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Puff stitch cowl

You can tell fall is here!! That fresh air early in the morning, the even chillier nights, the warm cup of tea that makes you good company on your sofa while watching a movie, maybe with a blanket on your legs. All that makes the perfect combination to start playing with yarn again after the summer break. My welcome to the new fall season, is this beautiful puff stitch cowl. To make this cowl, I have used 3 skeins of KATIA MERINO ARAN yarn (100 gr each), in the shade number 11. I love this neutral color, it is so versatile and I love even more the fact that the yarn is washable in a washing machine, which is really useful and reassuring, since I am always scared when it comes to wash my yarn items.My best ally, my 6mm crochet hook, helped me to make the job done!

The pattern for this cowl is very easy, it is worked in rounds and it uses the crochet puff stitch. Let’s begin by chaining 90 as your foundation chain. Then slip stitch into the very first chain, creating a loop and being sure your work doesn’t twist.

To create your first puff stitch, extend the loop it creates on your hook

To work a puff stitch yarn over, insert the hook into the same stitch below and draw up a loop (you have 3 loops on your hook), yarn over insert the hook into the same stitch and draw up a loop 2 times more. Now you should have 7 loops on your hook

Yarn over and draw the yarn through all loops on the hook. Then chain 1. Skip the very next stitch and work the second puff stitch into the next stitch

Keep repeating this pattern, until you reach the end of your round, when you’ll slip stitch to the top of the first puff stitchNow slip stitch to the chain one space

Extend the loop on your hook as you did before and work the first puff stitch of your second round. Once worked the puff stitch, chain one, skip the very next stitch below and work a puff stitch into the chain one spaceI repeated this pattern for 33 rounds in total and here is what I got in the end

I love the clean and elegant texture the puff stitches give to my cowl. I am also really satisfed with the size it came out, since I wanted it to wrap cozily but also quite tight around my neck. For a looser fitting around your neck, just increase the initial number of chains, remembering that the pattern is multiple of two.

This cowl is so versatile, see how nice it looks on a denim jacket!!

Last weekend the weather was quite windy here in Trieste then what a better occasion to wear my new cowl? It kept me super warm and it looks amazing with my everyday outfit! I also love how it drapes around my neck.

I really love how my puff stitch cowl turned out . It is such a unique piece and I am sure I will wear it almost everyday with the colder weather. I hope you guys liked that pattern too and let me know on social (facebook, twitter, instagram) if you’ll give it a try. Meanwhile I wish you a happy crocheting time and stay tuned for more patterns coming soon!! Byeeee !!!!!

Crochet trousse purse

How many times it happens to you to waste a lot of time looking for that lipstick you harriedly threw into your bag? I am that kind of person and my bags always look like those magic black boxes where you never know what you can find inside. Since September is my good resolutions setting month, I decided to break this trend being more organized and thought that having a cute accessory could help me on this purpose.

For this project, I used some raphia I had left from my previous rainbow clutch  and round bag projects , which are respectively the shade 53 and 52 of Katia Raphia collection. I think raphia is perfect for this project and in general for handmade purse and bag, since it is resistant and rigid enough to give shape to them.

To begin your work, grab your 6mm hook and chain 18 as your foundation row.

For round1, make 1 hdc into the second chain from the hook and then in each stitch along. Once you reach the last chain of your foundation row, make 3 hdc into that chain.

Now rotate the work and keep doing hdc until you reach the first st of your foundation row. Into the very last st make 2 hdc and the sl st into the very first chain.

The oval bottom of our purse is taking shape.

rounds2-9: ch2(they count as the first hdc), 1 hdc into each stitch below. At the end of the round , slip stitch into the second chain.

The big purse is worked the same way, the only changes are the initial number of chain I made, which was 25 and the total number of rounds I made which was 10.

As you can see, by simply changing the initial number of your foundation chain row and the total number of worked rounds, you can customize your purse.

To make my purses more functional, I sewed  on top of them a zipper, and to give them more personality I also attached at the zipper a cute tassel. How cute do they look?

