Slate Mate – crochet pattern for a tab/Kindle

While I don’t accept a lot of commissions (thanks to a bad experience with an uncouth woman), I do get asked to make something or the other pretty often. If the project won’t take too long and is interesting too, I usually agree. 
Recently, when I was out in South Mumbai with a couple of colleagues I was asked to make a cover for a Kindle, I agreed. The requester didn’t want a fancy design, just something basic and utilitarian. Here is what was created. 

Here is the simple pattern that can be modified to create a cover not just for a Kindle but for any kind of tablet or thin laptop. 
Materials
Bulky Yarn (60 gms)
5 mm Hook
1 button
Embroidery floss
Darning needle
Stitch Markers
Terminology
SL: Slip Stitch
SC: Single crochet
Crossed Double Crochet Stitch: CDC
Instructions
The base is largely done in the round. Once the base is completed, it is stitched in rows. 
My pattern is for the Kindle Paperwhite. Follow the instructions in the brackets for larger tablets.
Base
Step 1: Chain 19 (it needs to be slightly small than your tab, just ensure it is an odd number) 
Step 2: Sc in the 2nd chain from the hook. Sc to the end. Add 1 extra sc in the last stitch. Add the stitch marker. Now continue stitching in the back of the same chain 
Step 3: 2 Sc in the next Sc. Sc till the end. Move Marker 
Step 4: 1 extra Sc in the last Sc, 2Sc in the next Sc. Move Marker
The base should now fit snugly around the base of the Kindle. This is now the base of the cover. Move Marker
Step 5: Chain 1 and then sc in each sc and slip stitch to the beginning of the round. Continue this till you are a little more that halfway the height of the Kindle/tab 
Step 6: Now, chain 3 (counts as first dc), skip first 2 sts, work 1 dc in next sc, crossing in front of dc just made, work 1 dc in last skipped dc. This constitutes 1 CDC. Complete 7 more CDC and then work 1 dc in the next sc. Complete 8 CDC and join with SL to first stitch.
Step 7: Chain 1 and then sc in each sc and slip stitch to the beginning of the round. Continue this till the cover is as tall your Kindle/Tab.
Step 7: Chain 1 and then sc till 2 stitches short of the halfway mark on 1 side. Chain 6. Skip 4 sc. Continue Sc in the next sc till the end of the side. End off and cut the thread. Tuck in the ends.

Attach a flat button on the other side such that the loop fits snug.

And you’re done!

Let me know what you think of it!

Copyright Rohini Joseph

Nemo’s Happy Pillow!

Copyright: The Anti-Social Butterfly
Nemo’s Happy Pillow (right side up)
Clip from the Bond series
Did someone say evil?
A definite mood-lifter on those drab monsoon day is with a little day-dreaming. On those days, I think of myself as a super villain, with an evil kitten resting on my lap. 
I almost got to further that fantasy with 1 of my crochet projects – a cat pillow. It was actually made in 2012, but was only used in 2013 that too not by the intended recipient.
Don’t I look pretty?
It all started with a CAL/KAL proposed by my Ravelry Group. One of the things that could be made were pillows. I didn’t require any for my home, so was wondering what use to put it to, when suddenly I remembered Nemo, my cat! 
Still excited by the arrival of my kitten, I thought of making one for him. Cos, obviously every super-villain needs a pampered, evil kitty! 🙂
The pattern chosen was the Pinwheel Pillow by Morgan Forrester.

First 2 colours
It took me a little over a month to complete the project. It was created as a stash buster with a border of black between colours. The material used was good, old acrylic, and crocheted with a 5mm hook.
Since, it was meant for my naughty, naughty cat, the colours chosen were on the darker side. As usual, there was no fixed size for the pillow, with me crocheting till I thought I had reached the optimum width. It was initially supposed to have an opening on the side so that the cushion could be stuffed in. Since I couldn’t figure out the way to do it, I decided to follow the pattern and create the cover as 1 piece with a cushion stuffed in from the middle. 
Copyright: The Anti-Social Butterfly
The completed pillow (side with the opening)
The project took longer to finish as I needed to make the round stuffing pillow too. The obstacle came up when after spending almost 2 days looking for just a filler cushion, I could not find one of any size. All the shops had ready-made pillows with a fixed covers. So, armed with my amateur sewing skills and my grandmom’s cool  sewing machine, I made one with recycled cloth and fiberfill. It was amazing!
To make it just purrfect for Nemo, the cushion was generously doused with catnip. But, alas, even with all my efforts, Nemo did not take to it and the poor cushion just had his name but no love! 
Wait! There is a happy ending to this story. My new kitten (Pookie – more about her later) loves the cushion, and can usually be seen happily gnawing away at it on most days. 
Do share your similar experiences!
Copyright Rohini Joseph

