Category Archives: Yarn and Needlework

What do unicorns eat for them to poop rainbows?

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The magical amigurumi unicorn

It’s been a while since I last crocheted (is that a word, or am I just making it up?) an amigurumi. My sister and I made a bet on whether I will land on a teaching job before July or not. She reckons I will and if she’s right, she wants me to get her a unicorn poster she likes. That, plus the fact that I missed playing with yarn, gave birth to this amigurumi unicorn. I got the pattern from Ana Paula Rimoli’s third book.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this, but it was using her books that I taught myself how to crochet. She designs really cute animal amigurumi, so if you’re into cute crochet things, you should definitely check her out!

Ram

Necklace turned bookmark

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I spent the whole of last night finishing a crochet flower necklace (pattern for crochet flowers can be found here. Leaf ties use this pattern. Both patterns are written in British crochet terms and, as I learned to crochet using American crochet terms, I used this translation guide to help me). When I tried it on and showed it to the boyfriend, he had this look on his face that said ‘It looks odd and I think you’re probably the only one who’d wear it, but good job though’. Yes, I do worry a lot about making things for people, especially when it’s a piece of jewellery or an accessory of some sort. I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to wear something they don’t especially like to keep me happy. And, I do realise that I sometimes wear quirky fashion.

Thus, I disassembled the finished necklace and re-assembled the crochet flowers to make three bookmarks. These I will give to my boyfriend’s grandmother, who enjoys reading very much.

Looking at the pictures now, I do think the flowers make better bookmarks. They look a bit too big and awkward as a necklace. Good call, Ram (and boyfriend)!

Ram

One handmade gift down, more to go!

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After much thought, I’ve decided that I’m not going to give away an uncomfortable collar necklace as a gift. Instead, I made another one with a different colour and without any buttons, beads and other sew-on extras. At first, I used a champagne coloured yarn to make the collar tie. Then I came across this pattern and thought the tie looked way cuter.

An adorable accessory, rich in colour.

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I really love the flower ties!

I’m really glad to have finally finished one gift. And now, to move on to the next one!

Ram

Pearl and lace collar necklace

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pearl lace necklace

I’ve finished beading my necklace and here’s what it looks like. I’m happy with the look of the finished product, but the thread that I used to sew on the beads made it feel a bit itchy to wear. So, I guess my dilemma remains…

Ram

p/s: I got the pattern for this collar on Ravelry, in case you’re wondering 🙂

To give or not to give

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I’ve realised a behavioural pattern of mine when making things for people. The process of figuring out what it is exactly that you want to make, finding patterns or recipes, and thinking of little alterations you can do to give it that personal touch, are all very exciting to me. But, once I start working on a project and seeing it develop, I start having second thoughts. “What if it’s not gift material?” “What if so-and-so doesn’t like it?” “What if I’m the only person who would wear this?”

Yes, I’m having second thoughts about crocheting gifts this Christmas. I wanted to make crochet jewellery for my boyfriend’s mom and grandma. I’ve finished the crochet part of one of the gifts, and I like it, but I worry that I’d be the only one to find it appealing. Boyfriend’s no help either as he, in his own words, have no idea about anything related to fashion and girly things.

Collar necklace

Above is the collar necklace I initially plan to give to my boyfriend’s mom for Christmas. It’s not yet finished though – I still need to add a row of pearl-like beads on top and scatter some all over the collar. However, I worry that it’s looking a bit ‘old’, and adding pearls are going to make it look older. Boyfriend made a doily comment and now I can’t unsee it. I guess the best thing to do is carry on and see what it looks like once it’s done before deciding what to do with it.

Ram

All aboard the chain loop trend!

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I was shopping for my boyfriend’s dog’s birthday and Christmas gifts yesterday when I stumbled upon this craft store called Hobbycraft. I can’t believe I have knitted, baked and crocheted the whole 6 years I was here in the UK and never knew this shop existed! Hobbycraft is amazing. They have novelty cake pans, cutters and decorations; sculpey of various colours; yarns of different texture and thickness; and everything I ever needed and more.  It was a good thing that my boyfriend was there to stop me from buying the whole store! (or from the embarrassment of having my card declined at the cashier yet again).

I did get myself a ball of chunky yarn (and a book and a snow globe). Initially, the plan was to make a scarf for my boyfriend’s mother for Christmas. I changed my mind, however, when I couldn’t find a scarf pattern that I like for her. Instead, I spent the whole night making a chain loop scarf for myself.

rope scarf

I made myself a chain loop scarf! The lighting in my room made it look very pale blue (top right) but, in reality, it looks closer to the other two pictures.

This pattern appears to be quite popular, as I’ve seen variations of it on the internet recently. It’s really easy and quick to make, and mine is surprisingly quite warm. I followed the pattern from this blog, which I found through Ravelry – another amazing late discovery which was brought to my attention by Tammy, a fellow wordpress blogger 🙂

Making this scarf was fun and all, but I should really get on with my Christmas presents plan – I only have about 2 weeks left before I leave for Scotland!

Ram

A Tale of Two Pair of Shorts

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It should come to no surprise how ecstatic I was to finally have my very own machine as I’ve been holding myself back from getting one before I finish my Masters for fear that it will only provide additional distraction from work. My new sewing machine, which I have yet to name, was a gift from my boyfriend who was also sweet enough to pick it up from the shop for me, hide it in his office throughout the duration of my thesis writing, and bring it back to the flat the day after I handed in my crappy thesis. Immediately after, I went on a crazy online shopping spree and got all the basic supplies. I never realised how expensive fabric can be, so I decided to stick with cheap things to practise with for now. I’m also very excited to find a couple of fabric shops near where I live with pretty fabrics costing as little as £1 a metre! I bought a selection and started sewing as soon as my supplies arrived.

I’m a naughty ‘lil machine!

My initial plan was to start with something small and sew a very simple pair of shorts as my first project, but the excitement of it all got me a little bit too ambitious and I started adding zips, cuffs and waistbands with belt carriers to my design. I even wanted to have pockets! Halfway through my sewing, I realised that I don’t have a zipper foot to help me sew the zip. The rational thing to do would be to wait until I get one, but instead I continued on with a presser foot. The result, of course, was not pretty.

My first tatty pair of shorts..

I was not able to sew the zip straight. I also realised that my pattern was wrong, hence why the zip is uncovered. The fit was also quite horrible and all the mistakes that could have been avoided if only I have the patience got me a bit disheartened so I stopped and re-started with my original plan. And I made a simple pair of shorts with elastic bands!

Shorts that I can wear! And yes, I don’t have an ironing board.

I got frustrated towards the end with some mistakes I did and rushed things a bit. But when I woke up the next morning and saw the shorts again, I didn’t think it was that bad. I even decided to wear it out to meet a girlfriend yesterday. I know it’s probably not the season for thin flowery shorts, but I’m kinda proud of what I made.

Shorts are not too bad, if I say so myself.

I’ve ordered my zipper foot and I will definitely have a go at another pair of shorts with zips and all once it arrives. Hopefully I would be able to sew with a cool head then!

Ram