Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mistake rib neckwarmer free pattern

I needed a Christmas gift for my honey's mother, and I thought a smart-looking short scarf like the Mistake Rib Neck Warmer pattern designed by StitchyMama would be just right.


This was my first time working in mistake rib, and I found that I really love the extra-soft, extra-stretchy properties of the stitch. StitchyMama's patter was very easy to follow, and the project was quick to finish.


Now I plan to make a vest for myself using mistake rib. :-)

Monday, December 17, 2012

SpongeBob child's hat free pattern

A friend of mine is going through a rough patch financially this Christmas season, and since her grandson loves SpongeBob, I went looking for a free pattern to make him a nice warm hat that looks like his favorite character.

I found a really great looking design: SpongeHat by Raveler Ashley Phelps.




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jughead beanie free pattern

If you are of a certain age, you might recall a comic book character named Jughead, who wore a distinctive cap with a flipped-up jagged brim that kind of looked like a crown.

Well, my daughter had a wild-n-crazy college roommate who was graduating and about to depart the apartment, and my daughter thought it would be great to give her roomie a couple of hats in a few wild-n-crazy colors that her friend liked. And I thought a Jughead-style crown beanie would be just the thing for a wild-n-crazy college grad to wear.


So after searching the 'net and learning a whole lot more than I ever realized there was to know about the Jughead beanie's iconic place in American history, I came upon this free crochet pattern, Prince Jughead, at Nik's Knots blog.

The free pattern is well written and includes a lot of helpful photos, but what makes it even more awesome is that Nik included instructions in her pattern to fit sizes from newborn to adult!

The pattern can be adapted in so many fun ways to suit both boys and girls (or men and women) of all ages and tastes. For example, below is a photo of how I adapted the pattern for the newborn grandson of one of my friends who happens to be a Pittsburgh Steelers fanatic. Crochet the beanie, add a button, and voila:


Read about the football hat to the left of the Jughead beanie here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CozyTote TM tall - free pattern

I originally tried listing this pattern for sale at $1.99, but it wasn't getting many buyers, so now I have made it available as a free Ravelry download.



CozyTote™ helps you carry a full (covered) container of your favorite drink just about anywhere, spill-free. All it takes to carry your CozyTote™ and keep it upright is one finger. The CozyTote™ makes it easy to carry a beverage with you anywhere you walk – while shopping, hiking, etc.


This quick-and-easy pattern is designed to fit a popular coffeehouse chain’s venti size double-walled reusable container with straw, but it will work well with any approximately 9-inch tall covered cup that is about 3.75 inches in diameter at its widest point.


When made using an absorbent cotton yarn, the CozyTote™ also serves as a built-in coaster, absorbing condensation from your cup before the moisture reaches your tabletop.


Pattern is written using American crochet terminology and includes photos.


For now, you can download a PDF of the pattern for free via Ravelry. I may eventually add a PDF download link here if I can figure out how to do it (without using some third-party file hosting service, ugh).


Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting mathematical with hats

I recently made the Brain Waves Beanie by Liz McQueen.



When reading her pattern, I found it interesting the way she included measurements for the diameter of the top of the hat at the end of each increasing round. (Most hat patterns only include the number of stitches you should have at the end of the round.)

Information about the diameter is important because when you stop increasing the size of the circle, that measurement will determine the circumference of the hat when you multiply it by Pi (as we learned in school with our friendly geometric formula: Pi times Diameter equals Circumference). And the circumference should correspond to the size of the head on the person you're making the hat for. Therefore, if the diameter of the top of the hat is about 7 inches across, then the finished hat will be about 22 inches around, because 7 times 3.14 equals 22 (in round numbers).

Alternatively, if you know the person's head circumference and want to determine your pattern from that measurement, the formula to tell you how large the diameter should be is Circumference divided by Pi. Therefore, if you want your hat to have a finished circumference of 22 inches, then 22 divided by 3.14 equals a diameter of about 7 inches.

This disc measures about 6.5 inches across (when laid flat; the edges are trying to curl in the photo), so that means if I stop increasing here, the finished hat will be about 20.5 inches.


