Posted in Sketching, Drawing, Painting

A New Year’s Resolution

  • pick up a pencil and practice drawing more often; revisit the fundamentals – and sketching-made-easylearn – and practice, in between my crocheting sessions, of course.

…with a holiday present came a New Year’s resolution (or was it the other way around?)…

As a kid, I loved drawing and painting. I’d always bring my watercolors and colored pencils on longish distance trips. Overtime, the focus shifted, and shifted, and shifted again…Now is as good a time as ever to pick those pencils and pens and brushes and colors back up and learn how to use them!

Here’s a drawing of a little dog I’ve made following (copying?) the step-by-step diagrams for “Running Dog” from a timeless classic, Drawing Made Easy by E.G.Lutz:

a-dog-sketching

I hope you all had a good New Year’s! And I hope you received or Gave yourself a gift of something that’s important to You, something that you truly Enjoy 🙂

Cheers!

Posted in Crochet, Uncategorized

2016 WordPressing Wrap-up

Wow, I really did post a few things creative, I like to believe 🙂 right here on WP.

It has been a fun journey – creating the blog, learning my way around the tech stuff, recording and sharing some of MyTrailingHobbies things I’ve been up to along the way, discovering amazing ideas and works and the talented folks behind them!!!

I’ve had some “ups” and some “downs”. There was a not so brief period of time when I didn’t get to post anything, but I’m happy I was able to get back to this hobby of mine 🙂 and keep on pressing.

Two things I wanted to note, things unexpected, things kind:

  • In my early weeks of WordPressing, MrsCraft nominated my blog for two different blogger awards. It was unexpected, but it was a pleasant surprise from someone, whose blog I enjoyed reading very much 🙂 I was and am grateful to her for that. I ended up not following through with the nomination posts – it was too hard to decide on a small group of blogs I liked – there are so many – and each and everyone deserves to be on the list 🙂 To this day, I think fondly of that early blogging experience 🙂
  • Most recently, the Crochet Crowd shared my classic swirl Christmas ornament set info with their community.  My Snowballs and Icicles in Color were featured as one of Mikey’s favorites in their post Crochet Even More Holiday Ornaments.

    It was totally unexpected and totally cool 🙂

I thank all the artists-crafters-creatives who cared to stop by and/or like, and/or comment, and/or follow and/or share what I had to share.

I’m happy to see that my holiday gift 🙂 Snowballs and Icicles in Color pattern got 89 downloads on Craftsy and 43 likes on Ravelry 🙂 All of this makes “the journey of my ever-evolving interests” even more fun!

Finally, looking at the list of 40 countries, I got virtual visitors from, I’d like to extend my best wishes to each and everyone of you! Happy Holidays!!! ❤️😊🎄❄️🌀❄️🎄😊❤️

Posted in Classic Crochet | Technique, Crochet, Crochet Patterns, Home Accessories | Crochet

Bauble Babble

Make some flat baubles to convert them later into soft cotton facial washcloths!

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Keep them flat and round with these little tweaks to the basic crochet circle formula 🙂

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Crochet Flat Circles – Baubles to Facial Washcloths

MC = sliding loop; sc = US single crochet; sl st = slip stitch; ch = chain; rnd = round.

For a straight seam, begin each round by inserting hook, to make the 1st stitch, in the first stitch of the previous round, i.e. same stitch you place the slip st in to join at the end of the previous round.

Option A:

Rnd 1: 6sc in MC; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (6st in Rnd)

Rnd 2: 2sc in each sc of Rnd1; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (12st)

Rnd 3: [scinc (=2sc in 1sc of previous Rnd), sc] around; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (18 st)

Rnd 4: sc; [scinc, 2sc] 5times; scinc, sc; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (24 st)

Rnd 5: [scinc, 3sc] around; sl st in 1st sc to join; make a loop; fasten off. (30 st)

Option B:

Rnd 1: 6sc in MC; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (6st in Rnd)

Rnd 2: 2sc in each sc of Rnd1; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (12st)

