Crocheted produce bags

The issue of plastic waste is really topical and important but so frustrating. On one hand you feel the politicians you've elected into office aren't being hard enough on the industries that make and use so much plastic. On the other hand you realise how difficult it can be to avoid plastic in everyday life. I still think my plastic consumption is too high and the major culprit is packaging of cosmetics and food. I have made a bit of progress switching out things like shampoo and body wash for bar soaps but the majority of my cosmetics and skincare still comes in plastic. When it comes to food I've noticed I've become much more aware of the plastic packaging since we started separating it from the mixed waste. Seeing how much waste is created over a week really makes you pay attention. One part of my food related plastic waste I've been meaning to eliminate for a while is the small plastic bags for fruits and vegetables. Now, most supermarkets (in Finland) have the biodegradable bags these days but I've heard some people say they're not so great since they degrade so slowly and that they have to be…

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Another reason why I love crochet

I learned to crochet when I was a kid but to this day I still find new things about the technique to get excited about. There are so many styles of crochet and you can make such a wide range of things. Good thing for me 'cause I love learning new things. A good friend of mine gifted me with a Molla Mills calendar that got me interested in tapestry crochet. It's something that's been on my list of techniques to learn but have struggled to find time for. Having the calendar on my wall has been a good reminder of that list but for some reason I really wasn't into crocheting some swatches as I usually do when testing new stitches. Then I made a stupid mistake and put my lucky cat purse in the washing machine. It went in intact and dirty but came out clean with a bunch of holes. So I thought a new pouch/purse for my phone would be a good size product to test tapestry crochet. I choose this graphic pattern for November from the calendar and improvised my way through it. There were some rows where I  counted the stitches wrong but otherwise it…

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Another set of d.i.y. cotton pads

Last year I started working on finding alternatives to regular single use cotton pads. I crocheted a couple of sets and I've been using them regularly. I have noticed however, that when it gets really cold the crocheted pads are a bit too rough on my skin and I end up returning to disposable ones. So that's why I decided to make an additional set of cotton pads that are a bit softer. This time I made them from trey cloth instead of crocheting. I could have cut them into squares to make it easier but for some reason I really wanted them to be round. Overlocking the edged would probably have been faster too but I was too lazy to go back to the store and buy more cotton yarn. Luckily, I had some water-soluble support material left over from some school project ages ago. It made zigzagging way easier and neater. I usually do laundry once a week or every other week and I'm currently testing the double cleansing method so that requires a lot of cotton pads. I'm gonna try these out for the next few months and see how I like it. Have you tried reusable…

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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

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 latest additions to the My Stitch Library. 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 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 Rick rack rib Probably the coolest stitch…

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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 this 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 style 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. 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…

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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

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. 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…

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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. Mini bean stitch Looks pretty straight forward but after a few rows I realised that my swatch…

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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…

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

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Better late than never

2016 has been declared as the year of the scarves. My brother got one for his birthday (well, more like 3 months after) and I'm still working on my seed stitch peach dream. I've now finally finished one I crocheted for my friend Laura. Ehum, her birthday was in May. To my defence this summer was very busy. Better late than never, right? Once the scarf was done we had an impromptu photo shoot on Lauttasaari. The scarf is crocheted in a closed shell stitch. I wanted to use a stitch I've tried before because crocheting a scarf is quit time consuming. I really like this minty colour, it's mild but works great with both bold and  monochrome colours. A few rows in and still in denial about how long it's going to take to finish the scarf. Tada! A few months later the scarf was ready and gift wrapped. "Hold the pretty flowers!" Me trying to channel my inner art director. But can you blame me though? These fluffy flowers were so pretty! And flowers apparently make great backgrounds. Then Laura suggested we go to the beach, excellent idea! You can never go wrong with sunsets! There was somebody filming a dance routine…

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All that sparkles

It's been a long time since I bought a pair of earrings. With the exception of silver studs, I make most of my earrings myself. I can't recall how it all started but I remember really getting into jewellery making when I lived in Copenhagen many years ago. So when I was making research for my Tokyo trip I decided to look up different type of hobby stores and that's how I ended up in Asakusabashi one morning. Being the clumsy tourist that I am I managed to take the wrong exit at the station and ended up in a residential area. I did after a bit of a detour find the place I was looking for, The Edo dori  street where I had read you could find many bead stores. What I found was a street full of stores selling everything from party decorations to traditional hand fans. I was mainly on the hunt for beads but I struggled not to buy all the pretty ones I saw. It got a bit overwhelming at one point, some of the stores had 4 floors! I would recommend visiting this street if you're really into making jewellery or accessories and you're in Tokyo for a longer stay. I don't…

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