Archives for posts with tag: crochet

In my last post I mentioned that I was working on a new cowl – and Ta Da! – the Stained Glass Cowl is now done. It took a while (25 hours + dealing with ends), but I’m really happy with how it turned out.

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The cowl was made out of Loops and Threads Woolike in black, red, pumpkin spice, lavender, sage, and denim blue, with an E hook. I can’t tell you how much I love this color combination. It’s just so yummy! I also like how the stitch makes a bobble-ish type texture; I’ve always been a big fan of texture stitches. The black sc stitch rows were always worked with the front side facing you. The 7-dc shell stitch rows were alternated between the front and back sides.

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I discovered another really neat textured stitch called the Nest stitch and I worked on a wrap (see below) with that stitch on the plane rides to and from my visit with my mom (had a wonderful time, BTW!). Again, this is a heavily textured, squishy stitch and I can easily see why this would be great for a baby blanket. I’m using the Ls & Ts Woolike for this project too, and it looks like it will turn into a really nice lightweight wrap/scarf.

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Alas, I must put this aside to work on the Christmas ornaments that I give to my family. They’re not crocheted this year. Actually, I’m using a craft project from Martha Stewart that she showcased on one of her shows many, many years ago. You decorate styrofoam balls with lovely fabric, embellished ribbons, and anything else you think would look good. Of course, hers were gorgeous; I can only hope mine come out half as good!

Yes, I know. I kind of fell off the map for awhile, but before I go visit my Mom for her 92nd birthday, I felt I should throw a post together – just to make sure you all don’t think I’ve retired to some remote island somewhere. So, this is what I’ve been up to during my posting absence.

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As you might recall, my nephew’s wife is due in December (a girl!) and this is what I will be gifting her with at the shower this Saturday. The Unicorn Lovey I designed myself and the pattern is now available in my shop. The booties pattern still eludes me – sorry. The sweater is a free pattern offered by Caron Simply Soft yarn here. Lilleliis’ doll pattern is sold here, but I did add the crocheted heart applique based on Pink Milk’s free pattern. The baby blanket is based on the pattern by Debra O’Leary Patterns, Arielle’s Square, available for purchase here. The edging is different than her pattern – row 1 – sc around; row 2 – *hdc, skip one sc, ch 1, hdc in next sc*, repeat * to * around; and the bobble edge is *sl st in next st, sl st in next st, 3 dc’s in next st*, repeat * to * around. A simple but cute border, even if I do say so myself. And you could weave a ribbon in the hdc row if you wanted. The squares were whip-stitched together.

IMG_1057I am still totally in love with Lilleliis’ Cuddly Baby Amigurumi doll. The one on the right is being given away and I’ll list the middle one for sale in my shop. The one on the left is the first one I made. He has button eyes and a button heart on his chest, so he wouldn’t be any good for a baby/toddler. I think I may just have to keep him for myself!

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I love doilies but really don’t have much of a use for them. I do like the idea of framing them or attaching them to hoops for decoration, though. This Wispweave pattern by Julia Hart really caught my eye, so of course I had to try my hand at it. She has much better lighting in her photos to show off the textural stitches, so go take a look at her post. Above is my version. I plan to try this in multi-colors – this could make a great base to a dream catcher. It is an intricate pattern and a little fiddly, but well worth it.

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In trying to keep with my resolution to use up my stash, I have delved into my collection of Loops and Threads Woolike yarn and began this cowl. It has been inspired by the very lovely and economical Botanica Cowl Kit being offered by Willow Yarns (anyone say “Christmas”?). I love the little “bobble-ish” texture my cowl is taking on, and I’m very happy with the colors. Plus, since Woolike is a fingering yarn, the weight of this cowl is perfect for the mild California winters.

Well, I hope this proves that even though I may be very behind in my blog posts, I certainly keep moving forward with my crochet projects. I hope everyone has a great Halloween, and I’ll see you in November. Till then, happy crocheting!

You know, they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And sometimes life just makes sure I don’t forget it.

