Tag Archives: Crochet

Crochet :Versatile, Easy Granny Squares

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Ever wondered why those crochet squares are so-called? Granny squares is something of the 1970’s. It is a crochet square worked from the centre outwards, in multiple rows and well-formed corners. A ‘solid’ granny square will have a dense stitch done in single colour, where multiple colours will add variety, colour and pattern to the simple solid granny square. Because they are portable, simple and a great way to re-use yarn, it’s so Granny!

The Woman’s Day Book of Granny Squares (Fawcett, 1975), is a collection of granny-based designs and notes (checkout on Google).

Solid Granny square

Here are my recent granny square projects using new yarn.

Girl’s handbag

Begin with the magic circle and work 5-6 rows of double crochet to make the classic pattern. In each corner chain – work 3 double crochet, 2 chains, 3 double crochet. This will give the corner a good finish. Add an all round double crochet border stitch to complete and make a neat square. Make another similar square for the other side of bag.

Now join both squares at one end using a single crochet stitch. Measure a soft fabric, choose a matching colour or make it contrasting bright. Lay flat, measure adding extra 1 inch all round for hem. Cut, fold hem inwards and sew fabric to the inner side of crochet square, using a big eye needle and thread.

Now turn the square ‘right side on right side’ and using needle and yarn sew the other 2 sides of square, leaving one side open for top end. (There are many You tube videos that explain this in detail.) Add tassels or beads on a string as embellishments.

To make the handle – make a chain stitch as long or short as you wish for the size, then crochet 2 rows of double crochet into each. Finish off by sewing both ends to the top edges of the handbag.

A crochet dress

This dress will fit a 2-year-old girl. It is slightly modified from a pattern I saw on Etsy. Remember that thickness of yarn, needle size, hand tension, pattern – are variants to the outcome.

I used multicoloured blue /green yarn (2 balls), yellow and turtle green.

I made a two varieties of Granny squares : Classic granny square and mitered patterns with blue and yellow.

Join the required number of squares by sewing together or using single crochet and make 2-3 rows lengthwise. Measure a sample skirt for desired width and length. When using different colours and patterns, first lay them out as desired, change positions as preferred, then join one by one to make a horizontal row. Add another 1-2 horizontal rows as required. Make similar for back part of skirt.

 

To begin the body, single crochet into each chain on the top end of skirt. Next 1-2 rows you may need to decrease stitches to get a narrow waist.

I experimented with few rows of basket weave stitch and double crochet to produce a designed effect. Continue working upwards till you reach arm hole.

Find the centre of the body (front and back). Mark with a pin.  Now mark for arm hole on sides of body, counting exact same number of stitches.

Crochet double crochet bands of desired width as shoulder straps and attach to body part, taking cue from the marking of arm hole and centre. You may need a bit of adjustment here.

To finish the skirt end – I did 3-4 rows of simple double crochet using body and skirt colours. This is the time you may wish to try learning an edging, picot or lace design.

http://aspoonfulofsugardesigns.com/2013/10/book-reviews-crochet-titles/

For the girly effect: beads, satin or glazed ribbon, lace, crochet flower brooch will all add that extra sparkle and ‘oooooh’ effect. I kept my dress simple, due time restraints.

Do share photos of your work if you make a granny square dress. Good luck to creativity! 

 

 

 

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Crochet:Learning a New Stitch

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Repeating any action is always easy, learning something new is a challenge. To keep the brain healthy and active it’s important to keep learning new.  ‘In learning, there is growth.’ Information and knowledge is changing and increasing everyday and the brain must be stimulated. Whether we read a book, learn new strategies for managing our expenses, experiment painting or learn to cycle away…its all about being mentally active and alert. Besides, doesn’t it boost your self-esteem?

So what am I starting on as my first stitch for the New Year? The shell stitch or fan stitch. It’s so aptly named as it fans out, thus  It increases body volume. If you want a bit of  dainty or delicate touch to your piece then this is the stitch. It can be used for the entire body of the work or as a dainty border for a blanket, scarf or table-cloth. See here

Shell scallop edging for crochet blanket

A shell stitch is formed by inserting about 3-5 double crochet or treble crochet into one chain of the foundation chain, then working on the above rows. Thus it looks narrow at the bottom and spreads out like a fan or shell at the top end. There are a variety of shell stitches like lace, crazy, reverse. It’s a good idea to work on a small sampler first to accommodate trials and errors 🙂 Believe me, it saves time later, and you have neater work!

The pattern I’m working on requires 9 dc into one chain, the shell fans out almost 180 degrees. Since it fans out, it is essential to leave out the next couple of chains(refer to required pattern) else you will land up with many more chains on the next row.

