Wednesday 3 December 2014

Crochet Rose Pattern / Tutorial

I learnt to crochet a few years back now and still adore this form of craft.  One of the main reasons I wanted to learn to crochet was to create crochet flowers ..... it took me a year or so to get the confidence to give them a go but I got there in the end.

I thought I would share with you my version of the crochet rose, there are lots of patterns out there but I have adapted a few of them to create my own version , I hope you like it.

Please bare with me, this is the first time I have shared a crochet pattern on the world wide web so it may not be perfect and I may not know all the stitch terms ..... but hey, it still works for me.

So lets kick off shall we.  You will need a 4mm hook (but other sizes would work I am sure) and some lovely yarn.  I used cotton yarn here as I just to love way the stitch definition shows up and how it holds the form of the rose well.

Now chain 35 ...... waahooo we have started!

Now, yarn over (you are about to create a treble stitch) and pop your hook into the 5th chain as shown above (excuse my bitten nails ... note to self, stop biting my nails!).

Create a treble in this chain (a treble is = yarn over, instert hook into chain, yarn over, pull through 2, yarn over, pull through 2 - easy peasy lemon squeezy) , then chain 1.

We need to miss a chain and treble into the next stitch in the chain, then 1 chain and treble again into the same stitch as shown above.  We need to do this all the way to the end so ....... 1chain, miss 1 chain , 1 treble , 1 chain, 1 treble into the next chain and keep going with that rhythm.

It will start to curl around, don't panic, it is meant to look like that.

You have got to the end and we are ready for row 2 - wooop woop I hear you cry.


1 chain to turn your work.  Turn your work round so you go from right to left now.  Slip stitch into the next 5 chains and then work into the chain space.  *Work 5 trebles into your first chain space , now slip stitch into the next chain space.  Repeat * until you form 6 petals.

Now we get to a stitch that I have no idea of the name of ...... I am sure there is a name for it but lets just call it the sweetpea stitch until I find that out.

So you have just slip stitched now we are going to work some slightly larger petals into the pattern.  Here is the Sweetpea Stitch :-D  Now yarn over, hook into the chain space, yarn over and pull through 1, yarn over and pull through 2, yarn over and pull through 2 .  You need 5 of these in that chain space. So we now * slip stitch into next chain space, work 5 Sweetpea stitches in the the next chain space .  Repeat * until you reach the end .

You have reached the end, pull the yarn up through the last stitch to close the stitch off.  Make sure you leave a long tail before you cut the yarn as you will need that to sew your rose together in a minute.

Now turn your rose round so that you are holding where you did the slip stitches at the beginning of row 2.  Start to roll the petals , I usually do this from the base of the petals so it is easier to stitch together later.

Create a shape you are happy with, you can have an open rose or a closed looking one.

Now grab a yarn needle and pop that tail that you left through it and start sewing it together.  Weave it across the rose at the base so you can't see the sewing on the right side of your rose.

Knot it off and pop some felt and a brooch back on it, add it to a blanket or some cushions .... add it to what ever your heart desires.

I hope you enjoyed this pattern and could follow it ok :-)  

Thursday 27 November 2014

Crochet Bertie Blanket Ta Dah!

It has become a tradition of mine to take a crochet project on holiday with us each year, you see, I am not very good at sitting still and doing nothing.  I do find relaxing is quite an art.

This year was no different, after accidentally coming across a lovely page on facebook called Little Doolally I knew I had I just HAD to create one of her gorgeously gorgeous blanket patterns.

So off I went to buy the Bertie blanket pattern which I found in her Etsy shop for just over £3, what a bargain! Then came the time to pick the yarn and colours ...... Amy, who runs this fab shop told us on her page that she loved Drops Paris, a lovely cotton yarn.  I love the look of cotton yarn with its stitch definition and after a lot of deliberation (making colour decisions isn't my strong point :-)) I chose:

Light Turquoise
Light Purple
Shocking Pink
Opal Green
Strong Yellow
Medium Pick

I have a real thing at the moment about bright colours set off against white so these colours seemed perfect.

The pattern supplied is for a baby blanket but I upped the scale of mine as I wanted to create a lap blanket so I started with around 200 (or 210, sorry can't remember) stitches to kick off.

 As the holiday progressed the blanket grew with lots of happy memories intertwined within it .... those memories include family fun and laughter, the sound of the sea lapping against the shore, drinking champers with Suzi Quatro on the flight home (I didn't realise it was her until we landed and yes I do crochet on flights lol) and my crochet hook being passed back to me on that same flight by Jamie Oliver's Mum who sat behind me along with Jamie and his family (a rather odd Easyjet flight indeed).

