabled me to feel like part of something bigger and to feel like I am contributing to the outside world in some small but meaningful way. 


       

        It started with a mouse....

      ... or to be precise.... a whole mile of them!

       



      One day whilst browsing my Facebook news feed I happened upon a page called 'Mile of Mice'. It turned out to be a wild and ambitious project aimed at creating an entire mile of knitted mice, laid out nose to tail, to raise money for Alzheimer's research. 

       

       

      The instructions were simple- follow a basic knitting pattern and send completed mice to Libby Swindells, organiser of the event (pictured above in the centre, covered in mice!) However, what the knitters did with their mice was far from simple. There were football teams of mice, ballerina mice, a tardis and dalek mouse, bumble bee and ladybird mice and my personal favourite.... Danger Mouse!

       

      The project raised £10,543 for Altzheimer's Research, but it did a lot more besides. Knitters and knitting groups across the country contributed including my grannie, 88 at the time, my mum and I. It was a lovely activity for the three of us to do together, especially as my grannie had not knitted in over 30 years!

       

       

        Blankets for Rescue Dogs

       

      Next came an idea from the lovely Rachel, a friend met through an online support group for people with M.E.  A massive dog lover, Rachel started a Facebook group called "Blankets for Rescue Dogs" (it wasn't too tricky to guess at the purpose of this group!) I crocheted my first ever blanket whilst thinking of the dog who would use it and what their story might be. I hoped they would be comfortable and warm using my blanket.... it was made from pink sparkly yarn so if nothing else the lucky dog would be glamorous!

       

       

        If you go down to the (Woollen) Woods today..

      ..you're sure of a BIG surprise (or at least lots of little ones!) 

       

       

       

       



       

       

      This one was not for charity as such, but was a lovely way for me to get together (virtually of course!) with some of the lovely girls in the Chronic Creatives Facebook group. This group was created by and for people with long-term chronic illnesses as a way of sharing skills and spreading crafty joy. A few of the members had contributed to the Woollen Woods in previous years and suggested the group did so again. So….. contribute we did….. but…. Being ill as we are…. We decided to create a long garland with each person contributing only as many flowers as they could manage to make. What a beautiful idea it was, and it turned out to be very special. 



      My little lovelies ready to send to Amy



      The garland after CC member Amy joined it all together

       

       

       This was for the 2014 exhibition but lots of last years have been rehung, the beauty of wool!  You'll find details of the Woollen Woods sites on their website.

      If you would like to see more of the contributions then Clare has written an excellent summary with lots of lovely photos on her blog: The Summerhouse by the Sea. 

       

       

      Poppies, poppies, everywhere!

       

      Following this I became involved in the work of the ‘Creative Moments’ group, led by artist Phillipa England and centred around commemorating the centenary of the beginning of WW1. 

       

       
       
      A glimpse of the finished installation

       

       

       I ‘met’ Phillipa on Facebook quite by accident, although those who believe in a higher power would call it fate. A beautiful picture appeared in my news feed, which Phillipa had drawn as part of a ‘28 drawings later’ challenge. I felt very drawn to it and contacted her to ask if I could buy it… about a week later it was in my home being admired, ready to be framed and popped on the wall. There was just something haunting about the face and the eyes that drew me in. 


      Sketch by Phillipa England


       

       This led me to investigate her other work, finding beautiful birds hand crafted from felt and silks, realistic while at the same time ethereal and with a certain charm and magic.

       

       
      Felt and textile 'Great Tit' by Phillipa England





       

       I had been attempting these previously and struggling with the legs and feet but she kindly offered me advice and a wee tutorial on how to do it. How kind of her to share her skills so openly and without a second thought. It wasn’t long before we were talking knitting and her grand and ambitious plan to hand craft 1914 poppies for an installation at the RHS Gardener’s World Live Show in the Birmingham NEC. 



      Phillipa's original watercolour


      The finished installation received an RHS Certificate of Merit




      Phillipa led craft groups with members ranging from toddlers to one man in his nineties! As well as this, virtual groups across the country got involved. Some of my friends from the Chronic Creative group contributed, as well as my mum and grannie again. This time I can say that my grannie was 89 and hadn't knitted since.... last year!

       

       

       

       

        You can find out more about Phillipa on her Facebook page  or find her on Etsy.

       

       

       

       

        Charity Granny Square Group

       


      This is a project on a truly international scale. Inspired by a crochet work on a grand scale by the artist ‘Work by Knight’ (website here ) Merryn started a Facebook group in 2014 aimed at creating a large piece of crochet art work.  





       

      Deciding that the parrot may be too ambitious for a first project, Merryn found a more suitable artwork for the 2014 project. (Still very ambitious!)  

       

       

      The 'more achievable' granny square challenge

       

       

       

       

        It wasn't long before the group had over 100 members, with each person agreeing to crochet one or more granny squares in order to contribute to the larger piece.  With my foggy brain I would have never managed it, but Merryn and Nikki broke the image down into squares, naming them using grid references and distributing close up images for people to copy. Here was mine: 



      My improvisation, affectionately known as 'Square C9'

       It is a truly international project, with crochet enthusiasts based all over the world. The finished pieces were all mailed to Merryn in Australia to be joined into a large artwork/quilt, to be auctioned off and the proceeds given to the International Red Cross. It looked great, and led the way for the more ambitious parrot design to be tackled in 2015.

      There may still be some squares available... so if you'd like to join in then head to the Charity Collage FB group and choose a square. You are certain to enjoy the challenge.  







      So there it is. Social media is a wonderful thing. It has made all of this possible, breaking down the barriers of distance and bringing people together. It has had an especially big impact on the housebound and bedbound, opening up a world of communication which we can access on our own terms, as and when we are able. It has the potential to reduce isolation and increase interaction with the outside world, in this case through enabling lots of individuals to contribute in a small way to something much larger and very, very special, whilst raising money for a worthwhile cause.

       

       

       

      Isn’t it smashing?

       

       

      L x

       

       

      Drop by and visit me on FB!  

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       


       

       

       






      Saturday, 5 April 2014

      Welcome, lovers of cuteness!


      Welcome aboard! 

      Welcome to the blog- if you need some inspiration, a pattern or two or just a dose of sunshine you've come to the right place ☀️

      Coming soon: Rainbow pattern (crochet)