Tag Archives: crochet

Just Keep Stitching

(taken several months ago, this project is now finished, and my desk is now painted)

Creating and writing a crochet pattern takes a long time as a stay-at-home mom of a toddler. Something that used to take me two months, tops, is now taking, at current count, over seven.
I went into this year knowing that a focus on more intricate clothing designs would take longer than I was previously used to, but it still wears at me sometimes.

Right now, my main work time consists of part of my child’s naptime (the other part going toward exercise, lunch and housecleaning), and a couple hours after he goes to bed. This totals to about 15 hours a week, if that. I can sometimes crochet or edit a little while my kiddo is engaged in some independent play, but lately he wants to be right where I am as soon as I start – whether to grab the yarn or push all the buttons on my laptop.

I’m also moving into creating patterns for more detailed garments and learning new design software at the same time.

All this to say that sometimes it seems like this one pattern won’t ever be finished, let alone all the others I have in my queue. There are fleeting moments where I feel like I should just give up, because I won’t ever catch up with all the other designers out there with their vast collections of patterns, or those who seem to be able to churn out patterns every few weeks. But then I have to remember a few things – 1. I enjoy crocheting and designing crocheted clothing and while it may not be the most opportune-seeming time to finally dive into that, overall I’m excited about what I’m making, 2. If I keep working at this, no matter how slowly, it will eventually get done.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve found a better balance for all the things I need/want to get done in my days, but other times I feel like I wind up sacrificing one thing for others and and I’m not getting the time I need. My child will be starting preschool in the fall, going a couple days a week, and I’m planning to use that time for crochet-related work, so maybe things will pick up a bit then.

Project Notes: Shell Stitch Cropped Top With Embroidered Details

I started making this top MONTHS ago. I don’t usually have a project that I’ll work on in little bits here and there, either between more prominent projects or when I need a break from those projects, but that’s what this top started out as. In the last few months, I started to get more excited about this top for a few reasons – I was really excited about the simple shape, and I had decided to add embroidered details – and I worked fervently to finish it.

The top is worked in two pieces, front and back. Most of the embroidery was done before the front and back were seamed together. Shoulders and sides were then seamed, right sides facing, in single crochet. Once seamed, I turned the top right side out and added some simple single crochet stitching to the armholes, neckline, and bottom hem to finish and round out the edges.

Working in small amounts on the front piece over several months meant that I didn’t see the piece work up as fast as usual, so the front wound up being much too wide. Instead of frogging and redoing the whole thing, I simply made note of the adjusted measurements on my pattern draft to correct it for future makes, and made the back piece much smaller to account for the front piece being too big. This meant the seam would be further back on each side instead of directly under the arms, but given the color, texture, and simple design of the top, I wasn’t too worried about this.

I have been experimenting with different types of embroidery on different crochet stitches lately, and at some point, decided I wanted to add a little embroidery to this top. You can see that the stems and shoots are made with simple long stitches, as that worked best over the shell stitching. Crochet always has at least a little stretch, and this garment has a good bit because of not only the shell stitches, but the yarn itself, which is an acrylic/nylon blend. I tried to stay aware of this while embroidering and kept a looser tension for the stems and shoots than I would have if working into regular fabric. The leaves are single chain stitches with a bit of fill, and the small buds are French knots. All was done using DMC cotton embroidery thread.

The majority of the embroidery was done before the front and back were joined together, since it was easier to weave the back ends in as I went. After trying on the top once it was seamed together, I went and filled out the embroidery where I felt the top needed it. Although I’m still not 100% about it and feel like maybe I could have done better/added a bit more. Though now I know how the top looks when worn, I could maybe figure out better placing and amount of the embroidery if I do something similar in the future.

I love how these green and blue shades pop a bit from, yet compliment the grey.

In the above picture, you can see how the side seam is further back than normal. Also, this is a bit nitpicky, but as the designer critiquing a first draft, I’d rather the back neckline for this piece be a bit higher and flatter than this. But again, it’s not a big deal, and looks okay.

I finished this piece just as the weather was warming up around here, and the material is just too hot to wear right now, but I’m excited to wear it next fall/winter.

For some behind-the-scenes and in-progress shots, go peruse my instagram: @waterswares

Waters Wears: Star Stitch Sweater First Draft

I finished this sweater a little over a week ago. I would up having a good bit of this heathered grey acrylic yarn leftover from a custom project, and decided to use it for this sweater idea I’d had in my head for a while. The shape of the sweater is inspired by an old cropped sweater of mine that has started to fall apart and wear with time (though I do mend it as needed). As for the stitch, I’ve wanted to use star stitch in a pattern for years, and as it is a thick and squishy stitch, it makes for a nice, warm sweater.

Overall, the sweater turned out well, although there are a few things to note:

– The neckline needs to be smaller, as I’d originally intended. I made up for it being too wide in this go by making the neckline ribbing closer to 2 inches wide, when I’d planned for it to be more like 1 inch wide. This made the neckline take on more of a scoopneck shape, which is fine, but not my personal favorite and not, as I said, what I’d originally intended for the sweater. It’s funny that the neckline wound up so much wider than I’d wanted, even though I measured carefully and checked several times during making.

– Though I surprisingly didn’t hate how wide the sleeves were for this go – they actually work surprisingly well with the sweater overall – I’d definitely make them smaller in the next version. And though I used a hook one size smaller for the ribbing than the body, I might use an even smaller one for the wrist ribbing next time to make the sleeve cuffs a little tighter.

– At a point during the making, I had to go buy more yarn to have enough to finish. Even though I bought the same yarn, the dye lot available to me was different. I decided this would be fine as the greys used in the body and sleeves of the sweater already varied in places, even being from the same dye lot, and as the new yarn would be used just for the ribbing. So there is an unplanned subtle difference in greys between the body and the ribbing; the yarn used for the ribbing seems a much cooler grey, almost blue-looking.

