Archive | December 2015

New Technique Thursday- Week #2- Bullion Stitch

Tangled! That’s what I got when trying out this stitch for the first time! As I began my first attempts at this stitch I wondered to myself why on earth I would ever try a stitch like this. It’s because I saw this pretty picture of a Bullion stitch on Pinterest and thought I’d love to learn how to make it myself. So I visited the site from where this photo originated and I read the directions. It seemed relatively easy. I grabbed some yarn and a hook and dug my heels in. Whoa. While the process of making this stitch is quick, it is far from painless, lol.

So here I am, a number of hours later, and I’ve mostly gotten the hang of this stitch. One thing is for certain, my patience and determination were both found today!

What is a Bullion (or Roll) Stitch? It is a decorative stitch which is made by wrapping the yarn around the hook many times and then pulling a loop of yarn through all of the wraps made. When finished, the stitch resembles a spring or a coil. The tricky part about this stitch is in managing to pull your yarn loop through all of the wraps made, without snagging it or missing any of the wraps, and keeping the size of the wraps all consistent with each other.

I started off using worsted weight yarn and a variety of different sized hooks. None of that was working. My bullions were all wonky and the hooks kept getting stuck in the plies of the yarn, therefore pulling the yarn apart. So I took a new approach. I tried using #10 crochet thread and a 1.75 mm steel hook. Tada!  Success. Not perfection, but finally it was beginning to work out. So next was practice. And more practice and more practice.  Still, it’s not perfect, but I’m happy to say that I tried and succeeded in getting the basic stitch done. It looks relatively decent, at least I think so. Below is a photo of what my best attempt (so far) looks like:

20151217_132718

Because I worked my Bullion stitches in a round, they aren’t straight. Perhaps if I added more of them in the round they would all squish together and stand straighter? You can compare my photo to those photos of Bullion stitches found on other websites (they also provide instructions on how to make the stitch):

About.com

Lots of Crochet Stitches (this one shows it done in rows)

Stitch Diva Studios (also shows it done in rows)

I’m not really sure if I’ll use this stitch in any of my future projects. I definitely need to practice it more before doing anything with it. I think the Bullion Stitch would work best in a doily, or even a granny square. Have you used it before? What sort of project did you use it on?

Until next time….

Amanda

 

 

 

 

WIP Wednesday- Week #2

Well it’s that time of the week again. A day to show off all the many projects I’ve been working on. Too many, I think, lol 🙂

First off, and you’ll know this already if you’ve been keeping up with my posts (don’t worry, no hard feelings if you haven’t…I’m terrible for keeping up with other blogger’s posts myself!), I finished the scarf that I was making for my husband. I posted it as the free pattern this past Friday. You can find it HERE.

Secondly, I took apart the wrister (which was written about HERE, along with a photo) that I was working on, and the yarn from it has now been incorporated into a couple of other projects (some of it went into my husbands scarf, some of it went into granny squares).

Next, the Orange Cat Amigurumi is still on the back burner of my projects list. The photo and little blurb about it can be read HERE). I’m still considering ripping it apart and using the stuffing and yarn from it for something else. It’s just the safety eyes I used on it which I don’t want to trash.

My granny squares are slowly coming along. I won’t bother posting any photos of them this week. It would just be the same old squares over and over again. A bit boring to continually look at, I think.

I have made progress on the cozy for my container of hooks and needles. I’m not really sure what the next step will be yet. I was thinking to decorate it, maybe with flowers, ribbons or buttons. But nonetheless, here it is:

20151216_085949

And last, but not least, a couple of days ago I began working on a knitted hat. I’ve been calling it my “thinking cap”, as I turn to it when I need to think and figure things out, whether I’m thinking about a project I’m working on, or just life in general. It’s a very simple hat, worked on a circular needle. There is no pattern for it, just winging it. When it’s done it will fit a child. I’m using Red Heart Super Saver (using up my stash still until I can buy some different yarn) in Hunter Green. Perhaps when it’s finished I’ll write out the pattern for it and share it here on a Free Pattern Friday. Here’s a photo of that:

20151216_085227

It is my hope that by next Wednesday most, if not all, of my current projects will be done. But I wouldn’t waste breath on that, lol. I am sure I will find something else to add to this list of WIP’s 🙂

Until next time, keep on keeping on and have a hooktacular day!

