Tag Archive | Crochet

Last Minute Easy One Skein Crochet Scarves

Amazing how fast this year has gone and here we are approaching another Christmas!!  And, if you are like me, I always seem to be making gifts at the last minute too.  I just love giving handmade gifts even if they are really small like a simple bowl to put your rings in or hold those small items that seem to gather on your dresser or counters.  At the current time, I’ve been crocheting fun, quick neck warmers to wrap and place under the tree.  Here are some pictures and directions to help you make some of those last minute gifts too!!

DC Cross Stitch/HDC

Chunky Cowl/HDC

Scalloped Edge Scarf

Double Crochet Cross Stitch/HDC

The first picture shows my extra long scarf that is perfect for several wraps around your neck.  For this one, I used a lovely Oink Pigment yarn (Helix) and a Size H crochet hook.  The skein of yarn had 400 yards and I used all of it to complete this design.  I started off by making a HDC foundation crocheting 22 stitches.

Round 1:  Turn, chain 3, *skip first stitch, make a double crochet in next stitch, then cross over and make another DC in the stitch that you just skipped.  Repeat from * until to reach the last stitch and then make 1 double crochet.  Here’s a great site for the New Stitch A Day cross double crochet stitch – you will complete a total of 10 cross over stitches using 20 stitches.

Round 2:  Next row turn, chain 3 (counts as a stitch) make 21 HDC stitches for a total of 22 stitches across.

Now repeat rounds 1 and 2 until you reach the desired length of your scarf. Remember, to end you scarf with Round 2.

 

Chunky Cowl/HDC

For this pattern, I basically followed a cool design that I found on one of my favorite sites, Hopeful Honey with just a few changes.  I used a great Heartland yarn, Thick and Quick by Lion Brand (super bulky/category 6) for this cowl and a Size N crochet hook. Total yardage was 125 yards and I used the whole skein.  If you want your cowl to be a little bigger or longer, you might want to use 2 skeins of this awesome yarn.  So warm and soft to wrap up in.  I began with a HDC foundation stitch (55 stitches, like pattern directions).  Then followed the directions but I only completed 14 rows and the last row I completed 55 HDC in each stitch.  This Basic Chunky Cowl pattern works up super quick too.

 

Scalloped Edge Scarf

I used my scalloped edge pattern but this time I started off with 21 stitches (multiples of 3) and had 6 scallops along the bottom and top edges.  I found a cute yarn by Red Heart called Gumdrop (color Smoothie) that I loved – nice bright, cheery colors and thought this would be perfect for a child’s scarf.  This yarn had 204 yards (worsted weight/category 4) and I crocheted this with a Size H hook. Came out soft and cuddly.  If you want this a little longer,  follow the pattern beginning with 15 stitches and use a Size G hook.   Again, I  just crocheted using up the entire skein of yarn to complete this fun, colorful scarf.  Now I need to go and get some more yarn to make a matching beanie ūüôā

Enjoy these quick and easy patterns and hopefully they will help you complete those last minute gifts too!!

HAPPY CREATING!!

 

 

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Blocking Your Crochet/Knitting Project

When I was a young girl first learning to crochet and sew, blocking your item was right up there with do I really need to stay-stitch my neck edge within my sewing project Рduh, I learned the hard way, you DO need to do these steps to get the desired results and have an item that will last and continue to look good.  Think about it, you have gone to all this work to crochet a wonderful piece, now you need to block it so it will have the necessary shape, curves, points, etc. to look awesome.

There are basically 2 ways of blocking – called wet blocking and/or steam blocking. ¬†STEAM¬†blocking is exactly as its name implies. ¬†I do this for small projects and I NEVER do it for anything that has been made with acrylic yarn. ¬†I layout my project on my ironing board, spray it with a little water from my handy-dandy spray bottle that I always have hanging from my ironing board and sort of shape it with just my fingers. ¬†I like to cover it with a pressing cloth, then I hold my iron just above the item but don’t touch it with the iron and steam away. ¬†I usually give it a couple good bursts of steam. ¬†Lift the pressing cloth, check it out and if all looks good just let it stay in place to cool and dry. If you aren’t totally satisfied, maybe an edge isn’t just to your liking, give it another spray of water, cover with your pressing cloth and give it another burst of steam.

