Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crochet. Show all posts

Hello Stanwood Yarn Ball Winder, Goodbye Frankenskeins

My name is Ellen, and I am a yarn-a-holic. My problem isn't necessarily related to buying too much yarn. I am typically a project-based yarn shopper and my skeins do not remain in my stash unworked for very long.

The real issue is that when I finish a project, I simply can not throw away the leftover bits and pieces no matter how large or small they are. I mean, the color is so pretty and someday I might need it for something.

So, I roll the leftovers into a ball and drop them into a bin where they commingle with the other fiber castoffs, eventually morphing into a giant Frankenskein!

Even the cat avoids tangling with this monstrosity of stash yarn.

Hmm... I wonder why I never use my leftovers. Even the cat avoids tangling with this monstrosity.

Then one day in a casual conversation, my neighbor accused me of having every knit and crochet tool known to man. Like that's a bad thing! I immediately went on Amazon to prove my dear friend wrong. Hooks, needles, row counters, stitch markers... Yep, I pretty much have it all.

But wait! What magical fiber related tool do I not yet have? A yarn ball winder. A situation quickly remedied with my purchase of a Stanwood Needlecraft YBW-A.

As soon as it arrived I clamped that bad boy to the table and started deconstructing my giant Frankenskein. Within a couple hours I had a pile of colorful cakes piled across my table.


The winder pleasantly hummed as I wound it all. Cotton, wool, acrylic. I'm not a yarn snob after all.

And now that my yarn is neatly wound and organized by fiber type two questions remain? What stashbusting pattern is next to be designed and what knitting/crochet tool is still missing from my studio?




Crochet Pattern: Flower Buttons

Crochet Tutorial and Pattern: Learn how to make you own flower buttons.I admit, sometimes I get crafter's block and just feel uninspired. That's why I love it when my friends ask, "Hey, Ellen, have you ever made...?"

This time the inspiration came from my friend Maryse. (She's pretty crafty, too and you can find her on Facebook at UnChifon Fon Fon.) She asked if I had ever made crochet flower buttons. The answer was no, but clearly I had to give it a try!

Materials



Directions


The entire piece is worked in the round with the right side facing.

With orchid pink

Rnd 1: form a magic loop, 8 sc in magic loop and pull loop closed, sl st in front loop of 1st sc,
-or-
Rnd 1: Ch 2, 8 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in front loop of first sc.
Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 4 dc in front loop of same sc, [ch 1, drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back in first dc of 5dc group, draw dropped loop through, ch 3, 5 dc in front loop of next sc] 7 times, ch 1, drop loop from hook, insert hook from front to back in first dc of 5dc group, draw dropped loop through, ch 3, sl st in 1st dc of rnd. Fasten off.

With frosty green

Rnd 3: Attach green in back loop of any sc from Rnd 1, ch 4 (counts as first tr), 3 tr in  back loop of same sc, [4 tr in back loop of next sc from Rnd 1] 7 times, sl st in first tr of rnd.

Rnd 4: [Ch 3, skip 1 tr, sl st in nest tr] 16 times. Fasten off.
Cut a 12-18 inch piece of either yarn. Weave it up and down through all of the ch 3 loops.
Place the button cover onto the wrong side of the crochet flower.
Pull the yarn snuggly so the green part og the flower wraps around the button cover. Tie the yarn in a knot and trim the tail.

Make sure the flower is centered on the front of the button.
Position the button back.
This next part takes some muscle use the pusher to push the back into the cover.
You'll know it is in place when you here it pop.
Finally, the hard part, decide what you are going to use your pretty, crocheted flower buttons for!

Crochet Tutorial and Pattern: Learn how to make you own flower buttons.

Happy Crocheting!




Crochet Pattern: Pink Sands Pocket Purse

Free Crochet Pattern: Pink Sands Pocket Purse to carry just the essentials (wallet, keys, phone) when you are on the go.If you've been following along on the blog, you know that I have happily downsized my purse. It used to be called my "Big Bag of Everything" but these days I am quite pleased that it has become my "Little Bag of Necessities".

About a month ago I shared a knitting pattern for my Lifeline Pocket Purse. Today I have a crochet pattern for another micro purse. It's approximately 5 inches wide x 7 ½ inches deep and perfect for those days you want to travel light.

Many thanks to Endless Leather for providing the fantastic silk cord and jewelry findings to complete this purse.

Materials

Abbreviations 

ch - chain
sc - single crochet

Directions


This bag is worked from the bottom up, in a continuous spiral with the right side facing so there is no need to turn the piece over as you work or join the last stitch of the round to the first with a slip stitch.

Bag

Ch 30

Rnd 1: 3 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 27 ch, 2 sc in next ch, sc in the bottom of next 27 ch. (59 sc)

Rnd 2: [sc in next sc, sc in the stich below the next sc] repeat these two stitches until the piece measures 7 ½ inches from the beginning ch.

Use a ruler to find the center stitch of the bag. The center stitch should be a sc (NOT a sc in the stitch below the next sc). continue working in the pattern to 5 sts before the center mark. Your last stitch should be a sc in the stitch below the next sc.


