Monday 29 October 2018

A Very Helpful You Tube Crochet Group

Back in the summer, I was browsing YouTube crochet videos, when I landed upon a video by The Secret Yarnery.
It was a video for a Cal which was going to make the Erigeneia Shawl.
I instantly liked the presenter. She was friendly and helpful and no nonsense too. So I searched for more on The Secret Yarnery, and found that a Facebook Group had been set up for the Cal.
I joined the group, but didn't have time then to make the shawl (which was a shame, as the Cal came with charts and videos which were very easy to understand).

But  Cal With the Secret Yarnery remained in my Facebook groups and over the months they did more Cals and shared more makes and videos. Then a few days ago, I found their October Cal.

The Cal is to make a Polka Dot blanket. It's relatively easy, which is great. And it looks good when finished, which is even better 😀  But more important, the videos for the Cal are so well-explained and easy to understand. Here's the first video for the Cal below:

Again, I am too busy with Christmas makes to make the polka dot blanket right now, but will definitely make it in the New Year. and for the first time ever, I will use the videos as my main source.

I'm usually a crocheter who likes to work with a written pattern first and foremost, but these videos are good and useful!
And I particularly like how the presenter explains why she has chosen a certain stitch placement and even tells us how to 'fudge' things a little if necessary. She's a crocheter after my own heart 😀

But anyway, if you get the time, do have a look at the Secret Yarnery videos, even if, like me, you are someone who prefers written patterns, because I think that there will be something you can learn there and particularly beginners, who will find some of the tips very, very helpful indeed.

As an aside. I have not contacted The Secret Yarnery about this post. It is not posted as a promotion for them. It is just a post made because I was impressed with how helpful the videos are.

~ Silvi

Sunday 21 October 2018

Teeny Tiny Basket Free Crochet Pattern

I am busy making lots of little bags for teddies ready for Christmas, but I needed a new tiny bag for some new, teeny tiny teddies, so I designed a pattern for a suitable fitting basket and then it seemed like a great idea to share it :).

The pattern below will make a tiny crochet basket measuring approximately 2.5 inches wide by 2.5 inches long (exclusing handle) if made with DK yarn and a 4.5mm crochet hook.

Of course, you can use other yarns and hooks to vary the size.

My pattern is called the 'Teeny Tiny Basket Pattern'.

It's a very easy pattern and suitable for beginners, there are pictures and descriptions of stitches to help you.
And best of all, it's free!

I'm posting a copy of the pattern below, with a couple of pictures, but if you want a copy with more helpful pictures and stitch description (and it's still FREE), you can find it in my Ravelry Store here:
Silvi Veale's Ravelry Store.

Or, if you don't want to go to Ravelry right now, you can download the pdf pattern here

 Here is the basic pattern:

Teeny Tiny Basket

A Crochet Pattern in US Crochet Terms.
by Silvi Veale

Abbreviations used:
St (st) – Stitch
Sl St (sl st) – Slip Stitch
Ch (ch) – Chain(s)
Sc (sc) -  Single Crochet
Hdc (hdc) – Half Double Crochet
Closing number in brackets at end of each row is st count for the finished row.


Chain 8,
Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc in next 4 chs, 2hdc in last ch.
Turn work 180 degrees (still working on the RS) and work along the opposite side of the ch as follows:
Hdc in next 5 chs, hdc in bottom of 2chs which make the first hdc.
Sl st to top of 2ch start to join.(14 sts)

Row 2: Ch 2, hdc in next 6 sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 6 sts, hdc in st at bottom of 2ch start.
Sl st to top of ch 2 start to join. (16 sts)

Row 3: Ch 2, hdc in next 7 sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 7 sts, hdc in st at bottom of 2ch start.
Sl st to top of ch 2 start to join. (18 sts)

Row 4: Ch 2, hdc in next 8 sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 8 sts, hdc in st at bottom of 2ch start.
Sl st to top of ch 2 start to join. (20 sts)

Row 5:  (increasing has now finished)
Ch 2, hdc in 19 sts, sl st to top of ch2 start to join. (20 sts)

Rows 6 and 7: Repeat row 5.

