Easy Bunting Tutorial

I love making Bunting!  So thought I would share with you a quick tutorial on how to make something as pretty as this:

First of all you will need to buy some fabric – I usually buy mine in packs of Fat Quarters, these ones I found in Aldi:

You will also need some binding:

Once you have your fabrics, first you will need to iron them flat, get rid of any creases.  And then you will need to cut your fabric into 15cm wide strips – if you do this correctly you should get 3 strips from one fat quarter.  Here you can see I have a rotary cutter and a proper cutting mat – which makes things a lot easier, but it can still be done with scissors and a ruler.

The next step is to measure out your triangles – an easy way of doing this is to mark at 14cm intervals along the top of the fabric.

Along the bottom you need to mark in the same way, only start with the first mark at 7cm, then every 14cm along.

Now you just join the dots to form a zig zag pattern, and either use scissors to cut along your lines, or use a rotary cutter like me.

And now you will have your triangles, you should be able to make 9 complete triangles from one fat quarter.

Take two triangles in matching fabrics and place right sides together (i.e. prints facing each other). Pin in position.

I like to do all my triangles at once – it saves time in the long run, here is my pile of triangles ready to be sewn together.

Now it is best to use a sewing machine to stitch your triangles together, but if you have patience it can be done by hand.  The images below show how to sew your two pieces of fabric together – remember to leave the top unstitched for turning inside out later!

Basically sew down one side and back up the other (remembering to back stitch at the beginning and end to secure stitches in place).  This is what your sewn triangle should look like.

Snip the end off, being careful not to cut through the stitches!

Turn inside out and either use your scissors (closed!) or the end of a pencil to push out the trip of the triangle – this helps it to be more pointy.

Iron flat.

Do this for each triangle – I like to sew them all first, then snip them, then turn them all inside out, and then iron them all – it makes it quicker and an easier process, getting each stage out of the way in one go.

Here is my pile of ironed triangles!

Next I would recommend snipping off the rough edges at the top, to give your triangles a smooth top line – this will make it easier later when you are sewing them into the binding.

Here you can see the difference in the unsnipped and the snipped neater version.

Now you will need to select your binding – I used to use ribbon for this but found it too slippery and unpredictable on a sewing machine.  So I treated myself to some proper binding, which you can find on Amazon or online craft shops.

Lay out your triangles in the order you want and spaced as you would like them – I usually leave a gap of about 1cm between my triangles.  And then measure out how much binding you will need – leaving enough at either end for hanging loops

I like to fold my binding over at the ends to prevent any fraying.

Then you will need to fold over length ways and you can pin it, but I find it easier not to pin it, you can hold it in position as you put it through the machine.

Secure the end under the foot and start stitching along the edge until you reach the point where you want your first flag to be.

Then just insert your flag into the binding – making sure it is pushed right into the fold, then hold it tight as you sew over it with the machine.  As long as you are holding the binding and the bunting together – it should be a smooth, easy process.

When you are ready for the next flag, just pop it into the binding and keep on sewing (you can pause the sewing while you faff and get it straight – you don’t need to keep your foot on the pedal – that would be ludicrous!)

And just keep going, inserting the triangles as you go.

Once you have done the last flag – bring your beginning up to the sewing machine so you can see how long you need your end to be – I never calculate it properly in the beginning, so this is the easy way for me to ensure I have two lengths the same at each side!

Remember to fold over the very end to prevent fraying.  And now it is up to you whether you create a loop on each end for hanging – just by folding the ends over again to create a loop.

Once finished, you should have something like this.

Alternatively, you can buy this bunting here https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HookAndMarvellous?ref=search_shop_redirect

or you can purchase a do it yourself kit here

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/562187123/make-your-own-bunting-pack?ref=shop_home_active_1

 

 

New Sparkly Yarn

I’m just testing my updating post skills really, and I’m wondering where this post will end up. So here goes…

I was in my local Aldi yesterday and they must be having a craft extravaganza because they had all different types of yarn, craft boxes, fat quarter packs – I could have bought all of it.  However, the thing that really did catch my eye was this:

Some sparkly yarn!   And because I am trying to stock my new Etsy shop with Christmas things I couldn’t resist.  Priced at £2.99 per pack (there’s actually four in a pack not three – I’ve already used a couple of balls to create some sparkly baubles).

