Monday, March 30, 2015

How to Crochet a Double Crochet Stitch (English and Castellano)

Hi everyone!
I am bringing you today another tutorial on our series Crochet Basics.
The stitch I will be teaching you today is called the Double Crochet Stitch. In my experience, this is the most versatile stitch and the one that is more comfortable to wear if you are applying it to make clothes. All of the endless variations of this specific stitch are going to depend on where do you put the stitch in the project, but the actual way of doing it doesn't change.
I am hoping to bring you in the future a few of the variations that I am talking about, but for now, let's go back to basics and learn how to make a double crochet stitch.(video below written instructions)

Double Crochet Stitch Written Instructions
Yarn over the hook, insert hook through stitch from previous row, yarn over hook and pull through the stitch (3 loops on hook), yarn over and pull through 2 loops (2 loops left on hook), yarn over and pull through 2 remaining loops (1 loop left in hook). Double crochet done.

It is important to understand what you are doing because that will allow you to know where are you going to place the crochet hook next. For that purpose, I am going to show you a few pictures that show clearly which one is the next stitch. I hope It is easy to read for you as this is a crucial stitch to learn when crocheting.

Instrucciones del Punto Vareta
Montar la lana en el crochet, insertar el crochet a través de un punto de la fila anterior, monta la lana y jala a través del punto (3 vueltitas en el crochet), montar la lana y jalar a través de dos de las vueltitas (quedan 2 vueltas en el crochet), montar la lana y jalas por dos (queda un punto en el crochet). Punto vareta hecho.

Es importante que entendamos lo que estamos haciendo para que podamos ver con claridad y saber en donde vamos a insertar el crochet en el siguiente punto.  El punto vareta es un punto crucial al momento de tejer proyectos completos y por eso espero que estas fotos sean lo suficientemente claras y fáciles de entender.

How to Crochet a Double Crochet Stitch (English Version)

Cómo Tejer en Crochet un Punto Vareta (Version Español)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. I will be coming back soon with another basic stitch called Triple Crochet. Till then... Happy Crocheting!!!

See you soon

Friday, March 27, 2015

Homemade Ragu Recipe

Honoring my Italian roots this time I am going to show you how to make a Homemade Ragú sauce. I absolutely love this recipe because is so simple to make and it goes a long way when it come to versatility. You can make this sauce as I am showing you in the recipe below or you can substitute the herbs for others such as basil, or add some cinnamon, cloves  and bay leaves for a Mediterranean  twist, or maybe some mushrooms  for an Italian touch. 

As I grew up I have always had at home this same sauce but instead of oregano and rosemary, the original recipe, the one that only "la nonna" can make,  calls for a handful of basil and it turns up absolutely delicious, but... I like to use this sauce to mix with other things in order to get different dishes and basil doesn't always go well with some things and that is why i am bringing you the rock bottom recipe for a homemade Ragú that I assure will get you out of any midweek dinner crisis. If you know what I mean ;)

I know that there are many commercial brands that sell this type of sauce, and maybe you are asking yourself why would you spend your time making something you can easily buy? The reason for me is a no brainer...My family! I want to give them the best I can possibly put on their plates and  there is a bonus to it too... once you try the freshness of a Homemade Ragu Sauce, you will never go  back to the metallic taste of the commercial ones. Just give it a try.
  • 3 medium size onions chopped roughly
  • 2 kg. (4 pounds) of fresh tomatoes chopped roughly
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of beef or chicken broth
  • 3 or 4 oregano stalks and the same of rosemary
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • In a large pan heat the oil and fry the onions until soft and golden brown (not burnt)
  • Add garlic and tomato paste stirring so it doesn't burn at the bottom of the pan.
  • Dump in the tomatoes, chicken or beef broth and the herbs stalks and all. (there is lots of flavor in the stalks, we'll get them out later)
  • When it starts boiling set the burner at the lowest and just let it simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
*Notice that I haven't added any salt just yet, this is on purpose given that I am not a chef, I rather be safe than salty, so I add it at the end.
  • Take out the stalks of the herbs you put in, the leaves most likely fell in the sauce, that's fine. 

*I have in my kitchen a stick blender, but if you don't, you can get the same results with a regular blender or a food processor.
So... blend everything until you have a smooth sauce now try it with a teaspoon and add salt and pepper to taste...
Taaaahh Daaaahhh!!!!!
Homemade Ragu... done!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and let me know what dishes have you created using this same sauce.
See you soon and buon appetito! 


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How to crochet a Single Crochet and a Half Double Crochet Stitches

Continuing with our Basic Crochet Series, I am happy to present you my two latest tutorials.
This time we are going to learn how to make a basic Single Crochet (sc is the abbreviation for it and this is how you will find it in most patterns) and a Half Double Crochet (hdc).
Single Crochet (sc).HERE

Half Double Crochet (hdc)HERE

On our next tutorial I will show you how to make a double crochet and a triple (tr) crochet stitch. After we learn how to crochet this basic stitches, we are ready to start making simple beginners patterns such as beanies, scarves, dishcloths...etc.
Hope you enjoyed learning with me today.
See you soon!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

How to crochet a Granny Square: The Basics

I have recently made two dresses out of granny squares and i wanted to share with you How to make this easy, simple and yet beautiful crochet square.
I have to say that this is my first crochet pattern tutorial and I hope that more are coming as I shine and polish my "crocheteer" skills in the future.
I must say that there are different ways to accomplish the same results...this is the way I do it and the one I find the easiest.
This is one of the dresses I made. It is all made out of granny squares and just added some ruffles on the sleeves. She loved it and she does look gorgeous in it.

