Handmade with love. And snark.


crochet, patternlauren schoenerComment

Earlier in 2015, NYC Yarnbomber NaomiRag asked me to help her design a pattern for a crocus flower that could be made by crocheters located in various parts of the world. Honestly, I was more than a little flattered that she asked me, and that she was certain I could do it. We posted the pattern on all of our social networks, asking crocheters to please contribute to the yarnbomb.

As the flowers started rolling in, I couldn't help but feel more than a modicum of pride in each and every one of them. As we attached them to the bare fence in East Harlem, it felt like a little piece of me was in each of your flowers. I'm awed at how the piece looked once it was installed, each flower made with the same pattern, yet each somehow unique. Seriously frisson inducing.

Now, Naomi has decided she wants to make a cherry blossom installation and I could not be happier. I think that aside from lilies, cherry blossoms are my favorite blooms. Designing the pattern proved to be more challenging than the crocus, but I love a good challenge. After literally throwing my yarn and hook across my bedroom, I was finally able to come up with something that I think fairly accurately represents a cherry blossom. If you'd like to contribute, you can find the very simple crochet pattern below. All are US terms.

For big layer:

With 7mm hook and worsted weight pink yarn:

Chain 3, sl st in first chain to form a ring.

Chain 2. 10 dc into ring. sl st to first dc (skipping beg ch 2) to join.

Ch 3, triple crochet, double triple, triple triple, double triple, triple, chain 3, sl st in same space. Skip next dc, sl st in following dc. Repeat 4 times. Fasten off. 5 petals made.


For smaller layer:

With 4mm (G) hook and worsted weight pink yarn:

Chain 3, sl st in first chain to form ring.

Chain 2. 10 dc in ring. sl st to first dc (skipping beg ch 2) to join.

Ch 2. Double crochet, triple, double triple, triple, double, chain 2, sl st in same space. Skip next dc, sl st into following dc. Repeat 4 times. Fasten off. 5 petals made.

Because we know everybody's different, you have the option of making a dual layered flower, or a single layered flower, either version with or without a stamen. Neither of us designed a stamen, so that's your opportunity to really make your flowers stand out. Use that creativity I know you all have! If you have any questions or the pattern doesn't make sense, please comment below. You can contact Naomi by DM on Instagram or Twitter, or via email, for the mailing address for your completed pieces. 

More flower yarn bombing!

crochetlauren schoenerComment

Recently I was asked by the incredibly talented NaomiRag to help with her next yarn bomb project, a field of crocus flowers for a fence in East Harlem.  She is making one or two of her signature large-scale versions of the flower, but wants to make a field of flowers surrounding them. 

Naomi doesn't typically work in the "small scale" (which for many of us is normal scale, really), so she asked me to help design a pattern for the smaller version of the crocus. I'd never designed a flower pattern before and at first I was completely stumped. But I looked at about a zillion pictures of crocuses and finally managed to come up with something. Naomi is looking for contributors to help create more crocuses for this installation. If you're interested in helping, please contact her for the mailing address for the flowers. I've posted the pattern below. Your finished crocus should look similar to this picture:

(please excuse the unfinished nature of this flower; I was at work and didn't have the appropriate tools to complete it)

(please excuse the unfinished nature of this flower; I was at work and didn't have the appropriate tools to complete it)

Larger (6 in) crocus pattern


Purple yarn in 2 different shades.

Small amount yellow yarn

H (5 mm) hook

Darning needle

Front Petals (make 2)

With one shade of purple, chain 25. 

Round 1:

SC in 2nd ch from hook and next 2 ch; hdc in next 2 ch; dc in next ch; tr in next 3 ch; dtr crochet in next 8 ch; tr in next 2 ch; dc in next 2 ch; hdc next ch; 2 hdc in last ch.

Rotate work so that you’re working in the bottom edge bump of the starting chain. hdc in same ch (this ch should now have 3 hdc in it); dc in next 2 chains; tr in next 2 ch; dtr in next 8 ch; tr in next 3 ch; dc in next 2 ch; hdc in next 2 ch; sc in next 2 ch; 2 single crochet in last ch. Join with slip stitch to first single crochet of round. Fasten off.


With yellow yarn, chain 7. 

Row 1: hdc in 3rd ch from hook; sc in next ch. Sl st in remaining 3 ch. Fasten off.

Back petal:

With contrasting purple, chain 5.

Row 1: dc in 3rd chain from hook and remaining 2 ch. Ch 2, turn.(3 dc)

Row 2: 2 dc in first st, dc in next st, 2 dc in last st. (5 dc)

Row 3: Chain 2, turn. 2 dc in first stitch, dc across until last stitch, 2 dc in last st. Ch 1, turn. (7dc)

Row 4: Sc in first 2 st, sc2tog, sc in last 3 stitches. Ch 1, turn. (6 sc)

Row 5: Sc2tog, sc in next 2, sc2tog. Ch1, turn. (4sc)

Row 6:sc2tog twice. Ch 1, turn.(2 sc)

Row 7: sc 2 tog. fasten off. (1 sc)

Arrange all 4 pieces as desired and sew together. Weave in ends.

This pattern has only been tested, so far, by me and by Naomi. If you need help or find an error, please let me know.

