Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pink Medieval Style Corset Top

Gosh it's been a while since I last added a project to my blog, but here is my latest creation, another corset top, which I really enjoy wearing.

The yarn used is Sublime Soya Cotton dk, shade 088. Again, it has been crocheted in one piece with straps and borders added to finish it off.

The idea is based on the Medieval Corset Belt design, which can be found in Debbie Stoller's Happy Hooker crochet book - very easy to make.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Crochet Corset

In my earlier post about the Medieval Corset Belt, I started exploring historical influences in modern fashion, and here you can see continuation of that theme.

I'm starting to realise that you can crochet any type of clothing, and I was surprised how easy it is to create a funky little garment like this medieval style top, which works best over a frilly t-shirt or white blouse.

Of course, you can wear it without anything underneath, but that would be a bit too kinky for me and doesn't comply with medieval standards ;)

The dark colours give this top a gothic feel, but I'm now working on a similar top in a lighter colour and longer length.

The corset has been worked in one piece, front stripy panels have been added before the picot and frill edging finished the garment.

The main crochet stitch used is the double crochet cross stitch, which gives the corset a textured feel.

Yarn used: Sirdar Balmoral, shade 484 (Butler Black) and shade 487 (Windsor Purple)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Knit Happens: Retro Tie

There are so many things that can be knitted, including ties for husbands, boyfriends and dads, who feel obliged to wear them. Watching them produce an artifical smile, keep calm and carry on going to work with their new handmade fashion accessory attached just makes my twisted day.

And here's my latest creation, an 80s retro tie as featured in the June 2010 edition of Simply Knitting Magazine. Isn't it fabulous? I have used the recommended yarn, just a different shade:

Regia Design Line by Kaffe Fassett, shade 04350, 2.5mm needles

And now that I've knitted my first ever tie, I can continue creating more contemporary designs. Surely my husband will rejoice.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Medieval Corset Belt

I've always been interested in medieval style clothing and how it can be incorporated into 21st century fashion, so when I noticed this lovely crochet pattern in Debbie Stoller's book Happy Hooker, I just had to try it out. You can see the result on the pics, and I must say, I'm really pleased with it.

For this project I have chosen Sirdar's eco wool dk shade 203, which is 100% undyed virgin wool -very medieval I think :)

I'm now working on a medieval style corset top, which is based on this design. Once it's finished, I'll let you know.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hooked on Crochet Lace Scarves

My obsession with crochet hasn't waned yet; the recent edition of Let's Knit! (May 2010) came with an additional crochet booklet, in which I discovered this very easy crochet scarf pattern. Click on the image below to get a better view of the instruction, if you want to try this yourself.

For a supersoft velvety summer scarf I recommend King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK, which comes in a variety of strong, bright colours (slim summer scarf on the left is in purple, shade 524 - and I only needed one skein!). If you prefer something more snuggly warm, then any wool DK yarn will do, and you can see an example here.

Overall I find this pattern so versatile; you can make the scarf any width you like, from long and slim to wide and wrappy. And of course in your favourite colour! It would also make a lovely gift!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Knit Happens at Cosmic HQ

When friends recently phoned and asked after me, hubby replied: "She's knitting a house. Front's nearly finished." That should give you a clue, how much yarn I process each day; hardly time to blog about it, that's for sure!

But I do have time for a quick update; the red Louisa Harding yarn pictured in my previous post, has been turned into a crochet lace scarf.

The purple/pink/cream Louisa Harding yarn has been turned into a cushion for the lounge. No more granny squares for the time being...
New wool is on the way to knit a retro tie for hubby (yes, and I'll make him wear it...) and a shrug for myself.

I'm also using Bamboo yarn for the very first time to crochet some light and wonderful lace summer scarves. More on that later.

And then I have this destructive thought of unravelling a work-in-progress and turn it into a more exciting medieval-style corset belt - decisions, decisions...

Louisa Harding Yarn Details

Scarf: Kashmir Aran Shade 9, Red
Cushion: Kashmir Arran Shade 21 (Mauve), 22 (Grape), 37 (Chamois)

The yarn is a mix of merino wool, microfibre and cashmere - very soft and cosy; hook size 5mm.

