Thursday, September 22, 2016

Crochetology Challenge: Romantic Blouse


Some time ago, someone asked to decipher this dress from Free People. I made drawings of the pattern stitches but never really managed to crochet the dress. Today, I actually made the garment - a blouse instead of a dress simply because I didn't have enough yarn.

I used 4-ply cotton yarn and 3.5mm crochet hook. The trickiest part is shaping the neckline. Can you figure it all out and complete the dress? I provide the crochet charts below.













Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rainy Morning Scarf



Hook: 3.5mm
Yarn: Antibacterial Micro-Dralon by Ice (100 grams)
or
Yarn: Hand-dyed Coca (Cotton-Cashmere) by Lotus (40 grams)

Scarf is worked from end to end in rows, the basic principle is that stitches are increased at one side of the scarf while offsetting/decreasing at the other side. Two versions are presented here in chart format: one is a narrow long scarf and the other is a wider shorter scarf. The stitches may be worked in either plain sc or back-loop sc. Use multi-colour or self-striping yarn in dk or worsted weight.



Rainy Day Scarf B (above) is wide and short, using Antibacterial Micro-Dralon yarn in self-striping colours, 100 grams. Stitches are plain sc. I want a scarf that is not very drapey or soft, a scarf that can withstand the wind.



Rainy Day Scarf A (above) is narrow and long, using Coca (about 40 grams) which I hand-dyed. Stitches are back-loop sc and produces a drapey fabric. I personally prefer a scarf with a heavier, more rigid hand.

In both cases, you can continue crocheting until you reach the desired size of scarf.








Saturday, September 17, 2016

Shibori yarn and fabric

I am doing the simplest of shibori (simple folding) and I am in love with it, and thus made a shibori  yarn ...




Friday, September 16, 2016

Hand-dyed Yarn

Over the past week I have been busy learning about hand-dyeing. Below is a chronology of my experiments. Enjoy!




September 6

Am trying dyeing, this is pure silk which dyes beautifully. The challenge is to make brilliant even colour and then to fix the colour. This is Venus dye, a coal tar based dye. Cream of tartar creates deep hues. Salt fixes the dye. Alum does as well, hopefully, fastness will be good.

Venus recommends using salt during the last 20 minutes of simmering. However, accdg to some readings, salt doesn't actually fix the dye, it only helps in absorption. I use alum instead, which I hope will work!

The next challenge is to use natural dyes ... I wasn't able to get yellow Venus dyes today so tomorrow I will try turmeric, plenty in the garden!





September 7

These are the other colours. I used the Venus dyes plainly, no colour mixes, two sachets per 50 grams of silk. At times, two sachets didn't seem enough, particularly the colour purple and teal. Additional notes: cream of tartar deepened colours; vinegar lightened colours; stirring frequently while simmering helps absorption; salt helps absorption; simmer at least an hour in which case dye is exhausted completely water is nearly clear; immerse damp yarn in dyebath, better than dry yarn; scouring yarn might help absorption; wet yarn always have more brilliant deep colour than dry.

Venus says iron dyed fabric while damp, perhaps that help set the dye. Can't really iron the yarns. But do not dry dyed yarn under direct sunlight.

I have gathered the turmeric and pleased to read that (1) turmeric can be used cold to dye and (2) turmeric need no mordant to fix the dye! See http://ripandtan.jennikayne.com/dyeing-with-turmeric/




September 8

Dyeing silk yarn with turmeric. Soaking in dye bath for longer time creates more vibrant colour.




September 9
My first hand-dyed multicolour! On the swift, my first solid colour, both using acid dyes. In the background, my first natural dye using turmeric. I used alum as mordant for the first two. Silk yarn lace.

It seems that using acid dye (such as venus dyes) on cotton is not recommended since acid dyes work best on protein fibre and not plant or cellulose. To know which dye to use on which fibre, see http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/aboutdyes.shtml






September 11

The silk after drying, we can see where there are failures. The teal and dark red have lighter areas which means we need to agitate/mix the yarn in the dye bath frequently to allow all dyes to be absorbed in all areas of the yarn. Salt or vinegar added later allow full exhaustion of the dye. The orange exhausted much better so the colour is deep and even. The yellow (turmeric) is also deep and even after soaking the yarn in cold dye bath for 2 days. Last photo show undyed yarns: (from left to right) linen, natural white yak, cotton-cashmere, silk-cashmere and silk-yak. The most challenging will be the yarn that is composed of a mix of animal and plant fibre.