Amanda

Trendy Tuesday- Week #2- Lovey’s

Recently I’ve seen quite a lot of these “Lovey’s” popping up all over the internet. When I first heard the term I had no idea what people were talking about, but when I started paying closer attention I discovered how brilliant and cute they are. I’m sure you’ve heard about them, but in case you haven’t I’ll tell you this: They are adorable little baby blankets with the top portion of an amigurumi animal attached to the centre of them.  They are perfect for baby shower gifts and birthday gifts, especially since you can customize the animal to that of the child’s liking.

Here are a few links to patterns if you’re interested in making one:

7 Lovey Crochet Blanket Patterns For Baby

Owl Cuddle Lovey  by Corina on Stitch11.com

Baby Blanket by Brittas Ami (it is not completely in english but there is an option to translate)

Have a Trendy Tuesday everyone!

Amanda

 

Free Pattern Friday- Week #1- Meet In The Middle Scarf

So here it is. The scarf I made for my dear sweet husband 🙂 I finished it just in time to post it as the free pattern for the first “Free Pattern Friday”.  The colors appear a bit off in the photo, but that’s thanks to poor lighting and a once good but now not-so-good smartphone camera, lol.

This scarf is pretty basic. It’s made of two halves which are identical to each other (all hdc’s), and then joined together in the middle with a few simple stitches with yarn and a yarn needle.

I decided to construct the scarf in this manner, rather than just crocheting one long piece, because I wanted both ends of the scarf to look the same. I did not want to include a fringe on it to cover up the difference between the foundation chain end and the fastening off end.  Perhaps there is a different way to make both ends of a scarf look the same, but I do not know it.

20151210_154509

Meet In the Middle Scarf

© Amanda Bryant 2015

Materials-

Red Heart Super Saver (I used “Medium Thyme” as Color A, and “Black” as Color B.) medium worsted weight yarn.

6.5 mm hook

yarn needle

**Tip- after completing Row 1, use a safety pin to mark the “RS” (right side) of the work, to make it easier to join the two halves in the end.

Dimensions of finished scarf- approximately 62 inches long x 7 inches wide. (each half is about 31 inches long, each color block is about 3 1/2 inches long)

Gauge- 6 hdc=2 inches; 5 rows= 2 inches

Instructions-

(Make 2 halves)

With Color A, ch 21

Row 1 (RS)- hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each of the next 19 ch’s across, ch 1, turn (20 hdc)

Row 2- hdc in each hdc across, ch 1, turn (20 hdc)

Repeat Row 2 six more times, for a total of 8 rows of Color A from the beginning of the piece. At the end of the 8th row change to Color B.

Next- *In Color B, repeat Row 2 eight times. At the end of the 8th row, change to Color A. In Color A, repeat Row 2 eight times. At the end of the 8th row change to color B.*

Repeat from * to * until there are five blocks of Color A and four blocks of Color B.

Next- In Color B, repeat Row 2 four times (=4 rows of Color B). Fasten off.

Now, repeat this half over again so that you have 2 scarf halves.

Joining the two halves-

To join the two halves, lie the scarf halves down end to end (meeting in the middle) with each other, with the RS facing down and the WS facing up toward you.  With Color B and a yarn needle, join the two pieces with a simple whip stitch through the BACK LOOPS ONLY of the final row of each half (so, first you will thread the yarn through only the back loop of the first stitch of one scarf half, and then through only the back loop of the first stitch of the second scarf half. Then you will repeat this with the second stitch, and all the way across all 20 stitches). When completed, the join will look like this (nearly invisible):

20151210_154159

When the scarf is joined in the middle, next comes the daunting task of tying in all the loose ends from the color changes (unless of course you decided to tie them in as your work progressed, which might be a good idea if tying in a lot of loose ends at once stresses you out 🙂 )

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me (leave me a comment below, or email me at crochetonthebrain@yahoo.com ). I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I possibly can.

Enjoy your weekend!

Amanda

New Technique Thursday- Week #1- Crocodile Stitch

Having been a crocheter for over 10 years now, it might be hard to believe that I’ve never learned the Crocodile Stitch. Truth be told, I’ve been keen on the idea of learning it for quite some time now, but it’s one of those things where I just never made the time to do so. But now that I’ve officially put aside one day per week to learn something new, I can proudly state that I know how to crochet a basic Crocodile Stitch! 🙂

I “Googled” for a list of tutorials to follow, and after skimming through some of the search results, I decided to use the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to the Crocodile Stitch from the Red Heart blog.  The photos were a great reference when following the instructions which in themselves were very simple and straight forward. In fact, the sample piece, shown in the photo below, in which I made 3 rows of scales, took me only 1 hour to figure out and put together.

