Showing posts with label HOH in Crochet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HOH in Crochet. Show all posts

Friday, November 15, 2013

Crochet: Easy Baby Afghan Again

Crochet? I can hardly believe it. It seems like forever since I've managed to finish a yarn project and post about. But it's been on the brain. I've been working on this blanket for some time. That's the nice thing about crochet for me--I can roll up the project and drop it into a bag and pull it out again when I have a few minutes. It's forgiving that way.

I started this blanket when I heard a new nephew was on his way and finished it for him to practice sitting on. I guess that's not too late. This Easy Baby Afghan is too heavy for swaddling. It's exaggerated stitches make it perfect as a stroller blanket, play mat, or nap blanket. Not to mention nursery accessory!

I made a couple blankets for this boy's older brother when he was born (this one and this one) and I wanted little brother to have a handmade one of his own. Since the weather is now chilly I decided to add a little something extra to this gift: a coordinating ear flap hat.

I made some of these in adult sizes for my entire family a few years ago for Christmas but can't find my notes. Hmpf. But I'm starting with an infant size with plans to go all the way up. A family of ear flap hats. Pattern soon. Hopefully in time for the holidays. Fingers crossed.

This blanket and hat were made with Berroco Comfort Chunky (Cadet, Dusk and Barley), just like the original. I love this yarn. I just stocked up on some for two more blankets for my girls. It's a bit of an investment, but hopefully these blankets will be around a long time.

You can find the tutorial for this Easy Baby Afghan here.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

How to Crochet 11: Understanding Gauge

(Yarn: Berroco Comfy Chunky in Goldenrod; Fabric: Heather Ross "Nursery Versery" for Kokka "Postage Stamp Cheater" in Yellow)

My mother and I both returned to knitting (and I was also learning to crochet) at the same time, about ten years ago. She was a new grandmother and I was hoping to become a mother soon, and the idea of little people around inspired us... I'm sure we weren't the first.

Anyway, I remember finding cute patterns and going to yarn shops to pick out a yarn and being completely bemused by the "gauge" references. I would hold a strand in my hand and compare it to another and if it seemed about the same I would go with it. Seriously. I had no idea what I was doing! One time I was working with a baby cardigan pattern and found a boucle yarn I loved but it seemed very thin so my mother suggested I double it. This is a good trick if you know what you are doing, but I didn't know the yarn's gauge to begin with and the result was a sweater that would fit a seven year old (Audrey is just now able to wear it).

For awhile I was content with these mistakes because I figured one of my girls would be able to wear what I'd made at some point. But I remember the day my mother called me excitedly after visiting a yarn shop. Some nice woman had helped her figure out the gauge thing! A whole new day dawned! I want to help you figure out gauge too. Because it is pretty essential to getting what you want out of crochet, or knitting for that matter.

Hooked? Click through to read all about it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Crochet 10: Working in the Round

Though I love nothing more than finishing a project, the actual "finishing" of crochet is my least favorite thing. I just don't like weaving in all the ends and seaming the pieces. Whenever I follow a pattern, or design one of my own, I try to reduce the number of places for breaking the yarn and attaching new yarn to cut down on the literal loose ends. I also love patterns that are worked "in the round" because it means less seaming, and sometimes seamless!

Not only does it save time, but the result is often more comfortable to wear (this is especially true of sweaters). Hooray! Working in the round is just like it sounds: rather than working back and forth in rows you work in a circular pattern to create a shape that is either flat, like a disc (think hot pad or doily), or tubular (think cowl), or conical (think booties or hat or baby bonnet). It is typically the way you create crochet flowers--one of my favorite embellishments. Ironically, you also need to work in the round to make a granny square.

Hopefully just these few project mentions have persuaded you to give it a try. It's easy, and it opens up the possibilities of things you can do with yarn and a hook.

Click to view the photo tutorial for crocheting in the round.

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Crochet 9: The Triple Crochet

I am excited to resume my Head Over Heels in Crochet series. The love affair continues for me, but it's been challenging to fit everything in (my life and my blog!). I have some crochet projects planned but I'm also happy about picking up my How to Crochet posts. There is still so much to learn, starting with the triple crochet. Anyone notice that's where we left off? Sorry to leave you hanging for a bit...

The triple crochet is a tall stitch, as you can tell from my little sample above, so there is a lot of space around it. It's a great one for bohemian crochet skirts (I made one for myself and love the idea of some for my girls), airy sweaters and other patterns. And though it sounds impressive (something like the triple lutz), it's really just a simple extension of the single crochet and double crochet stitches you have been working. (If you haven't viewed the tutorials for those please start there as I break down the movements, such as yarning over, to a greater degree than I do in this tutorial.)

