Jigsaw Biscornu cover button

 

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See that button there in the middle of my Jigsaw biscornu? I recently had someone ask me a question as to how I did it, so I thought I’d post the answer here.

This is the chart for the motif on the button:

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This design should be stitched over one on a piece of the same fabric as used for the biscornu and using 1 strand of a coordinating colour of thread. The centre stitch is a full cross stitch, the others can be half crosses.

There’s some information on over-one stitching on this page here –

To finish it off as a cover button, you can have a look at the tutorials on these sites –

There are also instructions on making a biscornu here –

When others have done such a great job putting together all this fantastic information, I don’t believe that’s necessary for me to go back to the beginning and do it myself too! I’d be interested to know what others think of this approach.

I think I might need to make a Stitching Dictionary too to keep these links together and organised!

Spring Daisy Mandala

Spring Daisy Mandala

As those of you who follow me on Instagram will know, I recently designed a crochet mandala. One of my goals for 2016 is around designing and this is the start.

I call it my “Spring Daisy Mandala” and this is the pattern.

Stitches/techniques used: these are the stitches used in this design. If you’re unsure how to make and of these stitches, then click on the links. This will take you to my Crochet Dictionary where you will find a written description of how to make the stitch along with links to photo and video tutorials.

Spring Daisy Mandala

The terminology used here is all for UK.

There’s nothing too complicated in the stitches themselves, the positioning sometimes takes a bit more explanation!

And sorry if the photos aren’t always that good – I never have time to do this sort of thing during daylight hours! I probably need to investigate how to set up my own simple, portable, little photo studio!

Round 1 – Yellow

Starting with a magic ring, ch 2 and work 8 htr in the ring. Sl st in the top of the starting chain, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Round 2 – White

Start in any round 1 htr,  make  a standing puff stitch, (ch 1, 1 puff in next st) 8 times, ch1. Sl st in the top of the first puff st.

There is no need to cut the yarn and fasten off here, unless you choose to work the next round in a different colour.

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Round 3 – White

Sl st into the next chain space. Ch 3, work a starting popcorn in same chain space, (ch 2, popcorn  in next ch space) 8 times, ch 2 and sl st in the top of the first popcorn . Cut yarn and fasten off.

In round 3, the chain stitches between the popcorns should be allowed to fall to the back of your work where they will lie slightly below the level of the top of the popcorn  stitches.

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Front                                          Back

Round 4 – Pink/purple

Work only in the ch spaces between the popcorn stitches. Starting with a standing dc in any chain space, work 5 dc in each chain space. Sl st in the first st to join, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Front                                          Back

Round 5 – Light green

Start with a standing dc between stitches immediately behind the top of a bobble. (Ch8, dc between stitches behind next bobble) 8 times, ch 8, sl st in the first stitch.

There is no need to cut the yarn and fasten off here, unless you choose to work the next round in a different colour.

Round 6 – Light green

Sl st to next ch8 space, ch1, 6 dc, picot, 6 dc in the same ch space, * (6 dc , picot, 6 dc) in next ch space *. Repeat from * to * 7 more times. Sl st in the first st to join, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Fold the ‘leaves’ made in round 5 and 6 to the front and work rounds 7 and 8 behind. The round 7 stitches are worked into round 4, between the round 5 stitches.

Round 7 – Dark green

Start with a standing dc in a stitch of round 4 two sts after a round  5 dc, ch 11, (dc in st two sts after next round 5 dc, ch 11) 8 times, sl st in the first dc.

There is no need to cut the yarn and fasten off here, unless you choose to work the next round in a different colour.

Round 8 – Dark green

Sl st to next ch11 space, ch 1. * (3 dc, 3 htr, 2 tr, picot, 2tr, 3htr, 3dc) all in the same 11 ch loop, skip next dc. * Repeat from * to * 8 times. Sl st in first st, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Round 9 – Light green

Start with a standing dc in any picot of round 8, (ch 12, dc in next picot) 8 times, ch 12 and sl st in first st.

There is no need to cut the yarn and fasten off here, unless you choose to work the next round in a different colour.

