Friday, August 23, 2013

Autumn's On Its Way

You can feel it in the air: fall is on its way!  Yay!  By far my favorite season; the weather, the colors, and the clothes are all perfect!
Here a several items available in my shops for the coming fall season:
Indian Summer Tank/Dress pattern available here: Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy
The Aurora Slouchy Hat pattern available here: Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy
Adorable little bow dress available for custom orders(pattern: Mustard Bow Dress by Mon Petit Violon).  Find Etsy listing here for the sleeveless version:
Crocheted Baby Boots (0-6 months) available at this Etsy listing and by custom request:
Yellow Capped Sleeve Cardi adorned with fall themed buttons:

Just a few of the items available for the cooler months ahead.  Check out my entire stock of finished/custom items and patterns in my Etsy shop (some pattern pack deals available).
If there you can't find what it is you're looking for, please feel free to contact me for custom orders.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Quest for the Perfect Sweater

Fall is almost here!  My favorite season, due in large part to the amazing clothing and colors that emerge at this time of year.
While working on my current custom order and browsing through Ravelry and Pinterest (both highly addicting), I decided that this year I was going to make myself a sweater.  I don't make things for myself often, and I really don't make big items due to the supply costs and time factor.  When I make garments, they are baby/children sizes (you know, instant gratification), because they can be done quickly and without too much yarn.  Besides, I love making clothes for my daughter, and she loves wearing homemade clothing!

But I REALLY, REALLY want to make myself a sweater!  I love sweaters of every kind: cowl neck, boat neck, fair isle, long sleeved, 3/4 length, cardis, etc.  So picking the perfect sweater was no easy task.
The above sweater, by Mon Petit Violon, has been on my dream to do list for quite some time, and despite looking at all of the other options, I keep coming back to it.
It's gorgeous, don't you think?  I love the style of it (as in, it looks like something I could actually wear), and because I have done several of her patterns before, I know I will enjoy this.

Here were a couple of others I found on Pinterest along the way....

....and while both are gorgeous, I think I found the perfect one!  Plus, there's always next year.

As far as this year goes, I will be making the Ladies Shrug/Cardigan by Mon Petit Violon.  I am excited to crochet my first sweater for myself, and after discussing this with fellow crocheter Lisa, from I Crochet It, I've decided to make this a CAL (Crochet Along)!

 I have never taken part in a CAL before, but I think this could be a lot of fun!  Several people have already shown an interest in joining along.  If you would like to take part in this, you can begin by going to any one of Mon Petit Violon's pattern stores: Ravelry, Craftsy, or Etsy, and purchase the pattern.  
Next is the fun part of picking the color(s)!  I think I have finally figured out the yarn I will use, after much late night perusing online, and I hope it will still be available come payday.

I will begin in September, so there's still a couple of weeks to prepare.  There won't be sign ups or deadlines; just a carefree manner of sharing progress and tips.
I will post weekly on my progress, and you all are free to post your pics on my facebook page or links to your own blogs or albums in the blog comments.  If there is enough interest, I may just start a Ravelry group.
I'd love to hear from you all.  Let me know your thoughts on this.  How many of you would like to take part in something like this here?  Any suggestions?
I appreciate your feedback!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Graph in Progress and Future Free Patterns

I am completely overwhelmed by the amount of views my last post received (the Celtic Carryall free pattern)!  It is now my most popular blog post to date, and I would love to offer you all several new free patterns in the future.  I have a flying disc and a skirt pattern that I have been meaning to put into writing for some time now, so they will be coming along shortly.
 The flying disc, or as we call them in my house, Orbees (hubby named them, heehee), are very easy to make and work up quite quickly.  
The above skirt (made in Minnie Mouse style for my daughter's Halloween costume last year) is very simple and adaptable.  I hand sewed some lace and polka dots to this one, while the one below, was simply crocheted in two different colors.  Length and waist are fully adjustable, for long term wear.
I also have several patterns in progress that I am hoping to be able to add to my pattern shops this fall.

In the meantime, I have been working on my first graphghan for a custom order.  I have wanted to try one for the longest time, but must admit I was a little daunted by them.  When this order came along, with a request for a baby blanket, where the daddy is a huge Boston Bruins fan, I decided to bite the bullet and jump in with both feet.
I searched around online for the logo (not being a major sports fan myself, I needed to get acquainted with the design), and as luck would have it, I found a graph.  It was a rough start, between a possible discrepancy in the pattern, the tangling of many yarns, and my fear and frustration with this being my first crocheted picture.  But, I must say that I have fully enjoyed seeing the logo take form, and once I hit the halfway point, it became far less intimidating.  I will hopefully be finished soon, and am looking forward to future graph designs.

I am planning on writing my own next time though.  Perhaps some word charts are in my future.  I know my daughter would love a Dora blanket, and I'm trying to get that done for Christmas this year, so perhaps my first word chart will appear here as a free Dora design.....

Friday, August 2, 2013

Free Pattern!- The Celtic Carryall

A while back, I came up with this pattern for my Celtic Carryall purse, and I've decided to list it here as a free pattern for all of you!
This is a great bag; it's roomy and fashionable!  Though this bag doesn't necessarily need a lining (I have been using mine without one), I know many of you like your crocheted bags lined.  I will eventually get a tutorial up on how to line a bag, but for now, here are a few links to other sites that will show you how:

The bag is fairly simple, and includes a few handle options too.  I used wooden handles that I purchased at Joann's Fabrics, but you can crochet your handles too.

