Sunday, July 5, 2015

Turning Japanese

I have always been charmed by all things Japanese, not so much the technology but the delicate nature of their attention to detail.  The geisha tea ceremony fascinates me their ancient traditions, the romantic pictures of gnarly black trees dripping with delicate shades of blossom.  Much of my recent design work has I feel a Japanese influence to it.  Glaringly so with this little cushion I worked up to accompany my Jiguzagu cushion (see previous blog).

I used a chunky weight cotton that I have had knocking around for a while, I bought this a Knit and Stitch show Ally Pally a number of years ago, its called Perfomance Winter Cotton, added to this was Patons 100% 4ply for the appliquéd tree and finally Stylecraft cotton classique for the blossom.

The tree is pretty much freehand although I have written some rough guidance notes.  I hope you enjoy the pattern as much as I did.

 Cherīburossamu Cushion (チェリーブロッサム)
Yarn: 
Cushion - Any Aran/Worsted Cotton 240mtrs. 
Flowers -Stylecraft Cotton Classique DK.
1 x ball of Saville 3670
1 x ball of Ivory 3665
Tree – Patons 100% Cotton 4ply 1712
Stitches (UK)
Ch = Chain
Slst = Slip Stitch
Dc = Double Crochet           
Tr = Treble Crochet
Special StsSurface Crochet, insert hook into crochet fabric, draw a loop through, insert hook back into fabric at top of loop catch yarn at back and draw through, rep to end on last loop pull yarn all the way through and using needle stitch back in to secure.
Abbreviations
St(s) = Stitch(es)


Yarn Alternatives: 
DK = Cotton Glace or Patons 100% Cotton DK
4ply = Wendy Cotton 4ply

Difficulty: Beginners/Intermediate
Advanced Skills used:  Surface Crochet
Hook:  6mm and 3mm
Notions:  2 x 4cm Buttons, Bent ended Tapestry Needle, 1 x 30cm square cushion.

Tension:  For Base cushion using Aran yarn 15rows x 13sts
Measurement:  30cm x 30cm

Pattern
Main Cushion
Using Grey, work 36 Chains.
Row 1 – 1dc into 2nd ch from hook, 1dc into each ch to the end, turn. (35sts)
Row 2 to Row 90 – 1ch (doesn’t count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, turn.
Row 91 –  1ch (doesn’t count as a st), 1dc into next 8sts, work 8ch, skip 4sts, 1dc into next 11sts, work 8ch, skip 4sts, 1dc to the end, fasten off.  If possible do not cut yarn put piece to one side for flower placement and surface crochet.
Gently steam block your piece.

Tree Trunk
The tree trunk is made by working a chain, this is of your own choice of length, I used 70ch, (Use image as a guide if you wish), turn.
Work a dbltr into 5th ch from hook and each ch about 21 times, 3dbltr into next chain to form a bend in the tree.  Work in tr’s, then reduce to a htr’s, work a htr 3 tog to form another bend at any chosen point reduce to a dc’s and then a slst into last few chains, fasten off.
*Join yarn back into top of beginning 4ch, work 4ch, this is main trunk so work dbltr into chosen amount of sts, and reduce sts as and when you wish to, use sts together and more sts in same stitch to form bends, again as and when you wish, fasten off.
Repeat from * using less sts and fasten off.
Larger branches use instructions for tree trunk starting with a tr rather than a dbltr.  Place pieces loosely on cushion and arrange to suit, using yarn tails secure the pieces to the cushion stitch down edges.
When you are happy with your arrangement use the surface crochet technique to make the smaller twigs on which you will place your flowers.
Blossom (Make as many as you wish)
Using 3.5mm hook
Magic Ring
Round 1 – 1ch (doesn’t count as a stitch) 5dc into ring, slst to join, fasten off.
Join in second colour by working 1ch into any st.
Round 2 – [2ch, 3tr, 2ch, slst into same st, slst into next st] 5 times, on last repeat slst into bottom of beginning ch, fasten off.

Making Up
Lay wrong sides together with an overlay/envelope flap to form the opening for the cushion, dc down both sides. Turn back into right side and insert cushion.

