Friday, February 26, 2016

Hand Care for Crocheters, Knitters, Crafters

I haven't been able to crochet for quite a while now. I stopped crocheting large items for the Bespoke Crochet atelier to give my hands a rest. Earlier this month I made a small item and wrote the pattern now available in my Ravelry store. Making small items and writing patterns give my hands some rest without giving up crocheting entirely.

However, while working on a new design, I realised I can't even crochet for a few minutes. Well at least, I decided not to continue crocheting as soon as I felt uncomfortable. I don't want to make things worse.

I've been crocheting for many years and have had no troubles. The problem started when work with the pigs became heavier. At some point, I lifted something heavy (the pig feeding trough) with my left hand and that sprained my wrist. Then after a couple of weeks, I tried to force open the gate to the pen and hurt my right hand. So, now both hands experience pain and become extraordinarily tired whenever I try to crochet.

Of course I feel bad about it. I love working with the pigs and I will never give that up. I just need to get someone to help me and try to be more careful. I also take vitamin B complex supplements and collagen from Knox gelatin now. I wondered if there was something lacking in my diet that have made my bones and joints weaker. Generally, living in a rural environment, food and lifestyle here has been as good as it can get.

I had acupuncture several days ago. It is something I have tried before and it helped reduce the pain and symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis. This time, it was for my hands. I intend to go back for a second session after two weeks.

At night, I apply ginger ointment, sometimes white flower, or effervescent oil on my hands, wrist and arms, and wear wrist warmers to bed. With this and changes in work load, improvements in diet, I hope to get better in several months.

I'm particularly excited about continuing my new design for a bralette. It uses a construction based on the motif. However, this one is more special because I am using more elastics. I have found an effective way of integrating this with crochet fabric. But for now, this remains in hibernation until my hands are completely recovered.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

One Skein Maltese Crochet Collar

Make this intricate Hairpin Lace collar with just one ball of yarn.

Finished Measurements: The middle ribbing of the lace strip measures approximately 14 1⁄2 inches. The standard choker length for women's necklaces is 16 inches; 17-18 inches will reach the collar bone. Take your own measurements. The length of the collar depends on the number of loops you make in hairpin lace. Adjust the number of loops according to your size. 22 loops is approximately 15 inches.

The Hairpin Lace Collar may be worn with a simple sleeveless top or a turtleneck outfit. Try making the Collar with lacy cotton thread for finer detail.

You will need
Yarn: Acrylic yarn, fingering
Color: One ball of yarn (about 25g) yellow
Gauge: Crochet button diameter=1.5mm
Terminology: Pattern is written using US crochet terminology

Hooks: Aluminum crochet hook size 4/0 (2.50mm)
Or size to obtain gauge
Staple: Hairpin lace staple, 4 inches
Sewing needle and scissors
Steel pins, size 26mm
Gold thread
Plastic stone with flat backing, blue (0.75mm), 7 pieces
Metal 's' hook (tiny metal snaps, 'automatics' or hooks are also suitable)

Collar: Using yarn and 4-inch hairpin lace staple, make a strip of 22 loops on each side.

Fasten off and remove strip from staple.

Starting at one end of strip, twist two loops one at a time and sl st together, ch 6 and continue twisting two loops one at a time and joining together with sl st. Repeat until the last 2 loops. You should now have 11 joined loops with 6 ch between each of them. Fasten off.

Repeat as above for loops on other side but this time make ch 4 instead of 6.

Collar Edging: On side of strip joined with ch-4, attach thread with sc to sl st at tip of first joined loop. Ch 3, dc in next sl st at tip of second joined loop, ch 4, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), ch 1, dc in same sl st at tip of joined loop, ch 4, picot, ch 1, dc in same sl st at tip of joined loop, ch 3, sc in next sl st at tip of third joined loop.

Repeat this process to the last joined loop. Fasten off.

Decorative buttons: (Make 7)

With gold thread or matching color thread, sew the plastic stones onto the center of the crochet rings to complete the buttons.

Ch 4, sl st in first ch to form ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, 9 sc in ring, sl st to first sc to join. Fasten off. With gold thread, sew plastic stone in center of ring.

Attach one of the buttons to one end of the strip, then make a crocheted button loop at the other end.

Attaching the buttons to the strip:

Sew a button to one end of the strip and crochet a button loop at the opposite end aligned to the button.

Arrange the rest of the buttons on the strip and use pins to temporarily hold them in place. Put on the collar to see if you are happy with the arrangement, otherwise, unpin the buttons and rearrange them. When satisfied, sew the buttons in place.

Use pins to temporarily position the buttons on the strip.

On the same end of the strip where you have the button loop, attach the 's' hook in the stitch at the corner of the edging (see photo below). Use long-nose pliers to press the hook into place. This hook latches on to the edging at the opposite end of the strip and will keep the upper loops of the collar upright when you wear them. (Another style of wearing the collar may be to fold down the upper loops of the collar).

Attach the 's' hook at the corner of the lace edging. This hook latches on to the edging at the opposite end of the strip and will keep the upper loops of the necklace upright when you wear them.

Finishing: With floss thread or matching color thread, sew stitch ends to secure them. If you have fabric glue, you can use that instead to seal loose ends. Block to shape and finished measurements.

Got more yarn? Make more buttons!

Instructions for Hairpin Lace/Maltese Crochet:

From “Priscilla Yoke Book, Crochet and Tatting” published by the Priscilla Publishing Co., 1916. (See illustration below)

  1. Tie the thread around the staple;
  2. Put the hook under the lower thread and draw a loop of thread under and up;
  3. Thread over hook and draw through.
  4. Turn the staple from right to left, carrying the hook up over the rounded end to the back side. 
  5. Working from back side, insert hook under loop on left prong, draw thread through, thread over, and
  6. Draw through both stitches on hook.
  7. Turn staple from right to left, bringing hook to upper side of work, insert hook under forward loop as before, draw thread through, thread over hook and draw through both stitches.

To learn more about Hairpin Lace, read the chapter on Hairpin Lace in Crochet Work in the Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese de Dillmont.

Happy Crocheting!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Valentines Day !

New sexy strappy bra pattern coming soon! My hands are not in the best of condition lately after tough farming work, so I'm taking it easy. But nothing can stop me from crocheting! What are you all up to on Valentine's Day? Cheers!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Alicia Sexy Crochet Tanga

Fully-written pattern instructions for ultra sexy crochet tanga! This pattern is written in two sizes:
  • Fits S-L (Low waist 36”-40” / 91cm-102cm)
  • Fits XL-3XL (Low waist 41”-45” / 104cm-114cm)
Buy this pattern and you get the Alicia Bralette, for a beautiful sexy set! The bralette is written in two sizes:
  • Fits bust sizes 34" to 40" (A-C)
  • Fits bust sizes 42" to 50" (A-C)
The patterns are available at Fatima's Ravelry Store.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

ALICIA Bralette Crochet Pattern PDF

ALICIA is a motif-based bralette, ties at the sides and over the neck. This pattern is available in sizes:

Bust 34" (86cm) to 40" (102cm) (A-C)
Bust 42" to 50" (A-C)

Photos show the bralette on dress forms with bust sizes 36” (91cm) and 42” (106cm), and the bralette un-lined on a 36” (91cm) bust dress form.

Pattern consists of 14 pages; written pattern instructions with a few step-by-step photos; instructions include making a simple shaped lining for the bralette and sewing the lining onto the bralette by hand.

The pattern is available at Fatima's Ravelry Store.