Tuesday, April 30, 2019

T-shirt yarn: Yay or Nay?


There is a spectacular yarn market in Istanbul's Kapalıçarşı
and whenever we are in Istanbul, we never miss to visit it and freshen up our supplies. On out last visit this October I found a new shop selling yarn at factory (outlet) prices and was particularly intrigued with the t-shirt yarn, because I planned to make bags for the summer.  They were extremely cheap and when I asked the seller why so cheap, he responded that they are recycled yarn (the burgundy and the pink one in particular). 

I thought that this is yarn that is left over which factories spun and sell at a quarter of the price and although he pointed it out to me and the label read in PLAIN English that this is RECYCLED Craft yarn I didn't suspect anything unusual (like that it has flaws) until several months forward where you see me readying for a project and imagine my hysteria when I find out at the first stitch that the yarn has tiny holes all the length through spread at a certain distance! I mean it looks like being nibbled by the factory machine's teeth! 

Nevertheless, although disheartened, I decided to finish the bag I had in mind, and though you cannot see the tiny holes, believe me, they are there. Steady as mountains. 

Luckily, just 2 of those balls? skeins? are such, the others are perfectly fine. 

I made the orange one first. It is way sturdier than the burgundy and was more difficult to make. 

Thus, this being my first time working with T-shirt yarn, I can report the yays and nays.


1. It works up insanely fast. I made the Oreo bag in less than 2 hours. And a pattern like this one ate up a a kilo of yarn.
2. It is a fab choice for a bag. 
3. Things made from T-shirt yarn are really durable.

1. It is very difficult to work with (the change from my 1.9 mm to 10 mm hook was very dramatic) and my arms and shoulder blades and back hurt like hell. You have to put up an enormous effort. Especially if the yarn is of a sturdy cotton.
2. Other than bags and rugs (or maybe baskets/containers) I don't see it used for anything else. 

I didn't want to waste any of the handles I have for the burgundy bag, so I crocheted them, while I think I have good ones chosen for the Oreo bag. 

Have you ever worked with t-shirt yarn? What's your experience?

Friday, April 26, 2019

Things I Take on a Trip - crafter's ramblings

Whenever we go on short trips around the country, I always take my crochet with me. Yarn varies, depending on what I am working on at the moment, but the invariable constant is what you see in these pictures. I have a small transparent plastic box, utterly simple but quite valuable - I call it my treasure chest. It holds all the things I need for work. 

Beside the hook house, which comes as a stand alone unit and cannot fit the box, and the tin box, everything  else is stored in that box. Most often than not, I leave the hook house at home and put the hook(s) I need for a project into the box. So, the box holds hooks, measuring tape (the kitty), the wooden container filled with sewing needles, scissors, tapestry needles, a porcelain thimble (brought to me by BIL from Poland) and a metal one, a seam reaper, a brooch pin (that has come in handy at most surprising instances), the blue container filled with pins and there is always white and pink sewing thread. These two silken ones are currently needed. The tin contains embroidery floss and is taken with me only if needed for a stitching project. 
The box contains other things like small pendants, jump rings and other similar what-nots.

This notebook also goes on a trip. It is several years old. Quite big, I mean thick - not yet half done, so I see many more years into it. It holds my blog posts schedules and I also use it to jot down ideas, drawings and even draft small patterns. 

Then there is always the obligatory (big) bag which I fill with yarn and I always have more yarn taken than necessary, because one never knows what great ideas one might get and be sad if that one does not have yarn to work on that particular idea that sparkled out of nowhere. 

We are having  a prolonged weekend due to the Orthodox Easter (Friday and Monday off) so you can imagine the amount of yarn I have taken this time :)


 This is a top from my spring collection which I plan to finish and maybe shoot photos of it. I also took some t-shirt yarn and already made a bag during the ride. 

Follow my stories on instagram to see what else I've taken.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Flower Tassel Earrings DIY

When I saw these tassels in Instanbul's heavenly crafters' market, I knew I had to buy at least a handful to use for whatever project I might dream about and fast forward to warmer seasons, I saw some bohemian tassel earrings and learned they will be a hit this summer. 

The playful child in me knew it was high time to shake these a little bit. 
To make the earrings I used mini crocheted flowers (pattern below), jump rings, pearl beads and earring hooks. And, of course, the tassels. I still believe, tiny fabric flowers would be much prettier, but I didn't have any at hand. 

I attached the beads on the tassel's neck and then glued the flowers (this could be done the other way round), attached the hook on the tassel's loop and that's it. A fast gift if you are in a hurry to whip one out. 

The pattern for the flowers - I used doubled silken embroidery thread and 0.8 mm hook. Almost lost my eyesight. 

Ch 5 and join to make a ring. Sc 5 in ring. Ch 4, sc in next stitch. Repeat this for all stitches - there would be 5 petals (chains) in the end. Cut thread, tie knot, weave ends.

Monday, April 22, 2019

What I Have Pinned Lately #17

My latest pins have gravitated heavily towards Irish and lace crochet and I am incessantly delighted by the amazing creative genius of crochet designers. 

From lightly decorated shirts and blouses, to heavily intertwined designs of coats and jackets, lace crochet is easily conquering the crochet scene. 

Enjoy my selection today and check out my board for credits to these images.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Tropical Sunset Cuff Pattern


Hello all.

My newest cuff that I named tropical sunset. Name came naturally from the selected color combo and I do started imagining summer nights at the beach while choosing the colors for this one. 

As with all my bohemian cuffs, I played with all sorts of beads and sequins to make it unique and desirable. 

I am sure it would fit a princess from the Arabian nights.
Pattern on Etsy, Ravelry.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Easter Home Decorating Ideas


How is your Easter home decorating going? 

