accessories, crochet, etsy, Hats and other stuff, scarf

Scarves and a welcome

First of all, a big welcome to all those who have come to check this blog out after seeing my neckwarmer pattern at Crochet Pattern Central! I hope the pattern was to your liking 🙂

Second, I have put two new scarves up on my Etsy store! They are Maiden’s Blush and Tropical Sunset respectively, and I hope they do well 🙂 The Maiden’s Blush is a delicate, pale pink scarf that is 10% cashmere, so it’s wonderfully soft and has a beautiful drape. Tropical Sunset is 100% high quality wool, and has gorgeous vibrant hues fading into each other. If you’re in need of a scarf for winter, check them out!

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accessories, crochet, Hats and other stuff, scarf, tips

Scarf mathematics

Just finished off a scarf for a rather nerdy friend of mine’s birthday! It’s a Fibonacci Scarf! A Fibonacci sequence is a mathematical sequence of numbers that’s special for some reason. No, I don’t know why, and I don’t particularly care. The point is, my nerdy friend will appreciate it. You may have noticed that the pattern I linked to is a knitting one – I don’t know of any crochet versions out there. However, since I am fundamentally incapable of knitting, I just tweaked the pattern and crocheted it instead, entirely in single crochet. I started with a chain of 30, and then just followed the row numbers on the original pattern. I had no idea if it would work or not while I was working on it, but it ended up looking pretty good!

Another thing about my nerdy friend is, he’s a vegan. This meant I had fewer options when it came to yarn selection for this project, and was quite troublesome. I know in theory that there are probably hundreds of various acrylic, bamboo and cotton yarns out there – they’re just not in any of the Spotlights in South Australia 😛 Every time I found a nice, soft acrylic, it was only available in unsuitable, odd colours. I was looking for navy blue and red. These are not unusual colours. I would imagine they are quite popular colours. Apparently, the yarn manufacturers disagree. I saw all manner of oranges, pinks, teals, purples and multicoloured yarns, but the only brand that had both the colours I needed was a brand called Thorobred, which unfortunately is not known for its stellar quality. In fact, when I crocheted the first section of the scarf, I was about ready to throw it in the bin. It felt like a scourer! Luckily, my homies at the crochetcrochet community on Livejournal introduced me to the art of “killing” acrylic. I did try washing it with fabric softener before resorting to murdering it, but all that did was make the scarf smell of apples. Not bad, certainly, but not helpful either.

“Killing” acrylic is basically blocking it, except it’s an irreversible process. There are a couple of methods, I chose to pin it to the ironing board, cover it with a damp cloth and press it with lots of steam, and that worked just fine. It’s really, really soft now, and it grew a bit in length as well, which is always handy! I’m really pleased with how it turned out in the end, it far exceeded any of my expectations.

Now, to make a pi plushie and I’m all set for his birthday!

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accessories, crochet, Hats and other stuff, patterns, scarf

Blueberry Dreams Neckwarmer

I am very happy to introduce you all to my very first pattern! It’s ok, you can stop applauding now. It’s a neckwarmer, which is kind of like a mini-scarf – a scarlette, if you will. It’s super warm and comfy, and looks pretty stylin’, too! The pattern is really simple; it’s great for beginners who want something easy to make that still looks good. So without further ado, here is the pattern! The stitches you need to know are single crochet and double crochet – that’s it! I use US terms for my patterns, just fyi.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 50g skeins of worsted weight yarn. I used Araucania Rehue Multy, which is an absolutely stunning yarn, hand-dyed in Chile. I got it on sale at yarn.com, for an insanely cheap price. I needed 2 skeins of this yarn because there isn’t much yardage to a skein, but I think you could easily get away with 1 skein of a less fancy yarn.
  • A 5mm crochet hook
  • 2 buttons of your choice
  • A needle

Method:

Ch 25. If you want a wider neckwarmer, chain more. This pattern is very customisable, as you’ll see.

Row 1: Sc across (25)

Row 2: Ch 2, dc across (25)

Row 3: Ch 1, sc across (25)

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you get to row 71, which, if you’ve been following the pattern correctly, should be a row of single crochet.

Row 71: Ch 1, sc 7. *Ch 2, skip next 2 ch, sc 7* twice. These are your button holes. If you’re using tiny buttons, you might only want to ch 1 and skip 1 ch. I recommend you use large buttons though.

Row 72: Ch 2, dc across (25).

Row 73: Ch 1, sc across (25).

Row 74: Ch 2, dc across (25).

Row 75: Ch 1, sc across (25).

Row 76: Ch 1, skip 2 stitches and dc into the next stitch 5 times. skip next stitch and sc into the next stitch. Repeat until the end of the row. Finish off and sew in ends.

