Showing posts with label Crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crochet. Show all posts

Sunday, February 10, 2013

FO: Lucky Cat

An FO! That's one thing off my goals list!


The Crochet in the Philippines group on Ravelry had a crochet-along just in time for Chinese New Year. The CAL was actually introduced for the January 31 NY, but most of us couldn't make it to that deadline, so the decision was to have it done in time for CNY.

Our moderator Bheng sent us copies of a few different patterns to choose from, together with photos for the FOs. I never could follow crochet patterns using the symbols though, so I had to make my own out of scratch.

Yes, the forelegs are longer and thinner than the hind legs, but it's still cute! haha. Also, I hate embroidering on crochet FOs, but the finished look was worth it.

I haven't seriously crocheted in more than a year, and this project really abused my left wrist (I'm left-handed). It still feels sore, even after 3 days, and I'm having a hard time gripping things with my left hand :( I guess knitting really is better for me. :(

I'm glad I got to finish it just in time for Chinese New Year this year. Mom and I like following traditions like this (even if we're not Chinese hehe), and this made our CNY preparations complete.

Here's to more blessings this year!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free Pattern: Crochet-chain bracelet

Last week, I made this:


It's a reeeeeally simple crochet-chain bracelet.


6 crochet chains side-by-side, with 2sc's somewhere down the line to connect all of them together and some slip-stitches added in between to change the width at certain points.

Here's what I did:

ETA: Yarn = recycled sweater yarn, cotton.
          Hook = 8.0mm (L)

Row 1: With main color (MC), crochet 60 chain sts (or X = however long you want it). Chain 1 and turn.
[note: as I was making this first row, I put small stitch markers on the following chain stitches: 21 and 41. This will help in counting the first row]

Row 2: 1sc in second st from hook. Chain 18 sts. 1sc each in stitches 20 and 21 of chain from the row below (if you had put the markers in row 1 as indicated, stitch 20 here would be the 41st stitch from the row below, the one with the st marker). Chain 18 sts, 1 sc each in stitches 40 and 41, chain 18 sts, and then 1 sc in last stitch. Chain 1 and turn.

Rows 3 and 4: With contrasting color (CC), 1sc in second st from hook. Chain 18 sts. 1sc each in stitches 20 and 21 from the row below. Chain 18 sts, 1 sc each in stitches 40 and 41, chain 18 sts, and then 1 sc in last stitch. Chain 1 and turn. [For these rows and the next, I no longer used any stitch markers as the pattern is quite evident at this point and easy to follow].

Row 5: With MC, 1sc in second st from hook. Chain 18 sts. 1sc each in stitches 20 and 21 from the row below. Chain 18 sts, 1 sc each in stitches 40 and 41, chain 18 sts, and then 1 sc in last stitch. Chain 1 and turn.

Row 6: 1sc in second st from hook. Chain 8, then 2sc under all the other chains, bunching them all together. Chain 8, 1sc each in stitches 20 and 21 from the row below. Chain 8 sts, 2sc under all the other chains, bunching them all together. Chain 8, 1sc each in stitches 40 and 41 from the row below, chain 8 sts, 2sc under all the other chains, bunching them all together, and 1 sc in last stitch.

Finshing: Bring both ends of the bracelet together, right side out, and crochet 5 scs across both to bind together. Make sure all ends end up on one side together and braid a small tassel if preferred. Otherwise, sew in all ends.

I'm no good at writing down crochet patterns (I actually made a pattern chart, similar to a knitting pattern LOL), so let me know if anything is unclear. It's pretty straightforward once you get past rows 1 and 2. :)



*note: you can make and sell projects using my free patterns, but please give credit where credit is due. A simple link to my blog would be nice! Also, if you make any, please send me photos or feedback. I'd love to hear from you! :D

Friday, November 16, 2012

Out on a school night (or two)

I'm not a teacher anymore, but having a regular day job still means that it's difficult to go out on a "school night". The lack of sleep and the fatigue that come with going out on a weeknight turn me into a zombie at work the day after. But it's always worth it!

