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This crochet shell scarf is an excellent first project.  If you’re more experienced it’s good to have a simple project such as this to turn to when you just need something easy and automatic to make.  It’s quite narrow and grows quickly.  I love it so much, I’ve already made four!

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The shells provide a lovely texture which is fun both to make and to wear!

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I’m getting a lot more into crochet.   It seems to be good for the hands to be able to alternate between knitting and crochet as they put different strains on the hands, fingers and wrists – I like to have a bit of both on the go.

This scarf is my version of a pattern to be found in many books and internet sites.   Please use and enjoy it!

Materials:  I used Bergere de France Ideal yarn (x3 50g balls) and a 3.5mm hook.   I love Ideal but find it ever so slightly thin for dk – most dk yarns will suit size 4mm hooks, or you could use Aran yarn and a 5 or 5.5mm hook.  The possibilities are endless!  I used 130g of yarn,  the finished scarf is approximately 160cm long and 10.5cm wide.

These instructions are in UK terms.  To convert to US, dc = sc,  tr = dc.

Method:  Make 26 chain.  Dc in 2nd ch, dc in each ch to end. 25 sts.

Row 1:  3 ch  2 tr in 1st st, skip 2 sts, dc in 3rd st, (skip 2 sts, 5 tr in next st, skip 2, dc  in 3rd st) repeat until 3 sts remain, skip 2, 3 tr in last st. Turn.

Row 2:  1 ch, dc  in 1st st, (skip 2, 5 tr in 3rd st, skip 2, dc in 3rd st) repeat until 5 sts remain (not counting 3 ch from previous row).  Skip 2, 5 tr in 3rd st, skip 2, dc in 3rd ch made at start of previous row.  Turn.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until scarf is desired length,  finishing with row 2. To make the finished end match the other scalloped end,  add shell edging as follows:

Edging:

At the straight edge you will have 25 small loops,  as shown in photo – the hook is pointing to the first loop.

Rejoin yarn at 1st loop.  1 ch 1 dc in that loop.

Miss 2 loops, 5 tr in next loop.  Miss 2 loops, 1 dc in next loop.  Repeat until you have made 4 shells, mirroring other scarf edge,  (ending with a dc and fastening off).  The edge should look like this:

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Sew in the ends and your scarf is complete!

This scarf is thin but warm, and reversible which I do like a scarf to be! I hope you enjoy making it.

Happy Crafting!

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The Mad Knitter’s Tea Party is back!  I am delighted to resume my blog once more!

 

The last couple of years have been hectic, with work, ill health and life events leading to a kind of blog-writer’s block.  I didn’t stop crafting, and I photographed all my crafty adventures, but I just couldn’t put words to pictures.  For some reason the fog has finally lifted, and I can’t wait to start! The fact that spring is in the air is probably helping.

 

My plan over the next year is to combine posts about ‘live’ projects with posts on projects completed in the last couple of years.  I will include the occasional pattern too. I hope you enjoy sharing my journey with me!

 

Here is a sneak preview of some of the things I’ve been up to:

 

 

My next post will follow soon – until then, enjoy the spring – and happy crafting!

 

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Stop press! My usual blog will return soon, but to cheer myself up as we wait and wait and wait for Spring, I am pleased to present a light-hearted addition to the Mad Knitter’s Tea Party – meet Troy, a small knitted dog who loves travel, and making new friends! Join his adventures here:

http://www.troythedog.wordpress.com

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Hello! It’s been a month of varied crafts…

My local craft group, the Craft Hub, runs crafting pub nights – recently I went to have a go at printing, pint in hand.

The lovely lady teaching us had brought a kind of mangle with her. We created a raised surface in a variety of ways, before colouring it, and then putting it through the press with a piece of paper – and hey presto, a print was made!

Raised surfaces can be created on polystyrene simply by pressing down with a biro or pencil – the results were most effective. But I chose the cut-out card method. Using a favourite design of mine, I drew the design on thin card, cut it out, stuck it to another piece of card, and applied paint with a roller:

Template ready, I headed for the press! I made 4 prints, this is my favourite:

This hare design is found in many medieval British churches, particularly in Devon. Some say it depicts the Trinity, but the design is very ancient and has been found as far afield as China.     Be that as it may, I love its feeling of movement. And it reminded one person of the animated film of ‘Watership Down’!

This month I also made another addition to my knitted sausage dog range. Meet Troy, knitted specially for a lovely Exeter City fan, here he is modelling the Exeter City colours:

Yesterday I visited my local bead shop, ‘Bunyip Beads’, and spent a happy half hour lost to the world. I couldn’t resist some striking oversized buttons, and had my first attempt at button jewellery:

On my way home I was drawn to the window display of the tea shop, ‘Whittards’. I love their new range of china, particularly the yellow and pink mug:

These are also delightful – I do like a nice teapot!

In this shop I also discovered an unusual Jubilee gift – and not the Union Jack-decked china!  Here is her Majesty as never seen before… these teabags are unique, I think, in being of equal appeal to both my Royalist and Republican friends :

And on a similar note, the ‘Democratea’ range (I kid you not):

Poor Angela Merkel! And sadly these items are already out of date, with M. Sarkozy…

Whatever your plans – or indeed, your politics! – have a lovely long weekend!!