Enjoy.....xx

© alifelikevera – Crochet by Nicky Hale.  Reserve all rights.  This pattern must not be reproduced in any way for commercial use or financial gain

Mandala's for Wink

As you may all be aware by now there was some sad news last week, the hugely talented crochet designer Marinke Slump known as Wink took her own life after her long battle with severe depression.  In her honour those in the crochet community are making her signature Mandalas,  #MandalasforMarinke, for more information see Crochetconcupiscence , there is also a lovely blog post from Winks little sister follow this link.

I know I will be working on a Mandala, what a lovely idea from 'Crochetconcupiscence'.





Monday, May 25, 2015

I'm Back in the Game!

So I sit here writing this blog and thinking why have Ieft it so long?????.......... The answer is many things, but mainly I have very little time.  We are still working on our new home in Derbyshire we love it up here.

I have met lots people, and made some super new friends, you know who you are! I am still in touch with some old friends from 'down South', some of which have visited.  I see my beautiful granddaughter regularly at least once a month, I can't believe she will be two in October, time flies.  
Imogen in her 'Frozen' inspired dressing up outfit
I have got to know some really exceptional people at work, home and my local yarn and tea shop, some real characters!
Lydia - Owner of the Vintage Community Tea Rooms, Clay Cross
Another reason for writing again, 'as I have been a little blog shy of late', was a great little text I received from my chum Emma, basically telling me to "get it together" she is also going to visit very soon.  

I also had a proverbial kick up the crochet backside, after a visit from my mate Janie Crow.  We ate, drank , did a little retail therapy and had a good old catch up, I am looking forward to more exciting get together's this year. #feelinginspired!

So to kick start my poor old unloved blog page I thought I would include a very easy free pattern:
A simple zig-zag cushion using Stylecrafts Special DK.
The colours are inspired by some gorgeous bedding from Habitat, Sakura is a retro Japanese inspired print.  I love this palette, gentle with a shock of orange.

Jiguzagu Cushion (ジグザグ)


Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK 1 x ball of Slate, Cream and Spice

Stitches (UK)
Ch = Chain
Slst = Slip stitch
Tr = Treble Crochet

Abbreviations
St(s) = Stitch(es)

Hook: 3.5mm
Notions: Bent ended tapestry needle, 1 x 40cm square cushion.

Tension:  18sts x 9 rows worked over zig zag pattern for best result work a two full zig zag tension square and measure from the edge in. 

Using Spice, work 65 Chains.  (NOTE: Colours change after 2nd repeat)
Row 1 – 1tr into 4th ch from hook, 1tr into next 3chs, [*3tr into next ch, 1tr into next 5ch’s,** skip next 2ch’s, 1tr into next 5ch] 3 times; repeat from * to **once, turn.
Row 2 – Slst into next st, 3ch (counts as 1tr), 1tr into next 4sts, [*3tr into next st, 1tr into next 5sts,** skip next 2 sts, 1tr into next 5sts] 3 times; repeat from * to **once, joining in Next Colour on last st, turn.
Row 3 – Slst into next st, 3ch (counts as 1tr), 1tr into next 4sts, [*3tr into next st, 1tr into next 5sts,** skip next 2 sts, 1tr into next 5sts] 3 times; repeat from * to **once, turn.
Row 4 – Slst into next st, 3ch (counts as 1tr), 1tr into next 4sts, [*3tr into next st, 1tr into next 5sts,** skip next 2 sts, 1tr into next 5sts] 3 times; repeat from * to **once, joining in Next Colour on last st, turn.
Row 5 to 66 – Repeat Rows 3 and 4, at end of last row do not join in Next Colour, fasten off.

Making Up
Gently steam block your finished piece, so points of zig zag sit flat at each end.  Lay wrong sides together with an overlay/envelope flap to form the opening for the cushion, dc down both sides. Turn back into right side and insert cushion.
Enjoy!

Still a little rusty with the pattern presentation.....now where did I hide that 'Blogging for Idiots Book'!