Posted on March 9, 2014
This week I’ve been learning about crochet cotton from a grand lady who crochets beautiful creations with it. I’ve learnt that one of the best crochet cottons was J&P Coats Mercer Crochet and it’s not made anymore.
I’ve had a rummage through my stash of cotton to see if I had any in the fine sizes and I found a few balls to pass onto the grand lady. I know she’ll enjoy creating with them.
Posted on February 8, 2014
This week I’ve been finishing off the River Walk Wrap that I’ve been crocheting. I’ve made a few of these in the last couple of months, this is the sixth one to come off my crochet hook. Would you have guessed that I really like this pattern?
The River Walk Wrap pattern is designed by Sharon Faulkner and it’s published in Interweave Crochet. Once I got used to the pattern I found it easy to crochet – it’s perfect for doing in front of the tv. This is a pattern that definitely needs blocking, it turns the crochet into a light and striking wrap, shawl or scarf that is perfectly sized for wrapping around your shoulders. I’m planning on getting plenty of use out of the wrap I made for myself because during spring and autumn I like to have a wrap on hand for those times when I need a little bit of warmth.
Anyhow, back to how blocking changes the River Walk Wrap. Here are some photos of the wraps I made using Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca Lace, the first set is unblocked and the second set is blocked:
Can you see the difference from blocking? It’s really opened up the fabric and made it light and soft, as well as stretching it to shape. It’s amazing what a difference a bit of water, wires and some pins can make.
I also made the River Walk Wrap using Knitsch 4ply wool sock yarn, once in the Blunderbuss colourway (green) and once in the Arronax colourway (purple). Even though this is a larger yarn than that used in the pattern the finished result is still great.
I also crocheted one of these using a hand dyed silk-linen blend but I forgot to take photos of it before I gifted it – silly me! This lace weight yarn made this pattern into a beautiful feeling textile.
Of all the yarns I’ve made the River Walk Wrap out of the 3ply Alpaca Suri yarn from Shiann Alpacas at Gympie really made this pattern shine. The finished product is beautiful, soft and it has a slight haze. I’m sure it will be treasured for many years.
There is nothing I don’t like about this pattern. It’s easy to follow and it doesn’t have any errors. The finished textile is beautiful and a good size. What more could you want? You can find the pattern on Ravelry here.
Do you have a pattern that you find yourself making over and over again? It doesn’t have to be a crochet pattern, maybe it’s for sewing or knitting. If you do have a favourite pattern please share it below in the comments, I’d love to check it out.
Posted on January 30, 2014
If you’ve been following Homelea Lass on Instagram you may have seen that I’ve been working on a large project of late. It’s taken me months and months to finish it and I’m proud to say that I’m done. This might sound like a massive crochet project but it’s not. Instead I’ve turned my studio from a untidy dumping room to a tidy, organised and altogether wonderful space.
It’s gone from looking like this:
To looking like this:
(Complete with my little dog Min of course!)
I must admit that a lot of the mess was my yarn “collection”. I do have a love for lovely yarn made from natural fibres and it seems I’ve amassed quite a few balls and skeins. These days my yarn collection is now happy living in the favourite part of my studio – my restored kitchen hutch complete with suitcases, boxes and baskets on top.
Isn’t she a beauty? I’ve got my other creative treasures stored in the hutch as well, things like pattern books, crochet needles, buttons, half finished projects . . . . . everything now has a home.
See the vertical door on the right? Behind it is some shelves which are perfect for holding yarn. This is what it looks like inside:
My collection of vintage suitcases and baskets are great for storing yarn in too. I’ve got tags on the handles so I know what is in each one.
While I was doing my massive tidy up I found my colourful rag rug. It’s now got a home on my studio floor.
The hutch is very useful for storing my treasures but she’s also full of vintage charm. The original textured glass, hinges and catches are far from ordinary, making her a thing of beauty! She has been a little bit popular on the interwebs and she’s even made an appearance in issue 66 of Gathered by Mollie Makes.
I’ve been tossing up whether or not I should give my vintage hutch a name – what do you think? If you think she’s special enough for a name what do you think it should be? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Posted on January 22, 2014
When it comes to anything crocheted or knitted, chunky is better. The large loops, interwoven together, create a texture which just has to be touched. Chunky throws are the ideal accompaniment for snuggling on a cold night, preferably with a wood fire!
