this week’s awesome sweaters

Cozy winter projects :)

Really like the garter panel on the side of the sleeves and looks like a beginner’s make I can handle :) By Tin Can Knits.

Weeee! An alpaca holiday sweater! *heart‐eyes x1000* By Joy of Motion.

I think this would be a perfect project to learn round yoke colour‐work sweaters. By Sewrella.

I love everything about this sweater — the raglan detail, the simple design, and the funnel neck. By Eleven Handmade in issue 108 of Inside Crochet (follow link on Ravelry).

Love especially the pops of teal around the edges! And the triangles of course. By Amy Gunderson in the latest issue of Knitty!

Happy winter stitching! :D

yarn elfing

If you have been journeying with me on this blog, you might recall that I like to call holiday gift‐making “elfing”. It is that time of the year again for us busy elves! Although I’m not a very productive elf this year… Not much yarn‐crafting happening, just paper‐writing… suppose those count as gifts for my professors…

It is also the time of year when we think about making for those beyond our own circles of families and friends who can really use our gifts of craftiness with yarn. The nice folks at Yarn Canada are partnering with Bernat Yarn to give away yarn for individuals and groups who craft for a good cause! Do you and your friends make scarves and hats for people to find? Or winter gears for shelters? Or soft prosthetics for breast cancer survivors? Or practice other kinds of yarn‐kindness? Check out this page on Yarn Canada’s website for more details on how to enter this give‐away for a good cause! 

In the meanwhile, here are some awesome ideas I found for the yarn‐crafting elves…

These very cute cup cozies are loom knitted on a 24‐peg loom. It’s a paid pattern on Ravelry but the how‐to video is free on Tuteate’s Youtube channel (which have excellent and really well‐made loom knit projects!). By Mireia Marcet on Ravelry.

 

Absolutely stunning granny square by Kirsten Holloway Designs.

 

A free pattern on We Are Knitters and it’s an amigurumi alpaca! :D

 

An insta‐gratification wool‐craft, all you need is some tufts of wool, some pipe cleaners, some poms, and some love. Brilliant. From Handmade Charlotte.

 

Happy crafting, everyone!

 

 

casper‐go‐round

Yikes! I haven’t written for over a month! I don’t think that that’s ever happened since I started this blog in 2010! Oh man. It’s been very, very busy with school and work, just getting a bit of breathing space after finishing a mid‐term paper today… And! We North Americans get an extra hour thanks to daylight saving! So guess what I did with that extra hour?

Blocking! :D

The really nice folks at Yarn Canada sent me a couple of cakes of Red Heart It’s a Wrap quite a while ago to try out and review, and I recent found a perfect pattern for it — it calls for a thread/lace weight cotton, it’s a relatively quick project, and it’s something that I think my BFF will really like…

A ghostly doily! :O

I like to call it the Casper-go‐round — it’s got the perfect Casper head‐shape!

My BFF loves all things Halloween, so I’m thinking she will enjoy this even when it’s not Halloween. (and she doesn’t read my blog, so she won’t know this is coming her way. shhh.) This brilliant (free!) pattern is called “Boo” by Marsha Glassner on Ravelry. The pattern calls for a lighter thread, but for the Red Heart yarn I used a 2.5 mm hook.

With 50/50 cotton and acrylic content, the yarn was smooth and soft to work with and has great drape. While I’m trying my hands on it with the doily I’m thinking it would be great for a garment.

It has exceptional yardage — 1100 yards per cake (for under $12 CAD!). I used less than half of the centre beige section for a 13″ doily, with the “Western” colourway because I’m partial to muted colours, but the yarn also offers other colour combinations that are more bright and cheerful. It would be great for shawls, cardigans, even a toddler’s dress, with all that yardage!

Because it is a lace pattern it was necessary to block, which I’m not too familiar with. But I did get some tips from a knitting circle I was a part of in the summer, so I gave that a try, and I thought it would also be a good way to test out a different aspect of the yarn for this review. 

