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Cushion Crochet Along

I’m so delighted to shout about my first Cushion CAL!!

I have never run a Crochet Along so it’s all very new and exciting. I can assure you it will be fun and I even have prizes at the end!!

Let me first tell you everything about it and how to take part.

Timetable:

The CAL will start on Saturday 5th October and run over 8 weeks.

There are three types of squares in the CAL. A new square will be released every 2 weeks:

5th October – Square 1 – Colourwork

19th October – Square 2 – Popcorn

2nd November – Square 3 – Cable

16th November – Making up and finishing

30th November – Prize draw

Patterns:

The patterns are free and include written instructions, charts and picture tutorials where necessary, I have also created few videos. All the photos will be included in the pattern on the last pages so no need to print them out. There will be links to video whichever are applicable to a pattern.

Please note – Patterns are written using UK terminology with US conversions given in brackets in abbreviation list.

Yarn:

The yarn I have used is West Yorkshire Spinners Colour Lab DK – you can see the shades here – https://www.deramores.com/products/west-yorkshire-spinners-colourlab-dk?variant=21474764718162

The lovely people at Deramores have also created yarn packs with the colours I have used. They yarn is at 10% off at the moment so perfect time to get it. For individual colours see link above. You can find the yarn packs here –  https://www.deramores.com/products/cushion-cal-colour-pack-by-anna-nikipirowicz-in-west-yorkshire-spinners-colourlab

Any DK will be fine, you will use around 150m of each colour.

You will need 3 colours 1 ball of each, if you would like to have squares on both side of cushion instead of fabric you will need 6 balls or approx 300 m of each colour.

Finished size:

Completed cushion measures 50 x 50 cm, however, that is if tension is obtained.  If you would like a smaller or bigger cushion adjust your hook size or yarn thickness.

Hook and additional materials:

4.50mm (US 7) or size needed to obtain tension.

I recommend waiting until all the squares are joined before getting all the additional materials below.

The cushion is lined and backed with fabric. The reason I have backed the cushion is because the popcorn squares have quite big spaces in the corners and I love how the colour of the fabric peeps through. Wait before getting the fabric until the squares are joined, so you can measure it properly and get the right amount.

For my cushions I have used 55 x 55 cm of fabric, that has allowed me 2.50 cm on each side for seam allowance.

If you don’t want to make your own cushion cover, just sew the joined squares onto already made cushion cover.   

41 cm zip or size needed for your cushion cover. Get zip few cm shorter than your cushion cover so it has few cm of space on either side.

55 x 55 cm cushion pad – again, get the cushion pad after you have the exact measurements of finished cover. I get 5 cm large pad as I like the cushion to be nice and plump.

Taking part:

The pattern will be available from 9am BGT

If you sign up to my newsletter the pattern will be emailed a day earlier. You will also get a code for 10% off, I have a 20% promotion on my website as well right now, until 6th October.

To sign up to the newsletter, go to my website – https://moochka.co.uk/

The patterns will be available through:

My website – https://moochka.co.uk/

Ravelry – https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cushion-cal

I have also opened a Ravley group, If you like, please join here – https://www.ravelry.com/groups/anna-nikipirowicz

The group will be a wonderful place to share your progress, chat and ask any questions.

If you prefer you can also share your progress in the comments in this blog,

Or just use my email to ask any questions or show your finished cushion cover on info@moochka.co.uk

To enter the prize draw please post pictures of your finished cushion on the Ravelry group, in comments on this blog or email them to me.

I have talked a bit about the cushion in my podcast, which I host with my friend Annette – Two Peas in a Woolly Pod: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x9ZUYtWAlw&t=174s

Hope you all can take part and I can’t wait to see your squares 🙂

Brick is ready 🙂

Anna x

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Tassels – bag charm tutorial

 Autumn is in the air which fills me with joy 🍂

In celebration, I’m getting my warmer dresses out and even treated myself to new one from Lindy Bop. But the best thing about autumn is… I can wear my woolies again!!! Yeeeey!! Shawls, cardigan and jumpers it’s all coming out to play again!!

However, one Summer accessory I’m refusing to give up just yet is my straw bag. I love her, she’s been my constant companion for the past few months and I’m not shutting her in the wardrobe yet. What I’ve decided to do is to jazz her up a bit and make her autumn ready.

The best way to dress up any bag is with a charm. My first thought was pompoms, but I’ve been slightly obsessed with them and now everything is covered in pompoms. The other easily made decoration is tassels, and they have been everywhere this Summer, from earrings to cushions we have been loving tassels.

