Crochet Yoga Mat Strap

It’s amazing how many things you can crochet if you put your mind to it. I needed a strap to carry my yoga mat, but I didn’t particularly care for the velcro-y patterned ones sold at places like Target.

Crocheted yoga mat strap by LorynwithaY

All together it’s only three rows of SC, with one adjustment: on the second row, SC two, chain 3 & skip 3, and then continue your SC until 5 from the other end, then chain 3 & skip 3, then SC two and turn for the final row. This gives you two gaps, one on each end. When you’ve finished and tied off, pull an end through each gap so you have two adjustable loops on each end. Wrap over your mat and enjoy!

I made mine out of jute, but if you want to use a normal yarn without sacrificing strap width, all you need to do is add more rows. Just make sure you do an odd number and the row with the gaps is in the middle.

From blog to fully-functional site

Man, the holidays are crazy. I would like to know whose idea it was to cram so many things into a week. Family visits, cooking, gift-buying, cat-transporting… But now they’re over. And I even managed to finish two books. Two!

One, a classic — Tess of the D’Urbervilles. SO GOOD.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

If you’re into classic lit at all, read it. I gobbled the whole thing in about three days — all 450-odd pages of it.

The other is a perfect candidate for an advertising book review, so I’ll probably write up a post when I get bored in the next couple of weeks (probably).

Continue reading

Antiquing, DIY, and Pinterest Success

Well, I’m all moved back into my dorm! It’s not as small as I remember it, but it’s still lonely and overpriced, so I’m already looking forward to moving into my apartment this summer. My roommate is already living there, so while we were out antiques shopping yesterday, I found this gorgeous winged table and… well, sad to say, I bought it.

Sorry about the photo quality, I didn’t have my camera.

I’m also sorry to say that I don’t regret it. The man who sold it to me told me that it used to belong to an historic family from my college town (he said this after I had run my credit card, so it wasn’t just sale patter!).
  It’s about 3.5 feet in diameter and when it’s fully open, it makes a great dining table for four. When it’s completely folded up, it will be perfect for an entryway. I can tell this is a piece I’m going to hold onto, and for only $75!

Classes haven’t started yet, and work really hasn’t either, so I’ve had to find inexpensive ways to entertain myself, especially after buying that table. Firstly, I finished my rug!

It perfectly complements my dorm-room style and its completion kept me occupied for an entire well-spent afternoon. I highly recommend this project; rugs make any room cozier.

This evening I needed something to keep me busy, so I got on Pinterest. Thanks to Pinterest, I now have a much better way to procrastinate than Facebook!
  I found a tutorial for this very cute crocheted soap scrubby in which I placed a bar of sweet-smelling Aerie soap. I might have to shower tonight instead of in the morning because I can’t wait to test it out!

Adorable. I just love a happy ending.

Easy-peasy T-shirt Rug

I love being on break because when I want to craft, I can. I’m not hindered by classes or work or that essay due in a week that I really should start but lack the willpower. On break, I’ve got glue and fabric and time on my hands, and it’s great. So today when I was struck with the desire to begin a t-shirt rug, I did. And I’m pretty excited about it so far.
  A crocheted t-shirt rug requires a lot of t-shirts and a lot of cutting, so after about an hour I stopped for fear of developing a blister from the scissors, but the rug itself is simple. All you need are some old t-shirts, scissors, and crocheting skills.

The first step is to cut up some t-shirts. I do this by cutting in a spiral, starting at the bottom and working up to the armpits. It doesn’t really matter how neatly you cut, just keep in mind that thin strips will yield a neater-looking rug. I varied mine because I’m going for a carefree-cute-crafty vibe.
  On the first t-shirt I attempted to cut up the whole thing up past the armholes, but it wasn’t worth it. I say just cut until you run into a hole.

You can make your rug rectangular or circular, crocheting with a t-shirt isn’t too different from crocheting with yarn. If you choose, you can go buy a huge crocheting needle that’s great for projects like this, or you can do like me and crochet with your fingers. It’s surprisingly easy.

This is my rug after an hour of work. There’s hardly anything to it! I’m not counting row numbers, but after the initial magic circle, I crocheted one row of two stitches in each stitch and then continued with alternating one and two stitches in each. My rug just now started to crinkle on the edges so I’ve switched to one stitch in each, and I’m just going to keep adapting that as I go. I can’t wait to have this in my dorm next semester!

