WIP Wednesday: Halloween Already?

It’s kind of weird for me to write this, as I consider myself one of those people that gets annoyed when stores start selling Christmas stuff in September, but I think I finally get it. Stores want to pump out the holiday stuff months in advance so that during the month of the holiday of interest they can discount items like crazy (sorry if I’m late to realizing this, but it just clicked in my head a couple weeks ago…). Also, this is probably a sign that I need to start writing my spring patterns in the winter and vice versa, just to make pattern writing less stressful ^^;

 

Anyway I’m working on a series of Halloween themed top patterns that will be released in mid to late September (fingers crossed!). I feel like the next two months are still a decent time to wear crochet tops. They could be layered with longer cardigans and go well with high-waisted bottoms.

And to be perfectly honest, I want to destash all this cotton yarn I’ve accumulated through the summer too!

What are you working on this Wednesday?

Welcome to BTS Week + 16 Free Crochet Patterns for College

Hello everyone!

I’ve been away visiting relatives in Canada this past week, so sorry for the radio silence! As I go back for my final semester of college classes, I thought I would dedicate this week towards writing (hopefully) useful back to school posts.

As I am a commuter student, it did not feel right to write a pattern round up catered towards students who dorm, so I did my best to choose a selection of patterns that can be of use in either living situation. The patterns are both practical and cute, and I hope you can find one of use for you this school year!

Cleaning

Kawaii Spring Spa Set

Jazz Age Crochet Washcloth

  • I’ve made this washcloth before, and it’s a great washcloth for your face! The front of the washcloth I used for exfoliating, and the back has a smoother texture which is great for rinsing off facial masks or for makeup removal.

Hyperbolic Pseudosphere Scrubbie

Pretty Petals Dishcloth

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Maker Faire Detroit!

This past weekend I attended Maker Faire Detroit, where I volunteered at the NeedleArts Zone sponsored by The National Needlearts Association. In this space I taught visitors to Maker Faire how to knit and crochet, and I enjoyed it so much last year that I had to do it again! This event is located inside and around the Henry Ford Museum, with the NeedleArts Zone located in between the vintage cars and airplanes. We received a lot of foot traffic due to our location being on the path to get to the outdoor activities, so there was never a shortage of onlookers and students!

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The NeedleArts Zone had areas for the visitors to learn and see demos on spinning, weaving, needlepoint, cross-stitch, knitting and crochet. Over the course of the day each zone fluctuated in amount of students, but overall the NeedleArts Zone was well attended-and a hit with families!

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The Big Weekend

This past weekend was pretty big, considering the magnitude of work I’ve had to do to prepare for it. This past Saturday, I was a vendor at Arts & Scraps’ Community Sidewalk Sale, and the day after I was a featured artist at Knit Sew Fabulous’ Model Appreciation Day! I’m going to do my best to summarize the weekend up in one post, so this is your heads-up for a lengthy (and picture filled) post!

Arts & Scraps Community Sidewalk Sale

Side note: I ended up driving out a bit too early, so I decided to swing by Roosevelt Park to see if my mandala I made at a Yarn Bomb Detroit meeting a month ago was still there.

Here’s a pic of when I attached it at the start of June:

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And here it is now!

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Not too bad, if I do say so myself! I still ended up arriving too early anyway ^^;;

When I arrived at Arts & Scraps to set up my booth, I was slightly annoyed at the slight drizzle that was happening that morning, but I made the most out of it by finding a spare rag in my car and cleaning up the tables I brought.

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The booth!

Most of what I was selling were items leftover from Con Ja Nai and Macomb A Con, along with some rave hoods that I recently made. I also offered comissions on custom clothing items, just in case anyone was interested.

My friend Lynette of Knit Sew Fabulous was also running a booth at the event, which was great because I was in the middle of finishing up her custom top and I could ask her for all the fit checks and detail specifications I needed, hehe…

She also made me aware of a free pile at the side of the Arts and Scraps warehouse and I ended up snagging this wooden heart frame that was drowning in fake flowers.

