Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Instagram and past crochet projects

I have just joined Instagram!...I know, I came a bit late than most. I hope you will follow me at . I have new pics of some of my old projects you might's one I captioned as behind-the-scenes shoot of the Lucky cat charm (finished in Feb. 2013)

And some throwback pics ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Handy Oval Makeup Purse - free crochet pattern

Crochet pattern - makeup purse
Handy Oval Makeup Purse

I got the idea for this makeup purse when I saw my sister-in-law using the Handy Coin Purse I gave her, to carry a lipstick and compact powder. Those basic makeup essentials hardly fit into the coin purse, but it seemed like a good idea. It saves the bag from clutter, and the front opening is most practical - since the contents of the purse can easily be seen and retrieved.
Then I recently saw the Oval Basket in my stash, it was folded flat and I immediately saw a purse!
I repurposed the pattern, using lighter weight yarn. The addition of a zipper makes it a cute handy purse. I'm thinking of making more, for gifts this Christmas. And this finished sample I'm sure, will delight my SIL!

Handy Oval Makeup Purse
by Mimi Alelis
October 2015
(updated January 2017)
Schachenmayr nomotta Catania, 100% cotton, sport weight yarn, 25 gms. (one skein is enough for 2 purses)
Crochet hook 3.5 mm (or 6/0), or hook to match your yarn
Zipper, approximately 8 inches
Needle and sewing thread
Gauge: Rnds 1-3 = approx. 2 3/8" diameter
Finished measurement: sample is approx. 7 " in  length, and 4 " wide measured at the widest part

Notes: Beginning ch 3 counts as dc. Bottom will curl initially, but will flatten when the side is done.

Rnd 1: Ch 4, 13 dc in 4th ch from hook, (or, begin with a magic ring, ch 3, 13 dc in ring), sl st on top of beginning ch 3 to join. (14 dc)
Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in same st, 2 dc in each dc around, join with sl st. (28 dc)
Rnd 3: Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next dc, (2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc) repeat around, join. (42 dc)
Rnd 4: Ch 3, (2 dc in next dc, dc in next) 6 times, 2 hdc in next dc, hdc in next 6 dc, 2 hdc in next dc, dc in next dc, (2 dc in next dc, dc in next) 6 times, 2 hdc in next dc, hdc in next 6 dc, 2 hdc in last dc, join. (38 dc and 20 hdc)
Rnd 5: Ch 2 (counts as hdc), hdc in next 2 dc, *dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in each of the next 9 dc, dc in next 2 dc, hdc in next 5 sts, sc in next 6 sts**, hdc in next 5 sts, repeat from * to **, hdc in next 3 sts, join. (76 sts)
Rnd 6: Ch 3, dc in next st, sc in next 2 sts, (dc in next 2 sts, sc in next 2 sts) repeat around, join. (76 sts)
Rnd 7: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next dc, dc in next 2 sc, (sc in next 2 dc, dc in next 2 sc) repeat around, join.
Rnds 8 -15: repeat rnds 6 and 7, alternately. (76 sts)
Rnd 16: (edging and handle) Ch 1, sc in 17 sts, sc2tog, ch 16 for loop (make longer if preferred), sl st in the base of loop, sl st in each ch, sc in the next 37 sts, sc2tog, sc in remaining 20 sts.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
Finishing: Sew the zipper

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Circular Scarf - free pattern

Circular Scarf Pattern
Circular Scarf

Circular Scarf
A simple crochet project using only one ball of cotton thread. Made up of a repetitive pattern that is easy to do, and quite addicting. 
This design has two innovations: 1. no long starting chain, no  foundation single crochet (fsc) or double crochet (fdc), and 2. no need to add edging rounds, it begins with a neat edge.

Yarn: Coats and Clark, Anchor Lifestyles mercerized cotton, size 10 (40 g), Color, 1 ball
Hook: Size 2.5 mm (C or 4/0), adjust hook size if necessary to obtain correct gauge
Notions: yarn needle for weaving ends
Gauge: 5 pattern repeats and 9 rows = 4" in pattern stitch
Finished measurement: approx. 35 " (89 cm) circumference, 5 3/4" (14 1/2 cm) wide

Notes: Pattern is worked in rounds, turned after every round.
To customize length, increase or decrease pattern repeats on the 1st round. To customize width, increase or decrease rnds.

