Beak Up Crafts

I'll craft anything once


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How to Make: A Rainbow Granny Square Blanket

Hello everyone,

I recently finished my first ever granny square blanket and thought it would be nice to pass on how to make one to anyone who is looking for help.

As a beginner in crochet, a granny square was the first thing I ever learned how to make. Practice makes perfect and I used it to help me get used to keeping the right tension while making something small that I could finish pretty quickly. However, making granny squares turned out to be quite addictive, so I carried on and soon had enough for a baby blanket!

This post will show you how to make a granny square, how to put granny squares together and how to make a rainbow border for your blanket.

You will need:

  • Different colours of wool/yarn. I used Aran yarn and had eight different colours, but the number is up to you depending on how you want the squares to look.  I had white, yellow, purple, fuschia pink, turquoise, charcoal grey, dark blue and mid blue.
  • 1 x crochet hook (I used a 4.5 (7) hook, but this depends on the type of yarn you use)
  • Time and patience!
Granny squares

My first granny squares!

  1. Make your first granny square. I looked around for the best videos on YouTube showing how to make these small woolly squares, and the best I found were by Bethintx1. They are really easy to follow and take you through every step and I would really recommend them to anyone here.
  2. Once you have made one granny square, if you would like to make a blanket the same size as the one I did you will need to make 29 more! That will make a blanket of 5 squares x 6 squares, although of course you can go bigger or smaller if you wish! Have fun with the colour combinations and maybe try to make 30 different colourways if you have enough different shades of yarn.

    Granny Squares

    Lots and lots of granny squares

  3. Fasten your squares together. After asking for some help on this blog, I was recommended Attic24‘s method of crocheting the squares together using a simple slip stitch method. I can confirm that this was a really easy way to put them all together.
    Border and no border

    Border and no border

    As my squares were in a variety of colours, I decided to single crochet a white border around each one before putting them together using white yarn to make sure the stitch colour was neat and uniform. If you don’t know how to do a single crochet you can find out how here, while Attic24’s granny square method is here.

  4. Finally, make the rainbow border! I picked out colours from my blanket for the border but you can choose any colours you like. I did mine in rainbow colours, starting at the bottom of the rainbow with white, then blue, working through turquoise, yellow, purple and finishing off with hot pink. To do this, I did rounds of half double crochet – one round in each colour – fastened off and crocheted over the fastened end with the next row. For the final row, I weaved the tail in using my hook. I chose to do half double crochet stitches for a bit of height so you could see each one of the colours while keeping the rows solid. If you don’t know how to do a half double crochet stitch you can find out how here.

    Blanket corner

    Blanket corner

And that’s how to make a granny square blanket with a rainbow border!

I hope you find this tutorial useful, but if not please let me know and I will try to help/change the instructions to make it clearer.

I would love to see any blankets you make so if you do make one please leave a link to some pictures in the comments section!

Kate x

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Granny Square Blanket: It’s coming together

Granny Squares

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a great weekend so far.

I was off work yesterday and I decided it was finally time to put my granny square baby blanket together. I have to admit, I made all of the squares ages ago then got nervous about crocheting/stitching them together. Ridiculous, eh?

Anyway, after being pointed towards Attic24’s simple method of crocheting the squares together with a slip stitch (thanks to the lovely ladies who read my initial blog post!) I got stuck in yesterday.

I’ve now stitched all of the squares together and have crocheted a half double crochet border in the same colour as the yarn I used for the joins.

I’m thinking of adding a colourful border with the wool I used in the squares to give a mini rainbow effect. What do you think, or do you have any top tops for finishing off a granny square blanket? I would love to hear your ideas.

Kate x


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Time to Stop Being a Square

When I’m learning something new I want to try as many things as possible, all at once. This generally means a few projects tend to fall by the wayside and remain unfinished. Is it just me or are you like that too?

When I first picked up a crochet hook and some wool in the autumn of 2012 I started, as probably most people do, making granny squares. I found making them really addictive as they got me familiar with using the hook, how to work with the wool and I could make them fairly quickly.

Granny squares

Except then I was bought a book on how to make amigurumi, so I ditched the granny squares and started making cute little animals instead.

