tirsdag 1. desember 2015

Leftover yarn

Sorry I haven't been posting anything for a while. If you've read the information on the "About me" page, you'll know I'm a student. So for the past month I've had other priorities than my crochet. It's time for exams! In fact, I had an exam today. I still have 3 more to go before I can fully relax, but tonight, I'm giving myself a break and I have time for an update.
I have done a few simple crochet projects since I last posted, despite all my studying. A few beanies, a headband, a scarf... The most recent project is a snowflake garland that still isn't finished. I crochet one snowflake every time I take a break from reading.

Now, what I really wanted to talk about today is leftover yarn. When I got home this afternoon, I started cleaning up and sorting out all the yarn I had scattered around our apartment, and putting it all in one place. My stash is pretty small compared to some, but turns out I've got more than I thought! I immediately got annoyed by all the little bits and ends, half-skeins and general leftovers from previous projects. I have no idea what to do with those! I threw in some old, but whole skeins of baby merino in hideous colours (leftovers from a baby blanket my mom made some years ago), the pile of "unwanted" or "useless" yarn was this big:

It's a vide variety of mismatching colours, weights, textures and fibres. There's even some camel fiber in there! I was tempted to throw it all away in frustration, but that would be wasteful. I care a lot about the environment, so I definitely wasn't going to throw ANYTHING away. I'm going to make an "ugly blanket". I've seen some around the internet, they are the ultimate scrap buster. Basically, just use ALL leftovers and scraps to make a blanket/afghan. Some actually turn out pretty cool, even though the yarns used have been so different in every possible way. When it's finished, I'll donate it to an organization for homeless people or something similar. I'm sure I'll have even more leftovers by the time it's finished. I still need to decide whether to make a big granny square, like my own afghan, or a stripy rectangular blanket. Feel free to make a suggestion! I don't know when I'll start. Maybe very soon, but it could also be after the holidays. Either way it's going to be an interesting project!

By the way, the rest of my stash, the yarn I don't consider to be leftovers, all fit in this one box. (running shoes european size 42, US size 7 for size comparison)
I don't know if that's good, or kind of sad. Haha. I see so many people posting pictures of shelves and rooms filled with yarn. How much space does your yarn take up? 

How do you make use of your scraps and leftovers? I'd love to hear some ideas :)

lørdag 24. oktober 2015

Finished Object: Seagull Scarf.

I have a weird relationship with seagulls. I both HATE them and love them. Whenever I'm in the city, I despise them. They are loud, dirty, rude and slightly scary. They build nests on the rooftops around the street I need to go through to get home, and they scream all night long. They also steal food. But, when I'm by the sea, they are so beautiful. Peaceful, pretty birds. They belong by the sea. Most of my seaside memories are from a small island off the coast of Norway, called Edøy. My grandmother grew up there, and my grandparents own a lot of land there. They have a summer house on the island, right by the beach, where I've spent most of my childhood summers.

When I saw this scarf over at the "official ccc social group" on facebook (great crochet group, awesome people, always kind and helpful), I knew I had to make one for my grandmother. Here's how it turned out. I also took the liberty to model it.

Size-wise it's more like an albatross than a seagull, but I love how it turned out. It can be worn as both a shawl and a scarf. I personally prefer scarves.

The yarn is a fingering weight cotton yarn, from the danish store "Søstrene Grene". The hook used was 2,5mm hook purchased in the same store. Honestly, I didn't enjoy the hook.
I based the colour choice on what colours I think my grandmother usually wears. My father agreed that she wears alot of earth tone colours, along with black and burgundy, so I think white and brown is okay.

The original pattern by Charlotte at My Upper Penthouse is in Danish, but it's also available in English and German. It's simple to do, if just a little bit monotonous. Adjusting the size should be simple if you want it smaller or bigger, just do less rows of each of the 4 parts, while still maintaining symmetry of course. I.e. make sure part 4 is the same size as part 1.

I haven't told anyone in my family about this blog yet, so I feel quite safe publishing Christmas gifts here, for now. I hope my grandmother will love the scarf as much as I do! :)

fredag 9. oktober 2015

Winter Solstice Jacket.

I've long wanted to make a cardigan or jacket for myself, and in the beginning of September I finally found a pattern I really liked. It is the Winter Solstice Jacket from Drops Design. You can find the US instructions for it here. What's great about Drops patterns is that they're translated into so many languages! So if you prefer to use a different language, or UK crochet terminology, all you have to do is select the language you want from the drop down menu on the left side of the pattern website. Now, what's not so great about Drops patterns is that the instructions are sometimes kind of vague and leaves you to figure a few things out on your own, which I don't like. I had to frog a few times, and it still isn't free of mistakes, but I love my jacket anyway! Here's how it turned out:

As you can see, it's pretty huge. I followed the instructions for the S to M size jacket and used the same yarn and hook as recommended in the pattern. However, I did not gauge swatch... oops :p

I used a little bit more yarn than the S/M pattern required with the correct gauge, but not much. It worked up pretty quick. I started late in the evening on September 14th and finished it on October 7th. A little more than three weeks for a project this size is okay, especially when I had other projects, like my star stitch beanies, and term papers to write as well :)
Apart from the size, I'm very happy with it, and I'm going to wear it alot now that the weather is getting cold here in Norway :)

mandag 5. oktober 2015

Star Stitch Beanie.

This is the first ever pattern that I've written. If you notice any mistakes, feel free to tell me, and I'll correct it as soon as possible.

