Coffee mug cosy / cover

My sis got a coffee mug at her job yesterday for their green initiative, and she asked if I could make something to protect the mug, maybe with some old scrap yarn. I did have just the scrap yarn for a crocheted cosy that can double as a cover if I make it slightly longer. Since I started late, I was doubtful of finishing it the same day, but I did finish it, hurrah! (Technically, it was the next day because it was past midnight, but shhh…)

Before I could call it a night, I embroidered a free-form heart on it to add that extra zing! πŸ˜‰

Coffee mug cosy / cover

Coffee mug cosy / cover

Letter holder

Well, it’s been a long time since I did some crochet, and I finally got the opportunity. The table in my room has been collecting old receipts. (I know right, in this age of online everything!) I don’t think I really need them, but I decided to keep them at least until the warranty period of their items expires — warranty periods have gotten shorter anyway. But dusty papers lying forever(ish) on a dusty table? Especially when I need to clear it now and then, at least partially, to make room for my crafty ( πŸ˜‰ ) endeavors? Why not shove them into a letter holder instead?

So I made a letter holder. After all, I had quite some yarn left over from my projects, and what better use for all that yarn, right? Look at it doing its job!

Letter holder

Letter holder

This letter holder was quite easy to make because almost everything in here is double crochet.

I first made the base with some dark brown super-bulky yarn, and this was the quickest part — I was done before I could say “letter holder”. I started bottom up, increasing the number of stitches at both ends in every row as required. I kept crocheting with the same width until the desired height. I then crocheted one single-crochet row around a wooden rod that I added to stabilize the structure. Finally, I decreased stitches on both ends to reach the top. I made a sturdy loop at the top that I would use to hang the piece.

I then made the granny squares independently. Well, mostly independently, because I used the join-as-you-go method to stitch them together while I made them. I always start granny squares with a magic loop, and this was no exception. I first made the larger piece, then made and attached each smaller piece to it. I’d thought I’d go with one more layer of smaller pieces, but decided not to.

Instead, I added three rows of double crochet in different colors around the granny square ensemble. The piece now looked wide enough to fit the base — slightly bigger, actually, so it has some slack to hold the letters and who-kn0ws-what-I’ll-throw-into-it. I used single crochet join to firmly attach three sides of the front piece to the base. Pre-pinning the pieces at regular distances helped me maintain the same gauge throughout, and get a uniform look.

I now felt that the base looked kinda bald, so I used single crochet to add a fine edging around it. πŸ™‚ This turned out to be good in more ways than one, because it made the piece maintain its shape better.

Finally, I cut a few pieces of yarn and added a tassel at the bottom.

Tote bag motif

I crocheted this circular motif for a joint project — a tote bag that my sister and I decided to make. Though I say it’s a joint project, the sewing of the piece, which is the more tedious work, is handled by my sister. (She sews really well.)

Tote Bag MotifI was watching a movie while I worked on this motif and am not even aware of what exactly I did, but I’m pretty pleased with this piece. πŸ™‚ I started out with a magic loop, and worked circles of chain stitches, single crochet and double crochet until it got big enough. My mom loves the center of the motif, and I agree it looks good, but only because the rest of the piece supports it.

My sister will embellish it with beads before affixing it to the tote. I can’t We can’t wait to use it! [Update: Here’s the tote bag. I love it!]

Scalene shawl

Yet another post that is delayed due to various reasons, the main one being my laziness. :/ After a bout of creative experimentation for new knitting-related stuff, I’ve just been too bored to follow through on the results. This asymmetric shawl is one of those experiments that was pretty successful as I see it. πŸ™‚

Scalene Shawl
I needed a light shawl for the occasional cool day when a regular shawl would be too unweildy, but not so light that I shiver from the slightest gust. Enter Nako Comfort Stretch sport-weight yarn. Not having worked with elastic / stretchy yarn before, I must admit it was fun getting used to maintaining the correct tension while I knit. Once past that stage, it was a purely pleasant experience working with this yarn. And the results — my stockinette stitches from the yarn are the straightest, cleanest, most beautiful ones I’ve ever made. I’m going to buy more of it soon for a future project!

Scalene Shawl
For this shawl, I’ve used seed stitches for one section, stockinette stitches for another, and an eyelet pattern of my own making for the remaining. For the finishing, I used in-pattern selvedges + garter stitches for two of the edges, and double-crochet along the other. All three edges are of different lengths, and I decided to (unimaginatively) call it the ‘Scalene’ shawl.

And for the first time, I tried the Charting charts that TECHknitter talks about for tracking one’s progress. I’ve never been much into diagrams, and used to make Excel trackers before I saw TECHknitter’s chart-charts; my Excel trackers, it turns out, were too-long versions of chart-charts. I like the alternative, easy-to-track representation provided in chart-charts, especially when it comes to patterns. (And what knitting project doesn’t deal with patterns!) Needless to say, my pattern-heavy projects use chart-charts now!

