Monday, November 28, 2011

A message to you

I decided I would dedicate the entire month of December to redesign this blog, only to realize I don't and can't have enough time to do it. I am working just way too much and I can't keep this blog updated as much as I want. In the other hand, my passion for crochet, knit and cross stitch keeps growing like a teenager, but I simply don't have the time to share it the blog way. I am a visual artist, a writer in the Spanish language and a musician - in her sabbatical year. I have many many projects to land in the coming months. I think some of those projects will involve yarn and thread - that's how badly in love I am with this crafting thing, and of course I will have to put all my energy into developing a brand for myself; that meaning a few hobbies will have to go back to the stash. My life is hectic - not complaining.

So my plan - sad, though, it's to keep the blog open with some patterns available only. I can't really compromise to post anything new but that doesn't mean I won't do it. So I will be remodeling the view of this portal in a way that everyone is still able to reach the important published work - patterns.

Not all is sad. I had this blog for little more than a year and I met really cool people through it. My work inspired friends and their friends, so there, I feel that I accomplished something very important to me. It took me a little while to realize that yes, I am going to miss coming here but no, I don't need this commitment right now - this was particularly hard since I'm a workaholic. 

Now that you've read this, I will let you go but never without thanking you for ever sharing my blog, commenting and simply just stopping by. I hope sometime in the future I can come back to this hobby.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kitty Earflaps

I'm lucky to have three nieces to keep entertained - or to keep me entertained, with funny photos and videos. I have made Kitty Ear flaps for all of them so this time I thought of making a classic shoot of myself to make fun of when I go 60. I am wearing the Kitty Ear flaps I made for my niece Nico, and since everytime that I hear the name Nico I think of the "banana record" - the Velvet Underground and Nico, I decided to make the banana a character in my pictures. I am not telling her about the flaps, it will be a nice surprise she will receive in the mail.

I made two earflaps almost a year ago for my two other nieces. I don't like posting pictures of children over here so this is all I will show: 

Make a difference in your living room

My cat has about 7 different beds around the house but this couch is the official one. Because this couch is somehow the main attraction of our living room - even to him, I decided to crochet this beautifully blue Doily Blanket and boost the colors of the room. If you are wondering, yes, this is the beautiful Willow Blanket that Lisa Gutierrez of GoodKnits recently wrote a pattern of. As soon as I saw the preview over her blog, I checked everyday at the CraftSanity website to see when the PDF version of the magazine would come out with the pattern. So it did and here is the result:

The pattern is very well written. The first blanket I made with it (I'm starting the 4th one now) gave me a little trouble but fortunately Lisa helped me, clearing a few questions I had, over her facebook page. Since it's a very repetitive pattern - especially on the long rows, it's easy to follow, BUT, some rows have variations and if you don't make notes of those, you could make mistakes. I did, several times. After the second blanket - and having written down reminders/notes, it was super easy to crochet. I am stoked about this blanket in my living room. We all love it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fan of The Experiments

Yes, this has a stained glass bulb!

I'm a fan of the experiments and I am also a fan of the red light. My house rarely gets white or natural light, unless I need to open blinds or curtains for a photo project that requires it, but I have to say, we love the red lights that make our rooms cozy and give the sensation of being in a cave. Our curtains are deep mustard so the light from outside filters creating a warm atmosphere. I have to blame the Husband for this, he gave me this obsession. When I met him, a few years ago, his apartment was carefully decorated with soft lights, white walls, brown furniture and red art everywhere.

