Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Gazing at stars

Back when I was working on the maven meld project, I bought a lot of tutorials, but some of them got put to one side when I had finalised my design. Well recently I've had flu, and to keep myself sane, I thought I'd do some beading... So I dusted off the tutorial for the star gazer bangle, by Heather Collin. It can be purchased from her artfire store, here.

The bangle is right angle weave, which is my new favourite stitch. It was actually quite a big thing for me to learn RAW, I'd had so many attempts at it in the past, but never really 'got it'. A well written tutorial by Ella Des got me out of my 'I can't do it' rut, and now I love it!


So, this bangle, it should only be attempted if you actually know RAW, as it doesn't explain how to do the stitch, just how to use it to construct the bangle. The diagrams in the tutorial are excellent, and are a brilliant visual explanation of how to make it.  


This isn't a quick make though, you need to dedicate a good few hours to it, but it is totally worth it!  I have now made two and a half of these beauties, and they both look so different, due to the different beads I used.  The first one is much more of a day bangle, made from matt opaque beads, with a couple of rows of gilt lined beads, and finished off with agate and turquoise.  
The second bangle is more of a night time piece.  It is matt black and galvanised silver, finished off with Swarovski crystals in a dark grey AB. I've actually been wearing them both together for the last few days, and even though the looks are very different, they do work well together. 






I'm working on a third bangle at the moment, I've chosen the beads to hopefully end up with a piece of jewellery that looks like it's made of ice. It is being made from crystal, AB crystal and silver lined beads, and I plan to finish it off with some swarovski crystals and pearls. I will post a picture of this when it is finished.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Alot of Crochet

Hello blog-readers... sorry about the serious lack of posts over the last month or so - I've started a new job, and it's very tiring!
Back when I first started blogging, I posted about an Alot that I'd made. 

The Alot is a fictional creature - click here for an explanation.
My Brother-in-law, Tim, introduced me to the Alot, and ask me "can you build me one of those?" (meaning, could I make him one from crochet).  As the Alot is the figment of someone's imagination, there wasn't a crochet pattern out there for one, so I set about designing one, and this is what I'm going to share with you today.


Here is a crochet Alot...


And here are the instructions for how to make one!



Materials
·         Wendy Origin Woolie (Shade 1407) 2 x 100g balls
·         A small amount of beige yarn (DK)
·         A small amount of black yarn for embroidering mouth
·         White felt
·         Safety eyes
·         Toy stuffing
·         8mm crochet hook
·         3.5 mm crochet hook
·         Yarn needle

BODY
Using Wendy Origin Woolie and 8mm hook, start at head end
Ch 2 to start
Rnd 1: Work 6 sc in first ch [6]
Place marker in first stitch for beginning of rnd, move marker up each rnd.
Rnd 2: Work 2 sc in each st around [12]
Rnd 3: *Work 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, rep from *around [18]
Rnd 4: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts, rep from * around [24]
Rnd 5: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 sts, rep from * around [30]
Rnd 6: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 4 sts, rep from * around [36]
Rnd 7: *2 sc in st, sc in each of next 5 sts, rep from * around [42]
Rnds 8 -17: Sc in each st around [42]
Rnd 18: Sc2tog, sc in each of next 17 sts, (sc2tog) twice, sc in each of next 17 sts, sc2tog [38]
Rnd 19: Sc2tog, sc in each of next 15 sts, (sc2tog) twice, sc in each of next 15 sts, sc2tog [34]
Rnd 20: Sc2tog, sc in each of next 13 sts, (sc2tog) twice, sc in each of next 13 sts, sc2tog [30]
Stuff body firmly with toy filling
Rnd 21: *sc in next 4 sc, Sc2tog* rep from * [24]
Rnd 22: *sc in next 3 sc, sc2tog* repeat from * [18]
Rnd 23: *sc in next 2 sc, sc2tog* repeat from * [12]
Rnd 24: *sc in next sc, sc2tog* repeat from * [6]
Rnd 25: sc2tog, x 3
Finish off.

BACK LEG x 2
Using Wendy Origin Woolie and 8mm hook
Ch 2 to start
Rnd 1:  sc 7 in first ch [7]
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc [14]
Rnd 3 – 6: sc around [14]
Rnd 7: sc in next 10 sc, turn [10]
Rnd 8: sc2tog, sc in next 6 sc, sc2tog, turn [8]
Rnd 9: sc2tog, sc in next 4 sc, sc2tog, turn [6]
Rnd 10: sc2tog, sc in next 2 sc, sc2tog, turn [4]
Rnd 11: sc2tog x 2 [2]
Rnd 12: sc2tog
Finish off
Stuff firmly with toy filling up to Rnd 7.

FRONT LEG x 2
Using Wendy Origin Woolie and 8mm hook
Ch 2 to start
Rnd 1: sc 8 in first ch [8]
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc [16]
Rnd 3 – 4: sc around [16]
Rnd 5: sc in next 10 sc, turn [10]
Rnd 6: sc2tog, sc in next 6 sc, sc2tog [8]
Rnd 7: sc2tog, sc in next 4 sc, sc2tog, turn [6]
Rnd 8: sc2tog, sc in next 2 sc, sc2tog, turn [4]
Rnd 9: sc2tog x 2 [2]
Rnd 10: sc2tog
Finish off
Stuff firmly with toy filling up to Rnd 5.


HEAD
Using Wendy Origin Woolie and 8mm hook
Ch 2 to start
Rnd 1: sc 8 in first ch
Rnd 2: 2sc in each sc [16]
Rnd 3: *2 sc in first sc, sc* repeat around [24]
Rnd 4: *2 sc in first sc, 2 sc* repeat around [32]
Rnd 5: *2 sc in first sc, 3 sc* repeat around [40]
Rnd 6: *2 sc in first sc, 4 sc* repeat around [48]
Rnd 7-9: sc around [48]
Rnd 10: *sc2tog * x 6, sc around [42] (this makes the chin for the head, and will be referred to as the bottom of the head)
Rnd 11: sc around [42]
mark bottom half of head with stitch markers.
Rnd 12: sc in bottom half of head, hdc in top half of head [42]
Rnd 13 – 14: sc around [42]
Finish off.
Cut two circles of white felt, and cut a small slit in the centre of each.  Insert safety eyes through the slits and fix to the head.
Stuff firmly with toy filling.

HORNS x 2
Start: ch 2 using beige yarn and 3.5 mm hook.
Rnd 1:  5sc into 1st chain [5]
Rnd 2:  2sc in first sc, 4 sc around [6]
Rnd 3:  2sc in first sc, 2 sc around. Repeat. [8]
Rnd 4:  8 sc around [8]
Rnd 5:  2sc in first sc, 3 sc around. Repeat. [10]
Rnd 6:  10 sc around [10]
Rnd 7:  2sc in first sc, 4 sc around. Repeat. [12]
Rnd 8:  12 sc around [12]
Rnd 9:  2sc in first sc, 5 sc around. Repeat. [14]
Rnd 10: 14 sc around [14]
Rnd 11: 2sc in first sc, 6 sc around. Repeat [16]
Rnd 12: 16 sc around [16]
Stuff firmly with toy filling.

FINISHING
Sew head, legs and horns to body.
Using black thread, embroider an unhappy mouth, and then sew a pointy tooth made from white felt to the top of the mouth (see photo).


I would love you to send me pictures of your Alot if you try making one... I've made 3 now, and the pattern has been adapted as I've gone along... I think I've got it right now, but if you notice any mistakes, please let me know.