Wishing everyone a beautiful holiday week-end and a wonderous New Year in 2012.
In celebration of this time of year I am sharing a fun little snowflake pattern with you. For now it is just a stitch diagram, so my apologies to those of you who can’t read those yet. Maybe a good New Year’s resolution is to learn that skill as it does open the whole world of international patterns to you. If you have trouble reading the chart because of size, click on the photo and it should enlarge it.
Once you’ve stitched up your snowflake and tucked in the ends, pin it out and use your favorite fabric stiffener to make it into an ornament. I prefer to brush the stiffener on once the snowflake is pinned out, instead of dipping the fabric in the solution first. Once one side is dry I un-pin the flake and if needed will brush more stiffener on the back.
You can also sprinkle a bit of glitter over the flake while the stiffener is wet to create a sparkly snowflake.
As is known by many of my stitchy friends and my dear readers of the blog, I have a slight addiction to novelty yarns and crocheting with unusual materials (spaghetti anyone?). So the first time I heard of Jelly Yarn I had to investigate.
The talented Vashti Braha had mentioned it one evening on the Getting Loopy podcast chat room. I was immediately intrigued and decided I must find some of it to play with. Fortunately not too long after that I was at the Buffalo Knit and Crochet Show (August 2009) and Jelly Yarns had a booth.
Jelly Yarns is owned by Kathleen and Nick Greco, super nice people and lots of fun. Their booth was a bright fun corner of the market floor. I was especially excited to find Glow-In-The-Dark and glittery Metallic (sparkles!) Jelly Yarn. I purchased a couple balls of the metallic and one of their “Glow in the Dark” colors.
If you can’t find Jelly Yarn in your area check out their website at JellyYarns.com (it’s also a great place to explore tips about using Jelly Yarn and to see the latest fun stuff they have planned).
The yarn is available in 3 different weights and 14 colors. Kathleen works with their manufacturer in Pennsylvania (another thing to love, this yarn is made in the USA) planning and developing new colors. She also creates wild wonderful knit and crocheted art pieces and patterns from Jelly Yarn.
It is a bit strange to crochet with at first. The yarn is 100% Vinyl, reminding me a bit of the lanyard lacing type stuff used to make woven key chain fobs in summer camp (way back when). This isn’t “yarn” in the fibery sense, but it is very flexible and I love the sculptural quality of it. It is fantastic for beaded crochet with big hole style beads.
Kathleen recommends using a hand lotion or hand salve on your hook to improve the “glide” of the yarn over the hook and thru stitches. Her favorite salve to use is Burt’s Bee Hand Salve. She also recommends the use of a metal hook like the Susan Bates Silvalume. I found I didn’t need the lotion or salve when using my Clover Soft Touch hooks especially as I wanted a loose stitch structure. I do like the salve for tighter projects though. The finished fabric is very elastic with a structured quality and a slight grippy feel to it.
When I returned home from the Buffalo show I made some single crochet bracelet “worms” for my boys from the Glow-In-the-Dark yarn. I also strung a bunch of blue toned beads on the Silver Icing sparkly yarn with the intention of making some fun jewelry items. Unfortunately life got busy like it does and I tucked it away to work on later. This past Monday I was having a clear out of my working space and re-discovered the ball of yarn and decided it was time to play with it again.
So here is the fun and slightly funky bracelet pattern I came up with. Enjoy!
Glittery Beaded Cuff
designed by Andee Graves
Jelly Yarn (100% Vinyl) in Silver Icing color. Fine weight
Size J (6 mm) hook (I used my Clover Soft Touch – the matte finish of the metal seems to help)
Beaded Single Crochet (bsc): Bring bead up close to work, insert hook in st, keeping bead to back of work yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull thru both loops on hook.
Double Beaded Single Crochet (dbsc): bring bead up close to work, insert hook in st, keeping bead to back of work yo and pull up a loop, bring second bead up close to work, keeping bead to back of work yo and pull thru both loops on hook.
My cuff is 2″ wide (5.1 cm) and 7 3/4″ around (19.7 cm). If you want yours longer for a larger wrist just add un-beaded rows at the end and beginning. If you want more beaded rows add 5 beads for each additional bsc row and 12 beads for each additional dbsc row. Remember you will need an odd number of rows in the end to make the finishing seam work correctly.
Jelly Yarn isn’t a fiber yarn so taking care of the ends is a bit different. Vinyl will stretch thinner and then relax back into its original size, so knots tied tightly in this yarn tend to stay put. Read the details in the finishing closely to keep your bracelet from coming undone.
First string all the beads on your yarn. This is easy to do because the yarn is stiff enough to act as your needle. If you have extra beads you might want to add a few just to be sure you’ll have enough for this project.
