Holiday Crochet, is there such a thing?!
Crochet is wonderfully portable and is great for shoving in your bag and taking anywhere. I’ve crocheted in all sorts of places; on the train, at the park, at kids’ parties, on the beach and even in the bath!
When there’s talk of a holiday away or days out I get super excited and start planning what project I’m going to take. Its priority over everything wouldn’t you agree? Unless you’re working on a huge family blanket or large scale piece most crochet projects can be picked up and put down anywhere.
This bank holiday weekend we’re heading to the seaside for a camping trip with friends. Since having children we have only holidayed in the UK, the thought of taking two small children on an aeroplane just freaks me out. I think they’re almost at an age where we could manage a flight and sun filled holiday but for now I cherish the road trip experience and ground I’m familiar with. You can’t beat a great British holiday with young children in my opinion. What kind of holiday do you prefer? Does travelling with young children cause you anxiety overload too?! Please let me know in the comments.
I love an excuse not to drive as well, I’d much prefer to crochet instead. If I had the choice of driving for 2+ hours or sitting on a train, which would probably take longer, and crocheting instead I know what I would choose. How about you? I’m so lucky that my husband takes the lead with our driving. Whenever we go on a day trip or holiday anywhere, he drives, standard. It’s not something we’ve talked about it just happens that way. This suits me fine, some of my most productive crochet sessions have been whilst as a passenger in the car. Fingers crossed I’ve not just jinxed things and he makes me drive next time!
Crochet at home or away
Do you prefer to crochet at home in your favourite chair or do you enjoy to crochet on the go?! Perhaps you’re new to crochet and have only crocheted from your comfort zone but would like to take your hook out into the world and crochet in public. I have put together a list of portable crochet projects that I think are ideal for a road trip or whilst on the move.
Before you get started here’s my top three tips for crocheting on the go
My Top Ten Crochet Travel Projects
Small projects or projects that are made of small parts are most definitely the best types of projects to work on whilst travelling, here are my top ten road trip projects. [Click on the image to be taken to the pattern]
> Crochet Scrubbies / Crochet Soap Bags
Crochet scrubbies and soap bags are environmentally friendly and a great stash buster. Make flat pads for removing make up and applying cleansers, go crazy textured and create shower scrubbies or crochet a cute little soap saver to house your favourite soap.
> Crochet Pot Holder
I love a good pot holder, the're super useful and are a great way to add a splash of texture and colour to your kitchen. I have a simple treble crochet, double layered, dishcloth cotton one I made years ago in my kitchen and it still looks and performs as well as it did the day I made it. Here's a few fancier ones I've got my eye on making.
> Crochet Jewellery / Crochet Accessories
If you have ever met me before you will know I almost always have a crocheted necklace around my neck. I'm not one for delicate either, the bigger and bolder the better. Most of my necklaces were made by the wonderful Rhea Clements who runs Handmade Nottingham and are made from t-shirt yarn. I've made a couple for myself too but I'm excited by the mustard beaut below so may just have to make myself a new new.
> Crochet Granny Square Blanket
We all know how versatile the granny square is, from the humble granny original to a fancy pants cactus one, creating squares make fabulous travel crochet. My last big travel project was my Porthminster Cardigan, made up of traditional granny squares, its a statement piece that took over a year to make and spent a lot of time in the car and at the beach.
> Small Amgurumi
Amigurumi is my all time favourite. I tend to make all the body parts whilst travelling and then stuff and join together when I'm home. Its such a satisfying feeling when it all comes together. Most amigurumi is made up of small parts so they're ideal projects for transporting and working on whilst out and about.
> Crochet Garland / Crochet Bunting
Crochet bunting and garlands make great gifts and are another wonderful stash buster. I crocheted bunting for my wedding table and have made lots for new babies in my time. The possibilities are endless as well. Bunting doesn't just have to be made from triangles now does it?! Look at these beauts.
> Crochet Doilies
Doilies can often be overlooked and catagorised as being old fashioned. Not in my house. I love to make brightly coloured ones and use all sorts of yarn types. Doilies don't just have to be used to sit under a plant pot either, why not supersize and make a giant rug, or attach to the front of cushion or as part of a garland.
> Crochet Phone Case
There are soooo many different ways to crochet a phone cover, it was hard to choose just three. Most of these patterns can be adapted and applied to tablet covers or laptop covers too. I love a good rainbow but just look at that unicorn!
> Crochet Flowers / Crochet Applique
Oh my word, look at those feathers! Flowers and appliques make lovely additions to clothing, attached to a key ring or like these adorable feathers used as bookmarks. How would you use crocheted appliques?
