Friday, July 30, 2021

Mila Fishnet Top - pattern release

Happy Friday friends!

Today I released my first top pattern from the Nymph collection. It's for a mesh / fishnet top that can be worn both at the beach (without the fringes) and for a night out (with the fringes).

It has a bare back and the sides peek just a little bit at the back. The long ties make it possible for it to be tied at the back, or up front, which I must say is my (and the girls') favourite way to wear this top. 

I used Alize's Diva yarn with a silk effect, and the top is just dreamy when touched and / or worn. 

The pattern is in my etsy, ravelry and payhip shops. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Craft Projects Inspired by the Beach

Important: this post contains affiliate links! Read my Privacy Policy for more info.

I am a fervent beach-comber! I love walking the beach and collecting little treasures from the sea. They are an immense source of inspiration. So, when I saw these amazing sailboats published in Stampington's GreenCraft (click here for the free tutorial), I got really excited because I have a whole bag of driftwood just waiting to be used for something interesting. For a summer filled with fresh and rewarding crafts, save on Stampington's Instant Downloads Sale. This ensued a search on the internet for more beach inspired crafts. I hope you enjoy my selection.

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Charlotte Crochet Pouch

The Charlotte's pouch (drawstring bag) is the first I am going to show you from my  Nymph collection. While I designed it had an interesting title -  "Something Blue" because I kept thinking how lovely this would be for a bride. 

It is made with a mercerized cotton that gives it a lovely shine. The pattern makes it look even more romantic and vintage.

I used  less than 40 grams of yarn and a 3mm hook. 

It measures 20.5 cm / 8.07” across and 21 cm / 8.26” down and the handle is 15 cm (5.90”). Draws close by a flowered string. 

More about the technicalities in my shops below: etsy, ravelry, payhip.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

The "Nymph" Collection - Behind the Scenes

A labour of love finally done. I've named this collection the "Nymph". It consists of beautiful and romantic lace crochet pieces with elaborate, mesmerizing patterns. 

The patterns from the collection will be released in the course of the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Crochet Glasses Case

I believe that even when things go sideways, a positive outcome can happen. And so it did with my newest glasses case. 
Last summer I was working on a  blouse that I envisioned with the panel below, but nothing I did to add this as an inset worked, so I frogged the main part and was left with this orphaned panel. I crocheted it with a very small hook, sweated and cursed a lot while making it, invested a lot of time and energy, so I decided to keep it.

Then, while rummaging through my swatches the other day, it popped out and I thought I might make a small bag with it - but that implied I would have to fetch the same hook and burden myself with the same troubles as the summer before so as to make the other side, so I decided on something else - and that is to make  a case with it. For my glasses. I folded it and sew the sides together. Easy-peasy.

One of the perks of nearing the 50s is that my eye-sight is improved(-ing) (I am short-sighted) and I've stopped wearing my glasses around the house. I put them on only when I am watching TV, and most often then not, I lose them, or to be more accurate - I don't remember where I left them last. So this case is going to be quite practical. At least, I hope.

Another peculiar thing is that I have NEVER used the back of my crochet work as the front, but it happened with this piece. Namely, the picots were more prominent and protruding at the back, rather than the front, so I decided to go with the back as the face of the case. Looking at the pattern though, it itches me to try it with a bigger hook and yarn size, because - PICOTS dear friends! I love them and cannot help myself.

Monday, July 19, 2021

How to Store (Crochet) Patterns


Happy Monday friends!

Today I am sharing a practical and effective idea how to  organize your crochet / knitting / DIY patterns. 

You need:

1. A file binder/folder
2. A4 perforated file cases (covers/sleeves)
3.  Colourful file folder stickers / planner stickers or washi tape
4. Highlighters / markers (optional)

File binders usually have an inside cover pocket, so print out (or write) the content of your folder. I have divided mine into 4 generic categories: jewelry, accessories, clothes and home decor. You can add sub-categories like (for jewelry): necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, etc. 

Stick  different colour sticker next to each category. 

Put your patterns into the cases and stick the sticker that matches the relevant category. I have my patterns printed on both sides of the paper for easier handling and usage.


