#craftblogclub spring gift swap!

The spring challenge for CraftBlogClub was to make thing for a gift swap, using only materials one already had on hand. Having materials on hand was not an issue for me [glances guiltily around the apartment at all the yarn]. Katie Gets Crafty organised us into swap pairs, and Zoe Roberts at Oodlesofcraft was my swap partner.

Zoe lists sewing, knitting, jewelry making, and card making as her crafts of choice on her blog, so I thought it best not to do any of those. I stuck with crochet, which seems to be my main method of using up yarn these days. Since I didn't want to make any assumption about what Zoe liked and get it wrong, I made a few small things, in the hopes that one of them would suit her:

Hairpin lace scarf:

This is more or less the same as the one I made a few months ago, except in three colours instead of one. This time around, I wasn't sure I had enough of one colour to make an entire scarf, so I went with long, vertical strips joined by a contrasting trim. As before, each strip of hairpin lace is 300 loops each side. The edging is sc, ch 1 to give it some weight without being too rigid.

Tawashi

I found out about these from Pinterest recently. By definition, they're small, crocheted or knitted items you can use for scrubbing dishes. The swirled stripes pattern I made is very popular, but there are also ones in the shapes of leaves, rectangles, cartoon characters... they're sort of like practical amigurumi. There are lots of different free patterns floating around for these, but I think this is the one I wound up using.

Tawashi are supposed to be made in cheap acrylic so that they can withstand the rigours of pot-scrubbing, but they're so small and cute I thought they might be nicer for washing one's face. I made them in dishcloth cotton so they could be used either way.

Coasters

Crocheted coasters seem to be having a moment. The day I got the ribbon and other packaging materials for the gift swap, I found some commercially-made ones for sale, and patterns for them seem to be proliferating. Summer's practically here, so I decided to make a set of four for the gift swap as well — the night before I had to mail everything off to make the deadline (oops). They were definitely a last-moment decision, but I made all four in one sitting (2-3 Doctor Who episodes watched on Netflix). They're made from the same dishcloth cotton as I made the tawashi from, and flattened out more after I took these photos. The pin I got the photo from leads to here, but the subsequent link seems to be dead — Etsy just displays a lot of "similar items" which aren't similar at all! I just had a good squint at the photo and figured out a facsimile from there. The pattern as I made it is after the photo:

Four stitch tr cluster: *yo, insert hook in next space, pull up a loop, yo, pull through two loops, repeat from * three more times (5 loops on hook in total), yo, pull through all 5 loops, chain 1 to secure. (US four stitch dc cluster)

round 1: chain 6. Join with slip stitch to form a ring.
round 2: 12 sc in round. Join with slip stitch.
round 3: chain four, *tr (US dc) in next stitch, chain two, repeat from * to end, join to original chain four with a slip stitch.
round 4: chain 2, * make one four stitch tr cluster, chain 2, repeat from * to end, join with slip stitch.
round 5: chain 3, *make one four stitch tr cluster, chain one, repeat from * to end, join with slip stitch. Change to contrast colour if desired.
round 6: chain 1, 2sc in each chain 1 space and one sc over each stitch of previous round. Join with a slip stitch.
round 7: chain 1, sc 2, inc in next st, *sc 5, inc in next st, rep from * around, end with sc 3. Inc should be placed on top of row 5's cluster stitches. Finish off.