Sunday, 15 January 2017

Stabby Granny

You know when you just want to try something, for no particular reason and with no end project in mind?

This is what happened here...

It's a "Stabby Granny", a fun and funky granny square from Set Free My Gypsy Soul and Make.E - you can find the pattern here.

Mine is a bit twisted, which is a common issue with granny squares.  I think some blocking would sort it out, if I decide to actually use it for anything.

I really like the stabby design - the way the colours almost seem to bleed into each other.  It's created with spike stitches and I love the effect it gives, especially in these blues.  When I saw the pattern I could picture it in these gorgeous colours from my stash, which is why I had to drop everything and try it out.  I just love different blues together!

There are a couple of specific patterns to go with the stabby granny design - a cowl or fingerless gloves - but my square is a lot smaller than it should be for those patterns (without adding extra rows).  My yarn is DK, rather than the aran recommended, and I have tight tension.  (I used a 5mm hook, rather than the 4mm recommended on the yarn, or the 4.5mm recommended in the pattern, and my square measures approx 12 to 13cm across.)

I didn't really have a project in mind, anyway - I just wanted to see the square in these colours!  But now I'm thinking maybe I should try to make something... but what?  Not a big project, like a blanket, but a small quicker one - any ideas?!

Check out my completed crochet items here.

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Friday, 6 January 2017

Creation Consolidation - 2016!

Hello and happy new year to you!

The past few years I've enjoyed putting together a post consolidating all my makes from the year.  It's nice to see everything in one place, so without further ado here are my 2016 creations!

Click on the title of the picture to be taken to the relevant post.

Crochet Gloves (with fingers)

Stripy Crochet Baby Blanket

Chunky Knit-Look Crochet Cowl

Tapestry Crochet Mobile Phone Case

Squares for 'Jenny's Blanket of Hugs'

Tissue Paper Pom-Poms

Tilda Fabric Zip Pouch

Tilda Fabric Strawberries

Tilda Fabric Trinket Tray

Crochet Snail

Decorated Gift Box

Crochet Elephant

Crochet Snowflakes

Crochet Christmas Baubles (with free pattern!)

Crochet Santa Cushion

Christmas Gift Can

Crochet Gary the Snail (from SpongeBob SquarePants)

Crochet Pokeball

Phew, I started slow but certainly ramped up as the year went on!

If you are interested, here are my consolidation posts from previous years:


I didn't do a round-up for previous years, but you can see other finished items at the below links:

Here's to a great 2017 for us all, and lots more crafting!

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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Crochet Pokeball

Just time to share one last make this year!

As a little birthday present for my nephew, I made him a fun little Pokeball...

It's just a small one, as you can see!

I made it by crocheting one half of a ball in red, finishing with a row of black.  Then another half of a ball in white, finishing with a row of black.  The two halves were sewn together with black yarn, and stuffed as I went.

I can't quite remember how I did the middle circle!  I think it was twelve dc or hdc (US) / twelve tr or htr (UK) into a magic ring, in white.  Then two sc (US) / dc (UK) into each stitch in black.  Then I sewed it to the ball.  Sorry to be a bit vague on that - I made it as I went along and didn't make notes!

Anyway, happy new year!  I hope 2017 is a craft-filled year for us all!

Check out my crochet items here.

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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Crochet Gary the Snail

This project has been a long time coming!  I started it back in the summer as a little gift for my nephew.  Well, I only finished it just in time for it to be a Christmas present!

Remember a while back, I made this snail for my sister-in-law?  She suggested one in the colours of Gary the Snail from SpongeBob SquarePants for my nephew, as he loves Gary.  She sent me a picture, as I didn't know the character, but I decided that the shape of the other crochet snail just wasn't right for Gary.

I thought there was bound to be a pattern online for him, but I really struggled to find one so in the end I made it up as I went along.  Hence why it took me so long as I had a fair few struggles and ripping it back along the way!  But now he's finally done, I think he looks quite like the image my sister-in-law sent me, don't you think?

It wasn't feasible to make the eye stalks as thin as the cartoon version, not with crocheting them and wanting them to stand up.  I actually crocheted around a turquoise pipe cleaner to make them, which means they can be bent and moved around which is a good feature.

Now he's finally done, I'm quite pleased with him.  He's a little wonky I think, and not perfect, but I hope he looks like Gary!

What do you think - do you like him?!

Check out my crochet items here.

