April 11 2017

Stained Glass Crochet Blanket – Current Project

This stained glass crochet blanket is another project that has been on my to-do list for a while now. My ten year old has a baby blanket that is a similar design and I have been planning a larger one, with an added touch of magic 🙂 I am not sure what the finished size will be but due to the way it is made, it is very easy to make in any size you wish.

I have decided to add a little number magic into the blanket and use multiples of seven and three were possible within the design. However I have decided to keep to the standard six stitches on the corners for ease of following the pattern and keeping things balanced and even. Each of the squares in my stained glass crochet blanket is made up of seven rows of colour and one row of black border. I am considering adding another two rows of black border as that would mean each square consisted of seven rows of colour and three rows of black. I’m not sure if that will be too much black but will test it out once I have made a few more squares. I will then sew these squares together and then add a row of two of black border around the whole blanket. I will most likely add two rows in keeping with the numbers as there will be three outer rows of black. I haven’t yet decided between two rows of stitches to match the blanket or one row of these and then a row of scallops or another border stitch. On my last blanket I added a row of normal crochet and then a row of scallops in the same colour and was really pleased with how it came out.

 

Stained glass crochet

 

I have not decided on a final size for my stained glass crochet blanket. It will be made up of the smaller squares in either a multiple of seven or three. I am temped to make another large blanket but at the same time to go for something smaller. A nice size for using on the sofa would be good. I suspect that Rowan may claim it once it is finished as he loves blankets.

 

Stained Glass Crochet Blanket Instructions

These granny squares are the first thing I learnt to crochet, many years ago. They are great as they are so versatile and can be made in so many sizes and colour combinations. My eldest son has a blanket made up of lots of small squares whereas the blanket I made my daughter is one huge square that I went round and round. Getting towards the end of that blanket was great as I was able to use it to keep warm too. I was first shown how to make these by a friend when I was at school and made several cushions and blankets. Then I did n;t crochet for several years and had to try and remember the best I could how to create them. I found that they would often come out a little lop-sided or wonky and so I have tweaked what I remember to get a neat square that stays flat and neatly square.

Please note that all terms used throughout the pattern are UK versions. I am using double knitting yarn from various brands. Most is what I have in my stash but I am always on the look out for nice yarns to add 🙂 I used approximately 20g of yarn for each coloured section, to give you an idea of how much is needed.

If you are unsure how to do a treble crochet stitch there are some nice instructions here
Start at step 1.

1. Magic loop

2. 12 triple crochet into loop

3. Join with a slip stitch

4. Chain two, five treble crochet in same hole

5. Skip 3 stitches, 6 treble crochet into next stitch. Repeat twice more so you have four lots of six treble crochet. Join with a slip stitch.

 
Teble crochet square

 

6. Slip stitch along two stitches (like on C2C decrease) so you are in the middle of a group of six treble stitches.

7. Ch 2, five treble crochet in space

8. Skip three stitches, three treble crochet in space.

9. Skip three stitches, six treble crochet in space. (The blocks of six treble crochet form the corners).

10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 twice more.

11. Skip three stitches, three treble crochet in space

12. Join with a slip stitch.

 

Granny square

 

13. Six treble crochet into corner

14. Continue adding blocks of treble crochet in this way until you reach the end of the row (six treble crochet in corners and three in all other spaces) until end of the row.

 

Stained glass crochet instructions

 

15. Repeat steps 13 and 14 three times more.

 

Finished crochet square

 

16. Change to black

17. Crochet one full row

Join with a slip stitch and fasten off. Sew in yarn ends.

 

Stained glass crochet blanket

 

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March 7 2017

Random Stripes Crochet Blanket Update – Project Finished

Last week I managed to get my random stripes crochet blanket finished and edged. I started this one in January and then at the beginning of February I discovered C2C crochet and really wanted to give it a try. I wanted to get the stripes blanket finished first but in end gave in and made a start on a large C2C blanket. I am using two strands of DK yarn and a 8mm hook again and the finished blanket will be 160 x 230cm. My biggest crochet piece ever! and I am planing on it being a stash busting project. Will update on that as I go.

