Last night I finally finished my ‘Emergency Basket’ tutorial and you can find it here and it’s free!
Here is the original basket that I gifted at the weekend:
And here is v3 – two more being required to perfect the pattern for the tutorial:
I wanted the basket base to be decorative in its own right, that way, there’s no need to feel that it has to be filled.
I hope you enjoy it.
Meanwhile…I am in the middle of a new project we’ll code name ‘flowers’ and it’s beginning to look a little like this:
And that’s what I need to be getting back to right now.
Enjoy your Tuesday folks and I will be back soon!
It’s been a while hasn’t it?
December passed in a blur and I am sure I am not the only one feeling like that. I’ve taken the first few days of January as an opportunity to reflect on what is next for T&T and this blog.
Truth be told, I love crafting but I sometimes find writing about it a drag. Other times, I have far too much to say! So…this year, I am planning to mix it up a bit. I have even written a blogging schedule! I hope you like the new look.
I can’t believe that the last time that I blogged was 25 November. That means that I haven’t shared anything of Christmas at T&T HQ. So, just before 12th night ends, here it is (or was!):
I’ve included a few pics of the T&T crew because, really, the children were what Christmas was all about. I hope you laughed at our attempt at a gingerbread house! It completely fell apart. Oops!!
Today has been my first day back at the T&T desk (well, actually, the sofa as my desk is covered in Christmas decorations that still need boxing!) and it feels good. I have been furiously planning and preparing.
And, just before I go, I thought that you might like to see the inspiration for T&T for 2016:
This morning, I spent a relaxing half an hour or so finishing off the pennants for my first ever fabric bunting. No yarn, no felt. Just these pretty little fabrics. I then hopped out to The Wool Shop (this fab little shop in Liskeard which stocks yarn, buttons, haberdashery, lingerie, tights AND ladies footwear)to purchase the bias binding to enable me to string my pennants together which I had planned to do this evening. I need to refine my planning skills because I’m currently stuck in a holding pattern as it didn’t cross my mind to buy matching thread at the same time. Never mind, at least I have something to look forward to tomorrow!
If you’ve been reading for a while you will know that I am a hearts and flowers girl…but that’s not all. I’m also a tiny little bit addicted to bunting. If it incorporates hearts and or flowers all the better. I’ve had a little tot up of the bunting garlands in my house – 7 and counting. The only rooms that have, thus far, escaped are the bathrooms and our bedroom. (If I had a photo of an amused looking husband shaking his head at me I might insert it right here!).
Instead, I’ll remind you of the last bunting that I made:
And, of course, it plays quite a large part in many of my wreaths:
As I was sewing at far too close to midnight last night, I got to wondering why we call it bunting and how long it has been around and whether it has always been used for purely decorative purposes. I associate it with the mid 20th century – I’m sure my parents must have been surrounded by it during their post-war childhoods…weren’t they?
My research tells me that it was actually only used for special occasions and and then put away again until the next time that it was needed but I shall continue to imagine that period in history a la Darling Buds of May and in constant street parties festooned beautiful bunting.
What is bunting?
The OED 1995 edition defines it as 1. flags and other decorations. 2.a loosely woven fabric used for those and by 2009 the entry had been updated to flags and other colourful festive decorations.
These are some of the many bunting offerings at Glastonbury Festival 2015:
Today, we use the term to refer to any strung together decoration. Here’s one that I made a year or so ago – no sign of a triangle there.
On my journey of bunting discovery, the first revelation that I happened upon was that it was originally made from fabric woven from yarn!! We’re not talking crochet here, of course, but it’s nice to think that the little triangles that I enjoy hooking aren’t all that far removed from the pennants of history.The fabric used was called ‘buntine’ (derived from the middle English ‘bontine’) and was used to make signal flags (flags with combinations of numbers representing each letter of the alphabet) used onboard the Royal Naval ships in order to send messages.
One very famous message communicated in this way was sent from from HMS Victory as the battle of Trafalgar was imminent and repeated throughout the fleet. You might have heard it a few times before:
“England expects that every man will do his duty”
Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson
21 October 1805
Bunting has become a staple of vintage chic yet its 19th century origins couldn’t be any further removed from the cosy interiors created by modern homemakers in the 21st Century and I think that it has taken on a different meaning for me.
I’m just off to start hooking my next offering – watch this space!
I’ve just had meander through my photos and it seems that I had forgotten quite how much bunting I have shared 2015 with – I’ll leave you with some of my favourite images just for fun!
Thanks fore reading
I don’t know about you, but I need a break (yes really!) from Christmassy yarn. Just a little one, I haven’t undergone a complete personality transplant!
So I thought I would tell you a bit more about my Happy Home Bunting (it made a small appearance in a previous blog post which you can find here).
