Monday, December 5, 2011

Alexandra Jonte

In June, I shared a box of hats with you.  Really, it was just a picture of a dozen hats. Those hats held with them love and prayers for Alexandra Jonte, just five years old and battling cancer.

In October, my 7th graders participated in the St. Jude Math-A-Thon.  I participated right along with them in honor of Alexandra.

This morning, Alexandra passed away.  My heart is broken for her Mommy and her family.  All I have are prayers and a wish to hug her Mommy and make the pain go away.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Mug Hug

I've been wanting to make a mug cozy for some time note. Honestly, I don't know what's been holding me back. Yesterday, on Tangled Happy, Sarah shared a link to a pattern for the Mug Coaster Cozy. I fell in love with it.

I've nicknamed it the Mug Hug.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Chain Cowl

I'm all about scarves.  I've made them in a ton of patterns and colors.  When I sat down to start thinking about a project for my crochet club, I wanted to do something with them that would allow them to learn how to chain and count stitches.  There are a lot of patterns out there, but I wanted something that would be super simple and allow them to be wearing their own work quickly.

I was playing with an idea of making a chain scarf.  Essentially, you chain 300 or more for the first row, fasten off and start with a new chain single crocheting every once in a while to the original chain.  When you do this, chain after chain you begin to grow the scarf and there is a really fun pattern that develops. I made one and it was adorable. I received a ton of compliments on it, but I wanted a variation on the idea:

Along came the Chain Cowl.

The pattern I made is simple and, honestly, you could do whatever pattern you wanted as long as you follow the basic premise: the pattern must repeat continuously.

Chain Cowl

Hook: H (does not matter, this is up to you)
Yarn: worsted weight (again, up to you)

Row 1: Chain 120.  Single crochet into the first chain to create a circle.
Row 2 : Chain 11.  Single crochet into the 12th chain in the first row.  *Chain 11, single crochet into the 12 chain over.* Repeat  until you reach the original single crochet.
Row 3 and beyond: Single crochet into the very first single crochet stitch in row 2. Chain 11 and single crochet into the next single crochet stitch from Row 2. Continue to repeat this pattern around and around the cowl until it reaches the height you desire. When you reach that point, make a final single crochet, fasten off and weave the ends into the row of single crochets you have made.

While I stopped at row 12, you could continue as long as you like!

The girls loved it and I hope to share their projects soon!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

More Halloween Happiness

I don't know why I am so excited about Halloween already, but it has led to some fun hat designs.

I wanted something fun for my boys.  Meet Franken-Lukie

and Daddy-stein

And then, there is the Cat Hat.  It's just a little too big for Gracie.  Just a little.

Just a little.

It was a bit big for Lukie, too.  Not that he minded.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Spider Hat

I'm sorry.  I just couldn't stand the cuteness of this pattern.  I had to own it.

You can find this pattern on Ravelry under Crochet Jolie.  I bought it along with two other patterns and I'm so glad I did.  This little spider is incredibly easy to make and I know I will be able to use her on a ton of things: headbands, scarves, hats.

She makes me happy just looking at her!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

On my hook...

It's not that I don't like blankets. I just don't like how long they take. I have a blanket around here somewhere that I started 10 years ago. It is only 50% finished. I find baby blankets and lap blankets much more doable.

I recently spotted a lovely blanket on the Pinterest board of one of the bloggers I read. It was called Vintage Crochet Blanket and the pictures fascinated me. I found the pattern and did something I rarely do: I purchased a pattern for a single item.

I'm on row 6 of this beauty and it looks so much more complicated than it is.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Bow Scarf - Ta-Da!

I think it worked! I'm going to have to test it a bit and maybe try a smaller bow, but the Bow Scarf concept works!

One end, there is a puffy bow and, on the other, there is a notch for the bow to fit through. The scarf gets wrapped around your neck and the two ends are connected to create the bow effect.

I'm so excited it worked! Now, to come up with a paten so I can remember how I made it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

So, I have this idea

I was looking at the flower scarf pattern I shared on Ravelry and contemplating what to make for my neice, Hailey, for her birthday. You see, Hailey is not a flower-type girl. She enjoys bows, but flowers are a little too girly for her.

It got me thinking: Is there a way to make a scarf that has a bow shape on one end and on the other a fastener that would connect the scarf together?

I have this idea in my head and I'm staying up to see if I can accomplish it.

So far, I have the beginnings of the bow end.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dinosaur Hat for my Big Dinosaur Lucas

Most times I crochet just to see if I can follow a pattern.  Other times, I adapt a pattern for something I already like.  My son, Lucas, loves dinosaurs.  I mean, he LOVES them.  I've been looking at dinosaur beanies for a really long time, but none of them look like something I would be proud to make for him.

Today, I found a pattern with cool spikes and decided to adapt it for my version of a dinosaur hat.  The dinosaur hat pattern was a little too young for Lukie, but I think my changes make this hat perfect for him.

