Getting ‘real’ mail…

Our letterboxToday I got mail. Actual, real mail… it was there when I went out and checked the letterbox just before lunch. Nestled in between a bank statement and some advertising from Spotlight was a mystery envelope, and it was addressed to me!

There is something really lovely about getting a letter in the post. Once I would frequently get letters from an Aunt who lived in the UK. We wrote letters for my entire life, more frequently as I got older and when I had a family of my own.  She passed away quite recently and I have really missed the joy of collecting the post and knowing (hoping) that there could be a letter just for me in amongst the usual collection of bills, statements and advertising.

Inside today’s envelope was a gorgeous note and crochet bookmark, which has traveled all the way from South Hampton in England. Crochet bookmark 2Jane, who blogs at Rainbow Junkie Corner had generously marked her one year blogging anniversary last month with a giveaway to some of her most frequent commenters, and I was very lucky to be on the list.

The detail in the bookmark is just beautiful, it’s so delicate. If you want to make one yourself, the pattern is here, Jane made the bookmark using #20 cotton and a 1mm hook, you can read more about her bookmark making here.

Crochet bookmarkThank you Jane, I love it!

E-mail may be fast and simple, but to me an old-fashioned, handwritten letter has great value in this speed-obsessed world. So now I’m wondering whether I’m the only one who enjoys getting letters in the post?  Do you?  What was the most recent piece of interesting mail you received?

I hope there is (even a little) nice unexpected surprise for you this week! Janette xxx

A pretty crochet bow

Here’s a pretty, yet incredibly simple, little sweet crochet treat…

Crochet bow free patternA crochet bow, and single chain headband…Crochet bow free patternWhich just ties up at the back. YOU can make one in minutes, I promise.

Crochet bow free patternTo make; I used 8ply acrylic and a 4mm hook. Chain 16, single crochet in the second chain from the hook and in every stitch back, chain 1, then turn. Repeat for 8 Rows. Fasten off and weave in ends. Chain the headband; just keep going until you make it long enough to easily reach around head and tie in a bow at the back. Holding the rectangle over the center of the headband, squeeze bow together and wrap yarn around the middle of the rectangle to form the bow center. Tie together at back to fasten, then securely weave in ends. Try not catch the chain/headband when you are sewing in the ends of the bow center so you can move bow about once its on.

Put on. Tie at back. Smile!

Crochet bow free pattern

Ears…

There have been a couple of confused bunny makers, specifically they are having trouble with the ears. So here are some more detailed instructions, which I hope will make the ear making process easier (maybe that should be easy-ear, ha ha).  Ill also add a link to these instructions in the main tutorial:

Ears. You need to make 2:

Make a magic circle, Chain 1 and 6 single crochet into the circle…

Crochet easter bunny free pattern

Pull the magic circle tight, but do not join this or any round. All rounds are worked continuously without joining.

ears 5

You can use a stitch marker, if you like to mark your rounds, but personally, because these are so small and because its more hassle to put the marker in and take it out after every round, I just count the stitches. I put the number in brackets after each round, and I think its a good idea to check you have the right number of stitches after every round! (6).

Insert your hook into stitch 1 and continue around. The first round goes like this: *SC in the next stitch, 2 SC in the next stitch*, repeat between * and * around (9).

ears 6

The next round goes like this: *SC in the next 2 stitches, 2 SC in the next stitch*, repeat between * and * around (12).

Now you need to change colour…assuming you want stripy ears. If you want ears all the same color (which will be easier if you are a beginner), then ignore this step:

With the first color still connected, pull up a loop in the new color:

ears 8
Flip work over (so you are on the inside of ear) and tie a secure double knot between your two threads (old and new). Once it’s all secure snip ends short so they can be tucked inside the ear and don’t get in the way…

ears 9

Round 3 goes like this: SC in the next 3 stitches, 2 SC in the next stitch, repeat between * and * around (15).

ears 10
Round 4: SC  in each stitch around (15). Change color just like before:

Ears 14
Round 5: SC  in each stitch around (15).
Round 6: SC  in each stitch around (15): By this stage they starting to look like ears: here’s the front and back:

ears 17

Then change color again, this next row is a decrease row:

Round 7: *SC in the next 3 stitches, then 2 SC together (decrease) in the next stitch*, repeat between * and * around (12):

ears 18

Round 8: SC  in each stitch around (12).

ears 19

Round 9: Change color and SC  in each stitch around (12).

