Friday, December 31, 2010

Before 2011 gets here, it's time to clean house

So, I've been thinking a lot about 2011. What I want to make, what I want to accomplish, where I want to take my craft(s). I've got lots of plans! I am going to be the crochet instructor for two Michaels stores in my area. I am going to submit as many designs as I can to magazines in hopes that I actually get one published (at which point I would probably die of a heart attack - LOL), I am getting certified through the CYCA, I am going to really dive into knitting...oh, and at some point I will spend some time with my hubby and kids too. I suppose they would appreciate some attention now and then.

Whew! That's a lot. But before I could tackle the new year I had to do a little housekeeping first. No, I don't mean sweeping the floor and doing the dishes. (Well, OK, I do have some dishes that need attending now that I think of it.) I am talking about scraps. You know what I mean. We all have 'em. Drawers or bags or stashes of nothing but scraps. 10 yds here, 50 yds there...all remnants of our past genius. I just couldn't begin the new year with so many scraps leering at me, taunting me, telling me how many other beautiful yarns could fit in their place if only they were gone.

So what should I do with all those scraps? Make a blanket? Well, blankets aren't really my thing. I mean, I could make a massive one, and who knows? Maybe I will make one and donate the result to the Long Beach Rescue Mission (it's a homeless shelter and my dad is on the board of directors). Hmm...that sounds like a good idea. Why didn't I think of that first? In fact, maybe I will do just that since I still have sooo many scraps left.

In the mean time though, I have come up with something great! At least I am happy with it. :) Presenting - my Scraptastic Poncho! I used my own pattern, adapted to adult size, and all scraps from my scrap bin. About 85% worsted weight with a few sport weight and bulkys thrown in for fun. No two rows are the same yarn color. Same yarns in some cases, but not the same color. No black, no white. And all but 2 rows are either 100% acrylic or a blend thereof. So many colors, so many textures, and yet I think they all blend together to look great! I will probably add more rows as time goes by because it was a very addictive project. ;)

Here is a Before photo of my Scrap bin...

Here are the yarns I used, all lined up according to how much yardage I had and which colors/textures I liked next to each other...

And here she is! I just love how it turned out!

Close up...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New pattern on Etsy and Ravelry!

I am proud to announce that I posted my first sized "for sale" pattern today on Etsy and Ravelry! It's a poncho done in Tunisian in the round. Awesomely (like that word? You have my permission to use it any time!), the fabric is reversible. There are several video tutorials linked in the pattern, all about Tunisian in the round, and certain Tunisian stitches used in the pattern.

(ETA - new/better pics!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Surface Braid Hat - free pattern!

ETA 11/18/2010: Thanks to a comment from Sirdar (am I to believe that's actually a representative of Sirdar yarn fame? - how cool!!), this stitch has a name! Well, a couple of names it turns out. And it's been around for ages! Also known as Camel Crochet (tm?), the Hump stitch, and a couple of other titles that aren't really used. This stitch is so cool, no matter what it's called. I am surprised it isn't more mainstream. Hopefully, with the pattern now having a presence on Ravelry, Crochet Pattern Central and Crochetville, this neat stitch will become more popular. Can't wait to see what others do with it! Thanks Sirdar!

Now back to the regularly scheduled program...

I guess it's been awhile, eh? I've been busy. Really, really, really busy (as my 2 year old would say). I am working on my first ever graded (sized) wearable pattern, and it's so fun! But also lots of work. Anyway, to take a little break from the grind, I came up with this new hat pattern. Hope you all enjoy! It was a surprise and an accident how I came upon this stitch technique. I know I didn't invent it, but after hours of scouring the internet, I can tell you almost NO ONE is using it. Hopefully this free pattern will excite others on it and we will start to see it used more. It's incredibly stretchy and would make a great chemo cap. (Hint, hint! My fav chemo cap group is Knots Of Love. If you can, make a hat for them!)

Surface Braid hat

I or J hook - I crochet tightly and used a J, but the hat is so stretchy that you will probably want to use an I hook for more form-fitting results
ww/aran yarn (probably about 100 yds, but I forgot to weigh it. sorry!)
stitch marker (optional but recommended)

This hat is worked seamlessly. Do not join rounds. Use stitch markers if necessary to identify the first stitch in each round. All stitches, after first round, are made into the back spine of the stitch (see video for clear instruction). And, this hat is reversible; either side makes for a great looking hat!