I’ve been crocheting fairly consistently now for about 30 years and I consider myself at an intermediate level, although I’ve certainly not had much of any experience making clothing. You know, the kind that actually has to fit. So every now and then I’ll be perusing Pinterest and I’ll find a photo of an item that I fall in love with, but then I find out I’d have to pay for the pattern. Since I have a very small budget, I try to be frugal. And sometimes I’m arrogant (and silly) enough to think that I can just figure out the pattern on my own.

Such was the case of the Metro Kerchief by Yuliya Tkacheva. Even though I am a lace fan at heart, occasionally when I see a beautiful geometric pattern I fall in love. And I fell hard for this one. But since my budget is tight, I thought (after looking very carefully at the scarf) that I could figure it out on my own. HA!

First off, you have to be careful to choose a yarn that has quite a bit of body to it because a soft yarn won’t hold the design. That was my first mistake, so I had to start over with another yarn. Next, after you figure out how to do the pattern, you have to figure out the correct increases/decreases, otherwise you will end up with either a VERY long scarf, a very short scarf, or a very lopsided scarf.

I won’t bore you will all the details, but this scarf took me almost a month to finally get right (and with a lot of mathematical help from my husband, too). Looking back on this now, that’s totally insane. Of course, when I started out I had no idea it would be so difficult for me (that arrogance again!), but at least the experience has taught me a lesson. Unless an item is super-super easy, JUST BUY THE PATTERN!

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The Urban Kerchief, now available in my Bonanza Shop

I have since completed my version of this scarf, and even though it took me forever, I am very happy with how it turned out. It is currently available for sale at my Bonanza booth – only $21.99 and free shipping! (Christmas is coming faster than you know….)

I have totally fallen off the track with posting as I had promised myself at New Year’s. I went to a wonderful 4th of July/family reunion party and had a great time, but within a couple days the weather went to 112 degrees and I didn’t handle it well. (Neither did several of my plants, and I am afraid I’ve lost at least two of them.) Then last Tuesday my husband went in for surgery (all is well!), but I had to get up at 3:30 am to get ready to leave with him, which really threw my routine in a tizzy. Silly me, I brought a shawl to work on while I was waiting, but I was so tired I ended up having to rip out all that I had done. Oh well, it kept me busy. I’ve since caught up on my sleep and I am back with the living now!

My husband was just recently notified that his family is going to have a new addition. The nephew and his wife had a gender reveal at the July 4th party – it’s a girl! So if course that means anything I was currently working on or planning to work on has been set aside for now. There are so many wonderful things to crochet for babies – it’s so hard to choose! However, I remembered a particular doll that I had seen a while ago that I fell in love with, but it was a paid pattern so I took a pass. But now I have the perfect excuse for buying it! So I did. It’s called “Cuddle-baby – amigurumi doll” by Lilleliis and it cost about $4.68 in US dollars (4 Euros). The pattern is well written and easy to follow; it was me who screwed up, so of course it took forever to make.

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Cuddle-Baby – Amigurumi by Lilleliis

My suggestion is to make sure you have all the same weight yarn to make this doll with. I thought I did, but it didn’t take me too long to realize I didn’t. You see, I’m still trying to keep with using my stash, so I worked with what I had. I started with the head and then went on to the body. The yarn I used for the head was at least a DK and the body was definitely sport weight. The head was huge! So I had to unravel half the head and figure out how to make it smaller, which was time consuming. Then I realized I hadn’t worked the invisible decrease correctly on the body, which left odd little indents (they didn’t show until I stuffed it). I tried to fix it with a needle and thread, but it didn’t work. So I had to redo the body. Then I realized one of the hands was bigger than the other, but I was able to fix that with needle and thread. Geez, you’d think I was a novice crocheter for as much as I messed up!

I did decide to embellish a little, so I gave the hat a crab stitch edging with a pink whipstitch in between the grey stitches, and I added a triple heart applique to the body. Even though this little doll ended up taking a lot more time that it should have, I’m still happy with the outcome. I may add the stitching around the wrists and ankles, though – it does give a more finished look. That is, of course, if I can keep myself from starting the newborn booties, baby blanket, 12M sweater…well, you get the idea!

