Looking Ahead to Summer

Spring is making half an appearance this year, so I’m skipping ahead to summer¬† ūüôā

Looking through my closet, I was thinking that I should update my wardrobe with a couple of new tops.¬† Except that I knew I wouldn’t have much time to go browsing the stores and aisles in the mall, and finances are kind of tight this year – very tight.¬† And the flashbulb went off in my head … why not crochet summer tops instead?¬† Surely I would find enough skeins of yarn in the stash for that … And crochet clothing is coming back into fashion, right?

Found crochet thread size 3 in the stash!¬† Can’t remember what I bought it for – maybe it was for a top that I was thinking of.¬† So I started with that, with a simple top-down pattern.¬† I kept thinking that this would be more suited for a beach cover-up, but we’ll see how that goes.¬† I’m kind of stuck at this point, at the moment … Not sure what to do next, but I’m probably just going to continue in the pattern.

Digging through the stash, I found this grey-white yarn that has also seen many starts and froggings.¬† Since I couldn’t find a pattern I liked that went with the yarn, I figured I might as well make this into another crochet top.¬† hmmm … except this is ruffling a bit much.¬† More adjusting to be , as this is going to end up big and fluffy on top … I hope I don’t have to frog again ….

And finally, another yarn that’s seen lots of starts and frogging.¬† The yarn was getting frayed, and a little washed out.¬† It had to be made into something.¬† Instead of crocheting top-down, these are front and back panels, that will joined at the shoulders and sides, and sleeves added.¬† It’s going to look kind of boxy, now that I’ve laid it out flat.¬† Next time, I’ll make it more fitted, or at least with a waistline.¬† Or maybe I should just follow patterns …

So that’s my obsession at the moment.¬† And then I’ll be ready for summer ….


Revisiting the Bucket List

Several years ago, I made a bucket list of what I wanted to make. ¬†The original post came up as a related post, so I decided to see what I’ve actually done. ¬†I could actually strike some items off the list – wow!

So, revising the bucket list …¬†Here is what was on my original bucket lists, and how I’ve done …

1) ¬†Entrelac ‚Äď learn how to knit and crochet entrelac correctly – nope, not yet. ¬†I’m still doing the biased basketweave pattern. ¬†Will remain on the list.

2)  Granny Squares with a Zigzag Twist Рnope, not yet.  Will remain on the list.

3)  Apache Teardrops Рnope.  Having second thoughts on whether I still like this.

4)  A hexagon project РYes !!!  The African Violets !  I still want to add to it, to make it bigger.


5) ¬†The Cathedral Rose Window Afghan ‚Äď Stained Glass Afghan ‚Äď Kaleidoscope Afghan – Nope. ¬†Will remain on the list.

6) ¬†Kitchener stitch and seamless grafting – nope. ¬†I’ve sort of figured out a way to join seamlessly, but this will remain on the list.

7) ¬†A lacy beach coverup – yes ! ¬† Here’s the post ¬†and another one, if you want to read all about it.¬† ¬†And one already in progress ūüôā

8) ¬†A fine-lace/fingering weight project. Yes! ¬†I’ve worked more and more with fingering weight yarn. ¬†I do have hanks of lace in the stash, but haven’t started anything with that yet. ¬†And while this is not quite a fine lace project, there is ‘lace’ in the title – does that count? ¬†Hawaiian Lace and Busco Gancho Lace¬†

9) ¬†A Japanese pattern ‚Äď any pattern. ¬†Nope – will remain on the list.

10)  A woven blanket made with the Cricket loom.  Yes !!  And am planning on starting another one, before I forget how to use the loom and weave.  This 5-panel blanket had me woven out, after I finished working on it.

5-panel blanket

11) ¬†Mandala Crochet Coat¬†– nope. ¬†But will definitely remain on the list, since I’m drawing a lot of mandalas, anyway. ¬†One of those designs will end up as a coat, since I now have the basics on how to crochet a coat or jacket ūüôā ¬†¬†Oh yes, although not a mandala, I did crochet¬†two coats last year! ¬†Yaaayyy!!


Not originally on the list, but I added ponchos to my mental list, even though I think at some point I said I wasn’t going to make those.

Surprisingly, I don’t have any new major thing to add … Just more ideas to make the same things with different yarns or patterns, like the coat, beach cover-ups, and woven blankets.

But the year is young … something may come up yet! ¬†ūüôā

Do you have a crafty bucket list?  How are you doing with it?





Pistachio Top

You may have seen this … I posted this on a couple of the crochet forums, and got several requests for the pattern. ¬†So while it’s still fresh in my mind, I’m writing it out.

pistachio finished

I didn’t follow any patterns for this … I kept seeing the pictures on Pinterest and Ravelry, etc of a nice, soft, comfy-looking, sweater with wide sleeves (paid pattern), ¬†so I decided to have a go with my own version. ¬†All respect to the designer of the paid pattern, but the photo inspired me to try my own version. ¬†Besides, I’ve been wanting to play with this Caron Cakes Pistachio since I bought it, but I actually held back until I cut down on some of the WIPs lying around ūüėČ ¬†See how good I was? ¬†:o)

So here is how I made this.   This is basically two rectangles, joined together at the top and bottom.  Bear in mind that this was all experimentation and lots of frogging took place.  Because of the yarn, I chose to crochet this length-wise, so that the stripes would be horizontal in the finished product, instead of vertical.  I was thinking that the colour changes would not be so noticeable.  To determine the length, I just started chaining, and then measured against my outstretched arms, from left wrist to right wrist.  To determine the width, I just measured myself from shoulder to waist, and crocheted rows until it measured the width that I liked.  The rectangles are crocheted from the bottom up.

