VIDEO: Cowl Neck Hi-Lo Poncho Progress

In a previous post, I shared that I was attempting to make a hi-lo poncho, or what is also known as a cowl-neck poncho. This desire to do so was inspired by a poncho made by Mariana Vail that I saw on her Etsy shop, and the fact that I couldn't find a pattern for any thing similar. (See Mariana's version below):

I could easily purchase one from Mariana, but it's not about having the product, but the joy of making one myself. So I ended up figuring out (or thinking that I figured out) how to make a version myself. I tried to explain my process in the original post, but it was getting a little convoluted. So check out the slide show I made with Pic Play Post, to demonstrate my progress/steps so far, which I also posted to my Instagram. Enjoy! I'll keep you updated on how things go.

Shoutouts & Love: My Crochet Faves of the Moment

Since I've become re-obsessed with crocheting, I've also become obsessed with pinning pics of my favorite crochet inspirations (under my Pinterest alias, AquaButterflyy . So, I've decided to share a few of them here on my blog.

Roses Jumper by Simone Francis
I don't know where I originally saw this, but it was probably sent to me by Pinterest (they now have a "picked for you" function based on your previous posts). But once I saw it, I had to add it to my inspiration board. It's very simplistic, but still quite pretty. And I love the way the roses are incorporated into the design of the jumper.
The pattern was published in Inside Crochet, Issue 43, July 2013, so it's not available on the internet, though view-able on Ravelry. But that's why I love to save these types of pics as my "inspiration" in case I'm ever in a freestyle crochet mood and want something to get my creativity flowing. 

Asymmetric Vest by Crochet Lab on Etsy
I like the filet crochet elements incorporated into this vest. Also, the buttons appear to be handmade, which is a nice touch. This particular vest has already sold, but you can visit Crochet Lab's Etsy shop intermittently, to see if it gets reposted. Or you can just look at some of their other products for fun! 

Crochet/Knit Blouse Top

Speaking of Crochet Lab, I found this top they made and thought it to be soooo adorable! It's a combo of knit and crochet, which is slightly annoying for me, since I don't really enjoy knitting (even though I can do it in its basic form). But this is my inspiration section, so I am definitely saving this pic to my inspiration board on Pinterest. If I ever create something inspired by this top, I will definitely share that on this blog. 

Until then, see you later!

My Latest Obsession: Cowl Neck Hi-Lo Ponchos

So, I've been seeing a few pictures across the net of what I call the Cowl Neck Hi-Lo Poncho. Here are a few pics:

by Mariana Vail on Etsy

Also by Mariana Vail on Etsy

Naturally, I want to make one for myself, but there is one problem: the people who have been posting these pictures are actually quite protective of the pattern. They are not even selling it. You can only buy the final product. I can understand the logic, if these products are providing them with income, so I can't hate on the need to protect your income. But that doesn't stop me from wanting to make something similar for myself. 

So last year, when I first saw the projects by Mariana Vail, I tried to recreate this project by starting wit the cowl portion, then adding on the poncho. Well, I ended up with a project that was only frog-worthy, definitely not worthy of actual wearing. It was like a crazy looking version of this poncho by BobWilson:

Since my version came out so horrendously (sorry, I will NOT be posting pictures of that mess) I gave up on trying to recreate Mariana Vail's beautiful products. 

Then, a few weeks ago, a member of the Facebook group Crochet Addict posted a picture similar to Mariana Vail's products, at different angles, and it suddenly hit me: this is basically a large circle that, at a certain point, you skip several stitches in a row, but continue expanding the rounds. After so many rounds, you crochet around the opening created by skipping stitches, then make your cowl from there, but crocheting in a new round and decreasing stitches with each round. 

That all probably sounds confusing, because basically, it kinda is. But the point is, I've started a freestyle project of my own, which is basically my attempt to create my own version of the cowl neck hi-lo poncho. Here is my progress so far:

  • First, I started by essentially making a crochet doily in a grey color. 

1. Crochet Circle or Doily
  • Next, I just changed colors to add some "flavor" and continued adding rows as well. 

2. Doily is getting larger

  • I am currently continuing to add rows, so the project is only at the big circle phase, as seen below.

3. And even bigger.
As you can see above, some of the rows are more openly worked than others, in a filet style. I did this to make things less boring and redundant (I absolutely ABHOR working on redundant projects that involve a lot of "repeat this" and "repeat that" over and over). 

So basically, once this is big enough to drape over my shoulders and hang down my back, I'm going to create the cowl neck portion. Again, this hard to explain, so just stay tuned for pictures that will do a better job. 

Guess Who's Back? And With a Granny Square Shrug!

So, it's been a long time since I last posted anything about crocheting, but also a long time since I last crocheted anything. I've been SUPER busy: I got promoted at my job twice, I've joined a new church that I am actually quite active in (I usually try to avoid being active, for lazy reasons), I joined the praise team at my church, and I've made new friends. Also, I self-published a book.

