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Crafty Goals for 2016

Happy Sunday!

knitting dress

I hope you are enjoying your weekend and getting ready for 2016! I am already setting new crafty goals for the upcoming year!

One of my crafty goals for the new year is to become more confident in my knitting machine skills and nothing can help better than practice. So, I am setting a Machine Knitting Challenge 2016 for myself! I will strive to have one machine knitting FO every month! Looking back at 3 years that I had my machine, I realize I don’t have that many projects made on it and it’s such a shame!! I guess the reason for this is that machine knitting is not that relaxing and meditative as hand knitting and I just get lazy. I definitely want to change that in 2016!  I know that if I organize my time better, I can be much more productive.

My other crafty goal is to do as many projects as possible for my Modification Series. I always have so much fun changing the course of a pattern, it is the biggest boost for my creativity!

Goal #3 is to pay more attention to crochet. No matter how much I love knitting, I feel strangely attached to crochet and I am surprised to see just 2 crochet FOs this year. Getting ready my crochet hooks for 2016!

Goal #4 is to take more careful notes of my projects, because only this way I can write more patterns! The thing is when I sit down to experiment with my yarn, I get carried away and before I know the project is taking shape, but I didn’t take any notes 🙂 Strangely enough my hands just know their way, but it’s impossible to track back the steps! So, a crafty notebook should always be on my table in 2016!

I decided I don’t want to wait until the 1st of January and start bringing some of these goals to life right now! I am starting my Machine Knitting Challenge and Modifications Series together! I have a great motivation for that. My birthday is in January and I want to treat myself to my favorite type of clothes – a dress 🙂 I had one pattern in my mind for a long time, I think for a year now! It’s a tunic-dress from Vogue Knitting Winter 2012/13 Round Yoke Tunic by Hitomi Shida. The intricate stitch pattern drew me in immediately! But the problem is that A-line tops/dresses never looked good on me. The second thing that disturbed me in this look is that the dress is a little bit too heavy to my taste – the highly textured and intricate top part of the dress would look better (for ME) with simple background. I am not criticizing the pattern, I think it’s truly a piece of art, but for myself I would prefer a more simple look.

So, my modification plans.

  1. Change the A-line shape of the dress to the straight skirt with a waist shaping. I think I would go with the similar silhouette that I used in Pure dress.
  2. Make the front and back of the dress on the knitting machine (in simple stockinette stitch) up to the armholes.
  3. Put the live stitches on the knitting needles and hand knit the top using this intricate lace/textured stitch. I am not sure yet, if I stay with the yoke construction, or change it to simple boat neckline without sleeves.

I chose the yarn from my stash – beautiful skeins of 100% mercerized cotton in this green/blue shade.

knitting dress

I already used this yarn in Pure dress (in beige and white colorway) and for the Violet Gift dress (in purple colorway). I love how smooth it looks in the garment and stitch definition is just perfect!

knitting dress

This weekend I made the swatch on my machine and I am happy with the tension. So, this part is over.

knitting dress

Next is to hand knit the swatch using the stitch pattern. I am knitting with 2 mm (US 0) needles, so it will take awhile. The stitch pattern is really intense. There are no resting rows and you always have to keep track of the chart. Yes, I love to complicate my life 🙂

knitting dress

I am naming the project Ocean, because of the color and because I miss Pacific so much it hurts!!! It often comes to me in my dreams 🙂

I am beyond excited about this project and determined to work hard to achieve all my crafty goals for 2016!

I guess I do take my hobby way too seriously, but I just can’t help it 🙂

Do you have any 2016 crafty goals?


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Slow Fashion October Roundup

Slow Fashion October, a project organized by Karen from Fringe Association, is coming to an end. It’s been really fascinating to read and see how different people interpreted Karen’s prompts.

As for me, the phrase “slow fashion” didn’t make much sense to me until I got into knitting. I had weird relationship with fashion before – from being completely indifferent to the world of textiles and shapes to being quiet obsessed with Vogue issues during my university years. The names of great fashion maestros were swirling in my head and the pages of photo shoots with new textile masterpieces were my biggest treat after a long day. I felt like I wanted somehow to be a part of this world that seemed so magical.

