Sunday, September 29, 2013

Autumnal textured unisex cloche free pattern

Happy autumn! As the weather takes a turn toward cooler temperatures, I felt inspired to make a seasonably jolly orange version of Vonne's free Textured Unisex Hat pattern.




It's a great cloche design to make and donate to patients undergoing chemotherapy at your local cancer center. I'm donating this one!


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Foxy crochet hat free pattern

It has been a busy past few weeks, but I finally had time to make the crocheted fox hat pattern from Lisa and Tanya's Foxy KAL.




The crochet fox hat pattern was originally written to be worked flat, but I deviated from the instructions and made it in the round (although it’s still square shaped!) seamlessly from the top down.


The free pattern isn't widely available just yet, but if you want to get your hooks into it sooner rather than later, you can request a copy by signing up for the Foxy CAL Ravelry group.


It ended up being a little big, but I still like how the project turned out. :-)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Joining the KAL

For the uninitiated, "KAL" stands for Knit-A-Long, which is a fun way of expressing the event where a designer shares a pattern with a group of knitters. Generally, the pattern and instructions are released in small portions at a time over a period of time, and the knitters work on each portion of the pattern as they receive it. The designer and the knitters usually correspond online, both for fun and to share questions and answers about how to work the pattern.

At the end of the process, everyone who sticks with the project has a new item to show off, and people from the group often share photos of their finished pieces. It is fascinating to see the creativity of the other group members in how their finished pieces can vary from person to person -- even when everyone was following the same pattern!

In similar fashion, "CAL" stands for Crochet-A-Long.

I have never tried participating in either a KAL or CAL before, but I just heard of "A very FOXY KAL" being offered by Tanya and Lisa, who hail from Australia, and I just headed over to their Ravelry group to join in. It looks like it will be a lot of fun, and the free fox hat pattern they are sharing is SO CUTE -- AND it's available in BOTH a knitted and crocheted version! I hope you will check it out and join in, too!





Friday, September 13, 2013

X Marks the Spot Granny Square free pattern

I've been wanting to find the granny square patterns that I would need to make an afghan that looks like the one in this photo that I found at Pinterest:


I have no idea who the original creator of the above design is, but I love it, AND I love the monochromatic color scheme.

I figured a good staring place would be to try to locate a pattern for the non-flower squares -- meaning the squares that make up the center of the afghan in the above photo, the ones that look like they have an X going from corner to corner.

And although it's entirely likely that the pattern does exist out there somewhere, I was unable to find it. But working from another photo (see below), I wrote an X Marks the Spot Granny Square pattern that looks similar.


The biggest difference is that the center of the squares in the afghan in the first photo utilize what appears to be a sc/ch sequence around the initial ch ring, which gives the centers a floral look when the next round of "petals" is added. I will try to work that part out in a later revision of my X Marks the Spot Granny Square pattern.

Here is a photo of a finished square made with the version of my X Marks the Spot Granny Square pattern that is found below on this page.


I made it with Lily Sugar & Cream 100 percent cotton worsted weight yarn using an I hook (5.5 mm). Mine came out at 5.75 inches across, although yours may vary depending on your tension, as well as the yarn and hook you choose to use.


Here is a copy of my free pattern.

X Marks the Spot Granny Square pattern


Use whatever yarn weight and hook size that you prefer. As written, in this pattern the ch 2 at the beginning of each round does NOT count as a dc. (If you prefer the initial ch to count as a stitch, ch 3 instead and skip dc at base of ch. At the end of each round, join with a sl to the top of the initial ch 3.)

Special stitches:

* Work corner: (ch 1, 3 dc in next ch 2 space, ch 2, 3 dc in same ch 2 space, ch 1)

Round 1:

Ch 6; join with sl to make a ring. Ch 2. Working stitches into ring, (3 dc, ch 2) 8 times. Join with sl in top of 1st dc. (8 clusters of 3 dc separated by 2 ch in between)

Round 2:

Sl into first ch 2 space (2 sl). Ch 2. Working stitches into ch 2 spaces only, (3 dc in next ch 2 space, * work corner in next ch 2 space) 4 times. Join with sl in top of 1st dc. (4 sides of 1 3-dc cluster each and 4 corners)

Round 3:

Ch 2. Dc at base of ch 2 and in each of next 2 dc. Dc in ch 1 space. (* Work corner, dc in next ch 1 space, dc in next 3 dc, dc in next ch 1 space) 3 times. * Work corner, then dc in next ch 1 space. Join with sl in top of 1st dc. (4 sides of 5 dc each and 4 corners)

Round 4:

