Saturday, 28 March 2015

New app and casting on stitches

I've just found a great app for knitters and crocheters.  Its a row counter - you set it up on your phone or tablet and tap the screen at the end of the row, so much easier than pencil and paper!
I had a large project on the go just before Christmas - an Aran Jacket for my mother in law and the pattern was a bit tricky over about 20 rows so the app was amazing.  Its great when i'm working on my little designs when its important to keep track of the rows.  Oh I know you techie lot will probably tell me that these apps have been around for ages but for everyone else - they're great and free.

 Something else I wanted to share is a bit odd.  Over the last year or so I've been knitting and crocheting a lot of, mostly, little items.  Not only do I put patterns on here but also on Ravelry (see my blog). I knit the item up, usually pull some out and amend, and jot notes for the pattern.  Once the pattern has been typed up I test knit it at least 2 times,  the finished items are usually given to granddaughters , donated to charity fundraisers or sold on Ebay.    The thing is - when I cast on to knit or crochet, I don't consciously count I just stop when I think I've done enough as I'm usually watching the TV or chatting to OH.  Anyway the strange thing is I almost ALWAYS have the right number of stitches.  Even when knitting the aran jacket when I had to cast on 100 or so I generally had the correct number.  Perhaps its because I do so much knitting I must subconsciously add as I go even when talking to someone.
If anyone else does this I'd love to hear your views.

Right back to testing my new pattern for teddy dress and shoes.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Barbie crochet prom dresses

Its been a while since I made anything for Barbie so I had a look in my stash and found some oddments of 4ply yarn.  I had forgotten I had the sparkly pink yarn so what else to make but a prom dress.   The metallic colour yarn is Sirdar Firefly which I bought ages ago as it was on offer, with the idea that it might come in useful for a scarf but it makes an interesting skirt for the dress. 
The dresses are made from the top down so are easy to put on Barbie.  The only problem is you have to be very careful as her feet can get caught in the crochet.  I usually hold her feet as I pull the dress on.

    The bodice is shaped at the rear (as photo) so the skirt is lower at the back - I was shopping with my daughter and granddaughter looking at prom dresses a few weeks ago and noticed that lots of them have this type of shaping.  The dress is very tight fitting so be careful with tension- but as these little garments are so quick to make it takes no time pull work out and start again!

Any Ravelers out there - if you make the dress please post a photo and link to the pattern

If you find any mistakes are have problems with the pattern please leave me a comment.  

To fit 12” Barbie (the latest model)

Materials:  approx 50g 4ply yarn in main and contrast
please note: not suitable for craft crochet thread
Crochet hook no 3.00 and 4.00 (or size to match tension)
Tension: (Gauge) 22sts x 24 rows to 4” over dc  (check your tension and use suitable size hook)
Dc: double crochet (US single crochet), tr: treble crochet, (US double crochet) 
ch: htr: half treble, chain, sl st: slip stitch, inc: increase, beg: beginning

Note: These designs are worked in a continuous round so place a marker at beg of round to keep track of number of rounds.  
For a softer fabric for the garments, work in back loop only throughout the bodice and through both loops for skirt

The dress is made from the top down.


Using no 3.00 hook make 30 chain 
work in rounds as follows:
round 1:   1dc in each of next 11 ch,1htr in each of next 3ch, 1slst in each of next 2 ch, 1htr in each of next 3ch, 1dc in each of next 11 ch (30sts)
round 2:   1dc in each of next 11dc, 1htr in each of next 3htr, 1slst in each of next 2slst, 1htr in each of next 3htr, 1dc in each of next 11dc  
round 3:   as round 2
round 4:   dc around
round 5: 1dc in each of next 6dc, miss 1dc, 1dc in each of next 16dc, miss 1dc. dc to end (28dcs)
round 6: dc around
round 7: 1dc in each of next 6dc, miss 1dc, 1dc in each of next 14dc, miss 1dc. dc to end     (26dcs)
rounds 8-12: dc around

work 7dc place a marker here to donate beg of round (the rounds now start at the side of dress)
round 13: (hip shaping)1dc in each of next 6dc, 1slst in each of next 2dc, 1dc in each of next  7 dc, 2htr in next dc, 1htr in each of next 8dc, 2htr in next dc, 1dc in next dc  (28sts)
round 14: 1dc in each of next 6dc, 1slst in each of next 2slst, 1dc in each of next 7dc, 2htr in next htr, 1htr in each of next 10htr, 2htr in next htr, 1dc in next dc  (30sts)
round 15: 1dc in each of next 6dc, 1slst in each of next 2slst, 1dc in each of next 7dc, 1htr in next  14htr, 1dc in next dc   
rounds16:20:  as round 15.   fasten off yarn 


round 1: change to contrast, slst in first st, 3ch (counts as 1tr), 2tr in same st, work 3tr in each st to end. slst in top of 3ch
change to no 4.00 hook,
round 2:   slst into next tr, 3ch, 2tr in same tr, (3tr into middle tr of next cluster) repeat to end  slst in top of 3ch
repeat round 2 to required length  
Edge round:  work 5tr in each cluster around.

fasten off yarn

Neck edging

using no 3 hook and contrast work a round of (dc, 1ch) in each chain, around neck line.

To Finish:  sew in all yarn ends.