19 Oct

tutorial: knitting the i-cord bind-off

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

In a previous post I’ve already shown you how to cast-on your knitting project with an i-cord cast-on. And of course it would be nice to be able to bind-off with a matching i-cord bind-off finishing. Fortunately, we can!

The i-cord bind-off is usually knit over 3 to 5 stitches. In this example I’m going to show the version made over 3 stitches. In short, instructions would look something like this:

I-cord bind off: Cast-on 3 sts, *k2, k2tog tbl, sl 3 sts just worked back to LH needle, pull yarn tight across back of sts; rep from * until 3 sts remain.
Next: K2tog tbl, k1, sl 2 sts to LH needle, k2tog tbl and fasten off.

The i-cord bind-off step by step

You can start casting off as soon as the last row of your work has been knit, and after your work has been turned when working flat back and forth.

1. With the right side facing, cast-on 3 stitches. I used the knitted-on method.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

2. Knit 2 stitches.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

3. Knit 2 stitches together through the back loop.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

4. Move the 3 stitches on the right needle back to the left hand needle one by one.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

5. Pull the yarn tight and make sure that it is behind your work.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 until 3 stitches to bind-off remain.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

7. Knit 2 stitches together through the back loop.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

8. Knit 1 stitch.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

9. Move the 2 stitches on the right needle back to the left hand needle one by one.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

10 Knit 2 remaining stitches together through the back loop and fasten off.

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com
The “ear” where the yarn was fastened off, can be reduced by using a tapestry needle to pull it into the i-cord tube. Front and back of the work then look as follows:

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

Knitting the i-cord bind-off - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

Tip 1

It can be very nice to knit the i-cord bind-off in a contrasting color to the rest of your project. It may however happen, that the main color shines through in the i-cord BO. To avoid that, I would recommend to first knit a row in the contrast color, before starting the i-cord bind-off.

Tip 2

An i-cord bind-off edge on a piece worked in stockinette stitch is very pretty. As you know however, stockinette tends to curl…. A lot. An i-cord bind-off is usually not sufficient to prevent curling. For this you will have to look at other methods, such as garter stitch or rib. So if you purely want the effect of a stockinette stitch edge to your work, you better have a look at a folded hem.

26 Aug

MY Make Along 2016

Moeke Yarns & La Visch Designs together in the MY Make along 2016

Moeke!

“Moeke”, a somewhat old-fashioned word that makes most people probably think about their mother or grandmother. For me my first thoughts go out to the wonderful rustic yarn by Moeke Yarns. Somewhat thick and thin, and not the softest yarn in the stash, it does not sound like a yarn to idolize.

That I am nevertheless crazy about it is because of the great character of this 100% wool yarn, how it feels, how it smells… I would swear that there is something addictive in these specific wool fumes.

MY Make Along 2016 and make a La Visch Designs pattern!

© Moeke Yarns

Story

The story of Moeke Yarns is as special as the yarn itself. It’s a real family business consisting of Ioana (living in the Netherlands), her brother Radu and his wife Simina and their parents (in Romania). In 2013, Ioana was visiting her parents in Romania and found two large bags of yarn spun by her grandmother.

It was then that she realized that Romania has a good number of traditional breeds of sheep and a long tradition in wool processing. However, this tradition likely to be lost due to the poor economic conditions: shepherds can’t find people to sell their wool to and eventually burn it to get rid of it. What a terrible thing!

MY Make Along 2016 and make a La Visch Designs pattern!

© Moeke Yarns

Ioana and her brother decided to start making yarn from the fleece of animal friendly kept Romanian sheep. In line with the traditional way of processing, the wool is washed without harsh chemicals and spun locally using machines that have been in use for over 100 years. And to remain with the ecological responsible thought, the yarn is only available in natural colors. Now, several years later, the brand is (unsurprisingly) a worldwide success

MY Make Along 2016 and make a La Visch Designs pattern!

© Moeke Yarns

MY Make Along 2016

And that brings me to the following: The MY Make Along 2016! This is an international event, which starts on September 12. It is dedicated to knitting, crocheting and weaving, using yarns by Moeke Yarns. An event which designers and creators who share a deep love of creating, respect for animals and nature, are brought together.

And yes, I am one of the participating designers! Two of my designs will be eligible for the Make Along. One of these is my Elena Half Hap design, the other (a cowl pattern)  will be published in a couple of weeks.