The amusements of a highly bored individual

After I quit my job as a corporate drone in 2012, I started looking at options to keep me occupied as I served out my sentence. I had planned to devote a few months to full-time arts and crafts activities as I kept me and my evil kitty entertained. However, as most vacations go, I never really did get as much accomplished, instead using the time to just recuperate and spend as much time bugging my husband as possible.

The list of things to be done were endless and as a start I planned to finish some unfinished projects.

Here’s what I finally got done with:


1 Puzzle
Emboldened by the success of our previous puzzle – bought in 2009, but completed only in 2010 (a whole 13 months later)

Copyright: The Anti-Social Butterfly
Unboxing Ravensburger – The Cherubs – 2000 pcs

Copyright: The Anti-Social Butterfly
The finished puzzle, without a frame
I’d bought this puzzle a month after I got married thinking that I’d have loads of time on my hands to finish it.
8 months on, I had barely finished the border and the central picture. 

Update: I only finished the picture after my unemployment hiatus. Dejected by the lack of progress, I just attacked it with everything over a 2-day weekend, working fervently to finish the project. And, just a few months late, but it was done! The excitement of finishing that project sent me shopping to buy my next artwork, but more on that later.

Since we were supposed to move houses soon, the puzzle was framed and kept in hibernation till we found a suitable place for it.

The picture now hangs proudly in my new home and is the first thing I see each morning!

Such joy!

Copyright: The Anti-Social Butterfly
The Kiss
Copyright Rohini Joseph

My puzzling encounters

Not many of my friends know this, but I love jigsaw puzzles. I love how a seemingly jumbled series of bits and pieces can somehow come together to become a beautiful picture that has a story to tell.
Mind you, completing a jigsaw is no mean feat. Like every act of love, it requires, attention, concentration and loads of time. I learned this the hard way after it took me just over a year to complete my first puzzle.
Previously, I had played with puzzles as a child and then later on numerous Websites.
With the very first jigsaw puzzle picked up 6 years ago, I was hooked!
Copyright Rohini Joseph

Professor Koalakulus

the-anti-social-butterfly.blogspot.com
Striped Koala anyone?
When I first started crocheting, I didn’t do the regular small, easy projects. Instead, it was a headlong jump into amigurumis!

The amigurumi pattern was a Koala pattern that I happened to come across when I was first researching crochet and the things you could do with it. The pattern was featured on Woman’s Day.  Something about that gorgeous grey, cuddly bear got me excited to start the project.

There were so many things that were wrong about my first project – bad yarn, tough hook for a beginner, rudimentary stitching skills and so much more. However, it got me ‘hooked’!


Brown boy Koala hanging with his animal pals

I made 2 versions of the Koala. By looking at the pictures, you can definitely figure out which was which. (Hint: The misshapen one with a crochet ring was the first).

the-anti-social-butterfly.blogspot.com
My first attempt at the Koala Amigurumi

Here are my learnings from the experience
1. Amigurumis are fun! Find your perfect project on the web. I like searching on Ravelry.
2. Don’t be afraid of using a thin hook. It helps you learn faster.
3. Gift the amigurumis. They are small and make such awesome gifts! Emboldened by my efforts I went on to make more of these and have received requests from friends for quite a lot more!

Below is my Ravelry listing for the project.

Koala by Tamie Oldridge

Crochet

Me, friends

2.5 inches

    Needle and yarn

    1.75 mm

    Brown
    Notes

    The one with a ring is the first amigurumi/crochet article I ever made.
    The second one was obviously better and easier.
    EDT: I was unhappy with the weird eyes, so i stuck on crazy eyes. I like it much better now. Reminds me of Professor Calculus from Tintin. Hence the name.

