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Crocheting against food waste October 05 2015

Feeding the 5000 Brighton

On October 29th something very special is happening in Brighton. 

Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton

Feeding the 5000 is a project that aims to raise awareness of food waste by intercepting tonnes of food destined for the bins and transforming it into delicious meals for 5000 people. 

The event is being organised by some of my favourite local organisations including Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, Fareshare Brighton, the Food Waste Collective, Real Junk Food Project

The food will all be free and the event will take place on Thursday October 29th between 11am - 3pm on The Level in Brighton. 

Volunteers have been recruited for the day itself and in the run up. Me and Gabriella of Mangia Bene blog have signed up for Disco soup - we will be helping prepare the meals the night before with a bunch of other volunteers to the sounds of disco music! We can't wait. 

Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton

Another way I've been able to help is with the decoration for the big day. The Feeding the 5000 crew are planning to decorate the food tent with a hundred knitted and crocheted vegetables and have organised a number of crafternoons for people who would ike to get involved. I went to one last Thursday at The Marwood and met some lovely people, and we all sat around creating some woolly wonky veg. 

Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton        Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton

Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton        Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton

Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton        Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton

Keep an eye on the Crooked Carrot Craftathon facebook page for the next event, and I might see you there. In the meantime I'll be making as many of our crochet pumpkins as I can. They're super easy to make and take about an hour each so I'm hoping to get a few dozen made in time for the event to go with all the other gorgeous veg that's being created! 

Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton

Here is the pattern:  

  • Row 1: In pumpkin colour, cast on 19 stitches,
  • Row 2: sc into the 2nd stitch from the end, sc 4 more times, then hdc for 8, then finally 5 sc to the end of the row. 18 stitches 
  • Row 3: Ch1, 5 sc into the back of the stitch from previous row, 8 hdc, 5 sc. These should all have been into the back of the last row’s stitches.  18 stitches.
  • Rows 4 – 30: carry on as row 3. Only stitching into the back of the last row of stitches. You will create a long rectangle of crochet which bulges around the middle. 
  • Fold the piece in half and crochet the two ends together using sc into each of the 18 stitches. Pull the final stitch through and leave about a metre of yarn for finishing off.
  • With a needle, thread in and out of the edges to gather up the sides, pull tight to close the hole and stitch to fasten, tying it to the tail at the beginning of the work if this helps. Turn the pumpkin inside out and stuff. Take the needle through to the opposite end of the pumpkin and again, thread the yarn around the top to gather the sides and close the pumpkin. 
  • Take your remaining yarn around the outside and back through the core to create some texture to the pumpkin and make it bulge out a bit. You normally need to do this around 6 or 7 times to get the shape right. Tighten them as much as you need to and try to space them a bit randomly. Fasten off.

And for the stalk:

  • Row 1: Cast on 7 stitches
  • Row 2: sc into the 2nd stitch from the end. Sc into next 5 stitches. 6 stitches
  • Row 3-6: ch 1, 6 sc
  • Fold in half and stitch the two ends together.
  • Then chain 20 stitches and sc all the way back, this will create a natural twist, which is what pumpkin stalks do! End with a slip into the stalk. 
  • The next bit is slightly more freestyle, you’re going to stitch around the bottom of the stalk as if you are making a crochet flower. So dbl crochet into the spot that you’ve chained from and then dbl again into the same space, then slip stitch into the space as well, finally select your next space and begin with a slip into that space. You need to do this 4 more times selecting different spaces to work into all around the bottom of the sort of tube you’ve just made. It’s not easy to work out where to place them so use your judgement to space them out. Once you’re back at the beginning it should look something like this.

  • Fasten off and sew top ends in but leave a tail of yarn which you can use to sew onto the top of the pumpkin. Once your stalk is attached, leave a last bit of yarn free and separate the threads out, twisting them around the crochet hook a few times until they become what looks like curly tendrils for a lifelike effect!

Crochet veg Feeding 5K Brighton

Can you help? If you can't make it to one of the crafternoons you could always drop your knitted veg to the Food Partnership offices or leave it with me and I'll deliver it for you. 

 

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Crochet Pompom Garland December 10 2013

After spending most of November impatiently waiting for the month to end I was super excited when December rolled around. Time to start listening to festive music and get to work on the Christmas crafting. 

Now the month is racing by, and with just 2 weeks until the big day, if you’re anything like me you haven’t quite got all the projects finished that you had planned. But there’s still time to get all your lovely What You Sow presents delivered and I’ve got a handy idea for a super quick 20 minute craft project that you can use to decorate just about anything this Christmas; your home, your tree, your presents.

The project comes from my addiction to pompoms combined with my love of the puff stitch. Plus, the fact that the wonderful pompom ribbon in the craft shops never seem to come in the right colours. 

Allow me to introduce: the crochet pompom garland. 