Round 10: SC in the next 2 stitches, 2 SC together (decrease) in the next stitch, repeat between * and * around (9). Before you begin the last three rounds change color… Remember that this is the final color, so I like to use the same color as the outer bunny body color… that way when you join the ears to the bunny you cant see the stitches…Ears 20

Round 11: SC  in each stitch around (9).
Round 12: SC  in each stitch around (9).
Round 13: SC  in each stitch around (9).

Fasten off and leave a long tail to sew to bunny. Here’s what the back should look like:

ears 21 And front:

ears 22

I really hope this helps, if you have any other questions let me know!  Happy bunny making!!! Janette xx

Sunshine…

Despite now being officially autumn it really doesn’t feel like it. We’ve still been spending lots of time outdoors and even picnicking our dinner in the park…Picnic in humare parkEarlier this week we were graced with some rain – the first in over a month. It’s remarkable how just a little rain has perked up (maybe I should say greened up) my garden already. I thought you might be interested in what’s growing right now… it’s a little difficult to tell in my vege jungle exactly what’s weeds and what’s food:

Garden March 2013 3Due to inconsistent watering (we can still hand water here every second day) almost everything in the vege garden has gone to seed… and blight/powdery mildew has set in all over the show.Garden March 2013 2But the sun lovers like marigolds, zinnia and this beautiful calendula have thrived in the dry. Like little rays of sunshine…calendula 2On the crafty front, I’ve been working on a new wrap. This time it’s my own design (yes, there will be a tutorial and pattern soon), in a lovely yellow. It is a simple design, but rather effective and I am extraordinarily happy with it.

crochet shawl wrapI think it’s going to be called my sunshine shawl…crochet shawl wrapHope your week is sunshiny! ♥ Janette xxx

Bunnies, bunnies and more bunnies

Thank you to everyone that has commented or emailed recently about the bunny pattern.  There seems to have been a huge number of bunnies made all over the world this past week, and I am so grateful for your lovely comments, messages and photos showing me your adorable bunnies!

Q created bunniesThe cuties above were made by Q over at Q Created.

You can see some more lovely bunnies here, here, and here, here and here, and here.

Thank you to everyone who shared the pattern. Nina at I feel Crafty has a super cute new blog, and she made a really nice post about them here.

And over on the Ravelry page you can see even more bunnies!

If that’s not enough bunny love, go and check out Moogly for more crochet bunny inspiration and 10 cute free bunny patterns.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend ♥ Janette xxx

Nibble nibble, hop hop

Crochet bunny free patternIf you are a regular follower you will immediately notice that these bunnies are very closely related to some particularly cute owls made recently. You see a distant aunt on their mother’s side fell in love with a completely unsuitable (if you are an owl) rabbit… the rest, so they say, is history. Rabbits, as you well know, breed like, well, rabbits and before we knew it there were not one, but four new members to the family. If you are interested in meeting the owl family please be sure to check out the New Zealand branch here and the original English pattern here – over at Bunny Mummy no less!!!

Right, on with the tutorial.  If you would like to make some bunnies of your own for Easter you will need:

  • Various scraps of yarn and a corresponding hook – I used 8ply and a 4mm hook.
  • 2 x 9mm safety eyes (or beads or buttons)
  • A very small amount of black crochet cotton or embroidery floss
  • A needle to sew your creation together with.

Crochet bunny free pattern 1Round 1: Make a Magic Circle and chain 3, then crochet 13 DC into the circle and pull tight, join with a SS to complete the round (14 DC). I’ve had a few questions about the magic circle before, it’s my preferred way to start a round. You can find a video showing how it’s done here. If you prefer chain 4 and DC into the fourth chain from the hook (then your DCs) or chain four, join with a SS to form a ring and then chain 3 and 13 DC into the ring. All techniques work equally well, I think it just comes down to preference.