Rnd 3: [sc, scinc] around; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (18 st)

Rnd 4: sc; [scinc, 2sc] 5times; scinc, sc; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (24 st)

Rnd 5: [3sc, scinc] around; sl st in 1st sc to join; make a loop; fasten off. (30 st)

Option C:

Rnd 1: 6sc in MC; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (6st in Rnd)

Rnd 2: 2sc in each sc of Rnd1; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (12st)

Rnd 3: [sc, scinc] around; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (18 st)

Rnd 4: [scinc, 2sc] around; sl st in 1st sc to join; ch1. (24 st)

Rnd 5: 2sc; [scinc, 3sc] 5times; scinc, sc; sl st in 1st sc to join; make a loop; fasten off. (30 st)

Now try making these in hdc (half double crochet), using the same formulae.

Posted in Crochet, Home Accessories | Crochet

Cheery Washcloths. Have You Tried Illusion Crochet?

I’ve been busy making little Christmassy and NewYearsy thingies for me&family 🙂

Among other things, I’ve made a few facial washcloths – my first handmade ones. I’ve come across the idea of a crocheted cotton face cloth/scrubby here on WordPress, I believe when reading a post by “storytellingcook of Recipe in a Bottle” 🙂 I thought it was such a great idea I got some of my super soft cotton yarn out to make a few holidaysy ones this season 🙂 I mean, I’d tried making washcloths and dishcloths before, but a facial scrubby was a new one and absolutely my favorite 🙂 I also saw Ruthie’s Crafting Corner made some cute face washcloths! Aren’t we all on the same crochet wave!

Here’s my little sampler. I used “I love this cotton!” yarn – and I do LOVE this cotton, it’s so soft and gentle on skin!!! Next, I’m going to try some super soft bamboo…

This one is for me – I did a bit of layered crocheting here:

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Christmas Tree Facial Washcloth

This one is for my mom – the motif comes from Linda Schapper’s book “300 Classic Blocks for Crochet Projects”:

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Christmasy Facial Washcloth

This one is for me as well 🙂

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Floral Facial Washcloth

I thought I’d also share my WIP – a 3D Illusion Crochet Christmas Tree washcloth-to-be – my take on “Illusion Knitting“. I love this fascinating effect, but I do not knit (I tried knitting in the past, but it didn’t stick :).  Tunisian crochet seemed like a great alternative to knitting in this case, so I improvised as follows:

Try it – it’s fun!!!

Have a great day!

Posted in Crochet, Crochet Patterns, Toys and Accessories | Crochet

Stay Warm and Crochet –

a hat for your favorite crochet toyand, using a cookie cutter for shaping, needle felt a teddy bear for it 🙂

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Easy-peasy hat pattern: color A: rnd1 – MC, sc 6 in MC, join, ch1; rnd 2 – scinc in each sc (12sts), join, ch1; rnd 3 – (sc, scinc) across (18sts), join, ch1; rnd 3 – (2sc, scinc) across (24sts), join; color B: rnd 4 – ch1; sc across, join; repeat rnd 4 in desired colors a few times. fasten off, weave in ends.

Don’t forget the Christmas Tree!!!

Christmas Tree Pixel Graph Pattern - free crochet pattern ©mytrailinghobbies.wordpress.com
Diamond Crochet Christmas Tree Crochet Pattern ©mytrailinghobbies.wordpress.com
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Holiday Tree Crochet Pattern

 

Posted in Crochet, Crochet Patterns, Home Accessories | Crochet, Home Decor Accents

Finger Crocheted Coaster or How I Reinvented the Wheel, in a Good Way

Have you ever tried finger crochet? If you haven’t yet, try it, it’s fun! Here’s an idea for your first project 🙂

finger-crocheted-flower-coaster

How did this little flower happen? Well, while on a day trip this past August, we (our family) made a little rest stop at my favorite arts and crafts supply store. I got some colorful yarn but no hooks as I told myself I didn’t need any more at the moment, I had enough at home *are there ever enough hooks?*. We got back on the road, went on for a while and took another break from driving.