Here is the pattern:

*Note- I used Lion Brand Wool Ease to create this bag, though any medium worsted weight yarn 
would do. I recommend using one that is more stiff however, to hold the shape of the bag 
better. Red Heart Super Saver is a perfect cheaper alternative.
Your bag size will depend entirely upon what yarn you use, but the dimensions will be roughly: 
12" x 8.5"
A basic understanding of the following stitches are required for this pattern: slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet and half double crochet decrease

ch- chain                     slst- slip stitch             sc- single crochet            hdc- half double crochet
hdc dec- half double crochet decrease

Medium worsted weight yarn in 3-4 colors
G Hook
H Hook
J Hook
Yarn needle (for sewing the strap and embellishment pieces and all tails)

Additional Materials(optional):
The following materials are commpletely optional, but make nice additions to 
complete your bag. There are many free online tutorials for adding a lining 
to a crocheted purse.
Wooden handles (can be found at most craft stores)
4 rings for attaching shoulder straps (also found at most craft stores)
Fabric for lining
Magnetic button closure(or some other form of closure: button, zipper, snaps, etc.
Leather or thick/heavy fabric for bottom

Using J hook
Row 1: ch42, hdc in second ch from hook(counts as first hdc), hdc across(42hdc)
Rows 2- 13: ch2, turn, hdc in each st(42hdc)

Switch to H hook
You will now be working in the round with joins....
Round 1: ch1, turn and sc down the short side first(12sc total), working 2sc in corner 
stitch(one for each side), sc down the long side(41sc counting corner st), repeat for 
the remaining two sides, join with slst (There should be 12sc on each short side and 
41 on each long side, with 2sc's in each corner)
Rounds 2-3: ch1, hdc in same st, hdc around (12),41, (12), 41, join with slst
Round 4: ch1, *hdc dec in same st, hdc 8sts, hdc dec*, hdc 41, repeat from(*), hdc 41, 
join with slst
Round 5: ch1, hdc in same st, hdc around (102hdc)
Round 6: ch1, hdc in same st, hdc in next 33sts(34total, counting first st), hdc dec, hdc 
in next 45sts, hdc dec, hdc in remaining sts (100hdc)
Rounds 7-26: ch1, hdc in same st, hdc around, join (100hdc)
Round 27: ch1, sc in same st, sc around, join (100sc)
Round 28: slst around, join, cut and tie off. Sew in tail.

There are 3 options for straps on this bag.
The first option (pictured) is adding two wooden handles.
The second is done in a similar fashion, but uses 4 rings to connect two shoulder straps.
The third uses no rings, and is achieved by making two shoulder straps of sc.

Option 1:
Using G hook, main color, make 4
Row 1: ch13, sc in 2nd ch from hook and across (12sc)
Rows 2-9: ch1, turn,sc across (12sc)
Row 10: slst in first 4sts, hdc in next 4, slst in next 4, cut (leaving a long tail for 
sewing piece to bag) and tie off
Sew these pieces to your bag, 2 in the front, 2 in the back. Make sure you only sew 
down the sides of the front pieces(you will sew down their bottom edges later), so you 
can attach your braided embellishments.
Using G hook and second color, make 4
Row 1: Join to first hdc at top of last piece, ch1 and hdc in same st, hdc across (4hdc)
Rows 2-12: ch1, turn, hdc across
Cut and tie off, leaving a small tail for sewing.

Celtic Braid Embellishment:
Using a G Hook, attach these to 2 of your wide strap attachment pieces
You will need all of your colors here (if using just 3 colors, you will have to double up 
on one, but I recommend spacing them from each other.)
Color 1:
join with slst to first sc, ch1 and sc in same st, sc in next two sts,* ch1, turn, sc across 
3sts*, repeat from (*) for about 40 rows (count may differ slightly once you braid the 
pieces together, so leave long tails and don't tie off till braided. You will also need the 
tails to sew the pieces down.)

*Repeat this process with each color on your two front pieces, till you have a row of 4 
long pieces on each. Simply braid the pieces till you've reached the bottom of the bag. 
Then you will use their tails and yarn needle to tie and sew them down to the bottom 
edge of the front of the bag.
You may also finish sewing your front pieces down on their bottom edges.

Assembling your strap handles:
Once you have sewn all of your strap pieces to the outside of your bag, slip your thin 
strap pieces through your handle holes, and sew them down on the inside of your bag.

Option 2:
Repeat the above process for option 1, merely changing out your wooden handles for
4 rings.
Using H Hook, Make 2
When making your slip knot, leave a long tail for sewing to itself around ring.
ch 7, turn, sc across (6sc)
ch1, turn and sc across until you achieve the desired length of your strap. Cut, leaving a long
tail, and tie off.
Wrap the ends of the strap around the rings, and sew shut. Cut and weave in tails.

Option 3:
Using G hook, main color, make 4
Row 1: ch13, sc in 2nd ch from hook and across (12sc)
Rows 2-9: ch1, turn,sc across (12sc)
Row 10: slst in first 4sts, hdc in next 4, slst in next 4, cut (leaving a long tail for
sewing piece to bag) and tie off

Sew these pieces to your bag, 2 in the front, 2 in the back. Make sure you only sew 
down the sides of the front pieces(you will sew down their bottom edges later), so you 
can attach your braided embellishments.

Attach your embellishments, and pin down your front pieces as above.
Using H hook, join yarn(in strap color of your choice) to first st of top hdc, hdc across,
ch2, turn, repeat untill you achieve the desired length. (2x)
Leave a long tail at the end to attach to the top hdc on the other side.

I hope you enjoy this pattern, and if you have any questions, feel free to comment here or email me ( ) anytime.  This has been tested, but there is always the possibility for error, so just let me know if you find any.
I would love to see your finished bags too, so please feel free to share links to your photos in the comments or post your pics on my facebook page!