Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween, Dearies!


Be safe everyone!


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Free Crochet Pattern...Super Squishy Trivets!



It's the season for entertaining!  Take a stack of these to your next get together for a thoughtful and useful hostess gift.  Be sure to keep a few for your own kitchen too!

Crocheted with a large hook and three strands of cotton yarn, these trivets are extra thick to protect surfaces.  I had the most fun experimenting with all of the different color combinations too. Two versions...square and circle.  Make a few of both!


Super Squishy Trivets
By Jennifer Dickerson

Materials:

  • N (9.0 mm) Crochet Hook
  • Brightly colored cotton yarn in color(s) of your choice
  • Tapestry needle

Sizing:
  • Both circle and square measure about 6 inches across.

Abbreviations:
  • ch: Chain
  • dc: Double Crochet



Instructions for Round Trivet: 

Chain 4, join into a ring with a slip stitch.
Round 1: Chain 3, then make 11 dc into center of ring, join with a sl st to join round.
Round 2: Ch 3, *1 dc into the next stitch, 2 dc in next st, repeat from * to end of round, join with a sl st to join round.
Round 3: Repeat round 2
Fasten off and weave in ends.



Instructions for Granny Square Trivet:

Chain 4, join into a ring with a slip stitch.
Round 1: Chain 4, work (3 dc into center of ring, chain 1) 3 times, then 2 dc into center of ring. Join to close with a slip stitch.
Round 2: To work the corner of round 2, first chain 4, then 2 dc in same space, then chain 1, then 3 dc in the same space. Chain 1, then work the next corner by working 3 dc in next space, chain 1, then 3 dc in same space, chain 1, repeat two more times to complete the round.
Round 3: Work the corner in the same manner as the previous round: chain 4, 2 dc in same space, chain 1, 3 dc in same space, chain 1. To work the sides, simply work 3 dc in the next space then chain 1…repeat until you reach a corner again.
Fasten off and weave in 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!



Click below to watch a video on how to crochet the round version of the trivet:


Click below to watch a video on how to crochet the square version of the trivet:


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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Make a Superhero Doggie Cape


Is your doggie a super dog?  Mine is!  Make a cute superhero cape for your favorite four legged friend in no time flat for under one dollar!  Because this project is no-sew, you can just trim it to fit if needed for smaller pups...no hemming required!  The best part is that it slips right onto the collar, making it safer and easier than tying it on.

Make one with an initial like I did, or perhaps a super cool lightning bolt is in order?  Paw print?  Heart?



Here's what you'll need:

  • 1-8X10 sheet yellow felt
  • 2-8X10 sheets red felt
  • 1-8X10 sheet black felt
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
(Feel free to change the colors if you like)

Project cost: 4 sheets of felt @ 24 cents each = only 96 cents!


To make the cape, plug your hot glue gun in...by the time it's ready to go, you'll be finished making it and ready to glue it up. 

Start by trimming the top corners off from a sheet of red felt as shown below.  If you're making a cape for a smaller dog (or even a cat...how cute would that be?) simply trim the bottom edge to fit.  Clearly my dog is gigantic, but I didn't want to make his too big either, so it wouldn't bother him.


Flip the cape over and cut a piece to make the "collar pocket" Trim it to fit the top part of the cape.  Before gluing, be sure the animal's collar can easily pass through.


Cut a larger circle (I used a drinking glass as a template),


Cut a slightly smaller circle,


Cut a letter or other shape (lightning bolt, paw print, heart, etc.)


Now you're ready to attach it together!  Glue all parts.  Be especially careful with the collar pocket piece, taking care not to glue it closed...I ran a small and neat strip along the top and bottom of the piece and gently tacked it down.

Make sure everything is completely dry before wearing...now puppy is ready to save the day!

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Turning Chain Basics



Turning chains are used in crochet patterns for transitioning from row to row. Often when reading a pattern it will read, "Chain # and turn" or "Turn and Chain #"

Common abbreviations you'll see for the turning chain include tch or t-ch and are recognized by the Craft Yarn Council.



The general rule of thumb for turning chains is:

(Click on link to learn each stitch)




One thing to note is that the turning chain can be worked either before of after turning your work...it is largely a personal preference.



Also important:

  • Single crochet: Turning chain does not count as the first stitch. Work the first stitch of the row.
  • All other stitches: Turning chain (normally) does count as the first stitch. Skip the first stitch and continue as usual.
With that being said, you'll want to refer to your particular pattern.  These are general guidelines and patterns can vary.



With all of this being said, it it good to know the basics, but sometimes rules can be broken!  If something doesn't look right, tweaking it a little is perfectly fine. Just be sure to do this for all rows so modifications are consistent looking.

Let's work a turning chain together...