Elena Half Hap, a design by La Visch Designs

Participating

To participate in the Make Along there are 2 conditions: 1) make one or more of the selected patterns designed for Moeke Yarns that are or will be released this year, and 2) use a yarn by Moeke Yarns to make your project.

On the following website you can read all about the participating designers, the sponsors and the prizes you can http://www.moeke-yarns.com/index.php/MY2016

The Make Along will run through Instagram and Facebook. Join the Facebook group to get involved, find the group on https://www.facebook.com/groups/538312436376878/ 
Also, you can follow the hashtag #mymakealong2016 on Instagram and Facebook as well as the blog of Moeke Yarns 
(http://www.moeke-yarns.com/index.php/blog) for updates and news about the Make Along.

I’m looking forward to see you in the MY Make Along 2016!

24 Aug

tutorial: knitting a scalloped edge

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

I have said it before and will say it again: a nice border can really make an otherwise simple project. In this tutorial I want to show you how to knit a scalloped edge. This particular edge is not only very beautiful, but is also relatively easy to knit!

This edge is knitted over two rows immediately after casting on your stitches. Therefore, this edging is particularly suitable for pieces that are knit up from the cast on edge. Think of sweaters, cardigans or, for example a bottom-up shawl.

The scalloped edge is knitted in multiples of 11 stitches, plus edge stitches for 1 edge.

Knitting a scalloped edge step by step

1. In this example, I will be knitting a scalloped edge with 3 scallops, plus two edge stitches on both sides. This means I will be casting on a total of 33 + 2 stitches, because 2 edge stitches are already included in the repetition of 11. I used the knitting-on method to cast on my stitches.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

2. Purl 1 row.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

3. Turn your work and knit the first 2 edge stitches.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

4. Knit one stitch and slip it back to the left-hand needle.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

5. Pass the next 8 stitches over the last stitch knit.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

6. Make a double yarn over….

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

7. ….and knit the stitch previously slipped back to the other needle.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

8. Knit 2 stitches.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

9. Repeat steps 4 to 8 for the two other scallops.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

10. Turn work and knit 1 stitch…

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

11. … and continue purling 2 stitches together. For this step, you will use one of your edge stitches!

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

12. Drop one of the 2 double yarn overs, so you have just the one (big) loop on your left-hand needle.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

13. Next knit into this loop without slipping of the stitch [knit 1, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over], now you can slip the big-loop stitch off.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

14. Purl 1 stitch.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

15. Repeat steps 11 to 14 for the two other scallops, and then work remaining edge stitch. This is how the scalloped edge then looks like on the right side of work:

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

16. Knit the next row, please note that every first stitch of each scallop should be knit through the back loop to tighten it up.

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

After 2 rows in stockinette stitch the whole looks looks as follows

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

The wrong side of the work is also pretty!

Knitting a scalloped edge - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

And there you have it: a nice scalloped start of a lovely project!

03 Aug

tutorial: crochet the star stitch

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

The star stitch is a very pretty stitch, which also gives projects a lovely texture. You may also have heard of this stitch by the name of “Marguerite Stitch”. In this post I will show you how to crochet the reversible half-star version. This means that each side of the fabric will show half a star, giving a completely reversible fabric. Instructions are also given to transform it into the full-star non-reversible star stitch.

The star stitch is worked as a multiple of 2 + 1 + stitches plus three turning chains. If you want to work this stitch on an existing piece in another stitch pattern, start with a multiple of 3 + 1 stitches and 3 turning chains before you turn your work and starting the first row in star stitch.

It is of course also possible to crochet the star stitch in the round. In that case work a multiple of 2 + 1 stitches and crochet the 3 turning chains after joining in the round.

In this post I’ll show you how to work the star stitch as a flat piece working back and forth.

