Romance in France Scarf

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Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well. I have been away for some time due that I had a lot of projects to be done then squeezing in a short trip out of town. And all these within my limited time frame.

My husband and I were on a weekend vacation in the Wairarapa region. The idea is to visit a friend but he has a last minute call to the city so we just drove around Masterton and Carterton, stayed in Greytown overnight and had lunch in Martinborough on Sunday. In Martinborough there weren’t much shops open as we came in around 3 PM and like most weekends they close at 4- 4:30 PM.

But we’re able to go in some quaint shops that sell French-vintage accessories. Most of the home decor are too feminine for us, however in the end we bought a small antique looking frame. We’re going to put a picture of us as a reminder of that particular trip.

Now I’m back. It’s Labour day Monday here so no work. It would’ve been perfect if only the weather stayed clear for people to enjoy outdoors. This is the kind of weather that will induce flu so I’m going to stay indoors. And while I’m here, I’m going to work on my throw. It’s near to being finished so I will put more effort in it. I plan to finish this by Wednesday or let’s say- within the week if I have the time. Because it’s going to be another trip out of town.

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Work In Progress of my blue throw.

Ergo a new schedule to load my works here in WordPress has been created. I will make sure that I upload my articles every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I’ll tell you more of my throw project once I’m done, that is a promise. 🙂 But for today I will share with you a granny square scarf I made for my mother-in-law. I made this for her to wear over winter. It’s also going to be a Christmas present. Who knows she may find a boyfriend while wearing this.

I titled it ‘Romance in France’.

My color scheme is based only in 4 colors taken from vintage photographs. Their combination is a from a sepia tone with red tint: Cream, Light Pink, Dusk Pink and Light Brown yarns.

My yarn is John Q Creative 8ply and 100% NZ wool, washable.

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My chosen colors come from a vintage and romantic feel.

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Forming the base of 20 squares for the scarf.

I have two types of granny square here same as the bohemian bag I made. All in all it’s a total of 24 squares. I sewed them together to make the length and finished it with scallop border to give it a more feminine touch, and it would create an interesting detail when it peeks out from a coat.

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A lengthy process in the making. Here I’m preparing it for a dusk pink edging.

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Sewing the ends in to make sure the scarf doesn’t fray.

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Attached at 4 3D flowers on both ends of the scarf.

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Here is a finished edging of dusk pink yarn to tie all the squares together in color.

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Now edging it with cream colored yarn.

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And finally adding a scallop edging to make the final design for the scarf.

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Finished scarf. I added flower designed wood buttons in the middle of the 3D flowers.

The result turned out nicely, in my opinion. But I still have a long way to go with the joining process. Anyway, I may make another one in the future, for me.

I’m quite ready for Christmas gifting now. I hope my maman likes it.

And I hope you liked it too.

Have a nice day!

A Beginner’ s Crochet Book

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Hello, I hope everyone is doing well. It’s another bright sunny day here at the waterfront at 21 degrees. Compared to the other day where I posted pictures of rough seas, today everything is so calm. But since the temperature fluctuates quickly it’s bound to make people under.I know because I am at the moment.

My husband told me that their office is once again roaming with bugs waiting to latch on on unsuspecting stressed-out workers. I think that is apparent when a place has poor ventilation, so I opened my windows to make sure I get some fresh air in.

I have just finished my cleaning and wow, it’s 12 noon… How time flies…Anyway, I’m happy that i won’t be cooking lunch as my husband is going to take me out.

But before I leave I want to show you what I got from Minerva recently.

Minerva is a shop down in Cuba Street that sells specialty books on everything textile and crafts. They have tons of books ranging from fashion design, sewing, knitting, lots of quilting, doll and felt-doll making, house decor DIYS, cross stitching, photograhy, and various magazines as well on the same subjects. One thing is, if you are crocheter and you want to look for books on crochet, you will find a low cabinet there and just one shelf dedicated to that subject… that is how small the crocheter population here is I guess. Or it could be other reasons, like finding books online. But it’s just amazing that in most book shops that I go to here, there is not much on crochet.

