Monday, December 08, 2008

Fragrant Frock Sachet - crochet pattern

I have called this little item a "Fragrant Frock", because to me "frock" is such a delightfully old fashioned term. I remember my Mum in Law once saying to me "that's a lovely frock" and one of my kids laughing and saying "what the heck is a frock?"
A "frock" does sound so very proper though. I can't imagine a floozy wearing a "frock". You sit with your legs crossed and sip tea in a china tea cup while wearing a frock. Ladies wear frocks. Men should open the door for you if you wear a frock. To me it is feminine and pre feminism.
A frock is defined as a loose dress with a skirt and a bodice. I also think of a religious frock or smock.
Any hows I did take the time to write out the pattern for the little pink oddity I found in Grandmas cupboard that I shared in my last post. I am sure Grandma is smiling at the thought of something out of her cupboard, and the term "frock" being immortalised on the web.

I did have fun recreating this, as it is so long since I made the first one. I have no idea what the yarn in the original pink one is but it feels like a baby nylon in a 3 ply. Make sure you follow the correct terminology as I have used both Aus UK / USA terms like this dc/sc. These could also look kinda cute hanging on the Christmas tree as I reckon Angels would wear "frocks".

Fragrant Frock
Australian UK terms first/ USA terms second

Lavender frock above measures 10cm/4in long worked in 4ply baby weight and 3.75mm hook.

Round 1: Start at the neck; 20ch slst into a ring, 3ch start then 43tr/dc into ring, slst join = 44

Round 2 - 3: 3ch start, 1tr/dc into each st around slst join = 44

Round 4: slst to between ch post and first tr/dc; 5ch start, 1tr/dc into same sp, miss 3st, into next sp (1tr/dc, 2ch, 1dc/sc) 4times; miss 10 then ((1tr/dc, 2ch, 1tr/dc) into next sp, miss 3) 5times; slst join to 3rd ch of start post = 10 groups of 2.

Round 5: slst to ch sp between post and tr/dc, (3ch start, 1tr/dc, 1ch, 2tr/dc) into this sp, then into each ch sp around work (2tr/dc, 1ch, 2tr/dc); slst join to start ch = 10 shells.

Rounds 6, 7, 8: as for round 5

Round 9: slst to ch space, 3ch start, 4tr/dc into first sp, then 5tr/dc into each ch sp around, slst join.

Join Bottom: Fold your frock in half so that your thread is on the right corner, match front and back shells and work through both sides 1dc/sc next 2st, into next st *(1dc/sc, 2ch, 1slst into dc/sc) this is a picot, 1dc/sc next 4st* repeat from *-* finish with 1dc/sc next 2st slst finish, weave in end = 5 picots

Join yarn at half way point on neck, 15ch then slst join to opposite side of neck, weave in ends.
Add a bow, pop some fragrant wooden balls into your frock, and loop on a hanger in the cupboard.
Moth balls tickle my nose, however I like the smell of cedar balls or some of the little fragrant soaps that are available.

These make great little charity fundraisers or gifts for a bit of yesteryear. Have fun making them!
(c) crochetroo Australia protected by copyright. Please do not reproduce my patterns or images by any means. While I am happy for you to make these for personal use, gifts and limited charity fundraising, please do not sell on the web or sell to make a personal profit.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Grandmas' Cupboards

Earlier this year my Mum in law, my kids beloved Grandma, left us. One of the hard things when someone passes is not just dealing with the grief, but the finalisation of her belongings.

It has taken us several months to slowly go through things, which while being an emotional time, was also a healing process. She had 3 sons, and none of them could go through her cupboards. I think it is a man thing, that sorting your mothers personal things is forbidden. So the task was left for me. Grandma was an immaculate woman, with a place for everything, and everything in its place, so while it wasn't a hard job it was a time of reflection.

My Mum in law could never crochet. She used to boast how clever I was (not because I had a Uni degree) but, rather that I could crochet.

I made and gifted her many things over the years. While many of them I had long forgotten, she has treasured every little item.

I had a moment of sadness and said to hub - "She has kept everything I ever made her" to which, as you would expect a bloke to say responded - "well you didn't think she would throw them in the bin!". So here is showcase of some of the things I found that I had made for her.

Doilies, she loved doilies and I always knew this was a cherished gift. I had though, forgotten how many I had given her over the last 30 years. White doilies, ecru doilies, ;emon and purple doilies.

Ecru doily with the pineapple pattern, I think I made this is the early 80s.

A yellow doily with an old design from one of my Nana's books.