These two lamps were accidents. The first one was given to us when the Husband's grandparents had a move out and couldn't take everything with them; the lamp looked like this. The second one was a thrift shop find, on sale, for $2. The lace work is purely experimental. Total improvisation. You can click on the photos to enlarge them.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Back to the future stitching

I recently finished a cross stitch project I began 3 years ago. What? Yes. One of those projects that I lose interest in (sometimes because it is not looking like I had planned), I put them off and wait for an inspiration stroke (that could take years). The inspiration came in doing modifications, adding colors and stitches. This was formerly a photo of me in 2006, I added the bangs to suit my current look. I am left with the impression of having visited myself in the past and talked about who I am today. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Infinity Scarf with Knitting Loom (basics) video tutorial

The infinity scarves I made last year inspired a ton of people around me. My friends all wanted one to snuggle in during the winter time and their moms got inspired and took their hooks and needles out once again. How good that made me feel. I keep wishing I could make scarves for everyone but I feel more inclined to teach them to make their own. This is why I decided to make a tutorial for this year's chilly season. On top of that, in one of my latest travels to Mexico I found some beautiful oldish rectangular looms that I personally found hard to find here in Texas, so I brought a few with me and I will be listing them soon online.

The scarf you see in the above photo was made with about 300 yards of 5 ply yarn (unknown brand, I found it when thrift shopping and for a great deal). I used a 27 stitches (pegs) hand made wooden rectangular loom 17.5" long. My scarf is 5.5" wide and approx 48" long. Scarfs made with this loom are usually wider, but I did a trick to make it only five and a half inches when it's laying. It actually stretches up to 11 or 12 inches.

The tutorial I made includes a photo explanation and video of the rectangular loom basics, that is, how to knit the diagonal stitch and how to cast off. I also want to give people the option of trying different stitches, so I will be posting those later on.

Materials, get started, how to work the stitch.

Intermission: As you will appreciate in the next photos, the scarf I made with the diagonal stitch has a slight difference in the procedure than the one I showed you on video 1, this is I used a bigger loom and left one peg (post) unworked in between the pegs I worked. Example: 

Can you tell the "N" pattern?
Important: Each peg (post) is aligned to it's opposite from the row across the slot, bottoms with tops are all aligned, so if you work the first peg, make sure you work the first one on the row on top. Always begin on the bottom row. The N Pattern: if you skip one peg in between you'll see your yarn making an N pattern all along.

Why did I skip one peg? I wanted the scarf to stretch even more and let it breath.

Click photo to enlarge

Cast off. Note: you could use a crochet hook to make this easier.

Making the INFINITY
You see, Infinity means it has no ends, so you have to sew both ends together. But first I want to show you how to fix the first end. Did you notice that one of them looks like this: ?

Here's another video for how to fix that end:

Slip your last loose end through the loop too:

This is how both ends should look like:

Now you must put both ends facing each other by folding your scarf, and sew them together:

I often put all other loose yarns as in a sandwich so I can sew them at the same time:

Some people prefer to crochet or knit the ends together because they don't like how the seam looks. I normally don't mind since they're at the inside of my scarf and I don't think anybody will notice. By attaching both ends of your scarf together you can wear it in at least three different ways, you can use it as a hoody if you have no hats handy or simply wrap it twice or even three times around your neck.

Temperature is already going down to 50s and even 40s some nights here in Texas, a scarf like this would make a great gift or accessory for yourself when those temps remain the same during the day. Hopefully soon (winter lover here). I hope this tutorial was helpful.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Autumn Star Cross Stitch Pattern

This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. That means you can Share and Remix as long as you credit this blog, you don't sell the pattern and if you must alter this work, you may distribute it under a similar license.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Impossible Triangle - Cross Stitch Pattern

I have a new obsession lately. Yes, another. :S A wall of cross stitch was created in my house and now I only have to come up with designs that appeal my nerdyness. I have decided to go for geometry. Yeah. Bitchy or Grandma style simply isn't for me. Don't get me wrong, I love everything else Grandma style. But, Cross Stitch = Math canvas. Gets me so excited.

Plus, I got the 9 version of PCStitch, so now I can work on my own patterns. Next level of keeping my brain busy. Note that I am not using brand new materials. You can tell by looking close to the fabric and the floss. I don't really mind this because the fun is in crafting and, besides, I love recycling. You would be surprised of how much material is being sold at your local thrift store. I've found bags of hoop frames for 3 dollars and tons of unused yarn.