Ch 2. Dc at base of ch 2 and in each of next 3 dc. Dc in ch 1 space. . (* Work corner, dc in next ch 1 space, dc in next 5 dc, dc in next ch 1 space) 3 times. * Work corner, then dc in next ch 1 space and dc in next dc. Join with sl in top of 1st dc. (4 sides of 7 dc each and 4 corners)

Round 5:

Ch 2. Dc at base of ch 2 and in each of next 5 dc. Dc in ch 1 space. . (* Work corner, dc in next ch 1 space, dc in next 7 dc, dc in next ch 1 space) 3 times. * Work corner, then dc in next ch 1 space and dc in next 2 dc. Join with sl in top of 1st dc. FO. (4 sides of 9 dc each and 4 corners)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ahoy, Owl! Pirate Hat

I saw a hat for sale that looked just like this, but the original designer wasn't selling her pattern, so I decided to improvise a version for myself: I call it the Ahoy, Owl! Pirate Hat.

This will be perfect to give to young buccaneer Nathaniel for his first Christmas, because his parents decorated his nursery in a pirate theme.






Saturday, July 27, 2013

Couldn't wait to try the Fraga Headband free pattern

Like a lot of crafters, I have a form of project ADHD - meaning I usually have several (or lots) of projects in the works at all times. And even though I have a good overall record of completion, that doesn't necessarily mean I won't start another project before finishing what I already have on my needles or hooks.

Anyway, you can see in the photos that I was pretty desperate to start working on the Fraga Headband by Needlework + Seedlings -- I used a set of needle tips WITHOUT a joining cable (because I have more needles than cables!!), and I didn't want to steal a cable from another project in progress. And I didn't want to wait to order more cables. And at a mere 20 stitches wide, the headband is narrow enough that it worked. :-)




Here's a close-up of the braided cable effect:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Desert twilight headwrap free pattern

When you just don't want to wear a full hat, a wide headband or headwrap is a great alternative to keep your ears warm and your hair out of your face.

This is the 86-10 Headband by DROPS Design. I made it with Red Heart Super Saver yarn in the Artist Print colorway. The colors remind me of sunsets in the desert, hence I named it: desert twilight headwrap.




Monday, June 10, 2013

Rib-A-Roni chemo cap free pattern

Still on my quest to donate hats to cancer patients, I decided to try the Rib-A-Roni hat pattern designed by Jane Tanner of Windy Prairie Designs.


This turned out looking super cute in the Red Heart With Love yarn Plum Jam colorway.


I made the hat a little long on purpose, so the wearer can fold or roll up the brim for a jaunty look on warmer days, but on colder days, they can pull the hat down over their ears and stay comfortably snug.






Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dangle lotus earrings free pattern

I came across the chart for this simple but pretty crochet hoop earring quite by accident on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/flordecactus/crochet-earrings/


However, I was unable to locate the pattern chart at what was listed as being the originating site (crochet-plaisir-over-blog.com).

As you can see in the photos, I made my first pair of earrings without the beads indicated in the chart.


I tend to find it easier to work from written instructions rather than charts, so I transcribed the chart below.

CROCHET DANGLE EARRINGS WITH BEADS

Supplies: 1 pair of 3cm diameter latchback hoop earrings; size 3 cotton thread; size C (2.75mm) hook; 10 beads of your choice (5 for each earring), optional. (If not using beads, see alternate instructions below.)

String 5 beads onto cotton thread. Leaving a long tail, make a slipknot in the thread and place slipknot on the hook.

Row 1: Working around the earring hoop, sc 38. Turn.

Row 2: Sl 7; ch 6; sl in 5th sc from ch. Ch 6; dc in 5th sc from ch. Ch 6; dc in 5th sc from ch. Ch 6; sl in 5th sc from ch. Ch 6; sl in 5th sc from ch. Turn.

Row 3: In first ch loop: (sc, hdc, 3 dc, place bead, dc, hdc, sc.) Repeat ( to ) in second ch loop. In third ch loop: sc, hdc, 2 dc, 2 tc, place bead, 2 tc, 2 dc, hdc, sc. In fourth ch loop: ((sc, hdc, dc, place bead, 3 dc, hdc, sc.)) Repeat (( to )) in fifth ch loop. Sl to join to foundation sc row. FO. Weave in ends. Repeat process for second earring.

CROCHET DANGLE EARRINGS WITHOUT BEADS

Supplies: 1 pair of 3cm diameter latchback hoop earrings; size 3 cotton thread; size C (2.75mm) hook.

Leaving a long tail, make a slipknot in the thread and place slipknot on the hook.

Row 1: Working around the earring hoop, sc 38. Turn.

Row 2: Sl 7; ch 6; sl in 5th sc from ch. Ch 6; dc in 5th sc from ch. Ch 6; dc in 5th sc from ch. Ch 6; sl in 5th sc from ch. Ch 6; sl in 5th sc from ch. Turn.