Suddenly, I felt this urge to crochet and regret that I’d not bought any hooks. Not one. But I really felt like trying out my new yarn! In that moment, I must have activated some gene tracing back to my ancestors who, back in the olden days, possibly as olden as the stone age, must have loved crocheting and were pretty good at it, except they had a very limited to no access to quality tools, so they used their FINGERS to do all the stitching.

I’d try finger crocheting a little something, I decided. And believe it or not, I had not heard of such a technique…and had no idea it existed. But there I was, pinching away at the yarn with the tips of my index finger and thumb, yarning over, pulling through, creating a real fabric!

Next, I wanted to crochet a piece in the round; I dropped my scarf-to-be and set out to work on something to be round. It came out looking like a flower, sort of, that could be used as a coaster or a placemat, or if I kept going – a seat cover or rug! I stopped at a coaster though 🙂

finger-crochet-in-the-round-flower-coaster

I was pleased with the results and with the fact that I did some crocheting and no lack of a hook could stop me.

The following day, I tried making a couple more items. I made a bracelet and another coaster:

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Later, I did some research and found info re finger crochet, some photos, tutorials and even a publication or two. *Had I tapped into the universal crochet mind that Summer day?…* The moves I used to create stitches were somewhat different from what I found online. I really just saw my two fingers as a crochet hook, but the gist of it was in line with what the crochet world had known for a while…a few millennia? I remembered how I had seen a couple of cool videos on how to hand/finger knit a cowl, but I had never been able to get myself to try it because it required keeping all working chains on wrists – and what if you have to go do something urgently?…with finger crochet all you have is one loop that’s on your improvised crochet hook, which is easy to take off, put aside and pick up, whenever, just where you left off.

I later frogged that first attempt at a finger crochet scarf because I needed that yarn for another project, even though it did look nice, it really did 🙂 but when I get a creative idea – I do, creatively speaking, what I gotta do. But here’s a new beginning – a swatch for a simple and minimalistic future infinity scarf:

fc-swatch-2

This stitch, below, appears too lose, so I’ll go with the one above:

fc-swatch

A few notes here:

  • you really don’t need a heavy weight/ bulky or super bulky yarn for this technique. Medium weight and even fine weight works just fine. You can use more than one yarn, making it say two/three-ply, double/multi color yarn if you wish to try a bulkier material but don’t have any at hand…;
  • it’s a great technique to use around babies and toddlers and pets, especially if you are sitting next to them in a car, assuming you are not driving, since you don’t have to worry about anything poky;
  • it’s also a nice way to keep doing what you like when, for whatever reason, holding an actual crochet hook is too painful for your hand…;
  • it should be a great pastime on an international or even a domestic flight, as long as you can bring your yarn through security as carry on. I’m totally going to try it next time I get on a long flight!

One caveat – with finer yarns, you may not be able to produce too tight of stitching as your work will be limited to the circumference/girth of your index finger or the tips of your pointer and thumb placed together, depending on the method you are using.

Higher density, however, can be achieved with slip stitches and bulkier yarn!

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When finger crocheting, try not to strain your wrists too much; find a position that’s comfy for both hands and let your hands&fingers move naturally, “ergonomically”. It shouldn’t cause any discomfort.

Here’s my attempt at showing you the basics that should get you started 🙂

Cheers 🙂

Posted in Clothing and Accessories | Crochet, Crochet, Crochet Patterns, Home Accessories | Crochet

SuperScarf and Other Crochet Stuff

Early this year, I made myself a bulky infinity scarf, but only got to wear it once or twice as it was  way too big and warm for the weather 🙂 Now, it’s time to get it back out – yeeey! And…SuperScarf is trending this season!!! 🙂 So here is my SuperScarf 2016:

It’s a mix of merino and shetland wool with some acrylic. It weighs 1.15lbs 🙂 So it’s nice and soft and warm and a tiny bit heavyish. The pattern is very simple – chain a multiple of 2 for a desired width, plus 1 plus 4 for foundation; row 1 (starting in chain 5 from hook), and each following odd row – work crossed dc stitches (no chains in between) across, dc in last stitch, ch 1, turn. Even rows: sc across, chain 3, turn. When desired length achieved – join (sew/crochet) ends together and you have an infinity scarf!

