I've been doing quite a bit of sewing lately, I made the curtains for the kitchen here at The Old Forge and for the new dining room (piccies soon, not quite finished in there yet!) I have also acquired some proper blocking pins for my crochet and I need some pin cushions.
I had a look round and came across these dinky crocheted jar toppers on one of the blogs I check in with from time to time. I wanted to do something a bit different rather than just copying. Mine are crocheted too but they've been washing machine felted. to make a denser surface to stick pins in Originally they were going to be octopus pin cushions but somehow they evolved into jellyfish!
Here's how I made them. Crochet instructions use standard UK crochet abbreviations throughout
- One 50g ball of SMC Wash+Fitz-it in Fine weight (I bought mine from allsewyarns on Ebay). I only used about half of the ball.
- 4mm crochet hook (or equivalent to achieve gauge noted below)
- One empty 360g Sharwoods Mango Chutney jar and lid (thoroughly washed and dried)
- A quantity of oddments of yarn and ribbons to match and contrast the SMC yarn either from your own stash or a creative yarn pack from somewhere like SixSkeins
- Small quantity of soft wadding to stuff jellyfish body with (I used some left over quilting wadding but clean old duvet, pillow or cushion filling would do just as well
- Small quantity of sewing thread for sewing machine
- PVA Glue
tr - treble
dc - double crochet
ss - slip stitch
ch - chain
st - stitch
sts - stitches
sp - space
marker - stitch marker
18 sts and 22 rows worked in dc equals 4"
MAIN BODY OF JELLYFISH
First we're making the main body part of the jellyfish.
Ch 4, join with a ss into the first ch to form a ring. We'll be working this in a spiral so there are no further joins at the end of any rows.
Row 1: Ch 1, 8 dc into ring (9 sts) Place marker into last dc.
Row 2: dc into ch at start of last round *(2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st) repeat from * up to and including the st with the marker (13 sts). Remove marker from previous row and place it in last dc worked.
Row 3: dc in next st *(2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st) repeat from * up to and including the st with the marker. (19 sts). Remove marker from previous row and place it in last dc worked. (NB, at the end of all subsequent rows you need to move the marker from the end of the previous row and place it in the last st worked. From now on, as you've got the hang of it now, I won't continue to repeat this instruction.
Row 4: 2 dc in next st *(1 dc in next st, 2 dc in next st) repeat from * up to and including the st with the marker (29 sts).
Row 5: 1 dc in every st all round up to and including the st with the marker.
Row 6: 1 dc in each of next 2 sts *(2 dc in next st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st) repeat from * up to and including the st with the marker (38 sts).
Rows 7 and 8: 1 dc in every st all round up to and including the st with the marker.
Row 9: *(1 dc in each of next 9 sts, 2 dc in next st) repeat from * twice more. 1 dc in each of next 8 sts (41 sts).
Rows 10, 11 and 12: 1 dc in every st all round up to and including the st with the marker.
Row 13: 2 ch, 3 tr into each st all round, this time omitting the marker st., 2 tr in marker st.
Row 14: Dc into top of 2 ch, dc in each st all the way round up to and including marker st. Remove marker. ss into next dc. Fasten off and weave in the ends.
Once made, I put it in the washing machine with my jeans on a long Cotton wash at 60 degrees. This is what it looked like when it came out, shrunken and the stitches have almost disappeared into the felting. I could've washed it again and probably lost all the stitch definition but this was close enough to what I wanted.
BOTTOM OF JELLYFISH
This item isn't felted and so didn't need to put into the washing machine.
Ch 4, join with a ss to form a ring
Row 1: 3 ch, 15 tr into ring, join with ss into top of 3 ch (16 sts)
Row 2: 4 ch *(1 tr in next st, 1 ch) repeat from * all round, join with ss into 3rd ch of 4 ch (16 spokes and 16 spaces).
Row 3: 1 ch, dc into sp *(dc into tr, dc into sp) repeat all round, ss into 1 ch. Fasten off leaving a long tail to sew up with.
NB As I said above, this item remains unfelted.
Next I made the jellyfish fronds hanging down. I cut two 2" squares of Soluweb from Ribbons and Buttons Amazon shop.
I then placed one of the square on a flat surface and and arranged 15" lengths of the yarn and ribbon so that they cross over each other with the centre of the crossover place being the first squares. 40 lengths was plenty but if you decide to make one it's up to you how many you add, I'm thinking as I'm typing this, you could also crochet corkscrews in fine yarn which would look amazing (mental note made to do another one like that...!)
If you don't have enough different types of yarn for this, you can buy ready made bundles for purposes such as this from various Etsy shops. I have used SixSkeins in the past and found them reliable and their products lovely.
When you've got enough, place the other square on top ...
... and then pin through the top square of Soluweb, through the yarn oddments and catching the bottom square in five or six places to keep it secure.
The pins are just to hold it all together whilst you transport it to the sewing machine.
Sew a random pattern of lines all over the Soluweb, removing pins as you go til all the oddments of yarn are secured. If you don't have a sewing machine, you could hand stitch this with a series of running stitches, it would obviously take longer and you'd need to make sure your stitches are small.
Rinse away the Soluweb in warm water (this should only take a minute or two). It's totally magic the way it just disappears! Blot on a towel and then leave the whole thing in a warm place to dry.
Once it's dry, place the little wheel on top and then draw the 2-3 oddments of yarn through each of the spoke holes using a crochet hook.
Try to get them even all the way around.
I added some red curling ribbon left over from christmas present wrapping. I obviously had to do this after the wet stage as it's just made out of paper.
Fill the main body with stuffing material up to the level of the ripple edge.
Stitch the wheel and fronds in place carefully and securely just inside (about a centimetre) the ripple edge. You can leave the end to dangle in with the rest of the fronds, just trim it to length.
Cover the lid of the jar with PVA glue and place carefully in the middle of the wheel. Add a book or something heavy on top to weight it down whilst it dries.
Put the lid on the jar keeping the fronds outside the jar itself. Stick some pins in the top (excess ones can be kept in the jar) and you're all finished!