Creative Ideas When You’re Staying at Home

Well it’s the start of the second week at home, doing some home schooling and I thought I’d share some patterns and tutorials available online. Most of the patterns are on my wish list to buy, and make! Most of them are also from small businesses and independents, my favourite businesses to support, other links I’ve shared are available free.

Zeens and Roger Fit to Burst Mitts- beautiful lacy fingerless mitts made with 4ply yarn, and Rosina has a discount available til the end of March, so be quick! Ravelry shop link here

Cozamundo Rainbow Cushion– a super cute little cushion crocheted from DK yarn, I know I have some of this in my yarn stash!

If you fancy a simple dressmaking project, here’s a free dressmaking pattern for the Stellan T-Shirt, by French Navy Patterns. (You will need access to a printer for this one to print the pattern out.)

There are 100’s of free embroidery and cross stitch patterns on the DMC website, you’ll be spoilt for choice. This one by Holly Maguire might be the next one that I tackle…

Ann Wood’s Very Nice Mice have been on my Pinterest to-make-list for ages, they have such cute faces.

Maura, aka The Messy Brunette has just released some beautiful PDF Embroidery Patterns. I really like these flowers.

Lots of independent illustrators and designers are sharing free printable colouring in sheets, including Berylune who have just opened a colouring competition, for more details click here. It’s for grown ups too, and there’s a lovely prize!

There’s a couple of other links here for free colouring pages that I’ve come across. Rachel Mahon’s Rainbow Thank you Postie is a good one for the kids, and I think this self portrait will be fun for everyone! Viktorija Illustration

Cloud Craft (my favourite website for embroidery supplies and felt) are still shipping twice a week and also have a lovely blog full of creative ideas for children and grown ups!

Two tips for keeping creative-

Try small quick projects that are simple and easy to achieve. You get a quick sense of satisfaction with out using too much brain power! Do you have a stash of freebie kits that have come with magazines?

Don’t worry about having too many works in progress on the go. Pick them up as the mood takes you- one day you might relish the challenge of something small and intricate, the next day you might want chunky yarn that works up quickly!

In other Shirley Rainbow news, my shop is remaining open, however I’m only posting to UK addresses. Most of my shop items fit into card envelopes which are letter box friendly. I’m more than happy to gift wrap an item and send directly to the recipient (if you don’t mind my wonky wrapping skills!) As and when I get the time, I’m going to try and keep sharing things online. I love seeing what projects other people are up to, it makes me feel more connected with our lovely online crafty community. It’s going to be a strange few weeks and I feel like I need all the normality I can get.

I hope this has been helpful, love to you all and take care

Teresa

Free! Daffodil Coaster Crochet Pattern

This pattern was originally published in Take A Break Makes Magazine March 2019.

Perfect some basic crochet stitches, colour changes and the Invisible Fasten Off method and add a splash of cheery sunshine and colour to your kitchen table by making these simple coasters. Made using Aran weight cotton yarn these coasters work up quickly and are a great beginners project. The yarn recommended will be enough to make a set of four for you, and a friend!

NOTE: Aran weight yarn often recommends a 5mm hook or bigger to work with. By using a 4.5mm hook the coaster will be a firmer and sturdier piece of fabric when finished.

You will need:
4.5mm crochet hook
Rico Creative Cotton Yarn, Aran weight in
49 Green, 40 Light Green, 68 Banana, 63 Light Yellow, 72 Smoky Orange,
Scissors
Tapestry Needle
Coaster size when finished: 4” / 10cm diameter
Stitches used: (UK terms)
Chain – ch
Treble crochet – tr
Treble 2/3 together – tr2tog / tr3tog
Double crochet – dc
Slip Stitch – slst

How to make an invisible fasten off:
The invisible fasten off is a useful method for the last round of work, and as the name suggests makes the fastening off invisible! After the last stitch is worked, cut the yarn about 15cm from the crochet and pull it through the last stitch. Thread the yarn tail onto the needle and sew it through the first stitch worked. Then take the needle over the last stitch worked and pull the yarn through the middle. Pull the yarn through carefully so that it looks exactly like the top of the crochet stitches. Weave the ends in.

