Little Bitty Noggins

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.

Instructions:

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]

Rnd 17 : Repeat Rnd  16, fasten off

Weave in ends.

Flat Fuzzy Friend

My first published toy design is available in the Summer 2010 issue of Crochet Uncut.

Flat Fuzzy Friend

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.

Kid Cuddle Test

Also, if you are looking for a way to make your favorite hook more comfortable I have an article on modifying hooks in this same issue.

Finally Celebrating Springtime

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.  

Spring Snow in my backyard

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. 

Pretty Petunias

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. 

Pretty Petunia 

Pretty Petunia

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. 

Blossom: 

Finished Blossom

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.* 

Stamen: 

Finished Stamen

Ch 2, work 5 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Fasten off. 

Finishing: 

Weave tails in both pieces.  Use needle to pull tails of stamen thru bottom of blossom trumpet.  Snug up stamen into bell of trumpet. 

Tails pulled thru Base of Blossom

*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.

Lace Hat

I’m excited to announce that my Lace Hat pattern is now available on the Coats and Clark website.

Lace Hat

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.

Scan of Hat

Happy Little Hearts

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. 

Handful of Hearts

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. 

Little Heart

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

Stitch Chart (c) Andee Graves/M2H Designs

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.

Lace Fingerless Mitts

Coats Photo
"Heart and Sole" Mellow Stripes color

Hooray! My pattern for Crochet Lace Fingerless Mitts is available on the Coats Website now.

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!