Hyacinth bulb

Around two weeks ago the lovely people at Search Press interviewed me for their blog and also asked me if I had any projects that didn’t make it into my book, Crocheted Wreaths for the Home. There were few but these hyacinth bulbs were my favourite and I had to share them. You can read the interview here.

Nothing symbolises Spring to me like hyacinth bulbs, and they are at the most beautiful when the flowers are just coming out, so of course I had to add flowers to my bulbs. I had this bright idea on Saturday while looking at the bulbs displayed in our bedroom, I adored them, but they needed colour.

I made flowers, followed by crochet I-cord stem and then put it all together and then I was happy.

The pattern for the bulb was only available on the Search Press blog but I decided to gather all the patterns and video here so you can have it all in one place.

The video shows you how to make crochet I-cord stem, insert wire into it and fit it inside the top of bulb. Of course if you are making the bulb from scratch insert the stem at the same time as leaves but I had the bulbs already made and wasn’t going to unpick the leaves.

Materials

Oddments of DK yarn in four colours.

I have used Rowan Felted Tweed DK in Phantom 153, Avocado 161, Frozen 185 and Clay 177.

Brown (A), green (B), pink (C) and few strands of Cream (C)

3 mm crochet hook

2.50 mm crochet hook

Small amount of toy stuffing

Tapestry needle

Lockable stitch marker

Approx. 30 cm length of thin craft wire

Glue (optional)

Finished size

The completed bulb with leaves measures approx. 12 cm in height and 16 cm around the fattest part.

Tension

6 dc and 7 rnd to 2.50 cm square over dc using 3 mm crochet hook.

Abbreviations

[] – work instructions within brackets as many times as directed

* – repeat instructions following the single asterisk as directed

approx.  – approximately

Ch – chain

Ch-sp – chain space

Dc (US sc) – double crochet

Dc2tog (US sc2tog) – double crochet two together – [Insert hook into next stitch (or as required), yrh and pull loop through] twice, (3 loops left on hook), yrh and pull loop through all 3 loops on hook.

Htr (US hdc) – half treble

Miss (US skip) – omit st(es)

Rep – repeat

Rnd(s) – round(s)

Sl st – slip stitch

St(s) – stitch(es)

Yrh – yarn around hook

Pattern notes

  1. Bulb is worked in a continuous spiral.
  2. Pattern is written using UK terminology with US conversions given in brackets in abbreviation list.

Bulb

Using 3.00 mm hook and yarn A work 6 dc in an adjustable ring, enclosing the yarn end as you work, pull tight on the yarn end to close up opening.

Place marker on the first st to denote the beginning of rnd, move the marker up as you work.

Rnd 1: 2 dc in each st to end (12 sts).

Rnd 2: *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st, rep from * to end (18 sts).

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

Rnd 4: *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 3 sts, rep from * to end (30 sts).

Rnd 5: *2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next 4 sts, rep from * to end (36 sts).

Rnds 6-9: 1 dc in each st to end.

Rnd 10: *dc2tog, 1 dc in next 4 sts, rep from * to end (30 sts).

Rnds 11-12: 1 dc in each st to end.

Rnd 13: *dc2tog, 1 dc in next 3 sts, rep from * to end (24 sts).

Rnd 14: 1 dc in each st to end.

Start stuffing the bulb now, do not over stuff, but make sure the shape is nicely rounded and the bottom flat.

Rnd 15: *dc2tog, 1 dc in next 2 sts, rep from * to end (18 sts).

Rnd 16: 1 dc in each st to end.

Rnd 17: *dc2tog, 1 dc in next st, rep from * to end (12 sts).

Stuff the bulb a little more.

Rnd 18: sl st in st with marker, you can remove the marker now, [ch 3, 1 dc in second ch from hook, 1 htr in next ch, miss st with sl st and next st, sl st in next st] 6 times, ending last repeat with sl st to first sl st. (6 points)

Fasten off leaving a tail of around 10 cm.

Leaves (make 3)

Using 3.00 mm hook and yarn B make 15 ch.

Rnd 1: 1 dc in second ch from hook , 1 dc in next 3 ch, 1 htr in next 9 ch, 4 htr in next ch, working on the other side of foundation ch, 1 htr in next 9 ch, 1 dc in next 4 ch, ch 3, sl st to first dc. (30 sts)

Fasten off.

Flowers (make 11)

Using 2.50 mm hook and yarn C.
Rnd 1: Into adjustable ring work, ch 1, [1 dc, ch 3] 5 times, enclosing the tail as you work, at the end pull on the tail to close up opening,  sl st to first dc. (5 petals)

Fasten off.

Stem

Using 2.50 mm hook and yarn B, leave around 15 cm tail before you start, make 3 st crochet I-cord 6 cm in length.

Watch the video below to show you exactly how to do this, or follow the written instructions to make the I-cord.

Fold wire in half and insert inside the stem, then insert the stem between the leaves on top, using the beginning tail sew in place to leaves.

Making crochet I-cord

You will also need one double pointed needle or short knitting needle or long sewing up needle

Step 1: Ch 3, insert hook into second ch from hook, yrh and pull up a loop, insert hook into next ch, yrh and pull up a loop. (3 loops on hook).

