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!

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 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 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 🙂

img_4047
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 🙂

img_3797

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!