Friday, 24 December 2010

Idony Fingerless Gloves

Idony Fingerless Gloves

A simple stitch pattern makes the most of stunning yarn, and provides a great fit!



50g (about 170yd/155m) of Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in shade Vergissmeinicht (14wpi), or another sock or fingering yarn

3.5mm (E) hook

About 60 beads

Needle for weaving in ends

Special stitches:

Crossed double crochet (crdc): Skip one stitch, double crochet in next stitch. Go back to skipped stitch, and double crochet in that stitch. Explained in more detail here.


Ch 30, sl to form ring

Row 1: 30 sc around

Row 2: Ch 3, 30 crdc around

Rows 3-9: 30 sc around

Row 10: Ch 3, 30 crdc around

Rows 11-2: 30 sc around.

Row 13: 2sc in first st, (place marker in 1st sc) sc 2sc in next stitch (marker in 2nd sc), sc around

Row 14-5: 2sc in markers and 1sc in rest on next two rounds so that have 7sts between markers

Row 16: Sc around

Row 17: 2sc in markers, sc in other stitches

Repeat rows 16-7 until have 15 sts between markers

Row 26 and continue until body of glove (above last crdc round) measures approximately 3 in.: Sc around

Thumb division: At first stitch marker, ch 4 and rejoin 13 sts along

Row 2-3(after thumb division): Sc around body of glove 2 rounds

Row 4: 3ch, crdc around (add bead to each dc if wish).

Row 5: Sc around once. Bind off

Thumb: Join next to first chain on palm of glove.

Row 1: Sc around until reach chain – sc2tog twice (15sts)

Row 2: Sc around until reach previous sc2tog – sc2tog (14sts)

Row 3- end: Sc around until reaches desired length. Bind off.

Repeat for second glove.


If you want to add beads, and don’t want to thread them onto the yarn at the beginning of the project, then do the crdc round and sc round, then cut yarn, rip back and add beads and redo crdc round and sc round.


Friday, 3 December 2010

Esmee Cardigan, Inside Crochet and Tiny Hats

I've been somewhat overwhelmed with work this term, and the idea of blogging about my crafting has become something of an alien concept. However, I think this is a crafting event that definitely needs documenting.

Photo from Inside Crochet, KALMedia on Yudu

That, the Esmée Cardigan on the cover of Inside Crochet magazine, is my cardigan. The cardigan that I designed, made, and wrote the pattern for, and the first design that I submitted for publication.

The Esmée cardigan began with Lila, at the beginning of 2009. I had attempted to make Annette Pétavy's Leaves sweater from the Crochet Me! book, but lack of swatching meant that I made it hideously too large. Annoyed, I went in search of other 4-ply crochet patterns, eventually, (well, probably not after very long as they're in the same book) Robyn Chachula's Comfy Cardi. However, I found the instructions for the arm a little difficult to understand, but found the stitch pattern to be quite beautiful. Really, I just wanted a lacy cardigan, with some shaping that took account of the fact that I have breasts and a waist. A quick drawing ended up with something very similar to what I ended up submitting with the Esmée cardigan (this is what I submitted with Esmée):

Some kind of lacy pattern, v-neck, waistband/differentiation/cinching. I worked out how many repeats of the 'lacy diamonds' pattern from the Comfy Cardy I would need for my measurements, and off I went. And produced this:
While the measurements were right, the placing of the armholes were not - the back was too large, making the v-neck all skewed, the shoulders falling down the arms. It just didn't quite work. But my Mum liked it, and asked me to make one similar for her.

The idea of making an identical Lila (or Mila - Lila for Mum, as I christened it) sounded rather boring, and so I went in search of an interesting stitch pattern that might at least vary the experience. I ended up choosing the 'Gilded fans' stitch pattern from the Crochet Vogue Stitchionary. And by the beginning of June, I had created this:
That didn't quite work either - but that's more through blunders rather than design fault. The back fits perfectly, as do the sleeves, but I placed the waist band much too low, drawing attention to the widest point and being utterly unflattering. I also knew that if I was to make the cardigan again, then I would have to choose a stitch pattern that worked well with the decreases required by the v-neck, as well as being slightly easier to work in the round (ish - backwards and forwards creating a fairly seamless look rather than strictly 'in the round') for the sleeves. Gilded fans was a bit of a nightmare.

So when Inside Crochet sent out a call for patterns, I knew that if I was going to send in a garment then it would have to be something that I was familiar with. And though Lila and Mila had both been imperfect, they had received compliments on the design (v-neck, lace, waistband) and so I decided to go for it. A happy night practising different stitch patterns, and trying to come up with a lace that was visually interesting (like the 'lacy diamonds' on Lila) without being overpowering (which the 'gilded fans' on Mila has a tendency to be). I ended up thinking about leaves, and my love of dc2tog (US terms) and the diamond stitch pattern of Esmée was created.