Which dye to use: acid dyes (for wool, silk, protein fibres, and nylon as well as a number of synthetic fibres); fibre reactive dyes (for cotton, linen, plant fibres); and disperse dyes for polyester.

Seems that In practise, making multi-colour or self-striping yarn is easier than achieving a flat, deep, even single colour!



September 13

Continuing my experiments in hand-dyeing. This is silk-cashmere. Important when dyeing wool: do not boil, do not agitate, do not rub or the wool will felt.

Always use dyes with care: "Aniline itself is a very toxic substance. The dyes we use today are much less toxic than aniline. The greatest risk of disease or injury due to modern acid dyes is by ingestion of or exposure to dye dust. These scenarios are normally confined to textile workers. Whereas the dye itself is normally non toxic, the molecules are metabolized (usually in the liver) where they may be broken back down to the original intermediates used in manufacture. Many intermediate chemicals used in dye manufacture have been identified as toxic and their use restricted. "

I used primary colours (Venus alinine dye, an acid dye) red, blue, yellow. I tried two techniques (1) scouring with a humectant and vinegar, then hand-painting the yarn, wrapping in plastic and steaming; and (2) scouring with humectant and vinegar, then dipping the yarn in three different dyes, adding salt if dye is not exhausted, adding cream of tartar if still not fully exhausted. The method (2) is best. Acid dyes supposedly do not need mordants. The water runs clear and there is no staining.



This is silk-yak, with the addition of brown and tying to leave a portion of the yarn undyed. Next task is to use cold water dyes.



And here is the last of my multicolour dyeing experiment - this is cotton-cashmere. The acid dye permeated the cotton and I am hoping it will be as colourfast as dyed wool. When the yarns are crocheted and then washed, we shall find out. Local acid dye colours are of OK quality, not very impressive, not as vibrant as I would want. I need to use imported dyes to test, as well as test a wide range of natural materials as dyes. The advantage of natural dyes is that they can be used on both protein and plant fibres, as well as some synthetics and the mordant is safe - alum.




September 16

With some dye left over, my first try at shibori on cheap fabric, this is muslin.





Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sequin Yarns

If you're curious and want to try using sequin yarns of paillette yarns, then this is a bargain at US$2.71 per 50 gram skein. Get them at Bohol Yarn Shopping! Support Crochetology by getting your yarns from us!


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

DIY: Boudoir Bralet



Create your own boudoir bralet, video tutorial below and the written pattern for the motifs and bra straps/bands follow. Enjoy!



Workshop: Boudoir Bralet

Motifs
(Make as many as needed for your arrangement)

Use 1.2mm hook and size 10 crochet cotton thread

FLOWER 1

Ch 5, sl st in first ch to make a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in ring, *ch 3, sc in ring; rep fr * four times to make five 3-ch loops around the ring; end with sl st in first sc to join.
Rnd 2: Sc in first 3-ch loop, *ch 2, 3 dc in same 3-ch loop, ch 2, sc in same 3-ch loop, sc in next 3-ch loop; rep fr * on all 3-ch loops; end with sl st in first sc to join. Fasten off.

FLOWER 2

Ch 5, sl st in first ch to make a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in ring, *ch 3, sc in ring; rep fr * four times to make five 3-ch loops around the ring; end with sl st in first sc to join.
Rnd 2: Sc in first 3-ch loop, *ch 3, 3 tr in same 3-ch loop, ch 2, sc in same 3-ch loop, sc in next 3-ch loop; rep fr * on all 3-ch loops; end with sl st in first sc to join. Fasten off.

SMALL FLOWER

Make magic circle, ch 1, in circle make sc, *ch 3, sc, repeat fr * to make 5 loops. End with sl st in first sc. Fasten off.

SINGLE LEAF BIG

Ch 12.

