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Crochet mittens

Together with beanies and scarves, mittens are my favourite winter accessory. They look so cute, a glamorous alternative to gloves to protect my hands from getting super dry and scratchy, especially during the coldest and windiest days. This is why with some yarn I had left from my previous pumpkin cowl, I decided to crochet a pair of warm and cozy mittens.

The pattern I used is very easy and it works up really fast, since I was able to complete this project in a couple of evenings after work. This makes it perfect also for Christmas gifts or last-minute presents.

It is a pattern worked downwards, from the finger tips to the cuffs and the only stitches you need to know are the half double crochet (hdc) for the body of the mittens , double crochet (dc) and front post/back post double crochet (fpdc/bpdc) for the cuffs.

To make these mittens, I have used the shade 207 of Gomitolo200 yarn and my 5mm crochet hook.

At the beginning I had to deal a bit with establishing the initial number of stitches to make, so I developed a little trick that worked for me to find the perfect fitting for my mittens.

I started with a certain number of stitches worked into a magic circle and then I made two rounds of increases. If after these two rounds I was not able to cover easily the last four fingers of my hand, I came back and changed the initial number of stitches into the magic loop.

At the end here is the pattern I made up for my mittens , which fits an average range of hands sizes. If you have a smaller/bigger hand, simply reduce/increase the initial number of stitches  into the magic loop and you should find your perfect size.

Into a magic circle, let’s make 9 hdc

round 1 : ch2, 2hdc in each stitch around. Sl st into the first hdc. (18 sts)

round 2 : ch2, *1 hdc into the first stitch, 2 hdc into the next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc (27 sts)

round 3-17 : ch2, 1 hdc into each stitch around. Sl st into the first hdc (27 sts)

round 18 : ch2, 1 hdc into the next 13 stitches. Ch7, skip the next 3 stitches and do hdc until the end of the round. Sl st into the first hdc.

round 19 : ch2, 1 hdc into the next 13 st, 7 hdc into the ch7 space, then hdc until the end of the round. Sl st into the first hdc.

round 20 : ch2, 1 hdc into each stitch around. Sl st into the first hdc.

round 21 : ch3, 1 dc into each stitch around. Sl st into the first dc.

round 22-27 : ch3, 1 fpdc into the stitch below. *1 bpdc into the next stitch, 1 fpdc into the next stitch*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the round. Sl st into the first stitch.

Fasten off your yarn.

Did we forget about the thumb? Of course not. To make it just, insert your hook in any stitch of the hole space you made before. Start making 16 hdc evenly spaced around this hole.

round 1-2: ch1, 1 hdc into each stitch around (16 sts)

round 3 : ch1, *6 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (14 sts)

round 4 : ch1, *5 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (12 sts)

round 5 : ch1, *4 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (10 sts)

round 6 : ch1, *3 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (8 sts)

round 7 : ch1, *2 hdc into the next sts, 1 decrease (2 hdc joined together)*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first hdc. (6 sts)

Fasten off your yarn and close up the little hole that remains.

I am really proud of how my pair of mittens came out. I love their rounded shape, it gives them such a sweet and cozy look which makes them simply irresistible.

They also make such a great set with my pumpkin cowl and I am sure I’m gonna wear them together.

Look how beautifully the front post and back post double crochet stitches combine together to create a nice ribbed effect on the cuffs.

I can already see myself walking through the street this winter wearing my mittens with a hot cup of tea in my hands.

I really hope you guys like this pattern. Let me know if you too find mittens adorable and if you are going to use this pattern for yourself or for a Christmas present. Meanwhile I wish you a happy crocheting time from the bottom of my heart and see you to the next post. Byeee !!!!

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Pumpkin crochet cowl

Few weeks ago I went to my usual yarn store looking for something warm both in colors and texture and I found this beautiful yarn that matches so well the shades of this time of the year. The red and yellow nuances are indeed the same you can see in the leaves falling down and the orange tints, don’t they make you think about the so popular Halloween pumpkins?

