103 posts tagged yarn
My yarn storage solution was featured in the August 2014 issue of Australia’s “Homespun Magazine”! I’m so honoured that my work has been featured a second time in this beautiful magazine (see my amigurumi Siu Mai's feature in the July issue HERE), and I hope that seeing my yarn shelf in this magazine helped inspire some people to create their own! If you haven’t already read about how I organized my growing yarn collection using corrugated plastic dividers, read the full blog post HERE! Thanks for the lovely feature, Homespun (click on the photo to enlarge it and read the text for my “Do-It-Yourself Diamond Storage”!
Do you remember the “Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie" I made last year? I loved the pattern so much that I ended up making one for my sister Ashley and my brother Corey too! I started making Corey’s beanie towards the end of last year’s winter, and I actually never ended up finishing it….but with fall approaching, I wanted Corey to be able to wear his beanie as soon as possible, so I finally completed it just recently!
Sometimes it can be hard finding crochet patterns for men, but this “Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Pom Beanie" looks great on guys too! I followed the exact same pattern that I used for my white beanie HERE to make Corey’s. I used "Loops & Threads Ring Spun" in Purple. So if you’ve been wanting to crochet a beanie for your boyfriend/husband/brother/dad, give this pattern a go! It’s very simple and a great project for beginners! Doesn’t it look so awesome and stylish on Corey? Click on each photo to expand them!
I’ve always wanted to try crocheting some sort of clothing piece that I could wear as I’ve previously made a lot of accessories such as cowls and hats. I dabbled in sweater-making with Myla’s “Arbor Baby Sweater" but up till now, I could not find a crocheted sweater pattern for adults that I absolutely loved. Furthermore, I didn’t feel confident enough to try making my own design since I had no previous experience working on an adult sweater.
Much to my delight, I saw a picture of a gorgeous sweater that draped beautifully on-line, and it turned out to be a free crochet pattern on the Lion Brand Yarns website called the “Simple Crochet Shrug" (see HERE). When I quickly read through the pattern, I was blown away by its simplicity as the construction was simply one massive rectangle folded in half and then seamed along the sides while leaving arm holes- no other attachments were necessary! It was a very popular pattern as over 600 people had made this project on Ravelry, and I couldn’t wait to give this sweater a try!
Picking out the colour and yarn I wanted for my sweater was tricky, but eventually we decided upon Bernat’s Softee Chunky in “Grey Ragg”. It is a very soft yarn that does not fuzz up too easily and I absolutely loved the light grey and white variegation that I knew would give my sweater a beautiful look. It’s a super bulky (level 6) yarn that has a net weight of 100 g/3.5 oz and approximately 99 m/108 yds. In total, I used five skeins of this yarn. Each skein regularly costs $4.99 (Canadian) and with the Michael’s 40% off coupon, each skein came out to $2.99, so the cost of materials for this sweater was very affordable. You can also find this yarn on Amazon HERE for only $2.74!
I read through almost all the Ravelry entries of this project to see how other people’s sweaters turned out depending on how many chains they started with, what yarn they used and any other modifications they made. It was a challenge determining the size as some people’s sweaters turned out too long or too short, and it was hard to judge how tall these people were in their photos. I wanted to make my sweater oversized and long enough to cover my rear, and I actually ended up making my sweater WAYY too big on the first try. Sweaters stretch a lot and I decided to frog my work and start over so that I could try and make it the perfect size on the second try!
I chained 76 using my 10 mm crochet hook. It is VERY important to note that this initial series of chain stitches will be the LENGTH of your sweater, so determining this initial length is key as you will not be able to change it later on (unless you add some edging at the end). The rows worked later on will be the width of your sweater. Do keep in mind that your sweater can stretch later on as you pull it downwards too. For reference, I am about 5’ 6” tall.
To achieve the beautiful ribbing of this sweater, you work single crochets in the back loops only. As a reminder, the back loops are the loops further away from you while the front loops are the ones closer to you when you’re crocheting.
You crochet row by row in the back loops only, turning your work as you go. How simple can this pattern be? It’s the perfect project to work on when you’re watching tv or having a conversation since you don’t need to keep the count and it works up so quickly since you’re using chunky yarn and such a large crochet hook. Doesn’t the ribbing give such beautiful texture?
