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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 !!!!!

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!!!!

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 !!!!

Slouchy beanie for man

I’ve lost count of all the times my boyfriend asked me to make something for him! Mainly what kept me from doing it was the fear that a crochet item, even if for a man, would always look a bit feminine. At the end, the back post double crochet stitch came to my aid and vanished all my fears. Here is what I got from alternating double crochet and back post double crochet stitches…a slouchy beanie with a nice ribbing look, not too fancy, not too simple, but sporty and perfect for our boys!!

slouchybeanie

DSC_3642

I have used 3 balls of Filatura di Crosa Charly yarn and my trusted 6 mm hook, an essential for every winter project. To give my beanie more personality I chose to use two shades of  grey, a darker one for the band and a lighter one for the body of the beanie.

beanieIIThe pattern to follow for this hat is really easy, relaxing and totally beginner-friendly. It starts with chaining 6 to make the band.

row1-end : ch1 and turn your work. Sc in the back loops of each stitch along.

My trick to give the band the perfect fit is to measure the head of the person who is gonna wear the beanie and subtract 3 cm from that measure. For example, my boyfriend has an head circumference of 58 cm, then I repeated row1 till my band was 58-3=55cm long.

Once you have reached your length, join the first and last row with sc stitches.

The pattern for the body of the beanie is here below :

row1 : ch2, dc into the same stitch. Dc in each stitch around, then sl st into the second ch.

row2: ch2, back post double crochet (bpdc) into the same stitch. Bpdc in each stitch around, then sl st into the second ch.

row3-14: repeat the sequence row1-row2 and your last row has to be a bpdc type.

row15: ch2, *2 dc joined together into the next stitches, 1dc*. Repeat from *to* until the end of the row, then sl st into the second ch.

row16:ch2, bpdc in each stitch around. Sl st into the second ch.

row17: ch2, 2dc joined together in each stitch around. Sl st into the second ch.

row18: ch2, bpdc in each stitch around. Sl st into the second ch.

After row 18 you have almost done. Fasten off your yarn leaving a long tale which we are going to use to close the top of the beanie. With a yarn needle simply go in and out of each stitch around and once you have finished pull it tightly. You will be left with a small hole on top which you are going to close definitely by sewing it. In my previous blog post, I linked a video that shows clearly this technique.

And that’s my boy wearing my first crochet beanie made for him! He looks adorable, even if a bit shy to end up on my blog blush

beanieIIIbeanieIVbeanieVI hope you guys enjoy this pattern, let me know if you are going to make this beanie for your boys too and if they like it. My boyfriend was enthusiastic and I promise from now on to meet more his requests and create something more for my beloved…I love you all and see you to the next post heart

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

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.