Think Bright Colours and Rainbows!

I’ve been so busy lately with crochet projects that I don’t know when I’m going to be able to blog about all of them – and I haven’t even started on items that are already finished! Here’s one of my first super colourful items.

I initially saw this tiny but oh-so-colourful purse on the blog of Sparkle Petal. 

I fell in love with it! I knew I had to make one, just to have all that loveliness of colour. Since I had just visited the wool shop and found a colourful collection of cotton, it was time to get crocheting!

Wool Rainbow Cotton

I followed the instructions as in the tutorial, and started with a magic circle in purple and the first row of trebles.

Rainbow Purse start

I kept on going with the trebles, increasing appropriately to create a flat circle. It was exciting to watch as each row became vibrant! Here you can see how the circle progressed.

Rainbow Purse Strip

And after adding each row in a different colour, the circle was finished! Now to fold it in half to create a purse!

Rainbow Purse Finished

Rainbow Purse

It’s absolutley amazing! I can’t get over how awesome the colours look!

I’m making quite a lot of items requiring zips and lining, this little purse included. So the plan is to complete a few projects and then do the sewing and insertion of zips all in one go. Luckily the tutorial on Sparkle Petal‘s blog has a nifty method for doing the lining zip which will be very useful to me! I’m still deciding what colour lining to use for this rainbow purse!? Red with white polka dots? White and red stripes? What do you think?

Since I bought so much colourful cotton, there is no doubt that many other colourful projects will and have followed … the photo below might just be a little teaser as to what I was busy with next!

Stay tuned for my next blogpost to find out more!

Purse and Pencil Case

Blue Pillow Case

You start out with a project, finished idea in your head, and you crochet along thinking ofcourse I have enough wool and ofcourse it will work out. Well, there goes my judgement of wool requirement by eye flying out the door!

In my first post I had mentioned that I inherited my mother’s wool. I thought it was time to start finding crochet projects to use up the wool and let my creativity run free. It was a lot of wool! But oh so inviting!!!

Wool Basket

I keep all of my wool in this beautiful wicker basket – easy to move around when needed, and where else am I going to store this much wool?! You can see all the weird and wonderful colours, not all of them to my taste but I have found a way of making them work. As you can see the basket’s already full, so a plan shall have to be made when I next visit the haberdashery :-P. One can NEVER have too much wool 🙂

For this project I decided to use a fluffy dark blue wool. I have been inspired by many bloggers on the web with their wonderful creations and it was time I made my own! Instead of going to the store to buy new wool, why not try out a simple rectangle pillow case with the wool that I had? Perfect! And I was over the moon that my first pillow case would be really fluffy and textured.

Pillow and Wool

I started with a tail 2.5x the width of the pillow case, crocheted enough double crochet stitches onto the tail to create a ring and then used trebles to form a tube in continuous rounds. I don’t start with chains, I just chain 2 and then double crochet directly onto/in the tail piece that is premeasured. In the photo you can see I’ve already used up a ball of wool, and how textured it is!

Blue Pillow Case started

However, things are not always what they seem. After taking this photo I ended up pulling out all of my hard work and restarting 3 times!!! Oh hell! Apparently I made a few miscalculations with the number of stitches needed and took me a while to get it just right. The texture also made it difficult to see the stitches, so perhaps I skipped a few or increased without knowing it. Then, to my utter dismay – I ran out of dark blue wool half way!!! :-0

Blue Wool

Before imploding and wondering what to do with a half-finished pillow case, I remembered I had a ball of lighter blue and white wool, with similar fluffiness. Problem solved! Not only did I finish the light blue wool (!) but I barely had 1 meter of white wool left over when I was finished. It seems pillow cases take a lot more wool than I thought.

I closed the pillow case at the white end by using single crochet stitches, and have left the dark blue end open for a zip. I’ve decided to add a zip so that the pillow case can be removed and washed when needed without having the hassle of washing the pillow itself.

And it’s finished!

Finished Pillow Case

I absolutely love how my fluffy crocheted pillow case turned out! I’m so happy when I see it on the couch, handmade items are worth the effort to make!

Moral of the story: if it doesn’t work out how you originally planned, then just go with it and be creative in solving the issue!

I am definitely making more pillow cases, so watch this space for more projects! Who knows, maybe I went to the wool shop and came back with a purple assortment of wool and a new zigzag pattern to try 🙂 Watch this space!

 

Update (12 March 2014)

Well, FINALLY! It’s finished! It’s so strange when you have >4 crochet projects on the go how fast they become “to be continued…”

Luckily I had a long blue zip and some left over blue wool!

 

Zip items

 

I sewed the zip in and secured both ends very well at the corners to stop it unravelling. I made sure there was also enough allowance on each side of the zip so that my wool wouldn’t get caught each time I open or close the pillow case.

 

Zips finished

And here it is! Complete and all closed up! It’s a wonderfully soft and fluffy pillowcase. I’m definitely going to look for similar wool to make other lovely crochet items from. Perhaps circular pillows with ruffles?

