Author Archives: thecrochetedyarn

About thecrochetedyarn

Hi, I'm Christine and I'm a crochet addict! There I've said it it's out in the open. I'm a fifty something woman, a wife, a mother of 3 and grandmother to 3 and 2 step granddaughters oh and there's the dog, a Jack Russel, who goes by the name of Riley. I'm currently not working and spend my time crocheting, looking at crochet patterns and yarn. I love making mandalas and bunting using cotton yarn and blankets using yarn that has a wool or cotton mix . Colour is wonderful, often the brighter the better however, unicolour can be extremely calming and elegant. Crochet has definitely become a passion of mine and so now I'm going to try and write about it, however, I'm not a wordsmith so I'll just have to see how it goes. I'm hoping my passion for crochet will come across and that I can inspire through my projects and ramblings. Through writing a blog I hope to eventually find the courage to design and write my own patterns. I currently crochet for pleasure, for the home, for gifts and commissions.

Entomology!

Entomology is the study of insects and their relationship to humans, the environment and other organisms.” (Washington State University)

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a difficult relationship with insects, particularly wasps due to my being highly allergic if stung. That being said I do have the utmost respect of insects particularly those that work hard for the benefit of the human race such as bees and silkworms and any that help to pollinate or protect plants that provide food to humans and animals by devouring other ‘bugs’ that can destroy said plants. As you can tell my knowledge is basic and I’m happy to stay that way.

So how come I have ended up crocheting entomological items? Gifts, that’s it straight and simple.

I can tell you no one was more surprised than me at the enjoyment and my prolificacy with which I crocheted bees and bee related items, there was some motivation behind this though and that was my bestie. She had a BIG birthday coming up and she has a passion for bees like no one else I know so I decided to shower her with all things bee, I hasten to add not all handmade by me and many not handmade at all!

As you can see from the following pictures I had some fun making what I hope are bees full of character and a tile that can be hung on the wall.

Last year I made a honeycomb wall hanging using aran cotton yarn, last weekend I made another using the same pattern but using Scheepjes Catona 4ply 100% mercerised cotton yarn, I just need to find a suitable stick or piece of dowling to complete the piece. I love that its small and delicate I think it would look great hanging in an orangery, conservatory or kitchen and it just goes to show that by using a different weight of yarn you can upsize or down size patterns to suit.

Whilst working on the bees I realised another very good friend also had a birthday coming up and she has a love of dragonflies, so that got me thinking and scouring the internet for a suitable pattern. Who knew there were so many different types of dragonfly and a UK society! I was delighted to discover a whole entomological collection by Cyndie Birdsong which included a dragonfly. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to give it a go – well I certainly enjoyed doing the mosaic crochet for this piece. I mounted it on black card and placed it in a shadow box, the same as the bee tile, and have gifted it to my friend who very kindly said she was delighted with it. Having now investigated dragonflies I have a greater respect for them. Did you know they are some of the first winged insects to have evolved about 300 million years ago? There are more than 5000 known species that all belong to the order Odonata, which means “toothed one” in Greek and refers to the fact that dragonfly have serrated teeth! There are many more facts I could share with you but then it’d be a blog about dragonflies and not crochet.

I have certainly enjoyed my foray into mosaic crochet and will definitely be doing more in the future, as I said I have discovered a whole entomological collection so I might find myself crocheting more bugs!

I also made a couple of flower key rings, one a sunflower the other a daisy it’s great when the same pattern can be used but just by using a different colour yarn you can create a different flower.

I thought that these and the bumble bee key ring might be good sellers at my first craft fair in October, any thoughts? I have to say with the beautiful weather we are currently experiencing I cannot bring myself to make Halloween and Christmas items for the craft fairs, so bunting it is or a mandala or both, maybe a flower garland… Oh dear, sometimes I can be so indecisive but there are so many lovely designs, patterns and ideas floating around I just can’t decide what to do first. So for now I’ll have a cup of tea, watch some tennis and ponder.

Please remember if you are interested in purchasing any items either pop to my instagram page the_crocheted_yarn or send me a message via my blog. Do please leave a comment or contact me if you enjoy reading my blog or would like to purchase an item.

Have a great week and continue to stay safe people.

