A crochet project worth repeating

Category : D.I.Y. Projects
Date : 04/07/2017
Comments :
A crochet project worth repeating

Remember those crochet cotton pads I made a few months ago? Well I decided to make a set from the thin cotton yarn I tested then. They might not absorb that much liquid but they have a nice exfoliating feature I like. I only do the laundry about once a week so I’m gonna need a few more sets than the two I’ve made so far. I was maybe thinking of sewing the next set from some really soft fabric for those days I really need to be gentle to my skin. I need to do some research and find the most suitable fabric and figure out how to finish the edges. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

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My Stitch Library – Cool knits edition

Category : D.I.Y. Projects
Date : 14/06/2017
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My Stitch Library – Cool knits edition

After I finished knitting my seed stitch scarf, I vowed to stay away from big knitting projects for a while. I want to focus more on my sewing projects, so with knitting I’ll mostly stick to learning some new challenging stitches. Here are the lastest additions to the My Stitch Library.

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Bamboo stitch

I would like to have a sweater in this stitch, though it might be a while before I have the patience to knit such a big garment. I also learned that when knitting more complex stitches, I need to knit quite loosely otherwise it becomes difficult. The stitch is not that complicated but if you knit too tight (like I tend to do) your work distorts diagonally. This swatch was ironed straight.
Link to tutorial

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Raspberry/ Trinity stitch

This stitch is not as difficult as I thought it would be. Once you understand how the “berries” are created it’s pretty straight forward. Unlike the other stitches I tried the swatch doesn’t roll and it’s easy to keep the edges straight. I really love the texture of this stitch so I’m gonna have to find a project that I can use it in.
Link to tutorial

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Rick rack rib

Probably the coolest stitch I’ve ever knitted but boy was it difficult for me! I think I had to redo it two times before I finished this swatch. The mistake usually happened when I had done a few rows and then left it for a couple of days, when I’d return to it, i’d get a detail wrong and boom there went the entire row!
Link to tutorial


The year-round scarf

Date : 07/06/2017
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The year-round scarf

It only took me a year! Well, it’s been finished for a month or so, I just hadn’t gotten around to taking pictures of it. Why did it take so long? I’m in a way new to knitting so my pace is quit slow. Also, I was crocheting all kinds of projects in between so this scarf always ended up at the bottom of the priority list.
The last (and first time) I knitted a scarf was in 7th grade. It was a navy blue garter stitch scarf that was very wavy because I was probably too impatient to care about knitting equally tight rows. I’m glad I took the time to knit this scarf properly. I wanted a thinner wool scarf that I could use all year round. When I took these pictures I thought I maybe won’t be needing this scarf this summer but then I went to an outdoor party recently and was glad I hadn’t packed it away with the rest of my winter clothes. Hopefully I won’t need to use it too often thhis summer!

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Elevating the swatch – Crocheted dish cloths

As you know I like to learn new crochet stitches on a regular basis. I usually crochet small swatches that I later use as reference when choosing stitches for bigger projects.
After I had finished my latest batch of swatches I realised that if I crocheted the swatches a little bigger I would have made myself some dish cloths! It’s weird that I didin’t think of it before. I used the suzette and lemon peel stitches that I had just tried out, I like their compact and textured surface.
Dish cloths are fun to make because they don’t take that long to make and you can immediately put them to use. One tip I would give is to take shrinkage into account when deciding on size. Otherwise, happy crocheting!

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The oval upgrade – an embroidered cardigan

I’m one of those people who discovered the versatility of a classic cardigan pretty late. Up until design school my everyday style was overly practical, especially during winter. Most of the time I walked around with thick zip sweaters with as high collars as possible. “I refuse to freeze” was my motto, I hadn’t learned the art of layering you see.

I remember what I think was the first classic cardigan that owned. It was a very tight beige rib jersey number that I wore for special occasions, like my uncle’s graduation. But after internships abroad my changed a lot. I now wanted to look more “polished aspiring fashion professional” and less carpenter on lunch break. More classic cardigans now started finding their to my wardrobe. By the time I moved to Helsinki cardigans were such a staple, that they became the core of my work uniform.