However if you are here in Wellington and you do both knitting and crochet or you just simply love sewing crafts. I recommend you go and see Minerva. They have good stock of books. I think they can also order books for you but only if you live in the area.

One of the books I got is Marion Madel’s The New Crochet. It’s a very nice book for beginners, and I recommend it, even if you aren’t. The things I like about this book are:

1. It has simplistic design and clear photography so it’s quite Zen.

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2. The photo-tutorials are easy to understand and follow.

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3. Each chapter will teach you different stitches and you get to finish a chapter with a project using that chapter’s stitch.

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4. It has 38 modern projects to grow from.

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5. And it’s French-Japanese style…modern-zen-chic.

No worries, if you are not into simplistic design, because you can still follow along and use vibrant colors that you like.

The book will teach you everything from choosing size hooks equal to the yarn to use, to different kinds of yarn and how to wash them, and reading abbreviations and symbols.

So for me this is a helpful and complete book, and I can make quite a number of fashionable items that are within the times.

But I haven’t gotten around it yet as I have been quite addicted to granny squares, and I have some projects needing to be finished, but I will make some time for it- hopefully sooner.

So until next time, for now I will finish my current projects by getting yarn and hooking it.

Have a nice day!

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At the park for lunch. It’s quite sunny today.

Creamy leek, ham, and mushroom pasta

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Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well.

Apart from doing crafts here, I also like cooking. Here I will share with you some of the recipes I cooked for me and the hubby. I found this recipe online at BBC Good food.

This pasta recipe is really nice and tasty. Not too cheesy which is perfect for light lunch or dinner. It’s also quite fast to make- give or take thirty minutes.

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I hope you get to make this too. I’m sure you will like it. If you are watching weight, you can use Philadelphia Lite.

Have a nice day!

Bohemian Style Book Bag

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Hello everybody, I hope you are all doing well. We are having a normal Spring day here which means, overcast weather, mild temperature, and strong blowing winds. Yes, the winds are howling outside as I write, and this is pretty “normal” for Spring time here.

I hope that after posting this blog the winds would calm down a bit so I can go out without getting tossed. (I normally get tossed when I go to Oriental parade.)

The sea is choppy today too. And usually when it does that, it heralds rain for the following day. Should it rain, I hope it rains over the weekdays rather than the weekend.

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Rough waves making sprays on the rocks at the waterfront.

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So this is normal Spring time weather here in Wellington, that having a day or two with sun and calm seas is a blessing. And a perfectly good excuse to go out and lounge under the sun with a nice dress. Also in sunny days one gets to enjoy beautiful blooms and spending time out in lengthy daylight.

And speaking of blooms I am starting to put color in the house with my crochet projects. I am getting used to the stitching and reading of patterns now. (though there are some that I still struggle with) These days I’m making a lot of crocheted items- it’s so fun to make them! I’m just glad my husband isn’t bothered with the massive stash I unwittingly built.

One of the items I made from crocheting is another bag. I made a BOHEMIAN BOOK BAG.

I love bohemian colors because they are so bright and cheery. Even when their colors are made to subdue, to fit into fashion style,the perfect color choice and tone sets them in a down-to-earth, and playful feel.

For this bag I made entirely with granny squares. There are two patterns for these squares, 1. Not So granny Square and 2. 3D Flower square. You can find the tutorials at BobWilson123 in Youtube. I technically learned from her tutorials as she is a very good instructor, and she has clear tutorials for beginners to understand.

For the bag shape itself I fiddled with post-its to figure a pattern to put the squares all together.

Here is how I made it:

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These are 3D granny flower squares. I made four for the top of the bag.

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Then for the rest, I made traditional granny squares in various bold colors.

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After finishing them, I sewed them together

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And formed it to look like this.

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I made scallop edging to give it a more feminine look.

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I added heart shaped sequins near the corners of the squares.

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Made a handle using four different strands chained together.

So now, here is my finished book bag. I bring this whenever I go around to look for books and magazines. It is shines when the light hits the sequins- it’s a flair, and the best part is the colors never bother my wardrobe.

