Puff Stitch Storage Baskets

I love making crochet items for the home, and I also love a puff stitch! Ever since making the zig-zag puff stitch cowl I’ve been looking for something else to use the stitch on.

I’m also on a bit of a frugal kick at the moment focusing on re-using and recycling rather than buying brand new so when I was in need of storage boxes for a shelving unit in our bedroom I decided to whip up some myself using only yarn I already had in my stash.

I opted to keep the colours quite neutral to match our bedroom. The top basket is made with Hobby Crafts Hug it Out yarn in colour way Shell. I had approx 2 balls left over which turned out to be the perfect amount. The cream yarn is an unknown yarn that was gifted to me, I think it’s King Cole but it is a chunky weight yarn in cream with brown speckles. I’ve also mixed into one of the baskets a copper sparkly yarn by Rico called Creative Lame.

I had to double up the chunky weight cream yarn to make it stiff enough to work with so the sides of the basket stood up firm with no sagging. No one wants a saggy storage basket! If you’re using Hug it Out that yarn is so super chunky you can use just one strand and it makes the perfectly sturdy basket.

As you can see I’ve really mixed and matched different weight and textured yarns and the baskets have still turned out great so this is a great stash buster of a project.

I opted to use a slightly smaller hook than would normally be recommended for the thickness of the yarn but I wanted the stitches to be tight without giving my hands a hard time to absolutely make sure the baskets would stand up sturdy.

I’ve popped a rough pattern below for you if you want to whip them up yourself. I say rough as sizing and stitch counts will obviously vary depending on what size baskets you want and the yarn you use but I’ve given you the basics so you can get going and fill your home with handmade baskets!

Tools:

Crochet hook (I used a 12mm)

Chunky or super chunky Yarn

Tapestry Needle

Abbreviations (UK terms):

St – stitch

Ch – chain

Dc – double crochet

Tr – treble crochet

Ss – slip stitch

Fpdc – front post double crochet

Puff – puff stitch

Method:

We are going to start with the base which will be worked in joined rounds and should create a circle. The pictures shown in this pattern are using a different (smaller) yarn and hook just to make it easier to show you.

Start with a magic circle

Dc 6 into the magic circle, join with a ss to your first st

Ch2 (this doesn’t count as your first st), 2dc in the same st and each around, ss to join (12)

Ch2, 2dc in the same st, *dc in next st, 2dc in the following one* repeat between * till the end of the round, ss to join (18)

Ch2, 2dc in the same st *dc the next 2 st’s, 2dc* repeat between * till the end of the round, ss to join (24)

Ch2, 2dc in the same st *dc in the next 3 st’s, 2dc* repeat between * till the end of the round, ss to join (30)

Continue adding rounds working a dc into 1 stitch more than the round previous before you increase with 2dc each time until your base is the size you want you basket to be.

Do not ss your last row, instead leave it like this and remove your hook

You then want to insert your hook from BEHIND into the first st of your round (the one you would have ss into if closing the round) and then pop the yarn loop over the hook as well (see pic below for what you should end up with).

Now complete a ss by yarning over and pulling through the loop on your hook and the st. Your work should look like this when done…

We are now going to start working up the sides by working around the posts of the stitches rather than in the tops like normal. so ch1 to start

You will now work a fpdc around the first st. See the below photo for where you are inserting your hook. Insert your hook under the post, yarn over and work a dc as normal

After doing the first fpdc you will insert your hook into the same hole your hook came out of before on the previous st in order to create the next fpdc. This is what a few will look like once you’ve got started.

Continue till the end and ss as normal to complete the row.

Now we will work the zig zag puffs. Start by chaining 2 which will not count as a st in each row.

Skip a st, tr in the next st, now insert your hook in the st you skipped and work a puff stitch.

*skip 1st, tr, insert hook in skipped st and work a puff* repeat this until the end of the row. Ss to the top of the 1st puff to join.

Ch2, again skip 1 st and then work a tr in the next, insert hook in the skipped st and work a puff. You will be working your puffs on this row just the left of the previous row. Repeat this till the end and ss to the top of the first puff to join.

Repeat the above until your basket is the right height. Once you’re happy we can do the final row.

Ch2, dc in each st around and ss to the first dc to join.

And you’re done! Basket complete. Weave in all your ends and start using that beautiful crochet basket.

A Creative’s Nightmare

I think it’s happened to most of us at some point or another and it always crops up at the least convenient of times.

Writers call it writers block, artists; creative block but us crocheters, well we call it ‘loosing our crojo’ our crochet mojo of you will. Much to my dismay this is exactly what hit me recently. Everything I tried failed, I couldn’t think of anything new and exciting and even the usual works in progress were boring me. I just wasn’t getting any enjoyment for all the projects I attempted.

Therefore I set about finding a good pallet cleansing project that would hopefully kick start my inspiration and passion again. Now I wouldn’t call this a pallet cleanser as it ended up being neither quick or easy which are generally key points however it did make me determined to finish and helped me push through the block.

