Saturday, February 27, 2021

Youtube, anyone?

I have been toying with the idea of starting a youtube channel for quite some time. To correct myself, I do have one set up, and it has just one video, which is a visual catalogue for the Treasure Box jewelry collection. But I want to turn it into a crochet visual journal/workshop, where I would post my crochet patterns, DIY, crochet inspiration, jewelry / accessories assemblages, etc.

I was also going to post a poll on this, but I found out to my dismay, that Blogger has removed that option, so I would appreciate your comments / ideas / suggestions in the comment box below. Do you watch youtube videos? What would you like to see there from me? Thank you!

If you are a subscriber, there will be a poll in today's newsletter, so please share your suggestions there. 


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Audrey Capelet

 
The Audrey capelet, as part of my winter wonderland collection, was completely worked on a whim, wildly following an idea I had in my head that turned out just as I had it imagined. I especially like how it drapes and makes the whole thing pop up. I used the edging pattern of the Yvette hat to it so that it makes a lovely set with it. The set is made in a light cobalt virgin wool.  It captures the wondrous mori girl spirit. 
 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Are you a skein, ball or cake person?


 
 
Working with yarn for more than a decade, I can plainly say that I am a sworn skein person. I love yarn weaved in skeins, regardless of the weight. Why, you may ask? (Bullet) skeins are machine made balls that are not round as balls, but are ready to be used, you just need to find the center. They do not collapse like pull skeins, and due to their shape, they are a breeze to stack on your shelf. 
 
 When you work with bullet skeins, reach for the end in the center of the skein. Sometimes it comes easy....
 
...other times, the skein will give birth to a baby skein, but it is still easy to find the end there with the baby. These skeins do not roll around as balls do.
 
When we talk about balls, well they are mostly hand-wound from hanks. Rarely sold by companies. They are almost impossible to store - you'll have to put them in a box, basket or other container, and you'll certainly need one of those yarn bowls to put them into, so that the ball doesn't go on an adventure in your room, while you are crocheting or knitting.
 

Then there are these balls  that got the name donut balls. Once label is removed, small weight donuts lose their shape and might collapse. With these it is a good idea to pull the end from the middle to work, but as you near the end of the ball, the yarn will turn into a Hankenskein :)
 And, yes, you'll need one of those yarn-holding bowls too.

 
How about cakes? They are made by winding hanked yarn onto a ball-winder, which I am the owner of one, and with cakes I believe the same applies as for the donut balls. 

Cones and hard core balls (they have a strong cardboard core) are not my favourite to buy and I do so only on occasions when I cannot resist a color or texture.
Cones are good because they come in great yardages, so they are perfect if you are working on a big project where you don't like to have lots of knots by joining skeins. 
With these, you either need to make them into balls, or have them in a container, so they don't roll around. 

 
Finally, my arch-nemesis! The HANK!
Well, these little buggers hate my guts. Don't be deluded  by their vibrant colors, softness or luxurious looks! They will.make.your.life.a.misery! I've made that mistake, and have spent many nights at the end of my wits and tears pooling in my eyes out of frustration. All jokes aside, if you don't have a hank winder, hand-winding these into a cake or a ball is a long, tiring and messy process.


Well, this is the end of my ramblings. Let me hear from you. What kind of yarn rolls do you prefer working with?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Yvette Scarflette

The Yvette hat was envisioned as a set with this lovely scarflette.

There is no pattern for the scarflette as I worked on it in a whim, and I am quite chuffed how it turned out. Asymmetrical in design, with lovely layers gradually narrowing down to make a statement look up front. As with the hat, this one also has the same enormous flower to make the whole composition more enchanting. 

I have the set for sale here


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Yvette Cloche Pattern

Hello all!

Let me show you my newest cloche pattern. I named this one Yvette. It has a French  luxurious and vintage flair about itself.

Although looking intricate, the hat works up fast. For this one I used Austermann's Soufle virgin wool and a 6mm hook. It features an enormous flower at the side. The pattern is in my etsy shop.

I also made one in light cobalt blue without the flower. This hat is for sale and the listing is here.

There is a cape made in the same yarn and color, but that is a story for another time. 

 


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Crochet Flower Numbers - home decor

Happy Saturday!

In my last post I talked about the projects I am planning to do with the crochet flowers, and this is actually the first project. Tomorrow is a happy day in our household because we are going to celebrate Eva's 20th, so I decided to ditch the idea of using the vintage Valentine's bunting, and go with these flower numbers instead. 

I got the idea at the last minute, when it was impossible to order the 3D cardboard numbers, so I whipped them out myself. I am not quite satisfied how the "2" turned out, and the "0" is a bit smaller than the "2", mainly because I was generously snipping away at the cardboard; however, I was in a hurry to finish it and not let her see me working on it, and also I know she won't mind. Luckily, she catches up on my blog late, though she follows me on social media, so I'll have to keep this one just here until tomorrow.