So first, I soaked a hand towel and wrung out the excess water. Then I rolled the doily in the towel and added more water to it, then carefully pressed the excess water out (but careful not to wring, I was told). Then I laid the doily on a folded large towel (the plushiest I have, because I don’t have blocking mats), and stretched and pinned it to shape.

It only took several hours to dry. Because of the cotton content of the yarn, it mostly held its shape after unpinning. It did start to spring back a tiny bit, I guess because of its acrylic content (or maybe I was stretching it too much), but I think for this pattern it’s fine for it to shape‐shift a little :) I was thinking if it continues to lose shape I can also press it with an iron under a towel, which I had done with acrylics before. 

Perfect underneath a candy dish! Stay Puft would be proud :D

With the rest of the yarn I’m going to start on a crochet pullover pattern that I’ve been eyeing for a long time. It’s going to take a while… but will surely share when it’s done!

Be sure to check out Yarn Canada’s huge selections of yarn, I always think it’s pretty incredible that they offer free shipping on orders over $45 or flat rate of $5 (within Canada). It’s also pretty convenient when I have such shortage of time these days… too convenient…

Happy November!

 

*Disclaimer: I received product from Yarn Canada to write a review of the product; the opinions expressed on this blog are entirely my own.

 

 

this week’s awesome finds

Fall is the season for curling up with a good mug of tea wrapped in a wool blanket with wool socks on and crafting :D 

Lovely earring organizers, so handy and they look easy to make. From Oleander & Palm.

 

This reminds me of those candy dots! Sweet hat pattern by All About Ami.

 

I love Luna Lovegood. Tutorial to craft her fab specs at My Poppet.

 

If I have a cat I would make this cat bed. If I were a cat I would love this cat bed. And it’s actually just a garter stitch rectangle, much like knitting a scarf! Best first project. From A Beautiful Mess

 

Fall baking! :D Brilliant play food set pattern from Mama Bice Makes.

 

I especially love the version with the boucle yarn! Plush penguin pattern from One Dog Woof.

 

Check out this epic fisherman sweater! And it’s a free pattern! From Hopeful Honey.

 

Magic origami purse. Can make it with lovely bits of sock yarn, and apparently things don’t fall out of it! Will have to give it a try. From Frankie Brown on Ravelry.

 

Happy October! :D

 

 

fab kimono

A quick kimono style cardigan/shrug I pulled together to wear to my cousin’s wedding this weekend :) Can’t come up with a more poetic name, but thought it looks pretty fab (if I do say so myself), so fab kimono it is :D

I had quite a bit of leftover Red Heart Unforgettable after making a scarf as a gift, so I bought another skein to make this. It’s cropped length because I was going to wear this long black dress and wanted some contrasts in style. But it’s easy to make longer if you’d like.

It’s crocheted from side to side, making both front and back pieces at the same time (so there’s no seaming in the middle!). It is then folded in half with just 2 short sides to seam at the end.

With autumn in the air I think this is a good layering piece for wearing with summer dress, t‐shirt, long sleeve shirt, or even buttoned up collared shirt.

Size: 

Length (shoulder to lower edge) — 17″

Around — 60″

Gauge:

16 st = 4.5″

I used:

3 skeins of Red Heart Unforgettable in Dragonfly

6.5 mm hook

Tapestry needle

Smaller hook to weave in ends with

Pattern:

Left front/back:

Row 1: fdc 126 (see instruction for foundation double crochet or fdc here)

To increase length, add 16 fdc for every 4.5″.

Row 2: ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), dc in next 5 dc, ch 2, sk 2 dc, *dc in next 6 dc, ch 2, sk 2 dc* repeat from * to * to end, dc in last 6 dc. 

Repeat row 2 until piece measures 15″ (approx. 26 rows).

Next row: dc in every dc and 2 dc in every 2 ch sp. 

Split right front:

Next row: ch 3, dc in next 62 dc, fdc 63 and leave the remaining dc from previous row unworked.

Repeat row 2 of left front/back until piece measures 15″ from split. 

Last row: dc in every dc and 2 dc in every 2 ch sp. Fasten off.