Patterns:

TikTok Bee by Craftinghappiness

Bertie Bee Key ring by Helen Smith

Dragonfly by Cyndie Birdsong

Beehive Banner by Stephanie Lewis

Yarn:

Scheepjes Catona 100% Mercerised Cotton

James C Brett Flutterby Chunky

Cygnet Chenille Chunky

Box Shadow Frames from Hobbycraft

AWOL and still using pink!

Hi all sorry I have been a bit tardy of late and not written anything for a couple of weeks, AWOL in other words! This is due to my last born coming off his motorbike, hit by a third party who wasn’t paying attention, and breaking his left ankle and having quite a few breaks in his right foot. He is recovering well but wearing two pressure boots, one on each leg, and using crutches to get around! We are currently wading through a multitude of forms for insurance, personal injury and the police. We are so fortunate as it could’ve been a whole lot worse.

As you can imagine it has been a stressful couple of weeks and crochet has taken a bit of a back seat.

Now talking about stressful, for those of you who read my last blog I’m sure you will remember (with some heavy hints from me!) I wrote about colour and particularly the colour pink and its meaning well suffice to say although I’m continuing with a filet crochet blanket in pink. It has not had a calming effect, and as I wrote previously, has in fact has caused some agitation as I continue with the blanket. I am a little disappointed with the colour and yarn. I feel the colour is too bright and the yarn not how I expected it to be. Fortunately this is a practice piece as I haven’t made anything this size in filet crochet before but I now know I would definitely prefer to make the blanket in a cotton mix or wool next time. I’m looking forward to receiving orders for this cute little blanket soon but made in cotton or wool.

Pink Filet Ballet Blanket Pattern by Owl B Hooked, Yarn Scheepjes Colour Crafter.

If anyone is interested at looking at my work with a thought to ordering something please pop to my Insta page:  the_crocheted_yarn or find me on Facebook: The Crocheted Yarn.  You will find items for sale or if you’d like to order a commission please email me.

So a little bit of news, this week I have applied to have a stall at a local craft fair- I’m hoping to be accepted for October and November events. This is my first foray into presenting myself and my work so openly (scary!). I have decided that I will concentrate on Mandalas/Wall hangings, baubles and key rings. What do you think? Any suggestions gratefully received. This has obviously now opened yet another minefield as I need to get insurances in place so I am now looking at craft insurers. Another thing I need to consider is packaging, I normally make my own bags when I wrap purchased Items, not sure that this is so practical at a craft fair, which means I have to be extremely organised and make up a selection of sizes in advance! This is an area I need to give some more thought too. Also, making Christmas baubles when the sun is shining and summer is nearly here just seems wrong and that’s from someone who loves Christmas just a little…

But before the bauble making commences I must finish that PINK blanket!

Riley and Me!

Whilst out on a walk today with the OH and the dog we came across some pretty wildflowers of which I need to find the name off and some tracks –

We decided they could’ve been bear tracks but as we were in North West Kent highly unlikely so the next thought was  Gruffalo tracks! This was probably a bit silly as we all really know the Gruffalo to be a wonderful character created by Julia Donaldson. Finally, with our sensible hats on we determined them to be badger tracks – it’s the first time we’ve ever seen tracks left by any kind of animal that we could identify, so we are feeling quite impressed with ourselves.

The downside to our lovely walk was lots of horrible black flies hovering around with what looked like a hook hanging below; needless to say I did the funny fly dance, moaned a little and actually ran a little to get away from the horrid beasts, never a good look! Fortunately it was just us at the time so no real embarrassment caused! I have discovered that this fly is called the St. Marks fly it is non-biting and non-stinging however, it is still scary looking and my reaction to it is still justified in my eyes.

Photo courtesy of Friends of Northaw Great Wood

Whilst walking we came across this lovely little church.

Well I think that’s probably enough of my ramblings today so bye for now and continue to keep safe.

Pink…….

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Ok so this last week has been all about shades of pink and this week I’m continuing using pink. I’m not sure why I’ve been drawn to the colour pink as it isn’t normally a shade I’d deliberately choose which got me to thinking a little about the colour and its meaning.