Method:

  1. Using Smoky Orange, ch 4. Slst into 1st ch to make a loop. Ch 3 (counts as the 1st treble in this round and throughout the pattern). 11 tr into loop. (12 stitches) Slst into the 3rd ch and fasten off.
  1. Join Banana into any stitch, ch 3. Work one tr into the same stitch. Do 2 tr into every stitch, (24 stitches) slip stitch into the 3rd chain and fasten off.
  1. Join Pale Yellow into any stitch and ch 2. Treble 2 together by pulling yarn over hook, inserting the hook into the next stitch, yarn round the hook and pull through.(3 loops on hook) Now put yarn round the hook and insert into the next stitch, yarn
    round the hook and pull through, (4loops on hook). Yarn round the hook again and pull through all 4 loops on the hook. Ch 5, then tr 3 together using the next three stitches. Repeat ch5 and tr3tog 6 more times. Chain 5 and slst into 1st ch of 1st ch5 and fasten off. (1 tr2tog cluster, 7 tr3tog clusters, 8 chain 5 spaces).
  1. Join Light Green into any ch5 space. Ch 3. 4 tr into ch5 space, ch 1. Work 5 tr into the next chain space and ch 1, 6 more times. Join with a sl st into 3rd chain and fasten off. (8 5 treble groups, 8 1ch spaces)
  1. Join green into any treble stitch. Ch 1 and dc into the same stitch. Double crochet
    into every st around, working around the chain. When you come to the last stitch
    use the invisible join method to fasten off. Sew in all ends.

If your coaster is a little curled up at the edges you can wet block it to make it lie flat. Gently wet the coaster in cool water and lay on a folded towel to dry. Shape the coaster when it’s wet and use pins if necessary to hold it into shape. Allow to dry naturally and then your coaster is ready to use, time to pop the kettle on!

Washing Instructions
Pop your coasters in a small laundry bag when you need to wash them, wash at 30°C and reshape them afterwards as with the wet clocking method. You could change the daffodil yarn colours for other spring bulb colours too!

I hope you enjoy this free pattern! If you make any coasters I’d love to see them, please tag me on social media @shirleyrainbow_tb or send me an email! Any problems or queries, please get in touch.

You are welcome to sell items made from this pattern, however please credit Teresa Bettelley at Shirley Rainbow as the designer, thank you.

All the good things

Last year for my birthday I was a very lucky girl, I got an iPad Pro and pencil. I very quickly bought Procreate too and have thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use it to create digital designs. I’ve had some of these printed onto fabric and have tried some embroidery over the top. I used Prinfab to do the digital prints, I was really pleased with the quality.

This is the first sample I did, using wool embroidery yarn, and I’ve kept this for myself!

Two of my designs are now available in my Folksy shop.

I’ve used DMC embroidery threads to add the details and it gives a nice texture to the finished piece.

I also created a repeat pattern printed fabric, although I’m still too scared to cut into it! It was inspired by the badges I make, and the tiny bits of embroidery they feature.

Other new products that I’ve recently added to my shop are these Lavender Bags. I’ve made them using off cuts of felt and fabric from other embroidery projects, so they are reducing waste as well as being fun to make, and even though I say it myself, rather cute. I’ll be making more for definite! The lavender used for stuffing is grown in my own garden, and most of the ribbons used are recycled too, from gift wrap and clothing.

And finally, a new craft magazine arrived on the shelves of all good newsagents this week! It’s from the Take a Break family and is full of simple craft projects, including one from me! I designed a pattern for some crochet coasters which work up quickly in Aran yarn. The magazine is only £1.99, a bargain I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m also in there giving advice about keeping your embroidery and cross stitch projects neat!

