How to Style: Crop Tops

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Purchase: Sweater ($70), Tee ($10), Turtleneck ($25), Graphic Tank ($20), Jeans ($65), Skirt ($84), Pants ($40), Shorts ($56), Flats ($100), Pumps ($95), Sandals ($41), Tennis Shoes ($45)

Wearing a crop top is the equivalent of learning how to ride a bike: it feels strange at first, but eventually you will manage to balance style and practicality. 

Like many others, I often shy away from this trend due to my figure. However, after looking around at some ensembles, I realized it doesn’t seem as off-putting as I first thought. When worn with the right pant or skirt, it can actually be very flattering. 

If you are in the same boat as I am, feel free to draw inspiration from these four looks, all spring weather-approved.

 

Hurdle 1: Yarn

It goes without saying that you can’t crochet without yarn. But where do you buy yarn? What kind of yarn should you use? What are the numbers on the side?

I’ll preface this discussion by confessing that I’m a knitter. Yarn based crafts aren’t new to me at all. Starting this new craft, however, it occurred to me that I’ve never really put much thought into yarn. When I got started, I had family members that donated yarn that they no longer used and then I found a pattern that would match them. Now, I’ll find a pattern that I really want to complete and buy the yarn for it. I’ll also confess that I wasn’t too interested by knitting. It makes my fingers cramp up and most things take a long time to make. Also, without circular needles, it makes certain crafts, like socks or hats, really difficult. Starting this new venture, I want to do it right, and that means doing my homework. Which, lucky for you guys, means a post to summarize my findings!

These are guidelines and aren’t hard and fast rules. You may find that you prefer a certain weight or type of yarn for certain projects. If you have a project in mind, your pattern might suggest a certain type of yarn. This is usually located at the top of a pattern before any of the instructions. To find the information on a skein of yarn in the store, look at the label wrapped around the middle of the skein. 

As you can see, the label includes a lot of information. Check out the Helpful Tips and Tricks section for a link to translate it all. What you’re immediately concerned with is the “weight” of the yarn. Most patterns will call for things like “worsted weight” or “sock weight” yarn. The weight is given by the square that has a picture of the skein of yarn and a large number. This is a standardized sizing done by the Craft Yarn Council. The numbers run from 0-6 and breakdown as follows. 

  • 0: Lace Yarn- Very thin
  • 1: Super Fine Yarn
  • 2: Fine Yarn
  • 3: Light Yarn
  • 4: Medium (Worsted Weight) Yarn
  • 5: Bulky
  • 6: Super Bulky- Very thick

If you don’t have an exact pattern yet, it’s usually pretty easy to figure out some basic guidelines of what yarn to buy. If you want something thick, like a blanket, you don’t want to get Lace Yarn. Generally, worsted weight (medium) is a good way to go, and I’ve found lots of patterns for a lot of different clothes that use worsted weight yarn. If you’re not sure, you can always ask for help at the store.

Which brings me to my next question. Where do you buy yarn? There are some pretty easy and obvious answers to this one. Craft stores like Michael’s and Jo-Ann’s carry yarn. These stores often carry a large variety of yarn and tools for very cheap. The problem with these stores is that they are general crafts stores and they might not know the answer to your questions because they are not members of your chosen crafting community. Online is another option. Amazon, Overstock and similar websites sell yarn, as do yarn companies. These places are good to go to if you need a specific kind of yarn that you can’t find in stores, or you want to place a bulk order. Finally, there are small yarn stores. Yup, those exist, and there’s probably one near you. Google yarn stores in your area and you’re likely to find one. I just found a store that I never knew existed, right down the street! Small yarn stores carry a large selection of yarn, and often they’ll offer classes to beginners to help you out. Some stores even let you come in with your project if you have questions, or you need help correcting a mistake you made. Plus, you know that they can answer your questions because they’re often knitters and crocheters themselves!

So, now that you’ve made it down to the bottom of this long post, hopefully you feel a little more knowledgeable about the first step to starting a crochet project! If you have questions, feel free to ask. Happy crafting!

Author: hookupcrochet

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I make Hats, Wristbands, Scarves, and blankets to order

Prices depend on yarn requested and the time it will take me to make it.

Hats take me about a 3 days to a week depending on my free time and my attention span.

Wristbands take me about an hour each.

Scarves, depending on length and size, take me from a week to 3 weeks, same thing with the hat.

Blankets can potentially take me months.