So I think that I will be sharing some Cross Stitch patterns over here. This blog is calling for a redesign too. Sorry, I get bored too fast. So you might see crooked things around sometimes. This site is a work in progress. So, here I share this pattern with you. Click on it to enlarge.

Creative Commons License
This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. That means you can Share and Remix as long as you credit this blog, you don't sell the pattern and if you must alter this work, you may distribute it under a similar license.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mexican Flower Granny Square

I designed this cute square about a year ago. Today I decided to publish the pattern for the Square Lovers in the world. The written instructions for the used crochet terms are in American English. Feel free to translate them into UK terms but please don't forget to credit me. 

With color A, CH6 join with SLST to form a ring.

R1(woked in the ring): CH3, 2DC, CH1. (3DC, CH1) x5, SLST into 3rd CH, SLST into top of next DC, not the CH. (Here we have a total of 6 groups of triple stitches in the ring). Join color B into top of next DC. SLST in next space (the CH that separates groups of stitches).

R2: (CH3, 2DC, CH1, 3DC) in the same space where you previously SLST'ed, CH1. Work (3DC, CH1, 3DC) in same space (between the groups of 3DC) + CH1 all around to complete the circle (it will look like a hexagon). Join with SLST in top of CH, SLST in next 2 DC, SLST in space.

R3: (CH3, 2DC) in the same space, 1HDC in top of middle ST of next 3DC. Repeat all around 3DC in same space, 1HDC in top of middle ST of next 3DC. Finish with SLST in top of CH. (48 ST total). SLST in top of next 2DC.

R4: (CH3, 2DC) in the same ST, CH3, 3DC in next ST, *CH1, -Skip 3DC-, work 2SC together in next space and 1SC in next ST. CH1, -Skip 3DC-, 2SC together in next space and 1SC in next ST. CH1, 3DC together in next ST, CH3, 3DC in next ST*. Repeat from * to * all around. To end, SLST  until you get to the corner space.

R5: (CH2, 2HDC, CH2, 3HDC) in same corner space. *1HDC in each stitch (not in CH spaces) all the way to the corner. For corner work (3HDC, 2CH, 3HDC) in the same space*. Repeat from * to * to complete four sides of square and SLST to join with beginning using Color A.

R6: SC all the way around the square, keeping in mind that corners require 1SC, CH1, 1SC in same space.

Here's a photo tutorial. Just click on the picture to see a larger size.

Some printable sheets:

How to use them? just click on each picture to see larger size and print them out!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Home Projects & Cross Stitching

Cross Stitching is becoming the new attraction around the home studio!

[Chicken is my cat]

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pastel Waves the bag, the process

[It's getting super hard to keep up with this blog and all the different activities I have right now but I haven't decided to abandon it. I can't give it up. So it might take some time to update but I still have a few things in mind I need to share in here, and trust me I feel this way every time I come to put text in the box. ]

I decided to make a Pastel Waves bag. This one has a different shape than her three Waves Sisters. I didn't want to keep doing the same thing all over again. This is how I am, I vary. I can't repeat myself. That's why I find it hard to keep a routine.

First, I made panels with only 3 rows of waves. Why? The yarn I got for this project was slightly thicker than the ones I used before, so I had to use a bigger hook and it was turning into a giant tote bag so I undid a bunch of stitches, went back, did some rethinking and redesigning. This is how the panel looks:

If you are wondering what kind of stitch I use, it's the Long Single Crochet. It's basically the same stitch I used for the Piano Neck Purse (see tutorial) but arranged in a different way. I've heard people calling it Zig Zag but honestly zig zag is another thing to me. I call it the waves stitch.

Lining. Lining is next. I spent two weeks looking for a perfect cloth to go with this. I didn't want to get just some new fabric from the shop, I wanted to use something previously worn. I like recycling. Then, I found this scarf in my closet and well, I've worn it enough so what the heck. It makes the inside of the bag look psychedelic!

Did some handstitchin' on the wrong side both panels

Hand sewn both panels together. Right sides facing.

Pull the inside out.

Assembled the handles and did some ruffles on the sides.

What do you think?