Headgear

Covering the ears is one if my main goals when making any kind if head wear. I think it stems from being a kid; I always had to have my ears covered, even in the bath tub because of my frequent ear infections. I do it to my son too, “Cover those ears!”
I recently made a batch of requested head wear for a few folks and one of them is a headband. I know I’ve talked about headbands already, but this one is my own pattern so I thought I would share with you how to make your own. It is a great ear warmer!!

The materials that you will need are:

H hook

Worsted weight yarn, two colors if you want strips like mine

Scissors

Yarn or tapestry needle

 

Here’s the pattern:
Ch 10
Row 1: HDC In third ch from hook and HDC in each ch across, ch1 and turn (8HDC)
Row 2: HDC across, ch1 turn.

Continue until you reach the desired size to snuggly fit around your head. When the desired length is reached do not tie off! Simply ch1 and turn the work as if you are going to start another row, but instead hold the two ends together and slip stitch across. Then tie off the end and weave in ends. If you want stripes like mine, I switched color every third row. To ensure a smooth color change make sure you finish the last stitch of the row before you intend to switch by pulling up the new color when you have two loops on your hook.

Happy crocheting!

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I’ve been every where, man

This week I went on a small family trip that took about four driving hours to each our intended destination. The little town we went to was tiny and had next to nothing in the way of entertainment, food options, or lodging. We visited this little hole in the country because my husband had just completed a thirteen week training program and he is finally finished so we went to see the finishing ceremony.
So, while I was in the middle of Nowheresville trying to kill time I, as any crocheters or knitter worth their salt would, found a way to kill some time by working on my crochet. As I was sitting in our little hotel room crocheting away I started thinking about this new movement if tagging public areas with crochet or knitting called yarn bombing. I, being the law abiding citizen I am, have never been brave enough to do something so bold. But I have seen some work put up by others, and it always seems to brighten its surroundings. So since I am too chicken to doing my own yarn bombing (kudos for thinking about it though!) I want to tip my proverbial hat to those crocheters and knitters out there that have participated in such a beautiful and thrilling task. May your works of art forever brighten our world!

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Granny Squares

There are lots of books out there with wide arrays of crochet patterns and tips and tricks that, to be honest, can be found free of charge most the time. I find myself to be hard pressed to find a good crochet book that is really useful to me. One such book that I have managed to find is The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert. This book is full of nothing but beautifully delicious granny squares.
The granny square has been around for as long as our grannies have been, pun intended. In the 70’s they were plentiful in the form of shorts, vests, and all other forms of clothing. The beauty of the granny square is that, while you can make them as large as you like, you can also make them smaller, more traditional in size. Because of this traditionally small size, it makes the perfect scrap stash buster! All of those little balls of yarn floating around all lonely and feeling unneeded in the bottom of your stash or project bag can see the light of day again, or at least the light of the reading lamp by your bed.
Granny squares can be sewn together to make just about anything from pillows to blankets to bathing suits to wash cloths to purses and so on. The Granny Square Book provides its readers with so many granny squares to choose from in bright attractive colors that the possibilities are endless.

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Pesky tails continued….

In my last post I talked about one of my tricks to keep from weaving in so many ends. I have another method for doing the same thing, it is a little different but has the basic end result. It’s just all about what is easiest and comfortable for you. Without further ado, here’s how.

 

 

color 1.1

I am going to begin my new row by chaining two with my new color (I’m working in double crochet).

 

 

color 1.2

When I I start my first stitch I am going to hold my tail with my working yarn and use them both. Here I have yarned over twice and inserted my hook through the next stitch, I am yarning over with the working yarn and with the tail of my new color

 

 

color 1.3

I pull the two strands through and it will look like this. i just continue with my work as usual, I am just going to hold the two strands together and work with them as one until the tail ends.

 

 

color 1.4

Here is what the start of my second double crochet will look like. You can see the two strands held together and I will work with them as if they are one.

 

 

color 1.5

The only down fall to this method is that the beginning few stitches will be a bit thicker than the rest but it isn’t significant. It is a matter of personal preference. When you are done you simply snip the small amount remaining of the tail that is sticking out, no weaving in required.

I hope this helps. Weaving in ends is the WORST!

Those pesky tails

I know that adding a new color to your work can leave tons of yarn tails to weave in, and I HATE weaving in the yarn ends when I finish a project. It is the worst part of crocheting and knitting. Fortunately I have figured out a way to eliminate some of that work. Here’s what I do.

color 1

So, this is the beginning of a new row. I have completed my slip stitch in the beginning of the previous row and I am going to chain two with my new color to beginning my next row.

color2

Here I have chained two with my new color. I keep the tail of the new color in the back of my work.

color3

Next I am going to complete my first stitch, which is double crochet. I yarn over twice to begin my double crochet stitch. I then insert my hook in the next stitch from the previous row and yarn over, when I yarn over I am going to do so AROUND the tail of my added strand of new color yarn, constantly keeping it in the back of my work and just working around it.

color4

I have completed my first stitch and I am making my second double crochet in this row. Again working around my tail from the new color yarn leaving it in the back of the work.

color5

This is what the back of your work will look like when you have worked down the row a little bit. When you have worked in as much of the yarn as you are comfortable with or all of the tail you can simply snip it off.

I hope this helps eliminate some of the finishing work to a project for you. Happy crocheting!!

Smooth Transitions

When switching out colors in the middle if a row it can be difficult to get the two colors to transition smoothly. The piece I am currently working on is a graph pattern and it is a bit of a doozy. This project is the biggest I have ever made and it is taking me quite some time to complete; I have been working on it for about five months now and I am half way through it. Two or three rows takes me at least an hour. The way the graph is designed I have can’t turn my work at the end of a row; I have to work the next row with my left hand, and I am right handed. But, I like a challenge and it is a learning experience so it is ok. Unfortunately I can not share what the project actually is because it is a surprise gift for a family member, but rest assured that when I do finally finished it I will show it off because it is a gorgeous pattern.
Today I am going to show you how to smoothly transition from one color to another in the middle of a row. This can be done by getting to the point in the stitch when you are about to take that last step to complete the stitch (in this case it is two loops on your hook for a single crochet) and simply finish the stitch with the new color. So, to summarize with the single crochet example, you would have the loop on your hook from the previous stitch, insert your hook into the next stitch you need to work in, yarn over, and then pull up a loop leaving two loops on your hook. Next, yarn over with the new color you want to add and pull that loop through both loops already on your hook thus completing your single crochet. You now have a single loop on your hook in the new color and can continue on with your work until you need to switch colors again and complete the same process with the next color. Below are pictures of these steps. It is insanely easy and gives your finished piece a more polished look. Happy crocheting!