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Over the years I’ve become so picky about materials and fit of my cardigans that I now feel I have a cardigan shortage. That’s why I’m always on the look out for them in flea markets and second hand stores. This red number I bought in a flea market in Vaasa a few months ago. I liked that it was a more cold red but felt it was almost identical to an orange one I already own. So I thought I’d elevate it a bit by embroidering something on it.

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I decided on such a simple shape as a circle since I hadn’t embroidered on a knitted fabric before. Getting the even circle turned out to be quit the challenge. I had an idea of randomly scattered polka dots in two sizes but what I got annoyingly aligned oval shapes. I kind of like the cochobon shapes now but I would have wanted to get a more random placement of them. What I’m really happy with though is the colour combination. I do have to stop myself though from buying any more red clothes. Ever since that coat, I feel the colour has taken over my wardrobe!

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Raindrops keep hanging on my ears

Date : 03/05/2017
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Raindrops keep hanging on my ears

Ok, that was a bad title but sometimes I just have to take the cheezy route. Another option was Drop it like a pear!

I made these earrings months ago (probably at the same time as these ones) but forgot to post the pictures. I love the long drop shape and the colour of the beads. I got them last last year when I was in Copenhagen and I think the stone is jade. I’ve been using these earrings a lot since I made them.

I looked in my jewellery box and there are five pairs of drop shaped earrings in different colour and sizes. I’ve been trying to figure out where this love for this shape comes from but I can’t pinpoint where it started . Maybe it’s because of all those costume dramas I’m always watching. I will continue investigating.

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Short of genius – Crocheted cotton pads

Category : D.I.Y. Projects
Date : 28/04/2017
Comments :
Short of genius – Crocheted cotton pads

In today’s world of Pinterest, you see very many beautiful diy ideas and sometimes you see so many that you don’t know where to start creating. Then there’s the diys that are so clever and simple, you’ll be like “why didn’t I think of that!” That’t what happened when I saw Matilda Gustafsson’s post about crocheted cotton pads. I immediately saved the post on bloglovin’ and went through my yarn bag to see if I had any yarn I could use.

Cotton pads are one of those things I’ve been wanting to find a less wasteful alternative for and I love crocheting so this diy was really up my alley. I chose to crochet my cotton pads round with double crochet using this diagram.

There are so many ways one could crochet these cotton pads. One could use different materials, shapes, sizes and patterns. In the coming months I at least want to crochet a couple of sets in different thicknesses and maybe use linnen and bamboo instead of cotton.

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At first I wanted to use linen yarn but it felt a bit unnecessary to go buy yarn when I had cotton yarn left over from other projects. I didn’t know which thickness would be ideal so I made one out of each yarn before crocheting more.

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I went with the thicker yarn, I think the thicker pads absorb more liquid. I might crochet more pads from the thinner yarn at a later point. I liked the exfoliating aspect of this test pad.

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One tip I would give is to think of shrinkage when deciding on size of the pads.

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My Stitch Library – Textured crochet edition

I’ve been thinking about making a big and warm triangle scarf for a while now, I just haven’t been able to decide how to make it. Winter may be over (thank goodness!) but I’ve given up trying to make big projects during the season they’re intended for. Instead I get started when I have the inspiration and try not to have too many projects going on at the same time. It’s a constant challenge for me.
Considering how long it took me to knit the seed stitch scarf ( a post on that is in the works) I think I’ll be crocheting the triangle scarf. And what  do I do when I can’t decide on which stitch to use for something? I learn new stitches and make some swatches. It’s become a regular habit of mine and I have to say I quit like the process. I’m gonna start posting them under My Stitch Library, as it is in a way a collection of crocheting and knitting stitches. I used Hopeful Honey’s tutorials for these swatches. I like her tutorials because they’re clear but short.