Proposal was submitted, accepted. Yarn came in early summer, stitching began in earnest in July as I tried to organise crochet around helping on a kid's camp and going to Brittany for dissertation research. Struggled with the whole idea of making something 'sample size' (size 10, I am not). Finally, when I had just finished it, found someone of 'sample size' build to try it on for me. Lovely, although I must mention that on her, it fell to the 'well-fitted' end of the spectrum (rather than flowy), which I think I was aiming for but if you want something flowing and for layering, then it may be worth making a size larger (or definitely swatching and checking before you make).

Chose buttons. Being back at the kids' camp and without much computer access, wrote pattern out by hand. Wished I'd made more notes. Cursed choosing to do a v-neck. Drew numerous stitch diagrams to try and work out how it all worked. Finished. Typed up at home. Made stitch diagrams on computer - much respect for people who draw all their stitch diagrams on the computer. Thought up various blurbs. Thought of name. Thought about name more. Decided on name - Esmée - memorable of Esmeralda or the green colour, French as much of it was stitched in France, feminine.

Sent off at the beginning of September. Waited. Waited. Waited.

And then saw this:
Photo from Inside Crochet, KALMedia on Yudu
Ah. Happy.

In the meantime, I have been crafting. Quite a lot of knitting - made four green hats, of which two are still existing (two frogged to make the other two). Practised lace knitting. Started knitting gloves.
Made nine (lost one) tiny hats for my friend to use as decorations for a Christmas dinner she ran, in this picture, the ones that I made are in the two rows on the right (the rest are from Innocent Smoothie bottles):

Four are crocheted (top right, both on 2nd row to bottom, and bottom left of the 2 columns), and the rest were knit. I used the knitted ones to practise some techniques - ribbing (top left), colourwork (2nd row) and Christmas pudding making (bottom right). The one that I lost was white and I had practised cables on.

My favourite is the yellow one:
It's done in Tunisian crochet, worked flat with two rows of decreases and then sewed together.

The top photo also shows the Granny Square blanket I've been making. It's currently 5x5 squares, intended to use up stash.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Wisley and Dover Castle

I hope photos of knitting and crocheting will come soon. I am paused with the knitting - it has reached the length where I have to decide whether I want to stop and make a buttoned cowl, or if I keep going and make a proper scarf. I have worked out the lace pattern, I am no longer making mistakes and I am confident that I could complete a scarf. But I have yarn coming, hopefully this week, for a big crochet project, so it would be good to finish the knitting before that comes.

In the meantime, here are some photos from Dover Castle, which we visited last weekend, and Wisley, which we visited yesterday. As you can see, I rather like the macro function on my camera, and having things in focus in the foreground with an interesting background. Oh, and not taking photographs of castles.

Dover Castle:








Monday, 14 June 2010

Crochet fashion and crochet patterns

Apparently, crochet is cool. At least, in the fickle world of fashion, it is getting a little more exposure than usual. Aside from my suspicion that a lot of clothes advertised as 'crochet' are not actually crocheted, and the concern about how if they are actually crocheted, how low the pay of the crocheters must be to produce a garment that sells for less than £30 as I am aware of the rudimentary mantra that 'crochet cannot be made by machine'. I am not going to go on such a rant, although be sure I will mention it to my friends if I notice them making crocheted clothes (after examining them to work out the stitch pattern), instead I am going to look at which patterns are available that conform to current shop-bought patterns, but have the satisfaction of being able to say 'I made it!'.

I haven't made any of these patterns myself, so cannot guarantee their quality during the creation process, I am only commenting on similarities with current fashions. All pattern links go to Ravelry.

Tanks are apparently big. See Topshop. Lots of openwork, as can be seen on Ananaskuvioinen toppi or Sawayaka Cotton Motif Vest or Doris Chan's Lapa or the Uzuri Summer Top.

Many tops are incorporating a crochet edging, and so Berroco's Nell top, or Laura Nelkin's Summer Duet, or the Upcycled Tee from Crochet Today!, or the Floral Motif Yoke Top from Crochet Adorned seem appropriate.

Asos has various crocheted waistcoats. The American term is apparently 'vest' rather than 'waistcoat' and Ravelry is abounds with them, as well as the possibility of leaving off the sleeves of a cardigan pattern. The following are my favourite: Crocheted Openwork Vest, Robyn Chachula's Gladiolus Vest, and three patterns by DROPS.