    August 21 2011
    September 1 2011
    Copyright Rohini Joseph

    Yellow Lemon Tree Pouch

    Yellow Lemon Tree Pouch

    Crochet

    Friends

    4″

      Needle and yarn

      Notes

      I used lemon yellow and black held together. It has a triangular base though. I couldn’t think of a suitable flap, so I made it a drawstring pouch.
      no lining
      Created in the round.

      Copyright Rohini Joseph

      CanCan Mobile pouch

      The CanCan pouch
      This year I’ve vowed to make as many gifts as I can. Not only is it more personal, it is also a gift of time and energy (at least that’s what I think). 
      Last weekend when I’d gone shopping with her for my grandmom, I showed her my version of the Swag Bag that I’d made for my grandmom’s birthday. She loved it and tried very hard to get me to give to her, but finally she relented after I promised to make her one too. She loves the colour red and the red & black combination is her favorite for clothing items/accessories. Her choice of colours? Red and Black! No surprise there!
      The following day (the eve of her birthday), I’d bought the materials for her bag and was about to start on it when I decided to surprise her and make her a small case for her cellphone. We were planning to go over at midnight with a small cake for her birthday and I hadn’t wrapped her actual gift as yet. So, the pouch and a red chain (the red crochet necklace that I mentioned earlier) I’d made in advance would be preview gifts. She liked the necklace, but wants me to put a small pendant on it. Not too sure about it, but I’m going to search for something. Any ideas?
      I love giving presents (and receiving them too), and the curbing of expenses for the next few months is going to be very difficult.
      I made this mobile pouch for my mom in just a few hours (I’m a slow crocheter, and it took me about 2.5 hours). I call it the CanCan pouch as the bright maroon (I thought the maroon looked better with the black) and the black reminded me the of the shiny dresses worn by CanCan dancers.
      For the cellphone pouch, I followed a similar method as the Kiss Me Bag at Crochet Spot for the base. After that it was simple shell stitch done in rounds. I didn’t have measurements for the phone and just estimated the height and width, though I’m happy to say that it did fit. Also, the pattern stretches quite a bit, so it is better to make it slightly smaller.
      My pouch was done in 2 colours, with me changing colours after every completed round.
      The base and the first round are done in the same colour.
      Pattern
      Craft: Crochet
      Level: Beginner/Easy
      Materials
      Yarn of your choice
      Corresponding crochet hook (this pattern looks better open and it stretches too)
      Button for clasp (optional)
      Tapestry needle and thread (optional)
      Stitches/Abbreviations used:
      Stitch (st)
      Single crochet (sc)
      Double crochet (dc)
      Fasten off (FO)
      Gauge: Gauge is not important in this pattern as it depends on the size of your starting chain. My pouch fit a
      phone that was 119.5 x 59.7 x 12.9 mm.
      Close up of the pouch
      Foundation row can be worked in multiples of 4 + 2 (for turning)
      Base
      Ch 10.
      Row1: sc in 2nd chain from hook, sc in ea chain across.  Ch1 and turn (It is better to crochet the first row in the back ridges so that it is easier to do the rounds later).
      Row2-4: sc in ea st across.  Ch1 and turn.
      Row5: sc in ea st across. Ch1. Do not turn as we now start working in rounds
      We now move to the body of the pouch.
      Note: Shell = 3 dc in same st.
      Round 1: sc in first sc *(sk 1 sc, 3 dc in next sc, sk 1 sc, sc in next sc) 2 times, reaching the end of the row. Continue work along width of the base.
      Note: Our width is made up of 5 rows, but since the height of sc rows is shorter than the 3 sc across, we work our shell in the 3rd row.
      Sk 2 sc rows, shell in next, sk 2 sc rows*. Sc in next sc (longer side). Repeat * to * till the end of the other width. Sl st in first sc of round 1. (6 shells and 6 sc)
      Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as 1dc), 1 dc in same stitch. *Sk 1 dc, sc in next dc. (Sk 1 dc, shell in next sc.  Sk 1 dc, sc in next dc)* 5 times. Skip 1 dc, 1 dc in same stitch as the first 2 dc (Ch3+1dc) of the row. Sl st in top of beginning Ch3: 6 shells and 6 sc
      Round 3: Ch 1, sc in first stitch (beginning Ch3 of previous round). *Sk 1 dc, shell in next sc.  Sk 1 dc, sc in next dc:* around, replacing the last sc with a sl st to the first sc of the round: 6 shells and 6 sc
      Repeat Rounds 2 and 3 till the pouch is the desired size, ending with round 3. Once it is as big as you want it, move on to the finishing.
      Finishing
      Ch 3 (counts as 1dc), *Ch1, sk next dc, sc in next dc, Ch1, sk next dc, 1 dc in next sc,*. Repeat * to * 4 times. Ch1, sk next dc, sc in next dc, Ch1, sk next dc. Sl st to starting Ch3. FO.
      I didn’t add a button to fasten the pouch as my mom constantly fiddles with her phone, but you can create a clasp easily.
      The chain and the pouch. The colour here is almost true
      For a button enclosure.
      Instead of fastening off, you Ch1 and continue sc around till you come to the centre of one side. Create a loop by chaining the adequate number to go around the button of your choice (it should always be a little smaller than the button) and sc into the same stitch. Continue to sc across till you reach the end of the round. Sl to 1st stitch. FO.
      Attach a button on the opposite side of the pouch, in line with the loop created.
      Your pouch is ready!
      Get back to me if you have any questions.
      Copyright Rohini Joseph

