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Thursday, 28 May 2015

DAISY TOP

DAISY TOP

During a recent out-of-town visit, a friend’s daughter requested for a light, lacy top.. a “nice cool top”, I think she said.. and yup, you got it, this one sure fits the bill in all aspects.  Love the cute little daisy like flowers strewn through the top.. so the obvious choice for the name!
I also love the model who makes the top look cooler – shades / sunnies and all! J

As I work on this pattern, I’ve written down my notes that I share with you,  and below is the inspirational photo that got me interested in this lovely pattern.. just so you too get that 'ah-hah!' moment !  Pattern inspiration http://www.liveinternet.ru/users/lorik50/



Materials used : Today I’ve used a light 3 ply acrylic yarn,  with a 3 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.

Flower stitch : (hdc ; [ch 5, hdc] ; rep [to] 2 times) all in the same st.
Note : If you are working with a thin yarn and want a lighter, lacier project, you could make your flower stitch a little longer so try a ch-7 instead of a ch-5.  Do a swatch with both flowers and see which one looks better with your yarn.
Of course, a ch-7 flower also means that you will be done with your project a lot faster.. J

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.  We start at the base of our top and work our way to the neck and shoulders of the top.  We will work straight from base till the armholes, then decrease for the armholes, and then the lovely neatly curved neckline.  The chart below will give you an idea of sizing.

In an earlier top with a similar neckline, I’d started with the neck and then worked down the top.  What I always feel with this start, is that we get a neater neckline.  However, if you start with the neck in this top, your cute little flower, which is the high-point of this top, will look upside down.  Now no-one really knows *how* this pattern is *supposed* to look.. so hey, you work the pattern the way you want it.

And just like that, naughtily, I’ve offered you choices.. and decisions 

That said, I’m going to write this pattern down the way it has been charted. 
So let’s get started.

BACK  : Our pattern repeat count is 10.  So start with the number of stitches you need for the width of the back of your top.

Start with fdc and the number of stitches you need.  Turn.

We start with our Flower stitch. Flower stitch  or Flower st : (scc ; [ch 5, sc] ; rep [to] 2 times) all in the same st.

Row 1 : dc in the 1st fdc ; *ch 4, sk next 4 fdc , Flower st in the next fdc ; ch 4, sk next 4 fdc, dc in the next fdc* ; rep *to* till end. Turn.

Row 2 : sc in the 1st dc ; *ch 1, sc in next ch-5 sp ;  [ch 3, sc in next ch-5 sp] ; rep [to] once more ; ch 1, sc in next dc* ; rep *to* till end. Turn.

From this row on, we will have a Half Flower stitch to start and end rows.

Half Flower stitch : (sc ; [ch 5, sc] ; rep [to] once) all in the same st.

Row 3 : Half Flower st in the 1st sc ; *ch 4, sk next sc , sk next ch-3 sp , dc in the next sc ; ch 4, sk next ch-3 sp, sk next sc, Flower st in the next sc* ; rep *to* till end ; ending with a Half Flower st in the last sc.  Turn.

Note : In the following row, to start we need to reach the middle of that first ch-5 sp .. so we will do a ch 2 , which does not count as a st for the purpose of our pattern.. It is just to take you up to the middle of the 1st ch-5 sp.  If you prefer, you could also sl-st to that point.

Row 4 : ch 2, sc in the 1st ch-5 sp ; ch 3, sc in the next ch-5 sp ; *ch 1, sc in the next dc ; ch 1, sc in the next ch-5 sp ; [ch 3, sc in the next ch-5 sp] ; rep [to] once* ; rep *to* till end.  Turn.
Note : As you have only one [to] to start with, you will similarly end with just one set and it’ll be with a sc in that last ch-5 sp

I’m pretty sure you’ve already figured out how this pattern is headed.. but let’s do one more set of rows together before we fly our separate ways.

Row 5 : dc in the 1st sc ; *ch 4, sk next ch-3 sp , sk next sc , Flower st in the next sc ; ch 4, sk next sc , sk next ch-3 sp , dc in the next sc* ; rep *to* till end.  Turn.