Step 2: Slip first 2 loops onto double pointed needle or whichever needle you have handy. Yrh and pull through remaining loop on hook. Insert hook into first loop on needle, yrh and pull yarn through (2 loops now on hook). Insert hook into second loop on needle, yrh and pull yarn through (3 loops now on hook).

Repeat step 2 until i-cord measures desired length. Cut yarn, leaving a tail of around 10 cm. Yrh and pull end through all 3 loops on hook, pull tight to fasten off.

Making up

Weave in all ends.

Block leaves by pinning out and steaming gently with an iron. Inserting pin under ch 3 sp to create a nice point.

Using photograph as a guide – Insert three leaves with ch-3 sp facing up into the bulb opening on top, followed by stem, using the bulb yarn tail sew to secure in place. 

Attached 11 flowers around crochet I-cord stem. I’ve used glue gun to do this, but you can sew them in place or use a craft glue.

Roots

Cut 6 lengths of C, approx. 10 cm long, using crochet hook feed the yarn around dc from adjustable ring rnd, fold the yarn in half and tie in a knot.

Your hyacinth bulb is finished 🙂

Enjoy,

Anna xx

Mosaic Crochet – tutorial

Some of you would have already seen the beautiful ‘Clean Lines’ shawl I designed for Inside Crochet magazine, this month’s issue 124.

I have been obsessed with mosaic crochet lately and just had to design a shawl in it. For yarn, I’ve chosen Manos del Uruguay Marina, it’s a gorgeous lace weight single-spun yarn, made from superwash merino wool. Every skein is hand dyed goodness, I went for the semi solids in Luna and Atlantis, but I do want to make this shawl again and I’m thinking of semi solid and speckled.

Mosaic crochet is an amazing technique that might look very complicated, but in fact it’s very easy to achieve. In this tutorial I want to walk you through the basics of it while making a small swatch, so you can all crochet the Clean Lines shawl and fall in love with mosaic.

The tutorial includes pictures and video just showing you the technique.

Mosaic crochet has been around for a long time, I remember coming across it in my friend’s vintage crochet magazine. It has seen a resurge in popularity recently and no wonder, the finished effect of mosaic crochet is stunning, and it is rather simple to achieve. It might take a while to get the hang of it, but once you get going there will be no stopping you.

Mosaic Crochet is very similar to Mosaic Knitting, it follows the same chart, you work with one colour at a time, and both techniques give you the opportunity to create beautiful colourwork patterns without changing yarn in one row or round. In Mosaic Crochet you can simply connect rows or rounds by skipping a stitch and “filling” the skipped stitch with a treble 2 rows or rounds later with the alternate coloured yarn.

I found the best mosaic charts are by Barbara Walker, who has a whole collection of charted patterns.  You can also create your own of course.  And without doubt, knowing how to work off a visual chart is much, much easier than working off rows and rows of text.

Working from chart 

  1. The chart is read from right to left on the RS and from left to right on WS.
  2. Each row is worked twice.
  3. The beginning square on each row represents the starting colour of that row.

It is usually not shown on the chart; we always start off with foundation row of dc, I like to use the chainless foundation as it produces nice row of readymade dc (you can find tutorial by Bella Coco on it here). If you are starting with ch, work one row of dc.

Ideally, foundation row should be in the opposite colour as the first row.

Choose which you would like to be the background colour (black squares) and motif colour (white squares)

In my case: colour A is dark green and colour B is cream

Abbreviations:
Ch – chain
Dc – double crochet (US sc)
Tr – treble (US dc)
Sq – square
RS – right side
WS – wrong side

Note – do not cut yarn after every two rows, carry it with you on the edge of work. Change colour on the last row at the last stage of dc, when you have two loops on hook, finish off the dc in new colour.

Reading Directions

Row 1 & all odd rows (RS) – read from right to left

Row 2 & all even rows (WS) – read from left to right

Each row represents 2 rows (worked in one colour) (Rows 1&2; Rows 3&4; Rows 5&6; etc.)

Reading the rows

Starting at the bottom-right of the chart.

Black row (Rows 1&2):

Row 1: Whenever you see a black square, you dc.

When you see a white square, you ch and miss the next st.

Note: When chaining (to prevent puckering) – 1 sq = 2 ch, 2 sq = 3 ch, 3 sq = 4 ch, etc.

Row 2: Then on the next (even) row (still in black), you do exactly the same.  You dc every black stitch and chain (the same number of chains) as per previous row.

White row (Rows 3 & 4):

Row 3: On the chart, whenever you see a white square over black [White/Black], you dc.

When you see a white sq over a white sq [White/White] (it will actually be over black chains on your work)  you drop tr down 2 rows (into the row of the same colour as the working yarn) and IN FRONT OF the chains below.

Row 4: Then on the next (even) row (still in white), you do exactly the same, but in dc and chains.  You dc every white stitch and chain (the same number of chains) as per previous row.

Rows 5 & 6: Dc on black sq, ch on white sq and tr over Black/Black sq.

Continue working in this way until full chart is completed.