Can you tell he likes it?
Of course, he may have to fight his sister for it.  I guess I could always make one for her, too!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Newsgirl Hat

We have a lot of birthdays coming up around here.  I've been working hard to create projects for people.  One project was this newsgirl hat.  I started it for a very fashionable teenager and fell in love with it.  It was inspired by Polkadot Posh and I adapted it for an adult.  The pattern was free a few months ago and fits newborns through size 4T, but now is for sale here.  If you see this post and would like the edits I made to make this fit an adult, let me know.

Front view.  I love those X stitches
Look carefully.  See those stitches?  Those are X stitches.  They are actually double crochet stitches that are crocheted to cross over one another.  They are really easy and super fun to do.

I used Peaches 'N Cream yarn which is very similar to the Sugar 'N Cream yarn by Lily. It is a very dense yarn and since this hat is crocheted holding 2 strands, this is a very thick hat.  In fact, it is sitting on its side next to me and it is maintaining its shape!  Originally, I did not add any embellishments to the hat, but some friends suggested it needed a little more.  So, I added a band and crocheted 2 buttons to go on either side.
Cap without the band and buttons.
I added a band and crocheted buttons to the brim.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Barbie Dress

Gracie has a Barbie who is perpetually naked.  I think this is mostly because she came wearing a bathing suit that Gracie cannot get onto her by herself.  While cruising Ravelry the other day, I came upon some inspiration!  A crocheted Barbie gown that does not have any fasteners.  Instead, the dress is stretchy, so it can just be pulled over Barbie's body and held in place by her curvy-ness.

It was meant to be an evening gown, but sport weight yarn does not equal a quick project.  Plus, I was using an E hook! 

I found lots of other inspiration on the site and I'm thinking I may make her some more clothes.  It made Gracie very happy to be able to put the close on by herself.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Pouchy Pouch

My friend, Nikki, and I are teaching a beginning crochet class at school this year.  The name of the class is still a work in progress, but one thing we have decided on is which stitches we will introduce in the first trimester of the class.  One trimester equals 3 1.5 hours classes, so we've had to be realistic about how much we can actually teach.

Our plan is to teach how to hold your crochet hook, chaining, single crochet stitches, and how to maintain your tension.  There may be some frogging in there as well.  The goal is that all participants will crochet their very own single crocheted scarf and by class #2, be able to work on a nifty pouch project.  The Pouchy Pouch from Maize Hutton's blog, is fantastic because it is created entirely of chains and single crochets.  Her original pattern was created using linen yarn and a C hook, but I tested it using worsted weight yarn and a G hook.

Here is the result:  a 5 inch tall pouch easily worn under your clothes or on top of them to hold a cell phone, your money (the paper kind) and/or a lip balm.

I made mine like this:

Begin by ch 11.
Sc in the second ch from hook and in each st across (10 sts).
Ch 1 and turn.  Sc in each st across (10 sts).
Repeat until you have 32 rows.

See Maize's blog for the folding and stitching of the sides.  She explains it the best.  As you decide how many to chain for the strap, stop every so often and place it around your neck to see where you would like it to fall.  In Maize's pattern, she chained 200 for the strap, but I used significantly fewer, about 110.  In retrospect, using worsted yarn, a chain of about 90 would put the pouch in the ideal position for me.  You'll need to test this though so that it works for you.

To personalize this more, you could add some sequins or buttons.  You could also crochet a fold over flap to close off the top of the pouch.  The possibilities are endless!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hats for Alexandria

Gracie and Luke, my twins, are almost 4.  When I try to think back to a time without them, it is difficult to remember a moment when they were not around.  When I try to think to the future, when they are all grown and gone, I simply cannot fathom it. We are lucky that Gracie and Luke are healthy and happy.

One of my twin mom friends wrote to me a few weeks ago about a little girl, just turned 4, who has been rediagnosed with cancer.  Cancer. How is that possible?  How is it possible that a small child should fight for her life against a disease with no mercy? No child, no person, should ever have cancer.  Ever. 

Alexandria is brave.  Recently, after starting a new round of chemotherapy, her hair started to fall out.  Rather than be depressed that she was losing her hair, she asked her mom if she could cut it off instead.  If only, I could look at something that devastating as simply a means to a change. 

Needless to say, I have been touched by Alexandria's story.  I hug Gracie and Luke tighter and pray for her every night.  Kris asked me if I would be willing to sell her some hats for Alexandria.  I don't sell my hats.  I only give them to people I care about deeply.  I told Kris that.  Then, I asked what Alexandria's favorite color is.

Tomorrow, this box will leave via the mail.

It has 12 hats in it.  Most of them have pink somewhere on them.  Pink is Alexandria's favorite color.  My hope is that they fit her and help her feel pretty every day.  I hope even harder that she will someday outgrow these hats and be able to pass them on to someone else.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Personalizing a straw bag

Target has straw bags for $2.50. At that rate, they cost less than a gift bag!  Since I have gifts for Gracie and Luke's teachers, I thought these bags would be a great alternative to paper gift bags. Here's the thing: they really needed to be personalized.