Are you ready to triple?

Click to view the photo and video tutorial for creating the triple crochet stitch.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crochet: Ruffled Summer Scarf (Pattern)

A summer scarf? I think if it's cotton then "yes." Especially if it's ruffled cotton. This Ruffled Summer Scarf uses a mercenized cotton in a finer weight and the bright white just screams summer. To me anyway.

This is a different take on the Spring Frills Scarf of last year, with more generous ruffling and a bit more "air" in the stitches. I like it. It's feminine but also a bit ropey which makes me think "nautical" too. I love the texture and I think this would be gorgeous with white on white on white...

It is about two yards long and can be worn many different ways: wrapped a few times loosely with the ends pulled through,

...or wrapped and left long...

...or even piled cowl-like. I'm sure you could come up with others!

This is a great, easy project for using double-crochet. (See my how-to on double-crochet if you are learning crochet.) If you're interested in the pattern it's in my Etsy shop. (And, you may remember from this post, that I am running a coupon for 20% off everything in my shop to celebrate June. You're got just a  f e w  m o r e  d a y s....)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Head-Over-Heels in Crochet Interview: Delia Creates

Today I am sharing an interview with one of my favorite Bloggers, and creative women, Delia of Delia Creates. I was able to meet her in person earlier this year and can tell you she is every bit as lovely as you would imagine! Below she indulges me by answering a few questions about crochet. This interview is part of my ongoing Head-Over-Heels in Crochet series.

ANNELIESE: I remember one of the first times I visited your blog and it was in hunting down your adorable crochet bow ties! I love those. Have you crocheted many things for your boys? It seems there’s always an abundance of things to make for girls but not so much for boys…

DELIA: Yes! So true. It does take a bit more work to sift through all the girl patterns to find some boy ones, but I feel like I've found some pretty great patterns. You can see some of the hats I've made here, and my favorite boy pattern to date is this loafer slipper pattern found here. Amigurumi stuffed animal patterns are lots of fun too.

ANNELIESE: Ooohh, Amigurumi--I've been so tempted but it never seems to get to the top of my list. Seems I'm always working on layette instead. Which begs the question, now that you have a baby girl(!) do you find yourself even more inspired to crochet? What’s on your list to make for sweet Natalie?

DELIA: Oh, of course. I'm so used to overlooking all the girl stuff, so now it's a lot of fun to appreciate and shop for girl patterns. I can't wait to make some cute shoes and sandals for Natalie. I made a couple pairs of baby booties, but I think I will wait to make more when she gets a little older and starts walking. I'm especially in love with the patterns from this post.

ANNELIESE: When did you start crocheting? Was it something you picked up semi-recently, and how did you learn?

DELIA: My grandmother is an amazing crocheter. She enjoyed lace work and intricate patterns until she lost her sight a couple of years ago. She taught me how to chain and I think single crochet when I was in middle school/high school. I dropped it and picked it up again here and there, learning a few more basic stitches as I went. I didn't really hone my crocheting skills though until after I had children. After my second son, Reid, was born, I made more of a commitment to learn. I feel like I improve and learn something new with every pattern. It can get addicting. :) One of my favorite things that I've made since then, is a pair of slippers for my grandmother. It felt so fulfilling to give her one of the fruits of the the talent she planted in my heart years ago, especially now that she is unable to crochet for herself. We've come full circle. I feel it a blessing that she was the one to teach me and pass on a legacy of creating with my hands.

ANNELIESE: I love the handmade legacy! I too had grandmothers who knit and crocheted and made many beautiful handmade things. I know you have many creative interests and make all sorts of things. When do you find the time to crochet? Does it have a certain “slot” in your routine or do you have a project sitting by for the right timing?

DELIA: Nah...I just do it when I feel like it or when there's a need. Necessity is often the catalyst for many of my projects. My boys needed new slippers since they wore through their old ones. So, I hunted down a cool pattern and I made some them news ones for Christmas. Other times, I just stumble on fun patterns on Etsy or Pinterest and it gets me itching to crochet again, if I haven't for a while.

I always like to have some kind of project, or several, in progress. Whether it be sewing, trying a new recipe, gardening, photography, or crocheting. As long as I'm creating with my hands I'm happy. Crocheting is just one of my creative tools.