Row 6 : sc in the 1st dc ; *ch 1, sc in next ch-5 sp ;  [ch 3, sc in next ch-5 sp] ; rep [to] once more ; ch 1, sc in next dc* ; rep *to* till end. Turn.


There we go.. we’ve completed one repeat.  So our rep rows are Rows 3-6 , ending with Row 6. Continue these reps till your project reaches the armhole level.  We will then reduce first for the armhole, and then a quick reduce for the neckline before we complete one half of our project.

So away we go.. see you soon for the armholes. Now you see why we’re stopping at Row 6.  We need decrease for that first row of armhole, and it’s simple now to get to that first flower stitch to start.

Armhole decrease : As I’ve said before, if this top is for a specific person, and you can get a well fitting top, that’s great – you will then have a map to put your top over and check that you get the right curvature for the armhole and neckline.  Else we’ll wing it as we usually do J

Row 1 : sl-st till the first sc of the first flower st : dc in that sc ; ch 4, Flower st in the next sc ; ch 4, sk next sc , sk next ch-3 sp , dc in the next sc ; 
*ch 4, sk next ch-3 sp , sk next sc , Flower st in the next sc ; ch 4, sk next sc , sk next ch-3 sp , dc in the next sc* ; rep *to* till the last flower st ; dc in that centre sc of that last flower st.  Turn.

Row 2 : sc in the 1st dc ; *ch 1, sc in next ch-5 sp ;  [ch 3, sc in next ch-5 sp] ; rep [to] once more ; ch 1, sc in next dc* ; rep *to* till end. Turn.

Rep Rows 1 and 2 again for one more decrease, depending on the armhole curvature you desire.

We now go back to our regular reps, but you could , instead of the half flower in the alternate rows, start with a dc on all rows so that we get a neat armhole edge. ... See which start works best for you.

Continue reps till you reach the level you need for the neckline.
At the neckline level, what I usually do is figure out the centre of my project, and then place two markers to show me the sides for the neck.  Using the similar decrease as above, but decreasing now at the neck edge (as against the armhole edge), decrease for 2 rows till you get a neat curved neckline.  You will then continue with the two straps that will go all the way up to your shoulders.  As always, you will work one strap first, then re-attach yarn and work the second strap till shoulder.

Now if you notice the pattern by designer, there is a 3-4 row of dc’s all around the neckline.  If you too decide on that finish, remember that this will add to the depth / height of the neckline, so calculate where you want to start your neckline shaping accordingly.  Once again, remember that it is preferable to have the last row (before neckline shaping) as a Row 4 or 6, so you have a flat centre edge.

We will do these few neckline rows after you have finished the top and joined sides & shoulders.
This completes one side of your top.

The front and back of this top are the same, so repeat this for the other side as well.  You have the option of keeping one neckline deeper than the other – so that could be the one change that you could make .. once again.. options & decisions.  J

Once done with both halves of your top, please join the sides and shoulder straps to complete your top.

Finishing : So if you have opted for the finish that the designer has given for neckline, once you’ve joined the shoulders and sides, you will re-attach your yarn and then work a row of dc’s all around the neck.  Now the tricky part here is getting a neat edge without any frilly bits – so bit of a “figure it out as you go along” situation.  What I usually do is work a few sts and then put my work down and see if its neat and flat. 


I would also do a similar (maybe thinner?) edging around the armhole to give it a good finish – our baseline has a row of dc as well.. so this would look neat and trim.

And that’s done.. yet another project brilliantly executed ! J

Fasten off and weave in ends.  Give yourself a big pat on the back as this one has really been a great project – but totally worth it, I’m sure you’ll agree.
  