You will need:

Yarn of your choice ( I have used Sirdar Baby Bamboo in a selection of colours - I love it for its bold colour and sheen)

Size 4 metal crochet hook (don’t risk a wooden hook, it will snap)

Chain 10, then join with a sl st to the first stitch to make a loop. 

*Ch 7

Now for your first puff stitch which you’ll work into the second stitch from the hook. 

yo, insert hook into second stitch from hook, yo, pull strand through, do the same 4 more times, then yo and pull the yarn through all 11 loops on the hook. Sl st to close, then sl st into the stitch on the chain just before the one you’ve been working into. 

Pull tight. *

Carry on as ** until garland is the desired length.

Chain 15 then join with a sl st to 10th stitch from hook to create a loop.

Make more in the rest of your favourite colours and if you’re getting your craft on, why not try the air dry clay Pinecone decoration too?

Hang around your home and then pop Mariah on the stereo. You’ve earned it!

 

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Crochet Cotton Pads April 10 2013

Hello and welcome to What You Sow, here is the pattern for the Crochet Cotton Pads I originally shared on the Moral Fibres blog...feel free to share the pattern, make them, sell them... spread the word and get as many people using these as possible. If you crocheting isn't your thing, we also sell them in our shop and on Etsy

Let's reduce the amount of cotton pads we send to landfill!

 

You will need a size 4 crochet hook and some cotton yarn of your chioce. My favourites are Sirdar Simply Recycled and Rowan Purelife which both come in some lovely colours. You need about 8m of yarn.  

 

Ch4, then join with a sl st to the first stitch. 

Row 1: Ch 1, *puff st (yo, insert hook into stitch, pull strand through, do the same 4 more times then pull your yarn through all 11 loops on the hook, close the puff with a chain), ch 1*, repeat * 7 more times then join with a sl st to the top of the first puff stitch and move with a sl st into the gap between the first & second puff. 8 puff st. 

Row 2: Ch 1, 2 puff st into first gap, then 2 puff st into each gap all the way round. Note that you don’t chain betweenthe stitches like you did on the first row. Once you have 16 puff st, join with a sl st to the first puff stitch. 16 puff st. 

Sew in the ends and there you have your finished cotton pad. Make a bundle of them and store them in your bathroom ready to use at bed time!

If you don’t want to crochet them yourself, you can buy a pack of 5 Makeup remover pads from the What You Sow shop or if you live outside of the UK, you can find them on Etsy too. 

If you like this idea, please feel free to share the pattern and the images by reblogging or using on your own blog. In return, I’d just ask for a link back to this site somewhere in your post! 

Enjoy!

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Cotton Pot Holder with a flower March 06 2013

I love crocheting things for around the house. If I could cover all my upholstery in merino wool, I would, but luckily I don’t have the time to get too carried away. 

Instead, I satisfy my crochetlust by making small things. Hearts and flowers to hang all over the place and more recently, I’ve been obsessively making blankets. Not big bedspreads. Just little blankets, for knees. 

These pot holders are a quick project, look fab and make an amazing gift as they are so useful. You can hold hot pots with them, use them to prevent hot dishes from burning the table and add a rustic, home-made look to the kitchen. 

They take under 2 hours to make and once you have made one you will want to make lots more. 

You will need 2 colours of cotton yarn and a 3.5 or 4 mm hook. 

The craftsters at the Yarn & Craft shop are offering 10% off all cotton yarn this week so check out their very lovely range for colour ideas.

 

Start by making the flower in your bright colour.

Ch 6, join with ss to first ch to make a loop. 

Row 1: Ch 1, 7 sc into the hole, ss into first stitch. 8 stitches

Row 2: Ch 2, 1 dc into same stitch, *ch1, 2 dc into one stitch* 7 times, ch 1 then join with ss to first chain. 8 groups of 2 dc. 

Change to White

Row 3: Make into a granny square by stitching into the gaps between each group of 2 petals: (1st gap)Ch 2, 2dc into first gap, ch1, (2nd gap) 3dc into next gap, ch 1, (3rd gap) 3 dc into next gap, ch 2 (corner), 3 dc into same gap, ch 1, (4th gap) 3dc, ch 1, (5th gap) 3 dc, ch 2 (corner), 3 dc into same gap, ch 1, (6th gap) 3dc, ch 1, (7th gap) 3 dc, ch 2 (corner), 3dc into same gap, ch 1, (8th gap) 3 dc, ch 1 (1st gap)3 dc into the gap you started with, ch 2 then join to top of first cluster of three. This means that you finish in the corner.

Row 4: Ch 1, then sc all the way around, putting 3 sc into each of the corner stitches.   

Now to start just stitching 2 sides to build up the rest of the holder.

Row 5: In the same anti clockwise direction, stitch into the back of each of the first side of stitches (12 stitches), then 3sc into the corner stitch to turn the right angle, then 12 sc into the back of the next side of stitches. 

