Fair Isle: My new favourite thing

I was never good at knitting. All I could do properly was cast on. Then I found a treasure trove of knitting patterns and not being able to work them was annoying me a little. So I tried to use crochet & tunisian crochet stitches that look like knitting, while that all looked good it wasn’t making me happy. That’s how I decided to finally learn knitting.

Being a crocheter, it wasn’t all that difficult to figure out things. Some things feel natural, like holding the yarn, movement of fingers… my style is what they call the traditional or English style of knitting. Some crocheters might prefer the continental style as it has some similarities to crochet in terms of holding the yarn. However, my very early lessons in knitting as a kid had been in the English style. So I preferred to start where I had left off.

After about a dozen attempts to knit a perfect square, I was proficient enough to try new things. Then of course, I went on to try fair isle knitting. I started small with baby hats and then moved on to make this cushion cover. I’m in love with fair isle knitting patterns. The colourful patterns make my heart sing.

tinyheartshat2tinyheartshat4ombrehatearflap_top1Fairisle cushion1

The plan right now is to make four more of these in order to have a set of some kind. But I assure you, it most certainly won’t be a matchy-matchy set.

Here is the knitting pattern I used for this cushion. It’s a 14 st repeat.

Fair isle designfair isle cushion 2

I started off with knitting a couple rows of just blue before I worked the pattern and then ended with couple rows blue as well to keep the symmetry. One thing I have learned, fair isle knitting is easier and more enjoyable if it’s done in the round. While it is possible to do it as a flat piece of knitting, it’s confusing for a beginner and I didn’t enjoy the fact that every purl row I was clueless about how it looks and had to keep flipping over to see the right side if I’d got it right.

fair isle zip

This is an 18inch cushion. I have used a 12ply yarn and I cast on 126 and joined to make the round. Once the cushion measured 18.5in, I cast off and sewed one end using a tapestry needle and mattress stitch. On the other opening I sewed on a zipper using simple cotton thread and worked it in between the stitches so that it isn’t visible.

I can’t wait to cast on the next project! Excited! What do you think of this design? Do you too like fair isle knitting? Let me know in the comments below.

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Rejuvenated!

Have you ever needed a break so bad that all you think about is beaches, sand, green trees and tranquil spots around the world wishing you could teleport there? I was tired, cranky, feeling out of energy and sometimes super bitchy. Maybe that’s the reason Mr. B decided to surprise me with a short trip to Kerala. I was thrilled. Needless to say my bags were packed in a day and off we went!

Never before have I needed a break so badly. The winter blues weren’t helping the already drained situation I was in. Kerala was a pleasing break from all. No cooking, no cleaning, no work, no orders, no grocery shopping, no washing to do. All I did in Kerala was put my feet up and chill. We actually didn’t even explore so much. We visited only 3 places in a whole week. We spent most of our time in the hotel balcony enjoying the views, or restaurant, or in the bed, or in the spa. All I wanted was to be lazy, relax and not worry about missing out on seeing the place. Kerala is exceedingly picturesque. Even the journey was filled with scenic views and long winding roads.

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Our first stop was Munnar, which has hills blanketed in tea plants. All you see, everywhere your eye goes… Tea. Our hotel had amazing views of the sunrise and sunset. Sunsets are our thing, Mr. B & mine.  The valley is almost always shrouded in mist and fog.

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Sunrise in Munnar : That was the view from our bed
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Sunset in the valley. Doesn’t the sun look delicious?

We visited a nearby garden which made me go wild with exhilaration. It is one of the best I have seen so far. That’s partly because every plant was flowering at the time. It was so colourful I could spend the entire day there looking at the flowers.

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We had an opportunity to see a Tea museum (but it was really a Munnar museum telling the story of the place). Mr. B is a tea person. He has an obscene amount of tea everyday. Needless to say he was in his heaven. We also bought a tremendous amount of tea varieties to try at home.

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Next on our list was Thekkady which is right in the middle of forest area. This is a national park and just walking around in the forest you easily come across a lot of wildlife.

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We took a boat ride early in the morning to check out the birds. Still, we couldn’t spot any elephants or tigers. With only 48 tigers left in the entire park, they are a rare sight.

