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.