Wednesday, 23 April 2014

New project!

New Project...

I'm so excited about  a new project I've started.  Yes,  I know...we all have several on the go but it's the thrill of starting something new and oh my, the colours are so glorious!  Just take a look...

All the vibrant goodness is sure to cheer you up!

I've been making motifs on Mondays for a couple of months now and although last week, I detoured from that, this project requires motifs so what better than the lovely Mesmerising Mandala coasters?

Mesmerising Mandala motif, rows 1-3.
Find it here:

I've designed two more motifs...and had a play with several others, so satisfying just sitting by the pool and making motifs.


A scone with a coffee helps...
Progress so far...

Keep posted. It may take a little while and it's not a NEW idea but it's going to be lovely!

Happy crocheting or knitting,
Lu x

Monday, 21 April 2014

School Bag Buddies -  this is a stash buster.

 (Everyone will want one!)

When I first designed these, I thought they'd be great for tucking into a pocket but then I thought how cool they might be if they were attached to a bag and taken to school as a buddy, especially if  a child is feeling a bit shy or  if they're going to a new school.  Ask your child to choose a buddy that suits them best, let them select their own colours from your stash. Make it over night! It’s that easy!  Only basic skills are needed.
 Find me on Ravelry, Ludouglasdesigns and look for the buddies at:  

This buddy is made as a rectangle and stitched along the top and sides after it’s done. 
*Small amounts of turquoise, red, green and orange (or colours of your choice)
 *Small amount of white and black          *Silver clip to attach to bag

*Tapestry needle          * 4mm crochet hook       *Three buttons                                                                                                            Finished size: 15cm from top of spikey hair to bottom of curly foot                                                                                                            Spike’
METHOD (Spike)
With turquoise yarn, ch 23sts, turn. 
1. Dc in second chain from hook.  *Dc in the next 3sts, 3ch, dc in same place as last dc. ( this creates a tiny picot on the bottom)
Repeat from *across until last stitch.  Dc in last stitch, ch1, turn. (do not cut off turquoise yarn)
Join red yarn  
2 & 3. Dc across row, ch1, turn (change back to Turqouise on the ch1 turn, do not cut red yarn)
4 & 5.   (turquoise) Dc across row, ch1, turn.  Change back to red to Red
6-8. Repeat row 2.  Bring in green in the last stitch on the row, cut off the red. 
9-14. (green)  Continue repeating row 2.   Fasten off.
Legs are stitched as two long foundation chains with 30ch for one, 25ch for the other. Turn at the end of each foundation ch, dc into the second chain from the hook and dc along length of leg. Fasten off.   (These will be inserted into the base before backstitching the bottom together.)

 HAIR, and stitching the body
Wrap hair yarn around three fingers for 2 inches (5cm).  (photo(i))  Slide off carefully.  Set aside.

Wrap hair ( photo i) 
Place right sides together (photo ii)
Turn right side out Photo (iii)

 Place wrong sides together with the hair tucked down inside ( leave just a small amount poking out on the wrong side  - photo ii) into the top of the head, back stitch across the top of head then stitch down the sides only. Turn right sides out through the bottom.  (photo iii)  Place bottom opening together, insert legs into base and topstitch using a backstitch to secure opening closed and to secure legs inside body.  Cut hair on the fold. Tease it out by unravelling it. 

FACE (Spike)
EYES - Stitch buttons on using sewing machine thread.

MOUTH -  white
Ch8, turn, dc in second chain from hook.                               
1. Dc across row, ch 1, turn
2. Dc across row. Fasten off.  Leave a long tail to stitch mouth to face. 
Once attached, use black yarn to backstitch teeth in place.  Use the same black yarn to make two stitches to create nose.  Lose the yarn inside the head and cut off.

