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Florence top with straps

Hook: 3 mm
Yarn: Cotton, superfine/size 1. Link to a cheap yarn with lots of pretty colors here (affiliate).

  1. Follow pattern for Florence top – but instead of sc use hdc stitches. The fit and drape will be different. You can of course also use sc as the pattern.
  2. Finish the top as the pattern says, now measure your measurement over your shoulder – from armpit to armpit, see video here for guide to how to measure. Of course you can also try on the top as you go!
  3. Now place your top flat as pictured above. Insert your hook in the side with a slip stitch and repeat the stitches for the body until you have the strap with you want.
  4. Crochet back and forth until you have your measurement or until you have the length you want.
  5. Slip stitch into the opposite side of the top, repeat the same with the other side.
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Olivia Striped Dress

Hook: 6 mm
Yarn: BLUE: 2 strands of superfine/size 1 cotton (50 g = 169 m), OFF WHITE: 2 strands of superfine/size 1 in Tencel/Lyocell yarn (50 g = 141 m) and GREEN: 1 strand of size 3/DK/worsted cotton, viscose and linen blend (50 g = 120 m).
LINK TO YARN: Click here, here and here for yarn + yarn alternatives (affiliate)
I used 355 g for my size M/L.

Stripes: The stripes are made randomly. I change color the following way: on the last stitch of the round I switch colors before pulling the yarn through for the last time. Make sure to mark the start of your round to know when to change color.

SKIRT

1. You will need to follow the pattern Olivia dress to make this. Follow the pattern and see my measurement example in the pattern. Make sure to always try the first row around your hip to see how it fits.

2. The stripes are made randomly – a good tip: alternate between the colors and make 1 or 2 rows of white between the darker colors – this will make it stand more out and blend less into each other. I did not break off the yarn, I just left it and picked it up whenever I needed that color. You still crochet in the same direction, just make sure to mark the beginning of your round so you know when to change color.



BACK OPENING

3. For the back opening you will need to break off the yarn (you only need to do this if you make stripes, otherwise follow the pattern).

4. Place the dress so the beginning of the round is on the side, this way it will be less visible on the front/back. Then mark out the measurement for the back on the middle of the round.

5. Insert your hook with 1 slip stitch and 1 chain from the wrong side in your first mark and make the back.

6. Try on the dress, when you reach the middle of your bust, make twice as many decreases than before.

7. Continue until you reach your collarbone/neck. Finish with 1 row of hdc in white (or the color you want) Now chain for the strap.

STRAPS

8. Chain 70, ss back over the chains. Crochet hdc down the side, over the back opening and up to the other side, chain for the second strap and break off the yarn.

9. Insert your hook with 1 slip stitch in the edge of the back opening (around where your waist would be or below your bust, depending on what you prefer – try on the dress and hold it how you want it to be tied).

10. Tightly chain until you have about 80-100 chains. I only used 1 strand of superfine/size 1 yarn – but you can also make the strap thicker by using two strands.

11. That’s it! Remember to tag @mati_denmark and hashtag #OliviaDress if you share photos of your creation on social media!

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Bias Keri skirt

Hook: 3 mm
Yarn: 100% lyocell yarn. Size 1/superfine. Brand: Tencel. Bought at Kvickly
Stitches: Double crochet

  1. Follow the pattern for Keri skirt but use double crochet instead.
  2. When you reach the beginning of your slit increase twice as often, with the same number of stitches as the pattern states.
  3. Thereby making double the amount of increase to get a more flared skirt. 
  4. Finish the skirt as the pattern states with the elastic waist band.

Tip: You can use the skirt as a dress as seen below.

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Ellie shorts guide

Hook: 6 mm
Yarn: Size 4/aran/worsted. Find yarn here (affiliate)
Stitches: Single crochet in back loop and half double crochet.