But as I understand now, my main focus was definitely on the result, not the process of creating itself. This changed drastically when I picked up my crochet hook after a very long, 10-year break. Vogue disappeared from my life instantly and Vogue Knitting came into my life. I think it was my first knitting magazine and I was in awe. All of a sudden I looked at fashion from a completely different angle. I found a true joy in creating something on my own, feeling how the fabric slowly but steadily grows into something wearable. Fast fashion lost all its appeal for me; the love and appreciation of natural fiber sprung up, though before I would not tell you the difference between acrylic and cotton; the urge to learn about organic sustainable materials appeared… And just like that slow fashion became an inseparable part of my life. I guess all makers receive the comments like: “Why do you spend so much time on something that you can buy instantly.” And all of us have seen the horror on people’s faces when they find out how much the materials cost. How can we explain this urge to spend time and effort on something that can be obtained so much easier and pain-free?

For my part, I think what drives me most is the desire to surround myself with meaningful things, things that hold memories, that teach me something new, that bring excitement and this incredible joy when I share them with you and I read your feedback or even see how you recreate them. Thank you so much for being such a huge part of my slow fashion journey!

As for the most cherished and loved slow fashion project, I would choose Wildflower dress.

Crochet Dress

For me it is like a little envelope that holds 5-month memories – I clearly remember the swatch that was sitting on my night table for several weeks, I remember packing the yarn and 2 inch progress for my trip to Russia, I remember working on it in my grandparents’ garden, I remember finishing it in Mexico, I remember wearing it for a walk with a dear friend…. Every stitch became meaningful and dear. This is a true beauty and magic of slow fashion.

What is the most amazing thing for you about the slow fashion? Do you have any special project that you love?

Make sure to check the links that Karen has provided for every week of Slow Fashion October – you will find beautiful stories and projects there! You can start here – “Slow Fashion October – get ready!”

I hope you are a having a wonderful week!


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By | 2015-10-29T17:59:42+00:00 October 29th, 2015|Crochet, Knitting|8 Comments

Crochet Gift. FO details.

Before I get to my FO, I would love to thank you for your thoughtful comments and emails these days. I am sorry I wasn’t able to answer them yet, as our Internet got cut off for a couple of days. Since Friday morning, the country froze in the anticipation of Patricia – a 5-category hurricane was rapidly approaching the Western coast. It was claimed to be the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. Though we couldn’t be seriously affected by it right now, as we moved to the center of the country, I was still shaking inside and sending all the positive vibes and thoughts to people in the exposed area. Fortunately, as reported, Patricia didn’t cause any serious damage as was predicted. All is well. Thank you again!

FO – Crochet Gift.

crochet child vest

If you remember a couple of weeks ago I joined Tracey in her socks donation project for those in need. Instead of socks, I decided to make a nice chunky warm vest for a little guy. I’ve never made anything for children, so I was extremely surprised how fast this project was! Children are tiny, aren’t they! 🙂

Project Notes

Ravelry page. Crochet Gift.

Pattern. Mine. I was using a basic half double crochet stitch. Worked the vest in the round bottom up to the armholes, then divided for front and back, and seamed the shoulders. I hope I got the size right, as I didn’t have the chance to measure a boy, but according to standard measurements it turned out just right.

Yarn. Trigo – local, 100% mercerized cotton. I was holding 5 strands and used 10 mm hook.

Design details.

Texture. Half double crochet is so easy to make and it creates amazingly rich texture without making the fabric too stiff! The vest turned out super soft.

crochet child vest

Armholes. The stitches turned out pretty even and nothing curls in, so I decided to skip the trimming.

crochet child vest

Neckline. The basic square neckline. I used single crochet for the last row. Again no special trimming, as the raw stitches stay even and stable.

crochet child vest

I enjoyed working on the vest and was happy to see the face of a little guy’s Mom lighten up with a smile when I gave this squishy bundle to her. Giving surely feels great…

crochet child vest

I hope you are having a wonderful week!