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Finally, we went to Kumarakom and this was only for the amazing sunset. All we did in Kumarakom was shop and watch the sunset.

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The peaceful stillness of the lake is really something. You dont hear any traffic, any machines nothing. Just water and birds, and the occasional paddling of a boat.

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Oh and did I mention, after tea the entire route from Munnar to Thekkady has huge coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations? Like its all one big spice forest.

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Pepper plant
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Coffee:Arabica robusta

After this Kerala trip I understand what rejuvenation is. Kerala is amazing for an escape into the nature. Also, one of the best places to buy silk sarees. (I bought 6, some as gifts to our moms.)

I highly recommend Kerala to anyone looking for any sort of Ayurveda stuff or looking for a calm peaceful time away from your everyday life.

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Delilah crochet baby dress

As promised, this is the Delilah crochet dress pattern that you saw on my Instagram @cozzycrochet. Here I have used Ganga Merino wool which is easily available in India. The orange yarn is Vardhaman millennium. Let’s get to it!

Size: 12 months

Hook: 3.00mm

Terminology: American crochet terms.

ABBR.

  • St: stitch
  • Ch: chain
  • Sc: single crochet
  • Dc: double crochet
  • Hdc: half double crochet
  • sl st: slip stitch

dress3dress-detaildress-2

 

BODY:

Make a chain long enough to fit snugly around the baby’s neck. If you want it very close to the neck, measure around the neck of baby and chain only that long. However, you will need to make the body part longer by a couple rows.

DONOT join the chain, we are going to put a button at the back, so that it is easier to get the dress on and off.

R1: Make 1 dc in the third chain from the hook. 1dc in each of the next ch till end of chain.

R2: Ch5 and turn. Skip next dc and make 1dc in the next st. *ch2, skip 1dc, make a dc in the next st*. Repeat till end of row.

R3: Ch2 and turn. *Make 1dc in each of the next 4sts. 2dc in the 5th st. * (the 2dc in every 5 stitchs is the increase) Repeat till end. Ch2 and turn.

R4: Same as Row 2.

R5: Ch 2 and turn. *Make 1dc in each of the next 5 sts. 2 dc in the 6th st* (making an increase every 6th st), repeat *till the end. Ch2 and turn.

R6: Same as Row 2.

R7: Ch 2 and turn. 1dc in the next 6 sts. 2 dc in the 7th st  (making an increase every 7th st), repeat till the end. ##

R8: Same as Row2. Join with slip stitch to the 1st dc of the row. From here on we will work in rounds.

## I stopped after R7 because my work was long enough and wide enough to cover a 1year olds chest and shoulders. If you want to adapt the pattern to make it smaller, stop at whatever row you feel is wide enough to cover the shoulders. To make the pattern for bigger size, do a couple rows extra until it fits. ##

At this point you need to lay the piece so that the opening in back is exactly at the centre of the front. Now, measure 3 ¾ inches on each side for armholes. Place a stitch marker to join the front to back.

armhole detail blog.jpg

R9: *1dc in each of next 9 sts. 2dc in the next st *(increasing every 10 st) till you reach the stitch marker. Skip the stitches for arm hole, continue with pattern in * till next stitch marker, and skip the stitches for arm hole. Continue with pattern till end.

#If you feel that the chest part isn’t long enough, make a few rows of 1hdc in each stitch till desired length is achieved. #

R10: *Ch5, skip 2 sts, sc into next st.* (sc into every 3rd st) Repeat till end of round.

R11: ch5 and sc into the next ch5 loop from previous row. Repeat till end of round.

R12: same as R11.

SKIRT:

At this point you can use any crochet pattern you like to make the skirt part. I chose a design in saw in THIS youtube video. You can use any frilly or lacy crochet pattern like pineapple motifs. Just make sure you either make it wide enough from start to have that natural folding or kind of gathering at the top and A-line structure, or increase the skirt row wise to make it roughly A-line.

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FLOWER:

You can use any crochet design to make the flower. I used THIS  flower pattern to make mine. I did not make it layered because it was too big as it is.

dress detail flower.jpg

FINISHING:

Using a tapestry needle attach a button at the back to the corner of R1. Sl st around the neck and armhole opening to make it neater.

Weave in the ends with a tapestry needle.

