Coo-ya the chicken



So my second pattern is again for a colleague. She calls everyone "chick" or "chicken" - so she gets a chicken!

I've made it as a tetrahedron, which is relatively easy to crochet! Here are some of the "in progress" pictures: you can click them to see them in more detail.






And here's the link to a PDF: Coo-ya crochet pattern. At the moment I've on;y done this pattern with UK terminology - but do let me know if you'd like it converted to US. 

A couple of small projects

I sometimes have long journeys (as a passenger) and it feels like a waste of time to just sit doing nothing. So it's nice to have what I call "handbag projects".

This little one is adorable! It's from a pattern at Leelee knits. I had some Aran yarn (Rowan Lima in Argentina) to use up and this was the perfect project for it. It took just a little more than one ball - and as you can see I didn't do the colour changes indicated on the original pattern.



These jellyfish guys were done in left over wool too!  The pattern from One Dog Woof adapts incredibly well to different yarn thicknesses. My only real issue is that the tentacles take a lot more wool than I'd imagined, and I don't always have enough to do a good amount of tentacles. I think baby blue looks a bit straggly because of this. So I may start making striped jellyfish and see how they go!




Tablet cover


I just love this particular yarn, Lily Sugar n' Cream (potpourri). It makes such a gorgeous looking fabric.  I especially like the way it looks when worked into a tight looking ribbed fabric. I had a couple of balls that were just a little over 50g each.


So I made myself tablet cover! It's basically just a rectangle of double crochet (or single crochet in the US), but the stitches are hooked through the back loop only of the row below. That gives the ribbed effect and makes the fabric a little stretchy.

The label with the yarn recommends a 5.0mm needle, so I used that. I think it came out quite tight though. I liked the effect so I carried on.


Pattern

Main sleeve:




Create a foundation chain to match the length of your tablet. Then add three extra chain stitches which will give you the turning chain and some slack for joining the work together.

Work a row of double crochet (or single crochet) into the chain.

For the next row do a single turning chain and then work the double crochet (or, of course, single crochet) into the back loops only of the row below. As you progress you'll notice the front loop turns into a nice ridged effect.

Repeat that row (turning and working into back loops only) until you've covered twice the width of the tablet. The result should be quite stretchy, so you probably won't need to add any extra rows for when you join the work.

Keeping the yarn still attached to the work you can fold the work over to join on the long edges. There's no right or wrong side on this, as both sides are identical(ish). You then double crochet (US: single crochet) a seam along the edge. This creates a raised seam, which you can use as the outside or inside: I liked the effect of keeping it on the outside. Once you have done the long edge you'll need to turn and carry on the seam in the sides of the stitches. You'll have to pay attention to making sure you don't put too few/many stitches into the side.

Tie off and sew in the end. You can decide if you prefer an exposed seam or want to turn the work inside out to hide the seam.

Optional flap:


This is what I did - which fits my work fine. You can keep repeating and experimenting if you need to do a different size.

#UK termsUS terms
14 dc into magic ring4 sc into magic ring4
2ch 1, turn.
2 dc into each stitch to end.
ch 1 turn.
2 sc into each stitch to end.
8
3ch 1, turn.
*1 dc, 2 dc into next stitch*, repeat to end
ch 1 turn.
*1 sc, 2 sc into next stitch*, repeat to end
12
4ch 1, turn.
*2 dc,  2 dc into next stitch* repeat to end
ch 1 turn.
*2 sc,  2 sc into next stitch*, repeat to end
16
5Turn. ch 3, skip 1, dc
*ch 5, skip 1, dc* 6 times
ch 3, skip 1 dc.
Turn. ch 3, skip 1, sc
*ch 5, skip 1, sc* 6 times
ch 2, skip 1, sc.
8 loops
6Turn. 2 slip stitches along loop, dc into centre of loop.
*ch 3, dc into centre of loop* 7 times
Turn. 2 slip stitches along loop, sc into centre of loop
*ch 3, sc into centre of loop* 7 times
8 loops
7ch1, turn. dc into the dc of the row below.
*3dc into loop, 1dc into dc below* 7 times.
ch1, turn. dc into the dc of the row below.
*3dc into loop, 1dc into dc below* 7 times.
29
8ch 1, turn. 2dc into next stitch.
*8 dc, 2dc into next stitch* twice
8 dc.
ch 1, turn. 2 sc into next stitch.
*8 sc, 2 sc into next stitch* twice
8 sc. 
32
9ch 1, turn.
dc, *chain 5, skip 2, dc* repeat to end
ch 1, turn.
sc, *ch 5, skip 2, sc* repeat to end
10 loops

Keep yarn attached and seam this to your previous work along one of the short edges. Be careful to make sure you keep the tension even as you do the work.I carried on the exposed seam from the previous stage by working this seam on the outside of the work too.