The steaming method works really well for cotton yarns.  I would be cautious with WOOL items too as heat will do funky things to wool yarn.  As one time my hubby was trying to be so helpful and threw a lovely sweater in the dryer and it shrunk to fit a Barbie doll.

WET blocking is probably the best way to block your yarn projects. ¬†Basically, soak your crochet in a nice sink full of cold water, add a very little drop of a gentle soap, give it a nice swish around, and rinse really well to make sure soap is all gone. ¬†Gently squeeze out some of the water, you can let it drain a little in the sink, layout a big towel and place your project on the towel. ¬†You really don’t want to wring or twist – I like to fold up my towel in half and then fold in the sides and press easy on it to help remove extra moisture.

Then off to my blocking mats with my rust proof pins and tape measure.  Layout your project and gently stretch it out, finger open those fine details that you have made and pin away.  Use your tape measure to make sure you are getting the size and shape you want.  Again, have that handy-dandy spray bottle at hand if you need to dampen your project during the blocking process.  For a shawl with fine picot points, be sure to place a pin in each one.  Believe you me, it is worth it!!

Round shaped items, like booties or hats, I like to shape using wet paper towels.  Put wet paper towels inside your booties to shape them the way you want and let them stay that way until the paper towels are dry.  I use fabric covered styrofoam balls for shaping hats but if they need to be a little fuller, again wet paper towels to fill in those spaces Рworks great.  Just do final shaping with your hands and let air dry completely.

Take a moment and check out Shibaguyz Designz blog. ¬†Some really interesting ideas for blocking here using wire, #10 cotton thread and/or unwaxed kitchen string. ¬†Recommends the string for nice shaping of curved areas. ¬†Another recommendation – block your swatch piece to really ensure you are getting the correct gauge. ¬†Excellent reading ūüôā

Here are some pictures of the blocked shawls and scarves that I just did – talked about the patterns on my last blog That’s a Wrap!! ¬†Good examples of how blocking really gives your item that WOW factor. ¬†You’ve spent lots of hours crocheting or knitting that beautiful piece – now spend just one more hour to truly give your item that professional, finished appearance.

Blocking on mats

 

Before blocking

After blocking

Before blocking

After blocking

 

 HAPPY CREATING!!

 

 

That’s a “WRAP”

Well I’ve been super busy “wrapping up” with hooking shawls, scarves and cowls recently so I thought I would share with you some of my projects and what patterns I used. ¬†Can’t quite call them totally “finished” as I still need to complete detailed blocking for everything so that is what is on my agenda for this week. ¬†Plus, all the yarn I used was already in my stash!! ¬†Yeah!!!

Before I go further, did want to share with you pictures of my finished knitted seed/moss stitch scarf. ¬†I am very happy with how it turned out – especially since knitting seems to challenge me a bit ūüôā

Seed/Moss Stitch

Anyways, take a look and hopefully you will get inspired with a “wrap” of your own ūüôā

  1. ¬†These pictures show a lovely summer shawl. ¬†I used a free pattern found on Ravelry called the Dixie Charm pattern by Kathy Lashley. I used 2 skeins of Sunseeker ¬†Multis (color #107) by Cascade Yarns and an I hook (5.5) for this pattern. ¬†I just love the beautiful peachy tones which highlights just a touch of sparkle throughout. ¬†This yarn was a combo of cotton, acrylic, and metallic yarn. ¬†Very nice to work with too and I’m really pleased with how it looks so far. ¬†Blocking will give it that totally finished look!!

