Havirland, knit, Knitting, socks, Tutorial

Self-striping socks


Hi there!

Long time, no see! Hopefully now that the PhD is 99% done I’ll have more time to post here. Today I wanted to talk to you about my newly found love of self-striping sock yarn. It’s no secret that I’ve been obsessed with knitting socks since I knit my first pair, but despite my love for stripes I wasn’t convinced they would work well in socks.

I finally took the plunge when my amazing friend Carol, AKA Havirland dyed her first batch of self-striping yarn. The question was how to approach the heel. There are many kinds of heels one can use in socks. I typically knit mine top-down using a heel flap. But instead of going that way, I took the opportunity to learn the afterthought heel. The result is pictured below.


Yarn: Havirland Pax Sock “Ecto Floral” self-striping.

Pattern: top-down sock, 56 stitches in 2.25 mm needles, afterthought heel.


I like the look of this heel but unfortunately it doesn’t fit my feet as well as a traditional heel flap, so for round 2 of self-striping I chose to knit socks with a flap. I happened to have some “Lady Orange” yarn also from Havirland, so I was able to match it to the orange of one of the stripes in “Godzilla in Paris”. I get 8 stripes per color for this yarn so I knit 4 rows, switched to Lady Orange and knit the heel, gusset and decreases. I then switched back to the main color. The result is pictured below.



Yarn: Havirland Pax Sock “Godzilla in Paris” with a heel in “Lady Orange”.

Pattern: Top down, 56 stitches in 2.25 mm needles, coordinating heel.


I love this combo! However, it is unlikely that I’ll always have yarn to coordinate with my self striping, even considering my huge Havirland love. So I also knit a sock with a regular flap heel, knit continuously with no extra yarn whatsoever and only 2 ends to weave! The result is pictured below.

Yarn: Havirland Pax Sock Self-striping “This are not the droids you’re looking for”

Pattern: top-down, 56 stitches in 2.25 mm needles, traditional heel flap.


I hope this experiment is useful to you if you decide to take the plunge into self-striping yarn. Let me warn you, it’s addictive!



accessories, cowl, crochet, DIY, Pattern, photo tutorial, Tutorial

Crochet in the third loop and a chunky faux-ribbed cowl

crochet chunky cowl

Have you been looking for a good alternative to knit ribbing in crochet? look no further! The newest installment of…

Learn to crochet

is here!

Today we’re talking about crocheting in the third loop. This technique is great to achieve a ribbed look and it comes with a free pattern for a chunky, warm and cozy cowl.


First, let’s talk about Crochet in the third loop! or rather, let’s visualize how to accomplish it, step by step!

1. First you’ll need to make 1 round of plain old Half double crochet

third loop after 1 round of hdc

2. Take a look at your work. From now on, you will not be crocheting the next round as usual. Instead you will use the third/side loop as marked in blue

photo 1 (9)

3. Just to emphasize, you will not crochet at the top loops as you would normally do.

third loop not crochet here

4. Now wrap the yarn around your hook as you would for normal HDC and then insert the hook into the third loop

photo 2 (10)

5. The top view looks like this

photo 3 (8)

6. Finish your stitch as usual, wrapping the yarn around the hook once more and pulling it through all remaining loops. You are now done!

photo 4 (2)

Now let’s go for THE PATTERN!

For this I used 2 skeins of super bulky yarn and a 12 mm crochet hook, plus 2 buttons 3/4″ in size

make 56 chains

HDC in each stitch, starting at 2nd chain from hook

chain 1, make 1 hdc in the third loop in every stitch

Repeat for another 13 rows. You will now have 7 ribs in your cowl.

chunky cowl

accessories, crochet, DIY, photo tutorial, Tutorial

How to: Oval clutch/purse/tote started flat

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Making clutches,  purses, totes or any other oval shaped bags can be confusing for beginners. Perhaps because the start of said items is always flat with chains, as opposed to making stitches in a magic ring. You can think of oval bases as a circle split in half, which each half at the end of a series of single/half double/double crochets. The width of the final item is highly dependent on how big that circle is. This is the simplest, narrowest type of oval, with a single round of increases at the end of the starting chain. I figured an image is worth a thousand words, so here you have the photo tutorial to make any clutch/tote/purse your heart desires.