You keep adding rows until you are happy with the width of your sweater. In the end, I ended up with 56 rows measuring 31”/79 cm across. Lengthwise, my rectangle was 38.5”/98 cm (remember that this is capable of stretching quite a bit too).
Next, you fold the rectangle in half. It is very important that you fold your rectangle in half so that the rows are running vertically! I noticed that quite a few people on Ravelry were folding their rectangles the wrong way as their rows were running horizontally. This meant that their resulting sweaters were very wide and short!
To create the arm holes, you seam up the sides.
I seamed up 11”/28 cm and left 8”/20 cm for the arm hole on each side.
This is how you wear the piece- now it’s looking more sweater-like :) You’ll notice that the the rows now run horizontally in the front but vertically in the back. When I was working on this piece and periodically measuring it to my body to check for size, it seemed as though it might end up being too short. However, we learned from our first experience, and we knew that it was capable of stretching a lot later on. Thus, don’t be too worried if you think your sweater seems it might be a tad short…
I wanted to add my own modification to this sweater pattern by adding a special ribbed collar. To do so, I located the midline of the sweater and attached a stitch marker (you can’t see it too well in the picture below, but there is a peach stitch marker where the midline arrow is pointing to). Next, I wore the sweater and determined where I wanted the collar to start. I placed a green stitch marker 12 rows below the arm seam on either side (this will vary depending on your height and where you want your own collar to start). In case you’re interested, I have been using my “Clover Lock Ring Markers" a lot for all my recent projects, and none of them have broken on me (buy them HERE)!
Starting from the green stitch marker on the left side (when you’re looking at the sweater) and crocheting upwards towards the peach marker, I worked some slip stitches, single crochets, half double crochets and then double crochets in Row 1. This helped to slowly build up the collar and make it taper towards the ends. I did the exact same pattern back downwards to the other green stitch marker once I reached the midline at the top to make it symmetrical. I used a smaller 8 mm crochet hook for this collar part to get tighter, smaller stitches compared to those of the body. I also tried to pick up stitches quite close together so that there were no gaps in the collar.
Row 1 is complete!
Next I alternated front post double crochets with back post double crochets in Row 2 to begin creating a ribbed effect.
I did the same thing for Rows 3 and 4 to really emphasize the ribbing.
The ribbed collar is complete!
You can fold the collar up…
And the ribbing is on the other side too :) I think this ribbed collar is a really nice addition, don’t you? I’m really happy with how it turned out!
Here is the pattern for the collar that I added in case you’re interested in crocheting one for your sweater too!
To access the free Lion Brand pattern for their “Simple Crochet Shrug”, click HERE. They have also written up patterns for the same shrug using different weights of yarn (e.g. worsted, bulky, super bulky), so see a list of them HERE towards the bottom under “Also available in other Lion Brand yarns" to get an idea of what numbers you should use for your particular yarn.
In summary for my own sweater, I chained 76 initially and did 56 rows of single crochets. I used a 10 mm crochet hook for the body of the sweater and 5 skeins of yarn. Keep in mind that these numbers will vary for yourself depending on how long and wide you want your sweater to be (and depending on your height), what hook size and yarn you use (worsted, bulky, super bulky) and how tightly you crochet (smaller, tighter stitches will result in your sweater stretching less while loose stitches will result in more stretching).
- Tag upper midline with stitch marker.
- Tag sides with stitch markers indicating where you want your collar to begin and end (12 rows below arm seam for mine).
Using 8 mm hook,
R1: Sl st 2, Sc 2, Hdc 2, Dc 57 (or however many it takes for you to reach stitch marker at upper midline- space your stitches close together so that there are no gaps). Dc at stitch marker. Repeat exact same pattern down the other way to your stitch marker: Dc 57, Hdc 2, Sc 2, Sl st 2. Slip stitch to next stitch, turn.
R2: Sl st 2, Sc 2, Hdc 2, alternate fpdc and bpdc around (i.e. start with fpdc, bpdc, fpdc, bpdc, etc) until 6 stitches left. Hdc 2, sc 2, sl st 2. Slip stitch to next stitch, turn.