Each round of (in this case) double crochet worked with a J hook using worsted-weight yarn is about .5 inches high, which means that each successive round adds about 1 inch to the diameter of the circle. If I add another increasing round to what I have in the photo (making the diameter about 7.5 inches), the finished hat circumference will be 23.5 inches. (A bit on the large size for most folks.)

Alternatively, if I made the same hat top using half-double crochet, the diameter size would be proportionally smaller.

When you factor in the differences in height that the various stitches have, plus how those stitches are affected by the weight of the yarn and the size of your hook, the potential combinations can be mind-boggling. Which is probably why pattern designers emphasize the importance of always working a test swatch before attempting a pattern.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Are you ready for some football?

Naturally, I had a reason for exploring conical shapes: Football season begins soon.


And here's another adaptation for the newborn grandson of my friend who is a Pittsburgh Steelers fanatic:


Read about the Jughead beanie to the right of the football hat here.

Conical comparison

I decided to try an exercise in making three different cone shapes with some yarn that's essentially throwaway stuff (ancient creslan fiber circa the 1970s -- in orange, no less).

I made each cone using the same pattern/number of stitches; the only difference between them is cone 1 is stitched in single crochet, cone 2 in half-double crochet and cone 3 in double crochet. Each one starts with 5 stitches at the peak and uses a standard increase through seven rows to end up with 35 stitches around at the base.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another toddler cardi

I couldn't resist making a second cardigan and hat set for my grandniece. The cardi pattern is Crochet Baby Cardigan (formerly Abby's Jacket) and the hat is Flower Power Cap; both patterns are by designer Britta Graham.




These pieces are made with Lily Sugar-n-Cream cotton yarn in Panorama.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Infinite Granny Square Baby Blankie no pattern needed

This is a simple baby blankie made with ever-increasing rounds in a classic granny square cluster stitch pattern. You can make it as large or as small as you like. I stopped at 30 rounds, making the blanket about 40 inches square, then added a basic shell trim around the edge.


 I made the blanket as part of a set for my grandniece, with a matching cardigan and hat.

The cardigan is Crochet Baby Cardigan (formerly called Abby's Jacket), and the hat is Flower Power Cap, both designed by Britta Graham.

These pieces were made with Lily Sugar-n-Cream cotton in Kaleidoscope.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wide headband free pattern

I got a hankering to make some wide headbands in crochet, and the first pattern I tried was the Nadie wide headband pattern designed by Susan Iacuone.


It has a nice open weave and closes with a button. I made this blue one in Lily Sugar-n-Cream cotton.


But this design also looks cute in this Mini Mochi yarn in the Intense Rainbow colorway.


Knit to crochet: Lost in translation

I'm a firm believer that some patterns are best suited to knit and some patterns are best suited to crochet.

If you are like me and generally prefer one technique over the other (in my case, if given a choice, I would always choose to crochet a piece and only resort to knitting as a last resort).

But sometimes it's fun to take an attractive pattern that was designed in one technique and attempt to translate it to the other technique - for example, to take a pattern designed for knit and translate it into crochet.

That's what I recently attempted to do with Adela Illichmanova's lovely and unique Capucine hat, which she designed for knit. (The following samples were made with Lily Sugar'n Cream Cotton from 14-ounce cone in 02178 Potpourri.)

I worked up her basic pattern (meaning just the hat portion without adding the finishing tassels).



However, translating from one technique to another does not always yield the desired result - or if it does, sometimes it requires more than one attempt to be successful, as we will see here.

As I was working, I could tell that what I was crocheting was going to turn out to be far too small to fit an adult's head, and by the time I was about halfway through with the ridged portion, I could see what my piece was becoming: My first attempt to translate Adela's knitted Capucine design into crochet resulted in what I can only call a girl's pioneer-style sunbonnet. (And probably in a toddler girl's size at that.) So I finished it up by adding some chin ties and will pass this first translation "failure" along to one of my grandnieces for dress-up playtime. (Of course, it really isn't a "failure" if you end up with something usable, eh?)