So, I really haven't had time for my crocheting hobby. Basically, business has taken over my life. But that's actually what recently pushed me back into crocheting...the stress of business. I started feeling like I didn't have anything that I did just for me. Everything was feeling like something I do for someone or something else. And it was stressing me out. So, I bought some yarn, reactivated by Pinterest obsession, and got to working. Let me share what I've done so far.

I'm a member of the Facebook group Crochet Addict, and the ladies over there have been obsessed with a viral crochet project called the Granny Square Cocoon Shrug:

Well, the more members posted their versions of this lovely project, the more I wanted to make one of my own. So I did:

I used Red Heart's With Love yarns, with the body of the project being grey and the border being an almost orchid color. This is how it looked before I added the border:

And here are a few shots of me wearing it the day after I finished it:

After completing this project and getting many rave reviews on it, my passion for crocheting was rekindled. So I'll be back in a few to share other works in progress, as well as some completed ones. 

P.S. Here's a video tutorial from Yarnutopia, on how to make this shrug:

Freestyled Project + Free Pattern: Lacy Fingerless Gloves

At my job, it was recently announced that there will be a Lady's Tea and I have decided to go. The only problem is, this is a bit formal and they are encouraging us to wear a hat and gloves. I didn't want to go out and buy anything new, so I decided to freestyle crochet a pair of finger less gloves on my own. Here is what I ended up with:
I shared the picture above on Facebook and a few people requested the pattern. So I recorded it in a PDF file, which is available at this Google Drive Link. If you don't want the PDF file, but still want the pattern, see below.
Lacy Fingerless Gloves
By Alison M. Caddell

Materials/Tools Used in Picture:
I Love This Cotton Yarn from Hobby Lobby with an H-hook.

·         Foundation row: Make a chain that is long enough to go around your wrist, then join with a slip stitch.
·         Row 1: SC in second chain and each chain after, then join with a slip stitch.
·         Rows 2 & 3: Chain 4 (counts as one DC + a chain), *skip a stitch, then DC in the next stitch; repeat from * until the end, then join with a slip stitch in the third chain of the chain 4 from the beginning.
·         Rows 4 & 5: Chain one, DC in next stitch, 2 DC in next stitch; **one DC in next two stitches, two DC in next stitch; repeat from ** until the end, join with a slip stitch.

PART TWO - Thumb Hole:
·         Make a chain that loosely fits around your thumb, then join in the starting stitch with a slip stitch to create a circle.
·         Divide the number of chains you made in half. [Example: I made a chain of ten, some mines equaled five.]
·         Chain one. Now, based on the number you got from dividing in half, join that number of chains to one side of the glove with single crochet stitches, then join the rest to the other side with single crochet stitches. It will feel awkward, but you are continuing around the circle. Once you get to the end, join with a slip stitch in the chain one made earlier.
·         Chain 3 (counts as a DC), one DC in each SC around, join with a slip stitch. Finish off, weave in end.

PART THREE - Rest of the Glove:
·         Join yarn into anywhere on the glove outside of the thumb hole. Chain 1. Single Crochet in each stitch around, join into chain 1 with a slip stitch. NOTE - when you get to the parts close to the thumbhole, it helps to join a single crochet into the base of the thumbhole, to keep it unified looking.
·         Same as Row 4 or 5 from part one. Finish off, weave in end.

Completed Project: Crochet Puff Stitch Hat w/Matching Puff Stitch Scarf

Years ago, when my sister Connie got into crocheting, she found a pattern for a "Puffy Slouchy Hat" on a blog called Crafty Pants by Jessica Suzanne. Since then, the blog has unfortunately disappeared, but the hat's popularity remains high on the internet,with several people reposting the pattern as well as their finished products. 

I most recently found the pattern here: StampInspirationsBlog. I went ahead and printed the pattern, in case it ever disappears for good. Afterwards, I made the hat in crimson and gold yarn (the school colors at my job). Then I used the puff stitch featured in the pattern to create a matching circle scarf. To make the scarf, I crocheted a long chain, joined it into a circle, did two rows of double crochet, two rows of puff stitches, then two more rows of double crochet. 

Here are some more pictures of the hat and scarf set:
Picture taken without flash.

Picture taken with flash.

#FreestyleCrochetProject: Granny Square Shrug

Update: Above Picture Added

While scouring the web for free patterns, I realized that a lot of sites use the same basis for creating a shrug:
  • Crochet a rectangle or square
  • Fold it in half
  • Sew the left and right sides from the bottom, up to about halfway, allowing the unsewn parts to act as armholes. 
  • Weave in ends.
Here is a diagram to better explain what I mean:

After I realized how simple it is to make a shrug, I decided to freestyle a granny square, then use the basic steps above to create a granny square shrug. If you want an idea of how to make the granny square I made, see this motif pattern for an understanding (note: the linked pattern is for a small square, but I kept creating rounds according to the system established in the pattern). 

So, here is the finished granny square, folded in half, with the seams sewn as demonstrated in the diagram above. 

As you can see, I added blue border to the armholes, and around the bottom of one of the folded halves. Once the shrug is worn, that bottom border acts as the border of the neckline. Here is a picture of the shrug folded as it would be worn, to help you better understand what I mean. 

Once I get the perfect maxi dress to wear this with, I will update.