Posted in Crochet, Knitting

Knitting, Knooking, and Crocheting too

My knit and crochet Lucky Lilac scarf is still work in progress. I’ve used up one skein of I Love this Cotton! and I’d like to add about two more:

Lucky Lilac Knit and Crochet Scarf

I really like this pattern, which I picked out to make “imitation” lilac bush/tree leaves.

Speaking of leaf patterns, if you don’t have a stitch collection/dictionary around, such as Barbara Walker’s treasury books, or Harmony guides, or (include your favorite 🙂 ), or Vogue Knitting Stitchitionary publications (see also: http://www.vogueknitting.com/resources/stitchionary), you can find some lovely vintage or antique patterns in books that are in the public domain now. There’s a nice variety of crochet, knitting, tatting, embroidery… books on The Antique Pattern Library – New Media Arts Inc’s project – site (www.antiquepatternlibrary.org), which looks like a great resource listing materials donated by folks from different parts of the world. Per New Media Arts Inc’s website, “Antique Pattern Library is a library of public domain craft publications and patterns, helping ancient crafts survive and allowing everybody, regardless of money, to share in the rich heritage of patterns our ancestors left us. It provides inspiration and tutorials, patterns and philosopies. Much work goes into making the sources useful for crafters, and as a result this maker’s library is appreciated and used worldwide.”

Anyway, where was I, ah right, you can find a nice leaf pattern or two in Antique Pattern Library’s or the Internet Archive’s public domain files:

  • Knitting: How to Knit and What to Knit. Compiled and Edited by Marie Louise Kerzman. – see p.75-76;
  • Kant-Breiwerk naar Oude Patronen door Luoise Thompson en Elis. M. Rogge – see p.66.
  • The Jenny June Series Manuals for Ladies. Knitting and Crochet. A Guide to the Use of the Needle and the Hook. 200 Illustrations. Edited by Jenny June. (see p.71-72…for a nice border pattern).

I bet there’s more too. It’s a pretty amazing collection.

Back to my scarf, when the knitting is complete, I’ll decorate it with my little Lucky Lilac crochet flowers:

Crochet Lucky Lilac

Here’s a quick pattern for the flower, which I’ll chart and share at some point 🙂

Foundation: unfinished slipknot (usk, see image in my blogspot post for details re usk), ch3, sl st in usk to join. Rnd 1: ch1, 10sc around, sl st in 1st sc to join.

Rnd 2: ch4, 3tr closed cluster (chain 3 loop on hook, work 3 incomplete trs in same sc as join – 4 loops on hook, yo, pull through 3 loops – 2 loops on hook, yo, pull through remaining 2 loops to make a closing chain – 3tr closed cluster complete); ch4, sl st in same sc as join. One petal complete.

3tr closed cluster - crochet stitch

(sl st in next sc. In next sc: sl st, ch4, 3tr closed cluster, ch4, sl st) x4; sl st in sl st to join.

I like regular lilacs too – just work 8 sc in Rnd 1 and make 4 petals.

The other day, I felt like doing some knooking, but didn’t have a knooking needle – there happened to be none available in any of the huge craft stores nearby the day I wanted to try knooking, so I ended up using a tunisian crochet hook and a piece of satin cord, which made what I call my perfect DIY knooking needle.

DIY Knooking Needle Experiment

The satin cord was too thin to make the knooking process faster or easier; a thicker cord made too big a knot that would not slide through loops. It was not a speedy process, but the tool did work well enough to satisfy my curiosity about the knooking technique. I’ll be doing more of it once I have an adequate knooking needle.

Cheers!

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Posted in Crochet, Crochet Patterns, Needle Felting

The Chicken or the Egg? That and Yoga for Wrists and Hands

Well, the outcomes of my crochet experiment indicate that the egg comes before the chicken: first, you crochet an egg, and then you add on little colorful parts to make it into a chick.

Crochet Easter Eggs and Chick 1

When it comes to crochet design – the possibilities are endless. I am a big believer in techniques and projects that do not require too much time, yarn or tools 🙂 sort of minimalistic projects…I love it when I can sit down whenever I get a few minutes and using just a hook and a tiny bit of yarn, and, perhaps, scissors, make something cute and/or colorful and/or practical 😀

So, I used my fav double crochet stitching to create a few little Easter eggs, and a chick. I could have filled them with yarn, but I used fiberfill instead.

This egg here was crocheted in joined rounds:

Crochet Easter Egg 2

This one was crocheted in a spiral:

Crochet Easter Egg 1

I’ve experimented with different stitch count combinations. I’m hoping to get a chance to put the patterns in a presentable format to share with you, a bit later.

For now, here’s a quick pattern for a spiral crochet egg:

MC, (sc, hdc, 10dc) in MC; (2dcinc, dc) x6 (crochet over the yarn tail); 18dc; stuff with fiberfill or yarn in same color, (2dcdec, 2dc) x8; add more stuffing, 2dcdec x4; dc-hdc-sc combination decrease, sl st in next st; thread yarn tail through remaining stitches and pull to close top. Weave in the end.

For MC, I used a single loop magic ring, like the one I used in my crochet pattern Snowballs and Icicles in Color; you can look up the MC technique at the beginning of this youtube video here.

You can use any yarn with a crochet hook about a size smaller than what’s recommended on the yarn label. For this project, I picked out yarn that calls for a 5mm crochet hook and used a 4mm crochet hook.