Just a few buyable objects I've spotted that are reminiscent of a certain pattern (though that does not mean that there are other patterns that will not suffice as well!). This necklace featured in ELLE reminds me of this garter from Interweave Crochet. This headband from Topshop reminds me of the JuJu hairbands from Inside Crochet. This skirt by Oscar de la Renta reminds me of the amazing work done by Antonina.

I suppose I'll end this post with Interweave Crochet. The preview for the summer issue came out today, and there are several patterns within it that made me gasp. They may just be channelling my current love of lace and greeny-blue colours, but I love the Peaseblossom tunic, delicate Moth Wings shrug, the Mirth sweater and Puck tunic.

I'm also looking forward to going home next week, as the latest issue of Inside Crochet should have arrived. I think the Time for Tea set is adorable, and am interested about the stitch pattern of the Marabella capelet and Picnic wrap.

With all that crochet talk, I suppose it may be a surprise that I have been knitting this week. Truth be told, I just finished Mila - a version of Lila for my Mother, which took about 5 weeks of crocheting through revision and exams. I suddenly have free time to learn something and get to grips with a new skill so I am attempting lace knitting. But knitting makes me impatient, I long for the quick results of crochet, and so a long scarf pattern is becoming a small button-up cowl.

I will post about Mila soon, once I've given it to my Mum, and the days brighten up a little so decent photos can be taken! I'm intending to wear my small Seraphina shawl to a formal event tomorrow, so hopefully will get better photos of it than I did at Christmas!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Heidi Shawl

A flexible shawl, suitable for snuggling up on a cold winter's day, or covering the arms in the summer.
DSCF1745The example in the pictures was made under time-pressure, so acts as a small capelet or scarf, with the button anchoring the shawl in place. However, the pattern is expandable so that a larger shawl can be made, it could also act as a bolero if you sew up the underarms.
The shawl is made up of a dense stitch pattern at the top of the shawl, changing into a wider mesh pattern about halfway down.

The shawl can be worn with the button fastened at the top, making it a capelet, or more casually, with the button fastening into the fabric of the shawl.


Or with the fabric twisted and fastened by the button.


Heidi Shawl Pattern

About 1 skein to 2 skeins of madelinetosh tosh DK in Jade (11wpi, 206 metres per skein). Pictured example used 1 skein.

5mm hook


Needle to weave in ends and attach button

Pattern (uses US terms):

Special stitches:

Dc2tog: yarn over, insert in stitch, yarn over, pull over first loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook, yarn over, insert in next stitch, yarn over, pull over first loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook, yarn over, pull through all 3 loops on stitch.

The 3 ch at beginning of each round are counted as 1 stitch, as is each subsequent chain in pattern (so 3ch ch1 dc dc ch1 dc would be counted as 6 stitches). Chains in the first half of the pattern are counted as increases and should be stitched into in the next row (look at the loops from the previous row, not the stitches).

There are charts below the pattern for anyone who gets lost!

Dense pattern:

Row 1: magic loop, work 12 sc onto loop, and pull closed. Put finger in centre of loop so that it does not shut completely.

Row 2: 2 dc into first 6 stitches, turn leaving rest of stitches unworked (12 stitches)

Row 3: 3 ch, *ch1, dc into next 2 stitches*, repeat *to* 4 times, ch1, dc into last stitch, turn (18 stitches)

Row 4: 3 ch, *ch1, dc2tog, 2dc in chain space*, repeat *to* 4 times, ch 1, dc into last stitch, turn (23 stitches)

Row 5: 3 ch *ch1, dc into next 4 stitches*, repeat *to* 4 times, ch 1, dc into last stitch, turn (28 stitches)

Row 6: 3 ch, *ch1, dc, dc2tog, dc, 2dc in chain space* repeat *to* 4 times, ch 1, dc into last stitch, turn (33 stitches)

Row 7: 3ch, *ch1, dc in next 6 stitches*, repeat *to* 4 times, ch 1, dc into last stitch, turn (38 stitches)

Row 8: 3 ch, *ch1, dc in next 2 stitches, dc2tog, dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in chain space* repeat *to* 4 times, ch 1, dc into last stitch, turn (43 stitches)

Row 9: 3 ch, *ch1, dc in next 8 stitches*, repeat *to* 4 times, ch 1, dc into last stitch, turn (48 stitches)

Row 10: 3ch, *ch1, dc in next 3 stitches, dc2tog, dc in next 3 stitches, 2dc in chain space*, *to* 4 times, ch 1, dc into last stitch, turn (53 stitches)

Continue this pattern of increases as long as desired, so that:

Even row: 3ch *ch1, dc in next (even number) stitches*, repeat *to* 4 times, ch1, dc into last stitch, turn (number8 stitches)

Odd row: 3 ch *ch1, dc in next (number of dcs in last odd row +1) stitches, dc2tog, dc in next (number of dcs in last odd row +1), 2dc in chain space*, repeat *to* 4 times, ch1, dc into last stitch, turn (number3 stitches)

