Little crochet tote bag

DSC_0130

A little lacy crochet tote bag for summer, for odds and ends that I might take with me if I’m just going for a short walk to the playground – a pack of tissues, an apple, a small bottle of water, sunglasses.

The simplest bag imaginable, made of two lacy squares, a triangular flap, and a strap that is basically a super long rectangle.

DSC_0131

A large, elongated bead attached to the tip of the flap serves as a button that goes into the middle hole (the center of the square).

Square pattern from a vintage Russian magazine:

DSC_0081

The flap and strap are more or less freestyle – just make sure the tip of your triangle reaches the center of the bag.

Worked in thin, sturdy cotton thread with crochet hook number 2.5.

Dreams of Lace Crochet Dress

DSC_0082

I decided to pull out all stops and make a really fancy little dress for Hadassah, but not something so excessively frilly it would get in her way. The result was this lovely, airy summer dress meant to be worn over a short onesie. I really like the color combination of white, black and different hues of purple, though it was originally the result of not having enough white yarn.

Material: thin cotton thread yarn, suitable for making lacy patterns. Crochet hook number 1-1.5.

Top pattern: top to bottom square neckline buttoned raglan.

Skirt design by Valentina Litvinova, with slight modifications.

Yes, it did take a pretty long time to make, but honestly, not as long as I thought it would! I was genuinely concerned Hadassah would need a larger size by the time I completed it, but it worked quicker than I had expected, and I’m really happy and looking forward to seeing her wear it.

DSC_0083

View from the back: a row of vintage buttons.

Crochet flower baby mobile

dsc_0048.jpg

Latest crochet creation: a flower mobile, to be given to a friend who has just had a baby.

It was very quick and fun to make and the perfect project to utilize all those scraps of yarn we all have lying around. Also a great hot weather baby gift, when crocheted hats, booties and afghans might be out of season.

I worked with acrylic yarn of varying weight, and crochet hook number 3 or 3.5, depending on size of yarn. I also added a string of rather heavy beads in the cross-section, which adds more variety and stabilizes the mobile by shifting the gravity center to the middle.

I hope I will inspire at least one fellow crocheter to make this cute, fun project.

LoveCrochet

Odds And Ends Crochet Basket

DSC_1253

The existence of such things as crochet baskets is something relatively new to me. I have always admired handmade baskets and was talking to a friend about the possibility of her teaching me. “Oh, there are so many possibilities,” she gushed. “Not just wickerwork, but you can also weave straw baskets… Or even crochet them!”

Crochet? You betcha. This is me, the gal who will crochet anything.

So I started looking into this. And I had this skein of super stiff, coarse yarn sitting in my stash that was just perfect for making a little basket to hold all my yarn odds and ends from different projects.

I ended up with a very satisfying one-hour session, at the end of which I had my basket – a perfect project even for beginners.

Making a crochet basket is not much different from making a hat, crocheting round and round. You’ll use single crochet all around for the tightest weave you can get.

The secret is almost all in the material. You’ll want to choose the chunkiest, sturdiest, thickest yarn you have – think something that’s too coarse to wear.

Then choose the smallest crochet hook you can use to work with the yarn successfully. That’s right, the smallest – it will create a tighter weave. And as you work, pull your stitches tighter than you normally would. This is no loose fluffy hat you’re making, but something that’s supposed to stand on its own, not flop like a jellyfish. I normally hold my hook like I would a pencil, but with this basket, I actually grabbed the hook in my fist and pulled as tight as I could.

The steps to making a round basket are very simple:

First, crochet a flat circle, as you would make a coaster. That’s your basket bottom. Add enough stitches so the circle doesn’t curl like a bowl, but not too many, or it will ruffle like a potato crisp.

Next, slip stitch all around your circle.

Start making the basket wall by stitching into the top of the round before the slip stitch. It will make your basket sturdier and more stable. Sounds confusing? Read more detailed instructions here.

Make the basket as tall as you like. Optional: decorate the top with a row of contrasting color and /or texture. Weave in loose ends. Enjoy your new storage basket!

Little Princess Angel Wings Pinafore

DSC_1222

Between cleaning and scrubbing, sorting and laundry, I had managed to sneak in some quiet hours with my children at the playground and the library, and made this cute little pinafore dress.

I knew I just had to make it when a similar dress popped up in my Pinterest feed – it was so straightforward I practically saw the pattern just by looking at it. With some variations, the Angel Wings pinafores are all very much alike. With a bit of crochet know-how, you can create endless different models of this lovely dress for the little girls in your life.

Step 1: Create circle. Crochet round and round, enlarging it until, folded in half, the circle is wide enough for the bodice and arm openings.

DSC_1156

Fold in half:

dsc_1158.jpg

Bind off the arm openings on both sides. The space between the armholes is the width of the bodice – now would be a good time to get your little one to try on the dress to make sure it is wide enough. If it isn’t, don’t worry – just unbind the armholes and add a few more rows to the circle, making it as large as necessary.

Once you have your desired width and you’ve bound off the armholes, crochet round and round the bodice, working down to the desired length of the dress. You can add more stitches to make the skirt puffy and ruffled. I used the adorable shell stitch.

I worked with crochet hook number 2.5 and a delightful soft and smooth bamboo cotton yarn. It’s wonderfully cool and breathy and will be just the thing for hot weather.

I’m so glad I was able to finish this before Pesach, and just in time for Hadassah’s first birthday – can you believe that it has already been a year?

When winter refuses to give up

Last night, we were awake multiple times due to one of the most epic thunderstorms I have witnessed this year. In the morning, we got up to a quiet, moisture-filled world, with water dropping down from the tree branches and puddles everywhere.

DSC_1160

There’s even a little stream of sorts that flows after heavy rains, and guess who loves to put on his rubber boots and wade through it?

DSC_1152

The spring flowers, however, won’t take no for an answer. They know it’s their time to bloom.

DSC_1156

I, too, am gearing up for warm weather projects and making a little dress for Hadassah. I hope to finish it soon and post the tutorial as well.

Have a wonderful early spring, everyone!

Crochet Tutorial: The Puff Stitch

Like its name implies, the puff stitch is puffy and can add tons of texture to any crochet project. I personally love it, but it’s a bit tricky to master and goes a little beyond basic crochet skills. It works best with yarn that is relatively thick and fluffy (not thin cotton/bamboo) and doesn’t have a tendency to separate into strands.

The basic principle of the puff stitch is casting on a loop of yarn as you would for a double stitch, but rather than binding it off at the top, you cast another stitch, and then another, as shown in the diagram here:

Step 1:

3-hdc-puff-st-1

Step 2:

3-hdc-puff-st-2

You can see a video of me crocheting the puff stitch here:

I’m working with lovely natural merino wool such as this one. It has a delightful texture and is a joy to work with.

A pattern sample incorporating the puff stitch:

DSC_1142.JPG

Note: the puff stitch, like other textured crochet stitches, does take up substantially more yarn, so if you aren’t sure how much you need for a project, it’s better to stash up!

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.