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Have a great day and see you soon. J


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Monday, 11 May 2015

BOB CAT’s LEGO BLANKIE


 
BOB CAT’s LEGO BLANKIE

My children love animals.  My daughter is constantly rescuing a stray, fostering it and then gets it adopted (just in time for the next stray to come by, I should add).  Bob was one such cute stray that strayed into our life some time back.  She shared a picture on Facebook, and instantly he was adopted by her friend.  It was sheer coincidence (? Or was it?) that Pallavi was looking for a kitten at just that time – and truly Bob’s luck to be ‘found’ at this time.. as Pallavi totally dotes on him – as she says “Bob has stolen her heart, home and .. well, basically everything”.  This kitten has it made ! J

Pallavi loved the Lego blanket I’d made (for a child) and wanted one for her ‘own little baby’ Bob.. so this is for you, handsome Bob Cat .. and I just thought I’d make a few toys for him as well.. cute prince that he is. J

I have made two little toys – one of which was inspired by this pattern.  I’ve tweaked it a bit (as usual), so my notes follow.


Materials used : Today I’ve used our lovely Indian Vardhaman millennium DK ply acrylic yarn , 4.5 mm crochet hook

Stitches used :

Magic circle : To refresh your skill, please view this easy video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLuSVyKvoUg

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.

dc 2-tog : Double crochet 2-tog : [yo, insert hk in st or ch-sp, yo and pull up a lp ; yo and draw through 2 lps] 2 times (3 lps on hk) ; yo, draw through all lps on hk.  One dc 2-tog made.

Abbreviations used :
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                              sc : Single crochet
dc : Double crochet                                sp : Space                                           
sl-st : Slip stitch                                                            hk : Hook
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                                           yo : Yarn Over                                                            ch : Chain

 So there are two toy patterns.. one is a sphere with a long pull tail.. as cats love anything that rolls.. unravels.. and makes a tinkly noise J

PATTERN 1

For this pattern, I’ve used two skeins of Vardhaman millennium held together and a 4.5 mm crochet hook.

Start with a magic circle and 10 dc into that circle.  Join with a sl-st to the 1st dc.  (10 dc)

Round 1 : dc in the 1st dc and each dc till end. Join with a sl-st to the 1st dc.  (10 dc)

Round 2 : dc 2-tog in the 1st 2 dc , *dc 2-tog in the next 2 dc* ; rep *to* till end. Join with a sl-st to the 1st dc. (5 dc)

Leaving a 12” tail, fasten off loosely. 

Finishing :
Now you can stuff the inside with a little bit of cotton and catnip, or cotton + catnip + a tinkly bell.. or just a bell and nothing else.  We will then sew the top up.

Using an embroidery needle, pass your needle under and over the tops of the 5 dc’s lightly and then pull tightly to bring the ends together.  Pass the needle once again through all the tops and tighten again.  Do this till you’re happy that the inside is secure and your kitty cat can’t get at the stuff inside.
You can either fasten this end off and neatly weave the end in.. or you can leave this end long and trailing too.. after all kittens do love long trailing yarn.

PATTERN 2


After making this first pattern, I thought of making one with this striking bright blue and yellow combination and something that had not as long and trailing a yarn.. and suddenly saw that someone has already got a pattern for that.. very similar to my thoughts.. so here it is. For this pattern, I’ve used the inspiration from http://www.crochetme.com/media/p/89795.aspx, with a small change, using MC (Main Colour) and CC (Contrast Colour) yarns.

I’ve used two yarns of Vardhaman Millenium of contrast colours and started here with a magic circle using both the yarns for the magic circle, leaving about 6” spare  yarn on one side.  i.e I made the magic circle about 6” away from the edge of the two yarns. 
I then used only one colour yarn (MC) for the first set of instructions – so made 6 sc into that magic circle, and then pulled it tightly closed.
I followed instructions there-on, using the second colour (CC) and 2 sc in each st etc.

So only change being the magic circle, which is probably what the designer intended too, but worded differently.

After you’re finished with the sphere and stuffing it etc, keep a similar 6” tail at the second end as well, and then finish off.

For the spirally finish of that spare 6” yarn we’ve kept.. I’ve done exactly as the designer has .. first tied a knot at the end of our toy, then twisted that yarn and then tied another knot at the other end. You repeat this for the second end as well, and ta-da, you have a lovely multi-coloured tinkly toy .. or candy .. for your Royal Highness. J

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

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Have a great day and see you soon. J

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