This is where it started:
Really! You might remember that these heart decorations were my made for my first Etsy customer and as I sat making them, it suddenly struck me that I ought to be able to tweak them into bunting and I have been wanting to make all-year round crochet bunting for months and months.
We’ve been living in our Cornish home for just over a year and therefore the decor is still a work in progress. My lounge has been niggling at me for quite some time because it just didn’t have the cosy ‘spend all your time in me’ feel that I wanted it to have. This bunting turned out to be the beginning of me putting that right.
These little shelves have now become my favourite corner of our home…and have you noticed that my Christmas heart has snuck in there too? You see, I said I was only having a tiny break from Christmas didn’t I?
Thanks for reading xx
I’m still here, just incase you thought I might have disappeared again! It as been crazily busy at T&T HQ the last few weeks but that isn’t the whole reason that I have been quiet – Instagram also has a part to play! I’ve discovered it in the last month and need to admit that I am totally addicted to hundreds of little pieces of creative magic that are living within my phone at this very moment. If you haven’t investigated it yet – it’s almost as addictive as Pinterest! You can find me at https://instagram.com/tinyandtoad/.
Last time I popped in for a chat, I shared details of my wreath competition the prize being this year’s version of my very first crochet wreath:
I have received so many compliments on what, I must admit, is my absolutely favourite creation that I decided to time how long it would take for me to hook a replica with a view to making them for sale in my Etsy shop. I guessed at around the 10 hour mark and I was wrong but, sadly, not wrong enough to make it viable for me to make and sell any more of these Christmassy treats.
Here, then, is my Christmas Wreath v.2 (I wish I could remember how I made the original bow!):
…these are all of the component parts…:
…and this is the timer on my phone as I pressed stop for the last time:
Time and handmade are words which do not fit easily into the same sentence because creativity cannot be measured in minutes, seconds or hours but rather in passion. For the creative me, the need to create something that I perceive to be beautiful is the driving force in everything that I make and time is secondary. For the me that just opened an Etsy shop, time matters and this is a make that just takes a bit too much of it.
I’ve decided tho that that isn’t going to be the end of my Christmas Wreaths, and that the best way to achieve that is to share the pattern. So, without further ado, here is my Holly Pattern.
T&T Christmas Holly
The pattern is written in UK terms
I used a 4mm hook and Stylecraft Special DK in meadow and khaki.
You will find this easier if you hook the foundation chain in fairly loose stitches as you are going to need to crochet into the chain from both sides – you are going to be crocheting around the end of the chain
Chain (ch) Slip Stitch (sl st)
Double Crochet (dc) Half Treble Crochet (htr)
Foundation Row: Chain 10
Sl st into the first ch from the hook, working along the foundation chain dc, dc, htr, htr, htr, htr, dc, dc, and sl st in in last ch.
Now ch1 to take you around the end before you start working back down the other loop of the foundation chain.
Start with a sl st into the other loop of the last ch worked as below:
Working back along the foundation chain, now dc, dc, htr, htr, htr, htr, dc, dc and sl st into the last ch. Do not join.
Now to make the stem.
Ch4 and sl st into second ch from your hook, sl st into the remaining two ch and you should now have a leaf shape like this:
…but holly isn’t holly without prickles!
So, let’s add those. You are going to work a second row around the edge of the leaf.
Sl st into both the sl st and first dc from previous row.
To make the prickle, ch3 and sl st into the second ch from the hook. Dc into remaining ch and sl st into next stitch on previous row (dc). Repeat another 3 times until you have created 4 prickles and reached the end of the first side:
(You need to sl st and ch3 to make the prickle in the following stitches:First htr, Third htr and Second dc. And sl st only into the stitches between these).
The prickle on the end of the holly leaf is made by making a sl st into the back loop of the ch that you made to go around the end of the leaf on the previous row. This prickle is worked slightly differently, so ch3 again and sl st into second ch from hook but, this time, htr into next ch.
To work back down the other side, sl st into the sl st from previous row. *Sl st into first dc from previous row and ch3. Now create the prickle as before (sl st into second ch from hook and dc into remaining chain) and sl st into second dc from previous row. Repeat from * three times down the side until you have four prickles (sl st and ch3 into the following stitches – first htr, third htr, first dc).
The last stitch is a sl st into sl st from previous row.
Fast off and darn in the ends.
From me to you, an early Merry Christmas!
Please feel free to contact me if you need any help with the pattern.
Thanks for reading!
I’m currently having a little down time as it is half term here in the UK.
It’s been a busy week since launching T&T on Etsy and I have got far too many ideas of what to work on next!
Here’s a few pics from my first week:
…but the next one is going to be a competition to win this year’s version of my Christmas Wreath. Last year’s is pictured below:
For your chance to win, head over to my Facebook page here.
I can’t wait to start creating my new wreath – first thing on Wednesday morning. Christmas 2015, here we come!