      Chocolate in a bag!

      Complete!

       This year is my grandmom’s 70th birthday and I decided to make her a present rather than buying her something as firstly she is very finicky and usually wants to exchange presents and secondly I was out of ideas for new presents. 

      I chose the Swag bag by Marcelle’s Creative Crochet as my bag, as it looked small and I thought I could modify it to suit my grandmom’s tastes. The bag has been purposely kept free of other embellishments as my grandmother is very particular about colours and may not appreciate too many doodads on it.

      Without the handles

      I largely followed the pattern; only thing, I couldn’t make the required number of hdc rows as I was running out of yarn very quickly (I still had to finish the edging) and the shop had no more in the same shade. I went through 6 cones of the silk thread as I crocheted holding 2 strands together.

      Even with my slow crocheting and the bout of bad health, I finished the bag in 3 days, with another few hours for lining and fixing handles, clasps etc. The final bag is a little heavy and small, but has come out in a lovely chocolate colour. The pictures do not do portray the colour properly at all.

      My local yarn shop did not stock bag handles, so I bought 2 aluminum rings and covered them with golden silk thread, making sure the thread was wound very tight with no loose spaces.

      The toughest part of the bag was definitely the lining. I’ve never lined a bag before and doing it by hand is just so timec onsuming! I also added metallic push buttons for fastening.
      Phew!
      As I struggle with the lining
       and the handles 

      When I showed my mom the finished bag, she tried very hard to claim it as her own, and only relented when I promised to make her one of her own! More about that later.

      I completely forgot to take pics after I finished the bag as I was in a hurry to go out (as usual) and I’d already sent the bag with my mom so that she can give it in case I don’t make it on her birthday. I’ll put up more pics when I go over this weekend.
      I’ll also show off pics of my mom’s bag when I finish it. Though I’ve taken on so many projects right now I don’t know when that will be.

      EDT: I’ve added pics of the completed bag.

      clasps added too

      Copyright Rohini Joseph

      Keepsake Pouch

      The pouch when the drawstrings are tied.

      During the previous year’s Christmas enthusiasm, I was planning on making small pouches to give away some of our gifts, but the inexperienced crocheter I was, I underestimated the time it would take to finish the pouches.

      To start with, I chose the wrong crochet thread for my pouch – it takes a lot of time to crochet a decent-sized pouch with cotton crochet thread! I also got caught up with stuff and couldn’t even begin it in time!

      So, instead, I decided to make it for myself. No hurry at all, though when it was almost over I couldn’t help trying to finish faster. The gestation period was just so long!

      In the end, it has come out rather nice, and has interesting texture. I am including a basic pattern that can be modified as you go along.

      With the drawstrings open

      The pouch was crocheted in variegated cotton thread with a 1.75mm steel crochet hook. I tried to incorporate most of the stitches I’ve learnt in the past few months including single crochet, double crochet, shell stitch,  and crossed double crochet. Also, included was a small design in beads.

      There wasn’t any specific pattern followed for the pouch, but for the base at least I’ve stuck to the basics of increasing in the the round.

      Pattern
      The bag is worked in rounds, with the base in spirals.