My favourite ones are the stacked ones with each tassel being different colour, I’ve seen some in gradient effect, and they are just lush. Of course, I wanted to have a go at making them by self. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right colours in my stash to create a gradient effect but nice autumnal ones are just great.

They are quite quick and easy to make; all you need is:

  • Your chosen yarns, the yarn with the lovelies colours I had in my stash was Rowan Cotton Glacé, but any yarn will do
  • Piece of cardboard 5cm wide and 7cm high
  • Sharp scissors
  • Charm holder, I used round bag rings by Prym, but any clip that goes around the handle and can fit your tassels will be just perfect, or just use yarn to tie them
  • Tapestry needle
  • Comp (optional)

I didn’t want my tassels to be too long and settles on approx. 7cm, if you would like them taller just cut the piece of cardboard longer in length.

Steps 1 and 2: Wrap yarn around the longer length of rectangle in the centre until nice and slightly full, don’t wrap too much. Cut the yarn.

Steps 3 and 4: Thread tapestry needle with 25cm of yarn and wrap around once and tie to top of tassel snugly. Remove needle, leaving tie to attach to work.

Steps 5 and 6: Ease the tassel gently from the cardboard.

Steps 7 and 8: Cut another 25 cm of yarn and wrap snugly around tassel once, near the top, tie a knot, then wrap once more and tie a knot, using the tapestry needle bury the ends inside the tassel.

Steps 9 and 10: Cut bottom ends of tassel and trim evenly.

Step 11: Make four more tassels in different colours.

Steps 12 and 13: Choose which colour you would like at the bottom and feed the top end of that tassel through the centre of tassel to be above.

Steps 14 and 15: Repeat with the other end, making sure that both ends come through on either side of the tie on the tassel above. Tie both ends in a knot and trim.

Step 16: Repeat steps 12 to 15 with the other tassels, stacking them on top of each other. When you stack your last tassel, do not cut the ends after tying them in a knot, feed them through tapestry needle and bury them inside the tassel. DO NOT cut the ends of top tassel.

Step 17 and 18 (Optional): I like the tassels to be a bit shaggy and worn, to achieve this just comb your tassels with a comp until they look nicely messy, trim any fluff. If you would like your tassels to stay smooth please omit this step.

Steps 19 and 20: Using the ends of the top tassel make few chains and wrap the ends twice around the ring clip, tie in a knot and weave in the ends down the chains and tassel.

Repeat all steps and make two more charms with two tassels each and attach to ring clip at different lengths.

Voilà, your gorgeous charms are ready 🙂

Anna xx

Thank you

Last week, Annette and I released our first podcast/vlog, Two Peas in a Woolly Pod, into the wonderful world of the web and we have been overwhelmed with you response.

We just wanted to say the biggest thank you to all of you for every view, comment, like, word of encouragement and for every little yeey.

We wanted to start a podcast for a while now as we just love the idea of them and they look like a lot of fun. We had a hoot recording it and are so overjoyed that you liked it too

Few words from Annette:

Thank you for watching our new podcast. Your response has filled us with joy. 

The idea of a podcast is something we’ve been toying around with for a while. We’ve been friends for ages, and have always nudged and guided each other with our creative ideas. Doing it together just seemed the natural thing to do. Working on this podcast, will give us an opportunity to combine our individual personalities, and hopefully give you something a little different to watch, and to share our joy of this community we are all a part of.

Do join us each month as we bring to you our love of yarn, crochet and knitting. We love it all! There’ll be wips and occasional fo’s. Patterns that have taken our fancy. Maybe some stash enhancement. We even hope to have some k/cals as we go along. We can’t promise it won’t be haphazard, but we’ll do our best. lol

We hope this will lead to many more episodes. There’s always something new to inspire us.

Here is the podcast/vlog for those who hasn’t seen it yet 🙂

See you next time,

Two Peas in a Woolly Pod x

Oxhey Woods

Last weekend Dave and I discovered the most charming Nature Reserve near us, Oxhey Woods.

I’m always amazed at our area that even though we lived here so long we still manage to find new places to visit.

Oxhey Park is truly a little piece of paradise. It is located in South Oxhey in Hertfordshire, it has a little carpark but if you rather take a train the nearest station is Carpenders Park and the woods are only 15 min walk from there.

What’s wonderful about it is that it’s ancient semi-natural woodland and some parts have been wooded since the last Ice Age.

The reserve has 4 fantastic trails:

1: Red short sculpture trail which is around 1k

2: Orange trail which is around 3k

3: Blue long train which is 4k

4: London Outer Orbital Path – not sure how long that one is.

So far we did the sculpture and the long trails and both were fantastic!!

The sculpture trail is a little gem, perfect for family visits and dotted with interesting wooden sculptures made by different artists.

