Sunday, April 30, 2006

Crochet ABC with flowers and more...

I got the design from this book.
Here are the other designs from that book:

Its so much fun to make, though it requires a little more effort, because of the small details. I'm thinking of framing it, or maybe sew it on a towel to give as gifts. I've also got some suggestions from the forum: use for scrapbooking, nursery room decor, teacher's gifts, birthday cards, or any personalized gift...

Now if you're still looking for some flowers to crochet, there are some new free patterns from Garnstudio. These are mostly knitted cardigans with crochet trim and crochet flower embellishment.Crocheted flowers on knitted cardigan
Crocheted brooch on knitted cardigan
Crocheted edging on knitted cardigan
Crocheted flower on knitted pullover
Afghan and Pillow in Karisma Superwash
Crocheted flower on girl's knitted cardigan
Crocheted flower on knitted cardigan in Alpaca

Monday, April 24, 2006

Cintura Con Fiorellini

Belt with little flowers, yay! This is a new free pattern from Mani Di Fata. This is the first time I crocheted a belt, and I really like it!

The flowers in the pattern are small, but I made mine even smaller. Also, I love the way the twisted cords turned out =)

Pattern: Cintura Con Fiorellini
Materials: Cannon threads, 1 ball for the belt; small amounts of assorted colors (I used 7 other shades) for the flowers and cords
Hook: size 2 / 1.75mm steel

See Flower Earrings and Flower keychain - my manidifata-inspired creations

Friday, April 21, 2006

Yarns I got for free!

Last month, I came upon a post at crochetville by yarnyviolet offering some free yarns to those living in Germany or U.K. I immediately asked if she could send it to my sister in London, who in turn would send it to me. Well, I didnt have to wait too long, I got it today! Thanks sis, for mailing it to me :)
And of course, thank you so much Rachel (yarnyviolet) for sending the yarns for free, your generosity is very much appreciated! I know it is quite hard to part with some or most of your yarns as you cant bring it with you on your move.

All of it is very nice. I couldnt tell so much from the photos before, but now that I have it here I can say it is all wonderful! I hardly know about yarns. I just know those are mostly boucle. I'm thinking of making bags and other accessories from it and also a knitted top (someday, I'll be able to knit myself a top!)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sneak Peek

Did you see I just knitted a swatch? If you looked at my previous post, the swatch was still on the needles. I had to relearn the binding off, and I think I did it right, yay!
Now, what to do with my pretty little swatch...
I folded it to a triangle and gave it to this little bunny so she'll feel warm. I think she likes it!

Btw, here's a sneak peek into my future finished design:

I would like to share this, my current design WIP. Only the sleeves are not yet done. Anyway, I cant show the whole piece yet, so here's a preview. Looks quite simple in mesh stitch, but its really hard to do the shaping and write out the pattern for it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Latest News on Cotton Threads

Of course I'm talking about Cannon and Anchor threads =)
I've been busy working with these threads which I really love. Even if I have some wonderful yarns here, I almost always pick up the threads when I want to start something new.
I used to get so frustrated to not be able to get the colors that I like from the stores. They carry only about one-fourth of colors being made. Other than that, I find it too expensive. I wanted to get the colors that I like and I also needed to get it at the best price so I can crochet more. What better way than to order it directly from Coats Manila Bay at wholesale price? I am so glad they did not turn me down, knowing that I'm not a bigtime buyer of their threads. Well, they saw how much I love their threads and my commitment to promote it online. That's why I'm able to offer these threads to other crocheters/knitters everywhere.
So I invite you to take a look and if you like some of it, you can order from me and you get a good deal. And I guarantee you will get the best available cotton thread manufactured here. Now I havent worked with other brands of imported cotton thread, but I am completely satisfied with Coats' threads.

Featured Thread:

Anchor Lifestyles cotton thread size 8, KAM03. This is a lovely pastel shaded thread in soft mercerised cotton. Best used for garments and small accessories like booties, mittens and blankets (more projects using this thread will be featured later). Avail of the special price of only $.95 per ball (+ shipping), while supply lasts.
This item is available here.

