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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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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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Stripes & cape…

When I first took a crochet hook into my hands, my dream was being able to create my own pieces of fashion. Even if at the beginning, when all I was able to make were flowers and doilies, this sounded like a quite ambitious project, I didn’t loose my hopes. Little by little, trying and failing, I became more aware of patterns, crocheting techniques, I understood the process of counting, increasing, reducing  and that brought me to today when I am so proud to show you the last arrival into my handmade collection.

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cape1

This beautiful cape is a combination of all my favourite fashion trends ever. The turtleneck is so comfortable, elegant and keeps you warm without wearing any other layers.

The cape has always been one of my favorite accessory. I consider it the final touch to any outfits. You can wear it on a coat during the winter colder days or it looks gorgeous on a shirt during those springy days when you can feel the air getting warmer, but it is still too soon to go out without any layer on.  

My last but not least favorite is the pattern..stripes never go out of fashion! You will notice they have been making their appearance on the fashion runaways since forever. Wheter they are horizontal or vertical, they always add such an energetic feeling to any items.

cape5To make my cape I mixed 3 different colors to create kind of a melange effect. I started with a light black to make the collar and the part approaching the shoulder. I continued with a pale brown, then I added white for a bit of brightness and I ended with brown again. I love how this combination came out!!!

yarn

Don’t you think it's funny that this yarn is branded RELAX ? smiley Anyway I have used it in the following amount :

2 balls of black yarn;

2 balls of brown yarn;

1 ball of white yarn

My trusty 6 mm hook helped me in the adventure. Now take yours and get ready to follow this easy pattern.

Stitches used :

  • chain : ch
  • double crochet : dc
  • half double crochet : hdc 
  • front post double crochet : fpdc
  • back post double crochet : bpdc
  • slip stitch : sl st

With the black yarn start chaining 72 loosely. Making sure not to twist your work join to the first ch with sl st.

Collar

row1: ch3 (it counts as the first dc). 1 dc in each ch around, then sl st to the top of ch 3. (72 sts).  

row2-20:ch2 (it counts as the first hdc). *Fpdc into the next stitch, bpdc into the next one*. Keep repeating from *to* untile the end of the row, then sl st into the top of ch 2. (72 sts)

Body

row1: ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 8 sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (80 sts)

row2: ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 9 sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (88 sts)

row3: ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 10 sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (96 sts)

row4: ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 11 sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (104 sts)

row5: ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 12 sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (112 sts)

row6: ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 13 sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (120 sts)

row7: ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 14 sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (128 sts)

row8: ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 15sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (136 sts)

Fasten off your black yarn and take your brown one

row9: ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 16sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (144 sts)

row10-12: ch2 (it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). 1 hdc in each stitch around, then sl st into the first hdc. (144 sts)

row 13 : ch 2(it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). *2 hdc into the same stitch below, 1 hdc into the next 17sts*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the first hdc. (152 sts)

row14-16: ch2 (it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). 1 hdc in each stitch around, then sl st into the first hdc. (152 sts)

Fasten off your brown yarn and take your white one

row17-25: ch2 (it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). 1 hdc in each stitch around, then sl st into the first hdc. (152 sts)

Fasten off your white yarn and take your brown yarn again

row26-33: ch2 (it doesn’t count as the first half double crochet). 1 hdc in each stitch around, then sl st into the first hdc. (152 sts)

I took advantage of the first day of Spring to wear my cape and go to the park where I took some pictures for you.  

cape3

cape4

Between a picture and another, Valerio and I just stopped in a farm in the countryside and had lunch. This kind of places are called ‘osmiza’ which is a Slovenian word that means eight. Eight are in fact the days these farms can be open and sell their products to the customers. The food was amazing, everything was homemade, we had hardboiled eggs, cheese, meat, ham, cakes and last but not least red wine!

osmizaWe had such an amazing time there, we ate on the porch with a timid warming sun that made the atmosphere around so peaceful and relaxing. There were children playing, guys enjoying their time lying on the lawn, playing cards or other traditional games and a lot of people laughing because of too much wine!! Ahahahah I was totally amazed, so if you ever have the chance to visit the nord-est of Italy, be sure to check these places. It can be a nice way to spend some time far from the city chaos and enjoy nature and its products.

osmizaa3I hope you guys liked this pattern and all this blog post in general. I thought it would be nice to share with you not only my passion for crafts and crochet, but also for life and everything that makes me feel happy and good. I send you an enormous hug and wish you an amazing time with your beloved and..your crochet..see you to the next post, bye heart