HEADBAND:

I made the headband by making an icord of 4stitches. If you do not know knitting, you can make a simple crochet chain long enough to fit the head,and join with sl st in first chain. 1hd crochet in each stitch till end. Make a flower using the pattern given above and attach to the belt using a tapestry needle. Weave in all ends.

head-band

 

 

ARROW STITCH CUSHION COVER

I made this cushion cover just as a random side project. It turned out better, a lot better than I thought. I saw an afghan with arrow stitches and figured this will work nicely as cushion design… and it came out perfect! This pattern is for a standard 16-inch square cushion. But it can be modified for any size. This particular cover pictured here is made from chunky yarn, that helps define the arrows more.

blue-chunky-pillow

 

So here goes:

Terminology: American crochet terms

ABBR:

  • Ch: chain
  • St: stitch
  • Hdc: Half double crochet
  • Dc: Double crochet
  • Tr: Treble crochet.  Wrap the yarn over twice and insert hook through the st. Yarn over and pull through (3 loops on hook). Yarn over and pull through two sts 3times.

FRONT:

ROW 1: chain in multiples of 4+2for desired length. In the third chain from the hook, work 1hdc. 1hdc into each stitch till end. Ch1 and turn.

ROW 2: 1 Hdc into each stitch in the back loop only. Ch1 and turn

ROW 3: (Arrow stitch row): 1hdc into first st. skip next 3 sts, 1tr into the next st. Working behind the tr just made, work 1dc into each of the skipped 3sts. *Skip next 3 sts after the first tr and work one tr into the next st. working behind the tr just made, work 1 dc into each of the skipped sts*. Repeat from *. 1hdc in the last st. ch1 and turn.

ROW 4: 1hdc into first st. skip next 3 sts, 1tr into the next st. working in front of the tr just made, work 1dc into each of the skipped 3sts. *Skip next 3 sts after the first tr and work one tr into the next st. Working in front of the tr just made, work 1 dc into each of the skipped sts*. Repeat from *. 1hdc in the last st. ch1 and turn.

This makes an arrow on one side of your work. This will be your right side of work.

ROW 5: 1Hdc into each st. ch1 and turn.

ROW 6: 1Hdc into each stitch in front loop only. Ch1 and turn.

ROW 7: 1Hdc into each st in back loop only. Ch1 and turn

ROW 8: 1Hdc into each stitch in front loop only. Ch1 and turn

ROW 9: 1Hdc into each st in back loop only. Ch1 and turn

ROW 10: 1hdc into each stitch in front loop only. Ch1 and turn

ROW 11-ROW 26: repeat from row3 to row10 twice.

ROW 27-28: repeat row 3 and 4.

ROW 29-30: repeat rows 5and 6.

Bind off and weave in ends.

BACK:

ROW 1: Make foundation chain upto desired width +2. I the third chain from the hook work 1hdc. 1Hdc into each stitch till end of row. Ch1 and turn.

ROW 2: 1Hdc into the third large back loop of each st. (check the video tut here). Ch1 and turn.

ROW 3: Work 1 hdc in the front loop only of each stitch. Ch1 and turn.

ROW 4 onwards: repeat row2 and 3 alternating till the work is ¾ the size of required size.

Make another piece following the same pattern, 1/4th the required size. Make sure the two pieces from back overlap a little.  Place the two pieces as you would want the back panel to look like. Pin the pieces where they overlap.

JOINING:

Place the squares on top of one other with the wrong sides facing each other so that the corners match up. Join yarn at one corner of the square, make sure you work through both the front and back sts. work 2 sc into the corner. work 1 sc in each stitch in the side, 4sc into corner. Repeat till you reach the first corner again, work 2sc into the corner and slip st into the first sc of the round. Bind off and weave in ends.

Attach buttons on the back to close the back opening.

Aria Lacy Dress Pattern

Hello everyone!

I’m back to blogging and this time I am here to share my very first pattern tutorial.

I recently made a few dresses/frocks, some for customers, some just for fun. You can check them out on my Instagram. I apologize in advance if the instructions are confusing. Its my first time. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I promise I will reply and try to help you anyway I can.

This is my Aria lacy dress. The size I have made is for 6-9 months, however, you can modify this pattern to fit any size.

