Thursday, 27 August 2015

Hi Girls!!!!!

It has been a while, right? ;oD
I've enjoyed my summer holiday back in Italy in June and July (just one week was spent in Edinburgh : beautiful and cold!!!!) and the boys, the hubby and I were back in Maputo at the beginning of August, as the school was starting again the 11th….
 So we are all back to our routines : boys in school, hubby at work and I back to my blog!!!!

We have just moved in our 3rd apartment here in Maputo ( yes 3 moves in one year!!!!) and maybe for this reason my blogging will have some hiccups in the next couple of weeks … you know some boxes need to be unpacked…. well, you know what I mean!

I just wanted to show you today some crocheted gifts I made this summer in Italy : are you interested??? Hope so !!!!

At the end of July it was the birthday of my niece Mara, so she was born under the Leo zodiac sign…
In the same days there was the brutal killing of Cecil, the majestic lion of Zimbabwe…
so this is what I made, thinking at both of them, Mara and Cecil …












Then, was my mum turn, just because I love her and she really needed a market bag to take along with her every day…









I made even a winter cowl for my sister Varinia (who really loves the sea and sandy beaches), so when she will ride on her bike in the cold days she will be warm and cosy with her neck wrapped in her "seaside cowl"… do you think the same, too ?









They are all my designs and the inspiration just came in a dash …. Honestly happy with all the above works and luckily even the recipients were glad to receive them, too!!!

Soon other crocheted things made in the same period!!!

xxxx Alessandra








Monday, 10 August 2015

Make it ! 3 Ovals Wrist Warmers !!!

Do you remember these ones ??? You can click here to refresh your memory …. ;oD
Some friends asked me if it was possible to have an idea on how to crochet these simple, but original gauntlets ….




… well, I've prepared a photo tutorial/pattern for you to follow and make your own pair of wrist warmers !!!! Are you smiling and clapping your hands for the excitement ? You have to!

YOU WILL NEED :

  • a crochet hook (4mm)
  • some yarn (I decided to crochet my wrist warmers with MODA Vera MARVEL 8ply 100% acrylic)
  • stitch markers (at least 4 of them, max 8)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a yarn needle
  • I follow the US crochet terminology!
Each wrist warmer is made of 3 ovals, that are joined together using the "join as you go method" in the same way I did herehere and here, with a slight variation : for this project I chose to insert the hook under both loops of the same stitch (not only the back loop).

I think that the following pattern is not suitable for beginners, but if you are one of them I invite you to try anyway : a good challenge is what we need to improve our skills, right?

LET'S START !!!!!

FIRST OVAL

first round :

Pick up the hook and make a slip knot on it, then chain 40 (loosely)
N.B. : if you prefer a shorter wrist warmer, just chain less stitches for your foundation chain. On the contrary, if you would love to crochet a longer one, just add more chains !!! Easy peasy!!!



then wrap the yarn around the hook (you are going to crochet your 1st DC, or double crochet) and insert the tip of your hook in the 4th chain 




After this first DC, crochet other 36 DCs , so that, at the end of your foundation chain, you will have 37 DCs + ch 3, where the "ch 3" has the only function to reach the height of the 1st DC stitch at the beginning of each round : don't consider it as a stitch at all.

Now, in the last stitch you made your last DC, you have to add 4 DCs (so, there will be a total of 5 DCs in the same stitch), to give a rounded shape to your oval-to-be : you are crocheting the first semicircle 




As you can see in the above picture, after the first semicircle is done, you start to crochet another straight side in correspondence of the previous one : just crochet 1 DC in each base of the former DCs!
You have to crochet a total of 35 DCs, before to start the 2nd semicircle



In the base of the 1st crocheted DC, you need to crochet 4 DCs to form the 2nd semicircle of the oval shape, then make a slip stitch in the top of the first DC (skip ch 3!) to close this first round of the wrist warmers.





Please note that I put the stitch markers (4) in the first DC of the first straight side and at the end of the same side (DC #35). The other two are put on using the same concept : stitch markers in the first DC (just after the 1st semicircle) of the 2nd side and one in the last DC (DC #35) of the same side, just before the 2nd semicircle.
Note that the 1st DC made in each round is considered as the last DC of the 2nd semicircle, so the DC #1 for each round is usually the 2nd one that you crochet after the ch 3 !!!!!! ;oD

This is what you will have at the end of your first round 


I know that the picture is a little bit dark, but it shows what I was trying to explain to you few lines above !!!

second round :

Just chain 3 and crochet 1 DC in the same stitch



As you can see from the above picture, this DC that you have just made is situated just before (look at the stitch marker) the real 1st DC of the straight side (the one in the pic is of the previous round; we are going to crochet our 1st Dc of this round right now!)

After 5 DCs you will have



and after DC #35 is crocheted (before to start the 1st semicircle!) 



