Tag: Crochet

New FO and How To Fix Curly Shawls

So I finished this lace shawl, and it’s so gorgeous I can’t believe I knit it.

© Shireen Nadir 2012

It’s the first thing I’ve done entirely from charts, and I have to say I’m pretty pleased with m’bad self. The pattern is Mystic Fire by Anna Dalvi, and the yarn is Northbound knitting Superwash Merino in the gorgeous colour way ‘Artemisia’.

© Shireen Nadir 2012

The pattern is great – some of the charts look intimidating at first but one row at a time I managed just fine. I have an iPad, and an app called ‘Good Reader‘ that opens and lets me mark up pdf files. I can’t recommend it enough – it let me outline the row I was on for easy reading, insert other lines to break up the chart into digestible chunks and leave notes for myself on the side, such as which repeat I was on, and directions another knitter used to make it bigger if I felt so inclined.

© Shireen Nadir 2012

Still, when it was all done, there was a problem. I may have needed a few extra rows of garter stitch in there, but the thing curls up faster then my cat in the sunny spot on the couch. I didn’t discover this until after it was bound off and blocked.

© Shireen Nadir 2012

I needed a solution, because the curl really bothered me, and damned if I wasn’t going to get to enjoy the best bit of lace knitting I’d ever done. I bat around different ideas like sewing on edging, blocking it even more aggressively, threatening it, and finally hit on a solution that I’m sure many knitters before me have discovered but was brand new and shiny to me and had a good amount of it’s-so-simple-it-just-might-work going for it. I was going to crochet on a simple trim.

Here’s how I did it:

  • I used the leftover yarn from the project, luckily there was some. You only need a small amount.
  • I used a smaller hook size then the needles I’d used. 1.25mm smaller to be exact.

© Shireen Nadir 2012

  • I tied the working yarn to the bottom corner of the shawl and single-crocheted my way across, using the small holes left by the stretchy k2tog bind off (highlighted in yellow). At the corner I did 3 SC in the same stitch to turn.

© Shireen Nadir 2012

Even after only 1 row of SC you can see it’s looking better:

© Shireen Nadir 2012

I did 2 rows of SC before tying off the yarn and blocking it again.

© Shireen Nadir 2012

It worked like a charm. I know some folks might not be fond of having a thick border below their lace, but in this case I feel it works. It’s certainly way better than the curled edge I was getting before, even after removing the pins and wearing it the edge stays flat, allowing me to take this creepy instagram pic:

© Shireen Nadir 2012

Best of all, it cost me nothing extra and I was able to work directly into a cast off piece. The beauty of crochet was that if it didn’t work I could have just pulled it out without damage to the shawl. I’m pretty happy with the results :)

Ravelry Project Page here.

Free Pattern – The Mushin Cowl

Free Pattern Mushin Cowl

Cool weather is coming; just last night in Toronto it was downright chilly. Time to stock up on some fall accessories! Mushin is a Japanese term frequently used in Martial Arts training that means ‘Without Mind’. It’s totally appropriate because this is completely the easiest, most mindless project for instant gratification.

I worked this up over a day (no kidding) just carrying it around wherever I went. No TV show or conversation, however complex, will make you err on this simple, sweet crochet project. The simple pattern is great for both solid yarns or that special skein of variegated that you love, but don’t know what to do with ;)


  • 4 mm crochet hook
  • 335 yards of sport weight yarn
  • Sample is using one skein of Malabrigo’s ‘Arroyo’
  • in Colourway ‘Jupiter’
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in your ends

Finished dimensions:

When lying flat: 12.25 inches wide and 13.25 inches tall.

Download the pattern here!

Ravelry Project Page here!

You don’t have to be a grandma to crochet a doily!

I had this gorgeous skein of cottony blue yarn with absolutely no stretch to it, as I found out while trying to make fingerless gloves from it. Because I was determined to make something out of it, and because I was hungry for a quick FO, and because the colour is perfect for my home…I crocheted a doily from it. Yes, I crocheted a doily. This may just be a whole new stage in my life.

crochet doily

Even Ollie doesn't seem impressed

The pattern is super easy and sort of granny squareish in that it grows on it’s own and you don’t need to pay much attention to it. It was started at lunch, followed me around all day, and was blocking by 8. Beat that, knitting!

crochet doily

Of course now I need to make more – a hexagon tile blanket? Coasters? Oooh, maybe I’ll use what’s left of the gradient yarn to make a doily for the dining table…. or just use it as a stash buster for all my TFA yarn bits and seam them together later. In the meantime, here is the pattern!

crochet doily

For mine I used a 3.75mm hook with 100 grams of worsted weight yarn. You can use whatever your heart desires, it will still work.