Round 10 – Light green

Sl st to next ch space and ch 3. Make 11 tr in the same ch space, (tr in next dc st, 12 tr in next chain loop) 8 times, tr in last st. Sl st in first st, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Round 11 – White

Start with a standing dc in any round 10 tr stitch before one made in a round 9 dc. Dc in next 2 sts, ch 8, htr in the first round 6 picot to the left of your dc sts. Ch 8, skip 10 sts of round 10, (dc in each of next 3 sts, ch8, htr in picot of rnd 6, ch8, skip 10 sts of round 10) 8 times. Sl st to first st, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Round 12 – Yellow

Start in the first st immediately after any group of 3 dc of rnd 11. Dc, ch1, (skip 1dc, dc in next st, ch 1) 5 times, ch3, skip 3 dc of round 11. * Dc in next st of rnd 10 immediately after 3 dc of rnd 11. Ch1, (skip 1dc, dc in next st, ch 1) 5 times, ch3, skip 3 dc of round 11. *  Repeat from * to * 7 more times. Sl st to first st, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Round 13 – Pink/purple

Start with a standing dc in the first of any group of 3 round 11 dc, dc in next 2 sts. Dc in next (round 12) st, spike dc over next (ch) stitch, working over ch st from rnd 12 and anchoring the st in rnd 10 tr. (Dc, spike dc) 4 more times.  * Dc 3, (Dc, spike dc) 5 times. * Repeat from * to * 7 more times. Sl st to first st, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Round 14 – White

Start in the first spike dc after any 3 dc worked in round 11 dc.  Tr3tog over first 3 sts, (ch3, tr3tog over next 3 sts) twice, ch 3. * Next, dtr2tog as follows – yarn round hook twice, insert hook around ch8 from round 11 to the right of your position in this row, yarn over and pull up a loop, (yarn over and pull through 2 loops) twice – 2 loops on hook; yarn over twice, insert hook around ch8 from round 11 to the left of your position in this row, yarn over and pull up a loop, (yarn over and pull through 2 loops) twice – 3 loops on hook; yarn over and pull hook through all loops. (Ch3, skip 4 sts, tr3tog over next 3 sts) 3 times, ch3. * Repeat from * to * 7 more times, work one more dtr2tog, ch3 and sl st to first st, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Round 15 – Pink/purple

Start in the first ch3 space after a dtr2tog, *(work 5 dc in the ch3 space, skip 1 st) 4 times, 1 fpdc around dtr2tog, * repeat from * to * 8 more times. Sl st to first st, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Round 16 – Lt green

Start at the first tr3tog of round 14 after the dtr2tog. * (Make a standing spike stitch over the round 15 stitches into the top of the tr3tog, ch6, skip 5 sts) 3 times, dc in fpdc, ch6. * Repeat from * to * 8 more times, sl st to first stitch.

There is no need to cut the yarn and fasten off here, unless you choose to work the next round in a different colour.

Round 17 – Lt green

In each ch6 loop, make (2dc, 2htr, picot, 2htr, 2 dc), skip the spike dc sts. Sl st to first stitch, cut yarn and fasten off.

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Congratulations – you’ve completed your Spring Daisy Mandala!

If you make a mandala using this pattern, I’d love it if you would let me know. Either let me know through the comments here or post on Instagram using the tag #springdaisymandala.

Spring Daisy Mandala        Spring Daisy Mandala

Large crochet motifs

Hi! My name’s Lesley and I’m addicted to crochet motifs! I can’t get enough of them – I have bags of mostly small motifs at home that I’ve made over the years just because I wanted to try out a particular pattern or technique. They’re just so much fun!

Dedri Uys from Look at What I Made has chosen large crocheted motifs as her trend for the Deramores Blog Competition.

I discovered larger motifs through the overlay mandalas from CAROcreated on Etsy.

Sunrise overlay crochet Overlay crochet mandala

And of course, Dedri’s Sophie’s Garden takes this to a new level!

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I recently took the pattern for Joyce Lewis’s Crocodile Flower on Ravelry and made it into the centre of a small blanket for the children at my daughters’ school to use for their dolls and soft toys. (A great excuse to try out all sorts of different motifs and techniques!) That works as another large motif. You could take almost any motif and add extra rounds to it to make a large motif!