To fulfil all your chunky throw needs I’ve designed a throw for you to make. The Cold Hands Warm Heart throw is super chunky, making it the perfect winter accessory. Made from merino wool yarn, it feels and looks soft and luscious. It looks that good that it’s hard to resist it when it’s draped over your sofa. The great thing is that you can whip this throw up in a couple of hours – bring on the snuggling.
What you’ll need:
- 3 skeins of Big Loop Merino Yarn (available from Loopy Mango)
- 25mm (size U) crochet hook (available from Loopy Mango)
- Finished size – 1.2m x 1.2m
- Gauge – 3 stitches and 2 rows in a 100mm x 100mm square
How to make it:
This pattern uses UK crochet terminology.
- Foundation Chain – Make a slip stitch and then make 32 chains.
- Row 1 – Work a double crochet into the first chain from the hook, then form a chain (this is the first stitch of the row. Then work a treble into each stitch. At the end of the row you’ll have 32 stitches. Turn.
- Row 2 – Double crochet into each stitch 32 times. Turn.
- Repeat rows 1 and 2 another 12 times so that at the end you have 26 rows.
- Fasten off and weave in the ends. Because this yarn is so big the best way of doing this is with your fingers.
Super dooper, easy peasy! How did you go? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to see a photo of your Cold Hands Warm Heart throw – share a photo on the Homelea Lass facebook page or tag @homelealass on Instagram or Twitter.
If you like oversized crochet then pop over and check out my extreme crochet board on Pinterest.
You can find this pattern on Ravelry here.
PS – this post is not sponsored.
Posted on January 15, 2014
Have you whipped up a You Spin Me Round Necklace but need a bit of inspiration on how to wear it? One Homelea Lass reader suggested that a tutorial on how to style the necklace would be useful and I thought this was a great idea. I decided that this was a fantastic opportunity for the first Homelea Lass video – I’m a little bit excited about talking to you!
In the video I go through 4 different ways to style and wear the necklace (they’re in the photo below) plus another 3 styles – that’s a total of 7 different ways to wear one necklace. The great thing is that the styling ideas can be used on any necklace you have that’s similar.
Here’s the video so watch away to your hearts content! If you’re looking for the crochet pattern to make the necklace you can find it here.
My favourite ways of wearing the necklace are styles one and four, how about you?
Posted on January 12, 2014
Do you have a soft spot for chunky scarves? I do. I thought I’d share with you the chunky scarf I crocheted for a friend awhile back. I love how the wool yarn alternates between thick and thin and how the earthy colours gently change and combine.
You can find this project on Ravelry here.
Posted on January 5, 2014
What you’ll need
- 12 small Let It Snow crocheted snowflakes (you can find the pattern here)
- Coloured yarn or twine
- Measuring tape
How to make
- Using the coloured yarn/twine, make a slip knot leaving 300mm of yarn loose.
- Make 30 chains, then make a slip stitch through one of the snowflake points.
- Continue step 2 until all the snowflakes have been joined into the garland.
- Make another 30 chains and fasten off, leaving a 300mm loose end.
- On each end tie a loop with the 300mm of yarn.
- Hang up your garland, smile, tilt your head on the side and go “owwww”
Posted on December 30, 2013
How would you feel if a bushfire started in your backyard? What would you do? Losing your home in a fire is the stuff that nightmares are made of. No amount of insurance can bring back a lifetime of cherished belongings, family members, pets and perhaps your livelihood.
Yesterday I had a close encounter with a fire that had a high potential to wipe out our home and farm, and those of our neighbours. It made me think about what to do in a bushfire. I wanted to share my story with you so you can be better prepared for a fire too. It doesn’t matter if you live on a farm, in a suburban area or in the city, a fire can wipe out your home. By coming up with a plan of attack it may save you precious moments if it did occur.
My Encounter With a Bushfire
Yesterday was an extremely hot day and at about 5pm I was in the kitchen unpacking a few groceries that we’d popped into town to buy. There were little scuds of rain about but nothing significant, it looked like we’d missed out on the cool relief of a storm on a hot summer’s day. Unexpectantly I heard a loud clap of thunder that seemed close, very close. I later found out it was close. A lightning strike started a grass fire in the paddock behind my home.
