Thursday, August 9, 2018

My Freo tartan blanket

PLEASE NOTE that I am absolutely uninterested in hearing how I made this in the wrong colours.
It's also designed with the Freo AFL strip specifically in mind.

If you want to try this with other colours, keep in mind that they may look funny from a distance (eg blue and yellow might look green, which is why you should consider adding white)

THIS IS MY PATTERN. I designed it myself.
If you decide to share, I'd prefer a linkback to this post rather than a copy/paste, and it would be very nice if you could credit me (Toni Laws) as the designer when sharing pictures of your finished work.

Right, now that all the nasty business is out of the way, let's get to hooking!

If you haven't made a crocheted tartan blanket before, it looks amazingly complicated and is about the easiest blanket in the world to make.

I've used a 5mm hook and Paintbox Simply Aran, in
248 dark purple
200 white
I used about 10 skeins of purple and 7 of white.
It's a nice soft acrylic, and the ply is quite thick (feels like a 10 ply)

You can use any yarn you like. Paintbox is about $3.30 for a 184m skein, which makes it a good price, and you can get it at

I use US terms, and here is a comparison chart if you prefer UK terms:

The blanket is done in 2 halves. 
The first part is to make the basic filet mesh, which is simply made from
a US double crochet and chain.
The second part is to weave long lengths of yarn vertically through the spaces, which forms the tartan.

Please watch this YouTube video to see the technique to create a basic filet mesh.

To create the blanket I've made, which measures about 160x160 cm, use this video technique and these instructions to create the basic mesh.

ch 250 in dark purple

1. 1 dc (double crochet) in 6th chain from hook.
*ch 1, sk 1, dc in the next ch.
rep from * to end.


2. ch 4, sk 1 ch sp, dc in next dc.
*ch 1, sk 1, 1 dc in next dc
rep from * to end, working last dc in the ch3 at the beg of the previous row.

3. ch 4, turn, sk 1, dc in next dc.
*ch 1, sk 1, dc in next dc.
Rep from * to end, working last dc in top of ch 3 from beg of previous row.

You will repeat row 3 till you have finished the blanket.
The only changes you will make are changing colours. This is always done at the end of a row.

To change colours, finish the row and end off the yarn. Start the new row in your new colour.
Every few rows, get into the habit of counting your spaces, making sure you always have 123. It is possible to make a mistake and skip a space, which will ruin the blanket.

The colour pattern is as follows:

15 rows of purple

5 rows of white
3 rows of purple
5 rows of white
3 rows of purple
5 rows of white

15 rows of purple

5 rows of white
3 rows of purple
**5 rows of white** HALFWAY THERE!
3 rows of purple
5 rows of white

15 rows of purple

5 rows of white
3 rows of purple
5 rows of white
3 rows of purple
5 rows of white

15 rows of purple

Now congratulate yourself, because the hardest part is over.

Get a bottle of wine, load up something good on Netflix, and start darning those ends in.

When your basic mesh is all tidied up, clear the table and lay it down so the stripes are running vertically to you.
Starting at the corner, you're going to weave long lengths of yarn through each of the rows of chain spaces, at right angles to the stripes of the mesh.

Please watch this YouTube video to see how the technique is done.

You will follow the same colour pattern as for the basic filet mesh (15 rows of purple, 5 of white etc) but instead of crocheting those, you are going to use 3 long lengths of yarn to form each row.

I use a piece of scrap yarn in a different colour (hot pink will work well).
It needs to be loosely measured as long as the blanket, plus a bit for weaving, plus a bit for a knot at each end, plus a few inches for a fringe at each end.

Cut 3 pieces of purple to length, then use your crochet hook, a BLUNT ENDED needle, a safety pin or a bodkin to begin weaving, and use the technique Tanis describes in the video above.
The next row will alternate, and you'll begin to see the weaving effect right away.

You need to do the weaving on a flat surface, to ensure your tension is kept even.
The blanket might start to look a little bit bowed but don't worry, as long as you keep it flat while you're working, it will even out as you go.

When you have all the weaving done, you can knot the fringe.
Then carefully trim the fringe, a little at a time. The yarn is quite springy, and it's very easy to cut too much off, so go slowly.

And that's it! You're done!
This has probably taken you a long time, so you can feel really proud of yourself for finishing it.
Kick back on the couch and snuggle under your lovely warm FREO blanket!
#foreverfreo #purplearmy #ibleed purple

Monday, September 26, 2016

in which I become a hooker.