Did you know there is such a thing as colour psychology? This suggests different colours can affect mood, feelings and even behaviour. Pink is usually considered to be a calming colour often associated with love, femininity and kindness. Pale pink shades are often described as relaxing whereas bright and vibrant shades are thought to be stimulating. Whilst pink has been demonstrated as being calming it has also been found that this effect doesn’t last and in fact the colour can cause agitation the longer the exposure.

Colour preferences are often related to personal experiences or cultural influences. So if you are drawn to a particular colour you can usually relate it to fond memories whereas if you don’t like a specific colour it can be because they associate it with unpleasant memories.

I can’t say on reflection that the colour pink has any positive or negative memories for me, so why did I choose to use a variety of shades of it? Firstly, because I happen to have a good variety of pink shades in my stash and thought it would make for a different version of the fancy Nancy mandala by Dedri Uys.  Secondly, I have a pattern that has been playing on my mind and so decided to purchase some cheaper acrylic yarn (not my normal yarn of choice) to try out the pattern.

I think the mandala has turned out well and looks pretty; it was also my first time adding beads to a piece of work and definitely won’t be my last.

Now this new yarn although from one of my favourite companies for cotton and wool I am not really feeling this acrylic, which is beautifully soft but I’m not liking the way it is crocheting up (I’m not sure it’s the right yarn for the pattern!) and I’m struggling to get my tension right and of course there’s the colour – perfect for a ballet blanket I know but I just don’t like it. I love the pattern though and will be making it again but probably in a cotton mix. The pattern is the Juliet Blanket by Owlbhooked.

Scheepjes Colour Crafter Yarn and filet crochet

The blanket uses filet crochet which is a technique that uses just two stitches, a treble and chain (uk), It creates an open grid-like crochet made up of solid blocks or runs of treble stitches separated by spaces – the chain. This builds up the pattern or picture creating a pretty openwork piece of work.

I will continue and complete the blanket to practise the filet technique before purchasing a more suitable yarn as I don’t have enough of any one particular colour in my cotton stash.

What are your thoughts on colour? Do you like pink? Does it evoke positive memories? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Stay safe. Until next time.

Mandala Pattern: Fancy Nancy by Dedri Uys

Yarn: Scheepjes Catona 100% Cotton

Blanket: Juliet Blanket by owlbhooked

Yarn: Scheepjes Colour Crafter 100% Acrylic

WiPs

Flower garland

Well I can honestly say that I have done very little if any crochet since I completed the garland, I can’t decide if I’ve lost my crojo or feeling guilty that I have a few wips, for those not in the know a wip is a work in progress, or just want to do so many other patterns I don’t actually know what to.

So what have I done? Well just to try and tidy my mind I spent a day sorting out patterns and this has now added to my confusion as I discovered some that I really want to do but don’t have the appropriate yarn and because of the size of my stash and a self imposed ban on buying anymore yarn for the foreseeable future I am now feeling rather fed up and like a young child having a temper tantrum I’ve stamped my foot and gone into a sulk, so nothing is progressing.

So there I think I have just answered my own question – I’ve not lost my crojo  I just don’t want to do what I should be doing! All the more irritating as I can see two of the wips.

As England starts to open up on the 12th April, meaning non-essential shops will be allowed to start trading again and cafes, restaurants and pubs with outdoor areas being allowed to serve meals and drinks – I am starting to think about meeting up with a small group of friends for regular crochet and coffee or knit and natter depending on the individuals preferred discipline and hoping for somewhat warmer weather and that our choice of cafe will happily accommodate us for a couple of hours. It will be good to get back to some sort of normality. So maybe that is my opportunity to work on a wip, probably the V-stitch stash blanket I started last summer as it isn’t complicated therefore allowing me to chat without forgetting what I’m doing. So does this then allow me to purchase some new yarn to start a filet crochet blanket or using something from my stash to make a wall hanging or mandala? My eldest daughter has put in a request for mandala, could this be my inspiration and therefore delays the inevitable purchase of new yarn for a little longer? But I really want to do that blanket…

Now with a heartfelt tinge of sadness I’m sure you will all have heard by now Prince Phillip has died at the age of 99yrs. This has caused great sadness across the country (UK) and I’m sure the world. Although it was inevitable due to his recent illness and impressive age, his presence at the Queen’s side, albeit from behind the scenes in more recent years will be missed.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021

I’ll sign off now, until next time keep safe.