ANNELIESE: What do you like to have when you are crocheting? Do you multi-task while you’re working? Do you have a specific crochet routine? Any tools or accessories (besides the yarn and hook) that you keep nearby?

DELIA: Nothing new, nothing fancy...a basket to hold my yarn and my current project, a comfy couch... I like to watch TV while I crochet, except when it's a more difficult pattern that requires a lot of counting. My husband hates it when I'm working on one of those patterns because he can't talk to me or he'll get chewed out for interrupting my count! :) As for tools, I like to have a sharp, metal yarn needle for weaving in ends, as opposed to the blunt tipped plastic ones. I also like to use paper clips as stitch markers.

ANNELIESE: Paperclips! I love it. I use safety pins a lot myself. It seems there are so many resources online for knitting, and fabulous examples of beautiful knitting, but it takes a bit more diligence to find beautiful examples of crochet. I am guessing many more people knit. What is your perspective? Do you think crochet is under-appreciated? Where do you find crochet inspiration?

DELIA: I can see why people like knitting. It's classy, classic, and produces a beautiful range of textures. I hope to learn one day and add it to my list of creative outlets, but for now I am more than happy to stick with my hook.

I think that most of the projects we associate with crochet are very grandmotherly, out of date, and even tacky. I have really enjoyed seeing crochet pattern makers modernize the look of crochet in recent years. There is a lot of great stuff out there to choose from now. All you have to do is do a search for crochet on Pinterest and you'll be wanting to pick up a hook and learn.

ANNELIESE: What draws you to crochet? What do you like about it?

DELIA: I like that it's really versatile. You can crochet in the round, in rows, in blocks, make edgings... It amazes me that one little hook can create so many possibilities. I have yet to try all the varieties of crochet stitches there are. I have a couple of crochet stitch books on my Christmas list for this year (see here and here).

I like that I can take it with me almost the car, in the waiting room, to the park. I can't do that with most of my sewing projects.

I also never get tired of seeing a ball of yarn being turned into something functional and beautiful. It's!

ANNELIESE: What was the last thing you crocheted? Why did you choose it? Did it go as you had planned?

DELIA: I made a baby hat for Natalie. It was a free pattern I found online. Simple, yet feminine and pretty. It turned out beautifully. The only draw back is that it's a little too big for her and will be off season when it will fit. She was born smaller than I anticipated. Luckily it doesn't take much yarn or much time, so I'll just make a new one for her this Fall. The pattern is so pretty and comes together so quick, that it will probably be one of my go to "gift" patterns.

ANNELIESE: I love that little Bow Beanie. Babies' heads are so unpredictable, aren't they? I've tried to make little hats while expecting and often they've been too big or small--bummer! But you're right, at least they're not too much of a time or yarn investment. Where do you look for patterns? Are you inventing more of your own?

DELIA: Pinterest, Etsy. I never thought I would make my own patterns, but the more I crochet, the easier it is becoming for me to visualize how to create one myself. It's kind of fun. I still have a lot to learn, but I look forward to it. :)

ANNELIESE: Well, I am looking forward to more patterns from you too! Finally, I’m wondering if you could share a crochet tip with us? I always find I learn something new when I watch someone else crochet. What’s one of your favorite tips or tricks or piece of advice?

DELIA: Hmmm...well maybe this is common knowledge. I'm not sure because I am no expert... But I like to weave my ends in with a sharp metal needle so that I can weave it through the middle of other yarn strands. That way I'm sure that it won't come undone and that my ends are nice and secure. It also disguises the ends better. Just be sure you're ready to weave your ends in, because you won't be able to go back and unravel it without making a mess.

So, that's it... Thanks for having me be apart of your series. :) delia

Thank you, Delia, for sharing a bit about what inspires you to crochet.

How-to tutorials, patterns, giveaways, reviews and interviews to make certain you are smitten.
Click on the "HOH in Crochet" label or button to view all the content in this series.

Monday, April 2, 2012

HOH in Crochet: Skinny Scarf (Pattern)

Some of you have asked about the pattern featured in my Head-Over-Heels in Crochet button and banner. Well, this is it! It's the Skinny Scarf I've shared previously in lipstick red and a multi-color grey and off-white.

And now here it is in fuchsia, but more importantly, with a pattern ready! I've been working on this for some time in between everything else and now here we are in April. But it's still scarf weather off-and-on where I am. And, it just occurred to me how great this would be in a cotton yarn (and maybe a bit shorter) for Spring! I'll have to try it...

