Favorites Week – Patterns

March 13, 2008 at 2:44 pm (Crochet)

For the final entry in favorites week, I wanted to share a few of my favorite free patterns that I have found on the web.  Many of my favorite patterns are ones that I’ve discovered through Crochet Pattern Central, in their huge database.
I found this pattern on Crochet Pattern Central when I was looking for a good fingerless glove pattern.  What I love about this pattern is that you can use it to make regular gloves, fingerless gloves, or gloves that are switchable between regular and fingerless.  You can also change the size just by changing yarn and/or hook size. 
I think this pattern is adorable.  There are a lot of crochet cupcakes out there, but I like these ones because of the sort of frilly edge on the frosting.  This is also a versatile pattern.  You can change around the yarn colors to make different “flavors”, and you can use contrasting colors for sprinkles.  It’s also a quick pattern, so you can make a lot in a short time. (unfortunately, the picture is too big to post here, but you can see it by clicking the link.)
As mentioned in my Stitches post, this afghan is a great project.  It’s completely customizable.  You can make it a stash busting projects with all different yarns, you can pick one color and use different shades of it, and you can give it different borders.  You can easily change the size by changing how many flowers per stripe you use, and how many rows you use.  You could easily turn this afghan pattern into a scarf pattern by doing a small number of rows with many flowers in each row.

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Favorites Week – Yarns

March 9, 2008 at 2:16 pm (Crochet, Knit)

One of the larger debates in the needleworking world is about yarns.  Which is better, acrylics or natural fibers?  For me, I’ve only used acrylics, with the exception of a skein of Lion Wool.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any yarn stores in the immediate area, and my tight college budget doesn’t really allow me to pay more than a few dollars for a skein of yarn :/  However, there are plenty of acrylic yarns that I have used and loved, and here some of them are!Caron Bliss.

This yarn is sooooo soft!  It comes in different colors, some bright, some muted.  It’s 53% nylon, 47% acrylic.  It’s a very ligt yarn to work with, but it’s a bulky yarn because of the poofy quality of it.  I’ve used it for hat trim, scarves, and slippers.  One of the nicest things about it is that, as you’re working with it, it doesn’t irritate your hands because it’s not only soft, but smooth too. 

Lion Suede.

This is another favorite of mine.  It too has a nice soft feel to it, but it isn’t as fluffy as the Bliss yarn.  It’s a 100% polyester yarn.  One of the positives about this yarn is that, while it’s also very nice to work with, you can see the stitches when you use it.  It’s also a bulky yarn, because it’s make with very thick strands.  I’ve used it for toys, parts of blankets, and hats.

Patons Carmen.

Yes, this one is another soft yarn.  Unlike the other two, however, this yarn is not a solid colored or patterned yarn.  It is a 36% polyester, 64% nylon blend yarn.  It has a base color, with bits of various solids mixed throughout the yarn.  It’s a bulky yarn, and also has a smooth feel to it.  I’ve used it for slippers and toys, and am currently attempting to make a hat with it.

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Favorites Week – Stitches

March 6, 2008 at 4:46 pm (Crochet)

I’ve decided that this next week or so is going to be Favorites Week, where I’ll post about my favorites when it comes to crochet.  Today I’m going to start with stitches. 

The Daisy Stitch.

I’m not sure if this is technically called the daisy stitch, but that’s what it was reffered to on this Craftster post where I discovered it.  My favorite thing about this stitch is that you can use a different yarn for each row of flowers, and it doesn’t look clashy or like it was simply a “stash-buster.”

<–photo courtesy of sonnetbird on Craftster

The Mesh Stitch.

I’ve only recently started using this stitch, but I love it already.  The projects made with it work up very quickly, and make such lacy, elegant-looking fabrics.  It’s also really versatile.  You can make the “holes” in the mesh larger or small by adding or subracting chains, or using double crochet instead of single crochet.  The basic one I use is a sc, ch5, skip next 3 sts, sc.

photo from LionBrand’s StitchFinder–>

Clusters.

This is another simple but cool stitch.  The ones I use (which are used in the pattern for this hat)  are made by doing several dcs in the same stitch, but without pulling the last loops through, then pulling through after the last dc so that all of them are bunched together at the top and bottom, making a puffy little stitch.  You can make them larger or smaller by varying the number and type of stitch within the cluster.  One of the things I like the most about this stitch is that you can use it for more or less any type of project.

<–picture from Caron’s free pattern website

Of course, there are tons of other stitches that I enjoy using, but these three I feel are some of the most versatile and fairly easiest to pick up.  Feel free to comment with your own personal favorites or least favorites! 🙂

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The water version

March 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm (Community, Crochet, internet, Unique)

Interestingly enough, just days after posting about the knitted English garden, I found this article from the New York Times about a crocheted coral reef.  The project, the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, is designed entirely from crochet and aims to raise awareness about the effects of global warming, similar to the AIDS quilt raising awareness for AIDS.

^crocheted coral reef

^Great Barrier Reef in Australia

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Another unique project

March 3, 2008 at 6:34 pm (Knit, Unique)

As far as knit projects go, this one is both unique and ambitious.  A woman in England, along with the help of over 300 others, created a replica of an English garden.  Overall, this project must have taken thousands, if not millions of knitting hours between everyone.

knitted snail

Jane Bolsover's knitted garden

Personally, I most likely would have given up after the first squirrel, so I admire the skill and patience of these people 🙂

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Double bonus for crochet

February 27, 2008 at 9:33 pm (Community)

It’s great when something can help the community.  It’s doubly great when something benefits the community in two separate ways.  This is the case with this article.  The article is about prison inmates who crochet baby blankets for pregnancy centers.  Not only are these babies receiving one of a kind handmade blankets, but the inmates are receiving the satisfaction of creating something good and gaining a positive skill.

 <—-director of a pregnancy center displaying donated blankets

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Creativity with yarn

February 26, 2008 at 9:06 pm (Unique)

I have to say, I love this video.  It’s so amusing to see the melding of yarn people and real people in the yarn world, and it just goes to show you that you don’t have to knit or crochet (although some of the props are knitted and crocheted, and the girl is knitting) with yarn to make it interesting!

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Creative things to do with crochet

February 25, 2008 at 10:39 am (Crochet, internet)

I was browsing Craftster.org when I came across a post about a crochet designer named Joy Kampia.  I followed the link to her site and discovered that she makes a large assortment of crocheted items, from clothes to sculptures to wall hangings.  Her designs are very unique too, like this hamburger dress, or this ice cream sundae dress*.  If you look in the sculpture area of the site you see things like a banana split, a computer tower, a stuffed turkey, and a chocolate sundae.  Everything she makes looks “realistic” enough that you know right away what it is.  This type of portfolio definitely takes some skill and imagination.

*I have posted the links instead of the pictures because the site specifically asks not to remove pictures.

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Anything is possible

February 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm (Crochet, Unique)

Many people would be devastated if they lost their sight in high school, but not Heidi Piroso of New Hampshire.  She lost her sight at the age of 14, but did not let that stop her from doing anything.  She learned to crochet right around when she was losing the last of her sight, and to date she has crocheted more than 50 blankets for charity.

Personally, I know that if I were to lose my sight I would be devasted.  You can’t help but admire Piroso for overcoming her blindness so well.

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This is different

February 19, 2008 at 6:22 pm (Community, Knit, Unique)

I found this site online called KnittaPlease.com.  Upon browsing the site, I discovered that Knitta is a group of knitters who actually go around the world and use their knitting to decorate public places.  This is quite a unique concept, and if you look at the pictures, some of them are pretty cool.  I only wonder how they get permission to put up their decorations 🙂

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