This was made with worsted weight (4) yarn, and using an H/5.0mm hook.

First panel

Set-up row:  Chain 200.  Turn.
Row 1:  ch 3; dc in next stitch and all stitches across.
(Ribbed portion)
Row 2:  ch 1; fpdc in first dc below; bpdc in next dc; fpdc in next dc.  Continue in pattern across to last stitch.  Turn.
Row 3:  ch 1; bpdc in first dc below; fpdc in next dc; bpdc in next dc.  Continue in pattern across to last stitch.  Turn.
Rows 4 Р6:  Repeat rows 2 and 3

From here on, I made a fpdc/bpdc border on both ends of the panel, with the pattern in the middle. ¬†This is referred to as ‘FPDC/BPDC border’ in the pattern.

FPDC/BPDC border:  (consisting of four stitches at beginning and end of the panel, resulting in a ribbed border).
When starting a row (FPDC/BPDC border start):  ch 1; fp/bp dc into the first dc; bp/fp dc in the second dc; fp/bp dc in the third dc; bp/fp dc in the fourth dc.

When finishing a row (FPDC/BPDC border finish):   crochet the pattern until the last four stitches remain.  On the fourth from the last stitch, fp/bp dc in the stitch; continue the pattern to the end of the row.
Row 7:  (filet stitch) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
*Ch 1; skip next dc; dc in next.*   Repeat * to * until the last four stitches.
fpdc in next st; bpdc in next st; fpdc in next dc; bpdc in next. (FPDC/BPDC border finish) Turn.

Row 8:  (staggered filet stitch) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
dc in ch-1 sp; *ch 1; dc in ch-1 sp.*  Repeat * to * until the last four stitches.
(FPDC/BPDC border finish) Turn.

Row 9:  (crossed dc row) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
Skip first ch-1 space;  dc in next ch-1 space; dc in skipped dc.  (Crossed dc made).  Continue across, until the last four stitches.
(FPDC/BPDC border finish) Turn.

Row 10:  Repeat Row 7 and 8 (filet stitch)

Row 12:  (solid row) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
dc in next dc; dc in ch-1 space.  Repeat across to last four stitches.
(FPDC/BPDC border finish)  Turn.

Row 13:  (v-stitch) (FPDC/BPDC border start)
skip first dc; v-stitch in next dc.  Repeat across to last four stitches.
(FPDC/BPDC border finish) Turn.

Row 14:  Repeat Rows 7 and 8. (filet stitch)
Row 15:  Repeat Row 9 (crossed dc)
Row 16:  repeat Row 13 (v-stitch)
Row 17:  repeat Row 12 (solid row)

Continue with the pattern, or add your favourite stitch, remembering to finish and end with the FPDC/BPDC border.
When you have crocheted about 26 rows or width desired, finish with Row 12 (solid row).  Fasten off.


Second panel:  follow instructions as for first panel.

Form shoulders:
When you have completed two panels, stretch or block lightly.  With two sides facing each other and starting from the end of the panel, measure 15 inches from the end for the left shoulder.  Place marker into both stitches.  Repeat for right shoulder.

Fold the rectangles in half, and make sure that both sides are symmetrical, and that there is enough space for a neckline.

Attach yarn to first stitch at end of panel, and sew left shoulder together, with slip stitch or whip stitch through both loops.  Fasten off.
Repeat for right shoulder.

Form bottom edge:
Measure 12 inches from the end for the left side.  Place marker into both stitches.  Repeat for right side.

Fold the rectangles in half, and make sure that both sides are symmetrical, and there is enough space for waist or hips.

Attach yarn to first stitch at end of panel, and sew left side together, starting from the first stitch at end of the panel, with slip stitch or whip stitch through both loops.  Fasten off.
Repeat for right shoulder.

For the neckline:  Attach yarn to one of the dc on one of the joining sides.
Round 1:  Ch 1, and continue the FP/BP DC pattern around.
Round 2:  ch 1, fp/bp dc two together (decrease).  Continue pattern to the next shoulder join.  fp/bp dc two together (decrease).  Continue pattern, sl st to first fp/bp dc.
Round 3:  ch 1, fp/bp dc in first stitch.  Continue pattern around.  Sl st to first fp/bp dc.
Round 4:  repeat round 2.
Round 5:  repeat Round 3.
Fasten off.

At this stage, the neckline is a wide, boat-style opening.
If you prefer a narrower neck opening, then repeat the decrease twice, and finish with a row of fpdc/bpdc with no decrease.