Special stitch:
See video for special stitch technique! (or see bottom of post for written instructions!)

Round 1: Ch 3, 12 hdc in 3rd ch from hook. (12 hdc)
Round 2: 2hdc in of each st around. (24 hdc)
Round 3: 2hdc in first st, hdc next st. *2hdc, hdc. Repeat from * to end. (36 hdc)
Round 4: 2hdc in first st, hdc next 2 st. *2hdc, hdc 2. Repeat from * to end. (48 hdc)
Round 5: 2hdc in first st, hdc next 3 st. *2hdc, hdc 3. Repeat from * to end. (60hdc)
Round 6: 2hdc in first st, hdc next 4 st. *2hdc, hdc 4. Repeat from * to end. (72 hdc)
Round 7: hdc in each hdc around.
Rounds 8 – end: Repeat Round 7 until desired length (between 7 – 8” for adult)
If making a child’s hat, eliminate Round 6 and Repeat Round 7 until the hat reaches between 6 – 7” tall.

Close up of the stitch can really see the braided feature sitting on the top of the hat.

And, like so many great things, this hat looks just as interesting when turned inside out!


For those who are unable to view the video, I am so sorry that I didn't write out the instructions. Silly me! Anyway, here goes...

Create a hdc as normal EXCEPT instead of inserting the hook under the front and/or back loops, turn your work towards you slightly and find the horizontal bar just below the top loops. Insert your hook under that bar, and complete the hdc as normal. This pushes the front and back top loops to the front of your work, showcasing the neat braid effect!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Windy's Hat

Last night, my good friend Windy came over to stitch n bitch with me. We had so much fun! Anyway, she liked one of the hats I had made recently so I thought I would 1.) share it with all of you, and 2.) name it after her. I think she'll be pleased.

Windy's Hat

2.5 oz ww yarn (sorry I didn't weigh each color individually, but you could make it all one color)
J hook (or I hook as I tend to crochet pretty tightly)
stitch markers

Notes: this hat is made seamlessly (until the brim) so be sure to mark your stitches, if necessary.

Super basic hat pattern:
Round 1: Ch 4, 11 dc in 4th ch from hk (12 dc)
Round 2: *2dc in each st around (24 dc)
Round 3: *2dc, dc. Repeat from * around. (36 dc)
Round 4: *2dc, dc 2. Repeat from * around. (48 dc)
Round 5: *2dc, dc 3. Repeat from * around. (60 dc)
Round 6: dc in each st around until hat reaches approx. 6" in length. If changing color, do so now. If not just sl st to join and continue on with brim.

Brim pattern:
Turn hat inside out. You will be working with wrong side facing you (see pic).

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as dc), dc 2, fpdc 2, *dc 3, fpdc 2. Repeat from * around. Sl st to top of ch 3 to join.
Round 2: Repeat Round 1 until brim reaches approx 3" in length. Fasten off and weave in ends. Turn hat right side out, fold up brim and you are done!


Monday, September 27, 2010

My version of the pinwheel sweater

So, I saw this amazing circle sweater, but alas, it's knitted. Although I've recently learned to knit, I am nowhere near ready for that sweater, or the amount of time it would take to complete said sweater! So, why not make one for myself. I mean, really, it's just a giant circle. Anyway, thought I would share with you all how I made it. Therefore, this isn't really a pattern so much as it is a tutorial. And because of the nature of this pattern, it can be altered to fit a child too.

Pinwheel Sweater

I used about 7 skeins of Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Garden in Gems colorway. The package says it's a fine weight yarn, other sources list it as sport weight. I think it's somewhere in between.

H hook

Fdc (foundation double crochet) - here is a link to an excellent video tutorial.

Note: All stitches are made in dc, so always sk ch 1 sp, unless otherwise noted. Sl st to top of ch 3 to join each round.