So, out came my crochet hook and a number of flowers later, I had the beginnings of two really cute bags. The flowers were sewn on with a tapestry needle and the same yarn used for the flowers.

Hat for Gracie

Gracie is in love with her hat.  Like, seriously, in love.

This hat was based on one worn in the movie The Professional.  In the movie, the hat was shorter (only a couple of rows of the shell design).  For Miss Gracie, I wanted something that was longer and would emphasize her amazing eyes!

She won't stop wearing it.  It goes with her everywhere!

If you would like to make your own, click here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A quick tablet cover

I was trying to follow a pattern to make a cover for my new tablet and it just wasn't working. I think I pulled it apart three times. Finally, I decided to just crochet one of my purse patterns on a smaller scale. This cover was made with v-stitches in the round. What makes me so happy about it is that I crocheted a pull through strap so that my tablet won't fall out.

I think I'm in love!
It's so easy to make! 
Yarn:  Worsted Weight
Hook:  H
Row 1 (in the round) Chain 12 and crochet 5 sc in the second chain from hook.  Crochet 1 sc in each chain and crochet 5 sc in the last chain.  Crocheting around to the other side of the chain, 1 sc in each chain to end.  Slip stitch in the first sc.
Row 2: Chain 2 and hdc in same st.  Skip 1 sc and 2hdc in next st.  Continue pattern (skip 1 sc and 2hdc in next st) to end.  1hdc in the same st at the original chain 2 and slip stitch to the top of the first hdc.  Slip stitch in to space.
Row 3- 18: repeat row 2.
Row 19-21: Chain 1 and 1 sc in each stitch around.  Slip stitch to original sc.
Row 22: Chain 1 and sc in the next 5 stitches.  Chain 20 and skip 6 stitches.  Sc in the 7th stitch and continue sc in the next 10 stitches.  Slip stitch in the next 6 stitches and sc in the remaining stitches to the end.  End with a slip stitch in original sc.
Row 23: Sc in each stitch around (optional: skip first two stitches of the chain and slip stitch into the third chain.  Sc in each of next 15 stitches.  Skip last two chains and slip stitch into first sc after chains - continue 1 sc in each chain around to end. Slip stitch in first sc.)
Row 24: Sc in each stitch around (optional: skip first two stitches of the loop and slip stitch into the third sc.  Sc in each of the next 13 stitches.  Skip the last two sc and slip stitch into the first after handle.  Continue 1 sc in each chain around to end.) Slip stitch in first sc and fasten off.  Weave in ends.

P.S. I took this picture with my new Samsung tablet!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Garden Granny Square Pillow

So, there's this blog. It's written by Lucy. It's called "Attic 24."  I'm in love with it.  The colors.  The crochet.  It is all lovely.

A while ago, Lucy offered a pattern for her Summer Garden Granny Square.  I knew when I saw it that it was something special.  A few days ago, I decided to try it and I fell deeper in love.  I fell so much in love with the granny square that I decided to create a pillow (my current obsession).  The bonus:  It's my coworker, Alison's birthday tomorrow and it would make a great present for her. 

Just look at what I made:

See those Granny Squares?

These are the true colors.

Up close.

The back was a little different.

I'm so excited to see her fact tomorrow.  These pictures do not do this pillow any justice.  It is so lovely!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Baby Challenge #1 - Complete!

Elizabeth's Baby Shower was today and here is what she got from Nikki and me:


Isn't it gorgeous?

Next up is Stuart and his wife who are expecting a baby girl in June. I'm trying a flower blanket that is entirely crocheted out of circles. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Baby Challenge, continued

My friend, Nikki, finished the mobile!  It is adorable!

So effing adorable.

I can't wait for Elizabeth to see it!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Gifts!

Let's face it, you can buy people gifts, or you can make them yourself!  This year, I used my crochet powers to make my Mom and my sisters some Mother's Day gifts.

My sister, Rebecca, wears towels when she cooks. For her, I made an apron.
See those Grannies?  I designed those!


For my Mom, I made a small tote bag.  I love how the flower turned out!

Finally, for Kristen, I made a large handbag/totebag to match the Nook cover I made her for Christmas.

See those ruffles? They were an experiment!
I'm so proud of these projects and everyone seemed happy with them too.

The Baby Challenge

There are four coworkers expecting babies where I work. They are all due in the next two months. My friend, Nikki, who also happens to work with me, suggested that we take a Baby Challenge. We've decided to make a blanket, bibs, booties, and anything else that might be cute!

Our first challenge is for Elizabeth. She and her husband are expecting their first child in June. They are planning to be completely surprised about the sex of their child, so Nikki and I decided to go with a palette of yellow, green, aqua and a light red color.

Nikki is making a bird mobile and a bib and I made a blanket. Nikki found a pattern for a beautiful blanket that looks like it took a super-complicated stitch to make. However, it is easy and works up quickly!

Here's the final product!

Don't you love that border??  That's a reverse single crochet!  I didn't even know you could do that!