The star stitch step by step

First row

1. In this example I crochet the star stitch directly on the starting chain, which I made 16 chains long.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com
2. When inserting the hook in a chain stitch, there are of course several options on where in the stitch exactly to insert your hook. However, for the best result in this stitch I would suggest to insert your hook in the single bumps at the back of the starting chain.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

First star

3. Insert the hook into the second chain from the hook and pull up a loop.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

4. Repeat step 3 also for the third to sixth chain from the hook. Take care to pull up the last few loops a little bit longer than the first ones. You now have 6 loops on your hook.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

5. Make a yarn over and pull the yarn through all the loops on the hook.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

6. Crochet 1 chain, your first star is now done.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

Second star

7. To start the next star, insert your hook in the chain just made and pull up a loop.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

8. Then insert the hook under the two loops you can see on the side of the last pulled up loop from the previous star and pull a loop.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

9. Now insert your hook in the last chain of the starting chain in which the previous star was made. This was the sixth chain from the hook. Pull up a loop.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

10. To complete all the loops for the second star, insert the hook into the next chain from the starting chain and pull a loop. This was the seventh chain from the hook. Repeat for the eighth chain from the hook. Remember to make these last loops a bit longer again than the previous loops. You now have again six loops on the hook.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

11. Make a yarn over and pull the yarn through all the loops on the hook. Crochet 1 chain, this completes the second star.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

12. Repeat steps 7 to 11 until the end of the row. You can clearly see in this example how pretty the bottom edge is, because I have worked in the back bumps of the starting chain.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

Second row
For the full-star non-reversible version of the star stitch, work a full row in sc or hdc before continuing with steps 13 to 16.

13. Crochet 3 chains and turn work. Make sure you do not crochet these chains too tight, because you will crochet into them later on.

star stitch_13

14. Insert your hook in the second chain from the hook (in the bump on the back of the turning chain!) and pull up a loop. Repeat for the third chain from the hook. Next pull up loops in the first, second and third stitches from the previous row.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

15. Make a yarn over and pull the yarn through all the loops on the hook. Crochet 1 chain, this completes the first star of the second row.

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

16. For the next stars of this row repeat steps 7 to 11. To pull up the last loop for the last star of the row you insert the hook in the chain that you skipped when making the first star of the previous row. Depending on how loose your turning chain was made, this may be a bit tight …

Crochet the Star Stitch - a tutorial by La Visch Designs - www.lavisch.com

17. Repeat steps 13 to 16 for the rest of your project. For the full-star non-reversible version of the star stitch, work a full row in sc or hdc before every repeat of steps 13 to 16.

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

05 May

tutorial: Estonian lace knitting – gathers

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

In a previous post I told you about nupps, that special textured stitch that originated in Estonia. Another distinguishing Estonian feature in lace knitting, is called a “gather”. These gathers are clearly visible in the photo pictured below.

© Olga Jamovidova

© Olga Jamovidova

This photo is from a very interesting website: New lace – Old traditions. On this website the authors focus on modern lace knitting in the Estonian tradition, building on and inspired by the famous Haapsalu shawls. Definitely a must-read for lovers of lace knitting, also due to the many free stitch patterns that can be found there.

What exactly are “gathers”?

Gathers are made by knitting a certain number of stitches together (“gathering” them), after which they are increased. The resulting number of stitches may be the same as the original number, for example, “2-in-2”, “3-in-3”, “5-in-5”, “7-in-7”, etc. It is however also possible to increase to a different number of stitches, the end up with more (or less) stitches. For example “5-in-7” or “3-in-5”. The result consists of small lacy textured buttons in the knitted fabric.

In this post I want to show you how to knit gathers.

Knitting gathers

In this example, I will be making “3 in 3” gathers on a surface of stockinette stitch. I’m using a relatively thick yarn, because it is easier to photograph than lace yarn.

A 3-in-3 gather is made by knitting 3 stitches together, then slipping the newly knitted stitch back to the left hand needle and knitting [ktbl 1, k1, ktbl 1] in the same stitch.

Gathers step by step
1. Knit 3 stitches together.

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

2. Slip the last knitted stitch back to the left hand needle.

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

3. Knit 1 stitch through the back loop, but do not slip the original stitch off the needle.

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

4. Knit one stitch (insert the needle as usual in the front loop), but again do not slip the original stitch off the needle.

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

5. Knit 1 stitch through the back loop and slip the original stitch off the needle to complete the stitch.

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

6. This looks something like this:

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

7. For this example, I knitted three 3-in-3 gathers in the same row:

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

8. And this is how it looks after I knitted 2 more rows in stockinette as well as another round with three 3-in-3 gathers:

Knitting Estonian gathers by La Visch Designs

Of course the gathers look very different on a stockinette base and with this thick wool than in lace weight yarn.

