Thursday, November 8, 2012

New videos!

There have been some complaints lately about some of my videos.  I will not lie: I am TERRIBLE at making video tutorials.  There is a definite learning curve involved and I am only now beginning to learn some things about lighting, camera placement, etc.  So, one of the tasks I am undertaking is to re-make many of my current videos.  And, here are the first two!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Erin top - free pattern!

Here is a Tunisian crochet top I worked out recently.  It couldn't be more simple!  It's just two large rectangles, seamed together on the sides and at the top.

Experience Level:
Beginner +

Finished chest measurements approximately 31” (35”, 39”, 43”, 47”, 51”)
Sizes XS (S, M, L, XL, XXL)

4 (4, 4, 5, 5, 6) balls Plymouth Encore DK, 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool, 50g (1.75 oz)/137m (150 yds), color Christmas Green
5.00mm H Tunisian hook, or hook required to obtain gauge

Gauge: 15 stitches X 16 rows = 4”, in Tunisian reverse stitch.  

Ch - chain
ExTks - extended Tunisian knit stitch.  Insert hook knitwise (from front to back, through fabric), pull up loop, ch 1
ExTrs - extended Tunisian reverse stitch.  Insert hook from right to left, through back of stitch, pull up loop, ch 1
Trs - Tunisian reverse stitch
Sl st - slip stitch

  • This pattern is written to be worked flat and then seamed.
  • Pattern is written for size XS, with all other sizes noted in ( ).
  • All return rows are completed as normal (ch 1, y/o and pull through two loops for remainder of row).
  • Note that the loop on the hook at the beginning of each row is always the first stitch, and that the last stitch of each row is always tks (or an extended stitch).

Make 2
Ch 56 (65, 71, 79, 86, 94)
Row 1:  Pull up loop in each stitch across.
Rows 2 - 4:  Trs each stitch across. 
Row 5:  Ch 1, ExTrs in each stitch across.
Rows 6 - 8:  Ch 1, ExTks in each stitch across.
Repeat Rows 2 - 8:  7 (7, 8, 8, 9, 9) more times.
Repeat Rows 2 - 4: one more time (all sizes).

Loosely bind off using sl st (as if making a Trs).

Block each rectangle to the following dimensions
XS - 15.5” wide X 21” long
S - 17.5” wide X 21” long
M - 19.5” wide X 22” long
L - 21.5” wide X 22” long
XL - 23.5” wide X 23” long
XL - 25.5” wide X 23” long

With right sides together, seam 11” (11”, 11.5”, 11.5”, 12”, 12”) from bottom hem, up the sides.  Leave remaining fabric unseamed for armhole.
With right sides together, seam 4” (4”, 4.25”, 4.25”. 4.5”, 4.5”) from the top of each rectangle, forming the shoulders.

Turn right side out, and enjoy this simple mesh top, suitable for so many summer occasions!

See what I've been up to!

I can't believe it's been since May that I last posted.  So much has happened since then.  I've had four crochet patterns published in 2 magazines, partnered up with a yarn company, have several more patterns coming out in magazines over the next few months, and squeezed out a few independent patterns.  All this while trying to juggle three kids and their sports, a husband who works a lot, and committing myself to the gym daily.  OK, well not daily, but at least semi-weekly. 

I thought I would take this opportunity to show off some of my work and re-dedicate myself to blogging now and then.  If you are interested in purchasing any of my for-sale patterns, click on the link to my Ravlery shop, at right.  All my free patterns are also here on this blog, and you can look for them in the Search box, using the tag "free pattern."

On to the good stuff!

I was lucky enough to get to work with Yarns of Italy on two projects.  One is still under construction as it is a sweater, but here is a picture of the other, my Tunisian Shells Wrap:

I used their Marasca sock yarn, which was absolutely wonderful!  This shawl is done in Tunisian lace.  If you haven't tried it before, don't be afraid!  It's just another tool to add to your crochet arsenal.  ;)

One of my patterns was published in Crochet! magazine, as well!  Also Tunisian, also super fun!  

(c) Annie's

And, if that wasn't exciting enough, I've also been published in Inside Crochet three times this year (so far!) - and one of those patterns made the cover!  Well, two actually, but one was just a small snapshot.  