Enter stage left the latest cardigan for the tiny human.

All I can see are things I would like to change and tweak, which is common when I’ve created my own pattern. Thankfully the little lady was a big fan and put it on straight away.

I’ve used a beautiful yarn by Wendy called Fleur in the colourway Allium. It’s a DK weight yarn that is a mix of cotton, acrylic and Tencel giving it a super soft slightly fluffy brushed texture.

It took a little over 1 ball for the whole cardigan and I’ve used a mixture of stitches including the star stitch to create lots of texture.

I got carried away with lots of little details on this one and it just never quite seemed to be finished, but this does mean we have a lovely ribbed edging, and a crab stitches collar.

I’ve written the pattern up for this sizing along with measurements for adjusting as you need and it will be available for free on the blog next week!

A round up of 2017

Phew, its been one hell of a year at Miss B’s HQ and admist all the chaos and making and life in general I tend to loose sight of how far I have come or what I have achieved.
Therefore I’ve decided to take a minute to reflect on all thats happened and put together a little summary of what 2017 has given us…

  • 246 orders have gone out the door this year with 145 of them being for pom-poms alone
  • 318 individual pom-poms have been made and shipped!
  • 16 unicorn hoods in varying sizes and colours have been made
  • 9539 views on Etsy (this is a 108% increase on last year!!)
  • My first appearance in a magazine for the lovely pastel summer dress
  • 1 blanket designed for Love Crochet
  • 1 arm knitted blanket marking my first ever knitted make
  • 11 new products released
  • 15 new patterns released
  • 3 successful attempts at making clothing for older children and adults! (I cant wait to make more in 2018 now)
  • Started my first crochet classes

So there we have it. Those Pom-Pom’s almost killed me but I must be a glutton for punishment as I have plans to release even more colours in 2018 so keep those peepers peeled.

Crochet classes will be continuing and I will be looking into running one off workshops for particular products throughout the year. If there is something in particular you’ve always wanted to whip up or learn to make then drop me a message and let me know.

More patterns are in the works and I’m excited to share them all with you as soon as they are all finalised and written in a less scribbly haphazard way.

For now however I just wanted to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me in one way or another this year, I could not be more appreciative of it all, big or small it all helps keep me going. Even if its the man folk doing the dishes so I can finish off another order before bed πŸ˜‰
I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and for tonight have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you in 2018…

Miss B Signature

Gifts, Gifts and More Gifts

I’ve been quite restrained this year and kept the handmade gifts to a minimum…for me anyway.
There are a couple of crochet gifts hiding under the tree but other than that I’ve shopped elsewhere, mostly from other small businesses where I can though.
I couldnt resist however turning to my trusty hook for the tiiny humans teacher Christmas gifts. She has 2 teachers who cover her class and also 2 teaching assistants that work with her so 4 gifts meant it could get pretty costly if I wasnt careful.

When I need some inspiration I like to scan through Pinterest. Not specifically looking at crochet, I tend to browse all the categories and just wait for inspiration to strike. While scanning through hoping for something to come to me I spotted the fab reindeer cup cosy by Haakmaarraak, Kirsten really does make the best coy patterns and so I settled on a variation of this cosy for the teacher gifts.

The mugs are some plain white porcelain but they were thinner and taller than the ones from Haakmaarraak so I made my own pattern up. Still keeping it simple with just a rectangle worked in rows and a chain loop to secure over the button.

I had a few changes I wanted to make however, firstly I wanted these to be rudolph cup cosy’s and secondly the nose had to be a small fluffy pom-pom (we all know how I love a pom-pom), so a small red pom was made and attached front and centre. Just a little tip if you’re making pom-pom’s – I use these pom-pom makers as the make the job so much easier!

The other change I made is that I decided against crocheting the antlers, partly in the interest of simplicity and partly time; with 4 to make quickly the less crocheting and sewing the better.I therefore picked up some brown pipe cleaners from HobbyCraft and cut them to length.
I’ve threaded one pipe cleaner through the top stitch and twisted one end around the other to secure, leaving a little end to create the 2 prongs on the antlers.

So simple yet so effective. These little guys look so fun an festive! We’ve chosen to stuff them full of goodies including hot chocolate and christmas themed treats and they are all wrapped up with little cards handwritten by the monkey herself.

Miss B Signature

Christmas at Miss B’s…almost

Christmas prep is in full swing here.

The decorations went up last weekend and in between the last few orders of 2017 I’ve been trying to get the last few presents, W.I.P’s and decorations finished before the big day.

For months I’ve been putting off one project. I planned it in the summer and the yarn has sat on my shelf ready for it but I just kept pushing it back while I was busy with more important or urgent makes.

A new Christmas wreath!

I had this roving yarn left over from last years giant stocking and it just seemed ideal for making a thick, cosy and luxurious wreath.

