Irish Crochet Decoupaging

Ten years ago or so, this Coffee & Cream clothing collection was one of my signature designs inspired by Irish Crochet and was featured in 85th addition of Duplet Magazine.

Duplet Magazine 85 Featuring Ira Rott Designs

To create this collection, I made different leaves and flowers using 2 contrasting shades of cotton / bamboo yarns, which I then joined together into garments. There were always hundreds and hundreds premade motifs in my craft room and I was ready to assemble them at any time. Ten years later, guess what I found in the bin with my crochet threads? Of course, a whole bag of those beautiful coffee & cream floral motifs which were just perfect for the project I was working on last summer…I was beyond excited!

As you might know, sewing is another passion of mine. This gorgeous Singer 15 sewing machine was one of my restoration projects in summer 2017, I was so thrilled to see how it turned out! Please don’t get me wrong, I love technology and modern sewing machines…but I also love, appreciate, and respect history. I enjoy rescuing vintage sewing machines, they are truly beautiful and stitch amazingly.

When I found this machine, the original case was in such a horrific condition…I could have cried because I wasn’t sure how I would have restored it.

Taking one step at a time, I finished cleaning this case and the decorating Ideas were coming slowly. I have finally decide to decoupage this case using my floral motifs from the Coffee & Cream collection. I placed flowers & leaves (group by group) around the case with WS facing up, creating a balanced composition between contrasting colors. Just like in classic Irish crochet, the motifs needed to be joined, so I used a regular sewing needle & sewing thread to sew them together across the contiguous edges on WS, leaving the edges under the handle unattached. When the entire piece was sewn together, I took it off the case for steam blocking, and then put it back on with RS facing up. Decoupaging was fun and easy using Mod Podge from Michaels. I even glued a few extra flowers onto the finished surface to create a 3-dimensional look. It took a lot of time to complete this project, but I could not be happier with the result!

Here are some close up pictures of the process and the finished project 🙂

Sewing Motifs

Sewing On WS

Creating Composition

Steam Blocking

Finished Case

Finished Case

 

Steam Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects

Steam blocking is another simple way to block knit and crochet projects. If you are not sure what blocking is and why it’s needed, you can check out my previous articles about Wet Blocking & Spray blocking. I normally steam block crochet items made from cotton thread or microfiber such as my lace clothing, parasol covers, Bruges lace, Irish crochet. You can also use this method for blocking blankets, knit garment, and other projects.

Steaming is easy and fast, however, please keep in mind that depending on the fiber content, the yarn might not be suitable for high temperatures. For example, yarns with high
acrylic content might melt and yarns with 100% wool content might shrink. So, it’s important to always check the fiber contents and care instructions on the yarn label.

TIP: Before steam blocking your finished projects, block a swatch sample to make sure that the fabric does not melt, stretch, shrink, or lose firmness from applying hot steam. Measure your sample before and after steaming.

Blocking With Steam Iron

I prefer to steam block all pieces of a crochet garment individually before assembling them, then I block the seams after assembling. However, you might have different preferences and that’s just fine. If desired, you can pin your piece around the edges to the ironing surface prior to blocking. To avoid any unexpected “surprises” when using a steam iron, lay the project with WS facing up and apply steam very gently, without stretching or pressing too hard. Do not hesitate to apply minimal pressure to the fabrics made from 100% cotton thread by pressing your iron up and down instead of waving it from side to side to avoid stretching or distorting your fabric. Let the fabric cool down without distortion before moving it.

Steam Blocking Using Steam Iron

Blocking With Garment Steamers

You can also use garment steamers for gentele blocking. This method works great for afghans, knit garment, shawl, and other items that can tolerate hot steam. When steaming, hover the garment steamer over your project without touching or pressing it and allow it to cool down after steaming.

Blocking Through Wet Cloth

Steam blocking through a pressing cloth or cheesecloth is one of the most traditional old techniques. Cotton cloth will protect your knit & crochet fabrics from distorsions and from glossiness.

