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Speckled Knit Sweater

My latest sweater was made holding a strand of Vanna’s yarn by Lions Brand Yarn and a strand of Arne and Carlos striped sock yarn. I used the free pattern on Knitty.com for the Rainbow Sleeve Sweater. Instead of knitting long sleeves, I made them cap sleeves. Turned out the perfect length and style for my Southern California brisk with some sunshine winter weather.

Now please don’t ask me what the color lots of the yarn were, because I have no idea. You see, I began the sweater about 2 years ago or so, coming back to it in between of completing everything else.

Seriously there were months when La Serena Tejera orders, my regular job writing assignments and mother, wife and household stuff didn’t leave with enough time to stitch a row or two on this sweater.

And yet, it waited for me to turn my attention to it, and I am so glad that I finally did. Unfortunately it took one really bad bout of a migraine that forced me to stay put two long days and finish it, but like all difficult and painful journeys, there can be a rainbow. If you look for it.

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Doty Cardigan is So Me!

The Doty Cardigan I made using All About Ami’s pattern and Lions Brand Yarn “Color Made Easy” in Avocado , was just a blast ! A true, unequivocal joy.

The pattern by All About Ami was easy to understand and follow. The semi bulky Lions Brand Yarn stitched up super quick. In no time at all I had this super cozy, on trend, fashion forward but slow fashion cardigan.

I’ve been wearing it over my For My Homegirls tee and leggings as I work in the studio. And it’s been a perfect clothing item to throw on while coming out of the yoga and pilates studio.

All in all, the Doty Cardigan by All About Ami, made in Lions Brand Yarn has been a perfect addition to my slow fashion 2020 wardrobe.

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Love2Bloom Flower Tutorial

Hello, many moons ago I crocheted my heart out making children’s clothing. Inspired by the items my own grandmother made me while I was a child, I made items that were colorful, useful, and always had a flower.

For the tutorial on how to make this bloom, go see my original post at Love2Bloom.

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Knit Ripple Cropped Top is Finished!!!!

I finished the Jessie Mae Design Ripple Cropped Top this past weekend. You can read my first update here.

The last stitches cast off of this delightful project were completed at the beach on one of the final shared days of Summer I had with family.

Throughout the Summer I came back to this sweater after long and busy days launching La Serena Tejera Store and working on incoming shop orders or during the day at coffee shops around L.A. in between writing assignments.

This sweater was my Summer knit project.

In early September, I travelled with my family to Hawaii to support the people protecting Mauna Kea and I decided not to take any knitting with me.

Knitting for me is an escape. A place I go to when I want to distance my mind from all the noise of the world. In Hawaii, this year, I wanted my mind not to have anywhere to go but to stay present with what was going on the Mauna and to stand strong with the people that stand protecting the Aina.

I am not Hawaiian. I am Mexican American with a drop or two of Apache Mescalero. But because of the cultural history my grandmother and father taught me about our family’s history, I feel in my soul the Hawaiian peoples current struggle on Mauna Kea. It is similar. The pain, the lost, the joy of what the land gives and our responsibility to protect it. So, I took no knitting with me to Mauna Kea. No distractions wanted. Just a deeply felt presence and connection between the people and the land or aina or tierra.

And so upon my return back to L.A. my hands were on fire with a need to knit. To pour into yarn via knitting needles the gratitude for community and the heartbreak of watching the same issues of separation whether that be between man and land or mother and child being relived over and over and over.

On my first night back in my tiny home, privileged to be able to hear my child’s sleeping breathes in the room next to mine, I knit. And I knit and knit and knit.

The sweater is done. It was a lovely pattern. I chose to make the sleeves a bit shorter. Overall, I love it, but for more reasons than that the pattern was well designed, versatile, size inclusive, anti-ageist, and easy to follow, which it was.

