Thursday, 27 November 2014

A little bird ….

Two days ago, while sitting on a bench in school waiting for the boys to come out, I was the privileged viewer of quite a show!

A little bird, taking advantage of a moment of quiet in front of the auditorium, was collecting some leaves the wind made fall from the adjacent trees ….

…. just to make a cosier nest ….

 ;oD !!!!

xxxx Alessandra

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Make It ! Crochet Eyeglasses Cord !!!

….. Lately I uses my eyeglasses more and more ….. I need them to read, write or working on the computer ….. So they follow me everywhere in the house ….. But sometimes my hands are full of other things or simply I need to put them down when not in use ( just for a little while though …)…

So I thought I needed a cord to keep them with me, but I didn't want a classic chain as the one my grandma uses …. Then my brain came up with a simple crocheted version of it (to be correct : 3 versions!) and maybe you need one too, for you or as a gift ….

To start one, you need :

  • some cotton crochet threads : I use two of them to create a baker's twine effect
  • a hook ( 4mm) : pick the one right for your selected threads/yarns
  • a pair of scissors
  • a yarn/tapestry needle
  • stitch markers (optional)
  • a ruler or a tape measure
  • a pair (or more!) of silicon holders for eyeglass chain/cord
  • please remember : I follow the US crochet terminology ! ;oD

FIRST VERSION : the simple eyeglass cord

I think the right length for these cords (shown above) is 60cm. You can freely choose the right size for your cord : just try with the tape measure loosely around your neck and position your eyeglasses at the right level for you!
To reach this length, simply chain 120 for the foundation chain.

Then,  chain 1 and with your hands enlarge this loop and slip off the hook

Pick one of the silicon holders and pass the thread loop in one of its loops (!!!!) and put back in the hook

and reduce the loop

Now insert the hook in the second chain from the hook

and make your first single crochet (SC)

After 4 SCs you'll have something like this

Continue to crochet 1 SC in each following chain until you reach the last but one SC

Even this time, enlarge the loop of the stitch

Put the second silicon holder on the top of the SC

and reduce the loop 

and crochet the last SC in the last chain left

Cut the threads, fasten off and trim in the ends : DONE !!!!

Do you prefer something more feminine?
Well, just ask and I'll give you the …

SECOND VERSION : the lacy eyeglass cord

Even this time the foundation chain is made of 121 chains. This time put a stitch marker in the last chain made.

Crochet 4 more chains (you have 125 now) and insert one of the silicon holders directly on the hook (this is another method : pick the one you prefer!)

Work 1 chain, passing the threads before in the holder, then in the loop on the hook (126 chains) and crochet 4 more chains (130 chains)

Now insert hook in the stitch with the marker and make your first SC and follow this scheme

This pattern is very easy : after the first SC, chain 4, skip 4 chains on the foundation chain, make a SC in the 5th chain of the foundation chain ! Repeat till the end !!!
After 3 times repetition, you'll have the following

When your last 4 chains are made, remember to put on the hook your last silicon holder

Push it close to the chain and crochet the last SC.  Cut the threads, fasten off and trim in the ends !
Another eyeglass cord is ready to wear !!!!

THIRD VERSION : the undulate eyeglass cord

Follow this chart (a kind of!)

Once you have crocheted 126 chains (group of 7x18 times!) for your foundation chain, put a stitch marker in the last chain, then make 1 more chain (127), insert the first silicon holder (as for the second version), make another chain (128) passing the threads through silicon holder and thread chain, add 1 chain (129). After all that, crochet your first slip stitch (this is the first slip stitch in the scheme) in the chain with the stitch marker and follow the chart, adding the SC, the half double crochet, the double crochet and on !

The first "wave"

The second "wave"

When almost completing the last "wave"(you have just done the last SC of the wave), insert the second silicon holder and then crochet the last slip stitch! Cut the threads, fasten off and trim in the ends.

What do you think ? ;oD

So ladies, what are you waiting for to crochet some eyeglass cords ??
Maybe a fourth version? :oD
Have fun crocheting,

xxxx Alessandra

P.S. : I made a simple eyeglass cord even for my husband (the foundation chain is made of 130 chains) and he is wearing it proudly at the office!!!! ;oD

Today links : Link your Stuff!Craft Schooling Sunday and Bus Fingers Showing Off #70

You can find my Ravelry notes HERE !!!!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Doily-Along : My Reveal !!!!

…. sorry for the delay, but the last two weeks have been a little bit crazy ….

Problems with a slow internet and some black-outs …

Christmas crafty photo tutorial to organise ….

