Seeds & Flowers Scarf

My seeds and flowers scarf knitted in seed stitch. The puff flowers are crochet. ^_^

My seeds and flowers scarf knitted in seed stitch. The puff flowers are crochet. ^_^

Even though I’ve made my peace with knitting, I don’t have the proper tools, inspiration,  or the knowledge to make anything other than a scarf.

Sooo I made a scarf.

Yarn: Woolspun by Lion Brand, in Tomato (at least 3 and 1/2 skeins)

Needles: Crystal Palace (size 11)

Stitch: seed stitch

Notions: Puffy Daisy (crochet) by Cecile Balladino @ Eclectic Gipsyland (Which I also wrote about here in Pattern of the Week)

I cast on at least 20 or so stitches though I do think its a little wide. I also made double the puffy flowers do the scarf is double-sided on my ends. I had to order more yarn because the only skein of Woolspun I had was gift from a friend. I had planned to make the scarf really, really long but later thought it might be cumbersome to wear and besides the yarn worked in a seed stitch is fairly stretchy.

I made learning the seed stitch really, really hard when in fact its not hard at all. I kept getting ribbing instead of a seed stitch because I kept second-guessing what to do after I worked a row instead of just continuing to knit one then purl one. As I worked, I started to see the difference between the way knits and purls look and it became easier for me realize when I’d made a mistake and where. At times it was frustrating, there was a lot of unraveling and having to pick my stitches up again (at least a dozen times). I learned that I prefer to cast off with a crochet hook and I even learned how to pick up dropped stitches during this project.

Unfortunately, at the time I wrote this, it was getting reaallly hot in California and every time I looked at the scarf, I got a little mad. Seeing red, I guess. Its very soft and cute though.

Pattern of Week: Puffy Daisy by Cecile Balladino

IMG_20160430_1914116_rewindThese are the crochet puffy flowers from my knitted scarf, which I sewed on using a yarn needle. The Puffy Daisy pattern, thanks to Cecile Balladino over at her crafty blog Eclectic Gipsyland.

After a lot of trial and error, I used three different hooks in the end: Boye P, K, and N hooks for small, medium, and large flowers respectively. The yarn is Red Heart in cherry red and gold.

I tried to make puffy flowers bigger by using bigger hooks and using half double crochet stitches in the first round because I don’t have much bulky yarn at all. That method DEFINITELY doesn’t always work to make things bigger (just looser and not as neat-looking), sometimes you need weightier yarn and that’s all there is to it. I wanted huge puffy flowers sewn to the edge of the scarf and I wanted them in those colors. I settled for this minimalistic motif. I also added more pattern repeats to the petal to make them thicker.

This post is in French and English. It was exciting and though I did try to read the French anyway, I was intimidated because I’m trying to teach myself French using the Duolingo app ^_^;. In any event, please visit Cecile over at her blog, Eclectic Gipsyland, for the Puffy Daisy pattern and more. Thank you for sharing, Cecile!

Pattern of the Week: Springtime Coaster by Doni Speigle

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Sorry about the shadow, not a lot of attractive locales to photograph my work in here. I think I plain gave up that day and took a “lazy” picture.

Half the time, the story always begins with my mom asking me to make something for somebody.

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I had made a little pocketbook/purse for my mom’s co-worker but her the co-worker’s daughter liked it so much that she took it. So my mom asked me to make something cute for all the daughters, something “girly” and shaped like a flower. I keep telling my mom that if you want something to look nice, its going to take longer than five minutes to make–especially when you have to sew lining into it. But I so graciously met her unreasonable demands in spite of how time-consuming it was. 😉

Searching for large crochet flower motifs on Google, I discovered this crochet pattern for the Springtime Coaster by Doni Speigle on Ravelry and used it to created a small flower purse. I couldn’t find anything as simple as my mom was making it sound so I modified Doni’s flower coaster pattern to suit my needs. My mom has so far asked me to make eight of these for co-workers, friends, and church members, two of which I haven’t finished.

The purses in the picture are crocheted using Red Heart in pumpkin and bright yellow, light raspberry and petal pink, light blue and delft blue (I think it was delft blue although it may be a Caron Simply Soft yarn or something else), bright yellow and gold, cherry red and light raspberry. I experimented with different sized hooks from H to P to make the flower as big and uniform as possible. In the end I used a Boye  N 9.00mm hook for the coaster motifs and Boye H 5.00mm hook for everything else. After crocheting two flower coasters for each purse, I came up with a method for building the purse by crocheting the siding and strap. Then I sewed the lining inside, crocheted a short strap with a button hole on the center back motif, and sewed the button in the center front moti. Voila!

If anyone is interested, in the near future I will (attempt to) write a pattern for these cute little purses and share it, especially if it alright with Doni Speigle (since its a modification of their pattern).

This free pattern for Springtime Coasters can found on Doni Speigle’s Ravelry page. Thank you, Doni–I fulfilled a really tedious request and challenge with your help. I’ve never made coasters, pot holders, or things for the kitchen before but I’m glad I did something creative with it.

Because of the insane amount of time it took me to do these little purses, I’ve posted most of the pictures in this private post, including views of all the lining I had to sew in. (I didn’t want to have an endlessly scrolling post and I’d need to collage the pictures together to save space.)

 

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This is the very first one I did

 

Pattern of the Week: Crochet Newborn Baby Booties by Sarah @ Repeat Crafter Me

img_20160613_2233494_rewindMy mom specifically wanted newborn baby booties for a coworker, which aren’t as easy to come by as I thought. After looking around a little, I would say most baby bootie crochet patterns are not for newborns unless you intentionally make them smaller…

I finally found this Crochet Newborn Baby Booties from  the same crafty I learned corner-to-corner crochet from and whose blog I’ve visited before, Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me.

