Festiva pattern and a creative challenge

festiva_header

Hi there

As promised last week, I’m back with a creative challenge and a ‘pattern of sorts’, or as I prefer to think of it, a ‘recipe’.  I’m calling it a recipe rather than a new pattern as it’s nothing new, just a standard solid granny square to which I’ve added other elements (also nothing new) to give it a little twist.

festiva_wip_watermark

Here’s where the creative challenge comes in; I’ve written out the instructions for just the square but I want to encourage you to then make it your own by adding your own special touches.

Let your imagination run wild with this.  Use up all your scraps, play with colours, make it a riot of colour or monochromatic, make it smaller or bigger, try out a new border, use your favourite joining method to make a blanket, a bag, a cushion, a coat or even a thingy-ma-jig.

This is not a competition but a fun exercise to get your creative juices flowing.  Let go of all expectations, try something you normally wouldn’t and see where it takes you.  Sometimes the most pleasant surprises come from not overthinking a project, not worrying about using exactly the same yarn as the designer or not fussing about colour placement.

Festiva_fin_watermark

I’ve deliberately not thought too much about mine and the whole point of starting my project was to use up all my scrappy bits of yarn (didn’t work btw – I seem to have just as many, if not more now :).  I didn’t worry about colours going together but just used whatever I happened to pick up next. Admittedly, I’m not fond of some of the colour combo’s but in the whole scheme of things it all just works so I’m letting go of my usual fussiness here.

Ok, let’s get started!

festiva1_watermark

What you’ll need (for one square) :   

  • Small amounts of yarn in 4-5 different colours.  It doesn’t matter what type of yarn you use as long as it’s all the same weight.  I’ve used 8ply/Dk for mine
  • Yarn for main colour.  I’ve used off-white
  • 4mm hook (or size suitable for your yarn)

Abbreviations – US Terms Used (UK/AUS terms in brackets)

ch:          Chain

dc (tr):  Double crochet (treble crochet)

sc (dc):  Single crochet (double crochet)

sl st:       Slip stitch

sp:          Space

Instructions:

Start:        Using Colour 1, make a magic circle or ch 3 and join with a sl st to form a circle

Round 1:  Ch 5 (counts as first dc (tr) + 2 ch throughout).  [3 dc (tr) into ring, ch 2] 3 times.  2 dc (tr) into ring, join with a sl st into 3rd ch of starting ch.  Break off yarn.

Round 2:    Join Colour 2 into any corner sp with a sl st.  Ch 5, 2 dc (tr) into same sp.  *Dc (tr) into next 3 sts, [2 dc (tr), ch 2, 2 dc (tr)] into corner sp. Repeat from * twice, dc (tr) into next 3 sts, 1 dc (tr) into first sp.  Join with a sl st into 3rd ch of starting ch.  Break off yarn.

Round 3:   Join Colour 3 into any corner sp with a sl st.  Ch 5, 2 dc (tr) into same sp.  *Dc (tr) into next 7 sts, [2 dc (tr), ch 2, 2 dc (tr)] into corner sp. Repeat from * twice, dc (tr) into next 7 sts, 1 dc (tr) into first sp.  Join with a sl st into 3rd ch of starting ch.  Break off yarn.

Round 4:   Join Colour 4 into any corner sp with a sl st  Ch 5, 2 dc (tr) into same sp.  *Dc  (tr) into next 11 sts, [2 dc (tr), ch 2, 2 dc (tr)] into corner sp. Repeat from * twice, dc (tr) into next 11 sts, 1 dc(tr) into first sp.  Join with a sl st into 3rd ch of starting ch.  Break off yarn.

Round 5:  Join new colour (can be a new colour or one already used ) into any corner sp.  [1 sc (dc), ch 3, 1 sc (dc)] into same space, *ch 2, skip one st, sc (dc) into next st.  Repeat from * to next corner sp, [1 sc (dc), ch 3, 1 sc (dc)] into corner sp.  Repeat this sequence to end.  Join with a sl st into top of first sc (dc).  Break off yarn.