Foundation: Chain 7, turn.
Row 1: Sc in back bump of 2nd ch from hook, sc in back bump of each ch to beginning of ch. [6 sc]
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st to end of row. [6 sc]
Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in first st, bsc in each st to end of row. [1 sc, 5 bsc]
Row 4 – 12: Alternate repeating Row 2 and Row 3, ending with a Row 2.
Row 13: Ch 1, turn, dbsc in each st to end of row. [6 dbsc]
Row 14: Repeat Row 2. [6 sc]
Row 15: Repeat Row 3. [1 sc, 5 bsc]
Row 16: Repeat Row 2. [6 sc]
Row 18 17: Repeat Row 13. [6 dbsc] Aug 27, 2016: Thanks to June T. for pointing out that Row 17 was missing. I had mis-numbered the rows. Eep! It’s been on here wrong for nearly 5 years!
Finishing: Pull beginning and ending tails to tighten slip knot and ending knot. Using tails sew top of Row 28 to bottom of Row 1, sew half way for each tail so they meet in the middle of seam. Tie a square knot with the 2 tails. Weave the loose ends of the tails back toward the sides of bracelet and cut off so ends don’t show.
I am offering this pattern for free so the only tech-editor for this pattern is me. Please let me know if you run into a snag with the pattern.
I am doing the “Snoopy Happy Dance” because it finally feels like summer up here on the mountain. I’ve had all the windows in the house open to encourage a lovely breeze and the thermometer may have actually registered over 85F a few times.
With all this warm weather I’ve decided to do loads of house and yard tasks and a good scrubbing in the shower was a neccesity after all that sweating. While showering I was thinking about my on-going search for the ideal exfoliating bath scrubbie.
I used to purchase a product call the “Buff Puff” at the local drugstore. It was gentle enough for my sometimes fragile skin and yet effective at helping remove the layers of “ick” that accumulate far too quickly. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find them anymore.
I have played on and off with crocheting my own scrubbies, but haven’t been all that happy with the results. Generally, the best have involved cutting up strips of Tulle type fabric to crochet with. After my shower the other day though…inspiration struck.
I taught crochet to my youngest son’s pre-school class this spring and had taken some colorful balls of Lion Brand’s Thick and Quick Chunky yarn for them to use.
This is a very fun 100% acrylic yarn that has some “tooth” to it, yet is quite thick and I theorized that it would be absorbent to lather up nicely without holding onto the moisture so long to become a mold farm. The yarn is also very washable and can go thru the laundry.
It was time for an experiment. I used a simple hyperbolic formula to stitch up a mid-sized scrubbie. My quick little pattern is below. Stitch up a few for yourself or as gifts for friends. If you want them bigger, just add rounds until you like the finished size, though remember with more rounds you get more ruffles.
Summer Shower Scrubbie – by Andee Graves
Lion Brand Thick and Quick Chunky – Green Mountain (approximately 14 yards)
Susan Bates P/11.5mm hook
1 Large locking stitch marker
Pattern note: All rounds are worked spirally. Use a stitch marker to mark the last st of each round, moving up as each round is completed.
Round 1: Starting with an adjustable slip knot, chain 2, 6 sc in second chain from hook. Place stitch marker in 6th sc.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st of round 1. [12 sc]
Round 3: 2 sc in each st of round 2. [24 sc]
Round 4: 2 sc in next 23 sts, sc in next st, sl st in next st, ch 6, sl st in next st and fasten off. [47 sc, 6 chs]
Finish by weaving in the beginning and ending tails, and it’s bath time.
I always think of February as the month of love, so it is fitting to celebrate my latest pattern release from M2H Designs. The Luv Bug.
It is available thru my Ravelry Shop. My inspiration for the name for these cute little bugs are my adorable boys. I call my sons Love Bugs or Cuddle Bugs on a regular basis, so creating a cuddly Luv Bug toy was a logical step.
These bugs are great fun to make. A bit of instant gratification as they require very little yarn and minimal sewing. Each bug is made up of 4 separate crocheted pieces, with the stitch work creating the nose, antenna and feet. Sizing of the bugs depends on the thickness of yarn you use.
With Valentines Day just around the corner someone on your list might enjoy having their own Luv Bug to cuddle.
It’s amazing how quickly a year has gone by. Last year for Valentines Day I offered a little heart pattern here on my blog, I thought it would be fun to do that again. So here is a new heart…..
SPIRAL IN A HEART
by Andee Graves
Note: All rounds are worked spirally without joining. Use a stitch marker in the last stitch of the round and move it up as each round is completed. US Crochet terminology used throughout.
Yarns: Caron International Dazzleaire for Heart, Caron International Simply Soft for Spiral.
