Sunday, October 12, 2008

Florentine Garden top

I made this top for my son's wedding next summer. The idea came from some random crochet flowers and leaves, and grew as I was choosing yarns for the project. An ivory-colored silk came from an e-bay seller, the rest: two interesting natural-colored silks, from Habu yarn store.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Habu top

I enjoyed working with this yarn, even though it is a bit “weird” - does not feel like silk at all, more like some mix of cotton/linen. The fabric has a slight sheen, or a kind of almost glow. I used much bigger needles to achieve an airy feel. Sleeves and hem are crocheted, the body is seed stitch.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cinque Terre Beaches

This post is a deviation from my usual knitting/crochet theme, however I felt compelled to add it.

This summer we traveled to Italy, and spent five days in Vernazza, Cinque Terre, walking the trails, swimming, and enjoying sunshine. The following review is a humble tribute to this beautiful place.

Beaches in Cinque Terre fall into three categories: public and easily accessible, public with a challenging/difficult access, and a nudist beach. This summer we hiked the trail between five villages, and had ample opportunities to sample the majority of them.

The most “civilized” and crowded was a beach in Monterosso. To reach it, simply take the train that goes between villages, or hike the trail: the views are spectacular! The beach has sand and small pebbles; you can either choose to pay for an umbrella and a chair, enjoying the roped off section, or settle in a free area with your own towel, etc. There are plenty of places to have lunch or gelato right there, but overall this beach is a bit too crowded for my taste.

There are public beaches in each of the five villages: differences between them are not very significant. In Riomaggiore go down the steps as you finish hiking the Via dell' Amore (a part of the Cinque Terre Blue Trail), and enjoy a small beach with rather large pebbles and rocks. No umbrellas or chairs here, the water is clean (as generally on all beaches), and the village is right above you. Every now and then a sightseeing boat makes its noisy appearance, unloading a new group of travelers.

Vernazza has a sandy beach where local people prefer to swim; the area is shallow and roped off from the marina. If you walk to the left of it facing the sea, you can swim from the pier; to the right there are some rocks to sunbathe and another access to the water. This beach is right next to the town square, so food is never far away.

Two beaches near Manarola can be reached from the trail between Manarola and Corniglia. Start in Manarola, and go towards Corniglia until you see steps leading down to the water. There is a small swimming area consisting of a few rocks and a concrete pier from which there is a ladder leading to the water. The place can be packed, though. If you wish for a more secluded spot, walk down the trail a little longer.

The name of this second place is “Punta Buonfiglio”. There are again steps leading down, however the last couple of them are broken, and there is a rope to assist in stepping on the rocks below (not a mounting climbing type of exercise, but requires some fitness). A tiny beach rewards with crystal clear water, and picturesque rocks. Bring a sandwich and enjoy a few hours of swimming and sunbathing.

One of the least crowded is the nudist Guvano beach. There are two ways to reach it. One is through the abandoned railroad tunnel that starts near Corniglia. We did not use this way. Instead you can hike the trail between Vernazza and Corniglia. Somewhere halfway along the trail you will see a hand drawn sign “Spiaggia Libera, 20 min”, which translates as “Free public beach, 20 min”. Take this narrow winding, almost hidden in the thick vegetation trail, and after approximately 20 min of descent arrive to an old road connecting two abandoned railroad tunnels. Walk to your left to a stone stairway down to the beach. It is indeed free, very clean, with many rocks to shelter from the hot sun. The best time to come is in the morning; later the place becomes more populated, but never overwhelmingly so. Obviously, you don’t have to be a nudist to enjoy it. There are no accommodations, or food sources nearby, so bring all your necessities along. The hike back to Vernazza or Corniglia will take about an hour, depending on how fast you will be going.

Top "Firenze"

While vacationing in Italy this summer, we saw plenty of white lacy tops and skirts - the last fashion trend there. That’s why I called this top “Firenze” - Italian for Florence.

I used Elann "Soie Lin" yarn - linen and silk combo; very pleasant to work with.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Skinny rib sweater

I changed this pattern quite a bit making it a sweater instead of a cardigan, and crocheting trims.
My only complain with the yarn is the number of knots in every skein: at least one, sometimes more!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Shaped Laced Tee

I finished this one really fast: just on time for Spring!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Amigurumi Elephant

This little guy was made following Thready Bears
I made it for a little girl, a friend's daughter. It was an easy pattern to follow, and something I have not done for a while.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nomad Socks

I designed these in a couple of evenings: it was an inspiration of the yarn. Mellow Camel from Taiga Yarns
is a rough yarn, but suitable for Tapestry Crochet socks.

