Tag Archives: yarn

Goodies and Parisian Rambles

I have been a neglectful blogess of late, and I feel quite badly about it. I’ve been a busy girl recently– holding down the fort at my boutique and trying to get my sea legs at my shiny new internship. Have I mentioned I’m the Yarn Intern for a group of magazines called Interweave Press? Yes, yarn is in fact part of my official title. Swoony swoon. I now spend my days immersed in fiber crafts, and have decided to get a little more indulgent with my supplies.

Without any more hooplah, I’d like to share the two things that I’m most excited about adding to my craft stash.

Preface: I have not yet fully explored the world of sock yarn, and there are oodles of tasty merino/nylon blends. But I REALLY like the colorways available from Lorna’s Laces. I couldn’t resist picking up a skein of the classic Shepherd Sock in Unicorn Parade. I mean, duh. The color is called Unicorn Parade. I’m a total sucker for names.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Unicorn Parade

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Unicorn Parade, courtesy of EatSleepKnit.com

Turns out, the color is quite a bit more flamboyant than I imagined. I’m thinking it may be better suited to a baby garment than the cabled socks I originally planned. This yarn is handpainted, so I’m not sure if my personal skein is the norm. I purchased online (EatSleepKnit.com has a nice selection) and only have a tiny sample. If I remember, I’ll try to get a good shot of my swatch to show the color.

Secondly, these macaroon stitch markers. On my last, and very brief, trip to Paris, I went on a Special Expedition to track down the best macaroons in Paris. I went several Metro stops out of my way, got lost in a very posh neighborhood, asked several people (some surprisingly helpful, some confused by my Okie-twangin’ français) for directions, and elbowed my way through an out-the-door line, all to order half a dozen of these babies.

I really like macaroons. And now I can ponder their tastiness while I knit.

Macaroon Stitch Markers from Beadpassion

Macaroon Stitch Markers from Etsy seller Bead Passion

Unfortunately, these ship from the Philippines, so I don’t yet have them in my hot little hands. They are 1.3 cm wide, and profess to fit up to size U.S. 10/6 mm needles. This seller also has stitch markers and jewelry shaped like sushi, cupcakes, donuts, mushrooms, etc. Yum.

Macaroon Stitch Markers from Beadpassion


Until next time,



Hot Little Handwarmers

I have a craft crush on creativeyarn’s blog. I will admit it. She whips up handwarmers and crocheted necklaces like nobody’s business AND shares a bunch of her patterns with all the world.

I just finished a pair of her “Emerald Green Handwarmers,” which are little fingerless gloves worked up flat and then sewn together. Her pattern does not taper at all, meaning it’s the same width at the wrist as it is through the hand and fingers. This did not fit me at all, so I tried altering it a bit. I  still love this pattern, and should note that I also didn’t swatch and I have very small hands. AND I used acrylic yarn, so most of the problems I had could have been solved with some good blocking. So give her pattern a whirl, with or without my changes. I added some shaping and an edging around the thumbhole, and switched the yarn to a flaming hot pink.

Cast on 28 stitches, leaving a long tail for sewing seam later.

Work in moss stitch (row 1, knit 1, purl 1 all the way across. row 2, purl 1, knit 1 all the way across) for three rows. Work in stockinette for 11 rows, ending with a knit row.

Purl 5, increase one using bar increase made purlwise. *Purl 4, increase one stitch using bar increase made purlwise*  all the way across. At least, I think this is what I did. You want to increase 5 stitches spaced out evenly across your last stockinette row.

Continue according to creativeyarn’s pattern, working with 33 stitches. Bind off loosely in pattern leaving a very long tail for sewing AND thumbhole. (note: if you have little hands, I recommend doing only 5 repeats of the pattern.)

To make thumbhole:

Starting from bottom and using long tail left over from cast-on, sew first 2 inches of seam shut.

Starting from top and using long tail from bind-off, sew 2 inches of seam shut. Switch to a 5.00 mm crochet hook and pick up stitches around open thumbhole. This is a little tricky as the edge won’t be perfectly even. You should have around 15 stitches. Chain one, and single crochet all the way around twice. Do not chain one at the beginning of round 2, just work in a spiral. Snip excess yarn, pull end through, and weave in all ends.


Blueberry Pie Halter

I recently found a half-finished bohemian-looking crocheted halter top lurking in my closet. I started the piece in high school using a pattern from Debbie Stoller’s The Happy Hooker. The book calls it “Blissful,” and it’s a lacy, skimpy, summer top done with a pretty wave stitch and lightweight linen. The pattern  works up much smaller than I intended, but I like the style and it’s simple enough to customize for a better fit. I’m also not sure if the wonky sizing is because of poor directions or my refusal to swatch (ever).

I made this according to the book’s directions for a size small.  I’m petite, but this finished up looking fit for a pre-teen. I added a few extra rows of the wave pattern on the skirt for length and had to alter the bust. I started with slowing down the decreases on the cups, but they were still wayyy too small so I added this shell edging. It adds a good two inches on the sides of each cup, and goes nicely with the skirt’s wave pattern.The original pattern also calls for closing up the back with hook and eyes. Mine was way too small to reach around my whole body, but I don’t mind the apron style and just tied it with a ribbon and called it good.