I actually remember making this lavender fillet rose. I can't work out how to turn the photo, however this was one of my first attempts at fillet crochet. The rose is a bit stretched because my tension was tight. I remember making this one for her shortly after my husband and I became engaged.

This is another piece of fillet that I worked her name into the corner of the handkerchief. She has kept this for many years, and I found it with some other handkerchief's I had edged for her. I am going to keep this one in a safe place in case one day, my daughter gets married, this can be her little piece of Grandma on her wedding day.

These made me laugh as the yellow hat is from the starched crochet era. I used to make doilies and them shape them with white glue over a cottage cheese container. There was a Leisure Arts brochure at the time that had a number of variations of these. The sachets were in her cupboard. Crocheted by me in blue thread, they are drink coasters which I then stitched onto little fabric pillows I made, filled with lavender and stitched on a ribbon to hang on a coat hanger.

This is a pocket tissue holder. I had forgotten all about having made these. One Christmas in the mid 80s I crocheted a pile of them in different colours and used them as stocking stuffers. I will try and write the pattern out if anyone is interested as they make great little gifts.

The funny looking creation above is one of those string bags that squeezes up and fits into the round pocket. I have also liked the variegated threads!

And this little oddity is a moth ball or camphor holder. Another funny little thing I made for Grandma years ago; and she still had it in her cupboard. I can also write this pattern up if anyone is interested. They make cute little decorations on the tree and can be filled with scented timber balls or lavender. Very kitsch, but very cute!

It was therapeutic for me to find these things which I had long forgotten. There were also scarves, and shawls, and crochet towels and afghans that I had done over the years. I will show them at another time. This will be our first Christmas without Grandma, however she will always be with us in spirit. I feel honored that she treasured my work, and despite downsizing over the years, had kept my crochet.
Thanks for looking!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Koalas for France

I haven't been blogging much, but I have been crocheting. We have had a few long car trips while we sort out my mum in laws business. Here is a little set I made for a special friend in France.

We had a French student stay with us a few years back. It was a fabulous time, and while her English improved heaps, my French did seem to go anywhere!

Time passes and she has now settled back in France with her man. This is lovely news as the poor chap would ring her up every night at seven on a Sunday night, for the year she was with us. There was a time when they split up as she thought she would check out the Aussie blokes. I couldn't understand this as a French man is well, French, and he had the most amazing "Ellooo" over the phone. But this chap was determined and came across to Australia with some friends, and by the time they had travelled up to Cairns, been to the islands and seen the Great Barrier Reef, they were an item again.

Several years later and they are building a home and have had a baby boy. Naturally I had to make some Aussie for the Little bloke. I remember the day we took her to see the koalas at the sanctuary, so I figured a koala set was the thing.

Anyway these are now on their way to France and I cant wait to see a photo of the little fellow in them.

Thanks for looking, baby stuff always gives me the warm fuzzies. I have quite a back log of things to share.
(c) crochetroo 2008

(oops I have no idea why this little koala is sideways)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Stingy Neck Warmer and Fluffy Scarf for newbies (free pattern)

I am one of those people who loves yarn, in all colours, fibres and textures. And while I appreciate quality yarn, I have never been a yarn snob.

I picked this ball of yarn up when I was last in Melbourne. It is called pom pom and marketed by Lincraft. Might sound a bit silly going all the way to Melbourne for a ball of yarn, however we don't have a Lincraft here on the Gold Coast, and the one in Melbourne is always so well stocked. From memory it was around the 3 - 4 dollar a ball mark.

So what do you do with one ball of quite chunky yarn and a plastic hook?

I say plastic as I then had to fly back from Melbourne and Qantas is ok with large plastic crochet hooks. As an aside, I find it interesting that hooks are on the flying no no list... I mean can you imagine someone saying to the pilot "If you don't do as I say I am going to double crochet you into that pilots chair!' ( or as my husband once said "make you wear this lime green fugly on your head")

I have noticed that neck warmers are all the rage now, so you can legitimately make a short scarf out of 1 ball of yarn, and call it a "neck warmer". This is being "trendy", and not seen as "stingy" ( ie I was too stingy to buy 2 balls of yarn in case it was a mongrel to work with, so tuff luck I have only made half a scarf). So I called this my Stingy Neck Warmer for a bit of a laugh!

So here is my very simple pattern, as this stuff is a bit of a pain to work with as it is impossible to unravel. The balls of fluff hide any errors hence this is a good pattern for newbies and actually looks rather funky.

