Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Great pattern for a skirt, free from Drops

I love the clever design of this skirt! The pattern is from Drop Design and can be found on their website.
To adjust to larger size, I made a chain in multiples of 6 for each shell panel, a chain that fits me --- can be worn by wearing over the head then hang on the hips. (To be honest, sometimes I don't even follow multiples when making the foundation chain, I just make the chain in the size/length that I want and then work from that, adding or leaving out chains/stitches as needed when I start working the first row/round. This is just my way of improvising.).
I did all sorts of increase techniques to gradually increase the shaping of the skirt towards the hem - including a 2-tr over the 1-tr section of the pattern, and 6 tr over the 5 tr sections! I do it gradually, of course. :)

Instead of a ribbon, I used this lovely thin belt that came with a dress I got last month. :)
I want to use the basic stitch pattern to make a seamless cardigan. Next experiment. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

MINIDRESS - From the Middle

Here are two minidresses that I crocheted in just two days. The first one uses lace weight Tibetan Cloud (100% Tibetan yak) and the second uses fancy yarn called Viarreggio (50% cotton, 50% acrylic).

These two minidresses follow the same construction method, that is, starting with in the middle, crocheting in the round. From the middle, work continues upwards without shaping, also in the round up to the armpits. From there, work continues in rows to make the front and back sections of the dress separately. Then the shoulders are shaped by decreasing at the neckline, also done separately. Then the seams are joined at the shoulders. The dress is finished by continuing work downwards from the middle towards the bottom of the dress, all in the round. Towards the bottom, a gradual increase is made to make the dress flare a bit.

Here is a closer look at the minidress done in Tibetan Yak and I include notes as to how it was constructed. I am hoping that you can try to construct a dress or top in a similar manner with only very simple shaping required. You can choose patterns of your choice. Although in my experience, mesh patterns are best because they follow the shape of the body, neckline and armholes easily and therefore do not require extensive shaping.

Good luck! Happy crocheting!

Yarn: Tibetan Yak Fingering by Lotus Yarns (crochet with 2 strands held together)
Yardage: This project uses at least 700 to 800 meters of yarn
Hook: 3mm crochet hook

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lace Halter Bra free pattern

I know there are crocheters who can figure out a pattern by just looking at a photo of the finished item. These photos are probably for those crocheters since i don't have the time to write the pattern now. Do you think these types of 'instructions' are useful for crocheters who don't use written patterns or charts?

The lace pattern used for the front lace panel is below. It's from VOGUE KNITTING STITCHIONARY 4 which I got for 1,258.00PHP or US$25.00 at Fully Booked.

Here are some picture showing work-in-progress for your reference.

Here is the original inspiration for the crochet bra.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Diamond stole

I was trying to crochet a shrug but it came out much too long so here is a stole instead.


Hook: 3mm

Yarn: Antibacterial Magic by Ice Yarns or other sport weight or 6-ply yarn

This project uses approximately 700 meters/650 grams of yarn

Stole Dimensions: 10" wide x 90" long


Ch 160 +6 (count as dc, ch 2) (or make foundation chain in multiples of 8 +6; this establishes the length of the stole)

Row 1: 5 dc in 10th ch fr hook, *ch 2, sk 3 ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, sk 3 ch, 5 dc in next ch, rep fr * across, ending with ch 2, dc in last ch; ch 4 (count as dc, ch 1), turn.

Row 2: Dc in first dc, *ch 1, dc in each of second, third and fourth dc of 5-dc group, ch 1, sk 2-ch sp, in next dc make (dc, ch 3, dc), rep fr * across, ending with ch 1, dc in each of  second, third and fourth dc of 5-dc group, ch 1, sk 2 ch sp, in last dc make (dc, ch 1, dc), ch 3 (count as dc), turn.

Row 3: 2 dc in first ch sp, *ch 2, dc in middle dc of 3-dc group, ch 2, 5 dc in next 3-ch sp, rep fr * across, ending with ch 2, dc in middle dc of 3-ch group, ch 2, sk next ch sp, 3 dc in last ch sp; ch 3, turn.

Row 4: Sk first dc, dc in next dc, *ch 1, sk 2 ch sp, in next dc make (dc, ch 3, dc), ch 1, sk 2 ch sp, dc in each of second, third and fourth dc of next 5-dc group, rep fr * across, ending with ch 1, sk 2 ch sp, in next dc make (dc, ch 3, dc), ch 1, sk next dc, dc in each of last 2 dc, ch 5 (count as dc, ch 2), turn.

Row 5: In first 3-ch sp make 5 dc, *ch 2, dc in middle dc of next 3-dc group, ch 2, 5 dc in next 3-ch sp, rep fr * across ending with ch 2, dc in last dc; ch 4 (count as dc, ch 1), turn.

Rows 6-22: Rep rows 2-5 to make 22 rows or until scarf measures 10" wide. Do not fasten off, working on the right side, work the trim all around the scarf as follows:

Work evenly in each st along the length of the scarf (5 sc, picot), 2 sc ch 2, 2 sc in last st at the corner to turn, then work along the rows of the scarf as follows: work evenly 3 sc in each row with picot worked after every 5 sc. Continue all around the scarf, fasten off.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Crochet Bra Top with Recycled Fabric

Here is a way to use some scrap fabric. You can use any bra top pattern. In this case, this pattern is what I used (see chart below). I crocheted the two cups separately then joined at the center as I made the cup trim. And finally a row of dc at the base of the cups. Then I sewed the fabric to the crochet. I used the same fabric as ties at the back. You can use buttons.

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

by Fatima Lasay /

Design Note: The scarf is crocheted in one piece. After Row 2, the pattern repetition is established starting at Row 3. The pattern repetition consists of alternating rows of 2 sc increase and 1 sc decrease, resulting to an increase of 1 sc in each Row. Decorate the scarf with tassels at the three points if desired. Happy crocheting!

Tips: Learn to read the stitches in your work, especially at the beginning and at the end of each Row. Common error is failing to recognise the first and last stitches. This will allow you to work continuously without having to count the exact number of stitches made. Yarn recommended is self-striping yarn with short color bands, minimum DK weight and above. A larger hook is recommended. Work loosely and remember to do so especially at the beginning and end of each Row. If you work too tightly, the scarf may fold over at the edges.


Row 1: Ch 2, 2 sc in second ch fr hook, turn. (2 sc)

Row 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each of next 2 sc, turn. (4 sc)

Row 3: Ch 1, 3 sc in first sc, sc in each sc across leaving the last sc unworked, turn.

Row 4: Sk first sc, sc in each sc across, work 3 sc in last sc, turn.

Row 5 onwards: Rep Rows 3-4.

When desired length of scarf is made, fasten off.

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

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

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.