Archive | August 2015

Pumpkin Hat & Thumbless Mittens- Free Pattern

Since making the Mouse Ears Hat, I’ve felt inspired to make more cute little hats. I’ve always found it difficult to make hats the right size when the hat’s not being made for a specific person in general, since everyone’s head is shaped and sized differently. A generic pattern doesn’t always work for me, so most of the hats I make will generally be made to fit my daughter as she grows, give or take an inch or two.

I think the same can be said about mittens.  Some people have long fingers, some (like myself) have short and stubby fingers. And I know from experience how difficult it can be to fit a baby’s thumb into a thumb hole, so I’ve omitted the thumb on this mitten pattern altogether.

Please note that I did NOT write the patterns down as I created them, so I apologize if there are any mistakes here.

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Pumpkin Hat & Thumbless Mittens- Free Pattern!

© Amanda Bryant 2015

Materials:

Red Heart Super Saver yarn- MC- Pumpkin and CC- Hunter Green

5.5 mm hook

stitch marker

yarn needle

tiny amount of polyester fiberfill (for stem on top of hat)

Notes: fits infant, size 6-9 months old. The hat is worked in the round, no joining unless otherwise specified. Mark the end/beginning of each round with your stitch marker, and move it up with each consecutive round worked.

Abbreviations Used:

MC- main color

CC- contrasting color

ch- chain

sl st- slip stitch

sc- single crochet

hdc- half double crochet

dc- double crochet

Hat Instructions:

With MC, starting at crown of hat-

Rnd 1- make a magic ring, hdc 6x’s in magic ring (6 hdc)

Rnd 2- make 2 hdc in ea hdc around (12 hdc)

Rnd 3- (make 1 hdc in 1st hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc) repeat around (18 hdc)

Rnd 4- (make 1 hdc in ea of 1st 2 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc) repeat around (24 hdc)

Rnd 5- (make 1 hdc in ea of 1st 3 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc) repeat around (30 hdc)

Rnd 6- (make 1 hdc in ea of 1st 4 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc) repeat around (36 hdc)

Rnd 7- (make 1 hdc in ea of 1st 5 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc) repeat around (42 hdc)

Rnd 8- (make 1 hdc in ea of 1st 6 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc) repeat around (48 hdc)

Rnd 9- (make 1 hdc in ea of 1st 7 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc) repeat around (54 hdc)

Rnd 10- hdc in ea hdc around (54 hdc)

*Repeat Rnd 10 until hat is roughly 5 1/2 inches long from crown to brim. After last stitch of last round made, sl st in next st and fasten off.

Next Rnd/Brim- Attach CC in any hdc from previous round. Ch 1,  sc in same st as joining. (Make 3 dc in next st, sc in next st) repeat around to end of round. Join with sl st and fasten off.

Stem:

Rnd 1- make a magic ring, 8 sc in magic ring (8 sc)

Rnd 2- sc in ea sc around (8 sc)

Repeat Rnd 2 until stem is desired length

Next Rnd-  <sc in 1st sc, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next sc> repeat around, join with sl st, fasten off.

Tie in all loose ends, lightly stuff stem with polyester fiberfill,  sew stem to top of hat.

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Thumbless Mittens Instructions (make 2):

With CC and starting at cuff, ch 9

Row 1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and in ea ch across, ch 1, turn (8 sc)

Row 2- in back loops only, sc in ea sc across, ch 1, turn (8 sc)

Row 3-9 repeat Row 2

Next- fold piece in half and sl st the beginning ch and last row together, through both thicknesses to form the cuff. Fasten off.

Attach MC to outer edge of cuff, ch 1, sc in same st as joining, sc around edge of cuff 17 more times, join with sl st to beg sc (18 sc)

Next Rnd- ch 1, (sc in ea of 1st 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around, join with sl st (24 sc)

Next- ch 1, sc in ea sc around, join with sl st (24 sc)

*Repeat this last rnd for another 2 inches.

Next- ch 1, (sc in ea of 1st 2 sc, sc2tog) repeat around, join with sl st (18 sc)

Next- ch 1, sc in ea sc around, join with sl st (18 sc)

Next- ch 1, (sc in 1st sc, sc2tog) repeat around, join with sl st (12 sc)

Next- ch 1, sc in ea sc around, join with sl st (12 sc)

Next- ch 1, sc2tog around, join with sl st, fasten off leaving a long tail (6 sc)

With yarn needle, weave long yarn tail through remaining 6 sc and pull closed. Weave in all ends.

Mouse Ears Hat- Free Pattern by The Perfect Knot- Michelle Kovac

I’ve been rather busy this past week apartment hunting, so there hasn’t been a whole lot of extra time to crochet, but despite that, I still managed to get one project done…at least I think it’s done!

Mouse Ears Hat by The Perfect Knot- Michelle Kovac on Ravelry

Like I said, I think my hat is done. I don’t think I’m going to put a bow or buttons/dots on it, I think I will just leave it as it is, plain black with a red trim. I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn for my version and a size 5.5 mm hook, so it worked out slightly larger. Because of that, the red trim around the bottom of the hat isn’t as long as in Michelle’s pattern.

So, here’s a pic of what mine looks like, modeled by my darling daughter Olivia (I made the 6-12 month size, and Olivia is 8 1/2 months old in this pic):

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Have a glorious day!

Amanda

Getting Started On Christmas Crochet

August is NOT too early to begin crafting for the holidays! Actually, I think I’m cutting things close with starting this late into the year!

Every year I ponder what to make for the holiday’s. And every year I frustrate myself in trying to decide. There are so many wonderful patterns, many easy and many far more advanced than I consider my own skills to be.  It’s not only about choosing a pattern, but also about finding the time to make these things. Or rather, “uninterrupted” time. Trying to get things done, anything, with an 8 1/2 month old baby climbing up your leg is enough frustration in itself, let alone when you’re trying to keep track of your stitches.  Regardless, we must do what we have to do, and get things done…somehow…and all before December 24th.

So, this year I started holiday crocheting with an easy project. It took me only a few hours to make and even with interruptions it wasn’t difficult to keep track of where I left off in it’s progress. What did I make? A simple striped stocking.

The pattern goes by a couple of different names. On favecrafts.com it is Simple Striped Santa Stockings and is by Ellen Gormley. And on RedHeart.com it is called Waiting for Santa Stockings.

I made the smallest version of the stocking, to save time and to make sure I didn’t waste too much yarn in case I didn’t like the end result. But my worry was for nothing, as I am quite pleased with the outcome:

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Happy Holiday Hooking!

Amanda

Ssstuffed Sssnake- Free Pattern!

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I love playing around with yarns, and I love bright colors.  This snake pattern is very simple, and would look great using any colors of yarn or color combinations.

Ssstuffed Sssnake Pattern

© Amanda Bryant 2015

Materials:

Red Heart Super Saver Economy:  1 skein each: Main Color (MC)- Turqua (#512); Contrasting Color (CC)- Blue Suede (#3945); small amount of black yarn for eyes.

small piece of red felt for tongue

4mm crochet hook

stitch marker

polyester fiberfill

small amount of thread to match MC for sewing in tongue

yarn needle

small sewing needle

Notes:

The snake is crocheted in the round. At the end of each color the round is fastened off, and then the next color is atached in the same stitch with a slip stitch. Stuff the snake as work progresses. To make him bend easily, stuff loosely.

Finished Length: approximately 25″

Abbreviations Used:

ch= chain

sc= single crochet

sl st= slip stitch

sc2tog= single crochet 2 together (watch this video tutorial- Back to Basics Crochet: single crochet increase and decrease)

Instructions:

Before beginning, cut a small a small strip of red felt, about 2″ long, then cut it in the shape of a forked tongue. Set it aside.

Starting at the head with MC:

Round 1- ch 2, make 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook (6 sc)

Round 2- sc in ea sc around (6 sc)

Round 3- (1 sc, 2 sc in next sc), repeat around (9 sc)

Round 4- sc in ea sc around (9 sc)

Round 5- (2 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (12 sc)

Round 6- sc in ea sc around (12 sc)

**now stick the felt tongue through the beginning opening of Round 1. Pull the beginning yarn tail tight, and with sewing thread make a few stitches through both the yarn and the tongue. Go over it a couple of times to ensure the tongue stays in place. Tie off the thread and continue on to the next round.

Round 7- (3 sc, 2 sc in the next sc) repeat around (15 sc)

Round 8- sc in ea sc around (15 sc)

Round 9- (4 sc, 2 sc in the next sc) repeat around (18 sc)

Round 10- sc in ea sc around (18 sc)

Round 11- (5 sc, 2 sc in the next sc) repeat around (21 sc)

Round 12- sc in ea sc around (21 sc)

Round 13- (6 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (24 sc)

Round 14- sc in ea sc around (24 sc)

Round 15- (7 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (27 sc)

Round 16- sc in ea sc around (27 sc)

Round 17- (8 sc, 2 sc in next sc) repeat around (30 sc)

Rounds 18-20- sc in ea sc around (30 sc) **after Round 20, sl st in next sc and fasten off.

With CC:

Rounds 21-24- sc in ea sc around (30 sc) **after Round 24, sl st in next sc and fasten off.

With MC:

Rounds 25-28- sc in ea sc around (30 sc) **after Round 28, sl st in next sc and fasten off.

Repeat Rounds 21-28, 12 more times.

Finishing/Tail End:

With CC-

Round 29- sc in ea sc around (30 sc)

Round 30- (3 sc, sc2tog) repeat around (24 sc)

Round 31- sc in ea sc around (24 sc)

Round 32- (2 sc, sc2tog) repeat around (18 sc)

Round 33- sc in ea sc around (18 sc)

Round 34- (1 sc, sc2tog) repeat around (12 sc)

Round 35- sc in ea sc around (12 sc)

Round 36- sc2tog in ea sc around (6 sc)

Fasten off. Weave yarn tail through the last 6 sc and pull closed. Secure and tie in loose end.

With black yarn, stitch eyes onto sides of head.

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Crocheting On A Budget

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To tell you how many times I’ve stumbled upon patterns that I wanted to use but couldn’t would be impossible. I have downloaded countless patterns to my laptop and have invested in many hard copy books over the years, but it seems only a handful of those patterns have ever been put to use. And why is that? Not because I don’t have enough time to crochet (Let’s face it, serious crochet addicts like myself ALWAYS find time), but because I can’t afford to buy all the supplies required!

Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Your $$

  • Make smaller items which allows you to make more items per skein of yarn.  One ball of crochet thread can make many bookmarks, or even a couple of smaller doilies. One skein of yarn can make a pair of mittens and a hat, or a couple of pairs of slippers or socks.
  • Once you are done making your items, you’ll probably be left with a small amount of unused yarn. Wind this up into a little ball and put it in a special place such as a bin or a drawer. Every time you are left with that small amount of leftovers after completing a project, wind it up and add it to that special place. Before you know it you will have an abundance of small colorful balls of yarn…perfect for making granny squares! Or Flower Appliques which you can attach to hats and headbands. Scrapbookers also like flower appliques to add to their pages!
  • Scour yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets. You can find old pattern books, threads and yarns and tools too. When a crafter passes on, many times the family members will sell or donate their loved ones supplies. While it sounds a bit morbid to acquire your crocheting supplies in this fashion, it’s really not. Consider the fact that you’re helping this person’s crafting legacy to continue on through the projects that you create using their old supplies. (And sometimes it’s just a case of the crafter clearing out their stash to make room for a new stash!)
  • Have an old scarf (or sweater, hat, blanket) that’s outdated or you simply don’t want any longer? Unravel it and recycle it into something new! Or, you can buy old garments at the yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets and recycle them instead! You can also crochet using plastic bags, rags, and even wire!
  • When a pattern calls for a certain type of yarn, chances are there’s a cheaper version of that yarn. Scout the yarn aisle at stores such as WalMart for cheap alternatives.
  • Don’t splurge when you see yarn for sale! Easier said than done, right? But with a little willpower you can avoid this. I use to be guilty of this. What did it get me? An over-abundance of yarns that collected dust as I waited for a project to use them all on, and an empty wallet.
  • Find a pattern that you want to use, write a shopping list of the materials you need to buy to make it, write down the approximate cost of making the project, and budget it into your next paycheck (or 2 paychecks, whatever the case may be). Then when it’s time to shop, bring the list and stick to it!
  • Instead of paying for patterns, download and/or print them from the internet. There are many wonderful free patterns available. You could also make your own patterns. Simply write down the pattern as you’re creating it.
  • Visit your local library and you’ll find pattern books. Check the book out and if you’re not done with it by the time the book is due back to the library, you could check it out again. You could also photocopy or scan the pattern you’re interested in (just be wary of copyright laws).
  • Avoid getting sucked into buying accessories that you don’t really need. There are countless brands offering up many wonderful tools, however, it’s sometimes easier to just improvise. I don’t use stitch markers. I use safety pins instead. They are much much cheaper and have many different uses. For marking stitches you can also use contrasting colors of yarn. Just tie a little strand in the place you need marked.
  • Try selling what you make. There are many sites online (RavelryEtsy, Craftsy) where you can sell your projects (you might even get orders for more once people see what you have to offer!) Or you could rent a table at a craft fair or a flea market.
  • If you are new to crocheting or want to learn new stitches, don’t pay for lessons. Instead watch video tutorials online. YouTube has an abundance of videos that can help you learn.

Crocheting should be a pleasure, and not induce worry or anxiety about how much you spend on the hobby. In general, I think that the best way to avoid high costs is to buy only what you need, and not have too many different projects on the go at one time. Before you start a new project, finish the old one.