Below we have a swatch of double crochet rows and we've the end of our row,



Because we're going to do the next row in double crochet too, chain three,



And flip the work over (turn):



Now we can continue with our row...happy crocheting!


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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Make A Fabulous Fall Fascinator


If you are in need of a little extra adornment this week or are unable to wear a full costume, here is a cute little project you can make...a fall fascinator!  Using ribbon, some fall goodies, and of course a yarny accent...you can whip one up in no time.

To make yours you'll need:
  • A headband
  • Ribbon
  • Some fallish accessories (silk leaves, pumpkins, netting, or pretty much anything you can think of!
  • *Of course I had to have a yarny addition on mine, so I added a crochet leaf (Click here for pattern)
  • Felt that matches headband (I used black for both)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun


Begin by making the bow.  This will serve as the base and everything will be attached to it.  I layered both black sheer ribbon and orange satin together.  To make a simple bow, start with a short tail and pinch,



Next make loops, holding each one down as you go.



Tie off with a scrap piece of yarn or ribbon.  Do not trim yet.


I found this autumn sprig of fall things at the craft store...pull it apart and decide what you'd like to use.


I decided on the pumpkin and the two leaves.  I placed the pumpkin in the middle first and wrapped the wire around the entire bow.  Then I glued the leaves to the underside of the pumpkin.  Finally, I added the crochet leaf (click here for pattern).  

Cute!  If you want to give your fascinator a vintage look, add a bit of netting and let it hang down a bit.


Remember those yarn/ribbon tails from making the bow?  Grab your headband...


And tie it right to the headband securely.


Next, cut a small circle out of the felt.


And glue it to the back to hide everything and make it look more finished.


All done!  Be sure to let everything dry completely before wearing.  Happy fall!


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Friday, October 25, 2013

Free Crochet Pattern...Book Lovers Shawl!


The Book Lovers Shawl is a super thick and cozy wrap with a special pocket for your favorite book.  Wear it to keep toasty and warm as you read, it's like a little blanket for your shoulders! The shawl is constructed with four granny squares plus one extra to make the pocket.  A cute heart "decal" finishes it off.

This shawl makes an ideal handmade gift if you are gifting someone a book...just tuck the book inside!



Sizing:

45 inches long and 10 inches wide. If a wider and longer shawl is desired, simply work more rounds of each square. You could also add to the length if needed by adding more squares.

Materials:

  • 5 Balls of Lion Brand Hometown Yarn (Color Shown is Phoenix Azalea)
  • Scraps of Super Bulky Yarn to make heart and circle (I used Hometown Yarn in "Honolulu Pink" for the heart and "Denver Rocky Mountain" for the circle)
  • N (9.0 mm) Crochet Hook
  • TapestryYarn Needle for seaming and weaving in ends



Instructions:

Granny Square (Make 5)

Chain 4, join into a ring with a slip stitch.
Round 1: Chain 4, work (3 dc into center of ring, chain 1) 3 times, then 2 dc into center of ring. Join to close with a slip stitch.
Round 2: To work the corner of round 2, first chain 4, then 2 dc in same space, then chain 1, then 3 dc in the same space. Chain 1, then work the next corner by working 3 dc in next space, chain 1, then 3 dc in same space, chain 1, repeat two more times to complete the round.
Round 3: Work the corner in the same manner as the previous round: chain 4, 2 dc in same space, chain 1, 3 dc in same space, chain 1. To work the sides, simply work 3 dc in the next space then chain 1…repeat until you reach a corner again.

Keep working in this manner, with two clusters in the corners and one cluster on the sides until you finish the round. Just be sure there is a ch 1 in between each grouping of 3 dc as you work each round.

Repeat round three 2 more times for a total of 5 rounds.

A note about making multicolored rounds:

  • To begin a new round in the same color, simply slip stitch until you reach a ch1 at the corner and begin the new round.
  • To begin a new round in a new/different color, cut yarn, leaving a tail, and fasten it with a slip stitch. Join the new yarn at one of the corners as shown and tie securely. Continue to the next round.




Finishing & Assembly:

I made the pocket portion first, then attached the rest of the shawl squares.  To make the pocket,


  1. Lay out out all of the pieces.  Weave in any ends that remain.
  2. Lay the first square, which will be the bottom.
  3. Stack another square on top.
  4. Be sure the right sides are facing up (both squares)
  5. Next, place the purple circle in the center.
  6. Seam everything together...I began by stitching the heart onto the circle, then stitch the circle onto the top square, and finally seam the two granny squares, creating the pocket, starting in the upper left corner, working down and around the bottom, then up the side leaving the top open for the pocket.
Join the remaining three squares to the pocket.  When you join the first square to the pocket, be sure to only seam the bottom square of the pocket to it, making sure the top part of the top square remains open for the pocket.


Here are two different ways to seam for this project:



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