R3: Same as R2 but alternate bpdc with fpdc (i.e. start with bpdc, fpdc, bpdc, fpdc, etc) to ensure that ribbing is building up.
R4: Same as R2.
Fasten off and weave in ends.
I was incredibly excited to try on my new sweater and we took advantage of the last days of summer weather to do a photoshoot before the snow comes! This sweater is so versatile as it looks cute over a dress, and I can see myself wearing this in the winter with leggings and tall boots too!
I’ll be able to wear this as my pregnant belly continues to grow as I enter my third trimester soon- oversized cardigans and sweaters are a must as winter and sweater weather rolls around! I practically lived in my nursing tank tops with blazers and cardigans over top when I was nursing Myla (see my Maternity Fashion HERE and my Nursing Fashion HERE), so I know I’ll be wearing this sweater a lot post partum, especially since we’re having a winter baby.
I’m really happy with how the sizing of the sweater turned out as the length is not too long or too short. The ginormous sweater I made on my first try (I chained 100 and did 68 rows) made me look like I was being engulfed in a blanket as it extended down towards my calves!
The vertical ribbing looks beautiful from behind. This sweater is so incredibly luxurious and romantic…
This sweater does tend to bunch around the bum area a bit due to its construction, but it’s not a big deal…
Popping up my ribbed collar! If you don’t want to add this special collar or you think it might be too difficult, you could always simply crochet more rows when working on your big rectangle to increase its width. The piece will naturally fold to give a collar if it’s wide enough.
You could also add some buttons to this sweater if you wanted some closure! I myself love how it hangs and drapes naturally when I wear it. Another modification you could try is adding sleeves by crocheting around the armholes too!
[Dress: Urban Outfitters, Boots: Steve Madden; Purse: Coach; Sweater: Me :D; Bracelet: Mikaylove; Necklace: Mahina; Watch: Michael Kors]
I know people tend to whip out their crochet hooks as temperatures drop and fall and winter begin, so this is the perfect project to work on! Sweater weather will soon be upon us, and it is actually currently snowing where I live as I write this post (ahh, the fleeting days of summer). This sweater is so incredibly simple to crochet and the results are gorgeous, like something you would see in a high end fashion boutique. It’s a great beginner’s project, and it’s such an amazing feeling being able to wear something you created with your own two hands from scratch (I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when they discover that I made my crocheted pieces)! Let me know what you think of this sweater in the comments below, if you’ll be trying out this design, and if you’ve come across any other sweater patterns that you’ve loved. If you do end up making your own sweater, I think it’d be really helpful to leave a comment below letting us know what yarn you used and how many chains and rows you ended up going with too :)
Here are some of my previous winter crochet projects in case you’re interested in crocheting some hats and cowls while you’re at it! From left to right and top to bottom we have the Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie, Knotted Headband, Puff Stitch Cowl, Buttoned Shell Stitch Cowl, Long Double Crochet Cowl, and Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanie. The “Easy Ribbed Pom Pom Beanie" has a similar construction to this sweater and is a great beginner’s project! Don’t forget to keep up with me on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as I’m putting the final touches on a lot of new designs and projects. I’ve been on a crocheting frenzy as I try and bring to life all the designs swirling in my mind before Baby #2 comes and life gets extremely busy! Enjoy making your own beautiful sweaters and let me know how it goes!
Sneak peek of upcoming blog post & step-by-step tutorial: Easy Chunky Crochet Sweater
Last Christmas I whipped up some of these adorable coffee sleeves as gifts and was delighted with how they turned out! I recently pulled out the pattern again and thought I would blog about it since I love them so much :)
You might be wondering what crochet stitch this coffee sleeve uses since it has such a beautiful braided look: it’s actually the half double crochet! Instead of crocheting in both the front and back loops, you crochet in the third loop (found below the back loop of half double crochets). This free pattern is by “Frayed Knot" and is called the "15 Min Coffee Sleeve”- it’s true that it works up extremely quickly, and adding a button is such a cute touch. So if you’re in a scramble for a quick handmade gift, check out this free pattern HERE!