Stitches used
ch - chain
sl st - slip stitch
dc - double crochet
tr - treble crochet
Special stitch
2-tr Cluster – [Yarn over hook (yo) twice, insert hook in stitch, yo, draw yarn through stitch, (yo hook, draw yarn through 2 loops on hook) twice] 2 times, yo, draw yarn through 3 loops on hook.

Rnd 1: Ch 5, tr in 4th ch from hook, (ch 6, tr in 4th ch from hook) repeat 43 times, ch 1, sl st in the 1st ch of this rnd — 44 pattern repeats Rnd 2: Ch 4, tr in the same st, (skip the tr and ch-3 in 1st rnd, 2-tr cluster in the next ch, ch 3, dc in 3rd ch from hook, 2-tr cluster in the next ch) repeat around, sl st on the 1st tr of this rnd to join, turn. Rnd 3: Ch 4, tr in same st, (2-tr cluster in the next tr, ch 3, dc in 3rd ch from hook, 2-tr cluster in the next st) repeat around, join, turn. Rnds 4-12 (or desired width): Repeat rnd 3.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Crochet scarf
Cluster Stitch Pattern

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Two lovely shawls, ten years ago...

Looking back at my projects posted on Ravelry, I reviewed these two shawls made 10 years ago!
These two shawls remind me of the beginning of a new age of crochet (at least for me...), since these were made from among the first patterns I found on the web. Oh, those were the days when we crocheters were so eager to blog and love looking at each others finished projects...appreciated most anything crochet, and amazed that we could instantly share to anyone around world ;) We still do now, but at that time we were so it seems to be a given and there's just too much out there to see, we hardly take the time to admire each and every project...

My lovely (and much younger) sister used to model for me, and these also remind me of that time she's about to take off... (she's now settled in the UK with her hubby and kid).

Project details on Ravelry

Project details on Ravelry

I printed the patterns at once, for I guessed it wont be there forever. I was right. The first pattern though, is still available on the Internet archives (pattern). The other one became a for sale pattern at the Mani di Fata website.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Crochet Book, a lovely crochet kit...

The Crochet Book
Saw this on The Book Depository and thought I'd share...this can be a lovely gift for yourself or for a fellow crocheter (especially for beginners) :)
The package includes all of the above, and shipping is included as well...since its free worldwide delivery as always on The Book Depository.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Handy Coin Purse - crochet pattern

I made these coin purses for some street kids I met last week.

I chose this design since it finishes up quickly and is suitable for both boys and girls. It is easy to hold, and with a finger inside the loop, it is secure in your hand.
I made the fabric ones from recycled denims, and the crocheted one from denim-like yarn. This project is quite simple, except for the sewing of the zipper. You can sew it by hand or by machine - I tried both, and there's not much difference...its not easy! Its a necessary part of the design though.

Here's a simple crafting tutorial to inspire. Any sturdy fabric, or any crochet stitch pattern can be used...I chose a mesh stitch pattern to make it quick and light...

Handy Coin Purse
     Cardboard pattern measuring 4 1/2" x 6 1/2"
     Zipper, approximately 4 1/2 inches (I used zipper from old denim jeans)
     Nylon cord, measuring 4 inches, or belt loop recycled from denims
     Yarn of your choice (I used 4-ply fingering yarn, a cotton/acrylic blend)
     Crochet hook 2.5mm (or 4/0), or hook to match your yarn.
Finished measurement: approx.4 1/2 " in height (excluding loop), and 3 1/4 " wide, measured at the bottom

Note: For crochet version, the cardboard pattern is just a guide to get the desired measurement.

Ch 2 at the beginning of row counts as 1st dc.

