Monday, 22 June 2015

..... Ooooops !!!!

Sorry girls !!!

We landed (I, Matteo and Tobia) one week ago in Milano, so we are in Italy for our summer holidays!!!!
We have had a lot to do in these last days, but the reason I didn't write any post yet is due to the apparent death of my laptop.....
Not nice!!! I'm waiting for good news from the technician who is handling my computer, as I'm desperate to share the wrist warmers photo tutorial!!!
Please  be patient and take care !!!

xxxx Alessandra
6

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

A couple of projects !!!!

They are all done, but the first one still need some blocking ….. !!!!

The DIANTHUS HEXAGON

This motif (#52) is taken from the book 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet by Betty Barnden and I started one a couple of months ago, just for fun ….





… and little by little ( a lot of threads to cut and trim in for each hexagon!) it became bigger and bigger, with my obvious great satisfaction….





…. but, after crocheting 25 motifs I said : ENOUGH !!!! So, right now, I'm a proud owner of a new table centrepiece and I think it will be nice on my vintage wooden table (now in storage!) …




I didn't block it yet, so the actual dimensions are : 105cmx62cm

I used a 4mm hook and some yarn balls from my stash : Sirdar Wash'n'Wear in light grey, black, red, pink, white and turquoise!


LONG OVAL WRIST WARMERS

I really love to play with colours and shapes and I like to keep things simple, so I made these quick wrist warmers (my own pattern!) …







They look so nice on, don't you think the same???? ;oD

I was working with some leftovers of Moda Vera Marvel 8ply (hook : 4mm) and they took one afternoon to be made, even because the pieces are joined together as you go! The length of each wrist warmer is about 27cm.

I made a second pair a little more serious, but modern at the same time …



… As you can see, Matteo was really kind in helping me with the pictures … !!!! ;oD

xxxx Alessandra






Wednesday, 3 June 2015

DREAM A LITTLE BIGGER : CRAFTING ABROAD… INTERVIEW!!!

At the beginning of March, I received an email from Elena (aka Midsommarflicka), designer and DIYer , blogger at It was weekend and contributor at Dream a little bigger !!!!

In the nice email Elena sent to me, there was a kind request to take part in an interview …. just a few questions to answer…. I mean, why not???? I can do that, right?




…. If you are curious to know a little more about myself (the crafter behind all that crocheting!), well I invite you to have a nice read at the interview and let me know what your impressions are !!!! Thank you a lot!!!!!

xxxx Alessandra


Monday, 1 June 2015

Make it! A bunch of flowers !!!

In my last post you can look at some flowers I've been using to decorate the tops (they are glued on them) of some bottles' lids and today I'm going to share the patterns (sorry, no photo tutorial!) with you …






You need :

  • one hook (4mm in my case)
  • some colourful yarns ( from my stash : MODA VERA MARVEL 8ply, 100% acrylic)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a yarn needle
  • please, remember I follow the US crochet terminology! ;oD


The REBEL FLOWER




Choose a colour for the centre of your flower, make a slip knot on the hook, chain 4 and insert the tip of the hook in the first chain made, to form a ring.
First round : chain 2 and crochet 12 DC (= double crochets) into the ring and slip stitch in the top of the first DC. Cut yarn and fasten off. Trim in the ends.
Second round : choose a new colour and make a slip knot on the hook. Push the hook in any DC top and make 1 SC (= single crochet), chain 9, make 1 SC in the 3rd chain from the hook and make other 6 SC in the next chains left . You will have your first petal made of 7 SC. Attach the petal in the same starting DC with a SC. In the following DC you will crochet the second (shorter) petal : 1 SC, chain 6, 1 SC in the 3rd chain from the hook and 3 more SC in the following chains left. Your mini petal is formed by 4 SC.
You need to crochet 10 more petals (5 big+5 small), just repeating the above directions given for the first 2 petals.
When the last small petal is done, make a slip stitch in the first SC of the first big petal made.
Cut the yarn and fasten off. Trim in the ends.



The CURLY FLOWER




As for the previous flower, choose a colour for the centre.
Follow the initial directions and the first round written for the REBEL FLOWER.
Second round : pick a new colour and make a slip knot on the hook. Push the hook in any DC top and make 1 SC, chain 12 and, in the same DC, make another SC to complete the petal (this is the big one). In the next DC, make 1 SC, chain 8 and define the petal with 1 SC in the same DC. You have just crocheted the small petal.
Even for this flower, you have to crochet 10 more petals (5 big + 5 small), just following the directions given above.
When the last small petal is completed, make a slip stitch in the first SC of the first petal.
Cut the yarn and fasten off. Trim in the ends.