Row 6: Turn piece over, ch 1, then stitch into the back 13 stitches until you reach the corner, 3 sc into corner stitch then another 13 stitches to the end. 

You will probably need a stitch marker or piece of contrasting yarn to tell you which is the middle stitch. It’s harder to make out than it sounds, especially if you’re good at losing count like me.  

Rows 7 - 22, carry on until your piece measures around 15 cm. Crocheting into the back of each stitch gives you the lovely rib effect. 

And stitching 3 times into the corner stitch not only increases your piece, but gives you the wonderful right angle diagonally through your piece. 

Final row: Once you’re done with the white, switch back to your colour and hdc all the way around the edge. When you reach the corner with the flower, stop and chain 30 then carry on. This will give you a loop to hang the pot holder by. Tie a little knot to neaten it up. 

Once you have stitched all the way around, fasten off and sew in your ends. 

Then make some more in your favourite colours and give them to all your friends and your friends’ mums!

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Three ways with a crochet heart January 27 2013

I’ve had the crochet hooks out and have developed a DIY crochet heart that can be used in a number of ways around the house. 

  1. Fill with dried lavender for lavender sachets
  2. Insert a sandalwood ball and keep moths away from your wardrobe
  3. Insert a wooden skewer into the back and use as a plant decoration or an addition to a bouquet. 

The hearts take about half an hour each to make and can be used as lavender sachets, as sandalwood wardrobe hangers or as a decoration for your plant pots. 

Use a small hook and DK yarn of your choice. A 2.5 mm hook measures approx 6.5 cm height and width, and a 3.5 mm hook will measure approx 8cm. At the end of each row you will turn the piece. 

Here goes, you’re starting at the bottom of the heart:

Row 1: Start by chaining 1

Row 2: Ch 1 for height, then 3 sc into the one stitch from Row 1

Row 3: Ch 1, 3sc

Row 4: Ch1, 2sc into first stitch, 1 sc, 2 sc into last stitch (5 stitches)

Row 5: Ch 1, 2sc into first stitch, 3 sc, 2 sc into last stitch (7 stitches)

Row 6: Ch 1, 7sc

Row 7: Ch1, 2sc into first stitch, 5 sc, 2 sc into last stitch (9 stitches)

Row 8: Ch 1, 2sc into first stitch, 7 sc, 2 sc into last stitch (11 stitches)

Row 9: Ch 1, 11sc

Row 10: Ch 1, 2sc into first stitch, 9 sc, 2 sc into last stitch (13 stitches)

Row 11: Ch 1, 13sc

Row 12: Ch 1, 13sc

Row 13: Ch1 , 6 sc

Row 14: Ch 1, decrease by sc in first 2, 4sc

Row 15:  Ch 1, decrease by sc in first 2, 3sc

Row 16:  Ch1, decrease by sc in first 2, 2sc

Cast off

Start again on row 13 at the other edge  of the of the heart

Row 13: Ch1, 6 sc

Row 14: Ch1, decrease by sc in first 2, 4sc

Row 15:  Ch1 , decrease by sc in first 2, 3sc

Row 16:  Ch1 , decrease by sc in first 2, 2sc

Cast off. 

make another one of these. 

When they're both done, sew in the threads and begin to sc the two pieces together around the edges, filling as you go with you stuffing, or lavender or sandalwood balls. 

Once you have stitched all the way around, you're almost done! Add a chain to hang the heart in your wardrobe or attach to a wooden skewer and insert into your plant pot.

A very pretty gift for a special friend. 

L.O.V.E.


Crochet Pumpkin DIY October 17 2012

For three years now, my sage plant has been quietly thriving. As the seasons changed, other plants came and went, but the sage bush just sat there, calmly and slowly getting bigger and bigger. It has now reached what I would describe as “enormous”.

So what should I do with so much sage? In Germany it’s used a lot for its medicinal properties, so I have taken to drying it and making it into teabags. Very simple to make, just dry the leaves for a few weeks until they’re crispy then crush and use one teaspoon per bag/cup. The most wonderful remedy for sore throats. Add some lemon balm or peel if you can’t deal with drinking what tastes quite like liquid stuffing.

Niki Segnit’s Flavour Thesaurus helped to some extent. Sage has one hell of a scent, so needs to be paired with some strong contenders to avoid it overpowering; bacon, chicken, apple and onion all work well. The book suggests combining sage with tomato to make the wonderful fagioli all’uccelletto, a delicious mix of cannellini beans, tomato and sage, or as an addition to the cheeseboard; dried and sprinkled over hard cheeses.

But the true companion to the sage is the pumpkin family. A butternut squash risotto is garnished perfectly by frying sage leaves in butter for a few minutes until they are practically black. And have you tried them on a pizza yet? Try it this week, for a perfect, autumny dinner.