Row 1:Ch 54 (or chain an even number to an approximate length of 7 1/2"), dc in 3rd ch from hook, (ch 1, skip 1 ch, dc in next ch) repeat across, dc in last ch, turn.
Row 2: Ch 2, dc in next dc,(ch 1, dc in next dc) repeat across, dc in last dc, turn.
Rows 3-17: Repeat row 2. Fasten off.

Crochet loop (optional): Chain to measure 4", sl st on 2nd ch from hook, sl st on each ch across, fasten off leaving enough tail for sewing.

Sewing and Finishing:
1. Fold the sides toward the center, leaving enough space for the zipper closure. With matching color thread, sew the zipper in place.

2. After attaching zipper, turn the project inside out, position the loop and sew it at the center top edge.

3. Fold one side towards the center and sew it across the top. Do the same on the other side.

crochet purse

4. Sew the bottom side across. Trim the excess length of the zipper.

crochet purse

5. Turn right side out and its done!

Crochet coin purse

Denim coin purse
For denim version, trace the cardboard pattern on the wrong side of the fabric and add a sewing allowance on all sides before cutting.

Fold the sides along the seam allowance. Sew the zipper and finish up the same as instructed above.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Crochet a Tank top

I love how this project turned out. It was relatively easy to make, though it looked like a complicated design. 
Pattern: Neox Tanktop, Pierrot Gosyo Co., Japan
crochet top by mimi
Crochet Tank Top
 It came out a size small (32-34" bust)...which is just right for me. The color of the thread looks different in the photos as it actually looks closer to skin color. 

Crochet fashion top
Crochet tanktop

Project details on Ravelry.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Crocheting a Pierrot pattern...

While looking for design inspirations... I'm also on the lookout for patterns that I can make into finished projects. I usually zoom in on designs I can crochet with our locally available threads. Moreover I look for patterns that are quite interesting, yet relatively simple to make.
I know the yarn companies are promoting their yarns, so they come up with free patterns. I would like to thank them for offering the patterns to everyone. Sure, I would like to try the yarns they made the pattern for (I did so a few times)...but due to horrendous shipping and taxes involved, I rarely venture into it.

So for this project I would like to thank Pierrot Gosyo co. in Japan for the lovely pattern :)

Crochet Tanktop

Wait, this is just half of the top! Back and front sides are crocheted separately and then seamed on shoulders and sides. This is the back part, with the neckline higher than that for the front.
I will be making the front part these next two few days, and hopefully I can wear this top on Sunday next week ;)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Crochet strapped Flip-flops

How about a simple crochet makeover for an ordinary pair of flipflops? This is easy and neat :)

Pair of rubber flipflops or sandals
Crochet yarn or thread, I used 4-ply yarn (may be substituted with 2 strands of size 10 thread)
Crochet hook to match your yarn, I used size 3mm
Yarn needle to weave in ends
Fabric glue, a good-quality one will be durable, flexible and waterproof when it has dried - I used Bostik "Tacky" craft glue
Finished measurement: approximately 5 1/2" on each side

Note: Work sl sts in back loop only.

With main color yarn and 3mm hook, ch 66,
Row 1: Sl st in 2nd ch from hook and on the next 7 chs, sc in the next 24 chs, 3 sc in the next ch (place marker in the middle st, move the marker up as you go), sc in next 24 chs, sl st in the last 8 chs, turn.
Row 2, Sl st in the first 8 sts, sc in each sc across, with 3 sc in the middle st (where marker is placed), sl st in the last 8 sts, turn.
Rows 3-6: Repeat row 2. Fasten off.
Top edging: With contrasting color yarn, attach yarn on the 1st sc of the last row, sc in each sc across, fasten off and weave in ends.
Bottom edging: With right side facing, attach contrasting color yarn on the opposite side of the 1st sc of row 1, sl st on each st across (except on the last 8 sts), fasten off and weave in ends.