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Infinity bubbles scarf…

Nothing is what it seems and there’s a trick even behind this scarf!! If you give a first look at it, you can immediately recognize the bubble texture and think that it’s all thanks to the pop corn stitch. Well, the truth is that the same fluffy texture can be achieved in a way a lot easier and quicker , by simply alternating treble crochet and single crochet stitches.picVIt’s the different size of the two stitches that creates the magic! The treble crochet, a tall stitch, tends to fold on itself when it is between the two smaller single crochet stitches and this is where the puffy look comes from. This technique works better with a bulkier yarn since it will emphasize more the difference between the two stitches used.

picIVTo make this scarf I used 4 balls of Rugby yarn which make a total of 200 gr. I am sorry but I wasn’t able to find an online link for this product, but anyway you can buy any type of yarn with the same features. I chose this intense blue color which I am really into lately and my 8 mm crochet hook.

yarnI

Except for the initial counting, that will give you the size of your scarf, there is no counting at all and this makes the pattern very relaxing and easy to follow.

I love wrapping my scarf at least twice around my neck, then I chained 110. Alternatively keep chaining until your piece will be approximately 140 cm long. Then join the first and last chain making sure your work doesn’t twist.

row1: ch1, *1 sc into the first ch, 1 treble crochet (tr) into the next ch*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row. Sl st into the first ch.

row2: ch4 (it counts as the first tr), *1 sc into the next tr, 1 tr into the next sc*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row. Sl st into the top of the intial ch 4.

row3: ch1, *1 sc into the first tr, 1 tr into the next sc*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row. Sl st into the first ch.

row4-end : keep repeating the sequence row1-row2 until your scarf will be about 22 cm wide.

Then fasten off your yarn.

I took advantage of a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and went to the park near my house where I took some pictures with my new ‘bubble scarf’. Yes, I like to think of this amazing texture as bubbles..isn’t the same for you too?  

picIpicIIpicIIIAt the end of our walk, Valerio and I just took a selfie to send you a big hug and wish you a lovely crocheting time! Byeeee heart

picVI

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Cabled pom-pom hat

Most of my inspiration comes from the word around me and lately I have been attracted by those cute cabled hats with a pom-pom on top. I love their pattern, it makes them so cozy, soft and warm, perfect to accessorize every winter outfit and what to say about pom-poms? They look so funny and always put me in an amazing mood!!

cabled beanie

Looking here and there on the web, I found out it is possible and quite easy to achieve the cabled texture even with a crochet hook. It only takes a bit of practice with front-post and back-post stitches, but once you ‘ve learned the technique you will even be able to design  your own pattern. In my case I went for a classic, a braid cabled pattern to make a hat 21 cm long which fits a head circumference of approximately 55-57 cm.

cabledII

I have used my trusty 6 mm hook and 150 gr of Katia Cotton Merino yarn in this beautiful grey shade. I love the way the grey and white shades blend in with the braided pattern.

yarnII

yarn

The hat is worked in three different parts : the band, the hat itself and the pom-pom.

To make the band we are going to chain 6. Ch1 and single crochet in the back loops of each chain below. Keep repeating this pattern until your band is long enough to fit your head. Since the yarn is going to stretch a bit, a trick that works for me is to measure my head circumference and subtract 3 from that measure. My head circumference measures 57 cm then I did my band 57-3 = 54 cm long. The pattern we are going to make is multiple of 6 then be sure that the final number of rows of the band is a multiple of 6 as well. After 60 rows here is how my band looked like!

band

To close the band join the first and last row with slip stitch.

closing band

For the body of the hat we are going to make an initial row of double crochet. The important thing in this row, as for the rows that follow, is that the initial chains we are going to make, do not count as a first stitch but we will call them ‘building chains’.

For row 1 chain 2 (building chains) and double crochet into the same stitch below. Keep repeating double crochet in each stitch across until you reach the end of the row where you are going to slip stitch into the first double crochet.

dcrow

And now let the cabling start !!! For row 2 chain 2 (building chains) and back-post-double crochet into the same stitch. Back-post-double crochet into the next stitch as well.