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Let’s get to the pattern for this dress. I have used a simple 4ply acrylic wool from Vardhaman Millenium. I don’t know the shade number or name. This is a soft yarn and in my experience completely baby safe. Its very warm and cozy as well.

 

Size: 6-9 months

Hook: 4.00mm

Terminology: American crochet terms.

Stitches: V stitch: 1dc, ch1, 1dc in same space.

Double V stitch: 2dc, ch2, 2dc in same space.

ABBR.

St: stitch

Ch: chain

Sc: single crochet

Dc: double crochet

Hdc: half double crochet

v-st: V stitch

slip st: slip stitch

 

BODY

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Foundation chain: 78 {multiples of 3} For other sizes make the foundation chain long enough to fit the person’s chest.

Row 1:  In the second chain from the hook work 1 Hdc.  Work 1hdc into every chain till the end. Ch1(not considered a stitch) and turn,

Row 2:  1 hdc into the back loop only of every hdc from the previous row. This will create the ridged texture on the bodice. Work 1hdc into the ch2 from beginning of row1

Row 3-Row 10: repeat row 2

##Once you feel the bodice is long enough you can stop. For adult sizes you will need to repeat row 2 more times than for a baby. I checked after row 11 that the length was enough for a 9month old and stopped.

Row 11: 1hdc into back loop only all the way around and join to the first hdc with a slip st. From here on, you will work in rounds and there is no need to turn your work. Decide at this point which side you will like to be the right side of your dress and start row12.

SKIRT:

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Row 12: ch4 (counts as 1dc, ch1) 1dc into the same st(makes 1 V-st). skip 2 sts, *7dc into next st, skip 2 stitches, v-st into next, skip next 2 sts*. Repeat pattern between * till end of round. Slip st into the fourth ch of ch4 from beginning of round.

Row 13: ch4,1dc (counts as a V-st) in the same ch1 space of v-st from previous row. *Skip next 2 dc, 1dc in each of the next 5dc. Skip next 2dc ,V-st in next ch 1 space*. Repeat from * till end of row and slip stitch into the fourth chain of beginning ch4.

Row 14: ch4 and 1sc into the same ch1 space. {Ch2.  1dc,* ch1, 1dc into the next st,* Repeat from * five times total. Ch2,  1sc into the next ch1 space of v-st from last row, ch3, 1sc into the same ch1 space. }

Repeat instructions between { } till end of round. Ch2 and slip st into the ch4 from beginning of row.

Row 15: ch3(counts as 1dc), 6dc into the ch4 loop from last row. *skip 2 dc from last row, v-st into the next dc (3rd dc of the 5 dc from last row).  Skip next 2dc, 7dc into the chain3 loop from previous row. *

Repeat pattern between * till end of round.

Row16 onwards: Repeat row 12 to row 15 until you have reached your desired length.

EDGING: after the last round of row15, you should have cluster of 7dc and v-st alternating.

For the edging of this dress I did a repeat of 7dc into the ch1 space of each v-stitch and 7dc in the centre (on top of the 4th dc of the cluster) of each shell/scallop.

Slip stitch to the first dc and bind off.

STRAPS:

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Before working the straps determine where you want the straps to start and end. To do this, lay your work flat with the back opening in the centre. Now determine where you would like the straps to be. I did mine 4 sts in from either end and joined about 7 sts in from the back opening. I also crossed mine at the back.

Alternatively, you can count the number of stitches to skip from the back opening on both sides and start the strap there. For example: for my dress, it comes to 26 sts on right and 26 sts on left. This way you know your straps are equidistant from the opening.

Right strap: Join yarn. Ch3, 1dc, ch2, 2dc into the same st(makes a double v-st). *Turn, slip st over the 2 dc and 1lip st into the ch2 space. Ch1, 2dc, ch2, 2dc into the ch2 space of the previous V. *

Repeat from *until desired length is achieved. Leave a long tail and cut yarn. With a tapestry needle join the strap to the back of the dress using the tail.

Left strap: worked same as right.

To make the straps cross at the back, join the right strap to the left side of the opening and vice versa.

FINISHING:

Join yarn at the end of the back opening and do 1 sc across to the other end. You will be working the Sc into the side of the Hdc of the bodice. Once you reach the end, chain 6 and slip st into the last sc. Bind off.