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By | 2015-10-26T15:45:30+00:00 October 26th, 2015|Crochet, Finished Objects|11 Comments

The Gift Of Crochet

Awhile ago Tracey wrote a post that brought awareness of homeless shelters and their need for warm clothes, especially socks. Tracey decided to knit socks for donation and asked everybody who could join do the same.  I am not a sock knitter and I am too far away, but I know there are always people around here that are in need. There is one little guy that melts my heart. His Mom is a very hard working woman who unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to finish her education and right now is really struggling to find a job. She is in her late 30s and she just got her high school certificate. Unfortunately the public education situation in Mexico is far from ideal… Her little guy is 3 years old. The evenings and mornings get really chilly here and I thought of making something warm for him.

I decided to make him a nice chunky crochet vest. The yarn that I am using is a local loosely spun natural cotton of mustard shade. I used it before for my Vogue Knitting boat-neck pullover. I really love this soft golden color that looks like it’s been dipped in honey.

crochet vest

The yarn is of lace weight, so I am going to hold 5 strands together and use a 10 mm crochet hook to make a nice chunky fabric. It will be a very quick and cozy crochet project that I am sure make both me and the recipient happy, because who wouldn’t love a soft squishy vest of honey shade?! After quick swatching I decided to stick to basics and use the classic half double crochet stitch. I really love its texture.

crochet vest

I am not using any pattern, I’ll experiment as I go. The project is raveled here – A Crochet Gift.

Thank you, Tracey, for your wonderful post that reminded all of us one more time how fortunate we are, but there are ones around us who are not that lucky.

crochet vest

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Joining Ginny for Yarn Along.


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By | 2016-04-10T08:41:06+00:00 October 7th, 2015|Crochet, Work in Progress, Yarn|13 Comments

Crafty Instagram Challenge

Today was the last day of #CraftyBlissChallenge organized by Julie from Knitted Bliss and Melissa from Miso Crafty Knits. The idea was to post a picture on your Instagram feed for 10 days in a row, each day had a prompt that could be interpreted anyway you feel like. As soon as I saw Julie’s post about it, I decided to jump right in. This is something completely new for as I am not really active on social platforms except for Ravelry and lately Instagram.

To be honest I have a very “bad” reputation on social platforms in my “real” life 🙂 I just forget that they are out there! When I visit my personal Facebook account once in a blue moon I see tons of messages asking where I am and what happened to me, expired invitations to birthdays and other social events 🙂 I am just not a social platform girl in my “real” life. Call me if you need me! 🙂

With knitting it is a different story. Maybe I don’t post on my Facebook page travel, wedding or just everyday pictures, but  if I could I would post every single stitch progress on my Ravelry/Instagram page! I love to celebrate knitwear! The process itself is so so enjoable for me that it seems I want to scream to the world – Come on, guys! Working with yarn is the most amazing thing in the world! Join the fun! When I just started the blog I posted 5-6 times a week! Crazy, I know. After some time I felt that spending all this time online is actually limiting my time for crafting. I try to control myself now and not post more than three times a week on the blog 🙂

So anyway. The idea of challenging my imagination and creativity on Instagram was too tempting. I really liked how the prompts were ambiguous and could be interpreted in so many different ways. It reminded me of an exercise that we did in the writing course during my university years – you take out a paper with a random sentence and write an essay insterpreteing this sentence any way you want. A real boost for creativity!

I’ve never tried posting every single day on Instagram for so long and it was pretty challenging! But I really love how it made me look at my stash/WIPs/FOs from the new perspective. Here is my 10 day gallery of #craftyblisschallenge.

crochet dress

Day 1 – How sweet it is

hand knit sweater

Day 2 – What are you crafting now

yarn

Day 3 – Sunday morning

knitting cables

Day 4 – Inspiration/Motivation

crochet yarn

Day 5 – In the bag

hand knit sweater

Day 6 – A favorite quote

hand-knit-skirt

Day 7 – Pretty things

yarn-1

Day 8 – Something delicious

yarn

Day 9 – Riot of color

crochet chevron blanket

Day 10 – Cozy

The best thing was of course to meet new people who also joined the fun. Thank you for being so creative and inspiring! Thank you, Julie and Melissa for bringing so many people together for these 10 days. It was a joy!

What about you? Do you love to celebrate your craft online?

Happy Sunday!