28 Mar

tutorial: making t-shirt yarn

Making t-shirt yarn

You are probably familiar with the cute Zpagetti type yarns that are available in so many colors. Really perfect for making crochet baskets and rugs for example. It is however less known that it is very easy to make this kind of yarn yourself! In this post I am going to show you exactly how you can make T-shirt yarn or “tarn” yourself.

The only things needed are a sharp pair of scissors and a pile of old t-shirts. A good reason to get rid of those piles of old clothing cluttering your closet, that aren’t worn anymore anyway. It is not a problem if your shirts have prints, it gives color and character to your t-shirt yarn.

T-shirts without side seams give the best result, because they can be cut in a continuous smooth yarn. A shirt with seam can of course also be used, it only means that the seams will present themselves as thicker pieces in your tarn. Usually this won’t be a problem.

Making t-shirt yarn step by step

1. Cut any markings and care instructions from the shirt and lay it down flat. Make sure the shirt is relatively wrinkle-free, to make it easier to cut straight.

Making t-shirt yarn, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

2. Cut with sharp shears the bottom hem and the top part with the sleeves off the shirt.

Making t-shirt yarn, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

3. Turn the shirt sideways and cut it from the side into strips about 1 to 2.5 cm (½ to 1 inch) wide. Do not completely cut of the strips, stop cutting when you are about 5 cm (2 inch) from the end.

Making t-shirt yarn, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

4. Continue until the entire shirt has been cut into strips.

Making t-shirt yarn_5

5. Lay the shirt down as pictured below, so that the uncut part lies in the middle. Cut this piece diagonally as indicated by the black lines in the picture. This makes sure that the shirt is cut in a large spiral rather than in small loops.

Making t-shirt yarn_6

6. This looks like this:

Making t-shirt yarn_7

7. The last step is is the magical part: Grab the strip and firmly stretch it out over every centimeter / inch. This stretches out the fabric and makes it roll into the familiar t-shirt yarn.

Making t-shirt yarn, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

8. Roll your tarn in a ball and it is ready for use!

Making t-shirt yarn, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

I think I will be making a small storage basket with my ball of tarn. A size 12 mm hook is just the right size for my homemade t-shirt yarn!

Making t-shirt yarn, a tutorial by La Visch Designs

20 Mar

tutorial: crochet fringe

Making crochet fringe - a tutorial by La Visch Designs

It can be fun to decorate the edges of a scarf or shawl with fringe. The traditional way to make fringe consists of cutting yarn into equal lengths, bundle these and tie them to the edge of your work. I personally think the result can be very pretty, but rather a hassle to get it that way.

The fact is that I always have trouble to get all the pieces of wool to the same length. And when tying the yarn bundles together, everything shifts, making it very difficult to get an even result. In this post, I will show you an alternative way to attach lovely crochet fringe to a project.

You can directly crochet this fringe onto a scarf or shawl. This can of course also be a store-bought knit or crochet item. Also, you can follow this tutorial to make a fringe attached to a crocheted chain to sew on the item of choice as well. In this example, we will do the latter.

Crochet fringe step by step

1. As indicated, in this example I will show you how to make a “loose” fringe attached to a crochet chain. To start, make a chain of the desired length.

Making crochet fringe tutorial

2. Insert your hook into that point of the item where you want to make the fringe. If this fringe is based on a loose chain, I think it looks best to insert the hook in the “bump” at the back of the chain stitch. Of course, you can insert the hook in the other parts of the stitch, but it will look slightly different.

Making crochet fringe tutorial

3. Next, pull up a loop and pull it through the loop already on your hook. Pull the loop out to the desired length. Here I have used a ruler, to make sure all fringe will be the same length.

Making crochet fringe tutorial

4. Then turn the hook around, it does not matter if you do this clockwise or counterclockwise. Just make sure you remain consistent with the direction of your entire project. Continue turning until the loop wants to fold back onto itself. In this example that happened at about 25 twists. Make sure you make about the same number of twists for every fringe in your project to keep them looking alike.

Making crochet fringe tutorial

5. Next, fold back the loop onto itself. I often use my finger to ensure that the loop folds in the right spot.

Making crochet fringe tutorial

6. This will look something like this:

Making crochet fringe tutorial

7. Finish your first fringe by securing it with a slip stitch in the same stitch you started it in.

Making crochet fringe tutorial

8. Repeat steps 2 to 7 until the complete edge or chain is worked. The result will look something like this:

Making crochet fringe tutorial

Enjoy embellishing your projects with this lovely crochet fringe!