Now this is optional, but I find it quite useful. 

Use the highlighters to underline the row that you are at in case you have to leave your work, or tick the rows that you've finished. You can also write down your own notes. Once you get back to work on your project, you can easily erase these markings with paper napkins (or a whiteboard / bath sponge). 

I hope you find this idea practical and useful.

Do please share in the comments how you store your patterns. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

What I Have Pinned Lately #22


Well. It's been a while since I last posted my favourite pins, and I've been pinning like crazy. There are so many gorgeous things from talented people out there, I fall into a rabbit hole every time I am on Pinterest. 

I love the self-striping yarn in the above set, and though it is quite simple (both top and shorts), the colorful yarn makes it stand out. 

A belt I would love to have. Amazing embroidery with a rustic / vintage feel.

Mind-blowing bead-work. If this isn't machine made, I applaud the artist because this is spectacular!!!
And finally, embroidered / stitched straw/raffia bags. I've been eyeing some of these for quite a while and decided I should try and make one for myself this summer. I bought a skein of what I thought was raffia, to find out when I got home that I bought a waxed recycled paper thread!! But, I am going to use it as the label says: "recommended for hats and bags". 
That's all from me today. Wishing you a lovely weekend ahead!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

No Yarn Bowl? Hack one!


You don't have one of those fancy yarn bowls you see around?

Well, honestly you don't need to throw money on one when you can use items you have at home. 

Before I made my yarn holding bag, I had made myself a clay bowl that served more to store small jewelry inside than a yarn bowl, and these two below replaced it on numerous occasions.


For the first one you need a (soup) bowl and a bulldog clip. Attach it on your bowl and pull yarn through the handles. Big cups, as you can see in the second photo, also serve the purpose. 

Here in this picture above, I have small plastic crates that I use to store small yarn cakes and they also come handy, especially if I work on projects where I have to double the yarn so that handle gap enables me to have two/three skeins inside and hold my yarn. 

The fancy tea-light holder has tiny holes and I use it when I work with crochet thread.

Instead of these you can also put to use wire baskets, cut-in-half plastic bottles with a drilled hole, or one of those drinking jars that have a holed cap. 

Can you fill up the list with something else?

Monday, July 12, 2021

Chasing Unicorns - For the Love of Nostalgia


My first encounter with Chasing Unicorns was quite unexpected when their divine crochet blouse (above) jumped up in my feed, catching me unprepared for the amazing things I was about to discover.

I love following, featuring and promoting small business owners / designers that produce slow, ethically made fashion and Chasing Unicorns is such a brand. The owner of the brand is Sarah Humphrey (Byron Bay, Australia). 

Here's what the brand is about: "Chasing Unicorns grew from a life long love of vintage, a decade of global roaming, and the desire to create beautiful, timeless, quality pieces that are made to last. We adore the idea of lasting fashion as opposed to ephemeral trends and have endeavoured to give each piece a special hand-finish that will make the wearer want to treasure it forever. These are clothes intended to be passed on from mother to daughter, from one sibling to the next and then on to your children's children. Standing the test of time, just like the beautiful vintage they are inspired from.

We have combined a bit of the relaxed "anything-goes" style of our home in Byron Bay, Australia, with cuts and embellishments drawn from our favourite aspects of decades past.
Our philosophy resides in the words of Vivian Westwood, "buy less, choose well". 
We personally feel that the world is perhaps moving a little too fast and have had a lifelong nostalgia for things that are handmade and full of past life. We love imperfect, artisan aesthetic as it has a genuineness that no perfectly uniform, machine made thing can ever have.
Our pieces are made ethically and slowly by hand. We are the antithesis of fast fashion and have made quality and old world craftsmanship the crux of our production.
The vintage pieces on offer are carefully selected for their wearability, quality, collectability and as a complement to the clothes that we make.
The result of our passions is a line of clothing that's pure bohemian, rock and roll fun."

See more of them on Facebook and Instagram.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Cascading Kanzashi Flower Set - pattern release

When I got bitten by the Kanzashi bug, I knew there was no way back :)

I am happy to show you my newest hair comb ornament exploring the traditional Japanese Kanzashi in crochet. 

