Archive for April, 2012

My Etimo Crochet Hooks

Apr 30

Etimo Crochet Hook Set
Etimo Tulip Crochet Hook Set ~ By Tulip Japan ~ $79.95

I like em! But the hook shape is definitely something I’m not used to. I crochet on Boye Aluminum Hooks. I love em. But for long or large crochet projects I really start to feel it in my fingers and elbows! Yup, I have major carpal tunnel since I also work on a computer all day. Anyway, so I thought I’d try these ergo soft-grips out. I also lost my trusty G Hook and was looking for a replacement, so decided to shop around.

Hook Shapes - Etimo, Boye, Clover

Hook Shapes - Etimo, Boye, Clover

Crochet Hooks - Skacel Addi

Crochet Hooks - Skacel Addi Swing

Crochet Hooks - Clover Takumi

Pros:
I love the shape of the handle, the materials, and the feel. It has a soft yet firm rubbery feel, great grip, and a pencil shape which I like. The ergo grooves are nice. Subtle but perfect. As opposed to the Clover Soft Touch which has a flat paddle-shaped handle. The tip is very smooth and Addi Turbo-like in the smoothness. The neck is also a generous length so the finger grips do not choke up too far on the hook. I did not like any of the Skacel Crochet Hooks the handle shapes (Addi Swing) or the materials. The neck shaft was also very short.

I loved the pouch! Ha. It’s super cute and very handy. I didn’t think I’d use the little extras it came with but now I love it. It’s great to have all the little tools and notions at hand. Plus I throw in a bunch of stitch markers into the zip portion of the pouch. Great!

Even the freebies are high quality materials and well made. The scissors it came with, which were really nice, were made in Italy. The yarn needles were made in Japan. Both are steel and nickel coated. The pouch is lovely woven synthetic wool with some sparklies in it!

Cons:
Hook Shape. It’s kind of shallow and not “hooky” enough. It’s not quite like any hook shape I’ve seen in US crochet hooks but it’s closest to a Boye hook shape. Kind of a hybrid of Boye and Clover Takumi. I find my yarns slipping all the time when I pull! Not good. So I’m going to give it a few more tries. But aside from that major flaw for me, I don’t feel any fatigue when crocheting for the long haul.

Unusual Sizes. My G Hook (made by Boye) is 4.25mm. Their G Hook is 4.00mm. The next size up is 4.50mm. They do not offer a 4.25mm sized hook.

Individual hooks usually sell for about $9.99 each.

Hook Shapes - Etimo, Boye, Clover

Hook Shapes - Etimo, Boye, Clover

Etimo Crochet Hook Set

Etimo Crochet Hook Set

What’s in the Set?
8 Crochet Hooks
2 Yarn Needles
High Quality Thread Scissors
4 1/2″ Plastic Ruler
A Hook Pouch

Hook Sizes:
D/3 [3.25mm]
E/4 [3.50mm]
F/5 [3.75mm]
G/8 [4.00mm]
7 [4.5mm]
H/8 [5.00mm]
I/9 [5.50mm]
J/10 [6.00mm]

The above set is the “Regular USA Set”. They re-marked the hooks to follow US Sizing Conventions as much as possible. Their original set comes in Japanese Sizes (with weird sizing) and they also make a Steel Set. Hook tips are Aluminum. Handle grips are Elastomer.

Made by Tulip Co. Ltd, Made in Japan
Distributed by Caron International Yarn, USA

Where To Buy
Etimo Tulip Crochet Hook Set, $79.95 – Caron.com
Etimo Tulip Crochet Hook, Individual, $9.95 – Caron.com
Etimo Pink Set – 10 Crochet Hooks in sizes: 2 [2mm], 3 [2.20mm], 4 [2.5mm], 5 [3mm], 6 [3.5mm], 7 [4mm], 7.5 [4.5mm], 8 [5mm], 9 [5.5mm] and 10 [6mm]. $109.99 – Caron.com
Etimo Steel Set – 8 Crochet Hooks in sizes 14-0 for thread or lace crochet. $69.99 – Caron.com

*This hook set was sold out everywhere I checked online. But I was able to find it at Knitty City, a local yarn shop here in NYC.

Good Ol’ Granny Squares

Apr 25

I saw this crochet bag on the street the other day. (On a homeless bum…) I loved it! It was made with the simple Granny Square method of Crocheting. So I’ve been working on trying to re-create it myself. In the process I crocheted up a bunch of granny square swatches while designing.

