crochet

Montville shawl

Some of you will remember that I crochet as well as sew!  My crocheting has really taken a back seat over the past few years.  I had a sore arm and shoulder, so stopped for quite some time as the motion of crochet was aggravating it.  Anyway, in recent months I’ve started up again.  I’m making sure not to crochet for too long in one sitting, and so far all seems to be going well!  In March I completed a Montville shawl.

Montville scarf in Poems Socks yarn colour 965 and Zarina colour 1628

This is a lovely pattern, simple to crochet but highly effective. I always enjoy Addydae Designs patterns – Deanne writes clear instructions and the finished product is always pleasing.

Montville scarf in Poems Socks yarn colour 965 and Zarina colour 1628

This was crocheted in a combination of Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock in the pumpkin patch colourway for the body, and Filatura Di Crosa Zarina in teal for the edging. I used a 4.5mm Tulip Etimo Rose hook, which I find very ergonomic.

Montville crocheted wrap

Further details from the Ravelry pattern page are as follows:

Montville is the second in the Hinterland series of shawl designs. Intended to showcase yarns with long colour changes, its asymmetrical shape and simple lace edge allow your feature yarn to take centre stage.  The Montville shawl is worked sideways with the edging added afterward. It can be made in multiple yarn weights according to your preference. Suited to the confident beginner, simply choose your favourite yarn, grab a hook and get started! Pattern includes both written and charted instructions. Approximate Size: 61”/156cm wide (around the curve) x 15.5”/40cm deep after blocking. Of course, this is a suggestion only. You can make yours as wide as you wish. Yarn: Whatever yarn you like! This design can be worked up using just about any fibre and yarn weight. Cotton, silk, alpaca and bamboo blends would be the most ideal as they are more likely to drape gently. But if you are after a squishy warm winter shawl, 100% wool will also work beautifully. Gauge: For this design, gauge is not critical.Simply aim for a soft fluid fabric suited to the yarn you have chosen.

Montville crocheted wrap

Bridges

I’ve crocheted something.  Something for me.  Something that was started way back in August 2014.  Yes, it took me that long. Not because of the pattern complexity, but because of juggling the process with everything else in my life.  Anyway, in March 2015 it was finished – and it’s finally made it to the blog in April.

Crochet tunic.  Pattern is Bridges by Yumiko Alexander, worked in cotton from Woolarium

The pattern is Bridges, by Yumiko Alexander. It’s from her book Rustic Modern Crochet. The book is full of gorgeous designs, and I can definitely see myself crocheting more of them. I used Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton, purchased from Woolarium. I really, really like this colour. This was a beautiful yarn to work with, but I needed almost five skeins for the the tunic. The total cost of the yarn worked out to around $85.

Crochet tunic.  Pattern is Bridges by Yumiko Alexander, worked in cotton from Woolarium

The front and the back of this tunic are identical, which made it very straightforward to make. The pattern does have a sample chart, but I could have done with a full sized one. I think this design would have been easy to work just from a chart, rather than from written instructions. I made size S-L, which is the smaller of the two size options. Once the two panels have been completed they are seamed at the shoulders, leaving an opening for the neckline, then a simple edging is worked around both the neckline and the edges. The sides are laced together with crocheted cord.

Crochet tunic.  Pattern is Bridges by Yumiko Alexander, worked in cotton from Woolarium

This is definitely a statement piece. I am looking forward to experimenting a little more with outfit combinations and seeing what it goes over best. The mustard was a fluke really, but I think that it works well. I felt great wearing this outfit. There are more details over on Ravelry here.

Crochet tunic.  Pattern is Bridges by Yumiko Alexander, worked in cotton from Woolarium

Lotus Bolero for Stella

Finally, the small girl gets something!  My commuter crochet over the past few months has been this little bolero for Stella.

Lotus Shrug by Doris Chan

How could something so small take so long, I hear you ask? Mostly because I had to unpull it when it was only a few rows away from being finished because I realised that I’d made a mistake. Back in row 5. WAY back in row 5.