The SUNNY FLOWER




Even for this flower, follow the same directions given for the beginning and the first round of the REBEL FLOWER!
Second round : choose a new colour and make a slip knot on the hook. Insert the hook in any DC top, chain 2 and make 2 DC. In each following DC top, just do the same : crochet 2 DC. At the end, you will have 24 DC. Cut the yarn and fasten off. Trim in the ends.
Third round : you can decide between two options ! "A" option (on the left, in the above picture) : choose a new colour and make a slip knot on the hook. Push the hook in any DC top and make 1 SC and start the point : chain 5, slip stitch in the 2nd chain from the hook, 1 SC in 3rd, 1 half DC in 4th and 1 DC in fifth, the point is done. Attach it in 2nd DC you meet, while skipping the first DC close to the beginning DC, just with 1 SC. You need to crochet other 11 points. When the last one is done, make a slip stitch in the first SC, cut the yarn and fasten off. Trim in the ends. "B" option (on the right, in the above picture) : the SC to attach the points are made in the spaces between two groups of DC!! Easy peasy! Even here, when completed the last point, make a slip knot into the first SC, cut the yarn and fasten off. Trim in the ends.


If interested, you can crochet even a SUN MOTIF !!! Have fun !!!! ;oD

xxxx, Alessandra







Monday, 25 May 2015

Crochet & Recycling !!!

…. Never thought it could be so fun and easy !!!!
… Endless options and such a good opportunity to use a lot of yarns from my yarn stash!!!!

… tin cans and glass bottles/jars were my starting point and then colours and fantasy made it all!!!











xxxx Alessandra

Friday, 22 May 2015

….. Two more Lilliputian Baskets !!!

…. with something different from the previous ones (here the photo tutorial) …








There are just few differences from the original pattern :


  1.  The base ( from round 1 to round 4) presents two colours
  2. the whole basket is crocheted in double crochets (no single crochets rounds)
  3. the tapestry crochet design starts with round 5 and ends with round 10 : you work 3 stitches with colour A, then 3 stitches with colour B and you repeat the colour scheme until the end of the round. The beginning of next round starts with 3 stitches with colour B, then 3 stitches with colour A : repeat until the end of the round ! Alternating these rounds, you will obtain a stairs/spiral effect!
  4. round 11 : you work the slip stitches using both strands of yarn together. Even the single crochets around the handles are crocheted using 2 strands at a time!





That's all !!!!!

xxxx Alessandra

today links : Link your Stuff! , Busy Fingers Showing Off #90

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Make it! Lilliputian Baskets !!!

…. eventually, here we are!!!!

This is the result of my first attempt with tapestry crochet (worked in the round, with 2 strands and just 2 rounds using that technique!!!!) … Remember : I'm still a beginner ….. ;oD



They are colourful, cute and so easy to crochet : really addictive, I must add!!!

I started to be fascinated by this crochet technique since seeing the works made by Julie Hanson, the blog hostess of "little woollie", who loves to play with colourful yarns and who makes splendid blankets and washers with this crochet technique!
I was tempted by tapestry since then, but what to do and how???? I wanted to keep the design simple and as a beginner I didn't want to work with many strands of yarn at a time …. so ….
… I told to myself : have a try with something little …
But I'm very lazy in reading instructions, in fact I'm a visual learner and for this reason I thought to try tapestry crochet just recollecting my knitting attempts with fair isle knitting…. unbelievably, it worked!!!

If you are curious to know more about tapestry, I suggest you the followings :


WHAT DO YOU NEED :
  • some colourful yarns : I've used a selection of Moda Vera MARVEL 8 ply (100% acrylic)
  • a hook : 4mm
  • a pair of scissors
  • a yarn needle
  • Please, remember that I follow the US crochet terminology!
The dimensions of each Lilliputian Basket are : diameter 7,5cm / height 6,5cm

LET'S START !!!!

We begin with crocheting the base of the basket :
Choose the main colour (A) for your basket-to-be and make a slip knot on the hook.
Chain 4 stitches, push the point of your hook into the first chain made, pull back the yarn and make a ring.

ROUND 1 : chain 2 and work 12 DCs (=double crochet) into the ring ; 
                      make a slip stitch in the top of the first DC to end this round.
                      You have 12 DCs.
I suggest you to cut the tail of the starting yarn, just to have less annoying strands while working!



ROUND 2 : chain 2 and work 2 DCs in each top of the stitches of the first round.
                     As you are increasing the stitches number, you will end this round with 24 DCs.
                     After DC 24, make a slip stitch in the top of the first DC, closing this round.