Ch 4, 11 dc in 4th ch fr hk (12 dc)
Ch 4 (counts as dc and ch 1), *dc, ch 1 in next dc*. Repeat from * to * to end. (12 dc, 12 ch 1)
Ch 3, dc in same st, ch 1, *2dc, ch 1 in next dc.* Repeat from * to * to end. (24 dc, 12 ch 1)
Ch 3, dc in same st, dc, ch 1, *2dc, dc, ch 1.* Repeat from * to * to end. (36 dc, 12 ch 1)
Ch 3, dc in same st, dc, dc, ch 1, *2dc, dc, dc, ch 1.* Repeat from * to * to end. (48 dc, 12 ch 1)
Ch 3, dc in same st, dc, dc, dc ch 1, *2dc, dc, dc, dc, ch 1.* Repeat from * to * to end. (60 dc, 12 ch 1)

Continue increasing as in pattern above until circle reaches diameter of the distance between the outer edges of your shoulders. For example, mine was 17".  If in doubt, add a little room.  You don't want it to be too tight!  Now you are going to make the holes for the sleeves.

Continue in pattern until first ch 1. Ch 1, then fdc number of stitches required and reattach at next set of increases by dcing into the first of the two dcs. To make that a bit simpler, let me give you my example. When I made my sleeves, I had 19 st between ch 1 spaces. So, I fdc 19 st and reattached with 2 dc in the next set. Continue as before for the next 7 sets. Ch 1, and fdc number required again and reattach as before. Continue pattern and sl st to join the round.

At this point, lay the circle out flat. The distinct pinwheel pattern has 12 sets or sections. There should be 3 sections between the armholes at the top, and there should be 7 sections between the armholes at the bottom. Also at this time, you should try it on to make sure there is enough room between the shoulders and to make sure the armholes are large enough.

Continue in pattern until you can put on the sweater and the fronts easily overlap each other, or until you like it. You may find a point where it gets too long in the back for your liking. Just stop there! No rhyme or reason, just make it until you are satisfied.

Here's what it should look like before attaching the sleeves.


There will be no increases made in the sleeves or they will be way too big! Also, you will not be joining the rounds. Count the number of stitches around and divide by 2; this will be your halfway number.

At the point where the fdc joins the sweater, join the yarn and ch 3. Dc next stitch. Continue dc until you reach your halfway number, ch 1, sk 1. Continue with your second half, dcing in each st as you go, until the end. Ch 1, sk 1. Dc in second dc (skipping ch 3 from previous round) and across until you reach ch 1 sp. Dc in ch 1 sp, ch 1, sk 1. *Dc around until ch 1 sp, dc in ch 1 sp, ch 1, sk 1* Repeat from * until you reach the desired length. Try on regularly to make sure of fit.

Now, the very nature of this sweater means that it will just fall right off without some sort of closure device. I use a hairpin as a shawl pin, but any shawl pin will do.

Here is a pic of the front where you can kinda see my hair pin closure.

I hope I made this clear enough! Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Charisma hat - free pattern!

I am obviously into the chunky weight yarn thing today because I have another free pattern I would like to share! I can't be the only person to have come up with something like this, so I apologize to everyone else out there who thinks like me. I really do. No one should think like me. It's not...normal.

Moving on...don't you love my son's face in this pic? He was irritated that I was using him as a head model for what he called a "chick's hat." I asked him if he would still feel that way if it were in a different color. He said he would wear it if it were black, grey, red or something other than stripes. LOL! Well, there you go. A guy's point of view...from an 11 year old.


Approx. 3 oz bulky weight yarn
N hook

Time needed: 1 - 2 hours, tops. Works great as a last minute gift for that friend that just told you this morning she is stopping by and you missed her birthday last month, and, come to think of it, last year.

Notes: although I used self-striping yarn (which is undoubtedly uber-cool), any smooth solid color yarn will work well too.

Notes 2: I named this scarf Charisma because that's the yarn I used. I used the self-striping version called Sunny Day. It was my first time with it, and I must say, I really liked it!

Notes 3: Join each round with a sl st to first st made.


Ch 4, sl st to first ch to create ring
Round 1: ch 1, *sc in ring, dc in ring* Repeat from * to * 3 more times. (8 st)
Round 2: ch 3, (counts as dc from here out), sc in same sp made as join. (Dc, sc) in next st and in each st around. (16 st)
Round 3: ch 1, *(Sc, dc), sc, (dc, sc), dc* Repeat from * to *, to end. (24 st)
Round 4: ch 3, sc in same sp made as join, dc next, sc. *(dc, sc), dc, sc* Repeat from * to * to end. (32 st)
Round 5: ch 1, *(Sc, dc), sc, dc, sc (dc, sc), dc, sc, dc* Repeat from * to *, to end. (40 st)
Round 6: ch 3, sc in same sp made as join, dc next, sc, dc, sc. *(dc, sc), dc, sc, dc, sc* Repeat from * to * to end. (48 st)
Round 7: ch 1, sc same sp made as join, dc next. *Sc, dc* Repeat from * to * to end. (48 st)
Round 8: ch 3, sc next st. *Dc, sc* Repeat from * to * to end. (48 st)
Round 9 - desired length. Note that in Rounds 7 and 8, all sc should be made in dc stitches and all dc should be made in sc stitches.
Ch 1, reverse sc around hat, if desired. F/O, weave in the ends, and you are DONE!

