Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts

Le Stitch, Mr B. and the p'tit Bout went to visit Bruges, Belgium, last weekend. In-between beer and chips breaks, we managed to stroll around the beautiful city that has been made famous in the world for its delicate hand-made lace crochet.

This traditional art originated in the 16th century. It was passed from mother to daughter and was taught orally. The delicacy of the lace crochet grew in popularity and contributed to increase the wealth of the city.

Here is an incredible Youtube video showing you a lace-maker in action.  The speed is absolutely mind-blowing !!

You will find more details on the Kent Centrum website (the official museum of lace crocher in Bruges).

I warmly recommend that you visit the city. It is stunning despite the truck load of tourists coming round the clock and the Flemish welcome is not that warm.

I have recently hooked a basket for my ever-growing stash of wool, and wanted to share this tutorial with you.

Material :
- t-shirt yarn
- crochet hook (size 10 to 14, up to 15 according to the size of the yarn)
- stitch markers

I have bought the yarn from a Portuguese maker : Tek Tek, as I always to stay away from the big brand names. Besides the yarn is much nicer and also way cheaper :) 

The wooden hook was bought from Adzewoodcraft (Etsy). It's been made just for me, and it sure is a hook that is special to my heart.

After more than 8 failed attempt, I can honestly say that if your base is wonky, it means your tension is way too tight. 

I have found that Donna Wolfe's instructions and youtube videos were really helpful. 

The only changes I have made were:
- adding handles on the side.
- having a variations of stitches on the side from single to half-treble stitches. I have also stitched my singles on the outside to prevent the baskets to become a giant floppy frisbee. 

Note- Do not expect the basket to hold by itself. If it's not full with stuff inside, it will collapse as t.shirt yarn is flexible and elastic.

Ebooks are amazing (sorry if I sound biased here... of course I am, after all I work in the publishing industry).

You can carry your ebook reader everywhere without feeling the weight of your entire library in your hand-bag. It is very practical, but it is also a fragile device that needs looking after. So to avoid any damages done to it, Le Stitch has come up with her personalised Kindle case. Easy to make in a couple of hours; crochet stitches are quite basic.

The yarn used in this project is Soir de Paris in DK superfine sustainable new merino, available in the shop here.

Kindle case

The case is made up of one long piece of crocheted fabric that is sewn on the side to create the pouch shape. Note the pattern is given using UK crochet terms: 2 trebles stitches (tr), 2 bobbles, 3 tr, 2 bobbles, 3 tr, 2 bobbles, 2 tr. Adapt the number of stitches number to fit the size of your ebook reader.
trebles and bobbles stitches to hook an ebook reader case

The closing flap does not require any locking system as its length, plus the weight of the yarn, made it easy to close by itself.
Crochet hooked breton-style kid's jumper striped in three colours by Conway+Bliss Lolli

Le Stitch has finally taken the plunge and stepped into the world of hooking garments.

I was getting bored with hooking granny squares. After more than 20, the enthusiasm was gone and I needed a new challenge. Since I cannot knit (or I have never had the patience for that), I looked towards hooking a jumper, starting in kid's size (smaller the size, therefore faster the work, plus TiBou is my favouritest guinea pig ever).

The idea of the top comes from Simply Crochet Mag (yeah, that one again. Here a trend seems to appear). Payable instructions can be found on Ravelry.

The first EIGHT attempts really left me frustrated. So in the end, to hell with this tension, which was too lose for my hyper tight stitches (I am a very nervous person and my hooking is the same).

'Lolli' from Conway+Bliss in Tutti Frutti, Lemon, Gum Drop with neon sparkles

'Lolli' yarn comes from Conway+Bliss and are here in Tutti Frutti (off white), Lemon, Gum Drop (grey), with neon sparkles integrated in the chain-type of thread. 80% cotton / 20% poly, this yarn is perfect for kiddies spring/summer outfit.

'Lolli' from Conway+Bliss in Tutti Frutti, Lemon, Gum Drop with neon sparkles

The finished top is uber cute. However..., since I did not care that much about the tension, the jumper is a little bit on the huge side for my TiBou. But I am sure it will fit perfectly in spring/summer 2017, and 2018 and 2019 and 2020 :)

Since buying issues of Simply Crochet magazine, my whole crochet world has been turned upside down in a good way. It's like someone has granted Le Stitch free entry to Willy Wonka's Factory, except that, instead of chocolate, you can only see scrumptious yarn and uniquely designed crochet patterns. And from that day on Le Stitch cannot stop hooking. I am literally hooked up!

In issue 48, there was an article about hooking a scarf using The Wool Kitchen yarn. I could not resist. I had to have a look at TWK's Etsy shop and ended up buying two types of yarn (one never knows when you need that emergency wool, so better be prepared!):

#thewoolkitchen - two hanks of variegated yarn hand-dye in acid dyes, one neon pink, one light grey
Mixed fizz (left) & Skinny-dipping (right)
The yarn has been hand-dyed in London using non-toxic dyes. Both are a mix of blue-faced Leicester and bamboo. It took me a while to get use to the texture as I am used to hooking with merino, whose yarn holds its sprung. Blue-faced Leicester tends to be more loose.