So, right on time for fall season, I was inspired to crochet a big and warm cowl to ward off these first chilly and windy days.

Since I love infinity scarves and the way they look once worn, I tried to recreate the same effect on my cowl. I am not a big fan of  ‘choker-style’ cowls, this is why I went for a loose fitting to let my cowl beautifully fall around my neckline in a soft and comfy way.

The yarn I used is the shade 207 of ‘Gomitolo 200’ (yarn ball 200) even if you will need less than 200 gr of yarn to end this project. You are also going to need a 5 mm crochet hook, a yarn needle and some stitch markers, very helpful during the final assembly step.

Let’s begin by making an initial number of chains multiple of 6. Keep in mind that this number will determine the loosiness of the cowl around your neckline. I chained 102.

The pattern I used is  a variation of the very easy and popular V-stitch and it is called ‘no space double crochet V-stitch’ pattern. You might know that usually a V-stitch is made by working 1dc, 1ch and 1 dc all in the same stitch. Well, in the ‘no space V stitch’ there is no chain between one dc and the other, because the V-stitch is worked in the space between the two double crochet of the row below.

row 1 : 2 dc in the 4th chain from the hook (this create the V-stitch). *Sk 1 chain and make 2 dc in the next chain*. Keep repeating from *to* until there are two chains left. At this point, skip the next chain and make 1 dc in the very last stitch.

row 2 – 38 : ch3 and turn your work. 2 dc in the space between the 2 dc (V-stitch) of the row below. Repeat all across the V-stitches below. Then 1dc in the last stitch.

At the end of row 38 you will have a long rectangle. Fold it in half along the longest side of it and sew the ends along the shortest sides. You may use stitch markers to help keep the two ends together.

I am crazy in love with my cowl. I adore it, it came out just the way I had it in my mind. I put it on for a relaxing walk through a beautiful, wild path only few minutes away from our home and I had so much fun when I noticed I was perfectly in tune with the nature background. Don’t you think the same?

I am sure I’ll use this pattern again, it’s so easy and quick that will be perfect to make Christmas presents. I am already thinking about using different shades of this yarn and I can’t wait to try it and show you the result. I hope you like this pattern too and till the next post I wish you every good and a happy crocheting time. Love you all !

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Fringe scarf…

Last year you saw me post a picture of this beautiful Katia cotton cashmere thread, with the promise of a coming soon blog post about the project I was making with it.

Well, it turned out I need to study a little bit more for ‘that’ project, and in the end after several trials and frogs, I let my yarn rest for almost a year. Few weeks ago I took it back and decided to use it to make an accessory very useful in this time of the year, a light scarf perfect to wear during the breezy springy nights out.

To make this scarf I have used the shade n.56 of KATIA CONCEPT thread, which is a mix of 90% cotton and 10% cashmere perfect for spring/summer projects. Usually 100% cotton threads result in quite rigid and tight works, while on the contrary this is very soft , light and gentle on skin thanks to the cashmere presence and since I have used it I cannot resist to the temptation of caressing it and squezze my face in it!!!

But now let’s move to the pattern. I have used 5 balls of thread (250 gr) and my trusty summer friend, my 4.5mm hook. I started by chaining 33 and then I followed this nice pattern I found on the net.

The pattern is multiple of 3 and I would call it a rivisited V stitch pattern, since it is practically a V stitch where one side of the V is made of a puff stitch and the other side is a double crochet. I really enjoyed making it and I absolutely love the openwork pattern that came out, I find it very unique and something you don’t see often.  

Ch 33

row1 :  ch3 (it counts as the first dc), ch1, 1 puff stitch into the 5th chain from hook. *Skip the next two stitches and do 1 dc into the next one. Ch 1 and do 1 puff stitch into the same stitch below*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row. Dc into the very last stitch.

row 2 : ch3 (it counts as the first dc) and turn your work. Ch 1 and do 1 puff stitch into the dc stitch below. *Skip the next two stitches and do 1 dc into the next one (it should be the dc below), ch 1 and puff stitch into the same stitch below*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the row. Dc into the top ch below which counted as the first dc.