    Dixie Charm

  2. Next I liked this great Moogly pattern called Berry Harvest   Bandana Cowl.  Crocheted this one using the pattern recommendations of an H hook and a DK weight yarn.  I chose Rowan Creative Linen (1 skein) which is a nice 50% linen and 50% cotton.  Worked up lovely and the berry design and edging will truly benefit from a good blocking.

 

Back to Ravelry again, I found a pretty lacy scarf called Summer Sprigs Lace Scarf by Esther Chandler.  The yarn I decided to go with was Folio by Berroco (blend of Superfine Alpaca and Rayon) but was considered a Light (3) category and her pattern used a Fine Lace yarn.  I only had 2 skeins of this yarn, so I chose a Size E hook (3.5) using the Folio yarn and only chained 232 + 1.  I used 1 full skein and a little more than half of the other skein for my scarf.  It still wraps around your neck nicely and drapes on the sides.  I know too once blocked, it will enlarge the size of the finished scarf.

Summer Sprigs Lace Scarf

I enjoyed making the Summer Sprigs pattern so off to my stash bin again and found 4 skeins of Folio in an awesome charcoal gray color.  So I have started pattern using this yarn, changed hook to a Size C (2.75) and began with the pattern recommendation of 386 +1 chains.  Not very far, but I think  the outcome will still be a lovely, light weight scarf.

Work in Progress

Of course, I just purchased an awesome pattern by Christina Hadderingh called Hotel of Bees shawl from Ravelry and looking forward to participating in the #HOBCAL (Hotel of Bees Crochet Along) through Cherry Heart’s Cozy Corner group.

And, That’s A “Wrap”!!

HAPPY CREATING!!

 

 

 

 

 

Get a Grip on Crochet

I love to crochet and thoroughly enjoy all the fun and interesting projects that evolve from that ever amazing hook.  Getting a grip on your hook is totally a personal preference but if you are new to crochet or wanting to teach someone this art, then I hope this information will help you.

There are mainly 2 styles of gripping your hook – the pencil hold and the knife hold.

I’m a left-handed person for everything but crochet. ¬†Being the only leftie in my family was a true stump factor so if I was going to learn how to do this craft, I had to learn right-handed. ¬†What I have discovered over the years, is that I can keep a good tension on my yarn as I control that with my left hand where my right hand is really only doing one movement going through my loops.

Anyways, how I hold my hook is with the knife style.  I place my thumb on the flat section or thumb rest, my index finger rests on the shaft helping to hold my loop in place, my middle finger sits gently on the back of the hook along the thumb rest and my ring finger and pinkie slightly wrap around the hook and hold it in place against the palm of my hand (this helps to keep the hook from rotating in my hand).

My left-hand thread tension is this:  wrap the yarn under my pinkie finger, over my ring finger, under Mr. Tall Man (the middle finger) and over my index finger.  I hold my work with my left hand using my middle finger and thumb and extend my index finger away from my hook to keep it slightly taut as I use that yarn to make my crochet stitches.

I do not vary from this setup whether I am using a steel hook with thread or a super bulky yarn with a Q hook.

Also, I have found the Susan Bates hooks to be my personal favorites. I like to work with the in-line style hook versus the tapered hook that you find on a Boye design. ¬†I have just been introduced to the Clover Soft grip style hooks and I think I’m going to like them a lot too especially when working with thread designs for doilies, etc. ¬†Experiment and find the type of hook that works the best for you and feels the most comfortable in your hand. ¬†There are tons of choices available.

If you are new to the crocheting bug or teaching someone, maybe begin with a larger hook like a size J or size K.  The fatter hook might help you not to grip too hard and make your stitches too tight.

I still have my very first crochet hook which I believe is a Susan Bates, just is marked as a size 6 or size G. ¬†With some research, I actually believe it is a 4.25 mm as I have the latest size G6/4.00 mm and the size 7/4.50 mm and the shaft is really in between these two hook sizes. ¬†It is always my “go to” hook for most of my projects!!

So “get a grip” and pick up a crochet hook and make that wonderful cozy scarf or baby blanket for yourself or as a gift for that special someone.