I can’t wait to carry these beautiful purses into my everyday bag. I think I’ll put my essential make, as lipstick, mascara, blush, into the biggest purse, while all my document and cards will fit perfectly into the small one. These purses are perfect for travel as well. In november Valerio and I are planning a week end trip and I am sure I’ll bring them with me.

I hope you too like these purses and let me know if you are going to give them a try. I would love to see how far your creativity goes with them and all your customizations. Meanwhile I wish you the most wonderful crocheting times and stay tuned for more projects coming soon. Byeeee!!!!!

Raphia round bag

They have been a fashion trend for years. My mum told me, her aunt used to make raphia bags for her and her sisters when they were young. When I was a teenager, I remember raphia bags were very popular used as beach bags. They usually had a rectangular shape, wood handles and sometimes they were embellished with ruffled edging pieces of furniture. Summer season 2018, raphia bags fill the shops’ windows again. This time they come in a round shape, neutral colors, leather handles and tassels or pompoms to make everything look more funny and summery. Raise your hand if you crocheter, looking at them , you haven’t tought about making one yourself too. I did and this is what came out.

I fell in love with the beautiful colors of Katia Raphia in the shade 52. I loved its warm nuances, they are so versatile that can be paired with everyday looks. My trusty 6mm crochet hook, was by my side to make the magic happen.

The general pattern consists on working two shells, identical, joined along their circumference and leaving an opening to install the zipper. Personally I don’t like openwork patterns for bags, this is why I chose to use the single crochet stitch which looks quite tight and gives also some rigidity and shape to the work.

I chose the single crochet stitch to give my bag a thight look and a quite rigid shape.

To begin the pattern, into a magic loop work 8 single crochet. Then, slip stitch into the first stitch.

round1 : ch2. Make 2 sc into each stitch below. Repeat until the end of the round, then sl st into the first st. (16 sts)

round2 : ch2. *Make 1 sc into the stitch below, then make 2sc into the very next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first st. (24 sts)

round3 : ch2. *Make 1 sc into the next two stitches, then make 2sc into the very next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first st. (32 sts)

round4 : ch2. *Make 1 sc into the next three stitches, then make 2sc into the very next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first st. (40 sts)

round5 : ch2. *Make 1 sc into the next four stitches, then make 2sc into the very next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first st. (48 sts)

round6 : ch2. *Make 1 sc into the next five stitches, then make 2sc into the very next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first st. (56 sts)

round7 : ch2. *Make 1 sc into the next six stitches, then make 2sc into the very next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first st. (64 sts)

round8 : ch2. *Make 1 sc into the next seven stitches, then make 2sc into the very next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first st. (72 sts)

round9 : ch2. *Make 1 sc into the next eight stitches, then make 2sc into the very next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round, then sl st into the first st. (80 sts)

round10 : ch2. Make 1 sc into each stitch below. Repeat until the round, then sl st into the very first stitch. (80 sts)

From round11 to round15 we are going to work the widht of our bag.

round11 : ch2. Make 1 back post single crochet into each stitch below. Repeat until the round, then sl st into the very first stitch. (80 sts).

round12-15 : ch2. Make 1 single crochet into each stitch below. Repeat until the round, then sl st into the very first stitch. (80 sts).

round16: ch2. Make 1 single crochet into the next 60 stitches.

round17: ch2 and turn your work. Make 1 single crochet into the 60 stitches below.

Make another piece following the same identical pattern.

Once you have both sides of your bag done, sew them together along the last 60 stitches round.

Install the zipper on the opening on the top of your bag.

As handles, I applied a shoulder strap, since I love messenger bags. The application was super easy. The strap had two clasps and I simply inserted them into the stitches pattern and released. I just added a cute tassel as my little personal touch.

