Monthly Archives: January 2015


Sunday inspiration:)

“Love of beauty is taste, the creation of beauty is art.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’d like to take a moment here to encourage you to explore your creativity. You have this source of beauty inside yourself, and only you can decide to share it with the world. So be fearlessly and wildly generous with your unique you – you are robbing the world blind if you don’t!

Happy Sunday <3

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How to: the frustrating trick to perfect crochet cables 1

These are crochet cable stitches.
gloves_pub_small

This is me, doing crochet cable stitches.

Killmenow

Cables are my nemesis. They are the Joker to my Batman, the Bowser to my Mario; I hate doing them and they make my fingers hurt and I always end up wanting to strangle myself with a piece of yarn.

BUT.

They are so fabulous. And you can create cool looks by doing different but matching cables for the second of a pair of socks/gloves/mitts. Like in the picture above: a set of fingerless gloves I call Even & Odd.
Sadly, cables are just too versatile and pretty to ignore them.

So while it sucks, I’ll always keep doing cable stitches, and I figured that as long as that’s the case, I might as well be doing them right.

THIS IS WHERE I TELL YOU MY TRICK ->

My cables used to be sort of sloppy, which, you know, wasn’t exactly an incentive to do more of them. It wasn’t until I made the above pair of gloves that I discovered the frustrating trick that really makes a difference in the neatness of your cables: switching hooks.

It’s okay. You can go sit quietly in the corner and put your head between your legs, I’ll wait.

Yes, that’s right: you work the foundation – whether it’s back loop slip stitch or single crochet – with hook X, and you work the cables with a hook one size smaller. For example: the Even & Odd gloves were done with a 5mm hook; except for the cables, which were worked with a 4mm hook.

And yes, that makes the whole process even more slow and frustrating.

And yes, it means you’re switching hooks every few stitches, and you forget to switch and then you have to go back and redo stitches, and the unused hook always disappears while you’re working, even if you JUST PUT IT ON THE SIDE TABLE.

But it’s worth it. I promise. If you’re a perfectionist like me and you love crisp, neat looks, then switching hooks will take your cabled project to a whole new level.

And also, your swear word vocabulary.

If you try this, let me know how it goes, will you?

gloves_detail_small

 

 

 


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‘Christmas’ present reveal! 2

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That sweet spot in January when the failure of your New Year’s resolutions collides immaculately with your winter depression! Can you feel the magic? Or is that just me?

Luckily, it’s also the time of year for presents. At least in this case, due to a hand injury that prevented me from finishing them before the Christmas deadline. Which turned out to be a good thing, because my recipient was also feeling kind of blue, and my package was apparently just the thing to cheer her up. Maybe we should make that a trend: January cheer-up presents! And then instead of birthday presents we could have ‘you just got your tooth pulled!’-presents. Or ‘your car got towed!’-presents. Dibs on this one, guys. Obviously a brilliant idea.

And now for the actual presents *drumroll*…

beret2_smallRavenclaw Beret

A gradual change in colours from six rows of grey on top to six rows of blue on the bottom.
It was really fun running the numbers for this:).
Drops Merino Extra Fine, 4mm hook. And my ol’ mug, of course.

cinderella_smallHaywire Cinderella Clutch

Freestyle crochet with hand sewn lining and fastening. Yarn: Drops Paris cotton in dusty pink.
I went a little crazy with this one, hence the name.

gloves3_smallEven & Odd fingerless gloves

Gloves with different, but matching, cables. Made with Drops Merino Extra Fine yarn and a 5mm/4mm (for the cables) hook.
And an obscene amount of swearing since working crochet cables is almost as annoying as, say, darning socks.
For giants. With your left hand. While naked. On an ice floe. You get my drift.

lamb_small2Rini the lamb

Rini was named Rini by Melissa, the little girl I made him for.
This was so much fun! I used some pictures for inspiration and just winged it.
Yarn is Drops Merino Super Fine combined with Drops Andes Mix. I used a 3mm/4mm hook.

It’s a tough call, but I think I like Rini the best. More than anything though, I liked making these gifts and hearing that they cheered somebody up. All jokes aside, I really want to make more presents for people this year. The more I do it, the more I feel what a powerful thing it is to create a thing for someone.

It’s almost like magic…and I think that’s something we can all use more of:).

Who do you want to make a present for this year? And what do you plan on making?


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You need stitches! #1 – Rapunzel, Rapunzel edition

As I mentioned in my Total Accountability New Year Plans and Resolutions Post – the post is almost as epic as the title – I’ve been wanting for some time to introduce a ‘help’-feature on this blog. In this case, the help will be aptly titled ‘You need stitches!’. Like a modern day superwoman (minus the cape (and the super strength (but plus several layers of undergarments))) I swoop down on crocheters in need, whispering essential tips for improvement of their project in their ears, before retreating to my cozy, granny square-covered…eh…rooftop.

Anyway! Without further ado, I give you:

You need stitches, instalment 1 – braided scarf edition

One of my online crochet friends asked for tips on this braided scarf. It is called the Rapunzel Scarf by Kristen Hein Strohm; the pattern is available here on Ravelry.
The existing pattern seems fairly simple and beautiful, but the ends are rectangles that don’t follow the lines of the braid. My friend asked for suggestions on this. Of course it’s a matter of taste, but I agreed with her that a nicer, more organic-looking solution should be possible.

braidend

My suggestion was to start the leftmost and rightmost colors (C1 and C4 or C5 (depending on the number of strands)) along the edges of the other three braid strands. That way you create a nice, rounded edge that doesn’t clash with the braiding. Don’t follow? Here, see our Facebook convo for one of my patented back-of-envelope Helpful Drawings.

youneedstitches1

Want to see that drawing again, did you? Here we go.
braidend_drawing

For the accompanying explanation, see the screencap. To form the end of the scarf, I’d finish C(olor)2, 3 and 4 (or 2/3) and braid everything first. Then I’d lay the ends of C2, C3 and C4 next to each other and crochet with C1 and C5 along their end posts, making the two colors meet in the middle, joining them and knotting off.

