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Tag Archives: crochet accessories

  • Halloween Tote: Reflective® Finish

    My last blog entry told you about my trials and tribulations while learning how to crochet in the round. I shared with you my swatches and what I learned from each example.  I was very anxious to get started using the yarn specific for the project, Halloween Tote.  The project is one from Leisure Arts' item #75526 - Light-Reflecting Fashions.

    All projects in Light-Reflecting Fashions (Leisure Arts' #75526) use Red Heart® Reflective® yarn. All projects in Light-Reflecting Fashions (Leisure Arts' #75526) use Red Heart® Reflective® yarn.

    All the projects in this leaflet use Red Heart® Reflective® yarn.  October 31st is fast approaching so let me make one more review of my project instructions and off I go to get started!

    Having crocheted multiple swatches earlier, familiarized me to the pattern instructions, as well as setting my expectations of working with multiple strands of yarn. Not that some unexpected twists and turns couldn't happen, but I thought I was prepared. Oops; a snag!

    I'm so excited to start the bottom of the tote with Red Heart® Reflective® yarn. Uh-oh; there are two frayed, snagged areas so I'll be careful! I'm so excited to start the bottom of the tote with Red Heart® Reflective® yarn. Uh-oh; there are two frayed, snagged areas so I'll be careful!

    Both of these snagged areas looked worse than they were! I could easily tuck any loose fibers in between all four strands of yarn. I finished the bottom and was pleased that I did not have large holes in the composition of each stitch.

    The range of crochet hook sizes for the Halloween Tote project. I chose the middle hook marked Size P, 11.5 mm. The range of crochet hook sizes for the Halloween Tote project. I chose the middle hook marked Size P [11.5 mm].

    I chose to work with the middle hook as pictured above. The size stamped on it says Size P [11.5 mm]. This is smaller than the millimeter hook range as listed in the book's project instructions (SizeP/Q [15 mm]) but I was pleased with the results and the hook was comfortable to hold.

    As I approached Round 11 I took a closer look at my rounds and was pleased, except...except for the joining stitches! I couldn't understand why each stitch looked so loose on several rounds. Then I counted my most recent round and had one too many stitches! OUCH! I was very frustrated because I thought I marked the proper first single crochet stitch and managed the tension successfully while holding four strands. Quite the contrary!

    I did some research about the joining of rounds and what pitfalls crocheters experience. The reply by Karen of Colour in a Simple Life to one of her reader's problems addressed this issue. Karen showed a marked photograph, as well as a written explanation, which solved my dilemma; read it here in the blog entry, Colour in the Winter Blues from 2013.  Thank you, Karen!

    I do not have a picture of the ugliness of the five rounds before I ripped them out. But I was relieved to know that there was a solution -- and it really worked. I'll show you several pictures of the corrected rounds with their joining stitches looking neat and blending in with the other single crochet stitches quite nicely.

    The end of this round; now I clearly see my first single crochet marked with a stitch marker. The end of this round; now I clearly see my first single crochet marked with a stitch marker.
    The joining stitches for each round now look much tighter and blend more easier with the other stitches than my first try. The joining stitches for each round now look much tighter and blend more easier with the other stitches than my first try.
    Even looking at the joining stitches close up, they look consistent and neat. There could be improvement, but I am happy with each round. Even looking at the joining stitches close up, they look consistent and neat. There could be improvement, but I am happy with each round.
    Marked my first single crochet at the beginning of a new round. Marked my first single crochet at the beginning of a new round.

    I was happy to continue with my orange for the tote's body. Soon, I must change colors to black for the top section which included making handles. Another challenge since I had never done anything other than a flat pattern. It's tricky to work with dark colors because it really is challenging to see the stitches. Thank goodness I wasn't learning a new stitch on top of using a dark color for the first time!

    Almost done; I just joined the black yarn. Dark colors make it harder to see each stitch! Almost done; I just joined the black yarn. Dark colors make it harder to see each stitch!

    I did have to rip out the first handle once, but after that I "saw" the stitches more clearly and could complete the handles successfully. If I was an experienced crocheter, I might have opted to make the handles thicker. I say this because if this tote bag will be used by an avid trick-or-treater who might gather multiple pounds of candy, while swinging the bag to-and-fro, I might try to add another round to the handles.

    It really looks like a tote bag! Now for the finishing touches: the spider web and spider! EEK! It really looks like a tote bag! Now for the finishing touches: the spider web and spider! EEK!

