Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pompom Garland Tutorial

I made this pompom garland at Crafternoon last week. It was so easy to make and now has pride of place hanging over my lounge room window. I have provided links to show you where you can purchase the pompom and cord for hanging. Have fun making your very own garland.

Pompom garland tutorial

You will need

blunt end large tapestry needle (available from sewing shops or Spotlight)


Thread a length of nylon cord onto your tapestry needle. Then simply sew the pompoms along the cord, evenly spaced. The pompoms will stay in place along the cord so you do not need to tie knots in the cord. Tie loops at each end for hanging. Voila! You have made your own pompom garland!

Christmas Tragicrafting

Time for a craft show and tell! Here are some projects I have completed in the lead up to Christmas. Some of them were made during Crafternoon - where a bunch of friends and I got together and ate iced-vovos and gingerbread cats while crafting some christmas bonbons and hats. I just love Crafternoons, I highly recommend that everyone start up their own crafternoon.

We made christmas crackers. I put mini whisks, handmade hats and jokes inside...

We made christmas hats to be worn at the table at Christmas day lunch...

We made pompom garlands. You can use small pompoms to make a necklace or christmas tree decoration and large ones to make a long garland to decorate your house. In my next blog post I will provide a tutorial for making the pompom garland.

Merry Christmas and happy making!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Easiest ever crochet newborn baby beanie

It has been too long since I have posted a free crochet pattern on my blog. I've been back teaching full-time this year so I haven't has as much time as I would like to write up and design patterns. But the joys of being a teacher include having 6 weeks off over summer - yayy! So here is a pattern I have designed to make THE EASIEST EVER newborn baby hat. It takes me less than 15 minutes to whip one up. Even beginners should be able to get a good result.

Newborn Hat Pattern (white wool and 5mm hook)

Round 1: Ch4 (this counts as one dc), 11 dc in 4th ch from hook. (12dc) Do not join.
Round 2: 2 dc into 4th ch of ch4 from previous row, 2dc in each st around. (24dc) Do not join.
R3: *dc in 1st st, 2dc in next st*, repeat to end of round. (36dc) Do not join.
Round 4 – 9: dc in each st. (36dc)
Round 10: hdc in each st to last 3 sts, sc in last 3 sts, ss to finish off.
Fasten off and weave in ends. Finished measurements: approximately 5.5 inches tall and 6 inches wide.

©melpdesigns 2012. Permission is granted to make and sell items made from this pattern, but please kindly reference me as the designer. Please do not sell or distribute this pattern.

How did you go? Was the pattern super easy or what?!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Perth Royal Show creative craft entries

For a laff, this year I am entering some of my crocheted creations into the Perth Royal Show creative crafts competition. Unfortunately I won't be able to see them on display because I will be on holiday in Japan.  I'm entering this very scaring looking scarecrow toy:

I'm also entering this fair isle-style hat

and this mohair shawl.

(flower trellis detail on the shawl)
I really want to win a ribbon!!

Shibori with natural plant dyes

The other weekend I attended a shibori workshop at Kings Park where I learnt how to dye fabrics using natural dyes made from local plants and trees. Shibori is a japanese craft where you bind, clamp, twist or tie fabric before placing into a dye to create multitudes of patterns. The dyes were made from native WA plants including wattle and eucalypts, a dark purple dye was made from purple carrots. Boil up a pot of purple carrots (you can buy them at the supermarkets at the moment), and you can use the purple water to dye things. I'm looking forward to using my new skills to dye my own silk scarves and wool.
tools of the trade

tying the fabric into a donut

binding wool with elastic bands

some finished creations from other workshop participants

I dyed the four pieces in the centre

sunset effect by dipping half fabric in wood ash  dye

some more examples of shibori

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Recent commissions

Crochet Wombat hat:

 Crochet Kettle Bell for baby:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Learning to knit

Learning to knit
Originally uploaded by Mel P Designs

I made up this simple scarf using just knit stitches, 10 mm needles and 3 balls o Debbie Bliss luxury aran yarn. I used f 2 strands held together. I cast on 18 stitches and knit in rows until I ran out of yarn!

