Lara’s World


Pattern of the Day!
January 6, 2008, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Crochet, knitting | Tags: , , ,

Wow. I just looked at my stats and out of no where I have over 2100 hits today, and a good portion of them were looking at my Cowl Scarf Pattern. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that my cowl scarf is the free pattern of the day over at DailyCrocheter.com. Well shut my mouth! I’m kinda’ pleased, if you wanna’ know the truth. *blush*



Beaded Two Finger Bag Crochet: Free Pattern
December 27, 2007, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Crochet, free crochet patterns, knitting, yarn

Two Finger Bag

So, several months ago, I agreed to make two bags for my good friend’s BF to give to his Ma and G’Ma for Christmas. Last week I learned he wouldn’t need them until the Thursday after Christmas. Fabulous! I wouldn’t have to rush throughout the holiday. Fast forward to yesterday, i.e. the Wednesday after Christmas. During a phone conversation with my friend, she casually asks if the bags are ready, as BF was hoping she’d pick them up.

Me: “What? I thought he didn’t need them until the Thursday after Christmas.”
Her: “Um, that’s tomorrow.”

I gasped audibly in response, and made arrangements for BF to pick up the bags at my house on his way north, the next morning (i.e., today). Now, Ma’s purse was all set, but GMa’s purse was still an in image in my mind. I had a Burgundy yarn I was planning to use for a clutch, with some porcelain beads, and a notion about a pin or a flower that I’d stick somewhere on the front. And I also had about 3 hours, because I was not willing to lose any sleep for this. I’ve been know to strive for hours to perfect a tiny detail. Whatever.

Four hours later, after buying myself some new sneakers, I got home, ran upstairs and grabbed a skein of wine-colored RH Plush, and the beads in question. Earlier, after speaking to my friend, B, I had brushed nail polish on the end of the yarn, which gave me a stiff enough end with which to thread the beads onto this terrycloth textured yarn. This is a bead-loading technique I read somewhere on Crochetville, once.

Here’s what I ended up with, and took photos this morning with only seconds to spare before B’s BF picked the purses up:
Two Finger Bag

Good news: he loved it!

Two Finger Bag

Materials: MC:1 Skein of Red Heart Plush, a wine-y color, may be called Claret.
CC:1 Skein of Caron One Pound Acrylic in Taupe
9.0 MM Crochet Hook (mine was clear purple plastic – eat your heart out)
4 beads to use on front of bag

Skills: SC, HDC, Chainless SC, SS

Start: Thread beads onto one strand of Plush yarn. Push beads way down as you go (this will be difficult do due to yarn texture, hence, only 4 beads are used on bag instead of 12). You’ll pull them up when you need to use them.

Pattern:
*Hold two strands of Plush together throughout.
1. Using Chainless Single Crochet, sc 12 stitches. Turn, Chain 2.
2. HDC in each stitch across.
3. Repeat Row 2. Turn, Chain 1.
4. Sc in first four stitches, and then Chain 4. Skip four stitches on bag, and SC in last four stitches. Turn, Chain 1.
5. SC in each stitch across, including chain stitches, for a total of 12 stitches.
6. HDC in each stitch across.
7. SC 1, on stitch 2, pull up a loop leaving two loops on hook, pull up a bead as close to the hook as you can, and complete the SC stitch. Bead should be in front of yarn and plainly visible. SC across, repeating beading instructions on stitches 5, 8, and 11. 12 SC total.
8. HDC in each stitch across.
9. HDC in each stitch across.
10. If you are like me, about now you’ll be discovering that this project could be going a little faster. In fact, we double-stranded largely for that purpose in the first place. If you are like me, you’ll peer over the side of the couch and discover some Taupe colored Caron acrylic, left over from a healing shawl. And you will know instantly that this color will complement the Claret Plush, and will add a little something to the whole bag experience. You will continue on, triple stranding, two strands of Plush, and one strand of Caron.
11. HDC in each stitch across. OOH and AHH at the pretty new color combination.
12. Now it’s up to you for the next little while. Repeat Row 11 until the front of bag is as long as you want it to be. Not the width; don’t worry about the width right now. Just the length, ma’am.
13. When the bag front is as long as you want it to be, repeat Row 11 two more times. These two rows constitute your bottom. Your bag bottom! Sheesh.