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By | 2015-09-27T10:50:09+00:00 September 27th, 2015|Crochet, Knitting|20 Comments

Textured Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

Today I am going to share with you the pattern that I wrote to make my crochet blanket. The stitch pattern was found on MyPicot – Crochet Textured Wave Stitch. I put together the numbers, wrote the instructions for making the blanket and put a step by step photo tutorial at the end of the pattern to get you through the first three rows. This blanket was very easy and interesting to make. The combination of basic stitches creates a very beautiful textured fabric (see my FO post). This is a perfect project for stash busting, as it allows you to work in multiple colors. I always love to have one simple project in progress that I don’t have to think about too much and can pick up any time during the day when I have a free minute. It is a perfect companion to watch a good movie 🙂

Textured Chevron Crochet Blanket

MATERIALS

Yarn. 100% cotton fingering weight yarn holding three strands together. 3 desired colors (A, B, C) The estimated yardage is approximately 1800-2000.

Notes:

  • I was using fingering weight yarn holding three strands together because it was a stash busting project. Three strands of fingering weight yarn approximately equal to one strand of light worsted weight yarn. The exact yarn weight is not essential in this project as long as you like the fabric that it creates.
  • I used 100% cotton yarn, but you can experiment with different fibers – wool and wool blends, different cotton or acrylic blends.
  • I was using three colors, but you can experiment with what your imagination and stash allows 🙂 The blanket has a very rich texture which makes it perfect for working in solid color. You can choose to change colors every row, every other row or any color sequence you like.  
  • See the end of the pattern for the step by step photo tutorial

Crochet hook. 8mm (US – L)

Note: Make sure that you adjust your hook size if needed to achieve the gauge or the fabric that you like.

GAUGE

The exact gauge is not essential in this project. If you like the fabric in you swatch, but the pattern repeat doesn’t exactly match the gauge, you can either add or subtract one-two repeats depending on what size you want your blanket.

I would recommend making a swatch of 37 stitches (multiple of 16 + 5) and crochet 6-8 rows. This way your swatch will have two pattern repeats and you will get an idea of how it works.

1 pattern repeat (16 sts) – 5¼” (13.5cm)

1 pattern repeat (2 rows) -1¼” (3 cm)

SIZE

Finished Dimensions: 44.5″ (113 cm) wide x 49.5″ (126 cm) long

Note: These are dimensions of my blanket. You can easily adjust the size of the blanket adding/subtracting rows or stitch repeats.

ABBREVIATIONS/STITCHES

ch – chain

sc – single crochet

dc – double crochet

FP sc – Front Post single crochet. Here is the YouTube video with the tutorial – How To Crochet a Front Post Single Crochet Stitch  or go to the end of the pattern for the photo tutorial

2dc decreasework 1 incomplete dc in each of next 3 sts: yo, place hook in the indicated st, yo, pull through stitch, yarn over, pull through 2 loops (2 loops on the hook); yo, place hook in next st, yo, pull through stitch, yarn over, pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook); yo, place hook in next st, yo, pull through stitch, yarn over, pull through 2 loops (4 loops on the hook); yo, pull yarn through all 4 loops for a completed decrease. Go to the end of the pattern for the photo tutorial

4dc decrease – work 1 incomplete dc in each of next 5 sts: yo, place hook in the indicated st, yo, pull through stitch, yarn over, pull through 2 loops (2 loops on the hook); yo, place hook in next st, yo, pull through stitch, yarn over, pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook); yo, place hook in next st, yo, pull through stitch, yarn over, pull through 2 loops (4 loops on the hook); yo, place hook in next st, yo, pull through stitch, yo, pull through 2 loops (5 loops on the hook); yo, place hook in next st, yo, pull through stitch, yo, pull through 2 loops (6 loops on the hook); yo, pull yarn through all 6 loops for a completed decrease. Go to the end of the pattern for the photo tutorial

COLOR SEQUENCE

Work 6 rows in A, *work 6 rows in B, work 2 rows in A, work 6 rows in C, work 2 rows in A; rep from * 3 times more; work 6 rows in B, work 6 rows in A.

Note: To change color, work last st of old color to last yarn over. Yarn over with new color and draw through all loops to complete st.

INSTRUCTIONS 

Foundation chain: With A ch 133 (multiple of 16 + 5) = 8 pattern repeats

Row 1 (foundation row): Starting with fourth chain from hook (you skip 3 chains) make 2dc decrease, * 1dc in each of next 5ch, 2dc + 2ch + 2dc in next ch, 1dc in each of next 5ch, 4dc dec.; rep from* 6 times more; 1dc in each of next 5ch, 2dc + 2ch + 2dc in next ch, 1dc in each of next 5ch, 2dc dec., 1dc in last ch, turn.