Secure the middle of the crochet piece by sewing around the center joint of the flipflop strap. Do the same with the ends of the straps using the tail ends of the crochet (you may skip this, since the glue will be strong enough to hold the straps in place). Apply glue on the top of the flip flop straps and position the crochet piece. The tacky glue will be completely dry after 12 hrs.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Denim Fringe Necklace

This is quite easy to do, just a bit of craftiness is needed. No sewing required, just some patience working with fine denim threads.
This sample looks wacky, but I'm posting it here to demonstrate the process of reclaiming the threads from used denim fabrics and making fringes ;)

Denim Fringe Necklace
Denim Fringe Necklace

Materials needed:
Necklace cord - I used a 17" long leather necklace cord, (I think a longer cord is better for wearing with low neckline outfit)
Denim fabric - approximately 8 1/2" x 3 1/2"

denim fringe tutorial

1. Cut the fabric straight along the line of the blue thread. Carefully unweave the blue threads and group them into 12 strands for each fringe.
2. Fold the grouped strands in half, place the fold under the cord. Insert all the strands inside the loop made from the fold. Pull to finish the fringe.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have enough fringes desired for the look of your necklace.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Gardening hobby...

I conclude, is not for me. I definitely want to fill my balcony with plants...but now I think I'm not going to take up gardening further...I don't want to spend time studying about plants - the what, how and why... I  just want to have sturdy plants that need minimal care :p
My tomato plant died :(
The few herbs I got are not flourishing....
On the other hand, the aloe plants are multiplying at a steady rate and I just repot it.

Aloe vera plants

The peace lily is looking good too. I'm going to add several more sturdy plants when I find time and as the budget permits ;)

Peace Lily

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Some recycled denim projects

While I'm not crocheting, I like making easy and quick projects. I still have plenty of used, good-quality denims and enjoy making these cute and easy projects.

The 4" diameter coasters were made from the inseams of denim jeans. The only other material needed is fabric glue. I used a special craft glue called tacky glue by Bostik. It has a very strong adhesion, yet it doesn't get stiff when dry.

For the bags I used mostly the leg parts of the denim. The bigger bag is two leg parts sewn together. One pocket is cut from the pants and sewn in front of the bag, the other pocket sewn inside. The handles came from the waistband, carefully ripped out, folded and sewn.
The smaller bag is one leg part, with a built-in outside pocket...What I love about making these bags is that the design comes naturally as the denim already has its own style ;)

Just an update: I am able to take pictures now since one of my dear sisters-in-law lent me her new camera, until I get my own :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Crochet Kits for the young and young-at-heart

I've just discovered these crochet kits - all the goodness of your favorite characters, materials and patterns, all in one package!

Are you a fan of Peanuts cartoons? Want to have your own Charlie Brown, Sally, and the rest of the gang come alive in crochet? Here they are in this crochet kit/book package that you can now order from The Book Depository!

Peanuts Crochet Kit
more details on The Book Depository

And this caught my eye - Disney Frozen Crochet Kit, includes all the materials for two projects and pattern book for 12 characters! Available now for pre-order at The Book Depository.

Disney Frozen Crochet

Another irresistible set of characters come alive in Disney Classic Crochet. Materials for two characters are included in the package.

All that and more from The Book Depository.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another Hibiscus Tunic

This crochet design came out in summer 2013, and is still very in for this summer. I'm saving this for cooler weather though, since its very warm here now to wear layered clothes.

I finished this project a week ago...unfortunately my camera of several years broke down...and probably retiring for good.

Here is my attempt to show you this lovely tunic :)

Project details here on Ravelry. Pattern is available on Interweave.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Crochet and other hobbies...

Summer is a good time to take up a new hobby or spend more time on your favorite.
I tend to look for simple and practical ways to brighten up my home, and at the same time improve my crafting skills.

I worked on my own little outdoor space/garden...(Progress is shown from left to right photos.)
I have a few plants to begin with...I will definitely add some more!
Here's my favorite plant for now, this peace lily I put in front of my door.
Btw, my camera isn't working properly anymore... :(

Summer is also a good time for bird watching, and we've been seeing different kinds of birds here...
Just this afternoon I heard the unmistakable sound of a crow, and looked up to see it on the top of this bamboo tree - its awesome! I could have gotten a picture, but when I changed the battery it flew away :(

May 20 update - I saw the crow again (later joined by another one, but no pic) camera was able to function on some shots.