You will now have made a sl st join to end Row 7.
You begin Row 8 from this st (do NOT cut the yarn, continue with same yarn).

Row 8:  Makes the handle.
Chain 20, sk 9 sts, sc into next (10th) st.
Row 8 continued: Sc into next 9 sts, sc into st at base of ch (see picture), sc around to where you began the sc round (this should be opposite where you began Row 8).
Sl st into starting sc (where you joined the ch to the bag)

Row 9: Handle only left to do.
24 sc around chain handle.
(You can use a few more or a few less scs to cvover the handle if you prefer.
It will depend upon the yarn you are using. The main thing is to make the handle look neat and with no gaps between sts).
Row 9 – to finish:
Sl st to sc at bottom of chain handle when you arrive there.

Cast off, leaving a long enough end to thread in neatly.
(If your handle doesn’t look quite straight across, threading the end of your cast off yarn forward and back, neatly through two to four scs at the top of the bag should sort this out and tighten it up).

Thread in ends neatly.

And that’s it. Your teeny tiny basket is finished!

There are many uses for this little basket.

I use them to put tiny teddies in for gifts, but they would make a lovely little basket for an item of make-up or jewellery too.

I hope you enjoy this little pattern.

It’s not the most ornate crochet pattern you will find :), but it’s really quick and easy to do.

I would love to see pictures of your finished teeny, tiny baskets if you make some (but only if you want to share, of course).

The Teeny Tiny Basket Pattern has been designed by me, Silvi Veale.
You are very welcome to use it to make gifts, little baskets to keep things in, or to sell at craft fairs, etc.

However, please do not claim this pattern as your own, or use the pictures from it as your own.

If you post your work from this pattern online, I would be really pleased if you gave a link to Elephant Sun Dog, but it isn’t necessary.

Just enjoy! :)

Thank you

~ Silvi

Monday 15 October 2018

Picture of Updates to Our Etsy Shop

I am so busy trying to make new things for Christmas, as well as updating the new Etsy shop, that this is just a quick post, I'm afraid.

This is just to say that the shop, although still new, is growing nicely and I'm trying to add lots of variety (even though there are quite a few bags with teddies in them 😊 ).

But I thought I would just show you a collage of some of the stock added so far.

I will post more about the new items over the next few days, and by that time, I hope to have added more!

In the meantime, please don't forget to Visit Our Etsy Shop.

We are friendly and helpful and love visitors! 😊

Wednesday 10 October 2018

New Page About Our Handmade Gifts

Crystal here.

Because I always seem to be busy, making new gifts for my shop Little Gifts of Southsea, I do not update my part of this blog as often as I should.
Sorry! 😊

But I have now added a page here, just to give you a small glimpse of some of the things I make.

When I began Little Gifts of Southsea in 2012, I made mainly Jewellery. I still make a great deal of jewellery today and try to ensure that I always have something new to show you.

Little Gifts of Southsea at Portsmouth Comic Con

However, over the years, I have expanded the range of things I make for the shop, so now you will find crochet keyrings and novelties, felt and crochet Christmas Decorations, and different novelties and gifts for children, alongside the jewellery in my shop.

So, please have a look at my page: Crystal's Handmade Gifts to read a little more about the handmade items I make and new designs I am working on.

It doesn't have many items on it right now, but I promise to update it very soon.

Thanks for your patience  😊

~ Crystal

Progress Update from the Havana Cal

On 1st October, I posted that The Havana Cal is underway.
Well, week 2 of the Cal was posted a couple of days ago, and I still hadn't started on my Havana blanket.

The problem is, with so many items for Christmas to make, I really haven't the time right now to make a full blanket, but I really wanted to join the Cal, because mosaic crochet is such a lovely technique and I wanted to learn more.

 So, in the end, I improvised.

I make bags, so why not make a Havana Bag?

All it took was a tiny bit of maths to decide how many starting chains to make and I was good to go.

Here are the results so far:
Part one on the left, made with a starting chain of 51 stitches, rather than 183!

