sooooo….

How ya dooooin?

Good?  Good.

*dusts off blog.  Sneezes*

Yeah um about that “I’ll write more!” thing?  I um.  Didn’t.

I did finish my degree though so that’s good.  Need to harass the school about my diplomas though @.@  

I have been working on stuff though in between a rather nasty depressive spiral and job hunting.  and, AND thanks to Cece I found an awesome yarn shop that it turns out mom’s coworker had recommended for me too I just didn’t go til Cece basically dragged me.  *cough* go me

BUT ENOUGH OF THAT I HAVE CRAPPY PICS FOR YOU ALL.  9I’m sick.  Cut me slack.)

So I’ve started at least one new project (This is Laughingbird, in Knitpicks Chroma in Prism.  Rav link to pattern here)

(this one is the Waffle Stitch Thermal Scarf in Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool in … Um.  Brown? (lazy… XD)

(New Day using Cherry Tree Hill Possum Laceweight)

(A couple of mermaid tails that I will talk about later and thus pattern link isn’t up yet)

Worked on old things…

Falling Water Scarf done in homespun from another raveler.  you can’t really see the shiny bits in this photo

Ohm done in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity silk singles (It was a kit for the mystery KAL for this shawl um…  Let’s not talk about how long ago okay?  I am on the border finally!

Happy Birthday socks in LORD I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THIS YARN IS.  Seriously it was in a mystery bag I got.  I am currently scared of these but that’s why I’m working toe up, to try and figure out how to account for my fat feet and legs.  (Note:  this is not a statement of negativity.  My legs and feet are, objectively, fat.  The end.)  

Frogged at least one thing just for tension and “where the hell am I in this pattern?!” reasons…

Oh, and I finished a couple things.  Though not without a little hardship.

But THAT shawl will get its own post because honestly? It has a lot of story and sentimental value to me. 

Even if I was cussing it like crazy.

 

Water Wave Crochet Braids : Summer Protective Style

Author: aprilbjay

Water Wave Crochet Braids :Protective Style

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I have not done this style in a while, its been maybe over a year, but instantly I remembered why I liked it so much as a protective style. Here are my 3 reason for why crochet braids are a awesome summer protective style!

1. You can do it yourself. I love to find styles that are easy enough to do on my own. It is so simple, you just braid your hair in the pattern that best suits the way yo wish to style the hair (It does not have to be complex you can literally braid your hair straight back) and the process of crocheting the hair is super easy if you need instructions you can find a ton on youtube. It always feels good once you are done to say that you did it yourself!

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2. It is inexpensive. The hair used for crochet braids is typically synthetic such as marley hair, straight kanekalon hair, or water wave hair. There are several others but for this style I used the bulk water wave hair by Freetress. The hair was only 4.99 each and you only need 3 packs maybe even two if you like it to be less full. The other thing you need is a crochet hook which cost me 1.00. So in all this style cost me $15. Come on thats a steal!

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3. It looks natural. I know some people who wear this style and you wouldn’t even know it were extensions. I think one of the most realistic crochet braids are done with Marley hair using perm rods to curl them ( I will do this style next). Also for those with shorter hair you get the feeling of big curly/ kinky hair.

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So if you have not tried the style I totally recommend it as a summer protective style. Its light and breathable and I bet it would look cute on a beach day!

 Happy Crocheting

April Jay

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Author: aprilbjay
 

StyleFile of the Whenever: Clarissa Darling\’s Knitted Sweaters

Author: starultranova

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Highlights: Knitted sweaters, cardigans, vests, and shrugs 

Knitted sweaters often seem rustic or old-fashioned, but Clarissa showed us that knits are a lot more versatile than we may think. Knit sweaters are a staple at many clothing stores, and can go with anything from jeans to bold printed leggings to striped polos to colorful skirts. 

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A knit sweater in an eyecatching color like this should be paired with bright prints, especially florals, geometrics, and abstracts. 

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Knits in white, beige, cream, or grey can go with cool colors or earth tones to provide a serene, down-to-earth look. 

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Black or brown knits paired with bright colors will provide an excellent contrast! 

GET THE LOOK HERE:

Delias

Forever21

PacSun

Kohls

American Eagle 

Author: starultranova
 

We Can Thank the Irish a Lot For Crochet

I want to give credit to Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet for an amazingly thorough and positive article on the very interesting history of crochet which is often times told about in a negative light. Yet, crochet has touched the realms of industri5
al industries as well as royalties alike and have sprung up business women and men. Since it is the second week of March it is the perfect time to celebrate Crochet Week by increasing our passion and knowledge of the craft.

The Spelling – In an early book of needlework patterns, A Winter Gifts for Ladies, Instructions in Knitting, Netting, and Crotchet Work, we find some clues to the novelty of crochet. First the spelling is wobbly, This indicates that the activity of crocheting wasn’t old enough to have a fixed name in English. That means it was rather new in 1847. However, you do have an early written reference to “sheperd’s knitting” that dates around 1812 that involves using wool and an old comb, but this reminds me of a Youtube video I saw where a comb was used to do loom type knitting.