Last Wednesday, my sister's band Slow Hello played a gig at one of our favorite bars in the city (side-note: I used to play guitar for this band, but during the time I was working two jobs a few months ago, she got her boyfriend to play for them instead and he's been their official guitarist since). The event only had 3 bands on the bill, but each was allowed a long set. They were playing last so this meant that we ended up going home at 2 AM (!!!).

First we all met up at our neighborhood band rehearsal studio (LOL that sounds funny). They needed to practice first before the actual gig because they hadn't played together in a while.


Russ and Marc


The band + me trying to sneak in a photo.
They were in the middle of a song when I took this shot, it looks funny now how I'm just getting in the middle of everything for this blurry photo.



Look! I'm wearing my Simple Diamonds headband in that last photo. I have a free pattern for this here. People at work really noticed my headband that day. I do realize that it may not be a typical mature office look, but I also realized that I never see anyone above 20 wearing headbands anymore! Why is that? Let's bring them back! (Yes? No? Nevermind.).

While they were practicing (for two hours!), I also knit on the side. I mean, what else was I gonna do for two hours while waiting, right?


It's another headband. Am I serious about bringing the headband back? lol

This project is a product of some swatching from the other day:


With this yarn, you can't really see the daisy stitch pattern.


It looks better here, doesn't it? I'm gonna be making a few of these to maybe sell or give away. Not sure yet though. Definitely posting the pattern here when I'm done.

No photos of the actual gig cos my phone died after their rehearsal.

Thursday (yesterday), Marc's main band had a gig too, at the same bar as the other night. Guess what? They also played last. And this is how I feel right now:




But again, it was all worth it! I got to hear pretty awesome music and hangout with friends and stuff. Here's another one of my infamous (haha, not really) blurry photos:



-

In more crafty news, I veered away from my knitting obsession for a bit yesterday and came up with this:


It's a crochet chain bracelet. Pretty simple and pretty quick to make. What took me a while to make the two I FO'ed was figuring out the number of stitches and the division of this number to make equal "parts".



Still trying to decide if it's worth coming up with the pattern and posting it here. It's verrry simple. If you feel like you wanna know what I did, just drop me a line. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

FO: Mobius scarf/shawl

I crocheted a mobius scarf last year using a 10mm crochet hook and some more gray Ex991 yarn. I really love this yarn and it's pretty obvious with all my projects.

I could make it look like a cowl, but really, it didn't even cover the back of my head.
Ca. 2010

It was just a simple scarf: double crochet rounds using a big hook and thin yarn makes for lacey fabric. It was wide enough to be a simple scarf but too narrow to be a shawl.

As with most crochet projects, this used up a LOT of yarn. More than I was comfortable with. I think this took about two and a half balls of it?

Version 1


I tried making a colorful version using red and purple cos I had a ball of each color:



But as you can see in the above photo, the finished product was too narrow to be much of anything. So, I decided to frog that colorful one and use the red to add to the gray.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Shoulder bag/pouch number 2

Selena liked the pouch that I made using the yarn Mansy gave me, so I made her one in a different set of colors:


The body was crocheted mainly in black using Red Heart Yarn and a J hook, with thin old rose stripes (source and type of old rose yarn unknown, it was a gift from a friend). The flap was crocheted in same old rose yarn, with the lining in black.

Just stated the obvious right there.

I crocheted the strap shorter than for my own color-pop pouch 'cause I was sure it'd stretch when things get put in.

Success! Selena liked it! :D

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Color-pop pouch

Mansy gave me a tiny ball of multi-colored yarn as her pasalubong for me from her trip to the Himalayas and I was so excited to use it immediately.

There wasn't enough of it to make a cute pair of socks or even a snug beanie, so I decided to knit up a block of it to turn into a flap for a small pouch:

After knitting in stockinette stitch as much as I could with the yarn, I crocheted a border 
of black single crochet stitches around it.

Then I crocheted a same-sized block in black to serve as lining since the stockinette block kept curling up. 
It made this flap sturdier too.

Thicker, sturdier.