Part 2 on the right, using one set of rows, rather than 3 sets, plus a repeat of part one to top it off.
And here it is, one side of a bag! :)

I am wishing now that I'd made this wider, because although I still have the other side of the bag to make (and can therefore use other week's stitches), my bag would have been much too high to complete all weeks of the pattern! :)

So, if I get the time, I might just make a large cushion cover for this Cal as well, and at least then I get to use more stitches.

I have, however, seen some lovely scarves being made on this Cal, plus baby blankets and other creations.
Have a look at the Pippin Crochet Club group on facebook, projects on Ravelry, or the #havanacal hashtag on instagram, to see just some of the many Havanas being made.

And it's not too late to join in.
You can find the pattern on Ravelry here.
And make your own Havana :)

~ Silvi

Monday 8 October 2018

Small Tied Gift Sack Free Pattern

I'm busy making lots of little items for Christmas gifts and this is my favourite. It's a small crochet gift sack. You can put little gifts inside for Christmas, Birthdays, or just for fun.

Crochet Gift Sack Free Pattern

As I run 'Teddy in a Bag', I make these small gift sacks to put tiny teddies inside. They make lovely little gifts that children can afford and for stocking fillers.

But every time I get out the yarn to make some more, I have to remember exactly how I made them the last time: how many cast on stitches, how many rows, etc?
So I have made a pattern to help me remember and I'm sharing it here for free.

(There is also a FREE pdf version of this pattern on my Ravelry pattern store.
It has more pictures, which you might find useful. And you can download it here.)

But if you prefer your crochet patterns with less pics and ready now, here it is:

Small Crochet Gift Sack

A FREE crochet pattern using US Terms
By Silvi Veale
This is an easy little pattern, suitable for beginners who know basic crochet stitches, or for anyone who wishes to make a quick and pretty handmade gift.

Abbreviations Used:
st = stitch or stitches
sl st = slip stitch (used here to join at the end of each row)
ch = chain or chains (eg: ‘ch3’ = ‘make 3 chains)
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet

hdc 2 tog = half double crochet 2 stitches together. (yarn over, insert hook into st, yarn over and pull up loop, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and pull up loop, yarn over and pull through all 4 loops on hook).

RS = right side (of your work)

Yarn used – Double Knit
Hook – 4.5mm

Size made  - 4.5 inches length by 4 inches width in dk with a 4.5mm hook

(But you can experiment with thinner or thicker yarn and different size hooks, to get lots of different size gift sacks)

Required to begin:
Yarn in your chosen weight/style
Crochet hook to match yarn used
Darning or large-eye needle, preferably with a blunt end.
Yarn scissors.

And a gift to put inside your gift sack :)

I usually make my little crochet sacks with variegated or colour-changing yarn to make a quick and easy project (and hardly any ends to sew in :) ). But you can also make them with different colour yarns. (Perhaps change colour every two rows, for instance, or have a different colour for the dc round (see the pink and cream gift sack above). It’s completely up to you of course).

Helpful notes:

All work is done on the Right Side
When the pattern tells you to ‘turn’, it means rotate your work with the RS still facing you.

Ch 2 at begining of rows always counts as a hdc.
Ch 3 at beginning of ‘tie thread’ row counts as a dc.
Ch 1 at the beginning of a sc row DOES NOT count as a st.


Row 1:
(1st 2 ch make first hdc when you...>)hdc in 3rd ch from hook , hdc in next 8 ch, 2 hdc in last ch. Still on the RS rotate work through 180 degrees, hdc in next ch, hdc in next 8ch, hdc in base of 1st ch (the bottom of the 2ch start). Sl st into top of starting ch2 (22 sts)

Row 2:
Ch 2, hdc in 10sts , 2hdc in next st, hdc in next 10 sts, hdc into the same st as the starting ch2 (this makes the second increase of the row), sl st to top of starting ch 2 to join. (24 sts)

Row 3:
Ch 2, hdc into next 11 sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 11 sts, hdc into the same st as the starting ch2, sl st to top of starting ch 2 to join. (26 sts)

Row 4: Ch 2, hdc in next 12 sts, 2hdc in next st, hdc in next 12 sts, hdc into the same st as the starting ch2, sl st to top of starting ch 2 to join. (28 sts)

Row 5: Ch 2, hdc in next 13 sts, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 13 sts, hdc into the same st as the starting ch2, sl st to top of starting ch 2 to join. (30 sts)

Increasing finished. The next 3 rows (6, 7 and 8) are all the same st amount, so remember that from now on, you should not st into the same st as the starting ch.

