Thursday, 23 April 2015

A SUPERB SHELLED TOP

A SUPERB SHELLED TOP

Lately it feels like the faster I work, the faster someone is tempting me with ideas .. oh, I am not complaining at all ..  just loving every creative moment.
I have come on a short trip out of Mumbai, and am with a friend.  Their daughter loved the last creation I’d made for my niece, and this is what she has chosen – and of course, I am thrilled to make something new and beautiful… and obviously you agree with me, as here we are..together yet again J

I don’t have a pattern page link, but here’s a photo of my inspiration.. just in case this was on your “to-do” list as well…  The inspiration in white and blue and my creation 


Materials used : A combination of ~ 170 gms our local Indian Red Rose knitting cotton yarn with a 3 mm crochet hook to make a top for a Size 33 - 34" (chest / bust)

Abbreviations used :
 fdc : Foundation double crochet                                dc : Double crochet
ch : chain                                                                         ch-sp : chain space
sp : space                                                                         rep : Repeat

Stitches used :
 fdc : Foundation Double Crochet :This is a unique way of starting a project directly with
a row of double crochet stitches.  This makes your whole project neat and even..in a
way that you need to do once, to agree!  If you are familiar with fsc, you’ll wonder why
you never used this start before !

Chainless dc start :Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3, I’d like to introduce this
lovely new way of starting a dc row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2
or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using the
chainless dc start.

Small shell :(dc ,ch 1, dc) all in the same st or ch-sp

Large shell :(3 dc ; ch 1, 3 dc) all in the same st or ch-sp

So as we start off,   let’s look at what we’re going to do today with our top.  We start at the base of our top and work upwards towards the armhole and neckline.  The designer has not done any major reductions, but has smartly added a thin belt-like cord around the waist that cinches it for shape.  The only reductions are for the armhole and then neckline.
The lovely pattern also has two sets of shells – and then for a difference, the designer has alternated colours for the shells to give it the lovely finish.  I am planning on using just one colour for this – as I think that the lovely shells will pop out on their own.  So you can now decide ..single or dual colour J 

Right, so we’re going to start with a  row of fdc – and as I said before, if you’re comfortable with this stitch, then great.. else go ahead and start with the usual chain row.

I am also writing out the color changes in case you’d like to do this with two colours.  In case you are using only one colour, do ignore these instructions.

Start (with Main colour) with a  multiple of 10 + 2 fdc.  Turn.

From this row on we will start with our pattern – so do review our two shell stitches.

Row 1 :  (with Contrast colour) : sc in 1st  2 fdc ; *sk next 3fdc,  large shell in next fdc ; sk next 3 fdc , sc in next 3 fdc* ; rep *to* till last 2 fdc ; sc in last 2 fdc. Turn

Row 2 : (with Contrast colour) :  2 dc in 1st sc ; *ch 3, sk nextsc and 3 dc,  sc in next ch-1 sp ; ch 3, sk next 3 dc and 1 sc , small shell in next sc* ; rep *to* till end. Turn

Row3 :  (with Main colour) : 4 dc in 1st small shell ; *[sc in next ch-3 sp , sc in next sc , sc in next ch-3 sp] ;  large shell in next small shell* ; rep *to* till last large shell ; 4 dc in last sc. Turn

Row 4 :  (with Main colour) : sc in 1st  dc ; *ch 3, sk next 3 dc and 1 sc , small shell in next sc ; ch 3, sk next sc and 3 dc, small shell in next sc* ; rep *to* till last 4 dc, sk 3 dc and sc in last dc. Turn

Row 5 :  (with Contrast colour) : sc in 1st  2 sts ; *sk next ch-3 sp,  large shell in next small shell ; sk next ch-3 sp , [sc in next ch-3 sp , sc in next sc , sc in next ch-3 sp]* ; rep *to* till end; sc in last 2sts. Turn


Rep Rows 2 – 5 till your project reaches armhole level.
Now there is a chart given below for the sizing of top and IF your full length equals that given below, then yaay.. you don’t need to calculate anything.. lucky you.  Else, well, like the rest of us, you’ll get your trusted tape measure out right now, won’t you? J


Armhole decreases : So once your project reaches the armhole level, we will need to slowly decrease.  Now once again, my trusted trick is to use a well-fitting top (of the person intended) for this.. else we’ll go by the general rule of thumb.. which is a larger decrease in the 1st row, then a smaller decrease in the next 2 rows.

