Totally Tropical

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We all need a bit of colourful whimsy during these warm summer days, and my tropical Bunting certainly fits the bill.  I was completely self indulgent with this design, I just made exactly what I would love to have hanging in my garden. I just need to persuade Mr T to organise a summer party, so we can fill the garden with colour, friends and laughter.

You can find the pattern in Issue 103 of Inside Crochet Magazine, and there are plenty more gorgeous photos on Ravelry. I’m thrilled with the styling (thank you Kath and Claire) and the photography (thankyou Kirsten Mavric). The yarn is Scheepjes Catona, which was perfect for this. The palette is full of vibrant, tropical shades and it’s so smooth to crochet with. I’m toying with the idea of making table weights using the watermelon and cherries from this pattern, would that be too much do you think???

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THis issue is still on sale, and it’s filled with bright, fun projects for summer. Look out for it in your news agent, or buy the digital version here.

Buntings and Garlands (free patterns)

crochet paper chains 2I do love the summer, a chance to spend time in the garden with friends and families. I often decorate the garden with crochet bunting, especially for celebrations such as birthdays, weddings and christenings. I counted up, over the years I’ve published over a dozen patterns for garlands, wall hangings and bunting and I’m sharing two of my favourites with you today. You’re welcome to make and sell items from these patterns, but as always a credit is nice – and don’t forget – I love to see photos of your makes. You can share them on facebook, instagram or twitter or link to the ravelry listing for these patterns here.

bunting triangles 1Both are suitable for beginners (in fact the “Paper Chains” pattern used to be standard in my learn to crochet class). The triangle bunting is made using simple decreases and is great fun to embellish. It’s shown here with cute little felt balls, but you can add buttons, pom poms or even embroidery to make yours really special.

For some reason, July always makes me think of red, white and blue, probably reminiscent of 4th July parades or visits to French towns in the run up to 14th July. Whatever the occasion, these simple patterns look great in any colour and any yarn.  My preference is always for wool or cotton, raid your stash and make pretty multi coloured bunting or chose several tones of the same colour for an ombre style.  You can find the patterns below.

Happy crafting!

Paper Chains

crochet paper chainsThese also look great at Christmas or in shades of pink for a little girl’s room. No tension is given, make the first chain and if you prefer a tighter or looser fabric, adjust your hook size accordingly. The yarn used here is Rowan wool dk and I used a 3.5mm hook. Pattern is written in standard UK crochet terms. 1 ch at beginning of rows does not count as a stitch.

Make the first chain link:

Make 25 ch

Row 1: 1 dc in second ch from hook, 1 dc in each ch to end, turn. (24 dc)

Row 2: 1 ch, 1 dc in each dc to end, turn.

Rows 3 – 6: As Row 2.

Fold chain link in half and join side seam using dc (or if you prefer, fasten off yarn and sew side seam). Turn chain link “inside out” so seam is on the inside.

Second and following chain links:

Follow pattern above until the end of Row 6, slip the fabric around the previous chain link and join the side seam as before.

joinng paper chains first Fasten off yarn. Continue to make and join more chain links in the same way.

joining paper chains 1

joining paper chains 2Basic triangle bunting

This is just about the simplest crochet triangle you can make. No tension is given, make the first triangle, and if you prefer a tighter or looser fabric, adjust your hook size accordingly. The yarn used here is Rowan wool dk and I used a 3.5mm hook. Pattern is written in standard UK crochet terms. 1 ch at beginning of rows does not count as a stitch. bunting triangles 5

Make 16 ch

Row 1: 1 dc in second ch from hk, 1 dc in each ch to end, turn. (15 dc)

Row 2: 1 ch, dc2tog, dc to end, turn. (14 dc)

Rows 3 – 14: As Row 2

Row 15: 1ch, dc2tog.

Fasten off yarn weave in ends.

Edging:

You can edge each triangle in the same or a contrasting colour. Join yarn to top right edge  of triangle, 1 dc in each dc to end of row, 1 ch to turn, 1 dc in each row end to base, 1 ch to turn, 1 dc in each row end to start. fasten off yarn.

Joining:

Make 20 ch in chosen colour, pick up first triangle, 1 dc in each dc along top edge, 15 ch, pick up second triangle, 1 dc in each dc along top edge. Continue until all triangles have been joined. Work second and subsequent rows in dc or trebles as you wish. Decorate hanging loop with ribbons or surface crochet (pictured here in blue).

Embellish your bunting as you wish and most importantly have fun.

These triangles are great fun for kids of all ages – minor imperfections are easily disguised and decorating  to suit your own taste is half the fun!

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