> Crochet Hat / Crochet Ear Warmer
Everyone needs a hat and there are so many different types to choose from. The summer holidays are a great time to prepare for the colder months. You don't want cold ears when the cool weather creeps in. I'm never that organised mind you but perhaps, after creating this blog I'll be inspired to get ahead and make our winter hats rather than panic make when they're needed.
Here’s just a few of the possible projects you could have a go at whilst out and about on your travels. I hope you enjoy the examples I have found as much as I did searching the web for them. Let me know what your go to favourite travel project is. Im always looking for inspiration. Where’s the most interesting place you’ve crocheted? As you can imagine, crocheting in the bath wasn't that successful but at least I can say I tried it! One more question, because I'm a nosy parker. If you could travel anywhere right now where would it be?
I started the year with a huge to do list of good intentions but its bloomin Easter already and I'm lagging behind. I absolutely love being organised and planning but I just can't seem to get my patterns completed at the right time! I'm currently working up two gorgeous bunnies to complement my amigurumi range over in the Esty shop but they are in no way ready to launch... oh, did I mention its Easter this weekend! Doh! Oh well, they will be available at some point during spring at the very least.
Anywho, so not to totally miss out on the Easter making frenzy I thought I would share a pattern a designed a couple of years ago for a workshop. This cute little bunny pattern is a great next step project for beginners as it is super quick to make, using just a couple of increases and decreases.
I have written the pattern out, starting from the top of the head and closing at the bottom to create a flat base which will form a small toy that stands freely (...in theory!) But for the chocolate lovers out there, why not finish at round 19 and pop a cream egg in the middle instead? This makes a great gift idea and come on, who doesn't love a chocolate filled bunny?! I know I do, but I'd fill mine with a caramel egg instead. Don't get me started on the 'cream egg is not a cream egg as I know it' fiasco!
Ooh and lastly - Have you heard? I will be once again heading over to the fabulous Knit Nottingham this June and teaching an Amigurumi Workshop. We'll be working up this pattern as well as other super cute animals. To find out more or to book your place (if there is any left) click here!
For those that just can't wait, here's the pattern... enjoy!
Materials and Equipment
Slst: Slip Stitch
Dc: Double crochet
Dc2tog: Double crochet two together
Approx. 10cm x 4cm
BUNNY | Pattern Starts...
Using your coloured yarn work in rounds as follows:
Rnd 1: Ch 2, work 6 dc into second ch from the hook. 
Rnd 2: Work 2 dc into each st around. 
Rnd 3: Work dc into each st around. 
Rnd 4: 2 dc into first st, dc into next st, *2 dc in next st, dc into next st, repeat from * around. 
Rnd 5: Work dc into each st around. 
Rnd 6: 2 dc into first st, dc into next 2 sts, *2 dc in next st, dc into next 2 sts, repeat from * around. 
Rnd 7-19: Work dc into each st around. 
Sew up the centre of the ring to close the hole. Add toy stuffing then continue crocheting as follows:
Rnd 20: With right side facing you, work into back loop only as follows: *dc2tog, dc in next 2 sts repeat from * around. 
Rnd 21: *Dc2tog, dc in next st repeat from * around. 
Rnd 22: *Dc2tog, repeat from * around.  Fasten off and sew up to close hole.
Using white yarn make two cheeks as follows:
Rnd 1: Ch 2, work 6 dc into second ch from the hook. Join with a slst to form a ring.  Fasten off leaving a yarn tail about 15cm long. Repeat for the second cheek.
Sew up centre of each circle and attach cheeks into position onto the front of the body. Using black thread stitch two eyes and a nose to finish the face.
Make two coloured and two white ears as follows:
Rnd 1: Ch 4, dc into second ch from hook and across.  Turn.
Rnd 2-8: Ch 1, dc across.  Fasten off. Repeat for other ear panels.
Place one white ear panel on top of one coloured ear panel (wrong sides facing). Dc around the two long edges and one short edge. Fasten off leaving a yarn tail about 20cm long. Repeat with the other ear. Sew in ends and attach to the top of the head.
Using white yarn make a mini pom pom as follows:
Wrap yarn around the end of two fingers several times, with a separate length of yarn wrap between your fingers, pull tight and knot to bunch yarn together. Remove from your fingers, trim the loop ends and roll between your palms. Trim off any straggly ends and attach your cute little pom pom tail to the bottom back of the body. Voila, your super cute crochet Easter Bunny is complete.
Have a Hoppy Easter my lovelies.