Row 1 : sl-st till you’re in the ch-1 sp of the 1st large shell ; sc in that 1st ch-1 sp ; and then rep instructions for Row 2 all the way till you reach the last large shell ; sc in the ch-1 sp of that last large shell ; Turn.
You have the first large decrease completed.

Row 2 : sc in same 1st st ; sc in next ch-3 sp ; large shell in next small shell ; and then rep instructions for Row 3 all the way till you reach the last small shell ; then large shell in that small shell and 1 sc in the last ch-3 sp and sc in the last st.  Turn.

Row 3 : dc in the 1st st ; ch 3, sc in the ch-1 sp of the 1st large shell ; and then rep instructions for Row 4 all the way till you reach the last large shell ; sc in that ch-1 sp of the last large shell ; ch 3, and dc in the last st.  Turn.

Now continue without decreases following instructions for Row 5 next, and then rep Rows 2 to 5 once again till you reach the level you want your neckline.

I have, as the designer has, made a higher back and a slightly lower front – but whatever your choice, the decreases are the same.

So like you have for the armhole, you will need to decrease for the neck in 3 rows.  The only difference here will be that you will decrease in the centre bit of your top.  So to figure out where you want your decrease(s), what I do is fold my work in half, and mark the centre front and centre backs.  I then decide how deep I want the neckline and then mark that point, which will be deciding point for the neckline decrease.  Three quick decreases and we should have a good curve for our neckline. 
You will then continue without decrease in either neckline or armhole sides till you reach the shoulders.

Once you have completed one side of the shoulder, you will fasten off and re-attach yarn for the next side of the shoulder.
This will then complete one side of your top.

You will repeat all instructions till here for the other side of the top, remembering to mirror the armhole decreases, but if you want a different depth for necklines of back and front, adjust that accordingly.

Once done, a simple attachment of sides and shoulders and your beautiful top is complete.

Finishing :
So you’ve attached your front and back at the shoulders and sides. I am quite happy with the fdc row at the bottom being the way it is, without embellishments.. but you and your creativity can take it away to another dimension.

I’ve done a quick picot all around the neckline and armholes.


So just to make this an even and neat finish, I ran one round of (ch 2, sk 2 sts, sc in next st), all around the edges for the first row.
Now as the areas we’re working on are curved, there are some places where it will be difficult to figure out where you have 2 sts (that you need to skip).. so basically you work a ch 2 , sc evenly all around ... and as long as its all even and neat, that’s good.

The picots then will neatly go into the ch-2 sps.  The picot I used is a (ch 3, sl-st into the 1st ch) all around, and to get them neatly spaced, I worked *picot in the 1st ch-2 sp ; ch 1, sk next sc and picot in the next ch-2 sp* all around, joining with a sl-st at the end.
This picot pattern is done around the neckline as well.

If you so desire, you could actually do this around the baseline fdc row too.. just sk 2 fdc and picot in the next fdc.. you could also do the ch-2, sl 2 fdc, sc in the next fdc for a start row, and then (like you have done here) ; do the picot in the ch-2 sps.  The only tricky part is getting your ch-2 sps.. i.e in case you run out of an fdc, just play with the calculations a bit and adjust it such that you end with a ch-2 sp evenly. 