I’ve tried these recipes and they are delicious, but they haven’t made a dent in my sage stocks.

So, all that remained was for me to get creative and make something pretty in celebration of my favourite season.

I came up with this wreath, combining sage (which will dry nicely and last for ages) with some tiny crochet pumpkins that are super easy to make and which you can use to decorate all manner of things this autumn.

They’re made by using the ribbing technique of crocheting into the back of the stitch only, and by increasing each piece around its midriff by using hdc to add some height.

You will need:

Your choice of yarn in pumpkin colour. Choose a cottony Double Knit.

Yarn in a shade of green for the stalk.

Here’s how you do it:

Row 1: In pumpkin colour, cast on 19 stitches,

Row 2: sc into the 2nd stitch from the end, sc 4 more times, then hdc for 8, then finally 5 sc to the end of the row. 18 stitches 

 

Row 3: Ch1, 5 sc into the back of the stitch from previous row, 8 hdc, 5 sc. These should all have been into the back of the last row’s stitches.  18 stitches.

Rows 4 – 30: carry on as row 3. Only stitching into the back of the last row of stitches. You will create a long rectangle of crochet which bulges around the middle. 

Fold the piece in half and crochet the two ends together using sc into each of the 18 stitches. Pull the final stitch through and leave about a metre of yarn for finishing off.

 

With a needle, thread in and out of the edges to gather up the sides, pull tight to close the hole and stitch to fasten, tying it to the tail at the beginning of the work if this helps. Turn the pumpkin inside out and stuff. Take the needle through to the opposite end of the pumpkin and again, thread the yarn around the top to gather the sides and close the pumpkin. 

 

Take your remaining yarn around the outside and back through the core to create some texture to the pumpkin and make it bulge out a bit. You normally need to do this around 6 or 7 times to get the shape right. Tighten them as much as you need to and try to space them a bit randomly. Fasten off.

The instructions for the stalk are as follows:

Row 1: Cast on 7 stitches

Row 2: sc into the 2nd stitch from the end. Sc into next 5 stitches. 6 stitches

Row 3-6: ch 1, 6 sc

Fold in half and stitch the two ends together.

Then chain 20 stitches and sc all the way back, this will create a natural twist, which is what pumpkin stalks do! End with a slip into the stalk. 

The next bit is slightly more freestyle, you’re going to stitch around the bottom of the stalk as if you are making a crochet flower. So dbl crochet into the spot that you’ve chained from and then dbl again into the same space, then slip stitch into the space as well, finally select your next space and begin with a slip into that space. You need to do this 4 more times selecting different spaces to work into all around the bottom of the sort of tube you’ve just made. It’s not easy to work out where to place them so use your judgement to space them out. Once you’re back at the beginning it should look something like this.

 

Fasten off and sew top ends in but leave a tail of yarn which you can use to sew onto the top of the pumpkin. Once your stalk is attached, leave a last bit of yarn free and separate the threads out, twisting them around the crochet hook a few times until they become what looks like curly tendrils for a lifelike effect!

 

For the wreath I found inspiration from Vic Brotherson’s Vintage Flowers. Either buy a wire frame, they only cost a couple of pounds, or make your own from gardening wire.

I made mine by creating two circles, one bigger than the other and attaching them with some more wire zigzagging in between. This will be quite a bit smaller than your finished wreath so don’t make it too big.

Begin to place your sage leaves into the frame, attaching with yarn to fasten as you go. Start in one place and layer the branches so that you keep covering the bottom of the previous branch with the new one. Be generous, it’s really not worth scrimping, and besides, what else would you be doing with all that sage anyway? Don’t worry that you can still see so much yarn. Insert some smaller pieces to cover it up at the end.

Once you have created a full-looking wreath you can carefully add the pumpkins. Work out where you are going to place them and use yarn and a needle to attach the pumpkins one by one to the wreath, wrapping them around the back. Finally, as a finishing touch, take some small sprigs of sage and poke them quite firmly into the wreath to cover up any intrusive pieces of yarn.

 

The great thing about this project is that you can create pumpkins in different shapes, sizes and colours so that no two look the same. Use different yarns and hook sizes. Instead of using the 5,8,5 formation you could try 4,7,4 with 24 rows or 3,6,3 with 20 rows. As long as you have hdc in the middle, your pumpkin will be the desired shape. Experiment with heights too, altering the number of rows to make your pumpkin taller or more squat. And you can create a pumpkin of more than one colour by trying 4 rows in one shade then switching to 2 rows in another. Or simply use a wraparound yarn in another colour instead.

Add some twine to the top of your wreath to hang and you’re done! A quick Autumn project that’s simple, useful and pretty too. 

If you do create some pumpkins of your own, be sure to drop us a line on our Facebook Page, we’d love to see your pictures!