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Monday, 26 December 2016

Christmas Gift Can

Merry Christmas!  I hope you're all having a lovely festive time!

Here is a little Christmassy make to show you.  I've had this idea pinned for ages, but I finally got round to having a go this Christmas.

It's such a fun idea!

You use a tab-top tin can - in my case, this was a chopped tomatoes tin - and you open it with a tin opener from the bottom, leaving it slightly attached.  This means that the top with the tab opener remains intact.  I used the contents to make my dinner and washed and dried the can thoroughly.

I took the label off as neatly as possible, so that I could use it as a template to cut out my Christmassy paper for the new festive covering.

Very simple to do - cut out your paper and stick one edge to the tin with double-sided tape.  Wrap the paper round and stick the other edge down in the same way.

I used a strip of sparkly fabric tape that matched the paper, to cover the seam.

I cut a circle of coordinating paper and cut a wedge out of it, so that I could slip it under the tab and secure it to the lid.  (I slipped more paper under the wedge at the top of the tab so that you can't really notice the missing wedge.)

My favourite bit was using pink and alphabet beads to make the message - "pull my tab" - which I attached to the tab, followed by ribbon tied in a bow.

Then I filled it with a little gift for my sister-in-law for Christmas.  You could put sweets in, or other small goodies.

The tricky part was re-attaching the bottom of the tin using a hot glue gun.  Where I'd opened it with a tin-opener, it was now smaller than the tin circumference.  I managed to get it to stick, but it was a bit of a gluey mess, so I covered it in a circle of felt and another circle of paper matching the top.  That neatened it all up at the bottom, and my Christmas gift can was done!

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Saturday, 24 December 2016

A Crochet Hook-Up - Part 2

Back in October, I took part in another Crochet Hook-Up on Instagram, organised by Lazy Daisy Jones using #ldjcrchethookup.  You can follow me on Instagram here.

As with the last one, I like to share the images here too, for those of my readers who don't use Instagram, but might like to see the pretty pictures!  I'll split them into two posts, as there are quite a lot of images - this is the second post, find the first one here.

A photo posted by Maria (@dinki_dots) on

A photo posted by Maria (@dinki_dots) on

Sorry it took me so long to show them here on the blog.  I hope you all have a lovely Christmas - I have a couple of crafty makes to show you once they have been given to their recipients, so watch this space!

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Friday, 23 December 2016

A Crochet Hook-Up - Part 1

Back in October, I took part in another Crochet Hook-Up on Instagram, organised by Lazy Daisy Jones using #ldjcrchethookup.  You can follow me on Instagram here.

As with the last one, I like to share the images here too, for those of my readers who don't use Instagram, but might like to see the pretty pictures!  I'll split them into two posts, as there are quite a lot of images.

I hope you enjoy them.  Look out for Part 2 tomorrow!

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Crochet Santa Cushion

I have now made my santa corner-to-corner crochet panel into a festive cushion...

I bordered the square with a round of half double crochet (UK half treble) in white and then a round of double crochet (uk treble) in red.

The back is all grey C2C crochet with the same two additional rounds as the front, but all in red.

I then joined the front and back with a round of single crochet.

I'm going to give him to my little nephew, as I'm hoping he'll like a cheery santa cushion!

For all details on pattern, yarn, and tips used to make the santa square, see this post.

Check out my crochet items here.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Crochet Bauble - Free Pattern

I've become hooked on crocheting Christmas baubles!

These are so much fun to make!  As soon as I finish one I want to try another in a new colour combination!

There are a lot of these springing up on the blogs and Instagram - these and these got me the most inspired to give it a go myself!  I thought I'd give you the pattern I came up with for mine.  Nothing particularly ground-breaking and I'm sure there are lots of similar bauble patterns out there, but here goes...

