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Lessons from a hat: 5 reasons why making mistakes is ok

Imagine this: you’re poking around Pinterest, Ravely or an online forum somewhere and you find a DIY project that you fall in love with immediately. You procure the materials and get to work. Except at some point you realize that something somewhere along the way has gone horribly wrong because your creation looks nothing like […]

Just Peachy, a free mesh crochet top pattern for summer by Drops Design with some tweaks by www.cucicucicoo.com

Just Peachy summer mesh crochet top pattern

I really love all those feminine lace summer tops that are so in style these days. The problems is that a lot of the crochet patterns I see for them are for crop tops and/or tops with little stringies holding them on. And nobody wants to see me wearing something like that. So I looked […]

Evening Breath: a summer shawl crochet pattern by DROPS, made by www.cucicucicoo.com

Evening Breath: summer shawl crochet pattern

I’ve always loved to make things by hand, ever since I was a little girl. And as the years go by, I’ve added new techniques to my repertoire. One of the handmade techniques that I’ve learned most recently is crochet, and I’ve  fallen in love with its versatility. I love how you can work all […]

Basico: a knitting pattern for summer sweater. An easily personalizable knitting recipe for a pullover sweater with saddle shoulders. Full review on www.cucicucicoo.com

Basico: a knitting pattern for summer sweater

Last summer I knit my very first sweater. I know that summer is generally not the preferred season for knitting, but I had the opportunity to take a course last June by my friend Maria, a designer and expert knitter (the designer of this bandana scarf and these wrist warmers that I’ve made), so I […]

The Saturn Sweater: a crochet sweater with colorful embroidered rings. A pattern review by www.cucicucicoo.com

Saturn Sweater: crochet sweater pattern review

It was love at first sight. I love bright colors, but sometimes I don’t want to be dressed too brightly. That’s why the Saturn Sweater, a pattern by Linda Permann, with its charcoal grey body with colorful accents, immediately caught my eye when I was searching for a crochet sweater pattern on Ravelry. One day […]

Two methods for repairing holes in sweaters: swiss darning and crochet. www.cucicucicoo.com

Repairing holes in sweaters: darning and crochet

Have you ever noticed that, when you’re a crafty person, people seem to think that you’re capable of doing and fixing anything with your hands? A couple of months ago a friend of mine gave me a bag with a couple of sweaters that she’d just gotten at the thrift shop and hadn’t had the […]

Tepore knit wrist warmers: a simple pattern with simple thumb openings, worked in the round on double pointed needles. A review by www.cucicucicoo.com

Tepore knit wrist warmers

My friend Maria of Maria Modeo Handmade in Italy is an amazing knitter, designer and teacher. She’s helped me numerous times with my knitting issues and is incredibly knowledgeable about all things yarn-related. I already posted last year about her bandana-style neckwarmer pattern, and will post in the springtime about a summer sweater I sewed […]

Three no-sew DIY flower brooches from rolled felt and crocheted yarn | www.cucicucicoo.com

Three DIY flower brooches – no sew!

Have you gotten stung by the homemade flower brooch bug? I certainly have! I love making fabric flowers because a) they’re easy and usually fast to make, and b) they’re so versatile! You can sew them directly to clothing as an embellishment, make hair accessories from them, attach them to gift packages, or stick a […]

DIY Tutorial: Crochet carry bags for kids from upcycled fruit nets. A quick gift in under an hour, perfect for collecting treasures at the beach or in the woods! www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: Crochet Carry Bags from Fruit Nets

It all started with this. My son found some fruit nets in my collection of recycling-for-crafting and decided to use one to hang up his toys. Total genius right? And so, I came up with these: Oh yes! I took those fruit and onion nets and crocheted around their edges, creating a comfy shoulder strap […]

DIY Chain necklaces for spring. Two different techniques make two totally different-looking chain accessories, one with crochet and the other with embroidery floss, but both perfect for gift giving! www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY Chain necklaces for spring

There are a lot of really cool ideas floating around the web for jewelry made with chains. Last year I made two  necklaces with nice bright spring colors both made of chains, but in completely different ways. With Mother’s Day coming up, these would make wonderful gifts for your favorite Mamma in your life! Let […]

Ball & Chain: a crochet necklace pattern by www.cucicucicoo.com

Ball & Chain: a free crochet necklace pattern

Last fall I posted this picture on Instagram. What was it? My very first crochet pattern, which I’m now ready to share with you! Here it is: the Ball & Chain crochet necklace pattern! (Suggested musical accompaniment: They Might Be Giants’ song “Lucky Ball and Chain”) I’m a beginner crocheter and knitter, so it’s a […]

Crochet Baskets

Crochet T Shirt Yarn Baskets: Four Styles

So, what do you do when you’ve accumulated way too many old, ugly, worn-out, stained or otherwise ruined t-shirts and other jersey clothing items? Easy! You cut them up into strips and wind up your lovely new balls of t shirt yarn! (Read how in this post from nearly five years ago!) There are all […]

