African Flower Crochet Diagram

This weekend I will be leading an Amigurumi seminar on April 28th and 29th at the Creativ Festival in Toronto!  Although the main focus of the seminar will be on Amigurumi, learning how to read crochet diagrams or motifs will also be covered!  See you there!

For a PDF file, click here > African Flower crochet motif

African Flower crochet motif.jpg

Happy Crocheting!

-AFriendLikeBen-

Advertisements

Creativ Festival

IMG_5616

Do you know how to crochet but want to make something different? Are you new to crochet and want to see what it’s all about?

I’m excited to announce that I will be leading a seminar about Amigurumi at the upcoming Creativ Festival in Mississauga, ON, Canada.  Come learn about the tools of the trade and the endless possibilities of crochet.

Friday April 28th and Saturday April 29th from 12:30-1:30pm.  Check out www.csnf.com for more details!

See you there!

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

Starched Snowflake

IMG_3521.JPG

In Germany, crochet resources are everywhere!  It’s pretty neat how you can buy crochet supplies at the grocery store.  There are also crochet magazines and books in a variety of places.  The only problem – the crochet patterns are mostly written as diagrams.

To solve this problem, I recently took a class on Craftsy called “See It, Crochet It.”  In this class, I learned how to read crochet diagrams.  The class itself is a little dull however, I like how the instructor gets to the point.  You must be familiar with a variety of crochet stitches before taking the class.

So, the first diagram I tried to do after I took the class was a “crochet motif” I found on Pinterest.   For the snowflake, I only did 3 rounds of the motif and finished it with a round of single crochets.  Below is an example of a crochet motif.

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-8-46-13-am

To stiffen the snowflake so it sits up on the tree I used laundry starch.  (I’m currently in Germany so I have a German brand!)  I poured a capful of starch into a bowl and added a little water.  I then dipped the snowflake into the starch so it was soaking wet and let it dry flat on a piece of parchment paper overnight.  I don’t read German very well so I didnt follow any instructions.  To my surprise, it worked wonderfully!

fullsizerender

The next challenge will be to try a crochet motif with crochet thread.  I’ll keep you posted!

Until next time,

-AFriendLikeBen-

Amigurumi Winter Kid

img_3452

This month marks 3 years since I learned how to crochet and I still LOVE it!  I’ve been experimenting a lot with different types of crochet styles but my all-time favourite is what I originally learned how to do…Amigurumi.

I purchased this pattern from “Bubbles and Bongo” on Etsy.  You can find it here.  The pattern was excellent!  I learned something new too.  On the hat, there’s “front and back post half double crochet” (ummm, what’s that you say?)  I wasn’t sure either so like always, I looked it up on YouTube!  You can find a video here.

The pattern included detailed instructions and I loved how I didn’t have to sew the legs on because it crocheted together as one piece.

I used Schachenmayr Catania Color Originals yarn #0218.  It was a great yarn to work with however, next time I’ll use a smaller hook.  I used 2.75mm – I’d like to try a 2.5mm or a 2mm hook with this yarn next time.

Overall, I love how it turned out.

Until next time,

-AFriendLikeBen-

Crochet Rocks

img_2935

My family and I had the opportunity/inconvenience of living in a tiny cottage on the top of a hill!  Why?  Because we had a flood in our kitchen and were temporarily moved there.  As you can see, the view was absolutely stunning but living in a remote area had its challenges (especially with a baby.)

While we were there I checked “crochet rocks” off of my project bucket list (because there wasn’t much else to do to be honest!)  There were so many rocks around so I thought, now is the time!  It’s actually quite a quick project if you’re familiar with crochet and do a little research.

A while back I watched a “crochet stones” video tutorial on a website called “Creative Bug“.  Once you subscribe you have access to a number of videos that are of really good quality.  (I ended up unsubscribing because I found the majority of the crochet tutorials catered towards beginners.  If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend it!)  The crochet stones video, in particular, was really great because it taught me how to make the netting that goes around the stone/rock.  See?  the rocks even look cool from the back!

img_2611

Later on, I looked up a “crochet doily” video here.   I used the first few rounds of the pattern to make the circle design and then continued with the netting technique I learned from Creative Bug to finish it off.