I used Red Heart in petal pink and I can’t remember what hook I used but I’m sure it was smaller than an H, which is what the pattern calls for. Added the ribbons and I was done! Fairly quick and fairly easy.

This free pattern for Crochet Newborn Baby Booties can be found on Sarah’s blog, Repeat Crafter Me. Thanks, Sarah! This is exactly what I needed.

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For the sake of updating and Autumn Leaves Afghan

Dear me, I’ve been doing a poor job of updating recently, mostly because I’ve been working on so many projects. And as for my poorly trafficked Etsy store, I never get seasonal stuff done to sell before the season arrives T__T.  Hopefully, I can post about one of my latest finished projects soon.

Today I’m working on the final set of motifs for my Autumn Leaves Afghan, a pattern from Caron.

Stacks, my Autumn Leaves Afghan pieces to be assembled

Stacks, my Autumn Leaves Afghan pieces to be assembled

Instead of using four colors, I used 7, including the main color. I also used a size smaller hook (H instead of J) to avoid spacey stitches and Red Heart yarn in buff (main color), redwood (new color, I like it, very autumn), dark orchid, cafe latte, gold, paddy green, and pumpkin.  I wanted it to be more red but still colorful by decided representing each color evenly was better so there are two leaves of each color. Red Heart in paddy green is very coarse and thick and I had an older skein of it that I had to split the ply and modify the square motif for; when I brought a new one skein because I ran out of the thicker, coarser one I had and worked the stitches with a tighter tension, the squares came out about the right size compared to the others.

I’m almost done, one more gold set, then I can assemble the afghan. I thought about giving it a border using every color but I’m not sure I have enough of each color yarn left to do that.

Making Peace With Knitting

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Crystal Palace (bamboo, size 11), my favorites!

I always thought knitting looked cool. But not only does it require two needles as opposed to one hook, its more tedious to me than crochet because it seems to require more tools/accessories, more counting, and more attention to detail and stitches. And changing color looks more difficult. Furthermore, I never bothered to perfect my skills because I thought knitting was only good for scarves, bumpy-looking hats, socks, and, of course, the quintessential ugly sweater. Crochet was (and is) more versatile, in my opinion.

I bought more knitting needles in college and I sometimes practiced basic stitches by making scarves (that I never finished). However, after spending so much time learning crochet and its terms and ins and outs, it was hard for me to give knitting the time it deserved because it looked infinitely more difficult.

Knitting and crochet are two different things. Don’t compare them.

Or something like that, my crafty friend said to me once.

So I am here to say now that I like knitting and have taken the time necessary to learn more about it. After MUCH trial and error, my favorite stitch is the seed stitch. In trying to figure out my knitting style, I think its safe to say I’m a continental knitter. Flicking the yarn really strains my index finger though -__-. The style I’m interested in is is Scottish knitting, that looks dangerous and convenient!

Its so great to learn/relearn and practice a new craft then obsessively try to perfect it. I literally spent hours and days making my newfound peace with knitting. I’m glad for it.

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My seeds and flowers scarf knitted in seed stitch.  The puff flowers are crochet. ^_^

My seeds and flowers scarf knitted in seed stitch. The puff flowers are crochet. ^_^

Crafty Ambitions: Macrame skills acquired

I never went to summer camp. I was never in a school program where I was taught crafty things. Nearly every skill I have I taught myself. Its even easier today to learn almost anything in the vastness of the interwebs. I’ve always wanted to learn to macrame, even before I knew that macrame is not the word for macaroni art.

Learning that macrame is a bunch of knots, I kind of got nervous. Because I am a firm believer in refraining from accidentally tying perfectly good supplies into knots that you can’t get aloose.

Trying it anyway, I taught myself the bare basics of macrame.  I spent hours at a time teaching myself macrame. Two days altogether at least. Relying on sheer stubbornness and crafty animal instinct when it all got to be too confusing :-).

This is the first macrame project I completed, with the Alternating Leaves Pattern tutorial by Beyond Bracelets. (A co-worker of my mom said she wanted a bracelet and provided the materials; I wanted to make some nice so I looked into macrame bracelets…only to discover she wanted a single crochet chain bracelet. Floored by the of challenge, I stubbornly made this one anyway.)

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Turns out, I was working with common friendship bracelet knowledge. Referring to knots as forward knots and backward knots when other people call them double half hitchs without differentiating between which way the knot is tied. When I first came across this confusion, I Googled about it incessantly but couldn’t find any clear information on the different names for macrame knots. Finding a beautiful tutorial for rosebud bracelet on YouTube I wanted to do, I emailed the designer, Christina Larsen of CLS Designs and asked her about the various names for macrame knots because she uses terms like double half hitch in her tutorial as opposed to forward or backward knot.

And yes, like you said, the double half hitch and the forward and backward knots are pretty much the same. It’s just because in the friendship bracelet world that’s what the knots are referred to as.

–Christina Larsen

I’m still not sure if she was being quaint and friendly or condescending/patronizing/uppity. I definitely got the sensation of This is what we call these knots in the adult world, sweetie. She’s a professional, I’m a beginner, and I try to keep in mind that I feel that way before I go off thinking she was intentionally being a jerk. For me, the bracelet was better worked using images from the photo tutorial at her website though.  Using the thickest string/cording I own (hemp), I finally finished the rosebud bracelet, leaving the mistakes in the final work since I didn’t feel like taking them apart and also as a testament to my perseverance and determination; I’m still not sure if it was my knotting or the hemp material that made the rosebuds imperfect.

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Macrame doesn’t seem easy to learn online or super accessible but possible. In any event, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished! I’m working on new knots, macrame lettering (a knowledge of cross stitch embroidery is surprising helpful in this), and a new set of bracelets too.