Here is a crocheted swatch and a knitted swatch. The tension for crochet using 1.75mm hook is 9 sts and 9 sc rows or 4 dc rows = 1 inch. The tension for knitting using 3mm needles is 7 sts and about 11 rows = 1 inch, in stocking stitch. I prefer to use 2mm or 2.5mm crochet hook with this thread.

Now on to some exciting new projects!

Featured Project:

Here are some fan bookmarks I made from a pattern shared generously by an Aussie member at crochetville. The one on the left is made from Anchor size 10 cotton, the other one is made from Cannon size 8 cotton. I use hook size 1.5mm for both, so it turned out the same size. Its a very interesting and lovely design that I immediately tried it when it was posted. Thanks Cupcake!

Featured Free Pattern:

Lip balm holder

© Mimi Alelis 2006 – all rights reserved

Approx. 20 meters Anchor cotton thread size 10, multicolor (pattern A)
or Cannon cotton thread size 8 (pattern B)
Crochet hook , 2.50mm ( A) or 3.00mm (B)
Key ring attachment
Yarn needle for finishing
Work with two strands of thread held together. If using one ball, measure and cut approx. 10 meters of thread. Make sure that the color shades match while working with two strands.
Pattern A
Starting at bottom, with two strands of Anchor thread and size 2.5mm hook,
Rnd 1: ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, join w/ sl st to 1st sc
Rnd 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st around (12 sc)
Rnd 3: From this round on do not join rounds, work sc in back loops only of previous st. (sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc) 4 times (16 sc)
Rnd 4 - 16: sc in each st around (16 sc)
Rnd 17: Working on both loops of previous sc, sl st on the next sc, edging: (ch 1, hdc, sc in next sc, sk 1 sc, sl st on next sc) around, join. Ch 6 tightly, sl st to base of 1st sc to form loop. Fasten off and weave in ends. Attach key ring with long nose pliers.

Pattern B
Starting at bottom, with two strands of Cannon thread and size 3mm hook,
Rnd 1: ch 2, 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook, join w/ sl st to 1st sc
Rnd 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st around (10 sc)
Rnd 3: From this round on do not join rounds, work sc in back loops only of previous sc. (sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc) 5 times (15 sc)
Rnd 4 - 15: sc in each st around (15 sc)
Rnd 16: Working on both loops of previous sc, sl st on the next sc, edging: (ch 1, hdc, sc in next sc, sk 1 sc, sl st on next sc) around, join. Ch 6 tightly, sl st to base of 1st sc to form loop. Fasten off and weave in ends. Attach key ring with long nose pliers.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A little more on Knitting Projects

Before leaving the topic on knitting, I would like to show one halter top I made (about 3 years ago). I like it but I never wore it coz I really dont wear halters ;) I chose to make it only because its an easy project, and I know I can finish it. I'm amazed that it used up very little thread, only about 1 1/2 balls of size 8 cotton.

Here's a close-up while I'm wearing it. I like the color and style, but it doesnt really suit me. I just wear it when nobody's looking ;)

I am proud to finish the halter because before that I had these UFOs:

The black one is the front of a sleeveless top, and I forgot where I got the pattern. I'm surprised I was able to pull-off the eyelet design on it. Now I dont know if I can relearn it again.
The blue one is the back of another sleeveless top, I also cant remember what pattern I used :p Both seemed to take forever to finish, so by that time a lot of other crochet projects had me occupied. Looking back it seemed quite foolish to attempt two tops instead of finishing one. I end up having one front and one back that dont match!

Btw, here's a knitted project a few months ago from Tina, she gave me a pair of this dishcloth. I like it so much, its one of those creations that inspire me to try knitting again =)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Going back to Knitting...?

I've been wanting to knit again, but dont have the time to start something new and relearn everything again. I took out my old knitting projects I made when my kids were toddlers. Back then, the best motivation I had to learn to knit was to make something for them. But being inexperienced in it, it took me so long to finish a project. I'm also surprised to look at it now and say to myself "I made this!"