I will forever associate this sweater with that last beautiful day of Summer 2019 at the beach with my family; those weeks of not knitting upon one of the highest mountains in the world and; being present and alive enough to know how very privileged I am that I am still able.

Able to stand with others. Able to choose not to knit. Able to choose to knit. Able to love. Able. That is what this Ripple Cropped Top makes me feel. Able.

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Knit Rippled Crop Top

Okay. So it’s true. Here is my confession.

I am a slow knitter. And I don’t know whether it is due to my newness to the hobby, the way I hold needles and yarn or the way my brain is wired to slooooow the f$%* down when I sit and knit.

If you watched me knit it would be like watching a turned down to the max slow motion video. So slow, don’t gasp because that’ll make me lose my stitch count cadence, slow.

But I love to knit and I am continually falling in love with all the patterns and all the yarns and all the new TV shows I watch while knitting. Yes, I’m a polyanna, hobbit like kind of knitter. Escaping the often ugly and unkind realities of today’s state of politics with a knitting project, or two, or three because there is alot to escape from these days.

The Rippled Crop Top by JessieMaed is one that I have been working on this Summer.

It is such a needed reprieve from the brain gymnastics of the colorwork sweater I have had in my bag since ohhhhh January. I love this pattern and the way it is working up.

I started the Rippled Crop Top in May with yarn that I had bought in San Francisco for a scarf. Of course, I didn’t buy enough and had to go on a yarn internet hunt for one more skein, which I happily found.

The pattern by JessieMae, who is on Ravelry is a dream to understand. Easy technique and a rib stitch that is easy to memorize and go to town with. Her other designs are too cute and come in a wide variety of sizes, which is very cool.

I recently finished the front and I am now working on the back at night after work with my favorite snacks and current tv show obsession.

I just love working that rib stitch and seeing how the variations of the yarn I am using blend together.

And the best part is because of the yarn weight or stitch, my mistakes aren’t as noticeable as they would be if I dropped a stitch in a color work project. Or, so I think.

Well, that’s it for now, I’ll post again once this top is done.

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Crochet Zipper Notions Bag

Love my big project tote bags but can not stand all the small little chingaderas that accumulate at the bottom. Like random crochet hooks, needle point covers, stitch markers, a pair of scissors, and on and on. Yuck, right??!!??!

A few years back I found myself with an extra afghan square from a CAL I had participated in and so I made a small zippered bag with it. Today, I keep my pens, pencils, travel watercolor palettes in it.

But with the looks at the bottom of my knit tote bag, I need to make myself another for all those knit and crochet notions I carry around.

Here is the pattern for the crochet zippered pouch, I wrote up for Love2Bloom. It’s still free, easy to follow, and stitches up quick.

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Crochet Shrug Pattern

I know exactly what you are thinking. Just what the world needs, another crochet pattern for a shrug. And what in the world is a shrug, besides a quick raise of ones’s shoulders accompanied by a smirk and a roll of one or two eyeballs?

Yeah, I get you. I hear you. But hear me out on this one. Better another crochet pattern for the less than a full cardigan, than for some blog rant that lacks positivity, nicety and civility, which these days we have, in my opinion, way too much of. So, yes, in my opinion, this pattern for another humble fiber spun crochet shrug is just what the world needs now. More than ever. 

And before anyone points out the obvious. I understand that another crochet pattern won’t solve the worlds problems, mend broken relationships or heal hearts. But what it will do, is allow you to make something with your own two hands and I am a firm believer that when one makes something with one’s own two hands, something other worldly happens in the heart, psychic and spirit. A healing of sorts.

Too woo woo California for you? Well, yeah that’s me. La Serena Tejera in all my glory. I can dig the mystic good and healing vibes that creating gives a person. I can dig it daddy – o’s and mama-o’s. Can you? 

And if you can, here is the simple humble pattern for the incredible, slightly mystical crochet shrug. Similar patterns, free and paid, alike, abound on the internet and you can find probably a more professional rendition on the internet. But this here is mine, quirks and all.

