Saturday, 8 December 2012

'Tis the Season to get Crafty.....

With Christmas steaming towards us and dark nights keeping us in what better time to get crafting?! This time last year my household was frantic with making Christmas hampers for six couples of our nearest and dearest - they went down a storm. Don't get me wrong, they were such hard work but worth every second when they were presented on Christmas Day, plus we had so much fun designing and making them!

Snowflake decorations
Each hamper (which was actually an upcycled cheese box!) had homemade jams, chutneys, liqueurs, hats, scarves, tree decorations, sweets, potted game, bath salts and much more. And of course I had to go to town with crochet - each and every jam jar had a festive lid!

Festive homemade jams
By no means was this a cheap way to do Christmas, we probably spent as much if not more than we normally would as we made sure the contents were the best and locally sourced. They were however I think the best Christmas presents we have ever given and people are placing bets on what we will get up to this year....

If you fancy having a go at the jar covers then pop along to find me on Etsy and you can get the pattern - there's still plenty of time to whip some up....

Festive Jam Jar Cover Pattern


After she had finished the jams my Mum reused the jars and pressed the covers to make them into coasters for her Christmas candles....not a bad idea I thought!

My latest craze for this year is present tags that become tree decorations - a gift on a gift! I have designed these cute little owls to be just that and can't wait to give all my gifts out this year with them on. I confess I may keep a couple back for my tree though...

Cute Christmas Owl Gift Tags

They are so quick and easy to make plus you can give them personality by using different types of stitching for the feathers. To read more about them and find the pattern pop along to grab the pattern...

Christmas Owl Gift Tag Pattern





Christmas is the perfect time to craft and give, there's still plenty of time (!) to make some little extras.....



Monday, 15 October 2012

Mug Hugs and Baby Uggs....

Super Duper Mug Cozies
Cute Baby Ugg Style Boots





























With winter approaching keeping warm and cosy has been on my mind - plus what to make everyone for Christmas this year too! The ideas for my latest patterns came about by accident. The mug cozy pattern was created on a wet and windy afternoon after sorting out my massive (!) stash of wool and trying to come up with an idea to use up all the odds and ends from other projects. What better way than this?

SUPER DUPER MUG COZIES....

The mug cozies are a perfect beginners piece for many reasons:
  • they are made with quite a good size hook (4.5mm) so that the tension isn't too difficult and also doesn't really matter
  • they use really basic but varied stitches 
  • they aren't too big or take too long - nobody likes using the same stitch over and over again for your first project only to come out with a slightly wonky scarf! 
They are great as a little gift or make a set for coffee time at work so no more mixed up mugs. The best bit about them is adding personality with the colours and buttons. I have a large collection of vintage buttons that I pick up from charity shops and I just love picking the right one for each colour scheme.

The cozies are made from double knit yarn and when finished will fit most mugs of 20cm-27cm around. 

If you fancy having a go at the pattern then just click here for the mug cozy





BABY UGG STYLE BOOTS....

These cute little numbers were the product of so many friends with little ones asking me for a baby boot pattern that actually stay on tiny feet! I have met the challenge with a winter boot pattern that has a chunky cuff and button fastening that means toasty warm toes and requires an accomplished escape artist of a child to get out of them!

They too are worked in double knit yarn so they are robust but also lovely and soft too. I have made so many of them already and have a great collection ready as Christmas stocking fillers.

These great little boots use up hardly any yarn so are a lovely little 'user-uper' and are finished off with, you guessed it, a gorgeous vintage button on each to secure. I have tried making them in all sort of colours, I think cream, navy or grey work best although I have made a cerise pink pair which are kind of crazy but I love them too.

If you would like to make a pair (or more..) then click here for the pattern











Super Duper Mug Cozy Crochet Pattern

Baby Ugg Style Boots Crochet Pattern

Coming up next are some scarf patterns that I have come up with - one is a snuggly zigzag bobble, the other is a soft lace dark grey with a ruffle edging which looks amazing clipped with a brooch. I also have a stretchy new snood pattern on the go - I'm using a yarn I've never come across before - it has quite a lot of elastane in it and loads of glitter.....


Monday, 13 August 2012

Bath, Bows and Boots!

Bath....

Well, after promising to update you on the craft show in Bath Guildhall last month I suddenly thought I had better get on with it before my next show! The day was rainy and miserable which meant it as perfect for getting people in out of the wet to come and see the show. It was a small gathering of crafts-people, jewelery, glassware, wooden toys, beautiful woven art were all on show and we had a wonderful day - thanks to anyone who stopped by to see us! 