  1. Soak a pressing cloth (or cheesecloth) in water & squeeze excess moisture out
  2. Place the wet cloth over your project & press lightly with a hot iron, pushing the steam through the pressing cloth into the fabric
  3. Continue this process until the pressing cloth is dry
  4. Allow your project to cool down after blocking

Steam Blocking Through Wet Cheesecloth

Here are some examples of steam blocked items:

100% Cotton Thread

100% Cotton Thread

Microfibre Thread

100% Wool

Cotton Blend

100% Cotton Thread

Microfibre Thread

100% Cotton Thread

Cotton Blend

 

Crochet Jellyfish Monster

Another 2018 pattern update is here!

Awesome news, our Peanut Butter The Jellyfish Monster pattern is now FREE, so please do not hesitate to stop by & download your copy from our website. 

What’s new in this pattern update:

  • Modern Pattern Template – IraRott 2018

  • New diagrams

  • Simplified instructions for the bottom of the body

Look at these adorable Jellyfish Monsters below by our testing team members, they are so sweet & colorful! If you made a Jellyfish from this IraRott® pattern, please post your finished projects on Ravery so we could check them out as well 🙂

Susan Wilkes-Baker

Shaunna Hallon

Nikki Williams

Melinda Dickie

Leslie Mansfield

Kimberly Rose

Katie Carlson

Juliette Bland

Jazz Abd

Emily Re

Autmn Prueher

Ashley Smith

 

One Penguin – Two Penguin

Did you know that penguins stay together for life? I love penguins, they remind me of my younger brother Roman Rott who is also our talented web developer at  IraRott.com.

Earlier this year we’ve updated our Floppy the Penguin Rug pattern and I have just finished & released the latest update for our penguin hats. Please make sure to check them out by clicking on the preview images below. I can tell you for sure, it feels so good to shake off the dust and rewrite our old patterns in a new more modern format. I hope you will enjoy them!

So, what’s new?

  1. Modern Pattern Template – IraRott 2018

  2. Improved diagrams

  3. New step-by-step photos

  4. Now we have 2 individual patterns (Furry & Non-Furry) with 19 pages in each file instead of 32 pages

If you purchased this pattern before, please check your emails for free update. You might like to keep the original version of the pattern for your records so you could use different features for  making your penguin hats. If you purchased this pattern from our Etsy shop, please do not hesitate to send us a message through Etsy to request your free update.

Floppy The Penguin Hat

Furry Penguin Hat Pattern

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floppy the Penguin hat pattern includes a non-furry hat base for 7 sizes (from 6 months to large adult). You can finish this hat with a big pom-pom or with a cute bow. Vanna’s Choice yarn by Lion Brand is the best choice for this design in my opinion.

Furry Penguin hat base is made from 2 strands of yarn held together – Furry bulky weight (5) & Non-furry medium weight (4). It also includes 7 sizes (from 6 months to large adult). I like to combine Vanna’s Choice yarn with Fun Fur yarn by Lion Brand, but you can also find a few alternative yarn options in the pattern. Crochet earmuffs add the cutest finishing to this design. 

If you like penguins, you might also like to make these matching Floppy the Penguin Rug & Happy Baby Penguin Set.

Floppy The Penguin Crochet Rug Pattern

Happy Baby Penguin Set Crochet Pattern

Mica The Mermaid Blanket

The first pattern of 2018 has just been released at IraRott.com! I am so excited to introduce our Mica the Mermaid & Jellyfish Blanket, inspired by the Caribbean Sea.

Caribbean Sea Inspired - Crochet Mermaid Blanket Pattern by IraRott Caribbean Sea Inspired - Crochet Mermaid Blanket Pattern by IraRott

I have designed this pattern prior to our January trip to Mexico, as I was so anxious to see the Caribbean and enjoy the warm weather.