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Mini bean stitch

Looks pretty straight forward but after a few rows I realised that my swatch didn’t have the right “slant” in the rows as it should and decided to start from scratch. I like to crochet pretty tightly which sometimes makes it difficult to see key parts in some stitches. I also wanted to yarn over before every “mini bean”, which you shouldn’t in this stitch. Sometimes I would forget and notice it a few rows later. Luckily it got easier halfway through the second swatch, for me it just required a bit of practice. I really like the 3 dimensionality and texture of this stitch. I’m thinking about making a scarf with it in the future.

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Suzette stitch

I struggled to keep my rows even, I probably skipped one too many stitches somewhere. It’s otherwise an easy stitch to crochet. I like the subtle texture of this stitch, I have one up coming project made with it.

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Lemon peel stitch

Probably the easiest of the stitches I tried this time. I would recommend this for beginners to try out. I like the texture of this stitch and how compact it is. I also have one up coming project made with this stitch.

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Primrose stitch

I kept forgetting how to start and end the rows so if I would make something with this stitch I would probably need to write down some notes in the beginning of the project. I really like the star  pattern this stitch creates on one side. I usually prefer stitches crochet patterns with identical sides but this one has a pretty reverse side so it’s worth a spot in my stitch library.

 


The Compartmentaliser

Category : D.I.Y. Projects
Date : 23/03/2017
Comments :
The Compartmentaliser

I’m the kind of person who really hates looking for things. This has made into an avid organiser. My space is not always clean (I’m not a big fan of vacuum cleaners) but my things are always organised. One side effect of this is that I have a weakness for what you could call organising tools, boxes, folders, pouches you name it. I probably have it worst for pouches, I mean, I have a pouch for my pouches! It’s probably because I can make them myself and I always find new uses for them.
When I was packing for Tokyo, I realised I could use a couple of pouches for smaller items that can easily get lost when unpacking a large suitcase. I also thought they could be useful for those deep bags with dark lining that seem to swallow small things like hair accessories. So I went through my fabric scraps and found pieces that matched my flea market bought zippers. My materials kind of limited the size of the pouches but I wanted to make the as pretty as possible. I thought about decorating them with embroidery but I wanted to try some new techniques. I ended up using tucking and gathering techniques from the great book The art of manipulating fabric. I can’t talk enough about how great this book is!
I’m pretty happy with my pouch trio and they’ve already been in use when I’ve gone up north to visit my family. How about you? Are you pouch using kind of people? How do you pack small items when travelling?

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Stitch me another letter

Date : 22/02/2017
Comments :
Stitch me another letter

Last time I was experimenting with embroidery I stitched my name on a piece of fabric. I really liked embroidering letters so when I wanted to try the chain stitch I thought I’d try different types of letters and ended up using my logo. It turned out to be a good practicing ground. It’s easier to compare the different stitches and swatches when the motif is the same. Here are some of my latest embroidery experiments.

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One thing I need to do is find a stronger heat transfer pencil or maybe try other transfer transfer methods. I had to sit by the window in order to see these lines.

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For this sample i was embroidering the logo using the chain stitch.

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Maybe not the best stitch for letters in this size or maybe I should have made the chain stitches shorter. Another option would be to stitch something along the edges of the letters.

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For my next sample I used my bigger hoop and tried using several colours. I chose the three colours below because I thought they worked well together and then I just improvised my way forward. Because of my weak heat transfer pen I quickly outlined the letters. Next time I think I’ll use a thinner thread, I picked this orange one by default but something thinner and lighter might have been easier to cover.

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When I start embroidering I really get into it and often forget to photograph some of the steps. This often leads to late night photo sessions with poor lighting that later requires a lot of photoshop. Note to self, buy additional lighting!

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The best thing to do while embroidering? Listening to a great podcast, like this one.

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Finished!

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I’m really happy with how this piece turned out. It would be fun to make a version with tonal colours but let’s see what I come up with the next time I’m in the mood for embroidery.


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