So, early this year (April? May?) I decided to try crochet.

My nana tried to teach me when I was a kid, and Mrs Rolley had a go in Home Ec in about 1978, and both times I sat there with yarn in one hand, a hook in the other, and a look of complete bewilderment on my face.
I simply could not connect the two hands. They felt like foreign objects, and my brain refused to have anything to do with them.

You might think this would lead me to believe I would have trouble this time round, but you would be wrong.
I sailed into the project, full of confidence, and then, as it became more and more obvious that I was, in fact, a crochet idiot, my confidence morphed into dogged determination.
I know, right? it took me by surprise, too. Normally I give up at the first sign of difficulty.

Did you know that YouTube is full of video tutorials that are not in the least bit helpful?
I know this because I'm fairly sure I found most of the begin-to-crochet ones that actually didn't teach me anything apart from how to make dirty, tight little knots.
Eventually, though, I hit the jackpot.
I found Mikey.
And I love him, more than a little bit. He saved my sanity.

So if, like me, you are thinking of taking the plunge into the dark and strange world of hooking, or crochet if you want to be perfectly correct, may I present, for your viewing pleasure, the wonderful...

lesson 1: holding the yarn and hook

lesson 2:  hook size, gauge, and chaining

lesson 3: how to single crochet (US term) or double crochet (UK/Aus term)

That should get you started, though he has plenty more available!

You should try and chain a few hundred kilometres of yarn to get the rhythm going. If you can manage it in less kilometres, go you!

Once you feel confident that you have some sort of tension and technique happening, try moving on to learning the single/double stitch (depending on whether you're American or English/Aussie.
The conflict between the US and UK terminology is VERY confusing.
Here's a list of the basic terms:

If you can, make a copy of the pattern you're working from, and substitute the correct terms so you don't get confused.

Your hook may use an American or UK size ( a number or letter)  or a metric size. Here's a comparison chart for that, too.

I hope this helps, good luck!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

January at ScrapLounge

This was the January challenge over at ScrapLounge.

The sketch provided was from my lovely friend Miss Kym, whose sketches are always a delight to work with.

And here is my take. I took inspiration from the beach theme with my photos, and the yellow, then added other papers to pick up the colours from my daughters' bathers. I really like the effect of the black outlining, though I wish my eye was straighter! I can see plenty of places where I have stuck things down crooked.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

BW2 January

I LOVE scrapping on black, but I just haven't done it for ages for some reason. I've been doing a lot of patterned paper backgrounds instead.

Anyway, decided to have a bash at the January challenge at Black with 2, and here's my attempt.

I'm not at all certain that this will pass, but since I love the LO, that's OK. I'm really happy with this one, mostly because I wouldn't have thought to scrap these photos otherwise!
They were taken on holiday at Herberton Historic Village in 2008, and show my sweet teenaged boy trying to let his little sister carry the umbrella. CUTE AS!

So here's my LO, and if you want to join in, click the link and take a look at the criteria.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I'm a Winner....

The gorgeous Tiff Sawyer just recently picked me to be on the CT for her This One's a Winner blog.

 You could have knocked me down with a feather!!
I'm so pleased and very excited to get to know the other team members. I've had a bit of a stickybeak at their work, and you should, too! There's a list somewhere on the side there ------>

 If you want to play along, just go to the blog and add your favourite creation for the month. There are usually NO criteria, and it can be any kind of scrappy project (LO, ATC, OTP, etc) (wow, how much does that resemble a bowl of alphabet soup???)

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Look at these beautiful ATCs, from my gorgeous friend RaggedyAnn....


Isn't she just SO talented???? I have to think how I can display these, they're worth more than shutting them into an album....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Halloween ATCs

Just recently at JellyBean Scrappers, we had a Halloween ATC swap.
 We had a partner assigned, and we made a set of 3 ATCs and swapped with our partner -- I got the gorgeous Miss Terri as my partner, and here are the fab ATCs she sent me:

They came in this cutesie little bag, which she's embossed with a folder from {Couture Creations?}

I think she's used Tim Holtz's Tattered Banner die here.

 Tucked inside the bag are the ATCs




Aren't they FABULOUS!!!


 Now, here are the ones I made:




We do hold ATC swaps monthly and we'd love to have you join us at JellyBean Scrappers. You can find the link on the right sidebar :)