I like the stretchiness and texture of knit!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


 New pattern! These slippers are too easy, and work up within about an hour. They are simple and cute and thick and warm! They are made from 2 strands of yarn held together so they are thick, but they have no sole so are strictly for inside use only.
 They are best made with pure wool, which is warm and stretchy. After a while the slippers will stretch, if you want them to go back to their original form, just give them a wash in warm water and they will be as good as new.

To access the pattern, visit my Craftsy store where your can automatically download the PDF for $4. No waiting - pattern is delivered to your inbox immediately. They are listed in my Ravelry too, or etsy store if you prefer..

Friday, February 3, 2012

Missoni Crochet Love

Some inspirational crochet-inspired knitwear from Missoni. I love Missoni's bright colours and intricate patterns. I'm saving up for that bag!

Missoni crochet pattern dress

Missoni crochet bikini

Missoni crochet dress

Want! Missoni crochet bag

Missoni patterned dress

Missoni crochet swimsuit

Missoni is an Italian fashion house based in Varese. It is notable for its knitwear designs, made from a variety of fabrics in colourful patterns. The company was founded by Ottavio ("Tai") and Rosita Missoni in 1953.

You can find Missoni on Net-a-Porter here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Competition Time! Win these earrings.

Win these cute handmade crochet earrings by liking or sharing on your wall/page. Go to my facebook page and become a fan, then like or share the photo of the earrings. On Wednesday 25 Jan 2012 I will use a number generator to pick the winner. Super easy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crochet Tip 1: turning chain for double crochet

You've asked for it: more crochet patterns and tips on my blog. I'm starting a series of "crochet tips" where I will post tips and techniques that I find useful in my own handiwork, and you might too. So the first tip I've recently discovered has made a big difference to the look of crochet rows.


When you get to the end of a row of double crochet, patterns normally require you to turn, then chain 3. The chain 3 counts as the first dc of the next row. But I have a better way to give a neater, more aligned edge. Here's how you do it step-by-step.

1. At the end of the first row of dc, turn but DO NOT chain.

2. Single crochet into the last dc of the previous row.

3. Chain 1. (The sc and ch1 count as a dc)

4. Continue the row of double crochet as normal.

See how much neater you edges look?

x Mel P.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Free Crochet Peter Pan Collar Pattern

I love Peter Pan collars. They look cute and whimsical over a vintage dress or floral top. I've been wanting to crochet one for ages, but couldn't find any patterns for a simple collar, so I have designed one myself!

Here's the pattern. Feel free to make as many of these a you like. But if you are going to sell the finished product, please be kind and reference me as the designer.

x Mel.


Materials: 4 ply cotton - I used Panda brand (but worsted weight acrylic or wool would be fine too), small button or bead.
Hook: 3.5mm
Terminology: American crochet terminology used.

ch 65, turn

Row 1. skip fist 3 ch, dc in each ch to end, turn.

Row 2. ch 3, *dc in each of next 5 dc, 2dc next dc*, repeat to end, turn.

Row 3. ch 3, *dc in each of next 6 dc, 2dc next dc*, repeat to end, turn.

Row 4. ch 3, *dc in each of next 7 dc, 2dc next dc*, repeat to end, finish off.

Row 5 - Edging. With right side facing, join yarn in one corner of foundation chain edge. Sc evenly around around, with 2 sc into corners, until you reach the opposite end of the foundation chain. Chain 5, ss into second last sc just made, and join with a ss. (this is the loop for the button). Finish off.

Sew a button or bead to align with the loop. Collar should measure about 14" around the neck.

That's it! I would love to hear how you went with this project. Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Crochet Bunting

Happy New Year! I hope the start to your year has been wonderful, and that you all enjoyed/are enjoying the festive season. I had a fabulous Christmas and New Years Eve, and hosted a little New Years pre-party party at my house. Even my dog Sparky got into the spirit of things in her sparkly party hat.

I used fairy lights and bunting to decorate my backyard for the party. I have learnt to sew recently, so made my own bunting from a vintage fabric kit I bought from My Poppet. I know bunting is overused, you see it everywhere now, but I still like it!

My first new crochet project for 2012 is this mini triangle bunting. The pattern is suitable for beginners - I have made the instructions super-easy to follow with lots of photos to reference. Get the pattern here, or buy the finished bunting here.

How has your festive season been? Did bunting feature in your decorating?!

x Mel P.