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When I have the time, I’ll be making this into my sign for future booths! I’m definitely thinking of adding yarn roses to the frame, but maybe not as much as the frame previously did!

Model Appreciation Day

Sunday was a busy day, especially when mildly sleep deprived. Right when I got home from the Arts and Scraps sale I ate dinner, slept for maybe three or four hours, and jumped right back into work to finish up items for the models to wear.

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My small, humble display table. Does the red, white, and blue bikini in the back look familiar?

My arm and wrist started to act up after a few hours of work, so I decided to call it quits on building anything new and decided to focus on making the finishing touches to the tops and dress I completed.

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Model Appreciation Day in full swing at Eastern Market!

On the left you can see Lynette and a model showing off a poncho that also doubles as a skirt, and on the right was the photoshoot corner.

The frist thing that got modelled was my granny square dress. I’ll go into the construction into more detail in a later post, but it took my friend Melanie and I roughly six to seven hours sewing the squares into a skirt, and then an additional two to three hours of me figuring out how to attach the skirt to the top I made prior. This was a crazy build from start to finish, and I was blown away at how amazing it looked on a model!

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Here’s Tammy modeling the dress!

Tammy also modeled one of the bikini tops as well:

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Here she is modeling my bra top, with jewelry by Salika’s Jewels.

Shannon modeled the top I made for Lynette!

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As part of the thank-you gift to the models, they could pick a pair of earrings from the display. Shannon ended up picking a pair that I made!

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Overall I’m very proud of what I managed to accomplish this weekend, and I’m over the moon to see all the compliments I’ve recieved for my work!

 

 

World Wide Knit in Public Day!

After a lack of internet and some family item to attend to, this post is finally published! Whoo!

June 18th was World Wide Knit in Public Day, where yarn enthusiasts of any of the needlearts can come together and socialize. I spent the afternoon with my friend Lynette of Knit Sew Fabulous, where she was hosting arm knitting classes outside of Savvy Chic

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(Photo credit to Lynette Halalay/Knit Sew Fabulous)

I brought my crochet work to the event, as I was working on a prototype top.

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After finishing Mark I, I found out that the acrylic yarn I was working with was way too stretchy to wear properly, and ended up making a second top with all cotton yarn. You can see the Mark II of this top on Instagram! I’ll probably end up remaking it again because I found some inconsistent measurements until it was too late. But hey, practice makes prefect, right?

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Lynette also brought her spinning wheel to the event. It just so happened that a lady that knew how to spin was walking by, and asked to try out Lynette’s wheel. The three of us ended up having a great conversation about the benefits of knitting and crocheting, which mindset is better inclined towards knitting or crochet, and how boys end up liking spinning because of the machinery involved.

As soon as that was mentioned, the spinning wheel caught the attention of a small brother and sister duo who ended up learning how to spin and knit for a bit! Our discussion mere minutes before was rather spot on; the boy immediately took to the spinning wheel and was just so interested by the mechanics behind the device and paid rapt attention to the explanation. To see children have a genuine interest in the needle and fiber arts was probably the highlight of the day for me!

Overall this was a fun and relaxed event to attend, and I hope that everyone that attended similar meetups for World Wide Knit in Public Day enjoyed themselves as well!

 

Four Places for Fiber Fun: WWKIPD Edition!

I’m getting pumped for this weekend as June 18th is World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIPD)! From their website, Knit in Public Day was started eleven years ago for knitters to get outside and socialize with other knitters. This is great for people like me who who tend to view our needleart hobbies as solitary hobbies and as a result just coop up inside to work on projects. It’s summer and we need to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, and if not for that at least make a couple of friends who share the same hobby as you!

Last week, I shared four places in and around Detroit that host weekly or monthy knitting and crochet meetups. The following are four places in Detroit and the surrounding area that are hosting events for World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday, June 18th.

(I did my best to make sure all event details were correct before publishing, apologies in advance if there are any errors I have made and please let me know ASAP!)

Handmade in Port Huron

For Port Huron’s event, crafters are welcome to work on their projects in the welcome center, on the benches and in the restaurants of Downtown Port Huron. A collection for winter items will also be held in the welcome center.