Waiting granny square pieces…

Granny square piecesI’m trying to remember how old these pieces are. (The photo looks pretty old, but I assure you, I clicked it just yesterday using a retro camera app on my phone. Very retro, indeed! πŸ˜€ ) I almost can’t recall when I made these, but they’re at least a couple of years old. I can say for sure that I had just learned about granny patterns and knew squat about magic loops, because I remember being not too happy with the holes in the middle of the granny squares but letting it slide.

I crocheted the squares from leftover yarn, and used whip stitch to tie them together. For the edging, I used two rounds of double crochet.

I’d made these so they can be brought together and fashioned into a clutch purse. And guess what — they’re still awaiting their destiny! πŸ™‚ (Okay, I guess that’s the wrong smiley to use here; this might just be my work-in-progress-for-so-long-that-i-have-almost-forgotten-about-it project…) It’s now sitting with my current work-in-progress project so it keeps reminding me of its presence. Maybe one of these days…

Granny Hexagon Placemat

Granny Hexagon Placemat

Granny Hexagon Placemat

Harmony.

That’s what I felt when I started working on a placemat using my stashes of tan and black light weight yarn. And that’s what I feel after I’m all done with the piece. The colors just complement each other so beautifully.

I’d like to acknowledge Kara at Petals and Picots for her photo-filled tutorials on granny hexagons and joining them as you go. I’d never have finished the piece so quickly if not for her instructions making it so easy and fun. Kara also has another tutorial for the edging, but I used my own, and I’m not disappointed! πŸ™‚

How I made it

I made my hexagons exactly like Kara shows, but with only two colors. I started with (2dc, ch1) x 6 in a magic ring using my tan yarn. I then made (2dc in chain-space, ch1, 2dc in same chain-space, ch1) x 6 with my black yarn. Switching back to tan yarn, I made (2dc in corner chain-space, ch1, 2dc in same chain-space, ch1, 2dc in next chain-space, ch1) x 6. Finally, I used my black yarn as the single-crochet join-as-you-go edging to the hexagon. I made 7 such hexagons, joining them as I made them. I single crocheted around the hexagon bunch, making (1sc, ch1, 1sc) at the convex corners and (sc 2tog) at the concave corners. That made all the black edgings look uniform.

Granny Hexagon Placemat - progress

For the overall edging, IΒ  made double crochets, one color per round. For the first round, I made (1dc, ch1, 1dc) at the convex corners and (dc 2tog) at the concave ones. For round two, I made (1 dc, ch2, 1dc) at the convexes, and (dc 2tog) at the concaves. For the last double-crochet round, I made (1dc, ch1, 1dc, ch1, 1dc) at the convexes and (dc 2tog) at the concaves. The final row in edging is a single crochet one, with (1sc in chain-space, ch1, 1sc in same chain-space) at the gaps in the convex corners and (sc 2tog) at the concave corners. Here’s a closeup of the piece —

Granny Hexagon Placemat - closeup

With careful weaving-in of the ends, the piece is quite the reversible one!

Blocking

It feels weird to acknowledge this, but I’ll say it — I’ve never blocked any piece I’ve knit or crocheted before.Β o_O There’s always a first time for everything though, right? So well, this is mine for the blocking process! πŸ˜€

After some research, I decided that wet blocking is best for this piece. I briefly wet the piece to dampen it, then laid it properly stretched out, using pins to keep its shape. After a day, the piece was dry, and, I must admit, much better-looking than it would have been without blocking. Need I say that I’m going to block everything I knit or crochet from now on? :p

And now, the placemat has found its purpose in life — preventing dust from coating our home phone! πŸ™‚

Decorative piece from scrap yarn

Time to talk about decorative pieces! And scrap yarn! And how scrap yarn is wonderful for making colorful decorative pieces!

The inevitability of working on a yarn project is that after the project ends, there’s yarn left over. The problem is always that this yarn is too less to use for the usual projects, but too much to throw away — blame it on our accurate yardage measurements… πŸ˜‰ The solution? Collect scrap yarn from a whole lot of projects and use them together to make something colorful and decorative! And what better to work with various colors than the beautiful granny pattern? Granny patterns have had their highs and lows in the crochet fashion world, but not many can deny the prettiness of things made by attaching small granny squares together.

Decorative piece -- Scrap yarn and Granny pattern

Decorative piece — Scrap yarn and Granny pattern

This is a decorative piece that I made from scrap yarn — a red-to-brown self-striping yarn, a blue-to-green self-striping yarn, and a regular green yarn — left over from three different projects. I started out with 2 rows of granny circles, then began morphing it into a square. The granny pattern here has one chain stitch between every 3 crochet stitches, and two chain stitches at the corners of the square. As is evident, I’ve used not only double crochet stitches but also half-double crochet stitches; and some rows are not even granny patterns, they’re just regular single crochet stitches. To put it mildly, I just went crazy with this piece. I finally stopped only when I finished two of the three yarns.

I can’t wait to finish more yarn projects so I can go crazy again! It’s soo fun and satisfying… πŸ™‚