Row 6: Ch 2, hdc in next 29 sts, sl st to top of starting ch 2 to join (30 sts)

Rows 7 and 8: Repeat row 6.

There is now a small decrease which is carried out over the next 2 rows.

Please note: the first decrease (on one side of the sack only) is on row 9 and the second decrease (on the other side of the sack) is on row 10.

Row 9:
Ch 2, hdc next 2 sts together, hdc in 27 sts. Sl st to top of starting ch 2 to join. (29 sts)

Row 10:
ch 2, hdc in next 13 sts, hdc next 2 sts together, hdc in next 13 sts. Sl st to top of starting ch 2 to join. (28 sts)

Row 11: Ch 2, hdc in 27 sts. Sl st to top of starting ch 2 to join. (28 sts)

Row 12:
(this is the dc row)
(making the row to insert the tie chain)
Ch 3, dc in 27 sts. Sl st to top of starting ch 3 to join. (28 sts)

Row 13:
(finishing with a row of sc)
Ch 1, sc in the same st, sc in next 27 sts, Sl st into 1st sc to join.
Cast off and thread in ends.

Chain Tie:
Ch 70.
Cast off leaving at least two inches of thread.

Fitting the chain tie:

Making sure that both ends of the chain are secure:

Thread one end of thread (left from making chain)  into a darning/large eye needle.

You are going to thread the chain tie between the dc stitches in row 12.

(Be careful not to snag your yarn with the needle point – a round-edged needle is best if possible)

Find the space between 2 dcs slightly to the right of the middle front of the sack.

Thread needle with chain attached into the space, take it behind the next st and out into the next space.

Continue around, threading the chain in and out of the chain spaces until you get back to the opening just before where you began to thread the chain.

Pull through, making sure that the other end of the chain is still in the same space.

Unthread the chain from the needle.

Pull both ends of the chain gently, until you have lined the chain up to have equal ends.

To make the tie look neater, take each chain end and tie a single knot as close to the chain as possible.

Then cut the excess thread, leaving about half and inch on each end of the chain.

Place a small gift inside the sack.

Tighten the tie chain and thread into a bow to finish.

And there you have it.

One small gift sack!
All Done!

Just a note…

This is a simple little pattern, but the pattern and picture tutorial is made by me, Silvi Veale.
Please do not claim this pattern as your own, or use my pictures to promote your work.

But please feel free to make as many little gift bags as you like and sell them if you want to.
I would appreciate a mention or a link back if you do, but it’s not essential.
Just enjoy!

Thank you

~ Silvi

Friday 5 October 2018

Elephant Sun Dog Etsy Shop is Live!

It took a while, but we are now the proud owners of an Etsy shop!
You can find us at the Elephant Sun Dog Etsy Store

Elephant Sun Dog At Etsy
We still have a way to go to make things look how we want them, but we are getting there :)

There are 6 items in our shop as I type this, but over the next few days we will be adding more.

At the moment, there are some lovely crochet shoulder bags, eco-friendly cotton market bags, children's pretty shoulder bags, and 2 crochet moses baskets with teddies inside.
So lots to look at already :)

Eventually we will have lots of bags for children and adults (some with teddies inside), snuggle blankets, baby blankets, decorations, wall hangings, jewellery and more.
So there will be loads of gifts which are ideal for Christmas presents (or just to treat yourself :) ).

Me and Crystal will write about some of the items here as we put them on the Etsy site, as well as share lots of other sites and cals and patterns as we find them.

So stay tuned! We are going to be very busy!

Or, you could visit our Etsy store now :)

~ Silvi

Thursday 4 October 2018

My Moses Basket Crochet Pattern

My Moses Basket Crochet Pattern is ready!