Keep repeating row1-row2 until you reach the desired length for your scarf. I did it for a total of 155 rows.

At this time I wanted to customize a bit my scarf by attaching some fringes at the ends of it. I never tried it before and I was so happy to learn a new technique and apply it to my brand new scarf.

Start taking a square shape which will define the size of your fringe. I took a simple notebook and started wrapping my thread around it.

The times you wrap your thread will vary the size and the chunkiness of your fringe. Since my scarf is very light and it is for spring outfits, I thought big fringes just didn’t suit it, so I wrapped my thread 5 times. Then cut your strands and fold them in half to form a loop at one end.

Take your hook and insert it into the stitch you want to place your fringe in and draw the loop through that stitch.

Yarn over the loose ends of your yarn and pull everything out.

That’s it!! I am sure you are really going to have fun doing that. I found it very relaxing to do while watching a movie  !!!!

Now my scarf is ready to be carried around and taken out every time I am out with friends, tasting the first summer nights out and a fresh breeze catches us by surprise.

I really hope you like this pattern. I found it a nice alternative to infinity scarves, which are the only ones I have made since I am crocheting. Plus, I was really proud to have learned how to attach fringes to crochet projects. It's a very useful technique you can apply even for blankets, vests or bags! Let me know if you are going to try your hands at this project too! I love you all and see you to the next post..byeee!

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Mummy, baby…& me scarf

Few months ago, I happened to know a nice coincidence that links my colleague to her daughter. They were born on the same day, obviously in different years. So while my colleague is happily enjoying her thirties, her daughter blew out her first candle. My colleague set a wonderful b-day party hoping to make that day unforgettable for her and her baby. I wanted to contribute in making their day special as well, so I thought to gift them with matching mummy and baby scarves.

mummyscarfbaby-scarfscarvesSince my colleague is a very sporty type, I wanted an easy to pair color and this blue jeans yarn from Rugby (colour n.14) was just the perfect match. I have used 3 and a half balls (350 grams) and my 8 mm crochet hook.

yarnsFor the toddler scarf, instead, I used some yarn left from my Valerie scarf I really love the creamy color of this yarn and the fact that is extremely soft , antiallergic and delicate on baby skin. For it I used less than a ball and my trusty 6 mm hook.

Here are the patterns I made up for these beautiful scarves. They are very simple, and considering that I ended them in less than a week working on them only in the evening after work, I may say they are really quick.

Mummy scarf

For this pattern we are going to need an even number of chains. I made a foundation of 150 chains

row 1: ch1, 1 hdc into the second ch from the hook, *ch1, skip the chain below , 1hdc into the next chain*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row.

row2-18 : ch1 and turn your work. *Ch 1, skip the stitch below and do 1hdc into the next ch 1 space*. Repeat from * to* until the end of the row. Sc into the very last stitch

Once you are happy with the fitting of your scarf, join the two ends of it and start sewing them. Now your scarf should be ready to be wrapped around your neck and keep you extra warm!!!

Baby scarf

Begin your project by making a foundation of 146 chains. It may seem a little weird the fatc that for both the mummy and the baby scarf, the number of initial chains is almost the same, but it’s only due to the fact that the yarn we use for the toddler scarf is thiner .

row 1: ch1, 1 hdc into the second ch from the hook, *ch1, skip the chain below , 1hdc into the next chain*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row.

row2-12 : ch1 and turn your work. *Ch 1, skip the stitch below and do 1hdc into the next ch 1 space*. Repeat from * to* until the end of the row. Sc into the very last stitch

My colleague really liked their matching gift and her baby too, since she kept moving her head toward, proudly taking all the compliments of the party guests.

