15 Oct

fish for Amiga

Fish for Amiga - a knitting pattern by La Visch Designs

My cat Amiga is crazy about Moeke Yarns Elena. And by crazy I mean the drooling and acting weird kind of crazy. I think it must be the slight sheepiness this yarn has. So, I thought I would make her day by creating something just for her made from this lovely yarn!

These small fish for Amiga are knit in the round. Once the body is closed, the tail is knit flat. A photo tutorial on how to close the body of the fish is included! Since only small amounts of yarn are used, this pattern is perfect for stash busting little odds and ends.


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Difficulty level
Techniques used include Judy’s Magic Cast On and knitting in the round. Stitches used include knit, purl, skp, k2tog and m1. This pattern is suitable for the intermediate knitter.

Sizes and finished measurements
Size S (L): Height of 3.5 (6.5) cm (1 ½ (2 ½ ) inches) and a length of 9 (14) cm (3 ½ (5 ½ ) inches).

Pattern details

  • The gauge should be such that your stitches are tight enough not to show the stuffing. For the sample fish: 11 sts / 15 rows = 5 cm (2 inches) over stockinette.
  • Pattern languages included: English and Dutch (Dit patroon omvat zowel een Nederlandse als een Engelse versie)
  • Digital PDF has 4 pages (letter size)

Materials

  • Approx. 13 (33) m (15 (36) yds) / 4 (10) g of Moeke Yarns Elena Single (100% wool; 330 m (361 yds) / 100 g) was used in the sample Fish for Amiga. Substitute a sport to DK weight yarn for a similar result.
  • Needles in your preferred style for small circumference knitting in the round. Size 3 mm (US 2 ½) needles were used for the sample fish.
  • 1 extra needle in the same size as your main needles.
  • 4 stitch markers
  • 1 differently colored “end of round” marker
  • Fiberfill
  • Yarn needle
29 Mar

roll it up & go crochet hook case

Roll it up & go crochet hook caseWhen I learned to crochet I soon found the need to store my rapidly increasing stash of crochet hooks. But where? Make it myself of course! Since I have hooks from very thin to very thick I wanted to have one in which I can easily adjust the size of the pockets. The pattern for this crochet hook case can be found on Interweave and of course also here on the lavisch.com website.

22 Jun

free pattern – wine glass charms

Crochet wine glass charms - A free pattern by La Visch Designs

Here in the Netherlands Summer is having a somewhat hesitant start. The time for garden parties is bound to arrive soon though. Those I really enjoy: Firing up the bbq, eating tasty sandwiches and salads and of course enjoying yourself with friends and family until the early hours. On those occasions I like to have a glass of wine. At busy parties there however usually comes a time that I really don’t know which one of the glasses on the table is mine…

For this I have found a solution: Wine glass charms! The idea is that you attach a unique charm to every glass, so you can always easily see which one is yours. Of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t make such charms myself!

In this post I’m giving you the pattern for wine glass charms that I designed to use with leftover bits of crochet cotton and a variety of buttons. These charms can of course also be used on other glasses with a stem. This pattern uses lobster stitch cord, that I explained step by step in this tutorial.

Crochet wine glass charms - A free pattern by La Visch Designs

Pattern wine glass charms

This pattern is written in American English crochet terminology.

Materials

  • Crochet Cotton, I used Schoeller + Stahl Manuela Häkelgarn No. 5 [100% mercerized cotton; 220 m / 50 g]
  • Various different buttons with a diameter of 10 to 20 mm (3/8 to 13/16 inch)
  • 1 crochet hook in size 2 mm (US steel crochet hook size 1)

Instructions

Round 1: Ch 2, 6 sc in second ch from hook and sl st closed to first sc. (6 sts)
Make sure you keep a yarn tail of about 30 cm (12 inch).

Round 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st, sl st to first ch of round. (12 sts)

Round 3: Ch 1, [2 sc in next st, 1 sc] 6 times, sl st to turning ch to close the round. (18 sts)

Round 4: Ch 1, [2 sc, 2 sc in next st] 6 times, sl st to turning ch to close the round. (24 sts)

Round 5: Ch 1, [2 sc in next st, 3 sc] 6 times, sl st to turning ch to close the round. (30 sts)

Next: Make a lobster stitch cord with a length of 12.5 cm / 5 inches.

