Basic Bralette

Just in time for summer I have begun crocheting crop tops and bralettes!  It didn’t happen without a little coaxing from Panda who really wanted a cute top this summer that none of her friends would have.  I am so excited to share my work with you!!!  I created this top in one afternoon with just a few yards of cotton yarn I had in my scrap bin.

Panda asked me a few weeks back if I would try a pattern for her that she had picked out.  I looked at the top and although it was lovely, I thought it might be a difficult pattern to create as a first try, so I started super simple and came up with this M/L patterned basic bralette.

What I love about this pattern is that the shape of the bra can remain the same while changing up the bordering around the top will create several unique pieces.  The potential is there, but I have to be honest and say it is not my favorite creation…..yet.

Although the double crochet stitch helps work the pattern up much quicker than the single crochet stitch traditionally used, the spacing was greater than I expected.  Once again the biggest problem I face are my loose stitches.

Now, I may not be in love with the way the front of this top worked up, but I do love the back and the cute little bows used to tie it together.  I may make the ties a bit different when I create another one, but I do really like the way this top looks from the back.Basic Bralette 2

I’m heading back to the drawing board with another bralette pattern in single crochet and if I can get my stitching correct and completed before the end of summer, the bralette and a simple crop top pattern will be some of my first items listed for sale when I am ready to set up shop.

If you want to work up a top along with me, click here for a great pattern with lots of photos provided by From a Thread.  I couldn’t ask for a better tutorial!  Whether you are a beginner or advanced, I am sure this top will turn out lovely.  Happy Hooking!

The Elsa Frozen Hat

It’s been two weeks since I last updated, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some great items in the works or that I don’t have a wonderful pattern to share today….cause I do!  The projects I’ve been working on are gifts, so I’m not going to be able to post photos or patterns for a few weeks while I put the finishing touches on them and they are sent and received but I’m dying to!!!

I can share with you that one of my designs involves granny squares and an upcoming wedding, while two of the other items will be gifts for my beautifully pregnant DIL who is expecting her first child in the fall!!!  As you can imagine I am obsessed with all things baby right now and I can’t wait for these weeks to pass so I can meet my new grand-daughter!!

Since I can’t share the final products with you yet or give you any more hints than that, lets move on to the last project I wanted to share and aFrozen Hat wonderful pattern for a hat that anyone who loves the movie Frozen will also love….love….love.

Of course, following the release of Frozen all the retail stores were stocked with tons of items themed for Elsa and Anna.  Gracie, along with all the kids in her class,  were asking for all of it…..you know they were 🙂   Gracie was adamant about wanting an Elsa hat she saw for winter and although I said no to the $20 hat at the store, I set out to find a pattern and make one for her.

This is the end result and she loves it!!!

The pattern is here.  It’s so easy to follow and the results are spectacular.  This was the project that had me falling in love with Simply Soft yarn.  It’s an easy beginner pattern and finishes in a weekend or less, so…go visit Mango Tree Crafts to follow this pattern or check out her other works.   I hope you create one of these beautiful hats for someone you love….or for yourself.  If you do, I would love to see the end results.

 

Happy Hooking!

 

*Ava didn’t want the long braid on the hat, so I worked the pattern and finished it off before the instructions to work the braid.

 

 

Crochet Beaded Anklet for the Beach!

It feels so nice to title something in my writings about the beach!  I love it because that means summer has arrived, even if not by the calendar’s standards yet.   My daughter, Panda and I decided to load up the car with goodies and head for Cape May, NJ with the grand baby in tow.

These are the trips I love….the beginning and ending of the summer season is so wonderful.  There is just something about the atmosphere before the schools let out and the vacationers arrive in masses.  The day came and went without a cloud in the sky.  There was a light breeze blowing keeping the temperature down a bit since the water was way too chilly to swim in and for a short while we sat and watched a school of dolphins feasting just off the shore.

Once again, Cape May did not disappoint.  It was a great day trip and I can’t wait to head back maybe one more time before summer is in full swing.

The night before we went to the beach, Panda and I planned out a short list of necessary things to bring and I found that when we were done with the list and the prepacking items I had a little time to kill.  Enough time that I started thinking about how cool it would be to have a new ankle bracelet for the day.  I have a whole category on my Pinterest page devoted to crochet jewelry but until this I hadn’t had an inspiration to create anything.  Black and Blue Bracelet

The fun thing about crochet jewelry is that with just a little skill and a small amount of materials you can create something unique.  I bought a set of hooks years ago that had some of the very small “numbered” hooks.  I used some thread that I have on hand, although for these kinds of projects you can use almost any medium:  elastic cord, leather cording, hemp, crochet thread, embroidery thread…you get the idea.  I just happened to have crochet thread and some nice small glass beads.