    Okay - let's make this tote bag Halloween-ready...

    Voila; now I can more safely walk the neighborhood for trick-or-treat fun! Voila; now I can more safely walk the neighborhood for trick-or-treat fun!

    The spider web was not difficult to do. Just count the number of stitches/spaces to determine where to stitch your web in a fairly symmetrical placement on your Halloween Tote. Ta-dah, done! I love it, and not in a braggadocios way, but in an accomplished manner. It is a very compact and sturdy tote bag.

    Have fun getting revved up for October 31st by planning your decorations, costumes, and trick-or-treat travel route. Happy Halloween!

    Martha

     

  • Summer Yarn: Finger Crochet a Scarf or Necklace in Cotton

    I do love scarves as a great embellishment to most outfits. They can be fun and funky, or sleek and classic; chunky for coats, silky for dresses. Now that summer temperatures and humidity are looming, I don't want anything heavy, bulky or scratchy around my neck.  But I do want to wear a little extra color and pizzazz to more casual outfits. The perfect solution is a light-weight, airy Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace in cotton yarn!

    After choosing my yarn colors, I was off making chain after chain. I did hold my yarn a little differently than demonstrated in Leisure Arts' Finger Crochet video, (this video is found as an additional video listed with the, "Learn to Arm Knit" video. Scroll down below the initial viewing window and select the Finger Crochet video). Once I got comfortable with how I was finger crocheting, I easily fell into a rythym.

    Make chain stitches one after another creating a long chain for your Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace. Make crochet chain stitches one after another creating a long chain for your Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace.

    I knew Leisure Arts had both a video tutorial and pattern associated with finger crocheting, so all I had to do was to rummage through my cotton yarn stash and choose some colors. When I learned how to arm knit, I remember seeing a bonus finger crochet pattern shown in the leaflet, 75517 - Learn How to Arm Knit. If you don't have a stash of yarn but are quite intrigued by arm knitting and finger crocheting, you might consider purchasing a kit that has all needed supplies included! The kit's contents found in 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit includes yarn, an instruction booklet with a finger crochet scarf pattern and tassel/pom-pom making techniques.

    My Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace is growing. Finger Crochet is described in several Leisure Arts' items: 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit Kit and 75517 - Learn How to Arm Knit. My Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace is growing. Finger Crochet is described in Leisure Arts' items 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit Kit and 75517 - Learn How to Arm Knit.

    I chose colors that were definitely summery that elicited thoughts of beach breezes, mild winds, shoreline discoveries, porch swings, bare feet...relaxed fun. Trying to look fresh and cool during the summer can sometimes be difficult. In order to remain comfortable while adding some relaxed embellishment to my outfits, I wanted to use cotton yarn. It is light-weight and breathable. Both of these characteristics were necessities for my scarf or necklace that I planned to drape around my neck during the summer!

    Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in colors Cornflower Blue and Cool Breeze Ombre. The Learn to Arm Knit booklet that is included in the kit; note the Bonus items listed on the front cover. Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in colors Cornflower Blue and Cool Breeze Ombre. The Learn to Arm Knit booklet standing next to the box is included in the KIT; note the Bonus items listed on the front cover.

    I knew I had to have a very long chain to loop multiple times around my head in order to drape properly. I just kept in the zone of chaining; it was much easier to keep going once I started rather than breaking my time up into crocheting segments. I never did measure my final length of chain; I can only guess how long it was if the inside loop measures 27" in diameter when I laid it on the table.

    Close-up of the length of chain looped around and around trying to determine the final appearance of the scarf or necklace. Close-up of the length of chain looped around and around trying to determine the final appearance of the Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace.
    Finger crochet chain - chain - chain to whatever length you desire! The inside circle loop measures 27". Finger crochet: chain - chain - chain to whatever length you desire! The inside circle loop measures 27" inches in diameter.

    As I was crocheting, I thought of adding a little something more to finish the scarf a little differently than the examples that I had seen showing bulky yarns. I did not want to add weight to my project because that would defeat the purpose of the scarf or necklace being light-weight. I returned to my stash and found a solution!

    Other supplies used: 7-9mm Freshwater Pearls, Stretch Magic bead and jewelry cord (0.7 mm / 0.28 in), and a wooden button (1.5" in diameter). Other supplies used: 7-9mm Freshwater Pearls, Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord (0.7 mm / 0.28 in), and a wooden button (1.5" in diameter).

    I strung some Freshwater Pearls onto Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord before weaving into one section of my project.

