Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Preemie Hat

A co-worker's new baby daughter was born a little early, about two months early to be exact. I guess she couldn't wait any longer to greet the world. Plus, the best things in life come in small packages. She will be spending some time in the NICU as a precautionary measure, since her lungs are so immature. As a welcome to the world gift, I whipped up this little precious pink preemie hat. It took me a couple of hours, but I suspect I could complete a new hat in less time now that I know the pattern.                


This picture shows it next to a Nintendo 3DS for a size reference. The 3DS measures about 5 1/2 inches long to give you a better idea how big this hat is. I just cannot get over how little it is. I used the Half-Double Crochet Preemie Baby Cap from Handcrafting with Love, which is really easy to follow.

Friday, August 4, 2017

From the Archives: Crochet and Tatting Heirloom

old patterns
Every once in a while I like to search through the online archives which provides rare, out of print material free of charge online. If you haven't heard of archive.org, it is

"Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more."
 You can find some really fascinating gems. I like to think of it as my diamonds in the rough. From the site you can download the pattern book in whatever format you would like to use. To give you an idea, some of the formats that the Archive site supports are pdf, ebook, and kindle. Of course feel free to browse through it online prior to downloading to see if it may be an item of interest to you. I highly suggest you give it a try.

Today's "from the archives" is Star Book No. 66, Crochet and Tatting: Heirloom Tradition printed back in 1949 by the American Thread Company. There are some great ol' patterns in it that are worth trying. It is hard to believe that these would be patterns that my grandma would probably do back in the day.

I am going to show images for four of the crochet patterns.


Here are three patterns from the book that I absolutely love. Don't they look so pretty? If you couldn't tell, they are cross bookmarks. A great project to do during Lent which could be given as Easter gifts. A nice confirmation or first communion gift perhaps? I know I would be more than happy to receive one of them.

 Crochet DoilyThe top two in the image to the left are crochet, which I think I will be adding to my ever growing projects list. The image is from the book. The cross bookmark at the bottom was tatted. Looking at its beautiful appearance makes me wish I knew how to tat. Maybe I will be able to find somebody to teach me. In the mean while, I continue to crochet up a storm.


Of course, what heirloom book wouldn't be complete without at least one doily pattern?

Well, this book has two crochet doily patterns. That's right, two! They are featured in the image to the left.

I might have to give these patterns a try and report back on my progress in another post. They would certainly make great heirlooms.

Happy hookin' and stitchin'!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Filet Crochet: Lift High the Cross

This little gem was a design I was playing around with. The design part didn't take as long as it took me to actually crochet, so I wasn't playing around with it too much.  The inspiration came to me on a quiet, lazy Sunday afternoon, which can be rare in my household. Perhaps it was divine inspiration? It didn't take me long to make once I settled on the pattern. Overall I like how it turned out and it has received multiple compliments, but I think I will keep messing around and modify it some. I already started another designed based off this one and will have that posted once I finish crocheting it.  I have the chart written down on graph paper with a pencil, which I will scan and upload when I get a moment to do so. Unfortunately I don't have those fancy computer programs to spit out the design in a more professional manner. Perhaps it will be something I look into in the future.

If you are interested in just use the above picture for the chart, you can chain 80 for the foundation and double chain into the 9th chain from your hook to get started. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Leaping Stripes and Blocks Blanket

When I was pregnant with my little girl, I was super excited about the opportunity to crochet using girly colors. After so many years spent as being a mother of only boys, it was a nice change of pace. Don't get me wrong, I love my boys, LOVE them! However, there's nothing like doing a project for a little princess, especially my little princess. This was the first time that I was pregnant since crocheting on a regular basis.

I know you're thinking, "little girl, why not go with pink?" I did use pink, but in a different project that I will post at a later date. For this project I decided to do a blanket, since my little girl would be a December baby and need lots of things to fight off the winter chills.