I made two bracelets for myself and one anklet and I made two anklets for Panda.  I think they turned out beautifully and I cannot wait to try a few more creative endeavors with this medium.  If you are interested in making this particular anklet, you can find the pattern for it here.  I think a beginner to crochet may have some trouble with it, but it’s certainly an easy project for someone intermediate who is okay with how they stitch and familiar with reading patterns.  Ankle Bracelet

I have created a pattern for the black bracelet pictured.  The multi-colored glass bead bracelet was simply stringing beads onto a length of crochet thread and then tied together securely with the ends snipped short.  It’s a cute little color accent for the summer.  That particular bracelet could be made with your kids as a fun rainy day craft.  You can put clear nail polish on the end of the thread and you can eliminate the need for using beading needles to guide the beads on the thread.

For simplicities sake, I will just call this creation:

Black and Blue Beaded Bracelet

You will need:

Crochet Thread or similar medium in #20 about 3-4′

Glass beads any color in 6mm (@60-75)

Beading needle or sewing needle

Crochet Hook Size E or 3.50mm

Scissors and Tapestry needle

Before you begin crocheting,  you will need to place all of the beads on the thread in the order you want them to appear on the bracelet.  Use a beading needle or place clear nail polish on the end of the thread to aid in placing the beads on the thread.

Begin  chain 55 or number needed to obtain length (about 7 1/2″ for bracelet, about 9″ for anklets)

Round One:  Slip Stitch into second chain from hook and in next three stitches. Bring one glass bead and place it against the last slip stitch.  Hold the bead in place and complete a slip stitch into the next stitch.  Repeat this process until you reach the end.  Do not turn work yet, but chain 10 from the end of the last stitch and then slip stitch back into the same stitch you began chaining from.  This will create a small loop big enough for a button-hole.

DO NOT TURN your bracelet, but begin working down the other side of the beads you just attached by slip stitching all the way to the end.

DO NOT TURN your bracelet, but again work down this side of the bracelet creating slip stitches all the way to the last stitch before the button-hole loop.  Slip stitch into the last stitch.

Fasten off and hide your loose threads.

On the end of the bracelet that has four empty stitches, place a small button or decorative bead in a larger size centered in this space.  Attach it with embroidery thread and fasten off.

You can add charms or other pretties as you wish.

If you do create something with this pattern, I would love to see it.  Feel free to leave me a message below and as always;

Happy Hooking!!

 

 

 

 

Shopping, Stitches and Projects

Last week I was able to turn a request from my daughter into a trip to one of my favorite craft stores 🙂  I’d call that a win any day! We spent the better part of a day last week just wandering around looking at all the cute Spring décor and projects the store was displaying.  After putting a decent dent in the budget with a yarnstravaganza, I started working on one of the projects I purchased supplies for. Shopping Trip

The creation my daughter wants is a slightly larger than toddler sized backpack for my granddaughter to use in lieu of a diaper bag.  My granddaughter will be three in just a handful of weeks and she needs something that will carry a few pull-ups, wipes, a change of clothes, a cup, a toy or 10 and maybe a favorite stuffed animal.  The plan is to make something that will grow with her for a little while.  I decided to look up the average sizing for toddler backpacks and adult backpacks and come to a measurement that I hope will be sufficient without being too large for her to carry by herself.

I began the pattern and started writing it out as I was creating it.  I really just got started when I ran out of yarn….it’s the big beautiful skeins of t-shirt yarn and if you have looked locally in your town, I bet you have found the same limited selections I have.  My second trip to the craft store for more of the same yarn I was using proved unsuccessful.  I found yarn, but not in my color and although the accent color would have been great for another project, it would not work for this one, so I had to table this project until my store stocks more some time next week.  When I start this project up again I will be sure to post pictures AND a pattern for you to use and I’m so excited to see how it will turn out.

In the meantime, I lost my cloth bag that I put my sunglasses in, so I needed to replace it quickly before I destroyed my super cute pair of sunglasses for this summer….and a pouch pattern becomes extended into a perfect carrier for my sunglasses and a template for a wonderful woven cross body cellphone bag.  Sunglass Case

This bag seems indestructible because of how tight the weave pattern is.  Nothing…I mean nothing is going to fall out of the sides or between the stitches!  The stitch I used is called the Tunisian Stitch and boy does this stitch feed my OCD!!!!  I’m going to post a link to the tutorial for this slightly complicated stitch.  I would consider it at the very least an intermediate stitch to learn and work with.  The sunglass case I made is small enough that you won’t need the special hook that the tutorial call for, but you will need it if you love this stitch like I do and want to do larger projects…(I’m working on a purse for my daughter already!!)

I hope you grab some scrap yarn and just give this a try.  You might be surprised at how easy it is to pick up and work.  The woven pattern assures that you won’t drop a stitch…at least not without knowing it.   If you do make anything, I’d love to hear about it and see your work, so message me in the comments below.  Happy Hooking!!

