Friday, August 20, 2010

Crocheted Spats for Pumps or Heels

I had an idea, made it and oh, swoon. Seriously. Swooooon. Simple, fast, and so freaking cute I can't stand it. I'll take pictures when I remember to, but in the meantime it's easy to explain so I will. Breathe in, breathe out, and here we go.
I used to be a neutral kind of girl. I loved t-shirts and jeans, tennis shoes, work boots, or non descript sandals. One day I learned about wonderful things, beautiful things, very girly things like make up, hair styling with mousse, pretty dresses in bright colors and zomg, high heels. I fell in love with shoes. I have a pair for every occasion and I'm only slightly ashamed to admit it. My dentist and his hygienist even noticed and commented on my array of cute shoes. I felt an odd mixture of embarrassed and flattered. They never said it was a good thing. I suppose if I'm going to have a purely feminine flaw, shoes are among the most acceptable.
Since I can't go get a new pair of shoes every time I want to spice up my wardrobe and I refuse to do anything permanent to my darling heels, I fell back on crochet. As I often do :) I love the vintage look and I wanted to make a pair of spats. They would change the whole look of the outfit/shoes and yet be easily washed and stored when not needed. We can't forget how deeply cold it gets here in the winter months... and spring... and fall... I don't want to wear boots all the time. These keep my poor feet a little warmer in my pumps. See? not completely frivolous.
Alrighty, project identified! Now, to make them.
Here's what I did, forgive me if I make little sense but they look good in the end. Make sure of your gauge, my dear hookers, or you run the risk of floppy sagging spats. No girl wants THAT. It's worked from the top down in a flat panel, buttonholes spaced out over one edge.
Materials -

fingering weight cotton thread
1.80mm hook
12 1/2inch buttons
sewing needle

Measure around your leg where you want the top of the spat to be. Using your gauge, figure the number of stitches. Mine was 72, but I'm a big girl. To keep it all straight and clear, I'll be using my own measurements for the pattern but you can adjust it super easily to fit your own. The even rows should all have the same number of stitches as your chain row and then it should be 1 more stitch per increase row. Like I said, easy. Make your buttonholes as big as you need for your button size by adding another 'ch 1, sk 1' keeping in mind the stretchy nature of crochet. Place however many you desire evenly down one edge.

Chain 72 +2, and hdc in the 3rd ch from the hook, ch 1, sk 1, hdc to the end of the row. (the 'ch 1, sk 1' forms a button hole)
Hdc evenly for 4 rows, then repeat the button hole making sure to keep it on the same edge as the first. I repeated these 5 rows (button hole row + 4 even rows) then one more button hole row, for 11 rows, 3 button holes, and still 72 sts across.

From here on out I increased 1 st at the end or each row (increase is 2 hdc in the last st), still placing button holes on the same edge til I had 6 total, ending on the last buttonhole row.
This should be 26 rows, 6 button holes, and 84 sts across. Sew each button on the opposite edge from the button holes, sew in all loose ends and button up!
I tried these on and they weren't too tight anywhere and didn't sag, so I know I got the gauge right, but when I put them on over my pumps, wowsa! Pictures to come should help you understand a bit better because I know I wrote that pattern badly, but you will want to try this. I am thinking of making a pair of short fingerless gloves to match.

My head is all spinny with the possibilities. Such as...
Lacing it up with ribbon instead of using buttons, sewing something fun on the side, mixing up the colors of buttons and yarn, stripes, even joining the edges for a tube instead of a panel. Make them longer, or use a thicker yarn and make them warmer.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer crochet is difficult

I find it hard to crochet in the summer. Sitting in one place in the heat is uncomfortable, but I can tolerate it.. I can even handle the extra layer of warmth from the yarn I work with. My problem is that projects for summer are hard to find. Clothing is an option, but unless you want a short skirt or cami/tank that you have to wear a slip or undershirt with, you are severely limited. By 'you' I mean me, of course.
I find myself turning to baby projects. They are simple most times, fast and lightweight and so cute that people can't help but buy them. Then babies outgrow clothing quickly enough that there is always a market.
I love that fall is only a few weeks away. I like making scarves and socks and shawls... oh my. Yes, yes I had to. Hats and mittens and fingerless gloves. Don't forget that fall and winter are prime gift-giving seasons! I love the colors and variety of patterns. Right now I am working on a BUNCH of baby booties and hoping that they will be well received.
Still wading my way through the sweaters I got from my mom, we had a mishap with the silk cobweb lace and I am still refusing to accept that it's lost to me. Knots get tired, then they can get UNtied!!! Right? Sniffle. Good things come with the fall, my favorite season, and I am more than ready!! Bring on the cool weather!