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How-To Tuesday — Fingerless Gloves

It’s Tuesday! Are you excited?! I am 😛

I am going to totally shock you all today and post a pattern for something that is NOT a slouchy hat! You know I love some slouchy hats, but I thought I’d change it up a little this week. Also, I wrote this pattern over a year ago, so most of the work was already done.

And who doesn’t love fingerless gloves, right? They’re cute, warm, and allow you the freedom to answer calls and texts without taking your glove off!

crochet fingerless gloves

Materials Needed: WW yarn of your choice (Pictured – Vickie Howell for Caron, Sheep(ish) in Teal(ish).) One skein is more than plenty. I/9 5.5mm crochet hook needle for weaving ends Buttons of your choice (Pictured – La Mode style 24811 from JoAnn’s)

Stitches/Terms used (US terms): hdc –  half double crochet

sc –  single crochet

sl st- slip stitch

blo – back loop only

Whipstitch (used for sewing on strap — see video here: http://youtu.be/RBYfdRgy5II)

Finished Measurements: Body of glove – 8 inches length x 3.5 inches width Strap – 3.5 inches length x 1.25 (or slightly less) inches tall

Body:

Chain 30 Row 1: In 3rd ch from hook, hdc blo, and every st until the end (28 hdc) Rows 2 – 17: Ch 2, turn work, hdc blo next st and down the rest of the row (28 hdc) (measure against your wrist – if not yet big enough to go around, make another row and measure again), do not fasten off. Row 18: Joining row – Ch 1, sl st two sides together creating a seam up the side of your work next 20 sts. At st 21, sl st up only one side of seam (creating hole for thumb) for next 7 stitches. Ch 1, sl st into final chain, joining work and creating the hole for your thumb. Do NOT fasten off. Thumb Hole: Sc around your thumb hole (16 sc), do not join rows, sc 4 rows (16 sc each) or until desired length. Fasten off, weave ends.

Turn your work inside out.

Bottom Cuff: Join yarn at side seam. Row 1: Ch 2, HDC around (approx. 24 hdc* see note below). Join with sl st into top of beginning stitch. Row 2: Ch 2, hdc blo each stitch (24 hdc). Join with sl st into top of beginning stitch. Fasten off (or make more rows until desired length), weave ends (into the inside of your work).

Top Cuff: Join yarn at side seam. Row 1: Ch 2, hdc around (approx. 24 hdc* – see note below). Join with sl st into top of beginning st. Rows 2-4: Ch 2, hdc blo around (24 hdc). Join with sl st into top of beginning st. Row 5: Ch1, sc blo around (24 sc). Join with sl st into top of beginning chain, fasten off, weave ends on the inside of your work.

Strap: Ch 15 Row 1: hdc into 3rd ch from hook and down (12 hdc). Rows 2-3: Ch 2, hdc to end (12 hdc). Fasten off. Leave tail long enough to sew onto glove. Whipstitch onto glove just below the thumb hole (see picture for placement). Add button to the opposite end of strap, whipstitch button side onto glove (see picture for placement).

–And I know this sounds dumb and should be a no-brainer, but I wouldn’t include it if I hadn’t stupidly done this before myself (ha! I was SO mad!): Make sure you don’t accidentally create 2 right/left gloves by misplacement of strap — With thumbs placed to the inside (next to each other), you should have one glove with a button on the right side of the glove, and one glove with a button on the left side of the glove (Right glove/right side button, Left glove/left side button). *Approx 24 stitches around, possibly more if you needed more original rows in body to adjust for your wrist size.

Pictures (click to enlarge):

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How-To Tuesday — Chevron Slouch Beanie

I seem to have caught the Chevron Mania.

You too?

Well, in honor of the mania, I’ve written up a pattern/tutorial for this awesome Chevron Slouch beanie! I hope you enjoy! I haven’t written many patterns, and have only had this one “tested” by myself. Please don’t hesitate to point out any mistakes, or ask questions if there is anything that doesn’t make sense to you.

I love this pattern because it’s super easy once you get the rhythm down — that is awesome because it allows you to watch TV or carry on a conversation without losing your place. But, if you DO lose your place, it becomes apparent before you get too far, so it’s easy to go back and fix a mistake (maybe ONE row later, rather than when you’re sewing up the seam).

Anyway, on to the pattern!

