Saturday, August 13, 2022

Thumb Yarn Winder - how to wind mini yarn balls

Small-size crochet projects leave me with small quantities of yarn that I like to wind into mini yarn balls. 
Now, I filmed a video how to do it, but sadly blogger doesn't let me post it here because it is too large, so I'll try explaining how to do this the best I can. 
 
I am right-handed so I hold the yarn with my left hand and wind it with the right.
 
1) Take the tail of the yarn and hold it firmly with your thumb and index finger.
2) Turn /wind yarn around the bottom of your thumb nail several times to make the base. 
3-4) Next wind it sideways several times (from the right up, to the left down), and then change direction (from down right to left up). If you have enough yarn left, repeat this several times. It will start to look like a mini yarn cake. Do not let go of the tail while you are winding it on.

 
5) When you have a fair amount of it wound on, carefully remove it from your thumb. 
6) Insert thumb into the hole, and wind yarn over your thumb, but rotate / roll ball with each turn. Do this until there is no yarn left. Take thumb out and push the other tail in the hole.

 
7) When it is done, just pull the other (bottom) tail a bit so that it is ready for work.  That bottom tail gets out easily, so you won't have any problems starting a new project with these minis. 
 
 
These mini yarn balls are difficult to store, so here I have shared some ideas how to store them
 
Wishing you a happy weekend!

Monday, August 8, 2022

Amazing Crochet by Moda Operandi Designers

 

 
As much as I like to promote and support indie designers and slow fashion, it is hard to look away from what high fashion designers have to offer on the crochet front.  Thus, I became bedazzled by the latest crochet creations by Moda Operandi. 
The above Zimmermann's matching crocheted raffia top and skirt shows the free-spirited femininity with a vintage, jet-set glamour. Gorgeous!
 
 
This dress is by Jonathan Simkhai. It's called Marie, and it has a simple tank silhouette crocheted from recycled fibers with a cutout bust, low-cut back, and fringed hemline. 
 
 Via
Then there is this simple mash skirt turned glamorous by adding fringes. The designer is Alejandra Rojas. 

 
The 'Manaure' top is constructed from a beautiful tassel-tipped circular crochet knit is designed by Andres Otalora and hand-crafted by local artisans. Amazing use of (half-)mandalas in a top.
 
 
This top and matching skirt feature a hand-crocheted construction made from colorful cotton with ladder-stitched edges. The designer is Julien Dossena.
And the last top that uses my favorite granny stripe stitch by Ulla Johnson. 
Isn't it amazing?
 

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Under The Sea - crochet necklace

Being on the beach all day long is all I wish once summer heat devours us. Hubs and I share a common dream of a small cottage house on the beach, where we could unwind and relax, swim and snorkel, take long walks on the beach, stare at the sea, read books and crochet - this one is just for me, because I haven't taught him how to crochet, yet! :) 

Since we are going on holiday in early September (and that's like a month from now), to alleviate the unbearable and scorching heat, I made this sea necklace. Needless to say, it brightens my mood instantly. 

How are you coping with summer heat?


 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Summer Field Bracelet - pattern release


 
I am always mesmerized with the nature's bounty in summer. Summer fields, sprinkled with colorful flowers, wheat and sunflower fields are the best escape I often dream of, and they are an everlasting inspiration. 
This bracelet was born as a tribute to that. 
It joins wheat stalks, sunflowers and daisies to make a joyful and eye-pleasing collection. 
The pattern is in my shops: etsy and ravelry
 



Monday, August 1, 2022

Summer Field - embroidered & beaded fabric necklace

Last week I was finally able to finish my new fabric necklace. I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole process: from choosing the fabric and what part of it to cut, to both the embroidery and beading. I've spent many hours working on it, but the pleasure of having it made is immeasurable. 
 
The next thing I love more is how it easily transform any piece and adds a spectacular accent. Especially if put onto plain t-shirts and blouses (and even dresses). It works like a charm every time. 
 
 

Friday, July 29, 2022

Mid-Summer Sale!


I am counting the last days of being a 49 year old! I'll be turning 50 on Sunday (the 31st) and frankly, I cannot believe how fast the years have flown by. I'll be celebrating it with my friends, on the beach, and I know we'll have a fabulous time!

To mark this milestone, I am having a midsummer sale that will last until August 7. 
Wishing you a lovely weekend ahead!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Kiana Bracelet - pattern release



When I searched for names for my newest bracelet, I found out that Kiana means gracious, bright, shiny and divine. And I settled for it immediately because I think it suits it perfectly. 
 
It is made in two shades of pink, sport cotton yarn, following an eye-catching pattern. The main body of the cuff part, branches out beautifully and ends with lovely clam shells. I used a mix of both seed and pearl beads as well as sequins for decoration and heightened interest.
 
The pattern is in my Etsy and Ravelry shops.
 


Monday, July 25, 2022

Crochet Sunflower - free pattern

 
Sunflowers. They are unique in that they have the ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrancy. They symbolize unwavering faith and unconditional love. Considered to be "happy" flowers.

So let's start this week by adding little "happies".
My idea was to make micro sunflowers by using embroidery thread, but they turned out way too small than I wanted them to be, so instead I worked these in embroidery floss.

Supplies:
* embroidery floss (all 6 strands are used) in yellow and brown
* 1.9 mm hook
* tapestry needle, scissors
 
Stitches (in US terminology): chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), skip (sk), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), double crochet (dc), treble (tr).
 
Pattern:
 
Foundation: (in brown) Ch3 (counts as working stitch+ 1hdc) hdc5 in 1st st of that chain. Do not sl st. (6)
Round 1: sc2 in all (12). Cut yarn, and work tail.
 