Round 6:  Join Main colour into any corner loop, Ch 5, 2 dc (tr) into same sp * 2 dc (tr) into each loop space up to next corner, [2 dc (tr), ch 2, 2 dc (tr)] into corner sp. Repeat from * twice, 2 dc (tr) into each loop space up to starting corner (first sp), 1 dc (tr) into first sp.  Join with a sl st into 3rd ch of starting ch.  Break off yarn.

** On a side note, although they are perfectly fine for this square, I don’t use Ch3 as my first st or sl st at the end, but replace these with a faux st or invisible join.  I’ll be back soon with a tute for both of these techniques.

Now let the fun times roll, here’s where you get to put your special touch to this square.  Use your favourite joining method and border to make it your own.

I’ve joined mine with the join-as-you-go method for my blanket but I’m making some more squares for a cushion and will be joining them with different coloured rows of sc (dc).

festiva_join

and carried on the block st pattern (rounds 5 & 6) in the border and added a picot edge.  I’m very tempted to add pom poms too!

festiva_border

and because it’s impossible to take a good photo on this dark and dreary day today, here’s a crap photo of my finished Festiva blanket trying to look casually styled on the couch …

festiva_fin1

 

I hope you enjoy making Festiva.   I’d love to see your fab creations so be sure to tag them with #festivasquare on instagram or pop a pic up in my Ravelry group if you prefer. I’d love to see them!

Until next time

Michelle x

 

Fleur Motif free pattern

Fleur_Motif_header by poppyandbliss

Hello lovely bloggy friends.  It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you.  How have you been?

I’ve been missing in action working on a now kaput project.  I won’t go into what it was but it was an interesting experience that sucked me dry creatively and sent me into the land of frustration and insecurity.  However I did learn a lot about myself along the way and what direction I wanted to take Poppy & Bliss so all was not lost. Onwards and upwards! So now I’ve dusted myself off and jumping back in the saddle again and working on lots of new patterns and trying to get my blogging mojo back on again.

Here’s a quick and easy little motif pattern for you today.  Enjoy!

Fleur_Motif_group by poppyandbliss

Size:  aprox 7 cm (3 inches)

What you’ll need:

  • 8ply cotton in 2 colours
  • 3.5mm hook

US terms used 

Abbreviations:

ch       chain

dc       double crochet

hdc     half double crochet

sl st   slip stitch

sp       space

tr        treble crochet

yo      yarn over

Special Stitches Used:

2DC CLUSTER

  • yo, insert hook into ring and draw up loop,
  • yo draw through 2 loops (2 loops on hook),
  • yo, insert hook into ring, yo, draw up loop (4 loops on hook),
  • yo, draw through 2 loops,
  • yo, draw through remaining 3 loops on hook

Instructions:

Start:

Using contrast colour make a magic ring (or ch 3 and join with a sl st)

Round 1:

  • Ch 3, dc 1, ch 1, 2dc cluster, ch 3 (corner space)
  • *2dc cluster, ch 1, 2dc cluster, ch 3
  • repeat from * twice more
  • Join with a sl st into top of starting ch3

 Round 2:

  • Sl st over and into to next ch 1 sp
  • *[2 dc,3 tr, 2 dc] into next ch 3 sp
  • sl st into next ch 1 sp **
  • Repeat from * to ** 3 more times, working the last sl st into the top of the first
  • Fasten off

Round 3:  Note – all stitches in this round are worked into back loop only

  • Join White yarn into the centre st of any corner from previous round
  • (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) into same stitch
  • dc into next 3 sts , tr down into the ch 1 sp below in Round 1, dc  into next 3 sts
  • *(3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) , dc  into next 3 sts, tr into ch 1 sp below in Round 1, dc  into next 3 sts
  • Repeat from * twice
  • Join with sl st into top of first ch 3.  Fasten off

Round 4:  

  • Join contrast colour into any corner space
  • [ch 2, 2 hdc] into same space
  • hdc into next 13 sts
  • *3 hdc into corner sp, hdc 13
  • Repeat from * to end
  • Join with a sl st into top of first ch 2.   Fasten off

Fleur_Motif_4 by poppyandbliss

Make lots! Joined together, they make a cheerful cushion (or blanket if you’re game)

Fleur_Motif_Cushion by poppyandbliss

Even the motif centres look pretty cute just as they are.  A pretty flower garland perhaps?

Fleur_Motif_Centres by poppyandbliss

Until next time, happy hooking.