I filled the numbers with chunks of floral foam and then pinned the flowers to it, because, let's be realistic here - I can use these in so many other projects after the big day is over :)

What's going on with you? Any weekend projects lined up?

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Flower Heaven - work in progress

 
 
 
Going over my projects, I came to a perplexing realization that I have not had a flower necklace made for more than 6 months, and I wondered how that might be when my flower collection has never been bigger? 
 
My flower necklace patterns on etsy are still in demand, even my oldest creations, which is astonishingly surprising, and somehow I have cozied myself in that bubble, not offering anything new over the period. 
 
However, this time I decided to make an e-book filled with flowers' patterns and ideas how to use those flowers not just for jewelry, but accessories and home decor / art as well.  There is so much work to be done, but I am inspired and hopeful for the best outcome. 
 
In this post I am sharing a glimpse of the patterns that will be included. 
Stay well and safe!
 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Bella Grace - The Magazine That Thinks It's a Book

 

Important: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you purchase something through any of the given links, I will receive a small percentage. 

The love between me and Bella Grace happened at first sight, and I remember I gasped upon seeing the magazine's gorgeously styled cover photography.

With the first turn of the page, it will gently tug at your heart's strings and caress your soul. You'll discover that ordinary life can be extraordinary, that there is beauty in imperfection, and that magic can be found in the everyday mundane things. With its beautifully narrated stories, and soul-stirring photography, it urges you to live life with a full heart and opened eyes.

To celebrate your small victories they paired their latest issues with  a beautiful, spiral notebook from Papaya for hours of much-deserved solitude. The colorful, patterned pages provide a dreamy place to hold your thoughts, to-do lists, short stories, and more. If you're ever feeling stuck, simply flip through the matte pages of the magazine to gather inspiration from Bella Grace's thought-provoking prompts, inspiring stories and captivating photography.  

The Every Day Counts Bundle

All for Love Bella Grace Bundle

 

10% Off You Do You Bella Grace Bundle

Thursday, February 4, 2021

What Yarn and Thread to Choose for Your Crochet Jewelry


 

When it comes to crocheting jewelry, sport mercerized cotton yarn is my absolute and almost exclusive preference, and I highly recommend it.  The difference between ordinary and mercerized cotton is that mercerized cotton is more luminous, stronger and silkier. It absorbs dyes more readily than conventional cotton, it produces less lint, and it is more resistant to mildew. 

Sport yarn is ideal for making jewelry. It is more durable than lace or super fine weight yarn, and gains an incredibly beautiful texture, especially if intricate patterns are involved. Crochet jewelry made with sport yarn is delicate and luxurious in appearance.
 

However, when designing jewelry, I sometimes like to venture out and work with other weights, such as DK or worsted. When designing wintry pieces, I turn to acrylics. 

 

Heavier weights are used to make statement pieces, but in appearance, these do not posses the elegance achieved with sport yarn. They are bigger, bulkier and much sturdier.

  


Free pattern for the Coral Necklace
 

Jewelry made with crochet thread gains a lace-like quality. Much thinner than yarn, it is of a smaller gauge thus yielding smaller and finer details.  The only negative thing is that it is not as nearly strong as sport yarn, and more susceptible to damages.  Although, mainly used to make home decor like doilies, coasters and ornaments, I like to use it to make unique and eye-catching oya earrings and necklaces. The perfect sizes to work with: #5 - #10. 
Along with crochet threads, I might also mention DMC hand-embroidery thread which I love to combine with ecru. If you don't mind working with extremely small hook sizes, give this a try. 
 
 
 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Cottage Granny Shawl - pattern release

 
 
Imagine a wooden cottage in the deep, snow-covered woods. You are inside, sitting in an armchair by the fireplace, cuddling with this shawl, with a book in one hand, and a cup of tea in the other. There is no noise except the soft crackling of firewood.You feel warm, content and happy, and wish to freeze this moment in time.
 
I started working on this shawl while catching up on the Outlander series, which I can happily report I finished, and the lovely Fraser cottage was the inspiration for the name. 
The shawl is made using a granny stripe pattern that gets lively with the addition of the Irish roses. Again, I used the Papatya Batik yarn in my favourite color-work, and I think it contributes to a great extent for the whole appearance of the shawl. 

More information about the pattern in my etsy shop.  
 
 
 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Vintage Crochet Heart Bunting - free pattern

 
My readers know that St.Valentine is a special day in our household, because Eva was born on the day, and this year we'll be celebrating her 20th birthday!
I always have little something and special made for her on the day, this year being no exception :)
 
I am planning to arrange a little scene where I am going to place her cake and presents and hang the bunting along with other decorations. She has no idea this is for her, and though she is going to see it on social media, I am sure it'll contribute to the overall decorating effect and be a lovely "surprise". 