Istep

Skip the next two stitches and work a front-post-treble crochet into the third one. Work a front-post-treble crochet into the next stitch as well.

stepII

Now go back and work two front-post-treble crochet into the two stitches you have skipped before. You will see the cabling taking shape!

stepIII

Now continue alternate the pattern back-post-double crochet – cabling until you reach the end of the row where you are going to slip stitch into the first back-post stitch and not the second chain!!!

stepIV

For row 3 , chain 2 (building chains), *back-post double crochet into the next two stitches. Then front-post-double crochet into the next four stitches* as normal, without skipping any stitches below. Keep repeating from *to* until the end of row 3 where you are going to slip stitch into the first back-post stitch.

stepV

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Now keep repeating the sequence of rows 2-3 until you reach the total length you prefer for your hat. I stopped when it measured 21 cm, but you can make it longer if you want a slouchier effect.

DSC_3480

Once you have reached your desired length, fasten off your yarn leaving a long tale which we are going to use to close the hat at the top. We will just go in and out of the last stitches with a yarn needle and then we will pull it tightly. Here is an useful video on how to make this step.

DSC_3486

Finally it’s time to make the pom-pom! For this step you have different options, you can make pom-poms by using your hands cardboards disks or even a fork. But this time I went for the easiest way and taking advantage of the Christmas holidays I made myself a gift and  bought a pom-pom maker.

DSC_3470

My pom-pom maker is from Clover. The package contains two tools, one with a smaller diameter for smaller pom-poms and one for bigger ones. I wanted my pompon really to stand out on my hat, so I decided to use the one with a bigger diameter.

Using this pompom maker is really easy. When you open it you will see two arches taking shape. Let’s start wrapping a yarn thread around the first arch for about 100 times. Once you have completed the first arch close it and continue wrapping yarn on the second arch. Once you have done with the second arch too, take a scissor and start cutting the yarn in the middle of both arches. You can see your pompom coming out !! Now take a yarn thread quite long and tie couple of knots in the middle to secure your pompom. Open your pompom maker and voilà here you have it, a nice and well-shaped pompon ready to be attached on the top of your hat !!!!

pompom

DSC_3512

I really adore how this hat came out and that pom pom on top is simply irresistible!! Don't you think the same? I hope you guys like this pattern too and let me know how was dealing with cabling and if you also tried to design a new pattern. I love you all and see you to the next post…bye heart

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Cozy capelet | Red Heart Yarn

Even though I know for sure that winter is not my season, I don’t like to walk around wrapped like a chunky ‘snow-woman’. I like to feel pretty and glamorous even in those days when the air outside is like the frozen foods aisle at the grocery store or the wind is so strong and cold that it seems you can start flying at any moment. Even then, the piece of clothing I cannot give up on wearing is my coat and since we know it is not the warmest thing you can put on when outside is snowing, I decided to combine it with a cozy capelet to keep me warmer.

crochetcapelet

capelet

To make the capelet, I used two balls of Tropicallane yarn which made in total 400 gr of yarn. I chose this intense blue color with red and green shades in it. I think it matches perfectly my red coat!

yarn front

yarn backI used my 6 mm hook for the body of the capelet and a 4.5 mm hook for the cowl. The pattern I followed is here below and it is a free pattern available on Red Heart Yarn website. 

pattern1

pattern2

Keep in mind that the pattern is multiple of 3 +3 chains. This means that if you want your capelet look longer you are going to crochet an initial number of chain of 30+3 or 33+3 etc.

As you might have noticed, I also used smaller hooks than the ones suggested in the pattern and this caused me some adjustments to it. In fact I kept repeating the sequence of rows 3-4 until the capelet was long enough to wrap my shoulders. The cowl looked perfect to me after 7 rows as from the pattern.

cozycapeThe stitches you need to know or practice before starting this project are the front-post-double-crochet (fpdc) and the back-post-double-crochet (bpdc). No panic ladies! It was my first attempt with those stitches too and with a bit of exercise everything went out well. Basically the stitches are worked like a regular double crochet but it is the place where you insert your hook which makes all the difference.