The entrance to the sculpture rout is adorned with a beautiful arch with beatles and insects carved into it. Which along with the ‘living room’ sculpture containing wooden armchair, TV and a giant frame has been created by internationally renowned artist, Dan Cordell.

My grumpy lady expression

Going futher on the trail you constantly find little wooden trasures, an array of familiar birds and woodland creatures, and even a giant stag beetle among the branches of Oak tree by the entrance. All of these sculptures were created by by the ‘Tree Pirates’ who undertook a three day residency in the woods and used just one gigantic fallen tree to create all their pieces of work.

Along the path there’s also a ‘Xylofence’ which has been made using Sweet Chestnut timber sourced from Oxhey Woods. Artist, Will Embliss created this musical structure with the community using traditional woodworking tools and techniques, it gives out the sweetest sound.

The woods keep on giving and you will also find Father Forest, little town on a giant sphere and a swing!! I had lots of fun feeling like a child again 🙂

The long trail is far more dence, you will need to cross the road few times as the road itself splits the woodland. It’s a slight annoyence but nothing that ruins the walk overall. However, what is interesting when you cross over to each part is how different they are from eachother. Some areas are full of ferns and bushes, where others are dotted with just tall trees, there is also a lovely medow which is a perfect picnic spot.

And of course there are birds everywhere, gorgeous but scraggy little blue tit, Dave even managed to spot a nuthatch, a bird whcich elluded him for a decent picture for some time.

He also managed to find the happiest Dragonfly 🙂

Anna xx

Blankets

I wanted to write this blog for a while now, since the blankets were released really, but things kept mounting up, and recent events meant that I kept pushing it back. At this moment I crave occupying my mind with my soothing craft and even writing a blog again.
Let’s talk about blankets…………….
When the lovely people from Deramores approached me for design ideas I was overjoyed, I haven’t really designed crochet blankets, and this was the perfect opportunity.
I had ideas brewing it was just a case of making them a reality.
My love has gone in every stitch of designing and making them, it was truly a joy thinking of stitches and colourways. I wanted to use the new Colour Lab DK yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners as I worked with it on Runswick shawl and Melmbery socks and I’m crazy about this yarn, but then what’s not to love about it? The range of colours is beautiful, it’s pure wool and very affordable with good metreage, a winner all around. 
One idea, three blankets – When designing these blankets, I wanted the maker to be able to customise it to reflect themselves or the person they are making the blanket for. I took four interesting stitches and made them into squares which are fun, portable and quick to make, but I also wanted those stitches to be able to make one large blanket, without having to join squares.
Bolderwood is named after the beautiful forest which is also a deer sanctuary in New Forest. This is made out of four types of squares which use all four stitches, which are then joined together to form a large blanket. You are in complete control of how large you would like the blanket to be. I have laid them out diagonally in a style of traditional patchwork quilt; starting from the corner you have rows of textured squares, followed by rows of plain squares, each row uses one or two colours.
 
I have loved making this blanket as you can’t beat the portability of a crochet square, you can take them anywhere. I made sure that each square uses one or two colours only. They are also great way to try out stitches you haven’t before. 
 
I have used combinations of textures and plain stitches in colour sequence 
Spike stitch
Cable lattice stitch
Linen stitch
Plain stitch
 Green and grey colourway
 Pink
 Brown and cream
And I used the gorgeous flat slip stitch joint which is my all time favourite 
You can make Bolderwood blanket as large or as small as you like, you are in total control.
If you would like to change the size, make a little layout diagram to help you, use some coloured pencils to see if the colours will look good together.
 
Batchworth is named after the gorgeous lake in Hertfordshire where some of the photos were taken. This blanket is made in one piece using three of the stitches. It starts at the centre in linen stitch, expanding into plain stitch, followed by textured section using cable stitch, ending with a small edging in half trebles and finished off with slip stitch lines along edges of plain section. It is a perfect blanket to make when you are curled up on the sofa watching your favourite shows. 
Little Cloud takes its name from the sweet fluffy clouds. It is a baby blanket that uses the same idea as Bolderwood blanket but using three types of squares: linen, plain and spike. I have designed this blanket in a multi-use size, perfect for cots, prams and as a comfort blanket.
I used the sweet West Yorkshire Spinners Po Beep DK.
 
Dave and I had so much fun taking some of the photos by the lake. The weather was just right for perfectly moody photos. The Batchworth lake is really stunning location and I have used it before for photos, it never disappoints.
Big thank you goes not only to my Dave but also to Carmell for letting me use her stunning house for the Bolderwood blanket photos and for lovely Melinda for arranging it all. Also, to Annette and Magda for all their help, I have wonderful people in my live and I’m so grateful.
The patterns for the blankets are free and available at Deramores website along with yarn packs. 
The yarn packs are also at 10% off for limited time, perfect time to get them 🙂
 
Click on the blankets name below to take you to Deramores. 
 