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My version – not a bad runner up, hey?

There is one thing I found out that made me sad, though. While I was looking for the pattern on Ravelry, I found another person’s version of the same pattern for sale. It wasn’t done nearly as well, and now I can’t seem to find it. I can only hope that the original designer found it and told her to take it down. The nerve of some people! Another person was trying to crochet this doll from the picture (hadn’t bought the pattern) but was having problems figuring out the arms and legs, so she was asking for the directions on the pattern’s forum! The designer replied that what she was requesting was illegal and she was shocked that someone could do such a thing. Listen, I’ve made things from photos, too, but  I would never have the gall to go on the paid pattern’s site and ask for free directions! So sad this stuff goes on. And one word to the wise – unless a pattern is VERY simple, you’re going to spend A LOT of time figuring it out on your own. Trust me – I know! So you’d better think twice if it’s really worth saving a few bucks, IMO.

Till next time, keep on hookin’!

I have a definite sweet spot in my heart for all things amigurumi (or kawaii softies, if you prefer), and one of my absolute favorites are fairies. International – yes, INTERnational – Fairy Day has been designated for June 24th this year. (Just FYI, the tooth fairy has her own days on February 28th and August 22nd. I don’t know why she has two days, but maybe oral health needs the extra advertising!)

I took to Pinterest to find what fairies were available, and there were quite an assortment of delightful little cuties. The ones that are on my bucket list, though, are the ones from the Russian master class crochet. Of course, I would have to work my way up to that level! Perhaps I should start with some of the simpler ones….

Little Fairy

Sweet Little Fairy by Fun and Fang; free pattern can be found here

Tinker Bell

Adorable Tinker Bell by JanaGeek

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Who could resist Lucy the Fairy Mouse by LittleAquaGirl

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Chrysanna the Albino Fairy by Epic Kawaii – Make sure to check out the other fairies by this designer!

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Unique Bella Fairy by Madelenon – she’s waiting to make your wishes come true!

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Delany the Good Luck Fairy by Fox in the Snow Designs – we all could use this fairy, right?

Fairy Elf

Sublime Fairy Elf by Alyona Dudakova; inspiration only, but you can visit here and here

Fairy House

Everyone needs a home, especially fairies – and this one doubles as a teapot cozy!

I hope you have the pleasure of a fairy sighting today, and happy crocheting!

In keeping with having products in my store to sell, I have just added another (and very colorful) item for sale – the Boucle Delight Cowl. I had originally made this as a scarf, but it ended up a little short, so i decided to convert it to a cowl. I know that I should have more summery items in the shop. I promise I will, but I’m still in the throws of reorganizing my bed/craft room, so when something pops up to add, I’m just going with it. In my world the months seem to fly by, so it’ll be fall before I know it!

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The biggest problem I’ve had with this cowl is the photography. I didn’t use bright or neon yarn colors to make this, but in the photos the cowl really looks much brighter than it actually is. I tried taking a pic inside the house (thinking the sun was the culprit), but that didn’t work either. The next photo is much closer to the real colors.

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In articles about taking product pics, they tell you to use natural light (or “reveal” type light bulbs) as much as possible because this will show off the true color of the item. Obviously, direct sun doesn’t always work. Since I don’t have a room to set up for product photography or the money for a pro photographer, I just have to rely on photo editing programs to try to achieve the proper effect. Easier said than done!

 

Until next time, happy crocheting!

 

 

As much as I love designing crochet items, I just have to give myself one long cold hard look in the mirror and be honest with myself. I love crocheting much more than I like having to write the patterns out. There, I said it. So I have decided to start using OP’s patterns and crochet! This doesn’t mean I won’t ever design anything anymore; it just means that I’ll have a “products” section in my store.

