Posted in Crochet, Crochet Patterns, 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!

0.jpg

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 🙂

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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 🙂

Posted in Crochet, Crochet Patterns, Home Decor Accents

Seasonal Crochet Crocheting Season

I can’t tell exactly why, but I have been enjoying crocheting very much. Whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I go for yarn of the color I feel like using in a given moment 🙂 and a crochet hook and produce whatever comes to mind. My crochet ideas appear like flashes, and if I don’t pay enough attention 🙂 or don’t have access to my yarn stash, they float away and then it’s really hard to visualize the idea I all of a sudden had or recreate it in fabric. I like looking at my yarn as a palette of acrylic colors, and at times, watercolors, and seeing hooks as brushes 🙂 But, when crochet pieces come straight from imagination and immediately become fabric, it maybe hard to recreate a piece or chart/write down the pattern. I have had to “reverse-engineer” my own pieces (and I only do it to my own pieces!!! 🙂 ) a couple times, which taught me an importance of taking notes before any of my steps, or strokes 🙂 escape my memory.

Anyway, I’ve made a “sweater” the other day for my Aloe plant. It’s been chilly, so I thought this sweater-like soft and warm pop of color home decor piece would make a nice addition to my fall 2016 crochet “collection”:

crochet-sweater-for-plant

This morning, I decided to make a fall theme square motif incorporating my pumpkin motif and elements of a motif from a book by my favorite author, Linda P. Schapper. I love her collection of motifs; the monocolor work allows full freedom for crocheter’s imagination to come up with any desired colorway. By the way, the first row of flowers in my plant sweater can also be found in her book of motifs. So, the center of my square motif is a pumpkin:

crochet-pumpkin-motif

I haven’t had a chance to make a chart for the motif, but I’ve recorded the instructions in writing, which you can look up here: pumpkin-motifs-1-2. You’ll find two motifs, mostly identical, but with some variations in Rnds 1 and 4.

Here is my square motif; I really wish I had taken a photo before I decided to moisten it to block; here it is, completely wet in its pre-blocking stage, and in a desperate need of reshaping and refluffing:

pumpkin-square-motif

I see a future placemat or a toy blankie in it 🙂 I might make another one with a lighter, more ‘airy’ border to replace the now dense dcs and trs, which are pretty good in their own way and go well with the ‘dc shells’ of the center piece. Cheers!

Posted in Felting, Home Decor Accents, Wet Felting

A Quick Felting Project for a Spare Moment

Today, I’m sharing my idea for a set of felt coasters 🙂

Here’s my Rise and Shine set:

RiseAndShineCoasters

To make the Sunshine coaster, I started by laying out and needle felting fibers of different colors on a needle felting brush. In the next step, I wet felted the piece shaping it into what I wanted to see as a final result.

SunshineFeltCoaster

In making the Floral coaster, I laid out and wet felted a floral piece; then I used scissors to form petals. The final step involved placing the flower on a flat surface and shaping the petals to make sure the coaster is a perfect shape to hold a cup of tea or coffee 🙂

FloralFeltCoaster

FeltCoasters