I went for a strong white edging to set off the colours even more and LOVE the finished result.  The blanket is quite heavy using the cotton yarn so if I did create one this large again I would possibly use a wool based yarn but I do adore the colours that Drops Paris sell, I am not sure you would get the vivid colours and texture you do with a wool based yarn.

This blanket really does remind me of summer holidays...... for instance the green reminds me of this Mojito

The vivid blue of the sky against the bright pink of the Oleander.

The sandy yellow reminds me of the beach and our summer awning.

And the blue also reminds me of our guard Hippo out in Mallorca :-)

The yarn comes in 50g balls and I bought roughly 2 of each colour and 7 white balls.  The pattern was super easy to follow with lots of info and photos to help you along the way.

PS I haven't been paid to write this blog, I just love sharing good products when I find them :-D

PPS If you love crochet as much as me you may like to join me over at my facebook page as the lovely Amy from Little Doolally is having a giveaway on my page in early December :-)

Take care

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Honey Bee Harvest

The time finally came this year to do our first proper honey harvest !  To say we were excited would be a bit of an understatement. We have kept bees for a few years now but what with one long, very cold winter and then a loss of half a hive due to a swarm we never felt we could do a proper honey harvest until this year.  The bees health and happiness always has to prioritise our love of honey :-)

So we got prepared and in late August Mr Sweetpea popped into the hives and put a crown board with a porter bee escape on it just below the super.  This means that the bees go out of their honey store area to look for more flowers and when they return they can't go back up into the super area (the super is a set of extra frames you put on top of your main hive so that the bees to create more honey there).  This meant that we didn't bring lots of bees home with us.

He then popped back to the hives a few days later and removed the super frames from the hives.  They were all empty of bees and ready to take home for processing.

The first job was to uncap the honey comb ready to be put into our new spinner.   This was done with a hot knife and we collected the wax in a big plastic box (still pondering on what to do with the wax, any ideas gratefully received).   It was quite amazing how different each frame smelt, some honey frames were very floral,  others were more pungent/hormonal smelling.

We then popped 4 frames into the spinner ....... the children really enjoyed this bit,  apologies for the blurry photos but as you can imagine the children were spinning the frames as quickly as they could and enjoying every minute of it.

Whilst this was being done I put our newly bought honey jars in the dishwasher to be washed and sterilised.

When all the frames had been spun we double filtered the honey into a special storage bucket.  This made sure no bits of wax were in the final honey.

It was quite mesmerising watching the honey slowly pour out.

Finally came the time to bottle up all the honey.  We found a fantastic company called Pattesons Glass where we bought some lovely hexagonal jars for a great price.

We only bought 30 jars to start with but had to buy some more as we ran out !  We never thought we would get over 30 jars of honey, the bees were obviously very happy this year.

I added some labels to the jars with some fascinating bee facts on them :-)

The frames were then popped back out and put near the hive they came from so the bees could clean up the final honey from them and pop it back into their hives.


It was a really lovely way to spend a day and I am hoping that as the hives grow in strength it will become a yearly family tradition.   

Friday 5 September 2014

Plum Fruit Leathers Tutorial

I have been wanting to make fruit leathers for a while now so when a friend had a glut of plumbs I thought it was the perfect time to give it a go.

I read a lot of recipes and tried a few out but this is what worked best for me ..... no recipe needed as such.
***Wwahooo I hear you cry***

So, grab some plumbs (that sounds wrong, sorry :-/), no particular amount needed but I used about 12  (if you use more you can just put more trays in the oven), cut them in half and de-stone them.  I find the easiest way to do this is cutting them round the middle and twisting them.

Cover a baking tray with foil and place the plumb halves on top.  Pop them in the oven at about 170 degC for 20 mins to get rid of some of the moisture and to make the skin easier the blend.  Remove them from the oven and turn it down to 100 degC.

Let them cool and pop them in a blender or food processor until they turn into a puree.  Add honey to taste, I added a couple of desert spoons full of our own honey (more about that another day, so excited about that here!).

Now grab a baking tray, pop some baking paper on the top (glossy side up) and pour some of the puree in the center of it.  Not too much though, just enough so that you can move it to cover the tray so you can't see the baking paper underneath, I used the back of a spoon to do this.  The thinner you can make it the quicker it will dehydrate.  If you make it too thick it takes hours and hours ....... and hours and hours ...... and hours to dehydrate!