HAPPY CREATING!!

 

 

Barbie Fun and Flirty Dress Pattern

You can never have too many Barbie outfits!! ¬†And a simple crochet style dress is an awesome addition to add to her wardrobe. ¬†Here’s my pattern for a fun, flirty style Barbie dress to crochet for that special 12″ doll lover!!

Fun and Flirty Dress with Ruffled Edge

Fun and Flirty Dress with Ruffled Edge

I have used a category 2 (sport or baby) fine yarn and a Size E/4 (3.50mm) crochet hook for this dress.  Probably no more than 50 Р75 yards.

The pattern includes the following abbreviation stitches:  HDC Рhalf double crochet and HDC foundation stitch, SC Рsingle crochet, INC Рincrease, DEC Рdecrease,  BLO Рback loop only, SL Рslip stitch, CH Рchain, DC Рdouble crochet

This entire pattern is worked in the round.

Begin your dress by completing:

22 HDC Foundation Stitches, SL join into top of 1st stitch.  Be sure to leave a longer tail at the beginning so you have a thread to stitch up the join.

22 HDC Foundation Chain

22 HDC Foundation Chain

Rows 2 Р10 will be all SC (22 stitches).  At the end of each row join your round using your preferred method.  I like to use the no-cut joining method found here on Planet June blog.

Row 11 Р4 hdc,   1 hdc dec,   3 hdc,   1 hdc dec,   3 hdc,      1 hdc dec,   4 hdc,   1 hdc dec. (18 stitches)  join

Row 12 & 13 Р18 SC  join

 

SONY DSC

Row 14 Р8 sc,   1 sc inc,  8 sc,  1 sc inc,  join (20 stitches)

Row 15 Р9 sc,  1 sc inc,  9 sc,  1 sc inc,  join  (22 stitches)

Row 16 Р5 sc,  1 sc inc,  4 sc,  1 sc inc,  4 sc,  1 sc inc,  5 sc,  1 sc inc,  join  (26 stitches)

Row 17 Р6 sc,  1 sc inc,  5 sc,  1 sc inc, 5 sc,  1 sc inc,  6 sc,  1 sc inc,  join (30 stitches)

Rows 18 Р30 SC,  join  (30 stitches)

Row 19 Р CH 1,  30 HDC in BLO, join  (30 stitches)

Rows 20 Р25 Рrepeat row 19  (30 stitches)

At this point,  you can really decide how long you want your skirt to be.  You could add a couple more of the HDC, BLO rows if you wish or maybe you actually want less rows to make the dress shorter.   Also, if you want this look,

No ruffled bottom edge style.

No ruffled bottom edge style.

you can end your dress here and just do one row of SL stitches for a finished edge.  Just fasten off and weave in your ends at the bottom and join at the neckline.

If you want to add the ruffled look here is what you will need to do.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

 

 

 

 

Row 26 РCH 2,  crochet 2 DC in each of the HDC going through both loops of the HDC stitch.  Join.

Row 27 РCH 2, crochet 3 DC in each of the DC stitches.  Join

Fasten off and weave in all ends.  Again, make sure you join together your 22 HDC Foundation stitches together at top.

Fun and Flirty Dress with Ruffled Edge

Fun and Flirty Dress with Ruffled Edge

Back view

Back view

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things about this dress is the simplistic ability to slip it on. ¬†It can be slightly snug going over her hips (my Barbie is the belly button style doll) but shouldn’t really pose any issues for children to dress the doll. ¬†There is really no definite front or back to the dress either so however it is slipped on works. ¬†Actually, you can put the joining seam at the side of the dress and your front and back looks seamless.

Please feel free to make this fun dress for all your Barbie enthusiasts.   I have no issues if you want to make this dress and sell it (providing you are the one doing the actual crocheting), however, please do not distribute, copy or publish the pattern as your own. Should you elect to sell your finished products, please reference my blog www.stitch4ever.com as the pattern designer.

HAPPY CREATING!!