Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Pretty Little Petals [Free Pattern]

Strictly speaking, this post was intended to be the "Part Two" section of the Granny Oblong saga.  Except that I went on a frogging spree, and now the whole thing is sitting in the "in progress" box (which has a lid, so I don't have to look at them for a while! :P)

But since you were promised a pattern, and since this is called "eggbirddesigns" not "eggbirdthefrog", a pattern ye shall receive!!  I hope you like it :)

Pretty Little Petals

ETA:  You can now link to this pattern on ravelry here

sp - space
sl st - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
ch - chain

The pattern is written in American terms, however if you prefer UK terms there is a fab 'translator' hereI used an assortment of DK weight and light DK yarn and a 3mm hook.

To Begin: create a magic loop (if you're unsure how to do this, click here).  Work 6sc into this loop and pull tight.  Join with a sl st into the first sc [6 sts total]

Round 1: Ch1, 2sc into each space around.  Join with a sl st into the first ch1.  [12 sts total]

Round 2: Ch1, *2sc in next sp, 1sc in next sp* - repeat between * 6 times [18 sts total]

Round 3: Change colour.  In new colour ch1, 1sc in each sp around [18 sts total]

Round 4: Ch3 (counts as first dc), 5dc in the same space.  Sl st into the next two sps.  *6dc in the next sp, 1sl st in the next 2 sps* - repeat between * 4 more times.  Join with a sl st into the initial ch3.

Round 5: Ch1, *sc around the petals (ie into the 6dc from the previous round), and sl st into the second of the sl sts from the previous round* - repeat between * 5 more times.

To finish, just sew in your ends, and hurrah!  Teensy little flowers to enjoy.

I'm not sure what I'll be using these for yet.  Perhaps I'll get round to working out those oblongs, or perhaps I'll put them to some other use...  Either way, I look forward to seeing how you guys interpret them :)

*This is the flower that originally sat at the centre of the blocks.  As far as I'm aware, this pattern is an entirely new one.  However, it is a pretty basic pattern, so there's every chance that someone else has already created the same.  If you think this might be the case please let me know and I can give proper credit where it's due.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Granny Oblong: Part One

You might remember that last night, I posted about having lots of ideas fluttering around my brain... well this afternoon I sat down and set about bringing a few of them to life.  What happened is perhaps best described as "unexpected"... I'll let the pictures do most of the talking:

Close, but no cigar...

Now we're getting somewhere!

Where've the petals got to?  ...Ribbit ribbit!

Ooh, I'm liking the cut of your jib!

An oblong, eh?  Fair enough.

A granny oblong!  Where did that come from?!  It needs a bit of neatening up, and a bit more tinkering, but hopefully I'll be back sometime next week with a fully written up pattern to share, and maybe even a completed cushion cover. 

What d'you think?  Be gentle with me - it's my first design! ;)

Much love, Kim x


Clicking on the images in this post should take you to larger versions...

I've had so many lovely, encouraging comments about the sketches in this blog, that I thought I would dedicate a full post to sharing some more...

I'm afraid that I've not a clue how to reply to your comments directly (or even if that's possible...?), but I do read and appreciate them all...


I don't have any sketches framed (although perhaps I should think about it), but I do sometimes blu tack some to the wall.  The rest stay in the sketchbook or folder.

It made me laugh that upon encountering this sketch at a university exhibition, the Mayoress of Bangor had absolutely no idea what it was meant to be (she even held it upside down for quite some time).  I decided to call it "Mystery Fish" in her honour.



The pictures of animals tend to come from photography in the National Geographic.  I did the life drawings as part of the University Art Society which I helped to run, and the flowers either come from real life, photos or brain-doodles.

Unlike knitting or crochet, I find that sketching can sometimes be a bit frustrating because it's not always possible to acheive the exact effect I'm going for.  But when I'm in the "zone", I think it's probably my favourite hobby of all.  :)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Grannies, Tulips & Butterflies

I'll admit that granny was having a bit of a snooze (no progress for more than a week!!), but as soon as I re-started, I was - as they say - hooked all over again.  ;)

It's currently 41 stripes long (82 rows!  Golly gosh), and only something like 19 stripes to go before it's border time!  Oooh, it makes me soooo happy happy happy :D

But, happiest of all is that the granny-bug has bitten not one, but TWO of my housemates!  Both came and requested I teach them the basics so they could start on granny stripes of their own.  I'll have to ask their permission to take photos, but they're both looking lovely.  Only one more housemate to convert *ahem* inspire...


Tulips are without doubt one of my favourite flowers.  These turned up on Valentines Day, during our anti-anti-valentines/embrace-your-singledom celebrations.  I expect that they'll show up in a few doodles later when I get round to scribbling down some ideas.

The trouble is that there are just so many ideas fluttering around my brain like little butterflies at the moment.  That's how my art teacher used to describe my thinking: "a butterfly mind". 