When you're done: cut the yarn and sew in the loose end.


I'm so pleased with this, it looks better than I imagined, and the colours look nicer in real life! When I've used up more of my existing stash I may come back and do a top in this yarn, I'm already starting to think up the pattern!

Summary
Yarn:Sugar n' Cream 
Hook:5.0mm
Lesson learned:Popping a half-circle onto a rectangle needs care!
TV watched:Bitten 😐

Filet crochet: pansies (part 3)

Following on from my earlier blog posts about filet crochet I've done the same piece of work in a smaller thread (size 10) this time. There's a comparison of the hooks and threads so you can see how the compare in size. Although in my hands it feels like a much bigger jump than it looks!




Luckily I made fewer mistakes on this! I actually like how this has turned out too. It's not as small as I expected: partly because the hook wasn't that much smaller I think. I like the "aspect ratio" better in this one too: more like the original chart.

I have tons of cotton on the reel left over this time. Plenty more for some small filet coasters or something.


I think that the blocking process also makes the resulting fabric feel a bit nicer. It's more noticeable on the thicker cotton, but still there on the smaller thread size too.

The next filet crochet project will be an even smaller pansy piece! Although the 0.75mm hook is so difficult to handle - so I may have a break and do something with a larger hook size for a bit.

Summary
Yarn:
DMC Babylo Crochet Cotton (Size 10)
Hook:
1.5mm
Lessons learned:
Filet crochet requires being tight with the thread, but I've started being too tense with my other crochet projects! 
TV watched:
Van Helsing 👏

Lunchtime projects

I've done a couple of lunchtime projects recently.

The first was to do another pug from the pattern - just to test that I'd written it all down correctly. I think it's fine. I ended up making a couple of changes: a slightly shorter tail, and a sticking out tongue.

Using white yarn this time, as I'd pretty much used up the last of the beige yarn.  Here's the start of the pug - with the square base completed.

I ended up doing the face as I went along - just so I could get it all in place prior to stuffing it!


Here's the ear-less (and tail-less) pug. But with a cheeky tongue this time!

And finally here's the completed pug!


I think he came out fine!

I also popped together a coaster from a simple pattern by La Vie en Rose. It's basically just a circle. But it looks pretty and uses up some of my desk stash! (Also it matches the Lego brick - since it's from the same ball. So it looks like I'm doing this on purpose!)




My first pattern: a pug


So my first pattern is for a desk toy for a friend/colleague. She loves pugs. So I've looked at loads of cartoons of pugs and drawn a sketch on squared paper.  My sketches have got to the point where I think I've figured out the relative proportions and that I've learned that pugs have a curly tail.

A couple of techniques I will use are:


 Pattern


Just as a quick note, when I do small toys I tend not to do the spiral amigurumi. Instead I'll work a circle, join with a slip stitch and then chain 1 (or whatever number is appropriate for the stitches I'm using): counting it as the first stitch. 

I've turned this work between each round as some parts aren't worked in rounds. 

Yarn:
I've got loads of leftover yarn. The stuff I've used here is 4 ply and I've worked with a 3.5mm hook. I don't think tension/gauge needs to be too exact though. I've just planned for four colours: a very light brown and a darker brown for the pug itself, a tiny bit of white or cream for the eyes and  a tiny bit of contrasting yarn for a collar.

Other notions:
I've also used toy stuffing and a pair of 9mm toy eyes.

