confetti

This yarn was a raffle win from a yarn hop / fundraising event in 2015. I don’t usually use or wear the colour pink, so it’s taken me quite a few years, as you can see, to find a project for it. 

The yarn is single ply merino DK by Mineville Wool Project. It’s quite comfortable to wear. The pattern is Confetti DK Pullover by Nomad Stitches.

I like that special care is taken to add short rows to the shoulders and back so it fits better. (Was trying to get a full length picture of me wearing it but the most successful was one of me not being aware of picture being taken.)

I hope that summer is going alright for everyone so far, with much crafting in the sun.

stay home project

I’m still here. Things have slowed down a lot more for me. That is a sign of privilege.  I work at home, with flexible schedule, unstructured time, generous deadlines. To me that’s a lot more difficult than having a fast-paced job and multiple projects at once because now my mind has too much space to think. But I don’t have to work in the frontline, my work isn’t essential, I don’t have to risk exposure, so I can’t complain.  

I kept seeing the cover of Inside Crochet issue 123 on my Instagram feed. I was really intrigued by the lace pattern juxtaposed to rows of double-crochet stitches. And I had skeins of Patons Hempster that I frogged from another project. So I downloaded the magazine and made an effort to work on it every day.

I knew from the measurements that it was going to be a very over-sized fit. But I couldn’t tell until I put it together –

It was REALLY big on me. Like I made a table cloth and wore it.

I even went down a hook size (4 mm hook instead of 4.5 mm as called for in the pattern). I’m on the small scale of humans but I surely am not that small. I don’t know if I messed up the gauge or if the model on the cover is a lot taller or wider in the shoulders? I still really like the way the lace pattern is incorporated. So I’m going to scale down on both the yarn weight and the hook size and see if it helps. Currently waiting for more yarn to arrive in the mail so, to be continued.

In the meanwhile, passing on some cat love from a friend who made sure I got lots of screen time with her cat.

That look says, “no work, all cat today.”

Wishing you good health, safety, and peace of mind today. Take good care.

 

slow: hats

I’ve made quite a few of these hats with crochet slip stitch. I like that they’re made slowly. 

I’m going to attempt to write the pattern for 3 different yarn weights, so it’s versatile for whatever yarn you have on hand. They all make a hat that is 19″ around and 11″ in length (with brim unfolded). The stitch is quit stretchy so it will fit most I think. Here’s the worsted weight version on me.

And the worsted weight version on Mike (I have a smaller head than he does).

This is the sport weight version.

After testing the sport weight version with a leftover skein of acrylic yarn, I treated myself to a skein of merino hand-dyed by Toronto Yarn Hop co-organizer Emily Gillies. She has a range of beautiful colours, and one skein of merino sport is perfect for making one hat. 

I made the hat in blue spruce (pictured here, in first photo, and in process photos below). The wonderful custom vegan tag is by Millie Marty Co. in Belleville, ON.

The hat can also be made more quickly in bulky yarn. I tested it while attending the Warming Toronto event (an afternoon of hanging out with great folks at a local pub while making hats, scarfs and mittens for distribution at emergency shelters in the winter). And this hat took about 3.5 hours to make.

Dimension of all three versions (sport, worsted, bulky): 19″ around, 11″ in length with brim unfolded. 

Suggested yarn:

Sport — Merino Sport by Emily Gillies, 1 skein, 282 yards

Worsted — Patons Classic Wool Worsted, 2 skeins, 210 yards each

Bulky — Patons Shetland Chunky, 2 skeins, 148 yards each

Pattern:

Instructions are for sport weight (worsted and bulky in parenthesis).

The turning ch does not count as a stitch.

The hats are made with slip stitch in black loop only (BLO), made sideways with short rows for crown shaping, then seamed at the back with slip stitch (or sewing).

Crochet loosely, otherwise it can be difficult to get the hook into the slip stitches.

The hat can be made wider with one or two additional short rows, and longer with additional stitches in the beginning chain (makes for a wider brim).

Hooks: 
Sport — 5.5 mm
Worsted — 6.5 mm
Bulky — 10 mm

Row 1 (setup row): ch 55 (40, 33), sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in each ch to end.

First set of short rows:

Row 2: ch 1, sl st in each st until there is one st left, skip remaining st, turn.

Row 3: ch 1, skip first st, sl st in each st to end. 

Repeat rows 2 and 3 six (four, three) more times.

Next row: ch 1, st st in each st. At this point the piece will look like this.

Continue on and sl st into each end of the short row and the space in between each row — 14 (10, 8) stitches across the short rows, then sl st in the remaining last stitch from row 2. The piece will now look like this.

Next row*: ch 1, sl st in each st to end.

Second set of short rows:

Row 1: ch 1, sl st in each st until there are 14 (10, 8) stitches left in the row, turn.