Next: Close the cord into a loop by attaching the end with a sl st to the point where the start exists the crochet circle. Break yarn.

Finishing
Use the yarn tail from the center of the circle to sew on a button and weave in all ends.

Here are some examples of different types of buttons used. As you can see you can achieve very different effects by using various kinds of buttons!

Crochet wine glass charms - A free pattern by La Visch Designs

08 Jun

tutorial: making your own yarn display

Making a yarn display - by La Visch Designs

You probably recognize this: All those beautiful skeins of yarn in a lush variety of materials and colors and no way to enjoy it all because it is all tucked away in the stash. It really is a shame to have to put it all away to protect it against the effects of UV light, odors, dust, pets and vermin. It makes it pretty hard to enjoy the woolly splendor….

Why not make a rotating exhibition of your favorite yarns on your favorite spot in the house? Regular “tossing” of the wool stash also has its advantages. It discourages moths and makes it possible to nip an infestation in the bud. Also, doing this we can enjoy all the yarn, even if we are busy with things other than crochet and knitting.

Therefore, I want to show you in this post how you can make an etagere yourself for superb display of your favorite skeins of yarn.

Materials

Making a yarn display - by La Visch Designs

  • 3 plates / dishes in varying sizes
  • 2 cups, glasses or ice cream sundaes
  • A sealant gun with Polymax (DIY store)
  • Ruler
  • Bowl with soapsuds
  • Some paper towels

In this tutorial I use plates and cups I bought at the Hema. However, if you want an etagere with a more vintage or romantic appearance, a thrift store can be a good place to look. Often there is a great variation to get some lovely plates with flowers, gold edges and fine glassware for friendly prices.

I like to use Polymax glue instead of the glue from a regular glue gun. Polymax has the great advantage that you can get the glue loose again if it does not go right the first time. Also, with this kit the glue joints can be smoothed after applying similar to silicone sealant. This makes the result very nice with less effort!

Step by step

1. Start by properly washing your plates and cups. You want to have them really clean and free of dust and greasy spots.

Making a yarn display - by La Visch Designs

2. Grab the biggest plate and measure accurately where the exact midpoint is. Mark this on the plate with pencil, the markings can be brushed off later easily.

3. Grab a cup and apply your glue on the top edge.

4. Turn the cup and put it upside down on the big plate. Make sure you put it right in the middle. If necessary, use the ruler to measure whether it is indeed in the middle. At this stage you can still push the cup around a little to position it correctly if necessary.

5. Press the cup lightly.

6. Make your wet finger with a little of the soapy water and smooth down the connection between the cup and the plate while continuing to press the cup to the plate. Use paper towels to wipe your fingers.

Making a yarn display - by La Visch Designs

7. Repeat steps 2 to 6 for the plate in the middle size. Allow the glue to harden at least 2 hours. After 4 hours the Polymax has fully cured, but you can proceed before that time if you’re careful!

Making a yarn display - by La Visch Designs

8. Now we go on to finish our etagere: Take the smallest plate, turn it over, and measure at the bottom exactly where the middle is.

9. Take the medium-sized plate with attached cup and apply glue to the bottom of the cup.

10. Turn over and position the cup in the center of the smallest plate. Gently press down and smooth the adhesive seam as previously if the shape of your cup permits. In my case that is not possible, but it doesn’t matter much because it will be hard to see anyway.

11. Repeat steps 8 to 10 to join the largest size plate-with-cup on top of the medium sized plate.

12. Let the glue harden now for at least 4 hours. After this you can turn it around: your etagere is ready!

Making a yarn display - by La Visch Designs

Tip

It is not a disaster if there gets some glue somewhere else on your plate or cup. Polymax dries up as a kind of transparent rubber. Because of this it is possible to simply scratch it off with your nails once dried, if it is in places you do not want it to be.