20151210_120331 - Edited

I’ll be the first to admit that the gauge is all off, but I think that it’s pretty good for my first attempt.

While I was learning this stitch I couldn’t help but wonder who invented it, and when. The person who did so was brilliant! So, again I “Googled” for the information and found NOTHING. The closest thing I read about it was that it is a relatively new stitch. But how new is that? 5 years? 10 years? 100 years? 1000 years? lol

I don’t know what I’ll make using this stitch, but it’s definitely one worth practicing. Maybe a scarf? Scarves are usually pretty good first projects when dealing with a new stitch.

So, it’s been a very successful first New Technique Thursday for me. I am extremely happy that I set out to learn something new. I certainly look forward to next week’s technique (just have to figure out what I want to learn now!)

Later Alligator….In a while Crocodile…

Amanda

 

WIP Wednesday- Week #1

As I’ve said before, I really shouldn’t start a new project until I finish all the old ones first. I actually had to make a list of everything that I’m currently working on so I wouldn’t leave anything out! Something tells me though, I’m not the only one with this problem 🙂

Ok, without further ado, here are my WIP’s for this week:

#1- Granny Square Doll Blanket. I’ve got 34 squares made out of the 63 that are required for the pattern I am following. I’ve been keeping track on paper what colors I’ve used and so far not one square is of the same color sequence. It is my intention that when the blanket is finished there will be no doubles.

20151209_101445.jpg

#2- Granny Squares for the Facebook group The Granny Square Challenge, where each member makes 1 granny square per day for an entire year. I’ve got 16 made now, but today is Day #17 so I will need to make another square for today. I’m using 2 different square patterns, so far, but they are all the same size in case I decide to use them all on one project in the end.

20151206_122225.jpg

#3- A scarf for my husband, upon his request. This is my own design, but it’s really quite simple. It’s made of hdc’s. I am making 2 halves separately and then joining them in the middle.

20151209_101108.jpg

#4- Wristers- well, one wrister at the moment. Because I’m using the same color for the scarf mentioned above in #3, I’ve run out of this color to complete the wristers. It again is of my own design. What I will probably do is just take it apart, use the yarn for something else, and begin the wristers over again in a different color.

20151209_101626.jpg

#5- Orange Cat Amigurumi- also my own design in progress. I actually started making this in October. I lost interest in it and have been humming and hawing over whether or not to continue with it. So he lies in wait for my final decision.

20151209_101731

#6- A cozy for my container of needles and hooks. I’m using up left over Peaches & Creme cotton yarn and just winging it. I don’t really have a vision of what it will look like in the end. We’ll just see what happens, lol.

20151209_102002

So, there you have it folks 🙂 If you were feeling guilty about having so many projects on the go at once, feel guilty no more. It happens to the best of us.

Happy WIP Wednesday!

Amanda

Trendy Tuesday- Week #1- Mermaid Tails

Welcome to the first “Trendy Tuesday” 🙂

It seems that everywhere I go online (which is everywhere that there’s crocheting involved, lol), I see photos of these gorgeous Mermaid Tails. But not just any old mermaid tail. They are in the form of lapghans, baby cocoons, blankets…mermaid tails for all ages! Personally I’ve not tried to make one, but they seem to be a very catchy trend, especially with the gift giving season upon us!

I would love to include photos here of these Mermaid Tails, however, I don’t want to step on any toes and get into any copyright trouble. So, below you will find some links to what I’ve found and at those original sites you can leave your comments for the designers if you so wish to.

Crochet Tutorial: Mermaid Tail Afghan Pattern- 3 Sizes- by Nadia Fuad

Mermaid Tail by Elizabeth Cala

Crochet a Wearable Afghan Mermaid Tail by Shelley Bunyard

Mystic Mermaid Cocoon by b.hooked Crochet

Mermaid Costume Pattern by Courtney Wiche

Thanks for reading the first ever “Trendy Tuesday” post! I hope it’s been an enjoyable read and maybe you’ve got your next project planned out because of it 🙂

Happy Hooking!

Amanda