One skein Tunisian scarf

So, if you are anything like me, you lurve the feel of Homespun yarn but hate actually crocheting with it. Maybe it's just me, but I have the hardest time seeing my stitches using this yarn, and I am constantly splitting it with the hook. So beautiful, so soft, so evil.

Anyway, for me, Tunisian crochet is the answer! Using this technique allows me to use this lovely yarn for good and not firepit kindling. And, like most fiber addicts, I bet you have a skein (or 8) of this torturous yarn laying about, without purpose, without future prospects. And, like most, you hate the notion of tossing out perfectly good yarn. Well, let me solve that for ya! This scarf pattern doesn't curl, has really nice drape and is very warm and soft. And on top of all that, it's washable! Yay!

One Skein Tunisian Scarf

Bulky weight yarn - yep, you guessed it, one skein Homespun
9 mm afghan hook

Time needed: about 3 hours, more or less, depending on the number of children you have running about screaming that they want juice, are fighting with their siblings, just dropped a paint can on the floor...oh, I digress...

Notes: all return rows are done as normal - y/o, pull through one for the first stitch, y/o pull through two for the remaining stitches in the row.

Stitches used:
Tss - Tunisian simple stitch Slide hook from right to left under the post of the stitch and draw up a loop.
Tdc - Tunisian double crochet. Y/o, slide hook from right to left under the post of the stitch, draw up a loop, y/o and pull through 2.
Sc - single crochet. Um, I bet you know this one already. :)

Ch 15
Row 1: with one loop on, tss across the chain, return row
Row 2: ch 2 (counts as first tdc), tdc across the row, return row
Row 3 - : repeat Rows 1 and 2, until you reach the desired length, or until you reach the end of the skein.
Bind off using sc.

There, couldn't be simpler. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mini Rib Hat - free pattern!

1/17/2011 ETA: many have asked about how wavy this pattern is when starting out. Keep with it! I promise, after several rounds, it will take shape!

To celebrate my Adventures in Knitting, I thought I would share a free crochet pattern with you. Doesn't that sound like fun? Enjoy!

Here is my pattern for the Mini Rib Hat. Now there's nothing mini or ribbed about this hat, but the finished hat looks a bit ribbed, and I couldn't think of anything better to call it. It produces a dense weave so it's really warm, but is very stretchy because of the ch 1 sp throughout. This would make a great chemo cap for those of you out there who donate!

Mini-Rib hat

Materials Needed:
J hook
2.75 oz ww yarn (appx 140 yds)
Trace amount of contrast color
Stitch markers (optional but may be helpful with this pattern)

• V stitch – (sc, ch 1, sc) all in same st.
• Always sl st to first sc to join round.
• All V stitches made in ch 1 sp, unless otherwise indicated.

Round 1: Ch 2, 10 sc in 2nd ch from hk. (10 sc)
Round 2: Ch 1, V st in first sc, and in ea sc around. (10 V st)
Round 3: Ch 1, 2 V st in first ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp. *2 V st in ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp.* Repeat from * to end. (15 V st)
Round 4: Ch 1, 2 V st in first ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp (2 times). *2 V st in ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp (2 times).* Repeat from * to end. (20 V st)
Round 5: Ch 1, 2 V st in first ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp (3 times). *2 V st in ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp (3 times).* Repeat from * to end. (25 V st)
Round 6: Ch 1, 2 V st in first ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp (4 times). *2 V st in ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp (4 times).* Repeat from * to end. (30 V st)
Round 7: Ch 1, 2 V st in first ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp (5 times). *2 V st in ch 1 sp, V st next ch 1 sp (5 times).* Repeat from * to end. (35 V st)
Rounds 8 – 26: Ch 1, V st in ea ch 1 sp around. (35 V st)
Round 27: Join contrast color, Ch 1, V st in ea ch 1 sp around. (35 V st)
Round 28: Pick up main color, Ch 1, V st in ea ch 1 sp around. (35 V st)

Cut yarn, fasten off and weave in the ends!