…. and our family life in the between!!!!! ;oD

Now, eventually, I can show you my work ….

….. The original idea was to crochet a lacy and colourful curtain for the big window of our kitchen ….

…. I told you I hadn't in mind to make a big doily, but ….

…. I couldn't find any curtain rod for that window, that has even a metallic frame, so, even a natural option, like driftwood with some nails, had to be rejected ….  : (((

Anyway, I'm happy with this result and I love the asymmetrical shape !!!

What do you think ???

If you are interested to read more about this Doily Along, just click : herehereherehereherehere and here !!!!

Thank you KATE !!!!

xxxx Alessandra

Today links : Link your Stuff ! Craft Schooling Sunday and Busy Fingers Showing Off #69 !!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

More about "The 2014 Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up" !!!

So Laura did it again and, as you can see, some crafty bloggers helped her, me included !!! ;oD

I'm going to show you the mosaics of the projects and the links to reach !!!!

Have fun and be curious !!!!

Mini Teddy Bed - Grace's Favours

Shiny Reindeer Embroidered Hoop Art - Candyfloss Ramparts

Teeny Tiny Snowman Pendant - i ManuFatti
Nativity Bunting Tutorial - Hoogally
Floating Pompom Garland - RetroDelicious
Printable Colouring-In Snowflake Labels - It's Organised

Patchwork Christmas Bauble - Made by Mrs M

Upcycled Jumper Christmas Stocking with Robin Appliqué - Halcyon Threads

Felt Christmas Mouse Ornament - Molly & Mama

First Flake, Snowflake Ornament - Betz White
Gingerbread House Ornament - Shiny Happy World
Mod Winter Table Runner - Tumus / Little Red Thread
Shabby Christmas Denim Heart - Cocojude

Fairy Lights Christmas Cake - Cupcakery

Washi Tape & Button Christmas Card - The Lilac Linnet

Christmas Card String & Pegs - Fizzi Jayne Makes
Felt Christmas Stocking - Vicky Myers Creations
Felt Holiday Wreath - The Felt Store
Penguin Pocket Friend or Ornament - Lulu & Celeste
Saint Nick Ornaments - Homemade at My Place

Modern Felt Advent Calendar - Hugs are Fun

Felt Christmas Ornaments - Marc's Treasure Basket

xxxx Alessandra

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Saint Nick Ornaments for the 2014 Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up !!!

…. Well, last year it was a lot of fun participating at this link-up, so why not join again this year, too ????

HERE you can find all the links of the projects of this year !!!! This 2014 Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up is hosted by Laura Howard of Bugs and Fishes  !!!!! Thank you Laura !!!!

So here I'm, with new ornaments to share with you all  ….

…. oh sure, it's another crochet project (as last year : click here) !!!!! It's a colourful one ! It presents some different options ( Santa with or without gloves and boots; pom pom or not ? for Santa's hat or just a simple brim - or you prefer scallops ?- for his slouchy beanie !) and  it doesn't require a lot of yarn or time, but some patience !!! This is why I think this project is not suitable for crochet beginners, not because of difficult stitches involved, but because some experience in the field helps and avoid some stress in the accomplishment of the steps you need to follow to crochet this little fella!!! ;oD

So, you need to gather :

  • a hook (I used a 3,5 mm one)
  • some yarn (white and black for sure, then some pink for the face and more colours to define the body). I'm using acrylic, because is not a heavy yarn.
  • buttons or sequins or jewel brads as eyes (if you prefer, you can just embroider them on Santa's face)
  • a pair of scissors
  • pink felt (to sew on the back of Santa's face)
  • cotton threads : to sew on the beard and the hat (white) and for the felt (pink)
  • yarn and sewing needles
  • stitch markers (optional)
  • a pencil + a glass to trace a circle on the pink felt
Please remember that I'm using the US crochet terminology, thank you !
I tend to trim in the ends of the work asap !
You can find my ravelry notes HERE !!!

The first part to start with is 


Collect your selected hook and the white yarn. Make a slip knot on the hook , chain 4 and make a 
slip stitch in the first stitch to form a ring.

FIRST ROUND : chain 2 and crochet your first double crochet (DC) into the ring. Add 11 DCs, so that you'll have 12 DCs at the end of this round. Close the round with a slip stitch in the top of your first DC, then fasten off. Before trimming in the yarn at the centre of your ring, pull the yarn to reduce the hole of the ring.