Hook: I-9 / 5.5 mm & H-8 / 5 mm
Gauge: Finished heart measures 2.5 x 2.5 inches. Gauge will vary depending on yarn and hook size chosen.
Rnd 1: Ch 2, 7 sc in 2nd ch from hook.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in next 7 sts. [14 sc]
Rnd 3: sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, hdc and dc in next st, 5 dc in next st, sk next st, sl st next st, sk next st, 5 dc in next st, dc and hdc next st, hdc and sc next st, sc next 2 sts, 2 hdc next st, fasten off. [6 sc, 5 hdc, 12 dc]
Spiral: Holding working yarn behind heart and smaller hook at front, pull up a loop thru the center of the heart, work surface sl sts at base of each st of Rounds 2 and 3. Fasten off and weave in ends.
When my first son was born he was in a bit of a hurry and arrived 4 weeks before his due date. He was a tiny little guy at first, weighing in at only 5 pounds. He measured a mere 12 inches around his little noggin.
My hands are not very big, but I could cup the entire back of his head in my palm. I remember being amazed that such a tiny fragile being could be as alive and robust as he was. He is now grown to be a busy, healthy and energetic young boy.
Many full-term newborns in impoverished nations around the world are no bigger than my son was, and some are much tinier and far less robust. There are multiple challenges facing these babies and their mothers.
I wanted to design a special hat pattern to support the efforts for the Save the Children Caps for Good campaign. This is a program to provide hats for newborns in many countries where keeping a tiny head covered can make a real difference. A baby that isn’t using energy to stay warm can use that energy instead to grow and gain critical survival weight.
The only payment I ask for the use of this pattern is that you donate at least 2 caps to the Save the Children program or, after February 28, 2011, to a similar program that you know of in your community to help newborns. Thank you for helping to warm up some babies.
Little Bitty Noggin Cap by Andee Graves
Materials: Yarn – Any Sport or Light worsted weight yarn can be used. Samples used approximately .6 oz (56 yards) of Red Heart Designer Sport, CYCA #3 weight, 100% acrylic. Colors used are Iced Violet (discontinued), Sky (discontinued) and #3820 Denim. Hook size H-8 (5 mm).
Gauge: First 6 rounds should be 4 inches in diameter.
Stitches used: Chain (ch), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), front post half double crochet (fphdc), and back post half double crochet (bphdc).
Special Stitches: Increase (Inc) – hdc thru both loops of next st, hdc in back loop of same st.
Notes: Cap is worked from the center crown down to brim. Rnds 1 thru 15 are worked spirally. Use a stitch marker in the last st of each rnd and move up as rnds are completed.
Rnd 1: Ch 2, sc and 7 hdc in 2nd ch from hook.
Rnd 2: (Hdc in next st, hdc in bk lp of same st) 8 times [16 hdc]
Rnd 3: (Hdc in next st, Inc in next st) 8 times [24 hdc]
Rnd 4: (Hdc in next 2 sts, Inc in next st) 8 times [32 hdc]
Rnd 5: (Hdc in next 3 sts, Inc in next st) 8 times [40 hdc]
Rnd 6: (Hdc in next 4 sts, Inc in next st) 8 times [48 hdc]
Rnd 7: Hdc in each st of round [48 hdc]
Rnd 8 – 14: Repeat Rnd 7
Rnd 15: Repeat Rnd 7, sc next st, sl st next st
Rnd 16: Ch 2,( fphdc next st, bphdc next st) 24 times, sl st to 2nd ch of beg ch 2. [48 hdc]
My first published toy design is available in the Summer 2010 issue of Crochet Uncut.
Everyone needs a cuddly little friend to keep them company. I was inspired to create this design by my 2 sons. They love having a toy along on our hikes and this fella fits nicely in their back packs. He is also washable, a definite plus with my little mud monsters.
This is a quick crochet project that only takes a bit of yarn. The sample for the pattern has 45 yards of Lion Brand Jiffy (bulky) and 40 yards of Vanna’s Choice (worsted). Scrap substitution is fine too, though I would recommend double stranding for the body circle if using worsted to sub the bulky weight yarn.
I’m thinking I’m going to be making a bunch of these little guys in the next few months. With embroidered eyes they would be fabby baby toys and wouldn’t take up a lot of room in a diaper bag.
I hope everyone enjoys making their own Flat Fuzzy Friends and shares photos on Ravelry.
What most folks consider spring weather is a bit different from what it is like here on our mountain. In fact we had 14 inches of snow and temperatures below freezing on May 11th and 12th.
Today was sunny and the temperatures are on the rise. According to our local climatologist we should be seeing real warming trends for the rest of the month. In celebration of this I have a fun little pattern to share with all of you.