Attach a button on the opposite side of the chain6 loop.

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Weave in all the ends and you are done!

Let me know how your dress turned out! You can also tag me on Instagram with “@cozzycrochet”

Have a good day and happy hooking! 😉

Please remember: You are free to use this pattern to make and sell, but do not republish or distribute this pattern in print or any other way. DO NOT use my photos in your listings. Please do share my blog links! It’s a quick and FREE way of supporting me and hopefully lots of free crochet patterns in the future.

 

 

 

Weekend craft

Five days of a week we live for the body, but weekends are for the soul.

Weekends are to unwind and relax. Put your feet up; grab a book and mug of coffee, cozy up in your nook. Weekends are for getting down on your knees in the garden and getting dirty. Weekends are to get in your car and drive out of the concrete jungle.

Weekends for me usually mean doing small (sometimes big) projects with Mr. B or my friends. Weekends are reserved for creative crafts and arts. We unwind making stupid little things that will probably end up in the bin or a big box of random junk in our house. This weekend we decided to try out the cold porcelain stuff.

Sometime ago I came across cold porcelain creations and lamasa art. I always wanted to try it. So this weekend we gave it a go. We made the clay at home (I have included the recipe at end) and got to making random things. We used our cookie cutters to make different shapes and later I tried making some roses. The good thing about cold porcelain is it does not require baking and the clay is very good for making flowers as it is translucent when rolled thin. Here are the results.

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Here is the recipe we used:

  • 1 cup cornflour/corn-starch
  • 3/4 cup white glue (I used Fevicol which is easily available in India)
  • 1 tablespoon of mineral oil (I used baby oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of Lemon juice.
  • cling film
  • cold cream

Procedure:

  1. Apply cold cream or baby oil on a cling film or plastic sheet and keep it aside for use later. It’s better to do this now.
  2. In aluminium or any non-stick container, mix flour, glue lemon juice and oil in given quantities. Mix till all the lumps are gone and a gooey texture forms.
  3. Transfer the container to a stove and stir. After a few minutes you will see small lumps start to form. Keep stirring vigorously.
  4. Stir until it all comes together to form a ball. It took me just 2-3 mins as I wasn’t making in large quantity
  5. Remove the ball from heat and place it on the cling film or plastic sheet you prepared earlier.  Knead it like dough. Use gloves if you feel the clay is too hot. Some people have suggested using a wet cloth to wrap it in and knead. But I was comfortable kneading it with bare hands on the sheet
  6. Wrap the clay ball in cling film or plastic so that its air tight. This is important as the clay starts to dry fairly quickly. You can store the clay in refrigerator.
  7. Whenever you use the clay apply some cream on your hands.

I am pleased with the results. The flowers look realistic enough and it’s very strong when dry. I did the stress test by banging the flowers on the floor. Nothing broke! I added a tiny amount of colour to the clay as it was really stark white. One tip on colouring your clay, add the tiniest amount. When the clay dries, the colour deepens. I started with what looked like a rich eggplant colour (made by mixing pink and blue) for the rose. After a day, it had dried to a deep burgundy shade.

Have fun making your own clay. If you do try out this recipe, let me know if it worked for you too, and the changes you made.  Share your creations on my Facebook page. I would love to see them!

 

 

Crochet baby set

Friend: Can you make a crochet baby set? Like shoes and mittens etc.? I want to gift a friend of mine who just delivered a baby boy. I’ll pay.

Me: Sure I can make it! Just decide the colours and design.

That is how I got my very first crochet order. Custom made baby clothes. It took me longer than I anticipated. The results? Here they are:

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There was also a blanket in fan ripple stitch blanket in same colour scheme, which I couldn’t photograph before giving it. I must admit, there is some weird sense of satisfaction when you make money doing what you love. I’d never really worked for money. This was like my first pay. And it felt sooooo good!

On the suggestion of the same friend I started to sell my crochet products in Diwali last year. It was just a small stall at her office, like a Diwali bazaar thing. I made decent amount of money. This year I’ve decided to go again. I’m making new things to display and sell. Hopefully, I can bring a little bit of cozy to others life. 😛

I’m really really really loving “my work”. Its so relaxing, soothing and at the same time inspiring. I’m in crochet heaven. 🙂