Here are some sites I browsed. Thanks to all those wonderful crocheters who share their knowledge with all of us. Due credits!

http://www.bellacoco You Tube tutorial/shell stitch

https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2016/03/crochet-shell-stitch/

https://persialou.com/2016/09/how-to-crochet-the-shell-stitch.html

https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-crochet-shell-stitch-979103

What are you going to make with this stitch? Do leave your comments /photos to share with others.

Crochet: Importance of Practice

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While chatting with a story-teller friend last week we discussed how we kept repeating and …getting better. She at story telling and me at crochet. I moaned ‘I just work on Granny squares time and again!’ She chirped ‘ I tell a few (same) stories to the children, again and again’. We both smiled!

Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes it perfect.’

Vince Lombardi.

  • As a beginner to crochet you will wonder where to start, what to practice upon. When a friend introduced me to the yarn and needle, we both began on mastering the chain stitch and double crochet(dc). Recently, two new friends came along and gifting them small colourful  yarn bundles to work upon was the best way to learn and practice crochet, in the midst of chai cups:)
  • Begin with small projects. Mastering the basic Granny squares works for me. As you master the yarn tension, keep count of the chains or trebles, learn to turn your work every new row, learn to measure, and of course find your mistakes – rip it – re-do. It’s all about practice. The process sure can be very demanding, at times frustrating, but surely satisfying!
  • Adding colour and variety keeps interest flowing. Who says you need to be a Granny to do crochet? Well, search the You Tube or crochet books and you’ll find a dozen different patterns to do a basic square to practice upon. (I know only 3 patterns).

Multi colour granny squares

crochet squares- solid granny pattern

  • Step up, move on. Once you’ve mastered a certain stitch or pattern, it’s time to add a bit of challenge to your work. According to Jean Piaget, a child psychologist, children (we) go through four stages of cognitive development. Thus, as we see and experience, learn the basic schema (a pattern), new experiences or knowledge presented modifies or adapts our learning to reach next level.
  • From small to big is the next stage. Practice old and new stitches. Create something more meaningful. Time to turn those squares or hexagons into dish cloths, Afghans, baby blankets,bags and more.
  • Granny square blanket

     

    Granny square bag

    Courtesy: Internet
    Granny Square Vest

    Do share your experiences on practice. What are you working on at present? How does practice benefit or irritate you? 

    All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

Crochet: Baby Items

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What’s on my hook? Recently I’ve been doing simple, small crochet projects for babies. Left over yarn scraps and a ball of baby soft wool both came in handy. Here’s what I learned.

Baby Girl Crochet Dress

  1. Browse and research well on You Tube, Etsy, Ravelry, CrochetCrowd on FB and other sites for patterns.
  2. Do a proper read through to understand/grasp.
  3. As a beginner, choose something simple and easy to finish within a time frame.
  4. If trying out a new stitch, make a small tester sample. What lessons did you learn about the hook size, yarn tension, suitability of colour, yarn and pattern for that particular piece?
  5. Adjust and apply this knowledge.
  6. Take a T shirt or dress of the required size, or visit a children’s shop for accurate measuring. Some sites offer details of size, some are dodgy.

This dress is worked top – down. Begin at neckline with 55 chains (or as required) and work a single crochet into each for a firm neckline. Add next 3-4 rows of dc.

crochet-baby-dress

Pattern from WoolyWondersCrochet.

A good idea is to watch the tutorial video few times, if you are a beginner, to understand the process. Choosing pastel or soft colours, soft wool is advisable.

Crochet Baby Dress

Crochet Unisex Vest

Baby soft acrylic or cashmere wool is great for this project. Decide the size ( a plus ) is always better. You want the piece worn for couple of years at least. The reward for your time, skill and patience!

I made up this pattern ‘on the go’ to practice a variety of stitches, see the outcome of design and texture and become a sampler vest.  Finished size measures 9 and 1/2 inches across and 13 inches height.

Basket weave stitch and double crochet

Row 1: Slip knot and chain to make size of 9 and 1/2 inches across.

Row 2: Add 3-4 rows of single crochet in each chain stitch, this serves as a  border.

Row 3 – 12: Basket weave stitch till the required height is reached. Chain 2, at end of each row and turn. Measure and adjust using sample shirt.

Row 13: Slip stitch into first 3-4 stitches, this makes sleeve indent. Then dc all the way across. Last 3-4 stitches slip stitch for sleeve indent.

Add more rows, measure height and make neckline. Add dc to both sides to make straps, add buttonhole by making 2-3 chain stitch /loop.

2 sides of crochet vest

There are many YouTube crochet vest sites for detailed patterns.

Best of luck! Do add a photo of your work.