Hook Choices and Methods – In the instructions for a long purse, the lady is instructed to turn her crocheting at the end of a row, so we learn that crochet was done back and forth, as well in rounds. The gentleman’s cap calls for a coarse ivory crochet hook. The open work purse calls for a steel one, so there was already some choice of hook sizes.

Hand carved crochet hooks. Ivory and steel hooks were available as well.

Crochet Fashion Wars – There were times in history when overusing fibers or fabrics were considered wasteful and only the basic human need was to be met. How awesome is it that around the same time of the invention of machine-made thread crochet nearly blossomed overnight because the cost of materials was no longer a limiting factor. When the spinning wheel was invented in the late 15th century dropping the cost of thread it allowed the merchant class to afford the purchase of lace just like the nobles who became highly upset about the merchant class wearing lace just like them, even silver and gold. So a law was put in place prohibiting the “commoners” from wearing the fashion of nobles. Oh those nobles. Well, the laws were withdrawn when it became obvious they were being ignored. Go Merchants!

Stealing is Nothing New – Lace designs were stolen verbatim, frequently and shamelessly, copyrights notwithstanding. Sometimes the pirates waited a much as half a year before publishing the patterns, but often they published within weeks, sometimes even before the lawful licensee had time to do so. It looks to me like crochet lace caused such a frenzy and was in such high demand that publication could not wait to get their hands on them. After all, it would increase their exposure and bottom line.

Ireland Saves Us All – No one wants to die due to starvation right? Well, when the potatoes decided they wanted to hang out somewhere else for a couple of years the ladies of Ireland became proactive and established crochet schools and convents in the north and south and taught crochet to anyone who wanted to learn. The organization or their founders also arranged the sale of finished pieces and the distribution of the proceeds.This should be quite encouraging to today’s designers who sell online and at marketplaces Lacemakers earned enough to live on and some earned enough money to survive the famine and some enough to migrate.

Irish Crochet Lace 1850’s

Crochet and Celebrities – What designer today would not want to get their piece to Kim Kardashian or some other high profile celebrity? When Queen Victoria accepted a gift of the laces and wore them, Irish crochet was instantly fashionable. Ladies who had no objections to being both fashionable and charitable outfitted themselves in Irish crochet from head to toe.

Queen Victoria outfitted in embroidery and lacework.

Crochet in America – The depression of the 1930’s caused smaller items to be popular. It’s the idea of conserving and not being wasteful during a time of hardship. Innovation of crochet began in the 60’s when teens began to crochet away from the tradition of what they saw their mothers and grandmothers do. Anything became crochet, from baskets, cowboy hats, and unstructured clothing, to briefcases and Grecian urns. It is honorable to know that today’s high end designers are constantly keeping their eyes on crochet for ideas and experimentation with the art form as there are still so many possibilities of crochet that have not been invented yet.

Crochet on the Runway 2013

Learn to crochet

Start An Original Gather Crochet Pattern

 

Summer top roundup

Here in Australia, we’re in the middle of “winter”. For us (particularly those of us up North), this means days of around 26C (78F), which really aren’t cold enough to warrant big chunky sweaters or coats. Consequently I’ve had my eye on a few lighter, summery Ravelry patterns. Here are my favourite tops at the moment.

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The Dijon Top by Karina Harper (K)

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Tie Front Crop Top by Abigail Haze (C)

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Belle Ayr by Heather Dixon (K)

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Lacy Beach Halter by Andrea Rangel (C)

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Villeneuve by Espace Tricot (K) (Free)

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Hannah Tee by Vicki Brown (C)

 

The Fish with the Lacy Fins

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Supplies:
2.75mm hook
6mm plastic safety eyes (2)
Small amount of worsted weight acrylic yarn (I used Love This Yarn! from Hobby Lobby in white)
Small amount of cotton crochet thread (I used Aunt Lydia’s® Classic Crochet Cotton, Size 10 Crochet Thread in white)
Small amount of stuffing (I used polyfil)

Time: About 1-2 hours.

Round 1: SC 5 into a magic circle, or chain 2 and sc 5 in the second chain from the hook, however you prefer to start amigurumi. (5)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch.(10)
Round 3: 2sc in one stitch and sc in next for first 6 stitches (9) and sc in next 4 stitches (13.) Single crocheting 4 stitches in this way will create a flat side for the fish’s underbelly.
Round 4-10: sc in each stitch all the way around. (13)

Insert plastic safety eyes between rows 3 and 4 about 4 or 5 sitches apart.

Round 11: *sc, sc2tog, sc* repeat * all the way around (-4 stitches) (9)
Round 12: sc in each stitch (9)

Lightly stuff the body all the way to the head.

Round 13: sc2tog in first 3 stitches (-6)

Check to see if you need to poke a little more stuffing in. It does not have to be tightly stuffed, but if you prefer your ami to have a firmer form then shove a little more in with the tip of your scissors. whatever fluffs your fish, friend.

ROW 14: Press the fish flat, you can make the tailfin go either horizontal or vertical, whichever you wish. SC through both sides of the body, 3 stitches.
Row 15: ch2, turn, 2dc in each stitch (6)

FO. Switch to cotton crochet thread.