This little chick was initially an egg, which I decided to turn into an egg that hatched, a little chick that is:

Crochet Chick

Here, the chick is waiting for siblings to arrive:

Crochet Easter Eggs and Chick 2

You can make a hanging loop to turn an egg into an ornament, and then weave in the yarn end tail. Oh, and one egg in there is needle-felted.

I was also looking into crochet and knitting project packing tips for travelers, when I came across some helpful info on redheart.com: How to Pack Yarn Projects for Airplane Travel, which included a link to info on stretches for wrists and hands: Stretches for Wrists & Hands. The article, medically reviewed by an MD, among other things, talks about Yoga for Wrists and Hands – a workout any arty-crafty person can use!!!

I’ve bookmarked a couple more posts on wrist, hand, arm fitness, because, even though I’d never thought of these types of exercises as essential, after longer knitting sessions I noticed I could really use some pre-knitting warm-ups and post-knitting stretching! So, if you love handwork, you may want to include a set of stretches in your arts and crafts and fitness routine. You can google this or you can look it up here:

Stretches to Do at Work Every Day (or “at Handwork” I’d say 🙂 )

http://www.healthline.com/health/deskercise#Benefits6

Hand Exercises for Knitters & Crocheters

https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/11/hand-stretches-for-knitters-and-crocheters/

TEN HAND AND SHOULDER EXERCISES FOR KNITTERS

http://www.dummies.com/crafts/knitting/ten-hand-and-shoulder-exercises-for-knitters/

Happy Crocheting!!!

Posted in Crochet

Can’t Stop Crocheting Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossom Crochet Pattern 2.

I feel so bad for all those trees and pretty little flowers in the cold weather we’ve had over the past couple days and it’s not about to get much warmer…So, today, I’ve crocheted another bunch of cherry blossoms 🙂

If you’d like to make some too, you can look up the pattern in my pattern blospot post here – Cherry Blossom – Easy Crochet Flower – Pattern 2.

Cheers!

 

Posted in Crochet

Cherry Blossom Crochet

It’s March, and it’s so nice out!!! Blooming trees outside have inspired me to create a cherry blossom crochet pattern to complement my Cherry Blossom knit shawl as a border:

Cherry Blossom Shawl.

I’ve not finished my shawl yet, but I’ve made a few flowers and attached them to bobby pins.

I’ve posted the Cherry Blossom crochet pattern on my blogspot, which I’ve created specifically for sharing my crochet and, potentially, knitting patterns, to kind of have them all in one place and not mix them in with my other hobbies 🙂

I hope you are enjoying a nice weather, wherever you are today! 🙂

Posted in Spinning on a Pencil, Yarn

You Can Spin Your Yarn and Knit it Too

Boy, did I take a break from my little online creativity sharing place… To make up for the time I’ve been mia, I’m getting right down to sharing some ideas with you, such as this mug rug I’ve made out of my own handspun yarn:

Spinning Yarn on a Pencil 11

I wrote once, that I didn’t really knit (and used Tunisian crochet in my illusion crochet project, in place of illusion knitting); well, I do knit now! 🙂 … and I love it! I’ve knit the mug rug above using plain garter stitch to test out my “fantasy” yarn, and hdc-ed the border. I have 4 WIPs going on here as well, but I’ll share details later.

As you can see, I’ve tried my hand at spinning. It’s very low-tech, obviously 🙂 and pretty easy too! All you have to do is get some wool, such as felting wool/roving and a pencil – a regular #2 pencil will work great!

To begin, pull out some wool and twist the end. Wrap the end around the pencil, like in the photo above; try twisting the yarn clockwise, then counterclockwise, turn the pencil in different directions, feel which direction works best for you and stick with it.

Play with hand position – shift it frequently to avoid straining your hands and wrists:

Use your thumb to control the yarn end:

Spinning Yarn on a Pencil 4

You can actually use any finger to control the end, there is no one right way to do that! Find the way that works best for you.

Keep pulling the fibers from the roving in relatively short sections, twisting and wrapping the yarn around the pencil:

If you need to take a break, like my pup here:

Spinning Yarn on a Pencil 6

wrap the end around your work, and set the pencil aside:

It will (should) not unravel.

Play with the yarn thickness, the amount of twisting…try mixing colors too! To add wool of a different color, you can simply attach a new color section to your work, overlapping the fluffy tails and twisting them together.

Spinning Yarn on a Pencil 8

To do some color blending, you can use plain brushes, if you don’t have special tools like carding boards. I used my pup’s brushes 🙂

Ideally, you should wind the yarn you create into a ball. Here’s one way to do it:

When knitting and crocheting my mug rug, I was working with the yarn right off of the pencil. It worked just fine.

I’m so excited I tried this. In addition to everything else, it’s a great “stash busting” activity and a very portable type of project – I’m going to bring some wool and a few pencils with me on my next long flight.  Now I know my felting wool stash is not going to waste in the face of our upcoming move…While there’s no way for me to use it up, before our move, for wet- and needle- felting projects I originally bought it for, I can certainly turn it into yarn of different colors and textures. You’ll be surprised how fast and easy it is! And it’s fun.

If you’ve never tried making your own yarn, I highly recommend that you give it a try 🙂

Cheers!