See –

I was worried that the sparkly bits running through the yarn would make it difficult to work with, but in fact it made no difference at all.  The only issue I had was when I was sewing in the ends, my needle sometimes caught a loose thread.

Anyway, get yourselves down to Aldi for some fancy yarn.

 

Easy Crochet Bauble Tutorial

**PLEASE NOTE THIS IS IN UK CROCHET TERMS**

 

I’m hoping this tutorial (with lots of pictures) will help some of you novice crochets out there.  I wanted to make baubles for a long time but just could not get the increase right, or the shape right, or in fact anything right!  And it took me a while to become confident in creating the perfect crochet bauble, but I think I have it now!

The tutorial below is not for the simplest one I have made, but I think it’s my favourite (so far) there is an easier variation which I will attempt to add in at the end.  You should end up with something like this:

First of all you need to select your yarn, colours, and hook size.

For baubles I prefer to use colours that contrast with each other because I think it gives them a more eye catching look, but you might prefer to use ones than harmonise with each other – its entirely up to you.  But it is best to use colours from the same type of yarn, otherwise it won’t work up properly.

Here I have used a cotton yarn called Drops Muskat, which I think is a bit thicker than DK (double knitting) and a lot harder to work with – I recommend using something soft like acrylic yarn, especially if you are just starting out.  Otherwise, a softer cotton yarn will do the trick – I think cotton yarns do look better on the finished product.  Anyway – it’s up to you what kind of yarn you use.

I have also chosen to use a 3.5 hook because this will keep the stitches nice and tight.

One more thing to point out before I start – when I first started making crochet baubles I was just making them any size and hoping for the best, then using polyester stuffing to fill them with.  And they do look lovely.  However, since I have become more talented in this area, I have been crocheted them to fit around an 8cm polyester ball, and the finished look is so much more satisfying!  So this pattern is designed around that kind of size.  I’ve noticed some crocheters design theirs around plastic Christmas baubles – which is also a great idea and a great way to revamp old decorations.  It all depends on how confident you are in achieving a specific size in the finished product.  Stuffing an odd sized crochet bauble with polyester is always an option for those balls that don’t turn out quite the right size.

(Basically a bigger hook and thicker yarn will make a bigger bauble – smaller hook, smaller yarn – smaller bauble)

Anyway, I digress…

 

And now for the pattern. (I will tag on the end of all this just the actual pattern for those of us who don’t need all these photos!)

 

Stitches used:

Slip stitch

Chain

Double Crochet

Treble Crochet

Spike Stitch (Basically a long double crochet).

 

First of all you need to make a slip not on your hook, as pictured here:

And then a starting chain of 4.

Then, you need to join with a slip stitch into the first chain (where my needle is on the photo).  This will form a ring into which you will be crocheting your first round of stitches.

First you need to chain 2 (or chain 3 depending on how you will join your round – if you join your round at the end with a slip stitch into the top of your starting chain then you will probably need 3 chains – however I have discovered a new joining method which is a lot neater).  This chain counts as your first stitch.

Now it is time to start your round – you will need to crochet 11 trebles into the centre of the ring – and this will mean you have 12 stitches including your starting chain.

As you can see here I have done one treble into the middle of the ring I made with the initial 4 chain.  Each stitch in this round needs to be crocheted into the same place.  It can be quite fiddly at first – but it only gets easier from here.

The ring is starting to take shape.

Now I have done 11 trebles into the ring and it is time to join the round to form the first circle.  A lot of tutorials tell you to join the round by slip stitching into the top of your starting chain, (and you are welcome to do this here if that’s what you are comfortable with).  However I have always thought this looked messy and will now show you a much neater way to do it.

