How my passion for crochet started

Mums-bag by Queenandfox
Mums-bag, a photo by Queenandfox on Flickr.

A couple of years ago, my Mum was getting ready to travel from France to visit us here in Melbourne and spend Christmas with us. And, as I mentioned before, Mum is pretty crafty and I told her how much everyone comments on what she makes, especially a couple of handmade bags that she knitted for me and my daughter. I told her: “Mum, can you show us how to knit and how did you make that little flower, was that crochet?”.

So, she brought all her tools over, some yarn and left-over material and she started showing my daughter how to do a simple knit-stitch and she showed me the same stitch and the purl stitch.  That went well, but I still wanted more from her. I seem to not really connect with straight knitting. “How about that beautiful blue blanket you made for Dylan (my son)?” I asked her. She said that I would need to learn crochet to do that. So, she started showing me how to do my first granny square. It was so hard, in the beginning. I had no idea, it seemed like decyphering an old parchment to me at first.

Then, I got it. And while I was getting the hang of it and perfecting my simple granny square skills, Mum got inspired and started getting an idea for a new bag. So, she used the yarn that was hanging around and leftover bits from one of her old dresses and she made the bag you can see in the above photo. She left it to me as a gift and once she was gone, it gave me a challenge. I was determined to reproduce what she had made!

I ended up making the same square with different combinations of colours. And I made enough so I could turn it into a scarf for my daughter. It was the first garment I ever made using crochet. The squares were not exactly even, so I did have to cheat and add extra edging to some. I also had to work out how to do fringes, as it was a strong requirement coming from my daughter! It took me ages to finish, as I was not very experienced, but I was pretty proud by the end of it. Lana loves it too and Mum was super amazed.  This square is kind of a special family pattern now. I hope Lana uses it one day, maybe for her own kids – that would be cool!

Do you also have a special sentimental attachment to a project you’ve made or a pattern that was passed on to you from older generations? It would be great to hear your stories.

Granny square scarf

Doilies in Glenlyon

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I have just come back from my weekend in Daylesford, which was a great success. I also managed to catch up with an old friend, Magali, who runs an art gallery called Stockroom in Kyneton.  We had dinner with her family in her country farm in Glenlyon, which is not far from Daylesford.

She was the one I was making the red doily for (see previous article). I ended up making a second one, as I got into the swing of it and because it’s much nicer to share with someone else. She was really pleased with them and immediately put them on her dining table to use as coasters. She also told me how she would like to learn how to crochet. So, this could start another crochet addiction! I have recently taught my niece how to make granny squares and she is also hooked and bursting with her own ideas for various projects. So, I think it’s going to be hard for me to stop this wave of crochet love!

I used a 2 mm crochet for this and a pattern from Le Monde de Sucrette. So, let me know what you think.

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Poncho girl!

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Tadaaaa!!! I’ve finally finished my daughter’s poncho. Just in time for the cooler months here in Melbourne!!!

She’s super happy with the results. She originally thought she would like fringes as a finish. But, I ended up doing a different kind of edging, as the wool we picked did not work well with fringes. I’m not sure how this type of edging is called, so I call it petal edging, since I usually use it to make crochet flower petals. If anyone knows the correct term for it, please drop me a line in the comment box.

The pattern for this edging goes like this:

Row 1

sl st, ch 5, sl st at the end of each cluster (so every 4 stitches)
Keep going around and sl st at the end. It looks like semi-circles all around the edge.

Row 2

dc around your 1st semi-circle, tr 5 times, dc. You have made 1 petal.
dc directly around the second semi-circle and keep going until the end. Fasten off.

If anyone gets inspired into making their own take on this poncho, please, please, please post a photo of it and send me a link to it. I’d love to see your work!

My first doily!

My first doily by Queenandfox
My first doily, a photo by Queenandfox on Flickr.

Here’s a little something I’ve been working on lately. I’m going to visit a friend in Daylesford (lovely town located northwest of Melbourne) in a couple of weeks. And since I have not seen her for a while, I thought I’d better not arrive empty-handed. So, I decided I would make her something with my little hands, something to remember me by. I’m only halfway through, but I’m enjoying it so far. I’ve never tried making a doily before and I think it will become addictive.

My grandmother, Yvonne, used to make so many of them, but her work was much finer of course. Her doilies were usually made with a beautiful lacy edging and she would make intricate embroidered flowers in the middle. I wish I had been more interested when I was young. Unfortunately, my grandma passed away a few years ago, but luckily she did pass on some of her skills to Mum, which is a great comfort.

