Wednesday, 20 April 2016

When you meet Anneke from Crochet in Paternoster .....

.... well, it has happened (almost a couple of weeks ago, in Cape Town!) ...

... you can have a lovely afternoon of nice talking and laughing : for me was magical to meet her, after knowing each other for a while through Crochet in Paternoster and Ons Hekel (a crochet closed group, founded by Stel from Haak-en-stekie ).

As you can see from the above picture, Anneke and I exchanged some gifts (crochet related!!!), and in my beautiful basket (crocheted by Anneke!) I found the followings ....

It was like Christmas for me!!! I was so happy to receive some precious South African cottons (from Moya and Nurturing Fibres ) and 3 balls of t-shirt yarns + a 12mm wooden hook !!!!
When back in Maputo, I had to start something with the t-shirt yarn, as I never used it before : very very curious !!!

The first idea I came up with was : a bag!!!  So, I started to browse in various Japanese crochet books until I found the right pattern for my purpose and I started my new adventure ...

I like many things about t-shirt yarn :
- its elasticity
- its sheen
- because of its thickness, the project grows quickly

The only thing that left me down, I think because I'm a real beginner with this kind of fiber, it was that my fingers were "soring" after a while I was crocheting.... you have to see me how I was "stubbing" the stitches when inserting the hook .... I was laughing (and sweating!) a lot, believe me!!!!
The original pattern was calling for two spikes forming an upside-down "V", but I opted for a single spike, instead, because of the thickness of the yarn and I simply preferred the "brick effect" given ...

Even Margot liked to play with these yarns ....

Little by little, the bag was growing and my excitement was so high ...

.... and a couple of days ago, the bag came alive ....

So big, bold, chunky : madly in love with this gorgeous bag!!!!
It measures 46cm (base) x 37cm
I'm curious to know even the weight ..... !!!!!! ;oD

The last pictures ....

Thank you Anneke, I really appreciated the t-shirt yarn and the challenge to crochet something with that !!!
I still have some leftovers and some royal blue to try .... !!!!! ;oD

xxxx Alessandra

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Make it ! Home Sweet Home garland !!!

A while ago (read this post, if you wish to be aware what I'm talking about), I crocheted some little houses, which then were forgotten in a box, once no more needed (as for the blogpost, dated 15 of October 2013!)....

.... but in one of those days that you decide it's time to do some clean up, I found them again and I knew, this time, what to do with all of these little houses !!!

I split them into two groups, each one with 7 houses.
The first group had a prevail of blues, greens and grey ...

The original pattern is the following (US crochet terminology) :
  • make a slip knot on your hook, chain 4 and slip stitch in the first chain to form a ring.
  • chain 3, crochet 10 DCs into the ring and slip stitch in the top of your first DC made
  • chain 8 (chain 3= DC and chain 5 more, to form the first arch), in same stitch crochet 1 DC, crochet 3 DCs in next 3 stitches, chain 5 (2nd arch) and crochet 1 DC in following stitch, crochet 3 DCs in next 3 stitches, chain 5 (3rd arch), crochet 3 DCs in last 3 stitches and slip stitch in third chain of first arch
  • chain 3, and around the first arch : (3 DCs, chain 5, 3 DCs), 4 DCs in top of previous group of DCs, 8 DCs around the second arch, 4 DCs in top of previous of DCs, 8 DCs around the third arch, 3 DCs in top of previous group of DCs and slip stitch in the top of first DC made
  • roof : chain 3 and first DC in same stitch, 2 DCs in next stitches, and around the last arch : (3 DCs, chain 5, 3 DCs), 3 DCs, chain 3 and slip stitch in nearby DC or, if you prefer, just make another DC (instead of a chain 3)
  • fasten off
I've been using a 5mm hook and some colourful Indonesian acrylic yarns, but, honestly, you can choose any yarn and hook in accordance with the thickness of your thread!
Please note that DC stands for double crochet.