Start the back now:

14. Repeat Row 11 until the back of your bag, from the bottom up, reaches the bottom of the handle-hole in the front of the bag (obviously you have folded the bag to see when this has happened).
15. Next row, sc in first 4 stitches, chain four, skip four stitches on bag, and sc in last four stitches.
16. SC across, 12 sc.
17. Do a few rows of SC and/or HDC, whatever is the best combination for your back to be equal in length to your front.
18. Starting at top front, sc around the of the entire purse in a long “U”. You may want to use 3 sc in each corner space to make the corners turn smoothly.
19. When you get back to the top again, slip stitch across the claret colored portion to meet the first border sc.
20. Fold bag so that the outside is on the outside. I.e., the front with beads is on the outside front, and the outside back is on the outside back.
21. Now starting with one held-together side, slip-stitch the front and back together, by stitching into the two inside stitch loops. Having trouble? Hold them together and take a pic to see what I mean. When you finish, fasten off leaving a 6 inch tail of all three strands.
22. Do the same to the other side.
23. Trim the tails on both sides so all 6 strands are equal in length.

24. You’re pretty much done!

Notes:
1.Two Finger Bag is called such because the handle whole is a bit smaller than similar bags, and only requires two to three fingers for carrying. Think of the possibilities! You have multiple digits free for iPods and mobile phones, and god knows what else. Just keep it clean, people.

2. Two Finger Bag is super easy and super quick (as in a coupla hours). The pattern only has 90 million instructional lines because I tried to spell EVERYTHING out as plainly as possible.
Also,please note, I don’t have huge amounts of pattern writing experience, so please advise if something is not clear. BTW, the bag is hanging crooked on 2 nails, so it’s not actually as lopsided as it might look here.

3.Your triple strand stitches will be bigger than your double strand stitches, so the two holes may not match up completely. In fact, we hope they don’t, cause this non-alignment will highlight one of the bag’s design features. (Woohoo!) Look here:

Close Two Finger

What happens is, when the bag holder picks up the bag using the handle and a couple of fingers, some of the contrasting triple strands will be visible through the front hole, which is really pretty, wicked cool, and looks like I planned it that way from the start. Which I totally did. Really.

4. If chainless SC is frustrating and confusing you, skip it this time if you like, and simply chain 13, sc across for 12 SC total.

5. The amount of rows in each section really isn’t very important. In fact, you should eyeball each part so you get a bag that is the perfect size for your needs.

Copyright 2007



Pattern: Pink Fluttery Cowl Scarf (crochet)
December 4, 2007, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Crochet, free crochet patterns

I made this scarf last winter, and figured the pattern was too easy to post…but you know what? You wouldn’t believe how frequently someone comes to my page via search terms like “crochet cowl scarf” or “cowl scarf pattern.” If you like this one and would like to make it, who am I to stop you??

It is wicked wicked soft (welcome to wicked Boston), and looks really great done. The yarn combination is one that just really works. And this I tell you as someone who doesn’t usually go for the fun fur. Well, I suppose this is more like an eyelash yarn, which ups its cool points somewhat. (Yes, it does!) Here’s what ya’ do:

Materials:
1 Ball Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair “I think I used Coral Reef…”
1 Ball Red Heart Kiss in a pale pink
P Hook

Instructions:

Chain 19

1.Double Crochet in 4th Chain from hook, and in each chain across (16 DC across)

(*1st Chain 3 counts as one DC throughout)

2. Repeat row 1 until one or the other of your yarns runs out (my Moonlight Mohair lasted longer than my RH Kiss).

2b. Or consider a row of sc every once in a while if you like.

3.Pull remaining yarn through loop to finish (don’t cut).

4. Use remaining attached yarn to sew the ends together. Make sure rights sides are facing each other on the inside of the scarf before you sew.