So, it’s kind of nice to be making something my grandma would have approved of, even though I am using a different technique. I have used a yarn that’s half acrylic and half cotton called Gelato (couldn’t resist the ice-cream reference) and a 2 mm crochet hook. I have also got a dark blue, almost navy and a light brown, almost cream, which I will use for the edging. I might even make a second one and mix colours a bit.

If you are interested, I’ve followed a fantastic pattern which I found in Le Monde de Sucrette again. As you can see, if you keep going making squares, you could make a table-runner out of them. She’s so clever and her drawings are really user-friendly, an absolute life-saver!

Let me know if you have a go at making this one. Enjoy!

I’ve got a secret, a secret, a secret!

Harmony wool by Queenandfox
Harmony wool, a photo by Queenandfox on Flickr.

The great thing about crochet is that you can treat your loved ones with something made with your imagination and busy fingers. Something that comes straight from the heart.

I’m in a great state of anticipation at the moment because I have just spotted the perfect wool (see above) for my best friend, Julie. She has a special birthday coming up and I’m going to surprise her. She happens to spend a bit of time on her bike going to work and has just lost the mittens that I bought her last year. And, we can’t have her going around freezing her fingers, besides we need to keep her looking swift and stylish! So, I am going to replace them for her using a pattern I have followed before to make some for my daughter. Here they are:

Fingerless gloves by Queenandfox
Fingerless gloves, a photo by Queenandfox on Flickr.

These mittens were an absolute hit with my daughter Lana. She wears them all the time! And I made them using multicoloured yarn that Mum brought from France, which happens to be the very yarn which Mum had used to teach Lana how to do her first knit stitch. So, it always brings great memories to my mind whenever Lana wears these. It was a Christmas holiday that definitely ended up stitching the three generations together. The bond was already there, but learning how to knit and crochet from Mum made those ties even stronger somehow.

Anyhow, I’m thrilled with the tones of this new Harmony wool I picked up for Julie and with a name like this I had to get it for her. She is a bit of a pocket rocket, so hopefully this zen-ish name will soothe her somewhat.

More pics to follow, hopefully soon!

turkish “oya” crochet necklace

I’m definitely adding this gorgeous crochet necklace to my to-do list. My best friend’s birthday is coming up and it will fit exactly with her style, so can’t wait to get started!!! A big thanks to JaKiGu for sharing this!

JaKiGu

I am trying something new.

Turkish Crochet Necklace by JaKiGu

I came across this crochet technique when browsing the Internet for nursing necklaces – child-safe pieces of jewelry that make the mama feel pretty while offering adequate entertainment and visual stimulation to the child she’s nursing.

Turkish Crochet Necklace by JaKiGu

In its pure form, oya lace is in fact a form of needle lace, and is most often found adorning edges of scarfs – along with a lot of tiny beads. But I found plenty of crochet versions – and they inspired me. This is my interpretation of Turkish oya lace and how it could work as part of a nursing necklace.

Turkish Crochet Necklace by JaKiGu

Almost all of the nursing necklaces I found contained either a plastic, metal, or wooden ring that was crocheted over. The idea of plastic or metal doesn’t really appeal much to me, and even though an unfinished wooden ring would be fine, the hassle of having to…

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How to crochet the perfect poncho

Poncho-project by Queenandfox
Poncho-project, a photo by Queenandfox on Flickr.

This is a little project which I have started a few weeks ago. My little girl is hanging out to wear this deliciously comfy and colourful poncho. I have decided to use a multicoloured type of yarn, so I don’t even have to change colours for each row. Wasn’t that cunning of me? It’s not that I’m lazy, but what the hell, a little bit of time-saving doesn’t hurt, does it? Plus, I just fell in love with this wool.

This pattern is really super easy to follow and was passed on to me by my lovely crochet buddy, Jacinta. All tyou have to do is create a chain, then slip-stitch it. This creates your head opening. Then, you carry on with your pattern of trebbles (or double-crochet), until you reach the desired length. You can make a nice little edging at the end to finish it off. Or, if you are into fringes like my daughter is (she’s a bit of a Pocahontas afficionada), the go for it!

You’ll find all the instructions and a super handy pattern chart on this article by Le Monde de Sucrette. Very worth browsing through her other articles too. And in case you ‘re wondering, I have used a Cleckheaton California yarn (colour Storm) – 100% wool.

Hope you too have a lovely time making this. I’d love you to send me pictures of some of your creations. Ariba, ariba!