Teresa x

I’ve not been idle!

Hello! How are you? My goodness it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post! Hope you are all okay. I’m fine and very busy getting ready for the festive season. I’ve got quite a few fairs lined up in November and December which will hopefully be lots of fun. I’ve put a full list of the fairs and so on on my events page, and there is (will be soon) more information on my Facebook page. It would be great to see you if you are in the Nottingham area!

I’ve got a few new products I will be taking to the craft fairs and thought you might like to see them on here too.

My sewing machine has been getting quite a bit of use lately, as I’ve been making these zipped pouches. Each purse is lined in cotton and features a hand embroidered patch, which I’ve hand stitched in place. I’ve made them in two sizes, a small coin purse (which fits a bank card in too) and a larger pouch, which could be used for all sorts of bits and pieces. Sewing and crafty bits and bobs, makeup, or a handy pouch for all those odds and ends that end up in the bottom of your hand bag. I think they’d be suitable for all ages!

I’ve also been making a crocheted version of the small purses. This is a pattern by Rosina at Zeens and Roger which she has kindly given permission for me to use and sell from. They are so much fun to make, and I’ve really enjoyed choosing the lining fabric too, I’ve used quilters cotton which comes in so many fun prints I always want to buy loads. These purses have been a great stash buster and I’m hoping they will be popular at my fairs.

And badges… lots of badges have been made. I love the pink and gold ones especially. They are perfect for filling festive hosiery! A selection of badges (no two are ever exactly the same!) are available at the Victoria Walker Boutique, Leeds, and The Focus Gallery, Derby Road, Nottingham.

Thank you for reading,

Teresa

Summer Shenanigans- Crochet Rope Basket

Hello there! It’s really been quite a long time since I popped by here. Everything is fine, the summer holidays have meant a bit of a slow down over here at Shirley Rainbow HQ. I’m busy behind the scenes though!

I thought I’d share a bit of a blog round up of summer shenanigans so here goes part one… Crochet Rope Basket

This was a bit of a hit on Instagram the other day, which took me by surprise! It was a really simple, and quick, make which I made up as I went along. I’d seen some similar baskets on Pinterest which were made with much chunkier rope. I had a left over ball of Bobbiny Rope from when I made my Half Moon Bag earlier this year, and I wondered if I’d be able to achieve the same kind of results with it.

The pink yarn is one I bought in Hobbycraft. I can’t remember the name of it though! It is an acrylic yarn which has a rainbow coloured cotton yarn twisted in, and it’s a DK yarn. Any similar yarn would work though, and I used a 3.5mm hook for a tight tension.

I made a chain loop of 3 chains and then 6 dc into the loop. Then I caught the Bobbiny yarn and crocheted over it, making 2 dc into each dc from the previous round.

I continued working in a spiral, increasing evenly as I went along, but I didn’t count any stitches, I just kept making sure the circle was smooth around the outside. Counting from the middle there are 9 ‘rounds’. The last round is worked with only 1dc in each stitch around.

I then did a round working only into the back loops to start the side of the basket.

The sides of the basket are worked by doing 1dc into each dc of the previous round. There are 16 rounds in total for the sides.

At the end of the 16th round I cut the bobbiny rope and folded it back, I crocheted 6dc over the folded bit to secure the end.

I then turned the basket and worked another dc round just using the pink yarn. The top of the sides are folded over to give more structure.

And that’s it! A super quick and even though I say so myself, a super cute little basket! Any further questions about how to make this just leave me a comment, thank you.

As you can see I’ve still got a little bit more rope left so I’ll be making another basket very soon! I’m going to be addicted!

Teresa x

Crochet Time! 

Over the last 6 weeks I’ve been taking part in a Crochet-A-Long (CAL) hosted by Rosina of Zeens and Roger.  It was called the Granny CAL, as all the projects to be made were to use granny treble stitches.