And of course giant pompoms are a must 🙂
Happy crocheting, 
 
Anna xx

Little crochet trees


Time for another Chrismassy make.

I have designed these little trees for one of my classes at John Lewis Oxford Street. They are a great little project to try out tapestry crochet, which is very addictive.

Not only are they fun but also very quick to make, once you get into swing of things you will be able to make one in 45 minutes.

They make fantastic decorations for your tree and around the house. You can also make them into cat toys, just omit the stick, start with magic loop and include catnip in stuffing.  

The tutorial on how to work in tapestry crochet is below. I have written the instruction for the colour changes instead of a chart as the project is quite small so it’s not too overwhelming to follow the written instructions. 

Pattern notes 
  • Pattern is written using UK terminology with US conversion given in abbreviation list.

  • The pattern is worked in continues spiral, which means you will not ss to join round or ch 1 at the beginning of rnd, place marker to denote the beginning of rnd. 
  • From rnd 4 you will work in back loop of every st on every rnd. 
 

Materials

Small amounts of 2 colours of DK yarns: colour A – pine, colour B – white

I have used Ricorumi in Fir Green 050 (A) and Cream 002 (B)

3mm crochet hook

Toy stuffing

Piece of garden twig approximately 9 cm in length

1 x lockable marker

Finished size

One finished tree measures approximately 7 cm in height and 12.5 cm around the biggest part.

Tension

5 st and 5 rnds to 2.5 cm square measured over dc worked in back loop of every st.

Abbreviations

Ch – chain

Dc (US sc) – double crochet (US single crochet)

Dc2tog (US sc2tog) – double crochet two stitches together

Rnd(s) – round(s)

RS – right side

Ss – slip stitch

St(s) – stitch(es)

WS – wrong side

Snowy chevron and plain colour

With colour A make 4 ch, ss to first ch to form a ring.

Rnd 1: ch 1, 8 dc in ring, ss to first dc.

Rnd 2: ch 1, 2 dc in every st to end, ss to first dc. (16 sts)

Rnd 3: ch 1, * 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st, rep from * to end, ss to first dc. (24 sts)

You will now work in spiral and in the back loop of every stitch only.

Rnds 4 to 6: 1 dc in every st to end.

Rnd 7: [dc2tog, 1 dc in next 3 sts] 4 times, 1 dc in next 4 sts. (20 sts)

Rnd 8: 1 dc in every st to end.

Now you will work using the tapestry technique, join yarn B at the beg of next rnd and carry it with you all the way through a rnd using when needed.

If you are making a one colour tree just work the next two rnds: 1 dc in every st to end.

Rnd 9: with A – 1 dc in next 2 sts, [with B – 1 dc in next st, with A – 1 dc in next 3 sts] 4 times, with B – 1 dc in next st, with A – 1 dc in last st.

Rnd 10: [with A – 1 dc in next st, with B – 1 dc in next 3 sts] 5 times.

Brake off yarn A and continue only in yarn B.

Rnd 11: [dc2tog, 1 dc in next 2 sts] 5 times. (15 sts)

Rnd 12 and 13: 1 dc in every st to end.

Insert the garden stick in the middle of foundation ring (see below), start stuffing the tree around the stick, making sure that the shape is nicely rounded.

Rnd 14: [dc2tog, 1 dc in next st] 5 times. (10 sts)

Stuff the tree a little more, but do not overstuff.

Rnd 15: [dc2tog] 5 times. (5 sts)

Break off yarn, leaving approximately 10 cm tail, using tapestry needle feed the yarn through the stitches of opening, pull tight to close opening.

Weave in all end.

Deep snow

Work as given for snowy chevron to rnd 5.

Rnd 6: [with A – 1 dc in next 11 sts, with B – 1 dc in next st] twice.

Rnd 7: with A – dc2tog, 1 dc in next 3 sts, dc2tog, 1 dc in next 3 sts, with B – dc2 tog, 1 dc in next st, with A – 1 dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog, 1 dc in next 5 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 2 sts. (20 sts)

Rnd 8: with B – 1 dc in next st, with A – 1 dc in next 6 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 4 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 6 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 3 sts.

Rnd 9: with B – 1 dc in next 2 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 4 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 6 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 4 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 4 sts.

Rnd 10: with B – 1 dc in next 3 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 2 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 8 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 2 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 5 sts.