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Now I’m challenging myself to make my own large motif. I started out thinking square, but it didn’t quite turn out that way!

Giant hexagon

The first time I looked at it all laid out, newly finished, I was completely shocked at just how much I love it! And taken aback that I’ve managed to create something this amazing from scratch myself!

Giant hexagon Giant hexagon

This giant hexagon is a whopping 29 inches across, corner to corner, or 26 inches from side to side! WOW!

One of my favourite bits of this is the border with alternating front post treble stitches worked around the corresponding treble 2 rows below.

Hexagon border

And can you imagine what an entire blanked made up of motifs like this might look like? Here – I’ll help you!

Blanket simulation

Isn’t it amazing? Think I’m going to have to fine-tune the pattern a bit just so that I can make the blanket!

 

This post is my submission to the Deramores Craft Blog Competition 2015. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. Visit www.deramores.com for more details.

Giant hexagon Giant hexagon

I can crochet a rainbow …… (sing along)

Well, maybe not the singing, but I can crochet a rainbow.

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Rainbow colours is another of the trends identified in the Deramores Blog Competition, chosen by Heather Leal of The Patchwork Heart. Heather’s blog post is here where she talks about her love of colour and how, as a mathematician, she loves a bit of order and how a rainbow combined order with her passion for colour.

Well, I’m not a mathematician, but I probably have a similar background in maths, science and computing. And I also love a bit of order combined with colour.

Heather’s blog post also talks about different colours and rainbow combinations, not only limited to the traditional rainbow spectrum. She also, very generously shares on her blog her colour recipes, details of the colours she uses to create her wonderful rainbows! I see that I’m going to have to make a gorgeous rainbow ripple like Heather’s!

If you’re looking for more rainbow inspiration, then Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence has created a Pinterest board of rainbow crochet she has featured on her website – they all look amazing!

I’ve also played with rainbow colours before.

Rainbow flowers Rainbow games Rainbow block

But it’s time for a new challenge. This time, the starting point for my rainbow was to raid my stash for all the shades of blue I could find.

Rainbow blues

But there was something missing and I knew exactly what it was:

Rainbow shades

The orange and yellow really make my rainbow pop! This pattern is based on the Lacy Round Ripple Blanket from Mama’s Stitchery Projects, but I’ve added braided chains to the points of the ripples.

Rainbow mandala

I’m torn between taking this further to make a large round ripple, or just leaving it as it is. What do you think?

You’ll notice that all my entries for the Deramores competition work with this rainbow – it’s a kind of sunrise/sunset rainbow shading from a midnight black through fading shades of blue until you get to the rising/setting sun. I love it! Once I started working with it I couldn’t put it down!

 

This post is my submission to the Deramores Craft Blog Competition 2015. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. Visit www.deramores.com for more details.

Rainbow Mandala

Crochet that looks like knitting

Deramores, the online knitting and crochet shop, is currently having a competition.  They’ve teamed up with six crochet and knitting bloggers to identify 6 trends for this year.  The idea is that we have to blog out take on these themes for a chance to win a massive amount of yarn!

Deramores Blog Competition Deramores Blog Competition

Well, I can’t resist this sort of challenge, so over the last few weeks I’ve been busily crocheting away making thinks to fit some of these trends. Now, all the things I’ve made use several of these trends, but according to the rules of the competition, each entry must only contain one trend. Fortunately, you can enter more than once. This is my first entry.

Wink (aka Marinke Slump) over at a creative being has identified crochet that looks like knitting as her trend.

I hadn’t tried this technique before, but as I’ve said, I do love a challenge!

.Crochet that looks like knitting

This is what I’ve come up with. I rummaged around in my stash and came up with every shade of blue I could find, but it needed the yellow and orange to really make it pop!

Wink describes the technique as using “the half double crochet stitch, through the infamous third loop, to make the v’s that normally lie on top of the stitch come forward“. It certainly makes for an interesting texture and the fabric I’ve made is wonderfully soft and squishy!