I am super super happy with how my raphia bag came out, I couldn’t be more proud of it. I feel really enthusiastic to have been able to make myself this cute fashion piece so trendy and popular right now. It is so beautiful and functional. Even the size is perfect since it holds all my everyday essentials. I also love the contrast between raphia and leather, it really makes the bag stand and gives it more personality.

I hope you too like this pattern and can’t wait to give it a try as well! Let me know and in the meantime I wish you the best crocheting times ever. I love you all, bye!!!

Stool makeover

I have been thinking to give this old stool a new life for a while.

I found it in the rental apartment I am living right now. It was in the bathroom used as soap and bath products holder. But I saw a great potential in it and with a nice covering piece, I transformed it in a comfy stool for my living room space.

This idea was actually born because of me and Valerio fighting for the chair we usually use as stool, everytime we are on the sofa watching a movie. He is always so reluctant to share his raising legs pleasure that I created one mine personal !!

To make this stool cover, I used two balls of T-shirt yarn, in a bright white color and my 12 mm crochet hook.

The pattern I made up is very simple. It is worked in round, increasing the stitches until it is needed to cover the stool circumference and then, working few rounds with no increases for the edgind.

To begin, just make 6 sc into a magic loop

round 1 : ch2, 2 sc into eact stitch below (12 sts)

round 2 : ch2, *2 sc into the very first st below, 1 sc into the next stitch*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the round (18 sts).

round 3 : ch2, *2 sc into the very first st below, 1 sc into the next 2 sts*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round (24 sts)

round 4 : ch2, *2 sc into the very first st below, 1 sc into the next 3 sts*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round (30 sts)

round 5 : ch2, *2 sc into the very first st below, 1 sc into the next 4 sts*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round (36 sts)

round 6 : ch2, *2 sc into the very first st below, 1 sc into the next 5 sts*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round (42 sts)

round 7 : ch2, *2 sc into the very first st below, 1 sc into the next 6 sts*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round (48 sts)

To begin the edge we are going to ch2 and then make 1 sc into the very next stitch below. Now point your hook into the next stitch of the previous round and make another single crochet.

Repeat until the end of the round, then slip stitch into the second chain we made at the beginning.

For round 2, chain 2, then point your hook into the very next stitch of your previous round and make 1 sc, then point your hook into your last round and make 1sc into the next stitch below. Repeat until the end of the round and until you have 4 rounds in total.

To attach the cover on my stool, I cut 4 strands of t-shirt yarn of about 50cm each. I folded them in half and inserted them into 4 stitches of the very last edging round.

Here is a close up of how I simply inserted the strands under the last round stitches.

I am so proud of how this project came out.  Now, I can’t wait for the evening to come and sit on my sofa, watching a movie and relaxing my legs on the stool I created myself. I am actually so jealous of it that I don’t share it with anybody not even with Valerio!! It is a super easy and quick project to make, also perfect for summer considering  it uses T-shirt yarn. I hope you too like this pattern, I can’t wait to see your own version and in the meantime I wish you happy summer time and happy crochet!! Byeee

Granny squares pillow

Spring is blooming everywhere around. Cherry trees are showing their beautiful, delicate pink flowers while fragrant roses decorate and perfume all gardens. Strawberries, apricots, peaches are making their first appearance after the cold, monochrome winter and it feels like all nature around revives. I wanted to bring this general rebirth also in my home, making something that cozes the environment and brings color and brightness at the same time. This is how my granny pillow came out. Don’t you think that the yellow color in the pattern resembles some little, cute daffodils?

While I was working on it, I realized it was my first time with a granny pattern. Before that, I have only read some posts about this technique and how it may be a bit annoying joining all the squares at the end. Well, considering that I only made 12 of them, I handled the stress 🙂 !!With the season changing, it also changed the texture of the material I used. For this project, I went for  Katia  Monaco Yarn in the shade 16 (yellow color) and 25 (light grey color), and a 3.5 mm hook. This yarn is perfect for spring/summer projects !

Here is the pattern I followed for my granny squares. I found it on the internet and just to give it more personality, I added one round and decided to create a contrast by making the first one in a different and brighter color than the others.

