Saturday, October 26, 2013

How to make a Pompom Necklace.... a great project to do with kids!

 Here is a pompom project for the weekend. It makes a fun necklace (particularly for kids but don't let that stop you from wearing it yourself) or a wonderful garland.
 A little bit of bosom for you..... actually, a very little bit.
Various yarn for making pompoms
Metallic silver 4ply thread/yarn
2.5 mm crochet hook

 First of all, make your pompoms - you can use my tutorial here but instead of using your whole hand, wind the yarn around two fingers for a smaller pompom. Start with at least five - or for a garland, twenty.
 Thread the pompoms onto your yarn. I have used metallic silver which gives it a bit of bling.
 You could of course stop at this stage but that would be too easy.
 Once threaded, push the pompoms down towards the yarn reel, leaving enough length to crochet a chain of 20. 
 Push the first pompom up close to the last chain and then...
 Making sure not to squash the pompom, grab the yarn from the other side with your crochet hook.
Bring the hook through the last chain and continue to chain 7 until the next pompom. If you are working on a garland, chain 20 between each pompom.
 Repeat with the following pompoms, leaving a chain of 7 between each one.

 Upon reaching the final pompom, chain another 20. 
 Tie ends together and then....
Put it around your neck and say, "Look at me, look at me".
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Setting up a Christmas Scene.

It's all go at our house this morning as it is the time of year when I start getting scenes ready for Christmas cards. Do you like my silver birch forest..... it's made from straws.
Lots of discussion goes into casting. Sadly the rabbits and fox(es?) voted against having John the Bear in the shoot so that was a little awkward.
MAYBE if he didn't keep going off for a quick 'hibernate' they wouldn't have had time to plot behind his back. 
MAYBE it's time for me to start getting out a bit more.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Crochet Vessels.

I love how crochet is really soft sculpture. And that there is almost a crossover with pottery. I made these bowls/vases on the weekend when I felt like a bit of mindless crochet... nothing tricky. The only thing is though, they don't hold water - who'da thunk it?
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Christmas Decorations: A Mini Hot Air Balloon Tutorial.

8ply yarn in assorted colours.
4ply metallic yarn.
3.5mm crochet hook
3mm crochet hook

Abbreviations (U.S. crochet terms):
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
slpst = slip stitch
b.l.o. = back loops only
st/s = stitch/es
N.B. All rounds are worked in continuous spirals unless otherwise stated such as with the base of the basket. I have used two spools of 4ply metallic thread at once for the balloon as I haven't been able to locate any 8ply silver.
For the Balloon.
Round 1. ch 2, 6 sc into the 2nd ch from the hook, join with slst into first sc. (6)
Round 2. *2 sc in each sc. *Repeat until end. (12)
Round 3. *1 sc in the next st then 2 sc in following sc. *Repeat until end. (18)
Round 4. *1 sc in following 2 sts then 2 sc in next sc. *Repeat until end. (24)
Round 5. 1sc into every st until the end of the round. (24)
Round 6. *1sc into the following 3 sts then 2sc into the next st. *Repeat until end. (30)
Round 7. *1sc into the following 4 sts then 2sc into the next st. *Repeat until end. (36)
Rounds 8-10. 1 sc into each st until 3 rounds have been completed. (36)
Round 13. *1sc into the first 5 sts then skip the sixth st. *Repeat until the end of the round.
Round 14. 1sc into every st until the end of the round. (30)
Round 15. *1sc into the next 4 sts then skip the fifth st. *Repeat until the end of the round.
Round 16. 1sc into every st until the end of the round.(24)
Round 17. *1sc into each of the next three sc then skip the fourth st. *Repeat until the end of the round.
Round 18. 1 sc into every st until the end of the round. (18)
Round 19. *1sc into each of the next two sc then skip the third sc. *Repeat until end of the round.
Rounds 20 - 22. 1sc into every st until 3 rounds have been completed. (12)
Stuff firmly.
Round 23. 1 sc into every 2nd st through b.l.o.
Bind off.
Tuck the tails up through the balloon leaving the bottom of it nice and flat - see in the photograph below.
For the Basket.
Using the 3mm hook with basket coloured 8ply yarn (I have used cotton), the base of the basket is worked from side to side.
Chain 6 then turn. 1 sc into the 2nd chain from the hook and then sc once into each st until the end of the row. (5).
*Turn and ch1. Sc into each st until the end of the row. (5)
Repeat from * until a square is formed (which usually takes 5 rows including the foundation chain.)