Easter, Flowers, garlands…

Pale Pink Camellia first flower in my garden!

Camellia’s originate from China and are also known as a tea plant and in Japan they are often called a Japanese Rose. The Camellia represents the union between two lovers in China and in Latin the word Camellia means “helper to the priest”. They symbolise love, affection and admiration.

So I’m a little late with my blog, the Easter weekend ran away with me and now it’s Tuesday!

I hope everybody had a lovely weekend. What a mix of weather? Warm and sunny, windy and sunny, cold and snow! Only in the UK could this happen. Anyway, enough about the weather, for those who celebrate Easter I hope you were able to celebrate the way you wanted and for those that don’t I hope you had a lovely relaxing bank holiday and I hope everyone got all the chocolate they could eat.

Now about the crochet, seeing this is what this blog is meant to be about… I’m sure that previously I said that I wouldn’t be making anymore flowers for a while. Well how wrong could I be? I follow the lovely blogger and crochet designer Lucy @attic24 and she lives in a truly beautiful part of the UK and posts lovely photo’s not only of the area where she lives of which I am only slightly jealous but also of all her amazing crochet of which she is exceedingly prolific. I have now completed or adapted several of her patterns to gift to people or for my own purpose this brings me nicely to why I have ended up making more flowers  – It’s all Lucy’s fault! On one of her recent blogs she had decorated her mantel for spring and hanging from the mantel was the cutest of garlands. For some reason I couldn’t get the garland out of my head and eventually gave in and made my own, following Lucy’s patterns for Polyanthus flowers and Hawthorn blossom.

Is there any significance in a polyanthus? It is a hybrid of the wild primrose and primulas and is one of the first flowers to open at the start of spring. It is often viewed as a symbol of femininity. Hawthorn trees are often referred to as fairy trees as it was believed that fairies lived in them. Christian tradition denotes that the hawthorn was representative of their struggles to suppress pagan beliefs. The hawthorn flower is regarded as a symbol of love, abundance and longevity.

Did you know that garlands have been part of religious rituals and traditions for a long time? In Egyptian times flower garlands were placed on mummies to celebrate the entering of the afterlife. Garlands were used by the Greeks to decorate their homes, temples and banqueting tables. During Roman times rose petal garlands were worn and carved wooden garlands decorated homes. In Renaissance paintings garlands are a recurring theme. Garlands of foliage and tiny flowers were popular in the Byzantine culture. The 15th and 16th centuries popularised the wearing of garlands, especially rose, at festivals, weddings and pageants. They became of religious significance when they were draped over religious statues during the European Middle Ages and Hindus across the world have attached spiritual meaning to flowers by the wearing of them and the embellishing of their statues with blessed garlands.

Lucy definitely chose the perfect pairing of flowers for her garland and it explains its prettiness. I certainly enjoyed making this garland and I think it would be the perfect garland for weddings and not just spring ones, what do you think?

I will blog again at the weekend as I have some wips that I can introduce you to. I really need to knuckle down, that’s if I don’t get distracted by new patterns, ideas etc, and try and get these completed although, they won’t be that quick as they are largish projects and so a distraction isn’t such a bad thing as it ensures I don’t get bored!

Bye for now

Easter Eggs!

Pink Easter Egg with embroidered daisies

I have continued making Easter eggs this week and this got me thinking ~ What is the connection between eggs, bunnies and Easter?

Firstly, Easter is probably the oldest and most important festival of the Christian church as it celebrates the ressurection of Jesus. It could also be associated with the Pagan Goddess Eostre, who represents spring and fertility, as Pagans celebrated her in a month that was known as Eosturmonath in Old English which often fell just after the spring equimox and is likely where the word Easter originates.

So what about easter eggs? I hear you ask!

The spring equinox marks when light is equal to darkness and then continues to grow. Pagans celebrate this period as a time for renewal where eggs take centre stage probably due to the fact that hens lay fewer eggs during the winter months and also the egg is a symbol of new life.

The decorating of eggs has a long history with decoratively engraved ostrich eggs being found in Africa that are approximately 60,000 years old.

