Archive | June 2012

WIP: Surfer Girl Tank

A few days ago, I mentioned I was finally starting my much anticipated tank top project, the Surfer Girl Tank from the July/August 2012 issue of Crochet Today!. So here’s a little update!

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I’m only on row 8, and after this and the ribbing, I’m a tad concerned with the gauge. I’m using the suggested hook (G) and 20 stitches = 4 inches, as the gauge suggests, but it seems awfully holy & spacey, unlike what I can see in the picture. I am using a different yarn which is a weight category 2, like the original yarn, but it’s by far the thinnest yarn I’ve ever worked with (other than cotton crochet thread) so it may be on the lower side of its category. I really hope I won’t have to unravel it and redo it, because the stripes requires lots of fastening off and rejoining. It’d be hard to reuse little strips of yarn! For now, I’m just crossing my fingers hoping I’ll just have a light, airy garment as opposed to one that’s too big!

As for the turquoise, I really like it. Coral always gives me such a happy, beachy feeling, but the turquoise looks fantastic too. It’s definitely bright!

I just can’t wait to see the tank take shape!!

Hats hats hats!

So I said I was on a hat craze, right?

I wasn’t kidding!

I’ve made three hats this summer, and I’m totally excited to make more!

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I’ve already bought three more sugar’n cream colors to make the middle hat (Pacific Beach Cap, from Crochet Today!) in an orange/coral scheme. I really enjoyed that pattern and only spent a few days makings it. I also have leftovers from the first time I made it, so I might be making a totally different hat. AND I have leftovers from the other two hats (both made with Red Heart Stardust in pink) so maybe another hat with that?!

All of these patterns can be found in more detail at my Ravelry

Lulu in Paris

If you’ve seen my older posts, you’ll know that I’ve been working on making Coco the Cat, from the May/June 2012 issue of Crochet Today!, but that I’ve made a pig version, who I call Lulu, instead. (You can see her completed without clothes here)

I just finished her first wardrobe (of the same issue) and she’s so adorable!

Don’t you think so?!?

As for comments on the pattern, I love her so much better as a pig. I made her initially as a cat, as the pattern was, saw her and went “Hmmm, she looks like a pig.” Thus, I had a stroke of genius, bought some pink yarn (it’s still Red Heart Super Saver, just in baby pink instead of gray heather), and made the “cat” almost exactly the same. I gave her a curly tail, a larger snout, placed the ears differently, but kept everything the same so she fits into the clothes. (I did modify the torso a bit, because I thought the neck was way too skinny. It was much skinnier than photographed, so I fatterned it up a bit, and I’m pleased I did).

For her clothes, I thought it went well. The dress and bloomer turned out as expected (I had a little issue with the buttons of her dress, because I can’t do anything crafty that isn’t crochet hehe). The beret was PERFECT and the scarf was pretty basic (Pom pom making was so much fun, I’m glad they added that little touch. I mention it in another post, here). For the bag and duck, I did get a little frustrated. It seems that the tinier the product, the more trouble I have making it look like it’s supposed to. Small scale must not be my thing. The bag was easy to make (and really cute!) but the cherries that were meant to be attached to it were absolutely too big. I ended up embroidering the cheeries on (I suppose I could have left it plain, but the idea was so cute) instead, and I prefer it that way. The duck was also a bit difficult. The head and body are essentially balls of different sizes, but the wings, beak, and feet are so itty bitty, the patterns are almost silly. So my duck looks a little less like a duck. Who cares! It’s sort of random to the outfit anyway. Maybe when I make the next outfit (a dutch themed one) I’ll skip the goose too. I see no need for a pig to have a pet!

Which brings me to my next projects… Oh the joy of finishing one and planning out the next! I’ve been waiting to finish Lulu so that I could be totally complete with my May/June issue of Crochet Today! so that I could move on to the July/August issue (just in time, it seems!) I sort of already cheated by making the Pacific Beach Cap from the latter issue already (What do you mean, I haven’t posted on that yet?! I swear I will do it soon). But what I’ve really been waiting for (drumroll, please!) is to start making the Surfer Girl Tank.

I plan to make it using Red Heart LusterSheen (I used it before and I love it) with the same white and natural stripes, but with turquoise to replace the coral (I know, sort of a big swap. I hope I still love it in turquoise!) It seems like sort of a daunting project (I’ve never been one to make anything large. Only one blanket and only one top thus far) but, because it’s summer, I’ll easily make time for it. I plan to start today! I anticipate it taking all of July, maybe spilling over into August. Then I’ll make Lulu’s clothes from the same issue (the Dutch outfit) and hopefully another hat. Wow! I’ve got a lot lined up. I’d better get to work!

I apologize for such a longgg post today. I’ve been waiting to get Lulu’s outfit done for so long, and I’ve waiting to start the tank for even longer! Please forgive my ranting (it seems I have so many asides in it. Oh my I’ve done it again) but I just can’t contain my excitement!

Pom Pom making

Today, I learned how to make pom poms to attach to my Coco the cat (for Lulu) scarf. I went to YouTube and watched this video to learn how to make them with a couple of card board circles.

 It was really easy and fun! I’ll definitely refer back to this technique to make more fun stuff. I’ve never been a very crafty person, but crochet really does bring it out in me! I feel like a seriously crafty girl with this mess!
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Even my cat was getting crafty!

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Mango madness bag: Complete!