Pints N’ Purls and Workshops with Have You any Wool?

This should be a fun one to attend, as there’s two workshops in the morning and two in the afternoon, with a two hour lunch break in between! Registration is required for the classes, and attending any of the events listed in the flyer will enter you into a raffle, and who would turn down the chance to win some gorgeous new yarn? As with their regular Pints N’ Purls events, don’t forget to call the store to reserve a seat at Patrick J’s!

Mitten State Knit-In at Leon & Lulu with Wooly&Co.

Do you want to celebrate WWKIPD while helping out the local community? Leon & Lulu is sponsoring an event benefiting Mittens for Detroit. To attend this event, it’s $10 for seat reservations, with the proceeds going towards Mittens for Detroit for their upcoming collection season. This event, along with an explanation for WWKIPD was even covered by local news, so that’s pretty cool! Free parking and refreshments are avaliable for attendees.

WWKIPD Celebration With Knit Sew Fabulous

Saving the best for last because I’m helping out at this one! 😉 I’ve worked with Lynette from Knit Sew Fabulous in the past when I used to run Warm Up Detroit, and I’m happy to help out with the arm knitting classes at this event. If arm knitting isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to hang out with us and work on your own projects too! Another bonus is that a coffee shop called Cairo Coffee is located in-store. I’m not sure about you, but the scent of roasting coffee puts me into a productive mood, so I can definitely see myself pushing to finish at least one project from my WIP purgatory that day! Attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chair to this event, and are free to bring their own beverages.

The honorable mention:

Another event to mention is that the Detroit Knitting and Crochet Club will have their regularly scheduled meeting on the third floor of the Detroit Public Library this Saturday as well. Use the elevator to go up to the third floor, go through Strohm Hall (while admiring the murals and stained glass), and past the staircase to get to their meeting area!

No matter what event you choose to participate in, what matters the most is that you’re doing a hobby that you enjoy and sharing that enthusiam with others! Happy stitching this weekend!

Four Places for Fiber Fun

As I’m halfway through with my spring semester course, I’m looking forward to having more time to put into my creative endeavors come July. But with the (hopefully) nice summer weather coming soon, working on crochet and knitting projects cooped up in my room certainly won’t do!

There are many benefits to joining social fiber arts events around your area. Not only do you have the opportunity to meet other fellow fiber arts enthusiasts, but you can also find project ideas from other members, obtain tips from seasoned knitters and crocheters, or maybe even do a yarn trade!

The following are four places in Detroit and the surrounding area that hosts knitting and crochet socials that I’ve attended in the past and am looking forward to attending this summer. If you live near these events, I would definitely recommend dropping by-all of them are beginner friendly!

Detroit Knit and Crochet Club (DKCC)

  • Location: Third Floor of the Detroit Public Library
  • Time: Third Saturday of the month from 1-3pm

After admiring the stained glass and murals that decorate Strohm Hall, join the DKCC in the adjacent room! This is one of the largest meetups I’ve attended so far, but you don’t have to fear feeling shut out at all. Everyone is incredibly friendly, and it’s fun to get up from your seat and walk around to see what everyone else is working on. I love how the members of this group are genuinely interested in yours and others’ projects, and you can’t help but feel compelled in taking pride in what you’re working on. Be prepared for pictures too, because they love taking a lot of them!  Join their Facebook group or Meetup group for event updates and to see photos taken after each event.

Open Knit Nights at Skeins on Main

  • Location: In-store in Downtown Rochester
  • Time: Thursday nights from 6:30-8:30pm

Knitters and crocheters gather for a sit and stitch at one of the large tables in the shop. The store is a rather nice and cozy place to work on your projects, and you can also browse their fine selection of yarns and notions when you’re giving your hands a break! (Protip: bring some cookies to share with other members of the group!)

Pints N’ Purls with Have You any Wool?