Lotus Shrug by Doris Chan

This pretty bolero is actually quite straightforward to crochet. The pattern is by Doris Chan, and she really spells everything out in her patterns. If you’ve crocheted any of her patterns before then you’ll find this one super easy. I made the smallest pattern size for Stella, size 24/S. The yarn is from Spotlight but from quite a few seasons ago. It’s called Gardenia, pretty much translates to an 8ply or DK weight, and is 75% acrylic and 25% viscose derived from bamboo. It’s a lovely soft yarn to work with and both my girls like the feel of it to wear. It’s a cable construction rather than a twist, and really very good quality for a predominantly synthetic yarn. I used a 4.5mm hook.

Lotus Shrug by Doris Chan

The pattern is a four row repeat. The whole bolero is worked in one piece from the neck down, a technique that I particularly like. Just make sure that you count as you go and use markers where suggested so that you don’t have to do what I did and unpull back to row 5!

Lotus Shrug by Doris Chan

Sizes from 24/S – Stella’s size – right up to 53/3XL adult are included in this pattern. I think that it would be quite easy to lengthen the body to make a longer cardigan, or to extend the cap sleeves to make them whatever length that you like. I considered putting a tie or button closure on the front of Stella’s bolero, but she wanted it left the way that it was.

Lotus Shrug by Doris Chan

Now I am about to start another in the next size up for Clare. Over the last year I haven’t been crocheting as much as I used to. Partly this has been because my work-related arm/neck/shoulder pain is also aggravated by the motion of the crochet hook. Partly it is because I am using commuting time to check on blogs and instagram. Partly it is because I am prioritising sewing. And partly it is because I am trying to read more novels. Whatever the reasons, it was very satisfying to finally complete another crochet project, even it was a fairly small one. I have a top for me that is almost finished, and there are still a whole lot of crochet squares that I hooked back in 2012 that need to be joined into a blanket. Plenty to do, as always!

The ones that never made it to the blog….

Yes, there were items that had a quick and often blurry photo taken, but were never photographed properly and consequently were never blogged.  I am going to include them all in this post, blurry/awkward photos and all, just in order to have a record of them.  But there won’t be many details, I’m afraid!

IMG_1791

First up, the Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit. This was completed just before we went to Thailand, and it did get a bit of wear when we were there. The fabric is from Rathdowne Fabrics. I think that I made a size 14, but straightened it out to remove the waist shaping. Oh, it was so long ago, I really am having trouble remembering! I do remember that this pattern uses a lot of fabric, with lining underneath and the ruched overlays. It was also quite a slow sew. When it got wet it felt like there was a LOT of web fabric on me. I like the bottom coverage, but actually think that I sewed it one size too large. Mind you by the end of the holiday and the associated food/cocktail consumption, the size was probably fine.

IMG_1790

I’d quite like to give the other version in the pattern a try, or else try this one without the ruching. But it’s not as though I don’t have plenty of bathers now – and I don’t really swim all that often. No need for more (for me) until the next overseas holiday…ah well, a girl can dream.

Katniss cross-body cowl

I crocheted the Katniss Cross-Body Cowl, in Patons Inca yarn. I gave this one to my cousin, who lives on the edge of Melbourne where it is that bit colder than it is here. I reckon that this garment was a fail for me and for her (not the fault of the pattern). You’d really have to know what outfit it goes with – probably something similar to that worn by its namesake in the movies.

Katniss cross-body cowl

However, it was fun to crochet, and the texture is rather wonderful. Chalk that one down more to the process than the product.

Nessie Top for Clare

A Nessie top for Clare, in fabric left over from her Perri Pullover. She wears the Perri top a lot, and this one never. Hmmm.

Nessie Top for Clare

This pattern has been used for a top and a dress for Stella and both of those get wear, so it might move into Stella’s wardrobe sooner rather than later. The deer printed fabric is from Spotlight, and it’s a sweatshirt type of fabric that is brushed on the inside and smooth on the outside, so it’s quite thick. Probably a little too thick for this more fitted style.  The contrasting yoke fabric was in stash, and was used out of fabric restriction necessity.

Nessie Top for Clare

I added the strip of navy piping both to be a feature and to distract from the slight mis-match of cream between the yoke and the print.

McCalls 6841 in stripe knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Here we have McCalls 6841. I’ve sewn this pattern twice before, and making it in the stripes was a bit of an experiment. The fabric was from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table, and was a poly/lycra knit but one with a very soft, smooth and cool hand, along with excellent drape.