First you have to cut your yarn (leaving enough tail for sewing in) and then pull the yarn through the stitch – as I have started to do above.  And then, thread your needle and insert your needle through the FIRST treble of the round (NOT THE CHAIN) – like this.

and pull it through gently

and then, thread your needle through the middle of your very last treble like this

Gently pull it through and you can see below it is already forming the shape of the top of a stitch.  Now keep pulling until the loop is the same size as all of your other stitches – be careful not to let your starting chain poke up through the middle.  Sometimes you might need to waggle the whole thing around a bit to get it to sit properly.

Then you can thread your needle through the back of a few stitches to secure the yarn in place, like this.  I also like to sew in the other loose end too, so there will be no need to go back to it at the end.

And there you have it – a complete first round – if you have made it this far, well done!

Time for round 2!

Choose your next colour.  I have chosen yellow – a nice contrast to the pink.

When I join a new yarn, I like to start with a slip stitch on the hook – just to add a bit of extra security.

Now you need to join your yarn to any space IN BETWEEN trebles – like this.  Chain 2 (or 3 depending on your joining preference at the end of the round)

Then crochet another treble into the SAME SPACE.  This is where we are increasing the round by 2 stitches to each stitch from the first round – so where the first round had a total of 12 stitches – this second round should end up with 24 stitches.  So you need to crochet 2 trebles into each space between stitches – as you can see here, and continue until you have 24 trebles (including the initial starting chain)

And I will show you again how I like to join the round.  Cut your yarn, pull through stitch.

Thread your needle, insert needle through top of first treble.

and back through the top of your final treble

bring the needle through the back of a few stitches to secure the yarn in place.

Your join should look like this.

Finished round 2 – well done!

Round 3

Select your next colour and join between two clusters of trebles

Chain 2 (again or you can chain 3 depending on how you join the end of the round) Then you will need to crochet 2 trebles into the same space – and this will form a cluster of 3 stitches.  Then work 3 trebles into each space around – resulting in 36 stitches in the complete round.

Join the round as you prefer, fasten off yarn and sew in ends.

Round 4

Join new yarn to any space between clusters.

Chain 2 (or chain3)

Crochet 2 trebles into same space.

Then crochet 3 trebles into each space around (36 stitches in total).

 

As you can see, my work is starting to curve, which is exactly what we want as it will fit the shape of the ball easily.

Join, fasten off, weave in ends.

Round 5.

This round is a little different to the rest.  This one involves crocheting your stitches into the stitch rather than in between them.  Here I have inserted my needle where you need to be inserting your hook and this is where the first stitch needs to be.

So, join your yarn and chain 2.

1 treble into each stitch around

At the end of the round you should have 36 stitches.  Join the round as I have shown you previously.  Fasten off, weave in ends.

As you can see here the work is really starting to take shape, and don’t worry if it looks too small to fit around your desired ball – the good thing about crochet is that it stretches.

Here is mine sat on top of the ball it will be wrapped around when finished.

Round 6 – 8

The next three rounds will be worked continuously (i.e. no fastening off in between each round)

Select new yarn. Join in any stitch. Chain 1.

Work 1 double crochet into each stitch around.

When you get to the final stitch –  instead of joining…

work 1 double crochet into the chain 1 you did at the beginning.

Then work 1 double crochet into each stitch around.

Keep your eye on your stitches and when you are back at the beginning once again, you should be able to seamlessly carry on and crochet round 8 – another round of double crochets.

When you are nearing the end of the third round of double crochets – you should be able to work out where you are by looking inside your work and finding your initial stitch – can you see on mine where the tail is?

So it is above this stitch where you need to make your final join (either with a slip stitch or how I have shown you previously). Fasten off, weave in ends.

Your bauble should really be starting to take shape now, and should stretch nicely over an 8cm ball.

Round 9.

This probably seems like the most tricky round of the bauble, but it’s really quite simple once you get the hang of it.  This round will consist of double crochet and spike stitches.