Materials Needed:

Yarn — (duh) I used a DK Cotton blend (Vickie Howell’s Cotton-ish by Bernat) I used less than half of a skein of each color

I’m going to refer to colors as Color A (brown in my hat) and Color B (cream in my hat)

G Hook

Yarn needle

Stitches/Terms Used (US terminology):

Ch – chain

DC – Double Crochet

dc2tog (double crochet 2 together) – Yarn over, insert hook into stitch, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops, yarn over, insert hook into next stitch, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops, yarn over, pull through remaining (3) loops

DC inc (double crochet increase) – 2 DC in same stitch

HDC – half double crochet

SC -single crochet

BLO – back loops only

With Color A chain 87

Row 1:

DC into 4th chain from hook (3 chains left = 1 DC)

*DC next 3 sts

2 dc2tog over next 4 sts (dc2tog, dc2tog)

DC next 3 sts

DC inc next 2 sts (4 DC over 2 sts)*

Repeat from * ending with ONE DC INC (2 DC) in last st

Row 2:

Turn

Ch 3 (counts as 1 DC here and throughout)

DC into first st

*DC next 3 sts

2 dc2tog over next 4 sts (dc2tog, dc2tog)

DC next 3 sts

DC inc next 2 sts (4 DC over 2 sts)*

Repeat from * ending with ONE DC INC (2 DC) into top of turning ch

I change colors every 2 rows — to change color: At the end of the previous color’s row, finish the last stitch by pulling new color through the final 2 loops of the last DC, ch 3 and you’ve now switched over 🙂

Rows 3 – 23:

Repeat Row 2, changing colors every 2 rows, ending with ONE row of Color B

Edging: 

Change to Color A at the end of Row 23

Turn

Ch 2

HDC into first st

*HDC next 3 sts (stand alone DC sts)

DC next 2 sts (“valley” dc2tog sts from previous row)

HDC next 3 sts (stand alone DC sts)

SC next 4 (“peak” DC inc sts from previous row)*

Repeat from * to the end

Do NOT fasten off

Sewing the side seam:

With the WS (wrong side) facing you (RS — right side on the inside), line up your chevron stripes and SC the sides together (see pic below)

Cinching the top:

When you finish your SC up the side seam, cut off your yarn, leaving a long tail (I leave about 18 inches, just to be safe)

Whip stitch around the top, inserting your yarn needle about every 4 sts

When you reach the beginning, pull tight to cinch the top together

I like to go through the middle a couple of extra times to make sure it doesn’t come apart

Tie off with a knot

Flip the hat “right side out”

Brim:

Join with Color A at the seam

HDC in BLO around the edging row

Do not join rounds (you can use a stitch marker to keep your place if you want, but I just eyeballed it by where I joined at the seam)

Keep going until your brim is your desired size (mine is about 5 rows) and fasten off and weave in your ends!

This hat took a little longer than my usual to make a hat, because using a smaller weight yarn/smaller hook = more overall stitches. I went ahead and started making another in worsted acrylic to see how one would need to adjust the stitch/row counts.  Here are the measurements/adjustments:

Finished Hat = approx. 9 inches (23 cm for the hat body (not including brim)

With DK weight (marked with a number 3 on package): 2 rows = approx. 3/4 of an inch (2 cm)

23 rows + edging row (with top cinched — takes a little off of the height) = approx. 9 inches (23 cm)

Brim (in DK) = just over 1 inch (approx. 3 cm) at 5 rows of HDC

When I switched to worsted weight (WW) acrylic, I used a size J hook and chained 63 (instead of 87) to reach the same circumference measurement (approx. 20 inches/51 cm)

With WW acrylic  (marked with a number 4 on package): 2 rows = 1 inch (3 cm)

17 rows + edging row (with top cinched) = approx. 9 inches (23 cm)

Brim (in WW) = just over 1 inch (approx. 3 cm) at 3 rows of HDC

As you can see, this pattern is easily adjusted to a variety of material. The WW version worked up VERY quickly.

*This particular pattern makes a slouchy hat that fits MY head. I’ve been told I have a relatively small(ish) head. If it’s not long enough for whoever’s head you’re hoping to accommodate, just add rows as needed until you reach the desired length. I like the look of ending with one row of Color B and edging with the brim color, but get creative!

I would love to see what you all come up with! Please post your pics (or links to them!).