Now in each top of the previous DCs (they are 5, remember?) you need to crochet 2 DCs,  so that in the semicircle you will have a total of 10 DCs : in the semicircles you increase the number of the stitches (just think what happens in each round of a circle made of DCs!)




After 5 DCs done along the second row (next the 1st semicircle)



Add the remanent 30 DCs



and repeat what you did with the 1st semicircle, with a subtle difference






Even here you have to increase the number of your stitches, from 5 to 10. But you have to do it differently for the last 2 stitches of this semicircle. 
Do the first 4 increases as usual : (look at the first pic) 2 DCs in each stitch top, so you will have 8 DCs. Then, in the next DC (see 2nd pic) just crochet 1 DC (that is the stitch marked 9 in red) and make a slip stitch in the top of the first DC (marked with 10 in the 2nd pic) of this round, that is considered as the last DC of the 2nd semicircle !!! Simply done !!!!

third round :

Start as for the 2nd round : ch 3 and crochet 1 DC in the same stitch



Then, crochet the usual 35 DCs along the straight side 



and start the first semicircle to increase : 1 DC in first DC, then 2 DCs in the next DC. Repeat other 4 times. You will have 15 DCs in this semicircle



Again, 35 DCs along the 2nd straight side



the second semicircle :






As for the 1st semicircle : (1 DC + 2 DCs) 4 times (see 1st pic). Then 1 DC where 13 is  marked in red and 1 DC where 14 is marked in red : look at both pics, 1 and 2, to get the idea. After this last DC, just make a slip stitch in the top of the 1st DC of the 3rd round! In fact this 1st DC of this last round is the 15th stitch of your 2nd semicircle!!!

Your first oval is completed, so 1/3 of your 1st wrist warmer



Now you can cut the yarn and FASTEN OFF!!!!

SECOND OVAL 

first and second rounds :

follow the instruction given for the first oval



third round :

ch 3 and crochet 1 DC in same stitch, crochet 35 DCs and make the first semicircle, as for the first oval, nothing less, nothing more!



Then start to join the first oval to the second one you are crocheting : you have to join the 35 DCs of the previous oval with the brand new ones (35!) you are going to crochet using the "join as you go method".  HOW ????

Put the 2 ovals (right sides facing you) in front of each other along the straight sides.
Collect out the stitch marker close to the last stitch of the first semicircle of the second oval and start to work your 1st DC, only the first half : wrap yarn around the hook, insert hook in the top of the stitch, wrap yarn around hook again, pull it back to the front of your work, wrap yarn around hook once more, pull it trough the first 2 loops 



as you can see in the above pic, you have done the first half of your 1st DC and you still have 2 loops on your hook!
Now bring this piece of crochet near the first oval, so that its straight side has to face the one we are working along in the 2nd oval-to-be. Collect off the stitch marker from the 1st oval, while wrapping the yarn around your hook



insert the hook in the top of the 1st DC of the 1st oval and wrap the yarn around the hook



pull the yarn through the top of the stitch to the front of the work (you will have 3 loops)



and pull this "loop" through the other 2 loops : first join and DC done!!!

You have to repeat this other 34 times, to complete the straight side! You will notice that the 2nd oval will overlap the 1st one along the joining side.

After a dozen of joins/DCs you will see something like the following



and at the end of the joining …




Now you can complete the 2nd semicircle of the 3rd round in the usual way, slip stitch in the 1st DC, cut the yarn and fasten off !

THIRD OVAL 

first and second rounds:

same pattern as for the first oval!



This time I wanted to use more colours, so I changed them at the beginning of each round !!!! ;oD

Third round 

ch 3 and 1 DC in the same stitch





Then you have to crochet the joining/DCs as before! Just remember that the ch 3 + 1 DC are not used in the joining, because they will be part of the 2nd semicircle to crochet at the end of the joining!
When you start the 2nd DC, that is the 1st DC of the straight side, this is the stitch you begin the joining !
As you complete the 1st straight side, you will have something like this




Then you can complete the first semicircle as usual



After that, you need to fold your work (right sides in front of you) so that you will have the last straight sides facing each other



Collect out the first stitch markers on both sides and start the last joining



last joining done ….



Then the last part to finish : first the 2nd semicircle, then slip stitch in first DC, and last cut the yarn so you can fasten off!!!!



the first wrist warmer … collage …



try it on …



…. and crochet the second one to have a nice pair !!! ….



… as you can see, I crocheted a mismatched one and I really love this kind of design !!!!

What about you????

If you find the join as you go method a little bit tough, I suggest you to try more simple ways to join together the pieces of your wrist warmers : you can attempt a different crochet technique or just sew them using a whip stitch, for example!

I warmly suggest you to add decorations or embellishments just before doing the last joining : it was hard to crochet a simple line of slip stitches on a completed wrist warmer …. anyway, you learn by making mistakes … most of the times, at least!!!! ;oD

Let me know about your experiments with this pattern, more difficult to write than to follow … I hope!!!!!

xxxx Alessandra

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