HanJan Stall at the Bath Guildhall










The next event I have booked is the So Natural Baby Show on Sunday 9th September 2012 at Green Park Station, Bath, UK. As the name suggests, the stall will only include baby items - I can't wait - I have so many new winter stock ideas I am busy making from baby button boots to cosy snowflake hats, watch this space....

For more information visit So Natural Baby Show

 Bows.....  - FREE CROCHET PATTERN-

One of the items that went down really well on my stall were my little bow hairclips (they measure 7cm by 4cm) - everyone snapped them up for little girls they knew or just for themselves to add to a hairband, scarf, bag etc. So I thought I would share this really simple pattern with you. I have written it in UK terms, for US terms just change a dc for a sc and you will be fine.



To make the hairclips you will need:


  • About 20g double knit wool in whatever colour/s you like
  • 2.5mm crochet hook
  • A small piece of felt in the colour of your choice to back the bow
  • A 5cm hairclip 
  • A tiny amount of craft glue 
The bow is made in 2 parts:

For the bigger part of the bow:

Foundation Chain: ch16
Foundation Row: 1dc in 2nd ch from hook, 1dc in each ch to end (15)
Row 1: 1ch, 1dc in each dc across (15)

Repeat the last row 9 times. Fasten off and weave in ends. 

For the middle part of the bow:

Foundation Chain: ch4
Foundation Row: 1dc in 2nd ch from hook, 1dc in each ch to end (3)
Row 1: 1ch, 1dc in each dc across (3)

Repeat the last row 8 times. Fasten off leaving a length of yarn to sew with. 

Wrap the middle part of the bow around the larger part and sew the opposing ends of the middle part together with the length of yarn you left to sew with. This will pull the larger part in at the middle and make the bow shape. You can tweak it until you are happy with the folds and shape of your bow before fastening it. 


Next you need to use your finished crochet bow as a template to cut a piece of felt for the backing. Once you have cut this felt then simply stitch the felt to the bow with the same colour yarn as the bow. I found this a bit tough with a tapestry needle so switched to a sharper one instead.  


The last step is to carefully glue on the spring clip to the back centre of the bow and you are done - so cute! There are so many colour combinations and sizes that you can make each one completely unique. I have made loads of really tiny ones for babies, larger ones as a joke bow-tie, sewn them onto phone socks and headbands, the choice is yours, have fun making them and see what you come up with! 

Boots...

Well, this is just to say that I'm working on some very cute little baby boots at the moment - in fact I am off to make the model of the largest size now. They are soft and squiggy with a little cuff flap that fastens with any button you like - I'm going for gorgeous vintage ones! I'll let you know how I get on...




Friday, 13 July 2012

Come and Join Us in Bath...

Tomorrow I will be in Bath Guildhall, Bath, UK for a lovely little craft fair to sell our wares. If anyone is in the area then please pop by to say hello and have a look at what is on offer - I will be taking crocheted and knitted items plus some copies of my HanJan crochet patterns.

I think I've packed everthing I need.....we'll soon see! Will definitely be taking the camera so will take a few snaps to show you how it all goes!



Sunday, 24 June 2012

Twit Twoo and Zingy Too!

Owls are everywhere at the moment and rightly so - they are just so cute! I have so many friends with new babies arriving that I thought I would design some little owls for their cots and prams to keep them company.

I wanted to make soft sweet toys that were bright and different to anything anyone else would be giving as a gift and I think I've managed it...

My Cute Owl Family

 So far I have given them as little baby gifts, added them to a keyring, used them as a pin cushion, made a mobile and garland from them, the list goes on. Whatever you choose to use them for, they are great fun and easy to make and are perfect for using up oddments of yarn.

They can be made in any combination of colour and also look cute in block colours too. They have soft yarn eyes and so are safe for any age but you could dress them up with some vintage buttons if you want them for yourself. Just have fun with them!

The owls  finished sizes are:
1st owl – 15cm by 12cm, 2nd owl – 12cm by 10cm, 3rd owl – 10cm by 8cm, 4th owl – 8cm by 6cm


 Everyone who knows the basics of crochet can make these owls, they use really simple stitches so are quick to make and the best bit is that you can customise them to make them your own so be creative and see where it takes you!

I want to make these owls!











and Zingy too....

Everyone loves EDFs Zingy don't they?! I have been so busy making gifts for friends and their new babies that I thought I'd have some light relief and make myself a little Zingy toy....and here he is!