Michelle x

Book review and a giveaway

More-than-a-Granny-US-Terms-by-Shelley-Husband-2014-300x450

It is my great pleasure today to introduce you to my lovely friend Shelley from Spincushions.  Shelley has just written a new e-book  More Than a Granny – 20 Versatile Crochet Square Patterns which I will review later in the post but let’s get to know Shelley first …

Can you tell us a little about yourself  Shelley?

I’m Shelley and I love to design crochet squares.  I live with my hubby & 3 girls in rural Victoria by the sea.  I’ve always been a crafty girl, trying my hand at many crafts over the years.  My current obsession is crochet, but I also knit and embroider when the mood strikes me.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Inspiration for me is either there in my face or more subtle.  Sometimes I have a specific idea that I must try to create, other times, I let the yarn and hook work their magic as I go with no clear aim in mind.  I have designed an entire throw based around the sea. Most of the patterns for that I designed with the as I went method.  After I had finished  a few blocks, I realised the sea had made it’s way into them and so I decided to go with that and designed blocks with clear imagery in mind such as whale’s tails and waves. Both ways suit me.

How does your creative process work?

 My creative process is getting more organised.  When I first began crochet designs, I would randomly come up with patterns with no specific purpose.  These days, I have more complete ideas and tend to see the through to fruition, attempting to finish one before moving on to the next idea.

How did you get started?

I got started crocheting when I was 10 and I helped my Mum make a granny square blanket for my new baby sister.  When that was finished, I didn’t touch a hook for more years than I care to mention.  I felt the urge to move on from my previous crafty endeavour about 3 years ago and turned my hands and mind to crochet.  I began with a 25 pattern sampler blanket that started with a granny square and moved on to more complex designs.  I really loved that process so when that was finished, I ran my own CAL over 52 weeks, sourcing patterns from all over the internet.  Before that came to an end, I had started designing my own patterns.  I can’t seem to stop designing now.

What are your future plans?

My plans for the future include more ebooks, The next couple will be all about complete novices getting started.  I love to teach others the joys of hook in hand, so my aim is to teach those who’ve struggled before to learn.  I believe anyone can do it.  I plan on starting with a How to Crochet a Granny Square ebook, and follow that with a book that teaches folks how to read crochet patterns and go Beyond the Granny Square.  In between all the beginner stuff, I am sure I will be keeping my hand in designing more complex designs and More than a Granny will have a follow up ebook at some stage. Away from ebooks, I will be running crochet workshops locally and still designing patterns for Ravelry and my Etsy shop.

Do you have any creative advice to others who are inspired but don’t know where to start?

My advice for anyone wanting to get moving on their creative idea is just go for it!  What’s the worst that can happen? Be prepared to break the rules, once you’ve learned them. Get out there on social media and share what you’re up to with other creative types.  I love the support and friendship I have received on Instagram.  You don’t have to set up an etsy shop and do it all as soon as you start.  Take your time and really develop your ideas.  Let things flow naturally and I am sure your creativity will show.

Thanks for sharing Shelley.  I love learning more about what makes people tick.

More-than-a-granny-by-Shelley-Husband-2014-ebook-450x450

And now for my book review.  I’m no wordsmith when it comes to these things so here is a list of my 5 Favourite Things About This Book

1   I like the variety of designs included in this book. There is something to suit all tastes ranging from pretty and flowery right through to simple and plain (but still stunning)

2   I like the clear layout of the book and easy to follow instructions. I especially like the stitch dictionary with ‘how-to’ video links included for those who are more visual learners.

3   The hints and tips included to help you achieve a seamless, professional finish to you work.

4   The versatility of the 20 designs. All would look equally fab together or you could select your favourite few to make stunning blankets or cushions.

5   I like that the patterns range in skill levels from easy to a little tricky. Something for everyone in here from beginner level to those wanting something a little more challenging.

It really is a great addition to your crochet library and I’m sure it will be one you will refer back to often.

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Would you love your very own copy of More Than a Granny?  I’m running a little giveaway and will select one lucky reader to receive a special advance copy.  Leave a comment and a random winner will be selected next week. In the meantime, you can find out more about the e-book and how to order your own copy over on Shelley’s blog here

Until next time

Michelle x