Assembly:

Fold piece in half so that the split is perpendicular to the fold line. The fold line will be the shoulders. 

Sew side seam together by attaching yarn at the lower edge, matching stitches on front and back pieces, sew together the next 30 dc. Fasten off. Repeat on the other side seam. Weave in ends.

Wear and be fabulous!

 

this week’s awesome finds

Llama/alpaca love continues with this adorable blanket, I need to make this! From Make and Do Crew.

 

Also this hook‐keeping llama! A paid pattern by Irene Strange on Ravelry.

 

I spotted this sweater at a local yarn shop, Yarns Untangled, and was instantly in love, then learned that one of the staff wrote the pattern! This will be my next project, with the pink hand‐dyed wool that I’ve been saving for a good project for the last couple of years. Paid pattern by Nicole Tavares on Ravelry.

 

Simply a great bag, I especially love it with the pom poms! From Life is Cozy.

 

These are brilliant. Floral hoop earrings from How Did You Make This.

Happy last week of August! Sweater weather is just around the corner! :D

 

 

lately

It is granny square day today! So I thought I’d take the opportunity to finally take a picture of my finished mitered square blanket :D it’s loom‐knitted!

150 squares! It took about 2 months to make, it’s the biggest blanket I’ve ever made, 42″ by 63″!

I made a series of tutorials if you’re interested in making your own! (a dish cloth / potholder with four squares is a fun make too if you don’t want to commit to an entire blanket)

After the blanket and the c2c top in my last post, I found a pattern that would be perfect for the yarn I won at the Yarn Hop raffle, from Yarns Untangled, in “untangled” colourway :)

The pattern is Retro Solstice Eclipse by JL on Ravelry. And look! I’m knitting in the round! (I’m always kind of afraid of patterns that knit in the round, but once I get started I find it actually easier than knitting flat) I also figured out why my last in‐the‐round sweater had this weird gap at the joint — my stitch marker was too big. That seemed like a really silly mistake. But now I have these sleek stitch markers that came with the raffle prize so it’s all going smoothly :)

Speaking of the Yarn Hop, since we’ve had so much fun the day of, we’ve been meeting throughout the summer! Here we were enjoying the park…

And here were were at Spin Me a Yarn, who graciously hosted our meetup last week!

Can you spot Albert the Alpaca sharing a chair with me? :D Albert finally got to meet Lambert, the resident lamb at the shop, looking spiffy with sock in his own “Lambert” colourway.

If you live in Toronto and would like to join us at our meetups be sure to follow The Great Toronto Yarn Hop on Facebook!

Hope you’re enjoying summer and much crafting!

 

 

8‐bit

So earlier in the summer I started writing a number of crochet patterns that I was hoping to compile into an e‐book for sale. But the summer is quickly going by, and I’ve had more freelance work than expected (which is a good thing). So then I realize I don’t realistically have the capacity to pattern‐test, calculate for different sizes, etc. in order to make the patterns sell‐able. So! I’m just going to continue in this blog’s tradition in sharing patterns for free! :D It’s just that it will require some creative/math work if you’re not making the exact same size I’m wearing. But that also means lots of rooms for customization! This is the first of the few patterns I was working on :)

I’ve always wanted to try using corner‐to‐corner (c2c) crochet to make a top. My first idea was a cozy sweater with a dinosaur on it (I might still do that, we’ll see!), but all these heat waves we’ve been having are not conducive to cozy sweater‐making, so I thought I’d try with a lace weight yarn for a breezy summer top. 

The “tiles” made in c2c crochet reminds me of colourful pixels, and Nintendo video games of my childhood, and summer vacation spent playing these games. So I called it “8‐bit”.

It can be worn both ways, either with the buttons on the front, or on the back!

Buttons in the front makes it a cardigan, which can be paired with a spaghetti strap summer dress!

The top is made in 4 pieces then sewn together. So you can also sew the v‐neck pieces together and place the buttons on the round‐neck side.

There is also some shoulder shaping so that the cap sleeves will follow the shoulders rather than stick out. I thought that goes better with the gentle, delicate feel of the lace weight Noro Taiyo.

