How to crochet circles

Despite having been a crocheter for quite a long time, until a month or so ago, I had never attempted to devise my own patterns. It was only because I needed to make some flowers for hair bobbles for Boy 3′s nursery’ s Easter Fair and I couldn’t’ be bothered was too tired to trawl the internet for a pattern that I decided to have a go at making my own and, in doing so, realised how easy it was, providing it was something simple. It occurred to me that providing a person can do a few basic things, it is just a case of choosing the most appropriate basic things and putting them together.

One such basic thing is how to crochet circles. Lots of things start as a circle. Flowers, Hats, bowls, baskets, slippers, little amigurumi figures all begin their existence as a circle.

To begin, either make a magic ring or make 4 – 6 ch and join with a ss.

Round 1 Into the ring either 6 or 12 dcs. The number of dcs probably doesn’t matter very much, however if any of you out there in internetland are mathematicians, you will see that multiples of 6 are best :) ( Disclaimer: I am not and never have been a mathematician. I like patterns though :) )

Round 2 Turning ch, then 2 dcs into each dc. Join with ss. You will have twice as many stitches.

Round 3 Turning ch, then 1 dc into next dc, then 2 dcs into next dc. Repeat until you have got all the way round. Join with ss. Now you will have 3 times as many stitches as you started with.

Round 4  Turning ch, then dc into next 2 dcs, then 2 dcs into next dc. Repeat all the way round. Join with ss. 4 times as many stitches as in Round 1.

Round 5 Turning ch, then dc into next 3 dcs, then 2 dcs into next dc. Repeat all the way round. Join with ss. 5 times as many stitches now. See? There’s a pattern.

So you just keep on going until your crocheted circle is big enough. At the end of Round 6 you would have 6 times as many stitches as you started with in Round 1, achieved by 1 dc into 4 stitches and 2 dcs into the 5th stitch all the way around.

Once your circle is big enough it’s up to you! By keeping going 1 dc into each stitch, your circle could become a hat or slippers or a bowl or basket. For making the head of a toy, a spherical shape can be achieved by decreasing stitches in the same way, so you would decrease very 5th stitch, then every 4th, then every 3rd until you are back to 6 stitches.

Although I have talked in terms of dc, tr could be used, or htr, or a combination! With petals, your circle could become a flower for a bobble or a garland, or a doily or a coaster.

What you can make with your circle depends only on a few basic skills on your imagination and your nerve to have a go!

I’d love to see what you make!

I’m planning to post about making flowers over the next couple of weeks, so watch this space!

 

 

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Boys who Sew

boys3Boys 1 and 2 have been mithering for ages to have a go on my sewing machine. I’d thought that having all boys and no girls meant that I would never be able to sew with my children, but my boys have proved me wrong! Anyway, a few weeks ago we got our act together, decided on a project for each of them and ordered the stuff.

Boy 1 decided to make a cushion,boys6 inspired by one that I had made for their room (and which will be featured in next month’s Sewing World, I can’t wait!). He raided my fabric horde and chose all the bits himself. I helped him cut out the main cushion pieces as my scissors are not very sharp, due to Somebody using them to cut paper <rage!!!>. Boy 1 cut out the other bits himself, pinned them and sewed them on. The cushion has an envelope back, so nice and easy for a first attempt.

 

Boy 2 wanted to make himself a pair of trousers. We opted for trackie boys2style trousers, mainly because, apart from school trousers, they are the only kind he will wear. He chose himself some fabric but when I looked at patterns, I couldn’t believe how expensive they were! As children are an easy shape when it comes to making clothes, I decided that it would be a useful lesson to teach Boy 2 how to make a pattern from clothes that he has already.

We drew around a pair of his trackers, adding a bit extra for a seam allowance. I cut out the pieces and Boy 2 sewed them up. Being trackies and therefore baggy and having an elasticated waist, it doesn’t't matter that his sewing is not entirely straight.

I’m very happy that I have boys who sew! It’s not that weird surely? Patrick Thingy from the GBSB must have started somewhere, and so must have all the other Savile Row tailors.

They’ve got the bug now and they want to make more things. Next they’re going to make box purse pencil cases and I’ve given them the task of making drawstring bags to contain some of the mess that’s upstairs, so useful too!

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Fabric Flower Hair Bobble

fabricflowerbobble1After I had made the crayon rolls for Boy 3′s nursery’ s Easter Fair, I had some small bits of fabric left over, so I decided to make some fabric flower hair bobbles. Having boys means this is something I don’t do very often! They were very easy to make, although I did have some trouble working out how long the fabric bits needed to be to have enough to gather into a circle, but not so much that the circle goes back on itself.

Anyway, 15 – 20 cm seems to be a good length and the strips were about 8 cm wide. I folded the strips in half lengthways, folding the short ends over, and sewed the long raw edges,  making a long narrow tube with neat ends. :)

Next I turned the tube the right way out. The easiest way to do this is by attaching a safety pin to one end and wiggling it through the tube. The safety pin pulls the rest of the tube behind it and you end up with it the right way out without tearing your hair out with frustration. Then I put in 2 rows of long stitches along on long edge to make the gathers and pulled them until the tube became a circle.

Lastly (almost!) I joined the open ends. I did this by slipping one end inside the other and sewing over them. It would probably have been neater to slip stitch the ends together, but it would also have taken longer. It’s neat enough for my liking.

All that was left to do was close the gap in the middle by handsewing across it a few times, add a button and sew the flower onto a hair elastic using strong thread.

I’m considering making some more of these. I’m a bit long in the tooth to wear a bobble but the flowers would probably work well on a bag or a purse, or maybe a skirt or a top. Watch this space!

