Monday, December 30, 2019

Crochet Looks: Candied Orange

I appreciate having orange in outfits for its ability to lift your spirits and make you happy in seconds!  

Orange seems to be considered a difficult color for wearing. However, it goes well with multiple colors and its bright nature makes it such an interesting style statement. Below, orange is paired with all shades of beige and milk-white, khaki, deep blue, marmalade red, teal, black, and reddish-brown.

Candied Orange pattern on Ravelry | Etsy (soon) | LoveCrafts (soon) | Patternvine (soon)

Friday, December 27, 2019

Crochet Tips: Zirka Filet Blanket

I've got a question on Ravelry if Zirka shawl pattern can be adaptable to a rectangular shape. Zirka is a triangular shawl worked from the bottom up in the filet crochet technique:

There are several possible ways to achieve a rectangular (square) shape in filet crochet.

  • You can start from a corner and crochet a triangle by placing the increases on both sides until you reach the desired width. Then, decrease until you get a square (first picture).
  • You can work in the rounds from the center out until you reach the desired size (center picture).
  • Or you can simply work in rows (last picture).

The first option is perfect for making triangular filet shawls. I love it very much. It features an easy and quick start and allows you to stop as soon as you reach the desired size or until the end of your yarn. 

However, your piece will not (in most cases) be perfectly triangular; it depends on your chosen yarn, tension, the thickness and height of dc stitches and the length of chains. To get a perfect piece you have to have all cells perfectly square. 

In the case of shawls, it is not a big problem, in my opinion. You can block your piece and get it nearly perfect.

But in case of the square-shaped blankets, such imperfection will be very visible. Actually, you will get not a square, but some sort of a diamond (picture at right). It can be fixed (a little bit) by blocking but not much.

Making a pattern for a blanket which perfect result depends on so many factors is not a good idea. The solution which might work for me (like making the chains longer, or switch dc to tr) could not be suitable for a fellow crocheter, who has a different tension or using a different yarn.

The second option is working in the round, which faces the same problems. Your piece will tighten in the center and have the flared (too wide) edges/sides. This option works for smaller motifs, but the larger your motif turns out, the more is its deformation.

The last option is working in rows. This is the simplest (but boring, maybe :) way of making the large and accurate piece in the filet crochet technique. And it requires much simpler blocking: you have to either stretch your piece in width or make it longer to achieve the square shape.

I recommend using the last option since it makes the finished result much more predictable. Here is the filet chart for the Zirka blanket worked in rows. I hope you find it useful and it helps you to crochet your Zirka blanket.

Happy crocheting! 

New Pattern: Candied Orange

I am so excited to announce the release of the last pattern of 2019, the Candied Orange sweater!

The orange color combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Bright and uplifting, it is associated with sunshine, joy, excitement, and warmth! And, of course, it's the color of my favorite
winter fruit, an orange. I love all of its shades and versions: fresh, dried, and candied!

The sweater is worked sideways in two pieces, front and back, which are seamed at the shoulders and sides as tail-free as possible. An extra pattern repeat is added to the back to create a higher back neck. The sleeve stitches are picked up around the arm openings and worked in the round top down with decreases evenly placed along each sleeve to create a gentle taper towards the cuff.

The pattern is written for 6 sizes and 2 lengths, cropped and regular, and includes yardage requirements for both options of all sizes.

The amount of ease is up to you: roomy for layering or extra comfort, or minimal ease for next-to-body wear. Look through the dimensions on the pattern page and choose the ease and length
that works best for you. 

In the photo: cropped version in size C worn on 36¼″ (92 cm) bust with 10″ (25 cm) of positive ease. 

The wonderful orange yarn I used for this design is Malabrigo Rios in shade Sunset. 

The pattern is available on Ravelry for 25% off the regular price until the end of 2019 with the code HAPPY. Happy crocheting!

