Free: January 2013 Archives
Granny Squares are the Chevrons of the crochet world. They are super hot right now and go with everything. But they don't have to be the granny squares of era's past; today's granny squares have blended in inspirations from floral, Asian and whimsical aspects of pop culture. Granny Squares rose to stardom in the 1970's where they dominated the knitwear scene. Today they are stars for different reasons: they are an excellent way to use up small amounts of yarn, they are quick and they are comforting. The granny squares look has worked its way into toys, décor and apparel unlike the 1970's though it is only the technique that has been incorporated.
Here are some of my favorite free granny square patterns.
Crochet Spot's Granny Square with a Flower is a very simple granny square with a lotus like flower floating in the center. The look is gorgeous because it is uncluttered.
Yarning has also created a floral based granny square but she has created hers in a more traditional fashion. You can see how this square works into a complete blanket which is incredible.
Hop Scotch Lane has taken granny squares to a new level. One project is a giant granny square blanket worked in beautiful yellow tones and another is an owl with a granny square belly.
But my favorite is Repeat Crafter Me's Owl Granny Square which is a traditional granny square with an owl worked first that stands out from the granny square background. You can work the owl without the background and use is as an appliqué. I made two using the pattern and let me tell you they are fun and easy. I made a girl version (pink, light green and teal) and a boy version (brown, navy, grey) using Lion Brand's Wool Ease. I loved making them and am planning on working up an afghan using this pattern and a traditional granny square pattern together.
Eco-Felt (about 1/8 to ¼ of a yard depending on the size of you bib)
Lace (scrape piece, you can even use several pieces)
A piece of Organza at least 20'' long and 3'' wide for ruffle
Floral Stones (available in most big box stores like Target, Wal-mart, Garden Ridge, maybe even the Dollar Store)
One Chain (You can recycle an old or broken necklace like I did)
Fold a sheet of paper in half and draw out half of your necklace shape on the fold of the paper. I used the bottoms of various glasses to create my 3 circular shapes. Once you have a shape that you dig cut it out on the fold and open it up. That is your pattern for your felt.
Trace your pattern onto your felt and cut out 2 pieces. Set one aside. Fold your ruffle in half and on your remaining piece of felt pin your ruffle onto the wrong side of your felt. I placed mine in a very loose fashion, just sort of tucking here and smoothing there. It is not gathered just sort of tucked in places especially where 2 circles meet. It doesn't need to be perfect. Stitch in place
Add your piece of lace over the right side of your felt and stitch around the edge of your felt using a thread that matches your lace (then if your stitches are off it won't be noticeable). Trim your lace to the edge of the felt; it will curl up a bit making your felt visible.
Next, layout your stones in a pattern you like. You can experiment here with different colors and designs. These stones really catch the light, add color and weight to help your necklace hang well (if it is too light it will flop around and look unfinished). Once you have your pattern glue down your stones using your glue gun (Don't worry about glue strings you can pick them off later).
Figure out the length of chain you need (I pinned my chain onto my second piece of felt and slipped it on and then adjust the length). Hand tack the chain onto your felt and then glue your 2 pieces of felt together, sandwiching your chain and ruffle in the middle.
This necklace looks great with a blazer or over a casual sweater. I love it with my little black dress and a plain white tee. It is my new go-to accessory.
My New Year's Resolution is to glam up my wardrobe a little bit. I am not talking about changing diapers in 4'' heels but I would like to break the "mom mould" just a little. This makes me feel good and means I always have a project to work on. Most of my glam projects are inspired by pricey versions from my favorite stores so I feel better by saving money and adding some pretty to my closet.
I decided my first glam project would be a clutch for a date night I have coming up so I choose Noodlehead's Gathered Clutch (you may remember this blog from my Bike Basket Project). I have always loved Dupioni Silk and knew it would be my main material for my glam clutch. I love our selection of colors and elected for a caramel brown. Dupioni Silk can be pricey when used in apparel and home décor projects by using it in a small project like this clutch you can save money while indulging in silk. It also makes a very luxurious gift for friends, hostesses or teachers.
As Noodlehead's tutorial mentions this is an easy project though it looks so posh that you may think it difficult. Anna is right again when she discusses how the most difficult part of this project is picking out the fabric. Since I had already chosen a jewel-toned silk for my exterior I decided the perfect compliment would be the jewel-toned Denyse Schmidt quilting cotton collection that I used for Create Kids Couture Millie Schoolhouse Skirt. This collection has the same brown tone but also some brighter yellows and pinks to really pop against the brown. What I was most excited about, however, was Anna's zipper technique. She covers the ends of the zipper in fabric and sews them in a certain way that gives the zipper a very finished look without the weird pucker that seems to occur in zipper pouches. Be warned to not go by the pictures in the tutorial. You want the zipper to be 1'' shorter that the width of the clutch. This means that the zipper width on each end will be ½'' shorter than the clutch. You will not sew over the zipper ends just right next to them. I got a bit confused by this but eventually worked it out. I modified this clutch very little because I wasn't really set on what I would use it for besides the occasional (I cannot stress occasional enough) date night. So I decided on eliminating the interior pockets because I have never used interior pockets on any bag with the exception of my diaper bag. It must be said that I loved making this bag from start to finish. There was just enough cutting to not drive me crazy and at each step the clutch became prettier and prettier. I also ran out of fusible interfacing so I ironed on some Heat n Bond to some canvas to make my own fusible interfacing.
I also planned some modifications for the future:
· Add gathers to both sides
· Increase size to fit my Kindle
· Add wrist strap with a snap so I can snap it to my diaper bag strap to make it easier to find in the blank hole that is my diaper bag
· Make more because they are so fun and cute.
This is now my go-to friend gift because I can't think of anyone who wouldn't love it made in the right fabrics. It works for any age and the size is easily adjusted for other uses. You can omit the zipper and turn it into a tote bag, enlarge it for a diaper clutch or monogram the front band.