Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I've switched to Bloglovin'

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I'm claiming my blog with this post, since google reader has shut down, I switched to bloglovin'. I really like it! I'll be posting again soon! I promise!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Unfaithfully Yours

Yes, it's true, I have been unfaithful. I am attracted to someone new and have been seeing them every day without shame! Did I get your attention?!

Well, as you know, I am a multi- crafter, I think many people who craft are, and although crochet is my true love, every once in awhile I betray my hooks and learn something new.

Tatting is something that has intrigued me for quite some time, but since it is time consuming, I just didn't ever get around to trying. Last year I bought myself two shuttles and a book and added learning to tat to my list of new year's resolutions for 2013. After seeing a few projects that my friends in my crochet groups had tried, I was inspired. I tried shuttle tatting a couple of times, but it is quite complex and decided to start with needle tatting. I could only get my hands on a mattress needle to start with, so I used it to get the gist of how it works and help me with tension, while I waited for my tatting needles to come in the mail. This is a whole new world to me and I am so excited!

I followed a few patterns, and also experimented on my own. In the mean time I have been pinning away on my Pinterest board and researching blogs of some very talented tatters. One of them is Totus Mel . She is extremely talented at needle tatting and has some great videos on YouTube too!  Another is Yarnplayertats there is some incredible tatting going on here folks. There are many others, these are only two and I also found RustiKate's video to be very helpful.  In Italian the are some wonderful video tutorials byDaniela. I just thought I would add these links in case any of you are inspired to start learning this incredible art.

I just completed this set and I really must say thank you to my friend Le Giugge, because she is the one who gave me the pattern. When I saw hers, I fell in love and just new I had to make it! Thank you also goes to my friend Daniela, who has shared her knowledge with me and Mindi who gave me some beautiful patterns. Happy tatting! :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Love at first..... Cluck!

You know when you see something, and just HAVE to make it , RIGHT NOW? Well, that's what happened to me when my friend Mindi showed me the adorable hen she'd made. Everything else I had to do went out the window. Ironing....yeah right. Lunch..... Who needs to eat, I'm supposed to be on a diet anyway! I was on a mission to make this NOW! Here is the original link to the pattern, which is actually an egg cozy. I made mine bigger, stuffed it, and closed it at the bottom, because I have other plans for it, which you will see, if you stay tuned.......

Spring is on its way, hooray !!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Fine Line

It's been a long time since I've posted, I know, and this is not how I planned my next post to be, but here it is anyway. I hope you don't mind. I promise the next will have pictures and I even have a couple of tutorials planned, so please bear with me...

Today's post is about a recurring topic among designers and crafters and all of us who publish our work on the web, only to have it copied , stolen and/ or passed off as their own.

I belong to different craft groups on Facebook, as many of you know, and every once in awhile this comes up, because most of us publish our work on blogs, Facebook, Flickr etc.....
The groups I belong to have an average of 2000 members and so, as in any small town ( we can look at it like this), there is bound to be at least one person, lurking behind the scenes, waiting to take advantage of  many trustworthy people who want to share their craft with other crafters who truly appreciate the hard work and great ingenuity it takes to design or make something. In the past month, this has happened twice, in two different groups. In the first,  a troll copied photos from a very talented woman's blog and posted them on their blog, passing them off as their own. In the second, a troll downloaded photos, removed the trademark and logo from the photos, and posted them to their page, again passing them off as their own. In both cases these trolls were notified that what they were doing  is unethical and illegal, and the reply, was more or less, "I didn't do anything wrong, these were found on the web".

Slightly different, but related

A friend of mine, who is a talented crocheter asked me about selling her things and that she'd taken inspiration from things she'd seen on the web. Is it okay to sell them, or would she be copying?

My opinion:

First of all, the trolls in question have violated laws and rules established and published in these groups. Besides being illegal and unethical, I can only feel sorry for these "people" who may know the technical part of crafting, but obviously don't have a creative bone in their body, and therefore have to steal and copy other people's creativity. This is something that really infuriates me, because in my book, RESPECT is the number one RULE IN LIFE. That includes respect for others' ideas and work as well.

We all get inspiration from the things around us, including the web. As far as answering my friend's
question goes, you should ask yourself this,"  Did I copy? Am I trying to make the same object, without permission?" or did you see something you like, maybe use the same stitch or shape or color, or make something similar, but in a different way?  If the answer is yes to the first part, in my opinion, you are doing someone wrong. If you are a truly creative person, you should give the respect you want to receive for your work, by respecting others'.

The moral here: RESPECT , HONESTY, ETHICS. Terribly obvious to some, oblivious to others :(

On a final note, I am a believer in karma and am sure that the culprits will get what's coming to them sooner or later....

Sorry for the rant, but I had to get it out. You're welcome to leave your opinions, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, March 18, 2013

coin purse

© published with permission of Roberta Catiglione. Property of Roberta Castiglione 2012.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cortinas Portuguesas-Portuguese Curtains

I left my heart in Portugal, along with many friends. So whenever I get a chance, I go back. Although there are many places I've yet to visit, Portugal is and will remain one of my favorites. If you've been, you know why. If not, you should go. In my next post, I'll post some pictures in order to convince you, but for now, I'll get back to the craft at hand.