Candied Orange pattern on Ravelry | Etsy (soon) | LoveCrafts (soon) | Patternvine (soon)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Seastar Blanket: Color Order Research

When I was working on the additional color diagrams for the Seastar blanket pattern trying different color combinations, one moment I became curious if there are any color placement rules which might help to make a better decision.

Should I start with the lightest or darkest color? What color should I use as the last one? How does even a tiny change impact the overall look? ⁠

So I chose two sets of colors in the same color family and did research! This is so interesting to see how much of a difference small changes make!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

New Pattern: Seastar Blanket

Seastar Blanket, previously published in Crochet Now magazine, Issue 32, is now available in my store on Ravelry! The pattern has been tweaked a little, updated, and now uses U.S. crochet terminology.

It is written out and charted, and includes additional color layouts and a blank template to colorize your own version so you can try out the color combinations before you start crocheting.

The blanket consists of 86 hexagon motifs and 8 partial motifs to fill the gaps at the top and bottom. The motifs are joined as you go, making for minimal finishing. The pattern uses the simplest crochet stitches: chain, single crochet, and double crochet.

The pattern is available on Ravelry for 20% off with the code STAR20 until Wednesday, December 18, 2019! Happy crocheting!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

New Pattern: Kruška Cowl

My latest pattern release, Kruska cowl, is free until the end of this year (no code is required and the price will be reduced automatically when you put the pattern in your Ravelry cart)! 💛

Kruška (/krûʃka/) is a Croatian word for “pear”, which was my inspiration for this cowl, and this delicious fruit is reflected in this design in many ways: from the yellow-brownish shade of the yarn, to the pear-shape construction (the cowl is narrower at the top and gets wider towards the bottom), to the herringbone stitch pattern which immediately brings to mind those yummy Hasselback-sliced pear tarts.

The instructions are written for three sizes (Small, Medium, and Large) which use 2 (3, 4) skeins of Manos del Uruguay Alegría Grande. The stitch pattern uses regular single crochet stitches worked in an unusual way.

Happy crocheting!

Kruska pattern on Ravelry

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Join Us And Share The Love: 7th Annual Gift-A-Long!

A Gift-A-Long, the annual event on Ravelry, is officially started! 

What's a GAL?
- a 5-week long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by independent designers
- a huge sale which includes more than 5000 designs this year. Get 25% off with the code giftalong2019 from Nov 26 till  Dec 2!
- fun, chat, Instagram challenges, games, prizes!

How to participate?
- Join this group, read Indie Design Gift-A-Long FAQ for more help!

Below you will find 40 crochet patterns by Yuliya and me which are 25% off the regular price now (the code is giftalong2019!). You may click directly on the pattern listed below or visit our sale bundles: Yuliya's bundle and Lena's bundle. Happy crocheting!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Monday, November 25, 2019

Tutorial: Foundation Cord

There are multiple ways to start your crocheting, I'd like to share my current favorite foundation method, which is super neat and quick to make!

I've not used the base chains since I learned how to do foundation stitches and almost stopped using foundation stitches when I realized that the crocheted cord can be an awesome foundation base as well. ⁠ ⁠

HOW TO:⁠ Leave the tail three times longer than the desired length of your foundation row.⁠ ⁠

Start: Place slip knot on the hook so the working end of the yarn is on the left (right for lefties), and the tail is on the right (left for lefties).⁠ ⁠
Step 1: With the tail, yarn over the hook and in front of the working end.⁠ ⁠
Step 2: With the working end, yarn over, pull through two loops on hook.⁠ ⁠
Repeat Steps 1-2: Yo with tail, yo and pull through both loops with working end. That's all!

foundation crochet cord tutorial

Working in rows: move the tail on WS over the working end, ch-1 with the working end, turn and proceed to the first row.
Working in rounds: simply join with sl st in first st with the working end, ch-1 and proceed to the first round.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019

Maraska Top: Sleeve Options

While making my first Maraska sample in red, I could not decide which sleeve length I prefer, all of them looked so lovely!