Tunisian crochet + broomstick lace = cover!

Tunisian crochet with corrugated ribbing

Regular crochet with fun ruffles!

 As I said, I also put together a few independent patterns as well.  Some are not published yet, but here is a fun freebie!  I will share the details about it in a separate blog post.

Whew!  There is more, I am sure, but I'll get around to that later.  For now, happy hooking!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Doily Flower Pillow

I know it's a little late to be posting my Mother's Day project, but, ahem, I just finished it today.  LOL!  I haven't seen my mother lately so I knew I could procrastinate.  However, since I will be seeing her later this afternoon, I figured I should probably finish.  NOW.  :)

Anyway, I am so happy with how it turned out that I am going to post my project step-by-step in case anyone else wants to try this too.  The instructions I am sharing are how I made my project.  Tweak sizes and shapes to customize your pillow.

9" doily
2 pieces of fabric 17" X 17"
embroidery floss in 2 colors
embroidery hoop, if needed
embroidery needle
marking pencil or light colored crayon
16" X 16" pillow form
16" zipper
matching thread
pinking sheers (or scissors)
sewing machine
usual sewing supplies


First, I made the Petite Pineapple Doily, which measured about 9" across when blocked.  Here is my Ravelry project on the doily, if you need hook sizes and thread used.

I used a thin-wale corduroy that was already in my stash.  BONUS!  It had a bit of stretch to it, but was still sturdy, which allowed me to do the embroidery sans hoop. 

Embroidery Stitches
If you are not familiar with embroidery, here are some links to the actual stitches I used: chain stitch (darker green color) and the back stitch (lighter green).  Simple stitches, but very effective.  It's a little hard to embroider on such a thick fabric, but it was worth it.

OK - on to the step by step...

  1. Place doily in desired location on right side of one piece of your fabric.  Use cotton thread to tack doily into place. 
  2. Use crayon or fabric pencil to draw an outline of the leaves and/or stem.
  3. Using desired stitches, embroider to cover outline.
  4. Determine the orientation you would like for your zipper.  Take one piece of fabric and lay it out with the wrong side facing you, in the direction you want your zipper to go.  Fold down fabric toward you (wrong side to wrong side) about 1/2" wide.  Pin in place as needed.
  5. Using your sewing machine (or by hand, if you are up for the challenge), stitch down hem at 1/4" from the edge.  Repeat on the second piece of fabric, making sure that any print or bias, etc. is lined up with the first piece sewn.
  6. With right side facing, pin along hemline, joining fabric and zipper.  Stitch in place along existing hemline.  Repeat for second piece.
  7. With right sides together, stitch at 1/2" along remaining three sides of pillow case.  Make sure that you keep the zipper open a bit.  Otherwise you will have a very tough time turning the pillow case inside out.  Ask me how I know.  Go on, ask.  :)
  8. Use the pinking sheers to cut the corners at 45 degree angles to eliminate the bulk of fabric, and also cut along all three sewn edges.
  9. Turn pillow case inside out and use the crayon, or some other blunt object, to push out the corners and make sure they look nice.  
  10. Insert pillow form and close zipper.
  11. Admire your handiwork!

Step 2
Step 3 - Chain Stitch

    Step 5
    Step 6
    Step 7

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Plaidigan Cardigan

Keeping with my previous resolution, I am sharing my latest pattern with you.  A child's cardigan done all in Tunisian crochet.  I used a tapestry needle and scrap yarns to embellish the sweater with a plaid design.  Plaid cardigan..Plaidigan...get it?  LOL  Sizes available range from 2T all the way up to size 10, and this sweater can easily be made for a boy or a girl, just change up the colors.  I used a heavy worsted weight yarn and a K hook, with a cable attachment.  Hope you love it as much as I do!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tunisian knit headband

I know you've all seen 'em.  Cute little teenagers running around with knitted headband/earwarmers on.  Oh to be young and cute again.  But I digress.  My neighbor asked if I could make one of them for her, and having neglected my knitting needles for awhile, I decided to take up the challenge.