Adventures in Knitting!

Well, I've gone and done it. I swore I was going to learn to knit one of these days and sure enough, I did! I checked out a couple of youtube videos, decided continental style suited this crocheter just fine and off I went. No kidding, by the next day I had made my first hat. Of course I knit it flat...circular needles and those double-pointed torture sticks are waaaay beyond me, at least for now. Anyway, thought I would share some pics with you of my first attempts. Please keep the laughter to a minimum. Or a maximum, who cares? It's not like I can hear you from here. :)
This is my first attempt. It's so bad, it's not even worthy of a mannequin shot...

Here is my second attempt. This time with ww yarn and size 11 needles. Umm I didn't realize that would be like using an N hook with fishing wire. Yikes! It's super loose and don't you just love that LARGE hole in the front where I obviously dropped a stitch. Yep. Pretty.

Here is my third attempt. It's actually pretty good. Even the seam in the back is decent. This time I used size 8 needles and the tension was much better. I would even wear this in public.

Monday, August 30, 2010

photo guide to boxing bag corners

As mentioned in my free Aspen Bag pattern, this is a step-by-step photo guide to boxing corners of any crocheted (or knitted) bag. Enjoy!

Boxing Corners – photo tutorial

Step1: Reach one hand in the bag, and make an indentation with the other hand

Step 2: Grab the indentation with the hand that's in the bag and…

Step 3: pull it inside out.

Step 4: Take a tapestry needle and stitch across the piece you brought out

Step 5: Push the piece back in the bag and you’re done!

There now…that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Aspen Bag - free Tunisian bag pattern!

So, remember how I sold out? Well, I bought back in. LOL I decided to offer the Aspen Bag pattern for free. I felt like it was too simplistic to charge for and felt bad about it.

Anyway, hope you enjoy!

Aspen Bag

6.5mm afghan hook
appx 500 yards heavy ww yarn for large bag (shown here in rust)
appx 130 yards heavy ww accent color and appx 300 yards heavy ww main color for small bag (shown here in fuchsia and black)
5 - 1.5" decorative rings for large bag
8" handles for small bag
tapestry needle

Finished measurements:
Small bag - 9" X 9.5"
Large bag - 9" X 11.5"

Special stitches:
Tss - Tunisian simple stitch. Slide hook through the front vertical bar to the left of stitch being worked. Yarn over and pull up loop.
Txs - Tunisian cross stitch. Skip next vertical bar. Tss next stitch, then tss stitch just skipped.
Tks - Tunisian knit stitch. Slide hook through vertical bar to the left of the stitch being worked and push the hook through to the back of your work. Yarn over and pull up loop.
Trs - Tunisian reverse stitch. Slide hook through the back vertical bar to the left of the stitch being worked. Yarn over and pull up loop.
Tfs - Tunisian full stitch. Push hook to the back of your work, through space between the vertical bars. Yarn over and pull up loop.

Special notes:
(1) All return rows are standard. Ch 1 for first stitch. For all other stitches, yarn over and pull through two loops.
(2) Remember that the loop on your hook at the beginning of each row counts as a stitch!

Lining your bags:
If you don't sew, don't worry! You, too, can line your bag for almost no money and without using a needle. Cut a few pieces of craft store felt (or make your own from that bottomless pit of scrap yarn you know you've been dying to use!) to the dimensions of your bag, plus about .25" for seam allowance along the sides and bottom. Glue them together with a strong epoxy along the .25" seam allowance (sides and bottom only). Once dry, turn inside out and then glue them to the inside of your bag. Yes, I said glue them. A strong enough epoxy that is approved for fabric will hold. Don't be ashamed. Glue can be your best friend!

This pattern was designed to create more possibilities than just one bag. Here are some suggestions for the interchangeability of patterns:
(1) Put wooden or acrylic handles on the larger bag or put straps on the smaller bag.
(2) Change the opening of the larger bag by not securing the two txs pieces together or stiffen the opening to the smaller bag by securing the two accent pieces together.
(3) Put an accent color on the larger bag or make the smaller bag all one color.
(4) And, as always, large flowers, buttons or rings make great decorative statements!

Now, on to the good stuff...

Large Aspen Bag

Body (make 2)
Ch 34
Row 1: Trs each st across to last st. Tss last st.
Row 2 - 8: *Txs next 2 st* Repeat from * to last st. Tss last st. (16 x stitches)
Row 9: Repeat Row 1.
Row 10: *Tks next st, tfs next st* Repeat from * to last st. Tss last st. This effectively doubles the number of stitches, giving the bag it's pleated appearance and full bottom.
Row 11 - 33: *Tks each st across* Repeat from * to last st. Tss last st.
Bind off with sc across each st. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Turn pieces right sides together. Join yarn in corner of a Row 1 and sl st or sc seam down one side, across the bottom and up the other side. The bag will now have a distinctly triangular shape. If you prefer it to be like this, just leave it! If you want a boxier shape, box the corners. Never even heard of such a thing? Well then it's a good thing you got this pattern! (you can also see the photo guide page) Turn the bag right side out. Reach one hand in the bag, and make an indentation with the other deep or shallow as you want. The deeper the indentation, the boxier the shape. And, yes, you guessed it! A more shallow indentation will result in a more triangular shaped bag. For me, I have about a 1.25" indentation. Grab the indentation with the hand that's in the bag and pull it inside out. Take a tapestry needle and stitch across the piece you brought out. Looking directly at it, it should look like a candy corn shape. Repeat on the other side. Push the pieces back inside the bag and voila! You made an easy task look difficult. Take a little bow. Go ahead. I'll wait.

You can get up from your bow now. Seriously! You are going to get lightheaded. Let's move on to the handles. Join yarn in a Row 1 corner and sl st around entire opening of purse, securing 4 of the decorative rings with 3 sc in equidistant positions. Oh yes, I said equidistant. For the straps, ch 4, turn, sc across row (3 sc), ch 1, turn, sc 3. Continue in this pattern until strap reaches 10". Make 4. You could make more, but that might look silly. Whipstitch one strap to each of the 4 rings on the bag. Then, whipstitch all 4 straps to one ring in the center.

Weave in your ends and admire your work!

Small Aspen Bag

Body (make 2)
Ch 34
Row 1: Trs each st across to last st. Tss last st.
Row 2 - 8: *Txs next 2 st* Repeat from * to last st. Tss last st. (16 x stitches)
At this point, you will change color.
Row 9: Repeat Row 1.
Row 10: Tks next st, tfs next st. *Tks next st, tks next st, tfs next st.* Repeat from * to last st. Tss last st. You will be increasing the number of stitches, but only about 30% more.
Row 11 - 33: *Tks each st across* Repeat from * to last st. Tss last st.
Bind off with sc across each st. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Turn pieces right sides together. Join main body color yarn in corner of a Row 9 and sl st or sc seam down one side, across the bottom and up the other side (to the corner of Row 9). Box the corners, if desired, as previously directed.

Join accent color yarn in corner of Row 8. Sl st up the side and across the top, securing the handles with sc as you go along. Repeat for other side. Make sure you do not secure the two accent color pieces together. This will allow for a wider, more flexible opening.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Whoa - went from one pattern to three!

I guess they are coming fast and furious now. LOL I just posted For Sale patterns two and three today. I am really getting interested in the design behind the design. Have no idea how it will all work out, or what sort of stuff I will be making 6 months or 6 years from now, but I am really looking forward to the journey!

Next stop - wearable crochet! (don't know how that will go over, because I am SOOOO impatient!)

What do you think of my pics?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Tunisian in the round video tutorial

I hope you find this tutorial helpful. It's a pretty large file, so be patient while it loads. If you have a slow speed internet, or dialup, you may not be able to see it here. If that's the case, click on this link, and I have posted the video on photobucket.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Aspen Bag (a.k.a. - I am a huge sellout)

Oh my gosh. I did it. I can't believe it! I just posted my first ever "for sale" pattern!

Now, if you've followed a bit of my blog you will see that I am a HUGE fan of the free pattern. So why sell one? Two words: My Husband. He is so sweet and considerate. He really is. But, he casually suggested (LOL) that I start selling some, ahem, stuff, in order to support my habit. With that said, I figured I would give a pattern a go. Wish me luck! If the pattern goes well, maybe my hunny won't be as begrudgingly supportive of my yarn habit. Instead, maybe he will welcome it with open arms, saying "Honey, you simply don't have enough yarn! Get thee to the yarn store!"