My pillow form measured about 50×30 cm and for it I liked the idea of a case with two different faces, one with the granny pattern and the other in a simple, bright yellow double crochet pattern.

For the ‘granny face’, I made 12 squares. Once you have done them, it is time to join them  togheter. You’ll see that the front face and the back face of your granny square look different.

To start joining them, put your squares front face to front face and single crochet along one side.

When you unfold the two squares, this is the look you are going to see.

Repeat this procedure until you have three strands of 4 squares each.

Now put two strands front face to front face and single crochet along one side. Repeat the same procedure with the last strand and that’s it! You have done your front pillow face.

To start making the back face, let’s attach the yellow yarn on the last row of the grannies and single crochet in each stitch below.

At the end of your first row, make 3 single crochet and turn your work. Double crochet in each stitch below. Repeat this pattern until you are able to cover all the back face of your pillow. In my case that was done after 26 rows.

Then I joined the two short sides of my pillow case together , while on the third size I sewed a zipper, since I thought this can be more convenient all the times I feel to wash the case, instead of unstitch it.

As you can see, to complete the look and give my pillow a nice oriental touch, I applied tassels at the corners. Don’t they look so cute!!!

I used my pillow to decorate this cute bench, with shoes storage underneath, I have right in the entry way of my apartment. I wanted to create a cozy corner to welcome everyone who is coming inside my home and also a comfy place where I can wear my shoes before leaving the house. I feel enthusiastic about how it came out!  

I hope you guys like this pattern and let me know if you too think that pillows and cushions give a cozy look to spaces and make them more warm and homey. Also let me know if are familiar with granny projects or this pattern will be your first time with this technique too. I can’t wait to see your version of this pattern and how you will use it to decorate your place. See you to the next post…bye !!!

Crochet heart socks

The feeling of cold feet? It is not for me, thanks. Warm socks are what make me go through winter, I literally live in them all season long. Whether I am at home or in bed, or watching a movie on the sofa, you will always find me with a cozy and comfy pair of socks at my feet. Even if they are very popular among knitters and crocheters, I have never tried them before. Anyway the thought of wearing wool socks, handmade by me, pushed me to take the chance of making them right away!!

I am super happy with how my first pair of socks came out and I am even happier because, together with the crochet socks technique, I also tried my hands at the tapestry crochet technique. If you are wondering what tapestry crochet means, this is a crocheting technique which consists in using several colors of yarn at the same time and changing them to create beautiful and colorful motifs and graphs. At a first look, this technique may look a bit difficult and tricky, but you will see that it’s all about getting the rhythm of the color changes. HERE you can find a useful video tutorial about this new technique and for those of you who prefer written instructions, HERE is the link to an easy tutorial made by RED HEART YARN.

Amongst the variety of patterns and graphs you can choose, I found the heart pattern the easiest to follow. I personally was inspired by this pattern I found on internet. Just remember that each square represent a single crochet.

About the yarn, I went for KATIA CONCEPT GOBI LACE, which is a 73% vergin wool and 27% elastic fibers. I found it to be the perfect mix to give my socks the right amount of elasticity especially in the cuffs zone.

Each ball is 25 grams and 160 meters long; so I only needed two red balls in the shade 107 for the body of my socks and one white ball , in the shade 100 to make the heart graph.

The pattern I made out for these socks will fit a 37-39 size foot and it is worked using a 3.5mm crochet hook.

To get started, let’s make 6 sc into a magic circle.

round 1: ch1, make 2sc into each stitch below. (12 sts)

round 2: ch1, *1 sc into the same stitch below, 2 sc into the next stitch*. Repeat from  * to * until the end of the round. (24 sts)

round 3: ch1, *1 sc into the next two stitches below, 2 sc into the next stitch*. Repeat from * to* until the end of the round (36 sts)

round 4: ch1, *1 sc into the next three stitches below, 2 sc into the next stitch*. Repeat from * to * until the end of the round. (42 sts)

This is how your work will look like at the end of round 4.

round 5: ch1, 1 sc in each stitch around (42 sts)

rounds 6-37: ch1, 1 sc in each stitch around (42 sts)

To make the heel we are going to work in rows back and forth.

row 38: ch1, 1sc into the same stitch below, 1 sc into the next 20 stitches. (21 sts)

rows 39-53: 1sc and turn your work. Make 1 sc into the next stitches below. (21 sts)

To close the heel, we are going to turn on the outside the part just worked and make a row of single crochet into the last row stitches.