——————————————————————————-

Some examples of my work:

Chunky crocheted shawl with tie. My first project.

The beginnings of my blanket, second project.

Hufflepuff Chunky scarf.

Some more of my blanket. It’s mostly single crochet, but I can use a pattern if you’d like me too.

Author: vinederwoman

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Doctor Hopper, world leading surgeon

This little fella is Doctor Hopper, my first attempt at making amigurumi without a pattern! It’s pretty special to know that I’ve made something entirely my own, and it was for the amigurumipatterns.net design contest. I didn’t win, of course, but it was a great feeling to have tried, particularly when it’s led to the next stage in my crocheting!

Making the head, body, limbs and tail was fairly straightforward, and the ears weren’t too difficult to get right. I wrote down the pattern as I went for all of those, and normally I might’ve called him finished then, but the design contest had the theme ‘animals at work’, so clearly this little purple bunny was going to need some accessories.

The stethoscope and the head… thing (does anyone actually know what those things are meant to be?!) were pretty easy to make, but the Doctor’s lab coat presented a new challenge for me, and all pattern writing went out the window at that point! It all came together in the end, and I was really pleased with him; particularly for a first go!

Author: woolful

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Lots Of Tutorials For Crochet Toys

A big HELLO to my fellow sewing and needlework enthusiasts. Hope you have all had a fun weekend. I spent a lot of time visiting friends and family in the past week and it has been lovely to catch up with everyone.

If you are a fan of crochet then you will love today’s blog post as I am going to link you to some free crochet toy tutorials from around the web.  I hope you enjoy following the instructions and making the toys. They would make wonderful gifts for children.

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  1. The first tutorial is on the Bunny Mummy blog and it is for a super cute crochet owl. I love this! If you want to crochet even more owl things then check out this blog post on AllFreeCrochet. You will find links to 12 more owl crochet projects.
  2. Sonea Delvon on Ravelry kindly allows you to download her tutorial for making a gorgeous crochet teddy bear. It is such a classic teddy bear. You will love making this, I’m sure!
  3. The adorable elephant comfort blanket by Dedri Uys is so sweet. You just know a child would treasure this.
  4. I think this crochet Miffy bunny looks fantastic. It’s just perfect for little hands to hold and cuddle. The tutorial is on the ‘A Gamer’s Wife’ blog.
  5. The ‘Pete The Cat’ crochet tutorial is a nice little project to make for a child who loves cats.  It is on the ‘Repeat Crafter Me’ blog.

If you want to see even more crochet tutorials for toys then please check out the interesting Pinterest boards below:-

If you have run out of crochet supplies then you can stock up on our site. Here is the link you will be needing – http://sewing-online.com/crafts/knitting_and_crochet/

Next week I will be back with a blog post full of tutorial ideas for Mother’s Day gifts. If you have a link to a tutorial you think I should include please can I ask that you let me know about it by tweeting @sewing_online on twitter or by writing on my facebook wall.- https://www.facebook.com/sewingonline. Thanks. :o)

Have a fun week.

Best wishes, Kim

P.S :- Don’t forget Episode 3 of The Great British Sewing Bee on Tuesday at 8pm on BBC 2.

Author: sewingonline

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Fairytale Crochet Hansel and Gretel

Are you ready for a weekend project?

After posting that fun video earlier in the week, we thought it would be only fitting to share instructions from Fairytale Crochet to make fan-favorites Hansel (so hot right now!) and Gretel.

The book also includes instructions to make the accompanying scenery for each fairytale, so if Hansel and Gretel look a little lonely then they might just need a wicked witch, a gingerbread cottage and a garden to stand with (or run away from!)

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel are brother and sister; they are quick to make and can be customized to your own wishes. I have made free standing figures but you could easily make cute egg cosies or finger puppets by omitting the skirt base and stitching a simple lining inside – if so, work Hansel’s bottom half as for Gretel.

Skill level: **

Size

Gretel – 10cm (4in) tall

Hansel – 11.5cm (4½in) tall

You will need

Gretel:

  • DK (light worsted) yarn:

Oddments of yellow (A), flesh tone or peach (B) and silver-green (F)

10g (3/8oz) each of red (C) and pink (D)

  • Scraps of coloured felt in greens and pinks
  • 2.5cm (1in) square of cream felt
  • Heart shape button

Hansel:

  • DK (light worsted) yarn:

10 g (3/8oz) of brown (A), yellow (C), green (D) and red (E)

Oddments of flesh tone or peach (B) and silver-green (F)

Both:

  • 3mm (US D/3) crochet hook
  • Removable stitch marker
  • Tapestry needle
  • Embroidery thread or 2ply yarn in bright colors

Abbreviations

blo                        back loop only

ch                          chain

cont                      continue

dc                          double crochet

dc2tog                  double crochet two sts together

dtr                         double treble

htr                         half treble

pm                         place marker

ss                           slip stitch

st(s)                      stitch(es)

tr                           treble

rep                        repeat

rem                      remaining

yrh                        yarn round hook

GRETEL

Head:

Using yarn B, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch, ss in first dc to join, pm.