Well, as you can see no doubt I'll be able to show you more of my creations very soon. Until then...

Happy Hooking and Nifty Knitting!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Going Wild in Town....

No, I didn't drink myself to oblivion, threw up and flashed my boobs to shocked bystanders on a chav night out (been brought up the European way, I get flamboozled quietly at home with a bottle of red whilst cooking dinner). Instead, I went to W H Smith and bought not just one but four Knitting & Crochet magazines after I couldn't decide, which one to choose - how decadent. And then I recently received my delivery of some lovely bargain Louisa Harding yarn, all very soft wool with cashmere.

The magazines are so inspiring; Let's Knit! magazine came with an additional crochet projects booklet, and I've already started trying out the lace scarf pattern with some leftover yarn. I will make this scarf in the gorgeous red yarn you can see on the yarn stash photo.

Crochet today! is a US magazine; it has some fantastic projects inside including a lovely turquoise sweater designed by Debbie Stoller and a Keepsake Lace Shawl. At the moment, I'm definitely hooked on crochet!

Issue 76 of Knitting is focusing on vintage style designs - fabulous 50s and 60s designs overhauled for the 21st century. Vintage and lace patterns feature in the other magazines, too.

Needless to say ideas are just buzzing in my head right now waiting to be turned into reality over coming weeks ahead.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crafty Crochet: Glasses Case

I love quick projects that can be completed easily on an evening, while the "men of the house" are watching football or other boring sports. When I realised that my bulky shaped sun glasses don't fit in any regular glasses case, I had the bright idea to make one myself.

So I took some yarn from my stash and without a particular pattern, I started with a chain of 22 and worked double crochet stitches into a scarf-like shape until it was long enough to fit in the glasses when folded.

The elastic of one of my pearly hair baubles was worn out, but the pearl beads were too good to throw away, so I started using some of them as decoration and added crochet flowers, frilly trim and cord. Finished! Overall this project took me about 2 hours to complete.

This is a great project for a beginner, and you can use your own imagination when it comes to colour, yarn type and decoration. All I'd suggest is using a yarn for needles up to 4mm; thicker yarns would make the glasses case too bulky. Double crochet stitches make the case material nicely stiff, offering more protection for contents.

Yarn used: Sirdar Balmoral

Shade 476, Damask, and 487, Royal Purple, for flowers, trim and cord

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Crafty Crochet: Pen Holder

Spring has finally arrived, and I'm finding it harder to continue knitting the black sleeveless jumper I started a few weeks ago; I want to work with happy colours, not dark and depressing black. I've been looking through my knitting magazines to select my next project, and until I find something suitable, I pass my crafty time with creating little things, like this crochet pen holder.

Making notebook covers is nothing new, but if you own notebooks too pretty to be covered, all you need is a pen holder. This way I no longer need to search for my pen, when I want to write something into my notebook, which used to happen frustratingly often. But not any more!

Crochet is the easiest way to create these nifty little holders; just start off with 7 chain stitches, join the round and keep on crocheting until it's long enough to hold the pen. Add crochet chains to top and bottom, so the holder can be tied to the notebook. The yarn used is for 4mm needles.

I kept the one I made simple, but if you make a pen holder for a plain notebook, why not embellish it with some embroidery, sequins, beads etc. And don't forget to send me some pics of your creations.

By the way, if you like the notebook pictured, you can find similar ones here:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Baking a Cake...

Last weekend I had the urge to bake a cake after I happened to come across my mother's recipe, which contained some vague instructions like "oven temperature between 180 - 200°C and "baking time 50 - 60 mins". I knew I'd be taking a risk trying it out; after all I'm not the best cook in the world, and cakes I make tend to be stodgy or crumbly. But I felt I had to give baking one last go before I give it up for evermore due to hopeless incompetence.