I started off with the intention of using the granny squares I made last year to finish off the jacket I started to make last year… I’m in a right old muddle and have realised that maybe making up my own patterns is not always going to work. I’ve decided a jumper is probably something I’d wear more, so I’ve taken all the squares I no longer need and turned them into a scarf.


This was actually much trickier than I thought it would be. I tried joining the squares with double crochet but it looked so wonky I pulled it out. I blocked the squares again and sewed them together which seemed to give me more control. To make the border I crocheted trebles in every stitch and a double treble at the joins between the squares which gave the border a smoother finish. I’ve added tassels to finish the scarf off. Now I just need to finish tackling the granny square jumper, it’s still a (huge) work in progress. (Yarn is Drops Karisma, 100% superwash wool)


However I have actually made a different jumper! My parents gave me some balls of Stylecraft Batik in a soft khaki green for my birthday last year. I’ve used the Cleckheaton Colour Block Jumper pattern which is a free pattern, but I only did contrasting colours for the neck and waist bands, and the cuffs. I shortened the body a bit which is a length I prefer for wearing with skirts. It worked up really quickly, even when I had to redo my second sleeve. It’s really warm and cozy. The navy cuffs etc are Stylecraft Special DK.


I think the pattern for this jumper will be really helpful when I eventually get my granny square jumper brain in gear. Eventually! Meanwhile there’s a cardi waiting to be made, as well as about eleventy billion other ideas.

This isn’t CAL related, but I wanted to share it anyway- meet my crochet snail!

He is from 75 Birds, Butterflies and Beautiful Beasties, by Leslie Stansfield. I made him in chunky yarn to supersize him. Any suggestions for his name?!

January’s selfish crochet: Three Springs Shawl by Addydae Designs

My January selfish crochet project has been the Three Springs Shawl by Addydae Designs. I was inspired by Rosina over at Zeens and Roger, go and look at her BEAUTIFUL version! It’s been an absolute pleasure to make this shawl and I’m so pleased with how it has turned out, even though it has embarrassingly highlighted my inability to count to six.

I’ve used three different brands of yarn. I was a little concerned about it but decided that it would probably be fine, the yarns are all very similar. 


The grey yarn is Fyberspates Coop Knits Socks Yeah! in Melanite, from Wool Warehouse.

The mixed colour yarn is the Platinum Sock Cold Lava colour way by Lovebug Yarns.

The orange border is Crocosmia Askham 4ply by Eden Cottage Yarns which I bought at Yarndale. This yarn is a blend of silk and alpaca which I think makes a nice contrast in the border.


Pattern wise, the instructions were nice and clear, and the stitch count table was very useful. The shawl is huge! Lots of counting of stitches. I used stitch markers to mark after 50 stitches which made it a lot easier when I lost count. Being huge makes it perfect for wrapping around and around my chilly neck. I’ve enough yarn left to make some mitts too, although those might have to wait until autumn. I’ve got too many other ideas that are bursting to get out before mitts need to be made! 


Teresa xx

Brand New Stuff (and a discount code!) 

After a few fairly unproductive weeks I feel like I’m making progress again, hurray! I’ve added a few new items to my Folksy shop, which I felt was feeling a bit neglected. I’ve been making a lot of Christmas bits too, behind the scenes, it won’t be long until I’m sharing all of those, where has the time gone?! 

Here are the new bits:


Hand Embroidered Felt Appliqué Wall Decoration – link here.
Crochet Star Garland – link here.

Star Gazer Embroidery Hoop Art, and the link is here.

As a special treat for blog readers I’m offering a half term discount- just use RAINBOW10 at checkout for 10% off anything in my shop. Postage is free for all UK orders too! 

If you are just about to start half term, have a good one! 