Size: Bust 36″, armhole depth 7″, neck opening width 8″, total length 17″

Size is easy to adjust as you go with the c2c crochet stitch. There will be tips for adjustment throughout in italics.

Gauge: 5x5 “tiles” = 2“x2”

Material: 

3.5 mm hook, and the smallest hook you have for weaving in ends (mine is 1.5 mm)

Lace weight yarn about 1100 yards (I only used a bit of the second skein of Noro Taiyo Lace, one skein of this is over 900 yards), larger sizes will require more yarn

Seven 1/2″ buttons

Sewing needle

Corner‐to‐corner crochet: this pattern requires familiarity with c2c crochet. If you’ve never used this stitch before, no worries! It’s quite easy and I find it rather meditative too. There are tons of very detailed tutorials out there. I learned from the photo tutorial by One Dog Woof, take a look and use some scrap yarn to practice, and I’m sure you’ll be ready in no time!

Charts:

 

 

Pattern/recipe:

V‐neck piece (make 2):

Start from the lower left corner, tile 1. Continue through chart. Chart is read diagonally. Follow this excellent photo tutorial by One Dog Woof if you need some help!

When there are 22 tiles on both edges, begin decreasing on the right edge by working 1 sl st through each dc just made, and sl st in turning ch, then ch 3, 3 dc in turning ch, and continuing on.

For a larger garment, continue working more tiles until desired width before decreasing. To determine “desired width”, decide on finished bust measurement you’d like for the top. Say 40″. Divide it by 4, which is 10″. Then continue c2c crochet until both edges are 10″ long before decreasing on the right edge. Note the number of tiles you have at the bottom edge when you reach desired width. You will need to have the same number of tiles on the bottom edge of each of the pieces.

Continue increasing on the left edge but decreasing on the right edge until the left edge has 37 tiles. 

For a longer garment, continue increasing on the left edge until desired length. Note the number of tiles when you reach desired length.

Shape shoulder:

Begin decreasing on the left edge after the 37th tile (or desired length). Work one row towards the right edge, then one row towards the left edge. After crocheting the last tile on the top edge, work another tile on top of the previous row (I placed an additional white tile on top of the brown tile of the previous row).

Then, as usual, turn, sl st in next 3 dc, sl st in turning ch.

And continue down the row.

Repeat the above steps for shoulder shaping until shoulder resembles the chart. 

(We’re of course not going to leave the shoulders jagged! We’ll fill in the corners as we sew them together later.)

Then, decrease on both the top edge and the right edge until there are 9 tiles at top edge. End with working loop on the top edge, don’t fasten off.

If you have increased in the bottom edge, increase the same number of tiles at the top edge.

Neck edge:

*Work 3 dc in the corner between first two tiles (where the lower left corner of the tile the working loop is on meets the top right of the next tile), sl st in next turning ch* repeat from * to * until end of row (the neck edge is shown in the next photo). Fasten off.

Round‐neck piece (make 2):

Follow pattern/recipe until neck edge. (making the same increases if you’ve made them in the v‐neck pieces.)

*Work 3 dc in the corner between first two tiles, sl st in next turning ch* repeat from * to * 3 more times, ch 3, 3 dc in turning ch.

Continue in c2c stitch pattern, decreasing on both edges until there final tile is made, fasten off.

Sew halves together:

Sew together the centre seams of the two round‐neck pieces.

Seaming shoulders:

With wrong side facing, attach yarn to lower edge of shoulder on one piece.

*Work 3 dc in corner between the first two tiles, sl st in next turning ch* repeat from * to * until end of row, don’t fasten off.

With right sides together, place shoulder of v‐neck piece to the shoulder of the round‐neck piece just completed, matching both pieces. With working loop still attached to the round‐neck piece, sl st in top of shoulder of v‐neck piece.

*Work 3 dc in corner between the first two tiles, sl st in next turning ch* repeat from * to * until end of row, leave a long tail for sewing, fasten off. 