Fasten off.. weave in all ends... and then block as per your yarn instructions.. and c’est tout.  You have yet another brilliantly beautiful top all made .. ready for the night in town J

Enjoyed this ?? I sure did.. come back right here for more freebie patterns

If you're visiting me here for the first time, and have liked the experience, do add me to your mailing list (for your convenience) , and all my future free patterns will come straight to your mail box.  

I’d appreciate if you could credit my blog (and link the original pattern link) when you make your own creation.  Thanks.


Have a great day and see you soon. J

I have a few more top patterns already written out.. and here are links for those free patterns

















Monday, 20 April 2015

GRACE’s SLEEVELESS PINEAPPLE TOP


GRACE’s SLEEVELESS PINEAPPLE TOP

There is something about pineapples.. it just gets you.. and this lovely top by Vicky Chan has an uneven edge (or an asymmetric hemline, as the designer says), which is so lovely, so just had to get this one done too. J
And was it just coincidental that my niece was visiting and this turned out to be a perfect fit for her.. or Providence, huh ??

This is a paid pattern, so I cannot write anything about it.
The reason I am writing this blog is that I’ve found we are unable (sometimes) to visualize what a particular project will look like with locally available  yarns.  In India, we do not get all the yarns that are suggested on the pattern sheet(s), but this one made with our locally available Red Rose knitting cotton yarn shows us that hey! We can make this one too .. J

And this is the original photograph put up by the designer, just so you know which one we’re doing here and the link to find it all http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jordan---sleeveless-pineapple-top



Materials used : Today I’ve used our Indian Red Rose knitting cotton Yarn ~ 2 balls , with a 3.5 mm crochet hook. 

  Pictures showing Stitch detail , look at it sideways for the uneven hemline.. and hey it looks great on top of a skirt as well 

Loved this pattern, and will hopefully be able to come back to make it once again in the future.   There is an on-going CAL for this pattern on Ravelry at http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/vicky-chan-designs/2945768/1-25

Enjoyed this ?? I sure did.. come back right here for freebie patterns.. and/or some wonderful crochet inspiration.    J

If you're visiting me here for the first time, and have liked the experience, do add me to your mailing list (for your convenience) , and all my future free patterns will come straight to your mail box.  


Have a great day and see you soon. J

I have a few other tops that may inspire you.  Enjoy

http://shyamanivas.blogspot.in/2015/02/simple-n-lovely-sleeveless-top.html


http://shyamanivas.blogspot.in/2014/12/brilliantly-unusual-top.html


http://shyamanivas.blogspot.in/2014/10/autumny-leafy-top.html


http://shyamanivas.blogspot.in/2014/10/out-of-ordinary-top.html


http://shyamanivas.blogspot.in/2014/11/diagonal-shelled-vest.html


http://shyamanivas.blogspot.in/2015/03/diamond-vest.html


http://shyamanivas.blogspot.in/2014/08/spotted-at-spotlight.html


http://shyamanivas.blogspot.in/2015/04/shifas-top.html J















Thursday, 16 April 2015

EASY FULL SLEEVED BOLERO

 
EASY FULL SLEEVED BOLERO

This is a really easy pattern.. We basically make a long rectangle, and then fold it for sleeves, and the rest of it comprises the back ... sound annoyingly easy? Well, it is.

This has been requested by a friend who has a red sleeveless polo necked top, and needed something “just for her arms” – and this pattern gives you just that.. arms!

The original pattern has a really cute set of embroidered lines around the sleeves, and I’d initially thought I’d do that here in red (to match her top), but then thought that this would mean she can only wear it with that one top, or any other that matched red.. so have decided against that.  There is a charm and sexiness to just black – so …

Now this is a free pattern and all written up – but I’ve done a little tweak, and I’m just writing out my notes.. in case someone else too wants to similarly tweak.