Ch 50 sts.  Dc in second ch from hook. Dc all along.  Attach to top of head securely. Hook silver clip through hanger and attach to your bag!  :-) 


 Blinky the beandrop   
*Variegated 8ply yarn - body.  Blue for mouth.     *   4mm crochet hook
*Small amount each of black and white perle cotton or 4ply if     desired (eyes)
*Tapestry needle      *Silver clip to attach to bag
 Finished size: 12cm

Blinky is made in spirals. 
Magic ring. 1.  Dc 6 into ring, slst to first dc. 
(Place marker on the last stitch of each round)
2. 2dc in each dc (12sts)
3. *Dc in first stitch, 2dc in next stitch.  Repeat from * around
4. *Dc in first 2 dc of previous row 2dc in next stitch.  Repeat from * around.
5-9. Dc all round in a spiral pattern, placing marker at last stitch          
       of each round
10. *Dc in first 2 dc, dc2tog.  Repeat from * all round.
11. *Dc in next dc, dc2tog. Repeat from * all round
12. * Dc2tog all round
13.  Dc2tog all round.   Pull up the remaining stitches to close 
the opening and chain 50 stitches.  Turn, dc in second ch from hook,
 dc all the way back to Blinky’s head.                                            
Secure the thread in the head and fasten off. 
You have your hanger ready to go!!

EYE – Magic Ring in black
1.  Dc 6 into ring, slst to first dc.  Change to white on the slip stitch.
2. 2dc in each dc (12sts). Slst into the first dc.  Fasten off.
Backstitch a blue mouth and outline in black.

 Make the arms separately. 

 Add the arms by attaching yarn to the side of the body, chaining 30 ( or as many chain as desired), turn and dc into the 2nd ch from the hook.  Chain all the way back to the body, secure the tail and fasten off.


Charlotte the ladybird 
Did you know that a group of ladybirds is called

                  ‘a loveliness of ladybirds’ ? 

I think that’s just perfect!  Charlotte is such a sweet beetle. Make your own collection of

                                                                                                                     Finished size - 5.5cm long, 6cm wide                                                                  made in the spiral format
 *4ply yarn, black, red/orange/yellow

* 3mm hook
*Tapestry needle   * Silver clip to attach to bag


1.  Dc 6 into ring, slst to first dc. (Place marker on the last stitch of each round)
2. 2dc in each dc (12sts) (Photo i)
3. *Dc in first stitch, 2dc in next stitch.  Repeat from * around.  (18sts)
4. *Dc in first 2 dc of previous row 2dc in next stitch.  Repeat from * around.   (24st)
5, 6.  Dc all round. Fasten off.

LOWER BODY in black
Repeat for body ending on row 5. Do not break yarn. 
You will use this to stitch the base to the body using a tapestry needle.                           Upper body  made



Legs are stitched as 3 long foundation chains of 18 ch each.  Ch 18, turn at the end of each foundation ch, dc into the second chain from the hook and dc along length of leg. Fasten off.   (These will be inserted from side to side, inside the two body sections before stitching together around the side. 

NOTE: Lay legs across the inside
of the body before 
stitching the bodies                                                                     (Photo i)
 together with the
WRONG sides together

Head cap  (photo ii)
(Attach head cap once Charlotte has been stitched together.)
Black yarn
Magic ring, dc6, slst into the first dc.                                                      
1.  2dc in each dc, slst into the first dc. (12sts)       (Photo ii)                                    
Fasten off.  Leave a  long tail to stitch the head onto the body using small anchor stitches, securing the head cap through top and bottom, and to make the eyes. 



 Head cap  (left)                                                Spine and spots (right) 

 EYES: Once head cap is attached, make two French knots to make eyes in black. Sink the thread into the body and cut off.

Spots – make the spots and the spine-line with  black yarn and your tapestry needle.  Backstitch is used for the spine and the spots.

Ch 50 sts.  Dc in second ch from hook. Dc all along.  Attach to top of head securely.   Attach silver lock.

                                                       Fly, fly ladybird. 

There!  Buddies made and ready to hang on your bag! 

Happy buddy day!

(Please link back to my designs on Ravelry (ludouglasdesigns) or if you use them.  You may make any to sell or to give to friends. ) 

Monday, 14 April 2014

Diabolo, Motif 9

         Motif Monday Motif 9 - Diabolo
When my son, Leo, was a teenager, he was quite good at doing tricks with his diabolo, a toy with two plastic cup shaped domes on the end of string connected to a stick.  A huge variety of tricks is possible including spinning, using your body, string manipulations, hand interactions and the creating of patterns.   For some reason, this made me think of how we do crochet!     