5. Weave in ends and turn so right side is now on outside.

6. Put it on and realize that you won’t be giving it away for the Holidays after all.

Note: Experienced crocheters can have this gift done in 30 minutes or less. I would think most folks can get it done in under 2 hours – even beginners! And believe me, you will feel so/em> accomplished.

Enjoy everybody!

See closeup of scarf here.

Copyright 2006.



She was gone, but not dead.
November 28, 2007, 6:25 pm
Filed under: acting, awakening, blogging, conscious co-creation, Crochet, Gifts, intuition, knitting

So hi, I’m back and feel like I might have some stuff to write about again.
Much going on, transitions, internal and external, projects to post…
I dunno. But I’m feeling the figurative pen dip into the equally figurative ink, and I thought
I’d dip back into Blogland to see what y’all been up to.

Good to see you again.



Fiberswap 2006…Yarn Haul…freaky coincidences
January 22, 2007, 5:50 pm
Filed under: Crochet, intuition, knitting, yarn

Listening to: Dixie Chicks Taking the Long Way

Early in January 2007, I went to Fiberswap 2006 (yes, a smidge late) hosted in Holland, MA by the fabulous Meg, knitting and spinning teacher extraordinaire. I found out about it and got confirmed to go the night before, thanks to Greta of the Wayland Knitting Circle via the SnB mailing list, and only had time to identify 7 skeins of LaGran mohair that could be released to find a new home. As it was, I could only find 6 skeins that morning. So off we (me and my mohair) went to Western MA.

Now, I went looking for Noro. Preferably Kureyon. And I knew, as I made plans to go, that I would come home with Noro. Probably Kureyon. It just popped into my head, like. And I’ve learned to pay attention to this type of…popping. So I get to Holland, squeeze my tiny car into a tiny wooded space, and head into the event. We start by laying out our goods. And this is no joke, because these women are serious fiberists. Meaning, 60% of the gathering or more owns sheep.

After we got a finished basement room loaded with yarn sorted by fiber, we headed up to a pot-luck lunch in Meg’s recently redone first floor (to which I’d brought a rotisserie chicken). And can I just add that Greta brought some fabulous vegetarian chili. In all honesty, I’m not anti-vegetarian, and even like to entertain the thought of going down that road, at least occasionally. But my family has a chili recipe that contains meat, and that’s the way I like it. Whenever I’ve tried V-chili in the past, it was a disappointment, more like thick vegetabley soup.
So I’m ever so pleased to report that there was no mistaking that Greta’s chili was chili, and it was good. In fact everybody brought great stuff, and I left the table considerably fuller than when I sat down. Thank god I was still able to run for the yarn.

And when we were set loose on the yarn, here’s where I headed first:

And while the majority of it is this funky Noro that I quite like, I’ll have you know that the hot pink/orangey ball at the top is Kureyon. So ha.

From General

Next came the fabulous wools, mostly handspun and dyed, and also Lamb’s Pride, Galway, and a Russian wool/alpaca blend called Alpafina. (Soda can for scale. Please note, soda cans in MA are 2cm tall).

And cottons, so I can make dishcloths and really, truly learn to knit:

From General

And acrylics/wool blends, posed artfully with the tshirt, embroidered one for each participant, by Meg at her former place of work.

Food, yarn and a tshirt for $10. I mean, shut up already! This was too great! When I got home, I was heady with it all. Here’s what it looked like all together, not including the big bag of wool and lllama/wool roving, which may have still been in the car when I took this pic for you all:

It was great, and I have great stores of wools and natural fibers now for the bags I want to make for spring craft fairs. However, as I snap snap snapped away with my trusty digital camera, I got another *pop,* if you know what I mean (much like for the Noro). With that pop I knew that I had to “see” my stash. I had to get it allllllllllll out of the various places it was hiding, get it all together, and see it. Good god amighty, I was *not* prepared, I’ll tell you what. I’ll show and tell all in a future post.