Crochet that looks like knitting

I suspect that the star shape doesn’t take full advantage of the stitch pattern yet. However, it does emphasise the star at the centre. Add more rounds and the ‘knitted’ texture will stand out even more.It’ll also will make a wonderfully soft and cozy blanket.

Crochet that looks like knitting Crochet that looks like knitting Crochet that looks like knitting Crochet that looks like knitting

This post is my submission to the Deramores Craft Blog Competition 2015. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. Visit www.deramores.com for more details.

What’s in a name?

What does into naming a design? I’d be really interested to know how designers approach this.

For me, this is the part of designing that I find most difficult. Often I really struggle.

Of course, there are occasional designs that have been inspired by things I’ve seen elsewhere (usually online). Here is an image of a Flying Swallows quilt block pattern.

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My take on it? My Flying Stars biscornu. And the name of my biscornu follows on from the name of the quilt block.

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That one was easy!

Quakerish wasn’t too hard either – it’s based around a Quaker motif.

quakerish Quaker_Motifs_01

But other designs, like my Jigsaw biscornu, are a nightmare to name! (I’m still not sure that Jigsaw is right.) I can hardly believe how difficult it is!

And when it came to naming my Etsy shop, well, that took months to find just the right name! At least, once I had the right name for Etsy, then the blog name followed from there (thank goodness!).

I wonder if other designers struggle like this to name their designs? Etsy shop owners naming their shops? Or bloggers naming their blogs?

At least I found it easy to name my children! And thankfully I still love their names!

 

References – thought it would be neater to put these at the end!

  1. Flying Swallows image from http://www.earlywomenmasters.net/quilts/s/swallows/index.html
  2. Quaker motif from http://www.needlenthread.com/2010/10/developing-a-spot-sampler-add-a-quaker-motif.html

Continuous biscornus

I love making biscornus. There’s something especially satisfying about it. (And it doesn’t take too long!) And I’m always on the look-out for new and interesting biscornu patterns.

I also love puzzles and solving logic puzzles, although that doesn’t mean that I’m good at it! To me, a biscornu is almost a kind of stitched puzzle in the way the two sides fit together.

But one thing that sometimes frustrates me about biscornus is that the stitched top and bottom are completely separate. Now, that might be fine if you want highlight particular design elements on the top or bottom, but it means that the side and the seam are completely ignored!

Why should the design stop when it comes to the seam? Why can the seam not be an integral part of the design?

I call my solution Continuous Biscornus. So far, I have designed two.

Jigsaw biscornu Jigsaw biscornu Jigsaw biscornu

This is my Jigsaw biscornu, my first continuous biscornu.In these photos you can see how the design from the top continues over the seam to the bottom of the biscornu.

This next one is called African Flower, after the crochet motif of the same name. You can see how the pattern comes together over the seam.

Continuous Biscornu no. 2

They’re great fun to make – my biscornu obsession is not over yet! The patterns for these two are available in my Etsy shop. And I can see more continuous biscornus in my future!

Welcome to the Crafty Cowrie

Goodness, it’s such a long time since I’ve blogged! I’ve discovered it’s much simpler to maintain a blog when you only have one child than when you have three! PicMonkey Collage2 I’ve really missed blogging – chatting to people online about my crafting, whether crochet or cross stitch. Over the last year, I’ve started to fill the blogging gap with Instagram which I’ve really enjoyed! The ability to post a quick pic with or without words has been fantastic! If you want to catch up with me, I’m tintocktap on Instagram and if you’re not on IG, then you can see what I’ve been up to via sites like Iconosquare! PicMonkey Collage1 Another thing I did towards the end of last year was to start my own Etsy shop, also called The Crafty Cowrie, selling my own cross stitch designs. I hope you’ll take a look! cropped-title.jpgAt the moment, I’m not planning to return to regular blogging, but I do want to be able to blog when I feel like it. I’d also like to use this blog as a place to record my own designs, whether freebies, for sale, or anything else, I just want to record them and use this blog as a showcase for them. OK, so that’s all for now, not sure when I’ll blog again, but I will be back!