I have been sewing a few projects too...starting with this tote bag. It then got me motivated to work some more on recycled denims.

(pardon the blurry pics...its not me, its my camera :p )

Since my main hobby is crochet, I would end this post with my latest favorite project (details on Ravelry). (I did finish another project after this, but I have yet to take a modeled photo.)

Monday, May 04, 2015

Getting to the finish line...

Still crocheting this is taking too long!... and I do have some excuses :p... 1. Summer here is too hot...crocheting easily gives me a headache and stiff neck. 2. I'd rather work on my outdoor garden project, and enjoy the cool breeze while its there. 3. When it gets too hot outside, we go to the mall :p 4. It is a good time to catch up on the laundry, since a new shop opened and its still on half-price promo. (I even  brought my project there, but only able to do a few rows...)

Thank you Quicklean, laundry isn't horrible now!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Picking up the pieces...

I thought it was going to be a simple DIY bamboo fence...but these bamboo slats are mostly poor quality, I was fooled by the packaging :p Anyways...I just have to make the most of it to cover the wall overlooking the street.

Btw, I got the 3rd tomato from my lone tomato plant!...hehe

Crochet WIP

My Hibiscus tunic project is about 70% done...its a slow-going pattern, but its worth it ;)

crochet hibiscus

Finished project coming soon!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

An outdoor project - time to take up gardening!

I guess that at a certain stage in life many of us would take up gardening as a hobby, if we haven't already. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have reached that stage...haha! And thanks to a friend who inspired me with her beautiful green home and her vegetable garden in Antipolo, I might be on to something good.. :)

I have a big enough outdoor space which is all concrete - perfect for potted plants...though it is in dire need of a makeover...

I have privacy as well as aesthetic concerns...
With a limited budget and some kind of a plan, I began my outdoor project...

I bought inexpensive ready-made bamboo fences and set these up on one section of the balcony.

 Still a lot to do, but I'm pleased with what I've done so far ;)

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Crochet Pineapple Square Dress - finished project

Finally finished this crochet wearable!

If you've seen the progress pics in my previous post, this looked like a sack, since it was made with 8 square motifs joined into a tube ...However, by adding the sleeves and yoke, it became this dress:

Mimi's Crochet Stuff
Crochet Pineapple Square Dress

I could have made the squares a little bit smaller for my figure (maybe next time around...), though this loose-fitting pullover dress can still adapt to a wide range of sizes and worn in different styles. It can be worn with or without a belt... It can be dressed up or can be worn as a tunic top or a party dress, or a swimsuit cover-up :)

Alternate method for cap-sleeve:
(note: sleeve edging is crocheted directly on the underarm; always work on the right side; beginning ch 3 counts as dc)
  1. Attach thread on the fan stitch to the left of the corner fan stitches at the underarm joining, ch 71, (be careful not to twist the chain, move to the opposite side of underarm joining), join with sl st to the fan st at the right of the corner fan stitches.
  2. Make a double fan stitch (2dc, ch, 2dc, ch, 2dc) in same fan, ch 3, dc in the corner fan stitch joining, ch 3, double fan stitch in the next fan st, (ch 3, skip 5 chs, dc in next ch, ch 3, skip 5 chs, double fan st on the next ch) repeat across the ch stitches, sl st on the beg ch3. (7 double fan sts, 7 dc)
  3. *Fan st (2dc, ch1, 2dc) in ch1 sp, ch 2, fan st on next ch1 sp, ch 1, dc on dc, ch 1, rep from * around, join.
  4. *Fan st in ch1 sp, V st (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch 2 sp, fan st in next ch1 sp, ch 1, skip (ch1, dc, ch1), rep from * around, join. Fasten off.
Yoke tips:
  1. Start on same st as the beginning of one sleeve.
  2. Follow the pattern for the first rnd.
  3. I made 13 rnds in all, with decreases just thought of as I crocheted each rnd.
  4. The last rnd is all hdc.
Here's a close-up of the yoke: