Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Nephew's Scarf

In theme of using my black yarn I have an abundance of, I made this scarf with a nephew in mind.  Green is one of his favorite colors, and this one is is sort of a mossy green, so should be pretty neutral to match clothes.  I hope he'll like it, when I give it to him!  :)  Now to make a similar one for his brother....

Hat and Scarf Gift

I recently acquired a lot of black yarn, and so I made this hat with a friend in mind who likes purple and blue.  And to go with it, made a matching scarf.  I really don't like working with eyelash yarn, so I always weave it with a strand of regular yarn, so I have more bulk to work with, and it makes it easier to grab with the hook.  As long as the yarns are the same color, you can't really tell by looking at it.  And it often makes the eyelash yarn go further in a project.  It does change the softness of the scarf a little bit, but it's still really soft compared to other types of yarn.  I've also done these scarves with contrasting regular yarn, and it gives it a sort of, polar bear effect. I'll maybe pull one of my scarves out like that, so you can see what I mean.  :)

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crochet Help

So a lot of people have asked for my help to learn how to do things, I'm not good at explaining things via instant messages, or emails, and am not able to meet most of the friends/family that have asked, due to long distances between us.

My SIL found this site (listed below), and she says this is where she got the help to make a hat.  She has never made a hat before until she found this lady online, and now I think she's made at least 5 hats, using a pattern from this lady.

I haven't personally used this site, but it looks like it is very informative, and would be easy to follow her video instructions.

Her site looks intimidating at first.  But off the right side, she has a playlist selection.  You can choose different categories to find what sort of help you are looking for.

Here's the Link, hope this helps some of you out there!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Children Star Wars Hats

(I had a post with just the Leia hat, but I took some more pictures, so I wanted to make a new blog post.)

My son has a Chewbakka costome for Halloween, that he has had since I was first pregnant with him, because my husband and I are such Star Wars fans.  He wanted to have a total Star Wars themed wedding, and dress up as Vader, but I drew the line at a wedding in costume, and allowed Star Wars themed music instead.  So with my son being Chewbakka, since his costume finally fits, I decided that my daughter would be Leia for Halloween, and made her a Princess Leia hat.  After completion, I liked it so much that I needed to make my son a Star Wars hat too, so they could match all winter long.  So last night, and finishing up this morning, I made a Yoda hat.

I still want to add some straps, to tie under her chin so it stays in place better, but I'm really happy with how it turned out.  The skein cost me $2.23 at Wal-Mart, and I have most of the skein still left.  She'll be wearing a white sweatshirt, and some white pants, so she stays warm while we trick-or-treat.  I got the idea for the buns here. It's not exactly the same, I had to modify it to fit a baby, but it's generally the same concept.

For my son's Yoda hat, I actually already had the perfect green.  And his used less yarn than the Liea hat, even though his head isn't much bigger than my daughter's humongous noggin.  I tried finding a pattern online, but as usual, I didn't find anything satisfying.  I tried making the forehead bumpy/wrinkly, but it didn't turn out perfectly.  I think I could do better.  I sort of just randomly tried things as the hat progressed in size.

My daughter, she seems pretty happy with it, so that's all that matters.

My son in his hat, he loves hats.  I can't ever get them away from him after I put them on him to snap a picture.

Well, that's my latest work.  I actually have about 6 other projects to share, but they're gifts for people, and I'm afraid to post them, as they might stumble upon my blog and ruin the surprise.  Soon though, soon.  :-D

Until then, Happy Crocheting!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Baby Hat and Diaper Cover

A set I made, a while back.  It's about size 0-3 Months.  I wanted to see if I could make a diaper cover.  It turned out pretty well, so I made a matching hat.  It's made from cotton yarn.
The diaper cover, laid out.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kitchen Set

A kitchen Set I made.  It's a towel with topper, a double sided pot-holder, and 2 dish cloths.  

The potholder is a hybrid of crocheting, and knitting.  I'm not sure what it's called, but it's done with 1 double ended crochet hook, and both skeins of colors are worked alternately.  If I were to try to explain it, you basically are casting on with one color, then casting it back off, then drawing up loops all the way across with the 2nd color, then casting them back off, then repeat with the first color.  

It's about 14 inches long, this is a size G hook.

Halloween Hats

Some Hats I made, for myself and the other adult going with me to take the kids trick-or-treating.    It's just a basic beanie/skull cap pattern.  Probably easy to find on Google.  I didn't use a pattern for these, but I'm sure there are some very similar out there.

Friday, October 8, 2010


This was not made from a pattern.

A cupcake I made for my awesome Sis-I-L.  It even squeaks! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

About Me

I'm a stay at home mom, and I love that I'm able to do this.  I never thought this is what I would want to do, but now that I can, I can't imagine my life any other way.  I used to work in a movie theater, and my husband and I decided to start a family.  I began my 3 months of maternity leave the day my son was born in the end of November '08.  I went back to work toward the end of Feb in '09.  I worked as a manager, and was working 20-35 hours a week, depending on business and home life schedules.  I had 2 sitter's we'd alternate between, and work on all 3 of my husband's days off.  (He works 4 10-hour days a week)  I wasn't paying for sitters, but would exchange dinners or baked goodies and sometimes the use of my laundry facility in the basement for childcare.  Well, long story short, when  I got my W-2 for 2009 at the end of the year, I discovered that in 9 months of working, I made LESS than my husband made in 2 months.  That week we decided we could save that amount of money, if I stayed home with the kids (by that time I was pregnant again) and changed our life-style a little bit.   

I'm going to be 26 this month, and my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was just 9 years old.  I love my Gramma, and miss her so much.  She also taught me to knit when I was 7, but I didn't like it as much as crocheting, once I learned that.  Aside from a knit or pearl stitch, I don't know anything about knitting.  My Gramma was a neat lady, I used to spend afternoons with her after school, until I was old enough to stay home alone.  And even then, since she lived so close to home, I would go visit her some days on my way home from school.  For me, crocheting is nostalgic, and calming.  I used to sit with my Gramma way before I even knew how to, and watch her work on projects and be amazed with what she could create in just an afternoon. 

She taught me how to crochet with knit cro-sheen thread, (I think that's size 10 thread) and a size 10 crochet hook.  At first, she just taught me the basic stitches, but after I made my first practice piece, she showed me how to read diagram patterns.  I made mostly little coaster sized doilies to learn different stitches.  Eventually I moved on to using yarn, and making lap-sized blankets, or shawls.  But I really didn't crochet much at all for 5-6 years, being in school, I didn't have time or really that much interest.  It was just something I knew how to do.
Shortly after I graduated from High School, my grandmother died. (by that point, she was living with us.)  It wasn't until after she was gone, that I really loved to crochet.  It brought back memories of her.  When I work on projects, or pick out colors, I can hear her in my head "coaching" me the way she would when I was little, or even a young teen. 

Now staying home, taking care of my family, I make things for our home and kids.  Hats, stuffed toys, and other things I've featured here.  And more.  I make gifts around the holidays for people, I love it.  I love crocheting.  I wish more people were open about this hobby, and it wasn't considered "old lady-ish" to be an avid crocheter.  My goal with this blog is to share some "vintage" ideas that remind me of my childhood, and also to show that crocheting doesn't have to be boring granny-square blankets, and doilies. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Towel Topper

My towel is always falling in the kitchen, so I came up with a solution.

Both of my grandmothers had these.  I only remember one of my Gramma's having one, but my mom tells me my other one did too.  I assume they both made theirs too.  

First I got a regular towel... This is a very cheap one.  It's from a 2-pack at the dollar store.  Then I cut the fringe off one end.

Next I poked holes every 3/4 inch at the base of the terry-cloth beneath the ribbing at the edge.

 Once the holes are poked, you'll probably want to stretch them out a bit.  I used my crochet hook and wigged it through the holes a few times, to make sure they were really big, for easy working.  Then I would work through 2 holes at a time, to make it pleat a bit...and do 2 double crochets in each.

The back is not very pretty.  If I were to sell this, or give as a gift, I'd probably find a way to clean it up a bit.  But since it's going in my own kitchen, this is fine for me.

After a few rows, working back and forth, you can see that the towel wants to pleat on its own.  I probably worked to this point 5 or 6 times ripping and redoing, until I got the desired pleated look I wanted.

Here's the finished piece, in it's new home.

So, again I'm bad about taking pictures of every step, but basically after crocheting along the holes, I'd work out and then decrease to a strap width, then made the strap and put on a button. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Baby Sweater and Bonnet

The finished set.

So I decided to make my daughter a bonnet and sweater.  I looked for hours for a good pattern online, or picture of something I liked.  I didn't find a thing. After browsing online, I closed my laptop and began to crochet.

The bonnet I found one of her old ones, store bought and looked at it. Primarily just to see how it was shaped.  And made one, simliar shaped to it, but big enough to fit her. I didn't take pictures of that process...

The following, is not a pattern of the sweater, but simply my thought process of creating.  I don't draw out a design, I get an idea in my head and just start.

This is how I started.  The base of the back. I made gaps/spaces in the design, to save yarn, and to also make it go faster.  Now mind you, as you continue to read, I already have a "blue-print" so to speak in my head. 

After my rectangular block was done, I detached.  You can see the tail on the left underneath the Chain stitches.  So this is where I began the sleeves.  I chained some stitches and then attached to my block, and worked across it, then chained again for the beginning of the other arm.

After working across the chains, the orignal block and to the other side of the chain, to make sleeves. You can see that I started the front of the sweater.  This part, so far, is actually the part of the sweater that sits on her shoulders, and begins the neck opening.

The front flap started.

This is the shape of the blue-print I had in my head before I began.  A block,  then chain for sleeves, work in the chains and the block, then continue on and make one side.   I didn't get to take pictures after all steps. Setting things out, and pulling out the camera attracts attention of little ones.  So after I got the one flap finished, I fastened off, and re-attached to the other side to create the rest of the arm, and the other flap of the front.

This is the same phase as the previous picture, I just folded it over, so you could see that it actually is shaped like a sweater now.  After this, I whip-stitched the front to the back at the sides, and all the way to the wrist.  I hate whip-stitching. I don't know if that's what you call it in sewing, since I'm not a sewer, but I hate it.   I could not come up with any other good way of connecting the front and the back, without it being noticeable or  ugly, so I was forced to whip-stitch...yuck.  Anyways, moving on... :)

 This is the finished sweater, minus buttons.  For the trim, I simply attached brown yarn and worked around the 'waist' of the sweater, and continued on up the center, then into the neck opening and down the other side of the center opening and joined back to where I started, does that even make sense? haha...  ;-)  Oh and attached some flaps with button holes.

So that's my creative process.  I get an idea in my head and just start working.  I've never made anything like this before.  Almost every things I had ever made were FLAT.  It wasn't until just a couple weeks ago, that I made winter hats, and they turned out so well, I thought I'd give other things a try.  Since babies are so small, I thought my daughter would be a good size to attempt something new.  And since she can't talk yet, if they don't look right, she won't tell me she's embarrassed to wear them.

Anyways, here's the final picture of my daughter modeling both pieces.

I'm so proud of how this turned out.  Almost amazed with myself.  I wish my Gramma was still here, so I could show her what I designed and created.  She taught me how to crochet 17 years ago, when I was just a little girl.  I never would have thought I could design my own piece of clothing, this elaborate.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

My Son's "Quilt"

I love quilts, but I don't have the patience to sew. I love making blankets like this, they are so light weight compared to an entire blanket made from yarn and you can make something of a good size, relatively quickly since it's not completely crocheted.  I cut squares out of fleece.  And poke holes every half inch along the edges, a half inch in.  Then working in the holes, crochet around the square.  This one, I made a lot of different sized squares and crocheted around the squares until they were all the same size (roughly).  

After all the squares are made, you can attach them the same way you would for a granny square.  I personally, like to use single crochet stitch and work in the back loops of the squares.  This gives it a cool ridge that really pops out if you use a different color yarn.  Once they're all connected, I go around the entire blanket 2-4 times with a double crochet stitch, sometimes half-doubles, or singles. 

I never buy fleece from a fabric store.  I buy those fleece lap-sized blanket throws they sell during the holidays, only I buy them after Christmas when they are all discounted.   Since I make these blankets about the same size as those throws, materials go a long way.  This is 3 fleece blankets, a red, a blue and a plaid.  And for yarn, I actually used shades of blue and red I had left over from other projects.  I only bought white yarn, for joining/edging.

My son loves this blanket, I made it while I was pregnant with him.  I had so much materials left over that I decided to make a 2nd one, figuring one day I'd have another kid and they would need their own blanket too.  2 weeks after starting the second, I found out I was pregnant again.  My daughter is still too young for a blanket this big, but when she's ready for it, she has her own that matches Big Brother's, only her's is mostly red instead of blue.


I've decided to start up a blog, so I can keep track of my crocheting.  I make a lot of things for other people, and rarely take pictures.  

Since I don't always use patterns, a lot of my work is an original idea.  Sure, I see pictures of things and make something similar, or I'll see something someone has made and try to duplicate it as best I can... but these sort of works have no patterns for me to save in a book for future use.  If it's something I give away, it's forgotten and I might not ever make it again.

I'm hoping with a blog, I can easier keep track of my work and ideas.