So SubLIME!

Just added a great lightweight scarf and wrist warmers to my shop. The SubLIME Necklace Scarf and Wrist Warmers Pattern Pack are made with lace weight yarn so they are perfect to make and wear in the hotter months. Don’t worry if you’ve never worked with lace weight yarn, it’s actually quite easy and the hook that is suggested keeps your loops nice and big and easy to work with.

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Ocean Waves Bag ~ New Free Pattern Workshop

Ocean Waves Bag
Ocean Waves Bag

Time for another free pattern! I’ve just added the Ocean Waves Bag to the Free Pattern Workshops page. You can download the pattern and watch a step-by-step video tutorial on how to make it.

I wanted to make a lunch bag that was good for the environment (forget brown bagging it, it’s all about the “green” bags now) and I wanted it to be summery. This is what I came up with. The colors remind me of the sand and waves of the beach. I gave the bag generous straps so you can easily tie them to close off the top and still have enough strap to hang it off your wrist or stroller.

This bag can also be used for so much more. It can hold your bathing suits for the beach, keep your book and Ipod safe from the sun, or use it as a cute purse with a sundress.

This bag only takes one skein of each color to complete, which means not only is this bag good for the environment, but its also good for your wallet. In the pattern I have listed the yarn used in the picture but you can really use substitute any color you like.

Moving Sale!!

I’m PCSing soon. That’s military speak for moving, and for any military family out there you know that you have a weight limit on what the government will move for you. Because of this, I’m getting rid of all my extra weight, and a lot of it is magazines — crochet magazines to be exact. I’ve amassed a huge collection of current and vintage mags that I need to sadly part with; however, this is great news for anyone visiting this site in the next couple of weeks. If you head over to my ebay page, you can score on huge deals. Everything is starting at 99 cents, I’ve already got some stuff listed that is ending tonight and some more is being listed as we speak.

I’ve got fairly current (last 3 years) issues of Interweave Crochet listed now and here are some pics of the great deals being added today. Get them now before someone else does!

Vintage Awesomeness Lot 1
Vintage Awesomeness Lot 1
Vintage Awesomeness Lot 2
Vintage Awesomeness Lot 2
Vintage Awesomeness Lot 3
Vintage Awesomeness Lot 3
Vintage Awesomeness Lot 4
Vintage Awesomeness Lot 4

Many more to see, go check them out!

 

 

 

Retro knitwear

I was at the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk yesterday (first time) with the kids and came across this awesome vintage football game.

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But, what was even more awesome was the fact that every little metal player in the game had a hand knitted sweater on.

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Red and blue to denote the teams.

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What I wonder is if the game came that way or if some loving owner of the game knitted each team member a sweater for fun. Either way, I thought it was pretty cool and I wanted to share.

Here’s a Way to Get Rid of Those Gaps at the Ends of Your Project When Making Turning Chains

If you’ve ever worked any project in any stitch other than single crochet, you will know what gaps I’m talking about.

When you start each new row of a crochet project, you will perform a “turning chain”, for example, if your row is all double crochet, the normal turning chain will be a chain 3. You make this turning chain so your row will have the proper starting height it needs to keep the entire row even. If you leave it out and just start double crocheting in your first stitch, that stitch will be squashed down and not look the same as the rest.

However, that chain 3 isn’t actually worked into the first stitch, so when you go to work just first actual double crochet in the next stitch you end up with this gap that results from the distance of the chain 3 to your first stitch.

I have a video tutorial of this technique here.

My finger on the left is in one of these gaps, you can also see other gaps on the right of the work and two rows above my finger..
My finger on the left is in one of these gaps, you can also see other gaps on the right of the work and two rows above my finger..

One way some people eliminate this gap is to not count the chain 3 as your first stitch and then go ahead and make the chain 3 and make a double crochet in that first stitch space. But again, the result is not great. Now you get a bump every other row from the chain 3 being forced to stick out from the stitch that was made in the first stitch space.

You can see how the ends are very wavy looking. That is the chain 3 being forced out and creating a bump.
You can see how the ends are very wavy looking. That is the chain 3 being forced out and creating a bump.

There is a fix for both of these problems. This technique can be substituted whenever you want and for any stitch you want. The result will be a nice flat edged project with no gaps.

Look at my sides, no gaps and no waves!
Look at my sides, no gaps and no waves!

This technique is super simple and is the same for any stitch you use it for. All you will simply do instead of making your normal turning chain, is make a super extended single chain. Let me show you.

