Author: Janette

A review and a giveaway

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Today I’m sharing a quick little project from a lovely crochet e-book I was asked to review…

Crochet flower brooch Its a wee crochet flower brooch, made using 3 ply cotton and the pattern can be found in an e-book by Natasja King called Crochet Pretty

Crochet flower broochThis is just one of 10 lovely accessory patterns in the book. I’m thinking the little drawstring bag from the cover will be next on my list because I have some cotton left over from the tangerine cardigan Ive just finished for Maia (more about that soon) and I’m sure she needs a little bag to go with it! If I hurry I might be able to get it finished in time for her birthday on Thursday! I also really love the earrings. To see all 10 patterns from the book over on Ravelry, just click here.img_6590The really neat thing about Crochet Pretty is that its interactive, so there are links to lots of helpful extra information and it even includes some instructional videos  and an interactive quiz! There are also clear step by step instructions, with beautiful photography. I love that because its an e-book its perfect for using on my ipad.

If you want to buy the Crochet Pretty iBook, you have to hop on over to
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Tangerine crochet

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Tangerine crochet 4This week Ive been working away on a cardigan for Maia. I was going to save it for her birthday, but I’ve had to have her try it on numerous times to get the fit just right (its a modification of another pattern), so now she is monitoring my progress and (im)patiently waiting until its finished.

Tangerine crochet 2The color is gorgeous, not too girlie but still a lovely soft sherbert tangerine color, just right for summer and an almost-eight year old miss who has recently developed an aversion to pink. I guess the pink I had planned for the trim will have to stay in the draw!

TangerineThe rainbow in these shots comes from a crystal prism I have hanging in the dining room window, I hadn’t realised it was in the frame until the sun came out and I began taking photos.

It’s pretty though, don’t you think?

Sea foam

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This week I’ve been crocheting at every opportunity, I’ve really been trying to finish something, anything, from my growing list of projects.

And what do you know, with a little bit of perseverance and a healthy dose of self restraint, I’m excited to present my newly finished (right down to the ends all being sewn in, gently washed and blocked) Square Sweater:
Crochet pullover top 3
Really? Square Sweater? A name like that doesn’t really do this top justice, its beautiful; light and delicate, a blend of two yarns, one pure wool, one wool mix with some threads of green, blue and red… so I’m calling it something much more inspiring: my Sea Foam Sweater.

Although in all fairness to the designer it is a square shape and made up of hundreds of little squares.  But I’m sure you will agree, its way too cool to be called square!
Crochet pullover top 4
While I’m here, I can’t resist sharing this gorgeous rose which is now in full bloom.
Apricot roses 2
Who doesn’t love an apricot rose? And the smell… heavenly! Apricot roses
Ok, back to the top…  close up of shoulder:Crochet pullover top 2And a close up of the pattern detail. I’m happy to report this pattern is an absolute gem, it’s super easy. This delicate, complicated looking pattern is made with only a two row pattern repeat, and each row is almost identical, so that means minimal counting, which translates to being easy enough to crochet in front of the the tv (or when kids are around) without too much concentration! I enjoyed this so much I want to start another. Immediately!Crochet pullover topAnd finally, this is me, in my Sea Foam top.
Not a back view or a shot with the head strategically cut off like you usually find around here!  Gulp! Crochet square sweater
Have a wonderful week, friends ☺️

Crochet Tornado

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I’ve been crocheting up a storm! At last count I had 4 projects on the go AND I have ordered some yarn for a cardi for Maia, so there’s a flurry of activity to try and wrap up at least one of the projects currently underway before I go and pick that up… not to mention a moratorium on any more new projects! So much crochet to do, so little time :)

In the photo below, I’m working on a simple shell top. I’ve finished one side, and should (hopefully) finish the other tonight, then be on the home run to blocking and edging. If you’re interested, you can find out more about the pattern here, but I’m sure I’ll be back with more progress soon!