Then came the actual body of the pouch...

And the strap... which I made with tunisian crochet stitches (4 sts per row). I didn't make it too long since 
I expected the whole thing to stretch with the weight of the bag. 

VoilĂ ! The finished product!!!

It was quick to make. I didn't follow a pattern; I just eyeballed it as I went along. Selena liked the size and shape of it so much, she asked me to make a similar one for her, but with a different color scheme.

I think this kind of project is something I may make more of in the future.

-

Now why didn't I knit the rest of the pouch's body instead of crocheting it? I find that crocheted fabric ends up being thicker and sturdier than knitted ones. And since this is a pouch for me, me the over-packer (that sounded wrong), I needed something that could stand to take all my on-the-go necessities.

I was able to use it already and I'm happy with it. The strap turned out to be just right... It did stretch a bit with all my things XD

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Little keychain monsters

I had wanted to make little crochet monsters to give to my friends last December, but I wasn't able to find keychain findings in time for xmas. And this was important for me as I had wanted to put the keychain findings in place first before stuffing these little monstahs. I know, what an excuse eh?

So now it's almost the end of January, and these monsters are still unfinished business between me and my pride. I'm gonna finish 'em in time for the next bazaar opportunity! Promise!

I've crocheted 7 pieces:


Just simple little domes waiting to be stuffed and sewn with faces. I used all kinds of scrap yarn that I had in my stash. This is such a good project to make use of scrap yarn.

I've asked Marc to help me out with the face designing and he did the first one:


Angry Dude. Expressive enough without the mouth embroidered on yet. But I did embroider a straight line for his mouth:


Now he doesn't look angry anymore... He just looks like he's saying "Worrever!"

And that's all I've done out of the 7. Good job me, wooptedoo. But here's what's up next:


Yep, you guessed it right. It's a Skyrim character! And yes, Marc did design this one too. I haven't sewn everything in place yet. I wanna work on my other WIP's this weekend first. Posting them all together when all 7 are done!

Now that this post is out there, I can't not finish these monsters.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cool!

Last month, I finished knitting and crocheting a couple of hats and scarves for two of my dear colleagues who flew to Europe for a two-year scholarship:

The two hats were crocheted and the yellow&red scarf was knitted.

It feels so good to know that some of my finished works have made it to a different continent, keeping my friends really warm and toasty despite the kind of weather we never ever have here in the tropics! <3

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sweaty Palm Dilemma

I live in a tropical country and I get sweaty palms easily. This really hinders any smooth knitting and crochet work. The yarns gets stuck along your fingers and it isn't fun.

I searched online for some tips about how to deal with sweaty hands while knitting and crocheting. Here are some tips:

-Lightly powder your fingers before working. --I've tried this and it feels weird. Not too effective for me, personally.


-Wash your hands every once in a while to remove sweat and oil. --I like doing this, but here in my country, we believe it's not good to wash your hands while they are tired; doing so will aggravate the sweaty-palms syndrome :))

-Work in an air-conditioned room or right in front of an electric fan. --This works best for me, but I don't always work in the same convenient places all the time.


I'm trying to complete a scarf for my friend who's leaving for Spain very soon and I've been struggling all afternoon with my sweaty hands. I couldn't do any of the three tips I mentioned above though.

In desperation, I tried dabbing my fingers with a piece of tissue to soak up the sweat (gross, sorry). I then realized that it might be a good idea to keep the tissue wrapped around my pinky finger to see if it will let the yarn move more smoothly.



Lo and behold, it does work for me. Yay.

Sometimes, common sense doesn't really seem too common. :))

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Magic loop vs. Chain 2 (or 3)

Which is better, the magic loop or the usual chain 2 (or 3)?

Surprisingly, I've noticed a lot of people asking this question. I think it's because the chain 2 (or 3) method is easier to do, but the magic loop provides a cleaner finish.

Personally, I would say a magic loop is always best. You can control the size of the hole created at the beginning, or you can even eliminate the hole altogether! It really is worth the time to understand and learn how to make it. It gives you a choice!