It’s been a long time since I haven’t made something for myself as well. For years my knit like infinity scarf it’s been my daily winter accessory but I really wanted a renewing. This is why I decided to crochet the ‘mummy scarf’ even for myself using this beautiful dusty rose yarn from Rugby.

my-scarfI really love the color of this yarn and was surprised to see how versatile it is. It matches perfectly my brownish coat and I think it will look adorable even with a giant, oversized neutral cardigan for more springy outfits.

me2mevalerioI am so proud of how these gifts turned out and the happiness on my colleague’s face when she received them was just priceless. She really liked the idea of her and her baby walking around , wearing the same accessory. For sure now they’ll have even something more to share together.

Anyway talking about sharing and coincidences, I have a similar story too since I share my birth date with my grandpa. Do you have similar stories too and do you think there’s some kind of explanation between them? I am really curious to know your experiences and opinions, in the meantime I wish you a happy crocheting time and keep tuned since sooner I’ll be sharing my first spring project!!!! Love you all byeeee

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‘Valerie’ infinity scarf

I decided to name this scarf after a person who was very close to me during the most difficult time of my life. Her name is Valeria and she is the daughter of my mum’s best friend. Like me, she is an engineer and a strong woman who made her way through all the challenges and difficulties that life placed before her. One day, we were having a tea at my house and, talking about fashion and other ‘feminine topics’, she told me a warm white scarf was just what was missing into her wardrobe. That immediately rang a bell into my head, since I couldn’t think to any better way to show her all my gratitude for all her support and encouragement, than just making her wish come true.

scarfi

seed-stitch-scarfTo make this scarf, I used 3 balls of the soft Relax yarn in a candid white color and my trusty 6 mm crochet hook. It always get my smile the fact that this yarn is named ‘Relax’, since it is just as Latin people would say ‘ in nomen omen’ , a name that just explains itself.

relax-yarnI wanted to make this scarf very unique, using a pattern I never tried before and that looked light and elegant. Well, looking here and there, I found out it is possible to achieve the beautiful knitted seed stitch look even with crochet and so I went straight for it.

seed-stitchI studied a bit this stitch and after some trials, I understood that the better way to work with it is in rows back and forth. Generally you have seen me work infinity scarves in round , (Infinity scarf , knit-like infinity scarf, infinity bubble scarf) , but this time the only way to make your scarf look exactly the same on both sides is to work it in rows.

To start off , you will need an odd number of chain stitches, then  I chained 171.

row 1:  *1 sc into the second ch from the hook, 1 dc into the next stitch*. Repeat from * to * all the way along.

seed-st-tutorial1row 226: ch1 and turn your work. *Skip one stitch and work 1 sc and 1 dc into the next same stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the row.

seed-st-tutorial2seed-st-tutorial-3Once you have completed, join the two ends of your scarf and start sewing them to form a loop.loop-scarfinfinity-scarfThis scarf will always hold a special place into my heart, since it became for me a symbol of strength, courage and determination. This is the reason why I want to dedicate it to all the ‘super-women’ out there, all the women worlwide who everyday face challenges, but for whom giving up is not an option. To the women who always show their best side even if life shows them its worst. To the women who make mistakes and try to learn from them and improve themselves. To moms, who at the same time are wives and have succesfull career, but they always find the time to lovely kiss their children. A special thought is for all the people who suffered a loss, and always look at the sky with a smile and continue to live their life with enthusiasm, because they know this is how their beloved ones want to see them. This scarf is for all of us heart

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Wheat & Cookie beanies

I call it ‘pom pom mania’ and it affects me everytime I crochet a hat. I can’t help it, I have to put a pom pom on it and this is what I did for my latest winter beanies as well. I made two beanies with two different patterns, one more elaborated and luxurious, the other one easier, quicker and achievable by any crocheter newbies in a flash.   