Can you see the subtle difference in greys? It’s more obvious in some lighting than others.

I decided to pass this first draft on to a lovely friend, and it looks great on her! I kind of love when I make something that I’ve not planned for anyone specifically, but then it’s just obvious it’s meant for a certain person.

Waters Wears: Striped Tunic First Draft

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I completed this first draft of a tunic earlier this year. It features a high-low hem and high slits on the sides, along with leather button loops on the sleeves.

While I’m hoping to release the pattern for this tunic sometime next year, there are a few changes to be made first. Mainly, the neckline is wider than I intended, even after altering and adjusting it while making this first draft. I’m still happy with it, though – the rest of it turned out pretty much like I’d pictured, and it’s received so many nice compliments any time I’ve worn it (which is great to hear as the designer).

The next step is to work up a second version and make the intended changes, then I’ll get pictures and begin editing and finalizing the pattern.

Psst: If you’d like to keep up with day-to-day behind-the-scenes of my design process and projects, I’m pretty active on my Instagram account.

Wifi Wall Prints

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I’m so excited to finally have these in the shop! These “wifi” wallhangings are handmade – a print of my original artwork, covered with a sheet of plastic so you can use wet or dry erase markers to write in your home’s wifi password, finished with a handcrocheted trim. Pretty and practical. ;)

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Find them in the shop here!

A Few Things

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I haven’t been as active here on the blog as I’ve wanted to be the past couple weeks. Tiredness has set in again in the third trimester, and although it’s not as bad as the fatigue of the first, it still has me going a bit slower and needing more breaks.

There are things I’d like to do crochetwise for the blog, but I haven’t been able to focus, or move, well (the latter thanks to a fun new pregnancy pain issue).

I’ve also been wearing mostly tees and shorts, things for comfort, or the same tops over and over again, as I have tried my best to buy only a minimal amount of maternity clothes for this pregnancy, so I haven’t had any outfits I’ve felt were post-worthy. I might have a few from the next few weekends, though. We’ll see.

I know that this is a season, just like any other time, and that, especially once the baby’s born and I’m adjusting to taking care of a little one full time, these periods of tiredness and activity will pass, will ebb and flow. I’m looking forward to getting that time with my baby, though. It’s coming so soon! And even though we’re still working on his room and preparing for him, I’m getting impatient.

I haven’t been completely unproductive, though. There will be a limited quantity of fall/winter hats, scarves, and fingerless gloves up in the shop sometime in the next few days, and I might add a few more patterns before baby arrives. :)

Around Here

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Around here (not so) lately, as the first few pictures were taken months ago, before first trimester fatigue kept me from even feeling like simply posting pictures. :) Above, Dragon napping by the window.

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A picture I didn’t realize was slightly blurry when I took it – my second weaving, made with my little makeshift loom, and hanging out with a beautiful little watercolor by my sister-in-law.

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Some things I drew for a baby shower thrown for a dear friend. Little one is now here and is super precious.

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A very recent photo,unedited, from the pattern I’m putting together for my pleated skirt.

Hopefully I’ll get some more random pictures in the next few weeks, as I’m getting back into the swing of things thanks to second trimester regained energy.

Hope you all have a beautiful day!

Waters Wears: Crochet Pleated Skirt

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I started this skirt MONTHS ago, probably at least last summer, stopped working on it for a while (not because I was frustrated with it or anything like that, I was just working on other things), then picked it up and finished it just before Christmas. I’m really pleased with it.

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It’s honestly a really easy item to just throw on and mix and match with winter layers, and I think it’ll be great in spring and summer, too. I made it to fit high waisted (a personal favorite waist height), but the elastic is strong enough that it can be worn closer to the hips, too. It’s also just really comfortable.

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In reality, the overall time for making this skirt is probably less than a week, working a few hours a day, especially after getting the pleat forming down, even though it took me longer – Honestly, I had been working on it pretty leisurely, while my husband and some friends played tabletop, then I joined them, so I put the skirt away to focus on learning what I was doing. That’s why it got pushed aside for so long.

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All in all, one of my favorite projects I’ve written and made; it works up well and also looks okay when worn.

(Pictures taken by my husband.)

Hope you all have a beautiful day!

UPDATE: There is now a pattern for this skirt available here, in my online shop.

Top: Faded Glory
Scarf: unknown
Skirt: made by me
Tights: gift
Socks: Forever 21
Boots: Minnetonka

Waters Wears: Cold Weather

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In case you didn’t know, it got cold this weekend. I’m not ready for fall to be over yet, but at least I got to wear some of my crochet things out, along with this lovely sweater dress my old Sunday school teacher got me several years ago.

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This one. He’s a mix, but has a lot of the Siamese personality – very doglike; loyal and likes to be near you, likes to sleep on your face. He stood outside the door meowing until I let him in, then once he discovered the tripod and camera, proceeded to start playing, attacking and biting them. In an attempt to get him to stop and with the thought, “Hey, cat pictures are always cute,” I picked him up. What you’re seeing here is him lovingly kneading my face, purring all the while. All this crochet and knitwear on me and he wants to knead my face. Oh, well. Haha.

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I’ve had these boots for several years and they’ve held up well through me wearing them almost constantly the past few fall/winters. The paint splatters and spots are from when my husband and I painted our house last summer.

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By the way, I’ve started a little crochet shop here. You can find the hat and scarf I’m wearing there, as well as some other cold weather crochet goodies.

Hope you’re having a lovely day! God bless!

Dress: gift
Leggings: Faded Glory
Socks: Costco
Boots: Kohl’s (but several years old)
Scarf and Beanie: made by me

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