It's not a terrible thing in and of itself.  If anything, it makes me happy because at my lowest points my imagination disappeared completely and that was a terrifying thing to feel.  But having so many thoughts; images; colours; strands of sound at one time, it becomes exactly like trying to catch a cloud of butterflies: they don't want to be stuck down and tamed.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining though.  I try to embrace these periods - they make me feel well again :)

Monday, 14 February 2011

A Wonky Stitchalong

The lovely folks at feeling stitchy are now in the second week of their stitchalong of this pretty flower pattern.  I've been meaning for ages to learn some proper embroidery techniques, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

It's a little bit wonky, and a few of the stitches have twisted, but I like to think that adds charm ;)

There are some really lovely modifications of the patterns happening in the stitchalong.  Perhaps once I'm more confident with these stitches, I'll have another (neater!) go.

Friday, 11 February 2011

A Brand New Bag!

At last!  I can share with you my brand new crochet bag: 

And I'm very happy to say that I didn't have to resort to any of my threats to get it finished!

Unfortunately the camera isn't doing me many favours - the colours are much deeper compared to these photos, but you can kind of get the feel of it I hope.

It all started with a pillowcase I found in a charity shop.  First I fell in love with the colour (so rich!), and then with the price (an irresistibly cheap 50p!)

The flowers are made from the contrasting parts of the same pillowcase.  I used this brilliant tutorial for the roses, and doodled my own for the tulip.  The stitching could have been neater on the roses, but I think this was before I had the lil sewing machine to help.

I love LOVE LOVE the lining material.  Another charity shop find, it's cut from a nightgown which cost around £2, and there's still loads leftover for other little projects :D

But the bit I'm most proud of is the handles... I'd been agonizing for weeks about what to make them from.  I didn't have enough of the original pillowcase fabric left, and the idea had been to make this an entirely upcycled bag... but then along came a real eureka moment:

...the underwires of a spectacularly bad bra!  Of course!  I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun it was taking a razor blade to such an uncomfortable monstrosity.  Excellent therapy! 

The metal on its own would have been a bit obtrusive, so I covered them using the same crochet cotton as I used to embroider the flower stems, and they blend in perfectly.

It's far from being a perfect project - it was muddled together in such a haphazard, can-you-tell-what-it-is-yet? kind of way - but I like it.  And with the granny stripe poking out the top?  Well, that's just even better!

Ciara's Cake

Not strictly a craft-related post, but I just couldn't resist sharing:

How marvellous is that?!  Ciara, one of my wonderful wonderful housemates, is an absolute wizard at baking, and she left us this little message in the kitchen along with some DEE-lish lemon drizzle cake.

As you can see, the cake didn't last long enough for me to get any pictures!  Methinks Ciara's Bible group went home a very happy bunch indeed last night.   :)

But it is quite sad to see such a lonely empty cake tin like that... I've made some apricot and cranberry flapjack.  It's still cooling, but I've heard a few "ooh"s and "aaah"s drifting up from the kitchen.  Lovely stuff :D

Saturday, 5 February 2011


Here's a little preview of something I've been working on for FAR too long.  Somewhere in the region of 4 months in fact.  And when you discover what a simple little thing it really is, you'll wonder how on earth it's taken so long.  I've not a clue I'm afraid.  What I do know is that it WILL be finished by the end of next week, OR ELSE!  ("Or else" what is yet to be decided.  An extension of the current self-imposed "no WIPs please, your indecisiveness is costing me a bloody fortune in materials" policy?  Probably not.  Maybe just an outright biscuit ban?  Hmm... something to ponder there methinks!)

Anyway, the real reason I start with this is because it's led to a bit of a new thing.  Namely, I can't stop buying plants (my dad will be so proud)

This is Henry.  His label refers to him as "a prickly desert friend", and I'll be honest, that's the main reason I bought him (what can I say, vague anthropomorphism is clearly a plus in my head).

Anyway, Henry is where it started.  Then I spotted Cuthbert (my friend Jo named him, just if you were wondering...)

So sunny and happy looking.  The yellow looks especially good next to the window, where the view is most decidedly un-sunny at the mo.  He reminds me of a couple of sketches I did a while back - there's the same kind of overlapping of petals/feathers/leafy bit going on...

...sort of...  I never did finish that parrot.  I love the shapes in the bromelia though, so no doubt I'll end up sketching that as well at some point.  I see it in a very symmetrical Art Nouveau style (but then again, that's how I see most things).

Probably at this point you're asking what any of this has got to do with that WIP up top.  Not much really, except that I only went into B&Q in the first place to buy the bits that I need to finish it.  I was fatally distracted by the "bargain!" sign (my Mum's turn now to be proud) at the checkout.

And now, even though it's gusting at about 50mph, and the rain is (as it always is in Bangor) falling horizontally, I'm setting off to walk back up to B&Q to buy the orchid that yesterday I decided was definitely too expensive.  It's quite a long walk though, so at least the exercise will do me some good!