Monday, May 27, 2013

Circus Sweater (Work in Progress)

My 4-year-old son opened the door to the porch.
"Are you gonna crochet all day?"
....maybe. :)

Check out the progress I've made on my Circus Sweater!

We're not there yet, but we're on our way. LOTS of blocking needed, otherwise this is gonna be one snug sweater. Fortunately, my yarn is wool (and bamboo, but mostly wool) so it should ease up nicely. Blocking always strikes me as miraculous.

You can find the original Circus Sweater pattern here (via Genuine Mudpie). I've altered the original by using a sedge-stitch, which I'll be writing a tutorial for, oh, any day now. It'll be listed on the Right side of the screen when it's ready!

Happy Memorial Day!!

Have a Lovely Day!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sunflower Tutorial (My Favorite!)

Sunflowers have always been my favorite. Lately, as I work on my Meal-a-Day crochet fundraiser, I find myself gravitating towards crocheting lots of cheery sunflowers for pins, garlands and bows. Since it's only 2 rounds (that's it!), I thought it'd be ideal to share with you. Fast and fun!

Purple Chair Crochet Presents:
** Sunflower Tutorial **

You will need:
Color A: Center color (yellow, green or brown works best)
Color B: Sunflower colored yarn (yellows, generally, but they come in reds, oranges, and even some green)
1 crochet hook (appropriate size for yarn weight)
Yarn needle

To begin: With Color A, chain 4 and slip stitch to the first chain.
Round 1: Chain 2 (counts as 1st dc), and dc 15 more in the loop. Join with a slip stitch and fasten off (if desired).  16 double crochet.

Round 2:  Join Color B to any stitch and chain 2.

 In the same stitch, double crochet 2 together.

 Chain 2, slip stitch into the first chain.

 Chain 2, slip stitch into the same stitch.
One petal completed.
Hey look, a bird face!
Continue repeating these petals around. Join with slip stitch, fasten off and weave in ends.

Tah-dah! Add a pin, a hair clip, string them along a garland. Crochet some big green leaves and a stem (maybe that will be an addition to my little tutorial). Sew them to a pillow, a blanket, a hat. Frame it in a shadow box. Hang them on a mobile. Anything. Really.

I made one for myself using all yellow and added this perfectly proportioned button and a pin on the back. I'm wearing it now.

Have a Lovely Day!


The Next Perfect Garment (Work in Progress)

I've been scouring the internet looking for the next perfect garment to make. In the process I've come across some LoVeLY designer's blogs. First up: Abigailology ~ she's got a wedding dress in the works! and the sweaters she makes look amazingly cozy! and check out that yoga mat bag! I purchased her pattern on Etsy and I can't wait to get started! So! Many! Exclamation! Points! Ha!

Moving on to Genuine MudPie, another stellar find! Her crocheted coral have made me all swoony, and I love the personality and charm in her amigurumi creatures. She has adorable belt patterns (a must for me, since I like the idea of belts but can't seem to be bothered to actually purchase them),I particularly like her style of dress- nothing fussy.

My basic criteria for my Next Perfect Garment was only that I did not want to purchase more yarn. Pretty reasonable, since I have a ton and some of it has been sitting around for, uh, well, if I'm honest, a couple of um, years.  Yarn hoarder sounds a bit extreme, I like to think of myself as a yarn conservationist.

Anyway, Genuine MudPie happened to have a particularly cute
and super simple pattern available. She calls it the Circus Sweater, and generously offered the details on the sweater's construction on her blog. And so, I got to work...

So, my personalization of the pattern are as follows:
First, I'm using a 4mm hook with fingering weight yarn ("Bamboo & Ewe" which I hoarded conserved for these past nearly 3 years). My secondary colors for the top are a creamy white and a soft, lilac purple ~ not shown.

Secondly, I'm working a sedge stitch for some visual interest and texture. Sedge-stitching is easy, and creates a gorgeous, dense fabric with lots of texture. Maybe I'll create a tutorial for the stitch in a future blog post.

Thirdly... I mean, I don't have a 3rd customization... I just prefer things listed in odd numbers.

Awkward segue into my new Yarn Bowl! Isn't it dreamy? I purchased it from a local pottery artist, who is a friend of a friend. It's super delightful! I may have taken to carrying it around the house with me and scowling at small children who approach it too closely with their kicky little fit. I said "may have".

Have a Lovely Day!


Friday, May 17, 2013

My Lumpy, Loopy Crocheted Top (finished!)

It's finished!
First, excessive pictures.
Then, excessive words.

Yes, my mirror is broken. We're in the market for a legit full length mirror instead of these
$5 ones intended for a dorm-room. In the meantime, the broken mirror is what I work with.

Where does ones hands go during a self portrait? I'll never know.

Blurred front view.

Somewhat clearer back view

Nicely folded (unlike the rest of my laundry)

Lumpy. And Loopy.

Belt for sinching
 The structure of this top is incredibly easy. If you can make a granny square (or any kind of crocheted square), you can make this. Each square is approximately 4.5" x 4.5", so this top will fit anyone size XS through L, I imagine. It's easy enough to shrink it down or make it bigger- either make your squares larger or smaller OR add in more squares in general (across, and at the shoulders). Here's a link to the *very basic and not even a little bit in English* "pattern" I followed. I think they may have done the sleeves a bit differently. No matter.

I love the look of this top, but I'm a bit disappointed with my squares. I tweaked what was available to me, and I noticed the squares were a bit on the lumpy side and dismissed it. For some reason I thought it would work itself out. Yeah, not so much. Still, I think it's pretty cute despite the lumpy, loopy look, and I intend to wear it (and just do better next time).

I am *loving* this crocheted clothes thing. Why didn't I pick it up sooner?

Have a Lovely Day!