Also, I would like to share a really awesome thrifting find. I usually don’t look for shoes in thrift stores, but when I saw this pair at Goodwill I couldn’t resist.

They’re just my size, genuine leather, and 100% hipster! I paid $8 for them and wore them the very next day. This, my friends, is why I thrift.

Ah-dorable Crocheted Elephants

Pinterest is truly a gift from the Internet gods. Before I left school, I found this super cute elephant pattern by blogger Dawn Toussaint. My youngest sister is obsessed with elephants, so I decided to make her one for Christmas. It turned out to be much easier than expected, and everybody complimented me on the results. One of my cousins loved it so much I decided to make one for her as well.

The pink one is my sister’s, and the blue one is going to my cousin. The first elephant took me about three days, but the blue one went much faster and I finished it in less than one.

Aren’t they charming? If you’re looking for an awesome crocheting project, I highly recommend making one of these little guys. Happy New Year!

Christmas Camera Pouch

Merry Christmas, everyone! For Christmas this year my parents gave me a camera, a very cute orange Canon Powershot, and I love it. The first thing I did when I opened the camera (after thanking my parents profusely, of course!) was pull out my yarn and hook to make a little case for it while the battery was charging. I took pictures to share, of course.

The pouch has a removable internal pouch I handstitched with a bit of fabric.

The entire project took me about 2 hours, from the time I picked up to the yarn to attaching the button. To make the pouch, I created one long strip of double crochets, with the front windows to reveal the fabric pouch, then circled the entire thing with a single crochet to bind the sides together. Super simple, but the result is charming!

Christmas is simply too much for our cat!

Christmas day with my family is traditionally super lazy. We all stay in our comfy clothes and play Christmas movies the whole day. Personally, I’m looking forward to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation later tonight. Happy holidays, y’all!

Crocheting Madness!

Sunday night at about 7:30 I decided I wanted to crochet myself a scarf, so, I hauled my butt to the nearest fabric store (that closed at 8), quickly located and purchased thick yarn and a crochet hook, then rushed home to begin work on a big, bulky, warm, fuzzy scarf.
  Ever since I learned to chain stitch when I was a kid, crocheting has been something that just kinda seizes me in fits. I’ve crocheted several things that I’ll never use, and half of many more. My crowning achievement to date has been a cross-body bag I made with thick hemp cord (without a pattern!).

He just got whacked — focus on the purse!

When I crochet, I tend to just kind of do. I think I use a single stitch most of the time, but after looking at diagrams, I’m really not sure. All I know is that I can usually manipulate the loops to do what I want, and that’s what I did to make this scarf.

It’s a terrible picture, I’m sorry.

I used two different stitches for the scarf. One was my single stitch, where I loop the yarn over the hook, then hook one side of the original chain, and then pull the yarn through. I also used my half stitch for a tighter weave, which is simply hooking one side of the original chain and pulling the new loop through. My fancy stitch is only an extended stitch, where I add a two chain stitches in between two single stitches to make holes in the weave. If you’re actually interested in the technical aspects of this, feel free to comment and I’ll explain better!
  Anyways, there are blocks of the single stitch and the extended stitch, about 8 inches each, and then a fringe on either end, which I made by cutting several pieces of yarn and using a simple hitch knot on every chain. The result? Fabulous! I’m not ashamed to say that I’m thoroughly impressed with myself.
  Yesterday I made a hat with the leftover yarn and gave it to one of my friends. She loved it! I used the single stitch, one row of the extended stitch, and finished it off with a half stitch so the hat would fit snugly on her head.

Isn’t she precious? I wish I could wear hats like this. Adorable!

UPDATE 11/23: After spending two hours in the pre-Thanksgiving mass-consumerism district in my town, I realized I would much rather pay $15 for yarn and spend 12 nonconsecutive hours quietly crocheting than two looking for a scarf. Even if the storebought scarf would have only cost me $5. There’s something to be said for the “hearty work of head or hand” (Louisa May Alcott) that I much prefer to being stuck in traffic or crowded stores. This Black Friday, try making something by hand instead of being trampled to save a few extra dollars. If you must venture out to shop, however, STAY SAFE!!!