Rnd 1: Sc in 2nd ch fr hook, sc in next ch, sc in next ch, hdc in each of next 3 ch, dc in each of next 3 ch, hdc in next ch, sc in next ch, 3 sc in last ch to turn round to other side of foundation ch, sc in next ch, hdc in next ch, dc in each of next 3 ch, hdc in each of next 3 ch, sc in last 2 ch, sl st in first ch to join. Fasten off.

SINGLE LEAF SMALL

Ch 10.

Rnd 1: Sc in 2nd ch fr hook, hdc in each of next 2 ch, dc in each of next 3 ch, hdc in each of next 2 ch, 3 sc in last ch to turn to other side of foundation ch, hdc in each of next 2 ch, dc in each of next 3 ch, hdc in each of next 2 ch, sc in last ch, sl st in first ch to join. Fasten off.

DOUBLE LEAF

Ch 12, sc in 2nd ch fr hook, sc in next ch, hdc in each of next 2 ch, dc in each of next 3 ch, hdc in each of next 2 ch, sc in each of last 2 ch, (first leaf made); ch 11, sc in 2nd ch fr hook, sc in next ch, hdc in each of next 2 ch, dc in each of next 3 ch, hdc in each of next 2 ch, sc in last ch, sl st in sc of first leaf to join (second leaf made). Fasten off.

LONG STEM WITH LEAVES (Make 2)

Ch 12, *2 dc in fourth ch fr hook, ch 3, sl st in same ch (first leaf made); ch 6, 2 dc in fourth ch fr hook, ch 3, sl st in same ch, ch 3, 3 dc in same ch, ch 3 sl st in same ch (second leaf made); ch 9, 2 dc in fourth ch fr hook, ch 3, sl st in same ch (third leaf made); ch 6, 2 dc in fourth ch fr hook, sl st in same ch (fourth leaf made); ch 9, rep fr * to make long stem of desired length. Fasten off.

BRA STRAPS AND BAND
Use 2.2mm hook and size 8 crochet cotton thread

BRA STRAPS (for cups and shoulder straps)

Ch 4, sc in 2nd ch fr hook, sc in each of last 2 ch (3 sc made); *ch 3 (count as dc) turn, sk first sc, dc in each of last 2 sc (3 dc made); ch 1, turn, sc in each dc; rep fr * to make the desired length. Fasten off.

BRA BAND

Ch 10, sc in 2nd ch fr hook, sc in each ch (9 sc made); ch 3 (count as dc), turn, sk first sc, dc in each sc (9 dc made); ch 1, turn, sc in each dc' rep fr * to make the desired length. Fasten off.


Monday, September 12, 2016

September Anklet Free Pattern

I made an anklet to match the white dress with light blue crochet top. Here is the pattern. Let me know if you have any difficulty with the pattern or if you spot any errors. Cheers! ^_^



September Anklet
(Also looks lovely worn as a choker!)

You will need:

Light Blue 4-ply cotton yarn
White crochet cotton thread size 8
Crochet hook 1.2mm (for cotton thread 8)
Crochet hook 2.2mm (for 4-ply cotton yarn)
7 pieces Dark Brown wood beads 1/4"
14 pieces Beige wood beads 1/8"
Beading needle (to thread beads through 4-ply yarn)
Scissors



Instructions:

Prepare the beads:

With needle and 4-ply cotton yarn, thread beads in the order: (beige, dark brown, beige) 7 times.

Make the anklet:

With 2.2mm hook make slip knot after last threaded bead and crochet as follows:

Row 1: Ch 3, *slip beige bead, ch 1, slip dark brown bead, ch 1, slip beige bead, ch 2; rep fr * to the last bead; ch 6, turn.

Row 2: Dc in 5th ch fr hook, dc in each sc across, fasten off.

With 1.2mm hook and crochet cotton thread 8 join yarn with sl st at first dc, *ch 3, 3 dc in same dc, sc in next dc; rep fr * to the last dc. Fasten off.

Make the Ties:

With 2.2mm hook and 4-ply cotton yarn, join with sl st to stem of dc at tip of anklet, ch 1, 2 sc in same stem, turn, sc between two sc, make a ch 6 inches long; fasten off. Repeat for second tie.

Weave in all ends.




Here (below) is the dress to match. Pattern for the lace-up blue top will be coming soon! :)


Sunday, September 11, 2016