But there is definitely a big difference between the knitted Capucine hat (left) and my first attempt to translate it to crochet (right).


Now back to the drawing board to try again! That's the fun part.




Thursday, July 12, 2012

Simple Mesh "Fishbowl" Project Tote with Bamboo Handles free pattern

Crochet pattern by Susan Benitez. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Pattern may not be sold or duplicated in any form. The written instructions, templates and illustrations are intended for personal, non-commercial use only.

Gauge: 

Gauge is not critical to this project.

Abbreviations used:

ch - chain
dc - double crochet
sc - single crochet
sl - slip stitch
st - stitch
yo - yarn over

Special stitch used:

dc2tog: To perform this stitch, yo, insert hook into next st, and pull up a loop. Yo and pull through first 2 loops. Yo, insert hook into next st, and pull up a loop. Yo and pull through first 2 loops. Yo and pull through all 3 loops on hook. Results in dc decrease by 1 st.

Materials list:

Crochet hook 5.5 mm (US size I)
Worsted weight cotton yarn, 2 balls (50 g each); sample was made using Lily Sugar-n-Cream
Pair of bamboo-style circular handles, 6-inch diameter

Notes:

Tote is worked in the round starting at the bottom. With the exception of the final round of the project, do NOT turn your work after you join the end of each round; continue working the following rounds in the same direction. For the FINAL round, when you join the handles, you will turn the piece and work because it results in a neater appearance on the outside (right side) of the tote.

Round 1

Ch 3. Work 11 dc in third chain from hook. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (11 dc made.)

Round 2

Ch 2 (does NOT count as 1st dc here and throughout). Work 2 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 2 dc in each stitch around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (22 dc made.)

Round 3

Ch 2. Work 2 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next st. Work *(2 dc in next st; 1 dc in next st). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (33 dc made.)

Round 4

Ch 2. Work 2 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 2 st. Work *(2 dc in next st; 1 dc in next 2 st). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (44 dc made.)

Round 5

Ch 2. Work 2 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 3 st. Work *(2 dc in next st; 1 dc in next 3 st). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (55 dc made.)

Round 6

Ch 2. Work 2 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 4 st. Work *(2 dc in next st; 1 dc in next 4 st). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (66 dc made.)

Round 7

Ch 2. Work 2 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 5 st. Work *(2 dc in next st; 1 dc in next 5 st). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (77 dc made.)

Round 8

Ch 2. Work 2 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 6 st. Work *(2 dc in next st; 1 dc in next 6 st). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (88 dc made.)

Round 9

Ch 2. Work 2 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 7 st. Work *(2 dc in next st; 1 dc in next 7 st). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (99 dc made.)

Round 10

Ch 2. Work 1 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in each st around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (99 dc made.)

Rounds 11-18

Repeat round 10.

Round 19

Ch 2. Work 1 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 6 st; dc2tog. Work *(1 dc in next 7 st; dc2tog). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (88 dc made.)

Round 20

Ch 2. Work 1 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 5 st; dc2tog. Work *(1 dc in next 6 st; dc2tog). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (77 dc made.)

Round 21

Ch 2. Work 1 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 4 st; dc2tog. Work *(1 dc in next 5 st; dc2tog). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (66 dc made.)

Round 22

Ch 2. Work 1 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in next 3 st; dc2tog. Work *(1 dc in next 4 st; dc2tog). Repeat from * around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (55 dc made.)

Round 23

Ch 2. Work 1 dc in same st as ch 2. Work 1 dc in each st around. Join round with sl at top of 1st dc. (55 dc made.)

Round 24

Repeat round 23.

Round 25

Ch 1. Work 1 sc in same st as ch 1. Work 1 sc in each st around. Join round with sl at top of 1st sc. (55 sc made.)

Round 26

Ch 1 and TURN. *(Hold 1 bamboo handle against the inside of the tote with the top of the handle in line with the top edge of the tote. Work [2 sc in each st] 7 times over bamboo handle; sl in next 21 st.) Repeat from * with second bamboo handle. Sl to join end of round.

Fasten off. Weave in ends and enjoy your new tote!