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For this bag’s first adventure, I took it with me down to Cuba Street until we reached Minerva and bought a crochet magazine. I plan to buy more crochet readings in the future.:)

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ta-daah! I hope you like it.:)

Granny Small Bag

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Hello everybody! I hope you are all doing well. We are having a seemingly nice weather today here in the waterfront, hopefully it stays that way throughout the weekend.

Today I want to share with you my Granny Small Bag Project. This is my first “big” novice granny square project while practising variations of granny squares and stitches.

I stumbled upon a video tutorial of this and applied the techniques to make the bag. As I’m more of a visual-to-application person, a video tutorial for me is suitable to learn fast.

Here in New Zealand I was told that knitting is in the norm. Though skilled knitters know how to do both knitting and crocheting, I unfortunately don’t know anyone here who can teach me first hand on crochet. So a video tutorial is my learning tool.

After watching it and practising on some of my stash yarn, I was finally ready to make the project.

The Granny Square

My first multi- colored granny.

My first multi- coloured granny.

In the video tutorial I studied, the granny square is called ‘Not so granny square’ by bobwilson123. It begins in a circle then gradually manipulated through stitching to turn the circle into a square in the end. The center portion then looks like a flower. And I think that is a great design for spring.

This is my color choice for the granny square. I buy all my yarn at Knitworld which is walking distance from where I live.

The yarn is 8ply DK machine wash Countrywide Yarns Opals and they have a pretty nice range of color to choose from but I stick to only four colors for this project. The double edged crochet hook I got at a Japanese thrift store.

My spring time color scheme for this project.

My spring time color scheme for this project.

In the evolution of the squares they really do come from a circle transforming into a square in the end.

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For this project I have a total of 17 squares. I have given then at least 2 inches of tail end to sew in.

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Then once all the tail ends in every square is sewn I take a yarn needle and thread and join the squares together in a pattern.

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I need to practice further on the joining of squares

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The final thread is in place and now my Granny Small Bag is complete.

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The handles are crocheted separately then sewn on.

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Now when I go out with my husband on casual dates this is the bag I bring. I have a new stylish bag to put my little things.

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…Well so that’s done. I’m off to make another project, so I will get more yarn and hook it!

And I hope you too. Have a nice day! 🙂

My first granny square and a basic tutorial

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Hello, I hope you are all doing well. I haven’t been on for quite some time due that it was my birthday recently and my husband was so sweet to make this my birthday week. It means he will have to do some of the chores he doesn’t like doing to alleviate me from some of my house tasks, and have the time to work out on my crocheting “studies”. Sweet.

So I will take advantage of his kindness.

It’s rainy today here at the wharf, so I’m stuck at home at the moment, but it’s an opportune time to sort out some pictures of the crochets I’ve made to share with everyone. This is my first granny square swatch. I learned this from a PDF book I downloaded. It’s a basic swatch to work out my muscle memory.

As you can see, it’s basically crooked on some parts. But on the third try, I think I already have an idea of how it goes, as well as the hand control.

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After a few practices I finally got it committed to memory and my hands seem to be getting the hold of things. I am also learning to read patterns easily.

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Here are the rest of my granny squares.

Traditional granny square tutorial (easy):

Abbreviation:

CH- chain stitch, SL ST- slip stitch, DC- double crochet

You can use any yarn and corresponding size hook.

You will only need to learn or know chain and slip stitch and double crochet.

Round 1. Chain 5 and join with a slip stitch at the beginning of the chain.

Round 2. Chain 3 (this will serve as 1 double crochet), make 2 double crochet in the chain ring. *Chain 1, then 3 DC into the chain ring*, repeat pattern from * to *, 2 more times. You will get a small square of 3 DC on each side. SL ST to join. You will be in the corner of your square.

Round 3. Chain 3 then 2 DC into the chain space, chain 1, then 3 DC into the same chain space, chain 1. This will be the corner of your square. Repeat this pattern 3 more times til you form a larger square. SL ST in the end of your round. You will be in the corner of your square again.

Round 4. *Chain 3, then 2 DC into the chain space, chain 1, then 3 DC into the same chain space, chain 1*, (this will be the same pattern for every corner of your granny square) then 3 DC into every chain space in this round. Then repeat * to * pattern again with every corner. You will always end at the corner of your square, make sure to slip stitch before starting the next round.