Round 2: (in yellow) insert color in a(ny) stitch, and ch3, dc1,tr1,ch1,tr1,dc1,ch3 and sl st all in the same stitch. One petal is done. Next, sk1, sl st in next st and repeat the petal pattern. There will be 6 petals in the end. When all 6 are done, sl st into very first petal to end round.
Cut yarn, and work tail. 
 
They are so easy and fast to make, you'll end up making a whole bunch of them!
 
 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Under The Sea - Embroidered Necklace


 

This is another necklace I made to include in the video class I am currently making. 
For this one I used one of my vintage upholstery fabric which I have been holding onto for years. Although featuring a floral design, when I cut out the flower it looked more like a fish - hence the name. 

I spent hours working on it, stitching and beading, but every minute was worth it. I feel this is going to be my most loved necklace this summer.
On the other hand, it irks me immensely that the photos don't do it justice - it is more vivid and beautiful in reality. 
 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Behind The Scenes - Creating Embroidered Fabric Necklaces

I am again creating a video class for Rebecca Page, and though this is not the actual piece we are going to make in the class, I wanted to make several necklaces so as to show different ideas and suggestions for fabric manipulation with the aid of embroidery and beading.
I keep forgetting how much I love combining embroidery and beading, and this was a lovely and fulfilling reminder. 
 
However, behind the scenes - it is never just "milk and honey".  It's rather highly chaotic, messy and sometimes nerve-wrecking. 
 
Choosing the "right" shade of floss and beads. 

Got tons of needles, but not the one that I need for my beads?
 
I was filming the video in my workshop, on a Sunday, when usually there is not a living soul around and it's immensely quiet, but on this particular Sunday, unbeknownst to me, my neighbour decided to clean his place using a high-powered machine (extremely noisy) for 3 hours (and 27 minutes - I clocked him), then when it all quieted down, a fly managed to get inside and mess up my video by landing on my finger. I got rid of it eventually, and just when I set to start filming, a procession of motorbikes went through our secluded street. It was followed shortly by a deafening chopper. It felt as if the universe was trying its practical jokes on me!!
 
Luckily, I managed to get most of the work done :)

Friday, July 15, 2022

The Difference Between Self-Striping and Variegated Yarn

 
 (Example of variegated yarn)

The difference between self-striping and variegated yarn is the length of the color repeats in the yarn. With self-striping yarn those repeats are exactly measured and each color is the same length and they result in stripes, while in variegated yarn can vary from very short color repeats to very long color repeats.

Same patterns will look completely different if you make them with these types of yarn. 
People turn to variegated yarn because there is no extra effort in deciding on the color-palette, and the changing/ additions of new colors in the rows/rounds. Projects with this yarn are
Self-striping yarn creates stripes and is most suitable for blankets, scarves and sweaters.  
I love both but tend to tilt towards self-striping more. You?
 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Homespun Crochet Magazine Feature - Mermaid's Dreamcatcher Necklace

 
 
Back in February, my lovely editor Gaille, invited me to create a necklace design for the summer Crochet Issue of Homespun Magazine. I am beyond excited to finally being able to share that the magazine is released and available for purchase!

The design I created is called "Mermaid's Dreamcatcher Necklace". 
It is an eye-catching, bohemian bib necklace, embodying free-spiritedness. 
Just the perfect piece for the summer!



Monday, July 11, 2022

Traveling postcard - gift notions

 
My assigned person to whom I was to send forward the traveling postcard is a lady called Robyne, and these goodies are on their way to Australia. 
 
Robyne doesn't share a lot in our FB group, so I really had no idea what colors to choose for her notions, but I discovered that she likes crochet, so I added some crocheted flowers along with the sewing notions, a little birdie and a card. When summer comes, I am somehow attracted to blues, so most of the things are blue in my package (yes, I know it is winter in Australia). I added a couple of ribbons which I hope she will be able to use for her art journal. 
 
All these were packed into a turquoise organza bag that went into a decoupaged envelope, but I forgot to take picture of them. 

I sincerely hope these will bring joy and a smile on her face.




Thursday, July 7, 2022

How to Crochet-Cover Rectangular Beads

 
When I bought a wooden bead trivet, I knew I was going to use the beads for a necklace once it's retired. And after many years of being useful, it was time for it to get a new life.
I cut off the string holding the beads together, and got myself a lovely collection of rectangular wooden beads.

My beads measure 2.5 x 2 cm (0.98 x 0.78) and the pattern that follows makes a nice case for them. 

To cover them, I used sport yarn and a 3.00 mm hook.

Pattern:

Foundation and round 1: ch8 and starting from the 2nd st from hook, sc1 in all sts across (7). Ch1 (does not count as a stitch) and turn work.
Round 2-10: sc1 in all sts across (7). Ch 1 and turn work.
For my size of beads, the crochet strip is big enough to cover it.
 
Edging:  with crochet work face up, fold ends together. make sure all the stitches (from both sides) are aligned and sl st through the stitches of both sides. At the end of the row, ch1 and sl st through the sides of it. When you sl st the last stitch, ch1.
We come at the part that is folded, so here, sl st surface crochet all the stitches. Ch1, insert the bead and sl st1 through the side stitches. 
 
At the end of this side, ch1 and sl st in the very first stitch to end the round. 
And that's it!
 
To  have a more spacious casing, instead of slip stitching, use single crochet stitches to do the edging. The difference will be quite noticeable.

For example, I used single crochet as edging for the yellow bead and it gives the bead ample room. 

Whatever the size of the beads, just follow the pattern until the crochet strip is big enough to cover the whole bead and then proceed with the edging (either the slip stitch of the single crochet one).
Now, I am boiling some ideas of how to use these. Stay tuned :)