For the front-post-double-crochet, make a first row of regular double crochet and turn your work. Then chain 2 (it counts as your first double crochet), yarn over and insert your hook from front to back between the posts of the double crochet stitch below. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the post. Yarn over and go through the two loops on the hook, twice.

tutorialfpdcFor the back-post-double-crochet, chain 2 (it counts as your first double crochet), yarn over and insert your hook from back to front between the posts of the double crochet stitch below. Yarn over and pull the yarn through the post. Yarn over and go through the two loops on the hook, twice.

bpdctutorialI really like the texture given by the front-post and back-post stitches. I also like the contrast between the way they are worked for the body (horizontally) and how they are for the collar (vertically). It is such a great combination! 

cozycapeletIILet me know guys if you like this pattern too and if maybe you are going to use it to gift someone during Christmas Holidays…A big kiss to everyone and see you to the next post…bye XX

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Easy chunky shrug…

I have been crocheting for a while, but until now, except for some accessories like scarves and hats, I never tried to make something I can actually wear and use as a fashion piece. I thought it was too difficult and it required much more experience and skills. That turned out to be wrong when, searching on-line for some directions, I run into the Lion Brand free pattern called “ simple shrug” and I was incredibly surprised at how simple and easy it was instead. It only took few days for me to have my cozy shrug done and I couldn’t resist to try it on and enjoy it during the last sunny autumn days.

easy shrug1

easyshrug2

easyshrug3The shrug is worked as a big rectangle folded in half, sewing its sides to create the arm holes. Could you think of something easier than that? Since I wanted a softer texture, I worked my shrug holding two strands of yarn together and to give it a nice ribbing look I worked in the back loops only.ribbinglook

Choosing the color for my shrug was the most difficult part of all the work, but at the end I went for a white yarn to make it combinable with most of my outfit.

 What you’ll need :

  • 800 gr of Nordika yarn in a white color
  • 12 mm crochet hook
  • 6 mm crochet hook
  • scissors

ProvaHolding two strand of yarn together, the first step is to make the foundation chain. Remember that the initial number of chains will be the length of your shrug (from your shoulder to your waste). In my case I chained 50 for a total length of approximately 25’’ (63 cm).

row1 : ch1, sc in the back loops all the way around.

row2-end : ch1 and turn your work, sc in the back loops all along.

Keep repeating row 2 until your piece measures approximately 30’’ (77 cm). Remember that the number of rows will affect the width of your shrug, meaning that adding rows you will have a longer sleeves shrug, reducing them you will have shorter sleeves.measuresOnce you have your rectangle ready, fold it in half paying attention to the fact that your rows run vertically, otherwise your shrug will be very short and wide. For the arm holes, make 10 sc into the two shorter sides of your rectangle and once you have done turn it inside out.foldedshrugTo finish my shrug, I used my 6mm hook to add four edging rows of sc worked into the back loops as well.crochetshrug

baackshrugTo be my first attempt, I am really proud of how my shrug came out. It fits me perfectly and it looks exactly the way I expected. There are also so many ways in which you can customize it, like you can make it using a single thread, you can add more edging rows and create a warm collar on your shrug or you can add some edging rows to the arm holes too. I hope you guys like this pattern too because I am already thinking about making a new one on a different color! Happy crocheting my dear and see you to the next post…bye XX.

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Chunky laptop sleeve

I bought my new laptop about four years ago, after my first PC, a gift for my 18th birthday, crashed on the floor and was irremediably broken. Since then I promised to treat the new one very carefully, to protect it from bumps and scratches, keep its screen clean and update regularly its software. Unfortunately I can’t help it…when it comes to technology I am everything but careful! I use to carry my laptop in my shopping bag without any sleeve, it tastes all my sandwiches and coffee, the wires of its charger and mouse are always insanely tangled and it is better not to talk about the fingerprints and the dust on the screen! However, I decided to make an effort and try to make our life together less shocking for my device, crocheting a special gift just for ‘him’.

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The pattern for this sleeve is very easy and effortless. After having counted the initial chains all you have to do is keeping crocheting in a round until you reach the total length of your laptop.

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The number of your basic chain depends on the width of your device, for mine, a 13 inch laptop, I had to chain 60 using a 3 mm hook.

row1 : ch1, sc in the next 59 st, 3 sc into the 60th st. Sc on the other side of the initial chains and 3 sc into the last ch. Sl st into the first ch.

At the end of row1 your work should look like an oval shape.

row2 -end : ch1, 2 sc into the next st, *skip 1 st and 2 sc into the next one*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row then sl st into the first ch.

edging : ch1, crab st all the way around. Sl st into the first ch.

DSC_3123

To make my sleeve look more precious I added a nice silver charm. I think it looks very elegant and fine and it matches perfectly the grey color of the yarn.

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Now my laptop is finally ready to be carried around wondering a little bit less about getting bumped. I hope you too like this pattern, it is very easy and relaxing to make. By simply adjusting the basic number of chains this pattern will also work perfectly for other devices like your tablet or smartphone. Give it a try and let me know how it turned out! Happy crocheting my dear and see you to the next post. XX

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