I have always been a little bit in love with doilies. I inherited a few from my granny when I moved out of my parents house to live with my boyfriend, now husband - Mr Towriess some eleven years ago! Some might say they are a little old fashioned but I don't care, they're pretty. I have at least one doily in every room of my house. They are mainly neutral colours and used underneath candles and pictures but I do have a few bold coloured ones in the kids bedroom and at my work desk which I have made myself over the years.
There are so many vintage patterns that, when created using modern yarns and colours, look amazing and so current. I could spend a whole year just experimenting with the handful of doily books and magazines my granny gave me and different yarns and colour combinations! I obviously haven't (yet!!) and wont anytime soon but my love for these beautiful pieces of crochet is what sparked the idea of a project I am super excited about. Joining Lines is a community project I am hosting this spring/summer 2018 and the reason I designed my Unity Doily. Find out more about my Joining Lines project here.
Whether you're planning on getting involved in my Joining Lines project or are simply keen to crochet a doily, I hope you enjoy following this pattern and adore the end result in your home for years to come.
Materials and Equipment
Slst: Slip stitch
Dc: Double crochet
Htr: Half treble crochet
Tr: Treble crochet
Dtr: Double treble crochet
Approx. 24cm x 24cm
UNITY DOILY | Pattern Starts...
Work in rounds as follows:
Ch 6, join with a slst to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as tr), work into the ring as follows, tr, ch 2, *2 tr, ch 2, repeat from * 3 more time, join with slst into top of beg ch 3.
Rnd 2: Ch 6, slst between 2 tr to form a loop, * ch 3, slst between nx 2 tr, ch 6, slst between same 2 tr, repeat from * 3 more times, ch 3, slst to base of beg ch 6.
Rnd 3: Ch 3, slst into top of ch 6 of previous rw, * tr into ch 3 sp, ch 5, tr into same ch 3 sp, slst into nx ch 6 sp, repeat from * 3 more times, tr into nx ch 3 sp, ch 5, slst into top of beg ch 3.
Rnd 4: Ch 3, skip 2 st below, tr into top of tr below, * ch 9, skip 5 ch sp, tr into nx tr, skip 2 st, tr into nx tr, repeat from *3 more times, ch 9, skip 5 ch sp, slst to top of beg ch 3.
Rnd 5: Ch 9, work tr, ch 2, tr, ch 2, tr into ch 9 sp, ch 6, tr into 2 tr sp below, * ch 6, work tr, ch 2, tr, ch 2 tr into ch 9 sp, ch 6, tr into 2 tr sp below, repeat from * 2 more times, ch 6, work tr, ch 2, tr, ch 2 tr into ch 9 sp, ch 6, slst to top of beg ch 3.
Rnd 6: Ch 1 * 6 tr into ch 6 sp, slst into 2 ch sp, ch 4, slst into nx 2 ch sp, 6 tr into nx ch 6 sp, ch 1 repeat from * 4 more times, slst to beg tr.
Rnd 7: Ch 5, (counts as tr plus ch 2) tr into ch 1 sp below, ch 2, tr into same ch 1 sp below, * ch 10, skip 6 tr below, dc into ch 4 sp, ch 10, skip 6 tr below, working into ch 1 sp, tr, ch 2, tr, ch 2, tr, repeat from * 3 more times, ch 10, skip 6 tr below, dc into ch 4 sp, ch 10, skip 6 tr below, slst into top of beg ch 3.
Rnd 8: *2 dc into first ch 2 sp, 2 dc into nx ch 2 sp, work 2 dc, 2 htr, 2 tr, picot, 2 tr, 2 htr, 2 dc into first ch 10 sp, then work 2 dc, 2 htr, 2 tr, picot, 2 tr, 2 htr, 2 dc into nx ch 10 sp, repeat from * 4 more times, slst to beg dc.
[Picot : Ch 3, slst into second ch from hook.]
Fasten off and sew in ends.
I would always recommend blocking your work when creating doilies. There are many different ways to block crochet, if you're unsure YouTube has oodles of videos to guide you through the process. My preferred method of blocking is to wet block and here's what I do:
Once you have completed your piece and have sewn in all your ends, spray both sides of your doily with water, making sure that everywhere is completely wet. Now lay your doily flat on your blocking mat with the right side facing up. I don't think it's too important that the right side is facing up but I always do so I can make sure it's looking its best.
Start pinning each point evenly spaced apart. Adjust were necessary until you are happy that your doily is pinned into a nice shape and all stitches are stretched flat. If needed, spray the surface again to make sure there is an even coverage of water. Now leave to dry. Drying times may vary depending on the piece your blocking, room temperature etc. I often block in the evening and then leave to dry over night.
Once dry, remove the pins and voila, your doily is ready to use.
Hi, I'm April.
Crochet designer and tutor based in Nottingham.