For example, when you create a hat that is made from top to rim, starting with a chain 2 or 3 could sometimes leave a hole at the top of the hat. You can sew it closed after working, but that would mean extra work (albeit little). But with a magic loop, you can just pull the end of your yarn to adjust the size of the hole or close it!

You can look at these two photos to compare:


This was created with a "chain 3, DC in 3rd chain from hook, 8 DC all around".
See, leaves a hole in the middle! Depending on the size of your hook, the hole could be so big!


This was created with a magic loop and 9DC in loop.
I've already pulled the end of the yarn to close the hole. See how nice and closed it is?


You can watch one of Teresa (Crochet Geek)'s instructional videos here to learn how to do the magic loop.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Many firsts

When I started learning how to knit and crochet, I couldn't ever finish any project I'd begin. I would get daunted easily by the complex stitches in patterns that I liked. Plus, I'd been jumping from job to job and couldn't find the time to do anything. It didn't help that quality crafting materials were hard to come by here in the city.

After a year of on and off crafting, I kept all my hooks and needles away, wrapped up all my yarn into one messy plastic bag. It was depressing. Then one holiday season, I took it upon myself to clean out my room. I found my old yarn stash and realized what a waste of yarn it was. I then took out my needles and hooks and tried making little projects.

I couldn't seem to finish anything at first, because all my needles and hooks were on the thin side and thus made making projects a bit more tedious and less varied. I also started looking up patterns online and realized that I was still lacking in equipment! Asking around, a friend pointed out a certain yarnshop in the city. Here I found everything I was looking for: needles and hooks of different sizes, soft yarn, thick yarn, novelty yarn.

Now, I feel that there are hardly any limits with these crafts. Once I began using new materials, I started being very prolific with my projects. I made a lot of hats, a few scarves, some amigurumi and some bags. It felt really good; I felt like I found my niche. I tend to get very crazed about a multitude of things without making any follow-through, so it was wonderful to find something that I still haven't getting tired of.

As I said, I became very intense about completing projects, and I started several new projects at once. Everything was a first time and it was exciting. Here are some of my "firsts":



^^ My first knit hat!
Was pretty proud of this 'cause it was also my first attempt at fairisle designing.
(Special thanks go to my sister for modeling all my hats for me)


^^ My first crochet hat!
I found this really fun pattern online and it was my first time to use a crochet hook that was thicker than 2.5mm LOL. Pattern from here.


^^ My first attempt at amigurumi (crochet)!
Found a really cool pattern for this dragon here.


^^ My first amigurumi of my own making!
Here I didn't follow any pattern, so it was my first original ami. TMNT!


^^ My first crochet bag!
I found a copy of the book "Crochet Bags!" by Candi Jensen in the bargain bin of a bookstore, and this is the first one I made.


^^ My first knit bag!
Pattern was from Kelley Deal's book "Bags that Rock".

I've already made a lot of things now, and a lot more other firsts, but these are the most notable for me. :)

I wish I was more conscientious about writing down the patterns for my own creations!

Hooked and crazy!

I recently pooled some of my resources to invest in a set of Susan Bates crochet hooks. Until a couple of days ago, I only had 4 hooks to my name, and they were made of acrylic/plastic. The material of the hooks never bothered me until I got a chance to try out a Susan Bates aluminum hook. I must say, the yarn does slide more smoothly now.

Coming from a tropical country, I don't have to worry about aluminum crochet hooks getting too cold and giving my fingers and joints the aches. But I did have my eye on a set of bamboo hooks, which never turn cold, just 'cause they're light and environmentally friendly, and the yarn doesn't slide off when you're idle. Too bad I didn't have enough money for it.

The only quality hooks and needles I can get locally here in Manila are from brands like Aero and Susan Bates. These brands are my personal favorites.

So yeah, I finally invested in a whole set of aluminum hooks, and I'm happy :)


Set included sizes from 3.75mm to 6.6mm. I bought the 8.0mm, 9.0mm and 10mm hooks separately. Still cheaper than buying online!