So, join your new yarn.

Chain 1

1 double crochet into the next stitch.

Then for the next stitch you will do the spike stitch, which is worked exactly the same as a double crochet stitch, only you put your hook into a space 2 rows below. As you can see in the photo below.

And then you pull the yarn up to the top and continue the stitch as normal.

And then its 1 double crochet into the next stitch.  And where you see my needle is where you need to do the next spike stitch.

And slowly you should see the pattern start to emerge.  Work another double crochet into the next stitch, and where my needle is pointing, is where you put the next spike stitch.

So carry on 1 dc, 1 spike stitch, 1 dc and it should look something like this.

When you are back at the beginning you need to work one last spike stitch, so they are all evenly spaced.

See where my needle is?  This is where the last spike stitch needs to be.

Do not fasten off.

Round 10

Work 1 double crochet into the chain 1 from the beginning, and work 1 double crochet into each stitch around.

 

Finally, when you are back at the beginning join to the first double crochet of the second round.  Fasten off, weave in ends.

And you have now finished one half of your bauble.  Next, do it all again – exactly the same, only this time when it comes to fastening off, make sure you leave a long tail to sew the two sides together.

Here I have put my two halves onto my ball – and as you can see the sides don’t quite meet, but this is nothing to worry about because crochet is quite stretchy and this ensures that when you sew it together you will have a nice snug fit.

When I sew my sides together I use the front loops of the stitches – as you can see where my needle is here.

Thread it through the two front loops on both sides and just keep on doing this all the way round – it should end up quite a neat row of stitches if you keep it tight.

Once you have finished, you need to weave in the tail tightly and fasten off – or alternatively you can use the extra length and turn it into a hanging loop.  However, I prefer to use purpose built metal hooks (or if you are crocheting around an actual bauble, you will already have the hanging gear)

Your finished bauble should look something like this!

Please let me know how you get on with this pattern and if there are any parts which are not clear or just don’t make any sense.

I will now write a basic pattern for those of you who don’t need the step by step photos (and it also has an alternative ending).

Crochet Christmas Bauble Pattern

Chain 4, Slip Stitch into 1st chain to form a loop.

Round 1

Chain 2, 11 treble crochet into ring. (counts as 12 trebles)

Join. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Round 2

Join yarn into any space between treble crochets.

Chain 2, 1 treble crochet into same space.

2 treble crochets into each space around. (counts as 24 trebles)

Join. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Round 3

Join new yarn into any space between 2 treble crochet clusters.

Chain 2, 2 treble crochets into same space.

3 treble crochets into each space around. (counts as 36 trebles)

Join round, fasten off, weave in ends.

Round 4

Join new yarn into any space between 3 treble crochet clusters.

Chain 2, 2 treble crochets into same space.

3 treble crochets into each space around. (counts as 36 trebles)

Join round, fasten off, weave in ends.

Round 5

Join new yarn into any treble stitch (not between clusters).

Chain 2, 1 treble crochet into each stitch around.

Join round, fasten off, weave in ends.

Round 6 – 8

Join new yarn into any treble crochet stitch.

Chain 1, 1 double crochet into each stitch around – do this for three rounds.

Join, fasten off, weave in ends.

Round 9

Join new yarn into any double crochet stitch.

Chain 1, 1 dc, 1 spike stitch (double crochet into a space 2 rows below) 1 dc, 1 spike stitch. Continue around until you complete the round.

Do not fasten off.

Round 10

1 double crochet into each stitch around.

Join round, fasten off, weave in ends.

Repeat again for the other half but leave a long tail for sewing both halves together.

 

Alternative (Easier) Ending to make this bauble:

Follow the pattern as above up to Round 4

ROUNDS 5 – 7 (repeat round 4)

ROUND 8 – Join new yarn to any stitch (not between clusters) and chain 2.  1 treble crochet into each stitch around.  Join, fasten off.  Repeat for other half. Finished.

 

Thanks for reading, hope it’s helpful.