You will need:
- 7cm diameter polystyrene balls (mine were ordered from ebay and they actually seem to be 7.5cm in diameter when I measure them)
- DK yarn in colours of your choice
- Gold or silver yarn - I used Anchor Artiste Metallic yarn from Hobbycraft in gold and silver
- (If you want added sparkle, a couple of my baubles used Anchor Artiste Metallic yarn in red)

Tension and Bauble Size
Everyone has different crochet tensions (I'm quite a tight crocheter) and the polystyrene ball sizes can vary, so it's important to try your crochet on your ball as you go, to check it seems to be creating a snug fit.  Nobody wants a baggy bauble!  If it seems to be too loose, then adjust the pattern accordingly - maybe get rid of the chain spaces between clusters of stitches.  You might also find you need to do one less row if it seems to be too big.  You want to have to pull the two halves to get them to meet for sewing together so that it creates a nice tight fit.

tr: treble crochet (UK)
dc: double crochet (US)
htr: half treble crochet (UK)
hdc: half double crochet (US)
ch: chain
st: stitch

To make the standard bauble with only one silver or gold metallic:

Note - I start each row with a standing crochet stitch and I end each row with an invisible join.  However, you can start each row with chains to count as the first stitch and end with a slip stitch if you prefer.

Rnd 1: 12 tr (dc US) into magic ring (12 st)
Rnd 2: [In silver or gold] htr (hdc US) ch 1 into gaps between stitches of previous row (12 st 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 3: 2 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 2 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 4: 3 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 5: [In silver or gold] 3 tr (dc US) ch 2 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 2 spaces)
Rnd 6: 3 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 2 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 7: 3 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 8: 3 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)

Make this twice, place over your bauble and sew together in silver or gold.

To sew the two halves together, I lined up the last row on each side so that the middle of the cluster of three tr (dc US) on one side lined up with the ch 1 on the other side as you can see above.  I used metallic yarn to sew through the outer loop of the top of each crochet stitch of the final row on both sides, which creates a slanted stitch around the bauble.  I then reversed and sewed back round, giving an oppositely slanted stitch, hence making the metallic crosses you can see.  It sounds a lot more complicated than it is - with crochet stitches being what they are, by sewing through the loops and matching up on both halves, this naturally happens by itself.  Leave enough yarn at the start and end of the stitching to tie into a hanging loop for your bauble.

To make the more sparkly bauble with additional metallic yarn:

These follow the same pattern, and rounds 2 and 5 (the silver/gold rounds in the above pattern) are left as they are, with metallic yarn.

As the metallic yarn is thinner than standard DK, if you change any of the other rounds to metallic then this was my method:

2 tr (dc US) becomes 3 tr (dc US)
3 tr (dc US) becomes 5 tr (dc US)

I haven't tried the initial round in metallic, but I would keep that the same, with 12 stitches into the magic ring.

Everything else remains the same.  I also like to end each half with a non-metallic yarn, as I think it give a more stable final round to grip around the polystyrene ball and to sew together.  It would probably be fine with metallic too, really, but I've not tried it.

You don't need to follow this pattern rigidly, though - this is just what I did to make mine.  There are so many ways to do it, try different ideas and see what happens!

If you do use this pattern, please let me know as I'd love to see what you made!

Check out my crochet items here and my other patterns and tutorials here.

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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Crochet Snowflakes

I've been well into the Christmassy and wintery crafting lately!  I've been a bit slow at getting items finished and on the blog - but on Instagram (@dinki_dots) you can see more frequent snaps of what I've been working on.

A friend of my Mum's gave her some very thin crochet cotton to pass on to me, as she knows I crochet.  It is a size 20 - which is sooo very thin!  I wasn't sure what to make at first, as I usually crochet with DK at the thinnest, so this was a big change.  Then it hit me... a couple of the colours would be perfect for delicate icy snowflakes!

My lovely friend Anna had previously given me the book 100 Snowflakes to Crochet* by Caitlin Sainio, and I thought that I'd have a go at a few designs from the book. (*affiliate link)

I think the delicate thread and these colours works really well for snowflakes.  I'm planning to make more and turn them into a pretty snowfall along the lines of this beautiful one!

I used a 2.5mm hook for these.  The thin thread calls for even smaller, but I found it far too tricky!  I'm a tight crocheter anyway, so I think this does the job.

They come out quite crinkly when first made, so this is one project that definitely needs blocking.  Blocking transforms them.  Here is a snap from my Instagram which shows how one of the snowflakes looked before blocking.

A photo posted by Maria (@dinki_dots) on

Once blocked I also sprayed hairspray on the snowflakes to give them a bit of firmness and stability.  As the cotton is very thin and delicate it doesn't take much.  With thicker yarn, perhaps other more robust methods might be better.

These are the patterns I've used from the book, in case it is of any use:

18: Ice Flower

17: Kossava

6: Polar Glacier

I'd better get a move on and make more if I want my snowfall before winter is over!

Check out my other crochet projects here.

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