Teresa

Discount code valid until midnight 31.10.17

Skirt and scarf

I’ve been a busy bee over the last few days and seem to have finished a few pieces of handmade clothing, gone through my mending pile and done some crochet! It’s funny, at times it seems like nothing is getting done and then all of a sudden you have loads of finished pieces. I’ve also been finishing off pieces for Sherwood Art Week, more on that next week! 
I finished this crochet cowl last week. It’s made from King Cole Panache, an acrylic wool blend single ply yarn. It’s DK weight but has some variations throughout which gives a lovely texture. The pattern is the Triangle Infinity Scarf, which I found via Rosina’s blog, Zeens and Roger . I did 26 starter triangles and 18 rows of triangles. I didn’t expect to wear it for months but it was freezing last week and so it got worn straight away! I expect it will get worn loads in autumn and winter. It’s a very satisfying pattern to work with.


I made this skirt- I’m saying its a statement skirt although I’m not sure what statement I’ll be making! I really like it, and the fabric only cost £3… I know, sooo cheap! It’s from the local market and is a silky polyester type, that was surprisingly well behaved. The pattern is adapted from a Butterick pattern (B6051). It’s the skirt part of a maxi dress, which is designed for stretch fabrics. I cut the largest size out, and fitted it to a curved waistband. I like the shape of the skirt. The pockets are not great, they are a bit droopy and I’ve attached them a little low down but I like the bit of interest that they give. To stop the crazy static cling I’ve got a very posh petticoat on underneath! My grandma gave it to me ages ago; I’ve recently shortened it so I can wear it under more skirts. I think it’s from the early 80s. 


It’s very fancy! 

In my crochet basket is a corner to corner cushion cover. I’ve been admiring all the lovely C2C crochet creations on Instagram recently and thought it was time I jumped on the bandwagon! I’ve used Stylecraft Special DK and some metallic yarn from B&M Bargains. The colours are the same as my other crochet cushion projects (as part of my living room cushion makeover). I’ve really enjoyed the C2C method, even though I’ve got myself into a right tangle, it seems very quick and the colour changes are quite easy too. I’m nearly finished with the second side now, I’d like it finished by next week! Better get a move on…

Teresa xx

Making a crochet jumper

Making an item of crochet clothing was one of my aims for this year, and I’ve done it! I wanted to go for something fairly straightforward and decided that the crochet top from Mollie Makes Magazine, issue 53, by Anna Wilkinson from the book Learn to Crochet, Love to Crochet, might be the one to start with. I couldn’t get hold of the yarn that was suggested in the pattern, but it does say any similar Aran wool superwash would do. I decided on King Cole Merino Blend Aran, in Raspberry, which apparently is anti tickle so I should be able to wear it next to my skin. 
Making the top was really straight forward, as I had hoped. I made it in size 12, but the length for size 8 in the longer length version. The body has no shaping, it’s just at the arms and neck. I only did one round of trebles at the neck, the pattern says three, as it was a bit too high on my neck. The shoulders fit perfectly, although further down I’m getting used to the boxy fit. It’s a pretty substantial top, it’s nice and chunky and feels very warm on but it’s quite heavy too! Seeing as I’m a chilly sort of person- I can always feel a draught- I think a woolly t-shirt will suit me just fine. It’s the first time I’ve sewn up a crochet garment and doing the sleeves were a bit tricky, as you have to ease the body not the sleeves (which is the opposite of dressmaking!) but I managed it second time round! I’ll definitely make more crocheted clothes. 


I’m also wearing a self drafted hand made circle skirt, which I love! It’s made with some poly/cotton/acrylic mix I bought from my local market for £1.50 a metre! Perfect for a fabric greedy skirt like this. I feel a bit like I could fit in at Hogwarts when I’m wearing it, I’m channeling my inner Professor Snape! I like the skirt with the top, it’s an outfit I feel rather happy in. Now I just need some warmer weather to wear it! 

Teresa

Yarn bought at Wool Warehouse, Scissor Necklace by n0meo