Yesterday, I made myself a funky little Tunisian + Classic Crochet Cowl, which is very light-weight and tiny compared to the SuperScarf 🙂 Tunisian stitching makes it pretty thick and elastic, but not too stretchy, so it keeps its shape well.

In case it might be of interest to you 🙂 it includes a combination of 8 different Tunisian Crochet basic stitches, 10 rows each, a decorative join [not skipping any stitches along edges, left end – sc, ch2, (right end – sc, sc, ch2, left end – sc, sc, ch2), repeat from ( across, sc at end of join], a decorative surface stitch along the join, and a border along the top and bottom of the cowl – mini shells and linked flowers.

And here’s my Petit Cowl, an airy and lacy piece, the tiniest of the three. I am yet to finish the matching wrist warmers:

Next, I’ve made a Tapestry Crochet Coaster; it’s virtually reversible! If you weave in the ends nicely, you can use the coaster either side facing up 🙂

You can try making one too. The border with picots and ch3s in the pattern below, may not be very clear, as the awesome app I used to chart it wouldn’t let me be more precise, but it will give you a general idea of the elements used to complete it.

(c)mytrailinghobbies.wordpress.com

I’ll try making it in Tunisian Crochet next, making the “red cells” within the tree in different colors, like multicolor ornaments, for a decorated tree effect.

Lastly, here’s an idea for a Tunisian Crochet Snowflake Coaster 🙂 and a SC+CH Duo Swirl Ornament:

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Cheers!

 

Posted in Crochet, Crochet Patterns, Home Decor Accents

Snowballs and Icicles in Color

Is it winter yet? Well, I know we’re not there yet, but, it’s never too early to make some colored snowballs and icicles for the season. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing…

snowball-and-icicle-crochet

I’ve crocheted a few swirly and twirly snowballs and icicles – little colorful ornaments that are safe to have around kids and pets, with adult supervision, of course 🙂

If you’d like to make yourself some of these, you are welcome to check out my written pattern for a Duo Swirl Snowball (see green&yellow and green&red below) and a Duo Swirl Icicle (see white&blue below) here: Snowballs and Icicles in Color – Crochet Patterns-1-2 🙂

With practice, you’ll see that the principle, or technique, described in the pattern will also apply when you make a trio or a quartet swirl.

Here’s a quick pattern for the ornament on the left (pink&lavender), which is not included in the pdf:

crochet-icicles-1

MC. Sc, hdc, dc, in MC; dc x 3; dcinc x 12; dcdec x 13; sc; complete in both colors (the pdf above contains a step-by-step breakdown of the dual color swirl work principle); make a loop; fasten off.

Lastly, try making some Trio and Quartet Swirls (see photos above) too with these easy-peasy patterns:

Trio: MC. Sc, hdc, dc, in MC; dcinc x 3; (dc, dcinc) x 3; (dcdec, dc) x 3; dcdec x 3; dc-hdc-sc together; complete in 3 colors; tie and braid the ends; create a loop; fasten off.

Quartet: MC. Sc, hdc, dc, in MC; dc, dcinc; dcinc x 4; dc, dcinc; dc x 8; dcdec, dc; dcdec x 7; sc; complete in 4 colors; tie and braid the ends; create a loop; fasten off. 

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(US) Crochet term abbreviations: MC – magic circle=magic ring=sliding loop (see video on how to make MC that works for this pattern); sc – single crochet (+); hdc – half double crochet (⊤); dc – double crochet (†); dcinc – 2-stitch double crochet increase (⩝); dcdec – 2-stitch double crochet decrease (⩜); dc-hdc-sc together – a 3-stitch combination decrease.

Cheers!

There’s an update, check it out 🙂