Granny Square - Rectangle

The quintessential granny square has a bad rap! But it is still today a very handy (and ingenious) way of crocheting. It is the most basic of crochet blocks and is unique to Crochet! Like most crochet blocks the entire “block” is crocheted in the round, uses very basic stitches, and has 4 corners! That’s it. From there on out it can be customized in so many ways. And even morphed into new motifs like wagon wheels, starbursts, even triangle and octagon shapes etc. You can make anything from a dress to a bag to a whole afghan by stitching together some well-planned blocks! The possibilities for granny squares are endless. It’s a building block of sorts for modular crocheting that is so easy to pick up and fun to get creative with. It’s great for beginners too!

This page also includes patterns for Granny Rectangles as seen above! Not as popular but it’s actually what I was looking for. Being able to create a rectangle can be invaluable and gives the Granny Square Method extra flexibility in what you can create.

*Do all dcs or hdcs into chain spaces
*All yarn is Medium Worsted Weight – Red Heart Super Saver

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Traditional Granny Square - In Half Double CrochetGranny Square Traditional (in hdcs) Hook I9 5.50mm
Chain 4. Join into ring with a sl st into first ch.

2ch, 2hdc into ring, {2ch, 3hdc into ring} * 3, 2ch, sl st to join in 2nd ch of first 2ch.

3ch, 3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc, {1ch, 3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} * 2, 3hdc, 2ch, 2hdc, sl st to join in 2nd ch of first 3ch.

2ch, 2hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch} * 3,
3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc, 1ch, sl st to join in 2nd ch of first 2ch.

3ch, 3hdc, {1ch, 3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc} * 3,
1ch, 3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 2hdc, sl st to join in 2nd ch of first 3ch.

2ch, 2hdc, 1ch, 3hdc,
{1ch, 3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc} * 3,
1ch, 3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, sl st to join in 2nd ch of first 2ch.

Break yarn. Pull through last loop. Weave in ends.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Granny Square - Rectangle in Half Double CrochetGranny Rectangle I (in hdcs) Hook I9 5.50mm
Chain 6. Join into ring with a sl st into first ch.

2ch, 2hdc into ring,
1ch, {3hdc into ring, 2ch} * 2, 3hdc into ring,
1ch, {3hdc into ring, 2ch} * 2, sl st to join in 2nd ch of 2ch.

3ch, 3hdc,
1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc},
1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc},
1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc},
1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 2hdc}, sl st into 2nd ch of first 3ch.

2ch, 2hdc,
1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
1ch, sl st to join in 2nd ch of first 2ch.

3ch, 3hdc,
1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, 3hdc, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
1ch, 2hdc, sl st to join in 2nd ch of first 2ch.

2ch, 2hdc,
{1ch, 3hdc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
{1ch, 3hdc in ch space} * 3, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
{1ch, 3hdc in ch space} * 4, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
{1ch, 3hdc in ch space} * 3, 1ch, {3hdc, 2ch, 3hdc} in 2ch space,
1ch 3hdc 1ch, sl st to join in 2nd ch of first 2ch.

Break yarn. Pull through last loop. Weave in ends.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Granny Square - Rectangle in Double CrochetGranny Rectangle II (in dcs) Hook I9 5.50mm
Chain 6. Join into ring with a sl st into first ch.

3ch, 2dc into ring,
1ch, {3dc into ring, 2ch} * 2, 3dc into ring,
1ch, {3dc into ring, 2ch} * 2, sl st to join in 3rd ch of 3ch.

4ch, 3dc,
1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 2dc}, sl st into 3rd ch of first 4ch.

3ch, 2dc,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, sl st to join in 3rd ch of first 3ch.

4ch, 3dc,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc},
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 3, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, 2dc, sl st to join in 3rd ch of first 4ch.

3ch, 2dc,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 3, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 4, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 3, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch 3dc 1ch, sl st to join in 3rd ch of first 3ch.

Break yarn. Pull through last loop. Weave in ends.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Granny Square - Rectangle in Half Double Crochet and Hook H8 [5.00mm]Granny Rectangle III (in dcs) Hook H8 5.0mm
Chain 6. Join into ring with a sl st into first ch.

3ch, 2dc into ring,
1ch, {3dc into ring, 2ch} * 2, 3dc into ring,
1ch, {3dc into ring, 2ch} * 2, sl st to join in 3rd ch of 3ch.