Sew entire shoulders together (the slopes we just worked on and the top edges). Repeat on the other shoulder.

The rest of assembly:

With wrong sides facing, sew side seams together. For my top I counted 17 tiles down from shoulder for 7″ in armhole depth, then started sewing to the bottom edge. If making a deeper armhole, measure the desired depth and count the number of tiles within the measurement.

Buttons:

Sew buttons on one edge where the turning ch on the edge will form natural button holes, which is every 4th tile.

Weave in all the ends with a tiny hook, and we’re done! :D

Leave a comment if you have any questions or need clarifications! Happy crocheting!

 

this week’s awesome finds

Beautiful corner to corner cloud blanket and chart from Kikalite.

 

If I conjure up enough patience, I will make these. Beaded earrings how‐to from How Did You Make This?

 

We never grow tired of llamas <3 Video tutorial from Picot Pals.

 

Also from Picot Pals, Iceland poppies! They’d make great brooches wouldn’t they?

 

These made from, can you guess it? — hot glue sticks! Tutorial from AdTech, the company that makes the glue sticks.

 

This one’s a planter! <3 paid pattern by Hello Happy on Ravelry.

 

Happy Thursday, and have a lovely weekend, everyone!

 

 

Lately

After a bit of frenzy gearing up for the Yarn Hop, I’ve been quiet on the blog lately, catching up on other things…

My niece and nephews have birthdays relatively close to each other, so every summer we give them all their gifts at the same time — that way everyone gets to open a gift! :D

One of the gifts was a loom knitted dinosaur — when I first stumbled upon it on the web I thought I had to make this! The pattern is by The Loom Muse

(The wooden dinosaur is a gift from a dear friend :D) I find that with the extra small 12‐peg loom the gauge is very loose, and I ended up having to weave a strand of yarn through all the stitches in every column of knitting to prevent the stuffing from being visible. Perhaps I will have to try using an even heavier yarn next time (I used extra bulky for this one). I’m still quite happy with how it turned out!

Another gift was an owl puppet, pattern also by The Loom Muse but only available as a video. The pattern is for a stuffed owl but I ran out of yarn, so I left the bottom open and a puppet it is!

I love that it also has a tail! :D

And we’ve all met the alpaca! The mascot I loom‐knitted for the Yarn Hop (because we were team alpaca). The pattern is also by the Loom Muse (it is a treasure trove of stuffed animal patterns!). Here’s our fabulous team in front of the wonderful Purple Purl! (You can also kind of see the makeshift alpaca carrier on my tote.)

Throughout the day alpaca got named Albert, inspired by Lambert at Spin Me a Yarn, another local yarn shop :D (you’ll find Lambert and his yarn adventures on this Insta feed)

Here’s Albert at Yarnsomniacs enjoying the very soft yarn made by his friends.

As you can see we also made an alpaca sign to keep us humans from wandering off. The super cute template is from Picot Pals. Here he is at Knit‐O‐Matic with everyone busy looking and crafting! 

And here we are at Passionknit — note the beautiful wall of Canadian hand dyed yarn on the right!

In other news, I wore my crocheted sandals outside for the first time since making them last year (or even the year before?). I don’t know why I haven’t worn them. Worried they’ll break I suppose. But it’s been so warm lately, I decided to give them a go. It’s really difficult for me to find sandals that don’t hurt my feet, so I haven’t bought or worn sandals for like the past ten years, and always suffered from socks and sneakers no matter the heat wave >_< 

So I wore these out on the street, walked around, took the subway and streetcar, walked on the grass… and they’re really comfortable! My summer shoes problem is solved! :D 

In case anyone’s interested, they’re made with flip flop soles and worsted weight cotton, pattern is here.

And finally, I’m down to my last row of the mitered square blanket!! 

There will be 150 squares in total! And about 4 feet by 5.5 feet! I have been slowing down with making this though because inevitably I have to put it on my lap to knit and it’s been really warm >_< definitely a winter project, for next time. But soon I’ll be able to show you the blanket with all 150 squares in all its glory! 

Until next time, keep on crafting!