Play Bands

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Kids love to bind things together (at least my do) with as many knots as possible…. Crocheting some play bands is quick and easy and yields nice soft bands.

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Here is how to make them:

Make many chain stitches – about two meters or as long as you want your play band to be. Then crochet back with single stitches. Crochet about 3-6 rows all together. If you feel wild you can use different colors for each (or each second) row. In the example shown above I changed color every second row and made the play band six rows wide and about two meters long.

This post first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

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Lace shawl

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Yeah! Finally! After almost two years of knitting I finished this lace shawl. I gave it as a gift to my mom. It was my first attempt at knitting lace. Thanks to the wealth of online tutorials I learned a few new stitches – I am usually a somewhat “wild” knitter and improvise usually a lot along the way. This was one rare occasion where I had to follow a detailed pattern – and I enjoyed it!

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What did not work out well for me was the edge of the shawl. It was to tight compared to the pattern and I should have knitted it more loose.

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And when finishing the shawl I overdid it there and finished it too loose. So the whole think is a bit out of shape and not the perfect triangle. But hey, it keeps my mom warm and toasty!

Yarn:  A lovely wool-silk-mohair mix (I can’t find the paper band anymore).

Needles: 3.5 mm

Pattern: Wiebkes Lieblingstuch but I did not add the border.

Would I do it again? I want to learn more lace to next time I will be another pattern.

This is a contribution to Creadienstag.

This post first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

Jute basket

2015.01.01.NewYear.044sWhat a great idea to crochet baskets out of thick jute yarn! I followed the instructions on Naturkinder and made already three baskets in different sizes. It is hard work but rewarding. They are great for about everything. I made a small one for keys, the one pictured was a gift for my mom (and was also used to keep the goodies from St. Nicolas) and a larger basket is holding baby’s little toys.

I had some trouble in the beginning to make a nice transition between rounds. But with this tutorial I finally figured it out!

Yarn: Jute yarn 6mm 6-ply (e.g. from Rayher)

Crochet hook: 12 mm (from bamboo)

Will I do it again? Yes! I just put in an order for more jute yarn.

 

This post appeard first on tamtamtieger.wordpress.com.

baby boshi

 

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I wanted to make a boshi for some time now. Boshi (Japanese: hat) is a recent trend in Germany and stands for handmade (mainly crocheted) hats. The trend was started by two students and now you can see even big rough guys sitting quietly with a crochet hook.

Our newest family member was in acute need of a hat, so I had an excuse to try my hands on making a boshi. During our postpartum days, when I couldn’t do much more than lying in bed and cuddling with the new baby, this was a very welcome occupation.

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Here is my version of a baby boshi (head circumference ca. 34 cm):

Yarn: Debbie Bliss 50% cotton, 50% merino wool; crochet hook: 4mm

Start with 5 chain stitches, close them to a loop with a slip stitch. Into this loop make 8 half double stitches. In the next round double each stitch (16 half double stitches), and in the next round double them again (32 half double stitches). Then double every fifth stitch until you reach the desired circumference minus one cm (56 stitches). Continue with double half stitches until the you reach the desired hight of the hat. Finish with one round of double stitches.

For the band I used a contrast color and, using chain stitches, made one long chain, which I wove into the double stitches of the back half of the hat. I made a second short chain with small loops on either side which I wove through the double stitches of the front half of the hat. The long ends of the long chain I thread through the loops of the short chain. This allows to adjust the width of the hat a little bit when binding the hat.

This is my contribution to Creadienstag and Made4Boys.

This post appeared first on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

Precious harlequin

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This is a precious little harlequin from my childhood. It is ca 30 cm high (plus hat)  and was crocheted by my very gifted great-aunt who passed away a few years ago. Although my mom kept it mostly save from me and gave it to me only occasionally, it got some stains over the years. Otherwise it is still in excellent condition and is now a beloved (occasional) companion to my children. I love it because of its great craftsmanship – look at this delicate collar! – and it is a wonderful memory of this much loved aunt.

Precious is a small series about some precious little things. They are precious to me because of who made them, how they are made and/or which story they tell.

Amish Puzzle Ball

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When I saw this ball on aenni’s wonderful blog recently, I immediately new I had to try to make one. Especially since I am a mathematically trained person with a love for all things geometrical I had to have one of those little geometrical wonders in my own hands. And so I decided to make one for my cousin’s new baby girl using a soft cotton from my stash. I followed aenie’s link to a very good video tutorial of this crochet pattern by Dedri Uys (oh, and you should see Dedri’s amanis!). Originally, this ball is made by the Amish using scraps of fabric. But I really like the crochet version because it is so nice to grab – perfect for little hands. I did not use different colors for the different parts as suggested by the pattern, partly because my stash is very limited on soft cotton yarn (and I wanted to start immediately!), and mainly because I really like the combination of purple and orange shades of this ball of cotton I had. I think the changing colors of the yarn did produce some soft defining lines after all and I really like how it all came together in the end.