McCalls 6841 in stripe knit from Darn Cheap Fabrics

There is actually quite a lot to like about this pattern. The neckline and shoulder gathers are terrific, and would you believe there are only two main pattern pieces? It’s actually rather straightforward to make, but looks quite complicated. But I never wore it. It went in the Christmas free-for-all – my not-yet-30 niece has claimed it.

teacher gifts - Thai cotton double gauze scarf

And last but definitely not least we have the double cotton gauze scarves that I made as teacher gifts this year. A long length of fabric with the ends sewn together into a circle and the edges hemmed. Done.

teacher gifts - Thai cotton double gauze scarf

A huge shout out to Gaye of Notionally Better who I bought the fabric from – it is the loveliest Thai cotton double faced gauze, different on each side, and incredibly soft. You can get some from her Etsy shop here. I have more that will become garments.

Thai cotton double gauze for scarves

Phew, what a long blog post! But guess what – that’s not quite everything from 2014. But I’m nearly there, so surely I’ll be closer to caught up by the end of January!

chunky crocheted handspun scarf

Handspun by Pauline

One of my friends has a clever mother-in-law who is rather addicted to spinning.  Her spinning guild took part in a “group spin” where they all shared bits of different coloured wool tops and spun them with another thin yarn to create some stunning skeins of  handspun with highly varied colours and textures.  I couldn’t resist buying a couple of Pauline’s skeins, and have finally turned them into a crocheted scarf.

Scarf crocheted from Paulines handspun

Oh, the texture! Those lovely knobbly lumps of colour! I started with a crocheted chain of 15 stitches, and worked single crochet into the front loop only. Back and forth, back and forth, until there was no yarn left. I used a 12mm hook.

crocheted scarf in Paulines handspun

Pauline’s daughter-in-law, Jane, has already knitted a scarf in the same yarn. Hers has stretched and lengthened substantially during wear, and I can already see that mine will do the same. After one day of wear it was quite a bit narrower through the middle, with the ends still being fairly wide. I’ll enjoy watching this scarf develop as it is used. And I really enjoyed wielding the crochet hook again – this only took a couple of hours to make!

Scarf crocheted from Paulines handspun

Pretty Popcorn vest

After the success of the last garment that I made Clare from Crocheting Clothes Kids Love, it wasn’t long before I started on another.  This time it was the Pretty Popcorn Vest.

Pretty Popcorn Vest

The yarn is Patons Australia Glacier, a now discontinued yarn that made its way from a friend’s stash into mine recently. According to the Ravelry database it is an 8ply, so I was fairly happy to substitute it in this pattern. I was a little concerned that a 3.5mm hook would be too stiff with this weight of yarn, but after blocking it has softened up beautifully and keeps it shape just as it ought to.

Pretty Popcorn Vest

I crocheted size 8 for Clare, and it’s still a little large across her back. However, it does up nicely at the front, and the rest of the proportions look good. The back is worked first, then each front with lace edging. Once the fronts and back are joined, the lacy sleeve edging is worked, and the ties and popcorn tassels come last.

Pretty Popcorn Vest

This was finished in ten days – but actually, it was finished in about four days, then sat waiting for me to do the tassels for almost another week! I wonder why we sometimes put off the little finishing details that don’t take very long to do. Clare likes her vest and has worn it a couple of times already.

Pretty Popcorn Vest

It must be time for me to pull out the book again and decide what to start hooking next!  There are more details on Ravelry here and more photos in a set on Flickr here.

Crystal Anniversary Clapochet

The Clapochet is a crocheted scarf/wrap that currently has over 500 projects on Ravelry.  It is a free pattern, and can be pretty much worked up in any yarn, as long as you match it to an appropriate hook.  I started crocheting this one on my Crystal Wedding Anniversary back in February, and it was finished a week later.

Clapochet in BWM Murano

I used a full 200g ball of Bendigo Woollen Mills Murano, and actually ran out a little bit before the end. This has resulted in one end of the scarf being a little chopped off – the scarf is worked on the diagonal – instead of pointed, but I don’t think that it matters drastically.

Clapochet in BWM Murano

This is one of those situations where the yarn does all of the colour changing work. And the increases and decreases needed to work it diagonally kept everything interesting without being super taxing. It was a great commuting project.  And it is super warm and cosy.

Clapochet in BWM Murano

More details of my scarf are ravelled here.