  1. Follow the Ellie shorts pattern and use the same measurements as describes. I made mine short – but just make sure the full length is longer than the crotch length.
  2. When doing the decreasing on the crotch and the hips, you are going to decrease less. I decreased about half as many stitches per row than the pattern says. Sometimes I only decreases 1/3.
  3. As the pattern is quite intuitive it won’t matter if you on some rows make less decreases than on others – just as long as front and front have the same stitches when you end the panel (and back and back have the same stitches at the end of the decreasing).
  4. For the waist. You are going to make half double crochet stitches through both loops. I made approximately 1-2 hdc per single crochet row – but just make sure to spread them out so you are not increasing on the waist band.
  5. You do the same as in the pattern, but you don’t insert elastic at the end – just make a small opening inside the waistband so you can insert a waist tie.
  6. Sew the waistband close and then use a safety pin to weave the waist tie into the waistband.
  7. Use this tutorial for the waist tie.
  8. Then weave the waist tie out through the stitches on the front and middle of the shorts.

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When Crocheting Turns Toxic

NOTICING THE SIGNS…

If you are like me, crocheting can turn into a stressful activity and make you get stuck in your head, drifting away from the present moment and out of your body – this can lead to dissociating where you shut down your body and emotions, feel numb, lose track of time and neglect doing other things during the day because crocheting takes up everything.

Dissociating can be good in smaller doses and it is something most people recognise – have you ever read a book and drifted totally away from your life and into this story? But if it happens too much or all the time it can lead to feeling disconnected and losing touch with yourself and even forgetting to breathe.

For me not being present when crocheting looks like this:


– Thinking about how the item is gonna look
– Forgetting to breathe
– Fixating on visualizing putting on the item/ weaving in the last end/making the last stitch
– Thinking about where to take photos, what to wear with the item
– Crocheting way too fast to reach the goal quicker
– Worrying about wheter or not the item will look good/fit
– Neglecting other areas like eating, drinking, bathroom breaks, socializing or even personal hygiene.

It’s not that it’s bad to sometimes think or act in this way. Visualizing and having a goal is also important, but when it takes over it can turn crocheting into something toxic and even an addiction.

But often this overwhelms me with all the things that needs to be done to get the item done, I’ll become too fixated on finishing the project rather than being present, being in the Now – and therefore be mindful about the process.


IT’S NOT ENOUGH, SO I RUSH.

My problem is that I get a feeling of urgency, I feel that was is here now is not enough, I think that it will be better once I’m done with the project. And I feel this lingering feeling of not having enough hours in the day, I am behing and time is running out for me, so I rush.

Then today while sitting with my crochet and thinking these thoughts I looked over at my herb table where I have planted seeds in soil. No sprouts are visible. I started to think, that I can focus on watering the soil and giving it enough sunlight – focus on the need of the seeds day by day, or I could get fixated on the future — when the herb table is filled with green herbs. Then I thought, but then you’ll pick the herbs – and then there will be no more herbs left, the soil will be empty again – no seeds and no sprouts and I’ll have to sow again and it all starts over. And I could see how this related to my crocheting and addiction to it and to always being one step ahead, not really enjoying the Now.


UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSE


Being constantly in the future prevents me from living. It tells me that something better is just around the corner. The same phenomenon happens when I go into a PTSD flashback, just the other way around; I feel that danger is lurking around every corner and I can’t be present.

I like to notice why I’m having difficulty being present. Writing this now is an attempt to do just that – be present about why I can’t be present today. Notice what I feel and why I might feel that way.

Often it stems from feeling of mistrust and uncertainty about me and my life, so drifting off into the future becomes an escape into “something better”, where the tasks are done, the kitchen is clean, my hair is washed, my bank account has more money etc.

CAN BE A TRAUMA SYMPTOM

Escaping into the future can be a life saver if you have experienced trauma, this is what saves you, if something bad is happening to you and the pain of being in the moment is worth than dying. Then it’s a relief to drift away in your mind, to avoid experiencing the pain in the present.