I thought I’d try another one with a snowflake pattern here.

And, since I wasn’t about to pack two heavy rocks into my suitcase I thought, here is where I made them so here they will stay…bye bye rocks!  Bye bye cottage too because we’re back home safe and sound now.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Happy crochet’ing

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

 

Daughter’s First Birthday Outfit!

img_1777-version-2

Has it really been 3 months since my last post?  CRAZY!  A lot has happened in 3 months!  I won’t bore you with all the details however, one very special event for our family was my daughter’s first birthday.  I had a lot of fun sewing up a few outfits and decorations for a little photoshoot and for her small party with family.  I also made a coordinating outfit for her bunny!  Since having our baby girl, sewing has been such a great way to relax after she goes to bed…or after she’s awake from 2am to 3am and I’m wide awake and need something to do.

img_1526

For the bunting, I used a FREE bunting pattern here.  I wanted to make it as quick as possible so I just cut out the triangles (for the pink one I used the 6″ triangle and for the purple I used the 4″ triangle) and kept the edges raw.  On the back of each triangle I put a 1/2″ strip of fusible interfacing along the top edge to decrease any puckering in the fabric.  After that, I wedged the triangles in-between a long piece of bias tape and sewed a straight line all the way across the tape.  Done.  Super easy!

For the diaper cover I used an awesome free pattern from MADE Everyday.  You can find the video tutorial here.

I purchased the plain white bib from Carter’s (it came in a pack of 5) and then I appliquéd it!  I applied “heat n’ bond” to the wrong side of the fabric and cut out my desired shapes.  After fusing the shapes to the bib, I sewed around the edges of the fabric to secure them in place.  You can find a tutorial that explains this process in detail here.

For the skirt I used another fabulous MADE Everyday tutorial which you can find here.  I did a rolled hem on each layer of the skirt with my serger.

fullsizerender

The plain white onesies were purchased at Wal-Mart (they came in packages of 2).  I used Premie Size for the bunny and size 3-6 months for my teeny tiny daughter!  I appliquéd the cupcakes to the onesies.

I used a simple yet cute headband tutorial from Create Kids Couture.  You can find it here.

I LOVED how it all turned out however, the appliqué only lasted for the day!  The edges of the fabric frayed!  Luckily, I only really needed the outfit for one day so it didn’t really matter.  Next time, I’ll need to use a zig zag/satin stitch instead of a straight stitch to secure the appliquéd pieces to the bib and onesies.

Until next time,

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

DIY Teepee

IMG_0247.JPG

Alas, the teepee is finally finished!

This.Sewing.Pattern.Was.Fabulous!  Seriously.  Very clear instructions which I followed step by step and it turned out perfect.  You can find the pattern at TipTopTeepeeShop on Etsy.  If you’re not comfortable with a drill you will need someone to help you drill the holes into the poles.

I used outdoor fabric which I purchased on sale at Fabricland.  It’s sturdy, water resistant and a B*&%h to work with!  haha!  I’m used to sewing with quilting cottons and lightweight fabrics but because of the size and weight of the fabric pieces I needed a little extra help from sewing notions.  Here are some helpful tools I use all the time but definitely couldn’t do without for this project:

Wonder Clips!  I was a little skeptical when a sewing instructor recommended these a few years ago because they were pricey and didn’t seem like much.  I think I paid $30 something but now it looks like you can get them cheaper on Amazon!  I LOVE THEM.  They are so much easier to use than pins and they always hold the fabric right where you want it.  There is no way this thick and heavy outdoor fabric would’ve held a hem with traditional sewing pins.

IMG_0030

GrabARoo Gloves (or any free motion quilting gloves.)  The fabric pieces were not only large but slippery too.  Using these gloves made controlling the fabric a breeze.  They have little sticky pads on the fingers that allow you to grip the slippery fabric easily.  I’ve heard you can also use gardening gloves to help you get a grip!

IMG_0024

I would love to try this teepee again except make an indoor one using cotton!

Let me know if you give it a try!

Happy Sewing,

-AFriendLikeBen-