    Fresh water pearls strung on the Stretch Magic cord to add a little glimmer to the chain. Freshwater Pearls strung on the Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord to add a little glimmer to the chain.

    I attached the scarf or necklace together as described in leaflet 75517 - Learn to Arm Knit or instruction booklet contained in the 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit KIT. Then, I added a wooden button as my signature - I love buttons, too!

    The final Finger Crochet Scarf / Necklace has seven loops, not six as pictured when the innermost loop measured 27" inches in diameter. The final Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace has seven loops, not six as pictured when the innermost loop measured 27" inches in diameter.

    The Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace is in summer colors and is a free-flowing pattern of loops. it is light-weight even with its added Freshwater Pearls and wooden button, and will feel cool hanging around my neck since it is made using cotton yarn.

    A snapshot at the end of the day; the necklace is a good length. A snapshot at the end of the day; the necklace is a good length.

    This is a great way to end a few long, hot days -- and summer hasn't officially begun! Until next time, stay cool!

    Martha

  • Crochet Fingerless Mittens

    Hats & Handwarmers for the Family

    I crocheted these Fingerless Mittens for a friend’s birthday. The colors reminded me of a new box of crayons and she loves lots of colors. I didn’t get this from pattern from a Leisure Arts book. But here is a Leisure Arts book that has a great pattern. It is Hat & Handwarmers for the Family. That you could modify to make it look like the one in the photo. Just crochet to cover the palm of the hand and if you don’t want to crochet the thumb then don’t that is your call.

    Fingerless Mittens - Crochet

    This is how I made my Fingerless Mittens:

    With a size H crochet hook I chained 28 stitches. (If H is too small or big you can go up or down a crochet hook size) I joined it in the round with a slip stitch. I made sure not to twist it. Use a place marker so you know where you joined in the round.

    Row 1: single crochet.

    Row 2: single crochet into the back stitch and repeat for 16 rounds.

    Increase rounds: crochet two single stitches into the stitch before your place marker and into the stitch on the other side of the place marker. Your next round is a single crochet into the black stitch. Continue these two rows four more times until you have 38 stitches.

    Thumb and palm: crochet until 4 stitches before the place marker and chain 3 count four stitches past and crochet. Use a place marker in the second chain so you can keep up were you joined it in the round. You should have skipped a total of 9 stitches. (The last stitch before the chain I did a single crochet through the whole stitch and also a whole stitch when joining the thumb hole. This makes it stronger.) Then single crochet into the back stitch for 8 rounds.

    Fingerless mittens are a great gift idea for birthdays, Christmas, or just because you want to do something for someone special.

  • Summer Headbands

    FullSizeRender (18) Roxanne's Headband

    I created this pattern a couple of years ago right after I learned how to crochet. I can’t stand to have my hair in my eyes especially during the summer. This pattern is quick and easy. It should only take about 30 minutes. I also like to use Lily’s Sugar’n Cream yarn because it is 100% cotton. Cotton breathes a lot better than acrylic yarns, especially during this time of year - you want some ventilation. I used a size H crochet hook.  You can crochet headbands in all sorts of colors to wear with everything!

    First you chain 28.

    Then for your first row go into the 25th chain with 3 double crochets, and single chain in between the 2nd and 3rd double crochet.

    Then for the rest of the headband you will chain 3 at the start of every row and 3 double crochets with a single chain after the 2nd and 3rd double crochet.

    When you reach the length that you want, or use your head to measure the circumference of your headband, then you are ready to decrease.  I chain 3, and then decrease over the next 3 and then chain 25 and bind off. Tuck your ends in. Never just cut the end of your yarn; if it comes loose, your whole project could unravel. Here is a really cute epattern Too-Cute Kerchiefs Crochet  from Leisure Arts and yes it is really too cute. I was thinking about how to make one this afternoon - I'm totally going to try this!

    Too cute
  • Lacy, Slouchy, Pumpkiny

    I crocheted the Lacy Beanie from Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps because fall weather is well on its way, and I felt like it was time for a new hat.

    I used orange yarn because, well, it's fall and I am not subtle. I thought about some neutral oatmeal-colored yarn, but then I thought this nice pumpkin-y orange yarn was just the right color for this project.  I picked some worsted weight acrylic yarn that I had already.  Crocheting this up was a pretty casual affair, and I liked it!

