Thursday, January 31, 2013

Plush heart free pattern

I made this little Plush Heart from the Knitnoodler's Blog for my sweetie for Valentine's Day. The instructions were very clear, and the project knit up quickly.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ponytail hat free pattern

If you frequently wear your hair in a ponytail or bun, you know how difficult it is to wear a warm winter hat with those hairstyles.

This free pattern, Hannah, designed by Blake Ehrlich, is just the thing to keep all of your head warm while also nicely accommodating your hairstyle.

Since I have a daughter who's living in a cold climate and studying in a vocational program that requires her to keep her long hair tied up in a bun, we thought this hat would be the perfect solution to keep her head warm and her hair tidy.

I made it in Lily Sugar-n-Cream cotton yarn in Sage 02084.

I kept messing up the knitted ribbing that begins this pattern, so I finally went with a side-to-side hdc rib in crochet for the bottom of the hat, then picked up stitches along the upper edge on the knitting needle and finished the rest of the pattern as written.

I think the pattern is well written; I was apparently just too distracted at the time to get the ribbing right, but I’m positive that I will be making this hat again and will try to do it all in knitting next time!


Shells and Trellis Hat chemo free pattern

This year, I feel moved to crochet and/or knit caps to donate to patients undergoing treatment at a local cancer center. And although I have purchased many patterns over the years (and will certainly be purchasing many more in the future), sometimes it's nice just to be able to use a free pattern.

The expression goes that you get what you pay for, but I've found that there are LOTS and LOTS of high quality free patterns to be found online if you just take the time to look for them. I will try to share links on my blog to some of the patterns I've found and have particularly enjoyed making because I think you will enjoy making them, too. Be sure to give your love to the original designers who have so generously shared their work!

I found this Shells and Trellis Hat pattern at the Halos of Hope website. Their very worthwhile mission is to provide handmade hats to cancer patients in need. Go support them or donate a handmade hat to your local cancer center today because it's a great thing to do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Snow Bear scoodie free pattern

After making my daughter a Just Enough Cape in two of her favorite shades of pink, I needed another project to use up the leftover yarn.

The Snow Bear Scoodie by Debi Dearest was a good option to use up the yarn I had left because it didn't require a whole lot of yarn to make.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dark Mark armwarmers free pattern

These arm warmers, inspired by the Harry Potter books, are wicked cool. I made them for Rose Love's latest Christmas present, using the same Caron Simply Soft yarn in Dark Sage green to coordinate with her previous Slytherin gear xmas gifts.

This excellent free pattern, Dark Mark Arm Warmers Pattern and Chart, is designed Christa Casebeer of Nerd Girl Yarns.

I opted to knit this all in green and then add the black accents afterward, including a crocheted black picot trim to the top edge and application of the dark mark itself in duplicate stitch (on the left sleeve only!). For such a small applique, I think the mischief of duplicate stitch is a whole lot easier to manage than intarsia or other techniques.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

BOO! My skull balaclava mask free tutorial

Boo! Happy New Year!

Sure, I might have my holidays a little mixed up, but I felt inspired to crochet a skull mask/balaclava on Dec. 31 while waiting for the clock to strike midnight for the new year. I got the idea from the ebook "Manly Knits."

I started out making a basic hat shape in double crochet.

I made the hat length a little longer than standard so that the bottom of the "hat" portion sat just below my eyebrows. At that point, I measured how many stitches wide I would need an opening to be to accommodate both of my eyes (side to side) and continued adding rows to the hat going back and forth (turning my work when I got to the end of a row) to build height on either side of the large space for my eyes.

I had to try the hat on several times during this process to tell by feel when the eye hole space was tall enough for me to see through easily. Then I chained across the gap (using the same number of chain stitches as the number of stitches wide my eye hole space was wide) and joined the chain with a slip stitch to the top of the next double crochet stitch on the other side of the gap.

Then I continued in the round to add a couple more rows of double crochet, making 1 dc in each chain across the eye space, then finished off.

To fill in the vertical space between my eyes, I tried on the hat and placed a stitch marker on the stitch in line with where the inner edge of each of my eyes was in relation to the top of the eye space. Then I reattached the working yarn to a stitch with one of the markers and worked double crochet stitches just until I reached the stitch with the other marker. Then I turned my work and added a couple more rows of double crochet until the height of the section I was working matched up to the total height of the eye space. I broke the working yarn, leaving a long tail, and whip-stitched the center piece I just worked to the bottom of the eye space.

For the finishing touches, I reattached the working yarn to the bottom edge of the mask and worked a few pointy teeth. Lastly, I used a small amount of black yarn to embroider on some nasal "holes," and voila. Creepy enough for you? Bwah-ha-haaa.

This means I already have my Halloween costume ready for when, 10 months from now, come Oct. 31, I will be handing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters. It even fits comfortably over my glasses.