Ahh...I can only dream...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Deeply Textured Hat free pattern, and other mutterings

Hello fellow bloggers! Anyone miss me? It's been 2.5 looooong months since I've posted here. Lots has happened, but of course, the biggest change has been moving into our new house. I just love it! And I really love this town. I have been working so hard on this house; painting, painting and more painting. All 1851 square feet of this house has been painted by me...14 ft ceilings and all! Quite proud of myself actually. I've only smudged paint onto the ceiling once or twice (per room)...

But let's not think it's been all work and no play for this lady. Oh no. I've been crocheting up a STORM! I promised my sweet hubby that I would blow through my stash before buying any more yarn, and until today, I've stuck to that promise. Do you know how hard it's been to refrain from random yarn purchases? I mean, really, the ads come out every Sunday and Wednesday, taunting me with the deals of the week. But I've resisted. Until today that is. However, I only bought one ball of yarn and I really NEEEEEEEEEDED it (for a project to be named at a further date). So that's not really breaking a promise, is it? LOL

I am still super into Tunisian crochet. In fact, I am putting the finishing touches on my very first "for sale" pattern! Just thought I would try my hand at it. Worst that can happen is no one likes it! LOL Anyway, it's a bag, well, two bags actually, and I am hoping to post it in the next day or two.

But for now, as a welcome back to me present (from the land of painters tape, rollers, and ah...crap, I spilled paint on the floor debacles) I am pleased to give everyone a free pattern! This is regular crochet, so no fear, ok?!

Deeply Textured Hat
heavy ww yarn (aran yarn)/ J hook
**Gauge is not particularly important as I think it should fit just about any adult. However, my gauge on this hat was 2 row heights = 1" **

Stitches to know - dc (double crochet), fptc (front post triple crochet). Click on the link if you are unsure about the fptc.

NOTE: sl st to join each round

Round 1: Ch 4, 11 dc into 4th ch from hook (12 dc)
R2: Ch 3 (counts as dc from here out), dc into same st, 2 dc into next st and each st around. (24 dc)
R3: Repeat R2 (48 dc)
R4: Ch 3, dc into same st, dc next 3 st. *2 dc next st, dc next 3 st* Repeat from * to end. (60 dc)
R5: Ch 3, fptc around same st, *dc next st, fptc next st* Repeat from * to end. (30 dc, 30 fptc). After joining the round, sl st to the next st.
R6: Ch 3, fptc around first dc from previous round, *dc into fptc from previous round, fptc next* Repeat from * to end.
R7: Repeat R6 until you reach your desired length. Finish with one round sc in each st.

FYI: I have a total of 14 rows = 7".

Feel free to destash some of your scrap yarn by adding a stripe or two. On the gray version I created a whole round in the green, and one row sc. On the brown version, I just did the sc round in blue. I only had the tiniest bit of that blue in my stash, and now it's gone!

Another note - if you choose to use a lighter weight worsted yarn, you may want to increase your crown stitch count to 72, depending on how tightly you crochet.

Well, hope you enjoy! Can't wait to see how it turns out for everyone!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ribbed Brim Tunisian Hat

Front and top views of two colorways of my latest creation...

I can't stop myself with this Tunisian thing...I just love it. I only have a few days before Moving Day, but who cares? I am lovin' my crochet. Anyway, here is another hat pattern. Reminder: I am no pro at writing patterns, so don't shoot me if there's something wrong! LOL!

OK - here goes...

Materials: two colors ww yarn, double-ended J (6.00mm) hook, tapestry needle

Chain 60 (small hat), 66 (medium hat) or 72 (large hat)

Pick up stitches around with primary color as in Tss. Keep turning hook back and forth as Tunisian in the round.

Turn hook and bind off as normal with secondary color.

Continue around for about 14 rows. Then, with all decreases happening on the forward pass, tss next 4 stitches, tss2tog next two stitches. See pic.

Continue for one round. Next round, tss next 3 stitches, tss2tog next two stitches. If it works out correctly, you should be tss2tog the stitch before and the decrease stitch from the previous round. See the picture since I am sure that made no sense whatsoever. The silver hook is pointing to the example. Sorry I used dark colors. LOL

Continue in the decrease pattern until only one or 2 stitches remain. Fasten off by pulling both colors through the last loop on hook. At this point, a small bit of the hat may be sticking up a little funny from the top. No biggie. Just tuck the loose ends back through the hat and weave in the ends nicely.