Row 2 (WS):  2ch, 1 FP sc over decrease st, *1 FP sc over each of next 7 dc below, 2ch, 1 FP sc over each of next 7 dc, 1 FP sc over decrease st; rep from* 7 times more, 1 sc in 3rd ch, turn.

Row 3 (RS): 3ch, 2dc dec. , * 1dc in each of next 5 FP sc, 2dc + 2ch + 2dc in space of 2ch of Row 1, 1dc in each of next 5 FPsc, 4dc dec.; rep from* 6 times more, 1dc in each of next 5 FPsc, 2dc + 2ch + 2dc in space of 2ch of Row 1, 1dc in each of next 5 FPsc, 2dc dec., 1dc in 2nd ch, turn.

Repeat Row two and Row three 39 times more or until the desired length.

Work Row 2 one more time.

FINISHING

Top Border: With A 2ch, 8sc, *sc in space of 2ch of row below, 15sc; rep from * 6 times more, sc in space of 2ch of row below, 9sc.

Do NOT turn to the other side.

Continue working sc around the side border: 3sc for each 2 rows.

Lower border: work sc in each st across

Continue working sc around the other side border: 3sc for each 2 rows.

Fasten off.

Weave in ends.

Though MyPicot photo tutorial is great, I felt like a lot of steps were left out. You can choose following MyPicot tutorial or the one that I made. In my tutorial I am working you through the first three rows. Believe me, as soon as you get the idea of these first three rows, the rest will be super easy 🙂 The stitch pattern only looks complicated, but in reality it is just a combination of basic “classic” stitches! In this tutorial I am using two contrasting colors for the demonstration purposes. If you want to see the bigger picture, just open it in the new tab. I tried to be as detailed as possible, if you still have some doubts left leave me a comment and I will explain it.

Photo Tutorial

Row 1 (foundation row): Starting with fourth chain from hook (you skip 3 chains) make 2dc decrease.

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

2dc decrease

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

As you can see, you make incomplete dc in each of three chains until you have 4 loops on your hook (see the step by step stitch explanation in the Abbreviations/Stitches section of the pattern)

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

Pull yarn through all 4 loops

1dc in each of next 5ch

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

 

2dc + 2ch + 2dc in next ch

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

1dc in each of next 5ch, 4dc dec

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

You make incomplete dc in each of five chains until you have 6 loops on your hook (see the step by step stitch explanation in the Abbreviations/Stitches section of the pattern)

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

Pull yarn through all 6 loops

Follow the pattern until the end of Row 1. This is what you get at the end. You can see that the zig zag started to form.

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

Row 2 (WS):  2ch, 1 FP sc over decrease st

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

See the Abbreviations/Stitches section for the link to YouTube video for Front Post single crochet (FP sc) explanation

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

FP sc over decrease st – step 1

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

FP sc over decrease st – step 2

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

FP sc over decrease st – step 3

1 FP sc over each of next 7 dc below

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

Work following the pattern. You will get again to FP sc over decrease st. This time it will be a 4dc decrease of the previous row. Work it the same way as the first one

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

This is how it looks like from the opposite (right) row – each stitch is wrapped up with FP sc

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

Work Row 2 until the end.

Work Row 3 following the pattern. You will get to the following instructions: 2dc + 2ch + 2dc in space of 2ch of Row 1.

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

As you work Row 3, you will get to 2 chain spaces – one is of Row 1 (green one), other is of Row 2 (beige one). Make sure that you work 2dc + 2ch + 2 dc in the space of Row 1 (the green one)

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

Here how it will look like after you work 2 dc in the space of Row 1

Continue following the pattern

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

Here you can see how the ridge is being formed

Free Chevron Crochet Blanket Pattern

This is how it looks like from the back

I really hope you will enjoy this pattern as much as I did.

Happy crocheting!


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By | 2017-08-01T08:02:52+00:00 September 6th, 2015|Crochet, Free Patterns and Tutorials, Pattern, Tutorial|20 Comments
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