Close-up to show details of the different colours.
It was the first time ever that I bought hanks of yarn. I have always bought yarn in ready-to-unroll balls and getting the skein to turn into a nicely neat ball has been very challenging as I had zero method (as you can see by the picture).

In the end, I managed to tame the nerve-recking mess I did all by myself, got a ball of yarn, and started hooking. As expected, it took me about 4 attempts to get to understand the instructions (which are very clearly well explained, it's just that I am a real rookie). I didn't even bother about the tension/gauge. Why complicating when I am only hooking a scarf?

But in the end, it was a success.

The pattern for the scarf can be found on Ravelry.

Social Media is going wild with the Granny Square Day today on 15 August 2016!

I take this opportunity to show you my progress on my personal Jan Eaton challenge. So far I have done 17 squares, and without realising it I am actually working on 2 blankets: one being a baby blanket made up of Rooster Almerino wool, the other being a throw we'll use in the living room in Cotton yarn from Rico Design (which I am growing to loathe! This yarn does not inspire me....)

Here's a few samples of my achievement to date:

Homemakery post order uncovered

About two years ago, when I started learning crochet, I looked to get yarn supplies in different shops and was never really happy 100%. Over months of intensive research, I finally set my heart on The Homemakery, an online (and independent) craft supplier.

Freebies: a card and some London riff-raff

And the reason for this is simple. I am terrible when it comes to choosing colour combinations for a crochet project. The Homemakery offers you packs of yarn with pre-selected colour combo and I love  every single one of them!

I got the Classic Cath - RICO creative cotton aran pack.

Classic Cath - RICO creative cotton aran pack

Granny square crochet made with the Classic Cath - RICO creative cotton aran pack

Other pluses to mention:
- the quality of the yarn is superior to any I saw in the shop for a very affordable price,
- your order comes with an unexpected little freebie
- you help an independent shop (rather than the megamen)

Go on... have a look at their website. It's a pleasure for the eye (and the wallet!)

In my yarn basket I have a lot of yarn:
- yarn people wanted to get rid of,
- yarn earned during street party raffle,
- yarn bought by myself.

There isn't a lot of yarn in my basket because I try not to overbuy since I have got a huge collection of embroidery thread (over 150), textile, buttons (over 1000!). However, I ordered more yarn yesterday night. I could not help it. After all it will be all needed for my granny square personal challenge. it's all legit.

For now I have Phildar coton 3, Phildar Cabotine, Rooster Almerino.

What do you have in your yarn basket?
200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix-and-Match by Jan Eaton

Recently I have been dribbling with envy on Instagram and on pictures of other people's crochet creations to be more precise. The crochet bug has started to kick in. You know... this gut feeling that you REALLY ... DESPERATELY want to crochet no matter what.

In an ideal world I would love to take part in an online CAL, notably the Mandala Madness by Crystals and crochet, or the Moogly Afghan crochet-along. But I know myself, I'll become frustrated if I don't finish a square on time and I'll start panicking if I am behind.

Instead, I have set myself a personal challenge. Recently (say a few years back!!), I bought myself a book on granny square: 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix-and-Match by Jan Eaton.

Since the birth of my son (precisely a year ago) I have been unable to finish any book, not even a magazine. So why don't I try this one? I am pretty aware my target is super unrealistic. If I can commit to 10 square that would be unbelievable.

Let's start with Square 1. I keep you updated.

Triangle stripes granny square crochet
Le Stitch has today finished a masterpiece. It's a masterpiece not so much for the end result, but for the sheer amount of hours spent on it.

Embroidered kitchen towel with crocheted border

I came across a very sweet scene when I was in Portugal back in December 2015. 

Someone took the time and labour to cover a tree with crochet squares and laces. The result was simply gorgeous. 

Tree in public space covered in crochet squares and laces

Crochet has been Le Stitch's 2015 obsession.

I'm learning it all by myself and cannot stop doing it when I have a 'me' moment (which is a luxury these days).

So far I've crocheted a baby snuggle, although interestingly the said baby does not seem to give a hoot, some Xmas tree decorations:

In the past two weeks, I've also been hard at work on a tablecloth crochet edging, and it's proven very disappointing!

I am really not happy with it. The reason for, what I call, a 'failure' is that I am learning new crochet stitches as I go and trying to decipher the crochet instructions, which is proper gobbledygookish to me. The spacing between the crocheted 'bridges' is uneven, the look of the same bridges varies from one bridge to another, it's all over the place.

I am about to undo everything and restart... I keep you posted.  
I've recently come across a website from a brilliant Dutch amigurumi crochet maker called

I love all the creations there and I'm counting every single day till his books are published in English. 

For now, I've done one of his free creation, available here:

and here's the result:

Not bad considering it's one of my first attempts at crocheting!