4ch, 3dc,
1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 2dc}, sl st into 3rd ch of first 4ch.

3ch, 2dc,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, sl st to join in 3rd ch of first 3ch.

4ch, 3dc,
1ch, 3dc, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc},
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 3, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch, 2dc, sl st to join in 3rd ch of first 4ch.

3ch, 2dc,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 3, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 4, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 3, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch 3dc 1ch, sl st to join in 3rd ch of first 3ch.

4ch, 3dc,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 2, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 4, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 5, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
{1ch, 3dc in ch space} * 4, 1ch, {3dc, 3ch, 3dc} in 3ch space,
1ch 3dc 1ch, 2dc, sl st to join in 3rd ch of first 4ch.

Break yarn. Pull through last loop. Weave in ends.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Notes:
Granny Squares and Granny RectanglesAll patterns are crocheted in the round. The Granny Rectangles above are patterns I created. I’m sure there’s many out there but these are my versions.

My Traditional Granny Square pattern is a variation of the standard Granny Square pattern which is also available for free anywhere. I was looking to create a tighter looking texture for a stiffer granny square with smaller holes.

Design Your Own Granny Square! The traditional Granny Square method is quite simple. Everything is Crocheted in the Round. All you have to remember is this:

{1ch, 3dc} all the way around. Dc into Chain Spaces until you get to a Corner. And Corner (3dc, 3ch, 3dc) the Corners! That’s basically it. Replace the DC’s accordingly like I did with HDC’s (Half Double Crochets) or TR’s (Treble Crochets) or whatever you like!

The only critical thing is in the first round (when setting up the first set of corners). That dictates the shape of your piece. Once you set that, it’s smooth sailing from there on out.

Color Changes. The simplest way to customize your own Granny Square is to change colors! Try changing colors in every round. Or every 2 rounds etc. I weave in yarn tails as I go. It’s easy to just carry over the yarn where you break it by holding it against your work as you crochet. It saves some end weaving later on!

Google “granny square patterns” or “crochet blocks” to get a deluge of free patterns and examples!

Sample Swatch of Boho Tote
Sample Swatch for Crochet Tote in Granny Squares (coming soon)!

Singer 160 Anniversary Limited Edition

Apr 17

Singer 160 Anniversary Limited Edition Sewing MachineWow! Old meets new in the new Singer 160 Anniversary Limited Edition celebrating 160 years of Singer sewing machines. Sew stylish and worth a mention. This came out early this year for the first time on HSN I believe. I just found out about it yesterday while doing research for a new sewing machine I got!

Pros:
~ It’s a beauty with a stylish nod to the past and slick modern features!
~ Extra-Large Sewing Space – The arm measures 14.7 inches, allowing sewers to easily manage quilts and other large projects.
~ Drop Feed – A conveniently located lever lowers the feed dogs for free-motion embroidery, monograms, and button sewing.

Cons:
~ Expensive! It was originally priced at $599.99.

Price $349.99
Date Issued January 2012

Overall, I like that it’s a beginner-ish machine that tries to do it all. For a hobbyist that might like to try anything from dressmaking/fashion sewing to quilting to craft sewing it does a good job of trying to give some great features for each.

Until recently I sewed on the vintage Singer Treadle 66 seen below which is from the 1920′s. I got a new Singer last year for Christmas so am now learning that one!! Do you have an old Singer Sewing Machine? As part of the celebration they also created a new page for My Singer Story. Go there to enter your story or find out more about your machine!

*** CONTEST! ***
FYI: Check out my Pinterest for details on how to win the above sewing machine!! Contest ends April 23, 2012.

More Info/Where To Buy:
Amazon – http://amzn.to/IrDNAs
Singer Co. – http://www.singerco.com/160
Joann – http://www.joann.com/singer-160th-anniversary-sewing-machine-/zprd_11457413a/

Singer 160 Anniversary Limited Edition Sewing Machine
Singer 160 Anniversary Limited Edition

Timeless Style and Modern Innovation. Introducing The SINGER 160™ limited edition sewing machine. The SINGER 160 Anniversary Limited Edition Computerized Sewing Machine features a nostalgic heritage shape and color with updated features and new technology. Created to commemorate the SINGER® brand’s 160 year anniversary by taking design cues from the past while introducing our simplest and most easy to use machine available. –Singer Co.

