Friday, March 15, 2019

RIFT: Neckline Edging

The edging I used for the neckline of Rift mimics the knit roll edge and is made with the help of slip stitches worked in front loops only, in a spiral with front side always facing. This makes the edging roll up naturally. Cute, neat and simple!

Frankly, the edgings take most of my time. In my opinion, crochet (due to its nature) misses the basic edgings, the edgings which can be used whatever stitch patterns you chose, for example, like classic ribbing edgings in knitting, or i-cord. They fit almost everything and allow you not to think about the edging at all if you don't want to.

In crochet, you have to "invent" the edging every time you start a new project. It depends on the stitch pattern, how tall the stitches are (and if you mix the stitch patterns, some border sts are short, some are tall), the difference in the gauge of main st pattern and edging also matters. You have to think in advance about the ways you can deal with border sts to achieve neat edging easily too.

I wish someday I'll dive deeper into this and find some working solutions for crochet edgings. And this knit-like roll edge seems to be a nice neckline solution for almost every stitch pattern, because it starts with a base round around neckline (no matter what st pattern is used, you just need to fill the entire neckline with single crochet stitches) and continues with slip stitches for four-five rounds.

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in shade Ravelry Red
Pattern: Rift by Lena Fedotova

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

RIFT: In Progress

Even the simplest design may lead to lots of discoveries, things to be learned, and skills to be polished! I planned on finishing this sweater in a week or two, but even after working on it for a month I still had a lot of things to think about. But now these decisions have been made and I am very happy with the result!

1) I am not a fan of the straight neckline lines of the basic raglan. I was curious how I could avoid this without working short rows which would break the accurate horizontal ribbing stitch pattern. The solution was a combination of round yoke construction (for front and back) and raglan (for sleeves).

2) The uneven raglan increases are used to create a perfect fit. The yoke circumference matches the body measurements and a relaxed oversize fit is achieved by adding extra stitches at the underarm. Extra short-rows are worked across the back to finish the yoke shaping and create a higher back neck.

3) I am using Malabrigo Rios and switch the skeins every second row to avoid color pooling. It took some time to discover the best way to do this neatly, as well as a way to join in the round in ribbing stitch pattern (do not ch-1 and you'll get much more accurate and invisible join!).

4) The neckline edging mimics a knit roll edge and is made with the help of the slip stitches.

5) Decreases are evenly placed along each sleeve creating a taper towards the cuff. Love neat narrow cuffs!

When I was writing this, the sweater was not finished yet, so I expected to have more things to think about. For example, the bottom edging, which I planned on working in the same ribbing stitch pattern, but vertically-oriented. To be continued!

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in shade Ravelry Red
Pattern: Rift by Lena Fedotova

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

RIFT: Color and Getting Started

I'd like to share the design story of my upcoming pattern and it begins with the color. My favorite color in February was red.

Starting the design process with a rich, hot, red color meant that the remaining design elements should be simple: I chose top-down raglan construction, relaxed fit and a simple stitch pattern. A piece of cake, but frankly, such simple designs require a lot of attention: neat stitch work, accurate edging, smooth color flow, perfect fit, no extra fabric or wrinkles at armholes, etc.

I don't mean that the super-cool design may skip any of these, just that the simple ones do not have those cool elements that could distract you from the possible flaws. One can never be overly perfectionist with something minimalistic in style and simple in shape. And I love it!

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in shade Ravelry Red
Pattern: Rift by Lena Fedotova

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

CAL and FREE PATTERN: Nautical Coasters

After checking my stash, I decided to get rid of some cotton little balls and to turn them into something sweet and small: coasters, potholders, snowflakes. So I now pick a ball, find a pattern for it and crochet it here and there, having fun with it in between the rest of my projects (which are usually large and difficult, like sweaters and blankets).

I also started a Cotton Destash CAL topic in the Cup of Stitches group on Ravelry. If you like this idea, join us and get your cotton projects finished in a fun and friendly company! Show your cotton yarn, your pattern ideas, your project in progress and update us how your cotton destashing is going :)

My first destash project is the Nautical coasters:

I use the motif from the Pond Ripples collection, with a few modifications (the picots added in the last round).

 Here is the “before blocking and after it” picture:

I crochet the stitches tight. I think cotton cuties love tight stitches. So I pick up the smaller size hook than I would use for the wool yarn or cotton garments and shawls. When the piece is ready and the ends are hidden, I steam block it. Actually, I simply iron it with the WS facing. Cotton becomes softer and I fix the shape by hands, then I iron it again. After that, I let it cool and dry on the iron board (while it’s soft it can change its shape).

Happy crocheting!

Links: Cotton Destash CAL on Ravelry

Monday, October 1, 2018

PATTERN UPDATE: Strawberry Danish Cushion

I've just updated the Strawberry Danish pattern and it is now available as for purchase as an individual pattern download in my Ravelry store.

Strawberry Danish is soft, textured, 3-dimensional cushion made of stuffed crochet hexagon tiles. Each hexagon motif consists of two sides (crocheted separately) with a common center, then it is stuffed and the sides are joined.

What's new? It is completely seamless now!

The project does not require sewing, all joins are made as you go. At the end you will need to weave in only one end per motif, the rest of the tails can be hidden inside between the two sides of the motif.

This pattern is written for the cushion shown in the photo, but it is versatile and easily adjustable, you may vary the size of each motif and the finished cushion by working fewer or more rounds.

More ideas for using this motif are: a hot pad, a chair cushion, a rug or even a huge single-motif pillow (sachet, needle cushion, a cat toy, etc). There are many ways to use it, so the choice of the finished item is up to you! Depending on the final use of the project, you may want to use a different kind of stuffing, use whatever is appropriate for the finished item and available to you: from batting to rice grains.

Happy crocheting!


Pattern preview:

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