 

Finished Pillowcase with Zips

Next up: the finished Purple Zig Zag pillowcase!

 

The Minion Documentaries: Banana!!!

As promised, the amazingly awesome Minion Documentaries second episode!

Minions get up to a lot of naughty antics during the day, but before they start they need to fuel up with none other than their favourite food: BANANAS!

Minion Banana

You can see that Mike the Minion is first in line for bananas!

Other minions like to fill up with different types of breakfast such a French toast. Yum!

Minion Breakfast

A minion has to have enough energy for the day and what better way than with a power breakfast that includes bananas?! If you’ve ever had any doubts as to their favourite food, watch the video clip 🙂

Minion Banana Song Video

Until the next episode for more Minion antics!

Christmas Gifts and Crochet Snowflakes

Hello again!

Although the Christmas has come and gone and we’re in 2014 already, I’d like to share some of the projects I was busy with. I was crocheting up a storm! Absolutely wonderful when you decide to get into the festive spirit 4 days beforehand and still have to start/complete (?!) 2 projects, but I decided to crochet snowflakes as Christmas tree decorations!

I found a few patterns from library books, and they’re really easy to do in less than an hour each. Most stick to the same design – 5 or more arms with lots of loops and chain stitches.

I used my #10 cotton in white with a 1.5mm hook, and used leftover thin red wool to act as a hanger.

Christmas snowflakes3

I chose 4 simple snowflake patterns and completed them all in one sitting before washing and stretching (literally the afternoon before Christmas! Eeek!). Pity I don’t have a photo of the ironing board standing in the garden with 4 snowflakes stretched with pins, it looked weird :-P.

Christmas snowflakes5

Here they are all in a row. I love how the geometry of snowflakes is so appealing!

Christmas snowflakes4

Here you can see the red wool hanger clearly. I just chose a spot on one of the arms and made a Lark’s Head knot. My original plan was to use the red wool as a border for the snowflakes, but try crocheting that into 4 snowflakes with minimal time and too many chain spaces to fill!

 

Christmas snowflakes

As mentioned earlier, I was busy with other projects, also destined as gifts, one of which I’ll share with you.

I made an oval doilie/placemat in a beautiful burgundy colour. The burgundy cotton was destined to be part of a slingbag, but I decided it would work great with this new pattern! You can see I’ve just started crocheting, busy on the 3rd row. My work is resting on a pattern book in French. I had just been travelling overseas and managed to get my hands on a copy of the Diana crochet magazine in Belgium. I was itching to try out all the patterns inside and I couldn’t resist an oval doilie!

Oval Doily 1

I had previously made myself this doilie but had forgotten two rows and ended up with a bit of a strange design. Nonetheless, I liked the pattern so much (and so did the gift recipient when she saw it on my table) I decided to make another one. The one on the left is my original and the one on right is the new one in progress.

Oval Doily 2

Needless to say all my crochet gifts were well-received (Yay!). And my hands were relieved to have a break let me tell you! Verdict: well worth the effort!

I’ll keep posting about previous crochet items I’ve completed and the fascinating stories behind them, as well as the projects I’m busy with. Leave a comment or ask me a question if you’d like, I’ll happily indulge my love of crochet with you!

Until then, have a great week!

Welcome!

Welcome to Cat and the Wool!

Here you will find all sorts of wonderful and creative ways that I express my love of crochet and colourful things! And cats. A really BIG love for cats. The name of my blog is a little interplay on words between my love of crochet, wool, my cat, and my nickname “Kat”. Enjoy!

Firstly: what is crochet?

Wikipedia defines it as “… a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word “crochet”, meaning hook.Aha, spot on!

I learnt to crochet about 2 years ago and since then have been trying everything under the guise of crochet ever since. Luckily my mother had crocheted as well, and I could use all of her items and tools for the first few months and inherit her wool! Yay for creative moms! My inspiration comes from lovely textures, geometric patterns, and lots of colour! And many hours searching on google 🙂

But to let you peek into my world, I have one special little guy whom I not only crocheted, but has already been winding up a storm with all his antics!

Mike the Minion!

I crocheted Mike using a great pattern created by Marissa Givens (http://thecraftycrocheter.blogspot.com/2013/07/despicable-me-minion-pattern-free.html). I’ve modified the pattern a bit and it took quite a while to put Mike together with all the sewing and stitching, but he turned out amazing!

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Over the next few weeks I’ll be making The Minion Documentaries to show you what Mike’s antics entail! I’ll also post about projects I am currently busy with or have completed. Feel free to share ideas for future posts!

Not only did Mike the Minion enjoy putting up the Christmas tree in December recently…

Xmas  Lights

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… he is quite the baker too!

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Yummy gingerbread cookies!

Stay tuned for more episodes of The Minion Documentaries and a showcase of all the crochet things I’ve been up to!

**And if you can’t get enough of the Despicable Me Minions, here’s the Banana song video link** 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCkerYMffMo