Tuesday 22 November 2016

Crochet Bauble - Free Pattern

I've become hooked on crocheting Christmas baubles!

These are so much fun to make!  As soon as I finish one I want to try another in a new colour combination!

There are a lot of these springing up on the blogs and Instagram - these and these got me the most inspired to give it a go myself!  I thought I'd give you the pattern I came up with for mine.  Nothing particularly ground-breaking and I'm sure there are lots of similar bauble patterns out there, but here goes...

You will need:
- 7cm diameter polystyrene balls (mine were ordered from ebay and they actually seem to be 7.5cm in diameter when I measure them)
- DK yarn in colours of your choice
- Gold or silver yarn - I used Anchor Artiste Metallic yarn from Hobbycraft in gold and silver
- (If you want added sparkle, a couple of my baubles used Anchor Artiste Metallic yarn in red)

Tension and Bauble Size
Everyone has different crochet tensions (I'm quite a tight crocheter) and the polystyrene ball sizes can vary, so it's important to try your crochet on your ball as you go, to check it seems to be creating a snug fit.  Nobody wants a baggy bauble!  If it seems to be too loose, then adjust the pattern accordingly - maybe get rid of the chain spaces between clusters of stitches.  You might also find you need to do one less row if it seems to be too big.  You want to have to pull the two halves to get them to meet for sewing together so that it creates a nice tight fit.

tr: treble crochet (UK)
dc: double crochet (US)
htr: half treble crochet (UK)
hdc: half double crochet (US)
ch: chain
st: stitch

To make the standard bauble with only one silver or gold metallic:

Note - I start each row with a standing crochet stitch and I end each row with an invisible join.  However, you can start each row with chains to count as the first stitch and end with a slip stitch if you prefer.

Rnd 1: 12 tr (dc US) into magic ring (12 st)
Rnd 2: [In silver or gold] htr (hdc US) ch 1 into gaps between stitches of previous row (12 st 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 3: 2 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 2 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 4: 3 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 5: [In silver or gold] 3 tr (dc US) ch 2 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 2 spaces)
Rnd 6: 3 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 2 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 7: 3 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)
Rnd 8: 3 tr (dc US) ch 1 into ch 1 spaces of previous row (12 groups of 3 tr, 12 ch 1 spaces)

Make this twice, place over your bauble and sew together in silver or gold.

To sew the two halves together, I lined up the last row on each side so that the middle of the cluster of three tr (dc US) on one side lined up with the ch 1 on the other side as you can see above.  I used metallic yarn to sew through the outer loop of the top of each crochet stitch of the final row on both sides, which creates a slanted stitch around the bauble.  I then reversed and sewed back round, giving an oppositely slanted stitch, hence making the metallic crosses you can see.  It sounds a lot more complicated than it is - with crochet stitches being what they are, by sewing through the loops and matching up on both halves, this naturally happens by itself.  Leave enough yarn at the start and end of the stitching to tie into a hanging loop for your bauble.

To make the more sparkly bauble with additional metallic yarn:

These follow the same pattern, and rounds 2 and 5 (the silver/gold rounds in the above pattern) are left as they are, with metallic yarn.

As the metallic yarn is thinner than standard DK, if you change any of the other rounds to metallic then this was my method:

2 tr (dc US) becomes 3 tr (dc US)
3 tr (dc US) becomes 5 tr (dc US)

I haven't tried the initial round in metallic, but I would keep that the same, with 12 stitches into the magic ring.

Everything else remains the same.  I also like to end each half with a non-metallic yarn, as I think it give a more stable final round to grip around the polystyrene ball and to sew together.  It would probably be fine with metallic too, really, but I've not tried it.

You don't need to follow this pattern rigidly, though - this is just what I did to make mine.  There are so many ways to do it, try different ideas and see what happens!

If you do use this pattern, please let me know as I'd love to see what you made!

Check out my crochet items here and my other patterns and tutorials here.

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Thursday 17 November 2016

Crochet Snowflakes

I've been well into the Christmassy and wintery crafting lately!  I've been a bit slow at getting items finished and on the blog - but on Instagram (@dinki_dots) you can see more frequent snaps of what I've been working on.

A friend of my Mum's gave her some very thin crochet cotton to pass on to me, as she knows I crochet.  It is a size 20 - which is sooo very thin!  I wasn't sure what to make at first, as I usually crochet with DK at the thinnest, so this was a big change.  Then it hit me... a couple of the colours would be perfect for delicate icy snowflakes!

My lovely friend Anna had previously given me the book 100 Snowflakes to Crochet* by Caitlin Sainio, and I thought that I'd have a go at a few designs from the book. (*affiliate link)

I think the delicate thread and these colours works really well for snowflakes.  I'm planning to make more and turn them into a pretty snowfall along the lines of this beautiful one!

I used a 2.5mm hook for these.  The thin thread calls for even smaller, but I found it far too tricky!  I'm a tight crocheter anyway, so I think this does the job.

They come out quite crinkly when first made, so this is one project that definitely needs blocking.  Blocking transforms them.  Here is a snap from my Instagram which shows how one of the snowflakes looked before blocking.

A photo posted by Maria (@dinki_dots) on

Once blocked I also sprayed hairspray on the snowflakes to give them a bit of firmness and stability.  As the cotton is very thin and delicate it doesn't take much.  With thicker yarn, perhaps other more robust methods might be better.

These are the patterns I've used from the book, in case it is of any use:

18: Ice Flower

17: Kossava

6: Polar Glacier

I'd better get a move on and make more if I want my snowfall before winter is over!

Check out my other crochet projects here.

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