When you want to finish your work on your last row work dc and tr in st do not ch and miss any.

Here’s a video to show you the technique. This is the first tutorial video I made where I’m speaking, I was very nervous, not sure why, but it caused my stutter to be a bit more prominent.

Hope you enjoy the technique and have a go, it is very addictive.

Anna xx

Crochet flower


Since I posted a picture of the flowers I crocheted for the beautiful and courageous Jenny. I have had quite a lot of inquiries for the pattern, it was a flower that I made up, but you have encouraged me to put the pattern on paper.

I would like to share the flower with you in memory of the amazing Jenny and encourage you to make and share the flowers with anyone who needs cheering up. Spread a little love around, the world really needs it right now.

Enjoy

Anna xx

Abbreviations
Beg – beginning
Ch – chain
Ch-sp  chain space
Dc (US sc) – double crochet (US -single crochet)
Htr (US hdc) – half treble crochet (US -half double crochet)
Magic loop – for tutorial on how to work this technique, please click here
Tr (US dc) – treble crochet (US -double crochet)
Ss – slip stitch
Materials
You will need small amounts of
Rowan Kidsilk Haze in 3 colours A, B and C
3.5 mm (US E/4) crochet hook     
Approx. 11 x beads – I have used 6 mm glass beads  
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends 
Needle that will fit through the bead.        
Matching thread                                    
Pattern note – The yarn is held DOUBLE throughout.
The pattern is written using UK terminology with US translations in abbreviation list.

Finished size
The completed flowers measure: L – 8 cm (3.1 in), S – 6 cm (2.3 in) in diameter.

Tension 
It is not important to achieve any particular tension in this project. 

Let’s begin. 
With colour A held double, make a magic loop.
Round 1: ch 1, 8 dc into magic loop, ss to first dc and pull tight on the tail to close up opening.
Round 2: ch 5 (counts as 1 tr and ch-2 sp), [1 tr into next st, ch 2] 7 times, ss to 3rd of ch 5. (8 ch-2 sp)
Round 3: ch1, [5 tr into next ch-2 sp, ss to top of next tr] into every ch-2 sp, ending with ss to beginning ch 1.
Change to colour B
Round 4: working behind each petal (see tutorial below), ss into base of next 2 tr, 1 dc into base of next tr, [ch 4, 1 dc into base of tr in the centre of next petal] 7 times, ch 4, ss into first dc. (8 ch-4 sp).
Round 5: ch 1, [7 tr into next ch-4 sp, ss to top of next dc] into every ch-4 sp, ending with ss to beginning ch 1.
Fasten off.
For small flower just work rounds 1 to 3 in desired colour, holding yarn double throughout.

Leaf (make 2)
With colour C make 11 chains.
Round 1: 1 dc into second chain from hook, 1 htr into next 2 ch, 1 tr into next 4 ch, 1 htr into next 2 ch, 1 dc into next ch, ch1, working on the other side of chains, 1 dc into next ch, 1 htr into next 2 ch, 1 tr into next 4 ch, 1 htr into next 2 ch, 1 dc into next ch, ss to first dc.
Fasten off.

Making up 
Weave in ends. Attach leaves to the back of the flowers. Using needle and matching thread to yarn or one strand of yarn sew on beads to the centre of the flower.


Tutorials 
Below are the video and picture tutorials to show you how to work into back of the flower.

1: Working from the back into each petal, insert hook in between stitches under the chains that formed ch-spaces on round 2. Ss into base of first tr.

2: Ss into base of second tr. 

3: 1 dc into base of third tr.

4: Ch 4, 1 dc into base of tr in the centre of next petal.
 

5: Work as instructed, forming ch-spaces at the back of work. 

Magic loop video


I’ve been playing about with video tutorials, really would like to start including some basic ones with my photo tutorials. Decided to do a little video of crochet magic loop technique. I have a picture tutorial on it on my website already but it is worked in a different way, this video shows the magic loop method I love the most. 
There’s no sound on it as I need to get myself a good microphone first, I also do not think the world is ready for my erratic voiceovers. However, I have written instructions as the video plays and videos will always be accompanied by full written instructions anyway. 
Here are the written instructions….
I use UK terms and in this tutorial the only stitch I used is double crochet (US single crochet)
Step 1: Hold the tail of your yarn in the palm of your left hand, wrap the yarn twice around your index and middle finger, making sure that the second wrap crosses over the first one.
Step 2: Insert your hook under the first wrap, grab the top wrap and pull it through. When you pull the loop through, twist your hook so it faces your hand.
Step 3: Gently remove your fingers from the loop, and hold it so the tail is to your left. You can see how the tail is twisted inside the loop.
Step 4: Chain 1, work 6 dc into ring making sure you enclose the tail as you work. I have made this video as a practice, of course you can work as many dc as you like into ring, if you working in other stitches make sure you make the correct number of turning chains for your chosen stitch.
Step 5: Pull tight on the tail to close opening.
Step 6: Slip stitch to first dc to close the round.
Hey presto! Magic loop made 😊

 

Please let me know what you think, I value all your opinions and any feedback is always good. Would you like to see some more videos? 
Anna xx