close to perfection potholders

I finally master the making of potholders.  In my opinion.  I think my Grand-Mère would have been super proud!

Using pearl grey [#52] aran cotton from Rico Design, a German brand, and a 4 mm hook, I chain 25 + 2 for the turning chain and work a HDC all the way … for 20 rows.  Then I fold the rectangle in two and sewed the open sides (you can crochet them close too, of course).  My Grand-Mère made them longer and folded them in three … She could find much tinner cotton.


I love making hats.

Following this newborn elf hat pattern from B. Hooked Crochet, I made one for my third-grand-son-soon-to-be-born: Lucas Georges.

I made the newborn version in a single color: ‘oatmeal #400’ from Lion Brand, using a 5.5 mm hook. It was quickly done … the technique is well explained on the video tutorial and it’s just a question of alternating DC and SC for 43 rows, starting from the bottom to the pompom.  As I was doing mine with a leftover of yarn, I reached 24 rows.

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my struggle with the double crochet increase in a circle

A long title for a long ordeal.  You cannot imagine how much I struggled with my 4th row! I frogged it an incredible amount of times.  Unbelievable.  But I finally managed it.  Here is a recap to make the perfect beanie – in my opinion.

Row #1 – start with my favorite way: chain 3 then work your next stitches into the third chain from the hook.  Slip stitch to close that first round.  For this example, we will do 12 stitches, the chain stitch is counting as first stitch. You may want to use a marker to indicate the top of your chain.

Row #2 – chain 3.  For this round, you will need to double up the first row.  Each stitch of the previous row will receive 2 DC stitches [so you will work in groups of 2].  Your very first stitch will be placed into the base of the chain 3 [because it counts as a stitch]. Slip stitch to join at the end of the round.  Total: 24 [12 groups of 2 stitches}

Row # 3 – chain 3 [counts as your first double crochet].  In this round, you will work by group of 3 stitches.  Not in the base of the chain, but in the next stitch: 2 DC.  Repeat 1 DC, 1DC [this is your group of 3] all around, finishing the row with …. Slip stitch to join.  Total: 36 [12 groups of 3 stitches].

Row #4 – chain 3.  This is a row with groups of 4:  1 DC [= the chain to start with], 1 DC, 2 DC then repeat 1DC, 1DC, 2DC to reach 48 [12 groups of 4].  Slip stitch to join.

Row #5 – chain 3 and work in groups of 5 [12 groups of 5]: 1DC, 1DC, 1 DC, 2DC … Total 60.  Slip stitch to join.

And keep going the following rounds … groups of 6, 7, 8 etc.

When the right size has been reached, work even.  That means, 1 DC in each stitch [equalling the number of stitches of the last row that you increased], finish each row with a slip stitch and go up a row with a chain 3.   Crochet until the desired length has been reached.

Here is a good website for support with detailed pictures for DC.   For HDC, here is another website to check.

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Crochet #6 – Yarn: I Love this Cotton! 100% cotton in dark denim #306


pinou, my first arigurumi

Here is my Pinou, baptized by my mama.   I found this super easy to follow pattern via my favorite Facebook group and even found the video with all the necessary details.  My only struggle was to attach the body parts at the same level.

Green … since I started it on an evening when I was already in bed,  this was the only yarn skein I had handy.  I should probably have used a smaller size hook since we see the filling … But mama is happy.  And even more since she has received Pinou … I will probably never understand why she wanted him …


two on two

I did invest in that wonderful stitchpedia [The Big Book of Crochet Stitches] and to facilitate my crochet-life on the go, I made some samples and re-typed the pattern.  No intention to plagia or anything: it’s just for my own convenience instead of carrying that book with me.

Here is my sample of the two on two pattern of page 62.

Chain any multiple of 4 + 1

  • Row 1 – SC in 2nd chain from hook and in every chain across.  Chain 1 and turn.
  • Row 2 – SC in the first 2 stitches then *CH 2, skip the next 2 stitches, SC in the next 2 and repeat the sequence. End with CH 2, skip 2 and SC in last stitch.  Chain 3 [counts as 1st DC in next row].
  • Row 3 – DC in next stitch then *CH 2, DC in next 2 SC and repeat across.  Chain 1 and turn.
  • Row 4 – SC in the first 2 DC then * CH 2, SC in next 2 DC and repeat across.  End with SC in 3rd chain of turning chain.  Chain 3 and turn.
  • Pattern: repeat rows 3 – 4.

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i love bobbles

Popcorns, bobbles … I love them.  They bring a fun bubbly twist to a project.

Here is the Pops and Posts sample I made based on the pattern page 109 of The Big Book of Crochet Stitches [I just retyped below so I don’t have to carry that big book with me when I am not home – the wonder of the iPad].

