Friday, June 28, 2013

Instant Art Gallery


In an effort to get organized this summer, I was looking for a pretty but practical way to display kid's art, photos and other paper treasures.  The other day, I made some upgraded hooks and shared them with you in the last post...I decided to make a few more and came up with this...

Behold the instant art gallery, I made it using things around the house already (hooray for free!), and it was fun and really fast to make.  Now instead of stashing that precious artwork away, it can be proudly displayed and switched around often.

You could do this in a child's room or playroom, but it could most definitely be used by the grown-ups too in an office or as part of your home's mail station area.  Be sure to keep out of reach of very small kids, as the long string and clothespins could be a potential danger.



To make an instant art gallery you'll need:

  • Worsted weight yarn in colors of your choice
  • J (6.0 mm) hook
  • 2 hooks (I used those plastic easy to remove kind)
  • Wooden clothes pins (three are shown here, but the more the merrier)
  • Hot glue gun


Begin by crocheting the flowers and leaves...a rose and a leaf for each hook, and one leaf for each clothespin.

Click here for rose instructions...
Click here for stemless leaf instructions...

Now onto the chain part...

You'll want the chain to have a loop at either end for hanging as shown in the photo below.  Click here to learn how to make a sturdy hanging loop...


Next, make a chain as long as you like for your gallery (note: crochet chains are very stretchy and with the weight of things hung on it it will droop a little.  I ended up pulling a few chains out to make mine a little shorter because it was originally too saggy.)



Variation: If you have lots of things to hang, try making two chains of different lengths for a two-tiered display.

Once all of the crocheted components are completed, weave in all ends.

Next, hot glue a flower and leaf to each hook, and then hot glue a leaf to each clothespin.  Let completely cool and dry before using.

Last, attach the hooks to the wall.  Be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions, I had to wait one hour before hanging to allow the adhesive to form a strong bond to the wall.  Hang the chain on the hooks and begin displaying away!  The gallery shown has plain paper in the photos, but ours is now bursting with beautiful art...so much fun!


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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Pretty Up a Plain Hook

 

I recently was getting ready to hang a plain hook on the wall and it just looked so...drab.  I decided to make it a little more interesting and add a yarny touch to it.  This project took just a small amount of time and I love it!



To decorate your hook you'll need:
  • Worsted Weight Yarn
  • J (6.0 mm) Crochet Hook
  • Hook of your choice (I used one of those kind that are removeable because it had a nice large surface to attach the flower and leaf to)
  • Hot glue gun

Begin by crocheting a rose and a leaf:



Weave in all ends of both parts.  Next hot glue the leaf to the hook, then the flower to top it off.  Let it completely cool and dry before hanging.  All done, so pretty!

Here's another flower pattern too if you need something a little flatter, or prefer a daisy/petaled flower:







Tip: When selecting your hook, be sure to note how much weight the hook can handle.  Some can hold a whole lot of weight, while other smaller hooks can only hold a little.

Happy crocheting!

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Friday, June 21, 2013

How to Crochet a Sturdy Hanging Loop


I am in the middle of making a garland right now (more about that soon) and am working on making the hanging loop part.  After a few different tries, this one is definitely my favorite.  It is super easy, looks clean, and can hold a good bit of weight.

For the loop shown, I used some worsted weight yarn and an H (5.0 mm) crochet hook.



For a smaller loop (that might hang on a hook for example), start by chaining 8.  If you want your loop to go on a door knob or something larger, make a chain and test the size first by slipping it around the object before continuing.


Insert the hook into the farthest chain from your hook,


and join to close with a slip stitch.  Next work a single crochet into the center of the ring for added stability,



and continue with your chain.  


To make a loop on the other side of your garland as you are finishing up, make it the same exact way, just be sure to reserve 8 extra chains (or however many you made with the first loop) to create the loop at the end.

To finish, you can weave in the ends as you go, or weave them at the end with a tapestry needle.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Free Crochet Pattern...Strawberry Shortcake Dishcloth


This pretty dishcloth can be quickly crocheted to give your kitchen a lovely burst of color.  If you're ready to take the granny square to the next level, this cheerful and useful project is a great place to start!

Strawberry Shortcake Dishcloth
By Jennifer Dickerson

Click below to watch a full video tutorial on how to crochet this project:



Sizing:
  • 7 inches across from widest points

Materials:
  • H (5.0 mm) crochet hook
  • Brightly colored cotton yarn...I had one ball of each color with plenty of leftovers to make another cloth.  (Yarn used for the dishcloths shown is Peaches & Creme Solids in Bright Pink and Ecru)
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends



Instructions:

This dishcloth is a granny hexagon finished with a simple single crochet edging.  Here is a photo tutorial that may help you when making your granny hexagon:


Chain 4 and join into a ring with a slip stitch.