From round 54 to round 57 (4 rounds in total) we are going to work single crochet all the way around, except in the angle area where in each round we are going to work a decrease by making two single crochet closed together. At the end of my 57th round I had 48 stitches.

From round 58 to round 70 I worked the tapestry heart by simply following the pattern I showed you. Just note that the pattern repetition is multiple of 15, while we have a total of 48 stitches around. This means that between one pattern repetition and the other I made a single crochet.

If we call “A” the red yarn and “B” the white yarn, the first round of tapestry would be:

round 58: ch1, *1 sc into the next sticth (A color), 7 sc in the next stitches (A color), 1 sc into the next stitch (B color), 7 sc into the next stitches below (A color)*. Repeat from * to *  until the end of the round.

Here is a picture with the tapestry pattern going on

At the end of round 70 we are going to end our project by making the cuffs.

round 71 : ch1, 1 sc in each stitch around (48 sts)

round 72 : ch2, 1 dc in each stitch around (48 sts)

round 73-76 : ch2, 1 front post double crochet into the same stitch below, 1 back post double crochet into the next stitch. Repeat from *to* until the end of the round (48 sts)

I really love the ribbing look you can achieve by alternating front post and back post double crochet. It almost looks like knitted.

Right foot and left foot are worked the exact same way.

Considering that this is the first pair of socks I made, I feel really proud of how they came out. They look super cute and the heart details, they are just so me! I am also really happy I had the chance to experiment tapestry crochet. It is such a creative technique which gives so much options to customize your handmade items. I hope you too like this project and will try this pattern as well. Let me know if you are going to try tapestry crochet too and how you customize your own pair of socks.

Braided earwarmer

Earwarmers are being very popular during this winter season. They represent a cute alternative to beanies and hats, especially for all those days when you feel to wear your hair up but you don’t want to give up on warmth and coziness. Among the variety of types and patterns fashion proposes, I decided to create myself the braided kind. I really love their texture and the romantic as well as bohoo look they give to all your outfits and styles.

The pattern for this accessory is ridiculously easy and quick, that you’ll be able to end it in an hour or so. Also, since it doesn’t require a great amount of yarn, it is a great pattern for leftover yarns. I only needed 70 grams of some mustard color yarn I had stored in my ‘yarn keeper basket’ and my 4.5 mm crochet hook.

I didn’t want my earwarmer to be too oversized around my head, on the contrary I wanted it to look more stretchy and well fitting. So after many trials and frogs I came up with the right amount of initial chains number, 85.

row1 : ch2, 1 sc in the third ch from hook. then work 1sc in each stitch below

rows2-6: ch2 and turn your work. 1sc into the back loop only of each stitch below

row7: ch2 and turn your work. Work 1 sc in the next 3 st below. Ch 79. Finally work 1 sc into the last 3 st below

row8: ch2 and turn your work. 1sc in each stitch below

rows9-13: ch2 and turn your work. 1sc into the back loop only of each stitch below

row14: ch2 and turn your work. Work 1 sc in the next 3 st below. Ch 79. Finally work 1 sc into the last 3 st below

row15: ch2 and turn your work. 1sc in each stitch below

rows16-20: ch2 and turn your work. 1sc into the back loop only of each stitch below

At the end of row 20 you’ll have three strands of yarn ready to be braided.