How’s your week going? What are you working on? xx

Nov Crochet WIP

Giving pottery a go

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Thank you for all the lovely comments about my last post, I feel so blessed with your kindness :) The weather is still all over the show, and while its no weather for tomatoes or cucumbers, most of the garden is looking gorgeous, and this weekend I have three roses, and my peony coming into bloom – lets hope there’s not too much wind! I’m sure there will be more flower photos soon!

What’s the perfect way to spend a wet Saturday? At the local pottery workshop open day! The children tried their hand at throwing a pot on the wheel, free form clay sculpture and raku glaze.  It was a first experience with clay for them and they both had so much fun. One of the (many) unexpected joys of motherhood is seeing my children experience something new for the first time, especially when they adore it! I have to admit I was itching to have a go myself, pottery is something I have always wanted to explore more and I think today’s visit has convinced me to sign up for classes next term!

Carter on potters wheelMaia on potters wheelMaia and Carter Raku glazeMaia pottery flowerMaia and Carter clay sculpture Carter's cermic pendantMaia pottery vase

 

Here’s a couple of little video’s, Maia building her pot on the pottery wheel:

And Carter building his:

What are you up to this weekend? Have you tried any new crafty experiences lately? Much love, Janette xox

 

Pink and purple

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How’s your week going? We are in the midst of some very changeable crazy weather, it’s hot, cold, wet, fine, thundery and windy – sometimes all at the same time. But then I guess that’s allowed now we are in mid-spring!
Pink and purple flowers 4
Despite the weather (or maybe because of it) my garden is blooming into life. I’m loving the almost black of those darkest purple violas…
Pink and purple flowers 2
Not to mention the vibrant blues, mauves, yellows, brightest cherise and palest pinks. Ok, I admit, I love them all!
Pink and purple flowers
Maia and I walked around the garden, chatting and snipping, then brought our collection in to scatter and be admired on our kitchen table…
Pink and purple flowers 3
Later, the blooms were arranged into 4 tiny posies by the children.
Purple flowers in a vase 4
Aren’t spring flowers just beautiful whichever way you look at them?
Purple flowers in a vase 3 Pink flowers in a vase
They really make my heart sing! So what’s blooming in your garden just now? What’s colouring your world?
Purple flowers in a vaseI hope you have a bright and beautiful week xoxoxo

In my bag you will find…

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Crochet bag 6My crochet work bag is full of all kinds of helpful bits and pieces, and it occurred to me you might like to take a look :)

Crochet bag 7Top Row L – R: Dr Hauschka rose hand cream, embroidery cotton, sharpie, pencil, quick unpick, Mousie, hooks! Crochet stars (Ill post a pattern sometime) small container with lots of important stuff, pink beads, scissors.

Middle Row L – R; Crochet cotton, this flower, glasses for fiddly bits and at night (old age!), safety eyes, this flower.

Bottom row L – R: Foxy (pattern sometime), Lip balm, marble (no idea what that’s doing in there???), knitters needles, crochet cotton, lace. Crochet work

My project work continues, but is going to require a trip to the shop this afternoon… see that short length of white. Yep it ran out. Hope I can remember which brand I brought (the band is long gone), wish me luck!

So what’s in your crochet work bag? Anything you can’t live without? xxxJ

In my world

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Here’s a few random little snippets from my world recently…

We are now mid-spring here in New Zealand and the weather is warming up. My garden is growing at warp speed – more on that soon. Its a rare occasion to see Tui in my garden, but this week there were a couple sipping on flax flowers. Birds, you will note, are well outside my photographic expertise!Tui in flax flowers

Speaking of flowers, Carter expressed his inner floral artist at school for their gala event. He had such a proud Mummy! Here’s his sand saucer;Sand saucer

ButtonholeCarter buttonhole arrangement arrangement:

Miniature garden:Miniature dinosaur garden

And glitter jar/upside down jar arrangement:Carter glitter jar

Walking on the beach, with toes out – much more palatable now the weather is warming up, hmmm might need to dig out some nail polish!Walking on buckland beach

Drinking lots of smoothies… mostly berries, sometimes with greens, but always with added chia (don’t blend them)!Berry Chia Smoothies