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Crocheted Flower Hair Bobble

 

crochetedflower5Boy 3′s preschool’s Easter Fair is now less than a week away and I’ve pretty much finished the crayon rolls. I had a list of other things I was going to make, but off the list I have only managed to make some hair bobbles, these crocheted ones and also some fabric ones.

I’m not feeling too guilty though, I’ve got raffle prizes I’ve been saving since Christmas ;).

I’m pleased with how the crocheted flower hair bobbles have turned out, not least because this is the first time I have crocheted something from a pattern I have devised myself. I made three pink ones and three purple. The yarn was left over from another project and the button was a spare that came attached to a cardigan I bought a year or two ago. It only took me a few minutes to make, then I just added the button and sewed them onto the hair elastic.

So crochet hooks at the ready, here’s how to make it!

How to Make a Crocheted Flower Hair Bobble

I used a 4mm crochet hook and dk cotton yarn. If you are used to American terminology in crochet patterns, pleased be warned that I have used English ones here!

Round 1: 6 dc into a magic ring, join with ss or 4 ch, join with ss, 6 dc into ring, join with ss.

crochetedflower1

Round 2

Round 2: 1 ch, then 2 dc into 1st dc from previous round. *2 dc into next dc. Repeat from * 4 times. Join with ss. 12 stitches.

 

 

 

crochetedflower2

Round 3

 

Round 3: 3 ch, skip 1 dc, dc into next dc. *2 ch, skip 1 dc, dc into next dc. Repeat 4 times.

 

 

 

 

crochetedflower3

1 petal, see?

Round 4: Into 2 ch space, *1 dc, 3 tr, 1 dc. This makes 1 petal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repeat from * into next 2 chain space. Repeat 4 more times.

A finished flower

A finished flower

That’s it!

Add a button or a bead and attach to a hair elastic. There’s probably lots of other ways these little flowers could be used, I’d love to see what you do!

 

 

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Crayon Roll Tutorial

crayonrolltitle

Ok, so first things first! Some of you may have noticed that things have changed around here again and before you ask, yes, this is the third time I have renamed my blog. Anna’s craft corner was not really cutting it, so I’m trying out a new name! I’m liking it so far, so maybe this one will stay!

This week I have been busy making stuff for Boy 3′s preschool’s Easter Fair thing. I currently have two finished crayon rolls, two not quite finished crayon rolls and half a hair bobble. And the house is a tip. Hey ho.

I’m very happy with how the finished crayon rolls have turned out, so I’m going to share how to make these with you.

How to Make a Crayon Roll

For those of you who have not encountered these yet, a crayon roll is basically a thingy (technical term ;) ) with little pockets in for crayons. It can be rolled up and taken anywhere, Grandma’s house, church, on holiday, and along with a pad of paper, should keep the children entertained at least for a little while. It also has the advantage that unlike a plastic box, it is not in itself a source of noisy entertainment, which is fine of course unless you actually need them to be quiet as well as occupied.

So here we go!

You will need:

Either one fat quarter or two fat quarters cut in half length ways or two rectangles 21cm x 54cm of cotton fabric.

Bias binding

Crayons

Sewing supplies

As I was making two I used two fat quarters cut in half (ish) and joined each half to a different half so that the inside would be different. If you do not want to do this, it will work perfectly well with one fat quarter and you will not need to cut it half and resew and it will be quicker to make. Yay!

Instructions

1. crayonroll1Cut a strip about 8cm high off the bottom,  If your crayons are longer or you’re not that bothered, or if you are in a hurry you don’t have to do with this.

If you are using two fat quarters to make a crayon roll with a contrasting lining then cut the remaining fabric in half length ways. If you are using one fat quarter to make the crayon roll, don’t cut it half and skip to Step 3.

Do the same for your other piece of fabric.

2. crayonroll2

You should have this, see? Two rectangles. Now sew them together, trim the seams and press open.crayonroll4

So now you have a piece of fabric more or less the same size that you started with.

3. Fold it in half and topstitch.

With the folded edge at the bottom and the lining facing upwards, fold up 6cm and pin in place. Check that this will be deep enough for your crayons.

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Now you need to put in pins for where you will sew to make the pockets. The easiest way to do this is to find the middle and put a pin at right angles to the folded edge, then find the half way point between the pin and the edge. Repeat until you have sixteen pockets pinned out. Sew the pockets, backstitching over the folded edge to make it a bit stronger.

crayonroll7

Or if you would rather measure, the pockets are about 2.5 cm wide, but you will still need to check that they are all about the same size and you don’t have one tiny skinny little pocket at one end.

4. Now it’s time to attach the bias binding. Check that the raw edges match up. If they do not, trim them. This is to ensure that all the edges are caught in the bias binding when you sew it on.crayonroll8

Fold the bias binding in half and press. Pin one edge of the binding all the way around the outside edges, then sew. Fold the bias binding over then sew again to attach the second edge.

This will result in the corners being rounded. If you prefer square corners, attach the bias binding to each edge separately.

5. You’ve almost finished! Take a length of bias binding, 30cm will be enough. Fold in half lengthways, press and sew. Fold in half to find the middle. With the outside of the crayon roll facing upwards and the pockets at the bottom, attach the bias strip to the edge of the crayon roll.crayonroll9

Fill the crayon roll with crayons and roll it up! Tie the bias strip in a bow and you are ready to go!crayonroll11

If your children are older and past the crayon phase, you could make a roll to keep pencils, or one for yourself to store crochet hooks or… umm… other stuff!crayonroll12

Have you made one? Let me know! I’d love to see it!

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