I like to wear it looped  a couple times and then loosely tied so the ends hang long. It's a bit funny to me, all my scarf-wearing, because my mother used to encourage me to wear scarves as accessories all the time when I was in college and first working, and I just was not interested. She could pull it off and I just didn't feel it was for me. This Winter my husband said something to me about my "uniform" always including something around my neck. I guess I finally got there and Mom was right--scarves can make the outfit.

Another fun way to wear this is to keep looping until you have a nice chunky pile and then tuck an end under. Nice bulky knot at the neck. This is super cozy. Works a bit like a cowl.

And, this Skinny Scarf is great for children. It can just be looped and looped and looped until the ends aren't too long. But the pattern also includes a shorter version if your children don't enjoy all the layering. Great way to keep them warm.

And cute too, I think.  Seems it doesn't matter what I make, it looks even better on my little ones!

You can find the pattern here, in my Etsy shop. It includes detailed instructions and a photo tutorial. It's not as difficult as it looks. It's the perfect thing if you've just mastered double crochet! You just need a bit of patience to learn the "Picot Shell" edging. (If you haven't heard of this stitch that's because I came up with it to make this scarf go more quickly--anything for a shortcut!)

How-to tutorials, patterns, giveaways, reviews and interviews to make certain you are smitten.

Click on the "HOH in Crochet" label or button to view all the content in this series.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to Crochet 8: The Half Double Crochet (Tutorial)

Yarn: Stich Nation Full O' Sheep in Clementine  Fabric: Alexander Henry Mushroom City in Yellow

I love the Half Double Crochet (usually abbreviated "HDC"). So mysterious...what is a half double? Wouldn't that be a single. Well, no.... it's not in fact.

The half double crochet is used for something between the height of a single crochet and a double crochet. I suppose there are a couple ways to explain it but I think it's easiest to learn the double crochet first and then subtract from there, thus this tutorial comes after the one for the double crochet.

The half double crochet is the primary stitch used a couple baby hat patterns of mine (the Best Baby Cloche and the Ruffled Rose Earflap Hat), and many many other hats and sweaters besides. It's just a good go-to for a crochet fabric with a bit more interest than a straight single crochet. A bit of texture, not too lacey. Nice and warm.

Interested? Click to read more and view the photo and video tutorial.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

HOH in Crochet: Easy Baby Afghan (Tutorial)

After making a little hat and scarf that called for this technique, I made a little blanket like this a few years ago for some friends of mine who were adopting their second baby boy. I used a cornflower blue yarn, an aqua and a cream. It looked gorgeous and the texture was so ropey and fun. I imagine any baby would love to stick his or her fingers through it.

I thought of this blanket again when I started this Head-Over-Heels in Crochet series because it is a great beginner project or a mindless project for someone with more experience and the results are fantastic! As I keep repeating, I love anything that meets two critical criteria: great-looking and quick to work up! This Easy Baby Afghan certainly does.

This little afghan would be a great gift to welcome a new baby. It would look so darling folded over a crib or rocking chair. It is soft and almost spongey so I was thinking it would also make a great playmat or sleeping mat in the bottom of a crib. And it isn't quickly outgrown.

Tess thinks it's perfect for curling up with. It has a bit of heft for keeping little toes warm during nap or couch time.

I love it in these springtime colors: gold, pink and white. They were inspired by this darling sweater made by Rae in pink and gold. Rae is right--pink and yellow are beautiful together! I have been thinking about coral, pink, yellow and grey together too...

But about this baby afghan... Not sure if we're keeping it or gifting it. We'll have to see. If you would like to make one to gift or to keep (you could certainly enlarge it for an adult sized lap blanket too!) click to view the tutorial. It's all single crochet!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to Crochet 6: The Double Crochet

Yarn: Stitch Nation's Full O' Sheep in Clementine  Fabric: IKEA

The “fabric” created with single crochet is beautiful in itself, and versatile if you think about washcloths, sweaters, blankets, satchels, and scarves. I love the density and texture it creates. But as you move on to the other stitches things really start to get interesting, especially because you can combine them!

As I have mentioned in my previous "How to Crochet" posts, the really nice thing about crochet is that the stitches build on each other. If you’ve learned the motion of a chain stitch it’s just a matter of the number of times you yarn-over and pull the yarn through to create the other crochet stitches. So if you’ve been practicing your chains and single crochets you’ll be amazed at what you can do next.

Click to view the photo and video tutorial for creating the double crochet stitch.



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