I recommend picking this book up from the library and giving this top (found on page 158) a go. Try a size bigger than what you usually do and don’t be afraid to play with the pattern. Directions for my super simple shell border are given below.


With right side facing, join yarn at bottom left edge of left cup. Make 30 single crochet (or a multiple of six that fits your size) evenly spaced along edge. Chain one. Single crochet in second chain from hook and in next 29 stitches. Chain 2, single crochet in the second chain from the hook, then skip two chains and make 5 double crochets in the next chain. Skip the next two chains and make a single crochet in the next chain. Repeat pattern of *Skip two stitches, 5 DC in next stitch, skip two stitches, 1 single crochet in next stitch* all the way down. You should have 5 shells. Anchor with a few slip stitches along bodice edge. Repeat on outside edge of right cup.

I should have made a shell border on the inside as well, but was in a hurry to finish.


Manly Hat

Men are notoriously hard to craft for, but damn it all if I don’t get the warm fuzzies whipping up something toasty for my man.

This pattern is for the kind of solid, fitted beanie popular with foxy snowboarders, college kids, and boyfriends. This is a great portable project, easy to remember and you only have one ball of yarn to truck around.

Yarn is 2 balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto Dk in 23020, a slate blue, 100% Merino extrafine superwash. Hook is an H/5.00 mm. Nice and warm, but still fits under a helmet.

Begin using the “Magic Loop Method.” Click the link for a quick tutorial. This cast-on was new to me, but easy to learn and wonderful for hats, small toys, or any project where you want an invisible start rather than a hole.

Abbreviations: DC = double crochet, sl st = slip stitch, DCtog = Double crochet together. To DCtog: *Yarn over, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over, draw yarn through stitch, yarn over, draw yarn through 2 loops on hook* twice, yarn over, draw yarn through 3 loops on hook.

Round 1: Chain 3 (acts as first double crochet), 9 DC into magic loop. Sl st into top of first chain. You now have ten DC in magic loop. Pull loop taut, and be in awe of how the hole disappears!

Round 2: Chain 2 (see note at bottom), 2 DC into every stitch all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (20 DC).

Round 3: Chain 2. *1 DC in next stitch, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (30 DC).

Round 4: Chain 2. *1 DC in next two stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (40 DC).

Round 5: Chain 2. *1 DC in next three stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (50 DC).

Round 6: Chain 2. *1 DC in next four stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (60 DC).

Round 7: Chain 2. *1 DC in next five stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (70 DC).

Round 8: Chain 2. *1 DC in next six stitches, 2 DC in following stitch* all the way around. End with sl st into first chain (80 DC).

Round 9 and continuing: Work even until hat is desired length. For me, this was 23 rows total.

Optional: Folded Brim

Round 24 (or whatever. Folded brim will be flipped up, so begin these instructions after working to your desired final length.): Chain 2. *1 DC in front loop only of next 12 stitches. DCtog* all the way around. End with slip stitch into first chain (75 DC).

Round 25-28: 1 DC in each stitch all the way around. Fasten off.

The brim should turn up naturally with the front-loop-only row.

* Chaining only 2 stitches at the beginning of each round makes for a smaller, neater seam. If you’re used to chaining 3 stitches, it takes a bit of getting used to but it looks much nicer.

DIY – Raspberry Parfait Slippers

I have recently gotten back into crafting as a way to keep my sad little hands busy while I’m away from my man. A friend introduced me to Ravelry, and I found the CUTEST little pattern for Mary-Jane style slippers.

I think these are absolutely precious. Her pattern is darling and should work, but I made a few changes to the pattern which I’ll explain below. I’m writing these changes assuming that readers have looked at her pattern first, so check it out here.

First, I scaled down the size. I have baby feet, borderline size 6. The easiest way to shrink these is to start with 6 stitches in your ring instead of 8. I imagine for a size medium you’d start with 7, or a larger size start with 9. Increase like the pattern says (2 dc every stitch in round 1, 2 dc every other stitch in round 2, every 3rd stitch in round 3, etc.) Just use multiples of 6 instead of 8. You should now end your increase rows with 24 stitches instead of 32.

For the footbed, work the first 17 stitches instead of 23 (the number of stitches in round 3 minus 1).

When making the loop, I opted for a single crochet chain. This is very easy… when you get to the spot where you’ll place your loop, make one single crochet, then begin a crochet chain of about 25 stitches, and anchor in place with your next single crochet in the following stitch. You should have a neat loop. Continue around as the pattern says.

For yarn, I used Red Heart Super Saver in Shocking Pink held together with Louisa Harding Yarns Kimono Angora Pure in 4, a pretty raspberry color. Don’t knock this combo until you try it. The Red Heart acrylic adds bulk and durability, while the Kimono is beautifully soft but would not hold up well as a slipper by itself. Together they make a sturdy, warm, house shoe that should fluff up nicely with wear. I used some fluffy red scrap yarn for the edging, no recollection of what it’s called. I also upped the hook size to an I/5.50 mm, but I am a tight crocheter. I’m a fan of kitsch, and found these plastic heart buttons for 78¢ at Wal-Mart. 78¢!!! I am not kidding.

If you don’t want to slide around, decorate the bottoms with some puffy fabric paint and let dry.

These have the added bonus of being easy to finish in a day or two. Very cute for gifting!