It’s great to support local businesses, and even better when you get to pair it with your hobby! I actually haven’t been able to attend a Pints n’ Purls event yet due to classes, but I’ve attended their events at Fourteen East last fall and enjoyed myself there. It was a great place to sip tea, chat with other fellow knitters, and take a look at the skeins HYAW brought for potential shopper. Hopefully this summer I can finally attend a meetup!

Yarn Bomb Detroit

  • Location: Roosevelt Park in Corktown
  • Time: First and Third Saturdays of the month from 11am-3pm

Yarn bombing, or knit graffiti, is the act of decorating public spaces with knitted or crocheted pieces. Yarn Bomb Detroit aims to decorate the pop-up living space in the park and make the place a bit more colorful! This group is fairly new, and mostly comprised of younger people so it was kind of nice not being the only person under 30 for once, hehe. I’ve been going to these meetups recently, and honestly it’s fun knitting and watching the groups of people who come to visit that infamous train station nearby. If you don’t feel like working on a project, that’s fine! The group tends to host other cool events such as skill trades and clothing swaps at the same time.

Are there any yarn-related events that you attend in your local area? Please talk about them in the comments, I’d love to learn more!

Cold Sheep Status

Last year I attempted the Cold Sheep Challenge, where I had to abstain from purchasing yarn and work solely from my current yarn stash until it was gone. I stayed true to this for the rest of 2015 (and made some pretty cool projects), but eventually had to put the challenge on hold when I started to make my inventory for conventions. I’ve also accumulated yarn from relatives who gave me their storage stash, and from sorting out donations to Warm Up Detroit (novelty yarn, yarn that wasn’t 100% acrylic, and lighter weights of yarn). In other words, my yarn stash increased quite a bit while I took a break from the challenge!

However, I’m getting back on the Cold Sheep train again for the summer! My goal is to not only eliminate as much of my current stash of yarn, but also finish all the crochet work that’s currently in what I call “project purgatory”.

As I was really ambitious at the start of the challenge, I ended up with a rather large backlog of projects to complete. Although I have stepped down from running my university’s yarn club, there are five blankets in my possession that need ends woven in, a border added to, or still need to reach the completed size. There are also two cowls I was knitting for charity donations, but haven’t completed yet as knitting takes forever. On top of that I want to get more patterns published this summer (at least more than 1), and I’m happy to have gotten the ball rolling on that last week!

In order to keep a balance between charity, personal, and pattern projects I had to terminate work on a few charity blankets in progress. After some deliberation, the blankets were chosen due to not having enough yarn to finish the project to its completed size without breaking the color scheme. All that work isn’t all for naught however, as those pieces will be used in another project…that will remain a secret for now.

 

 

 

 

Free Pattern: Red, White, and Blue-kini Top

For me, summer starts with Memorial Day weekend. The local parks start to fill with people, Movement starts downtown, and there’s an absurd amount of fireworks going off in my neighborhood.

…Anyway, here’s a nice top to get you into the summer spirit!

I actually rushed this pattern to get it released before Memorial Day weekend, so if you start this pattern today it should be ready to go by tomorrow. This pattern would best fit A through C cups.

Keeping with my Cold Sheep Challenge and only using yarn I had in my stash, this was made with LeeWards’ Sport in the colorway Royal Blue (held double) and LeeWards’ Orlon Sayelle in Scarlet and White.

As this brand I have used has been discontinued, I recommend using Bernat Super Value in the colorways Berry, White and Royal Blue or Deborah Norville Everyday Worsted in the colorways in Really Red, White, and Royal Blue. Using Lion Brand’s 24/7 Yarn in the colorways Red, White, and Navy is another great option as it is a cotton yarn and would make your top more breathable in the summer heat!

Materials:

  • Worsted Weight yarn in Red, White, and Blue
  • G (4.25mm) hook (or one to meet gauge)
  • N (9.00 mm) hook or any larger hook size for attaching fringe

Gauge:

  • 8 dc = 2 inches (~5cm)
  • 4 rows of dc = 2 inches (~5 cm)

Stitches Used (with Moogly tutorials linked):

Special Stitches:

  • Triple Half Double Crochet Increase (3hdcinc): Hdc into the same stitch 3 times.