The piles of woolly little squares were consigned to a draw and there they have stayed – until now. I think it’s about time I have a go at joining them together.

I’m a bit nervous about doing this (as I’ve never done it before) which is another reason why I never did it at the time.

So now, more than a year on, I’m on the lookout for an easy and foolproof way to join my little squares together and make a nice little baby blanket. Any top tips anyone please?

Hopefully I will be able to give you an update with the full stitched-together blanket soon…

Kate x


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How to make… a Teapot table plan

Hello again everyone, I hope you have had a lovely and productive week! So what have you been up to in the past few days?

With a slight fear of causing you to drift off into a snooze, I have to admit that yep, I’ve been doing a bit more wedding DIY. It’s nearly done, I promise!

Die-cut teapots

This week Wayne and I have been very productive on the wedding front (just over a month to go!). We wrote some personal poems to go in each of our favours (well, he wrote most of them), then wrapped them up. I’ve been confirming payments with suppliers while Wayne has been sorting out timings and music choices for the bands and DJ. I’m hoping we will have everything done by the end of the month so come February we can just relax!

Anyway, I have also been working on creating a table plan for the wedding. With our budget stretched to the max, I have made this using things we already had around the house, plus some cute die-cut teapot cut-outs I bought from eBay for £1!

Teapots (and tea) is a bit of a theme at the wedding, but without giving too much away, having them feature on the table plan fitted in really well.

How I made it:

To save money, I decided to use an old IKEA Ribba frame in white for the basis of the table plan, but ditched the glass. I think it’s a great idea to re-use things you already have if they fit the bill, especially if you aren’t currently using them.  The brown backing board of the frame meant I could write guests’ names on white luggage labels and these would show up great with the neutral background – I quite liked the brown as it looks a bit rustic and crafty.

I wrote the guests names on the luggage labels (pencil first, measuring the same gap between the lines) before going over them with a Sharpie.

I then attached the labels to the back of the die-cut cardboard teapot shapes. I thought they looked a bit like teabags dangling down, sort of! I did this using sticky tape.

The next stage was working out how to position them on the board – horizontally or vertically?

Wayne and I decided that vertical looked the best as it allowed the labels to hang better – but you will have to wait to see the finished article after the day. Don’t want to give anything away!

I then measured the board to work out where to place the teapots and stuck them in place using double-sided sticky pads.

And there you go!

I still need to add a bit of something to the top where I will somehow attach a message telling guests how to find their table. Any ideas how I can do this are very much appreciated! Maybe a strip of lace or mini bunting or a ribbon with the message somehow attached?

I hope you enjoyed reading my post. If you are doing any wedding DIY yourself I would especially love to hear from you!

Kate x


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Product Review: PlastiKote Fast Dry Project Enamel

Hello again, I hope you’re all having a lovely week and have some nice things planned.

For me, I’m still in full-on wedding mode (36 days to go and counting!), which means my craft projects are still very much wedding-based at the moment. This week it’s been like a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – with spray paint!

My latest bit of DIY has seen me use product I’ve never used before, and I thought I would share a quick review in case you might be thinking of trying out something like this yourself.

The product I used was PlastiKote Fast Dry Project Enamel, or for want of a better term – fancy spray paint. The purpose? To paint some teapots a different colour.

I needed to find some teapots in different colours for some wedding decor, but after searching high and low on eBay, in charity shops and anywhere else I could think of, the only ones I could find that were perfect for what I wanted were very pricey.

Then Wayne had an idea – we had been given some teapots by the lovely people at Yorkshire Tea (this is another story!) – and why couldn’t I just spray them a different colour? Genius!

Yorkshire Tea tepot

So after a bit of research off I went to our local DIY store, where I bought a small tin of PlastiKote Fast Dry Project Enamel in bright yellow and one in sky blue.

The teapots I was painting were a bold red, with a black logo on the front (above) so I guessed they might take a bit of disguising. However, I had a look on PlastiKote’s Facebook page and there were plenty of examples of the paint being used for different purposes, and thought it would fit the bill.