Please do not link or copy this site. Please contact me for using any photos or material. I devote much patience and time for making this blog and I’m happy to share it.

Do share your work with me too.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

 

 

 

 

Details in Hand Embroidery and Crochet

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 Here is my entry for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge.

Dictionary meaning of Detail is: specific feature, attribute, characteristic or element of an item or fact.

Whether in Nature or man made items, to create details involves extra time, effort and craftmanship. I salute all artists, weavers and craftsmen today as they  work on creating finer details in their hand made items.

Parsi Kor  borders showcase exquisite embroidery. Highly priced or kept as rich heirloom pieces, these borders are done with a cross stitch. A  variety of coloured threads in silk or cotton are used. The borders are then attached to sarees or wedding gifts like table linen.

Parsi Saree with traditional Kor / Border

Parsi Saree with traditional Kor / Border

Traditional Kashmiri designs are another example of detailed work.  Men and women, both work as Karigars or weavers. Thread colours used here are white (safed) and turquoise (firozi). Common motifs used are: paisley, delicate chinar leaf, saffron, narcissus and lily flowers. Just as in Nature, twirling creepers and lines add delicate element.

Kashmiri embroidery

Kashmiri embroidery

In crochet and knitting the details of design and stitch add that extra element. The picot stitch can be used in the border or in the body pattern (as I am using here). Picot adds a bit of charm, especially when used in borders to create a pointed effect on the line.

Crochet: Picot stitch

Crochet: Picot stitch

 if you want to produce something above the normal, just work on the DETAILS !

Aside

 

Be like the perfumed flower, that gives out its own perfume to 

                make other’s happy, but, takes nothing from anyone.’

Anonymous.

I LOVE flowers, and I must have them everywhere. In my garden, on fabric for dresses, cushions or bedspreads, gorgeous floral bunch at the table or prayer altar, flower garlands in my hair. Flowers also make the best birthday gifts for dear and near. The colour and fragrance of flowers is soothing, refreshing and mood uplifting. Nature speaks to us in the form of flowers – warm spring weather gives new life to closed winter buds, reminding us of passing of time and changes in life.

Each flower is unique in its colour, fragrance and shape. Are you so busy in life’s activities that you don’t stop a moment to smell the flower? Sadly… you missing out on the the essence of Creation!

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Past few weeks, at the onset of spring (it’s almost summer now!) I am learning to crochet small projects like flowers and butterflies.

YouTube and many crochet websites like http://www.ravelry.com and http://www.petalstopicots.com are helpful.

In tune with Nature

In tune with Nature

When time is limited time one needs to plan and organize small projects. Working on dainty doilies, flowers or caps, making squares proves easy. Repeating the same pattern means less thinking too. Stock up and rearranging can be done at a later date. Just keep at it.

Row of crochet flowers

Row of crochet flowers

Make use of your time, create a hobby and follow it with passion.Practice, practice! Why not bring a smile to someone’s face by gifting your crochet flowers?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

Crochet: Spring and Summer Flowers

Crochet to Heal: Therapy

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Phew! The past few weeks have been mentally exhausting caring for an aged geriatric member. I feel so drained, but thankful that I did a service. The well deserved ‘quiet’ time was very essential to keep my own mental balance:) and help me re-energize.

I definitely found therapy in doing crochet. My time to sit down and do nothing – just twiddle with soft balls of yarn between my fingers. I had no goal or patterns, no deadline. Just crochet away anywhere – on the balcony of the apartment, kitchen, relaxing on the couch or even taking the yarn to nearby restaurant and the playground. In out, in-out …went the needle.

Crochet had a calming, centering effect on my mind. It helped me concentrate, meditate and even improve my posture. Making projects for ‘others’ was a way of reaching out to friends and family, building my own self esteem that ‘I can’ which was very important to nourish me. 

The stack began growing. Wonder what this will become?

Cushion? Blanket? Baby dress? Tea Coasters? stack of squares

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bored of repeating? Work with new colours. Work on small projects. Practice. Meditate.

Granny square using left over yarn.

Granny square using left over yarn.

Vary the colour, thickness of yarn, practice with wool, cotton or jute. Granny squares are so versatile and can be turned into just anything – a big blanket, a vest, a small shoulder bag or clutch purse. Endless options, so be creative!

Multi colour granny squares

Multi colour granny squares

 

              PEACE    LOVE   CROCHET

May your day be wonderful and sunny!

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

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Yes, another crochet project done! This time it’s a small New Year gift for my grandchildren (boy’s) in teal blue. Paired with soft cream using the basic treble stitch, it worked quick and dense.

‘When you give a gift made with love,

                             it turns into something priceless.’