This way you end up with an ‘infinity’ knot kind of solution, without any ends sticking out. So if you agree with me that the pattern looks better without the squared ends – here’s your fix!

Do you need stitches? Let me know in the comments, through an email or on Facebook!

Till next time…

superwoman-2YEEEEAAAAAAAAAAH. I mean, you’re welcome.


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2015: plans, projects and resolutions! 2

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
May your 2015 be as creative, healthy and full of joy as a toddler with a blank wall and a jar of peanut butter!

I thought this would be a good time to put some ideas, plans and future projects in writing. That way I create accountability. And a considerable amount of stress for December 2015. And possibly a drinking problem along the same timeline. But never mind that! Let’s just get inspired together for the new year! We’ll cross the whole ‘impossible deadline avoidance techniques’ bridge when we get to it, okay? What I love most about New Year’s resolutions, anyway, is those first fifteen days of January when you can still believe you’re actually going to do all that stuff.
So without further ado:

Here are a few things you may or may not expect from me this year!

(Can you tell I’m super good with commitment and expectations?)

yarnwallI’m totally going to get four hours sleep every night.

IDEAS

#1 YOU NEED STITCHES!
For a while now I’ve regularly been helping other people out with crochet riddles. These vary from unreadable or ambiguous patterns, to technical difficulties with a certain project. Usually I stumble upon the questions in one of my Facebook groups, and for some reason I just find myself compelled to help solve people’s puzzles. Not that I’m always 100% proficient myself, but I have this pitbull-like tenacity when it comes to figuring out all things crochet, and somehow apparently I’ve figured out how to use that force for good. My trademark is brainstorming along on the backs of envelopes and then posting badly lit pictures of my answers.

chartBelieve it or not, this was actually helpful at the time.

Anyway, I thought it’d be cool to bring that format over to the blog! I’m going to name it ‘You need stitches!’. This means that from now on, YOU CAN SEND ME YOUR CROCHET RIDDLES AND I’LL HELP YOU SOLVE THEM. For free! Out of the goodness of my heart! Or rather, the pitbull-like curiosity of my geeky little crochet brain. Let’s learn and grow together!

Send your crochet riddle to facebook/Recoverista or rinske@recoverista.com. Please note: this is about specific patterns or projects that you need help with (or want a second opinion on). For help with general crochet techniques, there are much better resources available online (and frankly, it’s not really my thing).

DO YOU NEED STITCHES? LET ME KNOW!

#2 Free spirit back pack pattern
I think this would make a nice spring/summer project. When I made this bag, I had to figure everything out for myself, and it turned out so nicely that I think it might be worth turning into full-fledged pattern! What do you think?

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#3 Super mysterious pattern ideas I can’t reveal yet
This year, expect a pattern for gloves based on an arcade game, something to do with secret codes, and a hat inspired by a famous artist!

MUHAHAHAHA

PROJECTS

#1 Belated Christmas swap
Right now I’m still working on my swap package presents. Naturally I’ll do a reveal here after everything has been finished, sent and received. So, you know. Probably in late autumn.

MUHAHAHAHA

#2 Blanky for me and the bf!!
There’s just something about wrapping yourself up in a blanket you made for yourself. When I was little I read this awesome book like a hundred times; in it, aspiring white witch Wise Child has to weave herself a cape at one point. She makes a mistake in the weaving, but is too lazy to go back and correct it. Later when she is attacked by The Evil Guys, this flaw, of course, is where she gets injured while the rest of her is protected by the cape. I always think of this story whenever I start a project for myself or my loved ones. I don’t know. Something about the healing power of using the best of your ability and putting all your love and attention into something you make. It truly is magic.

blanketcouchHere is the tutorial I’m following and the above is my inspiration, a project by one of my awesome fellow crafters on my favourite FB group.

RESOLUTIONS

#1 I’ll put my crochet health first
One of the reasons that Christmas swap package still isn’t finished, is that I hurt my hand pretty badly by crocheting for too long with bad posture. For someone with an illness causing chronic pain and muscle tension, I can be pretty stupid, amiright? In 2015 I vow to always crochet in timed intervals and watch my posture. Until I feel better, by which time I’ll probably forget all about it and hurt my hand again.

Implied-Facepalm

#2 I’ll publish at least six for sale patterns (and some free ones!)
And believe me, I have them all figured out, too. The only thing left is to, ehm, actually make them. Go time!

#3 I’ll donate 1% of my yearly gains from selling crochet to the Project for Awesome 2015
Because, like it says in my donations policy, I’m a total nerdfighter at heart and I believe in paying it forward. So…with a little bit of luck, I’ll buy them at least one sandwich!

#4 I’ll partake in at least two crochet-alongs or other social crochet activities, either for charity or just for fun
Because, you know, fun. And charity. And (online) friendliness. All things I highly value.

#5 I’ll crochet together with someone IRL at least once
Because none of my friends crochet, but I think it would be so awesome to stitch and bitch with someone! If you live in Holland, in or near Utrecht, please let me know. I’ll bring candy.

#6 I’ll do at least one ‘You need stitches’ post per month, hopefully more
So I need your input!!:)

What about you? What are your plans, upcoming projects and resolutions? Let me know in the comments! And once again, a healthy, happy, fabulously crafty 2015 to you. <3


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