24 Feb

clothing repair: crochet to the rescue

clothing repair: crochet to the rescue

It actually happens much too often: There’s a hole in that nice pair of pants or a zipper is broken and instead of fixing the garments, they are discarded. Whether it is because of lack of knowledge of clothing repair techniques or simply a lack of time I not dare to say.

This really is a shame and because of it I have the intention to repair clothing in my household as much as possible. To lower the threshold to actually do so, I like to use techniques that I know well and have the materials for where possible. In my case that would be crochet, using yarn and crochet hooks.

In this post I will show you a few clothing repairs I did recently, using crochet. Both examples are not so coincidentally related to clothing of my youngest. He’s four years old and really a little boy, especially when I look at how often he makes holes in the knees of his trousers!

With holes in pants, you can of course go for “official” knee patches. In this particular case though, I found it more fun to crochet knee patches in a nice contrasting color. If you sew the patches on both knees of the pants, it not only looks nice, but the pants can be worn much longer.

clothing repair: crochet to the rescue

In this example I made a simple hexagon with a worsted weight acrylic yarn in combination with a crochet hook in size 3.5 mm (US # 4/E). It is important to use a relatively small crochet hook to achieve a smaller gauge than advised for the yarn, to get a dense fabric and a strong and durable knee patch.

Hexagonal knee or elbow patch

Round 1: Make 6 sc in a magic loop (or ch 2 followed by 6 sc in the 2nd ch from the hook). Continue working in a spiral.

Round 2: 2 sc in every st around (12 sts).

Round 3: (1 sc, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (18 sts).

Round 4: (2 sc, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (24 sts).

Round 5: (3 sc, 2 sc in next st) 6 times (30 sts).
Continue in this manner until your patch is large enough.
Next break yarn and leave a tail long enough to sew the patch to the garment.

Below is the result of the repair I did on my son’s trousers. Instead of pants, you can of course also use this technique for elbow patches on a sweater or jacket.

clothing repair: crochet to the rescue

More recently the tab of the zipper of my son’s winter coat broke of. It would of course be a shame to buy a new jacket or even a new zipper just because that little tab broke. Here crochet came to the rescue as well:

clothing repair: crochet to the rescue

Clothing repair rules!

18 Nov

national spinning day 2015

October 3rd it was the Dutch National Spinning Day again, also affectionately called LSD which is short for “Nationale Spin Dag”. Over 200 women and some men traveled to Conference center Mennorode with their spindles and spinning wheels to spend a day together. And yours truly was there as well for the very first time!

The national spinning day is organized annually by The Dutch National Spinning Group. The Spinning Group brings spinners in contact with one another since 1999 and also collects and provides information about spinning materials, techniques and the further processing of spun yarns.

Preparation

First, I had to think about which spinning wheel I would take with me. I first thought of my beautiful Saxony wheel Noortje. But Noortje does not quite fit in my car and is somewhat temperamental to spin on. So better to go for one of my trusty castle wheels “schippertje”.

Of course, a decision also had to be made on the spinning project to bring. After some deep digging into my stash, I found these gorgeous self-carded batts: A blend of gray and blue merino, blended with tussah silk.

It’s LSD time!

Because all the fun would start around 9.00 in the morning, the alarm was put on the usual weekday schedule. After a quick breakfast, I left my husband and children to dedicate my day to everything related to spinning. Of course my schippertje first had to be secured in my car. Then I went on my way to Mennorode in Elspeet!

After having installed myself in the main conference room, I took a good look around me: So many different spinning wheels! The hall was soon completely filled, with an amazing number of spinning people together, truly a sight to behold.

After the opening, there was first a market with all kinds of spinning supplies. I had not realized that it would only be possible to use cash there. That got me in somewhat of a pickle: so many things and no means to bring it home with me! Fortunately, the reception of Mennorode was able to help me out, so I could buy the things that made my spinners heart beat a little faster.

After lunch, which was very good indeed, there were workshops for those who had subscribed. I myself just decided to socialize and spin with the other ladies. I had loads of fun and managed to get quite a bit of spinning done.

All in all a very nice National Spinning Day, I’m going again next year for sure!