You all know how I feel about putting constraints on what you can and cannot do with a finished product — Go. Do what you will with whatever you make. Give me credit for the pattern (link back if you don’t mind, I love the blog traffic!). Don’t steal my pictures. Don’t pretend that this is YOUR pattern. It’s free, so enjoy! Just don’t be lame and “plagiarism-y“. Please 🙂


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Friday!

I feel like I’ve already said this a lot in my short blogging life, but, I’m still here!

My oldest is leaving for camp on Sunday, and will be gone for 2 weeks. She was also gone all of last week, so this week I put everything else on the backburner to spend some time with her. I hope you can all forgive me 🙂

We have spent a lot of time at the pool with friends, walking around the neighborhood, and just hanging out watching stupid (but hilarious) videos on YouTube (like this one):

 . Seriously!? That makes me laugh (maybe more than I should) every. time.

Tonight/tomorrow we are going to get all of our school shopping done, and Sunday I drive her to camp!

We’ve also completed Preschool level 2 swimming lessons (and by we I mean Lilly), and will be moving right along to Preschool level 3 swimming next week. My baby is a little fish! 

I’ve somewhat kept up with my workout plan for the week, but we’ve been busy enough that it’s been hard to fit everything in. I’ll update on that on Monday.

This weekend I am working on next week’s Tuesday tutorial — a chevron slouch beanie! Woo! It’s a lot like this one:  

I’ve also been working on another pullover cover-up sweater like the colorful one I made for Lilly last week. This one is a cream color, and big enough for ME, so I hope it looks great when I get it put together. It’s currently in 2 pieces and sans sleeves/neck hole.  My husband is taking Lilly to a swimming party tomorrow, so I am hoping to get it finished (along with the tutorial piece) then.. While still finishing up school shopping.. and still fitting in a 5 mile run.. Hmm.. We’ll see how that turns out (ha!). 

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week, and have fun plans for the weekend! What are you all working on? What are you doing this weekend? 

 


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How-To Tuesday – Color Inspiration: Choosing Colors for your projects

“Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
― Pablo Picasso

I think Mr. Bob Ross may disagree on the “one can never learn how to paint” (happy little trees..ha!), but what a beautiful quote. Some colors do just sing, don’t they? Lovely. I feel the same way about some yarns.. Anyway, on with the post.

When I started this blog (about a month ago! Time sure flies!), I reached out to fellow crafters and asked what they would like to read about. One crocheter asked how to choose colors for projects. Now, I don’t particularly consider myself an “expert” in anything really, but I happen to get quite a lot of compliments on my color choices. I’ve been struggling a little with how to describe my process for you. I think, because honestly, it’s mostly just intuition. My best projects are those I don’t have any problems picking colors for. Sometimes, I decide the color scheme before I even decide the project, like the yarn is asking to be used. I’ve even not started projects in the past because when I started thinking about what colors to choose it would give me anxiety, and who wants that?! This is supposed to be fun, and stress relieving, not inducing!

Tip: When I’m having a hard time envisioning how my colors are going to come together in a pattern, I actually grab my colored pencils and sketch it out. This has led to color scheme changes more times than I can count!

crochet hooks

Sometimes I just like to look at these pretties

So. Here goes. Some *hopefully* useful methods to assist in choosing color schemes.
  • Get Online – We all want to create things that everyone considers beautiful. I’m not saying go copy whatever is popular in cyberspace. I’m saying, one of the best ways to find out what color schemes are “hot” is to do a quick search of your favorite online shopping sites. Let it inspire you. 
  • Get Outside – Mother Nature is gorgeous if you’d just look at her! Head outside. Lift your head and look around. Stop looking at your phone 😛 (I’m guilty of that one sometimes). What do you see? More likely than not, some amazing colors!

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” 
― Alice WalkerThe Color Purple

Seriously. Look around you 🙂

  • Go Shopping – At the home improvement store. The paint sections at The Home Depot and Lowe’s are wonderful resources for finding gorgeous color palettes — AND they’re already put together for you! For FREE! Go grab some swatches!
Home Depot Paint Swatches

Example of some paint swatches you will find at The Home Depot — pretty, right?!

  • Experiment – Step outside your comfort zone. Go BOLD. Something. Just try something you wouldn’t normally try. If you’re apprehensive about potentially wasting time on the wrong colors — do what I do. Grab your colored pencils and sketch pad and release your inner artist!
bold

Some of us have an easier time “stepping outside the box” ..