This week’s motif  has twists and turns and hand actions using ‘string’ - YaRN!   I just love how it turned out. There are so many beautiful motifs around at the moment from the simple (like those I’ve done for Motif Monday) to very complex ones like the Love Wink does from @acreativebeing.  I just love her mandalas! 

Motif 9 will be the last motif for now, because... next week, I have another idea for you! 

Tune in next Monday to find out what it is!   :-) 


NB: UK terms

8ply yarn, three colours – white, burnt orange, mustard
4mm hook
Using white, make a magic ring.

1. 16dc into the ring. Slst into the first dc.                    

2. Dc in 1st dc, 3ch, miss 1dc, *dc in next dc, 3ch, miss 1dc** Repeat from * to ** all round.  Slst into the 1st dc.  Fasten off.

3.  Join burnt orange with a *dc into any 3ch space, 6ch, dc in 3ch space, repeat from * all round.  Slst into the first dc.

4.  Dc in the same place as the slst.  *(htr, 5tr, htr = treble group) into the 6 ch space, dc in dc of previous row** repeat from * to ** all round. Slst into the first dc. Fasten off.

5. Join mustard with a *dc in dc of previous row, (3ch, 1tr, 5ch, 1tr) in middle tr of treble group of previous row,  3ch** repeat from * to ** all round. Slst into the first dc.  
6. Dc in every stitch all around. Slst into the first dc.  Fasten off.
Rows 1 - white, 2- burnt orange

7.  Join white with a *dc into the dc in the 3rd ch of the 5ch space of the previous row, (ch 5 [loop] , dc) into the same dc, ch5, 4dtrcl in between the two dc  in the valley of the previous row, ch5, dc in dc of the 3rd ch of the 5ch space, ch5, 4dtrcl, 5ch**  Repeat 3 more times, sl st into the first ch of the 5ch loop


Corner 5ch, (ctr, 5ch, 3tr) 5ch
8.  3ch (counts as 1tr), (2tr, 5ch, 3tr) into the 5ch loop, 5ch, dc in the tip of the 4dtrcl, dc in the next 7sts, 5ch, dc in the same place as the previous dc, dc in the next 6 sts, 5ch, *(3tr, 5ch, 3tr) , 5ch into the 5ch loop, 5ch, dc in the tip of the 4dtrcl, dc in the next 7sts, 5ch, dc in the
same place as the previous dc, dc in the next 6 sts, 5ch** repeat from * to ** two more times.  Slst into 3rd ch of the beg 3ch.   Fasten off.
Sew in ends and block. 

Next week, since it’s school holidays here in Australia, I have a fun project to get your children (or you, if they’re not interested) crocheting. 
                                                                                                                                    Happy motif making,
Lu xxx


Five questions about crochet - interview

                  Question time: five questions about crochet.

1. What is that I love about crochet? 
 Almost everything…It uses maths, language, art, craft…it’s portable and there are many projects that are achievable and fast!  When I need therapy,  :-)  I can pull out one ball of yarn and make a delightful flower coaster, or brooch, or accessory for a bag.  Even when the day is busy with  meetings or trips across the city, I can fit in a flower or a granny square in ten minutes. 

2. What do I most like to make?
I love making animals, flowers and motifs because they are complete in themselves but I wish blankets were quicker to make and that I lived in a colder climate when it was time to put them together. Australia is so hot but it’s sometimes after a winter of making motifs that a blanket is ready to be assembled but that means it’s almost summer here!  Lesson to be learned, Lu!  Join as you go where possible!

3. What is a tip I’d give a crochet beginner?
 If you can BEAR it, try to start weaving in the end AT THE TIME rather than waiting until they add up to a mess of spare parts!  Oh those ends. They are the bane of every crocheter.   2.  And get yourself into a community or crochet craft group.  Sharing is the best.         Making flowers is the easiest of pleasures...
There is much to be learned from each other and the support or others who share your love of crochet is immeasurable.

A crochet morning at Hotshotz cafe, Brisbane.  