So I finished my first sample with the long sleeves...

... and immediately started another one!

 However, it was still so hard to decide how short the sleeves should be!

After taking the photo above, I continued crocheting until I reached the desired length, slightly longer than the elbow-length sleeves. Voila!

The pattern includes directions, as well as yardage requirements for three sleeve options: short sleeves, elbow-length sleeves, and full-length sleeves. The length of the sleeves is easily adjustable!

Maraska Top pattern on Ravelry | Etsy | LoveCraft | Patternvine

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Maraska Top: Custom Sizing

⁠There are three distinct stages to creating the yoke and each of them allows you to modify and adjust each part of the top (back, front, and sleeves) in several ways. ⁠

🌱 The lace stage is worked in the round and its pattern repeats gradually enlarge in size, growing from tiny diamonds to large ones. All sizes, except the smallest, have a different number of PRs for the back and front (the back is narrower than the front). At this stage, you can modify the top by working fewer or more PRs in each section making it as wide or narrow as you wish. ⁠

🌱 The second stage is the textured divider (between the lace and solid stages of the yoke). The increases here are made by placing fewer or more stitches in each section. Generally, the front and back, for most of the sizes, gain more stitches than the sleeves at this stage. Custom sizing can be done, for example, by placing more stitches for the front and fewer stitches for the back. ⁠

🌱 The third stage is the classic raglan increase worked at four places to the end of the yoke. The increases are placed evenly each second round and gradually increase all parts of the yoke by one stitch at each side of each section. Normally, I do not recommend modifying this area of the yoke in order that you achieve accurate looking raglan lines, but if some correction is needed, there is still a chance to play with the stitches here by placing increases more often or not placing increase stitches in a particular area at all (for example, you may keep adding increases at the sleeves and the front, but work the back without increases (don't forget to use markers!).⁠

Maraska Top pattern on Ravelry | Etsy | LoveCraft | Patternvine

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Maraska Top: Pattern Release and Lookbook

I am very excited to present a brand new pattern and my new favorite sweater, Maraska!

The sweater is worked seamlessly in the round from the top down. It starts with a lace yoke worked in the round which ends with an eye-catching textured divider.

The yoke continues with raglan increases placed between the sleeves, back, and front. After completing the yoke, extra rows are added across the back section to finish the yoke shaping and create a higher back neck.

After the body is joined in the round and extra stitches are added to each underarm, it is then worked evenly in rounds to the bottom. The sleeves are then worked top down to the cuffs in a simple and smooth linen stitch pattern. The length of both the sleeves and body are easily adjustable.

The hem and cuffs are embellished with similar textured stitch patterns, worked with the help of modified front post stitches made over the linen stitch pattern.

You may take a look at this design by flipping through the pages of the lookbook here!

Feel free to share your finished projects in the Cup of Stitches group on Ravelry or hashtag them #cupofstitches (and #maraskatop for this particular design) on Instagram!

PROMOTION: The pattern is 20% off on Ravelry with the coupon code CHERRYONTOP until the end of Sunday, November 17, 2019. Happy crocheting!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

October WIP-Along and Report

Every month I start a new WIP-Along topic in the Cup of Stitches group on Ravelry. Everyone is welcome to share their work in progress (crochet, knit, weave, etc...) there, set up the goals, track your progress and stay motivated!

Here is my October report! Not so good, but not bad as well.

1) Seiche and Kambalda were updated and published!

2) Cherry top pattern: I had to complete the yellow top and take photos of both tops first of all.

So the yellow Cherry top is completed, both tops were photographed, the pattern is on tech-editing now, and I then had a huge desire to create a kind of a lookbook for it and started doing it yesterday. There is something very pleasing in flipping the pages :)

3. I have a long list of the old patterns to update and this is my main task for this year: every month I work on updating some old patterns to bring them to the current pattern standard. In October I updated the Porcelain Berry shawl pattern, it is on tech-editing now.
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