I once bought what I considered to be a fantastically beautiful skein of yarn, only to come home and have my teenager announce that she thought it looked “vomit-ish”. Lo-and-behold, when I completed the scarf I intended it for, I was overwhelmed with compliments on, you guessed it, the colors! Even my opinionated teen later admitted that, when paired with the gunmetal grey, the chartreuse (yes.. really) actually looked quite good.

crochet scarf

Scarf in question — what do YOU think?

Color is more complicated than it seems. I’ve taken whole classes centered entirely around color theory and choosing colors that complement each other (in hair school, not for crafting, but someone should offer one!).  Get friendly with a color wheel and learn the basics of color theory. This site has a wonderful (and easy to follow) explanation: http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory. It really is helpful to get to know the basics.

Color Wheel

Even a boring old color wheel is pretty to look at

Happy Tuesday! What colors are you currently working with? I’d love to hear what inspires you in choosing colors! Feel free to add your two cents in the comments. Any totally odd color combos that have just worked for you?


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How-To Tuesday — Tie Dye Crochet

Finally! The much anticipated “messy” crochet tutorial 🙂

Tie-Dye. I’m not a huge tie-dyer. I think before I started this project, the last (and only other) time I tie-dyed anything was in middle school. I won’t say exactly how long ago THAT was, but suffice to say it was not recently.

This was a fun project. I will definitely be trying it again!

“The waaaaiiiiting is the hardest part” — Tom Petty 

Lucky readers – you don’t have to wait 6-8 hours to see the results 😛

After the initial wait time, I rinsed (and rinsed, and RINSED) the material until the water was mostly clear, then washed it by itself in hot water with a small amount of laundry detergent, and ran it through the dryer until it was mostly dry.

I don’t LOVE how it turned out, but I’m satisfied with it, as it was my first time. Plus, I had a LOT of dye, so I whipped up a shirt for myself as well!

Here is the finished product:

What do you all think? I contained the mess pretty well. I would definitely make sure you have a container you don’t care about, gloves to protect you from dying your skin, and a roll of paper towels on hand.

I’d LOOOOOVE to see your finished items if you try it!

Happy Tuesday!


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Weekend Re-cap and Upcoming Plans

I’ve been quiet since last week, as I was prepping for a market over the weekend. I am still here, though, and making plans for some exciting things to share with you in the upcoming weeks!

One thing I am looking forward to sharing with you is a new format! I’m in the process of making some changes here, a major one being the addition of a shopping tab, where I’ll have the ability to process sales directly. More like an actual website, while still keeping a mostly blog format. I enjoy the blog vibe and sharing fun ideas and tutorials with you all.

I’m working out the details of a fun tutorial, and if all goes as planned, I’ll roll that one out next week  for a fun, and unique How-To Tuesday. I’m just itching to tell you what it is, but I’m going to keep it under my hat and hope you find anticipation exciting 😛 . I will say one thing about it — be prepared to get messy. Messy crochet?! You betcha!

Also, I asked some fellow crocheters what they’d like to see here, and got the following responses:

  • How to work with varying weights/thickness in yarn
  • How to take care of tails when working with nylon thread
  • How to pick color combos for projects
  • Sweaters — one crocheter is looking for a specific kind
  • Plus sized items

I’m looking into all of these requests and will find the best possible answer for them. If you know of any good resources I could share, feel free to leave links in the comments!

So, there you go! There are a few things you can look forward to this month!

Oh, what’s that? You want to know how the market went? Well.. It hovered just under 100 degrees here on Saturday, which apparently, does NOT make crocheted beanies, hats, scarves, and accessories very appealing to John Q. Public. I ended up doing just OK considering the very little expense I put into participating. I’ll probably not do another farmer’s market, or summer show period — unless I start making stuffies or other “off the body” crochet goods 🙂 Here is a peek at my table from Saturday. Thankfully, I had very little expectation from this market, so was not terribly disappointed. Also, I didn’t put a ton of effort in (which probably didn’t help lol).

craft fair booth

My Table

Sunday, however, I scored the best Craigslist find! I found these chairs that I cannot wait to get started on! I’ve already started a little sanding.  I’m taking pictures along the way so I can throw in a non-crochet related project in the near future.

rocking chair craigslist find

My next DIY project – aren’t they awesome?!

