Essential crochet tools – stitch markers

essentialcrochettools

If you’re a serial crocheter (like me), than you’ll no doubt will have stitch markers in your stash.  Yes, you can use yarn leftovers as stitch markers, but where’s the fun in that.  Don’t we ladies (and fellows) like to indulge ourselves from time to time?

Today there’s stitch markers in any possible color or shape.  There’s plain functional stitchmarkers, some look like jewelry and some are even a bit fashionable.  For crochet it is important the you always choose locking stitch markers or split ring stitch markers.  If you buy closed ones, you might end up needing to cut them out of your work… and we wouldn’t want that to happen.  But then, who uses those closed ones?  The closed versions are perfectly fine for knitting projects.  Just put them on your needle in-between two knitting stitches.

 

Split ring, locking and charm stitch markers

 

stitchmarkers

A stitch marker is just functional for me it it just does what it has to do.  So it can be as easy a little leftover of yarn.  The stitch markers on the right side of the photo are a perfect example from my stash.  I believe these where the first stitch markers I ever bought and they already went a long way with me!  These kind are called split ring stitch markers and always have an open side.  They look a bit like paper-clips, but believe me it is not very smart to use a paper-clip as a stitch marker!  (I tested it and had a full-time job trying to get them out again… kind-a funny if I think about it now…).  The good thing is, that nowadays you can find these in happy colors and a bit more stylishly shaped.

The second kind of stitch markers are the locking stitch markers.  They look like mini safety-pins in plastic and are really popular at the moment.  Good for us!  Because now you can get them in any color you can possibly imagine.  I bought these very colorful ones at Button Envy UK. A really lovely Etsy shop that actually specializes in buttons.  I also have some from freshstitches, and those even have a heart- or flower-shape!

And then there’s a third group.  For those who want more and want to make a statement with their stitch markers, there’s stitchmarker charms.  The duck, elephant and blue pearl are all free gifts with a magazine subscription, but you don’t need to look hard to find online shops that sell the most gorgeous handmade designs.

Hand-made charms and subscriptions

 

stitchmarkers_theclaysheep

A shop I really love is The Clay sheep. I recently purchased 3 different stitch markers and I am thrilled to show you what I got!

When you place an order at The Clay sheep, you can choose if you like them for knitting (closed) or crochet (locking).

Soon after I placed my order, I received two of these cute little boxes in my mail.  You can tell that they really take care of their packaging, these look like jewelry boxes.  The stitch markers where gently packed in a plastic bag and where gathered around a safety pin.

stitchmarkers_theclaysheep

I choose to buy the peas, ice creams and (obviously) the sheep, but it was hard to make a choice from all those gorgeous designs.  The stitch markers are even more beautiful in real life than on the pictures.  I’m sure I will have a lot of fun using these in my next crochet projects.

If you can’t get enough from these fashionable stitch markers, there’s also the option to subscribe yourself to a monthly stitch marker charm.  Yes, you heard me!  A subscription to receive one (or two) new gorgeous handmade stitch marker every month!  I just enrolled in the Charm of the month club from Bakery Charms.  These charms are all based on yummie bakery food and candy.   You should also check out the ring, earing and necklace section.  So beautiful!

Another well known website for bakery-jewelry is Tiny Hands.  But these even have the scent of the yummie food they’re representing.  They don’t sell (many) charms, but you can ask for custom orders.  So you can always request a locking stitch marker version.

Heartsprinkle is another fun online shop you surely need to visit.  This shop is specialized in crochet-related goodies… all custom made!  You can order your very own custom made crochet hook, plus matching stitch markers!  And nowadays you can even order cute notebooks to keep all your project notes.

I’d love to hear where you go shopping for your special stitch markers.

Crafty greetings,
Wendy

Mommy’s blog – the bib review

 

littlewendycrochet

I recently became the mother of a sweet little boy.
As a creative mom, I love self-made (crochet) items, but as a mom I love qualitative products.

I figured that most of my readers are at least mom, grandmother or aunt themselves from a little sweetie.  So I hope that this review is also of interest to you.

