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.