The flower set consists of a big flower with three types of vines. I imagined it as a classical Kanzashi hair ornament (using it to attach to a comb), however, playing with this set offers numerous possibilities to easily make other accessories like turning it into a statement brooch or a hanging decoration. 

The pattern is in my etsy, ravelry and payhip shops. 

Another thing! July being my birth month I wanted to make it special for my subscribers as well, so they were given a choice to vote for this pattern or a market bag that will come later this month as a gift pattern that will come at the last Friday of July. So if you are a subscriber, check your inbox for my mail (sent out yesterday) and vote for your next gift pattern!


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Payhip - A Trending Online Selling Platform

Important: the post contains affiliate links!

Recently I joined Payhip, after seeing many designers sign up for the program. So let's start first with what it is about.

Payhip is an e-commerce platform founded by Abs and Kahin Farah and it is based in London, UK. Currently, there are 130,000 sellers worldwide. The platform enables anyone to sell digital products (not only patterns and tutorials, but also music, software, videos, images, etc), physical products and memberships directly to their fans and followers. 


Payhip has a simple and basic interface that gives you the tools to not only build your online store, but also to help increase sales with a feature-heavy marketing and promotions suite. 

I will have yet to see how everything works because I just created my shop this week, so far these are the things I love the most:

1) The store was easy to set up, files and picture upload is fast and since I already have the descriptions of my products laid out in other platforms, it was just copy and paste into the description field. Everything is at a click of the mouse. 

2) Files are delivered instantly to buyers

3) If you are selling digital patterns, they can stamp the buyers purchase details on every page of the PDF document to discourage customers from illegally sharing.

4) They take care of the VAT which is immeasurably beneficial, because I don't have the knowledge nor the time and energy to set that up for individual EU countries.

5) It's cost-effective - they charge 5% per transaction (sans the Paypayl / Stripe fees) and there are no other monthly fees. I might mention here that I started with the Basic plan which is free

6) You can set up your own blog there as well as subscribers / membership programs.  

7) They have built-in reporting tools, so you can closely follow your daily views, daily sales, top visitor sources, and conversion rates. 

8) They offer an affiliate membership program

As I said, I signed up with the basic plan, which is free. The other plans include: 

* Plus Plan - costs 29$ per month (all the features included with unlimited digital downloads, products and revenue. They charge 2% transaction fee (without the Paypayl / Stripe fees)

 * Pro Plan - 99$ per month with the same offer as the Plus Plan, but with zero transaction fee (without the Paypayl / Stripe fees).

I managed to list just a handful of products for the start, hoping to add more soon.   So, this is a new adventure for me. Let's see how this one goes.

Do you use Payhip? Are you satisfied with it?

Monday, July 5, 2021

Easy to Make Stitch Markers

Stitch markers - one of the crochet essential no crocheter has ever got tired of. Immensely handy and not expensive to buy, but why not make your own, unique ones?  
In all my years of crocheting I have never bought stitch markers - because they are so easy to make, and in this post I am going to show you how to make them using things from your (crafter's) stash.
Think of lobster clasps and big metal rings as your best friends, because they are essential in the stitch making. Instead of them, you can use safety pins (all sizes apply).  I love the small ones - the type that comes with the labels on clothing garments. Then there are jump rings that you use to attach to big metal rings and that help you make long(er) markers. 
And for the most beautiful part - the gem /marker you can use all sorts of things: from metal findings and notions, to beads, buttons, pendants even crochet notions.
In #1 above I beaded metal rings and attached a couple of jump rings to the clasp/
In #2 and #3 I used just metal rings/ clasp with pendants attached.  #4 shows a marker made with big(gish) beads and #6 with smaller ones. In #5 you can see beaded eye-pins hung onto a ring.
#7 shows a decorated glass bead onto a safety pin (the one I talked about above), and #8 shows that even buttons can be used for this. For big yarn projects (when I use chunky yarn) I like to use bigger markers and I have several made using my crochet flowers. 
Do you use stitch markers for your crochet? Have you made some yourself? Would you share your tips in the comments?