Try the neckwarmer on and see where you need to sew the buttons on. This is really personal preference – I just placed the buttonholes where I thought they seemed good on the opposite end of the neckwarmer, marked the places and sewed the buttons on there. Then I tried it on to make sure it wasn’t too tight/too loose. Voila! You now have your very own neckwarmer for the upcoming winter! **NEWLY ADDED** Click here to download the pattern in pdf form!

If you have any questions about this pattern, feel free to email me at kirsty [at] whimsicalkitty [dot] com and I will reply as soon as I can!

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Amigurumi amp; Plushies, crochet, Hats and other stuff, patterns, scarf, tips

Tea Scarf 2.0

I love the tea scarf pattern on Ravelry – it’s one of the simplest, yet prettiest scarves around. However, it’s quite a small scarf when worked in worsted weight yarn (as it suggests it should be), both in length and width. I don’t know about you, but I like a scarf I can wrap around my neck a couple of times. So, without further ado, here’s how to make a long tea scarf in a dk weight yarn.

I used 2 balls of Moda Vera Wool/Cashmere Blend (which I highly recommend – it’s beautifully soft and has a bit of stretch in it) for this, with a 4mm crochet hook. First, ch 250. I know, I know, it seems like a lot. But it really doesn’t take that long! Then, simply follow the original tea scarf pattern – but double the amount of rows it says to do. At least. Really, you can keep going with the rows as long as you like, depending on how wide you like your scarves. Once you’ve finished adding rows, switch to a 5mm hook and do your edging as per the original pattern. If you want a really pronounced ruffle edging, do 3 dc in each stitch instead of 2. Ta-da! A long, elegant tea scarf is born! You may find it curls a little at the ends when you’ve finished, but that can be cured by blocking it.

Blocking is when you dampen your scarf (or other project), pin it out on a surface and wait for it to dry. That’s a very simple explanation, by the way, there are a few different types of blocking that can be used for different yarn types. For instance, when I made my first tea scarf, I made it in Noro Silk Garden yarn, which is worsted weight, and I put that in the washing machine on the wool cycle (without detergent), then pinned it out on a towel on a futon and left it overnight. For the wool/cashmere one, because it was a more delicate yarn, I pinned it out on an ironing board and steamed it with an iron – being very careful not to let the iron touch the yarn! Blocking a project just gives it a bit more of a professional look, in my opinion, so it’s something I’ll be doing from now on.

I gave the above-mentioned scarf to my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day, incidentally, and she loved it! I used a cream coloured yarn for the main body of the scarf, and black for the edging. I almost wished I could keep it for myself! For my mother, I made her a Japanese kokeshi doll trinket box that I found a pattern for on Ebay. One day I hope to have the time to come up with my own patterns for this stuff – maybe after the craft fair is over!

Kokeshi Doll

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crochet, Hats and other stuff, noro, scarf

Stop! Rainbow scarf time!

I am so super super busy at the moment with a million different craft projects (all for other people, I might add), but tonight I took time out to make the delightful tea scarf that I found on Ravelry a while ago. It’s such a pretty pattern, very easy (perfect for a first crochet scarf!) and so easily customisable!

Rainbow Tea Scarf

I used the famed Noro Silk Garden yarn to make it, and I love how it turned out. I’ve been lusting after Noro yarn since I first started crocheting – it seems to be the holy grail of yarn in some circles. Unfortunately, it’s not too easy to get hold of here in South Australia, and it’s very expensive. But! My all-time-favourite online yarn store came to the rescue with half price Noro Silk Garden in discontinued colours! I got three balls of yarn for only $26 including postage, which is a real steal considering one ball is about $14 anywhere else.

I’ve heard it said that you either love or hate Noro yarn. While the colours are amazing, the yarn has a few undesirable aspects to it – namely, for me, the feel of the yarn. While it’s 45% silk, it’s raw silk, so the yarn feels a little rough to the touch. I’m a tactile creature, and I do love me some soft yarn. However, I’ve heard it softens up a great deal after washing, so it’s currently on my dryer rack after a run in the washing machine on the wool cycle. Fingers crossed. Other complaints I’ve heard about Noro are that it contains a lot of vegetable matter, and that there are knots in the skeins, joining two completely different colours together. So far I haven’t experienced either one of these, and I admit, I am totally in love with this yarn. If I could, I’d marry it and we’d move to Portugal and have tiny, Noro yarn babies.

I have a feeling I’ll be throwing a lot of my spare money in Noro’s direction in the near future. Until then, I’ll have to put up with the pedestrian yarn selection my local Spotlight has to offer. Now, it’s off to madly make as many things as I can for my first every craft fair on the 15th of May!

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