Instructions for Stingy Neck Warmer

Hook Size: big to extra big, I used a 9mm plastic hook.

Tension: who cares?

Yarn: 1 ball of novelty yarn.

This pattern is written in Australian terms and American terms are shown second like this

Row 1: Loosely make 15ch, 1dc or 1sc into 6th from hook then (miss 2ch, 1dc or 1sc) across, (you should have 4 loops) turn and work back

Row 2: (3ch 1dc or 1sc into 3ch loop of previous row) across, turn = 7 loops. Make sure you work into the first loop and count the loops in each row

Row 3: until infinity……repeat row 2 until you run out of yarn.

To adjust width alter start chain = multiple of 3 plus 1

Now tip your head onto the side and it should look like the sample below:

"mmm", she is thinking, "I am so glad my boyfriends mother made me this comfy neck warmer. It is a good thing she's so stingy or I could have ended up with one of those unfashionable long scarfs!!"

Because of the loops you can thread the end through one of the holes and voila, you have a very fashionable and snugly neck warmer!

OK now you have the hang of it and have saved up to buy two balls of yarn you can make a longer scarf. I call this stuff fluffy yarn, however this works with that eyelash stuff or any chunky yarn. Have fun experimenting!

Here is the pattern for a 2 ball version, in a lighter fluffy yarn. These are nice and stretchy. Just make sure you count the loops in each row so your sides are parallel. I stick my finger through each hole as it can be hard yakka trying to count stitches.

Don't the girls below look fabulous in their short shorts, single tops and fluffy scarfs? They are friends of one of my sons and I made the scarves for them to take on the school skiing trip to Perisher. Any one who is to be seen in Perisher needs a long scarf! This is not the place for stingy people.
Instructions Fluffy Scarf

2 balls of fluffy stuff, also works well for chunky stuff

7mm hook

This pattern is written in Australian terms and American terms are shown second like this

Row 1: Loosely make 25ch, 1dc or 1sc into 6th from hook then (miss 2ch, 1dc or 1sc) across, (you should have 7 loops) turn and work back

Row 2: (3ch, 1dc or 1sc into 3ch loop of previous row) across, turn = 7 loops. Make sure you work into the first loop and count the loops in each row

Row 3 until infinity……repeat row 2 until you run out of yarn.

To adjust width alter start chain = multiple of 3 plus 1

OK now tilt your head onto the side again (as I can't seem to rotate the photo) and this is what it should look like:

The one ball variety do make great gifts and charity fund raisers. I hook it through the holes so you slip it easily over the head.

(and for a craft table lay out as in the second photo above)

Have fun making these!

(c) crochetroo Australia protected by copyright

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wedding Favours for a Special Wedding

I haven't been around much lately because we have had a family wedding. I know...a poor excuse!

This is my beautiful niece Rachael and her new husband Ben. They were married last weekend in Brisbane in his old school chapel at Gregory Terrace.

I just love weddings and this one was really special as she is the first of the next generation to marry, and is my brothers eldest daughter.

Here are the bridesmaids, the roses and frocks were stunning.

So my job was to make favors for the table.... 105 of them to be exact. My niece wanted little tea lights, to decorate the tables. They also needed to match the rose theme and colours. So after a few prototypes I came up with these. Cream roses, with a deep red bow, filled with natural soy wax.

They are shot glasses, with rose petals glued to the base and tied with ribbon.

I started with basic shot glasses in a boxes of six, and silk roses from a dollar shop. I worked out I could make 22 from a bunch of flowers. The trick to making a large number of something is to keep the costs reasonable. My niece was keen to have simplicity, without being ridiculously expensive or wasteful. She also wanted something a bit different but with a traditional look.

After pulling the roses apart, I then glued them to the base of the glasses with hot glue. I very quickly learnt not to push the petals down with my fingers..... ouch!!

I then cut narrow craft ribbon into 30cm lengths and glued these to the petals with a dab of glue.

The worst bit was tying the bows. To make sure they stayed put I added a dab of glue.

So I then had a dining table full of pretty little candle holders. This took me a few weeks as the bows were a bit fiddly. After trying parrafin tea lights, I decided to pour my own using soy wax. I got some great stuff over the net. I love soy wax as it is natural, doesn't smell or smoke, and burns for ages.

I must say the wedding tables really sparked with tea lights at each place setting. They have a great ambience.

Feeling the need to crochet something I decided to use my bookmark patterns for a butterfly and dragon fly to make a hanging bridal charm. This was a last minute photo that I took on the pew while we were waiting for the bride and my brother to arrive.