Crocheted #hashtag

crochetlauren schoenerComment

If you've at all been following my #floweraday project, you might be aware that I've recently morphed it into #floweryourcity, a once-a-month (I hope) large scale yarn bomb of a different NYC area each month. The installations will consist mostly of flowers and other things of that ilk and will be bright, colorful, and BIG. The first one will be installed on August 3 on the north east corner of the Great Lawn in Central Park. All the flowers will be free for the taking, so I can't say how long the yarn bomb will remain up, but I honestly hope not very long. 

Normally with the flowers I've been leaving around the city, I label them with a small label from my handy P-Touch that says #floweraday and Take me! I wanted to label the new Flower Your City project as well, so people could follow along easily via social networks if they saw/enjoyed the installation. But, since there will be many (many) flowers in this yarn bomb, it would be utterly ridiculous and quite unfeasible to label each and every one of them. I decided instead to crochet letters to spell out #floweryourcity and attach to the main fence around the Lawn. 

Not being great at free-form crochet or creating my own designs, I searched Ravelry for alphabet patterns, and I came up with these great patterns on Moogly. I grabbed my Q hook and 3 strands of worsted weight yarn in various shades of green and set to making them. I quickly had the word Flower whipped up.

But then on Facebook, somebody asked me if I was going to crochet the #. And I thought "Of course, duh." Which immediately made me realize I didn't have a pattern for one. I even checked the Moogly set of patterns for numbers, with my fingers crossed, but they didn't have one. I would have to make one of my own invention, which I found intimidating, but also exciting! Using the Moogly letter patterns as a jumping off point for size, I managed to wrangle up this not-too-shabby looking #. 


Now, I'm a pro at following patterns others have written. I'm even decent at making modifications in patterns if I don't like joining stitches or I think something needs an extra flourish or whatever. But designing things is an entirely different creature, and definitely not my strong suit. The last time I designed and made a project from the ground up was back in early 2010, when a co-worker asked me to make all those Pizza Planet Aliens from Toy Story. I know this # is just a bunch of straight lines connected, but I managed to make that # without once disconnecting and re-joining the yarn. Yes, it's all one piece. Yes, I am a genius, thank you for mentioning it. But seriously, I was immensely proud of myself for figuring out how to do that, and nobody can change that or take that away from me. (ps. if you ever want to crochet a #, I can probably manage to write my pattern down in a logical way. Or just, you know, make it for you)

Showing off my silks

lauren schoenerComment

My silks instructor, Laura Witwer, is putting together a Spring Showcase of her current students. And of course, I'm thrilled to be participating. 

On May 31 at Big Sky Works in Williamsburg, come watch me be a complete badass (or, maybe watch me mess some stuff up and laugh with/at me). Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. I'm still not sure how to purchase them in advance, but if you're interested, let me know and I'll find out. 

Yarn Bombing

lauren schoenerComment

Last year I had the pleasure of creating 45 granny squares for a yarn bombing project in San Diego that coincided with the San Diego Comic Con. I loved making them, and though I could not view the installation myself, my roommate was there and took pictures for me. 

I've been thinking a lot about yarn bombing since then. And every time I see a new piece by Olek, I'm further inspired to put my creations out in the world in a more public manner. Though my difficulty has always been in deciding what to make, and where to put it. 

I never wanted to do anything very large. Just something small to brighten people's day. Just a little bit of happiness in this crazy life. So, starting Monday, March 10, I will be leaving one crocheted flower each day in a random place for a stranger to find. I will be posting photos of the project on my Instagram with the hashtag #floweraday. Follow along, or, if you're a crafter and want to contribute flowers to my endeavor, email me!

Higher than ever, soon

lifelauren schoenerComment

Ups and downs. Over the past year, I've seen more than my fair share of the downs, and I've been lower than low at times. But that's not what I want to write about right now. I want to share some high points, mostly just for my own sanity. To remind myself there even were some.

So, here are some ups that happened last year:

  • CausticWear became governmentally official. Though I had been selling my stuff for about a year(ish), I finally filled out all the appropriate paperwork to have an LLC, and for once (aside from the 7 years I spent receiving a higher education) I feel like I'm doing something productive and worthwhile.
  • My nephew was born. And while I'm sad that I live so far away from him, his very existence makes me happy. My sister sends me pictures of him doing mundane things like eating prunes and playing with toys and I just get all the warm-and-fuzzies you could imagine. I cannot wait to watch him grow into the amazing boy and fantastic man I know he'll turn out to be. I mean, how can he not, being born into MY family.
  • I finally took the plunge and got the Tardis tattoo. For nearly two years I had been considering placement and design and its hidden meaning to me, aside from the obvious fandom aspects. It turned out better than I could've hoped, and I'm thinking about further additions/improvements to it. Sorry I'm not sorry Mom.
  • I discovered my newfound love: aerial silks. Exercising has never been something I took seriously. I still don't, really. But back in the first half of 2013, I saw a woman with a similar body shape/size as mine performing on the silks and I was awestruck. If she could do it, why couldn't I? I mean, aside from my complete lack of upper body strength, athleticism, and grace. Turns out it. is. HARD, but I CAN DO IT!! I'm positive I'll never be good enough to run off with the circus. But honestly, who cares? The classes are fun, the moves are challenging, and at the end of class, despite being sore, I feel like I can conquer the world. 

So, in a whole 365 days, I can only think of 4 things that were really uplifting for me. Not the best year. I plan on making 2014 the best year I've ever had. And to be honest, doing so shouldn't be that difficult. In a future post, I'll probably ramble on about some lows, and maybe some things i'm doing to avoid them in future. But for now, I just want to bask in the glow of the good things.