The Slouch Hat

Hats are about as versatile as any other piece of clothing, and making your own is a great way to go. There are many different styles to choose from and many different options for the different kinds. Beanie, top hat, ball cap, elf hat, Santa hat, the list goes on. One hat that seems to be very popular right now is the slouch hat. There is a hat that I have made many times over the past few years that is very popular among my friends and family. I have given it away to many loved ones in a rainbow of different colors. The most popular is black. I thought I would share the pattern for my most requested slouch hat. One issue I have found though is that the hat tends to get a little heavy depending on the yarn used to make it. It is my go to hat on a cold rainy day, somehow the bagginess helps keep the rain out of my face.

Urban Revival by Vickie Howell over at Caron Yarn Co. and Yarnspirations (which Caron is so light it would be a good yarn choice for this hat)

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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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Brainstorming with T-shirt yarn!

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In my last post I talked about how to make t-shirt yarn. Make as much as you want and tie the ends together to make a big long strand.Also keep in mind that you can use any kind of scrap fabric including sheets and left over fabric from other projects. Get your moneys worth out of that old stuff you bought and wore out! There are lots of patterns that are great for t-shirt yarn. It tends to be more sturdy and most shirts are made mostly of cotton so what you make is going to be good with water. Lets take a look at just a few ideas as to what can be made with this awesome up-cycled and earth friendly yarn!

Dishrags: since the t-shirt yarn is durable and cotton is not ruined with water it would be great for this.

Rugs: this is a very common use for t-shirt yarn. There are many different styles and techniques that can be used to make rugs. I think these types of rugs are called “rag rugs” and they have a rich history and have been in homes for a couple hundred years. Oldie but a goodie.

Bowl: again, since t-shirt yarn is sturdy it helps the bowl hold its shape better.

Jewelry: yes, bracelets and necklaces can be very cute made form t-shirt yarn

Bags: this yarn makes great bags, especially for toting home groceries or to the pool or beach.

Scarf: there are many different ways to make scarves from t-shirt yarn.

 

This is a very short list of the many things that can be made from this versatile yarn. So clean out your closets, your linen cabinets, and your drawers to make some yarn!! This especially great for someone that doesn’t have the money to buy lots of yarn.

 

T-shirt Yarn

I have been wanting to work with t-shirt yarn for a while but I just haven’t seem to be able to get to it for whatever excuse of the day happens to be. Well, I will put it off no longer. Here are the instructions for making t-shirt yarn. Luckily I have a husband with a love of t-shirts and he wears the same color most of the time. He also likes to buy Hane’s black pocket t’s in packs of eight which unfortunately shrink over time. This means that they are eventually cast aside and they end up in my scrap pile for later projects.

Things you will need to make t-shirt yarn:

Scissors, fabric cutting wheel, X-Acto knife capable of cutting fabric, or something similar that will cut the t-shirt fabric.

T-shirts, enough to make whatever your project and preferably cotton or mostly cotton because it stretches easier.

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Here is the t-shirt laid out. Try to get it as flat as you can and not all folded and uneven. If it is not flat enough it will not cut as evenly.

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Fold the t-shirt in half. It doesn’t matter if it is folded with the front facing out or the back. Just fold it in half with the sleeves together.

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Next you will start by cutting off the hem of the shirt. Then start cutting it into strips that are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide leaving about two inches or so uncut in the middle. When you reach the arm pit of the shirt go ahead and cut all the way across to cut off the top completely.

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After cutting all the way up the shirt pull it apart and lay it over your arm or a piece of card board, just something that will allow you to cut the strips. Start by cutting at one end diagonally from the edge to the first cut. Then cut from the next bottom slit to the next top slit diagonally. Continue in this manner using the picture above as a guide; cut where the dotted lines are.

 

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Next you will flip the shirt over to the other side and cut straight lines from one slit to the next.

 

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This is what your t-shirt yarn will look like. Depending on what you are making you might want to leave it in this state but I am not going to leave it like this. Holding one end of the yarn, pull a section taught and allow it to curl in on itself. Move down to another section and pull it taught again. Keep going until you reach the end. You can actually go over it again to make sure it is even, I did.

 

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This is what the finished product will look like. See how it is thinner and there actually looks like there is more there because with it stretched out it is lengthened a little.

I’m not sure quite yet what I am going to make so I will cut up quite a few more t-shirts to make sure I have enough. I unfortunately don’t have a lot of color variety. A good way to get some variety is to hit up some thrift stores or garage sales and get some of those bright t-shirts with ugly designs printed on them that nobody wants. You don’t need the design, just the colors…oh the possibilities!

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.

 

 

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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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!