The random stripes crochet blanket is a gift for a friends baby. The largest stripe is seven rows wide and smallest is one row, with all sizes inbetween. It was made almost entirely from my yarn stash, I saw a dark plum coloured yarn and really liked it so bought two 50g balls. I wish I had bought more now as it looks really nice used – which makes me not want to use the rest as then it will be gone! ha ha, does any one else save their best or favourite yrans (beads, papers, cords, ingredients…) and then never end up actually using them at all? Can’t just be me 😀 Once I was finished I wasn’t too sure I was happy with the blanket and I am dissapointed in how one of the yarns looks. It’s a furry varigated style and I feel like it look out of place. However I feel like the bits that I am not happy with are all things no one else will even notice. It’s an artists curse – always seeing fault in what others see only as perfect.

crochet blanket

Finishing the stripes crochet blanket kinda snuck up on me. I hadn’t looked at the blanket at all for about a week as I had been working on my C2C blanket but when I took it out of my bag I realised it was getting pretty big for a baby blanket. I like to make my baby blankets so they can be folded in use for extra cold days, which also means that they last a few years before being too small. My youngest is nearly 18 months and his crochet blanket still has loads of growing room in it. With so much work and time going into them it is nice that they aren’t get a short term use thing.

I had decided at the start that the blanket would be edged in black for a bold, contrasting effect. It’s not a traditionally coloured baby blanket at all but that completly suits the recipients tastes. The baby is a little girl but I went for a mix of all colours for variety. I added one row of treble crochet stitches in black but felt that it didn’t quite finish off the blanket properly. It was too abrupt. I had a browse on Pinterest for crochet edgings but choose to go with scallops, which gave the look I was after. Each scallop is made up of three treble crochet stitches and seven on the corners.


stripes crochet blanket

Using two strands of yarn to make my stripes crochet blanket has made it quite a chunky blanket with a bit of bouncy stretch. It is the second blanket I have made that way and I really like the squishy, cuddly softness of the style.


scallop crochet edge

Random stripes crochet blanket

 

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August 7 2016

Online Jewellery Making Course Update

I haven’t have much chance to post much lately as I have been really busy getting the online jewellery making course finished. It actually ended up being a lot more work and time consuming than I first anticipated, partly because I kept thinking of new things that I felt should be added and because I didn’t have a lot of quiet opportunities to record the audio. Felt like I had taken on too much for a first time creating teaching videos but once I got a system going it was okay, just took a while to get that. All the materials are complete now and will be online and available soon.

The jewellery making course covers designing and creating jewellery and includes several tutorials for completed pieces of jewellery. Within the course I have also included information on selling your jewellery designs and some factors and legal matter than needed to be considered.

I have been asked to create some videos for a skill sharing site and am hoping to do those as well, most likely in the next couple of weeks. Elderberry Arts does have a YouTube channel but I have not gotten around to adding anything to it yet. I’d really like to though. So many ideas and never enough hours in the day!

 

April 18 2016

Jewellery Making Tutorials Update *April 2016*

Jewellery making tutorials

 

I have been selling my jewellery making tutorials through the Jewelry Lessons website since 2010 and have met many lovely people there. Sadly the site will be closing in June 2016 and no further sales will be possible. After careful consideration I have decided to reopen my Etsy shop and will be adding all of my downloadable tutorials for sale there. So far I have added fourteen jewellery making tutorials. Most are macramé tutorials but there are also some others. The process is taking a bit of time as I have to edit the original files to remove some aspects related to Jewelry Lessons and in some cases change the layout to make best use of the remaining space. I am hoping to have them all moved over by June.

Each of my jewellery making tutorials features step by step instructions and high quality colour photographs that show you how to create a unique piece of jewellery. A few of the tutorials require you to have some prior knowledge but most are suitable for beginners as they explain everything you need to know. Over time I plan to edit my older macramé tutorials to include knotting instructions in the same way the newer ones have. My macramé jewellery making tutorials also include information on how to create a simple macramé board and explanations of some commonly used terms.

 

The new Elderberry Arts shop on Etsy is called ElderberryTutorials and all the tutorials will be available there. Facebook pages also have a great feature that allowed me to link the Etsy shop with the Elderberry Arts fan page. This means that if you head over to the page and click on the ‘My Etsy Shop’ tab ait will display all the listed jewellery making tutorials. Clicking on any item then sends you to the Etsy site to read the full details and purchase if you wish. I will also add the Etsy shop widget on the site here, which works in much the same way.

December 20 2014

Save Money on Heating with Cheap and Easy Insulation.

There are many ways to save money on heating your home including switching to a cheaper supplier or taking advantage of special offers and deals, buying portable heaters or electric blanket or wearing more layers of clothes. These are all useful and are things that most people can do easily at home themselves and enable them to stay warmer at less cost. However if there is a problem with your house such as gaps between windows and doors and their frames, no matter how much you wrap up the house will still feel cold and heat from any heating you do lose will be lost to the outdoors.