Round 1: Chain 4 (counts as a dc), then work (a dc into center of ring, chain 1) 11 times.  Join to close with a slip stitch.

Note: If you want to make round 2 in the same color, simply slip stitch until you reach a ch 1 space and keep going.  If you want to switch colors...cut yarn and join the new yarn at one of the ch 1 spaces and tie securely.

Round 2: Chain 4 and work a dc in the same space.  Chain 1, then work two double crochet in the next (chain 1) space.  Keep doing this all the way around, working 2 dc in each space, then a chain 1.  Join to close with a slip stitch.

Round 3: Chain 4, then work 2 dc in the same space, then chain 1.  In the next space, work three dc, then chain 1.  Keep doing this all the way around the circle...3 dc, then a chain 1 in each space.  Join with a slip stitch to close.

Round 4 (circle becomes hexagon in this round): Chain 4, and in the first space work 2 dc, chain 1, then 3 dc all in the same space.  This creates the first hexagon corner.  In the next space, to work the hexagon side, chain 1, then work 3 dc in next space. Keep going in this manner, working a corner of two "clusters" and a side of 1 cluster (each cluster being separated by a chain 1).  Join with a slip stitch to close.

Note: just be sure there is a ch 1 in between each grouping of 3 dc clusters as you work each round. That is what gives it the pretty spaces in between each cluster and keeps it nice and flat.

Round 5: round 5 is similar to round 4, but with a sequence of a corner, then a side, then another side.  Begin with a chain 4, and in the first space work 2 dc, chain 1, then 3 dc all in the same space.  In the next space, to work the hexagon side, chain 1, then work 3 dc in next space. In the next space, chain 1, then work 3 dc.  Keep going in this manner, working a corner of two "clusters" then a side of 1 cluster, then a side of 1 cluster (each cluster being separated by a chain 1).  Join with a slip stitch to close.

Edging: Work a single crochet into each space all the way around the square, but in each corner point space, work 2 sc.  Join with a slip stitch to close round and fasten off.  This will give it a finished look, and if you use a contrasting color, will "frame" it.

Finishing:
Weave in any ends.


© Jennifer Dickerson 2013
Please note: Patterns are for personal and charity use only. In addition, if you enjoy the pattern, please link to it, but do not copy the pattern to your own website or blog (including other languages). Thank you!


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Thursday, June 13, 2013

How To Crochet A Granny Hexagon


Granny Hexagons are so fun and pretty to make.  Instead of a four sided square, these are constructed in a very similar way, but with six sides.  You can make yours as big as you want by simply adding more rounds.  If you love traditional granny squares, but are ready for something just a little different, grab your hook and let's go!

Be sure to scroll down to see a video tutorial too.



For the hexagons shown, I used an H (5.0 mm) hook and some cotton yarn I had on hand.



Begin by chaining four and join to form a ring,


Chain four (this counts as a dc),



Then work a double crochet in the center of the ring and chain 1,



Now work a double crochet then a chain 1 ten more times into the center of the circle, for a total of 12 "spokes"



Join with a slip stitch to close,



Tie on a new color,

Note:
If you want to make the next round in the same color, simply slip stitch until you reach a ch 1 space and then keep going.



Draw the yarn through,



Chain 4,



Work a double crochet in the same space,



Chain 1, then work two double crochet in the next (chain 1) space,



Keep doing this all the way around (working 2 dc, then a chain 1 in each space),



Join to close with a slip stitch,


Tie on the next color,



Draw yarn through and chain 4,



Work 2 double crochet in the same space, then chain 1,



In the next space, work three double crochet, then chain 1,



Keep doing this all the way around the circle...3 dc, then a chain 1 in each space),



Join with a slip stitch to close,



Now for the most fun part...this is the round where our circle transforms into a hexagon...

Tie on a new color and draw the yarn through,



Chain 4, and in the first space work 2 dc, chain 1, then 3 dc all in the same space.  This will make our first hexagon corner.



To work a hexagon side, chain 1, then work 3 dc in next space.



Then onto the next corner, chain 1, then work 3 dc, chain 1, 3 dc,



Keep working this sequence, working a corner of two "clusters" and a side of 1 cluster (each cluster being separated by a chain 1).



Join with a slip stitch to close.



To continue to work more rounds of your hexagon,



Tie on a new color into one of the corners and chain 4,



Work the corner the same way as before,



There will be two sides of this round, so work the two sides with a cluster in each,



and a corner again,



Keep going all the way around in this sequence,



Here's a closeup, love seeing those colorful stitches!



Below is our finished hexagon on the right, a total of 5 rounds.  On the left is one that is the same number of rounds, but with a single crochet edging.



Happy crocheting!

Click below to watch a video on how to crochet a granny hexagon stitch by stitch:


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