Beautiful palms and breathtaking turquoise water of the sea are unforgettable…I am so ready to wrap up in this blanket and bring all the warm memories back.

Caribbean Sea Inspired - Crochet Mermaid Blanket Pattern by IraRott Caribbean Sea Inspired - Crochet Mermaid Blanket Pattern by IraRott

This blanket is made from Red Heart Super Saver & Red Heart Stripes Yarn. Size – Throw 61” (155 cm) X 71½” (181.6 cm). The pattern is written row-by-row using US terms; it includes many step by step photos, optional diagrams and a conversion chart to UK terms.

Caribbean Sea Inspired - Crochet Mermaid Blanket Pattern by IraRott

I hope you will enjoy making this colorful blanket as much as I did.

Restoring Missing PDFs in iBooks

You know for a fact that you have a specific PDF pattern saved in your iBooks….and suddenly you are missing some files! If that happened to you after an IOS update, no need to panic, these files can be easily recovered from iCloud in 3 simple steps. If you have multiple Apple devices connected to the same ID (example – iPhone & iPad), I would recommend to go through these steps on all devices at the same time.

STEP 1:

Close iBooks app & go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud
Scroll down to find iBooks icon and switch the green slider to the OFF position.

STEP 2:

Wait about 20+ seconds….NO rush or it won’t work! Now reset your device. For example, if you have an iPad —> press & hold the Home button + Power button at the same time until you see the Apple logo.

STEP 3:

Once your device is reset & ready to use, go again to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud & turn the slider for iBooks back to ON position (it should be green).

iBooks Files Recovery - Missing PDF Patterns

Now open your app and the missing files should be restored from iCloud. If you still do not see missing files, tap on “Collections” at the very top of the screen and make sure that you see “All Books” & the “Hide iCloud Books” is in the OFF position.

iBooks Files Recovery - Missing PDF Patterns

DISCLAIMER:

This article is based on my personal experience; please understand that I do not have answers for different app-related issues. There might be different reasons for similar issues and different ways to fix them. I am not a certified specialist, you can contact Apple support if you need additional help with Apple product.

IraRott Pattern Testing Call – 2018

January is finally here & we are looking forward to a great year ahead. As I have previously mentioned, about once a year we invite new crafters to join our testing team on Facebook. If you think you would be interested in testing IraRott® patterns, please send us your application through the form below.

I wish we could accept everyone, but unfortunately our vacancies are limited. I hope you understand that it’s impossible to reply personally to each application, but I will read them all very carefully, so please make sure to send us much information as possible including links where we can see examples of your work. If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation of your acceptance by email with further instructions.


APPLICATION: CLOSED!


POST UPDATE: January 14 / 2018

Thank you everyone for applying, we have received over 100 applications within less than 24 hours & we will review them next week. This testing call is now closed.

Happy 2018 from IraRott Inc.

We are ready to say goodbye to 2017 and looking forward to the new adventures in 2018. What a great year it has been, thank you everyone for your support, kind feedback & encouragement.

NEW PATTERNS:

In 2017 we have created, tested, and published 17 new crochet patterns, you can find them all on our site at IraRott.com: Sassy the Kitty Rug, John the Canadian Bear, Baa-Baa Easter Lamb Rug, Rusty the Giraffe Rug, Rusty the Giraffe Security Blanket, Chip the Chimpanzee Rug, Rusty the Giraffe Blanket, Sunrise Seashells Wavy Scarf, Rusty the Giraffe Big Amigurumi, Josefina & Jeffery Elephant Big Amigurumi, Inky the Octopus Rug, Josefina & Jeffery Elephant Blanket, Bubbles the Turtle Rug, Sassy the Kitty Hat, Eh Moose Rug, Eh Moose Big Amigurumi, Sophia the Unicorn Rug.

New Pattern Publications in 2017 by IraRott

PATTERN UPDATES:

We have also updated some of the previously designed patterns, please check out the list below to make sure you have not missed the latest updates:

  1. Ivory Dream Christening Gown (Jan 31, 2017)
  2. Foxy the Fox Hooded Blanket (Feb 24, 2017)
  3. Snappy Simon Crocodile Sleeping Bag (Feb 27, 2017)
  4. Plutonian Paul Hooded Blanket (Feb 28, 2017)
  5. Josefina & Jeffery Elephant Rug (Aug 11 & Oct 11, 2017)
  6. Tea Time Pumpkin Coaster (Sept 24, 2017)
  7. Fluffy the Classic Bear Hat (Oct 2, 2017)
  8. Moxie the Furry Fox Hat (Oct 19, 2017)
  9. Roxy the Forest Fox Hat (Oct 19, 2017)
  10. Moxie & Roxy the Fox Tail (Oct 19, 2017)
  11. Classic Teddy Bear Rug (Nov 11, 2017)
  12. Classic Mini Teddy Bear (Nov 20, 2017)
  13. Floppy The Penguin Rug (Dec 27, 2017)

 

Pattern Updates in 2017 by IraRott

MOST POPULAR PATTERNS:

“Josefina & Jeffery the Elephants” continues to be our most popular theme for the second straight year, followed by John the Canadian Bear Big Amigurumi, Rusty the Giraffe Blanket, Retro Owl Rug, and Pavo the Peacock Rug.

IraRott Most Popular Patterns in 2017

Happy 2018 everyone & happy crafting!

Floppy The Penguin Rug

Wow 2018 is approaching way too fast! Floppy the Penguin Rug Pattern was originally published in 2014 & it has recently been updated, which makes it our final PDF publication in 2017.

Fantastic news, this pattern is now compatible with Bernat Blanket yarn by Yarnspiration, so you can use a single strand of super bulky yarn instead of 3 strands of worsted weight yarn. I love the texture and softness of Bernat Blanket and I am so happy to see how fast their selection of colors is growing! To make this rug from Bernat Blanket yarn, you will need 1 big ball of each color – Coal, White, Pumpkin Spice; you will also need a small amount of medium weight yarn in White & Black for eyes and any color for bow.

Of course, you can still use 3 strands of worsted weight yarn (like Bernat Super Value) following this easy technique to crochet from a single skein of yarn.

Floppy The Penguin Rug PDF Crochet Pattern By IraRott

These adorable floppy feet are so easy to make & assemble with our new instructions. The wings were also simplifies, so the pattern is labeled as EASY instead of intermediate.

Floppy The Penguin Rug PDF Crochet Pattern By IraRott

Other NEW features: Modern Pattern Template (IraRott 2017); Improved diagrams; New step-by-step photos; Conversion chart for UK/US terms; Clickable table of contents & page references throughout.

Floppy The Penguin Rug PDF Crochet Pattern By IraRott

NOTE: Please check your emails for free update if you have purchased this pattern through IraRott.comRavelry, or Craftsy. Dear Etsy customers, you are also eligible for a free update! Unfortunately, Etsy does not have an automated update feature just yet, but we hope they consider adding it in the future as per many of our survey suggestions. At the present time, we are sending Etsy pattern updates manually and by requests only. If you’ve purchased this pattern through our ETSY SHOP, please log in to your Etsy account & send us a message.

Anatomy Of Half Double Crochet Stitches

After our research earlier this year, I have already published 2 articles about classic & self-compensated stitches. The idea behind these 2 crocheting styles is that classic stitches are more slanted than self-compensated, which is the main reason for slanted seams.

Find explanations for Double Crochet stitches (DC) in this article –> Mystery of Slanted Seams and Crochet Stitches.

Find explanations for Single Crochet stitches (SC) in this article –> The Exception That Proves The Rule.

Just like for DC & SC, there are 2 ways to make Half Double Crochet (HDC) using YARN OVER or HOOK OVER methods:

  • CLASSIC HDC: Yarn over, insert the hook into indicated stitch, YARN OVER & pull up a loop (3 loops on the hook); yarn over & pull through all loops on the hook.
  • SELF-COMPENSATED HDC: Yarn over, insert the hook into indicated stitch, HOOK OVER & pull up a loop (3 loops on the hook); yarn over & pull through all loops on the hook.
Classic and Self-Compensated Half Double Crochet

Yarn Over versus Hook Over

Will the “magic” happen if you crochet using self-compensated HDC throughout the project? The answer is “Yes” & “No”.

HDC stitches are slanted about 2 times more compared to other stitches due to its unique construction. The extreme slanting is caused by pulling working yarn through 3 loops on the hook (loop + yarn over + loop) rather than working through the pairs of loops. Let’s look at some examples: In the picture below you can see that the seam of the Classic HDC hat base has 30° slanting angle, while the seams of the Classic SC & DC hat bases have only 15° slanting angle.

HDC slanting compared to SC and DC

Slanting Angle of Classic Stitches – HDC compared to SC and DC

Self compensated stitches will only compensate about 15° slanting angle. Which means you can manage to make a straight seam for SC or DC hat base, but that compensation is not enough to straighten up a seam in HDC hat base (see example below).

Classic HDC vs Self Compensated HDC

Slanting Angle – Classic HDC compared to Self Compensated HDC

Conclusion:

YES” – HOOK OVER method will compensate slanting for the same amount in all kinds of stitches – SC, HDC, DC (approximately 15°angle).

NO” – HOOK OVER method will not compensate 100% of the extreme slanting in HDC stitches.

How to avoid slanted HDC seams?

You can probably find many ideas regarding this issue, but here are the easiest 2 methods to avoid slanted HDC seams:

  1. TURN after every joined round if you make something with stripes. In this case the extreme slanting will be compensated by the same amount of slanting when you work each round in the opposite direction.
  2. Work in SPIRAL rounds without joining if you do not have color changes. When there is no seam – there is no visible slanting!

Some interesting facts…

Unlike any other crochet stitches, HDC has 3 bars on top of the stitch that create a set of double-sided  V’s. The first row of front-facing V’s is pointing in the clockwise direction (or counterclockwise direction for left-handed) & the second row of back-facing V’s is pointing in the counterclockwise direction (or clockwise direction >for left-handed). Each set of front & back-facing V’s has 1 mutual bar in the middle. The front-facing V is always the one that is on right side (RS) or the work.

Front and Back Facing V - Right Hand

RIGHT HANDED Front and Back Facing V

Front and Back Facing V - Left Hand

LEFT HANDED Front and Back Facing V

To make a regular Classic or Self-Compensated HDC, we normally insert the hook under the 2 bars of the front-facing V. However, you can also improvise and create different textures by inserting the hook differently. Here are some examples and what you should know:

  • You can insert the hook under all 3 bars of HDC. This will create an unusual & very nice texture with relatively straight seam. In the example below I used HOOK OVER method (Self-Compensated HDC). Keep in mind, that your gauge will vary from the regular HDC when you insert the hook under 2 front bars.
Self Compensated HDC

Self Compensated HDC – Hook Under 3 Bars

  • You can also insert the hook under the third back-facing bar, leaving the front-facing V unworked. This method is also called “HDC in the third loop” & it creates a gorgeous knit-like texture. In the example below I used HOOK OVER method (Self-Compensated HDC) & I worked in spiral rounds without joining. The gauge will be similar to regular HDC widthwise, but shorter lengthwise…so you might need to add extra rounds.
HDC in Third Loop Method

HDC in Third Loop Method

HDC in Third Loop Method

HDC in Third Loop Method

Our article about single crochet (SC) stitches is published >> HERE <<

Our article about double crochet (DC) stitches is published >> HERE <<