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.

Halloween Bat and Pumpkin Patterns

Its that time of year again, my favourite time of year again… Halloween!
Leaves have changed colour and are falling off the trees, conkers have been collected and the coffee shops are finally getting their winter drinks in.

Sadly this year we have decided to take a bit of a back seat on Halloween as the tiny humans medical diet means we cant go trick or treating or have sweets and chocolates around but that isnt stopping us from transforming the inside of the house into the Halloween equivelent of a grotto. Every decoration we have will be creating a spooky atmosphere inside and with that in mind I decided to whip up a quick and easy Halloween garland.

It started with a bat, the pattern for this is simple but effective, I wanted to capture the proper bat outline with the spikey wings and little ears.

ACS_0116

And then for need of some colour came the pumpkin

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I’ve popped the pattern for both below so you can choose to make a garland of all bats, all pumpkins or a mix of the two. You could be really snazzy about it and make them clip on so you can change it up depending on how you feel.

THE PATTERN

Yarn – I used black, orange, white and brown yarn in DK weight from my stash
Hook – 3.5mm
Lastly the pattern is written in UK terms.

ADK_0054

The Bat –
We are working in rows, turning at the end of each row and ch1 at the beginning of each new row.

WING (Make 2)
Ch6,
dc in the 2nd from the hook and each st across (5)
inc, dc4 (6)
dc5, inc (7)
inc, dc5, inc (9)
inc, dc7 (9)
ss, dc7, inc (10)
dc8, inc (10)
inc, dc9 (11)
dc10, inc (12)
ss, dc11 (12)
ss, dc10 (11)
ss, dc8 (9)
ss, dc7 (8)
inc, dc6 (8)
ss, dc6, inc (8)
inc, dc6 (8)
ss, dc6 (6)
ss, dc5 (5)
ss, dc4 (4)
ss, dc3 (3)
ss, dc1 (1)
dc1
You now need to sc around the edges of the wing, I worked 9dc to the first spike, ch1, dc4 into the valley, dc4 to the next spike, ch1, dc3 into the valley, dc4 to the end, ch1, dc3 across the end, ch1, dc24 across the top of the wing and back to where you started, ss to join and fasten off weaving in your ends.

BODY
ch6,
inc in the 2nd ch from the hook, dc3, dc3 in the last st, now working down the other side of the starting ch, dc3, sc in last st, ss to first sc to join.
dc inc, htr inc, tr3, htr inc, (tr, ch2, tr in the next st), htr inc, tr3, htr inc, dc inc, ss to first sc to join.
We are going to create the head now so Work 5 foundation dc’s and join back onto the body with a ss
ch1, turn, 2dc in each st of the head (10)
turn, ss4, ch2, ss in same sp, ss next 2, ch2, ss in the same space, ss next 4 and join at the end – this will have just created the ears.

You now need to sew both wings to the body. Use the pictures as a guide on where to join them. You can also use a little white thread to stitch some eyes.

ADK_0053

The Pumpkins –
We are working in joined rounds for these so each round should finish with a ss to the first st of that round and each new round will begin with a dc which we will not count as our first st.

IN ORANGE YARN
dc8 into a magic circle
inc around (16)
dc, inc, repeat around to the end (24)
dc, dc, inc, repeat around to end (32)
dc, dc, dc, inc, repeat around to end (40)
ss2, dc3, htr3, tr6, htr3, dc3, ss2, dc3,htr3, tr6, htr3, dc3, ss to join.

IN BROWN YARN
ch 6
htr in 2nd from the hook, dc 4
fasten off and leave a long enough tail of yarn to use to join the stalk to the body of the pumpkin

IN BLACK YARN
Stitch a pumpkin face onto the pumpkin, use the pictures as a guide or create your own expression.

ADK_0055

Lastly using black yarn (or any colour of your choosing) chain as many as you need to make a string the length you want/need to attach your pumpkins and bats onto.
I sewed the pumpkins directly on but added a hanging loop to the bats so you could still see their little pointy ears when hanging.
Also I choose to PVA block my bat and pumpkins so they were firmer and held their shape. I did this by pinning them flat onto a foam block, but a cardboard box or polystyrene will work as well, and then I used a mix of PVA and a little water to wash over the top of the shapes. I allowed it to dry overnight (its touch dry in an hour or so but really hardens overnight) and I gave it very liberal coating. Once dry they were nice and firm and stayed in shape while hanging.

Happy Halloween Witches!

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!

The Magical Rainbow Unicorn

All the best things in one cosy blanket. That’s exactly what I was after when I decided to whip up another c2c blanket. A little dash of magic, a sprinkle of rainbows all topped off with a pinch of unicorn!

The colours really do the talking on this blanket and they work perfectly with the simplicity of the unicorn and the neutral white in the centre square.

I’ve used the absolutely gorgeous Paintbox Yarns to make this. The colours are so bold and it is by far the softest acrylic I’ve come across making it ideal for a baby blanket.

I’ve listed this finished blanket in my shop (just click the link in the menu up there πŸ‘†πŸ») but as usual there is only one available.

The pattern is also listed if you wanted to give this beauty a go yourself. It would be such a fabulous baby shower gift! I bet no one else will be gifting something similar…

Now to finish the next design I’m working on…

The Pinafore Dress

Happy New Year! I realise I’m massively late saying this but as usual I’ve been a bit rubbish at keeping to my own set schedule and this post that was originally planned before Christmas also missed the first week of January waggon as well. But nonetheless I hope your 2018 has started fabulously and I’m excited to get sharing with you…

Now it’s obviously not the first time I’ve made something for Miss P but normally I have kept it simple and stuck to the usual winter hats and scarves. I did venture in to the odd cardi as you might remember from this post in the summer but until recently thats been it.

Something pushed me to try something more ambitious and after making this pastel dress I made recently I finally had the confidence to have a go at creating an item from scratch.

I instantly knew it needed to be a vintage stlye pinafore dress and I had been desperate to make something in a lovely mustard shade for months. Its a colour that just sums up Autumn to me and is bold without being too offensive. I used Drops Paris in Mustard and the weight of the yarn was perfect. Its not too heavy but as its cotton it has great stitch definition and stays cool when layered up.

I’ve created the skirt to have a slightly fuller ruffle and subtle ribbing on the waist band.

The back features cross over straps and are finished off with some small brass buttons I found in my stash.


I am so in love with this little dress and thankfully the little lady of the house seems to be equally as impressed. The only thing I cant decide on is to pocket or not to pocket? I’ve dithered over adding one to the top chest piece or two smaller ones on the skirt or leaving it as it is… I just cant decide. Help!

I have written the pattern up for this size so once I’ve manged to adjust it for other sizings I will pop it up on my shop

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