Part of the reason I held off was that I needed something to adorn the wreath once it was made and I just couldn’t find the right ribbon or seasonal accessory. That was until a random trip to HobbyCraft where I stumbled across this oversized printed hessian bow. It was too perfect.

I also picked up the wire ring I’ve worked around while in HobbyCraft. I’d originally planned to pick up a polystyrene wreath but they only had small sizes in stock and I’m far to impatient to wait for a delivery so I went hunting for alternatives and ended up getting this copper wreath ring. I’m pretty sure it’s designed for floral wreaths but it did the trick.

Believe it or not the wreath itself is knitted! Hand knitted but still, knitted stitches were involved. It’s a long strip of 3 knitted rows and they are overlapped slightly as they were wrapped around the ring.

This is such a quick and simple design. It took about 30 mins from start to finish, which is my ideal project in the middle of the busiest season of the year.

I love the overall effect and it looks perfect on the front door. Now what’s next on that to do list…

Miss B Signature

A Miss B’s First!

I’ve been crocheting for 5 years and in that time I’ve made blankets to amigurumi to baby clothes and so much more but the one thing I’ve just never got around to making is an item of clothing for myself, or any adult for that matter.

It wasn’t a conscious decision or at least not really. I’ve never had the confidence to have a go at making my own without an idea of how to construct it and unless I could find a pattern that really grabbed me it just wasn’t going to happen.

The other week however I decided it was now or never and I wanted to add some handmade crochet pieces to my wardrobe, so off I went to find a pattern I could work from.

I eventually stumbled across this fab jumper by MegMade with Love.
It just looked so comfy and casual which was perfect for my idea of lounging around it it.

I was really after the cosy wrapped in a cloud effect so pattern decided upon I went on a yarn hunt and settled on this absolutely gorgeous yarn by Wendy called Fleur in the colourway Allium. It’s a DK weight yarn that is a mix of cotton, acrylic and Tencel giving it a super soft slightly fluffy brushed texture. I used less than 3 balls for my entire jumper so it really goes far!

I followed the pattern Meg had kindly put together for us but I did make some modifications.

You can click the link above for Meg’s pattern and my mods are below.

Firstly being a forever in between sizes kinda girl I did the ribbed edging to 50 rows, this alters the stitch count slightly but it’s still easy enough to follow through.

The next alteration I made was to the sleeves.
Meg states to do 30 rows for each sleeve but I was after a slightly closer fit that went down to my hands for extra coziness, so I did as follows:

Row 1-10: hdc 50 around
Row 11-35: ch2, hdc in the same st, Dec in the next, hdc in remaking stitches around
By the end of row 35 you will have 25 stitches
Row 36-40: hdc around
Row 41-42: I did 2 rows of alternating front post, back post hdc’s to give a ribbed edging to the cuffs

The very last change I made was to stitch the top opening closed 4 extra stitches on each side, this was to compensate for the yarn which was very loose and stretches out slightly so it was hanging off my shoulders too much as it was.

I absolutely love this jumper and my first venture into clothing has been a success and one I’m so pleased with. Meg’s pattern is brilliant so whether you make it as is or with my alternations you are sure to have a great wardrobe staple.

The Blue Hue Cushion Cover

What feels like absolutely forever ago I brought some yarn in various shades of navy and blue in both cotton and acrylic with plans to finally add a little crochet to our house and in particular our bedroom which has recently had an overhaul and been decorated in a beautiful new navy and copper theme.

Life and more importantly work got in the way and it’s been ever so patiently waiting for me to pick it up and get creating.

Create I did last week when I finally had a chance to sit down and whip up the first item I desperately wanted to add to the room….a cushion.

I made the crochet front piece first and used the moss stitch (also called the linen stitch) working 14 rows in each of the 4 colours and then 2 rows in between of a mix between the colours either side to create a more subtle ombrΓ© effect.

I’d measured my cushion first and then the height of the crochet after 14 rows of white to make sure it would be the correct size and fit.

We had brought some navy curtains when decorating the room but they were too long so I had cut the excess off and hemmed them, keeping hold of the excess so I could use it to back my cushion.

I cut a square of the fabric slight bigger than the crochet square so it wasn’t stretched too much once the insert was in there and then I also added about 3-4 inches to the top.

I used this extra material to fold over onto what would be the inside of the cushion and create a pillowcase fold. You know the little flap inside a pillow case that holds the pillow in. A quick sew along the sides and the fold was secure.

I then blanket stitched around 3 sides of the fabric piece in the darkest navy coloured yarn and single crocheted into those blanket stitches.

The front crochet piece is attached to the back fabric with a simple whip stitch around the 2 sides and bottom. The top is left open with the pillow fold.

I’m so pleased with how this cushion has turned out. It looks as good as one you could buy from a shop and yet it’s truly unique.

I’ve still got plenty of fabric and yarn left some I’m thinking a new design is in order!