Base:
I started this with the lighter brown colour. I had a 20g ball of yarn, and had some left at the end. So this is probably great for your leftover wool.
#UK termsUS terms
14 dc into magic ring4 sc into magic ring4
23 dc into each stitch, repeat to end3 sc into each stitch, repeat to end12
3*2 dc, 3 dc into next stitch*, repeat to end*2 sc, 3 sc into next stitch*, repeat to end20
42 dc,  *3 dc into next stitch, 4 dc* repeat 3 times, 2 dc 2 sc,  *3 sc into next stitch, 4 sc* repeat 3 times, 2 sc 28
54 dc, *3 dc into next stitch, 6 dc* repeat 3 times, 2 dc4 sc, *3 sc into next stitch, 6 sc* repeat 3 times, 2 sc36
64 dc, *3 dc into next stitch, 8 dc* repeat 3 times, 4 dc4 sc, *3 sc into next stitch, 8 sc* repeat 3 times, 4 sc44
76 dc, *3 dc into next stitch, 10 dc* repeat 3 times, 4 dc6 sc, *3 sc into next stitch, 10 sc* repeat 3 times, 4 sc52


That's the base of the pug done now. Time to start working on it's body. I love creating a definite ridge in the work, it provides a natural place for the work to fold. So I've done this here by working the next row into the back loops. There's also a small decrease in size coming up. 

Body:
I did this part by joining each row with a slip stitch, turning and then chaining 1 stitch to count as the first stitch.
#UK termsUS terms
8 1 dc into back loops only 1 sc into back loops only 52
9 1 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 52
10 1 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 52
111 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 52
12 11 dc, *dc2tog, 11 dc* repeat 3 times, dc2tog 11 sc, *sc2tog, 11 sc* repeat 3 times, sc2tog 48
13 1 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 48
14 1 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 48
15 10 dc, *dc2tog, 10 dc* repeat 3 times, dc2tog 10 sc, *sc2tog, 10 sc* repeat 3 times, sc2tog 44
16 1 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 44
17 1 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 44
18 9 dc, *2 dctog, 9dc* repeat 3 times, dc2tog 9 sc, *sc2tog, 9 sc* repeat 3 times, sc2tog 40
19 1 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 40
20 8 dc, *dc2tog, 8dc* repeat 3 times, dc2tog 8 sc, * sc2tog, 8 sc* repeat 3 times, sc2tog 36
21 1 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 36
221 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 36
231 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 36
24 1 dc into each stitch 1 sc into each stitch 36

Neck:
This is just to create a place for the collar to go. For the two rows marked with a cross I worked into the front loops only to create a bit of a marker for the collar. If you're working in spirals you may find you need to do work into back loops instead.

#UK termsUS terms
25✝1 dc into each stitch1 sc into each stitch36
261 dc into each stitch1 sc into each stitch36
27✝1 dc into each stitch1 sc into each stitch36

Head:
This part builds up the area for the face and then closes up with a flat square area.
#UK termsUS terms
28-391 dc into each stitch
Stuff
Insert eyes in 3rd row down. Near the corners of the work 6 stitches apart.
1 sc into each stitch
Stuff
Insert eyes in 3rd row down. Near the corners of the work 6 stitches apart.
36
403 dc, *dc3tog, 6 dc* repeat 3 times, dc3tog, 3 dc   3 sc, *sc3tog, 6 sc* repeat 3 times, sc3tog, 3 sc   28
422 dc, *dc3tog, 4 dc* repeat 3 times, dc3tog, 2 dc   2 sc, *sc3tog, 4 sc* repeat 3 times, sc3tog, 2 sc   20
431 dc, *dc3tog, 2 dc* repeat 3 times, dc3tog, 1 dc
Top up stuffing if required
1 sc, *sc3tog, 1 sc* repeat 3 times, sc3tog, 1 sc
Top up stuffing if required
12
44dc3tog 4 times
Fasten off.
 dc3tog 4 times
Fasten off
4


Tail:
Continuing with the lighter colour this will create a curly tail - just like a pug's tail!
#UK termsUS terms
1chain 20chain 2020
24 tr into 2nd ch from hook
4 tr in each stitch to end
4 dc into 2nd ch from hook
4 dc in each stitch to end
72
Fasten off, leaving a long bit of yarn to use when sewing in.  I attached it using this leftover yarn. I attached at the base of the "seam" at the back of the pug. I used the yarn to catch the tail in the second "twirl" from the base and attach the tail to the body a couple of stitches up., That helped the tail look perky, and keeps it hiding part of the seam.



Collar: 
Use a contrasting color for the collar.