One room in my house has a set of wooden patio doors that are lovely in the summer but very drafty in winter. Since we moved here three years ago I have tried several ways of fixing the problem to help save money on heating the room, including using door sealing tape to fill some of the gaps. Some were too large and I also found that the tape was not very long lasting. While thinking about what to do to solve the problem that would not be too difficult, very expensive or mean that the room was then far to hot in the summer. I remembered the way many people use bubble wrap to insulate garden greenhouses and thought there was no reason that it would not work for internal windows and doors as well. Even better I had some large sheets of bubble wrap that had come in a parcel that I thought would be perfect for the job.

From start to finish the project took about 30 minutes. I used masking tape to stick the bubble wrap sheets to the door frame so that the gaps between it and the doors where completely enclosed. I decided on masking tape partly because it is easy to tear into pieces and also is likely to be easier to remove once it is warmer again than a more ‘stickier’ tape such as sellotape. Rather than measuring the bubble wrap I stuck it down on one side on the door frame and then held it across to the other side before cutting it to size. The tape needs run the entire length of each piece of bubble wrap otherwise the drafts will come through any gaps. If you need to join the bubble wrap at any point, the joins also need to be completely covered with tape.

The room is now much warmer even when the heating is not on and once the weather is warmer again I can remove the bubble wrap and store it ready for next winter. You do not need to buy special bubble wrap to use it as insulation and can reuse some you already have as I did. The bubble wrap needs to be seal all the way around the edges of the window and door as drafts and cold air will be able to pass through even the smallest gaps. If you need to join pieces of bubble wrap these will also need to be taped along the edges completely so that there are no gaps there.

Bubble wrap can be bought in rolls that would be ideal for this cheap insulation project, as it can then be cut to the required size easily and any extra stored neatly. If needed the bubble wrap insulation can be removed and re-rolled and saved meaning that only new tape will be needed next winter. These factors make this method and very cheap and effective way to insulate doors and windows. Even more so if you are able to reuse bubble wrap you already have. But even if you need to buy some now, it can be used in future and the costs overall are likely to be less than the money that you save on heating costs.

Save money on heating
All edges and joins should be covered completely with tape to stop any cold air coming through the bubble wrap.

 

December 2 2014

Snowflake Earring Tutorial Now Avaliable

This tutorial provides step by step instructions with colour photographs showing how to create a pair of unusual earrings.

You will not need any prior knowledge other than how to open and close a loop using pliers in order to complete this tutorial. The cord and bead colours can be customized to suit your own preferences if desired.

Snowflake Earring Tutorial

Perfect for the winter season this full colour, step by step tutorial is now available to download from Jewelry Lessons. Every aspect of creating this unusual piece of jewellery is explained within the earring tutorial so it is suitable for beginner and more experienced jewellery makers alike.

 

November 5 2014

How to Create a Gemstone Angel Keyring

Angel keyring

This step by step tutorial will show you how to create a pretty angel keyring using gemstones and silver findings. I have chosen to use snow quartz beads as I made the angel keyring as a winter holiday gift. Any gemstone or other bead in the right size will work fine for creating the angel keyring so feel free to use your favourite stone. The keyring could be customised by using a favourite stone or combination of stones, birthstones or stones that are relevant due to their healing properties.

These angels can also be made using gold plated findings or indeed any of your choice. Black coated findings would be nice with some gemstones such as clear or rose quartz, amethyst or tigers eye. Hair or a hat can be added to the angels using decorative bead caps. Oval shaped beads could also be used to create an angel with a longer body shape. However in this case, depending on the length of bead chosen; a longer headpin may be required.

 

Tools

Wire cutters
Round nosed Pliers

Materials

Split ring with chain keyring
2.4cm angel wing
4.5cm head pin
6mm snow quartz bead
8mm snow quartz bead

 

1. Create the angel by placing the beads onto the headpin in the following order: 8mm snow quartz bead, angel wings and then finally the 6mm snow quartz bead.

angel keyring

 

2. Bend the end of the headpin over above the 6mm bead and trim so that there is approximately 1cm remaining.

angel keyring

 

3. Using the round nosed pliers, create a loop in the end of the headpin.

angel keyring

4. Open the ring on the end of the keyring finding chain. Attach this ring to the loop created in step 3. Close the ring.