crochet-beaniesI simply adore how the puff stitch and the front post double crochet combine together to create this beautiful, rich and sophisticated pattern. I also think that the monochrome yarn really helps this stitch to stand out. I decided to call this project thewheat beanie, don’t you think this pattern resembles wheat stalks?

wheat-beanie

To make this beanie I have used a little bit more than 2 balls of Regina yarn in this neutral grey color and my 3.5 mm hook. Actually even if the recommended size for this yarn was a 4.5 mm crochet hook, I used a smaller size so that the stitches didn’t look too loose and the pattern less compact and less visible.

regina-yarnstitch1

I started off by chaining 12 for the band. To give it a ribbed look I followed the pattern below.

row 1: ch1 , sc in the back loop of each stitch along

row 2-84: ch1 and turn your work. Sc in the back loop of each stitch along

Once you are happy with the fitting of your band, join the first and last row with slip stitches and start the body of your beanie.

round 1: chain 2 (building chains) , 88 dc evenly spaced all around the stitches below. Sl st into the first dc.  

From round 2 until your beanie measures approximately 25 – 26 cm keep repeating the pattern in chart.

crochet-weat-patternTo close up the beanie, fasten off your yarn being sure to leave a long tale. Using a yarn needle, go in and out of the last round stitches , and pull it tightly at the end. Here you can watch a useful video about this closing hat technique.

pic2pic3While I was making my second beanie, the more I went on, the more it made me think about a giant cookie with delicious drops of chocolate inside. This is why I called this project the cookie beanie.

cookie-beanieFor it I wanted a more relaxed pattern, the kind you can follow while sipping a warm cup of tea or watching a movie with your family. At the same time I didn’t want it to be trivial, so I went for the easy double crochet stitch alternated here and there with puff stitches.

stitch-2For this beanie I used pure ecological yarn in these beautiful neutral shades of creme-beige which I think make the simple pattern more intriguing. I played with contrast for the puff stitches , making them in a standing out brown color.

bio-yarn2

I started off by chaining 10 for the band.

row 1: ch1 , sc in the back loop of each stitch along

row 2-76: ch1 and turn your work. Sc in the back loop of each stitch along

Join the first and last row with slip stitch and check the fitting of your band.

round 1: chain 2 (building chains) , 81 dc evenly spaced all around the stitches below. Sl st into the first dc. 

round 2: chain 2 (building chains), dc in each stitch around. Sl st into the first dc.

round 3: chain 2 (building chains) , *dc into the next 9 stitches below, then switch color and do 1 puff stitch into the 10th stitch*. Repeat from * to * untile the end of the row. Sl st into the first dc.

round 4: chain 2 (building chains) , *dc into the next 4 stitches below, then switch color and do 1 puff stitch into the 5th stitch*. Repeat from * to * untile the end of the row. Sl st into the first dc.

Keep repeating alternatively rounds 3-4 until your beanie measures 25-26 cm and then close it.

For the beautiful pom pom on top, I used my Clover pom pom maker. In this post you can follow my step by step tutorial on how to use it. It’s ridiculously easy!!

pic5I really love how these two beanies turned out and I must say, they have become my essentials during these days since the weather here in Italy is getting polar..brrrr!!! And what about the weather in your country? Which pattern would you pick for your personal beanie? I can't wait to know and in the meantime I wish you happy and warm crocheting times!!! See you to the next post…byeeee!!!