To join together all the houses into a garland, I decided to use a 4mm hook and some turquoise yarn from Sirdar (Wash'n' Wear), in this way :

make a slip knot on your hook and chain 60
choose your first house and in the first DC make a SC (single crochet), make other 5 SCs along the roof, 5 SCs around the arch, crochet the last 6 SCs along the other side of the roof
chain 18 between two different houses
chain 60, when completed the join with the last house
fasten off and trim the ends

when all done, I decided to add some little hearts (pattern HERE, from Lovenote Crafts) in the middle of the houses

I just knotted the hearts, using their tails, in the centre of each house

This first garland is no more in my hands, as I gifted it to Anneke, from crochetinpaternoster !!!

But, I kept the other one (plus an extra house!) just for me

The single house has just few differences with the houses in the garland :

the top has a loop (made of 20 chains) and 6 SCs along the arch (instead of 5)
the base of the house is embellished with some SCs
the heart in the middle, this time, presents some surface crochet

So, my garland is more reddish and pinkish ...

.... and hanging from one of my bookcases ....

.... all the houses are on a string, NOW !!!!

xxxx, Alessandra

Today links : Craft Schooling Sunday and Link your Stuff!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Make it! April Fool's Day Fish !!!

Today could be a day full of jokes .... all over the world !!!!
In Italy we have the custom to cut out a fish from a piece of paper (read here !) and we try to stick it on the back of a person (trying to be gentle, so that the victim is not aware of it) and then laugh at her/his shoulders .... silly, but such fun when I was a kid!!!

Today, instead, I will love to give you a mini pattern (no photo tutorial, sorry!) that allows you to crochet some little fish to gift to your friends ... no jokes here!!!

  • some colourful cotton yarns
  • a hook or more : I was working both with  3,5mm (one strand) and 4mm (2 strands). I've used once even a 3mm hook!
  • a pair of scissors
  • safety pins
  • buttons
  • yarn needle
  • a needle to sew on the buttons
Remember that I follow the US crochet terminology ! ;oD

April Fool's Day Fish PATTERN :

Choose a bright colour from your cottons (any other fibre is fine, too!) and make a slip knot on your hook
Row 1 : chain 3, make 3 hDC (= half double crochets) in first chain, chain 2 and turn
Row 2 : (increasing row) 2 hDC in first stitch, 1 hDC in next stitch, 2 hDC in last stitch, chain 2 and turn
Rows 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 : work 5 hDC, chain 2 and turn
Row 8 : (decreasing row) 2 hDCtog (= half double crochets together : decreasing!), 1 hDC, 2 hDCtog , chain 2 and turn
Row 9 : (decreasing row) work 3 hDCtog, chain 2 and turn
Row 10 : work 3 hDC in same stitch, chain 2 and turn
Row 11: 3 hDC, chain 2 and turn
Row 12 : (increasing row) 2 hDC in first stitch, 1 hDC in next stitch, 2 hDC in last stitch

From now on, you can choose between two options :


chain 1 and slip stitch all around the fish body, until you reach again the tail and
Row 13 : 1 SC (= single crochet) in first stitch, [2 DC (= double crochet), 1 slip stitch, 2 DC ] in third stitch, 1 SC in last stitch

Cut yarn, fasten off and trim ends in . Sew on a button as the fish eye.


You can decide to not slip stich all around the fish body, so, instead, at the end of row 12 you can chain 1 and then turn
Row 13 : as in option 1

Cut yarn, fasten off and trim ends in. Sew on a button as the fish eye.

When working on my colour block fish, I preferred to use option 1, while working with two strands together (baker's twine effect) I used option 2 !!

The only exception was the above pink/white one, where I still used option 1 !!!

As usual, I'm not able to post just a couple of pictures .....

So, if you wanna follow the Italian custom, just add a pin to your fish and wear it all day long !!!!

You can even decide to make a simple necklace , as I did ..

Have fun today, xxxx Ale

Today party links : Link your Stuff! and Craft Schooling Sunday


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