Thursday, June 27, 2013

Goodbye, Google Reader

A quick note to remind you all that Google Reader will be gone at the end of this month (!!). So, if you enjoy reading blogs (like me) and you'd like to continue to keep track of your favorites, check out the alternatives to Google Reader....




I'm sure there's more, but those are the ones I've seen recommended. Apparently they'll even export your current blog list. How crazy cool is that. Enjoy!

Have a Lovely Day!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sedge Stitch Tutorial (Free!)

The Sedge Stitch is a stitch I completely
* L * o * V * e *
and I wanted to share it with everyone,
especially those of you who saw and loved my version of
The Circus Sweater

So before we get this tutorial-party started
I will mention a couple of things....

This tutorial is for the *stitch*, not for any finished item
(though I've included a selection of pictures of finished sedge-stitched things).

I include the instructions for each picture
*BELOW* the picture.
If you're like me, excessive scrolling will confuse you,
so just keep that in mind.

You can use
*any yarn*
*any hook size*
to make
*almost anything*
that you want.

So with no further ramblings,
I happily present:

*The Sedge Stitch Tutorial*

To begin, chain a length in multiples of 3. I chained 36.

In the second stitch from the hook, work a single crochet, a half-double crochet, and a double crochet. (Disregard the cat hair on the floor.)

Skip two stitches, and in the third stitch work another single crochet, half-double crochet, and double crochet. You repeat this step all the way across. (Be brave!)

Now you've reached the end of your row and you have one stitch left. (It's not a mistake!)

Single crochet into the last stitch. (YES!)

Chain 2 and turn your work! (Onward to our second row!)

In the last stitch of the previous row you'll work a double crochet. (See, it's like a half cluster.)

Skip two stitches, and in the single crochet of the previous row, work your cluster again: single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet. Keep repeating that step until you've reached the end of the row.

Locate the very last stitch of the previous row. (It's tricky, it kind of hides.)

Work a single crochet into the very last stitch. (Row 2 is CoMpLeTeD!)

Two rows painlessly completed. Now, chain two and turn.

Row 3: Begin! In the first stitch of the previous row work a double crochet.

Skip two stitches, and in the third stitch work your cluster: single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet. Repeat across. (You've probably gotten the gist of this by now. Hang on, one more thing of note left.)

Now you're at the end of the row. Notice there's no single crochet in the previous row, but your turning chain and your double crochet. That's exactly how it will be from here out. So...

Work your single crochet into the turning chain of the previous row.

If you keep going, eventually your stitches will look like this.

And this. Easy peasy!!
In Abbreviated Crochet Terms...
To begin, chain a length in multiples of 3. (I chained 36 for this project.)
Row 1: In the 2nd ch from the hook work sc, hdc, dc. *Skip 2 st, in 3rd st work sc, hdc, dc * across. In last ch st work sc. Ch 2, turn.
Row 2: In sc of prev row, work 1 dc. *Skip 2 st of prev row, work sc, hdc, dc into sc of prev row * repeat across. In last stitch work a sc. Ch 2, turn.
Row 3: In first stitch of prev row, work 1 dc. *Skip 2 st of prev row, work sc, hdc, dc into sc of prev row * across. Sc in turning ch of prev row. Ch2, turn.
Repeat Row 3.
To increase, work additional clusters into beginning or ending stitches.
To decrease, skip clusters in beginning or ending stitches.

From this tutorial I made a coffee cozy (sah cuuuute!). These itty bitty projects are a great way to practice a new stitch. Just sayin'!

And, of course, the Circus Sweater.

Enjoy your sedge stitching!!

Have a Lovely Day!


One of Ten (Work in Progress!)

Here it is!
Row One of Ten of my first ever *queen sized* granny square blanket!

I really did try to find something different than the granny square. Really, I looked all over the interwebs. But nothing seemed as timelessly funky as the granny square. Everything was either too trendy or too lacy or too ruffly or too plain. I'm a granny square girl.

As you can see, I've limited the blanket to 3 colors, but to make it more interesting (visually and to crochet), I've completely mixed up the color repetitions of each square. Initially I'd tried to bring in oranges and yellows, but not only are they impossible to find in a good shade that worked every which way, it also made my blanket look way too specific to the room that it's intended for (my grey, white, orange, yellow and black bedroom).

I read that a queen sized blanket is 86" (inches) x 86". Each of these squares is 8.5", making my first row 85" deep. 9 more of these, plus a border (a nice sized border, hopefully) and we'll be good to go! Just in time for autumn, most likely, although this blanket is intended to be our summer blanket (duvets are just too much in the summer!).