The basket sides are now worked in continuous spiralling rounds.
Ch1 and then work 5sc along each side of the base. 
Continue to work 1 sc into each st for another 4 rounds. Slpst into the last st and bind off.

 Using the metallic 4ply yarn and the 3mm hook, work 1sc into each st for one round. Bind off leaving a 30cm tail. Thread the needle with the tail and sew the tail around to the middle of one side.
 Then pull the thread through the bottom of the hot air balloon. Bring the thread through the other side of the basket and bind off. 
 Et voila.
 Pop in a lolly or a scorched almond and hang in your Christmas tree....
Or go crazy (like someone I know rather well) and make a fleet to stick to your ceiling!!!!
Have fun!
Lots of love, Kate xxooxx.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Birthday...

Can you believe that it is that time again? What time you might ask.... why, my birthday season. Here I am with the boys (and my bird crown which I thought would be appropriate for the day) sharing my joy. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOVE BIRTHDAYS - not just mine - everybody's. You can tell that Archie has been through a few of my ones now - look at his slightly bemused face. 
I love this time of year because you can decorate your house any way you like and say "It's just for my birthday". This helps you to justify things like sticking hot air balloons to your ceiling with washi tape.
 And threading pompoms through wisteria.
 Or adding pompoms to the roof.
 Or filling transparent balloons with interesting things.
 (Such as pompoms and confetti - some even had fake flowers)
 Putting birds in with roses.
 And buying pretty straws.
It has also given me an excuse to go crazy over making pompoms with the boys these holidays. Hugo is so good now that he is considering opening a pompom hair salon.

 There have even been a few presents which I will show you in my next post. I have been very spoilt.
 This really is how homes should look all the time.
 Ceilings are very bland without a little bit of party bling....
This is the house two days after my birthday. I will take the decorations down soon but I won't lie, it will be hard. Bring on Christmas.....
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

How to Make a Five Minute Pompom - Confetti Style....

 I love making pompoms and as birthday season rapidly approaches ( well my birthday that is), I am always compelled to add a bit of sparkle to the house. And as I like doing things quickly (because there are so many things to make and so little time), this is my quickstix way of making pompoms. 
 First of all, gather together at least 6 different balls of wool, bringing the ends together in one hand. I found it quite effective using at least three strands of white as it makes the other colours 'pop'. Start wrapping them around your other hand taking care to tuck in the tails to prevent unravelling.
 Keep wrapping evenly around the length of your fingers until the wool reaches a - fatness? a thickness? - of 2 - 3cms. Try not to cut off your circulation during this process, it is quite handy to have two sets of fingers later on.
Cut a 20cm length of wool and then carefully slip the pompom (in-waiting) off your fingers while maintaing the bundle's shape.
 Wrap the 20cm length of wool twice around the middle of the pompom bundle and pull tight.
 Tie a double knot securely and admire for a moment because it looks wonderful just as it is.
Turn the pompom bundle and with sharp scissors, begin snipping the woollen loops in half until it springs open and resembles a half squashed disco hedgehog.
Now for the fun part... Start trimming your pompom until it turns into a beautifully coiffed ball. Then if you feel like it, use a sparkly thread and sew lots and lots and lots into a garland. OR your could grab your pet dog and some double sided sticky tape (never a stapler) and attach the pompoms to it so that you end up with your very own confetti style poodle.
If you choose the garland option, string them up around the room, put on nice clothes and act a little fancy.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.


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