I did this in cream cotton to match the creamy coloured roses; added a length of chain and some matching ribbons and starched the critters up to make them stiff. I was please how these turned out and they were a change from horseshoes and hearts.

Aren't they a handsome couple?

By the way this was an earlier prototype which I felt was a bit flat.

Now the wedding is over, I might experiment a bit more as I had so much fun making these. It was a glorious day, and a really beautiful wedding. Refreshing to see a young couple so much in love, and to have a very traditional and family celebration of their marriage.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Day on Moreton Bay

Last weekend we spent the day with my brother and his wife out on Moreton Bay. It was a glorious day, but not much wind. We headed for St Helena Island. Funny that even though I grew up in this part of the world, I didn't know much about this island, or its rich history.

St Helena Island is about 4 kilometres east of the moth of the Brisbane River. Its claim to fame is that it was a penal colony in the late 1800s and a prison farm in the early 1900. The photo below shows the ruins.

This is the wetlands of Moreton Bay. It was low tide but a beautiful day with about 5 knots of wind, which makes sailing pretty hard going!

My brother tells me that they used to run an abattoirs on the island and throw the animal off cuts into the sea. This of course attracted the sharks, hence keeping the prisoners in place!

This odd looking structure below was erected as a swimming pool designed to allow people to swim in a protection from the sharks. Not sure how they got to it though as it was a few metres from the beach.

St Helena is now a National Park protected as a historical site. It also has significance as the shelter of a range of migratory birds.

This is my brothers boat from the rubber duckie.

We stopped out to sea and the boys went for a swim. Yep they are stupid as it is the middle of winter here. They had a hoot jumping of the boat into the ocean. Apparently the icy cool salty water was quite invigorating!

I also believe that the icy cool salty water numbs the brain as they did this a few times so I could photograph them in flight!

As for me I stayed dry and crocheted, while sipping pink champagne. I cant go anywhere without a hook and some yarn.

You can see the coast of Brisbane in the distance and the sail boats trying to race on quite a un -windy day.

My little booties look nice and bright against the serene blue backdrop. It was a special day with the family.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Crochet Therapy

June was a sad and emotional month for our family. Many thanks to all the warm thoughts and hugs that were expressed.

My Mum in law lived about 2 1/2 hours drive north from where we live, and hub and I spent many an hour driving back and forth over the last few weeks. Crochet is my therapy, and it goes where I go. Here are some of the things I made over the last few weeks.

I have been meaning to finish off these koalas for yonks now, and I have finally done it. I have even finished writing the patterns up.
A Koala Party Beanie:
A Koala Party Scarf:

Another Koala Party Beanie.

Yes, I know I am obsessed but I just love koalas.

They are the most amazing animals, however after I was tiring of Koalas I thought I would do a kangaroo beanie.
Because I wasn't very organised, I had only grabbed a few colours so it is the same mix as the first koala beanie.

Friends of ours in Townsville also welcomed their new son into the world on the 4th June. He was well over 9lbs which is a whopper of a baby for my friend who is less than 5ft, and about normally about 45 kg. Babies are Gods little wonders and I made him some baby blue ugg booties. It is our winter here so these are perfect for the cooler weather up North. I surprised my self by not only making these , but also having mailed them off within about 3 days of bub being born. This was a happy moment amongst our sadness but reminded me how life goes on.

I have also been experimenting with some lacy mitts. Our Daughter took the first set I made as she was home for Grandmas Funeral. The ones below are a second set I made to see if I could remember what I did.

She also fancied the beanie and scarf to match. Again the scarf was an experiment in a loophole, shorter version.

The problem is that while I wrote down rough notes, the set is now back in Melbourne, and I am having fun trying to remember exactly how I made them!

The model is my eldest sons girlfriend. She is a terrific model and I ended up making her a beanie in blue and a scarf to match. She really likes the things I make. As many of you would know, there is a real buzz in having your crochet appreciated.

So crochet is my therapy, and I have been productive while I have been away from my blog. Grief is a terrible feeling. I find that the best thing is to keep busy. Grandma would have been 84 on July 19. She lived a wonderful life, had 3 sons, 3 daughters in law and 6 grand kids. She was fortunate to have lived independently in her own home, with her mind as sharp as a tack up until the week before she left us. She partied hard with us for my birthday in March, and was the life of the party in her sarong and hibiscus around her neck. She always had a sparkle in her eye, and took such interest in others. She would have enjoyed seeing what I have just shown you. We miss her already.