Decorating eggs, as an Easter tradition, dates back to the 13th century. Many cultures have their own traditions regarding egg decoration .

In Christianity the thought is that eggs were forbidden during Lent so people began painting and decorating them to mark the end of the period of penance. The church continued with this tradition, decorations became more ornate the eggs were often given as gifts.

From the 17th century Easter started to become ‘commercialised’ with egg-shaped toys being made for children. During the Victorian era cardboard and satin covered eggs were given, they were filled with small gifts and chocolates. During the 19th century Carl Faberge, made highly bejewelled eggs for the Russian Czar and Czarina, he made 50 in total, these have become highly prized, If and when coming to the market selling for millions of pounds.

Today, eggs are still decorated as they are a fun activity for children to do.

Today Easter is associated, by many people, by the overwhelming amount of chocolate eggs available rather than the Christian celebration of Jesus’ resurrection or the many other religious festivals and traditions. So has Easter become a festival of chocolate?

Now what about that Easter bunny?

Well believe it or not he goes back a long way, he actually pre-dates Christianity and has his origins in Paganism as rabbits were the most potent symbol of fertility and along with the egg, the start of all life, was often considered to have magical powers. To this end children would leave out their Easter bonnets or caps for the coloured eggs that the Easter bunny would deliver if they had been good.

Scheepjes Catona Yarn
Bunny face Scheepjes Catona Yarn

Having made lots of pretty Easter eggs I then thought I need an Easter bunny or two. Well here is the first completed bunny face and another nine to complete. What am I planning to do with all these bunny faces? Well you’ll have to wait until next week to find out!

Last Easter I made small bunny bags, these were rather cute and when gifted full of mini eggs were much appreciated by the little people in my life.

I look forward to writing again next week, which of course will be Easter and I’ll show you what happened to that cute bunny face.

Bye for now and keep safe.

Bunny face pattern my own

Yarn: Scheepjes Catona

Pink and Blue Easter Eggs with embroidered Daisies pattern by @alistar_toys (I did adapt this pattern a little). Yarn used: Hobbii Rainbow 8/4

Colours!

“I prefer living in colour” David Hockney.

It’s been a pretty dull week weather wise and after making the pretty spring flowers last week I have been looking at colours in a little more detail. This has helped brighten the grey days and has shown me that colour is truly important in our lives.

Colour can be seen everywhere but nowhere more than what is around us….Nature! There is such variety of colour, for instance, the sky – as I said previously this week, the sky has mostly been shades of grey (yes, I know there is a trilogy of the shades of grey – not the same thing I can assure you!) but think ahead, now that we have offically entered spring – Spring Equinox was today 20th March at 9.37am, of the longer days, glorious clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds rather than the dark ominous skies and clouds of the autumn and winter months. It reflects the wonder of the rising sun and the beautiful hues when it sets. In the term nature I also consider animals, birds and insects, thinking of the beautiful colours amongst these species and how it works. A lot of animals can change colour depending on where they are or what they are doing – It can be used as camouflage, for protection or to attract a mate or to embolden them to scare of a predator. It is ususally the male in the bird world that is usually the most colourful, Charles Darwin developed much of the theory that helps to explain this. He concluded that the colour differences between birds resulted in the preference from female birds for bright colours in their males, I am happy that this isn’t the case in humans! It is also thought that because females are more exposed to predators when incubating they tend to be more dull and drab in colouring. Colour can also help individuals to recognise their own species. And in species that are not good to eat colouring provides a warning to possible predators.

I have digressed considerably for which I appologise but I’m sure that you can see that I have been closely looking at colour and as another after thought regarding colour and food, food is always more appetising when its colourful and I can’t think of any meal, when dining out particularly, that hasn’t been colourful!

We, the human being, can identify with the amazing world of colour and how nature fulfils it.

We use colour to identify with as in if ‘someone is feeling blue’ they might be suffering from depression or if a person is described as bright and cheerful they might be considered to be a ‘colourful personality’, red is often associated with anger, white calmness or peaceful and green jealousy. It has been said that some colours are more conducive with a positive attitude than others. So not only does colour give pleasure but it also has a purpose.

“Mere colour can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways” Oscar Wilde.

