Fun Wrister Pattern

Photo courtesy of Red Heart Yarn
Photo courtesy of Red Heart Yarn

I got a nice surprise today. Found out that my Easy Crochet Wristers pattern is available on the Red Heart website.

I wanted to create a super simple design that beginning crocheters could stitch up. If you can make a chain, single crochet and double crochet stitch; you can crochet these wristers up.

They are worked flat, then seamed together to create the opening for your thumb.  Give them a try and see what you think.

Advertisements

Little Cables Cap

This fun little cap is my first design in Crochet 1-2-3 the new crochet magazine available by subscription and in Walmart stores.

Photo courtesy of Crochet 1-2-3
Photo courtesy of Crochet 1-2-3

As I’ve said before, hats are one of my favorite projects to work on for quick gifts. This simple hat is crocheted crown down and uses post stitches to create the 8 little cable ridges that meet up with the ribbed brim.  The pattern is available in 4 sizes, so you’ll be sure to find one to fit a child in your circle of gift giving.

There is one error in the pattern. For Sizes 12 months (4 years) only, Round 9 (10): the instructions between the brackets [ ] should only be repeated 4 times, not 8.

Warming up Winter

My favorite things to crochet, back before I became a crazy busy designer, were items for charitable giving. Everything from hats and scarves for the homeless shelter to preemie caps for Save the Children.  There were also a few child’s blankets in there for Project Linus.

Recently I learnt about a small organization in Massachusetts that helps get hats, scarves and mittens to various charitable groups in their region and they teach crochet and knitting.  They are called “Warmer Winters”, because New England winters can get bitterly cold.

Currently they are a bit low on donations to send out. They especially need Adult sized scarves and hats.  They can always use all sizes of mittens (adults, children & babies) as well as Hats and Scarves.

Donated items can be crocheted or knit, just need to be made in easy-care materials. No animal fibers to avoid any allergy issues.  If you don’t have time to crochet or knit an item but want to donate yarn for their teaching programs they prefer bulky and worsted weight acrylic yarns.

You can mail donations to:

Warmer Winters

22 Hill Top Drive

Leominster, MA  01453

Hat-n-Scarf

If you need an Adult hat pattern you can adapt my Little Bitty Noggin Cap pattern.  Use worsted weight yarn with an H (5mm) hook and work additional increase rounds until the diameter measures approximately 7″, then work even rounds until the measurement from the crown is 12 inches, work 1 or 2 more inches of alternating hdc post st ribbing and you have a hat that will fit most adult heads. This is my basic “go-to” hat pattern and it makes a nice stretchy hat.

Simple Double Crochet Scarf

This simple scarf uses worsted weight yarn with a size I-9 (5.5mm) hook. My gauge is 3.5 dc sts = 1″ & 2 dc rows = 1.25″. Finished scarf is 8″ wide and can be worked to desired length. The turning chains are left as a decorative edging and not worked into.

Scarf-close-up

Foundation: Start with a chain of 29, sc in back bump of 2nd ch from hook and in each chain to beginning of chain [28 sc]. If you are comfortable with the foundation single crochet (fsc) make 28 for your starting row instead.

Row 1: Ch 3, turn, work a dc in the first st and each st across [28 dc, 1 ch3].

Row 2 and following rows: Repeat Row 1.

For a 4′ long scarf work 76 rows, for a 5′ long scarf work 95 rows, for a 6′ long scarf work 114 rows. My sample in the photo was 84 dc rows.

Finishing Row: Ch 1, sc in each st across leaving ch-3 un-worked. Fasten off, weave in ends.

If sending items to Warmer Winters isn’t in the budget for you, but you want to help out, look for organizations in your locale that need items. Remember to contact them before sending stuff to see what they are needing and any restrictions.

My Supervisors

2013 has been moving fast. I’m busy with lots of crochet work, but being it is all still in the secret stage I can’t share about it yet.

My-Supervisors

Instead just a quick post today of my companions while I work.

The big guy on the right is our new addition to our family. His name is Fango. I know, it’s a sort of horrible name…but he came with it and it is the one he knows.  He is 6 years old and came to us thru the Rocky Mountain Labrador Rescue.