Row 2: ch 1, sl st in every st to end.

Row 3: ch 1, st st in every st, then sl st in the next two st in the row marked with * (the row made before row 1 of the second set of short rows), turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 six (four, three) more times.

Next row: ch 1, sl st in every st to end.

Repeat first and second sets of short rows four more times. Don’t fasten off.

Crochet seam together right side out. Turn inside out. Weave yarn through each stitch in crown opening, cinch and tied off. Weave in ends. Turn right side out. Fold up brim.  

Happy crocheting!

 

Note: No incentive or commission was received for this post. Simply thought it was neat that I could find local artisans for both the yarn and custom tags, and want to support indie businesses :)

 

 

slow: mitts

Really enjoying working with slip stitch after making the lunar new year bamboo. I like the slower pace of working up the fabric with this stitch. And I figured it would be a dense enough stitch to make a warm pair of mittens.

I used:

Worsted weight yarn

5.5 mm hook, and a smaller hook for weaving in ends

Tapestry needle

The mitten is crocheted flat in one piece, folded in half at the thumb, and seamed together from the tip of the thumb to the cuff edge. The photos that follow will help make sense of the construction.

All sl st worked through back loop only (BLO).

Mitten measures 9″ long, 4″ across palm, 3″ across wrist, 2″ length of thumb. I have relatively small hands. The mittens can be made larger with additional ch in the beginning and beginning ch of thumb, and additional rows between rows 7 and 15 

Pattern:

Row 1: ch 23, sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in every ch to end, ch 2 (these two extra ch increase the length by 1 st). 

Row 2: sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in every st BLO (back loop only) to end.

Row 3: ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), sl st in every st to end, ch 2.

Row 4: repeat row 2.

Row 5: repeat row 3.

Row 6: repeat row 2 (25 st altogether).

Row 7–15: ch 1, sl st in ever st BLO to end.  

Row 16: ch 1, sk first st, sl st in next st and every st to end (skipping the first st decreases 1 st).

Row 17: ch 1, sl st in every st to end.

Row 18: repeat row 16.

Row 19: repeat row 17.

Row 20: repeat row 16.

Row 21: repeat row 17 (22 st altogether). 

Row 22 (thumb begins): ch 1, sl st in the first 12 st, ch 7, sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in every ch BLO, sl st in next st on the side of mitten.

Thumb row 1: ch 1, sl st in every st on thumb to end (8 st on thumb)

Thumb row 2: ch 1, sl st in every st on thumb, sl st in next st on the side of mitten.

Repeat thumb rows 1 and 2 three more times. 

Continue working 10 rows on thumb, without attaching the end of the row to the side of the mitten.

Don’t fasten off. ch 13, sl st in second ch on hook, sl st in every ch, work 5 sl st across the base of the 10 rows of them that are not attached to the body of the mitten, work 5 sl st into the remaining 5 st in the side of the mitten. It will end up looking like this with the thumb folded in half.

Repeat rows 2 to 21 of mitten. I found that it was easier to fold the thumb in half and pin it together as I worked along so I don’t get confused about which direction I was going.

Fasten off. 

Cuff: Attach yarn to edge of cuff (directly opposite of where last row ended), ch 11, sc in second ch from hook to end of ch, sl st in next stitch in the mitten that looks like a “v”, sl st in next st that looks like a “v”, sc BLO in every sc to end. The mitten here is pictured upside down with the first cuff row started. 

Continue across the edge of the cuff. Here is a close up of the hook pointing at the middle of the stitch that looks like a “v”.

Attach yarn at the top of thumb. Weave yarn through all the stitches in top of thumb, cinch and tie off. Continue seaming down the thumb and around the mitten to edge of cuff. Fasten off and weave in ends. 

The mittens are actually fairly quick to work up. If you’re in/near Toronto, consider joining us in the annual Warming Toronto event on Sunday, February 9. We spend an afternoon at at a pub downtown, knit, crochet, loom, have a pint, share snacks, chatter, and make hats, mitts, scarfs, cowls, etc. for distribution at emergency shelters over the winter months. If one mitten is finished at home first, one can definitely finish the pair while hanging out for a few hours at the event.  

Stay warm! ❄

renew

Today is the first day of Chinese new year. I made this bamboo as a gift. Pretty happy with how it turned out.

I thought bamboo generally symbolizes good luck because it’s sold in every Chinese shop that sells plants. But with a quick search on the internet I learned that it also represents renewal (because of how quickly it grows), flexibility/strength, and longevity — so, resilience, tenaciousness.

Tenacious” is a word that I’d like to be described by. I don’t give up, or perhaps more truthfully I find it hard giving up on things or people. Some would say that I’m not very good at letting go. Other have said I’m stubborn. I’d like to think that I’m tenacious. But I guess a way forward would be to cultivate flexibility, to renew or reorient my approach to how I’m tenaciously connecting to some things.