Following this, I have come to the conclusion that I actually like all colours whether they are bright and bold, pastel or the more muted naturals. I think my favourite colour is the one I’m using at the time which, bearing in mind, my current project is small and uses five different colours means my head has been quite busy deciding which I like best!

“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment” Claude Matisse.

So my questions are – What are your favourite colours? Bright? Bold? Pastels? Muted? Why are they your favourite? Do you think colours affect your moods/emotions?

As I’ve said, I like all colours and I particularly like putting bright, bold colours together that might not necessarily go together but once applied do! (in my opinion)

Although, my projects may have been small they have given me such pleasure and I’m really happy with the end results so far.

What do you think? Cute eh!

This little project will continue for a while, because I love them so much, but there will be other projects that I’ll continue to work on and there is a possible project which will compliment the pretty egg decorations for Easter.

I asked last week how do you like to decorate for Easter, if you decorate at all. Well these little beauties will definitely be part of my Easter decs this year.

As you can see I have included a few quotes this week from some fairly influential people that I think work well with my chosen topic for this blog, what do you think? Can you add to these? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment, if you wish, but remember to be kind.

Bye for now.

Patterns used this week:

Easter Eggs Granny Square Style – Paula Matos – http://www.elealinda-design.com

Flower Basket Decor for Easter Eggs – Smolina Yana – lunapatterns@gmail.com

Yarns used: Hobbii Rainbow 8/4 100% cotton and Scheepjes Catona 100% mercerized cotton

Flowers!

Firstly I’d like to thank all of you for reading my first ever blog post and for those that have signed up to it I’m hoping you will enjoy reading this the second one.

In the UK, this Sunday is mothering Sunday. Well I don’t know about you guys but it gets harder every year to come up with something different, special or unique to give to my mother. This year it’s been even harder as she lives in a care home and has dementia and with the awful year we’ve had of lockdowns etc it has taken its toll, the lack of visits has resulted in her becoming more detached and her memory failing has meant she doesn’t always know who I am, her deafness also doesn’t help.

So I decided on flowers – never having crocheted flowers before I spent a few days looking at patterns and checking what yarn I had in my stash. I finally decided on roses, daisies, forget me nots (the flower for Dementia) and cherry blossom. Oh, I also made a couple of pansies, using the wonderful pattern by Anna Nikipirowicz, for my mother in laws mother’s day gift. All the flowers and leaves have been made using 100% cotton yarn – Hobbii Rainbow 8/4 and Cotton Kings 8/4. I have to say I have enjoyed making the flowers and a mix of leaves but do not think this is going to be my thing!

Having embarked on making all these pretty flowers I’m sure you are asking what I had planned to do with them – well I’m afraid I went a bit obvious and cliche and made heart wreaths. Actually, I purchased willow and vine heart shaped wreaths from Hobbycraft and then attached the flowers to them using my trusty hot glue gun. I’m really happy with the results. Hopefully I can work out how to insert some photos.

First close contact visit in 12months

I was allowed to visit my mother today and touch her! I had to have a lateral flow test done and once the results were in (30mins) I was dressed up in a wrap around plastic apron, gloves and the inevitable face mask – this makes it all very difficult to communicate and I’m not sure she really knew it was me but she did like the heart wreath, stating it was pretty and even smiling.

So my job is done, another mother’s day, albeit a couple of days early, celebrated. My husband will gift the willow version, which has the pansies on, to his mother on mothering Sunday.

Now to move on to Easter decorations!

Do you put up Easter decorations? If you do, what type of thing? Is it all about the egg, the chicken or the bunny? Do you go completely over the top or just a subtle nod to Easter? If you want to share any thoughts please leave a comment. I’ve got lots of ideas whether I will achieve what I have planned is another matter. You will have noticed I’m not giving too much away this is so I have something to write about next time!

There I’ve said it – Next time – yes I am going to keep on blogging, I just hope you will continue reading.

 For all the mums out there I wish you a wonderful Mothers Day on Sunday, a very different one this year, sadly.

Bye for now.

Patterns: Cherry Blossom – https://intheyarngarden.com,  Forget me not – https://sumoftheirstories (I adapted this pattern), Daisy and Rose are a mish mash of patterns to get a look I liked.