Sunday 7 May 2017

Quick and easy scarf pattern review

I had a few 50g balls of a 4 ply mint green cotton yarn called Safran by Drops/Garnstudio in my stash so wanted to find a pattern that could use it up.

I came across this one for a scarf which looked really pretty. It is a free pattern called 'Rose Acacia Scarf' and can be found on Ravelry here:

I used two 50g balls and a 3.5 mm hook. It was a really easy pattern to follow, the chart is well set out and there is also written instructions, the crochet terms are US terms but easy to translate to UK terms as there is only one stitch apart from spaces, chains and yarn overs. This is the Triple Crochet (US) which is a Double Treble in the UK. It took me just a couple of evenings to make.

It did look rather thin so I decided to widen it slightly around the back neck, I'm not sure if I did the right thing but it looks OK. I widened it by working the first pattern repeat then increasing on the 1 st row of the next 4 subsequent pattern repeats, then working straight until I had the desired length. I then decreased in the same way on the other side.

It is a very versatile scarf which looks pretty tied at the front:

Draped around your neck:

or pinned with a scarf pin:

It did need blocking to bring out the full pattern, I blocked it out dry and then sprayed it with water and left it to dry.

 A lovely scarf with will look very pretty with different outfits from 'dressed up' to jeans and T.Shirt.

You could use any type of yarn and hook size, thinner yarn would give it a very lacy look and feel, thicker yarn would give a warmer scarf.

Thank you Zsu's Designs for sharing your pattern for free.

Happy crocheting!



Saturday 6 May 2017

Creating Stitch Charts for Crochet Knitting and Crafts

Some time ago I made a video tutorial to make a crochet butterfly stitch to incorporate into your work. You can see the video here:

Someone asked on the video comments if I could make a chart for the pattern. I know that some people like charts, some like written instructions and some prefer a video to follow so they can crochet along. We are all different in the way we work and I was keen to help by making a chart for this subscriber. 

However it is something I've never done before, I've used many charts myself but never made one. I tried drawing out the stitches on paper and it worked fairly well but was so time consuming and twice I made a mistake on the last row which meant I had to start drawing from scratch - it was so annoying and I was cross with myself! It looked something like this and was not great.

 I decided to try a quick internet search to see if there were easier ways to make charts and one of the first things that came up was a site called Stitch Fiddle.

Well this site changed my day! It took me a while to understand how it worked but it was easy to use and after a few trial and error attempts I managed to make a chart for the butterfly stitch.

It is a simple 'drag and drop' to make your chart. You have the choice of free style, crochet, knitting or cross stitch charts and can even upload a photo to make into a chart. You can save your designs by registering with them free of charge, all you need is an email address.

Lots of stitch symbols are there to use and they follow the common, universal, worldwide symbols that most people use. 

Below is a quick example of my chart however, if you would like to see it more clearly you can download it in pdf format from my documents if you would like to have a go, print it or just see it:

It took me all afternoon to make my chart but I'm sure with practice that time would get much shorter as I learn how to do it. There are help features that you can access at any time as you create your chart.

This is the response I got regarding the chart request on YouTube:

"Tried the Butterfly Stitch with the Chart you made for it and it was a breeze. Charts are such a welcome part of crochet over written instructions - which are the one downside to crochet in my opinion. Thanks a million"

Well that has inspired me to try some more and I think Stitch Fiddle will become my new place to play :) It is still being developed and new features are being added regularly. It is free to use and you can create a chart without any cost but you can also pay for more advanced features if you wish.

You can save charts and share them with others, edit previously made charts, change the palette of stitches to your own choice adding more or less to those that are always available in your design view. You can also print and export your chart - I'm sure there is much more that I've yet to discover too. 

Go on, have a go - if I can do it anyone can :)

and of course - thank you Stitch Fiddle!

Happy crafting!