Round 1: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

Rounds 2–5: Dc around. (12 sts)

Fill head with toy stuffing.

Round 6: [Dc2tog] 6 times. (6 sts)

Fasten off yarn B.

Bodice:

Round 7: Join yarn C at st marker, dc(blo) around. (6 sts)

Round 8: 2dc in each st around, ss in first dc to join. (12 sts)

Rounds 9–10: Dc around. Fasten off yarn C.

Skirt:

Round 11: Join yarn D at st marker, 3ch (counts as 1tr now and throughout), 1tr at base of ch, 2 tr in each st to end. (24 sts)

Round 12: 3ch, tr around.

Round 13: Rep Round 9. (24 sts)

Fasten off yarn D.

Round 14: Join yarn F at st marker, 1ch, dc around, ss in first dc to join. (24 sts)

Round 15: [5ch, miss 2 sts, ss in next st] 12 times. (12 ch loops)

Fasten off yarn F.

Skirt base

Base ring: Using yarn C, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch, ss in first dc to join. (6 sts)

Round 1: 3ch, 1tr in base of ch, 2tr in each st around. (12 sts)

Round 2: 1ch, 2dc in each st around. (24 sts)

Fasten off yarn C, leaving a 15cm (6in) tail.

FINISHING

Fill bodice and skirt with toy stuffing. Use tail of Skirt Base to attach to inside skirt to contain the stuffing.

Hair:

Using yarn A, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch from hook, ss infirst dc to join, pm.

Round 1: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

Round 2: [1htr, 1tr, 3dtr in next st, 1tr, 1htr, ss innext st] twice.

Fasten off A.

Braids:

Cut 15cm (6in) length of yarn A, fold in half and put hook in fold, insert hook through end of dtrin Round 2, ss through dtr and 5ch using doublethickness of A. Tie off and trim both ends of yarn to make a braid. Rep for other braid.

Use tail of yarn A to attach hair to head.

Flower in hair:

Insert hook into surface of hair at one side, using yarn D, yrh and draw through loop, 5ch, ss inbase of ch, 3ch, ss in base of ch. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Stitch a tiny green felt leaf next to flower.

Face:

For embroidery stitches see pages 122–123 and page 124 for making faces. Use French knots and black or brown yarn for eyes and peach for the nose. Make two tiny red stitches for a mouth and use cross stitch in pink to make 2 rosy cheeks.

Arms:

Follow the instructions on page 125; I have given Gretel long red sleeves but you can use any color or sleeve length you like.

Apron:

Stitch cream piece of felt onto front of the skirt, shaping the bottom so it’s rounded. Use a contrasting thread to stitch a tiny patch of felt onto skirt at side of the apron.

HANSEL

Head:

Using yarn B, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch, ss in first dc to join, pm.

Round 1: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

Rounds 2–5: Dc around. (12 sts)

Fill head with toy stuffing.

Round 6: [Dc2tog] 6 times. (6 sts)

Fasten off yarn B.

Round 7: Join yarn C at st marker, dc around. (6sts)

Round 8: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

Rounds 9–11: Dc around. Fasten off yarn C.

Fill body with toy stuffing.

Knickerbockers:

Round 12: Join yarn D at st marker, dc(blo)around. (12 sts)

Round 13: [2dc in next st, 1dc] 6 times. (18 sts)

Legs:

Round 14: Miss 8 sts, insert hook into next st,yrh, draw yarn through both loops on hook, 8dc (makes first leg).

Round 15: 8dc.

Round 16: [Dc2tog, 1dc] twice, dc2tog. (6 sts)

Fasten off yarn, leaving a 10cm (4in) tail.

Rejoin yarn to second leg-hole. Dc one round, then rep Rounds 15 and 16.

Fasten off.