Carter the spider: Crter in spd web sml

Maia doing her best impression of a sculpture: Maia statue auckland art gall sml

Tillandsias hanging in my window… the best low maintenance pot plants, driftwood and macrame optional!tillandsia

The building (and rebuilding) of fairy houses is in full swing:  Fairy house Oct 2014

As well as raising seeds and planting seedlings like crazy, I’m propagating a variety of plants… this is my kitchen windowsill, and I’m happy to report that every eastern and southern windowsill in our house is also home to a large number of small jars with lots of other potential plants for my garden! Propogating cuttings

Our crochet loving cat (actually I think its the wool he loves!)Catand crochet

Finally, here’s a shot of a little blue crochet (one of two projects) I have on the go… more on that soon :)Blue crochet

What’s happening in your world? xxxoooxxxx

Crochet snakes

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Carter requested a snake pleasssssssse…Crochet snake free pattern

But once I made one it was hard to ssssstop!Crochet snake free pattern

It was alssso hard to stop thinking up silly snaky alliterations! Crochet snake free pattern

So I gave in…Crochet snake free pattern

So sssssorry! Crochet snake free pattern

So if you want to make one sweet sneaky snake, or six…Carter and crochet snake

You can find the superb simple sweet and not at all silly scaly or scary crochet snake pattern right here.

The only change I made to the pattern was to  insert a couple of pipe cleaners wound together (and the ends bent over so they don’t poke out) inside each snake to make them nice a twistable :)

 

Colourful…

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I had to stop when I rode past the gardens on my bike today… the flowers were just glorious!  Spring tulips 6 Spring tulips 5

They were an almost shocking contrast to the bare branches of the surrounding trees…

Spring tulips 4I love the color of spring :)Spring tulips 7

How Ive missed you red, pink, purple, yellow and orange…Spring tulips 3

Spring tulips 2

I must bring the children back for a photo on that park bench! Spring tulips

What’s blooming in your world? xx

Crochet Coasters Tutorial

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Crochet coaster free pattern I’ve had many, many requests for a crochet coaster pattern since I originally posted making coasters because the original pattern seems to have disappeared. If it does pop back up Ill link back to  it, but in the meantime, here’s a quick little tutorial for you to whip up some crochet coasters, for yourself or as a lovely gift!

To make these crochet coasters you will need…

  • DK (8ply) yarn – I like to use a cotton or cotton blend
  • 3mm or 3.5mm crochet hook – use a slightly smaller hook than usual because you want a nice firm fabric.
  • Needle to sew in ends

Crochet coaster free patternFirst up, chain 6 and join to form a ring:Crochet coaster free pattern

Chain 3 (counts as first DC) and DC 19 into the ring (20DC) Join with a SS into the top of the starting chain 3 to complete the round. Crochet coaster free pattern

Chain 3, DC in the next Stitch and Chain 2:Crochet coaster free pattern

DC in the next 2 Stitches, Chain 2 – repeat around. Join with a SS into the top of the starting chain 3 to complete the round:Crochet coaster free pattern

SS into the next Chain 2 space:Crochet coaster free pattern

Chain 3, DC, Chain 3, 2DC into the first chain 2 space:Crochet coaster free pattern

2DC, chain 3, 2DC into each remaining chain 2 space – repeat around. Join with a SS into the top of the starting chain 3 to complete the round:Crochet coaster free pattern

SS to next chain 3 space. Chain 3, 7 DC in space:Crochet coaster free pattern

8 DC into each chain 3 space around. Join with a SS into the top of the starting chain 3 to complete the round:Crochet coaster free pattern

Turn over and sew in the ends…Crochet coaster free pattern

Make just one, or a whole bunch. I love crochet coasters!Crochet coaster free pattern

Especially when accompanied by a cup of tea and a good book!Crochet coaster free pattern

Have a lovely weekend everyone! J xox

Magnificent Magnolias

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The weather has warmed up considerably in the past few days, and with it so to has my enthusiasm for spending time out of doors.