I'm using regular ol' cotton yarn, and a 5.5mm hook (my usual blanket hook). 7 rounds per granny, joining as I go, on and on, yada yada. Isn't it pretty! Notice that wasn't really a question. ;)

Have a Lovely Day!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Circus Sweater (Finished!!)

I finished it!
The Circus Sweater!

I'm happy.
Some details....
The Circus Sweater's inspiration and general instructions can be found at Genuine MudPie's Blog .
I changed some of the details for my sweater a bit.
 -I used fingering weight yarn (Bamboo & Ewe via JoAnn Etc) and a 4mm hook
 -I tweaked the sweater to my own measurements (it ended up being a snugger fit than the original)
 -I crocheted in a Sedge Stitch (tutorial to come)
 -I didn't change my stitch for the stripes, but continued on with the sedge stitch.
You can check out my progress by following these links: Picked a Perfect OneWork in Progress, Come Together.

Whew, I'm tired.
I still have a yoga mat bag to make.
I may (or may not) be making a bedspread.
But for today, I'm finished.
Finished is good.
(Is it Autumn yet?! I wanna wear my sweater!)
Have a Lovely Day!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Come Together Riiiight Now, Over Me (Work in Progress)

Thisclose to being done with my version of the Circus Sweater. (View my progress here and here).
I need to weave in ends,
block it,
then it will,
come together, right now, over me! Well, over my head. 'Cause it's a pullover. Anyway, something you should maybe know about me is I've had a case of Beatle Mania since my teen years and I show no signs of recovery. I can make a n y t h i n g a Beatle reference. Including, it seems, crocheted sweaters.
Moving on...

The downside of stripes is the ends to weave in. The upside of stripes is the stripes. Stripey goodness!

I haven't forgotten to write the sedge-stitch tutorial. I think that may be after the Finished! post for this project, and *that* post isn't far off. Not at all.

After working on this sweater I've decided that one of the nicest things in the world is fingering weight yarn on a 4mm hook. There's something so incredibly perfect about it. I've also decided that all my sweaters will be with fingering weight yarn when possible. Crochet works into thicker stitches than knitting does, so using a thin yarn really makes what you're making more garment-like, rather than blanket-like. Mhm.

Other musings: I must be the only person I know on this side of the equator making a wool sweater in the middle of June. Ah, well, I've always been colder than average.

Have a Lovely Day!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Knit Picks Order is IN! (Inspiration)

Check out what came in the box from my latest Knit Picks order...

How gorgeous, right? It's an interchangeable crochet hook. I attach that cable to it and I can crochet big ol' Tunisian crochet projects. Not that I had any in mind. But now it's an option.

Oh yes, future sweater material.

Isn't that beautiful?

Love love love.

Classic but not frumpy. What a great book! I'm definitely recommending Blueprint Crochet Sweaters to all interested in crocheting clothes.

Have a Lovely Day!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Any 10 Squares Bag (Finished! and a simple How-To)

I made this bag on a whim. All you need is 10 squares of the same shape. They can be any square pattern, but I used the Sunburst Granny for my first attempt because it's such a beautiful stitch. I think my squares measured 4.5" across. Tweaking the size of the square will tweak the size of the bag (so, uh, that was probably obvious information, but it's relevant to point out, nonetheless). Anyway, you can join as you go (as I did) or stitch them all together after.
10 Squares total

6 will lie flat; 4 will be folded

Hopefully my pictures make it easy to see how the bag was assembled. I have 3 flat squares on each side- 2 for the top corners, 1 for the center (3 x 2 = 6). For the other 4 squares, they are folded squares that give the bag its bag shape. They were a bit trickier to join, but I managed, as you see.

Oh, you haven't seen.
Well, you should.
Take a peek!
 Ooooh sah petty!

 I have a friend who is an amazing seamstress. She's going to make a liner for the bag. I don't know if it's necessary, but it will help it keep it's shape and stay useable for years.

 To finish, I hdc around.

For the handle, I joined the yarn to the top corner of the bag. I chained 60, slip stitched into the opposite corner (on the same side- that's important). I sc into the next stitch, skipped 2 stitches and worked 5dc in the 3rd stitch. *Skip 2 stitches, 1 sc in 3rd stitch, skip 2 stitches, 5dc in 3rd stitch * across. When I got to the end I slip stitched into the corner and fastened off.

This bag is destined for a charity sale, but I think I'll make another one using a solid color in an interesting motif. Sah-petty!

Have a Lovely Day!