After some late(ish) night crocheting, I finished my mango madness bag, based off of the State Fair Backpack pattern from Lion Brand. I like it! The yarn is by far my favorite part. The color scheme is so awesome, and the name, mango madness, is just so delicious! I’m really starting to love Sugar’n cream!

So here are my comments on the pattern itself. Since I used a lesser weight yarn and a smaller size hook, I added two more increase rows (following the trend of increasing by eight) before building up the sides. In retrospect, I wouldn’t have done this. I probably would have even increased fewer than the suggested times. The bag is a little frumpy and larger than I had wanted. I’ll just have to find extra goodies to carry!

Also, the suggested method of making the cord really threw me for a loop. Unless I’m not understanding their directions correctly, they want me to crochet in the round with only two stitches per round. Ha. I couldn’t crochet in a round of four, let alone two. I don’t even think that’s geometrically possible. So, I took to the internet! YouTube, of course. I came across a really neat video that taught me to make something called an i-cord, which I had never even heard of before.  Based on what the video says, it’s something commonly found in knitting, but the purpose of the video is to create the crocheted alternative. How cool! Even though I can knit, and June (of the video) says its easier when knitted, I thought I’d keep my crocheted bag pure and crochet the i-cord. It was a bit challenging at first, especially because you have to take stiches off the hook and hold on to them (tightly!) and put them back on at a later point. I found myself letting these stitches slide and come undone as I was trying to keep my tension tight. With a bit of practice, I found that crocheting looser than normal and gripping the dropped stitches tightly with my nails made it easier to do. And the cord looks great! Perfect for this project with only a little stretch (so I could carry heavier things without my bag sinking to the floor).

Over all, I’m quite pleased with my bag. I’d definitely consider using this pattern again, with some minor adjustments. Maybe in another striping color of Sugar’n cream?

Lulu and a summery bag

Since I’ve totally been procrastinating my Coco the cat project (from the May/June Crochet Today!) and getting side tracked with other projects, like the pacific beach cap from the next issue, I promised myself I’d finish the full body today. And I did! Today, I finished making who I call Lulu the pig! I made Coco, found her to be not as cute as I wanted, and put a little spin on her! Lulu is almost exactly the same (different snout, tail, and embroidery) and fits into the Coco series clothing the same. But isn’t she so sweet!

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Her free pattern can be found on the crochet today website!

http://www.crochettoday.com/crochet-patterns/coco-cat-free

 

I then proceeded to get side tracked in an attempt to avoid making her outfits and began a pattern called the State Fair Backpack (http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90271AD.html). I am just so excited about my purchase of Sugar’n Cream in a beautiful stripe called mango madness and I will be attending a fest this weekend. How could I not start already! So far, I’ve got a big ol’ octagon and I’m building up the sides. I love the color scheme so much! I hope I have some yarn left after its done for a headband or something!

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Check out my devotion!

So today I’m starting a blog all about my insane crocheting and knitting obsession. Since the summer months provide me with the free time to engage in any hobby I choose, of course I’ve chosen a time consuming, yet very rewarding, one. Let me start by introducing myself by telling a bit of history.

I first began crocheting in December of 2010. While buying colorful beads to make bracelets, I saw a book called Super-Super Cute Crochet. Flipping through it, I saw all the amazingly adorable amigurumi creatures and absolutely had to make them! I bought the book, Crocheting for Dummies so I could learn how to even perform the art, an H and F hook, and a few skeins of Lily’s Sugar’n Cream for practice. My first project (other than some practice swatches), from Super-Super Cute Crochet, was a squid, which I gave to my boyfriend.

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Isn’t he incredible?! I then went on to make other animals from the book, including a cow and a platypus.

After “graduating” from the book and discovering the mass of patterns online, I went on to make other projects, like a bandana for my dog, a fuzzy purse I stilluse to this day, and a hat for my boyfriend. Needless to say, not very incredible projects, but great stuff for beginners. I spent the whole summer of 2011 making a huge, warm blanket in the school colors of the university I would be attending that fall, The University of Pittsburgh.

Which brings me to the next chapter in my story: Pitt Knits. At the University of Pittsburgh, I went to the weekly knitting club, with intentions of crocheting and finding other crocheters. But, as the name of the club suggested, mostly knitters were to be found. So, in the midst of an octopus and an angry birds hat, for (you guessed it) the boyfriend, I learned to knit in the fall of 2011. I started off with a long and basic ribbed scarf in christmas-y colors and, before I had even finished it, I leapt right into the world of socks.

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After returning home from Pitt, transferring to another school after only one semester, I brought home with me a whole collection of knowledge, which I cleverly turned into slippers, hats, soap covers, snowflakes, shawls, headbands, flowers, four leaf clovers, and scarves.

I am currently taking advantage of a 2012 crochet pattern calendar I received for Christmas, the magazine “Crochet Today!” which I’ve purchased for the past three issues, and, of course, the internet. I’m creating Crochet Today!’s series pattern, Coco the Cat, but with a personal touch (I can’t want to show you!) and I’m on a total hat craze! I’ve got so many patterns lined up for the summer, I don’t thinnk I’ll be able to finish them all! Not to mention, I’ve recently discovered Ravelry, a great site for finding patterns and logging ones projects and yarn. After joining Ravelry, I discovered my need for a blog to accompany all that I’ve done and will do. Hence, here I am.

I hope my trip down memory lane made you as teary eyed as it did me (Kidding. I didn’t cry.) and that I can add some more serious substance to this blog very soon (as soon as I figure out the navigational stuff). I’m thinking of adding my stash to Ravelry next. Probably an all day activity!