4. When did I first learn to crochet?
I knitted and did embroidery from the age of 6 and 10 respectively, and in a creative, yarn-loving family, I thought it was unusual that my mother and grandmother had not learned to crochet.  I taught myself the basic stitches but always found it hard to follow the instructions in patterns, especially as I couldn’t grasp how it was supposed to look.  Seven years ago, I moved states and found a yarn group.  I took two lessons, bought a ridiculous amount of books, continue to borrow the most books on crochet from the libraries nearby.  It's a rare day that I don’t do some  crochet, even if it’s the last thing I do before nodding off to sleep.  

5. What are the benefits of crochet?
Apart from having the potential to make functional items, the process of crochet is meditative, therapeutic, rewarding.   Crochet is a stress reliever.  And most of all, crocheting is something we can do together over a cup of coffee, a delicious slice of cake and much laughter. 

Write and tell me your most favourite crochet item to make or a tip that has made crocheting easier for you.  

Happy  crocheting! Lu x    

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Beaded Milk Jug Doily

Motif Monday  - Motif 8   

       Beaded Milk Jug Doily  
 Beaded milk jug covers were the first crochet designs that made me want to learn.   Here is a simple-to-make doily. So useful for those days when you want to spend time with friends outdoors.

(Find this  free pattern as a pdf on Ravelry here:

Small amounts of white and colour of your choice, any weight (I used dk)
4mm crochet hook
Diameter finished using  DK  (8ply) 22cm    
Tapestry needle,  scissors, 6 beads

TIP: Check that your tapestry needle can go through the hole in the beads.
        The beads are threaded on at row 7.

Rows 1 and 2 
1.  Magic Ring ch3, 2tr, 1ch into the ring,  *3tr, 1ch into ring, repeat from * 4 more times ( 6 groups of 3tr) . Slst into the 3rd of the beg 2ch.  Pull up the beginning tail to close the magic ring.   
2. Dc in same ch space, * 6ch, dc in ch space, repeat from* 5 more times. Fasten off. 

3. Join white into 6ch space, 3ch (2tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch)  in 6ch space, *(3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) in 6 ch space , Repeat  from * four more times. Slst into 3rd ch of beg 3ch.
4.  *10ch, dc in 2ch space, 10ch, dc in 1ch space. Repeat from * all around. (12 loops of 10ch each).  Slst into the first dc.  
5. Slst into the 10ch space.  *(dc, 2tr, 2dtr, 2tr, dc = shell)  in 6ch space.  Repeat from *all around the 6ch spaces.  Slst into the first dc of previous row.   

6. Dc in between the first and last dc of the 2 shells.   6ch, dc between 2dtr of previous row, 6ch, dc in between the first and last dc of the shells.  Slst into the first dc. Fasten off.

7. ***String 6 beads onto the white yarn by threading a tapestry needle with the yarn.
 NOTE: if you wish to add a bead to every loop end, string on 12 beads and add the 2ch, bead, 2ch to each loop instead of alternate loops as per instructions .  (See photo)
Join the yarn with a dc into the middle of the shell.                                                                      
* 12ch, dc in the dc into the middle of the shell of the previous row.   Repeat all round.  12 loops of 12 ch each.  Separated by a dc.  Slst into the first dc.  
8.  *dc in same place as the slst,  ch2, bring bread to the hook tip, ch2 AFTER the bead has been included, dc in same place as previous dc, *15dc in 12ch space, 15dc in next 12 ch space, dc in dc of previous row,  ch2, bring bead to the hook tip, ch2 AFTER the bead has been brought up, dc in same place as previous dc **.  Repeat from * to ** all around adding beads to every second loop.    Slst into the first dc.  

Fasten off.   Block. 

 Remember, if you are steaming your motif using  an iron (it’s quicker than wetting and allowing the motif to dry), don’t allow the iron to touch the crochet or the beads.   Hold it above the motif and let the steam do it’s magic! 

Beaded Milk jug Doily


Now it's time to take my crochet outdoors, pour a carafe of lime juice cordial and sit by the pool.  It's warm here in Australia despite being Autumn.  Love it!  

Happy crocheting,
Lu x