Mindfulness and being present can’t be forced. You can’t do anything to become mindful, it’s actually more about not doing.

If you’re doing a lot, racing through your projects, thinking ahead all the time, rushing around and trying to reach the finish line, you’ll continue to race. Because it’s not about the things and the race, it’s because of something happening right now that you are fleeing from. But know, that it’s okay to flee, understanding the “why” is so crucial in both being aware of what is happening and being able to change it.

When I can’t see a clear cause to my stress I notice that it’s just because that’s what my brain has been taught – even though there is no danger in the present. I have been used to driving on a road of fear and stress and it’s what it has known most. I need to create another road aswell, a road of more peace and being, so I have a contrast to the old road.



LEARNING TO TAKE MY TIME
Sometimes I just need to put the work away to do (or not do) something else completely. Brew some tea, watch a comedy series, go for a walk, breathe. I think it is also about appreciating what is here and now – even if what is here and now is an unfinished project. Think about maybe sharing your unfinished project and romanticizing the process more than the product.

Today I’m practising to tell myself “There is nothing to do”. Everything that is happening or that “needs to get done” will get done in its own, I can’t force it – well I can, but I won’t like it. I’m enough and I’ve done enough.

And sometimes it’s my fear talking, it’s the fear of not earning enough money to provide for myself, the fear of being forced to do a regular job that will slowly kill me, the fear of being trapped in an enviornement that is not good for me.
I sometimes think, that if I can just do and do at 200 km/h, then I can relax for a few days.

No! I can relax and still earn money. Just as the days I’ve been the most productive I don’t sell a single product. And yes it’s uncertain and I don’t know how the future will look, and that’s okay. I can take my time, I have time, I don’t need to rush, I’m enough. I’m really enough.


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Chunky Etna top

Hook: 10 mm (beige top) or 6 mm (grey top)
Yarn: Size 8/super bulky/14 ply, wool, 50 g = 50 m (I used 90 grams)
Or size 4/aran/worsted, cotton, 50 g = 125 m.
Click here or here for the yarn I used (affiliate).

Follow pattern for Etna top but make half as many decreases. For the grey top crochet use single crochet instead.

For the straps: chain 80 (or 10 for the grey top) and crochet hdc slip stitches: Yarn over, hook through chain, yarn over, pull through stitch and all loops. Repeat through the remaining chains.

For elastic back:

For the straps only chain 40 (70 for the grey top). Repeat the hdc slip stitch above.

Cut a piece of 5 mm elastic that measures about 20 cm. Attach to both sides of the top with safety pin. With a 4 mm hook crochet single crochet around the elastic until it covers it. Sew in the elastic. Use this tutorial.

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Holly bucket hat

  • Follow the Holly hat pattern and use single crochet
  • Use 4 mm hook and 2 strands of superfine/size 1 cotton
  • When you reach the increases on the brim, only increase half as much as increase randomly. (depending on the stitches you use, you increase either 4, 5 or 6 stitches per round)
  • When you have the length you want, finish and break off the yarn.

Other tips for Holly hat:
– If you want a smooth circle make sure to just increase randomly.

– If you want a pointy edge (to the brim as well), mark every other increase (every other point) that you made on your last increase round that you made before making the actual tube. This way you know when to increase when you start the brim (as the increase is made in the same stitch on each round).

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Sporty Doanna Top

  • Follow Doanna top
  • Only subtract 20 cm from Measurement 1
  • Straps and edge is made in different color
  • Straps: 135 chains/49 cm, followed by hdc ss into every chain (tutorial here)
  • Edge: hdc stitches (1 per row)
  • Then make a cowl neck by sewing the front of the top, on the wrong side (tutorial here)
  • Finally take a piece of 5 mm wide elastic (10 cm in length).
  • Follow my elastic tutorial here, and crochet with hdc around the elastic. Sew each side in place (where your first decrease rows begin)
  • Now you’re done!