Row 3: In first ch loop: (sc, hdc, 4 dc, hdc, sc.) Repeat ( to ) in second ch loop. In third ch loop: sc, hdc, 2 dc, 4 tc, 2 dc, hdc, sc. Repeat ( to ) in fourth and fifth ch loops. Sl to join to foundation sc row. FO. Weave in ends. Repeat process for second earring.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Smiling Joe skullcap

I figured my honey needed a cool costume-like hat to wear next Halloween (so he can at least try keep up with my awesomeness while I am wearing MY skull balaclava and handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters).

So I made him Darleen Hopkins' Smiling Joe, the Skull Hat/Creepy Beanie.


Looks like I will need to make him another one that's slightly larger! LOL!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pink Roswell alien hat

I purchased several of Darleen Hopkins' character-ific crochet hat patterns some months ago, and I figured it was about time I got started on making them.


This is my interpretation of her Roswell Alien Hat pattern. I made it in pink because I thought the unexpected color might appeal to a cancer patient with a slightly quirky sense of humor. :-) This hat will be donated to my local cancer center.





Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beaded chemo cap free pattern

This is the Seamless Beaded Cancer Cap by Amy Depew. I was looking for a chemo cap pattern that incorporated beads to give it a fancier look than just the yarn by itself, and Amy's pattern was the perfect solution.


Amy also includes detailed instructions (including a video tutorial) for how to place the beads and get them to stay on the outside of the hat, which was very helpful. When you're crocheting in the round, those darn beads tend to want to slip to the inside of your work -- and we definitely don't want that to happen.




Monday, April 22, 2013

Baby boy hat and loafer set

My friend at work is having her first child -- a boy! -- due this summer. Ah, babies ... so much fun to craft for. :-)

To start things off, I made the Simply Spiky Hat and Loafers pattern designed by Britta Graham.



Monday, April 15, 2013

Cabled long fingerless gloves free pattern

These lovelies are the Pretty Cabled Fingerless Gloves by Wei S. Long -- and this is also my very first knitting project with cables. Yippee! :-)


I used to be very intimidated at the thought of attempting cables, but Wei's pattern made learning the process quite easy. Using the magic loop technique, I worked the arm ribbing in size 7 needles, then switched to the size 5 needles where the cable rows begin in the wrist.


I really love this design. It is so elegant in its simplicity. I will definitely be making more of these.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Quick lacy slouch beanie free pattern

This is the Pacific Chunky Quick Lacy Slouch Hat designed by Shannon Dunbabin.


I didn’t have any bulky weight yarn in my stash, which was called for in the pattern, so I used two strands of  Caron Simply Soft held together.

I like the pattern overall, but I’m not particularly happy with the way my first attempt turned out. It just looks too loose to me. I think it will look much better if I make it again using a single strand of yarn, which I will try doing soon.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lotus hat free pattern

I love the gorgeous texture of this pattern. It's the Lotus Hat by UptownPurl.


It requires a bit of skill for you to know how to knit while following a chart -- but that process isn’t too difficult if you take it slowly at first and use a stitch/row counter.


If you aren’t familiar with chart knitting, it may require some practice, so I would rate this pattern's difficulty at medium. (It may not be suitable for beginning knitters, although none of the stitches are difficult to work.) In spite of how the stitches appear to cross, there is no cabling involved here.


I hadn’t previously used the yo technique for lace knitting, but this tutorial by theshizknit was the best one I found to explain it. (Totally easy, by the way!)

I made this pattern with the one extra repeat of the chart to give the hat a bit of slouch. And although I made the blue one to donate, I loved the design so much that I had to make another one for myself in gray.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hexagon dishcloth free pattern Tunisian crochet

This was my very first attempt to do the Tunisian crochet technique after finding a 5mm Tunisian hook tucked away among the many sets of needles in my mother’s old knitting bag.

I don’t recall ever having seen her use this long afghan hook, although my memory is full of scenes watching her use standard hooks to create large, beautiful afghans for her home and to give as gifts.

Nevertheless, I wanted to try out this newly discovered hook, and a dishcloth seemed like a useful item to make as a learning piece (that was also of a manageable scale to finish quickly and avoid possible discouragement!).

This Tunisian Short Row Dishcloth pattern by Khebhin Gibbons is easy to follow and a great project for beginning Tunisian crocheters like me.


Because I am notorious for not following directions (something about my stubborn streak), instead of whip-stitching the edges together after making the final wedge in the hexagon as instructed, I simply slip-stitched the final edge to the beginning edge.


This brought the unbroken working yarn back to the outside of the hexagon, where I then switched to a standard I hook and added a ruffle made of four rows of a graduated picot trim for a lacy effect.