I used a foundation double/single crochet for the collar: working the chain and the row of stitches at the same time. There's a good tutorial on Doris Chan's site.

I did 36 stitches for this (double crochet for the UK, single for the US). This allowed me to double check the collar fitted before finishing. Mine actually came out a little larger, so I undid a stitch to fit.

You could always work in foundation chain and double/singles. I would suggest ch 37, turn, miss one chain and dc/sc to end.

Ears:
Using the darker brown colour.
14 dc into magic ring4 sc into magic ring4
23 dc into each stitch, repeat to end3 sc into each stitch, repeat to end12
3*2 dc, 3 dc into next stitch*, repeat to end*2 sc, 3 sc into next stitch*, repeat to end20
42 dc,  *3 dc into next stitch, 4 dc* repeat 3 times, 2 dc 2 sc,  *3 sc into next stitch, 4 sc* repeat 3 times, 2 sc 28
54 dc, *3 dc into next stitch, 6 dc* repeat 3 times, 2 dc4 sc, *3 sc into next stitch, 6 sc* repeat 3 times, 2 sc36
6dc into 18 stitches. That is do half of the square.sc into 18 stitches. That is half of the square.18
Fasten off.

It makes an odd shape. And because the last half-row hasn't grown at the corner it adds a little bit of tension to the ears, but I think it shapes them well.
Sew these onto the pug's head. I folded the small edge up to meet the centre of the square and sewed the small edge over the vertex at the side of the head. I then used the wool to secure parts so that the ears flopped forward nicely.

It looks like some horrific monster right now!

Snout: 
Using the darker brown colour.
#UK termsUS terms
16 dc into magic ring6 sc into magic ring6
22 dc into each stitch to end2 sc into each stitch to end12 
32 dc into first stitch, dc, 2 tr into third stitch, tr, (tr and dc) into fifth stitch, dc, dc, (dc and tr) into 8th stitch, tr,  2 tr into 10th stitch, dc, 2 dc into 12th stitch.2 sc into first stitch, sc, 2 dc into third stitch, dc, (dc and sc) into fifth stitch, sc, sc, (sc and dc) into 8th stitch, dc, 2 dc into 10th stitch, sc, 2 sc into 12th stitch.18

Once that's done use a lighter colour yarn to sew on a nose/mouth to the snout. Then sew the snout just above the collar line.


It looks like a pug at last!

Bag from a free pattern on Ravelry

I love the idea of doing a crochet bag, but I always worry about the handles/straps. Mostly patterns seem to require bought handles that need attachment, or the handles are much thinner than I think they need to be on my own bags.

But this free slouchy hobo-style bag pattern on Ravelry seems to have a solid enough strap that I won't care. Perfect for some balls I've had in my stash for a while.

The only issue I have is that my balls are in 3 different colours: so I had to create some sort of pattern to the colours. I thought working each colour for roughly two rounds will work out about right: and it gives me an opportunity to practice carrying the colour yarns along, so I don't have to keep weaving in ends. Also it has the still look a bit random.

I did have some problems reading the pattern: because it's in US English. Obviously when I read SC, I'll do a double crochet, but I kept on doing double crochets when the pattern switched to DC. Perhaps I should have written it out again!

One evening and I'd done 10 rows. I could have done more, but I had to undo most of my work as I'd done the wrong stitches! I think at this point most of the base is done, as the last of the dark blue rows was in the back loops only, creating a nice ridge where I'm guessing the bag is meant to fold.
I've ended up not following the pattern too closely. But it was written rather roughly. The only time that got me into trouble was when I managed to make the strap narrower than I'd intended. I ended up undoing a fair chunk of work.
There's some really nice detailing on parts of the pattern: the front post treble makes a lovely ridged effect. You can see how it works in because of the different colours in this pattern. This happens to be the inside of the bag, which works out very well for me!
A bit of detailing from the pattern.


And here's the finished bag. I've run a row of SC around the edges, to hide where I've run the yarn along.  I'm hoping that by keeping the three yarns intact that I can undo the work and produce something else if ever I get bored with the bag!

Summary
Yarn:Sugar n' Cream: solids
Hook:5.5mm
Lesson learned:Pay attention!
TV watched:Dramaworld 😍, Witches of East End 😐