He had a rather rough time initially.  He had major surgery on his leg as well as 2 malignant tumors removed from his side. Fortunately he has recovered well from the surgeries and they are confident that the entire tumors were removed.  Almost half his body was shaved and he looked quite a mess when we first saw him.

He started off with a different foster family, then at Thanksgiving he came to stay with us while his foster family was out-of-town.  When they got back there were some emergencies with their family, so we volunteered to continue fostering him.  By Christmas time we had completely fallen in love with him, and after a family meeting we decided we needed to adopt him.

He is super mellow and a calming influence on our sweet Kenna girl. Loves to go for walks without dragging on the leash, and is very happy to play fetch.

The family has all agreed now that we have reached our dog capacity. So our volunteer efforts with RMLR will involve other contributions than fostering for a time.  Just as well, since we might end up with 3 dogs.

The Last Bit of Christmas

Yesterday when I checked my PO Box there was a package notice in it. So after dropping my boys off at school this morning I stopped by the Post Office to collect my package.

I was very excited when I saw it was a box from Amazon.com. I was pretty sure it was my books I had ordered with some of my Christmas money.  Unfortunately I had a very busy schedule for the day, so I just now got to open the box.

new-books

I’ve been wanting both of these books for a while, especially Edie’s “Connect the Shapes”.  Edie’s books are always full of useful tips and new ways of looking at crochet and this book looks to be another winner.

Margaret’s “The Complete Photoguide to Crochet” is a beloved reference in my teaching library and I think that “The Granny Square Book” will be joining it as another great source for myself and my students.

I’m looking forward to many fun hours with both of these books in the coming months.  I’ll do a more in-depth review on them once I’ve had a chance to read thru them completely.

Celebrating Warm Hands

Photo of Front Cover courtesy of Leisure Arts Publishing
Photo of Front Cover courtesy of Leisure Arts Publishing

I’m so pleased to announce that my first booklet for Leisure Arts, “Texting Mitts”, is available as an Ebook on their website, it will be also available as a print booklet in Jo-Ann stores sometime in February.

Photo of Back Cover courtesy of Leisure Arts Publishing.
Photo of Back Cover courtesy of Leisure Arts Publishing.

My first ever published design was a pair of fingerless mitts for Red Heart Yarn in October of 2009. So it is fitting that my first ever booklet would be fingerless mitts as well. I love making fingerless mitts. They are a wonderful quick project for gift-giving and a useful item to have in your pockets for chilly days.

I had a great time working on this booklet. Kept me very busy throughout May, June and July of 2012, in a frenzy of creativity and crocheting. In fact this effort has inspired me to create more fingerless mitt designs in the future.

The booklet has 8 different designs for fingerless mitts and sells for $9.99, which comes out to about $1.25 a pattern. Patterns range from basic beginner to intermediate skill levels. All the designs are worked in sock/fingering weight yarns for warmth without bulk. Leisure Arts has even included links to helpful videos on their website for help with or review of many of the techniques.

All but 1 of the designs in this booklet are worked from the cuff up, which gives you the option of making the hand/finger area longer if desired.  Many of the styles include thumb gussets to give greater coverage for those that live in chillier climates.

One of the wonderful advantages of wearing fingerless mitts is they can actually help you avoid injury to your hands when typing, texting or even crocheting. Keeping your hands warm is a great way to prevent muscle strains from repetitive motion.

Photo courtesy of Leisure Arts Publishing
Photo courtesy of Leisure Arts Publishing

I love all the designs in the booklet but my 2 favorites are the Small V-stitch Wristers (shown on the front cover) and the Staggered Cross Stitch Mitts. The main reason these are my favorites is because of the lovely stretch that the stitch patterns give to the fabric.

When I’m out and about I prefer my mitts to have a longer palm section that nearly covers my pinkie finger, making it easy to operate the touchscreen on my smart phone, but still keeping my hands warm in our cold weather. I sometimes wear glove liners under my mitts when the temperature really drops.

scritches

At home I wear my lacy fingerless mitts in the house, especially on winter evenings. Living on a mountain it gets very cold, but I’m cozy under an afghan with my hands in my mitts and my fingers free to crochet, knit, read a book or give kitty and doggie scritches as needed.