Closure Flap

This section is worked in rows.

Row 1: [sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc] 5 times, ch 1, turn.

Repeat Row 1 until the flap measures 2 inches.

Row 2 (buttonhole row): sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc, sc in next sc, ch 4, skip 4 sts, sc in the stitch below the next sc, sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc, ch 1, turn.

Row 3: sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc, sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of the next 4 ch, sc in the stitch below the next sc, sc in next sc, sc in the stitch below the next sc.

Repeat Row 1 until the flap measures 1 inch from the button hole omitting the last ch 1 of the final row. Fasten off.

Use a needle and thread to attach a button.

Assembling the Strap

Attach the circle clasps to either side of the bag.
Cut the silk cord to the desired strap length minus ¾-inch. (If you plan to carry your purse over one shoulder, you will need 28-36 inches of cord. For a cross-body strap, plan on using 48-54 inches of cord. As shown, the silk cord was cut to 28 inches.) Be careful so the cord does not fray after it's cut.

Place a generous dot of G-S Hypo Cement into one end cup. You can even add a little glue around the tip of the silk cord.

Tip: If you don't use enough glue, the cord will slide out of the end cup the first time you use your purse.
Insert one end of the cord into the end cup. It is helpful to slightly twist the cord in the direction that it tightens as you push it into the end cup.

It's ok if some glue oozes out. Simply use a damp cloth to clean the outside of the end cup and the silk cord before the glue starts to dry.
Attach the second end cup to the other end of the cord in the same way.

LET THE GLUE DRY COMPLETELY FOR 24 HOURS.

Use pliers to open the jump rings and attach them to the looped sides of the end cups.

Open the circle clasps and slide them through the jump rings.
Fill your bag with a small wallet, phone and maybe some lip gloss and you are ready to go.

Free Crochet Pattern: Pink Sands Pocket Purse to carry just the essentials (wallet, keys, phone) when you are on the go.

Happy crocheting!




Crochet Pattern: Dryer Balls

Free Crochet Pattern: DIY a set of wool dryer balls for softer, fresher smelling wrinkle free laundry.For years I have tried to convince my husband that there is absolutely no need to use dryer sheets. He claims that they make his clothes noticeably softer, less wrinkly and fresher smelling. I think they are a waste of money and not very eco-friendly.

Please don't leave comments that if I really wanted to be eco-friendly I would just hang my clothes outside to air dry. We live in a desert and everything that's outside for more than a minute is covered in a fine layer of dust. So, I'm doing my best here and I dug through my yarn stash to find some half used skeins of wool to make dryer balls.

In case you haven't heard of them before, folks across the interwebs claim that dryer balls can reduce the time your laundry needs in the dryer and  reduce wrinkles in your clothes. Also, if you add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the dryer balls you can even make your laundry smell fresher. I'll let you judge for yourself if the claims are true.

I think using three dryer balls in the laundry works nicely, but you can use more or less if you like.

Materials



Abbreviations


ch - chain
sl st - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
dec - decrease by inserting the hook in the next st and draw up a loop, insert the hook in the next st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all three loops

Directions


There's no need to work a gauge swatch for this project, however you will need to use a hook that is a few sizes smaller than what the yarn label recommends in order to make the top and bottom of the balls curve slightly.

Also, it doesn't really matter which side of your work is the right side because the stitches become much less noticeable after felting. The pattern is worked in continuous rounds. so no need to turn your work at the end of each round.

Ch 3, sl st in first ch to form a loop (or you can use the magic loop method), ch 1.

Rnd 1: 6 sc in loop.
Rnd 2: [2 sc in next sc] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [2 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc] 6 times. (30 sts)

If your work isn't slightly curved, you'll need to try again with a smaller crochet hook.
Rnd 6-11: sc in each sc around. (30 sc per round for 6 rounds is 180 sc total)
Roll a tight ball of wool yarn to fill your work.

Pro Tip: If you are making multiple dryer balls, it's helpful to use a food scale to measure the weight of the rolled yarn balls to make sure they are all the same size.
Place the rolled yarn ball into your work.

Rnd 12: [dec, sc in next 3 sc] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 13: [dec, sc in next 2 sc] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 14: [dec, sc in next sc] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 15: [dec] until no more sts can be worked.
Fasten off and pull the yarn tail into the ball.
Next, you will machine felt your dryer balls. This makes them fuzzier and more dense.

Machine wash and dry your dryer balls 3-5 times with the rest of your laundry. Don't use any fabric softener in the laundry when you are felting.
Your dryer balls will get smaller and smaller each time you wash and dry them.

After you have competed the felting process, you do not need to wash your dryer balls again.
If you want them to smell extra nice, add 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil to each ball. I like jasmine best. Let the oil soak in over night. You can add a few more drops of oil any time the dryer balls start to lose their scent.

Now, just toss in your dryer balls when you are drying clean laundry for fluffier, fresher smelling laundry with less wrinkles. At least that's what my skeptical hubby believes. ;)

Free Crochet Pattern: DIY a set of wool dryer balls for softer, fresher smelling wrinkle free laundry.