Free Pattern
(for personal use only)


1 skein Taiga Yarns “Mellow Camel” in Beige (100% Camel Wool, 200 m (218 yards), 100 g (3.5 oz) skein)

1 skein Taiga Yarns “Mellow Camel” in Black (100% Camel Wool, 200 m (218 yards), 100 g (3.5 oz) skein)

Size 0 (2,5 mm) crochet hook (or size required to obtain gauge)


Sc – single crochet

Sl st – slip stitch

Ch – chain

St - stitch

Rnd – round

RS – right side

Rep - repeat

Lp – loop

WS – wrong side

Techniques used:

Tapestry crochet

Reversed tapestry crochet


Finished dimensions folded flat: circumference of the foot – 10”, length of the foot – 11”. The size can be adjusted by measuring the foot and crocheting accordingly.


6 sc and 4 rounds = 1”

The socks are crocheted from the toe up.


Starting row: With Beige ch 10, sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in every ch across – 9 sl st.

Rnd 1: Crocheting in the unworked (bottom lps of the beginning chain), sc in each ch, pivot work, sc in every sl st of the starting row – 18 sc.

Rnd 2: You will use 1 sc in Black on each side of the sock, crocheting the rest of the st in Beige. *2 sc in Beige in the sc prior to Black, 1 sc in Black, 2 sc in Beige in the sc after the Black*, repeat from * to * once – 22 sc.

Rnd 3 and 4: Proceed as Rnd 2.

Rnd 5: Introduce Pattern 1 for the top of the foot (make sure to center the pattern), and Sole pattern for the sole using Black.


Continue following patterns and increasing at the sides as established until you will have 52 sc total (25 for the top and the sole, and 2 at the sides).

Important! Adjust the number of sc according to your own foot.

Continue without increasing, following patterns as established. After completing Pattern 1, introduce Pattern 2 symmetrically on both sides of the top of the foot. Continue until foot reaches just below anklebone. Do not fasten off!


You are now will be working in Reverse Tapestry Crochet (flat, not curcular as previously), making the sole part of the heel.

Row 1(RS): With Black sc starting from the side sc (worked in Black) make 27 sc, turn.

Row 2: With Black sc in first sc and each sc across, turn.

Row 3: Following Pattern 3, sc in each sc across, leaving last sc unworked, turn – 26 sc.

Rep Row 3 until 9 sc remain, turn.

Heel Increase:

For the heel increase you will be working only in Black, carrying Beige along (as done for Tapestry crochet).

Row 1 (WS): Sc in 9 sc, sc in side edge of heel, sc in closest unworked st on the side, sl st in side edge, turn – 11 sc.

Row 2: Skip sl st, sc in 11 sc, sc in side edge of heel, sc in closest unworked st on the side, sl st in side edge, turn – 13 sc.

Row 3: Skip sl st, sc in 13 sc, sc in next unworked st down side of heel, turn – 14 sc.

Rows 4 – 10: Rep row 3, inc 1 sc in each row

Row 11: Skip sl st, sc in 20 sc, sc in next unworked st down side of heel, turn – 21 sc.

Row 12: Skip sl st, sc in 21 sc, sc in next unworked st down side of heel, sl st in side edge of heel. Do not turn. Pick up and crochet 5 sc on the side, then 25 sc on the front part of the foot, then 5 sc on the other side. Continue working in the round.

Crochet 2 rnds in Black, then continue in Pattern 4 finishing with the last rnd in Beige.

Amigurumi Bear

I crochet this cute little guy for the class on Amigurumi Toys I am teaching in my school. So he is a sample. More to follow...

Yarn used: leftovers wool. Crochet hook size H. A couple of beads for eyes.

Pattern: Free from Lion Brand Yarn

Monday, January 14, 2008

Jorabs - Ethnic socks

I was inspired to knit/crochet these socks by several pictures of ethnic Pamir/Azeri/Turkmen socks called "jorabs". I also enjoyed the book "Ethnic Socks and Stockings" by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, and it was all it took to motivate me.
There are plenty of good patterns; this one is an interpretation of an existing one. I changed it quite a bit, and added a tapestry crochet cuff as an afterthought. I enjoyed the process; the needles - Holtz&Stein were perfect for the job. Now I am addicted...