And here is mine, filled with some colored beauties that would otherwise have been put away in some drawer…

Making a yarn display - by La Visch Designs

14 Sep

knitting history

It is quite possible that you are not the only one in your immediate family, who knits or crochets. Perhaps a mother who likes to click the needles. Or maybe a grandmother who regularly made you a sweater when you were little. In this blog I want to share a bit of my personal knitting history with you.

My grandmother was a good knitter. Unfortunately I haven’t experienced this first hand, because she died very young, only a couple of weeks after I was born. All these years my mother had been saving a big pile of sweaters made by my grandmother. Then, about 35 years later my mom visited me and brought along all these sweaters with the question if I would like some. The rest she would finally let go.

One of the sweaters really does suit me, is very much my style and one I have since worn every winter. That’s the sweater you see pictured above. One of the other sweaters was not wearable for me, but so beautifully made that I could not find it in my heart to throw it out. A gorgeous fair isle sweater made ​in several shades of blue.

And suddenly I had the wonderful idea to use this sweater to make something for my mother, so she would still have a tangible reminder of her mother’s knitting. My mother did keep these sweaters for all these years for a reason after all. My thoughts went out to making cushions, with the front of each cushion consisting of a panel of this sweater.

In preparation I had undone all the seams and felted the sweater panels. However, once it came down to cutting the cushion pieces and sewing them I got cold feet… I have absolutely no experience with sewing and was terrified to ruin this irreplaceable piece of felt. After some thinking I put a note about it with a plea for help in the”DutchKarma Swap Group” on Ravelry. A very sweet lady came to my rescue and transformed my grandmother’s sweater into these lovely pillow covers:

And my mother? She did not expect this gift at all and was extremely happy with this piece of our shared knitting history!

07 May

free pattern: fun crochet coasters

onderzetter_1

Sometimes it’s just fun to dress up the table a bit. And what is better suited for that then these fun crochet coasters? I used small amounts of cotton left over from previous projects, making them easily washable. Of course, other types of yarn would also work perfectly fine. A very cheerful way to use up those little ends of yarn!

This pattern is written in American English crochet terminology.

Materials

  • A small amount of sport weight yarn. In the sample coasters, Wibra Nova was used (100% mercerized cotton; 110 m (120 yds) / 50 g), per coaster 11 m (12 yds) / 5 g in the main color and 7 m (8 yds) / 3 g in the contrast color.
  • Crochet hook size 3.5 mm (US # E/4).

Fun crochet coasters - a free pattern by La Visch Designs

Special stitches

  • Popcorn stitch: [Yo, insert hook in indicated st or sp, yo, pull lp through st, yo, pull lp through first 2 lp’s on hook] 3 times, yo and draw through all lps on hook (popcorn made).
  • Beg popcorn: [Yo, insert hook in indicated st or sp, yo, pull lp through st, yo, pull lp through first 2 lp’s on hook] 2 times, yo and draw through all lps on hook (popcorn made)

Instructions
Round 1: With CC ch 1, 6 sc in first ch and sl st closed to first sc (6 sts).
Round 2: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st, sl st to first ch of round (12 sts).
Round 3: Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in 1st st, *1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st; rep from *, sl st to turning ch (19 sts).
Round 4: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), beg popcorn in 1st st, ch 2, skip next st, *1 popcorn in next st, ch 2, skip next st; rep from *, sl st to top of first popcorn.
Break yarn.

Round 5: With MC ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in top of popcorn, *3 dc in next ch-2 sp, 2 dc in top of next popcorn; rep from *, end with 3 dc in last ch-2 sp, sl st to 3rd ch of turning ch.
Round 6: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in 1st st, *1 dc in next 4 sts, 2 dc in next st; rep from * to last 4 sts, 1 dc in each of next 4 sts, sl st to 3rd ch of turning ch.
Break yarn and weave in ends.

In what colors will you be making your fun crochet coasters?