The instructions on the spray paint say:

  • Several thinner coats of paint are better than one thick coat
  • Make sure you spray in a well-ventilated area (essential as it stinks and I imagine would give you a massive headache and would be dangerous)
  • Spray from a distance of 20-30 centimetres
  • The paint is touch dry in about an hour (when you can do a second coat) and totally dry after three hours
  • Each small tin is enough to cover 1.2 metres square – plenty for one teapot

Round one

I started off with the yellow paint, and I’ve got to say, this did not cover the old colour of the teapot as well as the sky blue did. After the first coat (where I got a bit too close and put too much, causing it to run!) I could still see the old logo peeking through.

This did not seem to happen with the sky blue, which covered it a lot better.

Round two

I let the paint dry (went off and had my dinner) then came back to do a second coat, this time turning the teapots upside down as I had missed the bottom in the first coat. I’m not sure why, but the yellow paint still didn’t seem to cover as well, and despite me now knowing how much paint to apply after my earlier mistake, it still seemed to run a lot with the yellow – but weirdly not with the blue. Maybe the yellow paint is a bit thinner?

Sky blue round two

Anyway, I left them to dry, with little trickles running down the side of the yellow teapot. Very annoying, but wiping them just caused more mess.

Round three

The final coat of the blue paint and the new blue teapot looks pretty good. As for the yellow, it didn’t turn out too well in the end, as after yet another coat, you could still see the logo and there are some really annoying paint runs. I’m half thinking about doing it again on another teapot, but it would mean buying more of the stuff and it possibly not working again. Maybe I will just have to try and find a yellow teapot after all…

Blue and yellow teapot

Would I recommend it?

Yes and no. I would recommend the sky blue paint – it covered really well, even the black logo. The yellow paint, on the other hand, did not provide anywhere near as good coverage, seemed to be runny and was much more hard work.

Kate x


5 Comments

Feeling Fat (Quarters)

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re all well! It’s Friday again! Do you have any nice plans for the weekend? Wayne and I are going out for tea with a couple of friends tonight then tomorrow I’m having a makeup trial for the wedding. I’m a bit nervous as I’ve never had one before but fingers crossed it will go well and I won’t end up looking like I’ve had a run in with some Ronseal wood stain or like a painted doll…

Anyway, after last week’s post where I asked for some help with my new sewing machine – thanks again to everyone who took the time to read my post and offer brilliant advice, I really appreciate it – I have a quick update.

OK, so I haven’t been brave enough to actually try and sew anything yet but I have made a step in the right direction by buying some fabric to practice with.

Here it is, isn’t it pretty:

One thing I do like is that the material comes in a size known as a Fat Quarter. This is a new one on me but I think it’s a brilliant name. Quite why there isn’t a Slim 16th or a Fat Eighth is called a Fat Eighth (when really it’s not that fat) I don’t know, but I like it all the same and I’m looking forward to making a start.

That reminds me, I must buy some batteries for my mini sewing machine.

I have to admit, my crafting has kind of taken a back seat this week as wedding planning has taken over. I guess that’s what happens when you’re just over a month away from saying “I dos”. Things are all on track, but meeting with the venue and florist, writing notes and ticking things off lists means apart from the crochet bird cake toppers, I haven’t had time to try and get to grips with my new sewing machine. Hopefully I will get the chance next week!

Speak to you then!

Kate x


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New Sewing Machine – Help!

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a lovely New Year’s Eve and that you have a fantastic 2014! (I can now say I’m getting married THIS YEAR – agh!)

So did you get any craft-related presents for Christmas? I did and I’m a bit scared…

My grandparents bought me a dinky little sewing machine, and I’ve got to say, I’m pretty nervous about using it.

I’ve always wanted to make a beautiful quilt but I have no idea where to start. I don’t even know if I will be able to make one with the sewing machine I have been bought – that’s how clueless I am! Any help in this area will be very much appreciated please!

Here are a couple pics of my new piece of kit:

image-7

Sewing machine

I think once I’ve got a few bits of wedding DIY done I’m going to try and make a simple quilt. Got to walk before I can run, right? If you have any suggestions of something I could try I would really appreciate it. I do like the look of this tutorial, though. Looks like a good place to start: http://thecuriousquilter.wordpress.com/tutorials/classic-squares-tutorial-part-1-topper/

Would love to know what new craft items you have been given or bought recently. Please let me know in the contact box below – I love a chat 🙂

Kate x