For the bottom edge:  turn the piece upside down.  Attach yarn to one of the dc on the sides.  Ch 1, and continue the FP/BP DC pattern around.  Crochet 5 rows around, or to desired length.

Weave in ends.  Stretch or block slightly.

Here is what the finished piece looks like, laid flat.

pistachio flat

You can see the two rectangles in the middle part, with the FP/BP DC border on the ends.  The neckline is on the top and the bottom waistline, with the 5-6 rows of ribbed FPDC/BPDC border pattern.
Depending on your preference, you can increase or decrease rows, so that you have a higher/narrower neckline and waist. ¬†Hope you’re all understanding what I mean, my vocabulary isn’t working well today ūüė¶

Please note – this pattern has not been tested by anybody else, and these are my notes on what I did. ¬†If you are going to crochet less than or more than 200 stitches, then you may need to adjust the pattern slightly. ¬†You may need to adjust anyway, from the pattern above, but hopefully not too much. ¬†If you have an extra stitch or two at the end of the row that will not complete the pattern, just dc into the remaining stitch(es) before the FP/BP DC border. ¬†That’s what I did, and it’s not noticeable, anyway ūüėČ

If you have any questions, just let me know, and I’ll try my best to re-construct what I did, so I can answer your questions ūüôā

Good luck and have fun!


My Colour Wheel

This is a post that had been brewing for some time now, revisited after I started weaving, and now with two recent posts I read over the week – an anecdote about co-workers who didn’t know the primary and secondary colors on a color wheel, and¬†an article about how to choose colors for a project.

Some time ago, I was asked how I came up with my color combinations, since they had difficulties or were challenged when choosing colors for their projects. ¬†That got me to thinking about how I’ve used color in my projects.¬†¬†I had taken art classes through the school years, and fiddled around with painting and drawing after – maybe that is why I don’t think much about color theories, it just sort of comes naturally when going through the stash or walking down the yarn aisle in a store. ¬†Of course there’s a lot of the natural preferences that come with it – there are some color combinations which are not pleasing to my eye (blue and brown comes to mind). And then of course, the title of this blog is what I would like to be doing with the yarn.

For my projects, the color progression wasn’t so much as the choice of color combinations, but more of solids to ombre to variegated. ¬†For a while, I was only working with solid colors – primary colors mixed up with secondary colors. ¬†I would then make the pattern stand out a little more by using combinations different from those suggested in the pattern. ¬†Why? ¬†Because that’s what I had in my stash, and I didn’t want to go out and buy more yarn – yes, I know, that was the perfect excuse to add to the stash lol – but I had to follow my budget. ¬†Here’s my earlier projects – a granny ripple and scrap blanket turned tapestry blanket, using solid colors.

While I still buy and use solid colors, more and more I find myself leaning towards the variegated and self-striping – the yarn companies have gotten so much better, coming out with bright, vibrant beautiful color mixes. ¬†They’re also less work for me – less fastening off and reattaching – and beautiful patterns come out of the self-striping yarn. ¬†And I think the variegated yarn works better with my brain – although the project is beautiful when done, working with solid colors bores me after a while, and I start looking for something else to do – probably another reason why I have several WIPs lying around, and about half of them are solid color projects.

For those times when I need to come up with color combinations, here’s what I’ve devised – my own DIY color wheel. ¬†Not in the traditional sense, and I’m sure there’s something like this already out there put out by the yarn companies. ¬†My boys worked on this – whenever we were at one of the home improvement stores, we would stop by the paint department, and go to the wall of sample paint cards and take one each of the color cards. (shsshhh) ¬†These ones were perfect – individual color cards, with a hole punched in already. ¬†They then sorted it according to the codes, and grouped it together. ¬†It’s not quite in the order of the color wheel, but that doesn’t bother me. ¬†It’s also missing a few shades, but we can always fill that in later.


And when I’m looking for a color combination, this is what I do – just pull out the color cards and place them next to each other. ¬†I now have a visual of what I’m thinking of. ¬†And even though there may not be this exact shade available in yarn, there is enough of a selection out there these days that I can come pretty close to what I have in mind.


Hmmm .. I like this combination … wonder if there’s anything in the stash like this?

How do you decide on your colors?

Painting Flowers


I finally got around to experimenting with colouring flowers. My son got white daffodils and roses for me, so that’s what I worked with. With food colouring ready, I pulled out glasses to place the flowers in. ¬† As instructed, I trimmed the ends diagonnally under water. ¬†Then I sliced about an inch and half up the stem.


This is how the red and green roses came out, after about 18 hours in the dye.



These were the blue and green daffodils.


I think the yellow rose turned out the best.  Well, it turned the white rose evenly yellow, no lines or spots.


For the second twenty-four hours, I moved all the flowers one glass over, to another colour. ¬†It didn’t change much after that. ¬†I don’t know if it was because the flowers weren’t so fresh, or that I didn’t have enough dye in the glasses. ¬†Maybe next time I’ll shorten the stem – so maybe the dyes won’t have to travel far? ¬†Or add more dye to the water. ¬†In any case, I’m happy with how this first experiment turned out. ¬†More ideas for the next one ….