What a fantastic day at the farm! I just had to share it with you…

Paula lives and works at Twig Farm, Chudleigh, on the edge of Dartmoor – ( her organic flowers are bought by clients including Darts Farm near Exeter). I’m currently designing a range of knitted and crocheted accessories for her, made from the wool of her organic sheep, and last week I went on a visit!

Here is Twig Farm, with Poppy the Jack Russell terrier amongst the ducks and hens:

The farm lies nestled by hills, with views towards the moors and Canonteign Falls.

Radish the other Jack Russell also gave me a warm welcome and was keen to be photographed! – (poor Nessie had been left at home, her attitude to sheep being mixed at best!)

After that, we began to explore the farm, accompanied by Poppy, and cats Tilly and Milly. All Paula’s pets are incredibly relaxed and at home with all the farm animals – not to mention the machinery…

I was keen to meet my colleagues, the sheep! A rare breed called Dartmoor Greyface, Paula’s family have bred them for generations. Here is my first view of them:

Introducing Twiglet, a show sheep who clearly has star quality – she really ‘made love to the camera’!

 

 

 

 

Then it was time to feed two hungry lambs – first of all their mother came to check I was competent:

She soon left me to it – her offspring were very pushy, and kept shoving each other out of the way!

These gorgeous lambs are only a few weeks old, but already their wool is surprisingly thick. Apparently Dartmoor Greyface are one of the few breeds that need to be shorn in their first summer – it’s strange to think that I’ll be knitting wool from these lambs in only a few months’ time!

Sooo cute…

This year, Paula has bought a couple of Bluefaced Leicester sheep – their wool is softer and will be mixed in with the other yarn. But as she says, they just don’t have that special something in comparison to her local sheep, with their ringlets! However, the black lamb’s wool will come in very useful for my designs…

and I love the way their ears stick up!

Time for the feathery friends to get a mention! Here is a new cockerel, just arrived – he was given four companions on the first day, but two have already escaped his clutches back to their old coop…

The smallest  member of Paula’s family- a chick!

The perfect souvenir of my day – eggs, fresh from the henhouse!

  I left feeling truly inspired! I’m looking forward to telling you more   about my work with the wool from Paula’s beloved sheep in the following weeks and months!

A quick update – here is my pattern for an easy knitted daffodil:

Needles: 3.75mm or 4mm; crochet hook 4mm; DPNs 3.75mm x 2; wire; DK yarn in green, yellow and white or orange

Petals: (make 6)

Cast on 4 sts.

Rows 1-2: knit

3 – Inc (K into front and back of st), K2, Inc. 6 sts

4 – 15: k

16: Skpo, k2, k2tog. 4sts

17: k

18: Skpo, K2tog. 2 sts

19:K

20: Skpo. Fasten off.

Trumpet: (make one)

4mm crochet hook; DK yarn

Make 18 chain.

(first 2 chain count as dc) dc for 4 rows or until trumpet approx. 2.5 cm / 1″ deep

Sew in spiral to make the trumpet.

Sew petals together then attach trumpet.

Stem:

3.75mm double pointed needles x2, DK yarn in green

Make an i-chord using 3 sts, until desired length reached.

I-chord: Cast on 3. K3, slide sts to other end of needle, knit again without turning the work, repeat until chord made.

Thread wire or thin piece of dowelling into cord. Attach to flower head.

Currently the mad knitter is busy designing a new range of accessories for the owner of an organic sheep farm, on Dartmoor. More news to follow! I’m looking forward to visiting Twig Farm in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, here is a sneak preview of the gorgeous Dartmoor Greyface sheep:

It being spring, and St David’s Day, last week I made a knitted daffodil for a Welsh friend:

Bookshops are currently bursting with all manner of inspiring craft books, so I thought I’d share with you some of those that have caught my eye:

The Secret Garden – a new hardback Puffin edition, with illustrations by Lauren Child. She turns out to be the perfect artist for this unsentimental book with it’s wonderfully grumpy heroine. (I can’t imagine her going on to create the pictures for Little Lord Fauntleroy, however! ) I adore the way she’s drawn the trees, as if cut-out from Liberty prints:

For those with unlimited funds, Child has also designed a limited edition version of this book, with pop-up trees in the front cover! Second-hand copies are fetching over £200, but enjoy a glimpse for free here: http://www.puffin.co.uk/static/ puffinminisites/puffindesignerclassics/index_secretgarden.html

What do you know? It turns out that Child designed some prints for Liberty, in 2009, with familiar-looking trees – stunning. I really must learn to use a sewing machine…
Inspired by her designs, I cut out a tree from origami paper and played with some beads…

During a recent trip to the Natural History Museum in London, I came across ‘Knitted Dinosaurs‘ – a seriously covetable collection, and who could resist the knitted pterodactyl?

On a different note, I was recently given ‘Naughty Needles‘ by a friend – a rather astonishing book, which the pre-watershed nature of this blog prevents me from describing too closely! Suffice it to say, there’s a pattern for a knitted nurse’s uniform. And a mermaid’s tail  – it seems the author runs her own burlesque show, with knitted costumes! I particularly love the design for a  knitted eye-patch, with it’s optional Nurse Elle (from the Kill Bill films) variation…

Returning to safer waters, ‘Everything Alice‘ seems an appropriate book to mention, containting as it does, all manner of craft projects inspired by ‘Alice in Wonderland’. The shadow puppets are especially appealing. A selection of projects from this book can also be found in the latest ‘Woman’s Weekly’ Craft Special magazine.

Happy crafting!