Anyway, I’d also say that the crochet slip stitch is a very bamboo-like stitch, because it makes a firm fabric and therefore tenacious, it is however also very flexible and stretchable, almost like a knitted rib.

Here I’d like to share a loosely formed recipe for making the bamboo. It’s kind of like free-formed crocheting, and how tall the plant is depends on the vase you’re using, but there are some basics to it, in case anyone would like to give it a try.

I used:

Caron Simply Soft for the bamboo stalk because of its sheen

Patons Astra for the yellow rings and caps

Bernat Super Value for the leaves

5.5 mm hook for the stalk

3.5 mm hook for the rings and caps

Tapestry needle

Popsicle sticks

Vase with pebbles

Stalks are made with back loop slip stitch (tutorial).
With larger hook and lighter green, make a chain of desired length. I started with 25 ch for the tallest, and 21 and 15 for the other two. Then sl st BLO until piece is about 1.5″ wide. Without fastening off, sl st to join the seams together lengthwise, making a long tube (the sl st seam will be on the outside; the piece won’t be turned inside out after seaming). Fasten off.

Rings are made around the stalks with surface slip stitch (tutorial).
With smaller hook and yellow, attach yarn where you want the ring to be at the back seam of the stalk. sl st in every stitch in the rows crosswise (not just the stitch that appears as a “v”, but also the stitch in between the “v“s, so that the rings would protrude a bit). Fasten off after every ring made and pull the tails inside the stalk.

Caps are made with magic ring (tutorial) with 8 sc inside the ring, sl st to join with first sc, then fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing. Attach ring to the top of the stalk.

Leaves may be a little tricky to explain… I regret not taking progress photos, very sorry. It took quite a bit of experimentation but I settled on this method and I think the results are quite lively looking. I hope this makes sense.

With smaller hook and darker green, ch 5 to 7 (this is the stem you’re sewing to the stalk, so its length depends on how you want to position the sprig of leaves on the bamboo), dc in second ch from hook, *[ch 1, dc in ch just made] two or three times (depending on how long you want the leaf to be), ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sl st evenly into the dc’s made earlier (roughly 2 sl st per dc), sl st into the last ch of the stem*. At this point you can sl st down every ch of the stem then fasten off with tail for sewing, or you can make another leave by sl st down just a couple of ch on the stem, then repeat * to *, and sl st down every ch of the stem, fasten off and leave a tail for sewing.

Sew the leaves to the stalks as desired.

Assembly:

The bamboo stalks are supported by popsicle sticks on the inside. I used popsicle sticks because it’s the only thing I can find to use at home. The width of it and the thickness of the crochet fabric takes up the interior of the stalks so they don’t need more stuffing. I’ve had to connect a couple of popsicle sticks together for the taller two stalks by simply overlapping the ends of the sticks and gluing them together with white glue (hot glue would be a better choice).

To determine the lengths of popsicle sticks you need, measure how deeply you want the sticks to extend toward the base of the vase. I would want the sticks to actually touch the base of the vase to make sure the sticks don’t wobble too easily. Determine the length of stick that is sticking out of the end of the stalk. It would be the same for all the stalks. Then measure how tall each stick will need to be according to the length of the stalk.

Pour a layer of pebbles into the vase. I think smaller stone chips at least for the bottom layer are better for stability. Insert the stalks and arrange as desired, then pour on more pebbles. I used different glass ones on top for interest.

I later added a red ribbon around the stalk for gift-giving that is not pictured because it blocked the bamboo too much. But that also helps with the stability.

I didn’t have any other new year decorations but thankfully there are emojis 😊🎋

Wishing everyone good health and happiness in the year of the 🐀

lately

What I’ve been working on after the holidays…

This was something that I started on my trip to Hong Kong. Working on this got me through excruciatingly long flights and some moments of sadness as well as a cold. I actually managed finishing most of the body during the trip and finished the sleeves after I came back.

I made up the pattern entirely and jotted down some notes with the hope of sharing it sometimes in the future… it might not happen till May when the winter semester is over, so hopefully I will still remember what I did…

I used the Red Heart It’s a Wrap that was sent to me from Yarn Canada to review. Remember the ghostly doily? So I finished the doily AND made this sweater AND still have yarn left for probably another doily. The yardage is incredible!

After school started back again I didn’t have as much time but I did knit a hat! I’ve loom knitted a hat with with this Caron Chunky Cake before but the wide gaps between stitches (part of loom knitting but I think it’s fixable, I just don’t know how) make the hat not very warm… so I figure I’ll unravel and knit a 2x2 rib one.

And then I thought it’s a bit too short and the brim not wide enough, so I unraveled again and added stripes with the leftover grey section of the yarn cake.

I think this one is staying knitted :D

Have a great week, everyone!

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.

 

 

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!