During those cold days I was comforted by my hanging basket of miniature petunias that my sweet boys had gotten me for Mother’s day. They inspired me to create this little crocheted flower.
This pattern is text only currently, I may add a hand drawn stitch diagram later. I worked the sample in some scraps of Caron’s Simply Soft with a G-6 (4 mm) hook. My finished flower is 2 inches in diameter across the open blossom and about 1 inch deep.
The flower is worked in the round starting with the base and creating a trumpet shape. I began with an adjustable slip knot, though you can do Magic Ring if that is more comfortable for you. Each round is slip stitched to the first st of the round instead of working in a spiral.
Round 1: Ch 2, 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in first st.
Round 2: Ch 1, 5 sc worked evenly, sl st in first st.
Round 3: Ch 1, 2 sc in each st around, sl st in first st. [10 sc]
Round 4: Ch 1, 10 sc worked evenly, sl st in first st.
Round 5: Ch 1, (sc in next st, 2 sc in next st) 5 times, sl st in first st. [15 sc]
Round 6: (hdc in next st, 3 dc in next st, hdc and sl st in next st) 5 times. Fasten off.*
Ch 2, work 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Fasten off.
Weave tails in both pieces. Use needle to pull tails of stamen thru bottom of blossom trumpet. Snug up stamen into bell of trumpet.
*You can use a needle finish for last round of blossom for a neater look, just skip last sl st in pattern instructions.
I hope you enjoy making a garden of pretty petunias.
I’m excited to announce that my Lace Hat pattern is now available on the Coats and Clark website.
I designed this Hat to go with the Crochet Lace Fingerless Mitts. The great thing is that 2 balls of the Heart & Sole yarn are just the right amount to make both patterns. You can work the mitts first doing 2 at a time using 1 ball for each mitt, then use the left over amounts to stitch up a matching hat.
The pattern is for a deep hat that can be worn slouchy or pulled down “Cloche” style with the ribbed band providing a bit of extra warmth over your ears. The open work of the stitch pattern in the crown means that this is a great hat for transitional seasons. Like Colorado’s unpredictable mountain spring time.
I’ve been having fun playing with crocheting hearts.
There is a bake sale fundraiser for my oldest son’s after-school care program every February. I’m really not all that talented in the kitchen, especially when it comes to baking at altitude. I decided this time to use up some of my worsted cotton and make heart shaped facial scrubbies for the sale.
I played around with various patterns I found online and made 10 hearts. I wasn’t 100% happy with how they were coming out and kept tweaking the patterns. Then today decided to try a completely different approach and since it is a quick fun little pattern thought I would share it with all of you.
Here is the little Heart I came up with.
Sample in photo is worked in Crème de la Crème (Coats and Clark) 100% cotton with a size H-8 (5.0 mm) hook and came out 3 x 3 inches. You can use any yarn or thread you want to get various size hearts. Use the appropriate size hook for the gauge of your yarn.
Little Heart Instructions
Row 1: Chain 7, work a single crochet in the back bump of 2nd chain from the hook. Single crochet in back bumps of each chain to end. (6 sc)
Row 2: Chain 1, turn, work a single crochet in each stitch across (6 sc)
Row 3-6: Repeat Row 2 four times.
Row 7: Turn square to work on one side of square, work 5 Double crochet(Shell) in the end of the 3rd row. Loosely slip stitch in end of 6th row. Turn square to work on next side, loose slip stitch in first stitch, work Shell in 4th stitch of side, slip stitch in next corner, ch 1.
Round 8: Work 6 sc evenly spaced on next side, ch 3, work 6 sc evenly down side. Work 2 sc in first dc, 2 hdc in next dc, 3 dc in next dc, hdc in next dc, slip st loosely in 5th dc of shell, tight slip st in corner of original square, loose slip st in next dc, hdc in next dc, 3 dc in next dc, 2 hdc in next st, 2 sc in last dc of 2nd shell.
Finishing: Can end Round 8 with slip st into first sc of round…or use a needle join for an invisible joining of the round.
This is a fun intermediate project that is also quick to stitch up. Red Heart “Heart and Sole” yarn makes for a colorful pair of mitts. The yarn is available in 14 different color combos as well as 3 solid colors, so you can find the perfect match to any outfit or mood.
I love fingerless mitts. Living on a mountain it can be quite chilly, yet having my fingers free while I am typing or crocheting is also handy. Fingerless mitts are the answer for me.
Sometimes making a pair of anything is a challenge for me. Seems like I get the first one done and then it takes a very long time for me to even start the second one. I’ve heard this malady referred to as “Second Sock Syndrome” and the usual solution is to work both socks (or mitts) at the same time. It’s more unusual to see 2-at-a-time in crochet, but I have managed to do it.
Stay tuned to this blog for my directions on working the two mitts at once!