Yarn: 1 skein of Odin by Viking of Norway. This is a single-ply aran weight yarn. Check yarnsub for suitable substitutions.
Hook: 5 mm  hook for the brim and 7 mm hook for the cap.

Star Stitch Instructions:
The first star stitch of the round is made like this: Chain 3, insert hook into the 2nd ch from the hook, yo and pull up a loop. Do the same in the next chain, in the same sc as the chains and the next 2 sc. You should now have 6 loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull through all 6 hooks. Complete the stitch with a ch1.
The rest of the star stitches are made like this: insert hook in the center of the previous star (hole created by the final ch1 of previous star) yo, pull up a loop, insert hook in the back of the 6th loop of the previous star, yo, pull up a loop, insert into the same st as the 6th loop of last star. yo and pull up loop, and repeat with the next 2 sts. You should now have 6 loops on the hook. yo and pull through all 6, complete the stitch with a ch1.
I recommend this video by wool wonders crochet (you can skip to 3 minutes in) for a demonstration

Once you've got the star stitch under control, this beanie is quite fast to work up :)

Hdc2tog = hdc decrease: *yarn over, insert hook in next st* twice. (5 loops on hook) yo, pull through all 5 loops.


Use a 5mm hook
Row 1: chain 11 (you can chain more if you want a wider brim), sc in the second chain from the hook, sc in all remaining chains until the end. Chain 1, turn. (10 sc)
Row2: sc in back loops only across, ch1 and turn (10 sc)
Repeat row 2 until the piece measures about 17 inches (43 cm)
Connect the ends by slip stitching through the front loops of the last row and the foundation chain.
Fasten off.

Turn brim inside out, so the seam is on the inside. 


Round 1: attach yarn to the top of the brim, ch 1 and make 69 more sc around the brim. Sl st into the 1st chain. (70 sts)
Round 2: Change to a 7 mm hook. Make 34 star stitches (see above for instructions), make 1 hdc in the last sc, slip stitch to 1st star. (34 stars, 1 hdc)
Round 3:  ch 2, make 2 hdc in each star and a final hdc in hdc from last round ( 70 stitches)
Round 4: repeat round 2 ( 34 stars and 1 hdc)
Round 5: ch 2, 2 hdc in next 15 stars, 1 hdc in next 2 stars, 2 hdc in next 15 stars, 1 hdc in next 2 stars, 1 hdc in hdc from last round (66 sts)
Round 6: 32 stars, 1 hdc in last st. (32 stars and 1 hdc)
Round 7: ch2, *2 hdc in next 2 stars, 1 hdc in next 2 stars* Repeat from * 7 more times, hdc in last st. ( 50 sts)
Round 8: 24 stars, 1 hdc.
Round 9: ch 2, *2 hdc in next 4 stars, 1hdc in next 2* repeat from * 3 more times, hdc in last st. (42sts)
Round 10: 20 stars, 1 hdc
Round 11: ch 2, *2 hdc in next 3 stars, 1 hdc in next 2* repeat from * 3 more times, hdc in last st. (34 sts)
Round 12: 16 stars and 1 hdc
Round 13: ch2,  1 hdc in each star, 1 hdc in hdc from last round (18 sts)
Round 14:  ch 2, hdc2tog 9 times (10 sts)
Round 15: hdc2tog 5 times (5 sts)
Fasten off and weave yarn end through remaining stitches to close the hole.

So far I've only made this beanie in variegated yarn, which turns out pretty nice, but the stars would be more visible if the cap was made in a single solid colour, or maybe two alternating solid colours. I will try this once I get a skein of this yarn in a solid colour. I'd love to see how your star stitch beanie turns out if you decide to make one, and if you encounter any problems with the pattern, I'd be happy to help!

søndag 4. oktober 2015

My crochet journey so far.

Yay! Finally time for my first blog post!
I think a good place to start is to tell you how I got here.

I learned how to crochet in October 2011. My mother taught me to chain, single crochet and double crochet, and also how to make a hat and a granny square. I made a practice single crochet pot holder, and then came the beanie, my first real project, here pictured after being worn quite a lot.

The granny square my mom got me started on, didn't stop growing until  about 2 years later. It ended up quite big, and it's now an afghan that I keep on the couch in my livingroom, and cuddle up in every time I'm cold or upset.
Of course I didn't spend 2 years on just this afghan. I took many breaks, and in the mean time, I kept learning different techniques and improving my skill on the internet, where I also discovered amigurumi, the art of making crocheted stuffed animals and dolls. It's so much fun! Don't worry, I'm not going to show you all my finished projects, but here are some of the amigurumis I showered my little brother with: 

The Boo and the Psyduck pattern can both be found over at Wolfdreamer's blog. Stitch's pattern can be found here and the pattern for the monkey doll to the right can be purchased here.

The internet is also the reason why I mostly use English crochet patterns, and why I'm writing this blog in English. Most good crochet websites I found are written in English, so I learned the US crochet terminology, and there are lots of stitches I simply don't know the Norwegian name for. Thanks to the internet, English has become my crochet language. Which is good. Being written in English, this blog can be read by many more people than it could if it was written in Norwegian.

When I moved out of my mother's house to go to university, I didn't crochet for a while, but I picked up the hook again about a year and a half ago, and since then I've hardly put it down. I find crocheting to be very therapeutic, and finishing projects always makes me very happy.

I look forward to sharing my future projects and patterns with you, and I hope you will enjoy reading my blog! :)