  • Ch5, join with slip stitch to form a ring
  • 1st round: (Chain 6, 1sc into ring) x 6, join with slip stitch to base of first chain 6
  • 2nd round: (Ch4, 1sc into next ch6 space) x 6, join with slip stitch
  • 3rd round: (Ch4, 2sc into next 4ch space, 1sc into next sc) x 6
  • 4th round: (Ch4, 2sc into next 4ch space, 1sc into each of the next 2sc) x 6
  • 5th round: (Ch4, 2sc into next 4ch space, 1sc into each of the next 3sc) x 6

See the pattern? Each round you will have one more sc in each group. It’s like a granny square in that way; it grows on it’s own without you having to keep count of stitches. Just remember to work the corners correctly and the rest takes care of itself. You can grow it as big as you like.

crochet doily

Oh, and we didn’t get northern lights here in south Ontario last night but I have hope… it the skies are clear we’ll be trying again!

A Belated Christmas gift – The Lisa Shawl

lisa pdf downloadThe Lisa Shawl is a free crochet pattern by yours truly – a fun, quick crochet project with beads to spice it up. The shawl is named after my gorgeous and colourful friend Lisa who was the first person to love this design :)

Free beaded shawl pattern

The shawl is worked up using 2 skeins of sock weight yarn. My shawl was done in TFA Blue label Grape, and Lisa’s in Ella Rae Lace Merino, in the whimsically named colourway #117.

Free beaded shawl pattern

The beads are easy to add, visible from both sides and add a lovely weight to the finished piece.

You will need a 3.75mm hook for the main body, a 1.0mm hook for the beads, and about 50 grams of size 6.0 seed beads.

Free beaded shawl pattern

You can download the pattern here. Or check out the Ravelry page here.Enjoy!

free beaded shawl pattern

Sweet Mary Janes with ceramic buttons

Quickie post today – I just finished a cute pair of crocheted Mary Janes in a beautiful robins egg blue – complete with cute little hand made ceramic buttons. I whipped off the buttons while bored in the ceramic studio a few months ago and I’m happy I finally got to use them for something!


I have been sooo busy these past few days, between work and packing … and work… and packing.

This condo is going to be gorgeous. I spent a ton of time putting my core skills to work in designing it, of course – I drafted a top-down, to scale schematic of the apartment and laid in each piece of furniture as I considered it to find the perfect fit. Everything is being delivered after the move and I already know where each piece will go. Tito and I are excited to see the space we’ve been planning finally emerge. It will be elegant and functional while maintaining an efficient and open layout for such a small condo.

In the meantime I’m also still planning on attending the Knitters Frolic this weekend, despite the proximity to our move. (Tito has known for weeks that we had to pack specifically to leave this weekend free for yarn shopping on Saturday and being at the Beading and Jewellery fair with mom on Sunday – and he doesn’t mind any of this. One of the things I love about him =) Speaking of the Knitters Frolic I just delivered 8 gorgeous new yarn bowls to the Purple Purl – look out for them at the show!

I’m also excited that my first sweater has been featured on the TFA Tuesday entry for Tanis’ Blog – Thanks Tanis!

Now, on to a few cute pictures.

These guys were the best part of Despicable Me! Who doesn’t want their own minion army?

Crochet Minion

I’m far from having a whole army – but I had to try making these cuties!

Crochet Minion

He (she?) can be found lurking around corners and in sock drawers. This one was gifted to my friend Chris, but someday I hope to have time to make a bunch!

Kickass Mary-Janes

crochet mary jane slippers

Found this pattern by Goodknits.com on these super adorable Mary Jane style slippers. The tutorial is for crochet, is beautifully easy and fast and I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a super comfy, quick and fun project. Either for yourself or as a gift – these are perfect!

crochet mary jane slippers

crochet mary jane slippers


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