There are signs of spring everywhere, but not least in the magnificent magnolias which are blooming in our street. My heart lifts every time I see them. Usually as I rush by, this way or that… to school, to work, to gym, to violin,  to swimming and (somewhat exhausted) home again.

Today I went out walking not once but twice – with my camera in tow – to enjoy the spring air and to photograph these amazing blooms to share with you.

In the morning…

Magnolia4 Magnolia2 MagnoliaMagnolia5And the evening…

As the sun set went down they seemed to get only more beautiful.Magnolia3Magnolia7Beautiful magnoliasThe evenings are getting longer, tonight it was just bright enough for a quick ‘scoot’ around the neighbourhood after dinner.

“Hurry up Mum!”,A quick scoot after dinner“No time for any more photos!” xx

Easy crochet cowl

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I recently made this crochet cowl for a friend.

open weave crochet cowl free patternWarm, yet light…open weave crochet cowl 4Soft AND snuggly! Best of all its a super easy design, suitable for those new to crochet…crochet cowl free pattern

Lets begin shall we? This one is made using 2 strands of 4ply held together, because I wanted an 8ply/ DK weight cowl. I loved this color, so used the two strands to achieve the weight I was looking for with a 6mm hook. Really though, you could use and weight yarn and a suitably large enough hook.

Chain 35:

open weave crochet cowl 9Turn and DC in the fifth chain from the hook:

open weave crochet cowl 10Chain 1, skip 1 and double crochet in the next stitch:Crochet cowl free patternRepeat across until you reach the end of the row. Turn and chain 4:Crochet cowl free patternDC into first space:open weave crochet cowl 8Chain1 and double crochet into each space across:

Crochet cowl free patternKeep working until your cowl is the desired length…open weave crochet cowl 5Then slip stitch your two ends together:Crochet cowl free patternWeave in all ends (there should only be two!), and put on your new cowl! crochet cowl free pattern crochet cowl free patternThen take a photo or two and post it over on the Green Dragonfly Facebook page!

Have a very happy day :) ~ Jxox

Busy…

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There’s been a bit going on around here recently, here’s a few snaps of things from my world just now.

I am…

Loving my new project (more on that soon!)…Crochet Reading, a lot… winter really is the time for reading. Ive recently read this, and this and this…. I’d recommend them all :)

Admiring this orchid because it just keeps on blooming and blooming…orchid in bloom Smiling. Don’t you love birthday cards? (yes, last week I celebrated another year passing…)Birthday cards Baking, like reading, is something that seems to happen more when its cold (the oven warms up the house, the smell warms up the soul!), brownies… and slices for lunchboxes, try this one (pic below) or this one. Yum!Baking Enjoying this amazing bromeliad… it has the most beautiful flower don’t you think? Just one of the many signs that spring is on her way!Bormelid in flower Wearing my green shawl, yes I have been wearing it (and loving it!)…Crochet sidewalk shawl Reminded that although spring is nearly here, winter hasn’t quite let go her grip yet… we’ve had so many frosts the garden is looking very sad. I’ve also had to resort to planting seedlings inside cut off milk bottle to stop the chickens scratching them up and/or eating completely!

Traveling… is a necessity of my job and there has been a fair bit of flying of late. At least the weather has been gorgeous, so the flights have been full of spectacular sights…

Travelling down the north island Grateful that my Mum can come and help out on those hectic days when I have to be away…  it makes life so much easier when Nana comes and does all the school (and trampoline and swimming…) pick ups and drop offs, the children love it and I really appreciate one less thing to worry about.

Arranging my new printers tray, which has become home to an eclectic miniature collection… each day the children find something more to add to it.Printers tray collection Cherishing my girl and this now toothless grin – the big new tooth is growing in so that smile is never going to be the same again! Maia lost her toothTime seems to be passing by so quickly just now, I can barely keep up!

I wonder what you are loving, baking, crocheting, arranging, reading, wearing, enjoying, thinking, smiling about and doing?

Lots of love, Janette xox