Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Why I love the FSDC more than FPDC - crochet stitches

In trying to add ridged texture, I first used the front stitch double crochet (FSDC) with these warmers, and became immediately in love with the stitch. 
How to do this stitch and how it is different from the front post double crochet (FPDC)? 
For the fsdc, you obviously do not work the post, but the actual stitch. You yo, insert the hook up front through the stitch, yo again and dc1. The photos above show the back of the sample, but once you are done working all the stitches, the front gets a nice ridged look (photos below).
For the sample I also used the bsdc (back stitch double crochet) for the next row - it turned out interesting but not as to make me flip out.

Now, in the picture above you can see the obvious difference (the lighter color sample was made using FPDC and BPDC). The FSDC makes the stitches amazingly neater and straight(er), while with the FPDC they tend to droop down, thus creating a greater and deeper gap between this and the next row. 

Also the BPDC makes the stitches smaller (picture below), while the BSDC makes them longer. 

All in all, I am intrigued to see how this stitch combines with other textured stitches and I cannot wait to use it more.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Cailleach Capelet

I wanted to see what bobbles would be like in a capelet, and this is how the Cailleach capelet was born.  I must say I love the rich lattice effect it has. Fit for a winter goddess and that is how it got its name. For Cailleach in Gaelic Mythology is a divine hag (old woman) associated with winter, but I like the old Irish meaning of it as "a veiled one", which is an early loan from the Latin word pallium that translates to "a woolen cloak", and that sums it up perfectly. 
It's in my shop.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The Wabi Sabi Philosophy

Photo Via

Lately, I have been pondering over the wabi-sabi philosophy a lot. Maybe it was triggered by my winter cleaning and refusing to throw objects I have from my grandparents, and although some rusty and some of them chipped, I wished to hold onto them a little bit more, just to have them there to look at and admire.  
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete" in nature.
The word 'wabi' originally referred to the loneliness of living in nature, remote from society; 'sabi' meant "chill", "lean" or "withered". Around the 14th century, these meanings began to change, taking on more positive connotations. 'Wabi' came to connote rustic simplicity, freshness or quietness, and can be applied to both natural and human-made objects as an expression of understated elegance. It can also be used to refer to the quirks and anomalies that arise from the process of making something, which are seen to add uniqueness and elegance to the finished object. 'Sabi' refers to the beauty or serenity that comes with age, when the life of the object and its impermanence are evidenced in its patina and wear, or in any visible repairs. 
After centuries of incorporating artistic and Buddhist influences from China, wabi-sabi eventually evolved into a distinctly Japanese ideal. Over time, their meaning  changed to be more lighthearted and hopeful. Around 700 years ago, particularly among the Japanese nobility, understanding emptiness and imperfection was honored as tantamount to the first step to satori, or enlightenment. 
In today's Japan, the meaning of wabi-sabi is often condensed to "wisdom in natural simplicity". In art books, it is typically defined as "flawed beauty". 
I plan to make a small photo-session with my precious objects and I am already excited about it!

Photo Via

Photo Via Pinterest

Photo Via

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Crochet tip: How to Make Your Foundation and Work Even

Maybe you've noticed that when working on a project (a scarf, blanket, etc). the foundation chain makes the work narrower at the bottom and the following rows just get bigger at the sides and center. 
The trick to make it even is quite simple: Use one hook size bigger for the foundation chain.  
If your project requires - let's say - a 4mm hook, make the foundation chain with a 5mm hook and then switch to 4 mm in the first row. The work will be perfectly aligned. 

For the mustard yarn above, the first (top) sample is made with a 4 mm hook for both foundation and row 1, while for the sample below it, I used a bigger hook (5 mm ) for the foundation and then the required hook (4 mm) for row 1. I made dc stitches.

With the pink yarn I applied the same tip with sc stitches and the difference is quite striking. The top part tends to make a kind of an arch over the foundation. The first sample is made with just a 3 mm hook, while for the one below it, I used a 4 mm hook for the foundation and switched to a 3 mm hook for row1.

Do you do this with your foundations? Any tips you could share?

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Chunky Neck Warmer - free Pattern

For the neck-warmer I had in mind, I wanted to try this Alize Maxi yarn, and I am so happy I did, because it turned out to be the perfect one for this project.
Alize Superlana Maxi is a super bulky weight (100 gr/skein), and it has an amazing velvet feel. The content is 75% Acrylic and 25% wool. 
Preferable hook size: 8-10mm hook. 
Gauge: 12dc st. over 10 cm/ 3.93" in first row. 
Crochet stitches in American terminology: chain (ch), skip (sk), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), front post double crochet (fpdc), double crochet back loop only (dcblo), treble (tr).
Measurements of neck-warmer -  Length: 25cm/9.84", width : 42.5cm/16.7"

Before we begin, when you make the foundation chain +row 1, check to see if you like the fit of the warmer around the neck. If you feel it should be bigger, increase the number of foundation stitches, but pay attention to retain that stitch count throughout. Also, please note that: The written  pattern in its entirety along with the photos are for personal use only. All property rights belong to Maya Kuzman of The Little Treasures. You are welcome to sell finished items from this pattern.
Foundation and row 1: (for the foundation chain, start with one hook size bigger, in this case 9mm hook) ch45, change to 8mm hook and starting from the 4th st. from chain, dc1 in all (43). Ch3 and turn work.
Row 2: (the ch3 at the end of row counts as a stitch) starting from 2nd st., fpdc1 in all (43). We are going to maintain the same count of stitches throughout, so I will not give the stitch count further. Because the ch3 at the end counts as a stitch, always sk 1st st in the new row. Ch3 and turn work.
Rows 3-10: starting from 2nd st., dcblo1 in all. Ch3 and turn work. 
Round 11: (edging all around the warmer). Ch3 and dc2 in 1st st of that chain (I will refer to this as a "shell"). Next, sk2 (not counting the 1st st) and sc1 in the third st. Repeat this pattern to the end, where you sk3 and sc in the last st. This is the upper side edge pattern. For the side, repeat the same pattern, but after you make the shell, skip the next row and sc in the next. Repeat the pattern, to the end where you don't skip a row but sc in the last row of the side. Next, work the bottom side pattern (same as upper side) and then the side pattern again. Sl st into 1st shell to end round. Cut yarn and work tails. 

