Thursday, 28 January 2016

A colourful crochet shawl for me !!!

In the last two weeks, I've started a couple of projects (both crochet and knitting) and I've completed one of them ...



It all started back in Italy, when in a grocery store I found some crochet magazines ... One of them had only patterns from DROPS Design and a shawl caught my attention (here), but I had to wait to go back to Maputo to start to crochet, as I don't travel, usually, with my yarn stash !!! ;oD
Yes, the right yarn was waiting for me in a basket in my studio/dining room in Mozambique ...

When back in Africa, just two days from our return, I started to crochet away one of the 21 ( and 7 halves!) motifs needed for my shawl-to-be ....



The central motif is given by a simple flower, surrounded by a thick circular frame ...




that is included in a square made from chains ....




I didn't follow the instructions blindly, as they were telling me to crochet all the motifs first and then sew them together, when the crochet work was done .... not for me!!!
I preferred to use the join-as-you-go method and I trimmed all the squares once they were done ...





and little by little the shawl was taking its shape ...








at a certain point, the 21 motifs were all done and joined, so my work started to feel real ...






then, I had to start to crochet 7 half flowers/squares ....







and the main body of the shawl was quickly done ....







Which yarns did I use?????

The pattern suggests to use "Drops Vivaldi" yarns, but they are discontinued....
I didn't have the thought to buy new yarns, so the "discontinued" issue was not a real issue for me as the right yarns were in my basket at home .... the funny thing is that my yarns (bought some years ago in Indonesia) are discontinued, too, so, somehow, I respected the pattern requirements .... !!!!!

Anyway, my yarns are (still some leftovers!), using a 4mm hook :

JELLI BEEN double knitting (grape 2441) from ROBIN YARNS, 88% acrylic 12% polyester. I've used a ball (100g) and a little bit just for the flowers

MERINO MIX (shade 4-rouge) from KATIA, 60% merino superwash 40% acrylic, 3 balls (50g each) for the red frame around the flowers

SNUGGLY double knitting from SIRDAR, 55% nylon 45% acrylic, shade 0385 blue twist, 2 balls (50g each) for the squares

What next???
The BORDER !!!
This time I changed the hook size (5mm) and I decided to use a different colour, just to make the border pop out (BALMY PLUSS from B.B.B. filati, shade 287, 50% merino 50% acrylic) and I started to crochet an easy border made of chains (3 rounds)....









Once the border was done (YAY!!) I had to block the shawl, mostly to stretch the border, but I didn't have enough rubber squares to pin my shawl on .... I had to be patient a couple of days, before being able to start the last process ...

A lot of colourful pins and some sprayed water did the trick in the end ...











the day after, when completely dry, the shawl was taken off the blocking board and it was ready to show off !!!!







.... and I tried it even on my shoulders : proud mama !!!! ;oD



xxxx Alesandra

Today links : craft schooling sunday
















Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Make it ! A loopy necklace !!!

.... and here it is : my first post of the year!!!!
I'm happy to be back, after a long Christmas break in Italy and some fun on Instagram!!!! ;oD

As you remember (here), I made some handmade gifts for friends and family members and today I've decided to share one of the patterns with you : did you like the crocheted necklaces ???





They were both gifted : one to my mum (the bold turquoise one, because she has beautiful blue eyes) and one to her sister, aka my auntie (the delicate yellow one .... not because of her eyes!!!!).

I made one for me (4mm hook and yarn from Sirdar WASH'n"WEAR), too, while checking the pattern for you to follow ....



You will need to crochet your own
  • 4mm crochet hook (yellow version)/ 8mm hook (turquoise version)
  • yarn : there are no restrictions! My yellow yarn is from KATIA MERINO BLEND (colour 19), while the turquoise yarn is from SCHACHENMAYR original MERINO SUPER BIG MIX (colour 69)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a yarn needle
  • buttons as closure (mine are tweed fabric covered, from my friend Alison here )
  • some pins and a suitable surface for blocking!
Please note that I follow the US crochet terminology and the following pattern is the one to follow for a necklace crocheted with a 4mm hook!

LOOPY NECKLACE PATTERN

Pick up your 4mm hook, make a slip knot on it and crochet 204 chains.
Insert hook in 2nd chain from hook and make your first single crochet (=SC).
Crochet other 34 SCs along the foundation chain. (you'll have a total of 35 SCs).
Now : 1 SC in next chain, chain 5, 1 SC in next chain (first loop)
           1 SC in next chain, chain 10, 1 SC in next chain (second loop)
           1 SC in next chain, chain 15,  1 SC in next chain (third loop)
           1 SC in next chain, chain 10, 1 SC in next chain (fourth loop)

.... and this is what you will have on your hook .... the first 35 SCs and the four loops ...






You have to repeat the above pattern other 16 times !
You'll have a total of 17 groups of loops (68 loops!) when completed the repetition!!!

After the repetition, you have to crochet : 1 SC in next chain, chain 5, 1 SC in next chain
This is your last loop (#69!) !!!
After that, crochet 30 SCs, so that you reach the last chain of the foundation chain!
Make a loop for the button, chaining as many chains you need (it depends from the dimensions of your button) and then sip stitch in the first chain made for this loop.
Cut yarn, trim in ends and sew the botton on the other end of the necklace!






If you want to crochet a chunky version of this necklace, just change hook (8mm) and yarn and, obviously, something from the original pattern :

Chain 101 chains, instead of 204!
Crochet 15 SCs at the beginning of the necklace, while crochet 10 SCs at the end !
The loopy pattern develops differently :
you start and end with : 1 SC in next chain, chain 5, 1 SC in next chain
in the between, you are going to repeat the original 4 loops pattern only 8 times !

N.B. : the beginning and the end of the loopy pattern presents two close by "five chains" loops !!!







Another thing to consider, before wearing the necklace, is to block it ....


It's really curly when you finish to crochet it, but spraying some water on the necklace, pinned on a rubber board ... well it works!! Let it dry properly (you will just need one night to obtain that!) !!!








NOW you can proudly WEAR it!!!!!






some more details .....








xxxx Alessandra

Today links : Link your Stuff! and Craft Schooling Sunday

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