During our California Blog Meet Up (read all about it HERE), we had a delightful pin exchange in which we prepared crafty pins ahead of time for each other! As soon as fellow amigurumi artist Jo suggested that we do a pin exchange, I knew exactly what type of pin I wanted to make!
I love perusing Craftgawker, and there was a particular project that had caught my eye from December of last year. Francesca of “Fall for DIY" had made some beautiful "DIY Monkey Fist Knot Earrings”, and I absolutely loved how they looked like little yarn balls! For our pins, I thought it would be so cute to make a little yarn ball with a crochet hook similar to the one pictured in my blog logo! In Francesca’s blog post on how to make her earrings HERE, she includes step-by-step instructions, and she also filmed an extremely helpful video entitled “How to Tie a Monkey Knot” HERE (I’ll embed the video at the end of this blog post too!). Rather than reiterate her instructions, we recommend that you visit her blog post and watch the video to see how it’s made!
We searched for the perfect pink yarn, and we ended up going with Lion Brand Yarn’s “Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend in Gerbera Daisy”. Ryan is actually the one who mastered the monkey fist knot, and to keep the yarn balls consistent and similar-sized, he made them all! It was such a whirlwind leading up to our California trip since we were making our costumes for Anime Expo as well, and I am so thankful that I have such a supportive husband who helped me make these pins! Here are some step-by-step photos showing how Ryan made our little yarn balls and crochet hooks :)
We bought some brass jewelry pins from Michaels (came in a set of 10) and hot glued the little crochet balls onto the pins after tying the ends of yarn into a knot. To make the crochet hooks, we used these ornament hooks that we purchased from Walmart a couple years ago (we have a large stash of these since we use them to hang the baubles from our white Christmas tree every year)!
Ryan used pliers to shape the ends of the ornament hooks to resemble crochet hooks! You may recall that we made a similar crochet hook for Mochi our Fluff Bear to hold (read about the making of our amigurumi Fluff Bears HERE)!
Ryan placed the crochet hook through the yarn ball so that the yarn ball was at the bottom of the hook. He then added some hot glue to the middle of the crochet hook and then slid the yarn ball upwards into the glue in order to secure the hook in place. After each pin was complete, we mounted them on cardboard and were so excited to give these out at the meet up!
To see the making of a monkey knot in action, please see this wonderful video below filmed by Francesca of “Fall For DIY”! We paused this video many times as we followed along to learn how to make this special knot!
Here are some notes about making your own yarn ball:
- Instead of wrapping the yarn around the hand three times, we did it four times to make a bigger yarn ball (depends on thickness of yarn).
- Towards the end, try and pull each strand of yarn evenly and with consistent tension to make a uniform yarn ball.
- Don’t pull the strands of yarn too tight or else the yarn ball will be squished.
- Ryan made many “failed” monkey knots/yarn balls before getting the hang of it and achieving the right look, so just keep trying and practicing and don’t be discouraged!
These little yarn balls are so cute, and once you’ve mastered how to tie this special knot, they are inexpensive and relatively quick to make! Wouldn’t yarn ball earrings or a yarn ball necklace pendant be the perfect gift for us yarn lovers? The addition of the little crochet hook helps us proudly display the love of our craft too! I hope you enjoyed reading about the making of our “Yarn Ball & Crochet Hook Pin" and I want to extend a big thank you to Francesca for inspiring this idea! We are giving away one of these pins on my Instagram page (@AllAboutAmi) since we reached 5000 followers recently- if you would like to win one, just follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on the picture of the pin to enter! Happy monkey knot and yarn ball making :)
Hey everyone! Notice anything different around here? As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I’ve been trying to revamp my blog and make it more unique and reflective of my own style! I’m so excited to show you my newly updated blog and explain the process behind it!
I started “All About Ami" about three and a half years ago on tumblr, and I remember I was so excited to choose a blog template back then. I ended up going with "Royal Ribbon”, a free template by Simon Fletcher designed in 2010, and I loved the clean grey and pink theme that looked very classy. However, as time went on, I wished that I had a sidebar, and I found out that this could not be implemented easily if it was not a part of the theme. I also came across many others who used the exact same theme as me, so I didn’t feel very unique! I was itching to redesign my blog but it always seemed so daunting, especially for someone with very limited html knowledge!