Now, join either color yarn to the original chain with a sl st. At this point, you can switch to a regular J hook, if you want. Chain 3 (counts as bpdc from here out), and dc in each ch around. 66 dc. Sl st to beginning ch 3.

Ch 3, fpdc next stitch, bpdc next stitch, and so on. You are creating the ribbing. Continue this around, sl st to first ch 3. Continue for 2 or three more rounds (depending on how long you want the hat) and then finish off.

Weave in ends neatly BECAUSE...this hat is also reversible! Tunisian "wrong side" is just as interesting as "right side" in my opinion. Just check out the reverse of these!

Well, I hope you enjoy this pattern! Please don't sell this pattern! Have fun!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

More Tunisian projects and a free pattern!

Well, my obsession with Tunisian crochet continues, despite the fact that I am still supposed to be packing. LOL

Anyway, just wanted to share my recent creations. This honeycomb hat was made Tunisian in the round, and I really like how it turned out. I created the pattern myself! I also made a junior version which my daughter, begrudgingly, modeled for me. Look at the bottom of this post for the pattern.

I also made these two bags. The blue one is that same honeycomb pattern, but the red one is all knit stitch in the round. You can't see it, but there is purple behind the red. I used the new Country Loom by Loops N Threads from Michaels. I absolutely LOVE it! I will be using it again, for sure.

Honeycomb Hat

Materials needed:

Double-ended crochet hook, size 6.5mm
Worsted weight yarn, two colors (MC - main color, CC - contrast color)
Tapestry needle

Stitch explanation:
Tss - tunisian simple stitch. I think this is also called a basic stitch.
Tps - tunisian purl stitch. This is also called a reverse stitch.
Tunisian crochet in the round. This video takes a while to get the point, but it's worth viewing.

Now, on to the pattern...
With MC, chain 61, being careful not to twist the chain, sl st the chain together to form a ring (ETA - I just tried a hat starting with ch 61 using a thinner ww yarn and it was a bit too tight. Depending on the yarn, you may want to go with ch 66 or 71.)
Pull up loops as basic forward pass, all around the ring, with CC chasing (or binding off) behind.

Once foundation row is done, tss in the next stitch and tps next stitch. Continue in this manner with CC chasing until the hat reaches about 5 - 5.25" long. If all is well, you should be tss in a tps stitch from the round previous, and tps in a tss stitch.

Now comes the decrease part, and here is where a stitch marker may come in handy. *Tss next stitch, tps next stitch, tss next stitch, tps next stitch, then tss next 2 stitches together. Tps next stitch, tss next stitch, tps next stitch, tss next stitch, then tps next 2 stitches together* *Repeat to end of round.

Next decrease round: *Tss next stitch, tps next stitch, tss next stitch, tps next 2 stitches together.* *Repeat to end of round. Now, in case you missed a stitch, or had too many stitches, don't worry! Just start off this round with tps and keep on going. Honestly, no one will know. LOL!

Next decrease round: *Tss next stitch, tps next stitch, tss next 2 stitches together. Tps next stitch, tss next stitch, tps next 2 stitches together.* *Repeat to end of round.

Next decrease round: *Tss next stitch, tps next 2 stitches together.* *Repeat to end of round.

Next decrease round: *Tss next 2 stitches together. Tps next 2 stitches together* *Repeat until there is just one stitch left (or two, depending on how the rest of the pattern went for ya!). Fasten off the yarn by pulling both colors through the MC loop on hook. Pull the ends back down through the hat (so they are on the inside) and use your tapestry needle to clean it up. Also, clean up the ends from the beginning of the hat.

Voila! You are done! And best of all, the hat is reversible. The back side of Tunisian work is just as visually interesting as the front.

A little disclaimer (if you even made it this far) - I have just learned Tunisian, and actually never read or wrote a Tunisian pattern. I cannot guarantee that this pattern will be free of errors. But, give it a try and tell me what you think. I think it will make a great gift and I think you will be able to sell these at your local fairs, etc.!

Oh, and for the junior version, chain 53, and follow the rest of the gist of the pattern. :)