ROUND 3 : chain 2 and follow this pattern : 1 DC in every odd stitch and 2 DCs in each even stitch.
                   You are going to repeat this pattern 12 times, so that at the end of the round, you will have
                    36 DCs. To close this last increasing round, just slip stitch in the top of the first DC.



ROUND 4 : chain 2 and crochet 1 DC in each stitch. You will end this round with 36 DCs (again) and as there has not been any increase in the number of stitches, your base will start to form a basin shape. To end this round : slip stitch in the top of the first DC.




ROUND 5 : join the new colour (B), simply leaving the A colour aside (just for this round) and pulling B trough the loop made from the last slip stitch. Chain 1 and crochet 36 single crochets (=SC) along the round. These stitches are the base for the tapestry crochet design (next two rounds!). Close this round with a slip stitch in the first SC done.

first SC done


same result, but different colours combo

I pass the strand trough the centre of the base, just to have less troubles while working with 2 strands together

… see ? ;oD


ROUND 6 : This is the round you start to practise with tapestry crochet and in this specific case : working in the round with two strands of yarn.
My working colour scheme will be the following : 2 DCs with colour B, followed by 2 DCs with colour A. This pattern will be repeated 9 times, until you reach the end of the round.
After the closing slip stitch of round 5, you have to carry one strand of yarn, while crocheting with the other one (see here or here, depending on if you are right or left-handed) : this is what happens with tapestry crochet!
The strand you carry is kept in a low position, while the strand to crochet with is in position as for normal crochet : in my case wrapped around the forefinger and the little finger of my left hand.
Summing up : you have just made the slip stitch to close round 5 and you have to start round 6.
As you need to carry with you even colour A (that has been neglected for all round 5), before crocheting chain 2 (as for all the previous round worked with DCs), you need to put colour A on your left forefinger (if you are right-handed like me) and make the point of your hook pass under it to grab colour B, with which you will crochet the initial chain 2 : in this way, colour A is wrapped and kept low, as you need to carry it around with you!
Crochet 2 DCs with B, while wrapping A, which is kept low. Then, low down colour B and put in "crochet position" colour A : work 2 DCs, wrapping colour B. Each time you complete a couple of DCs, remember to pull gently the strands, just to adjust the tension of your work !
The closing slip stitch is better to be done with the same colour of the first DC of the round!

beginning of 6th round : chain 2

working the first 2 DCs : yellow (B) top, red (A) low and wrapped

next 2 DCs : red (A) top, yellow (B) low and wrapped

different combo, same round

what you see from the inside : neat !

look at the forming design!

before the closing slip stitch

slip stitch done + new chain 2 of 7th round


ROUND 7 : just repeat round 6 : this is its twin round !!!!! PHEW !!! ;oD
                      slip stitch in same colour of first DC (B), to close the round.

4 'couples' crocheted

as the strands are kept, while tapestry crocheting

how to insert the hook in the stitch below

the new DC is done!

round 7 done!


ROUND 8 : work with colour B and repeat round 5, same same !!! After the closing slip stitch (into the first SC), cut colour B. Please, note that for this round you can drop the other strand at the beginning of the round, as we are working in the round!




ROUND 9 : chain 2, crochet 36 DCs with colour A, make a slip stitch in the top of the first DC.




ROUND 10 : chain 1, make 6 SCs. To start the first handle, just chain 8 and join with 1 SC in 7th stitch (you need to skip 6 stitches, after the first 6 SCs !) and crochet other 11 SCs (you will have 12 SCs between the two handles). Chain 8 (second handle) and as before, join in the 7th stitch with 1 SC (even this time, you skipped 6 stitches) and crochet the last 5 SCs (total : 6 SCs after the 2nd handle). Slip stitch into the first SC of the round to close it.

first 6 SCs

8 chains of the first handle

the first handle attached

same as the above pic !

12 SCs between the handles

2nd handle attached

round completed


ROUND 11 : as you have just slip stitched in the first SC, you need to crochet 5 slip stitches and then wrap the first handle with 9 SCs . Crochet 12 SCs between the two handles and make 9 SCs around the second handle. Complete the round with 6 slip stitches. 
Cut the yarn and fasten off.

beginning of round 11, 6 slip stitches

first handle, 5 SCs around it

first handle done

12 slip stitches between handles

all done!!!


TRIM IN THE ENDS

Turn inside out the basket ...




… collect the yarn needle and pass the strands in some stitches to hide them. Pull gently and cut the excess of yarn …




… and opla' …








…. They are multiplying like rabbits!!!! ;oD

Have a try and let me know!!!!!

xxxx Alessandra






















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