Posted on December 1, 2013
Do you want to make a white Christmas – Aussie style? Since it’s highly unlikely that it’ll snow in Australia for Christmas (or just plain impossible), I’m creating a white Christmas by crocheting snowflakes. The pattern is quick to make and the snowflakes are perfect for crocheting while watching tv. The other bonus is that you may already have all the materials and equipment you’ll need.
what you’ll need
- Natural coloured twine for making the snowflakes (I bought mine from my local supermarket but you can also buy it online from Biome here).
- Different coloured twine or yarn for hanging the snowflakes (I bought the red hemp twine online from Biome here).
- Crochet hooks – 3.25mm for making a small snowflake, 4.50mm for making a medium snowflake and 6.00mm for making a large snowflake.
- Darning needle.
- Pins for blocking.
- Something to pin onto for blocking. I use foam tiles, but you can use an ironing board or anything that a pin will stand up in.
I’ve made 3 different sized snowflakes by using different sized hooks. The sizes are:
- Small – 90mm in diameter.
- Medium – 110mm in diameter.
- Large – 150mm in diameter.
how to make snowflakes
Step 1 – make an adjustable loop for working the first row of stitches into. If you’ve never made an adjustable loop before (they’re very handy) here’s how you do it:
- Make two loops with the end of the twine like in the photo on the left below. The tail of the left loop needs to be connected to the ball. Make sure the tail on the right loop is about 100mm long.
- Take the left loop and pass it under and up through the right loop.
- Pull the tail of what was the left loop to make it the right size for your crochet hook.
- Put your crochet hook into what was the left loop and you’re ready to start crocheting.
Step 2 (row 1) – make 5 chains, then repeat this combo 5 times – treble into the adjustable loop, 2 chains. Pull the end of the adjustable loop to close the loop, then slip stitch into the 3rd chain that was worked initially. You should have something that looks a little like a wheel with spokes.
Step 3 (row 2) – work this combo 6 times – 7 chains, skip 2 chains, slip stitch into the top of the treble. Then slip stitch into the base of the first chain you made for this row.
Step 4 (row 3):
This step has a few more steps than the last couple so I’ll break it up for you:
- Work 10 chains, skip 3 chains and slip stitch into the 4th chain.
- Next repeat this combo 5 times – make 4 chains, skip 3 chains and work a quadruple treble crochet (refer below if you need some help with this) into the slip stitch, make 4 chains, skip 3 chains and slip stitch into the 4th chain.
- Then work 4 chains, skip the remaining 3 chains of the last row and slip stitch into the 6th chain you made at the start of this row.
Phew, did you get all that?
Step 5 – yay, you’ve finished crocheting the snowflake so cut the twine leaving about a 100mm tail and fasten off. Sew in the loose ends and trim.
Are you thinking that your creation doesn’t really look like a snowflake? You’ve got to do step 6 to make your snowflake pointy.
Step 6 – block your snowflake. If you’ve never blocked anything before (this comes in handy too) here’s a quick run down on how to do it:
- Put your snowflake in a bowl and cover with water. Soak it for about 10 minutes to allow the snowflake to become saturated.
- Take your snowflake out of the water and give it a good stretch by pulling on the points.
- Pin your snowflake points to something soft. As you pin the snowflake make sure the snowflake is stretched and looking symmetrical.
- Unpin you snowflake once it is completely dry.
Step 7 – cut a length of the coloured twine/yarn, thread it through one of the snowflake points and tie the two ends together. Your snowflake is now ready for hanging!
If you like to crochet from a chart, this will make you happy:
Quadruple Treble Crochet
If you’re a little unsure on how to do a quadruple treble crochet (that’s a mouthful to say), here’s how to do it:
- Put the yarn over the hook 4 times.
- Insert the hook under the top loops of the stitch below.
- Put the yarn around the hook and pull the yarn back under the 2 loops of the stitch below.
- Put the yarn around the hook and pull it through 2 of the loops on the hook. Do this 5 times.
How did you go with the snowflakes? I hope you enjoy making them for your white Christmas! If you’re looking to make some snowflake inspired gifts why not have a look at my snowflake scarf post?
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got any questions or comments about the pattern and I’d love to see your snowflakes! Feel free to leave a comment below, put your project on Ravelry or catch up with me on the Homelea Lass facebook page, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #letitsnowchristmasornament.