One of the most basic items to have are bibs.  I (or better, my son) tested 3 different brands and I’d love to share my experiences with you.

And for those readers that really want to see a crocheted bib, I selected 2 lovely designs for you to make:
so simple baby bibs from Bobbi Anderson, and
Crochet monster baby bibs from Sarah Zimmerman.
Crocheted in a good quality cotton or bamboo yarn, these cute designs are going to be a definite succes.

 

koeka

I just love this yummie looking cookie shaped bib from Koeka. The bib is made up of two layers high quality cotton and available in several soft colors like blues and pinks.

The size of this bib okay.  It has a nice width, but could have been a bit longer in my opinion.

Koeka uses snaps to fasten the bib. You can adjust the size by choosing one of the two snaps on the back.  This makes this bib very suitable from baby to toddler.

Stains are easily removed by washing it, though tough stains (like tomato sauce) might need some stain remover to completely clean the bib.  I already washed my Koeka bibs several times and they tend to keep form, color and softness perfectly.

Conclusion:

The Koeka bib is a qualitative bib with a playful shape and is easy in maintenance, though could have been a bit longer for more comfort.

mundomelocotton

Mundo melocoton has a specialisation in tetra cloths.  Their designs are always clean, simple and even minimalistic.  The perfect design if you like this kind of modern designs.  The somewhat rougher weaving method (that characterises tetra cloth) gives it a rustique or even ecological look and feel.

You can buy these bibs in sets of 4 pieces.  In one pack you’ll find one blue, red, green and pink bib.  All four lovely colours, but a bit of a pitty that they don’t come in other colors.  I would have loved one in yellow.

I personally think these bibs have a really good width and lenght, I’d even dare to say that they have the perfect size.

Mundo melocoton doesn’t use snaps to fasten the bibs, but uses a classical ribbon in stead.  This makes it adaptable to any size and thus also very sustainable.

The bibs are washable on 60°C and due to the special structure of tetra even harder stains go out easily.  Tetra cloth has a bit of a rougher weaving technique, but is in itself a very thin fabric.  Mundo melocotton uses several layers of this cloth, which results in an easy cleaned fabric.  Also these bibs keep form very well after several washings, though one remark is that they bleed color the first time you wash them.  So make sure you wash them separately the first time.

Conclusion:

A very decent bib with a minimalistic design and the perfect size.  This one is definitely my favorite!

They tend to bleed color the first time you wash them, so make sure to wash them separately the first time!

timboo

If you like bamboo, than you’ll definitely like the bibs from Timboo.  Bamboo is very fashionable in the eco-geek community at the moment, but it is also a really nice fabric.

Timboo designed a lovely yellow bib with a playful border.  The bamboo is very soft and absorbs extremely good.

Though I like bamboo cloth a loth, I thought these bibs are a bit on the small size.  I would have liked them better if they would have been a bit longer.  You can fasten the bib by using snaps.  Also this bib has (like the one from Koeka), two sizes to choose from when fastening.  And though the bib-size is rather small, the neck width is rather big.  Which makes this bib a bit less comfortable in use, but if you’re a bit crafty, you can always add an extra snap-closing.

The great benefit of bamboo is that it is very effective in absorbing fluids, but it also repels dirt. So no stains at all on this bib!  After washing it several times on 60°C the bib still looks as if it’s new, even after an attack from a bottle of tomato-sauce.

Conclusion:

Bamboo is really easy to maintain.  No stains or dirt, it just stays clean.

The size and neck width are a bit unfortunate, but if Timboo could adapt those two tiny points, this one would definitely be my favorite bib!

 

But what after your kid doesn’t need no bibs anymore?  whatever you do, don’t throw them away!  You can easily recycle them to use as re-usable kitchen cloths, or the clean the hands and face of your kids, … or even cut them into squares and sew a scrappy bath towel,… or if you really want to get rid of them, there’s always 2nd hand markets.

Crafty greetings,
Wendy

I am a Mom.

This blogpost is only available in Dutch.  You can use Google Translate if you like to read an English translation.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

crafty greetings
Wendy

Tutti Frutti CAL @Hookabee

the very berry trio

Yup, I joined another croche-along… the Tutti Frutti CAL from Hookabee.