Your first step in this technique is to take the loop on your hook and pull it out to the height of the stitch you are making. Don’t worry if it’s not the exact same height, somewhere in the ballpark will be good enough.

Pull the chain out for the normal height of whatever stitch you are working. This project is using double crochets.
Pull the chain out for the normal height of whatever stitch you are working. This project is using double crochets.

Next, secure this long loop by making a chain stitch at the top.

Just yarn over and pull through the loop to make your chain as usual.
Just yarn over and pull through the loop to make your chain as usual.

Now you have a skinny “turning chain” that will sit right next to the double crochet you will make in the first stitch.

You will make your first double crochet (or whatever stitch you are working) in the first stitch. No skipping.
You will make your first double crochet (or whatever stitch you are working) in the first stitch. No skipping.

Whether the project says that the turning chain counts as a stitch or not, when using this technique, you will make the skinny turning chain and a stitch in the first stitch you come to. That means you don’t count the skinny turning chain as a stitch. In other words, it will be ignored when counting stitches.

Here is the finished skinny turning chain and first double crochet shown together.
Here is the finished skinny turning chain and first double crochet shown together.

Now your project will have nice edges and no gaps!

Have any other great turning chain tips. Let us know below!

Get Ready for the 4th With This Free Motif

I’ve got a new motif of the month ready for everyone. It’s just in time for your 4th of July celebrations.

This motif is about 4″ across which makes it the perfect size for a patriotic coaster. Or, instead of using worsted weight yarn, you can substitute bulky and make a hot plate trivet. Don’t stop at just making them for your table though– make a dozen and string them up for a decorative bunting for your next backyard bash. The possibilities are endless with this super easy and fun motif. You can get started by watching the video below and then go download the free pattern here.

Learn How to Felt With Your Hands

I’ve put together a video on how to felt (or full) by hand. This technique is really helpful when working with projects where you need to control the amount of felting that will occur. I use this technique whenever I’m felting a three dimensional object. As you will see in the video, when machine felting a 3D object, sometimes your results won’t be very good — so this technique can save you lots of headaches.

Slip Stitch Join Tutorial

Today’s tutorial will show you how to join any two pieces of crochet with the slip stitch join. This join, unlike most others, has an added benefit of being able to join your pieces anywhere throughout the work. You can join the edges, the middles, or anywhere in between. If you would prefer a video tutorial of this join click here.

The first step is to decide where and what you will join. For this tutorial I’m going to join the edge, so I first put the right sides together.

I line up the stitches when joining edges to easily insert my hook through both pieces of my work.
I line up the stitches when joining edges to easily insert my hook through both pieces of my work.

Note: You don’t always have to put the right sides together when using this join, especially if you are joining in other places than the edges. The only thing to remember is that you need to start the first stitch near an edge because you will have one yarn over that will wrap around the both pieces.

Next, I insert my hook where I want to begin my join.

Since I'm joining edges, I insert my hook under both loops of both pieces in the first stitch at the corner.
Since I’m joining edges, I insert my hook under both loops of both pieces in the first stitch at the corner.

Note: You can also insert your hook through just the inside or outside loops of each side for a different effect.

Now, yarn over and pull the loop back through the pieces and through the loop on your hook.

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Your first slip stitch is now complete, but wait… there’s more.

Before moving on to the next stitch, be sure to tighten the one you just made down.

Continue to tighten down each stitch as you make them to form a tight join.
Continue to tighten down each stitch as you make them to form a tight join.

Continue in the next stitch or space that you want to join and work your way across the edge or area you want to join.

I've made a slip stitch in each stitch across this edge and tighten them down as I went.
I’ve made a slip stitch in each stitch across this edge and tighten them down as I went.

Here is a view of the backside of the join. If you are using this stitch to join things other than edges and want it visible, you can choose between the two sides that you want for the front.

This side gives you small dashes while the other side gives you a series of slip stitch "V"s.
This side gives you small dashes while the other side gives you a series of slip stitch “V”s.

Once I open the pieces up you can see where the join shows up in the contrasting color I used.

If I used the green yarn to join, my join would be nearly invisible.
If I used the green yarn to join, my join would be nearly invisible.

One thing to know about this join is that the resulting edge (if that is what you are joining) will be slightly raised. If you need a flat seam with no raised edging, you would be better off using the Mattress stitch join or Whipstitch join.

Here you can see how the seam looks from the side. Notice it stitcks out slightly.
Here you can see how the seam looks from the side. Notice it sticks out slightly.

What’s your favorite kind of join? Let me know below and thanks for stopping by!