Knit capelet (with short rows) and knit bandana scarf "Mani in Alto" | www.cucicucicoo.com

Knit capelet and bandana neckwarmer

Well, another edition of the biggest Italian handmade arts fair, Abilmente, has come and gone. Alas, I was unable to make it to Vicenza, in northern Italy, for this edition but I figured that perhaps it was about time to show you my project from Abilmente in Rome last November. I’d signed up for a […]

Crochet hats: the Ayer's Rock pattern and a slouchy beret | www.cucicucicoo.com

Ayer’s Rock and other crochet hats

How is your holiday season going? I, myself, am feeling pretty burnt out with all the Christmas and other craziness that for some reason always seems to get piled up at Christmas, even if it has nothing to do with the holidays. So I’m going to hold off on tutorials for a week or so […]

Easy knit rainbow beaded necklaces (beginner knitting)

Easy knit rainbow beaded necklaces (beginner knitting)

Is your part of the world suffering from un-May-like dreary weather? Clouds, rain, wind? What we all need is a nice cheery rainbow of colors to perk us all up! The other day, inspired by the crummy weather, I posted the picture above on my Facebook page. Pretty, yes, but what is it? These easy […]

One-minute tutorial: How to make an upcycled yarn holder

One-minute tutorial: How to make an upcycled yarn holder

When I joined Pinterest a couple of years ago, one of my first pins was this ArtBin Yarn Drum yarn holder. Not because I had any intention of buying it, but because I had a freebie bag that I knew would be perfect to make one from. Ok, sure, the original ArtBin version has some […]

Voyages Beanie and Sweet and Simple Beret

Voyages Beanie and Simple and Sweet Beret: hat patterns

I mentioned in my pom pom yarn scarf post a couple of months ago that I was participating in a Facebook knit along/crochet along to create two hats. The event was created by Italians to better learn how to read an English pattern, which wasn’t an issue for me but I participated to get more […]

Knitting a pom pom scarf

Knitting a pom pom scarf

I’ve been working more than usual lately on my knitting technique and also been learning the basics of crochet. From the little that I know of each, I feel like crochet is much more versatile and I’m having fun using it in non-traditional ways. But I’ll write more about that another time. Today I want […]

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criss cross scarf

a few years back i received this scarf from alessia as part of a swap. i really liked the color, the yarn and how it’s worked, but i couldn’t figure out how to wear it properly. perhaps it’s supposed to be worn like this, but i prefer scarves that can be pulled tight against my […]

plastic cap knitting needle protectors

a bit o’ plastic

today i have a couple of useful projects that require plastic objects that would normally get tossed in the plastic recycling bin (or even worse, in the trash!). let’s start with a well-washed plastic bottle (this one was a body wash). cut it like so with a box cutter and/or scissors. and pop it onto […]

snowflake skirt

snowflake skirt

yes, i’m taking a little break from the advent calendar countdown. i can’t post every day and then i was also having internet problems. so today i’ll show you a very, very easy refashioning project… the snowflake skirt. i found these little doilies (i imagine test pieces for larger projects) amongst my husband’s aunt’s things. […]

ruffle scarf

Ruffly scarf

and i’d said that i wanted to post while on vacation… i really did, but it ended up being more complicated than i’d expected. then i thought: right away when i get back home. well, that didn’t quite work out either. i tell you, taking intercontinental trips with two kids and without another adult to […]

scarf poncho

From scarf to poncho

you see this scarf? it’s ridiculously wide, not particularly evenly-worked and it has a few holes. know what else? it was my first knitted work 10 years ago. and i love it. being way too big to use as a normal scarf (i still hadn’t realized the difference between using a regular yarn and a […]

ruffle scarves

Gift scarves

these days i have precious little time to spend on my own things, even if they’re christmas gifts. luckily i’ve found a way to snatch a bit of time to knit. when i go out in the morning with the little guy, he almost always falls asleep in the stroller. seeing as we live on […]

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Christmas already?!

yep, i’m already thinking about christmas. i generally start thinking about gifts around december 20th, but not this year! seeing as my munchkin should in theory make his debut december 30th, i’d rather get everything taken care of earlier for once. i knit this necklace with cotton yarn and beads pretty quickly. i found the […]

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Recycled shirt bath mat: tutorial

on monday i wrote about how to make yarn out of old t-shirts. but i didn’t want to reveal what i made with this special yarn until i was done. yesterday i finished it. what is it? a rug for the bathroom! i’d wanted to make a bathrug for a while because the two we […]

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How to make yarn from old t-shirts

last week i started a new project with this lovely homemade “yarn”. and what did i make it out of? old t-shirts! there are tons of ways to upcycle t-shirts that you don’t use anymore, but this is a great way to use up all those stained, shrunken, discolored, ridiculously worn out or otherwise hideous […]

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