On my recent trip to Lisbon, I found some lovely dishtowels and a table cloth. This, for me, is the perfect souvenir because it's something I use daily, and reminds me of the place I love. So I grabbed them, and while I was choosing them I had a thought....... I could make the dish towels into kitchen curtains! I'd been looking for some cute fabric  to make curtains with, but hadn't found any, so this was perfect. the fabric, it even has a name "Lovers". It has a kind of Portuguese Fado written by a woman whose love has gone away to Brasil. It's very sweet.

Here's a similar dishcloth, since I forgot to take a pic before I started!

Anyway, I found a crochet edging that I liked and modified it a little. You can find the edging here and my mods on my ravelry project page.

 After fighting with my sewing machine, I opted for hand sewing the loops and then embroidered the top with the same yellow cotton I used to crochet the edging. You can find the stitch here. By the way, this last site is the best I've found for embroidery techniques and stitches. Sarah has great photo tutorials that make embroidery easy, even for novices.

Here's the FO! Hope you like them, I am really pleased with how they turned out! It just goes to show the difference a little handwork and love can make :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to sew an invisible seam for a crochet garment

The other day, while finishing a tank top I made for myself, it came to me that not everyone, and especially new crocheters, know how to sew a garment together. So ,while I was at it, I decided to take some pictures and show you how it's done....

Before starting, you should know that you'll be sewing as if you were crocheting in a" back loop only" and "front loop only "style. If you're new to crochet, that means you will only pick up half the stitch with your yarn needle (usually you'd do this with your hook). Hopefully, this will be clear following my photos. Why sew, instead of crochet? Because, even if you use the flat braid method, you'll still get a ridge. If you follow these steps, you should not be able to see the seam.

If you are planning on blocking, it's better to block the individual sides before sewing them together. You should use a grid or measuring tape when doing this, because you don't want one side to be blocked bigger than the other! I didn't block my top, because it's cotton and I know I won't have the patience to re-block every time I wash it, since I plan on wearing it often. I always leave long tails when crocheting and sewing (if I haven't made a knot). This is useful for putting the right or wrong sides together as well as for making knots. I should tell you, that I usually weave in the ends and do not knot when I crochet, but when making a garment, espescially one that will be thrown in the washing machine, it is absolutely necessary to make knots. You  wouldn't want hours of work to come apart at the seems would you? So, when I'm finished, I either make a surgeon's knot, or a triple knot and pull as tight as possible, then cut as close as possible to the knot. If you've made the knot correctly, this will not pull your work. If you have a little bit of yarn sticking out, you can put a little clear nailpolish on it to prevent from fraying, but you should cut as close as possible, like I said. I have used yellow yarn for better visibility but, obviously, you'll use the same yarn you used for your garment.

One last note: If you're sewing a seam for a very lightweight garment, you can choose to do only the "back loop only" part and skip the front. When you do both sides, the seam is heavier, but has a stronger hold, because you've worked it twice. If you have a lace weight garment, doing only the back side is better because the seam will stay light and is absolutesly invisible. I do recommend doing both sides in the shoulder seams, because there is more stress in that area when the garment is worn, but you may not even need it there if it's a delicate one. I have worked both sides on my top.
The photo tutorial shows how to do the side seams, but after lining up your work, you should start at the shoulders, using the same technique.

Here we go.......

First, you'll need to place one side right side up and the other, on top, right side down. Aline the sides so that they match perfectly, and place stitch markers along both sides ( I use paper clips. A trick I learned from futuregirl )

As you can see, I didn't put the markers through the actual stitches, but through the spaces instead. This makes it easy to remove them, but is only possible if you have done an openwork garment. Otherwise, put them through the stitches.

Now measure your yarn and cut. Two and a half lengths of  your seam is usually enough ( one and a half if you're only working one side). Thread you needle, do not make any knots.
Start at the bottom, leaving a long tail of yarn and make a circle, which is an imitation of a crochet stitch.
The above photo is solely to demonstrate how you will be sewing ; through the back loop of the stitch.
Now,  with your hand underneath, hold both sides, so that your stitches are almost touching, and run your needle through the back loop only (i.e. the one on the wrong side, which is also closest to you)and pull through.As you complete each stitch, pull so that it's snug, but not too tight, or you will ruin the invisible seam.

You will be sewing in a serpentine or S fashion. Notice that I have not pulled my stitches. This is only so that you can clearly see them, but yours will be closed as you work.Continue sewing like this all the way up the sides.
In the photo above, I've turned my work to show you how the seam is invisible on the other side. If you have chosen to do only one side,when you get to the top, go back down a stitch or two and tightly knot your thread to a stitch. Cut and go back down to where you started. Thread your needle with the tail, work up a stitch and knot as before,cut and go on to the other seam. If you want to do the other side, proceed as follows:
Turn your work over to the right side, run the thread through as shown below, picking up the front loop only (which is still the closest one to you)

Now, sew through as before, working through every front loop only, until you get back to the bottom, turn your work again and bring the neddle to the back and up a stitch. Now bring the tail up a stitch and make a secure knot using the two ends. (This is not shown)  Pull as tight as possible and cut as close as possible.
Now you're ready to sew the other side seam.
Above I've shown the finished seam and left my thread aligned, so that you can see where I've ended.
Here it is on me, the seem is almost aligned with the one on the white one underneath.
Invisible! Once you finished your seams, you're ready to do the edging and then your project will be complete!

I hope this tutorial has helped you. As always if you have any questions, need help, or have found an error, let me know. I'll be glad to help! :)