Crochet scarf - border and tassels

Crochet scarf – border and tassels

Materials:

Yarn:Teal blue (1 ball 200m) paired with camel brown and soft cream.

Brand : Nako Superlambs.

Needle size:  5 mm.

Scarf length: 52 inches and width: 8 1/2 inches.

Bundles of yarn await dextrous hands.

Bundles of yarn await dextrous hands.

Pattern: Chain 22 for the base. Row 1 and up, treble stitch for desired height. Chain 1 to turn at each end of row. For second colour, add 2 rows in brown (treble cluster + 1 treble). Add 1-2 rows of teal for contrast. Next work 2 rows in additional colour (treble cluster+ I treble) done here in soft cream. Continue treble stitch in teal blue, for desired length.

Central Part: For the part that will go around the neck, I wanted to add broader bands for more colour and experimenting. Broad bands in both colours are made with (3 rows of cluster stitch/ alternate with teal blue/3 rows of cluster in another colour).

Then, continue to add length to equal the other end, repeat small band pattern of cluster stitches. Finish off, once desired length reached. Tidy up loose ends.

Tassels: They add length, variety of colour and give a softer look. Here is your chance to get creative. Make tassels in solid one colour, mix and add or alternate solid colours ( teal- brown-cream). I’ve made tassels 7  inch long. Remember to cut double + little more length (=15 inches) as after tying, they will become only half the length.

Ta…da…the scarf is ready.

Winter is here, and so is grandmother’s (Nani’s gift)!

Boy's crochet scarf in Teal Blue

Boy’s crochet scarf in Teal Blue

Till then……I hope I’ve inspired you to reach out for some yarn.

How are you keeping those fingers busy this winter?

 

Crochet A Boy’s Scarf

Therapeutic Craft : Crochet Blankets

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It’s common knowledge that brain games like Suduko, crossword puzzles and the like promote neuro pathways that help improve cognitive therapy. But what about serene, arm-chair craft like needlework, crochet and  knitting as meditative therapy?

Research has proven that they do calm the mind and body, the lulling effect created by repetitive to and fro needle movement and concentration. No wonder doctors (and jail programs) recommend such craft to patients! Colour matching and coordination, hand eye coordination are other benefits. There is also the social part. Group teaching and learning offers a creative and fun environment and opportunities for new friendships. Read here –

http://blog.lionbrand.com/2015/01/21/6-reasons-why-knitting-and-crochet-group-therapy-works/

My interest in crochet was recently rekindled by a dear friend Lesley. Saying goodbye was not easy, as tears rolled down our cheeks. And more tears (this time of joy) as she put a colourful, hand-made crochet blanket around my shoulders. What a lovely gift! Thank you.

Colourful Granny square blanket

Colourful Granny square blanket

Choosing the right colour combinations as well as a pattern to suit the yarn is as important as the needle work.

This blanket consists of  using Granny square blocks of 5 inch in multiple colours. Granny blocks made in a single colour are great for beginners. This blanket has 7 rows of blocks. After joining them together, the border is made of 4 rows of a cluster treble stitch. One row of single crochet in the base colour provides a neat finish. The square woollen blanket measures 54 inches.

Granny square blanket

Granny square blanket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, off you go find some yarn and a needle and practice some granny blocks for yourself. Bella Coco tutorials on You Tube are a good start, or join a crochet class and make new friends.

 

‘One loss opens doors to another gain.’ Goodbye Lesley. Hello crochet.

Since then I’ve been ‘hooked’ on and busy practising beginner stitches and patterns. I decided to make ‘Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’ themed blanket using the solid granny square blocks. A perfect way for beginners to learn and repeat a new stitch, so meditative. Choosing colour combinations, placing the blocks together to create the right effect, choosing a stitch to join them, and finally learning more techniques for a neat finish are some of the things I learned in the process, as I often sat quietly crocheting in a corner.

To read /listen to Elmer the elephant story see here:

Here is the blanket I have just completed. Do you like the bold colours?

Elmer the Elephant themed crochet blanket

Elmer the Elephant themed crochet blanket

To make a solid granny square see here

These are samples of the solid granny blocks I made. Then I used the chain stitch to join them together.

crochet squares- solid granny pattern

crochet squares- solid granny pattern

For a dainty contrast to the bold colour blocks, I made a shell scallop edge using 5 trebles in the ‘home’ stitch.

Shell scallop edging for crochet blanket

Shell scallop edging for crochet blanket

 

Here is sampler Granny square block I’m currently working on. Love the Elmer theme, just changed the pattern.

Sampler: Elmer the Elephant themed Granny square block

Sampler: Elmer the Elephant themed Granny square block

What’s my next project ? Wait and see….

Till then, happy hooking 🙂 Hope I’ve inspired you to begin a new craft.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer