Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Crochet Beaded Wrap Bracelet

Beaded wrap using crochet cotton and #6 seed beads

Not a crocheter? Pick up a beaded wrap bracelet in my Etsy shop, The Knitted Fiddle Boutique!

These crocheted wrap bracelets are a perfect instant gratification project! Whip one up in an afternoon and wear it out that evening. Depending on your choice of materials these bracelets will look great with casual attire or more formal wear. 

Step 1: Gather materials.
  • Measuring tape
  • Size 3/1.5mm crochet hook
  • Beading needle
  • 1 large closure bead (a 20 mm donut or 8mm glass bead works well)
  • Approximately 80–100 size 6 seed beads
  • Size 10 crochet thread

Step 2: Measure loosely around your wrist or neck and multiply by the number of wraps desired to determine how long your finished piece should be. 
Example: my wrist is 6.5” and I wanted my bracelet to wrap 5 times so I need a finished length of 32.5”

Step 3: Use a beading needle to string all your beads. You can string extra for safety. Whatever you don’t need can easily be removed from the thread later.

Step 4: Start crocheting!

Chain 17*, slip stitch in 1st chain to form loop.
*This loop will hook over your large closure bead, so adjust number of chain stitches if necessary to accommodate your closure bead.

Chain 1, [chain 1 with bead, chain 2] repeat until bracelet measures about an inch shorter than desired length, chain 1 with bead, chain 1.

Cut thread and pull through last loop to make a knot.

Using a needle, pull thread through center of closure bead and through last stitch twice.

Wrap thread around base of bead several times and secure.

Finish the beginning loop end by wrapping thread just above loop (before first bead) and securing end by pulling under wraps.

What is “chain 1 with bead”?
To chain 1 with a bead simply slide a bead up thread until it’s snug against the last stitch you made. From here work a chain stitch as you normally would being careful not to let the bead get pulled through the loop.

Wrap bracelets are available at The Knitted Fiddle Boutique

Monday, January 2, 2012

Brava Worsted Yarn Review

Comfort Zone in Brava Worsted "Cobblestone Heather"
Rating: **** (4 out of 5 stars)

Knit Picks Brava Worsted Yarn
Content: 100% Premium Acrylic
Weight: Worsted
Yardage: 219 yards (199 meters)
Grams: 100 grams
Care: Machine wash / Tumble dry low

Knitting Gauge: 4.5 sts = 1”
Recommended Needle Size: 7/4.5mm – 8/5mm needles
Crochet Gauge: 11 – 14 sc = 4”
Recommended Hook Size: I – K hooks

Number of Colors: 30
Price: $2.99 / Ball

Manufacturers Description: 
“Versatility meets affordability; Brava is a 100% acrylic yarn that will keep up with all of life’s adventures! Brava Worsted is a hard-wearing medium weight yarn that works wonders for projects where durability and easy-care is a must. With so much flexibility and a wonderful range of bright and vibrant colors, you will find endless possibilities for Brava Worsted. Make hats and scarves to show support for your favorite sports team, gift baby blankets and garments that new parents are sure to love, or simply use Brava Worsted for your charity projects.”

Brava Worsted Review
First impression: It’s soft! Definitely a nice feeling acrylic. Nothing like regular old Red Heart and not irritatingly shiny like Super Soft yarns. For an acrylic it’s a really nice yarn. I was pleasantly surprised at the first touch.

Use Brava yarns (it comes in sport, worsted, and bulky) for babies and children’s items as well as accessories, home decor items (it would be great for afghans!), and garments for non-knitters who might be unfamiliar with natural fiber care. Heck, use it for knits for yourself as well and give yourself a break from handwashing!

Brava Worsted comes in 30 colors! I love this. It’s important for a versatile yarn to be available in a wider range of colors otherwise the versatility might as well be null and void. The only comment I have on Brava’s colors is that I wish there were a few more heathers thrown in the mix. There are 2 grays, 2 browns, and a blue heather. It’s a good start. A purple, red, and green heather would have been nice to see to add depth to the crayon box.

Working With Brava Worsted
I enjoyed my experience working with Brava. It doesn’t “squeak” like a lot of 100% acrylics. Someone with less experience working with fine yarns probably wouldn’t even notice this, but there is a very faint “crunch” to the way Brava moves across the needles. (I use Knit Picks Harmony wood needles.) I pointed that out purely for honesty’s sake. The subtle crunch of the yarn didn’t interfere with my knitting speed or enjoyment. I could see it becoming a problem knitting the fabric more densely than I was, but that’s what the recommend gauge and needle size is there for. 

For an acrylic I like it. I love color selection and there’s plenty to choose from with Brava, so finding the perfect shade shouldn’t be an issue. 

Patterns Using Full Circle Bulky
Comfort Zone Mitts

*The yarn in this review was received complimentary from the manufacturer for test knitting & designing purposes. Reviewer was not otherwise paid, contracted, or obligated to review the yarn or product in this review.