In our household it is different every year. I do use toys and decor I've bought during the years, but see that the place feels different every year, and every year I never miss to buy something small that would fit the existing menagerie. This year I also got a couple of ornaments from my mom - which I showed in my last post. 

When decorating for holidays, I am a person to have several places scene-scaped rather than have the whole house decorated. 

What about you? Do you overdecorate or not? 

Check out my Easter board for credits to  these images and more inspiration.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Easter Egg Flower Pods - free pattern


Back in 2013, I made my first Easter basket pattern which has been loved many times so far and it continues to rank well in my shop. The tradition of making egg cozies started then and there (and with a skip of a year or not )I am inclined to continue this tradition until I feel differently about it.

What is different this time is that this pattern is completely free. I always try to make unusual cozies and while brainstorming ideas I thought of a poppy pod. And it all started from there. So, let's make it!

 Egg Flowered Pods Pattern

For the cozies I used sport yarn and 1.9 mm steel hook.
For the flowers I used embroidery floss and a 1.7mm steel hook.

Also you need sewing thread and needle to sew the flowers on. 

The pattern below is for small eggs (53-63gr.).
Used stitches: chain (ch), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), single crochet 2 together (sc2tog), slip stitch (sl st).

Foundation: Ch 5 and join to make a ring.
Rnd 1:  sc 6 in ring.
Rnd 2: sc2 in all stitches (12)
Rnd 3: repeat rnd 2 (24)
Rnd 4: sc1 all (24)
Rnd 5: sc1, sc2 (36)

Rnd 6: rep. rnd 5 (54)
Rnd 7: sc 1(54)

Rnd 9: sc2tog (36)
Rnd 10: sc2tog (18) 
If making it with round 10 leaves you with a small opening, than repeat rnd 9 once more and end the pod there.
Don't cut yarn. You'll be making the leaves.

Before we start, please note that I made the leaves different and not two are the same in stitch count. For example, I made the first with 7 stitches, the next one 11, the third 9 and so one. The leaves shouldn't be very long because they will slop down. Also, while we are at them, when you are done, you can either wash them with a sprinkle of starch or spray them with fabric stiffener so that the leaves stay upright. 

Ch 7 and starting from the second st from hook, sl st in first 2 st, then hdc1 in remaining 4. Sl st it in the next st, sc in the next to it. Sl st in the next and chain 11. Repeat the leaf pattern (sl st in 1st two st, hdc1 in remaining). Repeat making different sized leaves until you finish the round. 

Now onto the flowers. 

Using all the strands of the floss, ch 5 and sl st in the 1st st. Ch 5 and sl st in the 1st st of that chain. Repeat working this pattern until you have 5 such petals. Join the last one with the first one with a sl st. Tie both tails in a tight knot twice, thread the tails and weave them through. Work on the color arrangement.

 Thread a sewing thread and sew the flowers on. And you are done!

So, how do you like them?

I am going to gift these to my nieces and nephews this Easter. Maybe make some for my mom. She always makes an Easter village on her chest /stand in the living room so we'll see if these fit the scenery. 

Also I will be including this pattern as a gift with all my other paid patterns for Easter cozies if you are interested in having a printable copy, or as a free download on ravelry.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

On Old Cuffs and New Pendants


In my journey as a crochet jewelry and accessories designer, I've come to learn that some crochet pieces rank better than others. Such are my cuffs and bracelets which always strike a chord with a wide audience and instantly become best-sellers.
It is no secret I too love making them and wearing them dearly, regardless of the material they are made.  Which brings me to the cuff from this post.
This simple beauty was among the first ones made - cannot even recall if I have ever posted about it, but it is still one of the dearest. I (mostly) own every cuff I have ever made and though this one is followed by many beaded and awesomely decorated beauties, this plain and dull cuff remains a favourite.

Whenever I work on a new model of a cuff / bracelet - which I am right now, I always take out the old ones to remind myself of the patterns and I pay attention that no pattern repeats with the new cuff. Hence, it was then when I decided this oldie needs a slight refreshment without disturbing it greatly and added this pendant, which I think perfectly suits it. I added it by attaching it to the cuff with a jump ring so that I could easily take it off when the cuff needs to be washed.

Yes, it is a bit shabby and worn out, but I see it will be still loved in the future.  

My new cuff is already made, but I am a bit lazy with the beading. Hopefully, it will be done soon.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Monday Inspiration - 1950s

I love it when the week starts with a positive vibe and today was one such day! 

So, wishing you a happy start of the week, here's a snippet of inspiration for my collection, which I am glad to report is slowly building up. I don't rush it and work on it slowly and when my full time job does not drain all my energies (which it has - lately). This means I have no idea when it will be finished -time wise - but mid May sounds just about right. 

Check out my 1950s board to find the credits of all the images I've included here.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Sunrise Necklace - mixed media necklace

Necklace shot over Image by Tamara Laporte ((Stampington's Artists' Cafe Issue)

Spring cleaning my ever-growing crochet / craft stash, I came upon my embroidered patches and wanted to really use them - so here you are looking at one of my latest plays with embroidery floss by amazing Anchor Crafts

I attached the embroidered pendant to the crochet ties and added a motley ensemble of beads to make a visual continuity of it.

Cannot wait to use the others for some ideas I have swirling in my head. Let see how that goes.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Free Crochet Easter Decor Patterns

Easter - the time of joy and celebration! It has always been treasured as such both in our household and on the blog.

This year, traditionally hand-picking projects from the internet, I leaned towards amigurumi Easter toys, which would be just great to use as Easter decor around the house and make children's excitement even greater.



More of my Easter roundups