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Jasmine earrings

Going from summer to fall might be less shocking if you have some accessories to help you say goodbye to hot and bright days and welcome to cooler temperatures and more ‘undressed’ landscapes. Within this spirit, these jasmine earrings are born, and for them I choose these beautiful red and mustard colors which blend so good with all the leeves now standing at the bottom of the trees and the general atmosphere this season of the year creates.

red jasmine earringsmustard jasmine earringsIt was my first time with the jasmine stitch and to learn it, I must say, I had a very good teacher. I followed one of Oana step by step tutorial on youtube . She is a very talented crocheter and in this video she explains perfectly how to work the stitch in round, and how to achieve the final look of the earrings as well. It really couldn’t be easier!

jasmine stitchDSC_5533If learning the jasmine stitch only needed a bit of practice, I think the most difficult part was to make the earrings exactly the same size. It was so funny because for each pair of earrings I had at least three pieces and just tried to pick the two that looked more similar in size. Let me know if you too have the same issue with twin crocheted items  !!!

crochet jasmine stitchWhat I like most about these earrings is their consistency. I am not actually a fan of shaping treatments like using sugar and water or glue and water, so I was really surpised and happy to see they were rigid enough to keep their shape once at the ears.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, let me know if you are going to try the jasmine stitch and the earrings as well. I would like to know also if you are going to make them for yourself or to gift your friends. I will probably give them to my cousin and my sister in law, because we know, the most beautiful part of our art is to share them with others. I wish you a wonderful crocheting time my friends and see you to the next post. Bye!!!!

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The rainbow clutch…

Raffia bags are definetely a must-have accessory during summer times. Whether you carry them on the beach with all your sun products and towels, or use them in a smaller size to style your outfits, they always bring that exotic touch we can’t resist during this time of the year! What I couldn’t resist as well, was the warm and bright mix of color of this beautiful paper raffia from Katia, which was exactly what I was looking for, to create my first and ‘everyday wear’ raffia clutch.

Rainbow clutch

rainbow clutch IIBeing my first time working with raffia, I was really surprised. Against my expectations, even if it is very flat and soft, this material is truly resistant and easy to work with. Two balls were enough to make my clutch and I was able to do it usign my 6 mm hook, switching to my 4 mm hook for the edge.

raffia

The pattern for this project couldn’t be easier! Starting from a foundation chain, the clutch is worked as a long rectangle of basic stitches which we are going to fold properly in three parts to create the body of the bag and its flap. Then, once you have chosen the color of your clutch, start chaining 30+2.

row1 : 1 hdc into the third ch from hook, then hdc in each ch across. (30 st)

row2-38 : ch2 and turn your work. Hdc in each stitch across. (30 st)

stepI

raffia stitchesedging : using a 4 mm hook, make a row of single crochet all the way around our rectangle. Just remember to do 3 sc into the stitch at each corner of our rectangle to keep it flat.

edge

Since I wanted to add a nice detail to my clutch, I took a gold chain about 25 cm long and started joining it to my pattern through a row of single crochet.

gold chain

To close up the little spaces between one stitch and another and prevent stuff inside my purse from falling, I sewed a neutral piece of fabric all along my rectangle shape.

This part may sound a bit intimidating if you have never sewed anything in your life, but don’t be afraid and remember that handmade products don’t need to be perfect ;).

Put your piece of fabric on your rectangle to match it. Insert a neutral cotton thread into your needle and tie a strong knot at the tale. Start going into the fabric first and then into the following stitches including the fabric. Continue repeating that all the way around.

fabricSince crochet purses usually tend to be a bit floppy, I also interposed a cardboard between the raffia rectangle and the fabric to make everything look more rigid and ‘in shape’.

cardboardNow to transform our rectangle into a clutch we need to fold it so that the side of your purse measures about 1/3 of the entire piece length.

foldingTo keep our purse closed we are going to install a magnetic bag clasp not visible on the outside of the clutch. To do that, position one half of the clasp right in the center of your clutch flap and the other half on the corresponding half of your body clutch and sew them in place.

magnetic clasp

endI really feel enthusiastic about my ‘rainbow’ clutch. I love how the colors blend together and create a unique shade that matches perfectly these sunny, warm, summer days. As I am sure this one was my first attemp with raffia, I am sure it won’t be the last, but I’ll use it for sure again maybe for a bigger bag. I hope you guys liked this pattern too, give it a try and stay tuned for the next post…byeeee !!!!

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