I sent the ball to my cousin wrapped into packaging paper which I found in my mom’s basement and which we decorated using our favorite printing technique. This made it a hand-made, stash-busting, up-cycled gift from heart.

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Pattern: Amish puzzle ball, following this video tutorial.

Yarn: 100% cotton from my stash, bought a few years ago at a nice yarn store in Montclaire, NJ.

Needles: crochet hook 3.5 mm

Filling: 100% wool (healing wool)

Would I do it again? Oh yes! The only downside of the pattern is that one has to constantly attentively count…  Next time I will not turn the little hats inside out.

This is my contribution to Creadienstag!

This blog-post first appeared on tamtamtiger.wordpress.com.

Hedgehog

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I needed a pincushion. When I am sewing I always fiddle around with the pins in this tiny little box they came in, and this is not very handy. My idea was to have a little hedgehog to hold my pins and I was considering to just try to crochet something “free hand” which at best would have probably resembled a very oddly shaped little hedgehog…. But then The Purl Bee by Purl Soho came to my rescue when they recently published a knitting pattern and I had a go at it.

I like how my little hedgehog turned out, however it does a bit resemble a piggy in a coat, doesn’t it…? I stuffed it with the insides of an old discarded stuffed animal which is a bit too fluffy and it doesn’t give any resistance to the pins (I am always afraid that the hedgehog might swallow the pins). The original pattern recommends bamboo fiber fill – I have no idea how that feels. The hedgehog is quite large (ca. 15 cm long), which makes it a bit too big as a permanent pin holder, so I only use it while working with pins. But in any case it works, the hedgehog does its job very well of carrying the pins and it is a very friendly companion while I am sewing!

Knitting pattern: Knit Hedgehog (Whit’s Knits) by The Purl Bee by Purl Soho

Yarn: Siena Big 100% merino extrafine superwash from Wollrödel, in three colors (brown 14259, light brown 14252, black 14290)

Needles: The face I knitted with 2.75mm and the body with 3.5mm.

Stuffing: Filling of an old stuffed animal

Will I knit it again? Probably not. I just don’t need a whole family of hedgehogs.

This is my contribution to Creadienstag!

Socks

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My first pair of socks! I started knitting socks in the lag of warm weather (cold, grey, rain, so not spring) – socks can never be wrong, can they? Although I did a fair bit of knitting over the years, for some reason, I never knitted socks. So while being cold, busy with visitors and not having enough time to sit down to a big project I dug out a ball of sock yarn, got myself needles and started on a pair of socks. In search of instructions how to knit socks I remembered this old book:

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“Crafting book for girls” from the fifties. I received this book when I was a child from an aunt and since then it collected dust in a far corner of our bookshelf, almost forgotten. Sure enough it contains a chapter about knitting socks. And how about sewing stuffed animals, weaving baskets or building small furniture? I will keep this book handy from now on!

Socks

Yarn: TOFUtsies of SWTC (50% superwash wool, 25% SOYSILK brand fiber, 22.5% cotton, 2.5% Chitin, made from shrimp and crab shell!). I bought it several years ago in a store in Montclair, NJ.

Needles: 2.75 (US 2)

Pattern: cast on 64 stitches; 16 rows 2k, 2p; then stockinette. Heel: knit 27 rows; German heel with 11/10/11 stitches. Gusset: Take up the sides of the heel (14 stitches on each side), decrease 2  every third row. Toe cap: Here I followed the instructions of Hermione’s Everyday Socks: decreasing four stitches (ssk 1 stitch at the end of needle 1 and 3 and k2tog at the beginning of needle 2 and 4, knitting the last and first stitch, respectively) on row 1, 4, 7, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and closing the last 24 loops using the Kitchener technique.

Blog along

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Not for me, because I really don’t have enough to show. And with two small kids, visitors to come and unpredictable workload, I don’t feel confident to make a pledge of any kind that would promise any number of newly sewed garments. Maybe next year?

Thinking about this challenge I came to realize how amazingly vibrant and busy the blogging world is. Here in Germany, where most of the sewing blogs I read are located, there are so many “blog-alongs” that the week can become quite busy by just participating in some of them.  Just for fun, here is a list of some “blog-alongs”:

Those are all I know of, but I will add “blog-alongs” as I encounter them.

Of course there are a gazillion more ad-hoc “blog-alongs”, like the seasonal sew-alongs: Wintermantel-sew-along (winter coat), Weihnachtskleid-sew-along (holiday dress), Heidi-Project, Himmelfahrtskommando,……

It is really very busy out there!