    The pattern has some simple chains and skipped stitches that make the lace patterning of the body, and the band is made by working in the back loops on the stitches.  Stepping down a hook size makes the band a little tighter and keeps the slouchy beanie from being too slouchy and slipping right off my head.

    The pattern calls for an I hook and an H hook.  I like that this is worked with medium yarn and regular hooks, and still has a lacy pattern to it.  I wasn't in the mood to make something with a lighter weight yarn, but I like that this hat is kind of open and airy.

    This is the type of hat that can worked up in a couple of evenings and then enjoyed for a nice long season.  I'm probably going to even wear this to a trip to the pumpkin patch!  It's a little cliched, I know.  But I'm excited!

  • A Lovely Cottony Cowl

     

    It's finished!  The cowl pattern from the Textured Set in Hats & Scarves is a textured, cottony dream come true. 

     Okay, the pattern doesn't call for cotton yarn.  But I felt like it and I'm happy with how that turned out.  Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic yarn already has a very nubby feel to it, and the cowl pattern's mix of single and double crochet stitches made this extra super textured.  It's a lovely thing.

    The yarn is Aran weight, which is only slightly bigger than the worsted weight the pattern calls for, but it feels quite a bit fluffier than your average medium weight wool or acrylic yarn.  I used an I hook, which is a bit bigger than what I would normally use.  I was able to work this up in no time!  I just went until I had used up my two skeins (about 200 yards), and that turned out to be just fine.

    See?  It's tall enough to be a disguise!

    I will say that the crocheted fabric is a bit dense.  Not stiff, mind you!  But a little dense, which makes sense because I used heavier yarn.  I don't know if I should hang on to it and wear it a while before giving it as a gift to loosen it up a bit or not.  Maybe keeping it for myself would be in everyone's best interest.  This drapes pretty well, though.  Hey, maybe I'll just keep this because I want it. 

    This nice little cowl is going to sit in my gift stash for a while, though.  Last year's gift-giving season somehow caught me completely off guard, and I love the feeling of having a fantastic gift stash full of handmade things I can give to anyone at a moment's notice.  I'm a firm believer in making things especially for certain special people, but there's also certainly nothing wrong with making something first because you like the pattern and giving it someone later. 

    Just like there's nothing wrong with making something for yourself.  Or so I'm going to be saying if (when?) I move this away from my gift stash and into my closet.

  • WIP Wednesday: Taking a Cotton to this Cowl

    I'm crocheting the cowl pattern from the Textured Set in Hats & Scarves, and I'm taking a cotton to it.

    And I'm using cotton yarn.  I'm really sorry.  I'm so very sorry about everything.  But I had to do it.  I hope you understand.  Moving on!

    I like this Lion Brand Nature's Cotton yarn, and I think 'take a cotton to' is a cute way to say that you like something.  And in this case, it's appropriate.  Nature's Cotton is a soft and fluffy yarn, and it turns out it's a great choice for a cowl.  The cowl's texture comes from alternating single crochet stitches and double crochet stitches, and the rustic fluffiness of the yarn lends even more texture.  It's lovely.

    I love a good soft and squishy cowl, and this brown yarn feels pretty perfect to me right now.   This is a fairly small cowl pattern.  When it's finished it will be worn just like this--no looping around a few extra times.  It's pretty simple and adorable.  I think it will be a great accessory.

    I feel like I should be saying more about this, but that's it!  Sorry!

    I will review a little bit.  I like this cowl pattern.  And I like some other patterns from Hats & Scarves, let me just tell you.  No really, I can tell you!

    I loved making the Cuddly Cowl and wish I knew where my daughter has hidden this because I would LOVE to wear it this fall.

    I really like the cowl pattern from the Toasty Set and I can't wait to give it someone as a gift.  It was a quick project, and I love how huge it is.

     

     

    The Modern Chullo is awesome.  I wasn't especially great at my first attempt at crochet colorwork, but this hat is adorable and its intended recipient loves it.  I want to make one for myself because just look at this thing.

     

    This little booklet is full of winning patterns!  I think I'm going to try out at least one scarf pattern from this book, and I know for sure that I'm going to include this textured cowl as another great pattern when I finish it.  

  • WIP Wednesday: Crocheting a Bright and Bulky Dream Hat

    I'm crocheting the Shells Beanie from Crochet Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps!  It's a bright and bulky dream project.  Even if it does look a little like a hot pad from the 1970s right now.
     

    Which is a fine way to look, I must say.