Singer Treadle 66
My Vintage Singer Treadle 66

Knitted Sweater of the Day

Apr 06

Knitted Sweater

Via http://owlivianatasha.tumblr.com/
Via http://ivsmanifiesto.tumblr.com/post/19725645608/knitted-pattern-sweater-we-love-it-by-21
Via http://vintage-russh.tumblr.com/post/20057881102/tranquility-island-want

OMG! Heart Folkwear Patterns

Apr 05

Folkwear Patterns is dedicated to creating sewing patterns for ethnic and cultural clothing from all over the world and throughout history. From cheongsams to han boks to dirndls to flapper dresses to vintage bathing suits! They offer a huge variety.

It’s a gold mine of basic patterns for say halloween costumes! Theater Productions, Renaissance Fairs, LARPing etc. Yup. Looking for a Samurai Costume? Find it here. Need a Tango Dress? A Sailor’s Outfit? Cowgirl? It’s here. Or perhaps outfitting your next theater troupe or your child’s play that needs Poodle Skirts and Varsity Jackets. Greased Lightning!? Or you and your special someone’s custom renaissance fair outfits! Home sewers can sew your own!

If you’d like to sew your own traditional cultural costumes, this site has a great variety from many cultures from Greece and Poland to Vietnam and Nepal to Scottish and Austrian to Afgan and Egyptian to Bolivian and Huichol. And many historical clothing styles like Edwardian, Victorian, Frontier, and Prairie! Also great for pattern makers and designers as a starting point for your own designs!

  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #205 Gibson Girl Blouse
    Misses Small to 3X. $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #207 Kinsale Cloak
    One size for men and women (finished length from center back neckline to hemline is 55″/139cm). $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #226 Princess Slip
    Misses 6-16. $14.95
    (No longer avail. for sale.)
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #508 Traveling Suit
    Misses’ 6-20. $22.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #503 Poiret Cocoon Coat
    Misses’ Extra Small to Extra Large. $19.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #270 Metro Middy Blouse
    Misses Extra Small to 3X Large $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #133 Belgian Military Chef’s Jacket
    Misses 8-18; Men’s 34-44. $14.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #101 Gaza Dress
    Misses 6-18. $14.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #123 Austrian Dirndl
    Misses 8-16. $19.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #206 Quilted Prairie Skirt
    Misses 6-16. $14.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #227 Edwardian Bridal Gown
    Misses 6-16. $19.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #119 Sarouelles
    Misses 6-18; Men’s 32-44 $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #127 Seminole Jacket & Skirt
    Misses 6-16; Men’s 34-44. $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #153 Siberian Parka
    Sized for men and women Extra Small to Extra Large. $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    # 118 Tibetan Panel Coat
    Misses 6-18. $19.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #130 Australian Bush Outfit
    Misses 8-20; Men’s 34-44. $19.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #208 #208 Kinsale Cloak
    for Young Maidens
    Girls 2-12. $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #223 A Lady’s Chemise
    Extra Small to 3X Large. $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #132 Moroccan Burnoose
    All sizes. $14.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #218 Child’s Frontier Shirt
    Child’s 4-14. $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #220 Garden Party Dress
    Misses 8-14. $14.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #228 Victorian Christening Gown
    & Toddler’s Dress.
    Infants 2-9 months; Toddlers 1-4.
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #225 Childhood Dreams
    Girls 2-12. $14.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #203 Edwardian Underthings
    Misses Extra Small to 3XLarge. $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #125 Huichol Wardrobe
    Blouse and skirt Misses 6-16;
    Other pieces Misses small to Men’s large. $19.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #253 Vintage Bathing Costume
    Misses 6-20. $19.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #222 Vintage Vests
    Misses 6-16; Men’s 36-44. $16.95
  • Folkwear Patterns - WWWWWW
    #126 Vests from Greece and Poland
    Misses 6-16; Men’s 34-44. $16.95

Founded by three women in California during the 1970′s it was bought and sold to Taunton Press (Threads Magazine) then Lark Books (Fiberarts Magazine) and then sold off again to Sterling. However, now it is once again independently owned by three women today that continues to publish its wonderful array of cultural sewing patterns. I hope they bring ALL their original patterns back into publication.

I first discovered Folkwear Patterns via Twitter from @RevivalFabrics.

Where To Buy:
You can buy patterns directly from their website here – pattern index.
Folkwear Patterns also has a Retailer List on their website.
Ebay has many resellers that not only sell current patterns but vintage and out-of-print Folkwear Pattern patterns as well.