Saturday, 31 January 2015

Crochet tea cosy

colourful crochet tea cosy ||

For Christmas I received a teapot, but it is plain and white so I decided to liven it up a bit. I had no particular pattern or design planned out before I started - I just started stitching and picked the colours and stitches as I went.

To custom make a tea cosy for your tea pot measure the circumference of the tea pot. Mine is nice and straight so I didn't have to worry about shaping. (If your teapot has curved sides - this tutorial explains how you would approach fitting to the curves.)

Crochet a chain to that length, you may need to reduce the chain by a few stitches if the chain is too stretchy. After working a couple of rows of basic stitches, you can then start working in more fancy stitches mixing and matching these with basic stitches.

Keep measuring my work against the teapot until the point where the bottom of the handle and spout join the teapot. Use stitch markers to mark the width of these. Take a few stitches off these measurements to give a snug fit.

When you reach the handle and spout you will need to work the cosy in two parts, one for each side. Once you reach the top of the spout and handle you can start working complete rounds again making sure you add the additional stitches you missed out for the handle and spout.

When you reach the top of the pot you need to start decreasing the number of stitches in the rounds you are working. I did this by divided 80 (my number of stitches) by 10 and therefore the repeat I worked was 8 stitches then stitching 2 together in repeat. On the next round I worked 7 stitches then stitching 2 together in repeat. I continued this until I had a small circle that fitted snugly round the lid handle.

The final step is to finish off around the spout, handle and lid holes with stitches to cover the end of the rows.

Elephants -- Wood

This month's elephants are ... inspired by the lovely little elephant toy I brought my 1 year old niece for Christmas from Hema (not available on their website so may no longer be in stock).

Saturday, 24 January 2015

My crochet journey

Back in 2007, I'd just learned to knit and for Christmas a friend gave me a copy of The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller.

Facing a Christmas stuck in my home town I packed my book, some yarn and crochet hook I'd picked up from my local craft store. I followed the instructions in the book and could pretty quickly form a chain. It took a bit longer to figure out how to make the second row but once I'd cracked that there was no stopping me. 

It's a shame it was only a few weeks between learning to knit and learning to crochet because although I love to knit the speed of working up a piece of crochet was addictive. 

The first big project I decided to undertake was crocheting a blanket. Whilst granny squares are a great way of learning to crochet, I designed myself a pattern that involved 320 of them. And this was before I learned this technique. The finishing took as long as the crocheting. I guess things like this are the perils of being completely self taught. 

But 7 years later the blanket is still in use, even if, at times, not for its intended purpose.

Redfearn the cat on blue crochet blanket ||

Since then I've made many projects. Here are some of my favourites.

crochet baby clothes collage ||

Baby/Toddler Clothes - from left to right:
Little Princess Cardi - free pattern from Lion Brand. The first item of clothing I made for someone.
Cluster Yoke Cardigan - free pattern from Patons. I just loved the cotton yarn I used for this item, it was so lovely to work with
Ribbed shell top - free pattern from Cre8tion Crochet. The first item of clothing I made that used something other than sc/dc. I almost gave up when I got stuck with the underarms but I figured it out in the end!

crochet baby blankets collage ||

Blankets - from left to right:
Lancaster Quilt - pattern from Crochet Today Magazine. This is my all time favourite crochet pattern. It has a wonderful mix of stitches so is interesting to make as well as being gorgeous to look at.
Stripy blanket - a design I created myself. I had so many scraps of yarn I wanted to use up so I came up with this idea. It mixes different gauges but I managed to keep it rectangular!
Flower blanket - flower granny square from Simply Crochet Magazine Summer 2012. My favourite colour is blue but I love the mix of pinks and purples that I used in this blanket and they really work with this motif.

crochet for me collage ||

Crocheting for myself - from left to right:
Crochet Sunflower Tote Bag - I designed this myself using a sunflower button from Sonia Karan. I love the sunny colours on this bag and the fact I transformed a bag with a print on it that I would never have used.
Stripy triangle scarf - free pattern from Lion Brand. This was the first time I'd crocheted with lacy yarn and the first time I'd crocheted with stripy yarn and I love how the strips look on the finished piece.
Crochet cushion covers - pattern from Crochet Today Magazine. If you look carefully you'll see this is the exact same pattern as the Lancaster quilt above. That's how much I love this pattern. I think the central panel looks great worked up to the size of a cushion cover.

for the love of crochet collage ||

For the love of crochet - from left to right:
Penguin - pattern from Lion Brand. This penguin takes just a couple of hours to make but is a great present for friend's little ones and the feedback from them has been great!
Beaded necklace - my own design. I've included this because it was a chance to combine my other crafty love - beads.
Mandala - pattern from A Creative Being. Mandalas are great for when you just have to crochet something and I love the different stitches I got to play around with in this pattern.

So that's how I got started with crochet - what's your story?

Monday, 12 January 2015

Embellished -- Golden Globes 2015

Here at Embellished Elephant I LOVE a great red carpet dress - especially those with a bit of sparkly embellishment.

While there are best dressed lists littered across the Internet here is a roundup of my favourite embellished gowns from last night's Golden Globes.

1. Julianne Moore in Givenchy
2. Allison Wilson in Armani Prive
3. Sienna Miller in Miu Miu
4. Viola Davies in Donna Karan
5. Emma Stone in Lanvin
6. Joanne Froggatt in James Galanos
7. Dakota Johnson in Chanel Couture
8. Anna Kendrick in Monique Lhulliier
9. Helen Mirren in Dolce & Gabbana

All photos are from Just Jared and you can find the links to these over on my Embellished board on Pinterest.