My Zingy Creation!

I hadn't realised quite how much people loved him - as soon as I mention to anyone that I've made him the reaction is amazing. I've already sold some patterns and have found out who they are making him for and which of the adverts is their favourite!

This version of Zingy is just 9cm high so a great size for a little toy or cute gift. I'm in the process of creating a really mini one so that it can become a keyring too.

If you would like the pattern for Zingy then pop along to my Etsy shop to find him:

Zingy Pattern

Or if you would like me to make a Zingy for you then just send me a message at hanjancrafts@gmail.com.

Zingy in a dingy!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Gentle ZigZag Baby Blanket: Shell Instructions

My new creation came from the desire to make a precious gift for a friend having her first baby this summer who doesn't know what flavour baby she is having, who I think would prefer a more traditional style but not a frilly one - nothing like setting yourself a good challenge!

So the blanket had to be:
  • suitable for both boys and girls
  • light enough for winter but big enough to wrap around in winter
  • trendy with a traditional style
  • above all NOT frilly!
 What do you think?...


I think I've ended up covering all the bases and am very pleased with the finished blanket. It measures 90cm by 90cm so folds into a lovely triangle swaddle or over in half to be a pram cover or just as it is to be a wrap. I decided to push the boat out and bought some expensive 4ply soft baby yarn - I can highly recommend doing this, it is well worth the money. I made the blanket in cream as we don't know whether it is a boy or a girl but I'm sure it will work just as well in colour.

The main body of the blanket is worked as 3 panels, the centre one being twice as big as the two outer, which are then joined by a simple fretwork panel.





Quite a few people have asked me to explain the zigzag shell stitch pattern so here it goes.

It of course depends on the size of work you want to make but for example, a panel that measures 10 inches wide is as follows:

Foundation chain: Ch66
Foundation row: 1dc in 2nd ch from hook, 1dc in each st to end. (65st)
Row 1: 3ch, 1tr in next dc, (miss 2dc, 5tr in next dc, 2ch, miss 3dc, 1tr in each of next 5dc). Repeat () ending with 1tr in each of the last 2dc. (RS)
Row 2: 3ch, 1tr in next tr, (miss 2ch, 5tr in next tr, 2ch, miss 4tr, 1tr in each of next 5tr). Repeat () ending with 1tr in each of the last 2tr.

Repeat Row 2 until the work is the size you want.

These instructions are in UK crochet terms but are easily translated to US, just work a sc where it says dc and a dc where it says tr.

If you would like the pattern for the blanket which obviously includes the full shell panel sizes, the fretwork joining, the blanket edging and also my 8 page tutorial then follow these links:

US version

UK version

It is available in both UK and US terms so you don't have to translate as you go!



I hope you like the pattern, my next plan is to design a hat and cardigan set to match so it is a real gift to treasure. I'll let you know when I've done them so I can find out what you make of them.

At the moment I'm working on some different size kimono style shrugs for babies to teenagers and also some cute owl designs so watch this space....



Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Flower Beanie Hats Pattern

After lots of thought about what exactly to post - I thought that writing about my patterns I've designed so far, or the projects I've made etc., but I finally decided to talk about my most recent designs and thier inspirations.

So to start with - my new pattern:

FLOWER BEANIE HATS




These hats came about after a lovely lady on Etsy messaged me asking for an adult or child version of a pattern I'd already listed. I messed around with my original pattern and came up with these. I used a variety of colour combinations in the hope that they would appeal to lots of different people and added 2 types of flowers with chunky buttons to finish.

This pattern would be perfect for anyone starting to learn to crochet - it uses really simple stitches and is an easy pattern to read. I decided to write the patterns out in full for each of the sizes as I find reading parentheses is so hard! I always get confused.

The pattern only uses about 70g of double knit wool so is really cheap to make and I can finish one in about an hour (I do work fast though...)




Unfortunately I don't have an array of heads to test them on but the smallest fitted my friends new baby and the largest fits me so I am assuming the rest will fit everyone between us!




Find this flower beanie pattern online

I hope you like it. Next up is a new blanket that I have designed, a gentle cream zigzag affair in soft 4ply baby wool.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Off we go...

So it started with Etsy, now it's snowballed to Folksy, Craftsy, Twitter, Facebook and now here! I have finally plucked up the courage to talk about and share my crochet patterns and creations with the rest of the world. I hope to keep you up to date with my current projects and patterns along with inspirations and ideas too.