Bottom edging extra row: turn the crochet work so that the  bottom is up, and insert yarn into bottom of the first shell. Ch5 and tr2 in first st. of that chain, then sc1 between the shells of the row below. Repeat this pattern to the end of row. Cut yarn and work the tails.

Make a long chain - mine is 120 cm long /47.2". Mind to leave a long tail that will be slid through a tapestry needle, so that you weave it through the warmer.

Insert needle into the 7th row (I believe this is ideal, but you can insert the tie where you think would be best for you). Slide through 2 posts below, take needle out, sk2 and slide down again. Repeat this until the chain appears on the other side of the warmer.

Fold the upper edge a little, tie it around and voila! You have a new warmer! 
Write your questions in the comments if you have any.  
The pattern photo tutorial is in my shop.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Fairy Baby Cocoons in Marika's Closet

These fairy baby cocoons were my first finished project in the new year. I worked on them sporadically during December and cannot tell you how happy it makes me to have them finished.
I had the fairy baby in mind when designing these and that's true because everything is magical and wondrous with little babes, don't you agree? 
They are in my Marika's closet shop. I had quite a few things listed there lately, so drop by if interested.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Best of TLT in 2021

What will definitely be the highlight this year is that I quit my teaching job of 24 years and I am immeasurably happy I can include it into the best things that happened for me, my family and my blog / small business.  
I always mark the end of the year on the blog with a small selection of posts that have sparked a great interest, but this year I am going to keep records short and sweet. 
The most viewed, liked and shared where the wind spinners, the crochet covered buttons and the ideas how to use leftover yarn
This year I published just one collection - The Nymph Collection.
I experienced crochet prolificness with 24 paid and 16 free patterns published and a basket full of techniques, ideas, tips and tricks. I'll wrap this up as another creatively fulfilled year. 

With this, I wish you a blessed and safer New Year ahead! 

Past best ofs on the blog:

Monday, December 27, 2021

Crochet Cable Cape

Last year, when I was immersed in cable crochet and it was the only thing I could busy my hands with, I also made this cape. 
It features a cable design, rich edging and an enormous button. Although in a shape of a plain rectangle, it offers a lot of possibilities for fun styling. There are two loops on the top and bottom of one side and it can be buttoned  up with one of them for a nice, polished look, or both at the same time for a flouncy look.
The width of the cape allows it to be folded at the upper part so the cape gains another interesting, layered look.
Styling it around the neck with the button in the center will turn this into a rich neck-warmer. 
It's in my shop

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Magic of Christmas

Image via  

Christmas has never been about the things you get, but the memories you create together with your loved ones.
I wish you a warm, joyful and memorable Christmas! 

Monday, December 20, 2021

Christmas Applique Ornaments

Last year I made these boho ornaments, and this year I wanted to go with something simpler, and cue my Christmas applique ornaments. These can be made hanging ornaments just by adding loops, but the main idea was to decorate a pillow and use some as tags on my gifts.
Have you made any Christmas ornaments this year?

The pattern in my Etsy and Ravelry shops.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Crochet Fan Earrings-free pattern

Hello lovelies! 
If you are looking for a last minute crochet gift to whip up, look no further. This pair of earrings can be made in a matter of minutes. Decorating them might take longer :)
Before we begin with the pattern, please note that: The written  pattern in its entirety along with the photos are for personal use only. All property rights belong to Maya Kuzman of The Little Treasures. You are welcome to sell finished items from this pattern.
Supplies: sport cotton yarn and colors of your choice in (I used Phil Cotton 3) and a 3mm hook (UK11) (US 10/3)
Other: tapestry needle to weave in ends and sewing needle and thread for sewing on the beads, as well as earring hooks. For decorating you can use all sorts of beads, pearls, buttons, metal findings, knick-knacks, etc.
Stitches in US terminology: chain (ch), chain space (ch-sp), stitch (st.), skip (sk), single crochet (sc),  double crochet (dc).
Measurements of sample earrings: 6 cm/ 2.36" in length, 3 cm/1.18" of the round circle and 6 cm/2.36" in width. 


Round 1: Ch4 (counts as the 1st dc (not treble!!) and dc11 in the first stitch of that chain. Sl st with 1st st to end round (12). 
Round 2: Ch7 and sl st in the next stitch.Ch3 and turn work. (the ch3 counts as the 1st dc)
Half-round 1: Dc11 in ch-sp. (12)
Half-round 2: Ch3, turn work and sc1 in next st. Repeat this pattern to the end where you sl st in the last st. to end the round.  And you are done! Work the tails.

Now if you want the circle to be a little bit detached from the fan part, here's a variation. When you finish round 1, ch3 and dc1 in next 2 sts. (3). Turn work, ch7, sk1 and sl st in the last dc. From here work the half-rounds as before.

Add the earring hooks at the top of the circle and decorate the earrings. 

Here's how I made some of mine.

Have fun!