Friday, October 14, 2011

fingerless gloves in tapestry crochet

 fingerless gloves in crochet

Here is a picture of my finished gloves.
I finished them back in April
on a beach in Florida.
It wasn't the best place to work on
them since I had to work from a chart
and keep track of a lot of different colours.
But it will be fun to wear
them in the chilly fall and think back to
where I made them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Craft Book Challenge (CBC)

I've joined the Craft Book Challenge.
In a nut shell....
Each month you make a project
from one of your craft books.
Doesn't have to be big project
and it's no big deal if you do miss a month.
It's a fun idea started by Liesl
(check it out by clicking the button in sidebar).

It's a great way to inspire everyone to take
those books off the shelf and make something.

When I crocheted my tea cosy
I needed some flowers
to embellish the top so
 I chose three different roses from
by Lesley Stanfield

This one is my favourite, it's called Ruffled  Rose.

Ruffled flower front

Check out the back of it.
The last 2 rows naturally fold over to form
a really nice finish.

back of ruffled flower

The red one is called Flared Rose,
the orange one is Centifolia Rose.
They are both made by crocheting a
long strip and then rolling it up.
top view of my latest tea cosy

I originally wanted to make
peppermint leaves since that is my
favourite tea but
I liked the look of roses better and
you can also make tea from rose hips.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My newest teacosy

Here is a bit of a lop-sided picture
of my latest tea cosy
my latest cosy

I made three flowers to go on the top

top view of tea cosy

There is a bit of a story on how this cosy came about.
Back in 2009 I found this brown, green and orange cosy
at a garage sale.
thrifted tea cosy
At that time I had never seen a cosy like
this and wondered it I could make one like it.
I could figure out most of the pattern but
I really couldn't figure out how the ridges were made.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when
I decided to look again on Ravlery
and there I found a bunch of cosies that
were made from an Australian booklet.
A sweet Ravelry member explained how
the stitch was made.
Turns out it is a puff stitch which
is made around the back post
of another puff stitch.
It causes this lovely edge that 
stands out nicely from the flat dc.

Here is a shot of my cosy from the
other side which shows the ridges better.
tea cosy with ridges

I have to say this was a fun project from start to finish.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Free Hobbes Crochet Pattern

I've finally decided to write up my Hobbes pattern
and instead of selling it 
I'd like to give it to you for free.

Finished Hobbes
The reason he is free is because
the creator of Calvin and Hobbes,
Bill Watterson
did not want to commercialize his work
so keeping that in mind
Please don't sell this pattern
and don't sell the completed work.
 I feel that part of enjoying Calvin and Hobbes
is also respecting the man who created it.
So this pattern is offered to people
who want to make Hobbes for themselves 
or a loved one.
I originally made this up for my son because
of his love for Hobbes (he's 23 now)

I armed myself with Watterson's brilliant
drawings as a reference.
I made this pattern to look as close 
as possible to the Hobbes' drawings .

I realized that Hobbes could be
broken down into basic shapes.
His head is really just a fat cylinder,
his arms, legs and body are really
just cylinders with stripes on them.

He also had the muzzle of a cat
so I looked to the famous Amineko cat.
And despite what it looks like
that muzzle is just an unstuffed, flattened
cylinder too.

 Once I got the shapes down  I worked on size.
I had to make sure that each part was
in the right proportion to each other.
It was actually quite fun and challenging
to create a 3D yarn toy
from a 2D drawing.
 Until I started making him I never realized how different
Hobbes looks from a regular cat.
His head and body are a lot longer than
an normal cat plus
 he has the shortest fattest legs.
That caused me problems since
tubular legs and arms don't want to bend.
And if he can't bend then he can't sit
which means he couldn't sit under 
trees waiting for Calvin to bring him to life.
So I compromised a bit by not stuffing
the upper parts of his arms and legs.
Not exactly perfect but the best that I could do.
 I hope you enjoy making him
and I'd love if you left comments!
If you do  make him please let me know.
Also please credit me as designer and
include a link to this post
when you do post pictures.

There are a lot of sites that have tutorials for making jogless stripes.
Hooks and Needles.... color stripe tutorial
NeedleNoodles.......jogless stripes

Pattern notes 
You will need:
Hook size: 4.5mm
Worsted weight yarn in orange, black and white (less than a 100 g ball each).
Black felt for eyes, nose and 2 stripes
A small strand of embroidery 
Darning needle

All stripes (except 2 on top of head) are made by changing
colours in the pattern.

Please note that you will be working in the round.
Also note that
 at the end of each round you will slip stitch to join and chain 1.
This will minimize jogless stripes (see above resources).
Using orange yarn
(1)  6 sc into magic loop, tighten loop (6 st)
(2)  [2 sc  in each stitch ]         (12 st)
(3) [1sc into the 1st sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (18 st)
(4) [1sc into each of next 2 sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (24 st)
(5)  [1sc into each of next 3 sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (30 st)
(6) [1sc into each of next 4 sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (36st)
(7) [1sc into each of next 5 sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (42 st)
(8) [1sc into each of next 6 sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (48st)
(9) Work even             (48 st)

Now you start on the black stripes at the back of his head.
When you switch back and forth between black and orange you will have to fasten
off each colour. This will result in a  lot of ends...I didn't weave them in since they 
are tucked inside his cute head but that decision is up to you.
But don't worry...this is the only part of the pattern where this happens.

(10-11) make 16 sc in orange then 32 sc in black (48 st)
(12) work even in orange
(13-15) Same as  rows (10-12)
(16-17) make 16 sc in orange then 32 sc in black (48 st)
The rest of the head is worked in orange only.
(18-21) work even   (48 st)
(22) [1sc into each of next 6 sc, 2sc decrease] 6 times (42st)
(23) [1sc into each of next 5 sc, 2sc decrease] 6 times (36 st)
(24) Work even
(25) [1sc into each of next 4 sc, 2sc decrease] 6 times (30st)
(26) Work even
(27) [1sc into each of next 3 sc, 2sc decrease] 6 times (24 st)
(28-30) Work even, fasten off leaving long yarn to sew head on.
Stuff head

Muzzle: Do not stuff!
 In white
(1)  6 sc into magic loop, tighten loop (6 st)
(2)  [2 sc  in each stitch ]         (12 st)
(3) [1sc into the 1st sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (18 st)
(4) [ 2 sc in first st, 1 sc in next 5 stiches]  3 times   (21 st)
(5-18) work even
(19) [2sc decrease , 1 sc in next 5 st] 3 times   (18st)
(20) [1 sc in next st, 2sc decrease]          (12 st)
(21) decrease in every stitch   (6st)
(22) decrease in every stitch (3 st).
If you rather you can skip this last row and sew the hole up with yarn instead.
Fasten off leaving enough yarn to sew muzzle to head.

Ears (Make two)
These are just 2 triangles
In black
(1) 4sc into magic loop (4 st)
(2) increase in every st  (8 st)
(3) [1sc into each of next 3sc, 2sc into the next sc] (10 st)
(4) [1sc into each of next 4sc, 2sc into the next sc] (12 st)
(5) [1sc into each of next 5sc, 2sc into the next sc]  (14 st)
(6) work even
Fasten off and leave enough yarn to sew to head.
Hand press them to look like ears

Putting the details on.

The eyes, nose and stripes on the top of his head are all made of felt.
Use the picture for everything on first so you can make
sure that it all looks good. Take your time with this part.
This is the most important part of the whole's what makes
your stuffed toy become Hobbes.
I take a picture of it ...that helps me a lot.

All the felt pieces are hand sewn on with thread, the muzzle is sew on with yarn.
Sew the nose onto the muzzle and add a couple of embroidery lines below the nose,
Put some stuffing behind the muzzle piece and sew onto head.
Sew the eyes on about the same level as the bottom stripe.
Sew on ears and 2 stripes using picture as help.

Starting from bottom up.
In orange
(1)  6 sc into magic loop, tighten loop (6 st)
(2)  [2 sc  in each stitch ]         (12 st)
(3) [1sc into the next first sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (18 st)
(4) [1sc into each of next 2 sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (24 st)
(5)  [1sc into each of next 3 sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (30 st)
(6) [1sc into each of next 4 sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (36st)
(7) [1sc into each of next 5 sc, 2 sc into the next sc] 6 times (42 st)
(8) work even
(9-10) using black work even
(11-12) using orange work even
Continue working rows 9-12 until you have a total of 6 stripes of each colour.
(33) in black [1 sc in next 5 st, 2sc decrease] 6 times (36 st)
(34) work even
(35) in orange work even
(36) [1 sc in each of next 4 st, 2sc decrease] 6 times   (30 st)
(37-38) in black work even
(39) In orange  [1 sc in each of next 3 st, 2sc decrease] 6 times (24 st)
 Fasten off

Legs (Make 2)

In white
 (1)  6 sc into magic loop, tighten loop (6 st)
(2)  [2 sc  in each stitch ]         (12 st)
(3) [1sc into the next first sc, 2sc into the next sc] 6 times (18 st)
(4) [1sc into each of next 2sc, 2sc into the next sc] 6 times (24 st)
(5-9) work even
(10-11) in black work even
(12-13) in orange work even
Repeat  rows 10-13 until you have 4 stripes of each colour
Fasten off leaving enough orange yarn to attach to body.

Arms  Make 2

Work the same as the legs but skip row 9.
Also at the end, do another row of 10 and 11 of black.
Fasten off and leave enough black yarn to sew arms onto body.

starting from the tip of the tail
In black
(1)  6 sc into magic loop, tighten loop (6 st)
(2)  [2 sc  in each stitch ]         (12 st)
(3) [1sc into each of next 5 sc, 2 sc into the next sc]  2 times   (14 st)
(4-5) work even in orange
(6-7) work even in black
Repeat Rows 4-7 until you have 13 orange stripes and 13 black stripes
Then add another stripe of orange (rows 4-5)
Fasten off and leave enough orange yarn to sew to body.

Belly Band (oval)
Don't get scared off this section
His tummy patch is simply an oval.
If you know how to make one then just skip this section totally.
In reality ovals are very simple...(it's the written instructions that make them seem complicated
to make especially as you add new rounds.)
All the increases in an oval are at the ends.
The straight sides have no increases.

I'll give you written instructions for the first round since it is easy,
then I'll show you visually where the increases go for the next rounds

Ch 16 in white
Round 1:
Remember to mark your first stitch with marker
Starting in 2nd chain from hook sc 14, 3sc in last st.
Rotate work around and start working on other side of chain.
Sc 13, make 2sc in last st.

Now look at this drawing:

I've drawn out 4 ovals that represent the four rounds
The red arrows represent where the increases occur.

You should note 2 things
1-The number of increases stay the same during each round
            (3 extra increases at each end for a total of 6 increases)
2- There is one increase that always stays in the same place and the other two take
'steps' away from this centre increase. It's like they are getting mad at the bossman
and the longer they are with him the further they want to be from him.

In Round 1 all three increases were in the same stitch. (at each end)
They were friends.
Now for the rest of the rounds

Round 2:
Notice that the two side increases have moved away from the centre increase.
They now are 2 stitches down from it (separated by a sc)
So what you are going to do is first mark the centre stitch at both ends.
Just do it by eye.
Now count down 2 stitches on both sides and that is where your side increases will go.
Do that also for the other end.

Now crochet that row putting increases only in those places. (6 in total)
Every other stitch will be worked evenly..don't forget to put a sc in between those increases.

Round 3: Again mark your two centre stitches...count down 3 stitches on both side...that is where your increases go.
Every other place gets a sc.

Round 4;  Mark your two centre stitches...count down 4 stitches on both side...that is where your increases go. Every other place gets a sc

For me 4 rounds fit Hobbes nicely but if you want it larger just 
continue moving those side increases down a stitch for each round.

Putting the body together
Stuff the body and sew on the belly band.
Stuff the arms and legs but only stuff the joint area lightly as 
you want to make him bendable.
Use yarn to sew on the appendages.
Sew head onto body adding stuffing if needed.

Pick him up, give him a hug!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crocheting potholders/hotpads

Crochet hotpads and potholders

A couple of these will be sacrificed to the
coffee gods...they will be used as 
cleanup cloths.

 But the large ruffled one will be spared.
ruffled potholder

I can't bring myself to use it.
I had such fun making it and love the 
colours in it.
It has a great vintage feel about it.
This picture shows the lacy base.
Lacy base for ruffled potholder

Here is a shot of the back
after the ruffles are added.

Back of ruffled potholder
You can see how the rows are
made in zig zags.
I followed 
on the Royal Sisters' blog.

The patterns for the purple and brown
ones came from
This is really a wonderful book with
lots of great, quick patterns.
I adapted 
to make the pink hexagon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A garland of crochet flowers for my chandelier

There is still a lot of snow on the ground
on this lovely Valentine's Day.
So I brought some spring into the house
in the form of crochet flowers.

Chandelier with garland of crochet flowers

A garland of flowers

Here is the free pattern
on Ravelry.
When I made it
it was only in German here
free German pattern.
It took me a while to figure
it out since google translate
doesn't include translation for
crochet stitches.
But it was a fun challenge.

You can make this garland as long
or as short as you like.
The flowers are made first and then
added as you make the vines and leaves.
It's the type of project you really
don't have to concentrate a lot on.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm in love with my Barista

I'm also sleeping with him.
(okay....he is also my husband.)
We both love going to coffee houses so a few years back
he decided to buy an espresso machine for home.
It's a semi-automatic and produces
the most wonderful espressos
and cappuccinos.
So for Valentines Day I'm
making him some cloths to use
for clean up.
He doesn't care if they are cute
or not....they just need to be functional.
But that doesn't mean I can't have fun.
Grey potholder for hubby
This first one was so easy to make.
It is basically an open mesh with
strips of crochet woven in.

potholders in progress
I actually made it first with a white mesh
but changed my mind and made the grey version.

These next two are my favourites.
The are made in a lovely vintage cotton
that I found at the thrift store.
These I'm going to keep for myself.
vintage style potholders
I'm working on a few more so
will post those soon.

One glove syndrome? No way!

I'm determined to finish the pair.
 But I will take a wee break for a few days
to make some quick projects with heavier yarn.
Left glove finished

This hasn't been blocked yet
so it's a bit wobbly.
I'll make the buttonhole later when
the second one is finished.

I must admit that I'm getting quicker
at jacquard crochet although
my tension is still uneven.
Practice hasn't made perfect
but it has made it easier.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Year of the Hare

I haven't been able to start 
making a bunny to celebrate 
the Chinese Year of the Hare.
I promised myself that I could
only work on 2 projects at a time.
Since the New Year has officially started
  I'll post my bunny projects
that I've made in the past for now.

A bunny rattle
 crocheted Bunny rattle

A vintage-style bunny
vintage bunny

An Ugly Bunny

Day 1: Ugly Bunny pincushion

Monday, January 31, 2011

My son's holey gloves got the Mario treatment...crochet style

My son loves his gloves, 
to the point where they now have large holes in them.
When I promised to fix them I was thinking
of simply crocheting a brown rectangle as a patch.
Then I realized that I could be more creative so
this is what I did.

Mario's piranha plant patch for glove

He's had his gloves for years
and he is the type of kid 
who would rather get something fixed
than buy something new.
(Takes after his mum :D)  
He still really likes Mario so
he was really happy with them.

Also in this picture is my beagle
who was sick all day today and part
of yesterday.
I was so happy to see her sniffing around,
hopefully she
will be eating again soon.

'Mario piranha plant' crochet patch

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crocheting backwards without tripping

I've made a bit more progress on my gloves.
The colour pattern on the decreases isn't perfect
but since they will be worn
by an imperfect person (me, me, me)
 I'm happy.

continuing to work on my fingerless gloves

I've reached the wrist stage which means
I'll no longer be working in the round,
I'll now be working in rows back and forth.

This means that I will need to use 
another technique that's new to me:
backwards crochet.
The little piece at the bottom is my
practice piece.

Athough they sound similar 
backward crochet is not the same as reverse crochet.
Reverse crochet or crabstitch is worked
with the right side facing you and results
in a twisted stitch.
Backward crochet is a little harder to explain.
Basically this technique 
makes sure that the wrist (worked in rows)
will look like the rest of the glove (worked in rounds).

I forgot to distinguish which rows were made by which technique.
The glove itself was made with jacquard,
which is a colorwork technique where you
work the different colours and carry the
unused colour along the wrong side (in strands).

I used both jacquard and backwards crochet
in the red sample.
The jacquard is the green and red rows
worked on the right sides.
This is alternated with straight red rows
that are worked in backward crochet
on the wrong sides.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tackling jacquard crochet

It's halfway through January and I thought
by now I'd have done a lot of yarn work.
But I do have a good excuse why that didn't happen.
My oldest son has been home for the holidays,
and I drop everything anytime I've got my whole family together.
Things have now returned to normal so
I've picked up my hook again 
and tackled a project that I've had on hold.
since 2009 (2 years!!)

This pattern is made mainly using a technique
called jacquard crochet.
It's basically a technique that works with
strands of colours hooked into the back loop.

When I first tried it I was having a lot of difficulty
with the tension since jacquard crochet
is much tighter and less stretchy than regular crochet.
I'm a tight crocheter as it is so
that didn't help.
I also found all the new techniques
a little overwhelming so I
put it aside until I felt more confident.

 I've decided to start completely over again.
Here is a picture of how far I've gotten.
jacquard crochet fingerless wip

I'd love to say that the stitches are quickly sliding off my hook,
I won't even tell you 
how many hours I've spent on this so far,
but what's different now is that it's a bit 
easier and I now see it as doable.
Some things I'm still struggling with
and I'll post more specifics 
about them in a later post in case 
you want to give this a go yourself.

Crochet Max from the Wild Things

 Who doesn't love Max!! I'm really happy with this cute little guy Pattern by Carla Mitrani  You can find her on Ravelry  Max Patter...