Basic Granny Square
  • 1Crochet hook that fits the thickness of your yarn
  • 3 small pieces of yarn color of your choice.
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle to weave in the ends
Rnd. 1: With color "A" Ch 4. (This counts as center stitch and first dc) 
 2dc in 4th ch from hook, ch 2, *3dc in same sp, ch2* repeat 2 more times. Sl st on top of initial ch4. Fasten off.
Rnd.2: Join color b in any of the ch2 spaces from the previous row. (We'll call these "corners")
  • Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2dc, ch 2, 3dc in same space. Ch1.
  • *In next corner from previous row 3dc, ch2, 3dc all in same sp. Ch1*
  • Repeat 2 more times from *...* sl st on top of initial ch3. Fasten off.
Rnd3. Join color "C" in any corner.
  • Ch3, 2dc, ch2, 3dc all in same sp. Ch1.
  • 3dc in next ch1 spce from previous row. Ch1
  • *3dc, ch2, 3dc all in next corner. Ch1
  • 3dc in next ch1 spce from previous row. Ch1*
  • Repeat from *...* 2 more times. Sl st on top of initial ch3.
  • Fasten off.
Here is a variation with a flower which I hope to post how to make soon.
Once you get a hang of the basic pattern... the sky is the limit! You can make blankets, tops, name it! Hope you have fun with it.
See you soon!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Crochet 101 - How to crochet a Slip Knot & Basic Chain?

Hi everyone! There's people that have been asking me for a rock bottom basic tutorial on how to start crocheting and that's how I came up with this little video in which I will show you how to make a Slip Knot (Sl Kn, this is the abbreviation that you will find in most patterns when it refers to this specific stich). The Slip Knot is the first stitch you put on your hook when starting a project. All projects start with a Slip Knot, and what makes it special and important is that it is a knot that slides which makes it useful when you want to crochet in the round. 
There are many ways to make a slip knot but I find this one the easiest one for me. 

Also I will show you how to make a Chain Stich (Ch). This one is the basic chain most projects start with a chain though not all of them, but I guess if you can't make a chain you can't really crochet, so...

I hope you enjoy watching it.
(If you can't see it here, click HERE for my Youtube link)


Our next tutorial will be covering two basic stitches, and these are the single crochet (sc) and a half double crochet (hdc).
Suscribe so you don't miss it!!

See ya soon!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sewing, Crochet and other crafty stuff

Hey Everyone! it's been a long time since the last time a wrote something and trust me I missed it greatly, but as a result of the involuntary negligence against my blog i found the time to make lots of pretty things that i can't wait to show you.
Thanks to all of you that have patiently waited for me to finally come up with something to post. Hope you enjoy what you see...
This beauties I made for Christmas. My nieces were thrilled with them. There is just something special about a rag dolly. They came up pretty good and they are the perfect size. I got the pattern from some time ago but now I can´t open this site anymore, however I found the Etsy shop for this and many other patterns of beatiful rag dollies. OhSewDollin Etsy Shop
I have also been crocheting a lot, and though i am not designing yet i have been trying lots of patterns that I found online some free and some for a Price but have enjoyed all of them.
Check this Lacy V Shopping Bag by Cathy Phillips...
This bag turned up gorgeous and it is super easy to make, the pattern is very well explained and it makes a beautiful gift.
The one on the left has a base that i made with thin rope to give the base some sturdiness but the original base in the pattern is pretty straight and sturdy enough and comes out very neat. Great Pattern! and it's free!! you can find it in this link of her Ravelry shop
The flower is not in the original pattern and i hope i can make a tutorial for it soon, neither are the handles, i bought those at my local craft shop.
I also made this lacy espadriles or slippers. They are so comfortable to wear and with the bonus of the cord soles you can wear them out in the Street and not only as house shoes.
The blue ones i made without the pattern just by looking at pictures online but the orange ones i made with the original pattern from Crochet Craft Santini Blog and they came out way prettier and cute. You will find in her blog the most beautiful crocheted ítems ever!!! She is gifted for this craft. I have bought a few of her patterns and they are absolutely gorgeous! and the patterns have all the information and explanations you may need to complete the project.
This specific model of the orange slippers I made is Coral Lace Espadrilles by Ingunn Santini, and you can find the pattern for sale for the cord soles (absolutely great!)HERE.
Flowers, flowers and more flowers... can you tell i love flowers?
I made this very simple cowls, (the ones on the top) they are just very chunky yarn and a bunch of dc stitches and voilá! add a flower and you are ready to go.
The blue scarf is called Aquatic Blossom by Crochet Geek. It is absolutely beautiful and it looks hard to make but once you get a hang of the pattern then it just flows very easily and the final product is gorgeous. The original pattern calls for certain ammount of initial stitches but i found that this was to small for me so you just add a Little bit more if you find your self in the same position, as i said is very easy and it is gorgeous.
The Green scarf there comes from a website i absolutely leeerrrve!!! It is written by a very young girl but trust me when i tell you... she is gifted for crafts. Her website is Hopeful Honey and the model of the Green scarf in the picture is...Chunky Infinity Scarf by Olivia.
And last but definitely not least, for the ones with a sweet tooth like me... i finally learned how to make Eclairs!!! this récipe is very easy to follow and the result is absolutely perfect. The récipe for these delicious Ecalirs is by Anna Olson´s from her show Bake with Anna Olson. HERE is a link for the récipe
My people here go balistic everytime i say i am going to make these.
Well i hope you enjoy reading about what i´ve been up to all this time and hope also to encourage you to try any of this tested récipes and patterns.
See you soon...