A couple of months ago I started looking into different tumblr themes to see what was out there. I really wanted to stick with tumblr since it has been such a supportive community for me, but I was a bit dismayed that there seemed to be fewer options for blog templates and customization options compared to Blogspot or Wordpress. However, I came across a tumblr theme that I really liked called “Atlantic Noir" designed by Style Hatch. It’s a premium theme ($49) that allows for a lot of customization options. I loved how it had the traditional blog look with the sidebar. Ontop of that, Jonathan Moore, the founder and creative director of Style Hatch, was extremely quick and responsive to all my e-mails, so this gave me the confidence to go ahead with this theme since I knew I would have support! This is what the default “Atlantic Noir” theme looks like:
I purchased “Atlantic Noir” over the weekend, and I didn’t know that it would be implemented right away! My heart skipped a beat and I tried to revert back to my old “Royal Ribbon” theme but alas, I could not find it as I do not think it is available anymore. Trying not to panic, I quickly tried to work on all the changes little by little. I actually started feeling nostalgic and missed my old template since I had used it for 3.5 years! Thank goodness I had taken some screenshots last week so I could remember what it looked like! If you visited my blog on Saturday evening, you may have seen some wonky things happening! I changed the font and colours, deleted some items from the sidebar, and added my own background (check out “michLgstudios" on Etsy HERE for some beautiful blog backgrounds). I was still waiting for my final graphics, so this is what my blog looked like without the header and welcome button:
I hired Leonora of “Yellow Heart Art" to design my header, logo and buttons. I love her work (check out her Etsy store HERE and her blog HERE) and am so happy with how everything turned out. I wanted to have a pink, grey and gold colour palette as I think it looks very pretty and classy! Below you can see how adding the header and welcome button changes so much!
For my logo, I really wanted to incorporate a crochet hook and a ball of yarn. I love what Leonora designed and how the strand of yarn is in the shape of a heart! We also added some gold leaves to help frame the logo and tie in the colour scheme.
For my header, I wanted to include a subheader/tagline saying “a crochet blog" in case people didn’t know what "All About Ami" was about! The little sideways hearts also represent crochet stitches (like the ‘v’s consisting of a front and back loop) and I love how Leonora included them in the header and in my welcome button too!
I wanted to have some sort of welcome button that also introduced myself in case people don’t click my “About Me” tab! Many people still think my name is “Ami”, haha. We’ve been meaning to take a new profile pic, but we haven’t had the time! I’ll add an updated one once we’ve taken it :)
Leonora also made these pretty pink social media buttons on my “Contact" page! They’re actually not functional yet but I’m hoping they will be soon!
I have had so much fun trying to redesign my blog and I am incredibly happy with how it has turned out! I think it has an airy and elegant feel to it and is definitely more reflective of my style. It’s been fun putting our own touches on it so now it does not look like any other blog! I wanted to extend a big thank you to Leonora and Jonathan for all their help, and also to Ryan who has helped me envision this along the way! There are still changes to be made, but I’m excited with how it’s coming along. I would LOVE to hear your feedback about what you think of this new redesign! Thanks so much for all your support throughout the years!
Hello everyone! I wanted to share about an exciting feature that my amigurumi Dragon has in a beautiful new bookazine called “Hand Made Toys”!
When Helen, the editor of “Hand Made Toys”, asked if my Dragon could be included in this special edition, I happily said yes. Helen is an editor at Future Publishing in the UK, and this publishing company is behind “Simply Crochet" and "Mollie Makes”. As some of you may remember, Dragon was also previously featured in the premier issue of “Simply Crochet" magazine last year! I was very impressed when I received my own hard copy of this bookazine as all the projects included are incredibly cute and whimsical!