Luckily, the cake turned out to be a success, and because it is so simple yet delicious, I would like to share my mother's recipe with you:

350g self-raising flour
150g unsalted butter
150g sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk (at room temperature)
vanilla essence or vanilla sugar to taste
optional: 1 cup of chopped roasted hazelnuts

First mix the butter, sugar and eggs until creamy and fluffy; at this stage the mixture is still runny. Then add the remaining ingredients gradually until the dough has an even consistency. Put the mixture into a regular sized greased loaf tin and bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for about one hour.

If you're giving this recipe a go, please do let me know how it turned out for you.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gothic Granny Squares

Granny squares don't need to be all prim and proper in pastel colours.

I thought I'd give them a sinister twist for my recent creation, a Tarot reading cloth.

This was a really enjoyable crochet project; so easy to complete whilst watching TV.

Traditional Bohemian (i.e. Eastern European) designs have inspired me to come up with this colour scheme.

Now that it's finished, it would also make a lovely baby blanket for the Addams Family. What do you think?

Yarn: Sirdar Click DK; colours: Black Sheep 138, Fern 132, Blueberry 137. Available online here.

If you would like instructions for the granny square, please check out this page.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Skull Jumper

Skull patterns on kids clothes are quite popular for some strange reason, and my son thinks they are "sick" (the latest word for "cool"). So taking into account my current knitting frenzy, I decided to knit him this one.

If you like the pattern, then you can download it as a PDF document here:

Skull Pattern

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Passionate Scarf

When I looked at the photos of my latest creation, I thought that there's a lot of red, pink and purple happening on this blog! But don't fret, if you're starting to find this boring; soon I'll be posting pics of some green and black creations moving towards a more gothic feel.

In the meantime, I did some crocheting for a change and learned the V-stitch pattern and a new type of flower.

The yarn is Sublime Kid Mohair in Rouge (shade 68), the softest Mohair I've felt for ages. One of my bargain buys at just £1.99 each 25g ball (I needed three balls to make this scarf) from The Black Sheep. I wanted to create a romantic piece, that brightens up dull winter days and perk the wearer up a little. In fact, I made it for a friend, who needs a bit of cheering up and will hopefully like it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Current Yarn Stash

On Friday I went wild in Hobbycraft. As indicated by the red "clearance" labels on the left pic, there was a sale on, and I just needed to get those bargains.

There's one particular yarn, I would like to recommend: the Sirdar Balmoral. This soft yarn only contains natural fibres - wool, alpaca and silk - and can be washed in the washing machine (on the handwash cycle). I have already used this yarn for my psychedelic jumper, and when I saw other colours in the sale, I couldn't resist. What will they turn into? Not sure yet, but watch this space.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pink Heaven Cosy Swirly Jumper

At last I managed to take photos of my latest creation in its true colour. On previous attempts my current favourite piece looked strangely purple, but this is a luscious raspberry pink, Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweet Colour No. 17.

I knitted this jumper free-style, without instructions except for the lace pattern in the centre of the front and sleeves. You can download a copy of this very easy pattern below.

The jumper has a gentle A-line shape and a belt feature at the back. I've already worn it loads of times.

The yarn is lovely sofy, and although the label recommends handwash, I've washed it in the machine on the wool cycle without problems. Another yarn I'd recommend!

Pattern Sheet: Lace Ajour PDF

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Fab New Knitting Bag

velvet knitting craft bag
I've been searching high and low for a pretty and practical knitting bag and found one right under my nose, i.e. in my own shop!

I toiled with a Cath Kidston design, but I felt I wanted a bag that doesn't look like a knitting bag and can be used for other purposes like shopping, too.

When I saw the one, I knew it was right; not only is it made from my favourite fabric - velvet - but it also has the most beautiful embroidery and plenty of little pockets for all the essentials.

I also got the matching make-up bag, which nicely holds all my crochet needles, tape measure, scissors, double-pointed and cable needles.

craft utensil bag

The large bag has two side pockets, in which I keep my long and circular knitting needles. Inside there's another small zipped pocket and a mobile phone pocket. What else do you need? And if I don't use this bag to carry all my knitting on-the-go, then at least I can also use it for a shopping trip into town.

I love it!

If you want to find out more about these bags, please check out the following links:

Large Velvet Ribbon Embroidery Bag

Make-up / Pencil / Craft Utensil Case


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