Amanda

Granny Square Doll Blanket- My Current WIP

20150807_143927 This is my latest WIP. It’s a pattern called Granny Square Doll Blanket and can be found in the book Afghans To Knit & Crochet from Better Homes and Gardens (circa 1986: http://www.amazon.com/Better-Homes-Gardens-Afg…/…/0696015501 ). It’s a great way to use up all my left-over yarns, and the squares don’t take very long to make (about 10-15 mins per square). I love to make granny squares…just the tying in of the loose ends can be tedious at times. But the end result will be fabulous. I’m making the blanket slightly larger than what the pattern states the size should be. I’ve simply used different hook and yarn sizes. The pattern calls for a 3.75 mm hook and 3 ply sport weight yarn, whereas I am using a 4.5 mm hook and worsted weight yarn. Each square, following the patterns sizing is 2.5″ x 2.5″, and using my sizing, each square is 3″ x 3″. There will be 63 squares plus a border. The finished project will be (according to pattern sizing) 22.5″ x 29.5″, with border. Below is a photo I took of what the finished product will look like (note: this is not my work, this is the photo that appears in the pattern book). Click on the photo to take you to Amazon where you can purchase the book.

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Happy Hooking!

Amanda

Olivia’s Sun Hat- Free Pattern!

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The first of many of my original patterns that I’ll be sharing with you! Feel free to alter the pattern to your liking, but please give me credit when sharing this pattern. And if you want to sell the finished product, by all means, sell sell sell! (Just please don’t sell this pattern!)

Olivia’s Sun Hat Pattern

© Amanda Bryant 2015

Materials Used:

Bernat Handicrafter Size 5 Crochet Thread: Color 31220 Fresh Fern; Lace weight; 85g/3oz; 339m/371yds- 1 ball

3.25mm crochet hook

Stitch marker

sewing needle

Abbreviations Used:

ch- chain

st- stitch

sl st- slip stitch

sc- single crochet

hdc- half double crochet

dc- double crochet

tr- treble crochet

Pattern Notes:

Sizing: This hat was made for my 7 month old to the length that I desired it to be, however, it can be made longer by increasing the number of sc rounds after round 50. Likewise, it can be made shorter by decreasing the number of sc rounds before round 50.

For the first 38 rounds, each round is ended with a sl st join, and the new round is begun with a ch-1 and a sc in the same st that you joined in. This is what creates the straight “seam” appearance at every increase, so the “seams” don’t take on a spiral effect.

Pattern Instructions:

Beginning at the crown of the hat, and working downwards toward the brim of the hat:

Round 1: ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, join (6 sc)

Round 2: ch 1, 2 sc in each sc around, join (12 sc)

Round 3: ch 1, (sc in first sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around 6 x’s, join (18 sc)

Round 4: ch 1, (sc in ea of first 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around, join (24 sc)

Round 5: ch 1, (sc in ea of first 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around, join (30 sc)

Round 6: ch 1, (sc in ea of first 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around, join (36 sc)

Round 7: ch 1, (sc in ea of first 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around, join (42 sc)

Round 8: ch 1, (sc in ea of first 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around, join (48 sc)

Round 9: ch 1, (sc in ea of first 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around, join (54 sc)

Round 10: ch 1, (sc in ea of first 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around, join (60 sc)

Round 11: ch 1, (sc in ea of first 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around, join (66 sc)

Round 12: ch 1, sc in ea sc around, join (66 sc)

Round 13: ch 1, (sc in ea of first 10 sc, 2 sc in next sc) rep around, join (72)

Round 14: ch 1, sc in ea sc around, join (72 sc)

Rounds 15- 37: increase evenly every other round by 6 sc until there are 144 sc around

Round 38: ch1, sc in ea sc around, join (144 sc)

Round 39: DO NOT CH 1, sc in ea sc around, DO NOT JOIN (144 sc)

Rounds 40- 50: repeat Round 39

**To make this hat longer or shorter, repeat round 39 until desired length is reached. 

Brim:

Round 51: (sc in the first st, hdc in the second st, dc in the third st, tr in the fourth st, tr in the fifth st, dc in the sixth st, hdc in the seventh st, sc in the eighth st) rep around (144 sts)

Round 52: rep round 51 (144 sts)

Round 53: sc in ea st around, join with sl st (144 sc)

Fasten off.

Ties (make 2):

Fold hat in half and attach thread with a sl st on the inside of the hat, to the backside of a sc of round 50. By folding the hat you can determine for yourself exactly where you want to place the ties. I chose to put my ties directly on the fold, and the ties therefore go down over the ears, but are long enough that they can be tucked behind the ear. Ch 85 (or desired length).  Fasten off. Repeat for 2nd tie on the opposite side of the hat.

Finishing:

Using the sewing needle, weave in all loose ends. Get creative and add some buttons or crocheted flowers if you’d like. It’s up to you and the sky’s the limit!

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