Crochet bunny free patternRound 2. Join yarn in space between two DCs, chain 3 and DC in between the same space. 2 DC between each stitch around, join with a SS to the top of chain 3 to complete the round. Fasten off.(14 2DC pairs).Crochet bunny free patternRound 3. Join yarn in space between two pairs of DCs, chain 3 and 2 DC in same space. Make 3DCs in each space between two pairs of DCs around, join with a SS to the top of chain 3 to complete the round. Fasten off. (14 3DC pairs).Crochet bunny free pattern 16Round 4. You are now working in the top space between each stitch, not the space beside the stitch. Join your new colour through the top loop of the stitch only:Crochet bunny free patternThe round goes like this: Chain 2, 2DC into next stitch, 1 DC into next, 1 DC into next, 2DC into next stitch, 1 DC into next, 1 DC into next, 2DC into next stitch, 1 HDC into next, Chain 1, SC into each remaining stitch around.  Complete round by joining with a SS into the Chain 2. Do not fasten off.Crochet bunny free patternRound 5. Chain 1, SC into each stitch around. SS into chain 1.Crochet bunny free patternRound 6. Chain 1, HDC in next 11 stitches, chain 1, SS into next stitch. Fasten off leaving a long end to sew your two bunny halves together.Crochet bunny free patternYou need to make two of these (they are the bunny front and back!).

Ears. Make 2:

You can find more detailed instructions for the ears here.

  1. Magic circle (see notes above), CH 1 and 6 SC into the circle, do not join this or any round, continue working in a circle without joining. Use a stitch marker if necessary tp mark your rounds (personally I just count the stitches) (6)
  2. *SC in the next stitch, 2 SC in the next stitch*, repeat between * and * around (9).
  3. *SC in the next 2 stitches, 2 SC in the next stitch*, repeat between * and * around (12). Change colour.
  4. *SC in the next 3 stitches, 2 SC in the next stitch*, repeat between * and * around (15).
  5. SC  in each stitch around (15). Change colour.
  6. SC  in each stitch around (15).
  7. SC  in each stitch around (15). Change colour.
  8. *SC in the next 3 stitches, 2 SC together (decrease) in the next stitch*, repeat between * and * around (12).
  9. SC  in each stitch around (12). Change colour.
  10. SC  in each stitch around (12).
  11. *SC in the next 2 stitches, 2 SC together (decrease) in the next stitch*, repeat between * and * around (9). Change colour… Remember to use the same colour as your outer bunny body colour.
  12. SC  in each stitch around (9).
  13. SC  in each stitch around (9).
  14. SC  in each stitch around (9). Fasten off and leave a long tail to sew to bunny.

Crochet bunny free patternMuzzle. Using White yarn:

Make a magic circle and chain 3, 12 DC into the circle. Pull tight and join with a SS to complete the round.Crochet bunny free patternUsing black embroidery floss or crochet cotton (two strands), sew the nose triangle…Crochet bunny free patternand across the top to neaten, and then the mouth:Crochet bunny free patternTail. Using a fork (yes a fork!), wrap yarn around 40-50 times

Crochet bunny free patternTie between tines 2 and 3 to secure, and cut edges… roll between your palms to puff up a bit and trim as necessary.Crochet bunny free patternThat’s all your bunny parts assembled…. now to put them all together.Crochet bunny free patternSew muzzle in place.Crochet bunny free patternPosition eyes, and secure.Crochet bunny free patternSew tail securely.Crochet bunny free patternThen with wrong sides together sew your two bunny halves together. I like to just catch the inside two edges of the opposite stitches…Crochet bunny free patternLeave a small gap and fill as desired…Crochet bunny free patternThen stitch the last little bit closed, secure your thread and fasten off.Crochet bunny free patternLooking a little weird…Crochet bunny free patternSew on ears. I like to work right through from back to front, first all the way across then back in the other direction. First one….Crochet bunny free pattern…and then the other… hey, he’s pretty cute, huh?Crochet bunny free patternBut don’t stop with just one… make a whole family:Crochet bunny free patternJust in time for Easter…Crochet bunny free patternThey are sure to make a kid you know smile!Crochet bunny free patternAs always, let me know if you notice anything amiss or anything is unclear.  Enjoy, and do send me a pic if you make one or three, I love love love to see what you have made!!!! Janette x x x