You can find this pattern on Ravelry here.
Posted on November 27, 2013
Yep, it’s true. The impossible really is possible. But there’s a key to making it happen.
Recently I’ve been thinking about how my values and thoughts can stop me from doing things. When really, if I set my mind to it, I can do anything. Anything! It may take lots of time and lots of “blood, sweat and tears”, but if I believe it can happen it will one way or another. I’l make it happen.
So yes, the impossible is possible if you want it to be.
I made this graphic to remind me and you that anything can happen if you want it to. Feel free to print or share it!
Have you ever done the impossible?
Posted on November 21, 2013
You know the feeling when you’re walking down the street and you see a store full of beautiful, beautiful things? Things that are so beautiful you want to take all of them home with you? I had that same experience when I stumbled across an Etsy store called Acreativelifestyle. I instantly fell in love with all the vintage homewares that I could see.
Acreativelifestyle is run by Jane Gott and it turns out that there is an inspiring story behind all her vintage homewares. Jane kindly agreed to have a chat and a virtual cuppa with me, and I’m sharing our chat with you today.
There are photos throughout the interview of Jane’s gorgeous products, if you click on the photo it will take you to the product on Etsy (got to love the technology!).
L: Hi Jane and welcome to Homelea Lass! It’s great to be able to spend some time chatting and having a virtual cuppa with you. To start off can you tell us a bit about yourself?
J: Hi Lynda and thanks so much for your interest. I have been working in the health industry for 35 years but my true passion is being creative. Over the years I have dappled in creative activities, whether it has been decorating my home, designing my garden, restoring furniture, sewing or simply making things. I have two extremely creative daughters who have shared my passion and love for the creative arts and are developing careers reflecting this. They are both living interstate and have encouraged me to follow this path.
L: Your online store, Acreativelifestyle, is a treasure trove of good things. What kind of products do you sell?
L: When I browse through your online store I’m inspired to fill my home with beauty. What inspired you to open your online store and fill it with beautiful things?
J: The store started as an avenue to sell the mini milk bottles which I decided were worth recycling. I had read about Etsy and with both my daughters encouraging me I opened the shop. As I said earlier, I have always been attracted to vintage objects and found this was the perfect avenue for selling these things as well. I started adding these to the shop along with my recycled bottles and got a good response.
L: Of all the items in your store what are your 3 favourites and why?
J: The first thing would have to be the recycled mini milk bottles.They have a wonderful shape and so many uses. They look fabulous in any environment.
The second thing would be the metal vintage bakeware from”Willow’. Willow Ware is an Australian company that began in 1887. Many of their pieces I love, and they were made from a single piece of tin that has the most fantastic hutch pattern pressed into it.
The third thing is any vintage white china. I collect jugs, pudding bowls, plates and platters. I just want to share my love of these wonderful items with other people and encourage people to start their own collections.
L: Thanks for taking the time to share a bit about yourself and your online store Jane. Before we finish off how can people find your online store and contact you?
J: Lynda, people can contact me through my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/acreativelifestyle or they can email me at jane.gott at gmail dot-com. I also sell the bottles through an Australian online site called Down That Little Lane http://downthatlittlelane.com.au/sellers/acreativelifestyle. I am also on Instagram as “gottj” and soon I hope I will have my own website which my daughter who is a graphic designer is developing for me.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview and if you’ve got any questions for Jane pop them in the comments below, and Jane will answer them.
Why don’t you also pop over and have a look around the Acreativelife store, it might be a great way to tick off a few Christmas presents. A vintage lover would be delighted to find some of Jane’s pieces under the Christmas tree, or if you need to give a “not so subtle” hint about gifts for yourself share this post on Facebook or Twitter (the sharing links are below).
Posted on November 10, 2013
As the days get warmer I find myself putting away my thick woollen projects and looking for finer and cooler yarns to work with. The “you spin me round necklace” was born out of this desire and is full of summer frivolity and fun. It has a raw rhythm to it, a bit like when you’re immersed in music or listening to waves breaking on the shore. The same stitch is repeated over and over, round and round (hence the name), making this project great if you’re new to crochet or if your brain is struggling to work on a hot day.