Row 16: In front loops only, 2dc in each stitch. At the end of the row continue to 2dc in each back look. At the end of the row slip stitch into the first dc to close the circle.
Row 17: ch2, *dc, ch1, dc* repeat all the way around. One dc to one stitch with one chain between them. This will create the lacy tailfin.

FO.

Pectoral fins:

Row 1: Pick up a stitch between rows 5 and 6 on the side of the body. LOOSELY sc between rows, 5/6, 6/7, 7/8. (3)
Row 2: ch2, *dc, ch1, dc, ch1* in EACH stitch
Row 3: ch2, *dc, ch1* in each ch1 space.

FO.

Repeat on opposite side.

Weave in ends.

—- —- —-

I have not had any testers for this pattern yet, if you do make it please drop me a line to let me know how it worked out for you. I really appreciate the feed back, it helps me make future patterns available for free.

Notice: Pattern not intended for distribution, please do not copy/paste onto your own website, blog or etc. If you wish to share the pattern, please feel free to link to this post. You may make physical copies for crochet clubs or etc, but please do not sell my pattern or distribute, it is my pattern and I like it a lot. Any products made with it are yours to do what you wish, sell, share, rent or otherwise. (If there is a market for renting small crocheted fish please let me know so that I can monetize on this phenomenon as well.)

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Magic Circle X Method Tutorial

Author: contentedcat

Magic Circle X Method Tutorial

Here is another way to make a magic circle.

Hold the end of the yarn:

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Wrap yarn around your 2 fingers, making a circle and forming an X:

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Insert hook in between your fingers, and yarn over:

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Pull a loop through your fingers and through the circle of yarn:

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Chain one, and you are ready to complete the first round of your pattern:

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Author: contentedcat
 

My 1st Handspun and Handknit Socks

When I learned how to spin 4 years ago, I wanted to be able spin yarn and then knit socks with that yarn. I tried once before but it turned out to be way too thin for socks. This time I was successful.

This fiber is 75% Superwash Wool and 25% nylon from Leading Men Fiber Arts. The color is called Prom Queen, and it is super hot pink.
Leading Men Fiber Prom Queen

I did a lot of research on how to make good yarn for socks. I even spun up a little sample skein to make sure I was on track.
handspun sock yarn sample

I decided on an Oppposing Ply 3-ply yarn. I divided my fiber in thirds and spun 2 singles with Z twist (clockwise), 1 single with S twist (counter-clockwise), and then plied the 3 together S (counter-clockwise).
3 plys for sock yarn

That’s almost 5 ounces of plied yarn on the Akerworks bobbin, and there’s so much room left!
Handspun Sock Yarn

I didn’t take pictures of the finished skein, but the yarn was very firmly plied, and the opposing ply gave it a little bounce.

I used my usual Size 0 (2mm) needles. This yarn is a tiny bit thicker than the commercial yarn I’ve used, so I knit the socks on 60 stitches instead of my usual 64.
handspun handknit socks

The socks fit great! I love the hot pink color. I hope the yarn wears well.
1st handspun, handknit socks

Author: yarnphoria

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Procrastination Station

Still working on my assorted projects but wanted a quick break. Plus I’m tired of sewing numbers and attaching yarn covered plastic triangles together, and beading a lace shawl pattern. I needed something simple before my brain went splodey. 

Working on a few beanie patterns that I found on ravelry.com and they are turning out nice. I really needed to destash any way so finding some Simply Soft Caron yarn in the bottom of the box was a Godsend for some baby/preemie hat making time.

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If only I hadn’t left my g-hook at home I could make some really pretty ones, but a destash preemie hat is still a preemie hat and they will keep their tiny cabezas warm. 

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Patterns Used:

From Around the Web

 

Ravelry Roundup: Shawls

Now that the autumn weather is rolling in, check out these 10 free shawl patterns to keep you warm from the chilly air!  Special thanks to xxstrawberrykiwixx for suggesting this roundup!

If you’d like to suggest a roundup, send me an ask and I’ll get to it!

1. Simply Irresistible Shawl by Ann Regis
Photo © Coats & Clark
image2. Flowers Shawl by Darlene Dale
Photo © 2009 by Caron International Yarns
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3. Bridal Shawl by Kimberly K. McAlindin
Photo © Red Heart Yarns
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4. Be a Friend Shawl / Have a Heart Shawl by Joyce Nordstrom
Photo © missallen
image5. Shawl “Morning Sun” by Luba Roytberg
Photo © Luba Roytberg
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6. Sidewalk Shawl by Kimberly K. McAlindin
Photo © Debbie Stoller 2010
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7. Metropolitan Shawl by American Thread Company
Photo © PiggyWiggy96
image8. Seraphina’s Shawl by Doni’s Stuff
Photo © rebby
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9. Manhattan OR Night Shawl by Kt Baldassaro
Photo by ZombieHunter
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10. Fan Pattern Shawl by Craftown.com
Photo © crochetcindy
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Author: juststitched

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