    I'm using a J hook and a skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Jiffy that I hopes lasts me to the end of this hat.  It's a nice, squishy project with rows and rows of shells.  I love shells.  This is so close to feeling like I'm crocheting a large circular granny square hat that I smile every time I think about it. 

     

    I'm halfway through the body now, and I think I can finish this up over the weekend.  I'm not sure if this is going to go straight to my gift stash, or if I'll give this to my sister for her birthday next week.  But someone's going to love it, that's for sure!  It's been a while since I've crocheted a pattern from Crochet Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps, and I'm not sure why.  These patterns are lovely!  Cooler weather is just a couple of months away, and I want to make a few more patterns from this book before fall!  I love a good slouchy hat, and this hat in particular is just too dadgummed cute for me to not make it.  Hats are a great summer project. 

     

    Even though this summer has been beautifully not-terrible, I still have a hard time focusing on big cold-weather projects.  I bought the yarn for a sweater a month ago and haven't knitted anything other than a gauge swatch.  My plans for blankets?  Just plans.  All my lofty goals of baby booties and hats?  We don't have to talk about it!  It's summertime and the living's easy!  We're riding high on piles of zucchini and squash and flip flops and long, sunshiny days!  Cold weather crafting is the farthest thing from my mind.  But I know I'll need some warm hats and scarves in my gift stash soon enough. 

     

    This great bulky weight project is going to crochet up quickly and cutely.  I'm so happy my spellcheck didn't flag "cutely."  I like that word.  And I like this hat pattern. I can't wait to see it all worked up!

    Happy crafting!  And good luck with all of your works-in-progress!
  • Crocheting the Quick and Easy Twist Cowl: Now in Color!

    I love crocheting the Quick and Easy Twist pattern from Crochet Cowls.  Actually, I love crocheting every pattern I've tried from Crochet Cowls.  But the Quick and Easy Twist is really, incredibly, super fun and fantastic. 

    I've been trying to clear out some of my stash this summer (after a few frenzied incidents led to me nearly doubling it), and when I laid out my partial skeins of Lion Brand Thick & Quick, I knew these blues would look beautiful together. I love them.

    Cobalt, Navy, and Sky Blue.

    This is an incredibly quick project. The body is two rows worked flat over and over until your work measures the recommended length and then you twist the crocheted fabric and seam your ends together!

    Or, if you like, you can make it little shorter or even a lot longer. Regardless of its length, it probably won't take long to reach whatever length you choose because this is super bulky yarn crocheted with an N hook!  A simple pattern, big yarn, and a big hook?  This is some genuine fluffy crocheting.

    And that's some genuine fluffy knitting I did in that blanket for my youngest sister's wedding present. She's a bright colors kind of person. I like that about her.

    This sort of pattern is the perfect project for me to enjoy before or after tackling a pattern that is for something large, complicated, or just uses really lightweight yarn.  I love bulkier projects, and I love the look of this cowl.  I don't understand a lot about fashion, but this seems like a nice bold accessory to add to an outfit.  I gave my first version of this cowl to my sister last year, and she said it became her favorite accessory throughout the winter to dress up her 'casual new mom' outfits.

    And I made this cowl for our younger sister because she likes blue (and looks great in it!). So now she has a very, very blue cowl.  She always wears my cowls and scarves during the chillier months, and now I hope this cowl turns into one of her favorites.  It's certainly one of my favorite cowls to make!

  • Sometimes a Hat is Just a Hat.

    I made a hat from Hats & Diaper Covers.  Ta da!

    Which hat?  Uh, well, it started out as the Chick pattern but then I started running out of yellow yarn. So I switched to white yarn and hoped that this would look like a chick hatching out of an egg.  Then I realized that the baby I was crocheting for is made up of fatness and warmth and needed more warmth like springtime needs more pollen.

    So I just used my remaining yellow yarn and mixed it with the white for some adorable braided strings and called it a day.

    Sometimes a hat is just a hat.  I tend to forget that when I'm crocheting because embellishments are so easy to add and little babies looking like yarny animals just tickle me.  But a simple little hat can be cute also.  I like the bright yellow with the white border.  I like the braids.  I just like this hat pattern without eyes or ears or whatever else I typically add on.

    So here it is.  A very cute and simple hat that's obvious evidence of my Eastery weekend.  I was going to add this to the gift pile, but my daughter saw this and wanted to wear it (not pictured because she's a constant blur).  Once I tied the braids under her chin, she yelled that she was an egg.

    Oh.  Maybe this is a themed hat, after all!

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