Category Archives: crochet

Finished objects in crochet

While I was busy in Sock Madness, I took the down time in between rounds and did a bit of crochet.

2013-05-03 11.44.49This Skull Shawl pattern was released in April and it was a sweeping success right away. I’m sure, like many crocheters, I saw this and needed to make one. I had some lovely hot pink yarn in my stash and away I went.

The pattern is really quite simple, although there are a few points here and there that translation is a little tricky. The pattern is really for the skull portion, and your sizing is really up to you. I had hoped I would have enough yarn to go for 6 repeats at the top, but turns out this project is a massive yarn eater.

2013-04-30 09.21.58I used not only the English translation provided on the blog, but also Google translate. I found that this cleared up a few trouble spots. Also, if you decide to make this yourself, I recommend making the eyes first so you aren’t constantly cutting and re-attaching your yarn.

As an interesting aside, this is my most viewed project on Ravelry.

Moving on, I’ve been wanting to work on my amigurumi skills. I have crocheted a few projects that do this, and I’m discovering that the larger the project, the better for me.

2013-05-10 10.51.20Amigurumi is the art of crocheting small figures, and really what I have done can’t honestly be described as such, with the exception of my first project, a mini mermaid (pattern link).

This poor girl is, well for lack of better descriptors, just sad. It was mentioned that a smaller gauge would probably improve her appearance (and maybe make her less zombie-like), and I agree. She stands just over three inches tall and despite her small size, it still doesn’t work. She looks to me a bit more evil than mermaids are reputed to be, and I wasn’t going for that. Maybe she would do well as a voodoo mermaid.

DSCF2601The next project I made was a bit bigger, and I’m much happier with. I’ve been catching up with the rest of the planet on episodes of Dr. Who (still watching, no spoilers, please!), and found a weeping angel pattern that is just delightful.

I would love to share the pattern with you, unfortunately, in the short time since crocheting this pattern and now, the blog that published it has been deleted.

She stands eight inches tall, and was very fast to crochet up. I would love to have a whole army of these, but then I would never be able to move and be forced to stare at them all day long.

(My daughter commented I should make one as a Christmas tree topper, to which I pointed out we couldn’t have blinking lights, then.)

DSCF2616My next project was also quite fun, a stuffed dragon. Again, the pattern no longer appears to be available on the website, so either my timing is incredible or I’m a ray of death on these patterns. No matter, it seemed I got this one in time, and worked him up fairly quickly.

I actually did two versions of this, for several reasons. The first, and based on the photo, the most obvious, is that my son couldn’t keep his hands off of the dragon, and rather quickly claimed him. Second, there were portions of the pattern I wasn’t happy with. His tummy looked thrown together, and his tail was just… wrong.

Dragon 2For my second version, I cleaned up his tummy and lengthened his tail, and added wings. Because dragons have wings.

He’s a bit taller still, standing 13.5 inches tall. Just the right size for little arms. And now, we have a Sean dragon and a Mommy dragon pair.

And what have I been doing with these? Playing, of course!

Bet you didn't know weeping angels are afraid of dragons.

Bet you didn’t know weeping angels are afraid of dragons.

Advertisements

FO: Hobbes

HobbesI had intended this project to be finished in time for my nephew’s birth as well. Unlike the baby diamonds blanket, I was too late for that event, but he does have it now.

This is a free pattern that is fairly easy to work up. There is a bit of free thought involved here and you do need to do a few steps in a manner that suits you the best. The designer does do her best to give you as clear instructions as possible, but sometimes that isn’t always possible.

The only changes I made were the face pieces were crocheted instead of using felt. I did place his eyes a bit too high, but otherwise I think this guy is absolutely perfect – right down to his crooked mouth. The only problem with finishing him is now I need to crochet five more for each member of this family.

FOs: Baby coccoons

I do a bit of custom orders for folks through my shop, and recently did some baby cocoons as photo props.

Mermaid tailThe first was a mermaid tail. This was a knit pattern from 4aSong on Etsy. This was a pretty easy and enjoyable knit. I like the effect the drawn forward yarn had on the tail to create a scale effect. The tail itself was pretty easy, and the whole thing knit up very quickly.

Mermaid tail

Aside from a small error in the pattern (line 103 should read as line 87), I had absolutely no issues with this pattern.

Special thanks to Pinkie Bear for modelling.

The next cocoon I worked up was not so lovely. I purchased this pattern, and quite frankly am irritated I spent the $3.50.

carrot cocoonIt is no secret I knit and crochet a lot of free patterns.  I’m fully aware that you get what you pay for and with free that is no exception.

Having purchased this pattern, I would have expected it to be at least better written than a free pattern. This read to me like it was someone’s notes after the fact and she forgot half of what she did. There were errors all over the place, no indication of colour changes in the hat, it was not clear at all what needed to be done with the top of the carrot. Double crochet rows were to be started with a single crochet, which of course doesn’t match the height at all and if I had started each row this way, each row would be horribly messy and lopsided.

In the end, I did it my way, and could have spent my money elsewhere. Quite frankly, it baffles me since this designer has 109 patterns up on Ravelry, many with a lot of loves to them. I honestly don’t think I’m expecting too much from an obviously experienced designer to have some clarity in her patterns.

Lesson learned, I guess. Not everything can be a rose every time.

