Amy Fox

Writer. Editor. Feminist knitting designer.


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Crochet flower bunting for Spring

Crochet flower spring bunting 1

I love the spring. Winter always feels so long and gloomy, but when the sun finally arrives, everything starts to look better. I love daffodils, I love that it’s still light when you leave the office, I love being outside and sitting on grass.

So I’ve been making this bunting for months, crocheting the flowers whenever I didn’t feel like doing my main knitting projects. But it feels fitting that I finished it in the spring, and that it was the perfect length for the big, sunny windows of our new flat (annoyingly, not sunny when I took these photos).

Crochet spring flower bunting 2

This isn’t an original pattern, but more of a hybrid that I improvised and put together from lots of different places. It was mostly inspired by the beautiful fruity colours of Peter Pan DK (933, 934, 937 & 938). I’m usually a bit snobby about acrylic yarns, but this one has a lovely soft feel – and if there’s one thing acrylic does well, it’s colour.

So to make the daisies I used this gorgeous pattern from the Diva Stitches Crochet Blog. She has lots of really cute free flower patterns and you should definitely check them out. I used one colour for Round 1, and changed for Rounds 2 & 3 to create that pretty daisy effect.

And for the single-coloured flowers, I used this great video tutorial from Yarn Obsession. Again – neither flower pattern was my design, I just picked them out and threw them together. If you want to learn to crochet, I always find videos so much more helpful, and the Yarn Obsession channel is really good.

Once I’d made enough flowers (I made two daisies in each colour combination and three single-colour flowers each) I then crocheted them all together in white. My white stash is James C. Brett Shimmer DK and it has that extra thread effect which gives it a little texture, but a smooth white DK yarn would look just as good.

If you’re interested, I decided to try my hand at a photo tutorial for stringing the flowers together, which you can find below. It’s not really a pattern, because I wasn’t that precise – I wanted the flowers to be placed randomly with varying lengths so I didn’t count every time – but it’ll give you an idea. What I love about crochet is that you don’t always have to be as exact as you do in knitting – it’s great for projects like this which are a little more freeform.

If you’re not interested in the tutorial, just enjoy the pretty.

Crochet spring flower bunting 3

Step 1: Make a slip knot.

Bunting 1

Step 2: Chain 10.

Bunting 2

Step 3: Insert hook into first chain.

Bunting 3

Step 4: Slip stitch to create loop.

Bunting 4

Step 5: Chain 45 – this forms beginning of bunting string. Thread waste yarn for marker.

Bunting 5

Step 6: Chain until you reach the desired length for your first flower string – I didn’t count as I wanted to create a random look. (I also changed from a white to red hook for some reason but they’re both 3.75mm.)

Bunting 6

Step 7: Insert hook into top of flower from the back.

Bunting 7

Step 8: Wrap yarn over hook and pull through. Two loops on hook.

Bunting 8

Step 9: Yarn over hook, pull through loops. Your flower is now securely attached and facing the front (although they tended to twist around anyway.

Bunting 9

Step 10: Double crochet in each chain until you reach marker.

Bunting 10

Step 11: Chain 15. This will create the bridge to the next flower string.

Bunting 11

Step 12: Thread waste yarn for marker and start again from Step 6. Vary lengths and colour sequences until your flowers have all been placed.

Bunting 12

Step 13: Chain 45 to match beginning of bunting, then chain 10 more for loop.

Bunting 13

Step 14: Insert hook into 10th chain from hook and slip stitch to create loop.

Bunting 14

Step 15: Double crochet in each chain along top of bunting.

Bunting 15

And you’re done!

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Quick post: weekend in Wales

Well I wasn’t kidding about keeping up the blog, and I had a fantastic response to the last post, so thank you! Thank you especially To Adam Tinworth, who actually wrote a post about me writing a post about him. Blogception.

However, the next one I’m working on is proving slightly more time-consuming and complicated than I expected – and I am also graduating this week, so there my be an unexpected delay.

So here, instead, are some pretty pictures of Southerndown in South Wales, where I spent my weekend. It was pretty beautiful.