I’m pretty new to the blogosphere, and I’d like to take a minute to thank you all for reading, and for clicking that follow button 🙂 I love the crochet community and look forward to helping you all in any way I am able! I really love hearing from everyone, so please, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Whether you have a request for an upcoming post topic, or would just like to say hello — I enjoy getting to “know” everybody!

 


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How-To Tuesday — Fourth of July Headband with Bow

Yay! My first free pattern/tutorial! This is the first of what I hope to be many “How-To Tuesday” posts.

It’s almost Independence Day here in the good ‘ol US of A. In honor of the upcoming holiday, my first How-To is for this cute little 4th of July themed headband/bow combo. My adorable bow model is not feeling well today, but she’s certainly still gorgeous enough to pose for pictures!

fourth of july headband tutorial

A sweet little accessory 🙂

bow modeling

You can just feel her enthusiasm, can’t you?

finished headband

That is just too cute!

These are so fun and festive! And so FAST to whip up, you have plenty of time to hook up a ton of them to pass around to friends and family before the fireworks.

Here is what you need before you begin:

crochet project materials

I’ve made mine with 100% cotton in my favorite shades of red, white, and blue, and an ‘I’ hook. You need a very small amount of each color.

With your main bow color (I used red), chain 13

crochet instructions chain 14

Row 1: HDC into the 2nd chain from the hook

HDC next 4 st

half double crochet into next five stitches

Sl st into the next 2 chain stitches

HDC next 5 st

finished first row

Row 2: Ch 1

HDC next 5 st

second row

Sl st into next 2 st

HDC next 4 st

HDC in last st as normal until last step (3 loops on hook) and change to bow trim color (I used white). Finish last st with new color, and ch 1.

Last stitch step one

3 loops on hook

last stitch step two color change

finish stitch with new color

Trim:

sc in each st all the way around your bow (even in the sl sts from the previous rows)

*Tip — Before you turn a corner when trimming, ch 1 to give your work a little more room. This helps to keep the integrity of the shape of the item, and keeps your corners from bunching up.

single crochet border around

When you get to the very last sc, cut a length of tail to make a clean finish — you don’t HAVE to do this, as you’ll be hiding this part with the center of the bow, but I do it this way. Grab your yarn needle and thread on your tail. Insert into the center (between the top loops) of your beginning sc. Bring the yarn back to the last sc and thread through the middle and back end of the stitch. You should have a clean finishing stitch. Weave in the end.

finish with a clean edge

Insert under the top loops of the beginning stitch

pull back through center of last stitch and weave in your end

Insert needle between the top loops of the previous stitch and weave in your end.

Take what’s left of your trim color and thread it onto your yarn needle. Stick it through the top center and tie a little knot with a small tail.

thread remaining trim yarn onto needle insert into top and tie a knot

Keep that tail out to the side for this next part. Now, take your length of trim yarn and wrap that sucker around the center of the bow. Don’t be afraid to do it a little tightly (not TOO tightly). When you are satisfied with the look of your bow’s center, thread the end onto your yarn needle. Weave it through the middle of the backside of your bow and tie it in a knot with that tail you kept to the side.

finished bow

Cute!

Voila! A bow in 2 of our patriotic colors! Now, on to the headband. This is significantly less complicated to describe than the bow 🙂

With your headband color (I used blue):

headband yarn

Chain 63

DC in 3rd chain from hook and all the way to the end (60 DC)

Fasten off.

headband and bow

Almost done!

I add a button to one end to make it an adjustable headband.

Finished bow

I have attached the bow permanently to this headband, but you could put a button on the bottom to make it interchangeable with other headbands, or you could attach a clip to the bow to make it an independent accessory.

Happy Tuesday! And Happy *almost* Fourth!

As well as being my first How-To Tuesday installation, this is also my very first picture tutorial. Please let me know if you have any difficulty following the pattern, and I will do my best to explain better!

*This is a pattern that I came up with on my own. I did not come up with the idea of a bow in general, or headbands,  nor am I a founder of our country or an originator of the 4th of July holiday. I’ve posted this pattern for you to use for whatever you want to use it for. If you enjoy it enough to post about it in your blog, I’d love to read it, so link back if you don’t mind. I’d prefer it if you would just refer people here to get the pattern for themselves, but whatever. I’m not your mom. The pictures are mine though, so leave those alone.