Additional Notes

  • Because of my tension I tend to use one less chain stitch when making my starting and turning chains, but for the sake of convenience for most crocheters, I’m using the “most standard” conventions (ch3 for a dc starting chain, etc) in the pattern.
  • Starting chains do not count as the first stitch.

Pattern:

Body

Row 1:88 FDC

Row 2: Chain 3, dc in the same st and across the row. Repeat until you have 4 rows of dc, including your foundation row. Break yarn, weave in ends, and set this part aside.

Cups (Make 2)

Row 1:Ch 14, hdc in the 3rd ch and across (10 hdc). At the final st (the first chain you made), hdc 3 times into the st, and hdc across the other side of the chain (23 hdc total). Turn your work.

Row 2: Ch 3, hdc until you reach the 3hdcinc, make a 3hdcinc in the first hdc of the increase. Hdc to the end of the row (26 hdc). Turn your work.

Repeat this increase row 8 more times and break your yarn, leaving around a foot and a half of yarn for attaching.

Not sure where to place your 3hdcinc? Here’s a diagram I drew:

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Why don’t I do the increase in the middle hdc? I find that the work seems to slant a bit to one side if I do so. This may be because of my tension. If you prefer, feel free to make the increase in the middle of the increase.

Assembly

Place markers 22 sts from the left and right of the body, attaching the left and right ends of the cups using the yarn tails. Here’s another diagram to help you out:

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(I added the cups’ yarn tails to help with positioning)

Straps (for each cup)

With your blue yarn, sc2tog with the top two hdc of the cup. Starting with the left side of the sc2tog, make 32 FSC, ch 15, Break yarn and weave in ends.

Border:

With the right side of the work facing you and starting from the bottom of the right side of the piece, attach the blue yarn, ch 1, *sc, ch 3, sc into the same space, repeat from * three more times to end up with four loops for the corset segment. Sl st across until you reach the left end of the piece, repeat from * to complete the corset back, break yarn, weave in ends.

Even more diagrams!

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Fringe Section

Row 1: With the right side of the work facing you, attach your white yarn to the first dc after the one used in making the bottom corset loop, ch 1, sc into the same st and across (86 sc).

Row 2: Ch 3, dc into the same st and the next, *ch 1, 2dc, repeat from * until you have 13 pairs of 2 dc, ch 1, 3dc, ch 2, 3dc, **ch 1, 2dc, repeat from ** until the end of the row (58 dc, 86 sts total).

Row 3: Ch 1, sc in the same st and across (86 sc). Break yarn, weave in ends.

Fringe parts

Make 14 white and 12 red fringe parts, using 6 pieces of foot long yarn for each piece. For the red center section, use 10 pieces of 13-inch long yarn instead. Attach by folding the yarn in half, and pulling the loop through the ch 1 sections at the bottom, bringing the loop tot he front of the work, and pulling the free section of yarn through the loop. (Here’s a tutorial if you need help!) Trim the ends of the fringe to an even length, or you can do this cool chevron thing I did:

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(This took a lot more measuring than I expected…)

The center fringe is 6.5 inches long starting at the knot, and for each fringe on either side I decreased the length by half an inch until the fringe length hit 3 inches. I trimmed a bit on the long side at first, then evened everything out. It’s kind of like giving your pieces a haircut!

Here’s the post-trim aftermath:

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If you’re a bit more conservative with your yarn, you may want to measure your fringe pieces before attaching. Starting from the center, the lengths to cut your yarn are 13 in, 12 in, 11.5 in, 11 in, 10.5 in, 10 in, 9.5 in, 9 in, 8.5 in, 8 in, 7.5 in, 7 in, and two 6 in pieces.

Corset Cord

Ch 150, Break yarn. Lace up the back.

Feel free to sell anything you make with this pattern, but please give credit to Cuddlelump Crafts in the listing or on the item tag. I put a ton of work into writing this up (and in such short time) and I’d appreciate it if you give credit where it’s due!