Materials used : Today I’ve used about 120 gm of the lovely Vardhaman Millenium DK-ply acrylic yarn,  with a 4  mm crochet hook

Abbreviations used :
fdc : Foundation double crochet                                dc : Double crochet
ch : chain                                                                         ch-sp : chain space
sp : space                                                                          rep : Repeat


Stitches used :
fdc : Foundation Double Crochet : This is a unique way of starting a project directly with a row of double crochet stitches.  This makes your whole project neat and even.. in a way that you need to do once, to agree!  If you are familiar with fsc, you’ll wonder why you never used this start before !

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3, I’d like to introduce this lovely new way of starting a dc row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video http://www.mooglyblog.com/chainless-starting-double-crochet/
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using the chainless dc start.

Picot : (sc, ch 3, sl-st in same sc) all in the same st or ch-sp. 
Pl view instructions at http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-crochet-a-picot-stitch.html for a refresher of what a 3-ch picot is.

Quick analysis of what we’re going to do here today.   So we’re going to make one large rectangle, that equals the length from one wrist to the other, over the back – so you measure from wrist to armhole, then across back, and armhole to the other wrist. 

Now I found that if I wanted a back that was long(ish), I’d end up with really loose sleeves, and I did want a longish back.  So here’s what I tweaked with the pattern.

First off, I started with fdc instead of ch, as I really prefer the evenness of this start.  Then though the pattern says sc, dc and trc rows, I did only sc, hdc and dc rows (not trc rows as I found it too open with the yarn I was using) and followed the  pattern till I had a rectangle that fit loosely and comfortably around the upper arm (remember that the wrist and lower arms are usually a smaller size than the elbow and upper arm) , and at that point I inserted a marker (for both sides of garment.. marking off both arm bits).  I am then left with this space between markers that denotes the back part of my bolero.  Starting with a 2-tog st in that 1st set of sts (after marker) and ending with a 2-tog at the end to get a neat and soft curve, I worked on the centre portion for a few rows till I was happy with the length for back.

Joining was the  same as suggested – join the two halves of rectangle to make sleeves and we’re done with our lovely bolero.  

 So this is what it looks almost done, and then with the sleeve bit stitched up

Just for a difference, I did a lovely picot edging stitch around the top and bottom of the bolero (neckline edge and then the base edges, I mean).

See, just in reading through this blog, you too will be compelled to try this one out. J

Enjoyed this ?? I sure did.. come back right here for more freebie patterns

If you're visiting me here for the first time, and have liked the experience, do add me to your mailing list (for your convenience) , and all my future free patterns will come straight to your mail box.  

I’d appreciate if you could credit my blog.. if nothing else then for pointing you to the original pattern J.. (and link the original pattern link) when you make your own bolero.  Thanks.


Have a great day and see you soon. J
  
I have a few boleros already made, and just in case you want a dekho at those free patterns … here you go
















Friday, 10 April 2015

A SUPERB LEGO BRICKS BLANKET


LEGO  BRICKS BLANKET

Blankets are a fun projects at any time.. and especially so after you’ve been breaking your head over thin yarns and convoluted patterns.  Lego is by far the most beautiful of toys – versatile, colorful and fun.. and to have a lego blanket.. kid-dream come true I’d say.

I was thinking of creating a pattern for a Lego brick myself and suddenly chanced on this exquisite free pattern.  This fantastic pattern has a video link – and what I love most about this video link is that the super designer does not waste any time in talking about anything.. just goes straight into the project – my kind of video ! J
I have, however, tweaked it just a bit.. so I’ll just add my notes here and give you, yet again, choices n decisions  

This is the photo that inspired me

Materials used : Today I’ve used our lovely Indian Vardhaman millennium DK ply acrylic yarn , ~   550 gms with a 4 mm crochet hook

Size : 52” x 30”
I made my blanket with 81 rectangles (so 9 rectangles x 9 rectangles).  I did a quick check of a few color combinations and then decided how many rectangles of each colour I’d need (see charts below).  I’d already decided on which my colors and have chosen Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Grey.  I will join with white and do a similar white border all around.  

 and just so I have my color palate in front of me, I made this little chart on Microsoft Excel

Stitches used :

fdc : Foundation Double Crochet : This is a unique way of starting a project directly with a row of double crochet stitches.  This makes your whole project neat and even.. in a way that you need to do once, to agree!  If you are familiar with fsc, you’ll wonder why you never used this start before !