I decided to use the Leaping Stripes and Blocks over at Moogly using Red Heart Soft Yarn in Lavender, Lilac, and White. This was an easy project. Once you figure out the pattern, you can easily do this while vegging out in front of the television. I whipped this out in a week. I probably could have finished it earlier, but pregnancy takes a lot of energy out of me. I am really pleased at how well it turned out, especially when wrapping up my little girl in it. Precious!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Simple Crochet Dishcloth

Hookin and stitchin

My aloe vera looks happy with its new
little crochet cloth.
Lately I have been cranking out these little lovely crochet dishclothes. They are so simple and elegant. They make lovely gifts and you can easily whip one out in a manner of hours. I think I could easily make three to five of these in one day with plenty of time to do the neglected house chores. The patterns fairly easy and a great way for beginners to practice some basic stitches and work on their tension.

I must confess that I do not really use them for washing my dirty dishes, but they could be used for that if you wish. I keep a couple in my master bathroom to clean my sensitive skin. Most of crochet dishclothes are used as little place mats under my plants. They protect the window sill and table from getting that nasty water damage ring from the bottom of the plant pot. I love plants, but hate the ring. So far I have made about ten of these dishclothes for my plants. I know, I have a lot of plants, but the matching mats give my house a very coordinated, sophisticated look. If you decorate your home with a certain color scheme than you can use any color of cotton you want. I opted for plain white for a refined elegance, or at least I like to think that.

The clothes protect my window sills from any water damage ring from my beautiful plants.
G hook
4-ply worsted medium 100% cotton

hdc - half double crochet
sc - single crochet
slst - slip stitch

Pattern uses US terms.

Chain 31
1st row: hdc in second chain from hook, slst in next chain, *hdc in next chain, sl st in next one*, repeat from * to *, chain one and turn (15 hdc, 15 slst, total: 30 stitches)
2nd row: *sc in slst, sc in hdc *, repeat from * to *, chain one and turn (30 sc)
3rd row: *hdc in stitch, sl st in next stitch *, repeat from * to * (15 hdc, 15 slst, total: 30 stitches)

Repeat row 2 and then row 3. Keep alternating between these two rows until you have 19 completed rows.

Border is a sc around the entire piece with 2 sc in same stitch at the corners.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Camouflage Beanie

When I was going through my yarn stash, I noticed that I had a few skeins of Red Heart camouflage medium worsted yarn with no planned future project. With a chill in the air and a need to clear some space in my yarn holding area, I decided to whip up some camouflage beanies for my boys. You can see how stylin' they are in their new beanies. Over the weekend I easily made three, so you can easily churn these bad boys out.

I made three different sizes, but before I go over the sizes I must warn you that large noggins run in my family. When I buy hats, the one-size-fits-most hats do not fit; they're too small. My youngest child (7 years old) wears the small size. My oldest son (10 years old) wears the normal size hat that would fit most teenagers and adults. I wear the large size, which is about a size hat 7 1/2. Each hat stretches to accommodate multiple hat sizes.

This project uses a magic ring to start off with to provide a tighter starting ring. Heidi Bears provides a nice magic ring tutorial with step-by-step photos. It takes a little practice to get the hang of it, but once you learn how to do a crochet magic ring you will want to use it to provide a more polished, professional look to your projects.

A stitch I use in this project is the front post double crochet stitch, which is considered a more advanced stitch for beginning crocheters. If you know how to do a double crochet, you can easily master the front post double crochet stitch. The only difference between the two stitches is where you insert your hook in the bottom stitch to yo the yarn from. Fiber Flux provides a good photo tutorial on how to make the front post double crochet stitch. This stitch provides a ribbed effect that can give crochet a knitted look.

dc - double crochet
fpdc - front post double crochet
sc - single crochet
sl st - slip stitch