“Hand Made Toys" contains 40 toy designs to crochet, knit and sew. I loved seeing the different crafts put together in one magazine, and some of the sewing designs really caught my eye…I have already forgotten how to use my sewing machine, but there are some hand-stitched toy patterns that I could possibly try! The crocheted hedgehogs seen on the cover look absolutely adorable too- I might have to make some :)
The bookazine is divided into 5 sections: (1) “Once Upon A Time" containing fairytale and rhyme characters including my Dragon; (2) “Busy Bees" containing indoor toys for children; (3) “Special Friends" containing a variety of adorable animals; (4) “Let’s Pretend" containing delicious play food and treats; and (5) “Just For Fun" containing mini toys for big craft and play happiness!
I am so happy to have my amigurumi Dragon featured in “Hand Made Toys" along with some of my other crochet blogger friends including Mei of “Amigurumei" and Tanya of “Little Things Blogged”! Thank you for including my work in your bookazine, Helen! It truly is a delightful magazine with such a wide variety of cute toys!
If you’re interested in getting your hands on your own copy, you can order “Hand Made Toys" by mail HERE or find copies in WH Smith stores and leading newsagents in the UK and in Barnes & Noble stores in the US. You can also buy a digital copy of “Hand Made Toys" through the Apple Newsstand (download the free Simply Crochet container app, and the digital version of Hand Made Toys will be available there). I think it’s so special how people all over the world are continuing to discover my amigurumi Dragon pattern, often through features such as these, and I truly adore seeing all the Dragons who have been crocheted with so much love ❤
On the weekend we visited Deserres, a Canadian art and craft store based in Montreal. We were impressed by how they stored their yarn as it kind of reminded us of the “Lion Brand Yarn Studio”! They used the Expedit shelving unit from Ikea (which is very popular as I know many people have Expedits in their homes!) and then inserted corrugated plastic dividers to help maximize the space. We used the same material to make the dividers for my yarn storage (read all about my “DIY Yarn Storage" HERE)! I just wanted to quickly blog about this to give you another idea on how you can organize your yarn with an easy and inexpensive solution!
Last week I blogged about how I was crocheting some amigurumi gifts for the daughters of some of our good friends. One of the girls loves elephants (see the one I made for her here) while her sister’s favourite animal is a pig! And so, I scoured Ravelry to look for a free and cute pig pattern. I really liked the look and simplicity of Studio Ami's “Micropig”, so I decided to give it a try!
However, I knew that the original pattern would yield quite a small pig, and I wanted to give the girls an elephant and a pig that were similar in size. I also wanted to use the same yarn that I used to make the elephant (Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids) so that the amigurumi would match! Instead of modifying the pattern to make it bigger, I wanted to keep it simple and follow the existing pattern but hold two strands of worsted weight yarn while crocheting. I used a 5 mm crochet hook to accommodate for the thickness, the largest hook I’ve ever used to make an amigurumi! As you know, the thicker the yarn and the larger the crochet hook you use, the bigger your amigurumi will turn out!
As you can see, the stitches are massive but no holes are visible and the piece has a sturdy feel to it because of the thickness.
This pig works up really quickly! I love how simple this pattern is as the body/head is already complete :)
With the eyes in place I thought this little one was starting to look like a Sackboy!
Next I crocheted the pointy ears…
And then the four stubby legs! When attaching the ears and legs to the body, I only used one strand of yarn as it was simply to thick and difficult to use both strands to sew the pieces together.
After attaching the ears, legs and also the felt snout, here is what our pig looked like!
The original pattern does not include a tail, but I thought it would be fun to add a little curly tail! I crocheted the tail as follows:
Ch 5. 3 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (12 sc). Fasten off and leave long end to attach tail to bottom-back of pig.
To make our elephant and pig amigurumi match even more, we added a cute floral bow to the pig using the same fabric we used for the lining of the elephant’s ears! What do you think of her?
She is a ball of cuteness, so round and sweet!
The curly little tail adds a nice touch, don’t you think?
I was really happy with how this pig turned out and how it was similar in size to the elephant I blogged about last week!
Have you ever tried holding two strands of yarn together to make amigurumi before? What have you done to make your amigurumi larger? If you’ve been looking for a cute amigurumi pig pattern, I highly recommend checking out the free one provided by Sylvia of “Studio Ami" HERE! Thanks for sharing your free pattern with us, Sylvia!