I have bought some wonderful books then, that I'm so glad I invested a little in. I dont see those now in our National bookstores, and besides, the knitting and crocheting books are all so expensive now unlike before. Here is the page where I got the pattern for the above vest. See, I tried to knit the boat design but couldnt do it, so I just embroidered one on the front when I finished knitting the piece ;)

The book is a U.S. publication and the one I got was printed in 1988, but the designs are timeless and perfect for today's tots.

This top was one project I was able to finish and gave it to my friend's daughter.
I also attempted to make the dress version of it, shown below. Somehow, I lost interest in it, for it seemed to take forever to knit especially with 2.5mm needles :p I was able to make half of it and its now a permanent UFO.

So I think I'm not yet ready to do some knitting, at least not for the next several months. I did recently make a knitted scarf in simple garter stitch. It turned out much better than if I did it in crochet.
For now crochet is still my passion and I will pursue it. I will be busy with my crochet designs and will be making more if I get a good feedback =)

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Day in the Life of...a Hawk

photo above taken by my brother
Taking a break from my crochet, I get my digicam and try to get a good shot of the bird. Btw, my brothers and sons ignore my googling and still call it a Hawk. It sounds a lot better than Brahminy Kite, so I'll just call it a Hawk...whatever :p
Anyway, the story goes like this... I was busy crocheting when I heard a little commotion at our driveway. The hawk captured its prey...poor rat!

I didnt see it, but our dogs (the German Shepherd and the Rottweiler) ran towards the Hawk, wanting to attack it. So our helper tried to interfere and the Hawk flew upwards on the roof by the balcony, leaving its dead captive below. I then went out to look and took pictures of the rat and the bird.

I realized the Hawk needed to eat its catch, so I asked that the dogs be caged for awhile.
As expected, once it was quiet below, the Hawk went down to get its meal. I wasnt able to take a shot of it with my malfunctioning camera :( However, it flew just across to the other corner of the lot and began to eat quietly. I was able to get close about 5 feet away, without disturbing it, but sometimes it would stop eating and watched me. So my attempts at taking a good shot were at least partly successful.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Another interesting hobby - Birdwatching...

I wonder if some of you reading my blog will be interested in birds. I didnt know I was going to be until I tried to learn more about birds. Though as always, the more I try to know something, the more I realize that I had a lot more to learn, and sometimes it gets confusing :p That's the case with my crocheting, as with any other hobby that I get into.
So anyway, what started me into googling for birds was when we saw a large bird perched on the avocado tree in our front yard. One time my son even saw it land on the balcony and on the front porch and it even drank on the dog's water bowl!
Here are some shots taken by my brother when the bird was on the avocado tree:

At first we called it a hawk, then I searched a little and I said, its a falcon. Then I searched some more today and now I'm sure its a Brahminy Kite. It does belong to the same family as Buzzards, Eagles, Harriers, & Hawks - Family Accipitridae.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Crochet Cast

I came to know about podcasts only recently, by listening to the first episode of crochet cast. I became aware of crochet cast when I read about it on Thread Heroine's blog. If you havent yet learned about it, better go to the site and listen to Jeanie, the podcaster. She has done 3 episodes as of this post, and she is doing such a good job at it. One great benefit in listening to the crochet cast is that you can sit by your computer and crochet while you listen and learn something related to crochet. There are also other podcasts to listen to, recommended by her, with fiber-related topics.

On the third episode her main topic is the Spring '06 issue of Interweave Crochet.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I've been crocheting, but...

I can't show off what I've been doing lately. I'm quite anxious about it, since I've been really working hard on designing. Nothing fantastic, but certainly something I can be proud of myself to say that I had my own ideas and I was able to make it in crochet and come up with a useful pattern. The good news is, someone's interested in getting my designs for publishing :D That's what I can say for now, details will come later.

Since I havent had any recently crocheted item to show, I will feature here one small item I made several weeks ago. I was hoping to make all featured on this page

But I have just finished one. Also, unfortunately, there is no letter M in the book!