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and I’m still crocheting the hat….

31 Jan

I had hoped to be done with this project by Christmas.  I started working on this hat on my way to Portland.  It is a free pattern on Ravelry, which is a great resource for projects- both crocheting and knitting.  I settled on this one somewhere over the Western United States with a cocktail.  I love vacations. Ah, temperate green Portland how I miss you.

airplane

But if I lived in Portland I probably wouldn’t spend so much time crocheting and sewing in the winter. I’d be outside enjoying it instead of cozied up indoors finding ways to while away these frigid Minnesota days.  Even still I haven’t been crocheting as much as I’d like. Two weeks ago I had planned for this hat to be complete for today’s post, but a nasty cold, prepping Fred’s condo for sale and several episodes of “frogging”  waylaid my plans. Did you know “frogging” was the term used for ripping out stitches?  Gina mentioned it when I undid many rows of stitches in front of her a few weeks ago so I did a little research. It’s also called tinking (tink = knit backwards).  It’s pretty easy to keep it under control when crocheting, but here is a detailed explanation of how to frog or tink your knitting project. Part of me hates pulling apart all of those stitches, but I must say there is something fun about pulling on a single thread and watching it quickly come unraveled. Also, frogs are my favorite animal.hat

This is a hat that was meant for Fred for Christmas in his favorite color, orange. It is a lovely wool blend.  It’s  the first hat I’ve worked on that isn’t crocheted in a circle (hence all of the frogging).  I figure a public pledge like Gina’s can only help this hat’s plight in my crochet bag.  I promise to have this complete by the last day of Winter.

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Snowflake Washcloth

29 Nov

For over a year I’ve had a ball of lime green cotton “Sugar ‘n Cream” yarn in my crochet bag.  This weekend I finally made use of it.  After searching online for a free pattern I stumbled upon this one, called the Cream Circle, but I think it looks like a bit like a snowflake of sorts when complete. (You will have to join Lion Brand Yarns site to be able to view this, but it is a free membership). This is designated an Easy Plus pattern and I would agree although somewhere around my third or fourth ripping out of stitches on Friday I might have disagreed with you. 🙂 ALWAYS keep a reference guide for crochet abbreviations handy.  When I went searching for my problem I discovered instead of stitching a new round in the space between stitches I had been stitching in the stitch itself.  Big Difference!  With that modification the remainder of the snowflake came together quickly. Here is the final project.  I think this project could be completed in well under an hour.

I think you could probably make three washcloths with one ball of yarn. At $1.99 regular price at Michaels (4 for $6.00 this week!) it makes a fairly inexpensive holiday gift.  To note- this pattern called for nine rounds, but I cut it back to six rounds plus the scalloped edge as I thought it was big enough and I don’t like unwieldy washcloths.

Don’t they look bright and festive on the fresh snow that covered the ground this past holiday weekend in Duluth?  They would be a perfect stocking stuffer when paired with a handmade soap or even some lovely smelling handsoap.

Pumpkin for your little Pumpkin

26 Oct

Since the Halloween/Autumn/Thanksgiving season is upon us and I’ve taken up my crochet hooks again for the winter I thought I’d show you how to make my version of a pumpkin hat for a baby or toddler that I mentioned in this post.

It seems like I could crochet one of these these hats in my sleep, and for simplicity’s sake, a basic tutorial on how to create the single crochet baby hat can be found here. I’ll show you an updated photo of this hat there, but first we must crochet the stem and leaves that really make it a pumpkin hat!

To begin this process I chain 5 or 6 and then link the chain together using a single crochet stitch.  I continue stitching a single crochet in each stitch until a small tube begins to form.  I believe I was using a needle sized  “J.”  Continue to repeat this process until you have a small tube the desired length of your “pumpkin” stem.

When you have reached your desired length single crochet twice in each stitch.  This will expand the size of your stem and make the base of your stem.  I typically double stitch in each stitch two complete times in a circle.

You now have a pumpkin stem.  From there I create a chain through the last stitch about 25 to 30 chains long.  This will be your pumpkin tendril.  When your tendril is the desired length long begin single crochet in each chain link back to the stem of the pumpkin.  This tendril should begin to twist and look like a pumpkin tendril.

It is now time to create the leaves.  In the stitch next to your “tendril” single crochet along the stem for 4 to 6 stitches. Chain once and turn your piece adding in two single crochet stitches every other stitch. This will grow the width of your “leaf.” When you reach the stitch before the tendril-  single crochet twice then chain once and turn your work again repeating the process.  I repeat this process until the width of my leaf looks about right typically 4 or 5 lines.

At this point I need to apologize for my shoddy photography work (smart phone)  and lack of photos.  I was so caught up in leaf making I forgot to grab a mid-leaf shot.  So, now that you’ve seen the leaf let me explain my decreasing method.  When you want to begin decreasing your leaf, first chain once  to turn your work, stitch a single crochet in the first stitch, then skip a stitch and single crochet. Skip another stitch and single crochet again and repeat until you’ve made your way across the leaf skipping every other stitch.  Single crochet in the last stitch on that row, chain again, turn and repeat process until you are down to a single stitch on you last row.  Cut off 3 to 4 inches of yarn and using a large tapestry needle, work it through the last loop to tie off.  You can them weave a small section into the piecing underneath to make sure it doesn’t come loose. Cut off the extra yarn.

To start your second leaf I skipped a stitch next to the leaf that was just completed.  I then created a loop through the stitch where I wanted my next leaf to begin. While holding the loose end taut I followed the directions to begin a row of single stitches as I did for the leaf above.  The loose end near the stem can be worked into the underside of the stem with a larger tapestry needle. Cut off the extra yarn.

I then stitch the stem and bottoms of the leaves onto the hat with the tapestry needle.


A view from the top of the pumpkin.

And a better side view.  Unfortunately, these photos don’t do it justice. I think this is cutest when it is on some little punkin’s head.  I’ll search for some photos of this in other shades as well- it makes a good berry if you eliminate the tentrils and add in an addition leaf or three. Happy fall!