This necklace feels light and cool because the linen yarn is thin and made from natural fibres – you hardly know it’s around your neck when you’re wearing it. Initially the linen yarn has a slight roughness to it that feels nice; it softens as the necklace is made and worn.
There are so many reasons why I love this necklace - the thin natural fibres feel lovely, it’s quick and easy to make and it can be worn so many different ways.
What you need to make this
- 1 ball of Mustard Tours by Pierrot Yarns. This is a 100% linen, fingering yarn that is available from Tangled Yarns. (See below for more info on finding this yarn)
- 3.0mm crochet hook.
- Darning needle.
- Tape measure.
- 5 pieces of yarn approximately 100mm long for marking stitches. It helps if they’re in a different colour to the main yarn.
- Circumference around the tube – 20mm.
- Length of the tube – 1.4m.
- Length of the necklace when worn doubled – 300mm.
When you’re making this pattern the gauge really isn’t important, you can vary the diameter or length to suit your preference.
How to make it
- Foundation Chain: Make a slip knot, leaving a 100mm yarn end. Make 4 chains, then slip stitch into the first chain to form a loop. This forms the start of the tube. To make it easier to join the two ends together, mark each chain and slip stitch with a piece of yarn.
- Row 1: Make a half treble (instructions below) into the first chain (this is the chain you did the slip stitch into). Half treble into each of the remaining 3 chains and the slip stich. When doing the half trebles hold the tube so that when the hook goes under the top loops of the stitch it goes from inside the tube to outside.
- Row 2: Continue to work a half treble into each stitch in a continuous spiral. This forms the tube.
- Row 3 onwards: Repeat row 2 until the tube is 1.4m long. While you’re doing this you get to experience the “you spin me round” part of the pattern.
- Slip stitch into the next stitch.
- Hold the tube and let it hang free to remove any unnecessary twist from spinning around.
- Butt the two ends of the tube together and work slip stitches to join the two ends. This is where the yarn markers you inserted into the chain at the start come in handy.
- Fasten off leaving about 100mm of yarn free.
- Weave in the two loose yarn ends using the darning needle.
- The Most Important Step: wear your necklace or give it to someone else to wear.
About the half treble stitch
A half treble crochet stitch is a cross between a double crochet and a treble. Here’s the step-by-step instructions on how the make a half treble in case you need them:
- Yarn round hook and insert the hook under the top loops of the stitch below.
- Yarn round hook, pull the yarn back under the 2 loops of the stitch below.
- Yarn round hook and pull through the 3 loops on the hook.
Posted on October 31, 2013
I thought I would share some photos with you of my crochet basket when I was playing with some merino wool yarn that I purchased from Echidna Handmade. The yarn is so soft and lovely to work with and it produces a finished product that looks great. I wish I had a never ending supply of it in a huge range of colours. I’ve used up the cream yarn, and the rest of the yarn is going to become a throw rug – I’m really looking forward to making it.
If you’re looking for merino wool yarn Echidna Handmade have some available here in a wonderful range of colours. All those colours would make a great chevron rug.
What are your thoughts on the feel and look of wool yarns?
P.S. In case you were wondering, this post is not sponsored. I’m sharing something that I love with you.
Posted on October 9, 2013
My heart starts fluttering whenever I see old sewing supplies. I love how the packaging designs are timeless and stylish, and the thought that someone else owned and used these items. I wonder what they were used for – making a dress, repairing a hem, perhaps making a quilt?
I also love it that I can use these things too. Instead of buying new sewing supplies I’m finishing off ones that have already been bought and might otherwise end up in landfill. Buying vintage is fun and sustainable.
I bought the little collection in the photos online from Archer and Archer. If you enjoy finding old treasures then Archer and Archer are worth a look at every Tuesday and Thursday night at 8pm. The enamel bowl that my sewing treasures are sitting in is from Archer and Archer too.
What does your heart flutter for?
Posted on September 29, 2013
Each year, Brisbane has the fireworks festival. The fireworks festival of the year that is full of magic, colour and wonder. Fireworks are let off from numerous places through the city – from bridges, the river and from the tops of buildings. The city stops while it becomes a mass of colour and light.
Each year Riverfire is bigger and better than the year before. This year they added laser lights and changing colours on the Storey Bridge (this was my favorite bit).