Crochet Pattern: Mesh Summer Hat

Free Pattern (any size, any yarn): Learn how to make a sun blocking crochet hat for warm spring and summer days.Crocheted hats aren't just for cooler weather. If you choose a lighter (non-wool) yarn, it's easy to make a breathable hat that's perfect blocking the sun on warmer spring and summer days.

This hat design is really a recipe that can be made to accommodate any size with just about any yarn. I used a skein of Bernat Cotton-ish Yarn which is a 3-light weight yarn.

Gauge is not important (Hooray!) and you can use whatever hook feels comfortable as long as the top piece of the hat lays mostly flat when you work it.

Materials

  • tape measure
  • ruler
  • yarn
  • crochet hook
  • stitch marker (optional)

Measurements


Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your head. Use a ruler to measure the vertical distance from the top of the ear to the top of the head.

Abbreviations


ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
sl st - slip stitch

Directions


Top

For the top of the hat you will create a circular piece (technically, it’s a hexagon) that has the same circumference as your head. If you notice the top piece does not lay mostly flat, you will need to start over with a larger or smaller hook.

The top of the hat is worked in continuous rounds, like a spiral, so do not turn the piece at the end of each round. It may be helpful to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the rounds so you don’t lose your place.

Ch 3, sl st into beginning ch to form a loop, ch 1. (You can use the Magic Loop method to get started if you prefer.)

Rnd 1: 6 sc in loop.

Rnd 2: *2 sc in next sc* 6 times. (12 sc)

Rnd 3:
*2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc* 6 times. (18 sc)

Rnd 4: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc* 6 times. (24 sc)

Rnd 5: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc* 6 times. (30 sc)

Rnd 6: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc* 6 times. (36 sc)

See how the repeated pattern for each round has 1 additional sc? Since you repeat the pattern six times, you are increasing the top of the hat by six stitches every round.

Continue increasing 6 stitches per round in the same manner until the top piece is the desired head circumference.

Write down the repeated pattern for your final round and the number of stitches in the round because you will continue increasing in the same way once you get to the brim.

Fill in the blanks:
Final Top Rnd: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next _________ sc* 6 times. (_________ sc)

Mesh

There is no increasing in this section. It is still worked in a continuous spiral, so there is no need to turn your work at the end of each rnd.

Rnd 1: *Ch 1, skip 1 sc, dc in next sc* repeat as many times as necessary to reach the end of the round.

Rnd 2 - end of Mesh: *Ch 1, dc in next dc* repeat until the mesh section is the desired length. If you want to be precise, mark your piece so your work is exactly a full number of rounds, but it’s ok if you end this section mid-rnd.

Since the mesh is very stretchy, the length of the mesh section should be at least ½ to 1 inch shorter than the measured distance from the top of your ear to the top of your head.

Brim

Rnd 1: Ch 1, *sc in next dc, sc in next ch 1 space* repeat as many times as necessary to reach the end of the round. There should be as many sc in this round as the final round of the top section of the hat.

Continue increasing 6 stitches per round in the same way you did for the top of the hat.

For example, my final round on the top of the hat was:
Final Top Rnd: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 14 sc* 6 times. (96 sc)

So my next round will be:
*2 sc in next sc, sc in next 15 sc* 6 times. (102 sc)

Continue increasing 6 stitches per round until the brim is your desired width.

Sl st in next st. Finish off.


Embellishments

Free Pattern (any size, any yarn): Learn how to make a sun blocking crochet hat for warm spring and summer days. This hat looks just fine without any additional embellishments. So it's just fine to weave in the ends and wear it as-is.
However, if desired, you can create one or more crocheted flowers in contrasting yarn to brighten up your hat. I made two Button Carnations and two leaves from the book 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments & Trim by Claire Crompton.
Another simple embellishing option that I think would look really cool, is to make a long chain in a contrasting color and weave it through the mesh section of the hat.

Free Pattern (any size, any yarn): Learn how to make a sun blocking crochet hat for warm spring and summer days.

Happy crocheting!



Book Review: 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments and Trim

Book Review: 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments and Trim by Claire Crompton

They say that April showers bring May flowers, so it seems appropriate to start the month off with some pretty crocheted flowers and a great resource for some simple flower designs is 200 Crochet Flowers, Embellishments & Trim  by Claire Crompton.

This is a nice reference to have on hand if you want to quickly add a pop of color or dimension to your project and take it to the next level.

The book begins with some yarn guides that describe the characteristics of different fibers, colors, textures and weights of yarn and is followed by some basic crochet instructions. And then the real fun begins, an assortment of flowers and leaves with both written instructions and stitch charts which can be useful to those of us who are visual learners.

As implied by the title, this book is not just about the flowers. There are also instructions for some pretty edgings and motifs as well as some all-over stitch designs for fabric. Again there are both written instructions and stitch charts.

If you are still not sure how to incorporate trims and embellishments into your own work, you'll be delighted by the inspirational project photos throughout the pages.

Two designs I like are the Button Carnation and Leaf which I'll be using to spice up a basic bucket hat. Stay tuned because I'll be sharing a recipe for my Summer Mesh Hat in my next post.


Want a peek at what's inside the book?


Happy crocheting!