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First up on this new(er) venture is my version of the Rose Lace Cowl by Alyssa Titus of Undeniable Glitter (free pattern can be found here). This was perfect for me because of all the Caron Simply Soft yarn I have in my stash, and it did take a little over one skein for the cowl (one skein for the body of the cowl and the “little more” for the edging). What a perfect and economical present! The pattern is written well – I didn’t have any issues following it at all – and the cowl works up in no time. My only disagreement with her description is that I think this cowl could be very warm and just fine for winter, as well as spring and fall. IMO!

 

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I did run into one problem, though. My little picot points on the edging all swerved to one side, and I wanted them to point straight. Silly me thought that this would straighten itself out in the blocking, but it didn’t. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not blaming the designer. It’s very possible that the way I crocheted the points made them swerve – I don’t know. Anyway, I took some thread and sewed the top loop of the picots down on the opposite side of the swerve, and this straightened them out. It was a pain, though. So if I ever make this cowl again, I’m going to find  way to crochet those points straight or consider the swerved points part of the design!

Till next time, happy crocheting!

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, including mothers-to-be, mothers to fur-babies, and mothers in spirit! I believe most women have a nurturing aspect to their personalities, and I like to take Mother’s Day to celebrate this. I know this is a rather broad definition of this holiday, but I think the world would be a very different place without the caring of women. So I hope all of you have a wonderful day!

I won’t be able to spend Mother’s Day with my Mom, but of course we’ll talk and I sent her a card with a little contribution to her pig collection. I took the Little Crochet Bunny Pattern from Amigurumi Today.com and did a few tweaks to the pattern to create the girly-girl piglet for my mom.

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The little dress is technically removable. I tried using tiny snaps but it didn’t look right, so I just sewed the pearls to the dress. Looking at the dress now I realize I should’ve blocked it, especially the hemline. Oh, well. I’m sure my mom will excuse me. Other than that faux-pah, I was really happy with how she turned out.

Till next time, have a great day and happy crocheting!

I’ve been a little sluggish with my crocheting lately (and my posts!). I needed to take some pics too, and of course “sunny” California decided to be grey and drizzly for the past few days. However – TA DA – I have a few new things to show you. One item isn’t totally new, but I’ve finally completed it and have the pattern available now in my store, which you can find here. This is the afghan I mentioned in an earlier post, and I’ve named it Aqua Dreams. The Caron Simply Soft yarn is so pretty and the sheen is really nice. I was very angry at myself for making my traditional mistake of crocheting the beginning rows loose and tightening my tension as I go along – yes, I did it again – but I was able to work it all out with the single crochet/crab stitch border, so everything is fine now. And I am very proud of myself for using up an additional 10+ skeins of my stash!

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I was so happy with the way the Caron yarn looked that I decided to make another item with it – a long cowl with a lacy edging that you can double loop for added warmth. That’s still on the blocking mat, so you’ll get to see it in my next post.  I’ve also finished my version of the Metro Kerchief by Yuliya Tkacheva. I didn’t design these two items, so they’ll be going in my store as ‘products for sale’, a new category I’ll be adding shortly. I’ve also designed a scarf/shawlette, I’m working on a summer cowl, and I’ve finished my mom’s Mother’s Day present, but I’ll have more on those later. By George, i think I’m out of my slump!

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Till next time, happy crocheting!

 

Officially spring began March 20th this year, but I am aware many parts of this country have still been feeling wintry effects. Well, tomorrow is National Gardening Day – yes, there is actually such a day! As many of us already know, crocheters also tend to like gardening, cooking, and cats (gardening and cats for me, cooking not so much). I had become a pretty decent gardener while I was back in Illinois. This is how my Illinois garden looked like much of the time (minus the lace curtains and mansion in the background) –

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Then about eight years ago my family and I moved to southern California. VERY different climates, to be sure. I thought I would still have my green thumb, but alas, things have not turned out so well. My CA gardening ventures have gone much more like this –

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Something tells me I should just keep to the crocheted versions of floral and fauna beauty. They stay fresh for so much longer! Someday I might even attempt this spring fantasy from Lunar Heavenly

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Till then, stay warm and crochet on!

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