I really love the patterns from Hookabee!  They are super cute, really original and a joy to make.

For this CAL I purchased the e-cook The very berry trio.  The e-cook concludes 3 lovely patterns of berries: a blueberry, a raspberry and a strawberry.

Here’s a small review on the patterns.

3

Pattern: Dave, the blueberry
Designer: Hookabee
Difficulty: easy
The yarn I used: Schachenmayr catania and DMC creative world natura just cotton
Crochet hook size: 2 mm
Size finished item: 6 cm

REVIEW

This one is a really fast project and pretty easy to maken.  If it’s your first time to crochet an amigurumi, I’d say this one is a perfect project to start with.
The pattern suggests to use a worsted weight yarn, but I choose to use a fingering weight yarn.  This gives a really cute and tiny blueberry, that is also perfect for kids to play “little shop”.

3

Pattern: Meg, the raspberry
Designer: Hookabee
Difficulty: intermediate
The yarn I used: DMC creative world natura just cotton
Crochet hook size: 2 mm
Size finished item: 9 cm

REVIEW

A tiny bit more challenging than the previous one, but if you tackled Dave,  than I’m sure this one will work out fine as well.  I think it’s a perfect project to work on your amigurumi skills.
What I really love about this pattern, is that you can remove the crown!  How awesome is that!  Extra cuteness!
Again, I worked with a fingering weight yarn, but I think this one will look fantastic in a worsted weight.  Be aware though… extremely cuddly when large…

7

Pattern: Sandy, the strawberry
Designer: Hookabee
Difficulty: intermediate
The yarn I used: DMC creative world natura just cotton
Crochet hook size: 2 mm
Size finished item: 7 cm

REVIEW

Also a bit more challenging, but it should work out fine if you finished the blueberry and the raspberry.  It does require your attention a bit more, since Hookabee designed a special technique for the placement of the seeds.  Rather genius, I think, and the result is really beautiful.  My strawberry has the size of a real (large) strawberry.  So I think I might end up making more of these to use as a shopping-toy for kids.

CONCLUSIE

If you make all three the berries in the order suggested in the e-book, these berries are the perfect project to learn Amigurumi or to enhance your skills.
And if your using fingering weight yarn, they are also very fun for kids to play “shop” with.  However, if you choose to work with worsted weight yarn, you’ll get these utterly cute and large berries.  It’s up to you to decide.

A fun tip: why not make a basket as well to store them ?

I am really curious to see your versions of these berries!

 

If you liked my blogpost and love to hear more, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.

crafty greetings,
Wendy

The new Crochet-along from Scheepjes

ScheepjesCAL2016

Short message… why?  Because the weather is gorgeous at the moment and I love to go out on such days.  So… that means less time to blog.

I have currently joined several crochet-alongs.  One of the crochet-alongs (short: CAL) I joined is the Scheepjes CAL 2016 to make a gorgeous blanket (and let’s face it, there’s always room for one more.)

The blanket for this CAL was originally desinged by Marinke Slump van A Creative Being.  Sadly she never got to finish this blanket, when she lost her battle against depression last year.

In tribute to Marinke some designers and Scheepjes yarn decided to go ahead with the crochet along.  So they teamed up and finished the blanked as it was designed by Marinke.  Visit A Creative Being for more about this.

I decided to join this CAL.  And although Scheepjes has created some gorgeous crochet-kits especially for this blanket, I decided to check my yarn stash first. (Because I do have A LOT of yarn in my stash.)

I didn’t had to look far, because before I knew I found myself with some Drops Belle in my hands.  Drops Belle is a gorgeous linnen yarn, very soft and really nice for blankets or (summer)scarfs.  And due to the fact that it’s linnen, it’s also very comfortable to crochet with on those warm summer days.

You like to know which colors I’m using or which size hook I’m using?  Check out my Ravelry projectpage.

Wanne join me and the others?  There’s still plenty of room for you.

ScheepjesCAL2016ScheepjesCAL2016

Happy crocheting!

Creative greetings,
Wendy