I’ve enjoyed Riverfire from the city before, but this year my vantage point was from a couple of suburbs away, in Hamilton, where I had a great view of the city buildings and the Storey Bridge. I also had plenty of room to setup my camera on a tripod, play with my camera settings and snap away to my heart’s content. That is, when I wasn’t totally engrossed and amazed at what I was seeing. It truely was a magical experience.
From the 200ish photos I took I only ended up with a handful that were good, and I’ve had fun editting them to try and capture the essence of the experience. Here are my favourites for you to enjoy too.
Do you have a favourite fireworks festival?
Posted on September 27, 2013
I must confess that my favourite meal of the day is breakfast, especially on the weekends when there is time to make and enjoy something delicious. I’ve got a great weekend breakfast that you can make – french toast served with a side of berries.
I stumbled across this french toast recipe by Food Wishes one day when I had a hankering for really, really good french toast. What makes it so good is the vanilla and cinnamon, and how the french toast is cooked in the oven at the end so the insides go all lovely and soft when the outside is crunchy.
I believe that french toast is best served with maple syrup and a side of berries. Berries are in season in my part of the world at present, and I must confess to indulging just a little. When berries aren’t in season french toast is good by itself or with any other fruit that’s in season.
What’s your favourite breakfast?
Posted on September 12, 2013
Did you know that September 12 is International Crochet Day? I love that my favourite crafty activity has it’s own day, and to celebrate I thought I’d share some of my favourite crochet inspired photos with you.
I’m currently working on this blanket which is crocheted using hand spun yarn by Nunnaba. The yarn is spun thick and thin and it’s a blend of soft merino wool and silk. Each stitch is different and together they tell their own story. Blanket stitchis perfect for showing off the beauty in hand spun yarn.
I generally have 2 or 3 crochet projects on the go at any time, and my second project at present is made using Knitsch Yarns. I love the jewelled colours of these yarns, that are hand dyed in New Zealand. The yarns are 4 ply, 100% New Zealand wool and you can buy them from Holland Road Yarn Company. (I’ll let you in on a little secret, Holland Road Yarn Company is my favourite yarn store in the whole wide world and I’ve never visited their real life store! The online store is fabulous).
My favourite crochet project that I’ve designed and made is the Coconut Ice Chevron Blanket-Bedspread. I’ve blogged about this before so you read about the inspiration and design of it here, and the making of it here.
If you’re looking for a good book of throw rug crochet patterns I suggest you have a look at Unexpected Afghans. Not only are is there a good range of patterns, but the book coordinates lovely with this skein of hand spun Australian chunky merino wool from Hawthorne Cottage.
I could go on and on about crochet all day but I thought I’d finish off with this photo of the cabled cushion cover I crocheted in undyed wool. I love the colour of undyed wool, it almost shines with goodness.
So enough about me, tell me a bit about you and crochet. Do you crochet or are you an admirer? What’s your favourite crocheted item?
ps this isn’t a sponsored post, I’m just talking and sharing about my favourite past time.
Posted on September 11, 2013
The Coconut Ice Chevron Blanket-Bedspread that I created has been quite popular in the bloggy and Pinterest worlds, so I thought I would share with you how I came up with this design, and a bit more about the materials I used.
As a child I can remember my Great Grandmother having a crocheted bedspread. It was a treasured piece, taking pride of place in the master bedroom. It is important to me that the treasured textiles and techniques from our past are not forgotten.
I was inspired to create a modern version of this favoured bedspread, to celebrate the art of crochet, to appreciate handmade textiles and to encourage the use of Australia grown and processed wool.
Chevrons are a popular modern design element and I have combined this with the stripped colours of an old-fashioned sweet treat, Coconut Ice. The fabric is created using crochet, just like the bedspread of my Great Grandmother. The crochet stitch used is double crochet in the back loop which creates a ribbed texture. The stitches are increased and decreased to form the zig zags.
The yarns used are from Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 100% wool range. The pink “Wineberry” is an 8 ply and the cream “Aran” is a 12 ply. The different colours and sizes of the yarns provides a textural difference when feeling and looking at the bedspread. These yarns are grown in New South Wales and processed in Victoria.
You can find out more about the making of this blanket here.