SECOND ROUND : pick the black yarn now.  Join the new yarn, in any space between two DCs with a slip stitch, chain 1, crochet 2 DCs : this is your first shell. Make other 11 shells of 2 DCs each in the following spaces . At the end of the round, you'll have 12 shells. Make a slip stitch at the top of the first DC to close the round. Fasten off. Look at the star you just made : so Christmassy, no ? ;oD

THIRD ROUND : choose a new colour : whatever you like for your Saint Nick!!!! Join the new yarn, in any space between two shells with a slip stitch and chain 1, then crochet 3 DCs in the same space. Make in every next space a shell of 3 DCs, so that at the end of the round, you'll have 12 shells. Close the round with a slip stitch in the top of your first DC. PLEASE, DO NOT FASTEN OFF !!!! Keep this same colour for the next and last round!!!! ;oD

FOURTH ROUND : with the same yarn, make 2 slip stitches in the 2nd and 3rd DCs of the first shell , make another slip stitch in the first space between two shells you encounter. Now, chain 2 and make 3 DCs in this same space (your first shell) and then chain 1 (= chain-1 space). Repeat other 11 times (3 DCs + chain 1). After the last chain-1 space, make a slip stitch in your first DC, so that you can complete your last round. Now, you can fasten off !!! Your first Saint Nick body is done !!!!

…. And next ????


This time we need just one colour ! No fasten off until the end of the third round !!!! ;oD
You can pick any colour for your Saint Nick face. I've chosen pink because I have boxes of pink, so it's better to use some, right? Please, note that if you choose a different colour from pink, you need to select felt and cotton thread in accordance with your personal choice !!!

FIRST ROUND : collect your hook and make a slip knot on with the chosen yarn. Chain 4 and slip stitch in the first stitch to form a ring. Chain 2 and crochet 12 DCs. To close this round, just make a slip stitch in the top of the first DC.

SECOND ROUND : chain 2 and work 2 DCs in the same stitch. Then crochet 2 DCs in each of the following stitches of the first round. At the end of the round, you'll have 24 DCs. Make a slip stitch in the top of your first DC. This round is complete.

THIRD ROUND : chain 2 and make 1 DC, while in the second stitch crochet 2 DCs. Repeat this pattern (1 DC + 2 DCs) almost till the end of this round. In fact, you have to stop just before the end of this round, leaving the last 2 stitches of the previous round unworked. See pictures.

WHY ??? Just because in this way we can join the face to the body without sewing !!!! How cool is that ? ;oD
HOW ??? With the help of some pics, of course !!!! … and the right words, I hope !!! ;oD

Collect both the body and the face of Saint Nick and put them side by side (keeping the front of them in front of you) and choose any shell of the body to pair with the "hole" of the face …

Then, collect the face-to-be and start to work a DC in the usual way : insert the hook in the first stitch left of the second round, wrap the yarn in the back and pull it trough the stitch, yarn over and pass it trough the first two loops on your hook . Half of your DC is done.

Now, after collecting the body, insert your hook in the top of the first stitch (the one on the right) of the shell, right in the middle …

…. then wrap the yarn in the back ….

…. and pull it trough to the front …

… and complete your DC, pulling the yarn through the last two loops !!! ….

You have to repeat this kind of exercise two more times, for the last two DCs !!!
Insert your hook in the next (and last) stitch of the face …

…. and on and on you crochet ….

…. almost joined together!!!!! Now that you have completed the last DC of the face, just make a slip stitch in the first DC of the third round of the face and … remember to fasten off!!!


Some white yarn this time !!!

Make a slip knot on your hook, chain 4 and slip stitch in the first chain to make a ring.

FIRST ROUND : chain 2, make 3DCs, chain 2 and repeat (3 DCs + chain 2) other 3 times.
Slip stitch in the first DC to close the round.

SECOND ROUND : make 2 slip stitches in the 2nd and 3rd DCs of the first shell and one more slip stitch in the first corner. Chain 2, 3 DCs, chain 2, 3 DCs in the same corner …

chain 1, 1 DC, 2 trebles (Tr), chain2,  2 Tr, 1 DC in the second corner …

chain 1,  3 DCs, chain 2,  3 DCs in third corner …

… and fasten off !!!

Collect your face+body and choose the right placement for the beard and sew it on …

I sew, with the help of white cotton thread and a needle (!!!!), the beard from side to side, leaving the bottom free.


I like to match the hat with the same colour chosen for the body, but you can do as you wish. I didn't want a regular triangle for my Santa, so I tried to crochet it more like a slouchy beanie !!!