Southerndown

Southerndown

 

Sea

Sea

 

Barbecuing at sunset

Barbecuing at sunset

As a Midlands girl, I still get extremely excited about being on a beach, or near the sea at all. There’s something pretty breathtaking about reaching the very edge.

And, best of all, this particular beach is also the set of this heartbreaking scene (and, I am reliably informed, many others):

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and cry for the days when Doctor Who was still good. Cry like a sad, sad baby.


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The Tube and the Tate: 5 things I learned in London

So after my initial coming-to-London post which, reading back, is laced with just a whiff of an oncoming breakdown, I realise I did not publish anything for two weeks. Probably looks a bit worrying, but I can confirm that I was not swallowed up by the hungry jaws of the city. I even got used to my breeze blocks and empty flat, although I never met the owner of the muller corners in the fridge. I can only assume that there actually was a yoghurt-loving ghost in the room next door.

In truth, I just got so caught up in the day-to-day process of going to work, meeting friends who lived or worked nearby, then going home and going to sleep, that blogging was put on a back burner.

Unlike the Olympics, empty seats are a blessing which you taunt you only by their absence.

However, I am back now, and there’s only a week before I’m back at uni in Norwich and things really do get busy. So here’s some things I learnt in London while I was there:

1. I can read pretty much anywhere.

At peak time in the centre of London, the tube is pretty full, and no one around you is happy about it. Sure, there are some tricks to ease the growing sense of claustrophobia (such as going to the end of the platform and getting on the oft-neglected final carriage). However, sometimes even they don’t prevent you from being squashed in with a bunch of strangers. But even in the smallest of spaces, I could still find room to turn the pages of the first book of my pre-reading for third year: Belinda by Maria Edgeworth (1801). It’s not too bad – it has lots of disease and unhappy marriages, and even some controversial mixed-race unions. (Racy stuff.) Plus, I can now confirm that the questionable decisions of our heroines Belinda and Lady Delacour were just as baffling and socially uncomfortable pressed up against a stranger’s back on a packed Piccadilly train than they were in my room on my own.

2. The Tate gallery is infinitely more fun whist playing spot-the-dick-symbolism.

Now, I’m not one of those people who regularly dismisses and mocks modern art for being “worse than my two-year-old’s”. For one thing, I don’t have a two-year-old. For another, that’s clearly balls, and I actually think a lot of it has the potential to be more emotional and interesting than more traditional stuff.

“Gothic Landscape” by Lee Krasner, painted after her husband Jackson Pollock died in a car crash, was probably my favourite.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s not even more fun to point out every phallic symbol you can find amongst all the other pretentious art critics.

3. Camden Market is as good as everybody says.

Slightly overwhelming when I first stepped into the market, I was soon swept up in the atmosphere and tempted to buy everything I laid my eyes on. Maybe it was the magic of the first time, but I would still rather find something there than Primark. My only complaint was that, for some reason, the legendary Goths who apparently spend all of their time there must have got tired of tourist season and found somewhere more hip to hang out. Sad face.

4. Even the booze is better.

Chando’s may sound like a cross between the two most unappetising words in the contemporary English language (“chunder” and “Nando’s”), but it is actually a pub just off Leicester Square, and it was a beauty. I always feel a little awkward at these fancy hipster pubs which sell a hundred different types of independent beers. I’m not exactly a connoisseur of these things, and the pressure of wanting to order something cool is only added to by the fact that, without my glasses, I can’t read the labels of most of the stuff they sell anyway. Am I supposed to ask the bar staff for recommendations? Make something up which so that they think I know about even more obscure and independent beverages than even they stock? Point at the nearest thing and yell “PINT OF THAT” in a sheer panic? I don’t even like beer anyway! In the end, I usually cave and order vodka and coke because I know that everybody in the world is going to stock it. Then I shuffle back to my table in the shame of my unoriginality. But at Chando’s, their independent hipster vodka and independent hipster coke made it completely worth it. No cheap Asda knockoff and 2-for-1 diet cola will be the same again.

5. If I could find a flatmate, a flat and a job to fund myself after graduation, I’d probably be happy.

Any takers?