Now pop it in the oven and leave it for at least 3 - 4 hours, check every 30 mins after this time.  If it still feels liquidy/squidgy (can't think of another word to best describe it) then leave it for another 30 mins.   When it feels a little tacky to touch but not squidgy take it out of the oven and leave it too cool.

Now use a knife or pizza cutter and score lines into the 'leather'.  It should peel off from the outside edges and create strips of fruit leather ..... WWWAAHOOO!

The children adore these and they have used up some fab plumbs - bonus !  I am going to try Raspberries next ...... wish me luck ! x

Monday 14 July 2014

Teachers Thank You Cards

I have been busy sewing apples as teachers gifts recently, I found this lovely pattern over at Retromama and just had to try them out.  Aren't they cute?  Whilst sewing them up I came up with the idea of adding little gift labels to them and finally mastered the art of printing onto fabric.

Whilst photographing them a lovely fb page liker suggested I make cards out of the photos to go with the apples. What a fab idea I thought.  I was going to print some off and sell them but then thought how lovely it would be to give them away as a little freebie.

So if you would like to create a card with this image above then please do feel free.  All you have to do is right click on it and save it to your hard drive via 'save image as'.   Then upload it to picmonkey and add the text you would like to add to your card ..... I used 'Eraser Dust' as my text.  Save back down to your hard drive and print off and add to a card.  I opened the image in powerpoint and then minimised it to half A4 size and printed it onto card, folded it over and voila you have your own personalised card :-)

All I ask is that you respect my copyright and only use these for personal use, no selling, no taking off my fb page info etc.  Thanks.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Summer in a glass - Elderflower Cordial

Summer is here and that means lots of lovely foraging can take place :-)  With the recent mix of sunshine and rain the Elderflowers have stared bursting out all over the place.

So off I went with my gorgeous wicker basket and three children to collect some of those sunshine filled flowers.

They were then turned into cordial which tastes lovely when combined with sparkling water or Cava.

The flowers are so tiny and perfect .......

It's like drinking Summer in a glass ..... the recipe I used is here; Elderflower Cordial Recipe, I got it from this book. Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2   It is full of fantastic recipes, click on the text to be taken to see what other recipes it has in it.

Thursday 5 June 2014

Hobbycraft Giveaway - Texture Boutique Beginners Kit

Hobbycraft are selling this lovely Texture Boutique Beginners Kit which is ideal for avid papercrafters and newbies to the craft.  I don't know about you but I love pottering around Hobbycraft and also love the look of all their lovely papercraft accessories, those gorgeous papers, fab stamps, all those cute things you can stick to a homemade card that makes them so unique and special to the person who receives it.

Now, I wanted to try this out myself but my husband has banned me from getting into any other crafts, what with my sewing, needle felting, crochet ..... well lets just say our house is slowing looking like a craft shop :-) This is lucky for you as it means I am giving it away on my blog instead!   Wwaahooo

Here is a video clip on how you use it ....


Stop with all this chatting I hear you say, just tell us how to enter, just comment below, easy as that !

For another entry let me know if you have shared on facebook via my Scented Sweetpea page over there, shared on twitter (tell me your twitter address) or if you share via your blog then pop back here and tell me your blog name.

Closing date is Friday 20 June 2014 8pm gmt

Below is all the blurb about it:

Have fun making your own unique handmade greetings cards and more with this Texture Boutique Beginners Kit from Sizzix. Add a special touch to birthdays, holidays, invitations, thank you cards and much more with this fantastic kit.

This Card Making and Embossing 91 Piece Beginners Kit will produce fantastic cards that are sure to impress. This includes 1 card making machine, 2 embossing pads, 1 shim, 3 Textures Impressions embossing folders, 20 A2, 40 sheets of cardstock in 10 different colours, 2 rub on sheets, 1 sandpaper sample and 1 project booklet. The folders included come in three beautiful designs, Flowers and daises, Swirls and dots, Flowers, swirls and dots.

Now you can have fun make your own beautiful cards and save money at the same time. This kit contains all you need create a card for any occasion and then add texture to your design. The kit is so simple to use, that anyone can do it. The only limit to what you create is your imagination. Warning, choking hazard, plastic charm on machine can become detached. Keep away from children three years and under.
Great for adding a special touch to occasions
Machine dimensions 27.9 cm x 19.7 cm x 13.3 cm
Includes 40 sheets of cardstock
Three beautiful embossing folders included
Not suitable for children under 36 months