Learn to crochet


We’ll start by chaining 22, or however many stitches you need for the width you would like.

2chain 22 make 1 dc in each


After doing 1 dc in each stitch, we’ll increase in the last st.

2Make 3 double crochet in last


Now we’ll continue on the other side of the chain

2continue on the other side of the chain


and voila…

2first round completed


Now for Round 2

2make 1 double crochet in each


Eventually you will have this…

2after 2 complete rounds


And as you continue to make 1 dc in each stitch…

2after over 3 rounds


Now you can continue working double crochet rounds until the purse reaches whatever height you desire. To make a flap, start a new round and work only half of the stitches, then turn and work those stitches again for several rounds.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I’ll happily help! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial



accessories, crochet, DIY, halloween, Pattern, Tutorial, yarn

Pumpkin hat free crochet pattern

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Halloween is around the corner! do you have a costume? does your child have one? if the answer is no, I have the solution for you! This quick and easy pumpkin hat can be whipped up in no time. Certainly no more than an afternoon!

The size is very easily adaptable as it is crocheted flat using the back loops only. You can chain more for a longer hat or make more rows for a wider, larger fitting hat. This one is meant for a toddler size 1-3. It fits my friend’s baby and he has…ahem, a big head for a 1 year old.

Pumpkin hat 

Crochet hook size 5.5 mm

half a skein of Vanna’s choice in brick (you certainly can buy their pumpkin color, but I find it too light)*

*if you are making the hat for an adult you may need more.

a few yards of Vanna’s choice in green

Toddler size + larger size instructions

Chain 31 (the number of chains determines how long the hat is, if you want a longer hat, chain more)

Rd1. Make 1 hdc in the second chain from the hook, using the back loop only. Then make one HDC in each chain til the end.

Rd2-32. Make 1 hdc on back loop only in each stitch.

Once you reach the desired width, slip stitch the last and first row of the hat together. Now you have a hat seam.

Stem and curly-cue

Join with green yarn and make 1 HDC only in every other stitch, that is, only in the grooves or only in the ridges. This effectively decreases the stitch count by half. Now you’ll have 16 HDC. If you made a larger hat you’ll have half of however many rounds you did.

Rd1. 1 hdc in each stitch (16 hdc)
Rd2. (hdc2tog, 1 hdc) around (8 hdc)

this completes the base of the stem (for larger hat, decrease until you get to 8 stitches, remember to divide stitches in multiples of 8)

Rd3-5. 1 single crochet in each stitch around (8 hdc)

Rd6. (sc2tog, 4sc) twice (6 sc)- yes, this is correct, we have now switched to single crochet

Rd6-8. sc in each stitch around.

Rd9. sc2tog around. Now slip stitch the 3 last stitches shut. Do not cut the yarn.

Chain 21, make 3 hdc in second chain from hook and each chain after that. This will create the curled effect. (and this portion is the same for any size)

Cut the yarn, weave in ends and enjoy!

Looking for more costumes? Check these other patterns out! 

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Louise Belcher costume, crochet hat, pattern HERE

fox hat square

   Fox hat, crochet pattern HERE

knight hat square marked

Knight hat, crochet pattern HERE

miss piggy face brightMiss Piggy hat, crochet pattern HERE

crochet, DIY, Pattern, sewing, Tutorial

Louise Belcher DIY costume

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Any Bob’s burgers fans out there? – Welcome! I’m glad we share interests

Louise Belcher may as well be my favorite cartoon character, although she has to compete with Steven Universe and the Adventure Time crew. Her and I share a childhood of being around our parents’ business. Hers a burger place, mine a butcher shop. Not so different after all.

As a European who grew up without Halloween, I can’t go a single year without celebrating the event. Perhaps my favorite holiday. This year, I put my crochet and sewing abilities to use and I made myself a whole Louise Costume. The hat is my own pattern creation and you can find it here!

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Why make your own hat you say? Because it costs about 3$ to make! and it’s fun! and the ears are a whole 10 inches! What a great way to make a statement.