FO: Baby Diamonds Blanket

Baby diamonds blanketThis was a project I started in November, and took me a bit longer than I wanted to get it finished. I had intended this blanket to be finished before my nephew was born; and it was, by only a few days. The trick now was to get it out to him before he turned 20. Since making it to the post office seems to be an issue for me.

This pattern came from a stitch dictionary, The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet. Actually, it has a super long title, you’d think this was written in the Renaissance, but no. For brevity I’m shortening the title here. I’ve actually reviewed the book here.

Baby Diamonds blanketAnyway. This blanket uses a Tunisian Entrelac method, which is a very interesting technique. Once you get going, it is pretty brainless crochet, and if you are doing it correctly, there is not even any need to count as it seems to form itself. It makes for a nice substantial fabric, not too heavy, but not something light and breezy. It was enough that I thought adding a liner to the back might be too much for a baby.

Baby diamonds blanketIf I remember correctly (seriously, I need to at least draft these blog posts when I’m done with a project, or take better notes), I did more rows than the pattern called for just to make sure my own colour pattern matched. As a result, my border would not work out in the count it suggested so I created my own border. It’s pretty similar to the pattern, just a basic shell around the outside, ensuring a corner shell was applied in the right spot.

Photo courtesy of my sister

Photo courtesy of my sister

You will be happy to learn I did make it out to the post office before my nephew’s birthday, in fact he only received it a few months too late. Here he is enjoying his new blanket.

One other little thing to share, I try to get my photos with as much natural light as possible, so I propped this baby up in the window to get some good shots. When I was done, my son grabbed his doll blanket and put it in the window as well, so that I could take a picture of that, too.

2013-02-06 12.44.38

Tunisian Entrelac

The project I’m working on right now is quite fun, and a new technique to me. It’s using tunisian entrelac. Tunisian is also known as afghan stitch, which essentially crochets a row all at once. And of course entrelac is just a method of colour changing.

While I can’t actually share the pattern or the project with you, some interest has been piqued on the method. So today I’ll share with you a video I found on YouTube on this method. Once you have the method down, let your imagination fly!

2013 – The year of the purge

This morning I sat and snuck in a bit of crochet before breakfast. As happens when I (and I’m sure many, many others) crochet or knit, my mind wanders. I had commented to myself that I really need to start using better yarn. Of course, I had the immediate rebuttal of I really need to start making more money. Yeah, there is that.

My first attempt at tunisian entrelac. Pretty, non?

My first attempt at tunisian entrelac. Pretty, non?

Which of course led to admonishment that I really don’t *need* new yarn, I have the Big Bucket O’Stash hiding in my closet. I really must use that up.

Which led to my thinking about purging. It’s one of those really big things that I know I need to do, but don’t. You see, I’m fantastic at procrastination, I’ve perfected my methods over 36 years. Which means a) those things I mean to purge continue to sit in a box in the basement and b) when I do consider getting rid of it, I always say, I’ll get to it later.

Enough is enough. I’m not big on resolutions for the new year, but I do recognize it as a good time for new beginnings. I am a work in progress myself, and it’s time things start changing, even just a little.

The Big Bucket O'Stash. All those ends that can't be used for anything else.

The Big Bucket O’Stash. All those ends that can’t be used for anything else.

And so I purge. Since my thoughts started with my yarn, that’s where I’m starting with my purge. I’ve decided on a big project for the year, made up of little projects.

One of my favourite blankets is one my grandmother made over 12 years ago. It’s made of all different colours of yarn, made in 8″ granny squares and sewn together in an almost pattern. I just love it. I’m going to be doing the same thing, with my stash.

My grandmother's blanket.

My grandmother’s blanket.

Now my grandmother, I’m sure, had an actual plan with the colours she used, but I’m sure I can get a similar effect.

Granny squares are something dead easy, I can do any time, any where. I figure I can select three or four balls from the bucket at a time and go mad, collect them at the end of the year (or when I run out of yarn) and sew them all together.

Other purging plans are also in place. I have our name in with the Diabetes association, for their “clothesline” program. They accept donations of gently used clothing and household items, and here’s the best part – they come to your door to pick it up! Win win win! They call me about every month and by then I have clothes that no longer fit or can be passed down packed up and ready to go. I’m going to expand that this year by going into… duh duh duhhhhhh… the basement. There are boxes hidden in our basement that haven’t been even opened in, I’m guessing, 5 moves? Since we are a military family and another move is on the horizon, a 6th move bringing random boxes we don’t need really isn’t appealing. I’ll be working on getting rid of some of that stuff too.

There is of course stuff to purge all over the house. I would like to clear most of it out, and I really hope I can stick to this goal. Wish me luck!

New Pattern – Abigail Brimmed Hat

I’m so embarrassed  it’s been nearly three months since my last post! Some how the calendar got up and ran away, and I just haven’t been back. So very sorry!

I have been busy in my absence, however, and have a new pattern to share with you!

Abigail brimmed hat

My Abigail Brimmed Hat is available for purchase both in my Etsy shop and on Ravelry.

This is crocheted in a worsted weight yarn, works up very quickly, and if I say so myself, super cute!

 

Abigail Brimmed Hat

 

Options include a ruffled or straight brim, a removable band which doubles as a head band and flower. Sizing is included from new born all the way up to child size.