A few days ago, I posted about the Crochet Moses Basket I had been asked to make for a small child.
I said that, although there are so many fabulous patterns out there, I couldn't find one which would fit an 8 to 10 inch soft toy or doll and which didn't have lots of decorations or fancy stitches.

As this was for a toddler, still prone to chewing things and pulling bits off of things, the moses basket had to be toddler-friendly :)

So I made my own pattern as I made the basket and, I have to say that it turned out very well and was much appreciated!

However, making a pattern to use yourself is one thing, while making a pattern that others can read and find useful is quite something else!

But I was determined to try :)

Well, it took lots of maths (to get the balance and placement of stitches right); lots of new making and re-making to test things out; lots of picture taking to provide visual as well as read explanations; and, where stitch placement benefitted from extra description, I made a couple of sketched, 'how to' charts.

Now the pattern is tested and finally finished (yay!). It contains three pattern pieces in all - for the basket, for a mattress to go inside, and for a pretty blanket to match.

There is a full pattern, with clear, written instructions, lots of explanations, and lots of pictures too. And for those who prefer, there is a 'print friendly' version also (you get both together).

In the full pattern, most of the pictures are at the end, in case you prefer to print the written part only and view the picture part of the pdf on your laptop, tablet or mobile.

Or, if you prefer no pictures at all in your pattern (while still being able to view the full pattern online), then the print friendly version is for you.

I'm pretty pleased with it!

Because this pattern has taken a great deal of work, it is a paid pattern, but at a very reasonable price - £2.00 sterling, plus vat according to your country.
I think it's a bargain!

What I would love to see is a range of Toddler Moses Baskets made from this pattern appearing online, in all types of colours and with all sorts of toys inside.
That would be fantastic! :)

The pattern is for sale on Ravelry.
You can find it and read more about it here:
Moses Basket For A Toddler

Or, here is the link to go straight to buy it now:
buy now

I hope you like it as much as I do :)

~ Silvi

Please Remember - this is for a Pattern it is not for the crocheted item.

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Update on The Doily Mini Cal

I've finished making my Daisily Doily for the mini cal run by Inas' Craft Gallery and I'm really pleased with the result.
Silvi's Daisily Doily

All 5 parts of the Cal are posted online now.
You can find them on Ravelry or go straight to Inas' blog to find all about the Cal.

The Cal is fairly easy (I would say 'confident beginner' friendly) and very well-explained with pictures to help.
So it is well worth having a look if you want to have a go at making something interesting and pretty which doesn't take too long to make (so great for making gifts?).

I will definitely be making more daisily doilies in the near future :)

~ Silvi

Monday 1 October 2018

The Havana Cal Is Underway

Today, October 1st, 2018, is the first day of The Havana Cal.

This is a beautiful cal, with mosaic crochet work designed by Tinna Thorudottir Thorvaldar.

Tinna is a very creative designer who can take odd skeins of yarn and turn them into something unique and beautiful and now she's sharing her design with us, for free!

The Cal will be posted on Ravelry, with a new part each week. The first part has just been posted.

You can also join in with the Cal on the Pippin Crochet Club group on facebook and share your work with other members and with Tina.

I haven't started yet (apart from a swatch and perhaps... choosing yarn from my stash). But I've practiced the opening stitches by making some purses from another pattern designed by Tina: Mosaic Purses.

Here are my little purses below:

And from making Tina's pattern I have found, that although mosaic crochet may look complicated, the way Tina does it is remarkably easy and gets great results!

So do have a look. even if you can't join the Cal right away, it will still be there on Ravelry for when you have the time.

~ Silvi

A Lovely Little Crochet Cal

I am busy designing a pattern for a moses basket at the moment (see previous post), but I think it is always nice to have something fun and enjoyable to make when things get a little pressured. So I decided to join a mini Cal.

This mini crochet along is called the Daisily Doily (Mini Crochet Along) and is being run by Inas' Craft Gallery (@inas.craft on Instagram) on her blog and on Ravelry.

The Cal is in 5 short parts and runs from 29th September, 2018 until 3 October 2018, but if you miss it, it will not be too late to join in as the posts will still be there.

Here's my daisily doily after the first two days:

You can follow my progress on my Ravelry page, or have a look at the #daisilydoily hashtagtag on Instagram to watch all the daisily doilies grow!