H hook
Medium worsted yarn

The hat is worked in rounds from top down.
Pattern uses US terms

1st round: Start with a magic ring. Chain 1, 10 sc into the magic ring, sl st to top of beginning ch to join (10 sts)
2nd round: Chain 1, *2 sc into next sc*, repeat from * to *, sl st to top of beginning ch to join (20 sts)
3rd round: Chain 1, *sc into next sc, 2 sc into next stitch *, repeat from * to *, sl st to top of beginning ch to join (30 sts)
4th round: Chain 2, *fpdc into the next 3 sc, dc into top of same st of last fpdc*, repeat from * to *, sl st to top of first fpdc in round to join (40 sts)
5th round: Chain 2, fpdc into fpdc with sl st, fpdc into the next 2 fpdc, fpdc into dc, dc into top of same st, *fpdc into the next 3 fpdc, fpdc into dc, dc into top of same st*,  repeat from * to *, sl st to top of first fpdc in round to join (50 sts)
6th round: Chain 2, fpdc into fpdc with sl st, fpdc into the next 3 fpdc, fpdc into dc, dc into top of same st, *fpdc into the next 4 fpdc, fpdc into dc dc into top of same st*, repeat from * to *, sl st to top of first fpdc in round to join (60 sts)

(Note: For smaller noggins skip the 7th round to keep your stitch count at 60 for the remainder of the pattern)

7th round: Chain 2, fpdc into fpdc with sl st, fpdc into the next  4 fpdc, fpdc into dc, dc into top of same st, *fpdc into the next 5 fpdc, fpdc into dc, dc into top of same st*, repeat from * to *, sl st to top of first fpdc in round to join (70 sts)

(Note: For large noggins such as mine add this round which will increase your stitch count to 80. Chain 2, fpdc into fpdc with sl st, fpdc the next 5 fpdc, fpdc into dc, dc into top of same st, *fpdc in the next 6 fpdc, fpdc into dc, dc into top of same st*, repeat from *to*, sl st to top of first fpdc in round to join (80 sts))

8th round: Chain 2, fpdc into fpdc with sl st, fpdc into the next 4 fpdc, fpdc into dc, *fpdc into the next 5 fpdc, fpdc into dc*, repeat from * to *, sl st to top of first fpdc in round to join (70 sts)
9th round: Chain 2, fpdc into each fpdc, sl st to top of first fpdc in round to join (70 sts)
Repeat round 9 until you've reached desired length which would be around the 20 to 22 round mark.


Once you reached the desired length, chain one, turn the hat wrong side out and turn, sc into the top of each fpdc, sl st to top of first sc in round to join (70 sts)
Next round, chain one, sc into the top of each st, sl st to top of first sc in round to join (70 sts)

Chain 1, turn hat right side out and turn, sc in top of each sc, sl st to top of first sc in round to join, finish and weave in ends.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pineapple doily

Petite Pineapple Doily
Crochet Pineapple Doily
After completing a few time consuming projects, I am preoccupying my time with smaller projects. Sometimes you just need to take a break to gather up the energy to tackle future large projects. Besides there is no satisfaction like completing a project and admiring your handy work. With small projects, I am able to get to that satisfaction sooner!

Right now pineapple doilies seem to have captured my attention. You can work them up fairly quickly and they always look intrinsically beautiful. I have done pineapple doilies in the past using different patterns, but I was in the mood for something different.

Petite Pineapple Doily
Pineapple Doily under different lighting
There's only one thing to do when that mood hits, search Pinterest!

After spending way too much time and pinning multiple future projects, I found this cute little "Petite Pineapple Doily" pattern from an archived website on the Way Back Machine. If you're not familiar with the Way Back Machine, it's a site that crawls the Internet taking "snapshots" of webpages in an attempt to archive the Internet. While the original website is gone, it's patterns live on. Nothing really dies on the Internet.

Anyways, back to crocheting. I worked this one up in about a day. I am very please with how it turned out. In fact I am about half way through with a second one. This pattern inspired me to come up with my own version. It's very brave of me. Once I work out the details and write down the pattern I will share it with you.

If you're interested in giving it a shot or just want to pin it as a potential future project you can click on the pin below. You can also follow me on Pinterest to find other free projects and inspiration.

Follow Hookin' and Stitchin''s board Doilies on Pinterest.