A three strands braid is the basic and easiest kind of braid you can make. To achieve the look start to cross the right strand over to the center

Now take the left strand and cross it over to the center

Take again the right strand and cross it over to the center as well

Keep repeating these easy steps and you'll see your braid take shape

While braiding you will see that the ends tend to twist a bit, but I noticed that they unravel by themselves after the second braiding step.

Once you have done braiding, simply close the earwarmer in a circle and sew the ends together.

I really love how the mustard color brings such a pop of color on grey winter days. I also made another earwarmer in a more versatile, neutral and everyday color.

Here are my earwarmers together and I simply adore this beautiful color combination. Don't you agree with me?I am very proud of how this project came out. Earwarmers are very trendy lately and I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I can combine something traditional like the art of crochet with the latest fashion trends.

I hope you guys like this pattern and have fun making your own earwarmer. You can try the basic three strands braid or if you are familiar with braiding techniques, you can even try to make a four or five strands crochet braided earwarmer. Tag me on facebook , twitter , if you are going to use this pattern, I would love to see your version of these cabled earwarmers. Happy braiding time to everyone and see you to the next post!!

Snow white|Crochet ribbed beanie

Until now I have always made my pom poms using the Clover pom pom maker, but lately I saw faux fur pom poms are being very popular. You can see them used in thousand ways, as keyrings or charms for bags, as edging for long scarves and of course on top of chunky beanies. As a pom pom lover, I couldn’t help following this fashion trend, which inspired me to create such a basic, still cute accessory for the next winter season.

To make this beanie I used some Relax yarn I had left from my previous Valerie infinity scarf and I must say it was such a great choice since I was able to end my project using only a ball of yarn. Besides being cheap, which is always a plus for crochet projects, this pattern is also super quick and easy. Even a newbie knowing only the basic stitches can follow it without any problems.

Even if the recommended size for my yarn was a 6 mm crochet hook, I have used a 4.5mm size in order to get a more defined ribbed look and also a stretchy texture.

I started by chaining 46 and remember that the initial number of stitches you crochet will define the length of your beanie.

row1 : ch1 and turn your work. 1 sc in each stitch along.

row2-32 : ch1 and turn your work. Sc in the back loop of each stitch along.

At the end of row 32 leave a long tale to close up the beanie. Using a yarn needle start going in and out of each stitch along the short side of your rectangle shape. Then pull it tightly and you’ll see your beanie take shape.

Now we need to close the body of our beanie. To bring closer the edge of my beanie I used the clover stitch markers and then, I simply started sewing along.

Once you have done, just fold the lower part of your beanie for about 4cm to create this beautiful band edging.

Since the edging looked a bit unfinished, I also made a row of reverse single crochet all the way around to complete the look.

My beautiful long faux fur pom pom is from Cowling Country Crafts Etsy shop. I really liked this shop, it provides a great selection of fur pom poms in different sizes and different colors and shades.

Sandra the owner, has been very professional. I had my product delivered in only few days and I also appreciated the padded mailing envelope my pom pom came in. It showed care even if there was only a pom pom inside.

For my ‘snow white’ beanie, I chose the color ‘Autumn Mink’ , since I loved how the beautiful darker tips blended with the beige neutral color of the pom pom.

Looking for this kind of pom poms, my main question was about how to apply them. ‘Should I sew them or what?’, I kept asking to myself. Well, I was very surprised to find out they come with an automatic closure at their bottom, which makes the assembly easier than I thought.I really love the chunky look of my beanie. The soft rim makes it so comfortable to wear around the head, also the close pattern makes it super warm and cozy. I really think this is the warmest beanie I have ever made, perfect for the freezing winter days especially if you have to stay outside for long time.

I put it on for a walk through the Christmas market and had fun posing for some pics with all the lights and Christmas trees, enjoying the magical atmosphere of these weeks.

I hope you guys like this pattern too. Let me know if you are going to use it for Christmas gifts or for yourself. Let me know also if you are familiar with faux fur pom poms or if you use a different technique to make them. Meantime I wish you a happy crocheting time and see you to the next post…bye!!!!