To start the hat, pick your hook and the yarn, make a slip knot and chain 16 .
ROW 1 : wrap the yarn around the hook, push it in the 5th chain from the hook ( this counts as your second DC; the first one is formed by the chains) and crochet 11 DCs. You have13 stitches in total.

ROW 2 : turn your work , chain 2 and make 1 DC in the second stitch of the row. In the next stitches, excluding the last one, crochet 10 DCs. You have 11 stitches in total. In this row we start to decrease, avoiding to crochet a DC in the first stitch and in the last stitch! We'll follow this same "rule" for the following rows, too. Remember that !!! ;oD

ROW 3 : turn your work,  chain 2, make 1 DC in the second stitch , crochet 8 more DCs. You have a total of 9 DCS.
ROW 4 : turn your work, chain 2, make 1 DC in the second stitch, crochet 6 more DCs. You have a total of 7 DCs.
ROW 5 : turn your work, chain 2, make 1 DC in the second stitch, crochet 4 more DCs. You have a total of 5 DCs.
ROW 6 : turn your work, chain 2, make 1 DC in the second stitch, crochet 2 more DCs. You have a total of 3 DCs.
ROW 7 : turn your work, chain 2, make 1 DC in the second stitch. DONE! You reached the top of your Santa's hat ! ;oD

In fact, from the top of the hat you can start the loop (chain, at least, 25 !), that will be so useful to hang your Saint Nick ! To close the loop, just slip stitch the last chain into the first chain made ! Don't cut the tail : it will be so useful to knot the pom pom at the hat ! ;oD

…. Obviously, a Santa's hat cannot miss a brim ... a simple one or with scallops ???

Well, turn the hat upside-down and collect some white yarn ! Notice that you'll work on the back of the hat as a start !

With the white yarn make 13 SCs for the brim of the hat …

turn your work and chain 1 ….

… and start your first scallop, made of 4 DCs (worked in the 4th stitch from the beginning of the row) and attach it, with 1 SC, made in the 7th stitch from the beginning of the row ….

Some details of both scallops …

The centre of the second scallop is in the 10th stitch, while the last SC is in the last stitch of the row.
Fasten off and trim in the ends.

If you don't like scallops and prefer a simple brim, then just crochet 13 SCs with the white yarn, working (this time) in the front of the hat. Fasten off and trim.

You have to add a POM POM at the top of the hat ! You can choose to use a pom pom maker or to crochet one : chain 4, slip stitch to make a ring and work 10 DCs into the ring . Close the round with a slip stitch in the top of the first DC. Attach the pom pom with some knots in the back of the hat !

Before to sew the hat on the face of Saint Nick, you need to choose which kind of EYES to sew on … buttons ? embroidered ones? sequins? jewel brads ? what fits you is fine, but please, if you decide to gift your Saint Nick to a child, be really careful in your eyes selection ! Thank you !

First the eyes …

… then the hat …

To hide all the threads in the back of the head, just trace, with the help of the pencil and a glass, a circle on a piece of felt and sew it using the blanket stitch, for example …


Are you still there ? Are you brave enough? ;oD

If you love the idea to complete your Saint Nick outfit with a pair of gloves and boots, well WHY NOT ???

The picture will give you an idea where to crochet those accessories for your Santa …

The arrows/stars indicate the chain-1 spaces where to crochet gloves & boots …

You have to collect some white yarn and crochet 3 SCs in each chain-1 space selected. Crochet these stitches working on the back of Saint Nick body, while in the front work both gloves and boots

GLOVES : in the first SC, join the blue yarn (just to simplify) with a SC and work the first DC without completing it : like in a puff stitch, where you have several half-doubles (in our case just 3), that is making two loops on the hook for every repeat. When worked the last half-double, pull the yarn through all the loops on the hook and you will remain with one loop. Fasten off. Repeat the same for the other glove !
BOOTS : like in a granny square, crochet a shell of 3 DCs (join the yarn in the first stitch with a SC). Fasten off. Repeat the same for the other boot.

Then, trim in all the ends ….

… Hope you had fun !!!!!!

If you don't fancy to assemble a Saint Nick, you can just use the single pieces (hats, beards, bodies, faces …) to decorate your presents or cards. You can also make little buntings or mini decorations to hang on your tree. Maybe some brooches? Or decorations sets ? Stockings fillers? Or appliqué for scarves, blankets, hats ….. Well, the possibilities are endless !!!! Choose the one that makes you happy to crochet it !!!! ;oD

xxxx Alessandra

Other links : Busy Fingers Showing Off #68Craft Schooling Sunday and Link your Stuff!


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