Monday, 29 February 2016

Recent research on crafters

Rather interesting to read this (US) Craft Yarn Council research on knitters/crocheters, why and what they're making.  Stress relief features as a significant reason.  But the top reason? A feeling of accomplishment.

Follow the link to read more. (I did have a little wee chuckle that more crocheters than knitters completed the survey - doesn't mean there are more of one than the other, but it's always rather fun to see crocheters in the majority!).

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

CAL: Frida's Flower Blanket

Janie Crow/Jane Crowfoot will be running the Frida's Flower Blanket CAL (Crochet-A-Long) in the first few months of 2016.  It's inspired by Mexican crewel embroidery as seen on Frida Kahlo's clothes:

As for the Lily Pond Blanket CAL, Jane has designed an exclusive extra crochet pattern which will be available with yarn kits sold via the Janie Crow web site and not elsewhere.
Jane has designed the project based on Mexican traditional embroidery/crewel work and the costumes worn by artist Frida Kahlo. The colour palette is bright on dark shades and the main theme is flowers - the project will be called Frida's Flower Blanket.




Image source and further information here and in her January update here.

Yarn kits will be available from various retailers using Stylecraft yarns.
Follow her on Facebook etc or sign up on her website for her email updates to find out more, or read her blog here.






Note: links are in UK crochet terminology.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Admirable Crocheters: The Loopy Stitch

Beautiful projects, tutorials and more from an Australian crochet blogger.

Head on over to The Loopy Stitch.  Great use of colour, modern crochet, lovely eye candy.  It's a fairly new blog (I can't talk...) but looks very promising and worth following.

12557676_10153599711231263_1601982326_o
Image source

Blog: http://theloopystitch.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theloopystitch/

Not sure of her username on Ravelry, but happy to add it here...





Unusually for most Australian crocheters...
Note: links are in US crochet terminology.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Crazy shell stitch

Would you like to crochet this?


Image source

Then head on over to the photo step by step tutorial here:
http://www.allfreecrochet.com/Tutorials/How-to-Crochet-a-Crazy-Shell-Stitch

Could be a blanket, or a cowl, or a scarf, or whatever you want....




Note: links are in US crochet terminology.


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Yarn weights

Alas, in the yarny world we may speak English, but when it comes to yarn weights (and crochet terminology) we are divided by a common language... I say Aran, you say worsted, you say DK, I say 8 ply...you say single crochet, I say double crochet....

Here's a link to the US Crafts Council Standards and Guidelines for Crochet and Knitting* document on yarn weights, terminology and more.  A useful reference, recently updated to include jumbo weight yarn.

http://media.craftyarncouncil.com/files/CYC_YS_s_and_g_rev2015_6.pdf

Or if you just want yarn weights:

http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/weight.html


*crochet first!  Woohoo!






Note: links are in US crochet terminology.




Friday, 12 February 2016

Interweave Cable Celtic Crochet

This YouTube video explains an interesting technique to obtain a woven texture.



Worth trying sometime.  The video uses plain yarn, with an example in variegated.  I suspect it would be a tad tricky to do this stitch with two colours...

It's in effect double thickness, so it would also be a yarn-hungry stitch,  But warm!





Note: links are in US crochet terminology.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Babettes and Klimtchen; crochet inspired by patchwork and/or Klimt.

There's the Babette crochet blanket, famously inspired by a Kaffe Fassett quilt...

 Babette-blanket-l250_small2
...which you can buy at the Interweave online store:
http://www.interweavestore.com/babette-blanket

and view on Ravelry here:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/babette-blanket
(don't forget to check the projects tab for photos of finished versions).

It's not a cheap option to make, 22 skeins of very beautiful  Koigu KPM @$15AU/skein or so...but there's nothing to stop you being inspired by this idea.  At all.

....and if you want another crochet take, try the Gingerbread Lady's Klimtchen - little Klimt blankets (with a free tutorial and pattern/planning pdf, thank you!).

http://gingerschatz.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/tutorial-klimtchen-baby-blankets.html

Lovely!

Gingerbread Lady Klimtchen blog link to her brilliant tutorial on these blankets - photos and diagrams and info, oh my!:
http://gingerschatz.blogspot.de/2011/09/tutorial-crazy-patchwork-klimt-blankets.html

Gingerbread Lady Klimtchen pattern pdf:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33097845/The%20Klimtchen%20Baby%20Blanket.pdf

The Gingerbread Lady is obliging enough to provide both UK and US crochet terminology (Babette would be in US, I'm guessing).

Whichever way you go, it's a great way to play with colour, from a baby blanket on up.


Note: links are in UK crochet terminology.













Note: links are in US crochet terminology.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Sunny Spread pattern

So once upon a time a designer called Ellen Gormley created a pattern she called Sunny Spread.

Sunny Spread

Which has clever use of front post stitch to create wheels/stars/suns/those cool round centres.  There are many examples which have been made - check out this page on Ravelry.

One of the most interesting is a cushion made with a cream background and a single ball of Moda Vera Bouvardia (long run variegated yarn from Spotlight).  It really showcases the pattern.
http://www.ravelry.com/projects/AnnabelsArmoire/sunny-spread-3

Equally, you could use up scraps for the circles.  I do have a preference for the circle contrasting with the surrounding square (and I seem to have a thing for circles in squares at present...) as I think that showcases the pattern.  Don't know if I could cope with making an entire blanket in one colour only... but if I did, I'd go with a light colour like the original, to ensure that the pattern could be seen.