Fun crochet coasters - a free pattern by La Visch Designs

05 Sep

roll it up & go crochet hook case – free pattern

Roll it up & go crochet hook caseWhen I learned to crochet I soon found the need to store my rapidly increasing stash of crochet hooks. But where? Make it myself of course! Since I have hooks from very thin to very thick I wanted to have one in which I can easily adjust the size of the pockets. The pattern for this Roll it Up & Go crochet hook case is written more as a template instead of exact instructions.

This pattern is written in American English crochet terminology.

Difficulty
Techniques used consist of ch, sc and slst. Because of this, the pattern is suitable for the beginner.

Materials

  • Less than 1 skein of yarn of choice
  • Even less in yarn of the same weight in a contrasting color
  • Crochet hook size 3.5 mm (US # E)
  • Crochet hook size 4 mm (US # G).

Finished Size
Any size you want it to be!

Gauge
Depends on the size desired and yarn used.

Notes
The main body of this hook case consists of a rectangle shape worked in Sc in the front loops only to get a more thin and flexible fabric.

Instructions for the roll it up & go crochet hook case

The body of the hook case
Ch a length equal to the length of the longest hook you want to keep in the case + 10 cm (4 inch) for the pockets. Let’s call that amount of chains “A”. In my case A was equal to 51 sts. Make sure your A is an uneven number. Ch 1, turn.

Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across. Ch 1, turn. Work the sc in the single bump on the back of the chain for a finishing that will look the same on both ends of the rectangle.

Row 2: Sc (in front loops only!) in each sc for (A minus 3) / 2 sts, 1 sc in both loops of st, ch 1, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in both loops of st, sc in front loops only in each sc across, ch 1, turn

Repeat row 2 until you have twice the number of crochet hooks you want to keep in the case + 12. It is however always wise to make it bigger than you think you’ll possibly be needing. Fasten off.

Create the pocket
First, sc along one of the sides of the rectangle (perpendicular to the rows) with a contrasting color. I used orange. Then fasten off.

Next, fold up the side you just worked on perpendicular to the rows. Doing this will make a pocket, make sure the pocket is approx. 5 cm (2 inch). Fasten onto the crease with a slip stitch. Sc up the side of the pocket, making sure to crochet through both the upper and lower row. When you reach the end of the pocket, continue to sc up the side of the case, along the upper edge and down the other side. Then crochet both rows together again.
Fasten off.

Roll it Up & Go crochet hook case by La Visch Designs Holding the hooks in place
In the middle of the rectangle, the [ 1 sc in both loops of stitch, ch 1, skip 1 sc, 1 c in both loops of stitch] part created a line with “holes” in the fabric. These holes will be used to slipstitch the “holding” part of the hook case onto the rectangle. Up to 5 mm hooks, I use 1 st loop to hold the hook down. For bigger hooks skip 1 or even 2 holes and adjust the tension of your yarn to make a slip stitch loop big enough to accommodate the bigger hook.
By using a contrasting color you can at any time in the future rework this part to fit more (or less) smaller or bigger hooks.

Hold your yarn at the back of your work (the outside of your crochet hook case). Push your hook into the work from the front to the back at the edge of the rectangle where column with the holes begins. Hook the yarn from behind your work and bring the new loop to the front. Be sure to hold on to the loose end of yarn!

Then, again push your hook through the fabric to the back, hook the yarn and bring it to the front of your work. This time bring your newly formed loop through the old one. Be careful not to pull the yarn too much or the fabric will pucker. When you reach the other side of the rectangle, fasten off.

Closure
In my Roll it Up & Go crochet hook case I used ties to keep it closed. Of course feel free to use buttons or something else instead.

With the larger hook make a chain big enough to wrap around your hook case when rolled up plus extra to tie into a bow. Also, add about 20 extra chains, he chain will end up shorter then it initially is. A total of 40 to 50 cm (16 to 17 inch) will probably be enough.

Next, switch to the smaller hook and slipstitch in the second chain from the hook and till the end. Fasten off.
Repeat for second tie.

Finishing
Sew the ties to the outside of the Roll it Up & Go crochet hook case as pictured. Weave in ends and fill your hook case up with crochet hooks.