A Week of Frustrations

Well, that’s what this past week of project work has been….I started out working on a sandal pattern with flip-flop bases to them.   I tend to stitch loosely and with this particular type of pattern, it is not a positive attribute to have.  I did finish at least one of the sandals all the way to the end and then had a good laugh with the family as I put my foot in it and showed everyone my summer clown shoe.  Since it was a failed project, I didn’t think to take a photo but I will in the future.  I am going to practice this pattern or another similar one and I will do some step by step photos.

My second project this week was not a complete failure, but I didn’t approve of the final outcome.  It was another tank top with a really beautiful design under the bralette.  The pattern was easy to read and the stitch work itself was easy, but I ended up with a back strap that was way too long and the shoulder straps were oversized as well.  So, I did some quick fixes to it and my daughter loves it and says she will wear it……I’m gonna start another tank top for her and lower my needle and yarn sizes.

Since I don’t have a new project to share, I thought I would share a post that I put on my Instagram and Ravelry accounts earlier this year.  I did quite a few pillow projects and this happened to be one of my favorites….

Katie's Pillow.jpg

I found this wonderful pattern for FREE!!!!!  Right, I love free patterns….especially when they work up this beautifully!  This particular one is written in a  fit to size pattern, so I was able to get a larger pillow than she worked in her pattern and follow the steps with no problems at all.  Other than the sizing difference, the only variation I made was to the flower on the pillow itself.  I was making this as a gift for my sister who has two young  boys running around the roost.  Although I love the flower clip idea that was suggested, it just wasn’t a practical option….that flower would not have made it a week. So, I looked up a puffy flower pattern and sewed the applique to only one side.  That way if my taste and my sister’s taste didn’t match, there was always a plain side.

You can find this pattern on my Ravelry page which has a direct link to this pillow pattern.  Click here for my Ravelry page.  While you are there, check out some of the other free patterns I have linked on my page.  I am always adding new projects.

Happy Hooking!

 

Mae’s Colorful Tank

For this project, I really had to step outside of my comfort zone with what I think I know about crochet.  Admittedly, I am not really big on creating a swatch to check gauge and I often stitch more open than the average hooker.  Since I know these things about myself, I knew that stitching clothing was going to be a challenge and I was prepared to be utterly frustrated by even the simplest of patterns.D's Halter

Instead, I was wonderfully surprised by the simplicity of this pattern.  Okay, it wasn’t that simple.  I didn’t know how to do the corner to corner or C2C stitch so there was that 10 or 15 minutes I took finding the YouTube video learning how to complete it for the pattern I had in hand.

I’m posting links to both the video and the pattern I used.  The top I worked up in under an hour…keep in mind I made it for Mae and she’s just a little thing, so it didn’t take much time or yarn.  Heck, I may have found a good scrap yarn project.

Give this pattern a try with whatever yarn you have on hand.  It’s a nice change from rows and rounds and both the video tutorial and the pattern are very user-friendly.  Happy Hooking!

 

Here’s the YouTube video to learn the stitch:

Corner to Corner Crochet Tutorial

 

Here’s a link to the pattern I used:

Intimate Threads- Corner 2 Corner Halter Top Recipe

 

Aqua Beach Tote

I definitely have summer on my mind.  It’s a little surprising given that the weather here has gone from sunny and in the 80’s last week,  to a chilly rainy mess.  Still, it is spring and that means that the pool will be open in just a handful of weeks.  About the pool….

It’s rare that I go to the pool by myself and even if I plan a solo trip for some sun Aqua Toteworshiping I pack for everyone just in case.  Last summer I carried this wonderful oversized duffel bag that I had purchased from my friend’s Thirty-One Purse party.  It held everything!!  When I say everything, I mean it held four beach towels, pool toys, sunscreen and not sunscreens, drinks and snacks…everything.

I love it and I will use it again this year, but I’d like to have a duffel to put the wet items in and know that they will dry out quickly.  I followed a wonderful pattern for a market tote that you can find here.  While you are at Daisy Cottage Designs, check out more of her free patterns and find some great inspiration for another project. I modified the design slightly to create a larger bag for my pool needs, but I will be making the market tote size in this pattern as well.  It’s great for a beginner just starting out and it’s got the repetition of stitch work that I like.  If you want to make the larger version, just follow her pattern and use t-shirt cotton yarn and a K Hook.

Although this bag is beautiful in its simplicity, the picture of the market tote displays a large color contrasting flower.  I admit I was inspired to add one to my beach tote and after a quick search through my bookmarks, I found the pattern I love the most for its size.  You can find the Triple Threat Flower here.  It’s a lovely flower that pairs well with a button in the middle and enough size to really makeTriple Double Flower an impact.

 

After one day of work and a skein and a half of Bernat’s Home Décor Yarn, I’m ready to tackle the pool or the beach with this lovely soft unique beach tote.  I hope you will give these two patterns a try; make yourself a beach tote, a market tote, or just a pretty flower to embellish a headband you already own.