Crochet Shrug

Hook “G”

Some yarn, maybe a skein, maybe half, maybe more.

Start with a crochet chain. I chained 95 for a size that would fit me ( bust size 36-38) or 27 inches.

Double crochet in second chain from hook skipping every other stitch. ( ex: double crochet, skip one chain, dc in next stitch)

Reach end and turn.

Double crochet into spaces. Single crochet. Double crochet into space. Repeat * * until you reach the end. Turn.

Repeat the above until you have a good size rectangle. I stopped at 13 inches in height for me but you can go shorter or longer, depending on your preference.

Stitch up the sides for the arm holes, ( 7 inches from edge) weave in ends and you’ve made a relatively easy clothing piece to wear.

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Crochet Gift Tag Pattern

I was looking through the stuff I had made years ago and I stumbled upon these pretty little gift tags.

Simple, quick and cute. My kind of craft. Here is where you can find the pattern with step by step pictures and written instructions.

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Peak Crochet Tank Top

Since I live in Southern California, once the weather warms up, it’s hard to wear all the wooly things that I’m making. Yet with the weather being bonkers and the heat and humidity just starting this month in Southern California, I was able to keep putting on the wool all the way into late July. Kooky, but true.

And then the heat struck and thank goodness for this crochet wonder top. I’m calling it a wonder due to the simple free pattern by Anna Erlandsson, amount of yarn it took, quickness, and what a joy it was to make.

Yet, the Peak Tank Top was true and loyal as it flew off my hook. I loved working it up and I loved how the finished piece came out.

In hindsight, I wonder if it was such a joy because crochet comes easier to me than knitting. I have about 4 knit wip’s that just won’t come off the needles, no matter the devotion I pour into them.

The pattern is very easy to download from Ravelry. You can find it here. The directions are written simply and the crochet stitches used are for the beginner and expert,alike.

I used two balls of cotton yarn from Lilly that I purchased at Michaels. At first I thought the yarn, would come out too stiff and that I would end up looking like one of my crochet kitchen dishcloths. But it wasn’t stiff, at all, once I spent a wee bit of time prepping it.

This is what I did to make this great buy of a yarn more pliable. I unravelled each ball of yarn and soaked it in warm water with fabric softener for 40 minutes or so. After, I rinsed it, hung it to dry and round it up. True, prepping the yarn was sort of a pain but I didn’t mind once my tank top was done.

This cute Summer Tank Top cost me nothing to make since I had all the materials. I figure if I had bought the yarn, it would have ended up costing me a little under $5.00. Indeed, summertime and the living is easy.

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Shop Update – August 9, 2019

¡Hola!

Lots of ruido y movimiento at my little shop.

1. Logo Stickers – $4.00 /each

2. Caritas Stitch Markers – $8.00/set

New Shop Category: Comidas y Bebidas

These are sold in sets of 4 or 2, except for the Concha Pan Dulce, which is sold individually. You have the option to make them knitting or crochet stitch markers. You can also choose to make 2 knitting and 2 crochet. Selections for your preferences are in the options section, as you check out.

3. Comidas Stitch Markers Set / set of 4 ( one of each-polvoron,taco,frijole,y concha)

4. El Frijol Stitch Markers / set of 4 – $10.00

4. Taco Stitch Markers: $8.00/set of 2

5. Polvoron Trebol Stitch Markers – $10.00/set of 4

6. Concha Pan Dulce – $ 5.00 / for 1

Una last palabra.

If you think my prices are high for stitch markers, please consider that each item is handsculpted by me. I do not buy charms in mass, repackage them and resell them as my own creations. I make everything myself.

No two stitch markers are alike and there will be slight variations in what you see pictured and what you receive, but very slight. I am not a machine and thus the items you receive are free from cookie cutter machinations. ¡ Arriba Handmade!