Ahem, now I remember why I don't knit much.  It's soooooooo sloooooooowwww.  I got about 4 hours and 4" into it and chucked my needles into the fireplace.  Turned to my trusty Tunisian hooks and within 2 hours, I had a cute headband and a fun little flower on a pin.  So cute, in fact, that I had to make another one for myself.  This one adorned with buttons.

And, because I learned to share in Kindergarten, I decided to write down the formula for all to enjoy.  I say formula because you really can use any hook/yarn combination, as far as I can tell.  Since I have not tried it in all possible hook/yarn combinations, I am going to leave it up to the user to find out the hard way if it works or not.  Lucky you...

  1. All return rows are as normal, except the buttonhole row.  
  2. For the buttonhole, skip the stitch where the buttonhole will be.  On the return row, ch 1 over the skipped stitch, and continue the return row as normal.
  3. The buttonhole size and corresponding button will be determined by the yarn/hook being used.  If you wish to have a larger button but are using thinner yarn, I would recommend starting with Ch 7.
  4. M1 (make 1) directions - insert hook knitwise through fabric in the space *between* the stitches.  Pull up loop.  Increase made.
  5. Tks - Tunisian knit stitch (but I am guessing you already knew that)


Ch 5
Row 1: pick up each loop across
Row 2 - 5: tks across row
Row 6:  find center stitch.  Tks across to center stitch, M1, tks center stitch, M1, tks across remaining stitches.
Rows 7 - 9: tks across row
Repeat Rows 6 - 9 until piece measures 3.5" in width.  Place marker on last increase row.  Measure the length from beginning to this marker (Measurement A).

Total length of the headband should be no more than about 18".  I know your head is bigger than that, but believe me, the yarn will stretch.  Double your measurement and subtract it from 18".  This number (Measurement B) will be the main length of the headband.  Continue in tks across each row until you reach Measurement B.  Now begin your decreases...

Row 1:  find center stitch.  Tks across to one stitch before the center stitch.  Skip next stitch, tks center stitch, skip next stitch, tks across remaining stitches.
Row 2 - 4: tks across row
Repeat Rows 1 - 4 until only 5 (or more, depending on your initial chain) stitches remain.
Complete on more row of tks.
Buttonhole row:  find center stitch.  Tks across to center stitch, skip stitch, tks remaining stitches.  On the return row, ch 1 for skipped stitch.
Complete 2 more rows in tks, bind off in your preferred method.  Fasten off, unless doing Trim.

Trim (optional)
Ch 1, turn to work the lengthwise side of the headband. *Sl st, ch 1.  Repeat for every stitch around the headband, making a ch 2 at the corners.  Join with a sl st at the bind off row.  Fasten off.  Sew on a button, and any other decorations you want.

So, for the tan headband I made, my length up to the marker was 5".  The main body was 8" and the decrease section was 5".  This makes a total of 18".  I used worsted weight and a J hook.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Three Button Wrap

A little over a year ago, a friend asked me to make a wrap that she saw in some expensive store.  It was knitted, of course, and back then I didn't knit yet.  So I made one in Tunisian crochet and I *wish* I would have written down the instructions at the time.  Anyway, fast forward one year and sure enough, she asked for another one!  This time, I've got the pattern to share.  Not so much a pattern as it is a formula.  This can be worked in any stitch pattern, crochet, knit, Tunisian crochet, you name it.
 This wrap is basically a wide, long rectangle, with approximate dimensions of 18" X 72".  Mentally break up the wrap into 3 equal sections.  In the last third of the wrap, evenly place button holes, approximately 6" apart.  You can add or take away space depending on your preferences and choice of buttons.  Use any yarn, any hook, and/or any needles.

Start with a foundation single crochet (or chain) equaling your desired length.  In the example shown it is 18".  Continue in desired stitch pattern for 54", place button hole, continue 6" and place another button hole, continue 6", place last button hole, and finish off wrap with a final 6" of pattern stitches.  I placed my button holes approximately 2" from the edge of the fabric.


Here is a very basic diagram showing the dimensions.  Forgive my pathetic Paint skills.  LOL!  The blue dots represent the button holes.  Can't wait to see what you make with it!