Here's the Red Heart yarn company page with the pdf of the pattern:

http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/sunny-spread

And the direct pattern link:

http://www.redheart.com/files/patterns/pdf/CTFeb08-68.pdf

(The Coats & Clark UK links which should have led to a UK terminology version don't seem to be working any more, so the US version is all I have been able to find).




Note: links are in US crochet terminology.










Saturday, 6 February 2016

Admirable Crocheters: the basics of crocheting with Arne and Carlos

If you'd like some lovely Scandinavian crocheting chaps to show you how to crochet a snowflake, here's the video (in which they do aim to accommodate both UK and US crochet terminology):



You can find more Arne and Carlos goodness including free patterns (some crochet, some knitting) on their blog:
http://arnecarlos.com/blog/


Arne & Carlos Knit-and-crochet Garden


I have their book, Knit and Crochet Garden, which is full of beautiful patterns (except for the dolls, I don't find myself at all drawn to their dolls.  Something about the way they do faces...).  If you're buying the book, check the edition (published in UK vs published in US) if you want to be particular about having UK or US terminology.




Note: links are in UK crochet terminology.















Note: links are in US crochet terminology.



Thursday, 4 February 2016

Goddess doll (amigurumi)

To this point, I haven't played much with amigurumi, although I've admired the work of others - some really fun stuff is being made!

This doll is something I think a couple of my non-crocheting friends would appreciate, so I may well give it a go sometime this year.  I like the proportions of the 2.0 version a little better, I think.


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

How to make an i-cord (tube) (knitting)

While I did try a crocheted i-cord technique, it just is simpler with knitting, with the easier option of sliding your stitches along a double pointed needle (or using a circular).  It was what I used for the 'stem' on the Pink Hat and you may find it handy if you need a yarn 'tube'.

For smaller/finer tubes, use finer yarn and smaller needles: the bigger the needles and thicker the yarn, the bigger and thicker your i-cord will be.

It's easy, and a useful technique to have in your repertoire.

And here's how to do it:







And isn't knitting fortunate to have pretty much common terminology, unlike the oddity of crochet terminology?  Sigh.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Work of My Hands: Angular Scarf #1

So my newsagent had the 2016 Interweave Crochet Accessories magazine...




...and rather admired this Angular Scarf design by Darla J. Fanton (Ravelry link):

Angular-scarf-cross_small2

...and fished out a skein of Hawthorne Cottage  wool/nylon sock yarn (colourway 556, turquoise/grey) and a 4mm hook (yes, 4mm, the pattern recommends this and I'm going for a bit of drape.  I didn't swatch or try to achieve gauge, I'm just going to keep going till I'm up to yarn chicken time, and it will be the size it is)...


It's proving to be an easy pattern to remember and I'm making happy progress (I had to attend a number of meetings this week, and it came with me).

If your newsagent doesn't have the magazine, you can:

Truthfully, I have a bunch of WIPs.  I do crochet.  But it's good to share/record links to useful crochet things on this blog too, and there are waaaay more of them even than my rather epic collection of Works In Progress...

(I must do a Yarn Bowl post one day.  While I know there are beautiful timber/pottery artisan-made ones out there, I like repurposing op shop/Goodwill/Oxfam finds.  The one above is a small/medium size stainless steel mixing bowl.  Contains the yarn and lets it slide free very happily.)




Note: links are in US crochet terminology.



Circles in squares pattern

This fun blanket (great colour choices!) was shown on Facebook then sold on Etsy (and made by Patchwork Heart, blog entry about it is here).  This pattern could make a simple sweet/bright baby blanket, or work for a child or adult.  It's got a lovely graphic quality.



She sourced the pattern from the excellent tutorial on Just Do/Made by Do blog, which has clear step by step photos:







http://madebydo.blogspot.nl/2013/02/circle-in-square-tutorial.html

Note: links are in US crochet terminology.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Ribbon Afghan pattern

This is a clever technique, using the various heights of the crochet stitches to create a ribbon pattern across the afghan (blanket/rug, choose your term!). From the blog, The Adventures of the Gingerbread Lady:



Pattern link (including a downloadable pdf): http://gingerschatz.blogspot.com.au/2010/10/pattern-ribbon-afghan.html

She shows a couple of examples inspired by her pattern here: http://gingerschatz.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/outdone-or-outcrocheted.html





Note: links are in US crochet terminology.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

How to make a standing stitch treble (UK terms)

While the three-chain start works for many things, sometimes you might want a more treble-y looking start.  But how to do it?  Crafternoon Treats will show you just how easy it is.



Isn't it logical?

Another useful technique for my crochet toolkit.

(UK treble is double crochet in US terms).




Note: links are in UK crochet terminology.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Modern Crochet 1 workshop (Knitters' Guild of NSW)


So there's this workshop on in March in Sydney 
...
(at the bargain price of $20 for members of the Knitters' Guild of NSW...) 
(which does include crocheters)...

It's not a learn-to-crochet class: it will be assumed that you know the stitches noted in the flyer.  The guild is looking at offering learn to crochet classes sometime this year.

So some class samples need to get done...


A blooming flower cushion... (see, I do actually crochet, not just blog about other crocheters!) 
(Yes, I do know you can thread the yarn through the holes of your colander yarn bowl, but I prefer the freedom of not doing this.  Each to their own! My best yarn bowls are op shop finds - hmmm, inspiration for another blog entry...)


Need to make another of these coin purses
(Since I gave this one away as a sample to the Red Cross ladies).






Note:INSTRUCTIONS in UK crochet terminology.