Stickers in my shop are printed from original digital art I have drawn. The printers who print the waterproof vinyl stickers for me are based in the U.S.A. And if not now, were once a small based business, too , and why I chose to work with them.

My Tee-Public shop is the only way I can afford to sell my artwork on items such as totes, mugs, phone cases, etc. Tee-Public manufactures and mails items sold from my Tee-Public shop for me, an independent artist. For every sale, I receive a small % of the sale. Maybe some day I can afford to print my own shirts and mugs, in-house. But for now, no tengo dinero para eso.

My online shop that sells Knit and Crochet notions is separate from the Tee-Public platform shop that sells my artwork on mugs, totes and tees.

Okay, I hope that answers any questions. Pero si tienen otras, send me a DM on Instagram @la_serena_tejera_shop Pues, thank you y gracias. My shops are open and I welcome your business.

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Crochet Flower Coaster

If there is one thing I can’t stand are water/ drink rings on a table.

Is my house free of water rings? Nope. But that is not for a lack of try, on my part, to stop them from popping up around my house.

It seems as if I am always stitching up crochet coasters and placing them in convenient but inconspicuous spots around my little casita. Hint, hint, gente linda who share my house with me, use a coaster.

To be honest, on a last check around the house, I see no round squiggly water rings. It’s about time. 20 years to be exact. Not complaining, just grateful my little crochet rounds are finally being put to use.

Here is the pattern I follow. I wrote this free pattern a few years back. It’s based on an early crochet lesson from my granny. I sometimes add the flower petal finishing round and sometimes just keep it is an undecorative round.

I use the inexpensive cotton yarn, Lilly Sugar n’ Cream, which I buy at either, Michaels, JoAnns, or Hobby Lobby. They stitch up quick, too. I can make 4 during a 60 minute TV show. That’s a win!

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“As If Tee” Cropped Knit Sweater – “Ya Estuvo! – It’s Done!

The As If Tee, knitting pattern by Shay Johnson was the easiest knitting pattern I have ever tackled. I absolutely love the way it came out.

It stitched up in no time and it was a joy to watch the bodice section and mohair mesh part come together. The pattern’s directions are easy to follow. I made it in a size medium with my bust measuring 36 inches. I kept it the length called for in the pattern, but could easily envision this as a tunic in black or a wine color, worn with tights for the Fall.

I was drawn to this cropped sweater because it had such a modern look to it, but also because living in Southern California, I tend to favor lighter knitwear designs that I can wear when the weather warms up, as well as when it’s a bit cooler.

The As If Tee is a perfect wardrobe staple, all year round. It lends itself well if you lean towards a more eclectic yarn color scheme or a more muted classic color scheme. The yarn I used for the bodice section was from The Neighborhood Fiber Co. and the mohair section of the sweater was from Shibui Knits.

The sweater is very versatile and why it is fast becoming a favorite in my wardrobe rotation. I have worn it casually and dressed up. On a casual stroll along the pier or to a board of directors meeting under a suit jacket, the sweater is comfortable and adds that uniqueness in a clothes item, that I seek. I certainly plan on making another for myself. At least one more, maybe two. You can purchase the pattern, here.

Too Early For a DIY Fall Wreath? Nah!!!!!

I was recently rummaging through pics on my laptop, trying to clear space and came across a diy crochet craft I had done some years ago.

This fall crochet wreath had me running to the garage in search of this wreath. I remember making the tiny acorns and fall color maple leaves way back when. And even though we are in the midst of a typical hot So Cal August, I am hankering to spruce the house up in Fall.

After 25 years of living in our house, I can’t seem to find it in our over-stuffed garage. Didn’t we clean this place out last Fall and how did all this stuff sneak its way back in? But that’s for another post on another day.

Not being able to find it means I’ll just have to make me another wreath. Thank goodness I kept the pattern on the Love2Bloom. If you, too would like to make this wreath, check out the free pattern on the Love2Bloom blog.