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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Winter is coming – So I made a Beanie

Ok, so winter is kind of here already but I've got Game of Thrones on my mind. I've been doing serious closet cleanup sessions lately, taking out all those garment and accessories that no longer work for me for different reasons. That has also included letting go of pieces made from animal fibres. While layering is an alternative for wool, I've struggled to find replacements for some of my beanies. It seems that everything on the market is either wool or acrylic. The few beanies that are made from cotton are made for people with much smaller heads than mine. I've been reluctant to crochet a beanie since the last time I did it, I ended up with a heavy and weird shaped beanie that I rarely used. Tired of googling ethically produced cotton beanies I decided to give a crocheted version another go. This time I would try to find a pattern and make sure I got the fit right. Thank goodness for Pinterest because it didn't take long before I found this simple way of crocheting a beanie, that even beginners can do. You don't have to worry about decreasing stitches, only how big of a fold (or…

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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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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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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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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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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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Oh brother, art thou cold?

Sometimes I'm not a very good big sister. On my middle brother's birthday I called him, congratulated him and told I hadn't been able to find a birthday present for him. I told him "if you possibly need a scarf, I can crochet you one". He's a quit easy going guy so he was like "mmmkay" and we started discussing colour options. We agreed on a dark wine red but once i was at the store I couldn't find a yarn in that colour or the right thickness. After another call we settled on a teal colour and in wool. What was more tricky was picking a crochet stitch for the scarf. My brother dresses in a quit classic style so I knew all the lace and flower like stitches were not his thing. Instead I tried to find a simple stitch that created a clean graphic pattern. I came across the Cable Stitch on Pinterest and after testing it decided to go with it. I found this great tutorial, which also shows a variation of the stitch where the diagonal lines are all in the same direction. The stitch is quit easy so I was able to finish the scarf before…

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The Handicraft Master plan

The end of last year was quit hectic, which you might have noticed in how late I've been about posting about trips and finished projects. The good thing is that I've been busy meeting friends, going to exhibitions and even doing a bit of travel. One thing I've decided that I'll do no matter how hectic my days get is handicrafts. Finishing my green basket weave crochet scarf took too long because I was constantly putting it aside for things that usually involved sitting infront of a computer. Once I started experimenting with embroidery and rediscovering how relaxing and therapeutic it was, I decided that I need to always have one crafty project going. But since I'm a very restless person and I easily get bored I'm gonna try to have several pieces in progress at once. So that's my master plan! Nothing revolutionary really, it's basically what I'm doing with my sewing but when I thought of it I got very excited. Unlike my sewing (which takes up almost half of my room with patterns, fabrics and machines) handicraft projects fit in my lap and I can also take them with me when I travel. So here's to a very crafty 2016! Random freestyle embroidery.…

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Apple greens and basket weaves

Remember a while back when I crocheted all those swatches and vowed to get started on a scarf? Well, I finally got started but I didn't use any of the crochet stitches I had sampled. What happened was I went to the yarn store and bought a few skeins of yarn in this lovely apple green colour, but when I got home I realised that the yarn was too thick for what I had in mind. So after hours of googling, youtubing and testing crochet stitches I decided to go with a basket weave stitch. I really like the thickness and the texture of it but it consumes a lot of yarn so I might have to pay that yarn store another visit.I find crochet to be very meditative so I'm glad I have this project to keep me occupied through the dark winter months.

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The lazy crochetter makes a comeback

Remember that bracelet I crocheted a while back? I decided to make a white one as well. I never wear white but lately I've been coveting white accessories and jewellery. I used a much finer cotton yarn than last time and used triple treble stitches for the grid. I also learned that there is a difference in interpretation of stitch names between the UK and US, very confusing! I have to learn more about that. Now I need to find more crochet patterns and maybe make a necklace. All tips are welcome!

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Starting small

Not long ago I shared my big crochet experiment and vowed to get started on some scarves. Well, I decided to start with something even smaller, a bracelet to more exact. I saw a picture of this technique a while back and immediately decided to use it for a bracelet. I'm very happy with the result, so much so I think I'll crochet another one in a different colour. This pastel pink (not my favourite shade of pink)  was the only thin cotton yarn my mother had when I got a sudden urge to crochet. I had packed my crochet needles but not any yarn, typical me!I'm not yet an expert on crochet diagrams so instead here are some step by step pictures. I started with crocheting a base chain the length of the bracelet. Then I crocheted a "grid" using a double treble stitch. Once the grid was finished, I crocheted treble stitches along the grid in a wave like pattern. Waves in the making. The finished waves. How it looks like from behind. I sewed a button on one end.

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Learning something new

I learned to crochet as a kid but for a long time I only had a few stitches in my repertoire.  I've long wanted to learn new stitches so I can crochet something other that endless rows of treble stitches. Instead of getting lost in a new project that would end up in the "waiting to be finished" box, I chose to make small "swatches" with different stitches (see gallery below). I found a great book at the library for instructions. The book is very clear and organised with a lot of step by step images to guide you. With the help of this book I was able to even learn how to read stitch symbol diagrams. I'm no expert yet but I've started to understand the basics. I think I'm going to buy this book as it has an equally informative section on knitting, something I'm not good at. Now that I've tried these stitches my next project is to choose one and crochet a scarf. I also have a idea for a small cross body bag with flower/leaf decorations on the front. Now I just have to get started!

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