Continue with this pattern until your desired granny square size. I hope you enjoy your reading here as I enjoyed sharing my experience with my first granny square. If you are a newbie it’s alright to fumble in the beginning. It took me hours and the patience not to stab anyone until I got it right. If you are a visual person like me you can always go look up tutorials in YouTube.

My granny squares are getting better now so i will post my progress in the days to come.

So I hope you have a nice dry day to get yarn and hook it.

Confession Of A Crochet Addict: An Introduction

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Me with a scarf my cousin bought.

Hello my name is Marie and I’m addicted to crochet.

I got hooked on crochet only a month ago. It was all my husband’s fault, I’m afraid.
It all started when we went to Frank Kitts Underground Market in Wellington and we both got interested in this one girl who sells loom knitting kits. Her loom knitting kit is made up of wood with metal spikes that hold the yarn in place while you weave them together.
That day we just looked but didn’t buy.

At home that evening we talked about getting one, trying it, and making a scarf for each other. It was a nice plan to give me something to do, while for him it’s going to be a past time. So we got some cheap yarns at The Warehouse and come Saturday next, we bought the loom. He was the first to try it and the outcome was really nice. I didn’t get the chance to try it since he was still using it.

One day I was in Cuba street and I found this Japanese store and they have a section there for crafting. So I got 4mm knitting needles and tried my hand in making a scarf the knitting way. I was able to make some but I my hands fumble all the time with the needles. But I didn’t give up on knitting, I just put them aside and wait for my husband to finish my scarf.

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These are our knitting looms. That is my scarf my husband is making for me and is still WIP since June. It’s September now. 😀

Three weeks after and in the middle of winter, I still don’t have a scarf. And I can’t use it because the yarn is still attached there. So while he was on vacation back in France to see his family. I was left with nothing to do. In order to keep my mind stimulated I looked in the internet for yarn crafts that I can make. And I found interest in crochet.

 I had a slight understanding of crocheting back in my uni days. My youngest sister was in high school at the time and they have crochet in their home economics subject. She showed me some of her works which are really pretty and intricate. I got interested in it and tried to make some but I wasn’t good with the hook, and like the knitting, put it aside and forgot completely.

While I browsed in the internet for more topics about crochet and finding how cute they are, with growing interest. I am slowly leaning towards and telling myself to really sit down and learn it.

 But I still have some yarn and I want to use it before starting a crochet project.
One Saturday, two weeks before my husband is to come home, I went to the underground market. It seemed like it was calling me because the theme of the market happened to be ‘Wool Sale’, so I found the loom knit girl and got some instructions, I got some wool from Anna Gratton (and her wools are exquisite!) and got busy making a scarf- two scarves that is, for my husband. I want to surprise him when he gets back.
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Anna Gratton wool. I will have to learn how to unwind them properly in the future.

 Within 7 days I finished 2 scarves. I suddenly wanted more, and I was hungry to make more than just scarves.
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Finished scarves I made with the knitting loom.

There was leftover yarn, so again I researched in the internet for inspiration, and one of those inspirations is to have an afghan throw in granny square. I went back to the Japanese store that afternoon and got 4mm/6mm hook. It was a really good deal because for $3.50 I get two hooks in one.

It was a slow start but I made a swatch from blue yarn and found it was relatively easy and possible for me to learn and do. Then I put that practice in action, and I got to make a large granny square. This is the first time I made a large project like this The feeling of making the afghan was ecstatic and so my addiction to learn and make more began.

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This is my beginner afghan in white. I ran out of yarn…

For the next few blogs I will share some of my projects in WIP (Work In Progress) and some finished. I will incorporate some of my projects with the knitting loom, from time to time, as it was from it that my crochet inspiration began.
The intention of this blog is a diary of sort for me to remember most of the lessons I made for myself. Also this is to share some of my creations and hopefully, since I was inspired by some of the best crochet artisans on the internet, I too could inspire other newbies like myself.

I’m now starting to have the jitters, but no worries I have a mantra for making the jitters disappear.

“Get yarn and hook it!”