Hair:

Round 1: Using yarn A, 2ch, 6dc in 2nd ch from hook, ss in first dc to join, pm. (6 sts)

Round 2: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

Round 3: Ch3, 1htr in next st, 1tr in each of next 6 sts, 1htr (leave rem 4 sts unworked).

Fasten off, leaving a 7.5cm (3in) end and set aside.

Cap:

Round 1: Using yarn E, 2ch, 6dc in first ch, ss in first dc to join, pm.

Round 2: 2dc in each st around. (12 sts)

Row 3: 3ch, 3tr in next st, ss in next st, leaving rem 9 sts unworked.

Fasten off.

FINISHING

To make the wired legs and arms follow the instructions on page 125, using yarns B and C to wrap arms, E for legs and A for feet. Stitch hair and cap to top of head, using the yarn tails.

Braces:

Using yarn D, ss in any st at left-hand side front of Round 12, 12ch, take ch over shoulder, ss in any st on right-hand side of back. Fasten off yarn. Rep on other side to make second brace.

To make lederhosen, embroider a chain stitch from right brace to left in a straight line. Weave in ends.

Embroidery:

Embroider eyes, nose as for Gretel, use a brown or neutral thread to embroider the mouth.

We hope you enjoy the project!

 

Fairytale Crochet by Louise Tyler is available to pre-order now.

 

Free Crochet Pattern Friday Round Up – Orange!

Free Crochet Pattern Friday Round Up – Orange!

This week’s Free Crochet Pattern Friday category is the colour: Orange

We are on the fourth colour in our Crochet Rainbow 🙂

If you would like to see the other colours of the rainbow I have curated here are the direct links:

Red

Yellow

Pink

Green

Purple

If you have a suggestion for a future round up  you would like me to curate, please leave a comment below.

All images are the individual…

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30 Day Crochet Challenge: Day 12, 13 & 14!

12. Favorite Knitting/Crochet/Yarn Shop?
There are only a couple in my area. And I haven’t visited all of them yet. But my favorite is called the Knitting Nest.
13: Green:
I haven’t prepared anything since I was sick all weekend. So here is a little inspiration…
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14. Blue:

Some inspiration…

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30 Day Crochet Challenge:

1. First Project

2. Last Completed Project

3. Current WIPs

4. Red*

5. Favorite Hook Size

6. Least Favorite Hook Size

7. Orange*

8. Favorite Yarn

9. Least Favorite Yarn

10. Yellow*

11. Do You Have a Shop? (If So, Post a Link!)

12. Favorite Knitting/Crochet/Yarn Shop?

13. Green*

14. Blue*

15. Purple*

16. Closest Holiday*

17. Last Gift Made

18. Current WIPs

19. Pink*

20. Favorite Item Made

21. Least Favorite Item Made

22. Brown*

23. How Long Have You Been Crocheting?

24. Favorite Stitch

25. White*

26. Amigurumi*

27. Favorite Crochet Book

28. Grey*

29. Black

30. RANDOM!

*On this day create something in given theme/color!

 

Crochet Creations: Amigurumi Lizard

I just wanted to share one of my recent crochet creations. It’s an amigurumi lizard! Amigurumi literally translates to “crocheted or knitted stuffed toy” in Japanese. I’ve been crocheting for over a year now and have made numerous things, but this is my first amigurumi project. The wonderful pattern was created by June Gilbank of Planet June. I’m really happy with how the lizard turned out – he was surprisingly quick to make, and he looks very realistic! I’m now hooked on amigurumi and can’t wait to create more!

Materials:

  • 3.5mm (US E) crochet hook
  • 10 ply (Aran or Worsted Weight) yarn – I used Morris & Sons Avalon 100% Pima Cotton in Mineral (less than one 50g ball!)
  • Two 9mm animal safety eyes
  • Pipe cleaners, to make the lizard’s legs pose-able!
  • Polyfil, for stuffing

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Free Crochet Pattern Page and Stash Addition

Finally figured out a way to set up my pattern page. I tried to get help but I don’t think anyone knew either, but after a few hours I decided on an acceptable system. I hope it works just as well when I add more patterns. We shall see!

Here’s the link – which is also in the menu of my wordpress blog.

 

So for now there are 9 free patterns, and I have a few more in the works which I hope to add soon.

Oh, and I bought some yarn from Yarn Paradise! It’s Hand Dyed Cotton Lase and it’s gorgeous!

 

Now I have to decide on what I want to use it on. Will have to be something large like a shawl or something I think. Any ideas?

Author: byzula

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