 ~ Silvi

Danny The Crochet Duck

Crystal here.
I make amigurumi creatures for keyrings, decorations and lots more and I make my own patterns.

I began to do this because I was fed up sewing so many pieces together to make a small creature and I wanted to see if I could make amigurumi characters with as little sewing needed as possible.

This is one of the first patterns I made. It's a duck I made into a keyring. It is very, very simple to make and, apart from the beak, it is all in one piece.

Enjoy making Danny :)
Danny as a keyring


Duck Keyring Crochet Pattern
By Crystal Taylor

US Crochet Terms

Terms used in pattern:

st = stitches (used for stitch count at end of row)
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
tc = triple crochet
inc = increase (eg; ‘sc inc’ = 2 x sc in this stitch)
dec = decrease (eg; ‘sc dec’ = sc next 2 stitches together)
flo = front loop (or loops) only
NB: I decrease in sc flo for neatness. You may wish to do this too. It’s up to you.

Head and Body (worked in one piece)
Recommended colour - Yellow
3.5 mm hook recommended if using double knit yarn

Magic Circle
Row 1:  3sc into circle (3st)
Row 2:  sc inc in each stitch around (6st)
Row 3:  (sc, sc inc) around (9st)
Row 4:  (sc 2, sc inc ) around (12 st)
Rows 5 - 8:  sc all stitches around (12 st)
Row 9:  (sc 2, sc dec) around (9 st)
Stuff Head
Begin body (continue in one piece)
Row 10:  (sc, sc dec) around (6 st)
Row 11:  sc inc, sc to end (7 st)
Row 12:  sc inc x 4, sc to end (11 st)
Row 13:  sc inc x 7, sc to end (18 st)
Row 14:  sc x 8, dc, tc, dc, sc to end (18 st) (This row forms the tail shape)
Rows 15 and 16:  sc around (18 st)
Row 17:  FRONT LOOPS ONLY THIS ROUND: sc flo around (18 st)
Row 18:  (dec, sc 2,) around (13 st)
Stuff Body
Row 19:  (sc dec, sc) around (9 st)
Row 20: sc dec around (leaves 5 st)
Fasten Off, leaving a long thread.

Sew in yarn end at head.
Sew in yarn end at body bottom – take thread up and inside head and back to secure head.

Recommended Colour - Orange
3 mm hook recommended if using double knit yarn
Chain 6, (First 2 chains count as first hdc)
Row One: hdc into 3rd chain from hook and to end (4 hdc), Turn.
Row Two: Chain 2 (counts as first hdc), 3 hdc (4 hdc total)
Fasten off
Fold beak in half and sew together, then sew to face.

These can be either safety eyes (if for a small child), or half beads (if this is a charm for adults)
If preferred, use black thread and embroider an eye each side of the head, above beak (fastening off ends can be pulled inside of head).


And that's it! That's Danny the Crochet Duck :)

Please note:
This is pattern has been designed by me, Crystal Taylor.
You are welcome to use it to make your own amigurumi creatures for pleasure, for gifts or for small craft sales.
But please do not claim this pattern as your own or use my images to advertise your work.
Apart from that, I hope you enjoy this pattern.
Thank You.

Making a Crochet Moses Basket

Silvi here. I've been asked to make a moses basket for a very small child. As I'm the owner of Teddy in a Bag , the moses basket will have a teddy inside, but one specially made for a little one, rather than an older child.

Well, I searched high and low for a suitable moses basket crochet pattern and there are some beautiful ones out there, absolutely gorgeous in fact!  But they either had bobbles or holes (stitch decoration) or ties and ribbons that might do harm to a little one, or they would have taken too many alterations to the pattern to make it fit the bear we had chosen....

So I designed my own.

Here it is, with the Teddy inside:

And with a matching blanket:

Then I thought, "Why not make a pattern so I can make one of these again?"
And that's where I am....designing a pattern at the moment (and I didn't realise how much maths it took to design a moses basket :) ).

I posted this here as a prompt to remind me to write the pattern up and share it here.

It will be coming soon...

~ Silvi