As for how to make the dress… I started with this tutorial and made a few changes, so I’m going to summarize for you how to do it! (I still recommend you look at her tutorial!)

1. Pick a dress, whatever dress you have, made of a non-stretch material (it will render more accurate measures).

2. Take a large piece of butcher paper and mark all around your dress. If it has sleeves, mark around the sleeves as well. Mine was a sleeveless dress.

3. Now you have marked the size of your dress, but you need to add about 1/2 inch of seam allowance. You can use a curved ruler for the neck portion.

4. Here’s the main difference with the tutorial. You want an A-line dress and chances are your dress does not have that shape. If it does, you’re done with the design. If it doesn’t, like mine, make a mark 8 inches away from the bottom corners of the dress. Then trace a straight line from the armpit to that mark. This should give your dress an A-line shape. Cut the pattern from the butcher paper and then the fabric using the pattern. See pictures below

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5. Sew the bottom seams of the dress and then sew along the sides all the way to the armpit

6. Take a large t-shirt and put it on top of the sleeve opening. On butcher paper, mark around the arm, cut the pattern and then cut 4 pieces of fabric, two for each sleeve.

7. Sew the sleeve pieces to each other and then pin, with the dress inside out, the sleeves to the sleeve openings. Sew around the sleeves

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Your dress is done! Now put your costume all together and take some silly pictures!

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DIY, Tutorial, yarn

How to make t-shirt yarn from old pj’s

If you read this blog, you know I like t-shirt yarn. I devoted one of my first posts to a t-shirt yarn storage basket and a tutorial on how to make the yarn. It’s an excellent way to re-purpose t-shirts into crocheted or knitted items and a great activity for kids. This pictorial will show you how to make t-shirt yarn from old pajama pants!










NOTE: When I made t-shirt yarn for my basket, from t-shirts, I stretched it quite a bit. That means, before I rolled into a ball, I took about 1 foot between my hands and pulled outwards to make the fabric roll onto itself. I must say this didn’t work very well in the case of the pajama pants fabric, I think it made it too thin. My rule of thumb would be, if you feel like your fabric has a lot of stretch (high spandex content), pull it, if not, better not to do so.

crochet, kitchen and decor, Pattern, Tutorial

What-a-melon coaster set pattern and photo tutorial


This Christmas I decided to go 100% handmade. The reasons are many, but money is certainly a part of it. As a graduate student in the sciences, my budget is beyond tight. I am fortunate enough to share my life and home with my favorite man in the world, who is also a grad student and thus equally broke. I am not sure if the general public is aware of how little we get paid for many many hours of research. But at the end of the month, buying Christmas gifts for a big family is not an option.

I say a big family because the boy has a large and fantastic family distributed around Texas. Mainly next to Austin. But they all gather around the table for Xmas. This was my second Xmas with the family and I really wanted to show the love. Making handmade gifts saved me lots of $ and allowed me to make things for everyone. Including my family, in Spain. Since Austin doesn’t get a lot of rain or snow or cold in the winter, making hat and scarves sets isn’t really an option. So for my ‘mother-in-law’, I made a set of watermelon coasters. Because she loves coasters and the summer.

In case you’re wondering, you can make this set for about 2$ of cotton yarn. Probably a bit less. Not too bad for some cheerful coasters. Want to try? Follow this step by step photo tutorial and you’ll be done in no time!


WHAT-A-MELON coaster set pattern

With a 4.25 mm hook and 100% cotton yarn. I used Sugar n cream.

Round 1: Chain 4, join to form a ring, chain 2 (counts as dc here and throughout), 11 dc in ring (12 dc)
Round 2: Chain 2, dc in same stitch, 2dc in each stitch around. (24 dc)

Switch to white, chain 2
Round 3: dc in same stitch, dc in next two stitches *(2dc, 1dc)* around. (36 dc)

Switch to light green, chain 1
Round 4: *(1sc, ch1, skip 1 stitch)* around

Switch to dark green joining at the stitch after the last stitch of the previous round, chain 1
Round 5: *(1 sc at ch1 space from previous round, chain 1)* around


I hope you give this easy pattern a try. It will bring a bit of summer to your winter table.