Take a multiple of 6 + 1.

Row 1 – SC in 2nd CH from hook and then in each remaining stitch.  Chain 3 [counts as 1st DC in following row] and turn.

Row 2 – DC in next DC then *CH 2, skip 2 SC, DC in next SC* and repeat across to last SC.  End with a DC in the last SC. Chain 3 [counts as 1st DC in following row] and turn.

Row 3 – [on the right side]: popcorn stitch [see **** below] in next DC then *CH 2, DC in next DC, CH 2, PC in next DC.  Repeat the sequence to do a  DC in last PC and a DC in the 3rd chain of turning CH-3.  Chain 3 and turn.

Row 4 – DC in next DC *CH 2, DC in next PC, CH 2, DC in next DC and repeat sequence with DC in last PC, DC in 3rd  CH of turning CH-3.  Chain 3 and turn.

Row 5 – DC in next DC *CH 2, PC in next DC, CH 2, DC in next DC and repeat sequence with PC in last DC, DC in top of turning CH-3.  Chain 3 and turn.

Row 6 – *DC in PC, CH 2, DC in next DC, CH2 and repeat.  End with DC in last DC, DC in top of turning chain. Chain 3 and turn.

Pattern: repeat rows 3 – 6.

*** popcorn stitch [abbreviated pop or pc] – Popcorn stitches are usually worked on the right side of the project however there is a way to make them pop towards the back …  See My Idiot’s Guide page 166 for details.

front pop

  • Work 5 DC in the same stitch.
  • Drop the loop from your hook.
  • Insert your hook from front to back under the top 2 loops of the first DC of the group.
  • Grab back the dropped loop with your hook and pull it through the stitch.

Some patterns may request to close the stitch with a CH1 as final step.

back pop: do the same as the front pop but insert your hook from back to front under the top 2 loops of the first DC of the group and finish it the same way as the front pop.

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oh that blue

While waiting for my Buyer’s appointment in Cumming, I decided to hit the road earlier in order to investigate some yarn shops along the way.  Just at the idea, my wallet started shivering.

My first stop was at ‘Only Ewe & Cotton Too‘ at The Silos Marketplace in Alpharetta.  After wishing the welcoming dog [which looked like a sheep] a happy 2, my eyes got attracted to this pure extrafine merino wool, made in Italy, by Lana Grossa.

The colors were wonderful and I wanted them all!  After hesitating between two shades of pink, I went for this mint melange #133.  Each skein is a 50 gr/160 m and costs $11.50.

My second stop in Alpharetta was a fiasco since there was no shop there….


Poncho mio

A few days ago, I wrote about this poncho pattern that I loved… I kind of obsessed about it so on Wednesday I went to another local yarn shop – Eat. Sleep. Knit in Smyrna – that I had discovered online.  Tucked away in a business center, it’s not like you would walk by while doing your window shopping.   So what a surprise to discover this yarn-cavern.  Gosh, you should have seen my face in front of this abundance of yarn!!!  I had about 3 hours before closing…  I spent a crazy time looking and touching all kind of skeins. What a paradise!  Not cheap but the best in the Atlanta area…

I came out with $280.26 of yarn for 2 ponchos and some goodies that I received because of my big purchase.

And here I am on Friday, starting my multi color poncho with the idea to finish it for our Nuit Belge event on Saturday night.

For this one, I purchased Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (one of the cheapest they had) made of 100% Superwash Wool, washable in the machine at 40.  Each skein is 100 gr | 200 meters (220 yards) and cost $10.50.

  • 4 skeins of white with a super slight tint of pink – color winter withe 910A (I used 1 full skein for the cowl)
  • 1 skein of dark aqua #849
  • 1 skein of daffodil #821
  • 1 skein of colonial blue heather #904
  • 1 skein of rose petal #838
  • 1 skein of tangerine heather #907
  • 1 skein of berry pink #837
  • 1 skein of Westpoint blue heather #1944
  • 1 skein of chartreuse #906

I used a 6-mm hook and a 6.5 mm for the final border.  The pattern advises you to do the cowl and the bord with a 7-mm.  I did the cowl with my 6 since I don’t have a 7-mm.  Also the pattern is in UK terms so before I realized it. I had started with a US treble … No need to say that I frogged it all and started over… Then I frogged a few more times because it’s easy [for me] to miss the front or back post …

I finished my poncho itself on Saturday afternoon but couldn’t add the fringes.  Luckily because this morning I notices a few front/back posts mistakes that I corrected.

I added the fringes on Sunday morning … And went for a walk proudly wearing my brandnew 420-gr poncho on my shoulders.

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