      Materials
      Crochet thread/yarn – I used a size 10 thread with a 1.75mm crochet hook to end up with a bag that is about 11cm tall
      Appropriate crochet hook
      Beads
      Stitch marker – if you don’t have one, a simple paper clip will do.
      Tapestry needle.

      Method
      I’ve used the magic ring method to begin. If you want to try this or the foundation chain method, Crochet Me  has a good tutorial.

      If you are including beads in your design, now is the time to do so. For my concentric circles I added 8 black, followed by 1 in a contrasting colour and 8 more black. It is very important to add the beads in advance if you plan to work them into your design.

      The base. You can make out the spiral.

      Round 1
      To begin, chain 2. In 2nd chain from hook, work 7 sc. Insert stitch marker. (7st)
      Round 2
      2 single crochet (sc) in each stitch around (14st). Move stitch marker.

      Round 3
      *2 sc in 1st, 1 sc in next sc*. Repeat from * to* around (21st). Move stitch marker.
      Round 4
      *2 sc in 1st, 1 sc each in next 2sc*. Repeat from * to* around (28st). Move stitch marker.
      Round 5
      *2 sc in 1st, 1 sc each in next 3sc*. Repeat from * to* around (35st). Move stitch marker.

      Similarly, keep on increasing the base using the above method till it is wide enough for you. I stopped when I had 98st (Round 14 – *2 sc in 1st, 1 sc each in next 11sc*. Repeat from * to* around)


      To create the sides
      sc in each st around. Move stitch marker.
      Continue this till the bag’s sides start to take shape and you are ready for the detailing.


      Crossed double crochet round
      Chain 3. This will be your first dc. Skip the 2nd st, dc in next. Do a dc in the skipped stitch. For details check here. Repeat this all around till 1 st is left. End with a dc and slip st to the 1st stitch.

      A closeup of the bead design

      Single crochet round
      Sc in each st across

      Double crochet round
      Chain 3. Do a dc in each stitch across


      Single crochet round
      Sc in each st across till you are halfway around (49st). Now is the time to introduce the first bead. Insert hook in st, yarn over including the bead, making sure the bead is on the outside and is not pulled through. Complete the single crochet. Continue to do a sc in each st across till the end.

      Alternate the rounds with a double crochet round followed by a single crochet round.

      Add the beads on the single crochet round. 
      The stitch count is as follows
      From the bottom upwards:
      Single bead: sc 49, sc with bead, sc 48
      Two beads: sc 43,  sc with bead, sc 10,  sc with bead, sc 43
      Single bead: sc 49,  sc with bead, sc 48
      Two beads: sc 46,  sc with bead, sc 4,  sc with bead, sc 46
      Five beads: sc 40,  sc with bead,  sc 3, sc with bead, sc 3, sc with bead, sc 3, sc with bead, sc 3, sc with bead, sc 41

      After the last crossed double crochet round

      Two beads: sc 46,  sc with bead, sc 4,  sc with bead, sc 46
      Single bead: sc 49,  sc with bead, sc 48
      Two beads: sc 43,  sc with bead, sc 10,  sc with bead, sc 43
      Single bead: sc 49, sc with bead, sc 48


      After the beads are in stitched in, do one double crochet round, followed by a single crochet round and then a crossed double crochet round.

      After that, it is time to make the notches for the drawstring. 
      Chain 5, skip 2 st, *dc in next st, chain 2*. Repeat from * to * around the pouch till at last you end with a dc and 2 unworked sts. Chain 2 and slip stitch to the third chain of the first Chain5.

      Next, do one single crochet round, followed by one double crochet round, and a single crochet round.

      Close-up of the scalloped edging

      For the scalloped edging
      We do the shell stitch.
      For this, chain 3. This is your first dc. Do 8 more dc in the same stitch as the chain 3. Skip 5 stitches.
      *Do 9 dc in the next stitch, skip 4 stitches*. Repeat from * to * till the last shell.
      We are left with 5 unworked stitches. Skip it and join last shell to 1st shell and fasten off.

      Drawstring
      For the drawstring, I created a chain that was 2 times the circumference of the bag and then crocheted in the back ridges. It was completed by knotting the edges after putting it through the holes.

      I thoroughly enjoyed my bag and I’m currently using it to store my headphones.

      As usual, I hope this makes sense!  Thank you!

      Copyright Rohini Joseph