Brake off colour A and continue only in colour B.

Starting with rnd 11, work the rest of rnds as given for snowy chevron. 

Techniques

  • To get a neat colour change we need to change colours one stitch before: For example; if the third stitch needs to be a different colour, change yarns on the second stitch. Work to one stitch before colour change, stop when you have two loops on hook.

  • Drop colour A and finish the stitch with colour B.

  • We need to work one st in colour B and the following sts are in A – work next st in colour B but stop when you have two loops on hook, drop colour B and finish the stitch with colour A.

Continue changing colour as described in the last 3 steps.

Tip – To avoid yarns twisting, make sure you keep your colour B to your right and colour A to your left.

Carrying yarns

Usually when working in tapestry crochet you carry the yarn not in in between the stitch, however when working in the round I prefer to carry it inside the work and catch the yarn every third stitch when not in use.

  • When inserting hook to work dc make sure that the yarn to be stranded is placed on top of the hook at the back of work.

  • Work dc as normal, enclosing the strand in the stitch. Continue repeating the last 2 steps, enclosing the yarn not in use every third stitch.

Stuffing the tree

Insert the garden stick through the foundation ring and stuff the tree around the stick, that way the tree will have a nice rounded shape. 
Happy Crocheting, 

Anna x

Pompom Christmas pudding

Last Monday my lovely friend Karen showed me how to make pompom Christmas puddings and I have been addiceted to making them. They are super simple to make, fun and look great as a garland, gift tags or just hanging on your tree. 
I’ve added a little holly leaves to the top just for added charm but it is not necessary so don’t worry if you can’t crochet, just a pompom pudding will look great. 

To make your pudding, you will need:

  • Pompom maker – I’m using one by Clover which produces 4.5 cm pompom in diamteter. If you do not have a pompom maker just cut one out of cardboard, for tutorial follow the link – https://www.redtedart.com/how-to-make-a-yarn-pom-pom-with-cardboard-discs/
  • Oddments of yarn in cream or light grey or white and burgundy or brown – I’m using Rowan Alpaca Cotton DK as it’s lovely and fluffy and I had remaines of balls left, not enough to make anything else.  
  • Sharp little scissors 
  • Tapestry needle 

For holly leaf:

  • 3 mm crochet hook
  • Oddments of green DK yarn 

Let’s make a pudding

  • Open up one half of the pompom maker and wind the burgundy yarn around, when the half is full, cut off the yarn.
  • Close the half of pompom maker and open up the empty half.
  • Wind the grey yarn around it so that 2/3 of it are filled, cut off the yarn and finish filling up the second half with burgundy yarn, that way the icing of the pudding will cover just the top and not form a full half of the pudding.
  • When filled, cut off yarn and close the second half. 
  • Using scissors cut aroud the wound yarn.
  • Cut approximately 50 cm of yarn and fold in half, tie this length of yarn around the pompom maker, in the ridge, making sure that the knot is in the middle of the icing part, so that the pudding hangs in the right position.
  • Seperate the pompom maker to reveal a gorgeous pompom. 
  • Trim around so it looks neat and even, but DO NOT cut off the lengths of yarn used to tie the pompom together. 
  • Knot the two ends of yarn together to form a loop. 


Leaf 

Please note the pattern is written using UK terminology, US conversions are given in brackets in abbreviation list.

Abbreviations:
dc (US sc) – double crochet (US single crochet)
ch – chain
htr (US hdc) – half treble (US hald double crochet)
picot – ch 2, sl st to first of these ch. 
sl st – slip stitch
st(s) – stitch(es)

Using green yarn make 5 ch. 
Round 1: 1 dc in second ch from hook, [1 htr, picot] all in next st, 1 dc in next st, [2 htr, picot, 1 htr] all in next st, working on the other side of foundation ch, 1 dc in next st, [1 htr, picot] all in next st, 1 dc in last st, sl st to first dc. 
Fasten off, leafing a tail off 15 cm 

  • Join two leaves together by sewing. Weave in the begining tails. 
  • Thread the long end tails of both leaves through the centre of the pompom.
  • Tie them together to secure the leaves in place. 

If you are making just one leaf to go on your pudding, make sure you leave the beginning tail long as well, feed both ends through the centre of pompom and tie to secure.  



 

Voilà!! Your gorgeous pompom pudding is ready. 

I made so many of them to gift on a present and to make into a graland. 
The garland one looks very effective on my shelf. 
To make one – just crochet a long length of chains using the burgundy yarn used for the pudding and 3 mm hook. Feed as many puddings through their loops as you like and hang wherever you wish. 

Happy making, 

Anna xx