In a matter of moments flames were jumping and licking the earth – they were being fanned by the winds of the storm that caused the lightning strike and they were feeding on the tall, dry grass in the paddock. Then something happened that saved us from possible disaster. Big, heavy drops of rain fell from the sky and put the fire out. Never before have I been so thankful for rain. But in those few moments between the lightning strike and the rain the fire had covered about 100m of ground. Imagine how far it would have spread in 5 minutes. If it hadn’t of rained the fire would have taken off and caused all kinds of havoc. Chances are I probably wouldn’t be sitting here in my lovely home, enjoying the serenity of the Aussie bush right now.
How to be Prepared for a Fire
Not in my wildest dreams have I ever considered the possibility of a bushfire starting unexpectantly on our property. I’d thought about what I would do if a fire was heading towards my home, but never about what I would need to do if I had to initiate the emergency response. I’ve now thought about what I should have done if it hadn’t rained, I urge you to think about what you would need to do if a fire started in your backyard. For example:
- Do you know the number of your local emergency service?
- Do you have the phone numbers of your neighbours easily available to alert them?
- What gates would need to be opened for the fire brigade to access the fire?
- How to you best describe where the fire is and how to get there?
I’m not going to tell you how to prepare your home for a fire because there are some excellent web resources available. Here’s a few you can look at:
- Allianz – Preparing Your Home for a Bushfire
- Fire and Rescue NSW – Bushfire Preparation
- Government of Western Australia Fire and Emergency Services – Prepare Before the Season
- CFS – Preparing Your Property for Bushfire
Have you ever had a fire start in your backyard? What is your plan if a bushfire is heading your way? Share your thoughts below in the comments, your words may help someone else in an emergency one day.
Posted on December 24, 2013
Well, it’s Christmas Eve again – where has the year gone? I always think life is good when time flies, but that’s not what this post is about. What I want to talk about is Christmas. In my last post I said that Christmas makes me grateful, and I just wanted to say that I’m grateful for you! Thank you for reading and being a part of the Homelea Lass community, I love being able to share with you, read your comments and interact on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
I hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Whatever you are up to for the next week and a bit I hope it’s happy and bright, and full of good times. In fact, I hope that 2014 is good to you.
What are you up to for the Christmas – New Year period? I’ll be soaking up the serenity of the Aussie bush, reading, crocheting and generally having a good time.
Posted on December 18, 2013
The Christmas season makes me grateful, grateful for all the good things in my life. Last year I thanked the special people in my life by sending them Christmas cards, something I hadn’t done for years.
When it came to sending Christmas cards this year I had a little bit of a wastage dilemma. Each year I always struggle to throw out the Christmas cards I’ve received because someone has put time and effort into it, but then I don’t know what to do with them so I put them in a cupboard until they eventually get thrown out.
So this year I’ve come up with a way of sending Christmas greetings, thanking people and sharing some handmade goodness all in one.
I’ve designed a Christmas card which is a crocheted ornament with a tag attached – it’s a card and mini gift all in one. It can be hung on the Christmas tree and used each year, and there’s no need to throw the greetings out.
I’ve put together a tutorial for you so you can make these unique Christmas cards too!
What You’ll Need
- Handmade Christmas ornament – I’ve used a medium crochet snowflake from my Let It Snow crochet pattern
- Coloured twine – I bought mine online here
- Envelopes – I bought mine online here
- Tags – I bought mine online here
- Scalloped labels – I bought mine online here
- Tape measure
How to make
Step 3: Stick a scalloped label on the envelope and address the envelope. Don’t forget to put your postal address on the back. It’s easier to write on the envelope when it is empty rather then when the snowflake is inside
Step 4: Slide the snowflake into the envelope and fasten the envelope closed. All done!
Now wasn’t that easy? You can do the same thing every year with different ornaments, and over time your family and friends will get a collection of Christmas decorations that have been made with love.
Happy creating! Let me know if you have any questions or feedback on the tutorial – I’d be happy to help out. I’d also love to see your creations.
Do you have a way of making a unique and wasteless Christmas card? Or perhaps you’ve got a way of reusing Christmas cards? Please share it with me in the comments.