Mesh pattern:

Row 1 (should come after an even row): 4ch,*dc, ch over next stitch* repeat *to* until reach ch space, 2dc in chain space, ch1, repeat this pattern until reach end. Do not do 2ch in final chain space but ch1 and then 1dc in last stitch, turn

Row 2: 4ch, *dc in top of previous row's dc, ch over previous row's chain* repeat *to* until reach previous row's 2dc increase – dc in first dc, ch1 and place marker over this stitch, dc in second dc, ch1, continue *to*, repeat until reach end, ch1, dc in last stitch, turn

Row 3: 4ch, *dc in top of previous row's dc, ch over previous row's chain* repeat *to* until reach marker placed in previous row – remove and 2dc in ch space, ch1, continue *to* and increases until reach end, ch1, dc in last stitch, turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until desired length. There should be 4 places where increases are occurring.

Weave in ends. Sew button at the bottom of the dense pattern, or wherever is convenient for neck width.

This chart shows the *to* units of the dense pattern. The arrows show the direction of working.


This chart shows the changeover from the dense pattern to the mesh pattern.


Sunday, 25 April 2010

The problem...

with buying pretty yarn off the internet in hanks is that I have to hand-wind it. Which is fine. Except currently I have no compulsion to do so. I could wind the lovely Madelinetosh in Jade, which is for my half-finished Road to Bruges scarf, or I could wind the luscious EasyKnits' semi-solids in Midnight and start the birthday Lila that my Mother has commissioned. They'll both be lovely to crochet, I'm sure. It's just the thought of winding that is prompting me into procrastination :(


Thursday, 1 April 2010

Adirondack Socks


If you can't tell by that picture, I am seriously in love with these socks. Or at least, I seriously enjoyed making these socks. It's a combination of lovely wool, interesting pattern and a sunny day.

I will start with the wool. It was much anticipated and initially somewhat disappointing, but crocheting with it was heaven. Much anticipated because I ordered it from USA (along with special Madelinetosh for Mum's Mother's Day present), and ordered it to college not home. It did not take three weeks to arrive, it took longer - I went home for the holidays, expecting to pick it up when I returned in the middle of April. Then college forwarded the customs charges for the package. Ah. Forgot about that. Mild panic as I thought that I would be unable to get to the post office in college town to pay. Then realised I could pay online. Thought nothing of it. Then the package arrived at home - I love college for forwarding it.

I thought I had ordered Schoppel Wolle Zauberball 1564 not Crazy Zauberball. So my immediate thought on opening the package was slight disappointment. This was not pure rainbows. This was 2 ply of rainbows, mixed together to make some lovely colours (see green, red, orange on left foot below) and other combinations that I am not so fond of (see the black mixes on the right foot below). I'm not sure what happened, but the online order was for Crazy Zauberball, so it seems like I was the one to make the mistake. Hmph.

However, crocheting with the yarn removed my misgivings. Oh so lovely and soft (my last project was with mercerised cotton, this wool-nylon was a blessed relief). And watching colours change is fascinating, especially at the end of left sock where it all became like a rainbow rather than a mix. So warm as well, to wear. Home is freezy at the moment and I've been wearing them all day and its kept my toes rather toasty.

Onto the pattern. Adirondack Socks by Patsy Harbor. I keep spelling Adirondack wrong. In my head, they are Rainbow socks because I can actually spell that. A quick explanation of what I think a good pattern consists of: easy to follow, good results, teaches something new. This pattern did all of that. In bucket loads. Very easy to follow, I ripped back once, and that was only because I had made right sock a little short to ensure that I had enough yarn for left sock. When I found that I had plenty left over from the second sock, then I ripped back the end of first sock and made it a little longer. So that ripping back was not the pattern's fault, but due to my own conservativeness. Teaches something new - this pattern actually taught me three new stitches - extended single crochet, back-post double crochet (that was really a duh! moment, seeing as I couldn't work out how front and back were different until watching a youtube video), and foundation double crochet - which I hadn't got round to learning through my own laziness. I made the middle size as I was using a 3mm hook (that was the only 3-- mm size that I could find in my special crochet hook tin), and had no problems.

Sunny day is somewhat self-explanatory. It's been raining for the past week, which meant that there wasn't enough light to adequately photograph my first ever pair of socks (not quite as pretty as these). I certainly took advantage of the sun, lying on the patio with my legs in the air to get these photos, and then pretending to take pictures of flowers when my neighbour came out her back door.

Apologies for not posting since December. I was making the mega-cardigan Lila, which I have yet to photograph, then a series of gifts for other people that were gone before photos could be taken.

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