Pattern requirements:

*sport yarn of your choice and color (I used 2 colors of Phil Cotton 3) a 3.00 mm hook (UK11) (US 10/3) less than 20 grams per color (for 5 hearts)

* doubled ecru crochet thread #10 and a 1.9 mm hook (UK14) (US B1) 
* tapestry needle for weaving ends

Stitches: chain (ch), chain space (ch-sp), slip stitch (sl st), skip (sk), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), 3 (4-)ch picot. American terminology used.

Heart size with ecru border: 9.3 cm across and 8 cm down (at the widest and longest point) 


Heart Pattern:

Foundation and row 1: ch4 and dc2 in the very 1st ch. Ch3 and turn work.

Row 2: dc2 in 1st st, sk1, ch1 and dc3 in the last st (2 fans in this row). Ch3 and turn work. 
Row 3: dc2 in 1st st, ch1 and dc2 in the ch-sp below (between the two fans below), ch1 and dc3 in the last st. (3 fans in this row). Ch3 and turn work. 
Row 4: dc2 in 1st st, ch1 and dc2 in the ch-sp below (between the two fans below), ch1 and dc2 in the second ch-sp below, ch1 and dc3 in the last st (4 fans in this row). Ch3 and turn work. 
Row 5: repeat increasing fan pattern as in row 4, (with three 2dc fans in the middle and 3dcs at the sides or a total of 5 fans in this row). Ch4 and turn work.  
Row 6: dc2 in the 1st ch-sp, next, ch3 and sc1 in between the two dcs of the third fan of the row below, ch3 and dc2 in the last ch-sp. Then ch4 and sc1 in the last st.  Ch5 and turn work.  
Row 7: dc3 in between the fan of the row below, ch4 and sl st in the center of the heart (the place where you made the single crochet in the row below), ch4 and dc3 in between the next fan of the row below. Ch5 and sl st in the chain below. The heart is done.  
 

Ecru lace edging pattern:

Before we proceed further, I would like to point your attention to the look of the edging.  

To make the edging I used a doubled #10 crochet thread. With the number of chains I employed for it, the lace edging comes a little behind the heart, especially in the upper part. If you want to avoid this look, then consider adding more chains than instructed (like 10 or 11). If you decide to use sport yarn for the edging as well, you might have to decrease the number of stitches in the chain. Test to make sure you are OK with the final result.
Round 1: Insert thread at the bottom of the heart, ch8 and sc1 in the 1st st of row 2. Next, ch8 and sc1 in the 4th row. Ch8 and sc1 in the upper right (curving) chain. Ch8, skip the (upper right) fan and sc1 in the chain that comes after it. Ch3 and sl st in the center of the heart. Ch3 and sc1 in the next chain. Ch8 and sc1 in the next chain. From here, repeat the chaining pattern we did for the other side. 

When you come to the bottom, sl st the chain into the very bottom.

Round 2: sl st again into the 1st ch, ch1 and dc3 inside that chain, next ch1 and sl st into the same chain. Sl st into the next chain, ch1, dc2, ch3 and make a picot, next dc2, ch1 and sl st into the same chain. Repeat this pattern 2 times more. With this, you have filled the upper right curved part of the heart. Next, sl st into the next chain, ch4 and make a picot, sl st in the very center of heart, sl st into the next chain, sl st into the next chain and repeat the filling pattern for the other side of the heart 3 times. Sl st in the last ch-space, ch1, dc3, ch1, sl st in the same ch. Sl st in the bottom, ch4, make a picot and sl st it in the very first chain.  Work the tails.

For the bunting tie, ch10 and sl st into 1st st to make a loop (so that it’ll be easier to hang it). Next, ch10 and sl st into the 5th st of that 10-chain. This will create a nice, plump picot. For my bunting I made 4 such picots before I attached the first heart. After the 4th picot, ch5 and place the heart with the back to your crochet work, and sl st through the center picot of the heart. Ch10 and sl st into the 5th st of that 10-chain.  Make a total of 3 picots (length) before you attach the next heart. Repeat this chaining and attaching pattern until you have all your hearts strung. In my bunting there are 5 hearts. I ended the bunting making 4 picots after I attached the last heart, then I chained 10 and made a loop as I did at the beginning. When crocheting the flowers onto the tie, check that all the hearts are facing out and do not turn inward. And with this, your bunting is done!

I hope you enjoy working on this project! Let me know if you make it!
 
P.S. The downloadable pattern accompanied by step-by-step pictures can be purchased here