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3,I’d like to introduce a lovely way of starting a double crochet row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using this chainless dc start.

“Pop”  stitch :  The designer has used the following stitch and called it a “Pop” stitch.  
It is 5 trc, all in the same st… so just writing it again here for convenience.

Abbreviations used :
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                               sc : Single crochet
dc : Double crochet                                                   sp : Space                                           
sl-st : Slip stitch                                                            fdc : Foundation Double Crochet
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                                            hk : Hook
yo : Yarn Over                                                             ch : Chain
  
The designer has a superb video that is totally self explanatory.  My notes here are only for the small start change, the use of the wonderful chainless dc start, and a finishing idea / difference.

Start with 14 fdc.  Turn.
The designer has started with a 17 ch and then dc in the 4th ch on to get a row of 14 dc.  Ever since I discovered the fdc, I find that the start this gives is easy, even and neat – and I just cannot use any other start – however, this is just a choice.

Row 1 : sc in the 1st 2 dc , 5 trc (or “pop” stitch) in the next sc ; 
*sc in the next 2 sc ; “pop” st in the next sc* ; 
rep *to* till last 2 sc ; sc in the last 2 sc.  Turn

Row 2 : dc in the 1st sc ; dc in each st till end.  Turn.

Rep Rows 1 and 2 once more.

Finishing : sc in each st till end ; 1 more sc in the corner sc ;
Turn your work at 90° and work an sc in each horizontal bar of dc all the way down ; 1 more sc in the corner st ;
Turn your work at 90° and work on the bottom of your start fdcs, do an sc in each st across ; 1 more sc in the corner st ;
Turn your work at 90° and work an sc in each horizontal bar of dc all the way back up ; 1 more sc in the corner st (back where we started out).  Join with a sl-st to the first st.  Fasten off and weave in ends.

One lego block made. Size : 5.5” x 3”

Once you’ve made all the lego bricks / blocks you need, you will see the beautiful join that the designer has made – the white chains showing up on top add a lovely edging that make this more like a lego pattern.  Kudos to this beautiful design and more so that this wonderful person has shared this all for free !!

Now I thought I would add a row of dc’s around the full blanket to give it that little bit of an extra width – which meant that instead of the cute little chain joint that the designer has shown, I had to make a slight variation in my join between Lego rectangles blocks.  So this is what I’ve done.  Lets imagine two rectangles A & B.  
So I’ve attached my white yarn at the corner of Rectangle A, and sc in that same st , 
ch 1, sc in the corner st of Rectangle B ; 
*ch 1, sc in the next st of Rectangle A ; ch 1, sc in the next st of Rectangle B* ; 
rep *to* till you are at the last corner of your rectangle.  Fasten off and weave in end.

Rep this for all rectangles till you have them joined in the pattern you wish.  Then I ran one round of dc’s all around the blanket, with 3 dc in each edge (or you could do a 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc corner) ; and then joining with sl-st at the 1st st.  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Block as per yarn specifications.

I am also considering doing a rep of Rows 1 and 2 all around the edge, giving it this white lego bricked edging .. but that depends on  how much (white) yarn I have left. J

You now have a choice for starting, joining and finishing your blanket.. and you will have one really cute project at the end of it all J

Enjoyed this ?? I sure did.. come back right here for more freebie patterns J

If you're visiting me here for the first time, and have liked the experience, do add me to your mailing list (for your convenience) , and all my future free patterns will come straight to your mail box.  


Have a great day and see you soon. J

People who liked this pattern also looked at these beautiful and unusual free blanket and afghan square patterns.