But to end on a happier note (scary forboding music beginning to fade), I went to Greta’s Wayland circle a Weds. night or two later and met the crew who are very very nice and low maintenance….Her-Ka-Lees! Only a town or two from me, but we met way out in Holland. I’m planning to go again this week. And the freaky coincidence I romised you at the beginning of the post? Something told me to mention my mohair, so I did, since I had another skein looking for a new home (allergies!). Don’t you know it turned out that Greta’s friend was the one who got my mohair at the swap? I can’t remember her name right now, but she said she’d let me know if she needed skein #7. But wait, it gets better.

I went on to mention that I had gone to the swap hoping for Noro, and that I had been successful. Greta gave me a funny look, and as her friend chuckled, told me that the Noro had been hers. Now I don’t believe in coincidence, I believe in synchronicity. And this was very fun and very cool. Next time the three of us want to trade yarn, we can just do it locally.

I hope you’ll consider taking advantage of your local fiber swaps, though I’d recommend looking at your stash before you go. And chant the mantra “It’s safe to let go” as you root through your storage containers looking for what to take.



Warm Up America…with a basket weave square
January 20, 2007, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Crochet, knitting, yarn

I went out to the Worcester MA AC Moore today to check out the “big yarn sale” and more importantly, to crochet or knit a square for Warm Up America. Since I am a more experienced crocheter than a knitter, I chose to crochet my 7″X9″ square in a thick and hearty basketweave stitch. I’d been dying to try this stitch for a while, so I was pleased as punch. The yarn, Phoenix, one of several provided by the store, was a delicious deep violet. If you are looking for a warm fabric, this is the stitch to go for, y’all.

The blankets will be stitched up next week, and will be distributed to local folks in need, which is kinda cool.

I did score some sugar’n’cream cotton in Hot Lime, Hot Blue and Grape.
A skein of Paton’s Merino in Taupe, and two of Caron Simply Soft in Iris. Some stitch markers, a fabric shaver, a small tote with palm trees on it ($2!)…. In short, I upgraded my yarn trinket collection, while contributing to peace in the world.

I’m going back to get the grommet pliers for 50% off next week. Usually when I felt a bag and add grommets, you’ll find me out on my porch, with various tools to poke a hole through the bag, my grommet stud and anchor, and a hammer. It’s a pain in the butt, and it’s a little cold for that right now. And I expect to be felting up a storm for the spring craft fairs, at which I expect to be selling!



Crochet Endeavor Gone Horribly Awry
January 17, 2007, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Crochet, Life

Check this out:
I was gonna make my mom a cute roll brim hat for Christmas. I had some mystery lopi wool (I mean NO ONE has heard of it. It has one mention on the web, and that is by someone who came across some and had never seen it before. That’s it, in English anyway.)

Now long after the fact, I spoke to Meg at her 2006 Fiber Swap, and came to understand that what I had been crocheting this hat with was unspun lopi wool, specifically pencil roving. Look at me, throwing the lingo around…you can’t touch this.

Anyway, the pattern, one of the caps for cancer at leisurearts.com, called for two bulky strands held together throughout. My rookie mistake happened when I tried to translate 6 strands of pencil roving into two strands of bulky yarn. I then took something like an 11.5 mm hook and whipped it up, intending to felt it. What is it with me and felting? I’ve done some cool stuff by felting, but it isn’t like I’ve had one felting experience yet that went off without some major kind of snafu. So 3 days before xmas, family lolling around the house, I decide to start this hat for Mom. Yeah.

What went so horribly awry you ask? It’s adorable in its pre-felted state above, right? Well, take a gander at this picture of my creation positioned artfully next to my laptop, for scale:

This was before felting. Now,stop laughing and I’ll tell you the rest. Much like Dorothy repeated the refrain “There’s no place like home” in an effort to keep the faith, so I kept telling myself all through the crochet process that this Lopi wool would “felt like crazy” so I didn’t really need to heed the sick little twist in my stomach every time it danced and jumped and basically told me, in not so many words, that the hat was too damn big.

In my defense, even Meg said that unspun Lopi should felt in a big way. *sigh* When I get around to it, I’ll post a pic of the finished project. Since I was using a charity pattern for a gift, my intention was to make another hat for charity. I’m not sure I should inflict something like this on someone who’s already facing great struggles.